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

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Snow Day all you fellow Michiganders!!!!

Wow, for once the forecasters were right, we got dumped on with snow. We were all set here to laugh when we woke up to a light dusting...you know, what we usually get when they hype up the storm of the season for 24 straight hours. Not this time, we got all 10-12 inches!

This was our front yard about 10:00 this morning, there are two lit presents under that spiral tree...even when I put the lights on you can't see it.

The kids ventured out to play in the snow. Schubert loves to frolick in the fluffy white stuff.

Mack tried to shovel a path from the garage to the house with little luck. I just got back in from using our heavy duty, northern Michigan snowblower on the driveway and all the sidewalk. Corner lots suck that way. I also made a path from our drive way all the way down the block to one of Mack's friend's house passing 4 houses along the way. My Christmas present to them!

Once Mike gets home I'll send him next door to do the neighbors driveway, no sense in him missing out in some of the fun. We plow it every year for her, she watches our dog for weeks at a time...fair trade.

In other news...

Wednesday night was Mack's holiday band concert. It was lovely....

Someone please get that clarinet a new reed...
You can't really see Mack, she's third chair alto sax, first & second chair are in the viewing way. (First chair showed up late for the concert so she's not in the pre-concert pic)

Everyone stay warm and safe...thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ok dear, i'll try to do this again

Well ladies and gents, my long over-do apology for thinking that maybe i abandoned this little cerebral exercise.

Maybe i did....abandon it, but as i have actually mentioned to some folks.

i tend to be a little political and rant-ing. i tend to be a tad sarcastic and although i avoid sexual topics, with occasional innuendo...and profanity.

i have a legitimate concern, that a prospective business contact could opt to google me. See how can i not use some aforementioned innuendo there?????

Unfortunately, it has happened while professional, very serious minded, fully licensed financial advisor Mike and little liberal, tree-hugging, psuedo-socialist, share the same body, a client has made mention of finding this little corner. Bummer....

So here's the deal.....

i am going to take the blog off the "public" list and just invite people to peruse it from time to time. If i have correctly synced up my Facebook....this should each new post should link to my profile....if this happens i may have to give up my computer-idiot monifer and upgrade to computer-handicapable (p.c. mike also shares this body and i try to avoid handicapped)

And so, because i can't truly censor myself, i'll give it a week or so and after the new year, make a brief change to the blog.

But.....i can give a brief running report...cause that's about all i have right now.

i basically had a nice jog, no stress for a time and no pressure to PR, BQ, insert random letters as appropriate, etc...

So, i chatted and ran, watched a Santa or two pass me. Drank Beer whenever offered and smiled through a nice relaxing run. Oddly enough, t'was (blatant Christmas reference, tis the season) only 20 minutes longer than my PR.

So really, why am i trying so hard??????

Anyway, i took the rest of October off, and that pushed my recovery into November and well maybe last week i started running again.

btw....3 miles is lot longer than i remembered. When did that happen???? Oh yeah when you took 6 weeks off. Doofus

So let's just move on...but

let's do some housekeeping. How much weight can a runner gain when not running for 6 weeks??? Apparantly, 15 to 20 lbs, so as i approached the, used to be skinny for me, but now feels enormous weight of 220, i hope to have squashed the bug at 215.

So there it is, i weigh 215 again, ergo new goals for the spring marathon and summer.

PR in a marathon, or a least do a half in under 1:40.

Loss weight, seriously though, really concentrate on a 180 number and getting there.

Do another Tri, and not panic-attack in the swim portion.

So there it is. Some difficult goals and while a plan is in place, it will be detailed in future post.

Now let's hit "publish" and see if my Facebook links up correctly????

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Feliz Blabby Blah and all that good stuff...

Sorry for the lack of posting the past month, the holiday season has struck and contrary to Mike's belief Christmas presents don't just magically appear under the tree. Someone has figure out what to buy, where to find it for the best price and then brave the crowds and go shopping for them....lucky me!

But now the presents are all bought and wrapped and tomorrow I attempt to bake 7 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange (what was I thinking?). I'll be honest I opened up my cookie cook book that I've had for 13 years and never cracked open, looked for a recipe that I knew I had all of the ingredients in house for (I'm so the scoop and bake kind of cookie maker...love those tubs of cookie dough) and said I'll make those. Jam Thumbprints anyone? My mom made them all the time when I was a kid so I've enlisted her assistance, I've been told they're quite labor intensive ~ great. Hopefully my baking does not kill off the rest of the PTO board as they are who I am exchanging cookies with.

Last weekend we celebrated Christmas with Mike's side of the family. A nice casual gathering at his dad's house in Durand. It was actually a pleasant day...everyone behaved!

