Fun is free. The more you forage, the more you find.

Just like my 3 year old nephew, I can get irritable when I have to stop playing to eat or sleep.

I finally finished this Lego Temple Media Center I started 3 years ago. It has 2 sets of enclosed Sony speakers, some drawers and compartments for cords and flash drives, and some basketball hoop pen and pencil holders. It will hold an iPod, cellphone, and external hard drive. Originally I was going to build a clock and webcam into it and leave docking wires enclosed but it actually looks like a toy minifig building when not loaded with devices and I didn't want to complicate it any further. I am almost done sorting loose Lego from yard sales, trying to get organized by spring. This recent bout of snow and ice storms has made it seem like there is as much work to do outside around the property as in the summer. I am really looking forward to harvesting some weeds and planting a small garden again. my pond is already loaded with algae, I guess it was growing underneath the ice all this time.

Check out that badass vulture spreading his wings in the tree. He stood like that for a few minutes until some buddies flew in to join him. Nature will usually make it impossible to regret going on a run. I have been dressing warm and getting out when the wind chill isn't ridiculous for 20-80 minutes and also riding the exercise bike when I look at Instagram. I will get a nice run in tomorrow morning (forecast say 45 degrees by late morning) and then we are quickly dipping back into 25-33 degree highs next week.

A still from a video of me running on ice at Eden Mill. I mounted my cellphone with TheNature2014 deluxe tripod- a stick jammed into the snow.

I've got a design ready for signage when I sell pumpkins again. I think my strategy this year will be to plant more and sell them cheaper. I'm going to be more relaxed about trimming around all the vines with the weedwacker. I'm sure I spent at least double the amount of time tending to the pumpkins than was necessary.

'93 til infinity. These pants from 12th grade are still serving me well as I continue to patch holes. Overlapping layers keeps my legs warm in winter and pockets, fabric, and patches scavenged from hats and clothing from thrift stores and yard sales add to the storage capacity if not functionality. They are too stiff to skate in for the last decade. There is some Vision Gator fabric from a worn out pair of shorts I had in sixth grade sewed to a few spots. It's a mobile scrapbook started in 1989.


Winter hibernation has also allowed me to finish Demalion Dash 15- Commodork! and Demalion Dash 16- Craters! with DD17 & 18 getting closer to release everyday. Burning through a lot of podcasts as I work on these and test them for playability and difficulty. Demalion Dash 1-16 and hundreds of other fan games from creators all over the world at available for free download at http://www.boulder-dash.nl/ in the Game Base section. I distinctly remember creating Boulder Dash caves on Commodore 64 in 1988 when we have snow days from school and I am still doing it in 2014 (but the software written by fans and emulators makes it a hundred times faster and easier).

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  • Current Music
    Bad Religion

@fungandus on instagram compilation

Some of my favorite pictures I've taken since the last time I've posted an entry to LJ (and a few old ones). If a picture is worth a thousand words...I've said enough. See you in 2014. Happy holidays.

  • Current Music
    Dinosaur Jr

I'll emulate a weed and thrive anywhere, not just where something else makes it "suitable" for me

Partial recap:

☆ ran 10.37 miles monday morning, 11.42 miles weds morning from home, through eden mill on to falling branch and back and had plenty left to spare, got home around 10:30 am which left me time to do something before lunch. High humidity, very sweaty run both morning but still comfortable.

☆ mowing grass and weed wacking sun through today and i'd say it's about 80% perfect, should still look nice for the party on saturday, next week I need to do it all again for pig roast

☆ planted more pumpkins and watered them a lot, high hopes for yields...plenty of space and sunlight

☆ pulled some stuff out of pond that impedes my view of critters... I try to keep it tidy while still providing habitat that will give plenty of food and hiding spaces to all the various life

☆ 2 kinds of tadpoles, lots of frogs, 2 confirmed turtles, 2 kinds of snails, baby salamanders

☆ finally a photo of previously unidentified turtle...it chills each evening on my frog pyramid around 6 but dives before I can come down ladder or get close. saw him from the mower and got a camera from house, got 3 pics from 50 feet away before he dived in, perhaps with time he will just sit there like snapping turtle who has returned for last 5 or 6 years. (Melissa you pointed out that it was missing a foot, I looked at photos from last year, it is missing then... I just never looked close enough.

☆ wasn't running or feeding the horses on tuesday morning so I worked on drawings from 2007-2013 until lunch time

☆ spent a lot of time collecting weeds and making a pasta salad...at least I have 5-7 lunches/dinners covered now. I'm biased, but it is GOOD, insanely good. Violet, cattail, plantain, purple dead nettle, dandelion plus pasta, tomato, corn, facon bits, and chick peas. Sometimes I just dump str8 vinegar and olive oil on for dressing.

