Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Rain, Run, And Some Patriotism.

I finally finished my shift scoring papers and finally have a little time to blog.  However, nothing much happened today.   Similar to yesterday, it rained and Cheryl ran out in it.   The only thing different was that I did not get my Big Mac from McDonalds!  (I know!  How can life be so Cruel?!)

So, today I thought about combining two of my very, very, very most favoritest  subjects of ALL TIME! ( I have simply been reading too many 4th grade papers.) Male Barbershop Chorus singing the Armed Forces Medley. Both have nothing to do with either running Nor Big Macs.    Enjoy!  Especially 1:56 on the counter.   GO ARMY!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Fun Run In Muscatine

 A rare day when we were allowed to drive out to Muscatine.   Both Cheryl and I had a small window where we did not have to begin scoring until noon.   We jumped at the chance to run long.

Well,   Long being 10 miles in Muscatine.  Not 14+ miles in Davenport.    But you take what you can get.

We were forced to get up earlier than usual and there was always the risk of rain.   Incidentally, it did begin to rain just before we finished up.   And it has not stopped since!

Currently, ( 6 P.M.) it is gusty with moments of hard rain.  We were very fortunate that we beat the downpour when we did.  Still,  although the pictures might not show it, we both got plenty wet.

While running around the usual spots,  we noted some Pelicans, Geese and Barges.   The Barges look like they were empty, since most of the time they are skimming just a few feet above the waterline.

And so it is back to scoring!   Cheryl is still scoring Pearson 5th grade and I just finished the Texas STARR.   ETS and Pearson are extending the project end dates, so we might have the opportunity to score slightly longer than planned.   Good thing since we need the money.   Ah money....   Like happiness you continue to elude us but for a few brief moments each year.

Hope everyone else is staying warm safe and dry for the remainder of the weekend.   I hear that there is a 90% chance for rain tomorrow as well.   Cheryl has mentioned how much "fun" it was to run long today and maybe we can repeat the experience.  We shall see.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Working Working Working!

 So I have not been posting on the blog lately for pretty much only one reason....Work.    Between the two of us, we have 4 jobs currently.  Both of us are scoring SAT and I have TEXAS STARR while Cheryl has a 5th Grade Writing for Pearson.  Whenever we are not sleeping, we are reading papers.

So you can imagine how relieved I can be when the tempo slows a bit.  Like today.   I have about 30 minutes before my shift begins where I can write a short post here.   But really not much has happened over the last 4 days.

Some Quick Highlights:   Cheryl continues to run.  Although it is MUCH earlier and most of the time the distance is shorter.

It has been raining for the past couple of day, but we managed to only get wet on one of them.   I hear that the temps and the rain are going to continue to fall for the next few days.   We shall see how this affects our running motivation.

About the size of a dinner plate!

Not Morals!  But very BIG and COOL!
The Spring has bloomed the Lilacs and the Mushrooms!    We have seen several people in the woods searching for Morals.   It brings me back....and if I had the time, I might actually take a few hours to search myself.   Finding morals is like  finding easter eggs.  You never grow out of it...

And finally,  Cheryl has christened Subie with the 26.2 sticker from Boston!    She even dressed up for the event.

According to the schedule, I will have more time off next week....  Unless Pearson extends the time for Texas Starr.   I do like the money, after all.   But after a break neck pace these last few days,  I would also appreciate a little less stress.   We shall see if I am allowed to post anything.   Then we shall know.

Thanks for Checking in.  And hopefully the cold and rain will allow you to enjoy some warm soup or hot chocolate.  I know that is my favorite thing to do on days like these.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Stories From a Midnight Boston Train Ride.

I thought I would take this opportunity to put those "stories" on a posting before they get too old in my brain.  Without getting to detailed, I'll try to at least acknowledge them.

Drunk Girl.

On the way to Boston there was a girl.   She must have hooked up with a young man in the cafe car sometime before they closed it for the evening.   As a rule, unless you were a party of four, you were forced to join total strangers if you chose to dine there.  Anyway,  they brought their conversation back into the coach with them.   And she was loud! She sounded like Drunk Girl on SNL.    She was also ...Amazing!   Apparently, she was rich,  dated lots of famous people, and had a career at a fortune 500 company!   All before she hit 23!  ( which means she is  older than 23 at least)

I'm not sure if the younger man was buying into all of it, but he continued to sit with her and talk about her and her awesomeness! (With all it's crinch-worthyness) They made plans to link up and go on a "real date" when they got to the city.   She was going to get off early because she had family "everywhere."  (I took this as code that she was trying to dump him before the "Midnight Pumpkin Spell" wore off.)  But the punch line was this.   In her haste ( or lack there of) she forgot her hat or something insignificant.   The young man went to give it back to her, but she told him to give it to her when they linked up in the city.   In all the ruckus.... she missed her stop!   And was forced to continue on with the rest of us "commoners" all the way to Boston.

At least she was quiet after that.  I'm not sure how she was going to break the news to whoever was waiting for her at Backbay.  If there even was anyone waiting there.

Screen Writer Santa Clause.

A gentleman looking like Santa hopped on the Train the same time we did ( in Chicago)  He sat by himself and was fairly quiet until someone sat across from him  sometime after Pennsylvania.  Most of the time I tried not to eaves drop on peoples conversation.   But this guy had a Booming Voice.  To be fair, I guess I do as well.   Part of being trained as a teacher I guess...( No one likes soft spoken teachers!) Anyway,  Cheryl paid more attention to this one than I did.   I guess he helped write a bunch of movies and rubbed elbows with famous directors.

