Posted on November 22nd, 2012 No comments
Testing the next direction….
Posted on October 3rd, 2012 No comments
The internet, my 4 blog readers, my friends on facebook and even a few followers on Google+ have watched me lose weight, they have watched me gain weight. They have helped me (more than they probably know) to stay motivated, to do the right thing and overcome bad days, lack of motivation and other issues associated with my quest to get and remain healthy.
Not all that long ago, I stopped posting my runs, rides and information about my struggles with weight. I’m not going to go into a lot of details about why, but I think this was a mistake. My friends and my extended circle of friends have been very helpful in the past and I enjoy the support. You might say I’m fishing for ‘atta boy’ comments, and maybe I am. If you don’t want to support me – that’s okay… I’m not going to defriend you or anything insane, but I do know there are a bunch of people who will +1 or like my posts and be there when I fall, too. It’s with that in mind – that I am going to tell you, I’m back!
So – there are two things going on in my life right now. I’m training for the Silver Comet Half Marathon on 10/27 – this is just a simple step in the path on my way to the Georgia Marathon on 3/17. I’m not shooting for any particular time, I’m just hoping to have a good run. Of course, I’d like to set a PR, but right now – I’m just not running very fast. We will see.
I’m also doing the Clean Air Campaign Bike To Work Challenge. I’m trying to ride my bike to work every day this month. Unfortunately, on 10/1 the weather was REALLY bad and riding to work was not on my list of things to do. I’m sitting at 50% success rate, which will climb to 66% in about 30 minutes. The commute from my new place is really easy to get to work. Coming home – its not so easy. Yesterday, I took what I thought would be a 15 mile route home – it turned out to be about 23. No harm done! It’s all about the challenge – until 3/17 – I really don’t have many cycling aspirations!
Finally – I’m trying to figure out how to get back in front of my weight. My clothes are mad at me and I’m more mad. I’ve tried a lot of things but none of them are getting much traction. It completely depresses me and this is one of the first times I have publicly stated that. I’m considering going back to weight watchers, it’s free to register – but simple calorie counting might work. I don’t know. Expect more talking about that in the upcoming weeks/months.
Not a lot of action here – but hopefully I’ll have some more positive action coming up soon!
Posted on September 20th, 2012 No comments
So about a year ago, Maxwell found out his little buddy Alex was doing gymnastics. He REALLY wanted to do it. Due to time issues, primarily, it took a while to coordinate. I also figured this was just a cling-on activity. Having said that, he had this burning desire to stand on his head. He also loved doing summersaults and stuff like that. Ok… sure.
Sarah signed Max up for a weekly gymnastics class and said he was having fun. I thought cool, that’s great. Max started asking me to come see him. I have a fairly important conflict on Tuesday nights, but I thought I should. Wow…
I got there and Max came to life like I have never seen him. He knew the routine, he put his shoes away and sat with me. He couldn’t sit still in excitement. He was so into this! I was kind of excited actually. As he got called back, Max fell into formation. He was about the smallest person out there, but he tried to do everything in the warm up. He did look a little like a drunken sailor, but he was out there in a group of much older kids doing his thing. I thought that was cute and so brave. No friends, just Max doing what he wanted to do – because he wanted to do it.
Next … the broke into age appropriate groups and Max was grouped with 2 twins. They were smaller and newer to this whole thing so Max was the “expert”. To see that kid try so hard and enjoy so much, things I couldn’t do if my life depended on it was an incredible moment in my life. I was nearly in tears I was so happy for the midget! He fearlessly did flips off a high bar, flips on the trampoline… nothing seemed to scare him. To see him run and jump for a bar that was 3′ above him over a foam pit, get one hand on it but fall … only to try again – ALL with a huge smile on his face!
It’s not on my night, it’s not convenient, but if given the opportunity to go back and watch Max do his thing, I certainly would! He picked it. He does it. He loves it!
Posted on September 16th, 2012 No comments
I’m a really frustrated father today. I have two really good kids. Neither does anything majorly wrong. One is getting As in advanced content classes, playing elite soccer and generally well liked. (I know I like/love him!) The other is adored by everybody he comes in contact with. He does well in school, struggles with talking and goofing off – but I’m his father. He cant help it!
I went into this weekend tired, worn out and maybe even grumpy. A few things rubbed me the wrong way. We had two nights of work that changed my sleep schedule. I of course, managed that with caffiene, which gets the job done, but i’m not so sure it’s a good thing. Does it really put me in the right mental place?
