Monday, December 29, 2008

Which is more appropriate?

Homebrewing with Dad...


or...
Making her first Easy Bake cake?


The one thing I can tell you, and I have first hand experience, both rock. Nora has been my assistant in the brewing process several times. Now, thanks to Santa, I have had the opportunity to be her assistant baking a cake. On Friday, Nora made her first yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The cake was great and the chef and I had a blast making it. Being the good big sister that she is, she allowed Nigel to lick out the bowl. I am sure there will be many sweet treats to come.

Cheers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boys Have Cooties.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Yesterday Nora went to a day of beauty for one of her classmates birthday. It was held at a local saloon. (Hey, it's a small town...we gotta multi-task. Either that or I cannot spell.) The girls all had their toe and finger nails done and their hair styled. All the attendees had an absolute blast.

This is why ALL boys have cooties:






Check the nails:



In less unsettling news:

I finally brewed again. Yesterday's batch was the long awaited vanilla porter. This morning, I am happy to report, it was bubbling away. The little yeasties were eating up the sugar, making alcohol and releasing carbon dioxide. It will be a test of my patience on this brew as I have been looking forward to making it for about a year. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Cheers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I haven't done this for a while...

...So bare with me while I get my typing legs back.

We have been on a nice little run since my last post. I'll break it into categories for you.

Family:

We hosted Thanksgiving with Robins family, my parents went East to be with Brett, Jori and the boys. We had turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Robin cooked one heck of a good bird, Robins sisters and mom brought great sides and desserts, as usual, and we all ate well. 21 of us in all. The kids had a wonderful time playing and running around in our newly remodeled front room (more on that later). On a down note, Nigel caught a doozy of a cold and infected many of us including Robin and I.

On the Friday after Turkey day I went to the store and picked up the family Christmas tree. We spent the day on Saturday decorating it and the house. You know the house just feels better when it is decorated for Christmas.





On Dec 6th we went to a good friends house for their annual Christmas dinner. Their were 5 couples there and 9 kids. When this group gets together I am not sure who is louder, the grown up kids or the, well, other kids. We had great food, great conversation, and a great time. Life is good.

Running:

My last post mentioned the Turkey Trot. It was a 4 mile run with a monster hill. Doesn't sound all that appealing to most, but I had a blast. What a great way to spend my birthday. Two weeks later, on the 6th, was the Jingle Bell 5K for arthritis. It was the biggest run, attendance wise, that I have been in to date. They had a costume contest, food, fun and games for kids, music and all to raise money for arthritis.
Prior to the run I had been in touch with a friend from high school, Shelley, that was going to run as well. We had not seen each other since high school. We were able to find each other prior to the start and chat a bit. Shelley runs a bit slower than I like, so I took off after running with her for about a 1/4 mile and then waited for her at the end. She, her husband Ryan, who I went to school with as well, I were able to catch up after the run. I met her two little boys and had a nice chat. The day was a great success.
My time was a respectable 24:14, good enough for 129th place out of 614. Most importantly, however, were results of my fund raising efforts. Thanks to those who generously contributed through me, I was able to raise $670, and come in as the #2 overall individual fundraiser. That's right...I got a trophy. It has inspired me to participate in the event next year, and put together a team for the run and the fund raising. Shelley is going to help me out as well and we are going to kick some arthritic butt.



This was definitely my last race of the year. I am going to continue running though the winter to stay in good condition and get ready for next season. I have set a goal to place in the top three for my age group in at least one race. That is a hefty goal as my age (35-39) is one of the most competitive out there.

The Room:

As promised here are pictures of the finished project.



Robin should be proud of herself, I know I am.

Cheers

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Trot Down...

...Jingle Bell to go.

On Sunday I ran in the 38th annual Peoria Turkey Trot at Detweiller Park. I finished 5th in my age group and 56th overall with a time of 30:05. This was a 4 mile run whose course had a one mile climb and a one mile run on turf. I did not have a lot of experience running on either hills or turf going in and it cost me. In fact, the little training I did do on hills here in town actually caused me to injure myself (upper quad strain on my right leg) which I then aggravated halfway up the hill in the race. The injury forced me to walk for about .5 mile, and I had trouble getting a good stride going on the turf. All in all I cannot complain at all about my overall performance...5th isn't too shabby.


Nigel and I stretching.


Coming through the trees to the home stretch.



Next up is going to be my last race for the year, the Jingle Bell run for arthritis. It is a 5K fund raising race for arthritis. I would like to thank everyone who has helped out by contributing to the cause through me. I have two weeks until the race and would love some more help...so, if you can and are interested please click here.
I also have a link to my donation page to the right on my blog.

Cheers

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Day...

...another gem. God I love my co-workers. They say the darndest things.

We were discussing the counting of inventory, and use of calculators when one of the night "supervisors" said this..."I don't use a calculator. My head is more accurate". When I questioned this logic he defended his position by stating that calculators are made by humans and therefore have human error built into them. Let's ponder this for a moment.

Human error built into them.

His head is more accurate.

Is he not human?

Did I mention he miscounted one item by 113 and came up with 6x7=35. Can you even imagine how far off those numbers would have been had he used a calculator?

I could write a book on all the wonderful things he says on a weekly, if not daily, basis. However, it would get a bit tiresome and I think some of you may think he needs a helmet. Instead, I will share a few from time to time for a bit of humor.

I am pretty excited about tomorrow. I get to go have lunch with an old friend from high school, who I have not seen in about 15 years. Very exciting. Then the Robinson family is having dinner with the Yoder's at their home. What a good day! Perhaps I shall go to sleep now to make the day come faster.

Cheers

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Second Stupidest Thing I Have Ever Heard

A while ago I shared a story about a conversation that rattled around in my head, and drove me absolutely crazy. Click here for a refresher. Well, I have a new one. It is more of a statement than it is a story, but it rattles just the same.

One of the policies that we have at work is that all of our drivers must call in every morning and report on their status. It is therefore very common that I field calls from a driver or two. Today was no exception. The following is a direct quote from one of this mornings calls. "Somehow a sign got caught under my truck, and I have been dragging it down the road." Somehow!?!? I have an idea, do you?

News flash:

Date line Central Illinois. Reports are flying in across the region of suicidal road signs. Apparently signs, feeling unappreciated due to drivers total disregard of them and their message, are hurling themselves in front of oncoming traffic. One startled driver commented, "All I know is suddenly I heard a weird scraping and grinding noise".

Seriously! Somehow a sign got caught under your truck, really?

Four days until my Turkey Trot and two and a half weeks until the Jingle Bell run for arthritis. Don't forget to check out my web site...I would really love your help.

Superman runs for arthritis.


Cheers

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brotherhood of the Traveling (under)Pants

Todays run brought more hills and with that more traveling underpants. I did make an interesting observation, however. My drawers seemed to go the same direction as the hill. Up the hill, up the...well you get the idea. Unfortunately I ended my run with an uphill climb. My warm down was not comfortable.

A little over one week to go until my next race. On Nov 23rd I am running in the Peoria Park Dist Turkey Trot. It is a four mile run and includes a pretty sizable hill, thus the hill training. I am pretty excited about this race as it to be my first cold weather run. Fortunately I have had some practice lately in the cold. Maybe I will go extreme and start training in the freezer at work.

Tomorrow is a pretty big day for Nora. Her class is having their reading celebration. They get to have this special day because they have read over 500 take home books since the school year began. All the kids get to go to school in their pjs, bring their favorite stuffed animal, and spend the day reading. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

That's all folks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Twelve And Counting....

...I hope.

