Saturday, September 26, 2009

Owen Soccer Game #2

Not going to talk too much about the first game. Getting four year old kids to kick it towards the correct goal and to stop when it goes out of bounds is a victory. You take into account four year olds versus six year olds (Not even looking at that Owen is a small four year old like in the less than 10% range in height). The game was a blow out and not even fun for the kids.

Game #2 was much better for the kids. They weren't concentrating on where to line up and when to go and stop and so I think most of the kids finally were going after the ball. Owen is great in practice probably dribbles, kicks, heads the ball just as good or better than other kids, but when it comes to games he wants nothing to do with the mass of floppy hair, little elbows, flying shoelaces and shinguards. He usually just kind of stands outside of the cloud of kids and waits for the ball. This week he chased the ball up and down the field. He didn't score, but he got in the middle and kicked the ball. And I was proud of the fact he tried even though he was two years and two weight classes lower than everybody on the field.

But he now knows he is the smaller kid and he figured it out. He kicked the ball off and the ball ended up after a few kicks from everybody near the other teams goal. One of the larger kids from the other team started to take the ball down the side line and Owen chased him the length of the field with Michelle and I cheering him on the whole way. The kid eventually scored, and I cheered great job to him but I could see him stop after the kid scored and I could feel what was coming next. I saw his hands go up to his face and the eyes started tearing up. "I tried Daddy he was too big and too fast" he wailed as he ran back to me. I almost started to cry also. I used to go by the Yoda mantra "Do or do not, There is no try" But I have to look at this from a different point of view. Owen didn't stop the kid from scoring but he did run his tail off.

The kick off

The chase down the field

Tears welling up

Ref trying to check to see if he is hurt

Running to dad

New Start Update 1

Okay Update on my motiviation for new start.

1) I am not a linquist so learning spanish has been postponed.

2) Piano. My father in law has offered his piano. Just have to get it up here from College Station now.

3) Red Cross. I completed the initial training orientation, just need to start other classes / training to get on a team. Might take me until this spring to get them all in hopefully I can get them all in before tornado season starts up. Have to learn Mass care training, Canteen truck training, etc .

Just trying to use blog more and learn to put a video in my blog.

Owen loves music and dancing. I made this about 6 months ago though.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Start

Okay I promised myself I would start one of three things before September.

1) Learn Spanish - My mom teaches and I still don't know much except the bad words I learned from playing soccer.

2) Relearn the Piano - I always thought the main character in Beautiful Girls had an awesome job as a lounge piano player. Who cares about the money right?

3) Join the Disaster Team at Red Cross.

My wife voted for the disaster team at Red Cross and so I sent the email in to learn how tonight. One more thing to kick start this was watching the movie The Hurt Locker. The movie highlights a Improvised Explosive Device (IED) US Army Team. It is not a documentary, but tried to feel a little like one at times. The main characters deal with war zone as all war movies do, but more specifically deals with one man's reason for joining the IED squad which is the most dangerous job in Baghdad / Afghanistan right now. Was it just an adrenaline rush that acts like a drug for him or is he honestly trying to help people? The movie doesn't anwer the question and probably it shouldn't. But it forced me to decide what I could do and what I would enjoy doing at the same time. It isn't disarming bombs, but helping people and enjoying it can go hand and hand.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mud Run Finale

I haven't blogged in awhile, but nobody really reads this anyways.

My sister and I officially finished the Mud Run in Fort Worth. The night before Sam (my sister and I) got our registration packets and tried to find outfits to wear. Sam wanted to go West Texas hick and wear overalls, but all I could think about was mud and water down my legs and in my undewear. I had already picked up Marine boots a few weeks before and army camo pants. Sam found a pair of thin cotton camo sweat pants and we decided against cotton shirts.

Just north of Fort Worth near the ballpark where the Fort Worth Cats play and along the Trinity River was the starting point. We arrived early and found other teams already running. The 5 women teams and some corporate teams. I saw 38 on the thermometer before I left and thought the mud might be frozen. We climbed down the hill to scout the route, but the course being a 10k along the Trinity River we could only see part of the course. Our start was delayed and by the time we ran it was 12:30 so we snacked on the free bagels and oranges. I hadn't run in awhile because we were dealing with Owen and Tess being sick for about three straight months.

We started the run and run down the river bank and then back up where about 50 yard watered down section was the first obstacle. First rule don't bother trying to run along the edge it is actually more slick than running right down the middle of the water. Then jogged along the river and turned around headed back towards the start towards a bridge. Crossed the bridge while other people were finishing up. They looked ragged. Few were still actually running and the thought crossed me to slow down, but couldn't let two guys that looked like our Dad beat us so we kept going. 2nd obstacle was the wall. Probably about 8 -foot tall. Sam went first just in case I had to give a boost. She didn't need a boost, but more of a push when she got stuck in a crouching position at the top. Like a frog hanging onto a tree branch. We got over it is a team event. 3rd obstacle was about 100 yards in a mud pit with about 8-10 inch deep water. I had my boots tied tight and pants tucked into the boots so no worries this time, but the water was cold. 4th obstacle Tubes to crawl through, no biggie. 5th obstacle mud crawl 1st looks to be 100 yards long, but more likely 25 yards. Time to crawl on the belly in mud about 4 inches deep under wire, just like boot camp but without the loud noises and fake gunfire. That was tough after this obstacles just start to blend together much like the black shirt, dark green camo pants, and my goatee blend into one brown color. There was more mud pits to run through, a rope net climb, more mud pits to run through. You get the theme.

