Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Edit: Picasa is being dumb, here is the URL. You can zoom in on it while in my picasa album.
I need to friend Bill Clinton (see his comment below).
On a side note, what does it say about ME that instead of starting this out with "what does it say about me...." I try to blame my own laziness on society? If I think hard enough, I can probably blame most of my issues on society. :)
Hooray Internet bill pay.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Our garage had been rather dirty because of some overspray when we painted our cabinets, so a nice coat of white paint on the walls and tan on the floors was a welcome sight. The process involved:
- Taping off everything that I didn't want painted (garage door etc)
- Spraying the floors with my airless paint sprayer (it took 5 gallons)
- Taking off all of the plastic to get out of the garage (we had taped ourselves inside)
- Sanding down any paint that had been left over on the floor
- Scrubbing the floor with a prep acid wash
- Rolling on the epoxy paint
It honestly makes me tired just typing it out. I am still a bit sore, but I will be fine prior to my marathon run.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
We had a great time. We visited the New Belgium Brewery, took a drive around Estes Park, and visited the Stanley Hotel. Here are some pictures of the trip.
A view of the beer that I tasted (for free!!) and some random tanks.
I believe these were (from left to right): A coffee infused beer, a cherry infused beer, a semi stout, and a summer unfiltered wheat.
HEY! No dorking around near lift trucks.
Ok, maybe a little bit of dorking around (My mom, sister, and wife). But still, not TOO much.
Sexy is as sexy does
My wife and I in front of the hotel (The Stanley Hotel) where Steven King thought of the book 'The Shining'
A random Elk that had wondered into town.
Friday, September 26, 2008
John and Kate Plus 8
Real Housewives (if it ever starts back up)
That means that I almost always have some TV show that I could watch. Throw in a solid 3 or 6 hours of football a week and it seems like I have fallen into some old habits again. Either way, I am ok with that as long as The Office continues to be as good as it was last night. Shoot, even CSI Miami was good and not nearly as cheesy as it normally is!
First, I want to clarify that I don’t run for the benefits of being healthy. I will be honest in saying that initially this was the case. I needed to get into shape so that I didn’t become big like my dad and his dad. I have never played any organized sports so I don’t feel a great urge to work out for work outs sake. More often than not, I work out to better facilitate my running habit. So, why do I run?
I run mostly because I can. I love the fact that I can push my body to the limits of its design (sometimes beyond those limits) if only to see where those limits are. I also love the fact that through my own sheer will, I can train my body to accomplish something that I previously could not do. Running 26 miles at an 8:00 mile pace will be a great example.
I run because while I am running, I can clear my head of almost every thought imaginable. While running, it usually takes so much effort that I honestly don’t think about anything. Not about family, friends, work or otherwise. Just my feet pounding the pavement.
Most importantly, I run because it is my own time. Running is “Adam time”. While running I don’t have to answer to anyone. Not that I like to be away from people, but I like the solidarity that a long run gives. My wife knows that if I have to run 10 miles, I will be gone for 1:20. I don’t golf regularly, I don’t have much ‘guy time’, so running is the closest thing that I have to my own personal retreat…. And I love every second of it.
I had wanted to go to the bar since the last time that we were in Denver, however we didn’t get the chance. It lived up to my high expectations. The infused vodkas were great and the regular vodkas were smooth. In fact, because the infused vodkas weren't full strength, you could down 8 or 10 shots and feel like a rockstar! So, if you ever find yourself in Denver, look up Red Square and ask for a carafe of Pineapple vodka and a plate of pickle chasers. Each carafe has 10 shots, so make sure you bring some friends.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
9/24: 2 miles, 8:00 pace. I cut this run short and officially decided that I have to stop running for 1 week to let my foot heal. While I haven’t mentioned it much – even on this blog – my foot / ankle / leg has been hurting quite a bit as of late. I tweaked it a bit during my first 20 mile run which was over two weeks ago. It doesn’t seem to be getting any better while still running on it so I am going to take it easy for a bit and ‘trust my training’ for the race on 10/12.
