Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New Restaurants in 2017

Across The Street Diner, Corsicana, TX (May 27, 2017)
Bakers Ribs, Inc.
, Weatherford, TX (April 27, 2017) +
Beer 88, Lynchburg, VA (February 4, 2017) +
Burger Time Machine, Denton, TX (July 12, 2017)
Dix Coney Island, Denton, TX (May 24, 2017) +

Dos Chiles Grandes
, Bridgeport, TX (July 11, 2017)
Five Boys Ranch, Bridgeport, TX (April 18, 2017) +
Grumps Burgers, Cleburne, TX (May 10, 2017) +
Hamburger Depot, Lumberton, TX (June 19, 2017) +
Home D Pizzeria, State College, PA (June 24, 2017)

Joe's Pizza & Pasta, Decatur, TX (May 3, 2017)
Julio's Mexican Restaurant, Chico, TX (May 23, 2017)
Keller's Newberry Diner, Newberry, PA (June 24, 2017) +
Kincaid's Hamburgers, Weatherford, TX (June 22, 2017) +
Lupi's Pizza Pies, Chattanooga, TN (July 8, 2017)

Mama Juanita's Mexican Restaurant, Huntsville, TX (May 29, 2017) +
McKenzie's Barbeque, Huntsville, TX (January 12, 2017)
Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse, Elgin, TX (May 28, 2017) +
Mi Casita Mexican Food, Waco, TX (January 21, 2017)
Mighty Fine Burgers, Round Rock, TX (May 27, 2017) +

O'Charley's, Lynchburg, VA (May 11, 2017)
Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom, Waco, TX (June 1, 2017) +
Pastafina Italian Ristorante, Weatherford, TX (May 31, 2017) +
Ray's Drive In, Lufkin, TX (January 9, 2017) +
Richie's Grill, Hawkins, TX (February 10, 2017)

Rio Mambo, Weatherford, TX (June 21, 2017) +
Rock City Burger Company, Bridgeport, TX (April 26, 2017)
Rooster's Roadhouse, Decatur, TX (June 6, 2017)
Slovacek's, West, TX (May 18, 2017) +
Sweet Boy's Diner, Bowie, TX (May 16, 2017) +

Verona Pizza & Italian Restaurant, Decatur, TX (Spring 2017)
Village Kitchen Restaurant, Jacksboro, TX (May 17, 2017)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Churches Attended and Visited in 2017

Worship Services
January 1 -- Absent (Working the Texas Marathon, Kingwood)
January 8 -- Attended North Park Baptist Church, Humble, TX (Jerry Thorpe)
January 15 -- Absent (Covering the Chevron Houston Marathon)
January 22 -- Visited First Baptist Church Waco, Waco, TX (Mark Snowden)
January 29 -- Absent (Ran the USA Fit Half Marathon in Sugar Land)
February 5 -- Visited Blue Ridge Community Church, Forest, VA (Woody Torrence)
February 12 -- Absent (Announced the Galveston Marathon)
February 19 -- Visited North Fort Worth Baptist Church, Fort Worth, TX (Dr. Stephen Lowrie)
February 26 -- Visited University Heights Baptist Church, Huntsville, TX (Richard Rogers)
March 5 -- Absent
March 12 -- Absent
March 19 -- Absent (Announced the Seabrook Lucky Trails Marathon)
March 26 -- Absent (Ran the Lookin' Good Shamrock Strut 10K)
April 2 -- Absent
April 9 -- Absent (Ran the Ponchatoula Jaycees Strawberry Strut 10K)
April 16 -- Absent
April 23 -- Absent (Worn out from announcing at Ironman Texas aid station on April 22)
April 30 -- Absent (Attended Texas 10 Sienna, Missouri City)
May 7 -- Absent (Worn out from announcing CB&I Triathlon on May 6)
May 14 -- Absent (Traveling to visit Gom)
May 21 -- Attended North Park Baptist Church, Humble, TX
May 28 -- Absent (Ran the Rogue Trail Series - Reveille Peak Ranch 10K in Burnet)
June 4 -- Absent
June 11 -- Absent (Announcing Sylvan Beach Triathlon)
June 18 -- Attended North Park Baptist Church, Humble, TX (Kirk Godkin)
June 25 -- Visited Catalyst Church, Altoona, PA (Mike Blackie)
July 2 -- Visited Church Project, The Woodlands, TX (Trace Howard)
July 9 -- Absent (Ran Burn Your Half Off Half Marathon, Chattanooga, TN)

