Balm By Buck

Balm By Buck
Style your hair and moisturize your skin with natural products, not chemicals. Click the image to get to my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Busy few weeks. Built a shed & back to school routine

Super excited for Summer to be back in school.  I know the virtual learning is a challenge with COVID and we are excited for her to be able to attend smaller classes for her final year of preschool.  
We had a great summer with lots of fun and camping.  We didn't do as man excursions as planned, but made the best of the situation.  Evan got to camp out too for his first time. You may notice the wheelbarrow in the back left of the image...
I had a busy few weeks putting in a foundation and building the frame and rafters for a new shed for us.  We were limited with space for stuff and the garage was getting cramped.  My dad keeps an eye on the price of lumber and I knew it was going up so before I started anything I bought all the materials and stored them in the garage while I was building the frame. My brother had some time off and he visited to help with all the lifting and assembling.
All done!  Well... I still have a couple of small things to take care of to finalize it all, but super happy with how the shed turned out.  It will get the mower out of the garage and the kids can store their toys and balls in here as well. 
I have been enjoying time with the kids and took about 4 weeks off from running.  We have been doing other fun activities like fishing.  Summer caught her first fish! 
I did get back to running this weekend.  Summer ran alongside me too for part of the time.  I wish the kids would stay this age forever.  So fun.
 This past weekend we went back to visit the family farm.  I was walking out of the house while the grandkids and grandparents were getting a photo.  I promise.  I didn't know I was not supposed to be in the picture.  
Good Tuesday morning! We are in for another sunny day today, but the milky skies will remain because of smoke in the upper atmosphere from the western wildfires. We have a cool morning with temps dipping into the 40s and then we warm into the mid 70s. Mostly clear tonight with lows in the mid-lower 50s. The faint stars will be blocked out by the light smoke again. The smoke may impact the sky conditions, but the level of particulates in the atmosphere is low enough that it should not impact our air quality for Central Ohio. Sunshine tomorrow then more clouds later in the day and our warmest day on the 7-day with highs in the lower 80s. A cold front heading our way could trigger a spotty shower or storm, but the front looks to be dry, for the most part. So spotty rain possible Wednesday night or Thursday, but most of us will remain dry. The front will be slowly moving across the area on Thursday. High temps Thursday will be around 70 to the north and closer to 80 in Southern Ohio as the front looks to be splitting the state during the day. We all get into the cooler air by Friday with highs in the upper 60s with mostly sunny skies. Sunshine stays around for the weekend with highs in the upper 60s and morning low temps in the upper 40s. So a cool, dry, sunny weekend. The dry pattern looks to stick around through the rest of the month with the chance of rain being low for a while for Central Ohio. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Back to WFH, running to Lake Erie, & meteor shower on the way!

Good morning everyone!  Real quick... I have to apologize for not posting as often.  Blogger changed their interface for posting and when you put in more than one photo then it REALLY bogs down the browser trying to rearrange the order of the photos.  I literally spent more than an hour the past couple days trying to get it to work.  For anyone else with this issue I found if you copy and paste the photo it is a little easier than dragging.  Anyway!  I am back to working from home since the COVID numbers have gone up.  There were a couple of possible cases and work made the decision to have as many of us work from home that can do so.  I am happy to be back at home and not have to sanitize my work area.  But I do miss my coworkers. 

I have been spending a lot of time with the kids doing new things.  Summer has been trying to catch a fish, but no luck yet.  It has been so hot that we lose interest quickly.  Hoping for some cooler weather before she returns to school. Evan also gets fussy so trying to help Summer and entertain Evan at the same time is a challenge. 
I’ve always wanted to attempt something while visiting my wife’s parents: Run from their house to Lake Erie. It’s a long way and I’ve never been fully trained to do it, but thanks to quarantine I’ve been approaching my goals with a “JUST DO IT!” mentality and go for it. So I was supposed to do a 50k last weekend, but it was cancelled 40 hours before the start. So, JUST DO IT!

Started early and was treated with a great sunrise. It was about 17 miles to the lake if I did surface roads. If I wanted to do metroparks then it would be about 25 miles to the lake. I wanted to be completely self-propelled with an out and back so I stuck to the shortest route.
I did see some wildlife on the way and was treated to some non-sidewalk miles with the multi-use path for about 4 miles.
Just over 17 miles to the lake! I stopped for about 10 minutes to enjoy the view. We visit her parents so regularly but don’t get to the lake often. 

Something about a big body of water cleanses my stress. The only thing you can focus on is the water and the sky. Maybe a boat or two.

Quick shot of Cleveland from the Lakewood park.
My only other “stops” were for water at my wife’s aunt’s house a half block off the course. Didn’t stop the watch the entire run with the exception being that 10 minutes at the lake. Glad I took a couple ziplock bags because it rained a lot of the run back home.

