Monday, September 30, 2019

Ascot Hills 5K

This Saturday, I did something I rarely do – a 5K.  Just a plain old regular 5K.

I signed up because a friend from work has been trying to get me to do a race with him, and this one was on a Saturday.  I figured that was a good thing.  Unfortunately, it was a ways away, and I had to wake up super early on a Saturday to go and do it.  Even worse, a friend from high school was in town last minute.  Fortunately, I got to see him Friday night because the friend I was going to do the race with flaked on me.

The race itself was in downtown LA at a park I had no idea existed.  Then again, I haven’t spent that much time in downtown LA, so that isn’t a surprise.  They call it a hill challenge, and they are right.  There are two hills in the 5K, and even though I regularly do run hills around my complex, these hills still got to me.  I had to walked parts of the uphill parts.

I finished in 38 minutes, which was a pretty good time as far as I was concerned.  I would have been faster if I had run the entire thing, of course, but given the hills, I’m very happy with that time.

There were so nice views of the city along the way.

I’m sure I would have enjoyed the run more had I not been so upset over my friend flaking on me.  But that kind of took the enjoyment out of it for me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Men’s Retreat 2019

This past weekend was men’s retreat with my church, and I went again.  That’s the one advantage of the mud run I used to do that weekend going out of business, I guess.  It was at the same location as last year, a camp associated with my church’s denomination.

The location is great, up on a mountain in the woods.  The camp itself isn’t too big, which is nice because you can walk everywhere you need to go in a couple of minutes.  We got one of the nice, newer cabins again this year, which include plenty of outlets.  Granted, after the first night, I didn’t have to charge my phone.  I got no reception up there, so I was only using it to read, and I kept it in airplane mode.  You really don’t use much battery when you do that.

I rode up on Friday afternoon with my pastor.  It was nice getting to talk to him for a few hours.  Of course, he headed out Saturday night so he could preach Sunday morning.  I rode back with a guy I’d met up there.  He attends second service, so I rarely see him, but it was nice to get to know him better.

We played some disc golf, and volleyball.  One team from my church won the trivia contest.  My team didn’t.  I tried my hand at the poker tournament, but didn’t make it too far.  At least I wasn’t the first one out.

The speaker was okay.  He told some good stories, but the Bible wasn’t a big part of his talks.  And he seemed to wander.  Last year’s speaker wasn’t the best either, so I guess I need to adjust my expectations accordingly.  Or maybe I’ve just spent too many years around good preaching.

Overall, I’m glad I went.  I could have used a few more days up there to truly unwind.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Bubble Run 2019

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I updated this blog hasn’t it?  Of course, there hasn’t been too much of excitement going on.  Work, church, ultimate Frisbee.  Well, except for this last Saturday.

This last Saturday, I did The Bubble Run for the first time.  It was down at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.  The run was in the parking lot and the stadium itself.  It was supposed to be a 5K, but I really have no way of knowing if it was or not.

And the bubble part of the name?  They had five bubble machines set up along the course for us to run through.  What I didn’t realize was that the bubbles would leave colored patches on our shirts, but that washed off as soon as I put it in my washing machine.  Still, my legs were colored, which I found amusing when I got home.

Honestly, the bubbles were a bit underwhelming.  It was fun and different, but I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to do it again.

However, running through the stadium was a lot of fun.  We did that twice, once on the ground level running the outside of the field (not the part the players play on).  And then again inside the stadium itself past the concessions.

I did it with my friend Rory.  He seems hooked on this kind of run now.  Sadly, he’s moving away in a week, so it will be harder to do another run like this with him.

We got a good deal, where we just had to pay for insurance and a small donation to get in.  That definitely helped make it worth it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Summer League Tournament

This past Saturday was the tournament that ends my summer league ultimate Frisbee league.  That’s right, you can hear me stop whining about summer league now.

Actually, I had a pretty good time, much better than I was expecting.  We only had nine people show up, two of whom were subs.  Par for the course, right?  Since we were in last place, started out playing the second place team (there were seven total teams so the first place team wasn’t involved in the first round).  We actually came very close to winning that game after going on a five point run to take the lead 9-5.  Unfortunately, we wound up losing 11-13.

That sent us to the second game in the consolation brackets.  And we actually won that second game!  The final score was 13-7 or something like that.  It felt so good.  This means we also finished above seventh place, so better than we did going into the tournament.  Not too hard when you are in last.

This also meant we got a third game, and by that point the heat and lack of subs got the better of us.  We lost that game something like 5-13.

The tournament this year was in Corona, something like an hour and a half from me.  Other than having to wake up horribly early to get there on time, it wasn’t too bad.  It certainly helped that the tournament was pushed back an hour so I didn’t have to leave town until 7 instead of 6.  Yikes!  It also helped that I carpooled with some friends who were playing on other teams.  It made the drive go much more quickly.  Surprisingly, traffic was bad either direction.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Final Two Regular Summer League Games

We’ve played the final two games of summer league regular season.  And guess what!  Yep, we lost them both.

Last Wednesday’s game was close.  We finished 10-15, but we made grounds in catching up in the second half.

Last night’s game wasn’t close at all.  It was 3-15.  It was 1-8 at half.  We just couldn’t seem to get much going, and they were on fire.  I expected to lose, but not quite this blood bath.  Not only are we the worst team in the league, but they are the first place team.  I would have been nice to beat them, but I was hoping for a close game.  Oh well.

What’s worse is my performance in the last two points.  I had been pretty much irrelevant in the game until that point, but my guy scored on my for the next to last point and then I threw a turn on the last point.  But, when your team loses that badly, it really is a team effort.

On the plus side, we actually had double digits show up.  Yep, there were 10 of us – a season high.

