Saturday, December 30, 2006


Ok, so I go something like two weeks between posts and now about 20 minutes...
I ran across this list on Vern Gambetta’s blog. I know, I know, not exactly what you would expect to find on an athletic conditioning/strength training-ish blog, but Vern’s blog is rarely predictable.

The list is Bob Sutton’s and while following the link to his blog I came across the book he is publishing soon The No Asshole Rule. It looks interesting even if its audience might be geared toward the business world. I think like the list it will very thought provoking and that it applies to whatever your profession might be.

I would love to know what you (those of you who haven’t given up and are still reading) think of the list so either drop me an email or join Erin in commenting directly on the blog.

Ten Things I Believe
Bob Sutton
1. Sometimes the best management is no management at all -- first do no harm!

2. Indifference is as important as passion.

3. In organizational life, you can have influence over others or you can have freedom from others, but you can't have both at the same time.

4. Learning how to say smart things and give smart answers is important. Learning to listen to others and to ask smart questions is more important.

5. You get what you expect from people. This is especially true when it comes to selfish behavior; self-interest is a learned social norm, not an inherent feature of human behavior.

6. Getting a little power can turn you into an insensitive self-centered jerk.

7. Avoid pompous jerks whenever possible. They not only can make you feel bad about yourself, chances are that you will eventually start acting like them.

8. The best test of a person's character is how he or she treats those with less power.

9. Err on the side of optimism and positive energy in all things.

10. Work is an over-rated activity.

Also, I am putting together a 2007 reading list and would like as much input as possible, so forward to me book titles you think should be read. Fiction or non-fiction, doesn’t matter.

End of the Year?

Is it really December 30? Holy Sh!t has this year gone fast...a proper "Year in Review" will be coming tomorrow or Monday, but I did want to get this on here:

Christmas in Texas:

Couldn't have been a better trip. It was the perfect amount of time for all parties - we got to spend time with everyone and were gone before we really started to grate on nerves. Good times were had. The only thing remotely negative I have to say is that some people's preference in beer leads a bit to be desired, BUT accommodations were made, and at least they drink beer!

Gift run-down:
From T - a very nice fleece pullover from REI, Episodes I, II, and III DVDs, an organizer for my stuff so it won't scratch the new bedroom furniture
From others - one of those fancy corkscrews, a very cool Bengals "B" mouse pad, Ed Viesturs new book, a National Geographic DVD on Mt. Everest, and other things that I can't remember now

Now, there is no actual award to be had, but I typically mention to T which of my gifts was the best - "best" having nothing at all to do with $$$ - and for the last two years, T's mom (BAM) has taken that prize: 2004 it was the windblock mitten/gloves from REI, 2005 it was the sweet windblock vest from REI (which I wear almost daily, even this time of the year), but this year the award goes to T. It was a dead heat between the fleece she got me and the Star Wars DVDs.

Ok, will be back in a day or two to wrap up 2006. And, yes, I am planning on watching all Episodes I - VI in consecutive order, back-to-back.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Long Run

Date: Sunday, December 17, 2006
Place: All Over Jenison, Michigan
Purpose: KP spending almost 3 hours (no, that isn't a typo) running

Completed my longest run to date this past Sunday. 14 miles. Not. Easy. Actually called T to come pick me up at the 11 mile mark....ok, I was out of water and really struggling, however she didn't have her cell phone with her. Thankfully. Forced me to finish the run. The pic is my route, courtesy of my Forerunner 305.

Ah, the Holidays...

So here we are mere days before Christmas and not a decoration in sight! Well, there is a good reason for that: T and I are spending Christmas in Texas this year and we leave Friday. With everything that has been going on; T end of the semester/final exams, me, well nothing really different going on for me really, we certainly weren’t going to get a tree and we just decided to not really decorate. I did wrap her presents though!!!! We’re having our Christmas before we leave.

I actually have been afforded some time off from work. The women’s hoops team left last Friday for the Virgin Islands to play in a tournament – no I didn’t get to go (the players each had to raise $1300 for the trip) but it has allowed me some time off since finals were last week and the only sport still practicing is men’s hoops (and I don’t have to cover them). So, I’m on “vacation” until the 27th when we’re back at it.

So what have I been doing with all this extra time? Reading? Nope. Working on things around the house? Nope. Pretty much being a lazy-ass. Although I am still in the middle of my training for the Flying Pig, and T and I have started working out – big recommendation for Vern Gambetta’s new book Athletic Development. We’ll see how it goes.

Plan on a big update following the trip to Texas, and yes, names will be changed to protect the guilty!

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Catching Up

After catching much grief from certain people about not updating this more frequently (Yes, you Erin) here is what has been going on the last couple of weeks here in Grand Rapids:

1. The week of Thanksgiving and the following week it was crazy warm here. Highs on 11/28, 11/29, and 11/30 were in the upper 50s and low 60s. Then the bottom fell out. Woke up Friday, Dec. 1 to this:

Yep...about 4 inches of snow. Made for an interesting day driving to work. Since then it has snowed a total of 11.6 inches this month. And it has been COLD. This past Thursday the high was 21 or 22 F!!!! The high!!!! But, like all midwest weather it will be short lived. Next week it is supposed to be in the 40s and raining.

2. The snow did not stop me from running. Taken last Sunday after I got home from my 11 miler.

Learned a very valuable lesson: keep your feet dry. I have since purchased a pair of water-resistant running shoes to get me through the winter.

3. This time of the year is busy! Holiday things to attend tonight (as well as a dinner for yours truly to celebrate his birthday), was at a holiday thing for work last night, have more to come. At least the semester is over next week and since the women's hoops team is going to the Virgin Islands - no I'm not going - I get almost two full weeks off.

