500 Miles for SMA: The Finale Part 2 – My right arm is missing

So Thursday Joe crossed the finish line at the Disneyland Esplanade.

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I was there, his wife was there, his daughter was there, his team support was there and it was recorded live on Periscope for his mom and others to watch.

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It was pretty emotional for most of us. Not everyone understands what exactly happened or how incredibly difficult it was for him. Over $11 000.00 was raised and more donations keep coming in so a final tally hasn’t been completed yet.

We had big plans for all the DAWS team to be there, hang out and have a fantastic time. Fatigue and post event stress disorder took over and made the weekend less epic than expected, but lovely just the same.

I cannot express how in awe I am of this man.

Here is Day 1 and Day 17:

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I am guessing he lost around 20lbs and his muscles became more defined.

I am currently retracing the steps he ran, while driving home from LA. Lets recap: I drove to Monterey today. and it took 10 hours in my CAR, and I speed. Joe ran everyday without complaint and it took him 17 days…on foot. IT IS FREAKIN FAR PEOPLE!

I cried a lot these past few days. I knew I would be feeling post event stress and let down. It is better and worse than expected.

Better because it was a ton of work and I am exhausted, I am happy to not be doing it.

Worse because I didn’t anticipate how much I would miss him.

He is my pal. He apparently is also my right arm and it feels like its missing. It’s in New York tonight so I am typing this one handed. Not easy for me.

Also worse because we had an epic crew of 2, his daughter and my daughter. They are also great pals. A piece of my heart flew to Florida yesterday and the rest of my heart flew to Edmonton today. So here is me, homesick like crazy, still sleeping in a hotel, without my heart and right arm.

There is also the factor of the missing half of me who was my stress support. She also left for New York yesterday. She was my medical back up and sounding board. She calmed me down when I was hysterical and when I cried for no reason. I miss her like a sister. I am a disaster.

Post event fun came and went with unmet expectations and experiences that were unexpected. I think I was too tired for Disneyland to enjoy it properly. Effects of being in the car endlessly enhanced some of my symptoms that I live with and caused me to miss my races. I am a disaster in the truest form.

I miss things I never expected to and hate things I also didn’t expect to. I have the marathon blues in the worst way.

But wait: I just had a life altering experience. I learned things I never would have without this. I know myself better. I gained personal and professional experience on a level I had never fathomed. I learned that not everyone is good at keeping secrets and now I know who I can share with and who has my back. I learned that supporting your friend in achieving his goal is likely one of the most rewarding experiences I will will ever have. There were very few of us involved in this. Some were on the phone and some were in the car. Their  worth and contribution was as valuable as the next. I got to know people I never met before and had a chance to experience their perspective. I became part of a larger family. I also felt more alone that humanly possible.

My daughter said it best, you think you know what is going on and then you actually live it. Two completely different things. Amen sister.

Tonight I feel alone. Everyone is tucked up in their beds at home and I am frying in a Super 8…ITS SO HoT!

I miss my kids, I miss my puppy, I miss my bed,and I miss fall.

I miss my team and my right arm.

We did great team because tonight, plans are in place to change lives all because a boy from the Bronx decided to run 500 miles so people do not have to go through what he and his mom went through when his 2 baby brothers dies in infancy.

Here is to Jonathan and Robert, two young boys who lived a very short time but made a giant impact on those around them so their brother could do great things in their name.

500 Miles for SMA: The Finale Part 1

August 16 I arrived in San Francisco to Join my pal Joe as his support crew so he could run from The Walt Disney Family Museum to the Gates of Disneyland.

Fast Forward September 19, 2015. We are on Disney property, arrived yesterday. I have big giant bats in my belly because all the butterflies were destroyed by the bats. Nerves are killing me.

We made it this far and are not finished yet. We have about 10 miles left as of this post.

I think back over the the past 2 years when we began planning. We faced a lot of negative bashing. “You’ll never do it” “Its ridiculous to think its possible” “you’ll never reach your goal” “you are CRAZY”

If you know Joe like I do, then you knew he would do it. He is the one guy whose mental strength can over power his physical being. To be honest, I didn’t really know why I said I would help. I knew he could do it. It angered me that no one supported this idea and I knew he needed support.

So I signed up.

I wanted to quit a million times before we started but I stuck it out. Now I am one of 2 people on the planet who truly understand what happened out there. That reference when only people understand who lived it really applies here. TEAM has a new meaning for me.

