Gates of Fire

Book Notes

Which Habit? No idea.


James Clear has a 3-2-1 newsletter in which he gives 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question. I read them, they are interesting, I ponder them.

Today's question is "Which of my current habits serves me most? Which serves me least?" which, let's be honest, is actually two questions.

Bad one first: I have a habit of popping my knees when there is tension in them. This has resulted in achy knees, torn ligaments, and an ended ultimate career. I decided yesterday, before I read this issue of the 3-2-1 newsletter, to take care of my knees better. Specifically, when I start to tuck my knees under me when I sit, to stop, and sit with my feet on the floor. Doing okay there. I also decided to start the Sky's the Limit workouts again, to strengthen my knees. Not to be content with those two actions, I have also resolved to sit less. Over half my body aches when I sit down, a problem for another day, so minimizing sitting also minimizes pain, and engages my knees.

So, what about that best serving habit? Gosh, I have no idea. Is it brushing my teeth in the morning and before bed? Is it the morning routine of (currently, but not usually, walking the dog,) making tea, cleaning the dishes, and sitting for a bit to settle in for the day? Is it my gratitude journal where I list at least 5 gratitudes a day? Is it my daily pushups (hey, I have pecs and triceps now!)? Is it my hang or pull up attempt each time I walk under the pull-up bar in the doorway? Is it my daily journal, where I process the days events? Is it the inconsistent but increasingly more frequent meditations? Is it my daily 90 minutes on the treadmill at a 10% incline?

Gosh, I have no idea. All of them are helping me in different ways.

Across Five Aprils

Book Notes

Deathless Divide

Book Notes

Why did I think a Winter Walk was a Good Idea?


When the world is on fire or just when things are crap, remembering good times can lend strength when needed. To that end, let's start the twelve days of Snookmas!

A couple winters ago, might have been more than a couple, I was somehow managing to convince Jonathan to go on walks with me. During the summer, this isn't a difficult ask. During spring and fall, this isn't a difficult ask, and I usually can manage some level of consent. Sprinter is questionable, depending on the weather.

Winter is almost always a no. This time, however, I managed to convince everyone, all Snooks, to go out for a walk with me.

No, I don't know how. The winter was in full force. Winds were howling, snow was all over the place, the sun no where. The weather was miserable, beyond miserable. Yet, they agreed, so off we went.

We all bundled up, long underwear, pants, shirt, shirt, shirt, coat, socks, boots, coat, hat, gloves, scarves, we were all set.

Out we went for this walk around the block. All one kilometer of invigorating winter weather walking. Here we go!

The wind was so bad, we made it less than 50 meters down the street. They were willing, but, wow, was the weather awful. It was a right Ottawa winter.

To this day, years later, I have no idea why they agreed to go out into the wicked winter weather with me. I'm grateful they did, and what an inside joke we have, but, hooboy, nature wins when she wants to win.

A Slog Too Early


We are day four into a Challenges challenge, and day four of my increased seriousness and dedication to my Vinson training, and I have to say, if I'm this mentally tired 4 days into a 579 day journey, that journey is going to be a long, hard slog.

The Challenges app is an iPhone app where, with an Apple watch, one closes various exercise related rings a number of times, gaining points along the way. The standing ring is a point for each time one stands for a minute per hour, for a maximum of 14 hours in a day. The exercise ring is 12 points per 30 minutes of exercise as registered by the Apple watch, for a maximum of 36 points per day. The movement ring is 12 points per two times one's weight in pounds, with the unit being calories (I weigh 130 pounds, so 260 calories burned with movement is once around for me). The challenge allows for up to 14 stand points, 36 exercise points (that's 90 minutes of Apple watch recorded exercise), and 36 movement points. Those last points are easy enough to make, I manage 300 in a day just typing, so you can imagine how many I have when I'm exercising for 90 minutes of Apple watch approved minutes.

Yesterday was easy enough, with a hike with Andy.

Today, not so much. If I don't exercise before 8:30am, the garage is too hot, and I need to wait until 7:30 pm before the evening is cool enough, and hooboy, is this messing up my sleep schedule, exercising until 9, 9:30 at night.

Still, managed to walk the 82 additional minutes at a 10% grade at 2.2 miles an hour for the 90 minutes. I'm four for four on the full exercise and movement points.

And I am tired. Today was a mental push to remember what I'm working towards, and the effort it'll take. Did I mention the slog part? It was a slog. I did not want to do any of my pushups, nor did I want to walk any of those incline steps.

But I did, and here we are, day four of five hundred seventy nine days of Vinson.