Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I had to say good-bye to my buddy....

My last picture with my dog

Today we had to put Game Plan down. I made the appointment several days ago so we knew we only had a few days left. Last night we took him for his last walk and he was excited to go, but it was tough for him to complete it. The bone cancer had spread and he was winded easily...we had to take several rest breaks, but he really enjoyed it. This morning Kim made some brown gravy and poured it over his food and stayed home with him so he could spend the whole day out in the backyard on such a nice day. He still would chase the squirrels and laid in the sun when it was out. I headed home early and we had a couple of hours to hang out and just spend time with him....then it was time to take him to the vet. I have never had to do this before and I hope I never have to again. It was painless, quick, but still horrible. They administered the overdose and he was gone in a few seconds....his heart stopped first and he quit breathing a few second later and he was gone.....He was such a gentle soul and I am going to miss him...I do already.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Sunday, Another Race

Kim and I woke up bright and early to do the Trolley Run this morning. The alarm went off at 4:55 and we headed down to the plaza to meet some friends and head to the start at 75th and Wornall. It was a little damp and cold waiting around at the start so we spent some quality time loitering in the Wal-Greens until start time was close. We were in the 3rd wave and after standing around for about 10 minutes waiting for the first two waves to clear out, we were finally off and heading toward the Plaza. My Garmin splits....
Overall...4.04 miles in 32:04 for a 7:57 pace.
Mile 1 - 7:34
Mile 2 - 8:03
Mile 3 - 8:06
Mile 4 - 8:05
My official chip time was 32:00.6
The ki(y)m's finished in great shape and we met Jenny (who broke 30 minutes--congratulations)at a little plaza restaurant for breakfast. The quesadillas were incredible (I can not remember the name of the place). We had a nice meal and then home for yard it is officially marathon week.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Trolley Run

Sunday is the Trolley Run.....4 miles of pure downhill effervescing bliss. I have no goal or plan, other than to run at slightly less than comfortable pace and see where that brings me in at. This is a fun race and I always like to run it when I can fit it into the schedule and it is perfect timing this year. It is one week before Fort Collins and fits nicely into a final taper week.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008




Some of my Favorite Quotes

The subject line of my last post had a quote I liked so I decided to post some other random quotes I like.....In no particular order...

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." Dean Wormer

"Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." William Munny

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." Thomas Jefferson

"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life." Peter Gibbons

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." Mark Twain

"People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it- walk.” Ayn Rand

"I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!" Monty Python

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." H.L. Mencken

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need" Rolling Stones

"Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" Buddy

"That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road, and when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason, I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured since I've gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go, you know, I went." Forrest Gump

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Do or do not... there is no try.” Yoda

I did not. I wanted to complete the Lawrence 1/2 in under 2 hours. I came in at 2:01:26. I simply wilted and faded in the heat late. My Garmin stats....
Overall....13.39 miles in 2:01:26. That is a 9:04 pace...
Mile 1 - 8:48
Mile 2 - 8:18
Mile 3 - 8:38
Mile 4 - 8:25
Mile 5 - 9:23
Mile 6 - 8:40
Mile 7 - 8:57
Mile 8 - 8:31
Mile 9 - 8:48
Mile 10- 9:07
Mile 11- 9:34
Mile 12- 10:35
Mile 13- 10:25
This was a very nice race. It is well organized and the course is wonderful. It is very hilly (not Hospital Hill hilly but not far off). The heat is what did me in. It wasn't that hot, but much hotter than what I have trained in for a while. It wore on me late in the race and I just did not have the mental toughness today to push my way through it, so I was not very happy with myself once I was done.
I can't stress though how nice of a race this is. My only real issue was with the waterstops and it is one of my pet-peeves. I do not like it when you get to the water stop and they have gatorade on one side and water on the other and runners criss-crossing to get both.....put the water first and then gatorade second, but both on the same side.....but that was the only thing I saw that was a problem and I am thinking it probably did not cost me 97 seconds!
Congratulations to Jenny who placed second in her age group. I saw several TNT alums, and a current team member out there...Everyone seemed to do well. After we had all finished, Kim, Steff, Jenny and I went to the Chipotle in Lawrence, where you just showed them your race number and got a free tasted great and my stomach was full and all was good in the world once again......