Christmas cards will be in the mail next week, for all of you anxiously waiting.

Some of you in Oregon might be getting a list of "supplies" to ship to us after Christmas - we're running out of wine and completely out of beer!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Before the race in front of Paul Brown Stadium

Before the race looking over the river (I'm wearing the cool t-shirt T got me after the Grand Rapids HM)

Just after I crossed the finish line. Nice shot T.

T and I after the race. Self-portrait.

T modeling the t-shirt. Could have sworn it was supposed to be a technical shirt!

Thanksgiving Update

Just returned (ok, returned yesterday) from the first Thanksgiving with the family in 5 years, and the first Thanksgiving in Cincinnati in probably 10 years. First things first: it was great to see the family – niece, nephews, sister, brother (short bursts are ok), mom and dad. Sprinkle in some friends (great time Friday night Hack!) and it was a great time.

Thursday morning I ran the 97th Thanksgiving Day Race (10K) in Cincinnati, OH. It is something like the third oldest race in the country. I ran it with over 12,500 other people. It was a madhouse. Some random thoughts from the experience:

1. It was my first race of that size. I was prepared for the delay at the start. I was prepared for the bridges. I was not, however prepared for the people who decided to walk 3 and 4 across in the middle of the street. MOVE THE F*CK over to one side people!

2. It’s not supposed to be that warm (mid 50s) in Cincinnati in November.

3. I’m still impressed with Cincy’s skyline.

I wasn’t racing the race. My schedule called for a 6 miler that day so I just ran the thing. Finished in 1:04:09 by my watch and was very satisfied, especially when I checked my time from the first 10k back in 2004 (the Butte to Butte, killer first mile) and the time was 1:00:54 and at the end of it I thought I was going to literally fall over dead. All in all a good time. Nice race t-shirt even if I thought it was going to be a technical one.

Rest of the weekend was great. Great food Thursday. Great food Friday: lunch at Pleasant Ridge Chili (2 cheese coneys and an order of gravy cheese and fries) then dinner with friends at the Boathouse. T’s first experience there, and of course she loved it.

Got some Skyline on the way home Saturday. Watched some football Saturday night.

Got my 12 miles in today.

Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend Update

Week #2 of the training plan: not quite as good as week one...due to circumstances entirely under my control I pushed Thursday's run to Friday, and then to Saturday (when it was completed), and skipped my long run to spend the day with T on Sunday. I'll do better this week.

Saturday: War Eagle!

Sunday: T and went neighborhood scouting in preparation for house hunting this spring. We think we've found an area, but the process has just started.

"Casino Royale" - great movie, takes Bond back to his roots, and is much less cartoonish than the few previous. Bond actually bleeds, has scars from fights. The stunts are still "reality suspended" but it is the movies. And holy-hot-Bond-babe! See for yourself and then employ some google-foo. You will be rewarded.

Off to Cincy this week to spend turkey-day with the family. Should be fun. I'm also running a 10k Thursday morning. Yes, I'm crazy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

One Down, How Many To Go?

Finished Week #1 of my running plan. There were 21 miles scheduled, and I completed 23 miles. Completed all of my scheduled runs, PLUS worked out with T on a day that I didn't have one scheduled. 10 mile long run went great yesterday (ok, I know I'm a weirdo when I think it is a nice day to run and it is about 30 F and cloudy - but at least it wasn't raining! Or snowing, because it is Michigan after all), still need to work on my IT bands and do some stretching, but good week. Now I just need to repeat this effort.

The before mentioned workout with T brings me to some news...we joined the YMCA (cue the Village People). Great deal through GVSU and we have access to all five in the area: including the spanking new one downtown and the one right by the house (ok, so "right by" is relative, it's the suburbs so it's about 6 miles from the house).

Tension/excitement is running high here this week. All of the Michigan fans are getting their panties wet over the game this weekend. If I didn't have a game to cover Friday night, I would wear my OSU (that's OHIO State for all of you Oregonians) game jersey to have a bit of fun with people. At least I found out today that the game doesn't start until 3:30 p.m. so I will be able to watch the game after all, game to cover Saturday at 1 p.m.

Pictures from the half marathon are up on the photography service website. Please be kind in your comments.

Friday, November 10, 2006

End of the Week, Beer?

Friday Update

A lot transpired this week:
Election night – I will avoid the hot issues nationally (about freakin’ time people! And to my brother, who probably doesn’t know this exists: Good to know that your go-to-guy-in –the-clutch Mr. Rove failed miserably. Was it a conspiracy in Montana? Virginia? It was nice to see a disciple of the Republican “God” Reagan kick one of Bush’s boy’s ass, in the name of the Democratic Party. Can you say “Macaca”) and hit the highlight here in Michigan.

The city of Grandeville (approximately 6 miles from the front door, where the nice mall and all the restaurants are located) passed a law allowing alcohol sales in said restaurants on Sunday! Not that I’m an alcoholic or anything but it is ok to have a glass of wine with the Italian dinner you have out on Sunday evening.

Weather in the Midwest.
Last Thursday and Friday it was snowing. Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees. I almost wore shorts to work. Today, it’s about 35 outside. Supposed to snow tomorrow. Yeah for Michigan.

Was informed that the great state of Ohio on Tuesday passed a smoking ban in all public spaces – including, I assume, restaurants. We could only be so lucky here in Michigan. I am really tired of coming home from having dinner out and smelling like an ashtray.

Had a good week of running so far, will see how the 10 miler goes on Sunday – at least the weather is supposed to be better!

