Thursday, October 16, 2003

The Cubs broke my heart in Game Six, so I had no more negative emotion left when they lost the NLCS to the Marlins last night. The hopes of Cubdom rested on the arm of Kerry Wood, who, like he did so often this season and in his last post-season start, proved to be fallible. Too many hittable pitches on 0-2 counts.

I played pool at LT's during the debacle and managed to win my last three games in a row, finding my vision on the table, inspired somewhat by frustration over the Cubs' fortunes.

Gotta hand it to the Marlins. They are a young, scrappy team with a lot of heart. And manager Jack McKeon did a hell of a lot better than Dusty Baker. Baker's gift is creating good clubhouse chemistry by respecting his players. This gift worked against him when he left Wood in too long last night and refused to bring starters like Clement and Zambrano out of the bullpen. The ill-fated fan-interfered/Alex-Gonzalez-error 8th inning of Game Six was the dagger in the heart. The Curse reared its ugly head once again. Wait 'til next year.

Tonight I'll be rooting on the matchup of the century: Martinez vs. Clemens II. This one oughtta be a real barn-burner. Go Sox!

My arms are sore from working out Tuesday and Wednesday. I also mowed a big lawn yesterday, which is always tough on the arms. Two more lawns today. I'll call all my customers next week and see if they need any last mowing jobs done. Grass is dying. Leaves yellow, red, brown and fall. Tis the season.

This weekend we're going up north to Lincoln County, WI, to work on the Ice Age Trail. It is the last weekend of the year for the Mobile Skills Crew, and the last work weekend Esther and I will participate in for a long time. Next year we'll be hiking in lieu of building trail. I've spent a lot of time at trailjournals.com lately living the vicarious life. There is a life to be lived here, now, but the future beckons.

I haven't bought groceries in almost three weeks, and we're slowly running out of food. There's a lot of canned goods and pantry items, like certain canned soups, canned fruits, pop tarts, hiker meals, etc., rejected fare that I will never buy again, that needs to be eaten. It's a fun challenge to make do with such limited stores. I put together an awesome potato soup the other day, using the last of the carrots and celery, cans of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cream cheese, spices... Yum. It turned out delish. I also made a veggie chili. Last night I cooked the last of the chicken wings and a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts. We're drinking powdered milk.

I've figured out how to eat well, which is good, considering my age. I know I have the physical disposition to get a fat ass and big gut, what I call the "Smith curse" because a lot of the relatives on my Mom's side of the family are similarly proportioned. The key to good eating is not contained in fads like the South Beach or Atkins diets. It's really quite simple. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, white meat, fish, red meat sparingly, olive oil, drink lots of water. Processed food bad, organic good. Except for Wednesdays, when I drink four or five $1 drafts of Miller Lite, I don't have more than three drinks at any one time.

Since the beginning of summer I've been living pretty healthy. There's always room for improvement, but I also recognize I'm a helluva lot better than I used to be.

Which reminds me, 10 days from now it will be five years since I quit smoking. Interesting that I quit smoking less than two months after my first backpacking trip...

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