Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Wow! I just remembered something.

Five years ago today I was packing my bags and getting ready to leave for Sydney. I wasn't concerned about Halloween because my itinerary had me leaving for LAX around 700P and then catching an 1100P flight to SYD.

In theory, I never should have seen Nov. 1, 2002. However we had a flight delay and I spent part of the evening in the Qantas Club watching live coverage of the Halloween festivities in WeHo.

It was well past midnight before we boarded the plane and took off for SYD. If I remember correctly, that was an 18 hour flight and after a few cocktails I went to sleep. Missed out on most of the food service in Business Class.

I did get up a few times and walk around and let me tell you...there's nothing like an 18 hour cocktail party at cruising altitude of 30K feet!

I was more concerned about being rested, not drunk and ready to hit the ground running when I met with Steve and Baron in SYD.

That was a fun trip and I would love to go back to SYD. I *heart* Sydney!

Happy Halloween

I took this photo the other night at the Habitat For Humanity Yelloween Party. It was an image being projected into the swimming pool. (That is the skimmer and not a spider.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween preparations

I doubt that I will get any Trick-or-Treaters tomorrow. There aren't very many youngsters in my part of NoRO and if there were they would probably be at a party rather than going door-to-door.

The Calvinator hates to wear any type of attire. He has a raincoat but the elastic band hits his pee-pee in an odd spot (a bit uncomfortable I would say) so he would just assume get wet. One year I tried to dress him in a clown costume and let's just say he didn't like it. He also has a baseball cap which he won't wear. He's very much a nudist I guess.

Back to the subject at hand. I can't decide if I should buy some candy just in case someone comes knockin' on my door in NoRO. And I guess I should buy something that I like. Last year, I bought several bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and I ended up eating both bags; not all in one sitting.

In this morning's Houston Chronicle, there was a story about candy and what it says about you. Joe Helm of the Washington Post asked Steve Almond, the author of Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America to give his analysis and this is what he said:

Three 3 Musketeers: Does well in groups but is somewhat pompous. Prone to fancy costumes and arcane weapons. Wears hats in public that are ill-advised.

History: Created in 1932 by Mars, the candy bar got its name because it originally had three pieces in one packet: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.
Calorie count: The Fun Size (17 grams) has 71 calories.

Almond Joy: I'm going to put aside my aversion to coconut in praising these folks as happy-go-lucky.

History: Introduced in 1946 by the Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Co. in New Haven, Conn. It's a companion to the Mounds bar, which arrived in 1920.
Calorie count: The snack size (19 grams) has 91 calories.

Bit-O-Honey: They have contradictory personalities, hoping to express generosity but also having the passive-aggressive desire to damage the fillings of trick-or-treaters.

History: The honey-flavored taffy was first manufactured in 1924 by the Schutter-Johnson Co. of Chicago. It is now made by Nestle.
Calorie count: The snack size (7 grams) has 26 calories.

Butterfinger: Evasive, slippery, not necessarily to be trusted.
History: Invented in 1923 by the Curtiss Candy Co. of Chicago. The crunchy bar wrapped in chocolate is now made by Nestle.

Calorie count: The Fun Size (21 grams) has 100 calories.

Candy Corn: Purely deluded people. They don't get that candy shouldn't attempt to imitate other food groups, particularly corn.

History: Invented in the 1880s, it was first manufactured commercially by the Wunderle Candy Co. in Philadelphia and by the turn of the century at the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. in Cincinnati.
Calorie count: A serving of 22 pieces (40 grams) has 140 calories.

Good & Plenty: Optimistic, perhaps overly so. A little bit of Weimar energy. Strong advocate of gay rights; acquainted with the bitterness at the center of most lives.

History: The licorice candy was first produced in 1893 by the Quaker City Confectionery Co. in Philadelphia and is considered the oldest branded candy in the country.
Calorie count: A serving of 33 pieces (39 grams) has 140 calories, or 4.2 calories per piece.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: Generous souls. Those who understand the salty in life, as well as the sweet.

History: Created by Harry Burnett Reese in the 1920s. Reese was a former dairy employee of Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey Co. In 1963, the Reese candy company was sold to Hershey for $23.5 million.
Calorie count: A one-cup package (17 grams) has 88 calories.

Snickers: Just going with the crowd, the safe candy choice, guaranteed to please the masses. Not ambitious, but dependable.
History: Created in 1930 by Mars, Snickers bars sold for a nickel. The Fun Size was introduced in 1968.
Calorie count: The Fun Size (15 grams) has 72 calories.

Twix: Both brittle and supple in social situations; sort of trapped between personality types.

History: A Mars product, caramel-and-cookie Twix bars were created in the United Kingdom in 1967 but weren't sold in the United States until 1979.
Calorie count: The Fun Size (15 grams) has 80 calories.

Twizzlers: Sickos. Truly demented. Plastic people living plastic lives.
History: The Twizzlers brand was introduced in 1929. The red licorice strips are manufactured by Y&S Candies, a company established in 1845 that is now a Hershey subsidiary.
Calorie count: One package (70 grams) has 240 calories.

