Dogs of Summer

17 08 2013

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One of the joys of  having dogs, and there are many, is giving them baths in the summer.  At our house it usually turns into a family thing.  All hands helping out, even the dogs.

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For some dogs, they enjoy a bath.  As you can see with our 7 year old boxer, Cooper.  He’s always cool, calm and collective.

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For some, like our year old boxer, Bruiser, he would prefer anything but a bath.

Hope you enjoy my blog and have a great rest of your summer.

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Lucky 13

1 08 2013

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The laces in my running shoes are all tied the same. I put my pants on right leg first.   I floss my teeth bottom to top every day – I consider myself not at all superstitious. However, every year of doing Ironman Lake Placid (LP) since 2003, I have finished ONLY on the EVEN years.  Everyone knew this.  Reminded me of this.  I just took it as “crap happens” and paid no attention to it.  Was it a “curse”?

Hence the story – a few days before leaving for Lake Placid I had the Durango checked out at the garage for a problem I have been procrastinating on getting fixed for a while.  After picking up the Durango, they mentioned to me that  it may be a bit rough putting the truck into gear from park due to  the “upgrade” in the computer system.  Mind you, there were no issues with this before I took it in to the garage.  Did I know that “rough” meant not at all on the Interstate in upstate  NY after getting gas.  After a few tries, it worked again and off we went.  Upon our arrival to LP, we unloaded our belongings at the condo and went for pizza at Mr. Mikes.  When we were finished and walking out to the Durango, I notice a puddle of fluid under the front of the truck.  Ok, I thought?  Maybe someone parked there first and leaked something.  After parking at the condo, the leak was from the Durango.  I’m thinking – no @#$#$@%$ way!!!  My father-in-law and I looked it over.  We know it’s leaking.  Leaking something, but what and from where?  We determine it to be antifreeze from the radiator.  We called AAA for a garage in LP.  Mind you, we are in the middle of a 6 million acre Adirondack park in upstate New York.  This is going to be expensive and take forever to get fixed.  That it did!

The next day I took my Cervelo to Placid Planet for a “peak performance” tune-up.  The are open 24 hrs from Wednesday through Saturday evening of Ironman week.  I get a phone call the following morning, as promised that it would be finished – nope!  It needs a new cassette and chain because of wear, new bearings in the front hub and a new brake cable.  Needless to say, my $89 peak performance tune-up was just a bit more expensive than I expected.

The next few days were relatively uneventful.  Spent a lot of time at the lake fishing, swimming and kayaking.

Race morning – all good!  Well? Nope!  I get down to the transition area at almost 5 am for body marking.  Find a line with only 2 triathletes in front of me.  I’m thinking, awesome!  Get this done, then in to check my bike and gear bags I had to drop off the day before.  I’m standing at my bike unloading all my stuff – water bottles, nutrition and such.  I decided to pump up my tires one last time before the race.  I connect the pump to the valve of my front tire and begin pumping and pumping and pumping.  No air going in.  I’m like – bad connection.   I released the pump and did it again.  Pumped and pumped and pumped – no air going in again.  My pump is broke.  Really?  Great!  I ask a fellow triathlete next to me to borrow his.  All good.  Over to the transition gear bag racks I go.  I begin with my bike to run bag so I don’t forget my orthotics for my running shoes.  I know it’s going to shower so I want to make sure I lightly knot the top of the bag before hanging it back up so the water stays out.  Upon drawing closed the bag, the twine draws tear from the bag leaving only one side intact.  Really?  Great!!  I spent the next 5 minutes trying to do this correctly to keep the water out and so I don’t spend time upon my return from the bike trying to open the bag.  Yes, I know I could just rip it apart, but then no bag and loss of personal items.

All good now.  I walk over to find Michele and Haley.   We walk over to place my nutrition bags on Mirror Lake Drive.  As we are walking, I am thinking, one last porta-potty stop before the race would be nice.  The lines from the Mirror Lake Drive look short.  Nope!  As I walk around, there must have been 100 triathletes in line.  Forget this I thinking, I’ll pee in the lake.

This year at Ironman Lake Placid they began a self-seeding staggered swim start.  You as the triathlete placed yourself according to your projected swim time finish.  I remained open and optimistic to the entire concept and placed myself in the 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minute section.  At 6:35 am or there about, we were motioned into the water.  I didn’t get to pee!  Damn!!! The swim actually was really smooth.  The last leg of the swim was a bit choppy and turbulent because I was catching the last self-seeded swimmers finishing their first lap.

Out of the water I go 1:04 and change – I am happy!

It had rained during the swim.  Roads were wet.  I knew this might happen and prepared accordingly.

The 112 mile bike was great.  The first 56 miles I was  conservative.  The second 56 miles I opened up a bit.  The sun came out and the winds picked up, but it was still all good.  However, on the second loop, I noticed my right foot was not secured in my pedal.  I pulled my shoe out of the pedal and checked the cleat.  Not loose.  I knew that I could really do nothing but keep riding.  I made it.  112 miles – 6:02 and change.  Fastest bike split ever!

I hand my Cervelo off to the volunteer and run to the transition gear bag racks and grab my bag.  You know the one?  The one I tore 8 hours earlier.  Into the changing tent I go.

