Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Flags" footnote, New triathlon for BSLT, Hog ride and bowling

Since I have already received a little feedback on my new marriages philosophies, plus the mention of my new book, "Flags", I thought I might add some more fuel to the fire. First, the flags checklist is designed and will be intended for both genders, meaning if same genders are prone to entering into a long term relationship together then the checklist will work for them. I am currently field testing this to include this idea. When I say marriage I also mean long term relationships. Yep, folks you can teach an old dog new tricks. The thing is if we have more same gender relationships out there we want them to be happy. Why would we limit this to such a point that they could not test their relationship with the infamous flag checklist. If we have a happy world no matter our sexual orientation, then so be it. I am all over it and can't wait to get the feedback. Second, my feeling about the marriage institution(I use this term because when you received the marriage certificate/contract/agreement, etc. that is what it becomes) is that the certificate makes everything way too serious and many times the loving relationship(really meaning the sexual loving relationship) ends when the official ceremony is a done deal. I think this happens many times simply because, "she got him", "she is his, so he gets some anytime he wants it, but she is really in control especially after the marriage ceremony is a done deal", "there is too much taking for granted and less concern for the other person." Now, you say, but that is what marriage is suppose to be all about and I couldn't agree more, "suppose to be" are the key words but sometimes it just never happens. Third, as a society we get married way too young. If I could twinkle my nose and make a law that was followed by all I would say, "no one can get married until they are 30 years of age or older." I advised my children to do that, and out of four, none of them followed my advice. Oh well, whatever!!! Enough on marriage for tonight.

The powers to be of BSLT Triathlon Inc., the legal entity for the Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 and other triathlons(Buffman & Squeaky, Tri Raider, Irongirl, etc.) put on by Greer & Marti has decided to add another sprint triathlon in May. On the same weekend as Buffman & Squeaky Olympic course we will add the Dog House Sprint Triathlon. Yea, you know that thing that they build for dogs to live in but they really don't live in them. Anyway, should add some new spice to that weekend.

Yesterday was a great day to ride the Hog even though the wind was from hell. Hyman and I took off for the New Mexico badlands, yea that New Mexico with no trees, no bushes, no grass, lots of road kill, lots of oil wells, but at least a very smooth highway. We ended up in Hobbs, New Mexico home of really nothing, but nevertheless a place to ride to. Hyman got there before me so he had to enter the Casino and try to win all of their money. Ooops, he didn't do that and was ready to leave when I got there. So, we decided to take a new route back to Lubbock which would put up right in front of the Border Bar right on the Texas/New Mexico state line. A really stylish place making JD's look like one of Trumps' palaces. We only had time for one cold beer then hit the road. Nice 200 mile ride, and back to the canyons of Ransom. Remember, it doesn't matter where you ride to and from, just so you ride. Riding a Hog is like sex, you can just go so long without and then YOU NEED IT!!!!

Did I mention that bowling doesn't suck after all, you guessed it, I had a good night last Wednesday and so did my partner. We won 3 out of 4, and my average was above my posted average. Just like I said on my "bowling sucks" report last week, I love the sport of bowling(he he, I didn't really say that). Especially when I knock those damn stupid looking pins down. Sometimes you just want to run down the alley and kick the hell out of them. Now to see what happens this next Wednesday. The whole key to bowling is to knock down all ten of the pins on the first ball, then if you don't do that knock down 9 of them and get that last one and you are working on the highest possible score with a spare. Now that I have it figured out, I will love the sport again. Bowling is somewhat negative in that if it was real positive it would only give you one ball to start with, assuming you would always get the STRIKE!!! The power of positive thinking would prevail!!

