Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

David Blaine - Tonight

David Blaine and Yours Truely at Magic Live! Convention in Las Vegas - 2007

Want to give everyone a heads up tonight, September 24, 2008, about David Blaines' Television special on CBS at 8:00 Central Time. At the risk of sounding like a name dropper, David is one of the nicest guys in the business. I have talked to him on the phone and we have met a couple of times and he is always been he is a pretty darn good magician.


The great Chuck Yeager was the first to break the sound barrier. He had fallen off a horse 2 days before the historic flight and broke two ribs. Fear of being removed from the mission, he got treated by a veterinarian and only told his wife. He was in so much pain that he had to rig a broom handle to give him leverage to close the aircraft hatch. Of course you know the rest of the story of Chuck flying the X-1 right past mach 1. Tough Guy! Right?

Me on the other hand, fell on the trail Saturday morning and bruised my ribs on the left side. As far I know I didn’t break anything. When it was time for me to rise and shine and give God the Glory, Glory…this morning…I could barely move. How the heck Chucky boy broke the sound barrier is beyond me. The track workout tonight ought to be interested. Keep the children away as I don’t want them to pick up any questionable vocabulary words.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Texas Rodeo and the Calf Scramble

Bull Riding at the Rodeo

On Friday evening my seven year old son, Luke, and I went to the Mesquite rodeo Here. It was an event that was planned with our Y-Guide Group. (An organization through the YMCA. It used to be call Indian Guides before political correctness put the Kabash to it.) Anyway, our group has about 25 boys and their dads and we always have a great time. So off to the rodeo. About half way through the 2 hour event, there is something for the kids called the calf scramble. What it that you ask?

Allow me to explain. All the kids, about 250 of 'em, come down out of the stands and on to the rodeo grounds. They stand on one of end of the arena. They then let loose a calf on the other end of the arena. The object is then for the kids to run as fast as they can, to catch up to the calf and to pull a ribbon off of the bovine's tail. (By me just describing this event, and last week it was moon pies, my neck is turning a hue of rouge. Wait...hang on.....I still don't like NASCAR. Good, I'm not a full blown redneck...but I digress.)

Anyway, they blow the whistle and release the calf and an all out sprint and mayhem exist. I see a sandy hair boy wearing a t-shirt, shorts, ankle socks and New Balance Running shoes take off like a rocket. He is in front of everybody and he looks just like Luke...It is Luke. He is the first one to the calf and now others are begin catching up. I didn't catch exactly what happen, but the the next thing I see is Luke running as fast as he can around the arena holding up a red ribbon. He won the thing. When I asked him what he was doing running around the arena, his answer was, " I was taking a victory lap." He cracks me up. Big fun I tell you.

Luke this summer catching frogs...he and catch anything
On to Saturday morning and a 5 hour trail run. The weather is turning cooler and I am loving it. With about 15 minutes left to wrap up the run, a tree root reaches up and grabs my ankle. I hit hard. My ribs are now sore and it hurts to breath and laugh. Two events I like to participate in. doesn't hurt enough to keep me from training.

There you have it. A big weekend in Dallas Texas.

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Red" Spicer - My Kinda Guy

“Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, ‘Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapeños." - "Red" Spicer

Below is an exerpt from Ultra Running Magazine on line. "Red" was the race director for the Palo Duro Canyon 50 mile Ultra, the upcoming race I plan on running in October. Wish I knew him...sounds like a great Texan.

J.M. “Red” Spicer, long-time race director of the Palo Duro 50, died on August 22 in Amarillo, Texas. He was 76.

Spicer was born June 1, 1932, in Wilkes County, N.C. He had lived in Amarillo since 1960. In no particular order, Spicer was a bootlegger, a military policeman,a romantic, a poet, an ultra-runner, owner of a pest control service, a storyteller, an undying Dallas Cowboys fan, a philosopher, a father, a practical jokester, adeveloper, and the conscience of Palo Duro Canyon.
Spicer was well known for his raconteur’s wit and wry humor. He was author of one of ultra-running’s most famous quotes. Recounting the latter stages of his runat the Wasatch Front 100 in 1986, Spicer said, “I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.”

His philosophy is neatly summed up in a plaque he presented to friends Bill and Wynn Ross, which reads: “Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, ‘Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapeños.’”

If Spicer was not in the company of friends, he was working alone at Palo Duro Canyon. Over the last 25 years, he spent more than 22,000 hours, or 2,750 workingdays, building miles of running and hiking trails in the Canyon where there had been none.
"It's a terrible cliché, I know," said long-time friend Bill Snure, "but Red was really larger than life."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bathroom Remodels and Ultra Running....

...have a lot in common. They both can take there toll on you both physically and emotionally. Allow me to explain. Three years ago when we bought this house, we realized that some redecoration and remodel would be in order. The current existing state upon purchasing looked like the decorating was completed by a color blind, number cruncher....but the floor plan was great. So before the ink dried on the contract, the painter had already completed painting 90% of the interior.

Well, this summer our shower in the master bath began leaking into Bren's master closet. (I have my own master closet as this was required for the newly purchased's cheaper than counseling.) We found out that this leaking has become a common theme with other homes in the neighborhood and that the tile in the shower would probably have to be replaced in order to solve the leaky shower issue.

