Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I am so thankful for all of you who take a few moments of your day to read my musings. I am a more complete person and more fulfilled individual because of it. You inspire me, you impress me, you challenge me and sometimes, sometimes you move me in directions I never knew existed. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

A Daddy First

On Tuesday night Mo and I went for our first father-son jog together. We put on our shoes, he made sure they were tight. He wore one of my running lights strapped to his arm and I a headlamp to guide our way.

Our course was a simple and straight quarter mile jog in the dark down to a stop sign and then come back. At first Mo charged ahead but my quiet, "Slow down" every few steps got us in perfect sync. His little sneakers slapping flat footed on the asphalt as he sped up and slowed down not sure how far we would go. We walked once each direction, just to catch our breaths. Constant encouragement was his motivation to run farther than he'd ever run before.

As we got within a few houses of our own, our Christmas lights created the perfect finish line. "Alright Mo, run your heart out and beat daddy home." He tucked his chin against his chest and pumped his little arms and slapped his almost boy sized shoes on the ground. It always seems his feet move faster than his body. He say's he beat me to the driveway, I told him a bug flew into my eye and I couldn't see who won. But notice how watery they are?

The red on his cheeks, the twinkle in his eyes, the absolute glee in his smile, proved a powerful spell on me. I have never been able to run with a smile on my face. Running is something I love more than almost anything and yet my energy is drawn to places other than the muscles that make my mouth curve up. I am glad Mo does not have that problem.

I gave him a big hug and another high five. I told him that running like that is what Dr. Jeff and daddy do when they practice triathlon. He reminded me I am still 'sick' so he would have to run with Dr. Jeff for me. Could I please call him and set that up.

There's treasure everywhere. There surely is.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A different take on IMAZ Fall 2008

My goal for the November 2008 Arizona Ironman was to walk the course areas that I remembered so well from six months ago and support my friends supporting their family out on the course.

By 0545 I had guided the Trimama vehicle to a great parking spot close to the transition area and then supported Tacky while he fretted over his beautiful wife before the swim. Using his digicam I took about 200 pictures of him rocking the wetsuit area.

I remember in April exiting the water with an PR of 92 minutes. I ran by Boulder with a huge smile on my face giving him a low-five, I felt great. By coincidence I looked at my watch yesterday when I had that thought and it was almost exactly that time. It triggered a vast range of emotions in me and I stood there holding back tears and eventually letting them stream down my face. It became very emotional for me. It still is.

Big J, Momo's husband, landed a rockstar location for spectating and planted a 40 foot RV on the spot. I called it 'Legend-wait for it-Dary'. It was sitting on the hot corner, five feet off the bike course, 50 feet from the run course, 75 yards from the finish line. I will forever have etched in mind one moment, I am sitting in a leather captains chair, feet up, looking out the front of the RV window, spectators are looking at us in awe, cyclists are speeding past and I tilt my eyes slightly up to catch the football game on sattelite. Big J, you are an incredible man and I truly appreciate what you did not just for me or the other bloggers but for your wife.

I walked down a bit from the RV and saw several friends, all solicitious to my health and wishing me well on this day. They understood the pain I was feeling inside. The turmoil of my failed body and my iron spirit. I stood at the last spot I saw my soul brother Bolder as I headed out on my final lap.The final photograph taken of me on an ironman course done at this spot. Its an awesome picture. It hangs not only in my house but my parents. I love that photograph. Lots of layers to it.

I drove Tacky to the other side of the bike course to see Trimama at the beginning of Beeline. Three of my best friends Dr. Jeff, his wife Wendy and Hardcore Mike were volunterring on the corner. The same corner I laid in agony for several minutes as Mike, Wendy, Mistress and others tended me in April. In a moment of haste I had Mike verify where I laid and Tacky took a picture of me laying down in that spot. We laughed but later it made me feel dirty. Like I trampled a grave. My grave.

The run was confusing for me. It was not hard to give inspiration to those who needed it, but the sense of dread keep working against me. Thankfully there were so many wonderful people to keep my spirit strong. I gained a tremendous amount of strength from everyone, specail recognition to Bigun for the skype chat, but especially TriDogMom, IronShane, and SupaLinds.

You three, thank you from the bottom of my heart for our conversation. It was humbling.

Watching Momo finish and then sitting there as she held court, was again emotional for me. She had the ultimate day. That race where your efforts provide a result better than ever hoped for or expected.

