Happy Holidays 2011

These notes record the events of the period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve. Our Christmas card this year reflects some highlights of the past 12 months and our insert details more of them. A photo montage of the year in review gives a good overview.


We had a very low key Thanksgiving this year after having a whirlwind of events in November. I discovered that the back wheel of my tri-bike was badly bent, so I had to do an hour's bike ride on the geezer bike. After lunch we walked to the beach via Starbucks. It was a gorgeous day. We stayed until sunset (also see this video) and then stopped at Rossopomodoro Restaurante for dinner on the walk back home. I very much enjoyed a cheeseless pizza and Cathy loved her seafood risotto, which I helped her finish. I viewed "Sanctum" and found it to be beautiful, but a bit dumb (no blonde jokes here).

Friday, November 25

I bought online access to "Yoga for Athletes", a video by Sage Rountree of Carrboro, NC and used it for my yoga workout today. Cathy went to her exercise class. I also did a partial arms and abs workout while I worked on an improved version of our Cuba trip video. I talked to my LVCC student Primo by phone and set up a tentative schedule of Mondays and Thursdays for our English tutoring sessions for this season. After lunch I dropped the bike at Naples Cyclery, stopped at the health food store for Yerba Mate, and got a soy chai latte at Starbucks. We went to the bridge for happy hour. During and after dinner we viewed "The Motorcycle Diaries" to try to learn more about Che Guevara, a key figure in the Cuban revolution.

Saturday, November 26

I got up around 5:15 AM and drank yerba mate with breakfast to get ready for a long run. Cathy got out for a walk while I was running. After a shower and lunch, when we watched "Chevolution", we drove to Walmart to buy a Christmas present. We stopped at Starbucks/Publix on the way home. Then I drove to Naples Cyclery to pick up my bicycle. I talked with them about wheelsets and was shocked by the prices. We went to the bridge for Happy Hour. During dinner we watched half of the first part of "Che", a miniseries. We're trying to understand more about the Cuban Revolution.

Sunday, November 27

I slept-in a bit and took my time getting the day started. After breakfast, I tore into my report on the Havana Marathon weekend and I continued to work on it off and on during the day and evening until it was done. After lunch, we walked downtown and to an art show via Starbucks. We stopped at Oakes Farm Market on our way back for some items. When we got back, I continued to work on the report and then took a shower before dinner. After dinner, I wrapped up the report and notified several people.

Monday, November 28

I slept-in again until 6:30 AM. Cathy went to her exercise class while I did some Sun Salutations. I went for a two mile walk and then went out for a six mile run. Afterward, Cathy and I worked on looking for online items for Cyber Monday. After lunch we did a shopping trip to Target, Waterside Shops, and Barnes and Noble. When we got home, a weather front came through and dumped a lot of rain. We went to Bonefish Grill for dinner and sat outside with a heater.

Tuesday, November 29

I took my time getting up and ready for my 30 minute bike ride. I worked on the report for our cruise and discovered how amazingly the "one-step enhancement" in Paint Shop Pro works on underwater photos. During late afternoon, Cathy called me over to help our friend Marty with her email program. We went to Happy Hour at the bridge. During and after dinner, we viewed "Big Bang" - a wierd, but well-done film noir.

Wednesday, November 30

I got up early in anticipation of my running interval workout for today. The temperature was in the mid-50s when I went for my 2 mile warm-up walk. At 8:00 AM, I started the intervals workout. In spite of falling down, it was a good set of intervals. When Cathy got back from her exercise class, I was working on the cruise report. I also set emails to several Florida officials and a letter to the editor of the Naples Daily News about Cuba travel. After lunch, I paid the bills. Then we went to Starbucks/Publix. When we returned home, I continued to work on the cruise report. We went to Happy Hour. During and after dinner, we viewed "Swat: Firefight" - weak plot, but fun to watch.

Thursday, December 1

It was 50 degrees when I woke up, so I decided to wait until afternoon for my scheduled kayak ride. I spent the morning finishing my report for our recent cruise. After lunch I went to Home Depot for a couple of items and hit Starbucks for a soy chai latte. I got hooked on the movie "Water for Elephants" and watched it all before heading out on my kayak paddle. After a shower, I did an arms and abs workout. We went to dinner at DeJulio's with Bud and Marty Gross, who treated us in thanks for our computer help.