This weekend we have a birthday party on Saturday (who the heck has kids in December so close to Christmas?????) and we'll be baking & decorating our Christmas cookies that night. Gotta love the pre cut shapes with icing and sprinkles ~ thank you Market Day.

Sunday we're off to Greenfield Village to freeze our butts off and enjoy Holiday Nights with the Guilbeaux's. Our family looks forward to this outing every year no matter the weather. There seems to be something magical about the Village in the snow all decorated for Christmas...we'll ice skate, sing carols while riding in a two horse open sleigh, eat chestnuts freshly roasted over an open fire, visit Santa & his live reindeer and listen to our favorite story teller recite 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

A couple of spare days off to chill and then the hustle & bustle of family holiday celebrations. Looking forward to seeing those family members you only see about once a year...thank God for Facebook, we've been able to keep in touch a little better this year.

We're going to need a vacation after this Christmas vacation...3 months til Mexico ~ let's hope I make it!

Hope everyone out there has a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Mike claims he's got a post brewing in his head...now that they've cancelled about 3/4 of his favorite TV shows, he might actually find time to come in here and post...we'll see ~ I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Well, we made it 7 1/2 years before a trip to the ER...pretty good if you ask me!

Yesterday Jimmy had a 1/2 day of school which forced him to come to marching band parade practice with me at the high school. Everything was going great, he played his DS in the hallway while we practiced inside and he ran like a madman all over the turf field, playing class clown while the band marched around the track two times playing the T'giving parade tunes.

We headed back inside when we were done and Jimmy being the little helper he was ran down the hall to the other door to let some kids in. Apparently the spring on that door is a little tight and it closed quickly on him and smashed his fingers in the door.
Of course it bled quite heavily. I took him back in the band room and ran it under water while a couple of my students found paper towel & band aids. We got it wrapped up and he held it tight while I drove him the 1 mile to the ER. Upon first look the Dr. Ass't thought it might need stitches, but after the x-rays to make sure he didn't fracture or hurt the bone, and we got it cleaned up it just barely wasn't deep enough for stitches.

So it's the probably the most expensive piece of medical tape and saline solution I'll ever pay for, but at least he's alright. Just a nasty scar for a reminder.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holy crap it's been a month since the last post. Sorry about that, things have been crazy hectic around here.

Mike is officiall addicted to Facebook...he spends most of his spare time cleaning up his patch and tending to others' patches.

Not much running has been going on for Mike, work has not afforded him that luxury too much lately. Between the economy and cub scouts there is not much time for anything else.

Last Saturday I attended my 20 year high school reunion. It was....interesting, yeah ,that's the word I'll use. I got to see a couple of friends that didn't show up at the 10 year which was great. It was nice to catch up. I don't speak to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis. Occasionally I see a girl I went to school K-12 with who lived one street over from me...her son & Jimmy go to school together. On facebook I've caught up with another friend who graduated a year behind me...but other than that...nothing. I think it's mainly because I went away to college and no one I hung out with went to Central so we all drifted.

I have to say, after 20 years it's amazing how many of the cliques are still in tact. The girls seemed to have aged better than the guys, a lot of them got fat, and lost most or all of their hair. Mike says the girls didn't do as well as I'm thinking, once the lights came back up at the end of the night he got a little scared!

Overall the night was fun though. Got to dance to some great 80s tunes. Say hi to people I haven't thought about in 20 years. See all those senior pictures on the name tags and reminice about how we were able to get our hair to be THAT big. And drink waaaay super strong rum & diet cokes all night. What better way to spend a Saturday night!

LCN Class of '88

This is all that showed up out of about 250

Tracey, Laura & Me

Tracey & I went to school K-12, we stayed friends all the way through but she was a cheerleader and I was a band geek so we were mainly in different circles. Laura & I were BFFs all through middle school, but drifted a little in high school.

Sheila & Me

Another band geek friend

Dawn & Me

Dawn & I were in girl scouts together & our mom's were great friends but we drifted in middle & high school.

Thanks for reading...we'll try to be more regular!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


That's the official time...

Race report to follow by Mike himself (once he's able to get off the couch). He has lots of great things to say about this race and definitely wants to share them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We're still alive!

Sorry no one's been around lately...Mike has found a new on-line obsession...Facebook! I swear he's become addicted to it; any spare moment he has is spent there. Find him on there and ask to be his friend, he'd love to throw some octopi at you or pass you a round of drinks...he's good at that.

In other news....

