December 29, 2008

Yellow Squash Mystery

Every Sunday I go grocery shopping. I get the same things almost every time. I go through the produce department and get the same fruits and vegetables every week. The last two visits I distinctly remember selecting five or six yellow squash, putting them in a bag and placing them in my cart.

I finish shopping, get home and put away my groceries, and no yellow squash. This has happened two weeks in a row. Last week I thought it might of fell out of the bag, so I look in the car, nothing, so I figured they were left behind at the store. Then the same thing happened yesterday. WTF?

I pay for my groceries with a debit card and I keep the receipts. I check both receipts from yesterday and last week, no yellow squash listed. What is happening to my squash between the time I pick it out and the check-out?

Another odd thing I note; the items listed on the two receipt are almost identical, even the order of the items on the receipt.

I think I need to resolve to add a little variety and spontaneity to my life. HHMM, lets see let me put that on my calendar for a week from Wednesday. I'll try something new every Wednesday at 6:00 PM.

There, how's that for being impulsive.

Wait, maybe I better reschedule that for some other time, it's already starting to stress me out.


December 23, 2008

You Pulled your WHAT!?!

I'm injured!

This is depressing. I'm on-call, stuck in town with nothing to do. I can't even run. I have to stop for at least a week.

I don't know if I'll make through the week.

Freaky Dude, what is keeping you down?


Second Opinion

It only hurts when I run.


December 18, 2008

The Dog in the Hole

I know, I know. It's been a while since my last post.

I missed a post celebrating three years of blogging (December 12).

I haven't made a list of my seasonal wishes for non-gifts.

I haven't been barking about what's wrong with the world.

Where are my raves about my favorite pastime and addiction (Can you guess what I mean?)

I didn't even comment about the Iraqi Reporter, who insulted Dogs, while trying show his love for our current lame duck President's liberation of the reporter's country. The President claimed he wasn't insulted and thanked the man for his gift of shoes. I do give Bush kudos for his fast reflexes, the reporter would have hit the Busheye if he hadn't ducked.

There are good reasons for my lack of blogging; apathy, workload, other interests, more reading, and mostly because of positive changes coming our direction.

The country is undergoing a change, political and economical, and my rants about those issues will be useless at this point. The economy is collapsing, as I've been warning about for two years here, and the political landscape is being molded into something more to my liking. I hope the new administration can bring back the optimism and fiscal responsibility we had in the 1990's, but I think it's going to take a long time to rebuild, restore, and progress towards a more peaceful, more forgiving, less materialistic world.

Another issue that has been missing is my usual rants about this time of the year. Well, now if the country can change, then so can I. So I will make the most of celebrating the Winter Solstice this Sunday with a long run, a few beers (with chasers) and a feast.

Wait a minute, Freaky niCk, isn't that what you do every Sunday?

Yes, it sure is! The reasons we celebrate this season should be embraced all year long. Then we wouldn't need a special time for charity, good will, love, peace, and merriment, and leave this time of year for brightening up the long dark winter nights.

whispers in the night
fresh air whirls around my head
chase me to the source


November 30, 2008

Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Goose

I spent Thanksgiving with my daughter and her family. Besides running a local race in Baton Rouge on Thanksgiving Day and eating a traditional Turkey dinner, look what else we did:

Allison's Lily Tattoo

niCk's Chicken Tattoo

When we got back home and I showed my tattoo to my granddaughters, the four year old said it looked like a chicken.

Unfortunately, the time went by too fast and didn't get to play with the granddaughters as much as I hoped.

I think I owe them a game of Duck, Duck, Goose.


November 23, 2008

Not Today

There will come a day when I can no longer do this.
Today is not that day.

cold clear breezy day
a crowd swarms through the suburbs
chasing away chill

Runners brave cold weather to race for food bank - Pictures


November 21, 2008


Too much e-stuff, the stuff that is supposed to make our lives easier, is actually making life more complicated. Am I wrong?

I've worked in the Information Systems development and management for most of my career, and I see things getting so complicated and convoluted, they have the opposite effect of their intent.

If the implementation of an automated systems becomes a management and security nightmare, is it worth the effort?

I'm ready for a career change.

November 13, 2008


Do you ever have those times when everything seems to be going your way, traffic lights turn green as you approach, and only your favorite songs come out of the radio. My psyche seemed to be synchronized with the universe.

That happened to me. Over the last month, the weather has been perfect, work slowed down, and I've had plenty of opportunity to train for upcoming races as well as running a race almost every weekend.

Then November came, after a brief rush of optimism, everything seems to be crashing down around me, work became quite busy and unpleasant, many unseen forces blocking my way, no time for running, traffic lights turn red as I approach, and all the music coming from the radio annoys me.

Is this only a state of mind?


November 6, 2008

Friday First Dog Blogging

What will be the first thing that our President-Elect will be taking care of? There is the matter of something he promised his two daughters.

Also, The VP-Elect was promised a "big dog" from his wife.

I'm liking these guys more everyday.

Meanwhile, back at the White House, the current first dog is a little grumpy.


