Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Gospel According to Carly - Fables

"Do you know what a fable is?"  Carly was about to enlighten us, as we picked her up from school.  "OK, I'll tell you.  A fable is a story that teaches you a lesson, plus it has talking animals in it."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sitting in the airport in Milwaukee, drinking a cup of Starbucks coffee and eating a blueberry muffin, enjoying the pink/orange sunrise over the runways. Nice way to start a Saturday, with another small adventure underway en route to the BIG adventure I've got planned in a couple of weeks.
This week's marathon is the Callaway Gardens Marathon in the small town of Pine Mountain, Georgia. The first order of business, of course, is to get a decent pint of microbrew somewhere, which was accomplished at The Mellow Mushroom Pizza in Peachtree City. Sweet Georgia Brown Ale, from the Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta was on the menu, and along with a Hawaiian pizza, I was satisfied and ready to go. Bonus--I've been looking for some books to take along on my trip in a couple weeks, and they were selling used books there. The cause was the Mushroom's American Cancer Relay for Life team. So I picked up three used books for only a couple bucks each. Gave Karlee, my server, a $10 contribution for their team as well.
On to Pine Mountain. I stopped at the race HQ at Callaway Gardens and met Dave, the race director, picked up my packet, then went to town to shop a little bit.
The pasta buffet at the hotel was $20. Since I ate a late lunch and the pizza was sticking with me pretty well, I decided to save the cash and hang out in my room. It was a welcome relief from my "burning-the-candle-at-both-ends mode" I've been in for way too long now. I slept LOTS of hours, and was pretty fresh for the marathon the next morning.
About 100 people did the full marathon (300-400 in the half), which was two loops around the resort on a BEAUTIFUL course. Very little traffic, aid stations about every 2-3 miles, no congestion. We ran in a slight mist the first few miles, but as the day went on the sun poked out and gave us a little warmth. On the second time around, the 400 or so half-marathoners went to finish, so there weren't many of us left on the course. Still, there were people out there for company once in a while, and with a nice out-and-back from 19 - 23 miles, there were smiling faces and encouragement. I stayed strong all day, spotting someone ahead of me and catching them one after another all the way to the end. Finish time was 4:28:40. Celebrated a first marathon finish with a 16-year-old kid named Freddie. Saw a couple folks from the 50 States Club. It was a good day. Marathon #133. 47 consecutive months now. Two weeks until the BIG adventure begins.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Baby Bells Are Being Reintegrated

Have you noticed, it's now AT&T again? Somewhere a couple decades or so ago, they broke up the phone company. It was a monopoly. So, we no longer leased our phones. We had lots more options. The world got confusing. We were AT&T. Then Michigan Bell. Then Ameritech. Then SBC. (That's only the ones I remember.) Finally we're AT&T again. Now AT&T merges with Cingular. The old "Telephone" is back to being gigantic again, but with cable TV and Internet now. When they finally reacquire Taco Bell we should be able to get EVERYTHING on one bill. What convenience.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Writing every day

As a freshman at Chippewa Hills High School, I enrolled in college prep English.  One of the things we had to do is to write one page every day.  Didn't matter what it was.  Bob Loesch was the teacher.  He dubbed me "King of the wide margins," because I'd leave a lot of white space around the borders to avoid having to write so much.  I liked to believe it's because I'm concise in my writing, so there was no real need to fill up the whole page.
As you can see, I still don't write enough every day.  But in these days of computer communication, margins have become kinda inconsequential.
Clever phrases I got from Dan Manning, in his current blog entry:  "He was trying to regurgitate his personality all over the bank."  "I'm learning how to fake tolerance."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Marathons A - Z

I met Alan Headbloom a couple months ago who will be joining our Grand Rapids Marathon staff for 2007.  He's not only got a great attitude, he's got a great approach to marathons.  He's running a different marathon for every letter of the alphabet.  So far, A - Austin, B - Boston, C - Chicago, D - Detroit, F - Fargo, J - Jacksonville, N - New York, P - Paris, S - Stockholm, T - Tecumseh Trail (Indiana).  Only sixteen letters to go.  I like this guy.

