Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just Checking In.

If anyone is noticing, I haven't checked in for awhile now. Life has continued to be busy with lots of stuff going on. Rose has VB practice & games, Thomas did Challenger Baseball this past weekend and Angie is working on new puzzles, potty training and doing tumbling during the day with mom.

I am trying to ramp up my running. I want to do the 1/2 marathon in Clayton, MO--I think the date is 11/11. I had a training program somewhere around here that showed me I was already 3 weeks late in starting. I ran 6 on Sunday at Forest Park, then 4 on Monday during kids PSR and did 3 tonight after work. I will take a day off Wed and probably try to get a workout or short run in Thurs--Rose has VB from 6-7:30, but she will leave early around 7 to go to Girl Scouts. I will probably do some kind of run from 6-7 then. Since it is Thursday which is Survivor night, I will be doing the transportation, my wife hates missing Survivor.

I am still plugging away at Atlas Shrugged. I am making what seems to me good progress on it, hopefully get past page 900 before I go to sleep tonight. The Light in the Forest is only getting a few pages here and there, Atlas is my main focus right now.

I am sure there are other things, but that should do it for now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Stuff Again

Here it is a Monday and all I really have is an update from the weekend happenings. This was the weekend of the Holy Trinity carnival. Friday night & Saturday late afternoon & night were spent there. Lots of fun rides for the kids. Didn't really go through the game tent much--I only made it inside once on Friday and never did make it the whole way through. Kids had a lot of fun doing the rides--all of them. Rose liked Starship 2000--the fast spinning thing and the mo mo???/octopus thing. Thomas liked the Dragon rollercoaster & riding it with Rose. Also we only did the bumper cars once, but he liked it--the line was just too long to take him on more. He also liked the kid ferris wheel, which he did with Rose or other cousins. Rose, Thomas & Angie all did the cars. Angie & Thomas the carasol and train. All three also did the big slide thing. All in all a very good time and it didn't seem too expensive to me, but Debbie bought the tickets so I am not sure how much see actually spent.

Saturday morning I did a 2 man scramble for St Rita parish Holy Name, which I am a member at Ruth Park. It was only a 9 hole tourney, so it was short enough I could get done and get back home so Debbie could get a few things done before we all went to the carnival. I golfed with the father in law, together we had fun, but not very good golf. I think we shot a 42 with par being 35. We each ended up with a gift cert to a restaurant though so not too bad.

Sunday was really nothing much. After church we went to my in laws for Sunday lunch, kind of a normal happening when everyone is not too busy. I watch a little football, a little baseball and played with the kids some.

Tonight Debbie & I went with Debbie's brother Dave & his wife Joann to the Cardinals game. We used the tickets I won in the All Souls golf tournament a couple of weeks ago. The seats were very good, 3 rows behind the camera well on the homeplate side of the Cardinal's dugout. The Cards fell behind 11-0, but managed to get back into the game and get to 12-11 before the 9th inning. Izzy came in and gave up a solo shot, 13-11 and the Cardinals were not able to score in the 9th--got runners on but couldn't get a big hit. It was fun seeing the game from close seats like that--the 1-2 games a year we get to are usually nose bleed seats.

As far as what is going on with this blog, I am not really sure. I probably need to make some decisions about what I feel like talking about beyond just these journal type entries. I know I want to talk about Running more--it is just that I have been inconsistant with my running which in turns makes it hard to even mention. With the elections coming up in a little over a year, I might talk some about Politics since I am very much interested in this, but even there my thoughts seem to be more gray--kind of hard to put down in words a lot of the time. I should work in more about Sports, I do enjoy following many different sports also.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What I am reading--update