November 5, 2008

H.A.I.K.U. in the U.S.A. **

The change has now come
time to restore and progress
the sun is rising

** BUI (blogging under the influence): MadHaiku

November 4, 2008

More Rhyming 17's for Election Day

my ballot was cast
the election is soon past
the change will be vast

It felt like a test
to decide who will be best
to clean up the mess

lies slander and smears
the rhetoric brings us tears
exposes our fears

campaign ads and signs
litter roads airwaves and pines
lets hit them with fines

it is almost done
then blaming is soon begun
fallout will be fun

October 30, 2008

Good Choices - Bad Rhymes

the hour is near
change is not for us to fear
there will still be beer

time to be like niCk
which candidate will you pick
not the time to kick

Obama McCain
your choice will not be in vain
but it might cause pain

the mud has been slung
the last-ditch songs have been sung
their lies from the tongue

McCain Obama
better listen to Mama
in voterama

anxious are VeePee's
they are only there to tease
then tossed to the breeze

October 19, 2008


Today (Sunday) is one of those days where I seem to be in synch with the universe.

What makes a Perfect Day for a Freaky Running Dork?

4:00 AM; I'm out of bed. I can't sleep thinking the weather is SOOOOO nice for a long run before the sun comes up. The weather is in the Mid 40's with nice light breeze. Make myself a large cup of coffee, CLIF Bar for breakfast.

I check my email, browse the news and some blogs, make some "regular" breaks for nature. By 4:45 I'm out the door for to start my warm-up routine. As soon as I walk out, a shooting star streaks across my view of the sky. Thank you, universe, for letting me know how great today is going to be. By 5:00 I start my run. No one is out, no cars on the road except the guy delivering the morning paper, whom I pass over and over again.

After 8 miles, my long run is complete and I'm starving, so I cool down by running (literally) over to Starbuck's for one of their new Vivanno Chocolate Banana smoothies, with an espresso shot, and a tall Pike Road coffee. The light of the new day is just beginning to make its mark. The run felt great, and nagging pains never seem to appear when I run in cool, dry weather. The euphoria is wonderful.

I walk home crossing usually busy roads that are strangely vacant of any traffic, save an occasional trucker who, like myself, probably didn't get enough sleep.

The time is approaching 7:00 AM, the sun has finally lightened the world, it is a breezy cool 48 degrees. Even though I'm in shorts and a long sleeved running shirt, that's still a little damp around the neck, I see people dressed like they were in the Arctic; cap, gloves and heavy coat. It feels so comfortable to me, yet these people act like it's frigid. I'm glad I did not grow up in the south.

I surf the intertubes some more, flip channels on the mind control machine. Then I see the Breaking News headline about something I had already predicted would happen. Colin Powell, one of the few Republicans I respect, endorses Barack Obama for President. I can't wipe this huge grin off my face.

By 9:00 AM hunger pangs set in. I fix myself an English Muffin Egg sandwich. My version uses turkey instead of ham on a whole wheat muffin (occasionally I use whole wheat pita bread). I have a light beer spiked with half a shot of whiskey. I insert a DVD into player and watch my latest Netflix disc, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". Mediocre romantic comedy set in Oahu. I like romantic comedies and movies filmed in location I've been. I liked the subplot of the lead guy writing a musical puppet version of "Dracula".

Okay, now I have a full stomach and a beer in me, watching a movie. I'm feeling very drowsy. It's nap time; time is 11:00 AM.

My afternoon naps are not usually very long, 20-30 minutes is enough to refresh me, but I think the long run, full stomach, beer, and euphoria effected me like a sleeping pill. I slept THREE hours. That's unheard for me.

I get up, do a quick check on e-mail and news, and head over to the bookstore for some more coffee and to browse books and read the latest running magazines. Then it's back to the house, start thinking about what to make for dinner, walk over to the store to buy some fresh vegetables.

Dinner consists of a Turkey sandwich, with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Spicy mustard, a few drops of red wine vinegar, and swiss cheese on fresh rye bread. I also have side of leftover black beans and rice which I freshen up with fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and hot sauce. I steam some broccoli and yellow squash for a second side. Smithwick's Ale is my beverage of choice (Boddington's Pub Ale would have done nicely, also).

The euphoria just won't quit. The universe speaks to me again with a sunset which is a bright, beautiful, brilliant orange/blue masterpiece.

I'm going to end today by writing this post, take a hot bath, and read until I get drowsy again.

Perfect Day

***Crossposted in the usual place

October 16, 2008

Living Better

I do not understand The "Health Care" system in the U.S.!

Doctors and Drug Companies have no incentive to make you well or find cures. How did our system end up this way? Doctor's do not profit if you are healthy, only if you are sick. If you are not sick, then they recommend unneeded surgery or treatments so they can profit from you. We no longer find cures for diseases because doctors make a ton of money form the drug companies to recommend drug therapies for their patients so they can keep the money coming in. This is an evil of the capitalist health care system we have in the USA.

If you are treated by a doctor, and he fails to make you better, you still have to pay him. If you have surgery that fails, and even if you die because the doctor was not successful in his procedure, the doctor still expects to get paid and will go after your estate to collect. There is something very, very wrong with this.

The focus on doctors should be maintaining your wellness, not treating you because you get sick from poor diet and lifestyles choices. Just like a car, which will last longer and run better when it is properly maintained thruough preventive and scheduled maintenance programs. I would much rather pay for scheduled wellness exams than to deal with the stress and anxiety of getting sick. While the treatment programs would still be needed in such a system, integrating the current system with programs of wellness will benefit everyone and reduce the extreme costs associated with the present system.

Like annual or bi-annual dental checks are a necessity for maintaining healthy teeth for a lifetime, the same thing principal applies to our bodies.

** Crossposted on Backroads of my Mind

October 8, 2008

WHO'S on First?

Country First.

Does that slogan invoke patriotism and allegiance for you?

