Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cereal Dust

Early one morning a few days ago I chose Cheerios for my healthy and nutritious breakfast. I grabbed the first box I saw in the cabinet . Shook it. About 75 Os in the box. You know. 75 Os in the bottom of box covered in that highly toxic and undesirable cereal dust. The challenge was on. I am DAD and I am SO above worrying about cereal dust in my bowl. I carefully and artfully poured those lonely, left for the trash O's into my bowl with only a small trace of dust.

Lucky for me we were well stocked. A full, fresh box was waiting for me in the cabinet. Grab and shake....another 75 O's smothered in their own crumb dust. Ugh! Emptied that box in my bowl with the same artful pouring skill. Best to be careful. That dust can really kill you if you eat it, right?

A slight bit of panic as I returned to the cabinet desperate to fill my bowl. I found a THIRD box already open and waiting for me. Grab and shake...half full. Good deal. A full bowl of Cheerios. No cereal dust to turn a tasty bowl of cereal to ruin. Someone tried to poison me with the dust but I escaped the horror of that nasty stuff in MY bowl of Cheerios!

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Three boxes = One bowl

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Success!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Personal. part 1

A four minute, unique story told from the perspective of Chris Ames, a guy who became an atheist after believing God didn’t exist.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Africa Pays Homage To U2

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CMJ

2007-12-05 10:42:24.310,
Story by: Jennifer Miller

Under the auspices of producers Shawn Amos and Paul Heck, Grammy Award-winning and up-and-coming African artists have come together for a tribute album to U2. In The Name Of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 (Shout! Factory) will be out April 1 and feature 12 covers of the Irish quartet's favorites and rarities from the likes of Angelique Kidjo, Les Nubians and Soweto Gospel Choir.
The project was inspired by Amos' work in South Africa with the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation, in addition to being an avid fan of both U2's music and Bono's philanthropic efforts with the ONE campaign and(RED), which have addressed the financial crises across the continent.
Tracklist For In The Name Of Love: Africa Celebrates U2:
01. Angelique Kidjo - Mysterious Ways
02. Vieux Farka Touré - Bullet The Blue Sky
03. Ba Cissoko - Sunday Bloody Sunday
04. Vusi Mahlasela - Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
05. Tony Allen - Where The Streets Have No Name
06. Cheikh Lô - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
07. Keziah Jones - One
08. Les Nubians - With Or Without You
09. Soweto Gospel Choir - Pride (In The Name Of Love)
10. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars - Seconds
11. African Underground All-Stars - Desire
12. Waldemar Bastos - Love Is Blindness

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Monday, December 3, 2007

World Aids Day: the battle has only just begun - U2

Last year, a special issue of The Independent, edited by Bono, introduced a new way of raising money to fight HIV/Aids. Since then, the (Red) initiative has raised more than $50m and helped more than one million people. In an exclusive interview, Bono tells Paul Vallely why people in rich nations can make a difference to the Aids disaster
Published: 01 December 2007

In a world of calibrated cynicism here's something unabashedly positive to celebrate today to mark what is the 20th occasion that people across the globe have commemorated – if that's the right word – World Aids Day. The words come from the man who is now as honoured as a campaigner against extreme poverty as he is as front man for the world's biggest-selling rock band.

"Three years ago," says Bono, the lead singer of U2, "there was virtually no one in Africa on antiretroviral drugs. Now you'll have two million by the end of this year."

Two million is, of course, only a fraction of those affected by the disease which has to date killed more than 25 million people – making it one of the most destructive epidemics in human history. Another estimated 40 million people are now living with HIV. But the international community is, for the first time, showing real signs of progress in combating the disease on a significant scale.

That fact is, in no small measure, down to the campaigning of the impassioned Irish vocalist, who has lobbied governments for action and corralled some of the world's biggest businesses into playing their part – which is why this newspaper, for the fourth time, turns itself (Red) today.

Since it was founded 20 months ago, (Red) has donated an extraordinary $50,005,410 (£24,324,379) to the Global Fund to fights Aids, TB and Malaria. "Do the maths," says Bono. "It costs about $5 a week to pay for the two pills a day it takes to keep someone with HIV alive."

Aids is no longer a death sentence. Antiretroviral medication will bring someone who is at death's door back to virtually full health. Doctors call itthe Lazarus effect.

More than 20 per cent of all funding to fight Aids now comes from the Global Fund. An extra $50m in its coffers means that a million people who would previously have died have are being kept alive, day in day out, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year. That is in addition to the extra anti-Aids drugs being provided by governments under the Gleneagles promises. It is nearly double the numbers treated by the Global Fund the year before. "That's what readers of The Independent helped kick off and there's a lot more where that came from."

Finish the article in The Independent

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

AIDS leaves Africa's grannies to raise children

By Barry Moody
NAIROBI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Skinny and gap-toothed, her nose smudged with black dust, grandmother Kanotu Mumo sorts charcoal into small pots for sale on the stoop of her slum hut.
Mumo is an "AIDS granny" in Kibera, one of Africa's biggest slums. Like grandmothers all over Africa, they have been left to fend for orphans after their own children and husbands died.
Her hut, stacked with sacks of charcoal, measures 10 by 8 feet (3 by 2.5 metres) and is too dark to see more than a few inches (cm) even in the middle of the day.
Somehow she shelters four grandchildren, two great grandchildren and the child of a dead relative, who sleep on mattresses and two beds. There is no toilet or running water.
According to U.N. figures, at least 12 million children in Africa have lost one or both parents because of AIDS. This is 80 percent of all AIDS orphans in the developing world.
The number of orphans in Africa has increased by 50 percent since 1990 while falling in other regions. The United Nations says there will be 53 million by 2010, some 30 percent of them bereaved by AIDS.
The burden of this disaster is borne by extended families, most often grandmothers, who might have otherwise dreamed of returning to their home villages for retirement at the end of a tough life.
Kanotu Mumo moved to Kibera, home to 800,000 people, when her husband died about 25 years ago in eastern Kenya. "I can't remember. It has been so long. When my husband died the relatives threw me out and sold the land."
Unlike many of the grandmothers, doleful and worn down by their fate, Mumo smiles and jokes. She says she cannot remember her age. As she talks, two teenage granddaughters come and go.
Her story is typical of the everyday tragedies of Kibera. Two daughters and a son died of AIDS. Another son was stoned to death by a mob after he was caught stealing. "I am embarrassed to talk about it but it was due to the unemployment."
She lives close to the railway line that runs through the sprawling slum, acting both as a pedestrian thoroughfare and place for traders to lay out shoes and clothes.
She sells her charcoal -- the slum's primary fuel -- for a few shillings profit, after buying from a nearby wholesaler who carries it to her hut.
SCHOOL
Like other grandmothers interviewed by Reuters, Kanotu Mumo comes to the Stara school in Kibera to clean twice a week. Their grandchildren attend the school and are fed from huge vats of steaming maize porridge and beans.
The project, supplied and funded by Dutch charity ChildsLife International, the U.N. World Food Programme and Kenyan aid agency Feed the Children, was started seven years ago by a group of Kibera mothers, after friends died and left them to look after their children.
The school on the edge of Kibera houses more than 500 lively children, 70 percent of them orphans, dressed in green uniforms.
More than 30 of the children are HIV positive and receive anti-retrovirals from a nearby clinic in the slum, supplied against vouchers from the school.
The small size of the premises means classes are noisy and overcrowded, with up to 80 children of mixed ages. The school, headed by dynamic Kibera resident Josephine Mumo, has proven skilful in raising support.
Singer Harry Belafonte, Barbara Bush, mother of President George W. Bush, and actress Drew Barrymore have been backers.
Without their grandmothers and projects such as Stara, many more orphans in Kibera and elsewhere would end up as glue-sniffing street children or child prostitutes.
Josephine Mumo says that when the mothers started the school, they brought in children who had been raped as they went door-to-door begging for food.
SURVIVE FOR THE CHILDREN
Many of the grandmothers are themselves weakened by HIV as well as old age, making it even harder for them to feed their charges.
Peris Owuor, 50, is a Kibera grandmother looking after seven grandchildren. "Sometimes my body does not feel good and I cannot go to look for food," she said.
Owuor, whose husband died of AIDS in 1998, washes clothes to make money, at 150 Kenya shillings ($2.25) a day, and tries to help feed her three surviving children who have no jobs.
"But when my body is not good I just have to stay at home."
Another grandmother, Antonina Mujenge, also HIV positive, cares for five of her own children and four grandchildren. She also sells charcoal.
"I try to look after them like other children but it is very difficult because of my low income. Sometimes there is not enough for all of them," she said.
"My main aim is to stay around long enough to make sure the kids can get an education and find jobs," said Mujenge, who has lived in Kibera for 20 years.
She would love to return to her village in western Kenya. "But I am an outcast at home. They say I can infect others. I cannot go back."
Grace Atema, 65, looks after three grandchildren and her daughter, mother of two of them. She washes clothes twice a week to raise money.
"I put everything I get towards the children. But I worry what would happen if I died. How would they survive?" she said. (Editing by Sara Ledwith)