I missed Trimama finish. But in the end, as much as I love her and her husband as dear friends, my job for the day was done. My focus was keeping Tacky loose and worry free as we hunted his wife down on the course. It did not feel right for me to stick around. TriMama needed her husband at the end of that race to share the moment together. I know when threes a crowd. I headed home with a mix of emotions and in the end another day of great memories.

I didn't think I would leave with as many great memories at Ironman spectating, as I would racing. I was wrong.

There's treasure everywhere.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Throw it all together

Mo woke up this morning throwing up. A trip to Urgent Care tells us he has a sinus infection and we get the script we need to get rid of it. For Mistress, Mo and I this is an easy deal. Just a year ago, simple colds turned into pneumonia overnight. Sinus infections equaled hospital stays. This is the first test of how well the surgeries did in fixing him back in March and we are happy. Mo is happy. A little pain in his cheeks is nothing compared to some of the other stuff he's had. You would almost not know he is ill.

My face was still hurting this morning and I broke down to take Advil. I can't do another Perocet. Sorry Doc's, I know the Advil is killing my kidneys but had to be done. Between the Advil for pain, a sudafed on the off chance its a sinus issue and my first cup of coffee in a week, the pain in my head is almost all gone today. I know my teeth feel loose which is part of the recovery from having other teeth taken out but maybe I just had caffiene withdrawls?

Tonight I am hopefully off to see The Pilgrams, who are staying with our mutal friend Andy. Brian is doing his umpteenth Ironman for the year and though I have talked much with Misty, we have never formally met. Brian is someone I really admire for his consitution. He has been none stop this year on ultra endurace events and he keeps plugging along. He's an inspiration that some time soon I can recover as quickly from endurance events and not have them leave me in dire straights with my body breaking down all the time.

I hope to have the laptop and camera with me tomorrow and uploading photos as the day progresses. I plan on being there for the swim start and then Tacky and I will be following Trimama throughout the day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Silver linings

My new favorite tag line has been, "There's treasure everywhere." I stole that from Calvin and Hobbes. Funny how Calvin has always been my favorite comic and my mom used to laugh because I was so similar to him. Now I have a son who looks like Calvin with the yellow crazy hair, wild imagination and a constant companion, his ever present teddy bear 'DanBear' compared to Calvin's tiger 'Hobbes'. In fact in a completely unrelated move, the bully in the comic is named 'Moe'.

But there is treasure everywhere and God knows I have been looking for it this week. I don't think two hours goes by that I am not looking for an icepack and pain killers for my wisdom tooth surgery. Mistress and I made some drastic changes in our income that we didn't want to make because of the economy. Over a year ago Mistress went through the payroll company our business uses for a national carrier that funded maternity leave. We found out this week that their dropping that service. That meant she'd have no income while on maternity and she has planned to take 3 months off. Then a call with the IRS told us that they had not found the two payments I made last year that gave us back a refund which was supposed to have been given to us this month.

Whammy. Whammy. Whammy.

Why all this depressing stuff? Because I am an optimist. I think hard workers generally are optimists. I went down to the IRS office and was told the payments have been found, my refund has been sitting in an account for a month and I should be getting the money within the next four weeks. Why they want money so fast, but so slow to pay, I don't know.

My partners really took our payroll company and the national carrier to task and the carrier is flying out an executive next week specifically to talk about Mistress. Flying out. That's a big deal.

My jaw still hurts, (where's my icebag) but I mailed in my medical claim to USAT and trust me kidney failure hurts more. All USAT members have an insurance policy on race day and while my claim is much less than the maximum allowed, my out of pocket has been five digits and getting that back would be a huge relief. So far all my communication with USAT has been great so hopefully with a little due dillegince this will be done in a couple months.

I think most of the time people don't even look for treasure because they feel entitled to it, someone should be giving them the treasure, why should they look for it. Sometimes we miss the real treasure within our grasp because we think a bigger treasure is just out of sight. Sometimes we stop working towards treasure not knowing we are so close to reaching it. Sometimes the treasure is unexpected income and sometimes its just a moment of peace.

There's treasure everywhere. So true.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The Ironman expo is up and running. I was expecting to see bodies in the water this morning as I drove by the course and have to keep reminding myself that Ironman Florida is a Saturday race, Ironman Arizona is a Sunday race which throws the beginning of events off.

I will of course go down and do the whole lookie-loo thing. I hope to have dinner with Tacky and TriMama. Its been a couple years since we last hooked up. I think our after race party in Florida significantly contributed to my kidneys shutting down 18 months later in an Ironman. They still had not recovered. Shouts out to Nytro for sending the Tequila and beer to us poolside.