Church Services Listened To
1/15/17 (2/9/17) - "Purpose Over Popularity", North Park Baptist Church, Humble, TX (Kirk Godkin)
1/22/17 (2/9/17) - "Surrender Over Control", North Park Baptist Church, Humble, TX (Sandy Beard)

Minor League Ballparks Visited

1979

Ray Winder Field (Little Rock, Arkansas)

Spring Training

Al Lang Stadium (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Charlotte County Stadium (Port Charlotte, Florida)
Jack Russell Memorial Stadium (Clearwater, Florida)
Joker Marchant Stadium (Lakeland, Florida)
Osceola County Stadium (Kissimmee, Florida)
Tinker Field (Orlando, Florida)

1991

Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium (Vancouver, British Columbia - Vancouver Canadians - Pacific Coast League - AAA)

1994

Metro Bank Park (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - Harrisburg Senators - Eastern League - AA)*
Mike Carter Field (Tyler, Texas - Tyler Wildcatters - Independent)

* Also saw a game there when it was known as Riverside Stadium from 1987-2004 (before a $45 million renovation)

1996

Cohen Stadium (El Paso, Texas - El Paso Diablos - Texas League - AA)
Christensen Stadium (Midland, Texas - Texas League - AA)
Hi Corbett Field (Tucson, Arizona - Tucson Toros - Pacific Coast League - AAA)
Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium (San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio Missions - Texas League - AA)

1998

Miles Field (Medford, Oregon - Southern Oregon Timberjacks - Northwest League - A)
Smith-Wills Stadium (Jackson, Mississippi - Jackson Generals - Texas League - AA)
Volcanoes Stadium (Salem, Oregon - Salem-Keizer Volcanoes - Northwest League - A)
Zephyr Field (Metairie, Louisiana - New Orleans Zephyrs - Pacific Coast League - AAA)

Time Unknown

Dell Diamond (Round Rock, Texas - Round Rock Express - Pacific Coast League - AAA)
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, Texas - Frisco Roughriders - Texas League - AA
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park (State College, Pennsylvania - State College Spikes - New York-Penn League - A)
Peoples Natural Gas Field (Altoona, Pennsylvania - Altoona Curve - Eastern League - AA)**
Point Stadium (Johnstown, Pennsylvania - Johnstown Steal - Frontier League - Independent)
Susquehanna Bank Park at Historic Bowman Field (Williamsport, Pennsylvania - Williamsport Crosscutters - New York-Penn League - A)

** Used to be known as Blair County Ballpark

1999 (During Trip to Cooperstown)

NYSEG Stadium (Binghamton, New York - Binghamton Mets - Eastern League - AA)**
PNC Field (Moosic, Pennsylvania - Scranton-Wilkes Barre Rail Riders - International League - AAA)

** Was then known as Binghamton Municipal Stadium

2012

Recreation Ballpark (Visalia, California - Visalia Rawhide - California League - A)
Sam Lynn Park (Bakersfield, California - Bakersfield Blaze - California League - A)

2013 

Appalachian Power Park (Charleston, West Virginia - West Virginia Power - South Atlantic League - A)
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Virginia - Lynchburg Hillcats - Carolina League - A)
Canal Park (Akron, Ohio - Akron Rubber Ducks - Eastern League - AA)
Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas - Sugar Land Skeeters - Atlantic League - Independent)
Frawley Stadium (Wilmington, Delaware - Wilmington Blue Rocks - Carolina League - A)
Prince George's Stadium (Bowie, Maryland - Bowie Baysox - Eastern League - AA)

2014

BB&T Ballpark (Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Knights - International League - AAA)
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC - Winston-Salem Dash - Carolina League - A)
CMC-NorthEast Stadium (Kannapolis, NC - Kannapolis Intimidators - South Atlantic League - A)
Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Durham, NC - Durham Bulls - International League - AAA)
Five County Stadium
(Zebulon, NC - Carolina Mudcats - Carolina League - A)
Flour Field at the West End (Greenville, SC - Greenville Drive - South Atlantic League - A)
Hank Aaron Stadium (Mobile, AL - Mobile BayBears - Southern League - AA)
L.P. Frans Stadium (Hickory, NC - Hickory Crawdads - South Atlantic League - A)
LewisGale Field (Salem, NC - Salem Red Sox - Carolina League - A)
NewBridge Bank Park (Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Grasshoppers - South Atlantic League - A)
Pensacola Community Maritime Park (Pensacola, FL - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Southern League - AA)
Pfitzner Stadium (Woodbridge, VA - Potomac Nationals - Carolina League - A)
Regency Furniture Stadium (Waldorf, MD - Southern Maryland Blue Crabs - Atlantic League - Independent)
Riverwalk Stadium (Montgomery, AL - Montgomery Biscuits - Southern League - AA)
Security Bank Ballpark (Midland, TX - Midland Rockhounds - Texas League - AA)

