Thursday, August 30, 2012

Looking Forward to Next Year

I’m just going to take this opportunity to apologize to my children, and my wife for what I’m about to do to them this weekend.
Ever since I began running I’ve been trying to eat better.  It’s been a private goal that I’ve had with myself, and I have yet to impose it upon my offspring… Ok, there was that one night where I made them eat Black Bean Veggie Burgers, but they didn’t die from that… Geez!

So, earlier this summer, I read an article on urban farming, and I was interested.  My family always had a vegetable garden in the back yard when I was growing up, and I kind of miss having the fresh vegetables at my fingertips.
When we bought our house, about 5 years ago, it had a beautiful yard.  Flowers would bloom at different times throughout the summer… in a word… immaculate.  Then we bought the house, and since we usually don’t spend our weekends at home, it only took about one summer for us to fail utterly as gardeners.  So, what do you do when you have failed as a gardener?  You dig it all up and plant grass!

We also have a large play ground in our back yard.  But, the swing set has rusted away, and weeds have taken up lodging in the gravel… so… here’s where I have to apologize to my kids.  This weekend, we’re cleaning out the play ground so that we can plant veggies next spring… Yea!
Can’t you just hear their groans!  I love it!  Here’s the best part!  BB’s coming home from college for the weekend, and while she doesn’t know it yet… she’s gonna help!  *insert evil laugh*

But here’s the thing.  I’m not doing this to save money, or to help our food budget… that’s just a bonus.  I remember as a kid, my Mom saying “Go out back and pick 5 ears of corn.”  I would, and we would then shuck them, toss them in a pot of boiling water and have… bliss covered in butter.  I haven’t had a fresh cob of corn like that for… I don’t know how long.  Eaten 10 minutes after it was picked.  There’s nothing like it.
Call me crazy, but we still have a little bit of garden in our front yard.  I say garden, but really all that grows there are weeds. But, I’m thinking that on Saturday, one of us will clean out those flower beds, so that next spring I can plant Heirloom Tomatoes, or peppers, or maybe even melons.  Because, ya know, while flowers look great… you can’t eat a flower.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Two Things Tuesday

Goofy School
We drove down to BB’s University for some kind of Family Night thing for Freshmen, and was entertained by the university president introducing himself by showing us his own baby pictures, by a drum line in head to toe green spandex, and the mascot who liked to creep out young children.  So, after an hour of this I turned to BB and said, “B, you chose a goofy school.”  And she responded, “Ya, I’m getting that impression.”

No, I really think that she’ll have fun in college; it sure seemed like a strange fun place.

 Mormons = Mitt?
So, most of you know that I’m a Mormon, and pretty much everyone on the planet knows that Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  And, while that’s all good for Mitt, I’m not so sure that I’m comfortable with Mitt being the poster boy for the LDS church.  Also, there are a lot of stories being spread about the LDS church… and some are just… Laughable.  On the radio yesterday, I heard a talk show person say that Mitt having a Swiss bank account was because of his membership in the church.  Well, I hate to tell this particular talk show host, but… we don’t get Swiss bank accounts when we get baptized.  Although… it would be really cool if we did.

I don’t claim to be an expert in my faith, but if you have questions about Mormons… ask one, you could even ask me.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong, 82

Anyone who has read anything of this blog knows that I am a total space nerd.  It probably stems from the fact that my mom propped me up in front of the TV, as a 3 month old, to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.  Yep, that event drilled space exploration geekdom into my small undeveloped brain, and it has only grown since.
So, it was a bit of a shock when I read that one of my heroes died today.  Neil Armstrong, the first human being in history to ever step foot on an extraterrestrial body has died.  And I am sad.
God Speed Neil Armstrong.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gene Kelly

While listening to NPR today, I found out that today would have been Gene Kelly’s 100th birthday, were he still alive.
Why would I care?  It’s strange; I always admired his dancing style, but I really didn’t know why until I took a film class while I was in college.  Toward the end of the semester we had to take a film, (one from a short list chosen by the professor) treat it like any other piece of literature, and then write 10 pages on a particular thesis of our choosing.

