Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
-- Herodotus, historian
As we approach the time many of us assess our growth for the past year and set goals for 2008, I submit the above quote and the following passage written by the late running doctor/philosopher George Sheehan;
Marathon: Reaching or Grooving?
"Reach for what you cannot."
"You may have seen my name in the Shore Marathon summaries on Monday. It was there in the agate under "Other area finishers"; 69, George Sheehan, Shore A.C., 3:18:32. Not bad, you might think. Not bad for place, with 235 starters. Not bad for time, about midway between my best(3:02) and my worst (3:33) serious efforts. You might think that. And you would be wrong. Because it was a marathon without tears, without pain, without distinction. It was a marathon that I am ashamed of, a marathon I would like to forget. It was a marathon that proved there is a point where prudence becomes timidity, where caution becomes cowardice, where respect becomes fear. The 26.22-mile distance tends to make all runners prudent, cautious and respectful. "Anyone," said the great Percy Cerutty, "can run twenty miles, but only a few can run the marathon." That extra six miles changes the game from penny ante to table stakes. Your entire physical bankroll can dissolve in a matter of minutes.
We are not quite sure why this happens. Some physiologists suggest that at 20 miles the body exhausts its available sugar supplies and must switch over to another form of energy metabolism. Maybe so, but whatever the cause the runner knows that however he feels at any particular stage of the race, disaster may be waiting for him at the 20-mile mark. This makes marathoning a chancy and risky business where the initial pace can be all decisive. Too slow and you have a poor time: too fast and you may not finish. So those even more timid sometimes use the first seven miles to warm up and thus change the marathon into an ordinary twenty mile road run. That is just what I inexcusably did. I had the mileage to go all out. Long runs with my Shore A.C. friends, meet director Tom Baum, teacher Gene Minor, psychiatrist Paul Kiell and Pat Barrett, the Monmouth College freshman. And a fast ( 62 minutes) ten miler the week before when I beat them all. But within a mile after the start of the marathon the quartet were minutes ahead of me and my warmup pace. A pace I kept at not for just seven miles but the entire outward leg of 13.1 miles. A mile and a half from the turnaround point they passed me going the other direction heading for home. Three miles and 24 minutes ahead of me they were giving the race and the course and the weather (it was a perfect 40 degrees and little wind) all they had. They had accepted the challenge. They were making themselves vulnerable, opening themselves to the possibility of a great achievement or a wipeout. Meanwhile I was sliding. That's what Ed Gentry, the get-through-the-day-man in James Dickey's "Deliverance" called it. "Sliding is living antifriction." He said, "It is finding a modest thing you can do, and then greasing that thing. It is grooving with comfort." But even groovers and sliders sometimes get religion. I did at the halfway point. The fact that I was in 154th place may have helped a little. Provided some additional incentive. But whatever, I set out at full throttle for my colleagues up ahead. I went through Sea Bright like the Blue Comet and hightailed through Long Branch passing seven or eight runners each mile. With five miles to go I caught the struggling Kiell (who was to finish in his best ever time and qualify for Boston) and a quarter mile from home passed Minor now walking Up ahead Baum had finished in a 3:03 and Pat Barrett had become the tenth fastest women marathoner in the world with a 3:04.
Niceties at Finish
The people at the finish line said some nice things to me. The time wasn't all that bad and I had run a helluva last 13.1 miles. But I knew where I should have been. Up with Baum and Barrett or walking. I had chosen the middle way, the way of the lukewarm. And afterwards when there were awards for almost everybody, I didn't wait around. I wanted to memento of that race. On the way home I recalled a Nikos Kazantzakis in "Report To Greco" asking his grandfather's ghost for a command. His grandfather answered, "Reach what you can, my child." But Kazantzakis refused that command and asked for a more difficult, "more Cretan" command. The ghost then thundered, "Reach for what you cannot." I may put that slogan on my running shirt. If there is a better rule for the marathoner, I have yet to hear it. If you try to be all you can be, you have to expect a failure from time to time. Finding the limits of your ability will most certainly end eventually in a walk to the finish line. Which is why you can never tell from the agate who is a failure and who is a success; who is simply out there grooving and who is reaching what he cannot; who is a twenty miler and who is a marathoner. Only God and the runner knows that."