I’m all dressed and only have to put on my Fuel belt which I attached my race number to earlier.  My thought was unvelcro the belt, slip it on and revelcro the belt and go.  Great idea, right?  Nope!  Tore one side of my race bib number.  Now what?   Anyone have a scissors? A knife?  A key? Something to put a hole into the race number bib.  I finally remove my Timex watch and use the little metal piece from the strap.  Off I go.

The marathon was uneventful.  IN the back of my mind though, was “will I bonk?  I finish the marathon in 4:35 and change.

In the end, I break 12 hours with a 11:54:56.  A PR (personal record) of 35 minutes from 2012.

A perfect ending to an eventful day!

Am I superstitious?  Was there a curse?  One will never know!





Father’s Day 2013

16 06 2013

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This past May was 3 years since we lost dad to cancer.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him or Michele or the kids don’t talk about him.  He is missed very much!

Soon after dad retired he began collecting quarters.  The quarters of each of the 50 states.  Every time a new circulation of quarters came out, dad would be at the bank buying an uncirculated roll.  I didn’t realize until after dad had passed away the collection of quarters he had.

I have never been a very lucky person when it comes to winning – especially money.  Nor am I a very lucky person when it comes to finding money on the street.  Sure, every now and again I may find a penny or two but I only pick it up if it’s head’s up.

The July after dad had passed away I did Ironman.  A rather interesting thing occurred throughout the week while in Lake Placid.  We began finding quarters everywhere.  I even found two quarters on the bike course during the bike leg of Ironman as I was looking down at the road looking for pot holes.  Since this time we have accumulated over $7 in quarters.

Today being Father’s Day I was out for my typical long run.  A nice morning.  Overcast, a bit cool and slightly humid.  All good.  At two different locations I came across two quarters.  Coincidental?  I am not sure.  I can say though, that I believe dad was looking down on me today and that this was his way of showing me he was there.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

Love and miss you!





A Christmas Tradition

8 12 2012

There are many things that stand out for me at Christmas.  We all have certain traditions that we do year after year.  Those same traditions we hope to pass along to our children.   I wish to touch on just two of them in today’s blog – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and getting the Rowlands’ Christmas tree as a family.

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Clark Griswald has a place in my Chrsitmas tradition as I’m sure he has in many.  How can you not enjoy such a film that captures all the corny happenings that we can all relate too sometime or another in our lifetime.  Even though we have the DVD and watch it throughout the year, I always look forward to the movie airing on some obscure channel such as TNT, USA or ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas.  It certainly doesn’t capture the true meaning of Christmas by any imagination, but what is the true meaning of Christmas anyway?  But it helps dampen the humdrum of what we call life as we see it.

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This year our travels for a tree took us to Old Zionsville off of Route 100 to the College Tree Farm.  All the proceeds of the sale of trees goes to the kid’s college tuition.  Hey, I cannot complain.  I only paid $37 for this 8 foot pine.

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After loading and tying the tree on top of the Durango, we headed home.  Once home, we all had tasks.  I got the tape measure, saw and tree stand.  Mom began moving the living room furniture and located the broom and dustpan.  The kids untied the tree from the roof.  Garrett, Haley and I measured twice and cut once the tree to fit into the stand at the correct height for the living room.  This is a step that cannot be screwed up.  Otherwise, it will cost you a lot of time, anger and clean-up.

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Once the tree was in the house, adjusted in the stand by Garrett and centered in the front window, Haley asked if she could cut the tree wrap off.  I said sure.

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Finally, the water was added.  I had a little help from our new boxer puppy, Bruiser.

I’d like to take this time to just say that traditions happen for a reason.  Our Christmas tradition will continue for a long time and hopefully our children will do the same with their children.

Wishing everyone who reads this a very special holiday season!!





Black Friday

23 11 2012

Really?  Who in their right mind would want to do this?  Are the deals that good?  What about shopping online?  Can’t we get the same deals there?

Maybe we should re-name the event – Crazies Holiday Shopping?  I really don’t know, but can say I wouldn’t even attempt to shop.

On a side note though, if you enjoy “people watching”, go grab yourself a large cup of Joe, find a place to sit and enjoy the sights!

Happy Shopping – I’m going for a run.





Thanksgiving

16 11 2012

Can you believe?

Believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us?

I cannot.

Where in the world did the year go?

The kids had their first marking period, the frost has been a normal occurrence in the morning, WLEV has begun playing Christmas music and the turkeys have returned to my sister’s property on the Blue Mountain.

It’s that time of year to give thanks for all we have.  Remembering those that cannot be with us.  When giving is better than receiving.  And a smile goes a long way!

I’d like to wish ALL a Happy Thanksgiving!





Nature’s Wonders

7 08 2012

The humidity had broken from the typical August summer days of the NE.  As I was sitting at my daughter’s soccer practice last evening I was taking in wonders of what nature had to offer.  The tiny bees buzzing around the unmowed clover.  Moths emerging from the grass in swarms only to resettle in a new location to have it happen over and over as the kids run back and forth.  The activity was endless.   2 hours passed rather quickly.  The sky began to change.  The sun started to set in the west.  A painting, of sorts.  A palette of colors.  Clouds neither coming nor going.  Long whispers of colored nature.

I wonder what Mother Nature has for me tonight?

Happy Training