Tuesday, May 29, 2007

3 Miles Up, 3 Miles Down

Well it was actually more like 2.8 according to my Garmin Forerunner GPS unit. Ever heard the word Currahee? If you have seen the Band of Brothers series you would at least recognize it. Today Jason, Marc and I left the conference center we are playing at and drove about 10 minutes to Currahee Mountain. We parked the van and trailer at the base and stepped out into the hot Georgia sun. A few stretches later and we were on our way – 3 Miles Up, 3 Miles Down. Just like in the first episode of Band of Brothers.

Taken from wiki:

“The mountain was made famous internationally by Steven Spielberg's TV series of Band of Brothers. The mountain was featured during the training of the American Paratroopers at Camp Toccoa, Georgia where they ran up and down Currahee. The name of the mountain became the motto for these paratroopers including the famous quote: "3 Miles up, 3 Miles down".

Being big fans of the series this was something we had to do while we were here. Jason likely got the biggest thrill out of it being the WWII expert among us. When we got to the top he started listing off the names of the soldiers who had done this exact run before. It made sense to be here so close to Memorial Day too.

I found these while looking up info about the mountain. You can see the outline of the mountain on both patches.

506TH INFANTRY REGIMENTDistinctive Unit Insignia

Coat of Arms

Anyway, cool spot, hot day, unusually tired legs now. I guess I need more hill training!



Friday, May 25, 2007

My Hockey Star

I was out playing hockey with my son Jonah recently and decided it was time to record a little bit and post it for all to see. He does a few one-timers and even a back hand shot. Not bad for a kid who's still a couple of weeks away from his third birthday!! But then again, I'm a little biased.


(This is my first time trying to embed a video here so if the video doesn't work click on this link and you should be fine.)



Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Idol Finale

First off, congrats to Jordin!! She deserved it. Pretty cool it went to someone so young too.

Highlight of the night - Blake's beatboxing - This is what we've all really wanted to see since the first time Blake showed us a sample of what he could do at the beginning of the season.
Disappointment of the night - Bette Midler's performance - Wow that was awful! I've never heard her perform live before but man was it bad.



Sunday, May 20, 2007

Evil Bottled Water?

“The vanity of it! While half the world dies of thirst or puts up with water you wouldn’t piss in, or already have, we have invested years and years, and vast amounts of money, into an ingenuous system which cleanses water of all the nasties that most other humans and animals have always had to put up with, and delivers it, dirt cheap, to our homes and workplaces in pipes, which we can access with a tap.”
- Times of London food critic Giles Coren.

The cover of the May 14th issue of Canada’s popular magazine Maclean’s has this headline:
“Bottled water is the latest environmental sin. How much tap water are you willing to drink to save the planet?”

Being a frequent bottled water drinker I was immediately interested. I always feel bad for not recycling my water bottles when I’m on the road. It seems that recycling receptacles are harder to come by in the U.S. so I always end up just throwing them in the garbage. Turns out I’m not that different than most other people. The article states that 88% of water bottles are not recycled but just thrown in the trash!!

It’s pretty ridiculous really that we spend as much money as we do on bottled water. Do you remember when it first became available in stores? I remember thinking, "this is nuts. Who’s going to buy water when they can just get it from their tap for next to nothing?" And I don’t think too many people missed the irony of the brand name of the first widely available bottled water Evian, which of course spelled backwards is na├»vE. This article says that a litre (33.8 ounces) of tap water in Canada costs taxpayers an average of less than one-tenth of a cent! So that makes for something like a 3000 times mark up. Pretty good business move. Maybe I should start selling Lavender water.

I was doing pretty good at carrying my own bottle around and refilling it for a while but I haven’t found the right bottle yet; one that doesn’t leak, one that I can easily hold while running and one I can easily sip from. If you ask, “Why don’t you just go ahead and refill your water bottle?” I do often do that, but according to this article that’s a big no-no due to risks of leaching and bacterial growth. There’s always something for us to be afraid of, isn’t there?

So anyway, I guess I’ll make more of an effort to go through our stuff and find myself a good water bottle to carry around. It is cheaper after all, and my guilt factor can go way down for all the water bottles I chuck.

To read the full Maclean's article click here.



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Christ The Lord Out Of Egypt

I recently finished a fictional novel called Christ the Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice. (Thanks to Taya Gray for the borrow. Incidentally, check out Taya’s husband’s music, we are on tour with Jason Gray right now!) Just hearing about the concept of this book and seeing a friend moved to tears while reading it made me interested.

The story is written from Jesus’ perspective and is about the time from his childhood when his family left Egypt to return to Nazareth. That sounded to me like a pretty bold story to try to write so I was curious to see how the author pulled it off.

Obviously this is all fictional and the author had to make some guesses about how it all went down. That is what fiction means but when someone is writing about Jesus I just feel like this reminder is necessary.

What I enjoyed about the book is how it reminded me of Jesus’ humanness. The author takes you through what may have been going through his mind as he experiences different things. Things like people being hurt and even killed, dealing with a sick family member, saying good-bye to close friends and family, and being uprooted and moving a long way away.

