Tuesday, November 25, 2008


....nope, not the Manfred Mann song (c'mon, who remembers that one?)

Anyway, I'm a week into my running program. So far (operative word there) its way below my talent level (which was minimal to start with, hence the running program) but since i felt a twinge the other day after a run its good that the program has so much built-in off time. For now.

But its nice too. Its rather easy and I don't dread the runs coming up. On the contrary, I rather look forward to them (not so much that I set the alarm for 5:20 a.m. however). Tonight's jaunt calls for walk 3 mins, run 3 mins, repeat 4 times. Simple enough, eh? I'm maxing out at 6 mph and walking 3. Again, trying to take it really easy to start (do I sound like I'm trying to convince myself? I probably am).

One thing I need to keep in mind is: the mere fact that my 22-year-old mind thinks I can still run 7 miles at a 6:20 clip, doesn't mean that my 42-year-old ligaments and tendons are ready (let alone lungs, knees, bladder). That, therein, is the key. The aforementioned may be able to handle more load (except perhaps my knees), but the tiny parts need about 6 weeks to get up to speed. So, since I'm so far out from my goal, I'll allow them the time to catch up.

Plus, I think its good for my daughter to see her old man at least fight the good fight against aging (all right, anybody remember that song? From Triumph? Rik Emmet could play a hell of a guitar). Role modeling anyone? Of course her energy levels are off the charts.

Mine aren't. Not yet. Hence the program. And the slow start. Besides, there will be plenty of hellacious runs, oh about, August sometime.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Geo W. vs. Lalas

After homework and dinner The Little One and I settled in for some Xbox video games. While she is no doubt a girlie-girl, she can be so boylike when it comes to things like games and competition; and I love it.

Anyway, at about 9 p.m. it was time to wind down and we usually watch some television together until she falls asleep. There was nothing on and I was channel surfing and asked her what she wanted to watch. She suggested "soccer" and added that they were playing soccer in gym and that she "stinks" and wants to see how to get better.

How cool is that? So I started searching for some.

But then, a few channels later, there was a thing on National Geographic channel (I think) about George Washington. She stopped me there. "No, I rather watch that" she said.

I thought to myself that was even cooler.

She watched for a good half hour before finally drifting off after telling me how George Washington was our first president and that he was on the dollar.

It was a fascinating piece and I enjoyed watching the rest of it but can't imagine it holding my attention as a just-turned-six-year-old.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tread with a Treadmill

Yesterday was day 1 of my running plan. I was anxious to get going even though I have a cold. And I hurt my shoulder getting my 1 billion pound treadmill from storage. How funny is that?

Other than that, the run was easy and I fought not running harder.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Run Forest Run

The Hartford Marathon is in about 47 weeks.

I used to run quite a bit in college and for years afterwards and have always taken pride in myself in being in some semblance of "shape". I'm not right now as that definition pertains to any aspect of me. And pictures lately prove it.

I just don't feel motivated or goal-oriented despite the numerous "claims" I've made on this space to start exercising more and eating better.

I frequently get disappointed because I want it all now. Not many, many weeks down the road. But 47 weeks is enough time to train and do it right and do it slowly so as to avoid injury and disappointment.

I've set forth a course of training for it. Will I do it? I honestly don't know. But I've made a training calendar and I'm going to try - try being the operative word - to take it one day at a time. I work well when things are planned out and I'm posting the calendar right near my treadmill which coincidentally is in the rec room in which I spend so much time watching TV. Hell, if I have time to watch the boob-tube, I ought to be able to do it with my feet moving. That's the plan at least.

The beginning of the program is actually way too easy for me. I can get out of bed and run 3 miles at about a 9:30 pace no problem (I did last weekend) but I wonder if jumping to quickly into things is why I tend to break down. Back in the day, I ran sub 6 minute miles for 5Ks and have run 10 mile races as well.

So. Next Tuesday I start the program and I start by walking/running very, very easily.

There's time to do it. Although I used to race a lot I have never done a marathon. I might be running out of time to do one if I don't try it now.

We'll see but here goes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Come Back!

I got my baby back from her little weeklong stay at the spa resulting from the Bambi Chronicles. Kudos to all! Geico was awesome to deal with about my claim. Schaller Honda was terrific and thorough and Enterprise Rental Car came through with nice 2008 Honda Accord that I enjoyed driving, even if it wasn't as fun as my car. Honda makes good shit, people! They really do.

I loved how I only had to drive my sick car to the body shop and they took care of the claim, the rental and everything. Maybe that's standard in the insurance industry nowadays, but since I haven't had a comprehensive claim in forever, I didn't know how easy it could be.

Plus, my car looks and drives awesome. Also, their cleanup of the mess was extraordinary and I'm a very pleased customer!

