Monday, September 2, 2013

M-Cubed for 9.2.2013

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for September Second, Two Thousand Thirteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Happy Labor Day 2013! With the arrival of September, so marks the official end of Summer 2013. This year's summer was starkly different than 2012 but still great and as usual, seemed to go quicker than the last. Typically, I run a 5 mile race in Akron today (the Labor of Love Run) but am taking a break from it this year and instead, am going to try my luck at a 5K. I haven't run a 5K in many, many years but it's time to find out what I can do over the super-short 3.1 mile distance at the Cleveland Oktoberfest at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Race time: 11am with a chance of rain and temps in the mid-70s.

- Wide smattering of news bits this Labor Day. Thankfully, the Miley Cyrus headlines are nearly gone and instead are being replaced by news from the White House as our president seeks a congressional blessing to bomb Syria due to the use of chemical weapons against its own people. I posted a long post on Facebook back on August 30th to try and help folks think objectively about the whole situation over there from geography to politics to the religious history of the area. Then, I uncovered a most excellent summary of Syria and its history. I highly encourage you to read this so you can best understand Syria, its past, present, and future. Here's the link. So if you voted for and/or support our current president, do you agree with his recommendation to attack Syria? Before you answer that, read that article. You'll be much better informed afterwards.

- So far, ZERO miles for September! That's OK, though. I had to give my legs some rest yesterday so I can give today's 5K my all. Before that, though, I had a great trail run last Friday down on the Buckeye Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I hit the trail around Noon when it was humid and in the mid-80s. Yea, I was asking for punishment but it was worth it. SO much yellow on the trails right now and super dry conditions.

- Are you a Brooks Running fan? If so, don't snooze past their semi-annual blowout sale. With the introduction of September, they have marked down a ton of gear between 30-40% off. From shoes to apparel, the time is now to stock up. My wife's wish-list order just arrived on Saturday so we already had our "Christmas in August with Brooks". She has been doing so great lately so I was thrilled to place that order for her. Click here!

- Yesterday, I had the opportunity to share my life with my church family via what's known as a testimony. Not all know what that is but basically, it's when someone tells their story up until present day. My pastor told me to take about 10-15min but it ended up being 27 minutes long! I made an outline to keep myself on track and from what I've heard, it went well and I stayed on point. I'll say this: if you ever say to yourself after hearing someone's dramatic testimony "I wish I had a testimony to give" ... stand by! I once said that but after living through the past 2 years, I have one. I do hope at least someone who heard can be helped through what I said or encouraged to keep persevering and not give up. For your entertainment, here is one of six photos I put up on the screen. I'm guessing late 70's for this photo. "That boy" just looks happy, doesn't he?!

- There once was this tree...once. This tree, about 15 feet from our house was struck by lightning about a decade ago but lived on and still got its leaves every year so we let it be. However, over the past year, one side of it really began to rot and as it did, it made me scared that during a wind storm one day, it could come down. Being about 3 feet wide at its base and towering high above our home, we decided it needed to come down on our terms...instead of during a storm in whatever direction it wanted. It was threatening two homes. I posted the plea on Facebook for references for businesses to take it down and within the hour, men from my church rogered up and within a week, 5 men showed up last Wednesday to bring this big boy down. Today, all the wood is gone, the hundreds of hickory nuts are cleaned up (I paid my girls a buck a bucket to do it!) and nothing but a stump remains. I was blown away by the selfless giving up of these mens' evening to help us out and honestly, risk being part of a tree coming down in the wrong direction and destroying a house. It went perfectly and I couldn't ask for more!
Pieced-together anchor to coax it in the right direction

Dave who was our expert lumberjack
Success! One man's brother heats his home with a wood burner. Perfect!

Nightfall and success. Thanks, Men of Passion!
 - To wrap up today and if you have the time for a smile and a chuckle, here is something that'll give you both. I grew up playing piano, my youngest plays now, and I love just hearing the sound of this amazing instrument. Add in some comedy and its the perfect Monday wakeup call. Enjoy!

Have a great week, everyone, and Run Happy!

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