Monday, December 31, 2007

NYED Volume 2007 in the Year of Our Lord!

It was a modest crowd, except for Davo he's not real modest, er, wait, not that kind of modest, it was a smallish crowd.

We had Becky, Joe, Candi, Andy (that's me), Davo, Lisa, Gretchen and Juno (that's Davo's dog). We ran 15 miles, it was a good time. I ran too fast (almost kept up with Davo) for the first 1/2 was a little worried about that pesky ITB, but then I slowed down a tic and hoofed it in with Candi and Becky.

It was a stone groove. Can I tell you, what a great way to end the year. I do believe I'll start the New Year same activity at a different venue.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

You Ougtta Give it Back

Today, this morning, (except for my neighbors for them it was still last night, as they were just getting in, all liquored up) I left the house at 3:40 AM to go help the fabulous Luna Chicks in the 9th Annual Unafulluna Starkey Park 50 Mile/50 K/Half Marathon/and 5 K.

..... 50-Mile Runners, starting at 5 AM, Crazy!! ....

It was so cool helping out with the race. I got some pictures. Hey, check it out, on the right are my most excellent pacers from Ancient Oaks. There is Tracy (she's the cute one) and Adam (ok, he aint to bad either, I guess, I mean Tracy loves him, but that's just not how I roll, not that there is anything wrong with that.) I didn't say it enough, they really did well for me, I owe them!

This is Maureen O'Sullivan, picture over on the left (She hated the other picture and demanded I replace it with this one): Now we know where her son, former Jesuit Student and Andy Mathews coached track star, and a D-I football player at Mississippi State, gets his speed; Maureen won the 5 K.

Now you want to talk awesome: This is E, making sure that my work is akrit (that's an Alabama term, it means close enough for volunteer work), she's and Pam are the heart and soul of all things Luna.

Speaking of Pam, she and I were Leto Falcons together back in the late 70's, and early 80's. Pam and her twin sister Patty would follow my footsteps into the Hall of Fame at Leto. Who knew, we were neighbors, we were schoolmates, and now we work together (well for that morning anyway)

...... AndyMan and Pam, taking a break......

Oh, yeah, one more, Jim Sullivan, one of only two Florida cats to finish Western States was there, and he's so cool, check out that mug! What a smile!

Anyway, it was a stone cold blast, wish I had been able to stay for the whole foray, but I had to watch the Bucs 2nd and third team get edged out by the Parolina Canthers full team. Well, I understood resting the Bucs starting football players, but why did they rest the good coaches too. No way Gruden called some of those bonehead plays, I mean he's a professional right?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Has it really been 10 Weeks?

It's so Good to back at the Desert Lake Club! Ottis My man! Ok, it wasn't the Desert Lake Club, but it was great to be back up at Croom, after a 2+ month hiatus.

I ran up in Croom today with the Beckster (this is her taking a break in a tree, slacker)

It was so good to be back in "our" park. That's what the newbee park volunteer called it when I thanked her for helping out the park. "And thank you for coming out to OUR park." Er, hey, I know I've been gone like 10 weeks, but "I've been running this place 40 times a year for 7 years and I've never seen you before, Hon, unless by OUR you mean YOUR you're ticking me off a mite (and geez, I was just saying thanks)"

Hey that's not the only cool tree in Croom, there is this one tree that Candi calls Chase's tree, (I thought he may have thrown up there once, but that's not the case, she just said it reminds her of him. Of course Candi and I have been running Croom together for 7 years, Chase was here maybe a year or two, and I don't have a tree, jeez...) Anyway, here's Chase's tree (and me trying to push it down, I'm standing on the other one to get a little leverage.)

That's not the only tree that has a name, there is also what the park service calls the Bench Tree, and we call John Holmes tree. Below I'm laying on the tree (if you look close you can see the we Heart U John Holmes spray painted on the tree.)

Another Cool little place is on E's Hill, named after... E, anyway, several years ago E made a peace sign up there and it gets wrecked from time to time and it's the Job of every Florida Ultrarunner to fix that peace sign when we happen upon it in disrepair. This was the case today and Becky and I did our best to fix it up. I'm afraid we didn't do great, but we'll coax E back up after her race tomorrow and she'll fix it right up!