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lawrence Half-Marathon this weekend....

I am 2 weeks out from the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins and this weekend I will run a 1/2 in Lawrence as my last hard training run. I plan on doing it between 1:50 and 2 hours....we will see. A fellow runner, Jenny , brought this up. She said it was her favorite 1/2, so she convinced several of us to sign up and go run it....then she started talking about going up Mount Oread and hills and things like I am not sure how difficult this course is, so as long as I get it done in 2 hours I will be happy. If the charge up Mount Oread is really nasty I can fall back to my chant...."I am a billy goat, watch me climb"....repeat as many times as necessary and it will get you up the hill as well as humor (at first), then annoy everyone around you. It won't matter, hills are good for you....and at some point you get to go back down them and that is what I need to train to do, since Fort Collins is almost all downhill.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stained Glass Project #2

I have started my second project. The canvas is a 4x2 fluorescent light. Originally, I was going to just rip it out and replace it with a normal light fixture.......but no...that would just be far too easy. The light has a strip down the middle of it, cutting it into two 2x2 pieces, so technically this will be stained glass project 2 and 3, but since they will be the pretty much the same pieces, I am just counting it as one project.

The canvas.....

So, it is started. I just cut out most of the light green glass, but I did not quite get enough of it a return trip to the stained glass shop is in order. I still have to buy the white glass also an then the glass cuts will be done. I need to find a 24-hour stained glass it is so far....

One of the 2x2 sections....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

.....Into the Depths.....

Today, I am scheduled to go on a little field trip under the Kansas River. A new treatment plant will be coming on-line soon that treats water at the Missouri River and a large pipe will deliver it from the Missouri back into Johnson County. To get there, it has to go under the Kansas a large tunnel was carved into the bedrock underneath the river. A few of us will be lowered down in a cage 125 feet into a hole to get to the tunnel. The tunnel then extends under the river. Here is portions of an email we received....

The Phase V expansion project has progressed to the point that we can allow a limited number of people to tour the tunnel which is being bored with a tunnel boring machine beneath the Kansas River. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but it isn't for everyone! There are approximately 50 spots remaining for the tours. If we receive more requests than that then we will devise a random drawing.

Consider the following carefully before you decide whether you are interested in being included in the tunnel tours:

- Tour begins in a metal cage suspended from a crane which is lowered approx. 125 feet down a vertical shaft approx. 13 feet in diameter.

- The horizontal shaft is only 7-8 feet in diameter and extends approx. 150-250 feet under the river.

- Walking in the shaft may be very treacherous as it is a rough dug tunnel! It will be damp and muddy with steel rails, exposed rock, loose dirt, and other hazards.

- The tunnel may have several inches of standing water, and very deep mud in some places. Rubber boots or shoes you don’t mind getting very dirty are required.

- Work clothes such as jeans, gloves, and boots must be worn.

- All persons entering the shaft must take a confined space training course (30 minutes to an hour).

- All persons entering the shaft will be required to sign a waiver of liability


I have been told that we are going regardless of the weather, so it looks like a green light. I am bringing my camera so hopefully pix will be up soon.

This is where the pipeline goes beneath the river....

lowered in by crane....

looking up from the bottom....

the stretches about 500 feet right now, carved into solid rock... the end of the tunnel...the machine that cuts through the rock....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Game

The day was cold and rainy, but it is opening day....what can you do? In my world, staying home is not an option. If they are playing, I want to be there. We were up in view level this year (our usual outfield plaza seats are gone due to the construction). It was still lightly raining as we walked into the stadium, but by the time we took our seats, it was just chilly and windy.....
The construction is going to be a headache this season. There were a lot of no-shows. They doubled the number of women's bathrooms, but apparently the number of men's was halved. The line stretched out of the bathroom and well down the walkway for the men while the women had no waiting at all....some sort of balance needs to be struck there and since it is a work in progress, hopefully, it eventually will be sorted out. The new HD video board is incredible. It is something that you have to It was simply amazing.
The game went well....Bannister struggled a little...walked in a run, but battled and ended up getting the win. The bullpen was solid again. Every reliever they brought in was solid, which was wonderful when it is cold out and we had to sit through a 70 or so pitch 2nd inning while Bannister and Hughes were struggling...but it was all worth it to see ARod going down swinging time after time and Damon's feeble attempt at a throw to the plate from left (it looked like he was trying to throw a knucle curve from left field to home)....the final....Good Guys 5, the Yankees 2.....which is the same as the Royals overall record...5-2....if this keeps up, pretty soon I can quit telling myself it is still early.

