Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Our daughters had wanted a puppy almost since they could say the word. We put them off for several years with hamsters, but eventually the hamsters, despite impressive procreation, finally died out. So I promised them that when I sold my business, which was based in Arizona we would buy a dog.

In 2001 the engine reman business which I owned with my brother-in-law Tom, was being strangled by our lender. We had a viable business, but they were killing us and I decided the only escape was to sell the company. For six months we negotiated with a competitor and we thought we had a deal but it fell through. The bank was not happy and they attempted to take over the company.

Every day was a gut-wrenching battle to pay suppliers and meet payroll while trying to find a solution before the bank forced us out. It was not the right time to buy a dog, but in a triumph of hope over common sense I agreed to buy a puppy from the next litter of cockapoos that were expected in early September.

To escape the bank’s grasp I put the company in bankruptcy on September 10, 2001. On the next day, the world changed for everyone. It also turned out to be the day that Sammy was born. We brought him home in early November and by January I had found a new financial partner and the company was saved (temporarily).

By 2004 I was out of the business and working out of my home as a consultant / writer. Sammy was my constant companion and I always read the first and second and third drafts of my stories to him. He was a good listener.

Sammy was a really cool dog. He died today after a short illness. Everyone in our family mourns his loss.

The Lion and the Lamb (Sammy's the Lamb)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Steelhead 70.3 Ironman - Results

I competed in the Steelhead70.3 Ironman on Sunday. On the third mile of the run segment I passed Bob Scott. I was actually six minutes ahead of Bob when we came out of the water, and even though he was ten minutes faster than me on the bike, I caught him on the run and never looked back. I finished with a time of six hours, fourteen minutes and twenty-nine seconds. Bob finished in 6:26:38.

In triathlons they mark our ages on the back of our legs. I noticed when I passed Bob that his number was 82. I think I did pretty good given that Bob is obviously much more experienced than me.

It was a perfect day – the water was smooth, the temperatures were in the low 70s with no significant wind. No hills either.

I didn’t achieve my goal of six hours. My swim time for the 1.2 miles was 44 minutes (a little slower than I hoped for), my bike time for the 56 miles was 3 hours (18.6 mph), which was my goal, but my run time was 2 hours 18 minutes, which was thirteen minutes above my goal – a 10:33 pace instead of the hoped for 9:30 pace. No equipment or logistical screw-ups, just didn’t have the energy to push the run as much as I would have liked.

I finished 7th in my age group out of 18. Bob finished first in his age group.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Steelhead 70.3 Ironman - Sunday

A week after I completed the CDA Ironman in June I signed up for the 70.3 Ironman (half the distances) in Benton Harbor, MI.  It seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted to amortize my long months of training over more than just one race.  So tomorrow I amortize.

I ran this race in 2010 and finished in six hour nine minutes. My goal, as always in these half-Ironmans is to finish in under 6 hours.  So far that hasn't happened because I have usually encountered cramping or fatigue issues on the run. 

My plan is to be out of the water and on the bike in 45 minutes and to be off the bike and on the run by 3:45 (so three hours plus transition time on the bike).  That will leave me with two hours and 15 mintues to finish the run. I should be able to do that. We'll see.  The weather looks great. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Swarovski Design Competition

Christie Joy's lips inspired ring & mouthpiece made with SWAROVSKI GEMSTONES won "Best Interpretation of Theme Luminescence".

My daughter Christie Joy, who will be starting her third year at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design and the second year in her concentration. She will be there two more years. And then... We don't know.  We've enjoyed having her home for the summer (she missed the Olympics).  She'll return to London in September.  Her design work was recognized at the Swarovski Design Competition in May.