"Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson US essayist & poet (1803 - 1882)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nice 10 mile run yesterday...

Now this will not happen often in the next few months, but yesterday was beautiful outside. The temps in the upper 40's and no wind. What a great day for a long run.

Per the new Garmin, i ran 10 miles at a 8:14 pace. Much faster then i intended but it felt natural and maybe i am picking up some speed. My weight issue seems to have subsided from adding a few pounds. Could be the season w/combination of quitting smoking.

Anyway, the garmin still has a few kinks to work out but man, is it a nifty little tool!!!!

Start the video it makes a cute little soundtrack, if you're still reading

Anyway, the biggest Christmas surprise was having my oldest daughter, Allison, with me for the holidays. This was the first christmas with us. She's 12 and i've never pushed for it cause of the distance and i thought it would best to be with her mother most of the time.

This Christmas, she decided to come visit us, and although it was a shock to her mother, we were thrilled. Sure it was a little more stress for the Fun Guv-wicked-step-mom, but she handled it awesome. Since we spend most of the holidays with the Fun Guv's fam, i was a little concerned for Allison's christmas. But she even asked her mom to stay a few extra days passed Chrstmas day. Now really, kids love christmas and even though Allison in 12, she's still a kid, and to watch her sibblings open gifts could have been difficult for her.

It wasn't difficult though, cause Fun Guv's family made Allison part of the family this year. What a treat to watch. And even though i have been part of their family for many years now, Allison was not.

And yes, a 12 year old can be a pain in the a$$ sometimes but Allsion was great and Fun Guv's family was amazing.

Anyway, i think my little self-indulgent, therapy riddled posts are coming to an end with regards to the Holidays.

All things being looked at in perspective and with the Christmas stuff being put away tomorrow, this years holidays have been a change.

After watching the family dynamics more than usual and watching all my children interact for the first time, i think emotionally i was at my breaking point when my in-laws expressed pride in my running and commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

It wasn't the garmin itself as much as it was the thoughts behind the garmin.

Additionally and lastly to this post, i am approaching my one year anniversary of running. 1/7/2006 for the record, i threw on a pair of sneakers and ran my first mile, sorta, tipping the scales somewhere between 245 and 250 lbs.

How do you measure a year in a life?

Inches, miles, laughter, strife.....Love?

thanks for reading....

Friday, December 29, 2006

No new running stuff.... but to continue my post-christmas string of post(s);

i still am amazed when i receive a comment from people just searching the internet for stuff. George, thanks for the comment. Keep up the fight, and hopefully more and more survivors will be found. My efforts with local ACS and Relay for Life have taught me so much about support and community. Also, my page-a-day calender today mentions that per capita, americans volunteer more time than any other country.

Movin' on

Saturday was my day with Dad and rest of the family. My Aunt Jane, see previous post, is actually the ex-wife of my Uncle Dave, my dad's brother. They've been divorced about 20 yrs but she has always been part of the family. She helped Mom through her cancer. She never misses a birthday card for the kids and even throws a couple dollars in the card for them.

She has told me it's cause their grandmother can't, so she does. It's small, but means so much cause she's always just done it.

My Uncle Dave was always the uncle i was most familiar with. He's stands about 6'5" and to a small child he was bigger than life, and still is to my inner child. Alas, he's had his share of personal demons to deal with, and seems happy living in Grand Rapids area, but we rarely see each other.

He was able to attend our family Chrismas on Saturday. Unfortunately his wife could not, but he was there. As we all got ready to leave, i wished him a happy Christmas, knowing Christmas Day was still two days away. He replied, it already is, cause he was able to spend it with his family. Fun Guv thought he was choking back a tear as he said it. The moment touched me greatly. Like i typed earlier, we rarely get to see each other.

