Monday, July 28, 2008

Post Campmeeting Orientation

THE RUN

This was my first run of 4.45 miles in three weeks.
This being the case I expected the session to be a bit hard.
It was.
But not too bad.

It was about 72 at 5:53 AM and very humid (+90%?) with a sparse drizzle drifting from the low, gray clouds.
This made breathing less efficient.
Sometime in the first quarter mile the rain stopped.
It was nearly imperceptible in the humid air.

I flirted with accelerated breathing at the top of Hill One but it was not really needed.
Actually, for this entire session I seemed to be on the edge of my cardio comfort zone.
Half-way up Hill Two the level three breathing kicked in and I had to work harder for the rest of the hill and for several minutes afterward.
Eventually things settled down again, but I felt certain that the last half-mile or so of this session was going to be a challenge.

And so it was.
I cruised through mile two and three, daydreaming and looking at the clouds.
But early into mile four I began to feel tired and wanting more air than my normal running breathing rate could supply.
Enter: accelerated breathing.
For the rest of the ride.
I even heard the voice of the wimp in me suggesting that we stop and walk for a while.
Running Central issued a gag order and all further requests from The Wimp were ignored.
My whole body was whining by the time I approached the finish line/crack.
But by then, my attitude was, "we have come this far this way (running), we will continue to the official end point this way."

THE WALK

Sunday was a warm, humid morning with a misty, hazy, foggy yuck hanging in the air.
And the neighborhood was dead.
No cars.
No people (except for the two boys talking on their bikes in the yard of one of them (I assume).
Even the usual dogs were sleeping in today.

The party started at 5:25 AM and ended at 6:15.
Nominal for this type of session (three miles).
Somewhere in mile two, my left knee started whining.
It was told to shut up and keep walking and, as is so often the case, it did.
And it healed itself, again, as is so often the case.

It was nearly dark (still) when I went out (the shorter days a harbinger of the evil Winter to come), and almost light when I returned.
The almost light of the sun shining behind a layer of clouds was similar to a lighted lamp on the far side of a bedsheet.
Lighter than dark but not sunny.

It is "nice" to get out and walk in the early morning.
I enjoy it, but it is not the same as a run.
Walking does not have the endorphin/adrenaline rush that running produces.
This is strictly a calorie burning session.
Low-level, at that.
Even though I walk as fast as I can (or nearly so), it does not feel like much of a challenge to my system, and, in fact, it may not be, because my body is used to running.
I know that my heart and breathing rates are slightly elevated when I walk, like the books say they should be to do any good.
But sometimes I wonder.

It would help if my course had more hills.
And if I wanted to burn a little more gas - along with some more calories - I could drive over to Bankhead Parkway and take on the hill there.
Two hundred or so feet in three-quarters of a mile.
That will cook my little butt.
.
(Campmeeting pictures coming soon)
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

BACK FROM CAMPMEETING

CAMPMEETING

Was very interesting, exciting, informative, and fun.
I traveled up to Newark, Ohio with brother Charlie Craig.
We had an uneventful trip and a good time visiting.
As we arrived in Newark a nice thunderstorm greeted us.

Brother Craig knew where he was staying - I did not.
So, when we got to the church and talked with the couple who take care of visitor accommodations, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that I was to stay in a dormitory room on the Newark campus of Ohio State University.
I had studied the satellite maps before traveling as there appeared to be several walking/running/biking trails around the campus.
The school is about two or three miles from the church building (about half the distance of Dennison University, where I have stayed in the past).

As a result of these fine accommodations, I was able to run or walk every morning before sunrise.

THE RUNS (AND WALKS)

Since I was able to do something every day, I did not try to go any extended distance.
I alternated running one day and walking the next.
Each session was about three miles.
I ran along some nice, paved running/walking/biking paths that ran off campus past corn fields and streams.
I saw deer almost every morning.
These sessions took about thirty-five to forty minutes.

For my walks, I followed the same paths but went in the opposite direction and followed them around the perimeter of the campus.
This made for a nice fifty-minute or so walking session.

THE CAMPMEETING

The services almost always start off with a bang.
Sherm Romine is the song leader (as he has been for over 40 years) and he does an amazing job.
We usually sing just one congregational song.
Somehow just that one song is enough to get the congregation jacked up.
Then the choir does two or three songs, then there are four or five special songs.

The most exciting service was Tuesday evening when the choir sang "I'm Amazed" as their second song.
Brother Sherm introduced the song by saying, simply, "Okay, we're gonna drop the bomb."
I had no idea what he meant until they started singing.
(I have heard them sing this song before.)
By the end of the first verse everyone was crying or jumping or praising God some way.
Even the lead singer had to pause to let loose before he could sing the second verse.
Then.... people started coming to the altars.

