Archive for February 2010

It’s About Time To Nut Up Or Shut Up

February 26, 2010

Sunday’s the marathon and I’m not feeling very good.

Here’s where I set my goals, from the ideal of sub-3:30 to the “eh” of 3:45-4:00. Here, here and here are some updates at key times during my training. If you read them, you’ll note that in each I sound confident I’ll reach my ideal goal. So why the difference today?

Part of it is burn out. I thank the weather for that. You can only go run on so many gray, wet, forty degree days before you want to quit and stay inside. The hassle (and expense) of driving all the way to New Orleans has dimmed my enthusiasm. That I’ve never even been in the city doesn’t help. I really don’t want to worry about anything other than running on Sunday. But in addition I’ll be worried about parking and meals and directions and all the other questions you don’t have when in your own town.

The big reason, though, is injuries. The wife developed shin splints in January. That knocked her out of the half marathon. She was the one who wanted to do all this in the first place. Even though I was doing the full marathon, I was still excited about doing the race together. Those are big goals to set and accomplish at the same time. She’s a lot more upset than I am about her injury, but it bugs me, too.

Still, though, if that was all, I’d be confident about my final time. All the mental issues will go away when I reach the start. Problem is, the pain from the leg I tweaked three weeks ago will only get worse.  Thankfully, the injury did not occur until after my final long run: 22 miles three weekends ago. Since then, thanks to whatever it is I did to my leg, I don’t think I have run 22 miles total. Granted, the final three weeks prior to the run are supposed to be relatively low mileage. But not that low. Now I have two problems. One is how much damage I’ve done to my fitness by missing half my mileage over the last three weeks. Two is what my leg will do on race day.

Today, my leg feels good. Not perfect, but much better than it did even a few days ago. Of course, only race day will reveal the severity of my two problems. Hopefully they aren’t. Right now, though, I ain’t real confident.

Some Things You Cannot Do And Be Intellectually Honest

February 25, 2010

Call the underwear bomber a terrorist but call the guy who flew a plane into the IRS building a “tax protester.”

Scream and yell and demand Congress punish ACORN but make no noise about Blackwater.

Be a member of either party and say anything about the propriety of filibusters and reconciliation.

Clearly, Texans Don’t Watch Dinosaur Train

February 23, 2010

Because if they did watch my kids’ favorite show, more than forty per cent of them would know that dinosaurs and people did not live at the same time.

I missed this poll last week, showing that six of ten Texans either think dinosaurs and people co-existed or else don’t know. I have a low opinion of the intelligence of Texans (and Louisianans) but that is a shocking level of ignorance. I’m also no fan of Keith Olbermann, but he’s dead on when he says we don’t have to worry about Texas seceding; it’ll probably soon fall away like a vestigial tail.

A Week Off Work? Time To Go To Lowes

February 21, 2010

Sadly, the week ended today. What did I do? Clearly not blog. I’m in taper mode for next weekend’s marathon, hence not much running. For that same reason, only one bike ride. While last weekend revolved around Mardis Gras parties and parades, that leaves Monday through today unaccounted for. If you were to check my next credit card statement, however, you would quickly discover what I spent my time doing: Various household projects.

Each day followed a similar pattern. At the start, I’d sleep until I felt like getting out of bed, usually between seven and eight. Then have cereal and coffee and play with the kids for a while. Next, off to the store for whatever materials I needed. By the time I returned, I might have an hour or so to work until lunch. After that, more work before cursing and making another run to the store for whatever I discovered I was missing. Upon returning, I might work for a bit more, before quitting for a relaxing evening.

Those are my size ten and a halfs

Those are my size ten and halfs

Specifically, most of the projects were repair or maintenance: Everything from adjusting a sticky deadbolt to putting weatherstripping around a door to a failed experiment with some new blinds. The one which brought me the most satisfaction involved the back deck. Shortly after having it installed, I realized the dryer vent was blowing lint all over one area of the deck. To fix it, I would have to cut a hole in the deck and run that flexible dryer vent stuff under the deck so it would blow into the yard. Problem was there’s only about four inches between the deck and the ground. Not thinking I could fit in that space and not wanting to pull up all the deck boards, either, I just left the problem until this week.