In going back over some of my old posts I have noticed my sense of humor has diminished to some degree. Can't figure out what has happened but I do know that in the future I will get back to some fun stuff and quit taking everything so serious. After all, life can be a bitch and then you die! Some famous person probably said that!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

300th tri now official, New marriage philosophy, Movie Review

Well it is official that the results have been published and the Texas Tech Rec triathlon will go into my day timer as the 300th tri completed. While all of the things that I mentioned in the previous post did happen, I decided to go ahead and count it since it was really an official triathlon of swim, bike and run, and the official results were corrected and posted. The other screw ups were there but can happen in any race, plus the race director did publish an apology, of sorts, for the screw ups. The results showed that I finished 2nd in a 10 year spread age group, so that wasn't too bad and I will take it. Of course that is another rub since most races have 5 year age group spans. I do remember, however, when the top age group was 45 and over. One year I was 15 years past the top age group and finished 6th out of 21. What this really means is that the competition is somewhat lean, if an ole athlete can finish this high. But, I will take the medal and go away grinning, since I know that Rip's Truck stop cafe is next with two fried eggs over easy, hash browns, wheat toast, sausage, grape jelly, orange juice, and a small glass of milk. Wow, what a day!!!

The next subject is somewhat deeper than I really wanted for today, but it has been on my mind for the past few days and I wanted to share it with my vast reading audience. Since I have been involved in the sanctity of marriage for over 43 years(44 in October), with three completely different great women, I feel I have some real life experience to base my new marriage philosophy on. Plus the fact that the current, "till death do us part", just seems to work 50% of the time in the first marriage and 40% of the time in second marriages, and God forbid what the percent is beyond that. So, I think it is time for someone to step up and offer a new plan. Also, I am working on a new book called "Flags" that will also help to institute this new philosophy. On top of that there hasn't been anything done quite like this in the past and the current "how to stay married" books are sure not working. The goal and purpose of my new book is to draw from the marriage intendees on how to spot "bad" flags in a potential marriage relationship. By seeing these flags in the beginning it will give the two potential marriage partners something to think about. Now I also know that love and lust, and the love of lust will sometimes just over shadow any negative flag, I feel that if even 1 bad marriage is prevented it will be worthwhile. One person who has looked at my "Flags" checklist ask, "what are you trying to do, prevent marriage?" My reply is no, "I am trying to prevent divorce." Here is what I suggest to make this marriage thing a more workable institution and who knows, maybe even more enjoyable. First, I think the marriage license should be much harder to obtain. It has been said that if it was as hard to get into marriage as it is to get out of marriage, more people would think with their brains instead of their sexual organs. Next I would highly recommend that the marriage license would be issued on a renewable term. Just like your automobile license, yep you might even throw in an annual inspection to make it even more valid, i.e. weight gain, bad habits becoming worse, new habits becoming abusive, etc. I would recommend that the first term of the license be for two years, with the option to renew every two years up to ten. Now when it reaches ten years it really gets good. Between ten and twenty years there will be the one year option to end it all with a 30 day notice, no questions ask. After twenty years it now moves to a 30 day notice, no questions ask, etc. The other good news here is that there will be no divorce courts, no lawyers, no hassle of division of assets, simply because the law will be, "50/50" split of all assets or the contesting party goes to prison for 10 years. No matter when the assets were acquired or how, remembering all along that with the use of the "Flags" formula each party would know about the financial situation of the other, so no surprises here. After 30 years the 30 day notice goes to 10 days, with the same stipulations as above. After 30 years of marriage, God save the King, because after that length of time what I see in long term marriages consists of the following: they are still madly in love and enjoy each other, have grown together through the marriage(the ultimate reason, in my opinion, to get married) and will be mentioned extensively in "Flags", they have not done the above and hate each other, they put up with each other and stay together because that is what society expects them to do, they stay together for the kids(who are now adults and maybe in their second marriage already, so this is not a good excuse), a combination of all of the above. The actual percentage of "happy" marriages for this length of time is really hard to gauge, but there are some so it is not hopeless. Now when you the see the 50 year marriages they will be allowed to set their own rules, short of murder. If a couple stay together this long then they should be allowed to set their future destiny. There are many more long term marriages ending in divorce that ever before. The main reason for that is that with our more open society they are more prone to admit and accept the fact they should have done this a long time ago. In conclusion to this grand new plan, I realize there are a few quirks to work out, but I am committed and will reveal more in the new book, "Flags." Be on the look out for it.