I am thrilled that I have had 12 consecutive posts with a comment. They are mostly from from my parents and MIL, but hey, most of my readers are family. So, no need to split hairs, right? Keep 'em coming, please.

Did anyone catch my implied Larry King tone from the last post? I was going for completely random, unconnected thoughts with absolutely no segue. Who better to channel than the "King"?

I am currently watching an episode of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery channel. It revolves around the removal of abandoned mobile homes. It is both hilarious and frightening at the same time. It can best be described as one long 12 year old boys joke. The episode title is mannequin factory. Check it out if you find it in re-runs.

We had our very first parent-teacher conference on Monday. I was a very proud parent before, but now...wow! My Nora is the best!!! She is right on line with her reading and math and has very good handwriting. The thing that made me the happiest was the teachers comment about her creativity. The teacher cannot wait to see the creative twists Nora will add to their projects. She is a very creative little girl and is not afraid to do her own thing. Socially she has no issues. She loves her classmates and they love her.

We are nearing the end of our room re-model. It looks like a room. Yahoo!

Cheers

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Don't Wanna Jinx Myself, But....

....I have had eleven consecutive blogs with at least one comment. Do you have any idea how happy this make me? I am so very proud of you, my loyal Chrisophiles, for reading my blog and taking the time to leave the occasional comment. Let's keep it rolling.

Observations:

Michigan Won! That was not a typo. Michigan Won! They beat Minnesota today 29-6, and maintained possession of the Little Brown Jug. Click here for a little history.

I have found the answer to a question posed in a Saturday Night Live spoof commercial. In said commercial they were advertising a new food product. It was all flash, no substance and never named the food. When asked what this wonderful food was they would just answer, "It's not yogurt". Wanna know what it is? It's Gogurt. There are no live cultures, a bunch of unpronounceable items, a healthy dose of high fructose corn syrup and more sugar than a can of Coke. Nope, it's not yogurt.

Dose any one still have a rotary phone? Better yet, remember the first "touch tone" phones. You know the ones where you would push the button and then hear the click, click,, clicking of the number dialing. Those were awesome.

When and why did conveniences become necessities? The particular one that is driving me up the wall is the leaf blower. I gave one of these modern wonders a whirl on Wednesday. It took me 15 minutes to clear a space that took me under 5 minutes with a good ole rake. Do not get me started on the fact that it cannot clear thick layers of leaves and the fact that once you get the leaves air borne the wind tends to deposit them wherever it sees fit. I did find one use. They are so loud that you cannot even hear yourself think, which as bizarre as my thoughts tend to be....

Michigan 29 Minnesota 6 Still awesome!

Home remodeling is fun again. Nora and Nigel are both old enough now that Robin and I can get in a few mostly uninterrupted hours of work. Makes a huge difference. We, and by we I me mostly she, have been fixing our front room.

Before:


Pretty wallpaper


Even better walls underneath.

After:



Give us a day or two more...we are not quite done.

Anyone know what time it is?

Yeah, you know.

Cheers!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Glutton For Punishment

Apparently I enjoy pain and discomfort. I went for my afternoon run today and decided I wanted to do a little hill work. A big advantage of hill training is that it allows you to simultaneously work on aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular fitness. My upcoming race has a pretty sizable hill toward the finish and I want to be prepared for it. Also, I like the change of pace. Anyway, back to my run. When I hit these hills it was not enough for me to just maintain my pace. No, I had to pick up the pace, and I do not mean going from a gentle jog to a nice run. No, I needed to jump up to my finish the race kick. What is wrong with me. My hammys, calves and glutes are going to be killing me tomorrow. You know what the kicker in this whole ordeal was? My drawers were not cooperating. They were traveling uphill just as I was...if you get my drift. Do you have any idea how hard it is to maintain your pace and stride while trying to get your drawers to travel back downhill? Not to mention how silly you look to those around you.

Now for something completely different...

I have declared tomorrow and every subsequent Friday to be Superhero Friday. From this time forward I shall don a superhero t-shirt for work. Last Friday was the Green Lantern and tomorrow shall be Superman.

Martini time

Cheers

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nora's Big Game

This past Saturday was a very big day for Nora and I. Before I get into why it was such a big day I will give a little back story for those of you who may need to be brought up to speed.

A few years ago my Dad and I began a tour of the Big Ten in an attempt to watch Michigan play in all the different stadiums. We have been to several and have really enjoyed seeing the campuses. This year we were to attend the Penn St game and the Purdue game. We made the Penn St game with Brett. That was a ton of driving in a weekend, but worth every second. Their stadium is amazing and the fans were really into the game. We were in the upper deck and when the fans started jumping the the whole structure would bounce and pulsate. It was awesome.

This past weekend Dad and I were supposed to take in the Purdue game. Unfortunately for him he came down with a horrible cold and was not able to go. Fortunately Nora was willing to step in and take his place. That's right, I got to take Nora to her first Michigan football game. She and I were all decked out in our Michigan jersey's and Michigan hats and ready for a great game. We had a nice drive over in the morning. We got there just in time to see the Purdue marching band parade into the stadium. She really enjoyed that. Once in the stadium she really enjoyed seeing all the fans there and being all caught up in the excitement. I had a great time watching her take it all in and explain various aspects of the game to her.

My favorite was on the occasion of Purdue's first punt to Michigan. I explained that Purdue did not move the ball far enough and would have to kick the ball to Michigan. Nora then said, "Oh, then our guy has to catch it and run for a touchdown, right?". I said that is the idea, but it rarely works out that way. Wouldn't you know...Michigan returned the punt for a touchdown. That touchdown put the Wolverines up 14-0. It was a very exciting start to the game. In the end Michigan did lose, but Nora and I had a great time, and that was the most important part to me.


Getting ready to go.


Here comes Purdue.


The Wolverines getting ready.


The halftime show was cool. Check out their big bass drum.


Go Blue!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Birds!

Tuesday is here and I have finally recovered from the trail mix fiasco on Friday. It required two days of lunches chocked full of my mix to get me back on track, but I feel I am okay now.

With that said I have a new issue. My warehouse is no longer bird free. On Monday I was assaulted by the chirping of two swallows frolicking in the rafters. They flew around, playing happily, as I helplessly watched their antics. Have they no respect? Have they no idea the danger they face? Obviously not. Correction, one of them does.

This particular bird had the nerve to attempt buzzing the tower. It came flying down the middle of the aisle right at me at head level. I gave it the same treatment I gave the bat in my entry "I'm An Idiot", except replace the pillow with my coat. It only stunned it a bit and the bird was able to fly away. I think the message was sent. Today I did not hear or see either bird. Victory is mine! I know it is a false victory. It only means one of two things. One: The birds just did not come out into the main part of the warehouse, or B: There is a way in and out for them. However, at this moment it is all that I have.

Cheers

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Brave New World

Tomorrow is going to be a day filled with adventure and a sense of the unknown. I am heading down a path untrod in over a year. There is no telling the trials and tribulations that lie ahead, but I shall forge on bravely.

I am having lunch without my mixed nut/raisin/nutty banana chip snack. Stop laughing! This is a big deal. I have become a bit of a creature of habit and I am not sure how my body is going to handle the shock to its system. Robin told me that she hopes I make it through the day. Me too! But I can't be sure. I am many amazing things, but a soothsayer is not one of those things. In its stead I have put together a little combo of wheat thins, triscuits and raisins. A solid snack, no doubt, but I shall surely miss the sweet softness of the cashew, the rich taste of the brazil nut, the buttery flavor of the pecan, and the fresh nutty crunch of the peanut. Don't even get me started on the glories of the nutty banana chip.

