31 January 2011


Boy are my dogs tired...

For medicinal purposes

Did better than I expected, but not a PB.  I guess I should be happy to finish with a sub 2:30 time, but, if I had just gotten off my butt and done more training, I could have improved my time.  Hell, I am glad again to have participated and completed the run.  I won't bore you with the mile by mile details.  It did rain, but was more of a drizzle/mist at the start.  Around mile 9 is when the skys opened up, but we were too far gone to care.  The race organizers had stated that if there was a lightning strike within a 10 mile radius, they would halt the run, but that did not happen.  It was much warmer than last year with the temps in the 60s at starting time.  

Hurting like hell, but I am doing ok.  I kinda screwed myself over by starting out too fast.  I jack rabbited out of the start and was doing a 9 minute pace over the first 3 miles.  That turned out to be a mistake.  By mile 5 my knees were hurting and calfs cramping.  Wound up walking more of the race than I care to do, but I did hold it to a 11:11 mile pace through the end.  The last 1/2 mile was a stretch.  I pushed on through determined not to walk across the finish line and my left quad was cramping like no tomorrow.  Race times and stats are already posted on the web.  Pictures should be up by next week.  
About half the field was in front or behind me...

Terri liked one of the shirts I spotted at the expo.  A lot express a certain attitude and I thought I would share a few more.  Not sure if I would wear one...

30 January 2011

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger

Despite my best efforts, I survived another one.


Not my best time, but I did break my goal of 2:30 (2:26).  Not bad considering the lack of training.  Now for my Advil IV....

Here we go

It's way too #@&^% early and I'm too old for this s#@t.

0700 start time.

If all goes well, I should be crawling across the finish line before 1000.

29 January 2011

Fingers crossed

Forecast not good.

Weather.com has the chance of rain at 80% now and one station has pegged it at 100%.  Front it moving through the area tonight and expecting rain/thunderstorms.  Hoping it pushes through but expecting to be a wet run.  At least it will be a warm rain (50-60s). 

Reconsidering my plans?  Nope.  I may regret this decision come 0300, but I'm in for the long haul.  Too late to back out now.  Besides, in the 38 year history of the Houston Marathon, it's never been cancelled for weather reasons.  One can only hope for fair skies and calm seas.       

I picked up my race packet this morning.  There is a health expo that runs in conjunction with the race.  Big hoop-te-doo.  Lots of booths selling you everything from energy shots (got mine) to running gear.  Some really great bargains on clothes and gear.  You can get a serious set of running shoes for 1/2 price.  I even spotted some ASICs GEL2150s for around  $60. Good thing I already got my new shoes earlier.  Good opportunity to buy gear and clothes if you are seriously into running.  I am kind of a sucker for these kinds of trade shows.  I like to collect a lot of gimme stuff like shirts, lights, samples.  

Getting organized.  Laid out my uniform, charged up the iPod, stashed away the energy fuel, starting to hydrate.

Time to put the big boy pants on and hit the streets.

28 January 2011

There's an app for that

I said it earlier, technology can be amazing.  Last year, I noticed a lot of people carrying more sophisticated hardward during the run.  Some have these high tech GPS watches that will give you your pace time, location, calories burned, and where you are in relation to other runners of your class (probably even tells you what you had for breakfast).  Some will carry their iPhones (too much weight for me to lug 13.1).  There is even an app for those who really want to see where they are on the course.  

I am a bit more old fashioned.  I prefer to stick with my old Timex Ironman to tell me my lap times.  I did break down two years ago and finally got an iPod Nano just to jam to some tunes while sweating with the masses.    

Almost game time.  The Finish Line just went up yesterday.  Come Sunday morning, this place will be packed. 

The end is near

27 January 2011

Fair Weather Runner

Ok. I'll admit it.  I'm not a dedicated, hard core runner like some people are.  I run when I can, when my schedule allows, when it's convenient, when I feel like it.

