Tag Archive: Friends


Yeah ok who am I to tell anyone the key to life? I’m no prophet or yogi… I’m not a learned scholar… heck I still rely on spell check for grammar and spelling issues way too often, and I still get it wrong… But I digress. I really should get this all out before I lose my thought…

 

 

An easy Google search tells me that a Key by definition is:

 

a. A notched and grooved, usually metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock.

b. A similar device used for opening or winding: the key of a clock; a can that has a key attached.

2. A means of access, control, or possession.

a. A vital, crucial element.

b. A set of answers to a test.

c. A table, gloss, or cipher for decoding or interpreting.

 

And there is more but this serves my purpose

 

 So as we see… a key, simply put, is a way to gain access to something: access to knowledge, access to a place, access to time (the key to a clock).

 

 Getting access to knowledge, places, people, and things… well that is what we do in life, is it not? So the best way to do these things is to live life… by a stretch of my already stretched imagination… to live… to really live is the key of life…

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  The picture above looks very foreboding, metal grate fastened over a window with wire running through the glass… perfect for keeping people in or out. With only a small view as the one pictured, it would make you think moving forward was hopeless, but with a step back, (no picture sorry) we can find that the window is attached to a door. The point I want to make there is sometimes we are much too close to a problem we have in life… maybe sometimes we have to take a few steps back and the way will seem much more clear. There are times I feel that we move through life way too fast and we do not slow down to actually enjoy it… so we come up on our problems so quickly we never see them coming, and then we feel so rushed to get through them, we do not take the time to step back and make clear decisions. Maybe one of the keys to life should be to slow down, and do not be afraid to go back from time to time… maybe you missed something you should have seen.

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   All of us are human, we may look different and talk different but we are all here for the same basic reason, to live life and learn as we go. We come in different colors, shapes and sizes… it’s a beautiful diversity that makes us as humans a beautiful thing.

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   But with that being said… many of us at a glance can seem very alike… but if you look close and take the time to actually see each person for who they are—their likes and dislikes, the things they are passionate about—you will see that even though they may seem to be the same, each person holds the keys to different locks. Each person can bring something different to your life and break open a new part of life you may never knew existed.

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  Many people have a clear path and are good with things from birth… others seem to struggle trying to find their place… much like the keys in the picture above, one has been cut and fits a specific lock. The other is still blank, and although it was never cut to go into any one lock, you can see the age on it and know it has lived a long life. People are like that… some are really good at one specific thing; others never really find that one thing they are awesome at. Jack of all trades and master of none… it does not make one better than any other… it simply makes them different.

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Everyone wants to know the key to the secrets of life… but I think the memories we make with the people we know and love are the best keys we have. It is a key to a memory of a moment in time where you were happy or sad or whatever emotion you remember… it is a key to a moment in time that you lived. Living… is for this guy… the key to life. Take your keys wherever you go… in the form of memories and remember to make new ones and live for today… tomorrow is never promised to any of us.

 

 

   Smile… it might be the only key to unlocking the smile trapped inside someone else.

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   My first ever double century, only 12 short days after I complete the assault on Mt. Mitchell…

 

The alarm goes off and I roll out of bed really doubting myself and why I agreed to this ride. I mean I had already proven all I had to prove this month… and I slept like crud as I normally do before a big ride. But a commitment is a commitment so my feet hit the floor and I start moving before I have a chance to waiver and change my mind.

 

 I get dropped off, pack my stuff in Carole’s car and we were off, just a touch later than we had planned but that was ok… this was not an “official” ride of any kind so a few min here or there was not going to hurt us or keep us from riding.

 

The humidity was around 97%, the fog was thick in some places but after we said our hellos and got everything together the 4 of us headed on our way.

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It was Carole and Scott with me to do the full double, and Marcus joined us to only ride the first 100 miles. It would be his first century for they year! Later that day he had a date with some chickens that he had to cook for friends and family. It was not until after we got started I realized just how foggy it was. It was kind of cool in some places, made some of the trees almost look like creatures… and don’t laugh at me! You have to occupy yourself when you need to take your mind off exactly how long you’re going to be on your bike.

 

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For the most part in the early morning we had the roads to ourselves that made this small town look a bit like a ghost town… I almost wanted to stop and scavenge for food and resources, but then I came back down to earth… I’m on my bike not in one of my books.

 

 

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As the day went on it showed us just how beautiful the day was going to be, we passed a good deal of farm land and some gently rolling hills. I got to see a lot of cows and some realy beautiful horses as well as a ton of goats. We even fervently road past some dogs that were not so happy to see us.

 

 

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Carole was loving the low wind and the spotty sunshine we had early on… while Marcus… well I am not sure exactly if he was pretending to be an airplane or a big condor… maybe singing that song in his head from that cartoon movie Space Jam…

“ I believe I can Fly… I believe I can touch the sky…”

hahaha and yes I know your cursing me cause now that song is stuck in your head.

 

 

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As for me it was a rough start, my lower back starting hurting early and my left knee was acting up… so I stayed pretty quiet and kept my head in the clouds and my thoughts somewhere else the best I could.

