Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I ran Peachtree for the 36th time, enjoying it more than the past two for some reason. Think I relaxed and took it all in, knowing that I don't have too many of these left in me. Waking up is the hardest thing for me. There is something wrong with being awake before dawn.

I drove to my usual spot, parking my car in a lot on Peachtree near Piedmont. My friend goes to Ansley Mall, walks to MARTA, rides MARTA which lets you off a half mile from the start. I did this the last two years and it is about 1.5 miles of walking BEFORE THE RACE! My space is only .6 of a mile from the start. It is four miles back to my car after the race, but I like that better.

I had to arrive early before the streets closed. It was raining hard for awhile. Pretty patterns of color appeared on my windows from the raindrops reflecting the city lights along with the police and other emergency vehicle warning lights, red, blue, yellow...very cool. I'm easily entertained.

Extra fencing and more police presence was noticible. The result of the Boston bombing. Soon enough it came time to stroll up to the start area. I found my start wave entrance, a fenced street leading up to Peachtree. Once on Peachtree, there was no fencing along Peachtree. In the past each coral had only one entry point on each side. This fencing was now down the road, preventing free movement of the spectators while allowing us runnings to freely mingle on Peachtree. I liked that as that is the way it used to be.

Mile one is the shakedown mile for me. An easy roll into the flow of things. All systems checked out. In particular my knees were giving me the GO sign. I took advantage of the first three miles being mainly on a downhill slant and gunned it, but did save a little for the upcoming hills.

Mile four is the Piedmont hill, as tought as any hill in Atlanta. I decided to not waste any energy on it, slowly trudging my way up to mile five. Mile five has an upward slant to it, and you are still gasping for breath from mile four. It is not until 14th Street that you feel back in control of your destiny.

Mile six in downhill and fast except the race is not six miles, but 6.2. Having a GPS watch this year, I found out that Peachtree is actually 6.3 miles, a tenth of mile long. Although mile six is downhill, when you include the .3 you have yourself a slow mile. The good news is the finish line is always good to see. I try to look good for the photo, placing myself amongst the runners with good form. You don't want anyone walking in the background of your finish line photo.

I grab all the water bottles I can carry and head for the t-shirt line. The rain had caused the finish area to be a quagmire. Had to watch your step the whole way to the hospitality tents up on the hill. I found the ATC tent. They had a Waffle House breakfast waiting for members. I did a grab and go. There is a party at Ansley Mall sponsered by the half marathon at Brookhaven in the Fall. Free beer is the main attraction. The gay runners have a tendancy toward weird running attire, and it is entertaining to look at what they come down Peachtree wearing. I got a ride with my friend and his daughter back to my car. I missed going back up Peachtree and watching the rear of the race come in. Next year I will forgo the beer and walk back like I did in the past.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Waking up at 4:30 to do a race is insane. I much rather sleep. But here I was, throwing off the covers and jumping in the shower to wake up the rest of me. I have my running gear laid out on the floor the night before, making it easy to locate everything without much thought. Breakfast consists of a big to-go cup of chocolate milk with a smidge of coffee. We are out the door by five and headed downtown, gulping down my brew along the way.

I decided that Ponce de Leon was the least likely Thanksgiving morning to get carjacked route from my home in Decatur. Very few cars are on the road, anything moving looks like something to avoid. I arrive at the start to find my parking area last year closed. All cars are being funneled to one lot. To get in line I had to turn right, drive two blocks in the wrong direction and make a u-turn. A $5.00 per is being charged, slowing the line of cars down to a pub crawl pace. Great planning. Actually found a good spot near the start to observe Prue-race activities.

I spent some time trying to guess the start waves by looking at the body types associated with the various color coded bibs. It was obvious that some people were in the wrong start wave. Kind of like gunk in your sink, these people were ready to clog things up. I saw several runners going back and forth, like they were lost or just nervous. I like sitting in my car and listening to rock. Saw several pilgrims, Indians, even turkeys passing by. Nothing original, however. Except maybe the John Smith guy.

The first mile starts uphill, not good, and takes you by Georgia State University. The panhandlers were disappointed that we were going too fast for them to run us down.

Mile two and three took us up Northside Drive where we got a good view of guys dressed like prostitutes. Do they think they look alluring? As we approached Atlantic Station, a crazy was yelling at a policeman because he could not cross the street due to  the runners. The cop told him to have a nice day.

The forth mile is my favorite mile, a break from the most depressing areas of downtown Atlanta. Is that Ikea?

A big hill on 14th Street reclaims all the time you had accumulated from the fast, adrenalin induced start. Right after you enter Piedmont Park, you are greeted with mile six, where the gays and winos cheer you on. If you had anything left after the park, it is drained out of you with the big hill at mile seven on tenth Street.

I tried the sport-jelly beans at mile 8, and also the Twix I brought allow to boost my energy levelor at least give me a sugar high, but anything solid tends to gag me because at this point my mouth is pretty dry. Sports drinks and water have always been best for me. We pass by the mission, not the FOX as you would expect, and get a good view of people waiting in line for food, some actually sleeping on the sidewalk. This is unlike the Portland, Oregon soup line which consist of a mix of college students with no shame and mountaineers. Both sporting long beards. These are real homeless bums with their life possessions contained in a shopping cart.

When we make the turn onto Auburn Avenue for the 9th mile. "Sweet Auburn" as it dubiously called has mostly people that wish you would slow down where they could mug and rob you. Not being energetic enough to chase after you, they yell obsenities at the good looking women runners. Yeah, those are great pick-up lines. Wish I had a pen and pad to write them down.

The course then turns toward the historic Oakland cemetery for the 10th mile where you get an excellent view of a brick wall. It is inspiring, however, to know that you are out here running and not in there pushing up daisies. About the only people I can outrun at this point are zombies.

We soon hit mile eleven with only one big hill to go near the Capital. You pull it all together, knowing that it is almost over and at this point you could crawl to the finish line. I am now running in the forgotten warriors of the road. A bit different  from my competitive days, but these people still want to beat you. Therefore, it is a small reward to yourself for everyone you pass, just as it is a disappointment to not being able to latch on to a runner that passes. If one is able to draft a runner in it makes the last couple of miles go by quickly as you only think about hanging on and forget about how tired you are.

The last half mile is mostly and upward grade that obscures the finish line, making you think that maybe they moved it. Still a great thrill to cross the finish line. A chunky medallion makes it feel like an Olympic win. Soon, a choice has to made whether to continue to the goodie tables or head by to the car. The logistics genius has located these two areas a mile apart. I decide the goodies are not worth an extra two miles.

Sitting in my car I watch the rest of the finishers comig in. I spot a guy that once ran a 2:50 marathon, but now is a back packer because of arthritis in his left knee.
I see he still gets excited crossing the finish line. Some of us still enjoy cheap thrills. Your brain needs to feel that something has been accomplished each day you exist.