☆ I've sold a ton of stuff on ebay and have more to list. This will pay for all my fillings and eventually add to my savings.

☆making friends on the trails:

this "trail" is falling branch road which I often have completely to myself. though today the trash truck came down.

why did the millipede cross the road? because it's alive and looking for what's next.
People could learn a lot from an arthropod! or maybe it was just hungry.

Yay, it's Fun!g and Us.

prototype card I made for Caroline way back when. Reuploaded for a craigslist classified ad a few weeks ago for people looking for a casual artist... I'm not even sure it's in the right section, but I'm also afraid if anyone does bite I'll have to say Sorry, don't have time!

☆upcoming: 523 day, still mine because I had it 18 years before my niece, I don't celebrate it, I just appreciate it, yard saling saturday morning, more enjoyable runs seem a sure thing for Friday and Sunday

ineluctable bargains

Nothing much new to report. I discovered on Monday that the thermos I use to hold 3/4 pot of coffee eveyday was absolutely coated with mold all around the inside. It was hardly visible without a flashlight so I can only wonder how long it has been growing in there. Perhaps this is what's been causing my congestion and wheezing. Cutting a lot of grass, yard saling, running. I felt really busy this week because I had a dentist appointment, a viewing, and a funeral to go to. One of my neighbors died on Monday. I had been up to see her last week. Like my father, she was brought home for hospice care and very weak and having a hard time speaking. I'm glad I got to say goodbye and I hope the final days her family had to spend with her were some comfort. She was a really great woman who was always there for her family and all her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. I talked with her often last summer and even though she was having some health issues even then she really was there for me when my dad was sick. She baked a cake for him and another one for me on my birthday. She used to baby sit us when my mom went to college and work and she had an awesome basement, playground, and campers for us to play in. In hind sight that was incredibly generouse because I would not let 1 kid play alone in my treehouse, let alone 5-8! She had a slot machine and she'd sit on the floor and play it with us and if we won we got some Garbage Pail Kid stickers. Several friends and family spoke at her funeral and it was a nice tribute to her and a great reminder of how much impact you can have on people's lives just by being a moral, accepting, caring person.

Just 2 summers ago I remember she was gardening with her husband and she was standing in the back of his pick up shoveling out mulch at age 74. She wasn't an exercise nut or anything, just an active person who kept agile by doing what she enjoyed... cooking, playing with all her grandkids, etc. She had several strokes and was able to come back from the first couple but the last one was too debilitating. Some people just passively give up their mobility by doing less and less each day and I really take inspiration from people like her and my father who weren't slowed by apathy but only by serious health problems.

Yard saling last week was okay. I got beat out on a few things and only found a couple things to buy, none of which I really got a great deal on. I got a jigsaw cheap that I had been looking for but it wasn't that exciting since I don't have any immediate uses for it. This morning was much different. Even though I did miss out on a few things I got an Xbox with 12 games & 4 controllers, 6 recent Lego sets with a bunch of ninjas and other minifigs I don't have yet, Paris skateboard trucks, a 10X10 easy up style awning, free and cheap books, 3 backpacks, iron on lettering for t-shirts, a new remote controlled helicopter, 2 insulated lunch bags, and law and order suv season 1 (50 cents!). All told I spent less than 70 dollars, which is about what the awning would cost on sale. That is a lot of money but it was nice to find things to buy this week...last week we were out before 7am but so was everyone else it seemed. I also passed on a lot of other things...longboard decks and wheels, a stereo reciever and 8 speakers(10 bucks)... I don't purchase every bargain or I'd need a u-haul and I'll spend enough time as is sorting through this stuff at home. Law and order is 17 hours of episodes, I'll be shocked if I'm done with it at this time next year.

Here are some 2-3 week old photos and artwork.

More Art & Animals
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Chimney Stomper down by the big pond.

I collected my initials from the field. Once the bugs and sun get done cleaning them up I'd like to mount them properly.

Professional nothing, amateur everything.

