Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Making Connections

Princess Ana is starting to show her ability to associate one activity with another. The quotes and looks we get from her as a result of this are a lot of fun.

Last week she came to visit Daddy at the office. She hoped up in my chair and started pounding on the keyboard. She suddenly turned and gave me a slightly annoyed look and said, "Ana working. Ana busy!" and then returned to her keyboard pounding. I guess mama and daddy need to stop trying to do any work on the PC at home.

This morning the princess had to go to the doctor for a follow-up exam to make sure the latest ear infection had cleared up. In the car after seeing the doc she asks her mama, "Go pharmacy now?" She really likes the pharmacy. Lots of things on low shelves she can play with, and she always gets a bag of candy in an attempt to keep her away from the shelves.

Two year olds are so much fun as long as you're not trying to get them to do something.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Annoying Words of Motivation

"Only you can decide at this moment what percentage of your total commitment you're going to use."

I went to my first group exercise (a.k.a. aerobics) class yesterday that wasn't part of triathlon training. The class, Cycle 2 & Strength, is a wonderful way to get your tail kicked during the lunch hour. The instructor is an interesting character that mixed motivating gems like the quote above into a discourse on Paul McCartney's musical career and the impact of British musicians on rock (Bob Dylan was the only non-brit on the playlist during the class), the history of Juneteenth, and a mention of the upcoming solstice. I enjoyed it well enough that I'll be going back.

Until then I'm trying to apply a little more commitment each moment to my research because the quote refuses to get out of my head. Back to the grindstone.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Robbed by a two-year-old

Stealing candy from a baby is supposed to be easy. In my house it's just as easy for the baby to steal your breakfast. I had fed the Princess the better part of a bowl of Cheerios this morning before I had to run out the door to catch the bus. As I put together a peanut butter sandwich she was helpfully reminding me of the time. "Daddy go school. Daddy catch bus. Catch bus now!"

I grabbed my sandwich, got hugs and kisses from the Princess and her mama and headed for the door. Just as I crack the door open Ana jumps into full whine mode and come running over to the door. I was expecting a showdown over whether she could go outside. Instead she points to my sandwich and I gratefully hand it over so she can take a bite, thankful that the solution is so easy. She grabs the sandwich, checks it over to make sure I hadn't drooled on it, and then dismisses me with, "Bye-bye! Daddy catch bus!" Robbed blind before I even left the house!

My lovely wife has always held the belief that food on my plate is better and steals bites all the time. Princess Ana has learned this and will come sit with me halfway through dinner and sample my food to make sure she hasn't been given inferior green beans. The blatant theft of an entire meal is taking this to a new level, and I'm not sure I like it. Too bad I don't have a voice in the matter as I'm just the male servant of the house.

In other news, today is Princess Ana's second birthday. Mama will be taking cupcakes to daycare this afternoon so we can get all the other kids loaded up on sugar before they go home. It's a really good thing that we haven't met any of their parents.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Crashing back to reality

Things can sure go downhill in a hurry. My last post covered how I had set a personal record at Run Thru the Vines and almost made the top 3 in my age group. The next morning I set out to ride the bicycle course for the triathlon. The first 13 miles were uneventful and I was enjoying the new course. Then came the dogs.

I was riding down a flat stretch and looking for the next turn when a group of three dogs came running out to the road. Two labs and a mutt made up a very noisy and intimidating security team for the double-wide they called home. I was far enough out in the middle of nowhere to be unsure of whether the dogs were just in it for the chase or if they had a mid-morning snack in mind, so I tried to out run them. The mutt and one of the labs quickly fell behind. I turned to make sure I was clear of them and as I looked back up I saw the remaining lab had done the geometry right and was a little ahead of my front tire. He had decided that the attack from the right wasn't working for him and he cut in front of the tire to attack from the left. Of course he didn't check to see if he was clear and didn't signal this change of plan, so when he cut over he ran into my wheel and took it out from under me.

After skidding to a halt -- see the picture above -- I just lay there swearing at the sky. I realized that while the dog may have had the courses in advanced car chasing to be able to catch me, he hadn't had the final course in the series, "What to do when you finally catch something." All three dogs jumped in the ditch and kept barking because I was still on their territory. The worst part of the wreck for me was the realization that laying in the road like I was there was potential for a much bigger accident if I didn't stand up and create more of a profile. I picked myself up, brushed off the gravel, and managed to ride back out to the car. After the great feeling the day before, this certainly wasn't how I had planned to spend my Sunday morning.

My bike survived with just a few scratches. My scratches weren't too severe either. One of my ribs was bruised badly enough to make running and swimming a little intense, but I fought through the pain. Two weeks after the crash I completed my triathlon. I had hoped for a significant improvement over last year's time, but it wasn't meant to be. I didn't get the shot of adrenaline at the start I was expecting, and at several points in the race I just felt like this was something to get done, not a race. Next year I'll have one more shot at the event before hopefully moving on to a new home.

In the month since the race our home has been a one stop shop for respiratory illness. Lidia and Ana traded a couple of viruses before they found one that was good enough for me. I thought it was just bad allergies and literally ran myself into the ground with training. I've just finished the first week of drugs and no exercise, and everyone in the house is better now. I've probably got another three or four days before I'm back on the road running, but it's time to start climbing back up for the next personal record.

It seems my work has inspired some in the house too. I leave you with a picture of the next triathlete in the family. Just sixteen years or so before she's ready to compete.