September 4, 2009


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August 25, 2009


April?? Really?

The last time I posted to this blog was in April. Wow how time flies...

So much has happened... So many places, so many people, so many laughs...

So here is the 1 paragraph recap, meant more to rattle my memory when I look back at this in 20 years than to give you the details about my life recently. If you really need to know the details, you probably already do and so this stuff will make sense anyway... Here goes.

The Leftfield Pictures project died quickly and with not too much bitterness. TLC wanted it - imagine me the American dad haha! - but Emily had reservations about kid exposure and, through the good and bad, we are on this co-parenting adventure together so I of course respected her opinion. June brought my epic trip with the kids that I'm sure we'll be talking about forever. We flew to Seattle, then took the Amtrak to Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and finally San Diego. We caught up with our friends Hailey in Seattle, Laura in Portland, and Leslie in San Francisco. Saw Seattle Sounders game, and a San Francisco Giants game. Sea World in San Diego. In July Emma and I went to Colorado and stayed in Leadville, camped at the base of Mt Elbert and climbed both Mt Elbert and Mt Massive. On Mt Elbert we ascended through 2 hailstorms and a 30 degree temp drop to summit. Emma was amazing. Now that the kids are all in 5 day a week school I'm starting to feel like I have a little more me time, a little less draggin-my-ass tired time. I started teaching an ICM 1 class (1st year medical students learning how to take a history and do a physical exam) and so far this has been quite rewarding. I've registered for a Masters in Health Administration at UAB, although I'm still not 100% sure whether I will actually do it. It's not a small financial investment, and I'm still in debt to my eyeballs (although there is an end in sight for that too!!). Also, the first on campus classes week (it's 8 days on campus for each semester, the rest by computer) is going to make me miss the 1st 2 Auburn football games (which of course I realized the day AFTER I paid my $2500 for the season tickets... grr).

This weekend is Ironman Louisville! I checked out the weather this morning -- high temp of 72 degrees!!!! I was a little bit dreading a humid mid 90's day, so low 70s sounds AMAZING. I haven't really trained for this race, so it will be interesting. I haven't ridden a century since last August. I did run Country Music Marathon this spring (with zero training specifically for the race) and did ok. I also did the Gulf Coast tri half iron race in the spring and did ok. I hadn't swam any since gulf coast until a couple weeks ago when I needed to make sure I still knew how to swim - ;) - I went through a 2 mile swim and felt fine so that was a big confidence booster. Anyway, I'm sure I'll finish, I'm sure it won't be a PR, I'm sure I'll hurt, and I'm sure it will be more fun than should be allowed by law!

Last night I ran with the Trak Shak group and had a great time. I don't think I ever have run with a group except in a race. I'm just more of a solo kinda guy I guess. But my neighbor Don has been running with this group and asked me Sunday to come give it a try, so I did. There were only about a dozen of us, men and women, thin and a little not thin. I went out with the 2 guys that obviously were going to be the fast ones (of course, cuz that's just the way I roll, er torture myself). It was just a 4 mile run so I figured I could handle about any pace for 4 miles. Hmph... After 2 miles of 630 ish pace I was drifting it back... I recovered a bit, but still finished the run a solid 30 seconds back of them. Next time I need to change my mindset from racing, to just running...

Well, I think that's enough for now. I guess I likely will post another in 6 months or so! Or not...

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin...

April 13, 2009

I'm finally almost caught up on sleep. Yesterday morning I got off work at 6 am, crawled in bed at 630, and slept for 8 solid hours. It was the most by 4 hours I had slept continuously in 6 days and it felt great.

With little sleep there has been little training in the last week. I ran once for a couple hours and rode the trainer once, and that was it. So yesterday me and Mars ran in the rain.

Sunday is Powerman race, and I'm hopeful for better weather and a better performance than my last Powerman in 2007. Rain and 40 degrees was miserable!

I did my taxes yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I owe significantly less than I had expected/budgeted so there may be some new toys in my future!!

Until next time, thanks for joining me for my daily spin...
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March 30, 2009



Registered for Powerman Alabama in April and Gulf Coast Half Iron tri in early May...

More... Soon...

February 16, 2009

Mercedes Half Marathon Report

Yesterday I ran the Mercedes half marathon in Birmingham. I was a little nervous about being kinda sick for it. About 2 on race morning I woke and sneezed at least 2 dozen times over about 5 minutes. I was worried about not being able to breathe out of my nose, although after the race I realized I shouldn't have been since all I did was pant the entire run.

