Archive for June, 2011

Video of the people and the mud

June 30, 2011

My son, Scott McClellan, captured the fun with a video camera at Saturday’s “Barbarian Challenge” near Gadsden, Alabama.  The segment you’re about to see shows one of the mud pits with real barbed wire above the crawlers.Tomorrow, we’ll post the slipping, sliding and falling as the “Barbarians” struggle thru the electrically charged final obstacle on the 4-mile course.


Economic memories

June 29, 2011

I remember penny bubble gum, nickel cokes, and 15-cent pints of ice cream.  I remember paying a dime for admission to a double feature at the local theater.  It later went up to 11-cents.   A bag of popcorn was 5-cents.  A good dress shirt was $3.50.   You could buy a beautiful tie for one-dollar…the very best was only $2.50.    My basis for what things should cost is rooted in these memories.  Of course, I remind myself that at the time I was mowing large yards for a quarter and later working in a men’s clothing store for fifty-cents an hour.  My first radio announcing job started at 55-dollars a week.   A raise put me at 65.    That jumped to 85-dollars a week when I came to WSB.     That darned inflation takes away and it giveth.

A special hero

June 28, 2011

On the right is Noah, one of the more than 6-hundred athletes braving the “Barbarian Challenge” near Gadsden, Alabama.  It’s an extreme event commonly called a “Mud Run”   You can see that Noah is wearing a racing prosthetic on his left leg.  Noah is a veteran of the war in Irag.   He lost both his left leg and arm to an “improvised explosion device” (IED).   Noah doesn’t let that stop him from competing in some of the toughest terrain and conditions.    I admire and salute this special hero!

The photo show is up!

June 27, 2011

Reference the “Barbarian Challenge” from Saturday’s posting.  There must be a special attraction to playing in the mud that goes back to our childhood.

For proof, just look at the many pictures by clicking on Don McClellan’s photo shows on the right hand side of the front page of this blog.  Hundreds of people at this event apparently still like to play in the mud.

A shocking experience

June 26, 2011

This is one of several obstacles Saturday at the “Barbarian Challenge” near Gadsden, Alabama.   On the ground is a mud pit.  Overhead are wires with low voltage shocks to encourage runners to stay low in the 4-mile mud run.  My son, Scott, says he heard a lot of cursing as the runners experienced the worst of the high and low.  Some resorted to crawling to escape the shock.   I’ll put together a photo show before Monday.   It will include more scenes from what Scott calls one of the funniest things he’s ever seen.

Barbarian Challenge

June 25, 2011

Our race timing company will be at an event tomorrow (Saturday) morning in  Gadsden, Alabama.  They call it the “Barbarian Challenge”.    It’s a mud run.  There are mud obstacles including swamps throughout the 4 mile course.   Think of it as mud wrestling on the move.   However, runners are not wrestling with each other…only with the muddy terrain.  It will be our first adventure in timing a mud run.    We’re looking forward to the fun and the pictures we bring back.   Borrowing from the history of the Barbarians, the runners will go out in  “hordes”……about one-hundred at a time.  The first of 9 ” hordes” invades the mud at 8 a.m.    The last at 3 p.m.  It’s going to be a long day….one that I expect we and the hordes of mud runners always will remember!  See the results later on

Cat on a hot shingle roof

June 24, 2011

Look closely at the lower roof of this house.  On the right hand side is a little black blob.  That little black blob is a neighbor’s cat.   It’s name is  “Midnight”.    “Midnight” calls to mind a feline we once had.  His name was “Felix”.   When Felix was a kitten, he climbed a tree, but apparently was afraid to climb down.   He stayed in the tree without food or water for several days.   Finally a friend who has earned the affectionate name of “Cat Lady” coaxed him down.  He sure was hungry and thirsty.  “Midnight” is neither hungry nor thirsty.   He goes and comes through a window not far from where he’s sitting.  I shot these pics mid-morning before”Midnight” became a mid-afternoon cat on a hot shingle roof.   There is a hair resemblance to the late Elizabeth Taylor.

Ray’s “stolen” book

June 22, 2011

Please read the blog just before this one.   It tells how World War II soldier Ray Moore acquired an old book from a German home as the war was winding down.   The novel is  “All Quiet on the Western Front”.  a view of an earlier war, World War I.  It’s seen  through the eyes of a German soldier.   Here’s Ray.  You may have to play Ray’s narrative twice for uninterrupted sound Ray says the rare book is not for sale.  He plans to leave it to his 3 sons.    Ray  will be celebrating his 89th birthday next month.

Ray Moore’ stolen book

June 21, 2011

This is a yellowed, patched-up copy of the novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front”.    Erich Maria Remarque wrote the book in 1929.  It’s a look at the horrors of World War I through the eyes of a German soldier.  The book belongs to my friend and mentor Ray Moore.  Ray was in the Army as a war correspondent during World War II. Tomorrow, he tells us how he came to steal…to appropriate this rare copy of “All Quiet on the Western Front”.

Gasoline pricing

June 21, 2011

A few weeks ago on this blog, I wrote about the psychology of gasoline pricing.   At the time, prices were approaching 4-dollars a gallon.  I predicted it w0uld follow the same pattern  as they have many times before.  Oil companies raise prices, then back off.   Now that prices are down about half as much as they went up, people are happy to be paying less but forget how much less they were paying before the current rise began.  It’s a triumph of applied psychology.