I wonder what the organizers of this race are thinking. This course has changed several times over the years, passing through Decatur, Buckhead, Brookhaven, Emory and other beautiful senic areas of Atlanta. Now, I am certain that out-of-town visitors to Atlanta will be disappointed in the view of Atlanta this race gives them. The Atlanta marathon and half marathon was once a Thanksgiving tradition for real runners. Now the marathon isn't even run on Thanksgiving and you are falling over kids to get to the starting line for the half. The Atlanta Track Club has turned into a profit oriented organization, catering to parents who slap their number on them and have them run the last half mile of the Peachtree for a photo of them crossing the finish line. My son actually ran the Peachtree when he was twelve in 43 minutes. And we did not buy the photo. If you run this race, don't expect to see anything scenic like Stone Mountain, Capital City Country Club, Brookhaven, Buckhead, the Fox, Decatur square, Little Five Points, Or Virginia/Highland. It goes past Georgia Tech, but avoids giving you even a glimpse of the campus. It would go by the stockyards if we still had them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peachtree 2012

I got lucky at the expo and found a pair of Nike Structures for 50 bucks.Almost as good as locating the free beer. The first thing to consider is what to eat the day before the race. I like ice cream, chocolate shakes and fat-free chocolate milk. Nothing that will make me feel sluggish in the morning. The chocolate milk is what I have when I wake up the morning of the race. I've done this for years and now they promote chocolate milk as a performance drink. Who knew. I cat-nap race eve, waking every two hours to make sure I haven't overslept. Everything I am to wear is laid out the night before where I don't have to run around finding things in the morning. It looks like a deflated runner. Okay, I am awake and I have time for a quick shower to relax the muscles. Then I am out the door. It is still dark. Not even anyone lurking in the shadows this time in the morning. It doesn't take long to reach Ansley Mall without any traffic to impede my way. It is 5AM, but I am not the first to arrive. No sign of my friends, however. I give my friends a call. They are parked on the other side of the mall. Why? I don't know. One of my friends claims he has a shortcut to MARTA. We follow his plan, but I am wary as we are headed in the opposite direction of the station. Next, we are on the wrong side of a golf course and have to walk all the way around it only to be at a location we could have arrived at 20 minutes ago. After 40 minutes we arrive at the station, having walked an extra mile to get there, 2 miles total. If you wonder why MARTA is in trouble, two empty trains pass us going in the opposite direction before our train arrives already packed with people. When we get to our destination, we are attacked by Peachtree paparazzi trying to take our picture, like every 100 yards, until we reach the pit stop area a mile from the MARTA station at Lenox. We have now walked 3 miles and the 10k hasn't started yet. We made some bets on who will be still in port-a-john line when the race starts. I parted company with my friends and found my wave. Saw several people dressed or painted like a flag. These same people continue to talk and move about while the national anthem is playing. I saw a guy in a pickle suit. I didn't get the patriotic connection. Barriers in the middle of Peachtree made the left side have about twice as many runners as the right. As we walked towards the start, they tried to correct the imbalance at an intersection. I gravitated toward the right side,ending up at the rear of the wave in front of me because I filled in the right side gap. A road guard spotted me too far up and she decided I had criminal intent, demanding that I return to the proper wave (the one ten yards behind me). I did not rob a bank, but nevertheless she looked ready to wrestle me to the ground. I didn't know if she was armed and I didn't wait around to find out. I returned to the front of my line which would delay my start by 5 minutes. As your race time is determined by a personal chip, when you start does not really matter. The start of the race is kind of lame as they treat each wave like no one else has gone before them. They must think we are stupid. For the first three miles things are going well, a little pain in my left knee does not slow my pace. I am doing my planned pace when we hit the hills in miles four and five. Suddenly the heat and humidity comes into play, I was moving like a snail on vacation. I still felt okay, but I am in slow-motion replay mode. At last the big left turn is in sight. The rush for me is when we make that turn for Piedmont Park, all down hill. I try to get in with the people who look like runners for the photo-op, but they don't really want me hanging with them. It downhill, so I hang with them through the camera area and soon the finish line crossed. Plenty of water at the finish but no Coke. It was not always this way. This is Atlanta! Where is the Coke!? I walk a mile back to Ansley Mall for the Phiddipides party, subs and beer, the best. Nine miles total for the day. Think I will park near the start next year like I did in the past.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Ran my 34th Peachtree on the 4th. It was fun, but I had to run gezzer speed because of problems with my knees which have lingered long after the original injury. I think I've found what has caused all this knee pain I have been experiencing. I have been taking Niaspan due to a high triglysiride count. Stupid me decided to start taking it in the morning instead of before bed per instructions. I read all the data I could find on Niaspan and discovered it can cause swelling in the joints! Not a good thing for a runner. Since Peachtree I don't take the Niaspan until after I run, giving me 24 hours for any swelling to go down. It seems to be working. I walk without pain now, and when I run it feels better than the previous run. Think my biggest problem is learning to run again. Got to get up on those toes.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I woke up at four-thirty to get ready for the big Georgia half marathon starting at Centennial Olympic park. I took a relaxing shower. I laid out my running gear the night before in case I ran short of time and had to scramble to leave on time.

It was a relatively warm morning for a race this long. No need for warm-ups. The trip to town was uneventful until I got onto Peachtree. I found myself catching the stoplights with a custom metallic blue Prelude headed for the same destination. We caught a green light at Peachtree and Ponce, but before we entered the intersection a black suburban SUV came racing up to light, going the wrong way on the one-way part of Ponce and running the red light right in front of us. The owner of the Prelude and I stared at each other for a moment, wondering what the driver of the SUV was smoking. We slowly proceeded to the race after gathering our courage to travel the ever dangerous Atlanta streets.

I'm early, so I listen to some music to get me rocking and finish my chocolate milk that somehow did not spill when we had to make the sudden stop to avoid a collision with the crazy guy. I take a sip of Coke to wash it down, then head to the start line humming "Highway to Hell" along the way. I don't like the way they stage races now, using fences and ropes to keep everyone in the proper order. We might as well be a herd of cattle headed for branding.

The race starts and I actually feel better than I feared, probably the adrenaline flowing in my veins. I feel some pain in my left knee, but it is manageable. Around the two mile mark a girl comes up behind me talking to her friend and not paying attention to anything else, steps on my heel causing my shoe to fly off into the crowd of runners. I'm in the middle of the road, trying to locate my shoe while avoiding the thousands of runners bearing down on me. I spot it, hop-skip over to retrieve it, dodging people along the way. The tricky part was bending over to pick it up without causing a big pile-up. I succeeded and hop-skipped to the curb, leaning against a telephone pole to slip it back on my foot. Despite this delay I averaged 12 minutes per mile for the first 5 miles. The knee started bothering me more, causing me to do more and more walking and by mile 9 my average was 14 minutes per mile. The last 4 miles found me only running the up hills, and walking the rest.

