20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

And SAVE THE DATE! The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament. This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!! So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August) We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it. Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS! Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Anyone Heading to the Big Apple?

There is said to be an expected 1,000,000 people headed to Times Square this evening! I will not be one of them. This puzzle demonstrates as close as I will come to being there. Those with knowledge of Manhattan will recognize Times Square in these photos. Have any of you ever been there? What was it like?

The puzzle was my best Christmas present. It is assembled in layers, with the 120 or so most prominent buildings added at the end in chronological order from 1812 to 2013. (I didn't have the heart to remove the Twin towers when I reached 2000.) And I doubt the future buildings will be on schedule too.

My family will be running in Red Lion PA's Double Deuce at 11:49 PM. The 2-mile run hasn't ever been finished before midnight by anyone yet as it's quite hilly, but the festivities at "The Square" are going on as the runners finish. (The Cigar drop is the centerpiece.) A used car is randomly given away every year by the main sponsor but everyone always takes the alternative of $1500. There are also 5 $100 random prizes and TV's, radios and other great prizes too. I'll be asleep, having already run my miserable 3 miles.

Happy New Year. And be alert for the coming announcements of the next Harry Groves Golf Tourney and Reunion.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Penn State* in the Year-End Distance Rankings

It was a good year for current and former PSU distance runners as evidenced by the year-end rankings on LetsRun.com*.

In the men's 10,000M, James Carney placed 5th with a 28:13.4 effort. (He has a 27:43 PR!)

In the women's 10,000M Rebecca Donoghue* snagged the number 6 spot with a 32:29 time.

Rebecca* also placed 10th in the women's 5,000M event with a PR 15:30.

And no post is complete without current Nittany Lion Bridget Franek who garnered 5th place in the 3,000M steeplechase with her World Championship qualifying time of 9:36.7.

*Rebecca is an honorary Nittany Lion and member in good standing of the PSU Track Alumni Golfers despite not wearing her wrist band in any of her pictures from big races!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

PSU is the Meteorology Capital of the USA

Except our Group was left out of the classroom I suppose. I know (redacted) would have gotten the poll question right, so I can assume he didn't see it. No one got the answer correct.

Syracuse (116 inches), in fact, receives the most snowfall yearly of the six choices I gave. They get a substantial amount of "regular" snow" and more "lake-effect" snow than Buffalo (91 inches). Buffalo does have better cataclysmic snow stories, especially the 1977 event and the one when Buffalo Wings were said to be invented. Third on the list is the North Pole with 77 inches yearly. Minneapolis only gets 45 inches while Philadelphia got more than its yearly average (21 inches) last week. Last on the list was the South Pole with 8 inches. In fact, Antarctica is the world's largest desert.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The End of a Weird Decade

I can think of no better way to highlight the end of the 00's than with a song from Italian superstar Adriano Celantano from the Wayback Machine in 1972. This song filled with gibberish was supposed to be what English sounds like to foreigners. With the decade that started with the Y2K Apocalypse and ended with our imminent destruction by overheating promised by our ex-Vice President, gibberish is just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Week of My Life

1972 was a great year. Nixon was at his peak, the Vietnam War was about to be ended and Americans had been on the Moon 5 or 6 times. My sport was basketball, and I needed to get much better at it to compete with the likes of teammate Curt Clawson (who later became the greatest shooter Coach Keady of Purdue ever saw, including Michael Jordan!) I opted for the prestigious Pocono Mountain Basketball Camp run by Coaches Bill Foster and Harry Litwack. I headed off with spirits high and with ridiculous sneakers not really suitable for basketball.

My joy turned to ecstasy when I found out that David Thompson was going to be my Coach for the week. After his sophomore year at NC State, he wasn't yet a household word, but he was certainly one of the premier young players in college ball. His teammates Monty Towe and Phil Spence were with him. Tom Burleson had gone to another camp.

