Well we made it another year. It was still a tough year for some but I feel like it wasn’t nearly as awful as 2020. 2020 still remains the year we all would like to forget. Granted, 2021 still presented it’s challenges, primarily in the form of the pandemic (still) and the cicada invasion.

To get the shot or not to get the shot was the theme. I’m not going to get into the politics of it. If you did it, I think that’s great; if you didn’t, that’s your choice and I still respect you for it. While I’m confident in my immune system to beat it, should I get it, I’m still choosing to take precautions. However, if you didn’t get it, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see you, because I do.

2021 is also the year of the 17 year cicada brood. I have never seen, or heard, anything quite like this. I cannot believe how many cicadas there were. I almost swallowed one while I was out running.

In Memoriam

As I did last year, I am not going to spend a lot of time verbosely reviewing the celebrities that passed away. While this year wasn’t nearly as awful as last year, it still had it’s challenges and tragedies.

I know this list is much longer but these folks were all meaningful people to me, in some capacity. In television and film we lost Dustin Diamond aka Screech (44 – cancer), Norm Macdonald (61 – cancer), Charlie Robinson (75 – cancer), Richard Donner (91 – undisclosed), Charles Grodin (86 – cancer), George Segal (87 – complications from surgery), Christopher Plummer (91 – undisclosed), and Cloris Leachman (94 – natural causes). In music, sports and other we lost Earl Simmons aka DMX (50 – drug overdose), Prince Phillip (99 – natural causes), Rush Limbaugh (70 – cancer), Larry King (87 – sepsis), John Madden (85 – undisclosed) and Hank Aaron (86 – undisclosed).

On the last day of the year, Betty White passed away at 99 of natural causes. She would have turned 100 on January 17th. There is a documentary about her life scheduled to premiere that day. Before she passed she had said that all her fans were invited. RIP to a legend, a national treasure and an icon.

2021 Year in Review: Movies

2021 was still a little unusual when it came to new movies. Theaters were still open but many were doing limited capacity. We did return to the theater for one movie, Black Widow. I did not write a review for that movie, and a couple others, and I don’t remember why. The rest of the movies we watched on the streaming services they were released on with their respective theatrical releases (except Mulan).

If you’ve read these reviews then there’s no need to go into more detail about them. I feel like I should go back and write a review for Black Widow and the latest Dune incarnation … but who are we kidding. We know I’m not going to do that because I’ll get caught up with too many other things. I would recommend all of these movies, especially 8-Bit Christmas before it’s gone for the season.

FitBit Stats and Walk to Mordor

Another year means another fitness and FitBit recap. I didn’t participate in any races this year, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t challenge myself. The unusually tepid weather at Thanksgiving presented me with a rare opportunity.

My brother-in-law, and his new wife, invited me to go running with them Thanksgiving morning. Based on the conversations I’ve had in the past, my brother-in-law’s pace is about 3 minutes faster than mine. I obliged and told them they didn’t have to slow down for me. We went a total of about 5.9 miles; we ran about 4.5 miles of it, and we finished in just under an hour. Our pace was much faster than I have ever run but I refused to ask them to slow down.

Since that day my pace has actually improved by about a minute to a minute and a half faster. It was well worth the extra effort!

So how about those stats

I finished my Walk to Mordor this year on August 27th, which is about 2 weeks sooner than last year. My daily average, on the days that I run, increased to approximately 6 miles every day. I’m sure that helped complete the challenge sooner.

Here are my 2021 FitBit stats:

  • 5,263,645 steps 
  •  2,780.62 miles 
  • ** arrows indicate changes from previous year

I had almost 600,000 more steps from the previous year and almost 350 more miles. I nearly doubled the difference from 2020 to 2021. After completing the Walk to Mordor challenge, I went another 1,000 miles; which means I’m a mere 625 miles away from completing the “And Back Again” challenge. It’s exciting that I’m getting so close. Maybe this year? We will see.

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2022 is a safe, productive and kinder year for all of us.


“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” – Aristotle