Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election day

We had an unusually long ballot this year, with several initiated and referred laws and proposed constitutional amendments. It took me 24 minutes from the time I walked in the door to when I walked out. Most of that was just standing in line.

While I was waiting, a woman appeared outside with a sign urging voters to vote no on Amendment C. Good for her. That's how I voted, and I hope it's defeated. But what she was doing was, of course, illegal electioneering: no signs within 100 feet of the poll. One of the election officials, Hazel, marched right on out there and shooed her across the street.

It turns out that each polling place is provided with a 100-foot rope for just such occasions. I was a little disappointed that they didn't have to use it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Oh, good. Cold, too? Great!

Both Tami & I are running a road race tomorrow morning. It's the Jack 15, which is 15.2 miles of lonely county roads. Tami's running in a 5x3 relay, and I'm running the whole thing. Naturally, I've been watching the weather forecast closely, and it's been steadily getting worse each day. Tonight I checked the National Weather Service, and they've finally gone all the way, saying the chance of rain is 100%.


The weather turned out to be just about perfect. It rained early, but had mostly stopped by the time the race started. The temperature was just right, and the wind was from the north. Just over half of the race runs due south.

Tami's team won the 5x3 co-ed division.

Just before the race, I talked to a local long-time runner (let's call him "Bob." Because that's his name.) He ran his first Jack 15 in 1969, at the age of 42. I told him that I'd read that fact in the record book, and it inspired me to run my first this year at the same age. I said I wanted to be like Bob. He's now 80 (yes, that doesn't add up, but back then, the race was run earlier in the year). He told me that after running the 15.2 miles, which went pretty well, he told himself that a marathon was just 11 miles more, so he ran one that fall. He found out the hard way that there's no such thing as "just" 11 miles more.

That sure corroborates my experience. Not that I've run a full marathon, but my half-marathon 13 days ago went so well that I thought a full 26.2 miles was coming sooner rather than later. After today's run, I know better. The first 10 miles flew by, but the last five were really tough. I don't know if today's race just came too soon after my half, or if my training just wasn't good enough, but I know for sure that I'm not close to being ready for a marathon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A week in Brainerd, MN

[Click on any photo to see a bigger version]

We spent last week on a lake near Brainerd, MN.

The water was very shallow for as far out as we cared to go. Thomas probably would have liked it a little deeper, but he had fun anyway. Here he's sitting on the bottom.

For Ava, on the other hand, it was just perfect. She really loves the water, and is teaching herself to swim.

We often had the beach to ourselves.

Johanna spent a lot of time on the monkey bars.

Mini golf. A hole-in-one for Joseph; two for Tami.

Wearing Daddy's hat.

Around the campfire.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Kilt her a squirr'l when she was only three

I've been sitting on this story for two days, trying to come up with a way to tell it that isn't creepy, but I don't think there's a way. So here goes.

On Wednesday, Ava & Johanna were out playing on the deck, and Tami & Thomas were inside. Tami heard crying from outside, and figured that the girls were fighting over a toy or something. Ava came inside, saying "Bird!" Johanna was still outside, crying, so Tami went out to check on her. Johanna was sitting on her little plastic trike with her feet way up in the air, saying "Squirrel!"

Tami thought maybe a squirrel had been running along the handrail of the deck, as they like to do, and scared the girls. But as she approached, Tami saw why Johanna was crying, and why her feet were up in the air: pinned under the front wheel of the tricycle was a small, dead squirrel.

As you might expect, Johanna was a little upset. She seems OK now, though, and has since told us that she thought the squirrel looked like it was wearing a hat (?), and that it also looked like it had a raspberry on it (blood?).

The Wisdom of Committees

Twice a year I run in local relay road races. The next is the Brookings Marathon. We usually have goofy team names, like "Junta," "Andante," "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes," (one of my favorites), "And Hutch," "Starsky" (we had two teams for that race), or "Frank & Beans." We never use the same name twice.

This year, there was no broad agreement, so we just combined every idea we had. We are "Automated External Defibrillator and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Mullet."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Emma Thvedt, 1910-2006

This photo must be about 40 years old. Neither Mom nor Dad could identify the occasion nor even the location.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Reading the credits

I secured control of the remote while on the treadmill the other day, and to the chagrin of my fellow plodders, I surfed channels until I found an old Gunsmoke episode on TV Land. I was just in time for the opening credits, and was reminded of a silly little weekly ritual we had when I was a child.

We'd wait impatiently as the credits listed Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty, Ken Curtis as Festus, etc. Everybody wanted to be the first to say "And James Arness as Matt!"

I don't know why.

After weeks of this, or perhaps months or even years, somebody came up with the brilliant idea of getting the jump on everybody: "And James Arness as Matt for next week!" Then that became the new ritual. I'd be willing to bet that if today you said "And James Arness as Matt" to each of my brothers or sisters, two or three of them would reply with "for next week."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006