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Krispy Dreams

America may run on Dunkin, but in Raleigh, they run for Krispy Kremes.

It’s called the Krispy Kreme Challenge, which originated in Raleigh, when some NC State students got hungry and ran 2.5 miles to the Krispy Kreme.  They got their donuts and ran back.  The rest is history.

That may not be exactly how it happened, but the current Krispy Kreme Challenge is a 2.5 mile run to the Krispy Kreme.  You then eat TWELVE Krispy Kreme Donuts–2400 calories!–and then you run back 2.5 miles.  The 10th annual run for the donuts raised $200,000 for the NC Children’s hospital!

I am so there.

I love running.

I love eating Krispy Kremes!  (I cried when the Altoona, PA Krispy Kreme closed.  It was . . .sorry.  Give me a minute.  It was . . .It was emotional . . .I . . .I’m sorry.  I still can’t talk about it.)

As my readers know, I’m really bummed when I finish a race and there’s nothing but bananas and turkey wraps to eat.

Hand me a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and I’ve died and gone to Heaven!

It apparently is a challenge, because you have to complete the five miles and 12 donuts in ONE HOUR.

This is going to take some serious training.

I mean, I’m going to have to start slow.  One mile and maybe two donuts.  Run another mile.  Work up from there.  This could take months and a bazillion calories.  But where am I going to find Krispy Kremes up here along the arctic circle in Pennsylvania????

This is definitely going to take some planning.

Here’s a diagram of the donut interchange:

DonutRun

Pick up donuts. Eat donuts. Drink water. Run to Law Office. Sue yourself for stupidity.

Look at the boxes of donuts on the tables!

This could be me!  Except for the orange Virginia shirt.  And much older.  Older.  Really older.

This could be me! Except for the orange Virginia shirt. And much older. Older. Really older.

There are definitely strategies to study here.  One blogger wrote about her husband’s participation.  He used gloves (butt inspection gloves!) to avoid sugar hands!  Sugar Hands!  I would never have thought about that!

Some runners flatten the donuts in a stack–like pancakes.   Others wad them up into a single donut mass.  How will I ever know what works best for me?  I’ll have to try them all!

Thank God I have a year to train for this!

I got a notice in the mail from my electric company.

Apparently, my family uses “too much” electricity, at least compared to my neighbors.  I’m not sure why this concerns the electric company, since I do pay them for it.

ElectricReport

Seriously, can you imagine McDonald’s accusing you of eating too many burgers?  Papa John’s declining to bring you a pizza because you order more than your neighbors.  Barnes & Noble refusing to sell you a book because you bought too many?

And just who are these energy efficient neighbors?  I mean, I don’t consider myself to be a waster of electricity, although my computer is on right now.  My house doesn’t look like a runway at night, visible from 12,000 feet.  Do these people live in caves?  Do they never recharge their phones?  No TV?  Granted, we have a pool, which probably accounts for the peak in the summer months, but across the board, we use 71% MORE ELECTRICITY than our neighbors.

I’m shocked.  Maybe I shouldn’t have done that wiring job by myself!

outletplugs

Do you see a problem here?

 

So I clicked on the Who are my neighbors? link on the web page shown above.  I expected to see mug shots of these “green” people with their solar panels and candles.  Instead, I got this informative report:

Neighbors

I really don’t think there are 100 homes within 0.8 miles of my house.  And how do they know how many occupants reside in these bastions of energy efficiency?  Does the NSA provide them with data?

And then I noticed where they offer a “full list of energy saving products and services for purchase.”

Now I’m not so shocked.  McDonald’s doesn’t want me to stop eating burgers, they want to sell me a diet plan!

Yeah, I’m not sold on that either.

Maybe I’ll just run an extension cord from my neighbor’s house over to mine.

That should do the trick!

St. Patty’s Day Gold

For the third year in a row, I braved the March weather and public humiliation to run in the St. Patrick’s Day race in Newry, PA.