This Saturday is the tournament.  Honestly, I can’t wait to get it over with and put this season behind me.  Unfortunately, it’s going to be a drive to get down there, but they’ve rolled back the starting time to 8:45.  Still have to leave town by 7, but that’s an hour later than I was thinking and it sounds manageable.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Bowling for the Zoo

I got to go bowling Saturday night!

The LA Zoo was having some kind of fundraiser.  I’m not completely sure what it was raising funds for since it wasn’t Bowling for Rhinos this time, but it didn’t matter to me too much.  Angelique was getting the same group together that had bowled together last year for Bowling for Rhinos at the last minute and asked me if I wanted to join.  Naturally, I said yes.

This was the first time I’d bowled in over a year, and it was nice to get to use my bowling ball and shoes again.

There were five of us bowling on two lanes.  I was on the lane with two people, which meant we got a lot of games in, especially since the three on the other lane were taking things a little slower.

We bowled for an hour and a half, and we got four games in on my lane.  My scores were 115, 122, 150, and 139.  What was amazing was I had more strikes in that final game than any of the other games.  Obviously, spares are important for high scores as well if you aren’t going to strike.

Anyway, it was fun to hang out with everyone.  And great to be bowling again.

Things weren’t as crowded as they were for the Bowling for Rhinos event.  I get why that is disappointing from a fundraising point of view, I was thankful because last time it was just too crowded and it was hard to move when you weren’t at your alley, which was no fun at all.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Another Week, Another Summer League Game

There are only so many ways to say we lost, so titling my blog posts is becoming hard.  But yes, we lost again.

Our game this week was Wednesday night.  Fortunately, it was close, so I didn’t have to fight traffic.  We had 9 people show up, a 10th showed up for the last point – that’s as soon as he could get there after working late.

We started out behind, down 4-8 at half, and that was after scoring a couple in a row at the end.  We came back in the second half.  While the final score was 11-15, we tied it up, and we were at 11-12 before they went on the final run to win.

What is frustrating is this is the one team we have beat all season.  On the other hand, when we beat them, they only had 8 people show up to our 9.

And they were fast.  I played the fewest points I had been all season because there was only one person I had a hope of staying with on defense.  I played most offensive points, and I would play on defense in he was on the field.  I got scored on twice in the first half.  Fortunately, I didn’t in the second half because I was playing fewer points.  I didn’t have any turn overs on offense, and I might have helped force a turn on defense in the second half.  Definitely was key in getting a reset on one of the points we scored in the second half, which made me happy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Meeting JMS

Last night, I had the chance of a lifetime.

I have been a fan of the TV show Babylon 5 since I was introduced to it by a couple of friends in college.  I discovered earlier this year that J. Michael Straczynski (dubbed JMS by us fans), the show’s creator, was releasing an autobiography.  Naturally, I started watching to see if he was doing any signings.

I’m not sure how I discovered he was doing one signing in the Los Angeles area since he has mainly been promoting his convention appearances.  But there was indeed one signing at Book Soup down in West Hollywood last night.  Naturally, as soon as I found out about it, I decided I was going to go.

I’d never been to the bookstore before, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed it had I taken a little more time to explore.  However, I didn’t have that much time before the signing started by the time I got down there and parked.  It really doesn’t have much parking, and it is in a busy neighborhood, so that was trickier than I thought it would be.

But it was well worth it.  There wasn’t as much of a crowd as I feared there would be, but I’m not sure the shop would have survived if there had been a giant crowd.  JMS was funny, yet the bits he teased from his personal life are heartbreaking.  I suspect that I’m going to find the book heartbreaking reading.

I didn’t have long to chat with him since there were people waiting in line behind me waiting to get things signed, but I was able to thank him for the countless friends I have made while watching the show.  And I’m not talking about characters (although I love them), but the friends I have watched the show with who have become some of my closest friends.  Yes, I got the booked signed as well as the DVD booklet for season 4 of Babylon 5.  I don’t think I came across as a blathering fan.  At least I hope I didn’t.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Lost Again

Wednesday was my summer league ultimate Frisbee game this week.  Yep, we lost again.  The final score was 10-15.  The cool thing is, this is the team we played the first week of the summer, and we did better.  That was a very good feeling.

We had 8 guys show up.  Seriously, why can’t we get more guys to show up at games?  That would make a huge difference for us.

I had a few drops, but the discs were rising as I tried to get them, so they were hard catches.  I also had some successful catches and throws, so I felt good about that.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Another Mud Run Canceled

I was supposed to have another mud run this last weekend.  Once again, it was canceled on me.

What made this one even worse was that it was canceled on me at the last minute.  As in, some of the earlier waves had already run, and I had arrived at the location (an hour and a half away) before they canceled it.

I’d arrived over in San Bernardino plenty early, but then I got stuck in traffic for the final mile and a half.  After going maybe a tenth of a mile, I learned that the parking and the overflow parking was all full, so I parked in a lot nearby and started hoofing it toward the venue.  That’s when I started hearing from people that they had closed the mud run.  I decided it wasn’t worth walking all the way up there to find out officially.  When I was almost back to my car, I heard someone using a bullhorn to call it out behind me.  And then later, I got e-mail confirmation.

I still haven’t heard officially why it was canceled.  They said the heat, but they planned to have Sunday’s race go on as scheduled, and it was going to be just as hot.  They were going to let people race in whatever wave, but that would just create nightmares at the obstacles.  Needless to say, I didn’t go back.  Anyway, they also warned us about the heat in e-mails this week, so clearly it wasn’t a surprise.  I suspect something must have happened that caused them to close it, but I don’t know what.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a wasted drive.  I had planned to meet a friend for lunch, and she was free two hours early, so we meet up earlier than originally planned.  We wound up talking for 4 hours, so the drive time was definitely well worth it.