Category Archives: Life

Jeans done

And here are the honest pictures. I’m not big on selfies, so excuse the blurry pictures. To sum it up they are a pair of size 34 Levi’s 501’s, but I’ve omitted rivets, yoke, watch pocket, and contrast top stiching. The hem is not done yet, but as they are so long I will just wear them folded up, and hem later. Can’t wait to see what a bit of wear will do to these. The fact that I have made the waist a couple of inches smaller means they look more Cowboy and less slacker, but that might not last, as I suspect they will give a little. I didn’t wash the fabric before cutting, so I need to wear them for a long time before eventually washing them very carefully. Will definitely make my own pants in the future! But I won’t use french seams on the inside legs like in the picture below. French seams are for thin fabrics IMO.

 

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Aloha, fellow humans.

20161014_171619Haven’t been blogging for years, but WordPress seems to just leave things online forever, so I’ll just pick up where I left… I have been blogging at flatsoles.wordpress.com for a while after I quit this blog, but I’m just going to leave that and go back to my original blog again.

First off: I’m still running around in minimal shoes, although I feel like I don’t have much more to say about it. It’s great, it’s the natural way to run, and that’s fine. Haven’t been in a race for a couple of years, and I’m still not planning to run a marathon. I would rather like to rock the 800m distance, but I mostly just run for fun and to keep back pain away.

I’ve been freelancing as a musician for seven years now, and I’m in a bit of a rut, career-wise. I’m still making money, but I’m not having as much fun, and my ambitions have sort of faded. My friends are performing at Glyndebourne and the Met, and I’m still singing Bach in Copenhagen for symbolic wages. This year I started working part time as a life guard at my local pool, which means I can afford to say no to the singing jobs that pay the least. I also like the regularity of the job. I can tell you that as a life guard I spend most of the time cleaning tiles and windows. I never let my daughter touch shop windows anymore.

the-lifeguardBut ultimately, being a life guard is like a symbol a midlife crisis. I would call many of those who work there drifters, and I don’t mean in a bad way, more like they have found Zen. But I would rather do something that pays more, and something I can do until I’m old, since I’m probably going to have to work until 73 with the new Danish pension reforms. I’m seriously contemplating getting some kind of degree in marketing and communication. Time will tell how that goes. Then maybe I can make people like renaissance music!

One great thing about having a normal job (beside from regular hours and a pension saving), is that my voice is fresh afterwards, unlike a lot of the choir/ensemble work I’ve been doing these last years. It’s nice and all, but I sound like a vacuum cleaner afterwards. Now I can go out and rock “Torna a surriento” at someone’s 60th birthday and have fun with it. I also feel the joy of making music slowly coming back to me.

This blog will be very eclectic from now on. I’ll just write about anything that goes on. I’m quite into sustainable fashion at the moment. I bought a bright red Burton Jacket last year, but other than that I haven’t really shopped new clothes in several years. I’ve sewn wool underwear for my daughter from a second hand sweater (see above), I plan to make my own jeans, and I want to sew a good looking denim jacket from old scraps. My goal is to save a little bit of money, but mostly to keep my wardrobe small but exclusive, while using second hand or organic fabrics.

I have had this idea for years that I want to get better at using my stuff until it’s almost disintegrated. Repairing when possible. I had a friend in high school who had absolutely no money, and he would always buy nice, expensive clothes and wear them every day. I’m inspired by that, but I also want to buy stuff that lasts. SO that Burton jacket might be the last piece of synthetic clothing I’ll buy in a long time.

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Running in winter

This kind of weather is extreme for Denmark. Yesterday the brake-wires on my bike were frozen. Today was a bit warmer: A comfortable -5 °C. Good run today, and fast considering i’ts very slippery outside. Lots of powder snow. Quads and ankles are OK, and I overshot my weekly goal by 3 Km.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/69508130

And here’s some inspiration:

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Top ten most gimmicky shoes…

… acccording to BirthdayShoes.com. I had some good laughs here, especially at some of the commercials and slogans. I think KangaROOS should have made the list. Shoes with pockets, how great is  that! And how extremely gimmicky! And the ones with the blinking lights! But I guess those are HONEST gimmicks, and not as fun as the one below.

