Saturday, April 25, 2009

The big day is here

Well, it is the night before the London Marathon, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring not even...a really excited runner!

Yes, I am headed off to bed now, and can report that all is set for marathon run tomorrow. My running clothes are laid out, my kit bag is packed, running watch, hat and number are ready to be donned, and the chip is affixed to my running shoe. My morning will start at 5 am when I arise for a delicious meal of grilled chicken and rice, which is already prepared; after which I will proceed to dress and hit the tube for the 1 and 1/2 journey to the start at Greenwich Park.

It's my 12th race and I never seem to lose the enthusiasm for the marathon event. When I went to pick up my race number on Thursday, I was sitting next to a 75 year old man who was running the London Marathon for the first time. We were both giddy with anticipation.

Race weather is expected to be in low 50s at the start of the race, party cloudy with a little rain perhaps, and in the high 60s at the end of the race. Pretty darn good if you ask me.

So, I may be a day or so before I post with a post-race report. For those of you who are interested in tracking me during the race or getting my finish time, please check out and enter my race number 47036.

Finally, but most importantly, I have raised 3120 GBP, or about 4350 USD for my charity, Guide Dogs, UK. I cannot thank my friends, family, and colleagues who donated to this worthy cause. I will still be accepting donations for a few days after the race, so please donate if you are still is not too late! Details and the URL for donations are at the link on teh righ hand side of my blog!

Run, Hachie Gal, Run!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Texans Tour of London: Day 5

1London Marathon: week 19 of 19
Sunday target run: 1 hour

Yep...that crazy work thing has wreaked havoc once again with my blogging...and there has been so much going on with Hachie Gal and Budman to report! Before I update you all, a few final posts with photos from J and JB's trip to London.

Day 5 of the Texans tour saw us doing what anyone would LIKE to do on St. Patrick's Day...spend in in Ireland. After an early morning wake-up call at 4:30 am, the four or us set off by air for a day tour of Dublin.

A picture perfect day, weather wise and otherwise, with no transportation glitches whatsoever. The luck of the Irish was definitely with us....

Strolling about downtown Dublin.

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The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin.

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Can't see the parade? Bring your step ladder to the event!

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Trivia question: What do the colors of the Irish flag signifiy? Answer below.

Face painting on St. Patrick's Day! Budman was the first in line, asking "Like my shamrock?"

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A tour of the Guiness Brewery. The place was huge, and samples were available .

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My little leprachaun.

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The weird and wacky in Dublin. Lebrachauns for lunch?

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Christ's Church, Dublin Ireland.

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St. Patrick's Cathedral - Dublin, Ireland.

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Kilmainham Gaol prison, Dublin, Ireland. This prison has a long history as a workhouse, and then later, a prison for political prisoners fighting for Irish independence.

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The river Liffey at night.

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Answer to trivia question: The orange represents the protestant or unionist tradition, green represents the catholic or nationalist tradition, and white for the peace it was hoped would exist between the two factions.

Friday, April 03, 2009


No, I was not affected by the G20 summit in London...

No, I was not impacted by commuter trains and public transport issues. as the world leaders scurried about with their entourages which did cause disruption for some...

No, I did not see any of the riots, as I do not work in central London...

No, I did not stay home for work or wear business casual so as to be "London white collar person incognito"...

No, Buddy did not see any of the riots either but he does work in central London (when he is not in Iceland which is most of the time). As he emerged from the tube on Thursday morning en route to work in London he just saw the same two guys hocking papers...

No, I did not see Obama, Angela, Nicholas, Gordon, or any of the other G20 leaders...any why I would?

No, unlike the British press coverage of Pres Obama, I have never heard the helicopter or the car that the US president travels in as "Helicopter One" or "Cadillac One". Any one else?

Yes, I really could have cared less what Michelle Obama wore while in London... really. The "bare arms" story is so "5 minutes" ago...

Yes, it appears Michelle made the first move to hug "Liz"...again, do we care?

And those were the main new stories of the visit...oh yea, the G20 leaders agreed to that 1.1 million USD global finding thing..... (wink-wink). Now, that is the real news story.

time change

And by the way...the UK has had their time change... so we are now officially ahead of Dallas by 6 hours.

Texans Tour of London: Day 4

London Marathon: week 16 of 19
Friday target run: 1 hour and 30 minutes

As day 4 was dawning of the Texans Tour of London, sunshine was exploding all over the city. Could the spring flowers and blossoming trees have looked any better? In my view, London was picture postcard perfect all week but no more so than on this day.

Although the Texans had done "London 101" before, they were interested in walking past a few of the main Westminster, Whitehall, and St. James/Green Park hot spots....and so we began. First stop: Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey.

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Shortly after becoming Prime Minister in May 1940, Winston Churchill visited the Cabinet War Rooms to see for himself what preparations had been made to allow him and his War Cabinet to continue working throughout the expected air raids on London. These rooms, located underneath the buildings of the Home Office and Foreign Home Office, were designed to provide working and living accomodations for Churchill, Churchill's family, and those connected with overseeing the war. Having initially opened in the mid 80's, the Cabinet War Rooms were renovated in 2003. So next stop: The Cabine War they were in the early 1940s.

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The Queen's Horse Guards stand on the site of Henry VIII's tournament ground or 'tiltyard'. Nearby is a remnant of the 'real tennis' court where Henry is said to have played the forerunner of modern lawn tennis. These mounted guardsmen originally protected what was the main entrance to Buckingham Palace; royal processions travelling through Whitehall still pass under the arches of the building.

The Queen's Horse Guards at Whitehall.

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St. James Park.

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Buckingham Palace ,including a glimpse of it peeking through Green Park, as well as the Victoria Memorial.

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Green Park.

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After a dinner in the Shepherd's market area, we spent 2 hours on the "Jack the Ripper" Tour. Yes, we did. Don't knock it until you have tried it.