Today's Mighty Oak


Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, here’s your reminder that the Republicans are about to once again care about the national debt, and that 45 added over 8 Trillion to it (but they won’t care about that fact, it’s all hypocrisy).

On a much happier note, it’s the 35th anniversary of the movie Clue! Celebrate with these 10 quotes (and if you’ve seen it, yes, you know what is number one!).

Here’s the trailer for The Watch, the BBC show based on the City Watch books of the Discworld series:

Hey look, it only took a global pandemic, but I may be able to donate blood in a year or two!

I got sucked in and loved watching Bridgerton, and it really does live up to it’s reputation as ‘horny Downton Abbey’:

More savagrey from the administration, and look for more of this tactic, especially from the states, in the future: using “religious liberty” as an acceptable way to discriminate.

And finally, the latest WandaVision trailer looks bonkers and wild and I cannot wait:



I’m actually not one for new year’s resolutions. Typically I set out some very manageable goals for me at my birthday, and work on those for the year. So what did I do this year? Set new year’s resolutions.

To be fair, last year I had a new year’s resolution to update my wardrobe and (to steal from Thug Kitchen Bad Manners), dress like I give a fuck. It went well, and I’m generally really happy with what I did, so let’s apply that to this year!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on:

Read more books

I read a lot, but feel like I’ve fell behind that a bit lately, so I set out to read at least seven books this year. Modest, I know, but with everything else going on, and an ever-growing pile on my nightstand, this seemed like a good place to start. Here’s what I finished:

  • Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore. The second book in the death series (after A Dirty Job), such a fantastic time!
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I enjoyed this a lot, and the ebook that I borrowed from the library had a short afterword by the author, as well as the ‘Toast’ from Screwtape.
  • Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. This expanded on the podcast of the same name, both of which are highly recommended!
  • Queer x Design by Andy Campbell. Amazing book about the history of queer design, highly recommended!
  • The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited. Book two of the Balance Arc of the podcast, brought to life as graphic novels.
  • hello mr., Volumes 7, 8, 9, 10. Literary journal about queer men, consistently some of the best writing in print, and a shame that it’s no longer in production.
  • Naturally Tan by Tan France. A deep dive into Tan’s life and work, a fun read that showed me a different side of the Queer Eye star.
  • Hamilton: The Revolution. Book about the creation of Hamilton, including a full script with notes from LMM.
  • The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Kramer. A book about the character from Welcome to Nightvale involving pirates, spies and revenge.
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman. The story of the women who have the power to destroy the world.
  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. A reread for me, but I had forgotten how poignant and good this book is!
  • Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. Her next book, just as fun as the first.
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I reread this so I could discuss it with a friend, and I as reminded why it’s easily one of my favorite books of all time.
  • Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. Murder in a haunted Ohio IKEA competitor, just wonderful.

Other books and audio books

So, I’m not counting audio books for this challenge (hot take: it’s not actually reading. Not saying it’s not great, it’s just something else), or a couple other books that didn’t really require much reading:

  • The Little Blue Kite by Mark Z. Danielewski. As recommended by the author, I read it through three times, each time following a different path (but it’s a really short book).
  • Coincidences at Museums by Stefan Draschan. A wonderful little book of photography at my uncle and aunt’s house.
  • The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen. Audio book based on the podcast, listened to during my long runs.
  • Vodou by Manuela Dunn Mascetti. Short little book.
  • Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-fix recipes for Hangry Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Some great recipes, but like any cookbook, many I won’t make. But some great running and racing content in there as well!
  • Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. A series of meditations on the writings of John.
  • The Book of Blessings. Small book about Tibetan prayer flags.
  • The Book of Urizen by William Blake. Small textbook that was mentioned in Origins so I decided to give it a quick reread.
  • Firefly: The Sting by Deliah S. Dawson. Graphic novel about the women of Firefly/Serenity.
  • Vox Machina Origins Volume II by Matthew Mercer. Graphic novel about the Twitch/Youtube show

Clean spaces

In a general sense of decluttering and cleaning, I’d like to clean ororganize 12 small spaces, one a month. These are things like closets, bookshelves, dressers, etc. I have too much stuff, and it’s time to do some purging!

  • Dressers in my guest room
  • Filing cabinet in my office
  • Nightstands in my bedroom
  • Glove box
  • Desk
  • Organized office bookshelves
  • Cleaned office closet
  • Cleaned and organized laundry room
  • Organized hall closet
  • Scrub kitchen counters (bigger deal than it seems, finally found the right combination of cleaners to get them really clean!)
  • Cleaned cable totes (random computer/electronic cables)
  • Garage shelves
  • Camping/Burn/Relay race totes

Buy more music

So, I get in the habit of hearing new music that I like, identifying it, and then not actually buying it. So I’m making an effort this year to put together a playlist throughout the year:

  • The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Fort Nowhere
  • Julie-O by Kevin Olusola
  • Arsonist’s Lullabye by Hozier
  • Calvary by Mashrou’ Leila
  • Dreamboy (album) by Dan Terry
  • Hiroshima by Ben Folds
  • Your Turn to Roll (Critical Roll theme song)
  • Take Me Away by Barefoot McCoy
  • Precious Love by James Morrison
  • Dreamboy main theme by Dane Terry
  • Hallelujah by Panic! At The Disco
  • Be Me by VINCINT
  • All Rode off Together by Meeting of Important People
  • Caution by The Killers
  • Reasons I Drink by Alanis Morissette
  • Simply the Best (From Schitt’s Creek) by Noah Reid

This goal took a bit of a backseat after Google Play Music closed, and now I’m at a loss of where to buy music from if I don’t want to use iTunes (and not stream). Any ideas?

