Tuesday, September 30, 2008

31 for 21

I am going to try to do the 31 for 21.  That is blogging for all 31 days in Oct for Down Syndrome awareness.  I just signed up or at least hope I did.  One of these days I will have to figure out how to add photos and all that other stuff people add to their blogs as well.  

Since I have to come up with 31 different things to blog about I better save whatever thoughts I have for the next few days.


Well, I have gotten started on Desert Light by Williamson.  Not much there yet but again just getting started.

Debbie bought me a book today that she found cheap at Borders maybe.  It is The Faith of My Fathers by John McCain & Mark Salter, selling for $3.99.  It says it is a family memoir.  I started reading it tonight.  His family history certainly sounds interesting and with the election coming up figured it couldn't get more timely than now.

Uncle Tom's Cabin is still on going also.  I plan to get a few pages at least in on it before calling it a night also.

By the way I took home the league title in my fantasy baseball.  Nice win, I think this is something like 4th in 6 years so a nice run that I have been having.  After last year's 2nd place finish, it is good to return to the top.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Teeth of the Tiger--finished

I finally finished another book, number 20 for the year for those counting.  It was the Clancy novel The Teeth of the Tiger.  A good solid Clancy spy book.  Since it has been a while since I have read anything by Clancy I am kind of behind on the plot lines that kind of run through his books, especially with what Jack Ryan Sr is doing.  In this book Jack Ryan Jr and his two cousins are the main good guys and Islamic terrorists are the bad guys.  It is post 9/11 in the book, which is kind of nice because that is just such a mind changing event.  Overall like a said a solid Clancy book.

I had pushed through the last couple of nights trying to get it finished so I would have at least one book done in the month of Sept.  No thoughts on next book yet, many to consider though.  I am looking forward to getting back into Uncle Tom's Cabin though as well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I had to take a couple of kids DVDs back to the library and one of Debbie's books that was due tonight.  If anyone out there is a regular reader, which I doubt there is anyone, they would know what is coming next.  That is of course the books that I bought at the library on their for sale tables up front.  I ended up picking up 4 books for the price of a whole one dollar--what a deal.

First, I picked out Desert Light by Chilton Williamson Jr.  A lawyer story from the late '70s.  A NY lawyer kind of chucks it and moves to Wyoming and gets involved in a murder investigation and then involved with one of the female suspects.  Thought it sounded interesting enough.  I just did a check on the "internets" about it and did a quick read through about the author, a very interesting life and still going on.  Book didn't get great reviews on Amazon but not a bad pickup overall, at least at this point before reading it.

Next I grabbed Mirage by Bandula Chandraratna.  A book based in Saudi Arabia something to do about marriage.  Since the Mid-East is an area of interest I pretty much was getting it at that point.  Again checking it out, it actually sounds kind of boring from people who reviewed it at Amazon but the people with stuff on the book cover make it sound good.  Not sure at this point but not a long book so will probably get read at some point.

Bearing Witness by Michael Kahn was next.  I recognized Kahn as a St Louis writer and so this was a pretty easy one to get.  I read one of the other Rachel Gold books a few years back and remember it as being at least okay.  Again from checking, there are now up to 9 books in the series, so might start trying to read all of these if possible.  Might even mention them to my mom who is always looking for something to read.

Finally, running out of time and needing a 4th book, the old by one get one free sale thing, I found The Yellow Sailor by Steve Weiner.  Looks and sounds kind of weird but could be a book that surprises me.  Again the book jacket makes it sound kind of eclectic or however that is spelled and that is about what Amazon was saying too.  This could be the darkhorse out of all 4 that make them worthwhile.  Of course at 25 cents a piece they would have to be really bad to not be worth it.

I did put some time in last night on Uncle Tom's Cabin--just a good book.  I really like the characters and like that it almost seems over the top in places because it was sort of written to show how wrong slavery was.  I still have around 300 pages to go. 

Tonight I read the Clancy book while also watching a little of the Cards game.  The terrorists just struck so I am expecting the action to be ramped up from here on out.  I have around 180 pages left.  I will probably focus on finishing this over the next few days.  It has been over a month since finishing a book, 8/18 for that Buckley book.  It is time to get one done.  Next one done will be number 20 for the year--getting closer to that goal of 24.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quick Rundown

I really don't feel like typing much so I am just going to rundown the normal boring things.

