Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tell Me Your Story

I had an extra lawnmower that has given me multiple issues over the year I had it. About six weeks ago, the lawnmower I inherited from the parents stopped working. I just couldn't get the engine to turn over. It was probably something simple like a spark plug or dirty filter, but I have another lawn mower that I like using better, and I don't have time to actually try to figure out the machinery. (Although I should have just tinkered to win some man points.)

So, Sallie and I decided we needed to get it out from under our porch and get it to someone else. Why let a perfectly broken lawnmower rust and rot?

So I was going to post it on Craigslist for $20 or some small amount of money that couldn't possibly be haggled. For those of you that don't know, I hate dealing with the people that frequent Craigslist. (See my post if you would like to know the reasons.)

Lately, I've been thinking I need to do some sort of charity or volunteer work. Then it dawned on me. I could really help someone out.

So I posted to Craigslist that I would give the lawn mower away for free. I asked that it go to a house that could really use it.

Within 10 minutes I had something like 30 emails. Most the replies were simple, "I'll take the lawn mower if you still have it." There were a few people that did some generic

Then, about six messages in there was a guy that simply said, "If the lawn mower is available, I would be interested in it. I lost my job a few months back and have been making ends meet by buying household appliances, fixing them up, and selling them."

I thought back to two years ago when Sallie and I were out of work and how desperate we were to make a few dollars. If I could give this guy a lawn mower, he could fix it, and sell it for say $50, maybe that would mean one more bill paid.

So I gave it to him. He came by our house, was very grateful. He had a little girl with him, probably six, in a soccer uniform, with freckles all over her face and she told me thank you. It felt good. Just a simple act in a "One man's trash is another man's treasure" situation, and I felt good and some stranger felt good.

I want to do more. Tell me your story, tell me how I can help you, and I will be there.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lord, Save Us from your Followers!

I just watched a documentary on Netflix called "Lord, Save Us from your Followers." I expected this to be a Michael Moore like condemnation of the Christian faith. Was really just wanting to watch it for some cheap entertainment, but soon found that it was more than that.

The director and writer of the documentary is a Protestant, a believer, on a quest to find out why exactly Atheists, Agnostics, and other religions seem to have an extreme distaste for Christians.

Some of what was discussed I found extremely interesting.

-Most people that have issues with Christianity actually like Jesus and what he stands for. Their beef is with the way Christians try to spread their word through condemnation, fear tactics, and yelling the loudest.

-The abortion numbers for Christians are relatively high. The documentary discusses how the porn industry, Hollywood, and media are all to blame, but then asks the question, "Isn't the home to blame?" Those industries do what sells. So if sex is what sells, wouldn't people learn their craving of sex from their home as a child?

-The documentary also asks people if they think that Jesus would be Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. Most said neither, he's above that. So then why does faith become such a large part of political campaigns? Because its easy votes.

-The documentarian takes an idea from a book I read called "Blue Like Jazz" and sets up a confessional in a particularly un-Christian event. Donald Miller set up a confessional booth during a "Pagan" festival at his college in Portland Oregon. The documentarian, Dan, set up a similar booth at a Pride Festival. He started each confessional with asking forgiveness on behalf of the church for treating people like trash, sub-humans. In just about every instance the people were taking aback, connecting with Dan, and there was actually a dialogue, empathy, and confusion as to why they were pushed out of the church.

I just found some of those points interesting. They're things I've always sort of expected, but never had anyone go to the streets and try to find out.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conquered Betches!

I did, actually did it. 13.1 miles. With all the zigzagging I did, it was properly closer to 14 miles.

First some thanks:

-Wifey - For forcing me to run a bit faster than I would've for the first four miles.
-Gu - This amazing invention of high fructose corn syrup, vitamins, and sugar really helped me get through the race.
-Foo Fighters - Dave Grohl's voice and the power guitars of the Foo Fighters pushed me through miles 5-12.
- The girl that most definitely broke her ankle around mile 6. I'm sorry it happened to you, but knowing that I wasn't having the worst marathon out of anyone really helped.
- 11 AM. I kept saying this time in my head over and over again because I knew that if I weren't already home, I would be on my way home by then. It's a good time of day.

Some things I don't like:
-4:40 am. The time I dragged myself out of bed. I hate it. There were stars out still.
-37 degrees - This is the temperature we hung out in for an hour before the race.
-The hill around Hwy 370. That hill sucked. Seriously.

I finished the race in 2:33:56. A bit quicker than the 2:45 I had estimated and hoped for. Sallie killed me. She finished around 2:12:00. Here's where I raced:

I don't know if I would do another half. I would need to be in much better shape. I would probably do anything under 10 km. We'll have to see through. Sallie plans on doing this much much more often.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Racing for Cardiac Arrest

Tomorrow it finally happens.

I feel like a soldier, slowly drifting toward Omaha Beach watching Nazi artillery inch its way closer. I just want to get off the boat and find out if I sink or float.

Tomorrow is the culmination of 8 weeks of training.

Sallie will run 13.1 miles and I will have cardiac arrest after running about 7.5 miles.

In all seriousness, assuming I don't get injured, I think I can finish this in under 2 hours and 45 minutes. The thing that is going to hold me back is the 4:45 wakeup call.

But with Caffeine and a desire to be back home running through my veins, I should be able to knock this thing out at a decent clip.

First thing I plan on doing when I get home is soaking in a lot of Epsom salts and doing a lot of ice baths. Then, once the initial shock wears off, I'm going to have everything the rest of the day delivered to me. Pizza, hell yes. Chinese, you bet. I'm thinking about leaving the door wide open and letting these people come into my house and literally deliver the food to the plate... also known as my chest. Because you can bet that I'm going to be too tired to do anything other than place the call and change the movie.

Just keep me in your thoughts. Please for the love of all that is holy, don't show up to the race to cheer me on. Sallie may like that encouragement, but I tend to love a me against the world scenario a bit more.

I'm a loner... a rebel... a run, walk, run sort of guy.

So I'll see you long after the finish line, when my knees start working and my body forgives me. Then, and only then, can we discuss this hellish test of body.

Good night everyone