Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Here are some little known (and probably little cared about) facts.

Did you know that Charlie Brown invented soccer? Well, not the game, but the word? Here's the facts ...

The first football club (what we call soccer) was formed in Sheffield, England, in 1857. The Football Association was founded on 26 October 1863 by 11 clubs meeting in London. (The word association was abbreviated to assoc., which became "soc.")

In the 1880s students of Oxford university abbreviated words by adding "er" to the end; for instance, breakfast became "brekkers" and "rugby rules" was referred to as "rugger." When one student, Charles Wreford Brown, was asked if he'd like to play rugger, he was the first to abbreviate "association rules" (Football Association rules) by answering, "No, soccer." Brown later became an England International and Football Association vice president. ... Now you know!

Jean Genevieve Garnerin was the first female parachutists, jumping from a hot air balloon in 1799.

The very first Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus, a chef.

About 42,000 tennis balls are used in the approximately 650 matches in the Wimbledon Championship.

About 50 Bibles are sold every minute. making it the world's best-selling book. It is also the world's most shoplifted book.

Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible, and lions 55 times, but domestic cats are not mentioned at all.

The name Wendy was first used in JM Barrie's Peter Pan.

HAIL CAESAR: Julius Caesar was known as a great swimmer.

Leonardo da Vinci could write with the one hand and draw with the other simultaneously.

A house fly lives only 14 days.

A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle — a group of geese in the air is a skein.

The length from your wrist to your elbow is the same as the length of your foot.

On average, you speak almost 5,000 words a day — although almost 80 percent of speaking is self-talk (talking to yourself) — I thought I was the only one who did that ...

If the amount of water in your body is reduced by just 1 percent, you'll feel thirsty.

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, suggested that a woman could enlarge her bust line by singing loudly and often.

Men loose about 40 hairs a day. Women loose about 70 hairs a day.

The muscle that lets your eye blink is the fastest muscle in your body. It allows you to blink 5 times a second. On average, you blink 15,000 times a day. Women blink twice as much as men.

The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

And last but not least ...
Facts are often unsubstantiated or made up ...

And there are your useless facts for the day.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This little tune is dedicated to my right knee, which is really my Achilles Heel, the thorn in my side, the pinch in my nerve, the pain in my ... well, the list is as long as my arm, but you get the idea. My right knee is my own worst enemy. Quick to hurt and slow to heal. So I dedicate this song to that tricky little joint that is holding me back — for now!

Don't cry, but you missed the song ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"If you're feeling good, don't worry. You'll get over it." - Yogi Berra

I hit that feelin' good spot this morning. No, not the spot you are thinking ... I'm talking about that spot you hit when you have a good training session and your body is tired but you feel good. Feel strong. That's the feeling I had this morning following Masters 101.

We had to create our own swim workout at class and then swim it. Mine wasn't that hard, but it was the first time I have swum (yes, it's swum, not swam. I'll explain sometime) hard since Honu way back on May 31. I've spent the past months working on technique and not on strength so I'm not in "swim shape." Like they say, "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." and that's how I've been swimming all summer and fall. Just trying to get smooth so, when the time comes and I add the strength part of the formula, I'll get fast (well, that's the plan, I'll have to see if it works).

Anyhow, we each created our own mini workouts at class. Mine was 1x200 warmup, (For all you nonswimmers that means one 200 yard swim slow and easy) then 2x200 one easy one moderate, 2x150 one easy one moderate, 2x100 moderate, 2x50 easy/moderate then 100 yards cool down. All in about 20 to 25 minutes.

It wasn't a long way — 1,200 yards, but again, it's the hardest workout I've had since May 31. I swam (Yes this time it's swam, not swum. Trust me. It's my job) farther than that in the ocean since May but not nearly as hard.

It was really the first time I've gotten my heart rate up like that swimming for months and man did it hurt and feel good at the same time. I even did flip turns on the easy portions — I was in way too much oxygen debt to try it on the moderate legs.

So, it was a good day on the swim. I wasn't fast. I have basically two swim speeds: warm up pace and race pace, and the difference is nearly imperceptible but I'm working on it.

