Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Merry Thanksgiving!

To use Susie Q's lovely example:

Things I am Thankful for:

The Family I've Chosen and have been chosen by. I love you all.

The years we got to spend with Spot (I will....not....cry...)

Dear friends who come in all shapes, sizes & interests, including:
  • New friends
  • Old friends
  • Crazytown friends (you know who you are)

Rounds of golf where I don't feel I've gotten my money's worth (few & far between)

Good red wine

Dark chocolate

Thinks I'm less happy about:

Being a Farmville addict. I think I have a problem just because I don't think I have a problem - I can quit any time...and have.

The extra 15 pounds I'm carrying on MY ASS.

Knowing my job is ending, but not having a clue when, but I'm still VERY thankful to have a job.

Happy holidays & safe travels everyone (all 4 of you).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Race Report

Short & Sweet: it was chilly to start, but fun to see all the dogs. Luckily, no one had a terrier that I saw, so no tears!

Who knew Stony Point Fashion Park wasn't flat! Up and down, up & down. Felt pretty good the whole time, but perhaps that was because i was running my 1/2 marathon race pace and didn't have to run a 1/2!

Great to see newly minted Ironman, Mary T. out there.

Way to go Anita for running her first 5k in a while. We're getting back out there, right?

And now, we've exercised enough to enjoy a Thanksgiving Roast Beef!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jingle Bell 5k

Come out and play with me Saturday at the Jingle Bell Run.

Monday, November 16, 2009


We put good ole Spot down tonight. He was an 18+ year old wire hair fox terrier whom we loved very much.

We spent the last 8 years finding that the word "spot" appears in an amazing number of sentences & words & experiences.

When cataracts began to impair his vision, we put a tiny LED light on his collar to help him see. He loved his Spotlight (really fun was when we met up with his friend Maggie, who was without a light - Spot suggested her owners get her a Maglight).

He could always find us a great parking spot.

Loved his hometown of Spotsylvania. He was the mayor.

He starred in the movie "Spotacus".

We loved seeing Spot before our eyes.

X marked the Spot he loved to have rubbed.

With 8 years of coming up with Spot-related sayings, it about broke our hearts when we came up with the subject line of the email to tell our friends of his passing and the subject line of this post. The "spot" sayings always seemed so obvious in hindsight. Glad I didn't see this one coming either.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Race Report

Yes, I use the term "race" loosely. However, the paper & the website categorized it as a race, ergo, this is a race report.
Big decisions prior to leaving the house: what to report on Friday morning said clearing overnight, high of 64. Wow, excellent, t-shirt & shorts.

Friday night report: clearing by early Saturday, high of 64.

Saturday morning, 5am: Clearing by noon, high of 64. Currently: 48. Fuck. Oh and windy. Double fuck, but not in a good way. Ok, maybe by the time we leave the house it'll at least be in the 50's.

6:30am: 48, raining, windy. Sweet. Maybe I'll be the only one to show and I'll win money, but what am I going to WEAR to the awards presentation and on camera??? Ok, shorts, running pants, long sleeve race shirt, long sleeve very light pullover, gloves and bring a jacket until we get out of the car.

7am: Pick up Joy. Was that the sun? No, headlights. Fuck. OK, no sun, but we have Joy.

7:20: get out of the car...what to wear? Still with that, really? Ok, it's not really that bad. Take off the running pants & jacket. Leave the gloves & pullover. Bye, Love, yes, one more picture, great...gotta go - 10 minutes to race start and we're 5 blocks away!

Oh shit, it's cold, that is a biting little wind and now it's full on drizzling. Let's run!!!

I don't think my legs have EVER felt heavier than for the 1st 3 miles of the 1/2 marathon yesterday. Ever. Not in Jethro's Ironman at 2am, not in Ironman Arizona, not when I have actually had lead weights around my ankles. But Joy & I were troopers - we didn't mention how awful we felt for 3 miles. Even though it was raining steadily. Even though we had a significant headwind. Oh look - the 1 mile marker at 11 minutes. Damn, we're fast. We better slow down. Gawdammit - that was the 8k 1 mile marker - they started 2 blocks before the 1/2 marathon start. Ok, get back up to the pace we were at because we're right on 12 minute miles - that's perfect to start. If we feel good, we can pick it up later (yeah, right).

