Running, Biking, Triathlons, Swimming, Snowshoeing; what's next? Sal's does it all.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Finding Yourself

Everything’s on the web, just type in the correct keywords and Google, Bing or Yahoo will find it, right? 

Well, maybe not. Have you ever searched for yourself? What kind of electronic record is available on YOU, without paying for it? 

If I search on Facebook eight Mike McCullough’s come up. Search Michael and get six more. How about Mac? There are six more, including Bernice Mac, the actor. So, which one is me? 

Did you know I could be the Michael McCullough that is an executive vp of the NBA’s Miami Heat? Or maybe I’m a psychologist? A professional football player in Canada? A professional artist? 

Part of me is happy much of my life seems hidden, or at least is a bit difficult to find via the web. Strange though with three blogs, over a hundred published book and web site reviews in journals and online, a Facebook account, myriad publications from my professional life as a librarian, a library web site I created and used for seven years. 

It may be possible I died. Using Bing (a Microsoft search tool), several Michael’s have passed away, most within five years of my age. That’s a bit creepy. 

A Google tip I teach to students doing research is using quotation marks around words you want to make sure are together. “Mike McCullough” for example. That didn’t help. Several companies that charge for gathering information, like Intelius, when I added Spencerport to the search, said I was in my 50’s. Apparently I also lived in West Henrietta, NY and Kissimmee Florida, and Rochester. My zodiac sign is Libra and I have a relative named Amanda Davis. I have a daughter Amanda, but not Davis. My sign is Scorpio (usually I make you buy me a drink to learn that). I guess 50% correct is okay. 

If you knew I worked at MCC you could get some information. Adding Spencerport and some running race results, even from 1980’s shows up. Add snowshoe and a magazine article I’m quoted in and a couple of snowshoe e-zine articles come up. 

How about going to images, I must be there from some race, right? Here is a sample of what I found:

 Interesting samples. The half-naked guy in the bottom column kind of resembles me, at least in Jan's dreams. Hmm, forty years ago I may have peaked at a Playboy magazine, I was a tennis player in high school, but no, none of these people or images really have anything to do with me. Neither do the hundreds of other images that came up. Again, this may be a good thing.

So, who is the real Michael, Mike, Mac McCullough? I wish you luck in your online quest to find the true one.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Travel Trailer Hunting

What do runners do after their race is complete? Four of us took a couple of hours and went to the RV show at a local warehouse sponsored by Ballantyne RV.

Local radio and television legend Steve Hausmann from WBEE was there to help promote the sale. Steve is new to running, completing his first 5k last fall. He trained with his wife and one of the Rochester Fleet Feet training groups.

Steve noticed my Johnny's Running of the Green shirt, which the four of us had just completed earlier in the morning, and came over to talk. I'm sure he would have come over anyhow, he just likes to talk to people. Eileen also won four Rochester Amerk hockey tickets at the WBEE booth. Steve is 65. Why does he look younger than the two Mike's?

Jan and I did not buy an RV/Travel Trailer that day. We can't come to a decision on what type of camper we need and can afford.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Memories and Facebook

If you haven’t seen an old friend for years, and only in the past six years or so of being a member on Facebook was able to be “reunited”, are they still a friend? Personally I feel that depends on how close the two of you were in face-to-face dealings originally. I don’t have Facebook friends that I never had a real relationship with at some point in my life and usually it has to be more than, “oh yeah, I kind of remember him/her”. My Facebook “friends” number around 80, most of whom are relatives or I went to high school with. Eighty friends is a low number on Facebook. 

Today on Facebook there was a shocking message, a friend of mine died 5 days ago. Without Facebook I may not have heard about his death for a long time. Scott was a good friend in high school. He went out of state for college so our contact lessened to when Scott came home on school breaks. His death was totally unexpected to me. If he had been sick recently I didn’t know about it. The memories that flood my brain when something like this happens are incredible. 

Scott and I played high school football together. Neither of us was particularly big, definitely not by today’s standards. By our senior year we were each around 6’ and weighed maybe 160 (if I was in my shoulder pads and helmet). We usually played offensive guard and/or linebacker. We were not stars, and if I look back realistically he was a bit better player than me. In high school football if you don’t mind getting hit and giving the same, you can generally find a spot to play. That was basically us I think. 

He was a good guy, fun to be around. One time, I can’t remember how, we ended up together at Hamlin Beach State park. I had biked there and I have no idea how Scott got there. We were probably in 9th or 10th grade. We ended up needing to get back to Brockport, maybe twenty miles away. So we took turns pedaling my old 10 speed bike with the other person on the handlebars or crossbar. It was hard going, but fun. 

When we were of legal driving age he took me to his family’s cottage on Silver Lake in NY. I went water skiing for the first time in my life and had a blast. His Mom made us hamburgers and I ate three. I remember Scott being surprised I ate that much and saying, “I can’t believe it, the only person I know who can eat three of those is my Dad and look at him, he’s huge!” (his Dad was a big man). We woke up in the morning and the boat had sunk. I felt guilty, like either my water skiing or hamburger eating had caused it. 

And now he’s dead, at 58, which doesn’t seem particularly old anymore. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, friends, a business, many other loved ones. I’m glad we reconnected on Facebook. It feels like there should have been more, at least with the memories I have, but I guess I have to take what I can.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Johnny's Running of the Green

The annual 5 mile St. Patrick's race that begins the real racing season in Rochester is this Saturday. After record setting snowfall and cold in our area for February most runners were hoping March would bring in lots of sun and warmth.

We have had a few days in the 40+ degree range, which was most welcome. But we still have 2-4 foot drifts in most yards and have only just begun to see brown mud along some highways. Predictions for the race time weather have changed quite a bit over the last five days. As of today, Thursday, it looks like 37 degrees and an 85% chance of rain. Better than the sleet predicted a couple of days ago, but still cold rain isn't much fun to be out in.

In honor of the cold rain I re-wrote a famous song, "Singing in the Rain", which was a hit for Gene Kelly many years ago. If you don't know the tune, watch the video. It's pretty easy to sing to.

I'm running in the rain
Just running in the rain
What a soggy feeling
I'm soaked again
I'm angry at the clouds
So dark up above
There’s mud on my feet
And I'm ready for the hot tub
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the race
Come on already with the rain
There’s no smile on my face
I'll run down the lane
With no joy in my refrain
Just dodging puddles in the rain.
I’m running in the rain.