Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Please Keep Buehrle

I'm a lifelong White Sox fan. I've been watching them longer than I can remember. I've seen all the pitchers come and go through the system. I've been hearbroken when some have left and cheered when others were gone. I remember Bobby Thigpen holding the single season record for saves. I remember Black Jack McDowell winning the Cy Young. I remember Esteban Loaiza almost getting the Cy Young while earning 20 wins. I remember Jim Abbott pitching with just one hand, Tom Seaver won his 300th as a Sox, Wilson Alvarez, Jason Bere, Keith Foulke, Tom Gordon.

But in all the time, I've never had a pitcher that I liked with the Sox more than Buehrle. Mark Buehrle reminds me of Greg Maddux. He is efficient, throws balls for the hitters to put into play and get out with, he works fast, he has command of his pitches, and he is consistently good. He goes deep into the start and gives more quality starts than anyone. However, unlike Maddux, runners are afraid to steal on Buehrle. He has an awesome move to first and is just as adept at picking a runner off as he is with getting a strike out. Over the past several years Mark Buehrle has been the ace on the staff. Other good pitchers have come and gone, but Mark is still here leading the team.

Mark is still young, very talented, and very consistent. Instead of looking to trade their best for some prospects the Sox should be looking to trade other pieces and build around Buehrle and Garland. There are a lot of teams that would like another bat in their line-up. I'd gladly take minor league talent for Jermaine Dye. Rob Mcowiak, he's a good utility guy, ship him off. Send Iguchi to a team with more Japanese players, maybe Ichiro could use a friend in Seattle. But pitching is the key. Atlanta has won for 13 years on almost pitching alone, keep that in place, build around it.

The White Sox Suck

The best batting average on the team is .255. Nuff said.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My blogging addiction

I admit it. I have a blogging addiction. This is not some anonymous group that I'm admitting it to. If you are reading this, then there's a chance that you too have a blogging addiction. Me, I love to read and post to blogs both. This is my 5th blog post today. You only see one you say. Ha, I post to other blogs. I maintain more than one. At work I talked my boss into setting up a blog for the large project that I'm a part of in order to give it more visibility, but that only works if someone blogs. Guess who volunteered. That's right, me.

I've started asking myself why I blog so much. I'm a pretty smart guy, and I have a lot of opinions I don't mind sharing, but that doesn't mean I should love blogging. Why is it that I like to share my life with potential complete strangers? Maybe I'm trying to make up for a lack of friendships earlier in life.... I don't know, but when I do get to thinking like this there's only ever one thing to do. Blog about it.

Ok, so my blogging is a downward spiral into online writing hell. I'm open to spam and criticism from anyone and everyone, and it's damn easy to find me if you are looking. So blogging has some merits, it helps me develop written communication, and take criticism well. Mainly I blog though, because there may be something that I've learned, or that's happened to me that someone else may relate to and learn from. Some things can only be learned through experience, but others can be learned by reading. I also blog thinking that one day, just maybe, I'm going to build and find that intellectually close friendship that I never had when I was growing up. Someone to go back and forth with over email and blogs. Together we will push each other to learn more about who we are and where we fit in life. Then my blogging will be fully meaningful. Until then though, I'll just live with my addiction, after all, it is fun.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Smartest non coach in baseball

Joe Girardi did what every expert and armchair quarterback thought he should he turned down the Baltimore Oriols job.

It was the smart thing to do. Becoming a manager of a losing team is hard enough, trying to turn around a franchise with a decade of losing is even worse, turning one around in the AL East against Boston and the Yankees is damn near insane. I'm not even sure why the other teams in that division try. I think that the Devil Rays may have it right. Don't spend money, keep your team cheap and get fans to show up to watch the opponents more than the home team. Use your system to build good players, then trade them for almost nothing and cash. Live off of the shared income from the big market clubs that bring in the billions upon billions of dollars.

Then again, legends are made by facing insurmountable odds. It's those that are able to overcome and turn a team around in those kind of situations that are immediate legends and earn themselves a spot in the hall of fame almost instantly. Those are the managers that with only 2 or 3 winning years can coach for the rest of their lives because of that reputation of turning a team around. It's like Larry Brown in basketball. You just have to be good enough to turn a team around, you don't ever have to win it all.

