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Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

As I mentioned in my last post, I am grateful for the amount of inventive and creatively talented people I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by. A part 2 to this end is required when I see what my great colleague Joe does on his off time. Enjoy the amazingly professional, but volunteer productions of Wild Pilots

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/user/TeamWIldPilots

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One of the more favorable things I am grateful for in my life has been the amount of inventive and creatively talented people I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by.

Thomas Crenshaw is one such individual who a few days ago put together this little tribute video for one of his (and mine) favorite TV Shows. The video is fun, compelling and burning up the replays on youtube right now.

Enjoy

Thomas Crenshaw

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Lately I’ve been concerned with the absolute blatant eradication of Christ from Christmas Activities in modern life.

The best evidence is the New York City chapter of the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) has chosen to rebrand itself as the “Y” and no longer allow Santa at it’s holiday parties. They’re replaced it with Frosty the Snowman.

From Christ to Santa is a stretch as it is but calling Santa too Christian at an organization founded as a Christian society is ridiculous. I’m starting to feel like the history books are being rewritten.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised and happy to find this gem that was forwarded to me. A true modern Christmas story. Merry Christmas everyone! And if you don’t celebrate it or recognize that others do, enjoy the time off from work, compliments of those who do.

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cfb2009_1We are hours away from the beginning of a new college football season and I have been feeling the excitement for weeks now! I heart college football!

I mean I really love it. But I’ve become aware that it could be because I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. Even when we were terrible at football the pageantry, enthusiasm and celebration surrounding game day is the glue that binds the community together.

In fact I think that’s the point. I love community events. People come together, even if they’re opposing sides to celebrate the exciting of human achievement, camaraderie and the excitement of life.

To sum it up, there’s nothing like sitting among 85,000 of your best friends and screaming your head off for no apparent reason.

Reasons to love College Football:

  • Community, Colors &Tailgates
  • Traditions & Songs & Mascots
  • Pagentry , Halftimes, Bands (5th Quarter if your’e a Badger fan)
  • Passion -Originality Cheer, Frivolity
  • Rivalries and Underdogs
  • Bowl Games & Heros

cfb2009_2

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Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch

“If you wait long enough people with impress you and surprise you.”
Wait long and people will surprise and impress you.

“When you’re pissed off and angry with someone, you just haven’t given them enough time.
Just give them a little more time and they’ll almost always impress you.”

– Randy Pausch – The Last Lecture

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A couple of years ago, when my little sister, her husband and new baby, were planning to visit for Christmas, she made the requirement that there must be a tree if they were going to be there.  I thought this was a good idea, but the holiday snuck up on me quicker than I expected and I was stuck two days before Christmas without a tree or decorations. Looking around for a Christmas tree was really tough, since most everyone had sold out of the any reasonably priced real trees,not to mention any decent ornaments. But, thanks to the expert creativity and consultation from my good friend Davy B. who is a Christmas atmosphere aficiando extraordinaire, we ended up traipsing through the left over pickings at Wal-mart, and “made do” with what we could. I ended up with probably the most decadent tree I’d ever dream of having. In my opinion it ought to be in the window at Macy’s. I’m always amazed at how making do, usually ends up better than what you expected in the first place.

This year, I was waiting for my new floors to get installed before putting up the tree and it seemed a little difficult to keep the Christmas feeling going. But once I had a bit of help the tree seemed to trim itself. And I’m no longer void of any Christmas spirit in my home.

Thanks to Amy & Family for the the impetus. Thanks to Dave for his superior tree trimming skillz, and to Shelly, Clay and Sharon who were a part of the tree set up this year. Last but not least thanks to the following artists who’ve all cashed in on the Christmas Collection Albums to provide us with a superior soundtrack for getting us with the spirit of it all. AOL FULL CD LISTENING PARTYTony Bennett, Amy Grant, Manheim Steamroller, Harry Connick Jr., Mariah Carrey, Kristin Chenowith, Loreena McKennit, Sarah Brightman, Straight No Chaser, Barenaked Ladies, Chipmunks Christmas, Christina Aguilera, the Holidays are coming Coca-Cola Christmas Commercial Music.

Voila! This years tree! Note: there are still 1/3 of the ornaments still left to hang.

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Race Finish

Last Spring a co-worker of mine asked me if I wanted to train for a 10 mile running race together. A 10 miler led to a Half-Marathon with some other friends and just recently I finished the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. Prior to that I had participated in various small triathlons and small running races.

Marine Corps Marathon Start 2008

It’s only a been a few weeks and yet, I look back and I can’t believe that I actually did it. I’ve fantasized about it time and again, but having done it, I can replace those hopes or figments of my imagination with a real memory. I know the strength of community everyone feels at the start, the friendship along the way of miles 4,5,6; the joy of catching a glimpse of family and friends on the side, enjoying the friendly support of perfect strangers at mile 16, the loneliness and pain of miles 20-21, the shear will power over pain of miles 22-26 and the satisfaction of completion, when you don’t even really care to celebrate because you’ve got absolutely nothing left to actually use on emotions. Dreams can fuel you do to great things, but be sure you’re doing something everyday to make them happen or you will always be stuck in the vault of your own mind.

Mile 10 - Near the Lincoln

Truly the unsung heroes on race day are the countless numbers of supporters and race volunteers who give their own time just to support others accomplish their goals. It can’t be all that fun, to stand around for more than 4 hours and cheer on perfect strangers you’ve never met.  I wish there was a way to adequately let each race supporter know how much their cheers, chants signs, and presence helps. Every high school band that played kept me in a cheery mood.  People’s signs of encouragement kept me thinking of things other than my gradually slowing body. My favorite sign was posted on a 20′ stick, it read, ” The Kenyans are Just Ahead!”, Occasionally I caught someone’s eyes and instead of being odd it was almost as if I had known them.

After a particularly long stretch over  the 14th street bridge on mile 21 where there were no spectators, and the wind started to whip over the Potomac, it felt as if you were crossing the Sahara Desert. Seriously. The muscles start to contract and you feel like a lost member of the French Foreign Legion. Coming back into Arlington to a crowd of spectators was the just the catapult that was need for those final but lonely 2 miles around the Pentagon to the finish.
Thanks to Friends and Family, who made the trek to support me. I really wanted to stop the last 4 miles but just kept thinking that if I could just keep going they were there to see me finish well. Running maybe a singular activity but truly no one, can stand alone. We are as strong as the community we are a part of.

The Fam

The runner’s rewards are endless; views of  the early morning sunrises and golden sunsets, glimpses of cardinals and blue jays, an occasional run in with a deer,  a brief “hello” shared when passing by a fellow trekker on your daily route, hidden wildlife that only come out for those dedicated enough to run in the rain to see, views of twilight stars, the feeling of accomplishment and physical work, the runner’s high. But none are as great as the unexpected feeling of being a part of a larger community. Thanks to everyone who’s volunteered their time to support their communities.

Marine Corps Runners

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