This link was a lot of fun to read through:
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This link was a lot of fun to read through:
Monday, December 19, 2011
Lavi and I upgraded our Kindles recently. She had a first gen and I had the 2nd gen Kindles this past year. I would easily say that it was our most used gadget of 2011. I think that we used our iphones a bit more but I rule out the time as a phone and go to use. Amazon certainly made some money from us in comparison to Apple. After the hardware cost I would say that we spent very little in the Apple App Store but after purchasing less expensive Kindle device we purchased a lot of books.
The new Kindle Fire came out and we immediately upgraded. We both seem to be enjoying it a good deal. The reading experience is very good, navigation and things work as expected. The backlit reading of the Kindle Fire is different, but just that. Something to get use to.
Where the Kindle Fire also comes out ahead is in the size, resolution, and other things it can do. Where it seems to be lacking is that it is essentially a version 1 hardware/software device and Android OS.
1. Size: Here I compare it not to the older gen Kindles (same size approx) but to the iPad. Trying to read with the iPad is just a bit much. If I can put it on a table and flip around it is fine, but when I hold it for too long it becomes too heavy. The Kindle Fire fits my hands like a book does, and becomes familiar.
2. Resolution: Again a comparison to iPad, but also to the first gen Kindles. The color screen is a big upgrade in just about everything the Kindle did and now does. Browsing the web and reading other non-Kindle ebooks is much better. I find I want to do more with it. I read PDF documents, watch videos and browse the web with it.
3. Kindle Fire lets me do more: I mentioned web surfing and video already. You can download a multitude of apps for Android to do a lot more. Games and productivity apps are some that I've experimented with already.
4. v1 hardware/software app: Amazon has done a great job in nailing a lot of things, but it is still v1 for Kindle Fire. I see some navigation nuances and at times very touchy screen that leads to weird interaction. The video playback sucks the battery like a camel at a watering hole too. I'm hoping a lot of this can be updated in the software and not require new hardware. I think Amazon will be pretty sensitive to that.
5. Android OS: I have to admit that I don't like Android OS much. It seems less functional than iOS, which is probably false, but I blame things on the OS when I see certain limitations. At times the response time is slow and I don't know where to lay blame for that, but to me it's either the app layer or the OS layer. By default I blame the OS. That said, Amazon seems to have crafted a great experience on Android and it's not even close to a deal breaker for me.
Overall, we are using our Kindle Fire's a lot. I have plans for some trips this coming year and I'm already 90% sure I'm going to take my Kindle Fire instead of my iPad, but we'll just wait to see for sure.
2011 I think I read a lot, which was one of my resolutions. I finished the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons. I got into the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. I read the latest from Jim Butcher and only want more of the Dresden Files. I finished his Codex Alera series. I'm waiting on the third installment from Robin Hobb, who I enjoy but lately I feel she's phoned in her last two trilogies. I also got into a few series from Christopher Moore (bloodsucker series) that were funny good reads.
I've let Dad use my old Kindle. I have all the Jim Butcher "Dresden Files" books on it for him to read. I think he may actually really like it. I should post how he finds the experience.
Hope the Holiday fun is picking up for you and the family!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I have to admit, social media is killing my blog time. Sure I could and have blamed lots of other things, but really it is social media. Whether it is Facebook or Twitter, I just don't seem to have the creative time to get to it. Another thing getting in the way is work (I know, the audacity!), which is a good problem to have in our economy. Funny thing is, that our team is starting an internal blog on a project and I get to contribute. I'm not sure work is ready for my "writing style" but we'll see.
I've still been running this year and enjoying the time to work out and be in my head. I think of so many blog ideas as I run. Surprisingly many are around suffering, pain, ideas that seem good at the time and the amount of rain our city receives, but ideas nonetheless. I know I still have the inspiration to write and I want to get back to it. I'm making a preemptive strike on resolutions, and writing letters to you is at the top, right after make the perfect margarita (seeking perfection should never stop).
One way I'm hoping to improve is by beating social media and hardware at their game. I may link more to the blog from other avenues and vice versa. Another thing that I did was I picked up a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad that will help me post using my iPad. In fact, this is my maiden blog post with it.
Here's hoping I/we make good on our resolutions.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Friday, November 4, 2011
Halloween was a fun event this year for our house. Lavinia and I enjoy decorating the house. Each year we add more and more to our exterior decorations. At first I was never too excited about decorating. Its a lot of work, its crummy weather, but then after a few years it became more and more fun. This year Jack helped me drag all the boxes out of the shed and set things up.