Copyright © The George Sheehan Trust
This is not meant to be a post about marathons (especially not intended to dissuade Keith and Josh from a wise approach to their first marathon--to try is risk enough) so much as about your approach to life. Are you satisfied with last year's efforts? Was it a year with tears, pain, and distinction for you? Or did you just "groove through"? I could have done better. Therefore, new resolutions are under construction.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Does this racing stripe make my Neon look fast?
ROLL TIDE! Nice car. Why is the Alabama decal upside down?
Is there a correlation between intelligence and the amount of money spent on a vehicle?
Is it an inverse correlation? Nice Escalade. Could you get a little closer to the courthouse entrance?
My hefty bag is bigger than YOUR hefty bag!
Can you read the writing on the trunk? Classy Lady. Truth in advertising?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I think that I shall never see
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
A tree that looks at God all day,
A tree that may in Summer wear
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Poems are made by fools like me,
Sunday, November 25, 2007
2. West Virginia
3. Ohio State
That's right, SEC fans, UGA is ranked #4 in the nation with only a bowl game left. Which bowl?
Maybe the Rose Bowl vs. USC. Remember when people were saying USC was unbeatable and the certain national champion. Does that seem like a long time ago? While the odds of the top two teams loosing and Georgia sliding into the championship game are not good, neither were the odds for Appalachian State, Central Florida, Arkansas over LSU, Notre Dame going 2-10, and on and on we could go. It could happen. More likely they will end up in the Rose bowl with a shot at ending the season at #2 or 3. That would be incredible for this young team that began the season with LOTS of question marks. Could the SEC possibly have TEN teams in bowl games? Could they possibly WIN ten bowl games?
Friday, November 23, 2007
What could be more beautiful than a sunset like this?
Well, how about a beautiful woman enjoying the sunset?
We had some close calls....
and the sharks......
But mostly, we had time to think about the vastness of the ocean.......
And to relax.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
By John Coleman, Founder - The Weather Channel
"It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create in allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minutes documentary segment.I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party. However, Global Warming, ie Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you “believe in.” It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won’t believe a me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped. The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway. I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend."
Now, THAT sounds reasonable.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
This is near my "secret spot" where I stop to eat a giant Granny Smith apple (thanks LaWanna) in the afternoon.
A Little Equation that Creates Big ResultsBy Chris Widener
“The purpose of man is in action not thought.” - Thomas CarlyleOften people will ask me how I get so much done in my life. They wonder at how I am able to accomplish so many things. The answer is found not in what a great person I am, but in an equation I came up with a few years ago and remind myself of on almost a daily basis. And when I live this equation out, it produces big results. What people don't seem to grasp is that this equation will work for anybody! Anyone can see results in their life if they will live it out!This little equation, when it is understood, and acted upon, is perhaps the most powerful equation there is in regard to long-term achievement and accomplishment. Yet, this is not a complex equation. In fact, it is rather simple. So what is it?
"Your short-term actions multiplied by time equals your long-term accomplishments."
If you want to see change in your life, see big results, the first thing you must do is change your current actions. Otherwise the old saying becomes a reality: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got!"
We need to take action on our dreams and beliefs every day.Here are some examples of how this works.