The marathon is now less than a week away, and not trying to speak for Mike (but I will, sort of) he's not ready for this one. Personally, I think he'll finish, just not with a BQ time. He's had absolutely no time to get out and run. Almost every night the last 2 weeks he's gotten home from work between 8:30 and 9:00...it's fall, it's getting dark at 7:30 now. Plus he's mentally exhausted when he gets home, this whole stock market ride has him on his toes all day long. From what I've been seeing, he's just not really feeling it right now either. Plus, we still don't have the Garmin fixed, I'd send it out but he's got all that info stashed away somewhere. Hopefully he'll get out of this funk, the stock market will knock it off and running Mike will be back at it in full swing.

We'll see if Mike can come on and offer up his pre-race feelings...

Until then, thanks for sticking with him (all two of the readers left)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mike hasn't really been around much the last two weeks, hence the lack of posting...again. Where has he been you ask? Working.

But I'm fine with that, because look what all that hard work has earned us...

A week in Mexico!!!!! Yes, next March the two of us will depart dreary Michigan and head to Neuvo Vallarta, Mexico to the Grand Velas Resort ! The best part is it won't cost us a thing. Check out this place...it's awesome!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this new job? And how proud I am of my dear husband who has been kicking butt in this new job???

He had to earn X number of points in a time-frame and then we got to pick from a list of 17 different trips as a "reward". It's by far not the most glamorous trip in the list, but for the first one we want to keep the outside the program expenses in the affordable range so this one works ~zip line over the tree tops is on our must do list while there. Plus we've talked to others in the company that have gone there before and they say it's one of their favorite trips.

Now, some out there would say...hmmm, so when I invest with this company, this is what they do with my $$? Actually, no. It's part of his commission package, they just hold it aside and dangle it as a sort of carrot to build the his business. If you earn it...have fun; if not...hope you get it next time. Which I do hope he gets it next time because we're looking at a trip to Egypt with a 3 day Nile River cruise involved in it.

Do you think it would be tacky if in his sales pitch he'd say something like...."Please invest with me, my wife wants to go to Egypt" ? Yeah, probably not a good idea. But Mike is doing awesome with this job and loving every minute of it so if we do go to Egypt ~ BONUS, but if we don't that's fine too, there will be other trips. He has the chance to earn two each year.

I guess it's time for me to hit the pavement. Want to look good in my bathing suit on the beach!

In other news:

From what I can tell, marathon training has been going well. Work & cub scouts has kept him pretty busy, but he's managed to squeeze in some running time. I can't believe the Detroit Marathon is less than a month away already. I will be working the Expo on Saturday morning in the race packet pick up department. I've got the 9am- 12:30pm shift so the family will be down there checking things out and then we'll grab some lunch in the area. We're thinking Pizzapapali's ~ Mike has always wanted some Chicago style pizza before the big race...never seemed to get it while in Chicago!

Thanks for reading and as always I'll try to get Mike to sit down and post again soon. Dancing with the Stars starts tonight so you know where he'll be the next 3 evenings!!!!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fun Guv wants me to posts about things like......

ok, first a small story, i heard this one a few weeks ago and wish i knew who the original author was but....

....little boy and his grandfather are walking along a beach after a high tide. As they walk, the boy picks up starfishes that the tide had washed up on the beach and flings them back into the surf.

The grandfather asks the boy ",what are you doing?"

"I'm saving the starfishes," he replies.

"but son, there are thousands of starfishes washed up on the beach. You won't be able to save enough to make a difference."

The little boy nodded in agreement and the two continued their little walk.

A few minutes later, they came upon a starfish on the beach. The little boy stopped and thought for a moment. He picked up the starfish and threw it into the surf. He looked at his grandfather and said.

"It made a difference to that one"

No. Let's move on from the story. back to what Fun Guv wants me to post about.

See this story reminds me of a few things, like how we reap what we sow....

Fer'instance....is it irony or poetic justice that a lawmaker should spend years of their life devoted to the notion that abstinence should be the only birth control method taught in school and wind up with a knocked-up teenage daughter???? What difference can another teenage pregnancy make?

and let's get going on "America First". What does this mean???? Apparantly, it doesn't mean buying American things...like maybe cars. As a crazy McCain child, adult not teenage, goes out and buys a Toyota cause well, it's a hybrid. i think some hybrids are made by american car companies. But what difference can one car make????

Anyway....on to the cool thing lately....Thanks Great Lake Running Gal, for the pictures of yours truly finishing up the aptly named "This Sucks" leg of "Dances with Dirt"

Let's give a brief report on the race. i ran three legs of the 100K relay. i was given leg 2....Butt Kicker.....a brutal narrow pathway up and down an impossible number to count hills. Open areas filled with poison ivy and lot's of ducking of tree limbs. Except for the one i didn't duck from, only to wind up with a bruised forehead and scratches on my right eyelid. one trip on a root, with a fun roll, and one run through 5 inch depth mud pit (no problem) on this nasty little 4.5 mile run.