Not me. It send chills down my spine. It reminds me of another leader who made had a similar slogan. "Deutschland Über Alles". Translated it reads "Germany above all" or "Germany over everything".

Is this the course of action you want in this country? No matter how immoral our character, you would still support it? No matter how unethical the practices of our leaders, you would still support them? Country First, Right or Wrong? Would you pledge allegiance to a country that support the rights of government over individual rights? If so, then you are not a patriot, you are an enemy to the ideals that founded this country.

The slogan "Country First" sounds greedy, self-centered, stubborn, and egotistical, not to mention it also goes against what people of faith believe, that one should always put God first, and God created all life on the planet, not only the life in this country. Even if we use God as a metaphor for the natural creation of the universe and the life within, it is still the result of this creation that should take precedence over man-made imaginary boundaries and ill-formed ideas we use to govern and provide for humanity.

Country First? I say NO. I say HELL NO. If my country is wrong, even if it is only my opinion, then I'm going to stand up and say something. Dissension is patriotic. It is political dissension that created this country and is a constitutional right. Our present leaders like to describe their own political dissenters as the same as those want to attack this country using violence, but it is not the same. It is possible to be a dissenter without taking rights away from people or causing the destruction of person or property.

If innocent people suffer because of a political ideology, then it is wrong, no matter who the aggressor. When our country causes the death and destruction of innocent lives and property, the our country is wrong, just like it is wrong when those kind of attacks happen to us. It is never righteous only because it is our country. Blind allegiance is ignorance. We are better than that, and we need to make this country always take a moral course of action, and when it doesn't, to stand up against it.

There are things our country is doing right now which are morally and ethical WRONG. We can't fight against our enemies for liberty, human rights, and fair justice if we are not the role models for those ideals. If you fight against an ideology which uses torture, the you can not use the same practices on your enemy, or you become the same as those you oppose.

As a member of the military I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. To me that also means enemies within the government that wave an American flag or wear their patriotism on their lapel while insulting and ignoring the document that defines how our laws will be created and enforced in this country. It defines the architecture of our government and guarantees the right to dissent.

It is the people that create this "country" and keep it on a moral path. It will soon be election day, it is time the people speak up and let our representatives know of how we feel.

Country First? Right or Wrong? If you say yes, then you will be an loyal subject when fascism arrives.

. Crossposted on Backroads of My Mind

October 2, 2008

September Ends, Please Don't Wake Me Up

Last month has been one to remember: Storms, evacuations, family, relatives, doctor appointments, travel, curtains shutting, stress, loneliness, failing economy.

Good Bad Happy Sad
Moments of Significance
Sun shines above clouds

It's life. It gets in the way of your plans. Life. Why can't we stick to the plan?

What's Next?

It's time for some Homeostasis and a Trail Run.

"Sing me to sleep,
Sing me to sleep,
I'm tired and I
I want to go to bed......"
- Asleep - The Smiths

Feeling "Infinite"?

September 25, 2008


Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Friend, Retired Navy Veteran, Harley-Davidson and NASCAR enthusiast.

Paul E. Lightfoot SUFFOLK, Virginia - Paul Edwin Lightfoot passed away Sept. 23, 2008. Born in Sulfur Bluff, Texas, he was the son of the late Archie O. and Willie Maude (Cox) Lightfoot.

Paul was a proud retired U.S. Navy veteran with more than 22 years of loyal service, serving during both the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War. He had also been employed with the Virginia State Police as a motorist assistant. He was a member of Burdette Baptist Church, Suffolk Moose Lodge No. 141, VFW Post No. 2582 and the Fleet Reserve Association.

He will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 51 years, Phyllis Neuman Lightfoot; one son, Daniel Lightfoot of Windsor, Va.; one daughter, Donna Nickerson of Virginia Beach; his brother, Harold D. Lightfoot of Mount Vernon, Texas; also missing him will be his four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens by the Rev. Larry Cribb. Friends may join the family at Harrell & Hill Funeral Home Friday from 7 to 8 p.m. for visitation and at the residence at other times.

- Virginian Pilot

September 13, 2008

Shooting Star

I arose before sunrise this morning to get a run in before the sun and the heat of the day made the temperature intolerable. After a quick warm-up and stretch, I started out running in my middle-class suburban neighborhood. I was running eastbound with a very nice breeze keeping me cooled off, thinking it was too warm and too humid and wondering when the cooler temps will be here.

As I zoned off in my thoughts looking at the first gleams of sunlight on the eastern horizon, a shooting star painted a momentary sparkling streak across the sky just above the horizon. Sweet. I love unexpected reminders of the universe's love.

Then, I thought, hey, that was a falling star. Was I supposed to make a wish, or is that only for the first star you see at night? I couldn't remember. So, I wished for better memory. No, wait, I can't wish for something for myself. It has to be unselfish.

So I for wished for more wisdom for all life on the planet.

At the same time, people lives were in jeopardy in Houston as the planet tries to balance it's health with Hurricane Ike which will cause major damage to human lives and property. I also wished Ike's impact on the human world will be minimal.

I got back Monday from the area south of Baton Rouge that was hit hard by hurricane Gustav, which caused major damage, but seemed to go mostly unnoticed by the big media outlets. They are still picking up the pieces, and Ike is supposed to be far worse. I felt guilty leaving the area when they needed so much help, but I had to get back to work.

We are powerless from the forces of nature, which can be dazzling, as well as humbling.

