Work At Home; Walk Near Home

I’m nearing the end of Week 5 of working at home (out of my kitchen). The commute from my master bedroom to my “desk” (kitchen table) is right at about 6 seconds.

I actually drove to my actual workplace for the 2ND Monday morning in a row this past Monday, and I spent over 5 hours there trying to work as normal of a traditional work day as possible. I plan to do it again this upcoming Monday !  Maybe in May I’ll expand to Thursdays as well at my actual workplace.

I still don’t miss the traffic between here and there. My workplace is about 5 miles away as the crow flies, but it’s currently a rough and tough 9½ miles away by road (due to road detours). On a really good day it can take 20 minutes to get between home and work. On a bad day – 40 minutes or more.

Meanwhile my walking (for exercise) has intensified recently. Between March 22ND and April 22ND (a full month) I walked on 9 mornings at dawn. My start times were as follows:  0715, 0709, 0707, 0706, 0705, 0701, 0703, 0658, and 0650. (Dawn is starting earlier each morning.) I’ve walked a total of 13.09 miles. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic I had only walked 3 times this season (once in December, January, and February) for a total of 8.50 miles. Those 3 walks were at the walking / jogging track at the (currently closed) city park down the road from my neighborhood.

This is Season 13 of my fitness program (also known as “The Major’s Walk-A-Thon”). It’s my busiest season since Season 10 (2016-2017), and it’s my 5TH-busiest season ever.

I probably have a few more walks to go before this season ends (due to unbearable weather conditions). Here in South Florida we have a 5-month rainy season that runs from the middle of May through the middle of October. We receive over 70% of our annual rainfall during those 5 months. That’s about 4 feet of rain in 5 months. Additionally minimum temperatures at dawn generally hover between 77°F and 83°F with relative humidity at or just below 100%. Did I mention all of the bugs (many of which bite) that love that moisture ?

Yeah Season 13 is nearing its end, but Season 14 shall commence later this year once a new dry season takes hold here in South Florida.

“The Major’s Walk-A-Thon” is dedicated to my dad – William L. Day – who lost the ability to walk on his own in 2006 due to the crippling effects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The disease would take his life less than 4 years later. 54 years ago today – April 23RD 1966 – he and my mom got married in the Philippines.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Southwest Florida Road-Trip

This past U.S. holiday weekend I enjoyed a 3-day / 3-county / 360-mile Florida road-trip to and from Fort Myers. It was my first visit to the region since last July. I always enjoy visiting Southwest Florida (Collier and Lee County). Usually I venture over there to see a concert at the Hertz Arena, and this trip was no exception.

My first stop though after crossing the Everglades via the Tamiami Trail was the flagship branch of the multi-site Collier County Museum in East Naples. It was my first visit since June 2012. Back then I thought it was my first visit ever – until I saw some of the exhibits outside – and then I realized that I had been there years earlier.

At the end of my 90-minute visit I picked-up a brochure for a nearby place that I never knew existed – the Naples Museum Of Military History – at the main terminal of the Naples Airport. So I went there, and I immersed myself in all of the awesome displays there. They were overflowing at the seams in the two rooms that they occupy there. They need more space, and hopefully they get it.

After that I took a ride out to the country and into the woods for another first-time visit ever – the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. What a wonderful and beautiful place this was – especially on a sunny and coolish day. I’m sure that it would be a miserable place to be during our 9-month bug season and especially our 5-month rainy season, but that was truly a great day to be outdoors strolling the 2.25-mile elevated boardwalk absorbing nature’s beauty – created by my Almighty God.

By the way all of the above was Day 1 of my road-trip !  Day 2 started in Fort Myers at probably their # 1 tourist attraction – the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. It was my first visit since April 2011. I love this place. I could work and have fun at this place after I retire from my military / civil service career. I took the 1-hour and 15-minute guided tour which was a lot of fun (even though I had done it before). I’d do it again !

On Sunday night I went to the Hertz Arena to see Franklin Graham conclude his recent tour of Florida. He led us in prayer for our nation and our leaders, and then he preached a classic Billy Graham Crusade sermon on Repentance & Salvation. That’s a topic that I’m quite familiar with, as many of my sermons are about the same. Jeremy Camp opened and closed for Franklin, as he performed 7 of his greatest hits. I’ll be seeing Jeremy Camp perform again at this very same arena in 6 weeks, as he opens for MercyMe.

Day 3 of 3 started back in East Naples at the Naples Botanical Garden – yet another first-time visit. I walked well over 3 miles for 2 hours at this fun place on a chilly and overcast morning.

I’ve got over 80 photos of this fun road-trip to and from Southwest Florida – also known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. At least 60 of those 80 photos will probably be uploaded and captioned on my Flickr site over the next few weeks. But I’ll close this blog post with a sneak-peek. It’s a photo of the chalkboard at the start of the boardwalk at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary where visitors can write-down what they’ve seen along their walk on the boardwalk. A little less than 90 minutes later – there were more sightings documented on the chalkboard.