The first day was spent getting to know the camp layout and the set up for the coming week of intense drills, practices and games. Then, the rain began. Hurricane Agnes had hit Florida and meandered up the East Coast, delivering torrential rains which was only was made worse when it stalled over land. Worst hit happened to be where we were in the Poconos. All roads were washed out and we were marooned at our camp. Only the two indoor courts were usable by the hundreds of kids there, many counselors staying elsewhere weren't available, and we were on our own mostly. Lord of the Flies type stuff, may I add?

When the bridge over the little stream leading to the indoor courts washed out when it became a raging river, we improvised by swinging across the stream on a rope hanging from a tree. Those little kids that invariably fell in were retrieved downstream with the help of a dam we fashioned out of canoes left over from the camp's previous life. We never lost a single camper! Each day became worse with the rain and the inability of anyone to reach us from the outside. The menu deteriorated noticeably each day, with meals becoming a mish mash of whatever was available. The nightly movie reel (the World War II flick, Triple Cross) was repeated each night, and all of us learned the entire dialog by the end of the week. We were able to shout the words to the entire movie before the actor would, which somehow never got old. I remember the joy on David Thompson's face with this each night, pure innocent joy. I find it hard to believe that he later ended his basketball career in the throes of substance abuse.

Days were spent watching the college guys play pick-up basketball. Only one court at a time was available, as they tore down rim after rim with spectacular alley-oops and jams (Monty Towe and David Thompson invented the alley-oop!) none of us could believe. Those handy with tools would remake the backboards and rims on the one court as the players switched to the other.

Players were true amateurs in those days, and none of them was receiving any money outright, just room and board (eating the same crap the rest of us were!). We supplemented David by putting quarters on top of the backboards. Any quarter he jumped up and retrieved was his by default. And he pocketed a lot of change that week. I've been challenged on this many times, but I saw him do it hundreds of times. His vertical leap was unbelievable, even with just one step. He had a kid follow him just to hold all of his quarters. And I would have volunteered for the duty if someone else hadn't gotten there first!

It was a simply magical week, and I didn't mind eating Cream of Wheat for three straight meals by the end of the week. When the rain finally stopped and my parents picked me up, I was amazed to see all of Pennsylvania flooded. We didn't have a TV and no one bothered listening to the radio, we were there to watch basketball and there was none better than what was on the court live.

More Wristbands Around the World

Official Group Physicist Brian Boyer brings us several pics from around the world. He sure does get around! In this collection we see Tokoi, Japan, Roman Ruins in Chester, United Kingdom, and the Lenin Tomb in the Kremlin, with Yuri Gagarin's gravesite.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Streak Continues

It isn't quite finished yet, but after a day of moving the treadmill (successfully, against all odds!) the new workout room is now usable. The floor is concrete, the lighting is stark fluorescent and I am awaiting the lockers in battleship gray to recreate the feel of a Rec Hall locker room circa 1978. I celebrated with the 920th day in a row with a run of more than 1 mile, (all but 1 was a minimum of 3 miles). With the addition of an equal number of miles on the elliptical machine, you would think I was actually in shape. Nothing could be further from the truth! I can't run far, I can't run fast, but I can run every day. Those with IQ's higher than mine (many, many of you) know this is indeed stupid. But it's all I got (sic).

And Good News! We are now up to the 161,000th most popular blog in America! (As per Alexa) I thank my tens of readers for such an honor.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Indoor Track Next

Happy Holidays to all! Oh, what the heck, Merry Christmas. This is not a politically correct blog! Everyone is included in our group though. Even Festivus celebrants, (A festival for the rest of us). All political parties, all races, all religions and even "weight men" are an integral and welcome part of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf. Remember, the golf is optional. We do reserve the right to ridicule those who abstain, however. That may keep our gaze off the bald spot and the belly paunch, so you have that going for you.

I've included a photo of the 2009 Men's Cross-Country Team, seeing as I hadn't included any during the season. This is a young group, so look for an impressive improvement next year. And any group posing on the Lion Shrine always looks sharp.

I hope my phrase about studying posted on Facebook didn't trip up any of them during the recent finals. (The more you study, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So why study?) We are up to 86 members on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Blast From the Past!

