Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost a hat trick.

Saw this while running yesterday. A pretty good job. He managed to park in a no-parking zone, while at the same time parking on and blocking what passes for a sidewalk, as well. If only he had the foresight and gumption to park about 30 feet to the east, he could have blocked the hydrant, as well. So close.

Well, as Meatloaf once wisely pondered in a musical fashion, "Two out of three ain't bad."

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I am venturing into a realm I haven't been to for almost 20 years. With the 50K River Run approaching, I am slowly getting my mileage up. The past couple of runs, I even took water with me. This is something I have never done before. I stuck a water bottle in a pocket for a 15.5 mile run and then a couple of days ago I carried a bottle inside a fannypack (are they still called that?) for a 17 mile run.

I also carried some "sports gel." The plan was at 9 miles to taste a little of the gel and see how it made me feel. I've used this stuff a couple of times on long bike rides and was pretty amazed.

The bouncing water bottle in the pack kept opening up the pack's zipper and almost escaping. At mile nine, a thorough search proved that the sports gel had been ejected somewhere along the line. Bummer.

But, it did give me something to do on the eight miles home. I kept thinking I had found it. My stomach would feel hopeful, and then, time after time, it turned out to be a cigarette pack wrapper. Thank gawd I am not a smoker. This would have have been a double whammy.

This happened a lot. It was a fun diversion.

When I did find my sustenance, it was squished, and only about two miles from my house.

Luckily it was garbage day, so I was able to throw the pebbly carcass into someone's trashcan.

Yesterday I bought one of those bottle carrier dealios, so we'll see how that goes...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Brother-in-Law looks like Ulysses S. Grant....

Heritage Funeral Home is where you can find this great picture of a so-so president. Only here on Spokanarama can you find a picture of my great brother-in-law with the picture of the mediocre president.

The first time I went to Heritage Funeral Home it was for their Titanic exhibit. It was a lot of fun. There was even an inflatable Titanic slide where kids skidded down the deck to their simulated icy doom.

Every Memorial Day, Heritage does some kind of odd-ball remembrance and it's great!

This year's offering:

TV and Movie cowboys!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gearing up for our 50th Birthdays!

Sarah and I both celebrate our 50th birthdays this spring. About a year ago, I said something like, "Hey, we should run a 50 mile race for our 50th birthdays," knowing that there were no 50 mile races around here in the spring. Sarah said that was too far, but there was the 50K Spokane River Run in April.


So, we've been building up our mileage this winter. Today, I have a 14 mile run planned. I say planned because I usually wind up getting lost in my thoughts, and adding another couple of miles to the run, according to my Garmin Forerunner 305.

This GPS wristwatch is pretty cool because it also tells me what my current pace is. I also have my really old IPod Mini on board. It's dented up and glued together, but still works OK.

I never listen to music when I run, just podcasts. Some favorites are Real Time with Bill Maher, Harry Shearer's Le Show and WTF by Mark Maron. You might remember him from Air America's Morning Sedition.

My absolute favorite podcast is Coast to Coast AM. Some of the stories people call in with are pretty funny, especially when the caller is drunk and he discloses the sad tale of the werewolf/vampire/alien/liberal who stole his fiance. Some of the shows depart from the paranormal and feature famous scientists - experts on astronomy, geology, mathematics, etc. The same callers still call in. This is fun to listen to as callers try to turn a scientific treatise on black holes into a discussion concerning demonic air fresheners, time-traveling telemarketing and machine elves. Priceless.

Here is a good article, my neighbor Brad shared, concerning George Noory the host of Coast to Coast. Everyday people always tell great stories on this show, and Noory continually treats them with respect and kindness. And then there's always UFO Phil.

I hope to get back into the barefoot running after our birthday celebration.

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Generation Insulated Windows

It's interesting when you can see how things evolve. These insulated windows are obviously first generation. I think the new ones are even transparent.*

Nonetheless, 2nd Ave Healing Arts is a cool place even in the summer, regardless of their window's R value. So go there, if you need some massaging, rolfing or any other stuff like that there.

* I know.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Back from Florida

Regarding my last post - I am back from astronaut training. Actually, that was the one free day that I had in Florida and I spent it at the Kennedy Space Center. It was $38 to get in. One of the guys really did not want to go there in the first place, so when he found out how much it was going to cost, well it was a great reaction. Then the rest of us really wanted to go. It was the "blood-in-the-water" phenomenon so often observed when you put firefighters together.

We were down there for IAFF ALTS, basically some union training. There were firefighters from all over the USA and Canada. There were a lot of classes, some very good. I saw a lot of this:

Our hotel was across from "Downtown Disney." I got kicked out at 6 am while on a run. The guard told me I couldn't run on "the boardwalk." Here's me right before my ejection:

Downtown Disney is basically a theme park without any rides.

Here are some notes I made my last night there while I wandered around by myself:

A strange place. You have to get bused here unless, like me, your hotel is across the street. Incidentally, there is no crosswalk between the two. It's like if you don't ride the bus or drive your car, your bucking the system. No bike racks.

Orlando, Florida - yet not an orange to be had at DD. Theme restaurants. Theme gift stores, but no theme liquor store. Lots of plastic. A fire would melt the place.

Weathered fiberglass statues of brooms with arms, some carrying buckets, all over in little curbed in areas of green. What is the message here? What was the focus group question that spurred this response? They remind me of the old miniature golf statues in Riverfront Park, making me homesick - geographically and chronologically.

No rides. It's almost like a free taster of Disney World I think. If you like the town, you will love the world.

The place is packed and everyone, including myself, is mesmerized, by the shiny sanitary lights and canned corny blarings. It's like a Mormon burlesque show.

I found myself getting lost but always easily found. It's a preplanned route that makes sure the traveler always stays on the path and never truly wanders astray - a safety maze.

Outside of every restaurant, whether an animatronic dinosaur joint, a tropical jungle cafe, a sternwheel fish place, an upscale Italian eatery, the House of Blues, Planet Hollywood, even McDonald's, all the menus are posted like post mortems. Sometimes they are accompanied by the autopsy photos. Here lies Chicken Strips. Three strips, 14 fries. So lifelike.

Yet, I know there was a time when I would have loved this place. It would have been too expensive for me to eat in any of the restaurants, but everyhing else would have appealed to me. Why? What happened?

Maybe it's because I am alone here now. Half of these people could very well be enjoying themselves in an ironic fashion, chatting up between themselves the goofiness of the whole enterprise, but I don't think so.

It's not real and it's embraced by thousands tonight and that says a lot.

Wow, I just depressed myself. I think I must have been really homesick.