Friday, December 2

It was another cool morning, so I put off my bike ride until after lunch. Cathy went to her exercise class. When she returned, we drove to Coastland Mall to buy some K-cups, including a filter basket to use with tea bags. We stopped at Office Max to print our Christmas Card inserts and then gassed up the XTerra. After lunch I headed out on the bike. We had an early dinner and went to the clubhouse to help decorate for Christmas activities.

Saturday, December 3

I was up early to get ready for my 14 mile run. It took me a while to get all of my gear organized before I set out on the two mile walk and run. Meanwhile, Cathy joined a group of Rock Creekers to clean Rollie and Juanita's unit in anticipation of their arrival. I worked on a new version of the Team McArthur shirt and then watched some football. After dinner, we started watching the ACC Championship Game and continued until halftime. I had trouble getting to sleep and read on the iPhone for quite a while. On a natural break around 3:00 AM, I saw the sad results of the game.

Sunday, December 4

I slept-in a bit since I had trouble getting to sleep the past night. Cathy and I did a yoga practice using "Yoga for Athletes" by Sage Rountree of Carrboro, NC (where Katie and Tom live). Then I walked with Cathy for 2 miles and continued for a 2 mile recovery run (while Cathy continued for a 7 mile walk). I tried to keep my legs propped up for the next few hours to get my legs well rested. After lunch I did the NY Times crossword on the iPad. Later, I went to Starbucks for a soy chai latte. We went to the bridge for Happy Hour. I returned and watered the plants. During dinner we viewed "The Joneses" - quirky and interesting. We found out that VT was going to the Sugar Bowl to play Michigan.

Monday, December 5

Cathy went out early to set up for her exercise class. I got my gear together and headed out for my eight mile run. When I came in, Cathy was out at a Ladies Luncheon meeting. I rested my legs until lunchtime. After lunch we went to a Dollar Store to pick up some items for the Ladies Luncheon. Then we went to Starbucks/Publix. We drove to a medical complex on 7th Avenue North to pickup Bud Gross, who was at a pain clinic. Bud was locked out of his RV, so he joined us in our house for some reminiscing about New Orleans. We went to Happy Hour at the bridge. During dinner, we viewed "Faces in the Crowd", an interesting concept.

Tuesday, December 6

I was up fairly early. We both drove to the UPS store on Rattlesnake Hammock Road to return a too small desk chair for $62. When we got back, I went out for a two hour fishing paddle on Gordon River. It was sunny, warm, and calm on the water. No fish, but I enjoyed the quiet time. Cathy took a 7 mile walk. After lunch, I did an arms and abs workout and then a legs workout. Around 4:30 PM, we drove to Naples Island and parked near Kelley's Fish House. We walked to Starbucks and then meandered down 5th Avenue as people set up to watch the Christmas Parade. We had reservations for Bice Restaurante at 5:45 PM and had an excellent table on the sidewalk on the 3rd Street side. The parade (video) was over an hour long. It was a perfect night, warm and windless. We had very good meals and left as the parade ended. When we got home, we re-viewed "Due Date" - always hilarious.

Wednesday, December 7

I was kind of dreading my running intervals for today, but they worked out OK. Meanwhile, Cathy was doing her exercise class. I tried to rest my legs after the intervals. We drove over to the new LVCC building for an 11:00 AM meeting of tutors. The attendance was very sparse with only five of us there. It was a good chance for us to see the new facility and touch base with the staff. We also saw some new materials that we can possibly use. I got in touch with Primo vias text messages and arranged to meet at the Lely branch of the Collier County Library on next Tuesday. After lunch, we went to Starbucks/Publix for a few items. Instead of going to Happy Hour, we joined our neighbor Judd on his porch for some conversation. We viewed "All Good Things" - very dark and inconclusive.

Thursday, December 8

I was up early and did four crossword puzzles. The day started out very chilly, so I put off my bike ride until the afternoon. Cathy went to the store and I used that time to clean both bathrooms. We went to a memorial service and meal for former Rock Creeker Joe Barnwell. I went over to our friend Eldon's house and fixed a couple of problems with his computer. After I got home I went out on my 45 minute bike ride. I had waited so long to ride that it had become cool again. During and after dinner, we viewed the hilarious "Delhi Belly" - a Bollywood creation with great photography and score and a couple of wild production numbers.

