Monday, September 29, 2008

Let's face it, animal attacks are fascinating. You may remember my last post related to this subject, a lion attacking a woman. For those of you who have forgotten, you can find that cinematic masterwork by CLICKING HERE. Now, I give you a Great White Shark, attacking a jogger on a beach. Watch at your own discretion....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Man's Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places by Mark Jenkins

Some of you may remember my review of Mark Jenkins' The Hard Way, a book I absolutely LOVED! I am happy to report that A Man's Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places continues those impressions, and that Mark Jenkins is quickly solidifying his place as one of my favorite authors.

Jenkins tells of his adventures on India's Road of Blood, dodging that deadliest of all creatures, Indian drivers. He takes us exploring ice caves in Greenland, and with him on his jaunts into war-torn Afghanistan, along a forgotten trail in the Wakhan, connecting Afghanistan and China. He introduces us to his childhood friends as well as his heroes (remember when we had those?), especially Antoine de Saint-Exupery, he of The Little Prince fame, who also wrote books about his adventures of flying as a pilot in the period surrounding the two World Wars (I've added Wind, Sand and Stars and Flight to Arras to my list, based on Jenkins' recommendation). And, just when you think the man can't sit still, Jenkins goes to a meditation class, and while he fidgets (believe me, I understand) he learns the deeper mystery of being still, especially in one's mind, and that in many ways his adventures have been a form of meditation all along.

The thing I like about Jenkins is he is not a reckless adventurer, like those imbecile numbskulls we see on television who attempt simply stupid tasks for the camera. What emerges from all of Jenkins' writings is his love of the places he visits, and the respect he has for the people he meets (Indian drivers notwithstanding). He learns things from his travels, from the people, and he conveys them in a language that is at once frank yet poetic in its masculinity.

Jenkins' writing reminds me of the desire for adventure that beats in the hearts of all men, in my heart, a desire that cannot be squashed by the 9-to-5 life of cubicle land and the dull, dim glow of fluorescent lights. He tells us to find adventure wherever we are, to seek it out, and that adventure is even better when it's shared with a really good traveling companion. Lastly, we are served the final course, a strong message that our lives here have a finite beginning and end, but that a life lived with adventure, defined by our relationship to the people we meet, is a life well lived.

Last year, I told you to get The Hard Way for the men in your life. This year, get them A Man's Life. And, go make some time to get out...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Little Fish on the RUN!!!!

My daughter, Little Fish, decided that she was going to go out for cross country for the fifth grade squad this year. This is something of a stretch for her, as she is more of the artsy-fartsy, creative-genius-type. I was really glad to hear she was looking into competing in a sport, and cross country, with its penchant for building self-reliance and the ability to build focus seemed like an awesome choice for her.

This weekend was her VERY FIRST RACE--the PAN-RAM Invitational.

We got to the venue at about 8.45 am (for a 10.00 start) and got her squared away with registration. Then we did the official pinning of the number -- GO 90!!!

Typical of cross country events, they also had a walking of the 1.3 mile course so the kids knew where to run. It was a nice course around the CD East ballfields.

Coach B. had the kids stretch out (MY HAMMIES!)...

...and then led them in a little pep talk.

Moments later they lined up on the lawn...

....and BANG! they're off...

Little Fish running the course...

...powering through....

...and FINISHING!!!!

Cool down...

And the obligatory TEAM PIX!

To say that I am proud of my daughter is an understatement. Her first race was a 1.3 miler and she had an (unofficial) time of 13:15. Way to GOOOOOOO Little FISH!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008


When I was a kid, I used to love reading about Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster and of course the Jersey Devil. Those early fascinations have continued to the present day, and I have added to my list, aliens, Yetis, and the goat-sucking pig-dog of the southwest, the Chupacabra. Well, it seems someone has seen one, and got it on tape. I have to admit, the first time I saw the alleged Chupacabra turn its head, I got a little freaked out...too cool:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weird Meeting...

I went to visit a new potential client today. When I told the receptionist who I was, she got a funny look on her face, then said, "Ummmmmmmm, he no longer works here." Then this guy pokes his head out of a back office and comes forward to introduce himself as "Bill" and asks what we're there for.

I tell him and and he says, "Ummmmmmmm, he no longer works here."

Yeah, I kind of got that. So they offer to try to track down the President for me (cool) but no one can find him. Okkkkkaaaaaaayyyyy...So as I'm talking to Bill and the receptionist, this dusty old guy sort of materializes beside me. Like, one second he's not there, then the next second he is there. It was really kind of spooky.

So I introduce myself and my company. Turns out he's "Harry-the-Musty-Controller". I would have guessed disheveled lawn ornament, but okay. "So, what are you guys, like, headhunters," he asks.

I explain that I actually find the jobs for my headhunters to put the people into the positions. "Oh," he replies. I turn to say something to Bill and Harry-the-Crusty-Controller just as quickly disappears. I honestly don't know how big people do that, but when I turned back, there was no sign of him.

The whole thing was odd and would have been uncomfortable had I not been so totally amused by the entire process. I got the impression that my contact had been terminated and it was in a very public, obvious and embarrassing way, so much so that even the secretary knew what was going on. I still wonder what he could have done that was so bad that he got fired, while Harry-the-Dusty-Controller kept his...

Little Fish is on the Run!!!