It’s my weekend with kids. We’ve had some fun, but we have also had our ‘moments’. Derek is wandering… just randomly, at the wrong times. Max has a burning desire to be in control and freaks out randomly if he is not in control. I tried to keep this weekend kind of low key and that may be the problem, but everything they want to do costs $20+. I’m not rich. A movie…. Dave and Busters…. Skating … it just is all so damn expensive. I tried getting us into geocaching and that sort of bit, but with a 4.5 year age difference, managing this is tough. Couple that with a 2 bedroom condo where we are all very close – it just seems like its been a bad weekend. I hate it. I want to have fun, but why does everything have to cost so much?
I imagine I was high maintenance and a pain in the ass sometimes – but there has to be a better way. Derek would LOVE to hike Kennesaw Mountain or something, but Max freaks out and stops walking. I’m not strong enough to carry a midget up a mountain. I don’t want to say no, no, no, no, no, no, no… I really don’t, but i’ve run out of creative ways to put things off. What do I do? Plan one big activity for each weekend? I feel like I have to have a beach trip planned every weekend – the problem is there’s a soccer game in the middle of each one too.
I’m probably whining, i’m certainly venting – but I’m genuinely reaching out for help. Is this just a ‘breathe deep, relax and smile’ situation?
Posted on September 5th, 2012 No comments
“…ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
It’s no secret I am a member of several 12 step programs. The cornerstone of every groups success is anonymity. In this post I will discuss the happenings at a recent meeting, but I will in no way divulge anybodies identity nor will I discuss intimate details of what happened. Rather, I will share what I learned.
Yesterday really kind of sucked. I could go into a lot of reasons but ultimately, it sucked, because I was trying to drive my bus. I decided I would go to a meeting even though I absolutely did not want to. I mean – I seriously did not want to drive across town and hang out with a very predictable group of guys. That being said – I knew I should. I got there right on time and participated in the early meeting rituals. Nobody had coordinated a discussion leader (it happens, not a big deal) so the monthly leader threw out one of my least favorite topics – “I don’t feel a good connection with my higher power”.
Now, it’s a great topic, and I’ve learned a lot about it, but I don’t have much to say in this forum. The 12 step programs, with the exception of Celebrate Recovery, are “spiritual” and not based on the bible. I have a lot of things I could say, but am not supposed to as that is religion. I listened to a lot of people. Some said things I perceived as excuses for running from God, others commented about what they were doing to avoid God, but still be with God… I honestly prayed for some. I was getting VERY VERY little from this meeting. I wasn’t upset, just clock watching.
There’s one guy who is a regular at meetings I attend. He’s really quite proud of what he has to say and likes to go last. Sometime times, I like what he has to say, more often then not, I think he has saved his “message” for last and that for some reason annoys me. In this case… I sighed (inside), I just wanted to say the Serenity Prayer and go home. Little did I know, THIS is why I was at the meeting. This guy, without getting biblical, without mentioning religion summarized the 12 steps and life in a few short sentences. Not only did he summarize it, he did it in a way I understand and agree with. He basically said – he never blamed God for things people did to him that were wrong. He blamed the people for not being closer to God. He believed that the 12 steps are all about moving closer to God. The closer you are to God, the more likely you are to act like God wants you too. I’m sure I didn’t summarize that all that well, but the message was strong. I waited 58 minutes to hear something that made sense to me! Great! Right… we aren’t done!
Well, moments later the leader asked if there were any ‘burning desires’ – which often last a long time, and/or are bizarre. The next guy spoke and said … simply… “I don’t understand it, I don’t understand how, but I have learned that if I stop and pray, and spend time with my higher power – my life is better. I have always tried to define my relationship with God, but when I let go and just talked to him, my life always gets better”. *BOOM*
What the heck is this all about? I’ve been doing this for nearly 25 years. I probably could do it better…. everybody could! I think it may be easier to walk into a room where you know nobody – you just sit down and listen. That isn’t always possible. The simple phrase “place principles before personalities” is SO STRONG! You never know who God has put in front of you to give you a message. Don’t let race, religion, appearance or anything else get in the way!
Posted on September 4th, 2012 No comments
It started off with Cub Scouts on Friday night. Some might have called that a curse, as it would have been nice to leave after school – but I think it was almost a blessing. It allowed me to pause … pack and leave early on Saturday morning.
The trip started off with a ‘hiccup’. Neither of my wonderful children can manage to ever remember (or find) head phones. It’s a little challenging to find headphones at 6:00 am, but after a stop at the gas station, Kroger, not finding a CVS – we found a Rite Aid and it had what we needed. OFF WE GO!