Another thing we did this year were some craft projects. The internet is great for quick and easy projects for kids. Jack helped me make a "scary spider!" and a some "spooky ghosts." Our favorite were the lighted ghosts for outside.
Jack chose to go as Iron Man this year. Being the Marvel household that we are, I was tickled by the choice. I have photos of him in his costume below. He really got into trick or treating this year. He seemed to get that it was for him and he had a lot of fun. The Bicycle Alliance of Washington sponsored a KEXP party for kids that we took him to.
I don't normally dress up at the office. Mostly because I think about it too late. I did think up some ideas but I wasn't sure if they'd work. Here's a quick list. You can let me know your favorite.
- WADA Inspector (World Anti-Doping Authority) to a cyclist this is scary. I'd just walk around with a little cup I'd hand out to athletes
- Horatio Caine from CSI Miami, but I could be CSI QE with the same look
- Wear a shirt with text all over it in random type faces. I think Fonts are scary, but maybe it's just me.
- I had various "Chaos Monkey" costumes, but that is only scary to Developers
- Boston Red Sox Front Office Manager, because they are acting pretty scary these days.
Here's a gallery of photos for you.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
You know that I have been a supporter of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington for a long time. They are Washington State's only state-wide bicycling advocacy group. They affect change in our state capital and that makes every city, not just Seattle, a better place to bicycle.
We recently attended the Bike Alliance auction. This is their big fundraiser for the year. I got my start on the Board being the Auction Chair. Oh how the event has grown. This year I hosted a table and Mom & Dad came, along with my friend Demian from work and Bridie and Kim too! Jack came with us and was very excited. He wanted to know where the bikes were and where he could go ride his bike.
Jack and I were part of a special appeal for funds during the program. The Executive Director, Barbara Culp, put together a great write up (I have it below) in the program. She asked that Jack and I take the stage to crank up the cute factor and to drive home the point that what we do makes cycling in Washington State better for Jack and kids like Jack.
Jack was great and we had a good time on stage. I asked him about bicycling, and what he likes about, his favorite Tour de France rider, if riding safe is a good choice or bad choice and if riding safe is something we should do in Washington. The kid stayed on script and did great.
Check out pictures below.
Tonight -- help us shift gears, shift policy and shift minds! Join Jeff and Jack Moran as they envision the future of bicycling as an everyday, mainstream transportation option in your community.
Shift Gears: Jack wants to have fun riding to school. Jeff was the ride to be safe, affordable and healthy. The Bicycle Alliance wants Safe Routes trainings for teachers in school districts ALL over Washington, so that EVERY child can ride or walk safely to school. 31 districts and counting…
Shift Policy: Jack wants to feel safe riding down Queen Anne with his dad. Jeff wants every community to adopt policies that create complete streets for all roadway users. The Bicycle Alliance wants funding for communities that have adopted a Complete Streets ordinance to help them design streets for all users. Right now we're working in Olympia to include grant funding in the next budget cycle.
Shift Minds: Jack wants choices, one day peanut butter, and the next day cheese. Jeff wants his son and lots more people making healthy choices like riding to school, work, errands, and fun!. The Bicycle Alliance wants safer roads, connected sidewalks, reliable transit all of which lead to increased bicycle ridership. The Bicycle Alliance endorsed Proposition 1: Streets for All to help build those facilities.
Tonight we are asking you to support Jack's future: neighborhood greenways, separated cycle tracks, more bike parking, and policies and people to make it happen. We need your support to convince school districts and legislators that kids should be able to bike to school, adults can ride to work, and youth and elders can walk in safety. You can help turn Jack's dream into reality tonight!
Raise your bid card high if you believe that every child deserves a future with healthy, active transportation choices.
The nifty part was that the special appeal was kicked off with our $2,500.00 donation to the organization. A donation that my company matches for a cool $5,000.00.
All in all it was a great night!
On your left,
Monday, October 3, 2011
Jack just had his 4 year birthday (9/25). We had a super good time. The family went to La Push, WA to hang at the beach. Jack now refers to it as "His Cabin" and I'm glad to see my son will have La Push as a fond memory like you and I do. Like his father he managed to stretch a single day of self-centered attention into a week long celebration and create a Birthday week.
Jack had several birthday events, including a birthday celebration at school. His teacher made him a birthday crown. He's worn it every day for a week now and it sits on his dresser. He was quite happy with it, and quite happy that his other school friends had one for their birthday.
Ever rooted in our family history, our own mother thought that this looked familiar.
