Saturday, July 29, 2006


Empathy is one of the motivators I am relying on to grind out the running miles. Empathy for Gayle VanDurme. Do any readers know who he (yes, it is a male) is? Not likely. See he is a 54 year old who decided like me to train and compete in the Senior Olympics. I do not know him nor know anything about his history but I do know he is fast. At the 2005 National Senior Games in the 1500 meter final he ran 4:41:73. Ask around--that is fast. Why then should we feel any empathy for him? Because someone else ran 4:41:13. That is correct, after logging hundreds if not thousands of miles in training and running sprints, hills, steps and who knows what else Gayle qualified for the Nationals only to be beaten by 6 tenths of one second. He was less than one second from being the National Champion in the 1500 meters for men over 50. Can you imagine what that must feel like? Can you imagine the conversation within your head on the long ride back to your home state? All the "what if's" would be tough. So I think about that when I want to skip a run on a hot day. I think about it when I decide if I can make another mile. Don't get me wrong--I am not in this class of runner by a long shot. These guys are running MUCH faster than I ever have. But his effort and close second still motivates me as does a great song by John Mayer;

Some day I'll fly
Some day I'll soar!
Some day I'll be
Something much more!
'cause I'm bigger than my body
gives me credit for!

So, sure enough, my body will not soar with the guys running a metric mile in 4:41 but someday.....

Friday, July 28, 2006


O.K., I have to post a blog about NASCAR sooner or later because I LOVE it! I know most of the folks who will read this could not care any less about the sport but this post may bring in a few fellow rednecks who are reluctant to join the fun on Al Gore's internet. The reason for the timing is two-fold.

1. I need to make a comment on racing before the Ballad of Ricky Bobby comes to a theater near you. Also known as Talladega Nights, if the trailers are any indication it will be a pretty silly parody of drivers and fans. I wonder if it will be watched by more racin' fans or more of the folks who like to make fun of racin' fans?

2. Tony Stewart has reached the pinnacle of narcissim. (Yeah, that's a lot of syllables for a NASCAR fan).

A quick recap of the pertinent facts from last weekend is in order for you civilians. What you need to know is that Tony Stewart is the NEXTEL cup champion for last year and everything he does from now on is just to build bigger barns to stack his money in. You also need to know that of all the drivers at the top ranks of racing, Tony (who likes to be called Smoke) is the chubbiest. Most of the drivers are in good physical condition and some like Michael Waldrip and Kyle Petty are marathoners. Carl Edwards has now graced the cover of a couple of men's health and fitness magazines (shirtless) because of his six pack abs. But Tony has the look that most detractors of racing like to poke fun at; he is overweight, usually has a two-day growth of beard, and had a permanent sneer (kind of an Elvis thing). If you haven't guessed by now, I am not a Tony Stewart fan. Not because of his appearance or lack fitness but rather I don't like him because of his attitude. I would sum up his attitude as "I should always be in the front and anybody between me and the front should pull over and allow me to pass or I will wreck them. Not only will I wreck them but I will then communicate with sign language that they are beneath me and should not question my actions. Then, after the race I will tell anybody with a TV camera and microphone that the younger drivers need to learn to "give and take" and I will make repeated references to Dale Earnhardt in order to associate myself with the Intimidator (and his fans)."

Last week Tony felt like young driver Bowyer did not get out of his way fast enough to allow him to zoom to the front so he first made gestures OUT OF HIS WINDOW then cut sharply left into Bowyer's car, forcing him into Carl Edwards' (the guy with impressive six-pack abs) car. Without giving a primer on NASCAR, you need to know there are 6 weeks left to determine who will finish the "regular season" in the top 10. These top 10 will compete during the last 10 races of the year to determine the "national champion". It is a little more involved than that but this is the gist of it. The result of this bone-headed move was to knock Carl Edwards, who also looks like you hoped Opie would when he grew up, out of the top 10 and move Tony to guess where? Yep, number 10. After this wreck and after I finished yelling at the NASCAR officials via my TV and after telling LaWanna I would never watch again if they did not black flag Tony, they did indeed black flag him. This means he had to sit on pit road while everybody else made a lap, putting him a lap down. Later, when the opportunity arose for Carl Edwards to get alongside Tony, he raised his hands as if to ask "what was up with that move?". Tony answered by shooting him a bird. So as soon as Carl got a chance he spun Tony and HE got blackflagged.

