Wanda the Bang Bang Lady

June 25, 2013

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Wanda is the Bang Bang Lady from Bangbanglady.com.  And Wanda knows marketing.  Her sign works!  When I was in Columbus, GA this past weekend for my daughter’s tennis tournament Wanda the Bang Bang Lady was everywhere.  You couldn’t miss her.  I too am in marketing and my only suggestion is to maybe use a fake Bang Bang Lady model when you’re posting these on 10′ x 20′ billboards (sorry Wanda).  But still, it works.  I’m writing and thinking about it as we speak.

So it is almost the Fourth of July and Wanda inspired me to talk a little bit about what is most popular these days in the world of fireworks.

#1 on the Bang Bang Lady’s list is “The American Trucker”.  It shoots off red white and blue sparks out of the exhaust pipes of a semi.  That is just plain cool and American.  I’d buy that.

#2 is “The Blonde Joke”.  I’m not sure what this one does but the packaging has a bunch of blondes pictured on the box and I am envisioning it telling one liner blonde jokes as the fireworks go off.  Something like “Why did the blonde runner stare at the orange juice container?  It said concentrate on it.” or “Why did the blonde runner cross the road?  I don’t know.  Neither did she.”  or “Why do blondes write TGIF on their running shoes?  Toes go in first.”  or “A blonde goes out for a run. She comes to a river and cannot see a bridge anywhere nearby. She spots another blonde on the opposite bank.  “Yoohoo!” she shouts, “How can I get to the other side?” The second blonde looks up the river then down the river then shouts back, You’re already on the other side!”  Ok, I’ll stop right there as I know I have plenty of blonde followers and friends and I want to keep them (even Wanda is blonde which may be why subconsciously I’ve resorted to stupid blonde jokes for a laugh; I apologize).

#3 is “The Killer Alligator”.  This is another one where I have no idea what would be inside.  I am imagining an alligator head that opens slowly and out spews more blonde jokes like this one – A blonde was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana. She wanted a pair of genuine alligator shoes, but didn’t want to pay the high prices.  After unsuccessfully haggling with of one of the shopkeepers, the blonde said, “Maybe I’ll just go out and catch my own alligator, so I can get a pair of shoes at a reasonable price.”  Later in the day, the shopkeeper spotted the young woman standing waist deep in the water, shotgun in hand. She took aim at an alligator, killed it and hauled it onto the swamp bank.  Lying nearby were several more of the dead creatures. The shopkeeper watched in amazement as the blonde flipped the alligator on its back and shouted in frustration, “Damn it, this one isn’t wearing any shoes either.”

What is with me and these blonde jokes tonight!  It’s Wanda I tell ya!  Again, I am sorry.

Running Update:  Week 1 of 20 is in the books.  Savannah Marathon here I come.  I have stuck to the training plan without a problem.  The old body is falling apart but no misses yet.  And why write about signs?  Summer is my daughter’s tennis season months where we visit and I run in all the small towns in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.  They like their signs.  In fact, I may just pick a sign in each small town we go to and write about it.  Truly, I think I could write a book on the signs I see and the smile and inside laughs they bring me.  People are very creative in these small towns.  If only they had a blog!  And if I only had a camera on my runs!

Still only 22 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Crop Dusting

May 30, 2013

cropdusterFlatulence.  That is the nicest thesaurus alternative to what I recently learned is called “Crop Dusting” in runners vernacular.  Have you ever been in a race and had the headphones blaring and then, wait for it…flatulence.  And then you run as fast you possibly can to make sure they have no idea it was you.  That is called “Crop Dusting” I am told.  And I found that pretty darn funny!  Been there, done that if you know what I mean.

My wife says “you’ve never been there done that and I’ve never heard it called that”.  And then she laughed.  Well, she may have never heard it called that but she is wrong on the first point.  I don’t even look back.  I just run my arse off to the next water station and hope to god those people don’t catch me.

One guy crop dusted me in Nashville.  I didn’t know he did by the sound but by the pungency of his presence.  See how I’m using that thesaurus?  That’s what us runner writers do.  And pungency is what us runners do too.  It’s disgusting I know; but it is natural.  And you don’t even have to worry about it.  Move on people, there’s nothing to see here.

I just wonder if this is a male thing or an equal opportunity thing?  I bet it goes both ways.  It would be one heck of a Survey Monkey survey if I asked questions like “which mile causes you the most flatulence?” or “have you ever looked back after crop dusting someone?” or “does GU make you crop dust?”?  I bet we’d hear from both sexes on this one.

