Running Ronin

When you can't workout for 10 days...

... you feel like crap. True Story.

The only good news is that I finally woke up with no pain in my back. If this situation endures for the rest of the day... and tomorrow, then on Tuesday I'll go running.

In the meantime, someone I need to thank gave me an AWESOME gift. 3 Months worth of Nicoderm patches!!! This is definitely going to help me with my cigarettes!

BTW, I really can't wait to start running again, cause I'm in the middle of listening to Starclimber, and need to get to Mockingjay as soon as possible.

These are both the last books in two great trilogies.

Starclimber started with Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel, and talks about a steampunk version of the world where everybody flies around in big Zeppelins, exploring the skies:

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy aboard the luxury passenger airship Aurora when the ship encounters a battered hot air balloon with an unconscious man aboard. Before dying, the man claims to have seen beautiful creatures swarming in the air over an uncharted island. Not until a year later, when Matt meets the man's granddaughter, Kate de Vries, who boards the Aurora, does he learn that the man wasn't hallucinating. Pirates board, rob, and kill, and a fierce storm grounds the Aurora on the very island that Kate's grandfather spoke about--which proves to be the pirates' secret hideaway. Though readers will need to suspend disbelief of the mysterious flying creatures, which Matt and Kate call "cloud cats," details of life and work aboard the ship as well as the dramatic escapade itself make this a captivating read.

Mockingjay is the last book in the series that started with The Hunger Games. IF you have not read The Hunger Games, here is your to-do list:

1) Exit house
2) Go to bookstore
3) Grab "The Hunger Games"
4) Sit on the ground where you found the book
5) Start reading.

In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old KatnissÆs young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining districtÆs female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. CollinsÆs characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like ôSurvivorö and ôAmerican Gladiator.ö Book one of a planned trilogy.

Above is a photo I took of a piano man in front of the Cologne Cathedral.