After 2 miles, we start mentioning how heavy our legs are. How, even though we've made a 90 degree turn to the North, we STILL have the same headwind (why is that always the way?). Wait, there's Anita & Stacey to cheer us on. Yay. And we can stop for a moment. Double Yay.

We continue up Boulevard to the 1st hill of the day. We make a command decision to walk it - after all, we're really very close to that 12 minute mile pace and we stopped to talk to A&S. We can make it up on the downhill.

I announce at the top of the first hill that the Blue Ridge Marathon is DEFINITELY out. OUT I SAY OUT!!!!

We realize that Annnn did not quite make it out to cheer us on or we missed her. Too bad, but no blame, it's a nasty day so far.

Oh crap, there's a turn I forgot about - stupid extra mile loop. YAY, Stacey & Anita - right after we decided to walk for another minute. Crap - start running to get to them. Yay. We have to run some more? Really? Dammit.

We see some friends along the way - Sharon, Ricky, Susie, Lynn - that was all good and we were running as we passed each one (OK, maybe not entirely running past Rick & Susie as it was a water STOP)...

Bryan Park Sucks. Best part about it was the apparently homeless man under the bridge cheering us on, telling us we were competitors and winners and that we were "doing" it. On the return trip, someone in our area called him the "Wise Man Under the Bridge". I don't know about all that, but it was the driest place on the course. The park course was up & down hills and I kept expecting a water STOP and there wasn't a single one in the park, nor for a mile or so afterward. And I did not see Angela who I had hoped to see there, but she's smarter than standing out in the cold wind & rain. She has earned additional respect for not being there.

OK, so onto Northside some more. This is where I have no idea of the neighborhood names or street names, but it was a very nice area. We continued to ask neighbors who were partying there if they could spare a mimosa or two. No one did and they looked askance at us. WTF - don't all racers ask for alcholic beverages? I always have. I heard somewhere that if you don't ask for what you want, you'll never get it.

running, running running...where the fuck are we?

Ah, a bunch of trigirls in a very pretty neighborhood - oh look there's Anita & Linda - so good to see her. Oh wait, there are a hundred trigirls calling my name & cheering. I tried to get them to cheer on Joy too. Then I was distracted.

I heard a little voice cry out in the night (OK, it was morning, but it was still overcast and it's poetic license for chrissakes, just chill). " you want a shot of bourbon?" Bourbon you say? Well, it would be rude to refuse...SCREECH to a halt and take an immediate left turn to the girl with the glass. Is that a black label? Nice. OK, it was only half a shot and Cathy who handed it to me knows that this is certainly only for medicinal purposes. Smooooth. Didn't take but a second to catch up with Joy. I immediately informed her that although the Blue Ridge Marathon was OUT, the Bourbon Chase was definitely IN. Hello & goodbye to friends & loved ones and we're running some more.

Sure could use a water stop to chase the bourbon. LOOK, it's the Hash House Harriers - Drinkers with a Running Problem....serving beer. Um, it's only been about 1/2 a mile since the bourbon. Joy urgently informs me that "liquor then beer never fear", so I downed a shot or two of beer. Really important not to be rude. I'm just a social drinker. Really.

Oohhh, Drunk. For about 3 minutes. Everything is accelerated when you're racing. OK, now cotton mouth. Nice. Great - hangover. Where's the water stop....yes I was whining (preferred to be wining, but I don't think there's a rhyme for that)?!

YAY, water stop, downed my last GU and checked the watch at the 10 mile marker. We have a bunch of time to run a 5k and still finish in 2:45, Joy's secret race time goal. It's not a secret anymore, right Joy?

As we're running down Cary Street, headed for home, I can hear my ride approaching (always with the sirens). Ah, it's not my ride it's the )@&*$)@)* marathon winner. Dammit, I always used to try and finish the 1/2 before the winner finished the whole. Guess I have slowed down considerably, since this dude started 25 minutes after we did. Oh well.

