Monday, June 29, 2009

For the love of a grilled cheese sammich

I've never done anything this audacious, but I do the know the feeling at a much smaller scale. After four hours in the saddle, sometimes there's nothing better than a warm, flat Coke.

A Run That Lasts 100 Miles

A grilled cheese sandwich may seem like the least likely of bliss-inducers. But there it was, handed to me by an aid-station volunteer. After one bite, I sincerely felt that that sandwich, probably quite ordinary in the real world I had left behind more than 13 hours earlier, on a sunny Friday morning in Dayton at the start of the Bighorn Trail 100, was perhaps the best thing I’d ever tasted. I savored every greasy crumb.
Kirk Johnson, after completing the 100 mile Bighorn Trail 100 in Wyoming.

More here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just for the record ...

... I posted this before I read this.

Z's Word Wall

Need some help with my novel. The catch is, it may only contain the words that the Z-ster can say right now. Verbs seem to be few and far between, which doesn't bode well for the plot. I'm not sure how to address that, but maybe a good night's sleep will help me figure it out.

Dog Ball
Mom Kitty Eat
Dad Clock Bye-bye
Hi Hello
Night-night Baby
Balloon Steve Down
Shoe Cracker
More All done
Thank you

And the following sound effects:
Uh-oh Moo
Meow Quack
Swish-swish (goes with a swimming fish from one of his books)
Peek (all of "peek-a-boo" that he can get out)

There has to be a Seussian tale in there somewhere, yeah?

Why does anyone eat store-bought cookies again?

They're full of garbage, too expensive, and don't taste as good as homemade. And they don't make the whole house smell good when you open the box the way these do when you open the oven door.

Convenience, right? Well, it doesn't get any easier than this:

2 cups McCann's quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, 4 Tbs oil, 2 Tbs maple syrup, a dash of ginger or cinnamon.

Mix the wet in a cup, then pour over the dry.
Let it soak for 15 minutes.
Spoon onto a baking sheet, bake at 375 for 10-12.

Farmers' Market opens in Iraq

Received this note from GEN Ray Odierno. (No, not personally ... just a post to his Facebook page. Sign up here if you want to get them.)

The Central Euphrates Farmers' Market in Mahawil is now open for business after a grand opening ceremony on June 12. The market, a cooperative project between Iraqi and Coalition forces, is the culmination of two years to planning and building.

"The fact that this market is here today demonstrates the cooperation of the Iraqi Security Forces and the Coalition forces," said Brig. Gen. Jerry Lang, deputy commanding general of support for the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. "We hope this model of cooperation you have demonstrated ... will help us bring it to the rest of Southern Iraq."

"We have received a lot of help from the Coalition forces, and for that, we are finally to the point that we are here for celebration," said Sheikh Khodaer Abdlhosaen, director of the Central Euphrates Farmers' Market.

The market has 20 outdoor stalls and 24 indoor stalls, from which farmers will sell their produce to wholesale buyers as well as directly to local retail customers. Revenue generated by the rental of the stalls will cover the market's operating and maintenance costs, making the project completely self-sustaining.

An Iraqi boy sorts tomatoes at the newly opened Central Euphrates Farmers' Market June 12. The market is built on Highway 1, connecting Basra with Baghdad and Mosul, which is projected to become Iraq's most significant growth corridor in the years ahead. It gives the farmers' market enough space for vehicular accessibility as well as room for research, education programs and future expansion. Photo by Spc. Darryl L. Montgomery

Brig. Gen. Jerry Lang, deputy commanding general of support for the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, Sheik Khodaer Abdlhosaen, director of the Central Euphrates Farmers' Market, and Deputy Governor of Babil province Iskander Witwit discuss how the market will help the region excel in agriculture. Photo by Spc. Darryl L. Montgomery

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ready for the 2020 Olympics

Z'ster started walking about around 10.5 months, and started running about two days later. I have some theories on the quick transition, which I'll write about at some point. (It's part of the same theory about teaching a kid hockey so he'll learn to hit a baseball more effectively.) But for now, here's the latest development: he's teaching himself to jump.

I'm not sure where he got the idea that jumping was next on his developmental milestones, but he's putting a lot of effort into it, and appears to be self-taught. He crouches down low, like a baseball catcher or a power-lifter about to do the clean and jerk. Then he holds the pose for a second and looks around. And then he springs into action, catapulting himself a whole millimeter or two off the ground.

Nine times out of ten, he then goes crashing to the ground, but if by some twist of luck he stays on his feet, he cracks himself up laughing so hard that he falls down anyway.

So now I'm thinking, NBA slam-dunk winner in maybe 2019, then high jump or decathlon at the 2020 Olympics.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

If a picture is worth a thousand words ...

... then there ought to be a billion words out there to describe how good a time the Z-Man is having on this hike.