Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Sam

As I have previously posted, interesting things to me happen in waves. The past few days been quite interesting so I again have some blogging to do. I think the theme for the past few days have to be stopping and visiting the milestones of my life.

So it is interesting that I chose to stop and visit the statue of my distant cousin Sam Houston. This is from the Shugart side of the family that originated in Tennessee. To be honest I really needed a bathroom break on my way down to Houston, but I have driven by Big Sam quite a few times without ever stopping. It just seemed like the thing to do last Thursday.

He is quite impressive.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weight Loss Update

I have lost over 20 pounds since my Doctor told me I was obese. I have obtained my first goal of my weight loss plan and I now just overweight per the BMI index. Weight Loss has become a game for me with the calorie counting application I am using. I have set my goal to lose two pounds a week with the long term objective of being my ideal weight. (I have not been my ideal weight since I was in college. Even the peak of my cycling in my early 30s I was still over weight)

One advantage I have over the normal person who has received bad news from the doctor is that I had to only make one life style change, which is to eat less. I already exercise quite a bit. With all things considered, I was a very big in shape guy. For example, as I was tracking my calories on the day of the Super Bowl, I realized that if I wanted to eat pizza and drink margaritas I would need to run for an hour to burn them off. I got a nice 6.3 mile run in and enjoyed the heck out of my pizza.

I have always said I ride the bike so I can eat. This can be expanded to I will exercise to eat and drink.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Running in Austin

We could not have asked for better Saturday afternoon weather when the Troop was in Austin. When the boys went to their last class, I left the Merit Badge College and went for a run in Austin.

I still don’t understand what people see in the UT Austin Campus. It is like a beehive. A bunch of buildings stacked as close as they can get in a very small space with way to many people crammed into it. I know I have a Red Raider bias, but still.

I completely understand why people like Austin. I ran by the capital, down through Sixth Street, and head down to the running trails on Town Lake. It was gorgeous day; people were out enjoying the wonderful amities that the City of Austin provides. I came back up to Campus on West Street past all the old homes and businesses. It was just was beautiful, even though I was running uphill the whole way.

I ended up running six miles just because I was just enjoying the journey the run was taking me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bob Crouch

Again the magic of Facebook made me aware that Ltc. Bob Crouch was with his troop in Austin at the Merit Badge College.

So as I was signaling to the SPL to gather up the boys at lunch time, I hear from behind me. “Shugart, that invisible lasso is not going to catch a single boy” I turned and found Bob Crouch, Eagle Scout, Heidelberg American High School Class of 1986, in his Troop’s Class B uniform.

It was awesome to see Bob and his son Kenny. It had been since Bob was teaching ROTC at Texas A&M, that I had seen him.

Facebook continues to amaze me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UT Austin Merit Badge College

Little Troop 5 spent the last weekend in Austin at a Merit Badge College put on by Alpha Phi Omega. APO is the national Boy Scout Service Fraternity. To put on a Merit Badge College is a fantastic service project for this organization.

Austin is quite the drive from Dalworthington Gardens. As the previous post noted, it did not start off very well, we successfully made it to Austin.

The trip for the boys was quite uneventful, but fun and productive. Merit Badge Colleges are kind of a beating for the adult leaders. Once the boys are stowed away in a class, there is not much to do. It should be noted they did offer classes for adults, but the Little Troop 5 contingent did not seem interested.

What made the trip really work was that the troop stayed at Texas Motor Transportation Association at no cost. This gave us a location in downtown Austin, close to the university, without having to deal with the issues of camping. As a rule, camping in February in Texas is a gamble. Sometimes it is freezing and wet, other times are beautiful. To schedule an inside campout where there was a chance of advancement, seem like a no brainer to the boys.

John Esparza, President/CEO TMTA

The troop owes a great bit a gratitude to John Esparza, the president of TMTA for the opportunity to stay. John is a scouter with the local St. Austin Cub Scout pack, but more importantly he is long time friend of mine from Texas Tech University. John has an impressive resume beyond his degree in Public Relations from Texas Tech. He has been on the Staff for Governor Bush and Governor Perry.

Without John’s hospitality, I do not think we could have pulled this trip off. Each of the 12 boys from the troop got a chance to attend four different Merit badge classes, thought by professors , teachings assistants and college students. I was very proud on how the boys seemed to get something out of each class.

Even though it’s behind the orange curtain, I would not have a problem to take the troop back if the boys vote to go again. We just need John to keep his job.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I am very blessed to have Brian and Gary McGaw as my mechanics. The own the McGaw Brothers Automotive in Dalworthington Gardens. I have been taking my vehicles to them since 1993. In addition, they very kindly let the Little Troop 5 store their trailers in their yard.

On Friday evening about 5:15 pm, when Zack Wisch and I was hooking the little trailer to the troop bus, I noticed that one of the trailer tires was low. So I swung the trailer up to the McGaw’s bay to have them air them up. As Brian was airing up the tire he asked me how far we were going. I said to Austin.

“No you are not” he replied. “This tire is about to go”

So I dropped the trailer door and rolled out the spare.. “Greg, that one won’t work either, head to Pioneer Tire, they close at 6pm."

I quickly head to Pioneer Tire. I can go into great detail on how they took care of us, inspected the bus tires, and replaced a bus tire and trailer tire all at 5:45PM on a Friday. Little Troop 5 was quickly taken care of by these fine folks.

What was amusing is when the owner told me to back the trailer into the bay. I said, “you got to be kidding?” Zack and I unhooked the trailer and walked into the bay. I knew my “man card” was lost to the crew that was working at Pioneer Tire. The only saving grace was I did not understand the mocking of me in Spanish by the workers. I knew enough to smile and laugh with them.
I blew the bus horn as we drove pass McGaws as a thank you on my way to Key Elementary with the two new tires.  Thanks  to some very nice folks Little Troop 5 made it to Austin safely.


Life seems to happen to me in waves, or more importantly, interesting things happen to me in waves.  The blog has been quite because life has been great.    However, the past few days have been quite interesting and so I have some blogging to do.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

Every year, cyclists from around the metoplex ride into downtown Dallas on Super Bowl Sunday. It is one of my favorite rides of the year. It is more of a cruise and you catch up with your cycling buddies you had not seen since it got cold. I was particularly wound up about this year with the fact the Super Bowl was in Arlington. I had grand plans of doing the ride and cutting back through North Arlington just to check out the crowds.

Thanks to the ice on the roads and looming bad weather, the ride was canceled. Sunday morning turned out to be much nicer than anticipated, I am sure some people did the ride anyway, but I had accepted my fate and did not ride.

Instead of pouting about not riding, which if you ask Carol, I am known to do on occasion. I seized the opportunity and took Aedan to feed the ducks at the Garden’s Park. It worked out for everyone. Aedan was happy, the ducks were happy and there are new fewer dandelions in the park.

Friday, February 4, 2011


This has not been the week before the Super Bowl that North Texas wanted. We have a had the worse winter storm since 1996.

I have been taken the bus as usual, but this really avoids the icy roads. This morning I went over and took some pictures around the court house, before people track up the fresh snow.