Now I hope you all understand the perils I face in the great unknown that is tomorrows lunch. This is what it must have felt like for the crew of the Starship Enterprise as they prepared to boldly go where no man has gone before.

With that I say to you

Good night, but hopefully not goodbye!

Cheers

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Freakin' Out Man

I am under way too much stress these days. Due to the very cool networking site, Facebook, I have re-connected with several people from my past. This re-connection has brought new readers to the No Worries blog. With those new readers have come a few compliments on my humor and writing ability. Now I feel the pressure to perform, to have my "A" game on every time I plop down at the keyboard. As I type I am shaking with nerves...I'm freakin' out man. I am going to have ask for the patience of my Chrisophiles during this stressful time. My writings may be a bit off. Now onto todays thoughts.

I have had a few revelations about myself lately.

One:

The music I loved in my youth is now in the classic rock range. Janes Addiction and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a couple, have albums that are 20 years old.

"B":

My language has changed. I told a truck driver that the "potty" was the first door around the corner on the right.

Furthermore:

I care even less what people think of me. Today I was rocking out Doug and Steve Butabi style to "Believe" by Cher for the world to see.



Last But Not Least:

I'm a hoot.

Cheers

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

As some of you may know my Dad, brother Brett and I went to the Michigan-Penn St. game in Happy Valley this weekend. It did not end well for the Wolverines. However, we had a very good time. State College is a very cool town and Beaver stadium and the fans are unbelievable. As for the game itself, I have figured out a way we might have enjoyed it even more.

We Coulda...
left at halftime. Michigan was leading 17-14.

We Shoulda...
ignored any and all sports media for the next 24-48 hrs.

And then...

We Woulda...
enjoyed a much more pleasant outcome for Big Blue.

That is not how it played out. We witnessed the dismantling of Michigan at the hands of Penn St. We made our way out early in the 4th quarter with Michigan down 29-17. Before we had made it out of the stadium it was 36-17 and on the way to the 46-17 blow out that everyone anticipated.

Perhaps the Purdue game will yield a better result.

Cheers

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why I Don't Talk To People In The Office....

...And other random rants.

As some of you may know about two weeks ago I had your standard, run-of-the-mill, head cold. Nothing that really slowed me down in terms of getting through the day, but did have me congested and sneezing a bit. When asked by people in my office if I was sick I said sure, but nothing major. Now two weeks later I am being blamed for every little ailment anyone in the office may have. Listen folks, I am not sure what you may have heard, but my head cold did not give you strep throat, cause your arthritis to flare up, or give your cat feline aids. Leave me alone!

Leaves. How is it that I am able to rake up a pile of leaves that appears to be enough to cover every inch of all the trees on our property, yet the trees themselves appear to have lost no leaves at all?

Hmmm...I guess that I did not have as much to complain about as I thought. Wait a minute, I almost forgot. I am out of gin. It may be time to learn how to make that as well!

Cheers!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Summary

Saturday:

I got my first good run in since being sick. It felt good and I was happy that the week off had no ill effects on my pace. My low expectation/optimistic attitude while watching Michigan football took a major hit. Losing to Toledo...really? Come on Michigan, are you serious....Toledo? Fortunately I was able to distract myself with the bottling of my altbier. That night we went over to Brandon and Susan's (Robin's sister) for a cookout and campfire for her birthday. Fun was had by all.

Sunday:

I spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon tracking my friend Josh and his progress in the Chicago marathon. He finished in 5hrs 10mins 36secs. He said he was a bit disappointed in his time, but happy he finished. I for one am proud of him and impressed. 26.2 miles is a long way. The remainder of the day was filled with recycling, some yard work, laundry and football. I voted against brewing. I may have to wait a couple more weeks on that one.

That's it for today.

Cheers

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Update.

At the suggestion of Adrianne, Josh's wife, I have visited the Chicago marathons website. There they have a section that allows you to sign up and receive updates for specific runners at set milestones...10k, halfway, 30k, and of course the finish. The updates will be sent to me via e-mail. I am pretty excited to track his progress, and send out my good vibes. A lot of time and dedication goes into training for a run like this and I really want him to do well.

And now for something completely different...

I am getting ready to bottle my German Altbier. I used very little grains in this brew, mostly extracts so there is not as much of need for it to sit in my brewing bucket. I would like to get my vanilla porter brewed tomorrow as it will need more time to come together...more grains in this recipe.

Another subject change...

Did I mention I got new glasses?


You like?

Cheers

Friday, October 10, 2008

Send Good Vibes, Please.

I, well, not me perse, but my good friend Josh is in need of all of your good vibes. I am very serious when I say all of your good vibes. Do not hold back. Give until it hurts. What is so dire that I make this plea on his behalf you may ask? 26.2, that's what. My buddy Josh, and his sister are running in the 31st annual Chicago marathon. The farthest I have ever run is 12 miles and let me tell ya...it hurt. Josh has to run 14.2 miles further. He and his sister need all of the Chrisophiles pulling for them. So, beginning at about 8a.m. on Sunday through about 11a.m. be sending your thoughts to Josh and his sis.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Michigan Blues

The Michigan Wolverines football season has begun with a whimper. They are 2-3 with blowout loses to hated (at least by me) Notre Dame and Illinois. They do not have the right players to function in the system their new coach wants to run, and their defense spends too much time on the field. There is however, a bright side to all of this. There is no pressure. They cannot suffer that one crushing loss that will "ruin" the season. (See Appalachian St 2007) There is nothing pure viewing relaxation. No pressure, just eternal optimism, and the occasional surprise. (See Wisconsin 2008)

So when my Dad, brother and I head off to Happy Valley to watch Michigan play Penn St I will not go with fear of a loss, but instead optimism and my Tom Brady Michigan jersey.

Go Blue!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not hangin' Them Up

Back on September 14th I said that I was most likely done with races for the year. Well, I just can't seem to shake the bug just yet. I have two more on the schedule.

On November 23rd I am going to take part in the 38th annual Peoria Turkey Trot. It is a 4 mile run, and just happens to be the Peoria areas oldest running race. The top two overall finishers and the top two in each age division will win a free turkey compliments of Kroger. Thanksgiving dinner is on me this year!

Then on December 6th I am going to take part in the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. This is a benefit run for arthritis and I figure by the time i am done with this running thing years from now I may have some achy joints. So, I better give back while I can. Stay tuned.

As with all of my runs this year I will again call upon the powers of various superheros. I am not sure who yet, but the usual suspects will be up for consideration.

Hope all my readers are well...

Cheers

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Brewing Season Has Begun.

I brewed my first beer of the season yesterday. I went with a German Altbier. It is somewhat like a pale ale, except it is softer and more well balanced. Pale ales tend to be hoppy and bitter. It should be a good drinking beer for the fall.

No matter how many brews I do I still get excited and a bit nervous when waiting for the fermentation process to begin. So, as you may imagine I was thrilled this morning when I opened up the "beer closet" and saw the tell tale bubbles of fermentation in my airlock.

On tap for next week will be bottling on Saturday and possibly brewing my long anticipated vanilla porter on Sunday. I am hoping to get a few more brews done this year than I did last. I really enjoy the hobby, the fruits of my labor are delicious, Nora loves helping me bottle, but it can be a bit time consuming.

Stay tuned for my next post as I have an announcement. Until then...

No Worries.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Batman Birthday

I am well overdue on this post...nearly a month in fact. Nigel celebrated his 4th birthday in full Batman style. We invited over a few of his friends and their families for a cookout, cake and the all important opening of the presents. Fun was had by all and I feel can be best summed up in picture form.

Enjoy.


Nora added her artistic abilities to the decor.


Nigel just opened his "Batpod". Thank you Yoders!