35 miles later… I made it back to my in-law’s house. I kept the pace “comfortable” without pushing too hard in order to keep my heartrate at a reasonable level. Fun challenge and something I’ve always wanted to do.  This is the longest pavement run I have ever done.  I wore the Altra Torin Plush.  I want to try out the Paradigm next.  I was fueled almost entirely with Tailwind, berry flavor.  I did take a couple oatmeal cream pies to snack on as a treat.  Glad I got the Adventure Pack from Ultimate Direction because it allowed me to carry so much with only two water stops on the 35 miles. Oh... and no blisters thanks to my Xoskin socks.  They are pricey for socks, but SO worth the money. The hat was also nice to have when it started raining. BOCO hats are my favorite because they seem to have larger sizes than most running hats.

We drove back that evening because we had a baptism the next morning.  I was asked to be a godfather! Very odd to go to church with everyone wearing a mask.  But I did feel like it was a very safe environment with all the precautions and everyone spaced out.
I spent this weekend on the trails with my good friend, Mike.  We went to Great Seal State Park and ran 20 miles. Love being on the trails.  Way easier on the body than on the pavement. 
Good Tuesday morning! We have mostly cloudy skies this morning and we will see the clouds slowly break up some for partly cloudy skies this afternoon. There is a 30% chance of some isolated showers or storms popping up this afternoon with high temps in the upper 80s and high humidity.

Tonight the Perseid meteor shower is peaking. The best time to look is 11PM to 12:30AM when it is the darkest and before the moon rises. You will want to look to the northeast, but the meteors are possible all across the sky with 10-15 possible an hour and very dark locations could see up to 60 an hour with the fainter shooting stars more visible. Tonight is expected to be partly cloudy so check sky conditions before heading outside. Overnight low temps bottom out around 70.

A weak cold front will park to our south for the next couple days so there is only about a 20% chance of rain for us, on the north side of the front. The best chance of rain will be Southern Ohio for the spotty rain. Our humidity and temps will only slightly drop. 

That front slowly lifts north for Friday and the weekend with a 40% chance for rain for the end of the the week and weekend. Temps will be in the upper 80s and humidity will be high. A better chance for rain comes Monday with a stronger cold front. Most models are keeping us fairly dry until Monday, actually. We will be hot and humid, but we do not have a great triggering mechanism to get the rain to start popping. I am inclined to drop the chance of rain lower for the days, but let's let it play out with a less than 50% chance of rain through the weekend and adjust based on how the rain plays out. If we start getting some rain to pop today and the next couple days then the outflow from the previous day's storms may trigger more for the following day. So a low chance of rain, with high temps and humidity. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Friday, July 17, 2020

Beating the heat


Hello from in the Ohio River! A family member recently got a condo on the Ohio River so we went down last week to relax and unplug for a couple days.  It was a LOT of fun and the kids, especially Summer, loved the water.  It was a warm weekend, and the water was pretty warm as well.
Love this photo of Dawn and the kids. <3

I actually took last weekend off of running as well!  I have had some plantar fasciitis issues so wanted to let that rest some and see how I felt coming back.  I did get in some miles this week and foot is feeling ok.  I have to finish the Great Virtual Run Across Tennessee and then I plan on taking a break from running for a few weeks.  I have some projects plants around the house. 
My brother Marcus is back from Hong Kong for the summer.  He had to quarantine for a couple weeks and once he did that he was free to be out and about (whatever that is nowadays).  Anyway, he came up to visit Summer last week and they had a tea party in the backyard with a tea set he bought.  Summer LOVED it and they chatted about fun stuff kids like to chat about. 

My sister also visited for the first time since the pandemic broke.  She has been at home with my parents now that she is out of college.  Not many jobs out there hiring for fashion design right now, so she is enjoying a little break before starting her career.  The kids loved having her visit as well.   Ice cream has been a nice treat after these hot days. 
 
It has been great being at home again.  I love doing the Augmented Reality forecasts from the backyard. The gear you see is all I use when doing the forecasts from the backyard. But I wish the grass was a little greener because we NEED some rain.  Not much on the way for us this weekend. 
Hot weekend on the way! Today we will have some morning clouds and patchy fog then mostly sunny skies by the afternoon with high temps around 90. Humidity will be a little lower today, but remaining cooler. The lower humidity will allow overnight temps to dip into the upper 60s with mainly clear skies. Saturday will be mostly sunny and we warm to around 93 with humidity slowly going up. Nearly all models keeping most of Ohio dry on Saturday with a very slim chance of a few pop-up showers/storms to the south, so let's drop that chance of rain to 10%. We will be muggier and hotter on Sunday, 94, so leaving the 30% chance of rain popping up. 
An approaching cold front will park over the region early next week and help to trigger a little more rain later Monday and Tuesday. We still stay in the 90s for the first half of next week with high humidity, so we will have decent ingredients for storms to pop. We really could use the rain and the latest drought monitor has 59% of Ohio in abnormally dry conditions and 3% of the state in moderate drought conditions. Those numbers will be going up if we don't get some good rain soon. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hilltop USA 5k, July 4th, outdoor fun, & heatwave ending