So, my daughter signed up for Middle School Cross Country. She set her first goal to be able to run around the track twice (half-mile) and today she did it. She was so proud of herself, but not nearly as proud as I was of her. Next weekend she has her first race. Go Little FISH!!!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Team Fish 2008!

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who made the LiveSTRONG Challenge such a HUGE success this year. Together, we raised over $4,000, part of Philadelphia's nearly $3,000,000 total!

Team Fish or Cut Bait 2009 is:
Mrs. Fish and Little Fish -- I couldn't have done any of this without you! No words can describe riding in and hearing your cheers for me, know we've come two years TOGETHER August 14, 2006. I love you!
Pat Duffield -- Rider! "I'm glad my bruzher Pat is here!"
Kurt Enck -- Rider! Semper Fidelis.
Mike Haws -- Rider! No hills next year!
Matt Purdue -- Missing Wingman. Next year!
Mom and Dad -- I missed you this year, but will be looking for you at the finish line next year. Keep fighting, Mom!
The Schmidts -- Thank you for everything, from Day 1 to this
Anthony Schroder -- For Susan Schroder who was one tough cookie. Thanks for the strength she lent me.
Brad Smith -- Love to you and Y and the family.
John Erno -- A huge thank you, brother.
Amy Beamer -- For Philip Beamer. Thanks for being with me, my friend.
Karen Collum -- Thank you for everything. I rode proudly for Tim.
Mila Burgess -- I was proud to ride for your Dad
Joe Laubach -- Thank you, my friend and brother
Mark Hays -- And Little MAH. Wookie riders rule.
The Weigles -- Thanks for your toughness, and your strength
The Kiehls -- Thanks, C&L. It meant so much to have you with me.
Mary Moscarello -- M&M, of the fighting Moscarellos: you rock!
The Kieffs -- Thank you so much for being part of this with me, from that first day to this one.
Lisa and Joe -- I thought of you more than once out there. Thanks for your strength.
James Newman -- Dude!!! Thanks so much for supporting me...
Elizabeth Schindler -- Thanks so much, volleyball (O Captain, My Captain) girl!
Jenny -- For your brother and for your mom. I would LOVE to have you ride with us next year!
Eric Martin -- I had no quit in me
George and Da Behrs -- I would love to have a Behr to ride with the Fishes next year...
Greg Woods -- For John Woods. Thanks so much, brother.
Leigh Wheeler -- Thanks, Oregon!!! I was proud to have you with me.
Neil Davies -- It was an honor to ride for William Mills
Kathy Carnes -- For Donald, who remains with us in so many ways
Bill Moore -- Phew. That was a close shave. Thanks for your incredible support, and for the squirrel.
Bob Devlin -- Score one for the Old Guys.
Sara and the Maschos -- Not a band. Thank you so much for supporting me once again.
Melody Brown -- For Mickey Davis. I felt his strength and his love of riding out there.
Christopher Bathke -- It was my distinct honor to have you on the team, and to ride for Janice Carter
Aoife and Otto Hammersmith -- I'm still seeing Otto in the mask, chasing me up the hills. Eek!
Kristen Schulltz -- Thank you for your amazing spirit and kindness
Amy Lennon -- Thank you so incredibly much for being part of the team
Lisa Mowery -- If we survived Idearc, I can certainly get through a 100 mile bike ride: Easy-peasy
Brad Morgan -- I'm thinking you need to get your butt on your scooter for next year. Just sayin'...
John "Mahler" Gesselberty -- Mahler's tears cure cancer. Too bad Mahler has never cried.
Terri Doyle -- It was my honor to ride for Christine "Lucy" Rusher, and for you, BUNNY, who continue to be an inspiration and a source of strength to so many, including me. Keep fighting!
Tim Bellows -- For William Owen and William L. Bellows, Jr.
Timothy Bechen -- Thank you so much for supporting me this year
The LOML Marotos -- For Louise Longstreth and for Joe Matthews, and for mouthwateringness everywhere.
James Dunn...It's just a short step from sprint tris to century rides, you know?
Cdaddy Glatz -- For Jay. I thought of him a lot as I rode through the wooded sections, knowing he would have been off-trail in those areas.
Beth Reed -- Thank you so much for supporting me again, my Irish friend.
Janet Lemon -- When life gives you Lemons, make Snapdragens. The world needs more Snapdragens. Thanks for being with us, again.
Julie Keen -- Thank you for kicking me off this year!
Arsiyanti Ardie -- It was so incredible to have Yantilicious on Team Fish. Keep fighting your fight, sister!
Kacy Englebrook -- Thanks for the shaving tips! You soooo need to join us in 2009!
Delfin Hernandez -- thank you so much for your kind support
The Iowa Chapter of Team Fish -- A huge "Thank You, Baby!!!" Granted, it was a close shave in some spots. Your support means the world to me.

It's inevitable that I've forgotten someone. If it's you, PLEASE accept my apologies, then PM me, e-mail me or send a carrier pigeon/letter-bomb to let me know so I can put you up here. Thanks again, Team Fish.

Planning for 2009 has already begun! Wanna fight?

How to Kill Someone With a Carrot

Little Fish is in a movie with her friend...awfully funny, in my opinion.

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Sorry it's been a while, but it's the first weeks of school for (not so) Little Fish as she heads off to fourth grade. I'm not sure when I got so old, only that I am. Here she goes on the first day...