Monday, February 22, 2010

Another long run...

Yes, the weeks keep ticking off the training calendar for the big day in April. This past weekend, I had a 2 hour 40 minute long run to log.  Yes, it was in the cold and rain but at least the run was in one of London's lovely parks,  Kensington Park. A bit gray and drab...see for yourself...this is about 11:00 AM in the morning.

Here I am about mid-run...still not looking too bad ....yet!

Dance for Sports Relief

Once again, Cyn and Paulster pulled out studio tickets for the taping of the TV show, BBC's Dance for Sports Relief, so off to Ealing Studios we traipsed on Saturday evening.  The concept behind the show is a form of a telethon where celebrities do their versions of MTV videos or perform some sort of dance; then, TV audiences call in to vote for their winner.  All proceeds go to the UK charity, Sports relief.

Tonight's show was the first in a series...Neither Bud nor I knew too many of the celebrities which hailed from the world of UK sports, comedy, TV drama, and news.  It was still enjoyable....

Cyn, Paulster, and Budman waiting to go into the studio.

Sports Relief

TV crew prepping for the show.

We were so thrilled this time to be on the first and second rows, since we were stashed behind the ice panel for Dancing on Ice.  Our elation was somewhat dimmed when the young, hip "crowd dancers" were brought in to stand and ocasionally dance (if that is what you can call it) when JLS and The Sugababes were performing.  It did make that front row a bit of a visual challenge but that was OK...

Sports Relief

We also set the Sky recorders to catch ourselves on TV...we all made the taping at least one time.  The Budman's close-up shot is especially charming as he had been asked to donned a bald skull cap and mustache for one of the performances...will try to get a copy for blog posting. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter Olympics

Yes, the household is doing our best to watch the Vancouver winter games London side but that blasted time difference does make it a bit difficult.  Seems like every time I turn on the games either live or in replay, I pick up coverage for some form of biathlon.  It is interesting, but a little of that sport goes a long way.

Still, we usually get the morning Vancouver action live in the evenings, and the afternoon and evening action overnight both llive and replays the following day. For instance, I will see the men's figure skating from last evening sometime today (and yes, I already know the result...YEA!).  We enjoy it all just the same.

As is our practice when rooting for teams in the Olympics, World Cup, etc., we always cheer for the US and the current home team of the country in which we are residing.  So, this year, once again it is the US and the UK. 

Current medal standings:

US = 18
UK = 0 (bummer, dudes)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marathon updates

The London Marathon training is going pretty well.  I am staying on track with the runnning, although the snow and rain has made that difficult at times.  Weekly massages and staying true to daily stretching is paying dividends in the recovery process, as is the re-committment to hydration and the re-implementation of the Larry North Diet.   So, for now, I just need to keep to my plan....

A couple of challenges:  that nasty asmtha has resurfaced.  Although it does not impact the running per se, it has resulted in major wheezing and coughing bouts for the last two weeks before and after runs.  A follow-up doctor's appointment tomorrow to get that re-checked should result in a better gameplan, than "just grin and bear it".

Second challenge:  I am behind in my charity fundraising.  So far, I am almost a fifth of the way to my goal of £5000.  If anyone could be persuaded to support, I would be very appreciative.  You can donate at the following website.

Lastly, a major coup from a training perspective.  Those "long runs in London parks" have been a god car dodging - finally! Thankfully, the cyclists, in-line skaters, runners, walkers, horsemen/women are all playing nicely together in the sand-box, and sharing the exercise paths in a very equitable manner.  If we could only get those mothers and their baby strollers in line now!

Latest long run pic from last weekend's Hyde Park run.  Please don't say it...I know I look tired....cuz I was!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

National TV Awards

Sure, this event was over a month ago but I am just getting around to posting pictures from the British National TV is kinda like the People's Choice Awards that would be held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in LA or the American Airlines Center in Dallas.  Fifteen or so categories voted on by the public for their "TV favorites":  Favorite night-time soap, Favorite Actor, Favorite Variety show, etc.


