398. Last Day of Summer

Tomorrow is the astronomical midpoint between the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice and the Northern Hemisphere Autumn Equinox. Despite what the news media tries to tell us, that the Summer Solstice is “the first day of summer” and the winter solstice is “the first day of winter” and the spring equinox is “the first day of spring,” the seasons traditionally begin at the astronomical midpoints between the solstices and equinoxes.

And fall begins tomorrow.
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Zero of a Thousand: or, The Reboot

One thousand days from today will be SUNDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 2018.

A thousand days. It sounds like a long time, but in actuality, it’s only about two and a half years. And two and a half years can fly by.

Or, the time can drag. Usually it’s a mix.

It’s been three months since last I posted here. Much has changed.

I am no longer employed. I am no longer teaching. I no longer live on the beach. I no longer live in Hawaii.

I live in Utah. I live in a very rural area. I live in a modified yurt on fourteen acres… with no mortgage. I have a new car, a 2015 Subaru Forester, with no car payment.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, but the short-term goals are fairly simple and straightforward:

1. Turn two of the three yurts on the property into vacation rental units.

2. Get fit: lose weight and improve fitness.

3. Write and publish some projects to Amazon for Kindle.

I thought I’d have accomplished more by now. Still, it’s only been three months, or ninety-some days. They’ve been busy, challenging days. There’s been quite an adjustment moving to rural Utah from densely populated Oahu. There have been issues with the new house — adjusting to the rather odd living space, fixing things that weren’t working right, fixing things that broke (like the well pump; what a hassle and expense that was!), learning our way around, acclimating to the just-shy-of-seven-thousand-feet altitude after living, quite literally, at sea level for the past sixteen years.

Feeling like a failure for leaving my job and giving up the beachfront house in Hawaii. I mean, that’s the dream, right? Living on the beach in Hawaii?

Now I’m living in a glorified tent. Granted, it’s a glorified tent on fourteen acres overlooking a meandering river and, in the distance, the orange-red cliffs of Bryce Canyon. But still… it ain’t Hawaii.

Hawaii… maybe I’ll go back one of these days. Maybe I’ll move back one of these days. But living in Hawaii without a lot of money is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Now the plan is to make the most of this move. Take advantage of the opportunities south-central Utah has to offer: world-class hiking and photography opportunities, all manner of outdoor recreation, a reasonable cost of living, and easy highway and freeway access to… everywhere!

In that regard, there’s another goal I was thinking about today:

4. Post photos and blog posts that make other people envious of my life!

So often (as in, always) when I look at photos posted by others on Instagram (I’m on there: @davidd_lives_in_utah_now @hoodoo_dave) or read various blogs, I find myself envious. Or despondent. It seems like “everybody’s lives are better than mine.” They’re better looking, they have more money, they live in cooler houses or more interesting places, they have better adventures. I know full-well that what comes across in blogs and pictures is “edited reality.” But still, I fall for it. Well, I’m going to edit my reality! I’m going to present a life that is positive, fun, funny, interesting… and maybe even envy-inducing! How? Mostly by not whining so much… and posting lots of pictures of pretty rocks! After all, Utah was just declared the Number One Vacation Destination In The World by Fodor’s travel guides. And I’m living right here in the heart of it. I moved from one of the premiere travel destinations on the planet to… another of the premiere travel destinations on the planet!

So to reiterate: I shall stop whining!

Okay, what’s the THOUSAND DAYS thing about?

Initially this blog was based around One Hundred Days. I tried to make changes in my life within a one-hundred day time frame. It took nearly three of those time-frames, but I made some changes. Some big changes. Like quitting my job and moving from oceanfront Hawaii to landlocked (and cold in the winter) Utah.

The next changes are gonna be even bigger. So they’re gonna take longer. Getting an independent business (vacation rentals and writing, for starters) up and running will take a while. Those aren’t the goals, those are the means. The longer-term goals include buying more property, possibly in Florida, or even Hawaii, depending on finances, as an “escape” when the cold and the isolation become tiresome. Perhaps owning another car. And a nice bicycle to take advantage of the top-tier trail biking in Utah (after all, this blog is titled Pikey Fat Git Cycling Club).

And, of course, as has long been my stated, if not always acted-upon, goal: fitness.

Earlier this evening I ordered a pair of trail running shoes, thanks to a couple of generous Amazon gift cards I received for my birthday last week. I plugged in the Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS device I bought for myself when I moved (and which has been sitting, unopened, since it arrived weeks and weeks ago). New tech toys always help spark the enthusiasm for exercise among those, like myself, who tend to be otherwise disinclined to exertion. I set up a Garmin Connect account: I don’t know, are those accounts searchable? Find me there, or at Nike Plus, as PikeyFatGit.

I’m currently at 201.8 pounds. Target: well, I’m still aiming for 11 stone, my long-held goal since 43Things was a thing! (I really, really miss that site.)

And thus, we begin; I am rebooting this blog, and my life, and we’ll see where the next one-thousand days takes us!

48. New Start

New start. Because I can’t go back.

Just for fun, I’ll pretend the “new start” started two days ago, on my last day of school, and on the 16th anniversary of our arrival on Oahu.

So what’s the plan? Two things:

  • Lose 60 pounds and get fit*
  • Make (and save) five-million dollars
    • Buy a house on Crozier Loop

How? Dunno yet.
When? Three year plan, so by or before 9 September 2018.



* Starting weight: 205.2 lbs.

346. A Moment of Reflection

I happened to glance in the mirror today. Startled, I paused and gazed a moment longer. Gazed? No, stared, aghast, at the jello pudding snowman jiggling there before my eyes.