Found out my “readership” is larger than I thought (thanks Marlee)

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Road to the Pig

180 days. Roughly 6 months. That’s how much time until the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati on May 6, 2007. Why is this important you might ask? Well, that is the “goal” race that I am aiming for this spring. Yes, I might be crazy.

I’ve planned out the first two months (November starting tomorrow and December) of my training plan. It’s back to basics. Slow runs to increase my aerobic capacity and slowly increasing the mileage. Should be a fun 8 weeks here in Grand Rapids as winter approaches!

The good thing is, we are probably going to be joining the YMCA (discount through GVSU – way to go T!) so I will at least have some refuge when the really nasty stuff gets here.

One of the lessons I learned from the half marathon is that I need to stick to my training plan. I really got into a bad habit of rationalizing missing runs. I need to improve in this area or bad things will happen as I get deeper into training.

Like the half marathon, I’m going to lock myself in – registering early, that way I’m committed to the race. Also it will be nice opportunity to see my parents, some friends in the area, and to meet up with some really cool people from the 30’s thread on Cool Running.

Hope whoever (still not sure who) is reading this will enjoy the journey with me. No, the blog won’t be solely about me training. I’ll throw some other stuff in as well.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Grand Rapids Half Marathon 2006

Well, I did it.

To start with the night before the race could have gone better. I had to cover a soccer game that started at 6 p.m. Temp was about 40, but major gusting wind in my face that probably brought the wind chill down to somewhere in the low to mid 30s. T was gracious enough to accompany me to the game. Afterwards we went to Olive Garden for a little pre-race pasta. Only drawback, we didn’t get our food until 10 p.m. (It was a Saturday night.) We get home and get everything ready. She volunteered as a medical aid for the race and she had a meeting at 6 a.m. across town. Set the alarm for 5. Get up, I turn on the TV to check the weather. Weather Channel says it’s 4:08. Holy Crap we forgot to set the clocks back! Back to bed for both of us.

Made it downtown to the race by 7:20 for an 8 a.m. start. Jog about 0.5 mile warm-up and head to the bag check area. Only one small problem. They didn’t have any bags! They had expected us to bring our bags from the Expo!!!! Luckily I was parked less than a block away so I just jogged back to the truck to stow my stuff. Made it back to the porta-potty line about 10 minutes before the start of the race. Took care of business and made it to the start with a minute or two to spare.

We were off!

I made a pace chart for myself – starting slow and speeding up throughout the race. I knew what my goal times were for the first 4 miles so I was a bit surprised when we paced mile 1 and I was almost 2 minutes faster than I wanted to be! Thing is, it felt like a pretty maintainable effort so I just went for it. Also, the heart rate on my 305 didn’t work. At all during the race. Not sure why, but I’m going to check the battery sometime in the next few days.

Pretty uneventful for the early going, unless you count dodging people at the aid stations. Around mile 5 I hear a voice behind mention Oregon. Eventually we were next to each other and I had a nice conversation with a guy moving to Bend tomorrow. Yes, I’m jealous. I was still about a 1:20 ahead of my goal time.

Mile 6 I took a Gu. First time trying it. Not bad. DW managed to score some for me from her aid station.

Between mile 8 and 9 I passed T’s station. Got a big cheer. Felt good. (Have I mentioned how supportive she was through this whole thing? She even surprised me with a long sleeve tech t with the oval 13.1 on it!)

Around mile 9 the two courses diverged so I lost a lot of the people who had been around me so far. It was about this time my left hip started talking to me about how it wasn’t having fun anymore. Nothing new, so I tried my best to put it in the back of my mind. This was my slowest mile of the day. D@mn hip.

Mile 10 my right IT band joined in with the hip to let me know they both weren’t having any fun. 3.1 to go.

Mile 11 we came out of the trees along the path we were on and the wind picked up.
Mile 12. Just past the marker we turned back into downtown and the wind was in our face. Felt like I was on a treadmill. The last 300 yards or so were the worst, but at least I could see the finish line at this point.

Crossed the line – not looking at my watch! Shook the race director’s hand. Got my medal. Turned in my chip and sought out the beer.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1 9:52
Mile 2 10:08
Mile 3 10:15
Mile 4 10:13
Mile 5 10:12
Mile 6 10:02
Mile 7 10:06
Mile 8 10:13
Mile 9 10:44
Mile 10 10:03
Mile 11 10:13
Mile 12 10:23
Mile 13 10:32
Finish (my watch) 2:15:06
Chip time: 2:15:07

So I missed my goal by 4 minutes, but I couldn’t have given any more on the course. Very satisfied with my first race over 10k.

Now on to the

So this is the t-shirt T (did I mention how awesome and supportive she is) gave me, my medal, and the race shirt - also long sleeve tech t

A close-up of the medal.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Ok, it's Thursday night which means I have just a bit more than 48 hours until the half marathon. Now, I ran a 5k on Saturday (see pictures/post below on the PR) but I haven't run since. I'm taking "tapering" to a whole new level here!

I have figured out what I'm wearing, mostly, after checking the weather about every 3 hours - last check high of 45 on Saturday and chance of I'm thinking it will be somewhere in the 30's at race time. Ordered a sweet new Smartwool beanie to wear that is much lighter than my fleece ones. Plus it's not black. I'd include a link but it just takes you to the smartwool website. It's the "training beanie" in twilight if interested.

I have decided that I'm leaving the iPod at home. I may pay for this later, but I'm sticking with the decision.

I have decided which pair of running shoes I'm wearing - even if they did start squeaking on me in the race Saturday! Then I'm retiring them...over 400 miles on them so they will become everyday shoes for me.

