Showing posts from May, 2007

Mr. T and the Lord

The tough guy television and film star Mr. T apparently is a believer in Christ. has an interview with him where Mr. T explains things a bit. Absent in the interview is all the code-words Christians look for when sniffing out a Christian. The following phrases were completely absent: born again, gave my life to Jesus, personal saviour, sinner's prayer. In fact the only jargon word appearing in the article was baptize which throws some ardent head hunters into a frenzy (as would the hate vibes comment). Mr. T also throws in a bit about forgiveness, serving the least and integrity without sounding irrelevant. I suspect Mr. T likes the book of James and has found happiness in giving things away.
The only thing the tough mohawk man doesn't mention is worship and fellowship with other Christians. Celebrity's downside is all the attention it draws and thus being a member of a local church could be difficult but not impossible. I hope Mr. T gets to enjoy time with f…

Miffed by gasoline

Gasoline started rising above the $3 mark and it has definitely gotten me miffed. There is really not much I can do. To my advantage I ride my bike nearly everywhere. However, when I do drive, I take my vehicle on long excursions which can cost upwards of $100 both ways. That used to be my gas budget for a month a year ago! Too bad nobody thought high speed trains between the Go and TCs would be useful.
This story give a decent low down on the current "crisis." Sad to say we may be to blame. If only we had superconductor run vehicles.

Fargo Marathon 2007: The good, the bad, the ugly

Let me say first off, that the Fargo Marathon 2007 edition went off very smoothly. There was bit of a scare for the weather but it ended up cooperating.
Let's start with the good: Attracting 8000 participants! Incredible. There was great particpation all around from volunteering to spectating. Fargo really does put on a good event. In particular I am glad they gave out technical wicking shirts and Adidas bags. I was very happy for those additions.
The Bad: It's not really that bad but I noted a huge consortum of Ipods and headphones. I am a purist. Mp3s are for some training. In fact I only got to use mine once during my build up. It seemed almost half the field was wearing headsets. Women in particular were more commonly plugged in. It irked me a bit that the women's champion for the marathon from last year was wearing them. I would attempt to talk to someone but find they were plugged in and in another zone. I should have mimed talking to somone with headphones to see if …

Fargo Marathon 2007: It's over

Enjoy Fargo Marathon coverage in these current posts.
I ran friendly. I ran fast. I ran Fargo.
This 3rd edition of the event saw over 8000+ runners involved. All 50 states were represented and quite a few from the great north descended- at least one guy did come from Regina, Saskatchewan.
Not many elite runners - although Dick Beardsley ran but I doubt he's trying to get the course record these days. The marathon champion came in at 2:31. Not bad, but still a bit off what I believe is elite pace. I am actually surprised not many elite runners take in this one. It is a particularly hill free course. However, the purse is not much so the Kenyans opt for Duluth, Minneapolis, and Chicago. There were even Kenyans running in the miniscule Sioux City Marathon I ran in 2004. Perhaps our spendthrift ways do not allow us to give into the demands of some these elite runners (and their entourage).

Fargo Marathon 2007: I Finished

1:57:11- that's the official time it took me to complete 13.1 miles. It's modest. About 750 people finished ahead of me. Another 1300 or more arrived afterward. I really enjoyed this race. Except for the clogged first 3 miles, I had a rather free flowing stride and smile. Up on the final 3 miles I kept up the pace and pressed on.
One should not over estimate his abilities and so I started the race near the 4:30 marathon pace team. I passed them and moved ahead and passed the 4:oo hour pace team too. I passed quite a few and so psychologically I felt good. Also I felt strong and I felt I prepared well.
Unfortunately, it was overcrowded in the finishers area and I hardly got any goodies afterward. That was probably the worst part of the event. I couldn't find the showers and so left the finish area (and food) to change into my volunteering attire.
Nevertheless, this was a grand event. I am surprised at how many people come to this town for it. Fargo is no tourist destination l…

Fargo Marathon 2007: Bigger

As anticipated this edition of the Fargo Marathon (and other running events) enlarged. It is surmised there were upwards of 8000 individuals involved in one of the 3 major events (5k, Half, or Full Marathon). I do not doubt it. The Fargo Dome was packed with people. We were packed in like sadines at starting line. Unfortunately the P.A. system could not break the din of a few thousand runners. When the race started we ran as pack for nearly 3 miles without many options of increasing pace. It inhibited me from reaching my stride until I got south of downtown. I had never run in a race this large so it was a bit surprising but I handled it. There was one runner who probably got caught in the pack at the split that missed the route for the marathon. She had to run a an extra quarter mile I believe.
One highlight on the course was The Invisble Piano Player. The invisible one played tunes going by and coming back. There were no beer offerings this year apparently. I don't recall any r…

Fargo Marathon 2007: Volunteering

Although running the marathon is great, I also enjoy mingling with the public as I volunteer. Once again this year I volunteered twice. On Friday I did chip testing. When you chip test you meet also every runner. Very enjoyable. Unfortunately I lost one of my bike gloves and had to ride home in a downpour.
On Saturday (just an hour after I crossed the finish) I did inflatibles for the kids. It appears my inflatible was the most popular as I had a throng of youngsters waiting even after all the festivities were done at 4:30PM. Kids could not get enough inflatibles.