--I tried to run tonight but didn't try very hard.  Only did a little over 1 mile with most of it being walking.  Somewhere over 15 minutes.  Not sure why Monday nights have been a struggle the last couple of times.

--No change on my books and in fact few pages have turned since then either.  I am really kind of caught in a rout(I don't know if that is spelled correctly or not).  Too lazy to look for a 3rd book also.

--Lost this week in fantasy football.  Only a week left in fantasy baseball and I am leading the league in that one.

--I need to cut out the late night snacking and also shorten up the portions I am eating.  Of course, I keep saying this to myself and get little results.  Maybe if I type it somewhere I can make it happen.  Doubt it.  Dropping 10 lbs or so would probably help my running.

Well, I guess that is enough.  I am going to try and get a few pages read in those seemingly never ending books now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

This Week

This is the week that the markets have really crashed then bailed out and now a slight rebound.  I still expect bad times ahead but hope that things straighten out down the line.  I am not a financial person at all though.

Monday, I only did 2 miles and they were mostly walking.  I think they were around 15:45 & 14:45 or something like that.  I am not sure if it was from the busy weekend catching up to me or the cold that I was still trying to get over.

On Wednesday, I got 6 miles in that felt great.  All 6 were under 13 with the fastest right at 12 minutes.  It was good to finally get a run in that actually felt very good.  I hope I can build on this run and get a few more like it in the coming days.

I am still working on my two books, Uncle Tom's Cabin & the Clancy The Teeth of the Tiger or something like that.  I like both books, but neither one has turned into a must keep reading page turner, so still kind of slow going.  I probably need to check back on my blogs but it is probably a month since I have finished a book.  I think I am still okay for getting 24 read this year but probably need to check on it.

I probably need to also check on those goals that I had ran through early this year and do a review of how it is going.  This year seems to be flying by, so might not have much time to get some of those things done.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Not Sure

Not really sure what I should or want to type about tonight but that goal of doing 10 of these a month is forcing me to get something down.

I tried another beer from Aldi, this time one from Holland, Klassic or something like that it is called.  It is actually pretty bad, it will be really tough for me to get down the other 5 bottles.  I had been buying a Guatemalan beer from Aldi that is very similar to Corona or so I have been told.  It is kind of tasty.  Since the price on it went up a whole 50 cents, I figured I would try something else, good idea, bad product.  Oh well had to give it a try otherwise I would have been left wondering about it.

Rose had a VB game today & she did very good.  She got most of her serves over, something she normally struggles with.  She also bumped it back over a couple of times.  She had a lot of fun and the team won all 3 games.

I won my fantasy football game this weekend also and still have 1 player going tomorrow night, Witten TE.  This will take me to 2-0, the good start I needed especially since I am not yet convinced the talent on the team will get me to the playoffs.

I think I will be heading upstairs to get a few pages read before going to sleep.  Still working on the same 2 books.  Going slow on both, too much other stuff going on right now--just doesn't seem like much time to get any reading done.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good Run Tonight

I was able to get a good run in tonight of 4.1 miles.  It was while Rose was at VB practice.  I ran down Midland Blvd, which is pretty flat which made it easier but still glad to get the miles in.  I think the miles were 13:00, 12:58, 12:19, 12:34 or something close to that.  So for me the times were good, it felt great actually feeling myself able to maintain a good pace for a few minutes at a time on the last couple of miles.  Still a long way to go to get into shape, but tonight was a good step.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Other stuff

Finally after those long posts I will do a quick run through on my normal stuff. 

Running--I did 3 miles tonight after not running in over a week.  The first was very slow on purpose at 14:44.  I have been fighting a cold for the last 5 or 6 days so didn't want to push it.  Next mile was around 13:30 not too bad at all, less walking and more running.  The 3rd mile was just not planned, I figured on only doing 2 and then talked myself into 2 & 1/2 during the 2nd mile and only pushed through for 3 after 2 & 1/2 were basically done.  The last was around 13:15 or somewhere, again slow but got them in.  It was an excellent night to run, windy, overcast and cool with a slight sprinkle of rain.  Next run hopefully Wed night during Rose's VB practice.