Another great photo from the vast archives of the blog laureate (without asking, but with gratitude and appropriate attribution!). The last photo was from the 1978 Falmouth Road Race, won by Bill Rodgers. Our very own Greg Fredericks (am I allowed to say that?) came in 5th in a stellar field. That's Greg in the other photo tucked in next to Pete Bortolotti, who came all the way from New England to thrash greenery with us at last year's golf outing . Only Greg seems to have answered the question, and he is ineligible for the great prize that was available. Better luck next time. I'll make it so you idiots out there can actually get it.

The 1981 Falmouth Road Race seen above was won by Alberto Salazar, (with a stride reminiscent of a wounded pelican as always). Greg Fredericks placed 17th and I can't find him in the photo.

The caption saying "the runners chugged" is hilarious. Especially with Rod Dixon in the lead.

Climate Change Skeptic Pwn3d and Pwn3ing!

Both sides of the issue represented for a change! While waiting for the indoor track season to get underway.

Lord Monckton is pranked by "youts" (sic) who support global warming legislation. The old "kick me" sign gag never gets old!

And here, Lord Monckton obliterates a Global Warming Alarmist from Greenpeace who has no idea about what she's protesting!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Science We Can All Use!

1. A real scientist took the time to finally find the perfect parking method. It's science people! The formula looks really impressive too. This comes just in time for the flying cars they promised us since the early 60's! (Can you imagine the traffic accidents on Route 95 around Washington when idiots are allowed to fly into each other?)

2. Hadron Collider (CERN, "Doomsday" Machine) Questions Answered.

3. And remember, the Climate Change Models come from the same University that brought us Piltdown Man. *

* Make up your own mind about Climate Change. The Piltdown Hoax from East Anglia University doesn't mean they are necessarily trying to hoax again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

When Men Were Men

I was interested in track and field from an early age because my father was always a track official specializing in the high jump. One of the other stories that drew me to track and field was the epic duel between UCLA teammates and friends Rafer Johnson and C. K. Yang (from Formosa, part of Taiwan) at the 1960 Rome Olympics recounted in books and magazines and those great Olympic movies from back in the day.

As I review this story, I am amazed at how chiseled and "in shape" these two gentleman were. Weightlifting had already seen the introduction of steroids by Bob Hoffman at York Barbell in the 1950's, but I'm pretty sure it had not infiltrated track and field by then.* These guys were truly remarkable, and the 1500 run by Rafer Johnson was one of the best performances anyone could ever witness. He had to stay within 10 seconds of the previously much faster Yang, which he did. Decathlon expert Frank Zarnowski still counts these two in the top echelon of decathlon glory.

The PSU Track Season Begins this weekend with the Blue/White Meet. Go Blue?

* Use of steroids in Track and Field probably began in the early 70's and only in the Soviet Bloc countries.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Note About "Settled Science" From Beyond the Grave

Science, by definition, is never settled. So when anyone talks about it being beyond discussion, make sure you secure your wallet. Richard Feynman, a real Nobel laureate, was probably the 20th century's most clear thinking American. He seems to have had some prescience about the current scientific debate embroiling our world. Most of you know my side of the issue, but it is with the help of brilliant men like Feynman that I have reached these opinions. I invite you to marvel at the insights of a man who could juggle quantum physics, bongo drums, strippers, lock-picking and the Space Shuttle with equal charm and knowledge.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho (and not about Tiger.)

8,868 Runners braved the streets of Las Vegas for the 2009 Great Santa Run, setting a new World Record. All runners receive a 5-piece outfit with the entry fee for the 5K run. All proceeds go to charity, so I can't find a thing wrong with the whole affair.

And my wife will again brave the streets and ramps of Disney World again this year with her double off-loading knee braces. She has upped the ante and is taking on the 2010 Goofy Challenge, a half-marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. I will continue to run my daily three while being trapped like a rat on Disney Properties. Wish me luck, and oh what the heck, wish her luck too!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Photo Contest Mania!