Anyway, here is the thing; Tony Stewart is a fat, self-centered jerk. And a yankee--did I mention that? Also, he owns a race track up in one of those yankee states. I don't know, north of Tennessee somewhere. What he needs to do is go race on his own track where he can make his own rules and force everybody to pull over and let him pass. While he is making piles of money (literally many millions per year) he is also making enemies. And he is not representing his sponsor (Home Depot) nor his team owner (Joe Gibbs--you know the pro-football guy) very well. Tony should remember as he invokes Dale Earnhardt's name after a race of wrecking innocent drivers, Dale is dead. Remember, he was blocking drivers to help his team-mate, Michael Waldrip, win at Daytona when he clipped a car and crashed into the wall at about 190 mph and was killed instantly. I don't wish that on Tony but he is making lots of enemies and this is not the ballad of Ricky Bobby--this is for real!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bluetick Airstream

I enjoyed all the times I spent with my grandaddy but I am glad he is not here to see this. Of course, he never would have made it through people paying $2 for a bottle of water and $50 thousand for a car. Keep in mind that this hard-working couple NEVER lived in a house with an indoor bathroom. Folks who go on mission trips are amazed to see people live like that today but it wasn't that many decades ago that it was common in the USA. Try to picture that this couple who died in the 1970's were born just before 1900. They were young adults before seeing an automobile, beyond middle-age before seeing a TV, never saw a computer unless it was a glimpse at the doctor's office. So much about the way we live would be shocking to them. How many people are overweight would be hard for them to believe. How spoiled we are and how little physical work we do would be unbelievable. Then today, I turned onto the by-pass from Hwy. 231 behind an SUV pulling what I first thought was a pop-up camper. I was not surprised to see a roof-mounted air conditioner since that is expected now when we "rough it". I was surprised to see that the trailer was narrower than normal and about 10-12 feet long and made of polished aluminum AND had vents along the side. Wait a minute, that is no camper--that is a dog-box. A doggie travel trailer--a doggie Airstream. As I got closer the painting on the tire cover came into view. It was a drawing of a Bluetick hound treeing a racoon. Apparently this was an air-conditioned Bluetick Airstream. I am not making this up. Now my grandaddy hunted coons at night and owned hounds of various description. He treated his dogs well and would fight you if you mistreated one but he would not believe hound dogs are now traveling in airconditioned trailers that costs more than any vehicle he ever owned. Come to think of it, he never had a car with air-conditioning and only the last house he lived in had a window unit. Our dogs are better off than 90 % of the worlds population and much of our population just 30 years ago!

Exaggeration Index

I just watched my "Local on the 8's" on the Weather Channel. This is by far my favorite of the 426 channels available. We hear folks complain every day about how "they don't have a clue" and "they are just guessing" about the forecast. But the reality is that meteoroligist (who I assume are studying meteors) can predict the weather for the next 7 day with amazing accuracy. The forecast for today in the Greater Montgomery area which includes the "Preferred Community" of Prattville and "Historic Downtown Wetumpka" is a high of 98 degrees with a SSW wind of 4 mph. The 98 has become an old story now but that wind out of the SSW is worthy of note. For some reason, they failed to give us the wind chill factor! I am guessing it will be about 96 or so. That is a significant difference because at 98 people will say it is "right at 100" or "another day around 100". But 96 may be considered the mid-90's. I'm telling you, the thought of working and running in the mid-90's seems much more pleasant than doing so when it is "right at 100". Why do we calculate the wind-chill factor in winter and the heat index in the summer? Could it be that we love misery? Do we all have the Jewish-mother-syndrome (woe is me)? Or do we all like to be the first in the conversation to quote the most exaggerated fact from a quasi-authoritative source? Whatever causes it, the exaggeration index for today is just over 100!