Well there you have it a picture tour of Croom, we made it all the way around, we went through Bundy's Pit, Here's the Beckster chugging down the pit. You really can't tell from my amateur photography, but that pit is steep! You gotta be careful there.
Can I admit something here to the two of you reading?
It was great to be back up there, it was great to be running, and there is no other way that I'd rather get around that loop. Yep only running, and pain free running at that! Well, I may enjoy going the route the Sparky took, that looked kind of fun too!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tic Tac Toe, 3 in a Row!

Thank the Lord for small favors.
Used to be running three days in a row was a given, but used to bees don't count anymore (What's that from, a song I think, I don't remember), I hope not to take that for granted anymore!

Today I drove down to a new place, Balm Boyette Scrub Nature Preserve. It's cool, it's just like Flatwoods, but it's cool. It was Elaine's annual birthday and birthday run (I won't say how far she was running but it was slightly more than 29 miles.) I ran about 15 with her, I really don't know how many, I was out there a little more than 3 1/2 hours, but we weren't running as much as we were chatting, which is what one should do on one's birthday. I know I promised Chase and SuperDave pictures, but alas, I forgot my fancy new camera, I'll bring it tomorrow, promise.

But I did see each of the following:

A Swamp (I could lie and say I took these, I promise I saw them all:)
Mountain BikesMigrant Workers (there is a Strawberry Field forever next to the entrance)It was a beautiful 74 degree day, and the mayor of Balm made sure there was absolutely no snow on the roads, so getting there was like safe boating....... No accident!

Tomorrow, I'm going for four in a row, and I'll be thankful.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

P.0. Boxing Day

Where was the first Boxing Day celebrated? Well, I don't know that, but I do know this, my dad would have said Madison Square Gardens.
Last year I was in Canadia on Boxing Day, this year is better. Though someone did ask me once if I drank Canada Dry, and I said, "No, but I'll give it a shot!" (It's a joke, I don't believe one should drink to excess only access)
Ok, ran again today, 7 miles, no pain. It was my first back to back day since before Ancient Oaks. Tomorrow I'll try for the 3-peat.

As I was driving to Morris Bridge, Trout Creek Site, I was behind a very nice black Ford F-150 pickemup truck. This fella had rendered his nice truck classless (without class) as he displayed the piss-boy on his rear windshield. I'm all for the 1st Amendment of the 27 to our Constitution, but have a little couth, piss-boy. If I want to display:Then, no worries. This is just on my blog. No kids need see it, and I can explain that this is just an example of something I don't like, and I don't like it to the point where as I'm out running if I see the Piss-Boy on a parked car I will tear the decal/bumbersticker right off. Yep, I'm going to be the P-B police! So, how do I really feel? I'm not going to give you 1000 words on it; just this:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

HO, HO, HO! Merry Christmas :-)

I gave myself a Christmas present today, I ran 8ish miles 7ish, 8ish, I don't know. But it was a nice present. It was a nice day. In the picture to the right are Davo and I after the Christmas run. He celebrates Christmas, why not, Jesus was a Jew, and a fine one at that!

My Ali-girl greatest daughter ever got me a beautiful present! She didn't get me the so-what pair of shoes that I asked for, because I was too lazy to buy them myself. No, she is much smarter than that! She gave me a gorgeous 8 X 10 framed studio picture. She's a young lady, wow. She is something special, I hope her mom and I don't mess her up!
.SuperDave, holding the aforementioned picture of the Ali-Girl.

My main man SuperDave got me a digital camera, that's really cool. I won't have to rely so much on google to supply my pictures, I can do it myself, (once Chaser schools me on the proper usage of Photo shop.

Anyway, it didn't feel much like Christmas at 78 degrees, but the love in the air felt a whole lot like Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Resolutions are Hair!

