Friday, April 28, 2006

Buffman & Squeaky, the rest of the story

This morning I took Buffman & Squeaky for a little run in the canyons. Now readers please remember that these two Boston Terriers represent the namesake of the infamous triathlon that will be held May 21 at Buffalo Springs Lake. But to be honest with you this post is not about the triathlon, but is about these two characters. As I was running with them this morning I got to thinking about them and watching them interact with each other, the fire hydrants, road kill, live geese and anything else that came into sight. These dogs have a sense of urgency that is beyond reproach. They are also very smart dogs(how many dogs do you know that will obey the command of,okay Buff it's time for a shower, go get in the tub, and he automatically goes and does what I ask and waits for me to turn on the shower), they never cease to amaze me. On the Buffman I get the feeling that there are lots of thoughts going on in his mind. One of the things that I know must really confuse him is his manhood. Since he has been clipped and no longer has any big ole huge balls he seems to be a little confused on where he fits in the sexual equation. The fact of the matter is his doctor, Dr. George, recommended that this be done when he was 3 years old after we decided we would not breed him. He was real bad about marking all of the territory in site and it became a problem. In addition he had no sexual outlet and stayed completely in need when he knew Bell(a beautiful female Toy Collie) lived only a fence away. Bell felt the same for him, but it just would not work, breeding a Boston with a Collie. They would get together some when Bell wasn't in her need and they had lots of fun sniffing, running after each other and really doing the male/female thing, without really doing the male/female thing. The funny thing is that Buffman nearly wore a hole in the fence staring at her, daily. When I would ask him where Bell was he would stand up on the window and look towards her back yard and bark, "in her yard dummy, can't you see her?" Well it turned out Bell got snipped a little after Buffman, so they are both confused now. Sometimes though he will take a lick of where the balls use to be(you know that is what dogs do, most graciously), finds there isn't anything there, then looks up at me with those big ole eyes like he is thinking, "hey bub I had some big balls until you took me into town to visit Dr. George, then when I woke up they were missing, are they in your pocket or what?" I do have to admit I really felt for him and they were probably saved for at least a year just because I couldn't stand to think of them being cut. Oh well, I got over it, he got over it, and he no longer marks. So, we are both better off. Now to Squeaky, and what a character. Squeaky actually has two names, Marti calls her Little Bit(she is half the size of Buffman at 16 pounds, about a year and a half to Buffmans' 6 yrs)and I call her Squeaky. The Little Bit is obvious, but the Squeaky came from a real squeaky noise she makes when trying to get attention, so my name for her. When we take her to Dr. George he calls her by both names, since he is confused on what her name really is. But she is one real character and enjoys pestering the Buffman immensely. While they never really have growling, hateful, fights, they play continuously(unless I take them for over 4 miles running, then they are dead meat)and Squeaky will very gently bite the rear legs of the Buffman. He then turns and bites her back, but she usually does some kind of little flip thing that confuses him. They actually fight like cats instead of dogs. She was stripped of her womanhood very early so she really never became confused as to who she is. She knows who she is, and makes no mistake about it. She has an independent mode about her that is very interesting. When she is hungry she will take the bowl and move it around, with the squeaky sounds, until we get up and feed her. Since I learn fast, I also use this same method of getting Marti to fetch me another cup of coffee in the morning(looks kind of silly rooting around on the floor, but it works). So, that is the story about the two namesakes for the Buffman & Squeaky International Triathlon. They actually go to the event and the athletes love to see them there and even have their picture taken with them. Last year Buffman got real tired of watching the swim, bike and run stuff so we sent him home to help get the house ready for our post race BBQ and beer bash. He did a great job on that and will probably do the same this year. Squeaky will take a bigger roll this year since she is older and has a more mature attitude.

If you are a triathlete, come join the fun, if your not and love dogs, come enjoy the dogs!


Grocery shopping, part II, some other thoughts!

