A View of the World
31 May 2007
  Day 4: The Sun Comes Out
Overcast day that turned into much needed rain in the afternoon. I spent time in the early morning in the yard, primarily watering plants and the lawn. It started to rain while the sprinkler was on (I like to think I was priming the atmosphere ;-). I really enjoy being out in the rain - it's refreshing/rejeuvenating/renewing. Maybe that's why baptisms use water...

Went bike riding around the neighborhood for about a half an hour. First time on the bike this year - I think. Not a lot of people out at the time, I think it was too close to dinnertime. Got home and sat on the porch and read educational periodicals: Education Next and EdWeek.

Total time outside: 2 hours

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30 May 2007
  Day 3: Night is still part of the day

Well, I almost didn't make it. The light was fading faster than my resolve, but I got outside - officially. Even though I drove to Woodstock and back with the windows down on a lovely May evening, it didn't count. So when I got home, I got outside. It had been quite sometime since I did any night photography, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Some things in life aren't that easy to pick up after several years. Biking - easy. Snow skiing - easy. Running an 8-minute mile - not so easy. Looking through a viewfinder with bi-focals at night - almost impossible. So I have a new challenge to accompany my 98 days of summer - improving my night photography skills.

Total time outdoors: 30 minutes.

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29 May 2007
  Day 2: Lunch is a good start

This 98 days of being outdoors in the summer is going to be a challenge. I realized that I don't leave the house for 2-3 days some weeks. Working out of a home office is a wonderful thing. not having to commute every-single-day is something I don't miss. The wonders of technology like iChat, AIM, Twitter, and Conference Calls Unlimited make staying in touch with co-workers, clients and vendors a breeze! But it can also be a form of velvet handcuffs. So, it's time to schedule "outside" time into the BlackBerry/Entourage calendar.

Today was lunch in the backyard. A simple affair, with our cat as company. Reading the paper, enjoying a sandwich and listening to the birds chirp away at the feeders. Ginger, our cat, loves pretending she is a wild animal; watching her crouch behind shurbery while her prey is safely away by at least 25 feet is a hoot! The birds flit to the closest tree and chirp their annoyance when she moves about the yard, but they fly back and continue their freeloading once she has her back turned. An enjoyable 30 minutes in my backyard!

I also managed to squeeze in an hour at a local watering hole that has an outdoor seating area. A couple of friends joined me after a meeting, and we enjoyed reminicing about recent events in our community. Fresh air, cold beer and a warm spring evening can make anything you talk about that much more enjoyable.

Total for the day: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

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28 May 2007
  98 Days of Summer

The summer 'season' is typically defined as those days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This year there are 98 days that are included in that time period. This time period also coincides with that wonderful period known by schoolchildren as "Summer Vacation." It's a time when the air is warm, the days are long, and having fun is one of the key objectives. After a winter of being cooped up inside, and a spring that is typically schizophrenic (often within the same 24 hour period), embracing a warm summer day is something to be treasured.

So this summer, I am going to commit to being outside part of every day. Being outside will be defined as a deliberate action aimed at outdoor living. Going to get the paper, driving from an indoor environment to another indoor environment, and other 'transitional' outdoor activities don't count. Gardening, biking, sitting on the porch/patio, going for a drive with the windows down for no other purpose than driving (even at $4/gal) all count. Length of time isn't critical - but I'll set a 15 minute minimum (need something for rainy days!) I will record each day's outdoor activity and post to my Flickr account. Comments (and encouragement) are welcome.

Today's activity is that age-old tradition in Northern Illinois - yard work! While this has been an on-going effort since early May, getting out in the garden on Memorial Day is a perennial tradition in Northern IL. Today was dedicated to my favorite ground cover: Mushroom Compost.

Total time outside: 5 hours.

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Insights from Randy Lawrence, aka randelaw

Location: Illinois, United States
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