Anyway, back to Aunt Jane. She took the moment to give Uncle Dave and gift to give to their Granddaughter. It was small token, but on his way back to GR, he was stopping at their sons to visit for Christmas and see his granddaughter. It was a little impromptu, ok very impromtu, so he was unprepared to take anything.

i don't think any smaller gesture could be any more meaningful. An ex-wife to give a gift to an ex-husband to give to their grandchild. Fun Guv and i are both children of divorce, so we've seen the worse-case scenarios.

This wasn't it. This was no pretense. How many ex-es would have used this moment against another ex? How many ex-es would have used this moment as leverage to play favorite?

She didn't, and that's why Aunt Jane is Aunt Jane, and not ex-Aunt Jane. That's family.

Just a couple small moments that made this holiday season different.

More to follow....

thanks again for reading, through my terribly self-indulgent therapy riddled post(s)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Garmin 305 update:

Well, it went for a little 5 miler yesterday evening and i gotta admit to loving the new tool. i haven't done anything with the HR moniter yet, but the stats provided were totally helpful.

As i use it more, i can see it really being the perfect tool to hit my goals for the year. Now, it's all on me.

Needless to say, thanks to Fun Guv for the guest post after Christmas for the stock photo of the new Garmin. i really do have the best in-laws in the world.

It was a complete surprise. Even Fun Guv had no idea.

I had been looking for a used 201 on ebay.

Rarely does a gift emotionally touch me. Christmas itself has been a difficult time for me since my mother passed away.

Since the blog is a journal of my thoughts, i thought i would try to type why Christmas is hard in this post. Plus if you are still reading beyond my running update, you must be friend and i enjoy sharing... maybe it's therapy??

My mother, Jewell, was diagnosed with a rare skin cancer late 90's. Merkel Cell Cancer. It strikes mostly fair-skinned and red-headed people, of which, Jewell was both. Typically, on the shoulders and higher. It is/was hard to diagnose early because the growths begin under the skin, spread like a stawberries, and then poke through the surface. Initially, like pimples, except keep growing.

Another link

Anyway, eventually, hospice took over and Mom was sent home to try to enjoy her final weeks. I get that all cancer is bad. There is no worse diagnosis for anyone. And i am glad for friends and family who have battled their cancer successfully. But unlike many cancers, Merkel Cell is extremely visable, and as it grew, overtaking mom's face, to the point one eye swelled shut, she became a shut in, embarrassed to leave the home due to her appearance.

Christmas Eve 1999, we had our last family Christmas together. My sister and i, see dumb video from my dad's Christmas two posts ago, stayed at Mom's that night with spouses, and at that time, one kid each. Christmas morning we exchanged gifts. btw...we gave mom a new robe she never got to wear and a batch of homemade chocolate chipcookies, she ate those. Mom started to get a headache and to his credit, her oncologists came out to see her. He was prepping us for an extreme turn and offered to give Mom something for the pain.

She refused cause she didn't want to be a zombie on her last Chrismas. How's that for gumption?? It was fairly shortlived though... Soon after the Dr's visit, Mom went to bed to rest and never left the bed again.

Mom's body held on for a couple days after that. The hospice workers were great. My bank made me go back to work in Detroit, 'cause of the Y2K panic. So i received a call from my Aunt Jane that Mom was gone.

Anyway, oddly enough, Dec 31st 1999, the biggest party in a millenium, where was i? Funeral. Me, ...Mr. Biiiiiig Party.... Belushi-esque in reputation....

Anyway, since then, Christmas, is always the day i remember as my mothers last day. i put on a good show for the kids, i mean c'mon it's still Christmas. But it's never been the same.

This Christmas was little different though... more on that next... and not 'cause of the Garmin either.

but for now...

thanks for reading

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I have the best in-laws in the whole wide world

Needless to say I was in shock when I opened my christmas presents and found this...

Anyone know how to use it?

Bob? RR? Anyone?

Right now it's just a real expensive watch. I think I've gotten it figured out, just haven't had a chance to use it though.

Gonna take it for a test run, hopefully tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas fun!