Nigel in his Batman shirt...I have a matching shirt.


The Batman cupcake cake. This thing was so cool. It came with a Batman motorcycle toy on top.


Nigel's new costumes helped turn this into a costume party.




Party's over.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spinach Is Merely a Plecebo...

Recently I found myself thinking about Popeye and his battles with Bluto and other ne'er-do-wells. Inevitably Popeye would find himself in a tight spot or in the process of being completely pummeled. Every single time he went for his can of spinach, consumed its contents, and then rained "h", "e", double hockey sticks down upon his over-matched opponent.

I contend that he never actually needed the spinach in the first place. Let's put aside the biological aspect of the picture. We all know the human body would not be able to digest the spinach, process the minerals and vitamins and then send them throughout to provide the needed power. That goes without saying, right?

My point is this:

The man just popped open the can with his bare hands, or...
He generated enough lung power to turn his little pipe into a blow torch.
I think he was doing just fine in the strength department. Popeye, stop toying with Bluto. It's just plain mean.

This is just a sample of the random thoughts that go through my head on a given day. And people wonder why I am always in a good mood.

Martini Time!

Cheers

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Overruled!

The votes are in, were counted, and a decision was made. Batman was the victor over Superman. However, I felt the Chrisophiles chose poorly. I mean come on, how do you pick a guy in an armored suit with fancy gadgets over the Man of Steel, faster than a speeding bullet, it was a race you know. Besides, I had to be fashion conscience. My running shorts are either red or gray and my Batman shirt is gray. I just would not look good. So, Superman was the new winner. You did not really think the No Worries blog was a democracy did you?

Superman served me well and the race was a success. This was the first time I had tried to run this distance at anything more than a 10 minute/mile pace, so I was not too sure how I would hold up. I held up well.

There were 418 people in the Pumpkin Festival 10K this year. I placed 104 with a time of 49:20. I was able to maintain a similar pace for the 10K that I ran in my 5K runs. I slowed up a bit in the last two miles to just over a 8min/mile pace, (had to save energy for the pumpkin pancakes). This will most likely be my last race for the year and I am very happy with what I have done in my first 6mths of running. I will maintain my training and focus a bit more on Nora and her progress. She really wants to be able to run a mile and eventually be able to be in a race with me.



Superman preparing to wave to his fans at the finish.

I still owe you all a post for Nigel's Batman birthday.

Cheers for now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Extra! Extra!

Nora and her friends have made the paper!

Last Friday we went to see American English, a Beatles tribute band with some good friends of ours the Yoders. It was part of a free outdoor summer concert series put on by the local electric company. Before the concert started we had a picnic dinner and the kids ran around and had a bunch of fun. Once the music got going the kids began cutting a rug. Claire, the Yoders youngest, had some serious dance moves. Well the kids dnacing caught the eye of a photographer for a local newspaper. He came over, gave us his card and asked if he could take some pictures of the kids for the paper. Of course we said yes. All of our kids are adorable and we could not deprive the world of their cuteness. Follow this link to see for yourselves.
Nigel is noticeably missing from the pic, he was hanging out with Robin listening to the music. They got the names reversed in the caption, but I bet you all figured that out.

Cheers

Race Day Approaches

The big day is approaching quickly. The race that started this whole running thing for me is this Saturday, the Pumpkin Festival 10K. The training has gone well and I am in good condition for the distance. I am looking forward to a nice run. However, the question of Superman or Batman still lingers. Who should it be? Now I normally do not campaign for one or the other, but how do you vote against "faster than a speeding bullet"? Although, Batman does have all those wonderful toys....

Go Vote!

Cheers

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm An Idiot!

That statement may be a blast from the past for some of you. Robin has commented that some of my, "I am an idiot" stories are legendary. This story may just fall in that category. However, it just may lend itself to a new brand of story, "Chris is a wuss".

Last evening, or to be more specific, this morning, I was eased into that awake/asleep/still dreaming state by a series of strange noises. The first of which was a high pitched squeak. It was followed by a fluttering sound. This happened a couple more times until I was jerked completely awake by two cats galloping across me. Now fully awake I am able to here a constant fluttering noise circling our bedroom. The cats were running in circles to match. I am still a little groggy and thinking this is one heck of a cricket in our room. Finally the sound focuses against the window wall of the room. I can now make out both cats watching the proverbial tennis match of this giant bug flying back and forth in front of our bedroom window. Then, I catch a glimpse of our visitor as it makes its way across our windows. Now the high pitched squeaks and and fluttering make way more sense. We have a bat.

With this realization I decide to wake Robin. I mean you cannot very well catch a bat without waking up others in the room. I nudged her and said, "We have a bat". Her response was, "huh"? I repeated, "We have a bat". Robin countered with, "what do you mean"? So, I was a bit more specific, "We have a bat in our bedroom". With that Robin got up and it kinda went downhill for me. I asked her what she was doing and she told me she was going to go get something to catch the bat.

She returned armed with a small pail and a rolled up Captain America comic. Very logical as Cap does wield on heck of a shield. The following events happened simultaneously:

Light went on...
Bat went crazy (as did the cats)...
I went under the sheets.
Give me a break, I did not want to get it stuck in my hair. I had not trimmed my beard in weeks.

Meanwhile Robin is bravely swinging away with the Cap at our bat. I eventually gathered myself enough to climb out of bed to join the fight. I grabbed the closest weapon at my disposal, a pillow, and begin taking swings. After a few blind flails I connected. The little fella ricocheted off our bed and land on the floor partially under the dresser. In came Robin with the Captain and the pail to scoop him up. He revived a bit during this and at one point was laid out, wings spread on the floor. He looked just like the Bat symbol! Awesome!

Robin eventually got him in the pail and we walked him outside. The pail was dumped and our bat flew off into the night.

I must admit my time under the sheets while Robin was battling the bat was not one of my stronger moments. However, I feel I redeemed myself with the pillow shot. Who am I kidding....
I am an idiot wuss.

Cheers

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Say That Again....

I have two random and non-related issues to complain about tonight.

First:

A Walking Taco is an acceptable lunch for grade school children. What is a Walking Taco you ask? Well it is a bag of Fritos with some meat and cheese dumped into it. How in the world is that considered a balanced, good lunch? I understand that these lunches need to be inexpensive for the schools, but they also need to be nutritionally sound. It seems at times that the emphasis is on the inexpensive and not so much on the nutrition. An apple, a slice of good cheese and some whole grain crackers would cover both the objectives. I think the main sticking point for people may be the idea of an entree. We need to get past that and fix our kids lunches.

Second:

Why is the 1960's Batman not on DVD or at least on T.V. anymore? The answer to the first part is copyrights. There are a few people who will not sign over the rights. Have they no foresight? Do they not realize how many Bat-fans will buy that series? Batman is very popular, again, and they could make a mint. As for the second part of this conundrum, I have no idea. It was in syndication at one point, why not now. Holy Bat-withdrawals, I need some "Pow, Biff, Bam and Splat" in my life.

Speaking of Batman, he is leading the way as the Superhero for me to channel through a t-shirt for my 10K. There is plenty of time left to vote. Be heard Chrisophiles!

Cheers

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wow

Nora floored me yesterday. I was getting ready to work out, she and Nigel were down in the workout room and I was upstairs getting my mp3 player. All of a sudden I here a very excited yell from Nora, "Daddy, I just did a one-arm chin-up." Now not that I consider my daughter a liar, but a one-arm chin-up from a 6 year old? I figured at best she was holding on to the bar and hopping up and using the momentum to complete the chin-up. So, I went downstairs and asked her to show me. Nora walked to the bar, grabbed on with her right hand, gripped her right wrist with left hand, hung for a moment, and then pulled herself up. No hop, no jump, just a good clean one-arm chin-up. Then, just for good measure she did one with the left arm. Gotta have good balance you know. WOW! My little muscle girl. During the remainder of my workout she would do one-arm chin-ups, and on one occasion did two in a row.

