8th month of the pandemic and I’m reaching my limits – 138.9 miles biking and running in October

Even with music, I think all this biking is wearing me down. It’s been a lot of miles on the road for me this year. The weather wasn’t all that great either, and if it was cool, I was at the point that I wasn’t too motivated to go. The gym opened up, so I slowly returned to running indoors again.

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We replaced the main exterior lights

There was a lot of old brass in our house. I don’t know if it was a homeowner choice, or it was default option by the builder. I’ve seen the same fixtures not only in our neighborhood, but in a surprising number of House Hunters episodes. I think it’s what was in style back then. Not even good brass – cheap brass.

Bugs the hell out of me.

As we’ve been replacing them on the interior, we still had two pairs illuminating both the driveway and front door. We found these large modern black lights that could accommodate 150W LED bulb. Ordered the light fixtures and bulbs separately. I wasn’t sure about what size of light fixtures, but I measured the doors, and large fixtures would work.

Of course, the new light fixtures wouldn’t fit on the existing wall mount blocks so I had to go out to find some during a pandemic. I hired a friend/handyman to help me cut the new mounting blocks to fit on the old blocks, then we installed all four lights in one afternoon.

We did have trouble with one light so I called and electrician to come help fix a wiring issue and we were good to go. I went with 150W warm white LED bulbs, which may be a little too bright. I may need to tone down the wattage by the front door, since those fixtures are close together, and we’re receiving complaints from NASA.

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7th month of the pandemic and I’m getting tired – 389.5 miles biking in September

Geez, seven months of lockdown, and no gym. I think my biking goals are driven by wanting to hit milestones, and a need to get out of the house. Work was very busy for me this month, so it was harder to get out after 5 PM. It’s also started to get darker sooner. I did what I could. Still, if I had planned it out better, I would have gotten that last 10.5 miles in during the last week. 400 miles is such a nice number.

Of note, on Sat Dec 12, I went riding with a friend on a 56.25 mile ride from my hometown all the way to Millstone NJ outside of New Brunswick. I was very sore at the end of that ride, but it was a good effort. I haven’t done a 50+ mile ride in a long time.


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Happy 17th wedding anniversary to us!

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Our new Family Room sectional has arrived!

It’s been six years, but our Living Room furniture set has to go. Now that we’ve been redecorating, the entire interior color scheme has changed. The furniture was also beginning to show wear and tear. That cats using the chair as a scratching post also didn’t help.

In early August, we visited the Macy’s Furniture Gallery in Springfield NJ, and after much perusing, found a sectional that we really liked. It’s taken a month, but we received it the first week of Sept. So far, we’re digging it.We’ll try to find a home for the old furniture, but I don’t know if anyone wants old furniture during a pandemic. We will also be replacing our Family Room coffee and end tables in the coming months.

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6th month of the pandemic and I’m looking for new thrills – 355 miles biking / running / walking in August

It’s the dog days of summer, and Sept will be here soon. I haven’t been able to hit the 400 mile mark since June. I think averaging 350+ miles these past few months is rather impressive. As promised, I even got a little bit of outdoor running, although I disliked it.

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Our Wildwood & Cape May 2020 Summer Vacation

Like everyone else in the world, we very much wanted a vacation (ANY VACATION) this summer. With school starting after Labor Day (and potentially in-person), we couldn’t take a chance traveling somewhere far requiring a 14 day quarantine. That limited us to…. New JERSEY! Neither of us have done a weeklong Jersey Shore vacation. We’ve stayed out in Wildwood twice now for the weekends only, and a weeklong stay in the Wildwood & Cape May area would be perfect.

Nums found an AirBnB condo that we could rent for the week, close to the beach and other attractions in Wildwood. We would be checking in on a Monday, and staying until Friday. We had some ideas of what we wanted to do that week — whale / dolphin watching, parasailing — and perhaps likely seeing friends and family. For the most part, we’d be relaxing. I was also bringing my bike so I could ride 1-2 times while out there.

We left relatively on time. On the way there, we stopped for lunch in a Wawa parking lot. We got to Wildwood without much trouble. The condo was really nice, and the kids were happy to have their own rooms. Everyone wanted to relax after arriving, but I was interested in getting some riding in before dinner. I went on a quick early evening ride to Cape May. Nothing fancy — I wanted to get the lay of the land.

After I got back home and freshened up, we went to dinner (outdoor dining) at 410 Bank Street in Cape May. It’s a very nice French restaurant that we’ve been to once years ago. Now, it was harder to find parking, as all the open restaurants have used their parking lots for outdoor dining. As always, good food.

On Tuesday, we spent the day down the street at the beach. It was an okay day, because the wind blew sand on us all day. It was… annoying. We eventually called it a day and went home. We scheduled two Hello Fresh deliveries for Tuesday. We enjoyed a nice Korean meal, and watched a few episodes of the hilarious The Goes Wrong Show.

