Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Pinnacle of Human Achievement

I like the celebrate the power of the human spirit. Over the weekend I completed my first Olympic Distance Triatlon. It wasn't too bad either, I got done in 3 hours and 3 minutes. If anyone wants more details on that wee escapade, let me know and I'll redirect you to my race report.

Last night on TV... Well, maybe you should watch the following and then I'll fill you in on the details.

That promo does not do the show justice. I'm not a fan of reality TV, but this one just has a little something extra. If they weren't making fun of the Go-Go girl, it was the male Jazz dancer, and if it wasn't then, it was something else. I laughed, I cried, my daughter claims she even pee'd a little.

If you didn't get a chance to watch it last night, I would highly recommend you make sure you get to see next weeks episode, or check online to see if ABC will make it available to view on their site.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

World Improvement

I'd like to think that once I pass on from this life that I will have left a positive influence in my wake. In light of that goal, I should like to suggest some ideas that might help our society. Let me apologize in advance for the first, it may come out a little graphic, but some things just need to be said...

1. I have read numerous funny emails and blog postings about have to take care of #2 at work. Personally I'm still not comfortable doing it, nor do I think I will ever become the confident person who strides into the rest room with a newspaper under one arm and loudly talking to someone on his cell phone. Just for the record if you are that person and I happen to be in the restroom - I will make a point of flushing as often as possible, so the person you are speaking with knows where you are.

The point I would like to raise today has to do with the expulsion of gas once you get into the restroom and how you follow it up. I'm sure we've all been bloated at some point in our lives, and I for one fully admit that when you feel that way, there is a certain amount of relief that comes when you are finally able to release it.

However, if you happen to find yourself in a public restroom, and have been suffering from a bloated stomach for sometime, please do not follow the barrage of gas and other little projectiles into the water below with a good loud sigh and a hearty "Oooooh Yes!!!!"

If you're home alone, by all means, say what you feel, fart as loud as possible and whatever else you feel inclined to do, but please exercise some restraint in public, especially when I'm changing into my running gear just a few feet away. I would just rather not know.

2. And this one seems somewhat petty compared to the first... Guys without shirts... It you are at the beach and walking down to the surf, then by all means, take the shirt off. If you're running, or otherwise exercising and have a little bit of a tan and some muscle tone, then I think I'm OK with the shirt being removed, but seriously, if you and your alabaster white middle-aged friend with the matching beer belly and ample girth are taking a stroll around the park on your lunch break. Removing your shirt, just is not an option. I for one do not want to see rolls of super white skin covering the top of your dress pants.

Sadly I have had personal experience with both of these in the last 24 hours.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Yesterday was the first of 2 triathlons out in Magna.

If I had entered the Novice race, instead of the Sprint, I would have won in my age group - helped by the fact that no-one 30 to 39 raced in that race. I'm not sure if I would have placed overall, but I may have been able to given the much shorter distance.

If I had raced in June last year, the way I raced yesterday, then I would have been the over all winner.

I was not the overall winner yesterday, coming in about 15 minutes behind that person that did, and I didn't place in my age group either. Still though, I had a great time and got my personal fastest sprint distance time to date.

Look for a full race report, which I will provide a link to when I get it done. Also watch as this coming weekend I will be racing in my first Olympic distance race in Provo, UT. It looks now that I may need to leave the house before 4am to make it there. My hope is to complete it in about 3 hours, but we'll see when we get there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here's the thing...

I have gotten 2 emails today that have irked me a little. If I may share them and perhaps dispel some myths. That aside though, I think most of my readers are relatively open minded folks already and wouldn't have fallen for this crap anyway...

OK, email number 1 came from Glenn Beck - I think I've shared my opinions on him before. I like his comedy, but not so much when he gets political. Anyway, he's touring right now and was chatting with someone whom he described as a left-wing goof ball - Ken Altshuler from WGAN in Maine. The focal point of his comments was that they had actually agreed on something.

I think there is a lot more common ground between people of different view points than we have been led to believe, so I though I would check out the transcript. I found this gem on why he would not support Obama.

ALTSHULER: He is an unknown quantity. He has done very little votes, he has stood for very little positions. He talks in platitudes. He talked in hope and change without substance. So we don't know who he is. In addition to that, we do know some things about who he surrounds himself with. There's a reverend named Reverend Wright who is a racist. This is his spiritual advisor. He has a wife who by my point of view is militant, is angry. And I believe the people running his campaign who will run the government if he's elected have a hidden agenda. I'm not sure what it is but I don't think I like it.