2015

Fifth Third Ballpark (Comstock Park, MI - West Michigan Whitecaps - Midwest League - A)
First Energy Stadium (Reading, PA - Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League - AA)
Huntington Park (Columbus, OH - Columbus Clippers - International League - AAA)
Jerry Uht Park (Erie, PA - Erie SeaWolves - Eastern League - AA)
Pohlman Field (Beloit, WI - Beloit Snappers - Midwest League - A)
Principal Park (Des Monies, IA - Iowa Cubs - Pacific Coast League - AAA)
Veterans Memorial Stadium (Cedar Rapids, IA - Cedar Rapids Kernels - Midwest League - A)
Werner Park (Papillion, NE - Omaha Storm Chasers - Pacific Coast League - AAA)

2016

Boomers Stadium (Schaumberg, IL - Schaumberg Boomers - Frontier League - Independent)

2017

State Mutual Stadium (Rome, GA - Rome Braves - South Atlantic League - A)
AT&T Field (Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga Lookouts - Southern League - AA)
Coolray Field (Lawrenceville, GA - Gwinnett Braves - International League - AAA)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Managing Awkward; July 5, 2017

The bottom line is:  I have no idea how the person that I blocked last week really feels.

The most bizarre thing, however, happened on Monday.

The Monday before I had sent a text to her noting that I had updated her last name in the some of the race's pre-race materials, which recognizes runners who have run the race every year or multiple years.

She also had registered on the Fourth of July last year for this year.  She was still married then.

So the text included a reminder in case she wanted the results to be accurate on race day.

I didn't see or hear anything back.

No "thanks for the reminder" or any indication that she was upset that I reminded her.

I really try to stay out of other's business, but one of the earliest communications in January was a remark about how "her tribe would find her" now in the results with the name change.

So I knew at one point it was on her mind (or she used it for me to flatter her because she knew that for one race director's race I had all of the data).

At 1:50 p.m., I received a "Like" of the text.  (I later learned from my daughter that it is a newer feature of the iPhone - people can just like your text.)

Which with this individual, it seems to be their way of shutting down a conversation.

At 2:02 p.m., my race director received an e-mail from her to have the last name changed in the registration and/or the results.

He forwarded it to me and the timer at 6:50 p.m.

But the fact that a week later you finally decide to like my text ... why?

There was no need to, unless you wanted to get in my head.  And if so, you succeeded.

You could have just come, though, and seen me on race day and said "thanks for the reminder" in person.

Just because I block somebody on social media doesn't mean that I never, ever want to communicate with them.

It is just in matters of the heart, I want it to be in person and I don't want to be confused by other things that I see.

Race day came yesterday.

I didn't expect much.  I figured she's aware of the block on Facebook and she might have stumbled upon the previous entry.

Actually, I don't recall how much communication I had with her before she came up and asked for a picture at races in both October and November.

Must have been some.

I had even seen some pictures here in the last day or two from when she and her now ex-husband were married six years ago.  They ran the race as bride and groom.

I believe my race director pointed them out to announce because I didn't know either of them then.

I was busy, though, before the race, but I still say Hi! to people as much as I can.

When I called for clubs to get their pre-race team photo in front of the finish line, it was then that I saw her go to one of them.  (A later inspection today in somebody's album, I saw that she was standing by her ex-husband.)

The race starts and finishes in different locations.  So as soon as we get started, I have certain equipment to break down and go to the finish line location which is about a half mile away.

I generally know about when she'll finish.

So when her name came up on the screen, it was her former name!  I was thinking, "Crap, they didn't get it changed in time!"

I immediately, thought, "Well, I'm going with the current name."  And I did and I did it as professionally as I had on Saturday and every other time I've called her name.

Who ran her in for the second race in 16 days?  Her ex-husband.

