Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It has been a year of tragedy, tears, laughter and joy. It has been a year filled with challenges and blessings.
I am very grateful to be blessed the way I am. I have a wonderful family and wonderful friends.
I am constantly humbled and in awe of what I have been entrusted with.
I am also humbled and in awe of the Rock of my salvation.
I hope blessings rain down on you and your family for the rest of this year and throughout 2009!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Lilly Kate finished strong as well. After being a little frustrated early she became very determined, and when LK's determined, look out! She really got the hang of the slow-plow and the turn and stop. She was thrilled and therefore, so was I!
Ashley made three runs as well, fell only once. I made 8 runs on the day, three in the morning and 5 Friday afternoon/evening. Yes, night skiing. I did my first blue, the Spring Dipper. It was all fun-and-games early as I stayed on my skis. But at the end it was long and steep to the bottom. I bit it twice! Very humbling, but fun. And pretty exhausting.
After the 8th and final run of the day it was off to the shower and then pizza.
In the end, despite the multiple trips to resort medical clinic, the oxygen level below that of the Marlboro Man, Will's multiple deposits in the white-bowl-of-truth and an I.V. to get him back up to par, it really was a fun trip. We spent time together (a lot of it in the car! - we drove all the way back Saturday), we laughed together and in the end created a lot of memories.
Now, call Hallmark!
Friday, December 19, 2008
He measured 96...out of the woods and a far cry from the 67 he measured Wednesday morning. The doc even said he could ski today if he wanted....he didn't want. He said he didn't want to feel bad again. I can't say that I blame him.
Will is much better today as well...
...looks like he just saw a ghost...but it appears to have been a funny one....
...a nice 18-yard reception down the middle of the field. A first down and we burn a time-out.
I made three runs down Schoolmarm...fell only once. The third time down I deviated from the normal route and went down Dercum's Dash which is a little higher up the mountain and much steeper than the normal end to the 'Marm'. I tried the Dash a couple of days earlier and fell three times. This morning I didn't fall at all...
...another first down and we're in the redzone....there's under a minute to play and we have one time out...
...this afternoon I'm going to try my first blue...tick, tick, tick...the clock is winding down. Will this vacation come out a winner? Only time will tell...tick, tick, tick!
I have high hopes!
...and there was snow on the ground.
But there are a lot of similarities between this vaca and every vaca Chevy Chase has ever been on.
It's probably not good when you have a standing reservation at the resort medical clinic and they welcome you as if you were Norm at Cheers.
What was thought to be a cold which developed into possible bronchitis was actually High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) for Alex. As it turns out his blood oxygen level was lower than that of a smoker with emphysema. I told him to lay off the Camel non-filters. He's going back to the clinic for the third day in a row to get checked again. He's been on oxygen since Wednesday. He hasn't skied since Tuesday.
Will threw up 7 times Wednesday night into Thursday morning. He went to the same clinic and ultimately was put on an I.V. because he was dehydrated and spent the better part of 4 hours there trying to get him back up to speed. He had fever the rest of the day and stayed in bed.
Poor Will thought his mother and I were laughing at him while he was paying homage to the porcelain god...no doubt it was poor timing, but at that point it was uncontrollable.
Hey, at least I didn't brandish a gun running wildly throughout the resort or we didn't drag a dog on it's leash from the back of our van for hours along the highway and I certainly haven't unleashed a profanity laced tirade in front of our entire group of family and friends.
Now if the distant relatives pull up in a Winnebago....I'm out!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It sounds crazy but once we got outside it didn't really feel that cold. Our instructor had us moving alot so maybe that was it.
The kids had their own instructor. Alex, Ashley and I were in a group of 7. We learned the basics and took baby steps. The biggest obstacle was learning how to get on and off the ski lift! We all mastered it on the second go around. Both of our instructors were great, very patient and encouraging...two key ingredients to being a good instructor.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
It's beautiful...and also frigid. Right now as I sit here and type it's -4 degrees. I will say there's no wind here right now, so this -4 degrees is much warmer than what we drove through to get here.