During the week, I try to run during lunchtime instead of going out for some over priced, fast food. I got into the routine many years back at Intermedics. We had a great work out facility on the campus with a locker room and showers. I don't normally go for distance, more go as far as time allows. During the week, I try run during my normal lunchtime so that gives me ~1-1.5 hours run, cool down and clean up. I really hate treadmills, so I will try to run outside whenever possible. The summer is especially brutal when I go running in 92+ temps and 80% humidity. I like to run at that time cause it really wrings you out. Something about sweating out the toxins is supposed to be good for you?  Of course, when it is so hot, it takes me a long while to cool down, even with a cold shower. Because we have temperate weather, I try to keep up with my running all year long. I've run when it was blistering hot, I've run when it was hovering around freezing, I've run in a windstorm (great if your route gives you a tail wind), I've run in snow, I've run in sand. The one thing I really hate is when it rains.

If it is raining or is looking ugly, I will weigh my options. I have been out on a 5 mile run and halfway out the skies opened up on me.  Trail running - no cover, no where to get out of the torrent, already soaked so I just kept going. By the time I finished, I was soaked to the bone. Took a 4 days for my shoes to dry out.  When running in the rain, nothing stays dry and wearing rain gear is about like jogging in a sauna.

I;ve kept my eye on the forecast for the past few weeks, but any projections past 5 days is pretty much a SWAG.  Last three years we've had some excellent running weather (cold + clear). Was hoping for some halfway decent weather for Sunday, but, alas, the latest forecast is not so rosy:

Scattered T-Storms
      High              Precip  
67°F             40%

Definitely will mess up pace times.

3 days till lift off.

24 January 2011

3 years and still kicking

If you hang around this blog long enough, you might surmise that I am big on traditions. School, patriotic, holidays, family, work, football. I seem to have a tradition for everything.

I've started my own tradition. Not sure how I would label it - Celebratory? Defiant? Morbid? Somber? Or perhaps Depressing?

Three years ago, I went under the knife to deal with prostate cancer. I got diagnosed with adenocarcinoma (fancy 5 dollar word for cancer) back in 2007 while doing a physical for my trek to Philmont. I won't bore everyone with a rehash the old story, but you want the gory details go take a look back at some of my older postings.  

Given the prognosis, I had a couple of options I could take to deal with the situation:
  1. Expectant Management/watchful wait (do nothing and keep getting probed/tested)
  2. Radical Prostatectomy (surgery – aka Whack-A-Mole)
  3. Radiotherapy either (nuk’em till they glow)
  4. Brachytherapy (stick some radioactive pellets in the neighborhood)
  5. Cryothreapy (something about freezing the little buggers out)
None of those sounded all that exciting to me and I eventually chose the surgery route and went under the knife and came out clean on the other side. Follow up exams show I am still "cancer free". I have marked this event down in my calendar to remind myself just how lucky I am. Not everyone who has been diagnosed with this crap has done so well. I've been able to go back to my normal bad habits/life style without any major issues. Sometimes, when things get busy/hectic/chaotic, I will forget that this even happened. Whenever I get too busy or self-absorbed with my own petty problems, I need subtle reminder not to take things for granted. That's one of the reasons I started running the half marathon about 3 years ago. Actually, I did try to run it in 2008 before my surgery, but the race was completely booked up and the only openings were in the adjoining 10k race held at the same time. So, technically, I've been participating in the hoopla for 4 years now. Come this Sunday, this will be my 3rd time at bat. I hope to break my time from last year, but will be glad to make it across the finish line upright. Occasionally, family/friends will ask why I do this and my reply that it reminds me that I'm still alive. I may be sore & stiff come Monday morning, but at least I am still around to complain about it.

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars...Glory lasts forever.

5 days and counting.


Looking back now, I just realized that I started this feeble attempt at blogging around that time, so I guess I could call this a 3 year old blog. I've been told I'm full of BS, just didn't think I had so much to make it last this long.

23 January 2011

One year later

Technology can be wonderful/enlightening.
We can talk with people around the world, we can text our friends and family, we can converse with long lost friends.  You can update your address book on line, keep in touch with distant relatives, even keep track of important dates via the web. 

Today I was reminded (via an e-mail anniversary card from our vet) that today marks one year since Claire joined our clan.  My god, has it been a year already?  It hardly seems that long since I brought this fiesty red head home.   

Life has definitely interesting with four-legged kids around. 

I guess we'll have to keep her now...