Erin - let us know when the interview is and how it goes!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Great Start to a Saturday

Now I might be crazy for the title, but bear with me...

Ran in a 5k today at GVSU. I know I have the half marathon next week and racing probably not the best thing, but then since my training has been "unique" I thought what the hell.

So here is me prerace:

Lowest bib number I've ever had for a race...felt pretty good after my warm-up (technically when T snapped this photo).

Felt really good during the race: mile 1 - 8:37, mile 2 - 8:43 (so I slowed down a bit but still feeling pretty good). T snapped this picture at about the 2.5 mile point:

No matter what T says about me looking at "ease" when I run, I was pushing it pretty hard by this point

Mile 3 I started to fade...8:53, but turned it on, or tried to from the 3 mile point until the finish.

Finished with a time of 26:51. A new PR for me, by 54 seconds.

So feeling pretty good about things right now.

Only thing left to do today is get ready to go tailgate with T's co-workers this afternoon. So there are beers in my future.

Maybe the title should be a good start and a great finish?

Friday, October 20, 2006

New Addition

Ok, here it is, the new TV:

Picture is great. HD programming is unbelievable. Those of you who haven't experienced it, I highly suggest it.

Running a 5k tomorrow. Supporting the Grand Valley Track/Field program I think. Then it's tailgating with T's co-workers later that afternoon. It's homecoming.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Long run...

Completed my last long run in preparation for the Grand Rapids Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) today. Set out to run between 11 and 12 miles. Nice easy pace goal for today, between 10:20 and 10:45 min/miles.

Made it through 10 pretty easy, but then my hip started to ache a bit, was able to ignore it though and push on.

12 miles clicked by, felt pretty good actually so I decided to see if I could go the full 13.1...and I did.

Legs were/are dead now even after a cold soak in the tub for 10 mins. But overall I feel pretty good. This was the longest run I've ever completed and now I KNOW I can make it on the 29th.

Just need to recover by Saturday...running in a 5k.

TV UPDATE: it's somewhere between Louisville, KY and here still according to the tracking number. I'm hoping for a Monday delivery!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

TV Update

As of 5:16 a.m. the TV is enroute to Michigan from Louisville, KY. Hopefully it will arrive Monday or Tuesday.

Still cold here...not really looking forward to standing outside at a soccer game today - however, the saving grace is that due to weather they split up the double header that was scheduled, so I only have to cover the men's soccer game. woo hoo.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It is snowing. It is October 12th.

Sad thing is, I just ran 6 miles in the stuff.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Christmas? In October?

I have the greatest wife ever...she doesn't freak out at things like "T, I'm going for a run. Be back in 2 hours." or "You want to go for a hike on the coast this weekend? It's supposed to be 40 F and raining." or "We're not going to get a better deal, so should I go ahead and order the TV?"

That's right. The 37" TV was ordered today. It is currently "processing" and should ship in 24 to 48 hours. Went with the 3-day shipping option, so I'm hoping that it will arrive on Wednesday, around the same time as the bedroom furniture.

Now just have to 1) find a stand for it to go on 2) Call Comcast (once I know when it might be here) to have them hook us up with the HD package and the DVR to go with our digital cable (don't get me started...I know DirecTV would be cheaper, but we aren't allowed to have it here at the apartment. When we buy a house.)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New the house!

Bought bedroom furniture yesterday. Queen sized bed frame (already had the mattress, etc) a chest of drawers, another "master" chest - think that's what the name was - with a mirror on the front (got it instead of the dresser), and two night stands. Will be delivered on the 18th. They only make deliveries out where we live on Wednesdays and neither of us can be here this week. Needless to say, T is very excited.

Also, it appears as if we (I) will be allowed to purchase a new tv, possibly as soon as this upcoming weekend. Current choices are:

Television One - Costco currently in the lead I believe, but waiting to hear back from a friend with electronic gadgetry knowledge

Television Two - online retailer

Ok, off to finish (as close as we can) our table and chairs - pictures of them and the new bedroom furniture when able.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Free Time

T had this on her blog the other day so I thought since I have plenty of time to kill this afternoon here goes:

1. How tall are you barefoot? 5’ 11” on a good day
2. Have you ever been unfaithful in a relationship? Nope.
3. Do you own a gun? No.
4. Have you had a mental disorder? No, the voice in my head hasn’t mentioned anything.
5. Why is a raven like a writing desk? Uh….
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They have their place…like in a cheese coney!
7. What's your favorite Christmas song? Hard to pick just one.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee. Lots of coffee

9. Do you do push-ups? Sometimes
10. Have you ever done ecstasy? No
11. Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Not currently, I don’t think the wife would approve.
12. Do you like the rain? Yes.
13. Are you sweet? More sour.
14. Do you have A.D.D.? No.
15. Full initials? KNP
16. Do you like the snow? It’s ok, until it turns to grey slush.

