Marvin died the other day. He was 13 years old. For a goldfish, that’s about 120 in human years.
We knew he wasn’t long for this world, so I took this picture of him just a few days before he “passed on” (for you librul Yankees, that’s Deep Southern for “croaked”). Some of you knew him. In fact, if you’ve ever visited our home and used our hall bathroom, you may have got to know him quite well, and vice versa.
Later this month, I’ll turn 47. A pretty boring, inconspicuous birthday like that doesn’t usher in thoughts of mortality for most people, but for me it’s a different story.… Read the rest
I’ve had to chuckle a bit at all the talk of socialism over the past few days.
I thought: Hey, aren’t we already a bit socialist anyway?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t our federal government just basically take over our financial system, and under a Republican president no less?
Don’t we already garnish a portion of the wages of working stiffs like you and me and funnel it toward a fund from which we provide health care (Medicare) and financial support (Social Security) for the elderly?
Aren’t I personally part of a system that takes your money–yes, YOUR MONEY–and pools it to provide a vast fund for the health care of our nation’s veterans, you know, the ones who as President Lincoln said, “hath borne the battle” and therefore we have a moral obligation to support?… Read the rest
Listen, I know times are tough. After I checked my retirement and college savings accounts yesterday, I had to reach for my inhaler and start playing the Taizé chants on my iPod in a continual loop.
But a little perspective is in order–I lived through the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s, for Pete’s sake. And as this February 20, 1975 political rant from the 7th grade personal journal that I kept for Ms. Fine’s class at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Wirtz, Virginia amply shows, I was madder than #$%@&*, and I just wasn’t going to take it any more:
You said I could think of something to put in here, so heres the one thing I thought of [we didn’t cover dangling prepositions until 10th grade].
In case you’ve been in a total sensory deprivation chamber for the past two weeks, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Believe it or not, this has caused a lot of controversy, and there are many who feel strongly one way or another about whether or not this is a good thing for our country.
For the most part, I plan to leave those kinds of questions to the big boy and girl bloggers and the hardcore mainstream press such as People magazine. But I do want to address a particular rumor that’s been making the rounds, one that has a vital link to our national security:
Sarah Palin’s glasses are fake and she wears them just so people will think she’s smarter.
Call me crazy, but for some reason I’m overcome with the urge this morning to dress in plaid, let my beard grow out a bit more, finally make that pilgrimage to Moosefest and watch old episodes of one of my all time favorite TV shows, Northern Exposure.
My Olympic dream died sometime around 1978. The reality was that I could barely crack the top 10 of an average high school cross country race, so there was little hope of me ever mounting the winner’s platform and hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in my lifetime.
What did I look like back in 1978 at the so-called “peak” of my running career? Behold:
The ectomorph in the middle is me. I think I may have weighed 130 lbs back then…sopping wet. The blond Adonis on the right who looks like he should be giving massages to rich, middle-aged women at Club Med is Lindsey. Coach Earl “Dude, where’s my car?” F. is on the left.
Now before all you ladies go getting too worked up over Lindsey, I should point out that he never beat me in a race, and we all know how important that is later in life.… Read the rest
Some of you have been clamoring for a shot of the proprietor of this joint. Well, here’s a shot of me “back in the day” when my morning workout was truly a run and not just a slog:
I sense some skepticism out there coursing the interwebs and emanating from my computer screen. What’s that you say? Is that really the Eyeguy?
Would I ever pull your leg, kid around, be factitious, yank your chain, or otherwise out and out lie simply for effect?
Yup, you bet I would.
Actually, that’s a very young Jim Ryun working out in the 1960s when he was rising to the top of the distance running world and around the time that he set the world record in the mile run.… Read the rest
UPDATE: I could see this coming a mile away. And it only took less than 24 hrs.
This sort of reminds me of that time back in ’78 when I and the rest of the Franklin County High School cross country team brought several bottles of lime Gatorade to drink at lunch on the afternoon of that big meet at Northside High.
Assistant Principal Hodges spotted the glass bottles and confiscated them and we were forced to apologize for violating the “no glass containers in the lunchroom” policy.
By the way, it was 95 degrees that day, and on the way home from the meet (we lost), the team bus had to stop at Roanoke Memorial Hospital so that I could get IV fluids for my heat exhaustion.… Read the rest
In a few minutes, I’ll lace up my Nike Vomero running shoes (black and gold swoosh for Harding–Hail, alma mater!) and once again hit the pavement for an early morning 5-miler. It’s a habit with roots from the early 1970s, more specifically, the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
I’ve been reminiscing some about that time these past few days as I’ve been writing my next Huntsville Times community column which will appear on August 10th, the opening weekend of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Here’s a sneak preview:
During the 1972 Munich Games, American runners like Jim Ryun, Steve Prefontaine, Dave Wottle and Frank Shorter captured my elementary schoolboy imagination and launched my own much less stellar running career…
…I fashioned a makeshift running singlet by cutting off the sleeves of a white t-shirt and stenciling a crude “U.S.A.”
As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.
This is the Roanoke Church of Christ, the congregation where I grew up in the 1960s and 70s. As is our custom, we visited and worshiped there during our recent trip to Virginia.… Read the rest
I immediately thought: Which 1950s morality are you talking about? The black and white, warm and fuzzy, cut and dry predictability of Ozzie and Harriet or the black and white Jim Crow laws and state-supported racism which consigned a significant portion of our Southern population to second-class citizenship, public lynchings and other various and sundry travesties of justice?
And what year were you born in? 1975? What could you possibly know about “1950s morality?”… Read the rest