The rain this weekend kept me indoors. I wanted to go for a hike but the weather was terrible. However, I did resort my day pack and clean up my hiking essentials kit.
Made chili last night. Very good batch.
Since I am done grading, I am heading to the store and then working in the yard. My new credit card arrived this morning. I wrote a check at Whole Foods yesterday only to learn they are no longer accepting checks after June 7th.
"...I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
-- Henry David Thoreau..."
We were in Vegas last weekend. Since I did not win a huge amount of cash, I came back to Saint Louis and our normal lives. Overall, Vegas was quite fun. The Bellagio is a great hotel. We both felt good that we not totally embarrass ourselves at the pool. Also, we saw Cirque at Treasure Island. It was the Mystere show and like most Cirque shows, I cannot tell you the plot. However, the notable additional to the cast was me. I was selected as the guy to be in the box. When we entered the show, Neale gave our tickets to the usher, who I realized was a member of the show that was messing with the audience. Neale did not and followed the guy. However, later the guy got his revenge and invited me on stage. I did a short dance and then was locked in a box while the guy found another audience member to sit next to Neale. For my troubles, I got a Mystere button and my photo will eventually post on their Facebook page. Good show.
I learned this morning that my credit card was stolen. Well, the number. Somebody in CA is buying electronics with my account. I called after my card was declined at the grocery store this morning. My card is canceled and they are issuing me a new one. Also, the charges are being credited back. Big thanks to the person in CA buying electronics at Big Deal.com.
On the flights and downtime in Vegas, I read "A Walk for Sunshine". I finished it and started another hiking book last night. Yes, next summer I am hiking from Georgia to Harper's Ferry. Roughly, 1000 miles and it should take a few weeks.
My lawn mower is in need of repair. A small but essential piece has gone missing so I am attempting a fix.
Had a 5K this morning. It was the Go! Saint Louis 5K in Forrest Park. Tomorrow, the same organization is doing the Saint Louis Marathon and Half Marathon. Our sister-in-law Kelly is doing the half marathon. I started the race fast but had nothing for the end. About the 2.5 mile mark I got a second wind (and a downhill section) but could not sprint the last part. Usually, when I can spot the finish line, I sprint to the end. Overall, good time for the first 5K of the season with an unofficial time of 25:18. Not too far off from my Turkey Day run but I did not feel as good throughout the race. At about the 1.5 mile mark, I had a fellow runner at the same pace. We kept together until 2.5 mile mark. She faded and I did not see her at the finish. For my efforts, I got a race memento of a Go! Saint Louis medal, which was the swag for all participants.
Afterward, I changed in the car and met Neale at Winslow's Home for breakfast. Very good place. Vegan options. Neale purchased vegan soup for lunches. I ordered the tofu muffaletta but I forgot how early it was at the time. No brunch/lunch options until 11AM. So, I got oatmeal, which a better choice as I am juicing this week and limiting my solid food. Neale had a breakfast pinwheel-style sandwich. Sun dried tomatoes have got to go.
When breakfast was done, we look at houses in the UCity, Ladue, & Olivette area. Olivette looked better than I thought and UCity does have possibilities. Then, Neale went downtown and I had errands. First, another trip to the batting cage. It was better than yesterday. Stopped at Ace for lawn supplies and Alpine Shop for socks. I really want to start planting but they are predicting a freeze last I heard. Gonna wait another weekend.
As you know, the NCAA championship did not go the way of the Dawgs. Great game. Two champs, one winner. Butler played very well and could have had a game for the ages. Overall, great see a school that does not recruit 'one and done' players but makes scholar athletes get that far. Also, glad to see Butler has doubled in size since my time there. The quality is still strong from what I read and the assessment by college reviewers.
The lost did put me in a funk and I had trouble sleeping on Monday night. So, I had to call off Tuesday. Tuesday was a strange day as a result. Today, my mood was much better.
I have my first 5K of the season on Saturday. My sister in law Kelly is doing the half marathon on Sunday.
Mowed the lawn on Sunday. Fertilized the front lawn. After three days, it needs another cut. I also installed our rain barrel. I was able to use pavers that the previous owner left and it was a simple install. I am cutting back on hot peppers this year since I still have dried peppers leftover from last season. More tomatoes and herbs this year.