Then came leg 6....i wanted the bog and i got the bog...."This Sucks" 5.7 miles long, with a teasing first 3.5 of nasty hills, from the dry, unshaded tops to the humid, muggy valleys this was a long antipication to....

Bog One....slightly above my knees in depth and about 15 feet across. i took a step and fell face first in. This one was the shallowest but also the thickest to get through. Maybe it felt that way being the first....

then a shuffle through some woods to....

Bog two....slightly above my waist, i little wider and like trying to walk through pudding, only with mosquitoes and nasty stagnant water smells.

Then a quick wander through about 3 inches of mud for a couple hundred yards to, the big one....

Bog three.... This one had a little bit of a back up, as a few people were trying to gingerly enter on my right side. So i went left and took a big leap on the side and ended up....in chest deep bog. Thank gawd my feet hit solid ground as i sank. This was the oddest feeling, it was real thick but a was able to work through the quicksand-esque pit. Amazingly, as it got shallower, like waist deep, the bog was thicker and harder to get through. The dig up the side to get out of the bog was essentially a crawl.

Then, boom out of the crap and on to a nice little unshaded, flat trail, to finish up at a local school. Just enough time to allow the mud to bake in on a sunny day!!!!

It may have been the most fun, i've ever had!!!!! Notice the "white" socks and "white" running shoes. There's even mud in my teeth.

My last leg was Leg 12....Vertigo....dry, weird....but...extremely hilly. Too hilly to run down the steep trails. It was mostly a run up, with a little skip down, while using little trees to help slow me down and balance. This last one was 3.5 miles, and even though it was dry...it was still fun.

So our team finished it 10 hrs and 31 minutes.....We all crossed the line together and recieved some awesome finishing medals....a couple pizzas and a 2 liter of coke.

"Dances with Dirt" is the most fun i have ever had at the running event and no single blog post can do it justice.....

If you ever get a chance to run a portion of this baby....do not hesitate to go.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Aaah...the sound of silence!

They've gone back to school...now it is time for me to spend my long peaceful days eating bon-bons & watching soap operas. Ha! Like I have time for that, there are funds to be raised for the school and colorguard uniform pieces waiting to be cut out.

I can't believe how quickly the summer just suddenly ended on us this year. It just didn't seem like it was time to go back, but alas it was.

7th Grade...can you believe it?

2nd Grade

We spent the last 1/2 week of summer doing a little more camping. I left Wednesday with my mom and the kids and headed back to Yankee Springs. It was a nice relaxing 4 days, though it's kind of weird not having the big group that I'm used to when camping. Lauri, Hunter & Grace came by on Saturday for a little bit to hang out too, which of course was fun.

The first night (and each night afterwards actually) I made the fire all by myself

We hung out and roasted marshmallows

This time Jimmy remembered his fishing pole and check out the bass he caught! Bait was pieces of hot dog. It was so big they couldn't reel it in (we didn't have a net) so they asked a guy passing by if he'd help them out. Jimmy wouldn't touch it, but he had to have his picture taken with it. Where's Cookie when you need him, that could have been dinner!

The beach was extremely crowded...duh, Labor Day weekend...but that meant there were tons of kids to meet & play with.

As usual, Jimmy took a nap on his towel. It wouldn't be a week spent at a beach if he didn't do that at least once. All that digging & swimming takes it right out of you.

Now it's time to get ready to head to Pickney for another short camping trip...Dances with Dirt is this weekend. Maybe afterward Mike will do something completely unusual and post on his own blog and tell all about the experience....stranger things have happend you know!

Thanks for reading

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wow, who is this strange bunch?

Thanks to Lauri-O for digging up this gem...circa 1991. Sadly, Jimmy did not recognize his father in this picture....and Mack is a bit freaked out by the length of her godfather's hair!

I'd be remiss if I didn't wish my wonderful spouse....you know, the drip to my chinese water torture* a

Happy 40th Birthday

*Ha! got to use it before he did!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now that is the boost I needed!

Since Mike has been too busy to post you guys are stuck with me...again!

Last night I was at colorguard rehearsal chatting with a couple of the parents. Now as the years go on I am getting closer to the parents ages than I'd like to think about. These particular parents will still be around with their youngest, a senior, when Mack is a freshman in the guard.
Long & short...we were chatting about the upcoming trip to Cedar Point the band is taking and if I was going to go. Unfortunately, it is the same weekend as the Detroit Marathon so I can't. I mentioned that my husband is running his 5th marathon that weekend. They were impressed and asked how old he was or something to that effect. I boastfully said he'd be 40 on Thursday (tomorrow). Again, impressed they said wow...you're only like 31 aren't you?!!!!?