17. Name 4 thoughts at this exact moment. 1) Season premiere of Lost is on in about 2 hours 15 mins. 2) I hope T isn’t too late tonight (she teaches a class from 6-9 pm) 3) Downloaded some Metallica from iTunes today. 4) I’m hungry.
18. Name the last 3 things you have bought in the past week: a big mac, a mountain dew, groceries on Sunday
19. Have you ever been arrested? Nope, but have been “patted down” at gun point
20. What time did you wake up today? 6:30 am, then 6:40, then 6:50, then 7:00 – T is evil and introduced the snooze button to me
21. Can you spell? Yes.
Hey, what happened to 22?
23. Current hate? The lack of a good cup of coffee in Michigan.
24. Favorite place to be? Oregon? Actually anywhere with T.
25. Least favorite place to be? Dentist office.
26. Where would you like to go? Would love to see Europe. If T and I could only save up the money for a vacation.
27. Do you own slippers? Yep, have ‘em on now.
28. Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs? No idea. A lot can happen in the next 10 years, ‘cause a lot happened in the last 10.
29. Do you burn or tan? Burn…what’s this tan you speak of?
30. Yellow or blue? Orange?
31. Would you be a pirate? Maybe, if I could swim better.
32. When was the last time your phone rang? Monday morning.
33. What songs do you sing in the shower? Don’t sing.
34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? The Boogey-Man of course! And you never know when he’s gonna be there!
35. What's in your pockets right now? Nothing. Empty.
36. Last thing that made you laugh? An email from Jodi Schneider concerning a “conversation” she had with someone pretty important.
37. Best bed sheets you had as a child? Superman.
38. Worst injury you've ever had? Broken collarbone.
39. Have you ever crashed a car/truck? Yes.
40. How many TVs do you have in your house? Only one…mmwwhhaa, but soon there shall be a new 37” LCD TV in the house.
41. Would you ever buy an iguana? Not a chance in @*$!’ing hell!
42. Are you attracted to your same sex? No.
44. Do you wish on stars? No.
45. What is your favorite book? Into The Wild – Jon Krakauer
46. What song did you last hear? Metallica: Whiskey in the Jar
47. Do you think Mormons are hot? No.
48. What is your favorite cereal? Kellog Fruit Harvest, Strawberry and Peaches
49. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Five more minutes?

24 and Counting

That would be days until the Half marathon. Managed 11.3 miles this past Sunday, but due to real-life and weather commitments I haven't gotten a run in since...tomorrow.

BAM: if you (or Tom) are reading this, I need an email address for you since I'm not sure the Holden Village one will still work.

A Day Late....

In our current geopolitical state of affairs and all that is ongoing in Afghanistan and Iraq, let us not forget 10/3/1993, Mogadishu, Somalia, and the actions of brave men. Lessons were learned, paid for in life and limb, hopefully not to be repeated. Two men were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle. Read the book Black Hawk Down, it is well worth it no matter what you feel about our leadership (or lack there of) in Washington.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Website Recommendation

Due to an email conversation I'm going to put this here as well. I previously mentioned Cracker Barrel's Hashbrown Casserole.

You can find the recipe at:
along with a bunch of other ones (I highly recommend the KFC cole slaw as well) for small fees. Well worth it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

All In All A Good Day

Just your typical Sunday, I guess.

Breakfast at
Cracker Barrel...mmmmmm Hash Brown Casserole.

Decent white chocolate mocha at
Beaner's Coffee.

Shopping at the mall. T needs some pants to round out her new professional/teaching wardrobe. I picked up a
50 Hikes in Michigan book. Been itching to hike since we got here.

Home Depot for some things to finish our table and chairs - pictures will be posted when the project is completed. Hopefully by next weekend.

Other errands. Did you know, evidently you can't buy just a VCR anymore. All we could find were DVD/VCR combos. I know, I know. Need to get TiVo. Thinking about it.

10 mile long run. That's right, I said 10 miles (10.38 according to the Garmin). Gonna sleep well tonight.

Only downside: the last two weeks, the Bengals games have been carried by the local Grand Rapids CBS station (vs Chiefs and vs Browns), so I completely expecting to see the Bengals vs Steelers game today. Nope. The CBS station here didn't carry a game due to the sucky Lions being on the local Fox station. ARRRRRGH. Maybe next week's game (vs the Patriots) will be on. Gonna keep my fingers crossed.

People that are reading my blog: do me a favor and leave me a comment to this one so I can actually see how many (and who) is reading this besides Erin. And Erin, don't be afraid to let people know this is here.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Gadget

In an attempt to make it easier to get up in the morning during the upcoming winter (hell, sunrise isn't until 7:30 a.m. here now!) we purchased a new alarm clock. No, it's not one that physically lifts the bed to dump you out - although a prototype was considered.

This is what we got: The Progression Wake Up Clock. Have used it the last two days to pretty good success. The light really does make a difference. I haven't been able to tell if the "aroma therapy" part even works. The best part was, it was pretty much free - got $140 from the movers for the stuff that was broken, including the plastic front of the clock radio (which still works perfectly by the way).

Off to spend another wet day at soccer. And here I thought I left the rainy part of the country behind!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Mitten

After much examination I have determined that Grand Rapids would be approximately 1/3 the way up the space between the 4th and 5th metacarpals. At least on my hand.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Change of Seasons

Ahhhh, I think fall is upon us here in West Michigan. Much anticipated by me at least. Leaves changing color. The crispness in the air. Have always been a Fall/Winter fan. Not sure I'm ready for the first snow just yet though.

Speaking of "West Michigan", I've noticed that is how this part of the state is referenced in conversation. "I'm from West Michigan" or something like that, not "Western Michigan". I wonder if that is because there is a Western Michigan University and not everyone wants to be referenced as a Bronco? I know I wouldn't.

Not sure how many people are actually reading this blog - or how many from Michigan are reading it, but need some help. Looking for some information on outdoor/hiking opportunities here in West Michigan. I can find plenty of info on the UP (that's the Upper Peninsula for all the non-mitten* residents out there) but so far little on this area. Schneider, if you're reading this put your strong Google-foo to work for me!

