Lake Toho Sunset

Last Saturday all 3 kids had sleepovers with friends. That meant Ingrid and I had a night to ourselves. I don’t even remember the last time that happened, probably March I guess. We went out to dinner at Crabby Bills and took a nice walk in the park along the southern shore of East Lake Tohopekaliga. We had a beautiful view, and I snapped a few shots with my phone. A better camera would have done it justice but one of them came out O.K. enough to give a bit of an idea of what it was like. It was pretty impressive. Clicking on it will get you the full size photo.

Thinner

The older I get, the tougher it is to keep my weight where it should be. This summer I got on a diet and started exercising regularly. Progress has been slow but steady for the most part. The holidays were a bit tough, but I escaped without too much damage. Coming into the new year, I’ve been able to get things rolling again. It’s fun to finally be hitting a point where I feel better. I don’t realize how crummy I feel when I’m heavier until I get the weight off and I can feel the difference.

I’m not in great shape yet. I still need to lose another 25 or 30 pounds. (Though I just started lifting weights which is shifting my focus to body composition as opposed to purely weight. I’d been doing pure cardio before this.) I tried to run 3 miles yesterday. I made it 2 before I needed to stop and walk every so often. Not bad though, last time I tried it, 1.5 was about all I could put together.

If I can keep getting better at it, and my knees hold up I may run the Corporate 5K in April. Barring injury or some other unseen issue, that’s a very doable goal.

Fish Hooks Man

We went over to work to fish yesterday. I started out with a spinner but only got one small fish. At the same time I was seeing fish hitting the top of the water all over the place. At the same time I was seeing a lot of blue-gill so I wasn’t sure if all that top water stuff going on was pan fish or bass. So I found one of my smaller poppers and tied that on.

My first cast had a fish on, a small bass. My second cast was a pretty good sized bass. I was extremely excited as I absolutely love catching fish when there is a top water bite going. It’s a rush to see your lure floating out there and then watch it get pulled under.

I lifted my second fish up out of the water and grabbed him by the lip. When I did that, he started thrashing and I couldn’t quite hold on to him. He was hooked by the front hook of my lure, and when I dropped him, the back hook that was free found its way into my thumb. For a couple seconds his entire weight was hanging by that hook, and so it dug nice and deep down into my thumb.

I called Ingrid over. She helped me get the fish off the hook. Then she cut the line. I got out my leatherman to see if I could get the hook out. I realized pretty quickly I wouldn’t be able to do it. The barb pretty much made it impossible to pull it back out. I tried to push it forward, so that it would pop back out. Then I’d be able to cut the barb off and get it out. But that just hurt too much. So we loaded up the van and started driving to urgent care. Unfortunately all 3 we checked were closed. So it was off to the hospital. I had to wait 5 hours to be seen. Then it took about another hour to get all the various shots, get my thumb numbed up and then get the hook out. So the fish got me a little after 6 pm and I got home to bed about 2 a.m. That wasn’t fun – but I sure am grateful that I had the services available to me.

I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to needles – so I didn’t really enjoy the tetanus shot, the antibiotic shot or the 3 shots to numb up my thumb. But based on the amount of digging and pulling the doctor had to do to get the hook out, those 3 shots were well worth it. Basically she took a large needle, and pushed that in up to the barb, so that she could pull the hook out without the barb catching anything. It took a little while and I think she was pretty happy when she finally got it out. Below are a few crappy before and after pics from my phone.

Space Coast Marathon

Ingrid ran the Space Coast marathon today. This was her first full marathon, she has done a half before. I’m really proud of her. She set a schedule, stuck to it as best she could (life threw a curve into the mix here and there) and she ran her race. She finished in 4:26:01. Which is pretty much exactly what she planned.

The race is held in Cocoa, along the Indian River. It’s funny because I’ve never been there before, we’ve always driven by on the 528 as we motored on ahead to Cocoa Beach. It really is very nice, right there in downtown Cocoa. There is a little area called Cocoa village that is full of cool little shops and nice restaurants. I think we’ll definitely be going back just to hang out.

The race started at 6 a.m. Ingrid wanted to be able to pick up her packet and get ready, so we left the house at 4 a.m. That meant getting up at 3:30 – a quick shower for me, getting the kids up and in the van and then hitting the road.

The kids were my responsibility and I fed them breakfast in the car once we were parked in our spot near the start of the race. We had told the kids we’d be up early, repeatedly. Hannah still looked astonished as she stepped out back to go in the garage and said to me, “The sun isn’t up yet dad!”

Once it got close to 6 the kids and I went out to watch the start. They had a real astronaut come out and he cheered everyone on. Then there was a count-down with a video of a space shuttle launch and the runners were off. There were so many people on a pretty narrow road, that we missed Ingrid. Then we went to the van to watch a dvd until the sun came up.

The race went north for 6.5 miles or so then looped back down past the start. We waited and saw Ingrid go by as she was heading down into the second half of the race. She high-fived the kids and looked really good. After she went by we went over to the park and so the kids could swing and play on the toys. They were cold but a little running around took care of that. I had a bunch of snack crackers to help pass the time too – they took a couple little snack breaks.

We hung out there and at another part of the park where the finish was. When it got closer for Ingrid to come in – we went to a spot coming into the finish and cheered Ingrid on when she came into view. It was a really great day. A storm front was moving in – and we hit some heavy rain on the drive home, but everything was perfect for the race. Pretty nice.

The space theme was everywhere. The race volunteers wore orange or blue jump suits that looked like those the astronauts where. There were models and all kinds of cool posters of NASA stuff. There was also a costume contest with someone dressed as the shuttle, another as an astronaut and a number of Star Wars themed entries. The kids loved it when they saw Darth Vader running in the race.

Back From Vacation

We just got back into Orlando today. We spent the last week in the Tampa area – Treasure Island to be exact. It was a nice, relaxing time which was just what we needed.

We spent a lot of time at the beach and the pool, took in a Rays game, visited the Florida aquarium and played a few games of Trouble. The kids took in some Disney channel, enjoying the fact that they had cable where we stayed. Ingrid and I each got to read a fluff novel, and I got to work through most of a really great book on intellectual property. Sounds boring but it really wasn’t. I’ll have a review up over at GeekBook pretty soon.

We are very fortunate to get to take the time for something like this. I also think about how nice it is to be so well off that we can just go stay somewhere, take a week off work, etc. Not everybody has that kind of luxury. I’m really thankful.

Next week the is the last of summer vacation for the kids. Then it’s back to school, so hopefully this gave them some nice summer memories. The first third of their vacation was OSP – so I think this kind of balanced it out.

We didn’t have internet access – for a week. And I lived. How about that?

Spring

There are lots of young critters running around now. I’ve been seeing a pair of sandhill cranes with a young chick quite a bit. Last night I went to work to print out our monthly newsletter and came across a pair of young raccoons near the entrance to the building. They looked like they were just kind of hanging out. They are pretty cute when they are little.
young raccoonsyoung raccoons
I took the pictures with my phone- which is why they are so poor. But you can click on the thumb-nails here to see them full size.