Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Isaac gets in

Son Isaac sent a group text yesterday afternoon informing us that he was accepted into the PhD program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. We were very excited and not just a little relieved to find out his next phase of life.

He will be doing his work in the field of ethics, and they only took 2 candidates. So not only is it a pretty big deal to be at such a fine institution as Emory but it's pretty select company as well.

We were also happy that he got into the school of his choice (and in a paid position no less). He had intended to apply at several schools but given Ricci's love for her teaching job and the fact that Atlanta has kind of become home, he ended up just applying there. So I guess they/we can plan on at least another 5 or so years of them being in Atlanta.

The reality hasn't really sunk in to me yet. I can't imagine what it's like for Isaac. Just knowing where they will be and what they'll be doing, plus the fact that this will be the most money Isaac has ever made in his life. Not that they're on easy street or anything, but I'm feeling very blessed and happy about things. So, there's that.

Peace out, folks. And in.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Buick sold

Well, we sold the 2002 Buick Century. It won't be going far away, because our neighbor bought it (for his son). In fact, it's still parked in the same spot as when we owned it. :)

It had been running a bit rough so I took it in to our mechanic and he diagnosed it as needing a new catalytic converter. They wanted $500 to replace it, so I said "no thanks." I tried selling it "as is," but most of the people who wanted it weren't really in a position - either financially or geographically - to get it fixed. Our neighbor is a backyard mechanic and I asked him about replacing the catalytic converter. He said he could do it, and right away he seemed interested in the car. He checked it over and found a few other things wrong with it, and came over tonight and said he'd take it. We sold it to him for $400 as is.

It sure was a good car. My parents bought it new, and we bought it from them in December 2006. I think it had around 93,000 miles on it when we bought it. The odometer rarely works anymore, but it came on a week ago and it had 235,333 miles on it. I think we got our money's worth out of it.

I will miss the way it rides and drives - especially in the snow. I won't miss the lack of heat in the winter and cold in the summer though. In a way it's kind of sad, but I'm also pretty happy to be done with it (the selling). Time to move on.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Treadmill trouble

This happened to our treadmill yesterday afternoon. I was 49 minutes into a 60-minute workout, had just slowed down, and it felt like the earth was moving. I have to say, though, the belt lasted longer than I expected it to.

We bought this Horizon T50 treadmill at Dick's Sporting Goods in November 2005. I'm guestimating we have logged nearly 10,000 miles between the 2 of us, and this is the first thing to ever go wrong with it. I would say this was a pretty good brand.

I ordered a replacement belt from Treadmill Doctor and it was $55 including shipping and handling. It should be here within a week. They also had a nifty video on their website showing how to replace it. I already have it torn down, now I just need the new belt and it will be ready to roll again.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

And... it's saturday again

So it seems blogging is somewhat getting away from me. Now and then I will have someone mention a post from years ago and, as I gander back at it, I not only miss being able to write about the things I used to, but often I wonder who the heck even wrote it. It's like someone else. But, alas, that is life my friends (or myself). I've not many complaints about the way things presently are, though more and more I wish I could slow time to a crawl.

Anyway, this week seemed to have a lot going on in my mind, and some of it even spilled over into actuality.

Marcus King Band
The most notable thing in my memory was seeing The Marcus King Band Thursday night. As I've mentioned before, our church sort of runs a music hall in downtown Fort Wayne. They have quite a few shows, and I have rarely, if ever, been disappointed in the talent they bring in. We actually hadn't heard of the MKB, at least to our knowledge, but we weren't doing anything Thursday night, and the opener was one of our favorite local bands (Todd Harrold & Nick Bobay), so we hopped down to the church building and took in the show. It was also a chance to hang with some of our new church friends (volunteers from the church work the shows). Let's just say we were NOT disappointed again.

When we arrived we chatted with some of the volunteers at the door. They were the same people we make and served food with the night before to the underserved of FW. They also (finally) asked if we would want to join the volunteer crew for the music hall. I'm thinking we will. After that... it was another evening of near-musical bliss.

Todd and Nick started off with their usual soulful/grooving sounds and he opened with this fantastic 10-minute version of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' It's amazing the amount of sound two guys can pour into an evening. I could sway to them all night.