Newry.  Population 270.

Dots on map may appear larger than they actually are.

Cities on map may appear larger than they actually are.

It’s a small town and a small race (116 runners this year.)  I’m fine with that.  I don’t like races where you feel like a Christmas shopper on black Friday trying to get one of the limited number of whatever gifts happen to be the hottest item that year (usually the one they are making the fewest of but advertising the most.)

pumpkingob

Worth running for!

I also like this race because they have Mrs. Grove’s pastries.  This year, they had a pumpkin gob.  I personally liked the lemon gob last year better, but it beats a banana or a turkey wrap any day!  And Mrs. Grove makes the best cinnamon rolls in Altoona, especially if you get the peanut butter icing!  There were none of those at the finish line.  :(

I need to find a race that has Krispy Kremes at the finish line.  I’m sure that would take a minute off my time if I was running for one of those heavenly wonders.

As it was, I ran the race in 23:19, a new personal record for me, and good enough to place 19th overall, and first in my age group.  My age group never seems to match up with my stated age of 39–apparently my birth certificate looks older than I do.

Anyway, I’m running the race.  I have a separate play list of faster songs to run by that I use for short races.  The weather was better this year than last–no rain/mist or slippery roads–but still rather cold at 41 degrees, not counting a bit of wind.  As I’m coming down the last mile, there are two male runners in front of me.  One passed me not so long ago, and I am no longer listening to the music.  Rather, I am trying to calculate the ages of these two runners.

Hmmm.  I’m pretty sure the other looks a little older, but it is awful close.  The other one could be a little younger.  Maybe a little older.  Probably right around my age.

With the finish line looming–I think my GPS watch just signaled three miles of the 3.11 mile run, so time is indeed running out.  Actually, distance is running out, and time is the variable here.  I don’t think I really heard it.  I sensed it.  Like a disturbance in the Force.

If I keep my pace, and either or both of these runners are in my age range, then I’m doomed to second or third and maybe worse.  (I have two silver medals from the previous two years.)

So I picture that lemon gob in my mind and pretend that there might be some green beer to wash it down (there wasn’t, but my brain at this point isn’t getting as much oxygen as my lungs labor to keep my feet moving.)  I kick things into a higher gear and pass both of them right at the final turn.  One block to go!

At this point I can see the finish line.  It’s like I’m running in slow motion, but I think it’s just the lack of brain oxygen and the fact that I don’t run all that fast to begin with.

I don’t hear anything because of my labored breathing and my heart pounding in my ears, but I run on.  I am flying now, all knees and elbows like an albatross on cocaine with his tail on fire.

Okay, I’ll wait till you process that image in your mind.

If I die, I hope there are lemon gobs and Krispy Kremes in Heaven.  And green beer.  Any colored beer.  At this point, I’m not that picky.  I just want to live long enough to cross that finish line.

Which I do.

It turned out that both the guys behind me, beaten by 5 and 9 seconds respectively, are both older than I am and in the next age group.  I didn’t need to pass them after all!  Interestingly, I would have also won the 39 age group as well.

I got my gold medal, a nice T-shirt and a door prize.  What am I going to do with a door?

OldDoor

Alas, I didn’t win a door.  I won 4 tickets to an Altoona Curve baseball game!

All in all, a great day!

Happy Pi Day!

This Friday–March 14, is pi (pi) day.

Get it?  3-14.  3,141592 . . . . (the value of pi?)

The ultimate Pi Day was March 14 of 1592!  We gonna party like it’s 1592!

Maybe it’s a math geek thing.  Whoa!  Let’s not go putting labels on people here.

I was always intrigued by math in school, and math, be it algebra, trigonometry, geometry or calculus, was always one of my favorite subjects.

(pocket protector falls off and hits the floor.)

Okay.  I’m a math geek.

I was fascinated by numbers and how they related to the world around us.