Last year Girardi did amazing things on almost no budget in Florida. But the numbers are deceiving. Some of the players were still under their rookie contracts and will be very highly paid players in the next 5 years. They are already underpaid and overperforming and when it's time for their first free agent contract they'll make millions. He was lucky to get on a team with that much talent that just happened to not cost the owners those millions already.

That begs the question, "how good is Girardi?"

He was a great catcher, and has learned under the great Joe Torre in New York, as well as having played for some great managers in his career (even though he was a Cub). Maybe I'm biased, but I think that catchers seem to make better managers, they arleady are so in charge of a team while on the field. There's other catchers that I think will make good managers, like Sandy Alomar Jr. But is he a good coach? He took a very talented team to an almost winning record. The division that he was in last year appears to have been in a weakened state compared to this year and the year before last. So was it him or was it the circumstances?

I think it was both. I think he's a good coach who happened upon the right situation for his first job and was able to do really good things there. I think he also realized that Baltimore is not the right situation for him to have another quick success. The best thing he would have had going for him in Baltimore is one of the best pitching coaches in all of baseball. He was smart, he'll wait until the offseason when there will probably be a few more job openings and have his pick at that point. Smart man. After-all, Baltimore may still be open if they don't rush to fill the position now.

A homemade Air conditioner

Ok, so I just read about this at LifeHacker, but how cool is this? A homemade air conditioner.

And after watching MythBusters last night, I know that putting Ice in the salt makes it colder faster, although I don't know if it makes it colder longer.

This is something very cool, and definitely worth checking out.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Power 90 X Program

Yesterday I did something bad. I drank a 2 liter of diet pepsi. It was the new one with twice as much caffeine. It tasted so good and I had all the energy that I wanted to be able to do anything, including staying up for the movie "The pursuit of happyness" that I had rented. It was a terrible movie.

The problem came when the movie ended finally at 11:30. Then I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned and tossed and turned until around 2 AM.

While I was tossing I kept getting frustrated and turning the TV on. An infomercial caught my eye. Immediately I thought, "Ugh, turn it off, they are all scams" This one seemed different. The exercise ones usually jump out at me as complete fakes, someone will use a new ab machine for 5 seconds and claim it's the best ab machine they've ever used. There are very few that actually get me to think that it could work. I have been duped by "The Great American Slim Down", "Bowflex" and before that "Soloflex", "John Basedow", and now "P90X". Most of the other ones have still had something that looks odd about them, John Basedow generally only shows him doing the exercises, I want to see lots of people that it works for, like I did with "Body for Life" when I read that book.

Bowflex I know works, and the models in the commercials are so beautiful that I want to be that.

But the P90X program looks like it really works. The people in it really do a full transformation and I want that. But it doesn't look easy. Most exercise programs make it sound like you just have to show up and you'll lose weight and look better. The P90X commercial even said "In just one hour a day". That's right an hour every day. It's a hard workout and that's why it works. I don't exercise an hour a day, especially with lifting weights, because I don't have enough of a program set up that I need to do that, with more focus I may be able to make huge improvements with my strength.

So did I get it? No, It still cost $120 and although that's for 12 workouts at only $10 each, it's way too much for my little budget. But it got me thinking about if it really worked beyond the infomercial.

There seems to be a really nice review at a blog called Shaping My Way. The most important link in that article is the one to the fitness test. This program looks interesting and I would like to give it a shot some day, but just reading the test I know that I have a long way to go before I can start. It's good that they provide a fitness test for where you need to be to begin the program. I wish they would have pushed that a little more on the infomercial. Then it would appear that they really are trying to take people to the next level and not just sell a product.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Real life algebra problem

I turned on the radio the other day and found an intersting situation, the announcer of the Cardinals game said, "There have been 25 runs scored today, and the Cardinals are down by 9". He didn't give me a score but it only took me a few seconds to figure out.

x+y = 25
x-y = 9
2x = 34
x = 17 (the Roayls)
25-17 = 8 (the Cardinals)

I was able to do the simple math in my head and laughed that it was simple algebra. Thank you Mrs. Barzantny in 8th grade. Make sure your kids know their math, it may be needed with baseball.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Watch out for deer

I sit... typing on the computer. The house is quiet except for the whir of fans trying to keep the house cool. It's late and I've only been home for 10 minutes. It was a long day. It was so long that it started yesterday.