Friday, July 21, 2006

I've been thinking......

Does anybody else think Kate looks a little like Helen? (Helen is on the left--at least she is before posting).

I've said and done some things......

You don't hear it so much now, but there was a time when 90% of people who "went forward" at church would write this confession; "I've said and done some things" as if that is any kind of confession. Of course you have said and done some things. I've said and done some things. We've all said and done some things. Some were bad, some were good. Well, this post is not a confession so if you are reading hoping to get some juicy gossip you will be very disappointed. This is actually a flashback to "some things I did" a few years ago. My good friend, Joe McClary and I took a quick camping/kayaking trip to the Nantahala River in North Carolina several years ago and captured a few moments of the trip on film. The picture above and right is Joe (blue helmet) and the one on the left is me (yellow helmet). We both wear helmets to protect from head-against-rock injuries but I also need one because my head blends so well with the whitewater that I would never be rescued if caught in a hydraulic. Could you spot my white hair in the rapids of the top left photo? The top right photo gives some idea how spooky the second day of paddling was after a severe thunderstorm caught us on the river. After the rain the river was swolen from water rushing down the gorge and fog rose from the river making it impossible to see approaching rapids. Actually, this picture was taken after we finished and were out of the river so it had cleared considerably. Pictures taken on the river were just pictures of a cloud. Most of the Nantahala is class 1 or 2 rapids that are not dangerous even if you approach blindly but they all SOUND like class 4 or 5 waterfalls when you are paddling into a cloud. It was a great adventure for me and about as wild as I care to get although Joe probably would like a little more adventure. I'll check back with him in 20 years to see if he has mellowed any.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Wishums have moved!

Yes, boys and girls, there is a new WallyWorld in town. Yes, I did brave the store on opening day. Yes, I did survive and no one was injured. No, I did not buy anything (although the prices on Ipods looked pretty good). Why, you might ask, would anybody fight the crowds at a grand opening of Walmart and not buy anything. 1) I expected lots of freebies (there were NONE). 2) I am a people watcher. Human behavior facinates me. Nowhere is there a more eclectric sampling of the population than at a Walmart opening (though the human part is debatable in some cases). 3) Most important, this is MY Walmart. Like most folks who live near a new Super-Walmart, I have mixed feelings about it rising out of the East Montgomery ground where until months ago cows grazed peacefully. Yes I said East Montgomery. This claim dates me and reveals that I have now become a "long-time Montgomery resident". Why? Because when I bought this house 25 years ago it really was considered East Mongomery. In fact, the "old folks of that time told me stories of quail hunting where our house stands and of the lake that used to be in the area. Our house stands on what would have been the edge of the lake years ago. The drainage ditch just behind SuperWallyWorld and through our neighborhood and Forest Hills that continues through Eastbrook took the lake to the Alabama River. Do you understand that this means in my lifetime our neighborhood was woods and a field for hunting outside Montgomery. Back to the time we were moving here--the Eastern by-pass was really a by-pass aroung the East of nearly all of Montgomery. Sure, there have been some houses and a few businesses beyond there for many years but not very many 25 years ago. Folks who have moved here in the past 5 years can not really imagine how rapidly Montgomery has moved to the East. It started down Vaughn Road and exploded. When Eastchase was first discussed, it seemed way out there. Now do you know what has happened? This is why I had to write. Are you sitting down? Does anybody net-surf standing up? The shocking thing for me is that the Walmart just up the street is in the "Midtown Shopping Center". I am not making this up. Without ever loading the truck I have moved from East Montgomery to Midtown! I live in downtown? No doubt, this location probably is about the center of the population of Montgomery. Montgomery will soon spill over into Macon county. The Waters is about a mile from Line Creek that divides Montgomery from Macon county and that area is building FAST. When I ran today on my old route to Marshall Field I realized there is really no field left. All the hundreds of acres of Marshall field where so much running, mountain biking, motorcycling, and parking took place is now County Downs. Have you been back there? They are probably building 60 or 70 houses per year--niiiice houses. How do so many folks in Montgomery afford these houses? Well finance is for another post, the purpose of this post is to announce and come to grips with the fact that I have moved downtown without realizing it.