Snow was icy and fast so I snowboarded from 7-9 am. First time this season and probably the last. Then I fed the horses and it was quickly becoming a warm spring day to do yard work. I climbed onto the roof to scrape off the moss that has been growing. Ate lunch, cleaned out the pond a little, worked on my stick shack, sorted some stuff I had packed in boxes in the barn. Filled up my tiki torches. Hope to sleep well tonight and then draw until lunch tomorrow. I had some decent runs to eden mill last week but I've had this lingering congestion and wheeze for over a month. I never notice it until I run and then I feel like there's something gunking up a third of my lungs that I can't cough out. I had 3 colds this winter and my allergies are being stupid, hopefully things will clear up soon. I recently sorted out my quiver and replaced some bearings and wheels. Several of these are from when I was a kid, some were gifts from friends, some from when I first discovered ebay, and there are a few I paid 3 - 5 bucks for at yard sales. All different shapes, sizes, wheel durometers(and diameters) , even materials and each one feels different under the feet.

l l'---"'--MISC--;==;;;;;;;;;;;;I=+==

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Eulogy for my father

I don't feel as if I'm exaggerating to say my father was an extraordinary man, a real superhero, who worked hard and truly lived the American dream. He grew up without a father and a stern single mother. He and his siblings began working in their early teens at various manual labor jobs and contributed much of their wages to the household income. At 16 Dad started working for Acme as a clerk and continued to receive promotions within the company as he finished high school and college. He met a woman who also worked at Acme and they began a life together in a rural community.

He was an accomplished engineer and manager who worked long hours and his dedication to his job was only surpassed by his dedication to his family, friends, and church.He and my mother created a supportive environment that was an absolute childhood paradise. We were told and shown that we were loved and encouraged to do our best. During the week we would wait eagerly for him to arrive home from work and spend the evenings together eating dinner and watching tv as a family until he tucked us in at night. At the time, my mother was able to stay home and take care of us all day and he needed a special moment with us before we fell asleep.
On the weekends he recruited us as his helpers around the home and yard to do a different kind of work than he did in his office... raking leaves, digging post holes, weeding gardens, moving cinder blocks, replacing windows and walls and countless other tasks. We didn't always want to do the work, but we enjoyed being like Dad and spending time with him.He showed us the value of physical labor and taking pride in maintaining what we owned. He gave me my first Lego toys, my first mechanical pencil, and my first tool box; all items he had collected before I was born and entrusted to me when he felt I had a use for them.

My father always stressed the importance of spending quality time with family and friends and I have seen the loyalty and love he received from this community all of my life. He welcomed his friends and family of all ages to share his appreciation of the bucolic setting we live on at the Pig Roast each year. He loved his life here so much and he wanted other people to experience the simple joys of seeing the frogs, going for a hayride, listening to music, and eating and drinking in the sun. I was 11 months old at the first Pig Roast and hope to see you all at the 37th in the spring of 2013.

Dad showed us that Life is our opportunity to push our limits;to test ourselves, work hard, play hard, help each other and experience the world. He knew God had put him here for a finite time and struggled mightily to complete his tasks and make the most of everyday.He took great pride in caring for his yard and woods and had ongoing remodeling projects around the house, including 2 additions that doubled it's size and a treehouse and barn that would later provide extra living space for his sons and first grandchild. He lived a good,long life and rarely sat down. He just recently retired at age 67 but he wasn't waiting for that to do the things he loved. As we grew older his family demands lessened and for the past 20 years a typical weekday for him consisted of working from 7-5, arriving home at 6 for a quick dinner before heading out again to play volleyball or go to church meetings. He'd then come home at 10 oclock to relax before bed with a beer, tv, and crossword puzzle. On the weekends he'd be outside using the bucket on his john deere to do everything from move dirt to lift other tractors.He was as comfortable getting his hands dirty as he was wearing a suit and tie and he respected good carpenters and contractors at acme as much as he respected the good executives. His character and concern for other people constantly attracted new friends and strengthened the bonds of our family.
. He volunteered for various church, political, and enviromental organizations. He and my mother went to hundreds of concerts to hear the country music that reflected their love of America.

My father was a religious man, an educated man, and a conservative man and all these things contributed to his success. His convictions were strong and at times he had to struggle to accept some of the choices his sons made and the directions their lives had taken. He allowed us to make mistakes, think for ourselves, and pursue our own happiness even when he disagreed with us. He never pushed us away and I hope he noticed the times when we came back around to his way of thinking. He gave us the incredible gift of letting us know just how much he loved us and how proud of us he was even during the times we didn't follow his example.

This is what a good father does. He will always be the better man, the stronger man, the smarter man, the man who will forgive you before you even offer an apology. He will teach you right and wrong, he will lecture and punish you,You will often think he is demanding and crazy but you will always know he is special and unique. He we will be hard on you and criticize you because he believes in your talent, creativity and potential. He will celebrate your smallest accomplishments and he will give you praise you feel you don't deserve.
He will provide the foundation, lead the way, and give you a childhood free from worry. He is tough and brave and he is gentle and generous.You will love everything about him and see his actions and morals reflected in your own.
His opinion of you will always be more important to you than that of anyone else. You will think you can do it without him and he will be there for you with no recriminations when you realize you can't.
His only goal will be to selflessly give you any support and opportunity that you need. he will motivate you and inspire you for your entire life. He is the strongest man you know when he is lifting rocks and chopping firewood and he is the strongest man you know when he is fighting for his life in a hospital bed, while the strongest woman you know never falters at his side. As a child you wish to be him, as an adult you know if you can be half the man he is you will be a great man.


