, , Wednesday, April 8, 2009 3 comments

I tend to feel pretty compassionate toward animals. Maybe you could even call me "soft." I say "please" and "thank you" to the dog when I give a command. In fact, I view my signals more as requests than commands. I'd be a vegetarian if I could just stop eating meat, but I loose the power of my convictions at the dinner table.

Nevertheless, I have never understood killing for pleasure, i.e. hunting. I could never see hunting as pleasurable. I can understand getting out in the woods and chatting over beer with your buddies, but I'd just take a picture when the deer comes by. I'd have no inclination to shoot it with a gun.

I was surprised to see this partial deer carcass at my favorite hiking spot today. It's in a city park, so I have no idea what it was doing there. It wasn't much of a carcass, just a lower leg, but I hope nobody is hunting in this park that's popular for hiking and biking.

Perry doesn't share my worries. He neither cares that we are in potential danger of gunshot, nor has any remorse about the animal's demise. He was happy to replenish his protein needs by snacking on any remaining meat. I suppose it's as good as a Zone Bar, but it doesn't fit in your pocket. No matter, Perry doesn't have any pockets anyway. He still has diarrhea from eating too much pond scum a couple of days ago, though, so I didn't let him snack for long.

Surf Dreams

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 0 comments

As a 44 year-old living in Minnesota, do you think I can still learn to surf? I tried when I was in Hawaii, and could hardly paddle into the waves. But it looks so fun, and the music in this video adds to the appeal.

GPS Mania


Hardly a day goes by lately that I don't use a GPS device. I recently mapped out our trip to Florida using a Garmin GPSMap 60csx with their City Navigator NT software. I kept my eyes glued to the device for too much of the trip, but since I didn't do much driving it helped keep my mind occupied.

The City Navigator software is pretty nice, and the device will give turn-by-turn route directions which makes navigation a snap. And there are thousands of POI (points of interest) data points loaded into the software, which is really handy as well. As we approached Nashville I used the information to try to find a hotel for the night. I could sort the hotels by distance to travel, and call the number listed to book a room.

What I find even more useful is my new Garmin Forerunner 305. It includes a heart rate monitor, so I use it to monitor and log all of my excercising. I can set elaborate training routines if I choose, to help guide me through repeat workouts or to alarm if my heart rate gets too high/too low. But I'm not in high intensity training mode, so mostly I just use it for keeping track of how my fitness is coming.

Today I wanted to have a day off from running, but I didn't take the day off from my GPS habbit. I did some cross training by taking a nice long hike with the dog. He's such a fun little hiking partner, coming quickly back to check on me if he has run out of site. He's able to tackle the scarey narrow wooden bridges over the ravines now without much hesitation. A couple of months ago it took 10 minutes of coxing with treats to make that happen. Now he crosses on his own.

I think we have some of the most scenic hiking in the state just a mile from our house. Here's our route:

View Interactive Map on