In other news:
  • I'm in a slump. I can't get excited about going running or spinning. My shoulder isn't hurting as much so I'm using that as my excuse to not do weights. Not sure what the deal is.

  • Memorial Park bridgeBASH Kickoff Party!

    When: November 7th
    Time: 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Where: Mosaic Houston (in Bayou Place above VIN), free admission.

    See the proposed pedestrian/cyclist bridge design for Memorial Park... a living bridge... a green solution... with access for all! Meet the winning architects from the 2007 Rice Design Alliance Partners Design Charrette and Memorial Park Conservancy staff. The event is also introducing their signature event on January 26, 2008... Memorial Park bridgeBASH: Taste of the Park! See more info at their website:


Monday, October 29, 2007


A few weeks ago I received a Jury Summons from the City of Houston. Today I have to report at 1215p.

Not 1200 noon.

Not 1230p.

Not 100p.


What's up with that? I seriously doubt that they're going to feed me lunch!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I went to the Cha Cha Palace yesterday. Unhinged Productions had a fundraiser so I whirled in to see what was happening. Ginger Grant was competing in the Duke and Duchess of Darkness Pageant. It was very entertaining. And as it turns out, Ginger was crowned Duchess of Darkness.

Ginger did a number to Defying Gravity. It was a remix that I had NEVER heard and of course this morning I woke up singing it. I've already checked and Napster has it.

My left shoulder hurts. I have no idea what I did to cause this pain but when I woke up this morning it hurt to get out of bed. I went to LeFittes yesterday but I didn't do a strenous weight workout. So I don't know...

I feel better if I don't move. I didn't go running as planned because I knew that I wouldn't be able to put up with the constant motion of the arm moving. It hurts to tie my shoes.

I took some Aleve and it has helped a bit but it still aches. I managed to get The Calvinator over to Memorial Park. It is too beautiful of a day to keep him inside so we went for a long walk.

So I'm sitting here sort of trying not to move my left shoulder. I have jury duty tomorrrow. :-(

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Party Pics from last night

More photos can be found at:

Last Night

You know it was a fun time when you wake up on Saturday morning and you slept all night on the couch in your puffy, pirate shirt!

It was an evening that was filled with a couple of odd coincidences.

Went with TFMJS to a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity at the home of Lara and John Spalding. The house is on Kirby Drive in RO. With a stop light it took all of 5 minutes to get from NoRO to RO (that's how close I live to old and new Houston money.) Title sponsors for the evening were Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Belvedere Vodka with catering by Tony's. Does it get much better than that!?

Odd coincidence #1:

Met a guy named Dave Daniels. VERY personable and outgoing. Tall with big hair (part of his costume). Something about him was familiar. Couldn't put my finger on it until he took the hair off later in the evening.

TFMJS told me that he is a former actor and he was on Capitol which was a short-lived soap opera. I realized when I got home he was the original Tyler McCandless (sp)! When he was an actor his name was David Mason Daniels. He now works for Habitat For Humanity and really loves his job.

Odd coincidence #2:

Many years a go I read a book by Tom Thompson, Blood and Money. It is a true story about a murder in RO. Dr. John Hill was put on trial for the murder of Joan Robinson Hill. He was never found guilty but ended up getting murdered. His former father-in-law supposedly paid to have John Hill murdered. (O.J. needs to take heed.)

So why am I telling you this? Well, the house we were in last night is the former residence of Dr. John and Joan Robinson Hill!

If you have ever viewed the movie, Murder In Texas, you will recall that Andy Griffith played Ash Robinson, Farah Fawcett play Joan Robinson Hill and Sam Elliott played Dr. John Hill.

Dr. John Hill poisoned Joan Robinson Hill by injecting poisonous bacteria into pastries and fed them to her. So last night there was a guy dressed as a surgeon carrying around a tray of chocolate eclairs with syringes stuck in the pastries.

Tom Thompson leaves some doubt as to whether or not John Hill is dead. You see, he was a plastic surgeon and volunteered his services at a prison (I think). Supposedly he fixed someone's face to look like him and maybe the wrong person was killed because...

Supposedly there was an American doctor living in Mexico who looks/looked like John Hill.

Interesting, isn't it?

BTW...the ballroom in this house had hidden closets. It looked like panels but I saw Mao Tse Tung open up a wall panel and get some wine. I also saw Leopard Lady open up another panel and the control panel for their sound system was in there. I was afraid to lean up against the wall in fear of a dead body falling out!
And in case you haven't figured it out, it was a Halloween party last night. Photos to follow.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

T'nT (This 'n That)

So here's the scoop. Allergy problems have returned.

I didn't sleep much last night because The Calvinator kept hearing things. I'm not going to discourage him from barking because when it matters (i.e. someone is prowling) I want him to notify me.

Every time I would wake up I knew that something wasn't right with me. So when I woke up this morning to walk him, it really hit me. I had planned on going for a run but after our walk I went back to bed.

I finally took a Claritin-D and you know what that means. I'm on edge again but I can breathe.

Top all of this off with the fact that The Calvinator has been vomiting. Not chunky stuff. Just liquid stuff. I think he ate something this morning on our walk. I'm usually really good at stopping him or getting it out of his mouth but I wasn't at 100% during our walk so who knows what he ate.

