Category Archives: Nikon 24-70mm lens

One-Word Wednesday

The Mister, Jake, Josh, real mom Cindy, girlfriend Claire, and real dad Charles surround Chase after he graduated from Rice University last Saturday.

The Mister, Jake, Josh, real mom Cindy, girlfriend Claire, and real dad Charles surround our “third son,” Chase, after he graduated from Rice University last Saturday.

Proud!

The bros: Jake, Chase, and Josh

The leaning bros: Jake, Chase, and Josh

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The Math-Impaired Makes a Difference

I found this in a dusty storage bin in a closet when I was looking for photos.

I found this in a dusty storage bin in a closet when I was looking for photos.

A funny thing happened to me several weeks ago: I gained another Houston half marathon finish.

Despite my obsessive running record keeping, I had managed to overlook it, because I thought the first half marathon (which I completed) was in 2003, not 2002. But my buddy Jack Lippincott found it for me again (records are kept online). And now I have to fix and update a bunch of blog posts that are all one race off.

Obviously, basic math is not my strong suit. I knew that 2014 was the 13th edition of Houston’s premier half marathon, the trusty companion to the Chevron Houston marathon. And I also knew that I had missed three of those 13 races. Yet somehow in my mind 13 minus 3 equaled 9.

Sigh!

Medals weren’t given out for the first three races, which weren’t sponsored by Aramco.

Medals weren’t given out for the first three races, which weren’t sponsored by Aramco.

So how did all of this come about?

I have been gently nagging the marathon’s race director, Brant Kotch (also known as my butterfly expert), the last few years to allow certain half marathon entrants to have an auto-in to the event, just like their marathon counterparts, instead of trying their luck with the lottery. Runners who have completed five to nine official Houston marathons (and that includes yours truly) are guaranteed marathon registration for the first month that it’s open (those with 10 or more, formerly called veterans but now are considered legacy runners, have until November 1 to register). But even though more finish the half marathon, we had no guarantee we’d be able to enter unless we met certain time goals that are waaaaay too fast for me.

When Brant boldly asked for suggestions to improve our already-excellent event on Facebook, I, of course, pushed once again for the half marathon guarantee. He said the marathon committee just needed a volunteer to help with the program.

Put me in, coach!

So, of course, I enlisted and attended a meeting with Jack and Arlen Isham, who are in charge of the marathon legacies, at the marathon office near Memorial Park to get more details. Quite honestly, all I wanted was for at least those of us with nine half marathon finishes to be guaranteed registration (not very selfless of me, I realize). But I was willing to advocate for those with 10-plus, figuring I only had one more to go to reach that status.

Lo and behold, the marathon committee was many steps ahead of me (not that hard to do, of course). They wanted to start a legacy program equal to the marathon’s! That means that runners who have finished from five to nine Houston half marathons have that same almost one-month guaranteed entry. Those with 10 or more (yep, that’s me!) can take their time plus get a special shirt and participate in a prerace group photo. What’s not to like?!?

My first “child”

My first “child”

When I was writing about the Houston-area running scene with my monthly magazine “Human-Powered Sports,” I learned that one person can make a difference, especially if he or she knows the right person to contact. It really is who you know. I was able to convince former councilman and avid runner Jim Greenwood to push the city to install a stoplight at the first entrance to Memorial Park. I also persuaded former Houston Parks Department head Don Olson to close the Picnic Loop at the park during certain hours so cyclists could ride without fear of getting hit by a car.

You know what they say about that old squeaky wheel? Consider me greased once again! Thanks to Brant and the marathon committee for showing that they care about the half marathoners, too.

One-Word Wednesday

C.J. starts a disc towards the basket in an unconventional manner.

C.J. starts two discs towards the basket in an unconventional manner.

Kick!

Closing in on the target

Closing in on the target

Looking good so far

Looking good so far

Will both discs stay in the tray?

Will both discs stay in the tray?

Fifty percent!

Nope!

Gratitude

Hands in pockets: Ricky, Jared, RJ, and the kid

Hands in pockets: Ricky, Jared, RJ, and the kid

I’m grateful that my sons have such great friends to pal around with. This week two of the Core 4 who room together at Sam Houston State (e.g., my younger son and RJ) were reunited with the other dynamic duo, Ricky (University of North Texas) and Jared (Blinn Junior College) for the first time since they left for college.

Although it was a short videogame-playing session, I could tell that they had a lot of fun, judging from all the laughter coming from our game room. Here’s hoping this is an unbreakable bond for these Fantastic Four friends!

The Drawing Power of Mario

Oh, how I miss that cute smile!

Oh, how I miss that cute smile!

Look who brightened up our usually lonely weekend! It always does my heart good to spend time with my beloved baby boy.

Back in his usual spot on our game room futon

Back in his usual spot on our game room futon

And look who joined him last Saturday night! My younger son lured my “third son,” Chase, for a quick visit from Rice University with the promise of their favorite Nintendo 64 game, Super Smash Brothers.

Will Donkey Kong rule?

Will Donkey Kong rule?

I love how well the two of them get along and all the fun that they have. Of course, they’ve known each other most of their lives. If my older son could have joined them, I would’ve been 100 percent happy.

But I guess two out of three ain’t bad.

(Singing the song? I know I am!)

Then and Now Neighbors

Yum!

Yum!

Almost exactly 10 years ago, these two cuties—our sweet neighbor Maddie and my younger son—sat on a curb near our house eating ice cream.

All growed up!

All growed up!

Look at these two now! Wow!

I snapped photos of the two 18-year-olds last Saturday, the day before Maddie left to start her college adventure at Texas State. It’ll be fun to hear the stories they tell each other when they return to the ’hood for the Thanksgiving break.

Good luck, Madds!

The Bird Returns to the Nest

Chase and my older son in their usual videogame-playing positions.

Chase and my older son in their usual videogame-playing positions.

This was the last photo I took of my “third son,” Chase, before he left for his summer internship at the end of May. We then didn’t see him for almost three long months . . . until he finally returned home and visited us yesterday.

As soon as he walked in (but after he and my older son completed a complicated handshake ritual), I proceeded to grill him question him about his experience. I can’t help it . . . it’s the journalist in me needing to get just the facts, sir.

Having Chase back with us was just like old times.

This looks familiar!

This looks familiar!

Literally!

As soon as they could get away from me, the BFFs moved to the game room and continued where they had left off.

Once again, literally.

The boys played Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

The TV screen three months ago

Back in May, the guys played Super Smash Brothers Brawl as their last videogame together, before work and the miles separated them.

Here we go again!

Here we go again!

The more things change, the more they stay the same!