On the running front, Nora and I have hit a little bump in the road. She had been using her old Wal-Mart tennis shoes and the heel support had broken down. Due to that she hurt her left heel. Therefore we took most of last week off and have got her some good Nike running shoes. Her heel now feels fine and we will begin running again tomorrow.

As for my running I am well on pace for the Pumpkin Fest 10k. I am not going to have the same kind of success as I have in the 5k, but I think I will do just fine. I have not yet decided which superhero I will channel for this run, but I have narrowed it down to Superman or Batman. In fact, I think this calls for the input of the Chrisophiles, check out the poll and help me decide. The poll will be open until the night before the run. Which t-shirt will it be?

That's all for now.

Cheers

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What A Difference A year Makes

Today Was Nora's first day of school. This year she is a big first grader. One year ago as Nora lined up with her new class mates to go off to class for the first time there was a look of worry on her face and tears in her eyes. This year she ran into her new class with a huge smile on her face and barely glanced over her shoulder to say goodbye to us. Our little girl is growing up. I would like to take this opportunity to file a formal protest...she is not supposed to grow up! We did not authorize this nor have we filed the proper "aging" paper work. This needs to stop now.

I would write more, but I am too enthralled in the Olympics!

GO USA!

Cheers

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Week In Review

I got some very good news early in the week. Brett, Jori, Kiernan and Grayson are coming back to visit in September. While here they will take in the Morton Pumpkin Festival, visit friends and family and take care of a few errands. Most importantly they are going to have Grayson baptized at Bethel Lutheran, Brett's and my childhood church. He and Jori have asked me to be Grayson's Godfather. It is a great honor and I gladly accepted. Grayson, as your Godfather, be aware that someday I will need a favor...maybe not today or next week but.....

Nora and I have continued our running. Today we will wrap up week two with a 8 minute run. She has made nice improvements in her stride and endurance. Yesterday we covered the most distance to date, .62 miles. The best part of it all is she is having fun and we are able to do this together.


Off we go.

On Monday Robin and I surprised Nigel with an early birthday present. We got him his first bike. To say he loves it would be an understatement. He is pretty fearless on it and is already cruising around on his training wheels. It works out for Nora as well. She has her own, but it is much bigger and she does not feel as stable. Nigel's is lower to the ground and Nora feels much more secure. They both love riding it and are making great strides. We also bought a scooter for them to aide in improved balance.


Nigel and his new bike.


Nora scooting along.

Early Tuesday morning a big wind storm blew though Central Illinois traveling at 61 mph and bringing 60+ mph winds with it. I am fairly certain that our little town of Eureka got the worst of it. 2700 homes were without power for most of the day, including ours, and you could not drive by a house without seeing limbs and branches all over their yard. Many people lost entire trees, including a huge one in the high school parking lot. We were lucky and only had branches down in our yard. We did have a big branch down on the roof outside Nora's window, but no damage was done.


Down tree at Eureka High School.

Today we had a few big plans for the weekend that are in jeopardy due to a light rain. I volunteered to mow the lawn at our church, and wanted to put up our tent for a little camp out tonight. They say this rain is supposed to pass quickly, but it has been coming down for about an hour now. I need everyone to send their clear skies vibes this way.

I do have a back-up plan. The OLYMPICS! Robin and I love the Olympics, particularly the summer Olympics. We watched as much of the opening ceremony as we could stay awake for, and I am watching women's volleyball as I type. The US women are playing Japan and have a 1-0 lead, but are trailing in the second set. USA! USA! USA! I think my affection for the Olympics is tied to two major events in my life. First, the Robinson family moved to Illinois prior to the '84 summer games. Those were the first games I really remember watching and they are tied to a major change in our lives. Second, my personal branch of the Robinson family tree moved to Colorado just before the '96 summer games. Robin and I broke newly weds and did not yet know many people. So, our entertainment for two weeks consisted of a 6-pack and the Olympics. Oh the memories.

Update: Japan has tied the US at one set a piece.

Cheers!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Aging

Last night we had a nice dinner at my parents house. Cousin Tom and Barb were in town so we were able to have a nice visit with them as well. When we arrived we exchanged pleasantries, hugged and then Tom hit me with this..."Chris, you've gotten grayer since the River". I prefer to think of it as more distinguished. Distinguished? Who am I kidding? I am too much of a goofball to ever be confused as distinguished. Well, I guess that is what happens when you are the oldest of the youngers. Tom is right, I am grayer and believe it or not I like it.

Nora and I went for our third run yesterday. This one was a four minute run that covered 1/4 mile. It went very well. We did a better job of pacing and did not end up with a pain in her side. Most importantly she had fun.

Thank goodness for these runs with Nora or else I would not have done any running this week. I started the week being sick, so I missed Tuesday. Yesterday was the dinner and we only had time for Nora's run. I need to get out Saturday morning and put in some miles. The Pumpkin Fest. 10K is just around the corner.

Well that's all for now. Time to get moving for work.

Cheers

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Disaster Avoided

Last night when walking from our family room (which is a newer addition to our house) to the office (part of the original structure), I got hit in the head by a drop of water. I looked up and there was water dripping from the door frame. We were in the midst of a downpour outside and it somehow was making its way inside. Robin went upstairs to our bedroom which overlooks the roof of the newer addition. Our roof is rubber and small buckled gap in it. I had most likely created the issue a couple weeks ago when I was up there cleaning the gutters and trimming branches. To make a long story short, Robin was able to reach the offending gap, seal it, cover it and stop the leak. All we need to do now is real seal it. Disaster Avoided.

On the Nora running front, we did two 3 minute stints today. We ran for 3 minutes, rested a bit and then ran for 3 more. We covered .41 miles, Nora got a stitch in her side and learned about pacing. She did a great job and I am very proud of her.

Well I think it is about time for relaxing here in the Robinson household. First step will be to convince the kids this is a good idea and the second step will be to shake up a martini.

Cheers

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Olympics 2020

As you know I have begun running. I am having a blast doing it and have has a reasonable amount of success in the races in which I have competed. Nora has taken notice to the amount of fun I have both training and running the races. She started asking if I thought she would be able to run in a race someday. I said sure as long as you practice and train like I do. She asked if I would teach her. That made me pretty happy. So, I went out on the internet and found a running program for kids. It is based on time instead of distance. We started today. (Josh, I did not ditch you for her. I have been sick and did not think I could handle anymore than a run with her.) We ran for 2 minutes and covered .14 miles. Tomorrow we run for three minutes, rest and run for three more. We are both looking forward to the day. She had a blast and told me that it was the best part of her day. I have been looking forward to playing sports with the kids for about 6.5yrs. Never thought it would be running. Life is good.

Cheers

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Best Party Ever

Update to the weekend:

We just returned home from the pool party. It was a success to say the least. There was an inflatable water slide, a kiddie pool, a 4ft deep pool and a big swing set. Nora and Nigel loved the water slide. Each time Nigel went down he ran over to us to tell us how awesome it was. This was the perfect end to a great weekend. Now to finish it off with a few hot dogs.

Cheers

Great Weekend

This has been one of those weekends that you never want to end. We have all had a lot of fun and have managed to get a lot accomplished around the house. Anyone care for a recap?