 

 

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Then we came across our first of 2 “closed “ roads… did you know that “detour” and “road closed ahead” signs really mean something much different in the world of cycling? Oh yes… they mean “Cyclocross”, (insert evil laugh here) at least for us.

 

 

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My lower back was really getting the best of me so I got a lesson from Carole about cycling and muscles… evidently your hamstrings are attached to your lower back… well I am sure not directly but in a round about way… anyway… after crossing the “bridge” we stretched the hamstrings and poof my back felt much better… It was like magic… ok ok I am sure like 90% of anyone who is actually reading this is rolling their eyes because they knew this… but I really had no clue. I have never really had back issues… well except for sitting on a really thick wallet and having my doc say, “take that out of your pocket and you will be fine…” and I was, in less than a day. Oh it is the simple things sometimes…  

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Well slowly my knee started to feel a little better even though I was still getting a bit winded going up some of the small rollers. I started to feel like such a wimp with these guys doing most of the work pulling, but I worked in 2-3-4 mile pulls in here and there. I just felt super drained. Maybe my body was still recovering from the shock that Mt. Mitchell put on it.

 

Now we are back at Scott’s for a short break as we say our good buys to Marcus and we fill up water and drinks and get some food in us… 100 down… 100 to go… *sigh*

 

Carole is all changed and looks as fresh as she started, Scott is chipper and in good spirits, and I tell Carole that I am lucky she drove because if I had a vehicle there I would probably be done….

Do you know what she did?? She just smiled… and said… “You don’t think for a min I am going to let you quit do you…?”

hahahaha oh hell not even if I wanted to I guess… so I said with my best brave face. “Hey I never said I was quitting… just that I am lucky you drove so I do not have that option…” *another sigh*

 

Scott said to get lined up for another picture… thumbs up…. and off we go…

 

 

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Well honestly I feel a little better after the food and rest… it is just the three of us now so I am trying not to wimp and pull a little here and there. Well that is when Carole decides to get off the front… I think she likes it up there sometimes.

 

Now after some time passes and we get on in our journey we come across our second “detour” Carole was not so sure about this one but Scott was not even hesitating he went right up to it… Just as Carole says, “I don’t think we can get across this one guys.” I notice this little walkway that I assume the workers use… I point it out and it was quite the trip lol climbing down small dirt and gravel hills with a bike in your hand and cycling shoes on, with bad knees at that, is not fun but it was an adventure hahah… besides we could not let it stop us… and heck it’s my first double century! I might as well make it as interesting as I can right?

 

 

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So I go down first and then turn and get Scott’s bike so no one else has to try and carry their bike while walking down dirt paths… respect for my elders and all.

 

 

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After helping Scott get his bike past me on this narrow walkway I turn to then help Carole who is still not so sure this is a good Idea… so instead of waiting and letting her talk herself out of it, I decided to just take both our bikes across… I mean my family did teach me some manners after all…

 

 

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   With Carole across the walkway we find a few more challenges ahead… but there was no point in putting the bikes down now so I just kept going lol…

 

 

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Finally to the other side I reunite Carole with her bike and I get my bike and finish helping Scott across… he lagged back on the second part because he was having too much fun watching Carole tip toe through the obstacles and me playing the gentleman while he took pictures… With one last picture and the bridge about to be far behind us… we leave our last “detour” literally in the dust.

 

 

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Somewhere on that 65 mile loops I just ran out of mojo… the music did not help and putting my head somewhere else did not help. I just had no energy. I only wanted to lie down on the side of the road and close my eyes and go to sleep. This is a strange toss up… I am feeling like this was tougher than Mitchell at this point.

 

So because I was getting so far behind, Carole had Scott pull over in the shade so I could catch up and she gave me an extra goo that she had… for those that do not know it’s a flavored gel, with caffeine and electrolytes and other good stuff to help you get moving or keep moving.

 

 

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Well we make it back and fill up on drink again and we have someone join us for our last 35 miles… 35 more miles… what??? Oh how I just want to stop and sleep… and eat… and eat… and eat…. The smell of all the people cooking out on that trip was nothing short of torture.

 

Brian was all smiles and telling stories from the race he was just in earlier that day… that was a great distraction for me for a little while. He is a strong rider though and they had to keep reining him in because I was really struggling at this point to keep up.

 

 

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We make one final pit stop and one last group photo of the 3 double century folks…

 

 

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Man we are getting close now… Carole had some Garmin issues after she charged it and was lagging about 2 miles behind everyone else… so here we are behind Scott’s “hood” making some loops as the sun starts to fall. Just trying to make sure everyone gets their miles.

 

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And we are done!!! Cheers!!!

 

 

 

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As we leave Scott and his lovely wife behind I am reassured by one thought I have had in the past… that no one can ever tell me that a bike is not the fountain of youth or even a time machine… I mean look… here we find big Scott… and little Scott… lol (Scott’s grandson… same head shape and everything lol like a mini me of Scott) it’s almost like he has found his youth again… great thing to find in retirement if you ask me.

 

 

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Oh and one last thought… this is mainly for my pack… ya know Goldsboro might just be our Vegas… I mean… I felt beat up… and it’s like we woke up and poof… there was this baby… almost like our own Hangover movie… and I swear we passed some houses that had crystal meth tweekers in them somewhere… I would bet money it… I’m just glad my friends are much better than the ones in the movie… No one lost Me!  