On Wednesday, we went on our whale watching / dolphin cruise on Cape May Whale Watcher in Cape May. I doubted we’d be so lucky to see whales, but I was hopeful we could see dolphins. The cruise was 3 hours out to the ocean and back. We wanted to do one of these many years ago, but it didn’t work out. It was nice to get out on the ocean.

After the cruise, we drove over to see Nums’ friend Barb and her family, who were vacationing in Cape May this week.

Wednesday evening, my sister and her family arrived. They would be staying with us one night, and we would hit the Cape May beaches on Thursday together. The kids hung out Wednesday night, and the adults had a good time on the balcony.

Thursday morning, I was up early for a ride to the Cape May lighthouse. The ride went well, and I got to check this 26 mile ride off my list.

The Cape May beach experience turned out much better than our Wildwood experience on Tuesday. Less wind, less sand blowing on us. The beach was a little rockier, but you can’t win them all. In the evening, we made another Hello Fresh dinner, got some ice cream from a nearby ice cream shop, and then the Josephs went home.

On Friday morning, we packed up and cleaned up. We had to check out and get to Wildwood Crest for our 11 AM parasailing reservation. We rushed down there, and made it just in time to check in and catch our boat. It was an interesting experience — surreal and quiet when you’re up there in the air.


Once we got back to land, we grabbed lunch at a cafe, then went bike riding around the area. We rented a tandem bike for Nums and I, and the kids rode their own bikes with us.

That’s it! That was our Jersey Shore summer vacation. It wasn’t Cancun. It wasn’t some wildly expensive vacation needing passports. We all hung out together for a week, got to relax, and enjoyed some new experiences. We even got to spend some quality time with friends and family. Win win.

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Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man.

I’ve been ridding about 100 miles a week now, and my existing gear has been showing wear and tear. I looked back at old posts, and wow, was I surprised. I bought this stuff 9 years ago! My Bell Solar helmet and Specialized road shoes are from April 2011. My pedals are pretty old too (from 2011 as well), but I’ve changed out the cleats a few times as they’ve worn out.

I was way overdue for replacement gear, and with all the riding, upgrades are justified (in my mind.) I had a few items in mind that needed replacing:

  • A new Specialized S-Works Prevail II in white, featuring an integrated ANGi crash sensor (haven’t set this up yet) and MIPS protection.
  • A new pair of Tifosi Amok sunglasses in white, with additional colored lenses (I usually use the smoke or clear lenses, depending on the weather forecast.)
  • A new pair of Specialized Body Geometry Dual-Gel Gloves in black.
  • A new pair of Specialized S-Works Vent road shoes in white. This is the most significant upgrade, as these are double what I’ve spent in the past on shoes, but they feature Boa dials, and a carbon outsole. They’re also heavily vented. They’re professional shoes!
  • I needed some arch support, so I hit up Firehouse Cycles in nearby Yardley PA to pick up some Specialized Body Geometry SL Footbeds with medium arch support. They’re interesting.

  • While I was at Firehouse Cycles, I thought about all my evening rides where I wasn’t very visible to road traffic coming towards me from both sides. I decided to pick up these Light and Motion Vya Commuter Combo cycling lights. To charge them, you plug in the units into any USB-A charging port. Once charged, plug them into the bike mount. I have one up front on the handlebars, and one under my saddle. Pretty slick.
  • Lastly, while I’ve enjoyed my Rokform bike mount and phone case, it wasn’t doing it for me anymore. The phone case had split on one side, and I’ve often hit the bike mount with my knees on occasion. Once, I actually knocked my phone OFF THE BIKE MOUNT while peddling. This time around, I went with Quadlock. I bought a new phone case, a centered out-in-front bike mount, and also an arm band for when I go running/walking.

I’ve upgraded myself!

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It was a long-time coming, but we have our very own chandelier from the planet Krypton

Since the big February interior renovation project to replace all the legacy brass lights with recessed lights (and painting), we’ve been waiting to complete the last piece of the puzzle — the foyer chandelier.

The chandelier itself is builder-grade, and must have come with the house back in 1998. I know, because I’ve seen it not only in our neighborhood, but also on at least one episode of House Hunters! We wanted to change out all of the brass fixtures at the same in February, but we didn’t have one selected, and we didn’t have the budget for it either.

It’s been six months, but we found what we were looking for, and it took an additional few more weeks to receive the chandelier, and have the electricians come back to install it for us. I like it, because it’s black and crystal, and it reminds me of the Kryptonian ship that brought infant Kal-El to Earth in the 1978 Richard Donner film Superman.

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5th month of the pandemic and I’m still the king of the mountain – 342.2 miles biking and walking in July

Another big month for biking and walking. I haven’t incorporated running outside yet, because… I don’t enjoy running outside. Maybe next month.

I did experience one bad week due to workload and crappy weather keeping me busy or away from getting out.

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