The weather was great at the start - high 40's maybe and dry. After I got to the racesite I realized I forgot my chip at home so found the help desk and they were able - after a scolding my mom would be proud of -give me a new bib number and chip. But the last minute chip fix took away my alotted time for a warm-up jog, so I started off pretty stiff.

I had already decided well before the start of the race that I was going to run within my limits and not try to be fast. And I think I was able to maintain that strategy throughout the run. I stayed comfortable, never chased when others passed, and stayed relaxed.

The first 7 miles came and went easily, but the last 6 were hurting me a little. This 13.1 miles was the longest by 5 miles I have run since the Air Force marathon in September. My thighs were a little stiff, and my knees were starting to get slightly achy from the pavement pounding by the end of the run.

I finished in 1:45, right at 8 minute pace. I was satisfied.

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

February 13, 2009


I'm better today I think. I can breathe through my nose. Breathing through the nose is one of those little things you don't appreciate until you can't do it.

I'm overwhelmed. I don't feel like I can keep up. My house is a wreck. Maybe it's time to move again, somewhere with more space so my mess isn't conentrated in such a small area. It'll look cleaner that way.

I'm supposed to do the Mercedes half marathon Sunday. But I'm sick. And really, I still just want to lay in bed. The kids are with their mom this weekend, and I don't have to work. And all I'm thinking is wouldn't it be nice to spend the entire weekend in bed with a couple of books...

But I'd have to let Mars out... And turn on the heating lamps for the snakes and gecko... And change their water... And feed the dog... And my house still would be a wreck at the end of the weekend, and I won't have another no work no kids weekend until end of March, and I'll be out of town for that one. And I know I'll feel like a defeated poser if I don't run the race Sunday, even if I am sick... Being sick can't stop me...

Not me... I don't let it for some reason... Someone asked me the other day, "Can't you just call into work sick like anybody else?" No, actually, I can't...

I've been pushing myself pretty damn hard on the computrainer. It's funny how year to year I have improved since I started triathlon training in 2006 even though I can't remember any particular eureka moment when I felt like I had arrived. I remember when I first got the computrainer I would do my rides at 140 watts and my intervals would be 170 for 5 minutes at a time. Then last year I usually would ride at 170 watts and my intervals would be around 200. Now I easily can sustain 200+ watts and my intervals are at 300. We'll see how that translates to performance on race day.

Speaking of raceday, I think my first multisport race this year will be powerman alabama in april. I'm still trying to throw together my race schedule, and the only certaintly right now is ironman louisville in august.

The top secret project is still top secret for now, although it apparently is progressing and certainly is the reason I have felt overwhelmed this week. Hopefully there will be a reveal soon if the project launches.

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin...

February 1, 2009

What? A blog post from DV?

There's so much going on right now I don't know where to start. I feel guilty that I'm so neglectful of this blog. When I moved into the current house I started using my den tv for my monitor. It seemed a good idea at the time since I'm half blind and its a giganticanormous (by my standards at least) screen. But there's no desk there so I lay on the floor to use the computer and my neck gets craned back to see the screen, because, well because I'm still too blind to sit on the sofas and computerize. Not ergonomic and it's just a pain in the... neck. So I need to fix that because I think I would blog more if I did.

