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August 2014

The truth about bad language

Most of you (should) know that I don’t cuss.  I don’t write bad language, and I don’t say bad language.  But I have noticed an absolutely inordinate amount of foul language of late, to the point of everywhere you go, there it is.  But why is it offensive?  What is really wrong with it?  Anything?

Well, technically, that’s a matter of opinion.  But here are the facts:

Cussing has been around forever, just the words have changed.  For example, “dad-burn it”  used to be quite the bad thing to say!  (See here for a nice Victorian potty mouth article.)  But now it’s not.

It used to be that some language was really only considered bad by the ‘upper class’, and you were obviously ‘lower class’ if you used it.  This is still the case, but “class” no longer refers to money.  It refers to behavior.  For example, Paris Hilton is loaded, but has as much class as….yeah…well, let’s face it.  You’d be hard pressed to find someone else as trashy as her, especially since she chose to be that way.  She was not forced to be that way out of desperation for food or money (aka, she didn’t get to the point that she started prostituting herself and then did drugs or stayed drunk in order to deal with it, hence why I did not compare her to a 50 cent crack whore, because they have more class than she.)  But I digress.

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I have NO problem doing something that is considered “lower class” in the distinction of being poor.  I’m poor and proud of it.  I wear clothes so old, people stare, and often have mismatched gloves, etc because I can’t afford to buy a new pair.  Anyone who has a problem with that and thinks less of me for that is considered a snob.  At the same time, I am often considered a snob, for I choose not to use foul language and therefore be ‘classy’.

But I want you to take something else into consideration as well.  These ‘curse words’ are offensive, and therefore not (supposed to be) said in public.  So are the words “Ni66er”, “fa66ot”, “Kyk3”, body parts, and several others that are of the same persuasion.  However, if you say those words (these words change as well btw), you are obviously in need of being put in jail.  There are no differences between any of these words other than some hidden defining law of which I am unaware.

There are also religious implications and opinions, but I will leave you to research that area on your own.

So now you know more about the truth of cussing, but very little reason for why some words are acceptable, and others aren’t.  I can’t give you those reasons.  Seems pretty hypocritical to me.

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Going to the Library

I love libraries.  Used to be I could’ve cared less.  I was the whole TV/video game kid who never read.  Since then, I have discovered a joy in reading.  When we first moved here, the first thing I did was go to the library and apply for a job I would never get, and browsed the local selection.  I quickly went through what was tolerable, perhaps even enjoyable at times, and learned to make use of my trips to Knoxville.

Then I found out that we could join the Crossville library.  We had thought that we had to pay a fee, and quite frankly, I was willing to pay it at this point just to have something.  Their selection is not what I was used to with Knoxville, but the building is a joy just to be in.

Large reading areas with poofy seats, carpeting all over, tables with outlets, lamps, and puzzles for passersby to bide their time make this a truly enjoyable place to go.  There are balconies with rocking chairs, lectures, classes, performances, crafts, and mostly it’s all free.  There’s even a café, but I haven’t had the pleasure to try it yet.

One day we went in, and I came across some amazing quilts.  Now, usually, quilts are praised for their large size, complex geometry, or color matching, etc.  Not these.  These are warm, pleasurable to look at.  It’s like someone made this, not just put it together.  I’ll show you what I mean:

quilt1

quilt2

quilt3

quilt4

difficult quilt

I was really impressed with their beauty.  I felt like I almost knew the maker, like I could see them in my mind.

If interested, the library’s website has more information on all the services it provides.  Enjoy your day and thanks for reading today’s post!

Running for Beginners

There is a lot of lead in for the chart.  For those eager beavers, just scroll on down below to the table with the times (and then scroll back up when you get curious Winking smile

This program is for non-established runners, or those who are aerobically fit and wanting to run.

When I started running, it was over four years ago.  I had a large motivation though that I doubt most of you reading this will have.  I no longer have that motivation.  The only motivation I have now is pure desire to get in better shape and lose weight.  But, look up how to run, and you will immediately be thrown to the “Couch to 5K” (CT5) wolves.

The CT5 program is great and all, but not the best, and certainly not the safest.  I have known many people to start it, and none to finish.  The only comments I find are those who are established runners viewing the program from the wrong perspective (not a beginner), or those who have just started it and love it.  You’d be hard pressed not to love the beginning, but when you’re jumping from 90 seconds to 20 minutes of jogging in three weeks, you will soon find yourself depressed, disappointed, more than likely injured, and feeling worse about yourself than you did before you started.

I have made my own program.  It didn’t take 8 weeks.  It took about 4 months.  Bear in mind 2-3 weeks were spent ill, and I had to repeat several weeks before I was able to move on to the next.  I also started at week four and skipped the last two.  But there was no injury (I hurt my knees and was unable to run for 3 years the first time I tried the CT5 program), no feeling bad about myself, and few really hard moments.  Most importantly, I did this.  I didn’t make it up, I completed it all the way through before even writing this blog entry.

Step 1: You’re not going to be running a lot at first, so a small area is fine.  Later on, you will probably want to go somewhere with a larger running path/track.  For now, just pick someplace safe.  Yes, people will be watching.  No, they will not laugh at you.  I’ve had neighbors cheer me on and ask how it was going, but that’s it.  And yes, that included those awkward walking-more-than-running weeks.

Step 2:  Buy an MP3 player and add a bunch of tunes.  Seriously, this is VERY important.  You will have to have that by week 2, 3 at the latest.  I do not recommend audio books.  You will want something with beats.  As time goes by, your choices will differ with your running patterns and tastes/boredom.  That’s fine.

