Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Favorite

I have mentioned in earlier posts that I am a fan of classic motion pictures and the stars of earlier days. Halloween is no different. Once again I find myself going back and enjoying a number of old horror movies. True classics such Universal Pictures Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman starring Bela Legosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. respectively. I enjoy these old pictures equally but it is the original silent film version of Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney Sr. that is up at the top of my list every year.
A silent film you ask? Yes a silent film. For an old film it follows the story line of the book quite well.

I first viewed this film about 10 years ago when American Movie Classics was commercial free. There have been many film adaptations of this story, most of them are forgettable. The other I somewhat enjoyed, was the filmed version Andrew Lloyd Weber’s production. I have not seen the stage performance but would like too.

The 1925 version of the film uses color tinting to set the mood in various scenes and uses more elaborate color effects during the masquerade ball scene and again on the roof of the opera house as Erik (the phantom) in flowing red robes eavesdrops on a conversation between Raul and Christine.

Unmasking the Phantom.

Learn more about the 1925 film here.

The Phantom of the Opera was written in 1910 by Gaston Leroux learn more about him and the history of written works here.

A couple years ago I looked for a good copy of this film on DVD. Mostly what I found were very poorly transferred copies by companies I had never heard of. But in the end I did find a nice 2 disc set that I am pleased with. If you are interested in buying this film consider the version I have. It can be found on Amazon here.

We had a beautiful night for Trick or Treaters. We had a Mike Wasowski, Capt. Jack Sparrow, Stitch, two Minnies', a dog dressed as Woody, and dozens of Disney Princesses. The number of kids tonight was crazy. My wife had to go out for more candy. In all we handed out 8 bags.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


First off if you have not been over to AATC let me announce here that as a team we put in 156.25 miles. I received Kristin's milage this morning. 9 miles. It's so exciting to see everyones mileage and time improve. Whose up for a 200 mile event some time after we recover form Disney? Ok on the training.

We finally caught a break in the weather today. No rain and the temp was up from the 24F we had yesterday morning. Yep a little frost on the old pumpkin. Anyway this afternoon I decided to take the new shoes on the road. They have been doing well on the TM so now is was time to hit the street. My intention was to do a 6-8 miles wog. I guess you could say it turned into more of a sprog. Half mile walks mixed with half mile sprints. I was pleased with the sprints. I am hoping that working on this will help with my overall pace. Not sure if it will benefit me by January, but looking ahead to next years Dam I would like to beat the 10min pace. I am setting that as a goal for next years event. I will certainly be doing Dam and I will either run the Des Moines half again or consider training further and going for the whole marathon. My present thinking is that I could take the wog approach to a full. But who knows, that is a long way off.

I had an issue with my right foot today. I have a blister the size of a nickle between my big toe and the ball of my foot. I had a small blister right after the half and had thought it healed. I'm uncertain if I just aggravated the original blister or if the sprints caused something new altogether. I was wearing the same medium weight socks I used during the half. I need to let this heal right so it does not bother me down the road. So it looks like I will be leaning toward more biking to keep my cardio work up while giving my feet a break. I feel I really need the weight bearing exercise though. Somehow I need to find a good balance that will allow my body to get some recovery while still training toward the Disney Half.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trick or Treat Pt. 4

Hey gang I received a report yesterday from Heath. It seems he managed to find himself a near permanent resident of the Twilight Zone. But he is back with us. I have updated the roster over on AATC and as a Team we are less than 3 miles from breaking 150 miles for the event. This means that once I receive confirmation from Craig regarding if Kristin ran we will be over that mark. I had extended the invite to Byron as well, but like Kristin I have not heard anything. Hopefully we will hear from one of them soon and break 150.

Disney’s Lonesome Ghosts

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trick or Treat Pt. 3

Every Halloween I have a few select favorite things that I enjoy reading or watching. One of my favorite reads are the stories and poems of Edgar Allen Poe.
The Tell Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, and of course The Raven.
My favorite reading of this poem was done by Christopher Walken. I found todays video on youtube posted by "rustyghoul". Enjoy.

Oh and did no one really find the Mickey in the Shining clip?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trick Or Treat Pt. 2

Todays video is a wonderful example of editing and talent. Where else but YouTube can you find creativity like this?

