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Showing posts from August, 2008

Part man, part God...

Anne Rice, the highly published author of such works as Interview with the Vampire, has recently delved into Christian novels. I read Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt a couple of years ago, and was intrigued at how Rice can draw a first person account of Christ's life and times in the early days of the church.

She has just completed Called Out of Darkness, a Spiritual Confession which is a memoir regarding her journey back into Catholicism.

Now, I am enjoying her 2008 work Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana.

For a practicing Christian like me, it is simultaneously mesmerising and terrifying. Rice writes as Christ in the first person, leading up to His first miracle - changing water into wine at a wedding.

In one of the opening chapters, Rice has Christ awakening from a dream, where he is envisioning Avigail, a local woman who he cherishes. Christ says, "Go away, beloved girl. This is not for me to know, and Christ the Lord will not know what he does not want to know - or what h…

Spinnin' the crank...

I'm finally getting back in the groove here in Gainesville, after a rehab period with a bad disc in my back, and time away traveling.

Friday night, I pulled my trusty Felt F60 (see above) down off the wall rack, pressured the tires to 110 psi, and lubed the chain. I also tightened up my cleats, as I had installed a new pair on my shoes the last time I prepped my equipment.

It was time for a Gainesville Bicycle Club ride, so for something completely different, our ride started about 15 miles southwest of my house in Archer.

It's nice to ride a new loop, on good pavement, with cycling friends. Our group is the HighBees, and we ride at a rather relaxed pace that hovers around 16-17 mph. Flat roads, breeze in the air, and just the sound of the tires whizzing along the pavement...that's how I like it best.

I like to ride safe, and our group maintains a single file line, and always calls out upcoming cars with the authoritative "car back!" alert.

But, I must admit that w…

Mountain top experience

All of us experience peaks and valleys in life.

Today, I'm on a mountaintop.

It's been one of those days where the hot breeze blows, and the winds of opportunity are in my sails. I have chatted up almost everyone who crossed my path - the U of FL campus is buzzing with new faces, and each person has a story to tell.

Sometimes it's important to let what is outside, come inside. I took a long, relaxing swim in the wonderful 50-meter outdoor pool, and thought about where I have been, and what it has taught me. Life doesn't always unfold as we expect, but we are altered nonetheless. Viewing the past with a non-judgmental attitude allows inner change to occur.

I'm far from having all the answers, but letting the wind carry me provides the neutral attitude that I desire. Allowing life to cross my path as it comes is a fresh start to a new beginning.

You can't know where you're going, unless you know where you've been...

My personal life has taken a major shift over the past couple of months, and as part of that change, I have been working to find new people and places to intercept along the journey of life.

Our PhD cohort group met for drinks and snacks at The Top (a somewhat upscale Gainesville eatery) and from there I drove north to Gator Tales, where I joined my running club buddies to watch the Olympic marathon telecast.

The photo at left is none other than Johnny O'Mara and David Bailey, taken sometime in the mid 1980's near Simi Valley, California. Bailey and O'Mara were pioneers in the fitness movement in motocross, and the pair pushed each other to world class performance.

I can remember several evenings where everyone was showered and ready to step out for dinner, and Johnny would come up missing; he'd sneak out the back and jam in another quick run, just to say he had the biggest mileage on the day. All epic stuff, and it was my portal on how the best of the best challenged …

Until next time, old friend Wausau...

Check out the wonderful scenes from my picaresque running loop in Wausau, Wisconsin. The weather is crisp and cool in the mornings, and when the sun comes over the horizon, reflections bloom on the Wisconsin River.

I carried fond memories home from this last visit. Companionship with my mother and father cannot be equaled. The years are rolling by, but we are still a family, living in the same abode that was constructed in 1950. When I visited with my brother and his family in La Crosse, I made sure to note that we are a family, and when the winds blow, family will ground you and bring you where you need to be.

For many of those in Wausau, simple is better. The land is ruled by common sense, and outdoor activities are cherished in the few warm summer months.

So, as I roam this earth, and strive for more, and attain new academic credentials, it is important to remember that the core of my being belongs in Wausau.

Rebuilding the temple

A verse in the bible tells us our body is a temple, and we should treat it as such.

My body needed some structural work, so I'm working on the temple right now, getting it healthy once again.

Some of the construction projects include:

Getting rampant, recurring thoughts out of my mind. I am a very busy thinker, and many times recycle the same ideas countless times. Not good, it's time to rest my brain and find calm within.Reducing and removing alcohol intake. It really does lead to less than inspiring performance, so I have taken it out of my system over the past three months. I feel better, have lost weight, and save money. What's not to love about that?Managing injuries. My bulging disc/bad left leg has brought me to a point of reckoning, realizing that some injuries can not be overcome through more/harder training. It's time to be gentle and rest and love myself. I am taking very easy 6-7 mile walk/jogs while here in Wausau, Wisconsin, always maintaining the C…

Cat scratch fever

At a critical junction in my life, I was faced with a complex decision: Continue forward as a motojournalist and motorcycle newspaper editor, or chase down the road of another passion - that of a rock and roll concert photographer.

I was using my spare time away from Cycle News to cop gigs in rock and roll, and made a contact with the PR rep at the Agora Ballroom in Atlanta. At that time, the Agora was booking many of the hot rock acts, and the Agora traded high access credentials for photo images.

The shot at left is none other than the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent, performing in all his glory at the Georgia Jam outdoor concert at Road Atlanta, must have been 1980.

The bands came on, and I was front and center in the mosh pit, shooting with two fast lenses - a 135mm Nikkor lens that stopped down to f 2.8, and a Vivitar 200mm lens that stopped down to f 3. The body was a FE2 with a motor drive, and I think I was shooting Kodachrome 64 slide film, really rich in color in those days.

It …

Stoic existence

Remember Spock from the now legendary TV series Star Trek? He represented the voice of reason, void of emotion. Whenever trouble was at its crescendo, Spock would present an analytical approach to the solution.

I am a Lutheran, born and raised in Wisconsin. Most would say those groomed in the Lutheran faith, from that neck of the woods, have a stoic view of life. We are for the most part tough, practical, and quite reserved on the emotional side. Some of the Lutherans I know who are strong in faith exercise stoicism at critical junctures in life. A good friend of mine in her late 80's lost her husband, and simply stated, "Joe was a good man, it was his time to go."

Over time, I have become less stoic, and more transparent to my friends and associates. In order to be stoic, most possess a simple thought process, and faith in God's word, so that situations and outcomes in life are quite black and white. It seems that through academics - where we are taught explic…