Saturday, February 28, 2009

5K Results

Well I finished the 5K. I thought I should share some of the details. The picture at the left are some of my co-workers who participated. Bill on the left is about 2 years younger than me but finished about 3 minutes quicker. I did not meet my 30 minute goal. My actual finish time was 41 m 48 s as recored by the transponder on my shoe. (See the last picture). I will be thinking up excuses for my slow race for months.

The weather was nearly perfect for February in Florida, about 70 degrees when the race started. Of course I was training when in was 40 and 50 so it was too warm for me, excuse #1. The course went for just over 3 miles from the Tampa river out along Bayshore and back.

I was determined to run as far as I could before I started walking. Some one at the starting line had a big sign talking about Jesus. See the green arrow, that's me. Kathi could not get in the middle of the runners to get close, and the crowd made it hard to get a clear shot. Did I mention there were 8686 racers? The race started fast. I ran a few blocks but could not keep running because of all the people, excuse #2. After a few blocks a church group was singing and waving. Very friendly. After I made the turn on to Bayshore there was another person with a sign with bible verses who was shouting out how were all going to hell. One of the runners began signing a phrase "highway to hell." I guess those are words from a song.

Not to much later, I was wishing I had some water. Then along came a water station, but it was on the other side of the road. I couldn't cut in front of all the other runners so I waited. At this point it seemed like I was running backwards, so many runner were passing me! I sure could have used some water, excuse #3. At last we came to the u-turn on Bayshore to make the run back to the finish line near downtown. Just over a mile to go. I soom came to the water station I missed going the other way. As I was waiting my turn, the gentleman passing out cups ran out. After waiting around a while, excuse #4, I found another cup and got some nice cold water. I noticed a bazillion empty cups strewn all over the street after the water station. I asked myself why all these people would litter when there is a trash receptacle. I ran past the receptacle before I finished my water so I put the empty cup in my pocket until I came to another water station with trash can a little later. There were all these children passing me, many very young. Ugh, the race was getting long and I was getting tired. Just after the water I heard this squad of military persons running in formation, with three carrying flags. They were still going the other way on Bayshore, way behind me. Did I mention all the children and little old ladies who were passing me? About a quarter mile from the finish, the military squad passed me, still in formation. The runners clapped, but not for too long, since I suspect some were as tired as me.

About a 100 yards from the finish line I put it into full speed, you know for show. No one else passed me for a little while. Kathi was waiting at the finish line to take pictures.

Did I mention there were 8686 people who finished the run. I finished 6041 overall and 107th of the 152 men in the 60-64 age group. Kathi took this picture. I was putting on a good face, but was really tired and wobbled a little when I walked. One of the ladies in the office finished right behind me, but she was sick yesterday so that was no consolation. The medal was given to everyone who finished.

This is the transponder that kept track of my time. It was attached to my right shoe. Really pretty cool technology. The results were posted to a website so you can check me out if you want. Just click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser.

You will have to enter my name or Bib # and then press search. My personal results will pop up.
Well that's a pretty long story. I had more trouble putting in the pictures. Turns out you have to select them in reverse order that you want them to appear. Funny.
God's best to you.
Love, Steve

Friday, February 27, 2009

Oso Violinist in the News!