Movie Review: "The Brave One", ****, Boy Jodie Foster is a great actress, but she plays such stressful roles I don't see how she stays sane. After she and her fiance are brutally attacked while on an innocent walk in the park(forgot to mention, a New York park), and he dies while she recovers(physically at least), she decides to deal a little misery herself. She becomes the vigilante of New York City killing bad guys at random, while finally having a chance to put away the really bad guys who beat her and killed her mr. right. Terrence Howard plays the police detective that becomes her friend and I have to leave it there, so you can go see the ending. It is a good one. Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality.

Off to ride the Hog,


Monday, September 24, 2007

300th tri(not), JD's, Movie reviews

Well Sunday was to be the big day, complete that 300th triathlon for the ole greerman, imprint it in my brain, pound my chest, brag a little, take my shower, collect my award, ride the Hog to JD's and really celebrate with a burger and a(some) beers, and then move on to the next subject at hand. After all I have been working on accomplishing this little known goal of mine for over 20 years and if I hadn't been writing them down in my day timers I wouldn't know myself the exact number. While I know the rest of the world really doesn't care, but it was my little badge of courage that I have displayed, meaning quantity rather than quality. I say that simply because I have never considered myself a triathlete(and my times over the years have substantiated that statement) but simply an athlete that does triathlons. There is a big difference between the two and I say this so the naysayers who claim slow moving triathletes are that way because they don't train hard enough. One time I got into a debate with a runner who consistently ran 5:30 minute miles while racing and he stated I should be running the same times. I explained that I would love to but it just didn't work with my body and cardio makeup, not to mention that I was blessed with lots of fasttwitch fibers(yep faster than a speeding bullet for 100 yards, but a real egg layer after that). He then said I was full of it and just didn't train hard enough. My next question to him was simply, well you run 5:30 minute miles consistently why don't you run 4:00 minutes miles the same way? He looked surprised that I would ask such a stupid question and said, "well I can't run that fast." Duh, my point for all of us not being created the same to compete at the same level. So, over the years I have accepted that fact and have gone out to do as well as I can, enjoy the scenery, enjoy collecting whatever hardware I can and feeling like I have done the best I can do with what I have to work with. Now back to my original subject, titled 300th tri(not). Sunday morning was great, around 65 degrees, no wind, somewhat cloudy skies, no wind, and the time to rumble looked like it would make for a great day of racing. I felt great, had the legs shaved, had the new Speedo skin suite, my body felt great, my mind was in order, my bike looked very fast and it was going to be a great day for an athlete to complete his 300th triathlon. This event is put on by the Texas Tech Rec center and all of the race is on the campus, with the swim(400 meters) in the beautiful Aquatic Center, and the bike staying on the campus with 5 laps totaling 12 miles and the run of 3 miles concluding around the Rec Center. All of this sounds peaches and cream and up to this point it was; however, little did we know that it would turn to disaster due to poor planning and poor execution by the race director. The first thing that got her was the fact that she had more people than ever(160) and it seemed to put her in a bad mood(and all of the past 18 years as a race director I thought that is what we hope to accomplish), then she changed the course to improve the safety issues but made it more un-safe than ever before. The next boo boo was the confusion in the transition area, and you say, "how can you screw up a transition area with only 160 people?" Trust me it can be done and sure as Hitler was an Austrian, it was screwed up. If Coach Knight was in charge of this or even competing in it he would have been having a stroke for lack of proper preparation and would have been kicking butt big time. The next screw up on the food chain of buffoons was the fact that they ran out of water and support on the run course, plus the fact the counters for the bike laps lost count of many of the inexperienced athletes. My experience over the years, remember 299 tri's finished to date, told me to count my own laps and make sure the counters got me each time I went around, or I would be totally frustrated with the results. Speaking of results, they of course screwed those up for most everyone. They completely missed the timing aspect of putting on races. Even though I had my time, simply because I always time myself knowing that timing can be screwed up as it was today. Now the crowning blows comes when, after waiting for over an hour the race director comes storming out with the results(this is after they have taken over an hour to give away stuff like water bottles, like we don't have plenty of these), reads the Overall Winner at 33 minutes. He goes and says, "no way could that be right, that was my bike time only." Now the setting is set for the race director to explain that they had way more entries than normal, and that many of us didn't know how to count the laps on the bike and to top it off the results would not be ready until Wednesday and do not call, write, send smoke signals, go to the web site, or have any type of contact with her. She would work on getting them finished whenever she could get to it. Now, I guess you think she took the time to thank all of us for being there and hoped we returned for next year, not no, but HELL no she didn't say that. We had inconvenienced her by signing up, showing up, racing hard and then we get left with no left overs, since there weren't any to start with. Now maybe you see my point, I will travel to anywhere USA to do my 300th and I will not count this poor excuse for a race, even though I finished and may have even won my age group, by swimming, biking and running with a finish time of 1:16:52. In conclusion, there is no excuse for such mediocracy. This race director has put on many races and they have never been this bad, but the fact that there was more of a challenge with more numbers there was just no allowance made for this, nor was there any care. My advice for the future is to completely ignore the Texas Tech Rec Center Triathlon and just stay home and do some serious training.