Needless to say I had to pick my jaw up off the floor! I thanked them profusely for the compliment but then let them know I am 38. His turn to be shocked.

I have to say, that little exchange ~ it made.my.night!

In other news...

Big huge thanks to Dad & Cheryl, we had a great time on Mackinac Island. The kids are still talking about it and can't wait to go back.

We chose the Shepler line because during the summer months they offer a ride under the bridge on their 10am run to the island. It was great...not a view you tend to get of the bridge every day. They slowed down and gave you a lot of history and building facts.

Jimmy got over his fear of the ferry ride and actually enjoyed it. Though he found it to be a little chilly.

We stayed at the beautiful Windermere Hotel. Can't beat the view or the relaxation factor sitting on that porch with a book or just enjoying the company and meeting new people.

We did the obligatory bike ride around the island. Jimmy did great considering he's on a smaller bike and has to pedal twice as much as the rest of us. The kids loved stopping and playing in the rocks. Jimmy, being the avid collector of rocks had to bring a few home with him.

Jimmy got himself a rifle and proceeded to guard us everywhere we went the rest of the week. He even had to take it into the fort with us. While at the fort he got the hat to complete the outfit.

After the fort Mike & I took the kids to the sites in the middle of the island. It turned into a 2+ hour hike without a map (thanks Mike). Fortunately we have a good sense of direction and another tourist came by while at Sugarloaf and loaned me his map to get our bearings, and a way home. While walking through the woods Jimmy took the lead and protected us along the way.

It was tough getting on that ferry and heading back home.

Now it's time to get ready to send the kiddos back to school ~ YEAH!!! But first the kids & I are taking one more small camping trip with my mom. That should be interesting.


Mike got his assignments for Dances with Dirt on September 6th. He will be doing 3 legs:

*Butt Kicker~ Abyss and Death by Mosquitoes areas are good opportunity to sprain an ankle. Nasty decline & climb in middle followed by Butt Slider should make ankle swell doubl in size

*This Sucks~ Swamps can make it hard to get legs out of the earth. Plain old wicked, only the best get to run it.

* Vertigo ~Couple of nasty downhills that may give you vertigo. Portions of nice trail, road and hill climbs, off trail running and a flat ending. Mountain climbs and butt slides in middle. No rivers but some wading thorough high grass. Open area can be brutally hot.

Gee, that sounds like fun doesn't it?

I'll see if I can get Mike to sit down and post his thoughts soon.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'm getting too old for this....

I can't believe that after 2 1/2 years away from the insanity that I am back teaching colorguard. What was I thinking???? Last spring I ran into the band director from the local high school (1/4 mile door step to door step from the house) at Meijer and he asked me if I'd be interested in coming back and running the colorguard this year.

I had to get back to him, even though the time commitment was far less than it was when I was there last. They are not doing competitions, just one for the heck of it, only Friday night football games. After some family discussion and temporary misplacement of my brain I accepted the position.

Fast forward to this week. We are having a pre-camp at the school...8am - noon for the whole band and 1pm-4pm for the guard and percs. That is 7 hours of high school drama and the equivalent of doing aerobics in a steam room. Seriously, Monday and Tuesday was about 92 degrees in the shade and muggy as all heck. Just standing still you broke a sweat. Of course due to shrinking school budgets the air conditioning is not on in the school so it's almost hotter in there because at least outside there is the occasional breeze.

So far the week's gone pretty good. We're doing a Doors show~ the music is enough to make you want to gouge your eyes out...just ask Mike, he loves it when I write the work at home and have to listen to it over and over and over ~ go ahead click the link and take a listen. Mon & Tues we had to work at the pace of spin for 15-20 minutes, take a 5 minute water break...it was hot and we were all dripping with sweat.

In the afternoon session where it was just guard & percs we took a brief break around 2:15, went inside for a potty break and found the band room empty. The percs had left??? One of the girls texted one of the percs and found out their instructor let them go early, they had nothing else to work on . Nice. Now how the heck do I keep my girls there going over the same 2:05 worth of work over and over and over?

Tuesday after beating the dead horse to a bloody pulp I let them go a little early so I could have some time to write the 2nd song's work for today.

I just can't believe how much energy this crap takes. How did we ever do it? This is only pre-camp too, next week is band camp from 8am - 9pm all week. (Un)fortunately I won't be able to be there since the family is taking a little vacation on Mackinac Island with my dad & step-mom. Looking forward to a relaxing week on the island! I'm going to need it.

On other fronts....

Mike will probably post soon to lament his back to basics running since his Garmin crapped out on him. He called their tech support and the battery is D.O.A. He can pay $99 and ship it to them and they will send him a refurbished one....not sure if we're too happy with that since it's not even 2 years old, but what can we do? Going for his training runs has been a terrible experience for him because he has nothing to pace himself on....can you believe it? How did he ever train pre-Garmin?