9/25: No running today. Grrrrrr
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The wind speeds were clocked at around 105 mph while we were in the tunnel. It wasn’t nearly as loud as I thought that it would be. If anything, it seemed like a really windy day. Or, if you have ever rode a motorcycle, it was very similar to highway speeds without a helmet on.
Here are some pictures of me while flying. I’ll spare everyone pictures of the team as they shall remain anonymous.
5:00am: Get to work and get in line
6:00am: Get first fair. Make $10 in tips
7:00am: Get back into line at airport
Repeat maybe 5 times a day.
So, these people are making MAYBE $50 a day in tips - probably less. Do they get some sort of hourly wage or something!? I certainly hope so. Because if not, I'm going to start tipping 400%.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I mentioned previously that I am very smell sensitive. Not that particularly bad smells bother me all that much (I’m a guy after all), but I defiantly notice smells more and (as Barry said) I associate memories with smells. So, as fall approaches, I am going to take every opportunity to enjoy it as much as I can. Since this will be my last one, I need to get as much out of it as I can!
Here is a picture of the tree in my front yard from last fall! Love it.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Female employee: You've never had Krispy Kreme donuts?
Male employee: Nope.
Female employee: Ohh. They are so good!
Male employee: Really?
Female employee: Yeah, they're better than sex!
Male employee: Hmm. You must be doing it wrong.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I always laugh a bit that my Garmin GPS watch always seems to end up on these even pace times. I report in this blog exactly what the watch says....
Friday, September 19, 2008
9/17: 5 miles, 8:00 pace. This run went ok. My leg was bothering me again, so I didn't push it much.
9/18: Didn't get a chance to run this day. I was up too late winning so much money from the casino that if I were to get up and run, I would have only had about 3 hours of sleep. No me gusta.
I may update these from time to time, but for now here they are!
- I started running and exercising in general after a physical where it was discovered that I had high blood pressure.
- I have a battery powered blood pressure cuff that I purchased as a result of that physical.
- I have only had one physical in my life.
- I’ve run 2 marathons and am training for my 3rd.
- Each of my marathons has been in a different state.
- I have not completed any organized half marathons, 10k, or 5k races.
- However, as part of my training, I have run the half marathon distance over 20 times.
- As a result of my running, I lost over 35 pounds.
- I’ve nearly been hit by a car 3 times while running.
- One time while running, a car got so close to me that I ended up with my hands on the hood of a car.
- I was not in any organized sports while in high school.
- I was, however, in concert band, jazz band, marching band.
- Respectively, I played timpani and snare drum, trap set, and the quads.
- I am the first member of my immediate family to graduate from college.
- My college education was entirely self funded.
- Correction: My college education is being entirely self funded. I am still paying on my student loans.
- I was a Computer Science Major at Iowa State University.
- I considered becoming a meteorology major.
- I have seen three tornadoes in person.
- I am Caucasian, but was a minority in my major.
- My high school was 99% Caucasian.
- While in high school I worked in a ‘factory farm’ hog confinement.
- I’ve castrated hundreds of pigs.
- I’ve accidentally tattooed my own hand while tattooing pig’s ears.
- Luckily the tattoo was on the palm of my hand so it eventually wore off.
- I’ve accidentally injected myself with iron supplement.
- Pigs need to have an iron injection within their first two days of life otherwise they will die of anemia.
- I’ve watched a baby calf being born and was the first thing that it ever saw.
- I’ve also helped pull a stillborn calf out of a cow.
- I’ve had my hand inside of a cow up to my bicep.
- I have a mole on my right middle finger slightly smaller than the size of a dime.
- Doctors say that if I have it removed, that joint will likely no longer move.
- My right foot is a full size larger than my left foot.
- While I was in high school, I lost my drivers license for 90 days.
- I have never received a speeding ticket.
- I have however, gone 135 m.p.h. on my motorcycle.
- I fell off of this motorcycle twice.
