Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two Big Games Today

Today is an exciting day if you are a Michigan State University Spartan, which I am an alumni of, or a University of Michigan Wolverine fan. MSU has a shot at the Big Ten Conference championship if it knocks off the heavily favored Penn State Nittany Lions today at 3:30. This would be the first time in many years for this to occur, and perhaps even, not since I had gone there, oh... four or five years ago. *cough* So.... "GO GREEN!"... "GO WHITE!" Since it snowed yesterday, won't have to pick up
leaves in the yard and can maybe watch football all day. :)

The U of M Wolverines have their work cut out for them today in one of the most heated and long-standing rivalries in college football history as they face the Ohio State University Buckeyes today at 12:30. Michigan has had a dismal season under a new head coach, certainly one of the worst in the school's history. This one game could make up for the lackluster of the entire rest of the season if they can pull off an upset against their detested football foes, the Buckeyes. It's a long shot, but anything can happen in a rivalry like this. I, being a good Michigander, am obligated to root against OSU so... "GO BLUE!"

Today is a Michigan college football lovers dream day, hopefully one that will not end in a nightmare. Go State! and Go Blue!

Friday, November 21, 2008

For Best Cell Phone Service in Northern Michigan and Other Unnecessary Information

Why, you stand on top of your garage roof, of course! Works even better if you have a wire hanger in your back pocket as well. My in-laws' cabin is nestled in the heart of the Huron National Forest in Glennie, Michigan which is in Northeastern Michigan and it is not a populated mecca - the exception being the first week of November every year for the rifle hunting deer season opening - without cell phone towers on every block corner, hence the need for ingenuity in the cell phone usage arena up there. I've found calling cards to be quite handy as well. The neighbor, Ken, found it just as handy to shimmy up the tv tower to the rooftop of their garage for good service. To each his own. We had a great time at deer camp, our's being the cabin above, though between the two cabins and 8 hunters hunting, only one deer, a 6 point buck, was taken on opening morning. For those of you keeping score at home, that's Deer - 7, Humans - 1. I actually did manage to shoot a deer in the wild, it just happened to be with my digital camera and not 30-06 rifle. Pretty good shot too as I got her while bounding away. Doesn't make for a very good roast or sausage though.Since I had a while I didn't have to shave while bow and rifle hunting, I thought I would give growing my first beard ever a try. See, as a firefighter we aren't allowed to wear a beard as it interferes with the seal of our face masks for our breathing apparatus for firefighting so, I have never tried to grow one. Well, what do you think? Dork-city or what? I felt deer-hunteresque. Back to normal tonight though. Gotta get back to making some fire calls before we head down to Virginia next week for Thanksgiving at my sister and brother in law's home. I know, it's barely noticeable.

It was quite the festive holiday scene as I arrived back into my hometown this evening with quite a bit of snow falling and the lovely Temperance holiday lights adorning the sides of Lewis Avenue through downtown. All kidding aside though, it really was kinda neat and warmed my heart as I arrived back in town from a long day on the road for work. Even got me a little excited in anticipation of Christmas. In fact, I am looking forward to going and cutting our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving. Are you getting in the spirit yet? Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'll Leave You With This

Ok, so I haven't carried through on the "blogging with some regularity" or some such statement I made a post or two ago. Truth is, I honestly have not had the time to do so or had any focused thoughts to do so. Right now I should be packing, or working, or paying bills, or something other than typing on this blog. I haven't been able to try and get any runs in either so, I'm failing miserably in that aspect of my life as well for the time being. I've often said I really wouldn't mind going back to a simpler time, like when we were settling the west, you know, like Little House on the Prairie-esque days. I know life was harder and, I'd likely be dead already at this age (just turning 42 yesterday), but I think people appreciated their days more because I think their lives were richer in relationships with one another and taking the time to slow down and have meals together or visit with a neighbor. Nowadays we're all too busy scurrying about, going from this to that, changing hats several times a day to fulfill the roles we have allowed to consume our lives. There's a blessing in solitude, in fact, I think that's what I most appreciate about running and why most of the time I run alone and out in the countryside and not in a park... simply for the solitude of it. I had a chance to have some solitude in the woods up north last weekend on a bow hunting trip to my in-laws cabin with my dear friend, Jeremy and will do so again this weekend at my father-in-law's annual deer camp for the opening of gun hunting season. This time I have the pleasure of going with my Dad and my father-in-law. I don't slow down enough to take the time to visit with either of them anymore and life, it seems, just keeps going on by at warp-speed so, I cherish times like this to share with them. My life mimics the Cats in the Cradle song so much at this point in my life, it is scary. Anyway, I'll be back next week about mid-week and will try to get a blurb in here. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this pic from my trip up north last weekend. I hope you find it as breath-taking as I do. Try to enjoy some solitude this week some time or simply connect with someone you've been meaning to, like a family member or dear friend that have been on your mind. Thanks for the note, Bob. I hope you find the Truman Show worth checking in on every once in a while and, know that you and your family are in my prayers daily. I look in on the Truman Show as well, even if I don't interject in it. ;)

Psalm 46:10

Monday, November 3, 2008

Did I Mention in the Last Post...

that I start jury duty tomorrow in District Court? I don't think I did. I really don't mind and think that if I do sit on some juries for cases over the next couple of months (I have to serve November and December) that it will be really interesting. I'm all about civic duty and being a good citizen and American and all that. This cetainly isn't good timing with me having to skip down to Columbus at least one day a week right now and with hunting and the holidays coming up, but it'll all work out. As Dad always says, quoting my Grandmother, "It'll all come out in the wash."

