Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I just finished off Bowerman and the Men of Oregon tonight. I really enjoyed it. Other than what I saw about him in one of the Prefontaine movies, I didn't know much more about his life. I also knew that Oregon is a kind of Mecca for US track & field so with him being a long time coach I knew he had to have played a major part. From the movie I knew he was associated with Nike, but had no idea the major role/co-founder that he was.

Bowerman can really be classified as a type of Renaissance man. He raised cattle & chickens on this home ranch, but undertook breeding of both in great detail. He also worked on developing the rubberized tracks. His shoe developments extended far beyond just for track athletes--not that many of these were put into production though. He was a major fundraiser as a coach. He was an Olympic coach. He had a decorated stint in the Army during WWII. He helped get the whole town/state behind his track program and supporting it in money & attendance. He helped one of his sons fight a '70's type Hindu leader who was in the process of starting a large commune next to one of his son's ranches. I am sure there is more as well.

The other striking thing is the impression he left on the people that were around him. He wasn't just a track or running coach, he prepared people for life. The number of success stories of his athletes that are outside of running is pretty amazing. He was not afraid to teach talented college students the lessons of hard work outside of athletes. I am sure these lessons helped develop these men into the successes they were later in life.

My only real criticism is that Bowerman almost seems too good to be true in the book. Some faults are kind of hinted at but not really mentioned. Of course the author was a Man of Oregon so it does seem like a little hero worship could have been included in the book. Since I don't know anything about Bowerman except what I just finished reading, I could be wrong on this criticism as well. Of course it could also be that whatever faults he had were simply over shadowed by his positives and the tough love lessons he taught.

I would certainly recommend this book especially if someone has an interest in running, Prefontaine or Nike. I am glad that I read this book and now know a little more about some interesting topics.

By the way I did get a run in yesterday. I ran 3 miles. First mile was around 14:15, 2nd mile around 13:05 and 3rd mile around 13:00 even. Slow but happy I got it in. Wife and 2 oldest kids going to Six Flags tomorrow so I will be picking up the youngest after work. Most likely no run tomorrow then.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Slow Run

Another night of Vacation Bible School and another chance to get out and do a run. Tonight my wife and our oldest skipped out on VBS & hit the library to stock up on books. I took the other two to VBS & then went to a nearby park to get a run in. It was lightly raining and even though I wasn't very inspired I figured I had to get this in. Friday & Saturday are probably out as far as running so tonight was probably my last chance for the week.

Well I got 3.25 in. It was very slow, around 13:50 kind of slow. While I know that I was slow, I think my Garmin might have been struggling since I was running in an area with many trees--my Garmin might not have been registering all of the time. Anyway even if my Garmin was a little off, it was still slow.

Afterwards I hit Subway & got a $5 footlong ham sub and downed that before picking up the kids. It was loaded with veges & it is one of the 6 grams of fat or less sandwiches so I figured it wasn't so bad. Would have been better just eating half, but that is where I just have a hard time of it.

The Cards blew another one to the Brewers. Still many games to go so not in panic mode but hate losing those that they should have won. Well, I think I have a few minutes of reading now before turning in.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Running & new goal?

I was able to get a short run in Sunday night around 9pm. It was only 2.25 miles but it felt good to get hot & sweaty before going home to no AC. A cool shower and a lot of ice cream & it was all good. I don't remember the time--probably somewhere between 12:30 & 13:00 if I had to guess.

This is Vacation Bible School week for the kids, which basically means Debbie & I get a couple of hours together each night in peace. Well Monday was shopping night, Tuesday was eat out at a decent restaurant & then a short walk night, Wednesday was go for a run night. We ran/walked with heavy emphasis on walk together for 2 miles--somewhere around 16+ minute miles. Debbie's legs got hot & itchy, they just weren't used to any type of running. After those 2 miles Debbie grabbed her book and read a little while I went for a little longer. Thinking I would do 1 or 2 more miles, I ended up doing 3 miles. Each mile time was under 12 minutes, that 2 mile warmup really helped. I now have 2 runs in so far this week. Thursday & Friday sound like they are out for running days and now Saturday might be a float trip day so could be looking at just these 2 for the week.

New AC is in and working good, thank goodness.

Still working away on my two books, See You Later Alligator and Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. No 3rd book yet. I was talking to a friend at work about authors & Willa Cather came up. Whenever I think of her I also think of another NE author Mari Sandoz. Those two are kind of inspirations to make me want to actually try to write something. Of course that is kind of why I started this blog, to get typing something even this mundane stuff about my life. So far I have had no inspirations on writing fiction/short story/novel, but might see what I can do. I just don't know where or what type of format I should be doing this in. I don't think I would want to do it on this blog, maybe a 2nd blog only for writing. More likely just a word document that I keep double saved in case of a computer crash. I might have to think about this and then get started. Maybe I need to make this a new goal to work it into my head a little more.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Still Hot

It is still very hot here in St Louis & our AC is still not working. It will come on sometimes for about a 1/2 or so at best. At least our house is not stiffling hot, with ceiling fans, floor fans and windows open, we have been surviving. We should be getting a new AC unit tomorrow so by tomorrow night all should be good.