Eh, well....

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wow! Who knew?

Obviously those of you who are runners must... I got up this morning at 8:30 (which is early for me) and rode my bike ~ actually Mike's, mine has a flat front tire ~ to the library. I took the scenic route back so it was about 4.5 - 5 miles total. I had some movies on hold that I thought I was supposed to pick up yesterday and I wanted to get there before they pulled them off the holding shelf and thought I'd get a little exercise along the way.

Now I'm all showered and feel great with all this extra energy. Someone remind me of this tomorrow when I'm laying in bed not wanting to get up....I need motivation to keep at it. I do have my 20 year reunion coming up at the beginning of November...I'll have to put some sort of picture or something in a prominent spot to keep me going. Mike badgering and bothering me has the opposite effect ~ makes me just want to keep sitting on my butt!

Off to use some of this energy for good!

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Triathlon Equipment.

fresh from a week of camping, i can answer the "will i ever do a tri again?" question with a definite "most likely"

i was even given some new equipment to train in.

...with a little PSA thrown in

and this was the fun we had without beer.

thanks for reading

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just have to put this out there. This guy was on Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show which Mike & I watched last night. In the special features his stuff had me crying. I'd love to see him live...


Sheesh! I got in trouble yesterday for not posting about the darn ducks.

Dunno, maybe this baseball banquet I'm organizing all by myself that's being held tonight for 650 people got in my way. Sorry!

So....ducks....with all this build up from Mike I hope I don't disappoint

Watching those swimmers head out into Anchor Bay was like watching salmon swimming upstream...all the splashing and thrashing was kind of amusing. That picture of the bouys by the way was taken from the end of the dock with no zoom....about 20 yards in front of where the actual start line was. It was as daunting looking in real life as it appears in the picture.

It was a windy morning so the waves in the bay were a little rough and from what Mike said there was a bit of a current so going out was a struggle. We watched about 10 or so people not even make it to the first bouy. The power boat came by and dropped swim noodles in the water for them. Before the boat headed to them Cindy looked out and said Hmmm, those people don't seem to be going anywhere....I guess that's when the boat noticed too.

The swimmers were starting to make their way back to shore. We heard some people yelling to the first few out that they were only about 5 minutes behind their projected time and they should make it up on the bike. Right then we truly realized how rough the water was.

While the swimmers straggled in we noticed a mama duck with her 2 babies swimming around just off the beach. Some of the brilliant spectators started yelling at her to move out of the area, she'd get run over; like she understood. That just caused her to turn and start heading out into the water, into incoming swimmers. All we could imagine then was someone in their swimming zone reaching out a hand and hitting a duck...that would not be a pretty sight.

Suddenly mama noticed the incoming swimmers and started to swim to the right...into more swimmers and then left...into more swimmers and a sea wall. She panicked and started for shore. The whole time the babies were with her until she suddenly made a turn. One baby followed, the other went the other way. At this point...screw the swimmers we were worried about that baby. It kept diving under the water for long periods and coming up 5 feet or so from where it went under. Being under the water was even more scary cuz then we couldn't even warn the swimmers to it's location. Mama was safely off to the side freaking out, spreading her wings and squaking. Baby surfaced next to the sea wall and then wound up going under the dock and way out of harms way. But mama had no idea where baby was. Again, the spectators started yelling to her that baby was on the other side of the dock...again...do you think she understood?
Apparently we are a short attention span crowd because the ducks were forgotten when one guy got about 15 feet from shore, tried to stand up and almost face planted in 2 feet of water. He was white as a ghost and didn't look too good. He kept struggling to get above a kneeling position in the water. I went to one of the teenage volunteers and told him to get medical help. As he stood there not quite sure what to do a couple of spectators waded in and brought him to the beach. He wound up being taken away by ambulance. Mack stayed back and monitored the situation for us while we watched Mike head off on the biking leg of the tri.
There you go, the story of the ducks. I told you it wasn't a huge deal.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man..."

Can a call myself a Tin Man?...Iron seems a little far-fetched right now.

Well, i did not drown, Woo Hoo!!!

Who knew horses could swim. I was jokingly called aClydesdale again, by my swim coach....remember whose husbands butt i kicked ;). Hey she called me a clydesdale, and i was able to correct her that while a Clydesdale is a beautiful animal, i prefer the no-nonsense approach of the Draft Horse.

She appreciated the distinction, as her daughter is starting equestrian stuff. but.....

Back to me.

Here i am at the start. Downtown New Baltimore, city of fish-flies, and Anchor Bay in the northern part of Lake St Clair.