Nevermind how they look: That shoe is unstable and harmful. I would never let my granddad wear them,  for safety reasons. Actually the common factor in most of the shoes on the list, is that they are unstable. Which in my opinion is a bad thing for a shoe. Reebook  says it flat out in this commmercial for EasyTone: “There’s actually a little instability built into the shoe.” At least it’s being marketed to healthy women.

Read the whole list here:

http://birthdayshoes.com/top-10-most-gimmicky-shoes

I’m forgiving when it comes to gimmicks. All sports gear is is peppered with technology and most of it is… well gimmicky. It adds to the hype, and possibly the pleasure of the wearer to know there is something special and new about their garment or shoes. It gives us something to talk about.

Were I’m more worried is when these are sold as a way to cure conditions, to people looking for e.g. pain relief. For example, I know several people who had to stop wearing their expensive MBT shoes, because their back pain got worse. The only thing that shoe did was force them to walk heavily on their heels. Try to notice if you see anyone wearing these, they probably have lousy posture.

That kind of gimmick can make me angry. When did we start taking medical advice from salesmen?

My addition to the list:

Actually, a pocket for money isn’t a terrible idea. I’m more skeptical to the Dynacoil that returns the energy you  put into the ground. Wow, does that mean that actually NO energy is spent on shock absorption? Anyway I can see why kids would want this shoe in 1986. It looks awesome, and has NASA technology, and a pocket. Who can argue with that?

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Barefoot running fun.

A good sign that barefoot running is becoming mainstream is the inevitable Youtube parodies. And since barefoot runners are “simple”, to quote the first video, they are happy to laugh along with ordinary runners, the ones in high heels I mean.

I am not a barefoot runner myself, but I do subscribe to the general concept. Our legs have a great suspension system so why not use it?

Here are my favorites so far.

“The Barefoot Runner”

This one popped up two months ago, right about the time everybody, including me, grew a mustache. On a serious note, I have read, from a certified podiatrist, that 80% of runners are overpronators, and need supportive shoes. 80%! I know we are a degenerated poulation, but that just can’t be right.

“Sh*t Barefoot Runners Say”

Another installment in the Sh*t people say-series. And very realistic.

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My metatarsals just want to be free.

Fifth metatarsus on the middle left.

OK, this is getting nerdy.

I used to be a bit ashamed of my wide feet. Most shoes squeeze the outside of my foot. The little toe sticks out, sometimes making a whole in the fabric, like the first (and last) time I bought All Stars. Lately I’ve been thinking a bit about feet and running gait, and I’ve started looking at people’s feet. Turns out almost everyone’s got the same problem. Simply put we buy shoes that cripple our feet. Not a lot, but a little.

Now, minimal running shoes often sport a wide toe box. That means there is space for the toes to move freely. Problem solved. So why does it still feel like some shoes are squeezing my little toe?

It seems the little toe that we see is just the tip of the iceberg. The fifth metatarsal is a bone running along the outside of your foot, protruding just in front of the ankle. (See the anatomical drawing above for visual reference.) Which brings me to my pet peeve in running shoes; the dreaded “outside arch”. Right at the point where the fifth metatarsal protrudes, a lot of shoe makers have chosen to make the sole narrower and higher. Not wider, like you should think. My impression is that this pushes the bone in and up, creating too much pronation, messing up my gait.

Notice the difference in shape here. A quick Google search tells me this is a pretty common foot shape.

The foot in the illustration is not mine, but basically it’s the same shape. Many people have narrower feet, but according to my totally unscientific research (a quick google search) most feet have the fifth metatarsal sticking out at the same place. The image of a foot below is one of the first that show up in an image search for “sole foot”.

I feel a bit guilty for using the Merrell Trail Glove as an example. After all people have run ultra-marathons in them without experiencing any pain. I have never even run a marathon. It’s not the worst example in any way. It’s a soft shoe, so it gives a bit. Traditional running shoes have the same feature, often to a much worse degree, since they are stiff and “supportive”.

Again, with the Nike Free, this is not the worst example of a weird arch. Quite the opposite. It just shows that this shoe shape is industry standard.

But the trail glove gives a very clear visual reference for the “outside arch”. If you have narrow feet, this may not be a problem. But if you fifth metatarsal hurts when running in shoes, you could give this a thought. A wide toe box doesn’t automatically mean your foot is free.

PS: Although the Merrell shoe did not fit me, it might be the right one for you. Click the Image for a review of the shoe from birthdayshoes.com.

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