JRock3x8's Life Musings

Thursday, October 30, 2008

10k training, Final Tuneups

3miler from Tuesday

Tonight's 2 miler

the goal - less than one hour for 6.22mi on Sunday!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

10k training, Week 7 of 8

We're in the home stretch now, and it's all good.

First there was this 3 miler last Tuesday (average 9min mile).

Then there was this 2 mile gem on Thursday (average 8min mile)

And the coup de gras was this tough, hard fought 5.5 miler today (9 minute mile average). My leg was cramping and my left foot was totally numb.

Next weekend is the race!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Right vs Happy

As I've driven home the last couple weeks from my Living Fire class, Ive been trying to find words to describe the emotions I've been feeling. It goes beyond happy or satisfied or even love.

The word "right" popped into my head last week. I feel "right" in an extraordinarily content and peaceful way.

My thoughts flashed back to an old axiom my father taught me about arguments in the workplace. He said, "Jason, you can be right or you can be happy. You don't get both and you can choose, but you can only have one." And to some extent, I think that applies to all of life in the world. You can focus your life working toward excessive happiness, but that can lead to a life that isn't right. You can focus on your life on being right, but as many living martyrs will tell you, you won't be happy all that often.

But I think he's wrong. God bridges that gap between happiness and righteousness and through faith in Him, we can be both happy and right.

And that is how I have been feeling.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

10k Training, 10/19

It was all working today. I felt like I was GLIDING through the miles early and I pushed the pace late. It all felt great.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Ok, so first things first - very entertaining movie. Werewolves vs Vampires. Lots of guns, cool weapons, lots of action.

Now the plot. (sigh). On one hand, look it's actually a pretty good story but they wait until its like an hour and 45 min into the movie before they explain the damn thing to you. It would have been so simple to explain it almost at the very beginning.

Looking forward to watching the second one.

Watch vs Skip : Watch.

10k Training, 10/17

A lot of trouble catching my breath tonight. I felt like I went out too hard at the beginning and then never could catch my breath. Still finished ok.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

10k Training, 10/15

no issues, rainy run.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Movie Review : Facing The Giants

Same guys did this movie as did Fireproof. While Fireproof doesn't pull any cheap plot punches like putting the wife in the house while its burning down and having Kirk rescue her (that totally would have ruined the movie), Facing the Giants does ALL those things and more. As a matter of fact, the only cheap trick that Facing the Giants DOESN'T pull is the "Hail Mary" or "Immaculate Reception".

Once again, the two brothers come through with a fine movie, well scripted, with God at the center of it. It's an awesome story and keep the kleenex box close by. The writer/director also STARS in the movie and does a pretty nice job, I have to say. There were very few cast crossovers that I could see from this film to Fireproof which had to be hard to pull off considering these guys all work out of a single church.

Other than the somewhat cheap plot devices that have been used all too frequently in secular sports movies, it was a fun, uplifting, smart movie.

Watch vs Skip : Watch!

10k Training, 10/12

Now that's a darn nice run. It was supposed to be 4.5mi not 4mi, but I was flipping through my watch and got stuck on calories instead of miles and I thought I had run 4.53mi when I had actually burned 453 calories. I started off pretty darn slow but once I got it kicked in, it was actually feeling pretty darn good.

I wasn't even going to run because of the giant headache I had before I started running but there's no medicine for headaches like endorphins!

Ready to rock on Tuesday - 3 miles!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BioShock Demo for PS3

Casual Gamer Review of Bioshock Demo for PS3.

I don't play a lot of games because I don't have the time. I work 9-10 hours a day and commute for 3 and I have two kids and a busy schedule at my church. That leaves very little time for video games.

But that doesn't mean I don't love video games, cuz I do!

That being said, I sat down tonight to play through the demo for BioShock and I have to say it is one of the most immersivs First Person Shooters I have ever played. It is scary as hell, fun and engrossing. I normally stay the hell away from scary games but the range and use of weapons in this game may just get me to buy it.