'57 Chevy

I've been thinking. That is a favorite beginning to conversations for me. Frequently, I set myself up intentionally by stating "I've been thinking.........." followed by a pause to see what my friend, family member, or some stranger will insert. Most family members and close friends quickly insert "Oh nooooo!". Last September I called my brother and without stating who was calling or even saying hello, I began "I've been thinking.....". Without missing a beat he replied "Not again!". That particular call was about the Coosa River Adventure Race which sounded like great fun to me. The sale may have been made except the race was on the weekend of "Friends Day" at the congregation where he preaches. Anyway, what I have been thinking about is a '57 Chevy. Well, at least a '57 Chevy enters into the thought process. Here is the tie-in; I met a man recently that owns a '57 Chevy that he bought new. It is similar to the one in this picture except it is red. The car is absolutly beautiful! It looks just like new. Part of the reason is the life the car leads. The owner keeps it in a small garage and takes it out once per week to clean. Once or twice per month he drives it up Hwy. 231 a little way. Maybe twice a year he will drive it to an area car show. I guess that seems like a pretty good life if you are a car. But I've been it really? It is hard to personify a car. If you were a car, what kind of life would you want to live? For that matter, what kind of car (or truck, motorcycle, etc.) would you want to be? Stop and think about it a minute. Why would you choose a particular vehicle to be? Your choice probably says something about how you live your life as a human. Probably nobody will choose to be a pulpwood truck. Is there such a thing as a new pulpwood truck? Do they all come from the factory already beat up? You may choose to be a practical or dependable vehicle but since it is obviously make-believe, most folks will likely choose to be some sporty, fun model. Maybe even exotic. Here is the thing; this particular guy (who owns the '57 Chevy) says it is likely worth about $30k. He will never sell it and plans to leave it to his son. That much doesn't seem unusual. The unusual part it the man lives in a very old mobile home that is probably worth about $5k or less. He drives a chevy truck worth about $2500. He appears to be well beyond retirement age but works hard every day to pay for rent (mobile home park), food, and utilities. He lives a very meager lifestyle and lives, frankly, where most readers of this blog would be afraid to even visit. Yet, he has a $30k car that sits locked in a small home-made garage and is almost never driven. If I were that beautiful, sleek, sporty car I would want to be driven and shown off, not locked up. Now to be clear, 1) the car is his 2) he hasn't asked my advice (and I haven't given it) 3) it is really none of my business what he does with his car. Having said all that, it is also true that I have the right (if not responsibility) to learn from the observations that are made possible by this gentleman--a nice guy by the way. Here is one application I have made for myself. That car has to be periodically cleaned, painted, and maintained even though it is rarely driven. In fact, BECAUSE it is not driven, special care must be given to watch for wasp nest and dirt daubers. He cleans those from different areas regularly. I have seen him take the doors apart and take the glass windows out in order to lubricate the mechanical linkage that raises and lowers the windows. In short, he works more to clean and maintain a car he almost never drives than most of us do to clean and maintain the vehicle we drive every day and trust the lives of our family to. The result is a showpiece that is rarely seen, a dependable car that is never used. Sometimes a human life is like that. Some folks are afraid to live the life they were equipped to live but rather hide out like that '57 Chevy locked in a garage. I have decided to prefer being used up to being stored up. With that in mind I went to visit a 63 year old friend who has been living his passion on two wheels as long as I have known him. He recently pushed his passion (and his motorcycle) too far on the Barber Motorsport Track and will be healing for a long time. Be advised--If you criticize his choice in my presence, I will challenge how you are spending your life as well. I do not advocate reckless abandon (nor does my friend) but I would rather take some chances and enjoy all God has provided than "be locked in the garage" only to die of a heart attack while watching re-runs of somebody else's life. That is what I think--agree or disagree?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Inquiring minds want to know!