I made Neale a broiled chicken breast with smashed sweet potatoes for dinner tonight.
"...My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night. But ah my foes, and oh my friends -
it gives a lovely light..."
We went to visit Jack today to help him with his electronic dictionary. He showed us the pool and the new building. It was very nice. Afterwards, Neale and I went to the Vegadeli for lunch. I remarked that she would not have eaten at a vegan place 10 years ago and she plans to try vegan to lose her remaining 10 pounds until goal weight. Personally, I hope the vegan/veg part sticks.
After lunch, she went home to work and I had some errands. I went to Trader Joe's, Target, and Global Market for supplies. Tonight, I am brewing a bitter and making a very low fat mac n' cheese.
Went to the firing range today with Ed and Debbie. Ed gave me a refresher course and taught Neale about handgun safety. Neale fired a Ruger 22LR Mark III and a Ruger 10/22. I was familiar with both weapons as I used both as a kid. Neale was a very good new shooter and had a good eye at 7 yards with the pistol. I was interested in larger caliber handguns, especially the .40 caliber. I was provided with Glocks in the .40 and .45 calibers. I also fired an CZ 9MM, FNH .45, and .38 Special revolver. The FNH .45 had very small sights but the Glock .45 provided better sights for close range. Of course, the .45 230 grain kick was notable. 9MM and .40 was manageable but the .38 was great to shoot. I had very good aim with the .38 using one hand. At the risk of dropping the .45s, I did not one hand those guns. I found the Glock safety to be unique. I would not stuff one in a pocket or waistband though. Neale noted I did not use the safety as I reloaded. I had my finger off the trigger, slide back, and pointed down range when inserting a fresh magazine. She applied the safety every time she reloaded. We shot for a good 2 hours and we had fun. Since it was raining, we were at an indoor range. Next time, we are heading outdoors. Afterwards, we went to Casa for dinner.
Normally, I would be sweating at Krav and looking forward to fight class but I am on spring break. So, I am giving my body time to heal.
I was eating homemade pizza and listening to the Dead around 2. I was thinking how great it was and like when I was in college until I realized I actually make a good living and a make a difference in the world at age 37.
Filled out the census yesterday. I had to call Neale to check my age.
Brewed my Trekkers ESB on Sunday and the Minderaser Wee Heavy yesterday. Flemish Red in development.
Ellis and I played ball in the yard. Then we went for a walk. Little dog is actually tired. In the morning, we caught squirrels in the yard. Ellis pursued.
We had a house guest this morning as Neale's friend was invited to spend the night and not drive home after the bar. I made extra coffee and the house roast (Organic Costa Rica La Amistad) was appreciated. I roasted the batch early in the week so it was very fresh.
We went to Panera for lunch and to the art show at the Artist Guild. Since we were in the area, we drove around looking at homes. We wandered into Maplewood so I stopped at Schlafly for a growler refill. Then, Neale went to shop for clothes and I gathered supplies at Global Market.
I spent the day grading. Friday will be the same as I still have a pile. But, I am good shape at the semester midpoint. Spring semester goes fast. I am teaching this summer. Next year, I am doing section hiking of the Appalachian Trail. This hiking season I will start doing overnight and eventually multiple day overnights. Neale is not interested in overnight hiking and Ellis will be invited along from some of the trips.
It was warm enough today to open the windows. Plus, I heard a gas lawnmower around midday. I made chana saag chickpea curry for lunch. Tried to take Ellis for a walk after my grading session but Neale called and wanted to have dinner out. I was able to get my workout in after dinner. Finalized a set of exam questions too.
"...Ember's is not the forum to discuss legalities!..."
Went for a hike yesterday at Weldon Springs. The lot was packed when I arrived. Since the start of trail maybe too busy Ellis and I started at the end to do the trail in the opposite direction. Photos are posted (HERE). Ellis came with for the trek. Muddy trails lead to dirty dog. Ellis got a bath afterwards.
Neale went to her coworker's Oscar party. Her picks did well.
Sign of spring in Webster: soccer games resume at the Rec Center.