Monday, August 11, 2008

Faster, Higher, Stronger

With the Olympics in full swing I'm trying to get into it the way I use to. Growing up has brought with it the realization that these "amatures" are one syringe away from being put out to pasture but still, I watch. With that, I'll begin this trek down the Great Wall with some of my favorite Olympic memories.

5) Charlie Simpkins winning silver in the Triple Jump in Barcelona '92.
Ok, this really isn't that big as Olympics go but he's a former CSU'er so it has to count for something.

4) Bruce Jenner in the decathalon in '76. This is probably my first Olympic memory. Now I see him on some vapid E! television crap-a-thon.

3) The Dream Team, 1992. With each year this loses some of it's allure but it still fun to look back at that team of now "old-schoolers".

2) Carl Lewis winning 85 Gold medals in L.A. This guy can't sing but he could sure run and jump. This was the first Summer Olympics that my generation could really get into.

1) Miracle on Ice, 1980. This may be the Winter Olympics but it doesn't matter. Still the best sporting story ever.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some really good ones but the editors would only let me choose 5.
I'll do better next time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Husband, Father, Neighbor... Patriot !

The word hero is thrown around all to frequently these days. An over-paid actor does some good deeds in a third world nation; hero. A spoiled athlete excels in his game of catch; hero. A local deli clerk slices turkey in expert fashion; hero. One may think that such haphazard misuse would sully the true meaning and affect when legitimacy is found. But when it is truly found it shines like a lapel pin of courage on the blazer of humility.

"Bobby I'm going to tell you to do two things I hope you never have to do again, tape the Cowboys game and fetch me an apron."

Hank Rutherford Hill stands for something. He stands for many things. God, family and the America we once knew. A humble, unassuming Southern gentleman who makes no mistake about what body part he will kick if you attempt to challenge any of these. Tolerating a know-it-all wife as only a real American hero could he turns the job of selling propane and propane accessories into a labor of love. And while he'd prefer a jock for a son he loves and appreciates the diversity that is Bobby. Usually.

"Fine. But I think you owe my lawn an apology. *pauses* We're waiting!"

A true conservative with a naive, ideal view of the world Hank likes things simple. A full green lawn, a beer with friends and the Dallas Cowboys. Always the voice of reason not only for his friends but for the town of Arlen and its hapless town council. He is who you want representing your values when the idiots of today start legislating.

"Did a woman ruin the Supreme Court? "Yes and that woman's name was Earl Warren."

A devout Methodist who has his squabbles with the new female pastor but doesn't concern himself too much with the traps of labels and theology. He's a Christian who thinks there's a right and a wrong. A good and a bad. A novel thought in our grey society.

Perhaps the best example of a hero's lesson comes as Bobby has taken to the trend of "cool Christianity" and loud "Jesus music" as a passing fad;

"Bobby, you see this box full of old stuff?"

"Yea Dad, that's all my old junk I outgrew and got tired of."

" That's right son, and I want to make sure God doesn't end up in this box."

" He wont Dad, He won't."

Thanks Mr. Hill. Thanks for helping us keep our lawns as green as yours.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Welcome Maria, Kip and Hanz- Leave your Liters at the Door

A few observations clashed today as I was running errands, gathering information, eating lunch and otherwise goofing off. One of these grand illuminations falls into my "I don't like it and you shouldn't either" category. More on that in a bit.
Tourist season is in full swing and part of that includes the myriad of events that are filling the streets with French speaking, Yankee lovin' , driving-impared, money spending idiots.
First up is the Cooper River Bridge Run this Saturday. 40,000 people exerting great energy to see their name listed 7,842nd in the paper. And the reality is 4 guys named Kip from Kenya will be finished and on a plane home before most people get over the bridge.

In a few weeks is the Family Circle Cup Tennis Tournament. Now this is a cool event. On Daniel Island, it has all sorts of venues , food and fun crap. The only draw-back in recent years is that all the top players commit and then half back out because of "injuries". This year 10 of the top 13 in the world are scheduled. Hopefully they will all appear. But more importantly , hopefully Maria Sharapova will stop her unwanted advances toward me.

Rounding out the early season events is Spoleto Festival USA. This is one of the biggest and grandest 2 weeks of its kind. Never really got into it but its a big deal for many and brings in people from everywhere. Of course the un-official motto here is "Don't bend over to pick up your wallet." I know, that's crass but I don't make the rules.
This brings me to my issue of the day.

While many of the visitors are international, here as well as New York, L.A. , San Francisco et al, we are still in America. And correct me if I'm wrong but didn't we reject the metric system many years ago? I've never put much thought into it until today. But while comparing post-brush tooth rinse (I figure some calcium dependant parts above my shoulders should be healthy) I noticed that they are strictly listed in milliliters. No ounces or quarts even mentioned.
Why do we keep up this charade? I'm sure Hanz from Belgium is very happy not to have to pull out his converter chart but this does you or me no good. I'm a bit miffed that we've idly sat by and let the Cola industry get away with selling us the ever-popular 2 -Liter. So help me I will forsake milk if they ever try and sell me anything other than a "Gallon". Maybe this is what's wrong with our economy. Perhaps a sternly worded letter to Bernard Bernake down at the Federal Reserve will open some eyes. This is also probably the problem with gas prices. How can we, as informed consumers, buy such a valuable product packaged in the ever-sensible gallon unit after we've been brainwashed by the metric nazis? The whole system is out of order. While we're on liquids, do you ever notice how people say "Drink plenty of liquids" when you're sick ? What else are you going to drink? ! Solids ? Gases?
Man did I just waste 20 minutes.

