Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chips Ahoy, Matey!

I think I would like to build my own wooden canoe. However, I have zero experience with such things. I know nothing about boats, woodworking, or the tools of the trade. Yet, I have been feeling the desire to build my own canoe for sometime now. There are plans for such things on the internet. It seems that if I just go step by step I should be able to do it. But, it doesn't look as easy as putting together a bookshelf out of a box from Wal-Mart. So, the question then becomes, "to build, or not to build". The other question on my mind is what would I name my pirate ship, I mean canoe? Perhaps the "Bayou Barnacle" or "Scotts Yacht" or "The Chicken of the Sea". Names are very important for this type of thing. What would Speed Racer be without he Mach 5, or Hans Solo without the "millennium Falcon", or Scooby Doo without the "Mystery Machine". As you can see I have a lot of serious questions to ponder. Any suggestions on both questions would be appreciated, that's what the comment section below is there for.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Am I UnAmerican?

I've been sitting back relaxing tonight, enjoying the MLB All-Star Game. Which makes me feel like a good American taking part in the national past time. You see, I really love baseball. I don't watch it much, but I love it. I love the game, the personalities, the ball parks, the smell of a glove, the history of the game. But I've gotten away from the sport in the last 10 years. Maybe it was the strike a few years back. Maybe it was the steroid controversies. Maybe it was not having a local team. What ever it was, I drifted away. A couple weeks ago I went to a New Orleans Zephyrs AAA game. I loved it. I had a seat about 5 rows behind the visiting dug out with a buddy of mine, enjoying a summer evening, making small talk with with the nice people around me. It was a good night, and a good game. the Z's won in the bottom of the 9th. Since then I've been watching the grand old game a little more on the television.

But there is one thing that bothers me, and I feel a little guilty admitting it, but I don't like it when they sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch. I loves me some God and I hope he blesses America. But there is nothing as American as several thousand people from all walks of life coming together to sing a song about baseball. Baseball is part of our shared American heritage. "Take me out to the Ball Game" is part of that heritage and is part of baseball tradition. Tradition is why we love baseball. What would the Yankees be with out pinstripes? What would Fenway be with out The Green Monster? What would the cubs be without another losing season? You see, those things are tradition, just as Harry Carray Always sang "take me out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch. I, for one, love it when the camera pans around the crowd and shows people who don't know each other with arms around each other swaying side to side and singing "ONE! TWO! THREE STRIKES YOUR OUT!" to me, that's proof that God has blessed America, and it's not found in a church or cathedral, but at the "Old, Ball, Game"!

Here we go again

It's time.

Time to make it happen, because it won't do it on its own.

I haven't done any real workouts in 7 weeks. Yesterday that changed. The dogs and I did a 3 mile run at the levee in 92 degree heat and lived to tell about it. The goal was just to get out the door and run a bit. Goal accomplished. As most of you can probably guess, that one run is eventually gonna lead to something. You are right. I have been making some tentative plans for some upcoming races. I'm looking at the New Orleans "Jazz" half-marathon in September and the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa the weekend before Thanksgiving. Then possibly the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis in December and my return to the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans in February or March. The only one that I might not do is the one in Memphis as it is 3 weeks after Tulsa, and I may need more time to recover, we'll see.

The important thing is that I got out and got started. When I talk to people about running, swimming, or cycling I often get the comment that they don't see how i run that far. I always tell them that the hardest part is just getting out the door. If you can get your shoes on and step into the street then you will at least walk around the block. That's better than nothing. The next day you might walk 2 blocks. eventually you will be running(or walking briskly)for 10 or 15 miles. It all starts with just getting out the door.

The problem is that we want immediate results without the work. Or as I call it, "instification" meaning we want things instantly, like rice and coffee. But some things take time, like a fine wine or Scotch. that's the way running is. First you just get moving, then you build a foundation, then you train for a goal. Yesterday I started moving, in a couple weeks I will have a foundation, and by Thanksgiving I will be achieving a goal. Feel free to put your shoes on and go for a walk, who knows, maybe I'll be trying to catch up to you soon.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

2 stories for you

It's been over a month since my last post. Sorry for the delay as I know you have been checking this thing at least twice a day drooling like Pavlov's dog in anticipation of the next savory morsel I would feed you. Well, the bell is ringing and it's time to eat rover(or tralfaz, what ever your name may be).

