Monthly Archives: August 2011

Pics or it didn’t happen

The photos for the 2011 Dallas Dream Mile race are now up:

(White shirt, red cap)  Five steps in and already I look like I’m gasping.

Note to self: Do not lick lips while running lest tongue be accidentally severed during critical race.

….and Done!  Embrace the pain!


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Running goal shattered!

So the official results are in from this weekend’s 5K race:

Oh yes, I definitely had a personal record.  Did I say I thought I broke 29 minutes.  Well, yes.  Yes I did.  In fact, I came in 7th in my age/gender group with a 28:32, for a pace of 9:11 per mile.  Outstanding.  That’s shaving over four minutes off my time from last month’s race.

I am thrilled with these results.  I had a negative 20 split time, meaning I ran faster in the second half of the race than the first.  There’s also a new statistic I’m not familiar with: 48.9% Age Grade, which I’ve been explained means that of all the men in my age that run official timed races in the world, I’m faster than 48.9% of them, or just under half.  I’ll take that, but I hope I can improve that.  I’m competitive enough that I’ll want to track that statistic obsessively.

No pics yet.



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The Invention of Lying

Light-hearted movie that I suppose could be called a romantic comedy with a fantasy twist:

Like the old saying goes, in a world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.  Similarly, the story takes place in an alternate universe in which no one can tell a lie.  As a result, everyone is extremely gullible, because there’s no reason to question what anyone else is saying.  Ricky Gervais plays Mark, a hapless writer, who discovers the ability to tell a lie.  If he tells a bank there’s money in his account, the teller will give it to him without batting an eye.  If he announces that he saved a baby from a burning building, no one questions it.

For comic effect, the movie expands the principle to beyond just everyone telling the truth to everyone blurting out what they’re thinking, and I’m not sure how the two go together.  It’s one thing for a man to tell his boss he’s not coming into work, not because he’s sick, but because he hates the job.  It’s another for a waiter to announce that he’s had a sip of the drink you ordered.

Anyway, Mark’s new ability to tell lies leads him to invent Heaven to console his dying mother, which then blossoms into Mark styling himself a prophet of the never-before-heard-of “Man in the Sky.”  Mark tells the crowds that God wants them to be good and nice, and if they are they’ll get mansions after they die, which of course everyone finds a great relief.  But Mark is unhappy, because Anna, the girl of his dreams, (played by the lovely Jennifer Garner) finds him unattractive, albeit friendly and kind, and she will be soon married to a vain but good-looking man played well by Rob Lowe.

All in all, the story seems enough to fill a half-hour comedy show, but by the end it’s wearying trying to understand why people feel compelled to tell each other that they are so miserable.  The story ends on a cliche, with a race to the church to object to the wedding.  Still, it’s a clever idea and the actors appear to have fun with the concept.

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Animals Are Beautiful People

I was forwarded a hilarious clip of African animals that enjoy a particular kind of fruit, especially the fruit has, shall we say …  fermented?

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PR in 5-K

The official results haven’t been posted yet, but I made a personal record in the 5-K this weekend.

The event was called Dream Mile 2011 for an organization called Vibha, which raises funds for underprivileged children in the U.S. and India.  Early Saturday morning at White Rock Lake I milled around with several others, waiting for the races to start.  At 7:30 the 10-K runners took off, and fifteen minutes later those of us running the 5-K lined up at the starting line.  My goals for this race were to A) finish the darn thing, and B) beat my last official time of 32:50.

I found myself near the front of the group, and I’ll admit I was pressured to keep up with the fast runners.  One young man looked like he had bones of fiberglass.  He immediately took off like a gazelle.  But for old me, I quickly determined before the half-mile mark that I was going to quickly run out of gas, so I slowed my pace to what felt like a crawl.  Of course, this resulted in my getting passed right and left by others, and I hate getting passed.  Particularly by old ladies.

Anyway, I was feeling pretty good until about mile two-and-a-half, when my body tried to negotiate with me, telling me that if I would just stop and collapse on the side of the path that everything would be all better and we could go out for ice cream and chocolate…wouldn’t that be great?  But no, I kept repeating my mantra, “I can do this I can do this,” and my body grumbled to itself, not happy but at least silent.

Finally I saw the finish line and poured it on a bit, not a full out sprint, but definitely an improvement, perhaps as fast as when I started.  When I crossed the finish line I had accomplished goal A.  But what about my time?  Had I broken 32 minutes? Perhaps even 31?

I walked for a little bit, maybe ten seconds or so, before I remembered my own timer on my waistline.  I took a look . . . wiped the sweat out of my eyes, because surely I was mis-reading it.  What did that timer say?


I broke 32 minutes?  I broke thirty minutes?  And if my estimate between crossing the finish line and checking my time was accurate, there’s a real chance I broke twenty-nine minutes!

Yay me.

It’s a funny thing.  During the last half mile, I was telling myself that this running thing is nuts, that I’m too old to be doing this, that there’s no good reason I need to intentionally make myself feel this way.  For what, a T-shirt?  Pfah!

But half an hour later, during the drive home, I found myself wondering when the next race will be.  And maybe this time I bust the twenty-eight minute mark…

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From such humble beginnings…

Fun clip of 25 major movie stars in their first roles, some I’ve seen, others I’ve never heard of.

Before They Were Famous: 25 Actors in 3 Minutes

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Watched Tangled with my wife last night.

I’m a sucker for these types of Disney movies.  The animation was absolutely beautiful, a three-dimensional painting style that was vibrant and full of depth.  The characters’ expressions were convincing and effective, and there was enough humor and action to keep me engaged.  And I’ll admit it, the ‘floating lanterns over the river’ scene was breathtaking and throat-choking.

As for the story, well….  It started off all right.  Rapunzel is locked in a tower by her kidnapper Gothel, who is keeping the captured princess for her hair’s healing properties.  The poor girl is a teenager, hungry to explore the world outside, when a handsome thief named Flinn Rider breaks in.  The two fated lovers agree to help each other out, letting Rapunzel have her exciting adventure.  The middle chapter involves a den of thugs won over by Rapunzel’s infectious innocence and optimism, as well as a chase through a huge waterworks.  The ending, however, invokes a cheat, presumably necessary by the fact that this is a G-rated Disney movie, but it still soured an overall positive experience a bit.

Still, Disney has done far worse than this one.  I’d happily place Tangled among the ranks of Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin as an enjoyable fairy tale.

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