original article: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL27322409

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Exploding Paint

This is an amazing commercial.  Again from Sony Bravia TVs.

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bouncing Rubber Balls

I love superballs.  Matter of fact I have one on my desk right now and several rolling around on the floor.  Hazard of my profession.

So, I love this.  100s of thousands of rubber balls bouncing down the streets of San Francisco.  They are real balls, right?

Monday, October 29, 2007

HaHa Baby Laugh

Happy Monday.

Anytime I need a good laugh I can search baby laugh on YouTube and I'll be well taken care of.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

nachos, blue men, a cat and crushed Rocks

ate some nachos with tillamook ceddar,  watching a blue man group dvd, and now my cat's curled up on my arm.  Rockies are getting crushed by the Red Sox. 

tillamook cheese is great.  the best cheddar.  i went overboard with the cheese on my doubledecker nachos tonight, however.

i really love the creativity and imagery of the BMG.  pair that with great sounds and you've got me hooked.

my cat curls up on my arm when i sit on the couch with my 'puter on my lap.  i wish she'd curl up under my arm but she won't have it.  makes typing slow.

Oh gee.  the Rockies scored 2 runs.  For some reason it makes me depressed as if it's ME on the line.  I had to turn away from the wreck.  the dismembering.  I guess if anything great is going to happen with my life, i'm going to have to do it and i'll need to stop hoping for my sports teams to do it for me...haha

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Sadness in America

i feel like crap today.  migraine...on my day off.  slept until 11.  took a long, hot shower which usually helps the 'graine go away.  warmed up some good food from the 'fridge that my lovely wife made (love you, L) and sat down on the couch to read some blogs and veg in front of the TV in the dark den of our house.
the sunlight hurts.  The TV hurts more.


first show on the tube - steve wilkos.  i think he used to be a bouncer on Springer and now he has his own show.
topic:  man that pimps his wife and makes "$6000 a day"  he' been doing it since she was 14 and now this steve guy is going to save the prostitute.
bumper before commercials "do you have a story that will make steve explode with anger?"


steve is trying to aggravate the guy to take a swing at him so they can fight on stage.  i'm betting that if the guest pimpguy takes the first swing,  steve won't be charged with assault.
"steve!  steve! steve!"  the audience chants.

The woman in this story wants out.  She "loves" the pimp guy.  She wants to stop her prostitution.  She is hurting.  Why does she do it?  "I don't know no other way of life."  2 children at home and 4 months pregnant.  She is soft spoken and sad.

(commercial: "you can live the life you want and make the money you deserve.")

Now Steve is railing on the woman.  She is weeping.  She wants to change.  She doesn't know what to do.  He is doing a "scared straight" on her.

20 minutes left.  Will she leave pimp guy?  Will Steve save her?

steve was a policeman.  chicago PD.

She wants to go to school, get a job.  "Are you ready to stop making excuses?", he demands to know.

"He always told me that if he didn't love me he wouldn't hit me"

"I'm done and I can't do this no longer."

"Shut up.  Shut yor mouth.  You better shut yor mouth and sit back in that chair.  How you eatin?  Who's baby is in you?"  Pimp.

"He's not pimpin' me no more."  She can barely raise her voice at him.

Pimp guy gets kicked out.  Woman promises Steve she's done.

Show ends.

Steve tells everyone, "Thanks for coming."

My head still hurts.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

relentless rootiness

describing a mountain bike trail on hawaii's north shore, the author wrote, "relentless rootiness rewards momentum, which can be difficult to come by." I like it.
that's from Mountain Bike magazine, November 2007.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

National League Champions = Colorado Rockies !



It's a dream season and a playoff run for the record books! Looking forward to the World Series.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Colorado Rockies!


It's great to be in Colorado!

9:41 p.m.Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba celebrates his three-run homer during the sixth inning of Game 3 of the NLCS on Sunday night at Coors Field. With score was tied 1-1 in the inning with two out and a 3-2 count Torrealba delivered the homer to left field to give the Rockies a 4-1, that that wouldn't relinquish as they beat Arizona 4-1 to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Man falls out of plane with no parachute - lives to talk about it

Travis Pastrana is CRAZY! I'd love to have his courage.

Travis Pastrana lives his life on the edge. Recently, he jumped over it.

On Wednesday, September 26, Pastrana hopped a flight from his home in Davidsonville, MD, to Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to perform a stunt he's been dreaming up for more than a year. The next morning, four members of his group skydived from a single-engine Cessna from 12,500 feet. Pastrana performed his jump wearing only sunglasses, socks and surf trunks while holding a can of Red Bull.

He was not wearing a parachute.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Christian

a guy i know is a pastor at a church and he wrote this on his church blog about being a Christian. it's kinda interesting to me. i like to read the stuff on his blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bonds says buyer of record-breaking home run ball is an 'idiot'

I couldn't agree with you more, Barry.

Bonds said Ecko could have found a better way to spend three-quarters of a million dollars.

"He's stupid. He's an idiot," Bonds said. "He spent $750,000 on the ball and that's what he's doing with it? What he's doing is stupid."

Ecko, 35, has set up a website that lets visitors vote on three options for the ball: give it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, brand it with an asterisk before sending it to Cooperstown or blast it into space on a rocket ship.

Prove Barry and me wrong, Ecko man.