Well the ole designated shopping assignment is getting more interesting by the day. It is a amazing how comfortable you get with something after you do it a few times. You also learn the little idiocycrinies of any task and it become smoother, i.e. the first trip out I had consumed a bunch of Gatorade before entering the store so naturally I had to relieve my bladder. But, true to form since I didn't know where the restroom was and I wouldn't dare ask anyone, I just kind of danced around the aisles on my tip toes while putting things in the basket. It was kind of weird but no one really noticed since I have found shoppers to be real focused. By the end of the shopping I was really in need of relief and couldn't wait for that $200 bill to be tallied up. On this this second trip I found the restroom before entering the shopping arena, smart move on my part. This time around I was able to find everything quicker and more efficient, no double tracking back and forth. The AA batteries became a challenge, but lo and behold they ended up on the end of an aisle that didn't make any sense to me, but I was relieved they were there right in front of me. Like they were close to the dog food(Buffman & Squeaky did some real two steppin when I got home), which didn't make much sense either. I will have to admit I am not really a shopper, I am a "buyer". I see it and I put it in the cart, I never look for the 2 for something pricing or coupons, I just see what I want and charge for it. Possibly I will do this after becoming more efficient at this task.

Interesting stuff in the Lubbock AJ today: "A former executive accused of bilking more than $77 million from a locally based company, pleads guilty." Can you imagine how guilty he really is, since he pleaded guilty? Not only is he guilty, but he was very greedy. His legal income was in the millions, but that wasn't enough, he just had to steal more. I happen to know many of his family friends and he has ruined many livers through his actions. Who cares about his life, he made the choice to steal, be greedy, and get caught. The maximum he will get is 30 years in the slammer and a $500m fine. A great article about a local legendary teacher/coach, only 78 years of age in the local Coronado High School. He is loved by everyone and still works a full schedule. What a guy! Another article: "Our addiction to television entertainment is undermining the American family." This article points out that not only are families sticking their face in front of the TV and computers many hours of the day, they are also doing it in separate rooms. Reminds, me of a legal mediation divorce case I presided over and the big fight was not over the children, but the 7 TV sets this loving couple owned. Ms. Beverly Long is the author of this fine article and I must say, just the other morning I mentioned to Marti that the root of most evil in our society today is the TV set and computer, not to mention the cell phones. I applaud Ms. Long and loved the entire article. Her comments about the damage this technology has done to the American family is dead on and I commend her for speaking out and using her space to point this out. I just hope the AJ readership got the point. I sure did!!

Well as most know who read this site I have already rated President George W. Bush with the lowest rating possible for his job as President of the USA. I just responded to a survey on such topics as, yes or no-Is President Bush handling the Iraqi war effectively? 80% said NO, and I agree Yes or no-Is the President handling the gasoline, oil situation correctly, 80% said NO, and I agree. But lo and behold he made a move in the past couple of days that completely moves him up from the 43rd ranking to at least 42.5. He hired a press secretary that actually disagreed with him in the past and said some pretty bad things about him, Tony Snow was hired as the new press secretary and here is a sample of some of the things he has said: "The newly passive George W. Bush has become something of an embarrassment." Remember Natalie Maines, she said something like this at the beginning of the so-called war and her singing career has never been the same. Other comments from Snow: "George W. Bush and his colleagues have become not merely the custodians of the largest government in the history of humankind, but also exponenets of its vigorous expansion." or "President Bush distilled the essence of his presidency in this year's State of the Union Address; brilliant foreign policy and listless domestic policy." Good luck, and Good Night Mr. Snowman. You'll need it!!

George Carlin in closing: "People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point."

Mike Greer bowling and golf-"The whole idea in bowling is to knock over as many pins as possible, then you post a higher score." Simple as it can be and and I tell my team that the more pins they knock down with the 12 pound bowling ball the higher their score will be. On the contrary in golf the fewer strokes it takes to get the all in the hole the better your score. The weird thing about these two sports is that you can drink beer, eat pop corn, have fun, and still bowl. Boy, try that combination on the triathlon circuit and see what happens. In golf you can do the same while riding a golf cart that goes 15 miles per hour. There is really no dramatic point here, except golfing and bowling are not about athletics, but hand to eye coordination and concentration. I have found that the more Coors Light I drink the better I concentrate. Draw your own conclusions!

Busy day, a run with Buffman & Squeaky, haircut, lunch with the ole hand ball group, movie, and two steppin. Got to be in bed early for a good training day on Saturday and a Hog ride to "Bob Wills days in Turkey, Texas."


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New stuff, 4.26.06

We just returned from a very successful triathlon promotion trip in the Dallas area. With the creation of the Iron Girl Texas triathlon we are spending time in that area promoting the event. It was a great trip and the folks in DFW are doing a lot to help make this event popular and successful. We express our thanks to them and look forward to the event in July.