Did you ever have a little mystery that haunted you because you couldn't find the answer? I have had one of those for a couple of weeks. This will sound like a trivial matter to some of you and it is really. But for me it is as compelling as those musical notes in "Close Encounters". In fact, while it doesn't involve musical notes exactly it does involve a rhythm. It began like this; I was on my usual running route which is very remote. I only pass a couple of houses and usually meet only a few cars in a 5 mile out and back. This route allows lots of time for thoughtful reflection (as in "I am going to die out here by myself") and I get to see lots of wildlife. I have seen 8 or 10 deer, several wild turkeys and various snakes and such. Well, a couple of weeks ago I realized someone had cleared some limbs inside a fence line along the road forming sort of a 4-wheeler lane--too narrow for a truck. Also, a new barbed wire fence had been strung inside of the old one. The new one was about 2 or 3 feet inside the old one and the cut limbs and small trees were just left on the ground next to the woodline. Nothing at all unusual about that. UNTIL I passed one spot that was emitting a loud clicking noise. Maybe not clicking so much as snapping. Have you ever had one of those jumping bugs get into your house on a tile floor and jump about a foot straight up and land with a click? I am not making this up. Anyway the sound was not too unlike snapping fingers if you are able to snap yours really loudly. Here is the really strange thing that caught my attention; this snapping sound had a distinct rhythm. Now I am not musically inclined. In fact, when Mitch Fewell attempted to educate the rhythmically challenged recently he seemed to be looking right at me. Of course, I was sitting in front of Mama Gwin. The truth is I can recognize when the beat is right or not. This bug/creature/spirit/freak of nature had a definite, steady beat and never missed a beat. I tell you that is weird in the middle of nowhere. I guessed some kind of beetle was eating the cut and discarded limbs. The first time I noticed this phenomenon, I walked through the ditch, climbed the first barbed wire fence and tried to zero in on the source of the sound. It had to be fairly loud for me to hear it clearly on the road--above my breathing. When I didn't see any interesting insects nor sawdust indicating an oak dinner I just went on my way. Then every day when I passed I heard it. Both ways. Eventually, I walked to the fence again with the same result. I asked one of Elmore county's home grown country boys what he thought it might be. No idea. Today my curiosity was too strong. If it were something eating the cut limbs it may move on at any time and I would never know. Who knows, this might be the discovery of a new species. Plus the area is in the shade and it was nearly 100 degrees. So I again climb over the first rusty barbed wire fence (which officially constitutes trespassing). I walked between the old rusty fence and the brand new barbed wire fence til I seemed very close to the source of the snapping sound. The new fence was not attached to post but rather to standing trees. Whoever strung it used those little black plastic insulators with a nail through the middle. Then it hit me. The new fence might have electric current running through it. That is a little unusual for barbed wire but not unheard of. Well, I figured this was probably the answer but how do you verify such a hypothesis? I read a quote once; "some learn by being told, some learn by watching others, and some just have to learn by peeing on the electric fence". That quote occurred to me right then. Guess again. I don't normally learn that way. I normally get someone else to pee on the fence. In fact that reminds me of a childhood story I will post sometime. What I did was find a stick with enough weight that it would knock the strand of wire away from the tree by throwing so I wouldn't have to be touching it at the time. Not taking any chances. When the stick struck the barbed wire and it shook back and forth the constant snapping noise quit for a few seconds. As the wire settled against the tree again it started back. Mystery solved. The fence has current running through it and is shocking the only tree that doesn't have a little plastic insulator. I will sleep better tonight and when I pass this section and hear the finger popping from now on, I will smile because I know something other folk don't.

Is it hot enough fer ya?