Soccer ends on high note

Despite losing nearly all our games, my company team had a great time playing indoor soccer this season. There was a goal drought for almost five weeks until we scored in all three* of the matches we played last week (*third game was a scrimmage). We actually won our last game because of forfeit- the other team did not show up. Instead of leaving we scrimmaged those who were still hanging around at 9PM. I managed to slot in a goal in the last seconds of the second half.
The season was very taxing on my body although I typically played only about 15 minutes a game maximum. I'm still learning how to play better and am saddened that we did not get to join a summer outdoor league. For now I am hoping to improve my dribbling my having balls around my house.

How I started running

Later this week I will be running in the 2007 Fargo 1/2 Marathon. It is actually the 2nd longest race I have ever entered. I ran a marathon a few years ago down in Sioux City, Iowa. It was a tremendous undertaking that I will only enter into again cautiously.
You see I am not a natural distance runner. I am not a lanky stick boy waif. I do not have the ideal body type of the distance runner nor other athletic endeavor. I gave up on serious athletic pursuits in 9th grade when I decided to take the lead in the spring play and turn in my track suit.
After the freshmen 15 scare in college, I attempted to run a little but did not pursue it whole-heartedly. Then came 2001.
No, terrorism did not scare me into running. It was actually a woman I met in the summer of 2001. For some reason she convinced me to enter a 4 mile race with her and her friends. Aiming to impress I gave it a shot. Unfortunatley I was bad. Very bad. From that day forward I pledged to myself to never again be unprepared…

Northern Ireland takes steps again to break the divide

Next step taken in Northern Ireland.
Today a new power sharing Northern Ireland Assembly convenes. Since 2002, when a previous assembly had power, the British government appointed a secretary, Peter Hain, to administrate Northern Ireland affairs. It appears that old rivals may have "buried the hatchet" as one account says. In March the 2 icons of opposing sides of the struggle in the North, Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams sat down and worked out a deal to share governing power between Protestants and Catholics. That was amazing considering the history of antagonism from both sides.
Questions linger. Will it work? Will it be fair and democratic? Has reconciliation really started in earnest? Will Northern Ireland soccer team qualify for the European Cup? [Hopefully for that last one, the North will secure their spot in the finals this fall]
The situation in Northern Ireland is much more complicated than merely Catholics and Protestants. History plays a big part. Injustices of the pas…

Park Musicals of the past

A listing of the musicals that Park of Cottage Grove has performed in the past 20 years. Prior to 2007 the musicals were in the fall and usually ran the two weekends before Thanksgiving. Sometime after 1997 the second weekend was dropped. [* no sure if this is correct]
1985- Sound of Music *
1986- Man of La Mancha or Wizard of Oz *
1987- Lil Abner
1988- Bye Bye Birdie
1989- George M!
1990- 42nd Street
1991- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1992- Cinderella
1993- Hello Dolly
1994- Working
1995- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
1996- Barnum
1997- Godspell
1998- Anything Goes
1999- Little Shop of Horrors
2000- The Mystery of Edwin Drood
2001- Into the Woods
2002- Oliver!
2003- Pippin
2004- Once Upon a Mattress
2005- Hello Dolly!
2007- Grease

A little greasy

A week ago I had the opportunity to return to Par Ki and revisit the place I spent much time in my teenage year - a small stuffy theatre. Unfortunately I was unable to visit the infamous upstairs dressing rooms but my father and I had some superb seats to see the musical Grease.
Through some new theatre booster marketing scheme, my Dad entered a car show and received 2 complimentary tickets to the show.
I don't recall how many times have attended a perfomance of Grease. I actually appeared in a condensed version of the musical with the guy who did sound and lights for this show. Arch rivals Woodbury did it when I was in 9th grade. Hastings put it on my senior year in high school. Somewhere between those I think Rosie O'Donnell came through the TCs with a touring company. My friends and I won the a school talent show with a rendition of the song "Summer Loving." I think I saw it one other time but I cannot remember where. Needless to say I know the musical pretty well.

Still clowning around

There seems to be a conspiracy surrounding clowns around many towns.
The white faced crazy hairs just don't get any respect.

Good things come slow: My Fargo marathon

To me distance running is 70% mental and 30% physical. At times I doubt my made up statistic because some are just naturally better runners. I do not have the lanky, wafish body of a distance runner. However, once I started pondering this sport I came to realize that victory is not always to the swiftest but to be the one who perseveres and in running perseverance is not as concrete as having run more laps. For perseverance one must look into the seemingly impossible and press onward. The ingredients are both spiritual and mental.
On the morning of May 19th, I will line up with hundreds of runners contending in the Fargo Marathon. Actually I will be running the half marathon mostly due to the time contraints on my training- I am in a different town every Sunday and that makes it difficult to do long training days on the weekend. I already have one marathon under my belt. So I hope to see plenty of people along the route cheering- lest I try to cheer up the spectators. Encouragement make…

Par Ki Revisited

I took an extended weekend in the TCs for some meetings and leisure. Plenty of blog material will more than likely come from the trip but the most important is revisting Par Ki.
Nearly 10 years have eclipsed since I stepped foot in the building I spent 4 years traversing the halls. My return was precipatated by the school musical, "Grease." It wasn't because I couldn't miss another performance of this musical, because I have seen it at least 4 times. In fact I was in a condensed version of the show in my 4-H days. [Trivia: The lighting and sound designer for this version of "Grease" played leading man Danny Zuko in the 4-H version I performed. More on him later.]
No, I went because by some means my father obtained free tickets for being part of the classic car show that occured between performance on Saturday. I couldn't pass it up, especially since nobody would recognize me either.
Since my days the school added a larger gynasium next to the previous one.…