The only known festival celebrating...an insect, but their apperance is a symbol of a living lake.

speaking of lake, bay, whatever...

1/4 mile seems a lot farther when laid out on end in a lake, bay, whatever...There are 4 buoys in this picture. ouch

and here i am waiting, looking at the buoys and thinking....

"just don't be the first guy to wave for help from the lifeguards"

big horn sound aaaaannndd. we're off!!!

Fun Guv called it a bunch of salmon swimming upstream. i stayed to the back....like it was intentional, ha....but i was very surprised by the contact in this part of the sport.

26 minutes later, after one major panic attack, and a bunch of little ones.

It was a long walk, saunter to the bike/run transition area

i brought some G2, took my time and went back to the standard, socks, shoes, shirt, helmet,

aaaannnd, Go..

It was basically a nice bike ride. 11 miles long, it took 39 minutes. i got to see some interesting things in regards to traffic, and "man vs auto" moments but overall nothing odd so....

It was admittingly nice to pass some people on the bike portion. After being one of the last out of the water, notice the empty bike racks in previous picture, i was happy to feel a little bit athletic. Also, after watching the number of people thrown "noodles" in the water by life guards and a few broken down bikes and accident bike victims, i was happy to still be on my feet.

Speaking of that, now here we go....my area....the run...3 miles piece of cake, eh?

i mean really, look at the confidence here. where was this an hour and 7 minutes ago??? i like this picture for a couple reasons. One, i'm actually running. proof, finally that yes, both my feet are occasionally off the ground at the same time. Two, i look thin in this picture due to clever choices in attire, (Oprah was right). Three, i'm still smiling. and Four, thanks to clever photo skills, Fun Guv caught me with a decent size fold/bulge going on. This is real trick photography, and thanks to all the people saying "Eeeeewww" to themselves right now. heehee...made ya look

As for me....i'm gonna start looking for an aircraft carrier at nearby Selfridge Base from which i can shout "Mission Accomplished"

yeah, i know....Selfridge is an Air National Guard base, and there are no aircraft carriers in Lake St Clair. Got it....

After the halfway point my run turned....unispired.

It was hot, humid, and really, i was just doing this for the fun and i thought.

"Take a walk, enjoy this, don't set the bar to getting a PR, if you ever do this again, tooo high."

So i walked through the water stations, and chatted with guy in my age group and we rounded the bend. One more corner and the finish.

i had mentioned that my wife would cheer me to go faster and if he wanted to keep up, but he was pooped. Sooooooo.....

At least i wasn't last in my age group. Actually i was 4th from last.

But, i finished, had a good time, and feel super re-invigorated for a good Detroit Marathon train.

Time on the run, 31 minutes, funny eh?? It was a tough overall event.

So there it is...a quick, timely, race report.... with pictures. Soon Fun Guv will throw in her experience, hopefully she blogs about the family of ducks ripped apart from each other by the incomming swimmers. Screw watching the race....the real action on the pier was concern if the momma duck and the ducklings would ever reconnect.

Anyway, i will post after taking some time and reflecting on whether i want to "tri" this again.

Oh yeah, official race times gooooo here

Best guess, 1:39:46

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Well, there we go ladies and gents...boys and girls.... i always wanted to start a race this way. Toe-ing the line and waiting for the gun to sound as i lift off into an early lead.

Ok, here i am at the 26th annual Pickerel Festival 10k event. It is a beauty for us slowpokes out there. My first year, i was second in my age group, last year although faster in time was a third place finish.

This may be my last sub 40 year old race, so i was going for the gold.

Guess what????? Third group down on this picture, it says Male age group 35-39, place #1 Michael Passmore.

Later an update was printed with the other runner in the age group, he got the silver. (He's a good friend who's wife has been helping me learn to swim for this weekends tri)

OK, yep it's a small race. When the 5k runners and 5k walkers moved up to their start line, y'know a 10th of a mile in front of us, i heard one 10k'er say...

"Guess, we all get a medal today"

...and the obligatory "Steers" at the finish. Notice the "impressive" 49:25...7:58 pace. but Jimmy was there "4" to cheer me on the victory.

After winning my age group, i wanted to take a minute here to officially retire from the 35-39 year old, male age group. i'm taking my game to the masters level.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, July 05, 2008

As per Fun Guv,

It was nice to actually see how the Garmin can be used to help when lost in the woods. Four of us from the summer regional went running and....well the trails aren't as well marked as we would have liked and we found ourselves running in the Betsie River trail and not the trail managed by Crystal Mountain.

Quick use of the Garmin and although our 6 miler became a 9 miler. Which kinda sucked for the non-marathon..."6 miles seems long but not too bad" guy in our foursome.