An Early Resolution: The Gym, I'm going to start going, really this time. The AC 100 taught me, two things:

1) Gotta be strong. No doughboys in the Grandslam. It's one thing to be able to run 100 miles, but it takes a different stronger body to recover in time to run another 100 miles in three weeks, which I'll have to do twice in the slam. Gotta strengthen the core, the back, the hips, may throw in some Rogainne too, as long as I'm getting the body looking buff, may as well get the hair looking good too. "What's different about him? Did he lose weight?" My secret, "No, I went to see Sy Sperling, he's not just the president of the Hair Club for Men, he's also a customer!"
2) Never trust Mike Melton to send you pictures. (hey the ones that SuperDave sent me weren't usable, and took like 40 minutes to download on high speed wireless, but he sent them! I can look at them, but I just can't use them.)

Ok, off to the Gym, I'm a gym-rat now, I hope all of the good spots near the mirrors aren't taken, Gee from this angle I look ________ (fill in the blank, best response wins free stuff)

BTW, Arlene won the First Watch Gift Card, we gotta meet for a brew so I can hand it out! And I have to get and learn Photo Shop, if this was Chase's blog, his mug would be all over the buff dude and on Sy, man, it would be sweet!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Feel Good!

So far no fallout from yesterday's 15-miler. I Feel Good:

I do Imagine that I'm feeling a little more pain then the Godfather above, because, well, he's above (unless you listen to those S.C. redneck cops, they may say otherwise)

Hey, I'm running on Christmas Day, who's with me? Come-on, who's with me. I'll travel, I'll do it, but I'm running, it's my Christmas present to me (ok, so it's my second present, but who says you're limited to one?)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

At Least it was NOT 20!

It was an early Christmas today.

I'm usually pretty good at waiting till Christmas to open my presents, but I got in to the spirit a little early this year. I was doing well cruising along, then it was Ali's mom see, she gave her a new cell phone, and gave it to her as an early present, so I had to match her present for present, I had to. It had nothing to do with me wanting to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2-disk special edition. I was just trying to keep up really it was.

Ok, well since Ali got a couple of presents early, I thought I deserved an early present. and since I had nothing under the tree, I gave myself the onliest present I could think of.... er, a I sorta went for a little run at Morris Bridge this morning. Hey, hey, hey, everyone else was getting presents, so I gave myself one, what?

Anyway, I was careful, I didn't run too far, only 15 miles (yeah, I didn't think it was that long, but then I checked it out, and it was 15 miles) but I did run very slowly. And I was careful, and it was a chance to run with my friends Brian Singletary, and Frank Sierra, (he is a doctor, so you know, I had that going for me, well, a dentist is a doctor) and Leon was there for an hour. See, so there was that. And we saw like 30 little pigs and 3 really large ones (so it was 15, but it was a bunch, and they were SO cute), and one small gator. That was fun.

Any way, we are talking 5 hours later, and still no pain, so I think I'm pretty much well, but still, I'm waiting till Christmas morning to run again, really this time. And I promise not to go over 15, yall I promise!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thanks Tom

My neighbor Tom, what a great guy.

Tom, who? Shoot, I don't know, his last name, starts with a B or one of those early letters in the alphabet. What's so great about Tom? Well, he used to be a creep, he had wireless Internet, and I being the Bill Gates, or that Stephen guy from Apple that I am, I used my skills to hack into his wireless. Life was good, I could cruise the Net whenever I wanted. I could actually teach during school hours, I didn't have work on my blog. As they say nothing gold can stay; the cheapskate then he went and got it password protected, that's when he was a creep. But then, he went and gave me the password, what a great guy! Now, I don't have to go to the Library or to school, which is good, because I have a two-week break. Yipee!

Here's to Tom!

Now, after Christmas Day I'll even have some running about which to write.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas to Everyone

Merry Christmas to me.
Merry Christmas to me.
I am going to run on Christmas.
Merry Christmas to me!

Here's a picture of my tree, which SuperDave and I assembled:

If, I aint lying then I'm telling you the truth. I can't wait till Tuesday morning, I may treat myself to a double-digit run, no, no, better not, don't want to leap in too big too fast too strong. Got the big four for which to train. It'll be great! (geez, you'd think I was going on a date or something, what a putz, get a life, loser! Oh, BS, I'm getting my jollies complete with running shoes on, and if anyone of you folks with a real life can't unnerstand, well, that's ok too, but yadda yadda yadda I'm gonna jogga jogga jogga!

Merry Xmen everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finals Suck!

