Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

My Highlight Reel

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

As a disclaimer here on the blog, I should warn people that this blog is basically a highlight reel of my life. If you are comparing your “behind the scenes” moments to my “highlight reel”, you might think our lives are perfect.

Our lives are far from perfect, but I don’t blog about the bad stuff. You won’t find anything here about how I ran over a pedestrian, the challenges we’ve had to conquer to sell our old house, health issues, stress at work, the many many family issues we’ve faced, etc.  Occasionally, I make opinionated posts about schools, retailers, or politics, but overall I try to stay positive here.

For example, I may mention that I find mugshots of relatives, but I’m not going to post the details of who/what/when/where/why.  It’s not a family secret or anything, I just don’t air my laundry in this public setting.  When I look back at this blog, I like to remember things like date nights with Mackenzie or marathons I’ve conquered, not which relative’s body I signed for in the emergency room after he overdosed.

By the way, I could write many more posts if I focused on the negativity. Bottom line, I have just as many issues (if not more) than you do.

New Toy!

Friday, September 20th, 2013

I’m blogging today from my new 13″ MacBook Air, courtesy of your tax dollars. It is the most beautiful and sexy piece of technology I have ever had.

Now, I currently have an iPod Shuffle, iPod Touch, 2 iPhone 4s (unactivated, for the kids), an iPhone 5, a MacBook, an iPad, and now a MacBook Air. That is a mix of work and personal devices. I also have a non-working iPhone 3G and 2 non-working iPod Shuffles, all thanks to water damage. And, there’s my homebuilt MacQuarium.

Am I really an Apple fanboy?

Disneyland

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

I’ve been trying to figure out how I could write a blog post describing Disneyland and how it relates to an east coaster much more familiar Walt Disney World. The two are so much alike and so much different all at the same time. Walt Disney World is so much better than Disneyland in some ways and Disneyland is so much better than Walt Disney World in other ways. I could pretty much write a book on it.

So, to spare you that long comparative essay, I’ll just post some pictures below and tell you that I absolutely LOVED both Disneyland and California Adventure. And, for the east coasters who are planning to visit Disneyland for the first time, I’ll also leave you with a couple of other blog posts I’ve read comparing the two resorts: this one from Passport to Disney and parts one and two from Jen’s “Battle of the Coasts” series over at Eat Sleep Run Disney.

Maybe I’ll come back later to tell you how incredible the quick service food was and how it was served on real plates with real utensils. Or I’ll tell you how much better Pirates of the Caribbean is in California. But for now, once again, I’ll leave you with pictures.

Going Dopey

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I haven’t blogged about running lately, mostly because I haven’t been running lately.  Remember three months ago when I said I would never run the Disney marathon again? Yeah, that didn’t last long.

My original plan was to do the Goofy Challenge this year (which I did) and then go out to Disneyland and run the half marathon to earn the coveted Coast to Coast medal.  But then, runDisney added a 10K the day before and people who were dumb enough to do both could earn an additional “Dumbo” medal.  Needless to say, I want that inaugural Dumbo medal. So until a few weeks ago, the plan was to do Goofy in Florida, Dumbo in California, and earn the Coast to Coast medal.

Now, runDisney comes out and adds a 10K to WDW Marathon Weekend with a Minnie Mouse  medal.  But they take it a step further. If you run the 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, half-marathon on Saturday, AND the marathon on Sunday you will earn a “Dopey” medal (along with the Goofy medal).  Have I mentioned that Dopey is my favorite Disney character?

Finances are pretty tight right now. Building a new house and moving and taking on a large house payment are big changes. I really didn’t budget for the $500 entry fee, much less the food, travel, and accommodations in January.  But I can’t miss this!  I know I’ll be extremely upset the first year that I don’t run at WDW Marathon Weekend. So I figure I have a choice: cry because I didn’t run Dopey or cry because I did (from joy/pain/etc).

So I did it. I’m officially registered. For the last time. Again.  And, I’m going to train right for it this time. No more six hour marathons regardless of how much I run the day before!  Having something new to train for will help me reach my fitness goals.

Yep, I’m Dopey.