Sure enough. That's a photo of our mom at age 4 with her own hat.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I can hardly contain my excitement. OMG!!! My son can ride a two-wheel bicycle! He just learned this evening, or more precisely just put it all together. I'm so stoked and excited that I can't stop hugging him. He's been asleep for a few hours tonight and I'm still tempted to go in his room to mini high-five him on his accomplishment. I mean... my son can ride a bicycle! My son can ride a bike!!! He's managed to do this just shy of his 4th Birthday!
You know he's had his balance bike since he was two. He started riding that in earnest when he was 2.5 years old. He would just scoot with his feet and balance on two wheels. We've been scooting around the block for 1.5 years now. He's never had training wheels. He's loved his Big Wheel (cause come on, who wouldn't right!) and he's ridden some tricycles at school too. Recently a friend gifted us a bike with pedals. He tried it a few months ago and was luke warm, preferring the speed of his balance bike more.
This evening he was riding his balance bike and I asked him to try the pedal bike. He usually says "maybe when I'm 4 Dadna" and begs off. Tonight though he said okay. I let him climb on the bike and he got his foot on the pedal. He pushed off and I held his seat and softly said "pedal pedal pedal" and he did it. We went the length of the drive way and then stopped, started again and circled back.
The third time I took my hand off the seat and he pedaled and stopped on his own. I told him "good job Jack! I wasn't holding on that time." I tell you I saw it in his eyes when the reality of that clicked in. He just smiled, put his foot on the pedal and was off on his own. I mean it. It was just like that. I started jumping up and down yelling "Yes! Yes! Yes! Nice Job Jack! Woo-hoo!" The smile he gave me as he showed me how proud he was just as infectious. He was so pleased with himself.
I took some rough video of it:
Here he is putting it all together:
Did I mention that he can power an uphill as if he was from the Basque country? After getting stalled going uphill a few times he just learned to push the pedals harder. I swear that made me more proud than anything.
Now some may not be surprised that Jack achieved this at such a young age. Being my son some will have suspected that he'd be winning races or at least a domestique for some team by age 3. But I've tried to hold him (me) back from all that silliness, and just let him be a kid, right?! I mean he's had a lot of influences and I think there have been signs that he would do so well so early.
- Is it because he's watched all three grand tours with me (Giro, Tour and Vuelta) each year since he was born? Maybe.
- Is it because he thinks that the Marvel comics God of Thunder, Thor, is indeed a full time cyclists who wins Tour stages and is the World Champion in commanding fashion? Likely.
- Is that when some kids say "Dad I'm going to be as tall you as you some day" that my son says "Dadna I'm going to beat you straight up on a sprint one day." Possibly.
- Is it because he wore a world championship jersey when he was still an infant and now he dreams of rainbows? Plausible.
- Is it because he's been riding to school/work with me for a few years that he knows proper drafting and peloton etiquette and critiques other helmet-less riders out lout so they can hear him? Darn-tooting.
- Is it because my @TdF_Dadna twitter account is not as fictional as many would believe? Spot-on.
- Is it because in a family where cycling is respected for what it brings to a community, fitness and recreation that he's excited to try it? One would hope.
Now I need to teach him "On your left" in multiple languages.
Monday, September 12, 2011
There have been a lack of posts from me recently, and by recent I dare say a lot this past year. Compared to past years that saw me writing to you more frequently, the year 2011 has seen a drop off. Normally I like to blame the economy, politics, training, or even el nino for such activity. However, this year I think I must place the blame squarely on the shoulders of who is responsible for such a down turn in creativity. Yes, my iPad is to blame.
You may recall that I received an iPad for the holidays last year. I was quite excited. I am a recent Mac convert by all standards and I have to say that I'm okay with that. I don't miss my non-Mac hardware or operating systems for a moment, although I must admit I do miss some of the software that just runs better on Windows (I'm looking at you MS Office). Still, I've been quite happy.
Over the year the number of devices designed by that company that Steve Jobs use to work for has jumped at our household. Laptop, desktop, iphone, itouch, nano, more iphones, Apple TV and the list will grow as 2011 closes out I'm sure. I have even started planting the seed the Mom and Dad should convert, but your Mother is a bit stubborn and quite frankly is a power user so I should probably leave that alone (and no Family Tree maker on Mac me thinks).
I've been using the iPad more and more at home. Even Jack uses it. We both watch videos on it, from Netflix and from our digital library. I use it to check various email accounts, play games (Scrabble!), read news and other consumption activities. I think that tablets in general are a fun way to interact with the web and consumption activities. For now though, they seem to be stunting my creativity a little. While there is a blogger app, several actually, it is difficult to sit down and bang out some quality creative writing.
