05 November 2009

The latest

Alright... time for a few updates.

We finally closed on our home. After signing three extensions to the purchase agreement, a wire transfer snafu, and seemingly endless frustration with Wells Fargo, escrow finally closed on 28 October.

We closed just in time so I could get access to all of my personal items before our trip to NYC. Candice and I went back to the Big Apple with Stan and Nancy Williams for the NYC Marathon. I don't know why I thought I should run this race. I am probably in the worst shape I have been in for years. Anyhow, I made the trek to Staten Island on November 1st where the race began to Frank Sinatra's classic song "New York, New York."

By mile 17 I had hit the wall... and I still had 9 MILES TO GO! Those 9 miles were probably the longest of my running career. I probably could have walked faster than my running pace.

It is interesting to note that just last month Trent set his personal best in the St. George Marathon by finishing with a time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. I was close to his pace... only an hour and 10 minutes behind ;).

Now we are just waiting for the big day on November 11th.

13 September 2009

Some more news...

After just one day of looking I put an offer in on a house here in Las Vegas. The following evening I was informed that my offer was accepted. Unless something goes terribly wrong during the next couple weeks, this house will be my new home:

02 September 2009


Well I received news today that my offer was not accepted on the final house I was waiting on. Now I am back a square one - I will be hitting the house-hunting trail again next week when I arrive in Vegas. It is a bit unnerving to be moving to a new city where I do not have a place to live. As of Friday, I will officially be homeless...

"Will work for food!" ;)

17 August 2009


Well, I received news today that both house #2 and #3 are out of the running. The banks owning these houses accepted other offers on the properties. I am down to my last offer on house #1... we'll see how things work out.

12 August 2009


I have found three houses here in Vegas that I really like. I welcome any opinions/advice anyone may have:

House 1
I love the rock feature and the cobbled walkway
Enter from front door into living room - kitchen/family room seen beyond
The main living space - kitchen/dining/family room

Hallway leading to bedrooms (master bedroom straight ahead)

Master bed/bath

Not much happening back here

House 2

Covered patio in back

This is the view from the back patio - AWESOME!

This is what is seen when first entering the house; the whole first floor is essentially one big room (kitchen, dining area, and family room) - see following two photos for the complete idea of the space

Just upstairs - walking into master bedroom

Master bed/bath

The view looking out of Master bedroom windows - SWEET!

Master bath

Looking out of the Master bed toward two additional

Back downstairs... leaving the house

House 3

I love this courtyard leading to the front door!

Just entering the house

The room to the right in the previous picture

I love the big windows in the master bedroom

Master bath

Hallway leading from master bedroom to two other rooms - the two bedrooms seen here are connected by a Jack-and-Jill bathroom in the far corner (a cool design)

22 July 2009

Summer time...

I returned to St. Louis on Monday from Salt Lake City... back to the daily grind.

I really do not have any room to complain. This past weekend was my fourth (yes, #4) visit to SLC since Memorial Day weekend. Here is a little recap of my trips:

Zip Line and Alpine Coaster in Park City

To Bone 'N Back Relay in Idaho Falls

A visit to Island Park and West Yellowstone

A summer staple - hiking the Wasatch!

Cowboy Up at the Oakley Rodeo

Rollin' hick style with George Strait

Chillin' at The Fray concert

Is it any secret why I have frequented the Salt Lake valley so often lately?

18 June 2009

Movin' on

Well, it is time for me to move to my 4th major city in as many years. From Salt Lake City I moved to New York City for graduate school. I moved to St. Louis after graduation for a new job. Just today I finalized the discussions for a work relocation to Las Vegas, NV!

I will continue to work for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA in Las Vegas is currently building a brand new hospital. I will be primarily responsible to equip the new facility with the appropriate medical equipment. In other words, I will get to spend all of your tax dollars!

I am scheduled to begin work in Vegas on 14 September. I have less than three months left here in the Midwest. If anyone has been dying to visit - you better schedule your trip now!

05 June 2009


I received some exciting news today. I won a lottery place in this year's New York City Marathon! I am pumped. I tried to get in last year, but did not draw a spot. The race is November 1st. Hopefully this will pull me out of my slump of indifference regarding maintaining a regular training schedule. I need to get myself back into shape.

31 May 2009


On Friday a co-worker asked me what my plans were for the weekend. I paused for a moment to realize I did not have a single obligation, commitment, invitation, or appointment for the coming days (yes, I know, I am a loser!).

Anyways, when I awoke Saturday morning with nothing to do, I decided to go on a brief one-day road trip. I headed to Kansas City to see the Royals play at Kauffman Stadium (locally known as "The K").

When I arrived in town, I had some time to kill before the game. I made my way to the original Arthur Bryant's to try their famous Kansas City BBQ. I must admit that I was sorely disappointed. Other than the authenticity of the establishment itself - a decades old building that has likely never been renovated or modified in any way - the experience failed to live up to my expectations. The ribs were dry and tough; the "famous" BBQ sauce was mediocre, and the service was wanting. To date, I believe the best ribs I have tried were at Corky's BBQ in Memphis, TN.

