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Strange Gardening Tale… and set your DVR

Track Town, USA:  I am living out of a suitcase. I wake up in the morning and it takes me a few seconds to realize where I am. RV? House? Hotel? Los Angeles?

This issue will resolve itself around mid-October.

My CD-moving chore is complete. I counted 346 CDs. Most were moved to my iPod. Many were not. Next week they will all go to our local used-music store where I am sure my years of investment will no doubt be reward with a $35 in-store credit. I told The Lovely Lisa where I was taking the old discs and she remembered taking her CDs there in high school. 

Nirvana, most probably.

Who knew Jimmy Buffett has over 30 albums? Will I be sad to part with the hard copies of My Beloved Buffett?

I will not.

We saw Jimmy in San Diego on March 10th

While pillaging through our house, cleaning out drawers, closets and cupboards, I also noticed something quite odd in my bookkeeping. It seemed to me that we had not paid our gardener since February of 2011.


Dudes come every week. We have no lawn, but they weed the beds, winterize the irrigation system, fertilize, prune, blow the leaves, rake the bark dust and blow-off the patios and decks. Like clock-work. Every month they send a bill for the exact same amount. Bill arrives. I shred bill because I think it is being paid automatically. Our gardener has never raised his rate in all the years his company have been taking care of our property. And, for about eight years, the bill has been automatically paid out of our checking account. 

Except - for some unknown reason - suddenly, it wasn't.

Yes, I should have been paying better attention, but wouldn't you think after even one month (not to mention 15!) they would have noticed and sent a past-due notice?

Last week, I phoned our gardener and vaguely (no dates, etc., were mentioned) asked if we owed him any money. He said he didn't think so, but would check and get back to me. A few days later he returned my call and confirmed my suspicion: we had not paid him since February of 2011. Seriously? Wish I could get away with this at VISA or the electric company.

The next thing out of my mouth was: YOU NEED TO FIRE YOUR BOOKKEEPER! This was the wrong thing to say because our gardener IS the bookkeeper. He honestly said that if I had not phoned, he would have never known I was 15 months behind and he seemed a little too over-excited to be receiving a 15-month-fat check. Ouch. Hope I make a lot of money from the CD sale.

Of course, I sent him a check directly, but this dude needs to get his act together! Have you ever encountered a situation like this? Things tend to get a bit confusing while living half-time on the road, but usually if I slip-up, SOMEONE lets me know right away.

Thank you for letting me vent.

DT and I left Taylor Manor at 7p this evening and are now at our "summer residence" (doesn't that sound so fancy - except it is a RV park on the interstate) in Eugene. Huge track meet this weekend. As previously mentioned, the Great Nation of Kenya is holding their 10000m (6 mile) men's Olympic Trials race in Eugene Friday evening! Can you even imagine such a thing? It's going to be a blood bath of the world's best long-distance men trying to finish 1, 2 or 3 in a race that will be better than the Olympic 10000m final in London. What a treat. I am nearly delirious with excitement as only someone who enjoys watching men run around a track 24-plus times could be. The event is free and open to the public and there are many other exciting races on the agenda Friday night.

Photo by Pat W

Here is a photo of twelve of the fastest 10000m runners in the world. They had a tour of the NIKE campus today. Don't they look all friendly and chummy?

Nine of these guys are not going to London.

Today is, unbelievably, the 37th anniversary of the death of American distance great, Steve Prefontaine. On Saturday, his memory will be honored at the Prefontaine Classic IAAF Track Meet, featuring many of the best athletes in the world. And you are so lucky! There is no need to be in Eugene, Oregon for the event as it will be shown LIVE on NBC at 12:30 pacific. 90 minutes of the fastest, highest and longest! Watch the meet or set your DVRs, because this meet never disappoints! Walter Dix is scheduled to run the 100m and the 200m! In a loaded 400m (once around the track) field, South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius is in the race! Our own Duck-alum Cyrus Hostetler is going up against the world leader in the Pre Classic's first-ever javelin competition! American Jenn Suhr looks good in the pole vault! And hold on to your popcorn peeps - the Future World's Greatest Athlete, Ashton Eaton, will face China's Lui Xiang (Olympic Gold Medalist) in the 110m hurdles! Allyson Felix should light it up in the 200m, but it's a free-for-all in the women's 400m. The men's 800 will be epic, NBC will probably not show the women's 3000m steeplechase and it's the same old guys are in the shot put.

The best event of the Prefontaine Classic is the Bowerman Mile. The mile is not raced often anymore. Nowadays, everyone runs 1500m (a "metric mile"). This mile race is always the last event of the meet and is the most anticipated race of the day. This year, the field is again outstanding. Actually, a better field than you will see on the starting line at the Olympic 1500m final in London as nine Kenyans are entered in the Bowerman Mile. A very international group - with Duck alum Andrew Wheating - in a crazy 18 man race. It is going to be a wild and crazy sub-four minutes!

I hope I have convinced you to spend a bit of time on Saturday in front of your television. I promise, you will not be disappointed!

Until my next update, I remain, your in-debt correspondent.