I met with an fellow Ironman today who is just getting back into the swing of things after a three month foot situation. It drove him crazy and couldn't see how I have gone twice as long without being committed. I could only laugh like someone who gets the joke and its not very funny.

I look in the mirror and don't see the face that burned with a fever for training. I see a face that is a bit puffy and certainly with more gray on the temple. I look forward to getting my juju back and know that some day I will. Until then I can only dress the part and talk the talk. My walk has been medically controlled.

Going back onto an Ironman course, albeit as a spectator, I think will hold some demons for me. Certainly a sadness that I will most likely never be a particpant again but also a knowing that the distance doesn't control me anymore. I don't think I will ever again find a need to sit on a bike for six or eight hours or run for four hours at a clip. No, life is changing for me in not altogether pleasing ways and I will have to make concessions and sacrifices I did not expect.

I suppose having the Ironman distance taken from me instead of me willingly giving it up was a blessing. There's treasure everywhere.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


People tell me that everyone reacts to wisdom teeth extractions differently. Some are drinking beer and eating pizza the next day, others are laid up in bed. Truth be told I think I did nibble on some soft crust pepperoni the next day, but every day since I've had a ice pack attached to my face.

I don't think I have an infection, at least one can not be seen in the gum area, but my whole jaw from the top of my ear to below my nose and down to my chin is on fire and swollen. I felt like this once before when I took a a full force shot to my face with an M-16 rifle butt in a particularly rough close combat class.

It seems my recovery from injury takes me longer than I want or am prepared for. A year ago this month I suffered my 13th concussion and it took three months to fully recover. I'm still sidelined with my kidney issue that came up in April. Maybe this dental surgery is completely normal, I don't know. I can only try to keep a positive attitude and know that whatever happens it could have been worse.

I love ice packs. I seem to have quite a collection of them. So I have that going for me....which is nice.

There's treasure everywhere.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Loves me my spam

I have often spoke lovingly of SPAM. Let you haters firebomb my comments with detraction's to the origins, taste or longevity of the compressed spiced ham block. But SPAM has been one of my favorites for years. I took to the field while in the military. I lived on it as a valuable source of protein when typhoons hit and then living through a 8.3 earthquake.

As the economy makes everyone look at their shopping lists and how much to spend, there has been an increase in staple foods like jell0, kool aids, macaroni and cheese and instant mashed potatoes. But what is missing from this list? Protein. The article below regards the workers who put this fabulous meat out for us.


Go ahead, you know you want to. Buy a can and fry up some slices. Put them on a plate with two eggs over easy. maybe a little rice. What a breakfast.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mo as Ironman

Mo dressed up as Ironman for Halloween. I updated the suit with a dome light as a chest peice and a Petzl e+lite headlamp wrapped around his left palm for a repulsor ray.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

That was fast.

I went to get my wisdom teeth pulled and they knocked me out to do it. They sat me in a chair, gave me some gas, put in a needle and next thing I know, their waking me up and I got a gauze strip hanging out of my mouth and being led to another room.

Man I haven't gone out that fast since the last concussion I got. Haha. Two hours later, I have been bleeding a lot from the site and soaked through a baby terry cloth napkin. Its starting to hurt now and luckily I have some great pain killers.

Welcome to my weekend. Hope yours is great too!

There's treasure everywhere.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ironman Arizona November 2008

There is no doubt that the Ironman here in Tempe, Arizona next week is going to be big. Having done this race twice and can see the course from my business parking spot, I have some first hand experience on what to see and do.

First, if you have people spectating the course the swim start is not to be missed. The water start is under a bridge and heading into the sunrise. It is perhaps the most spiritual experience I have had in sports. I am blessed to have witnessed it from the spectator and the participant point of view.

For those looking for restaurants in the area there is tremendous opportunity. Directly across the street from the finish chute is Monty's a 100 year old restaurant with an adequate bar and outside seating. Foods pretty good too. Within a few minutes walk on Mill Avenue is a half dozen excellent pizza, greek, chinese joings, a Starbucks, Hooters, local brewery and other cuisines. There is no going hungry or suffering expo sandwiches at this event.

Local wifi is getting better, so it may be possible to fire up a laptop at the expo itself. If not a hotel on the SW corner of Rio Salado and Priest, a main corner of the run course, a mile west of the expo has free wifi and sure that plenty locations will offer low cost rates along Mill Ave.

I think there is plenty to do at the expo location and along Mill Avenue, but having a cruiser or mountain bike can greatly increase your exposure to the course. If a spectator can rent or borrow a bike they can get to some much better spectating locations without having to walk 30 minutes around the lake.