I enjoyed Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" but the book is far better than the film version. In both versions Jack "Torrance" has been hired as a caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. He and his family will spend the winter there alone. The isolation begins to wear on him and he goes insane. In the book there is a direct correlation between the boiler in the celler and Jack temperment. A fact not seen in the film. The boiler has a faulty valve and if not checked regularly it may explode. In the book Stephen King does a masterful job with building the pressure on Jacks character. There is far more happening at the Overlook than I can detail here but if you are a fan of the film consider reading the book.

Training. Fourth day of rain here. I'm beginning to think I'm living in Seattle. Of course if I was I'd be knocking on Jonathan's door this morning and saying hey pal let's get out there and run. All I'm saying is I really wish I had a running buddy.
So up to SNAP again for Biking, Weights, and a short jog in my new shoes.

I purchased another pair of Mizunos, this pair has a slightly higher arch and the arch is much firmer. Hopefully less flexing will help.
I plan on using this pair for longer runs and the other pair for shorter runs. I only have a couple hundred miles on the first pair so I still should use them.

One last note about todays video. Did you spot the hidden Mickey?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Weather is Turning

The weather has finally taken a turn here on the Tundra. Rainy and cold for the past three days. Made it up to SNAP this morning for a jog on the dreadmill. I found that I am still a bit sore from Sunday so I decided to stop at the 5k mark. I'm going to drop by the fitness store where I purchased my latest shoes. There was a Mizuno insert in my packet this weekend that had a shoe with higher arch support in it than mine. I like my shoes but the longer distances seem to bother me. I'm taking a photo in of my wet footprint. As you can see my arch is rather high. I may need to consider orthodics. Interestly my right arch has never really had an issue. Well I'll see what they say and go from there. How's the weather in your area?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trick or Treat Pt. 1

Tim Burton’s Vincent

As we approach Halloween I thought it might be fun to feature a few of the more interesting videos I've come across on YouTube. I will post one every few days or so.

As for training, I'm getting back on that horse right after work tonight. My feet are feeling better but I'm going to give my arches another day before running again. So tonight I'm going to do some biking and I plan on committing to doing some weight training every other day between now and Orlando.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Morning Inspiration & My First Official Half Marathon

Click the link below for an inspiring story.

Knoxville Man Runs 100 Miles In 24 Hours

We had a great turn out yestersday for Saturdays portion of the Lonesome Elevator Run. I look forward to hearing from more of you today. And did you notice Kate has set the bar this weekend for a full half marathon. Ok Kate now its my turn.


Woke up bright and early at 5:30. Dressed, ate breakfast, and did some streaching. Race time for me was 8:00 but not knowing what to expect I left the house and was downtown by 6:30. The temp was 46. It was nice that I made it down early because at 7:00 they allowed the Marathon walkers to start. I had discovered at packet pickup that a couple friends of ours (Deb and Marilyn) would be walking the full marathon. It was nice to see them before the start and wish to each other well.

Shortly after they left I returned to my car and took off my outer layer of clothing. Returning to the starting line I found that Anytime Fitness was leading some pre race stretching exercises so I joined in. After that I walked around waiting for the announcement to line up. I began to notice that many people were wearing plastic garbage bags to help keep warm. What a simple idea. It looked a bit silly but it was something that could be disposed of quickly at race time.

Rather than having "gates" this event used pace runners. These runners each held signs stating an expected finish time. My goal was to finish between 2:15 - 2:30. The closest pace runner to that held a sign for 2:20. When the gun sounded it was a mere 49 degrees. We were packed in together pretty tight at the beginning. I expected that like DAM it would be a good mile or more before everyone thinned out enough that we could actually run. I was wrong, shortly after crossing the timing chip mats things spread out fast. I could not believe it, right out of the gate and we were nearly jogging at pace. Having the pace runner was nice because it gave me a visual aid that helped me to check against taking off too fast.

The first 3 miles wind around the buildings of Des Moines downtown district before the Marathon and Half Marathon runners split. About a half mile from the split we entered Water Works park. This portion of the course is an out and back. Before we reached mile 5 the first runners were already coming back our way. Wow I watched these athletes running past without a bit of strain on their faces. They looked so comfortable even while maintaining such a fast pace. While on this leg of the course I began to see many people discarding long sleeved shirts. Everyone that I saw do this was courteous and tossed the clothing off to the side. During the run I made use of the Sports Beans. They did seem to help and I made the effort to take them shortly before water stations.