Fun vs Not Fun : Fun!

Switching from Cable to Dish

I am completely fed up with cable's high prices. My wife and I have been dealing with Comcast for over two years now, mostly with no complaints.

However, this last year, they failed for about a week and a half to restore our service. My wife called to complain and they told her they don't issue credits for service outages. I made them issue us a credit but that was the end of cable for my wife.

For me, it's all about the price. When I see them offering silly cheap offers on TV again and again and again, I get mad. And I finally got mad enough to do something about it. We had been looking at DirecTV for a while and they finally got us with their free HD DVR deal.

So we set up service with DirecTV and it was fairly easy - I asked them to make a substitution on their free 3 months of 3 premium channels and they couldn't, so I said no big deal - I'm not going to complain about free. They even told me I could call back and cancel the free installation if the cable company suddenly decided they wanted to play ball.

Surprise, surprise - Comcast did not want to play ball. Instead they chose to argue with me almost to the point of self-righteousness about the "VALUE" of what they were offering me. And I reply "I just want you to say 'no' if you're not willing to take down the price." They weren't having any of it. They insisted that I see the "VALUE" of their offer. They quoted "500" channels. Finally, I took the bait and lost my temper. I told them their "500" channels were a JOKE and that DirecTV actually had more channels that I wanted to watch for less money. When I finished my little spiel there was no one on the other side of the call. They hung up on me.

And I'm thinking to myself, preaching "VALUE" to someone who is calling to threaten to cancel their account because it costs too much is probably not the best approach. But then again, they are the cable company.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Family Guy : Blue Harvest

I was shocked at how faithful most of this was to the original source material, down to about half the dialog and a LOT of the scenes. Although I was watching it on my ipod there were times where I had to pull the screen close to my face to make sure I wasn't watching the real movie.

In the end, it was a campy, fun take on an old classic.

Watch vs Skip : Watch!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

10k Training, 10/9

Scheduled 2mile run - no big deal - nothing major to complain about.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

10k Training, 10/7

First Run since last Thursday. Felt horribly sick on Sunday so I skipped my 4miler. Tonight was tough mentally but I got through it at my usual 10' pace. Had to deal with the numb left foot again when my calf cramped up again.

Monday, October 06, 2008


About six months ago, I was invited to be a part of a class called "Living Fire". The informational session sounded too intriguing to pass up so I signed on.

Four weeks in and so far, this class has been the best part of my week (time with wife not withstanding, of course) every week.

It's like we're on a voyage of discovery and we have no idea where we're going or how fast but God's got the wheel and so far it's been a really awesome ride. I have been told of the stormy seas to come and I know there are some really dark nights ahead. But you know what? Right now, I'm so excited I just want to charge the darkness.

There I go again with the Gary Haugen references...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Spider-Man 3

Ok, so bad movies fall into a wide variety of categories :

Special Effects

Spider-Man 3 does most of those reasonably well and yet somewhere along the way I said out loud to my wife as we were watching it : This is a really AWFUL movie.


I'm Human

So a funny thought occurred to me in the shower this morning : I'm not perfect and I can never be.

I thought further about it and came up with two opposing forces :

The ambition, desire, passion inside myself always wants more, always wants something better, always strives, demands perfection, that despairs in failure.

And then there is my eternal dissatisfaction that I can never get there, there being the ultimate goal of perfect happiness. There are moments in life where I feel really good, sometimes I even feel like "this is as good as it gets" and it's terrific! But it never lasts. I'm always climbing uphill on a slippery slope and when I get to the top I inevitably slide back down.

I feel like I've come to a deeper understanding of those two forces.

The ambition, the passion, the desire, the fire in my belly that makes me long for more is my sense of wanting to be close to God, to be in righteousness. It is the Holy Spirit within me, guiding me towards God, towards more.

