Saturday, April 9, 2011

Watch out, I'm throwing the Black Star discus

I just bought a new discus that is an upgrade over the basic discus that I've been using in practice and meets. I don't know if better equipment will help me get better distance, but I couldn't pass up the Internet deal on the Black Star discus. The regular price was $75 and I got it for $25.

I'm holding the Black Star in the accompanying photo. I think it looks very cool -- way cooler than the green discus that I have been using. I'm anxious to throw the Black Star, and I will have many opportunities as the weather gets better and there's more daylight after work.

I'm looking to improve in both the discus and the shot put. I will have several senior division meets this summer. Those will be my opportunities to put up good marks. The first meet of the season a few weeks ago at Stanford was disappointing -- at least my performance was. I had a great time at the meet and met up with close friends who live in Moraga. But I thought I should have done better.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I survived turning 60, but will 61 be a bigger challenge?

You been following my adventure as I turned 60, and I thank you for your encouragement along the way. Turning 60 was easy, but suddenly I'm 61 and pushing 62. Life moves quickly at this age.

There are times when I long for the days of being 35 -- what I always thought of as an invincible age. Young, strong and dumb enough to think you know everything. But for the most part, I like my current age. The main exceptions are those daily trips to the medicine cabinet for blood pressure, cholesterol, and other age-related medications. I understand why pharmaceutical companies make so much money. Baby boomers have traded the illegal drugs of their youth for very expensive legal drugs.

The job at the newspaper is still a wonderful challenge -- much more now that we have fewer resources. But I have been blessed being in a business that has allowed me to meet presidents and foreign leaders, and seeing firsthand what has been called the "first draft of history." I've covered tragedy and scandal. And I have been able to fight for the underdog, even as government at times has used all its resources to unfairly overwhelm the innocent. We won a few of those, and they represent proud moments in a 40-year newspaper career.

I also know that when I get a letter from a state prison and the inmate says he's been framed, he probably hasn't been. I have received dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of those kind of letters over the years. But there are a few who are innocent, like the parents wrongly accused in the Bakersfield child molest debacle of the mid-1980s. The newspaper made a difference when it exposed the phony charges and drew a line against the hysteria.

People ask me when I'm going to retire. I don't have an answer for them. I love my job and I think I can still have an impact. If I hit the Lotto, I might change my mind. But until then. . .