As mile 9 approached we had left Water Works and begun a two mile loop around Grays Lake. So far I was still running right next to my pace runner. Prior to Grays Lake we had been running on roads, here we were on a walking trail. Which was quite a bit narrower. At first this was not a problem because everyone was in motion and staggered out. The one complaint I have about this course came near mile 10. This was a horrible spot for a water station. Suddenly we were all bottled up and at one point I had to stop because I simply could not move. People grabbed their water and walked with it 4 abreast on the trail. Losing that momentum really hacked me off.
Shortly after that I began falling behind the pace runner. I tried to catch up but it was taking more effort than I could give.

By mile 11 I was starting to tire out but I knew the end was getting close. A couple of times I had to slow down to a walk because I was over exerting myself trying to catch up to the pace guy. I finally had to give myself permission that it was ok if I did not get back up there. Once I did that I settled into a nice light jog to finish the race. From a half mile out I watched the pace runner cross the finish. The funny thing is that my chipped time actually has me finishing at 02:20:09.
Just before finishing I had something happen that I had never experienced. I had spasms in each of my calves. It was brief but a bit scary. I had a fleeting image of crashing before crossing the line.

This picture was taken right after the finish. I was spent. I grabbed a water and told my wife I need to keep moving and I explained about my calves. She insisted I eat a banana which I did.(even though I do not like them) We walked up to my car and I changed into some dry clothes. Then it was back to the celebration and FOOD! I did some streaching afterward but mostly I just tried to keep walking. We decided to make a day of it, so we stayed and waited for Deb and Marilyn to come in. While waiting I decided it was time to begin carb loading for the next run.

Shortly after 2 o'clock Deb and Marilyn arrived having finished a full marathon distance in just over 7 hours. To celebrate we all went to dinner at El Bait Shop

So those are the events of my day. I can tell you I clearly have things to work on over the next couple months. Most importantly I need to condition my feet back into these longer runs. I felt a bit of a hot spot near the end of todays run. At home I discovered a small blister just behind my big toe. I have never had a blister there before. Not entirely sure what caused it. After taking a nap this evening I found that my left arch is once more givng me discomfort. I did not bother me prior to lying down.

Before closing I want to thank everyone for the great participation in this weekends virtual Team Meet. I see by my email that Andy (yes that Andy) and Matt have checked in. I will update the chart before turning in tonight.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sundays Coming

Made the trip down for packet pick up this afternoon. I am both anxious and excited about this race. I am familiar with the streets this course follows but I have only jogged around the larger lake area you see pictured on the map above. I have mixed feelings when I run unfamilar courses. The last time I ran a new course I became frustrated when having thought I'd gone 3 miles the garmin told me I had only traveled 2.

To help me through this event I will be using an ipod which is something I did not do at Dam and will not be doing at Disney. The official rules for this race state.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon is a USTAF sanctioned race and does adhere to the Rules of Competition as laid out by USATF. However, Rule 144.3(b) is intended to serve as a guideline for road races, allowing each event to determine how to interpret and enforce Rule 144.3(b).

You will not be disqualified or removed from the IMT Des Moines Marathon course for using a personal music device on race day. Please be extra cautious and mindful of the volume of your music and your presence on the course as it relates to athletes and spectators around you.

I have no problem with the concept of headphones and safety. I completly agree with the motives behind it. I still train with music and most likely always will. Over the past several months I have become comfortable keeping the volume at a lower level than I used to. If I happen to get out on the course and find they have some entertainment along the way I will turn mine off.

I still consider myself new to organized races. The only two I have done thus far were Dam '06 & '08. This race is different in that the Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay will start together at 8:00 a.m. Perhaps this is typical but having so many thousand of people starting together is something I can hardly get my mind around. Walkers get a 1 hour early start at 7:00.

The cool weather will be a factor as the expected high for Sunday is 66F. That sounds nice but the morning will be very cool. I went out shopping for a long sleeved running shirt today just in case. Have I mentioned before that I hate the design method behind running clothes? I don't know if this affects women but I can tell you I am not a fan of the "athletic cut." I have never liked clothing that fits tight so I tried on xl shirts. They were fine across the torso but the arm length was ridiculously long. Finally I found a Large Champion brand shirt at Target that worked out fine.

After having attended this afternoons expo I feel myself looking forward to Sunday. I only wish it was tomorrow so I could get on with it.