Reading--Also hadn't gotten much reading in the last week.  I did read a chapter in each book last night but still many pages to go before either gets close.  Debbie did pick up Runaway Jury by Grisham at a garage sale this weekend, so my to read pile got a little taller.  I don't mind Grisham books though because they are always a quick read.  Have been thinking about starting a 3rd but haven't got beyond just thinking at this point.

No blogging--Not that anyone reads this, but the reason I wasn't typing up anything was my parents being in town get the basement with a pull out couch.  That means no late night stays on the computer like tonight.  

Probably other things but that is all that I can remember for now.

Buddy Walk 2008

Yesterday was the Buddy Walk in St Louis at the Cardinals game.  This was where after a couple of years of hard work--almost all by my wife, Thomas threw out the first pitch.  The weather was perfect for a baseball game, not hot and overcast.  Our group got separated while in line to get inside and walk around the park.  My parents came in for the game and they were able to stay with me though while Debbie & her parents got a little ahead of us on the field.  I had both Angie and Thomas and they had fun doing the walk after being stuck in line for around a halfhour trying to get into the stadium.

At home plate, Thomas & I had to break off and go underneath the stadium to a waiting room till we came out for the pregame ceremonies.  Thomas at this point was just not too happy about this, he was struggling with me and getting loud saying "no" and "I want to go home now".  I did about everything I could to calm him down but nothing really was working.  Finally we lined up and went out into the stadium and he just got worse.  Debbie and our parents were able to get down to the first row and helped calm him down some what.  We were offering anything to him at this point, ice cream, hot dogs, etc, finally I said we would go grocery shopping afterwards and he kind of went for that.  Then Fredbird came along and mostly all was well then, Thomas could focus on him and not everything else going on.

Thomas and his friend Cade were the top 2 fundraisers so they got to each throw out the first pitch.  Catching it was Jason Motte, a rookie pitcher who throws it hard--96+ fastball.  We both got his autograph on the ball.  Then we went back out with the starting lineup and stood on the pitcher's mound when Adam Wainwright came out.  He also autographed the balls and gave the kids high fives.  Both Adam and Jason were nice and seemed to enjoy seeing our kids.  Thomas ran off the mound when it was over and gave Debbie a big hug behind homeplate.  It was great to see because of all of the hard work she had put in to get him to this point.  

We made it to our seats to then see Albert Pujols hit a 2 run home run in the first inning.  Wainwright gave up a hr to Jacobs I think the next inning and that was all the scoring until late when the Cards added another run.  Wainwright went 8 innings and got the win.  

We had a very good crowd of people there including many relatives and teachers of Thomas--it was fun.  Rose liked taking pictures of everyone and about anything interesting she saw.  I don't know if Angie even knew there was a baseball game going on, she was just playing around the whole time.  Thomas settled in with his clapper and kind of decompressed from all of the excitement from earlier.

My parents went back early today.  They are only home for a couple of days before taking off for MN to stay a night at my sisters and then for a few days of fishing in WI with my brother from Chicago.


I haven't talked much politics on here even though it is a topic I enjoy following.  I guess I don't like attempting to carry out arguments over emails and message boards--kind of pointless.  So if anyone disagrees with my politics, statements, etc, let me know but don't expect much give and take.

I am really excited about McCain picking Sarah Palin as his running mate.  While obviously she lacks much in experience, she does seem to have some solid conservative credentials as well as an outside of Washington or the Beltway appeal.  I, as many did, watched her speech at the convention--it was an impressive giving of a speech.  You can see why she was certainly one to be considered by McCain.  Given that it had to be her largest audience ever and most important speech ever, she really came off confident and self assured.  That was simply test #1 though.  She still has a long way to go before most of the general voting public will feel safe with her as a VP.

I had heard about Sarah Palin first in April on a Down Syndrome message board, where articles were linked after the birth of their 5th child Trig who happens to have DS.  I remember feeling happy because she had gone right back to work and that Trig did not have some of the more common health defects at birth, especially the heart defects that somewhere around 50% of children have, Thomas included.  I also remember thinking that it is nice for children with DS and their parents to have another person kind of "in the news" that will share an idea of what others are going through as well as expressing positives about having a child with DS.