I learned a lot about me. I learned a lot about Joe. We both learned a lot about the people closest to us.

I learned he hates White Food, is afraid of bears and cougars, and can bounce back from being run over by a car – 11 times. I learned his instinct is to do things on his own and asking for help is hard. I learned that karma is healing and paying debt is painful but necessary. I learned that some people don’t understand hard. I learned that some people are surprisingly supportive when you expected them to be jerks. I learned that past actions can be forgiven but not forgotten. I learned that moms are okay with waking me up but not him.

We are reluctant to celebrate because we are not done. For the first time I have been in Disneyland for 2 days and have not walked through the park gates. I am still working. I will relax once I get that final finish line hug. I am sure I will cry. I didn’t want distractions.

We had a final ‘family crew’ dinner last night, just the 4 of us. Our girls arrived last Friday to help and support and indeed they did. I am super proud of their efforts, their comic relief and the women they have become. Words cannot express my excitement for witnessing their bright future.

I am relieved this is almost over and I am devastated it is almost over.

$11 000.00 raised for the Do Away with SMA Foundation where will support families for the little things they need that funding just wont help with.

Let’s get this done Big Guy, I am proud to call you my friend and am sure this is that reason we talked about. I love you to the moon and back.

And I called it – I knew you could do it. Sucka….

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500 Miles for SMA: I have no idea what day it is and other FUBARS

It is some day during this event. Joe told we are half way. I don’t even know what that means.

I get up, make food, get ice, make ice packs, make cold compresses, gather food, load the car, get gas, buy groceries, drive, scout, map routes, drive, check route, check on runner, drive a head, drive back to feed/hydrate/cool down runner, find finish line, go back and tell runner where finish line is, make sure runner is safe, make dinner, tend feet… yep I just said that, stretch out a body that isn’t mine.

Then I shower, and go to bed.

Rinse Lather Repeat.

I have no idea what day it is. My vivoactive won’t tell me what time it is: Dear Garmin, we hare have in BIG FREAKIN CHAT when I get the chance.

Do I regret agreeing to this?

Not a chance.

We have raised – get this – close to $8000 for SMA.

Worth every second.

Things I have learned:

1) My super power is Navigation. I knew I was fluent – but holy hell – I hardly use my GPS. I drive from several towns away. I get there by the running route, come home via the fast way. I don’t know how I do it other than I think about it logically and BOOM. Hello hotel – screw you Pheobe (my GPS unit) I don’t need you anyways!

2) I have a crap ton of transferable skills. I know how to do and fix things that would impress MacGiver.

3) I am always in ‘Teacher’ mode. I went to the Sports Authority today and and they are not Authorities. The Manager and I had a conversation about what I needed. I was specific. I asked for friction free RUNNING socks. I don’t care the brand – I prefer Balega or Wright, but not really caring. He didn’t know what that was. Fine….show me where your running socks are. Scattered everwhere (for the record – crap selection). Fine….I need a pair of Brooks Cascadias in a 11.5 2E. He brought me to the Asics section and told me they were what I was looking for. Dude – Asics are too heavy. They are covered in Gortex – this is a DESERT. they will be too hot. Show me Saucony trails – he showed me cleats. Really? Lets have a chat about shoes okay? A quick little PK (Product Knowledge) session. I need Brooks. My runner runs in Glycerine 13s they are wide in the toe box. He has Fred Flintstone Feet. I need a wide shoe. You telling me a D width will be fine is not fine. I know it is too small because I apparently just schooled you in shoes! Its okay if you don’t have what I am looking for. Tell me you don’t have it or tell me you don’t know what I am talking about. Its okay, I know you are a glorified Sport Check – but HOLY HELL – DO NOT ACCUSE ME OF NOT KNOWING WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. Jerk.

4) I gave up diet coke and I am the crankiest person on the planet because of it. I feel better but DAMMIT addiction is freakin hard! I went to the vending machine, drooled on the glass a bit and bought a lemonade. You suck lemonade.

5) I am impervious to Sunscreen. I apply it everyday – twice a day. My arm is fire-engine red. I wear a long sleeve over my arm that is in the sun. I burn fast and I burn well. I kick ass at sunburns.

6) Apparently 4:00 AM is the best time to think. My brain wakes me up every morning at 4 to think about stuff. I am living the El Camino Trail here in California. I have learned things I never wanted to know. I have cried like a baby. I have been more angry than you could ever imagine. Karmic debt will be paid in full once this is done. Then I will move forward and leave a pile of crap behind. Its cathartic. Its painful.