This is a chipped event and I guess somewhere on the website they are suppose to be posting spits and finish times. My number is 6144 and the chip is 05800153cdad

Additional information about the Des Moines marathon can be found here.

I hope your elevator runs are all going well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

If we can Dream it, then we can build it, and then we can eat it.

Hooray! I can play with my food again!!!

This product caught my eye at Target the other day.
Want to learn more about Disney themed food products?
Click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Caption This #13

"Now where did I put that All About the Mouseketeer roll call button?"

From MikeF: "Push the blue button?!? They're all blue buttons!"

From Matt: "Button. Button. Whose got the button?"

From Ryan: This is the lamest version of SimCity ever!

From Rae!: "Who am I going to flush today?"

From Chris:"In the future, we'll have so many channels, you won't even be able to HOLD your TV remote!"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can You Feel It?

Ok raise your hand if you’re getting excited!

I have to admit that over the past couple of months my excitement level was beginning to wane. I can’t explain it. Perhaps it has been because for a while now the Disney Marathon weekend seemed so far away. But I can feel the momentum beginning to grow. This morning during my run I listened to the second half of AATM # 79. Listening to Bryan, Jonathan, Lou, and Mike helped give me a real boost today. I am bummed to hear that Mike and Lou will not be running this year. However, Lou will be in Disney and has agreed to join Team Voice for the “We Go On” meet in Epcot. Episode # 79 was a nice round tale discussion. For other past discussions download episodes # 4 and #39. Listen to these and other episodes of All About The Mouse here.

Another great source that you will enjoy reading (especially so for us first timers) is a detailed post you will find over at Kate’s Thinking Spot about her 2008 half marathon experience.

I wanted to throw out an idea regarding the days leading up to marathon weekend. We will be arriving on Tuesday the 6th and staying at Pop Century. I would like to know if any of you are interested in doing an early morning light 5K jog on either Wednesday the 7th or Thursday the 8th. My only concern is with getting those interested, together. Like me I am sure a number of you will also be using Disney transportation and not renting a car. There is no direct resort to resort connection. Right now I am planning on running at least a short distance around POP just to get a bit acclimated to the Florida weather. Let me know if anyone is interested.

I have also done a bit of park hour research for my trip. Here are the hours including which park has extra magic hours each day. The color coding indicates which park I am planning to visit each day. Of course it all subject to change.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Whom would you choose?

You've just been granted the chance to be on the Biggest Loser. You find out that you can choose either Bob or Jillian as your trainer. Whom do you choose?

The Biggest Loser is one of my favorite programs on television today. Over the course of each season we get just a glimpse into the many lives that are changed while staying at “The Ranch” The weight loss on the show is astounding but that alone would not be enough to keep me coming back each week, nor would the various contests. For me there is something special about witnessing another person’s life transform, to see joy on another’s face when they achieve a goal. For most of the contestants it appears they are indeed in it for the long haul of a lifestyle change.

We have to keep that word contestant in perspective because in the eyes of NBC that is what they are. In my eyes, and I think I rightfully state in the eyes of Bob and Jillian we see people who want more that the game out of this. At least most of them do. These trainers are passionate about what they do. They are very different in their methods. At least that is the impression we are left with when we look through the lens of broadcast editing. Jillian is clearly painted to be the bad cop to Bob’s good cop. When watching her in the gym pushing each person you get the sense that she could just snap at any moment.

Last night I think she should have snapped on Amy’s ass when she was being so smug on the treadmill about not having done her workout homework. Amy (purple team) was grinning at her and even blew a kiss at Jillian when she was kicked out of the gym. With an attitude like that I hope Amy goes home tonight.

On the other hand you have a contestant like Jerry (yellow team) who was facing major health issues. He left the show and has lost an amazing 70lbs. He was inspired to live healthier by the love of his daughter and when he was dismissed from the show he went out and got his own trainer. Two Thumbs up for you Jerry and your daughter Coleen. It is because of stories like yours that I watch.

Now back to the trainers. There is no doubt in my mind that Bob is as tough of a trainer as Jillian. Given their individual styles I think I would have better results with Bob.

I generally welcome criticism because if it is warranted and I am receptive I can grow stronger and become a better person for it. But if you berate me and try to tear me down so that you can “build me back up” I’m going to tune you out. I won’t be a smug prick like Amy. I’ll just move on with my life and I won’t have anything to do with you.