After the abortion of a triathlon we donned the leathers, climbed on the Hog and went to the canyons and ended up at JD's Bar and Grill for a burger and some cold beer. When we entered there were a few tables of Hog riders, smoking, drinking cold beer and probably telling some lies. I noticed that the bar was actually empty of patrons and JD was not there. Usually he is there sitting in the middle of the bar with his cigarette and handy drink in hand holding JD's Bar and Grill court. But, not today so it just didn't seem the same. After a while I took note of some of the surroundings and noticed that the front window had a gun shot hole in it, guess business had been busy and I hope JD was not the proud receiver of the gun shot. After two beers and the arrival of the hamburger I looked up and JD entered the bar. He had a quart of Crown Royale, a cigarette hanging out his mouth, long hair down to his shoulders, full beard, black cowboy hat, jeans, and black boots. He took his place in the middle of the bar, got a glass of ice, poured it to 3/4 full of Crown, then filled it with something healthy like diet Coke or something. By now the bar was filling up and he was telling the tales that everyone expected and if they didn't like it then take another drink and it will make more sense. Now my hamburger had been consumed and the third cold beer was making history in my digestive track and I was ready to hit the road. As I left, JD said, "thanks and come back soon." Now that is real customer service and maybe the race director for the Tech Rec will venture into JD's sometime in the future. I hope it isn't while I am there though!!

Movie Review: "3:10 to Yuma" *****, great Western presented in a different way and well written. Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda and Ben Foster give great performances. Crowe plays the real bad, bad villain. A ruthless thief, murderer, and head of a ruthless gang of guys who do the same. He is then captured, accidentally, and the good guy volunteers to help escort him to the next train out of Yuma leaving at, guess what time, yep you got it, 3:10. Bale plays the good guy, Crowe the real real bad guy, Fonda the nearly bad guy, and Foster the real bad guy. Lots of shooting, killing blood, no sex that I remember, no nudity that I remember, just some good ole western action. Rated R for violence(I guess killing people is somewhat violent), and some language.