Ok, for anyone that's ever been in school, this just in (about 10000 years ago!) Finals suck!

I'd rather take them than grade them!

From one of my high school seniors: The Declaration of Independence was issued in....... the American Civil War. Er..... so that's why Robert E. Lee is on the $80 bill!
But they can still figure out how to get on the web and buy their Hannah Montana tickets!
Oh, yeah, not only does grading finals suck, but I can't rightly update my blog AND proctor at the same time, er, I actually have tried that...... just kidding for anyone who has a child attending Tampa Catholic, really, just kidding!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nah Man, Aint Gonna Do it!

The weather is beautiful, I feel great I want to go for a 15 mile trail run, oh I want to, but will I?No way, even though I feel all better, I'm still taking the week off.

The ITB isn't hurting anymore, the sciatic hurts a little, but I'm going to try to be smart. Wish me luck!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Try, Try, Try X 621.67 Again!

If at first you don't succeed, try, try X 932.5 Again! Hey you don't know.

Me qualifying for Boston- 16 tries to success.

Jack Eckerd- 91 tries to run for Fl governor- 0 success

Western States Lottery- 4 tries, 2 times in.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 1865 kickoff returns, until, paydirt! #17 Micheal (that's how he spells it) Spurlock- 90 yards to the house!! 1st time ever, and I was there.

I used to be a season ticket holder. During the strike years we went to scab-ball. We saw Wayne Haddox become an all-pro based on his interceptions during 4 scab games. Danny White threw for 14 touchdowns in 1/2 of a football game. And I saw a lot of that, but never did I see the Bucs return a kickoff for a touchdown in a real game, because it never happened, until yesterday! Yesterday it happened... 6:32 left in the 1st quarter and BAM! Off goes Spurlock, my goodness it might have better not to be there so I could have heard Gene Deckeroff pimping for somebody but still going ApeClemens over the play... Micheal Spurlock, You're my hero! Then Spurlock had to go and give credit to the little 9 pound 8 oz baby Jesus (well, did he help Micheal, or did he jinx the Falcons? The coachless, quarterbackless, directionless Falcons, yeah on 3rd thought, he may well have jinxed them!)

Anyway, I almost went pee-pee, but instead I stayed in my seat and, the seat that I conned out of Davo's buddy Lane (whom I kept calling Lynne)

Ok, I'll edit this later, but for now,

Look out PATS.... here come the BUCS!!!!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Who Knows?

Well, who knows when I'll be running again? I certainly don't. I know it will be at least next Monday (8 days from now) when next I lace them up. My leg feels much better today, but I want to start training, I want to come back strong. I don't want a lingering thing, and if I do this thing smart I can come back no problem. Smart is not easy for me. Tough, well that's fairly easy, but now is the time for smart, which is much tougher than tough, knowhatimean?

After my little 2 mile run with Harley on Friday I've been in some nasty pain. Thing is it comes and goes. The worst is driving the stick shift car. The left leg first doesn't like getting in the go-cart clearance of the Honda Fit, nor does it like the clutching motion. I'm ok if I stand, but sitting aggravates it. I'm ok walking (as long as I do a What About Bob, and take baby steps), and it generally feels ok when I run, but I definitely pay a price afterward.

So, that's the plan. No running till Dec. 24. I don't like it, but I better learn to love it! I guess I'll be drinking light beer (yuck! No, I'll just lose the extra pounds!).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tell Them Motor Scooters to Chill!

Tell them Motor Scooters to Chill!

Except Jules didn't quite that way in Pulp Fiction.

I started making today's post just a blurb in my quotables, but the dang thing grew on me, like a fungus!

Here's how it started:

From the good Doctor, Candi Ashley, "And how do you know you'll be better next week? Are you icing, stretching, and massaging?" In the immortal words of Dr. Pete Pfannerstill, "That would be a no!" Hey Doctors, Chill out, as I said when .... That's where I got when I realized that this party needed some pix, hence a new post instead of a blurb in the highly acclaimed (by me) quotable section.

