My 20 Things

imageHere is my current list of 20 Things I look forward to in the paradise: (subject to change ;))

  1. Catching up on sleep and feeling rested
  2. Meeting Jonah
  3. Playing with a Grizzly Bear
  4. Waking up feeling better than when I was 18
  5. The removal of Satan and the pressure of his influence
  6. Surfing in warm water with Dutch and the boys
  7. Teaching my Dad the truth
  8. Health for my beautiful wife
  9. Meeting my family all the way back to Noah, talking to the ones who may haveimage known Jesus and even Noah
  10. The removal of our sinfulness
  11. Working on a very large project if there is one
  12. Making outstanding beverages
  13. Playing an instrument or 10
  14. Seeing resurrected ones coming to love and appreciate Jehovah
  15. Going on a long camping trip with 30 of my best friends
  16. Seeing the 24 Elders do their work
  17. Always being joyful
  18. Being a person that makes Jehovah happy all the time
  19. Seeing Jesus turning turning over the Kingdom to Jehovah
  20. Actually being able to directly communicate with Jehovah

Found: My 2005 NYC Marathon account

NOVEMBER 6, 2005

NYC Marathon logo

I was bib number 33504 for the 2005 NYC Marathon.  It was my first but probably not my last (editors note, it is now 2014 and this probably will be my only Marathon, a 1/2 Marathon is another story), I don’t know my official time yet, (will fill it in later) but it was over 4 hours.  

Today, I hurt, no pain killer though (editors note, I wonder why?), Sitting in the airplane seats kind of stiffens you up and I am walking about like an 80 year old.  The books say for some, many, maybe most, running a marathon is a life changing event.  Not for me though (ed. Now having a child, that is a different story!), Never thought I wouldn’t finish, only if I had an injury.  Maybe I wouldn’t call it fun, rather motivating.  Motivating to do better,  motivating to be different than the average, motivated to “keep moving forward”, as my friend Lee Zinser says.  I had hoped for a time under 4 hours but the 93% humidity and 71 degree weather temp spoiled that.  It must have been great spectator weather.  

We arrived 6 days before the event and had awesome weather.  The first 2 days upstate at Wallkill were superb with glorious weather and very colorful fall foliage.  In fact, the night after the marathon, at our victory party at the Clinton Cafe in Cobble Hill, it started to rain and the streets were carpeted with newly fallen leaves.  We couldn’t have asked for anything more.  It was exciting during the race to see Jenny and John Wolff at mile 7 and mile 25.  Just missed them at mile 17.  That was a miserable mile.  In fact, once we started crossing into Manhattan at the bridge at around mile 15, it was hard going for me.  I had a few spurts of energy, but I was mostly hungry.  Not sure a 10:10 start time is preferred.  
Spectators handed out orange slices, which were perfect, I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie from a stranger at around mile 18 and some double mint gum from someone in Harlem, could have been poison, I didn’t care.  In fact in Brooklyn, just before Williamsburg I saw spectators at outdoor diners, right there on the race route eating.  I think fried chicken.  I really wanted to sit and join them.  New York City really supported the race.  The most exciting time was when we entered Manhattan.  We could hear the roar as we crossed the bridge coming in, it was thrilling.   

The crowds of participants in the race were amazing.  Shoulder to shoulder the whole race.NYC Marathon crowds on Avenue  When a straight road dipped, you could see thousands upon thousands of people in front of you. In fact, they limited how fast you could go.  You had to weave in and out of the racers.  I was with about 50 people who were weaving through the ‘slower than 4 hour’ crowds. until about mile 14, than i lost them.  Running through the water stations seemed hazardous due to the sheet number of racers.  Crushed wet cups all underneath your feet, it felt really slick.  I didn’t see anyone fall but I guessed anywhere after mile 18, if I was to fall, I would just assume stay down.  Glad I didn’t fall.  I never really had to use any of the mental techniques the books talked about.  Coach Ripley had some in some races you have to piece it together to finish.  I started thinking that was true as the urge to walk would come over me.  It was a mental battle.  I only had general pain, and no specific pain, so I did not think there was any need to stop.  It was just the subconscious exerting it’s power over the body.  The moment you stopped concentrating, after mile 18, the body would stop to walk.  Also the mind would say, I”ll get to the Bronx and only walk there, or, at the next mile marker I am going to walk a little.  I stopped running and started walking, probably 5 times after mile 18.  Never for that long though.  Finally after mile 24.5 I willed my body to quit stopping and run to the finish.  
I loved the signs people held up, “Pain is temporary, but Glory is forever”.  It is true about the pain, but when your in the midst of pain, that is little comfort.  Especially when I would think this is my first marathon so all I need to do is finish, why worry about a fast time.  That was true.  It think with a marathon, that is always the case.  But my friend Laura, who also ran the race was disappointed with her 4:50 time.  She was an experienced marathoner and really wanted to beat me.