We set the GPS on Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and off we went. The drive was peaceful and uneventful. Realistically, isn’t that exactly what you want out of a drive? We arrived at 12:40 ish and lunch wasn’t an option for Derek and Max. They were on a one track mission – GET WET! Fortunately, my aunt and uncle have a ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL pool in their backyard. It took the boys less than 15 minutes to get into swim gear and jump in.
A while later, we headed over to the beach and hung out … Max started his sand castle action which would be a theme through the weekend. Give that kid a shovel and he will go crazy! The picture is a shot from that evening. The lower light and a camera phone didn’t do so well – but hey, it shows how much fun they are having!
I could basically just tell you we alternated between the beach and the pool – over and over for the rest of the weekend. Yesterday morning, my aunt and cousin, Spencer took the boys to the beach. My uncle John and I headed out for 20 miles on two wheels. It was nice (and moist). I will say I am doing MUCH better adapting to riding in Florida after a number of years in Georgia. Something about the similar humidity and elevation? Probably.
Anyway – the drive home was equally uneventful. Fun was had by all three of us and Max even cried and wanted to come back soon, and stay longer.
It is kind of strange that my cousins are 6 and 9 years older than Derek, 24 and 27 years younger than me. I think it confuses the boys a little, but they love playing Wii with Spencer and Austin!
The only bad thing that happened this weekend – I guess Max has a case of swimmers ear poor midget. I’m sure he will be back in action before you know it!
A great weekend with my kids. They were nearly angels in the car. An awesome trip on all fronts!
Posted on August 30th, 2012 1 comment
Life is too short to be terminally upset about things you can’t change. Reinhold Niebuhr, the author of the commonly known “Serenity Prayer” summarized it with:
God, Grant me the Serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
The average ‘sane’ person reads that and says ‘duh?’… but people like me struggle with that. You see, we get angry at other people for their actions, we think a lot about what other people think of us. We worry that this person or that person will be upset. We try to control situations to make sure our friends, bosses or spouses don’t get upset. I know I’m not the only one out there that does this. I’ve been visiting ‘rooms’ all over the country talking about this very thing for over half my life. The Serenity Prayer is the cornerstone of most 12 step recovery programs. Today, I feel compelled to share about it as I am not doing well with it… I know the the prayer like the back of my hand. I say it often. To myself. Out loud…. I drop an occasional “accept the things you cannot change” to remind myself. In typing this, I am sharing what I have learned and helping myself. sometimes, I wish ole Reinhold had said it like this:
God, Grant me the Serenity to
Accept People, Places and Things
The Courage to change MYSELF
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Sure – his has a nicer ring to it. A kabillion 12 steppers know it by heart, but my version is what Reinhold really was getting at. I cannot change you. I cannot change a lot of things that make me angry. I can re-frame them, realize they do not define me, they do not rip me apart (unless I let them). They are what they are and I will have to deal with them. Death, taxes, kids with attitudes, traffic, money, lack of money, pain, sickness…. that’s life folks! It all happens. At face value it sucks, but why in the world would I chose, today, to be miserable? God will GRANT ME THE SERENITY…. all I have to do is ask (and stay out of the way…. that’s the hard part!)
Realizing you are powerless over people, places and things is, in my humble opinion, MY key to happiness. Life is too short to be miserable. I’m walking through a lot of crap right now but you know what – I’m about to take my big stinky dog for a walk. She will chase a squirrel, she will poop and I will have to pick it up but her messed up grill will be smiling the whole way! She loves our walks and so do I.
Today, try not to let other people, places or things bug you! If you are sad, bugged, upset, worn out, tired… just want to vent feel free to shoot me a message! I’m great at saying stupid stuff and making you laugh! You can only change you…. I know you can do it!
Posted on August 29th, 2012 No comments
In all honesty, I just put Lance in the subject to get more hits on my soon to be critically acclaimed blog. I really wont say much about him. I believe Lance won on a level playing field. If you think Lance was the first and/or last tour winner to dope – well, somebody will sell you the brooklyn bridge!
Back to our regularly scheduled blogsanity….
My life has gone through a lot of changes in the past month. I believe all of them are for the long term good, but the changes have forced me to do some things I haven’t done in a VERY LONG TIME. One of which is making ice. My kids have NEVER made ice. They don’t know how. They probably don’t even remember opening the freezer to get ice out. They believe ice comes from the door of the freezer. They believe that its okay for ice to land on the floor and leave it there to form a sock wetting little puddle that makes you wonder…. Was that left over ice? or Minnie?