So here I am: and now here I grow again:

From the good Doctor, Candi Ashley, "And how do you know you'll be better next week? Are you icing, stretching, and massaging?" In the immortal words of Dr. Pete Pfannerstill, "That would be a no!" Hey Doctors, Chill out, as I said in 2002 when I was standing on a ladder twenty-two feet off of the ground with a chainsaw in my hand, "Don't worry, I always come out of these things ok!"

Next thing I knew I was in a helicopter on my way to St. Joseph's. From there they would move me via ambulance to Tampa General and do about 6 hours of Surgery on my arm. It's ok, I got two things out of it that I really liked, 1: A Helicopter Ride (though I was a little disappointed in not getting to ride out on the struts like in M*A*S*H, all I could really see was the ceiling, but with the morphine drip in full gear, it was still pretty cool) and 2: Some Chunky Monkey Ice Cream that Ali and her mommy brought me in the hospital, that was good (even if I only had a few bites before the nurses confiscated it, and then "lost it")

So, Candi, Pete, chill, these things always turn out alright (ok, someone get the Chunky Monkey ready!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So, What'd You Learn?

A very good friend of mine asked me the question, "So, what'd you learn?"
"Er, a, learn, where?"

"From your race meathead!"

"I learned that running by my car 28 times is as hard as you would think."

"Didn't you already know that?"

"Well, not precisely that, I mean I'd never tried it."

"But did it really surprise you?"

"Er, a, I can't say that it did."

"So, what'd you learn?"

"Running behind a 26-year old hot ...."

"Stop, you already knew that too!"

"Er, yeah, ok, I reckon I did. So, digging a little deeper, I have ascertained (it's a real word, I looked it up) that not all of us have the same goals when we run. I always just assumed that we shared the goals of finishing as fast as we can. Turns out that isn't the case. I did not know that.

I don't care if the race is free or has a $1,000 dinero entry fee, if I'm there, I'm giving it the old college try (er, grad school, I didn't really try very hard at all in undergrad.) Now I understand if you are using the race as a training run that your goal might be to run 50 miles, and that's fine. But if you are there for the race, run the race, is the way I have always thought. Again, not everyone thinks that way. I learned that some people just enjoy running and they don't believe that there is much nobility in overcoming adversity an not giving in to pain.

Ok, I learned that, but I still think they are wrong. As Tyler Derden asked in the most excellent film, Fight Club, "How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"

Well, some of them city folks scrapped perdy good, we just scrapped a little bit better!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It was Worth It!

Do you see these two sweet all-American girls? They started Literacy Leads to Hope. They popped over to TC and brought me my now favorite running award EVER, a trophy/plaque for my Ancient Oaks Run. They really think I did a great thing by running 100-miles and raising $1400 for their project in Kenya.

Guess what? I think that they are the ones that are special. When so many kids don't care at all, heck so many people don't care at all, they are pouring their hearts in something for one reason; to help others. Now you tell me who is special. Heck, you guys all know me, it aint me!

Thank you ladies, you made my day, you gave my race a purpose, and YOU give me HOPE for the future!


ps, don't worry Chase, I'll be mildly humorous and very cynical again tomorrow!

Monday, December 10, 2007

And What's so wrong with being #2?

Morrie said it (according to Mitch Album in Tuesday's with Morrie anyway, which means Morrie might have said it) "What's so wrong with being number two?" Nothing is wrong with it at all! I am fresh off finishing number 2 at the Ancient Oaks 100. And I did all I could to finish #1, but it wasn't just up to me, turns out there was a dude there that was faster than me. I ran very well, I beat the guy that won the race last year. I feel great about being #2 (of course 20 laps into the 29 laps course I felt exactly like #2, but let's not go there!) As for today, My legs don't actually feel too bad. I may try to run a smidge tomorrow.

Ancient Oaks. Sandy Oaks. Hot Oaks. Ronald Regan was right, once you've seen one ancient oak, you've seen them all (29 times no less!)

It was repetitive, it was redundant, it was a ditto, it wasn't that much fun.

There was fun stuff about it:

My main man Dante. Dante, worked the race, because he's a good guy. I was glad to meet him, and I looked forward to ending each loop, yes, because I was 1/29th closer to being finished, but also because I looked forward to updating him on the latest I-Pod tune to which I was listening. Can you believe he'd never heard of the Gourds or the Meat Puppets?