Humidor

I have a humidor for cigars.
I have cigars in my humidor.
I set the alarm on my cell phone to ring at 9 p.m. nightly
It reminds me to add water to my humidor.
I add water about every third night.
I smoke a cigar about every third month.

there is a question somewhere in there that is begging to be asked.

Monday, September 17, 2007

DCB Remedy to drop on 9.25

I am excited about this -





The Mountains Have Snow!

I know it's early early in the season but it's a good start! There is snow on the continental divide. I can see it from here.

By Mike McPhee
Denver Post Staff Writer

Breckenridge reported September's first measurable snowfall on Sept. 17, 2007. (Breckenridge Ski Resort)

The weather this week gets off to a chilly and wet start, followed by a gradual drying and warming until the weekend when the state will have perfect fall weather for viewing the foliage.

A light rain started falling early this morning in the metro area. Thunderstorms and heavier rains are predicted for later this afternoon. Lightning and strong winds may appear late in the afternoon east and south of the metro area. Temperatures will climb into the high 60s and low 70s.

The moisture should clear out during the night bringing partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-70s on Tuesday.

The rest of the week will be sunny, clear and warm, with temperatures in the mid-80s — perfect for viewing the fall leaves.

Rider's Log 9.15.07 Standley Lake w/M13

21 miles with M13. We both felt less than strong but still had a nice lake cruise.

Rider's Log 9.17.07 Farmer's Highline 1st time

Left the house a little after 7 this morning with the intention of riding for 4 hours on the mountain bike via the city trails. Headed west on the Farmer's High Line Canal path for the first time. Took this all the way through Northglenn to Thornton where it heads out towards 136 near Horizon HS. There are some really cool neighborhoods that back up to the canal. Turned around at 13.5 miles. Started to rain on the way back - i was totally soaked and a little cold. Air temp was around 55. Stopped to grab a power bar for fuel. It didn't rain too long and my pearl izumi wear did it's job of drying quickly.

I got back to the Highline and Dry Creek junction and decided to take Dry Creek as far as i could. Ended up somewhere around Huron and 136th. Rain came again on the way back. I was still loving it.

I was really speeding along today - keeping it around 15-17 mph on the flats, even doing some pulls at 20+mph. My legs were beat and my energy was running low by the time i was near 120th Ave. so i headed home rather than cruising out to Standley Lake for The Hill.

Total mileage: 41. Average speed 13. 3+ hours of ride time.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rider's Log 9.9.07 M13 Standley Lake

"Hey M13."
"Yeah?"
"We own this lake now. It's our lake."
M13 smiled big. I know he did. even though he was riding in front of me, I know he did.

55 degrees. Sky was spitting. One lonely sail boat on the lake.
3 times down the "big hill." Top speed descent - 33.3 mph. Bike FLOATs at that speed.
nursed a flat back to the house so last 4 miles was full speed.

Distance 18 miles.

tear of joy and satisfaction.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Lovin' This Music



"Give Yourself Away"
Robbie Seay Band

Rider's Log 9.7.07 Wondervu 1st time!

Made it! Didn't even feel like i would. Legs were strong at the start, felt faster until after rest at 93 and 86th. approach to longview was more difficult than it's been. muscle burn/pain. kept going. was sure i was going to turn around. just kept going-pushed through it. pain left somewhere after rest at cattle drive rd. rested again at fire station. rested at power place. road past german restaurant. rested. hardest part of climb was fire station to post german. upright climbing didn't work so i spent most of the time with hands on the brake hoods mashing out the hills.
really nice stretch up toward the top - forested, cool. incline not steep.
wondervu was very quiet. took pictures at the top. was cold on the descent. a strong wind for the east slowed the descent (probably helped the climb a bit.)
rested at five parks. took an extra loop up westminster blvd to 112th to sheridan.
gatorade in water. 2.5 triple threat powerbars.
started at 8:15. wondervu at 11:00. home at 12:30. distance 55+

Friday, September 7, 2007

Rider's Log 9.5.07 Intervals

Trying to get the leg strength to climb the last mile to Wondervu so i did high gear intervals on the City Park hill. Warm up ride out to 120th on the Big Cry Creek Trail then back to City Park. 9 intervals up the hill in highest gear; last two up the hill in lower gears.
Total distance - 13 miles.

Rider's Log 9.3.07 Standley Lake again

M13 and I went out again rode around the south side and the north side of the lake. Another great ride and so much fun exploring. M13 is like the energizer bunny - he keeps going and going and going. I love my kids!
Total distance - 23 miles

Rider's Log 9.1.07 Standley Lake

On a whim, I asked M13 if he wanted to ride with me on Saturday morning last week. He was so down with that! After watering up and getting the tires nice and plump, we headed west along the Big Dry Creek trail towards Standley Lake. It was great fun. We went around the south side of the lake on the single track all the way to the west side bald eagle habitat boundary. I was riding under my normal speed and kept expecting M13 to wear out and want to turn back. Quite the opposite was true. I'd look over my shoulder to see if he was keeping up and there he was, right on my wheel. It was great! His brake pads are totally worn down from the neighborhood riding he does and they give him very little stopping power but it was cool because he just bombed down the hills that i was squeezing that brakes for! youth....
On the way back around the damn, we found a fun hill to mash our way up and fly down. On our way back home i told M13 that i would suffer on that little hill again just to be able to fly down. M13 was all over that so we rode back up the hill and flew down again.
Total distance - 18 miles. A great ride with a great boy!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Rider's Log 8.31.07 Wondervu



Coal Creek Canyon is in the distance. Picture taken on the south east side of Standley Lake.



The Flatirons are the backdrop to Boulder.



The beginning of the canyon







70 acres and home for $489K. Not bad.



Westfalen Hof. Wondervu is just over the ridge


3.5 hours. 50 miles. Start @ 8:00. Finish: 11:30

Felt great on the way out and up. Cruising along. First rest at Hwy93 and 86th worked better than Longview Rd rest stop.
My form was good. I learned/noticed when i was doing intervals earlier in the week that climbing really is easier for me the more upright i sit. I remembered to do this even when i wanted to hunker down and try to grind it out today. this made a huge difference.
2nd rest at Cattle Trail Drive. As usual, I was sweating buckets so I took off my helmet and stashed it on the backpack and this was so much cooler on the climb. I didn't sweat much with the helmet off. Now I really understand why the pros complain about helmets and why the rules allow them to ditch them on long climbs.
Road right on past the Coal Creek fire station and rested at the power station place - Gross Damn Rd. At this point it was tough going. I was totally winded and gassed. Nevertheless, I slogged on to the German restaurant Hof place and rested there...probably 10 minutes up the road from the last rest - maybe less. I took pictures at that point, put my helmet on for the descent, fully intending to bag it and turn around. Some sort of desire kicked in as i got back on the bike so I did ride further up the road just a bit - maybe 150 yards - just so i could feel good about going farther than before. Turned around at 323000 hwy 72. at approximately 10:30 - only one mile from my goal of the Wondervu Cafe. Ugh. I knew I was close but I just do not have the leg strength to use my lowest gear to climb at that grade - probably 8 or 9%. (Two options for the future - get a granny, bail-out gear for my lowest; or, hit the weights and get the strength to haul my 220 lbs to the top. i'm choosing the second option.
Flew down. Pedaling when possible; but, most of the time i was going too fast even to spin in the highest gear. I was tense on some of the sweeping turns but i realized that there's nothing i could do at that speed - 30+mph - to save myself if something happened so i decided to relax and have fun. i love carving those corners at that speed. Outside leg down, inside leg up with my knee to the frame - so fun.
Home at 11:30.
Didn't reach the top of the mountain but did significantly improve my time and form. Great ride.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wondervu try Friday (Rider's Log 8.30.07)

Wondervu - 26 miles from my house. Elevation 8900 feet. 3600 feet of climbing.
I'm gearing up for another attempt on Wondervu on Friday morning. I rode an hour and a half on Monday and did intervals yesterday. I won't be able to ride Thursday morning - 8:00 appointment with a volunteer leader. If I don't make it all the way up on Friday, I'm confident that I'll make it on Monday morning. Stay tuned. I'm going to take the camera.