It has been our pleasure to live in a very small community for the past 5 years, just 10 miles outside of Lubbock. Ransom Canyon is actually built around a small lake which receives it water from the Buffalo Springs Lake and is in the Yellowhouse Canyons. To say it is small can be better illustrated this way with quotes from the "Ransom Canyon City News," for starters: Ransom Canyon is the 855th largest city in the State of Texas, with a population of just over a thousand, say 1001, with a 911 response time of 5 minutes. The demographics has shifted from "retired"(meaning really old) to "young professional," and these young folks are buying exclusive properties. Excuse me here, but really what they are buying is what is left, if they are building a new home or they are buying what is for sale from the "retired" group, who built this canyon development to start with. To continue, all of these things change the way the police department approaches policing in the Town. Traffic is getting heavy, but traffic laws are not necessarily broken. Excuse me again, don't have a fathom of who wrote this article but believe me, speeding traffic laws are broken daily. I saw a quote from the two(also have two bullets in their breast pocket) local law enforcement staff stating they haven't given a traffic citation since 1992, which only means they just haven't enforced the speeding laws. I think it is called "turning the head in the opposite direction." It really became apparent that Ransom Canyon joined the Big Boys when they installed their own water tower a few months ago. I don't know where the water was stored before, but I do know we have a water tower now. Other notes in the RC News: Library stays put for now, but needs a new porch.--Aging Sewer Lines--911 Keeps Police Busy--Warm days, cool nights, Snakes are moving(Rattlesnakes that is!)The elections for the city council are close at hand. One year I ran for Mayor, when ask what I thought of the current Mayor and what my platform was my answer was to the point, "I didn't know the Mayor but he was probably a nice guy, and my platform was just as simple, "look out for the residents of Ransom and be honest in my dealings." I lost the election, but got 43 votes, but only spent $273.00 on my campaign. The city is doing fine with the current leadership and so am I.

Yesterday I took one of those surveys that come up on AOL, about the performance of our current USA President, Mr. George W. Bush. It was a straight forward survey requiring only yes or no answers, i.e. Do you think Bush is handling the Iraqi situation correctly? Yes or No, or Do you think Bush has a handle on the oil and gasoline price situation in the USA? Yes or No. The results weren't surprising, in all categories the answers were NO in huge majorities. He was not given a passing grade on any of the categories and usually ended up in the 80% No column. I confess, all of my votes went to NO NO NO, did I say NO? What I like about these surveys is that I get to vote, in years past there was always the mention of the Neilson surveys but I could never figure our who voted or how you got to vote since I was never contacted. Now I can voice my opinion with a vote, one way or the other. Of course I also take the funny little tests about IQ and stuff, just for fun.

Some years ago, I don't rememer how long ago, a new magazine appeared on the news stand called "People." Well this magazine had an instant appeal to me and when the new edition would hit the stands I would buy one. But, I don't know why since every time I bought one and read it I was disappointed and wondered why I or anyone would be interested in this type of news. In the early days of the rag it had a diverse amount of news about "People," but now it has turned into a rag about the in celebrity group of young people, certainly not about the everyday population. For example, the current cover, "Inside Katie's New World," all about Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise new union and how she is engulfed with it. Funny thing, use to couples would get married and then have babies, now they get pregnant first, have the baby, then plan the big wedding. That is of course if you are a celebrity. If you are not and you do it this way you are some kind of slut, and male impregnator. For the life of me I can't figure out why these people get away with what they get away with and the public stands in awe of them. Britney Spears was also covered in this issue and she really confuses me. She is the one who walked off of the Lubbock United Spirit Arena stage during a concert simply because some of her electric cords were not plugged in right. Well that doesn't surprise me since she can't strap the seat belt on correctly for her infant son and her nanny drops the poor child out of the high chair. But, this is news and even garners the front page of "People." Last but not least, it is nice to see Kenny Rogers admit he is 67 but bothers me that he would have plastic surgery to eliminate the lines in his face. He says he doesn't mind being 67, but doesn't want to look that old. Who in the hell said 67 is old? Only people I know that alter actual ages and not use a knife is USAT on their aging up rule. I turned 66 in December of 05, then USAT passes the aging up rule, meaning you are considered your 12.31 age on race day, no matter the day, so that means in January 06 I was considered 68 on any race day in 06, even though I wouldn't truly be 68 until 12.16.06(send a card please). So much for "People," save your $3.49.

