Minnesota Don 99 Things
December 9, 2006
1. I’m sufficiently full of myself to actually sit and write 99 things about me. Uff-da.
2. I’m embarrassed to publish it though - we’ll see whether I do. Maybe I’ll sneak it in the sidebar.
3. But I do find this an interesting exercise in introspection.
4. I grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. I love Duluth. Is that two things? Too bad.
5. When I’m in Duluth I like to run up and down the hills overlooking Lake Superior. Who wouldn’t?
6. I’ve been married to my best friend and lover since 1963. :-)
7. I have two sons and a daughter, all adults, and a yummy little grandson.
8. Except for six errant months, I’ve lived my whole life in Minnesota.
9. I’m a computer consultant in a very narrow, specialized area of computing.
10. I’m a lawyer, but don’t practice much law.
11. I measure races for certification, using a calibrated bike, a tape measure, and oodles of spray paint.
12. Besides that I’m retired. It’s an attitude more than a reality, so I can run whenever I please.
13. I shoot for 40 miles per week running and often make it. Schedule.
14. But when I run lots of marathons, I’m either in taper or recovery too much to run 40. Ah, well.
15. I like to run with other people.
16. But when I run alone I like that too. I’m good company for myself.
17. I have myeloma, a cancer of the blood. My Myeloma.
18. I have no symptoms from myeloma yet; it’s in an early stage.
19. I know there is no cure, but I hope to hold it off long enough to die of running or laughing instead.
20. I believe that keeping a healthy body may help fight it.
21. I like sweets but try to avoid them because sugar feeds the cancer.
22. I feel a kinship with Lance Armstrong; a favorite book is “It’s Not About the Bike.”
23. I’m going for 50 states. Will I make it?
24. Four new states in 2006: AR, TN, ND, & NY.
25. Twelve states at the end of 2006.
26. Twenty marathons at the end of 2006; qualified for Boston in 15 of those 20.
27. If there is a run scheduled for tomorrow morning, I go to bed looking forward to it. Usually there is.
28. Some of the time when I’m running, I wish I was done.
29. Other times I feel wonderful, drifting past the world on winged feet.
30. Always, always when I’m done I’m really glad I did it. There is only one thing that feels better *wink*.
31. I’m quite certain that nobody will read this far. If you have, get a life! :-)
32. I graduated from the U of Minn in electrical engineering just after the Big Bang.
33. I started William Mitchell law school at the age of 53, finished four years later.
34. I loved law school, despite the very hard work. Most of my classmates didn’t.
35. I haven’t practiced law very much. I enjoyed the learning more.
36. In high school and college I learned Spanish, but I’ve forgotten most of it.
37. Now I wish I knew American Sign Language. I want to learn it. One day I will.
38. I’ll be 66 in January, 2007.
39. My mom & dad are both alive, living at home, and doing well; I’m so proud.
40. My favorite marathon is Moose Mountain, on the Superior Trail northeast of Duluth.
41. Nothing is more beautiful to me than nature, and that trail is exquisitely varied.
42. I’ve never won anything in the Lottery. Perhaps I should buy a ticket someday.
43. I joined Weight Watchers in February 2002. I went weekly then, and still go once a month.
44. I was “portly,” (yup!) but I’ve lost about 45 pounds since then.
45. Now I weigh about 150, and for me that’s anything but portly. More like gaunt.
46. As a lifetime weight watcher, I write down my food points and exercise points in a daily journal.
47. Keeping those in balance, I neither gain nor lose weight. Weight Watchers works.
48. I’m a power TV watcher. I admit it. So shoot me.
49. I’ve been to Australia, Hong Kong, India, Britain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Bahamas, Canada, and most states.
50. Never been to Mexico or Alaska, but I’d like to, especially Alaska.
51. I’ve been really drunk twice in my life. Apparently I didn’t learn the first time.
52. I’ve never, ever, taken an illegal drug. Of course now that I’m a runner there’s really no need.
53. I usually finish a marathon in the top 10% of my age group. Usually.
54. But I know lots of men my age who are faster than me.
55. I like WordPerfect much better than Microsoft Word. But their customer service sucks.
56. If I had to choose between sex and running I would stop running. Glad I don’t have to choose.
57. In the winter I love to run my snow-blower and kick snow! :-)
58. But overall I’m not as enthused about winter as I used to be. Gaunt = cold.
59. My favorite season is fall. I look forward to it all summer.
60. I love trees. Pretty much all trees. Not big on yard work, but I usually get the leaves picked up.
61. I’m an eagle scout. Before the Big Bang.
62. I was an amateur radio operator, but let my license lapse years ago. Tsk.
63. I’ve never reacted to poison ivy, but loved ones have, so I murder it on sight. Don’t be poison ivy!
64. I’m licensed by the US Patent and Trademark Office to practice patent law, but I never have.
65. I was in cross-country in high school.
66. I quit because I threw up at the end of every race. Girls didn’t like that. I didn’t much like it either.
67. I still get an upset stomach after a race if I eat beforehand. So I don’t, problem solved.
68. I started running again in 2002 because my wife’s brother invited us to a race, bless his heart.
69. I thought I should train a little, and it felt so good that I got hooked!
70. Later that summer I won my age group in a big race and was really hooked. I still have the plaque.
71. I love a latte in the morning. I go to sleep looking forward to it.
72. And a beer in the evening. I look forward to it all day.
73. Sometimes two beers on long-run days. Hydration is important :-)
74. I rarely have any alcoholic drink other than beer. Maybe wine with a family dinner.
75. When we were first married, my wife made me chocolate-chip pancakes every morning. Honest.
76. Now it’s organic eggs and oatmeal. Not as sweet, but it makes me just as happy.
77. I think she’s just wonderful.
78. My favorite food is a cold naval orange, eaten two segments at a time.
79. I believe in God.
80. But I’m quite skeptical of organized religion. It’s mainly a way to control people and cause war.
81. I doubt that we humans have more than a faint understanding of the nature of God.
82. I was once the chairman of my county’s Republican party. Hard even for me to believe.
83. I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative, more or less.
84. I’m not welcome in the Republican party any more, and that’s not because I changed.
85. I was opposed to the Iraq war before President Bush started it.
86. I’m angry with him for squandering America’s lives and fortune for no reason.
87. My head hurts thinking about it. Let’s think about anything else.
88. I roast a pig every year. If you know me and don’t get an invitation, please call or write.
89. When I was younger I wanted a sporty car like a Sprite. Fatherhood and common sense interceded.
90. When I got older I bought a white 1999 Saturn Coupe. It’s quite satisfactory :-)
91. I love to travel by train, especially by Amtrak or ViaRail in a sleeper. That is living! But $$$.
92. I don’t play an instrument, but I like to sing in a church choir.
93. I don’t sing in a choir now because I’m running so many Sunday mornings.
94. My real name is actually Don. Well, Donald, to be even more real.
95. I love my wife so much.
96. And all of my children.
97. And my grandson. He’s so precious.
98. At bottom, I’m a pretty happy person.
99. See - 100 things would have been too many :-)