Saturday, December 09, 2006

Home from Hiatus

Alright y'alls, I'm back. I've been away for some time for a number of reasons. I'll get into that a little bit then give you a dose of regular bloggetry.

Okay, so here are some of the reasons I've been remiss in blogging.

Work is Killing Me

I'm not one to put work first. You know how the Marines have the God, Country, Family, Corps breakdown that helps them decide the order of things, mine is a little different. I haven't given it a lot of thought, but it seems to fall in the order of Be Merry, Eat, Sleep, complain about stuff, anything else on Earth, work. Unfortunately the catch is that work is a means to the first three and the fifth, and a contributor to the fourth, so I do occasionally have to put work first so that I might enjoy the rest of my endeavors.

With that in mind, I've been working the wackiest hours trying to test stuff out in a lab. The lab is a Restricted Area which is Department of Defense speak for "wicked difficult to do anything because security will bust a cap in your ass if you don't follow the rules exactly". I'm certainly not at liberty to discuss even the process of getting into such a facility, but it requires every form of lock you can imagine short of a key, plus alarms and phone calls to the President. Plus there is a lengthy handshake, and a sequence of baseball-coach-like hand signals, three forms of government ID, confirmation of identity by your maternal grandmother, two of your buddies to vouch for you and three acts of Congress. Once you get inside, you can't do anything that might jeopardize secret data including looking at stuff too hard (in case spies kill you on the way out and read your short-term memory). Oh, and turn off your cell phone.

So we've been getting all of the most delicious shifts ranging from noon to midnight to midnight to 6 AM and so on. The shifts aren't the same every day so forget about sleeping or having a regular social schedule. I don't know how people with families pull it off, even my faux children (I'll get into this in a second) have been giving me a hard time.

By the time I have a second to itch my ass, the last thing I want to do is sit down and tell the world about sitting in a lab with my thumb up my ass (lest it should capture electomagnetic radiation emitted from classified equipment). Sorry. Plus it's boring as all hell.

Too Many People Gripe about My Content

Some, not all, of my readers are always bitching about how boring my blog can get. "Dude, I'm sick of hearing about running." they'll say. Of course, when I work, run, eat, sleep what the hell else do you want me to talk about. And like anything else, once you stop blogging it's hard to get back into it. I'm using this lengthy Saturday afternoon session to hopefully jumpstart my bloggetizing.

HECOW, I've heard about your wack ass blog so I don't even want to hear it. Pasting been-around-the-whole-earth ass e-mails onto a website does not constitute writing a blog. For shizzle.

I've been bummed out about a whole bunch of shit

Winter is a particularly difficult time for The Cootster and trying to keep a positive game face can be difficult at times. Then trying to be positive in writing is both difficult and fraudulent so I just avoid it. I like to tell it how it is, not try to make everything rosy and full of rainbows and puppydog tails.

Which reminds me, there's someone who is supposed to be replying to a series of e-mails. If you read this, PLEASE RESPOND! I'm not going to show up at your house, just make with it, you're causing me undue stress.

The Real Shit Begins

I just got back from a nice long run. Some of my buddies are in training for The Boston Marathon, which I considered running but didn't enter. As I'm sure you don't know, you have to qualify for Boston, and if you can't they don't let you enter. That is, unless you know someone with one of the few lottery entry numbers. I happen to know one of those people and every year she takes the names of everyone interested in running it and draws two. Those two people get to enter the marathon without having to qualify. I figured that would be a good way to get into marathoning but I have a feeling I wouldn't give myself enough credit if I didn't earn my way in. Therefore I have to run a qualifying marathon first (and qualify), then I can enter Boston. It's a tough goal but I'm up for it. I think for my age I'd have to finish a qualifying race in under three and a half hours which is no small feat. Most people I know shoot for under four hours.

Anyway, these two women are training for Boston which requires a long run once a week. As your training program progresses, your long run gets progressively longer until you reach something like 20 or 22 miles, then it tapers back off. Training for a marathon can be boring because it tends to be strict and isolationist as a result, some people try to get others out for the long runs. Today's run was almost 13 miles which took roughly 2 hrs. It was nice and chilly, but I was perfectly dressed so the only thing that got cold was my nose/lips. The A-Beard has kept me oh so warm, I think I just might keep it! I was out running last night, test driving my new kicks, and was nice and warm in the frigid 15 degree night. Ahh, A-Beard how warm you are.

Plans for Today

My goal this weekend is to get my kayak holder built so I can park in the garage. It's been getting chilly lately and having to warm a car up from 40-something is much nicer than warming it up from 0-something. It should be an easy task, but I'm so warm and toasty that the idea of spending an afternoon in the garage is less than pleasant.

I also have to get plastic onto some of my windows. Since the entire upstairs and two windows downstairs have been replaced (and I never took the plastic off two other windows this summer), it should go pretty quickly. Should.

Oh Yeah

I forgot to mention that I got myself a new mobile phone. My old phone was starting to ack up and I set to work finding a new one that would meet my needs. I also entertained the idea of switching carriers since most of the people I know aren't on Sprint. The result, I moved over to Verizon and have a fancy new shiny, thin, too-many-features-to-list phone. Verizon people, feel free to give me a jingle and it won't cost you any minutes. Plus I have IN Texting (TXT, PIX, FLIX) so hit me up, bitches.

Have I Shown You Pictures of my Children?

Sometimes at work you get punished for living nearby to work and not having a family. If someone is going to get the shaft in terms of scheduling, it's going to be someone like me. Commuters (who carpool) always have their carpool partner as an excuse, and obviously people with families "have to pick up the kids" all the time. I decided it wouldn't be cost effective to move far away, so I'm going to pretend that I have kids who need picking up. If anyone tries to call me on it, they should at least see my point. Some people don't think having outside interests or hobbies is a good enough excuse to be able to go home when your day is over, so those people will hear all about how I have to pick up my kids from (fill in the blank here). I imagine the conversation might go something like this:

Jerk: Old Coot, where are you going? It's only 5:00. I just called a meeting and I need you to be there.
Me: I have to pick my kids up from their grandmother's house.
Jerk: You don't have any kids, stop fooling around and stay late with the rest of us.
Me: Okay, I'm really meeting people for a group run that I go to every Thursday. I have to hurry as it is, I'll talk to you tomorrow.
Jerk: Running is not an excuse for blowing off this meeting.
Me: But picking up my kids would be, which is why that's my excuse. Are you telling me I am being treated differently based on my marital status and life choices? If so, I suggest you explain it to human resources and have them come talk to me. Now I'm really late, thanks.

Oh, and nobody tell HECOW cuz he's gonna rat me out to his management cronies.

Now it's time for me to eat some pancakes.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turkey Trot Review

Well Coot fans, I'm back in the Pitt after almost a week at my folks' house. It was a nice trip but as the saying goes, it's good to be home. I'm sure you're all wondering about my Turket Trot results, so I'll share them here. I'll forewarn you that I think one of the clocks was wrong by an entire minute. As I passed the finish line it read 35:0x, with x being something less than 10. I'll explain all of the details in a second.

Turkey Trotting

First of all, the Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot is the oldest continuously run foot race in America. This was the 111th consecutive race, running more continuous years than even the Boston Marathon. Last year they set a record of 6,500 runners, unheard of in local racing. This year they were hoping for that number again, but instead there was a turnout of (I believe) 8,260. I'm thinking that at some point they're going to have to limit the number of entrants. 10,000 would be sweet!

So I positioned myself close to the starting line since I was planning on running it as a race instead of a fun run. Somehow I passed about 20 people for every one who passed me and still managed to finish 509th overall (473rd male). I'm not complaining, just wondering how many people must have been lined up ahead of me. Maybe I should be more careful in selecting a place to start.

With all of the results tallied, I finished 45/342 for my age group (males 25-29) which I think is somewhat of an accomplishment. Plus as an added special bonus, my parents came out to watch. I always hope that they'll show up, and this year there they were on the sidelines (curb) cheering as I ran by. Talk about a boost, I was flying after that! Thanks again mom and dad.

At the end of the race, I just kept running through the finish line (with a short pause to turn in my timing chip); I had to run almost all the way back to the starting line to get my car. I left it at Delaware Park for those of you who know what that means, and it turned out to be the ideal spot. I had no traffic with which to contend, no parking issues and it was 1.25 miles from the starting line, a perfect warmup.

On the way back I passed a few kids and one said to the other one "He's going the wrong way." to which his brother replied "No, he's already finished". The kid looked up at me with the look of astonishment and asked if I won the race. I should have lied and told him I did, and that if he ate his vegetables he could win someday too, but I told the truth and kept going. The line of runners/walkers stretched all the way back to my parents' neighborhood (2-3 miles back towards the starting line) before I passed the sweepers (the trucks that follow the last person). Man that's a lot of people!

Well, that's about it for me. I'll holler at y'all later. Oh, and do NOT go see Babel (the movie). It sucked.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So .... Bored

Hey y'alls, this is just a quick shoutout to say what's up before I head out to lunch. As my mother's favorite child, I was asked to join her for lunch today in what I assume is her chance to once again showcase her wonderful son. My older sister apparently didn't have time in her busy schedule to return to the Homeland (AKA Buffalo) for Thanksgiving so I'm shouldering all of the offspring duties. Sorry Ab, more brownie points for yours truly. I think after lunch we're going to see the lawyer about changing everyone's will to make me the sole beneficiary.