Some stuff out of the local newspaper, "American Entrepreneurs Find Obesity Big Business,"--this story covers the business of offering caskets for obese(fat) people who die. Goliath Casket Co. offers a 52 inch wide casket where the norm is 27 inches. The company has produced caskets up to 7 feet square. There are all kinds of new businesses being created to cater to our increasing fat population, now in the USA @ 71% fat men, 61% fat women, 33% fat children. My thoughts are this is totally stupid and rather than cater to fat people they should be required to have some self restraint at the dinner table, exercise, and eat the right food. Is that really so hard to do? No, it isn't! The price tag to taxpayers, according to the Disease Control and Prevention Agency is a whopping $117 billion a year. Yes, folks and I am a taxpayer, doing everything I can to keep my weight in control, eat the right foods, and exerise. If obese(fat) people would have as much committment towards these three things as they do feeding their face, we would not have this problem in the USA. Another topic that is grinding on my nerves: "Garland, Texas Police Try to Build Trust Among Immigrants." They left out the word "illegal" which was in the article it self. For the life of me, and we can thank our current president for much of this problem, I can't figure out why the authorities can't understand the word "illegal." If something is illegal then that means you are breaking the law if you do it. Send em back, simple as that but much harder to do since they don't want them back. Woe is me!!!

Late arriving news from Lubbock Avalance Journal: "City Council Set to Abolish 1923 Racist Ordinance!" The ordinance says, that people with at least "one-eighth negro blood" cannot live west of Avenue C nor south of 16th St., unless they reside in servants' quarters. The stated reason for the forced segregation is that "their residence is dangerous to the health and pollutes the earth and atmosphere." The fine for violating the ordinance is $200.00. Council members say there is no evidence that the ordinance was ever passed into law, but it still exists in the city minutes and was written. Surprise, surprise, there is a movement to repeal this never signed ordinance. What year is this?

Movies to see: "The Sentinel"-suspense, action, mild sex scenes(Michael Douglas always gets some), great detail, "Inside Man"--suspense, well done, great plot, great acting, only negative is typical Spike Lee theme(black is good, white is bad and or stupid), "Lucky Number Slevin"--My favorite of the three, well done, must pay attention, great plot, great sex scenes but not the center point of the movie, great ending, great acting, fun to watch develop, but initially a little boring. When you get the hang of where it is going, it "rocks."

Next: Take The Lead, Friends with Money, Silent Hill, American Dreamz.

Yesterday was a golf day and was it special. This golf foursome was put together by my long time friend, Roger Lowe. He decided that it would be a good thing to invite our former Littlefield High School football coach, Gene Mayfield, now 77 and shoots his age, rounded out by Bobby Cunningham, former football player and great track runner at Littlefield, myself and Lowe. Lowe and I are 67, while Cunningham is 66, making him the youngster of the group. Typical of Lowe he had to make it a competitive thing, not that any of us lacked of this attribute, and it was Coach/Lowe against Cunningham/Greer. Surprisingly it was a hard fought match going into the final hole with the Cunningham/Greer team one up. So, all we had to do was beat or half the hole and we were the winners. But, we didn't count on coach getting a par and Lowe holing out his putt. So, at the end of the day we ended up the same as we started, even. That was a great way to end, since we had all played real even and while we wanted to win it was not really essential, since we just flat enjoyed being together in some form of competition. What I didn't mention is that Coach Mayfield has been named to the Football Coaches Texas Hall of Fame and is one of the winningest coaches in Texas High School history. He took our teams to the playoffs 2 of the 3 years we played for him and helped 8 of us secure college scholarships to play the game. He was 29 years old when he was named to his first head coaching job at Littlefield. Seeing him again was great and fostered some very good memories of how he taught the game of football and life. I still remember many of the things he would say to keep us in line or simply motivate us to go beyond our capabilities. It also further emphasized to me how much influence my coaches had on me at the time their coaching was taking place, but also afterward in my journey through life. Many of the principles he taught us in executing the game of football to the point of winning games, also exemplified the use of these same principles in conducting our everyday lives. It was a great day!

New resolution for my blog site: I resolve that I will take a recorder with me at all times so I can recall some of the brillant(well I think they are whether they are or not) thoughts that come to mind.

Now off to a meeting with the USAT race officials, a swim, and then bowling.

Have a good day!!


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Disclaimer from Greer, Mike Greer for USA Triathlon National Board!

OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER: When I do a new post on this site I try to make sure it is proofed to the point of perfection; however, when I review it a few days later I find that I have not caught all of the errors. So, I make the changes then and in my endeavor to reach perfection I get somewhat closer. The context and intent is consistent with what I want to say, but I just don't get all of the misspelled words etc. You know spell check doesn't get it either, so I don't feel too bad. The other thing is I actually know they are misspelled when I see them, so that means I really know how to spell, just the ole fingers hit the wrong button. All of my readers out there, be patient with me. Sometimes my fingers work faster than my brain or my brain is working faster than my fingers can react or whatever!

