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Showing posts from 2014

Mountain Biking Brown County State Park

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Had the opportunity to try out the mountain bike trails in Brown County State Park over the weekend.  Headed down with my friend Nick early on a Saturday.  Thinking the weather would be nice, the sun shining, and a decent winter day to give it my first try.  Turned out they actually had snow the night before, and we were in for an interesting surprise. 
Snow or not, we didn't make the 1 ½ hour trip for nothing.  We arrived at the West Gate of the park, and headed to Hesitation Point for the trail head.  From here the trail takes you generally downhill toward the North Gate Entrance.   The trick is the first two miles are the “advanced” rated trail which then turns into mostly intermediate following.  Starting on the advanced with some snow on the ground was a bit intimidating.  However, it started well until the first hairpin turn maybe ½ mile in.  Having just switched to a 29er Trek Superfly 8, it gets a bit interesting making sharp turns with those bigger wheels.  This is lead…

Madame Blueberry & Pioneer Days

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I've met a character like Madame Blueberry from Veggie Tales fame, and I believe I’m looking at him in the mirror. 
“Though her butlers (portrayed by Bob and Larry) attend to her every whim, they find themselves unable to lift Blueberry out of her ever-present doldrums. The only happiness she seems to have comes from gazing at photographs of her neighbor's possessions".
The topic of Madame Blueberry came up this past weekend when we attended the evening Pioneer Days showcases at Fowler Park.  Somehow seeing the re-creation of a much simpler life convicted me of wanting too much.  Having recently purchased a much newer SUV and to top it off a nearly new mountain bike I am the guilty party.  All this before Christmas, do I feel convicted, well yes.
One of my goals for 2014 was to learn and put into effect the word Guilelessness.  “The quality or state of being as simple and sincere”.  Seems I have not succeed well.  While I don’t have any tattoos or plan on getting one, h…

What does these two seemingly dissimilar people Rosaria Butterfield & Nabeel Qureshi have in Close Common? Read on:

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Rosaria Butterfield & Nabeel Qureshi Very Different Yet Similar Stories
They made a 180 conversion in their worldview after they earned a doctorate degreeIt took years for them to make itThey lost a lot of friends, family or associates, even made real enemy’s in the processThey had a close friend come alongside them in a non-judgmental way that made all the differenceThey were ultimately interest in truthThey published a rather explosive book about the experienceThe chance that they would make this radical conversion seemed off the charts
Dr. Rosaria ButterfieldAs a professor of English and women's studies, on the track to becoming a tenured radical, I cared about morality, justice, and compassion. Fervent for the worldviews of Freud, Hegel, Marx, and Darwin, I strove to stand with the disempowered. I valued morality. And I probably could have stomached Jesus and his band of warriors if it weren't for how other cultural forces buttressed the Christian Right.
After my tenure…

Biblical Prophecies and Syria, a Summary

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Biblical prophecies from Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 both speak of a time when Damascus will be nothing but ruins.  We are living in that day.  A majority of the citizens of Syria have become refugees and now live in Turkey, Jordan, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Iraq or even Iran.  The chances this will be solved anytime in the near future are nil. 
To make an attempt at understanding what is going on in Syria, the different groups with varying ideologies, I thought I might summarize the situation from the daily headlines to get a more easy to comprehend overview.     
Syria is currently in the midst of a civil war that began in 2011.  The two largest cities in Syria are Aleppo and Damascus which are among the oldest cities in the world.  Aleppo had a former population of over 2 million with Damascus a close second at 1.7 million.  Aleppo is now a ghost town and Damascus will likely be so as well.  The fight, especially in Aleppo is currently producing a desperate situation for control by all the…

Running with the ISU Women’s Basketball Team

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Yesterday evening the ISU Women’s Basketball Team held a mile run on the track.  Coach Joey Wells sent out a note to campus that they were holding 3 consecutive mile runs on Thursday evenings for the team to improve their mile time.  He also invited everyone to come out and run with them to do the same.  Not being one to pass up an opportunity I sent a quick note to two of my running partners in crime, Joe and Don, and we showed up on the starting line. 
Coach Wells was the first one I met walking out to the track.  Very personable and made everyone welcome for the event.  The team did a nice warm up, had some music going and made it fun.  We all lined up on the track for the start.  Besides the team they probably had another 20 join in. 
Having one more triathlon this season coming up Saturday morning I thought I would give it a 90% effort and not pay the price come race morning.   So I lined up a couple back on the inside of lane two.  Gun went off and the first lap went fairly smo…