“I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.” — often credited to an unknown Confederate soldier

Monday, November 17, 2008


“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.” — Archbishop of Malines-Brussels

Brand new Asics running shoes, brand new running shorts, new bike shorts, new training music, just got the bike tuned up at Cycle Station, and I'm working on a new training plan. I'm ready to go. Dreaming of possibilities, potential and perfect races.

But for now, I just have to wait. Time to let the knee, body and mind recover from last season and from surgery.

My knee is feeling great. I went swimming on Saturday and again today (Monday). No problem with the knee. So another couple of weeks of downtime and then 16 weeks until Lavaman and a couple months later is Honu (Hawaii Ironman 70.3).

This is the year for me to compete. Last year was all about survival — just wanting to finish the race, but this year I want to compete. I want to train hard and race hard. At least that's what I hope I do. It's easy to talk when the race is months away. It all comes down to training. Training hard so I can race hard. That's my dream for this year. Injuries will more than likely creep up along the way, but I'll deal with those when they happen.

For now, I'm just dreamin' and gettin' ready ...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


“When I'm trusting and being myself as fully as possible, everything in my life reflects this by falling into place easily, often miraculously.” — Shakti Gawain, Living in the Light

I went to the doc today for a follow-up on my knee surgery that I had a week ago and to get the stitches out of my knee. The doc said everything looked fine and even gave me photos and a CD of my surgery. I haven't had a chance to watch the movie version yet but here are some of the photos of my knee from the inside. Don't worry, there's no blood.

THE PROBLEM: A bucket handle tear of my meniscus (Circled in red).

My knee joint after the cartilage was removed.

This is the cartilage the doc removed from my knee joint. He said it was about an inch long.

A series of images of the inside of my knee.

So the doc says I can get back into the water this weekend and start biking (not long distances) by midweek. I have another appointment with him in a couple of weeks. he said no running until after I see him again.

Well, that's it. Things are slowly getting back to normal. I have to learn to trust my knee again. I'm limping but mostly from habit and lack of trust — thinking it's going to go out on me and cause me all that pain again. It'll take a little time to trust it, but isn't that how it is in life? Something trips you up and hurts you and it takes time to trust again. But in time, we all learn to trust again.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I'm trying to go today with no crutches. My knee is feeling pretty good. The swelling is down for now and no pain. The stitches are a little itchy, but my knee feels fine walking, just a little tight. It actually feels better than before the surgery.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm a live! Yes! I'm still pretty drugged up but doing ok. Thanks again for all the prayers. I didn't get to talk to the doc after surgery but I presume everything went well. No pain right now-always a good sign.


Big surgery day today. Well, it's not a big surgery compared to say, heart surgery, but it's big for me. Anyhow thanks for all the support and prayers.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I came across this old photo the other day. My days as a storm trooper in the desert. I remember them well. The thrill of the hunt, the fear of being hunted. The strategy, the foul-ups that get you and your team shot up. What a rush.

(In photo from left: The Four Amigos: Aaron, Daniel, Jon and me)

I love paintball. It's fun, it's painful and it's learning to stare down the bullet.

One of the first things you learn in paintball is "do not look down" when you are being shot at. If you do, you're bound to get hit on the top of the head, which is usually unprotected. And where we used to play it was cold, and the cold made for hard paint balls. When you duck, you keep looking forward or get a good knock on the head.

So you learn to stare down the bullet and take the hit in the face where you are well protected.

As my surgery day nears, I have an urge to duck. The fear of surgery, that paintball bullet coming at me, is frightening. My fear is at least a little justified. I've had nerve damage twice following surgeries, almost bled to death on another ocassion, and had an adverse reaction that nearly caused a heart attack on another. True, those were more serious surgeries, but I did have nerve damage with the last knee surgery I had. And when you tear a nerve, it is akin to exposing a nerve in a tooth, it really hurts — for days nonstop!

But just like in paintball I need to face it head on. Stare down the bullet and take it square in the face and know that I am well protected through prayer.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


As usual we had hundreds of trick-or-treaters this year. We h ad candy enough for 700 or so and baby only have 50 to a hundred pieces left. Hope everyone had a great, scary night. Have a safe weekend.


What do you do when you don't have time to go out on location to do urban sketching? My time is very limited and I often don't have ...