She still had some friends that were going to be finishing behind her.  I wasn't surprised then to see her come back past the finish line to either go help run them in or cheer them on.

She did go down the other side of the street from the side I was announcing from.

There was a couple that I know she knows pretty well that finished, then a gentleman that walks more than he runs, I believe, and the female friend that she went to New Orleans with that one weekend.

I think I told her, "Good job" and said her name and she said, "Thanks, Jon."

The organization that I announce for is a 501(c)(3) and they have a Board of Directors.  One of the Board members relieves me on the microphone when I leave to go and announce the awards.

So she had the friend that was walking in come with her, and with her phone, to get a picture of her and the Board member, who was standing immediately to the left.

I was still working at that point, but, honestly, my awkward flag was flying really, really high in that she would want to get a picture with me.

So I might have turned to the right a little bit towards the laptop that was showing the names of runners on the screen.

But her friend looked at me interestingly when she kind of bolted stage left.

I don't know if he 1.) was surprised that she didn't take a picture with me or all three of us together or 2.) was told that she was also going to take one with me and that changed.

I was going to engage via text yesterday and even today, but I'm deciding not to.

I think my biggest fear is that I misread the whole situation from immediately after the birthday party in February.

However, a responsible adult would have given a clear indication that they weren't interested in anything more than a friendship.

I'll just continue to hope that at a future race where I'm announcing and she's running that there can be a friendly and non-awkward face-to-face conversation.

She's my race director's best customer over the years.  Literally.

Of the five races that he has put on prior to the start of 2017, where he has picked up three new ones, she had run them 32 times.

My race director would literally shoot me if I resigned.

Something will have to be figured out.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Charitable Activity in 2017

I've been wanting to be even more charitable the last year or two than what I have been; therefore, I'm going to put myself to test to be more accountable.

This isn't here to brag at all.  Just to encourage myself to come here and see if I can more and to different organizations in need.

6/19/17 - $50.00 - The Houston Wellness Project (#11188)
6/26/17 - $50.00 - Catalyst Church, Altoona, PA (#11189)
7/  2/17 - $25.00 - Church Project, The Woodlands, TX (#11191)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Anatomy Of A Block; July 1, 2017

I really don't like blocking people on social media, specifically Facebook.

Twitter, no big deal.  It isn't as commonly used by most  and even fewer actually like tweets as they do on Facebook.

Instagram, I just post pictures of interesting things that I see or places that I'm at.

With their algorithms, I'm not even sure more than a couple of people see things I post as it seems like I only see the posts of about 12 to 15 others.

So back to Facebook.

The latest person that was on the end of a block received it on Tuesday.

I have no clue whether they noticed or not.

I saw the individual at a race today, but it was as they came across the finish line - and they kind of stayed away.

Therefore, I'm suspecting they did.  Who really knows, though?

Here's the point, however:  Other than a comment on a Facebook post in a Houston area running-related Facebook group, they never, ever initiate any communication.

Unless you consider that they've on four occasions (five, if you count a few years ago) since last October that they come up late in a race and ask for a picture.

The first two, one in October and another in November, I didn't catch on.

And even then, I have no idea what message they were really trying to send.

I have some people that want a picture with me, because I announce races and make people feel special by the way I announce their name when they finish a race.

Once is OK.

More than that, then you begin to wonder the reason why.

I don't mind doing the bulk of the work, but even if you desire a simple friendship:  communication has to start freely from both directions.

What's so wrong with a, "Hey, how are you today?"  It doesn't mean that you want to get married.  Sheesh.  It is just being friendly.

We all need really good friends in life.  Life is way too short.

It is a long story, all in all, and, honestly, I'm just tired, exhausted of it.

It was just time to move on.

Again, I hated to do it, but I have my mental health and sanity to protect.

I've already positioned to the individual in writing - after attending a birthday party of hers - that I was made to feel that I didn't measure up to them with many things that they shared with me that evening at her house.

When I stated that, there was no compassion from her to say, "I'm sorry that I made you feel that way.  I really enjoy communicating with you.  How can I address your concerns?"

So what it did was further expanded that feeling of inferiority to them.

I'm perfectly comfortable with me.

I'm simple, and I'm cool with that.

I'm also busy.  If you walk in the front door of my house, what you can see is straightened up.

I do that to keep the visual clutter down, which, for me, reduces the stress of things appearing busy.

Behind closed doors, well, that's another story.