- Both times I was going less than 15 m.p.h.
- I have gone 165 m.p.h. while in a NASCAR race car.
- I was a passenger during the Richard Petty Race Experience.
- I have restored a 1948 dodge ½ ton truck.
- It took me the entire summer between high school and college.
- I painted a 1979 Chevy truck bright yellow.
- I have only owned three cars in my life.
- Two of those cars I still own.
- The third car, which was the “Night Rider” car, I wish that I still owned.
- Last year I worked in 14 states.
- The only time that I have been outside of the country was walking across the Mexico border.
- The first time I saw the ocean was on my honeymoon.
- I have always said that I wanted to do three things in life: Drink water from the ocean, be worth my weight in gold, and be weightless in space.
- I have only completed one of these items.
- Ocean water is much saltier than I ever imagined it would be.
- I work as a management consultant for a large consulting firm.
- During my 5 year tenure, I have only been on three projects.
- The ‘average’ project lasts approximately 6 months.
- My official titles have included “Analyst”, “Consultant”, and “Manager”.
- I stayed in a hotel 108 out of 365 nights last year.
- In fact, it is probably over 108 nights because nights purchased with frequent stay points are not counted in the total.
- I buy a postcard at each location that I am able to travel to that does not cost me any money out of pocket.
- At last count, I had collected over 30 postcards.
- I have been interviewed by the FBI.
- It was in my living room.
- As an indirect result of the interview, one of my former bosses is now a special agent with the FBI.
- My maternal grandfather has been married or common law married 7 times.
- My paternal grandfather has been married once for over 50 years.
- Both of my grandmothers have passed away.
- My parents are currently divorced.
- My dad has been divorced twice.
- I haven’t talked to his second ex-wife in years.
- I have a little brother and a little sister.
- We are each 4 years apart and therefore only went to school together when we were in elementary school.
- I am currently married to my best friends little sister.
- Of the 4 years we dated, nearly two of them were a long distance relationship.
- I have, not including relatives or my wife, at most five or six people that I consider very close friends.
- A number of those people I work with.
- I have scores of people that I consider casual acquaintances.
- I was, however, voted “most outgoing” my senior year of high school.
- I also was voted to have had the “biggest breakup”.
- I only drank to the point of drunkenness once before I was 21.
- The town that I grew up closest to has a population of 120.
- My dad’s mailing address is still listed as this town.
- I am amazed to this day how many stars you can see on a clear night whenever I am back.
- The town that I went to elementary school in has a population of 700.
- The phone system used 4 digit dialing until I was 10.
- The town that I went to high school in has a population of 2,000.
- My high school graduating class had 65 students.
- The house that I lived in until I was 12 had a wood burning stove for heat in the winter.
- Yes, the house did have running water.
- No, the house did not have cable TV.
- I have been on national TV three times.
- I have never been on the radio.
- My favorite band is Bare Naked Ladies.
- I have never seen them in concert.
- I have only been to four concerts in my life.
- The last physical CD that I purchased was over 5 years ago.
- It was a Bare Naked Ladies CD.
- At this time, I’ve only purchased 16 songs on iTunes.
- My first iPod was purchased in the 2nd half of 2008.
- I can build my own computer.
- I finished the basement in my house.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Never done this, but I can see it happening in my mind......
While my office does have actual offices rather than cubicles, I can still hear everything that goes on in my neighbor's office...I love it when his fiancé calls to talk to him about "critical" wedding details and he says "I can't talk about this right now, I'm pretty tied up with work here" then clicks back over to his buddy from college so he can continue their conversation on the football highlights video they are both currently watching online.
The one thing that I learned is that you need to have a bit of money to be very successful at craps. That is, during some of my big runs, I had over $40 out on the table at any given time. If someone were to roll a 7, I would have lost every bit of that money. However, I didn’t loose, I won HUGE.
Now, I need to decide what to spend my winnings on. Of course, my wife thinks that this is ‘our’ money (even though I used my own personal money to start) so I may have to put up a fight in order to claim it. One of those iPod touches is looking VERY tempting right about now…..