 

 

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    Here is my Garmin Data for the adventure!!! and a Special song that my friend Marcy like to share with us from time to time.

     http://connect.garmin.com/activity/511108552

 

 

 Special thank you to Scott for letting me use some of the pictures he took… to Carole and Scott for being so patient when I was struggling…. To Marcus and David for hanging with us for what time you could… and To Scott’s awesome wife for all the encouragement and hospitality!! All of you guys are awesome!!!

   yours truely…. Dougie Doug Doug

I have been training for this for the whole year, and now what seems to be in a blink of an eye it’s here. While I was getting ready I was having mixed emotions, I mean am I ready to tackle this challenge? No matter the outcome, part of me wishes I had more time to ride and to lose a bit more weight. If I am honest with myself I do not feel ready for this, I’m antsy and nervous and I really am sure this time I bit off more than I could chew, but there is no backing out now. Patrick and I are packed and the bikes are on the car and we are headed to South Carolina…. ROAD TRIP!!!

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We had a great ride up for the most part… funny thing when you put two men on a trip who are used to driving and finding their own way, I bet it would have been comical to watch us debate routs and why this and why that hahaha! 

 

We got to see some cool stuff on the way, the first night we stayed in Greenville, SC not in Spartanburg because the hotel was over booked. For the most part that was fine I mean they comped the room and were super nice. Our issue was finding good food and beer in the area of our hotel. The staff at the hotel although nice seemed a little clueless, seemed none of them were from the area or just really had no opinion… so we go to the first place we found using our phones and well it was a touch disappointing… waited forever in a place that was not really busy, and then found out that probably 55% of the beer on the menu had been changed or they just no longer carried it… so after trial and error we finally came up with 4 beers (4 oz.) each to try for our sampler… and ummm we really think they got those all mixed up. Yeah we finished what we had and just left.

 

Went to try another place and the line out the door made us not even stop… so once again back to the phone and see what it said… well we found a place pretty close to our hotel, and man was I surprised. It was not at all what I pictured by its name and honestly that place alone might be worth a trip back there someday. If anyone who happens to read this goes to Greenville, SC you have to try Bacon Brothers. The people there are so nice… they grow their own herbs and smoke all their meats on site. It’s an awesome place.

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So we sleep… get up and time to head to Spartanburg… uneventful trip check into the hotel with no issues at all… and then it happens… we get our stuff, head up the elevator step out and start walking to our room and I notice the door is slightly open. I push the door open and pow… “Why… is there a man in my room?” it came out of me before I even had a chance to stop it. He kinda scared the crap out of me… as I walked in he was about to walk out, someone from the hotel fixing something. That became an ongoing joke for the rest of the trip. “Why is there a man in my room… “ lol I told Patrick I would make that the title to my blog when I finally wrote about the trip.

 

The view from the hotel was perfect. We could see where we would be starting the ride in the morning.

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We put our stuff up and got ready to go check in for the ride. We had some time to kill so we went to the lobby of the hotel and got a drink… it was the coolest thing. They had a WII set up on a big screen and also had a pool table down there. So we goofed off for a bit while we waited to go check in.

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I will say that the gathering of vendors was not as big as I expected to be honest, but the people that were there were extremely nice and a pleasure to talk to. We got checked in and I walked around a bit and then it was time for me to leave… I was going to have to spend a good deal of time on the road because I had to drive the car to the camp ground at Marion so we would have a ride back the next day. Then catch a ride on a bus back to the hotel and eat and get settled in.

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The drive to Marion was uneventful I stopped at a little country store for a coke and a snack. I found the campground without too much trouble and got on the bus where we waited for over 30 min past the time it was supposed to leave. But honestly I was just sitting there listening to people talk strategy, what they were eating or going to eat, how hard they would climb, how hard it was last year and how nice the weather was. It went rather quickly, so between Facebook and texts and people talking the wait was not too bad. I slept part of the ride back, it’s a habit I have when I am not driving on long trips, I just pass right out. As a kid I spent a lot of time on buses, you could say that Greyhound was a family business for a long time, and the bus reminded me of those trips.

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Between texts and naps I was back… one more trip inside the convention center because I forgot my water bottles in the car and then I was off to meet Patrick in the hotel for food. They were doing a pasta buffet, yummm.

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The food was good and Patrick was close to being ready for bed… I don’t sleep a lot on a normal day and the night before an event I really have trouble sleeping so I headed down to the bar in the hotel for some last min carbs…

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It’s morning… and the time has come… I felt a little sick… it was just the anticipation of the ride. I really did not think I was ready and already had it in my head that I would stop at Marion if I did not think I could make it. Even as I had that thought I laughed at myself… I knew better… As we left our room to head downstairs with one last, “Why is there a man in my room…” with a nervous laugh we were off…

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Patrick had some last minute mechanicals to work out and I went and found a spot in the line and snapped a few pictures.

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There were a lot of people all bunched together with no real rhyme or reason behind it. Everyone laughing and talking like this was just another Monday afternoon ride.

