Showing posts from August, 2020

So, Are Neck Gaiters Good or Not?

I waited a few weeks to weigh in on the latest face cover controversy: whether or not to toss the neck gaiters that runners and hikers favor when encountering others on roads, sidewalks or trails. It’s convenient and allows someone to continue exercising at their current pace and capacity without exposing their exhales to those nearby. Or, so we all thought. A  widely publicized study by some Duke University researchers  cast doubt on neck gaiters’ efficiency in preventing aspirants from contaminating someone else’s space. Certain masks and bandanas are at risk too.   I read the article, and  those that followed , and then waited for the social media buildup and inevitable takedown. Anyone familiar with studies knows the one at Duke did not meet scientific standards—even the people performing the “tests” admitted as much. Their point, and those that publicized it, was to get people to reconsider their protective gear. I definitely have seen a drop in use since the study came out.   No

Safari Park's Roar and Snore: Glamping at its Best

  I finally got to fulfill a planned adventure for 2020, even if it came four months late. Last weekend my sister, her son and I participated in the  San Diego Zoo’s Roar and Snore , an overnight camp in which you experience one of the area’s most popular attractions up close with other families or couples.  Our trip originally was scheduled over Memorial Day weekend, when my nephew turned 12, but that pesky virus shut down everything. Things still aren’t what they were, no matter where you go in San Diego, but the zoo brought back this popular program for the summer and, hopefully, well into the fall and following year.   Getting there : Safari Park (previously known as the Wild Animal Park) is located deep in Escondido. There’s a well-marked exit off the 15 freeway in North County and signs along the roughly five-mile drive to the park on San Pasqual Valley Road.   Parking : It’s $15 for most vehicles, and it costs everyone unless you have a top-tier membership. There is plenty of pa

The 1990s in Retrospect

My current favorite song is  The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights . I liked it the first time I heard it, and I’ve heard it a lot since then. In the car. In the house. In the grocery store. One of my daughters theorized I probably like it because it sounds like a song from the 80s.    No doubt the 1980s music canon has proven to be far more enduring than the decades that have followed. Don’t believe me, then  read this . But, for me at least, the 1990s have shown with time to be my best decade in many other ways.    I hit all of the big adult milestones in the 1980s. I graduated from high school and college, married, had children and launched a long-term career, all before I turned 30. Those were definitely productive years, but I wasn’t at my best. I worked to put myself through  college , which led me to move through those four years with omnipresent financial insecurity and full course loads right through my last trimester. Only one friend from college—a roommate—remains on my Christmas car

New Adventures in Suburban Running

  This morning I was moving along while listening to  this podcast  when I saw a coyote standing in the road about 200 feet from me. I slowed, expecting the feral creature to continue on his or her way. It didn’t. I slowed even more and debated what to do. Then a car slowly came up from behind me, stopped as the coyote passed, waited until I was beyond both the car and the coyote and drove off with a wave. A nice neighbor, to be sure.     I was able to pay it forward just minutes later when a woman and her golden retriever, whom I’ve seen on my daily walks and runs since this spring, was coming up the road.  I warned her about the coyote hiding out in hillside brush. Just a couple of weeks prior, another runner did the same for me while I was walking my dog. Both me then and this woman now were grateful to avoid a chase that would end badly for someone.    One thing I don’t see on runs: strays. A cat or dog that breaks out of its domestic barrier is doomed, thanks to packs of coyote an