Sandy Melton (of course when the sun came out, I knew I was Sandy, and I felt like I was Melton, er, melting or something.) Mike Melton's much better 1/2 Sandy was out there all day and all night helping us out. She brought me a Starbucks peppermint latte at like 2 AM, and I needed it! Sandy, I owe you $5 bucks, don't let me forget, K? K!

Mark, I think he was related to Stu, but doesn't matter, I came by the start/finish tent 29 times, and he was there EVERY TIME. I told him, "Mark, thanks for being here, I'd much rather be doing what I'm doing than what you're doing!" To which Mark gracefully replied, "The difference is, you could do what I'm doing, and I could never do what you're doing." How'd he think of that? I mean poetry. You have to know that that is EXACTLY what an ultra runner wants to hear. Thank you Mark!

Stu: What a great guy. Puts on the race, feeds us, wouldn't even take a donation. Yeah, he's going to heaven!

Little Lisa: Wow, what a great time I had running three loops with you. Lisa ran well and were great company. Dave is a lucky guy, of course you're pretty lucky to have a guy that will get up at 2 AM and drive across the state with you!

And my two fantastic Pacers!!!!! Adam and Tracy. I was not kidding, without you two I WAS AT LEAST ONE HOUR SLOWER! You guys kept it light, knew when to talk knew when to hush up. Those last 7 loops were great. Just when I couldn't see the point and would have walked or crawled, or napped, you two kept me running. Hey Tracy, did we take down that last lap or what? Thank you so much! I meant what I said, re: Croom, send those suckers to me!

Ok, last little bit: Last loop if you will.

The race was hard, but it was a pure ultra. No frills, it's all up to you. Do you want to run, do you want to nap, do you want to finish. More than 1/2 the field didn't want to finish enough to finish. I don't know what the secret is to finishing, you just have to make that your only option. Unless you are hurt, you have to know you will finish, they you keep going until you do. For me, I want to finish as quickly as I can, so I keep running.

In this race I came in 2nd place; however, I feel like I ran as well as anyone. I ran most of the night in third place, but I knew I was going to come in second, I kept picking at the second place guy's lead. Just chipping away at it. I told Dante at the aid station, man I'd hate to be that son of a gun, he's got to know that I'm going to catch him, and he's not going to be happy when I do. I wasn't trying to be cocky, but I knew how well I was running, and couldn't imagine that he was running as well. Turns out that I caught him at 2:29 AM. Only four loops to go. Poor fella, it broke his spirit and he ended up dropping out with 3 laps to go. Dropping out with 10 miles to go? That's an option?

As for the Joe in 1st place. Had the race been 20 more miles........

Friday, December 7, 2007


Ohma gosh, I am OFT and Runnin'. Be leaving Tampa Town at 0-4 hunert.

Wish me luck! I done raised 1318 smackers for that Library in Kenya believe it!

I'll post on Sunday afternoon. Go Crusaders!

I'm Nervous as a Long Tailed Cat in a Room Full of Rockers!

Yall, I aint lying. I am nervous as a sweet painted lady sitting in the front pew in church.

Well, what's got me all jitter-buggy? It's this pesky hunert miler I'll be slogging through tomorrow. Can I get some love here? Yes, it is flat, but it's 100 miles, and it's gonna be warm, not a scorcher, but warm. High of 80 - 82. Dern it all, up till Tuesday, they were saying 72 for a high. Also, remember I got uppity about that dinky little marathon, and it kicked me right in the shins (or maybe even a little higher!) So, yes, I'm worried.

Not only is it, long and hot, but I've been dealing with a little hip-thing. Don't know IT Band, Rubber Band, Dave Matthews Band, couldn't tell you, just knows it aint comfy couch over here in Tampa town.

But I gotta run, shoot, I collected more than $1200 buckaroos for Literacy Leads to Hope, all that with NO HELP from the running community. No problem, what has Kenya ever contributed to running anyway (other than every male distance record from 5K - 42 K?)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Reversal of Fortunes

Then It Injini Socked me Right in the North Face
By, Andy the Loser

Chase was right. Dave was right. Arlene was right. Everyone except me, and the other poor commie fool that voted, “NOOO, don’t do it!” was right. I was wrong. Let me briefly explain, and then I have to go get underpaid for a 12-hour work day.