I did get a hot run in yesterday from around 3:30. I got in 3.1 miles in a very slow pace--I would guess around 13:00 minute miles. I would like to get another run in tonight but will have to see how that goes.

Yesterday was just a lazy day with it being hot at the house and trying to get the AC to work. I did get quite a bit of reading in on Bowerman. It is a good read. It is kind of amazing to see the people he touched and what they did. Many were successes in running and many also succeeded beyond running. Also the influence he had on running for fitness, kind of neat to think about. Still have a ways to go yet but so far so good.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Hot

It has been a hot week in St Louis this week. It is just not a good week for the AC to start acting up so of course it has been. Two nights ago it had stopped in the evening but I got it back on right around bedtime. Yesterday it had stopped in the afternoon but came on right around supper time. Our repairman came by a couple of times, last one being this morning but it was working then. Well, it stopped sometime tonight around 7:30-8:00 and I haven't been able to get it back on yet. I think this means we need a new compressor. Our repairman is out of town tomorrow back in town on Sunday. The way I see it best case senerio is a new unit on Monday but more likely Tuesday or Wednesday. It will be a hot one this weekend.

My 2nd book I am reading is See You Later Alligator by William Buckley. It is a spy novel written in the '80s but set in early '60s right after the Bay of Pigs. So far it is okay, nothing special but only around 50 pages in. I will probably try to read a little more before trying to go to sleep in our hot house.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The True Story of Fatima--finished & other stuff

I kind of enjoy reading about saints and apparitions. I find their stories very interesting and many of the things that occurred as beyond what I believe possible. This is not to say that I don't believe the accounts given, it is that I want to believe but usually still have a fair degree of skeptism. (Note again: this computer does not have spell check, so I am sorry of misspellings but not sorry enough to dig out the dictionary and correct them myself) The story of Fatima is probably the most believable account of the few others I have read so far. Since it happened in 1917, it is actually fairly modern in comparison and seems to have people that understood there would be many questioning the children's account. I still don't have a firm grasp of what the actual secrets of Fatima are/were, the last secret was to be revealed years after this book was written in 1960. Actually from what I read a wikipedia, which is itself an interesting read, the 3rd secret wasn't released until 2000 and even then it seems many doubt if all of the secret had been released. Lucia the one remaining child from Fatima lived until 2005 to the age of 97. Jacinta & Francisco died only a year of 2 after the apparitions. Interestingly both Jacinta & Francisco have been declared Blessed and Jacinta's body was found to be incorrupt in 1935 and 1951. The whole incorrupt bodies of saints is one of those things that I really find amazing.

Reading this book certainly opened up an interest in Fatima for me and kind of renewed or maybe reminded me to continue and search out these kind of books and research this kind of information. The book itself was kind of a tough read in that it was an account trying to show the accuracy of the apparitions so it had to defend and re-defend much of what happened. Also toward the end of the book it pretty much wrote out speeches the Pope or Vatican gave on Fatima--not very exciting at all. Overall a very interesting story that really makes you think about God's role in your life. There might be better sources or books to read than this one though.

Other stuff:

--All Star game was long and mostly boring. AL won again. I was really hoping for both teams to run out of pitchers and be stuck with a tie again. I don't really like All Star games so anything to make them more meaningless is a good thing in my eyes.

--Finally got out and got a run in. I did a very slow 4 miles, averaging somewhere around 13:30 per mile. It was hot and I am out of shape so just getting the run in was really all I wanted. Hopefully I will get another run in this week and a 3rd on the weekend.

--Now only reading Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. I will probably look around at my books and see if one jumps out at me tonight but will probably wait till tomorrow to actually try and pick one out. Fatima was my 16th book read this year so I am well on my way to getting to 24 for the year.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


It has been almost a week since I have typed anything so I think I will just go with one of those quick lists type things again.

--Reading. Still working on Fatima, somewhere around 100 pages left. I would guess a week still, but could be less or more. Also started reading Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. This is about the long time coach of Oregon track & cross country. So far just going through his early years. An interesting childhood, strongly influenced by his parents divorce and being raised by his mother & her extended family--father was out of the picture till he was old enough to basically say I want nothing to do with you. Does form a relationship with his step sisters though. Like I said an interesting life story so far.

--Running. I did get a run in on Monday, I think. It was only 3 miles and averaged around 12:50 or there abouts. I wanted to get a 2nd run in this week & it just hasn't happened. Won't happen today either. Sunday is still a possiblity though.