We drove it in two days. First stop was Hays, Kansas, otherwise known as Siberia! As we drove into town I think the wind was blowing 127 miles-an-hour from the south. It was 64-degrees. The very next morning it was blowing 135 miles-an-hour from the north. It was 19-degrees. We drove for about 5-hours through the most desolate country I've been in in quite some time. The temperature actually dropped to -1. Traveling west towards Denver I felt like I had to steer the car on a perpetual right turn just to keep going straight....that's how hard the wind was blowing. Tumbleweed after tumbleweed rolled in front of us across the road. At one point I think I saw a small cow do the same. It got kind of hard to see as the snow fall accumulated and, of course, blew sideways. I thought the car was going go the way of the tumbleweed!
We actually made it to Denver and the clouds began to break revealing these tall sky scrapers and even taller mountains. Majestic! Traffic was slow but sure as we made it to Keystone. Well worth the trip....
...a trip made a lot more peaceful by the ole DVD players hanging on the seats! Thank you Fry family for letting us borrow them. How do you repay peace and serenity?
The condo is very nice and cozy, just ask Lilly Kate. The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is, indeed, so delightful. As is the wifi giving us the opportunity to check the all important fantasy football scores.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Jerry Anderson is a friend of mine. Our wives are best of friends, our daughters are best friends. We lived next door to each other for many years when we were having and raising kids. I look back on those days as some of the best!
Jerry is in a Santa Barbara hospital in the CCU fighting hard against cancer. A month ago his arm was hurting and he went in to have it checked out. He had a malignant tumor there, as well as in his leg. Now it's in his lungs. The doctors are baffled. The best oncologists in Los Angeles say they have NEVER seen a case like his before. That's astonishing. The weren't able to diagnose it for a few weeks. Then they came back and said it was a germ cell sarcoma, much like what Lance Armstrong had. They say that it's a cell Jerry was born with and it manifested itself this way at this time. They say that this type of cancer presents sometimes in avid cyclists. You certainly can describe Lance that way and Jerry has a love of cycling as well. He was supposed to do a century ride today.
There have been peaks and valleys the past 14 days since he's been in the hospital. I'm boldly praying that the Lord will heal Jerry's body and allow him to raise his children and love on his grandchildren. I'm also praying for his wife, Candy, that the Lord will give her strength and a discernment that is very clear as she makes many decisions during this time.
I've posted a link to the website where Candy is providing regular updates. It's on the right side of this page, just scroll down a little. If you're a praying person stop by the site. You can leave a comment to let his family know that you've prayed for them. I know they would appreciate the encouragement. The Lord is good and it's amazing how he's already worked in this situation.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This race is the culmination of the LifeTime Fitness triathlon series. There are 5 races in the series and the race in Dallas is the 5th and final for the season. Should be some good pros at the race. Last year Greg Bennett won all 5 races and got this huge bonus, $500,000.00 I think, for doing so.
I'm really looking forward to this event. I've been training hard and I'm going for a personal best at the olympic distance. Well, actually, I'm going for more than a personal best...I'm shooting for a sub-2:20. My best time to date was at Memphis in May in 2007 where I did 2:31.
Race day is October 5th.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
First of all, one could argue if Mississippi State is a big time school and that score was just too fun not to include. Secondly there were just too many good scores to recognize just one.
Maybe Defiance is going to be defiant after all by defying those who want them to win!
Sunday, September 07, 2008
So, come back each week for my obscure score of the week. Because it's a special week, the opening week of the new special, I have two scores for ya.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
It's very hard to make sense of an act that makes no sense at all. You search for the reasons, you try to explain things, maybe even rationalize. But none of it works. None of it solves anything. None of it helps you get past it.
The only thing I know to do is be in the presence of my friend, her husband, and his kids. I can tell him I love him. I can cry with him. I can sit silently with him. I can pray with him.
If you are in contact with this blog...please pray for the Campbells.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The above photo is of the last pitch of the game and season. Obviously it was successful, but also stressful, says the coach in the corner of the dugout who couldn't watch.