For those renting cars, I would recommend driving to the corner of McDowell Road and Country Club/Beeline Hwy/ Hwy 87 (all the same name). This the start of the beeline out and back. This is the approximate middle of the course and can see triathletes about once per hour. There isplenty of parking, shade, a grocery store with restroom and porta potties for athletes. Not many people spectate here so the atmosphere is happy and loose.

For everyone coming to town, a trip to TRIBE multisport is a must (Use Google Maps with Sattelite view and type in 'tribe multisport'). It is about 3 miles up Scottsdale road from Tempe Town Lake. Cross McDowell road heading north on Scottsdale and take first left down a side street (30 yards from intersection) into the parking lot. Drop my name.

If anyone has any specific question drop me a line. If I can't give an answer off the top of my head I will research it for you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I keep kicking myself for not uploading Mighty Mo's Halloween costume. The camera has been sitting in the other car. Its something I really want to accomplish this week. No its not to get in a Masters swim, or ride 90 minutes or run an hour. Its to get some digital photo's online. My life is so simple right now.

Of course that is all going to change come January when Baby Mae is born. I keep thinking that much like a race where an athlete has a training plan that builds up the endurance and ability before the big day and maybe I need to do that too. Create new routines that allow me to build in time for changes and bottles and activity. Based on the last go around, I know that I am worthless and unnecessary for night feeding, so I need to plan for morning stuff. Getting up earlier and having more mental energy in the morning is something I have to prepare for now, it seems.

Okay, I am on to something here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Drapes

Well I am making good on the website updates. On Monday I cleared over 300 posts from Bloglines. Granted most of that was from news feeders. On top of that I had lunch with my wife and ate really well the entire day.

The training did not happen Monday. Oh well. Supposedly the less I train right now the healthier I get. Today I need to check in with my doctors and tell them I am done with the latest round of drugs. On Friday I get a wisdom tooth removed. Thank God for sedation therapy or I'd never do it. On a side note my surgeon is an Ironman.

On a parting note, I could watch Family Guy 24/7. Wait, I pretty much already do.

As good a time as any...

While I think the quality of my posts have not diminished I will admit that my attention to the blog has. I won't apologize for focusing my attention to other areas of my life, I think I apologize to much to be honest. I mean who say's, "I'm sorry," when someone tells you they can't find their keys? It wasn't my fault they lost their keys or whatever the issue may be, yet I find myself apologizing.

Anyway. I will finally be getting around to cleaning up the sidebars and links on CMS. Maybe tweak a few of the borders. Get back to proper regular posting. I'd like to see if my doctors will let me start hitting the weights a bit harder and more consistently. Get a little more connected with Mistress and the baby growing inside her. If anything my connection with Mighty Mo is as strong as ever. I am growing as a father of one child, I hope I can duplicate with two. It's something I am suffering with terribly. Still, don't expect any advancements in the kitchen though I may attempt some work on the grill.

Most importantly I will connect again with the friends I have made on the blogs. Expect to see my presence again on websites. Its been a guilt on my heart for months that I have not supported people the way I have been supported.

I wouldn't say I have been in a dark phase, not at all. I have been through a lot and suppose trying other things out. Of course the down side, which I should have known all along, is that my life runs on routines. When the exercise routine fell apart in April and then the pregnancy a few months ago and the end of the year coming up, I realize this blog is as much a positive routine in my life as anything. I suppose for forgeting that, I am sorry.

There's treasure everywhere.

Friday, November 7, 2008

into position

I had every intent of going to Starbucks and getting their protein plate and a small coffee for a snack. I got cut off by a driver and forced to drive ahead to the next entrance lest I cause a traffic commotion. Then a large truck blocked my path into the parking area I needed so I drove up the parking lot to turn around and somehow ended up in the drive thru of an In & Out Burger ordering a Double-Double.

I'm not disappointed in that. I like In & Out and haven't eaten their in months. But life is a lot like that, isn't it?

You're so set in getting what you want that you shock yourself when something unexpected forces you to take a detour and get something you would really enjoy. I really enjoyed that burger. I won't have one every day or every month, but its a nice diversion from a bagel and hard boiled egg.

There's treasure everywhere

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I roll

Man this week has flown by. The drugs I have been on for my recovery have really done a number to me. I won't compare it to somebody's health who maybe more threatening than my own, but this private hell sucks. Su-hu-hucks. Bet you didn't know 'sucks' is three syllables.