After the opening half-hour set we noticed quite a crowd filling the hall. I recognized many local musicians and music-scene regulars expectantly looking forward to the main act. I soon found out why. Man... I do have to admit, the MKB does not play exactly my style of music (not that I don't like it, but it's "busy"), they were some phenomenal musicians. Wow. They put on an incredible performance.

Then... this morning as I was reading the news on the computer and preparing to write this, Jane was watching the TV show "CBS This Morning" and they had none other than THE MARCUS KING BAND ON LIVE!!! They did mention Thursday that they were heading to New York, but I don't remember them saying they were going to be on TV. So, that was kind of fun.

The Buick
I finally put the '02 Buick Century up for sale. Since buying the '13 Honda Accord we no longer need it. Jane is driving the Accord and I have changed to the '11 Ford Escape. The Buick has been running a little funky so I made an appointment to have our mechanic look at it. I didn't want to sell it knowing something was wrong. Well, I wasn't planning on that "something wrong" being the need for a new catalytic converter. They quoted me a price of almost $500, but suggested I could have it done for about half that at a "lesser" shop. So, I just put a post on Facebook that the car was for sale for $500 as is - stating that it needed a new catalytic converter. I was hoping someone who could do the work themselves would jump on it.

Right away I had a couple people who said they were interested. However I then heard from a few other people who were actually in need of a vehicle, but didn't have the means to get the repairs done. So now we are wrestling with whether to go ahead and get it fixed and sort of 'donate' the car to someone in need, or try to recover a little of the expense we've lately dumped into it. Either way we are not only not going to make any money, but it is now a matter of how much we can afford to lose.

So that seems a rather sad end to what has been a phenomenal car for us. My parents bought it new (or nearly new), and we bought it from them at the end of 2006. It's been a great car for quite awhile in our family. My parents and us both loved the ride, and it also got good gas mileage for a car its size. I will miss it.

Other than that there seems to be too much to remember right now. I finally got under 170 lbs on the scale. I was happy about that. My body still feels good (no soreness or aches from working out). We are scheduled to be greeters at the new church this Sunday and next. I do need to start working on the sermon I have coming up in April. It's the same as it's always been: I have lots of ideas but just can't seem to get myself to sit down and puke them out on paper. And... it's another great lazy Saturday where the wife and I got to sleep in and ease into the weekend. Though she is frantically cleaning the house, and I'm doing more of the easing. :)

I would like to say I'll try to do better at blogging this week, but I'm really kind of enjoying not trying to do "better" at anything. Sometimes it's nice to just do my thing, with a tad of intentionality and contemplativeness, without getting wrapped up in the "need-to-ness" of things.

Peace out, folks; and in.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Running in a bucket

So I'm starting to get my legs back under me by running on the treadmill. I discovered that I can watch TV while I do it at the Y and that makes it a little better than at home. At the Skyline the TV is actually right on the treadmill!

I'm not going gangbusters or anything yet, but in 45-60 minutes I can do 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 miles. I've only been doing it a few days a week but it feels good to be able to do 6-6.5 mph for a little while at least. I can definitely feel that progress is being made in my legs and my lungs.

I've never been one to keep any sort of "bucket list." I suppose I'm the type of person that doesn't like to hope for things because then I won't be let down. Either that or I am content with more simple things. At any rate, if I ever have had a "bucket list" desire it was to run a full 26.2 mile marathon. And since we're dreaming I would also like to do it in 3 1/2 hours or so. But... I gave up on that notion last year. It just seemed too out of reach to ever be possible. And, over the last half year I wasn't so sure I even wanted to continue running. It wasn't fun anymore and I wasn't getting anything out of it other than sore legs and frustration. I'd kind of determined that maybe it was simply time to stop.

However, you know me, once I saw a little bit of light I had ideas swirling in my mind again. This morning I felt pretty good since I'm just getting over a head cold. It felt good to feel good again and I feel pretty relaxed and rested. So my mind wandered towards another possible marathon attempt. If I could get back on pace to doing 3 days of 5-6 miles each, (outside) and one longer run each week. Then do the elliptical and rowing machine a couple days. And I could sustain that and stay injury/soreness free...

I don't know. There I go again getting all wild-eyed. I know I would need to get intense about it. It would begin to take over my life and there would be consequences to consider. I just can't seem to do things casually. So...  I don't know. I'm just thinking. Out loud.