It all started when I decided to walk to the grocery store in 100 degree heat....
"C'mon Ady, let's go to the store, we want to get something special to make mommy for supper tonight."
"Are we walking Daddy?"
"Yes, we're walking, mommy has the car, let me get Jaden's shoes on."
"Are you ready yet daddy, Daddy, daddy, are you ready?"
"Not yet sweetie (I almost always call her sweetie), I need to put Scarlet out first. Oh, let me check to make sure we have money. "

The Internet is great, I can check all of my finances and spend money like crazy online, I was just reading at ZenHabits the other day about eliminating credit card addiction, and it also said to eliminate the debit card. Pull out cash and use the fixed amount, if you don't have the cash, you can't get it. I do basically the same thing, but by keeping an eye on my balance online.


"Uh-oh, Ady, we can't go to the store, we don't have any money."

This is so not cool, why does it say my balance is negative and I'm being charged overdraft charges, oh crap, my house payment went in a week early, 10 days actually, it's not supposed to be submitted until Friday. On no. I screwed up!!!! It hits me like a ton of bricks, too cliche? It hits me like a man who's in the whole and knows that several more overdraft charges are coming, as well as the pain of dealing with the missed payments. It hits me hard. I know, call mom and dad, they can fix everything, if only they could loan me a few hundred dollars. If they can get it into my account today I can be good until Friday and then pay them back, I already have the money coming, it's just a scheduling problem. . . . . No answer. CRAP!!!! How the hell am I going to fix this? How to stop the bleeding? Look for the cut, fill it, with what? No money. Hrmmmm... Can I cancel any of my payments or stop them? Nope, they are already all there, crap, I don't have an account to move money from, I don't have my parents answering their phone to help....... I'm stuck. Then another realization hits me. I'm stuck. It's time to stop worrying about the problem. How can I recover afterwards now.

"Are you ready now daddy?"
"Not yet sweetie, I just have to check a few more things, watch Laurie Berkner again"

It's just money. I'm barely squeaking by, and I have over $500 in medical bills unpaid sitting in front of me, but I can do this. No I can't get out of it quickly, but I can get out of it. I'm not missing payments, and I'm not really in the hole, it's just an aberration. Let's see, I get paid on Friday, this is a 3 paycheck month, and I have this much in unpaid bills. Even with the late fees, if I cut out our dinners out this month, and pay minimum balances instead of the extra we've been paying, then we'll almost break even. We can do this. It's only money, and I'm not going to lose anything. beed-beed-beed-beed.... What is that sound?

"Daddy the phone is ringing!"

Without my Ady telling me, I'm not sure I would have noticed. It snapped me out of my cool calm relaxed dealing with it mood.

"Hello"
"You're on your way early"
"Not so good, I screwed up. I paid the house payment early and we're in debt."
"I can't do that. I did that. That's not how it works, The bank won't help us out.. That check has already cleared, the won't put money back into the account"
"I didn't tell you because I need help, I told you because...Ok, I understand." click
"I love you."

Bleep. What? My cell phone is dying, I better go plug it in. I still need to get that walk in. Special dinner is out, but I can still get Ady out to walk like I promised her, that at least is free.

"C'mon Ady let's go for a walk."
"You're ready nooowWWW?"
"Yep, let's go"

It's a nice walk, and for the temperature being what it is, I think it's actually kind of cool. After we get close to the 1 mile mark Ady starts complaining that it's too hot. So we head back towards home, I was hoping for an extra 3 or 4 blocks, but it is hot and she has been such an angel on the walk, Jaden, he looks groggy in the stroller, but he's stayed awake. As I get home, Erin is starting the car back up. I wonder where she's going? Oh, I don't have my phone, I bet she's going to find us.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, we're here"

Did I seriously just make it sound like she was a horse that I was reigning in? No, she's more like black beauty, wild and free, all I can do is enjoy her.


