Martin before the start of the Freestore Foodbank 5k with Alex.

Martin at the start of the race with the hordes chasing.

Alex and Roxanne waiting for Martin at the end of the Purpose People Bridge.

Martin coming off the Purple People Bridge near the 2 mile mark.   Finished in 23:51 (7:41/mi pace), 86th of 2,946 participants.


Well, we had our now annual camping outing for 4th of July.  The last several years we have been getting together at East Fork State Park with a bunch of our the families from the swim team.  The park has some really nice camp sites, bathrooms with showers, and is next to East Fork Lake with a beach and boat launch.  It is nice as we know which sites to reserve, so we get a couple of adjoining sites that have plenty of room for tents with trees for some privacy.


This year we had 23 kids camping with us along with two other couples.  Some of the kids were from the swim team. Some were friends of swimmers.  This is something they really look forward to as  I know some were counting down the days until “camping”. The kids have fun with swimming, hanging out, eating (they eat a lot!), hiking, and playing in the creek.

Yesterday, they went on an excursion to hiker and explore the creek.  They came back with turtles, toads, a salamander, a couple of young crawdads, and some fish.  I think that covers it.  Of course they wanted to bring home their new pets.  We liberated the toad and turtles back into the wild.  The crawdads and fish are residing in Alex’s fish tank.

So everything was going well until the weather turned on us yesterday afternoon.  The weather is a funny thing. At the beginning of the week the were calling for a “slight” chance of scattered showers. As the week progressed the forecast got progressively worse until Friday when we were setting up camp it was a 50% chance of rain and scattered thunder storms.  Then Saturday morning it was 80% rain and thunder storms which was supposed to last all afternoon and through the night.



Now, Saturday morning it was beautiful.  The sun was shining and the temperature was ideal.  By noon it was getting cloudy.  Then around 1pm it started sprinkling, which is about the time we checked the radar.  It was not good.  A massive wave of rain was heading our way and it was a couple of sates wide. This was not going to be a brief shower by any means.

I decided to be the camping wimp and stated that we (the Dschaak family) were going to break camp. By now the sprinkles had become rain showers. The only problem was at this point we had one new couple arriving and setting up camp, one couple was out at their sons baseball game, and the third couple had gone home to let their dogs out and pick up some food. We couldn’t just abandon camp with them gone.

Well, we started getting things organized to break camp while we waited for the others to return.  I wanted to get the tents down and put away before they got too wet.  So we packed up our stuff and were pretty much soaked by the time we were done.  The thing is we had all this food (a ton chicken breasts, corn on the cob, strawberry shortcakes) we had brought to make dinner for the 23 kids and 8 adults. It was decided we’d move the gathering to our house and make dinner there.

We got everybody and everything packed up and off to our house.  We set up in the garage with the food, drinks, and the grill.  The adults hung out there.  The kids for the most part moved to the basement where they played Xbox and computer games plus watched movies. Everybody ate a ton of food.  All the girls in the group slept over.  Everybody had a good time, so it all worked out in the end.






Today was the Cincinnati Redlegs 5k run.  It was a beautiful morning for a run.  The sun was shining and it was in the mid-60’s.   The race is downtown Cincinnati by the Ohio River, so there are some decent views at the start of the race.

Alex and Tanya came down to watch the run and enjoy the sun.  Alex took the pictures of the bridge.  Here she is waiting for the start of the race outside the home of the Cincinnati Reds- The Great American Ballpark.

Here’s the start of the race where you have the bridge and river as a nice back drop.  I like doing runs that have something to offer in terms of location.

Like most fun runs there is usually something unusual to see.  In this case its this racing cow.  The cow was pretty fast, too.

One of the cool aspects of this race is that you finish at home plate in the ball park.  Kinda cool.  So, here’s the cow coming to the finish.  He actually beat me.  In fact he beat a lot of people running the race in about 18 minutes.

Well, I didn’t beat the cow, but was happy to finish in 23:57.  Two seconds faster than the Flying Pig 5k I ran a month earlier.  Overall 387th over nearly 3,000 runners and 27th in my age group putting me in the top 20%. Complete results for the 2009 Redlegs 5k are available HERE.

Alex and dad after the race.


This is an outbreak year for the 17 year cicada here in Greater Cincinnati.  These creepy little (1 1/2 to 2 inches) buggers emerge after 17 years in the ground.  This years “brood” hatched an estimated 2-3 billion cicadas in the Cincinnati Metro area. Yes, that was BILLION with a “B”.   This is a follow up to the brood that emerged in 2003 when approximately 7-8 billion hatched, so this time around is considered minor. Hah!

They come out of the ground in masses.  Since our home is newer with no older trees we only get the odd one (like the guy above on Tanya’s hand bag).  If you are unfortunate enough to live in an older area you are facing massive numbers of cicadas. We have friends who nearly filled their 30 gallon garbage can with the carcasses and shells of the emerging cicadas.

Besides the sheer number and creepy look they are very noisy.  The sound is somewhat eerie if you have never heard it before. It reminds me of something you’d hear in a sci-fi movie.  One cicada can make quite a racket, but when you get thousands in a single tree you get a nearly deafening sound.  I can hear them quite clearly in my office which is behind closed windows. You can hear them clearly even in the car driving down the street with the windows up. If you are on foot, you will have to raise your voice for your companions to hear you speak.  One of Taylor’s friends commented that she can’t hardly think when she is walking in her neighborhood.  While we don’t have masses in the trees at our house I can still hear the buzzing clearly from the older trees down the block.

From the College of Mount St. Joseph here in Cincinnati:

The emergence is now at midpoint in parts of Greater Cincinnati.  Madeira choruses were measured at between 85-90 dB.  The nymphs have completed their emergence in many areas and a massive die-off is now taking place.  Four inch deep mounds of dead cicadas have been observed in Mariemont.

You can read more here:

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