Possibly fabulous prizes are at stake. (Well, maybe a little barely worthwhile prize anyway!) Name the two 2009 Penn State Track Alumni Golfers seen in this picture running next to each other.*

For an extra bonus of another possible barely worthwhile prize, name everyone you can in the picture, tell me what year it was taken, and who won the race.

* both were on the Elks Club course in 2009.

** in case of questions, blog laureate may be consulted.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reason Number 9,876 to Be Very Afraid When Running Alone

I remember every year when we ventured into the Game Lands unknowingly on the first day of Small Game Season. (Apparently skinny distance runners are considered small game!) Not many of us were hunters, so we were never aware of what lurked around the corner in the woods. The first nearby gunshots always got our attention. We would then immediately begin conversing in extraordinarily loud voices, further irritating the actual orange-clad hunters in the vicinity. It's a wonder none of them ever took a shot at us. (Although I was rained on by shotgun pellets one time by a laughing hunter from fairly far off.)

Now, this story has me further afraid of the risks I took while on my honeymoon in Maine. Not only was I in danger of being killed by that seemingly innocuous beast, I was at risk of arrest for a crime I did not commit! (I also saw a moose, an osprey and Joan Benoit-Samuelson on the same run!)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Horace Checks In (and he's a hockey fan!)

Horace the Golden Putter took a road trip to Clarkson University where he toured the school's hockey facilities with current holder Bob Gabel. Clarkson is located in Potsdam NY, so Bob's son Evan is no stranger to Global Warming's natural result, snow and ice. Bob scores major points in the Wrist band contest by noting my love of hockey. The Golden Golf Ball has many contenders already, but there is still time to get your entries in!

Cross-Country Season Ends

"They competed with heart, tenacity, and a lot of moxie, and with a group of so many underclassman, they certainly have an exciting future ahead of them."

-Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan

I have gone the extra distance to bring you the background on this great quote. I previously asked in a poll about your favorite regional sodas, and absolutely no one picked Moxie, a brand from Maine originally sold as a nerve food. I purchased a bottle and sampled it this AM in order to bring you this post. Moxie is an absolutely foul tasting syrup with a bitterness that I would liken to the current state of Tiger Wood's marriage. It does have a high caffeine content, so it has that going for it. So much for the nerve food claim! It takes a spirited, tenacious and high-energy person to finish a bottle. I'm proud to say the bottle is now empty!

What's great about the 14th place Women's Cross-Country team is that nearly everyone is back next year. Only All-American Bridget Franek (attaining her ninth All-American performance!) will be lost for next season. I'm looking forward to next year.

Indoor Track season looms, and I'm looking forward to some great 800M/1500M performances from the men. Remember, the Women's Indoor Big Ten Championships are at PSU this year. Put it on your calendar. I hope to see everyone there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Physics Lesson: "The Atom" for Dog Lovers and Dummies

And, the recent poll results cheered my skeptical soul. A majority of readers knew that Coach Groves only missed one Penn Relays in the last 65 years because the Army said he couldn't go. His second year, Coach started an Army Track Team in order to be allowed to go as a Coach (and a competitor?).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Quorom of Idiots!

For the first time since the 2009 Harry Groves Golf Tournament a quorom of idiot officers (CFO Gary Black, Founder Clark Haley and Herder of Cats David Baskwill) was held in Plymouth Meeting at the P. F. Changs. Dinner again centered around Kung Pao Chicken. (I am nothing if not consistent!) The meeting promises some exciting minor tweaks to the 2010 Tourney and Reunion! It will also represent a celebration of Coach Groves 80th birthday.

In 2010, the Friday night reunion evening will be held at Damon's, next to the Hampton Inn. The Awards Dinner will also be at Damon's. A dinner of Ribs and Chicken will be available for a nominal $15 following the golf event. We will still call the event "The Shisler Shindig" in honor of the generous hospitality they have afforded us all these years. The possibility of a few cash events at the tourney, like mulligans, was broached. No final decisions were made. The sacredness of the names on the Harry Groves Memorial Cup cannot be threatened or diluted.