Joy beat me by a bit - I just couldn't get my legs to turnover any faster and was barely able to keep my nose off the pavement. I know she wanted to finish together, but I hollered at her to beat her goal time. I was 4 seconds off. Story of my life, but a whole lot closer to the goal than 14:20.

Why does that always come up?

Here are 2 happy girls, right before they tried to walk again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Own Personal Hell...

is having to shop in person for a baby shower gift....with a hangover.

The whole plan about not shopping online so as not to get on any mailing lists really doesn't work when you also forget to bring cash to the store and then have to use the credit card because you are out of time.

It helps a lot that the soon to be new mom is a terrific person.

But it still doesn't make it right.

Thought you should know.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming

So, on the hottest day of the year, back in late July, I struck up a conversation with Joy as we walked 9 holes. Anita & Stacey were smart enough to ride.

"So, Joy, how's the running going?"

"OK, good thing I can run inside on the treadmill. This heat is awful."

"What are you training for now?"

"Nothing really. I might run the 8k in November."

"Hey, you know what we should do? We should get Anita & we should all sign up & train for the 1/2 marathon in November."


--- Anita wants all of you to know that she's smart enough not to have signed up for this, though she's run 3 times (that's just 1 less than I have). Ah....she adds that she is still pondering the race. ---

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Too Heavy? Tell me about it - I'm living the dream.

I don't understand...

This will be a long one. For my republican friends, I am pleading with you to read it. I am not intending to bash. I've learned a lot from the last 3 presidential elections and I'm really tired of all the bashing.

I don't understand the politics of hate. I don't understand why people need to find a group to blame all the world's ills on. I don't understand why we can't all just get along.

Instead of blaming a minority group (and how are white christian men really the majority anyway) for a shortage, why isn't energy focused on eliminating the shortage? This morning I heard of a conversation about how the Mexicans were going to use up all the healthcare and all the money. Really? Mexicans are that sick?

Election night 2009. Bad news for me personally. Maine voters decide they don't want homosexuals to have the right to marry as their legislators decided. A bit of a surprise to me, but I do understand that the subject of gay marriage is a polarizing one. I'm OK with it being that way, as long as your argument isn't that it's a threat to heterosexual marriage. If your argument is a religious one, I'd have to agree that you are entitled to your religious beliefs - but I also believe strongly in the separation of church & state and believe that government should stay out of the marriage business and way out of my relationship. How would you feel if your religious beliefs were in the minority?

In my current home state of Virginia, we have elected a governor that believed strongly enough at age 34 to dedicate an entire thesis to his belief that women should not work outside the home, contraception should be illegal, and homosexuality is well, the worst thing of all. But that's thesis is 20 years old and he says some of his views have changed. Virginia's new attorney general put front & center on his web page that he led the fight for amending Virginia's Constitution not only against gay marriage, but against any contracts between people of the same sex "to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage." That is so important to him that he put it front and center in his campaign. The newly re-elected lieutenant governor spent $25k of his own money to write this discriminatory language into the Virginia Constitution.

Virginia's governor-elect has vowed to overturn the current governor's first executive order, which extended discrimination protection to sexual orientation. He's saying this is because it is not a governor's right to make law, but if he agreed with it, I'm guessing he wouldn't have a problem. I can't look at this as an exercise. This is my life here. I'll be looking for a new job during the governor-elect's term. Fabulous.

I only came out of the closet at work when the original Virginia House Bill 751 to write vague law discriminating against homosexuals into the code of Virginia came up. I understand that some folks have a problem with homosexuality. I understand that some folks think my love is against God's will and they probably think they're trying to save me from that (as well as saving their marriage, which I really don't understand at all), but how can a contract ensuring I can care for my partner be a bad thing.

I came out of the closet at work because I consider at least some of my co-workers friends. I figured the only way they can vote for this discriminatory law is if they don't know they have a gay friend that isn't evil and that they haven't read this very short law, because this law is not just against gay marriage. I figured lying was worse than coming out: how can we be actual friends if coworkers ask me how my weekend was and I change all the pronouns or just say "we" a lot? If I say "fine" or "great" there are more questions. If I don't answer them, I'm considered anti-social. If they really didn't already know I was gay (duh), I figured that their discrimination against homosexuals was partly my fault. They deserved to know that a friend of theirs was gay and still not hitting on them (or their children or their pets).