The following is printed with permssion of Sarah Arney, Arlington Times News

Oso violinist seeks donations for travel to national competition in Atlanta

By SARAH ARNEYArlington Times News Editor Feb 24 2009, 2:09 PM · UPDATED

A 14-year-old musician who lives in Oso, Sarah Hall was named in January the region’s finalist in the Music Teacher’s National Association junior string competition. To reach this level she won the top prize in both the MTNA Washington State Junior String Competition in November and the MTNA 6 Western States Regional Competition.
She won playing a 20-minute program comprised of three pieces: Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G minor, “Fugue” movement; the “Romance” movement of Concerto No. 2 in D minor by Wieniawski; and “Tzigane” by Ravel.
Now she is offering a public concert with those and more music at Atonement Free Lutheran Church, 6905 172nd St. in Arlington starting at 4 p.m., March 1, as a benefit to help pay her way to national competition. Admission is free but donations will be accepted.
A home-school student, Hall has studied violin since age 4 and piano since she was 6, said her mother, Carla Hall. She is currently studying violin with Ronald Patterson, a teacher at University of Washington. She studies piano with Tonya Siderius and is in her third year of a pre-college program of the Academy of Music Northwest.
“She thinks it’s funny to see how excited everyone gets,” her mother said.
“Gramma gets more excited than me,” Sarah said.
This is not the first award that Hall has won.
In 2006 at age 10, she won the SCMTA Concerto Competition and performed Mozart Concerto No. 4 in D Major with the Port Gardner Bay Chamber Orchestra in a winners concert. She and her brother Aaron won the grand prize in the 2008 SCMTA Sanford Wright Chamber Music Competition performing a Boccherini violin and cello duo, and she placed first in the SCMTA Piano Scholarship Competition in 2007 and 2008.
She performs in several orchestras and ensembles. Every Sunday Sarah enjoys playing with her church’s orchestra; she played her violin in the orchestra for the Arlington Community Messiah Concert for the past two years. And every Saturday Sarah plays with a string ensemble at the Academy of Music Northwest. Currently she is working with her brother and six other musicians on one of Mendelssohn’s string octets that they will be performing at the academy’s benefit recital June 9 in the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
She and her brothers Aaron and Isaac have recorded two albums, with Aaron doing the recording at Fruitful Farm Studio. Aaron was alternate winner of senior strings, but he is not going to Georgia, Carla said. He will be competing in a concerto competition here at home on March 28, the same date that Sarah will be competing in Atlanta.
Sarah enjoys reading, writing letters, baking and helping her older brother milk his Jersey cows and feed the calves at Fruitful Farm in Oso.
Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Academy of Music Northwest, 9109 196th St. SW, Edmonds, WA. 98026-6333 with “Sarah” written in the memo line.

Arlington Times News Editor Sarah Arney can be reached at or 360-659-1300.

Steve's Weight Loss Update

Good news and bad news. First the good news, in the past week or so, my morning weight has been down to 213 two or three times. That is a full 10-pounds below my weight for the past year. Bad news is that there is a little side drift to the 7-day moving average graph at right. Didn't get as much running and walking in as I should and ate a little more than normal with company in town. This Saturday moring is the Gasporilla 5k run in Tampa. This will be my first test.

To put this into perspective, in high school I weighed about 140 pounds, not much more in college. (Don't worry ladies, I am not trying to get back down to 140 pounds, maybe 175 or so!) I could run a long way at that time, I could lift over 100 pounds over my head and do deep-knee bends with over 200 pounds on my shoulders. I was in pretty good shape, except when my back hurt (but that's a whole other story). So at 213, it is like I am running with about 60 pounds on my back. That's quite a load. My hope is still to finish the 5k in under 30 minutes, but that may not be entirely realistic. I have not done it in practice yet. But the run should be fun. Thousands have signed-up for it, maybe 5,000. So the streets of Tampa will be pretty full for a few minutes as this throng trots by. We will have GPS chip timing devices on one of our shoes, so we won't be able to cheat, and we won't be penalized for starting back in the pack. Our time starts when we cross the start line and ends when we cross the finish line.

I will try to provide more details tomorrow.

May may your race be true to your calling from God!

Love, Steve

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Office with a View

For all you skeptics out there, my office actually does have a view of the Port of Tampa. While I can't see the water, I can see the tops of the cruise ships when they are in port. There are two passenger terminals with a ship in one of them about every other day or so. Kathi and I have sailed out of here a couple times.

The gray lines across the picture are not speeding UFO's or anything like that. They are the slats from my office window blind. They became almost invisible, but not completely, when I zoomed in on the ship. Even though it looks closer, I think the ship is just under a mile away, "as the crow flies."

May the wind fill you sails and take you safely to your destination,

Love, Steve

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Taylors in Florida

We were blessed this week with a visit from Jean and John Taylor, at right. Jean is the oldest daughter in Family Bahler. She and her huband of over 30 years stopped on their way home after a week-long cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale. We had lots of time to talk, play Wii bowling, and touring. We got to hear Jessica's angel story (you will have to ask John about it). They got caught up on Mary's wedding plans and had time to talk to the family dentist about missions in Ukrane. This picture was taken at the Wrigley (of the Wrigley Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus) museum in Sarasota. Aren't they a cute couple? The highlights were the Cad-e-zan castle and the minuture circus exhibit complete with the 3-ring circus tent and the barber shop for the workers and the elephant bathing in the creek. You have to see to appreciate it. The water in the background is Sarasota Bay. They flew back to Seattle this afternoon.

More visitors welcome.

Love, Steve