The 2 Philadelphia Outreaches cemented tight bonds among many of us old-timers, as well as generated enthusiasm among recent converts. My former roommate Doug Kent added intellectual heft to the group and provided us with much needed legal advice. PSU mile record holder Larry Mangan updated us on his efforts to negotiate a future Bahamanian Outreach and auxiliary golf tourney with PSU great Mike Sands. Michelle and Brandon Haley provided a family atmosphere to the whole event. Brandon was absolutely the happiest kid I have ever witnessed at a 3 hour dinner at a restaurant. Clark and Michelle are obviously doing something right. Janice Mundy again watched her husband inhale The Great Wall of Chocolate for dessert. Paul Mundy's next meal may be Thanksgiving Dinner! Barb Black again acted as the hostess, allowing me the opportunity to bring PSU Track Alumni Golf to the Masses. I actually attained a 50% success rate in photos this time. It turns out its the camera, not me!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hollywood Bound?

Steve Black is seen being attacked by zombies in the trailer for the remake of the "worst movie ever made". Plan 9 continues script revisions and is preparing to be filmed in Virginia.

Steve has also appeared in the John Adams miniseries and has an upcoming role in an episode of "The Bureau".

Be sure to catch Steve Blacks riveting performance on the Investigation Discovery Channels new groundbreaking series "The Bureau" ; "Trail of Terror" episode airing on Wed Dec 9th at 9 pm, and again on Sat Decd 12th at 6 pm.
Black delivers a powerful performance as Jens Sund, father and husband of two of the 1999 Yosemite Park murder victims. You'll laugh... you'll cry!!! Two Thumbs Up!!!

Good News!

The "Doomsday Machine" was finally turned on again after suffering multiple glitches, some caused by bread crumbs dropped by birds. The CERN Supercollider actually successfully sent a proton beam around its 12 mile circumference without destroying the Earth or attracting time travelers to disable it again. The fact that anyone is reading this means we somehow avoided what some said was an "inevitable destruction of everything".

And from Runners World (yeah, I know!), we find a real-life Physicist who runs marathons. He has a sub 2:50 personal best and has been running for nearly 40 years. Wolfgang Ketterle is a professor at MIT in Boston who grew up in Germany. I hope he doesn't find out about my pseudo-German gibberish on this blog!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Big Ten Champion Lady Lions earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships with their 4th place regional finish. Bridget Franek and Nicole Lord lead the Lions into Terre Haute, Indiana for the Monday, November 23 race.

Vince McNally has the entire PSU universe on his shoulders. Only he attained an at-large bid to the finals.

And in time for Thanksgiving Dinner, I bring you this tasty video:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photographer Wanted!

Judy Lynn Weaver just sent us this gem of a photo! Last year's Official Event Photographer, Judy Lynn has reluctantly given up the post to concentrate on other aspects of our Reunion Weekend. My hope is that she won't challenge Clark Haley for the coveted position of Keeper of the Beer! She has indicated her desire to attend next year's event already and has thrown in a handsome contribution to our overall fund, entitling her to several versions of our wrist bands. She can thus enter our Wrist Bands Around the World Contest for the Golden Golf Ball.

The photo shows Keeper of the Golden Putter, Greg Fredericks handing Horace over to the first ever winner, Bob Gabel for his 16 foot putt on the treacherous 18th green. That's Coach Groves to the left, watching the rest of the inept golfers flailing at the lush greenery.

Anyone wishing to become next year's Official Photographer can contact me via the Interwebby Thingie.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Best Mascot Ever?

Some have said he was the best sporting mascot ever. Now it has been revealed that Berlino was a 33 year-old British actor (and a rather quick-footed one at that!).

My vote still goes to the Philly Phanatic. His ground-breaking work enhanced the efforts of The San Diego Chicken, taking mascots to ever increasing new heights.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

America's First Physicist (Physical Scientist)

My latest trip to Philadelphia took me to some of my favorite locations, all associated with America's first Physicist, Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin flew his famous kite with his 22 year-old son one half block south of Market St. on 10th St. The only remnant is a small plaque on the side of a church. This act solidified Franklin's bone fides as a scientist and led to his renown in Europe, which enhanced his later diplomacy efforts.