Then, today.
I got back to work after 2 days off. It was nice being home, I got a lot of things done that I've been wanting to do (that's another post later maybe), but I was eager to get back to work. Today is the first deployment of the application I've been working on for 3 months, it's the culmination of our effort that will be heralded as a great triumph, it's going to be awesome. Why isn't it working? Hrm. Things are different in live than they are on test. I wish I could say I swooped in to save the day, but I barely know the language, and I only know the name of the server, not any of the admin functionality, so the best I can do today is stay out of their way, and get working on what I need to for the next release (only 6 weeks away) that I'm already 2 days behind on (that number sure seems familiar). Tomorrow is going to be great, Briana has a softball game at the high school in Clinton, we're going to take the kids over, spray the heck out of them with Off, and soak them with sunscreen, then sit and watch 2-3 hours of girls softball. Go Briana. I'm going to get Jonas tonight, so he can watch too.

4:50 There's an outage. I think there's actually a scheduled 4:50 outage on days that I need to do something after work. They pushed it back though, when I was getting off of work at 4 the outage was always at 3:50.

5:25, I'm finally leaving work. It's 30 minutes later than I planned, but I'll eat in the car and make it no problem. I just need to stop at Burger King, they have the veggie burger that no one else seems to carry. 5:32 I have my order in and the receipt in my hand. There is no one in the drive through when I walk into the building and the guy in front of me has already ordered and is standing waiting for his food. 5:48, I walk out of the building. Four cars have come in ordered, got their food and left through drive through. The guy in front of me and 2 orders after me have their food. How long does it take to microwave a veggie burger for 1 minute? AHHHH!!!! Thankfully this is all in my head, as is the thought. It's OK. I've been here many times before and they are usually really good. I've never waited this long for anything here before. The people have been friendly and smiled, it's going to be OK. When the food comes, finally, instead of yelling at them, I simply say, "it shouldn't have taken that long, that's disappointing, but thank you for the food and the kind words". Then I take my food and leave.

I'm not really sure who I am right now. That's twice in about 24 hour that I have been completely not me. I think I finally realize that in the whole scheme of things, neither the money, nor the poor service are going to hurt anything in my life, unless I let them. I call Trish and let her know I'm running late, she won't have to hurry quite as much now because of the stuff that held me up.

It's a nice calm drive. I talk to Erin for a while, I get to my parents and check my email, Trish calls and says she's on her way, she's maybe 15 minutes later than I expected her, that's not bad at all.

Trish and Jonas show up and Jonas gives me a father's day present, a nice hand made painting. As she's getting ready to leave she tells me he hasn't eaten dinner yet. Yikes!!! It's 8 PM, I got to get some food in this boy. I feed him before we leave my parents house, Chicken breast and an apple, not the best meal, but healthy on short notice.

Jonas is great on the trip home, we talk for over an hour about anything and everything. He tells me about some of his made up friends, he tells me about some of his real friends at Auntie Leora's house and that he plays soccer and basketball with them. That story really excites him and we talk about it for a while, then he's tired and asks for some relaxing music, like Billy Joel.

"Dad, do you have Billy Joel? That song I like, Piano Man, that's a relaxing music, I could listen to that."

I look, but no Billy Joel. Ah well, I'll find something softer on the radio, the baseball game's not coming in well anyway.

9:30 or so, Jonas falls asleep.

I pull out of Gibson City and a car is really behind me, not right on my tail, but behind me and I can see it catching up with me. That's not unusual, I've been driving right at the speed limit to try to save on gas mileage and it's working to about 3 miles a gallon. It doesn't take long for the car to catch me so I pull the to right some to let him see that nothing is coming and he can get around. Nothing... This guy is not passing me, he's riding right on my bumper and not passing me. This sucks, please pass me, I just don't want your lights in my mirror anymore. After almost 30 miles, and me staying below the speed limit after going through a small town, I'm fed up. In the next town I'm going to pull into the gas station and just wait until he passes, I don't like being followed like this. I'll skip the first gas station, because everyone stops there, and if he stops then I'll be really freaked out. Good he's turning. No he's not, he let a car past him now he's pulling back out. What is up with this, why is he following me, nobody dekes like that unless they mean to. This is when paranoia has set in completely.