21 January 2011


As a part time runner, I've always liked that term. 
Homestretch.  According to Webster's, it is that part of the track between the final turn and the finish line.  The end is in sight.  My favorite part of a run.  Sweating like a horse, heart rate up, legs tired, knee complaining, but somehow, the site of the finish line seems to spur me on for one final sprint to the end.  That last burst of adrenalin that pushes you across the line.  If you ever look at finish line photos, a lot of people (like me) look ragged/beat.  Some people are able to cross the finish line looking like a model, not me.  But, Lord knows, I'm not in it for the looks.  At the end, mixed in with feeling tired/sore is the feeling of accomplishment.  Another milestone achieved, another challenge overcome, another obstacle conquered.

But I tend to ramble on.  It is with mixed emotions that I read my son's facebook page the other night.  Yes, we do try to keep up with our little offspring via various means.  He has granted us permission to a small peek at his life.  He friended us on facebook and we can see some of his activities.  I still maintain a very low profile on facebook.  Rarely do I make a comment.  My wife, however, has come out of her shell on facebook and has a regular commenter on a lot of friends' pages (Including her son's).  To me, having your mom or dad make comments on your facebook page is tantamount to having one of your parental units drive you to school as a senior (or be a chaperon for the prom).  

My son is an infrequent poster on facebook, but he does, on occasion, add some comments about what he is working on or where they have been or what show he was watching.  What got my attention this week was his short post that basically said:  "Last first day of school".  Very prophetic.  After 4.5 years of college, the end is in sight.  Just  as with a race, I have a mixed set of emotions on this.  Pride, melancholy, relief (no more tuition payments!!!), sadness (he is about to embark upon the world).

17 January 2011

Meeting Etiquette

Now that the holidays are over and we are back to the daily grind, I thought I would take a moment to cover a few basic business protocols/courtesies. Nothing earth shattering, just some basic guidelines to follow that lend themselves to making things run smoother at the office.  Most of these apply to conference room etiquette – please remember others use the conference room AFTER you get done.

  1. If you have rearranged the tables/chairs, please put them back the way you found them. Nothing's more fun than having to spend the first 5 minutes rearranging the room. This is really irritating when someone has taken chairs out of the room and we wind up playing “musical chairs”.
  2. If you have reformatted the overhead projection system to work with your laptop, please set it back to the original format when you are done (if not, it typically takes 10 minutes for the next user). I tend to make use of technology if it is available. That includes the PC in the room that is hooked up to the projector. Helps to show things on the wall for everyone to view but, without the system, I have to resort to shadow puppets on the wall. 
  3. Keep the meetings on time. I know your problem/meeting is important, but our time is valuable too. Maybe I am just being picky, but when I have scheduled a meeting for a group (6-10) of people at 10:00 am, I expect to be able to start at 10:00. Few thing are more irritating than to have to a) ask if you are almost done and b) wait outside while you wrap it up. Pick it up and move along. 
  4. DO NOT write critical information or agendas on the chalk/white board and expect to have it remain there in perpetuity. While in one of my myriad of meetings last week, I noted that there was a technical analysis written out on the board that has been there since before Thanksgiving with the tag line: “DO NOT ERASE”. That situation tends to really piss me off. If it is that important, have someone transcribe it and send copies to the entire group. I have even seen one guy take a picture of the board on his Blackberry to retain if for his notes. In the case where it is obvious that the notes and message have been there a while (anything over 48 hours is fair game), I tend to make a few changes.  I added several notes, made a few numerical changes, through Pi into the equation as some point, made a few random/unrelated criteria, and an occasional lewd picture (I know. I know. That’s petty/childish, but that’s how I roll). 
  5. Be on time. Based upon how others operate around here (see note c), some people like to drift around 5-10 minutes late because they do not expect everyone to be there on time. Again, I may be nitpicking here, but when I say the meeting starts at 10:00 am, I’m teeing off at 10:01. If you are late, catch up on your own dime. Of course, this rule is usually bent/broken depending upon how high up the food chain you are, but that’s still no excuse.
  6. Bring your own weapons/equipment. I have enough of a challenge trying to organize a group of people with totally conflicting schedules/attitudes, please bring your own pens/pencils/paper to make notes. I would not expect to show up in class and have the teacher to give me notepaper. To quote the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.
  7. KISS (Keep It Short Stupid) principle applies. We only have a limited amount of time on this planet, so please keep to the script/agenda and let’s get through the meeting on time. Much as I love spending one (plus) hour of my life sitting in the same meeting room with you, I do have other things to accomplish before I retire. If you want to have a side or tangential conversation, schedule your own damn meeting.
There are probably another dozen more I could add, but that's enough to start off the week.