One confusing entry full of pics, text, and no cuts and then things will be a bit more normal. This is a short update and some previous entries I had typed up but never posted... additionally the site I used for pictures changed owners and the loss of those links gutted my journal of most of it's visual content. I can't type up everything I do or I'd have less time to do those things. When I use the computer I end up spending way too much time fixing my drawings or cropping photos I took. I've also finished Demalion Dash 9-13 since the last time I posted. I've finally gotten around to listing a bunch of stuff on ebay. I cleaned my room, got rid of more books, moved junk so that I could have the space to be organized and orderly so that I could sell and pack the items. I've been sacrificing sleep and reading to make more time for neglected interests in my life. I also had more time due to hurting my left achilles tendon in december which brought me from 50 miles a week down to 0/week rather quickly. I hiked and biked to stay sane and now I'm working my way back to where I was...slowly, slowly. I think I'm type a about most things in my life except for making money. What I make will never be made if I don't make it, and the awesome days I have won't be treasured memories unless I spend them right. I already know what I'm doing days ahead of time, all I have to do is wake up and start rolling downhill like a snowball, fueling on coffee and music and excitement. Most of the time that is great, but it makes it hard to change course for unexpected obstacles or to communicate with all the people living willy nilly. No patience, no peace! Fuck yeah cold oatmeal and cooking in one pot, Fuck Yeah sleeping on the floor, fuck yeah being happy. Fuck yeah that there are only ten or twelve days of truly shitty weather in maryland all year. Fuck yeah already lived twice the life I thought i would and every other minute is a bonus. Wake up early, extra life. Think clearly, extra life. Fuck yeah running, Fuck yeah parkour, Fuck yeah skateboarding, Fuck yeah drawing, fuck yeah sewing... I don't have to be good at these things to enjoy them. I don;t even have to try parkour, I just like to watch the videos for inspiration. I don't have to be eloquent, either. I've been writing a lot of song lyrics lately, too. Not sure why, I like the idea of playing awesome, fast, crunchy, easy music, but the reality of forming a band, practicing, getting along with people...how? Probably I can use the lyrics by drawing group shots of Fung & Us and having them sing it.

This is pretty busy and not as funny as i would have liked but screw it, I just like the feeling of putting ink on paper and everything I do accomplishes that. I was kind of going for a picture in a storybook or Polaroid photo composition.

Once the weather gets a little warmer I guess I won't draw very much either, even though I'm writing down new ideas constantly and have a pile of unfinished drawings from just this year and have recently been inking stuff from high school art class (90's) and sketches from 2007. Somebody please take this shit when I'm dead, don't just recycle it all or let it end up in a few boxes in the attic. I think I'm going to tell Jane where it all is so she can distribute it. Puke could maybe do it but he'll be planning my funeral. Not that I plan to die anytime soon, but might as well be ready.

I've been drawing, cleaning, running, grieving, reading, hiking, biking, skateboarding, living. These following entries I haven't posted until now concern things that were happening last summer and very early fall. Since then my grandmother has also died. These confrontations with mortality and loss have really brought the family closer together as well as further enforcing my desire to live what days I can like they will be my last. I still think about my father everyday but I try to do it in a way that makes me appreciate the kind of person he was and the good fortune I had to have him in my life and the time I had to begin to tell him how important he was to me and the impact he has had on my life. I enjoy who I am and so much of that is because of his genes or his guidance. Seeing how he handled his illness is something I will be able to draw strength from for the rest of my life. He was the perfect man, the only man, for the job of being my father.

November 2012-

We recently lost my father to his battle with cancer. Through the past few months there were so many tests and checks on his health status that I think only he and my mother could keep straight what was going on and of course doctors don't know everything, either. I focused on the fact he was alive and relatively comfortable and worried when he had fevers and other issues that would cause him to have to spend extra time in the hospital; things that because of his weakened state could become life threatening quickly. He made it through 2 rounds of chemotherapy over the past 3 months before a PET scan showed that it wasn't helping. Further chemotherapy or radiation was deemed too dangerous and coincidentally ongoing problems with his liver and kidney function were increasing.