I REALLY want to go for a run. The weather is beautiful today and I think I'd be better off getting fresh air and sunshine rather than going to Spin Class. I got a run in yesterday but I also ate 2 donuts.

In other news...

TFMJS called and got me an invite to a party for tomorrow night in River Oaks! It is a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity. Either dress in yellow or wear a costume so I'm opting for a costume. Many moons ago I had some yellow pants but I think Jimmy Carter was president at the time. It looks like I'll wear a pirate outfit. My De La Hoya costume would be fun but I really don't want to be traipsing around a River Oaks mansion in heels.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

¡Feliz CumpleaƱos!

Birthday greetings go out to Former Houstonian Now Bostonian Greg (FHNBG). I really don't remember how I met FHNBG. If I had to guess, it was sometime between 1994 and 1996 and I met him through a gaggle of people who no longer live here.

There are SO many stories to tell about FHNBG; all of them good. Like TFMJS, he helped me move a couple of times. In fact, when AttyHou and I were vacating the house near Memorial Park the one chore that we were dreading was packing up the kitchen. You see, that was the one room where our stuff became intermingled. So FHNBG & TFMJS showed up one night, walked into the kitchen, pulled me and AttyHou into the room and took items out of the drawers, cupboards and pantry and would ask, "Who does this belong to?" (The 2nd worst chore was splitting up the wine.)

FHNBG is an Elaine Stritch aficionado. Does that make him a Stritchinista?

FHNBG is also one of the people who surprised me in NYC for my 40th Birthday. It was sort of a payback for the 40th Birthday Party a group of us threw for him. A committee was formed and worked for a couple of months to pull it off. Worlds collided that night at Rice Lofts. People from across the country came to celebrate with FHNBG which is a testament to the good person that he is.

FHNBG is one of the few people that can appreciate my knack for being able to sing a song for just about any occasion. Most of the time he can jump right in and finish the song. Scary isn't it?

There are many more things I could say about FHNBG. He has been a part of my crew for a few marathons. Being a marathoner himself he was always good at anticipating what I might need.

I'm going to re-post a photo. It is the one of us in NYC. (I thought about using the high school photo we used for his 40th Birthday but I know that paybacks are hell so I won't.)

Greg is on the far left.

Happy Birthday Greg!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Party Oct. 19, 2007

This past Friday, I was invited to attend a by invitation only Halloween Party at the BRB in Midtown. In the past, this party took place at The Magnolia Ballroom. The venue this year was much more conducive to mixing & mingling and to getting a cocktail and to pee without having to wait in line.

A big thank you to Micheal & Scott, Michael B. and all of the other hosts for a great time!

Here are a few photos:

To see more photos, click here and look for the Halloween Party 101907 album.

Also this past weekend, Chicago Paul was visiting. Through AttyHou, I met Chicago Paul ten years ago. He is always fun to have around.

So yesterday morning it was in the mid-70s and this morning it was in the low 50s. As the song goes, "What a difference a day makes. Twenty-four little hours."

So you'd think I'd get my happy, fat arse out to Memorial Park for a run but there was a problem. I fell asleep on the couch and slept in an odd position and when I awakened my right hip was hurting.

There is a certain point in the morning just as the sun is rising that I think borders on magical. When the sky is clear, like it was this morning, it is really beautiful and I tried to capture that in some photos as I walked The Calvinator. He wasn't real patient and most of my photos didn't come out the way I wanted them to because: 1) I had a camera in one hand and The Calvinator in the other; 2) Him being impatient was making me hurry to get the correct settings; and 3) That point in time doesn't last very long.

The sky was a pretty blue and the trees and buildings were silhouettes against the sky. So here are a couple of photos from this morning in NoRO.

Speaking of photos...

On Saturday night, I went to a party celebrating Sands & Weldon's 30 Anniversary. Congratulations to the two of them for making it 30 years!

BTW...I have determined that when the temp is in the low-50s it is time to change from a Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte to a Grande Non-fat No whip Sugar-free Vanilla Latte. I walked in this morning and was confronted with, "I'm not going to make your regular. Four of you have changed your order this morning." I replied, "You're correct. It's time to change." Do they know me or what????!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

It might be time switch from an Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte. You see, the temperature is supposed to drop several degrees. Hopefully it will stay cool for a few days and if it does I'll switch to a hot latte.

I met runnerOne this morning at Memorial Park. Yep. It was another 500A run. It was 77 degrees and 75% humidity. In spite of our allergies we had a good run. He didn't tell me until we got to the 1.5 mile mark that we were going to do a negative split.

Let me 'splain. A negative split means that the second half of your run needs to be faster than the first half; even if it is 2 seconds faster it still counts as a negative split. About 1/2 a mile into the second part of our run I knew we were going to be faster, I just didn't how fast. Turns out I knocked 1 minute and 33 seconds off of the first half. Not bad for a 500A run. And I was drenched from sweat. It wasn't real pretty.

I was actually sorta regretting having Bottomless Mimosas at brunch yesterday with TFMJS. Over consumption of alcohol usually doesn't help my running.