Finally we reach the halfway point and some junior marine sargents begin yelling at us to run. Luckily Sam and I decided to run before we got to them and they screamed at everyone else to look at us. "Look at the dedication at those two you need to get up and move". Little do they know around the corner we stopped and started to walk. I start feeling like there is more water in my boots than some of the mud pits now. Rule 2 - No cotton anything, it just soaks up water.

We run under a few bridges and a few more mud pits, then we turn the corner and see two big piles and at least a dozen other smaller piles of dirt. Or at least it was dirt before 1,000 soaking wet people run over it before us. It was now slick as snot. The other thing is when you see piles of dirt/mud, is to think where did that dirt come from. When you peek around the mound of dirt you see a 50 yard long pool of water and another hill of dirt and another pool of water. Get a running start is all I can think about. Go fast don't slip. Sam goes first and reaches the top. I run like I have 10 pound weights on my shoes. I crawl on hands and knees to the top dodging the really slippery spots. Sam is on her way down the other side which is a mudslide. Down into the pool of water and her head dives under. She comes up like she is taking her first breath ever. Then screams of "Cold" and "Freezing" Thanks for the warning as I am in mide slide. Splash Wow she is right it is freezing enough that I can't even talk. Just swim as fast as I can as all I think about and then I finally crawl out and realize I have to do this again. Rinse and Repeat. Then I see four scars in the ground, like a T-Rex scratched at the ground. Each one of those scratches is full of water. Freezing water again. Junior Marines are yelling at us to stay down. Which it is easier to keep your head down and swim than just crawl anyways.

We are now too cold to run, but need to keep warm. We need to stop to drain our boots and clothes of the water that just soaked into everything. Again don't wear any cotton. We briefly stop and my cargo pockets have to be drained. I turn my boots upside down and out pours probably a gallon of water. My feet have been simming each step not running. I also see that my wedding ring is not on my finger. I haven't taken my ring off for anything since I got married. I have taken it off to fidge with, but not for taking a shower or any sport. Sam asks if we need to go back and look. I laughed like we would ever find it. So we began to jog to get warm again. Our jog is slower than our walk, but we just keep moving toward another turn underneath a bridge.

Then we see 3 more obstacles, but in between each obstacle the course climbs up the river bank levee and back down. Tires to crawl through is first, which isn't bad. A 20 foot tall ladder like obstacles with 2 x 4's as steps about 4 feet apart. Next is pipes to crawl over which being wet and slick has its advantages now. We also begin seeing 5 man teams that started behind us to catch up.

We then run along a little further and remember all the people crawling in the mud crawl in the opposite direction earlier. The sun has beaten down for about an hour and half since we were there last and all the people crawling through carrying the water out in their clothes. We reach the mudcrawl and see no water only dried mud and tree roots sticking out. I wish we had that water back in there. The tree roots scratch and the mud sand silt scratch as it dries out. It is slow moving now with no water also. I lift my boots up while laying down and water pours out again. I think my boots are made of shamwow material now.

Made it throught the mudcrawl. We lost track of the old men, but they were skipping obstacles so I don't think their finish counts. The wall again and I push Sam over the top again. Onto the finish in 1 hour and 50 minutes which is about 50 minutes longer than I would run a 10k but I finished under 2 hours and that is all I wanted.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The great and semi all knowing wikipedia lists Pneumonia as an inflammatory illness of the lung. Frequently, it is described as lung parenchyma / alveolar inflammation and abnormal alveolar filling with fluid. Does anybody know what the heck this says. If I didn't put Pneumonia in the title you would have no idea what I was talking about. I am an engineer and we can use some odd terms. Mainly we just use names of people that discovered stuff. But we don't use latin or any other language in our terms.

My son picked this disease up. Actually he has been sick off and on since Christmas. Anyways I I am a chemical engineer (Don't ask how, but I can show you the degree) and a man therefore I want to fix stuff. I take stuff apart and try to put them back together. Would rather do it myself than pay someone. I hate not knowing. Medical stuff is one of those things I hate not knowing. You can't see any valve to turn, gear to replace, or chemical to use. There is also no instruction manual to fall back on with a human. Sure there are guidelines, but it sure seems that a lot of trial in error is involved. All I can do is put on the brave face and act calm for Michelle. And keep praying.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mud Run Registration

I think I have bitten off more than I can chew. My sister and I have decided to get in some sort of shape, but I hate just running or working out just to get in shape I need a goal. So we picked out Fort Worth Mud Run and possibly some adventure races this summer. I initially thought the mud run was a fun run through the mud and over some obstacles. More detailed study revealed the course to be 10 kilometers long (6.4 miles) and 18 obstacles. Military style. Ladders, hills, ropes, swings, etc. But if I do finish I will at least fill some accomplishment.

During registration we had to pick out a team name. All I could come up with was Tumbleweeds. Being from West Texas and Michelle's (my wife's) U6 girls soccer team she coached. But as always I thought of a better name afterwards. Mud Harvesters since my sister and I were both Pampa High School Harvesters. Anyways more information on my training for this. By the way when you are fat, pull ups are hard