So Glenn and Ken then agree that until Obama has established a solid voting record he can't run as president because we don't know who he is.

8 years ago George Bush ran on a platform as a conservative. Apparently he came in with a solid conservative record and was supposed to be the next Ronald Reagan. Instead we got a weak leader with no balls who managed to get us into a major war based on lies and completely trashed our economy, and don't even get me started on the national debt and his complete disregard for our nations sovereignty.

With the past 8 years of someone with a solid record, I think I'm ready to take a chance on Obama. He and I could not be more different on policies, I'm pretty libertarian and he very clearly and openly a socialist. But he seems sick of a government run by lobbyists and other special interest groups, and quite frankly so am I.

The second email came from a guy whom I have called out on emails a couple of times. He's a nice guy, but gets caught up in conservative emails scams. The first was about the Golden Compass and how it was a tool of the Devil to convert children to Atheism. I think you all know my opinion on that... The second was on Obama wanting to change the national anthem to "I'd like to teach the world to sing"

Today was another Obama email, depicting Obama in front of a "White House" sign, saying "Well that has got to go!" Below is the following, under an ACLU logo with the Islamic crescent in place of the C.

I'm not impressed with the ACLU right now, but mainly that because they allowed the violation of rights for the FLDS polygamists in Texas, but they do serve an important role.

Anyway, so below that was the following:

The the bible - remember when I was sworn as a senator - I used the Quran. Then the flag - Remember I won't salute it. Then the pledge of allegiance - Remember I won't say it. Ready for a change? Vote deomocratic!

And yes that last word was misspelled in the email - some red neck from down south obviously hasn't figured out how to use spell check.

The thing that bugs me most is the lying. I'm not going to refute that whole thing, but if any of it concerns you, please check out the this article on snopes.

This year I think I may be getting a two for one on my presidential vote. I will not be voting republican, that's for damn sure. I refuse to vote for a party that nominates liars and war-mongers.

I'd really like to see a libertarian president like Ron Paul, or possible Bob Barr. Paul won't be on the ballot, but Barr might. I don't know much about him, but he has changed his views a lot in recent years, and many of his changes seem to be in line with the way my opinions have changed and developed as well.

If I and many others vote for Barr, it will in effect, help split the conservative vote and usher in the first African American president. This way I don't have to vote for someone with socialist policies, but I help elect someone who wants to change politics as usual.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Holy Mileage Batman!!"

Two years ago I got some new running shoes. I took them out for a run, and would consider it overly optimistic to think I ran more than a quarter mile. I returned home huffing, puffing and did not venture out again for some time.

18 months ago, and a really good friend, who is employed as a cop (this is relavent later) persuaded me to join him in trying to lose some weight and get fit. What followed was several month of pain and suffering and included a lot of him waiting for me on short runs while I gathered my breath or tried to stretch out my calves.

In the last 12 months I have done 4 triathlons, 3 5k races, an international distance duathlon and a half marathon. Not only have I achieved that, but over the weekend I completed a 45 mile bike ride, then came to work yesterday and ran almost 6 miles over lunch. I returned home and took out my two youngest kids in the bike trailer and did almost 18 miles with them.

Last night my buddy was scheduled to pick me up for a mile or two at the track - due to injury, he didn't run all winter and is struggling to get it back. I'm trying to be as supportive as I can. Right before he was due to come, I sucked down a packet of Gu, which is an energy gel I used in my longer races. It works really well when you have nothing left to give. He ended up being late, and I then found a message on my phone from a couple of hours prior that he had been called out on a law enforcement matter and would not likely make it back in time.

Not wanting to waste the Gu, I then setoff on a 5 mile run around the local park. My mp3 player ran out of juice a half mile into it, so I was left with my thoughts. I have far more positive thoughts when I run than when I mow the lawn I've found.

Last night I was just amazed at how far I've come. Not only did I run 10.5 miles in a single day, with a significant bike ride, but I came into work today and ran another 5.5 over lunch. I'm not sure I've ever been this fit in my life. It feels absolutely fantastic.

Saturday is the Magnathon triathlon. It was the first triathlon I ever competed in. I will be trying to full sprint distance one this time. I am very excited about what I might be able to accomplish!

