Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite

Monday, November 2, 2015

When Data Reveals Truth Like A Slap In The Face

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Sometimes I need a good hard slap in the face to see the truth. 

My Apple Health Data revealed how truly miserable of a situation I was in and it may have even saved my life.

My health plummeted in August

This may be the shortest blog post I've ever written! 
When having to discuss certain real-life situations I've been dealing as of late, I keep it really short and simple - I show my Health app dashboard. I don't have to say another word. 

You can pretty much pin-point where the balance in my life started to spiral downward based on my activity level, you can see exactly when it hit bottom, and exactly when it started to get better. I was pretty much stagnant from late May - early June through the end of August, probably no surprise that my body started to deteriorate at that time. And since late September, I've been doing much better.

When I look at this picture, I am so grateful for the events that transpired in September and look forward to getting my health, and my life, back on track! I'm in physical therapy and I've been making an effort to exercise. For the first time in a long time I can see the horizon again - and not just a computer monitor.

I know (or I hope) I will never make the same choices I made in the past. 


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Google Knows I'm Annoying

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Google photos edit my annoyingly long videos until tolerable 

My desert hike cut down to a digestible recap (at the end of this post)

Leyla at La Pause Morocco

Me on my hike in Morocco 

On our last day at the desert eco-lodge, I went for a long walk by myself in the desert (I may, or may not have already told you this in an earlier post about Morocco). While on this extended walk which some may call a "hike", I video taped myself talking and took a few selfies - I realize how odd that sounds in retrospect. 

La Pause Dining Area

I continued to walk around and record the grounds at La Pause with my dumb cell phone, like I was in the field covering a war, or something. I believed my task to be real and important (apparently). 

La Pause landscape

I captured about thirty minutes of terribly annoying footage - photos and video, very much like the ones above. I imagined I would edit and cut the video and images down to about 1:30 of pure entertainment. But I suck at editing video, in fact, I hate it. I knew I'd never I really edit anything.  

Google must've known that I would never take the time to stitch 30 mins videos and photos together and then edit them back down to a minute or more. I think Google read my subconscious mind and made me this edited version of my video. If you're unfamiliar, Google makes auto-generated videos, stylized images and more. They once called it "auto-awesome" but they've since dropped that word. In any case, here is the video: 


Read other Morocco posts here

Monday, October 5, 2015

That One Time I Joined a Motorcycle Gang

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Motorcycle Gang is a bit of an exaggeration. 

Maybe I joined a part-time ATV Gang in the desert - or no gang at all - but it was still pretty badass to ride four-wheelers in the desert with nothing but dust and goats for miles.

grey jumpsuit pose
Modeling my action figure after this pose
"Mona Lisa on a motorcycle gang"

La Pause resort in Agafay 
Having no wifi killed the possibility of posting anything substantial during the trip but I'm picking up where I left off -- at La Pause in the stone desert. On our third day in Morocco we had an awesome time riding ATVs for several hours.

Before our trip, Traci had asked whether or not I wanted to ride "quad bikes" at La Pause, she also asked me several times throughout the trip and I said, "no" because it was never fully explained to me. In my mind's eye I saw a bicycle with four wheels, more like the first photo below, but "quad bike" turned out to be what we know as an "ATV" (all terrain vehicle).  

If someone says "QUAD BIKE" - this is what comes to mind
Why would I do this? I wouldn't

Quad Bikes at La Pause
Quad Bikes - aka ATVs - lined up outside La Pause
Waiting for us to ride them into the sun

When we pulled up to La Pause the "quad bikes" were lined up outside, the first thing I saw when we arrived, and I shouted, "I'm doing that!" How was I to know that was what was meant by quad bike!? 

We signed up for a 2.5 hour ride for the following morning, which had to be pushed back to a late afternoon quad bike tour. Someone wasn't feeling too great in the morning due to her reverie from the night before. You can't chase "the techno" all night, wake up in the morning and go off-roading, well I can, but you in general cannot! 

Mustafa helps Traci with her goggles 
Over her helmut and giant sunglasses

Just admit it! 
We look pretty tough, like Charlie's Angels

Once we got the hang of it
Mustafa and his little buddy rode beside us for a while, keeping us trapped safely on the road, ensuring we didn't drive off the side of a sand hill. Once we got the hang of it, the little buddy left us with Mustafa who guided us at a slightly accelerated speed. As the afternoon went on, and Mustafa felt he could trust us not to die, we moved a bit faster and over some more hilly terrain. 

We spent the entire afternoon driving through sunny little villages, looking at donkeys, sheep herders and what we think were abandoned buildings. A beautiful backdrop for a tranquil afternoon with nothing to do but enjoy. 

donkey in agafay
Our good friend the donkey
Things we saw on our ride through the desert

Quad bike rides at La Pause
Eat my dust!
Being in the back, I ate a lot of Traci's dust

Quad Bike Ride
Sheep herders make way for us
This was the only group of sheep (or goats) we saw on our ride

Leyla and Traci on ATVs
Looking refreshed at the end of the ride
It's a 110 degrees out there but it only feels like 100 on the bikes

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