** Flashing lights **
The car that passed him is a cop, I better pull over so he can get to wherever he just got a call to. There's no way he's pulling me over, I'm driving the speed limit, I come to full stops... I... he's pulling me over. What the heck, am I being confused for someone else? Is there a problem with my tail light?

"What's the problem officer"
"Sir, the reason I pulled you over is the light on your license plate is out"
"Sorry, I can't see that while I'm driving"
"It's OK, you just need to get that taken care of, but also there was a report of you swerving. Did you notice the car following you?"
"Yes, he's been right up on me, his lights are bright, I've waved him around, I've been driving slow and staying to the side of the road so he can see around, I don't understand why he's not passing. I was about to pull over into the Casey's gas station (half a block further) to let him pass. If he didn't I was going to call the police."
"Well, he's an off duty deputy sheriff and he noticed you swerving a little, have you been drinking?"
"Oh GOD NO! I just went to pick up my son"
"Can I see your license." (I produce my license and after some digging find my newly renewed insurance card still in my work bag instead of the glove compartment, I'm glad I stuck it in there to be put into the car).
"Just a minute sir"

Wow, well, the nerves that I had are gone. If that car would have passed I would have been fine, no drinking for me, I don't even remember when I had a drink last, I think it was when Tim and Jessie were over and I ate them terrible X13D Doritos that made me want to vomit.

"I'm going to just give you a verbal warning about the light, he acknowledges that he saw you wave him around. I'm sorry about this, you understand though, at this time of night, we'd much rather be safe than sorry."

Without any anger or frustration, I can respond. The situation is already complete. I feel whole. This is so strange. Where is the angry, frustrated I have to have it now, Steve that I've been for so many years? Have I finally grown up? Are my priorities finally right? Wow, this is an odd feeling, I want to keep it, it's a good feeling.

"That's OK officer, I'd rather have you pull me over to check than have a drunk get away with it and hurt somebody."
"You be careful, it's only about 18 more miles to go, but the dear are out"
"Yeah, but it feels like 37, it's the longest part of the trip. Thank you officer"

He turns off the extremely bright spotlight, which was even worse than the headlights behind me. I take off and immediately think. Now I understand why that car was behind me, he was protecting me and watching over me. Ady is so cute, she's only 3, but when I leave she tells me, "Be careful dad, watch out for deer".

I guess I better keep doing just that, I never know what kind of deer will jump out in front of me, but I know I'll be alert and ready to handle it. Thanks sweetie, I needed that.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Adyisms

This morning Ady was on fire. Erin told me I looked hot before she went to work and Ady asked if I was steaming hot. How do you answer that to your 3 year old daughter?

Then just before Erin left Ady said, I don't like to stay with daddy, when asked why she said, "Because mommy, your boobies are big and comfortable." She was assured that I would use a pillow to make her more comfortable when we snuggled.

Bourne Ultimatum

I have finally finished the Bourne trilogy. That's 2 books wrapped up in 2 weeks. I have 3 more I'm reading that I hope to have finished by July 21st when my preordered copy of Harry Potter shows up.

I liked the Bourne trilogy, the first two books more than the third. I think with 2 of the worlds best assasins fighting each other that more of the important characters would die. It's amazing how many times Carlos has shots at Jason Bourne and Alex and yet they both come out of the book alive. Other things that annoyed me is that Jason Bourne is supposedly older and feeling the pain, but it's only mentioned briefly from time to time, and it never hinders him. After having been shot in the neck he still takes off on an around the world chase after Carlos, where he's diving in the streets, getting covered with shard of glass and metal from grenades, being shot at, and shot in the shoulder and the leg, and walking into more than 1 gunfight, where he's diving and crawling, all after being shot in the neck.

The Bourne Ultimatum is a good suspensful book that feels like it was taken a bit too far. Characters were introduced for almost too short of a time before being killed, and others just seem to be in the way. The first two books however, are awesome, two of the better books that I've read, so if you've read them you may as well finish the trilogy, but don't keep your hopes up too high for the final book in the series.