Blogging and Logging

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I’m turning into a data entry whore.  It seems all I do lately is log my life.  This blog is just one example.  There’s also Facebook and twitter.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been logging everything I eat as well as calorie counts in an effort to eat more healthy.  I’m doing the physical exercise part, but until I start eating right I’ll never have the runner’s physique.  Five weeks ago, my average daily calorie count was 2901.  This past week, it was down to 2611.

Running is also a huge thing to log.  I’ve used mapmyrun.com to log my miles for the past 4 years.  They just forced me to use their new format and I hate it, but I would have to subscribe to export all of my data.  It sort of sucks.

After logging my miles, I have to enter it monthly into my running club website to participate in the “Challenge of the Miles”.

Here’s my current mileage chart:

I can tell you that my lifetime mileage is 2252.95 miles. January was the first month that I’ve ever passed 100 miles in a month.  My goal for 2012 is 1000 miles and so far I’m on track.

Also, my job participates in the Presidential Fitness Challenge and I’m supposed to log all of my physical activity there too.  I sort of dropped that, but to be eligible for prizes at work, I need to start back.  So, in addition to running, I’m suppose to log walking, outdoor work, t-ball, etc.

To take it even further, my health insurance carrier has a website where I can log physical activity, nutrition, and stats like blood pressure everyday to earn points redeemable for healthy rewards.

I also log my Coke points in mycokerewards.com to earn points for rewards.  I guess if I stopped drinking Cokes, I wouldn’t have to log those calories or Coke points.  That seems like a good plan.

Then, there’s disneymovierewards.com.  It’s a good thing we don’t buy many DVDs, but I have earned several Disney gift cards from this.

I haven’t mentioned the biggest: I use Quicken to log all of our financial transactions.  That’s the most time consuming, but also the most beneficial.

I’m probably missing some others as well.  I guess you see now why this blog suffers.

I used to maintain a clothing log, so that I didn’t accidentally wear the same shirt every Tuesday or the same pants several days in a row.  I gave up on that when I became a runner though. It’s not rare for me to change clothes several times a day: sleep clothes, running clothes, work clothes, casual clothes, etc.

So am I OCD? I don’t think so. Everything I log has a benefit.  The fitness and nutrition logs are helping me reach my goals. Today at Kroger, I didn’t buy a 450 calories/slice pie even though it was on sale because I thought of my log. If I wasn’t logging miles, I would have never come close to 100 in January.  Quicken helps me stay on track to reach short-term and long-term goals. And the others score me free stuff!

So, what do you log?

Another Disney Marathon Post

Friday, January 13th, 2012

This will be my final Walt Disney World Marathon recap post for this year.  I wrote this article for the newsletter at work, so I thought I would post it here.

A Little Goofy?

What were you doing Saturday at 4:30 in the morning? What about Sunday? Sleeping? On both days, I had already been awake for two hours, and was standing on the side of a Central Florida highway, waiting for fireworks to send me off.

This past weekend, I completed Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge at Walt Disney World, which consists of the WDW Half Marathon on Saturday and the WDW Marathon on Sunday — a total of 39.3 miles.  Over 56,000 runners competed in the weekend events, including which about 7,500 of us participating in Goofy’s Challenge. This was my fourth year conquering the challenge.

Both races have a spectacular fireworks start on a road right outside of Epcot. The half marathon takes you to the Magic Kingdom, where you run all through the park, including right through Cinderella Castle.  Then you head back to Epcot, through the park and around Spaceship Earth (the big ball) and to the finish line in the parking lot.  13.1 miles of fun.

The marathon takes you past all of Walt Disney World’s icons. First, you run through Epcot’s Future World around Spaceship Earth. Then, you’re off to the Magic Kingdom where you run through Cinderella Castle.  After that, you head over to Animal Kingdom where you circle the park and the Tree of Life and then to Hollywood Studios where you pass the Earful Tower and the Sorcerer’s Hat.  Finally, it’s back to Epcot for a loop around World Showcase before finishing in the Epcot parking lot. Another 26.2 miles of fun.