7) I get irrationally angry at people I don’t know. I am concerned I may shoot my mouth off without thinking properly. Sometimes at 4 in the morning, that is a fantasy I have. Sometimes I  get excited to say these things to people I haven’t met. It will be interesting how it all plays out. Clearly, I wont say anything unless provoked….I am Canadian after all.

8) I am not a magician. I can’t force Joe to eat/sleep/or do stuff I tell him. He is pretty good at doing stuff because he is that tired. He lets me direct him/assist/provide for him. But telling me to make him do something is impossible. I can’t make him do anything. He is bigger than me. Mostly tho, he is super cooperative and a super patient. If he wasn’t, I’d tell his mom. She has become my pal.

9) my car has a special kind of funk living in it. I need to buy Febreez

10) Haggen has the best Grocery Deli I have ever seen in the USA.

11) Joe keeps telling me he couldn’t do this without me. Right back atcha pal. I couldn’t do this without you either. I’d look stupid driving back and forth for no reason. Seriously, we are a kick-ass team.

P.S. Don’t shave the beard – the Hockey Gods heard you and that would bring a decade of bad luck.

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500 miles for SMA: Day 4 – Lessons Learned

This is something Joe published over on 500 Miles for SMA. How the man can still think a coherent thought is beyond me. He feels pressure from everyone. Pressure to blog, pressure to post photos, pressure to run every second. I try to get him to get out of the game at dinner time and we talk about stuff that isn’t charity or run related. The mental break is important. We came back, bid good night until 6:00 AM tomorrow and I find him publishing blogs at 9:30 PM.

He needs sleep in the worst way.

This is how far he has come:

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When we drove to the start line this morning he couldn’t believe how far he ran. These are his words:

500 MILES FOR SMA – LESSONS LEARNED FROM DAYS ONE THROUGH FOUR…

So I am four days in to this long distance run, and the education I’ve gotten thus far is truly fascinating.

Day 1: The hills were a killer from the Presidio to my stopping point south of Daly City.  You’ve heard me say this a bunch of times: hills are stupid.  But…not training on them is stupider.  That’s right – I used a word that isn’t even a real word in order to get the idea across.  Lesson learned: don’t just recommend hill repeats to other people – actually step up the hill work yourself.  Because I did not do enough training on hills, these hills did a number on me both physically and mentally.

Day 2: I made it south of Half Moon Bay.  Today was a trial because of logistics.  Detours and mishaps galore.  Lesson learned: be ready to accept whatever the day has in store for you.  Roll with the punches.  Take those little mishaps and translate them into necessary obstacles that stand between you and your goal.

Day 3: I made it to Watsonville.  Safety was the concept of the day.  I found the hood of a Toyota 4×4 at one point (no harm done – I got lucky), and had to dive into piles of dirt and high grass more than once whilst running on busy roadways – even though I was safely in designated bike lanes at the time.  There were several points where, based on the traffic volume, I made the decision to not run sections of the pre-plotted course.  I had to make this call, because the first key to accomplishing this long distance effort is a requirement to FINISH the event.  Experiences on day three had me a bit gun shy on Day 4.

Day4: I was reminded of a very important concept today – just because a day starts off FUBAR, does not mean it needs to stay that way.  I had a goal of arriving in Monterey, and I hit it.  Have a goal, be able to visualize it, and let it be a carrot that hangs in front of you throughout the day.  You need a finish line each day – and that goes for any task you are looking to achieve over a duration of time.

I’ll try to provide additional details as we go.  I’ve been a bit fried from the effort thus far – but I feel a second wind coming.

I want to again express my sincere thanks to everyone following this effort, as well as everyone who donated thus far.  This run means a lot to me, as both of my brothers were claimed by SMA type I.  It’s something I spend time thinking about each morning that I lace up my running shoes during this event.

And to all of you competing this weekend in any event: good hunting.

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500 Miles for SMA: Day 3 – Holy Hotness Batman!

In the words of Rob Thomas when he sang Santana’s Smooth….It’s a hot one

It started out grey and cloudy, perfect running temperatures north of Santa Cruz, we ended close to Monterrey in the blistering sun.

