Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 27th - Hurray for Cabbage Soup and Machine Gun Tommy!

Ran 3 miles today at lunch. Total so far: 227/ Miles to go 773.

Well the results are in. After on week on the Cabbage Soup diet I lost 10 lbs. Put on a pair of khaki pants this morning that I could not button last week. There is an entire closet of clothes both here and in New York that I want to ware and can't. My goal is to lose another 17 pounds and see how they fit! I know that with any crash diet you can gain it back fast, but I am on a mission and this Cabbage Soup works for me. May incorporate it into my routine one week a month for a while.

Today I enjoyed eggs and bacon for breakfast (but no toast) and had soup with rice for lunch and for supper some pork tenderloin and steamed squash for dinner. In between I ate an apple, drank some non-sugar added fruit juice and had an Atkins Bar. Going to continue with moderation and my running and add some weight training...."Belly beware....I got my eye on you!"

Also spent some time this morning writing some stories that my dad used to tell me. They are part of a book I have been working on called An Extraordinary Ordinary Life, a biography of my dad. Mostly I want to preserve them for myself and for my family. I have told many of them to my kids. They have become part of the family folk lore, the oral tradition. Dad was the consummate story teller. In his later years, especially as he declined physically, we would talk by phone twice a day. He would regale me with stories and I never ceased enjoying hearing them. I miss him. This book is a tribute to the man. And for your enjoyment, here is one of his stories!

Machine Gun Tommy

My father was an extraordinary ordinary man. Born in Little Rock Arkansas on November 1, 1925, he was the first child of Cameron Jenson Camp and Salome Bridget Camp. His birth was followed by two more sons: Edward, who was "never quite right" and Johnny, the brash youngest later to be body builder and communist college professor who moved with family and 5 step sons to Canada in the 1960s so they could all avoid the draft. I remember the FBI coming by our house one time asking about him. But this is not their story, although their lives weave part of the tapestry that was the life of Cameron Jenson Camp, Jr. or "CJ" as he was known in his early years.

Dad did not talk a lot about his childhood, but when he did it was by way of stories. He was a born story teller and in these brief vignettes, we were transported to his world. Little Rock in the Great Depression. Machine Gun Tommy has always been one my my children's favorites. Tommy was a large kid and the butt of frequent jokes by his peers. His nick name came from his habit of farting in multiple spurts when excited or agitated.

Dad has a crush on a girl named Beatrice Fargo. Beatrice was both rich and smart. Dad was smart, the class clown, but poor an certainly not in her league. Trying to get her attention one day in class, Dad, who was sitting right behind Tommy, put a nail in his shoe and was kicking his foot closer and closer to Tommy's large behind. Tyring to ignore him, Beatrice could not help but watch in fascination as the nail came closer and closer to Tommy. In fact, most of the class was watching by this time as the oblivious teacher continued to write problems on the chalk board.

Once of Dan's friends, Edgar, as I recall, had been following the cadence of Dad's foot swings and just as Dad's food reached its zenith, a few inches from Tommy, Edgar gave Dad's food a swift kick, propelling the foot and nail into Tommy's plump posterior. Tommy yelled and proceeded to let out a series of his signature farts, machine gun style.

The class broke out in pandemonium. The furious teacher, upon surmising what had happened, send Dad to the Principal's office. Beatrice, her face red, could not help laughing and that was reward enough for Dad. Upon entering the Principal's office, Dad was still feeling triumphant.

"Why do you do these things, CJ? I sometimes think you must like getting punished" the tired Principal asked before administering another paddling.

The Principal never could understand Dad. Most kids who showed up in his office were poor students. Dad was smart and popular. He was elected student council president in Junior High. Being poor, he only had overalls to ware to a city wide meeting of all student council officers to represent the school. Dad told me he vividly remembered this same Principal asking him if he did not have something "more appropriate to ware?" Dad did not. But until then, he had never really thought about that much. Country people learn to get by.

