Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

  • I briefly thought that hiking or biking every day to train for the hikes I’ll be making in August would be a good idea.  And it is.  However, my next hike was five days later.  Nevertheless, I have been hiking more than I usually do, and already I can tell it’s making a difference.  I hiked a difficult, rugged trail, and my legs were barely fazed.  It was actually a good trail to train on, because it included 1440 feet of elevation gain.  Unfortunately, my respiratory capacity is my limiting factor, and it will only be worse at altitude.  At my age, my Maximum Heart Rate should be 174 bpm, but at one point I measured it at 184.  Perhaps I should do a little research about how to improve my respiratory capacity, but I’m sure it is going to involve more aerobic exercise.
  • Yelp’s page, “The Best 10 Hiking in Jefferson County, MO” contains ten hiking destinations, none of which are in Jefferson County.
  • I’m about halfway through ST:TOS, and I am able to have an informed opinion about it.  I don’t care for it as well as I did the others, mostly because I don’t care the characters.  Spock, sure, but he is too inconsistently Vulcan.  I can also see how TOS, and ultimately all of the Star Trek television franchise, owes its format to The Twilight Zone.  Most episodes are some clever, brain-teasing situation.  So far, there has been no character development in any modern sense, nor any kind of story arc.  There have been several variety acting episodes (which I despise), just as in the other series.  Earlier this year, it was thought that Star Trek: Discovery would launch this year in May, but it hasn’t.  IMDb has information about a pilot.  CBS has a trailer up, which says the series is coming this fall, and I’ve just read that they plan to begin airing September 24.  Maybe I’ll be finished watching TOS by then, but it hasn’t inspired me to binge watch.  I think a Star Trek series that was more character-based and clearly followed a story arc would be much more desirable than usual format, but I doubt anyone else sees it that way.
  • Things are going well with my new job.  I am beginning to feel more confident in my abilities as a leader.  It’s nice when my boss or the other people above me recognize and tell me that I’m doing a good job.  However, it’s even nicer when workers thank me for taking charge of their situations and organizing their projects.  I didn’t really appreciate how valuable a skill that is until I came to this part of the organization which has such an obvious need for it.  The one drawback is that I’m putting in a lot of hours, 65 or 70 hours per week.  I am determined not to let that be a permanent thing, and after the migration projects, I’ll need to assert a more normal limit on my hours.
  • A couple weeks ago, I picked up Better Homes and Gardens’ The Ultimate Cookie Book, and yesterday I attempted the first recipe: Honey Coins (pg. 97).  They were very good.  They didn’t taste particularly like honey, but they had a very fine and delicate texture, which made them very addictive.  The powdered sugar coating didn’t hurt either.  Not a particularly difficult recipe, and the dough can be prepared in advance and frozen for up to two months.  This is probably going to be one of my favorites.
  • I have many friends who live in the City of St. Louis (within the actual city limits).  Consequently, I frequently hear about my friends being robbed.  One has been robbed for a third time since moving to her present location a few months ago.  All of them live in the south part of the city, which is supposed to be the nice part; the safe part.  None of them want to hear from those of us living in the surrounding county, where crime rates are completely different.  St. Louis has among the highest crime rates in the nation, despite also having among the highest police per capita rates.  The main reason I don’t live in the City is the crime, and I’m very tempted to say I told you so.  Whether they realize it or not, those friends of mine have knowingly chosen to set themselves in the path of crime, and it seems delusional for them to complain about it.
  • Another thing I don’t have to deal with because I don’t live in the City is jury duty.  I have never, in my lifetime, been called for jury duty.  My friends in St. Louis get called on average about once a year.
  • I finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale.  It was very well written in the sense that the author skillfully captured and portrayed the emotions of someone in that situation.  It frequently amazed me that it even occurred to the author to think of those things.  However, now that I’ve finished it, I am left wondering what the point of the novel was.  Was it simply to demonstrate what right-wing extremists’ sexism would be like if taken to the extreme?  Did there really seem to be, during the 80s, some risk that such ideological thinking could take control of the country?  It did not really seem to be an effective indictment of men or the forces that resist feminism.  I’m disappointed now that I didn’t finish in time to discuss it with the book club.