Okay, I didn't get this written before I went to lunch so I'm finishing up now. Lunch was fun, I got to meet all the people with whom my mother works, then I ate a free lunch. Plapow! Then to make things even better a medical student hit on me right in front of my mother. Well, she asked how to sign up for the Turkey Trot (I'm already sporting the shirt, thank you very much) which I obviously interpreted as hitting on me. With the powerfulness of my beard I don't blame her. This thing is almost two weeks in the making and I've already had to pull a bird out of it.

Well, maybe it wasn't a bird but it easily could have been.

On the verge of full boredom, I'm sitting here trying to decide whether I should read a book and nap or go see a movie. I want to see that Borgat movie, but seeing that by myself somehow seems a little too lame. I'm not sure what movie would be less lame, but that one certainly could be.

Ha Ha, Nerd!

OH MAN, my cousin was showing me pictures that she took and there was one of this nerdy teacher at her school. Upon closer inspection it was my friend Aaron from the old neighborhood. Our dogs used to play together before they both went down in the struggle. What makes it funny is that I'm sure he doesn't think his students think he's nerdy. He's a real playboy and probably feels that it carries over to school. Ha ha, NERD. Aaron, you're a nerd.

She did mention that most of the girls are in love with him, which makes sense; that's how Aaron rolls.

NEWS FLASH: Alright, I just checked the showtimes at the closest theater and I'd have to wait until dinner time to see anything good. I guess that settles that. Now I'm officially bored. Coming back to Buffalo used to be so exciting, but now that I don't have any friends left who live here year round, it's not so exciting. I usually just head out and walk down Elmwood, but I'm not feeling that today. The sun is shining and it's warm out, but something is telling me to just stay home and chill. I guess that's the plan.

Okay, I got nothing else fo ya.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One Week Later...

Hey everybody, it looks like it's been an entire week since I rapped at you. My bad. I'm sure there's an excuse in there, but the important thing is that I'm back. I'm sitting in the sunny livingroom at my folks' house preparing myself to head back out into the cold to pick up my race packet for the Turkey Trot. While I was already out in the cold today for my "morning" run, I'm not interested in venturing back out, so here I sit stalling.

The Storm Cometh

Okay, let's get the snow jokes out of the way first thing. Yup, Buffalo gets a lot of snow. What they had a few weeks back (a month or so?) was that heavy ass snow that you can almost hear hitting the ground. What Buffalonians heard instead was the branches of their beloved trees hitting the ground. For the most part, the branch piles are all cleared up, but as you drive into the city all you can see are beheaded trees. One can only hope that when spring comes the trees will blast out new branches and once again line the streets in leafy splendor.

After the storm and subsequent cleaning crew, my parents planted a new tree out back. I haven't ventured out to inspect it yet, and it's in a strange place and I'm not sure if I'm ready for such a change. Traditionally they've planted their flora around the perimeter of the yard, but this new tree falls within the coveted lawn space. I'm sure great care was taken to find the best spot and Ann from across the street undoubtedly had her input (she's the crazy garden lady on the street who knows WAAAAY more than anyone else and always has the most butterester garden you could imagine). If you're lucky when you die you either become a cat at my mother's house or a plant in Ann's garden.

Race Packet Day

I was supposed to run this morning to the YMCA where Thursday's race will start. From there I was going to run the race route, then end up at home. I had the idea that I would use this opportunity to pick up my race packet, but when I realized it meant carrying all that crap for 7 miles I thought better of it and just went to the park. This leaves me with picking up the race packet still on my agenda.

Every year I get my race stuff (t-shirt, timing chip, coupons, snacks, etc) at the start of the race. This also leaves me with the problem of having to do something with all of that crap while I run, and I tend to tie the shirt around my waist, tie the timing chip to my shoe (like you're supposed to do) and throwing everything else away. This year I'm in town early enough to get it ahead of time and save myself the agony of throwing all of that away right before the race. Instead I'll bring it home and throw it out there.

Cat Mastering

Any of you who know me on a personal level will know that I am the Cat Master. I can win over any cat, and frequently find myself draped in cats, AKA Cat Mastering. My parents' house is the true test for my Cat Mastering skills as it is currently staffed with 6 cats.

There are the two OCs (Original Cats), two hand-me-down cats, and my sister's two cats. As is the case with all aspects of life, the guys are pretty chill and occasionally get bent out of shape. However, they just fight real quick and that's that. The ladies just bitch and moan and hate each other and all of the other cats (except for their "partner"). I still haven't even seen Tita-Bonita-Mi-Amorcita cuz her bitch ass probably won't come back in until I leave.

This morning I was laying on the floor stretching, which is sign language to cats that means "please come share your fur with me and my sweaty self". True to my magnetic Cat Mastery, I was soon surrounded by three cats (only the dude cats) who needed my attention. I even almost had Pati (my sister's female cat) sitting with me. One more cat and I would have mastered every cat in the house (recall that Tita won't come inside). PlacaTAN!

Well, I'm pretty much out of stories today. I'll try to keep y'all filled in with my goings-ons so you don't feel left out. Dom, if your bitch ass is in the 'lo, you need to holler at me. But not if I holler at you first.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Encumbered by Idjuts

Hey urrbody, Old Coot giving you a fix in '06, with no tricks.

Okay, that was dumb. Thanks for not immediately closing your browser after that lame intro. Today I wanted to holler atchall about some of my experiences yesterday and perhaps a few thoughts I have rambling around in my mind.

On Sale for 25% More

Being a AAA member, I was privy to a sale at the local Reebok Outlet where members receive 40% off the lowest price on an item. This of course was followed by all of the loopholes like prices ending in .95, percent off discounts and so on.

As I perused the store I was disappointed to see that everything was on sale, meaning I couldn't use my bigger and better AAA discount. I kept being drawn to these fleece jackets on 40% OFF LOWEST TICKETED PRICE rack when it dawned on me that the 40% discount already applied to these items was the same discount I'd get through AAA. I tried one on and it was oh so comfy; and the price was equally comfy. The $19.99 price tag meant I'd get this bad boy for $12.00.

After browsing the entire store, I brought my one item up to the counter to check out. The cashier scanned the tag and demanded $24.99. I asked him about the discount and he told me it was 40% off; the original price was $45. Not trying to sound like a jerk I told him it was priced at $19.99, which he denied. I showed him the price tag and he kept pointing to the register, telling me that the sale price is $24.99. I reinforced the fact that the sale sign clearly states the item should be 40% OFF LOWEST TICKETED PRICE, and that the lowest ticketed price on the item is $19.99. He was confused.

Finally the manager came over and took over my situation. He punched in whatever manager override codes he needed and rang me up for $12. Sweet, a $45 fleece for $12, and it's wicked comfy. As I was leaving they were pulling the rest of the fleeces off the rack due to mispricing. Ha ha, I WIN!

Afterwards I stopped at the Saucony Outlet to check out their deals. The Clearance rack had shirts marked down from $25 to $20. What the hell kind of clearance pricing is that? Nothing for me, thank you.

Speed Demons

Last night was supposed to be Track Workout Night, but my track partner had family in town so I was left to do my own thing. I decided to do some fartleks (go ahead and laugh), which is simply running fast for some distance, then slower, then fast, then slower, lather, rinse repeat. You just pick a landmark on the side of the road and run fast until you get to it, then you run slower until you reach some other random landmark. I used lit streetlights as landmarks, which posed a problem.

As you may or may not have noticed, city streetlights are seldom all on at the same time. There are always some that are either burned out, busted, non-existent, or nonfunctional for some other reason. I decided that only lit streetlights counted when I picked a distance to run fast. Another anomaly you may or may not have noticed is that streetlights sometimes turn off when you approach them. This is very apparent when you can't rest until you reach the next lit streetlight, and they keep turning off as you get closer. It's like when your mom is teaching you to swim and she keeps moving away from you.

Anyway, when I got home I uploaded my run data from my watch to the PC and got to analyzing my run. Two words for you: Damn I'm Wicked Fast. Apparently I'm not very good at gauging my pace, and I was hauling ass for each of the fast sections. Keep in mind that you aren't supposed to be sprinting during fast sections, you're running at some predetermined pace (5k race pace or 10k race pace were my choices last night). At one point I was cruising at under a 4:00/mile pace, it was 16 mph to be exact. WHAT!

Plus I was full of shish kebobs.

Why so Ghetto?

Why is it that so many people aren't content to just be poor, they also have to be ghetto? I was at one of my favorite places to buy irregular clothing, Marshalls, when I realized I was surrounded by the trashiest white trash this side of the Mason Dixon. Let me just say that I have no problem with people not having a lot of money, I don't have a whole lot myself. Yes, I probably make more than a lot of people, but I'm not looking down on anyone.

Except for trashy ghetto scumbags.

Why is it that I can't shop in peace without having some crustache-sporting, no shoelace-tying, XXL G-Unit sweatshirt-wearing, greasy-hairdon't-sporting, armpit-stinking, no-self-respect-having dirtbags running around throwing clothes on the floor and wrestling with eachother? These were highschool or college age kids too, not little kids. At one point one of them almost ran into me, which would have rendered my jacket a total loss and I'd have to burn it at my nearest convenience to rid it of the stink.

Pretty soon I'm going to stop shopping at those kinds of stores if I have to deal with those lowest common denominator types. How do you people procreate?

That's it, I'm outta here. I need to sanitize my hands just thinking about those losers.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Like Christmas in November

Hey Coot fans, what a freaking boring day today was. B.O.R.I.N.G. I accomplished very little, and feel exactly like I accomplished even less. There were however, two good things that came out of the day, if you read on I'll explain them to you.

Send Me a Message

I, with the assistance of MC, started my own very own message board dedicated to running in the Berkshires. Yup, more about freaking running. It hasn't gone out to the masses yet so I'm not going to share the URL. Come to think of it, I don't know that anyone reading this blog runs in the Berkshires so maybe I'll just tuck that morsel away for just me. Mu waa ha haaa!