I wrote on the topic of the fakery that is Hollywood, by using the film “Singin’ in the Rain.”  I believe that the title I used was, “Not all that Glitters is Gold,” something like that, anyway.  I know that I got an A- on it.  But in the course of writing, and rewriting, I watch that film… probably a dozen times (maybe more) inside of a week’s time.  Over and over again, getting quotes, describing pivotal scenes, (getting a little bit of a crush on Debbie Reynolds), I even watched all of the bonus features on the DVD, which told me that Gene Kelly had a 103 degree fever the day they filmed the iconic “Singin’ in the Rain” dance, where he was totally wet and most likely totally miserable.
I think that it was then that I really, really began to like Gene Kelly’s performing ability.  He wasn’t like Fred Astaire, all dapper in tails and top hat.  He was, for lack of a better term, everyman.  He was athletic, fun, dancing in dockers and a t-shirt, or a rumpled suit.  Granted, his shirts were usually sewn to his pants (what better way to keep your shirts from becoming untucked?), I guess what I’m trying to say (badly) is that he wasn’t elitist in his style, like other dancers of his time.  He was fun to watch, he was a comedian in dance shoes with his large smile and exquisite timing.

Oh, heck… I’ll let his dancing speak for its self:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I Got Nothin’

On my (almost) one mile walk to the bus stop at 6 this morning, I had a great idea for my Two-Things-Tuesday post.  It was an amazing idea, it made me laugh, it made me cry… honestly… I could have won a Pulitzer for this post.  And then, I got on the bus, pulled out my notebook so that I could jot down a few a few notes, but alas, at that moment the idea escaped me.  Yep, it flew right out of my earholes for parts unknown.

Even now, as I write this lame post, my early morning idea is sunning itself on a beach somewhere, drinking a cold cerveza with a wedge of lime.

Well, good riddance to you… you… Idea!

A whole lot of Hoot… with just a little bit of Nanny.

Last night, BB’s friends came over for just one last hoorah before they all go to their separate colleges.  They’re a good group of kids, and I’ve loved having them all around.  So, after few minutes of raiding my kitchen, they all decide that they’re going to head over to Yogurt Land (one of those frozen yogurt places where you pay by the ounce) so that they could talk… and do… whatever it is that teenagers do these days… (I am so old…)

Along about 9:30, I get a call from BB.
“Dad,” she says above the din of Yogurt Land (it’s funny, but Yogurt Land sounds a lot like a bar… Hummmm…) “we’re coming back to watch movies, can you pick up the basement?”
She asks me this because my youngest has this terrible habit of destroying every room she enters, and was just down there with her little friends all weekend.

I sigh, “Ya… Give me 15 minutes.”
So, I grab my son, Buddy, and we head down there.  Now I don’t need to remind you that I ran a Half-Marathon and my legs a still a bit sore… mainly while walking stairs, so… Long story short… and countless times up and down the stairs, we clean… and vacuum, and dust… and in 15 minutes, Buddy and I have the place looking great.

When I get back upstairs… there’s BB talking to my wife… and no other kids.
“So, where’s the gang?” I ask.

“Well, they decided to make it an early night.”
“So, they aren’t coming?”

“So, I cleaned the basement for Nothing?”

“Love You.” She says with a smile.
“I even Vacuumed!”

“Love You.”
“Raise your right hand and repeat after me: “I, BB, the offspring of Murph…”

“I, BB, the offspring of Murph…”
“Do hereby commit…”

“Do hereby commit”
“To suck down one Wheat Grass Shot…”

“Yer Funny.”