Couple the above consumption driven activities with the bed time routine of a 3 year old and I've got plenty of excuses. But not wanting to just go with conjecture I mapped out some numbers to illustrate the situation.
Here is a graph showing the frequency of our posts this year.
Here you can see the combined frequency of both our posts. Its revealing in many ways.
Friday, August 26, 2011
The following must be read in the voice of an old time-y news reporter
Extra Extra - Perfect Child Born in Northampton - Need for future human breeding questioned as world's most perfect baby arrives
Dateline Northampton Massachusetts, August 15th, 2011
The birds were still dormant when Siobhan Moran awoke to a strange sensation in her tummy. The one week overdue pregnant woman was just starting her contractions. After several hours at home she and her husband Mark, went to their pre-arranged doctor's appointment. After a quick evaluation their doctor urged them across the street to Cooley Dickenson Hospital. Siobhan labored long and hard, 18 hrs in total. At 8:51PM with one final push Fiona Margaret Moran was born in to this world and we are all now better for it.
Fiona came in at 7 lbs and 11 oz and 20.5 inches long. Her hair is somewhere between the soft blond and fire red. Her eyes, for now, are blue grey.
Now, this is where the story deters from your normal baby being born story... this child is perfect, yes as inconceviable as it may seem, the perfect child has been born. Implications are wide spread. The White House has issued a "why bother to breed anymore" declaration. Citizens can continue to breed if they desire, but it is the government's position that it is wholly futile since nothing will surpass this perfect child. The International Olympic commitee is in closed door session trying to determine how to handle this development. Meanwhile, at the vatican, a cadre of cardinals and the pope himself are discussing the meaning of the birth of this perfect child. The Vatican has declared that it's not the second coming, but perhaps the first and a half?
As the future implications of this perfect child's birth are considered the powers that be have deemed that the child will stay with its parents. Can these imperfect first time parents raise this perfect child? What does this perfect child's birth hold for the rest of us, only time will tell.
Stay tuned here.....
In all seriousness, Fiona is here and she is amazing. Just perfect, at least to us. The labor was intense and I can't believe what a rock star my wife is. We're making our way through the early days and Fiona is progressing well. See the Zenfolio site for more pics of this amazing kid.
It has been a lot of fun to receive daily pictures of Fiona. I think what is even more fun are the text messages that come with them.
Mark Text: Top O' the morning to ya. the ligh sure hurts my eyes and I don't llike to be woken. Just like my Dad
Mark Text: Time for a power nap
Jeff Text Back: Takes after her old man. The napping that is, not the cute part. Gets that from her Mom.
Here's a nice picture of Jack getting to know his cousin. Soon they will be video chatting and use sim-chip Matrix stuff to communicate across the country.
Mark Text: Yes Chef!
Mark Text: Yup. It's a girl. The pink invasion has begun!
Mark Text: Yar! Someone be after my booty. This is her pirate face.
Mark Text: Come on Vogue!
Mark Text: And Big Stretch. She wakes up just like her old man.
I will have to say that she is simply adorable, and probably will be just as funny as her Old Man.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Hope things are going well for. I know the East Coast has been hot. Seattle is just now seeing some nice weather. I expect us all to be complaining about 78 degree heat within the week.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Well it's August 8th and your son/daughter's due date has come and not even a knock at the door. I wanted to share our text conversation so that he/she can see how sensitive her/his Father and Uncle were on this day.
Jeff: I am suppose to be an uncle today. Wassup? :)
Mark: Patience. Soon you will join the exclusive Uncle club. there are tshirts and meetings. You will be assigned an uncle category, weird, angry or cool.
Mark: Seriously, Doc said she ain't even dilated a lit bit.
Jeff: So teh kids seems to have your sense of hurry. Oh good.
Mark: Yeah like a seminare paper due date.
Jeff: LOL. Siobhan wont want to be preggie that long though.
Jeff: Uncle Club? Will there be snacks at the meetings? I'd want snacks.
Mark: More people will come if we have punch and pie
Jeff: Punch and pie!
Monday, August 1, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Jens Voight will likely being doing German TV commentary and saying something in German that translated to "This is how the stages of the Tour should be. The strongest go out and put the Peloton on notice like Jack and Calvin are doing right now."
Friday, July 8, 2011
Well I did it. I signed up for the Portland Marathon on October 9th. I'm not sure if my sanity has completely left me but it seems that is has. Regardless, I'm up for the challenge. I figured I'm already trained up from the first marathon and I can "bank the gains" as my friend Lisa says. I'm looking forward to it.