I owe you some photos from the art festival last week and some photos from Friday night. I'll get to those soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Everybody run,

the homecoming queen's got a gun.

Today I realized why people snap. They just lose it. And you wonder, "How did that happen?" And today the above song has been on my mind. Here's what happened.

I knew that I wouldn't be able to make the 500P Mass today at St. Anne's. Plus they are having the Fall Fiesta so parking would be difficult. I opted to run over to St. Theresa's for the 1000A Mass.

I was already wired from the Claritin-D and the Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte so I really didn't need to be bothered.

Sitting behind me were some teenage girls with an infant. Jabber, jabber, jabber + baby crying.

In front of me was a guy, probably my age or a bit younger, with two boys. The kids were probably 5 & 6 years of age and dad was sitting between them trying to keep them apart. The kids couldn't sit still.

I kept trying to ignore the distractions around me and concentrate on the Mass and I was doing a good job until we reached the Eucharistic Prayer. (This is the part of the Mass where everyone is kneeling and the priest is consecrating the host.) So you see, it is supposed to be quiet and everyone is supposed to be concentrating on what is going on.

The two boys in front of me were fighting over the hymnals. They had a stack of 5 and they couldn't have 2 & 3 or 3 & 1 or 1 & 4. It was all or nothing. Dad was not making much of an effort to break up the fight. I was getting furious.

I was really trying to ignore what was happening in front of me but I couldn't. I was really trying to concentrate on what was happening on the altar, but I couldn't. I really wanted to bop them on the head; dad included. And then I thought, "If I had a gun I'd probably shoot them; not to kill but to get their attention."

The kid in front of me finally got all 5 hymnals and the other one was starting to do a silent cry. I leaned forward and grabbed all 5 hymnals and put them in my pew. The kids looked stunned. Dad was embarassed. The girls behind me started giggling. I wondered if I was going to get my lights punched out in church?

Dad said something to the two boys and then the oldest one said, "I didn't mean to embarass you dad." Uh, hello. NO apology to me or to the people in front of them?

It came time for the Communion hymn and dad reached to get a hymnal. Guess what? I had the hymnals and I wasn't sharing.

Needless to say, I feel like I didn't get much out of going to Mass today. The sermon was good so maybe it wasn't a total loss.

I got out of the church before anyone could say something to me or hit me. Not sure that I'll be going back to the 1000A Mass at St. Theresa's anytime in the near future.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

aaaaaaaaaaaa-chew (part 2)

OK. So this afternoon I broke down and popped a Claritin-D 24 hours. You may recall that this pill works but makes me wired and causes me to have weird dreams. I had been taking regular Claritin but it wasn't doing the job.

Real quick:
  • The party last night was fun.

  • Don't use the cheap, fake blood from Walgreens. It burned my face and then stained it. I got it off before it did any more damage.

  • I'm too old to be staying out until 200A.

  • Didn't get a run in today. The last time I went running was on Thursday but I did get a weight workout in on Friday.

  • The bois next door are having a cocktail party and I need to get over there.

  • Followed by a 30th anniversary celebration for some friends.

Need to scoot and give Calvin his Frosty Party.

Here is a clue as to what inspired my costume:

Friday, October 19, 2007


This is a pile of tissues that I collected yesterday morning. I've been sneezing and have the itchy, watery eyes. I slept for a few hours yesterday afternoon. Then I fell asleep last night on the couch, stumbled to the bedroom and woke up this morning around 730A. The sneezing isn't as bad today.

I had to make time this afternoon to work on my costume for a party this evening. Not sure if I'll have enough nerve to post a pic of it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ramblings Of A (Double) Caffeinated Mind 5.2

I'm sitting here at the office and I guess I look like I need another Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte because someone just handed me another one; complementary no less.

My alarm clock went off at 342A this morning. I hit the snooze once and when it went off again I knew that I had to get out of bed. You see, I was meeting runnerOne at 500A today for a jaunt around the park.

I have a Rubber Maid bin full of running shorts right next to my bed so pretty much what I do is roll out of bed, land on the bin and get a pair of shorts, crawl to the armoire and get a shirt and then start the morning routine.

The Calvinator was looking at me like "WTF is going on?" so he jumped on the bed and went back to sleep while I brushed my teeth. Eventually he realized this wasn't a joke and that we would be walking out the door for a walk.

Get this. At 416A when we started our walk, it was 77 degrees and 80% humidity. Once again, I must ask, "WTF?" Wasn't it just in the 60's a few days ago with low humidity? I was even humming Barry Manilow's When October Goes. Guess I need to change that tune to Summertime. I should have gotten a clue when I noticed the condensation on the inside (EDIT: I meant to say outside not inside) of the windows.

runnerOne was actually surprised to see me at 500A. I was right on time. We had a slow 3 mile run this morning. His legs were heavy and my right knee was bothering me. So picture two old, cripple men running in 80% humidity in the dark complaining about our ailments but yet talking about upcoming running/triathlon events. I'm not gonna complain about the slow run because I had a good 4 mile run yesterday morning and even made it to LeFittes later in the day to do some weights.

I was home before 600A and I was soaked from sweat. I awakened The Calvinator.