Monday, January 15, 2007

OK, this is a little bit interesting

Found while screwing around on the Internet:  Google homepage in Pig Latin.  Have a blast.

And for my next trick....

So, here's the next big adventure, and a shot at knocking a few things off my life list.  Starting 11 February 2007, my plan is to run marathons on all seven continents in only 35 days.  Along the way, maybe knock a few things off my list, like climbing Kosciuszko (the highest point in Australia).  I leave on 9 February for Alabama, where I'll probably go check out the state high point of Alabama, then run Birmingham on the 11th.  Then back home for a couple days before heading out for parts unknown.
Maybe I'll succeed.  Maybe something will get screwed up.  Either way, it will be another cool adventure.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Corporate Policy

"We're adding new marketing software, so all the contacts in your attorney's Outlook address book need to be updated in the next week to comply with the following FIVE PAGES of address standards."
Paraphrased from something my legal secretary girlfriend got yesterday.  So, on top of briefs, applications for leave to file briefs, and motions to ignore other people's briefs ("BRIEF" being the most oxymoronic word in the English language, in this case), now she has to update address books.
Fortunately, in the several years since Outlook was installed at her office, the attorney she works for has only three entries in his address book.  His own name, an insurance adjuster from Cincinnati, and Elvis Presley.
All of whom now have had their addresses corrected, abbreviated, and adjusted to comply with corporate standards. Check another thing off the TO DO list.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Life List

I found a neat book at Barnes and Noble, 2001 Things to Do Before You Die by Dane Sherwood.  I bought two copies for Christmas presents.  Then I went back and bought the two they had left.  Some of the stuff is just silly or out of range, like "Hit a home run over the green monster at Fenway Park."  Lots of things are well within most people's limits:  "Donate blood"  "Watch an egg hatch"  "Make your own pizza" "Write a haiku"
A long time ago, I went to see a motivational speaker, and the main thing that stuck with me was the importance of having 100 goals.  Having only one or two goals makes a person one-dimensional, lopsided, like a washing machine that's out of balance.  Writing down 100 things you want to do/see/be and the next thing you know your life starts taking shape. 
So, I started a list.  I keep it in my computer.  There are a lot of things checked off:
Climb Kilmanjaro
Run a marathon
Walk around the South Pole
Float in the Dead Sea
Bungee jump
Go ocean kayaking
among many others.
Lots more on the list too:
Get a Guinness World Record
Run with the bulls
Climb Mt. Rainier
See the Great Wall of China
Photograph the Northern Lights
Cage dive with the great white sharks
Making the "Life List" has been instrumental to making my life fun, interesting, full of adventure.  Most importantly, it helps me DREAM.  Constantly having a plan, an adventure on the horizon, keeps me going through the daily minutiae and looking toward an exciting future.
So, pick up a copy of the book, or just start making your own list.  See what happens when you start dreaming.  You're gonna love it. 

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rosie, Donald, Major League Baseball, NHL, etc.

Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump, engaging in a war of words in public.  Who do they think they're kidding.  Now more people are watching Rosie and Donald.  Two multi-millionaires get richer, while all the "little people" just keep going on about their normal lives.  Wake up everybody--it's all about the entertainment.  Does any of this really matter?
On a related note, remember the baseball strike?  The hockey strike?  Again, a bunch of baby millionaires can't get along.  Boo hoo!  Millions of bucks just for PLAYING GAMES!  Only bad thing there was the hotdog vendors and parking lot attendants that were put out of work.  At least Rosie and Donald didn't do that.
Meanwhile, on a note that may or may not be related, there's some mysterious gas smell over the island of Manhattan today.  Isn't that where Donald lives?  And where they film "The View"?  Maybe the stink in Manhattan IS related.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Remembering President Gerald R. Ford

The 38th President of the USA died last week.  A native of Grand Rapids, he's coming back here to be buried at his presidential museum.  We went downtown Grand Rapids to remember him, and to sign our names in the book.  It's a sad, but proud time in Grand Rapids.

Gerald R Ford
1913 - 2006


Carly signs the guest book
for President Ford