Sunday, December 30, 2012

missing Scooter....

Our morning started out with sadness. Our 22 lb Scooter, a beautiful black and white lazy house cat passed away.

We have had Scooter for about 9 years. He came to us as a kitten just after the passing of another ornery black and white named Tuck. Tuck was Dana's cat, and she was in no way ready for another--but the very day he died, my son Chuck was working at a house where the people had this kitten show up and they wanted it to go away. Chuck called me and said that we wouldn't believe it but there was a cat exactly like Tuck that needed a new home. Scooter charged into our life despite the protest of Dana--but that protest lasted about five minutes.

Scooter was Dana's cat from the word GO. Given a choice of laps on a couch, he would choose Dana's every time. At the time, Sassy was the only other inside cat, and she never really loved Scooter--maybe tolerated him at times, and she'd smack him around at every opportunity. Scooter soon outweighed Sassy, and he just ignored her abuse. Oh, he could dish it out , but for the most part they got along.

Scooter had a lot of peculiar patterns of behavior. He liked his breakfast served on time--5:00 am sharp. Dinner time was flexible, but when he thought we were a little late in getting it ready, he would fuss big-time. And at 9:00 pm, he would retire to bed. Our bed. He was a good foot warmer, but he usually liked to be right in Dana's face, usually sharing a pillow.

Whenever I did get some lap-time with Scooter, he liked to be right in your face. Close enough for an occasional whisker tickle, and definitely close enough for a slimy cat kiss.

He was also particularly for of belly rubbing. A good massage would get his massage technique going. I always thought he could have a career with back massage, if I could ever get him turned around to do his kneading thing to a soor back or shoulders. I'd pay $55/hour for a good massage like that.

Scooter was always good to pose for pictures, and I took lots of them. I wish I had taken more video though.

It's Santa's little helper.

Although I have a few pictures of all three cats in the same lap, this was a rarity. This nearly always ended up in a power struggle for king/queen of the lap.

In this case, Scooter won not only king of the lap, but we took the whole throne.

My only video of Scooter. He was the most talkative cat I've ever known. I think cats like it when you meow back at him. He and I could go on like this for hours. Some of his meows were 3-4 syllables, and Dana swears he was saying MAMA.

Dana said her grandpa used to tell her that the sign of a good cat was one who would let you rub their nose. Scooter like his nose rubber. He also seemed to like his ears played with--well, maybe not like turning them wrong-side out. He would tolerate this for a minute, and then a quick twitch would turn them right side out.
This was my last picture of Scooter--taken a couple of days ago. I put it on Facebook, and said no animals were harmed in the taking of this picture.

This morning, after his breakfast, he was meowing weird and deep. Every once and a while, he would do this when he had a hairball, and would yak it up either right in the center of the living room carpet, or right where my foot hits the floor when I get out of bed. I figured a pile of cat-urp was forthcoming, but the howling meows kept coming. Dana and I then thought something was wrong. When we saw him, he was trying to walk, but was dragging his hind legs. The paralysis then worsened to where the whole bottom half of his body was unable to move. He was in pain, and was scared. Pet emergencies always happen on a holiday or a weekend, and we had no choice but to take him the the emergency vet clinic.

Dana thought he had thrown a blood clot--something that had happened to a male cat we had several years back. The vet doc told us the same thing. I gave the OK for him to have some pain meds, and the doctor and I discussed Scooter's options. There are surgical procedures that can be done, but he was honest enough to tell me that the chances of a recovery were not good. I hate gut-wrenching decisions like this. HATE IT! But I felt it best to have him put down. I set typing. And crying. The folks at the vet ER clinic were so nice. They did their deed, and put Scooter in a nice box that resembled a casket. It was securely sealed and taped shut for me to take home. In a few minutes, I'll go to a shady place under a sycamore tree and dig a hole. Dana and I will have his burial tomorrow morning.

