Lantern Tap House heads-up

Earlier this month I went to the Lantern Tap House where a running group meets every Tuesday. I had no plans to write about it, but my buddy, Kevin, took a bunch of photos with his phone, giving me an opportunity. But the biggest benefit is that should you attend, you’ll be aware of the obnoxious and inappropriate amorous advances of one guy in this group.Outside Lantern Tap House

Though I’ve never run with this group before, I knew most of the members because there’s lots of intermingling among the Spokane running clubs. To call it a group or club isn’t entirely accurate. Like the other Spokane running clubs, it’s more of a gathering. Anyone can join just by showing up at 6:00 pm on Tuesday.

About sixty runners attended which is a nice change from the few hundred that typically join Flying Irish runs on Thursdays.

The Lantern Tap House is in the Perry district, a somewhat trendy area where a lot of new, locally-owned, retail businesses have opened in the last several years. It’s surrounded by an older neighborhood with lots of trees and many homes that have been renovated and updated. It makes for pretty running routes.

There’s no charge to participate, however, a post-run microbrew is a $2.50 adjustment to your financial situation. This pricing causes me to wonder about the Lantern’s owner’s business acumen.

One of the group’s organizers passed out treats. Not often do I combine beer and Snickers, but it worked out okay.Beer and  SnickersI also had a few pieces of licorice, another great pairing with beer.jim eating twizzler

After several beers, I tried to initiate romantic encounters by suggesting the eating of a stick of licorice from opposite ends. My request was turned down by many.

I decided to disguise my intentions by framing it as a cutesy photo opportunity. As multiple shots are taken, I would quickly eat the licorice and attain the romantic moment I wanted.

My buddy, Kevin, agreed to be in a photo, but only if we had our own piece of licorice.jim and kevinI was able to convince Tina, a regular at the Manito Runners Club and the Flying Irish, to do it, however, she stipulated absolutely no licorice sticks be present.Jim and TinaSo I went home thwarted and unfulfilled, but I plan to join this group again soon. Hopefully, I can come up with a better strategy to lure someone into a drunken, sloppy, face-against-face romantic moment in front of dozens of Lantern customers.

 

Ohh, I want to get my hands on Clif

When you go to the nutrition/energy bar section at the store, which brand and flavor do you reach for?energy  bar set

I’ve tried many brands, but I buy Clif bars most often. I support the company’s ethos as well. Chocolate brownie is my favorite flavor. No surprise for someone who likes chocolate.clif bar

I know you’re suppose to use energy bars in conjunction with a workout or training, but I most often buy them for a snack or treat. They’ve become a substitute for candy bars.

I used to eat Luna bars a lot, and I was very worried as I left the store that I’d be stopped and interrogated by store personnel or told to take my business elsewhere.

However, not once was I caught, and I often gave myself a fist pump after walking out because I’d gotten away with something. As you can see in the below photo, the phrase under LemonZest tells you what I got away with.image

On a few occasions when I know I’m going to be in the company of someone I don’t care for, like, say, Sprint McDowell, I choose the berry-flavored Power Bar, which can be shaped to look amazingly similar to a tongue. It makes it easy to show my displeasure.Energy bar tongue

Turning to another topic, after today, my post schedule will change. I’ve been doing a new post once a week, published on Sunday evening. From now on, I’m going to do them intermittently, without a sticking to a schedule. I Must Run Everywhere has been on-line for over two years now, and though I like writing posts, I’m getting a little tired.

As I’ve done before, I will offer refunds if you feel you’re being short-changed. Mail your request to me, and if you act now, I will double your refund. This is a limited time offer, so hurry, hurry, hurry.

 

Running Partner Wanted

So…okay…here’s the deal; I’m looking for someone to run with. It’s not race related or intense training. Just everyday running for exercise. You, my fine reader, might be just the person.

However, there’s one big issue I must raise first off. If we’re about to head out on a run and you say, “I think I”d rather walk today,” we’re gonna have problems. When it’s time to run, we must run.

There are other requirements, but first, let me make clear that I’ve got an equal opportunity running partner policy. I will not discriminate against any applicant based on gender, race, religion and all those other things except one. If you happen to look like Petra, or are Petra, you’re hired on the spot.

My running partner must be able to run three to eight miles a few times per week. You should run at the same pace as me, but if you pull ahead for a short time, that’s okay. If you get way ahead of me, I get really mad, and I won’t talk to you the rest of the day.