He is buried with his wife at 4th and Arch Sts. in Philadelphia. Stop by some time and throw a penny on his marker. There is no better a place to take a photo of our wrist band!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oberschule Grassenhillerspielerchampionshippenzeestadten Update *

  1. In South Carolina, the Single A State Championship was won by a basketball player wearing a pair of Air Jordans! Chad Hampton won a close race at the tape to take the title.
  2. In the PIAA, Larry Mangan's duo of teenagers helped St. Basil's Academy to a 5th place finish and Lower Moreland to a 14th place.
  3. In Ohio, Zach Wills again won the State Title to pace Tom Rapp's team to a 4th place. Update: Zach won the regional championship and is headed to the Nike Nationals!
* High School Cross-Country State Championships loosely adapted from the Blog Laureate

And the results of the previous poll seems to show that PSU Track Athletes were equally afraid of just about everything, with a slight edge to The Airport Loop. This finding coorelates with my own experience of running the Loop and watching comrades felled by frostbite in the icy winds. Being unable to speak to my parents in line at the Creamery (it was a football weekend) near the finish because of the icicles hanging from my face is a horrid memory. Dave Felice's experience and one of the Wolfe twins memories has to be worse!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Last Suburban Philly Outreach!

The last Suburban Philly Outreach is occurring on Saturday, November 21 at 4:30PM. The site has been shifted to the Plymouth Meeting P. F. Changs in order to entice a few more attendees.

Lucky attendees will receive wrist bands (Oh, goodie!) and the opportunity to watch the Great Wall of Chocolate being dismantled. Camaraderie and fellowship are available right off the turnpike, within easy driving of the entire metropolitan area. RSVP on the left sidebar if you are interested in attending.

Baltimore Inner Harbor is next, and firm dates have yet to be established.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

They Call Him "The Streak" (while being finger-printed) Yanomamos Weep

What was once innocent fun has become serious business, at least in the good ole USA. These Aussie footballers enjoy a post-game run without any repercussions, but kids in Minnesota may have to think twice about "running free".

After the first three football game half-times were "marred" by streakers at St. Francis High School, the authorities were in wait for another at the fourth. He was apprehended, causing hundreds to spill out of the stands to defend him. Another was arrested for resisting the police. The 17-year old streaker will now risk becoming a registered sex offender if convicted.

As an old fuddy-duddy, I'll have to admit even I can get a chuckle out of a streaker. Just what would make someone not able to shrug such a thing off? A suitable punishment for such an offense would be a few hours of community service if I had my way. In the 70's there would have been no one left to arrest the streakers, as the Police Academies were in on it. Progress is a real pain in the butt sometimes.

And now food fights are subject to criminal prosecution. What can be next?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Week, Another PSU T-Shirt Controversy!

Last week, 6 people were upset that the "Official" White-Out T-shirt had what some could conclude was a religious symbol on the front. And everyone knows that the Constitution explicitly condemns the union of religion and football or something, (I think its part of the Privacy Clause we so often hear about!)* PSU stood its ground on that one, ensuring that 109,994 fans will be happy on Saturday and that 6 will be sulking at home pondering lawsuits.

Now, another shirt enters the fray. This one makes fun of Ohio State quarterback Terrel Pryor after last year's loss to PSU. Political correctness has prevailed and it has been withdrawn by the company making them.

Making fun of individuals may be over the line, but I long for the days of old when we all wore the "Sh*tt on Pitt" t-shirts and purchased the "Ship Happens" T-shirts at Shippensburg at the PIAA state high school meet.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking"

George S. Patton Jr.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finally, Penn State Track at the World Series!!

Todd Leggett comes through for us at the World Series! Here is his very new Glow-In-The-Dark Wrist Band (that's gluuvenwristenbanden in German, I think). This officially enters him in the wrist bands around the world contest. First prize is the golden golf ball which was on display at the recent Alumni Outreach Dinner. You have one more chance to see it in Suburban Philly on Nov. 21.

Keep those photos coming.