Speaking of civic duties, if you registered, please don't forget to vote tomorrow. It's your right and privilege for which so many have sacrificed for you to be able to do. I'm gonna try and get up and out on a run at 6 tomorrow morning, go vote when the polls open at 7, and then up to court in Monroe by 8:30. We'll see how my tentative plans work out.

God bless America! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Still Around

For anyone still checking, I am still around. Lots has transpired since my last post, like Chelsea's Senior Homecoming (pic above), the wrapping up of Lindsey's XC season, many trips for me to Columbus (with many more to come), a come back in running, followed by a crash another self-benching, a few online RA and blogger-running friend's completing marathons, a trip to East Lansing with Chels to a Michgan State football game, Halloween, and probably much more than I can recall. There's much to be said for keeping up with things, like blogging, which I have not been able to do lately. Early in October, following the Komen 5K Race for the Cure, I picked up running again with some consistency. I did start slowly and was progressing quite well without any pain or complications, other than being out of shape... again. I started thinking that I could still make my 1,000 mile goal by the end of the year if I ran roughly 5 miles per day for the rest of the year. I forced a run in on a Friday at the end of my highest mileage week (around 25) since training for the marathon I ran and stressed my leg too much reinjuring myself slightly. I tried going out for a run with Tammy the Saturday morning after and got to the end of our street and could not go on, the pain was too bad. That was October 11th and I hadn't run since then until yesterday when I nervously went out with Tammy and did get in 4 easy miles. So, gonna give it a go again, but much more easily than the last time I tried to start up again.

I've been wanting to do something with Chels, just the two of us, for quite some time. We've kinda lost a connection over the years and I have been wanting to try and bridge that gap so, I got it in my mind to take her to a college football game a few weeks ago because she has really been getting into football this year (she loves the Dallas Cowboys, well, Tony Romo anyway). When I had the thought, the Ohio State Buckeyes were going to be playing my Michigan State Spartans at my alma mater in East Lansing and looked to be what should be one of the best Big Ten matchups of the season. I
thought the game would be sold out, but to my pleasant surprise, it wasn't. A quick call to Tammy garnered the approval I needed to make the date for the two of us and purchase tickets online. We had a beautiful day heading up to East Lansing and I was thankful for the opportunity to chat about her future after graduation and to be able to tell her some things that were on my heart about how I felt about her, how proud I am of here, and how much I love and care for her, and always will. The game didn't pan out so well as Michigan State got battered, 45 - 7, but I wouldn't have traded the time spent with Chelsea for anything, not even a Spartan win.

Like I noted in my last post, my online running pal, Kirsten, aka Zoom Zoom, did complete her first marathon, The Milwaukee Lakefront, on October 5th! Congratulations, Kirsten! I am so stinkin' proud of you! You have been such an inspiration to me since I began forum stalking on RunningAHEAD for over a year now. I also had two other friends, Mike, Q from RA, and fellow running blogger, Karen, who blogs at Mom on the Run, complete the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 19th. It was Mike's first, which he completed in 4:04:38 and Karen was just in front of him at 4:04:04! To my knowledge, they don't even know each other. How crazy is that? Zoom Zoom was on hand as a spectator, along with her son, Dane, and Mike's wife Rebecca, to cheer them on along the course. I so wanted to be there (running actually, which was my plan at the beginning of the year) to cheer for them as well, but was not able to. Congratulations to both Mike, on his awesome first marathon finish, and Karen, seen above in the pink top, waiting to receive a hand off of fuel from her adorable eldest daughter who came to the race to cheer her running mommy on along with Karen's husband!

I have been traveling a lot for work this fall as the Columbus-area has been added to my territory of inspections. We've been somewhat slow with new business in Michigan so, I had Columbus added as part of my inspection territory. So, what I have been doing lately is leaving very early on Monday mornings, like 4:30 or 5:00 a.m., to head down to Columbus to make my property inspections for the day, usually between 25 and 40 of them, and come back home either when I am done or when it gets dark, whichever comes first. It's a long day, but this way I don't have to stay over night down there and be away from my family more than I have to be. I usually get back home around 7:30 or 8:00 at night and can salvage the evening with them. This is part of the reason I haven't been blogging, I simply haven't had the available free time to do so, nor the energy or enthusiasm to do so when I did. I'll try to put some consistent blurbs up here though from now on, if not for my own therapy. Heh!

We had a great weekend with friends on Halloween and again last night with several couples from our church at a fall bonfire. I feel so blessed by the people the Lord has put in my life, even those of you reading who I only know through here. Tammy and I went to our friend's, the Evans, for Halloween to pass out candy in their neighborhood and hang out with them. I haven't dressed up for Halloween in years and thought to add to the spirit of the evening that I would for a change. Lindsey and her friends all dressed up in like prom gowns with tiaras and such, over-done makeup, and Converse basketball shoes. I dressed up like a geek... I know... that was a stretch, but I somehow managed to pull it off. Actually, Troy Evans brother said to me, "So, I see you decided not to dress up this year." C'est la vie. Here's a pic. Hope you are all well and enjoying this great fall that we have had so far. Blessings.