Quote of the Day: “Nobody believes the official spokesman… but everybody trusts an unidentified source.”
- Ron Nesen
Is it a habit if it happens twice? Is that the deal?
If so, I fear that I have fallen into a habit of waking up to take my daughter to school and then coming back and sleeping for two more hours. Now that it’s starting to get nippy in the morning (37 degrees this morning), a mid-morning run is a lot more tempting. Something about not having a couple of ice cubes bouncing around in my running shorts that appeals to me.
I got up (AGAIN) to take the wife to work (hey, I kind of like the sound of that) and even joined her in a pre-work cup of Starbucks (hey, I kind of like the sound of that, too!). Her work, not mine. (I KNOW I like the sound of that!)
When I got back to the house, I spent a few minutes playing with my nephew who my mother-in-law was watching for the day. OK, I’ll admit, I was procrastinating the run again but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy wrestling around with my nephew. He reminded me of my son when he was a toddler and I realize how much I miss throwing him around and hugging on him.
At 17, Alex is not up for the wrestling and snuggling bit. Kids.
I couldn’t put it off any longer so I got dressed and headed for what I decided was the work out of the day. If you remember (meaning if you have been keeping up with my newfound exuberance at blog-writing), you will recall that last Saturday I took my wife, my “Dad Stop Hugging Me” son, and my dog on a gorgeous hike at Squak Mountain State Park.
Today I thought I would run/hike up to the top and then run my way down. After yesterday’s horrible run, I needed a win and I hoped this would be the ticket.
I got all set up and hit the trail with energy and motivation.
Three minutes later I was breathing like a 2-pack-a-day smoker …. of cigars!
OK, maybe this would be more of a “hike up” than a “run up” the trail.
Once I got into a rhythm of hiking, things got good and I got in a comfortable pace. I got to the spot that we turned back on Saturday. It took an hour on Saturday and it took me about 30 minutes today. I was sweating which was good but I had to attack the monster that made us turn back: a steep uphill that promised the eat my lunch.
And eat it it did.
But I kept going and the trail just kept going up and up and up. On Saturday, we thought we might make it to the top of “Central Peak” but it was another 1.6 miles from where we stopped so today I wanted to get to the top. It turned into a vendetta as these things do with me.
Twenty minutes later, I couldn’t believe how far I had gone, and still not reached the top. It just seemed that I was on an endless path and would never actually get to the top. I was starting to lose heart and I was under a time crunch, as I will explain later.
I didn’t even know what I was looking for. What was my prize? What would I see? No clue. I didn’t know what was at “Central Peak.”
Toward the end, the path started to go down and three things occurred to me.
First, I might have hit the peak which wasn’t anything that would scream out “YOU’RE AT THE TOP!!!!” and now I was heading down the other side without knowing it. (Suck factor = considerable).
Second, if I did and I was now going downhill, I would have to climb back UP coming the other way. (Suck factor = high).
Third, if I accepted this and headed back, I could have the face the situation that I trudged up a mountain for almost an hour and gave up right before the summit. (Suck factor = off the chart).
This was unacceptable so I took the chance and ran down the hill.
Then it turned upward. Then level. Then something weird appeared.
It was a series of thick metal pipes, that channeled anyone on the path around a turnstile-like maze like a line at the bank. It just seemed weird since I had been wandering through the woods for an hour with nothing man-made in sight. Then all of the sudden, these big turnstile pipes.
A few minutes later, I reached the top which was a convergence of three gravel roads and a big set of radio dishes and power transformers set off my chain-link fence.
Was it Central Peak? It damn-well better be because I had to get back. And it was all blue sky so I had to be at the top. I didn’t really see where it could go up any higher.
My suspicions were confirmed when two women hikers came wandering up one of the other paths and I asked them if this was Central Peak. They seemed as confused as I was and said they thought so. They had gone down one of the other paths and it dead-ended. Then they went down the other one before returning and telling me it didn’t seem there was anything there either.
They said they were returning the way they came (which was the way I just came) so I told them I would be running down in a few minutes and would likely pass them down the path. I told them this so they wouldn’t be startled when I came running down behind them. In these situations I don’t know how NOT to seem creepy and I feel bad if I make two female hikers feel even slightly worried about being out in the middle of nowhere and vulnerable.
Sure enough, I caught them within a few minutes and made my presence known. Unfortunately they were on an uphill stretch and I could not run it so I tried to hurry past them as fast as I could so they could enjoy the solitary privacy this hike has to offer. I had only passed one other person on the way up so like last Saturday, I don’t think many people know about this place and that suits me just fine.
I flew down the mountain but it wasn’t long before I felt regret for not bringing another Gu. I was starting to get weak and the first 10 minutes of the way back, I started to see big spots. That meant my glucose level was low and I was without nutrition.
Bad move but I ran through it.
I started getting really tired by the time I got to the bottom but had to get this run done as fast as I could.
Why? Because I was supposed to get back to my in-law’s, shower, eat, go get Buster at my brother’s house (so he could check out our new digs), and make it over to my new house by 2:00 when the delivery guys were supposed to show up to deliver my new leather living room set.