Life is Good!

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 26 Monday Back To Basics and Cabbage Soup!

Ran 3 miles today (Monday the 26th of July). Have run an addition 23 miles on top of that since I last posted. Total so far: 224/ Miles to go: 776. Way behind the 1000 miles a year goal, but have decided to keep running and see both how many miles I can run in a year and how long it takes me to run 1000 miles in my 56 year old body.

Gambling investment so far $84 with winnings of $45 so losses so far equal $39. Gym Rat tells me I should buy two lotto tickets each time....one with my number and one quick pic....thinks only the quick pics actually win based on the winning numbers he sees ("I mean, who would pick on their own 4 or 5 numbers in the same sequence?" or so his argument goes). Debating that theory. Implementation would mean an increase of $2 a week. I will decide Wednesday when I make my purchase of lotto ticket and Weekly Grand.

I hit a slump, big one, with the running and writing. After my last post about a month ago. I have been traveling a lot and also teaching at night (7:50 to 9:30 which means I get home after 10 many nights a week). Finished last class of summer school Friday with the exam. These are excuses which reminds me of what a coach once told me in high school "Excuses are like ass holes. Everyone has one but they all stink!" In any event, since I last wrote I have been to New York twice, Ashtown Oregon and Chicago. I don't plan to travel for a while. Hopefully this will help me get back into the running/writing routine.

But speaking of traveling, had an "airplane" experience. As the small Delta commuter jet from Medford Oregon (closest airport to Ashtown) was about to land in Salt Lake City, it pulled up and did not land. The pilot came over the intercome and explained "I guess you realize we did not land. The landing gear did not go down. But don't worry, we have a lot of gas so we will circle the Salt Lake until we figure out what to do."

Holy $@%$," I thought,' "What do you mean when you say don't worry?" "What am I supposed to do?" Everyone was looking at everyone. I did what all good Catholic boys do....started praying all the prayers I had memorized as a child...the Our Father, the Act of Contrition, some Hail Marys, etc. I also thought, "Why tell us this? I really did not need at this moment to know that the landing gear were not going down....Ok....if they can't get them to go down and we need some special training right before we crash...tell me. But now, just let me fly in blissful ignorance of my potential demise." Fortunately, the pilot later came back on the intercom and said they had fixed the problem. Everyone breathed a collective sign of relief and the flight attendant (only one on the mini plane) told us that their pilots were the best! Later a former pilot friend of mine told me that the pilot had to tell us why when we did not land, but I did not believe him...or at least felt like he could have been less precise.

Lots of fun things happened on these trips and I may write more about them later. For tonight, tired and wanting to post, I will just let you know that today is day 7 and the last day of my 7 day Cabbage Soup Diet (also sometimes called the Dolly Parton diet....oh my). I have done this once before. It is a good way to jump start a diet/exercise routine. You are supposed to lose 10 lbs in on week. All my traveling and over indulging combined with less running the past month had left me feeling bloated in my tight pants. I want to lose 20 lbs by Labor Day, hence this jump start.

The diet is fairly simple. You make this soup and eat as much as you want every day. The soup consists of green onions sauted, two bell peppers, a bag of sliced mushrooms, some carrots, celery, a large can of tomatoes and you add a large bottle of V-8 juice and water. You can also add beef or chicken broth and lipton onion soup mix if you want and other spices. I like to use the spicy version of V-8 juice and/or spicy tomatoes. The soup tastes good (if you like V-8 juice) but you do get tired of it after a few days.

On day one of the diet you can eat as much fruit (other than bananas) and drink no sugar added fruit juice and have as much of the soup as you want. On day two you eat as much vegetables (other than corn or beans) and the soup and reward yourself with a big baked potato with butter for dinner. On day three you eat as much soup, fruit and veggies as you want but no potato. Day four is my favorite. You eat the soup and 8 bananas and a quart of skim milk. By then, you are so tired of soup and veggies the bananas taste great as does the milk. Day 5 you can have steak, tomatoes and the soup and Day 6 you can have steak (or skinless chicken or broiled fish) and soup and veggies. The final day (today) lots of brown rice and soup and veggies and you can drink sugar free fruit juice. I end up having to make a second pot of soup about day 5 or 6. You can also drink tea (I cheat and drink my coffee black) and should drink lots of water.