By the end my average per mile had slipped to 15 minutes. But I finished! And my knee was not re-injured. I had a slow half marathon time, but the good marathoners were coming in around the time I finished. To everyone's disappointment, the goodie table was bare, not even one banana to share. Talk about some furious runners. The early finishers were handed goodie bags which they used to loot and plunder until everything had been taken, leaving the volunteers with nothing but empty tables. One of them mumbled that she thought another truck was on the way. How it would get inside the restricted area remains a mystery. And how was this communication relayed to her, one person in a crowd of 10,000. Think she was making stuff up to appease the angry mob. I drove home empty handed. Decided along the way to run smaller, less logistical nightmare, races in the future.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


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Monday, December 20, 2010


They moved the starting line this year to Turner field, making it a loop instead of a point-to-point race. I wanted to get there early because after looking at the course and the parking locations online, I determined there was going to be mass confusion at the start. I don't know what they were thinking, but to park one's car you had to cross the street where runners were gathering. I got there at 5:45. A steady flow of traffic began at six and by seven, it was all but impossible to park your car in the designated areas. When the race started there was still a steady stream of runners along the sidewalks trying to make it to the starting line. They couldn't just jump in as in the past because nowadays you wear a chip on your shoe that records your starting time. No starting time, no finish time. I intended to go out slow. My left knee had been sore since I did a half marathon in October, and I didn't allow it time to heel. I got caught up in the excitement of the race, however, and zoomed along for the first 3 miles. This part of the course took us down Northside behind Georgia Tech, a kind of shadowy part of town. We turned right on 17th and ran through Atlantic Station, which looked like a ghost town. After a big hill on 14th, I lost my vigor for the race. By the time I hit the six mile mark in Piedmont Park, my knee was letting me know it was ready to go home. I had slowed down considerably by the time I reached seven miles on Juniper. When I turned onto Auburn I started kicking myself for not getting a Glock for my birthday. Several thugs on this street that seemed to be like hyenas looking for the weakest in the herd. I picked it up a notch. As I cleared the high crime area, a friend of mine, my next door neighbor when I was in the first grade, caught me near mile ten. He has a bad knee now and runs much slower than in the past. The battle was on, two gimps going knee-to-knee to the finish. I took advantage of a long down hill just beyond Oakland cemetery where someone had put a sign on inspiration, "Better running than resting inside here." Near the capitol, there were two hills that allowed my friend to catch back up with me. I decided not to challenge him on the last big hill, saving my energy for the final mile. After the hill, I got up the steam to blow by him, not letting up until I crossed the finish line, beating him by two minutes. I paid for it with a very sore knee that I have only been walking on for 3 weeks. I hope to start running again in January. I have a half marathon to do in March.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Your Grandparents had Elvis Presley, your parents had
Michael Jackson, we have Lady Gaga. witness the
decline of the human race

Killed a mouse this morning, then I discovered it was
the one for my laptop.

Four miles today, near house. First two done with
sproing in my step. Last two were like a glass of
sweat with two legs.

While wife was on vacation in St. Simons with her BFF,
I watered the artificial plants. She is still

If you want to protect your tweets then I don't want
to follow your because you are missing the point.

Brain fuzzy. I need a shave

Empire State Building not lit for Mother Teresa's
100th birthday. Owner is a low-life that will
never share her cloud.

I took a mulligan the other day after I puked when
my drive went into the lake.

Bike day today. I need to do this more often
my screaming quadriceps femoris tell me.

I just sprung a wikileak.

Daisy Khan. Isn't that Lil' Abner's girlfriend?

Seven pars and 2 doubles on the front nine today
for a 39, then after a tripple I fell into the
abyss, hitting a 51 on the back side, sucks.

Did not run yesterday. I feel strange.

You can always tell slime by the way it oozes.

I didn't know it was Crazy People Will Call You day.
Expect a call from me.

Ran like I had an anchor around in my shorts yesterday.
Hope Dan Rather is a no-show today.

It is run, ran, run. Why do people go to college
nowadays? They don't appear to be teaching anything.

Should I run the big hills today? Thinking, thinking,

Age only matters with cheese.

That was not a homeless man running down Peachtree
today, that was me. Next time I will put some clothes
on. Don't know if that will attract more or less

Would someone please come up with something original
before I pop a pimple!

Ran for an hour today but I didn't go anywhere.

When did government decide to become god?

New fence is up. The dogs are so confused that they
are barking at each other. The birds are singing.
The squirrels are stealing their seed.

Using peasant fishermen as a acurate informational
source is not my way of learning the truth. Didn't
know Barbara Steisand fished.

Putting up giant privacy fence Monday because
neighbood is hoarding dogs next door. The dogs
think anyone on our patio is a giant squirrel.

Gulf oil and salt water tastes better than Starbucks.

Obama's choice: Boy Scouts 100 year anniversary or
the View, on 5 days a week? Boy Scouts are too young
to vote and they are trusthworthy. He picked the View.

Got 3.8 miles in today. Yeah, it is odd, but so am I.

Didn't know the temperature gauge in my car had tripple

Ran 4 in 101 heat. Caught a tailwind on the way back.
It made golf seem easy.

Victoria's secrets launches a new bra named Holland,
it has a lot of support, but no cup.

Keep waiting for Malcom to visit his dad on Breaking Bad.

Draw a bad fox and call it a dog, clever.

Someone should explain to Starbucks that their 'tall'
is very short.

Dear ABC, nobody watches Project Runway so stop pushing it on
your morning show.

I waiting for the Nissan Twig to come out.

Would like to see Tom Cruise go after Barry Bonds on his
misguided use of steroids like he did Brooke Shield and
her happy pills.

Funny how yesterday singers like Sheryl Crow always say
something stupid when they are about to release a new album.
Spare me a square!

Chavez says he is in changing the spelling of 'Venezuela' to
'Vuvuzela' so he can continue to toot his own horn.

Sex has been banned on the International Space Station.
There go my dreams of being an astronaut.

Waiting for the Hooterville trolley. It runs faster than me, but
not as often. And t doesn't have to TRAIN because its a TROLLEY.

Holder also will make NBC his official news source preempting
the need for him to read boring laws himself.

Holder declares that anyone attacking the USA will be referred
to as "Those people who must not be named."

Teenagers drink twice as much as they did 10 years ago.
Mind you, they were only aged between 3 and 9 ten years ago.

GAGA protests against BP's oil spill in the Gulf by refusing to
use BP oil for her tour bus. Me, I don't go to her concerts to
save gas.

Multivariable calculus like taking derivatives of matrix-valued
functions is commonly used in statistics. Professional
tic-tac-toe is hard.