I was “uninspired” until my wife and I both bust out laughing on this particular topic.  So now?   Call me inspired.  People laugh at bodily functions.  That’s just the way it is.  I’m gonna run with it.  No pun intended.

As runners we like to label things – like “the last mile” or “the wall” or “tapering” or “tempo” or “pacing”.  Let’s add some new terms to our runner thesaurus.  How about “crop duster” or “love spreader” or “stinky *astard” or “the rumble in the jungle” or “fart-lek” or “Russian roulette” or “carb bomb”?  I could go on all day.  I just know that virtually any sentence or any joke with the word fart in it makes me chuckle.  So next time you’re crop dusted, just smile and slow down a bit.  You can thank me later.

Running Update:  Back on track.  24 miles this week with a 9 mile trail run in Jackson, GA of all places coming up.  I hurt.  I take a lot of ibuprofen.  And I stretch more than I used to.  But I’m running again so away we go.  Official plan is in place and I am on track to kick my fellow crop duster, N. Moro, in the arse in Savannah.  He’ll be the one slightly behind me as we cross the finish line.  That mental image inspires me.

Still only 23 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Jetlagged Musings

May 10, 2013

IMG_0652The travels have begun again in earnest.  I was in Argentina, Chile and the UK all in the span of the last ten days.  Can you say jetlagged?  What the heck is jet lag anyway?  I looked this term up in the Urban Dictionary as I figured since I liked this phrase so much it must be used by the cool hipster underground.  They say it is a euphemism for a hangover.  Ok, so they don’t actually use the word euphemism.  Instead they say “Dude, that stuff we smoked last night was tight but now I’ve got some serious jet lag.”  You can always count on the Urban Dictionary folks to clear things up.

That picture above?  That is the Tower of London.  I took this shot Wednesday night of this week when we brought a bunch of our biggest UK customers on a guided tour.  I’m sure many of you have hit this same tourist destination on your visits to London.  It doesn’t get old;  what an awesome place!  And to top it off this week we saw all the crown jewels without the masses and a Beefeater guy explaining how big each of the diamonds are and such.  But the best part of the jewel tour was to see the very same crown the Queen wore earlier that day as she opened Parliament.

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This Wednesday, May 8th, was a big day at the tower.  Besides the Queen stopping by to pick up her crown, they were holding the Tower of London Run.  It is a 1k up to 10K run in the Tower’s moat.  It is the oldest running event in London and looked awesome.  I wanted to get out of my monkey suit and into a red Tower of London Run t-shirt and jump the fence!  Maybe next year.

IMG_0662A little trivia for you blog followers – did you know that if the ravens that live at the Tower were to leave one day the entire country would fall apart?  I guess that is why they have one in a cage now to protect against this?   The last time I was here I completely missed the ravens for some reason.  There is even one named “Jubilee” who was given to Queen Elizabeth this past year to mark the event.  And once a week they enjoy an egg and an occasional rabbit.  Who’d have thought, right?

IMG_0621Running Update:  I have really fallen off the wagon when it comes to running (other than a recent Nashville Country Music Half Marathon) but I do have a new Google Drive training plan that takes me through November 9th where I’ll run the Savannah Marathon again.  I guess given the travels I have an excuse including my complete annoyance with treadmills and having to convert kilometers to miles in my head since that is all they have in these other countries.  My best run of the year so far was in Chile as I was able to run four miles in a park that sits at the base of the Andes.  It was a holiday there so the park was full of families and food vendors and dogs and normal Chilean life.  They live in a very beautiful part of the world.  If I ever get a chance to go back I’ll be blogging about my time running in Patagonia.  Bucket list.  Oh, and I have no idea who that cowgirl is in our picture from the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon expo.  She worked for Women’s Running and was promoting for subscriptions I suppose.  If it works for their magazine I figured it can’t hurt with the blog.

Only 23 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Round 2 – Mountain Climber

April 16, 2013

manwithflagI posted my thoughts in a status on Facebook that came to me after hearing of the Boston Marathon bombings. It talked about the “mountain of courage” it takes to train, qualify and then run the Boston Marathon. It is damn hard. Period. I received a huge number of “likes” which tells me a lot of people feel the exact same way I do.