It also tells of the sacrifice Mary and Joseph would have had to make to keep Jesus and raise him as their son. Having a child out of wedlock back then would have been a huge deal and a bit of a disgrace to Mary and her family. When they return to their hometown it’s interesting how everyone reacts to them and to Jesus. Another interesting thing is that Jesus only calls Joseph by his name. It’s never Father or Daddy.

Anyway, that gives you an idea of what the book is about. Even though it’s a novel I think it’s still a great read as it can help to get you more in touch with the humanity of Jesus.



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

9 Years Today!!

If you read my wife's blog you will have already learned this but today is our 9th anniversary!! Happy anniversary Sherri! Sadly this is yet another year we won't spend our anniversary day together. No big deal though. We've learned that with this job birthdays and anniversaries will just happen as close as we can get to the actual date. I thought it would be fun to look back at the last few years to see what happened on May 9th.

May 9th, 2001 - drive to Nashville (moving day)
May 9th, 2002 - off at home
May 9th, 2003 - St. Paul, MN
May 9th, 2004 - drive back to Ontario (moving day again)
May 9th, 2005 - off (close to Jeremy's wedding)
May 9th, 2006 - on my way home from Morocco, got stuck at JFK airport in New York after missing a flight home
May 9th, 2007 - on bus (not van at least) playing in North Webster, IN

Well that wasn't too fun after all. Kind of depressing. Last year was the worst. I was actually expecting to make it home for our anniversary then the airlines let me down. Next year is 10 years and it is already slated as OFF so all that is left to do now is make plans!! Woo Hoo!

And now I'd like to reciprocate for what Sherri said in her blog. So here are the top things I appreciate about Sherri.

1) Her ability to be selfless. She is constantly giving of herself to me and to Jonah and that makes it so easy to love her.
2) Her support in all that I do. This doesn't mean she never questions anything (that would be far from true) but Sherri lives a life that many spouses would find difficult, unacceptable or just plain impossible.
3) That she understands me. We have known each other since 1991! Knowing and seeing each other growing up means that she knows me and understands me better than anyone else could. And for that I am grateful!

Happy Anniversary Babe!!!


Thanks Jodi for this pic!!


Monday, May 07, 2007

Mother's Day Article

Check this out. I'm featured on about.com in an article about Mother's Day. The crazy thing is I wrote this while in the van just a couple of hours ago. I then sent it to our publicist and boom, it's now online!

In a singing voice as Kip from Napoleon Dynamite "I love technology . . ."



Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Eat more butter and eggs.

Throw away your margarine and eat butter. Try to have 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil a day. Eat more eggs. Stop eating pork and shelled fish. Stop using antibacterial soap. Play in the dirt more often.

These are some of the ideas provided in the two books I just finished, Good Fats and Oils & The Maker’s Diet.

My sister Krista is doing a nutrition course right now and I borrowed one of her books called Good Fats and Oils. Interesting stuff. It’s a great summary of which oils and fats are good for us and which ones aren’t and how to practically use them everyday.

Stuff that was new to me:
The book explained why trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated oils are so bad for us. I am avoiding them now as much as possible. Check out wiki.
Butter is way better for you than margarine. Margarine for the most part contains these bad trans-fatty acids. But don’t burn butter or any other oil for that matter, because that’s when they go from good to bad. It often results in the creation of trans-fatty acids. Check out the smoke points to know what temperature to keep it under.

Eggs do not raise your cholesterol! Seriously, eat more!

Shortly after reading Good Fats and Oils I read a book called The Maker’s Diet by Dr. Jordan Rubin. Here’s a snippet from Amazon’s description.

After facing an "incurable" disease, Dr. Rubin baffled conventional doctors by discovering a cure - by turning to "man's first - and only - true health plan" using the dietary principles found in the Bible.
It’s always a huge claim when people try to say your health will be changed forever. So I was trying to take it all with a grain of salt. I couldn’t help but agree with many of the principals the author suggests though. Basically, the old adage of “garbage in, garbage out” holds true when it comes to our diet and we have become so far removed from the process of getting our food and preparing it that we don’t even really know what we are ingesting anymore. The author, Dr Jordan Rubin suggests that if we focus more on the foods we eat and the quality of what we eat then disease and sickness will diminish. I’ve always been a bit of a tree hugger so I have no problem agreeing and wanting to go organic and grass-fed and buying local and free range and all that jazz. The critics will say that just costs a fortune, or how can you guarantee it’s actually organic. Good question, but besides the cost, I don't think it would otherwise hurt to use less pesticides, feed animals what they would eat if they were in the wild, support our local farmers and stop keeping animals all cooped up! I told you I was a bit of a tree hugger.

Anyway, it’s an interesting read. Check it out. I’m already trying to follow along with some of his diet. There is no way I could stay on it living on the road but I’ll try to get close.

So that’s it for my dietary reading for now. With Krista doing that course I expect I’ll be into another one before long.




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