Kevin’s Sylvania Triathlon 2011

I made a little trip to Toledo these past few days to watch my son participate in a triathlon. He did the bike leg on a three man team. Each of the guys are particularly good at their respective part.

Kevin has been on bikes since forever. I recently posted these pictures from about 23 years ago:

A few years after that, Kevin competed in his first triathlon. He was pretty young, and he did great! That’s his sister, Kelly, to his right. They did a solid kid’s event swim/bike/run.

And now he’s back to the same place, in Sylvania, Ohio, to compete in his first triathlon as an adult. Here we are before the race.

His teammate Ryan McHugh swam the 1.5 km (0.9 mile) open water swim in 18 minutes, which is an awesome time! Then Kevin biked 40 km (25 miles) in the pouring rain in 1:12, which was also remarkable! And finally, Alex Schoen ran the 10 km (6.2 miles) in 43 minutes, another super performance. They came in 2nd place by just a few minutes.

Here they are, all exhausted looking after the race. 😉

Can you tell I’m pretty damn proud!? Alex recently lost his dad; I know he would have been very proud of Alex as well. These are three really great young guys!!!

Al, Kirsten, Christian and Daniel come to visit!

My brother Al, his wife Kirsten, and their two adorable, energetic boys Christian and Daniel came to Winston for a visit! We spent some quality time together at our house, at City Lake Park in Jamestown, and at a nearby pond. Here are a few images to immortalize our great day and a half!

The boys enjoyed their lego cars, chasing the cat, Gail’s bird feeders, and checking out our massage chair and the rest of our furniture!

The had a bubble bath in our jacuzzi and then cuddled up to a movie.

We went to City Lake Park in Jamestown, NC, at the recommendation of two young-mom therapists at work. (Thank you, Kelli and Robynn!) The kids enjoyed the playgrounds…

… and we rode the train and the merry-go-round!

Later, we hung out at a neighborhood pond, where the boys tried out their 25 cent, garage sale radio controlled boat, Al showed off his casting skills retrieving said boat, and I took a few pictures for Macro Monday.

It was really fun hanging out with the Columbus Crottes. The boys are a riot and my sister in law Kirsten is a dream. My little brother is doing alright! 🙂

Kevin identifies his first Cattle Egret!

Kevin stopped by last week with his friends on their way down to a Florida Keys fishing trip. We had a very nice pre-Father’s day dinner. Then, because he had expressed a little interest in birding, I gave him a copy of The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Who knew that he would start birding so soon! 😀

Josh Groban at the Charlotte Time Warner Cable Arena

Gail’s son, Eric, has been fascinated by Josh Groban’s voice ever since he was a young boy. He has played each and every one of Josh’s songs thousands upon thousands of times. He can sing all of them word for word, even if they are in Italian or Portuguese. Groban’s voice is, of course, one of those extremely rare, one in a billion kind of voices. If it sounds awesome to a regular person, I often wonder what it must sound like inside Eric’s autistic brain.

Listening to Josh Groban is one of Eric’s special interests. So Gail decided to buy tickets to a concert, and we took Eric to see his idol last night in Charlotte, NC. We had good seats. Gail and Eric got to stand about 10 feet from him for a little while. It was a very special kind of night!


Phoenix South Mountain Park

I have had the joy and pleasure of visiting my daughter, Kelly, in Tempe these past few days. It makes me very happy to see how well she is getting on in the world. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2007 and since then has been working for a company that executes clinical drug trials. She’s good at it, but is already restless for more. This past year, at great personal cost of time and money, she decided to continue working full time while going back to school full time. Her goal was to make herself an attractive candidate for a much sought after Master’s degree from ASU in the area of Sustainability (the “green” movement.) It was a good gamble, as she has been accepted into the program! Her bigger goal is an eventual PhD in the area. I give her a lot of credit for setting such a lofty goal, and am awed by her smarts and her tenacity.

I also got to meet Kelly’s boyfriend, Jason. He strikes me as a very gentlemanly young man, who served four years in the Navy, and will complete his degree in computer hardware engineering next month. They seem to be very happy together, and that makes me happy!

Yesterday, they took us on a great hike in South Mountain Park. For those of you who don’t know Phoenix, it is a city in a large valley (the Valley of the Sun) surrounded on all sides by mountains. Tempe, the suburb where you’ll find ASU and where Kelly and Jason live, is in the southeast corner of Phoenix. So the South Mountains are close to where they live.

It was a hot and dry 96 degrees in the Sonoran desert for our hike, though that is way better than the 115 degrees that it easily sees in the summer. We had a great hike up the mountains to a beautiful vantage point that allowed us to see both northward towards Phoenix and southward. Here are a few pics of my beautiful daughter and of our great hike!

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Elizabeth Taylor vs My Mom (and Me)

After I posted that beautiful picture of my mom last week and got such nice responses, I called my dad to thank him again for taking the time to scan it and send it to me. It was such a wonderful surprise! I gave him the link to the post and he showed it to my mom. I made such a fuss over it that he scanned and sent me more pictures! Jackpot! 🙂

At the same time, Elizabeth Taylor has died. Liz was born in 1932, my mom in 1931. I always thought they looked alike in some ways. (But my mom is way cooler!)

So here’s a little tribute to two beautiful ladies from a day gone by. What do you think?