I was running out of time.
But man oh man, what a run down. I was actually TRAIL RUNNING and I felt like a TRAIL RUNNER! I realized I had been doing so much of either NO running at all or street running that I couldn’t really claim the title of “Trail Runner.”
Today, I WAS a Trail Runner and it felt good.
The bad news was that I had totally blown past the time to make it to my brother’s house and back to pick up Buster.
I felt bad and with this thought swirling in my head, I saw that I had a couple of voice mails from my wife that told me that the delivery people were really to deliver the stuff RIGHT NOW but unfortunately, “RIGHT NOW” was about the time I was at the top of Central Peak.
I called the delivery guys and they said they wouldn’t be there until 3:00 which was sweet because that would give me time to get showered, get food, get Buster, and make it over to the house.
Did I make it with time to spare?
Of course not. I found myself about 10 minutes away by 3:00 and I played all kinds of scenarios out in my head that included the delivery dudes getting there at 3:00, leaving by 3:02, and then taking another WEEK to deliver my stuff at a highway robbery charge since I missed the first free delivery.
They were eating lunch in Kent and said they would be there by 3:30 which made me real happy.
It’s funny how you can instantly create stress on yourself and then how easy it can be lifted. And how good that feels.
I got to the house and introduced Buster to his new home. Of course he had to go from room to room and do a good sniffing. I just didn’t want him to piss all over everything in a vain attempt to say “This is MINE.”
Nothing like that new dog-piss smell in your new house.
I then took him to the back yard and got this video. I think it speaks for itself.
The delivery guys showed up on time and brought in my new furniture. The first thought I had was “Well, Buster will NOT be allowed on this stuff.” It’s leather and while it seemed like a good idea in the show room, once it got in the house I saw the potential combination of soft, real leather and Buster’s big stupid claws and it made me cringe.
Sorry Buster, you get the floor, stud.
I got him some food and water and then put him in the backyard where he’d stay until tonight. I wanted him to get used to it and Stephanie had a volleyball game so I would pick him up afterwards and take him back to my brother’s for one last night. Tomorrow night I am picking him up and bringing him home to once again live with us.
It’s been too long without him.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but I have become the official/unofficial voice of Hazen High School Volleyball. It started last time when the principal couldn’t make it and they asked me to make the introductions.
Not only did I do that but I asked if they wanted me to do the play-by-play over the mic and they told me to go for it. It was something they had never done before. After the initial announcements, there was no announcements at all. The mic was shut off and all that was heard was the sound of the game and the crowd. I thought it needed that “big time” feel to it like you see at college and professional sports by having an announcer.
So I did.
And I guess it was a popular move because this time, they wanted me to do the JV game in addition to the varsity game. Before, they didn’t even make ANY announcements for the JV, much less a play-by-play.
There is a script and on the piece of paper, they have all the players’ names. But there are a few problems that go along with this:
First, the opposing coach is usually doing this in a hurry and last-minute so the hand-written names are all but illegible.
Second, when they are deciphered, the names are invariably a cross between Klingon and an extinct language popular during the Messianic Era.
Since this was the second time I had done this, the names on my own team were a little easier (although I still tended to screw some of them up). But the opposing team is a new crop each week of tongue-twisting wordtastrophes with silent letters and at first sight look like something you don’t want to pronounce the way it looks lest you scar the poor teenage girl for life.
So I have to go find the coach and go over the names about a dozen times in a vain attempt to avoid slaughtering them when I’m announcing.
I have not mastered this yet.
But I guess I can claim some measure of success since the principal was at the game and was more than happy to concede his rightful spot to me and even asked if I wanted to announce the basketball games when that season rolled around.
Hey, I might of found a new career!
Oh wait, it doesn’t pay. In fact, I have to pay to get in to see my own daughter play!!!
Tonight was “Military Appreciate Night” and I got in for free. They recognized all the military members in the audience and we were presented a shirt that was signed by one of the varsity players.
I also got a pie.
22 years of service and I get a pie.
I tease. It was sweet of them to give me pie, announce my name (actually ME announce MY name), give me a signed shirt, and recognize me in front of the crowd.
I had to announce my own name which was weird but I really did feel appreciated. I also felt a little bad that I couldn’t be in uniform but although I still rate to wear them, my hair is not in regulation and all my stuff is still packed in storage until tomorrow.
Yesterday I made mention of a few items I would cover today. Let’s see how I did:
Oktoberfest plans in Leavenworth: nope
Free plasma TVs and where they will be placed: nope
Miscalculations of retired pay: nope
A day-long walkabout using an all-day bus ticket: nope
Seattle Marathon plans: nope
Sitting in an empty house with no internet for most of the next 3 days: SCORE!
1/6. Not bad.
So stop yer bitchin’
F.M.L. of the Day: “Today, I met my new roommate. I also met her stuffed animals, who introduced themselves to me. My roommate makes inanimate objects talk. FML.”