My dissatisfaction, my stumbles, my sliding are sin. Being born into sin is something I can't escape. It is as much a part of me as my ambition.

The trouble is that the world has given me a bad compass for which way to go on the slippery slope. The way the world says to go frequently leads nowhere remotely close to righteousness. In fact, the path ultimately leads down, in some cases steeply.

And although sin isn't something I can ever escape, I can learn to keep a sense of balance on the slippery slope through faith, devotion and prayer.

Pretty amazing what some early morning meditation will do!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

10k Training Day 17, 10/2

We're in week 4 of our training program heading toward the back half of getting ready for the 10k and I gotta say I feel I can comfortably run 2mi with no real issues.

I felt good tonight - pushed the pace a little but not too much. Looking forward to the 4miler on Sunday.

God Hates The Cubs

On April 3rd of this year following two losses to the hated Brewers Adam Caldarelli offered his explanation of why the change in the leadoff spot didn't seem to work :

"Well, that was quick. After two losses, the first rather exciting as losses go, the second rather putrid, manager Lou Piniella has shuffled the lineup.

He used 125 of them last season and now has two in three games. Alfonso Soriano is back in the leadoff spot, after starting the season hitless in the second spot. He swaps places with Ryan Theriot.

(Somewhere message-board Moneyball Martin is preparing a 20-slide power-point presentation on why Soriano is even worse than Theriot in this spot. Not that anyone would disagree.)

There are numerous theories and/or explanations here. One, that Soriano was put in the second spot in anticipation of the long-rumored-but-never-happened Brian Roberts deal. Two, Piniella put Soriano back in the leadoff spot because the $136-million dollar baby is incapable of and/or unwilling to hit anywhere else, like, say, fifth. Three, that Ryan Theriot and his propensity to not reach base is not the answer in that spot, even though, have you, he had two hits yesterday after taking an 0-for-5 in the opener. And finally and least plausible without getting into a theological discussion despite the century's worth of circumstantial evidence, the Cubs could bat anyone anywhere and it won't make a lick of difference because God hates the Cubs."

And after last night's loss to the Dodgers it's hard to argue that point.

Ryan Dempster, who had dominated EVERYBODY at Wrigley field this year couldn't find the strike zone. While he got away with it for a while, it cost the Cubs the game in the end.

The best scoring run offense in the National League managed only two runs off of a bloop home run by Mark DeRosa. There weren't even that many chances after that.

The Cubs played last night like the Cubs of old : No pitching, no hitting.

I was a bit surprised by Lou's lineup last night. Fukudome in the 2 spot? Really? Has that worked this year? Why not go with the lineup that has worked so well all year? Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Edmonds, Fukudome, DeRosa, Soto. Given what Kosuke has shown over the last two months, I thought that was a really bad choice.

The other element of last night's game which had a nightmarish tone to it was the Wrigley Field crowd. Other than the DeRosa home run, there was a nervous quiet to the crowd last night, quite in stark contrast to the White Sox game from Tuesday night. I think the TV guys got it right when they said this team is expected to win. I honestly felt the crowd was just waiting for them to lose. We've been here before. Every time we get here, we think to ourselves "Now what can go wrong?" And it did go wrong.

I am reminded of the 2003 Series against the Marlins where the Cubs sent Zambrano to the hill in Game 1 and the Marlins hit him all over the yard. Prior came in Game 2 and remedied the situation as the Cubs POUNDED Brad Penney. Let's hope for a similar outcome tonight. If they win the next 3 like they did in that series, we move on.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

10k Training Day 16, 9/30

Funny how your expectations color your perception of your run. I thought I did really good on Sunday averaging 10 minutes per mile for four miles and I tonight I am just STEAMED that I averaged 9'30" for 3 miles.

All in all, things went fairly well. I felt a jolt of pain once in the knee but otherwise it was pretty uneventful.

It was fantastic to run out in the cold again. It must have been high 50's last night - felt great.