Starting toward fitness during times of stress and busy-ness, that is what I need to learn more about. How to get, let alone stay, sufficiently motivated to start when the end result seems impossibly far away and the immediate situation is so frustrating I just want to grab a soda or some chips or a bowl of ice cream or a beer.

Sold some stuff on eBay. Camera lenses. Did I really need to turn around and buy another ukulele? I rarely practice with the one I already have. I rationalized it by saying it will be my final souvenir of my time in Hawaii. That’s bullsh*t. I don’t need a final souvenir from Hawaii. And there’s other stuff I coulda-shoulda used the money for, or will soon need the money for. Boring stuff, like land surveys and insect fumigation and inspections and moving. And cat cages.

Plus, I should hold on to the money until I’m sure the eBay buyer isn’t going to return the lens. I dislike selling items to buyers with low feedback scores. They don’t get how eBay works. They think eBay is KMart. They expect to be able to over-bid, then return the item. eBay used to allow sellers to block bidders with low feedback scores, but the site has become considerably more “buyer-centric” and the sellers are expected to just suck it up… while paying ever-increasing fees.

I want to get rid of the last of my stuff and then never deal with eBay again. But I’ve been saying that for years.

I’ve been saying a lot of stuff for years. Planning a lot of stuff for years. Procrastinating for years.

Tomorrow is Independence Day. Tomorrow I’ll fire a shot at that Fat Guy I saw in the mirror today. And I’ll keep firing away. The Minutemen didn’t win the war in a minute. In fact, it took them eight years, with skirmishes and other incidents occurring over more than five years prior to that. But they didn’t stop, they didn’t quit, they didn’t surrender, and that’s why they eventually won against one of the most powerful military forces in the world.


Jogged 6 miles. Very slow pace, almost 13 minutes per mile.
Sit-ups; push-ups (knees); squats. Very slowly, took a long time.
Two hours of yard work. Still gotta go out and finish up another half-hour or so.
Mailed off two eBay sales.
Gotta get the house cleaned up. Somebody is coming to look tomorrow afternoon, and another on the following day.
The boss called from work. Isn’t this supposed to be summer break? Usually calls from work during break are not good. Yesterday I typed, right here on this very blog:

I have decided, or realized, or something, that the school-related frustrations — cheating at the track meet, the postponed visit by the governor, petty squabbles amongst the staff, the messed-up situation with the teachers’ union election — are simply not worth wasting time or energy thinking about. Break is here, and I’m going to try to not think about any of it.

In an illustration of either The Power of Positive Thinking or The Power of Letting Go, or maybe just as a random coincidence, the call was to inform me that I am invited to be among a small group of teachers from our school selected to meet the Governor next month at the state capitol building to receive some kind of award.

Weight today: 203.4 lbs.

306. A Return Expedition?

Telegram – D. P. Beach to A. E. Sable – 1915

Telegram – D. P. Beach to A. E. Sable – 1915

If I’m going to attempt another expedition I need to lose weight, and a lot of it… starting now!

Six and a half weeks. How much can I reasonably expect to lose in that amount of time? Somewhere between twelve and twenty pounds, if I focus and stay on track. The problem is, I’ll be going in to this knowing that even twenty pounds is not enough.

I’ll also need to buy an iPad or a travel laptop computer. How am I gonna get a thousand bucks to do that? A thousand bucks in addition to what I’ll need for the trip, so at least two grand… in six weeks. That’s a lot of eBay.

Fat Guy Running - Day 1 - 204.6 lbs

Fat Guy Running – Day 1 – 204.6 lbs

So I actually ran. Okay, jogged. Six miles at a 12 minute mile pace.

And I started the sit-ups again. And push-ups. Knee push-ups, ‘cuz I’m pathetic. And some squats.

I’ll be sore tomorrow.

I’m also trying to eat “paleo style.” Mostly vegetables today. A few bits of lean turkey a few minutes ago because I was feeling a little bit hungry and a lot bit cranky. Already.

Can’t cut the Coca Cola out cold; limiting myself to two glasses. So far I’ve had only one today – hence the “lot bit cranky.”

Snapped some photos of some things to list on eBay.

301. Notes to Self

Why Starting Over Again is Good – a helpful post from Steve Kamb at NerdFitness.com

List from last year’s summer break:

  • Words written to publish as eBooks on Kindle: 0
  • Ukulele practice sessions: 1 (~30 minutes)
  • Ocean swims: 0
  • Jogging or running (3k or more): ~4
  • Hikes up Koko Crater: 0
  • Hikes to Ka’ena Point: 0
  • Bike rides: 0
  • Kayak paddling: 0
  • Sit-ups: 0
  • Push-ups: 0
  • Pull-ups: 0
  • Boxes of clutter discarded: ~1
  • Postcards mailed: 19
  • “World’s Largest Ball(s) of Twine” visited: 2 (Darwin, MN and Cawker City, KS)

Let’s see what I can accomplish from this list by the end of the next sixty-five days.

98. I Wanna Rock! + Farm Toys!

Steve Roy of the singledadfitdad.com web site recently posted this cool YouTube video about working out using big rocks:

I got tired just watching this!

Other posts about the benefits of working out with rocks and logs and stuff:





On an unrelated note: apparently $250 was too low a “Buy-It-Now” price for these circa mid-1960s Marx farm set animals and accessories:

The set sold within two hours of being listed, to a buyer in Michigan who was apparently checking eBay at 4 o’clock in the morning!