*The mitten: it is a little known fact to non-residents of Michigan that everyone, and I mean every human on the planet with a hand, carries with them a map of Michigan. The non-UP portion of the state resembles a mitten (or a hand) with the thumb facing to the right. You ask someone where they are from, they whip out there "map" and point to a spot on their hand. Last time I checked though, my hands don't have a scale, cities, roads, or other reference points. It can be confusing.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Out of Commission

Ugh...Salmonella is no one's friend. Especially mine and T's.

Let's just say that about 6 hours after dinner Tuesday night (that would be Wed. about 3 a.m.) things got a bit "dicey" for both of us. I'll spare the details.

Thankfully we had on hand some anti-nausea prescription meds (thank God for T's inability to take vicadin without it) that got us eventually through the night, and day.

All told, we both missed two days of work. I slept from 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Wed. Then went back to bed at 9:30 Wed. night and woke up around 10:00 Thursday morning. That adds up to about 21 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.

At least I'm well rested now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Things are looking up:

Running front - actually have been consistent over the last week and a half/two weeks. And shockingly I'm feeling better! Pace is improving. Long run this past Sunday was good. 8.6x miles. A little over 1 hour 35 mins. 6.5 weeks to go. I'll get there.

Michigan front - T and I are getting settled in. Discovering new areas of Grand Rapids. Had a social gathering last week with some people from work at this great park just north of downtown. Much to my surprise it sat right on the Grand River. Had miles of bike paths (bike paths are actually part of a much larger trail that extends over 40 miles.) Felt very much like Alton Baker Park. Just didn't have the scale model of the solar system. LOVED starting runs by the Sun.

Felt like a true adult this past weekend. T and I bought furniture. A table and chairs for the dining room. From a furniture store. Not Goodwill. Not a garage sale. Not Target. A Furniture store.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Labor Day. Easy morning around the house and then we were off for some fun.

Funny story - well, at least T thought so:

I woke up in the middle of the night. Pitch dark outside. I felt like I'd been asleep for days! Get up, go the bathroom. On my way back to bed I say to myself "It has to be like 5 a.m., I wonder what time it is?" I look at the clock. 11:51. P.M. I'd been asleep about 45 mins, MAYBE. Think to myself, "the clock can't be right" so I walk into the kitchen and check the microwave clock. 11:52.

Yep. I'm a doofus.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

TV Shopping

I have done the impossible. I have convinced T that our television needs to be upgraded. The 19" TV/VCR combo (the VCR doesn't work anymore - in fact hasn't worked since I met T. ) that she brought to this party 6 years ago just isn't cutting it anymore.

So, the journey begins. What size? 37" or 42" (I'm leaning towards 42" - don't want to go too small and regret it) Plasma? LCD? Over the air HD tuner? Ok, that's a must, or so my techno-geek friend in Oregon tells me. Where to shop? Online? Costco?

So many choices!!! Ah, but at least I have them. How nice is it that we are FINALLY a two-income family!

I will keep the blog updated as we narrow the field.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Running Plan That Isn't

Seem to remember a post last week about my training for the half-marathon (HM) and how it was going. Well this past week went even worse.

Tuesday and Wednesday were ok, but Thursday was too tired from getting home later than expected (overtime soccer game) so I pushed it back to Friday. Friday didn't feel like getting up. Friday night drank too many Twilight Ales. Saturday went to a party with T thrown by the department head. Too many Blue Moon Ales (Holy Crap! Just found out it's made by Coors! Good beer though, for mass produced). No long run on Sunday.

Classes started for T today, so I've got to get in the habit of getting up with her and getting my run done before I go to work. That and the habit of being in bed before 11:30 or so.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's Just a Little Rain

More proof that people in Michigan aren't exactly right in the head:

Leaving work tonight. It's raining. First time in a loooong time I've had the windshield wipers off of intermittent. I'm driving home on I-196. Speed limit is 70 MPH (this is a road very similar to I-105 for those reading this in Eugene) which on dry pavement seems a bit extreme, but you learn to live with it. Visibilty is fine. The road is wet, but no one is hydroplaning. I get stuck behind all of the people that are driving 45-50 MPH. I get looked at like I'm the crazy one when I start passing people.

I've driven down I-5 between Portland and Salem at 11 PM on an October night when it is raining SIDEWAYS and felt more at ease on the road than I did tonight.

Crazy Michigan drivers.

Ok, ok, I'm trying to tone down the Michigan-bashing. It looks like we might be here awhile.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Half Marathon Training - Week 1.5

1.5? Planned on using a training plan from Nike, but due to distractions (cross country move, new city to learn, new job, new microbrews to drink, etc) I had to modify said plan. Plan was supposed to start 8/ a few runs in, but didn't stick to schedule. Last week same thing - all though I did get my long run in on Sunday. So I'm really at the beginning of week #3, but still adjusting the mileage down.

Speaking of my long run Sunday. Went almost 7.5 miles (7.36 according to the Garmin). Longest run since my 10 miler back in June. Felt really good. Had my Camelbak with me. And of course was wearing my RoadID. This is a must running on the side of the road like I am here. Went with the wrist version this time.

Counting down until October 29.

Yes, I'm planning on kicking ass (if you consider a goal of 2 hours ass kicking and I do) and then I'm planning on the 2007 Flying Pig Marathon in Cincy. Want to see if I can do 26.2, and I want to do it in front of the family (ok - in front of the family, but mostly in front of my overweight brother that I don't get along with)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

DMV - No, Secretary of State

Wow, that week went sloooow. Long days. Many practices, but good news: first game is Wednesday.

To catch up: T and I were given two tickets to Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park by some people in Oregon as a going away present. We made our way to the coast the weekend before practices started. Road some roller coasters - they have three, Cedar Point or King's Island it is not - and overall had a good time. Probably the best was the people watching.