I miss this pesky aggravating cat.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Running at Spavinaw

I ran sort of an impromptu run today at Spavinaw WMA. I needed a good long run, and of course wanted to run it on trailz, and maybe someplace other than Turkey Mountian, although I love it here. A change of scenery is nice.
I posted this map on Facebook mainly because I wanted to do a screen capture for my phone, and talk of where this was and when I was going came up, and although I was not trying to take a gang of runners with me, some company was awesome. Scott Smaligo and Danielle Martin rode up with me and we took out running just after 9:00 am in 15° temps.

I had three layers of Icebreaker on my upper torso, and was plenty warm, sweated a little, but was never too warm. The sun was up and bright, and the skies were postcard blue, with only a hint of breeze a time or two during our run. I unzipped my jacket and removed my gloves to get the right body temps, and the cold was not a factor at all in my run. I'll call it perfect weather and good clothes.

I ran here last summer, and this seems like a super place to run long. It was today. I was a little concerned about there being deer hunters out, and later in our run, we did see quite a few pick-up trucks with dudes all camoed out. They all seemed friendly although one guy said (maybe kiddingly?) that he thought he had seen it all, referring to the oddity of seeing three runners out there in the middle of nowhere.

The course is mostly gravel roads, with a little dirt road here and there. The black lines on the map are good maintained forest service roads with places where the gravel was a bit loose and a bit large. I wore my Montrail AT Plus trail shoes, and they did me well, but the balls of my feet feel slightly bruised after 17.4 miles of these roads. Not complaining, just commenting.

It was DRY there, but early on, we did have one spot that was almost a mandatory water crossing. A good Kodak moment, and then we stepped around it.

I suspect there are around 20-22 miles of good roads like these, and several off-shoots which are not as well groomed. We took one such road/trail, and followed it for a mile thinking we would get a good view of Lake Spavinaw. My map showed it to be a dead end, but I still thought it might connect to another similar tail for a loop, but it did not. So, we had an out-and-back added which included a LOT of rustling through loose leaves. The game management folks just don't rake leaves.

There is another distinct feature to the roads and trailz here. The area includes Hills. We had 6 or 7 significant climbs on the run, and we talked about whether these were worse than Pumpkin Holler. I'd say close, but there are definitely more of them. Look at the course elevation profile down the page--or don't. I'll talk more about it when I get there.

I love running under the pines. It was nice to see something still green. I mentioned while taking pix that I loved doing so (and of course posting them.) I feel it's like throwing out bait--the next time we come up, we'll make a TOT run out of it, and pictures help sucker people in--hills or not.

This is hill number 4 or 5. We ran some of them, and would stop to walk the last little bit if they were real steep. I also use the take-picture excuse to catch a breather.

Danielle almost had Scott talked into walking across this fallen tree. It would have been about a 20 foot drop if he fell. No takers today.

At around mile 10, we ran through an area where a fire had cleared a large area of trees. It was still a beautiful area though. Not sure what these two were talking about--probably the fiscal cliff or something.

This is the start of a 1.5 mile gradual downhill. Fun.

Lots of little ups and downs to go with some of the longer climbs, but a lot of it was runable.

We finally came to an intersection where we accessed our pace/progress/time remaining, and decided to shorten our run. The big loop we had planned would have definitely been longer than 20 miles--maybe as much as 24, and Scott had a commitment at 3:00--so we lopped off the loop furthest west. This move dealt us a long steep hill which we discussed the possibility of there being a McDonald's or a QuikTrip at the top. I even thought we might see the pearly gates there, but we were all wrong.

With the map I had, I never felt lost. The roads marked were good roads, and we never made a wrong turn (while running anyway--I did miss a turn driving up here due to yapping and not paying attention.) Here, I KNEW we must be going the right way since there were TATUR PINK RIBBONS on the trees.

After running through a 2-3 mile stretch on the bottom of a beautiful valley, we had one more climb to get back to where our car was. This climb was followed by a very steep downhill that Danielle ran like a gazelle. Scott walked it, I jogged it, and Scott's walk was faster than my jog. My poor feet were sore, and I was to the point where I was liking the uphills more than the downhills.