Coast Guard stopped barges from cleaning up oil spill until they
could confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests
on board. This does confirm that idiots are running the

The England team visited an orphanage today. It's
heartbreaking to see their sad little faces with no hope"
said Jamal aged 6.

THIS JUST IN: Al Gore replaces Michael Scott at Dunder Mifflin.

My wife keeps me around to lift heavy things, open jars,
and kill bugs.

University of Tennessee is giving a degree to Gore who produced
a documentary that the British High Court says has 9
significant errors.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


It is the morning of the Peachtree Road Race. I up and ready to rumble. Wait a minute. It is only 3am. These internal clocks are tricky on days like this. I roll over and do a light doze until 4:30am. I'm up again, and this time it is for real. My running gear is neatly laid out the night before where I won't have to scramble to find anything. I get the coffee perking and take a quick, cold shower to wake up the rest of me. I normally take hot showers, but they dehydrate me too much to have one before a race.

I'm out the door at five. The streets are empty except for the occasional car heading for the same destination that I am. I arrive at my secret parking space near Piedmont and Peachtree around twenty after, ten minutes before they start closing the side streets. That really makes the Buckhead residents mad. They all have to be somewhere on race day, of course, and they can't wait to complain to their congressman about how their street was blocked. It won't do them any good for the race brings a bundle of revenue to Atlanta. From my parking location, it is about a mile to the start. I use the walk to warm-up my legs. The rest of me is still debating if I really want to do this. Shouldn't I be sleeping?

I soon arrive at Lenox Square and stakeout my park bench in an undisclosed niche of the mall. Here I suck down the precious fluids that will allow me to finish this thing without passing out. It fun to watch the new arrivals from the MARTA trains The new runners wander around trying figure out where they are supposed to be. some are here early to sneak in the wrong coral. I see several L's headed for the D coral. Later, to their chagrin, they will be yanked and sent to the proper starting coral. It doesn't do any good, however. People pour into the race, starting around the 5 mile mark where the monitoring ends. It wouldn't be so bad if these slowpokes stayed in single file, but they often are seen 5 abreast, clogging up Peachtree for the real runners. Seeded runners do not weigh 250 pounds, have a pot belly, and walk while socializing with their friends.

Speaking of bodies, every type of body shape you can imagine runs Peachtree. It is the only place on Earth that you can really look weird, but normal compared to the person standing next to you in this sea of humanity.

I have a Lower race number than last year, but back one coral to E instead of D. Who's doing the math around here? The smell of cigarettes permeates the air. Gag! A volunteer is taking a smoke break. He's doing this in front of the wrong crowd and is admonished for it.

The race has started. some of the runners in my wave cross the starting line too soon. This is as if they have already started even though we are still standing here. Boy, will they be disappointed in their finish times. At last the E's are rolling down Peachtree, some of us not aware that they are already logged as starting 2 minutes ago.

You would think I could spot one friend in a crowd of 55,000. Of the 55,000 runners there are only 50,000 official finishers. Most of those 5,000 non-finishers are those that jumped in along the way. I see dads putting their kids in about a mile from the end in order to get a photo of them crossing the finish line. Training your kid to cheat doesn't seem to be the best idea. How do they they tag the photo on Facebook, I wonder, "My son finishing the Peachtree he didn't run?"

I am on pace until the big hill at Piedmont hospital. After that one, my day is done. I put it in cruise and drag myself through the next 2 miles. I end in a blaze of glory, taking advantage of the downhill when we turn onto 10th Street. Amazing to see all the runners. Most of them I think I am faster than, but why can't I keep up? Is that Lindsy Lohan blowing pass me? At least she waved.

They need Hooters to cater a post-race party. Instead, we get a water bottle here, a banana way over there, the coveted T-shirt in between, and if you have the energy, one can obtain a Powerade far away and in the opposite direction of everything else. I need a couple to replace the lost fluids, and be able to make the return trip of 5 miles to my car. Once, I could back the whole way no matter how hot it got, but now it run the downs and walk the ups for me. It is energy conservation is the theme, instead of get there as quickly as you can in days gone by.

Going back to the car is the fun part, watching the endless stream of runners doing their thing. I liked the pub crawlers mimicking the military groups that run in formation behind a flag barrier, only their flag has a beer mug on it, and none of them are in step, They take a break under a tree near WSB and draw a cool one from a keg strategically stationed there. I also saw a Chinese couple in the middle of the countless runners, taking a stroll down Peachtree Road in shorts and sandals, apparently enjoying a tour of the city. They were not the slowest people in this phase of the race.

A Panama Jack (he has the hat) looking homeless guy was having fun waving at everyone. I don't know at what point he decided to jump in the race, but he hit every water station. One Water station obstructs the entire sidewalk and has tough looking dudes directing people around it, up one driveway and down another for no good reason. This year, I ignored them and ran against the flow until I was safely past the ill-placed tables adorned with cups of water and Powerade. This is really more a water hazard than a place to quench your thirst, obviously thought out by educators.

I'm at the car. Now I can drive home and relax. Mission accomplished.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010


I got myself beyond where man came from for now, finding the universe quite an amazing place, and its existence, us included, even more amazing. I'm reading a book on the string theory, the theory of everything which would include monkeys and man I hope. The string theory tries to harmoniously combine the theory of relativity and quantum physics. Should the universe begin a "big crunch" sort of process, string theory dictates that the universe could never be smaller than the size of a string, at which point it would actually begin expanding. That would explain the infinity part, but where did time, space, matter come from? If this book enlightens me I will get back to you. I don't think we are supposed to know in this life, but maybe in the next one it will be explained. A trip to the billions of stars in each of the billions of galaxies would be nice.


On my Portland trip Denver leg, I sat next to an India girl studying Jacobson's ring theory, which deals with mathematical endomorphisms, before we took off. Once in the air, she tucked her legs under her, wrapped a shaw around her like a cocoon and remained in this position the entire trip. I expected a butterfly to emerge when we landed. But to my disappointment, and probably hers, she did not morph into anything.

From Denver to Portland another strange person sat beside me. She had this catalog of acupuncture needles was reading and marking her selections. I was didn't take a nap for fear of waking with needles sticking out of various sensitive areas of my body. I wanted to apply the cocoon method of in-flight napping, maybe on the flight back.

People way too polite here. I went to get gas for Ward's CRV and was approached by a man holding a stick. I thought I was about to be car-jacked, but after persuading me to roll the window down, he asked me how much gas I wanted, filled the tank, and cleaned the windshield with the "stick" which turned out to be a squeegee. When was the last time you got an attendant to service your car?