I hope you at least get the chance to read The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremecy

Monday, June 11, 2007

My first running medal


I posted a week ago that I got this, but I am just getting around to uploading the picture. Now there's proof. It's pretty neat. I'll cherish it as much as my math tournament, and little league coaching tournament medals.

Chance & Change

You can buy Keith Hampton's new album at CD Baby. I got mine a few months ago, and love to listen to it. A few of the songs are very inspiring to me, they are great for me to listen to when I want to be introspective. Many of my favorite songs are inspiring to me in one way or another. Keith's music tends to be more on the introspective side. He's got great melody's and a great voice.

My favorite from the CD is probably the first song "Turn the Wheel". I have caught myself saying "letting go is not the same as losing", and now, I'll think back to this song. It's a great song with a faster beat, that I love.

My next favorite is probably "Storm Warning". Having heard Keith sing many times in his baritone lullaby voice, I am extremely excited by this more upbeat sound from him.
(note: You can listen to "Turn the Wheel" at Keith's MySpace page.)

Keith is a life long friend of mine, and we've gone through a lot together growing up. It's good that he's been able to stick with his love of music in his career. Too many times people give up on things that they love simply because they don't know what they need to do next to try to make that part of their career. Kudos to the great album Keith, I look forward to the next one already.

Don't do that...

Have you ever stopped to think why you tell your kids "don't do that"?

I have thought about this before. I've wonder how many times we tell our kids no because of our own fears. With Jonas I was extremely worried that he would get hurt playing at the park. He was fearless running around on the toys and even jumping almost 6 feet down the rock wall that went up to the slide. I had known too many people that fell at the park and broke an arm and I didn't want Jonas to be one of those. It didn't really make sense, when I was a kid I was completely fearless and did things that I wouldn't want my own kids doing. I then thought about how many people do things and did things that they would try to protect their kids from.

How many parents smoke while trying to prevent their kids from smoking? How many people are in gangs not thinking about the fact that they will have kids that have to face the same temptations? Will they be able to expect their kids to stay out of the gang, even though they couldn't?

Erin Pavlina posted about how our fears can hold our kids back. It got me to thinking about this again. Jonas has fallen and broken a leg and an arm, and I am scared for him. But he is not. He's back to being his fearless self. I've never broken anything, I've never gone through that, it's a fear of mine, but Jonas has lived through it twice. If he's not worried, then I shouldn't be. He knows what will happen and how it will feel if something bad happens. He also knows that it probably won't happen.

At the same time, Ady is terrified by loud noises. Even noises that I know cannot possibly hurt her in any way, she gets upset and covers her ears for. She will run for cover when the vacuum is on. She doesn't like to go to the bathroom when the washer or dryer are running because they are too loud, she doesn't even like the bathroom fan to be on while she's in there. She's afraid of automatically flushing toilets, because they could flush while she's on it and not ready to cover her ears. I don't understand this fear. I have never had a problem with noises other than they have hurt my ears a little. Ady however, has already had different experiences than me. Maybe she was around a fight, where her real dad or grandma were yelling and that has stuck with her. Maybe it's because she goes to the local stock car races with her dad and the extreme volume from those have actually hurt her ears enough that they are extra sensitive around other loud sounds. I don't know where it comes from, but at the same time, I cannot just tell her to get over it. I have to be understanding and be reassuring to her, to help her learn that it's ok.

Jaden is cautious. He always goes down steps safely, and will even get on his hands and knees to go down a small bump that he should be able to step over. He loves to walk outside, but doesn't stray from the sidewalk, the grass is difficult for him. Streets also scare him. He will walk on the sidewalk up to the street, but then he wants to be carried over the street. I haven't understood this one yet. My job with him is to continue to encourage him to be adventurous. He is such a guys guy, in so many ways, that I think he'll overcome all of the fears he has now.