I finally joined the ranks of facebook Friday. I've been told for years to do it but I resisted. A few days ago Nikki told me about a family group facebook site that was created and had old photos of distant relatives and even a baby pic of my dad. So I had to join! In the pic on the left the baby is my dad Diamond Jr and Diamond Sr is on the far right. I don't think I had seen a pic of my dad's dad in 15 or more years, so it was awesome to see. On the family site there is also a photo of his parents, John Konstantine and Armenia.
Now I understand a little better where I get my height from ;)
The snake saga continues... So Syranji the boa constrictor now has a continual battle with mites. They're the size of a pinhead, black, and if you watch closely you can see them crawling on him. Boas have mites in the wild, but they cause no problem in the wild just in captivity where they cause anemia and dehydration. The treatment is snake baths and decontaminating the cage. I've bathed that snake so many times it's gotta be cleaner than my kids; but, it still has mites. And it's getting wrinkly and dehydrated. Last week I got it a rat from Ed's. Usually the large rats at Ed's are manageable for him, but this rat... Dude, this rat was the size of a guinea pig. It was a rat on steroids, straight from a b rated horror flick. I had no idea it was so uber-husky until I dumped it out of the box into the tank. Syranji took one look and hid in the corner. I'm talking about a nearly 7 foot long boa constrictor afraid of a rat. That's not right!! So I decide to give him a chance to man up and let loose some brutality on the roided rat. 2 days goes by. Snake still afraid. Rat is now hungry. So Wednesday night I'm getting ready for work and I hear a banging in the snake cage. I'm hopeful Syranji has finally moved into action but instead I see the rat attacking the boa! Stupid rat is biting my snake repeatedly, on the head on the body. The snake is squirming trying to get away but there's no where to go. I have 5 minutes before I HAVE to walk out the door to be at 1opm shift change and my daughter's boa is being eaten alive by a stupid steroid sewer rat. I immediately decide that I CAN NOT reach in and just get the rat out. Uhm, I don't like the snake THAT much. But I've gotta do something. I can't find my yardwork gloves so I grab my ski gloves. I look at the rat, and realize that even if I pulled him out with the gloves on I don't have anything to do with him and I'm not risking a rat running around my house. I have to kill the rat.
But I don't know how to kill a rat.
So I go to the kitchen and get a butcher knife. I grab a thick metal wolfgang puck saucepan too thinking maybe I can just cover the rat up with the saucepan and then deal with it the next day. I opened the cage but couldn't easily manipulate the pot into position. I put the top back on...
So there I was, kneeling in front of the snake cage with my ski gloves on, a butcher knife in 1 hand and a metal pot in the other, trying to muster the courage to stab to death the rat.
I was sweating, anxious and nervous. I stared him down. And then I let him win. I couldn't do it... I put the knife down.
I swiftly grabbed Syranji out of the cage and threw him in a big ice cooler and left the rat in the snake cage. I must admit I felt a little defeated, but I saved the snake.
I thought the rat would just die with a day or 2 since he had no food, but after 2 days when he was started jumping up and crawling on the underside of the mesh top trying to escape Emma and I took the cage and dumped him in the woods.
And Syranji is still hungry...
What else is going on? Oh, yesterday I raced in the Brenda Ladun Conquer Cancer 5 mile race in Hoover. I had worked overnight so was really sleepy. In fact, I had a few extra minutes before the start so actually fell asleep in my truck until 15 minutes before the starting gun went off. It was cold too, in the mid 30s. The official results aren't posted online yet and I didn't stick around after the race to see them, but I finished in 33:45. I think I was about 20th overall out of maybe 300 runners, so I felt good about that. I liked the course in that it was 80% trail, but I didn't really like all the looping. Overall I was happy with the race though.
2 weeks from today I'll run the Mercedes half marathon here in Birmingham. They changed the course this year so it's not as hilly and I'm excited about that. I wasn't sure up until this week if I was going to enter, but my back has become sufficiently painfree (after I hurt it changing a flat tire on the Landcruiser - yea, I'm getting old I know) so I think I'll be good for it.
On the horizon there is potentially HUGE news about me and the troupe, but it needs to develop a little bit more before I spill the beans. How's that for a teaser!
Until next time (which hopefully won't be another month), thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin...

January 3, 2009

Anna in Lake Tahoe

More to come from our Lake Tahoe trip soon, but this was so cute I had to get it posted...

November 21, 2008

Mites are Back

I think Syranji the boa has mites again... I fed him his weekly rat this morning then checked on him an hour later. The rat was still running around, so I got worried. A close look at Syranji's scales and I can see them - black, pin-head sized moving thingies.

When I discovered mites a couple months ago I had to figure out what the heck they were and what the heck to do about them. I itched just looking at them.

I gave him daily baths in a water cooler full of warm water daily for 3 days. Each bath was supposed to last for at least 20 minutes, and I had to hold the snake and scrub it the whole time. My initial hesitancy about handling him was forced to disappear.

And I emptied out his cage, baked his rocks, and cleaned the cage with bleach daily for 3 days too.

And now they are back...

On another subject, I've started swimming somewhat regularly again. Its funny that it seems I can not swim for months and then pick up right where I left off. Same speed (or lack thereof), same endurance. Maybe its that I swim so damn slow that a few months off just can't make me any slower.

The weather has been cool for the last week. Lows in the high 20s and highs in the 40s. I've managed a couple cold weather runs that would make Stronger proud. A new section of trail opened in the park adjacent to my house, and I discovered another mile of trail that I think was already there but I didn't know about. That's made the park loop somewhere around 5 miles and a lot more fun to run.

I still haven't pulled the bike out. I haven't ridden it since my last century in August, and now that its cold I don't think I'll be on the road anytime soon. I'm hopeful to at least start back on the trainer within the next couple weeks.

