Thursday, August 20, 2015

Look at this guy!

Tooth #1 is audios! Thanks to Mrs. Clark down the street (our resident Kindergarten teacher/tooth yanker), Kieran has now lost his first tooth. Pretty cool!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hope you weren't holding your breath

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted. There's been a lot going on, and I hate to put it all down at once. Plus the lasagna is in the oven warming up, and it'll be burnt to a crisp by then.

So we went to North Carolina with my in-law's and my MIL's extended family. That was a lot of fun, but we didn't see any sharks though. That would have been pretty exciting. I bet there was one within 100' of me though. I could write a whole blog about that trip, but we gotta keep moving here, plus I don't remember all the details. Neuroplasticity is down these days.

I started working out (again) but this time I double whammied it by laying off alcohol and sweets. Since July 13th when we got back, I've lost 7.8 pounds. That puts me at 206.8 today. Not bad! Another 3 or 4 weeks and I hopefully will be under two bills. I've been running and riding mostly, not tons, but enough to keep my legs guessing. I rode really hard last night at the Spin Pizza ride, and did way better than I did last time out. I still wasn't quite in the lead group, but I don't think I'm far off. Hitting the lights certainly exacerbates the fact you're 10 seconds behind. I'm still way slower than I used to be, but it's getting better. I'll probably be in shape for cross season, but I don't have much interest in doing that. Maybe I should though.

Back when I was racing, I moved up to a Cat 3 racer, which is usually where most people fall. Most people should only be a cat 4 for a maximum of 10 races, and I did that and was doing ok. So if I went back now, I'd have to race as a 3. You can't go back to beginner level even if you put on 30 pounds and haven't hopped a barrier in half a decade. So even if I get back into race shape physically, my mind isn't quite there. Plus I don't think my old team wants me wearing 4 year old kits. ;-)

I began the process of using a physical trainer. I say that because we haven't really started, but I probably will in the next couple of weeks. He's good with nutrition and hormones as well, and I like that multi-faceted approach. Based upon my fat distribution, he said I am most likely carb intolerant, which means carbs go straight to fat. That wasn't entirely surprising, but it was entirely depressing. I gotta dodge bread bread from here on out, which really puts a damper on my sandwich consumption.

I got my blood work done as well, and it looks nearly perfect, which is good. He said my vitamin D is low, and my monocytes are elevated which could be due to what I'm eating. We haven't had a lot of discussion time, but I think that the more I know about how my body processes what I intake, the better off I'll be. When I raced, I really didn't change my diet. If I start eating healthy and am in good riding shape, I wonder...

The boys are going back to school in like a week. I'll be glad to get them out of the house when I'm working, but it is fun to be able to start a wrestling match after a rough conference call. Boys will be boys. K has grown his hair out, and it looks terrific. Much better than when I used to shave it. AB is even trying to style his hair now. So much for saving $$ by shaving their heads, but I'd rather them look good and be happy (not that they were miserable).

AB has also been playing Destiny on the xbox like crazy. It's led to some heated exchanges between him and the parents when it came time to unplug. I guess he's just like me, which I apologize for that! Destiny has been making me stay up late as well. If AB would let me play during the day, then I wouldn't need to stay up so late. Mmmhmm.

I got an iPhone, and I mostly like it. The actual phone part is terrible compared to an Android, but most of the other experience is pretty good. I'm not sure if I'll get another iPhone though when it comes to it. I do like the fingerprint scanner on the phone. That's pretty sweet.

That's it for now. I'm starving, and I gotta check the lasagna.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Glenda Taylor

I'm going to try and remember the post I came up with 8 miles ago on my ride.

On June 7th, Glenda Taylor, an art professor from Washburn was killed while preparing for the KS State Championship Time Trial.  I never met her, but I bet our paths crossed at some point during my racing days.  I'd like to think I smiled at her if our eyes met, everything I've read about her tells me that she had a good aura.  She was selfless, often taking younger female racers under her wing. Lots of the people I'm friends with from my racing days were shell shocked to hear of her passing.