So tomorrow morning I will stand on the scale and report back to you how much I have lost. I feel thinner, and better. One thing about the diet is that you don't drink alcohol, so I have missed my wine and scotch for a week now. Starting tomorrow I am going to try to do the "push away" diet for a few days....i.e. just push the food away before I am stuffed and also the "avoid the whites" diet (no bread, potatoes, sugar) which means higher protein and less carbohydrates. We will see how I am doing on Friday again. Saturday will be a through away day. Going to visit Mrs. Savage in Tyler and whatever she cooks I will be certain to eat....and I will have the obligatory cocktail with her at the appointed hour.....Life is Good!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 116, Hobbesian Choice

Thursday June 24th, Day 116....Ran 4 miles. Yesterday I ran 3 miles. Total so far: 198/ Miles to go: 802

Realized I got my numbering off in terms of number of days I have been on this challenge and had to correct it. Maybe the lesson is that I need to return to my daily blogging. Need some gently razing from readers about where are the posts. Have gotten lazy. In part my excuse is that this summer by teaching summer school at 7:50 at night, by the time I get home at 10 or later I just don't feel like writing. But I know that is just an excuse and that if I sit down and start I will be able to write. But here I sit Friday morning with first cup of coffee trying to wake up.

Learned something last night in class. In a case we were discussing I was explaining that when a loan is in trouble the lending is often faced with the "Hobbesian" choice between advancing more money to save the company (which the bank might lose if the company cannot turn around and become successful) or calling the loan and suffering a loss, perhaps at once or if this action forces the company into bankruptcy. I asked the class if anyone knew what I meant by a Hobbesian choice. No one raised their hand. One student volunteered that he had heard the expression before. He thought maybe Hobbes was some philosopher.

Disappointed I went on a little rant about how we have lost some of our common cultural underpinnings when concepts are not shared between generations, etc. I then explained in my pompous professorial manner, that a Hobbesian choice meant a choice between two alternatives, neither of which were very appealing...a dilemma, no pain free solution.

After class, a student called to me and I went to his chair. He had googled Hobbesian choice and discovered that I was not quite right. It is actually "Hobson's" choice, named after an English livery man, not Hobbesian after the philosopher Hobbes. It also does not mean a choice between two bad alternatives, but rather, a "take it or leave it" choice. Seems Hobson would tell his customers they could take the first horse in a stall or nothing as he did not want to take the time to show them all his horses.

I was a bit chagrined by my mistake in usage, but also was placated a little by the google commentary that explained that my mistake in both attributing the idea to philosopher Hobbes and believing it meant the dilemma of no good choices, was a common mistake. But it made me wonder what other word uses I had assumed I was educated enough use were actually incorrect.....oh well, if I have to make the Hobson's choice of not using phrases I think I know for fear of making a mistake or using them, I will go on using them. Wait, did I use Hobson's choice correctly in that sentence? Oh well, and lest you think I am the only one with this problem, below is a little article making fun of another lawyer who may have used Hobbesian choice wrong....in an argument before the U.S. Supreme Court! Life is Good!

Peter Wood
Archive E-mail Latest
April 21, 2003 8:50 A.M.Hobbesian Choice An oral translation.
I thought that's what I heard Mr. Payton said, but I had to wait for the transcript to be sure. John Payton is the lawyer who argued the University of Michigan's case to the Supreme Court in Gratz v. Bollinger on April 1.

