December 31, 2016

2016 Running Wrap-up

   
   
    
Personal
   
1,031.9 Total Miles
294 Days Running including a streak of 160 Days
Average/Day = 3.50986
   
Racing
  
April 16   Colonia 5K   24:38.96
July 4   Cranford 4 Miler   32:43
August 4   Colonia 5K   26:25.63
September 5   Verona Labor Day 5K   26:18.51
November 23   Flemington Turkey Trot 5K   28:38.86
  
Coaching
  
Upper School Girls - This was the third season of the Upper (High) School Cross Country Program at Wardlaw-Hartridge and my first as the head coach.  It was a disappointing season.  We started with five girls but only two remained at the end of the season.  Of the 10 meets, there were only two in which all five girls showed up.  One was the Newark Invitational in which we finished 8th out of 8 teams and followed by a 42-18 loss to South River in a dual meet.
    
Upper School Boys - The boys team had an even more disappointing season.  We started with 10 boys and had what looked to be a solid top 5.  Unlike the girls, the boys had the required five runners in many of the races.  In dual and tri meets, the boys finished 0-7.  In the large races, the boys finished 7th out of 7 teams in the Newark Invitational and 9th out of 10 teams in the Prep Schools Championships.  Their best effort was a 34-25 loss to East Brunswick Vo Tech in a dual meet.  At year's end only 3 of the runners remained.
   
The five remaining boys and girls at year's end had the opportunity to run in the State Championship at Holmdel Park.  It was the first time for Wardlaw-Hartridge to run in this prestigious race and the runners ran respectively well.
    
Middle School Boys - This was also the third year for the Middle School Cross Country Program but it was my second year at the helm.  The team consisted of 16 boys; we lost only two 8th graders from the previous year.  Their places were filled by a handful of runners, three of which were good quality runners.  Their record improved to 5-7 this year including the last four in a row.  This year, the entire team was entered in the GMCs (County Championship).  Last year only the Top Seven went to the GMC and then only ran in the Junior Varsity race.  The Varsity Team finished 11th out of 13 teams and the Junior Varsity finished 16th out of 17.  In the season ending Pumpkin Run at Gill St. Bernards, the boys finished 10th out of 20.  Other highlights: 1) two different runners won 3 races as individuals, 2) their best 1-5 split was 1:25 at the Pumpkin Run.  The down side is that three 8th graders will move on to the Upper School team.
      
Middle School Girls - Just like 2015, the Girls Team was the shining jewel of the entire school's Cross Country Program.  There were 11 girls on the team this year and we did not lose any 8th graders from the previous year.  Their record improved to 7-4 this year including the last seven in a row.  Like the boys, the entire team was entered in the GMCs.  The Varsity Team finished 6th out of 14 teams and the Junior Varsity finished 14th out of 17.  In the season ending Pumpkin Run at Gill St. Bernards, the girls won the Team Race with a score of 61 points (5th, 6th, 8th, 15th, and 27th).  Other highlights: 1) two different runners won 6 races as individuals, 2) their best 1-5 split was 1:27 at the last home meet, and 3) the team will not lose any runners to graduation and should be even stronger in 2017.
   
    

2016 Books

      
       

31 books read
   
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

** Animal Keepers, The by Donn Behnke

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

Balm by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny

Dinner Party, The by Brenda Janowitz

* Excellent Lombards, The by Jane Hamilton

Extreme Prey by John Sandford

Five Presidents by Clint Hill

* Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

Great Bridge, The by David McCullough

Hero of France, A by Alan Furst

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

** In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

* Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart

Little Red Chairs, The by Edna O’Brien

Margaret Bourke-White by Vicki Goldberg

* Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen

Muralist, The by B.A. Shapiro

* Remembering Bix (RR) by Ralph Berton

Running With the Buffaloes by Chris Lear

Silver Swan, The by Elena Delbanco

* Stealing Games by Maury Klein

Summer Before the War, The by Helen Simonson

Tommy: The Gun That Changed America by Karen Blumenthal

* When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi

Whites, The by Harry Brandt  (Richard Price)

Winter Girl, The by Matt Marinovich

Woman Who Ran For President, The by 
     Lois Beachy Underhill

* Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
      

** A very good read
* A good read  
RR  Re-Read

January 10, 2016

It's Still A Good Feeling


     
February 1 was to be my final mortgage payment.  I have been counting the days until I would write that final check in late January.  I had visions of mailing the check and then burning the mortgage.  But the amount left was not a full payment (only a few hundred) so Chase used escrow dollars and paid off the mortgage for me.  It was paid off ahead of time-- 9 years and 2 months.

January 1, 2016

2015 Books

  
  

  
Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
  
The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida
  
The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble
  
Once We Were Brothers by Ronald Balson
  
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
  
The President's Shadow by Brad Meltzer
  
Thank You, Goodnight by Andy Abramowitz
  
The Train To Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell
  
A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
  
  

November 12, 2015

Again

Since there exists a thread on this, just want to let you all know that I found a single dollar bill on the ground during my run today.  Wow, I have no life.  No wonder I don't have a FaceBook account.
  
Also, there will be a list of my books read during the year posted in early January.  This replaces the old list of summer readings since I am now retired and have the luxury of reading year round.
  
There will also be a momentous posting in February.  So stay tuned!!!

October 25, 2014

Matewan Revisted

See blog entry  August 5, 2007.

September 3, 2014

8th Annual Summer Reading List

I noticed that there was no list for 2013.  Not sure why since I did do some reading last year but apparently forgot to enter them in the blog.  So anyway, here is this year's list:


  • Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman
  • The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva
  • Fatal Journey by Peter C. Mancall
  • Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
  • House Rules *** by Jodu Picoult
  • Is This Tomorrow *** by Caroline Leavitt
  • Mudbound by Hilary Jordan
  • Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes To Iowa and other stories by W. P. Kinsella
  • The Troop by Nick Cutter
  • Unbroken *** by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
*** recommended


December 8, 2013

Again!!!

Yes, it happened again.  While getting out of my car at a local McDonald's for breakfast, there on the ground behind my car was a soaking wet five dollar bill!!!