Update...
I did ride this (thursday) morning! Out of bed at 5:20; on the bike at 5:40. Was still dark outside but the moon is nearly full - so very cool. Temp was 55 and rained yesterday afternoon so there was a really cool, mystic fog over the creek behind our neighborhood.
10 miles, 50 minutes on the Big Dry Creek Trail. Riding felt effortless - easier than walking. didn't eat anything so my tank ran low the last 15 minutes. looking forward to coal creek canyon and the wondervu attempt tomorrow morning.

U2 - private collection









Vertigo Tour. 2nd night in Denver a few years ago. My good friend David took these and I have about 120 great shots he gave to me. I was in the house on the first night - about 3 people from the front of the elipse.
These crack me up! I'll post some of the great ones another time.

U2, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno


Read this about the new U2 album that's in the works. I'm excited about this! How high does U2 rate on your favorite band list?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rider's Log 8.27.07 - Big Dry Creek Trail

1:30 19 miles medium to high effort
Rode northeast to 128th Ave then to the west end of the trail and back home.
Legs are feeling deeper and stronger and I'm able to ride at a higher speed and more effort without going over the edge. Recovery seems to be quicker from power surges.

It was 58 degrees when I started! Niiiiice.

Rider's Update 8.28.07 - Intervals

I rode again this morning. I decided to do some interval training for the first time in many years. Interval training is an effort to max your heart rate for short (usually) periods of time followed by a quick recovery and more max effort. Ride hard for an interval, recover for an interval. This training is so great because it works the heart and increases aerobic capacity (i think) and improves recovery time from hard work during rides. This makes a difference in hilly areas because the effort it takes to climb a hill increases your heart rate. The more you train this way in addition to a good mileage base, the easier it is to recover on the bike after a sprint or a tough hill climb. Being able to recover from hard effort quickly is so important to success.
After a 15 minutes of warm up riding i went to the city park and rode up "the hill" at the park. I didn't count, but i think i did this hill about 8 times at maximum effort followed by a coast down the hill, turning around and heading back up. Each "up" took about two minutes and the down took about 1 minute. I did a 15 warm down ride and ended up at home.
9 miles. 1 hour. Intervals - maximum effort.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Who Really Cares

I snagged this from the author's website.

It is very interesting and a great piece for conversation. I am interested to see how the research holds up under scrutiny.

Be sure to check out the stats page, too.

This was featured on a John Stossel special on ABC on Friday night and my two daughters and I watched with much interest.

Shaun Groves wrote about it here.

Is Compassionate Conservatism an Oxymoron?

The conventional wisdom runs like this: Liberals are charitable because they advocate government redistribution of money in the name of social justice; conservatives are uncharitable because they oppose these policies. But note the sleight of hand: Government spending, according to this logic, is a form of charity.

Let us be clear: Government spending is not charity. It is not a voluntary sacrifice by individuals. No matter how beneficial or humane it might be, no matter how necessary it is for providing public services, it is still the obligatory redistribution of tax revenues. Because government spending is not charity, sanctimonious yard signs do not prove that the bearers are charitable or that their opponents are selfish. (On the contrary, a public attack on the integrity of those who don’t share my beliefs might more legitimately constitute evidence that I am the uncharitable one.)

To evaluate accurately the charity difference between liberals and conservatives, we must consider private, voluntary charity. How do liberals and conservatives compare in their private giving and volunteering? Beyond strident slogans and sarcastic political caricatures, what, exactly, do the data tell us?

The data tell us that the conventional wisdom is dead wrong. In most ways, political conservatives are not personally less charitable than political liberals—they are more so.

First, we must define “liberals” and “conservatives.” Most surveys ask people not just about their political party affiliation but also about their ideology. In general, about 10 percent of the population classify themselves as “very conservative”; and another 10 percent call themselves “very liberal.” About 20 percent say they are simply “liberal,” and 30 percent or so say they are “conservative.” The remaining 30 percent call themselves “moderates” or “centrists.” In this discussion, by “liberals” I mean the approximately 30 percent in the two most liberal categories, and by conservatives I mean the 40 percent or so in the two most con­servative categories.

So how do liberals and conservatives compare in their charity? When it comes to giving or not giving, conservatives and liberals look a lot alike. Conservative people are a percentage point or two more likely to give money each year than liberal people, but a percentage point or so less likely to volunteer.

But this similarity fades away when we consider average dollar amounts donated. In 2000, households headed by a conservative gave, on average, 30 percent more money to charity than households headed by a liberal ($1,600 to $1,227). This discrepancy is not simply an artifact of income differences; on the contrary, liberal families earned an average of 6 percent more per year than conservative families, and conservative families gave more than liberal families within every income class, from poor to middle class to rich.

If we look at party affiliation instead of ideology, the story remains largely the same. For example, registered Republicans were seven points more likely to give at least once in 2002 than registered Democrats (90 to 83 percent).

The differences go beyond money and time. Take blood donations, for example. In 2002, conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals. If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply in the United States would jump by about 45 percent.

The political stereotypes break down even further when we consider age: “Anyone who is not a socialist before age thirty has no heart, but anyone who is still a socialist after thirty has no head,” goes the old saying. And so we imagine crusty right-wing grandfathers socking their money away in trust funds while their liberal grandchildren work in soup kitchens and save the whales. But young liberals—perhaps the most vocally dissatisfied political constituency in America today—are one of the least generous demographic groups out there. In 2004, self-described liberals younger than thirty belonged to one-third fewer organizations in their communities than young conservatives. In 2002, they were 12 percent less likely to give money to charities, and one-third less likely to give blood. Liberal young Americans in 2004 were also significantly less likely than the young conservatives to express a willingness to sacrifice for their loved ones: A lower percentage said they would prefer to suffer than let a loved one suffer, that they are not happy unless the loved one is happy, or that they would sacrifice their own wishes for those they love.

The compassion of American conservatives becomes even clearer when we compare the results from the 2004 U.S. presidential election to data on how states address charity. Using Internal Revenue Service data on the percentage of household income given away in each state, we can see that the red states are more charitable than the blue states. For instance, of the twenty-five states that donated a portion of household income above the national average, twenty-four gave a majority of their popular votes to George W. Bush for president; only one gave the election to John F. Kerry. Of the twenty-five states below the national giving average, seventeen went for Kerry, but just seven for Bush. In other words, the electoral map and the charity map are remarkably similar.