Movie Review: "Mr. Woodcock", ****, Very funny movie with Billy Bob Thornton at his best(maybe, but at least one of his best). If you like Billy Bob you will love this, if you don't like him then don't go see it. He plays a life long junior high gym teacher who takes sadistic glee in tormenting and humiliating the young teens assigned to his gym class. Seann William Scott plays one of his former students, who is a very successful author, that comes back home to receive a very prestigious award for his accomplishments. When he arrives he finds that his widowed mother is dating Mr. Woodcock(wait till you relate his name to his most noteworthy activity) and the fun begins from there. Very funny movie with a good story line and a message, believe it or not. PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic material, language and a mild drug reference.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Bowling, Movie Review

Bowling sucks!! No, that is not correct, bowing does not suck, my bowling sucks! I have always heard that bowling is like golf, it is a eye to hand coordination thing and that is the secret to having the highest score in bowling or the lowest score in golf. Well on Wednesday if the eye to hand coordination was the key to knocking down the pins, my eyes were in Juarez and my hands were in Hamburg since nothing seemed to work. Generally when the going gets tough and the Coors silver bullet begins to tap in the pins tend to fall, but no matter how cold the beer was it just didn't click. The other thing that usually happens is the one bad game happens, then bingo the other two are good. But, not this week! It just wasn't made to be and now I am looking forward to next week to redeem myself. Also, what happens is your partner will tend to go in the same direction, again must be the eye watching the bad bowling and the hand guiding the ball into the gutter. Oh well, the beer was cold, the popcorn was fresh, the fellowship was great and there will be a next week. I keep telling my hands and eyes, just knock down the damn pins, that is the whole idea. Sometimes those pins seem to have a smirk on their face and just stand up firm and like at attention in the military. Next week the M & M team will get some revenge.

Movie Review: "Becoming Jane", ****, Somewhat of a girlie movie, but a true story and a very good one. No action, sex, bad language, nudity or anything like that. So, you ask how did that happen in this day in time? The title's Jane is Jane Austen, portrayed by Anne Hathaway, a young girl who defies the wishes of her mother to become a writer, and never marries. The story is sound and well presented, and the acting is great. Rated PG-brief nudity(must have been asleep at the switch, I don't remember any nudity), mild language(again, no memory of more than, "oh gosh." A movie to go see after seeing all of the shoot 'em ups, car crashes, cussing, etc.


