The 20 Minute Run-Walk

Okay, this is more or less the simplest exercise you can do, mentally and physically, if your legs are more or less ok. It provides just enough aerobic exercise, and most importantly, it doesn't leave you with the burned out "I never want to do that again" feeling that straight running does. Here's the trick: You run for a minute, then you walk for a minute. Repeat ten times. That's it. Forever. You don't bother with increasing your time or distance or interval spacing. Keep it simple. The goal is to get out there and do it. As you increase your aerobic capacity you will find yourself running a little faster. That's good. If you start off with the smallest of shuffles for the running that's fine.

You should find that you become a little short of breath during the running sections. That's what you want, just not too much. I use an app on my Apple Watch called Intervals to help me keep track, and it shows that my heart rate gets up to around 150 or more towards the end of the workout. You can also use it on your phone, or just look at a regular watch and keep track in your head.

Even doing this only twice a week helps. No need to do it every day, but I suspect four to five times a week is ideal.

A runner enjoys the Western Waterfront Trail. He didn't walk. 

Night in Duluth

Another Roll of Film

Finally got back few scanned images from some film, with a couple good ones. I'm happy with this, my wife and daughter...

Black and White

Another Tree and Me

Okay, the me is right behind the camera, you have to take my word for it. This is on somewhat grainy film, as was the preceding post. Commercially scanned, slightly adjusted...

The Kom-On-Inn

Another long-standing establishment in West Duluth...


Duluth held its 2017 city election a couple days ago, and no, most of the good, interesting progressive candidates did not win (except for Joel Sipress). In this town it's a battle between the more conservative Democrats, and everyone left of them. They put up a great fight, and I participated here and there, waving signs, door knocking. Here are my friends Scot and Mike holding signs on a recent chilly lunch hour...

Trump Gives Middle Finger to Climate, Earth, and Earth's Inhabitants While Profit Junkies Mainline Wall Street.

That's about all there is to say. Time to do something about this disaster. For your viewing pleasure, the rapidly melting Mendenhall Glacier...


Mainstream Media, Trump, Fake News, Apple Computer

Dear America, I was buying some groceries the other day and was happy to see that we still have some solid reporting in this country, not just fake news from Macedonian teenagers and a crazy Brit hell-bent on turning the world into some kind of right-wing freaktopia.

I was especially pleased that Apple is returning 4.5 million jobs to the United States. Too bad about Bill though.

Getting the Tree, Transmission Fluid, Atheist Christians

Dear Diary, Jake and Elia came with me to get the Christmas tree today, before they drove home to Minneapolis. As usual (our third tree here) there was a guy in an old trailer (maybe 1960’s style) with twenty or so Balsam Firs lined up in the Mount Royal Grocery Store parking lot. They all appeared a little ragged, but we bought the best looking one and secured it to the car roof with twine.

The guy running the place said to make it out to ATF, initials for the farm, and I asked him if he got many Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms jokes. He said yes, along with Automatic Transmission Fluid jokes.

The tree is waiting now for us to decorate it. Like many atheists, we celebrate Christmas and don’t give it a second thought. To us it’s a family and community celebration, less a religious one. We put all the religious Christmas music on the stereo just like real, live Christians do. It’s the music we grew up with.

It might sound strange, but you could say we are atheist Christians in the same way some Jewish people are atheist and Jewish.  Oh, and I have no problem saying merry Christmas, yet I also say happy holidays if the mood strikes.


Shortcuts, Missed Trails, Soft Light, Woody Scenes

Dear Diary, I found a shortcut today, one of those little paths you notice but never take for some reason. We’ve lived here for three years and have, like most people in the neighborhood, taken advantage of easy access to a private golf course up a road a little. It’s surrounded by woods and dirt roads, and it’s a good place for the dogs to run. During the summer we stick to the woods, but in the winter after it snows it’s okay to walk on the greens. At least no one has said otherwise so far.

So this little path cuts between some houses and gets me to the golf course much sooner than my normal route, which means I can let the dog run sooner, better all around. I won’t turn this into a fortune cookie, but I should have looked down that damn path when I first saw it.

The light was soft, the air still, good for the woody scenes I like to photograph.

Here’s a shot just before finding the shortcut, which is to the right after the big tree.

As I approached the tree one crow flew off but the other braved it out...

Winter color is usually more subtle than summer color, but I like it.

A backlit leaf.

Red pines on the course.

One of my signature busy scenes.

Same scene, now with a hint of sun.

I like to find repeating lines, as with the swoop of the branches and the hill.

Genetics, Eugenics, Getting to Sleep, Siddhartha Mukherjee

Dear Diary, I keep a book on my bed stand to read myself to sleep. This works as long as the book is at least a little difficult to read, but not so difficult that I never want to pick it up. Science books do the trick, as do some history books. Novels can work, but they can also keep me up if I get caught in the story and the language isn’t a struggle.

This past week I’ve used The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It works well, I usually last from two to ten pages before dozing off, but the early sections lead me on a tour of our eugenic house of horrors. Actually, he only touches on some of it in his overview. There are other authors who have written books on many of the particulars in much more depth. But it’s an interesting overview. America is a “can do” nation, and at one time in the early part of the twentieth century our elites decided it was okay to start a mass sterilization program in an effort to weed out the “worst” ten percent of the population. If you were poor, pregnant, single, Jewish, an immigrant, in trouble with the law, mentally ill, disabled, a person of color, or just an odd duck, watch out. The government had its knives out, literally.


This was a vile mixture of white supremacy, class elitism, and absolute ignorance, but you can see the same thinking that led to these atrocities are still with us today. We have a kind of willful ignorance when it comes to history, and many of us refuse to connect the injustices and inequalities of today with the injustices of yesterday.

So, it’s recommended reading, as both a sleeping aid and an historical wake-up.