Mill Creek Triathlon and the Big Oops

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Saturday July 26th was my 4th in a series of Olympic distance triathlons this year.  While it was small in number, the race was no easier than any of the others.  After all, the swim, bike and run are basically the same with either 50 or 4000 other competitors on the course like I had in Chicago.  What’s more is most of the people I was racing with/against were my friends.
Sherrie and I made the 30 minute drive to Mill Creek just outside Marshall, Illinois.  As soon as I got to the transition area and ran into Stan Strohm, Troy Charters, Tony Williams, Ron Gillen, Robert Montani , Daniel Alexander and several others I know well, it was going to be a family affair. 
The swim started one at a time with a dive off the dock for a two loop 1500 meter swim.  The water was 77.3 degrees or just wetsuit legal so I figured the swim would be fairly easy.  I jumped in about 10 seconds after Troy, maybe 6th or 7th one to go.  I caught a couple of other swimmers around the first turn buoy and the …

ITU Chicago Triathlon – June 29th

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Chicago is set to host the 2015 International Triathlon Union World Championship.  With that in mind this year everyone was invited to race the event and try out the course in advance.  ITU had the pro women race on Saturday afternoon which I got to watch.  Sunday morning the amateurs started at 6:00 A.M.  My wave, Men’s 55-59 started at 7:00 A.M.  I knew in advance the competition would be close to a national championship event so I didn't think too much about where I might finish.
The swim, bike and run course are all pretty spectacular.  The swim started in Lake Michigan adjacent to the Buckingham Fountain along Grant Park.  Swim about ¼ mile north, then around a turn buoy and back south to the finish.  Water is very clear and a bit on the cold side at 65 degrees.  As scenery goes it was top notch.  Sail boats to the left, Chicago skyline to the right.  The last ½ mile I happened to notice someone walking along the park at the same speed I was swimming.  I didn't think much…

Short-Term Missions Canada

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Traveling 1,000 miles with a group of 48 individuals from Indiana/Illinois to Camp of the Woods Canada doesn't happen quickly.  The weather when we arrived was rain, and lots of it.  Starting on Monday and continuing through Thursday the work was sometimes a bit oppressive.  Cutting and throwing logs onto a dump truck.  Rowing over to the other side of the lake and clearing trails.  Short-term missions are not particularly easy, not overly cheap, and take up some of my vacation time, but I love it.    Pouring yourself out like a drink offering to a valuable mission you will come back a better person, and that my friend is invaluable.  Would I do it again?  Yes, like tomorrow.

A typical day at Camp of the Woods starts with a run at 6:30 A.M. with my good friends Nick and Tracy Sarris.  Oh yeah, and the camp dog Butterscotch.  Not like we don’t have a full day ahead, but this is a tradition we started on the first trip, and it wouldn't be camp if we didn't run.  2 miles out…

My thoughts for you today

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Woke up thinking this morning which is good.  Sometimes I have little such thoughts, and just try to make it through the day without falling down, or doing something stupid in public. Can you relate?

My thought to share with you this day is what we are all really here for. on this earth, at this time for one combination of two things.  To worship God and to help build a great society. Yes, simple as that sounds is your purpose today, and everyday.

Think about it, the world, this earth, your home town needs you to do good things.

Start with this basic logic.  If I believe in God, and I know it is a big step, then I will be called to account when this life is over.  If I don't then what I do on this earth, with my life means nothing. The logic behind this is at the core of what we think and become.