IMG_4407

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

It’s the start of another fun ‘Moldie-Oldie Music Weekend’ here on the big polyester and bell-bottoms blog. I kick it off with my fan-favourite ‘Disco Party’ on most Friday nights because that’s how I roll with it !

Flashback with me – won’t you ? – to the Fall of 1976. Back then I was a short and skinny 9-year-old in the 4TH grade. I walked to and from (public) school, as it was located right in the middle of my Lanham Maryland neighbourhood. After school and on the weekends I loved to play outside past the end of the street – into the woods – and down by the creek. That’s when I first discovered one of God’s Great Creations – mosquitoes. I was also in the Cub Scouts, as I, Christopher Day, promised to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the Law Of The Pack.

Life was much simpler then, and the world was a whole lot smaller for me back in 1976 – the year of our Bicentennial.

On the radio The Ritchie Family (all-female act, but none of them were actually related to each other) were hittin’ it big with a pop, soul, and disco smash titled “The Best Disco In Town”. It was a medley of disco hits from the era set to a fresh new beat. The group was created and run by the same French producer who also created The Village People. Let’s dance:

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 7:35 AM – 8:11 AM
Sky: Sunny & Clear
Temperature: 64°F
Dewpoint: 62°F
Relative Humidity: 92%
Winds: W 6 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 29.84 Rising

Here are my walking thoughts in 15 words or less:

– This morning I ‘slept in’ a bit – until nearly 7 AM !  OMG !
– I took a nice long hot shower, and then I went out for a walk.
– I walked for 36.3 minutes, or about 1.9 miles around my neighbourhood.
– It was a sparkling crystal clear and delightfully cool early Saturday morning.
– We don’t get very many mornings like this one.
– In fact they don’t occur at all for about 6 months out of the year.
– But during this time of the year they are more common.
– While I was walking in the 64°F ‘chill’ I was thinking about the D.C. area.
– The’re being smothered by their biggest blizzard in a century !
– When all is said and done there could be 2½-FEET of snow on the ground !
– We had some big snows up there when I was growing up, but not that big !
– I’m glad that I live down here in America’s Riviera.
– Next Saturday morning I’ll be on my way to Port Everglades.
– The Carnival Freedom will be my home for 8 days and 8 nights.
– I will surely be doing a lot of walking on that MAMMOTH vessel.
– I will also complement that walk-a-thon with an eat-a-thon !
– I figure that if I burn 5,000 calories per day then I can eat that much.
– I won’t regret it pal – at least I hope not.
– On my walk this morning there were a lot of white flying bugs around.
– I don’t know what they are, but the’re annoying if not harmless.
– I keep seeing a large grayish cat on one of the streets during my walks.
– The cat looks at me, I look at the cat, and we agree to be passing friends.
– Most cats understand that I am a friend of the feline species.
– Most dogs don’t like me, as they probably know that I favor cats.
– I am in the best physical condition of my entire lifetime.
– Before this journey began 41½ months I did not take care of my body.
– I did not exercise at all, I ate junk food, I binge drank, and I smoked.
– All of that changed in 2007 and 2008.
– If you don’t believe that God performs miracles then look at me.
– Of course you had to have known me during my teens, 20s, and 30s.
– Compare that lost soul with the man that I am today.
– I once was lost, but now am found – was blind, but now I see.

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon: Special On-Location Edition – Everglades National Park

YESTERDAY I visited Everglades National Park to spend the day outside with nature. Here are my takeaways in 15 words or less:

– Me and a buddy arrived out there shortly after 9 AM while it was still foggy.
– I knew that it would eventually be a sunny and hot day – and it was.
– We took a cool 1 hour and 45 minute tour of the former Nike Missile Site.
– It’s a small abandoned military base that was active from 1964 to 1979.
– It’s remnants are now owned and operated by The National Park Service.
– They started giving (limited) guided tours of it just last year.
– Our tour guide – Ryan – was thorough and knowledgeable.
Check out this article for more information on the site.
– After the tour and a quick Lunch in the car we went hiking on some trails.
– We took on a couple of easy trails at first – less than a mile combined.
– And then we went for the gusto.
– We went on a 6.0-mile hike through muck and mosquitoes.
– We walked the entire 2.6-mile length of the Rowdy Bend trail eastbound.
– Then we took the Snake Bight trail 0.3-miles south to Florida Bay.
– Then we walked the entire 3.0-miles all the way back to our car.
– I smothered myself with Off / Deet before the hike, but it wasn’t enough.
– The trails were totally infested with swarming and biting mosquitoes.
– They were drinking the Off / Deet, and biting through my shirt !
– In addition to the hundreds of mosquito bites I also got a facial sunburn.
– If I go out into the woods without sunscreen then I might just be a redneck.
– I was totally shocked as to the abundance of mosquitoes on the trails.
– They froze to death during the recent freeze, but then new ones took over.
– It’s been a very wet dry season, so it didn’t take long for new skeeters to be.
– They are totally hungry and thirsty for human blood, and so we were Lunch.
– After the 6.0-mile hike we ventured down to Flamingo on the Bay.
– We took a really nice 1 hour and 45 minute boat tour of Florida Bay.
– We went westward adjacent to the south coast and towards the sunset.
– The sun set at precisely 5:59 PM, as that’s when the disc touched the horizon.
– The sun hit the horizon and then took a mere 3 minutes to drop below it.
– It was one of the most perfect sunsets I have seen in my entire Life !
– There were no clouds in the way obscuring it in any way.
– As our sun was setting it was rising simultaneously in Shanghai China.
– It was a nice tour of the bay, and quite refreshing after a hot and sweaty day.
– Water temperatures on the bay have slowly recovered back to the upper-60s.
– It was recently much colder than that, and thousands of fish died.
– It didn’t smell very nice at the shore with all of the dead fish floating.
– It may take a couple of years for a normal fish population to return.
– I really enjoyed my day out with nature despite the bites and burns.
– I hope to do it again sometime before the end of the current dry season.
– Thank You God for all of your Glorious Creations !