Crossposted on Backroads Of My Mind

September 11, 2008

Baby Steps

I've been busy lately, running around the south, spending time with daughter and granddaughters who evacuated for Hurricane Gustav, then had to be driven back home last week. It was fun, but it wore me out.

Compared to the rest of Baton Rouge, the damage to their home was minimal. They got power back on Thursday, we drove back Friday afternoon. When we got to the house, the dogs had been in a kennel, inside the house for many hours, and were sick, and they made a horrible stinking mess. We had to get the dogs into the back yard, let them do their business, then carry them upstairs to get them washed, clean their kennels because they sleep in them, and clean the area where the mess was in the house and air out the stink from the house, while trying to keep two hungry tired toddlers happy. That was just Friday, after a long drive. Saturday my daughter cleaned out the fridge and I tried to go grocery shopping. The wait to get into Wal-Mart (YECCCHHHH) was 30 minutes, then an hour to check out. I decided to go to the Winn-Dixie down the road, but they were out of almost everything, so we could just get enough for a few days. We were lucky, they had Milk, Cold Cereal, Bread, and Lunch Meat and Sodas. My son-in-law has been busy working long hours until the power is fully restored. Plus, Grandpa niCk had to make time to play with the grandkids and bond with the puppies. I've been very busy.

Where they live there are many houses with no roofs, many trees that had demolished houses, trailers in pieces and flooding in many parts. They said the damage in area south of Baton Rouge was much worse than they saw with Katrina. Most people still have no power and won't have any for weeks. Many people are in public shelters. The noise of generators is everywhere, and every time you go to the gas station everybody is filling up several gas canisters for their generator. My Daughter's neighborhood lucked out because they were in a newer community without many big trees and I believe the power lines are underground, because I didn't see any lines on poles.

It going to take awhile for the area to recover, but little by little, without any more storms (Ike, you better stay away), everything will return to normal chaos.

Speaking of "Baby Steps", here is a video Running 101, from Jeff Galloway on how to start running.

August 26, 2008

Wet Willy

No time for blogging. The weather has been perfect for running, which is rare at this time of year. Three days of rain, and today is looking like rain, also. Man, I love all this rain, time for playing outdoors.

Work has been busy, too, but I don't like to talk about that.

...and I have a new distraction.

Stay Wet!

August 15, 2008


Recycled article cross-posted on Backroads:

Human nature is characterized by reason and tolerance. In a natural state all people are equal and independent, and as John Locke says "no one has a right to harm another's “life, health, liberty, or possessions.” " The last becoming the well-known "pursuit of happiness" guaranteed to all humans living in a just society.

With what is going on today in the in the U.S., we must remember that governmental check and balances and revolution is not only a constitutional right, but an obligation in some circumstances.

The nonsense going on with both political parties will continue until we demand and perhaps force change upon the system. These parties's, initially established to promote a set of represented ideals of our citizens, are now controlled by the money of special interest groups and have been scraping the original ideals and qualities on which they were built. These parties, in representing its member citizens, should be free of the influence of capitalism and religious groups.

Conservatism and Liberalism are the ideals these political parties are "supposed" to represent. Conservatism based on an approach to govern based on tradition and authority, and Liberalism being based on personal freedom and Progress. Usually, the Republicans have been identified as the conservative party, while the Democrats have taken a liberal approach, but we all know liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats (i.e. William Jefferson Clinton). The Liberal Republicans even claimed their own political party at one time. Of course if you go back to the origins of the Republican party, the were known as the Democratic-Republican Party at one time.

Most people don't consciously chose a side, it a reflection of their personality, in my opinion. I really don't have a choice in the direction of how believe people should be treated and governed, I use the wisdom evolution gave me and feelings of my spirit to guide me. I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated, however I've never been driven by the greed and materialism that seems to influence most people in the U.S. I've never been influenced by the promise of things, but rather by the progression of ideas. There is no right or wrong way to live, as long as you don't inhibit the rights and liberties of anyone else.

Personally, I have always leaned to the conservative side, but have a lot of viewpoints and opinions that most people would consider liberal.

I believe the best way to live is someone in middle ground of these two influences. I like tradition and routine, but believe that progress is as necessary to life as evolution. I like to have my personal liberties, but believe that some sort of government is required to limit the power, influence, and greed of those who take advantage of others.

It is best to try to balance these ideals, conservatism and liberalism, and not let one side have too much influence over the other. That is exactly what is currently happening in the U.S. It is time to balance these groups.

Thomas Jefferson was one of the most intelligent presidents the US has ever elected. In the present day, intelligent people stay far away from the nonsense of politics, but in his day it was actually an honorable profession.

That made me realize, that two of the basic founding philosophies promoted by the Republican party, in Jefferson's day, were sharp limits on the powers of the federal government, and the separation of church and state.

Look at them now. It is time to fire these imposters that have hijacked the Republican party and created a government which is beginning to give itself too much power and becoming controlled by the influence of the religious conservatives.

August 13, 2008

Elixir of Life


Touched by Heaven


Chatter on my window

Excess brings abundance, Denial brings lifelessness

Love from above

Nature's reign on me

August 12, 2008

Rain Happy

Under the weather
Physically, Mentally, Literally
Exhausted without cause
Cleansing rain, much impurity

The Black Dog is scratching on my back door.

August 7, 2008

Friday Dogs in Bama Films Blogging

Home State Premiere, August 10, at the Capri Theatre in Montgomery. Tonya S. Holly and star of the film, Lily Matland Holly will be in attendance.