So it is official. T and I are now residents of Michigan. Went and got our Michigan driver's licenses and plates for the cars. Here it's not the Dept of Motor Vehicles, you go to the Secretary of States office. And if you're new you have to have 4 different forms of an ID and proof of residence. At one point, I really thought we were going to undergo DNA testing to make sure we were humans. Filled out the paperwork (Thanks Sarah for taking the time to help us and be VERY friendly) and took the photos. Was expecting to turn in my Oregon license and be handed a Michigan one...nope. Mailed to you. Will be here in 4-6 weeks. So we have little print-out temporary ones.

Decided to go the this plate instead of the standard blue one. Extra $5. Here the fee for the plate is based on the purchase price of your vehicle. No standard fee. All together: two drivers licenses, two car titles, and plates for both cars: $307. Now just need to figure out something to put in the front license plate holders - only one plate here in Michigan.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

More Michigan Strangeness

Week #1 of preseason practice out of the way. Not a lot of time to rest before Week #2 starts. Earlier morning practices. Later afternoon practices. At least I'll have more time to run during the day. Only two days of multiple practices left though.

Due to a conversation with someone at work, I have decided that the state of Michigan may be the most messed up when it comes to high school girls athletics. Everywhere I've worked girls soccer and volleyball are fall sports, girls hoops a winter sport, girls tennis a spring sport. Not here in Michigan. Here is where it gets confusing (or it was at least for me) so I will put the Michigan season in RED and the rest of the country as I know it in black. Girls Hoops - Fall (Winter). Girls Volleyball - Winter (Fall). Girls Tennis - Fall (Spring). Girls Soccer - Spring (Fall).

So that means that the female high school athletes in Michigan are gearing up for hoops practice. IN AUGUST. Just another example that everyone in Ohio might be on to something. Things are different up here in Michigan.

Also, played golf for the first time in approximately 10 years today. Scramble to support the Aquinas College athletic department. Final Total: 2 houses hit, 1 moving car almost hit, 2 the number of my shots the foursome used. 1 the number of putts I made.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hard at Work

Here it is Wednesday the first week of "Fall Camp" and I'm back at work. Interesting term: Fall Camp. When I was in high school (counted it up today, I graduated 15 years ago. I'm. Old. It's official.) we had two-a-days. When I was in college and working football it was two-a-days. When did we start calling it fall camp? The NFL has training camp. Not fall camp, so maybe it's not trickling down from there. Guess it was when I was at MTSU that I might have heard preseason practice called "Fall Camp". The last time I looked at my calendar (just openend Outlook to double check) it's August 8. Fall starts 9/23/2006. It's not fall. And I don't think it counts as camp. That's supposed to be fun. Where you make friendship bracelets and go swimming, and make really bad clay ashtrays to give to your parents.

Gotta love the hours, but in all honesty - I am loving every minute of it! For the first time in 4 years I'm not covering EVERY sport at the institution I'm working at. I have one sport for the season. I have to help out with some others, but still. There are athletic training students, that ask good questions and answer questions you ask them. They are there to help treat athletes.
It's nice to be part of a staff again.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Good Read

Just finished Kenny Moore's Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. Excellent biography of the man, and great insight into the track program during his tenure. Including Pre.

It made me regret not having taken the time during the spring or summer and visited Pre's rock one last time, gone for a run on Pre's trail, done a few laps at Hayward Field, or gone to one of the all-comers meets there.

If you are a track and field fan, a sports fan, or want an insight into the man who helped the behemoth Nike get off the ground. I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Photo's Part Deux

Nice sunset. Taken at the KOA in West Yellowstone, MT. Photo taken by T.

T just outside the entrance to Mt. Rushmore. Just up the way all of the states' and territories' flags are on display. And yes, we found Ohio, Texas, Oregon, and Michigan.

Morning of Day 6...Michigan. Muskegon KOA. Private lake, relatively early in the morning. Love the fog.

T sitting by the campfire our last night on the the road. We signed the lease the next day so our 5 days of being homeless came to an end.

Trip Photos

Ok, here order that they were taken:T and I standing on top of the Dee Wright Observatory at McKenzie Pass. Self-taken. Day 1. We'd been on the road about an hour and a half.

The tent, and T still asleep, at the start of Day 2. Mountain Home, ID.

We missed Old Faithful by about 10 minutes and didn't feel like sitting around for 90 for it to go again, so here is a photo to "prove" I was there. Good souvenirs. Pint glasses.

Pulled over to the side of the road as we were driving out of Yellowstone National Park. Mostly because I think 8391 feet of elevation is the highest I've been and my feet still on the ground.

Me at Mt. Rushmore. Very cool place. I was like a kid on Christmas morning and I'm not sure why. If you have never been, and you get the chance go. Only wish we could have made it to Devil's Tower, but we were a bit behind schedule.

Morning of Day 5. KOA in Jackson, MN. The people next to us were from Detroit.

More to come.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into

Weather finally broke here yesterday, big T-storm came through and when I got out of bed this morning it was 59 F outside. Lazed about the house for awhile before going for my run so it was just a bit warmer, but nothing scorching.

I'm not sure how many people I've told, and of the ones I've told how many remember, but I have signed up for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon on October 29, 2006. I've been at this running stuff for a little of 2.5 years. I've done 4 10 K races (that's 6.2 miles for you metrically challenged out there) and 5 5 K races (3.1 for the metrically and math challenged) and enjoy the training runs and races. So I decided to move up to the Half Marathon, with the goal to try the Flying Pig Marathon in 2007 if everything goes well. I know, I know...crazy. I've heard it. I'm just not choosing to listen.