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Good thing I am one of those bizarre individuals that gets up around 6:00am normally anyway.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
We went to 5 or so homes ranging in price from $850,000 to $1,700,000. I always think to myself “what do people do in order to be able to afford these houses!?” Doctor or lawyer often comes to mind. But then I am reminded that even the CEO of the plunger company is likely a millionaire – so I am sure that even the richie rich occupations are as varied as any other neighborhood. To be honest, I can’t help but hope that there are a few here and there who are business consultants. Hey, it could happen!
Here are a few pictures of the houses that we viewed.
Most of the houses were huge and decorated quite well:
Additionally, they were all landscaped. About 1/2 of them were ON golf courses.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The person I was talking with is very involved in charitable organizations. VERY involved. I am not as much involved if at all. We discussed that she has been very involved from an early age while I was not very involved at all. Part of my reasoning for this, at least internally, is because I grew up with little means in a very small community. It has been my experience, right or wrong, that people who live in urban areas are more civic minded than people who live in rural regions.
What got me thinking was when she mentioned that ‘everyone in this country is VERY blessed just to have been born here’. I had honestly never thought of that before. That is, I realize that I work hard for the things that I have - however, I haven’t thought much about the things that are provided to me purely because I am here and not somewhere else. Moreover, once you start believe in an almost original sin mantra of being, one must really try to determine how far you want to go. So, since I know someone who gives nearly all of their free time and 50% of their net wage to charitable organizations, should I give more? I can’t say that I work any harder than a garbage man, so should I donate my ‘excess’ wage to help society as a whole to the point that I am not making any more than said garbage man? My old car was working just fine but yet I bought a new one. Should I have stayed with my own car and donated the remainder to a meals on wheels program?
Of course, these examples seem to be rather extreme (if not a bit asinine) but I think that they illustrate my point very well. At what point are we, as privileged individuals, hording too much of our wealth? Or, for that matter, spending too much of it on unneeded luxury items. What is that magic threshold that tells me “Adam, you make $XXX. You should be donating XX/3.”? I mean, even my church publishes a handy tithing table to “remind” me how much I should be donating. Help me out red cross!
So, what did I learn as a result of this conversation? First, that I probably need to give back more. At first this will likely mean monetary donations. Later, my time will likely be lent to help the cause. Second, never get into a social awareness conversation with someone who has a philosophy minor. You can’t ‘win’. I promise.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Boss: Then Megan* and Elizabeth* can review it.
Lisa: Don't you mean Courtney*?
Boss: Oops! Excuse me. You're right.
Lisa: I know; We Americans all sound alike.
Boss: No, not really. I do the same thing with my kids.
Lisa: Are they all the same gender?
Boss: Not at all. I've got three of them--one of each.
Lisa: Okay. One's male and one's female. What's the third one?
IT guy: Your laptop is not booting up because you have a stuck function key. What happened, anyway?
Rep (refusing to make eye contact): Yeah, I ... uhhh, think I dropped something on it.
It guy: Like what?!
Rep: Ummm yeah, well, like my fist.
You often hear the saying “home is where you make it” and never give it much thought. However, as I was getting off the plane yesterday, heading HOME it really became clear for me. My wife often times makes fun of me because I notice smells more than most. She claims that I smell my food before I eat it (I don’t see how people don’t do that) and am overly sensitive to one smell or another. I think of this every time that I fly home, because as soon as I step outside into the Kansas air (well, Missouri at that time, but whatever…) it even SMELLS like home. The air smells fresh or crisp or moist, and the leather of our car permeates all of my senses to the point that all my cares melt away.
I was wondering last night as I drove home if this will ever be the case in Phoenix. Will my bed still feel as cool and inviting? Will my house smell like home? Will I have to catch myself when I refer to it as Phoenix vs ‘home’? I expect that all of these will fall into place, but I am sure that it will be an adjustment.
