The 13-year-old DVD didn’t want to play in my eight-year-old laptop.
This made no sense to me, but as soon as the movie slid into the computer, a message appeared on screen explaining that I needed to upgrade the DVD software to something from this decade to watch this 75-year-old movie.
From across the internet, I felt a hand reaching for my wallet.
Not all of the stalled New Year’s resolutions on my list were leaving without a fight. Plans had unraveled and even tasks like training for a marathon had stumbled.
After successfully running six and seven miles, I’d tried to do a little hill training, running up and down the Carriage Trail.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. I’d just come from a CrossFit workout. It was hot. The Carriage Trail is a gentle, upward climb and shaded.
After I finished, I thought I could get a gelato — a reward — but after 100 feeble yards, I folded. My legs felt like marshmallows. I just wanted to sit down.
Instead of running, I walked. At the top of the trail, I turned around, let gravity help me slowly trot back to the trail entrance, the gravel parking lot and my waiting car.
I drove home. No gelato.
With this month’s task, my largest problem was time. It took time to run a couple of miles every day. It took time to go on trips and time to research recipes in cookbooks, let alone try to make something anyone would want to eat.
By the end of the month, I’d only marked off a handful of resolutions.
There were successes. I’d started marathon training and was running more than I had in over a year. I’d managed to find a way to take a couple of days off and visit my family. I’d also watched the 1932 film “Freaks,” but there didn’t seem to be much else I could get to easily.
Well, there was one thing, but it was dumb: trying to sync up Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album with the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz.”
According to legend, if you turn down the sound for the movie and play the record beginning at the roar of the MGM lion before the start of the film, the music seems to relate to action on the screen — or what’s happening on the screen relates to the music.
Nobody really knows who thought of putting this together, but many think whoever did it was as high as a Georgia pine when they tried.
Nevertheless, I was curious.
I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan, but really just a casual fan of “The Wizard of Oz,” even though I’ve seen the move half a dozen times — mostly on television, back when my family had four channels to choose from, with two of them being ABC.
CBS used to broadcast it every year.
The movie wasn’t one of my favorites. I was a die-hard “Star Wars” fan, but my sisters Susan and Laura loved it.
My father might have been a fan, too, but it was hard to tell. At some point, he took to calling my sisters “munchkins,” after the little people who first greeted Dorothy when she stepped out of her drab Kansas cabin and into the brand-new technicolor world over the rainbow.
He might’ve meant it affectionately, but he might’ve been teasing. Either way, we let Dad name the dog, but none of his other pet names ever stuck.
After I figured out that I wasn’t going to get the DVD of the movie to work, I found I could stream it from HBO. So, I set the film up, turned off the sound and played “Dark Side of the Moon” from my phone.
It was the first record I downloaded onto my phone when I got Apple music.
The movie and album combination weren’t that impressive. While the classic rock music sort of worked sometimes with some of the scenes in “The Wizard of Oz,” there was nothing especially revelatory, nothing to get excited about.
It didn’t make either better.
Playing the two together probably made more sense if you were high, I thought, but smoking dope to watch a movie seemed like too much trouble on a weeknight — even if someone would be paying me to do it.
So, clear-eyed and clear-headed, I watched the movie, listened to the music, and marked it off the list — stupid mission accomplished. I need not wonder about that anymore.
While I might not have accomplished as much as I’d have liked with my floundering New Year’s Resolutions, July felt like a success. I’d completed a few goals and I was running again, at least.
After the poor showing on the Carriage Trail, I looked toward a planned eight-mile run at the end of the week. My marathon plan had me running a few miles most weekdays, but then doing longer, more challenging runs on the weekends.
The plan said eight miles, but for a day or two I’d kicked around trying to eke out an extra mile — a ninth mile. I thought maybe if I pushed a little harder, I could get ahead somehow, but I wasn’t ready and eight miles was going to be hard enough, particularly at 6 o’clock in the morning.
With summer temperatures and a Saturday morning shift folding towels at the YMCA planned, I really couldn’t wait to run until later in the day. At noon, the heat would be up to at least 90 degrees and quietly climbing higher through the rest of the afternoon.
Running at sunrise made the best sense. It got the hardest part of my day out of the way early, so I could spend the rest of my day loafing and eating like a Viking — the best reason for running long distance.
I just had to be finished with training and showered by 7:45 to make it work on time.
I was close. I found my way to Kanawha Boulevard later than I wanted but made good use of my time. My pace was slow, but steady and I wasn’t alone on the walkway that followed the river.
It was busier than I expected.
I watched Charleston wake up, parts of it literally. A few people appeared to have spent the night sleeping on the hill down from the street. As I passed, I saw them rouse themselves from the ground, yawn, stretch and take their first steps into the day.
Others, like me, were out to get in a quick run or a slow walk with their dog before the day’s heat set in.
A young woman dressed in what looked like pajamas smiled at me as our paths met. Then she flew past like a gazelle, while I trundled on, a stumbling moose.
I managed to get in the eight miles. The last mile was the worst, and I must’ve looked rough. Another runner saw me struggling and offered to give me his water bottle.
“It’s OK,” I told him. “Nearly finished.”
I stopped at the end of Capitol Street, tired but pleased that I’d completed what I’d set out to do — and I might’ve made it to work on time, but Charleston Bread opens at 7 a.m.
I recommend the scones.