This past week was our Mother's birthday as you well know. We traveled to Larry & Cathy's house for a fun dinner and a delicious birthday cake. I took a few pictures to share.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
We started off at a 9:45 pace, which was slow for how fast the crowd made you want to start. We made our way from Tukwila to Lake Washington to Seward Park, up Lake WA Blvd and on to I-90 for an out and back. We touched 13 miles as we ran through the I-90 tunnel on our way back to Seattle.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Next weekend, on June 25th, I'll be running my first marathon. After years of shunning runners, making fun of them as I rode by with my shaved legs and color coordinated advertising cycling kit, believing that 180+ mile rides were the epic thing, I must admit to finally deciding to give this a thing a try. The hours to get on the bike and ride have not been readily available to me, as I prefer to spend my time with Lavi and Jack these days more and more. I miss my rides though something fierce and I needed to find a way to exercise so I could get back that stress reliever. Plus, I needed a goal beyond drinking cocktails and gaining weight. As you are quite aware, our genetic back story is not a body type that is predisposed to being thin. On the contrary, I've ridden my bike over a 100 miles and still gained weight, but I digress. Let me just say that the weight was not jumping off my body like lemmings on a cliff as I sat in my office. Enter. Stage Left. Running.
Like all things in life I like to set my sights on a big goal. I mean why run 5 miles when you can run 26. Why have 1 beer when you can have 3. Why write a blog by yourself when you can invite your brother to join you. As you can see, not all goals are good for me, some should be avoided and some don't really materialize as you would hope. But goal set I did. I chose to run a marathon. I believed that I could find the time and accomplish this.
The Rock n' Roll marathon in Seattle was a good choice. The traditional Seattle Marathon is in November and I hear it is not a great first marathon choice due to weather and the hilly course. June seemed a good chance to have some warm weather, although this year is challenging that for sure. So I'm all set. I'm running a marathon on June 25th. I've been running a good steady mile pace on my runs. I was around a 10 minute mile at first and now I see a consistent 9:35 mile on my long runs, and better on the shorter runs.
You ask if it has been all aces during the training? No, not even close. Running is just terribly hard on the body. I always liked cycling for the lower impact (some may argue the crotch area impact but I won't go there.. oh wait I just did, but I digress). The bicycle holds you up. You get a chance to coast if you are tired. You can more easily eat while you ride and carry water and host of things. If you are tired while you run, then you fall down. You don't coast, you don't slow, your legs just stop and you stop, falling usually follows. I have had runs where I've been at the last mile, I've pushed it hard, I'm ready to be done and a traffic light is having me stop to cross a road. I tell you that stopping and waiting is often the hardest thing to do. Sum it to say that training each week has been a hard thing.
Early on I had a pair of shoes that gave me a "hot spot" on my feet. I realized the shoes were wrong for me. I was able to return them and with a little help found a pair that has been working well, the Brooks Ghost 4 has worked quite well. I will recommend Road Runner Sports and their VIP program. I was able to return 2 pairs of shoes that were giving me the hot spot just shy of 90 days. This saved me a lot of money. Since picking up those shoes I've been quite happy.
Shoes were not the only item to be purchased. Cycling is expensive. The bike alone to start with, but even the clothes, shoes and other accessories cost. Running is not nearly on par, but don't let it fool you into thinking it is a cheap alternative. Individuals that take running cheap end up with feet that hurt, parts of their body that should never be chaffed and wearing fanny packs that would be in the free table at a garage sale. Having been a cycling fashionista I know about clothing that performs. I've made an investment in some good shorts that eliminate the chaffing, along with some shirts that will not chafe and a healthy investment in Body Glide.
Another thing that I have encountered is the muscle fatigue, recovery and maintenance. I hate the phrase "as I get older" but it has been used often with running. The first part of training was not bad. I eventually ramped up my mileage on the weekends. The shoe/foot hot spot was disconcerting and I was glad to discover that I could buy a solution to that. Some where after 12 miles I had a bad issue with my new. Essentially inflammation and not stretching well right away left me with a very stiff and sore left knee. I did some research and learned about Ice Baths. Now an ice bath sounds almost as archaic as running a marathon I admit, but stay with me. After my long runs on the weekend I've been taking an ice bath. Essentially for me this is a bath tub of the coldest water I can get in there. Individuals will eventually dump in buckets of ice to keep the temperature low, but I have not done this yet.
- The Ice Bath is called Cryotherapy ("cold therapy"). "It constricts the blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown." The bath helps flush out the toxins that build up in the muscles from the hard effort.
Ice baths are not the only recovery item I've discovered. At work we have a Massage Therapist visit 2x a week and they take our health insurance (brilliant business differentiation point btw). I've been getting a massage once a week and it has helped a lot. The Massage Therapist talked me into a blue foam roller that I use to stretch my IT Ban.
