Catching Light

Tonight Billy and I headed out for a bit of Lightning Bug capturing.  Whilst out there we saw a bat–which was pretty cool.  Any who–we also caught tons of lightning bugs and I am already anxiously waiting with great anticipation as to what lightning bug jelly will taste like in the morning on my bagel.  I am praying that it will taste just like Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  Hope. Hope.


While we were out there slaying the lit ones.  I grabbed m Nikon and fired off a few shots.  Most of what I got was complete and total garbage.  But the three shots I have included here turned out pretty cool.  If you look close enough you might even see a few lightning bugs.


Enjoy!  Click to enjoy the gallery.



Billy and the Phillies

I was five years old when I decided that I wanted to be a Cincinnati Reds baseball fan.

It was a conscious decision.  I remember becoming aware that baseball has teams and that I should probably pick one of them and follow them.  I asked Dad what he thought.  He told me that Nanny was a Reds fan and so he was a Reds fan.  You can pretty much guess how I came to the conclusion that I was going to be a Reds fan.

So for over 30 years I have been a Reds fan.

I have seen some great teams in that time–1990 Wire to Wire–and some not so great teams–all the other years except 1990.  We went to Riverfront every summer and had a great time.  I still remember the drunk guy behind me that screamed at Orel Hershiser for nine straight innings.  To this day I holler “eeeaaaarrrrrl” at games just to see if that guy is around.   Good times.

I watched them play the Mets where a guy chanted behind me the whole game–What’s the matta with Dunn–He’s a bum.  This too is something i repeat at every single sporting event I go to (t-ball all the way through NFL) just in cast that dude is there.  I even yell it out the window whilst driving through Dunn, NC.

I love the Cincinnati Reds.  I love their tradition.  I love my history with the team.  I grew up thinking Jose Rijo was part of our family.  That at any moment Chris Sabo would want to go ride bikes with me.  I knew that if I ever had a dog–which I will never have–I would name it Schottzie.  They are part of my story.  I will never alter this path.  I cannot do it.

So naturally I have been attempting to teach Billy that he too will be a Cincinnati Reds fan.  But the strangest thing has happened.  Billy says that he is a Philadelphia Phillies fan.  How-did -this-happen?  I have failed.

I asked him why he was a Phillies fan and not a Reds fan.  He tells me that the Phillies are the home team and we should support the home team (hand to God that was his airtight response).

Ok, well Billy, what do we do when the Red’s play the Phllies?  He quickly answered-Phillies.

What if it is for the pennant?  Phillies.

He is pretty sold out to this whole live here, fall in love with the culture mumbo jumbo I talk about all the time.  I am being challenged to give up something dear to me and root for the Philadelphia Phillies.

I am at a loss,  On the one hand I want to root along with my son for his favorite team.  But on the other, I never imagined that team would be the Phillies.  What gives?

I’ll say this.  I can never root against the Reds in any scenario.  But if it is not head to head then I will root for the Phillies with all my heart–or at least the part that isn’t rooting for my Reds.  Maybe Billy will come around.

I guys this means I need to buy me a Phillies hat.

Christmas at the White House 2013

A great Christmas this year.  Had a fantastic time with my family.  We spent Christmas here at the White House then traveled over to Jersey to see the Clines and my Mom and Dad.  It was a good day.

Here are some photos.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

Major milestone!

Tonight Billy lost his first tooth.

I was in the other room ironing and I hear, “Mark, Mark, you’ve got to come in here now.”  I flew into the bathroom thinking that the toilet had finally come off the base and had already, mentally, began planning how I was going to talk her into just using the hole it left…but no…Billy had a loose tooth.

A loose tooth.

Finally, Billy is starting to experience things that I myself can vividly remember.  This is incredible.  I asked if I could pull it for him.  He screamed “No!” and recoiled as if I had pulled a king cobra out of a sack.  He said he would take care of it–it will drop out when it drops out.