As members of Team Voice we are really on our own to see our daily goals through. The online support is wonderful, but I really wish we lived closer to one another and Disney. (ok I had to throw that last bit in)

Even though I would choose Bob, I want to say in Jillian’s defense that I think her apparent frustration comes from knowing that we each have much more potential than we give ourselves credit for. I think it blows her mind that others don’t see potential within themselves. Regardless of whom you might choose for your trainer none of you should ever sell yourselves short. What an amazing year we have had. Our quest is not over. Mainstreet and Spaceship Earth are only a few short months away. I for one am proud of each and every one of you.

And Everyone said Pride On 3.

1, 2, 3,


Update 10/8/08 A shout out to Amy for realizing the mistake she made and for eating crow and coming back. Now Amy prove yourself to you and Jillian.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our Next Virtual Run Will Be Here Soon.

Stop by All About the Corn for more details.

Cut my training run short tonight. I made the old mistake of starting out too fast. Everything felt good until about a mile out and then my calves said slow it down. They just tightened right up. I know better than to start out fast and yet every so often I still do it. I ended up doing half of my intended run.

I figured up where I am in the Florida mileage race. Over the next 13 weeks I would 39 miles per week to achieve the total distance before leaving for Orlando. It's possible if I continue to mix biking in with jogging. But I really need to maintain the discipline to see it through.

3 months to go. Is anyone else getting as anxious as I am?

Homecoming, Marching Band, And Our Next Virtual Run.

Well Friday was homecoming and we had an exciting game. We won 20-17. Both the Junior High and High School Bands preformed. The attached Jr High performance is from the game. Our high school kids performed one of the numbers they are doing in competition this year from "Wicked." Instead of recording this at homecoming with all the noise I recorded it Saturday at a local competition.

Jr Marching Mustangs - Wipeout

Marching Mustangs - Wicked

Stop over to the AATC. I have posted the details of our October Virtual Meet. All About The Corn I can hardly believe I was be leaving for Orlando in just 92 days. I will post more of my thoughts about that tomorrow or later in the week.

I am covering a co-workers shift this Sunday. If things are quiet I will have Skype open during the day. Be sure to log in and see if I'm online and say hello.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Neighborhood Watch (aka The Joy of Homecoming Week)

It's 9:45pm and I'm heading out the door for my evening run in a few moments. Tonight I'm on a mission. Details when I return.

Update 11:30pm. All appears to be quiet out on the Tundra so far this evening. Last night was not the case. It's homecoming week for the DCG Mustangs and that means a good number of pranksters have been making the rounds. Usually you would see a number of homes get TP'd or a house might end up with a mass of "For Sale" signs in its yard. This year things are turning destructive as the Juniors and Seniors try to out do each other.

At 3:30 this morning my wife(who was on her way to work)woke me up to inform me that our sons car was covered in vegetable oil and flour. I got up and sure enough she was right. So I decided to wash his car before I went to work. Now the cooler weather here means that the windows were covered in dew. Instictively I turned on the wipers. The blades smeared oil across the windshield and now I could not see out of the car.

Very cautiously I drove to the wash. The pranksters had been there too. Bags of flour were smashed all over the parking lot. When I went to use the foaming wand I discovered just how premeditated these pranksters were. The wands were also covered in vegetable oil. As ticked off as I was, that did make me chuckle a bit. Still the idea of other students getting in their cars and trying to drive to school with a smeared windshield haunted my morning. Our high school is out on a two lane highway which is not the best place for teen drivers to begin with. Along that 10 mile stretch of road we have a fatality or serious accident every year. We have a nephew that nearly died in a head on collision a few years back because another student threw a pop bottle out of a car window and he swerved to avoid it. So I take the driving safety of our local kids very seriously.

I caught wind that tonight the juniors were going to seek revenge by egging senior cars around town. I did not notice anything suspicious while I was out. I did however notice that the presence of our sheriff's department has been stepped up this afternoon and evening. So that has been my day. Hope yours has been better.

I updated the map in the right hand column. At present I am north of Atlanta. When I last added things up I was about 100 miles behind the Orlando goal. I will work on researching that goal in the days ahead.

Be sure to check out TDC #21 for Lisa's Toonfest report. It's a longer than average show but it flies right by. Fabulous job Lisa!