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5…. 4… 3… 2… 1… and we are off…

 

   Patrick and I got separated early he got in behind some folks who were going just a bit faster than I wanted to start off with. I learned in a previous ride this year, I was not killing myself to keep up early. I needed to save every ounce of energy I could… so after a few miles I could not see him or his group anymore.

 

The roads were like most big rides I have been on good spots and bad spots, so nothing big to note there. But between the sunrise, fields, hills, and the mountains in the distance I was blown away. This if nothing else was going to be a beautiful ride.

 

 

The first bit was a normally hilly ride, lots of rollers, a few nice downhill spots, I felt pretty good. Then out of nowhere there is this climb… Bill’s Hill… holy sweet mother of sprockets… I am not sure if I am glad I forgot it was coming up so I really had no time to think about it… just shift and climb. And honestly about the time I started doubting myself it was over… I was out of breath and I passed a few people cramping up and one even seeming to get sick. But other than being tired I felt ok. Humm… Maybe I can do this…

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I stopped at the next rest stop and talked to a few people who were laughing because if I thought that was tough I was going to get a rude awakening… I had not seen tough yet. *sigh* What did I sign up for? Why? I will never, ever, do this again… my mood was slipping.

 

Ear buds in and music on… I have some go to music and some motivational tracks that I brought with me… I knew ahead of time I would need every trick I could think of. So back on my bike time to go…

Before too much longer as I was getting worn out I notice my mileage and knew that Marion was close… this would be where Patrick and I would meet up and here we would either talk each other into going forward… or just getting in the car lol…

 

Well Patrick was well ahead of me, and smartly he decided to go ahead and not wait too long, he did not want to get stiff and chance getting cramps because he waited too long. I did not blame him at all. So I walked around a little, talked to a few people and read through my texts… My friend Marcy sent some pictures from the people in her office where she works. They were holding up signs for us, telling us we could do it and she was saying we had a village behind us. My friend Shannon was taking time out of her day all the way from Texas to help keep me motivated, as were other friends and family. Carole one of our “Pack” members kept close tabs on us all day as well encouraging us to keep it up… with all of these people behind me… I could not stop now… I have to at least try. But man I was tired. This was the most climbing I have ever done on a bike, and I was about to more than double it.

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Well off to the parkway… The climb to get to the parkway was tough on its own… there were cool tunnels and the view… man the view was beautiful. I had plenty of time to look at it too because I was creeping along between 2.5 and 5 mph in some places, just struggling to keep moving forward. The climb was a bit demoralizing because you’re working so hard and not really getting anywhere. I am not ashamed to admit that I was 240ish lbs when I climbed that mountain on my bike and gravity was not my friend. Down from 274 in January, I was wishing I would have dropped even more at that moment.

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When you’re pushing that hard you really think about anything that will make it better. So back to my music, and back to looking at the view… stopping her and there to take pictures I really was trying to move it the best I could. For the longest time I pictured Patrick already at the top waiting on me, to get a good photo of me coming in or to tell me we were stupid and everything hurts… then around a corner and I see a rest stop… good I really needed more water.

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And to my surprise there was Patrick in a Sag… he had mechanical issues and was done about 5 miles from the top. You could see in his face he was worn out and tired. I wanted to stay and talk and just hash over our day… but I shook that thought off, I did not want to be rude but I really had to get moving I could not sit long, and one of us was going to finish if it killed them… please oh please let’s not let it kill me lol.

 

The switchbacks were brutal… 13% grade in one spot but if you did not hit the road just right then the angle of the road increased that in the turns significantly. Man I just really wanted to stop… this was stupid I kept telling myself… this was not for cancer… or not for MS… I had not involved any charity in this ride like I did so many others in the past… why in the hell was I doing this… oh… this one was mine… for me… to dig deep and do it for myself to prove that I was good enough and that I could do it without any other reason than to challenge me…

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Stopping a few more times here and there to get some awesome pictures and talk to others who were taking breaks. I happened to see some eagles and got pictures of them in a tree… the tunnels of course… but back on my bike…

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Finally to a point where I just did not want to go any further and it had to be close I flagged down a car headed down the mountain… I did not even give the pour guy a chance to ask me what I needed… in a breathless, exasperated voice all I said was… “You got to tell me I am close… please tell me it’s just around the corner… I have to be close…” he said I was, and the lady in the passenger seat in a cheerful voice told me not to give up… and there was a little kid in the back clapping his hands… that was all I needed. Off I went.

 

Around the last few curves and then the end was in sight… my legs were shaking and my back hurt, I could not feel my hands and my shoulders were on fire. But I did it… I did it.

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If you were to ask me at the moment would I ever do it again… I may have taken a swing at you and told you to hush your mouth … but now… Patrick says he has unfinished business with that mountain and well, even though I finished I feel like I do to. I’m not sure what I left up there… but I feel like I need to go back. It was tough to celebrate because my friend did not make it… I felt bad for him because of how bad he wanted it to… maybe that is it… I’m not sure… but I know I will go back… and I will beat that mountain again.

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It was one of the best and worst rides I have ever been on… but looking back it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself in my life.