Have a great week and remember, there are only 341 more days until Christmas! 

15 January 2011

Super cool

Dogs are like that.

14 January 2011


I always try to repay a debt, even when not required.

Almost 3 years back, when I went under the knife for my cancer surgery, I had a lot of support from friends & family. Lots of prayers and well wishes were passed my way when I was recuperating. Humbling to realize how many friends you really have in a crisis.

One totally unexpected gift I got was from our neighbor with whom we share a unique collegiate bond with. Carolyn went to our rival school while her husband Jack went to my alma matter. We met many years back while Stephen was young and our kids grew up together. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2008, Jack also got diagnosed with the same condition. I chose the surgery route while Jack took the “watchful waiting” path. That is where they watch a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change. After several follow up exams and a change in diet and exercise, Jack’s prognosis came up clean. He dodged the bullet (or so it seemed).

But cancer is a heartless bitch and rarely takes no for an answer. Earlier last year, Jack was rediagnosed with prostate cancer and he chose to have the surgery like I did. The difference is that in the interim, the procedure has changed and he took the robotic procedure that is a lot less invasive and doesn’t require you to be opened up like a melon (my procedure). Surgery is fast, recovery is a lot quicker, prognosis is excellent. Jack when under the knife a week ago and he is back home trying to recuperate. Three years ago when I was doing my own recuperating thing, Jack and Carolyn left me a “get well” gift on my doorstep to speed my recovery.  Last night I went over an repaid the gift in kind.

As I reminded Carolyn, no good deed goes unpunished...

13 January 2011

Here I go again

I don't know where I'm going
But, I sure know where I've been
Hanging on the promises
In songs of yesterday
An' I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time
But, here I go again
Here I go again


At my ripe old age, you think I would have learned something over the few decades.  Oh, no.  Never one to admit defeat or recognize the limits of advancing age, I keep going back to the same well every year for some sort of masochistic thrill.  Once again, instead of staying home watching football and enjoying my easy chair, I have chosen to venture forth with a mob of adrenaline fueled, carbohydrate stoked, sweaty, hard cases in some sadistic endeavour to see if we can survive running through the darkened streets of Houston in the cold temps. 
Yes good people, it's that time of the year again.  Aramco Houston Marathon in a little over 3 weeks.  I never really pay attention to it until the official race packet hits my mail box.  Just got my bib number (26298) this afternoon.  Not as prepared as I had intended to be.  Was hoping to have some more training runs under my belt, but things have been hectic around work and home.  Hell, let's be truthful, I am just too damn lazy/unorganized to do the runs like I ought.  Guess I will be paying for that come race time.  This year's race is on 01.30.11 and we hit the streets at 0700 Sunday morning.  The good news is that the course is pretty much the same so I don't have to worry about getting lost.  As like last year, I'm not expecting to break any records this year, just trying to improve my time from last year.  Again, I will be just happy to make it across the finish line upright.  The closer I get to the run the more jazzed (nervous) I will get.  This year's cause will be the Houston SPCA.  In case you have some sadistic tendency, you can actually log onto the Marathon website and track my progress by my bib number.  That way you can read all about some 53 year old curmudgeon who probably stroked out along the route and needed medical attention. 
Me?  My goal is to make to the end for my post race massage.
Life's to short to spend it on the sidelines...     

11 January 2011

Ghost of Christmas Recent Past

Cue the spooky music (ooh-eooh-eoh).

Sunday was a cold, wet blustery day. Dogs woke me up at 0430 this morning (thanks, Grayson) by pacing and acting nervous. Got up and let both the mutts out in the back yard to find the front arrived this morning. Cold & windy & wet. Since I was up anyway, I figured to take them out for a walk even though it was still waaay to early for my tastes. Good call, tho. Right after we got back from a short walk, the heavens opened up. Lots of lightning and thunder (ergo Grayson’s state of panic). Remember, some dogs don’t like thunder & lightning and Goldens are especially prone to panic attacks. Claire, on the other hand was a real trooper. She just buried her head behind the couch and kept quiet.