Also, while I am at it(hadn't planned on an official posting this morning)please note that I have decided to run for the National Board of Directors for USA Triathlon. The official announcement will be put out through a press release within a few days. My platform will be based on 22 years experience in the sport, no hidden agendas, the continuation of good things for the sport and a promise that the National Governing Body will serve all aspects of the sport. My motto: One person can make a difference if knowledge, integrity and energy is focused in the right direction.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Ironman Arizona(IMAZ) report, Paper towel report, Clines Corner Subway Sandwich shop, Aarp Magazine, Sports Illustrated

In my last report I covered most of the dirty details on the trip to Tempe, AZ and the near terrible encounter I had with "black ice" when entering Flagstaff. Well to sum up that story. On Monday I was able to return to Flagstaff and put together the pieces of the damaged trailer, put a new hitch on the Explorer, retrieve my Hog, and head East to Ransom Canyon. What I learned is that Flagstaff is not a one horse town, but more like a three horse town, so it took a little longer to do some of the simple things you get from, a say, "ten" horse town. At any rate everyone was happy to help and happy to see me get on my way. I was told when I got there that the road to repairing my trailer would be through "Buddy's" trailer and rv repair. Well it turned out they were right and I even got to deal with Buddy himself. A real nice guy and his folks did a great job on getting me out of there. I love those kind of guys, a fellow about 45-50 years in age, wearing a blue shop shirt(blue collar) with Buddy's Trailer Repair above the left breast pocket and his name, "Buddy" on the right breast pocket. He knew what he was doing and spotted my mechanical ignorance right quick, but didn't take advantage of it. He was there to help me get out of this three horse town and did so. Thanks Buddy!!

Ironman Arizona went very well and was simply an amazing well organized, high quality triathlon event. There were around 2000 entrants and too my knowledge no major incidents of any kind and it all went like a well oiled piece of machinery. I had the priviledge to have an expo booth for the BSLT Triathlon Inc. events(Buffalo Springs 70.3, Tri Raider, Buffman & Squeaky, and Iron Girl Texas) and it was very successful, with many athletes coming by to say hello. Some even registered for this year. Also, during my time with the event I had the priviledge to visit with Graham Fraser and his wife Sue. These folks have done an outstanding job in bringing race directing presentation to an extremely high level of quality and safety. Graham had a vision years ago and built Ironman North America into a very successful race production company and sets the standards in triathlon race directing. To watch this husband and wife team still watch over their flock like tender hearted sheep herders, was an inspiration to me and I only wish all of the entrants in their events would have this same opportunity. As a fellow race director I would go through each transition, in my mind, of the race as it matured, from the initial setup of the event, to the starting gun, then through the four disciplines(swim, bike, run, transitions) feeling what they were feeling as the race progressed. Sue told me that she felt more relaxed after the last bicycle was racked and the run was the only discipline left in the race. I have a similar feeling, but I really get anxiety until the first gun goes off for the first wave, since I demand on time starts. After the last swimmer is out and all are accounted for is also another high blood pressure time. In conclusion I want to commend the Ironman North America staff for all of their hard work and for an excellent event. If USA Triathlon really wanted to put on an effective race directors conference they would do it during one of the IMNA events and then a good practical experience in "true" race directing would be experienced. I will recommend this to them and see where it goes. Also, my friend from Lubbock, Randy Holloway finished with a fine time of 13:57, for his first Ironman. It was great to see him cross the finish line, after we had spent some really tough days on training rides together.