I guess all in all you have to take care of your body when you are punishing it during training. That sounds silly and stupid but it's the truth. All of this effort and care makes one wonder why even do this at all I know, but I'll admit that I'm enjoying it. The running has given me a goal, some mental alone time in my head, and has helped me keep a few pounds off. The biggest thing is that it got me to work out during lunch time which was a perfect win.
Running 30 minutes is fine but after you ramp up your time you need some tunes to run with. Early on I had my own playlist. A mix of Van Halen, Lionel Richie, Billy Idol, Megadeath, Survivor, etc. It begins to look like a playlist that you'd find on Scrubs at times, on in our cousin Katie's ipod. I found that certain songs would make me run faster. The Rocky theme music for instance is a terrible song to listen to when you need to choose between running the proper 4 miles or "pushing it" to 6 miles. Twice I made the wrong choice. Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" would get me to run about a minute faster than I should. My friend Joey turned me on to PodRunner. PodRunner is a free podcast that puts together ambient techno music at beats per minute. The steady beats per minute really helped me run at a consistent pace. Not one that was up and down like a kangaroo in the mating season (red dwarf prop). I will say that by this time in my training I'm quite sick of the music, but I will recommend it to any one.
The time running lets me think about things. I think about work and what I'd like to accomplish that day. I puzzle on things that have been bothering me. I think about Lavi and Jack a lot. People running by me must see my Chris Horner-ish pain and suffering grin and wonder what drug I'm on, as I jog by grinning wildly. A buddy of mine at work doesn't use the phrase "jogging" but opts to say "I'm going out for a struggle" at lunch. Struggle being the word he describes his jogging style. At times for me that is quite appropriate. A lot of times I'm thinking up twitter posts for my @TdF_Dadna twitter account, which I promptly forget when I finish.
I think it is interesting that I disclaim that this is my first marathon. As my brother you very well know that I've never accomplished such a run and why should I need to point it out? I think that the counting of marathons begins before you even run your first. There is some point in the training, in the mental prep and the dreaming that this is just the first of many. That you are going to get a good time and finish and then work to get a better time. Who knows? Boston Marathon even? Maybe an endorsement deal, etc, etc. It snow balls from there. But the core is that possibly this is just a first marathon and that others will follow in order to make the training effort of the first more of a value. For me… we'll see.
Next Saturday I set out to accomplish 26.2 miles of running. I'm pretty confident that I'll finish. I'm reasonably expecting a 4:30:00 finish time. I'm hopeful that I might land a 4:15:00. I'm 100% sure my body will hurt so much I'll swear off every bad thing I've ever eaten, drink or done to my precious temple. I'm equally sure that after a day and a night of Lavi's wonderful pampering I'll start dreaming big again.
On your left, running
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
I literally just landed in Seattle after being gone for a week in San Jose. This put a dent in my bike commuting this week. In fact while I did walk every where this week, which was green, the only thing I worked out was my brain at the Adobe Tech Summit. Well that and my liver most likely.
Jack did not let the fact that his Dadna was gone deter him from daily riding. Here's a snap of him on his newest bike. A two wheeler with pedals.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
May has now become Bike To Work Month for many of us cycling individuals. Not simply content with a day in May, we have now take over the entire month. That is right "Month of May we are in you!"
At work we have a few teams that are competing for the most daily trips. I have vowed to ride as many days as I can. I'm going to do this every work day (with the exception of next week as I travel to SJ) and I will do it with Jack on board.
I'm going to try and blog each day we ride in order to share. I do love riding with Jack. He sees so many more different things than I do. I assume that is because I'm either so intent on safety that my laser like focus doesn't let me see some of the nice things we ride by. Likely it's because he's heavy and I'm just laboring to get up a hill.
Today's ride was good. Here in Seattle your rides are judged less about headwind and moreabout avoiding the rain clouds. We did just that today. It dumped rain about 20 minutes after I arrived at work. Score! However, we did suffer 2 flat tires. I think Jack had fun changing them with me though. You will see them referenced in my TdF Dadna twitter feed. A source of comical (to me only likely) inspiration. Side thought, so many of my tweets only make sense if you know some cycling. Do you think Mom looks them up or just asks Dad why they are funny.
Changing the tire I some how messed up my already precarious rear disc brake. I'll have to have the shop do a quick check. Luckily for me I have not 1 but 2 bikes I can ride with Jack. Tomorrow we will cruise in with the Burley solo while I find some shop time for the extracycle.