My mother made hours of phone calls and daily visits to the hospital to get him out of there so he could come home for hospice care. His cognizance and strength were fading very quickly but the reality was hard to grasp. I understood he was coming home to die but it really hit me when we were moving his bed so he had a better view out of the window. I was trying to position a light so that he could read and mom told me he wouldn't be reading when he got back. His quality of life took a drastic change in May after his emergency surgery that resulted in him wearing an ileostomy bag and dropping as low as 122 lbs because of lack of appetite and difficulty absorbing nutrition from what he did eat. He couldn't do any of the yard work he loved so much, couldn't drive, couldn't walk upstairs to take a proper shower, and had to put all his plans for after he retired on hold. He accepted this totally and accepted help from us when he needed it, did whatever exercises he could, spent time with family and friends, read books and worked crosswords whenever he was fortunate enough to have the energy. He died with his family at his side on September 23, 2012.

Sunday 9/2/2012 6:32 PM

This is the way we want it to be, this is the way of the warrior!

What a great week and a day, I'll try to keep this brief because I don't like typing. I'll upload the entry sooner or later when I feel like sitting in the backyard so I can get a signal to do so.
In the past 8 days I have run @ 54 miles. From aug 25- aug 31 I ran @47, my highest previous total was @35, with my longest run in the 16 mile range.
-AUG 25 SAT @ 13-15 miles to Eden Mill and Falling Branch, then hiked a few miles home through Big Branch
-AUG 27 MON @ 7-8 miles to Eden Mill trails and back home
-AUG 29 WEDS 5+ miles to Deer Creek, no walk breaks, lots of hills, hiked deer Creek back to Telegraph Rd and ran 1.5 miles back home encountering the worst hill of all. I didn't think I could run that 5 mile portion straight, but I felt fine doing it and didn't need to worry about saving anything in the tank because that was all I planned on doing
-AUG 31 FRI Legs still feeling great, so fuck it, let's try for 20 miles (my longest run ever) and I did it (ran quite well but last mile and a half I was fading fast and getting some cramps)
-SEPT 2 to Eden Mill and the trails again, feeling fine after 5 miles, hiked another 5 through Big Branch and ran 1.5 miles back from Neal Rd

This week I'll be careful not to overdo it and keep my runs around 8 miles. It's nice to have shorter distances in mind sometimes because then I feel more confident to run fast and not save anything for a prolonged run or long hike home. Hiking the streams is fun and relaxing but the terrain is very challenging and going upstream doesn't help (but the drought makes it a lot easier). I also like to explore the woods along the stream and usually this means climbing some steep slopes. It's a lot of fun and so much easier in FiveFingers than hiking boots. The second pair I bought now has 6-7 hundred miles on them and still plenty of traction and sole protection. I'm really impressed they hold up so well off trail and getting wet. Even running stretches of paved road hasn't seemed to wear them down fast.

I have been feeling like I was running better/faster/longer the past month or so but this last week and a day I put it to the test and I'm seeing real results. I need to check out google maps because I even think some of my estimates are on the low side. I can add the road portions easily but the trails aren't visible. Once I get a smart phone I'll track this shit gps style. I'll probably try to get one for christmas, and then I'll know how to use it in time to track every 2013 step.

Yay, it's fun to be my niece! Really, guys. she gets custom bibs and her own Boulder Dash Game. I finished this game just hours after she was born and still haven't made it available to the public yet. All those hours of creating and testing and uploading it seems the most tedious thing. It will be available in the Game Base Section at http://www.boulder-dash.nl/ once I get around to emaling it to the site administrator.

Also finished Demalion Dash 10 - Fun & Games. That game is dedicated to my buddy, BIG C Charles Berman, a true hardcore gamer and great guy. There are tons of video game themed caves in this one. Sorry, Big C, this one only plays on Commodore 64, not Nintendo Entertainment System.

I kept running on the mornings I didn't have to feed the horses instead of drawing but I've got these ready. Pencilled months ago, inked weeks ago, then spent way too much time fixing all my mistakes in photoshop.

Yes, life is imitating art.

This is the kind of beautiful nature I see on my hikes...

I keed, I keed, all the other deer I saw today were alive and well. Be glad my camera has such crap resolution if you have a weak stomach. There are roughly 19321234813294 maggots doing backflips in that melted flesh rib area.

My dad got to come home from the hospital today. He had a chemo treatment 3 weeks ago and various issues kept him there so long. He is really tired but happy to be home and if all goes well he should be here for 2 weeks or so until his next treatment. He's really inspiring.


Every Day An Adventure.

Enjoy your summer with strict adherence to the following formula: Eat 5 - 8 servings of fruits and weeds per day, run 3-5 times a week, + drink up once a week while you clean and draw and dream = one happy crony. Repeat, repeat, repeat!