I guess it was worth a try...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Porter's Half Recap

I ran my first Half Marathon today… and as such, I probably shouldn’t be writing this race recap, (since I'm dead on my feet) but… Here goes.
I decided to run the Porter’s Half Marathon when a guy I work with (and fellow runner) stopped by Wasatch Running Center and picked up an announcement of the race. The Porter’s Half marathon is named for Orrin Porter Rockwell (I guess that he was just known as “Porter” back in the day) who was a gun fighter, pioneer, and body guard to Mormon Prophet Brigham Young. Any Way….
I figured that since my last name is Porter, and I wanted to run a Half Marathon this year… well… this would have to be the one. I mean, how may races do you run where the shirt and finisher’s medal have your name on it? Right?
After picking up my packet yesterday afternoon, I was hit with a huge case of nerves, so my wife and I decided to ditch the kids at home with Dominoes Pizza, and take in an early movie. (We went to The Bourne Legacy… not a good choice for taking your mind off of running… I’m just saying)
In order to get to the finish line in time to catch the shuttle to the starting line I had to be up at 4:30am, so I laid out everything I would need on the kitchen counter, and went to bed… obviously not to sleep. I’m a chronic insomniac, and so… I might have slept for about an hour or two before the alarm clock went off, but I run Ragnars... so... Sleep? Who needs sleep?  I got dressed, grabbed the stuff off of the kitchen counter on my way to the van, and sped all the way to Draper... only to realize (much later) that I forgot my water bottle.
The shuttles (Canyon District School Busses) left the Draper City Park at 6:15am and I made it there with about 5 minutes to spare. Weird… school busses were bigger when I was in grade school… I just didn’t fit.
After getting lost a couple of times, the “shuttle” arrived at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, a beautiful glacier cut granite canyon on the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. The weather was cool, if a bit smokey since the Western half of the US seems to be on fire… still.
They lined us up (there were just under 400 runners), gave us some final instructions by bull horn, which I heard non of, because of the people behind me talking about some marathon they ran in… somewhere. And then we were off.
I had a goal of running this thing in 2 hours, 30 minutes, and according to my Garmin, I did it in 2:16:49, which I think was pretty darn good. The weird thing is that according to the Garmin, the race was about 0.25 miles short of 13.1 miles. That could be because we were in a canyon for the first little bit, and canyons do tend to play Merry Hob with GPS reception. We’ll see what happens when I download the information, and can correct some of the reception errors on the Garmin web site.
My pace per mile breakdown went like this:
Mile 1: 9:17
Mile 2: 9:27
Mile 3: 9:06
(by the way… this is the fastest 5k I’ve ever run!)
Mile 4: 9:52
Mile 5: 10:20
Mile 6: 10:31
Mile 7: 9:58
Mile 8: 10:56
Mile 9: 11:18
Mile 10: 11:58
Mile 11: 11:27
Mile 12: 13:02
Mile 13: 12:07
So, from that you can see where the good down hill sections were, and that I was trashed by the end.
But all in all, It was well organized, well staffed, and really a fun race. I’ll probably run it again next year.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Peace that is the Run

So,  I’m sitting here in my office, pretty much on the eve of my first Half-Marathon, eating my South Western Chicken Salad (light on the dressing, heavy on the chicken, tomatoes, cheese, and little tortilla strips) contemplating tuna-noodle casserole for dinner tonight… (I mean I may as well start carb loading now… right?), when a small inkling of doubt waves as it makes its muddy way through my mind.  “What are you doing?” he says, “13.1 miles, you’re a 43 year old asthmatic, you’ll be lucky to finish this thing in 4 hours… crawling.”  That voice is a hard one to silence.

But then I think… night time, the sound of my shoes on the pavement, that steady thrum as constant as a heartbeat, regulating my breathing, three beats in, three beats out. My shadows in the streetlight as I pass, tripled… I don’t know why, but going faster than me, growing in front of me as I run through the circle of light, and fading into the blackness of the street.  My mind on the run, on the feeling in my legs, the breath in my lungs, the sweat running down my back; the stresses of the day, the work on my desk, the lack of money in the bank, BB leaving for college, all are gone from my thoughts… like magic.  I may pass other runners, some wave “Hi,” and some don’t… it’s all good, I understand.  We pass each other and run on.  We run on in the peace that is the run.