The Game Summary....
Saturday's game already looks like it is going to be a sell out. We may have to wait a couple of weeks before we get back out there....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Opening Day

It is the home opener today for the Royals. I am leaving work early and heading out to the stadium. Hopefully the rain gives way and we have a nice day of baseball out at the park. This is one of my favorite days of the year.......

Sunday, April 6, 2008

St. Louis Weekend

The marathon went very well....everyone finished and looked like they had a good time....We had 18 people from our chapter (3 from Springfield) and most were 1/2 marathoners. I also saw several alumni out on the course. It is a pretty well done race and it looks like we will be doing it again next are some pix...

The Team....

The start....

Kim, Steve, Karen, Julie and a couple of soon-to-be first time 1/ of which has been an honored patient and is now an alumni....

Some other shots...

The Gateway and Mid-America chapters for LLS raised over a quarter million $$$'s for this event....

Friday, April 4, 2008

Go! St Louis

This Sunday, I will be coaching a team at the Go! St Louis Marathon and 1/2 marathon. We have more 1/2ers than full marathoners for this race so a lot of the runners will be done a lot earlier than I am used to, but I will be able to concentrate more on the marathoners out there. We have 15 from KC and another 3 from Springfield. It will be a quick trip....I leave after training for the Anchorage and San Diego team is over and Kim and I along with a couple of others from the team are piling into the car and heading east on I-70. We will meet as a team and have our pasta party with the Gateway TNT chapter and then everyone can relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. I am sure a lot of our people will be heading to a bar to watch the KU game......hopefully no wild celebrating or drowning sorrows that night. The weather looks like it will be wonderful, so it will be a nice day to be outside and running around. I will have an update on how things went and some pictures to post later.....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's Not Just a Job......

This week at my day job, I got to climb water towers. These aren't the little ones either. I climbed our biggest tower on Monday (it is the one at 108th and can see it from K10 and I-435). It is the biggest one in the district and known as "The Big Johnson." This was an adventure. These towers are climbed through the inside and you have a special harness that supposedly keeps you from plummeting to your death....I took their word on it and did not experiment to find out how well they worked. I was white knuckling the ladder all the way up. Experienced climbers I am told will rest by taking their hands off the ladder and leaning back, allowing the harness to completely keep them on the way in hell was that happening. I climbed that tower on Monday and did not use hands felt like they had been sand blasted when I was no climbing on Tuesday......Wednesday, however was another story. I had to go out and climb the second largest tower in the district out at 199th and Lackman....this one known as "The Little Johnson."

Having completed a successful climb on Monday, I now regarded myself as an old pro and was confident enough that I would live through it, that I took some pictures. The inside of the tower is pictured below and you can see part of the climb up the ladder. I made it to the first perch, which is a small platform and sat there for 20 seconds to catch my breath....then on up until you reach the cat-walk, which is at the base of the actual tank (you can see a door to nowhere, just below the "O" in the above picture). Then you get to walk to the center of the tube and reattach to another ladder and continue on up (the second stretch is not visible in the picture).

One of the engineers took some picture of me as I was climbing so hopefully I get those and post them later....It was a blast...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Construction Zones

I have been known to have overlapping "projects" around the house. With the completion of my stained glass window, one of them is officially done. The complete remodel of our half bath is now complete......

We replaced the old floor tile with the new tile pictured and added some wall tile. The other 3 walls and ceiling are Venetian plaster. We added all new fixtures and even replaced the door. The final touch was the stained glass

This is my first stained glass window project and the beauty of stained glass is that it is very forgiving. You do not have to be perfect for something to look pretty nice. I am very happy with it and can't wait to get started on my next work....but first I better get done with the stairs/hallway.

The hardwood floors and bannister is installed, but the new stairs with tile risers still need to be installed and all the base trim and crown molding too....and the really fun part...4 new doors. Installing those and staining them is not my favorite thing!