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Joe bounded into my room this morning for breakfast like a puppy – all full of energy and excited. This was a welcome change from his nervousness and concern of the past 2 days. He FELT great. He looked strong and ready to roll. Me, however, I felt like crap. I need to figure out how to worry less so I can relax more. The last thing I want is for Joe to fall or get hit by a vehicle, so I am constantly driving a head checking the route, making sure things are good. Then I race back, feed and water him, race ahead and get groceries/gas/Starbucks…that’s right, I am not camping, I need my coffee.

Today was interesting, people are beginning to ask about the sign on my car and about Joe’s Epic Run. One lady flagged me down at the street light in Aptos to ask what SMA was. Clearly we are raising awareness, Goal 1 met! People are donating money too, Goal 2 met! We are finished day 3 and I am calling this successful already. Now to get him to the finish line in one healthy piece and I will be satisfied.

I mentioned yesterday about our arguments. They go EXACTLY like this:

Me: It’s been an hour, eat this.

Joe: No I’m good, I’m fine.

Me: Eat this.

Joe: No I am good

Me:Eat this

Joe: No

Me: EAT

Joe: Fine….

I win because he knows he needs to keep his energy stores up. It aids in recovery and in the amount of distance he is able to do. So far, so good. I watch for signs of cramping, brain fog, dehydration – we have just encountered Brain Fog – fig newtons fix that. It means he needs sugar. Salt levels are good and I took his pulse today – all good. He gets really hot so I a have cloths soaking in the ice bucket for the back of his neck and forehead, ice packs ready for his legs and and ice to fill his water bottle with to lower his core temperature. I think this helps, at the very least he feels supported and I think that is half the battle, knowing he isn’t alone in this and there is someone who has his back.

We were in farm country today. Workers bent over in the fields endlessly. I appreciate my food more today than I did yesterday.

I found Fleet Feet today. As a gal from the Running Room, I had to explore! Shoe prices are only about $20 less than in Canada and with the exchange, I’d be paying WAY MORE. But those gals knew their stuff! I was listening to the gal in the shoe pit  – I’d hire her. After their customer left, we talked about differences in the stores. They carry more weird socks and feet things, not as much accessories and less shoes. But if I lived in Santa Cruz – I would shop there because those gals know their stuff.

I texted Joe to see if he needed any gear – we are good. He may need new shoes before the month is up but he brought 3 pairs, so we will see. Everything else is good. We are well supplied. We just need more shade.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.

Please consider donating to help us find a cure to stop the #1 genetic killer of children under the age of 2. Joe’s lost two brothers to SMA and we think no one should have to watch their children die.

https://www.crowdrise.com/500MilesforSMA

500 Miles for SMA: Day 1

First day done, in the books, finished.

Mileage was short but the course was challenging. If you have ever been to San Francisco or have seen it in movies you may understand the kind of hills we are dealing with. Joe is from New York. He thought he knew what a hill was… yeah… no he didn’t.

When we started at the Presidio, he told me that was a tough hill. I replied with “By the time we are done today, you will wish you just running a little hill like that one”

The Start Line

That was no joke. The hill over on Skyline drive made me think I needed to put my car into low gear to climb it. And I wasn’t running it. But he did it. It was long and steep, the back side was also long and steep. But he did it. There was trails and switchbacks he climbed and trails and switchbacks he scaled down, because what goes up must come down.

Long long climb What goes up must come down

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My end of things kept me hopping. People kept texting us wishing us well and asked if I was bored.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

When you run support for someone there is a lot to do. I needed to drive a head to make sure areas were safe and clear, I made him eat, drink regularly, make ice packs, check cognitive abilities, sunscreen applications and shop for stuff I forgot. I brought a book to read – and I didn’t get through the first chapter today. The Midwife of Venice. I average 55 books a year, I am not going to get through this book in a couple of days. So no, I am not bored. But seriously, the views! Why do I live on the prairies?

Once he reached the finish line at Pacifica on the Beach, we went through the recovery routine of ice for the legs, chocolate milk, pretzels and a banana. We drove to the hotel and he stretched for 45 minutes, showered and napped. I have to admit, his recovery was better than I expected. He is really ready for this. His training and his Coach The Bad Man, have him ready.

We had dinner overlooking the ocean. It is just water, but I could stare at it for days. We drove the next course and it also will not be easy.