Lee really wanted to beat 5 hours, he did it in 5:02.  Coach Ripley qualified for the Boston for the second time and proved himself to be a true marathoner.  Ralph Goedecke distinguished himself once again as support crew extraordinaire.  Both by getting us to the start on time and for holding balloons and cheering at the half way points as well as having the van ready at the finish.  All in all it was a memorable experience Despite not remember much of the specifics, the race seemed to go by in a blur, although I would swear time slowed down between miles 22-24 (Those took forever).


Things I miss as I get older or Glory Days

Today, I ran one of the fastest 2.5 miles I have run in a long time. It created a flash back to a favorite memory of my past, breaking bikers on the run to Brooklyn, on the Brooklyn Bridge. Let me explain. I used to live and work in Brooklyn Heights, and after work, after quickly changing, I would run the Brooklyn Bridge. It was always an adventure, from model shoots to tourists to panhandlers, there was always something happening. But, what I loved the most was what happened at the halfway point. When I finished the run from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I would “stretch” at the steps that went down toward South Street Seaport. What I was really doing was waiting for a biker who was riding back over the bridge to Brooklyn, and it never was a long wait. Let it beginMy goal was to see if I could ‘break a biker” before they made it to the top of the bridge, the ultimate would be to beat them all the way to Brooklyn, that did not happen often. I would let them get a little lead but then I would start reeling them in, a jogger racing a biker. About a quarter of the way up, inevitably they would feel me kind of close to them and the reactions would start. Usually, they would start pedaling harder, almost as if it was an insult to have a runner pass them. The slight uphill elevation usually allowed me to catch them. The reactions were priceless. Most people would just stop riding, get off their bike and start pushing or get off the bike and tie their shoe, or adjust their back pack. Some would start furiously pedaling to beat me to the peak, because it was downhill from there. My favorite was the guys who would start cheering me on, “go man go”, “dont give up”, “push it”. With these bikers, a camaraderie had been formed. With the others, not so much. At the top of the bridge, with the inspiring view of Brooklyn Heights in front, and about a pack of cigarettes worth of vehicle exhaust on the roadway below, gravity switched sides, they knew it, and I knew it. This was when I would run as hard as I could, but I knew they were coming, they always came. Of course pedaling downhill, it wasn’t too hard. Again, the reactions were priceless. Tthe funniest would be the trash talk, “You got nothing”, “Choke on my smoke”, “See ya”. Yes, they usually would win the final race, but I can’t imagine the feeling of overtaking a runner going downhill was as satisfying as breaking a biker going uphill. Glory Days

The Delicious French Surprise

We spent one week in Paris in 2000 and if we went back to France, it would be hard to get us to visit any place else.  We followed the advice of the Rick Steves’ Guide to Paris and stayed on the street known as Rue Cler.  We refer to Rue Cler as a foodies Disneyland.


Walking down the Rue was a pleasure, a Charcuterie and a Fromagerie on the left, a Boulangerie and a Wine Shop on the right.  The best rotisserie Chickens I have ever had in  my life on the left, a cart on the right with your choice of Ostrich eggs or quail eggs.  It was amazing.  Someday I will write more about our French Picnics, but today I was reminded of our French surprise on the Rue.  On the Friday morning we noticed stacks and stacks of crates sitting in front of all the cafe’s, Restaurants and Hotels on the Rue.  I thought nothing of it.  The next day the stacks of crates had shrunk.  Again, for some reason, it meant nothing to me.  That afternoon we went to a cafe and noticed next to us a of group of distinguished older women sitting a table loaded with beautifully stacked plates of oysters.  While these women looked distinguished, there actions were that of toddlers at a candy store.  Sheer excitement.  They enthusiastically devoured all of the oysters, not just sipping from the shell, but taking their tiny oyster forks and attacking any part of the oyster that dared remain on the shell.  Well, their enthusiasm spread to us.  My wife and I felt we were being brave and ordered … a dozen.  As we waited for our order to arrive another little old lady next to us had her order delivered “What..hey thats 18!” We felt a little embarassed at our meager dozen.  Finally the plates arrived, they were beautiful.  Three little plates, stacked on metal stands designed just for this occasion, with a small bowl of shallot vinegar and some lemons.  Imitating the experts at the tables around us we started to eat.  Our dozen turned out to be not enough.  The oysters were simply delicious.  It has been described as eating the ocean.  We were hooked.  When we left the cafe it finally dawned on me, those dwindling stacks of crates were the Rue’s oysters for the weekend.  The delicious French surprise.  I wish we had eaten more!