His defense of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions was amazingly inept. Listening to it, I began to wonder whether diversiphiles are paying an unexpected price for having ostracized all dissenting opinions for the last two decades. Perhaps by having refused to debate the issue on campus, they now don't know how to debate it in Court.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -No, that's probably not it. Maybe Mr. Payton was just having a bad day. Justice Scalia asked him why, if the University of Michigan put such a high value on diversity, it didn't just lower admission standards for everybody. Mr. Payton thought that approach would impose an unwelcome choice, which is what prompted his remark about a "Hobbesian choice." What in the world is a Hobbesian choice?
It sounds a bit like a Hobson's choice. Tobias Hobson was an innkeeper in 17th-century Cambridge, England, who gained lasting fame for requiring those who wanted to rent a horse from his stable to take whichever horse was in the stall next to the stable door. Hobson's approach was praised by the Spectator as a way of ensuring that "every customer was alike well served, according to his chance, and every horse ridden with same justice." But the phrase has come to mean a "choice" in name only: an imposition.

So was Mr. Payton objecting that Justice Scalia's question implied no real choice for the University of Michigan? That doesn't seem right. To the contrary, Justice Scalia's question pointed to existence of choices that the University could make within the law. It could set high standards and apply them consistently to all students regardless of race or it could set lower standards and apply them consistently to all students regardless of race. It could take the horse in the stall next to the stable door, or any other horse in the stable so long as he agreed to treat that horse fairly. No Hobson's choice there.

So presumably Mr. Payton didn't mean "Hobson's choice." A "Hobbesian choice" must be something else. A choice like that made by Thomas Hobbes, the English political theorist best known for his justification of monarchy, The Leviathan? A choice that once weighed on Hobbes the stuffed tiger in Bill Watterson's comic strip "Calvin & Hobbes"?
Thomas Hobbes is perhaps best known for his exceptionally gloomy view of the human condition. Humans, he thought, are driven most basically by a "restless desire of power after power." If men are not subjected to a king or other dominant authority, they live, said Hobbes, in a state of war "of every man against every man." That condition puts all in "continual fear and danger of violent death; and [makes] the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
So did Mr. Payton mean that, in the absence of racial preferences, the state of Michigan would be reduced to the Hobbesian state of nature, with the war of all against all? That is, I suppose, one way of considering race neutral college admissions criteria. Every student for himself. Still, I doubt that the result of race-blind admissions in Ann Arbor would lead to an increase in the number of students who elect the solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short lifestyle.
If Mr. Payton was in fact referring to Thomas Hobbes, he may have been paying wry tribute to the guiding spirit of diversity. After all, Hobbes is a kind of patron saint of illiberal oppression. He not only favored a powerful central government but, like today's diversiphiles, recognized the merits of high-minded obfuscation. Hobbes recommended encouraging people not to think too deeply about official rationales, lest they discover the phoniness inside. "For it is with the mysteries of our religion, as with wholesome pills for the sick, which swallowed whole, have the virtue to cure; but chewed, are for the most part cast up again without effect."

So with diversity? Swallow it whole and it will work, but start to chew it over and all the magic effects of "critical thinking," promotion of democratic participation, and loads of good fellow feeling will be lost?

I understand that lawyers arguing before the Supreme Court have only a few precious minutes, and many of those are taken up with answering questions. Thus they have to give pithy answers and sometimes depend on sly allusions that may convey a lot to the Court but can puzzle laymen. Mr. Payton appears to be a master at this kind of coded communication.

And therefore he may have intended to combine this erudite reference to Thomas Hobbes with his comic-strip namesake, the skeptical plush toy tiger whose shares the adventures of Calvin, the six-year-old boy with the hyperactive imagination. In the strip, the dubious Hobbes repeatedly gets into the transmorgifier with Calvin knowing it will propel them into mischief and disaster. The Hobbesian choice, in this context, is to assume unwanted adult responsibility — and I can understand why Mr. Payton would object to that. He would rather transmogrify unqualified kids into college students.
But perhaps I am misreading Mr. Payton's remark. It may be that he was not referring to the transmorgifier episodes, but to some other Calvin & Hobbes adventure. "Attack of the Snow Goons?"

