Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

I received an e-mail this morning with the following quote:

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. Charles Buxton
Boy, this quote really hit home for me. I constantly feel like I have no time to do what I want to do. I feel like I have all my time already scheduled for me. Of course, it is of my own making. I have joined groups and clubs because I wanted to be in them, then I complain that they take up too much time.
An example - tonight I should really go home and either start pricing my items for Bargain Sale or start reading my book for book club. Both events are next week and I need to get these things done. What will I probably do? Sit and watch TV because I am tired and I don't want to do those other things. Then, I will get upset because I don't have time to get anything done. What I need to do is take about a half an hour to get my stuff together for Bargain Sale so I can see what else needs to get done over the weekend. Then I can relax for a bit before I sit down to read my book.
Things might get done if I make the time. Thanks, Charles!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Great Day for a Dog Park

Bill and I did something really fun yesterday. Bill took Misty and Lily to our local dog park, and I joined them on my lunch hour. We had not been to the park in years, but I signed the girls up for the park as soon as we got them. It was the right thing to do.

The dog park has grown and changed so much. Now, there are different areas for large dogs and small dogs. Since both our pups are over 35 pound, they can go in the large dog area. There are trees and grass in that area, as well as a gravelled area. The whole space must be at least the size of a football field. There is a water fountain, and an area with water bowls that I was able to fill for the girls. There are two benches for the parents, as well as a picnic table and a barbecue. The girls loved being off leash in such a big area. We were so proud to see them interact so well with the 5 other dogs that came through the area. There were no dog fights, just pure canine fun. Bill and I enjoyed our lunch on the picnic table while all the dogs wandered around. It was also a nice fall day, so you really couldn't ask for anything more.

It was a wonderful lunch - the perfect way to get out of the office for a bit. I know we will be back often.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Politics on Monday

Here is an e-mail I received today which I found to be interesting:

I'm a little confused. Let's see if I have this straight....

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "different."

Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, -- a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 10,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married heiress Cindy the next month, you're a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA , your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Got My Canes Tickets This Week

My mini season tickets arrived from the Carolina Hurricanes this week. Since Bill will not be attending the games with me this year, I opted for the weeknight package. I will be going to 12 games from October to April. I have some pretty good match-ups, too. I see Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, The angers, and Ottawa just to name a few.

Of course, the excitement of getting the tickets was tempered by the news that one of the top forwards and one of my favorite players, Justin Williams, Will be out 4-6 months for a torn Achilles tendon. This news is doubly horrible since he was just coming back from being out most of last season. I really hope this situation is not an indication of how the Canes season will be this year.

The only good news is that former Cane and one of my all time favorite players, Jeff O'Neill, returned to Raleigh for training camp. With Williams not out, there is a chance that "O" could be back with the team if he has a good camp. Gosh, it would be great to see #92 on the ice again.

Two Dogs walk into a bar

Last weekend, Bill and I took Misty and Lily to our favorite bar, The Flying Saucer. What a great way to combine the things I love - my husband, my dogs, my friends, and beer.

Bill and Terry were supposed to run in the Magnificent Mile race downtown. We thought it was scheduled for 2 pm, and we needed to pick up the packets before the race. So, we headed to town at about 12:30. Misty, Lily, and I were going to show support for the guys. When we arrived at packet pick-up, we found out that their race was at 2:40 pm for the non-competitive race. Well, that left us with lots of time to kill. It was also very, very hot. Bill and I had run the day before as well. Bill finished 21+ miles, and I did a little over 14 miles in the brutal heat. Since it was still so hot, and we had time, we wound up at the Sauce.

As you can imagine, one beer lead to another, which lead to snacks. That lead to us sitting at the bar watching the racers participate in the mile. I think we left just after their race would have started.

Still, the girls had a great time at the bar. They socialized with people, and saw a few other dogs that were on the patio. Misty was so cute that she would stand on the bench so she could be close to us and take part in any conversations. It really was a fun afternoon.

So, two dogs walk into a bar and wind up having a great day.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wrote about politics, why not religion next?

So, I have had occasion this year to go to church twice, which may be a record for me. I was not brought up in a religious family. We never attended a regular Sunday mass, and I could probably count the number of special (Christmas, Easter) services I attended on one hand. Yet, I have been baptised. As you may guess, I have many questions about religion.

I was in church a few weeks ago, and noted that the priest talked about one God. I wonder about that statement. If there is only one God, why are there so many different religions that each believe in different things? We have Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Wicca, Paganism, and the list goes on. So, why is it that the Christian version of God is the correct one? It seems to me that is a bit presumptuous. My very smart husband pointed out that there may be one Supreme Being, but he projects himself in different ways throughout the world. It seems to make sense, but why would he do that? If you were God, wouldn't you want the whole world to worship you and have there be no confusion? Boy, that would solve most of the wars that are fought today.

It is all very confusing to me. I would like to believe that there is a God, and a better place once your time on this planet is over. Maybe religion is something that we as humans cling to so that we can make it through the bad times and the everyday boring stuff. It would stink if you died, and everything just ceased. That makes me wonder about Heaven, but I will leave that for the next entry.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sarah Palin scares the s&^t out of me

The more I hear and read about Sarah Palin, the more she scares me.

There is just about nothing I agree with her about. She is anti-abortion rights. I firmly believe that the choice of terminating a pregnancy or not lies with the parents of child, not the government. She is pro creationism. I do not believe that religious teachings have any part in schools other than history classes. She opposes comprehensive sex education classes in schools. I believe that abstinence should be the main message in sex-ed classes, but birth control also needs to be a topic of the conversation. She opposes gay marriage or any sort of partnership plan for homosexual couples. I think that any two people who want to commit themselves in a loving relationship should be allow to do so, whether they are a man and a woman, or two men or two women. I think they should all have equal rights and it is really not the business of the government.

