Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dear Rainbow:

I feel you need to reassess your writing process…seems you have gotten a bit overconfident in your abilities and forgotten that it is actually a good idea to go through many drafts before submitting to print (and, apparently, OWH will print anything).

Recently, you had two articles about closed businesses–each a month after the fact. If you want to get all weepy about a bakery (which I had never her of) that closed after five years or a vegan eatery, then do it BEFORE they close and there may be some new business that will give them a chance.

But recently, you’ve made social commentary that is only “according to Rainbow” without considering that you are only one person…but commenting on society. For example:
* If you haven’t seen these socially iconic movies, then sit down and watch them–consider it research for better articles. Just because your mom didn’t let you watch them in your youth doesn’t mean you can’t watch them now…but you need to put yourself in the right mindset–don’t watch a teen move as a 30 year old…imagine you are a teenager again.
* Quit criticizing other people’s wedding dresses–Kate Middleton’s look fabulous ON HER; probably wouldn’t look good on YOU.
* Sunday’s article about wedding movies was really out of your element–you are not the movie critic, Bob Fischbach is…even for those about weddings. But the kicker is that you contradicted yourself from the outset: you claimed not to have gone to many weddings and those you have gone to were nothing elaborate; well, that makes you NOT an expert about weddings. From then on you were basically rambling about a field (weddings or movies or both) on which you have no expertise (I have often wondered what your expertise is…it isn’t entertainment, it isn’t “Living” because you keep focusing on what you HAVEN’T done in your sheltered existence). As with the previous articles about movies you haven’t seen, you apparently haven’t seen an wide array of wedding movies. If you want to see the cake and all the regalia of weddings, watch “Wedding Crashers” or “The Wedding Singer”–multiple weddings, multiple cakes, etc. (but your mom probably wouldn’t let you). You see, wedding movies are not about weddings…they are about the people in them. If there was a movie JUST about a wedding, it wouldn’t be interesting–it would be as if the Super Bowl were just about the celebration at the end minus the story of getting there. “Steel Magnolias”–not about the wedding; “Four Weddings and a Funeral”–not about the weddings nor the funeral. These are great movies about people. By the way, “Monsoon Wedding” is a great movie but not about a wedding…the wedding takes up five minutes of the film; there is so much going on in that film I cannot see how you think it is all about the wedding. If you want a simpler version of that movie, watch “Father of the Bride” with Steve Martin–similar family conflicts and much more about the WEDDING.

Rainbow, think before you write. I’m sure that the OWH is enamored by your hometown girl mystique, but your craft is not very strong and growing more hackneyed. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, take yourself more seriously as a writer rather than being “cute.” If you are going to write for the “social” section of the paper, tap in more closely to the social pulse…not according to Rainbow, but to society. IF there are movies you haven’t seen, see them before you fake your conversations (you admitted that). Quit being a fake.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Staying small in big world

First, I wish to claim that "I'm back." Not that I really went anywhere, but my dedication to this blog has not been what I had hoped it would be. Nonetheless, as I do about this time every year, I am going to try again.

Although there are many things I am hoping to blog about--like an iron-distance triathlon next September--I am going to start (or restart) with two shout outs:

Our world is getting so big these days that the individual gets lost in the minutiae; I even felt this way this past week when there was a clerical error with my pay check--rather than being an affected human being, the situation was handled rather mechanically. We seem to be forgetting the faces of our fellows.

So I am doubly impressed when a company creates a human-like face in the way it does business; I have two examples:

First, PowerTri.com (http://www.powertri.com/). As I've been getting into the sport of triathlons, I am always on the look out for good deals on gear and apparel. PowerTri has had for the last couple of seasons a killer deal on its team kit and a goody bag of accessories to go with it at a really decent price. I thought, "That's a good deal...I'd wear that!" But for the longest time they didn't have my size--it seemed to be end-of-season left overs. So I waited, but eventually sent an email of query expressing my interest, frustration, and waning (or whining) patience. I did get an empathetic reply, with a request to hold on because they are coming. As the triathlon season neared, still no changes. I emailed again; this time the reply said that the reorder was coming soon and that they would contact me when the new kits arrived. They did; I actually spoke to their main salesmen/triathletes on the phone; and I wore their kit all season. So if you need triathlon stuff (of anything associated with those three disciplines), look them up...especially get on their email list because they have "Fabulous Friday Specials" which are killer.