Even with all of that, there was still time for the minister to preach a message on Unity.
(A man I have seen before but do not know.)

Since my days visiting the campmeetings at God's Acres in Newark, there have been four splits in the group there.
The first happened in 1973 when brother Emerson Wilson started preaching that there was just one cleansing in salvation, instead of two, as taught by D. S. Warner and the Wesleys.

The next split came in 1987 when Brother Wilson died and there was a dispute over who should succeed him.
According to Tony, Brother Wilson told him (Tony) that he wanted him (Tony) to take his place.
But that preference was never published or communicated to the congregation before he died.
The man that was voted in at God's Acres is named brother Roger Decker.
He was the leader of a more strict faction while Tony was considered more "liberal".
I am not sure exactly what issues indicated who was more or less liberal, one of them was "modest dressing".

Anyway, brother Bartlett's congregation came out of that battle over succession.
Brother Tony Bartlett is now the Pastor of the Licking County Church of God.
Another split of the Decker group has taken place in 1998 over some issue with brother Decker himself.
A small group of about thirty to fifty started meeting in a building a few miles away.

THE TIE

Tony and I go back a long way.
Back to 1966.
In a town call Tague.
In South Korea.
While we were in the U.S. Army.

We soon met Wayne Barth, a young man with a Church of God connection.
He introduced us to the Revelation messages of brother Emerson Wilson.
We were captivated by how this message seemed to make sense of the religious landscape.
Soon we were listening to tapes by brother Wilson every week.
Copies of those tapes may still be in Korea somewhere.

We soon were joined by Tony's twin brother, Danny, who was in the U.S. Air Force and stationed in the same town.
Then we were joined by Walt Williams, who was sleeping in the bunk above me.
And later by a black man named Abraham Jeeter.
There were others but we have lost touch with them.

Tony, Walt, and Jeeter (for some reason we call him by his last name) are all preachers.
Tony and Jeeter both are ministers of congregations.
Walt is a prison guard and counsels inmates on the side.
This campmeeting is a convenient way for us to get together.

While at campmeeting this year, I met several new (to me) people and was able to visit with several people that I knew only slightly before.
One of the latter was Sherm and Evelyn Romine.
I have known of them since the days of campmeetings on God's Acres in Newark in the late 1960's.
My last two nights I spent at their home (the college reservations end Saturday night)
And got to know them better.
They are dear people.

The trip back was uneventful and, true to pattern for this trip, just before we arrived in Huntsville, a thunderstorm greeted us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

OFF TO CAMPMEETING!

Tomorrow I will travel to Newark, Ohio to attend summer campmeeting.
I am very excited.

For this reason, this space will seem sparsely attended for the next week or so. (not unlike Josh's blog)
I will provide a full report - with piktures - upon my return.


THE EFFECT OF ELEVATED GAS PRICES

I was parked in Lowe's parking lot this week, getting ready to get into my car when a man in a nice big Chevy pickup truck stopped and asked me if I wanted to sell my car.
I thought he was kidding.
I made a joking response and we had a short conversation.

He was not kidding.
He wanted to buy my car.
I told him I was not interested in selling it.
He drove off (not mad).
I was amused.

I pondered the results of lessons I learned in the late 1970's when the cost of energy increased rapidly.
I spent many hours and a few dollars learning about how to live in ways that consumed as little energy (and thus money) as possible.
In the 30+ years since then, the cost of energy has remained relatively stable and has lulled many people to sleep on this issue.
Not mee.
More than one time, I have received negative comments about my frugality.
And a few times I have wished that I had ten more horsepower.
But none of these things moved me.

I have never forgotten those lessons back then and endeavor to conform to the principles learned today (hence, the home insulation project).
I knew the day was coming when the cost of energy would become a concern again.
Thus, my gas sipping car. (my highway mileage with one person aboard [mee] at 70-75 mph -A/C off - has been measured at 39-40 MPG.)

I hope this does not read as gloaty.
I am just pleased that "wisdom is justified by her children".
.
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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Of Runs & Critters & Names

THE RUN...

was a good one.
I did not feel in top shape but still reasonably well.
At the end of Hill One, I flirted with accelerated breathing, but it was not needed.
That was not true at the top of Hill Two.
But the distress only lasted a couple of minutes, then it was smooth treading until late into mile four.
Actually, halfway into mile five.
I crossed the finish line/crack in full pant, hot, sweaty, feeling fulfilled, glad that the session was over, and ready to get on with the day.

VISITORS

Tuesday morning at 5:00 AM my clock radio began its quiet discussion of the events of the previous few hours.
I was laying comfortably in the Royal bed listening as my biological system booted, when I heard a noise outside my open window just inches from my head.
I jumped out of bed (almost literally) and went to the window, thinking the squirrels were getting an early start on the day.
It would not be the first time I have seen a squirrel at my window.
But it was not a squirrel.