So what does a person do when you have an hour to kill? You putz around. You see, doggy daycare doesn't open until 700A and there wasn't any sense in going back to bed. So I cleaned up and putzed.

I have a lunch meeting today and I'll have to get a bit dressed up for it. Not sure that cargo shorts and knit shirt would be appropriate attire for the restaurant.

And speaking of meetings, I had another one of those warm-fuzzy feelings last night after a meeting. The group of us who are working on World AIDS Day Houston met last night and things are beginning to gel. We're going to meet our print deadline and one of the guys is getting ready to launch our website. Another guy has written an awesome press release.
What I like about this group is that you have a diverse group of people with a common interest working together to meet a goal. I am really glad that I am getting to know these people. Some of them I had never met prior to getting involved with this group. Others, I knew of them and only 2 or 3 I actually knew.

In other news:

It was brought to my attention that someone actually thought I had been attacked by tsetse flies. Rather than admit that I'm old and tired and I tend to sleep more than I used to I like to blame it on the tsetse fly.

So that's it for now bois and gurrrls. Need to scoot. That 2nd Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte just kicked in and I'm raring to go! I can't type fast enough.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Texas/OU football

Ross The Intern cracks me up. They sent him to the State Fair of Texas and to the Texas/OU game. I love what he says about people waddling around.

This will make you laugh. :-)

Double Entendre Of The Day

That Meredith Vieira! Watch this short clip. :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, Monday ah ah ah...

Has anyone else been attacked by tsetse flies? I'm beginning to wonder if it is old age or what? Of course there are some contributing factors to my sleepiness.

I did not get a good night's rest Saturday going into Sunday. The Calvinator kept waking me up. There was something/someone outside. The first time was at 100A. Then it started again around 500A and continued until 630A.

I'm thinking it's critters but with the odd things that have been happening in NoRO one can't be too sure. So, I get up and look out and make sure that it isn't a person walking around the house.

I went to a birthday brunch for one of my fellow Legacy Board members. Was I the last to know about the brunch at Baba Yega? I eat there at lunch and dinner and had heard about brunch on Sunday but had no idea how good it was.

Anywho, it was a cloudy, dreary day in Houston yesterday (as opposed to bright and sunny on Saturday) so the lack of sleep + a Bloody Mary at brunch + not taking a nap on Saturday after running and walking (at the art festival) = a nice long nap on Sunday afternoon.

I did wake in time to make it to 500P Mass at St. Anne's. However, I was asleep by 1000P and couldn't get up this morning to get a run in at Memorial Park. Later maybe?

I have an interesting HO-roscope today. A long lost friend is going to come back into my life. Hmmmm.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Birthday Greetings

Birthday Greetings go out to The Fabulous Miss Jolie Shay (TFMJS)! I have known TFMJS for 10 years. I met her through The Former Houstonian Greg.

I have many favorite stories about TFMJS. The first time that she helped me move she was amazed at how many shoes and cds I have. What can I say?

TFMJS is from Detroit and doesn't like people telling her how to drive...especially a car full of meauxs. She makes me laugh (and she likes to imitate my laugh!). :-)

This picture is a bit out of focus. It was taken at Tropical Depression #46.

In Other News:

We are having awesome weather today. When I took The Calvinator out for his morning stroll it was a bit cool. In my running dictionary I would define it has perky nipple weather.

I took my happy ass out to Memorial Park this morning for a 7 mile jaunt. It has been a few weeks since I've done 7 and I probably could have done 8 but I didn't want to over do it. And knowing that it was perky nipple weather, I made sure to put on some Band-Aids because I hate bloody nipples.

Will Run For Martinis commented on her blog the other day about the fair weather runners who mob Memorial Park when the weather turns nice. Well, they were out in full force this morning.

Granted, I don't own the park so I can't put up a velvet rope and decide who gets to run so I just deal with it even though today:

1. Some dude elbowed me when he tried to pass me;

2. Some man decided to use me as his pacer (OK folks, I'm not a fast runner so why are you going to use me as your pacer????)

3. There was a lady with her dog (no big deal) BUT she had a frickin' retractable leash and the dog was doing zigzags all over the place. SHE almost tripped on the leash not to mention all of the other people who trying to avoid the frickin' retractable leash.
SIDEBAR: I'm not the Dog Whisperer but if I were I'd use my influence and outlaw retractable leashes. What good are they? It doesn't teach the dog anything. Prior to me taking ownership of The Calvinator he had a retractable leash. I put an end to that but I still had to retrain him to walk with a regular leash. So I bought a $35 bungee leash and after a couple of months he no longer jerked my arm out of its socket and we were able to use a regular leash.

I'm happy to report that Architect Todd was out there this morning. He is training for his first marathon and is KW. AttyHou has kept him in the loop about what happened in Chicago last weekend. Let's hope it doesn't scare him.

Randy in the 019 had a sectional couch to donate to Legacy's Resale Store. After I cleaned up we made a couple of trips and delivered it to the store.

Just as a reminder to everyone, the store can always use donations. So when you're cleaning out your cupboards & closets do not forget about the store. Or, if you're getting new furniture and don't know what to do with the old stuff, give it to the store.

