Trail Run

This morning, I signed up for a trail half marathon at the end of April. I don\’t \”race\” such an event. It is just a way to go on a marked trail where I otherwise wouldn\’t; and have someone else provide the water refills and cookies. Also, one should know that for any trail running, your total focus is on the trail in front of you; because if you divert your attention for more than a second, down you go! Very meditative: a whole 3 or 4 hours spent not thinking.

Today, I ran on the trail at the Parkville nature sanctuary. Most of it is easy jogging but a couple of spots require big step ups, big step downs or negotiating rocks. I spent two hours and 8 miles clambering around. I only fell once. No damage though there might be a bruise on my hip tomorrow.

Here is a video of the waterfall in that park.

It rained last night and this morning. As I started my jog at 1 pm, it was not raining but still chilly and cloudy. Very few people were in the park. I could jog around and spend most of the time in my head, dreaming of being a trail runner. The park is very quiet, with bird calls being the major sound. I saw a few squirrels and a bunny rabbit.

I spent some time pondering the predicaments of 2 or 3 of my young colleagues at Starbucks. Two are young men who have not finished college, have steady girl friends and have bought houses. So they work nearly 40 hours a week at Starbucks, although the girl friends are steadily employed. The two guys might not be the most sharp tools in the shed, but they have no future, through their own choosing. Really, if you are making 12 or 13 dollars an hour at Starbucks, you shouldn\’t be buying a house with a girl friend who is not a wife. Property taxes alone eat up a significant portion of your earnings.

The third one I thought about is a very good, new, young, assistant manager. She has decided to buy a house in St Joseph and go back to the Starbucks there. I want to scream at her not to take the dead end route by staying in St Joe. She does have a college degree and could really do more than be a Starbucks store manager.

There are more young people working full time at Starbucks who are smart and good workers; but they seem not to know what to do about moving up in the world. Some of the young people are in school and won\’t be at Starbucks forever, but the greater number are stuck at Starbucks. Mind you, Starbucks does offer to pay for a Bachelors Degree for any partner that does not have one. But I haven\’t yet found a partner who is doing that. Some partners are like me, happy with the health insurance and a part time job. Like, I got my teeth cleaned for free last week since I have dental insurance thanks to Starbucks.

Starbucks is a fascinating place to work. I think I get a load of endorphins from being on my feet for 5 or 6 hours. I\’m also getting more durable physically due to the bending and lifting. As a person interested in living well longer, physical durability along with continuing to use my brain are key benefits. Sitting at a desk doing engineering pays a lot, but I was dying. Even working out twice a day was not providing the durability or physical movement needed to stay fit as an elderly person.

Working the drive up window is very fun. I love having little conversations with people and handing out drinks. The doggies are so cute because they know that at Starbucks, maybe their human has ordered them a pup cup (or pupachino). The doggies look at me to see if I hand it out. They know.

The other thing I pondered today was aging. Since I didn\’t see my KC friends for the 8 years I was in Houston, it can be quite a shock to see some of them now. Like my dentist. He is not yet 65. But something has happened to him in the last 8 years. He was a normal looking guy. Now he is tiny, barely able to stand and I suspect his wife, who is also the hygienist, is holding him together. He looks like he may suffer from something like osteoporosis, but he is a man. Why is he still practicing dentistry? I suspect it has to do with health care. They would be among the group paying $1700 or more a month for a high deductible policy. Even a millionaire would balk at shelling out all that cash. My dentist in Houston was in that boat. Its like paying around $27,000 before you ever see a dime from an insurance company, yet you really need to have insurance or a hospital can clean you out in a day.

Rambling. I know it. Ultra Monk out.

Cough Gag

Next Tuesday at 7 am, I will be toeing the start line of a 55 hour endurance event.

What was I doing yesterday? Sitting in the Minute Clinic talking the PA out of antibiotics for bronchitis. Score! I also got a note to stay off work.

Only an ultra runner would think they could have bronchitis one week and walk 100 miles the next. But yes, I think I can.

The sore throat did go away overnight so I know I did the right thing. Being sick for longer wouldn\’t have helped in any aspect of my life. And the other people at work didn\’t want me there contaminating them anyway.

US health care is tragic. Dufus doctors charging high prices for 30 seconds of time. How on earth would I even find a doctor I liked and trusted? You can\’t get a bio on someone when you look through the insurance company web site. Speaking of which: insurance companies are parasitic money sucking killers.

So I find the Minute Clinic a refreshing alternative. For some little problem, a PA is perfectly fine to write me a proscription. The prices are reasonable. The locations are easy. The red tape is minimal. Until yesterday, I didn\’t even know the Minute Clinic could do these easy things. I\’m sold.