Diversify meals for game nights

My last goal for the year is to make something different each time I host a game day. I’ve fallen into a lot of the same things, and I’d like to expand a bit, so the goal is to not repeat over the course of the year:

  • January: Broccoli and chickpea tacos (Thug Kitchen Bad Manners)
  • February: Curry Slurry (poorly named from The Lactose Free Cookbook)
  • And then we didn’t have any more in person games due to the global pandemic. Will try this again when we can meet up again in person!

Well, I’d say I was successful! The trick for me is to set reasonable and attainable goals, then I gain momentum to do more! (Side note, just surviving this year is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you differently).

I have some ideas for what I’ll be working on in 2021, including a lot of cleaning those same spaces again! I also have some digital cleanup to do, and am hoping to knock out some TV and movies I want to catch up on, as well as restart an epic fantasy book series.

Here’s to a great year!



It’s been a year. But at least we got some videos to celebrate its end!

Here is DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop:

And a bonus from DJ Earworm, all the top songs from 1970 to 2020:

And of course, the year in search from Google, always a great/tough one to watch:

I’ll be back with my own end of the year wrap-up(s) soon!



I’m all done with my NaNoWriMo novel, so now I can finally get through some of my RSS feeds, here’s what I’ve found:

The combination Star Wars/Indiana Jones you didn’t know you needed.

Now you can get a giant Ritz cracker that doubles as a serving tray.

Brian Sims discusses why queer people thrive in politics: empathy.

The bottles you need to stock your bar.

What August Wilson can teach us about the current Supreme Court.

Alright, that’s it, short update today, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, for the love of all things, vote blue (up and down the ticket):

Skydivers put on an amazing show with some pyro effects!

A new coffin that helps to turn you into compost is becoming available! A cool addition for green burials!

The trailer for WandaVision looks amazing and I can’t wait! Anything with Katherine Hahn is going to be great:

Also in trailers, we’re getting close to the new season of The Mandalorian! This is the way.

Have you played the amazing web-based game, Blaseball? Check it out (And root for the Hellmouth Sunbeams, obviously).

Myst is being remastered from the ground up and released for both computers and VR setups, and it looks (and sounds) gorgeous:

I think that’s it for me today, but I’ll be back soon with more, have a great one!



The world is awful, and there’s a lot going on, but let’s see what we have. First up, let’s calm down a bit with a beautiful exploration on Canon in D:

Dumb Runner (The Onion but for running) had two great articles which made me laugh a lot recently. The first, local runner receives photos from his virtual marathon and one that is so true locally, ‘without the marathon, residents scramble to find something else to bitch about.’

Brass players (and percussionists, opera singers, etc), be the change you (and hero) you want to see in this world.

Feeling down? Here’s Chris Hemsworth to tell you, yes you, how awesome you are!

We’re getting a new Star Wars Holiday Special! Which….that is news, but this time it’s Lego!

Also, here’s how we should swap the titles of the Star Wars movies around.

Okay, buckle up, getting to politics. First up, the Mass Dem party coordinated with the College Democrats of Mass to try to levy false sexual abuse accusations at a gay candidate in the primary. The whole thing is dirty and reeks of homophobia, as well as a misunderstanding of the dynamics of gay relationships.

AT the DNC, Michelle Obama was immaculate (transcript here):

Likewise, President Obama set out in the starkest of terms what is at stake (transcript here):

On the final night of the convention, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was extremely funny, and since I enjoyed VEEP so much, a nice touch!

Pete Buttigieg had a moving moment talking about his marriage as he was introducing Biden.

And then finally, the acceptance speech:

Since then, of course, things have gotten worse, with more stoking of hatred and violence, but in a stirring move, the Mets and Marlins left their game and left a BLM shirt draped over home plate.

And finally, the NBA has come to agreement to turn their arenas into voting sites!

That’s it for today. Have a great one, wash your hands, wear your mask, double check your voter registration and make a plan to vote!



Virtual race week is here! And of course, the weather went bonkers.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. Tiny loops after yoga.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 2 miles. Got through two and a half miles before the skies opened up and I had to call it due to lightning. Was supposed to do three, so not a big loss.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Pink Lightning virtual 50K: Full race report coming up!
  • BWF/Core work: More yoga! And I signed up for the next block of yoga in September and October!
  • Stretching: More stretching, this time, with the aid of Galavant!
  • Virtual Races coming up: Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K and 5K

I’m working on my race report for Pink Lightning, hopefully I’ll have that up later this week. For now though, taking this week off and getting back at it next week.