We went to bed.  Shut the door.  Left him to his dreams.  Minutes later, “Mark, Mark, come up here!”  This time I knew it was tooth related.  There he stood holding it in his palm.  He was so proud.  He immediately wanted to call his cousin Isaiah–we didn’t it was late–then he began plotting the best tooth placement for the tooth fairy.  We slipped it under the pillow and left him alone.

I suppose that later tonight I get to do a first.  I’ll sneak in there and take that tooth and… know the rest.

Big day at the White House.

[click photo for larger view]

Few Photos from the past few weeks.

I was taking a look at my camera roll and realized I have not posted a few.  Here you go–peruse away.

Holiday Streak 2013

Well it is that time of year again.  I am going streaking and want you all to go with me.  First off–it’s not what you think.  Last year I was a few miles from a goal and decided to Holiday Streak my way to the end of the year–50 straight days of running [reference here firstthen here].  I did and swore that I would never do it quite like that again.  This year I have decided to do it exactly like that again–ain’t so good at learnin stuff.

Starting Tuesday the Holiday Streak begins.  That is 50 straight days to the end of the year.

Currently my ytd mileage sits at 746.  I think i might be able to top it at 850 for the year.  This would be 50 over my year goal which would be awesome.

If you are on the fence as to whether you should do this let me offer a few nuggets of wisdom I learned from last year.

1.  Set loose rules for yourself to follow.  I reserve the right to run only one mile to call it a run.  This won’t be the norm but you gotta have an out on those 12 hour work days when it’s 10 degrees outside.

2.  If you can’t get out for a run then go for a walk.  Remember the key to this Holiday Streak is about getting out and just getting it done.

3.  Yes.  Treadmills and ellipticals count.

4.  Find running buddies out of this.  Last year I started running with my neighbor and we still run together every week.

5.  Do it however you want but do something during the Holidays.

Why you doing this Mark?

Great question.  I run all year and take it easy in the Holidays only to find that I have gained about 5 pounds.  Then I spend the most difficult running month of the year 5 pounds heavier.  The Holiday Streak prevents this.  It allows me to eat pretty much whatever I like and not put on the extra bag of sugar.  I should note here that I will be suspending my VB6 for the rest of the year as well but fret not–I’m hitting the Vegan life with force in Jan.

So my friends.  Who wants to do this with me?  Strap on the Brooks and go for a run in the cold.  Every day til 2014?

I will update via twitter @markallenwhite  often enough to not be obnoxious.


KOA for a few days.

Just got back from a delightful little get away to Harpers Ferry, WV.  Yes, West Virginia.  Harpers Ferry is located in the weird little hanging part of WV in the Eastern side.  Sorta makes the state look as though it were walkin like an Egyptian.  Anyway, we stayed at the edge of the Harpers Ferry National Battlefield which is run by the DOI and thus NPS and thus shut down due to the cry-baby-stuffed shirt senators who couldn’t do their one job.  But I digress.

One of the upsides to staying next to a shut down National Battlefield is that you get to do everything for free.  That is if you don’t mind climbing barriers and sneaking around trails–which I don’t.  I managed to get several runs in this weekend and only had to wave at one NPS car–he didn’t seem to care, it could have been my loud singing of “This land is your land, This land is my land, From California to the New York island; From red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, This land is made for you and me.”  Thanks Woody for getting me through the 7 miler yesterday.

But, we had a really good time, despite the disappointment of not getting to see dressed-up townspeople from the 1860s.  Running into town early yesterday was a bit reminiscent of The Walking Dead as no one was out on the street–it had a something is just not right feel.  I kept running.  The KOA at Harpers Ferry was great.  We rented a little cabin and had our own little fire out front every night to roast/burn marshmallows.  We had a great time.  Billy says he really likes camping.  I hadn’t spent the night in a campground since I was 12 (one exception to this is a week I spent several years ago at the gulf shore).  Absolutely nothing has changed.  It is as if they went back in time, gathered all the people that I use to see in the 80’s and put them at the KOA campground in WV this weekend.  It was great.  We had a great time.

Here are a few pics of the trip.