These results are not an artifact of close elections in key states. The average percentage of household income donated to charity in each state tracked closely with the percentage of the popular vote it gave to Mr. Bush. Among the states in which 60 percent or more voted for Bush, the average portion of income donated to charity was 3.5 percent. For states giving Mr. Bush less than 40 percent of the vote, the average was 1.9 percent. The average amount given per household from the five states combined that gave Mr. Bush the highest vote percentages in 2003 was 25 percent more than that donated by the average household in the five northeastern states that gave Bush his lowest vote percentages; and the households in these liberal-leaning states earned, on average, 38 percent more than those in the five conservative states.

People living in conservative states volunteer more than people in liberal states. In 2003, the residents of the top five “Bush states” were 51 percent more likely to volunteer than those of the bottom five, and they volunteered an average of 12 percent more total hours each year. Residents of these Republican-leaning states volunteered more than twice as much for religious organizations, but also far more for secular causes. For example, they were more than twice as likely to volunteer to help the poor.

Surely Jimmy Carter would have been surprised to learn that the selfish Americans he criticized so vociferously were most likely the very people who elected him president.


Reprinted with permission © Basic Books - 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rider's Log 8.18.07 Saved by the Bell - coal creek canyon

2:35. Approximately 40 miles. Hard effort.
Left the house at 6:25 after a cereal breakfast. Set my cell alarm for an 8:00 turn around time. Pushed pretty hard up to Hwy 72 and reached Longview Rd at 7:35. Short break for food and to de-sweat - i sweat a lot - A LOT.
Back on the bike, my legs must have thought the ride was over 'cause they were shutting down for the day. Believe me, when your legs aren't cooperating, riding up that canyon is tough. So as the road head UP, I was SO ready for that alarm bell to ring in the canyon that i stopped to make sure i set the alarm for a.m.and hadn't missed 8:00! Funny thing is that about the time 8:00 sounded, my legs were awake again and i was wanting to continue up the canyon. (Had to turn around to make it back for 10:00 meeting.) I had no problem whatsoever turning around for the speed descent. I love the way the bike handles carving the curves at 30+ mph!
I pushed it at about 80% on the way back and at times, 100% to get the most out of the ride. Hit home at 9:00.
My energy was good and i even felt some deepness in my legs to push hard up small hills and the recovery from those intervals was decent. i am pleased.
Next time I think i will stop for food at Hwy 93 so that my legs can restart before i get into the canyon.
Again there was a long coal train wrapped around the entrance to the canyon. It was crossing the bridge over the road as i went under. Pretty impressive to feel the hills rumbling under the weight of all that coal.

Post ride - stiff legs. Slight headache - need to drink even more water (i drank a ton today). 3 hour nap! Felt great after the nap.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rider's Log 8.17.07 Standley Lak

1:45 19 miles on the mountain bike up to Standley Lake from the house. Around north side of lake to bald eagle habit boundary; then all the way around the lake to the west side of the lake/habit boundary. flatted on the way back - i think it was the thorns from my last ride working their way out or in. it was a slow leak so i stopped 4 times to pump hoping i could avoid a patch on the trail. no luck. patched and raced the still slow leak home. fun ride. felt some good juice in the legs.

i just finished about 1.5 hours doing bike maintenance. patching some tubes, making adjustments, shuffling things around in the garage. max's rear wheel was so loose! nuts on axle had just worked themselves loose from the jumping stuff he's been doing lately. he's pounding that little gary fisher he has!

tomorrow i'm going to do 3 hours early before L14's volleyball team parent brunch. i'm looking forward to seeing how far up the mountain i can get towards the elusive wondervu! still hoping to slap the sign of the wondervu cafe at 8900 feet!

No riding

I haven't ridden in 11 days. I have had something going on every morning since last week on Monday. I don't like it. I'm going to go out for about 2 hours today to wake up my legs and let them remember what riding a bike is...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Sister!






Today is my sister's birthday! Happy birthday, Cynthia! She is an accomplished musician and is doing neat things with graphic design and publications! I'm proud of my sister!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Faceball

I love this. Exactly my style with my kids. Read this article first.
Check the Faceball website.

excellent stuff. i will be ordering the regulation beach balls. i will dominate. i will become the world champion.
stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Rider's Log 8.06.07 - North Table Mesa

North Table Mesa w/David and Stacee. Caught trail at house off of Easley.
Quick grind up. Stopped a few times when the trail pointed up. hiked it up the switchback and the final rise to the top. Would like to be able to ride this in the near future and I should be able to do that.
Cut across the mesa on the double track west and on return headed on spur single track to the north.
Rained a lot the night before so much mud.
Saw many does, two bucks - 10 pt and 8 pt.
Helicopter circled for about 5 minutes; probably checking out the deer.
Trail disappeared - made our own through the tall grass. Very fun.
Cruised down. still sketchy on descents. need to learn to let go of the brakes.
Phenomenal view!

Rider's Log 8.4.07 - road

2.5 hours. 35 miles. Set out to see how far north i could go in 1.5 hours but flatted at the train tracks before Dillon Rd. Swapped tubes. Headed east on Dillon Rd to Huron. Explored neighborhoods along the way. South on Huron, west on 134th to Main, Main to open space to home. recovery ride. slow miles.
Highlight: doing the ride after the 50 I did the day before.

Rider's Log 8.3.07 - Coal Creek Canyon

Approximately 50 miles. 4 hours. 3000 feet of climbing. 3000 feet of descending, too! 1.5 miles short of Wondervu Cafe. Couldn't make it to the top. Rested at a few spots after Coal Creek. Turn around at the German restaurant. Downhill was great. Concentrated on more pedaling and less coasting on the way back. Rode extra on the way back to make it 4 hours. started at 6:20. Returned at 10:20.
Highlight: Going up the mountain while commuters were on their way down to work.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rider's Log 8.1.07 - Big Dry Creek Trail

Up at 5:35. Blueberries. Depart at 5:48. Open Space trail. 14 miles. 1:10
no leg tension ride - didn't push legs at all, just for cardio.
Saw: Scraggly Belly man. Foofie dog guy. Head Down Runner. Gaggle. Slow Bike Ladies. Buzzcut.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jumpin'

M13 found a new bike jump in the open space near our house so we went out last night to check it out. He cruised over the jump right away since he'd been working it all afternoon. I didn't check out the backside landing beforehand so on my first approach, i did it "motorcycle stunt man style" - i roared up to the jump and hit the brakes just in time to stop before i actually took the jump. i was a bit scared and needed to work up the nerve. second approach....same thing...scared. at that point i got worried that i wasn't going to get over it and take the dang thing. that would've been painful for me even thought M13 wouldn't have thought less.

i watched M13 take the jump one or two more times and then gave it a go. i must say that i didn't really jump on that first time over; it was kind of a whoop-dee-doo. i'm not sure i was aggressive enough to actually catch some air but i did go over. okay, i know i didn't get air 'cause the big chain ring hit the top of the jump as i went over....

At this point, assured that i could make it work, and, after seeing M13 do it 8 times in the mean time, i went for it. i pushed it hard enough to get some air and to make the two boys watching say, "ooo" and "sweet" or "awesome." i forget which; probably all three.

i ripped it a few more times and felt like that was enough. I came, I saw, I jumped. I showed M13 my fear, conquered the fear and rode off into the sunset.

