T minus 37

Hey everyone.  Long time, no blog.  Almost a month, apparently.

All is going well here in Iraq.  Not as dusty as May – July have been.  A little bit here and there, but nothing widespread for days on end.  In other words, the way summer should be here.

As the title suggests, it’s only 37 days until my big event here in Iraq.  In celebration of my 40th birthday, I decided, as a goal to keep me focused while I was here, to run 40 miles that day.  Well, I’ve had to move it forward a few days due to some work and support issues, so I’ll actually be about three days shy of my 40th when I do it.  But that’s OK.  It’s the spirit that counts, right?

So I’m starting my last Build cycle.  I’m looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.  The last build cycle was pretty tough, getting me to a 31-mile weekend on top of working 12-hour days.  The weekend went (Fri-Sun) 3.5/19/8.  The last few miles of that 8-miler on Sunday were very tough mentally to get through.  Perfect training for the 40-miler, dontcha think?

I’ll write more on this build cycle later.

For a couple of months I’ve been trying to figure out how to make this birthday run a bit more meaningful.  I mean, running 40 miles in one day is pretty meaningful, but just to me.  So I started mulling over different charities.  I even contacted a few, but apparently they’re rolling in donations, since they didn’t bother to reply.

One of the most meaningful charities that I could find, one that hits a bit close to home, is the Fisher House.  Please follow the link in the upper left of this blog and do some reading.  A wonderful effort to support the families of our men and women in uniform who are either injured in war or peace, or are ill and need long-term medical care.

So while I know that everyone likes to push for a charity and there are sooooo many deserving causes, please take a moment to read and reflect on what this organization does for those that serve our country.

Southeast US

Two months have passed since the last post. Pretty sad, isn’t it? But life sometimes gets that way…

In three separate trips since late November, I’ve been through North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida (three times), Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. I’m am so glad to be sitting at home in front of my own computer.

But it’s not all bad. I’ve managed to reacquaint myself with some old friends and see family that I haven’t seen in years.

I’m just tired of the travel. But at least through travel we’ve been able to enjoy some wonderful sights.

Saint Mark’s Light
Sentinels

Broken

St Marks Light

Shuttered

And one of the most interesting things that I had the pleasure of experiencing on each of the trips through Florida are the amazing pine trees. Straight and tall, perfect for lumber.

Solo Pine

A couple of days after Christmas, we were able to visit what has been, for many years, our most favorite town in the southeastern United States – Natchitoches, Louisiana. It was a pleasure to see the town lit up for the holidays, just as it has always been. Especially after spending the day driving across southern Mississippi and Louisiana, where we got to see the effects of Hurricane Katrina, fifteen months on.

Lit Convergence

Impressionistic Reflection

I hope the new year is finding you in good health and good spirit.

Vintage glass and the Political Pains in the Ass

Gotta love thrift stores. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Or in my case, one person just didn’t know what they had.

$15

That’s a Canon A-1 35mm SLR with Data Back A, a Speedlight 199A and Canon FD 28/2.8, Canon FD 35-70/4 and Vivitar 70-210/3.5. Plus a bag and a few accessories, all for $15! Definitely a steal. Running a roll of B&W through it to see how well it works.

Market price for everything, based on its condition, adds up to over $500. Not too shabby, eh? Of course, finding someone who would willingly shell out over $500 for all would be difficult, but it’s nice to know that there are still steals to be had out there.

Only 2+ days left until we no longer have to listen to the political ads for another year. Whoo hoo. They are all thieves and liars. It amazes me how much people get wrapped up in the lies and lying liars, regardless of their party affiliation.

I think I’ll go buy some meth and get a massage from a gay prostitute now

Stealing. Stealing. Stealing in the name of the Lord.

What’s the title have to do with anything?

Not a damn thing. It’s just a line stuck in my head from a great song by a great DJ. Gary Clail’s his name and if you get a chance, give him a listen. He was a DJ when folks didn’t think of DJ’s. He was pushing beats 15-20 years ago, when the only DJ’s that anyone knew where the guys that backed the Rap (soon to be R&B) performers. The line has stuck with me since 1990 or so, when he screamed that line through a megaphone into the mic.

I’ve been quite busy with other projects lately, hence the lack of photos. Here’s my biggest project, a 1964 Chevrolet 1/2-ton Fleetside pickup truck:

New Toy #1

New Toy #2

It’s basically a love affair with an older woman. She’s 42 years old and needs lots of TLC. The easy stuff was taken care of right away, like buffing out those ugly rust stains, which was easy. It has since progressed to reworking her heart (carburetor) and her knees (shocks).

I do love the fact that my lovely wife has yet to get jealous. At least outwardly.