Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sorry... we're on Vay Cay

Well, this gives you some idea of what Vacation is like "up North". so does this: Never a dull moment... over and over and OVER again!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Driveway Art

Driveway art: the color of a child's imagination.

A LooOOoong Walk in The Woods

Here's something silly: the Sawtooth 100 which takes place on the Superior Trail in Northern Minnesota along the range that overlooks the Great Lake Superior. The trail itself is reportedly rugged, rocky and very hilly with some of the most beautiful scenery in the Midwest. With no ambitions to "race" the event, BD will take his time and document his efforts on video (battery power permitting).

As for participating in a 100 mile "foot race" there are always lots of questions. Here are quick answers to the most common questions.
  • Yes, this is 100 miles straight through and in this case may take about 25 hours or so.
  • Yes, we eat. There are aid stations roughly every 10 miles which are usually stocked with peanut butter sandwiches, potatos, potato chips, pretzels, m&ms, soup, water, ibuprophen, sports drink and coffee to name a few items.
  • No, typcially runners do not sleep, but rather trudge along though the night.
  • No. Despite the "trail run" description, participants do not run the whole way. Walking is very much part of the strategy even for the winners. The fastest person may finish in 17 hours or so. The cut-off time is 36 hours.
  • Runners descretely go to the bathroom in the woods, we try not to litter, and are instructed to clean up after ourselfs. Most of us do.
  • The hardest part? Keep on keepin' on. Most participants at this distance will tell you they have moments of suffering pain, illness and mental exhaution. Many flirt at the fragile edges of coherence and lucidity. Working through all of this; fighting through all of this... that's the hard part.

So, in the Race Director's latest up-date (Sat. August 19), he informs us that a crucial bridge (mile 62 or so) will be out of service. This means a river crossing which most (if not all) of us will do during the night of Sept. 8, or early morning September 9. In additoin to the race director's report, the materials tell of a cadre of hazards runners may experience to include: dangerously steep cliffs; dangerous gorges with sharp drop-offs; very rocky trails going up and down; the dreaded water crossings; coyotes; wolf; moose; and bear. Yes bear.

Here are Buzz Daddy's bear strategies.

1. Make sure the flash is working on the camera… if anything else… we’ll both be blinded for a split second.
2. Playing dead strategy might not be too difficult to do at 3:00 a.m after 70 miles or so.
3. The topography of the course means that a down hill stretch is never very far away... although running down hill sounds painful (see #5) but I suppose if a bear is chasing you...
4. At some point in the race a cured eau d’ stink may be enough to scare away man or beast
5. If worse comes to worse just lather on the lard and let the Smokey have his way. At that point it might be less painful than trying to finish.

More news as the "race" approaches, or the event has past.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Masacre Indeed

It can go without saying that one of Sport's greatest rivalries is the Red Sox vs. Yankees. Today is the fourth day in a row these two teams have faced off in the hallowed grounds of Boston's Fenway Park. Regretfully, it has been a Yankee led drubbing. Going into the double-header on Friday to begin the five game home stand, the Sox trailed the Yankees for the Division Title by a mere 1 -1/2 games. After yesterday's heartbreaking loss in the 10th inning, peceeded by getting seriously spanked on Friday and Saturday, Boston trails by 5-1/2.

A victory today won't do much to mitigate the injury served.

And if that was not enough for a Red Sox fan to live with (expecially after effectively leading the division for three months over the summer), hopes for a Wild Card birth are quietly slipping away as the Twins and White Sox duke it out. Look for interesting wild card developments this up-coming weekend when the Southsiders host the Twinkies for three in the windy city.

The insult to injury will be spending time with my Yankee Fan nephews next week. I am certain I will hear about this... over and over and over and over and over ... you get the point. Ugh!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

More Stuff

Well from time to time, it becomes necessary to update this tabloid with parental news. Since most of our news typically involves chasing kids, this "item" is somewhat unique. Side Track and I both helped found an Optimist Club in Mankato. Pictured above is the swearing in of the board members of which we both are members. Side Track is second from the left and Buzz Daddy is the balding guy on the right.

Side Track is a board member and Buzz Daddy was elected as the Charter President (scary as that may be).

For those unfamiliar with Optimist International, they have several hundred service clubs throughout the world. The primary beneficiaries of this organization's efforts are local youth. The club organizes and participates in a wide variety of activities, events and intiatives that help bring out the best in kids. Not only that, but they also have a really good time doing it.

If you have time and interest, I'd encourage you to see if there is an Optimist Club in YOUR community. It's a fun and very worthwhile organization.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hula Oops!

HA! Parent's don't try this at home without appropriate juvenile supervision. As Peanut demonstrates... it all seems so simple. So simple in fact... the adjective "child's play" comes to mind.


This fiendish contraption is the devil's work. It may date back to the kinder, gentler 1950's, but the last time I checked -- pain and suffering as a direct result from trying this da*&%ed thing is less than "kind" and "gentle".

If you are too old to qualify for the safe use of this product (older than 18), then avoid it at all costs, lest you risk extreme embarrassment, humiliation and possible physical injury. Remember, it's all fun and games until you break a hip and/or slip a disc.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Brush with Infamy

From left, Chalupa, Mick, Big-Dog, Peanut and the Belly Bean. "Whoah. Wait one second," you say. "Mick who?" you ask.

That would be two-time pro-bowler Mick Tinglehoff, former center for the Minnesota Vikings from 1961 - 1976 (I believe). He played back in the day, and his knees still work!

Today's football players and pro athletes (for that matter) could learn a valuable lesson from Mick. He was very nice, sincere, pleasent, unassuming and genuinely glad to be with us.

He told stories about Fran Tarkington, Bud Grant, Vince Lombardi, and Dick Butkus to name a few. It was really heady stuff for anyone who remembers those golden years of sport. And what a great experience for the kids. After spending a few hours with this guy, it would be easy to become a Vikings fan... but I must confess, I'll probably always bleed Green and Gold despite the great impression this veteran of the Grid Iron left with me and the familiy. Thanks Mick!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Moon on the Rise

The kids were invited to a lakeside Cottage for an afternoon of swimming. Their host was a 92 year old Matriarch who is every bit as handsome, smart, and classy as could be dreamed up in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel despite the fact that this is Minnesota and Lake Washington, not New York and the Hamptons.

Anyway during my country-side meanderings home from scouting out this "cottage", I saw the moon rising over the horizon of endless corn. It was quite spectacular and this camera, photographer and photo do not do this justice.

The agenda this week includes eye doctors, dentists, doctors and all necessary back-t0-school medical sorts of forms and information. Other than that, everyone is home from camps and all athletic and taxiing olympics have come to a screeching halt.

These next three weeks will be the dog days of summer for the Taylor tribe. Let those games begin!