Thursday, May 29, 2008

Off Work Friday

I am off work on Friday again. One of the great things about my work, is the flex scheduling. It means working a little longer each day, but getting one day off each pay period. Because of the flex scheduling, I am able to save lots of vacation days over the years as well as not really having to take any sick days either. You know those sick days where you are more burned out and just need a day off, well that is now a flex day once a pay period--kind of nice.

I was just going through my mind about what needs to get done tomorrow and what else I hopefully can do also. First, Thomas & Rose have school so will have to get them ready and to school. Next a grocery shopping trip is needed to Aldi--that will be me since I do 90+% of the grocery shopping for the house. Oil changes on both my car & the van should be done--hopefully at least get one done tomorrow. Next it would be nice to get the scraper out and start scraping the peeling paint off the garage--of course it will probably be raining so this may have to be put off. A good long slow run is also on the agenda and maybe a nice bike ride later in the day as well. Since I haven't run yet this week, the run has to be done. A little rain, no problem, a lot of rain and I will probably be at the Community Center for a shorter run.

I think we have our babysitter again tomorrow night as well. Not sure what we are doing though. At one point we talked about hitting the baseball game with Debbie's brother & friend but with rain in forecast not sure now. I might look at getting Debbie's bike running and maybe we go on a short bike ride together. I had mentioned this over the last weekend and it was a definate no so this could be a possible happening.

Should be a busy day. It would be nice if it stays dry and I can actually get some of those things mentioned above actually done.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away...

This has been a strange year so far in the weather department. It was a long cold and snowy winter. It has been a very wet spring. At least no big hail storms have hit St Louis though. Today there was a tornado sited at Page & I-170, which is very near my house. The tornado didn't touch down thank goodness. I would guess a tornado hitting a city/suburb has be a very scary thing for most people. While it is not good where ever they hit, it seems like rural areas and mobile homes are the favored targets of tornados. I just haven't heard too many instances of them touching down in urban areas. I know I have seen video of them running down a street in Tulsa and growing up in NE, I know they have hit Omaha a few times--I think one street corner was hit twice within a couple of years.

As far as the rain though, it is just making it hard to get much done on my lawn and other outside projects. I need to trim some of the bushes around the house. Also need to clean the gutters. And there is still that one goal I had of getting the garage painted. I think it rain part of each day of this long weekend. I don't know how much over normal rainfall we are at this point, but likely into double digit inches.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Still Not Much

There still isn't much to talk about. Yesterday--Saturday I did get a good run in of around 6.3 miles. It was slow, averaging around 12+ per mile, but felt good. On Friday, Debbie & I walked around the lake at Creve Couer, somewhere around 4 miles. Not a run but still good exercise. Today was nothing as far as exercise though. I thought it would be a good day to just rest the legs a little. Also it was on & off showers all day.

I did get started on the last book of the Lord of the Rings. I have somewhere around 350-400 pages to go. I have picked up and just read a few pages of The True Story of Fatima or something like that title. It is written by a priest back in the '50's I think. Not too far into it yet but will probably stick with it.

I also hit the used bookstore yesterday. I got Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, On the Road with Jack Kouroc--however you spell his name. Each book was $2.50I also bought the 3 books in the Dune series. I had read Dune once before but not the other 2 books. I found 2 out of the 3 for a $1 each and the 3rd for $2. These books weren't the insane cheap prices that I get at the libararies but still 5 books for under $10 seems like a good deal to me.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lunch at School

My personal time at work hit its max on accural, so I took half a day off today. Rose has asked before if I could come and have lunch with her at school so today it happened. It was kind of fun, I got to eat a hot dog, baked beans, pasta salad and juice--not too bad. Best of all I got to spend some good time with Rose & her classmates. I also got to see Thomas as his lunch was ending and got to say hi to his friends David & Hannah.

Since it was rainy today, not much else got done in the afternoon. Angie took her nap & I read some of my Lord of the Rings & Debbie watched a show or two & got a short nap in. After supper, we needed a prescription for Thomas so I rode my bike to Walgreens again to pick it up. This is my 3rd ride to Walgreens for those keeping score. With gas prices again jumping 20 cents to around $3.79--riding to work is becoming more likely every day. Rose & I then walked to a nearby ice cream shop & picked some up for a late dessert.

After getting the kids in bed, we tried a movie. I had DVR'ed The Electric Horseman and Debbie stuck it out for about half an hour before she gave up. I still like the movie but after not seeing it for a long time, it is not as good as I remembered either. I still watched the whole thing though.

I am off again tomorrow so I have a nice long Memorial Day weekend. We don't really have anything planned. We thought about camping but figuring this to be a crowded weekend at campsites and having no reservations, kind of decided no on that. We will just have to see what the weekend brings for us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Not Much

Not much to talk about or at least that is coming into my thoughts. I had an I-Car class tonight. Kind of a continuing education thing for insurance people dealing with auto damage. It wasn't too bad of a course, but overall I think I get very little out of them. It is something that is expected as part of my yearly reviews so I get a couple of these courses in each year so it looks good on paper.