5 Star Dining in My Own Home

For dinner tonight I whipped up some delicious chicken/onion/red pepper shish-ke-bobs with chicken couscous. The chicken was marinated in Spedie Sauce which makes it awesomely delicious. The real bonus was that I got to use my grill again; so far that's 4 sausages and 7 kebobs. BUT, to my defense I also haven't been cooking very much lately so it's not that I've been ignoring it.

Oh Yeah, Christmas

When I got home from work today my mailbox was jam packed with two goodies. The first was a $10 rebate check from a memory card I bought for my camera. YESSSS, $10 for free in the mail. Sure, I paid $10 plus tax to earn that free $10, but it was a while ago so this money is considered free as far as I'm concerned.

The second goody was a free razor, the kind with 5 blades PLUS the one on the back to trim under your nose and/or sideburns. It couldn't have arrived at a better time, I only have 10 more blades left for my Mach III Turbo razor, which equates to about 10 months. As soon as those are gone I'll tap into that new freebie.

Hmm, now that I'm working on the A-Beard I might not need that freebie for 20 months. Yes, you heard it here, the A-Beard AKA the Power Beard. It's on a bit of a bet/challenge and I'm free to shave it on Thanksgiving. If this good looking Power-Tee is any indicator, I look damn good with facial hair.

Well, that's it. I told you today was boring. Let's hope for a better day tomorrow!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

XX and XXX

Yo, Cootakinte coming at you live from P-field. Today was a long, dreary one bookended in rain. I made do as best as I could, which seemed to be pretty damned good.


After yesterday's grueling half marathon (Half Mary or HM), I thought today would be a good day to rest and catch up on some home-makery. That idea lasted about five minutes and I was already involved with playing with my new watch and the assorted analysis software programs I have. Cool shit I tell you, cool shit.

Then came the moment I was waiting for, the call (text message) to go run some more. As if 13.1 miles (plus 0.5 miles) wasn't enough yesterday I was gearing up for another 9 today. It didn't work out to exactly 9, but we did get a good 7.1 in. I know it was 7.1 because my watch told me so.

Whatever it was, I rounded 20 miles for the second weekend in a row (XX miles).

We hit the hills of Lanesboro, home of Mount Greylock, but not on the trails. The roads were hilly and my legs were great. I don't know where this all came from, but the hills have nothing on me. When others were winded and faltering, I was sprinting up with little effort. WHAT!


Oh, and today's run was in full RRF dress: 3XL Tighty Whiteys. We have some pictures of the four of us in our man panties, but they're on other people's camera phones so I can't share them until they are sent to me via electronic-m. I was the only one brave enough to carry out the entire run in my hefty sized briefs, and was glad to have done it. One lady used the wang maze as a handwarmer; classic.

They drooped, sagged and generally looked terrible and it was awesome. If I hadn't been wearing a white shirt the look would have been more apparent to passersby, but instead it looked more like a long white shirt. Blast!

Afterwards, I ate half of a large pizza from Liberty Pizza. It's delish, I'll be dining on it tomorrow too. PlacaTAN I tell you. PlacaTAN indeed.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Indian Summer Weekend

Hey everybody, it's another scorcher here in New England. It's been in the 60s all weekend and I'm loving it. It's great considering it's the middle of November. I kayaked, mowed the lawn, ran really far, cleaned the garage...aaahhhh

Toy Report

Friday night my plans were rearranged for me by an outside source. My plan was to run a route I came up with called the Figure Eight Bi-Lake 5K (plus 10 miles) Race. For those of you who aren't familiar with metric/standard coversions, that's 13.1 miles, or roughly 21Km. Instead of doing this run however, it turned into a kayak trip. The run would have to wait.

So we loaded the boats onto the A-ride for the last time of the season and headed out to Onota Lake. The only reason for going to that lake is that they have a dock at the boat launch so I could wear sneakers and not get my feet wet. It turned out that they had already taken the docks out for the year, clue #1 that we shouldn't be in the water. It was cold and windy and I was soaked after about 10 minutes.

But that's not why I'm writing. I'm writing to tell you about the new A-Watch. My new GPS watch performed flawlessly. I'm still not 100% sure about all of the menus and screens but I'm getting there. I used it to track the route around the lake, and when I got home it was cool to see the path I took.

I went out to one end, turned around and took almost exactly the same route back. It was purely accidental, but I was within feet of my original path almost the whole way back across the lake. Considering there was wind, drifting and all that jazz it's quite amazing to have covered the same route. Neat!

The Figure Eight Bi-Lake 5K (plus 10 miles) Race

Saturday morning I awoke, put the finishing touches on the new and improved route around the two lakes that would allow for a good start/finish point and got myself geared up. The race starts at a middle school, loops around Onota Lake, back past the school, around Pontoosuc Lake and back to the school.

The idea is to have the race make a figure eight with the intersection being the start/finish/midway point. Then, if the crossing point was also at a school/business/parking lot it would substantially improve logistics (bathrooms, parking, timing, etc). It just so happened that there's a school on the route, so I made it start there.

I ran it yesterday with a friend to get a feel for how the course would work for a race, and to map it out with my new GPS watch. It isn't the best race course as it lacks some in scenery, despite circling two lakes. The roads aren't exactly conducive to a race either, but for now I can use it as a training run. It's chock full of hills for those of us who prefer rolling hills to flat courses. According to my heart rate monitor, the course allowed for an assortment of challenges. Ahhh, another score for the Old Coot.

Cleaning Up Some

I spent the afternoon yesterday cleaning out the garage and mowing the lawn. I have the garage mostly ready for my car but I need to build something to house my kayak for the winter. Being the smart guy I am, I bought a boat that doesn't really fit anywhere in my garage/basement other than the floor. My goal this afternoon (after a run in a bit) will be to build somewhat of a cradle for it so I can store it out back. I don't think the cold is the best for it, but if I stored it in the garage it would be pretty much the same temperature. There's no chance of fitting it in the basement and leave the basement free to work/move.

I Was a Little Hasty

So the other day I told all of you that I was cleared to move on the house refinance project. What I should have said is that I'm no closer to getting started than I thought. Since paperwork will have to be signed over the mail I need a valid mailing address for the ex-gf. Several requests for her new address have been ignored and I'm starting to wonder if there aren't other things at work that I don't know about. While I like to remain optimistic I have thoughts of her having borrowed money against the house without my signature (i.e. forgery) and so on.

Peace of mind, where are you?

Okay, that's all I have for today. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Friday, November 10, 2006

What I Learned from the Irish

Hey folks, I learned a thing or two last night that I wanted to share with my audience. While I learned them in a running related environment, they do not require me to discuss running for you to get the full enjoyment. Here we go...

The Grudge

One of the guys in our group had a minor altercation at a local watering hole some 30 odd years ago. He was removed from the building (he recalls it as being entirely unwarranted) for underage drinking (?) and somehow causing a disturbance. The whole scene was a little unclear after all of these years/beers. Whenever he runs with us on Thursdays, we can't go to that restaurant despite the fact that it has changed hands and the wait staff/bartenders are completely different, all because he has boycotted it for life.

Last night (while dining at a different watering hole) we pointed out those facts to him and he still refused, claiming to suffer from Irish Alzheimer's. "Irish Alzheimer's? What's that?" I naively asked. "It's when you get shitty, and in the morning all you can remember is the grudge." He's stuck to that grudge for over 30 years. Them Irish are some stubborn folk.

Fill in the Blank

The same gentleman, whose last name shall remain Murphy, was speaking with some of his family who also happened to be at the restaurant in a separate party. As they filed out of their booths (or boothas to Tollbooth Willy), someone claimed "Boy, it's lousy with Murphys in here."

Ha ha, 'lousy with ___' is an hilarious way of saying there's a shitload of them and they're no good. Classic, absolutely classic.

My New Toy Arrived

Last night around 5:30 I got my new GPS watch. Unable to use it for my run I was a bit let down, but like the good boy I am I charged it fully before use. After the run/dinner I strapped the heart rate monitor (HRM) chest strap to my strapping chest and headed out onto the front porch to link up with some satellites.

Being the genius I am, I put it way too close to the house and blocked 180 degrees of the night sky. I had to get it close to the porch light so I could see when it was ready, but apparently I should have just gone down by the road and let the street light do the work. Oops.

When I tried to test it out by going around the block I also forgot to start recording. Oops.

Once I realized it wasn't running I fired it up, jogged, walked, skipped and even hustled once to check out its ability to keep up with my varying speeds and heart rates.

Over the course of my 0.2 mile sampling, it was a little off at the beginning and then at the very end where buildings interfered. Having learned not to aquire the satellite lock with 50% of the sky blocked by a house, I have to assume that my subsequent tests will be more accurate. So far I have to say this is one cool toy.

Patchwork Pete

In my office, we have four guys whose cube share a common corner. Yesterday afternoon, the four of us decided that the year of the goatee might be over, and the year of the full beard is upon us. Of course, we want to hit the road running so to speak, so we're getting started as of some time yesterday afteroon.

Not only are we all trying to grow beards (some of us are follicly challenged), with the option for only the porn-stache if you don't like beards, but our team will have a name and we each have to come up with nicknames. LB chose "Black Beard", a very creative name. I went with "Patchwork Pete" to reflect certain qualities of my soon-to-be-beard. Danny Badmeat went with "The Old Brawny Man", to reflect his rugged good looks without being confused with the wussbaggery shown by The Brawny Man of late. JO is out of the office today, but I'm sure he'll come up with some stupid Yankees shit. That's just how he rolls.