I’ve come to realize, that I don’t run for the shirt, or the medal, but for the peace that is the run.  And so… little doubt voice in my head… keep saying what you’re saying, because there will come a day when you, my little friend, just won’t be able to keep up with me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two Things Tuesday

B goes off to University

In honor of B going off to University, and the mixed feelings I have about it... I give you one of my favorite songs from one of B's favorite movies.

Scout Camp

I got home from Scout Camp on Saturday.  Camp Steiner is an amazing place.  At 10,400 feet above sea level it's the highest elevation Boy Scout camp in the US, and the place rocks and has many... rocks.  I was up there with my son (Buddy) and his troop.  And... for a bunch of 12 year olds, they didn't have a lot of scout spirit.  At morning flag, they didn't cheer, or sing or anything... so I told them that if they came up with a cheer and started to participate more... I would compete in the scout master belly flop contest into Scout Lake (a glacier fed, alpine lake... FYI).  Well, they were all over that.  So they came up with a cheer, that even involved bag pipes (one of the boys plays) and so... I flopped... twice.  Did I mention that Scout Lake is a Glacier Fed Alpine Lake?  And that at its warmest, it's MAYBE a degree or two above Slurpee?

Anything for the boys, Right?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

What!?! Am I Back in LA?

Can anyone send us some rain? The “Pinyon” wild fire, just to the south of my home is totally out of control! When I went out side last night for my run, I decided to bag it because of very thick smoke and ash was falling like snow in our neighborhood!
I’ve never looked forward to winter so much in my life!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Two Things Tuesday

Beautiful Sunrise

I saw the most incredible thing this morning on my way to work, and I so wish I had had a camera with me.  We’ve been having some wild fires out here this year, and so, the air pretty much always smells like a campfire.  But this morning, as the sun rose above the Wasatch mountains, it was screened from view by a layer of smoke that made the sun this deep red.  It was filtered so much by the smoke that you could look right at it.  It was so incredible that I had noticed that runner had stopped along the side of the road to take a picture with her iPhone.  It was truly a once in a lifetime, but I’ll tell you, as an asthmatic, I’d give up the cool sunrise for clean air.

Vegas Baby!

I got talked into doing the Las Vegas Ragnar… well… they didn’t have to twist my arm to much.  I’ve been jonesing for the Saints and Sinners medal since the year I ran Vegas (2009) without running Wasatch Back first.  So… here I go again.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Life on Mars!

News Flash!

The Mars Rover “Curiosity” has found life on Mars!

Pictures streaming back from the newly landed rover have definitely shown evidence of intelligent life!

Ok, so funny picture…

Happy Monday everybody!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Flash Finale, and some really good news

Score that a flash mob! Finally, after one rained out attempt, we were able to flash mob Cowabunga Bay, a small, local water park. What’s funny is that the producer for Cinderella (the play I just finished work on) was there with her family. So when we finished and were just standing around, like nothing happened, she walked up to us to talk to us about the flash. What can I say… we’re all about performing.

On that same note… I think that I just got work on a movie! Turns out that the set designer for Cinderella is producing a movie at one of our local ski lodges. He said that it is very small budget and has been shooting for a while now, they still have about 4 more days of shooting once we have snow again, and wants me to go up there to help… I’m totally freaking out inside, trying not to get to excited because I know how iffy things like this can be, but… I will be finding a book on film makeup, so that I can be somewhat knowledgeable if when I head up there. Yep… freaking out inside!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Just some fun on a Wednesday

Ok, I LOVE this! Mostly, because when I run... I'm like the guy in the hoodie. Not really, but I feel like the guy in the hoodie.

Run Happy!
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