As parents it is our responsibility to help our children grow and learn, and especially learn from our mistakes, but we also have to give them the freedom to learn from their own mistakes. Many things just aren't learned without having the full range of emotional experiences that happen with it. You never fear death or cherish life, until someone close to you dies. You can't understand being poor until you have been there. Some things just can't be conveyed through any means other than experience.

I'm so sore.

I made it. 14.6 miles. 3 hours and 3 minutes. I made it to the halfway point in 1:32 and some seconds, making it almost exactly the same pace for the second half as it was for the first.

I think going without caffeine the day before really helped a lot. I started more hydrated, and I slept better. I also had no problem getting up at 4:30 AM. I really liked that, and may try to stop drinking caffeine altogether just to be able to wake up and have my alone time first thing in the morning. I was out the door by 5 AM and home and cleaned up by 8:30, which put me ready to help everyone get ready for the day. After making my normal omelet breakfast for me and Erin, it was time to... Well do nothing. I played with the kids a little and discussed what we were going to do with Jonas for the day before taking him back to his mom.

I spent much of the day at my parents. Jonas and Ady got to go swimming, and to go for a ride in my dad's convertible. They loved it.

I however, am extremely sore. My right leg hurts more than anything else, my knee, hip and even back are sore. After reading about the teen killed by an overdose of Sports Cream I have been hesitant about doing anything more than a minimal dose of Aleve and stretching. For me running is about reaching my goals and being healthy. I want to be able to run for the rest of my life, not just to go a little faster now. It's not worth death to me.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Nervous energy

I'm about to shut down my body for the night, so I can get up earlier than ever for tomorrow morning's run. I want to be out of the house by 4:30. I'm excited and nervous both as I prepare to finally beat the 13 mile barrier that's out there. I have an out and back course that I mapped out on MapMyRun.com that is actually going to be 14.5 miles. Once I make it half way, I have to make it back.

For tomorrow I'm doing things differently.

  1. I have my camelback that I'm taking on the it's first run of the year.
  2. I didn't drink any caffeine today.
  3. I did amazingly positive things, like called Katie, and snuggled with my kids and my wife.
  4. I treated myself to chips and ice cream. All in moderation though, it was a pretty healthy day.
  5. I drank 12-15 glasses of water (I lost count).
  6. I plan on eating a granola bar before I leave and bringing one with me.
Going into tomorrow, physically I only have 2 fears. First that my ankles will give out. Both of them have been feeling compacted, I think it's a result of the mileage on the shoes finally winning, making it time for new ones. And potty. The past 3 long runs I have had to go bad in the middle of the run. Tomorrow is completely in the country, there is no place to stop. I'm going to stick some TP in my Camelback and use it in the middle of nowhere if I have to. If I do, it will be the first time I have to.

Time to finish getting ready, I'll post how it felt tomorrow.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pay your bills or else

You never know when not paying your bills will kill you. So just be sure you always pay them.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

As chance would have it...

I was bored the other day. I was at a place where I could do pretty much anything that I wanted to on the computer, but nothing else.

As chance would have it, I had already read every email in my 2 different email accounts and written responses to everyone that I had an immediate response for.

I then frittered away my time ready every blog entry in my RSS Reader. However, I was in a very alert mood and all 75 articles took almost no time.

I was stuck on the computer, with nothing of significance to do. Now if I had an up to date and completely accurate list of everything that I want to do (read, GTD mind dump complete), then I may have had something way on the back burner that I wanted to do. However, instead I just wanted to spend some time learning or reading something new.

So I did what any self respecting geek does, I opened my bookmarks of articles and blogs that looked like at one point they may interest me, but I hadn't had the time to devote to actually reading them yet folder. This is the absolute black hole of bookmark folders. It's the Yeah right like I'll ever have the time to devote to spend reading this, but if I do, what the heck folder. It's where really good interesting links go to die. . . .It's called stuff.


So I started going through my stuff folder and reading articles and blogs and going their blogroles, and clicking links for comments on articles, and ....

I ended up finding several new blogs to add to my normal list of things to keep up on. This is getting to be a big list.