This is the route we ran. The loop on the left would have been about twice the size if we had ran it. We might still be out there--ya never know.

And the elevation profile from my Garmin. I like looking at these, but they don't always tell the true story. I will not tell you this was a "relatively flat" course. But looking at this profile, you might think there were NO FLAT SECTIONS AT ALL. Well, there were. The first mile did not even seem hilly. We ran it all. Miles 2-4 were easily runable. Miles 9-11--another good fast section. And even though it looks like a killer climb, mile 14.5-15.5 was right down the bottom of a flat valley. It might have been a very gradual climb, but it was easy to motor even though we were all pretty tired.

This is a fun place to run. I wonder a little about whether we should have been there as I really don't want to interfere with a hunter and his prey. I'll check on the regulations before bringing a TOT group up. And when we do make the trip, y'all better come.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


2012 has come and is nearly gone. The year is old, about to be put to rest and soon an old calendar with Labradors comes off the wall making way for a new one with Labrador puppies.

It seems people I used to hang with are OLD, but my running friends are young like me. I hang out with some runners who are actually my kids age, and often I'm the oldest in the group--by far! Yet doing what they do keeps me believing I should be doing what they do. Strangely enough, I believe they don't think about me being so much older. Or maybe they're just being polite.

A Led Zepplin tribute aired this evening, and the band that my dad gave me hell for listening to as teenager look old enough to be my grandpa. In the tribute, a lot of "younger" bands did covers of their songs, and some of the guest performers were has-beens. There were not any modern day artists doing any of the Led Zep standards, because they surely had not heard them, did not like them, and were nowhere near talented enough to do the songs justice.

I have known people who suddenly aged overnight, looking like they must have woke up with scaly tags of old age hanging all them. Old age crept in like a bed bug infestation, and itching only made it worse. They just gave up and went from 40 to 60 in six seconds flat. Why did that happen? Was it an extra candle on the cake that sent them over the edge? Was it a job lay-off, a class reunion, a changing of the calendar?
Old age wants me cozy on the couch and in bed at 9:00. But I want to run until 9:00, letting the moon light my trailz. I'll sleep til I have to wake up, yet beat the sun up on the weekends. I'm not fighting getting old--just laughing at it. You think you gotta shot at me?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Santa says I need to run more.

Lucky Me!! I got a new Garmin 310XT for Christmas!! And not a day too soon as my 205 recently passed into the after world. It is the end of the world for the big blue running watch. I know there are even newer and niftier models out, but this one fits my wants and needs. And it's pretty.

I am liking it so far--very satisfied!! It is slightly smaller than the 205/305, and is more balanced on my wrist.
The 205 also rubbed on my bony wrist (about the only part of me that does not have padding) and would make a sore after a dozen miles or so especially on a warm day. I liked that the 205 sent a couple of lengths of the straps though.

Another couple of improvements are that the 310 picks up satellites much quicker than the 205/305. I can be in the house, strap it on and head out the door, and by the time I hit the driveway, I have a signal. It beeps like the 205, although faintly. But it also vibrates after each lap and I always feel that. The uploads to my PC are now wireless. An antennae plugged into a USB port links to the watch and the uploads are quick. A new Garmin Connect site is more user-friendly with many more nerdy details to view. The charger is different--a clamp with two diodes that must hit the right spots on the back of the watch. It actually is easy and works great. It is less likely to have the watch slip off the charger, which happened frequently with the 205 cradle.
But best of all, this model boasts a 20 hour battery life. That means I can run 100K and have power left over. I doubt that I'll get all the way through a 100 on a charge, but 85-90 miles is not out of the question. At that point in a race, I don't even care if I even own a Garmin.

If you are wanting all the gadgets that can be bought for this watch, you can spend $350+. But for me, who will never use the heart rate monitor, the foot pods for treadmill running, or the quick-release clamps for a bike, the 310XT can be bought for $250 or less online. Santa found mine for $207 with free shipping.