Who loses weight? The one who knows all about the benefits of exercise or the one who walks 3 miles a day? Who retires early? The one who dreams of a house on the beach, or the one who invests $300 a month? Who writes books? The one who desires to become a best-selling author, or the one who gets up early and writes for half an hour a day? Who has the best marital relationship? The one who knows how much spending time with their spouse can improve their relationship, or the one who sits down and talks with their spouse every night?Who makes the most sales? The one who believes they can become a great salesperson, or the one who makes 10 sales calls a day?I think you get the point. When it all comes down to it, we must act upon our vision, beliefs, and ideals or we won't see them come to fruition. I see too many people who know what is right, but don't ever do anything about it. Imagine what a difference we could make in our own lives and the lives of others if we would simply begin to act upon our beliefs! When I get to the end of my life, I want to know that I have done all that I can to make this world a better place and to enhance the lives of those around me. I want to know that I gave it my best shot. And I am sure that you do, too.I remember reading an interview with an author who has written numerous books that have sold in the tens of millions. They asked him how he did it. His answer was that he got up every morning before anyone else in his family and wrote, long hand, with a pencil, for an hour. Then he quit and went about his day. But his short-term actions piled up. Seven hours a week. Thirty hours a month. Three hundred sixty-five hours a year. After a while, he had lots of books!
One more time, so you can plug it in, memorize it, and live it. "Your short-term actions multiplied by time equals your long-term accomplishments."
Chris Widener is an internationally recognized speaker, author and radio host. Chris is the author of five books and audio series as well as over 350 success articles. To find out more about Chris, visit his website at www.chriswidener.com.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
The purpose of this last picture was to attempt to capture the river and the buzzards circling--I got a little of both. Do you know what a group of buzzards are called? A wake. Makes sense. There are usually 20 or so in the area because they roost about a mile down the river from this spot. I wonder if they can smell Mrs. Mary's fried chicken that I am eating? I am gnawing the bones pretty close. I may leave a little cornbread for the groundhogs, but the buzzards are just out of luck. Come see me sometime around 11:30.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Can you tell? The pecan has three "halves". And I can testify, it was mighty tasty. Sure, if you want to believe what Al Gore and Michael Moore are preaching, you can say that more hurricanes=global warming, fewer hurricanes=global warming, decreasing ice=global warming, increasing ice=global warming, drought and heat that cause withered crops=global warming, and good crops of fruits and nuts=global warming.
There is so much that I do not know about the Earth and beyond. I just do not know if the average temperature over the face of the entire planet is a degree or two warmer than last century. Maybe it is. But I know for a fact that I have personally observed that this year in this area has been abnormally dry and abnormally hot but still the trees that God designed are producing very well. How can that be? Thankfully, I do not have to worry about it.
I do believe that I have a responsibility to clean up after myself and a little after others who won't do it. I believe I should not waste the resources provided. And I believe I should think about the possible ramifications of repeated actions on the environment. I also believe, however, that I was blessed to be born in a country that cares for the environment more than any other in the world. And sometimes we get a little carried away with it. Sometimes we deprive people of water in order to maintain the habitat of a snail or fish or bird. I can't reconcile that with the concept of an "abundant life". So maybe that "three-halved" pecan should have gone to a museum or been planted to grow a tree with more "three-halved" pecans. But I ate it. And it was mighty tasty!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The devil himself is cooking! You'd think the liver would be done?
Here is one more to prove that the baseball player doesn't always have her eyes closed.
LaWanna won second prize in her office for having the courage to wear this outfit complete with stuffing and sans makeup and earrings.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
You can see him just above the headlight of the car. You are probably thinking "I am glad Roxy got that car in the frame so I have some size perspective." Wrong. I am closer to the car than the ground hog. If I could have taken the photo from the other side, you could clearly see that he is larger than an Audi. Also, I would be wet because the river is just beyond where he is eating acorns.
Can you see him below the vines? Crikey! Look at those cold black eyes! Obviously, this is not a full-blooded groundhog but rather some kind of mix with a litter bug. Come on Mr. groundhog, haven't you heard of "Leave no Trace?" Your den looks like a pig pen!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
All the people
God accepts all the people
And at Vaughn Park, so do we--all the people
All the people.
And at the Fall Festival, some animals also.