Thursday, August 17, 2017

End of Summer League

Unfortunately, my summer league season ended worse than it began.  We lost our last couple of games, putting us just below the 50% mark.  It didn’t help that we were down players those last couple of games.  I got a lot more playing time than normal, or than I really wanted.

After all the driving I did for games, I was pleased that the tournament was once again here in town.  I was especially glad when I saw that we were in the first game, which started at 7:30.  Yikes, that’s early.

We had numbers again for the tournament, including three subs.  Unfortunately, that didn’t help our performance.  We lost the first game, and it wasn’t especially close.  We did win the next game, and quite handily.  But we lost the final game of the day.

I could easily see some personalities come out as we lost that I didn’t enjoy being around.  Many of my teammates were great, but the few were definitely annoying.

Because the tournament was in town, I saw quite a few of my friends from pick up here in town who were around to watch at various points during the day.  Some even subbed on various teams, which was a lot of fun.  And one friend came with three of his kids to watch the finals.  We wound up sitting together and talking, which I really enjoyed.  Unfortunately, the wind came up for finals, so it wasn’t nearly as interesting a game as normal.

I put in my appearance at the party as well.  It was at a different bar here in town, but it was a bar I wasn’t familiar with.  Obviously, I just don’t go to bars here in town.  Seriously, the only time I go is with ultimate teams/tournaments, and since this is only the second tournament here in town, it’s introduced me to two bars now.  Not that I plan to be going back since I don’t drink.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Trixie Camp 2017

I finally made it back to Trixie Camp!  I actually had a hard time believing it had been so long, but the last time I made it to one was 2010.  That’s a long time.

For those who may not know, this is what we’ve started to call the annual Trixie Belden Convention.  Basically, it’s an excuse for those of us who have met on the message boards for this old kid’s mystery series over the years to get together and have fun hanging out in person.

This year, the convention was in New Orleans, a place I’ve always wanted to go.  Yes, it was in July, which is definitely not the best time weather wise.  I truly appreciated our dry heat when I got home.

But we had a lot of fun.  It was so great to see people I haven’t seen in person for years and just hang out.  There was just about enough time to catch up with everyone.  Another day or two would have been perfect.

We didn’t leave the French Quarter the entire time we were there.  We had a walking tour, including one of the cemeteries.  We went down to the old mint and got a jazz concert out of the deal.  There was time for shopping and just hanging out.  We took a steamboat up the river to the site of the Battle of New Orleans.  And we did lots and lots of walking.

Did I mention it was hot and humid?  It was.  It even poured one afternoon when we were at a museum a little ways from our hotel.  But after wrapping my phone in a plastic bag, I headed back.  Honestly, it felt pretty good.

I would have loved to get to the Garden District, something there just wasn’t time to do.  I guess that will be the next trip, right?

Friday, August 11, 2017

End of an Era

I have more things to blog about, but I want to mark this one closer to the actual event.  You see, last Saturday, my roommate moved out – my final roommate.

Yes, after all those years of panicking when I didn’t have a roommate or one was moving out, I am actually living on my own.  It’s a weird feeling, and I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.  How can it when I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to do much at home.  The bunk beds are still up in both bedrooms, for example.  And I don’t know what to do with a pantry all to myself, especially considering how little food I really buy.  The entire place needs a good cleaning, but that sounds way too much like work.

But it is still a wonderful feeling.  I can do all of those things, and I will then be the only person to mess up the place again.  And if I don’t know where something came from, I can throw it away.  It seems I’ve inherited stuff from multiple roommates over the years.

But I look back at how God provided all those roommates over the years, and I marvel at how good He’s been to me.  I never went without roommates.  And, while I had some interesting roommates over the years, the vast majority are people I count as friends.  In fact, they are some of my best friends.  The thought of not making new friends this way makes me a little sad.  Not enough to actually get another roommate, of course.

And I’m not opposed to having a roommate in the future.  I’m planning to keep a bed in the spare bedroom, just not bunk beds.  But I can be very selective about who becomes my roommate.  I don’t have to jump at the first guy who walks through the door.