I am thinking me and that virtual partner feature might have some smack talk to deal with this coming year.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The quest for Pre-2007 Montrail Hardrocks

I started running in August of 2002. Ran my first trail race in February 2003, bought my first pair of trail shoes before my first Ultra in September 2003, and bought my first pair of Montrail Hurricane Ridge Trail Shoes before my first Athens/Big Fork in January 2004. After that, Montrail came out with the HardRock, named after the toughest 100 miler in the states.
I fell head over heels in love with this shoe. I have owned 10-12 pairs since then and they are like tanks on my feet, giving me the confidence to conquer any trail. But in 2007, Columbia bought them out. The 2007 shoe was essentially the same, but it seems the toe bumper came unglued immediately, and large chunks of the tread would come loose. In 2008, the shoe was totally redesigned and it was a mediocre trail shoe that performed nothing like the original.

What makes this shoe so awesome (in my opinion?) It is so stable. The heel cup is substantial, keeping my supported and upright. Adding to the amazing solid feel is the EIGHT EYELETS, whereas most other trail shoes have only six. Notice the blue striped stabilization straps that tie into the eyelets. These anchor to the base platform, and the shoe becomes "at one" with your foot. When I put these shoes on before a run, or change into them at the halfway point of a 100 miler, I feel like a vacuum just sucks my foot into the shoe, and the shoe closes around my foot like a precision hatch. I feel like Superman, able to run over jagged rocks and jump over high stumps in a single bound.

I have well over 100 miles on these shoes. I have three pair left, and all are in pretty sad looking shape, but feel like old friends willing to take me into any battle I choose to take on. One of my other pair has big chunks of tread missing, and my oldest pair has hex screws installed for icy days.

In all pairs, I have added Sole Dean Karnazez Insoles, which when pre-heated in the oven and quickly inserted in the shoe, will conform both to the shoe bed and my foot shape. (Not exactly the minimalist approach, I know.)

I occasionally search eBay for a pair that someone is trying to pedal, and I have picked up a few that way. The last pair I got--a 2007 pair--has quite a bit of tread missing now. I paid $50.00 for them, and was thrilled. I'd pay three times that for another addition of these.

Finding another shoe to replace these has been a challenge. I have wore several great trail running shoes from RunnersWorld, including Cascadias, Trabucos, Xodus, and these are all very good shoes that do the job. I like and use run in them often, but they are not my beloved. I've gone minimalist, wearing Minimus, MT-110s, Trail Gloves, Altra Lone Peaks, and I like them too, but they do not give me the confidence to run endlessly over anything the trail can throw my way. So what is the point of all this? It's just a lament--and a plea: If anyone should happen to know where I could find a pair of pre-2007 Montrail HardRocks in a size 10.5 or 11, I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO YOU!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Brian Hoover Race Report

[This is a race report written by Brian Hoover found in the Runners's World Magazine forums from way back in the day when TATUR was not even yet founded. Published without permission--that's how I roll. I'll work on forgiveness later.]

On February 4th, Kathy, Alex, Dan and I completed a 50 mile race in Madill Oklahoma called the Dan Man 50. Mandy, Steve , Ken (Mazerunner)& Dana also ran in that race. What a great group of Tulsa Trail runners barnstormed the small town of Madill on that quiet Saturday morning!! But I digress.

Kathy and I had our sights set on another race on Saturday February 25th called the Cross Timbers Trail Runs. They had four different distances you could choose from. A fifty miler, a marathon, half-marathon, or a five mile fun run. Being the wimps that we are, Kathy and I passed on the 50 miler and wanted to do one of the shorter distances. Kathy was in the process of remodeling and moving that week. She had been doing a lot of hard physical labor and she kept wavering back and forth whether she wanted to do the half or full marathon. If you know Kathy, you can probably already guess which distance she opted for. That's right we both ended up checking the little box that said "Marathon".