Then, if all goes well, I'll start a more formal training regimen when we get back from Tahoe in January...

That's all for now. Thanks for joining me for my daily spin...

November 13, 2008

November 7, 2008

Back in the game...

I haven't felt much triathlon motivation since I was denied entrt to the Redman Iron distance race in September. I had no idea the race closed weeks before the start despite not capping. I had even told some friends that I might move on to something new, a challenge of a different sort.
I ran the Air Force Marathon in September, and I ran a couple local 5 ks in October. I had age group podium finishes in the 5ks so I was feeling pretty good about that.
I thought maybe I would focus on running primarily... Then one of my old bosses JK's training for this month's IM Arizona got me a little inspired. And then I swam today...
It was my first swim since August, and it was only 1000 yards. But it was enough to remind me that I like to swim...
And yea, I like to run... And yea, I like to bike...
And know what? There is absolutely nothing that compares to the satisfaction you get when you cross the finish line after racing 140.6 miles in 1 day.
So I visited my old friend and looked for any races that weren't already capped. And what do you know? The race closest to me, IM Louisville, had spots. And with it being in August, that gives my slacker-ass plenty of time to train and procrastinate and still be ready to rumble come raceday.
So I forked over the ridiculous $525 entry fee...
And it feels damn good to be back in the game...

November 4, 2008

November 3, 2008


The kids and I went to the Moss Rock Art Festival Saturday, intending to enjoy perfect temps and azure skies. We did, but we also walked away with 3 pieces of art, the most substantial being this painting by local artist Edna Hodgens called Reflecting. Isn't she beautiful???


But I do know, really, why he didn't come.

It's one of the things that keeps me distant from any significant others I've had since I divorced. Once you establish new respobsibilities with another person, once you are committed, once you have created this new family, you lose the flexibility of the unattached.

If I were to marry again, would I be able to follow E and J if they needed to move away? It's possible, but the scenario scares the crap out of me. I can imagine being remarried and they move, and I feel obligated to stay where I am because of this new partner and potential new family that has developed family roots where we are.

If I stay unattached, then I can always go anywhere my kids are. My profession is highly flexible; I can easily work anywhere in the USA and make plenty of money.

And Dad, he already had formed that new attachment in the form of Cheryl, and her daughter (who he eventually adopted) Terri. So he was stuck where he was, whether he wanted to follow or not...

I don't know if I want to face that...


October 29, 2008


I'm hurting...

The last time I remember having a face-contorted eyes swollen rivers of salty tears cry was after Emily and I walked out of the lawyer's office and sat in the Pilot and cried together over the finality of divorce. 2005.

Today it happened, and again I was in a truck. This time not one I had just given away, fortunately...

I was driving home from Barnes and Noble after a cup of coffee while reading Donald Miller's To Own a Dragon when it happened. Oh I've felt it coming, and I knew it would happen soon.

For weeks now, maybe the last few months, I've been pining for my dad. This happens occasionally, once or twice a year, but this time I've been feeling it stronger than ever.

It's been 12 years since he left us. That 5 am phone call from Uncle Clancy is still as fresh as this morning...

"You've gotta be kidding me" I tried, but
"No, DV, I wouldn't kid you about something like this."

It was the first phone call I had ever gotten from Clancy. The entire call only lasted maybe 2 or 3 minutes and that was it, he was gone. Emily was there with me when he called. My dad had met her once or twice over the few years we had been dating. [that he had met Emily give me some solace in that it's the only way my dad would know the other contributer to the grandkids I hadn't yet had, and maybe that would mean he had in a way known them somehow. If only they could know him...]

I was 21 and was supposed to start the first day of my second year of med school the day he died. I took a few days off to be around his family, my family, and help sort through his painfully few worldly possessions. And I moved on, not realizing that I was numb and would be for years... Maybe I still am.

Tonight I realized how much of my dad I didn't have, I don't have. The summer I turned 9 we moved 200 miles away from him. 167 miles to be exact, at least according to the sign just outside of town that I would read every other weekend when I would ride the Greyhound bus alone to be with him.

I still am not sure why we had to move away. I never really questioned it, and even now I don't think I want to know. I know my mom had a boyfriend whose family was close to where we moved, and we moved in with him. He later would become my step-dad; still is 25 years later... I believe I would have had more of my dad if we hadn't moved, and I'm pretty sure that would have been a positive thing although how could I know for sure? We moved, I left my dad, he couldn't come (why couldn't he move too, anyway?), and I grew up taking once or twice a month bus trips.

I came out of it an ok person, I just miss my dad... A lot.