After all the years I have been traveling by automobile I have seen many different paper towel dispensers in the public rest rooms, even to the point I have made some mental notes. As our electronic society has progressed over the years so have the paper towel dispensers. Now for a recap: the first one you will see is the just pull the paper towel down and you got a single issue to dry your hands, the problem is there are usually no towel's in the dispenser or they are stuck, second, the lever pull dispenser on the side of the metal box, but usually the lever doesn't work or the dispenser is out of towel's, third, the under the front of the box and it never works, so getting towel's out of it is nearly impossible, plus it is usually empty, fourth, the new motion control, the one where you wave your hand in front of it like a magic wand and a motor sounding thing dispenses the paper. For some reason these things usually work, but I have had some that didn't, fifth, there is a semi-motion control that says, "DON'T TOUCH THE MACHINE" which really makes you want to touch it just to see what happens. This one is more inconsistent and you are not likely to get a towel out of it, sixth, when all else fails they just give up on dispensers and put a big stack of towel's on the sink. This turns into a mess, but you do have a towel for drying your hands, seventh, last but not least in paper products for drying hands, is the innocent roll of toilet paper. When used to dry your hands it usually ends up in little paper balls in your hand, but does get them somewhat dry, eight, last but not least the apparent final replacement for paper towel's is the electric blow dryer. These things are irritating and seem to take forever to dry your hands. But, the message they put on the top of the machine to explain why they are better for the environment and how much more sanitary they are for you almost brings tears to my eyes. In dry climates they dry pretty fast but in humid climates you will collect your first social security check before they dry. To conclude this very educational discourse I would like to say that all of the above is very useless information unless you get irritated like I do while just simply trying to dry my hands after washing them. Maybe some of the service station owners will read this and correct their paper towel dispensing problems. Maybe we could even start a new non-profit association called, "Saving the Trees By More Effectively Dispensing the Paper towel's Association of America," acronym-STUD-PTA.

The Masters Golf tournament was held last weekend and one of my favorite golfers won it, ole "Lefty" took some time to win his first major but now has 3 to his belt. Phil Mickelson will win many more, since he is a great golfer and has his head on straight. Tiger did well but says he lost it with poor putting. The funny thing is these guys drive it 300 plus yards and the new name of the game is hitting it very long. But, when it comes down to it, drive for show and putt for dough is still a truism.

One of my favorite magazines is "AARP The Magazine", received every month as part of my membership in the over 50 age group(way over). It has some great stuff in it and my annual membership is only $8.00. Why can't USA Triathlon publish a magazine like this, I pay them $30.00 a year? I noticed the following: Paul McCartney is on the cover and is 64, Goldie Hawn(still hot)60, Sugar Ray Leonard, 50, Cher, 60, Donald Trump, 60, Andy Griffith, 80, Mel Brooks, 80, Joe Montana, 50, Kenny g, 50, Mike Greer, 67. Will report more on some of the stuff found inside this magazine in the future.

During my trip I also made the stop, on the way, at the Clines Corner "Famous" truck stop. This is in between Albuquerque, NM and Santa Rosa, NM on Interstate 40. This place has everything you might want to buy or just go to the rest room and not buy anything. It is the gateway to the North and South of New Mexico and leads you West to California or back East to Florida. This is the Interstate version of the first coast to coast highway, Route 66. Now, being modern and all, they have a Subway sandwich shop. I decided to go this route for lunch and noticed that no one was in line ahead of me. So, I decided to kind of take my time to decide what I wanted. Well as I was pondering, a couple jumped in ahead of me and took forever to order. When I saw the attendant start to build their sandwiches I understood why it took so long. The guy had ordered one of those meatball sandwiches. I counted 12 meatballs on it and then it started to grow. He put every accessory possible on it and by the time it ended up at the end of the line it took a forklift and three people to cover it with paper. Then they had to pick it up and hand it to him, he then headed to a booth to scarf it down. I actually left before this ritual was finished, but I bet he got it all down. My moral to the story is, no wonder America is fat, who needs 12 meatballs when 2 would do but just cutting them in 12 pieces. See, life is really simple! Oh! I ended up eating a normal size 6" Philly cheese steak, no dressing on it.

On the John McCain for President question. First, I think he is way too old to run for president, he would be 72 when sworn in. He would probably last a little longer that William Henry Harrison, but would not be effective. Some stuff from him: "I am older than dirt and I've got more scars than Frankenstein, but I've learned a few things along the way." or When he follows other speakers at an event he cracks that he feels like Zsa Zsa Gabor's fifth husband--"I know what to do, I just don't know how to make it interesting"--and concludes by asking for "questions, comments and insults." From Greer on this candidate: He will continue to campaign and do typical political double speak. He hated the Elder Bush at one time, now they are big buddies. He has been for the Iraqi war, but when the campaign starts he will go the opposite direction to gather votes from the population( over 65%) that now believes it is a big mistake.