That's it, I'll holler at y'all later.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another Leaf on the Tree

Hey y'alls why don't you gather around Old Coot and let him spin you a yarn. Okay kids, here we go...

Actually I don't have a whole lot to share with you guys today. My sister remound me of one thing that I had been overlooking. My uncle, at the young and tender age of 60-something, had a baby boy the other day. Okay, his wife (my aunt) had a hand in it, but he's the blood relative. Actually, I've never met his wife as they met and live in Honduras. But the gist of it is that I have a new cousin named Elías Daniel (surname removed to protect the innocent).

I have a strange family. This same uncle has two grown chilluns here in the States, one of who has a child of his own. That means my cousin's kid has an uncle younger than him. That's just how we roll!

Nobody out here will get this, but Ab you know how the song goes "Elias, Elias, Elias to the taste of it, Diiiettt Coke". And Mom, I don't want to hear squat about grandbabies, I have 40 more years to get started! If you don't like example your brother is setting, take it up with him.

That's all I got. I gotta get my g-rage cleaned up so I can get the A-ride back in there. Gotta proteck that Tinsel Wagon from the elements, yo.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Random Mix of Stuff

Hey guys and gals, it's been a few days since I hollered at you so I thought I'd say a few words so you didn't think I was dead. Now that it's been getting colder and darker, I've been having trouble adjusting. The time change has made it easier to get up in the morning, but only getting half an hour of daylight after work is a little more difficult to embrace.

Like most people, I tend to ease into a recliner once the sun goes down, and that's been happening around 5:00 - 6:00 in the evening. Once again, I've been neglecting things I should be doing in favor of sitting on my duff. Can I get some motivation?!

Refinance My Problems Away

Now that I've brought it to the attention of all parties who hold an interest in my house, I feel I am free to blog about it. Those of you who have known me for some time know that I was once young and stupid. And in those days, contrary to the advice of everyone I talked to, I bought a house with a soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. In retrospect, it can almost be seen equated to when a guy get engaged just to shut his girl up, only I sort of wanted a house too and I got to keep it once things went sour. I don't mean to give the impression that I didn't like her, but I learned a valuable lesson about buying houses for girls.

When she made the transition from soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend to actual-ex-girlfriend, we made an agreement that she was free to walk away from the house without financial obligation, and would sign paperwork when I sold it. Any profit would go directly into my pocket. Well, years later I'm still there and as lives get more complicated it's becoming more and more difficult to even keep current with e-mail addresses let alone mailing addresses and so on. With that in mind, I'm going to refinance the house to get her name off the mortgage and deed. It's a pain in the ass and the wallet, but it's going to be a huge load off my mind. Conveniently I had money earmarked for a ring, which will now cover closing costs, a wiser investment at this point. Hey, everything happens for a reason.

That was the big news I mentioned oh so long ago, sorry it wasn't more exciting. It's more of a personal thing than anything, and unfortunately it's like paying for a new roof when the old one still works; all I get is peace of mind.

I Dined on Lobberts

This weekend, JC stopped by to reclaim his TV. It's been sitting dormant in my parlor (yes fools, I am so fancy as to have a parlor) since last November and he's now ready for it in his mansion. I think after Sony made this TV they decided to put all of their efforts into flat panels because this sumbitch has to weight 150 lbs. I'm Shaq diesel and the damn thing was about all I could handle. Of course, they don't exactly put handles on the sides of TVs. Instead they sharpen every little nook and cranny you might want to use as a handle.

So we loaded the tube into his truck and the stand/DVD player/stereo, etc went into my car. We drove those puppies up into the woods and deposited them in their guest bedroom. Let me tell you, I should have been using this TV all along. I guess I didn't realize he had a high def TV, but the picture is much better than that on my TV. Hmmm, maybe it's best I didn't get used to it lest I should have to upgrade my own.

Yes, it's better this way.

As usual, J&BC felt the need to feed me while I was out at their house. I swear they're like the Italian grandmother I never had. I had stuff to do - fun stuff like grocery shopping and laundry - but they were able to convince me to stay for lobsters. Their son calls them 'lobberts' which was so cute I was not about to correct him.

I have to admit that while I wanted to stay for dinner from the first mention of it, I was secretly afraid that eating lobberts meant ripping a lobberts apart and digging meat from it's dripping carcass. Let me remind you that I can't even smoosh a spider without half a roll of paper towels in my hand.

Unable to come up with a valid excuse, I stayed for dinner and the ripping apart of the crustaceous body was not nearly as terrifying as I imagined. As a matter of fact, it was really secondary to the eating of the delicious "meat". Yup, put me down for having overcome my fear of eating real lobberts.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had to turn the torso away so he didn't look at me while I ate his claws. Even if he was still alive and missing his claws and tail, I'm sure he could have jacked me up in some mysterious aquatic way. That's just how lobberts' roll.

Lay Down Some Tracks

Okay, this isn't about recording the newest hot shit. It's about me running at the track. I tried to visit a new one this week, at a school out in Great Barrington (I think). As I pulled into the parking lot I was psyched to see that they had the lights on. As I got closer I was un-psyched to see that there was a soccer game going on in the middle of the track. Damn, defeated!

Well, back to the Pitt to Taconic HS and all of its darkness. I did my speed work and was handed a healthy dose of ass whooping. Fortunately for me, I was pretty much able to maintain the pace I was shooting for. Yup, I'm closing in on my goal slowly but surely.

For those of you who care, that goal is 6:00 miles for a 5K, and perhaps for a 10K since I don't really like 5K races (believe it or not, 5K is too short to be fun). Currently I'm in the 6:30-6:45 range, but with the times I did today I think I was hovering in the 6:00-6:30 range. Suh-weet. A few months of this training, maybe shed a few more lbs and I'll be right at my goal.

Then I'll set a new seemingly unachievable goal and have to work my ass off (literally and figuratively) to achieve it. Ahh, the life of an addict. It should get here on Thursday!

A Trainer's Paradise

Since I'm not just an addict, but an addict with a toy fund, I recently bought myself a new toy that normal people would never dream of buying. It's a GPS watch with built-in heart rate monitor function and optional cycling cadence-o-meter (which I will add when summer comes).

It cost an arm and a leg but I'm worth it. Dammit, I have two vices and since I can't quite justify the cafe quality espresso machine I have to feed my other addiction. Plus now I'll be able to see exactly where all the trails have taken me, how fast I was going, how fast my heart was going, and so on and so forth. There's some killer software I just downloaded - but can't use yet - that lets you save maps of your run with overlays of your path, speed, HR, elevation, hydration level, etc. It keeps track of how many miles you have on your shoes and if your dog went with you. I don't need this feature, but maybe I'll add my lard-o cats and make them go with me.

A Moment of Clarity

As I was sitting out on the porch waiting for my ride tonight I remembered a CD I wanted to bring. Wishing I had a key to the front door, I decided not to go back in because I'd have to walk all the way to the side door to get in. Just then an image of the missing keys to the front door flashed in my head. I ran to the side door and headed for a mug in a box of crap and to my amazement found two keys on a ring. I tried them and I'll be damned if they weren't the keys to the front door. CHA-CHING! Now I can do more than just walk out that door; I can also walk in it!

Well, that's all I have for ya tonight. I have to get my shower on and take my sweet ass to bed. I'll holler at you later.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Go Whiteboys, Go!

Hey everybody, I had a hankering for a rap video of yore and thought I'd share it with you. House of Pain's self-titled album was the first CD I owned and this video holds a special place in my heart. Enjoy!

Jump Around

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

While You Were Sleeping

Hey everybody, I'm having one of those days when everything seems well with the world. I woke up early to meet up with some folks for a run (I promise I'm gonna talk about something different) and was damn close to bagging it. Knowing I'd have to feed my addiction at some point today I just sucked it up and got outta bed. It was about 273 Kelvin above absolute zero this morning, so I had to get mildly bundled up. It's a tricky temperature where you're right on the line of too hot and too cold. Anywho, let me tell some things I saw while most of y'all were probably sleeping.

Lost in the Wilderness

As usual, we got lost in the woods because our leader had bagged the run in trade for an earlier run. We headed up into the trails only to still not be able to find the trail we were looking for. While lost, we came across some of the most unnatural landmarks of the woods behind Kirvin Park. I could never find them if I wanted to, so it was kind of fun to stumble upon all of them on one morning.

Is This a God Dam?

Just off the beaten path on the way up to one of Pittsfield's water reservoirs is waterfall created by a man made dam. I have been in the vicinity of this dam on probably half a dozen occasions and this is the first time I saw it. I can see myself taking a dip next summer, the pool beneath the waterfall looks wicked inviting.

After standing around pondering the dam, its waterfall, the pool beneath it, and what people must have used it for in the past, we started back up the mountain. At the top of the dam there was an interesting sight: a dam. Apparently Pittsfield's forefathers weren't the only ones to find this to be the perfect spot for a dam, because a clan of beavers had set up shop at one point or another.

Leaving it All Behind

Local lore tells us that one day a guy just had enough with society and left to live in the woods. He built himself a log cabin and spent the rest of his days living communally with the animals. He's since passed away, but his cabin is still there, complete with a sign asking visitors to "Please Treat this Cabin with RESPECT". My guess is that he put up the sign while he still lived there to keep passersby from jacking up his pad.

The cabin has since fallen into disrepair and the roof is riddled with bullet holes, the obvious victim of a showdown between the cabin and a disrespectful gunslinger. I'm not sure how long he lived there, but from what I understand he was a harmless recluse.