The best article I read was about how Tivo can save a marriage. It was interesting. Erin and I have talked about getting a Tivo in the past. She wants one, and I have constantly thought, "But a VCR can do that". Now as I think about it though, there are lots of good reasons to get a Tivo. We have different tastes in shows, and she's home all day long, so shows that she would normally miss while I'm monopolizing the tv at night could be watched the next day. Kids shows that we prefer the kids to watch, but are on when the kids are still in bed or at school could be recorded and watched instead of things that we don't like as much that happen to be on when they are in front of the Tv. Pausing live TV. This one has always been interesting to me. Not as much for sports as for movies on the movie channels. Since we have movie channels we don't rent a lot of movies, but some of those start as we are putting the kids to bed. Being able to pause the movie for 15 minutes while we put the kids to bed would be awesome. Also for me to be able to watch a full baseball game that starts before I can start watching Tv is great.

Finally the best reason to get Tivo is that watching a show a day later saves time. A 30 minute show is only on for about 22 minutes. Being able to finish a show faster means more time to read, clean, sleep, blog, etc. Now I just have to figure out how much it is and if it is affordable to us.

Erin, I know you are probably drooling now asking the same question I am...Is Tivo in my future?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I hate racists

It drives me nuts listening to and reading about racists. I hate when people who are in sports or the media are racist. I know that it's not gone completely, but a majority of people just try to be fair to everyone. I read this article by Gary Sheffield which has him saying that the reason that there aren't more blacks is that it's easier to control Latinos than it is to control blacks.

This is stupid. The report that is done shows that just over 50% of the players are white. If the goal of management was to have players to control wouldn't they all be "slave like"? And why is it that baseball would try to control players by doing stupid things like paying them 20 million a year? The average salary is 3 million, and the base salary is about 300,000. That doesn't sound like slavery or racism in any way. It doesn't sound like trying to keep a person down. In fact what it sounds more like is that Gary Sheffield is embarrassed that he doesn't know why there aren't more blacks in baseball.

My personal opinion for why there aren't more blacks in baseball is that it's not as exciting to most people as basketball and football are. Both sports have more action and more contact. They are exciting, no matter what color you are. I love the intricacies associated with baseball, the way taking 3 steps this way before a pitch can be the difference between an easy out and a double. The skill of hitting a small round ball with round stick in a space where there isn't someone to catch it is awesome.

A running medal

I ran a 5k yesterday here in Clinton. It was a nice small race and I ran faster than I had expected to. The most exciting thing though was that when I stuck around for the rewards drinking water and eating apple slices, they called my name for a medal.

My name. I was shocked. Holy Cow!!! This is the first running medal I've ever gotten. So to all you other slow runners out there, keep trucking along, you never know when you'll stumble across a race small enough to earn a medal.

Friday, June 01, 2007

An agile life.

I've been reading a lot about agile while I've been working on projects at work.

It's a way to be flexible with what needs to be done. I think Agile works very well with Getting Things Done. My analytical mind has melded them into an agile lifestyle.

There are great things that are mentioned in both Agile and GTD.
1. Constant review.
-- Agile: Daily standups asking "What did I do yesterday, what am I planning to do today, what's in my way?"
-- GTD: Any free time grab the list for the context you are in and figure out what you can do. Weekly review of everything where you decide what's next on every project.

2. Flexibility
-- Agile: Priorities of what to do can change on short iterations.
-- GTD: Where you are determines what can be done, and you decide the priorities in that context on the fly.

3. More Direction
-- Agile: Decide the business value of what you are doing and work towards the outcome.
-- GTD: anywhere you are, you probably have something to, if not then make the conscious decision that "nothing" is what you want to do.

4. Improvements:
-- Agile: Weekly reviews to learn from mistakes and to find things that went well to keep doing.
-- GTD: Weekly reviews should include finding what went well.

There are lots of books and processes on how to organize and prioritize your life, most are either home or work, GTD is one of the few that really bridges that gap and says there is no difference, it's organizing your life, your life is both work and home. Both need to be figured out or you'll have unnecessary stress, which will cause problems in whichever area of your life is out of balance.

Agile is directed specifically at software development, but I see the opportunity to extrapolate the ideas behind agile for application in the rest of life. GTD seems to be a lot of that already, without the specific mapping back to Agile.