The second goes to Yurbuds.com (http://www.yurbuds.com/). Yesterday, I spent most of the day in front of my computer grading "easy" stuff and following the streaming coverage of the Kona Ironman World Championship race. Yurbuds was one of the sponsors of the broadcast. They had a deal that for yesterday only for a free tech shirt and no shipping and handling with the purchase of their product--these snug ear buds. So I went to their sight, but couldn't get on due to volume; I waited a while and finally got on, but found no place to enter this code. Then I thought, "Maybe it is a coupon code at the end of purchase." I tried that, saw a place for a code, but it didn't work. I tried numerous times, in numerous ways (like caps, no caps, spaces, etc.), and none worked. So I said "Screw it" (actually, it was something else) and went back to IM Kona coverage...and grading,of course. Shortly after dinner I got a phone call from Yurbuds--late, on a Saturday--from the "tech guy" from Yurbuds. Apparently, their website wasn't prepared to take half a million hits at once...but it did and eventually crashed! I asked if he had to call half a million people, but he said "no," only the ones that were mid-transaction and didn't complete an order (the number was, like, five). Nonetheless, this guy gave me a call to make things right...even gave me a better deal. Plus, we had a nice chat about being a small fish in a big pond--which I appreciated--and that he had a new customer. Check them out.

Keep checking in; I will try to do better this time around.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

One in the bank...


After my horrid, painful week with a bulging disc, I feel I bounced back really well.

I did front-load the last week pretty well and tapered toward the end--or skipped workouts again, depending on how you interpret the trends. I only swam once--Tuesday--but it was the best swim all year--and this was still with tingling fingertips from the bulging disc (what an odd sensation). I was hoping to add one more swim, but things got in the way and didn't get it in. Also, hanging out with the Moxies Friday night made my Saturday miserable--my own fault, really.

Nonetheless, Sunday rolled around and the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon was priority one. Here's the play-by-play:

I was in the second wave.

My goal for the swim was to maintain my cool and keep a good pace. Still, even in my warm-up, I felt my heart was starting to race--HR was up to 142 after just casually swimming a lap or two. I was glad to be sharing a lane for once--last year I was lucky enough to have an absent lane partner. So, in preparation for the open-water swims, I had another in the lane, the rope, and a friend swimming in the next lane. So having those visual and proximal distractions every once in a while was good to get used to. About two thirds of the way through, felt the HR racing again, so I tried to back down a little to stay steady through the entire 10 minutes. I was credited with 21 lengths--10.5 laps, 525 meters...a 30:39 mile pace. I was content with that.

The bike was frustrating, but I didn't let it get to me. I walked in and found that there was only one bike left that had Look-style pedals available. As I'm starting my set up, the guy next to it said that the computer on it was reading well. I quickly moved to another bike to remove the toe clips, couldn't, so I stuck with the first bike. The computer was sporadic; and though I held it at a consistent level MOST of the time, it was jumping around. But I didn't complain, just figured that mine wasn't the only bike to do that--it was what it was.

The run, I felt is where I unexpectedly shone. My running has been coming along, but I hadn't done any true speedwork in a couple weeks. So I wasn't planning to surpass three miles in 20 minutes. So I started by setting it up to 8.5 mph, but saw that a runner in the row ahead of me had set his at 9.3--trying to hit a 5k pace. Well, I quickly set it up to that pace as well. By looking over his shoulder, I felt like I was letting him pace me. Ten minutes into it, I was feeling a little fatigued, so I dropped back to 8.5 for five minutes, and finished at 9.3. The last five minutes was filled with "Just X more minutes/seconds to go" thoughts, and when I was done, I felt I had nothing left--perfect. Finished with 3.02 miles--good for me.

I haven't seen the final standings yet, but feel really good with the result especially with the speed bumps of the last couple of weeks.

I told Darci that after this week, I really need to keep things disciplined for about the next five weeks--thinking that I want to continue to build to Bluff Creek (May 23) and taper to IM KS 70.3 (June 6). I still want to do that, but I'm seriously considering adding the Papillion Half Marathon on May 16 as a last "long" run before KS.