Tomorrow we need to make a better effort to keep the Garmin ON. he did 22 miles today my my calculation but he lost 5 miles on the Garmin because he was daydreaming. Its all good. He deserves to think about what he wants if it makes his legs go. We will have a tough time tomorrow. Road conditions will make some parts unsafe. So I will drive those parts. I made a promise to his mama that I would make sure his efforts would be smart. He will run some beach, some paths but sometimes on the road.

The views make his efforts worth it.

Please help support Joe’s effort by donating to https://www.crowdrise.com/500milesforsma/fundraiser/doawaywithsma

You can listen to Joe’s story on Mickey Milers http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-5mcqp-5819c1

Running 500 Miles for SMA

There is an app out there called Timehop. I am not big on revisiting the past other than for purposes to mark achievement. I often speak to running/walking groups to talk about goal setting and maintaining motivation. I preach the basics of forgiving yourself, be kind to yourself and let the past go. Mistakes happen, move on. Except for measurement. I think TIME  is a marvellous tool for measuring progress. For example, 2010 I couldn’t walk up the stairs without major effort. Getting out of the bathtub was hard for me. As you all know, I started moving more and eating less. I am 117lbs further away from 2010. It amazes me.

I was flipping through TimeHop and came across a photo of my desk piled high in books and papers as I was writing my Capstone.

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This photo made me pause. I suddenly remembered all the steps that got me to this point.

I needed a project to work on for my final project. So I called my pal Joe because he often asks me the kind of questions that inspires me to think out of the box. We began talking about goals and future projects that would be huge or at the very least, take serious time and effort to complete. He disclosed that he would like to ‘one day’ run from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to the esplanade in Disneyland Resort. I said, “Lets do it!” So we started planning and this became my Capstone project. Project Planning on an epic scale. I got an A+ but something else happened.

We started a foundation called Do Away with SMA. Part of this adventure was because if you are going to do something big, do it for a great cause. Joe’s family was personally affected by SMA so we decided to make this personal and choose that cause to work for. Why? Because other charities that you hear about are just that…charities that you hear about. They have a name and are doing well and meeting their goals. Apparently, Joe and I are two individuals that who like to go big or go home. Starting from scratch is a big deal for us. So, with the support of our families and friends, here we are. Co-Founders with the help of our friends in the foundation DAWS. All because we thought it might be fun to run 500 miles for charity.

Boom.

Its suddenly a reality.

This August is when it all happens. The way my life has turned really makes me blink with shock and awe. Whose life is this anyways? How did I get to this point? This is definitely not the old me. The new me is a very different person from 10 or even 5 years ago.

I invite you to follow our adventure on our blog at www.doawaywithsma.org. I will post adventures here and we will have a photo gallery on Facebook. Here is a link to our Crowdrise page that is raising money specifically to support this adventure. We hope to secure corporate support and raise money to help us fund this run as well as raise money to for our foundation. The Foundation support is found here .  That Cutie on the page is Claire. Claire has SMA. We met her Aunt through our Running Team and we heard amazing stories and saw adorable photos and suddenly SMA became REAL to the board. It was always real for Joe, his brothers died from SMA Type 1, but Claire is a typical kid living with an Atypical genetic disease. Now it is more important than ever that we raise money to support DAWS. We want to support kids like Claire in making every day tasks easier and to support researchers so they may find a cure. We want SMA to be eradicated. That is why Joe is running 500 miles. For kids like Claire.

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Here is what I hope to achieve by doing this grand adventure:

Raise money for our Foundation DAWS so we can help fund research and support parents and children who are living with SMA. 

Support Joe as he runs really far. Between you an me, he gets cranky when he is tired so this may be a challenge for me. See how I make it about me? Because I am awesome like that.

Share all kinds of daily adventures because you can’t run a marathon everyday and have nothing happen.

See the Coast of California. I haven’t been there since I was a kid. It should be a beautiful scenic adventure!

Meet amazing people along the way both on the road and in social media. 

I suspect this will be one of those life changing moments that teaches you about yourself and your friends. Joe’s Road Crew has 3 of us on board for support, food and fights   companionship. The off road support has many more….who may get calls from me as I will need to talk to people who don’t live in the car with me.

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There are 2 ways to support.

1. You can donate directly to 500 Miles for SMA. When your donation reaches different levels, there are gifts that coincide with the donation level.

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2. You can donate DIRECTLY to the Foundation. We have lofty goals for finding a cure and supporting families and their children. That gets expensive. The great news is, Do Away with SMA is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. That means I copy the legalese here for your reading pleasure:

The Do Away with SMA Foundation is a public charity and is tax exempt under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations made to the foundation may be deducted from your federaly taxable income to the extent permited by law. You should contact a tax professional to determine whether and to what extent donations are deductable under your particular circumstance.