Back to my coffee,

Friday, February 12, 2010


I pulled into a truck-stop coming back from a visit with my daughter. The pumps were all occupied, so I waited for a guy in a sports car, small like mine, whose spot was partially taken by a big U-Haul truck, leaving only room for a small car in the leftover space. While I was pumping my gas the guy in the U-Haul came out and jumped into his truck. I assumed he had paid for his gas and was going to drive off. He had room to pull out. I finished pumping and went inside to purchase coffee, something I have done a thousand times. While standing in line to pay, the man in the man in the U-Haul stormed through the door displaying his ire for the driver of the red sports car, blocking his pump. I will exclude the profanity he was spewing from his little mouth, attached to his little head, sitting atop his little body. When the ooze subsided, I employed the skills I've learned dealing with heated situations in my line of work. I calmly replied that I was the owner of the car in question, I was sorry for the inconvenience, and being next in line to pay I would be out shortly. All said with a big, yet insincere, grin on my face. After one look at me he quickly realized that I his 145 pound, 5 foot, 6 inch frame was no match for my 6 foot, 210 pound, all muscle frame. His regret for having left all his weapons in the truck was evident. He immediately started backing out the door, redirecting his anger at the cashier, cursing him for not keeping the pumps free of unattended vehicles. Technically, he might have been right if this idiot was not violation of his own imposed rules. He had been blocking 1.5 pumps for 15 minutes already and had yet started to fill his 40 gallon tank. I, on the other hand, was in and out in 10 minutes. His plan to occupy two pump stations while he filled his behemoth had been foiled by two sports cars that fit in the little space he had left in front of his vehicle. I figured his wife had kicked him out of the house, though I can't imagine anyone living with this varmint, or maybe he had lost his job and was relocating. Whatever, as I pulled back onto the interstate, the words of a song came to mind, "Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself." The coffee was good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Friday, November 06, 2009


I ran Tribble Mill today because it got below 90 degrees for the first time in awhile. The paved path is a loop around the lake that measures 3.1 miles. I did three loops with a break after each loop to take on fluids, giving me 15k for the day. Enjoy the photos below which I took on a previous run at Trebble Mill park.




















Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Abstract expressionism allows a broad range of stylistic diversity within its largely, though not exclusively, nonrepresentational framework. Tell me what you see.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Mountain Park Park has about two miles of trails and paths you can run. Some are a more dangerous venture when baseball is being played. Several neighborhoods are nearby that are runner friendly, making it easy to put in many miles without repeating yourself. One mile is measured for those who want accurate interval training. Markers are placed every tenth of a mile, have fun!












Monday, October 12, 2009


This is from an article in the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper on Sunday.

The Business Section asked
Readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?"

I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President, Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on Lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. - Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement

With the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress and their constituents Pay their taxes...

And Mr. President...while you're at it...make congress retire On Social Security and Medicare...I'll bet both programs would be Fixed...pronto!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Ran the US 10K Classic on Labor Day. It has seven hills which I call the seven bears. This is the first time that they did not completely wear me out. Each mile has at least one hill that spoils the pace goals you have set up for yourself prior to the race. This race has also changed its complexion regarding the type of runner it attracts, or maybe the contemporary runner has mutated to be a majority of boot camp grads mixed in with a sprinkle of serious runners. I'm kind of in between, a serious runner that is slow as molasses. Of the 13,000 runners on hand, about 3,000 of them were serious. I was number 2338, on the bottom end of the real runners. However, I had to run through a slew of participants that could not have possibly began at the start line. Publix was a major sponsor of the race, and for awhile it looked as if I was waiting in a checkout line that was backed up waiting for a price check on the Green Giant le Sueur early peas. Saw several tough looking ladies that could probably run through a brick wall. Atlanta seems to be the native habitat of the six foot blond woman. One in particular was pushing a stroller with twins, carrying a backpack, listening to her itunes when her cell phone starts ringing in her backpack. It is hubby wanting to know of her progress. I felt good after finishing and decided to run back to the car. Tried to go back the logical way, but was blocked by a couple of nice people acting like thugs.They funneled all the energetic people up the road in the opposite direction from where we wanted to go and required that we cross the path of the shuttle buses not once but twice, great organizing job.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Twisted Dozen, Vol. 1

1) Saw the neighbors lighting the torches so I cut the grass today.

2) My dining room table says having a conversation with Barney Frank
would be like arguing with a dining room chair, an untenable SITuation.

3) Being on a golf course at six in the morning can lead to strange
encounters like monster frogs.

4) Bug guy is here. Had to convince him that I was not an infestation.

5) I fought the shrubbery and the shrubbery won. Where is Monty and
the Knights of Ni when you need them? I'm bushed.

6) Pelosi is protected by the enormity of her stupidity.

7) Day trip exploring lake Allatoona/Red Top Mountain area. Found
Sherman looter stealing nuts from squirrels.

8) Timothy asked Congress to increase the $12.1 trillion debt limit
on Friday, and release all counterfeiters from prison.

9) Fourth wedding anniversary today. went to see Monet exhibit and
the botanical gardens. Tropical plant wanted me for lunch.

10) New extreme sport: water-boarding.

11) New clown czar appointed by Obama. Will be in charge of
dispensing clown hats, big shoes, red noses & little horns to toot
to the senate and house.

12) The government breaks up AT&T because it is a monopoly, but
want to become our only health insurance provider? Oink!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Peachtree 2009 started with the usual 4:30AM WAKE UP!!! A quick shower and a
liquid breakfast to-go and I was on the road. Arrived at the Kroger parking lot on Piedmont at 5:30AM. After checking that I had everything like number, hat, ID and sunglasses, I started the trek up Peachtree to the starting line. Along the way I noticed an officer with a friendly looking dog coming down the street. The dog had a hyper-active nose, he was smelling everything. I surmised that someone had dumped some drugs to avoid being caught with a stash. Soon, I saw the same thing on the other side of Peachtree, another dog, not as cute as the one on my side of the road, sniffing everything in sight. Then it dawned on me, it was the bomb squad looking for explosives! During the race, I saw one lady running wrapped up like a mummy. I stayed clear of her in case she blew up. You never know.

My queue area was the Lenox parking lot. There was no rhyme nor reason to the way the port-a-johns were arranged, back-to-back, facing each other, making it next to impossible to form a line in front of them. One guy in our twisted, meandering line that coiled itself back toward the bandstand for the evening fireworks show, came up with a master plan, going through the rows of green closets and knocking on each to determine if they were occupied. Thus, our line dissipated while the other lines grew exponentially as more and more runners arrived from the trains. I found my friend at our UDL (undisclosed location), a place we can sit until moving to our start location. One idiot came down our way and relieved himself on a wall instead of the ample bushes nearby. That is going to smell when they open the mall for business I thought. He also apparently thought he was well hidden behind the clear, glass doors...NOT!
We got to our starting corral at 7:00AM. I remembered that I had forgotten the bottle of Gatorade I was going to drink 5 minutes before the start. I grabbed a couple of cups of water, but it is not the same. One guy in our corral was painted like the flag. Should we salute this fellow? An Asian guy thought he had discovered the perfect pickup line, accosting every good-looking girl he could find and reminding them to be aware of the timing board across the road this year to record when you cross it with the chip tied to your shoe. Why he thought this little bump would endanger only young women and no one else is one clever mystery to me.