Friday:

I took a half day off of work so I could go swimming. One of the members of our church has a pool and invites people over Monday-Friday, and Robin & the kids have been taking her up on her offer. Nora and Nigel love it and have been begging me to come with them. So, on Friday I went home at lunch time and hit the pool. Nora showed me how she floats on her back and Nigel kicked around in his floaty tube. Fun was had by all.

Earlier in the day Nora lost her first tooth. She was very excited. The night before a bite of corn on the cob started the process and a sandwich at lunch finished the deal on Friday. Our girl is growing up in spite of our best efforts.

Friday night was our Wild Night as noted in yesterdays post.

Saturday:

The kids started their day at Grandma and Grandpa's house with some very special waffles from the "Silly Snacks" cookbook Nora checked out from the library. They were called Wafflewiches. You make them by preparing two waffles, spreading one with a mixture of melted marshmallows and peanut butter, topping the mixture with sliced banana and chocolate chips and then closing the sandwich with the other waffle. Instant energy. The kids went off to a park after that and ran off all that energy.

During all this Robin and I spent the morning at Menards getting landscaping materials. We then hit the yard and showed no mercy to our weeds. We expanded and mulched one bed and weeded and mulched an other. We also picked up material to make a small fence to separate a rock parking area and a flower bed we put in earlier in the summer. Doing yard work is very satisfying. You see instant results for all your hard work.

I got big news from Brett yesterday. He called me from the top of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Yes, I said on top of the Green Monster. One of his Air Force buddies, Major Dan Begin, called him up and asked for a favor. Last year Dan entered a raffle to win an authentic Red Sox World Series ring. He won. Yesterday was to be the day that the ring was presented to Dan. They were going to have him read the line-up and throw out the first pitch. When The Red Sox found out that Dan was in the military, they wanted to play up that fact and pay homage to our service men and women. So, they requested that he wear his uniform for all the activities. He said no problem, excepted his uniform was in Baltimore. The Sox said they do not care, get it here whatever the expense. The expense ended up being Brett. The Red Sox flew him out, put him up in a hotel, gave him a ticket to the game, and VIP treatment once in the park. That treatment included endless brats, burgers, sausages, and Heineken, and access to the top of the Green Monster. While he was up there he get hit in the hand by and homerun ball hit in bp and Julio Lugo's autograph on his ticket stub (which he gave to one of the kids there). Not a bad day.

Sunday:

Today will be a big day to finish out the weekend. We have VBS celebration at our church service this morning and a pool party with one of Nora's kindergarten friends. Robin and I would love to do more yard work, but I do not see that happening. The list of things we want to do is endless. Why does the weekend have to end?

Cheers

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wild Night

Robin and I decided to celebrate her birthday last night. I know it is a bit late, but celebrating on a Friday night is better than on a Monday. We started things out by dropping Nora and Nigel off with Grandma and Grandpa Robinson for a sleepover. Then we were off for our night.

First we hit Ming's, our favorite Chinese buffet. I know, buffets do not sound like our thing, but this place does sushi and they do it very well. The amount of sushi Robin and I put away more than covers the price of admission. We filled our bellies and were ready for the rest of our night. Next up...home. We got into our cozy clothes, mixed up a couple of Martini's, and put in a movie. It was a nice, quiet, relaxing night at home. I know, we are crazy.

Cheers

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Home Alone

This is an odd week for me...a sensation that I am not used to feeling. Robin and the kids are attending VBS at our church this week, so, that leaves me at home alone. I can do whatever I want!

First up was pretty obvious. I re-enacted the scene from Risky Business, because who doesn't like Old Time Rock 'n' Roll. Then while still in my undies I downed a beer in front of the fridge with the door open. Later I ate a bag full of chips and followed it all with some chocolate chips. I of course did plenty of belching and scratching during all of this.

Reality.....
I showered, made my lunch for the next day, washed some dishes and did a little laundry. Now I am sitting in a very quiet house wondering what to do with my time. A beer does sound good...

Cheers

Monday, July 21, 2008

Slacker

Many apologies. I have been a blogger slacker. Many things have happened in the time since I last posted. Babies have been born, people have passed on, the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie has been viewed by my children 327 times, the Detroit Tigers made it to .500, then under, then back, then under and back again...you get the picture, Nora's first T-Ball season wrapped up, The Dark Knight made $155.4 million in its opening weekend, Robin and I celebrated 12 years of marriage(July 20), followed by her birthday(July 21), and I found out when I will die. You get the idea, lots happened. and I was not here to give you all the details. For that I am sorry. I would fill you in on all the details, but I am sure you would no more want to read them all than I want to write them all. Instead I will focus on more recent and future events.

Something funny from church this past Sunday. We were celebrating Christmas in July and the sermon was of course on the birth story. Within the sermon our minister used the work "fantastical". My mind immediately went to a Dr. Seuss birth story, and from there a little rendition of Noah's Ark...One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. I avoided laughter, barely.

In future news, I am going to brew again soon. In honor of the one year anniversary of the last Tuke reunion I will be making B's Point Place Vanilla Porter. I may have to figure out how to ship....

Cheers

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Time For Recovery

This has been an action packed weekend, and I for one am tired. After all the festivities of Thursday and Friday I spent yesterday doing yard work.

The day began with my bro-in-law, Brandon, over at Robin's parents house. They needed brush clearing and general clean-up done around their yard. I actually enjoy doing that kind of work so the time passed quickly. We got a lot accomplished. I hope they like the results.

After that I came home and spent the remainder of the afternoon trimming bushes, picking up sticks in the yard, and doing some general clean-up. I wanted to get more accomplished, but both my weed whip and my lawn mower are out of commission. That is just as well since all the activities of the day really got my allergies going.

Once I did what I could do in the yard I hoped on my bike to run some essential errands. We were dangerously low on gin, needed more milk, and something to throw on the grill. So I threw on my backpack and peddled up to the local liquor store, got our provisions, then headed back over to the grocery store for milk and hotdogs. I love living in a town small enough that allows us to walk and/or ride anywhere in town that we need to go.

Today is another beautiful day. It may bring more yard work, it may bring brewing, it may bring nothing but laundry and movies. I think we have done enough this weekend to deserve a break. I know my nose could use it.

Cheers

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What A Weekend...

...And it is only Saturday. Let's recap the action so far.

Thursday:

We started the weekend with a bang. Nora had a T-Ball game at 6. Her team was up first and she was the 2nd batter. The first pitch she saw she smacked down the 3rd base line. Her second hit from the pitcher in as many games. She gets very excited when she gets a hit, almost as excited as Robin and I. My parents were there to see the action and were very proud Grandparents for sure.
After the game we all caravaned over to my parents house for a little dessert and fireworks. Morton puts on a nice little 15-20 minute show. We have a pretty good view from their front yard, and do not have to deal with finding a parking place. The kids loved the show and I will never tire of them either.

Friday:

Race Day. I have decided to channel the powers of various superheroes for each of my races. For my first race I selected Green Lantern and ended up being mistaken for a girl. So, for this race I decided to go with SpiderMAN. As promised I have pictures from the Firecracker 5000.

Spidy and family pre-race.


Spidy is tiring but finishing strong.

The official results were posted this morning. I finished 94th out of 591 and turned in a time of 22:08. Not too bad if you ask me. Yesterday I forgot to mention the best part of the race, the post race spread. They provided a buffet of water, Gatorade, bananas, apples, bagels, pizza, and beer. You better believe I had a 8 a.m. pint.
After the race we headed home for the Eureka forth of July parade. We are very proud of our tractors and firetrucks here. The kids had a blast and ended up with way too much candy.

Nora, cousin Sofie and cousin Pete waiting for the parade.