So, if “home is where you make it”, then I’d like to say that family is who you love. I love my wife and would do nearly anything for her, including move to the desert, so she is my family. The primary reason that we are moving is to be near her family so that we (my wife and I) can increase the size of our family. So, I’ll start to post more and more about my thoughts and feelings as well as the current status of our move. It should be an interesting ride!
Directly (for me at least) there are many changes with the way I travel on a regular basis as a result of 9/11. Airport security has certainly been increased to the point that it often times borders on the asinine. A great example of this was when I saw a girl in a sun dress getting scanned with a hand wand metal detector. She didn’t set off the larger metal detector – so who knows why she was actually flagged since she certainly didn’t have any metal hiding in her underwear or something…
I honestly can’t even believe that it has been that long ago. You don’t really grasp the phrase ‘time flies’ until you are staring down these major milestones (The movie Toy Story is over 11 years old!?). While I am not certain what the future will hold, I can admit that I have enjoyed the last 7 years, and hope that the next 7 will be just as fun.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
9/10 Run: 4 miles, 9:00 pace. (8 miles was target). Today unfortunately I didn’t finish my expected mileage. I didn’t feel like doing the extra 4 miles was worth the ‘risk’ of prolonging my minor ding in my ankle.
9/11 Run: 0 miles. One of my first “missed” days. In fact, I just looked back and it WAS my first missed day. Bummer. HOWEVER, I do think that resting is better than pushing it just to get mileage in. We’ll see how it works!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I am pretty sure that it was Kenny Rogers who sang the song that said “know when to hold them… know when to fold them…..”. The same applies to wives. Chapter 3 of the husband manual will focus on which arguments are worth sticking out, and which arguments are just not worth the effort to ‘win’.
For example, often times guys will be inclined to argue about little things that don’t matter: Signaling before changing lanes on the highway, the proper way to stack groceries in the car, flipping between channels on the remote, how one party or another makes the bed, etc. The manual will show that, as a husband, prior to committing to an argument you need to do a cost/benefit analysis on the negative side effects of ‘winning’ said argument. That is, if you win an argument about which type of cheese goes best on tacos, what do you get other than the satisfaction of winning? Usually just a cranky wife that either complains about other things all afternoon or worse yet – doesn’t say a word for the next 24 hours.
The manual will also show that some arguments are worth sticking out – even if only to not look like a pushover. Just like the supreme court, sometimes forfeiting a seemingly mindless argument sets a bad precedent. Identifying these situations during the heat of the moment is arguably difficult, but the manual will systematically work to teach all husbands to look for the following red flags:
- Anything that involves shopping or spending money
- Anything that discourages the consumption of beer
- Anything that infringes on time spent watching sports
- Finally, for every 2 arguments you just shrug off, randomly fight back with all of your might on the third. Again, you don’t want to seem like a pushover.
The manual will show that even if only arguing for 1/3 of the arguments contradicts itself, she’ll never even know the difference. After all, let’s be honest, other than these specific subsets of activities, does much else matter?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
For example, yesterday morning, my flight was delayed by 3.5 hours going to St Louis. By in large, I was not too overly upset about the delay. The first 2.5 hours or so, were due to a pretty bad storm that was rolling through Kansas City. As much as I would LOVE to think that the airlines can control the weather, this is probably not the case. I will say however, one thing that really DID get me a bit frustrated was after we waited all of that time, we had the pleasure of being pushed off by the gate tug only to have one of the engines not start up. I think that it probably had a case of the Mondays. After an hour of jostling around, I was on my way.
The thing that interested me most (and honestly prompted this blog post) was the other travelers and their reaction to the delay. You could really tell what type of a person everyone was by how they reacted to the delays. You had the type A personalities that were bossing the flight attendants around etc… IN FACT, a few of them even tried to get off of the plane once we found out that there was an engine issue. You had the people who complain about the situation and how the airline should have been able to do something about it. And finally, you had the people who were so tired because they had been up since 4:00 who didn’t seem to mind a bit.