Fortunately, the disappointment experienced at lunch was more than compensated for during my time at the ballpark. I have driven by Kauffman Stadium on a number of occasions. I remember the first time I saw it - I thought it was the ugliest stadium I had ever seen. The grandstands are a very odd shape - sloping gradually upward from the foul poles in outfield up to a cone-like peak immediately behind home plate.

I still cannot identify if it is in spite of or because of this odd architecture that I had such a surprisingly enjoyable time at "The K." Because the grandstands provide adequate seating, the outfield was left very open. Unlike some ballparks (i.e. Yankee Stadium, Citi Field) where the field is entirely surrounded by seating, restaurants, and other stadium ammenities, Kauffman felt very open and airy. Grassy hills and lush trees outside the stadium provided a backdrop very well suited for a ballpark in the heartland of America.

Additionally, the Royals fans know how to have fun! At many of the parks I have been to, the fans take their team VERY seriously. Cardinals fans, Red Sox fans, Yankees fans, Cubs fans know and understand the game of baseball intimately. For many, their devotion to the team is borderline religious. Although these informed and dedicated fans bring a certain intensity to the ballpark on gameday, in Kansas City an evening at the park is a time to relax and enjoy the company of those around you. Despite a losing effort by the Royals on this balmy Saturday afternoon, the overall attitude of the crowd was light and carefree. Many attended the game in straw hats and tank tops. Many enjoyed tailgating before and after the game. And all the Kansas City folk joined in their traditional 6th inning sing along of Garth Brooks "I've Got Friends In Low Places."

Kauffman Stadium "The K" (#12 - 18 to go!)

05 May 2009

Baseball anyone?

The 2009 MLB season is off to a great start. Within the first three weeks of the season I attend a game in four awesome parks:

Busch Stadium (St. Louis)

Yankee Stadium (New York)

Fenway Park (Boston)

Citi Field (New York)

I have four first-time stadiums on my agenda for the rest of the season, as well as a beloved classic:

6 June - Atlanta Braves (Turner Field)
19 June - Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium)
18 July - Chicago White Sox (US Cellular Field)
25 August - Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)
28 August - Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field)

By the end of the year I will be over half way toward my goal of attending a game in every Major League ballpark!

20 April 2009


We arrived here in Boston just after 9:00 p.m. on Saturday. Of course our first stop in BeanTown was b.good!

Mmmm... some el guapos along with fries and a coke!

Following our meal we met up with cousin Shelly who is nice enough to allow us to crash at her place during our time here.

Oh look... more food. I don't think we go more than a couple of hours without finding something to eat. And what can be more authentic than a Dunkin' Donuts in Boston?

Waiting for the commuter train at the West Bedford stop.

After picking up our race packets, we had a bit of time before the Red Sox game began. We made our way to b.good for another succulent burger!

This was a magical moment! Having just arrived at Fenway, we walked out of the portal to see the Green Monster along with the plush, verdant grass. What a beautiful sight!

After finding our seats, both Trent and I found ourselves paying the price for a late night on Saturday. Neither of us could stay awake, despite the fact that we were watching a baseball game in one of the most storied ballparks in America. Some time in the second inning we both dozed off for a bit. We both comment on how funny we must have looked with our heads slumped over and completely oblivious as to what was happening on the field. After a brief power-nap, I ordered myself a Coke so I could more fully enjoy the game. Trent, on the other hand, declined any caffeine. He still wanted to catch up on his sleep a bit - he dozed off a few more times before the game's intensity picked up a bit in the later innings.

Race day! We arrived in Hopkinton at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The race began at 10:00. This gave us plenty of time to wait around in the cold - just what I like to do before a leisurly 26.2 mile run.

Just before the starting gun was fired, we were treated to a fly-over of two F-15 fighter jets - they couldn't have been more than a couple hundred feet up. They flew right overtop of the starting corals - it was awesome.

It amazes me how many people are involved in this race - participants, spectators, and volunteers. Over 26,000 runners joined the field this year. We were all cheered on and encouraged by fans lining literally the entire 26 mile course. It is unbelievable! Especially as we get nearer and even into the actual city of Boston. Both sides of the course are packed with spectators - sometimes up to 6 people deep.

Trent smoked the course - clocking in at an impressive 3:03:25! That is a sweet time for a tough Boston course. As for myself... I thought it prudent to honor my performance from 2007 here in Boston by logging nearly the exact same time. This year I crossed the line in 3:37:26; my 2007 time was 3:37:57.

Following the race, we made our way to b.good for our 3rd visit in as many days. Unfortunately I neglected to document our visit. Honestly, I was so tired that I did not want to exert myself any more than I had too - and let's face it, opening the zipper of my camera case is asking a bit much!

Exhausted as we wait for the train back to Medford.

Note: hopefully I will have some pictures to post from the race. Cousin Shelly said her friend who joined her to watch the race captured some good pics of both Trent and me. Stay tuned...