Step 3:  Do NOT rush.  I cannot stress this enough.  I ran yesterday.  I’m itching to go out again right now, but I don’t dare.  Your body needs time to recoup.  Walk or something instead.  Do abs and arms, but don’t run.  It won’t be a problem at first, but it’ll hit you all at once.  Trust me on this.

Step 4:  JOG do not run.  Timing and pace can be worked on later, not now.

Step 5: If you miss a day, do not make it up.  So, if I miss a Monday, I just pretend that Wednesday is a Monday and run W-F-M as though it were M-W-F.  I start the next week on the next Wednesday.  If you keep trying to start every week on the same day, illnesses and weather are going to hold you back or stop you completely.  Trust me on this.

Step 6:  If you find a week too difficult, continue to do that week’s time until you can do it without having to replace run time with walking.  You do not have to add another week, just however many days it takes you.

Step 7: This is the most important.  Do not exceed your maximum heart rate and please stay within your heart training zone.  Going over can cause damage, especially once you reach 30 and older.

Step 8: Do not skip weeks.  I know you will feel like you can.  Your legs can, your heart can, your lungs aren’t even breaking a sweat.  But your knees are very quite until it’s too late.  If they start to hurt (especially below the cap in front) change to a walk and don’t run again until it stops hurting.  (You can probably skip the first 2-3 weeks if you’re already doing aerobics or something).  I have bad knees and am now running 30 minutes a day, three times a week strong following this program.  Safety says to not exceed a 10% increase each week of training when starting up.  You will exceed that with this program, but not NEAR the extent you would with the CT5.

Each week you will run three days.  You will run the same amount for each day.  If for any reason you get messed up (eg you start your week on a Friday) just run the next three runs as though it were a week (eg F-M-W instead of M-W-F).

EACH WORKOUT HAS AN UNLISTED (the total time does not include this) 5 MINUTE BRISK WALK WARMUP WITH STRETCH AND A 5 MINUTE COOL DOWN WALK AND STRETCH.  DO NOT SKIP THIS!!!

WEEK JOG TIME WALK TIME NUMBER OF TIMES TOTAL TIME
1 NONE 20 minutes once 20 minutes
2 30 seconds 90 seconds ten 20 minutes
3 60 seconds 2 minutes seven 21 minutes
4 90 seconds 2 minutes six 21 minutes
5 2 minutes 2 minutes five 20 minutes
6 2.5 minutes 2 minutes five 22.5 minutes
7 3 minutes 2 minutes four 20 minutes
8 3.5 minutes 2 minutes four 22 minutes
9 4 minutes 2 minutes four 24 minutes
10 4.5 minutes 2 minutes four 26 minutes
11 5 minutes 2 minutes four 28 minutes
12 5.5 minutes 2 minutes four 30 minutes
13 11 minutes 4 minutes twice 30 minutes
14 12 minutes 4 min/2 min * twice 30 minutes
15 18 min/6 min 4 min/2 min* twice 30 minutes
16 24 minutes 6 minutes once 30 minutes
17 27 minutes 3 minutes once 30 minutes
18 30 minutes ——– once YOU’RE DONE!!

*Once you near the end, you will start cutting off walk times on the last set in order to not go over 30 minutes.  As long as you are doing your cool down, this is not a problem.  So, like for week 14, you would run 12 minutes, walk 4, run 12, and then walk 2 before starting your cool down.

When Fireworks Attack!

July 4th used to be a big deal for me.  I’ve spent $300 on fireworks before.  Not anymore.  For one, you can only do that so many years before fireworks get pretty boring.  We also made a lot of our own, and some of the items we used were getting harder to come by.  They also started selling artillery shells.  And most importantly, fireworks have tripled (or more) in price.

We’re always very careful with our arsonry.  As you can see, we shot them in a clear area, far enough from animals, other people, and trees to not be too much of a problem.  There’s a spigot with a hose just to the right in the picture, and all our roofs are metal.  The grass was also damp from recent weather.

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Closer up, you can see we even used a piece of metal as a launch pad with ridges on the sides.  This helps hold them in and not burn the grass, etc.

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We only bought three.  The first was a really cool UFO thing that flew straight up and made a great deal of noise.  We knew we would stop soon, but we were concerned our neighbors didn’t.  Next was a fountain.  These were all great and pretty and then…..

We shot what we thought was a fountain, maybe even a roman candle shooter.  You can see it to the left in the above picture.  Sixteen shots.  So, for what we paid, we assumed it to be minute.  Alas, no.  It was an artillery shell shooter.  We were not far enough away for this.  When the first one went, we were shocked.  We started to back away.  This was not, after all, a glorified fountain or even a roman attack.

They started getting bigger.  We started backing away more.  Then one came at us and hit a gate in “cattle alley”.  Again, we were shocked.  I just stood there trying to ascertain what was really going on.  Then I realized the base had fallen over.

It was aimed straight at us.

It shot again.

The ball had not gotten halfway to me before I turned and RAN!!!

Marcus was well ahead of us and reached the house safely.  I yelled, “RUN!!” nonetheless because well, let’s face it, we’re in pure panic mode here.  I turned around once only to realize I’d rather scar my back than my face, and ducked.  One exploded three feet to my right, sparks hitting my legs and flowers.  At this time I urged myself to run even faster, although I’m not sure that was possible.  I kept waiting to feel one hit my back, hoping against all odds to outrun them and get far enough away to not be in range anymore.  Luckily, the cows were in the upper field and not in any danger.  When they stopped, we were very relieved.

I’ve had fireworks fall over before, not that big a deal.  They were little things that are scary and even possibly dangerous, but not “Holy crap!  Someone’s shooting cannons at us!”  Suffice it to say, we will shoot items such as these from the depths of a 5 gallon bucket the future.  Please be safe.  Your children are watching and want you intact.  Thank you.

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