After spending nine hours loading and unloading trucks and trailers full of boxes and furniture on Friday, the last thing on our minds was getting in the truck and driving four hours to a trail marathon. But 6pm came and we had finished emptying one house and filling another. It was Friday night and it was time to go.

We left Tulsa a bit past 6pm and we hopped on 75 South. Lake Texoma here we come! Kathy drove to Henryetta where we stopped at a convenience store and I loaded up on my traditional pre-trail meal of ice cream and candy bars. I took over the driving and our thought process was slowly turning away from boxes and furniture toward running. We had heard that the coarse was difficult with lots of rocks, roots, boulders, hills and cliffs. We were also told that the scenery was breathtaking.

The coarse description states, "Cross Timbers is a North Texas thicket that in the 1830's formed a natural barrier between the Plains Indian Tribes to the west and the Indian Territory to the East. In 1834 it was considered impenetrable and uninhabitable by man or beast." Nowadays it is still a thick oak forest with with beautiful views of Lake Texoma, which straddles the Oklahoma/Texas border. This year will mark the races' 25th anniversary.

About 8:30pm I saw a small, miniature drop of water hit the windshield. We had not heard of any rain being forecast for the Tulsa area so we did not think too much about it. Split.....split.....splat....rat-a-tat-tat. What started as a few well spaced out drops , were now hitting the windshield with an ever increasing repetitiveness. We both thought that we were driving through an isolated rain storm that would soon pass. Boy were we wrong! It was raining fairly steadily as we pulled our tired carcasses into the sleepy town of Whitesboro about 10:30pm. We found our motel fairly easily and hustled our gear into the clean and comfy motel room. We prepped all of our race stuff and tried to figure out if it would be wet, dry, muddy, hot or cold tomorrow morning. We showered and tried to sleep to the sound of rain pelting the single story motel roof.

I slept hard till about 2am when I awoke to the sound of thunder...hey isn't that a country song? Anyways, I poked my head out of the curtains and saw flashes of lightning and a hard steady rain that made ripples in the large puddles that had formed in the parking lot. Right then I knew that we were in for some excitement. I did not sleep for the rest of the night and decided to get out of bed at 4:45am. The wake-up call had been set for 5am. Kathy and I dressed for rain and hoped that it would not rain during the race. After a quick breakfast we were in the car and headed 13 miles north to Cedar Bayou where the race would be contested.

We checked in, used the bathroom and the 50 milers took off at 6:30am. The marathoners and half marathoners would start at 7am and the 5 mile race would start at 7:30am. Kathy and I finalized what we would wear. It was still raining and the area around the start-line was very slick and muddy so we knew the trail must be a nightmare. I wore shorts, a singlet, a throwaway long sleeve shirt, and my Montrail Hardrock trail shoes. I decided not to wear my Camelback and instead carry a handheld water bottle. This was a decision I would come to regret.
The coarse was what they call a "double out and back". We would go 10 miles to the west, back to the start line, then basically we would go 3.1 miles in the opposite direction (to the east), then back to the start line. We had been warned that the last 6.2 miles contained the toughest hills and most technical part of the coarse.


We were off. The condition of the trail was ten times worse than I had expected. I had hoped for some dry sections. Ha!! The only dry sections were the steep uphills and they were so slick that sometimes it took two or three attempts before I could get to the top. The first mile or so of single-track trail runs are really like follow the leader, single file we run. For the first half-hour it seems that everyone is trying to pick a path that allows them to keep their feet dry. I see people running off the coarse to avoid puddles and getting their legs tore up by the thorny vines that grew everywhere but on the trail itself, others are running along the sloped edge of the trail and sliding back into the middle.
Needless to say I think we all quickly learned that the easiest way was to just slop right down the middle of the trail. The rain started up again but thankfully the lightning had stopped.