--Garage Sale. My wife & I did a garage sale today with the money made going to the Down Syndrome Association. This is part of the fundraising we have been doing for Thomas and the Buddy Walk to get him on the field for the Cardinals baseball game.

--Callenger Baseball. Thomas has his final baseball event/All Star game/awards thing tonight if it doesn't rain out. It is at Berra Park on the Hill. It is the park across the street from where Yogi Berra grew up. Should be fun, just hoping for no rain/storms.

--Swimming lessons. Rose has been taking swimming lessons this last week. She has already done 4 lessons and has 4 more this upcoming week. She is really enjoying it and says she is really learning. I hope so, we have been kind of lax on getting her into this earlier.

--no updates on gararge, garden--still just growing with lots of green tomatos, biking to work and many, many other things.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Golf today

I went golfing today also. I think I went once earlier back in March so it had been a while. It really showed. I made a few good shots but for the most part just an okay round. Way to many 3 puts and couldn't hit a fairway wood worth a damn all day. It was only 9 holes on a really easy course so my 51 is pretty ugly. Of course I am also not that good either. I am usually around a 45 or so, only 6 shots off, but only 9 holes also.

I am doing a double post today in case you haven't noticed. In the past I would tack a title on and take a little about that & then throw something on at the end on something completely different. I am thinking it just makes more sense to make it a separate entry. Not that anyone is reading this or will be going back and reading anything I have typed previously, but mostly for my own sanity in case there is something I want to check back on.

My 15 Minutes - finished

My 15 Minutes ended up being a nice quick read. It fit the easy page turning type book I was looking for. I only saw after I finished it tonight that it is an Avon Trade book, that is kind of scary. I didn't think I would read an Avon book--whatever that means. I guess it seems a little to close to a romance novel sort just seeing Avon, but this was not what I would picture as a romance novel. Of course since I have never read a real romance novel I could be wrong.

My 15 Minutes fit with what I have been trying to force myself to do, read books about more modern times. Since most of my book shopping had been done at the nearby used bookstore, finding new books sometimes isn't an option. The library sales has really been a goldmine for me since I started looking through those books last Winter. My 15 Minutes is one of those library buys, along with earlier read books God Clobbers Us All and Ten Thousand Lovers. The latter two though were actually set in the 1970s though, they were bought for other reasons. God Clobbers Us All's author lives in Chadron, NE and I kind of have a thing about learning about Israel where Ten Thousand Lovers takes place.

The characters in My 15 Minutes were fun easy to picture. The Hollywood sorts might have been a little to plastic, but it didn't matter because they were really background for Julie and Billie. I will probably recommend this to Debbie, not sure if she will read it--I would guess no, she just isn't a big fan of novels.

Kind of funny also, when putting My 15 Minutes on my list of books read so far this year, it comes in at #15. I certainly didn't plan it that way. Actually I was planning to refocus on Fatima and work at finishing it up, but just kind of got caught up on the easy page turning of My 15 Minutes. My goal again on reading was to average 2 a month for a year--in other words read at least 24 books. I left an out if I read a few long books, then just getting close would work. I have read The Lord of the Rings at 1008 pages and am still thinking about War & Peace again--I had these 2 in mind when I made up that "out".

I don't know what is next, I still have that Clancy book around--it hasn't gotten reshelved yet. I also have Bowerman and the Men of Oregon that I pulled with M15M but never even cracked it. I will checkout my shelves because I know there are a few others I should be looking at also.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Busy July

It has been a busy start to July. A lot of things I could post but instead I will just do one of those quick hitter posts. Again in no particular order:

--I have the paint bought now for the garage. Should get the one side painted within days.

--Still reading Fatima and my 2nd book is My 15 Minutes by Sara Faith Alterman. A night light reading celebrity book, kind of funny & interesting.

--Can't remember if I posted about Thomas busting my car window with a rock or not. Either way it happened & I might explain further later if I haven't already.

--Rode my bike with Rose during a small subub city 4th of July Parade. Very slow pace but a couple of hills, Rose did a very good job. She also had fun decorating her bike for the 4th also.

--BBQ for Debbie's family on the 4th. What a beautiful day in St Louis. The weather was amazing for the 4th of July. Actually was able to comfortablly sit outside most of the time from late afternoon into the evening--right up to leaving for the fireworks.

--Tomato plants are doing good. We have quite a few smaller green tomatoes. I pulled the weeds and hoed up part of the ground next to the garden. I might try some later season things like radishes and carrots--I bought the packets if I decide to try them out.

--No running yet. I want to get a run in sometime this weekend but not looking very likely unless tomorrow night.

--Golfing tomorrow afternoon. Since we weren't able to get any golf in on Father's Day, the men in the family are going tomorrow. I don't think I have golfed at all so far this year, so should be interesting to say the least.

I am sure there is more but it is already past late tonight so this will do it for now.