According to Strava, I was comfortably past my running distance goal of 400 miles for all of 2018. I show a total of just over 412 miles, which is great, and just a little more than last year.
I've had that same 400 mile goal for two years now, and it seems comfortable enough. The stretch goal for my running aspirations is in the weekly. There, I have a weekly goal of 12 miles, which I sometimes hit. It's not physically difficult, but usually amounts to an issue of time: Do I have the time to do it this week?
If I were to hit my 12 mile week for the entire year, then assuming 52 weeks a year, I would hit about 624 miles in a year.
But again, 400 miles for the year is comfortable, and very much doable. So congrats to me!
I started the trailer demo yesterday. Though cloud bursts interrupted the work occasionally, I was able to easily bust out the rotted wood deck. Since dark threatened to come quickly, cleanup was the next order of business. Circular saw in hand, I cut up all the boards into bite size pieces and stacked them at the top of the driveway, next to the tree. If I get time tomorrow (which I doubt), I'll pull the trailer out and clean the channels and see what I can do about the screws, which are no doubt seized.
How do I feel about it? It's always good to get your hands dirty and get that physical sense of accomplishment.
Today was our fourth "pair event" with the iMentor program at James Lick High School in San Jose. Every time we have one of these events, I grow a little bit. I get exposed to different things, things outside my usual sphere of existence, and things slightly outside my comfort zone.
Tonight, we mentors got to see our mentees' unofficial transcripts. I'm not sure I've seen such dismal report cards or such low GPAs. I've heard of them, but this was for real. It wasn't just my mentee's stats, but many of the other mentors were sharing a very similar story. Mostly, the male mentors, who have male mentees, were reporting what I was seeing with my own charge.
And today, the goal in mind shifted tectonically. No longer does the medium term goal include getting this high school junior into college. It has urgently moved to that of the first goal he listed when we first met back in November: to graduate high school. A school counselor tonight explained to us mentors how to read the transcripts and provided ideas on how to help the students get to graduation. The GPA along doesn't seem to matter too much toward the goal of getting a diploma. What really matters is how many credits they have earned. Failing grades in classes earn no credits.
Since there is another half of the second semester left of his junior year of high school, there is still time. If he were to pass all his classes next year, he could graduate. However, given his history, that's a tall order, and that's cutting it way too close. I see summer school. I see seven periods next year. I also see no sports, which should be the rule since the counselor, as a response to my question, stated that the student may have no F's and at least a 2.0 GPA to be involved with sports. That's a good thing for him, though he won't see it that way.
It's time to get serious. Clock's a-ticking and we have work to do.
Not sure if I mentioned it wide and far enough, but for 2017, I met my running goal. The goal, same as for the prior year, was 400 miles, and this year, I came in at about 403. Last year, I hit well over 500.
Works for me, I hit my goal! Happy new year, everyone!
We live about two miles away from Harold's elementary school, where where have to cross a freeway and negotiate four traffic lights and three four-way stops. There are enough obstacles such that we give him a ride to school every day.
Sometimes, I wish we lived further from school. Some days, we end up having good conversations during that ten minute ride, the two of us. Today, for example, was one of those good days. Let me write about it.
As we were pulling out, I noticed that the morning sun was hitting a neighbor's solar panels just right so that the dust was pretty obvious. I mentioned that they should clean the panels occasionally so that the panels were more efficient and generated more power. Harold asked what the panels do, so I answered, they create electricity so we can charge our devices, run the TV, turn on the lights at night.
Then I was reminded about the rovers on Mars, specifically Spirit and Opportunity, which originally had an expected lifespan of just one hundred earth days or so. The reason for such a short life expectancy is because the planners figured that dust would collect on the rovers' solar panels and then, no more power. As it turned out, Mars also has wind, which is sometimes strong enough to blow dust off the panels, making them able to continue to generate power, for years, in fact. (Note, however, that only one of the rovers is still operating, Opportunity, over ten years since its deployment!)
We then got to talking about if humans, if outside the safety of a space helmet, would be able to breathe, very briefly, the atmosphere on Mars. I replied that no, that wouldn't be possible for several reasons. One, the atmosphere is really, really thin on Mars; it would be like trying to breathe on earth on a mountaintop that's over 40,000 feet in elevation (maybe more). Also, the makeup of the atmosphere is different. Our bodies are used to earth's mix of 79% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. Without that sweet oxygen, we're done for.
Mars is also very cold. Cold, he asked? Yes, very cold, it's further from the sun than earth.
We then got into the positions of the planets, and how there are huge gaps between some of the planets. He knew of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and he also told me about the other asteroid belt between Neptune and Pluto. I know there is a big gap between the orbits of Neptune and Pluto, but I can't say I was too familiar with a second asteroid belt in that space. Harold insisted that there is, and who am I to refute?
We also talked about Pluto's 'demotion' from a planet to a minor planet, the Kuiper belt, and how Pluto is believed to be a Kuiper belt object.
There were some other bits an pieces that we talked about during that short ride, but it was one of those rides where we actually shared information with each other at a relatively high level. That's always satisfying.
We got to school, a tad later than normal, and I wished him and good day, and he said bye. Sometimes, I wish we lived a little bit further from school.
Image attribution WilyD at English Wikipedia via CC BY-SA 3.0.