Two and a half miles into the coarse I was right in front of Kathy when I rolled my ankle. I cursed and yelled and blurted out some words that would have gotten me kicked out of school. However, I was still able to run and it had not swollen much. I hoped that if I did not roll it again that I would have a good shot at finishing.

We were going at a pretty good pace near the five mile mark and Kathy was charging down a hill when I heard "POP" Kathy had done the same thing to her ankle but hers' was much worse. She did a PG version of cursing and I told a runner to let the next aid station know that #63 might need medical assistance. Kathy refused to walk or even go slow. Her ankle was starting to swell but she stayed behind me and made me promise to go on if she could not keep up. That is a tough scenario, do you go on or do you stay with your "partner"? Kathy and I have agreed beforehand that we would run races together only if it works out that way. If one of us is having a bad day or gets hurt then we would split and each of us would run our own race. At a previous race I had twisted my ankle and I told her to go on.

We ran together for another couple of miles and I could tell that Kathy was struggling to keep up. After the aid second, at about mile eight, I looked back and Kathy was no longer behind me. Kathy has been running a long time and has done many races, but I still worried. Despite the brutal conditions I felt great! I had tossed my long sleeve shirt and was in tank top and shorts. I was really getting into a rhythm. The rain was really coming down now. It was now just short of what I would call a torrential downpour!! My shirt was plastered to my body and this is when I noticed that not only was I running uphill, but I was also running up current! There was about three inches of water on top of 6-8 inches of mud and it was flowing down the trail that was being carved out by all the runners that were ahead of me. Each footfall for the rest of the race would sink almost to mid-calf in the muck.

I reached the turn-around point/aid station at the ten mile mark and grabbed one small boiled potato wedge, dipped it in salt and I was on my way back toward the start/finish.

I was concerned about Kathy and knew that I should see her pretty soon heading the opposite way that I was now going.

By the time I got to the 7/13 mile aid station I still had not seen her so I knew that she must have dropped out (DNF)

I was started running with a girl named Ellen. She was a strong runner and we talked about trail races we had done and races we wanted to try. We would laugh as the other slipped and fell. So, in other words, we laughed a lot! The good thing is that when you fell it was padded with a six inch layer of mud. We didn't stop at the next aid station, my handheld bottle was still 3/4 of the way full and I still felt incredibly strong. The time passed quickly and before I knew it we were back at the start/finish (20 mile mark) Ellen wanted to stop and get some food. I expected to see Kathy in her Jeep or under the tent at the start line. She wasn't. Where could she be? I was starting to get a little worried. Physically I was still feeling great, so I passed up yet another aid station and told Ellen thanks for the company.

6.2 miles left. Since I was now running by myself I used this time to try and pass as many people as possible. Right off the bat I came across two guys in their mid-twenties. I chatted with them for a couple of minutes before I took off ahead of them. This is where the coarse turned form difficult to nearly impossible. There were three back-to-back-to-back hills that were so steep and so slippery that I literally had to use my fingers in the mud to help me get up. Many times I would get half way up then slide all the way back down. I tried grabbing trees. I would grab one tree, pull myself up, then lunge for another. Just as I would close my fingers around the next tree, I would slip back down and have to repeat the process again. The water bottle I was carrying made it even more difficult and I had to switch hands many times. The amazing thing was that as slow as I was going, I was still passing people.
I think this is where the coarse just mentally and physically defeated many people. You have gone over twenty miles in conditions that happen once, or never in a lifetime. You are cold, sore, crampy and soaked to the bone. It is still raining and the coarse just keeps getting harder. I heard one guy say that he was going to quit after 22 miles and start walking back because he simply could not get up the hill. I really did not blame him. I knew that getting down those three hills would be just as tough and a lot more dangerous on the way back. At the 22.5 mile mark there was another aid station that I did not stop at except to put my Garmin in my back pocket. (It was so caked with mud that I could not read it.)