Within 1 hour of my post yesterday where I vowed not to sell-out, it came to me in a sign from God, er, well, not so much God as a sign from Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union. On Tuesdays I run out of school like a scalded hound at the day’s last bell. I have to hot-foot it over to Ali’s school and then jet her over to dance. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my “holier than thou I’m not a sell-out post,” that great liberating 3:00 school bell rang and it was off to get Ali.

Well yesterday was December 4, that’s Alison’s mommy’s birthday. Ali explained that she hadn’t had the opportunity to get anything for her mother yet (er, this was definitely last minute here!) and wanted to stop on the way to dance. Well, I wasn’t worried about being late for dance; I have no moves to learn, so I said sure. This is where the sign from God, er SSFCU comes in.

Dad: “Hey, how about a Carraba’s gift card?”
Daughter: “Ok, sure, that sounds good.”
Dad: “You know I also have a Starbucks gift card someone gave to me.”
Daughter: “No Daddy, you keep that, that’s yours.”
Dad: “Well, we could get her one of those too.”
Daughter: “The Carraba’s will be enough.”
Dad: “You know I think they sell those at Publix. There’s one on the way.”
Daughter: “Good idea.”
Dad: “Ok, you sure just the one $25 card? You don’t want a Starbuck’s too?”
Daughter: “No that’ll be enough; we’ll get her a family gift this weekend.”
Dad: “Let’s do it.”
Publix Cashier looking at Gift Card: “So, when are our reservations?”
Dad (now customer): “Sorry, it’s a gift.”
Cashier: “Er, hey, do you have another card?”
Dad: “No just the one Carraba’s card.”
Cashier: “No, do you have another card with which to pay? This one has been denied.”
Dad: “Er, no, I’ll use cash. Whoops, I only have $20, I’ll hit the bank machine and come back.”
Bank Machine: “Hey sucker, you don’t have ANY MONEY! Go Get a REAL JOB, and quit pushing my buttons until you get one. Now drop and give me 20!”
Dad: “Hey Ali, you know I’m trying to cut back on caffeine, how about giving mommy this Starbucks gift card?”
Ali: “No daddy, this is yours; we’ll just get her something this weekend.”
Daddy: “Please take it, it’s all I have to give.”
Ali: “I feel bad.”
Daddy: “Honey, I want you to have it, please.”
Ali: “Ok”
Did you ever feel like a total loser? Well, I did right then and right there. I don't want to feel that way again, and again, and again, so I will sell-out. So what, it's the American way, and it really is the American way, always has, always will.

Come by and visit me anytime, I’m in the classroom with the red swoosh on the door. We’ll be young, have fun and drink Pepsi together!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

1st Western States Update & a Rant:

This just in from the folks at Western States:

Dear WS Runners --First let me congratulate you for being one of the lucky few to gain entry into WS this year. With a record crowd of over 1,350 applicants, the odds of being selected were 16%. The lottery is one of my favorite WS activities of the year, and I absolutely enjoyed watching the excitement on the faces of those folks in the audience fortunate enough to have their name drawn out of the GU2O ( jug. If you haven't already, you should be receiving your WS Participant Guide in the next few days. The Guide is an invaluable WS resource. Even if you're a WS veteran, read it carefully as there are some changes.

Wow, so Chase got in on a 16% chance! That's so cool, and I'm so darn glad he's going to be there, believe it or not, a 100-mile Mountain trail race can be a bit intimidating! It'll be nice to have a friendly face out there. Also of note in that Western States note, What, they can't go ONE STINKING PARAGRAPH without a commercial?

That leads me to my poll and corporate sponsorship. I know you guys all said it was fine, and yeah, take the money, but, darn it, while I can still afford a roof over my head I am not selling-out! I just can't do it. You guys get commercials everywhere and one of the things I love about me, which many people understandably don't like, is the big old chip on my shoulder. I don't want to supplement my income enough where I feel "OK" with what I get paid. I'm a darn sight from OK with it. I have an important job, more important than a doctor's about the same as a nurse. More important that a corporate attorney, about the same as a child advocate. It's almost like the more you make, the more worthless you job is. I was offered six-figures to go sell Hummers and Beemers two years ago. Yeah, that's triple what I make now, for what? To enable some tools to drink gas and take up 8 parking spaces? Oh, but taking care of America's Utes isn't a big job, give them a little-bitty check.