I’m excited to see what happens in this next chapter of my life while still being thankful for what God did for me in the last one. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Liquid Run 2017

Last year, I heard about something new, the Liquid Run.  But it was scheduled for the same weekend that I did the Irvine Lake Mud Run last year, and I was already signed up for that one.  When they announced the dates this year, and it was the weekend after the Irvine Lake Mud Run, I signed up.

So June 24th, I drove down to Newport Beach to try something new.

This isn’t like the runs I normally do.  The course was only a quarter mile, and it was all on floating platforms in a little cove.  There were things for us to climb over and go around and even slide down.  It looked like fun.

However, the experience wasn’t nearly as fun as I wanted it to be.  While there didn’t appear to be crowds early, they were backed up by the time I went to run it, so I started late.  Not that it helped.  For the first third of the course, we were stuck in a traffic jam and just barely inching forward.  Things did get better after that, fortunately.  I might have baled if it didn’t get better.

Even when we started to get moving, I didn’t have that much fun with it.  I mentioned the floating platforms, right?  The made standing very difficult, especially if you have no sense of balance like I do.  Plus the platforms were slippery when wet.  And I had a hard time getting over some of the obstacles since I couldn’t push off since my feet were slipping.

I wound up being out there much longer than I thought I would be.  The lockers I had to rent from were looking to move on by that time, but they waited, fortunately.  And I was meeting Joy for lunch, and I was much later than I told her I would be.

So, I won’t be signing up for this one again.  Other people seemed to really enjoy it, but it wasn’t my thing.  I don’t regret it, however, since I wanted to try it out and see what I thought.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Irvine Lake Summer of Mud 2017

Okay, back to June.  On June 17th, I did the Irvine Lake Mud Run, my second of three runs in a row that month.

Considering how poorly I’d done the Saturday before at Camp Pendleton, I was concerned about how this one would go.  I was still getting over being sick, although I was definitely on the mend.  I hadn’t been running much in between, however.

But this is a shorter course, and I was able to run most of it no problem.

There weren’t many surprises on the course this year, but that’s okay.  It’s still one of my favorites thanks to the mud slide.  And the lines were so short when I got there I may have done it twice this year.  About the only crowd was the crowd for the shower at the end, but that’s a minor issue.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to hang out with any Irwins or Smiths afterward since they were all busy that day.  It meant I drove down and back and just did the run.  On the other hand, I wasn’t stressing over anyone waiting for me, which was very nice.

At one point while I was running, I heard someone in a golf cart shout out “Is that THE Mark Baker?”  From a later comment on Facebook, I confirmed it was the guy who runs this particular mud run.  Hadn’t interacted with him much on Facebook recently, so I’m surprised he still recognized me.  Definitely put a smile on my face.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer League 2017

I’m so far behind, Summer League is almost over and I haven’t talked about it at all yet.

Yes, I’m playing ultimate Frisbee Summer League again.  The sad part is, they are using a bunch of different fields this year, and only one of them was close to me.  Even worse, the one close to me we only play at twice, and I missed one of those games.  Most of the fields are far.  Like an hour with traffic far.

But it’s still worth it.  It helps that my team has a winning record!  We are in the middle of the pack, but I will take it.  Seriously, this is so much better than the leagues where my team didn’t win at all.

It helps that we have some very athletic men, the kind who can get everything.  And our women are wonderful.

Honestly, there’s only one weak link on the team – me.  I’m feeling slower than ever this year, thanks in large part to how little I’ve been running this summer.  I have to start ramping that up for a mud run I have in a month.  A month from today in fact.  Yikes!!  But I’m playing only a few points, so it’s not a huge deal to the team.  I don’t have as much opportunity to contribute to the team as a result, but I do what I can when I am on.  Usually, they are poaching off of me, and we need to figure out how to best use that as a team to work the disc down the field and make them pay.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Camp Pendleton Mud Run 2017

I was getting so close to catching up, and then I stopped blogging again, didn’t I?  Let’s fix that.