Now, about myself: I’m an excellent running partner. I’ve won many awards for being a nice guy and an unbelievably thoughtful individual. I’m very good at staying on the right side of the street, and I have an uncanny ability to see cars coming.

Also, I’m really friendly. Just look at me smiling. It’s not a fake smile either.Mr smiles

Please take a moment to fill out the below four-question application. Perhaps soon, you and I will be running together through the streets of Spokane.

1)  Do you like running?     A___     B___     C___     D___

2)  Are you a girl or a boy?     Yes___     No___

3)  Do you conversationalize well?     None___     All of the above___

4)  I’m scared of dogs. If one chases us, will you take care of the situation and comfort me afterward?

Distance running camaraderie

A fellow member of the Spokane running club scene told me recently that distance running has a unique camaraderie compared to other sports.

Rich Goggin ran track years ago as a high school student, but he also played football well enough to receive college scholarship offers.

Rich Goggin, a member of several Spokane running clubs.

Rich Goggin, a member of several Spokane running clubs.

He says there isn’t the level of camaraderie among football players like there is among distance runners.

I never played high school football, so I can’t confirm this, but I feel distance runners do have a unique camaraderie. Maybe it’s just the nature of running to feel a comradeship with other runners. Also, perhaps since distance running is less popular and visible compared to the major sports, coaches have less pressure to produce. Could be this lower intensity, combined with the downtime at practices and meets, allows quirkiness and off-beat humor to be expressed more easily.

Though I could give a bunch of examples of camaraderie-building goofiness, I’ll detail just one.

cigsIn high school, the track and field distance team was on a run, and we came across a pack of cigarettes laying in the street. I suggested we pick them up and smoke them in the locker room, because I thought it’d be so funny if coach discovered the distance runners had taken up smoking.

The rest of the track team had finished their workouts and gone home. We knew coach had a meeting and would come back later to lock up, so we lit up and filled the locker room with a thick haze of blue smoke. We dropped the butts on the floor, grinded them out and left them there.

Our coach had a sense of humor, and we had a great rapport with him. However, he didn’t say anything to us the next day. It had me thinking it was such a minor thing, he’d already forgotten about it, so I inquired what he thought about the distance runners’ new habit.

Of course, he didn’t believe we’d taken up smoking, but he complained about having to clean up the locker room.

Redneck running

If you had enough money to get by without working, what lifestyle would you choose? For me, I’d be a redneck and live in the country.Redneck relaxation

Below is an example of my dream home. I’ve discovered such homes are constructed in a way that if I need a refreshing breeze, I don’t have to go outside. As well, the walls are thin enough that I can always hear the chirping songbirds in the nearby woods. I can’t wait to live in such a place.Redn trailer

Another big advantage is parking. I anticipate no problem squeezing in my many rigs.Redn parking

Running along a quiet country road is what runners dream about. I’d get to do it every single day.SONY DSC

A big plus about the redneck lifestyle is the sense of community. Whenever I organize a barbecue, I’m sure I could count on my pal Bubba down the road to bring some extra seating.redneck couch delivery

Drinking beer around a bonfire with my fellow redneck runners would be so fun. Nearly every redneck home comes with plenty of bonfire fuel just outside the door, by the shop.redneck tire stash

Trash cans are an unneeded accessory at get-togethers. When you’re done with your beer, just toss and open another.red neck beer cans

The next morning, cleanup is so easy. Just rake into a pile, and eventually it’ll become a shiny mountain of landscape art.red neck beer can clean up

A really great thing about redneck country living is nature is just outside the door. They have trees and animals, and any time I want, I can go down to the river and appreciate the beauty of nature as I polish off a couple beers.redneck fishing hole

And when I’m not running, I can scout the woods behind my house for varmints to shoot and cook up for mighty fine redneck eating. Oh, do I look forward to my dream lifestyle.Redn walking

I agree to an interview, and I get grilled

Sprint McDowell wants to do a blog post in which he interviews me, and I told him no way. He threatened to do an unauthorized interview. I don’t know how that works, but to make sure I’m accurately portrayed, I agree.

You may remember Sprint from a previous post. He hosts the on-line, real-time, cyber game show Race to Win.SONY DSC

Sprint will be asking his on-line questions from his studio in Los Angeles, and I’ll reply from my home here in Spokane. Screen shots are added as the interview progresses, so let’s get started.

Jim: “Sprint, I want a clean, friendly interview. No twisting of facts or manufactured controversies.”