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and dozens of other news outlets are busy spinning the story of what happened at the oral arguments. Essentially they are saying that higher education's "diversity" doctrine looks like it will survive the twin legal challenges of Grutter v.
Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. That could be, but I read the Court differently. Several of the justices — including some who are thought to be soft on racial preferences — asked the University of Michigan's lawyers skeptical questions.
That day diversity's defenders came across as stridently self-righteous and pretty sloppy about the details. Mr. Payton's aversion to making a "Hobbesian choice" captures that perfectly.
— Peter Wood is author of Diversity: The Invention of A Concept and a professor of anthropology at Boston University.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 113 A room with no view! By By pitbulls!

Monday June 21st Ran 6 miles. Miles so far 191/ Miles to go 809. Bought two weekly grands and the Wednesday lotto ticket. Won 4 dollars on the Weekly Grand so my $5 investment became only $1. Gambling investment so far $63/ Winnings $37...Total losses $26

Ran 6 miles at lunch. It felt good to be in such a mileage deficit reduction mode. Two days in a row at six miles. But all afternoon I was dragging and I had to teach my class at 7:50 so by the time I got home around 10:15 I was really tired. I stopped at the Kroger to get some essentials. We were out of paper towels and I needed contact lens solutions and new tooth brush and some face and body soap, etc. Since I am trying to do more high protein Atkins kind of eating I picked up some fiber mix because one of the recommendations from my roto routering was to be sure I had plenty of fiber in my diet. Orange flavor...will be like my morning OJ with out the OJ lol. By the time I checked out, my little stop for a few items ended up costing around $70. I wonder how that is possible.

Yesterday as I filled up a water bucket to water the four large crepe myrtles that I planted in from of my house which do not look too good in this 100 degree heat and are certainly not blooming yet like most of their older cousins at other houses on my block, I realized that I had lost my 1960s era kitchen window view. My house is in a vintage sixties ranch style home neighborhood. I am one of the few with an upstairs. Next door the son of the woman who owned the house is moving back in after her death and has been renovating for what seems like forever. He is cheap and seems to always hire contractors whose prices are too good to be true because they aren't. Then they walk off the job leaving him with half finished projects and more expense than if he hired a good one to begin with.

From my kitchen window I used to have the vista of a chain link fence through which I could see into his yard and see an old fashioned clothes line...yes the original I am sure. It always reminded me that when I was a kid I used to hang by my knees from the cross beams of cloths line poles until one time when there was still dew on one and I slipped bumping my head and injuring my pride more than anything else. I don't know if kids do that sort of thing anymore. It may have died along with tree climbing and bottle rocket wars. I even remember coming home one time from Tony Komen's house covered in peach juice. He had several peach trees in his yard and several of the neighborhood gang had participated in a rotten peach fight. The pits could really hurt if they hit you square on. It was a much more rough and tumbled world I suspect that many kids of my contemporaries where mothers arranged "play dates" at public parks where kids could be watched 24/7. I remember leaving the house after breakfast and returning after dark for dinner. Oh well....I know my younger readers and thinking "and you trudged six miles to school in the snow yada, yada, yada...

Back to my kitchen window view, before all the renovation began, the side and back fences of my neighbor's house were hidden by very mature shrubs so that after looking through his yard, I saw just the hedge and the tops of neighbors' trees beyond. It was a pleasant, pastoral sight. The first time I realized that this was going to change was when I heard the chain saw and looked out to see all the side yard hedges being unceremoniously chopped down. I wondered how long they had stood there. The naked stumps looked so forlorn and suddenly through now revealed chain links I could see the next neighbor's yard which contained a large tent like structure covered with ugly blue plastic in which he keeps pit bulls that we suspect are used for fighting. I am told the police have been to his house many times and he has many tickets, etc. The owner of the bulls is the son of the house owner I am also told. In any event this view was no substitute for the nice line of 12 foot hedges.