4 Life:


  • Current Music
    The Damned

Off on tangents and mentioning 'running' a lot

Long post(more video and pics under the cut), maybe the last for a while. Typing and uploading photos takes so much time... for me at least! I read several interesting and constantly updated blogs written by people who somehow are working full time, raising a kid or two, traveling constantly, watching multiple hours of tv a day and I don't do any of that and I still go to sleep satisfied with all my planned activity that happened but lamenting just a little the couple other things I could get done if I had any juice left. I don't like all those distractions, going out at all seems like wasted time to me(I guess I'd rather experience aspects of life I'm missing on blogs or biographies). That's why when I do go out I like to spend a night a two. Going out for just a little while is just a way to break my concentration and I usually don't focus as well before I leave because I'm keeping an eye on the time and trying to make sure I don't forget anything I needed to take. Do I need total focus to draw, read, or even do yard work? Of course not, but it is SO much more productive when I am. I'll enjoy it more, I'll do a better job, and I will achieve more in less time than if I'm distracted. Going out to eat? Just how good is this food? Am I so hungry, is this food so great, that I want to spend 3 times the amount of time in a car than I will eating it? Do I want to be constantly out of water no matter how good the service is? Do I want to spend 8 bucks on a decent meal when I can make something just as good for 2 bucks that is exactly the nutritional stuff I need right now? Don't get me wrong, I'll eat out occasionally, usually when I don;t have access to a kitchen at the time, but If I get pizza or a sub I don't kid myself and pretend like it's a real meal and I'm definitely going to supplement it later at a grocery store or when I get back home.

Talking to people is overrated, too. How much information needs to be passed along? Not very much, not very often. If I'm talking to someone I'm not going to have time to think and arrange my thoughts as clearly as if I just email or text them and if they read this journal they will know more of what I'm up to than even I will instantly recall or even feel inclined to mention. I'm a big fan of text messages. So quick. Done and sent while you'd otherwise still being listening to their phone ring to see IF they pick up. Then if you leave a voice mail they gotta waste their time to check it and see if you said anything more relevant than "Call me back". Sometimes I DON'T, even though I had that 30 extra seconds while their phone was ringing to figure out how to express the reason I called in the first place. If I cared to set up mu own government or community I think it would encourage people to not lay eyes on another human being until around 6pm everyday. Rah. Well, enough of that rambling, if only because I don't feel like taking the time to express more thoughts clearly right now. I could be doing pioneering work on Demalion Dash 10 or reading in my tent right now.

Wednesday April 25

Keeping busy. I've been running around in our woods and to Eden Mill and other local spots. I keep working on more Boulder Dash games and videos but I'm about ready to bring that to a screeching halt because once the weather is a little better it will be time to stay outside even more.

Demalion Dash 7 - Basic Bricks! trailer.

I made 6,7,8 the last few months and now I'm almost done Demalion Dash 9. All of my Demalion Dash games and many other fan created Boulder Dash games can be found for free download at http://www.boulder-dash.nl/ in the Game Base section.

Last week I ran to Amos Rd and then down Deer Creek. I don't like running on the road (boring, no deer, turtles, or snakes...unless they're dead) Headphones improve the experience and I only saw one car. There was nothing worth taking a picture of on the roads except for one really long stone wall along a field but I didn't feel like stopping. Within seconds of leaving the road I almost stepped on a black snake sunning itself. For the next few hours I hiked down Deer Creek, took some pictures, ate some lunch, and then started running again when I got to the Hidden Valley Area and reached clear trails. Besides the old rusted out bridge it's a fairly featureless stretch of Deer Creek... pretty and private but featureless. Featureless nature is still great and it keeps the area from becoming traveled by more than the occasional dog walker. I probably should have taken some pictures down at Hidden Valley but I can run down there in 10 minutes anytime.

My calves protested most of the week after that and I didn't run again until Friday. It was less distance than I usually do so I can only assume it was all the initial running on the road or that I hadn't run at all the week before because of a cold that is still clogging me up. I'm trying to figure out exactly what makes me sore because other times I can run nearly everyday without problems. I'm not out there trying to be a speed demon, I just want to move and keep moving. I'm trying to figure out a good route to run 36 kilometers to celebrate my 36th birthday. It will be hard to get that kind of distance around here without a lot of road running unless I just run in circles at Eden Mill for a few hours. I have a couple months to figure it out on google maps and try some other routes to see how I fare on roads... it's ten miles to Norrisville Library and back and I can take a break there to get some water and books. I think it would be cool to use Amos Rd Bridge as a crossing in the final run even though getting in and out the mile of tangled woods on each side will probably take over a half an hour. It won't be runnable at that time of year unless a lot more people start walking down it to smoke pot or drink.

