I did it! What’s Next?

1000 kilometers run in 2007!

I told a friend of mine this and he told me I have no need for a car anymore. I think I will keep the car though.

This was not my goal at the beginning of the year. I missed all of my goals that I set from the beginning. But, I did move forward in every aspect, just not as much as I had hoped. I think I was just a bit too ambitious. Now having another year behind me, I think I am ready to make a stab at a much bigger goal.

I signed up with a training/support group that has a 1000 mile goal for 2008.

I am not going to set any specific PR goals for races this year other than to say I have as a goal to PR in all distances that I run. I am really feeling great right now with some faster times on shorter distances.

Another goal I have for the year is a reading goal. I have a friend that said he has a goal of reading 800 pages a month for 2008. I don’t know how many pages a month I currently read, but I am going to take up his goal as my own and give it a real shot. I do know that some months I read that much, while other months I don’t. It may be a bit of a challenge to keep it up all year.

Does anyone track the number of pages you read? How do you do it? Paper log? Online log? I am leaning to something online just because I like the idea of sharing it with others, but I have not found anything I like. I guess I will just try to do an occasional post here with how I am doing towards my goal.

Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I have not been a fan of Roald Dahl since I read James and the Giant Peach. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember that he was very disrespectful to authority and James, the main character, ran over an aunt or grandmother with the peach and killed her. It was a happy occasion in the book. Something did not sit well with me on that one.

But, I was going through my son’s bookshelf the other day and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I had never read it.

Surprisingly the movie Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is very close to the text of the book. Some of the dialog is different, but the events are similar. There are only three glaring differences between the book and the movie (that I can remember). I have not seen the movie in maybe 20 years, so I may not remember too well.

The differences are that the spoiled girl in the book is taken out by squirrels, where in the movie she is done in by geese. Charlie and Grandpa Joe do not get involved with the bubbly stuff that makes them stick to the ceiling in the book. The movie makes a whole scene of this, the book just mentions the substance. The third difference is just the way the story culminates. It ends more abruptly in the movie version than it does in the book. Also there is a bit of a twist in the movie that is just a straightforward set of events in the book.

I thought it was certainly well written. It held my interest better than most books. I can see why it is popular among young teens. My son (9 years old for 1 more week) would love the humor and naughtiness of the children. Though Dahl is still disrespectful to others, it is more on a peer level instead of children to adults. Where there is disrespect to authority, the offender is reprimanded or punished. In James and the Giant Peach the disrespect is applauded.

I cannot recommend James and the Giant Peach to a child for reading, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory seems harmless enough.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dhal, (the one I have) Bantam Books, 1984, 160 pages.

Getting down to the end

As the year wraps up I have only 3.2 miles to run tomorrow to make my running goal. I will get half of that running to my friend’s house and then the other half as we run. If, for some reason, my friend can’t run, just running back home will give me my 3.2 exactly.

I have some running goals and other types of goals for 2008 that I will share a bit later. I am still finalizing some.

Have a great end of the year. 2008 will be exciting.

Review: William Carey: Obliged to Go

In their book William Carey: Obliged to Go, authors Janet and Geoff Benge tell of the hardships and victories in the life and ministry of the Father of Modern Missions, William Carey.

While reading this book it gave some great background to many stories about his life that I had only heard referenced before, but had not heard the whole story. For example, many people have heard of the saying that the people in the supporting churches “hold the ropes” for the missionary on the field, but probably did not know that this comes from an event in Carey’s life (pgs. 68, 69). Also Carey’s famous saying, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”, comes from a meeting he had with other ministers who were content to let God do His own work (pg. 63).

He really endured some hard times as a young man. It almost seemed that he was not able to get ahead of tragedy and hardship until later in life. But he never quit. This book is written very positively in the way he handled problems. I have never read his journals, but I am sure he struggled at times with what was going on around him. This book also does not point out some of the failings he apparently had as a father. I have read in other places some harsh criticism about Carey in the way he treated his family. I think it is easier to criticize the actions of people without understanding the times in which they lived.

Like other books in this series, I think the point is to give a general overview of the events in the subject’s life and not get too detailed in reasonings behind why a person made the decisions they did. I also feel that the target audience of these books is for a younger teenage audience as opposed to historians wanting full details of the life of the subject.

Unlike their book about David Livingstone, this one did not seem to flow into a nice easy time line and event structure throughout his life. I think that was more due to the way things worked in the lives of these two men, not necessarily a fault of the writers.

I have friends who have several books in this series and I am very excited about reading each one that I can. If you are interested in Christian missionaries then you will not be disappointed by reading other books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series.

William Carey: Obliged to Go, Janet and Geoff Benge, YWAM Publishing, 1998, 211 pages.