Just goes to show that you're never too old to play with Barbies. Mike & Kim (his sister) relived some childhood memories by playing with our neice Sydney's new Barbie before she got a chance to. Of course you know you've seen everything when they give Barbie a dog that poops and her a poop-picker-upper!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Zen Moment... or two....

Arcaner tagged me with an interesting tag. Since i read his last update at my office. Again, 'tis not the season for a new mortgage. i have some time today, i have a client with an appointment for 1:30-2:00 ish, yippeee!!

Anyway, the nearest books in my office are things like; Who Moved Your Cheese?, The One Minute Sales Person, StressBusters, etc.... Little inspirational books, none of which are 123 pages long. Then i remembered a book i am never without. It's kinda a thing for me. That's right, the nearest book to me with at least 123 pages is....

"Road Atlas" by Rand McNally

Is this a book? Let's assume so, but as there aren't things like sentences, or paragraphs, or diction, or such... what can be on page 123??? Actually it's a map, duh it's an atlas, on 122 & 123...

Ontario, Canada... who lives in Ontario???...Arcaner

Where's Tommy Chong when i need him.... "FAR OUT, MAN"

Why do i always have a road atlas? So i always know where i am headed.

Cue sounds of multiple fingers being snapped, or ice tea being stirred.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

No one is safe from Fun Guv's candid camera...

Alas, poor Jimmy is too young to realize the embarrassment of being secretly video taped by his mother. He was auditioning for his sister. American Idol....here we come.

...Or Dancing with the Stars....i've been teaching Jimmy some nice moves, eh?

Unfortunately, i've been too busy at work to update much lately, ha ha, righhhttt. Like eveybody wants a new mortgage for the Holidays. No, it's been more of a crappy computer fighting me at every attempt to post something new..

Anyway, on to the running update.

i have a 3 day streak going of 8, 4, 4.5 miles. Not sure if i can go much longer due to scheduling around Christmas. In the next 5 days, 3 evenings are tied to office/family parties and the other nights are nights of bartending. I'll try to squeeze in a short run or two.

i think i can get a nice Christmas Eve morning run, and i can't wait for the look on Fun Guv's face when i lace up the shoes Christmas day. So much for a surprise now as she is sure to read this.

i never have learned to ask for forgiveness instead of permission. major flaw, but at the tender age of 38, not one to easily change.

I would like to get another 4-8 miles in this week to get back to the 20 + miles a week routine. Weather has been great for early winter, and i haven't been nearly hit by a car in a week.

My new years resolution, stop punching, kicking, yelling, whatever... at cars that nearly hit me. It's true, i'm gonna be a kinder, gentler Mike. After all, What would Dean do? Doesn't that sound a lot better on a runners wristband than Livestrong?

From now on i'm just gonna smile and wave. honest. i mean it. But it's a new years resolution, so you never know....

And i have taken the smoking counter off the blog. Cause, i don't think i need it. i'm still not smoking, although i did have a few smokes over a few beers last weekend. OK not a great thing, but a great thing was that i didn't rush out and buy smokes after having a couple. A month ago, no way, i'd be on my second pack by now.

Lastly, i have a running partner. Fun Guv has cousin who lives close and has decided to start running. So, i have been helping him find a running store for shoes, finding websites to assist his running questions, and we have gone out twice this week running together. He has a bit of an athletic background, so i am sure i'll be eating his dust soon.

For now, the company is great, and although we've taken more walk breaks than i usually do, the pace has been a pleasant, build a base, pace. He's already talking of marathoning at the Bayshore and Chicago. He watched a little of the DVD from Chicago and fell in love. Not with me, the Chicago marathon....

...Could be he figures this guy, me, 15 years older and out of shape did it, so can he.....

Cause that's what i'm all about, y'know making the world a better place for the next generation....

Thanks for reading, watching, listening, etc....

