Monthly Archives: January 2010

Friday Ramblings

Hi Everyone, I kind of slip this week again with limited posting. I assure you that if I could I would post more. The picture above was taken on a hill side overlooking Charlotte Amalie on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas. I have been there about four times and love the place.

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This morning while eating breakfast and guzzling down a protein shake, I was thinking about were my fitness is now compared to where it was only couple of months ago. I think the major improvement has been my shin strength. I can actually see my shin muscle flexing now, which is something I have not seen in a while. I can remember all the trouble they would give me during training, but now, I still get muscle failure during my hard workouts but not much pain anymore. The only bad part about muscle failure of the shin is that my foot slaps the ground on heel impact, which probably slows me down a bit. Oh well, I figure that it won’t be long and that will be a thing of the past too.

As for my performance, I am still impressed that I have been doing 14 minute miles lately. Wasn’t long ago I thought this kind of pace would be unattainable. What is still unknown to me is if I can do a 14 minute mile pace for 13.1 miles. This happens to be my goal for the half marathon in April. I will soon find out though, my training group will have routes in March that will approach 12 miles, so I should know by then what I will be able to accomplish. Most important thing of all is that I am having fun.

I am still debating on rather to do two half marathons this year or one. The Illinois Marathon is in May and that is the one I would really want to walk in. I am most definitely going to walk in the Lincoln Memorial Half Marathon in April, but it is nothing like the Illinois Marathon. Unfortunately, I would have to stay over night in a hotel and I am not sure I want to leave my wife alone with a new born and a two year old. I am still thinking about it and discussing it with my wife.

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My thoughts and prayers still go out the families, friends, loved ones that were lost, and anyone else that has been touched by the tragic earthquake in Haiti. My friend, Jewwishes has posted a special prayer by Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks that one could pray Shabbat. Thanks Jewwishes for posting this and I will be praying it with you.

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Shabbat Shalom!

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Sunday Musings

Yesterday was the first weekend of the Halfwits training for me. Usually, the training run starts at 7am but my friend (coworker also) was starting at 6am, so I started early also. I think that was better anyway. Compared to the groups running pace, right now, I am the tortoise. When the routes get longer, they will start catching up with me even with the early start.

The other day I wrote a comment saying how running in a group was helpful. Who am I kidding?  Until I decide to start running, I fill never truly fit in. I think when I wrote the comment I was thinking of my cycling days, when I did ride with a pretty large group every weekend. During those days riding in the group was a lot of fun and very helpful when it came to training. Unfortunately, what I do now is much different than my cycling days.

Anyway, I did have fun yesterday and will continue to train weekends on Halfwits training routes and get myself ready for the half marathon.

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Allow me a second to rant. I have been in a few conversations about Haiti and I keep hearing the same theme of why our government is giving money to help Haiti when nobody would help use. First, I was actually shocked that a person would think or say such a thing. I told these people that I am all for helping the Haitians with everything they need. I feel that we might as well dissolve as a nation if we start lacking compassion like these few people I had a conversation with. This kind of lack of compassion is truly sad, these people should be ashamed of themselves.

My thoughts and prayers still go out to the Haitian people. It is my wish that aid comes to them faster than humanely possible. The Haitians need a miracle. The news coming out of Haiti is exhausting and heartbreaking.

Friday Ramblings

A Late one at that…

Hello everyone, hope your week was not too bad.

This week has been a difficult one for me emotionally. The internet is not a very friendly place sometimes, with all the social sites we have. I still visit and contribute to a site called UMCommunities which is for people that belong to the United Methodist Church. Actually, I was a member of this sit way before I made the decision to go down the path of Judaism. I have made good friends there and I want to still hang out with them. Thankfully, they respect my faith direction and I respect theirs.

Anyway, last weekend one of the major players on the site made a comment that Christianity was superior to Judaism and that his religion completed Judaism because Jesus was the Messiah. I am not here to dispute the fact that Jesus was the Christian Messiah. For what it is worth, I can respect that this is the Christian belief. However, Jews believe in G-d in a very different way, which does make it very hard to reconcile the differences.

Personally, even though I am not a Jew, I have a tough time not being angry at a person that would make such a flamboyant statement. Yes, history has shown that this kind of behavior is nothing new, but that still does not make me anymore comfortable when someone makes such a comment.

What do I do? It is a little late for me to address this person. Sometimes I even wonder if it is my place to do so. Maybe I should ask my Rabbi what would be best for the Jewish community and myself when face to face with people who make these kinds of comments. What are your thoughts?

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My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti. It is my wish that the survivors and others who lost family members and friends will find piece after this horrific tragedy.

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Well, try to have a decent weekend everyone, in spite of the grim news coming out of Haiti.

Shabbat Shalom!