 

It took me 11 hours and 30 min to complete the ride… with lots and lots of stops, putting my saddle

time at 8 hours and 48 min. My total amount of climbing was over 11 thousand feet… My HR monitor

was acting up so I do not have a true avg for the ride.  Here are a few link to my GPS data for you

stats junkies…

http://www.strava.com/activities/143316080   Strava

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/503221299    Garmin

Bruno’s Update…

So just a quick up date and a few pictures that make me a little sad…

 

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I will to save myself time just cut and paste the update from my daughter’s fundraising web page…

 

 

Bruno update Thursday April 24th

 

I just got off the phone with the Vet tech and it’s a tough update day… Yesterday he only had water and was not interested in food still. But last night sometime he did actaully eat a little. But then he threw up. The vomiting is a set back because he needs to be able to keep food down. The tech is not sure exactly where the doc will want to go from here, so I will be calling again at lunch to see what the prognosis is.

 

On the flip side to that, it seems that the techs have fallen in love with Bruno and spend a good bit of time with him… but then again how can you not J She said that he is very happy to see them and is moving around a great deal. And even with the vomiting set back he seems emotionally stable. But she stressed as happy as he seems, the vomiting is a big concern.

 

He is still drooling a good deal which she said is an indicator that he is still nautious, hence the vomiting and they have injections for the nautia schedualed but at this point he should not need those anymore she said. So again she cautioned me and showed concern.

 

Our whole family is ready to see him and have him home… we are past our lower initial vet deposite and now will be getting into the higher end. Which as it stands now may go even higher… but honestly with all the love you guys have showed us we are going to do whatever it takes. We just want Bruno back home with us.

 

Thank you all so much for your continued loved and support.

 

 

So there it is in a nutshell… I’m a little worried about the food issue and the vomit… and he looks soo sad it is heart breaking to be honest. But I have faith that with all the well wishes and love from everyone that this is going to work out and we can bring him home soon.

 

 

Keep him in your thoughts if you would and feel free to share and or reblog this… if for no other reason than to make people aware that puppies are not safe out in the public untill they are done with all of their shots… not just a few sets… but all.

 

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Hope for Bruno Page 

 

*breaking news*

 

Just as I typed this up I called to ask the Tech if it was ok to post her picture… and well they have given him an oral antibiotic and he kept it down… as well as more crushed ice and water which he also kept down! That is a good sign. Also they are going to try more food in a little bit… so I am hoping that it is good!

Crystal Meth Tweekers…

Crystal meth tweekers…

 

 

 Sometimes the smallest things can get you through the dreaded Monday… oh that Monday, the bane of our week’s existence. That day of the week that starts it all over again and has you dreaming about Friday all over again…

 

  Sunday evening I was playing with my newest toy, I had crossed over to the dark side and I bought my first Apple product *insert gasp here*, after going through 3 Zunes that broke and stopped working and then stopped even supporting you except through email, I just had to give up.

 

  So I started my search and purchased an Ipod 5th gen which so far I like… I just need to figure it all out… so I was doing just that and adding music to it when I put my phone on silent because I kept getting facebook updates and I was tired of hearing it make that noise lol… well low and behold I forgot to turn the sound back on before I went to bed. So as it happens early Monday morning my local cycling buddies started an early conversation which I was included in but did not know it because my phone was shushed.

 

  Now let me say, I am a very connected person, like I mean it… mess me and you will be sleeping with the…. Ok ok no not that kind of connected. I mean Facebook, text, email, every sort of messenger you can think of. And unless I am in a meeting or doing something that would otherwise occupy me, I will get back to you fairly quickly. My friends all know this… so after 30 min or so of chatter back and forth and no one had heard from me… well then I became sort of an early morning joke which included this video being posted to my facebook…

 

  We had a really hard ride on Saturday, and most of us vegged out on Sunday and did not move too much. At first I thought I was just being a big baby, cause I had some mechanical issues for a good 2/3rds of the ride, but it seems even our more hard core riders were indeed sore and stiff to so that made me feel a little better… well not that they were hurting but that it was just not me.

  After I got to work and noticed just how quiet my phone had been which was odd, I looked at it and seen that I have a million different missed notifications lol and then I saw the video that was posted hahaha  oh man did that ever make my day.  A few of us laughed and joked about it most of the day, and more than one of us watched it several times just to laugh. And we could not get it out of our head.

  So yeah next time you’re about to fight off the dreaded Monday… just think… it could be worse! You could have been murdered by Crystal Meth Tweekers… hahaha

   Happy Tuesday folks and remember to smile… nothing fights off a bad day like a smile… and for fun just add a twitch, people will steer clear of you all day 🙂

     I want to share a thought I had with you good folks… maybe it is worth your time… maybe it is garbage, but I was having a conversation about depression with someone. I won’t get into the details of that… but in that conversation it led me to an analogy. One of those things that just popped into my head out of nowhere, after which I thought was so brilliant I even surprised myself… so then I thought how can I apply that to my life. And poof another thought… all those thoughts and it did not hurt or anything 😉

 

