Wednesday, October 27, 2004


I have no idea if this is his idea of a bad joke, or some serious cross-cultural knowledge acquired at preschool. Today as we were getting into car, the Dude (age 4) says, "Daddy, What do you call an Indian with big ears?" I didn't know what to say. Couldn't recall any Indians (Native Americans or others) in the Scooby Doo or Rescue Hero videos, so I said, "I don't know, what do you call an Indian with big ears?"

"Buddha," he said.

Sometimes I have no idea where he gets things.

Monday, October 25, 2004

A Little Friendly Competition

Sis-in-Law and her husband, really know how to have fun.

Well....the husband and I often have competitions on who has the lower resting heart rate. Usually I have him beat by about 2 beats/min. I often check mine when I am bored sitting in class just to see if I can will it even lower.

With a social life like that they certainly appear ready for South Bland.

Friday, October 22, 2004

My Achin' Knees

This week's early excitement over my running breakthrough has been tempered by that fact that both my knees, especially the troublesome right one, hurt like heck. I even have resorted to taking the elevators at work when I'm just traveling 2 floors, something I never do.

Could be the weather - very dank - cloudy/foggy - temps in 40s and 50s. Haven't seen the sun in days. Could be "the pose" - not so much the physical aspects of the pose itself, but the fact that it "lured" me with the promise of injury-free running. Maybe I should have just stayed on the couch.

Oh well, I'm not 15 anymore - but I'd settle for 35.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Working "Under the Hood" - a Medical Update

For all the medicos in my family, here's the latest. Went to DR today - ostensibly for a cholesterol check. Yes, we all know that my most recent blood draw was meant to be a thyroid only screen (so I didn't fast) and the fact that they checked my cholesterol "by accident" and it came back at alarming rates was all a big mistake. But - - it's so hard to communicate with my DR that it's just as easy to make an appointment to see him than to try to reach him via phone. Anyway, the lab results said I needed to see the DR anyway before my veins clogged up anyway.

While at DR he noted that my TSH was kind of high, and he would prescribe raising my thyroid medication dose. Why he brings this up in the office – but didn’t mention it on the comments to my test results that were mailed to my home – I’ll never know. See, it pays to visit the Dude in person. Anyway, the TSH at last test was 3.89. He would like to see it from 0 to 2. So they are putting me on Levoxyl 88 mcg once a day (up from 50 mcg). He hopes that by getting my thyroid under control that my cholesterol level may drop as well.

To top it all off – there is new computer system in the DR’s office with a PC in each examining room. So I got to recite my entire medical history - - AGAIN. I should really write that down. I can never remember whether my grandparents had glaucoma, or bad hearts, etc. I do recall that my fraternal grandfather had rickets as a young boy - - why don't they ever ask about rickets?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Trick Dude

Big talk at our house over past few days is the impending purchase of a hamster. Mostly it's been M - very excited about it, reading books, purchasing little toys for it, etc. Well today the Dude gets into the act. As we set out to pre-school, he grabs the hamster book: He needed to "study" more about hamsters. He was quite insistent on reading the passage about their water bottles. When he couldn't find the right page, he became upset. While stopped at a stop sign, I grabbed the book and found the appropriate section.

Sometime on the four mile drive to preschool, he had created an imaginary hamster and named it "Trick". By the time we got out of the car he was holding one hand in a cupped position: palm facing upward, fingers slightly curled. I asked what he was doing. He said, "I'm carrying Trick." As he walked across the parking lot he let Dad hold one hand, the other hand held Trick.

When we entered the preschool, the director said, "Good Morning. What do you have in your hand?" Dude became a little shy here so I had to tell her it was his imaginary pet hamster Trick. The Dude then became mad at me, "You didn't have to say that, the name is on my back-pack." Keep in mind now that he's not wearing a back-pack - - anyway he continued cupping his hand until we entered the classroom. Without a word, Trick had "disappeared". Can't wait to see where he next appears.

Next Year

Spent a very chilly Saturday morning at the Richfield High School Alumni Cross Country meet. This year I was a "mere" participant, next year I vow to run it. It's only two miles - - but that's been difficult these past months.

That night I read an article in Runner's World about something called the "Pose Method". The Pose was developed by a scientist schooled under the old Soviet system where running form always meant more than in the West. His theory (in a nutshell) is that the traditional heel-strike running style of many runners and joggers puts too much strain on the system, resulting in injuries. The Pose requires you lean slightly forward (the article likens it to "falling" forward) and landing on your midfoot which can absorb more shock. (WARNING: - a midfoot strike takes more muscle strength in the legs - especially the calf/achilles. Some who try this method report achilles related injuries.)

