Saturday, January 26, 2008


This morning was a perfect Alabama imitation of Oregon.
Thirty-two degrees with drizzle and light fog.
I dressed a bit too heavily for the event by accident.
I had two breathable layers on top and added a waterproof layer on top of them to minimize the effects of the drizzle.
It was too much.

I should have removed one of the mesh layers.
I discovered this about mid-way into mile one.
I toyed with stopping and removing one of my layers but decided against it.
I just resigned myself to sweat a little more.
This temperature was not the life-threatening chill of last weeks fifteen degrees, so I felt more comfortable with the discomfort, so to speak.
(As you may know, sweating in extremely cold conditions for long periods of time can be fatal.)

And, today I experienced an historical event.
I was stopped by the police while running.
I was running in the street on Explorer Blvd. (as I usually do around 6:40 on Saturday morning) when an approaching car suddenly sprouted red and blue lights on its roof in the dim morning drizzle/fog.
I was informed that according to Alabama law I was required to run on the sidewalk if one is available.
I thanked the officer, trotted over to the sidewalk about 30 feet to my left and resumed my journey in a somewhat bemused state of mind.

Technically, the officer was correct.
However, as a practical matter and a matter of preference, I like running in the street.
At 6:40 AM, there is not a lot of traffic on this road.
Actually, there is virtually NO traffic on this road at this time of day.
That is one reason I run in this area at this time of day.
The police car was the fifth car I saw on the three roads that I run on during my usual course.
Only two of those cars were on my side of the road. (the police car was the third.)
(I also run on other roads during my Saturday morning jaunt but because of the traffic on those roads, I run on the sidewalk. as required by Alabama law. I am not a complete idiot.)
He knows this as well as I do, but I had no inclination to argue with the man.

Sidewalks have several unique problems that I prefer to avoid, if possible.
First, they are hard.
Harder than roads.
This seems very counter-intuitive, but it is true.

It would seem that roads would have to be very tough and hard because they have to support big cars, bigger SUVs and bigger trucks, whereas sidewalks only have to support people.
True, but wrong.
Most roads are paved with asphalt, while sidewalks are made of concrete.
Concrete is harder than asphalt.
While they both may seem equally hard on first examination, spend an hour or so “pounding the pavement”, as the saying goes, and see for yourself if there is a difference.
Asphalt is somehow softer than concrete and thus, easier on the joints.
Trust me on this.

Second, sidewalks sometimes are tilted to the side to allow water to run off of them.
There is one section of sidewalk that I run on now that is this way and I hate having to run on it.
You might be thinking, roads are crowned the same way for the same reason.
You would be correct in your assessment.
However, in many places, the crown in the road is less severe than the tilt of a sidewalk.
In addition, traffic permitting, one can run down the MIDDLE of the road where there is no tilt.

What would the man think if he had seen me running down the middle of Old Madison Pike at 6 AM on Saturday a few years ago.
(That was before a couple of plants opened in research park that have weekend shifts. Before then, it was REALLY dead on Saturday morning.)


The bathroom project is coming along slowly.
I am taking my time and doing just one or two steps each evening.
This week I applied calk around the bathtub and toilet.
I painted the calked areas around the tub.
The calk around the toilet base will remain white as it is.

I am getting my custom-built vanity base ready for installation.
I attached the front door and stained it (the whole vanity) a nice light oak color.
A test fitting revealed that a couple of notches needed to be cut in the base and back to accommodate slight irregularities in the floor and wall.

The section of floor trim behind the toilet must be installed before I install the vanity and I want to paint the trim before I install it, but it has been too cold to paint outside, so I have to paint the trim inside, but the saw horses that I need to set the trim on to paint them is being used for the finishing touches on the vanity base.
Got all that?

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