Next to the plate was the Braves' best hitter. He'd tripled earlier in the game and hit a two run homer the night before. With bases loaded, two outs, and the Reds holding a 5 - 2 lead this game wasn't over! Alex quickly got him down 0 - 2 throwing two great pitches. The next pitch was in a great location trying to get him to chase it....ball one. By this time, I was in the very inside corner of the dugout by the water fountain. I couldn't see the batter.....I didn't want to....I was a nervous wreck! The next two pitches were good pitches and were fouled off....Alex was still way ahead at 1 - 2. At this point I'll say that while this was the Braves' best hitter and he'd done well at the plate as described above....Alex owned him on this night striking him out two of the three times he faced him leading up to this at bat....and he'd done it on good curve balls. Then on pitch 109...Russell Mays, who'd called an excellent game all night, with the championship on the line, called for the "uncle charlie" one more time. I saw Alex wind up, throw the pitch....I never got a visual confirmation of what happened at the plate....but it was obvious that the good curve got him again when I saw Alex slap his leg with his glove and pump his fist. I heard our stands erupt and saw our players begin to celebrate. It was a thing of beauty! Alex pitched a complete game for his best game of the year!
The championship game was the real treat. These guys got to experience playing a game at Dickey-Stephens park...the home of the AA Arkansas Travelers. It was the first non-professional game to ever be played at the park. They finished second in this tourney against some great teams from a 4 state area.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
***The legendary Jim McKay passed away this past Saturday. From the Olympics to the British and U.S. Opens to the Wide World of Sports McKay's voice is synonymous with sports. He covered them all and did it well. The Olympics won't be the same without him.
***The Celtics are going for their first championship since 1986....that's a long dry spell for a franchise that defined the NBA and dynasties.
***There's the BCS bowl season in football and March Madness in basketball, but one of the most exciting seasons in all of college sports is upon us. The College World Series kicks off later this week in Omaha, Nebraska. Although I've never been to see it personally I've watched plenty of games on the tube and it's one of the most exciting, action-packed, enthusiastic events in sports. It seems like no lead is ever safe and the crowd is always into it.
Monday, June 02, 2008
If you've ever thought of triathlons being filled with a bunch of sounds........the above sounds are not ones you want to hear. Come to think of it, it's pretty hard to spell sounds....try it sometime!
OK. Some explanations are in order. Following the explanations no further descriptions of how my race at the Route 66 Olympic in El Reno, Oklahoma should be needed.
With 5 minutes to race start I'm pulling my wetsuit onto my shoulders and reaching back and grabbing the string attached to the zipper that helps zip it up.....I get a ZA,ZA,ZA as the zipper locks a few teeth together with some resistance....then all of a sudden....zzzzzziiiiipppppppppppppp. Well, now, that was way to easy and fast. Sure enough, the zipper broke! Three minutes to race start and I'm takin' off my wetsuit trying to fix the zipper! A couple of nice volunteers see me and come over to help but to no avail. We had to put the wetsuit "down" right there on the track for everyone to see. Now I'm the only one not in the water and the guy on the loud speaker says, "wait, here's one more swimmer". That would be me.
The name of the triathlon helps explain the Ka-thump/Ka-thump/Ka-thump. The race is the Route-66 as in the OLD, famous, Route 66 highway that stretches across America. Stories are told about it, songs have been written about it and now curse words have been heaped upon it. You see, this stretch of Route-66 is still the original road. Concrete road. With some not so skillfully patched portions of the road. Every 20 yards or so the sections of concrete are separated making a distinct Ka-thump sound as one passes over. So, for 16 of the 25 mile bike portion it's a constant Ka-thump, Ka-thump, Ka-thump and on and on and so forth and so forth. It's enough to drive you nuts all by itself. Except not only does all the Ka-thumping drive you crazy, it also can, and did, cost me dearly in more ways than one.
That brings me to the KLUNK-klunk-bumpalump. The first one was my water bottle bouncing out of my holder on the back of my seat and landing on OLD Route-66. I wasn't the only one losing a water bottle. That particular portion of OLD Route-66 was like a graveyard for water bottles that day. I'm not quite sure what was worse...all the Ka-thumping or avoiding all the water bottles on the road. Anyway, the second KLUNK-klunk-bumpalump was my salt capsule container bouncing to the concrete. It escaped from my bento box while trying to down a GU.