The races also take you through many “backstage” areas of the parks, which regular guests never see.  Some of the areas include the parade float storage facilities, recycling and maintenance facilities, horticultural areas, and animal care areas.

Along the courses are all types of entertainment to help the miles go by.  Local high schools send cheerleaders, bands, and dance teams to entertain the runners. DJ’s, rock bands, choirs, jugglers, and other entertainers can also be found along the course. Disney puts random parade floats, hot air balloons, animals, and other props along the course.  Also along the course are all of you favorite Disney characters.  You run past princesses, dwarfs, Mary Poppins, several incarnations of Mickey, and many more. And with so many participants, there are also thousands of spectators and cast members to cheer you on both in and out of the parks.

There are all types of runners who participate each year.  There are world-class elite runners who compete for cash prizes, walkers, and everything in between.  Some people run to raise money and/or awareness for their favorite charity while others dress as their favorite Disney characters.  You won’t find me wearing Mickey ears or Tinkerbell wings though. I find it hard enough to run with a camera!

All finishers receive a Donald medal for completing the half marathon and a Mickey medal for completing the marathon.  Goofy Challengers also receive a Goofy medal for finishing both races.  And when the volunteers put the medal around your neck, you temporarily forget how much pain you are in (and how hungry you are).

My strategy for these races, other than finish, is simply to have fun along the courses.  The first few miles of each race are pretty crowded, so much so that it is nearly impossible to get much speed.  And, I made lots of photo stops.  There are many awesome photo opportunities that are just not available to other Disney guests.  There were also lots of interesting people to talk to along the way, including celebrities.  Last year, I found myself running next to TV weatherman Al Roker.

Along with these two races, there are other events during Marathon Weekend.  My wife ran a 5K through Epcot Friday morning.  My 8-year-old son ran the “Mickey Mile” and my 5-year-old daughter ran a 200 meter race at Disney’s Wide World of Sports..  Each of them received finisher medals as well.

Somehow, out of the 56,000 runners, I managed to be one of only 40 who were invited to a “meet, greet, and tweet” and “training run” with former Olympian Jeff Galloway.  It was held early Friday morning at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, before the park was even open.  We had the entire theme park to ourselves!  We were joined by P90X creator Tony Horton, as well as Survivor winners Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn, who also later ran the half marathon. We were able to mingle and take photos with the celebrities and I even got to ride Tower of Terror with Ethan and Jenna.  Of course, I bought that ride photo and they were nice enough to autograph it for me.

So how did I do? I’ve posted much better times in non-Disney races because I took them seriously, trained right and ate well. With the Disney races, I’m pretty much the poster child for how not to run. (Besides, it is even possible to “eat right” in the months leading up to January?) So while I’ve done better in other marathons and half marathons, I haven’t had nearly as much fun!

So, who’s with me next year?

Perfect Weather Weekend

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

I’m such a sorry blogger. I take hundreds of photos and tons of video and I rarely get them off of the camera.  It was so much different when the kids were younger.  I guess I need some motivation.

The weather was perfect again this weekend!  Last weekend, we let Tristan spend the night in his playhouse outside.  This weekend, we saw The Lion King in 3D, and then spent lots of time outside — running, playing soccer, visiting the local park, etc.  Here are a few photos:

Backfilling

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I’m backfilling blog posts once again because I’ve been lazy.  Hopefully I’ll get everything caught up this week.

Technical Difficulties

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

If you follow through RSS, you might be wondering why my blog seems to be hemorrhaging posts.  For some reason, all of my recent posts have been going to Drafts.  Ooops.  Everything should be fixed now.

Blogging

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

In case you haven’t noticed, I have blogged nearly every day this week.  And some days (including today), I have blogged multiple times.  I still have lots of things to post, including Mackenzie’s 3K graduation from last month.  I think I’ll go have a cookie now.

If it’s not obvious, I’m clearly avoiding school-work by blogging.  (I have two more projects to turn in before Tuesday.  One is 75% done and I haven’t started the other.) I’m also considering promoting this blog more to my friends, etc. via facebook and twitter, so I need to populate it with lots of content.

Next week, I’ll be blogging live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey.  Stay tuned . . .