My neighbor had decided he needed an 8 foot wooden privacy fence and three contractors and several weeks later, it is up. Now from my kitchen window I see the metal poles and wooden slats of his castle walls....bad news...no more shrubs....good news, no more blue caped killer dog tent, bad news...my vista is gone. I plan to plant some vine or something on my side of the fence so over time I will see something other than the ugly side of the fence. But this entire episode made me long for a simpler time of chain links and clothes line poles....

More on vistas in a later post.....but life is good!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 109 Wonderful Fathers Day Weekend but I think Nolan Ryan should stick to Baseball!

Sunday, Day 109, Ran 6 miles, also ran 1.5 miles on Saturday. Total so far 185/ Miles to go 815
Did not win lottery Saturday and they did not have any weekly grands at the Exxon where I purchased my lotto ticket. May buy one today on the way to work. Gambling investment so far: $58/ Winnings $33 Loses $25

Was a wonderful Fathers Day Weekend. I love June....double goodies of my birthday and Fathers Day. Friday oldest and dearest friend, Nickie, whom I have known and loved since the 6th grade, cooked me a lobster and shrimp salad at her beautiful Lakewood Home. Over crisp Chardonnay we laughed about good times we have had over the years and conspired to visit the mountains of Mexico again soon....maybe for her birthday in August.

Friday night son Eric and wife Karla treated me and Karla's Dad, Mike, to Korean Barbecue at a local Richardson Restaurant. I love that place and it is the same one where two weeks or so before I celebrated by birthday with friends. It was a Fathers Day meal fit for a king and I left stuffed and content and mellow (helped I am sure by the Korean potato vodka I shared with Karla!)

Saturday friend, Pat Parise treated me to brunch at Cyclone Ananas, a trendy Mexican restaurant named for the founder, a famous wrestler whose half naked pictures are found all over the walls. A scotch mary (bloody mary made with scotch instead of vodka....yum) accompanied my eggs scrambled with spicy choriso (mexican sausage) and cheese. This was another late birthday lunch.

Lunch was followed by a short nap then a work out at Golds Gym at their north Dallas location with Gym Rat. Part of my routine now is to add weigh lifting to the running and Gym Rat should have been a personal trainer. We worked legs and arms and this helped overcome some of my guilt for not running on Friday and for all the meals and celebrations. Ran only 1.5 miles though, so that meant another "deficit day" i.e. a day of less than 3 miles. If I am going to meet my goal I have to reduce these deficit days and increase the "deficit reduction days" i.e. days of more then 3 miles, which I plan to do.

Gym Rat took me to the Black Eyed Pea, for a country birthday dinner. The yeast rolls and corn bread are to die for and the vegetables (fresh mashed potatoes with skins on and lightly breaded crisp fried okra) were also good. I made the mistake, however, of ordering the Nolan Ryan sirloin steak which was about at tough and tasteless as a baseball hit off of a Ryan fast ball....why do we think that fame has anything to do with quality when it comes to another field of interest? The two large onion rings that accompanied the steak and the nice bed of caramelized onions and mushrooms tried their best to make up for the poor quality of the meat....but they failed miserably!

After dinner, we decided to try out the Kings Spa. Gym Rat had never been and had heard about it. It was packed with families, mostly Korean, and most of whom were there for the night. It stays open 24 hours on the weekends and there were kids everywhere and people sleeping on mats and couches. If you are not Korean and want to feel like you are in another country you do not need to purchase an expensive ticket to the far east. Just go to the Kings Spa late on Saturday night. We did enjoy the time in the hot pools and sauna and some of the specialty saunas and the banana shake I got at the restaurant in the middle of the spa, which was open late, was very tart and tasty.....not too sweet. Unfortunately Gym Rat's mango shake was not sweet enough. Oh well, it was not his birthday/fathers day month.