At this point my wife commented that if your going to have to redo the shower tile, you might as well redo all the tile, and if you are going to redo all the tile, you might as well get new plumbing fixtures for both vanities, the tub, and the shower and if your going to do that you might as well......

So first, let's decide on tile. Let's look at the color, the texture, do you want travetine, ceramic....

Here is a semblance of a conversation between me and my wife:

Bren: "Which one do you like?"
Me: "I like this one."
Bren: "That is twice the price as this one."
Me: "Well, Ok go with that one then."
Bren: "But I do like the one you chose."
Me: "Go with what you want."
Bren: "What size tile for the floor?"
Me: " I like the 13"x13"
Bren: "Me too. Do you want it diagonal?"
Me: "No."
Bren: "What about the shower tile? I like the brick pattern."
Me: "Go with the brick pattern."
Bren: "Do you want to use mosaic for the shower floor?"
Me: "Yes."
Bren: I think I like the diagonal pattern for the shower."
Me: " You just said you like the brick pattern!"
Bren: "You need something a little different in the shower and they don't want have the 7"x3" tile size in the less expensive tile.
Me: "I thought you liked the expensive tile?"
Bren: "I don't want to spend the money when it doesn't look that different."
Me: "Fine."
Bren: "What if we had 2 different sized tiles for the floor in this pattern?"
Me: "I thought we were going 13"x13"?"
Bren: "I don't know, I can't make a decision."
Me: "I know!"
Bren: "What about the plumbing fixtures?"

And the above conversation is rehashed about plumbing fixtures. Do you want brushed nickle, antiqued finish, what style.

Part of the budget for the bathroom remodel includes marriage counseling. Just Joking,....kinda.

Now you see how it takes it toll on you...Think I will go for a 5 hour run this weekend to clear the head....and contemplate Tile hues....oh, and whether the brick pattern in the shower will really look that good...I don't care...I mean, I don't know.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I love moon pies. Always have. I know, I's kind of redneck to like'em but I still like'em. In case you don't come from a privileged background and have never had a moon pie, I feel for you. If you don't know what they are, I shake my head with sorrow and disbelief.

They can best be describe as a sweet sugar delight that contains two crusty cookie like materials that sandwiches a marshmallow like material coated with a dried icing like material. The icing like material comes in different flavors like, chocolate, vanilla, etc. My favorite of course is vanilla.
Since I have regained my avid running bug, I have watched what I have been eating. Therefore, I honestly cannot remember when the last time I had a Vanilla moon pie. Today that streak was broken.

When I looked at the calorie content I was shocked to find this culinary delight to have 300 calories. My Subway sandwich I had at lunch barely had 300 calories. Then I realized, 300 calories is nearly the amount of calories per hour you are trying to replenish the body during either a really long run or an ultra marathon. This may be the perfect ultra marathon food. Small, easy to carry, cheap, and of course 300 calories. I will tell you this weekend. I may now start referring to long runs as to how many moon pies consumed. My friend: "How far did you run Saturday morning?" Me: "I don't know, but it was a 6 moon pie run!"

Now we're talking.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palo Duro 50 Mile Ultra

Well, here we go. I have to admit that the hardest thing about running a 50 mile ultra 6 weeks later than originally planned is getting my head back in the game. That took about 4 days. Even though I seemed to be going through the motions, I continued to push hard through spin class and speed workouts on the track. Here we are on Thursday the week after The North Face Endurance Challenge has been cancelled, I am a now ripping and rearing to go.

Now, allow me to digress for a moment and talk about the Renegade 50 Race. There were about 20 or so runners that had made the pilgrimage to complete TNF Endurance Challenge. When the announcement was made that the race has been cancelled, these fearless few decide they would stay the course and run the race renegade. These guys ran the race in Tropical Storm Hanna. I have to admit that I wish I was there with them braving the elements and running the 50. It is interesting to note that there was a large contingent of military guys running, both former and active. As a marine and a runner I commend them on their perseverance. It should be noted that their family and friends served as volunteers and they pulled together to set up two aid stations. I cannot be more proud of these yahoos. The adventures were documented here at Renegade.

That brings to my next 50 miler to be run in Palo Duro Canyon. The following pictures are from previous races.

I had a friend comment to me, "That since I was such an avid Texan, it is only fitting that I run my first 50 mile race in Texas." I agree. What is cool about this race is that my parents are going to make it and support me during the race. Also my 7 year old son, Luke, will be crewing for me and wants to train to pace me the last few miles. Makes his daddy proud!

So here's the deal. I am rejuvenated. Friday evening about 9:30 PM I will take off for a 4 to 5 hour run. Got to get it in before Ike rears is head. Can't wait to run like an animal.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So It Goes....

Here I am at 11:26PM on a Thursday night. I should be getting up in about 4 hours to make my way to the airport. In a short 30 or so hours the race is to begin. It's not going to happen.

I cannot begin to tell you of my disappointment. Last night at about 10:00 PM I recieved an email from North Face detailing that the race may be postponed due to Hurricane Hanna bearing down on the East Coast. Today at about 7:00 that email came. Because of the the governor of Virgina declaring a state of emergency, there was not going to be enough search and rescue personal to support such race. Therefore, no race.

Where do I go from here. That's easy. The second weekend in October there is the Palo Duro Canyon 50 mile race. It's the first race in a 5 race series of 50 mile Ultras in Texas.

"He said, 'Come what may, I want to run!'" - 2 Samuel 18:23