In thinking of what my Father taught me about borrowing something, he said always return it better than it was when you borrowed it, i.e. fill up the gas tank on an automobile or wash it, etc. The same holds true on any endeavor, try to leave it better than when you found it. I just read another article about our retiring Hall of Fame coach from Texas Tech, Ms. Marsha Sharp. After 24 years at Texas Tech her philosophy was, "Everything that you're part of, everything you touch, should be better because you were there." Coach Sharp was a great example of this philosophy and practiced it. THANKS COACH!!


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Grocery shopping, Arizona trip, observations

In my last post I mentioned grocery shopping in my by-line but then didn't say anything about it in the body. Well, here is what I wanted to say but didn't, and boy is it earth shattering. Since there are only two of us, plus Buffman & Squeaky, in the house our grocery shopping has no degree of consistency and usually amounts to "running" by the store and getting essentials and that is that. So, we are continually out of something that we really want or even need. With this in mind and getting more frustrated by the day I decided to make a management decision here and take over the grocery shopping. So, here is the deal I made with Marti: she is to keep a running list going of what we need, displayed in a prominent place so I can see it and be reminded of it. There will be no verbal discourse(nagging)on when I am going to shop and how large the list has to be(the one thing we know is that we will not run out of dog food. So, with those few rules I embarked on my first stab at this very important responsibility. Of course this is not the first time I have shopped in the grocery store, but it was the first time with this new job description(family grocery shopper). My first thought when I go in with a list is, "where the hell is everything?" It just seems that even though the aisles are neat and well stacked it is just overwhelming as to where everything is. The other thing I noticed is that apparently more people shop on Sunday morning than go to church. It was completely crowded and I expected anytime for some born again type to jump out of the cucumber bin screaming, "repent you sinners, you are shopping on the Sabbath!" But, thank goodness that didn't happen. The next thing that came into my mind was that I have had this brilliant idea for sometime that some computer nerd would sit around in his garage(kind of like Gates did) and design this electronic wonder that when I walk in the store I walk over to it, push in the items I am shopping for and each one of the aisles would either be printed, i.e. okra(location-3rd bin down in vegetable section), condoms(aisle 2 section 3, right down from dirty magazines, etc.) Anyway I think you see my idea. Well of course this doesn't exist right now but I am sure it will some day and another nerd will make billions. So, I embarked on my system of finding things. This means a stab in the dark and guessing which aisle to go to. After a couple of hours and asking 4 people I finally loaded my basket and got out of there for $200.00. One thing I noticed is that the dog food is not close to the pet food and the cucumber bin did not have a born again hidden in it, and last but not least the velveeta cheese(my favorite) is not close to the other cheeses. For right now I am kind of a hero to Marti and the dogs. They all seem to love it when the plastic bags of goodies are brought in the house. If Boston Terriers had tails they would surely wag them, in Marti's case I think she wagged something. But, we all ate happily everafter, at least until we run out again.

This next bit of information concerns my most recent trip, of which I am still on and writing this from my hotel room in Tempe, AZ, to work the expo and observe the 2nd annual Ironman Arizona triathlon. From the beginning, I left Ransom Canyon on Wednesday early in the morning, fully packed and pulling my trailer with the beloved Heritage Softail Hog and bicycle. I had it all with plans on getting some bicycle riding in, some motorcycle riding in, working the expo, then helping with the Ironman on Sunday. Everything went according to schedule until about 10 hours into my trip and 15 miles east of Flagstaff I hit what is referred to as "black" ice. Easily defined, but unknown to me, that is a thin layer of ice on the Interstate that is not visible but causes you to lose control of your vehicle and then hang on for your life. After four jack knife maneuvers, but keeping the vehicles up right, I lost the trailer and it did a beautiful turn over to its' side. After coming to a halt some 20 yards on the shoulder I noticed I had quite a mess. My $21,000.00 Hog was laying side ways in the $2200.00 trailer and it was now snowing to the point that it could very easily be called a spring snow storm. Well after two and half hours the tow truck got the trailer up righted, the motorcycle up righted, with both loaded on the truck. While I was not injured I was mighty upset, for not seeing the conditions that confronted me within minutes. The AZ highway patrol said, "don't feel bad this happens all the time, this time of year, he also noted that many times the accidents are much worse and the victims are usually wearing shorts or thogs." So, at least I was not injured and was dressed for the occasion. While I have not had my Hog with me in Tempe I have had a very productive expo and look forward to another good day today and the race on Sunday. My trailer guy in Flagstaff says he will have me ready to go on Tuesday and I will bring the Hog back to heaven. Word of advice, even though Mapquest recommends the Northern route to Tempe, take the Southern route. It actually snowed 4" on us after the accident and while we were re-loading the up-righted trailer. What a night!