Anyhow, storm blew through town making a general mess of things. Guess I will have to wait until next weekend to rake the rest of the leaves out of the yard. Went over to my parents to give my dad his Christmas gift (the one I gave on Christmas day did not fit his cell phone and I had to go all over town to find the right model) and I chewed the fat with them for a while. Then came back to do some grocery shopping so that my bride can spend time with her mother. Had just enough daylight left to put the groceries away and take the dogs for a walk.
 Settled down to catch up on my reports at the office while watching the Green Bay vs Eagles game, when I heard some music coming from the other room. A definite music box song was playing. First I thought it was the TV but, for the life of me, I could not figure out what commercial was playing during a football game that would have a music box in the background. As the music continued, I had to investigate. Not coming from the TV, hmm. What’s the deal? Maybe my wife had programmed my phone to ring this new tune? No. As I investigated the source, I tracked it down to our wall unit that houses many trinkets (aka knick knacks) and various collectibles. I finally found the source as a Hummel Nativity Scene music box that was playing. Way back in the 80s when we were stationed in Germany, the wife started collecting Hummels and, over the short span of 5 years, amassed a nice collection. The Nativity Scene was one we got from some town in our travels and it will play Silent Night when wound up. Nice tune, hand crafted piece, probably a rare figurine.

The problem I have is that, back before Christmas, I was setting out decorations and trying to get into the Christmas spirit. I found the music box and wound it up, but, alas, no music. Tried to “bump start” it, but no luck. Figured the mechanism was old and dusty and would require some TLC to get operational, so I stuck it back on the shelf and promptly forgot about it. That is, until Sunday night. Now, for some reason, 3+ weeks later, it comes to life…

09 January 2011

Seal you later

OK.  I may have briefly mentioned that I got to see a seal colony while out on the coast.  Just to flesh out some more of the story, after we hit town Tuesday afternoon, we had time to kill before dinner.  It was either sit in the hotel and watch TV, answer my e-mails, go work out in the gym, or go for a run.  Since I had time, I chose to take a long run just limber up and get ready for the 1/2 marathon.  I lit out from the hotel trying to put in an hour or so on the local trails.  I had scoped out the local area beforehand and had noted that Carpinteria has a nice bike/hike trail that runs along the coast for 6-7 miles.  Figured I could knock out a few miles and see some nice scenery.  The trail was gorgeous - mostly running along the cliff overlooking the ocean.  Lots of joggers/walkers/dogs.  

Around dusk, while on the backside of the run, I came across a nice bench atop a bluff that overlooked the beach and a pier that jutted out in to the ocean.  Nice view, but not something I would have normally stopped for.  What caught my eye was the hand held STOP sign and a clipboard on the bench with nobody around to claim them.  Curiosity got the better of me and I had to stop and see what was the situation.  Didn't see anybody but I did note that the trail down to the beach was roped off with a "Do Not Enter" sign posted and a warning sign to not disturb the Seal Colony.  THAT got my attention.  I tried to see if I could spot any seals but the fading light (and my sunglasses) made it difficult to spot them at first.  What I thought were rocks was actually an entire colony of harbour seals on the beach.  A woman came up to claim her clipboard and it turns out she is one of the volunteers that monitors the colony.  This is a colony of ~100 harbour seals that has taken up a permanent home on the Carpinteria beach as part of the Carpinteria Seal rookery.  The female seals were pregnant and come back to this beach annually to deliver their cubs.  They have closed the beach access and the seals are expected to give birth anytime between now and May. 

Nice clip of the colony

Sometimes, when traveling down the busy road of life, we can find the most interesting things if we just simply take time to stop and look. 

08 January 2011

I'm just saying

If you hang around this blog long enough, one might surmise I tend to use expressions (a lot): 

  • Busier than a one armed paper hanger with an itch
  • Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs
  • Dumber than a bag of hammers
  • Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you're the windshield
  • Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the fire hydrant
  • If you ain't the lead dog on the sled team, the view never changes
I'm back from my road trip to the coast.  Survived my appointment with the TSA with no juicy stories to pass along.  I find if you prepare yourself and you don't tend to stand out, running the security gauntlet can be tolerable.  Still, there are a few bone-headed people who insist on making things difficult/interesting.  There were one or two testy patrons and flight attendants (don't call them stewardesses anymore).  Please remember good people, there is limited space on these pressurize metal tubes with wings that we call airplanes, and you should not expect to fit your entire spring wardrobe in the overhead compartment.  One interesting tidbit I experienced was on the flight from Phoenix and Santa Barbara I kept hearing some squeaking/snuffling noise coming from below my seat.  Turns out the woman behind me had her Bichon Frise stuffed under my seat.   