Well I got to thinking. When I underwent PT a few years ago, a video analysis of my running style showed I was a midfoot striker. The PT said that indicated I spent time on the track running "shorter" distances. True - I loved the 1/2 mile in junior high and high school. You can't run a fast half-mile on your heels. When I first entered PT I was suffering a calf problem - - probably related to my mid-foot style -as well as knee problems. Her suggestion was to work the muscles of my calf and quads to better support my knee, and switch to a heel strike.

I've never really gotten "better". Heel-striking seemed to work OK at first, but lately I start hobbling after 100 yards. After reading the article I was inspired to return to my mid-foot strike.

Inspired by memories of my athletic youth, and stoked up to try the Pose, I woke up Sunday morning bound and determined to run. After M and Mom returned from swimming lessons, I set out. Using the new (but probably incorrect or at least modified) Pose Method, I completed about 1.5 miles.

The "Plan" for now is to try to run at least 2 times a week, continuing Yoga and walking, and hope for the best - - at least 2 miles at next year's alumni meet.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Wrong - Not Cut-Out for Pre-School

I was wrong. The next letters in the pattern were not cc, but aa .

Last night over a quiet dinner at Perkins I asked, "So what happened at school today? What was the next letter in the pattern? Was it c? The Dude fixed me with that stare all kids give their parents when they say or do the "wrong" thing and said, "No, it was aa - like aa, bb, aa, bb, aa, bb. . ." [I had to cut him off here.]

Oh well, back to school for me. Really - tomorrow I will be attending the Richfield High School 50th anniversary festivities. Plan to bring M and the Dude along. It now occurs to me that the equivalent would have been: 1969, my father taking me to a school built in 1919 - I'm sure they'll be impressed.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Patterns: aa, bb

The Dude's pre-school teacher was telling me about the patterns they kids are learning: aa, bb. The kids were all abuzz wondering what today's pattern be. One thought maybe it would be another a, as in aa, bb, aa. I think the smart money's on c. Teacher said these guys were catching on quicker than the first graders she used to teach.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho . . . .

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, I can't believe she made me go.

Actually I had a good time at the Kerry march this past Saturday. Boppa tipped us off to this one. M was very keen on going. A "quickie" event organized only 2 weeks ago by some DFL women. The Kerry daughters were going to be in town. The event was orginally scheduled for Sunday, Oct 10, but was moved to Saturday, Oct 9, when it was learned that President Bush was coming to Mpls on Saturday.

Picture if you can (and it's not easy) - Boppa, M, and your's truly marching across the Stone Arch Bridge chanting "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, George Bush has got to go." God - how I hate that old recycled "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho fill-in-the-blank has got to go" chant. Boppa and I are not the loudest chanters, but we actually warmed up as the march wound across the bridge. After the March, M and Boppa were enlisted to stand behind the Kerry gals as they were interviewed by local news folks.

I watched with interest as several women looked on. Now - this won't sound good - but you gotta admit it's true. Any political movement has a subculture for whom the mission and the message are paramount - often to the detriment of personal hygeniene. The sort of women looking on may have fallen into that camp. I can't say for certain. I can say, they didn't spend a lotta time on the hair and make-up. Anyway, the Kerry daughter are what many would call "glamerous". These onlookers were staring uncertainly when one finally said, "She has nice hair". Another agreed, "Yes, and that is a nice sweater." Then they just sighed.

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho,

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Hobbled Runner Lives Up to Name

Got the call on Monday, High School Cross-Country Reunion/Race - October 16. Richfield High School is celebrating it's 50th anniversary. As part of the festivities, some old cross-country teammates are organizing a reunion/race. It's only 2 miles, but I'm afraid that would be 1.5 miles more than my right knee wants to run. Coming to grips (yet again) with age and injury. Oh well, I'm sure they need a timer.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Triumphant Return of the Wife/Mom

Everyone awaits the return of S from her 2-day sojourn to Madison for some sort of web-design for museums conference. You know you’ve reached a real mature point in your relationship when your wife can travel hundreds of miles away for a few days, leaving you with the kids, and you’re not really sure where she is or exactly what she’s doing. (Don’t worry I have the necessary contact info – just in case.)

All-in-all it went very smoothly. Kids quite cooperative – M even doing her homework and piano in one night! Last night I caved and went to the “movie store” to rent Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders. The Dude really loves his Scooby. These newer shows aren’t that good – not bad, but not good either. For me the best part of the DVD is the “behind-the-scenes” parts when you “meet” the voice-talent. This one has Scott Innes (not Kasey Kasem – the original Shaggy) doing Shaggy and Scooby. Lots of laughs in the family room as he goes through his lines.

Oh well, back to work, but not before a quick stretch. Awoke about 2:30 a.m. on my stomach. The Dude had put a pillow on my back and was sleeping on me. Kind of sore in the lower back this morning.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Public Restrooms

This is cool - - not sure I'd use it though.