Halloween Thwarted: Big-Ten Honors:

Apologies to those who expected me at the Alum Halloween pre-Big Ten party this past weekend. I was unable to attend, which meant my great costume was not in the mix for "Best in Show". I know literally 3 or so people were patiently waiting for me!

The photo to the right is an artist's conception of what part of the costume might have looked like. The rest is a proprietary secret, closely guarded for the past 30 years.

Congrats to overall Big Ten XC individual winner Bridget Franek, and second-team all-Big Ten freshman Nicole Lord. And congrats to Vince McNally, also second-team all-Big Ten.

And as a service to promote a younger crowd, in addition to our usual over-the-hill gang, here's a video of Christopher Walken performing Lady Ga Ga's big hit "Poker Face".

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two Wins and a Loss

The Suburban Philly Outreach was a huge success and generated the largest turn out so far. Demands for more such events have come in from Baltimore/Washington and Pittsburgh and a return trip to NYC is also on some people's minds. Kung Pao Chicken, Shrimp and Scallops were sampled and deemed delicious by the 11 lucky attendees. The shrimp was particularly good on this trip to P. F. Chang's in Glen Mills. The highlight of the evening was the dismantling of the Great Wall by Paul Mundy with a little assist from his wife, Janice. The Great Wall of Chocolate Desert was extraordinary, but I failed to get a photo of it before it was oblitereated by Paul. The empty plate will have to do. Alums traveled from as far away as Charlottesville VA (Gary Black) and western Ohio (Mark Hawkins). We may have enticed Mark into golfing with us in May. Others traveled about as little as 5 miles (Zeb Stewart) . Larry Mangan came directly from watching his two kids run the District 1 XC meet and moving into a new home, all in the same day! Larry also may have finally succumbed to the golf outing call! Bob Gabel and his wife Kim took a rare trip from Harleysville (just joking Bob!) and brought Horace the Golden Putter for a big night on the town. Todd Leggett also snacked on Kung Pao for the very first time and almost enticed Ed Roskiewitz to come from Princeton. Rob Whiteside was a no-show, but I won't hold it against him. And Barb Black acted as hostess for the evening, graciously allowing me to arrange for the whole thing even though it was 1 1/2 hours from home! All in all, a big win for Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf!

Another big win occurred on Sunday, as the Women's team won the Big Ten Cross-Country Championships, with Bridget Franek adding to her incredible legacy with the individual win! It was a big loss in the Halloween costume contest though, as I was unable to attend the Big Ten XC meet and Alumni Get-together. Let's hope the Blue/White golf courses survived the meet fairly unscathed.

All photos taken by me are horribly blurry! Todd took the only good one of Zeb and I.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

Is there anything cuter than a bunch of baby bats? Wrapped up in blankets! With nipples at the ready to be fed!

Photo courtesy of FU Penguin, a site where cute animals are told what's what. (Content Warning: The FU stands for some bad words!)

FU Penguin here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Too Much Time on Someone's Hands?

There are many things wrong with This Story.
First off, $16 for an "Official" Whiteout T-Shirt is offensive to me! Second off, will I be forced to get a tattoo so I can look different from the guy next to me at the Whiteout Game, or will my self-esteem suffer from the conformity? Will I be ostracized if I wear an "unofficial" Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf T-shirt at the Whiteout Game? (Remember, you get a T-shirt and a limited-edition wrist band for a $20 donation to our cause!)

But way, way down on my list would be "will I be offending a non-Christian at the Whiteout Game by wearing the 'official' shirt"? And after that would be "how sad it is that non-Christians can't wear the shirt at the Whiteout game because it kinda, sorta has a Christian symbol sorta, kinda on it?

As someone with way too much time on my hands, (go ahead, I know you're thinking that about the blog!), I find it offensive that some would use this shirt as a platform to complain about anything. Anyone with any PSU knowledge knows about the lone adornment on all PSU football uniforms, the central blue helmet stripe.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

In a risky maneuver, I am testing the adverse effects of staying up late two nights in a row! The Kung Pao Outreach in Suburban Philadelphia commences on Friday night at 8:00PM, Oct. 30 at the P. F. Changs in Glen Mills, PA. We should have a good crowd of 15-20 people, many dining on Kung Pao Chicken for the first time in their lives.* The lucky participants become the first offered the new version of the wrist bands. Horace, the Golden Putter and Mike, the Silver Divot Tool are slated to be in attendance.

