Archive for May, 2010



Monday Morning Dad

Today marks the 100th edition of “Dad’s Day”!

Man, how time flies when you are making fun of yourself!

Last month continued a trend of steady growth for the strip. Thanks again to all of you for your continued support and positive feedback. Also, thanks to my wife and kids for their constant supply of “inspiration”! By the looks of things there is no end in sight to that material!

This past weekend was a nice one for us. My wife and I enjoyed a dinner out with friends on Friday evening, while the kids managed to “survive” on the homefront with a supply of pizza and pop.

On Saturday, I completed my last “long run” before the Green Bay Marathon. It was a windy morning, but overall I was happy with my time and I am now counting down the days until the race. My wife worked several hours at “rummage sale” at our church. It is a fundraiser for the youth of our church and by all accounts, it was a huge success! The sale also gave us an opportunity to clean out some of our closets, as well as, get rid of some bikes that we no longer need.

On Sunday it was time to tackle a project that I had been putting off too long…cleaning the garage! There was a whole winter’s worth of dirt just waiting for me to sweep and “power wash”! I moved several items out of the garage, mower, snowblower, bikes, etc…then I swept up the dirt that had accumulated since last fall and finally, got the hose and power washer ready to do it’s job. Only one problem, the washer didn’t seem to want to do that job! I don’t quite understand how something (the power washer) can be working last fall, be put away properly (stored inside) and then not work this spring! Following several failed attempts to get the thing going, I relied on the old fashioned garden hose to do the job. The hose coupled with some scrubbing with a broom allowed me to finally hit “clean” after a couple of hours on the job! Chances are the garage will look good for a day!

My wife and I also spent part of Sunday looking into joining a “boat club” on nearby Lake Minnetonka. I have been the reluctant holdout on this “idea”, but I have to admit I was pretty excited to try this following a long conversation with the owner of the club. For a monthly fee, we will have access to a number of boats to use ten times throughout the summer. You make a reservation, they have the boat ready for you and off you go. There is no hassle of owning a boat and all of the expenses that go along with it. We have never owned a boat before and our kids are really excited about being out on the water (when in Rome), so we thought this would be a great way to start. I am sure it will also give me some additional material for future blog posts-so stayed tuned!




S*@W!

February 23rd was the last day it snowed here in the Twin Cities.

I’m not talking “measurable” snow, I’m talking about not seeing anything that even resembled a snowflake falling from the sky!

Yup! We made it through our “snowiest” month of March without any and even made it through April, which often will delay our spring for a couple of days with an unappreciated coating of the white stuff!

It’s been an historic run but…

…it’s back!

That lousy “four letter word” is in our forecast!

SNOW!

Yes, believe it or not, it is forecasted to be cold enough here for us to wake-up tomorrow morning with a “coating” on the ground!

If the “accuracy” of past weather forecasts are any indication, I might want to consider “siphoning” the gasoline out of my lawn mower and putting it back into my snowblower today!

Just in case!

I should have known this was coming, I was at my son’s track meet on Wednesday and it was terribly windy and cold! It was so windy that I believe some of the runners started their race in Minnesota and wound up finishing in neighboring Wisconsin! There weren’t many athletes or spectators left by the time the final two events were run. It should be noted, my son was running in the next to last event, so I had the privilege of staying to the bitter end!

Here’s hoping for a “warm front” to come our way before next week’s meet!

Having the weather turn colder has made me dig back into my collection of winter running gear. Tomorrow morning I’ll be logging my final “long run” in preparation for next week’s Green Bay Marathon and with the cold forecast I’ll probably be wearing a stocking hat and gloves, as well as, a couple of layers on top! I don’t mind the cool temps, just as long as it doesn’t turn 80 degrees next weekend!

Ahh…

Spring in Minnesota!

Things I Learned This Week…

1. Thanks to 17 year old, Steve Consalvi, the new “7th Inning Stretch” song at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia is now…”Taser Me Out At The Ballgame”!

2. My wife’s first concert she attended was “Sony & Cher” at the 1971 Minnesota State Fair. Tonight, my daughter will be attending her first concert, accompanied by my wife. They are seeing Taylor Swift at the Xcel Center in St. Paul. By the way, my first concert was “Styx” in Des Moines during their “Grand Illusion” tour.

FINALLY…

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother and to all Moms everywhere! Hope you have a great day!

Happy Weekend!



Monday Morning Dad

Yesterday, Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s became the 19th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to pitch a perfect game. He allowed no runs, no hits, no walks and no errors against the Tampa Bay Rays. Every big league pitcher strives for such a game each time they take the mound, but as you can see, only a handful have achieved such “perfection”.

As a “stay-at-home” dad I too strive for the elusive “perfect” game each week. Make sure the kids are up on time and fed before they head out the door. Double check to see if any homework was forgotten on the kitchen table. Make sure the daily schedule of activities is looked at…oops!

