Monday, October 16, 2017

I'm walkin', yes indeed …

I’ve been walking, lately. And I’ve been walking a lot more, getting out past my usual routes of recliner-to-frig, and car-to-office. And the funny thing is, I’m LIKING it.

I wasn’t always such a slug. In my younger, slimmer days – oh, about 500 years ago, or so – I worked as an archaeologist, covering a lot of ground each day in the course of surveys across the southwest. But with the passing of time and the change of careers, I became more sedentary. I’m not as young or as slim as I used to be.

Not as healthy, either. It’s been a year-and-a-half since I stepped into the ring for the first round of my Texas Cancer Smackdown. There was the initial hospital stay which oled to my cancer diagnosis … then there was the surgery, and the recuperation … then there was the chemotherapy. Nothing new there … but it an already sedentary lifestyle became even more so, with extended periods where I was unwilling – and sometimes unable – to move much.

Then there was earlier this year, when the initial chemotherapy round was completed and the side effects were wearing off – and I was feeling pretty good. What’s that old saying? “Ten-feet tall and bulletproof!” I was feeling so good I started doing stuff with a too much enthusiasm and WAY too little thought. All of which led to a fall from the roof of our dock, severe dislocation and minor fractures to my ankle, and several ribs fractured … and more downtime.

Oy vey!

The community college where I work supports a variety of activities to encourage and improve employee health. This month, they announced a walking challenge. Maybe it’s the ‘challenge’ part that got to me, but I signed-up … and started walking.

And started liking it … and started looking for more ways to get in more steps every day. I live just a few blocks from the campus where I work … and just a few blocks from church … and just a few blocks from the nearest convenience store. When I do take the car on errands, I park as far away from the entrance to the grocery store/pharmacy/concert hall/whatever.

Needless to say, there are advantages to all this walking. There’s added points for the challenge, of course, and improved health. But that’s not all. There’s more contact with my neighbors, and others I meet on the streets. I’m observing more and learning about the things I walk past, than I would if I were driving past at 35+ MPH. If something catches my attention and my interest, I can stop and enjoy it … again, more than I could if I were driving past at 35+ MPH.

And I’m free to think about all kinds of stuff. Last weekend, we had my brother-in-law and his fiancĂ© over for dinner – the menu and the shopping list for it came together during a walk. Thoughts for what I would say at a church gathering were organized and practiced during a walk.

And the idea for composing this post came up during a walk.

I'm walkin', yes indeed!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

All a-twitter over Twitter

I’m confronted with what one of my boys would call a “first world problem” …

Last week, Twitter launched an experiment, expanding the number of characters allowed on posts to 280 from the original limit of 140. The test, I read later, involves a small, random group of users (a single-digit percentage of the total users). It seems I’m one of the select few.

“We few, we happy few …”

Hmmmm, happy? Maybe not … at least, not in my case,. I rather liked the 140-character limit. It was a challenge to me. Could I communicate my thoughts successfully – and succinctly! – in my tweets? It required me to stretch my vocabulary, use punctuation more effectively, and move away from rambling rants and towards brief bullet-points.

Sort of a haiku for the new millenium.

I’ll be interested in learning the results of this experiment. For my part, I’ll be contributing to the 140-character end of the bell-shaped curve (or whatever) illustrating those results.

Just because I get twice as much space doesn’t mean I have to fill it. If I have more than can be said in 140 characters, I could always post something on “ArchaeoTexture.”