This is the point that in the past you would turn around and head back to the start in years past. However, this year, they changed the length from 25 miles to 26.2 miles. So to get in the extra 1.2 miles we had to go on a paved road for .6 miles in one direction, then .6 miles back to the aid station. This section was nice since the paved road was a reprieve from the mud. But this was also the point that my legs started getting stiff and sore.

I only had 2.5 more miles to go and I knew I could crawl that distance. I just about had to crawl. All of a sudden I look up and I see Kathy running in the opposite direction. I hadn't seen her in hours and at first I thought she had quit and just decided to run this last loop for fun. I asked her if she was still in the race and she looked at me funny and replied, "Of coarse!!" My mind was reeling at how she could still be in the race when I had not seen her on the previous loop.

Those three hills going the other way was a huge challenge. After falling about six more times, I tried a technique that actually worked rather well. I thought, instead of fighting the downhills sections, I would try skiing down them. I put my feet about shoulder width apart and held my arms perpendicular to my body and pointed my toes in the direction I wanted to slide. It was a bit scary and fun at the same time. I would slide for about ten feet then hang on to a tree, then repeat till I got to the bottom.

I think the finish line was a one foot line of flour on the ground. I asked if I could stop running and someone said I could. So I stopped. I staggered over to the tent and ate three of the freshest most tasty, hot off the grill hamburgers I ever tasted. Plus I ate a big ole bowl of beans. I finished in 5:29 minutes. They told me I came in 5th overall male. I was very happy with this time and loved the fact that I still felt strong up to the 22.5 mile mark.

Kathy came in about 45 minutes later. Swollen ankle and all. She was running strong but her ankle was hurting enough that she could not really push off of it very hard. We were caked in mud up to our butts, our socks were all pushed up around our toes and we all had about two ounces of mud in our shoes. Kathy threw her shoes away they were so muddy.

I asked her how we passed each other without knowing. She told me that she saw me at the 10 mile turn-around point. She said I looked right at her and took off running. She said she really thought I was being a jerk for taking off without even saying hi. The fact of the matter is that I never saw her. We are still laughing about that little incident.

Although we all were worn out, tired, and cold, about thirty of us had a wonderful time under the big tent. We tried to warm up, ate more food, drank a few beers, and laughed at everyone's stories of slipping and falling. We laughed even harder at all the funny places people wore their mud. We met some amazing folks and feel lucky that we were able to experience this adventure. I will feel privileged to tell people in the years to come, that we were at Cross Timbers the year that it was a MUDFEST!!

Brian 3/1/06

Friday, December 21, 2012

Robin's Roast Coffee

I found an local independent coffee roaster that I really like. Robin's Roast has been in operation for a couple of years providing fresh roasted coffee and supplies to the Tulsa and the surrounding areas. During my morning coffee, I read email and Google stuff I like. Wednesday morning, I was looking for someplace where i could buy several packages of coffee for Christmas gifts, and found Robin's Roast.

Steve Williams owns and operates this up and coming business, and is expanding by distributing a variety of coffees with his online store. Steve roasted 8 lbs of Brazilian and Colombian beans for me, and I had the pleasure of breathing the aroma for a few hours in my car as I went about my day. By the time I got home, I was watering at the mouth for a brew--but Dana talked me into waiting til morning. (I did munch a few beans while eating Dive Chocolate Minis--sort of like making chocolate covered coffee beans in my mouth!) But more about Steve--it's a small world. Turns out, our paths had crossed a year or so ago when I visited with him about some windows for his parents house. (Of course, there are a lot of Steve Williams in the world, including Tiger Woods' former caddie.)

Right now, if you want to order coffee, you'll need to contact Steve a day in advance and he will roast your order upon your call. I picked mine up at their location on south Mingo, and got to see his operation--large burlap sacks of raw beans brought in from all over the world, and his roaster which to me is a work of art. I have a place for this in my sunroom!

I drink a lot of different coffees--often having as many coffee choices on hand as I have running shoes in my closet.
And today, I'll be calling Steve to order a few more pounds of coffee--some for me and some for stocking stuffers.
Ho ho ho.