I finally finished one of the books I have been reading lately. I finished up My Brother, Ernest Hemingway, by Leicester Hemingway. A short read of 256 pages only that gives some good info on Ernest. From having only a very basic knowledge of EH, the book certainly provided more insight, but it also seemed to gloss over or ignore quite a bit as well. The period from the end of WWII to EM's suicide provided little. You do certainly get plenty of info about EM's love of fishing and writing. While EM's four wives are talked about, there really isn't much in the way of detail on these relationships and almost nothing about EM's children. Since I bought the book used for 33 cents, I guess I can't really complain. I don't think it was a waste of time, I just think it could have been much better. Of course the book was written soon after EM's suicide in 1961--point being that personal things that would now be discussed just weren't back then, I would guess. From reading the wikipedia entry on EM, I also learned that the author committed suicide late in his life. Another just tragic ending among many in the Hemingway family.

I am still plugging away at Atlas Shrugged. It is still almost a chore to continue, but I am too far invested in it now to quit. I have also picked up The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. A short read that I started very slowly about a week ago when my EM book was missing for a few days(it turned up behind our couch). I know that somewhere in the past, probably around high school times, I have read The Light in the Forest. I saw it on one of my bookcases and after checking my books read lists--have been keeping pages of books read each year since 1997--and not seeing it on any of the lists, I figured it was time to read again. I fully expect I will have it finished long before Atlas Shrugged gets completed, so I will be looking for another book shortly.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another review of past weekend

I have noticed how my weekends seem very busy both when I am living them and when I am typing them out.

Friday was Light the Night in St Louis at Forest Park--same location as last weekend's Buddy Walk. It was supposed to rain, but since others were going, we figured we could go and see what happens. By the time I got home from work and then loaded the van with the kids and left, we probably didn't get there until around 6:30. They had some games for the kids--those blow up bouncey things. Thomas & I hit the lines for those while Rose went off with some others to do the same. After some time at that, Debbie had gotten the hot dogs & drinks, so we took a break and ate. Then we were supposed to walk, but that is when the rain came down hard. We parked along the beginning of the route and once to the van loaded up and waited for everyone to pass before we could leave.

Saturday was golf day. It was for All Souls Parish. Start time was at 12:30, but we got there early enough to eat lunch. Of course it started to rain right before we started and continued for at least the first hour. We were pretty much soaked. For some reason they never stopped us from golfing and we got the whole 18 holes in. Our team shot 4 under, which is very good for us--4 birdies and the rest pars--no bogeys. I was able to write my name on a closest to the pin hole, but it didn't last for the prizes. I did win a raffle and took a Cardinals basket which has 4 tickets to the green seats for the game on 9/17. Those are very good tickets, probably about the best tickets I will get maybe in my lifetime--at least that is what I was thinking when I grabbed the basket.

Sunday, we did Mass at Holy Trinity at 10:30. This is usually a very long Mass and Sunday fit that profile. We were leaving the church at 11:55. In the past, I didn't really mind long Masses and still don't to a degree. The problem is that with Thomas he gets very restless and starts making noises, etc because it runs long. Holy Trinity does not have a quiet room/kids room so I have to take him to the vestibule where there are no benches or speakers. I was back there with him for a good 15 minutes at least wrestling him. From Mass, we went out to St Charles County for Rose's first VB game. It started at 1:30, but we had to get there at 1:00. A quick stop at the drive through at McDonalds for a light lunch and we found where we were going. Rose's team won--I think--they played really well. Rose is doing good and seems to really be having fun playing. She needs more practice to get better, but VB is certainly better than soccer was in the past.

Monday is also one of our busy days--actually it seems like most days now qualify for busy days it seems. Mondays though will be busy for some time. Rose has VB practice starting at 5pm, which means Debbie drops her off. I leave work at 5pm and come home and change into my running stuff. Then take Thomas and go pickup Rose at 6:15ish and take them both the PSR from 6:30 to 7:45. While they are in PSR, I go for a run. I did a slow 3.75 miles. I guess all of my runs are slow right now, I am just out of shape and need to put more miles in. Rose also has VB practice this week on Thursday at 7:00, so I might be able to get another run in then. It is not getting my long weekend run in which is probably what I miss most. With the weather cooling off, I might be able to start getting them in again.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Weekend Recap

Well it has been over a week since I have typed anything so another recap is probably in line. Friday was my fantasy football auction night. If you are into fantasy football and still doing a draft instead of an auction, you are missing out. An auction is the only way to go. I will not bore you with the details, but will say that I am happy with my team. I will probably talk more about fantasy football during the season.