It was a mama raccoon and her two babies.
They were scratching at my screen and even when I made hissing noises they were little dissuaded from trying to get in.
They did move away after a couple of seconds, going I know not where.
I tried to take a picture of them but they had scampered off into the morning gray before I could snap them.

BABY NAMES

I came across some interesting trivia today.
Since I had to make choices in this regard four times in my life, it still is of interest to me.
I believe that the name you choose for your child can have an affect on his/her personality/development.
Note - can have.

I kept this in mind as I negotiated with my wife on this subject.
She also took some things into consideration in this process, such as, would the initials spell anything bad, and does the name rhyme with something negative.
In other words, could the chosen name be turned into something embarrassing for the child.
We both knew, if there was a way to make fun of a child, other kids would find it.


Most Popular names in1950

1. James / Linda
2. Robert / Mary
3. John / Patricia
4. Michael / Barbara
5. David / Susan
6. William / Nancy
7. Richard / Deborah
8. Thomas / Sandra
9. Charles / Carol
10. Gary / Kathleen

Most popular names in 2007:

1. Jacob / Emily
2. Michael / Isabella
3. Ethan / Emma
4. Joshua / Ava
5. Daniel / Madison
6. Christopher / Sophia
7. Anthony / Olivia
8. William / Abigail
9. Matthew / Hannah
10. Andrew / Elizabeth

I noticed something interesting in these two lists - the number of names from the Bible.
Even though 1950 was generally a time of more religious influence on our society than today, there were only five boys names and two girls names from the Bible.
In 2007, a time, by all accounts, of decreased religious influence in our society, there were seven boys names and still just two girls names taken from the Bible.
Interesting.

SOME THOTS

First, I do not think many people consider whether the name of their child comes from the Bible or not.
Some folks do, but not many.
Especially in these days.
In fact, I would not be suprised if some people purposely avoid using names from the Bible.

That being said, I am amazed at how many names from the 2007 list come from the Bible.
I am sure it is just a coincidence.
However, there is one more detail to consider.

There was a study done last year that documented that political/social liberals tend to have fewer childern than do political/social conservatives.
And political/social conservatives tend to be more religious, generally, than do liberals.
This could explain, in part, why there are more Biblical names in the more recent list than before.

I am appauled at some of the most popular recent female names.
Isabella?
Ava?
Sophia?
Olivia?
Abagail?

These all sound like they fell out of a Emily Dickenson novel. (except she did not write any novels; she only wrote poems, where few names were included, but the line sounded good.)
Or some retro-think exercise as if they were decorating their den.
What are these parents thinking?

Methinks many of them look upon children as little walking trophies, so they name them after queens and movie stars, as if that will somehow increase their worth and status.
To the extent that this is so, I am embarrassed on their behalf that they are so shallow.

For the record, we managed to miss the top names in our day when naming our children.
Except for Joshua.
And our first two have even modified the spelling of their names from their original given order.
Jeffery has become Jef.
Cathy has become Cathi.

Original thinkers, they.

Friday, July 04, 2008

THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS

SUM THOTS ON THIS DAY

This is the day we, in this nation, have set aside to celebrate our independence from Great Britain.
And more generally, independence from the oppression of people by the abuse of the power of government.
That carefully considered move, took mankind another evolutionary step toward the better way for people to organize themselves.
The basic premise was that government was the creature of the common people, not the other way around.
The people in the thirteen American colonies had learned that it was not the people who needed to be controlled as much as the government.

Thus, they wrote a foundation document "in order to form a more perfect union."
The basis of that document was an even more fundamental set of concepts.
A declaration of independence.

It stated that certain fundamental concepts were "self evident".
That "all men" were "endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights".
That "among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".
And that "governments are instituted to secure these rights."
And that these "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."
And if a government begins to destroy these rights, "it is the RIGHT of the people to alter or abolish it."

And I wonder, as I look at the moral, social and political landscape today, how much longer will we have this nation as we have known it.
I could go on (and might) but not now.
I fear for our future.

THE WALK

I was wrong about the dogs on Fairacres Road.
The boxer is still there.
And so are the dog houses.
But the dog houses have been moved up against the house behind some bushes.
That must by why I did not see them last week.

Anyway, he greeted me this morning as I padded by.
It is Friday and Friday is a walk day, holiday or not.

THE INSULATION PROJECT...

is coming along.
Even after doing the two exterior walls in my gym and the outside wall in my *newly remodeled* bathroom (you do not know how hard it was for me to drill holes in my nice recently painted walls), I still had a little juice left in the tanks.
So I went into the kitchen.