Friday, December 9

I waited until late morning to go out in my kayak for an hour's paddle. Earlier, I helped Cathy move furniture in the rec room to make space for her exercise class.Cathy tutored during early afternoon. It rained during late afternoon.We viewed "Atlas Shrugged, Part I" - pretty much in the spirit of the novel with the setting in 2016. I loved the book back in the 50s, but realized that I didn't like Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Before heading to bed, I got my bottles ready for tomorrow's run.

Saturday, December 10

I went out for a sixteen mile run. Meanwhile, Cathy did some shopping for our dinner with neighbors scheduled for the evening. After lunch, Cathy went to the laundry room to play bridge while I rest my legs. We had our neighbors, Tom and Brenda Cox and Judd Brodie, over for dinner. We showed them our Cuba video on our TV before dinner and then served grilled swordfish kabobs with risotto and asparagus. We had a good evening of food and conversation.

Sunday, December 11

I slept-in a bit this morning. Cathy and I did a yoga practice after a slow morning startup. Cathy went out for a 8+ mile walk. I went out for a two mile walk and a four mile recovery run. When I returned and did some stretching, I noticed an old familiar pain in my left calf. (Last year's problem was my right calf.) I tried to rest my leg for the rest of the day. After lunch I worked on the NY Times Crossword puzzle until it was time to go to the bridge for Happy Hour. We went out to dinner at Sushi Thai where we enjoyed a boatful of sushi. We viewed "Even the Rain" - an interesting parallel of Columbus's exploitation of the Americas and modern day exploitation in Bolivia.

Monday, December 12

I woke up with some pain in my left calf. I decided to rest my calf and I emailed Coach Nicki to tell her about the problem. She emailed back with instructions for icing the calf and suggesting a walk in between two icings. While Cathy was teaching her exercise class, I went to Home Depot to buy a 21 gallon trash can for icing my legs. We went out for a marathon session at the post office, mailing domestic and international packages and Yule cards. We stopped at Starbucks/Publix, buying 20 lbs of ice as well as food. After lunch, I did the first icing. Then, I went to Publix to get more ice. After a 5K walk and the second icing, the calf was sore, but not in a major way. I hoped that this incident was less like my calf problem last Fall and more like my calf problem last Spring. My age group award from the Detroit Half Marathon came in the mail. I rested my legs and viewed "Pavement", an interesting crime movie. During dinner, we viewed "Crazy, Stupid, Love" - a very good chick flick.

Tuesday, December 13

I went out to buy ice. Then I did a rehab workout consisting of a bike run and a very short run, followed by icing of my lower legs. My legs felt good thoughout. After lunch I did an arm and abs workout. I had set up a meeting with Primo at the South Branch library for 4:30 PM. I arrived early and searched for a study room to use. Around 4:30 PM I found one and texted Primo that I was in that study room. He texted me back that he was in the library. A few texts later and a phone call from Primo showed that we were in different libraries. He was in the one near the LVCC. I told him that I'd meet him at LVCC and we'd go from there. It took about 15 minutes for me to get to LVCC, but I finally met with Primo there. We found an alcove with a table and stayed there until after 6:00 PM. Later, we viewed "Super 8", a very polished film with an "ET" feel.

Wednesday, December 14

I went out early to buy ice. Cathy went off to teach her exercise class while I walked for two miles and then ran for eight miles. I had a good run, pain-free, and relatively fast. Afterward, I iced down. After lunch, we went to a couple of stores for some shopping. I went to Office Max to get some printing done. Then I went to LVCC and talked with Elaine about getting a key and using LVCC to meet with Primo. She couldn't give me a key but promised to get one made for me. I stayed around and perused the citizenship series of books. I met with Primo at 4:30 PM and we headed to the nearby library branch, which had no study rooms. We set up at a table in a corner and had a good session. During and after dinner we viewed "Love, Wedding, Marraige" - a zany, but pretty good comedy.

Thursday, December 15

The tide had me waiting until afternoon for a kayak paddle. I went to the post office to mail a package and then to Starbucks/Publix for a few items. Cathy went out for a 10 mile walk. Around 11:00 AM, Kevin Sands and his son Kevin came over to check on a roof leak. They discovered that our drain spouts were clogged and they cleaned them out for us. We tried to pay them, but they refused. After lunch, I went to Publix to buy ice. Then I went out for an hour in the kayak. When I came back I did an arms and abs workout and then a legs workout. Finally, I went out front and iced down my legs. After my legs warmed up, I took a shower. We went to Carrabbas for dinner and spent part of the two gift cards that Katie had sent to us. When we came back, we viewed the very quirky, but cute, movie "Birds of America."