It Does a Body Good

Another manmade landmark of the trails out behind Kirvin Park is the carcass of a milk truck of yore. All that's left of the milk truck is its exoskeleton, engine and drivetrain. When you come up on the truck, it catches you offguard because it's sitting in the middle of the woods surrounded on all sides by trees. It's another reminder that these woods were once used for farmland.

Speaking of Farmland

As we were reaching the conclusion of the trip, we were standing around trying to decide which trail would get us home the easiest. Looking around, I noticed something I hadn't seen before: a stone wall. The woods of New England are full of stone walls, the only remaining evidence of the farming history of the area.

You could see that the farmers had cleared the land of large rocks, arranging them into walls outlining their fields. The fields have long since been abandoned and have been reborn as a dense forest of young, spindly trees. The only trees larger than a few inches are found to be in a straight line along the field stone walls. Those must have been left standing when the farmers cleared the land.

The Woods are On Fire

The last visual I have from the route is of a field of burning red brush against a barren autumn backdrop. I had to stop and take it all in; it's one of those views nature gives you for about 2 days out of the year before it extinguishes the brush and turns the landscape brown until the snow flies.

So there you have it. While most of the city was asleep I ducked out its backdoor into the woods and took advantage of some of what New England has to offer. It's amazing to see that mere steps from my neighborhood is a wooded wonderland full of little treasures. Ahhh.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Comedy and Errors

Hey errebody, I got a special treat for y'all today. You'll have to read on to get the tender comedy morsels but I find it to be worth every penny. It's actually a free video, so you don't have to read it and you don't have to pay for it. Win-win for all you cheap, illiterate sumbitches.

And It's All Free

I'd just like to give a shoutout to YouTube for providing the world with videos as far as the eye can see, sometimes further depending on cloud cover. The price is right, and if you're willing to do some searching you can find anything. In my case, I let other people do the searching and then send me links. An example of such a video can be found below. If you're at work or in a church, I recommend wearing headphones. Bob Sagat is a ill muthafucka, yo.

Living Our Lives for Another Day

Yesterday I ducked out of work a little earlier than I wanted because I had to hook up some propane for the new A-grill. I've been driving around with two empty tanks in the A-ride and the propane place closes at 4:00. Yesterday was gorgeous, so I dipped out and took care of bidness.

Historically I haven't done a lot of grilling, but I've also never had a big ass propane grill before either. Not wanting to run out, I filled two tanks so I'd have a reserve.

When I got home I lubed up the grates with Crisco, fired up the 5 individual burners and just let it get to cooking. About 45 minutes later I tossed some sausages on there to add to the ground beef in what was to become sauce for lasagna. Mmm mmm bitch!

Let me tell you, lasagna has to have the longest prep time of any meal I cook. When all was said and done I spent close to 3 hours making a matching pair of lasagnas. Granted, I simmered the sauce for 45 minutes while I showered and I let all the ingredients mingle after assembling the pan, but still. Oh, and the cheese grater I own is more like a cheese grater keychain. Grating two blocks of mozzarella cheese took FOREVER.

By the time it came out of the oven I had already filled up on leftover pasta scraps and Halloween candy. Now I have a 9x13 pan of lasagna to finish before it spoils. On the up side, I have another one in the freezer for a rainy day. I won't be complaining about the eggstra effort then!

Everything in Moderation

Everyone knows that you burn calories when you exercise (A). Everyone also knows that sugar has lots of calories (B). If (A) is true and (B) is true, then it should also hold true that more (B) allows for more (A). Attempting to apply this theory to my personal fitness routine (running), I ate a shitload of candy yesterday and then went running.

As it turned out, the simple sugars did not hold out long enough and I hit a real dip in my blood sugar early on. The run was scheduled for roughly 8 miles but had to be cut short, to around 5.25. BALLS!

After my efforts at the track the previous night, it was probably a good thing to stop short but I also had some demons I was trying to exorcise and they were going to take as many miles as I could throw at them.

Now Accepting Donations

And speaking of everything in moderation, I am considering expanding my activity repertoire to include rowing. I've been talking to a guy about rowing machines and one of the good ones out there lets you track all sorts of data about your efforts. You can even - through the magic of the futureweb - connect up with others and race, all in the comfort of your own basement/garage/spare bedroom. I have been looking for something I can do a few times a week to get an upperbody workout (that doesn't include lifting weights), and rowing seems to fit the bill.

The issue I have with this is that I've never actually rowed before and it's a substantial investment for an activity I might not enjoy. The best way to mitigate any risk is to ask my readers to send me donations in the form of cold hard cash ($50 each should get me started) and rowing machines (Concept 2 is the brand name, I'd prefer the best one but can suffer with the next one down).

So that's all I have to say about that. I hope you guys can find it in your hearts to send me some cash and rowing machines. I promise to tell you all about it in great detail.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bah Humbug!

Wouldn't you know it? Most of you probably know that I'm not one for holidays. It's not the holidays themselves that I dislike, but really just the overcommercialization of them that gets my goat. This year I decided to start turning myself around. Maybe I'm getting older, maybe I'm just weak, who knows.

This year I got excited about Halloween. I figured if one holiday was alright to get into, it would be Halloween. The reason I made the jump is simple, it's about little kids getting dressed up and excited to go Trick-or-Treating. Kids don't have anything to do with sending people Hallmark cards, or buying over-priced "hot items". All they know is that they want to wear fun costumes and go door to door. So in that light I went out about a month ago and bought four bags of candy, which I managed to keep in the cupboard until last night.

Tonight I raced home from work, turned on the porch light, cleaned up the front of the house, vacuumed up the downstairs, played some upbeat music, lit some holiday cheer inspiring candles, and nestled in for an evening of answering the door and handing out candy.

Well, I got all fucking nestled in for nothing! ONE KID came to my door. Had I known that I would have given her the whole damn bowl of candy. The people across the street had to practically hire a bouncer to keep the kids under control, and I get one kid at my door.

Now you know what kids? Don't think I'll be making this mistake again next year. You missed it. I had the good shit too, none of that candycorn crap, but name brand treats for anyone willing to walk up to my door. I didn't even care if you were "too old" for Trick-or-Treating; shit, I'd probably give you more. Nope, now I have a big ass bowl of candy to bring into work.

And just for this, I'm gonna hate on Christmas with extra vigor this year. The holiday gods can take their sugar plums, greeting cards, fake snow/leaves/spiderwebs/gourds and shove them up their arrogant little asses.

I'm going running.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Smiling at the Pearly Grill

Mark this date on your calendars, people, because something remarkable happened to your humble narrator. I left work early (but to later return) and went to the dentist. Okay, people go to the dentist all the time, but not this guy. I've been meaning to go for the last few years but never got around to it. Plus, I have a mental block with making phone calls. I'm not one for talking on the phone to begin with, but making appointments is a whole other story. Having taken that step a while ago, today was all about turning that appointment into reality.

Would the Real Dentist's Office Please Stand Up?

Before I delve into the details of my visit, I have to admit that I'm an idiot when it comes to getting around. This won't come as a surprise to many of you, as I have been lost on more occasions that I can count, but this one was just ludicrous. All I knew about the dentist office is that it was in a white building (a house actually) on South Street. Like an idiot, I figured that was enough to get me to the place. I didn't bother remembering the address, nope I was going to rely on my keen navigational skills to guide me to the dentist's chair.

As it turns out, every building on South Street is white (this is New England, every house is white), a house, and a dentist's office. Well, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, most are dentists, some are doctors and the rest are orthodontists. Either way I was in and out of every driveway, parking lot and side street in a four block stretch before I turned my attention to the other side of the road. There it was in plain block letters on a white sign, my new dentist's office.

Like a Detailing for my Teeth

It had been at about six years since I moved to Pittsfield, and I haven't seen a dentist in all that time. I know I was still seeing my dentist throughout college, so my best estimate is six years without a professional poking and prodding at my teeth and gums. I like to think I take good care of my pearly whites, but without regular feedback I can see how I might have had some things go awry.

After dealing me a healthy dose of tooth and gum scraping, the hygienist asked if I use an electric toothbrush. I figured the next words out of her mouth would be "Well, maybe you should start", implying that my teeth would frighten George Washington. Instead she say "Oh, your teeth are in excellent shape for not having seen a dentist in six years." That's what I'm talking about. My hygiene is top notch! I should have asked for that in writing so I could put it on my resume, but I didn't think of it until just now.

She also asked if I had worn braces, which I always thought was an obvious 'no'. She made no comments on the alignment of my teeth, which are fairly straight but certainly not perfect.

Okay, so the whole thing was not 100% positive. They discovered 3 VERY small cavities, two of which were on the edge of old fillings. She said there wasn't much I could have done about those. The third was from clamping my teeth too much, which I don't think I do anymore. Who am I to argue, they're the professionals. So I have to go back in a few weeks to get those puppies taken care of, just in time for Thanksgiving.

The x-rays also showed that my lower wisdom teeth are pushing my molars around a bit. Now that I told the dentist that I wasn't experiencing any discomfort, I remember (thank you Animal Crackers) that some foods really bother my most rear molars on the bottom. If Animal Crackers weren't so delicious and crunchy I would probably never have any problems, but I think I'll get them yanked at some point so I can eat my zoologically depictive snacks ad nauseum. They mentioned the wisdom teeth, but didn't specifically say I should have them removed. Maybe they wanted to make sure I'd be back before suggesting surgery.

Flex This!

In other news, we're getting bush leagued out of our flexible work schedule at work. We used to be required to work 40 hours a week, and as long as our managers approved we could really work any 40 hours we wanted (within reason). The next step was to move it to two week pay periods, where we had to get in 80 hours in two weeks. This allowed for slightly more flexibility. They said we wouldn't be moving to a 9/80 schedule (I suggest you google it if you don't understand), but then today announced exactly that. My theory is that they're going to dictate rigid work hours in the near future.