Secondly everyone around me is depending on me to be good. How so you ask?  Do you want to send you kids to school with people who have not determined to be good?  Do you need that ambulance …

TH Triathlon 2014, why yes it was a bit cold

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This was my 2nd race of the year, and a bit opposite weather of the 1st at St. Pete Florida.  Water temp was low 60’s, but the air temp was low 40’s.  Everyone asking me how I was going to swim in the cold water, but I knew that would be easy.  With a good wetsuit, and plenty of practice swimming in those conditions I was well prepared.  I knew the tough part would be cycling in the cold and dripping wet. 
I started the swim next to Adam Martin with Greg, Tyler and Brandon Lucas right behind us.  Not the best form the first 200 yards in, but it got better after I settled down and got a bit more focus going.  I think my navigation of the course was very good, and didn't have any real issues until getting into a crowd the last few hundred yards.  I came out of the ½ mile swim in 14:17 which is about what I expected.  Running as fast as I could in bare feet that were quite numb from the cool water I made a good first transition to the bike.  Thanks Ryan Oiler for the transition clini…

Saint Anthony’s Triathlon as it Happened

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One of my big goals for 2014 triathlon season was to start the year off big.  I've wanted to race at Saint Anthony’s for years, and decided late last year that 2014 would be it.  My sister Jane lives 35 minutes away, and my brother Steve not much further.  No more excuse needed.
Flew in several days early to welcome some warmer temps, and have some relaxing time with my sisters and brother.  Got in some practice swimming at Holmes Beach, which was my father’s favorite vacation spot and one of mine as well.  Need a bit of practice when open water swimming in Indiana is unheard of till at least mid-May.  The only reason I have avoided this particular race so far.
My sister Jane and I went over on Saturday for packet pickup and drop the bike in my transition spot, number 1004.  Took a good look at the swim course then headed out for a nice dinner with the family.  Jane, Sandy and Steve all decided to come with me for the race even though we had to leave at 5:15 a.m. that morning.  Ni…

Gods Not Dead, Movie Review by the other Paul Asay

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So I got the chance to see the movie “Gods Not Dead” and came away thinking I need to write about this.  You may know the more famous Paul Asay who lives in Colorado and writes movie reviews for Focus on the Family, but I would be the other one.   With that in mind here is my take on the movie.
First and foremost I not only really enjoyed it, I agree with it.  With the subject matter in mind, that means a lot.  When I saw the movie preview of a Christian college student taking on an Atheist Philosophy professor I knew it could turn in any number of ways.  Had a feeling it wouldn't fight fire with fire so to speak in the world of science.  However, it did, and much the same way I would approach the subject.   That alone made the movie for me.  However, I have to admit it turned very emotional in a number of areas that I think made it a very effective Christian themed movie as well.  Not the kind of movie to win any awards, but was it up front and to the point; most assuredly.
It …

Spring YES!!!

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Today being the first official full day of Spring, I'm a new creature.  Feel a bit like a bear just coming out of
hibernation.  Running outside again, cycling on roads and not sitting on a stationary trainer, oh how I've been looking forward to it.  The last time I broke 20 miles in a week of running was November until this week.

First race is just 6 weeks away and until this week I was thinking it was going to be really rough.  However, my swim has improved, my run is returning back to a solid pace and cycling is starting to come around as well.  I think my body is getting allergic to cold.  Now that it's moving off I feel like a weight has been removed from my shoulders.  My sunglasses are out, I ran today in shorts and a t-shirt, before long I might even be able to swim outside again.

Plan to start the season at St. Anthony's triathlon in St. Pete, then back to the Terre Haute Triathlon on May 17th.  Hope to make all 4 of the Crossroads Events triathlons this year…

Gravel Road Less Traveled

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Between snow storms I was able to ride outside both of the last two Saturdays.  Last Saturday I got out the go fast machine and had some fun attempting to ride at speed.   Today I got out a new to me toy, my cyclecross bike and hit the trails.  This bike has had a few good owners previous to me.  It makes for pretty inexpensive fun riding the gravel trail in West Terre Haute. Probably make a nice ride to work bike as well.  One could honestly say I spoil myself rotten with bikes, but all of them together is less than one motorcycle. Well that's my excuse anyway.
Kind of makes me feel like I was 10 again getting dirty and sweaty riding down back alleys.  Guess I haven't changed much (less the wrinkles anyway).  
Next race is just 8 weeks away at St. Anthony's Triathlon in Florida.  Considering this winter it may not be very impressive, but I 'm planning on giving it my best.  If nothing else seeing what the sun looks like again will be worth the trip.