Inspired by a true story. With her faithful dog and pet rabbit in tow, young Lily Strickland (Lily Matland Holly) leaves her mother (Amy Redford) and grandparents (Diane Ladd and Lee Majors) behind to embark on a purposeful journey: to find where her father disappeared at sea years ago. But she also leaves behind her mother's new boyfriend, Dean (Richard Tyson), a man with a disturbingly dark side that only Lily has seen firsthand.

Filmed in Alabama, Award Winning Independent Film: When I Find the Ocean

For showtimes and ticket information, please visit:

The film is also already available on DVD and thru NetFlix.

Ok, so the customer reviews on NetFlix aren't so great, but most complain about it being a sappy family drama, and I like those kind of movies, so it won't stop me.

One reviewer states "The dog was the best actor and deserves an oscar". Well, yeah. duh! That is enough of an endorsement for me.


August 4, 2008

It was so humid.......

Haiku Version:
(inspired by MadHaiku)

sultry summer rush
hot wet gasping thick moist air
running in the south

Long Version:

This last Saturday's race was HOT, like last year, but more humid.

I'm so sick of this miserable heat. Please September, come quick.

Dew was still forming on my car as I drove to the race, it wouldn't dry even as I was driving, with wind hitting the windshield. The wipers on my car could not keep the outside of the windows from fogging up. It was 75 (F), which means the dew point was 75 degrees or higher. It was 85 at race time and I was sweating standing still.

SOOOOOOOO, that's my excuse for running a disappointing time, the air was just too thick to breath. My time was off by about a minute, but so was star of the show, the Alabama State 5K champion. His time was off by about a 45 seconds from his great finish last year, even the Kenyans, who usually finish in under 15:00 minutes, didn't finish as well as the past.

Three summers ago I would have been more than satisfied with that time. Then, my 5K average was around 25 minutes, and some slower race times. I thought I was past my peak, and couldn't take the heat here in the south. During a routine physical I complained to my physician of not sleeping well, sore muscles and tendons, and RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome). He noted that my iron levels were a bit low, and referred me to a neurologist to treat the RLS. I knew that my iron was low, because for the first time in my life I had been turned down for blood donation only a week before the physical. The neurologist took more blood to check my ferritin count, a component of blood iron that isn't checked during routine physicals. I received a call the next day from the neurologist's receptionist. She said that I needed to go to the store and get some iron supplements and start taking them right away. The effect was immediate, soreness disappeared, RLS stopped, and my running pace quickened without much effort. It was not just low blood iron, but low ferritin. The low ferritin was causing the low blood iron and not allowing for proper recovery after my runs. Why was the ferritin low? It was a combination of my active lifestyle, excessive sweating (I grew up in much milder climates), and a vegetarian diet. I have since modified my diet, but I still sweat too much in the summer.

Fellow Montgomery Runners
From left to right: Ron, Jim, Diane, and me (# 356)


August 1, 2008

Friday Canine Companion Blogging

No time for blogging. Going on a weekend trip to the RRCA Southern Regional 5K Championship. I don't stand a chance against these elite runners, but I get to socialize with them, which is all I want to do.

This is what I want to do when I retire. No, not become a Canine Companion, raise them.

Click it, it's a link!

July 28, 2008

Peach Pie and Getting High

I started my day on Saturday 3:00 AM. I can barely sleep the night before a race, this night was no different. I ate my pre-race breakfast of oatmeal with raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts and, about 30 minutes later, a Clif Bar and a big cup of coffee.

The race Saturday morning was in Auburn, about a 45 minute drive away. Auburn, being a major university town, is more runner friendly than other places around Alabama. The course was hilly, but shady, through the neighborhoods around the University. The heat and humidity took it's toll on me, and I did not do as well as I hoped. That's the way it goes, summer in the south, so it wasn't surprising.

The Church sponsoring the run was having a Peach festival, and there were lots of free peach treats after the race. Peach Pie, Ice Cream, Cheesecake, cobbler, and the baskets of Peaches were the prizes. As if the whole south was in synch that day, I heard the Peaches song on my way to the run, and my race number was 42.

Going to the Country, gonna eat a lot of peaches...

The plan for the rest of the day was to go home, take a nap, then drive to Birmingham to do the Trak Shak 5K Retro Run that evening. This is not unusual for me, if I can find two races close-by that I can schedule in one day, I will.

After my nap, with dreams of dogs and Granddaughters, I got up and starting prepping for the evening run. I turned on the weather channel and saw a big area of rain heading for Birmingham and Montgomery. At first I thought that it would be good to run a race in the rain, I always do very well in the rain. The Trak Shak run has a big party afterword, and that would be ruined, and many people would not show up because of the rain. I'd like it, I love to be in the rain in the summer here, but most people don't like to be rained on.

I was also thinking how lovely it would be to go for a long run in the rain. So as the storm approached, I cancelled my Birmingham plans, put on my running gear, waited for the storm front to pass, and went for a long, wet, wonderful run in the rain. It rained for three hours.

The world made love to me. I was in euphoria for the rest of the evening.

July 25, 2008

Friday Book and Blog Dogging

I hear that Starbucks has these new "healthy" smoothies, so I run over and try one of the Chocolate Banana beverage/meal. It is very good. Yes, I have smoothies for dinner sometimes.

I'm standing there as they make my drink and I see this new book they are promoting The Art of Racing in the Rain a story from a dog's point of view. The author is Garth Stein

The book's narrator is a philosophical thinking dog. This will most likely be the next book I read, and the cover jacket synopsis told me this is the kind of story I'd love.