I'm kind of peeved about this new development, as I have been using flex time to my advantage quite frequently. Basically, all summer I worked when the weather sucked and didn't when it was nice. I figure that was win-win for everyone. I got to enjoy the nice weather, and I wasn't at work detracting from people who were trying to get things done. Now I have to be there 9 out of 10 days per two week period, and I guarantee it'll rain every other Friday when we have off.

Maybe I'm a Freak, But...

Back to the dentist thing. You know how most people are afraid of the drill at the dentist? That whirring sound gives most people the creeps. Not me, I love me the sound of pneumatic tools. I wanted to say something to the hygienist, but I didn't want her to think I had some sort of dentist drill fetish. I'm not into pneumatic tools that way.

Now I must bid you adieu. Make sure to brush your teeth and get to flossing.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hooo Weeee

Alright, I hope everyone remembered to set his/her clocks back. I set mine before bed instead of trusting myself to remember in the morning. I had The Brock Trot this morning, so I had to be up on time lest I should be late. I have some info on that for ya, plus some more goodies. Tune in for further details...

Overlooking the Little People

Okay, I'm not going to pretend to be an extremely seasoned racer, but when you charge $25 for a 10k people expect a little something extra. This race had all the trimmings you would expect from a fund raiser. They had the speeches, they had the sponsors (who were repeatedly thanked while we waited at the starting line), they had a million volunteers (also to be expected), they had fancy goody bags and they had press coverage. What they didn't have was prizes for the people who ran the race.

The people running the show were very interested in getting some elite racers to show up, so they offered big prize money. The website implied that there would be prizes for the top 8 in each age group, but what they meant was that they were paying out only to the top 8 men and top 8 women overall. The age groups didn't mean anything. That literally put 60 year old guys on the same playing field as 21 year old Kenyans.

While the top winners walked away with huge money, backpacks, shoes, trophies, and gift certificates to a local spa, the rest of us watched. Most of the winners were not locals, so the spa gift certificates are sure to go to waste. They then raffled off about 8 pairs of shoes, where it turned out you didn't have to be there to win. Winners would be notified by mail. The rest of us just watched.

Basically, we all stood around in the cold, the snow and the wind while they handed out a few prizes to people we don't know. I would have been just as happy reading about that in the paper, there was no need for me to stand there shivering. The real kicker was that there was no mention of any age group winners!

If anyone from the Brock Trot organization is reading this, you better have awards or at least MENTION the age group winners next year or you might as well just have a fund raising dinner. Races are for runners and if you ignore 90% of the runners, we won't show up.

HOWEVER, I still ran an awesome race. Here's a shot of me passing my doctor (can you can tell I've been working out a little?). I seem to be neck and neck with him at every race, and the way I see it if I can beat my doctor I'm doing pretty well. Of course, he has a few years on me.

Ho Lee Wind

So we have some serious wind kicking out there today. The skies are littered with leaves, snowflakes and plastic lawn chairs. I've already had to fix the tarp covering my bark pile (don't ask) a half a dozen times, and drag my lawn chairs back onto the porch and lawn. I would try out my grill, but they don't work so good in the wind and I don't want her maiden voyage to be under less than ideal conditions. Meanwhile, I have some sausage links sitting in the fridge just itching to be cooked.

Volunteers in Action

Oh I forgot to mention that I helped out in the two Kids' Races held after the "Adult Race". Here's a picture of me working the timer. I got to type in the kids' numbers as they came in. The other lady worked the actual button that marked each runner's time. I now see why race directors want you to make your bib number as visible as possible. Some kids had them on their backs, some were only pinned at the top so they flipped up when they ran, some kids had coats on over their numbers. With all of that, it was tough to get them all entered in order. Of course they're kids and probably don't really care.

Oh man, my battery is dying so I have to go. I'll holler at y'all later.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Foggy Skies but Clearer Outlook

Good morning y'all, it's a blustery, rainy day here in the Berkshires. Despite that, I've been making good use of my day including sleeping in. My cat sat outside the door and hollered at me until I gave in and got up to feed them. I can't blame him, it was almost 10:30 by the time I got up. Anyway, listen close as I tell you what's what.

Post-Rant Pickup

After I got that rant off my chest yesterday, things seemed to go much more smoothly for me. Work was straight up boring, but that's what I expected when I had to work that late on a Friday. By the time I got home I had an evening run all lined up, complete with free dinner at the end. Cha-ching!

For some odd reason, we were going to start at the mall, run to the Adams end of the Rail Trail, then to the dealership where LS had to pick up the B-Ride. That would have been absurd, so instead we left my car at Cheshire Lake and went from there.

As we strolled into the parking lot, it dawned on us that if the car was locked or didn't have the keys inside we had no option other than to run back to my car. Neither one of us had a phone, a quarter, a megaphone, a damp blanket for smoke signals, talking drums, or anything else to call someone to help out. Fortunately, the dealership was true to their word (word is bond, yo) and left the B-ride open and ready to roll.

Once inside the comfort of the '96 Pontiac, we proceeded to the Freight Yard Pub, a place I had never been before. The parking was terrible and just finding the place was something else. But, once inside it was a different story. I was a little self-conscious showing up after having just run for an hour. I had regular warm up pants on and a real shirt to cover my lycra getup, but still.

I had a cajun chicken sandwich and about 200 coffees, plus dessert (which required more coffee). We kept asking the poor waitress for more and more coffee, long after I'm sure she was ready for our lollygagging asses to be on the road. Honestly I didn't realize it was so late or I would have vamoosed. Thanks for the coffees and the smiles that went with them.

Big ups to the pub though, good food and much, much better service than your typical Berkshire restaurant.

Up in My Own Grill

After picking up around the house for hours, I decided to get started on my new grill while there was still daylight. It ended up being quite the fiasco, followed by more fiascos. Eventually I was able to tighten the last screw and call it a day. At that point it was pouring rain and I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I still haven't been able to fire it up yet, as I find myself out of propane plus it's been raining. Monday I'll probably get that bad boy fired up and cook me some dinnah.

Off the Heezie

I got an e-mail from Dom today demanding my butter lyrics over a beat he invented for a contest he's also invented. Actually, I think Lerla (Laila) had a hand in the contest/beat too. The beat is called "Introducing the Chimps", a DCLS (pronounced "Dickles") production. The instructions said to record your rhymes over the beat, with a banana theme. The only catch was that you couldn't mention chimpanzees. With a contest name like "The First Annual Beat-Off", I can only imagine what everyone else is going to come up with.

What's that? Oh, you want a sample? Alright, check these dope rhymes...

Copyright, copyright, copyright.

Don't front with no plums, best check yo attitude
No Chiquita, del Monte for my organic crew

Copyright, copyright, copyright.

Of course, out of context you don't see the whole theme of it, but let me tell you this is some hot shit. When the record stops spinning, it's going to make a PlacaTAN noise.

Need my Beauty Rest

Alright y'alls. I need to rest my weary bones, for tomorrow morning brings the long awaited Brock Trot. I'm praying for cold, wind, snow, rain and locusts - anything to keep other people in my age group from showing up. They pay out for the top 8 in each age group, so I stand to actually win something for once. How dope would that be?

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Friday, October 27, 2006

NOT My Day

Bad news here readers. Life has shit upon me thrice today and it's only 9:15. As we all know, after delivering bad news people like to tell you that everything happens for a reason, and I'm just going to head that off at the pass. As logical as that saying is, and as much sense as it makes down the road, it is NOT comforting in the moment. Now I'm going to vent...

"It's Not You, It's Me"

Okay, so those aren't the exact words but I'm starting to get the idea that the new way to let someone down is "Just know that you're a great person to have had in my life (past tense)". I get that more often than you'd think. Since you probably don't know what I'm talking about, I was just informed that CPG has officially fled the country to (presumably) avoid me. She even said her paperwork was all finalized and she was free to return, but chose to stay in Poland. Now I can add "Fled the country" to my list of rejections.

Since highschool, the top three rejections/dumpings are now:

  1. Fled the country.

  2. Fled the state (later, the whole northeast).

  3. Fled the county.

Editor's Note: Runner-up goes to "Oh, this is my boyfriend. We met while I was in Canada this summer. I probably should have said something before."

I think at this point I would welcome something more traditional like "Why? Because you're an asshole", "My friends and family all hate you, your friends and your family" or "I was just slumming to make my ex jealous. We're back together now.". On the bright side, suicide and lesbianism haven't made the list yet.

Anyway, being the last-finishing nice guy that I am, I can see why she might choose Europe over Pittsfield, but it still sucks. Since everything happens for a reason, I can only assume that my refocused, creepy, across-the-street gaze will eventually wear down Walker Girl to the point where she'll cross the street and strike up a conversation.

Okay, that was really only strike three for the day. Let me back up a few hours...

Strike One

After a restless dream state this morning where I dreamt of having my ass handed to me at work in one dream and of being socially outcast in another, I awoke to find that it was not only time to get up, but 3 hours later than that. There's no better way to start the day than to leap out of a warm bed into a 54 degree bedroom, scarf down breakfast and hustle out to a car covered in frost, knowing that you have a full day ahead of you and you're wicked late for work. So much for getting out early today.

Strike Two

People don't normally schedule meetings for Fridays, since many people are not at work. In the event that someone does schedule one, it's typically later in the morning. Today I had a meeting I thought began at 9:00 (my calendar had it scheduled for 8:30) which I was more than certain I'd be at work for when I agreed to meet at that time. I'll refer you to strike 1 if you don't see why this becaome a problem for me. Fortunately it was only a security briefing. It's just the government, what can they really do to me anyway?