Yesterday after work and supper, I mowed the back yard and also planted the last 4 marigolds. I planted them in front of my tomato plants, going with the theory they keep pests of some sort away from vegetables. After this I then got in a short 2 mile run on the streets around here. Just like my previous run, it just seemed easier and faster maybe running on streets instead of on a bikepath type trail in a small park. I think it is because there are people around so I don't let myself slack off as much while running. Taking too many walking breaks and generally just giving myself bad feedback. I will not completely stop running at parks, but I will definately be pushing them back and doing more street running.

Sorry not much to type about. This posting was mostly done to just get one in so I get a step closer to my goal of double digit posting for each month this year. I guess almost no one is reading this though so no big deal. In case someone out there is reading this, Thank You. If you feel like it, drop a comment too.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Exercise Night

I missed out on running Saturday and for most of Sunday, but when late afternoon came around I finally got some exercise this weekend. I ran 6 miles at around 12:10 or so pace--my Garmin messed up on mile 5. Then once I got home, I went for a short bike ride of 15 minutes or so to Walgreens to get diapers for Thomas & Angie. Once I got back, Debbie & the kids were getting together for a walk--Rose rode her bike. Thomas & Angie just rode in the wagon, we didn't even bother putting shoes on them. A couple of times when Rose rode ahead, Debbie actually started running after her, not a sprint but just a nice slow jog. She probably ran around 3 blocks which is the farthest I think I have ever seen her run. I encouraged her to keep at it, but we will just have to see if she wants to stick with it.

Cards took 2 of 3 from the Rays, a very good team from the AL East. Now they are going on a west coast trip with 3 games in San Diego and 3 games in LA against the Dodgers. This team will have to start performing well on the road if they are going to be real contenders this year. I was really surprised they got 2 from the Rays the way the Cards had been playing and with all of the talent on that Rays team. Of course we missed out on the Rays top 2 starting pitchers also, so that certainly didn't hurt us this weekend. With a west coast trip here, I love late night baseball. If I can just stay awake, I get to watch the games in relative peace and quiet with everyone else in the house asleep or soon after the first pitch.

No PSR run tomorrow, it is the last PSR of the year and there is no class only a Mass. There goes my closest to a sure thing time slot for a run each week until late August. Oh well, with my stated goal of riding my bike to work, I think Debbie is understanding that I want to remain serious in running and biking this summer--at least I hope so.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Running update & another yearly goal done

I don't have much to talk about today, in fact May has been a tough month for me to find things to type up for this journal/blog. Since not much else going on, I figured a quick running update to start with.

I ran 3.1 miles tonight. It was rainy most of the afternoon but by the time I left work a little late and fought traffic and then changed clothes in my car, the rain had let up. It was colder than it should be and along with a cold wind it wasn't much fun. I averaged around 12:40 overall, the first mile was somewhere around 12:15, then a 12:50 and then a 13:05 I think with a slow .1 to finish it up. One of my friends has signed up for a Memorial Day race, she signed up for the 10k, I am thinking maybe the 5k if anything. I am just so slow right now I am not sure I want to put myself through that. Racing or at least running with people would probably be good for me though and I should do it if I can fit it in my schedule.

On Monday, PSR night, I ran 4.0 miles, again slow. I don't remember off hand what the times were, but I think the overall was again in the 12:40 range. I was most happy about the 4.0 miles and also that I went on some hilly streets, I really felt it in my legs running those hills. That puts me at 7.1 miles so far this week. I need to get some kind of run in this weekend and get me over 10 miles--that is probably the minimum I should be averaging as a weekly total.

Tomorrow is bike to work day. It is not happening for me. The kids have something going on at school around 5, so no way riding a bike would I be home in time for that. Also with all of the rain this week, I am guessing there will probably be rain tomorrow as well. The riding my bike to work thing is still something that I want to make happen though so expect updates in future.

Finally, I did get another one of my yearly goals done, at least started I guess. I got 6 tomato plants planted along with flowers in my little flower area in the backyard. For Mother's Day Debbie wanted flowers planted in the pots on our front porch. I got 4 different kinds of flowers/plants and they only came in boxes of 8 so I had quite a few leftovers. I planted these leftovers in my backyard on Tuesday and then dug up my garden area and planted my 6 tomato plants. So far everything is looking good. I do want to put something else in the garden, but I say this everytime I do a small garden and nothing else gets done. Well this is a new year so maybe that will finally change also. I still have a few Marigolds to plant. I saved them to put around the garden since I was told they help keep pests away from the garden--not sure if it will help or not but figured I would give it a shot.

I have not started a 2nd book yet. I have grabbed The Memory Keeper's Daughter but have not started it yet. Not sure if I want to get into it right now or not. It is a book that I want to get read this year but not sure if I want to tackle it while Lord of the Rings is taking up most of my reading time right now. Might look for something else tonight.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ten Thousand Lovers(novel)--done

It has been a while since I finished a book. I guess that is what I get for reading the very long Lord of the Rings. Ten Thousand Lovers had been the other book between the two pretty much the whole time. It was only in the last couple of days that I really put time to Ten Thousand & was able to finish it.

