30 May 2014

Worse. Parade. Ever.

  • What was I thinking?
  • Will I ever learn?
  • I am too old and too fat to do this, again.
  • I really let the young uns have a turn.
  • I would much rather sleep in on a cold Sunday morning.
It is around this time of year that people start pondering the Marathon.  Heck, it's only 232 days away.  That's six months and two seasons from now.  The Houston run has become such a big thing that there is a massive sign up to get one of the coveted slots for the roughly 25000 nut cases who enjoy running like a herd of wild buffalo set loose upon the dark streets of Houston on a cold January morning.  It's about this time I start thinking if I will give it another go on the hopes of improving my old time or if I should hang up my shooz.  All the aches and pains have faded into a dim memory, spring is full of promise, the weather's not gotten hot (yet).  Early registration for the Houston Marathon opened up two weeks ago.  Normally I would not pay this any attention as I was not qualified for early sign up.  The thing has gotten so big that they have initiated a lottery system a few years ago.  You sign up and your name goes into the lottery and you have a shot at being selected.  To get a guaranteed slot, there were a few conditions:
  • Time qualifier - your last race time is under a certain time limit (full - 4:00, half 1:52).  As many times as I have done this run, I have yet to break the 2:00 mark
  • Deferred from 2014
  • Third Time's a Charm (been in the lottery for 3 times but have not been selected)
  • Marathon Veteran - have run 10+ Marathons (sorry, halfs don't count) - sometimes referred to as legacy runners
  • Select a Run for A Cause Charity (you volunteer to raise money for sponsored charities)

It was the last one that I have been doing for a few years.  First one I did was under the Cancer Society banner but the past few runs have been for the Epilepsy Foundation.  Was a bit more expensive to get in the door, but I figured it was for a good cause.  This year, I was pondering if I was really going to do it one more time but this time I was going to put my name into the lottery and let the running gods decide my fate.  My running has been completely off lately.  I just haven't had the time or motivation.  I've sort of lost my muse this year.  It is also at this time of the year I do the Father's Day 5k downtown.  That usually gives me a spiritual kick in the butt motivation to get back into the running groove.   
So, here I sit all fat, dumb and happy when I got a reminder the other day that early registration was ending.  Figuring I didn't qualify, I still reviewed the form and found a slight change to previous years.  One new qualifier they added for this year is:  
  • 5+ Houston Marathon or Half Marathon Finishes: Runners who have completed 5 or more Houston Marathons or Houston Half Marathons 
5 or more?  Heck, I got that.  So, once again, thinking with my feet instead of my head, I have climbed on board for one more turn on the merry-go-round.  Of course, like any rash decision, I'm sure I will be questioning my resolve come December.  

Stupid is as stupid does...

18 May 2014

Putting out fires

As I said earlier, it was an interesting week last week.  Things are backing up at the office, the dogs need grooming, SIL is still having a rough time with her recovery, came home to an a/c leak in the bedroom, and wound up putting out fires (not literally).

First work - it's review time again at the office.  That time of the year where you boil down everyone's accomplishments, tasks, achievements into a single piece of paper and grade them on a very subjective scale.  For me, it's hard to take a year's worth of work and cram it all into one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, not matter how small I write.  I have hated review time ever since I was in the Army.  And for what?  A meager 1-2% increase?  I'd rather just give them the money and say thanks.  I am especially bummed this year because I missed the deadline to get one of my people promoted.  I tried to make a deal with my boss and accounting.  Even offered up part of my increase to see if it would open the door but no dice.  No matter how much increase I give her, no matter how glowing the review I write, she won't be happy.  As a manager, I'm told I need to grow thick skin and look at this from the business perspective, but I call BS.  For the amount of increase it would take, it wouldn't really break the bank.  

The dogs are up to their their typical antics.  We have been under a drought down here for a while so the local park is full of goatheads and grass spurs.  Every time I take them to the part in the evening, I wind up picking off about 25-50 of those thorny bastards off of each one.  Especially Ms Claire who just HAS to roll in the grass every time.  Gawd, if she weren't so cute when she does it, I'd have give her a Chihuahua haircut.  Still, I am taking both of them to the vet next week for their summer cuts.  Maybe it will cut down on the tumbleweeds of dog hair that roam the house.   

Mother's Day last weekend.  I hope all you mothers out there had a great time (or at least some peace & quiet).  I went over to my mom's last Saturday to spend time with her because I knew I would be tapped to help SIL on Sunday.  Good time spent with her and my brother.  She's still going strong 91 and not signs of letting up.  Some of the discussion was around nursing homes.  My dad is the eldest boy of his family and his younger brother was moving into a home.      

SIL is still having a hard time.  She restarted Chemo and it is really kicking her ass.  was nauseous for most of the weekend.  So much so that we took her back to the ER on Monday to get things right.  I spent the day on Sunday with her and her cats to give my wife a break.  While there, I was watching some videos on my iPad and there was a loud pop and the power flashed off and on for a moment.  Sounded like it came from the back yard so I went out to investigate.  Heard the neighbors out but could not see anything until I spotted a small cloud of smoke coming from behind their fence line.  SIL lives on a small creek/bayou and it is usually unmowed (unkept) so there is a lot of grass.  With the drought I mentioned earlier, I realized that any small fire could get out of hand, so I tried to get the hose on the hot spots but the gate was locked.  I picked up a fire extinguisher and sprinted down the block to get to it from the other side.  A neighbor had the same idea and we tackled the fires together while someone called the fire department.  There were three small fires burning and we got most of them out with our fire extinguishers before they ran out.  By the time the fire department showed up, it was pretty much all over.  The grass was so dry that it could have gotten ugly real fast.  Never figured out what caused the fire - the power line transformers were intact and none of the fuses were tripped.  We think that one of the local tree rats (aka squirrel) might have made contact with the power lines and, well, met his maker.  That's enough drama for one day.

Normally I try to do some Mother's Day meme, but I just got behind (aka lazy) and overlooked it.  With all of the Let It Go parodys out there, but this one I found pretty darned awesome, so I offer it up to all you momma's out there.   

16 May 2014

Big Red Bow

I so want one

Been a rather interesting week down here. Nothing serious or major but just busy/crazy/weird all rolled into one.  Some days I feel like I am in a Quentin Tarantino movie.         

04 May 2014

Playing dead

This made me think of Napolion and his latest conquest. 

02 May 2014

Happy Happy

Interesting to note how several people had the same idea at the same time.  I was out walking the dogs the other night and I realized that a few famous blog personalities had anniversaries on the same day. 

Mega congrats to Lotta Joy and Terri for celebrating their anniversaries on Wednesday.  Our anniversary is coming up on Sunday.  It's hard to imagine it's been only 34 years since we tied the knot.  It's a long ways down that road and we are at that "comfortable" stage in life where we prefer to keep things low key.  Flowers, dinner, no big gifts.  I offered to take momma to Vegas for the weekend, but she's still taking care of SIL and is not really fond of flying.  Besides, I think she would prefer me to knock out some overdue "honey-dos" around the hacienda.  I am finally planning to have the driveway replaced.  Nothing says I love you like new concrete....  

To quote Rita Rudner:  I love being married.  It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.