During the auction, a couple of people were also following the Cards game. Rick Ankiel hit a grand slam to give the Cards the lead late which they would hold for the victory--just an amazing story.

Saturday was Buddy Walk day for Down Syndrome awareness. This year they had added an event in Forest Park and then on Sunday they had the Cards game. The Saturday event had a walk of maybe a mile & half, with some games, food & stuff for the kids to do afterward. We got there a little early, but no problem, they were playing music and Thomas wanted to dance. He is kind of a little show off. Of course once the walk started it didn't take long before he wanted me to carry him--I guess I carried him at least 80% of the walk--good work out for my arms and shoulders I guess. Thomas is really doing a lot better at not running away from us and waiting in line. The waiting in line on Saturday though was not there--I figure he was tired from dancing and walking that waiting was just too much. He would wiggle, scream, twist, etc to get away to get into/on the big bouncy things they had. Taking turns throwing balls or bean bags to get prizes was also too much & he didn't really care about prizes, he just wanted to keep throwing. All in all it was a good time and the weather was about perfect for an outdoor event in St Louis.

Sunday was the Cardinals baseball game. The Buddy Walk participants could walk around the field before the game and then make the way to our seats. We were in no hurry so we were near the end of the whole group which I think was around 3k people. The big highlight for my daughter Rose was getting an autograph from a Cincinnati Reds player--Thomas Shearn pitcher. Of course I couldn't make the name out on the autograph, but read it on the back of his warmup jacket. Players are not really supposed to sign autographs at this for obvious reasons they would be swapped with people, but since we were near the end and he was coming off the field he stopped to sign a few. It really made my daughter's day. From what I understand about Thomas Shearn is that he has been in the minors a long time and has just made it up recently, Friday being his 2nd game in the big leagues. He started the game Friday but didn't give up Ankiel's grand slam. After toiling in the minors I would guess he is more than happy to sign autographs and enjoy his big league time--best of luck Thomas Shearn. Cards ended up winning on Sunday 3-2, a good game and again great weather.

Monday, I went to Forest Park and got a very slow run in of 5.5 miles. It was the hottest of the 3 days that weekend, but of course the only day where I had a chance to get a run in. The first couple of miles were fine, but I took a long water break after the 4th mile and a slight route change to cut the run a little shorter, but by 1/3 of a mile--just to get it over with a little sooner. I was feeling the heat and lack of running for over a week and needed the run the just end. After the run, we did lunch at my in-laws, of course BBQ on Labor day which I always eat too much of. Then I was able to talk my father in law into playing 9 holes of golf. I shot a very good for me 43 at a par 34 course--a couple of 4 put holes and a couple of other duff type shots and I could have had an outside shot at under 40. My best is either a 40 or 41--not really sure.

Tomorrow, our youngest Angela, is having eye surgery to tighten the eye muscles. She has had the surgery once earlier this year and it was determined she would need it done a 2nd time. Since Thomas has strep throat, I will be staying home with him while my wife takes Angie for her surgery.

I am still reading the two books, Atlas Shrugged and My Brother Ernest Hemingway. My Brother book was lost behind our couch for about a week so just getting back into it again. Atlas Shrugged is just tough work--cannot seem to read much more than maybe 20 pages a night. It just seems hard to make any real progress with the book--I am somewhere around page 670 though so the end is getting closer. I might start looking for a 3rd book to start slowly on also just to make sure I have options.