By now I'm sure you can guess what the PFFFFffffssssssss represents. Yep, in the famous words of Howard Cossell (with some variation) "Down goes the tube, Down goes the tube". I'm flying down this hill and at the bottom is one of those not-so-skillfully patch portions of OLD Route-66. It's asphalt with about a 3-inch lip. I hit it doing about 35 - 40 mph. PFFFFffffssssssss is the next sound I hear. My first flat in an actual race. The silver lining in this thing is that I get to practice changing a flat. I proceed to do so and in the meantime I watch everyone zip right by me. I'm not quite sure because sweat ran into the corners of my eyes but I thought I actually saw a three-toed sloth pass me at that point. Anyway, I got it fixed, got back on and headed on my way passing some of those same folks who passed me earlier (no sign of the sloth). I'm back up to speed with a good cadence Ka-thumping my way back to the transition when.....PFFFFffffssssssss.....AGAIN. I usually watch my language but it was at this moment that curse words were heaped upon OLD Route-66.
I'm sure I looked pretty goofy walking a bicycle along the side of the road with a goofy looking aero helmet on and wearing these awfully tight shorts and shirt to all the farmers and ranchers whizzing by me in their cowboy Cadillacs in Western Oklahoma.
Mercifully a race volunteer picked me up and took me back to the transition area ending my misery and my race.....Ka-thumping all the way!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Did a nice 50-miler (actually it ended up being 47.5....rounding up, don't you know, always looks better) this past weekend with the guys & gal. It was my first trip around the Cato loop this year and that dad-gum hill is still there. Incidentally so are the three subsequent hills after the dad-gum hill. In all it was a good workout and a confidence boost.
More on the 66 next week.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Memphis in May was my first triathlon of the season. It happened this past weekend, May 18th. It's a great race and usually someone famous is on hand for the event. last year it was Macca. He captured the victory and the $10,000.00 check. No high profile pros were in attendance this year but a celebrity was there non the less. Sister Madonna Buder was in the ranks and well recognized.
I've said many times that baseball was the first true love of my life, but ironically it did me in for this race. This past thursday night (before the race Sunday) I was coaching my 15-year-old son's baseball game. It's a nice field with dugouts that you step down to the main part of the dugout. In between innings I was stepping down into the dugout to get a drink of water from the fountain. What I didn't see was the baseball I was about to step on that would ultimately cost me the run portion of this race. As soon as I stepped on it my ankle rolled and I swear I could hear tendons pulling beyond the normal limits. I went down like a sack of 'tators and my ankle swelled up like a hot air balloon.
Actually it healed pretty well over the next two days thanks to a lot of ice, heat and ibuprofen. But not enough healing to allow me to run. I was able to tackle the swim and bike portions and went through both transitions but as soon as I crossed the timing mat to start the run I pealed off and ended my day.
I was the first DNF of my short triathlon "career" and it goes against everything I believe and know about finishing events like these.....I want to finish at all costs. But I thought better of it considering it's the first race of my season and not the last and not my "A" race.
About the race....a great race that's well supported. My swim was a little slower than last year at 29:ish (can't remember the seconds) and the bike was roughly the same averaging 21.7 MPH (22.1 last year). Both transitions were faster than last year.
The post-race food was awesome. There was a lot of pasta, burgers, dogs, cole slaw, fruit, chips and the peach turnover was fantastic.
If you've never done this race before I highly recommend it.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Aero helmets and cuff links are very assuming, in my opinion, and both make a statement. An aero helmet does more than just protect your head in a crash. It's there to make you more aerodynamic, more streamlined, faster! Cuff links do more than just hold your cuff together. They're more sophisticated, they say something about you.
Both aero helmets and cuff links force you to step into an arena where casual is no longer an option. It's serious now and you're playing for keeps. For the helmet not only are you preserving your health you're saying I'm fast and I want to be faster. For the links not only are you keeping your cuff together but you're doing it with a certain pizazz.
O.K. Now comes the self realization. I have both an aero helmet and cuff links. I guess that makes me all that's above with certain caveats. As far as the helmet's concerned I'm really not that fast I just got an incredible deal on it and couldn't pass it up (more than half-off!). And the links? I got a good deal on some french cuff shirts. How are you going to hold them together without links?
Here's another difference between the two. With cuff links you can kind of pull it off. If you look good, who really knows the difference? But with the aero helmet if people are blowing by you like you're going backwards they're going to go, "yeah, right!"
Sunday, April 13, 2008
It certainly got worse before it got better. He wanted to know how purple it was....being a big football fan I knew he would relate to this so I told him it was Minnesota Viking purple. Being a big Eagles fan I knew he would relate to this even more....I told him that soon it would be Philadelphia Eagle green.