Yep, my quest for “perfection” for this week officially ended this morning at 8:10 CDT!

While walking my daughter to the bus stop, I casually mentioned to her that she was going to participate in a “bus evacuation” drill when she got to school and that’s when she reminded me…

She had crossing guard duty this week and she was late for it!

For one week each month during the school year she works as a crossing guard at her school. Arrive a little early in the morning and stay a little after school to “man” a post and help with kids crossing the streets. This is her final week of “duty” and I had forgotten about it!

I knew she had it too, as it was clearly written on our family calendar.

There was one problem… said calendar was not in it’s usual spot and I FORGOT to check it this morning! (It should be noted that I normally check the calendar following my third cup of coffee each morning!)

The calendar was left in my basement office last night after using it to check our upcoming summer schedule of activities. I also forgot my “safety net” for crossing guard week of hanging her bright orange vest on the door the night before.

So once we realized our mistake, we quickly made it back to our house, got her vest, hopped into the van and headed to school.

It looked like the guards that were headed out to their posts had the situation under control and it didn’t appear that my “mistake” had put any child into “harm’s way”, even though at first I was concerned since there were “extra” teachers and staff with orange vests and walkie talkies everywhere!

Did my little blunder cause a “code red” at our local elementary school?

Were school staff “scrambled” due to a missing crossing guard and her flag?

Was I destined to be personally torn apart in CNN’s Situation Room?

Thankfully, no!

No cause for alarm!

The extra staff were simply in place for the scheduled bus evacuation drill.

I was able to relax!

As for the calendar, it was put back into place when I returned home, with a big note to pick-up my daughter this afternoon following the PM shift of guard duty.

And as for my quest for “perfection”…

I’ll try to do better tomorrow!




Ready To Go!

I finished a marathon early this morning.

I officially crossed the “finish line” at 5:52 AM.

This “marathon” lasted 18 weeks and covered over 600 miles!

It was ran during bitter cold, icy conditions, snow, wind, rain and many beautiful days!

I’m speaking of the completion of my marathon training program for this weekend’s Green Bay Marathon.

Yes, this morning I ran the final three miles of my training for this Sunday’s race and I have to admit, it was kind of surreal. It felt that way due to the length of time it has taken to prepare and now the time has finally come to run. The race has always been “out there” and during this morning’s run the realization came that it is “here”!

This morning was also a time to reflect…

I recalled my first “long run” during an “unseasonably” warm January rain storm. Running with spikes on my shoes so as to attempt not to slip on the ice! Slipping on the ice and falling on my butt a couple of times. Running thru snow drifts and cold temps. And finally, running on some beautiful April mornings!

I stated several months ago my goal for this race is to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time.

Just in case you forgot, for me, that is 3 hours, 30 minutes and 59 seconds or less! That is 28 minutes faster than my personal best that I posted a year and a half ago.

So there is the challenge for me!

I am optimistic of my chances heading into Sunday for the following reasons…

I have trained hard for 18 weeks. I followed a tough schedule and I didn’t take days off from it.

I “lightened” my load. Over the course of training I have managed to drop 20 pounds and I’m hoping that will lead to a faster time.

I was able to stay on pace during my final long training runs and even felt strong at the end of those runs.

Unlike previous attempts, I don’t have any nagging injuries to be concerned about.

The weather forecast is ideal for Sunday. The temp at the start should be in the upper 40’s and it should be dry, with little wind.

The course is flat! (My favorite reason.)

The person I am traveling with to Green Bay tomorrow is fast and I am hoping some of it “rubs off” on me during our five hour car ride!

As a “last” resort, I applied to the government of Kenya to make me an “honorary” Kenyan on race day! (Hey, I’ll do anything for a little extra speed!)

So here we go!

My friend and I plan to leave tomorrow morning and be in Green Bay by mid-afternoon. After checking into our hotels, we’ll head to the race expo to pick-up our packets and enjoy a pasta dinner (carbo loading is the best part). Then we’ll head back to our hotels, hopefully get some sleep, although, it has always been a challenge for me the night before a race and I’ll have an early wake-up call on Sunday morning.

The race begins at 7:00 AM and hopefully ends for me around 10:30!

Check back on Monday to see how I did!

Important Things I Have Learned When Running Marathon!

*Remember to pack my shoes!

*Remember to apply “body glide” to prevent chafing. Take the time, you’ll be thankful you did later!

*Drink plenty of fluids the day before the race.

*Always have more than one goal for the race. Sometimes conditions will change and one goal may become unrealistic, always have a “Plan B or C” to keep your motivation strong!

*Thank the race volunteers every chance you get! They work hard to make sure the race experience is safe and enjoyable.

*Have fun! I can’t wait to run thru Lambeau Field heading to the finish line!

Happy Weekend!

P.S. There is no truth to the rumor that I am planning on wearing a Brett Favre Viking’s jersey on Sunday, even though it is tempting!