Following the event, I am headed to State College for the Big Ten Cross-Country Championships on Sunday and the Halloween Alumni Get-together at Damon's the night before. An all-out attempt at winning the costume contest is being made on my part, as I resurrect the same costume I last wore at a Halloween Party 30 years ago. Anyone throwing a vote my way will garner special credit at next year's tourney. In an attempt at Chicago politics, I hope to have my own Bodyguard present.**

*Reluctantly, I will allow the consumption of other foods for those too wimpy for spicy Chinese food or having allergies to peanuts.

**Ghostwritten copies of my autobiography will not be available.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Primal Seven Run

It was a dark and stormy morning. It didn't start out that way. It started out as any normal Sunday morning seemed to when we awoke and realized that we had to hightail it to Rec Hall shortly or we would incur Coach's wrath for being late for the Mountain Run. Usually we had to wait only for Gary to show up! Shaking off the vestiges of the night before, we donned our scratchy blues and grays and supplemented them with the even scratchier sweats of further gray. It was early Spring which is really late Winter in Happy Valley.

We piled into the Van of Blue with Coach driving, the entire rag tag bunch of 15 or so of us scratching, bitching and farting as usual, before making it to the starting area somewhere in Bear Meadows. The 15 mile run (actually 17 as usual) was throughout Bear Meadows, with the Switchbacks somewhere in the middle. (A chill has unexpectedly run up hundreds of spines of ex-PSU distance runners at the mention of Switchbacks!) All was going swimmingly until the second half of the run, when a dark chill seemed to envelope our world. By then we were spread out sufficiently that few of us were within site of each other. Soon site-lines didn't matter, as the darkness got worse. Then the rain began. A cold, cold rain, that seemed to penetrate to the bone. As we laughed that it couldn't get worse, the lightning began. At first, the frequent lightning was a benefit; it allowed us to occasionally see the road ahead and ever so slowly make it back to the Van. But then, the trees started bursting into flames occasionally, usually right next to us, with trees occasionally falling into the surrounding darkness with a sickening crunch.

As the rain continued, our sweats came alive and stretched to 200% of their former length, taunting us with their elasticity. When we doubled the ends up and pulled them to our groin, they still dragged on the ground in the middle, making running a struggle. (I swear, I'm not making that up!) It got colder, more trees fell and others burned, we couldn't see where we were going unless the lightning hit near us, and we weren't sure if we could find the Van.

Somehow, someone's prayers were answered and several of us stumbled upon the Van in the torrential rain and darkness. It was now as simple as reaching for the key, which all of us knew was always placed on the driver's side front tire, AND IT WASN'T THERE! For the first time in our recorded history, Coach had kept the key, and was somewhere in the darkness behind us, running with the trailing group or possibly lost for all eternity. The downpour continued as we huddled in the ever worsening cold. We didn't speak much, some of us were wondering whether we would ever make it back to the dorm for our Brunch of Chicken Cosmos or something.

When Coach finally made it back to the Van we all hurried in, only to realize that the usual disgusting odors were now magnified exponentially. The windows fogged relentlessly as the yellowish haze built in the passenger compartment. The drive back was only seemingly 2 hours long, and as we were finally nearing campus a thought hit me, that has stuck until this day.

While we were out there in the worst weather I had encountered in my 19 years, I realized that as humans, we were no better off than the common Tree Shrew I had just learned in Evolution Class was similar to our earliest ancestors on the hominid tree. The Primal Seven was formed, as I thought of what the poor Tree Shrews must have felt while stuck in the trees during such a storm.
  1. Cold
  2. Wet
  3. Tired
  4. Hungry
  5. Lonely
  6. Scared And,
  7. Thirsty.
And they had no Chicken Cosmos to look forward to!
Web Statistics