I was doing some calculating today. If I really did get a nickle for each time someone asked "Is it hot enough for you?" and invested each nickle from the summer I was digging ditches in 1972 until now and assumed a conservative 8% return compounded annually for those 34 years, I would have a grand total of $1,634,718.05. $1.05 of that would be for the 21 folks who asked today. I wonder how you answer when someone asks that. No, really--I am asking. Here is what I say; "Yes, it is exactly right. Apparently, this is the exact temperature it is supposed to be and that is alright with me." Something like that. Sometimes when I want to have a little fun I say "Nope, not yet. About 15 more degrees should do it". The point is some folks just want to be friendly and can't think of anything else to say. Or at least they feel safe with this question. Others, however, are testing to see if you will complain. I said to a couple of folks today "You know, maybe ol' Al Gore was right all alone about that global warming thing". In Elmore county that mostly draws blank stares. What do you think about global warming?
While I haven't been all over the globe like Al Gore (and also didn't invent the internet like Al Gore), and I haven't devoted my life to studying the minute details of the polar ice caps, I have been given the capability to think for myself. Thanks anyway Al. My thoughts were reinforced Wednesday night as the folks at Vaughn Park watched a video that was half astronomy class/half Bible class. Skipping all the details and assuming the facts were in the ballpark, there are lots of galaxies, solar systems, and stars out there for millions and trillions of miles. The magnitude of creation is truly mind-boggling. The timeless efficiency of earth's rotation and path around the sun is amazing and unexplainable by those who claim to believe only in what can be replicated. The size and coordination of creation is more and more amazing as we learn more. Then some clowns notice that over a few decades or even centuries (though the measurements from previous centuries are suspect in my mind) the ice caps are shrinking. So what!?! Please don't tell me you have spent a lifetime studying the Earth, the Milky Way (yum), and beyond and concluded that my deodorant and 400 horsepower V-8 are ruining everything. Please! No way my deodorant is doing more damage than 10,000 years of sweaty folks without deodorant. Have you ever been in a high school boys locker room?
Did you watch "Bruce Almighty"? Yes, it seems a little sacriligious and disrespectful of God at first. But really the message of the movie is "Stop griping about God doing His part and just do your part". When Bruce is given God's job for a while he quickly messes everything up by granting everybody's wish. But that will not work because everybody wants to win the lottery and when they do it isn't worth anything. One wants rain-one wants sun. Who decides? The movie reminded me what I already knew; I do not want to be in charge of the world. God will decide when it should rain and how hot it should be. I am o.k. with that. Yep, it is hot enough for me--just right in fact, thanks for asking.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Here is an additional thought about running. Well, not so much about running as about choosing your battles wisely. As I said earlier, the best way for me to form a habit of running daily is to run immediately after work. By immediately I mean changing in our locker room, running from the Wetumpka Post Office to Ft. Toulouse and back, then using the ride to Montgomery on my motorcycle as a cooldown. This works well for several reasons, the main one being that I avoid the hour of wasted time if I come home and change which involves sitting in front of the TV to lace up my running shoes. That, of course, means tuning to Fox or CNN which will grab my attention for 20 minutes. Then maybe it is a good idea to check out the Weather channel and unless it happens to be on the "8's" that is another 15 minutes. You know I am not leaving the house before I check my e-mail and while I do that, may as well have a glass of ice-water.
Some variation of those events always provide reasons to delay hitting the road. At work there is no TV, no soft chair, not much air-conditioning. The catch is co-workers are either a) sincerely concerned about running in the kind of heat we are having now or b) feeling guilty and need to convince me of the folly of chasing fitness so they will not feel bad. I was confronted recently by one that probably is the latter. This lady is the most overweight in our office--and that is saying something. She is also very outspoken, close to being a bully. She approached me a few days ago and said "I saw you running yesterday. What were you running from?" I have heard many variations of this attack on running...."I am not running anywhere unless a bear is chasing me!". Normally, I will allow people to have their fun and play along but on this day when she asked what I was running from, I replied "obesity, diabetes, foot and leg amputation, heart attack, hardening of the arteries" and before I got through the entire list in my mind that concluded with a decade in a nursing home followed by premature death, her face hardened, she gave me a steely stare, turned suddenly, and waddled away. Maybe it was a little too direct but let this be a warning; I have a quick wit and I am not afraid to use it. Ridicule the running at your own risk.