     So maybe at another time I can touch on the depression issue in the same way I was able to with this other person… but for now and for my journey I will only write about how I will use it to in turn help myself.  I have heard many times that by helping others we in turn really help ourselves… and this here proves just that! And if by writing this out and someone reads it and they too can use it, well so much the better 🙂 the more “light” we have in the world the less dark it will be, and that will make more sense later lol

 

      So for my fellow weight loss enthusiasts… say you have a bad breakfast… or a bad lunch… then something bad happened at work and you get home later than you want… or for those that stay at home already, your kids come home or spouse comes home in a bad mood and everything in the air is just foul that day. Those are the days I dread… the days I just want to say forget it… no tracking points, no worries about nutritional info… I just want to throw some food together and eat and not think about anything else. Today is crap and I just want tomorrow to come so I can start over. I mean that sounds like a good plan right?  It will make you feel better right? Well until tomorrow… when you remember what you ate as you start tracking again… what if you have a whole week like that? And then before you know it is a month, then a season… and now we are looking at just waiting until after the holidays. I know all of this from experience. I have done it time and time again… and each time if I could track it back, I would track it back to one day… where it started off bad and I just said forget it.

 

     So here is my analogy… what would you do if you walked into a dimly lit room that only had a few candles burning… that room represents your day… you’re walking around and you can see the stuff around you, you know what is there, but it is so dim it’s getting hard to make things out. That is how I feel when I mess up… like I wonder why I am even doing this. What is the point, will anyone else even care. In the dim room that is my day goals seem blurred and hard to make out, it matters less and less the more I think about it.

 

     So you’re in this dimly lit room… what do you do? Common sense says turn on a light… light another candle, throw back the curtains if it is daylight… so then why do we walk into that room and blow out more candles… we have a bad lunch… we then go home and have a bad dinner because the day is ruined is like walking into the room  to see it is dim kinda in a funk and we make it darker. And the worse it gets the darker we make it… then in turn the worse we feel yet again.

 

     Light a candle… don’t blow it out… every time you have a bad day with food you can’t spiral into that black hole and let it swallow you… you can’t walk into that dim room and think it will get better by making it pitch black… oh and guess what… no matter how dark it is… no matter how black a room gets, the smallest candle will shine.

 

      So no more walking into dimly lit rooms and making them worse… make it better!!! Light only makes you feel better, and the more you do it the easier it gets.

 

      Last week I hit 25 lbs in my weight loss journey… I have not done it alone. I have an awesome support group in Weight Watchers, I have amazing friends that not only keep me up with my activity but also give me tons of support with everything else. And I have a family cheering me on from the sideline… I am blessed and I know it. Not everyone has that and I understand it is not easy… but find whatever you can to keep your room from getting dark. Keep those candles burning and do not get frustrated and blow them out! Once they are all out, it is tough to find your matches to light them again!

 

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   Smile… it can be the light that brightens someone’s otherwise dark day!

Coming Down and getting back up…

Today I finally took all my Christmas stuff down, I have been a bit under the weather but the cold Meds had kicked in and I wanted to take advantage of it and get some stuff done. So with a little work I got it all done. My son came by to help me get it all put up in the attic in my garage and with that another Christmas season gone. This is a pretty down time of the year for me… going from all the beautiful lights and garlands all over the house to none… my house is just as full as it was before Christmas I know that, but it just feels empty. On a side note to top it off my work has no holidays at all from here until April… ugh…

Now for the good part of my day, I went out to meet up with some cycling friends and other cyclists in my area. We had a challenge last year where we would ride to a brewery in Alaska… well ok only virtually… we would log our miles and email them in each week so that they could be added to a spread sheet that was sent out to the group. The total miles in the end needed to add up to the distance to the brewery. Having fun hitting virtual mile stones along the way. We really do have a good group of people to cycle with in this area… and not only are they super supportive of most things cycling related, but they are also a great support group for almost anything else as well. Well there were only 3 people that actually hit that mile stone of over 4 thousand miles this year. I myself only logged just over 3,600 it was a bit more than that but I was well off the mark. This year they picked a different route as well as a few different options, the first challenge is the mileage from a local bike shop here in town to a dock in California… that is over 2900 miles which is very doable. To add to that challenge you can then go up the coast to the space needle in Seattle Washington… and if you really want to take the challenge to its limits you can then come back home to NC from there… I have a feeling at least one person in our group will push to do that this year. For me I think I will try the Seattle mile stone. If I can do that I will be more than happy.

I did happen to Join a cycling group that is closer to the mountains though… with the hope that I can get some info on training for a big ride I plan on signing up for in February. The assault on MT. Mitchell, this will single handedly be the toughest one day ride I have ever attempted in my life. I am both excited and scared… but man with the people I have around me here all I need to do is but ask and I will have all the support I need. Now time to just get back on the bike…

I also did weigh in on Friday… it was disgusting and heart breaking. I have never had so much weight on my body. This will be a huge challenge and before myself I have put a soft goal of dropping 40-45 lbs before the Mt. Mitchell ride on May 19th. So well there it is… in the year of no promises I have set quite a few challenges for myself, but I know one thing… weather I complete the ride or drop every single pound, I know I have a good deal of support around me. And that alone makes it all worth it… for a change I am doing this for me, because honestly I am worth it… I am a pretty good person I think and for a change I need to get better for me…. oh and I also have to get off my butt and earn that expensive bike I bought last year as an upgrade lol 🙂

Well folks have a great week and keep warm it’s going to be cold outside.