In other news, yard sales are getting started and I've already found some nice bargains

High Sierra Luggage Bag with removable backpack $5
Shark electric sweeper $2
Adidas windbreaker 50 cents
Outdoor recliner beach chair (new) $3
Remington electric shaver (new) $4 the beard is going to go soon and I thought Id try it instead of a razor
3 books I intended to get from library for 50 cents

In other, other news...the Pig Roast is coming up and I have an assload of yard cleanup and maintenance to do, including a mess of wood and various tools under the treehouse. Also, my niece is supposed to be born around the same time so I'm sure this will be a hectic time of year as usual.

I got another pair of Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport one size smaller. The original ones iI got size 43 fit like a glove when it was colder but they seem to expand slightly due to warmth or sweat absortion...just enough to let my right foot slide a little. They fit well with socks or if I'm not running. I don't think I've mentioned these shoes much in my journal yet but they sure kick ass. There is not much to them, and at $100 they cost $95-$99 dollars more than my usual shoe choices, but they are durable as hell and do what they are supposed to. Arguments about posture, balance, and biomechanics aside, I can just feel my foot in these shoes. I can dig my big toe in climbing up a sandy or muddy hill, I can jump up on logs and rocks and not have some plasticky, stiff sole just sliding right across the damn thing, I can feel the ground enough through the relatively thin soles to react quickly to unexpected holes or angles and react accordingly to lessen the chance of twisting an ankle. Occasionally this means I'll come down on a single small rock hard enough to wince but the sole protects my foot enough to spread the impact to prevent any punctures or bruising. They are light as hell, quick to dry, and have amazing traction. The thicker material that attaches to the strap also serves to protect the arch of your foot if you happen to make unexpected contact with that part of your foot on a root or rock.

They are basically the best water and hiking shoes I've ever had and I wish I would have sprung for them last year when I first looked into them but until I started running and wanted to try something minimal I couldn't get the money out of my penurious little fist. I'm open to buying other running shoes like the Merrell Trail Glove or New Balance Minimus but I've done 12-14 mile runs in these without issue and these have more versatility. They aren't perfect or magic, but I think it's about as close as they can come for a mass market shoe at this price point. I'd love it if they sell enough to justify further sizing differences or customization because my toes are longer than the actual toe pockets and my feet would be even freer to move if they fit that much more closely. These are official Batter Demalion Gear. They even match my Batman hat.

I should also mention that to keep my feet warm and dry and safe(from horses) I wear "regular" shoes and steel toe boots almost all day and rarely go barefoot even indoors because then I would have a clump of pet dander stuck on sock that would then get shoved in my shoe. When I first started running barefoot or with aqua shoes unused muscles in my calves took the brunt of "getting used to it". Just normal working out pain, but I started slow and didn't overdo it. I just kept running 1-3 miles every other day for awhile and it was fine and I went up from there. I never had any issues with muscles in my feet being sore. I always did a lot of walking and hiking (sometimes in aqua shoes) before I started running so perhaps that kept my feet at a decent level of fitness. I've noticed many well made traditional shoes do allow for full ankle movement and ample room for your toes to splay. I find my old New Balance shoes very comfortable but now that I've tried something else, a completely flat shoe with no raised heel seems much much better. It's just not something I had ever taken time to think about before I read what some other people had to say. I don't even remember how I used to run, I never thought to improve my stride or reduce unnecessary movement. I just went out, got the endorphins flowing, and later felt ankle and knee joint pain. I never got so much from the experience like I do now. It felt like constant effort, I wasn't running efficiently so I always had a racing heart and was gasping for breath. Now running is so damn easy unless I'm really pushing for speed or because I'm charging uphill.
Here's a comparison photo of old and new. The old pair has about 160 miles on them and I'm surprised how similar the soles look. Most of the miles were on grass and trails with @ 30 of it was on roads and sidewalks. I was concerned the lugs might wear off quickly by running on the street but it doesn't seem to be a problem. They make pairs with a different tread intended for road but these shoes seem to do a decent enough job of it while also providing enough protection to run on trails, rocks, and completely off trail. I end up on each of those surfaces everytime I run anyway. I'm considering getting the waterproof Lontra model due out late summer for winter running and hiking but these are comfortable for me down to about 40 degrees and I can always wear some socks with them for some extra warmth.

gartersnake (1)
I almost stepped on this garter snake while I was walking the mutt.

The snapping turtle has been back for awhile, seen here making friends with a tadpole.

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Goose on dam
Goose on top of Eden Mill dam.