June 10th was the Camp Pendleton Mud Run this year.  It was unfortunate timing since I was still fighting off bronchitis, and I hadn’t gone running for several weeks.  Between the two, this was not the best time I’d turned in.  In fact, I finished in over two hours instead of my usual 1:45 or so.  But I finished.

It was a cool day.  We’ve had tons of heat since then, but that day was almost cold.  The sun finally came through as I was leaving.  Naturally.

I was exhausted when I finished, but I had so much fun on the course.  We actually got to go through some of the buildings in Combat Hill this year, which was nice.  Even though we’d had more rain than the last few years, there still wasn’t enough water in the former reservoir to swim, so we crawled under nets again.

This is just a fun course where we get to be on a military base.  I really like that.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

And Then He Got Sick

I’d mentioned in my post about the mud run I did in May being sick right before it.  Apparently, I wasn’t quite over it because I got sick again on the 21st.  This time, the fever was accompanied by a cough.  I took another couple days off work, trying to rest up, but that cough just kept coming even after the fever went away.

I didn’t let it interfere with my plans to go to visit my family over Memorial Day Weekend.  I had a good trip up there if a busy one.  In addition to visiting my family, I drove several hours Sunday afternoon and spent Sunday night with my uncle and aunt.  I finally got to see their new place.  It’s wonderful, and I must admit to being jealous.  I do wish it were closer.

But I spent most of my nights up there coughing through the night and sleeping fitfully.  Fortunately, I wasn’t keeping anyone up with my coughing.  I’d gone to see my doctor, and he thought it was a virus, but he did give me a prescription for an anti-biotic, which I eventually started taking.  I’m not sure if it is that, or if it had finally run its course, but I think I’m finally beating it.  I still cough occasionally, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was.  Unfortunately, running seems to make it worse, which has been fun with my mud runs the last two weeks and playing ultimate Frisbee.  Still, I’m pleased to finally be on the getting better side of things.

The worst part of the whole thing?  The 21st was the day I was going to use the last day of a 3 day Disneyland pass I'd bought back in February.  It expired that week, so I can't just use it now, too.  Majorly bummed about that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Saying Goodbye

No, I’m not saying goodbye to this blog.  I like having it to look back on if nothing else.  Unfortunately, in May I had to say goodbye to some dear friends who decided to move to Idaho.  The nerve of them.

I actually got to hang out with Joe and Erica and their kids the middle of May before they left, and it was a wonderful time to catching up.  We don’t hang out that much, but it is wonderful when we get to.  These are those kind of friends.

And then a little later, I got to hang out with Joe again.  He and I met up with our friend Josh to see a movie together one last time.  We hung out for a while talking afterward.  None of us wanted to leave and break the spell even though we knew we needed to go home and go to bed.

As sad as I am to see them go, I am happy for them.  Their families are up there, and they are really excited about it.  I’ll miss them here in town, but hopefully they will be very happy up there.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rugged Maniacs 2017

I’ve been neglecting this place again, haven’t I?  Time to start catching up.

A month ago (as I said, time to start catching up), I finally got to do Rugged Maniacs.  This is one of the national mud run companies, and I hadn’t done one yet.  This one was perfectly timed for me since it was the weekend after beach league ended and it was just up the road in Castaic.  I was even able to get two friends to do it with me.

Sadly, I’d been sick the couple of days before, but I was feeling better that day, so I went.

And I had a blast.  They had some different obstacles, like lily pad jumping, that I haven’t seen before.  Even though I’ve done another mud run at the same location, this one was laid out differently.  And they ended with a warped wall.  It was about the same height at the one on America Ninja Warrior.  Both of my friends got up it on their own.  I had to have some serious help, but I still felt accomplished getting up it at all.

This is definitely one I’ll be looking to do again.  Hopefully, they’ll be back in Southern California some time other than the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which is the date they’ve had in the past.