Taking it easy to check out the system. All signs pointed to a good race. Mainly, the legs felt rested and springy. One poor fellow was seen running against the current, trying to get to the starting line without being trampled in order to get his chip recorded, otherwise, his time would not be recorded.
A couple of goofs that had inched their way up to the front of our group before the race turned out to be pretenders. They were walking! I gave them my best frown as I blew by.

Where the fun begins. T-shirts being tossed in the air and chaos taking place in the scramble to obtain a Planet Smoothie or a Chik-Fil-A T-shirt for nothing! Except maybe breaking your neck. My baseball skills got me a Planet Smoothie Tee just for me. Ripped it from the outstretched arms of a pretty, young thing. They are always the intended target, it seems. For those who missed breakfast, a donut or a slice of pizza was available on the sidelines.

Not many jump-ins this year probably because everyone had a timing chip, and you don't get recorded if you don't cross the starting line. We reached three miles in 32 minutes, not as good as expected but I still felt fresh for the hills to come. Hit the water stations big time in miles 3,4 and 5.

Long haul to drag myself over the hill at Piedmont hospital and the Sheppard spinal center. When you see people in wheelchairs cheering you on, it makes the pain in your legs and lungs go away. Raced all the old ladies I saw up the hill, a matter of pride.

A lesser, sneaky hill to overcome here, and you haven't recovered yet from the big one. What's this? An unopened Coors rolling across the pavement in front of me. Resisted the temptation and didn't break stride. Got into a footrace with Superman, at least he looked like Superman, cape included. He was faster than the elderly ladies, had to let him go.

After making the turn onto 10th, it is all down hill. As we passed the photographers, one guy stops and congratulates himself, then looks puzzled as runners continue passing him by. I gave the news that it was a photo finish and the real finish was another quarter mile down the road. I've never seen a more disappointed look. The finish is still so spread out between water, t-shirts, port-a-johns, find-your-friends area and other refreshments that it takes another 2 miles of walking to cover each station. I opted for water, t-shirt and friends before heading for the car 5 miles away. Watching the other runners helps pass the time, 55,000 is a huge amount of people. I can only imagine the logistics required to move 100,000 soldiers around on a battlefield. It seems easy when you read it in a history book, but it must have created much chaos in reality.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


1) Believing 9/11 is an inside job is being so open-minded that your brains dropped out and proves only half of us have IQs above 100.

2) Most sizzling Peachtrees were 80 degrees at start: 1970/1973/1977/1980/1983/1994. This proves that Al Gore never ran the Peachtree. Ready to win Peachtree. All I have to worry about is stride length/frequency, ground contact time, isometric torque, hamstrings/quadriceps ratio, asymmetry. Did I mention anthropometric, gait and lower extremity strength characteristics? I can win this Peachtree! I can, I can...maybe not.

3) Minnesota - land of 10,000 comedians. Al Franken will fit right in with the rest of the goofballs in congress.

4) Class reunion last weekend. Everyone is older but I am younger than that now.

5) I'm on a road to nowhere, but at least I know where I'm going.

6) When you run in the heat your running buddies turn out to be trees, and your brain seems to focus on only one thing, a banana popsicle.

7) NATURAL CHEESE. What does that mean? Is something going on in Wisconsin that I don't know about?

8) What is Victoria's secret anyway? Does it have anything to do with pizza? Does she work at Fellini's?

9) Antiperspirant is nice and all, but it takes SO LONG to cover my pony.

10) "Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers." - Homer Simpson

Friday, May 15, 2009


1. You started playing golf because Play It Again Sports
gave you an even swap on a set of golf clubs for your
old StairMaster.

2. The only muscles you have are golf muscles and only
your bathroom mirror knows this truth.

3. Your once had visions of joining the senior tour when
you retired until you found out that triple digit scores
would not qualify you.

4. The last time you played a skins game you had to
mortgage the house to cover your losses.

5. The PGA Tour had a charity tournament to pay for
your golf lessons.

6. A video of your golf swing got 5 million hits on
You Tube.

7. You hit so many water balls that you carry a wetsuit
in your bag.

8. Pro golfers throw things at you to when you ask for
their autograph.

9. The only thing of value your got you from your
divorce was a box of Pro-V1's which the lawyer kept for
his fee.

10. When you play by yourself, you still don't win.

11. You were able to "fix" the last golf tournament you

12. You threw your underwear at Tiger while attending
the Masters in Augusta this year. He complemented you
on your tiger costume.

13. You have Golf plays that you call while on the

14. You charge $20 or more for an autograph while
playing, no takers yet.

15. Your handicap is over 20 but still dream of
making $9 million per season on the pro circuit.

16. You took golf lessons from Charles Barkley.

17. You read the book, "How To Break The Rules
And Get Away With It."

18. Your 5 year ban from Augusta ended last year.

19. You do everything possible to disrupt the play
of your opponents.

20. Your golf shorts have never been in the laundry.

21. You have a 3-stroke limit per shot.

22. You have exceptional intelligence and can count
to over 100 except when you play golf.

23. You change the rules as you play.

24. You have to be accompanied by bodyguards when
you play at your club.

25. You wear a shirt that says "Leave me alone" when
you play.

26. Other golfers tend to taunt and punch you, hence,
the bodyguards.

27. Pro golfers try to renegotiate their earnings
when they see you following them.

28. Golf is the only thing that you are in shape
to do.

29. The only time you drink and drive is when you
play golf.

30. You don't hear birds chirping when you approach
your ball like when you watch a pro golf tournament
on TV and wonder why.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Here's is what I did last Saturday as if anyone would want to know:

I woke up at 5:30 AM this morning. Why would a retired person get up this early, you ask? Crazy my wife says. I mean, the squirrels haven't even raided the bird feeders yet. Today is The Thrill in the Hills 21K Trail Race. I know thiswould normally motivate me, a morning run in the woods, but it is pouring down rain outside and my stomach was hosting a virus that it was determined to eject. I crawled to the shower to wake up the rest of me with steaming hot water. I dressed for the weather, poured myself a big glass of chocolate milk, and was out the door before six. Not many vehicles on the road at this hour on a Saturday morning, only thing you have to do is avoid the loonies feeling their way home from a Friday night to remember. When I reached Winder and turned onto the road to the park, I saw blue flashing lights in the rear view mirror. I pulled to the side of the road to let three Winder prowlers zoom by, probably heading to an accident caused by a possum crossing 316. It had rained all night, meaning the trails would be slippery and perhaps flooded, but I didn't imagine just how bad it would be. I passed the time waiting for the race to start listening to CCR and trying to decide what-to-wear. At last it is time to go to the starting line. The hardest part of a race is waiting for it to start. Before me was a long, half mile hill with a clearing for the power lines full of tall grass with a narrow trail in the middle. As I was feeling the ions being sucked out of me, the gun went off and about 300 of us brave souls headed up the big hill, jockeying for position. I quickly established my place in the pecking order toward the rear of the pack and dared any stragglers to pass me. By the time I reached the top of the hill, I felt like I'd already run 4 miles. The thought of doing another 13 miles made me wonder about my decision making capabilities. It didn't get any better after we turned right into the woods where the same narrow trail was now bracketed by tall pines. The overnight rain had done its damage, the trail was wet and sloppy with plenty of puddles. These puddles caused an immediate backup, and the task of packing 300 people onto a trail wide enough for maybe two people at most, turned the race into a social stroll until we sorted ourselves into a single file. Still, the novice runners who thought they were here to view the natural surroundings and sniff the flowers, kept trying to avoid the puddles and keep their newly bought trail shoes pristine. I felt like throwing mud balls at them, but soon found that it was easy to pass by running through the puddles, leaving a big wake that soaked the squeaky cleans who opted to avoid getting their feet wet. Unknown to them was that. The most solid footing was where the water runs off, while the sloppy goo lies to the side of the trail. These people would pay me back later, when they passed me lying face down in the mud. Three times I slipped and fell! After the third fall, I decided to throttle back and enjoy the scenery. Falling down consumes much needed energy, and after 7 miles the hills became taxing. Each one took something out of me even at a slower pace. My legs remained strong, but my heart rate started to max out every time I thought about a hill. The rain kept coming, turning the path into a small creek in places. One mud hole came up to my knees, still I push onward. All the From 7 to 13.1, I averaged 4 minutes a mile slower than the first 7. I passed a poor girl at 10.5 who had the chills, but the water stop people had her wrapped in blankets, not giving me the benefit of an excuse to drop out of the race to assist her. I saw no one in front or behind me for the last two miles of the race. This allows your mind to work on you. You start to think that maybe you took a wrong turn which leads you to test your tracking skills, examining the shoe prints in the mud to see which direction they are going. When you discover 4 going one way and 1 going the other, it is time to panic, choosing the majority direction doesn't ease the paranoia. Soon, you think that you may be running around in the woods for another week or so. When all hope of reaching civilization again is lost, you see someone waving a flay at the top of a hill. As you draw closer you realize that the wording on the sign says FINISH. After an inspired dash to the finish, I try not to pass out as I remove my chip. Only then do I see that the clock guy and the flag guy are the only two people left around. Walking down to the awards building where the bananas, PowerAde, and medals are given out, I find it empty. A Dirty Spokes truck is outside already loaded and ready to go home. Am I the last finisher? The last person I saw was the cold chill girl at mile 10. Did the rest of the runners behind me also drop out? We all paid to be tortured. Should slugs be discounted because the super fast have all been accounted for. In addition, the T-shirts for these XTerra trail events have become generic. Two years ago, there was a big frog on the shirt and it said, "Thrill in the Hills." The new ones just say, "Terra Series." How many of these do you need? I don't know whether I got an age group medal or not, no one was around to tell me, and there was supposed to be a medal for finishing this run in the quagmire. No one around to give me one of those either. Back at my car I wipe off the muck with a towel, somehow manage to reach my shoes to untie them, and peel my sticky wet shirt off and replace it with a dry one. I head home empty handed, dreaming of a long hot shower to rid myself of the mud and blood (left knee bore the brunt of the three slip downs). Next race, the INGA half marathon ON PAVEMENT!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Ezra's parents have been trying to cut back on Ezra's constant video game playing. He's got a compelling argument:

Ezra on playing video games: "I know you don't like me playing video games, but it's my job to do it...."

"...and it's my first video game and I haven't played it in a while and so I HAF to do it."

Sunday, January 11, 2009


From brainyquote.com:

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

All pitchers are liars or crybabies.

Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.

He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious.

How can you think and hit at the same time?

I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.

I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary.

I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

I never said most of the things I said.

I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.

I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.

I'm a lucky guy and I'm happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.

I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's gonna stop 'em.

If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be.

If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

In baseball, you don't know nothing.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

It ain't over till it's over.

It ain't the heat, it's the humility.

It gets late early out there.

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

It's like deja-vu, all over again.

It's pretty far, but it doesn't seem like it.

Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting.

So I'm ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face.

The future ain't what it used to be.

The only color I don't have is navy brown.

The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.

The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.

We have deep depth.

We made too many wrong mistakes.

When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise, they won't come to yours.

You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you.

You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there.

Monday, November 10, 2008


From bunkershot.com:

The USGA Would Like To Inform All Golfers of a major rule changes to the game of golf, that will go into effect after November 4, 2008.

This is only a preview as the complete rule book is being written now.

Here are a couple of basic changes.
Golfers with handicaps:
- below 10 will have their green fees increased by 35%
- between 11 and 18 will see no increase in green fees
- above 18 will play for free and even get a check from the club/course played.

The dollar amount put in for bets will be as follows:
-for handicaps below 10 an additional $10
-between 11 and 18 no additional amount
-above 18 you will receive the total amount in the pot and you do not even have to play.

The term "gimme putt" will be changed to "entitlement"
and will be used as follows:
-handicaps below 10, no entitlements
-handicaps above 11 to 17, entitlements for putter length putts
-handicaps above 18, if on green, no need to ever putt, just pick it up

These entitlements are intended to bring about fairness in scoring so that the final scores of all players will be about the same.

In addition, a Player will be limited to a max of one birdie and/or six pars, any excess must be given to those fellow players who have not yet scored a birdie or par. Only after all players have received a birdie or par from the player making the birdie or par, can that Player begin to count his score again.

The current USGA handicap system will be used for the above purposes but the term "net score" will be available only for scoring those players with handicaps 18 and above. This is intended to "redistribute" the success of winning by making sure that in every competition the above 18 handicap players will post only "net score" against every other player's gross score.