Oceanfront property in Carpinteria

Good trip, highly productive, fantastic weather, very nice area, long flight, two weeks behind on my chores, 300+ e-mails to read/answer.  This week we were in Carpinteria to visit two suppliers.  I was leading this caravan and I've been there three years ago, so I know the lay of the land and how to plan the trip.  Carpinteria is a nice little town about 1.5 hours north of LA and just south of Santa Barbara.  Tucked right on the coast between the ocean and the mountains.  Since I did this trip a while back, I planned some extra time to explore the general area.  Got to tour the beach, drive up into the mountains, view a seal colony that is about to give birth.  IMHO, pretty good trip, even including the hassles of travel.  These road trips are a necessary evil, but I try to make the best of them as I can.  I even was able to plan extra time to put in some running to warm up for the half marathon later this month.  I had time to run the coast trail that parallels the coastline - beautiful scenery/views. 

One paw for dog, one giant leap for canine... 

Seal colony in Carpinteria

Even though I had a good trip, these audits can make for long days.  When we finished up Thursday evening with the last company, I was able to make time to wander over to the local brewery (Island Brewing) to sample some local suds.  After all of the road trips I've done over the past few years, I have made it my mission to taste some of the local flavor. 

Anyway, while savoring a nice, dark stout, I sent this picture to my wife.   

Stick a fork in me.  I'm done.

Now, perhaps I have used this expression with her a wee bit too much.  Her reply:  I just may oblige you.

Bless her heart...

03 January 2011

Top Ten

I'm leaving on a jet plane.  Don't know when I'll be back again. 
Heading out at 0 dark thirty in the morning to catch a flight to California.  Just trying to decide what to wear for my TSA appointment...  

As we roll/stumble/stagger back to work, I thought I would pass along an amusing (but true) list I got today.  First let me set up the back story.  Ever since junior went off to college in Austin 4 years ago, we have worked on ways to keep in touch with him to make sure he was doing ok.  During the parent orientation, the Campus Police handed out information to make sure everyone is safe and protects their belongings.  On of the services the Campus Police provides is an online listing of their blotter report of what has happened over the past week.  The report has become quite popular and the cops who write up the report have been know to inject their warped sense of humor/wit into the situation.  The report has grown so popular, that they now publish their "Top 10" reports for the year.  For those who have been there, these stories might seem familiar.  For those with kids in college, you might be wondering just how little Susie or Johnny have been spending your money.  For those with kids going to college, start hiding the tequila.  
Best Blotter Reports of 2010

Number 10
Suspicious Activity: A UT staff member reported a non-UT subject wearing a tan hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans appeared to be sleeping next to a tree inside a planter box. The subject did not respond to constant verbal encouragements to wake up. The subject continued to maintain its inanimate sleeping composure and refused to respond. Officers were soon to discover the subject was actually made out of last week’s news and glue. The papier-mâché mannequin was removed to a more appropriate location, the trash can. Occurred on: 3-31-10, at 6:39 AM.

Number 9 (two nominees)
Indecent Exposure: A UT staff member observed a non-UT subject “looking like a fool with his pants on the ground” exposing himself to several individuals waiting at the bus stop. During the investigation, the subject was located and was taken into custody for Indecent Exposure and was transported to Central Booking. Occurred on: 8-26-10, at 8:07 AM.

Public Intoxication: A non-UT adult female was observed laying in a fetal position yelling and crying. The female became more emotional when she explained that she could not find her dad and her dad was mad at her for being an Aggie. The officers detected a very strong odor of alcohol on her breath and noted other signs of intoxication. The subject was taken into custody for Public Intoxication and was transported to Central Booking. Occurred on: 11-25-10, at 7:43 PM.