Blast from the Past

First of all, no, I am not going to include a picture every time I add a post. But once the old box of photos came down and I began tripping down memory lane there were so many stories to tell. This photo is from the Azalea Trail Run 10k in Mobile. Can you guess the year? If you are confused, that is me-bib number 2685. Not the shirtless muscle guy (it was about 39 degrees) and not the tall Donnie Osmond guy wearing 4 layers of shirts. Also not the lady wondering where her husband is--he was sure he would finish up front. Yes, I am the one in the VERY small running shorts. Looking back at pictures like this is why I know for certain that the folks now wearing shorts almost to their ankles and pants below their....well, very low will be embarrassed when they see pictures of themselves a couple of decades from now. Have you guessed the year yet? Nope, it was March 1981, just a couple of days before I turned 27. I only have a couple of "running pictures" from this period even though I ran a lot and raced a good bit. It shows in my physique. My mom dislikes these pictures because she always worried that I was too skinny and malnourished during those years. That has not been a concern for some time now. Which is why I publish this post now; so that the folks who knew me then and the folks I have met since will see that I was not always white of hair and bulky of body. But mostly to remind myself when the 5 mile runs down Ft. Toulouse road seem so long and soooo hot that I have become a runner before and can again. I mean a real runner, not a jogger. I am a jogger now and it embarrasses me. I know the days of sub 40 minute 10k's are gone and don't really desire to be as thin as in this photo. But between where I am now and where I was when this photo was taken is a lean, fit, fast 52-year-old. It can be done! It will be done. The first step is thinking like the runner I plan to be. More and more I am convinced of the power of "As a man thinketh, so is he". I see the power of habitual thoughts in the bible, in some of the most influential books I have read, and in the group therapy I am involved in through the Pre-trial Diversion program of the District Attorney's office. The second step is becoming accountable. That is why I am putting the idea on the internet for any and all to see. Now it is more than an internal personal goal. Folks are watching, judging (o.k., maybe giggling) to see how lean and fast the silver-haired (see Proverbs 16:31) can become. Feel free to ask about progress and leave comments. Words of encouragement are welcome but sometimes I respond better if you say it can't be done. Either way, let me know what you REALLY think.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

About that picture;

I guess it is difficult for the beautiful people of the world to choose a picture (or several) to post on a blog, but at least the photogenic folk have lots of choices. Since I am always the photographer in our family, we really have very few pics of me. I tend to prefer the ones taken from a distance so that you can only tell "hey, nice outfit" or "wow, that looks like quite an adventure". I have mixed feelings about this one because it looks too much like me. The good feelings come from the memories associated with the time/place. The picture was taken by someone I met on top of a mountain outside Anchorage, Alaska. I had started climbing on a clear, pleasant day and a cloud rolled in from the ocean as I was about halfway up. As I climbed through the cloud, it was like a light mist for an hour or so. Once at the top of the mountain it was clear above and the cloud was below. Anchorage, which would have been visible in the background of this picture was beneath the cloud. On top of the mountain it was very windy and much cooler than earlier. O.K., it was cold. It was a great day and part of two great weeks of exploring a rugged and wild state, mostly on my own and at my own pace. Yeah, I guess it is a pretty good picture.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Not to be outdone!

"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated!" It is very difficult to accept being kicked out of your own blog and I fought the idea for some time. Finally, I have conceded the battle but not the war with technology. Although swears every combination of my name is already taken in the blog-world except roxy-wishum, I find it hard to believe there are really that many of us out there. Anybody know another Roxy Wishum? It is equally difficult to accept that anybody would want to use any form of my name but me. Really, I'm not that crazy about it myself. I was going to change my name to Remington Steele but apparently that is already taken also. Man that is a real "guy name". Anyway, I am back--I am very much alive--and I promise to post what will be entertaining to at least one of us. Check in from time to time and leave a comment.