We all did it!  We all did the Hilltop USA 5k!  Evan rode in the stroller, but this was the first 5k for Summer and Dawn.  They walked it and I walked the first mile with them to warm up then ran my 3.1 miles, new PR (20:14), then walked the last couple laps with them again.  We did it in Strongsville while visiting the in-laws since my mother-in-law had her birthday on the 4th.  It was exactly 8 times around their block for the 5k.  Summer was nervous the night before, but I talked with her to pump her up and let her know after the first lap then it is only 7 more and then she can keep counting down.
We had a lot of fun while up there and spent most of the weekend on the back patio.  We also went to 808 Shaved Ice.  Evan and I shared, but we all loved our cool treat. 
Sunday morning I ran 15 miles on the trails at Hinckley Reservation and it was a beautiful morning.  I have not ran since. I have been dealing with some plantar fasciitis.  I HATE not running, but I have been doing other workouts to try to stay active.  I may go out for a short run today and just take it nice and easy.  Maybe a bike ride would be smarter because that would probably be the best, but I feel it is just not enough of a workout for the same amount of time I get while the kids sleep. 
One last running thing... I did break 1,000 mile mark for the first half of the year.  I am hoping to rest up and then start tackling the second half of the year. It would be pretty cool to run 2020 miles in 2020.  The most I have ever ran was 1152 miles in 2017.  I should easily be able to surpass that this year... KNOCKS ON WOOD.
Summer has been very interested in fishing lately.  Still has not be able to catch one, but we only get a short window while Evan is taking his morning nap.  I want to go back and try some different bait with her.  We have been staying cool as best as possible and Evan loves playing in the water.  The bigger the splashes the bigger the giggles. We hit 97 yesterday for the 9th straight day in the 90s.
The pattern rolls on! Hot, muggy, with sunshine before pop-up rain. Today we will see a slightly lower chance of rain compared to Tuesday, but still a slight chance of pop-up spotty showers and storms. We look to continue our stretch of highs in the 90s for a 10th straight day today with 95 expected. 90s expected Thursday and Friday as well. Humidity will also make it feel 95-100 for the next few days. Our chance of rain will be spotty again Thursday then a better chance for more showers and storms Friday into early Saturday as a cold front moves through. Most of the rain Saturday will be early then we dry out with highs in the mid-upper 80s for Saturday and Sunday. Sunday looks dry most of the day then more isolated rain possible later in the day with a weak disturbance. 90s look to be back by the middle of next week. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Monday, June 29, 2020

Run Streak Day 100, fishing, zoo visit, & HOT weather on the way.

Well... I did it.  I have done a run streak before, but I topped it.  A run streak involves running at least 1 mile every single day.  The longest streak before yesterday was 71 days a couple winters ago.  I like to do them when times are tough and motivation is low for running.  Winter is a good time because there is no decision on whether I would run that day.  The decision is made, so get out there and run.  On March 20th this year my motivation was low because my upcoming 50k (31 mile) race was cancelled 18 hours before the start because of COVID-19.  So I decided to start a running streak.  I was not sure how long it was going to last, but I told myself as long as the stay at home order was in effect. 

Most of the miles were solo in my neighborhood with about 150 of them with the kids in the stroller.  I did a few runs with a couple friends as well, like Mike, Carl, and Gary.  I am ending it at 100 though.  My feet could use a bit of a break and time off. During the streak I racked up 680 miles including one 100k day, two 50k runs, and a few full marathons.  

One of those runs was on day 99 with Gary.  He was attempting his first 100 mile run and I joined him as a pacer for the first 26 mile of the day.  I LOVE early morning runs because it gets me home earlier with the kids, so when he asked me if I wanted to start at 5AM I signed up! Anyway... I am wrapping things up with the non-stop running.  I want to do some more summer fun stuff with the kids... 

Like Thursday... I took Summer fishing.  She had been practicing casting lately and she was getting very good at it.  The fish were biting so fast that she was not able to get the line set before the bait was already gone.  I did catch a bluegill to show her how to do it, but we are going to go out again soon so she can catch her first fish. 

We then went on a bike ride and run together.  She rode her bike 1.5 miles!  She was still on training wheels, but said she was ready to take them off.  
We took them off the next day and still not there quite yet, but working on it learning to ride with no training wheels.  Instead the kids enjoyed playing on Evan's push car.
 
Not for long because we went to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Friday.  We got a 10AM entrance time and the zoo trip went very well.  Most of the zoo was very open and not congested, but a few areas were a little snug, like the gorillas and lions.  We kept our distance and had a great trip.

Summer loved getting photos of the animals. We really miss going to the zoo on a regular basis.
Get ready for a hot, humid week ahead with generally dry weather. Today we have a stationary front right across Central Ohio and that front is slowly going to shift to the south and west. So we have had a few spotty showers along that front this morning and the rain is moving to the south. The front will park from Indianapolis down to Cincinnati and across Kentucky for the coming days. Some rain will fire up near that front and to the south of it. So any rain for Ohio will mainly be to the south and west for the coming day and leaving Central Ohio generally dry. It will also allow for more sun for Central Ohio with some afternoon clouds as we warm up into the upper 80s for the start of the week and then lower 90s for later this week. Same goes for the upcoming holiday weekend with the heat and humidity remaining and we may see a few spotty showers or storms develop, but generally staying dry next weekend as well with no major player to trigger any widespread rain. You will likely need to water the plants unless you are lucky enough to get some rain this week. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

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