Dogs, Rain, Racing, Philosophy. It's like they are marketing directly to me. The racing is car racing, but at least they know how to get my attention.

GARTH STEIN is the author of three novels, The Art of Racing in the rain, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (winner of a 2006 PNBA Book Award), and Raven Stole the Moon. His play, Brother Jones, was produced in Los Angeles in 2005, and was hailed as "brimming with intensity" by the LA Weekly. He teaches writing to students from second grade to adult, and lives in Seattle with his family, including Comet the quadruped.

July 24, 2008


Addendum to my last post: Responding to the "great job" comment from the PostSecret postcard I posted.

The next postcard on that blog talks about how unhappy a person can become in a stressful job.

Most of my career I've had great, interesting, and seemingly important jobs. When I first started in my present career, I loved the work and would do it for fun when I wasn't working. It was software development. Slinging code is much like solving complicated math word problems, which is somewhat easy and fun for me. I don't enjoy it as much anymore, it has become so complex and mismanaged. I've been dreaming a new career, but what?

I have a great job and work with wonderful people, but I desperately want to run away from it. I've had jobs that I like better, and I've only had one job that I really hated (worked for a Major TeleCom Corporation). I'm afraid to leave a good job, not knowing what's next for me, so I stick to my "lead role in a cage", but dreaming about something else.

Some people thrive on change, others hate it. It's not so much the change that I dislike, it's the unplanned or unforeseen consequences of the change that stress me, so I stick with cold comfort.

Running over the same old ground.
What have we found
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

I'm just rambling.........

July 23, 2008

The American Dream

When I was 35 I bought a home.

I loved the house. It was in a perfect location next to a park with easy access to hiking trails and bike paths. You could walk out the front door and bike or hike to the city, or the wilderness. For someone like me who loathes driving and dependence on a motor vehicle, the location of the place suited me well.

Even though finally I fulfilled the standard of success in the U.S., the ownership of that house was not only a heavy weight to bear, it felt like ball and chain. Almost like a virtual prison, disabling my freedom.

We sold the home four years later, as a result of my divorce. I've not had a desire to buy another home.

Why is home/land ownership an "American Dream"?
Why is it so important for us to declare "mine, mine, mine"?

March 29, 2008

Turn OFF

Thanks to azgoddess for reminding me to turn out the lights tonight.

Find something to do which can be done in the dark...... Dancing.

March 22, 2008

Running with Glen

I met up with Glen around Tallassee and ran around 4 miles with him. He was trying to go 100 miles today, which would take him well into Georgia. He did over 60 yesterday, and is feeling strong for his final push to Savannah. He is setting new records.

While we were running, Glen put his trip in perspective:
Dean Karnazes made headlines when he did 50 marathons (1300 miles) in 50 days (in all 50 states).

Glen will do almost a hundred marathons (> 2500) in less than 40 days.

We did a Podcast interview, before I turned around and he pushed on.

Keep on Zzzooming, Glen.....

Update: He made 101 miles on Saturday, and 80 on Sunday. Around 160 miles to go...

From Glen's website:
March 25, 2008 Update:
Glen has reached Tybee Island, GA and has successfully finished his journey! His total distance is 4,233 km in 37 days 1 hour and 18 minutes. Congratulations Glen!

4233 km = 2630.264 mi (or more than 101 marathons)

March 21, 2008

For Nancy: Dog Blogging Friday

Even your dog has a blog

Max The Golden Retriever

Update on Glen (from the previous post): He will be running through Montgomery this weekend, I hope to meet with him and maybe run some miles along side him.

I've been extremely busy with other distractions, little time left for blogging, but I still browse the blogs. See Ya round the blogosphere.......

March 6, 2008

Ultra-Running Extremist

Meet Glen R. Turner.

He is more than just a runner, more than an ultra-runner.

He is a Journey Runner and Zzzoomer, averaging 46 miles a day.

He is running all the way across the U.S., then he will be running around the world.

Want to know more? Go to his website and check him out, and support him if you can.

Glen Turner Running & Zzzooming - Running Across America Blog

Thank you Carole, for bringing this to my attention, I will make sure I catch him as he comes through Montgomery. More links and articles about Glen can be found at Carole's blog

February 25, 2008

Quietly, Into the Light

Apathy has taken control of my blog time.

The voices are still there, shouting as loud as ever.

I have found a way to block out the yelling in my head.

The voices stop when I look directly into the light.

February 20, 2008

Why We Eat

The main purpose of eating is to maintain your health.

In the U.S. it is also a major source of entertainment and gratification. Since religionists identify other forms of self-gratification as immoral, they have created a culture in which this form of pleasure is wholesome and acceptable, when there are times when it isn't. My opinion is; in moderation, any form of contentment is healthy, and avoidence or obsession of these pleasures is ultimately destructive to our body's homeostasis.

There is a joy to eating, and science has learned to recreate the source of the stimulus, without providing the nutrition that real, whole food should provide. They do this by processing the food with salts, sugar, chemicals, and imitation flavors and ingredients. Your body will respond to this imbalance of nutrition from these artificial foods with cravings, which effects our moods, for the nutrients which is missing from the food.

We need to focus on real, whole, unprocessed foods in great variety and colors. If we would pay more for better, well-grown food, we'll benefit ourselves, our communities, and the environment at large.