I was getting ready to head over to the art festival when my phone rang. It was Montrose/Midtown David. He treated me to lunch at Otto's. Good burger!

I left Otto's and was heading toward downtown when I realized that I had left my Nike bag at the restaurant. It had my glasses, billfold and some other things in it. On my way back to the restaurant I was praying that it was still there.

I was also hoping that I had paid it forward. You see, last week at Design Within Reach I found a Blackberry and turned it in. On Monday, I found an iPod at Memorial Park and actually found the guy who had lost it. So yes, the bag was there and everything was still in it.

So yes, I made it to the art festival but I'll do a separate post about that once I get the photos ready.

BTW, #17 Kentucky just beat #1 LSU.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 5.1

Real quick. The discussion about the Chicago Marathon fiasco continues. I just read this on Dean Karnazes's blog. Dean is an ultra-runner which means he runs distances that I can't even fathom.

I wonder if the Chicago Race Director has read Dean's advice. "#4: Pour water on your head..."

AttyHou is still waiting for Mike Downey to reply to him. Mike is the columnist that made some inappropriate remarks. AttyHou was supposed to be there to run Chicago but hadn't trained so he didn't go. AttyHou has run Chicago before. He is also a former resident of The Windy City so he was more offended than I was by Mike Downey's remarks.

In other news:

I made it to Spin Class yesterday. Not sure what was wrong. I just didn't have my groove going. I broke a sweat and was wet when I left but it was not like previous sessions.

Since it had been a few months, maybe subconsciously I was holding back? Not sure.

In case you forgot, the art festival is going on this weekend. The weather should be fab-u. So I'll probably head downtown and stroll around.

AttyHou called last night and gave me a fab-u idea for a Halloween costume. I found some of the items today. We're invited to a party next Friday so that gives me time to embellish the costume.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 5.0

This morning when I woke up I thought the air conditioner was broken. I am so accustomed to the sound in the background that it is a little startling when I don't hear it. I also knew that it had to be nice outside because there was no condensation on windows on the inside of the house.

I went to Memorial Park this morning for a little 4 mile run. It was 66 degrees and the humidity was only 60someodd %! It was nice.

Even with the cool temperature I did break a sweat. I've always been a bit on the warm/hot nature side.

When I finished, I noticed I had steam coming off of my upper torso. I wasn't the only one. Several of us had swirls of steam going on around us. It reminded me of Pig Pen from Peanuts except he always has a swirl of dust and dirt going on around him.

Back to the no noise from the a/c thing though...

A couple of years ago I flew to SFO and met up with my friend Berkeley Steve. From there we drove to Donner Lake with his partner and one of their friends. (Donner Lake is in the Lake Tahoe area.)

Steve's mom has a house there and it was so quiet, peaceful and beautiful.

The first night we were there I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and I swear I had lost my hearing. I couldn't hear anything! Well that's because there was nothing to hear! It was the weirdest feeling. I'm so accustomed to the hum of an a/c or the hum of traffic.

So once I realized I hadn't lost my hearing I looked out and the moon was so bright and the sky was so clear it looked like there were lights on outside but there weren't any.

Then I scared myself into thinking that I might see the bear that had been hanging around the house. I figured if I was on the 2nd floor I'd be safe. And then I jumped in bed, pulled the covers over my head and waited for the bear to break into the house.

All in all it was a very nice trip.

I rec'd an email today from one of my readers who says that Rick Salomon has a big one. So if size matters to Pamela Anderson and if he knows how to use it then I guess I'll change my prediction to 1-2 years for the length of their marriage.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Would you hurry up and lay that egg already!

Believe it or not I actually made it to LeFittes tonight to do some weights. It had been 7 days since I have been there (I keep a log of every time I walk The Calvinator, run, spin, and do weights) and I was surprised when I noticed that tonight.

Anywho. There were some new faces there. Another gym is a bit behind in making their move to a new location and their members are using other gyms in the interim.

So after I left the gym I decided to stop at JAX Grille to get a bite to eat. It wasn't crowded but there were people there and the televisions were tuned into different sporting events so my point is: there was noise.

At one long table it looked like some type of family birthday celebration was going on. Good time was being had by all. However, one lady was having too good of a time. She had a couple of beer bottles in front of her, which is fine. When she laughed you could hear it all over the restaurant and it was a cackle and it was frequent and it was annoying.

I really was waiting for her to lay an egg.

In other news:

RunnerOne was in my mailbox today; well sorta. He is the full page cover for the new edition of Inside Texas Running. His story about running in Death Valley this summer is the feature story. If you don't get a subscription to the magapaper, you check out his website and read the story.

A 135 mile run from 282 feet below sea level to 8360 feet above sea level. Crazy I tell you! :-)

Have you been outside tonight!!!!???? At 900P it was 77 degrees but the humidity is only 41%. I took The Calvinator out for his quick pee and the weather was wonderful! Let's hope it stays around for awhile. Maybe October really is here?

Anyone taking bets on how long Pamela Anderson will stay married? LOL Let's see. It is the third marriage for her and the third marriage for Rick Salomon.