More thoughts on commuting later. Off to bed soon for me. Got to be ready for tomorrow's ride. I'm raising a champion after all.
On your left,
Monday, April 25, 2011
[warning this blog post has been a work in progress for quite a while so some references may be dated]
So there’s big news out of the East Coast. No it’s not another snow storm [see, right there, dated reference], no Tom Brady hasn’t got a new hairstyle, no Northampton has not been voted “coolest place for ex-NW-pats to reside” (although it should). No, none of that nonsense, the really big news is that Team Shark is adding a member. We’re proud to announce that we are expecting. Shark1, or the Orzo as we have grown to call it since we read that it was once the size of a grain of rice, is due 8/8/11. Currently Mom and Orzo are doing well. At the 5 month inspection with the doc the week before last [again dated reference] we got confirmation of such things as 10 finger and 10 toes, heart is in the chest, etc. etc.. The kid was doing some sort of fist pump action in there too. I’m thinking it was a good old fashioned Billy Idol fist pump just like his/her super cool Dad. [We just had the 6 month inspection and all is good under the hood]
We’ve decided to wait until D-day to be find out boy or girl. Right now I’m thinking it is a girl and Siobhan is thinking it’s a boy. Predictions are subject to change depending on what old wives tale we are currently listening too. Seriously, I heard one about how large the mom’s nostrils are as it relates to the baby’s gender. Siobhan got wicked annoyed when I tried to measure with my micrometer (no that didn’t really happen, but I wouldn’t put it past me).
Thanks to the incredibly brutal winter this year and Siobhan’s desire/need to be within 15 feet of a place to fall asleep at all times (mostly need, apparently pregnancy is tiring, who knew!?) we’ve been spending a lot of time at home. This has allowed us to work a lot on the baby’s room. Siobhan has always had this vision of the baby’s room. So, like a fool, I took out pen and paper, did my best contractor impression “sure, we can do that, but it’ll cost ya” and away we went on a long project. It’s been a labor of love and I’ve come to appreciate just how talented an artist Siobhan really is. The room ended like this....
I’ve inhaled enough Disney paint sample fumes that I’m sure I’ll never be able to fully grasp the thermodynamic principal of fugacity again, of course… I never really did. We kept Siobhan away from the fumes, but she had to do all of the drawing.
Can’t really put into words how I’m feeling. I’ve been saying that it’s a mix of excited and terrified. I can’t wait to meet the Orzo, I just hope it’s ready for us.
Now this is kind of a silly post to be addressed to you since you’ve been in the know for quite a while, but I know that there may be other family and friends that you and Mom have not gotten to, plus our one or two voyeuristic blog readers out there (Hi Phil, hi Barry, hope things are good in your respective cell blocks!)
More to come, oh yeah! I promise. J
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
This weekend the race Liege-Baston-Liege will run. It is one of the oldest races and truly a classic. Jack and I will watch it at his request. I kid you not. He asked to watch a bike race. If this kid is just brown-nosing me then I simply will ask him not to stop.
I'm off to enjoy some sun myself. I have a long run in store this afternoon. I wanted to post this for you to see. I hope all is well on the East Coast and that you two are getting some sunshine as well.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
You may recall that I've been attempting to "master" a new drink/cocktail each month. January was the Sidecar. I am hoping to be able to serve a drink to guests that doesn't have tequila in it. Partly to hoard the good stuff to myself and also I make my margaritas a bit strong.
February was dedicated to the gin and tonic. A classic drink that is quick and easy. The challenge was in the gin selection. I sampled Tanguray, Bombay Saphire and Hendricks. The Hendricks was too good to really mix actually. I've settled for having Bombay on hand as my choice.
In March, while in Panama, I turned my attention to the rum and coke. I've never been a huge fan, mostly because there were other options. However, Panama does make rum locally and I thought I'd give it a try. After sampling a few Panamanian Rums I've settled on "Abuelo" as my choice.
I find that a 50/50 mix over ice is mighty fine. A drink to be consumed when you want to slow it down and when it's hot.
I'd admit that this was an easy one to work on, but one of my rules was to have easy ingredients on hand. I mean rum and coke, pretty easy. I cannot tell you how often not having a fresh lime on hand has nixed a good margarita idea.
Well, I'm off to enjoy another. In April I'm going to tackle the Vesper. It will be 007 tribute. This will prove to be difficult because Lillet is hard to come by so I'll report on the poor man's Vesper too.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Friday, March 25, 2011
"Internet slang like LOL and OMG are commonplace on sites like Twitter and Facebook or in GChat and AIM, but do they belong in the dictionary? The Oxford English Dictionary says yes; LOL, OMG, and FYI were added to the March 2011 release of the OED Online dictionary."
