24 December 2014

Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Feliz Navidad!

Joyeux Noel!

Buone Feste Natalizie!

Mele Kalikimaka!

Merry Christmas to everyone.  I hope that everyone is safely at home with friends and family enjoying the holidays!  

It's been a hectic week but I finally got all of my shopping done.  Nothing like hitting the mall on the Christmas Eve to really make one appreciate the true meaning of Christmas.  Actually, I ventured out to get our meal and pick up a few last minute gifts for grand-nieces.  Picked up a few more unnecessary gifts, but was finally able to wrap it up.  Was interesting to mingle with the crowd of desperate, last minute shoppers looking for that "just right" gift.  

We're done.  I am working on dinner for tomorrow.  SIL had chemo today so tomorrow means additional fluids and a late start for opening presents.  Planning to get up early and wrap a few more gifts, vacuum one more time, stuff the turkey, knock back a short run, walk the mutts, and get things set up for an afternoon tree. Hopefully, everything will work out - just as it does with any family gathering...    


17 December 2014

Pater familias

My parents are a pair of tough old birds.  Both are doing well, despite all the aches and pains (although they have a newfound respect for airbags).  My brother's comment from Sunday night was:  The are doing better this afternoon.  I count bitchiness as a sort of good quality.  Both are back at home trying to get some rest and recuperate, but the pain meds are making one a bit loopy.  The accident hasn't really sidelined them too much, but they are moving a bit more tenderly of late.  Hopefully, they will be back up to their normal activities by Christmas.  Not sure if they will make the next rally (New Year's).

I am off the rest of the week.  No real plans aside of trying to catch up on Christmas shopping and raking leaves.  Basically I am burning off a few days before the end of the year (or lose them).  Will be dealing with a few left over projects (bathroom repair, foundation work, driveway, etc.).  I do plan to hit the new Hobbit movie while I have the time.  I hope to get a few longer runs in while I am out.  Would be a good idea given that the marathon is about 30 days out.  

While pondering my parents recent adventure, I ran across this clip today.  It reminded me that we should all keep our eyes open for surprises along the road.  This one made me think of some of my serious biker friends (you know who you are).    

12 December 2014

Time for a new van

"Jesus Christ."  - My exact words when I got this picture from my brother as I was driving home this evening.

This is my parent's new (less than 1 year old) van.  The first and foremost thing is that they are ok.   Banged up, bruised, sore, but ok.  The only real hurt that my folks suffered was from the seat belts and airbags deploying.  They were out at a rally up north of town for the weekend and ran into some trouble (dad's words, not mine).  Driving on the freeway north of town that was high congested, a truck stopped right in front of him and he plowed right into it.  I talked with my dad and they were at the hospital getting checked out/x-rays for any other issues.  He sounded ok but a bit rattled.  They were heading back out to their trailer after they get released tonight and planning to pack it in early and head home tomorrow.  A bit hard to grasp the situation right now but the important thing is that they are ok.    

As an Engineer and amateur mechanic, I can surmise from the picture that the van is toast.  The engine is history and I won't even guess how the rest of the drive train is looking.  I take some solace in the sardonic comment my dad and brother said with the picture of the van:  "Time for a new van.  Different color."  At least his sense of humor is still intact.       

09 December 2014

On the road again

It's been a while since I did a road trip.  Being short two buyers has really put us behind and I haven't had the time to do some of the audits that needed to be done.  Now that I've gotten a few more bodies on board, I am back out on the road again, just in time mess up my holidays.  Last week it was a short hop to California.  Fly out on Thursday and back late Friday.  Was a very late run.  And the rains in California didn't help - had a 3 hour delay in LAX.  We didn't get back into Houston until 2:30 am (forgot how much I hate LAX).  Was after 4:00 am before I hit the sack.  This week I am up in Louisville for a day.  Sitting at the airport now waiting for my flight in 3 hours.  Got here early hoping to catch an earlier flight but the up charge was obscene so I am killing time catching up on blog reading and binge watching House of Cards.  Good thing I have a book to read on the flight.  

I haven't been to Kentucky in years.  Last time I was here, Carter was in office.  Spent a long, cold, wet winter here learning how to drive tanks.  At least my appreciation for some of the local flavor (bourbon) has improved.  

The children are camped out with my parents again.  It will probably take me a week to deprogrammed hem.  Rumor has it that they are getting eggs & bacon for breakfast.  Poor doggies.

01 December 2014

On your mark, Get set, Go!

Ok, kiddies.  Turkey day is behind us, the last whistle has blown, the rush for the best Black Friday deal is past.  Time to get ready for the month of candy canes and endless holiday sales in the rush towards Christmas.   

Thanksgiving went off pretty good for us, if not fairy quiet/sedate.  I survived the run, turkey dinner, and even managed to avoid any mall shopping on Friday 

I decided to jump back onto the weekend 5/10k run wagon to prep for the half in January.  I haven't done a Turkey Trot in quite a while so this one was a blast from the past.  Back in the stone age when we lived in Dallas, there were only a handful of runs of this type on T-day and choices were limited.  Today, you cannot throw a stick and not hit some kind of 5 or 10K around town.  Instead of doing the larger Houston run down near the Galleria, I chose the local one that has been held for the past 29 years.  A sweet little run.  Well organized, well staffed, great lay out.  A nice flat, 5 mile fast course through a residential neighborhood alongside of a golf course.  Weather was spot on perfect.  I think we had almost identical conditions as Abby's run, just not as dry (humidity).  One nice aspect was that the run was a lot less crowded than the marathon in January with only 1600+ (a record for this trot) but it was nice to run in a smaller pack.  Honestly, I haven't been running as much as I used to.  I've been sort of been slacking off and been lacking the proper motivation but I am working to get back into a rhythm.  

I crossed the finish line in the middle of the pack with a mediocre pace.  There are a number of old farts out there in my age bracket that are much faster than I, so I was not expecting to take home any trophies, just some generic race swag.  The race was organized by the local running store (Finish Line Sports) and sponsored by the local hospital and this was the 29th running of this race.  One of the awards they handed out post race was for a guy who has run in every one of the 29 races.  In my mind, that's a pretty impressive track record.  As a side bonus I did score a nice deal when I registered on Monday.  This is one of those stores that specializes in running gear/clothes and they do carry the latest line of shooz for the serious hoofers.  I don't changes my shoes as often as SOME people (don't run as many miles plus I'm too cheap).  Normally, I look to get new shooz at the health expo prior to the marathon in January, but I spotted a nice pair of treads sitting in the sale pile.  Last year's Nimbus 15s designed with the NYC Marathon logo, they were my exact size, fit like a glove and were half price.  How could I say no?