Monday, August 30, 2010

M-Cubed for 8/30/2010

Monday Morning Musings for August Thirtieth, Twenty Ten. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- Our local tradition of the Portage County Randolph Fair came to a close last night which means it's time to fire up the yellow buses and start school.  Meet the Teachers tonight with the first-day tomorrow.  Let it begin!



- Ever think you could close a credit card via e-mail?  Well, we paid off our final credit card last Tuesday as part of our Debt Snowball and I immediately sent Navy Federal Credit Union a message on their website to please close the account and send us a letter.  On the same day, they closed it.  Typically, they have to send you through the wringer and try and convince you to keep the card.  I guess they got the word that we're a lost cause on that front.  :-)  On to the next Debt Snowball target....my car!  We have made incredible progress this year and are approaching $30,000 in pay-down since January 1st!  BAM!  Just my car and house debt is left.  A rolling stone gathers no moss!  (and with increased speed, will smash everything in its path)

- I'm a teacher at heart when I really believe in something or passionate about something.  I'd really like to give some classes on budgeting, cash-flow management, debt elimination (you notice I didn't say "reduction?"), etc. I read the book, I built my own self-calculating spreadsheets to make it simplistic, and Marjie and I are doing it.  I just feel others who have the desire could really benefit from it.  We'll have to see about this one.



- The forecast was for upper 80s yesterday so after church and a quick bite to eat at home, I took everyone down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to hike to Buttermilk Falls.  As ordered by the doc, I am forbidden from hiking as it is a load-bearing activity.  However, it's only 1/2 to 3/4 mile to the Falls and it was a gorgeous day.  Plus, I "needed" to get on the trails.  If you're a trail-runner...you understand.  If not, I'm guessing that you're rolling your eyes.  I couldn't help but smile simply by driving down Route 303 and passing the "Welcome to Cuyahoga Valley National Park" sign.  I told Marjie: "If I didn't have you guys and I was about to have my last breath, it is here I would want to come and die.  This is my second home."  It's the truth.  Anyway, the trail was great and I walked very slow and took my time.  I didn't want to ruin a 2nd straight day of no pain but this was also a test.  With no rain, the Falls were minimal and we were able to stand at the top of them without getting wet.  Lots of opportunities to try out my new Canon G11 and the different settings, especially in low light.  I also messed around with the ISO settings for the running water.  See my photo blog for the 4 photos I felt were worthy enough to post.  The one with water was set at ISO 3200, the highest setting.  I love it.





- A visit to the Valley in the summer with my family wouldn't be complete without a stop by Szalay's market.  Fresh, local produce and outside, lots of places to relax while a local artist played his tenor saxophone for the listening pleasure of everyone around.  I had but one goal, though.  Roasted corn-on-the-cob and their fresh-squeezed lemonade.  All summer long on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Szalay's serves it up.  I got my fix and sat in the stationary wagon with Marjie and the girls while we enjoyed the goodness.  Yum.

 - I'm really looking forward to September's release of the Western Reserve Trail Running newsletter.  I have changed my approach to the newsletter which should get it back on a reliable publishing schedule and have richer content.  It had gotten to a point with our constantly booming trail-running community where something had to change.  Too much for one person to do.  For this Thursday's newsletter, I have compiled a long list of trail links, complete with Google Maps to their locations.  I am covering western Pennsylvania, too.  (yes, Oil Creek included!)  My interview this week in the "Trail Runner Spotlight" is also especially good and inspirational.  I hope the now nearly-1600 who get it...enjoy it.  Amazing when we only started with 200 on the list.  Also my "Dave Letterman Inspired" Top 10 list to do the Bobcat Trail Marathon...which by the way, has registration up 300% over last year.  I'll be there!

 - I have to hand it to you weight-lifters out there.  I have stopped swimming and now am only lifting weights.  (I feel the swimming was tugging and hurting my recovery...no, I KNOW it was)  I gotta say...THIS STINKS!!  For those who spend hours in the gym lifting weights, I don't know how you do it.  Talk about B O R I N G!!!  "Please, just give me a trail, would ya?"  Oh well...it's only but a temporary season, right?  But seriously, lifting weights is downright "Ugh!!!"

 - Lastly on the last Monday of August 2010, let me just say that my heart remains on the trail, although my trail shoes are currently not.  I still have the burning desire and passion of an ultra-runner and cannot wait to get back at it.  To that end, I leave you today with the following quote to spear-head your Monday and hopefully, make it a GREAT week:



"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being -- a call that asks who they are ..." ~ David Blaikie

Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Really proud to hear that you guys are continuing on your debt snowball!!! I have now opened a checking account in a separate bank to handle any vacation expenses. I just finished using a debit for a Hotel for the first time. Sure, they put a hold for incidentals, but, it only affected the new card, not the household budget.