Sprint: “Listen, I dictate the terms. Those evasive, roundabout, circular replies Interview instructionsthat you’re famous for – forget it.”Interview fright

Jim: “Sure, Sprint. Sorry.”

Sprint: “Why are you so dumb?”

Jim: “I’m not dumb.”

Sprint: “Wrong! Didn’t you post a couple lurid photos of yourself on this blog that revealed way, way too much?

Jim: “I’ve done many posts and photos, so I’ll have to form a committee to look into that.”

Sprint: “I Must Run Everywhere is a one-man operation, Jim. Answer the question!”

Jim: “It is a one-man operation, but I wish I had a collaborator. Sometimes two heads are better than one.”

Sprint: “What did I say about evasive answers?”

Jim: “Something about roundabouts and circular saws?”

Sprint: “I see I’m not going to get anywhere with this, you foolish man. Next, a simple question for a simple mind. Who takes your photos?”

Jim: “Almost always me.”

Sprint: “How can you take photos while being in them?”

Jim: “I use the timer on my camera. Sometimes I have to take a lot of shots, especially on action photos to get a usable one.”Interview chat

Sprint: “Look at me, not at the ceiling, Jim. Who plays Ruby Redpepper, and is the picture below photoshopped?”tricia at airportJim: “My daughter Tricia is Ruby Redpepper. She really did get on that plane. I ask her to be in photos or take photos for blog ideas whenever she visits.”

Sprint: “Does she really own Animal Fulfillment Specialists and hired you to assist her on an outing involving just you two and President Obama?”

Jim: “Maybe….not. Actually she’s program director for the President’s Export Council at the Department of Commerce in DC. That’s what made the photos for that post possible. Take a look at the photo she posted on Facebook a few months ago. I thought her comment, “Creepin’ on the Prez”, was funny.Tricia creepin'

Sprint: ” Enough, Jim. Do not use my interview to boast about your daughter! You are such a braggart.”Interview incredulity

Jim: “Listen to me, Sprint. My daughter is the second-most wonderful, special and incredibly talented person in the entire world.”

Sprint: “I’ve had enough. This interview is over. Wait…your daughter is second in the world? Who’s first? Hold on, don’t answer. Jim, don’t post that photo!”

Jim: Me!wedding race winner

Running adventure turns bloody

When you run in a new place or setting, does the novelty add some spark to your running like it does for me?

We’ve had a stretch of warm, sunny weather in Spokane, so I made plans to drive to a new place where I’d never been.SONY DSC

Driving north from Spokane, you see fewer stores, homes, and farms. It’s not long before the road ends. I parked and after a couple miles of running on a trail, it ended too. I was in uncharted territory.

It doesn’t take that long to reach this area where civilization has yet to be established. It’s a large, unexplored area, and using a map is no help. They all have a big blank area with the phrase, ‘Yet to be explored or mapped.’

It’s neat having unexplored frontier so close to town. There are rumors of undiscovered animal species, and some people say a remnant population of dinosaurs exist. I consider it a bunch of hootenanny.

I hadn’t run long before I started hearing an occasional loud roar in the distance. I was startled by a huge, airplane-size, flying creature that glided across my path just ahead.

A couple times the sound of a large predator attacking prey that viciously fought back echoed through the valley. Hmmm…….maybe there’s more to this area than I thought.

Twice I came to piles of excrement that were as tall as me. The animal that did it must be huge. Then I came to an unsettling scene. It appeared a solitary hiker had been devoured, and parts of limbs lay scattered about.SONY DSC

Disturbing as the scene was, I pushed on because I wanted to get in more mileage.

I came to a clearing and whoa! I startled a large animal feeding on carrion. It looked like a saber-tooth tiger, an extinct animal. It sprinted to me and attacked.

I desperately fought back with all I had, and for some reason, the creature broke off the attack and ran off.

I was unscathed except one of my fingers really hurt. It wasn’t hard to tell why. The creature had bitten it off.

Lucky for me, I found the bloody, missing digit on the ground. I grabbed it and ran at a really fast pace back to my car. I put my finger in a small box I had in the trunk of my car, hoping doctors could reattach it.SONY DSC

Arriving home, I was too stressed-out to attend to my injury. I put my finger in the frig, fixed a bowl of my favorite comfort food, and watched Seinfeld re-runs. SONY DSC

My visit to the hospital will have to wait until tomorrow.