For tomorrow I will have a report on the race, but will also offer some astute observations on the paper towel dilemma in most service stations and what the Clines Corner, NM Subway sandwich shop had to offer.

Off to the expo,


Monday, April 03, 2006

Senior news, New Women's basketball coach, movies, grocery shopping

Moving into the age group of so called Senior Citizens has been a very weird feeling for me. While I am in that group, based on my birth date, I never hang around people my age that much. So, when I noticed a free "Senior News", Lubbock Edition, at the post office the other day I picked it up. It's motto is, "Serving Senior Citizens with Information to Improve the Best Time of Life...TODAY!" My first reaction to this rag when I glanced down at it, was what is the difference between Senior news and the other news I read in the Lubbock AJ, USA Today or The Dallas Morning News? If I read an article about the most recent W man screw ups in Iraq, they are screw ups whether they are reported in the Senior News or the Dallas Morning News. So, I took a look at some of the ingredients and here is what I found on the front page headlines: "End-Of-Life wishes vary among racial and ethnic groups, genders," Study explores views of Arab Americans, Hispanics, blacks and (let's not forget White folks). Many Arab Americans would prefer not to got to a nursing home as they near the end of their lives, while many African Americans are comfortable with nursing homes and hospitals. Many Hispanic people are strongly concerned about dying with dignity. And many white people(would we be called White Americans?)don't want their families to take care of them(boy am I in that category, if I were forced to stay with my oldest daughter, for some God forbid reason, she would have me smothered the first day), but they-like members of other racial and ethnic groups-want their families nearby as they live out their last days.(That is kind of comical, since how do you know when your last days are and what if you move close by and still live another 20 years?) Basically to bottom line this headline I would say that obviously with ethnic and religious differences throughout the world there will be varied opinions, no one size fits all for this one. We were having a discussion the other day about funerals, and I commented that I liked going to a good funeral. Now let me explain, my definition of a good funeral among Christians, is that if they truly believe they will be rejoicing for the deceased and the minister should be pointing out the reasons why we should rejoice. First, if you are truly Christian you will believe that the deceased has truly gone on to a better place. We know that is true because the good book says so. So, we should be happy for that person. Now, the only negative cruncher on this would be if the deceased had some deep dark secrets that we weren't aware of and they actually gained the lottery ticket to hell. Well I guess that is another story for another day. Other tidbits from the Senior News: "Home Plate Diner,"-10% off to Senior Citizens, "Can You Bite Into An Apple,"-In one short procedure you can have tightly fitting dentures, ""Walk In Tub,"-Dignity, Independence, Safety, Guaranteed lowest price," Medicare Covers Erectile Dysfunction Correction,"-Nothing impacts the sexual health and well being of a couple and their intimate relationship more than erectile dysfunction(ED). The male erection involves a very complicated interaction of many of the body's systems. For many, the first-choice of treatment for ED should be vacuum Therapy." Of course my comments on this are simple. Why worry about Medicare on this and have the natural pump of life performed by the receiving partner. Go ahead and figure that one out. So much for Seniors, even though I might add the above solution for ED will work for all concerned, not just Seniors.

Haven't seen any movies lately but here are some must sees: Basic Instinct 2-Risk Addiction, The Libertine, Inside Man, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

The new women's basketball coach to succeed retired Hall of Fame Coach, Marsha Sharp, is Ms. Kristy Curry former Head Coach of Purdue. She brings a strong work ethic and winning attitude to an already very successful program. Texas Tech Lady Raiders and the third in the country in fan attendance at home games, with an other 12,000 fans per game. Coach Sharp will remain at Tech in the athletic department.

Noticed where it costs more to be cremated if you are obese. The article sited an example of a woman who died weighing 457 pounds and since the limit for no surcharge was 300 pounds they put her body on ice, until the family or someone could pay the difference. My thoughts are, it just doesn't pay to die fat!

With the kiss and makeup of USAT/WTC all of the BSLT Triathlon events are now sanctioned by USAT. Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3, Tri Raider Sprint, Buffman & Squeaky international distance and Iron Girl Texas Sprint are all carrying the red, white and blue banner.

Off to Ironman Arizona to work the expo booth and observe some friends that are competing. Randy Holloway from Lubbock will be doing his first Ironman distance race. He has been training real hard and I have had the opportunity to do some bike training rides with him. He is dedicated, and focused to perform at his highest level possible and will do excellent.