Another Week Begins

Hello everyone, I have to admit, I had a busy weekend. Saturday was all about grocery shopping and a nice lunch with the family. Sunday was all about moving around my son’s room to incorporate a full size bed. Yes, my son is moving to a big boy’s bed so we can prepare the crib for his brother, who will be here before we know it. Plus, it was kind of over due, he could not wait to go to sleep in his new bed last night. We did put up bed rails to help keep him from rolling off.

The picture above was taken on my frozen stroll mid-day Sunday. I think the temp was about 11 degrees, not the warmest temp but better than the last couple of days. I actually did real well with my walking (if that is what they call it, it kind of a modified walk now). I shaved about a minute off my time from the route that I take from my house. I am getting stronger and my performance during my road work is apparently showing it. Fitness trainers recommend interval training to build strength and endurance and I have to say, it really works. I have been doing my interval training during the week on my dreadmill and then doing my road work on the weekend. It is a slow process but I have been seeing improvements.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday Ramblings

Yay, I am so glad that it is Friday. I am looking forward to a day of rest. Work has been extra stressful this week, but the issues at hand are being resolved and hopefully next week things become normal again. Sadly, all this stress has exhausted me to the point of no motivation to write. This, in turn, makes for a very silent blog. Like I said, hopefully next week I can get back into the swing of things.

Last weekend, the family and I took a day trip to St Louis to visit family and enjoy time at St Louis’s malls. One of the malls we visited just happens to be located in an area that has a large Jewish presence. I was pleasantly surprised how food venders had signs proudly indicating their kosher status, something I do not see were I live. I can definitely see why it is important for Jews to live in a tight nit community because the businesses tend to cater to needs for the people living there, which is helpful.

Nevertheless, since I was there, I just had to see what the big bookstore had for a selection of Jewish material. I have to admit, they had a great selection to choose from. They had books that I have only seen online and I was able to actually thumb through them before even buying them, which is a different experience for me. There was quite a few on my buy list there but it is cheaper to buy them online, so I settled with buying only two books.

The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Vol. 1” by Daniel C. Matt. I have to admit, Kabbalah scares me a little. I think what scares me is that I do not understand Jewish mysticism at all. However, as I thumbed through this book, it had a lot of commentary on the Torah that seemed to fascinate me.

Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations” by Jonathan Sacks. This book was on my buy list, but I decided to buy it that day. I have been looking forward to reading this book. I have been searching for answers about why we have diversity and why we can’t seem to live with it. I am hoping that this book helps my study.

The book I am reading at the moment.

Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell” by John Shelby Spong. This book was suggested for me by a friend for a little book study. I have been slowly getting through this book. Even though it is mainly geared towards the Christian belief, some of his arguments about the origin of religion are quite good. This book is not for the spiritual faint at heart, he is brutally honest about his own faith and his lack of faith in established religion (mainly Christianity). Personally, I like his honesty and find that it helps me find the courage to be honest about my own faith. At the moment it is getting mixed reviews, but honesty, this book is not for everyone.

Next book I am planning on reading.

To Be A Jew: A Guide To Jewish Observance In Contemporary Life” by Hayim H. Donin. I bought this book because some Rabbis on the internet recommend it as required reading for conversion. It looks like a very comprehensive book on the Jewish life. I am looking forward to reading it next.

Well, time to get busy. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Shabbat Shalom!

Another Week Slipping By

Hi everyone, hope your week has been going well. I have wanted to write this week but time never seemed to be on my side. Work has been a tad stressful and my time off has been hectic, to say the least.

I have been debating rather to put a disclaimer that I am not a Jew on my front page or maybe not. The reason is, the last time I met with my Rabbi. He seemed really concerned about how other Jews perceive me since I am not a Jew. To be honest, I still do not understand his concern. Plus, I hope that I have not misrepresented my religious status. But, if it is best that I make sure that everyone knows that I desire to convert to Judaism (Maybe some day, anyway) and I am not a Jew, then that is what I will do. What are your thoughts on this?

Friday Ramblings

It is Friday Y’All, a cold one at that.

Yesterday, as part of the New Year holiday, my company closed mid afternoon. This gave me a chance to take my workout outside. Lately my workouts, during the week, consist of an hour on the treadmill, which is not that fun. I do it mainly because it is almost dark by the time I get home and there is a tad bit of fear of being on the roads after dark. Now, I do have LED lights that I use for walking in the dark. But if I do walk in the dark, I prefer earlier mornings because there are less cars on the road. I also wear my fairly warm bright yellow pullover. The pullover is a bit loud, but I am sure that it helps me be seen by cars. It has been my experience while driving that runners usually wear dark cloths and I do not see them until I am right on top of them. This is definitely why I try to make myself visible.

I try to do whatever I can to stay safe so I can walk another day.

My heart is a little heavy as this is the anniversary of the Israel – Gaza conflict. Not much to say about this other than war might be necessary, but I believe that it is never good.

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone!

Shabbat Shalom!