Smile… it’s one of the most healing things you can do… and you can just hope it catches on

2014 The year of no promises…

I will not promise to be a better person…

I will not promise to lose weight…

I will not promise to change how I interact with my family…

I will not promise to save money…

I will not promise to manage vacation time…

I will not promise…

This year I refuse to make any promises in regards to changing myself… this is not a resolution… this is just a statement. By definition as promise is a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.

So let me explain… I am not a wizard, nor am I omnipotent, psychic, a fortune-teller, or a god in any form. I know there are a lot of things in this life that I would “like” to happen and honestly as much as I believe we are the masters of our own fate. I know that little in this life we truly have complete control of other than how we re-act to situations around us. Our feelings and emotions though influenced by others and out surroundings… are still ours and ours alone to control.

I would love to promise to get published, ride seven thousand miles, finish all my cycling goals, lose all the weight and have a 6 pack, get father of the year award, have my personal life work out all of its kinks, give more to those who need, and learn to cook something new. But what if in this blog I promise you all of those things… and tomorrow I get hit by a truck. I know a bit drastic… but a promise is really not good for much.

What I am going to do is quietly work to do all of those things I listed above. I will not make big big goals and put a ton of pressure on myself, I will not twist people’s arms and guilt them into helping me do this or that because it is what “I” want them to do or because “I” need their help. I will share my success with my friends, family and loved ones… and I will not have any defeats… because I will constantly be trying to improve. Minor setbacks maybe… but I have made no promises so I have nothing to apologize for… if I attempt a ride that I am unable to finish, well I have learned from it, a limitation that I can use as a tool to know what I need to work on… it is not a failure in any way. But a chance to learn and grow… if I have a week or two that I gain weight instead of lose I have not promised anyone that I will, because honestly my weight has nothing to do with anyone in this world but me. It’s my weight… my food… my activity… and if I have a bad week or two… then I will know again my limitations. I will not get mad or angry, I will simply move on.

2014 is going to be my year to better myself with less stress… a promise adds stress, it forces you to perform when you just might not want to. In the past I have used it as a tool to “force” myself to do things. And honestly it has worked many many times for me. But in the end when I meet the goal I promised, I slack off and whatever I worked hard to do is quickly undone because after my promised goal I just drift… this time it will be different.

So here is to 2014 and my year of less stress and less promises… I will be healthier and happier… I will accomplish amazing things… and I will uncomplicated the things in my life that make it more complicated. There is nothing and no one in this world you must have to live… no one person or thing you cannot live without… so the people and things you have in your life need to be there for your benefit and theirs. If they are crippling you and not making you better, lose it… if something is costing you more money than you see a benefit… lose it… If a club or organization is no longer fun and you no longer enjoy it quit. You have but one life to live, and I believe we have no set paths… you chose where you go, and there is an unlimited amount of choices. So do what you love and love what you do 😉 (I read that on a coffee cup but it fits).

This is my first blog of 2014… my blog of nothing… and of no promises 🙂

Smile… it relieves stress and makes you feel better… do you really need any other reasons?

Wine and Design

 

Wine and Design

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 So Thursday night I had my second experience with a wine and design group… it was a great time. There is just something about sitting down with a bottle of wine… some friends… and the threat that at any moment someone may take a swipe at you with a brush full of paint because of a smart ass comment you make. OK maybe that last part is something only I worry about because yeah I am a bit of a smart ass, but the people that know and love me would not have me any other way… or maybe that is just what I tell myself.

 

 So I had heard about this from a friend in mine you will see in one of the pictures and thought… hummm worst case it really really stinks, and I get to blame it on the wine… OK I am in!

 

The first painting from the picture looked simple enough… some wine bottles and corks… at a wine and design class… how fitting is that! Man I had the best time… really, great company the instructor was easy to work with and helped us without laughing to much. Everyone joked and talked and half of the class sang along with with music.

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No your going to see my picture in this blog and I need to get something out first… when you get to the class you pay your 30-35 dollars… they supply everything except the wine. The canvas already has what ever your painting lightly sketched… I will try to ummm burrow a pic from their face book to give you an example. So the instructor helps you pic out your colors or they are already ready. And basically the who class step by step works on the painting together. After two hours of laughter and wine and more laughter you end up with a painting worth hanging up in your house. These instructors are good too… I really have not been in a class yet and seen a bad painting.

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The second class I went to with a friend of mine who was also in the first class with me… this time we did a beach scene, this class was much smaller only 5 of us, but we still had a great time talking to each other and with the instructor… I tend to be a bit of a class clown so I either have people laughing with me… or at me… either way I am OK with that.