Sunday, March 20, 2011
During our stay in Chica Carnival was occurring in Panama. Carnival is a big deal. It comes down to about 4 days of celebration culminating on Fat Tuesday. I found a web site that tries to sum up the reasons why and what occurs. Here is what they say:
"Although most people identify Panama with the canal, it is the colorful interior of the country that defines Panamanian roots and where people return in droves to celebrate Carnival. In the daytime tanker-sized trucks spray the screaming crowds in the equatorial heat. In the evenings there are fireworks, parades, and outdoor dance clubs."Wikipedia tells me that it is the second largest carnival celebration in the world. Pretty impressive.
"The Panamanian Carnival is the second biggest festival in the world. Traditionally beginning on Friday and ending on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, "los carnavales", as Panamanians refer to the days of carnival, are celebrated in almost the whole country. Carnival Week in Panama is specially popular because of the luxury and magnitude of the Las Tablas Carnival as well as the carnival celebrations in Panama City and almost all of the Azuero Peninsula. The Panamanian Carnival is also popular because of the great number of concerts by national and international artists held on different stages in the most visited areas of the country."I've never been in Panama during Carnival. It was fun to experience. Being in Chica let me do this on a small scale.
The first night the Carnival Queen from the previous year comes into the center of town and then the new Queen is presented. There is loud music and a band is playing as well. There are several other activities too. It was very fun to watch with Lavinia. The next couple of days there was a parade each day in the town with the Carnival Queen from the town. The parade in Chica was small but it was nice to be part of. Yes, that's right we joined the parade. Here is a picture of Jack & Mama joining in at the back of the parade.
Each day at the center of town is a water tank truck that is spraying down the partying people. There is dance music and just a lot of fun times. I'm sure not so fun for those that live near by, but overall a lot of fun. In the slide show below Lavi took some shots of her family (cousins) enjoying themselves.
On the third night Panama's version of Pearl Jam came to Chica, Samy y Sandra were performing. Now, to put this in perspective let me put it this way. Samy y Sandra playing in Chica is like Pearl Jam playing in the backyard of a house in Startup, WA. It is huge and a very big deal. Now Samy y Sandra always play in small towns, but the point is that they are immensely popular in Panama. Again, wikipedia to the rescue to explain them better than I could:
"Samy y Sandra Sandoval are a brother and sister musical duo, who are performers of típica or pindin (traditional music from Panama) and cumbia style music Music of Panama. They are also known as "Patrones de la Cumbia" (Masters of the Cumbia). and are immensely popular in Panamanian pop culture."Lavi and I were not planning on going to the show. I was tired from relaxing all day. We decided to go and visit her Tia Tina (aunt) and Tio Danielo (uncle) because we thought that they would be alone while everyone else was at the show. Jack was asleep and we walked up to their house. As we approached it looked like a party was going on outside. As we got closer we saw that several of Lavi's aunts, uncles and cousins from neighboring towns had come to Chica for the show. In fact, Tio Danielo had been going to pick up people all day. It was a wonderful surprise. We were able to hang out with the family for a few hours.
Now, I'll admit that by 10pm my brain was tired. Trying to understand Spanish all day just does me in. So we walked back to Lavi's Mom's house and I was going to bed. Nilsa decided that Lavi had not traveled 3,000 miles to Chica to miss Samy y Sandra. So those two got dressed up and went to the show. It sounded like a great time.
Thankfully I was able to find some posted video of the show in Chica.
Here is a video of them from another concert in the country this year. You can see they are a big deal!
On the last day of Carnival the Queen comes out and is presented to the town again. She rides a float and then dances in the center of town. Now this year's queen is actually related to me. I know, we have royalty (of the Carnival) in the family. Turns out that this year's Queen is Lavi's cousin's wife's sister. Because of this we got a call as the Queen was preparing to ride the float. We raced down with our camera and took a lot of shots. The Queen and Princess were getting on the float we took some really good shots.
Funny story about this though. Lavi was wearing her Mom's house keys on a strap around her neck. That and the camera with the big lens must have made her look like a Journalist. Several individuals thought she was from the paper.
Here is a photo of the Queen, Lavi and her two cousins Diane and Alexis.
And here is a photo of me and the Queen. The Queen's mother insisted that I get a photo with my cousin since we are family. Got to love that.
Here is a slide show of the pictures we took. There are a lot here, and many with family members. There are shots of the water tank, the Queen, the town parade and such in here.
Overall, Carnival in Panama was a lot of fun. A great time to get together with friends and family and really celebrate Panama's culture.