So when people say that they want to pass a law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman and it is to protect the sanctity of marriage and defend it and blah, blah, blah...I look at people like Pamela & Rick or Elizabeth Taylor (married 8 times and OK, one of her husbands died) or Zsa Zsa Gabor (married 9 times with one annulment) or Donald Trump (married 3 times) or Britney Spears (married 2 times and let's see the first one lasted 55 hours and then was annulled because they didn't know what they were getting into, blah, blah, blah).

So if anything should be done to defend and protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman how about outlawing divorce? Once you're married you're married and that's it. HA! That will show you. :-)

And although Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may not be the poster children for marriage, Brad has said that they will get married when everyone can get married. I guess we know where they stand on the issue.

That's how I see it from 30,000 feet. At ground level I can see the intricacies and things that need to be worked through, etc. There's quite a bit more I could say about this subject but I'm getting way off track. :-) So back to my original question: How long will Pamela & Rick's marriage last?

I say 6 - 8 months.

Chicago Columnist who p!ssed me off (2007 Chicago Marathon)

This has really been bugging me since I read it yesterday and I referenced it in yesterday's post. I was thinking about it this morning when I was running around Memorial Park.

I couldn't decide if I should give this @sshole more exposure but I figure if any runners are reading this they need to see this.

I have run marathons and when I pay my money (and we're not talking just $20) I expect the race director to provide some type of support.

This was the 30th running of the Chicago Marathon and it was the 17th for the race director. Surely (and don't call me Shirley) there was some type of contingency plan in place? Guess not.

Yes, we are responsible for our own actions & decisions and should take precautions. However, if I pay $100+ for a run I expect something in return for my money...water? Gatorade? Planning for the unexpected?

In my mind I have composed an email to Mr. Downey. It will be well thought out just like my email to Anne Rice when she said "Americans have turned their back on New Orleans..."

If you are so inclined to get in touch with Mr. Downey, his email address is included in the column.

Nobody forced anyone to run
Marathoners can blame only selves
Mike Downey
October 9, 2007

Hey, don't blame the city of Chicago if you were too tired and too hot Sunday while running a marathon.

And don't blame sponsor LaSalle Bank if you were weak from thirst and couldn't get enough to drink.

You've got nobody to blame but yourselves.

If you are foolhardy enough to run a marathon when the temperature outdoors is up to 88 degrees, then it is your fault, no one else's.

Nearly 10,000 of the people who filed entries for this 30th annual race were smart enough not to run it.

It is as idiotic to run more than 26 miles in a brutal and potentially lethal heat as it is to play golf in a thunderstorm.

No one made you run. No one bought tickets to see you compete, so you were under no obligation.

This wasn't a football game, where paying customers have a right to expect athletes to play whether it is in 100-degree heat or in fog or snow.

Of the 45,000 who intended to take part in the city's marathon, only 35,867 actually showed up to run.

The ones who did not showed good sense.

Some of the premier runners needed to go out there because this is how they make a living, competing for prize money.

Marathon running for them is an occupation, not recreation.But thousands of others run because it is fun to run.

Or because you train for a race for a long time and you look forward to being there.Chicago's temperature soared nearly to a tropical 90, yet those of you who ran ignored the risks.

You knew the pavement would be sizzling like a griddle.

You knew a long run on a day like this would be hard on your feet, legs, stomach, mind and heart.

You ran anyway.

The city just as easily on an October morning could have had lightning bolts in the sky, or a torrential rain, or a blizzard.

Chicago has had many an October day when the thermometer has read 8 instead of 88.

On such a day, you would have looked at the forecast on TV or in your newspaper, then looked out your window and said, "Not today, man.

"Nevertheless, 35,867 of you hit the streets for this race.

And only 24,933 were able to finish it because Chicago began running short of drinking water, ambulances, paramedics, doctors, volunteers, good Samaritans and cops.

There were tragic results.

A young man died, an off-duty police officer from Michigan.

At least 300 others reportedly had to be rushed to hospitals and first-aid tents.

"They didn't plan for it," one runner harped about Chicago's race authorities.

"They clearly weren't prepared," another said on TV.

Wrong.Totally wrong.

"They," the marathon organizers, cautioned runners all week long that the temperature for Sunday was going to be hot. Not "unseasonably warm" -- hot.

They begged runners to take extra precautions.

They stocked more than 200,000 more servings of water than usual.

They made as many of the necessary preparations as possible.

But when 35,000 people jump off a ledge, you can only catch so many in safety nets.

The rest are going to fall.

This is a professional competition that the public sometimes confuses with a company picnic.

The runners who staged a neck-and-neck finish -- Patrick Ivuti and Jaouad Gharib for the men, Berhane Adere and Adriana Pirtea for the women -- were here to win, not merely to run.

For the rest of you, did the words "hottest day in Chicago's 30-year race history" not even register?

How many of you ran at your normal pace or faster, totally at your own peril, caught up in the thrill of the chase?

Were you among the first to crab later about how the race let you down?

By the time officials put a premature stop to this 8 a.m. race at about 11:35, had it not yet dawned on you that maybe you should already have walked off the course and lived to run on it another day?

"They ought to move it to a later date," one runner whined on TV.

Yeah, how about November next time?

Then you could run it in a blizzard and blame Chicago for your case of frostbite.