 

This August is SMA Awarness Month. I invite you to come and cheer Joe on along the route. Here are our projected dates and places.

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I will be posting our location with video and photos and stories of our adventure. We hope you will join us.

We simply want to help as many people as we can, and play a part in defeating this disease. When I run, I always remember the faces of my younger brothers. ~Joseph R Kolinksy

Look for us here:

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Throw Back Thursday: The 8 Track

While stuck in the snowstorm traffic jam at rush hour with my son, we started chatting about things he would be telling his kids. “When I was a kid, we paid for stuff with PAPER printed money”, “We listened to DIGITAL MUSIC”.

Then we laughed and he was telling me about seeing a Beatles album for sale in California when he was there on a band trip. He said it was expensive, $40!!!! I laughed and told him my $5 allowance would pay for a movie – $1.25 for Star Wars, lunch at A&W, and a record.

He asked if the record was vinyl.

umm…yes then I laughed. Records were vinyl and the needle was sharp. But sometimes you needed to put a penny on the arm to weigh it down to get the sound to work. He laughed and asked how I would take music with me in the car if this was before cassettes.

I thought about the time I received THIS for Christmas:

Orange and portable – ish. It took a billion D batteries or you could use the cord. I also received a selection of 8 track tapes for my enjoyment. I had The Carpenters, ABBA, and Shaun Cassidy – that’s right Da Doo Run Run.

I would crank my music and sing in front my mirror with my hair brush as the microphone. Over and over I would play my music until I would hear “THUMP THUMP THUMP” on the floor above me. My dad would yell “Turn it DOWN please” (we are Canadian – it never hurts to be polite) so I would turn it down. Then it didn’t look like I was singing so I would do something else while listening to it. Dad said he never minded the loud music it was the repetitious nature of my musical choices.

I still listen to music over and over until I know all the lyrics. Which is likely why I am AWESOME at music trivia or name that tune type games. Thinking back, 8 tracks sucked and I am glad Sony never made a 8track walkman.

The Top 8 reasons 8 tracks were stupid

  1. They were the size of a large sandwich. You needed a suitcase to haul them around.
  2. You couldn’t rewind them – or at least I couldn’t. I could only replay the entire track and not all the tunes on the track were good.
  3. If the tape pulled out – you were screwed.
  4. If you were lucky enough to have a player in your car, you had to have a suitcase full of music for your friends to choose from.
  5. Record stores would clear out old crappy 8 tracks for $1. My dad would buy these up and re-record over them. What my dad thought was crap, I thought was awesome. I would see a tape of some disco I wanted to listen to and he would have put the Limelighters or Glenn Yarbrough over top. Not cool when you are out with your friends.
  6. They never fit into your pocket.
  7. You needed a Head Cleaning tape and run it through your machine occasionally
  8. If you left your tape in the player for storage, you ran the risk of wow or flutter – it made the music slow in spots.

The Art of Neon: CarsLand Radiator Springs

I have always been a fan of neon signs and art. Years ago, there was a child in my class whose dad was a neon sign creator. I was fascinated by the process and he invited to me to his shop to see the production of a new sign. He would also repair neon signs. I was amazed at the process! Not only must an artist be creative, they are glass blowers, chemists and electrical engineers. Here is a detailed About Page that goes through the process and the gases you combine with neon and mercury to create different colours.

This past week I made my way to Disneyland Resort in California to celebrate a friends birthday (her 40th – shhhh). Although I went under the pretence for her birthday, I was really interested in CarsLand, the Radiator Springs from Pixar’s Cars movie. It was like being in the movie. The detail was unbelievable! The purpose of my trip was to explore Radiator Springs at night time because the Imaginears used neon signage to make the place shine at night, just like in the movie. It truly became a different place.

John Lasseter sent his Imaginears across the United States to get a feel for how route 66 use to be. They came back armed with ideas from quirky to beautiful to down right amazing. Wondering down route 66 at night was akin to looking at Christmas lights. The colour and sparkle was a sight to behold! I spent 2 or my 3 nights exploring Radiator Springs and taking in the breath taking beauty of neon. Knowing the labor intensive methods and the craftmanship involved makes these signs into works of art. Stunning!

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