Someone said to me, you work only part of the day, yeah, the part that's about 12-hours long! Someone said to me, you work only part of the year, yeah, that's actually kind of nice. Really, I'm ok with what I get paid, I'm just not ok with what things cost. Read my lips, as a single school teacher I CAN NEVER AFFORD TO BUY A HOUSE. WTF? Property is not for everyone anymore in this country. Shoot-fire, maybe I will sell-out. Yeah, maybe I will, stay tuned, right now, I gotta go get a beer (darn it's 7 AM, make that a coffee, besides the "Drug Czar" is visiting our school today, don't want to meet him with Pabst on my breath.)

Sadly, in life's hierarchy, the Hummer tops the bus :(

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Chase is On (er, a in!)

Dear Blog,

I was very excited to see that my friend Chase got in to Western States via the lottery, now I know I won't come in last :)



Ok, here's the skinny:

In, Chase, Andy, my friends Michelle, Chrissy Weiss, and Gordy Ansleigh. Also in are 3 other folks from Florida, I don't know any of them, if you know anything gimme a shout:
Georganna Quarles (an Ironwoman), Allen Kuhn (an Ironman, and a lightening fast one), and Scott Hendrickson (no data found.)

Gee, I hope I can get a Chris Wedge, or a Jon Docs, or a Davo, or perhaps a Woody to come up and pace me for 38 miles up there in California, that'd be so cool! If you are interested partaking in the pacing and becoming part of the book project, shoot me a note. Remember, I'll have run 62 mountain miles, so chances are you are fast enough! When the lovely (hubba, hubba) Deborah Wedge paced me in 2005, she had never run more than 31 miles in a single whack, but she had no problem keeping up with me.

All applications will be considered!

Just Too, Just Too, Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well, today will be a busy blog day. My cheap arse neighbor refuses to let me pirate his Internet any longer, and to be frank, I just didn't feel like messing up a great weekend by strolling into work, hence, I'll have to update the blog today.

Yeah, yeah, I'm getting cable at home... soon, but really I'll be out all weekend running a 3.5 miles in Ancient Oaks (hey, it wouldn't take all weekend, but I am going to do it 29 times, I may just trow in an extra for good measure.)

Things you can expect to see today once those pesky students leave:
1) The Chase is On, er, in... Chase made it into States, I'm going to check and see you else is in.
2) The votes are in, yall all want me to whore-out, I'll let you know.... later today
3) The Alligator story, if I write it, it's kind of serious and I get little love on those

Be good, be young, drink Pepsi!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Wow, Literacy Leads to Hope!

WoW! :-)
$ 25.00
$ 10.00
$ 2.00
$ 1.00
$ 5.00
$ 5.00
$ 50.00
$ 7.00
$ 10.00
$ 1.00
$ 10.00
$ 2.00
$ 20.00
$ 50.00
$ 10.00 And You HELPED!!!
$ 10.00
$ 10.00
$ 2.00
$ 10.00
$ 20.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 10.00
$ 82.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 10.00
$ 1.00
$ 5.00
$ 10.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 1.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 100.00
$ 100.00
$ 10.00
$ 10.00
$ 50.00
$ 5.00
$ 100.00
The Total:
$ 804.00 With one week to go!

I am not kidding you. Just by passing around a little sheet we
have collected $804 towards building a library in Kenya! Isn't
that amazing? I think it is. I promise that when I feel like quitting
on the 10th, 15th, 21st, or 28th of the 29 Loops (3.46 miles each)
that I will keep going in honor of all of your pledges. We are NOT
taking our lifestyle for granted
! We are thankful that we can go
to the library and read a book, or jump on the Internet for free! It's
right there for us. YOU are helping bring education to world. IT
is YOU that are to be commended! YOU are doing the hard work
all I'm doing is running. Heck, I can do that!