In my new crib my freezer doesn’t have an ice maker. If you were like me, you grew up with ice cube trays in your freezer. You twisted them and put the ice in the big ole thing that came with the freezer. Right? Well I’m here to tell you, in 2012 – it’s not the same. First and foremost – today’s Walmart employees don’t even know what “ice cube trays” are. You ask them and they send you all over the store. Finally, when you ask a few more employees one might say ‘Oh, you mean ice trays?’ Sure, that’s what I meant. Then, he might lead you to a package of 3 flimsy trays that say “Ice Cube Trays” (even though he told you they were “Ice Trays”. Oh the fun of the ghetto Walmart!
Now, they may be flimsy, but these are TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED ice trays. How, you ask? Allow me to explain. When you get them, they are all stacked tightly. Total height 1″? When you open them up and alternate them, they stack allowing you to store them in your freezer. The first two times I did ice cube maintenance, I didn’t see the technology… I just tried stacking them and when the next tray splashed in the tray below I said “d’oh” and switched it. NEVER AGAIN! Last night, I realized on each end there is a SQUARE or a CIRCLE! You can visually identify which way it’s supposed to go. I may never meet the person who did this, but today – I am grateful for this miracle of modern ice making!
Having delivered countless pounds of ice around the Washington DC metropolitan area in my youth, I feel especially qualified to discuss this subject. Perhaps that is why I don’t mind doing my ice cube maintenance? Honestly, I’m really grateful for where I am today and what I have. To have enough time and a sense of humor enough to write about ice and have fun doing it! Thanks for reading!
Posted on August 10th, 2012 No comments
I’ve come to believe that, in my family, there isn’t much difference between now and 50 years ago. Before my Grandma passed away, she found a box of letters she and my Grandfather had written over many years. These letters dated back at least 60 if not more years! She compiled them into a three ring notebook. She gave all the members of our family a copy. When I got it, I thumbed through it and thought “Oh, cool” and put it back into my closet.
The other day, I came across it and started reading. What was I holding? but a BLOG, just without the electronic part – or the web part. The letters, some 5-8 pages long, sent to many people (typed with CARBON PAPER) and distributed. I have found reading some of them to be very entertaining and enlightening as my Grandfather spoke about teaching my dad and uncles lessons. The challenges were very much the same I experience daily. I am going to go out on a limb and say each and every one of my paternal aunts and uncles probably have a story in there they don’t want told!
I learned a lot about the weekend my Mom met my Grandparents. Sounds like a fun one! It’s not a party until a car is upside down … and it’s not your car!
I’ve not posted much, for a lot of reasons but I’ve also come to the conclusion (again) that I do enjoy blogging and I think I am going to start sharing more here. I hope you have a great weekend!
Posted on July 24th, 2012 No comments
As you may know, I am a long time fan of the OtterBox line of cases. I am not a gentle person, but I like fancy toys. Dropping a $200+ phone – sucks. It sucks a lot more than purchasing a $50 case. I can tell you, I have dropped my phone numerous times without issue. I’ve also experienced INCREDIBLE service from OtterBox.
I really cant say enough about my Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx Defender Series Case.
That being said – I recently decide to try another case. Why, you might ask? Another company has some great ideas – and I thought I would give them a shot!
I ordered a Trident Kraken AMS case. This case has some really cool features that caught my eye. They included:
- A kickstand for easy watching of movies or setting the phone on it’s side
- It comes in colors other than black.
- The AMS system which allows you to use a windshield mount, a bike mount and other attachments.
I can tell you I was genuinely excited to get this. I really wanted to use the Windshield Mount for my newly created VLOG career. The case looked durable enough, similar technology to OtterBox – let’s give it a go!
I have to say, I was disappointed when the case arrived. First, they use the rubbery stuff for the case, but it’s on the inside. The “exoskeleton” as they call it leaves the phone smooth and slippery. I enjoy the gription from my OtterBox. The AMS system is VERY well designed and switching from the kickstand to the windshield mount was easy enough. I also thought it was cool that I could access my SD card, but then I said “Wait, why do I need/want to do that?” Anyway, at this point – the excitement was starting to fade a bit and well, I wasn’t really into the case. I stuck it on the window thing and put it on a window – all was good, I liked that – but then the deal breaker. I tried to plug my phone in and I couldn’t! The “gap” isn’t big enough to fit a standard USB cord and/or any other charger I could find. I’m sad to say, the honeymoon ended quickly and the OtterBox was re-installed.
I think Trident has a great product, but it’s just not refined and/or doesn’t meet my needs. I’ve got an idea/plan to make a windshield mount for my OtterBox – maybe I will blog about that one! I don’t have the money to do fancy drop tests, but using both of my brain cells, I have to think either would protect your phone about the same way. Your mileage may vary, but for me, the OtterBox is better designed and just feels better – and continues to be my choice.