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 6:34 AM – 7:18 AM
Sky: Clear
Temperature: 61°F
Dewpoint: 60°F
Relative Humidity: 94%
Winds: N 7 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 29.99 Rising

Here are my walking thoughts in 15 words or less:

– This morning I walked around my neighbourhood in the chill.
– After an 81°F Christmas Day afternoon 61°F felt so nice and comfy.
– Wind chills were actually well into the 50s during my walk.
– I felt those 50s as I walked northbound into the cold winds.
– I walked for 44 minutes – about 2.4 miles.
– All of our dumpsters were jammed and crammed with Christmas gift boxes.
– Dear City Of Homestead – Please empty our dumpsters as soon as possible.
– We’ve got garbage-eatin’ ducks ’round these parts !
– We’ve got a lot of flying bugs where I live.
– They appreciate all of the thick foilage and big lakes around.
– They also appreciated my face as I walked right through them.
– During my walk in the dawn of this new day it was peaceful and quiet.
– I talked directly to God, and I thanked Him for all of His great creations.
– I prayed for all of my friends and neighbours – believers and non-believers.
– I prayed that God would bless us all like only He can.
– I thanked God for giving me a second chance at Life, for I am reborn !
– For 30 years I said and did what the world told me to say and do.
– I did what was cool – even if it was bad for my mind and for my health.
– Now I’m cleansing my body of all that is bad.
– It’s a physical walk to heal and strengthen my body on this walk with God.
– My Dad can no longer walk or even stand up.
– He’s confined to a skinny bed in a nursing home for the rest of his life.
– He has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
– I dedicate these physical walks to my Dad for all that I’ve learned from him.
– I thank my Father God for all that He’s blessed me with since He created me.

Tuesday Night Grab Bag O’ Thoughts

You’ve waited a full 7 days for this, and now you’ve got it. It’s the ‘Grab Bag’ !

1.  Once again today it’s the tale of two Homesteads. There’s the flooded Homestead (where I live), and there’s the dry Homestead (where I work). Over at the air base this afternoon we received barely a trace of rain. Here in my ‘hood nearly two inches of rain fell over the course of two hours. I can fully explain why this is happening, but I’d rather not bore you to bits.

2.  Yesterday (Monday) at Lunchtime there was an ENORMOUS vehicle collision on East Biscayne Drive (SW 288TH St.) between Wendy’s and the air base. It happened during the 10 minutes or so that I was at the Publix at Waterstone. As I proceeded back towards the base the scene was barely unfolding with mass chaos everywhere. It was probably one of the worst accidents that I have ever seen in my over 20 years of driving on that particular stretch of roadway. One woman was even airlifted via helicopter from the scene of the accident. 3 hours later the road was still a nightmare. I had to take U.S. 1 from Moody Drive (SW 268TH St.) to Lucy Street (SW 328TH St.) just to get home.

3.  TODAY on my way to Lunch with a buddy from work my Saturn flipped over from 59,999 miles to 60,000 miles !  It happened westbound on Campbell Drive approaching the Oasis Shopping Center. That’s 60,000 miles of driving in 6 years, 2 months, and 1 week. I hit 50,000 miles exactly 15 months ago tomorrow, so that’s an average of about 667 miles per month – or 22 miles per day. I love living and working in the same city !

4.  Apparently I undervalued my antiquated cell phone. It is NOT a 2002 cell phone. It is actually a 2004 cell phone, and that’s when I actually bought it. I had another (even more antiquated) cell phone from 2002 to 2004. I recently realized that I can actually tweet with it, so even in its old age it still has a purpose driven life. A cell phone’s equivalent human age can be calculated simply by multiplying its actual age in years by 20. My cell phone is the equivalent of a 100-year-old ! 

My Cell Phone

5.  If you see a very low-flying C-130 Hercules aircraft hovering over the mean streets of Redland, Florida City, Homestead, Leisure City, Naranja Lakes, and Princeton early tonight and tomorrow night then have no fear. It’s a mosquito killing mission. Stay indoors as the poison is sprayed from above.

The ‘Tuesday Night Grab Bag O’ Thoughts’ is taking a week off next week. Be sure to catch the next ‘Grab Bag’ in two weeks – on the 15TH of September. Be sure to check out an all-new ‘Thursday Night Mini Thoughts’ later this week.