Putting Things into Perspective

This is more of a shoutout to Russ-T who once again was able to trump all of my complaints with problems (much, much worse than mine) that are just business as usual for him. I'm not going to delve into his stories, but he ended his storytelling session by saying "... and this is why I suggest staying single forever". It was almost the real-life equivalent of the scene in Billy Madison when he shook the fat kid who couldn't wait to get to hike (sic) school and told him to "Stay here as long as you can".

You know, I'm starting to think Russ-T might have it right. Fortunately it's going to be cold/windy/rainy all weekend, so that should lift my spirits.

P.S. I received my new grill last night and got a cardboard cut while trying to open the box. Nice, real nice!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Vegas Report

Well Coot Fans, I'm back from my vacation and let me tell you, I need another. Yes, I know that's the oldest cliche in the book but it's for real. Allow me to go into detail...

Monday morning started at 9:00 Pacific Time with a quick jump into the shower and then off to breakfast. JD and the Newlyweds were trying to get on the road for home and didn't want to lollygag all morning, so we hit up the cafe in the hotel. It was super. A round of handshakes and hugs and they were off; NM and I headed out to catch the {Jazz Hands} Monorail {/Jazz Hands} to the south end of the strip. Or is it the north end? Well, the other end.

Once we reached the other end, the day was filled with walking, eating, a little gambling, fine cigars, and dessert. It was a nice, peaceful end to a somewhat hectic week. I won't bore you with the details other than to say they need more bathrooms in Caeser's Palace. I walked for 20 minutes looking for a bathroom only to have to go through the casino. Surrisly, the place is jam packed with stores, restaurants and bars, but no bathrooms.

We arrived back at The Luxor in time to eat dessert at The Chocolate Swan, gather the bags from the Bell Hop, hail a cab and get to the airport. With bags checked, we were greeted by a serious line for the security screening. To make things more pleasant, there were two large, obnoxious, stinky women ahead in line. I tried not to talk to them, but the one wouldn't shut her yapper. She apparently missed the sign that said "One Carryon Bag and One Personal Item (purse, laptop, etc). I don't care how you looked at them, the four bags she was toting could never be confused for two bags. I'm sure she complained her way through security anyway, I wish they would have told her she had to check some of them to teach her a lesson.

At the gate, I met a wonderful grandmother type who, in the interest of saving a few dollars, was placed on four planes to get from Cali to Florida. She was traveling for 36 hours. Ho-Lee-Crap! She was very upbeat about her situation and everyone within earshot had a good laugh about it. Then there was the girl who was passed the eff out. Not drunk passed out, just regular passed out. They were making the 5th last call when we finally woke her up. The ticket had the wrong gate (which is why we didn't awaken her) and she leapt to her feet and up to the gate. Phew.

Here's a lesson for you traveling folk. If you want to sleep at the terminal, make sure people can read your boarding pass so they can wake you up if you oversleep.

By the time I got home it was after 9:00 Eastern Time and I had been up for some ungodly amount of time, walked for hours, flown several thousand miles, driven for an hour and change and somehow in the mix missed the night.

Word on the Street

At the beginning of our walk on Monday, we passed two éses, one of whom was on the phone. As we passed, we overheard him telling the guy on the other end of the line the following.
Yo man, I'm in Vegas. I just got one of those prostitute cards and it had yo mahm on it dude.

Of course in written text I can't do it justice, but if you re-read it in your head with a latino accent with this image in your head you might just see the humor in it. I literally busted out laughing right there on the street at that shit. Priceless.

Smoker's Paradise

With a name like Old Coot, you might expect that I'd do a lot of complaining but I'm more of a "meh, what can you do?" kind of guy. But do you know what really gets my goat? People in Vegas smoke like it's going out of style and they do it everywhere. You can't go anywhere or do anything without sucking down two packs of second-hand smoke an hour.

On Friday morning I went for a run down The Strip around 7:15 to avoid the crowds. When I finished, my clothes reeked with a stench I can only describe as having been licked for an hour by chainsmoking grannies with complexions akin to boot leather. I prefer swamp ass to that malodorous scent.

Burt's Bees Has No Place in an Airport

After a week in the desert's hot, arid climate, my lips were as chapped as those of chainsmoking grannies whose stink-saliva would cover even the swampest of ass. NM was packing Burt's Bees which is commonly referred to as The Bomb Lip Balm. In highschool, Kilm used to tote that shit and we would all soothe our ailing lips with a quick swipe of the finger. Ahhh, so nice. In fact, if you didn't keep your eyes on it, haters would jack your balm never to return it. You'd have to place an order with Kilm for the next time she went to her secret Burt's Bees supplier. Nowadays you can buy it in any store, but back then the shit was rare.

Anyway, it sounded like I was sanding granite whenever I spoke and I asked NM for some of The Bomb Lip Balm. It was too late to stop myself when I realized that I was in an airport and probably shouldn't be yelling things like "Bomb" or even "Balm" for that matter. I checked myself and didn't say that shit again.

I Like Making Snobs Nervous

We were walking down a particularly seedy section of The Strip on Monday when I noticed a wealthy woman ahead of us. She seemed to be a little iffy about her surroundings and I thought I'd take advantage of the situation to do my part. Making sure the traffic noise was low and she was within earshot, I belted out "Damn, my fucking lips are chapped as hell! I fucking burned the shit out of 'em on that crack pipe last night; that was stupid." She nervously turned around and looked at me, a seemingly well-dressed white guy with a shit-eating grin on his face. I'm sure she expected to see some hoody-sporting delinquent. Oh the surprise.

There's a Reason They Call it Sin City

I found myself sitting in a casino making 50¢ bets at one of the many one armed bandits when the drink girl came by. Not wanting to waste the opportunity for a free drink, I asked for a chocolate milk. Apparently you can have all of the Long Island Iced Teas or Cosmopolitans you can handle, but no bartender has time to stir chocolate syrup into milk. I argued the point with the waitress and she saw things my way, offering to ask the bartender if he could do it. Minutes later she came back with my chocolate milk. It was made from hot cocoa mix, but at least she tried.

The next night we were at the rehearsal dinner in a fancy steakhouse. The waiter was taking drink orders and I asked for a chocolate milk, to which he quickly replied "we don't have that". I thought maybe he thought I was joking so I asked if they seriously didn't have any and he shut me down with a quick "No".

Now, it's possible but highly unlikely that a bar wouldn't have milk and chocolate syrup, but I find it difficult to believe that a restaurant would lack both of those ingredients. Since he seemed angry with my request so I ordered a Diet Coke. Just to make my point, I should have asked if they knew how to make one.

So my point is that they make every effort to provide visitors with alcohol, tobacco and prostitutes, but God forbid you want a glass of chocolate milk you're SOL.

One Last Rant

I'm not going to pretend that I'm a world traveler but I've stayed in my share of hotels. Each one, down to the shittiest of shit holes came equipped with a coffee maker. Staying at the Luxor, I expected to find maybe even a fancy coffee maker in place of the cheap 4-cup Mr. Coffee jobber you find in traditional hotel rooms. To my dismay, the room was equipped with no coffee maker. However, they were more than happy to supply me with all the Starbucks I could drink for the small fee of $3.01 per cup.

And what's the deal with things costing $X.01? The cashier actually counted out 99¢ one time instead of taking a penny from the give-a-penny, take-a-penny. I'm sure they want me to leave my change as a tip, but 99¢ for pouring a cup of coffee is just a little absurd. The next time I was prepared with the extra cent.

Well, that's all I have for today. HECOW, you'll be glad to know that I barely even talked about running. I'll have more on that another day.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Refurbished an Old Entry

One more thing. I just noticed that My Great Pumpkin entry was defunct. Well, I dedefuncted it, so you can peruse it at your leisure. Sorry for the delay, it was a typographical error on my part. It was a little error with my use of html. Tee hee.

Get the Whole Story Here...

Out of the Office Preply

Good morning urryone. This is going to be my last entry for a little while as I'll be on vacation sans computer. I might have access here and there, but I wouldn't bet on it if I were you. I'm not bringing my laptop so I'd have to borrow someone else's and I'd rather just read a book by the pool instead. Where am I going, you ask?

I'll be sunning myself poolside in Las Vegas by 11:30 tomorrow morning. Ahhhhhhhh! While most people go out there for the gambling, "free" drinks and naked dancers, I'm going out there to sit by the pool and read a book. Oh, and also for a wedding. My homebizzle and homegizzle from AZ are getting hitched and they thought I might like to witness it. I would, and I will.

Y'all know how I like to tell stories, and how I specifically like to tell stories about other people. The best man is incredibly shy about speaking publicly (so they say), so they asked Old "Windbag" Coot to say a few words. I hope they paid extra for the reception hall cuz I can jaw for hours. I'm actually not that comfortable speaking in front of a crowd, but once I get going I'm sure I'll be fine. Maybe I'll make a few mental notes before I head up to wing it. Here are a few:

1. Embarass the groom.
2. Embarass the bride.
3. Say something funny, but not embarassing.
4. Tell everyone how much these two mean to me, blah blah blah.
5. Wish them well.

I think the key is to end on a real tear-jerker. That seems to be the standard finishing for a toast these days, and since I'm no toastmaster I'll probably follow suit. It's hard to say until I get up there; I'll either get on a roll or I'll flounder and resort to making armpit fart noises. I'd say it's a 50/50 shot either way.

