Sunday, July 31, 2011


Yesterday Cooley High was on TV. I had not seen this film in years. I really enjoy rediscovering old movies that over time I may have forgotten about. On the internet the film has been compared to American Graffiti. I don't quite get the comparison unless you account for how the movie does just drop you right into a day in the lives of those on the screen. The characters are engaging enough that you want to follow along. One thing I did enjoy was that the movie does not fall victim to the many black exploitation films made during the seventies. I really think this movie has stood the test of time.

Here is the movie summary as found on the IMDB.

In the mid-1960's, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest...parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the guys when they meet a pair of career criminals and get falsely arrested in connection with stealing a Cadillac. We follow their lives through the end of high school and the dramatic end to their school year.

The song played above was orginally recorded by G.C. Cameron and was used in one of the final scenes. The original version can be heard here

I found this song to be very moving as I reflected back on the past few years. Years in which both of my in laws and other friends have past away. Even as recently as a few short weeks ago when my brother in law passed and then the same week another friend. It can be rough looking back but in your memories those whom you loved can live on. It's good to remember.

My hope is that you'll play the video again and think of your loved ones and not just those who are no longer with you. Think of those still here. We may not have forever but we do have now.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Deer, Bullsnakes, and Skunks,

are just a few of the things I've encountered these past weeks out on the roadways of the Iowa Tundra.

One weekend morning four doe ran across the street about 40 feet in front of me. Later that same morning I came upon a bullsnake lying in the road. Luckily the snake was dead but it sure startled me as I did not see it until I was right on top of it.

On another weekend I encountered the aroma of skunk about three miles into a jog. That was not pleasant at all. It lingered for quite awhile and I had to jog past it again coming home.

During evening walks I see and hear plenty of frogs. One night I saw a small figure coming toward me under a street light. At first I thought it was a mouse but it turned out to be a salamander.

Another common sight has been turtles, particularly snapping turtles. Our housing development and another nearby have plenty of open lots and some of those have deep ditches along the road ways. There's plenty of moisture in the ditches so that seems to attract these critters.

Here is a list of long milers since my last update.

2.54 mile walk with my wife followed by
7.00 mile wog averaged wog pace 13:03

7 mile wog averaged 12:23. The weather and how I felt on this day came together for my best pace in many months.

7 mile wog averaged 13:55. Pace this weekend was horrible. My legs felt like lead during each of my walking segments. I had done a 5k a couple nights prior and felt the same way. Generally I can keep my walking pace in the 14s but on this day I had to fight to get under 19s. The jogging segments went fine.

Due to the elevated heat index here I visited the YMCA to get in my long miles. The Y was completely packed. I managed to find an open eliptical climber. Completed 8 miles with an averaged pace of 13:01. I felt great about that workout because I was able to keep a continueous pace throughout.

I'm on vacation this week so I have no excuses. Plan is to get in a minimum of 4 days eliptical. Our heat index could be around all week. Hopefully it will break before the weekend. My next road goal is to plus out the 7 milers.I'd like to get in 8 road miles.

On another topic. My weight has not seemed to be dropping and this bothers me a bit. But my pants are a little looser and this past Friday when I donated blood my blood pressure was down to 120/84 and my resting heart rate was at 52. These are significant numbers for me that are going in the right direction.

I will check in here again in a few weeks. Until then enjoy this vintage stop motion by Chuck Menville and Len Janson. Remember, Be Kind, Share the Road.