(I don't have non-gross pix of my car on this PC so I stole one from the 'net, but its the spitting image of mine).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

I took The Little One to Ruby Tuesday's on Saturday for lunch. Supposedly, daddy/daughter quality time but she was on somewhat less than perfect behavior for some reason. Anyway, my extremely pleasant waiter at the end of the meal said "Thank you. It was a pleasure to serve you." and he stuck out his hand to shake it. Of course, I extended mine but that struck me as very odd. What kind of waiter, or waitress for that matter, shakes their customer's hands? Maybe he used to sell cars or something.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I've had some pretty good ideas for some blogs but not the time or energy to post them. So I give you some updates.

The deer did $2761 worth of damage to my car. It is supposed to be ready today, but their lack of communication has me wondering if it will be.

I pleaded not guilty to the speeding ticket and a lawyer friend agreed to represent me at the hearing. At the very least, they will knock down the amount due.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Progress? I Think Not

They're not making so much progress on my car repairs evidently. They are now renting a steam cleaner to remove more remains. Its actually quite comical to me at this point.

Oh, in other news: I got a freekin' speeding ticket last night. Yep! $294 that I will be pleading "not guilty" to. What's next?

Shit happens in threes, right? Falling man, dead deer and speeding ticket. I'm done I hope.

Monday, November 3, 2008

No Joke

You ever had something happen to you where you just stood there for long moments on end and wondered, "What do I do now? What. Do. I. Do? I don't fucking believe this!" I vocalized all to no one but the cold, dark night.

Saturday night I worked at the casino. On my drive home at 3:30 a.m. I noticed two cars with flashers on parked at the side of the road and a few people standing outside their cars. In a safety move I began to move from the rightmost lane to the passing lane so as to give berth to the cars and people. And that's when I saw why they must have stopped.

At that moment, I slammed, straight on, at 75 miles per hour, into the body of a dead deer. No joke. My mind had plenty of time to process, but physically there was nothing I could do. In an instant I decided it was best not to hit the body with my car's wheels, so I squared it up with the nose. That was all the reaction time I had.

The force of the impact literally lifted my car into the air yet it stayed true to the course and at no point did I lose control of my vehicle. My 2008, still shiny new, vehicle. Thank God my airbags didn't inflate or I would have been in an even worse predicament.

The car kept on running fine with no apparent handling issues or engine sounds or anything along those terms. Soon enough, I pulled over to inspect and as I came to a stop I saw smoke.

Upon my review, I saw that I damaged my front air dam and loosened a few plastic protection plates. The smoking wasn't the radiator or engine. It was animal parts on the manifold and muffler. And without much more detail, parts of the animal were scattered all over the under carriage of my car, in my wheel wells and back-sprayed onto the rear of the car.

That's when I stood there, exasperated, and wondering what to do talking to nobody in particular.

I tried pulling the front plastic piece off only to notice my hands covered in blood and hair. That disgusted me and further bewildered me. I used my golf towel to clean myself. I simply didn't know what to do next. Call the police? Triple A? To what end?

So I drove. I was dragging the plastic pieces I couldn't remove and began thinking about where the nearest car wash might be. I remembered where one was and found an all-night CVS and purchased paper towels. During the transaction, I hid my hands best I could while paying so as not to alarm the lady or have her think I just murdered someone.
Everything at that point was so surreal.

Next, I pressure-washed the "parts" out of my undercarriage but there was no way I could get it all. I sincerely hope the drain took care of what I was able to wash off, but I fear it didn't. I started driving again. I was about 20 miles from home and I knew of a 24 hour touchless wash with a good underbody spray. I went there and did that too. It didn't complete the job by any stretch.

By the time I got home it was 4:30. My wife woke and I told her all about it. She is the most compassionate person about such matters and I love the support and sympathy she has for such things. She has a knack and never says the wrong things. I'm lucky there.

Yesterday morning I woke with a jolt remembering the events of the night before. I probably had 4 hours sleep. My daytime inspection was not good. Grimly, I put my car up on jackstands, put a plastic painter's tarp under the car, donned some surgical gloves, an old sweatshirt and safety goggles and really got into the necessary task. To say it was gross would be an understatement but at some point it became more of a chore that just had to get done. I did the best I could including a stiff brush and bleach solution.

I noticed some of the damage underneath as well. The radiator was out of position and a heat sheild was missing. I cleaned everything up, threw away the mess and all my clothes and went back to the regular chore of yard leaves.

Today, I called my insurance company and they recommended I bring it in to a Honda body shop where they had a rental car waiting. I'm very pleased with GEICO! Props to them.

So, my car's in the shop now and I have a nice Honda Accord loaner. The extremely pleasant guy at the shop just called to mention some things that will need replacing (front fairing, radiator, tie rod) but said he couldn't continue the estimate until their detailing department could finish power washing out the remains. Eww!

It could have been worse. I'm fine. My car will be fine. Cosmetically, it looks almost perfect so I just need to pay the $500 deductible and I should be okay once its all safely checked out.

I suppose its all part of life, even when you don't know what to do next. What can you do, really, except keep plugging along. Things tend to work themselves out. And all things are replaceable.

But man! What a friggin' night.

Weird part as well? This is the second deer I've hit in my lifetime. The other was alive and smashed through my windshield. I think I've met my lifetime quota, don't you?