The circumference of a circle is always 2 pir.  Why is that?  What is so special about  pi?  And is it not weird that the area of that circle is also related to this same, strange pi number, given that the area is equal to pi times the radius squared?  Every circle.  Everywhere.  Without exception.

It’s an irrational number.  It cannot be expressed as a fraction.  It is an endless series of non-repeating digits (the last report I saw was that it had been approximated to 12 trillion decimal places!)  According to Wikipedia (so it must be true!), “Attempts to memorize the value of π with increasing precision have led to records of over 67,000 digits.”  I have trouble remembering my Social Security number and my credit card number.  67,000 digits???  I would be terribly impressed if that wasn’t just so scarily inhuman.

piis also a transcendental number which means that it cannot be expressed as any combination of rational numbers, square roots or nth roots.  It also means that it is impossible to “square the circle.”  You cannot construct, using a straight edge and compass alone, a square whose area is equal to the area of a given circle.  Does that not just blow your mind???

piis also related to another irrational number (perhaps they are kissing cousins?) known as phi.  It is represented by another Greek letter: φ.  Obviously, they are both Greek.  Pi and Phi.  Sitting in a tree.  K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

φ is when the ratio of two numbers is equal to the ratio of the sum of those two numbers to the larger number, as described in this equation:  \frac{a+b}{a} = \frac{a}{b} \ \stackrel{\text{def}}{=}\ \varphi, and is referred to as the Golden Ratio.  \varphi = \frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2} = 1.6180339887\ldots., another irrational number.

piis also related to the Fibonacci Series, which starts out 1,1,2,3,5 and continues with each succeeding number equal to the sum of the previous two numbers.  pi = 4*arctan(1/F(2n+2)) + 4*SUM{i=1...n}[arctan(1/F(2i+1))] where the Fibonacci Series is described by this: arctan(1/F(2i)) = arctan(1/F(2i+1)) + arctan(1/F(2i+2)).

I don’t know about you, but all this math is making me hungry.

I think I’ll go eat pie.

Happy pi Day!

We’re Still Aging!

There is a scene in the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, where the characters are falling through a lava tube into, well, the center of the earth.  The four characters are screaming as the ground they were standing on shatters and they free fall for miles supposedly, not knowing how and when it will end.  At one point, they all stop screaming and they look at each other.  And then, Brendan Fraser yells, “We’re still falling!”

Stillaging

We’re still aging!

And it’s no less scary.  And we never know when and how it will end!

The Daily Prompt Weekly Writing Challenge this week is entitled GOLDEN YEARS.

No matter how you shake it, it happens to all of us: we grow older. As our age changes, so does our perspective. This week, we’re asking you to take a look at those little numbers that often mean so much.

Two years ago to the day, I wrote a blog entry called I am the Cryptkeeper, an amusing story of the times I have been mistaken for someone’s grandfather.  My own 5 year old son.  My neighbor’s teenage daughter.  Unfortunately, this has happened more than once, and once is way more than enough.

They say age is just a number.  So is pi.  So is 2,456,923.  But no one will live that long.  It might be a number, but for the vast majority of us, it is one that will remain in two digits left of the decimal point.

I can remember when I thought thirty was old.  Yes.  I can still remember that far back.  Can’t remember what I had for breakfast today, but is that really an important piece of information in the whole scheme of things?

Thirty?  Old?  WTF!  I can’t even blame it on the alcohol since I was too young to legally drink when I thought thirty was old.

I have unfortunately reached that point in my life when I tell people I’m 39, but they politely don’t believe me anymore.  Unless they are blind or senile.

I’m old.  There.  I said it.  Are you happy?

Shouldn’t old and age be four letter words?

As I have often said, getting old is better than the alternative.  The only alternative to getting old is to die young.  How do I feel about getting older now?  It’s like a Catch-22!

Age is just a state of mind.  Unfortunately, as we age, our minds get old right along with us.  Senility is a state of mind too.