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just playing with YouTube

He sure does make his daddy proud!!! Wonder if he's got the gay gene.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thanks Santa, for the advice to stop eating his cookies and milk

Welcome to the Santa at the Henry Ford Museum. Fun Guv snapped this shot as he scolded me for the trail of crumbs he found leading to our bedroom from the kitchen.

Additionally, after being scolded by Animal for wearing white ice skates, i guess after Labour, canadian spelling, eh, Day, and not being manly enough. Since this comes from a man who used to Perm and Frost his hair, i'm feeling a little insecure.

So i give you a favorite new holiday tradition, Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village. See, they loan, skates to you there. Loan, get it...you walk into the tent, and someone hands you skates based upon size. But in addition to the effeminite skates, there was....

...chestnuts truly roasting on an open fire, real living reindeer, awesomely the real Santa who seemed to know all the children's names, carolers, brass bands, a blue grass band, Model T rides equipped with the same heating devices used in olden time, ie a blanket, and fireworks to end the evening. What great event to attend, sorry bout the ugly skates.

Anyway, it rained a lot yesterday, but it was fairly warm for December and so....a nice 5 mile run. i seem to have selected a training program which begins February 5. As the date approaches i'll put more of the plan online. i have cautiously selected what appears to be a fairly aggressive schedule, but it only calls for 16 weeks and 3 days a week. So it can adjust easily to real life.

Since, i have no dreadmill, i can't wait to start doing some speedwork in, gasp, February. What are the odds we'll have the two warmest February's on record in a row?

Right now the plan is to enjoy the holidays, get concerned about diet after the new year, maintain a steady 20-25 miles a week. Hit the new schedule running long and slow.

Smoking hasn't been a concern at all lately. This is normally where i screw it up. i have to remember to update my counter, that's been the biggest thing.

Thanks for reading

Monday, December 11, 2006

Man it was a cold saturday.

So i haven't mentioned that my step-mother-in-law, for the sake of ano...annom...anominity.... errr....privacy, let's call her Lady Addy, bought me a gift for finishing my first marathon.

A book called "I run therefore I am, Nuts". Anyway, it's a collection of essays by a guy who lives in the Detroit area. It's very funny, to me, and to other runners, but to the non-running majority of people, laughing about tapers, shoe fetishes, pace and streaks, not too funny...'cause they don't get the lingo. And so a review for those of you who have not read it

So although Lady Addy is interested in reading the book when i am done, i am not looking too forward to deciphering the code for her.

Secretly, i believe, Lady Addy wants to run. She dreadmills a walk a few times a week, and shows interest in the mentality of running. And although i encourage her to see her doctor and go real slow, she just replies, "ooh, i can't run"

Yes, you can!!

Since marathon training is, for me, 16 weeks, or 112 days long, i have some time to pick a plan. i figure i have about 45 days to not worry and run to just...run. This is really why i first started. To get off the couch. To meditate. To get into a less round shape. For me, this is the "base" that has led to pushing to further limits.
So from a meditative, pondering view. As running yesterday, and Saturday for that matter. i noticed some new artwork spray-painted on the sidewalk.


WTF??? Really, why??? Did you know at "The Palace of Auburn Hills" there is no KKK row? The rows letter AAA, BBB, CCC,.... JJJ, LLL? Why no KKK? 'Cause it's offensive.

So, really, in a state where Affermative Action, Gawd that spelling just looks wrong, was recently on the ballot, and AA was rejected for University admissions and Government employment cause we have come soooo far as a society, why do i see "KKK" spraypainted on the sidewalk, of my predominently lily-white neighborhood?

And, kinda funny, peculiar way... After reading through some interesting, sections of the New Testament, i'm not too sure if Jesus would be thrilled with the way we celebrate, or even that we celebrate, his supposed birthday. The parables are nice though.

Anyway...thanks for reading.