I didn't choose this lifestyle. I didn't choose Anita to love (ok, my Mom did), but I thank your God and mine for her love.

I wouldn't choose this lifestyle - it comes with a full load of crap & baggage - people devote their lives to the eradication of my love for Anita. I REALLY don't get that.

For those of you that read this blog and voted this slate of elected officials in, I understand that there are many other issues on the table. I recognize the weakness of the democratic gubernatorial candidate. I also believe that many of you are my friends. I like to hope that you don't believe that my love is evil or threatening in any way - that I am evil or threatening in any way - if you did, how could we be friends? I like to hope that you don't think my relationship is any threat to your marriage or your children.

I propose this as a compromise: Go one step further than voting and a lot less than asking you to believe that gay marriage is OK: please call or email your elected official and ask them not to discriminate against sexual orientation in hiring/employment. Does it really matter if your accountant is gay?

I have another proposal that no one will be happy with - right or left:

Make marriage solely a religious institution. Your church will define it any way you like and I will have no problem with it. My church may define it differently.

Make civil unions legal between consenting adults. Allow me to provide for my partner both in life and in the event of my death or incapacitation. Allow her to collect my social security benefits in the event of my death. Allow me to file one freakin' tax return instead of having to complete 2. Allow us to purchase health insurance together, etc.

Children. I believe a child raised in love is a healthy child. You may believe there is more to it than that, especially when you find out that I also believe that the rearing of a child into a responsible adult has to be at least 1/2 luck. I will never raise a child, but I've seen plenty of children raised in rage and fear and hate. Most of these that I have seen have been in a "typical" family. Some turn out OK, some don't. I am no expert.

Thanks for reading. For both sides of this issue, if you care to comment, please do so, but please maintain respect for each other. This entire entry is really just about respect.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stupid PC, Stupid MAC

So, how can I blame Comcast for this? Damn, I can't - we don't have Comcast internet.

Why the fuck do people devote their lives to screwing with other people? What kind of reward do they feel for hosing up pc's? Yeah, there are financial rewards aplenty, I'm sure, but many of the turdblossoms (heh, heh) screwing with our pc's are simply doing it to screw with our pc's.

We have a MAC. We have a PC. I used an Apple back in college when they were the only thing around besides mainframes. It takes me a long time to adjust. I love my MAC, but I'm so ignorant about how to accomplish tasks that I do find it frustrating at times. I want to grab a single frame from some video I shot and use it as a picture....that was 10 days ago, so far no picture. But my MAC functions. I can surf the web. I don't have to upgrade my virus software every 3 minutes. Very occasionally, something will go kablooey on the MAC and I will watch it heal itself. That's right. No "did you try rebooting" advice needed. It basically says, "I'm sorry, could you wait just a moment while I fix a minor problem..." and then it fixes it. Without downloading the Encyclopedia Britannica. Without turning it off and on multiple times, often having to unplug it before turning it back on.

Our PC is infected. We have the latest, biggest version of Mcafee installed, in use, scanning regularly. Doesn't matter - infected - AND Mcafee didn't notice & didn't care. Fortunately, I have lots of former IT coworkers that know a lot about PCs. Some even still speak to me, generously forgiving me for still working for their former employer. So, I've downloaded a full working trial copy of Casper the Friendly Ghost's Save My Life software or something like that. had to uninstall Mcafee first because none of the virus software plays well with others. Mcafee didn't want to go - over & over again. You didn't really think that the uninstall & remove program would really erase itself once it was done, did you. Ok, I might have thought that. I was wrong. But Casper offered me a way around it and now, after seemingly half my life, it's installed and running. Took 17 seconds to identify an active threat. It's now taken 46 minutes to get 36% of the way through scanning the hard drive and has found 28 problems it is in the process of fixing. The estimated time to completion occasionally reads 3 days and occasionally reads 54 minutes. I'm putting money on 3 days.

I can learn how to use my MAC. I have 3 days to get started.