Yes Please

Something that motivates me

I once ran a marathon. That is not what motivates me, in fact I no longer think running a marathon is good for you, but I digress. I ran the NYC Marathon in a 2005.

NYC marathon

Thats a lot of runners

If you are going to run a marathon, this must be one of the best to try. 40,000 runners or so and lots and lots of support. This marathon snakes through all 5 boroughs, starting in Staten Island and ending in Central Park.
What I remember. Right before the race, New York, New York was broadcast on the loudspeakers and many of the runners joined in singing.  At the start of the race, in Staten Island, at some park, all 40,000 runners or so, as they were waiting for the race to start used any and everyplace necessary to relieve themselves. In fact, once the race began, people started pulling up to the side of the road to take care of business, business that usually requires privacy and a newspaper. When running through Queens, there was a pizza shop, it smelled heavenly, people were sitting at outdoor tables watching us run. I wanted to take their pizza and let them try to catch me. When we left Queens, we crossed a bridge and entered into Manhattan, the roar of the crowd, even for us slowbies was amazing. I had to stop at around mile 17 at the “Sponge Bob” refreshment station. Imagine running over 20,000 or so sponge bob sponges. I justified stopping by thinking I was about to fall from the uneven surfaces created by the sponges.
Going through Harlem, one of the thousands of spectators was handing out orange slices, I took one, it was the best orange ever. After that, all the strangers offerings looked great, I took some double mint gum, wow that was perfect. Then we were in Central Park. This is where I was inspired.

You go girl

You go girl

At around mile 25, all of the grandmas and grandpas started passing me. Yes, grandmas and grandpas. It was as if they waited for me to get to mile 25 and decided to rub in my pain by casually gliding by. One, then another, then the whole rest home. At that moment, and to this day, I decided I want to be in that shape when I am that age.
It didn’t necessarily inspire me then, perhaps it made me frustrated, but it inspires me now. I want to be in that kind of shape at that age. Take the pounding, keep at it. That is something that motivates me.

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Just a human

I want to have a place to write, keep track of, and follow items that match my current philosophy on most things in life, and that is, I am, they are, you are just a human. This is not intended to be an insult, rather an explanation.

How does this ‘philosophy’, that is the word I will use for now, manifest itself? Why is this something that needs to be chronicled? Because, understanding this provides not only explanations for things, but ultimately, I want humans to recognize more is needed. To recognize what they see with their own two eyes, and to believe it and trust it. To recognize that humans are very limited and do not have the ability to solve their own problems.

This however is not meant to be discouraging, rather it is meant to set a common ground. It is meant to help people see that if humans are the only creatures that exist in the universe, humans would be doomed. Humans are not the only creatures in the universe. And no, aliens do not exist. What I am referring to is Spirit Creatures. Foremost among them is the Creator of all, The Universal Sovereign.

Now, to go on a religious discussion here would turn off too many people, at least for now. I bring it up though to show why this saying, just a human, is a positive thought to me. The Creator knows we are ‘just human’ and wants to help us, he knows we are ‘just human’ and will fix our problems, he knows we are ‘just human’ and promises to make all of the heartache and pain, from the period of time we are living in, disappear from our memory. He not only provided life, and a wonderful earth for us, but also, after a rebellion, and a choice to rule over ourselves, he provided His Son and the Bible to instruct us and show that he will fix things, and here in November of 2011, we can be sure it is soon.

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What we learn about the Tebow haters

First, I do not believe Tim Tebow, the current starting quarterback for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, belongs to the true Christian religion.

I do, however, root for him.

Partly because, going along with my ‘just a human’ philosophy, most of the “experts” dislike him and think he will fail.

Also, because so far, he makes those so called experts, and many others, we shall call the Tebow haters, look foolish.

Why do I say this? Is it because Tebow throws a very ugly pass, and still wins? No, it is because he is the opposite of what these haters complain about.

The haters hate how, “Tebow thinks God will help him win” and “Tebow is self righteous”, well guess what, Tebow has never said in any interviews I have seen, that God will help him win, and I have never seen him act self righteous…yet. He is an imperfect man, he is just a human, so he could and probably will make some gaffes and mistakes and perhaps even major blunders, but it has not happened yet. He has not said anything rude, or preachy that I have seen. He loves his god, and wants to talk about it, I say let him. The haters talk about all their interests without restraint. They pontificate about morals, and politics and Tebow, and I say let them, but, it does tell us something about them.

We are learning that what really bothers them is that someone can live by his faith, someone does not fall prey to every temptation and that someone is not them. Tim Tebow makes these people upset because they want everyone to roll in the dirt to make themselves feel better.

They want to feel better because not only do they roll in the dirt, but they like the dirt, despite knowing it is dirty.