Whoever is behind the bombings probably thought they could scare the American people to the point of chaos. No doubt they caused a bit of chaos. But guess what? They have also, once again, galvanized our country and brought us together even stronger than we were before it happened. And for me, personally? They have lit a fire (ok, they have really pissed me off). Somewhat to spite them, I plan to renew my quest to run this thing.

So, after throwing in the towel on this dream back in December, I’ll call this “Round 2”. Boston Marathon in 2015 when I turn 50 it is (someway, somehow). And I’ll smile the entire way around the course knowing they haven’t won or changed a thing.

As for the blog – why not. I’ll start it back up. It may be monthly or it may be more or less often but I do like and miss writing. If you want out just let me know. I’ll also try to keep it short and sweet and try to stay a bit more focused on the journey to Patriots Day in April 2015 (vs. random musings about Pawn Shops or Chewbacca or Spartan cheerleaders; but those were funny, I don’t care who you are.)

Only 24 months and 26.2 miles to go…


Man vs. Boston

December 13, 2012

mvfI love the guy on Man vs. Food.  I sat through a marathon recently while killing time traveling and watched him eat everything from Inferno Wings in San Jose to a five pound breakfast burrito in Denver.  He beat the wings but in the battle of Man vs. Food and the burrito he bit off more than he could chew – food wins.

As for my running?  Boston wins.  Bust.  I’m throwing in the white towel on the dream.  Between traveling for work, injuries and a lot of doubt about the ability or desire to run 8 minute miles for 26.2 of them I’ve decided to pull the plug on that goal and set some new ones.  I still really love running but I’ve come to the conclusion that my body and my mind are not cut out for marathons.  I’ve done it once.  Check.  And I may still do another someday.  But the thought of doing what it would take to be able to run a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes has beaten me.  I give.

What does this mean?  It means I will just be running for fun from here on out.  Half marathons, trail runs, a possible (slow) marathon someday, maybe an ultra but Boston is out.  I congratulate the elites and the people who make it there and they have successfully done their job in weeding out the riff raff (me).

I’ve thought about what this means for this blog.  And in the end I think it marks the end of Boston or Bust as well.  I need to find some other way to write but it doesn’t really make sense to keep this going if I’m eating brats, drinking beer and watching the Boston Marathon on TV.  Plus I think the whole purpose of a blog is to keep it going on a much more regular basis than once a month.  So goodbye blog.  Goodbye blog followers.  I’ll miss the comments by my Mom and my Guru (my most loyal followers) but I’ll find another way to get the thoughts out of my head and onto “paper”.

Reflecting on this most recent running push I wanted to take the time to nominate my top 5 running moments of this series.

Number 5 “Paris” – This past summer my family and I had the great opportunity of traveling from London to Paris.  While there I did runs up and down the Chomp Elysses, near Roland Garros and around the Arc De Triomph.  I’m sure I’ve butchered the spelling of all these places.  But it really was memorable.

Number 4 “Abbey Road” – My favorite run that I did in London was up and down Abbey Road and right by the Abbey Road Studios and across the famous Beatles cross-walk.  I listened to “Love, Love Me Do” more times than I can remember crossing that thing.  And I almost take this for granted these days.  But who knows, I may never be back there, so reflecting on the run it had to make the top five.

Number 3 “Savannah Again” – I ran the half marathon in November not too long ago.  This was the site of my marathon accomplishment and brought back all kinds of memories.  But one thing I can say is when you reach that mile 11 point where the marathoners go left and the half marathoners go right I couldn’t have been more happy to go right.

Number 2 “Johns Creek Chattahoochee River National Park” – My wife and I discovered trail running not too long ago and ran one day for about 3 or 4 miles on a single track trail near where we live.  It was a crisp sunny morning and when we finished we both looked at each other and said that was awesome.  It has me hooked on trail running and I plan to do a half marathon trail run in February as a result.

Number 1 “London Santa Run” – you’ve probably seen the pictures on FB of my wife and I when we ran the Santa Run 6K in Battersea Park in London with 1998 other Santas not too long ago.  What an event.  They had carrolers and an endless supply of Santas.  As it was the first race I’d ever done abroad it really was perfect and kind of old school.  There were no sponsor tents or expos.  Just water when you’re done, a really nice medal and santa suits.  Even the gear bags had old-fashioned hand printed name tags with strings given to you.  I loved it.  And so did my wife.  Running with her was fantastic and getting into the Christmas spirit with our other Santa friends topped off the year.

Thank you all for reading and following along.  I’ll keep you posted when I start to write again.

Have fun running!