Far too often I come across a news story about a racer getting hit and killed. Steve Tilford (who has an excellent blog), has hypothesized that there are just more people these days.  More cyclists and more drivers.  Cyclists sometimes ride like jerks, and sometimes drivers drive like jerks too. I hope I haven't been a jerk with either activity, but it happens.

Actually now I remember an incident a long time ago when I was leaving UMKC, and the weather was snowy.  I think I was trying to pull out onto Rockhill in my car when a commuter was coming down the hill on the sidewalk.  I had inadvertently pulled out in his way so I could see the traffic, but obviously caused a bit of panic for him.  He flipped me off and went on his way. I wasn't totally in the wrong, but the thought running through my head was that "hey, I'm one of you". I wasn't some asshole driver, but I guess that time I was.

I was totally paying attention in that moment, but still about took this poor dude out. I could have hurt him bad, but I'm not sure if I could have done anything better.  On the other hand, Glenda was killed by someone who may have been distracted. He was charged with 2nd degree murder, among other things. Some of my cycling friends feel a bit vindicated with the severity of that charge. Often cyclists are killed and the driver gets a plead down to a misdemeanor or involuntary manslaughter. I can appreciate the fact that some feel vindicated. On the other hand, it's not easy for the driver either. Maybe he was checking his texts, or messing with the stereo, or spacing out. But now he is going to jail, maybe for a long time. Think of the ripple effect of his poor choice of not being focused whilst driving.  5 seconds of distraction.

Cars are getting away from the driving experience and being more about being entertained. Taking the driver out of the equation. I think that is a terrible mistake, but probably necessary to get us to the point where people no longer drive cars. Until cars can drive themselves, and safely, this kind of thing is going to continue to happen. Especially with Facebook, Twitter, etc and the connectedness of things. Social media is going to be the death of humanity. Connecting through a computer is disconnecting us spiritually. And I don't mean God type spirituality, I'm talking about the bonds of humanity.

The bonds of humanity are what will keep us on this rock. Selflessness, which is the highest form of existence, doesn't come from us burying our noses in our phones and iPads. I see drivers driving around on 70 degree days with their windows up and a/c presumably on. We cushion ourselves from living.  We let other people climb mountains on "reality" TV while we sit on the couch and numb our minds and souls.  I think I've said it before, but no one is going to give a crap at the end of your days if you watched 50,000 hours of TV. People that will be missed are those who seek out life, who reach out to people and touch their souls. The more we separate ourselves from living this life, the more we subscribe to the "me vs. them".  There isn't a "them".  It's an "us".

We all are on this rock together. We all want to be happy, to live our lives with some control over the outcome. What is better, an individual looking out for themselves or that same individual living for everyone else and everyone else living for each other?

Regardless of your spiritual belief, most major religions recognize that Jesus was a human in perfect form. He embodied selflessness, and tried to teach others that the path to salvation is by forgetting yourself. Whether you are a Christian or Jew or Muslim or an Atheist, I think if we tried to live a little more selflessly, the world would seem a little more livable.

Sorry for the rambling post, but I had a lot on my mind.  Now get off your device and do something.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

And now it's hot.

I knew that would happen.  We get all that rain, and it's nice and cool, and then BAM, it's 90 and humid.  I don't feel smug/proud/informed about predicting that.  I'd much rather be wrong.

My workout schedule has been pathetic.  I got swamped at work for a couple of weeks, and then have had a tough time jumping back on the horse.  I'd love to blame the weather, but I just haven't been feeling it. This is why I should be keeping track of this stuff and blogging about it.  I guess that gives me an outlet.

I did get to go for a ride last weekend, and thought I was going to die.  Not really die, but I had to pull over a few times to cool off in the shade because it was so flipping hot.  My heart rate hit 195bpm, which is pretty high for an old gipper like me. I don't know what a gipper is, but I think it sounds ok to my coffee starved brain.  I rode crazy slow, but I sure wasn't going to push it, especially since my new route these days has a bit of climbing on it (about 1100 ft over 19 miles).