GettingOldAs an eye surgeon, I have cared for many people in their golden years.  I am unhappy to report my findings.

There is nothing golden about the golden years.  They should be called the rust years.

The only thing golden about the golden years is the color of your urine.  And you might need Flomax.  Or Depends.

Getting old ain’t for sissies.

You can’t do the things you used to do, you can’t see as well as you used to, you can’t hear as well as you used to, and if you are lucky, you still remember how things used to be!

I could go on, but I forget the rest.

We spend the first 21 years of our life trying to get to 21.  We then spend the rest of our lives trying to get back there.  Is drinking legally really worth getting old?

Wine improves with age.

Does whine improve as well?

First Class Fail

The past week, my daughter, now a sophomore in college, had the occasion to mail a check.

I know you are wondering why, but I promised not to tell.

I lied.

(She got a traffic citation.)

See, I didn’t tell anyone she got a ticket.

But that is not the amusing part of this story.  Nor is the fact that although she was pulled over for speeding, the above mentioned citation was for an obstructed view–she had a parking pass hanging from her rear view mirror.  The nice police officer (nice as in he felt like granting her a favor, and not nice as in a French policeman in Nice, France where my daughter was not exceeding the speed limit by A LOT) wrote her up for a lesser charge.  Now this is not the first time my daughter has been pulled over.  But it is the first time she was cited for anything.

But that is not the amusing part of this story.

See, she mailed in her fine.  Which was fine.  Except for the fact that the envelope came back to us:

stampfail

Apparently, two cents doesn’t even buy enough ink to say ‘returned for postage.’

twocentstamp

Looks good enough to mail a fine!

Two cents?

Now . . . this is the funny part.

I inform my daughter that it was returned for insufficient postage (but I didn’t use big words like insufficient.)

With complete innocence, she protests “I put a stamp on it!”

I agreed.  “Yes.  A two-cent stamp.”

She was befuddled.  “Well, how many stamps do you need?”

OMG.  I cannot believe what I’m hearing.

Even if you lived under a rock and didn’t realize the price of stamps went up to 49 cents in January of this year, you would still know that it costs more than two cents to mail a letter.  Or a fine.

You have to go back to June of 1932 to mail a letter for two cents!  I’m old enough to be her father, and I’ve never been able to mail a letter for two cents!  But I can remember when we had to lick those suckers to put them on the envelopes!  And our envelopes were made of papyrus, not this fancy paper crap!  And we had to deliver them ourselves.  Up hill.  Both ways.  See how I digressed there?

Apparently my daughter has been raised in an era where people do not mail letters anymore.  They text.  They email.  They chat.  They Instagram.  And while they think they are doing this for free (because the cost of the internet provider or their cell phone package is paid by someone else), the concept of paying to send something is foreign to them.

Our future is in good hands . . . as long as they don’t have to mail it!

Ice Runners Part Deux

I wanted to let you know, in case you were lying awake at night wondering if I was still running on the icy trail near my house, that I am indeed still running on ice.  I could have my own TV show . . . ICE TRUCKERS RUNNERS.

Despite falling and seriously injuring my ego, I have continued to brave the winter elements.

This looks like a good place to run!

This looks like a good place to run!

Yea, though I run through the valley of the shadow of ice, I will fear no falls.  Thy tread and thy YAK TRAX they comfort me.

When I blogged about my accident, I mused that I would not be able to tolerate stopping and putting on YAK TRAX just to run the short distance between my development and our local high school.  Well, I lied.  I tried.  It’s not so bad.   It actually works very well.  And carrying the YAK TRAX (which are technically DueNorth ice cleats but I like the sound of YAK TRAX so much better) is no worse than carrying a water bottle on a hot humid day.

The time I spend to stop and put the things on and then take them off again is well worth not having to be bruised and picking myself up off the ice.

I am still really looking forward to spring, though.

As is this person . . .

Thank goodness it was the perfect texture for running!

And I’m glad there was no video of me!

That I know of.

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