This (long) weekend I walked 16.5 miles. There are three main routes I take: a 3.5 mile route through the neighborhood that I regularly walk with Pants Wilder; a 7.3 mile route up to the American Tobacco Trail, down a good length of it and then back to The Boyf’s & my place through a series of neighborhoods that includes Zinfab’s; and a 9.5 mile route where I go up to the ATT, down a length of it, then turn around and come back the same way. I did the shortest route twice and the longest once over the course of the weekend and it felt great: beautiful weather, a floppy straw hat that both fits and was bought on clearance at Target. What, me Scottish? Never. In point of fact…

I also ponied up the cash for a fancy pair of headphones because I am sick to death of the default iPhone earbuds. The originals were fine and all for occasional use but once I started wearing them for long periods I realized that whereas the left one fit great the right one couldn’t decide whether it most loved to fall out or to rub my ear bloodily raw. No thanks. I opted for earbuds I thought were crazily expensive but extremely well-reviewed: the Klipsch Image S4i.

Long story short, they stay in without issue, are very comfortable, have bud tips large enough to fit my ears and sound good enough that I can understand a podcast or the lyrics to a song without turning the volume up beyond quite modest levels. Given that my hearing is already iffy in certain circumstances, this is an excellent thing. I do not need to damage my hearing further than marching in front of the drums and years of Legends’ goth nights already did for me. They also don’t completely deafen me to the outside world. I can hear cars and bicycle bells and the clank of chains just fine so I don’t find myself shocked when a car or a dog walker or the like turn up right behind me.

The weather this weekend really was exceptionally good and the walks were incredibly restorative. I get an uncontrolled twitch in my right eyelid when I’m too tired or too stressed and that thing had been going crazy for weeks. Last weekend we consciously took it easy and that helped but this weekend seems to have made it go away. It’s nice to feel a little more in control of my health and it’s nice to spend hours in the big blue room and feel good after.