Nigel looking cool while passing the time with a pinwheel.

After the parade we all rested up a bit for the big Bressner July 4th cookout/picnic/bonfire/Kirsten's B-Day(Robin's older sister)/firework show. We went over around 3 and stayed until 10:30. A long but very fun day. The kids survived on sidedishes while I downed some great ribs provided by Brandon's Dad, Randy. A good time was had by all indeed.

Well I think I have babbled on long enough. Time to go do some landscaping at the in-laws.

Cheers

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!


The Robinson Household wishes all the Chrisophiles a worry free Independence Day.

Our day has started out early and quickly. As I had mentioned before, I was running in the Firecracker 5000 5K this morning. Nora and Nigel really wanted to go watch Daddy race, so, the whole family was up and going at 6 a.m. We met my parents at the race starting area around 7, and I was off and running by 7:30. It was really nice having such a great cheering section, and it paid off. I turned in a personal best time of around 22:04. You may remember I ran my last race as a female and turned in a time of 23:44. From now on I think I will run as a male. I will post some pics from the race later.

The rest of our day is action packed as well. As I write this the rest of the family is getting ready to go to the Eureka July 4th parade. After that there are several activities in town and a big family cookout at Robin's sisters family's house. A great day will be had by all and I trust your day will be great and Worry free.

Cheers

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Groove

I figured staying in my groove while on vacation was going to be tough, but getting back into it once home was the real challenge. I go days without even checking my e-mail let alone sitting down and writing. I am fairly certain that my brain is still on vacation. It is the only explanation for how so much time has passed between my last posting without me even noticing.

Speaking of grooves...Nora found hers last night. She got her first hit from a live pitch in a game. She was so happy and a little surprised that she just stood there at the plate and watched the ball. After a bit a encouragement from the fans she ran on down to first where there was a very happy, excited, thrilled, proud Dad/1st base coach waiting. Now all we have to do is get her to learn how to catch! Of course, that can be said for all the kids playing.

We have a big 4th of July coming up. So big that is going to take two days. On the 3rd Nora has a game after which we will be heading to my parents house with the Bressners (Robins sisters family). Morton does their fireworks on the 3rd and my parents have a great view. The morning of the 4th I have an other 5K race in downtown Peoria. From the sounds of things I am going to have a big cheering section as Robin and the kids will be there as well as my parents. Then that afternoon we will be heading to the Bressners for a cookout and a viewing of the Eureka fireworks. I know we are going to have a blast and I hope you all do as well.

Hopefully this posting means that my brain has returned from vacation and I am a bit more regular with the No Worries.

Cheers

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is This Perfect Or What?

It seems that most of the homes in the area seem to be named. Upon arriving home yesterday from our adventures, (see Robin's blog) Robin pointed out the name of our little vacation home.





Hakuna Matata means No Worries. Could there be a better place for the No Worries author to spend his vacation? I think not.

Now after reading Robin's blog you may ask yourself, how could he still have No Worries? After all Nora is illin'. Well, Nora has assured me that she will be just fine after a bit of snuggle time with me.

Cheers

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vacation

I know I promised updates while on vacation, and I shall not go back on my word completely. However, there is no need for me to repeat the fantastic work Robin has done in documenting our trip. So, check out her blog. There is a link to the right.

Cheers

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Flying Rules!

We are here safely in Sunny CA. The kids LOVED flying. Nora let out a squeal of laughter and delight when the the plane took off from Peoria. Nigel had a huge smile on his face and was laughing as well. They both were excellent on each flight. Robin and I are a couple or proud parents.

That's all for now. Just wanted to let the Chrisophiles know we are safe and sound.

Cheers

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Washington Cherry Festival 5K

Yesterday i got a phone call from the Washington Park District, they helped organize the 5k. The gal on the phone asked to speak with Chris Robinson. I said, "This is". She then told me that they had a trophy there for me from the 5K,and that I could pick it up or they could mail it to me. Since we are leaving for vacation I asked if they could mail it. Then since I could not wait until I got home to see how I did, I asked what place the trophy was. She said she would have to go check, but would be right back. When she returned to the phone she informed me that I was the overall winner in the 35-39 age group for....females.
Female 35 to 39

Place Name City Age Overall Time Pace
1 Chris Robinson Eureka IL 35 68 23:44.3 7:39/M
2 Amy Lee Morton IL 39 121 26:25.0 8:31/M
3 Heidi Ricker Deerfield IL 39 126 26:56.7 8:41/M
I replied that I was a male. She agreed. We decided there must have been a paperwork error.

On the positive side, I placed 68th overall and was in the top quarter, aprox. I am very proud of my performance for a first race. Not to mention I am the fastest 35-39 year old female in Central Illinois.



In other news, we leave for vacation in a few hours. The lap top is making the trip so there just may be a No Worries update or two.

Cheers

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oh Vacation, Where Art Thou, Vacation

Work karma knows I am going to be gone next week. That is the only way to explain the start of my week. We crammed 4 days of work into the first two this week. Monday was a full slate of incoming trucks topped off with route changes at the end of the day. I was in at 5a.m., and did not leave until 3:30p.m. Yesterday brought a different set of challenges, excuse me, opportunities. One of our trailers had its freezer/fridge unit fail. So we started the day with finding a new trailer and salvaging what product we could. Then having to repull items and then load the new trailer. On top of all this I am helping cover for a guy inthe office that is on vacation. No Worries, makes the day go fast.

Cheers

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Big Doings

As you can see from my previous pictorial post the Sporting Extravaganza was a giant success.

As for the pictures, Nora is going to be on the front page of the Woodford County Legal Record. It is nice having a newspaper in the family! Grandpa Fyke is using the pic of Nora throwing that is featured in my blog.

Nora loves playing ball. We had another practice session on Sunday. We worked on playing catch, throwing, hitting from a pitcher and from the "T". After we finished up and I started dinner, Nora continued batting from the "T" and was making some good contact. She is very excited about her next game on Thursday.

As for me, I was very happy with my result in the run. I have only been running for 2 months. So, to be able to have that kind of time and to finish ahead of as many as I did made me feel pretty good. My next race will be the Firecracker 5K downtown Peoria on the 4th of July. That will most likely be my last before the Pumpkin Festival 10K, the race for which I have been training.

This is going to be a busy week in the Robinson household. We are preparing for our summer vacation to CA. Aunt Linda and Uncle Mike are flying us out and putting us up for a week of fun, sun, wine, perhaps a Martini, and Nora and Nigels most anticipated attraction...Monterey Bay Aquarium. Nora is very excited as are Robin and I. Nigel lives for the now so he is all good. We have lengthy lay overs in Minnesota, which is an airport I spent a ton of time in during my traveling days with Orion. I am excited to show Robin and the kids a bit from my past. It should be fun...there is a mall in the place you know!

That's all folks.

Cheers

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sporting Extravaganza Images

Pictures say a thousand words...enjoy.


Nora getting warmed-up.


Nora at the dish.


Who's on first? Nora.


Nora cleanly fielded the "T" and made the play at first.


The Dodgers


Pre-race photo op of Green Lantern and Josh Yoder.


275 run the first annual Washington Cherry fest 5K.


Finishing strong at 23:46ish...official times are not yet posted.


Josh coming down the chute.

A great day was had by all. Nora loved her T-ball game and cannot wait to play again. She will not have long to wait as her next game is Thursday.

As for me, running the race was a blast. I may be addicted.

Cheers

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sporting Extravaganza

Tomorrow is a huge day in the sports world.

Nora Robinson is making her T-ball debut at 9:00a.m. and Chris Robinson is coming out of competitive retirement to run in a 5K at 7:00a.m.