A good source for nutrition information, and the ecology of food is Michael Pollan

February 14, 2008

My Freedom

I once had the confidence to walk on the edge of life, at spectacular heights.

I didn't realize the reason for my confidence and courage of heights until they were gone.

It was because you held my hand.


Many have I loved - Many times been bitten
Many times I've gazed along the open road.

Many times I've lied - Many times I've listened
Many times I've wondered how much there is to know.

Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold.

Mellow is the man who knows what he's been missing
Many many men can't see the open road.

Many is a word that only leaves you guessing
Guessing 'bout a thing you really ought to know, ooh!

You really ought to know...

- "Over The Hills And Far Away" - Led Zeppelin

February 8, 2008

Your Bondage

You cannot be spiritual and egocentric at the same time.

You cannot say you have an eternal soul, if you are selfishly focused on your life, your beliefs, and your understanding of the material world.

You cannot say you know God, if you think that humans are some kind of unique deity-chosen animal to be the "caretaker" of this place. Humans are no more special than a handful of soil, or the worms that work it so life can prosper. Without either, life, as humans define it, would not exist.

Humans were late-comers to this planet, and will most likely be gone before this planet's demise. It is the natural order of things, to change, rid the bad parts, develop more useful and healthy life. Human life is only a mere speck of ordered material, inhabited for a very brief time on this piece of leftover debris.

Then there are the mysteries no human will ever know. The how, where, why, and what answers which are beyond what our limited insight and intelligence can show us. What is beyond the known universe, and beyond what we will never know? On that, we must rely on faith.

The lasting affect of long dead prophets, philosophers, and a supposed messiah, is not who they were nor how they lived, but how their past lives and teachings still influence our daily lives.

Enjoy all aspects of life. It is short, scary, and meaningless. The only thing that will outlast your brief moment of deluded consciousness, and bring some kind of meaning to your existence, is the affect you have on other meaningless lives.


February 7, 2008

Dreaming Of Taos

My dreams last night were of this place, Taos, New Mexico.

I shouldn't be publicizing it. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, no matter the season. Brilliant Landscapes, Dazzling Sunsets, Mild Weather, sparsely populated, Amazing Summer Lightning Shows, people who nurture and respect the land.

It is not a paradise. It is rural, rough, hostile and not for ready typical pampered U.S. citizen. Besides, like The Eagles said "You call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye"

This book about Taos, one of several nonfiction Taos books by John Nichols, author of The Sterile Cuckoo and The Milagro Beanfield War, is a memoir in words and pictures of his discovery and relocation to Taos. The pictures are wonderful, but don't even come close to showing the true beauty of this place, Taos.

When I lived in New Mexico, Taos was my favorite place to hike. Like the author, I would hate to see this place become the next place for rich east coast/west coast suburbanites and celebrities to ruin, like they ruined Sante Fe, New Mexico.

I plan to retire to Taos someday. Stay Away.


His other books I've enjoyed, or plan to enjoy:

The Sterile Cuckoo is different type of love story, and one of my favorites (the book version, not the movie, which changed the story), because I am much like the male protagonist, Jerry. The book ends as many of my dreams do, lost. I also liked the movie very much, except for the changed ending. Liza Minelli received an Oscar nomination for her role.

The Milagro Beanfield War captures the essence of New Mexico and her people, tells the battles of a small local farmer against corporate mega-farms. It is a quirky comedy that should be a classic and on school reading lists.

He has another book, The Wizard of Loneliness, which has also has a movie version. I've neither read the book nor seen the movie, but this sounds like the type of story I would enjoy.


February 3, 2008

Super Dull Sunday

It boggles my mind how anyone can find anything interesting about American Football.

They are Faking It, this obsession to this entertainment. Like a religion, people jump on the bandwagon because they see other people doing it, and they have been hypnotized by the great American Mind Control machine. It is another television event, in our weak-minded society. If you don't watch this and say it's "fun", then you're a nobody.

Many people have told me the names of the teams that are playing, but my lack of interest fails to retain this information. If it wasn't for the endless news hits which have been polluting the airwaves and internet, I wouldn't even know the game is on today.

On the positive side, it is a good time to go shopping. DAMN, I don't like shopping either. I guess I'll go for run. What else do you expect me to do?


February 1, 2008

The Foundation of our Culture

Momma loves her baby
And daddy loves you too.
And the sea may look warm to you babe
And the sky may look blue
But ooooh Baby
Ooooh baby blue
Oooooh babe.

If you should go skating
On the thin ice of modern life
Dragging behind you the silent reproach
Of a million tear-stained eyes
Don't be surprised when a crack in the ice
Appears under your feet.
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you
As you claw the thin ice.

- The Thin Ice, Pink Floyd

January 31, 2008

Crowded Isolation

Is there place that isn't so lonely?

People are so busy trying to do things to fill up their time, they are missing out getting to know other people.

The more I try to do the activities everyone else is doing, the more I try to fit in, socialize, and do the things people say are "fun, the more isolated I feel. I see them having this so-called fun, and it makes me sad. Literally.

I see this too much, that unless you are doing what they want you to do, what they like to do, what they consider worthwhile, then you are not worth their time. You must conform. They avoid people who think, act, or live differently from them.

Why live, if you're just going to be the same as everyone else?

It is time to run away, again.

"I gotta roll, can't stand still,
Got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill,
Eyes that shine burning red,
Dreams of you all thru my head."
- Black Dog, Led Zeppelin

January 28, 2008

Vengeance Is Mine

I can't support any of the presidential candidate frontrunners.