Apparently, Screen Writer must pay below minimum wage because he was riding coach train with the rest of us bargain hunters.  I could not tell you some of the whoppers,  But Cheryl was quite entertained.  Then again,  Forest Gump took the bus to see Jenny.   And he was a Millionaire!   ( And fictional...  Just saying.)

Not everything was bad / annoying.

Black Man With is Son.

As we entered New York State.   A Black father and his son joined the train and sat in front of us.   Listening to him talk to the kid was endearing.   (And I normally do not like children!)  The kid was well behaved and excited to be on a train for the first time.  ( I believe he was either 4 or 5 years old.)  I don't want to take this in a political direction, but seeing an adult black male with his son really captured me.   He was polite and kept the kid quiet and under control the entire time.  Which was a HUGE feat given that they were traveling to Erie Pennsylvania in the middle of the night. Even I was fussy after being on the train that long.

My point being that seeing a black father is something of a rarity for me.  I have seen plenty of black single mothers....with lots of unruly kids. I have worked with Black guys who had kids and took care of them. (They never brought their kids to work, though.)    But it was rare to see the interactions between father and son. ( I want to stress:  FATHER)   It was something probably most people on the train did not even notice....but I did.  And I felt compelled to write about it here.

Lady From Chicago.

A nice lady joined us in Boston and was heading to Chicago as well.  She had a daughter who ran in the Marathon and we swapped stores for a while.   Periodically we even drifted away from running as the miles dragged on.  It was nice having someone who had experienced the same heat and frustration as Cheryl had.   It helps to know that you were not the only one having a bad day .

Other than that,  Cheryl ran today, despite having a cold.   We both scored for ETS and Pearson.  And now I'm winding down for the night.  Hopefully this cold will run its course and be done with me by tomorrow.

Despite the stories, the train ride was not "Bad";  Simply long and tiresome.  Cheryl is already thinking about different modes of travel that will require less time  ( i.e. plane!)   If the distance had been shorter, perhaps a train would have been more ideal.   But being cramped up for that long with total strangers, something is bound to happen that is blog worthy.  Either that or I simply lack anything to blog about now that we are home.
Not for Resale

Boston Ale!
I should also note that I'm sampling the latest Boston Beer.  An Ale this time.  While searching on line, I stumbled upon this picture of the 26.2 brew.   As rare as Bigfoot and if you study the picture closely, you will note that it is "not for Resale"   Perhaps that is why we could not find it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Dust Settles.... And Cheryl Has Completed the Boston Marathon

Cheryl's Marathon ended Two days ago, But mine finally ended today.   We are now safe and sound at home without injury and  with all of our stuff intact...Cheryl has successfully completed the Oldest and most Elite marathon in the U.S.
Showing off the Jacket.

But it was not pretty.

Eating Train Food!

Texting the family

Purchase a magazine
Drop off the Rental car

We spent the better part of the return  trip trying to figure out what went wrong during the race.   The Heat, the 3 hour wait time, the lack of water and calories all seem like viable candidates to explain the disappointing results.   As well as an unfamiliar hilly course and the excitement of the day.  It is easy to focus on the half empty side of the glass in hindsight.  But the half full side should be noted that She finished!   Got the Medal and is now listed on the pages of History.
Weary Travelers with Colds. 

There is also a possibility of a hurdle that is finally showing up today.  We both caught a cold somewhere along the trip.   It started with a sore throat for me.   I thought it was due to the screaming, but alas,  it migrated into a full blown head cold today!   I can't stop sneezing and coughing.  Cheryl says she feels the throat part as well, but had not developed the runny nose and cough yet.

But these all sound like excuses.   According to other Boston Finishers, they also had a "bad day" running.   Their training was on and their motivation was high.
Small Asian section. from Train
 But the race literally kicked their tail!   Mostly the heat and dehydration.   At least Cheryl finished!   Even if she was disappointed in her time.   There were approx. 800 runners who did not.   That would be terribly disappointing if you finally got to Boston and were forced to drop out of the race due to your Heat Injury.  When I consider all the things the "could have gone wrong,"   I am grateful for the results.

Loading the Subaru

Such a site for sore eyes.
As for me,   We had to travel back to Chicago....  and the train was as uncomfortable as ever.   24 hours in a sitting position should be no matter where you are.   But we survived and found Subie in the parking garage where we left him.  4+ hours later and we are home....where the cat voiced his disdain for us abandoning him.

Victory Beer!
To celebrate our success,   We purchased some Boston Lager...  For real this time.   Sure there was a 26.2 brew made just for the Marathon,  But neither Cheryl nor I wanted to stick around to try to find it.   We actually looked all day on Sunday, but no one in the stores had even heard of the stuff!   Rather than waste time searching,  we decided to head back to our room.

Cheryl did not even pose for her "After Marathon" pictures.   She was simply too broke down to smile or pose.  We found out later that they had pictures of her along the course....walking.    No marathoner wants to remember that they were forced to walk during the biggest event in running history!

Elite Men
Elite Women

Couple of things:   We watched the ESPN live coverage ( after the event, of course.)  and I could not believe they did not capture me!   I was literally an arms length away from the Elite Men and Women as they started.  Not that I would stand out from the large number of people crowded next to the gate.  I was on the left side of the Females.   I tried to capture the "potential favorites" but they do not show up very well.

I'm finding it difficult to write this post as the Hours of Travel and the Constant Cold Symptoms are beating me up.  So.  I may have to call it for now.  Cheryl is currently trying to get the cat to pose with the Medal.  I'll have to post that if she is successful.   I can't even remember what happened to Tuesday!   I have to score Texas Starr that should be a good time.   Maybe I'll be feeling better by then..  We shall see.


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