I shaved my beard off. It looks pretty weird. With a bushy beard things like a missing tooth or train conductor's cap don't look as out of place. I shaved my head about 2 months ago but the beard was comfortable until Friday when I went on a hot ass run through the woods. I was standing in the stream splashing water over my face and head and I could still feel the heat radiating off. It was only 80 degrees! I see myself updating again in a few months. It always seems to take too much time out of life to record life. I even tried dictating things into a digital recorder but even that seems tedious.I'd like to hand write in my journal again instead. It's safe to assume I'm reading, running, drinking coffee, eating bananas, feeding horses, doing yardwork, yard saling, and being an uncle.

I'd love to get this guy as an instructor at Fung&Us School of Martial Arts.

This doesn't seem like much fun at all, but I'm still impressed.

Demalion Dash 1 - Can You Dig It, Sucka ? trailer:
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treehouse door

Across the sea, Ms. Popov cries for me.

I should sleep well tonight. I worked out this morning (push ups, glute bridges, planks, pull ups, chin ups) then read for a few hours and ate lunch waiting for it to warm up a little to go running. I don't mind running when it's cold since the exertion will keep me warm anyway but if the afternoon high is 45-65 like a few times this week I'd rather run in less clothes and comfortably in my vibrams. Ran about 2.5 hours around the fields, along Big Branch and through the power line towers, then brought in all the coal and fed the horses. I did the same on monday, wedsnesday, and friday but today I just did everything a little longer and with more effort. The long recovery time that had been plaguing me the past 2 weeks seems to be over. I had been getting random leg pain or a stiff ankle or calf that wouldn't loosen up that made it not fun to run unless I waited a full 2-4 days in between. Not waiting long enough meant a 3 mile run with suffering form and feeling much too brittle to really have fun by hopping rocks and fallen trees. Everything I read says listen to your body and you'll improve far more by running consistently without injury than pushing your luck so I'll be patient. I'll just keep building. It's nice to know that I can run 3 miles feeling like total ass, though. In early November maybe I couldn't run 3 miles at all.

power lines

I loosely track my miles on google maps but I almost don't even want to know because for the most part I'm probably running slow as shit. I always intend to do some days of a shorter and faster run around the ponds and fields but then I end up running mostly on four wheeler and deer trails or just winding between trees hopping a lot of fallen limbs and trunks instead. Next thing I know two hours have passed and my energy is waning and I never did run fast because I'm running uphill on a blanket of leaves doing my best to avoid holes, loose rocks, and fallen tree parts. I'm glad I started experimenting with this in November so I can make plenty of progress and hopefully have some deep energy reserves when spring and summer are here. Running seems like a good thing to work the rest of my day around. It clears my head so I can enjoy and focus on other things more, it keeps my eating habits even more uniform and healthy than I already had them and I rarely drink my beloved vodka or rum because my mood is already at peak elevation and I don't want to interfere with my muscle recovery. Lifting weights over the years had a similar influence but I since I rarely work out with a level of intensity that gets my heart racing and breathing heavy I never felt as many endorphins. I never did much lower body or aerobic exercise. Skateboarding and hiking some crazy hills were about he only thing that got my heart going other than caffeine. Got to keep moving though, especially in winter, or I get too antsy. I'd like to go snowboard and sled in the fields but I'll make the most of this mild winter with not even one real snowfall.

Tomorrow should be warm so I think I'll just go for straight hike with a book or two and lunch. I didn't read so much on the computer this week, I cracked 3 real paper books open. The World Inside by Robert Silverberg, Born to Run by Chris McDougall, and The World According to Garp by John Irving. The last 2 I've already read, and the John Irving book may be one of his only books I haven't read at least twice. I need to hit the library and yard sales soon for more books.

Besides running and feeding the horses I haven't left the house in over a month, which is fine I guess, and no where near some previous years where it was more like November-April. I do need to get to Target, Vitamin Shoppe, and Dollar Store soon. I annoy myself by procrastinating to the point where I'm really getting down to bare bones but I always do it and if I go out more my piles of drawings, mileage covered, and Boulder Dash games created would suffer. I've got some clean up and sewing done lately as well. Other things I'm procrastinating on: several dentist trips, a haircut, vision exam for eye glasses and contacts, MVA for valid legally required ID and hey then I could actually ride my scooter, too. I've been saving my money so it would be good to knock some of this stuff out soon.

That's about all for now, still have some reading etc I want to do... or I might just go to sleep in ten minutes.

big branch cabin
This would be a cool place to live. It's over a quarter mile off the road at one of the best sections of Big Branch where there are several tiny waterfalls.

big branch
Many outdoor dining options.

Big Branch Falls

big branch

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    The Ergs!