What changed my mind? Seeing Bear Grylls crawl through a cave without a light in Man v. Wild. If he could do that, I could crawl under my deck to re-route that vent. It was tight, I had to squeeze under with a small shovel and clear space as I went, but I made it. Now my dryer blows into the yard and my deck is lint free. To celebrate, and to enjoy the nice weather, we ate out there four times this week.

Life is good

The other big project was true home improvement: A sandbox for the kids. I initially planned on making it four feet by four feet using some leftover landscape timbers I have in the shed. I did not have enough, though, so went to Lowes looking for an alternative. All they had in two by twelves was twelve foot sections. My new plan was to buy two lengths and cut them in half to make a six by six sand box. Problem: I have a mini-van, which is not big enough to hold twelve feet of lumber. That shouldn’t have been a big deal, Lowes will cut wood to length for you. But guess what was out of order that day? Yup, their saw. I’d brought Mac with me and already told him what the wood was for, so there was no putting the project off for another day. We just had to drive home with the lumber hanging out of the back of the van and the rear door tied to it. “Daddy, you forgot to close the door!”

We made it home where Mac would not let me start the project until he went inside to get his own tools. After working his little plastic saw as hard as he could, all he could say was “Daddy, my tools are not working.” I asked if I could try and he stood amazed as the circular saw made two quick cuts. A few more cuts, some screws and a bit of paint later, we had the frame done. The next day while they were at school I leveled it in the yard, borrowed a truck and bought half a yard of sand, and just about had it finished when they got home. We had one wheelbarrow’s worth of sand left in the truck. They helped me shovel it into the wheelbarrow and then dump it into their new sandbox.

That made for a great week for all of us.

The Life Of A Snow Man

February 14, 2010

Birth on Friday.

Prime of life.

Middle age on Saturday.

Growing old, but still the life of the party.

Rest in peace on Sunday.

Holy Crap!

February 12, 2010

If the events of last Sunday night didn’t convince you the world is about to end, then these certainly will:

You Want Snow?

February 11, 2010

I give you snow:

And the snow is giving me the day off tomorrow; it’ll be my first ever snow day as a teacher.

But not everyone is excited:

"Can we please move back inside?"

Why Is It Usually The Folks In Charge Who Use These?

February 10, 2010

The most annoying buzz words.

Maybe I’m imagining that the boss is the typical user of mindless phrases like “let’s touch base.” Whoever uses them, though, will elicit one response from me: “Idiot.”

How Are “The Green Police” Different From The War On Drugs?

February 8, 2010

The only commercial I remember from the Super Bowl is the Audi one in which various levels of law enforcement – the Green Police – arrest people for things like choosing plastic bags at the grocery store or using incandescent light bulbs. The SWAT tactics, roadblocks, military equipment and haughtiness are all straight from the war on drugs. I suppose we’re supposed to laugh at the idea of those resources being used on something as trivial as failing to recycle a battery. But all I could think is that if anything is ridiculous, it’s the use of those resources to keep people from getting high. I really can’t think of any reason that would make the war on drugs any more sensible than the war depicted in the commercial. They’re equally disproportionate responses to problems.

Most people, I bet, really don’t think about it, simply accepting that drugs are bad and therefore any amount of force is justified in attempts to eliminate them. That’s bad reasoning, though, as the Audi commercial illustrates. Failing to recycle is bad, but that doesn’t mean we should send SWAT teams into the homes of those who fail to recycle. Ditto getting high. The harms of the “crime” don’t justify the drastic response.

Anyway, here’s the commercial:

Bobby Jindal, It’s Not Too Late To Declare Tomorrow A State Holiday!

February 7, 2010


I wonder what the odds are on the top boy’s baby name in Louisiana this year being “Drew?”