I debated whether to next do the wall in my bedroom or the kitchen.
Beginning to insulate the bedroom (where I am now as I type) would entail moving my nice, snuggly Royal bed, two night stands, moving clothes out of the closet, covering the carpet, covering my big desk with drop cloth to protect the computer and books from the dust, etc.
Plus, I knew that I did not have enough foam the do the whole wall at this time, so if I started on the bedroom now, I would have to stop when I ran out of stuff, clean everything up, and move everything back in place, only to have to move everything out of the way again and cover everything up again, when the next shipment of foam arrived.
Can you say, "big project?"

The exterior wall in the kitchen, on the other hand, has only the refrigerator and a couple of mops and brooms in the way.
And no carpet.
Simple pimple.
So I went to the kitchen.

Even though I knew that I did not have enough juice to finish filling all of the stud spaces in the kitchen wall, I drilled all the holes, kuz that is the messiest part of the process.
(Sheetrock dust flies everywhere and sticks to every surface - vertical or horizontal. If the foam falls out of the holes, it just falls to the ground, and after about five minutes, you can pick it up with your hands. It is about the weight and consistency of a fun noodle and does not stick to plastic. It can be removed from painted walls with just a gentle scrape of a sheet rock knife, or even a brush of your hand.)

Then I brought in the tanks, opened the valves, stuck the gun nozzle in the first lower hole and pulled the trigger.
WHOOSH!
Off we go again.
I had enough to fill three stud spaces halfway up and part of a fourth.
And I did not waste any. (I am learning how this stuff works.)

The next tanks have been ordered.
They should be enough to finish my house.
Or nearly so.
The conclusion of the whole matter will have to wait until after Newark campmeeting.



Here is my gym with the holes drilled ready for the foam.



Here is a view of the excess foamage.
While it was coming out of the holes it looked like my wall was pooping. (sorry)
But it was white poop. (and it didn't smell.)




Once the excess is shaved off the holes, it looks pretty smooth.



Like I said last time, this was my learning room and as you can see, there was much to learn.
The good news is I cut up these big blobs of foam with a knife and stuck them in the holes in the bathroom before I put in fresh foam, so I was able to reuse virtually all of the "waste" from my gym.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A WORKOUT AFTER A WORKOUT

BIG PROJECT

After my Tuesday morning workout (wherein I lifted a total of 62,330 pounds), I embarked on a new MAJOR house project.
This is second in size and complexity only to my bathroom remodeling project.
This project is the installation of foam insulation in the exterior walls of my humble abode.
Urethane foam is expensive but is very good insulation.
It will change the insulation value of my standard stud walls from R-3 (they are empty) to R-24.

In planning for this exercise, I originally planned to do my first practice session in the walls of my add-on room in the back of my house.
But when I found that the ceiling in that room was not insulated either I decided not insulate the walls.
Because the space between the ceiling and the roof in that room is so narrow, it will be nearly impossible to get insulation in there (I do not want to cut holes in the ceiling to insulate it like I am the walls.).
(You might wonder why I would not insulate my walls back there just because the ceiling is not insulated.
Most heat (40%-60%)is lost or gained through the ceiling.
Insulating the walls will not affect that area that much with an uninsulated ceiling.

So I decided to concentrate on the walls of my house as originally built.
Thus, my gym room (front bedroom) became the new guinea pig for practice.
So today after my workout (in the gym room, duh) I moved all the gym accessories away from the outside walls, marked the walls (midway up and at the top) and began to drill two-inch holes every 16 inches or so between the studs.

I moved the insulation tanks into the room, hooked up the hoses, installed the required anti-insulation clothes on my body, opened the tank valves, stuck the nozzle into the first hole and pulled the trigger.
WHOOSH!
Out came a spray of white stuff that looked sort of like whipped cream.

I knew the stuff was supposed to expand up to eight times so I had to learn how much foam to squirt into a hole before it started to ooze out of the hole.
The session was educational.
And there was quite a bit of foam on the floor (I had placed a sheet of plastic on the floor).
I estimate that I wasted about one stud-space worth of foam on the floor.
That was the bad news.

The good news was that I insulated the whole room (both outside walls).
And I have more insulation left in the tanks. (about 20%)
That may be enough to insulate the single exterior wall in my bathroom.
I am very relieved to have this project underway.
I have been thinking about it for over a year.

(I have had the insulation since late January.
I originally intended to do the project during winter and save on my winter heating bill, but the insulation requires an interior temperature of 80 degrees and I did not want to try to heat the house that hot.
So I decided to wait until I had the time.
Now I have the time.)

So now all I have to do is apply sheetrock joint compound over the holes in my wall.
Then I can repaint the room.
The repaint project has been on hold pending the insulation project.

I need to order two more tanks to finish the rest of the house.
.
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