Friday, December 08, 2006


taken from the John Lennon website, see link above

Dec 01, 2006

Forgive UsDecember 8th is near again. Every year, on this day, I hear from many people from all over the world who remember my husband, John Lennon, and his message of peace. They write to tell me they are thinking of John on this day and how he was shot and killed at the prime of his life, at age 40, when he had so much life ahead of him.

Thank you for your undying love for John and also for your concern for me on this tragic anniversary. This year, though, on December 8th, while we remember John, I would also like us to focus on sending the following messages to the millions of people suffering around the world:

To the people who have also lost loved ones without cause: forgive us for having been unable to stop the tragedy. We pray for the wounds to heal.

To the soldiers of all countries and of all centuries, who were maimed for life, or who lost their lives: forgive us for our misjudgments and what happened as a result of them.

To the civilians who were maimed, or killed, or who lost their family members: forgive us for having been unable to prevent it.

To the people who have been abused and tortured: forgive us for having allowed it to happen.

Know that your loss is our loss. Know that the physical and mental abuse you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society, and the world. Know that the burden is ours.

As the widow of one who was killed by an act of violence, I don't know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger. I am sure all victims of violent crimes feel as I do. But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world.

Let's heal the wounds together.

Every year, let's make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable. Let's wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves, and by healing ourselves, we healed the world.

With deepest love,

Yoko Ono Lennon

New York City 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

i seem to have been abandoned by my muse

Not sure why, but again i've been a dull blogger.

i think the car, sewer, holiday combo of stress may have taken me out of good blogging mode.

That's O.K. Things are looking up as Fun Guv and i are know proud owners of a new-used Town & Country. Fun Guv is thrilled to have a new car/minivan.

The sewer/basement will work itself out, just part of being a homeowner. The dirt mounds are beginning to settle, by spring all will be right for landscaping.

Fun Guv is adjusting to cold weather running better that i thought she could. Her mile run is getting quicker and soon i bet she'll be adding a little more distance. i think there's less walk in her run/walk now as well.

As Jesus is the reason for the season, i've jumped ahead again in my bible reading and have gone straight to the New Testament. i'll go back to Isaiah later.

i've had some trouble with my blogger lately. Mostly work related computer/filter stuff. Sorry i have been unable to always comment to other blogs when i've liked. Of course i should be working.

Anyway, as we approach Dec 8th, i've been a little focused on John Lennon. i found this and i'm not sure if i am more amused by the appearance of Bill Bonds from 26 years ago or struck by his commentary on Dec 9th.

For the record; i do own a gun, a 12 gauge, from my deer hunting days of yore. The gun is at my fathers house.

Friday, December 01, 2006

What else can go wrong???

Anyone ever have their sewer collapse? Not fun. Although Jimmy seemed to enjoy watching a back-hoe dig a 10 foot trench through our entire yard, Fun Guv and i had to cry.

See, we have a huge tree in our front yard, and apparently the roots had finally destroyed any semblence of terra cotta plumbing running to our city hook-up. And while the advantages to your front yard being a septic field results in greener grass, the back up of sewage in the basement...not so nice.

Let's just say the neighbors are panic-y that they can be next, and woe to the listed for sale home, since every car driving through our neighborhood passes our home..

How's this for home value?

But all is not lost, as it will take time for the mound of filled ditch with new PVC plumbing to fill and compact. So now we have a 3 foot mound through our entire front yard. It will be a slow process as our ground is clay. And since the season is changing we will not be able to landscape until spring. Whooppie!!!

Additionally, looks like my running habit may have practical uses, as yesterday the head gasket, on my car blew. So i am carless, until we figure out how to pay for a new car after paying for a plumbing job from hell. Or a dig to hell.

At least i can run to and from home and the office at an under 8 minute mile pace.

Or at least could, until using lame excuse of stress to buy smokes, cause i'm made of money and the extra 5 bucks wouldn't have made a dent in the 1000s of dollars in new bills.

Oh, it's the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

Thanks for reading