Rider's Log 7.31.07 - Big Dry Creek Trail

Up at 5:39. Dozen blueberries. Rolling at 5:58. Out open space trail to 128th Ave. Back to city park. 4 loops/intervals up lower hill then west 15 minutes to Wadsworth; 15 back to house at 7:30. Mileage: didn't check. probably 20. Felt good. good energy. no trolls
this morning i saw Scraggly Bellyman. Old Friendly Guy with foofie dog. Cougar with retriever.

if you are interested, on the aerial photo view of the map, look for the green squiggly line (creek) that runs immediately north of the city park. zoom in and you can see the path that runs along this creek. follow that north east to 128th ave and west to Wadsworth. my house is nearby but i won't be pointing that out....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Breaking News!

John rides 37 (updated) today. 2 hours up the mountain - 1 hour back. More details to follow.
Depart: 6:30 a.m. Westminster, CO. Turn around point: Coal Creek Fire Station @ 8:30 a.m. Finish @ home: 9:40 a.m.
I thought that i rode to Wondervu. I didn't. Wondervu is actually 5 more miles UP the road but i didn't know this until i took a drive with my family up this same canyon on Saturday. I'll make that my goal next week.
Some highlights of the ride: the majorly long train that was coming up the mountain out of Denver on it's way west. it came around the southern hill at Plainview Road (in the aerial, you can see the train tracks winding from bottom to top.) and was so long that, at one point, the front end was out of sight to the north and the back end was out of sight to the south but the whole thing was stretched out in front of me across the opening to the canyon. it seemed like it was a mile long and the whole scene was like a small scale train set in someone's basement that had come to life. i'll have to take a picture of that point because it is very mountain scenic.
Also, the weather was humid, the clouds were low and the road still had standing water on the shoulder. it was cool and nice.
I almost broke at the same point where i turned around the week before but i pressed on. i was giggling, groaning and grunting for the rest of the way but i sure was having a blast!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Quote this!

Do all the good you can. By all means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you ever can. - John Wesley

Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege. - John D. Rockefeller

One pardons to the degree that one loves. - Francois De La Rochefoucauld

You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction. - George Horace Latimer

Even if you are on the right track you'll get run over if you just sit there. - Arthur Godfrey

Try not to be a person of success but rather a person of value. - Albert Einstein

Rider's Log 7.15.07- Troll!

I rode my mountain bike about 13 miles Monday morning along the open space trail that runs through the city. It was the usual on this trail - feeling great on the way out, cruising along, passing joggers, exchanging "good mornings" with people out early, wondering how i got in such good shape so fast.
Then, somehow, it happens. Whenever i reach my turn around point on this trail, someone, something, sneaks out and attaches a 31.6 pound invisible sled to my bike. I never see it happen although i always keep a look out for this person, this troll; but, i know it has happened because i feel myself dragging it all the way home. i can't see it. i can't hear it. it doesn't even leave marks in the trail, but it is obviously there.
This morning - same ride, same experience. I hope to out run that troll someday. Kick it in the teeth. leave it behind.
I looked in the mirror a while back and realizee that the same troll had attached a 20 pound giant bagel around my waist. damn troll. (and all along i thought i was eating ice cream..not bagels. i hardly ever eat bagels anymore. how'd i get a bagel around me. looks like a damn floatie. a water melon even.)

the good news in it all is that i've got 25 miles done so far this week. my long ride this week will be Friday morning early. my goal is 75 for the week.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wisdom of Ralph 2



I really love the Simpson's. Ralph is one of my favs. He's the kid no one wants to hang around with. The one that's always saying stupid things. The ultimate marginalized child. In my business, that makes him my hero.


If rice is wiggling, it's not rice.
If you put something far enough back in your nose, it will come out your mouth.
A puppy can grow up to be president of America, but a kitten cannot.

I ate a smelly toadstool,
like a happy little elf.
I danced around the meadow,
and then i soiled myself.

I ate an orange crayon.
I drank from a big cup.
I ate a bunch of cat food,
then i puked it up.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Made it! First Goal Achieved

my Triumphal Entrance into the Rocky Mountains!
i set out from home yesterday and rode 1.5 hours due west and i made it well into the mountains- a mile or two at least. it was so excellent to reach that goal, be in the mountains and feel that sense of accomplishment. it's also amazing to me how fast the scenery changes - plants, landscape, air, roads - all of it. a ride due west here is a steady climb so it's quite a workout for me right now. felt great. next time i go that route, i'll take a some pics to post.
the ride yesterday was 3 hours. 1.5 out and then took a big loop back - north on hwy 93 to 72, Simms south, 108th back towards home. i figure that it was about 40 miles. (42 - i drove it at lunch 7.23)
hey, main reason i'm posting this is so i can have a log of what i've done. not really doing it to impress any readers. mostly so i can keep track of where i've been.
i fully expect that in a month or two i'll make it to the same point west in far less time and it'll be good to read this and consider the progess i've made.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Duh

"Duh" is a highly efficient word. obvious. no brainer. stupid. didn't you know that?
how many uses are there for "duh?"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bottle Caps

I love Bottle Caps candy. Brown ones are the best. they taste like...ummm....like....i know!... they taste like brown Bottle Caps!

Ride again

this morning i started out from the house at 6 thinking i would ride to where i work so i would know how long it would take. (i'm sure that in the near future i will ride to work instead of driving. if for no other reason, it'll let me roll my bike into my office for the day and i'll feel really cool with my bike sitting there.) anyway, i set my cell alarm and planned to ride for 48 minutes and turn around at that point and head home.
i didn't make it to work.
those big mountains just draw me towards them. instead of heading south after a few miles of west, i just kept going west. it was a great route because i realized that there is a sweet bike lane on 88th ave and the traffic is not bad because it's all residential in that direction. the bike lane turns into a decent shoulder at Indiana as 88th turns into highway 72. The traffic at 6:30 a.m. was slim out there. If you're from around here, you know that anything that leads west from I-25 is uphill to some degree.It took me 48 minutes out and 30 minutes back. i had a great grind up and a quick spin down and discovered a new route.
on my drive in to work this morning, i drove what i rode. it's 10.3 miles one way. that's great news because it means i did 20+ miles in an hour and 20. i think my saturday ride will take me all the way to the mountains...for the first time in about 10 years.