When I first heard that McCain was picking her, I was really surprised because I knew of her and heard she was being mentioned as a dark horse for the VP.  The day before I had read about Kay Bailey Hutchinson being someone he should consider and was actually kind of excited about that--having a good conservative female on his ticket.  I still wonder why Palin over Hutchinson, to me it seems Hutchinson might have come without the fears of lack of experience and without the fears of stuff lurking in the closet.  Palin's energy, ethics battles(in the positive sense) and able to fashion as a maverick to fit with McCain are probably what won out although I wonder what the history is between McCain and Hutchinson really is.  

It is kind of funny the negatives the left is reaching for on Palin, I guess the lack of experience doesn't really stick because that just points to the lack of experience Obama has also.  The whole business with Palin's oldest daughter expecting and dating/engaged to a "red neck" high school hockey player is really no big deal, at least for me.  The rumors that Trig was actually her daughter's child were just absurd, but did push the pregency to the open.

Now it seems they are trying to stick labels like banning books and creationism onto Palin.  I would guess both of those are dispelled by this weekend once the ABC interview comes out.  From what I understand on the banning books, she was asking a series of questions as mayor to the city librarian about which banning books was part of it.  It doesn't sound like she actually wanted to ban any, more like just a policy question.  I haven't seen anything beyond this and no lists of books so again a non-issue to me.  On creationism, all I have seen was a copied transcript from an interview where she says something to the effect that evolution should be taught but she would encourage a classroom discussion of creationism.  Again like the book banning, neither issue ever came up to where she tried to change anything.

I am expecting her education to come under attack also, but if the Dems are smart they might want to avoid this.  While she only has a bachelor's degree from a state university in Idaho--can't remember which one & too lazy to look up--attacking her on this would make it too easy to counter attack the Dems as elites, Ivy league educated, out of touch with the common persons.  

I found it interesting and I am not sure where I heard this, but they expect her to do real battle for female votes, especially the non-college educated females.  I guess the ones that really don't follow politics and all of the insides and guts but those that get most of their info from those 30 second commercials.  Kind of scary but I guess those voters could be the deciding voters in some key states.  

Sarah Palin will still have at least a couple of real tests yet ahead of her, the interviews being #2.  I expect them(the news media) to hit her hardest on foreign affairs where they would expect her to be weakest.  I would expect simple memory things like countries and leader's names to be asked, while I don't know if memorizing them really shows she is ready for the VP job, any mistakes will be blown up and run with by the media.  From her one speech it would seem she has a idea of how not to get caught in some of the media traps where they try to define her in the question, but still knowing this and answering correctly hundreds of times a week are two very different things.  I still have plenty of doubt that she will come through this process unharmed in her image.  Obviously, the debate would probably be test #3.  This might be the easiest of all though.  While Biden is experienced and knowledgeable about everything inside the Beltway and foreign affairs, I think she might have the presence and one liner type answers that will keep him on his heels.  Cheney I think always looked great in the VP debates vs Liberman and Edwards, just because he had a confidence about him.

That was a lot of typing, but I needed to get some of it out.  It is always good to get some thoughts on paper/close to it, it kind of clarifies things at least for me.


The new month is underway & I haven't even gotten one post up yet.  Lots to talk about so I might do a couple of posts tonight.  First, I will do short football post.  I have my fantasy football team again this year and it looks kind of sad.  I have pulled out a victory in week 1 but kind of flukey.  I guess my star is Braylon Edwards at WR, I also have Carson Palmer at QB, McGahee at RB(injured right now) and rookies McFadden & Smith(Lions), I also have the Patriots kicker & TE Witten.  I really need those rookie RBs to step up and have a good season for me to win anything.

Nebraska has won their first 2 games this year but against unimpressive opponents.  I really haven't followed this much, I know the QB is Ganz and that is about it.  I will try to read up more on it but right now just not very excited--have too many other things tying up my time.

The Rams looked bad in the preseason and got clobbered yesterday.  It was a game they were probably going to lose but would at least like to see them as competitive.  The next big question for the Rams is who will be the interm head coach once Linehan is canned once the team gets to 1-6 or thereabouts.