Speach TrailerI hope you two don't have a made-up story of how you met that you told your parents, because that's the quasi-embarassing funny thing I'm gonna tell. The way you met seems innocent enough, but I'm going to Old-Cootize it and hopefully make it good. Don't worry, the embarassing part is not what you may be thinking.

Who Put the Bride in Charge?

The bride sent out an agenda detailing what everyone will be doing for the duration, and I don't mean just the wedding part. She has me scheduled to pee at 8:13 PST on Thursday morning. If I can't perform, I have to hold it until 11:48. I better drink some water before I go to bed to make sure I have to go.

What I didn't see on the schedule is where I get to go to Red Rocks National Park to run trails. I'm pretty sure that was on the unwritten agenda, I best get to do it. I even picked out a trail called "Turtlehead Peak" to entice the fart joke humorists to join. Turtlehead Peak is not an easy trail so we probably won't do it, but it's just fun to say. I've got a "Turtlehead Peak"ing out.

Now that I think about it, I should get myself a waterbottle holder doohickey for this trip. I don't run with water around here, but it isn't hot or dry, and if you're really thirsty you can just take a sip from one of the streams you have to hop across. Out in the desert, they don't have fancy waterways running hither and thither, you have to bring your own H2O. Damn, one more thing to buy. But check this out...

I went into Staples last night after work to buy an SD memory card for my camera. I've told you all of the reasons, so I won't repeat myself. I expected it to run me in the $60-70 range but much to my delight they had a 1 GB card on sale for $29, plus a $10 rebate. PlacaTAN! So in theory I earned $50 by shopping there. I'll spend that on my new water bottle carrier at my friendly neighborhood Arcadian Shop, and maybe some other treats for me.

Okay, that's all I have for you right now. If anyone wants me to place any bets for him/her, please give me your cash today. I promise to bring you your winnings should you hit big (minus a small handling charge), so you can feel safe knowing that it's as good as your hand placing the bet. For real though, I'm trustworthy.

P.S. Send your thought waves of hot chicks in bikinis my way. You know I need all the help I can get.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Here, Let Me Hold That for You

Hey e'erybody, it's your old pal Old Coot again. I just got an e-mail about this doormanning gig I told you about. I thought I'd share a picture of the get-up I have to (get to) wear with all my homies here at Old Coot Productions®.

I know what you're thinking "I hope you got paid to pose for that picture." but that's not really a picture of me. I'm good looking, but not Doorman Outfit Monthly good looking.

Well, that's all I got for you tonight. I'm trying to get some laundry squared away before I turn in for the night. That and I need to find out where to pick up a nice white dress shirt and plain black tie. Okay, I'll holler at you later.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Great Pumpkin is Real

Hey y'all, it's time for Old Coot to holler at you one more 'gain. Did any of you catch the moon last night? It was humongous, and right when it began its path across the sky, it was a deep orange. When I first saw it I didn't even know what it was. Surrisly, it looked like Charlie Brown's The Great Pumpkin.

For all you haters out there, here's something else you can hate on me for. I watched the moon come up in all of it's lunar splendor last night from the comfy seat in my kayak. Leroy (the bat) was out most of the night binging on bugs and generally keeping them away from me, and the temperature was just right. I had a hot coffee in my cupholder and lazily paddled my way to and fro about the lake.

For my B-lo folk, there was a big red ball anchored in the middle of the lake. I proceeded to paddle up to it and try to play with it (which is when I learned that it was anchored). Had it been loose, you can garr-rohn-tee I would have carried it up to the steps of my friendly neighborhood art gallery and played a hot game of Red Ball. What! And when I say 'big red ball', this thing was probably six feet in diameter. I'd put a picture up, but Blogger won't let me.

For my B-erkshire folk, I'm getting a grill. Having deemed my charcoal grill unworthy, my parents have taken pity on my soul and ordered me a big honking gas grill. This puppy puts off enough British Thermal Units to suck a propane tank dry in no time. It's like the Hummer of the gas grill world. Granted, I haven't seen it yet as it won't be delivered for another week or so (oh man, I hope it gets here before I leave for Vegas), but we'll be getting hurricanes up here in New England after a season of cooking on this bad boy (that's a global warming reference, dumbasses).

In other news, I might be doormanning at a ritzy, lah-dee-dah fundraiser this weekend. From the sound of it, I would dress up in a doorman getup complete with top-hat, tails and white gloves - thank you very much - and greet all of the wealthy Berkshire folk, charming all the ladies with my Libran charm. Once full of appetizers and champagne, I will once again hold the door for them as they head across the street to a showing of Mame starring Sandy Duncan (I know you remember the show about Sandy Duncan and her family from the 80s). Drunk off Alize and Crystal, the wives will all tell me how charming and handsome I am (pinching my cheeks), and tell me how perfect I would be for their wealthy, beautiful, tennis-star daughters. Perfect that is, if I weren't a lowly doorman.

Once the last guest has moved across the street, I will quickly change into my debonair outfit (the same outfit as before minus the coat, tophat and gloves) and join them in their uppercrust event. Afterwards, we will all adjourn to a fancy nearby restaurant to tell stories about places ending in 'ingham (Wetheringuppitingham) and enjoy gourmet chocolate truffles. Ahh, you may hate some more.

Okay, that's that. Time for Old Coot to get his beauty rest.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vegas and Log-Lugging

Well Cooterinos, it's back to the grind this week. I've got a little over a week left before it's time for me to saddle up and fly out to Vegas. I heard a rumor that the pools close in the off-season, which really worried me. Since I don't fit the description of a traditional Vegas visitor, I'm not sure what else I would do in my free time. However, a quick check to the Luxor website eased my concerns. Phew, I'll be a-sunning myself afterall.

With just over a week left, I have a few things I really need to get in order for the trip. I have to pick up a memory card for my camera for shizzle. The one I have is fine for a weekend or so, but I'm not going to have my laptop with me, so I have to be able to store an entire week's worth of pictures on memory cards.

I also wanted to pick up a camping pad in case I end up sleeping on the floor. We might have a lot of people in the room some nights and I don't want a repeat of my Florida trip with JO, when I had to sleep on the floor w/o any cushioning. Man those girls were wenches. They wouldn't give me the cushions off the fold-out couch because they didn't want their pillows to fall down into the couch, so I had to sleep on the hard ass floor. Nope, this time I want to be prepared.

Next, I need some clothes for the trip. The difficulty here is that it's going to be hot during the day, then cold at night, so I have to be prepared for everything. Plus, there will be plenty of pool sitting and I don't want to be that guy wearing the same thong to the pool everyday; how embarassing. Considering my current broke ass finances, I'm not sure how much cash I'll have to be buying tons of stuff, but I'll see what I can do.

HECOW, cover your reading ears. I just checked on Sunday's trail race results, and I finished 31st overall (out of 99), and second in my age group. Of course, there were only two people in the race in their 20s, so that doesn't really tell you anything. Had we stuck around, I probably would have taken home some hardware.

I checked out the cute girl I chased for the last third of the race and she's in her 30s and from CT (she finished one minute before me). Not much of a chance of seeing her again. Oh well, she didn't seem real interested anyway, although my attempts to slow her down by asking open-ended questions did get long answers. Unfortunately, she could hold a conversation and kick my ass at the same time.

There's a race coming up in a few weeks to benefit Cancer Research, with an emphasis on lung cancer. It's in memory of a lifetime runner (and non-smoker) who died suddenly of lung cancer, and the organizers are really trying to get money out of you. The entry fee is $25, which is already pretty steep for a race around here, then they tack on handling fees, convenience fees and everything else which gets you to $33. Then, if you want to partake in the post-race feeding frenzy, you better open your wallet up for another $8. Usually that stuff is included, but this time you have to shell out for it.

I did find however, that if you mail in the entry form it doesn't say anything about late entry fees ($5) and doesn't get a chance to add on their ticketmaster-style convenience charge. Needless to say, I'm going to enter for a mere $25.39 (including the stamp). Score!

The directions on the entry form say to make checks payable to: The Brock Wilkerson Memorial Cancer Research Fund. Apparently the people coordinating this thing have never filled out a check before, because you need two lines to fit all of those words. How about just the name of the race, The Brock Trot?

Got Wood?

Yesterday I got wood, firewood that is (you are all scumbags). I went out to JC's house to help haul wood from the woodpile to the other side of the house (down a hill), then into the basement and around the corner into the superheated boiler room. Man, it's hot in there. Using wheelbarrows and good old fashioned elbow grease, we lugged almost a cord into the basement.

It wouldn't have been so hard except we had to hand carry the logs from the basement door to the wood racks. Anyone who's carried firewood before knows that you load up your subordinate arm with logs, each one pressing a corner into your flesh. After you've moved a ton (literally) of logs, your arm is criss-crossed with red marks, bruises and spider carcasses.

As payment for my services, I received exactly - to the ounce - one truckload of firewood. By the time we had lugged all of his firewood, there was no way I was going to wheel another 2/3 of a cord up the hill to my wood rack. Nope, we tossed that mess into the driveway and I settled into a bowl of ice cream. Now tonight I have my work cut out for me.

I was also hoping to reinforce my woodrack and maybe even put a rudimentary roof on it so I'm not fussing with tarps all winter. I have several packs of shingles in the garage, I could really do it up. If I'm gonna go that far, I should probably replace the busted pavers beneath the thing so it stays good and level. All that work just to stack wood that's gonna be tossed into a fire. Hey Russ-T, wanna put a roof on my woodrack?

Well, I think that's about it for me today. I'll let you guys know how the woodrack goes, as I'm sure you'll be wondering about it all night. Take care and don't forget to floss.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...
"Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him.' and I just took off." -Pre