There has been a lot going on the past month or so and there were lots of things I wanted to tell you about, but seeing as how i neglected to write them down, I don't remember all of the tales I wanted to tell. But here's one I do recall. Perhaps you remember me telling you about Lily bringing socks and stuff out into the yard and how she even brought some twigs onto the bed. Well, I knew the day was coming and it finally arrived. A few weeks ago I walked into my bed room only to find a dead bird on my bed. Lily was so proud of it that she jumped up on the bed, picked it up, and jumped around a bit with it in her mouth. I didn't know what to say, and since Lily is a dog I didn't say anything. I just went in the garage, got the shovel and scooped the dead bird off the bed. I gave it a beautiful memorial service as I tossed it over the back fence. Don't worry friends, i washed the sheets.

On a more serious note, I'm sure you all heard that Michael Jackson passed away. I know you have been overwhelmed with the media coverage so don't worry, what I am about to say isn't really about MJ. Let me begin by saying that I am a MJ fan. I think he is a musical genius and one of the greatest performers ever, but I gotta admit, dude was freakin' weird.
MJ was a major part of my childhood. The Thriller album was released when I was in the 4th grade and yes, I did have one of the pleather jackets with the studs and zippers on it. At my 5th grade graduation we sang "We are the World" which was co-written by MJ.and for years after that MJ released hit after hit that found their way into the soundtrack of my life. The day after the story of his passing was released I was driving to work work and listening to the radio. One of he morning shows was doing a tribute and at one point I did get a little misty-eyed. Then the thought crossed my mind(and the point of this post), is this what my parents felt when Elvis or John Lennon passed away. I have heard people from their generation talk of remembering exactly where the were when they heard the news(also true of Kennedy)and how they will never forget that moment. It made me wonder if I will ever forget how I get text messages from 6 different people in less than 10 minutes breaking the news to me. I don't think I was nearly as big of an MJ fan as people were of Elvis(my mom comes to mind) but I think that a piece of me died that day as well. A piece of the innocence of my childhood was erased and painted over with the reality the world we live in. We are not kids anymore and heroes do fall. Some leave behind golden legacies and others leave behind questions and accusations. good morning real world thanks for stopping by.

I suppose what got to me the most was a question that popped into my head. Is this the time where the heroes of my childhood begin to pass away? Will my heroes create new memories for me or have I reached the point where the work of my heroes is done and all that's left are the memories that have given me? MJ is gone, Nolan Ryan hasn't pitched in nearly 20 years, Van-Halen is not Van-Halen anymore, Evel Knievel is gone, John Candy is gone, Jam Master Jay is dead, The Junkyard Dog is dead, and it all makes me wonder whats next?

I guess the lesson to be learned is that it is important to leave a legacy behind. The people I mentioned above all did just that, just as Elvis and Lennon did a generation before. And just as my mothers memories of Elvis will never be taken from her, neither will the memories that my heroes and I shared. But it doesn't take being famous or breaking records to leave a legacy, it only takes a passion and love. My mothers Father passed away a year after I was born. His name is my middle name. We met, but I never knew him. However, he left behind a legacy and is as much a role model to me and example to me as anyone. I wear his name proudly just as I wear the name of my Father proudly. Because I know these men to be great men who were not perfect, but did the best they could with what they had to make sure that their families were provided for. My Grandfather was passionate about his wife and kids and none of them ever doubted that they were loved. What greater legacy is there than that. None.

I guess what I am trying to say is that while we are here we should make the most of our time and build a legacy for those who we love. A legacy they can cherish should they find themselves without us. Be passionate about what and who you love. leave this place a little better than it was when you got hear.

Do what you need to to make it happen. As for me, I'm starting with the man in the mirror.