I think I may try and ride to work tomorrow. That really gets my metabolism up, and I could use some of that.  I did weigh in at 208.4 today, which is good, but I was hoping to be quite a bit lower by now. I suppose the inactivity had something to do with that?

AB had soccer tryouts last week, and they went pretty well. We decided to go with a new club this year, which was kind of tough, but I think it'll work out better in the end. We'll miss some of the new friends/families we got to know last year, but I have a feeling we'll see them this Fall.

AB has been rocking it at baseball too. He's been playing spectacularly at catcher, throwing all kinds of poor fools out trying to steal.  I think he really enjoys that and we all love watching him do it. He also had a great night pitching a few days ago.  He pitched 3 innings, faced 11 batters, and had 7 K's, no BBs, and no earned runs.  He also had a nice snag on a line drive hit to him at 3rd to end the game. Despite being so good at baseball and soccer, he still says basketball is his favorite sport. I guess it's a lot more fun to practice basketball. I dunno. That kid is a tough one to figure out.

K has been having lots of fun this summer too. He's made some good friends and continues to really grow up. We're trying to catch him up on his academics this summer too, as he wasn't able to get as much out of Kindergarten since we were dealing with his spirited-ness so much last year. I will say his teacher was amazing, and even met with us this summer so that K could meet her dog out at SMP.  K earned that "treat" over the last week of school by staying out of the dreaded "reds" on his behavior chart. When he puts his mind to it, he really can accomplish some great things. He certainly makes me proud.

Well, I think I've run the gamut on this post.  Weather, riding, sports, kids. Until next time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Erratic post behavior

Last Wednesday I weighed in at 210.0 on the dot.  I wasn't super happy, but at least it was down and not up.  Tonight is breakfast for dinner since Penny is out of town, and hopefully I'll be mindful and not mow down too much since tomorrow is weigh-in-Wednesday.

I've been terrible about working out.  Either it's been raining, I've been lazy, or I've been busy.  I ran yesterday for a short stint, and wanted to run again today but work has me by the sensitive bits right now.  It'll be over soon.  I keep telling myself that.

I thought since I didn't really have any super important stuff to say I'd post up a quote I'm rather fond of.  It is from Teddy Roosevelt, and it is a brief quote out of a speech he delivered in Paris, France, just over 115 years ago.  The entire speech is here (PDF).  What strikes me about reading through the speech is how far the quality of our speech has fallen.  I cannot not possibly fathom a President using such beautiful verbiage today.  I guess the speech writer's are trying to cater to the lowest common denominator these days.  Seems to be an American trend...anyway before I get started on that, here's the quote.  I hope you enjoy it.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

Actually, if I look at that closer, that's one helluva run-on sentence.  For shame!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kieran pics

I had a few pics of the big cheese in my life from when we went to the Museum of Natural History at Prairiefire, and also from his kindergarten musical.  I thought I'd share them out to the family...


Time flitting by

Weigh-in Wednesday revealed a 210.2 to me.  That's pretty good.  It's not massive, but it's a trend, and I like weight-loss trends.

I haven't been very good about working out this week.  My legs have been pretty sore for some reason, but I'll get some mileage in this weekend.  I had a nice lunch ride on Tuesday, and decided to do my hill climbing route for some stupid reason.  Within the first 10 minutes of the ride I was tasting the blood from burst capillaries in my lungs.  I guess competitive cycling does give you the ability to push pretty hard, sometimes I forget how far off back I fell off the wagon.

Ah well, I'm still young-ish enough.  At least I feel that way.  I wonder why that is.  I'm not *that* active, but I still love running around with the kids like I'm 16.  Probably a little slower and jigglier than 16, but you get the idea.  Maybe I just refuse to get old.

I hope to die "with my boots on" and with a completely broken-down, worn out body.  That might be optimistic, but I think it's something to shoot for.

That's it for now.  I gotta get back to the real world for a bit.