Trail tribe is an awesome tribe

One of the things that I love so much about the trail running community is the sense of kinship with others who love being on the trail. I’m extremely lucky to have a great running community that helps keep me grounded and engaged. This past Saturday about 20 of us met up at Elm Creek for a fun morning of exploration. We headed out all together, and then a little over a mile in, we broke into two groups. One that was doing a standard loop, and a second group that wanted to go a bit longer.

Our fearless leader Mark took the longer group on an exploration of some of the trails on the south side of the park. We ended up making a wrong turn or two, including a quick jaunt on some deer trail that literally led us in a circle. However, it was a ton of fun, and we all had a great time. Mark and I even got some quality trail time, talking about lots of topics that have nothing to do with running. It’s been amazing over the past couple of years to learn more about these folks, and get to know them both on and off the trail.

It’s also been great to have folks rooting for you as you try to work your way back up to shape. This past week was one of the longest mileage weeks I’ve had in a long time. In fact, the last time I had a week over 26 miles was September of 2016. Just typing that out makes me say “wow”, and wonder how the training slipped away from me. However, I feel like I might be moving more back on track, and getting myself closer to where I want to be.

I’m thankful for what I’m able to accomplish right now, and I’m very thankful for the people who are helping me accomplish it.

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Returning to the scene

A week ago my wife and I got a message from our friend Mike. He had plans to take his wife downtown on Friday night and catch a show at the Dakota Jazz Club, and since the table he found, available, seated 4 people, he decided to surprise her by inviting us to show up. So around 6:30 we show up and totally surprise his wife Brook, and began a wonderful evening of music and food.

IMG_2165.jpgThe music for the evening was Davina and the Vagabonds. They were a fun group, and incredibly talented. They played a couple sets that ranged from soulful jazz to rocking New Orleans big band. They mixed in classic covers with originals, and created a unique and original show that I’d happily go see again.

This was also a fun return to a place I haven’t been in decades. The last time that I went to the Dakota Jazz Club it was 1995 and I had just turned 21. My friend Michael took me out for a beer and we ended up at the old Saint Paul location of the Dakota. It was a much different time in my life, but it felt cool to make a return to a fun place that I hadn’t been to forever. In fact it has Lisa and I talking more about hitting shows around town more frequently.

 

Some Trooper Photos

Last night I had the honor of photographing my good friend Michael in his newly minted Stormtrooper outfit. He’s had a long standing ambition to join the 501st Legion, which is a group of cosplayers that wear Stormtrooper armor and show up for events or other activities like cheering up kids at hospitals. I’ve been following his progress on his armor build, from sheets of formed ABS plastic, to full completion.

Last night I got to take his certification pictures that he’s submitting to the Legion for basic certification. Once he’s certified he can attend various events in costume and participate in official activities. It was a ton of fun to see the costume all put together, and he did a great job on it. It was also fun to get to do some photos of people again, with some studio lighting. I haven’t gotten to work with that in a while, and although I see some things that I wish I would have changed, I’m pleased with the results.

Happy Trooping Michael!

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Changing taste buds

I started drinking coffee regularly in my late 20’s to early 30’s. When I first started drinking coffee I tended towards darker brews with rich flavor. However, for decades, I would add a little bit of cream and sugar to my drink. Often my flavor of choice was a nice French Vanilla creamer. I’m a person who loves the contract of flavors, which is why I love things like sour cream and spicy together.

I’ve had to switch to decaf for the past 10 years of so, but I still have a regular cup of coffee every morning. However, lately, my tastes in my coffee have markedly changed. For almost a year now, all I get in my morning coffee is two packets of stevia sweetener, and that’s it. Partly because I’m trying to control calories, I started to skip the cream in my coffee. Now, I’ve gotten so used to it, that I don’t think I’d even want to put cream in my regular coffee, even if I had the option.

It’s weird to see how tastes change as we get older. Maybe my buds just aren’t as sensitive anymore. The ever changing things you discover as you get old…

Hummingbirds!

Down in Vegas there are lots of hummingbirds. Where we were staying had a hummingbird feeder right outside the patio. This afforded me the ability to get some great shots of one of the visitors. He battled another bird for control of the feeder, because apparently they don’t like to share.

I’m posting the entire series of shots, as it’s hard to nail a perfect one when the wings are moving so fast. Enjoy!

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