Number 8
Public Intoxication / Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor: A UT student was discovered sitting on a bench while creating a Splash Zone that would have made Shamu proud. After she completed her physical reaction to the over consumption of alcohol, the officer noted the student was attempting to stagger back to the front doors of the dormitory. During the investigation, the officer detected a very strong odor of alcohol in addition to the wafting odor of vomit on the student’s breath. The officer learned the student had been to a local downtown establishment and could not remember how much alcohol she had consumed. The officer was able to determine the student was under the legal age of 21. The officer allowed the student to contact a sober friend to take care custody and control of her until she sobered up. Prior to being released to the sober friend the student was issued two court appearance citations for Public Intoxication and Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. Occurred on: 12-03-10, at 1:14 AM.

Number 7
100 EAST 21st STREET
Public Intoxication / Disorderly Conduct (Fighting in a Public Place) ¬ 2 counts: A UT student and a non-UT subject were observed holding down and striking another UT student. The UT student who was being struck told officers he was very drunk as he had “way too much to drink” so he asked his friends to hit him. The student who was hit was indeed found to have consumed “way too much” as he was found to be intoxicated to the point he was a danger to himself. Occurred on 03/12/10 at 2:35 AM.
Crime Prevention Tip: I have heard of several urban legends to speed up the sobriety time frame; coffee drinking, cold showers and exercise just to name a few but being voluntarily assaulted is a new one to me. Makes me wonder why anyone would ever want to drink at all. The best advice I can give is to not drink and if you wish to consume alcoholic beverages, do so responsibly and in moderation or at least keep friends who do not hit very hard.

Number 6
Theft / Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor / Failure to Identify / Possession of more than One Valid DL: A UT Police Officer observed two UT students carrying two framed pictures. When the students observed the police vehicle, they quickly attempted to hide the framed pictured behind a tree. During the investigation, the officers detected a very strong odor of alcohol on the breaths of both students. Both stated they were pledging a fraternity and had wanted to make a name for themselves so they had been to another fraternity house located in the 2500 Block Nueces and removed the two framed pictures. As the investigation continued, one student informed the officers that he did not have his driver’s license with him and provided a name that was later determined to have been made up when the officer located the subject’s wallet. A wallet that contained two valid driver’s licenses. The student was taken into custody for Failure to Identify / Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor and was transported to Central Booking. The second student was issued a field release citation for Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor and released at the scene. Charges for Theft are still pending. Occurred on: 8-25-10, at 2:47 AM.

Number 5
Public Intoxication / Failure to Identify: A UT Police Officer observed a subject swaying back and forth as he was attempting to walk. The subject walked head first into a street sign and pole with enough force, he turned 90 degrees. The subject acknowledged the sign and apologized for running into it and continued his wobbling trek. The officer stopped the subject after he walked into a retaining wall. During the investigation, the officer detected a very strong odor of alcohol on the UT student’s breath. The subject handed the officer a California Driver’s License. The picture did not match the student. When asked about the license, the student could not remember the information printed on it. The officer soon discovered the subject’s true identify after being taken into custody for Public Intoxication. The subject was transported to Central Booking. Occurred on: 5-08-10, at 2:51 AM.

Number 4
Driving While Intoxicated / Failure to ID: UT Police Officers responded to a report of a collision involving a blue Chevrolet Cobalt. Upon arrival, the officers discovered evidence of the driver having suffered a severe physical reaction to the over-consumption of alcoholic beverages. That evidence was found on the driver’s pants and floorboard of the vehicle. The driver, a UT student, handed the officer her cell phone and affirmed the phone was her driver’s license. The driver stated she was “straight up driving.” This claim was proven untrue as her driving was anything but “straight” as she was found to have jumped a curb and struck a building while driving. The driver also proved she was not a Geography Major as she believed she was currently located at the corner of “Bourbon and Coke.” The driver was found to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage to the point she was deemed to have been driving while intoxicated. A passenger in the vehicle, who was also a UT student, provided officers with a fictitious name and date of birth. When officers began to investigate the offense of failure to identify, that student exclaimed she had done nothing wrong and referred to her friend and driver of the car as the one who was drunk. Occurred on 03/19/10 at 2:33 AM.

