Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday... okay... there are a few words.

B with the Utah Jazz Stunt Team

A... not to be outdone by her big sis.

What do you know... Smoking really is a tool of the devil.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Things on a Thursday

The Pumpkin Plant is Dead

The little pumpkin plant that was growing on the side of the road is dead.  From the looks of it and the other dead weeds around it, it looks to me like a road maintenance crew hit it with Round Up.  I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of it...


So, I have a question…

I’m a Mormon, and I’m a runner.  For quite a while now I’ve been using gels as a nutritional boost during my longer runs.  I’ve avoided flavors like “Cappuccino” and “Mocha” knowing that they contain coffee, even if it’s just a small amount, because of my belief in the Word of Wisdom.

If you don’t know, the Word of Wisdom is a health code given to us (Mormons) as a guide of what we should and should not be put into our bodies, which is why Mormons (generally) don’t drink Coffee, Tea, or Alcohol, and we (generally) don’t smoke.  Now contrary to popular belief, we are not prohibited from drinking Coke or any other caffeinated, sugary drinks… but we probably should be.  But, anyway, I’ve been using the Word of Wisdom as my primary nutritional guide as a runner.  Up my grain intake, lower the amount of meat… that kind of thing.

So, the other day I was cleaning up some of my Chocolate GU packets that had spilled out of their box, and (for some reason) began reading the ingredients: Organic Tea (green) extract (contains caffeine).   From that, I went on to find out that several of the gels I’ve used also have the same green tea extract in them.  Now, the caffeine isn’t my question, but the tea extract is (I’m not really sure what “extract” means.  Is it tea?  Is it some chemical from tea?  Is it just caffeine sucked out of a tea leaf?).
So here’s my question… as a Mormon, am I okay to keep using these Gels even though they contain some kind of tea... extract?  Or do I need to find something else?  I’m not a deep doctrinal kind of religious person and I rely on the advice of others quite a lot.

So what are your thoughts?  Even if you aren’t Mormon, what would you do in my shoes?

I love this Band!

The other day, I was looking through the NPR web site and came across a video of one of their "Tiny Desk Concerts" of a band called "Alpine" from Australia.  I totally fell in love with their sound!
Here's a sample:

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I’m kind of having a rough day today.

I’ve been a scoutmaster for 13 years now.  So long that I’ve seen boys go through scouting, a few got their Eagles, a few have served LDS missions, at least one (that I know of) has gotten married and just had his first child, and one… well… one, I attended his funeral.
Last night, I was informed that I am being released from my calling at the 11-year-old scout master.  You see, in Mormon troops, you don’t volunteer to be an adult leader in the scout troop, you are asked (“called”) to be an adult leader by the bishop (the presiding authority in your congregation).

It stands to reason that it was time for me to be released.  Most people serve in a calling for no more than just a few years and I’d been there for over a decade.  As the 11-year-old leader, I was officially an assistant scoutmaster to the scoutmaster of the troop, even though we operated independently of the troop.  I know it’s confusing, but it kind of makes sense if you understand how the LDS church is organized.  Anyway, I served with 3 different scoutmasters, under 3 different primary presidencies, and two different bishops… and that was only in my current troop, I’ve actually been in two.
When I started out as an 11-year-old scout leader, in the summer of 2000, I was scared to death.  I had dropped out of scouting as a youth, with only my eagle project left to do.  I had no idea what I was doing… but I had good boys.  Jordan, Chad, & Craig, they were great!  Jordan was so small that when we put a backpack on him for our first hike, we couldn’t get the hip belt small enough to fit his waist.  It just hung there… it makes me laugh just to think about it.  This week, he became a father… and I can’t tell you how proud I am of him.  He has grown into a fine man.

There have been so many boys through the years.  So many memories.  So much laughter, so much frustration, so many good times… and at least one tragedy.  I’ll never forget the morning that I got a call from Norm, a fellow scoutmaster with whom I worked quite a while back, informing me that Clint had passed away from Meningitis while in his freshman year at Weber State.  I guess when you work with the youth long enough, something like this is bound to happen, but it didn’t have to happen to one of my boys.
I loved being a scoutmaster.  I loved every part of it, and it is something that I will miss very dearly… even that dorky uniform.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

July Recap

July Miles:  Ummm… Miles?  Nothing to see here people… move along… go about your lives…  No, really I ran about 20 miles… or so…  I’m thinking that the half in September is going to be a suck-fest if I don’t get on the stick.
Races:  Move along…  Really... just don't look back...

Next Race:  “Only Half Crazy” in mid-September.
Reading:  The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein.  This was the book that inspired “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and (I’m thinking) “Falling Skies.”

Listening:  Right now I’m listening to a lecture on the literary origins of the Holy Grail, by Professor Monica Potkey of The College of William and Mary.  It’s really good.  I know... Geek!
Latest Obsession:  “The Music Man” By the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council.  I can’t think of anything else when I’m working a play.  I know, I’ve tried.

Netflix Habit:  I don’t have one right now.  I get on and just don’t feel like watching anything.
Blessing:  I’m blessed that I have so many things I can do.  I have a strong (if pudgie) body that can run when I want it to.  I have wonderful kids, and a beautiful supportive wife.  What more can a guy ask for?

Irk: My folks were forced to close the candy store… Sad.
Whoo Hoo!: We were able to go see Lindsey Stirling play with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  She was Awesome!

Oooh Ahh: I found out that Shatner (the one and only James T. Kirk) is going to be at the Salt Lake Comic Con… Oh man!  Where do I go for tickets?
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