Isolationist Vibes (Cont’d [Cont’d])

The weather turned from snow and bare trees to mid-80s and full greenery in the span of about 10 days. I’m welcoming the warmer temps, even though it would have been nice to have a bit more gradual of a transition. Despite keeping very busy, there has been plenty of time for introspection. I’m starting to wonder if I don’t miss being around other people as much as I thought I did. One thing is for certain– I have a profound amount of gratitude for the good fortune I have encountered from the outset of these uncertain times. That’s not to say that I don’t still find things to complain about (I do). But I also realize that those banal annoyances are inconsequential compared to what they could be. For this, I am truly grateful.

I have also been lucky enough to get back on two wheels. I spent the majority of Memorial Day weekend exploring country roads. There isn’t really anything else that I find quite as satisfying this time of year. Here are a couple of snaps I took along the way:

May 2020 Playlist

[Photo: Britt]

In the words of Mike D. from Professor Booty: “I’ve been through many times in which I thought I might lose it; The only thing that saved me, has always been music”

Britt and Lola

The Subjects of this Post Hiking Through the Snow.

This is the final entry for my series about stuff that I brought with me into isolation. I saved the best for last. Even though Britt and Lola are not gear, they have certainly been the factor during all of this craziness that have made things bearable. Britt and I joked at the outset of this adventure that it would either make or break our relationship. I’m happy to report that she hasn’t dumped me yet. Transitioning from the inflatable mattress to a real one certainly aided the cause. In all seriousness, this has been an experience in team building like we have never experience with each other. I don’t often publicly share many details about our personal life, but I would be remiss to finish this series without nodding to Britt as the amazing partner that she is.

Burton Glove Liners

Burton glove liners are awesome.  As a person who prefers mittens over fingered gloves when participating in winter sports, I have found these glove liners to be nearly essential on very cold days. It enables one to remove the mitten while on a ski lift in order to shoot off a quick gram or two without getting frostbitten fingers. I also keep one of the heavier weight pairs (seen above) in my jacket pockets to use as commuter gloves. Back in the days of riding the subway, they kept my paws toasty and enabled me to be a strap hanger without having any actual skin contact with the strap. Both index fingers and thumbs are outfitted with touchscreen friendly material. Seeing how it has been snowing almost every day since we have been in the Catskills, I’m really glad to have brought these with me. A wintertime must-have, in my book.

Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor 1980-1983 by Tim Lawrence

I first discovered this book from the Benji B. radio show on BBC Radio 1. I guess the author, Tim Lawrence and crew put together an LP compilation of the music that is part of the subject matter in this book. Benji played a bunch of tracks from the compilation (which were awesome) and talked up the book enough that I had to check it out. I still haven’t finished “Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor 1980-1983” yet. But I’m enjoying every chapter. If you are a sucker for NYC’s cultural history like I am, I would definitely recommend this book, whether you are a music fan or not.

Muji House Slippers

Some of Japan’s Finest Slippers, Together with the Author’s Veiny Scarred up Ankles.

First of all, everything Muji is awesome. Britt got us matching pairs of these for like $4 each. I was never the type to wear slippers around the house until these ones came along. They were one of the last items to go into the duffel when we were packing to get out of dodge. Man, am I glad I brought ’em.

Garmin 645 Music


I have had a few different GPS running watches. One was powered by Tomtom. The rest were all Garmin. This is my favorite, to date. I picked it up last year on Prime day when Amazon had it for like 50% off. The beauty of the Garmin 645 Music, is that it pairs with bluetooth headphones and I can listen to my Spotify playlists without having to bring a phone with me. This is also the first Garmin that I have owned with a built in heart monitor. Heart rate has been a fun new metric to track. The watch has all of the regular smart watch functions as well for those who want to get alerts on their watch, count steps, etc..

As far as the GPS system is concerned, it works the best of any that I’ve owned. When I have GLONASS enabled (this allows it to talk to the Russian satellites as well the GPS satellites), I rarely have to wait more than a couple of seconds for the GPS to link up when I start an activity. I use it predominantly for running. But when I was recovering from surgery I used it on the bike quite a bit. It has also been fun to wear on some hikes that we have done here in the Catskills. The only drawback is that the battery life is not great compared to other models I’ve used. But I don’t mind charging every couple of days, so whatev. It is an awesome device that I have really enjoyed using.

BR Chinos

The Author in One of His Daddest Getups | Photo: Britt

Business casual gets a bad rap for being boring, and rightly so. Boring or not, I find nicely fitting khakis to be much more comfortable than jeans. This was part of the reason that I brought these along with me. I would get sick of wearing jeans every day, and unfortunately it has not warmed up enough yet to wear shorts (other than when running). At this juncture I still have too much self respect to wear sweat pants all day (except for those days when I have been sick). Not ruling out the possibility that could change in the near future if current status quo persists.

They are super boring pants, for sure, especially when paired with dad shoes like in the photo above. They do look pretty decent with boots though. I don’t have any special affinity for Banana Republic, but they do seem to be what I usually buy. It is mostly because I know exactly how their various cuts fit me without having to try them on. Also, the perpetual 40% “discount” makes them the right price for a person who goes through as many pairs of chinos as I do.

 

Isolationist Vibes (Cont’d)

Taking a small break from my April series of “stuff I brought into isolation with me“, and getting back to the vibe generally: Here are some owl photos. I started seeing this guy (these guys/girls?) our first week at the cabin, but have only been quick enough to grab the camera twice, so far. The most recent of such instances, it also happened to be snowing, which made for some pretty dramatic images when the owl flew from one perch to another. After sharing a couple of these with a friend, he told me that it is good luck to see an owl. I had never heard this before. But I’m hoping that he is right and that good luck is on the horizon.

 

 

Canon 5D x 50mm f/1.2

My most used rig.

I love this camera and lens combo. I have been a Canon guy since before the digital era, and this 5D is my favorite camera I have ever owned. My 50mm f/1.2 is essentially glued to this body. It is not the most versatile lens, but in my opinion the quality of images that it produces makes up for the extra work required to get the shot. I did a cheesy unboxing video over here, the day that this body arrived. I was super stoked that day, and have subsequently been stoked every time I feel the shutter click. In case it is not already clear, I heavily endorse this setup.