One is done. I'm feeling good about it and that it is done. Now to look ahead to the rest.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Training has been sporadic for the last month...especially in the pool. First, it is hard to get motivated to do it; second, my training partner often sleeps in rather than getting there early in the morning--even when he sends an invite through Facebook, the host shows 45 minutes late. Cycling has taken an upswing with the weather--I've ridden the new bike three times, with two of those rides maintaining a 19+ mph average (CT, you didn't slow me down). Running is there, but I haven't as much as I've wanted.

Last week I wanted to make a BIG week--10 or so hours of training. However, in the first half of the week, life got in the way--too many family, etc., events took precedence over the training. I was okay with that and even finding ways to make them up.

Wednesday, though, the unexpected happened. I was eating breakfast...leftover pancakes--probably too quickly--my esophagus cramped up (which is nothing new--not choking because I can still breathe, just food won't swallow...uncomfortably stuck), and one of my body's attempts to clear that is sneezing. Because I had food in my mouth, I stifled the sneeze rather than letting it go. About 10 minutes later things went south.

Another strange thing that happens "once in a blue moon" is a sensation through my arms that feels like they've turned to lead and are being pulled out of their sockets. Usually it passes in five to ten minutes.

Nonetheless, 10 minutes after the sneeze, my arms turned to lead. The bad thing was that I was driving at the time--which I don't think mattered, I just had to handle heavy machinery at the same time. I get to school, still in pain. This persists ALL DAY!

Fortunately, I've got good friends! Stephanie--my personal PA--thought that it was a bulged disc; and the next day, when I told her my fingertips were tingling, she felt that confirmed her theory. She told me to consistently take IBU.

So, Wednesday...miserable; I still taught Centergy (hoping that will make it feel better). Thursday, still struggling; and Friday, too. Saturday, went for a bike ride, and suffered for the rest of the day, but felt better in the evening. Sunday, felt tons better! I had one intense stinger in the morning, but the rest of the day felt good--skipped swimming (Paul was playing Easter bunny anyway), went to church, went for a 21.35 mile ride and averaged 19.4! Then walked to the in-laws' for Easter lunch. Even walked with Darci and the dog yesterday evening. A good day.

Today, I feel like I did yesterday. Still some tingling in my fingertips, but I feel I can resume all parts of my training. Planning to swim tomorrow.

So now I feel like I need to front-load this week and taper toward Saturday since I have my first event of the season on Sunday--the indoor triathlon.

Injuries suck.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For a good cause...

Hey, all.
Let me just take a few moments of your time:

Most of you know that I am into cycling and endurance events. Usually, it is for my own self satisfaction; but this summer I am going to participate in an event that will benefit others, but I cannot do it without a little help from you.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is dedicated to moving us towards a world free of MS. They fund research into effective MS therapies and also help people with MS to live powerful, meaningful lives. I believe in the work they do. Currently, there is no cure for MS, money they raise goes toward continued research, advanced treatments, and the hope for an eventual cure.

One way the society raises funds and spreads awareness is with annual bicycle rides throughout various states. Nebraska’s ride is on July 10 & 11—my hope is to ride 200+ miles in one weekend…something, believe it or not, I have not done yet. If you are a cyclist, you too can join the cause!

I am starting my personal fundraising campaign now because March is MS Awareness Month and next week (8-14) is MS Awareness Week. My strategy is going to be simple: I am only asking that you give as much as you feel comfortable giving—there is no minimum donation amount. I am also asking that, if at all possible, that all donations be made through my MS page (see link below); if there are some of you who do prefer writing a check, I can accommodate that as well. Here’s an incentive to donate sooner than later: I plan on sending this same reminder on the first of every month until the event; once you donate through my page, “thank you” ahead of time and I take you off my list for future requests. Here is the link:


There are many good causes out there and this is equally so. I hope you find it in yourselves to donate a little or a lot, and I will keep you in mind as I ride in July.


Michael J. Davis

Sunday, March 7, 2010

When life gets in the way...

Overall, I think that I was lazy this last week and it is trickling into this week already; however, it wasn't all my fault.

At work, just been lazy...with a student teacher, I shouldn't have so many ungraded assignments haunting me, but I do.

This has been a very social week, which has made the mornings sluggish. Chili feed at Olympia and date night with Darci last night have made me tired this morning--I should be swimming right now. Friday, FAC and then pizza for dinner, so I didn't workout in the afternoon (another swim missed) and tired yesterday morning.

There are 91 days left before Kansas--I need to get on the stick.