Monday, March 31, 2008

D'Oh, HeHe, Ouch

Update on the latest spinal tappings.
After an X-ray that revealed a neck problem - gee really?- an MRI was ordered. This was my first experience with the "scary tube". I'd heard many stories of claustrophobic horror. Men reduced to little girls when trapped inside this cylindrical tomb of terror. Well here's my take; good grief, grow up Nancy. Besides being louder than I thought it was 30 minutes of peaceful rest. The occasional angelic voice asking if all is well made things even more delightful.

So the resulting image prompted a meeting with a neurosurgeon. Here's where I say it doesn't matter how small the problem, when someone says "we're setting you up with a neurosurgeon" it just doesn't sound good. "You'll have to see a neurosurgeon to pick up your ice cream cake and balloon animals". See? still disturbing. But this was a pleasant enough visit which brings me to Homer up there. When he (the Doctor, not Homer) showed me the MRI it looked and reminded me of this picture so I had to chuckle. After I thought about the absurdity I really wanted to laugh out loud. Sadly because my brain looked very similar.

All of which brings us to today. Day 1 of physical therapy to try and alleviate the slipped disc in my C-5-6 region. Alot of boring stretches and movements that most certainly will make me a pilates instructor down the road. I was really hoping for some sort of medieval device that would stretch my spine and allow things to re-adjust. Perhaps after a while I could yell Freedom!! as King Longshanks passes away(sorry, obscure Braveheart reference)
So we'll see how well this works. Hopefully it does the trick. I'm tired of taking it easy.
Besides, I've got that pilates class to teach.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Treadmill Faith

We recently finished the evangalism series at church entitled "Every Believer a Witness". Real world, hands-on application of how to get out of our cozy little worlds. Perhaps it was the freshness of the subject matter that prompted this post as I was a sweaty, exhausted mess. I like to run. I run several times a week. Depending on the time and weather I alternate running on a treadmill and outside. While cruising along on setting number 8 the other night some issues from the church series collided with some running issues. If you've ever run on a treadmill you may know that it is much easier that actually running. I'm no physicist but Im sure the basis for this is the fact that you're not creating any inertia or momentum. You're simply running in place while the road moves under your feet. Sound familiar church? Then there are the surrounding factors. Usually while I'm running there is no one else around which may or may not be worse than when those around me are doing exactly the same thing, dressed the same and concerned with little more than how they look or who they can impress. We're all making great strides (pun intended) doing alot of work, sweating, grunting and the like. But when it's all over, I'm still in the same spot, seen the same people and experienced nothing more than the last 12 times I ran on "the mill". Contrast this to when I get out and hit the road. Yes, I deal with the elements; head wind, water, pot-holes, searing heat and humidity that requires Gatorade injections. All of which make the run a little less comfortable not to mention that the road is not moving. I have to supply the energy. I have to make things go if I want to get somewhere. But when I do I experience all sorts of things. New sites and sounds. Other runners, people gardening, crazy dogs and crazier kids. Sometimes there are hills(very small ones-Lowcountry remember), sometimes curves. Who knew the road wouldn't be straight? Strangly this doesn't make me stop or turn back. It's the hills and turns that make it all the more fun. All of these "diversions" also serve to make the time go by quicker. No clock or odometer to deter the eye. Just the real world. Just me covering ground, working hard and getting out there away from a sterile environment. Maybe this correlates with the Church and our fear outside our comfort zone or maybe it doesn't. Either way, we should all strive for dirty shoes.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Welcome to Hollywood, Dog

Name: Chloe (a.k.a. Tenacious C)
Age : 3
Breed: Cockapoo
Bats- Right
Throws- Left

Hobbies: Chasing Lizards , Staring out window, Reading, Battling
Squirrles for acorns on deck.
Books: Scooby Do anthology, Anything by Stephen Hawking
Quote: "If I could only reach the gas pedal."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

12:50 am Christmas Eve/Day and here is my first gift of the year. A new blog site! It brings me such joy to give so much to those around me. Ok, so my inaugural post is wrought with sarcasm. I was moved to create such literary greatness by fellow wrongdoers Chip and Cliff. And since they are the only bloggers I know here I may as well refer to them as, you and you.
The thought of compiling a "year-in-review" was considered. But that's just too much nonsense. So I've settled for a "night-in-review": Lovely Christmas Eve service at church (boy did I Bring-it on the Halleluja chorus!) Fine crowd, about 1200. As if the festive season hadn't reached a creshendo our dinner of choice was home-made Nog pancakes. That chef can sure burn in the kitchen! The yule carb loading was followed by a tradition that some have found generic but I still embrace. Jimmy Stewart's "It's a Wonderful Life". It has the warmth, feel and love that we look for this time of year. And that Donna Reed is just delightful. And of course the 24-hour Christmas Story marathon attracts my wondering eye from time to time. (like now, No Ralphie!)
So as I finish my milk and cookies- yes I'm completely cliche' - I'll try to remember to come back here. Merry Christmas to all.