Eugene is such a runner friendly place though that I'm afraid I've been spoiled the last 3 years. I'm struggling to find places to run that are safe from the autobahn like streets here and it's taking me a bit to get used to the weather. That and I didn't run for 3 weeks while we packed, drove across the country, an unpacked/settled in here.

Will be putting up some trip picks today or this weekend.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Things you can't do anything about...Part 2

This came up in conversation with coworkers today and it reminded me of Sunday...

T and I were out and about exploring and she offered to buy me lunch (she's paying for a LOT of things now that she is making the big bucks in the family) so we go to a mexican chain restaurant. It's been hot here in Michigan so I thought to myself a nice cold draft beer would be good, however they only had like Bud and Bud Light listed as on tap in the menu. So, I ask our waitress what else they have on tap. She looked at me like I had grown a second head and proceeded to tell me that I can't sell you a beer (or any alcohol) because it's Sunday and that was the law in the city we were in (a suburb of Grand Rapids). And here I thought I'd left the bible belt about four years back.

The truly comical part of the exchange was that she, and the entire staff, were wearing t-shirts promoting "Build Your Own Margarita" and there was the accompanying table tent on each table in addition to the large banner hanging over the entrance.

Oh, and for the first time in four years I had to answer the following question: "Smoking or Non?" Duh! Not only do I want to be in the NON section, but I would like the seat that is the furthest from the smoking! Like the title says.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Things you can't do anything about...

2002: I remember as we were getting ready to move to Oregon (the first cross-country trip the eager-student-now-wife took me on) I was prepared for an increase in the cost of living. I mean after all, it's the west coast! Things are pricey. Economy was in the crapper. Etc. Managed to make it work, due to Costco, WinCo - buying in bulk and what we couldn't purchase that way was pretty dirt cheap.

2006: We get to Michigan, and I say to myself, "Self, of course there is sales tax here, but not on food. It's the midwest, it is centrally located to pretty much everything the nation has to offer. Cost of living and prices should be better than the ritzy west coast!" Now, I don't envision myself as a miser (hell, I spent $200+ on a GPS/heart rate monitor to run with) and I didn't just crawl out of a bomb shelter after 60 years but holy freakin' cow was I shocked by prices in the grocery store! Everything costs more. Doesn't matter what it is.

For example:
Oregon Michigan
Milk $1.98 $2.99
Bread $0.99 $1.50
Can of peas $0.45 $0.60
Frozen Pizza $4.98 $5.99

Thank god Little Cesar's Hot-n-Ready is still $5!

Also, evidently here in the suburbs of Grand Rapids people still subscribe to the "Let's throw everything away" school of thought and haven't heard of the new capability to take packaging/paper/plastic and reuse it. It's called RECYCLING.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm Melting

Yet another hot one today. Out of the house by 7:15 for my run. Didn't help. Hotter. More humid. Weather is supposed to break Wed night/Thursday morning. Which will probably mean another phenomenon we missed out on in Eugene: the thunderstorm.

Today I quite possibly read the worst newspaper I've ever laid my eyes on. The Grand Rapids Press. 50 cents. Something like 5 sections. The front page, which is where one normally finds world news or pressing issues of the community was 6 pages. One of which was a full page ad for some motivational speaker coming to town or a car dealership. Don't remember which exactly. Only saving grace of the "Press" - color comics EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! Didn't see that coming.

Needless to say the habit of starting each day with cup of coffee and the newspaper has come to an abrupt halt. It's not even worth the $2.00 a week for the Sat/Sun delivery. Going to try the Detroit Free Press (I think that is the title) on Sunday. Gotta have a paper on Sunday. T gets very grumpy without her comics.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Heat Wave

Now, I realize it's been four years since my time in TN and AL, but my God I'm not acclimatized to the heat and humidity here. Went for a 3 mile run this morning and felt like I was drinking the air. It was 80 deg and 82% humidity at 8 am! It was over 100 on our thermometer on the deck this afternoon. At least here we don't have to seek out AC when it gets hot. About the only advantage of Michigan over Oregon I can think of at this moment (more on that later). Not sure I can drag my sorry behind out of bed earlier. I know, I know...plenty of fluids and ease into it. Yeah, Yeah.

Start the new job tomorrow.

Still working on the photos of the trip. T posted more today, see her blog.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Photos? Is this how it works?

Seeing how much to crop/resize. Once I get it figured out, will post pics from the trip. By the way, this is me in front of the tent at the nicest KOA I've ever seen. West Yellowstone. Highly recommend them. While I'm at it, need to give a big thanks to Don at Yellowstone Automotive for fixing our AC in the Explorer.


First things first, I'm probably going to catch hell from at least 2-3 people for this blog, but here goes:

The title - as you all know, or are finding out, T and I have moved to Michigan. I know, I know, that's two cross-country moves in four years thanks to her. But hey, whatcha gonna do? Chose "displaced-duck" because even though I'm not a UO grad still miss the place we called home the last 4 years.

So we're settled in, somewhat, here in the Grand Rapids area. Got here on the 24th. For the travelogue check out T's blog. All of our stuff arrived on the 27th. Never in my life did I realize that we had 7500 lbs of crap! And we took 2 truck loads of stuff, a dresser, an armoire, and a nightstand to Goodwill! Do have to admit though that it was nice not to load/unload any boxes!

T starts work at GVSU in a few weeks. I start at my job on Tuesday.

Had a fun weekend. The Hacks were up vacationing on the coast of Lake Michigan so we drove over an spent the evening. Good time, not enough beer though!

Who knows what will make it's way on here, but I'm going to give it a shot.