I was given a "tour" of this person's house by them when I was there in February.  Everything in the house, including, yes, the closets, were totally organized.

So, how am I to feel from that?

I could never, ever bring them here because I couldn't give the same "tour" without spending a good long time straightening every little thing up.

Things aren't unclean, but everything isn't perfectly filed, boxed up, etc.

Oh, I'd love for it to be, but I'm not there.  And I have no desire to get there tomorrow.

Again, there's no dialogue to understand where and why I feel that way.  Nobody saying, "that's not as big of a deal that you think that it might be."

So I went four months without seeing the individual in person until two weeks ago.

I often get data files from race producers so I can prepare notes to include in my announcing.

I realized that she was going to be at a race that I was announcing in Katy.

I reached out to her via text.

Even though I have the phone number, I've never been given the option to call.  In fact, when I was still friends with her on Facebook, there was once an e-card posted that talked about not answering phone calls - and to just text.

I had in the past, but conversations were very limited.  They got shut down, by liking a text and not continuing any dialogue.

After the party in February, I had kind of walked away from things.  Why?

Two reasons:

1.) Another male was there.  (There were many.)  After there was a group picture taken of everyone at her party, he went to leave.  Since there weren't a lot of people there that I regularly talk to - or even knew, I was having to fend my time for myself.  I noticed that he leaned down to kiss her, but she turned it into a hug.  That was really odd to me.

2.) Her soon to be ex-husband made a friend request on Facebook as I was standing on the patio outside of her house getting ready to leave.  That really freaked me out!

The issue with point number one is that in texts with me she said that "three of us" went to New Orleans to run the Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon and she mentioned one of the other two, by name.  A female.  She never mentioned his name.

I only saw later in pictures on her Facebook page that it was a male.

Ah, the same one that leaned down to kiss her.

I had originally received a Facebook invite to the party, but I ignored it for a few days because I couldn't quite ensure that I could make the logistics work with traveling that morning to Galveston to work a marathon.

I'd have to come all the way back to Spring to shower and then 65% of the way back south to attend the party.

However, I received a text from her with an image - almost like an invite card.

She wanted me to come, but why put me into that environment?

That troubled me and, in a way, still does to this day.

So back to two weeks ago.

I never saw her before the race, which I was amazed how she pulled that off because at some point she had to have gone by me to queue up to start the race.

Then again, I didn't see her this morning either, but honestly I wasn't looking very hard.

She and her daughter finished together.  I announced the daughter's name first and then hers.

Sometime later, I was still announcing and she came up and got a picture and mentioned a word, "Amazing."  I knew what that was about.  Or I think I did.

But who took the picture?  Her ex-husband.  That was really creepy to me.  Not him.  He's a nice guy.  I don't interact with him much though - and who in the world knows what he knows.

I get exes can still be friends, but it - and seeing post-race pictures that he went back out to run with her at some point - really pushed me over the edge to say, "It is time to move on."

I've told her that she's an amazing, smart, talented and accomplished woman, but you have to be open enough to be vulnerable and communicate.

I have.  I did on her front porch that night.

It wasn't enough to say, "I never want to communicate with you again."

Because that was never said.

Maybe she'll read this.

Maybe she'll get it.

Maybe not.

When do I get to deal with this again?

Oh, that would be Tuesday.

Both the man in item number one above and her ex-husband will be there running.

Otherwise, working the race that I did today was a complete and total joy.

As I said in my Facebook post, "Always appreciate all who make the effort to say Hi! even though I'm typically pretty busy."

That's very, very true.

Even today, they could have said, "Hey, I don't understand ...."

I would have said, "I'm sorry," and asked to get together to discuss things, but that didn't happen.

#notmyloss

Monday, June 26, 2017

Books Read in 2017

"Woodlawn:  One Hope, One Dream, One Way" by Todd Gerelds, Mark Schlabach
"Finding My Road" by Ino Cantu, Thomas Woltz
"And The Walls Came Tumbling Down" by Frank Fitzpatrick
"Behind The Wall To The Boston Marathon 2016" by Bill O'Shields
"Unsportsmanlike Conduct:  College Football and the Politics of Rape" by Jessica Luther
"Living Out Loud:  Sports, Cancer, and the Things Worth Fighting For" by Craig Sager with Craig Sager II and Brian Curtis
"The Baseball Whisperer:  A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams" by Michael Tackett
"Son of Bum:  Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Football and Life" by Wade Phillips with Vic Carucci