On top of dealing with my own little issues, I have a pregnant wife and ever more aware son. This truly is the life I wondered if I would ever have. You know when your younger and your invincible and never think you'll make it to thirty and then you realize your 38 and well into the life you thought you'd never have? I HAVE IT.

Haha. Its funny. Its painful, sad, rewarding, tiring, constantly amazing at what comes at me next. At least I am alive. At least I have a wife who is with me through thick and thin, do you think the pastor means body type or just life issues when he says that?

In any regard, this truly is a light hearted post and I wish everyone a great day.

There is treasure everywhere.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Accepting Tolerance

I think the older I get the more I consider my tolerance to something over the acceptance of it. I tolerate a lot (a lot) of physical pain, I don't accept it, as that would I think make me give in to it and dilute my life. I tolerate losing, I don't accept defeat. I think its hogwash that someone should lose to learn a lesson. If a person or team loses a race or a game, others can certainly point to the issues that caused them to not win, but to legitimize that losing is a positive a learning tool as winning is total crap.

I think acceptance is a stronger affirmation about a subject than tolerance, but you can force acceptance you can't force tolerance, therefore acceptance does not make something valid in the eyes of the majority. I tolerate someone has power over me, but not accept it. People work in those situations all the time. Maybe you are today.

I tolerate ideas that are counter to my own but don't accept them. I suppose in those situations if I am intolerant enough I might act to counter the idea so much that my actions work to make it unacceptable. But if someone is trying to force an opinion on me don't they find my idea or my tolerance to them unacceptable and they are forcing me to bend to their will.

For those that think this is some quasi-political rant, you would be mostly wrong. Lately I have really had to consider what I will tolerate and what I will accept. What I will be forced to accept. Mostly this goes to my health and my growing family. I tolerate that I can't workout but don't accept it. To accept it would make me give in to so many more temptations.

Maybe this is all sort of the difference between a Hoedown and Hootenanny.

Oh and my newest sign off, from the great Calvin (& Hobbes)

There's Treasure Everywhere!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A bizarro world

Of course the election tomorrow occupies a lot of my thoughts today. As I am sure it does for many of you. Of course today when I just want to put the blinders on and power through the day, I have to think of much, much more. None of it pleasant or helpful to me.

I mean look, pain whether physical, emotional or intellectual, real or perceived, hurts. And it seems today already I have suffered dozens of of these silly paper cuts that add up to a lot of bleeding.

Trust me. I am not Atlas. I don't want the weight of the world on my shoulders. Crap I'd be happy to shoulder my whole load and that of my family, if I could just get away from some of the other stuff. It used to be that I turned to exercise to get through this, but like everything in this Bizarro world, the less I workout the healthier I get. So its better for me to not workout but then I can't process the stuff in my head.

Its confusing. I'm confused. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A mind wipe

Isn't it funny how what we watch can affect us so strongly. I remember after Mistress gave birth to Mo she couldn't watch the nightly news for about six months. She realized just how violent the news can be in the first six minutes. I remember that I couldn't watch horror movies the same way after my son was born. Every time I watched a bit actor bite the dust I transposed my son as the random character and not the one who lives at the end. I have for the most part gotten over that.

There are a few shows I watch, mostly on DVR, that I think are brilliant. The Unit and The Shield. Its been a few weeks since I have been able to watch them so on Saturday with an empty house, I treated myself to multiple episodes of each.

(Full body shake ensues). I feel like I need to make a donation to a charity after several hours of watching anti-heroes, corruption, perverts and ambiguous methods. My mind seems dark and that the whole world around me is going to end. Isn't that funny?

I suppose I need to balance out my viewing with some uplifting stuff. To that end I watching DVD episodes of Long Way Down. I love this documentary. Ewan McGregor (Obi Be Won Kenobi in Star Wars 4,5,6) and his buddy ride their motorcycles from Scottland to South Africa and brought their camera along. This is their second documentary, the first, perhaps better adventure because it was so new, is Long Way Round which they rode from London to New York through Europe, Asia, Alaska then north America. Well I get a kick from it.

Every day it sems we must protect our minds with positivity. Whether its in the shows we watch or the people we interact with or the choices we make in our personal life, even if we are attracted to the seedy, dark, underbelly stuff, we need to be open to recognizing the beauty and love and opportunity we all have.

Maybe thats why I like Long Way Round/Down. Its hyper reality. Its an adventure that I would love to take with my best friend or my son. Its that the part of life, that demands to be videotaped and shared.

Have Fun.