Sunday I went to the Dedman Center at SMU to run only to find that it was closed and would not open until 1. So I went back to Golds Gym uptown and ran 6 miles which felt really good, especially as it was a big deficit reduction day. I hope to run at least 4.5 miles Monday.

The run and late night tired me out so I took a long nap. Of course loved talking to the kids and hearing their well wishes for Fathers Day. I was a little melancholy to no longer have my dad to call, but thought of him with fond memories. The weekend ended with a dinner of pork spare ribs at Cyclone Anayas, this time with Gym Rat. They were excellent, falling off the bone no need for a knife tender and a little spicy. The margarita with sangria swirl was as tasty as it was pretty.....and I told Dr. Atkins where he could stick it as I stuffed the chips and hot sauce in my mouth...vowing that Monday I would return to the low carb lifestyle but this was my weekend and a little splurge I could overcome. Life is Good.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 106 - Take Care of Your Mother!

Thursday, June 17th, Ran 3.3 miles/ Total so far 177.5/ Miles to go 822.5! Gambling - did not win lotto or weekly grand Wednesday :) Total investment so far $57/ Winnings $33 Net Loss $24!

Got up at 4 am to catch the red eye back to Dallas Wednesday. Gym Rat Picked me up at DFW Airport. But before he arrived as I was waiting in front of the terminal a husband and wife with a boy about 11 drove up. As the father unloaded the pick-up truck and said his goodbyes it became apparent that his wife and son were going to visit her father for father's day. There were the customary kisses and hugs and his wife wished him a happy father's day too. Then, as the son and wife walked off and were about to enter the terminal the father yelled to his son "Son, remember what I told you. Take care of your mother!"

I was so touched. What a wonderful value to be instilling in that young boy. In a world where parents lavish children with things and experiences and we have televisions shows about spoiled girls and 16th birthday parties, how great to remember the responsibilities that come with being a son or a daughter. And the admonition was also a recognition of the role of being a man in the future and all that entails.

I remember that my father had to drop out of school in the 9th grade to take care of his mother and younger two brothers when his family was abandoned for a while by an alcoholic father. Not and easy time. He moved his mom and brothers to Little Rock Arkansas were there were more jobs and started working in a drug store.

Gym Rat teaches in a public school and is always asking his students what they do for their parents who work so hard and buy them so many things....and asking indulgent parents what the expect from their kids and why they do not require them to do their homework, etc. I am glad that this family reminded me a this value. I think that television and movies have contributed to this in some way by how parents and adults in general are portrayed. Usually kids are portrayed as smarter and parents as idiots. It may be funny but not such a great signal or role model for the next generation.

Oh well, off my soap box. Despite it all Life Is Good!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 104 Conquered Central Park!

Tuesday, June 15th Ran 6.2 Miles/ Miles so far: 174.2/ Miles to go 825.8

What a glorious run today. Taka and I ran all the way around Central Park....6.2 miles from Columbus Circle to Harlem and back. The weather was perfect and the Park is beautiful in summer....much of the run was under a canopy of huge old trees of many varieties. People who have not been to Central Park have no idea what an urban oasis it is.

What made me especially happy was that when I began this blog in March, Leigh and I ran at Central Park and the 2.5 mile loop was all I could do. So to be able to run the long loop and almost triple the mileage felt really good. I have to admit, it was not easy and there is one steep hill after you turn the corner of the park and head back from Harlem towards Columbus Circle that is a killer and I did not know if I would make it. I kept thinking of the children's book of the little engine that could. Taka was good at encouraging me to and we stopped along the way for water.

After the run and a quick shower, we went to the park across from the apartment at World Wide Plaza and ate take out Japanese food which we washed down with vodka cranberry in tall thermoses. It was a perfect lunch after a wonderful run which I followed with a nap.....wish I could recreate more of those days....in fact...think I will! Life is Good!