Friday, September 07, 2007

5 and 2 minute friendships, Movie reviews

This past Labor Day weekend was great for riding the Hog and seeing the Rockies. After loading up the saddles bags, putting on the leather and filling up with gas I headed North to that beautiful state of Colorado. My journey took me to Colorado Springs first, then to Cripple Creek than on to Ft. Collins. It just so happened that they were having a nice motorcycle rally called, "Thunder Mountain" with up to 100,000 bikes coming in from all over the country. It was a special trip since my ole buddy Steve Locke(yea, that same guy of USAT executive director fame, who led the Federation to greatness, richness, and is a shoo in for the new Hall of Fame) and I were to team up our Hogs and head to the mountains for some cool riding. We did do that for 3 days and wrapped it up with a ride through the Rocky Mountain National Park. Extremely breath taking with a total elevation of 12,020, no guard rails on some of the ascent and spectacular scenery. At times it actually looked like a painting instead of the real thing. There were also times when it was somewhat scary, like what happens if I get too close to the edge or what happens if I have a blow out, or what happens if I just decide to fly off of that dude. Well, getting a little carried away here and not any of those thoughts really came to mind(he he). Now, the rest of the story. During this little excursion I noticed that people would want to make conversations in various situations that I decided to make note of and label, 5 and 2 minute friendships. By this I would mean there would be conversation for about that period of time and then off on the continuation of the trip. Most of the conversation was like useless and trivial, but did happen none the less. My first encounter was during the stopping of the Hog to put on my rain suit for the first time. This was just before entering Dumas, Texas and with a giant cloud in front of me I elected to be dry than wet, so I pulled over. Since I ride by myself it was an easy decision and didn't take a committee to figure it out. After I started putting the suit on I looked back and there were two motorcycles who pulled over and decided to do the same thing. They engage in the typical conversation, "where you from, where you going?, etc." After this little chit chat we were on our way(even though I did say, quite prophetically,"it damn sure better rain after all this work getting this thing on." I decide then to label this kind of talk as the 5 minute friendship, trivial stuff but it only lasts 5 minutes. Funny thing is I saw this same pair at a gas station about an hour later, so we engaged in more trivial stuff, then went on our way. My next friendship came at the park bench in Cripple Creek, while making a phone call on the trusty ole cell phone I noticed three seniors making out a picnic lunch from one of those wicker lunch baskets. It was a complete meal and definitely not from the bearded KFC guys' place. My phone call was a bout 20 minutes and they ate through the whole thing. After I finished the call I walked by their table and said, "boy that looked good, wish I had been invited to join you, I am so hungry." Well they were surprised that I said this, but did want me to join them(not really but felt they should since I must have looked hungry). I said thanks but no thanks I had some riding to do. In passing one of the ladies said, "nice outfit" referring to my black leathers. What a group, this might have potential for a 10 minute friendship, but left anyway to ride the Rockies. The came the BMW rider with the real bad hair day. I mentioned that I was having a real bad hair day and he agreed, but he should have looked in the mirror to really appreciate what I was getting at. Then as I was checking out of the hotel the next morning a real nice looking lady was sitting in the hotel lobby and said, "I really like how you are dressed and that black leather looks great."(What is the deal here??, Never had this happen before!!). I thanked her, reduced the swelling in my head and ego with a swig of chocolate milk and climbed on the Hog. While on my way to Ft. Collins I stopped to fill up and some guy pulled up to the pump behind me. He was a cowboy for sure and said, "nice bike, great day for a ride." I told him thanks and that I always wanted a horse instead of the Hog, but never seemed to get one. He said he had always had a horse and wanted a Hog, but never seemed to get one. We exchanged more trivial then off to the rest of the Rockies. While shopping at the expo for more black leather and other stuff a lady approached me and said, "do you know who you look like?" Well since I generally get this question at least once a day, on my travels, I said yes, "either Kris Kristosterson, or Willie Nelson, depending on whether I have my beard or my black hat on). She chose Kris and her daughter chose Willie. Go figure!! But, they had their picture made with me in either setting, I bought something from them and then off to the rest of the show. Now I think you see how these 5 minute friendships work. My 2 minute friendships worked a little different and involved 2 senior men(at least 65, white tennis shoes, polyester pants, for this label). One approached me in the 7/11 while I was filling up with gas, he said,"nice boots, I like those!" I said thanks and that I like to have plenty of protection for my feet. At the next fill up some 150 miles South another senior came up and said, "man I like that motorcycle and how long does it take to get it so clean?" I was a little taken by that question since the Hog was quite dirty from going through a mountain rain. I just said, "an hour and a half and I need to get on it now, plus I said thanks!" Now these friendships are nice and this is the first time I have taken notes on them, but it became very amusing after a while. This made a great trip even greater and I appreciate the hospitality of the Lockeman, and look forward to our next ride up and down Highway I in California.

Movie reviews: "Death At A Funeral", half star, A British movie with strange twist of humor about the death of their friend. Hard for me to understand because of the accents, but I did get the idea. Off the wall, sick humor in some cases, not worth seeing. Wish I had my money back. Went to see it in one of those older movie houses to show the off the wall stuff. While I noticed a lot of people laughing I just didn't think it was that funny.

"September Dawn", * One star for great popcorn and great acting. A really depressing movie based on true facts from Mormon history. The story was about the Mount Meadow Massacre in 1857, a real dark spot in Mormon history and one they just soon forget and wished everyone else had. Even if only half was true the story is very depressing and just wasn't enjoyable. I was interested in it since I had been associated with the Mormon's for a number of years and wanted to see how this was handled on the silver screen. Brigham Young was really sour in this one, of course with 27 wives who could blame him. Save your money, don't even buy the DVD.

For today,