Friday, December 16

I was up early and out to get 20 lbs of ice at Publix. I had intervals to run and a total of eight miles. I was pleased at my pace in the intervals and with the whole workout. Cathy taught her exercise class and did a long walk later on.

Saturday, December 17

I took my time getting started. After lunch, I went to buy ice at Publix and then took a short bike ride. Afterwards, I did an arms and abs workout. We went to the bridge for Happy Hour on our way to the Christmas Party. I made brown rice with dates and walnuts for my dinner. We did some dancing, but I wanted to save my legs for a long run the next day.

Sunday, December 18

I was up early to prepare for my 18 mile run. Cathy walked for 10 miles while I was running. After I iced my legs we ate a bit of a late lunch. My early afternoon project was doing the NY Times crossword on the iPad while I rested my legs. It was a very easy Sunday puzzle. We went to the bridge for Happy Hour. During and after dinner, we viewed "The Devil's Double" - a good depiction of the violent corruption of the Saddam regime in Iraq in the 80s.

Monday, December 19

I helped Cathy move tables in the clubhouse before her exercise class. Then I drove to Publix for ice. I had to wait for Cathy to return with my yoga mat. When she did come back, I did yoga and a 2 mile walk with a 2 mile recovery run. After lunch I went to the pool and started to learn how to do freestyle with bi-lateral breathing. We went to Bonefish Grill for dinner and watched half of the new "Jane Eyre."

Tuesday, December 20

I got my ice at Publix and then went out on an hour's kayak paddle. When I got back, I did an arms and abs workout followed by a legs workout. After lunch we went to the pool where I swam some laps. I met Primo at LVCC for tutoring. I found out from Sandra that I couldn't get a key and would have to use the South Region library to meet with Primo on Wednesdays. We viewed the rest of "Jane Eyre" with dinner. It was OK, but no reason for a remake.

Wednesday, December 21

I ran intervals in the morning. It felt good to run a little faster than I had been training. I met with Primo in the afternoon at the Lely South Region library. We were heading out the next day, so we had lots of packing to do into the evening.

Thursday, December 22

We drove to Warner Robins, GA and stayed in a Fairfield Inn there. I did a mild workout.

Friday, December 23

I did a small workout before we drove to Gainsville, GA to meet with Son Bill, my brother Bob, his wife Marty, and their daughter Julia. We ate lunch at the very good 2 Dog Restaurant. We had a good reunion with lots of conversation. Afterward, we headed to Cumming to stay with Son Bill, Stacey, and family.

Christmas Eve

It was cold when Son Bill and I got up for our 20 mile run. We had a very nice rest of the day with the family.

Christmas Day

Christmas morning was filled with good cheer and lots of presents. During the late afternoon, I got out for a recovery run (or maybe better said, a recovery shuffle). We enjoyed a great dinner.

Monday, December 26

We left fairly early and drove to Katie and Tom's house in Carrboro, NC. I headed to Fleet Feet to buy a new pair of running shoes, Asics Gel Nimbus 13. I also ordered a pair of Nike Vomero +8 online. I did a bit of walking with son-in-law Tom on a trail to break in the new shoes.

Tuesday, December 27

It was 21 degrees in the early morning, so I waited until after lunch to do my run. I was still cold, but tolerable with some layers. Alex and Phil and family arrived for the family reunion at Katie's. Most members of the Bialas family joined us.

Wednesday, December 28

I did a small workout in the morning. We had a lot of fun with 5 grandkids in the house.

Thursday, December 29

It was somewhat chilly for a 10 mile run with son-in-law Phil. We brought back some lunch with us. Tom and Phl talked me into buying Apple TV online.

Friday, December 30

We left fairly early for a long day's drive to Ocala, FL. We ate dinner at our old standby Carrabbas and sat at the counter.

New Year's Eve

I went out in the late afternoon for a 5 mile run. I wore my new headlamp to help me see for the last half of the run. We were much too tired to go to the beach for the New Year's celebration. We went to bed before the ball dropped, but I awoke shortly before midnight and heard someone in the campground blow a loud horn in celebration.

It was a great year. We enter the new year of 2012 with high expectations.


William G. McArthur