Second to last week of this training block, let’s do this!

  • Monday: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. Tiny loops after yoga.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 7 miles. New (to me) shoes! Got some green Ghosts!
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: Woke up and was supposed to run 10, but my stomach was all kinds of not cooperating so I made the good decision to put off those miles to the next day.
  • Sunday: 25 miles. Catching up on miles from yesterday, and sadly, Strava lost my data! Not a huge deal, but I had wanted to see my pace, as I felt faster in the new shoes and wanted to really see that difference.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: More yoga! And I signed up for the next block of yoga in September and October!
  • Stretching: More stretching, this time, with the aid of Galavant!
  • Virtual Races coming up: Pink Lightning 50K, Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K and 5K

Next week will be the end of this training bloc, and my Pink Lightning virtual. It will mostly be a day of decision how much I run based on the weather and how I’m feeling. I think I have a sub 6-hour 50K in me, but I don’t think I have a sub 6-hour virtual 50K in me (although I certainly have the radical self-reliance and Leave No Trace principles covered!). So it will be between just a casual 50K or a 50M. We’ll see what happens, especially in the spirit of immediacy!



Shuffling some days around, but it all worked out. Lots of early morning miles on the Westmoreland Heritage Trail! This is also my peak week (would have been one of two), and my second time at or above 60mpw!

A note on my mileage, I always round to what I was supposed to run. So even though on days when I run a mile or so more than I’m supposed to, I don’t log it below. I figure it gets added in to wherever I’m missing a few tenths somewhere or something like that, even though I’m consistently running more than what I write. Strava says I actually ran 62 miles this week, although if you follow my math below, it’s only 60.

  • Monday: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: 4 miles. Tiny loops after yoga.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 5 miles. Was supposed to do more, just not feeling it, so I added the mileage to my Saturday run.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 21 miles.
  • Sunday: 20 miles.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: More yoga!
  • Stretching: More stretching, this time, with the aid of Galavant!
  • Virtual Races coming up: Pink Lightning 50K, Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K


Here’s the timeline:

  • Signed up for Eagle Up as my A-Race for the spring, goal of 50/50 (81 miles).
  • Built my training plan (combination of two different RFP plans with the speedwork workouts from Pfitz), training started the week of Christmas, 24 week plan.
  • Signed up for both O24 and Get Lucky as tune up races in my plan.
  • Get Lucky became virtual, ran that on the river trails.
  • O24 got delayed until the first weekend in October.
  • Eagle Up cancelled, had made it through 18 weeks of training.
  • O24 became my new A-Race and was exactly 24 weeks out from when we got the news Eagle Up was cancelled.
  • Took a week off, reconfigured my training plan so I wasn’t starting back at week 1 and started up again (eventually sliding back in at weeks 9-11).
  • Signed up for the virtual Pink Lightning as a tune-up (and to support them).
  • O24 cancelled until 2021.
  • Currently, I’m in week 17. I have two more weeks until the Pink Lightning virtual race, bringing this cycle to 19 weeks.

Total, with one overlap week, that means I will have been in a training plan for 36 weeks. It’s time for a break. As much as I’d still love to run 5050 in 2020 (my original plan), it’s just not in the books (I’m not at a point where I could, logistically or mentally, run that much by myself).

Pink Lightning is a virtual 50K, and on my plan, it’s either 50M or 100K (62M). Depending on the weather and how I feel, I’ll play it a bit by ear. Part of me want to run it as a 50M, but I’m also okay not destroying myself for it.

I’ll have to readjust my eating a bit during some off weeks, but maybe it’s good to mix that up as well, we’ll see. And part of me wants to end with something big and exciting (I’ve never run a 50M before), but again, I have to weigh it against what’s smart in the long run, my right leg has what could easily turn into an injury if I’m not careful, so there is a bit of babying that at the moment, anyway.

The yoga I’ve been doing (in the park) has been great, just the right kind of class for me! I also want to get back into my bodyweight fitness routine, I know I’ve lost a chunk of that progress. A ‘down’ fall with less mileage and focusing on some core and strength work I think would be good, and will put me in good position to start training for spring races (tentatively again, Eagle Up and O24).

Through all this, I still haven’t gone back to a gym (I’ll have to change anyway, as mine closed), but I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my neighbors a bit as I do my tiny loops, or at least getting almost all of them to wave back at me. I’ve caught up on most of a podcast series (Critical Role), so I’ll need something epic to listen to again anyway.

I’m so glad I forced myself to run this summer, something I’ve never really done before. I definitely learned a lot (including how much a new pair of shoes really can change in my running), but I’m looking forward to running in the cold once again.

This has been a tough and strange year, and I can see the finish line a few weeks away. Then I’m looking forward to some much deserved time off.

Virtual Races coming up: Pink Lightning 50K, Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K (and hopefully 5K when I sign up for that challenge as well).

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