Number 3
Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor: A UT Police Officer discovered a UT student sitting on retaining wall spitting after having had an extreme physical reaction to the over consumption of alcohol. During the investigation, the officer detected a very strong odor of alcohol on the student’s breath from several feet away. The student admitted to have visited several fraternity parties where he had consumed several alcoholic adult beverages. The officer soon learned the subject was at UT attending Freshman Orientation. The subject was issued a field release citation for Consumption of Alcohol by and a Minor as well as a referral to the Dean of Student’s Office. The student was released at the scene. Occurred on: 6-16-10, at 3:00 AM.
Crime Prevention Tip: Parents dropping you off for orientation. Meeting your future Longhorn classmates. Attending your first college party and then your first meeting with a University of Texas Police Officer. Starting off your college career on the right foot? Some may think that this was a good day at UT, while others know better. This student will now be required to do the following before the first official class day: Return to Austin to speak to a judge. Set up an appointment to speak with the Dean of Student’s Office. Surrendering his Driver’s License for a 30 day time period. Attend an 8 hours Drug and Alcohol Class while also doing 20 hours of Community Service. Then paying a fine and court costs. The hard part, letting your parents know.

Number 2
JESTER WEST DORMITORY, 201 East 21st Street
Criminal Mischief: A UT student reported another UT student sprayed air freshener into his container of jerky then threw a chair across the room. During the investigation, the officers located the suspect and learned the suspect was having a bad day. No charges were filed, but the suspect was referred to the Dean of Student’s Office. Loss value: $60.00. Occurred on: 11-15-10, at 9:10 PM.

NUMBER 1 (Two Entries Tied - Drum Roll)
Suspicious Activity: Two UT students reported hearing strange and disturbing noises coming from inside a secured 4th floor office. The students reported the noises were disturbing those students that were studying. During the investigation, the officers discovered two sheepishly smiling students inside the office. Occurred on: 3-23-10, at 12:32 AM.

Found Property: A UT staff member found a clear plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance inside a stairwell. The staff member quickly notified the UT Police Department The officer took care, custody and control of the baggie and secured it for safe keeping. Occurred on: 11-09-10, at 2:17 AM.
Commentary: If you or someone you know is missing a clear plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance please stop by the UT Police Department to claim it. After a brief chemical analysis the police will determine if you are allowed to possess this substance, we look forward to seeing you.

Back to the rat race

Turn out the lights, the party's over.
  • Tree's down, dismantled, boxed up & back in the attic for another 11 months
  • All the Christmas decorations are piled up on the dining room table to organize & categorize & pack up to store away in the closet
  • Turkey & dressing are long gone (actually, that didn't last much past last weekend)
  • Pulled down the outside lights and started to remove each bulb and pack up for next year (taking time at this point to organize the light sets makes it an easier task in November for reassembly)
  • Pulled in the soldiers from out front
  • The Christmas wreaths are down and boxed up
  • Boxed up the Christmas cards and wrapping paper
  • The last of the eggnog has been consumed
Time to saddle up and head back to work.  Now to prepare for the day ahead.  The first day back from a long break is always interesting.  Lots of holiday stories and reminiscing.  I am only in the office for one day before I head out on the road again.  Now, if I can only remember what my passwords were... 

02 January 2011

Happy 2011!

Ok, a day late, but figured a lot of people were hungover from too many parties or too much football.  Low key/quiet celebration for us this year.  Just momma and me and the dogs.  Stay up late, drink some wine/scotch to usher in the New Year, go outside and listed to all the fireworks/commotion.
  • Side notes: 
    • Golden Retrievers tend to be thunderphobic.  Fireworks are just an extension of thunder.  Grayson was cool, Claire was not happy but they both did well as long as we stayed indoors (and behind the couch).  
    • In our part of town, there is the occasional idiot/jackass who thinks that celebrating the new year by shooting off their firearms is a good idea.  Friday night I was outside listening to the barrage of fireworks being shot off (illegal in the city limits) and there were several that too measured for my tastes 
New Years traditions - not sure what everyone else does to celebrate (aside of drinking and making resolutions).  Even though we were not with my folks for the rally this year, we had our traditional round of blackeyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck/prosperity.  Spent yesterday trying to recover from the holidays/celebrating.  Went to a movie (Tron Legacy), took down the Christmas Tree, pulled down the outside decorations, watched a few football games, took the children to the dog park.  Even though it is in the low 50s, the blond still likes to lay in the pond. 

Getting geared up to head back to work tomorrow, even though it will be a short week for me.  Off to California for another supplier audit.  Just hope the rain and wind have let up to not mess up the flight.  After last week's weather delays, I am not anxious to be sitting in the airport or on the runway for any longer than we have to. 

Holidays are over, time to hit the ground running.