So far I am not sure who is more excited about Nora's T-ball game, her or me. My excitement will probably make me run faster so I can get to her game as quick as possible. I can hardly contain my excitement as I type. This is going to be a long day!

Nora and I have been working on her throwing and catching, (we will have another session tonight) and Robin has worked with her on her hitting. My little girl has a pretty good arm and I think she is trying to be a power hitter. She gets under the ball a bit. You can expect to see plenty of pictures from the game.

As for my little event. I will have been running for 2 months on race day, and it will be my first ever competitive run. So, I really do not know what to expect from myself. I am just going to get out there, have fun, and make sure I do not hurt myself. I am running with a friend of mine, Josh who is training for the Chicago marathon, so I will have someone there to help with my pace a bit. That is until he gets tired of waiting for me and takes off. Wish me luck!

Cheers

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Big Yard Sale Was A "Steal"!

Believe it or not we were victims of shoplifters at our yard sale yesterday. I would like to think that they spent hours in a dark smoky room with a map of Eureka with thumb tacks marking the sale locations on the wall planning the heist. "O.k. here is the plan, while I am acting like I cannot get something big into the car you two grab some little things. Carry them around a bit and then come to the car to help. Just casually toss the things in while you are there. The rubes will never suspect a thing." Upon agreeing the plan was good, they synchronized their watches an head out. Here is how the deal went "job" went down.

A family was interested in purchasing my old grill, but wanted to make sure that it would be able fit in their vehicle. During the "confusion" of trying to load it into the vehicle they picked up some little items and carried them down to the car and causally put them in. Both Karen, my Mother-in-law who was manning the money, and I saw what they were doing. They grabbed an old caller i.d. machine, a herb planter and nice serving bowl. We decided to call then out on the bowl and let the other items go.

They were laughing quietly among themselves. Must have been thinking they really pulled one over on us. I figured that if they needed items that were priced at under a dollar each that they felt the need to pilfer them, well...have at it. To me all a garage sale is is having people pay you to haul away items you do not want. Whatever was left was going to be donated at my expense. Besides, the thievery gave me good blog material...you cannot put a price on that.

Besides that the day was a great success. We got rid of some big items that were just taking up room, and made a little cash. Karen helped me with the sale since Robin was at the church doing a wedding. In twelve some years it was the most we have ever talked. Not that we avoid talking to each other by any means, but we just have never sat and talked that much before. It was nice. Made the day much more enjoyable.

In preparation for my upcoming 5k I ran that distance consecutively today as part of my 5 mile walk/run. It was good to know that I can run that distance without stopping. I am no where near a competitive pace, but I know I will be able to run the whole thing!

Enjoy your day!

Cheers

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Big Day

I cannot wait for tomorrow morning. It is a very special day at Nora's school, donuts with Dad. To make it even better Nora is going to come to work with me in the morning. After the first few hours we will head off to her school for the donuts, and then some entertainment. Nora and her classmates are going to put on their class play for the dads. What a day! I am not sure who is more excited, Nora or me.

In addition to the already planned activities of the weekend I am hoping to get in a little brewing related activity. I would love to be able to bottle my latest brew, Beach Blonde. I am not too sure if that will fit in with everything else going. If I was really ambitious i would include brewing a vanilla porter, but that may be a stretch. We have been having unseasonably cool weather...perfect for brewing, and I do not want to miss it.

You know what else this weather is great for....running. It has been great getting out in these temps. I am sure I am one of a handful of people that like this weather. I went out for four miles today, walked a half mile and ran 3.5. It was my best run to date.

On to the word of the day...going to give you a double dose today as I missed one.

This week's theme: words related to beards.

Vandyke or Van Dyke or vandyke (van dyk) noun

A short, pointed beard.

[After painter Anthony Van Dyck or Vandyke (1599-1641) who painted
portraits of people having these v-shaped beards.]

bluebeard (BLOO-beerd) noun

A man who marries and kills one wife after another.

[After Bluebeard, the nickname of the main character Raoul in a fairy tale
by Charles Perrault (1628-1703). In the story, Bluebeard's wife finds the
bodies of his previous wives in a room she was forbidden to enter. Yes, he
did have a blue beard.]

That last one was news to me. I hope Robin does not want me to shave now.

Cheers

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh Beans

I am glad to say dinner was much less adventurous tonight, no hail. Just rice and beans at Nora and Nigel's request. Robin is at choir practice and then a potluck, so it is just the kids and I. We are dining in front of the T.V. while being entertained by Spider-man, the cartoon. If my guess is right we will follow it with an Iron Man episode. Life is good.

We have a big weekend coming up. It is the annual Eureka city wide garage sale. We will proudly display our goods and ware in hopes of making a mint. That may be a bit of a stretch. Maybe I should back my hopes down to just getting rid of some unwanted items. In addition to the sale Robin has another wedding to coordinate so I will man the sale for a while. No Worries, I am up for the challenge.

On to the word of the day...

This week's theme: words related to beards.

dundrearies (dun-DREER-eez) noun

Long flowing sideburns.

[After the bushy sideburns worn by actor Edward A. Sothern who played the
part of Lord Dundreary in the play Our American Cousin (1858), written by
Tom Taylor (1817-1880). This was the play being performed at Ford's Theatre
in Washington DC during which Abraham Lincoln was shot.]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What The Hail!

I have been bound and determined to grill some burgers since Sunday, but situations have conspired against me. Sunday, the ground beef was still frozen. Monday, the evening got away from us and it would have been too late once the grill heated up. Tonight the weather was not looking too good. Heavy rain and thunderstorms in the forecast. However, my desire for burgers outweighed my desire not to get rained on. Robin and I checked the weather and the radar and decided we had a small window of time.

So, I fired up the grill and hit the shower while it heated up. The skies were overcast with patches of blue when I started. By the time I got out, it was black as night. But, no rain yet. Nora and I took out the burgers and put them on the grill. All was looking well and I was optimistic that I may stay dry. Unfortunately that was not to be the case. Seconds later the skies opened up, and the rain came pouring down. To make matters worse I heard a clanging sound. I looked out the window and marble sized hail had joined the party.

Now I have grilled in the rain, the wind and snow, but never in hail. Thank goodness for golf umbrellas! Call me crazy, but I think the burgers tasted even better due to the peril I face while preparing them.

My running is still going well. I have bumped up the distance I am running without walking breaks. Today I felt great. I could have gone longer between breaks, but I am still taking it slowly. I am really looking forward to the 5k in a few weeks.

Cheers!

P.S. It's Back...The Word of the Day!

Over the years we have featured weeks of words about words, we have had
words about birds, and now it's time for, well, words about beards, a topic that is near and dear to my face!


This week we'll see words having to do with facial hair. They are pure
beard words as the week starts out, and like beards growing slender at the
bottom, as the week ends the connection becomes slender too.


sideburns (SYDE-burnz) plural noun

Hair grown on the sides of a man's face, when worn with an unbearded chin.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Found

My keys were only lost for a day! Yahoo! Unfortunately the night supervisor locked them in my office, and did not leave any of the interior doors open I had asked him. Even though I was able to get into the building could not get to the forklifts or into the office area were the spare keys are. We tried everything to get into my office, even tried to take the door off its hinges. No luck. I had to wait until one of the office personnel came in and open the doors. A bit irritating, but the day did go on.

Nora had a great time on her field trip. She was still buzzing when I got home. I was not able to get too many details because we had a very busy night last evening. I got home late from work, Robin had choir practice and then we had cooks night out at the church. It was a go go go kind of an evening. I plan on getting more details tonight.

Have a good Thursday.

Cheers