Friday, June 06, 2008

150th Post and young blonde beauties

This will be my 150th post. To celebrate I wish to report on an incident which happened this morning.

I was at the pool swimming laps and... A girl whistled at me.

A cute young, likely 18 year old girl whistled at me.

A cute young, blond, likely 18 year old girl whistled at me.

A cute young, blond, likely 18 year old girl working as a lifeguard whistled at me.

Let me set the scene for you... It's June in Utah - It's almost summer. Temperatures in Summer often reach well over 100 degrees (I think that's around 40 for my foreign readers.

Today was not one of the hot days, in fact I debated not going. The wind is blowing, the air is cold, there is snow in the mountains, and its an outdoor pool.

To make matters worse, the lap clocks were not working, and I think I got there a little after 11:30. Lap Swimming ends at noon and they open up the pool to the general public.

So as I start out on lap number 24, grateful most of my body was below the water. A few strokes in, I thought I heard a whistle or something. I got the end and caught a life guard waving to me. She dropped the whistle from her mouth and informed me that it was noon and they would be opening the pool for the general swim. "Thanks" says I and heads back to finish my lap and climb out the ladder.

I ended my swim floating to the wall on my back and touching the wall, before standing up and removing my goggles. "Excuse me Sir!!! It's noon. Lap swimming is O-V-E-R!!

I looked around... 1 huge pool, three young female lifeguards, who I doubt could get me out, should I have cramped up mid lap and nothing else... That's right, no horde of enthusiastic teenagers, no mothers concerned about me swamping their kids, no-one else around, except for me and the life guards. I climbed up the ladder and went to grab my stuff. The lifeguards all climbed onto their chairs and began their job, making sure the public was safe.

I walked to the change rooms, showered, dressed and headed out the door. I looked back at the pool. The water was as smooth as glass and the only life was the three young and obviously power loving girls.

I'm all for rules, but seriously... "Excuse me sir!! The lap swim is O-V-E-R!! What the hell was up with that?

Competition and Other Topics

Sorry guys, it has been way to long since I've posted, for which I apologize - Because obviously many of you could not survive without your daily dose of Koda.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy with races, work and my side business, not to mention the last week of school for my oldest two kids.

I have a couple of topics I've been thinking about, so perhaps let me share those, and then I'll expand on one and leave the rest for another day. The topics are:

The Environment - I think Global Warming is a corporate/government conspiracy, but I still think we have a responsibility to take care of our surroundings. I'd just rather do it by choice, rather than out of fear for Global Warming.

Carbon Credits - Al Gore and Jack Johnson both purchase Carbon Credits, I'd like to explore what they are, and why Al Gore is a huge hypocrite, while I think Jack Johnson gets it. Unfortunately, right wing commentators often group both of them together which I think is a huge mistake.

Competition - One of the blogs I like to read posted a video from a softball match where a team exhibited great sportsmanship - Click here to read it

There were two comments made which got me thinking, both by readers of this blog as well. I'm going to summarize them, and hopefully I capture their intent. The first commented that competition is unhealthy for our society, which I tend to agree with. The second said that competition is what made the US the great country it is, and so it was a good thing. I tend to agree with that two. I think the problem is that there are two different kinds of competition.

The first kind is about beating your opponents by being better than he is.

The second kind is about beating your opponent by making him look worse than you are.

The end result is that if you are successful in either, you win, but I think the first takes more skill.

I compete in a lot of road races and triathlons. My goal is first and foremost to finish and second to try and beat my previous times. It's going to be a long time before I can even hope to win a race, and even then it may well take a small miracle.

If I can finish a race completely spent and in my best time ever I feel remarkably accomplished and motivated to try and beat it next time. I am inspired by those who beat me, and may even turn to them for advice on how to get myself to that level. I have found they are generally more than willing to share and help a relative newby like myself along. At the end of the day I think everyone who participates in competition like this wins.

My other option would be to turn a race into a circus. I could start at the front on the pack, try and get in peoples way, prevent them from passing me, and 'accidently' trip them if they do. I may well finish higher in the rankings, but only because I have employed dirty tactics to put my competition down. This seems to be how the game of politics is played these days. It's how a lot of things are done. I don't agree with it.

In the game of life, I plan on doing my best. I hope you will too. Either of could win on the day, and we will do so with honor and as better people, enriching the lives of those whom we associate with. This is the spirit that make America and many other nations great. The other kind is what is going to be our downfall.