Cyn and Paulster had gotten tickets for the four of us, so on a school night, we headed off to the O2 Arena in east London for the "really big show".  Neither the Budman nor I knew too many of the actors or watch many of the shows nominated  but the people watching at the event was worth the price of admission.  Apparently, the dress code was "TV glam" and UK women had cornered the market on sequins on this evening.


The wonders of the Simon Cowell "X factor" machine:  Jedward.


Jedward and the renaissance man himself, Vanilla Ice.  "OH, pluheeeeeeeeeeese).


Dr. Who is the big Yanks have no clue what I am talking about, do you?


A UK soap star and her "fashion don't" dress.


This year's X Factor winner sings the show's opening number.


Stephen Fry wins a life-time achievement award.  You in the US know him as a recurring role on Bones????.



Yep, fun.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


I have long since given up of trying to watch all the Oscar nominated films before the BIG show; living aborad for the last decade has made that virtually impossible. 

I do however, still follow the spectacle of Oscar nomination day, and even following the announcements online. This year, Cyn and I booked an Outlook meeting appointment during lunch to ensure we caught the news).  Can't really comment on who or what should've or shouldn't have been nominated...gotta see the films to do that (akin to wearing a T-shirt from a fun run or marathon that you did not particpate in....bad form).

Being a traditionalist, I am all for hearkening back to earlier Oscar guidelines, but 10 nominated Best Pictures?  Come on....seems a ploy by studios to add five blockbuster but lame films to a shorter list of critically acclaimed but poor box office performers. In other words, getting bums in seats.

In true movie speak, "thumbs-down".

A good little giggle

We've been recently checking out cat-sitters to look after Ginger (a.k.a. Sweet Kitty) for those upcoming trips.  Given Ginger is a geriatic, and quickly approaching 17 years of age, we've decided that having someone come into the home to feed/water/medicate/change litter box ir preferable to boarding her and stressing her out.

So, our interviews have produced two viable candidates....both that seem responsible and trust-worthy.  After all, this is our little girl.

So, last evening, cat-sitter #2 (let's call her J) pops over for a meeting and get acquainted session.  Question:  who is the get acquainted session for?  (I later find out, it is for both of us - J sits down to "talk" to Ginger at one point -  who knows what they discussed!).

After we had gone through all the cat-sitting agenda topics, she raises a question.  "I hope you and Ginger will not mind if I give her a Reiki healing treatment - would that be OK?"  I am a bit perplexed.  First, because I am not sure what a Reiki treatment for cats (or adults for that matter) would involve, and two, I have no clue what Ginger's views on the subject are.  We've never discusssed it, but if we had, I am sure the answer would have been "meow".  Not terribly insightful.

J begins to explain, and proceeds to hand me a brochure.  She literally has a brochure with a description of the services and a price list.  J assures me that this would be totally free of charge the next time she house-sits and will be to ascertain if Ginger likes it.  I say, "Go for it, and let me know what she says". Can't wait for that update.

Later in the evening, I share this with the Budman and we look at the brochure in more detail....Reike is described as an ancient healing technique that enhances physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health by channelling life force energy to where the animal needs it for healing.  Essentially, the healer puts her hands on specific areas of the body (chakras), bringing energy through her and to the animal. This addresses the whole system and is not just symptom relief.

What's the cost?  One animal session is £75, half day rate is £150, and a day rate is £250.  (Currency translation, that is about $125, $250, and $425).  J also does combo sessions with the pet and the owner...for a slightly higher fee, of course.

J apparently has been doing this for 10 yers, is a TV presenter on the subject and sports a celebrity clientele.  For example, J worked on Barclay (the Dalmatian) for the Duchess of York and it was a rousing success.

If it is good enough for the Royals' pets, it is good enough for my Sweet Kitty. Reike-away, of charge, that is.