Maybe that is the real reason why I didn’t get too fired up about it. I hadn’t had my coffee yet!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
That said, the run started out a bit tough. I am never sure WHY this is the case, I can only do my best to trudge through it. I did, and around mile 5 or so, hit my stride and never looked back.
The one interesting thing during this run was that I had to pee - BAD. Of course, because I run in an urban environment without a shirt on, the options to relieve this condition are fairly limited. So, I did the only thing that I could do... I peed on a bush a bit off of the main road that I run on. It was on Sprint's world headquarters campus, so I did like the fact that I was able to stick it to the man in my own little way.
Friday, September 5, 2008
The thing about luxury items is that there is always a ‘good enough’ option that makes me take pause. For example, I have 3 or 4 watches at home that tell time just fine. If anything, I am sure that I have a digital watch lying around somewhere that would actually tell BETTER time than the one at the left and above. So, I am torn. I honestly am not sure WHY I am this torn, but I’ll keep everyone posted on whether or not I actually pull the trigger. I’ll likely do it over Thanksgiving if I actually do. Until then, I'm stuck ogling the pictures of watches online and reading the Vintage watch experience blog that Francis Phua keeps updated.
You don't have to worry about buying millions of different types of clothes. Dresses, capri pants, shorts, dress pants, sweaters, button downs, tshirts.... makes my head hurt. AND, don't even get me started on shoes!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The three email rule is in effect: If an issue takes more than three emails to resolve, please pick up the phone and call.....
I wonder if that applies to me sending emails like the ones that I send frequently due to lack of response:
Were you able to take a look at the following?
Unfortunately for her, I don't agree with most of her opinions. Furthermore, I think that she needs to be careful to not sound entitled to the VP position. Often times during her speech she started to sound a bit snarky towards Obama. (Again, it could be argued that people think this only because she is female...)
Either way, kuddos to her doing a good job. I honestly didn't want to see her fall TOO flat on her face. She seems like a nice enough person - even if she DOES want to teach creationism in schools.
9/3 Run: 8 miles, 7:58 pace. Light mist today making for a really good run.
9/4 Run: 5 miles, 8:35 pace. Moderate rain making for a wet and sometimes cold run.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Will this mean a bit of difference in the long run? Probably not (it shouldn't) but it will be very interesting to watch how it all plays out. From what I have heard on the radio and on TV, voters go either one of two ways. Either they applaud McCain for his very progressive choice, or they chastise him for so obviously trying to go after the Hillary voters. I think that my friend Caroline said it best when she said "I don't care, I'm still not voting for McCain". I think that probably sums up my thoughts as well.
I will say that I think that it is very sad that so much focus has been placed on her family life. None of the other candidates have had to put up with any of the types of questions that she has had to answer. For example, can she still be a good VP while raising 5 kids - one of which is special needs. The answer can be debated, but Obama certainly hasn't had to put up with these questions - neither has McCain - who has SEVEN kids. But, as stated before, that still won't get me her vote :)
On a side note, Nick sent me this VERY funny John Stewart / Colbert clip about Palin.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Sidenote to my married/engaged/taken friends. Please, for the love of god, stop telling me I'll find the one when I'm "not looking." I am always looking and you know what, you were too when you met your "soulmate" and slept with him in a drunken state the first night you met him.
I realized today that I'm that weird roommate from craigslist. Both of my roommates are relatively normal 9-5ers, light drinkers, and mild mannered people. I get drunk on tuesday afternoons, sleep all day, and have lax standards about personal hygiene. Fuck it, I like this apartment and I'm not leaving.
One thing that I have always enjoyed / found interesting is how he hires mostly younger cuter dental hygienists. Normally this would be a good thing. However, do some quick thinking….. This person does nothing but scrape crud off of your teeth – all the while, trying to hold on a conversation with you while looking at your tonsils. If anything, I’d like my hygienist to have a bit of ‘life experience’. That is, I’d like her to have seen so much stuff that my minimal crud looks awesome compared to some of the people that they see. Makes sense right!?