These new Rules are intended to CHANGE the game of golf. Golf must be about Fairness Only, it should have nothing to do with Ability.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It is so much fun to get on the road at 4:30 in the morning. Ate nothing solid, drank my usual 1/5 coffee, 4/5 skim milk on ice jumbo to give me a kick-start. Decided to park near the finish this time because it was so screwed up, and almost another mile down the road from Piedmont Park. Think they wanted everyone to rendezvous at the civic center. Did anyone actually go there? Parked car near 14th Street and caught MARTA at the Art Center. Had to switch trains at Lindbergh station. Some runners did not get off? Were they going to another race? Got off at Lenox. Still had to walk a good distance to the start, about the same as walking from Piedmont where I have parked for about 10 years. Will probably go back to the old way next time. Too many goofs riding MARTA. First stop is the port-a-johns which became a problem because many of them still had nylon ties to keep them shut. Had to wait for people to get desperate enough to rip them open by any means necessary before they became available. It was good entertainment watching innovative people in shorts with their legs crossed. Next stop is hydration. There is plenty of water around, but I bring my own. Don't know what else is in those cups. I sip my water,making it where I run out just before the start. Otherwise, another pit stop would be necessary when everyone is trying to get some relief. There is a bench around the corner from the thongs of people that I sit on and view the runners pouring in from MARTA. People come in the oddest shapes and sizes. Big and ugly is by far the most prominent breed of man. You would think the pretty ones would have an easier time finding a mate. At 7am I made my way to the 20,000 area and made myself comfortable, sitting in the middle of Peachtree. Taking a look around you wonder if you look as bad as the people around. I do, but without mirrors it is only an unproven theory. As the clock ticks closer to 7:30, the runners start to get antsy as if they could somehow manage to get a head start on the rest of us. Our time comes soon enough and we are headed down Peachtree for the 31st time. When I first started running there only 6,500 participants. That is still around the number that can actually run the race. The others are out here just to say that they did it. Some will jump in along the way. Even at the 5 mile mark you will see parents jump in with their 10 year old to get a photo of their kid finishing the Peachtree Road Race. Who knows what they did to get a valid number for the kid. the minimum age is 12. Nothing like teaching your kids to lie and cheat in order to get what you want. The first 3 miles are more downhill than uphill. The last 3 are just the opposite, more up than down. That's the way I ran the race, clocking 28 for the first half, then wilting to a 40 for the remaining 3.2 which was longer by more than a tenth according to my GPS sources. That's what happens when you move the finish line. They made us run longer to fit their own vision of how a finish should be. My vision certainly did not include being corralled like cattle into a fenced corridor which immediately brought the word "stampede" into my head. The way people watching the race were screaming at us, maybe we needed the security of the fence between us and them. Everyone nowadays seems to have an agenda and they are not happy unless they can persuade you to think like them. Several of these a "poco locos" were on the sidelines with banners telling me everything I needed to know about saving the planet, who to vote for, how fast I ought to drive, how many dogs I should own, and how to tie my shoelaces. I needed a notepad to get it all down. The finish had a major logistics problem this year. The water, T-shirt, locate friends, etc. areas all led you away from the MARTA station where I was parked near 14th Street. As soon as I got my T-shirt, I found a hole in the fence to escape the prison compound and head back to my car. Along the way I enjoyed watching the mass of runners still coming down Peachtree in a seemingly endless stream. My favorite was the boom-box guy who was sporting a huge Afro wig. People get weird when they get sweaty!

Friday, May 09, 2008


Oliver Martin Johnston, Jr. (October 31, 1912 – April 14, 2008) was an American motion picture animator. He was one of Disney's Nine Old Men, and the last living member. His work was recognized with the National Medal of Arts in 2005. He was a directing animator at Walt Disney Studios from 1935 to 1978. He contributed to many films including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Bambi and Pinocchio. His last full work for Disney came with The Rescuers, in which he was caricatured as one of the film's characters, the cat Rufus. The the knowledge and techniques that were developed at the Disney studio in his time are priceless.

When I was young, everyone thought I would grow up to be an artist. I drew on everything. I enjoyed creating the captions almost as much as drawing the characters. Peas-NO-Nuts, The King Wizard of Mad Mumblings, Whombie of the Desert, and Frothy Froth kept me as busy as any homework assignment in high school.Working my way through college became a slow and tedious process. I decided to delay my cartoon career and set out on my own to discover the world. I joined the Air Force. They had no need for a cartoonist, but computer geeks were practically non-existent and the need for them was growing. They put me in electronics school. A year later the USAF decided I had enough electronics background, so they sent me to computer classes. Six months later I emerged as a Control System computer technician in the Strategic Air Command. Most of my cartoons were now done on computer paper. The Air Force frowns on perpetrators of unauthorized writing or drawing on a government surface I found out, but they never caught me. After the Air Force, I joined AT&T and they sent me to school to get a First Class Radio License, a requirement for repairing and tuning microwave generators and radio transmitters carrying thousands of phone messages across the airways of the USA. Then I got married, had two of the most unique children imaginable, and spent years of coaching youth soccer. By 1975, AT&T had discovered my background in computers and sent me to school to introduce me to computer software,somewhat akin to Luke going over to the dark side, being a hardware geek until this point. I found this niche satisfied my creative cravings (so what if it was in a computer language that nobody ever read as long as it worked) and it was rewarding when my 50 lines of novel coding did the job of a 1000 lines of esoteric criteria. When the kids went off to college, I thought about my deviation from the original course of my life. AT&T would not pay for me to become an cartoonist, abstract or otherwise, so I changed my major to Computer Information Systems (CIS) and got my BBA degree. I did manage to get Frothy Froth published for a couple of years in a local AT&T newsletter, circulation 900.

Fast-forward now to that night when Ward and I were in line to meet Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, the last two of Disney's famed Nine Old Men, in town to promote a collection of limited edition sericels and prints from THE JUNGLE BOOK.I knew that at this moment we were in was a time-lock, where the control of time is being handled by those in charge of it. I could see the admiration in my son's eyes as the line moved closer to these animation giants. At last we were standing in front of them. Frank was doing most of the talking as Ollie was a bit under the weather. Ward gathered the courage to speak to Frank, "Very nice to finally meet you. You know, I'm an artist and I want to become an animator. What advice do you have to give to someone just starting out?" Frank's eyebrows went up slightly when Ward mentioned that he wanted to become an animator. He leaned in closer and said these three things to Ward:


It was quite the definition of satisfaction for me to witness this event. Ward still displays this quote on his drawing board for inspiration.


Thursday, December 20, 2007


Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero and a member of the Fantastic Four. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, he first appeared in Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961).

Possessing a mastery of mechanical, aerospace and electrical engineering, chemistry, all levels of physics, and human and alien biology, Richards is often considered one of the most intelligent human beings in the Marvel Universe, alongside Bruce Banner, Professor Charles Xavier, Doctor Doom and a few others. He is the inventor of the spacecraft which was bombarded by cosmic radiation on its maiden voyage, granting the Fantastic Four their powers. Richards gained the ability to stretch his body into any shape he desires.

He is the leader of the Fantastic Four, although his methodical manner sometimes makes him seem cold and distant to his teammates, particularly best friend the Thing, who somewhat blames Richards for his transformation into a large, rocky creature. Whenever he is confronted with a scientific challenge, his attention can be so focused that he can neglect even his own family which has caused marital problems between him and Sue and has put his family in danger on rare occasions. He is, however, the husband of Susan Storm, father of son Franklin Richards and daughter Valeria Richards, and mentor of the Human Torch. According to BusinessWeek, Mr. Fantastic is listed as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional characters in American comics.