It is an interesting book in that it is making me think about what I really know about what is or was going on in Israel. It is based in the '70s with Ami as an interrogator that feels his country is treating the Palastinians unfairly. The end of the book makes a point in the '90s where about half of the people of Israel are getting fed up with living there.

My overall feeling on the book is that I am still missing something. Either it is some knowledge I should already have or the book left things kind of vague to let the readers interpret things. I enjoyed being introduced to different things dealing with life in Israel, but even then it seems as though most things are left incomplete in the description. It is like at every turn in this book there are untied threads. For my taste there seem to be too many. I am glad that I have read this book because it is making me think, but I don't think I could recommend it or have interest in reading it again. I guess it would only be recommended to people that have a great knowledge of Israel already.

This is the 12th book read already in '08. Kind of impressive I think and well on my way of getting this goal accomplished. This goal was to average 2 books read a month or a total of 24. I am also happy that I have a good mix of books read so far also both in types of books and also sizes. In other words not just light reading and not just short books either.

No ideas yet on the next book or books to be read. I haven't touched Lord of the Rings the last couple of days so I will need to get back on it. I will probably try to find another to get started on in the next day or so also.

I did get a run in on Saturday of 3.1 miles in the rain. It actually felt pretty good. I don't know if the rain kept some of the pollen & stuff out of the air but I was able to breath a little freer it seemed than before. I read in today's paper that this is ride your bike to work week--I don't know if I will do that or not, but I will see. Tomorrow is out because of PSR, but I will see about later this week.

Finally, Happy Mother's Day to all of the mom's out there.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rainy Day

It has been rainy days yesterday & today. There was a little bit of a chill today also, but not like the cold of last month. The ground is soaked and it is time for more than a few sunny days to come out. I mowed the front lawn about a week ago and now it is looking bad, as soon as it goes a day without raining, I will be mowing it again.

I hadn't run in about 10 days or so, until last night. After my Holy Name meeting, I went to the Community Center and got in a very short run. They are resurfacing the walking track, so I had to use a treadmill. I got there only about 20 minutes before closing, so I was only able to get in 1.2 miles--somewhere around 12:50 pace. I did run the whole mile though which was kind of surprising since I hadn't run in so long. I will get some kind of run in this weekend, even if it has to be in the rain.

I am still reading my two books. Mostly been concentrating on The Lord of the Rings. I finished the first book and well into the 2nd book. I am just past 500 pages so a little over halfway done. I am really enjoying reading it and it is making me want to see the movies again--I will make myself wait until I have finished the book completely though.

That should do it for tonight, I will keep it kind of short this time.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Birthday Weekend

Our youngest, Angela or Angie, is turning 3 on Monday, so this was her birthday weekend. Sunday ended up being a great day for playing at the park. Rather than do a normal Sunday with having everyone over, Debbie & her sister in law decided to do this at a park. Debbie nephew's birthday was last week, so we did the combined party thing. The weather was perfect and the kids played and played. A very good day for all. Of course Angie just loved it since there was plenty of people around and always something to do. Thomas wore me out, but I knew that would happen going in.

No run this weekend or last week for that matter. I haven't run since Saturday 4/26. I did ride the bike for a while after we got back from the park. We needed diapers for Angie & pullups for Thomas, I was about to drive to Walgreens when I figured I could just go by bike instead. It is probably close to a mile round trip. I don't have a bike lock, so I got in & out kind of quick. Not that I really thought anyone would take my dusting old bike, but I didn't want to leave it open for the opportunity very long either. After I got back from the store I checked with Rose about tennis & she opted for the Star Wars movie she was watching with Debbie. I went back out and rode the bike for about another 1/2 hour. I am guessing somewhere around 4 1/2 miles or so in total including the Walgreens trip. Not too bad, I wasn't really winded or anything, of course I did try to avoid any large hills also. Not sure if I will get a run in tomorrow night or not since it is Angie's birthday, we might skip out on PSR and do a dinner somewhere instead with the family.

Cardinals took 2 out of 3 against the Cubs this weekend. I am still not sure this team has enough to win the division but I think they have shown they are no where near the bottom of the division as some/many were predicting earlier. The team is playing good ball right now, but it has been a lot of home games so far, on the road is where this team will have to prove themselves. Also this team must stay healthy, especially in key spots like Molina at catcher, Pujols and Glaus--there just isn't anyone on the roster or at AAA that could replace these players if they get injured. Glaus is in a bad hitting slump right now, but I am not worried, today he seemed closer to producing than what he looked like at the end of last week. Glaus' defense has been really solid, something I was more worried about. Defense is very important to this team because besides Wainwright, our so so pitchers have been playing over their heads and the defense is a large reason for this.

Well that should do if for a first post of May.