Monday, July 16, 2007

UNlazy man update

yesterday was good. as i wrote in my last post, i rode for an hour yesterday morning and did my usual sunday morning stuff. the kids were out and about at friends' houses so i spent some time waiting for them, picking them up and shuttling them about; i really didn't get home until 4:00. I watched a DVD from last week's camp and followed that with a short couch snooze. took A over to Curt's and while he cut the grass, I sent text messages and played tetris.
finally ended up on the roof at 7:30 to replace the motor for the cooler. m helped some. that was cool 'cause i need the help and his neighborhood friends were riding around and he got to be seen as a mechanic guy while he watched them from the rooftop vantage point. new motor is on and working like a charm.

i rose early again this morning (5:30) and rode for an hour and 15. since this is the first back to back ride i've done in a loong time, my legs were tired from yesterday; they were tight and felt as if they were going to cramp. they didn't cramp. i rode, and it was a blast as always. rode west out to the business park i discovered a few weeks ago and explored some neighborhoods near there. the business park is a cool place to ride. it's new. streets are wide and make a long loop. barely anyone that works in all those offices goes to work before 8 am.


i plan on making some people uncomfortable at work today. us barbarians can't have fun unless we are causing trouble, right? i'll keep you posted.
HO

Sunday, July 15, 2007

unLazY maN

okay...it's 8 am and i've already been on an hour ride and taken a shower. i got up at 5:15 and rode! woohoo.
my lungs felt good and legs felt a little stronger than last week. i think it was the week at 9000 ft. and the walking i did with L.
tomorrow i'm going to get up early again and do 2 hours before work.
now...off to to the rest of the list.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

LAzy maN with a question

L and the kids went down south to see her sis and family before they cruise back to N. Carolina.
I stayed back so I could ride, fix the cooler on the roof and spend a few at the office.
I didn't ride.
I did buy a new motor for the cooler fan and made an attempt to install. (Need another run to Home Depot for a new pulley.)
Spent hours online cruising blogs. it's fascinating to me to read about other people in other places. why? what do i get from it? what do i hope to get from it? connection with other people? anyone have insight for me on this? i need to understand myself on this one. LP, any ideas?
i'm at the office now. finishing a bit of work. mark that off the list, at least.
tomorrow i will get up way early to ride for a bit.
i will replace the cooler motor.
i will cut the grass and do some yard work.
i will take A to cut Curt's grass. (good friends that are out of town)
i might even do more than that...we'll see.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Camp


A nice and tranquil scene at the camp. L and I walked for an hour and 20 minutes yesterday morning and an hour the morning before. no slow walking allowed. it was good exercise.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Energy


This camp is a good example of giving and taking energy; waiting to get it, feeding off of it or not waiting for it and giving it in order to give it back. A band might say after a concert, "man, that was a great crowd. i could really feed off of their energy. we played our best show!" Or, "The crowd was dead to start. we really had to work our a@#$% off to get them."
The staff of this camp is nice enough. Good people, safe people, nice people. The leadership just hasn't built a culture of enthusiasm, energy, excitement and expectancy into the way they do things. The biggest missing element is encouragement and friendliness. "Hey John! Good morning! How are you doing today?" doesn't happen too much. "Thanks for coming up this week to speak at camp." "It's great to have you here." It seems that if a connection, a spark is going to be made, it's going to come from my end. People aren't overly friendly and they don't reach out to people well. I, as a guest speaker, stick my hand out to meet people or i have to start conversations. I believe that he Program Director should be coming up to me, encouraging me, encouraging the other staff, pumping them up and making everyone feel known and loved. He just doesn't connect well. He's all task and no people. well, not entirely no people, just way more task. He doesn't make eye contact often, even when he is talking to a group of 100 kids. i don't get feedback from him, positive or negative, or from the guy who is my main contact. (one might think at this point, "john, maybe you suck at being a camp speaker and that's why you aren't getting it." but i know it's not true. i've asked a few - wife, son, other - and they are positive about what i am doing. plus, i know i don't suck. i'm doing well this week.)
So on the energy thing. It's a situation where i know i need to "Bring it" instead of get it from the crowd. I need to give it off rather than wait to be energized by the staff.
It's a leadership thing. If the key leaders of the camp pumped their teams up and taught them to pump others full of enthusiasm, reach out and be friendly, it would make all the difference in the world.
Note to self - "Bring It" with my organization back home. Learn the lesson and live it, too.

Camp Week



Spending a week speaking at a camp outside of Estes Park, Colorado. Doing two motivational talks each night. I have tons of free time during the day to hang with L and A. T, M, and L2 are campers this week, running around and having fun. The camp is adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park. Here's the view from the camp. The center peak is 14,259 foot Long's Peak and on the left is 13,911 foot Mt Meeker. The peak on the right is Mt Lady Washington only comes in at 13,211 which is kinda small by local standards.


First Ride and home alone


I took the bike out this evening for the first official ride. Two things - what a great ride and I am SO out of shape right now. i only rode for an hour; the wind was stiff from the south.
The bike rides really well. Stiff and sort of plush at the same time. I went up to around 30 mph on a downhill and it was super steady and felt very secure. The shifting is pretty crisp most of the time and the climbing is solid (i have to assume because i am a slug)
i got honked at by to a-hole drivers within about a half mile. a wuss in a lexus and a punk in a blazer. i let them know they were invited to come back for a piece of my bike pump in their face. it's amazing to me that people do that - especially with all the "share the road" signs around in the area.
L and the kids went to her parents house today for a planned visit. her sister and family is (are?) coming into town on tuesday so they'll all get to hang at her parents for 4 days. i get to be home alone for the week. it'll be nice to relax and be casual about everything. waking up, eating, sleeping, clothes, no clothes, tv, movies - everything.
i'm going to go up there for the 4th.

Tuesday Mornings


Many of us struggle with our bosses at work, don't we?
My boss boss is uninspiring and pretty unwilling to lead. He doesn't have a mindset to caste vision for what the future can be with the organization as a whole and he doesn't have a bone in his body to kick A and hold people accountable. He's unwilling to offend on principal and he's either completely clueless about leading an organization or he is completely evil and scheming. i don't think it's the later.
While i run the semi-independent division that mentors children, he is responsible for the overall organization. He works directly with the Board and has his hands in many things - unless having his hand in it means it might get burned. "no pain, please. this should be comfortable, right?"
Tuesday morning staff meetings are typical of his lack of leadership. Today's 1.75 hour meeting could have been done in 20 minutes. 20 minutes that needed us all present. The rest was strictly informational and could have been done in an email.
It's frustrating. He has read the right books but minimalizes and rationalizes why he can't do what he reads. He has hired 4 staff people recently from thriving, growing, contemporary programs that he would like to duplicate; yet, he refuses to let them(us) advise him from our experience. "It can't be done!" he says.
I know I have a part to play here in developing my division. I am wired to think of greater vision and plans for the future. I think in terms of values and purpose. I do have wide open possibilities to the extent that I can plan, prepare, lead and influence. There is, however, no greater compelling vision that motivates the whole organization and calls the people to something better. This will always limit us.
Because of that, I have to sit in on an intensely boring "administrative" meeting every Tuesday. I don't like administrative.

Road Bike!




I spent 4 hours test riding bikes yesterday. I started looking at the aluminum/carbon frames and gradually moved on to the full carbon bikes. I bought a Trek Pilot 5.0 which is full carbon, Ultegra/105 drivetrain, cane creek brakes and bontrager race wheels. I really can tell the difference between a $1500 bike and a $2000 bike so I knew I had to get out of there before I decided to try a $2500 bike! I love this bike.


RED


Had a great leadership team meeting last night. The team wants to build this program in a healthy way. That means saying "no" to good things right now. They agree that we need to narrow the focus and do one thing REALLY well before we start doing too many things and become mediocre. What a huge relief. This is a really good. Now we need to take this out to the whole organization to get complete commitment.

Took L, A and T to breakfast this morning. L and I are proceeding delicately. Things are okay. Problems still lurk beneath the surface and we both know that too well. She didn't mention if she scheduled the first marriage doctor appointment. I didn't ask.
Watched youtube vids of guitar greats with A this morning. Turning him on to DiMeola, McLaughlin, Coryell, Morse, Vai and more. It's fun! He likes Hendrix a lot! All is well. I can die happy.