Anyway, back to the expaining my views on "I am Legend". On the surface, a vampire story...with a little zombie stuff thrown in. The real depth of the story is it's evolution theme. The idea that change is a constant and there is no absolute. Our hero's legendary status is due to his ability to walk through the daylight and kill off the vampires as they slept. To the vampire nation which becomes the majority, he is a legend, and feared, and eventually destroyed out of that fear and misunderstanding.

Now, let's compare to the most recent movie version. In which our hero saves humanity, by developing a cure, for this vampirism.....except....nobody seems to ask the vampires if they want to be cured. Even though the vampires show human traits, like organization, communication, intelligence and love, because they are different than the 3 people not changed, the vampires are ill and must be cured.

To draw just one conclusion to today's world, look at the "normal" American opinion of the Muslim world. Many fears and misunderstandings are present, and this is considered a "middle east" religion. But what happens when the majority of Europeans are Muslim????

just something to think about...

Anyway, next week is the Tri...i'm a bit nervous due to the swim, but i should be ok. it's just unchartered waters for me (sorry couldn't waste the obvious pun)

Tomorrow, is my annual run and the Pickeral Festival, in glorious, downtown Algonac....don't blink....It will most likely be my last run in a non-masters division.

thanks for reading

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Well we're back from our first summer regional. I can definitely say that a good time was had by all.

Thursday morning we headed up to Crystal Mountain where we would stay for 3 nights. As we approached Cadillac it finally dawned on Jimmy the direction we were headed and he asked how much longer until we got to the Hampton Inn. We had to explain to him that where we would be staying was much nicer than that. When we got to the resort they gave us our room number and told us where to go to get there. Much to our surprise it was a 2 bedroom condo! When we walked in the door the first words out of Jimmys mouth were "Dad, this is no Hampton Inn!"

Mike had a meeting shortly after arriving and I had to join that meeting a little after that so the kids got to spend a little time in the pool. Any time both Mike & I were in a meeting (they had a little spouses meeting Friday morning, more of a get to know the other spouses type thing) and when we had the awards dinner Saturday night the company provided Kids Camp where they had a great time and got to know other kids their age.
The pool area was a lot of fun and we got to spend all day Friday and most of Saturday just hanging out, playing and working on our tans.

Mike & Mack took some time and did the rock wall climb too. Mack never made it to the top, her fear of heights got the best of her, but she gave it one heck of a try and got about 3/4 of the way up.

After Friday night's dinner we were supposed to have the Crystal Coaster to ourselves from 7-9pm. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to let loose a nice little drizzle right at 6:55. We were informed that the course became unsafe with even just a little bit of water on it due to the felt brakes on the sleds which become essentially inoperable when wet. The good news was they allowed us to use the coaster all day Saturday instead.

It took a lot of convincing to get Jimmy even onto the chair lift. I had to promise he'd go down with me (for some reason he just doesn't trust Mike in these situations...hmmm imagine that) and we'd go slowly down the mountain. He cried the entire ride up and still had a fit at the top. I told him there were 2 ways down walk or ride (at one point we had to do the walk because it started raining about 1 minute after we got on the chair lift so we had to ride to the top and then walk down the hill in the pouring rain...what fun that was!). The girl at the top was very helpful and had Jimmy sit in the sled by himself and showed hime what it was all about. I got in and off we went...after about 10 feet Jimmy was squealing with excitement telling me to go faster...go figure!

We rode it two more times before the rain came. Even though it only lasted about 5 minutes they had to hand dry the track off so it was about another hour before it reopened so we headed back to the pool. Jimmy was chomping at the bit to go back to the coaster, he kept his eye on the ski lift from the pool area and let us know as soon as it started to run again. We went down 3 more times and each time Jimmy kept pushing the lever to go faster and faster. He told me on the way down that this was the "bestest day of his life". He still has the wrist band on in case we go back there he can ride it again!

Believe it or not, in between all the fun, dinners and lunches provided Mike did learn a lot in his meetings and now he's at working putting all that information to good use. He also got a chance to go for a run two of the mornings. I'll let him post about that...the 6 mile run that turned into 9 because they got lost...and the Sunday morning hang over run.

I have to say this company is awesome. There were 79 FAs there this weekend with their families (approximately 70 +/- kids) and we got the chance to get to know quite a few of them. From people that have been with the company 20 years to some that are still in the study mode that Mike was in last summer/fall. Mack has a couple of new buddies that maybe she'll be babysitting soon, two little boys that live nearby really attached themselves to her. She also made friends her own age, of course they live on the other side of town.

Next years trip will be Mackinac Island where we will be taking over Mission Point Resort. The kids are already looking forward to it.