Anyway, the little guy toughed it out and played in his ball game today. Got right back on the horse and rode like a champion today. He made a couple of good plays in the outfield and stroked a triple past the right fielder!
The black/purple/green eye is all but forgotten.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Having said all that, I still love opening day and it still possesses a certain charm to it that not every day possesses. It's the start of a new season....a new beginning....my team is in the thick of the race to begin....I get to follow the box scores every day with my breakfast and coffee.
Monday, March 17, 2008
The money that's being thrown around in sports in general and college football coaching specifically is crazy, skewed, out of whack and every other off-kilter adjective you can think of. O.K., let it be said that the SEC is a veritable "who's who" of big name football coaches: Saban, Petrino, Miles, Tuberville, Crooms, Nutt (hold your comment) and that's just in the SEC west! And, yes, I realize that football basically funds the vast majority of most schools' athletic budgets. But come on! Saban was the benchmark of high watermark salaries at 3.75 MILLION A YEAR, and yes, I'm shouting! 3.75 MILLION!!
And then comes along the cocky Les Miles. He just got a raise over the weekend and now he makes 3.75 MILLION.....plus $1,000.00. That's right, plus.....$1,000.00. So, let's examine that: It wasn't good enough that he made 3.75 MILLION (still shouting), he had to assure that he'd arrogantly be the highest paid coach by demanding an additional $1,000.00. As if I needed a reason to dislike LSU.
You know, it's not that I begrudge anyone from making as much money as they can....it's what we do...it's our society. We pay for entertainment and college football is entertainment. And we pay for a winner and LSU has won. But, it's the attitude and arrogance that gets me. Whatever happened to being humble? It's like Miles is treating every other coach in the SEC like a dog, especially Saban, and rubbing their noses in the mess they each left on the new living room carpet.
Here's to LSU racking up some L's over the next several years forcing Miles to justify his outrageous salary and his even more outrageous ego.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I always read it in stages....first there's the "once over", which is a solid glance at it from front to back. Then I'll go from back to front and look at all the classifieds at the back just to make sure there's nothing out there that I absolutely need but don't have. I also like looking at all the advertisements....pictures, really, of what could possibly make me stronger and faster! You really have to be careful with this though because you don't want your bike catching you looking at pictures of "other" bikes...and this month is especially hard and tempting because it's the annual buyers guide!
My next stop is the "Training" section. It's always nice to see what others do and what might possibly make me more efficient in the water, stronger on the bike or faster in my shoes and certainly something that's going to improve my endurance.
"At The Races" is always a must see as well just to see who the top triathletes are, what their times are and how unrealistic those times are for me to achieve. The usual suspects seem to always be in the top 5...they just, often, switch places.
From there I'll check out Scott Tinley's article that's always on the last page...He's the great philosopher for the sport.
Let me apologize here because it's taken me this long to get to the reason for the post. I don't always read his "Starting Lines" article near the front but last night I read the "The Sandbagger" by Mitch Thrower. The gist of the article is that triathletes will train wherever, whenever and however is possible and they'll overcome great obstacles to do so. So much so that often times it causes other people to raise an eyebrow....and not in a good way. More like in a "man, you're a freak" kind of way. Why are triathletes this way? Well, the answer is simple, yet complex. If you ask 20 different triathletes you might get 20 different answers. But, in the end it comes down to this, and I didn't realize it until I read the article, and I quote: "There is no way non-triathletes could understand the energy and confidence you gain from this sport".
That's it! It's simple, descriptive, complete. Each time you complete a training session, each time you break down a barrier, each time you complete a race, feed off the crowd, "Bonk" and get back out there the next day, succeed, set a PR, endure a tough day and in the process embrace a completely different lifestyle that's healthy and keeps you moving, you build confidence and create more energy.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I went to the funeral of the father of an old friend today. I didn't know the deceased all that well and I haven't seen the friend in several years. I was there to support my old friend. And I know it meant something to him for me to be there when I was able to give him a big hug and tears rolled down his face. I know I would want as many people as possible to be there to support me.
All that leads me to the real point of this topic. It was standing room only at this funeral today. This man loved and was loved by many people and he had an impact on many directly or indirectly. You don't have a standing room only funeral without touching people's lives.....connecting with people.....investing in people.....and gaining the love and respect of people.
My prayer is that we can all have a SRO funeral because that will mean that we've had a postive impact on many people's lives!