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Here are some links to the wine & Design web page you should see if there is one in your area…. if not find something like it… it is an awesome time I am actually thinking about doing a couple as fund raisers and for my birthday… I am hooked for sure 🙂

 

http://www.wineanddesignus.com/Home.html here it their home page from there you can find the closest locations to you… its a ton of fun… 

 

Smile… even if it is only the wine

Moral Compass

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Moral Compass

 

A few days ago someone posted on facebook a few questions from a class of hers to get a different prospective or different points of view. Most of these questions were meant to stir potential debate and strong feelings, which judging from most of the responses they did just that. But one in particular got me thinking (don’t laugh it happens from time to time), the question was, “What are some specific moral reasons people may reject the Christian gospel?” I wont go into all the answers and semi debate that was had in her post. But it really got me thinking as I started to read the different answers and seeing the way other thought about morality and it’s infinite platform of good. My answer for me now is just the same as it was for her then, “ Morality is a tough nutt because like beauty it is in the eye of the beholder. what one person views as moral another might not… maybe that is the case. Where as a non Christian sees killing as a moral issue… a non christian could see it as survival of the fittest. A non Christian might reject Christianity for homosexuality stances. For many it is morally wrong to judge or hate someone for a sexual preference, and many Christians do just that… Not sparking debate… just trying to answer your question the best i can” This was for the most part how I responded to her question…

 

Other people answered her question and much of it I agreed with, but the more I read the more I got to thinking how subjective morals and morality is on one hand but on the other hand how defined it can seem… how set in stone others see it as being. Some morals should never be questioned in some people eyes while others are blown off easily. Then conflict of morals is always a touchy thing… when one moral strikes another and they but heads, which one wins?

 

Some people use the bible to hold true to all their beliefs… do not lie, do not steal, be good to your parents, don’t make God mad or your going to tread water kinda stuff. But what of other religions and cultures, what of the people who were not raised up in that way? For some it is morally objectionable to eat any form of pork, or beef, while most of you reading this probably consume this in one form or another weekly if not daily. For those that would not touch it because it is dirty or sacred these are their very fibers of their belief system and so many can shrug it off like it is nothing…

 

In almost every corner of the world it is morally wrong to lie… but we do it almost with out thought, we lie without thought sometimes… even at times doing it because we feel it is the “right” thing to do… but wait morality is suppose to be the right way… so how can the lie be… what a complex web we weave.

 

Relationships… till death do us part… never let someone hurt you more than once… never let anyone put their hands on you… some countries it is OK for a man to “discipline” his wife much the way someone would a child or an animal. These people were raised this way and is an firm part of their society. Though most of you cringe or get angry if you think of a man back handing his wife for talking out of turn and embarrassing him. So tell me whose morals are OK? I mean can you really impose your belief on someone else? Can you force what you think is good and moral on another person if they reject it? What about a wandering eye or a wandering heart? Cheating on a spouse or a boy/girl friend instead of leaving. Most people bristle at the thought of such a thing, quick to cast judgment and return a scow of hatred at such an act… but before your able to do that, is it moral to cast judgment without first knowing details? Or should you forgive and have pity, which moral are we talking about here?

 

Shakesphere has taught us to thine own self be true… what if the moral of the story is to be good to yourself? What if it hurts other people? Well most would say that is wrong… but what if staying true to others is actually hurting you… hummm what a conundrum…

 

I think our Moral Compass most of the time just spins and spins like we are in an electromagnetic storm from time to time stopping where we want it to but other times it just goes the opposite way. I think Morals might just be one of the most objectionable things we can have, many of us over our lifetime will have our morals change several times from one thing to another. You will listen to what others teach and what others say and see things from a different view… only to a year later have someone else share something from a different stand point.

 

I think the most dangerous thing about morals it is gives people the feeling of superiority, makes them feel better than others and look down on them. At that point they are less than you and morally you can do anything because it does not matter. I think that happened with the slaves, I think it happened with women, I think it is happening now with people who are gay or lesbian. We look at “our” values and “we” decided for ourselves what rights other people should or should not have based on our own moral compass and by doing so we disregard what the other people or nation wants or believes because it does not coincide with what we “believe” to be true. And then we become superior to that other person or group because of course we know we are right and they are wrong.

 

Time has shown us a few things… in our history as humans the Morals compasses have always drifted… the books we call holy books the things we hold so sacred have been of little use in the eyes of the slaves and native Americans… the witches in Salem who used herbs to heal people, things we buy at walmart now in pill form were put to death and burned because of the “idea” that they were moral creatures. Which is more immoral? Using odd methods to heal, or killing? We have wiped out complete civilizations in the name of “gods” which have give people the feelings of doing something moral and good… but was it? Where is it OK for your morals to take the life of mine?

 

I can not say what brought all of this on honestly, only that I tend to think and over think things we take everyday as normal living. I know what I feel to be right and wrong is different than so many others… I know that my heart is so much different than many other peoples… some of us have holes in past that a life time of good deeds can never fill them… Morality in all of it’s forms is a great tool when used for good… but sometimes when your doing the greatest good stop and think to make sure you are not doing the greatest harm to someone else… and then maybe find the balance in between the two.

 

 

Smile… remember the person you judged just might be praying at that moment that your eyes are open to a truth your not ready for…

 

 

None of this was directed at anyone group nor is it meant to bash anyone… it is just me purging a mind that is way way to full of junk… and when your life is too full we all know the first thing to go is usually the morals 🙂 

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