New Years Day Walk

January 1, 2019

Well-bundled for a New Year's Day Walk

One of our family traditions is to take a walk on New Year's Day in our local state park, Governor Dodge State Park, which is just a few minutes north of Dodgeville. The weather cooperated and provided us nearly 3 inches of snow the night before so that our walk was delightfully wintry with lots of fresh snow. While cold, the air was almost completely still, so after bundling up, we were cozy and warm.

Iowa County North of Govenor Dodge State Park

After our walk we then took the long way home on county highway ZZ and captured the above scene looking North towards the Wisconsin river.

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Take A Walk

December 30, 2018

So, it turns out that my mother was right. And likely every other mother in the history of mothers. Going outside is officially good for you.

Scottish doctors are now issuing prescriptions to go hiking

When I was a lad, growing up in England, I played outside on a regular basis. As often as I could I would be outside. As I got bigger, my activities switched from playing to hiking and cycling. I would range all over the surrounding countryside that was close to my parents house as we lived at the edge of town. I couldn't even begin to number the miles that I've walked through fields or cycled down country lanes.

While I respect those who run, I've always been more of a walker/hiker. My constitution and leg strength are just more suited to distance walking. And with the exception of a small number of people with body types suited for distance running, most people get more benefit from brisk walking than running.

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More School Bus Thoughts

December 9, 2018

I've been driving a school bus for more than two months and it's time to share a little more wisdom with the Interwebs.

First, there is much more to school busing than most people suspect. I'm learning things as fast as I can, but it's a big topic. Secondly, it's much more fun than I expected. Our crew of drivers are very diverse and lots of fun to work with. Sometimes we get a little goofy on the radios when we think the boss and the schools aren't listening.

I still have a regular morning route (Blue) and have been filling in for other drivers in the afternoons. I've learned about half a dozen afternoon routes (Blue, Black, Red, Green, Pink, Gold and Purple) so that I can fill in for others when they're either taking time off or driving trips.

When filling in for other drivers, the most important thing to remember is that your students will know the route better than you do. When I'm learning a route, I get a printed route sheet with all of the directions and addresses on it and I sit down with Google Maps and map out the route onto a sheet of paper. Even after all this work, the students will always know the route better than you. I have high school students on my bus that have been riding the same route since they were in Kindergarten, so it's not too surprising that they have the whole thing memorized. The first thing I do when I drive a route as a substitute driver is to ask the students who wants to be my helper. I always get several volunteers and they're always very accurate.

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Cover Song - Thunderstruck performed by Mozart Heroes

December 6, 2018

Mozart Heroes are one of my "go to" sources of writing music as their work is generally uptempo and without lyrics. Also, guitar and cello are my two favorite instruments.

I find that Thunderstruck by AC/DC is a great comparative track. Different musicians will bring out different aspects of it and each of the many covers I've heard of it are very creative and imaginative.

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Thoughts On The Art of Eating Well

December 3, 2018

America is well known for enjoying fast food and doughnuts. Everything has sugar in it and everything is fattening and the average American likes it like that. Unfortunately, as nutritional science advances, many researchers, practicing nutritionists and concerned citizens are realizing that this is a terrible dietary lifestyle and almost exclusively responsible for the thicker waistlines all across the fruited plains of the United States.

We are among the first generation that has had to re-learn the ancient art of eating well. I'm sure that there were overweight people back in the day, but it's hard to find much in the way of evidence when looking through pictures of grandparents and great-grandparents. Pictures of families from back in the day show a uniformly fit and healthy view of men and women. Such a selection of healthy people is increasingly hard to find today.

Certainly, the increase in people working in offices, performing less arduous work, has to be acknowledged, but the general trend of obesity continues regardless. We cannot blame everything on office work, no matter how tempting. There are a couple of things that most of us need to do to reverse this situation. The first is to get moving, but I'll cover that in a different post. The second is to eat well.

But what is eating well? Nearly everyone has seen the government authored food pyramid and it's recommendations. Eat lots of grains and all will be well, they say. Yet, the start of the obesity epidemic and the introduction of the food pyramid coincide so closely that it's really hard to believe that the two are not linked.

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