I also think she has problems with her memory. She was for "the bridge to nowhere" before she opposed it.

It concerns me that the American people are so taken by this woman. It seems they just love her because she is gutsy and tells it like it is. I think she has very little qualifications for the job of VP (she wasn't sure what the VP did all day a few months ago). It also troubles me that she has such a young child. I know, this may set feminism back many years, but I feel that she can't devote time to the position of Vice President when she has a newborn baby with Down's Syndrome. How can you go around the world and be available for your country 24/7 with an infant. I don't think it is fair to either us or her child.

I don't know, maybe I was a 50s housewife before I became a flower child.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

I have probably blogged about this topic before, but I think it bears repeating.

September 1 to January 1 is my absolute favorite time of the year. I have always loved the fall. To me, it seems that all the good stuff happens this time of the year. College football starts (Go Dawgs - #1 this year!), hockey begins in October (the Canes have got to have a better season this year), Bill's birthday is in September, my birthday is in October, the leaves change and fall, the temperatures get cooler, and all the best holidays happen - Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. What's not to love?

Of course, there is a downside. The Junior League also starts. Last night was our first general membership meeting of the year. I had to stand for about 1 1/2 hours to listen to the all the new information for the year. I really began to wonder why I was there and not with my friends at The Sauce. I really think I will like my placement this year - Extra Hands - and working on small volunteer projects that are typically done in one day. I like the idea of being part of the community and helping people in need. I just wish there was not so much bureaucracy and cash outlay involved. Oh well, I am stuck for at least one more year.

This fall is also special for the election of our new President. Must more on that another time...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I did it - RNR Half Marathon Recap

Yes, I did it. I ran in the Rock N Roll half marathon in VA Beach on August 31, 2008. I finished within my personal time goal of 3 hours. I am happy to say my first half marathon was a success.

Bill, Terry, Heather, and I left for VA Beach on Friday. We got a late start and were caught in all of the beach traffic. We arrived around 7 pm, and met up with Michelle and Jon. We were staying at a hotel right on the beach. While the actual hotel was not that nice, the location was wonderful. We walked along the boardwalk until we found a nice seafood restaurant for dinner. After dinner, we enjoyed the music of Starship (oh yeah, We Built this City on Rock and Roll!!) before heading to have more beer.

On Saturday, we all met for breakfast, then headed to the expo to pick up our race numbers. The expo was great. I picked up a few souvenirs, and we all got some freebies and samples. We also got tons of info on other races in the future. After a quick lunch, we headed to the beach. I hung out with Jon and Michelle in the sand, while the remainder of our party hit the surf. We met more friends, Tommy and Dianna with their daughter Caitlin, at an Italian restaurant for carb loading. Sadly, the restaurant was packed and the kitchen got very backed up. Our food took about an hour and a half to arrive. By the time we got back to the hotel, we had missed the Billy Idol concert, my one regret of the weekend.

Sunday morning started early with a 5:15am wake time. We headed to the starting line and each of our individual corrals. Luckily, I saw some friends from the local Galloway program at the expo, so I knew where to meet them. Good thing, too. My Garmin jammed at the start. If I had not found them, I would not have had any way to know when to take walk breaks during the race.

Our corral finally made it to the start (we were 21 out of 24). My group (we started with 6) took off like a flash. I feared I would not be able to keep up, but I knew I wanted to finish within 3 hours. Quickly, one person dropped off due to the humidity. Another lady decided we were too slow. Soon the third stopped to get some salt. Then, there were 3. We enjoyed the run through the neighborhoods and the base while enjoying the sounds of various bands along the way. I made sure to drink at each water stop, and tried to dump water on my head, too. Around mile 9.5, I could tell my friends were getting tired. I decided to carry on by myself in pursuit of my goal time. I headed over the bridge into downtown feeling tired. Luckily, I saw a friendly face in the crowd. Terry was taking pictures, so I had to smile and wave. It sure did give me a boost through mile 11. I was on my own, listening to my body and finding my own pace. I was so happy to make that turn up the boardwalk, but I still couldn't see the finish. Finally, the line was ahead on me, and soon I was passing the 13 mile mark. That last .1 mile was a killer, but I did it with a smile on my face.

I crossed the line and went through the well staffed end zone. I got water, snacks, my medal, a wet towel, and a goody bag before heading to the family reunion site. I found Heather on the beach, and we were joined by Terry and Bill. Heather did well - she beat me by about a minute and 10 seconds, but was slowed by a bathroom break. Bill did well, too, but did not break 2 hours as he had hoped. He was slowed by his friend, Chris, who was a victim of the heat. We quickly found Jon and Michelle who were joined by Tommy, Dianna, and Caitlin. We all took a picture with our medals, then enjoyed the beach party. After a quick lunch, we all rested for the remainder of the afternoon.

My dear friend, Devi, called to see how I did. I was so shocked and pleased that she remembered. It was good to talk about the race with someone who had been there, done it, and races much further as well. The ladies I ran with up to 9.5 miles also called to check on me.

After dinner, we went to the big beach concert, The B-52s. It was not really our sort of music, but we stayed anyway. Love Shack was pretty good. We enjoyed the fireworks, as we did the previous two nights.

Monday was time to head home. I never realized how sore I would be. Bill, Heather, and I were pretty miserable after a 4 hour ride home. My hips really hurt, but I feel much better today. I hope to be back to running on Thursday.

All in all, it was a great weekend. I have the bug now. I am already trying to figure out what my next half marathon will be. I am so proud to have completed the race and to have done it in 2 hours, 57 minutes. Check out Jon's blog to see what he thinks.

The best part of the whole trip was being able to experience it with my husband and our dear friends. I am so glad that we were all there together. It made victory even sweeter.