Will go bike shopping tonight! yeehaw!

I love my kids so much. So much joy interacting with them. SO MUCH! thank God for my children. My family.

"Breathe Into Me" by RED is a good tune.

refueling


I figured out that i worked 72 hours last week serving over 700 children and 250 adults. 22 of the hours i worked were from saturday morning at 9 a.m. until sunday at 2 p.m. woosh.
the recovery has started. i slept in - 1 hour. felt like crap when i woke up. took tylenol 'cause my body won't let me change my schedule without punishing me and went to coffee with one of my lead team members. great conversation. he's liking what i am doing with the organization and is ready to change faster. don't think he would have been this way 9 months ago. i'll take the credit; at least some of the credit.
at home L tried to bully confront me out of my week long funk. didn't work. i walked away from the insults. she took a shot at me while i was sitting on the couch next to T. cheap. bad form even for an argument. left for work telling her that i wasn't playing games. i simply had nothing to give her emotionally. i didn't want to engage and take the shots. my fuse was too short and the kids were around.
on the drive to work it exploded. the pussy, oozing sore of a hurting relationship. she called, said i was stupid, i hung up. called her back and let it fly. she let it fly. 20 minutes of letting it fly that felt like crashing into a ditch full of shit.
we are back to "we need help. i love you. i'm mad at you. we need help." she's making the calls today because i don't care WHO we see as long as we see. she can pick so she doesn't throw a bad counselor fit back in my face later. i'm all for it. heck. she won't even let me pick dinnner. "I just want to go where you want to go," she says. Riiiiiiight, dear.

working half days M-W. off thurs-sat. should be good. needed and good.
regards to all
handlingolympus


The Tank Is Empty


I've gotten to the point where i my tank is empty. i'm losing my capacity and desire to be patient with people or to connect with people and try to interact with them. I've been working everyday for two weeks straight to pull of a week long big event for 550 children and 200+ volunteers. It's warn me down and it's about the busiest week of the year.
My love capacity with my wife is really low right now. I haven't been connecting well with her over the last week and a half. It's been horrible. I don't have the will to call her, apologize and start the mending process. Even as i write this, i don't feel like i have the brain power or emotional power to describe what's been happening and how i feel.
at times like this i am most inclined to do stupid things - pursuing thoughts of things that bring quick satisfaction but long term destruction. porn. looking for stupid relationships. wasting time. i don't have a porn problem; i have a tired problem. when i'm tired i want to look at porn and find a bad relationship. (i've never done the relationship thing) both things that take me away from the way i know i should live life.
i need a break. i need some rest, recreation and relaxation. when i have the chance to read, meditate, play and pray, my tank gets refilled. time spent doing this will fill my tank as fast as anything and the bonus for me is that i have discovered i can do this really well when i am on the bike. i need to take a long ride and get lost in my legs spinning, dragging over hills, dipping deep into my endurance. i need something basic and primal and i need to accomplish something that is only dependent on me, myself and i.

the cost of overeating


i heard this morning on a network morning show that americans spend over 1 billion on weight loss solutions each year. that is money spent to help them lose the weight they put on mostly because they/we/me overindulge in food (being pigs and hogs; of which i am moderately guilty) so i thought, "what if we changed suddenly and only ate what we needed; what if we took the saved $ and used it to help starving people? not only would we have the food savings money to spend, but also the 1 billion that wouldn't need to be spent on weight loss." that's what i thought. billions to help other people.

"and what an f@$&ed up world it is." Bono

The Wisdom of Ralph


I like Ralph Wiggum from the Simpson's because he's marginalized. He's pushed out of the circle and tough to love.
Here's wisdom from Ralph:
"When I'm sick, my tummy makes floor soup."
"Socks are not as funny as they smell."
"It tastes like burning!"

I Wonder What Would Happen


I wonder what would happen if I got my life to work the way I wanted it to work. Would it be better or would it be a wreck?
What do you think? More on this later...

Here's the later...it'll never work the way i want it to work - and that is a good thing. i'd be a mess if the desires of my heart came true and i'd be empty.

Words of Affirmation


I need 'em. I need people to tell me they like me, they like what I did, they like how I look, they like what I said. I used to think that touch was the way I needed love expressed but now I'm pretty darn sure that words do it for me. I'm looking for love and I need people to tell me they like and love me.
The funny part of the equation is that I am very weak at handing out and giving out words of affirmation. I need to be better at that. That's kind of wacky, don't you think?
Hey, you are wonderful for reading and leaving a comment that is so thoughtful and considerate. (practicing words of affirmation...)

A Gentle Answer

A Gentle Answer repost

A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Be comletely humble and gentle. Be patient bearing with one anther in love.
Be slow to speak and slow to anger.
17 years ago I was loud, outspoken and impulsive. I would say what was on my mind bluntly, without much of a filter or regard to sensitivity or appropriateness. I think that I had a lot of "oops, i wish I didn't say that" moments every week but i didn't even know that they were those moments. As I became more sensitive to the feelings of other people I really did not like the way it felt to stick my foot in my mouth. It was painful and embarassing and it became something I wanted to avoid. I realized that my skilled sarcasm was funny but was usually at the expense of someone else or it made people wary of me and I learned that if I wanted the love from people I was seeking that I would have to be a kinder and gentler person.

Confrontation and Accountability


As a manager of paid and volunteer staff, confrontation and accountability are so much part of my life and so foreign to me at the same time. I haven't been at this long, about 3 years, and I come from 10 years of teaching children where the confrontation and accountability are so different. (or are they? the thought occured to me as i write that maybe i should treat them the same...thoughts?)
Part of my difficulty with confrontation and accoutability comes from my relationship with my father and the unsafe, explosive way he modeled doing life. My mom had a role in it, too. Hiding while my dad stormed; making peace before there was ever a conflict and being an expert in passive-aggresive behavior.
Combine these factors and you have me who gets really nervous when I have to confront behavior in adults and I cork my feelings and avoid doing what is right. I go into an ultra calm, unemotional and expressionless mode that helps me to avoid exploding but has many shades of passive aggresion. People know I'm bugged about something but they don't know what. The result may be that everyone thinks I'm bugged with them or that I have no passion for what I am doing since I control my emotions too well.
I really don't know when I should show my passion for my work and how important I think it is. I'm very confused. I came across this quote today on another Blog and it is good wisdom for me.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by Dogma ~ which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
~ Steve Jobs
I do feel trapped by Dogma and that other people's opinions drown out my inner voice. I need courage to lead and to trust my instincts and beat the influences of the past that slow me down. It's so tough for me to balance out my drive and my need to make sure other people feel good about themselves and me. Is this codependancy?
I am a conflicted man but I carry on.

"ies" "just and "kind of"


Something that REALLY bothers me is putting "ies" on the end of a word. For example - "veggies" or "snackie" food - two words that make my skin crawl. Don't know why; it just happens.
Also, I'm really annoyed with the use of the words "just" and "kind of" as a way to be weak in communicating. "I just wanted to let you that we kind of decided that you are fired." Listen and you'll hear it often. It's weak and they are useless words in most contexts. Especially annoying is using the word "just" in prayer. It minimizes our permission to go before God boldly. What do you think?