Even the Democrats are abandoning long held ideals in favor of popularity and votes.

Clinton, Obama and Edwards all support capital punishment.

January 24, 2008

It's Time

Worried about the economy? Why?

The U.S. is consuming the world's resources at a rate that is unsustainable. With less the 5% of the world's population, we consume 80% of the world's resources. If this were to continue, the U.S. will destroy the world within the next few centuries.

Economic growth is a deadly disease upon the Earth, and capitalism is it's most incurable affliction. We cannot have perpetual economic growth, and necessary climate and ecology practices. Economic growth is incompatible with a healthy earth.

The forces of Mordor (U.S.) will destroy the last few places of peace and healthy earth-friendly living in this world, until it is used every last resource within it's endless reach, and destroyed peace and nature, for the endless gluttony it demands.

Perhaps this can be prevented. Economic collapse destroyed the Roman Empire, and the Nazis dream of global domination. I'm hopeful economic collapse will shrink the USA's addictions to consumerism, material wealth, and global destruction of nature's resources.

The last eight years have seen unprecedented U.S. government spending and ever increasing use of dwindling military forces and contracted mercenaries to gain influence in the regions where we pilfer our "needed" resources. These actions have not only caused much shame to our country, but bitterness from groups whose ideals differ the majority of the U.S.'s.

We need to not only to stop our reckless economic growth, and cut it back to a more reasonable level. We need to stop our insatiable appetite for the worlds resources and learn to live in harmony with the other culture's needs and ideals, and in harmony with the earth that sustains our lives. We need to live within the space of the environment we inhabit, quit stealing resources from other places when we have plenty of our own to sustain us comfortably.

I'm not afraid of economic collapse, I think we need it, before the earth becomes a wasteland, and before our consumption becomes the cause of our extinction.


January 20, 2008

Miserable Comfort

I train for four months to run the race we ran yesterday.

I had a goal. To beat last years time. That didn't happen, but I was so glad to just finish, and surprised that it only took one minute longer than last year. It was the most miserable conditions I've EVER run.

I ran a trail run (Top of Tantalus) in Hawaii once, in heavy rain and ankle deep puddles and mud with slippery tree roots. That was bad, but at least it was warm, and the scenery was breathtaking.

I'm a person who loves the cold (not bitter cold), and love rain, and I love to run in inclement weather, but every person has their limits. The wind usually doesn't bother me, I can dress for that.

Yesterday was miserable. How miserable was it?

It was cold, windy, with heavy rain mixed with snow (the first time I've seen snow since moving here seven years ago). We had to run in those conditions for almost two hours. Continuous heavy rain and wind. We were soaked, numb feet and hands, and muscles that were becoming stiff from the cold.

It was a little comfort to see 200 fellow runners experiencing the same misery, and some of them weren't dress as well as I, for these conditions. We will be remembering this race as the worst conditions many of us will ever suffer.

As I was changing after the run, and putting my wet clothes into a bag to take home, I swear they must have weighed five to ten pounds. The upscale fitness club which sponsored the run, had very nice showers, with those foot wide shower heads. That was the best hot shower ever. My hands and feet were still cold later that night when I soaked in and hot tub and finally got the rest of the chill out of my body.

When I got home, everyone was excited because it actually snow and accumulated about one inch. It is such a rare event here, but yesterday I could care less. I just spend the rest of the day trying to get the chill out of my body. I slept well last night.


January 17, 2008


For the next few weeks, and possibly permanently, look for new posts here on Sundays.

I'll be running in a half marathon Saturday, then going to play in the snow in the Smoky Mountains, weather permitting. A winter storm is developing and could be hitting us on Saturday. The weather man has even said the "S" word about Friday night/Saturday morning, I doubt it will happen (I'm an optimist), but a cold rain or freezing precipitation could make things interesting, since I don't have cold weather rain gear for running.

Work, training, and a hectic schedule have me a bit overwhelmed for a little while. Please keep the place tidy.

January 13, 2008

A Purpose and a Plan

One of my future vacation plans is go on a Hut-to-Hut hiking trip in Austria.

In Austria, most villages are not only connected by roads, but also by hiking trails, and it is possible to tour most of the country via these trails . There are even government sponsored hostels to provide budget travelers lodging and meals at a very reasonable cost. They even brew a special beer for the hikers. There is one tour that combines beer tasting and hiking. That's what I call motivation, hike to the next town to sample some local brews. (Mass produced Kool-Aid beers are shunned in these parts of the world).

Anyway, I was over at Hill's Country, I found out there is a special town in Austria I need to visit while I'm there. Fucking, Austria.

Here are the directions from Tarsdorf to Fucking. Pay close attention to last step in the directions.

I want to go to Fucking Austria.

I want to go to the Fucking town, and stay at the Fucking hotel. Then I want to go out and eat at a Fucking restaurant, go meet some of the Fucking people (would they be called Fuckers?) and see all the Fucking sights. Maybe I can get a meet a woman while I'm there , and finally have a Fucking girlfriend, You know, someone who can help me find my special purpose.

When we're done we'll hit the Fucking road to get the Bleep out of Fucking. Then again, maybe we'll stay there and have a great Fucking life.

Excuse me while I go dream of Fucking......

(Wow, writing that was strangely satisfying.)

Please don't steal the Fucking sign, or someone might miss Fucking, and that wouldn't be good.

Although it may seems like I'm taking advantage of the name this town, no expletives have been used in writing this post! So you guys watch your fucking language.