Sympathy for the fallen is fine, but the sponsors weren't responsible for making them run.

No one stages a 26.2-mile race for 45,000 people and guarantees, "Oh, by the way, you'll all be fine.

"Marathons are not for the faint of heart.

You run in one, you take your chances.

If the water supply runs short, here's a helpful hint: Stop running.

It's just a race.

Don't die for it.

Congratulations to the winners and the survivors.

You signed up to be in a long, hard run? You got one.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Some Thoughts "Running" Through My Mind

I have mentioned that I sorta got off track with my running the past week or so. I did get out to Memorial Park yesterday around lunch time and did a good 3 mile jaunt. This morning I met RunnerOne at 545A and we had a great 3 mile run.

There are several things that have happened in the past week or so that have been on my mind in regard to running so, let's start with:

Roberto Madrazo. Mr. Madrazo is a former candidate for president in Mexico. If I remember correctly, he came in third when he ran for President. Well, it seems that he went to Berlin to run the Berlin Marathon.

The Berlin Marathon is supposed to be a fast course. And like most marathons, they have the runners wear a chip so that splits can be timed along the course and it monitors who really ran the race. I guess you can thank Rosie Ruiz for that.

You may recall that Rosie was the first woman to cross the finish line in the 1980 Boston Marathon. However, they can't prove that she actually ran the race and there was doubt about her qualifying time from the NYC Marathon.

So back to Mr. Madrazo...he bested his PR by almost an hour. And he crossed the finish line in a sweatsuit; not very runneresque I would say. Well no one really thought anything about it until the Mexican press started asking questions. Then it was ascertained that some of his splits are missing on the course.

I found out today that he will not be listed as a finisher. The well-known cheater got caught. However, I guess he can't be that good of a cheater because he came in third in the election. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

Marion Jones. "Thou doth protest too much." Marion. Marion. Marion. I wanted to believe that you didn't take steroids. I was SO happy for you during the Sydney Olympics.

You have not set a good example for young athletes, female or male.

At least you have finally admitted that you did take the steroids, you apologized for lying and you have returned your medals.

There's not much else to say other than D-I-S-A-P-P-O-I-N-T-E-D.

Next on my list, 2007 Chicago Marathon. WTF went wrong? Yes, everyone knew that the temperatures were going to be unseasonably warm. Even I knew that and I wasn't even running.

The marathon had a record no-show rate but had upped the servings of water from 1.6M to 1.8M. The increase was based on expected warm temperatures and everyone showing up. Obviously the formula was wrong.

I heard the Race Director say that if people had only taken one cup of water instead of several to cool themselves off then they would have had plenty of water. It also turns out that for a 26.2 mile course they only had 15 stations and most of those were toward the end. That leaves 11 miles of no water so no wonder people were hoarding water! And I have heard that some runners were told to keep going another mile or 2 to find some water.

I guess I'm spoiled. If I remember correctly, the Houston Marathon starts their water stations at mile 2 and then every mile or every other mile after that until you get to mile 9 or so and then it definitely is every mile.

I guess I'm also spoiled because if I can run in Houston heat and humidity I guess I can run in just about anything. This weather prepares you for being well hydrated.

There was a record number of 911 calls during the marathon. Spectators were trying to do what they could to help runners who were passing out.

As one columnist in Chicago stated (quite sarcastically): "No one made you show up to run." Well true but unless you have given up six months of your life to train for a long distance run I guess you just don't understand the determination to finish.

I don't know. I just don't know. I've done Rock 'n Roll in San Diego in June when it has been hot but they didn't have people dropping like flies. Something really went wrong.
EDIT @ 827P: If you want an account of what it was like, read Running My Mass Off.

Komen Race For The Cure/Houston. Saturday morning when I was beginning my Krewe tasks I made the mistake of going down Waugh Drive. Uh...that was a good bad decision. Let me digress.

Up until several years ago, Race For The Cure/Houston did not allow men to participate. I placed an inquiry to the office and was told that it was to encourage women to participate AND breast cancer affects women. EXCUSE ME?

So I sent back a reply that while the majority of people who have battled breast cancer are women there is a small percent who are men. PLUS, the women are mothers, wives, sisters and friends of men so in a different fashion it does affect men.

Well I was told I could do the 1 mile family walk.

I was pissed but based on the comment from a local running authority who told me to take up another cause and leave them alone I did. It was a few years after that when they opened it up to men. It is now the largest run/walk in Houston. They had 23K+ participants this year.

While I was stuck in traffic (that's the bad part) listening to It's Raining Men I sort of got a little teary eyed. There were people of all ages, shapes and sizes out there Saturday morning raising money for a good cause.

I would like to think that my email exchange a few years ago had something to do with opening it up to everyone.

I also was thinking about a friend of mine who battled breast cancer and won. We have lost touch over the years but she is one of those people that I know is always there for me and likewise. One of these years I will run Race For The Cure/Houston in her honor.

2008 Houston Marathon. The early bird gets the worm. I previously mentioned that the marathon is already sold out. That is a record.

The downside is that there are people who started training programs who did not register and have now been shut out. Too bad I can't sell my registration on ebay! :-)