Monday, March 31, 2008

Weigh In

Well, as of tomorrow I'll be 3 months into my weight loss regimen. Weighed 287 on Jan 1st. Weigh 256 now. 31 lbs lost. The equivalent of:
- a small child
- 2 or more tires
- 6 five lb bags of sugar
- 2 old CRT computer monitors
- 2 bicycles
- More than my 8ft aluminum ladder

So pretty good so far. Only 70 more to go til I'm where I want to be.

In-Law Pacification

I was informed by my wonderful, warm, loving and caring Mother-in-Law that I need to post more pictures and stuff on the site. So of course, to stay in her good graces and to demonstrate how well trained I am, I am complying. Here's today's offering. Love ya WJ.


Gracie helping with dishes:



Back yard swinging:
video

Oh my goodness, where'd this picture come from??!!!!


Looks like I need some re-training. ;)

Hot Molten Lava

Joe here. Most of you may not know this, but I'm an absolutely wonderful cook. My culinary creations are works of art for the palate. The things I can do with Hamburger Helper, Spaghetti O's, Bagel Bites, Hot Dogs, "Wunderbar!!!" (That's German for wonderful. Think Schultz from Hogan's Hero's).

Anyway, last night I was in the kitchen again whipping up another masterpiece sure to get me a guest spot on Iron Chef. Frozen Tortellini with Marinara sauce. My kids love the stuff. They obviously recognize the work of a world class chef.

However, last night I would have to say my creation was more the work of the Nutty Professor rather than Gordon Ramsay. It seems I discovered how to make liquid fusion with my sauce. I just knew the EPA was going to break down our door and declare our house a federal disaster area.

To say the sauce was hot is an understatement. To say the sauce tasted bad would be a lie. It was the nastiest, heart-burn inducing, give-me-the-runs, hose down my nostrils, red, food like substance ever created by man. In the old days I would be killed, buried with the vile substance and the area around the grave site declared evil and off-limits to the tribe for a thousand years. It was THAT bad. On the bright side, if anyone's stripping furniture and doesn't mind wearing a hazmat suit, I got some stuff for ya. :)

Needless to say, alternative nourishment sources had to be obtained for the kiddies.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gorillaz and Gravity

Heard a song the other night while watching a video of this French girl roller blading. Can't get the song out of my head. It's 19-2000 (Soul Child Mix) by a hitherto unknown band called Gorillaz. I had to download from iTunes before I suffered a siezure. I wonder how many times this girls parents took her to the ER?
French Roller Blading Chick

Phyisics question for today. As of today, I've lost 31 lbs since Jan 1st. Is gravity affecting me less now than it was then? Hmmmmm. I know this,,,,I got a glimpse of my left foot this morning. Haven't seen it in a while without taking a big breath and bending over. So something has definitely changed. Perhaps our resident physics genius Mr. Reger can explain.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stand Still Will Ya!!

Aside from being a line from Pink Floyd's 'The Wall', it's a well used line when trying to take photographs of my daughters in pretty dresses at Easter.

First they have to put the baskets on thier heads for the shot. Gracie's was a little big.

Then they have to be a little silly.


Then they have to sing.


And finally, they settle down for a nice pretty shot where they look like they love each other.


Have to throw this one in. Gracie had her first Cadbury egg. She didn't like it.


Great workout tonight. Knees still staying pretty sore. Ice and Motrin, Ice and Motrin.
One thing I have noticed now is it's taking more work to get to my max heart rate. I'm working out a levels now and heartrate is 130bpm. Three weeks ago it would have been 150 bpm. So I'm seeing improvement.

Have a good evening everyone.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Birthday Party, Easter Eggs and a Shot from last Friday

What a day.
Played some Xbox 360 and spent a lovely afternoon with my daughter Alyssa at our neighbor Elle’s birthday party. It was good bonding time. The party was at Build-a-Bear Workshop.

Imagine if you will,,,,,,another time,,,,,,another place,,,,,,,,a place with MILLIONS OF SCREAMING 5 YR OLD GIRLS!!!!! AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! AAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!
OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, it wasn’t so bad. They were quieter than a typical dinner at Taco Mac. I think the count was 9 beautiful little girls, aged 3-9. They were well behaved, nice, polite and quiet, but of course, Gracie wasn’t there. :)
Anyway, here are some pics.

Alyssa and Elle waiting to have high pressure air ram some stuffing material into their new furry friends.
Alyssa looking at me hoping I'd put the camera down.


All the girls, after being wrestled to the ground by security. Ok, ok,,,,it was a game of "Ring Around the Rosie".


Alyssa dressing her new bear.


Beautiful Alyssa. Looks just like me don't she. :)


The whole gang.

After the Birthday party, we came home and colored Easter Eggs. You know I can't remember a time I ever participated in the coloring of Easter Eggs, but I did today. Good thing Vic was there to keep me from turning myself Blue.


I tried to get Gracie in the photo with the eggs, but she'd have nothing of it. She was busy being a frog or something.


And last but not least, if you haven't seen it yet, this is a picture of the tornado that struck downtown Atlanta last Friday night. It was taken by a local photographer Shane Durrance who was shooting lighting strikes that night. The tornado is clearly visible on the left side of the image behind the building with top lit up. The building I work in is just to the left of that building, one block away. Glad I wasn't there.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

If it can go wrong, it will go wrong

My day today started out good, then went down hill from there.

- Up all night because of all the wind we had last night and Vic wouldn't stay on her side of the bed.

- Get to work and found out my vacation days have shown up on my record. It's only taken 7 months. But my personal days are still missing.

- I found out that even more people, totally unrelated to my job, group, division etc and add zero value to the product delivery or the process are required to approve a simple request to get something done. All in the name of process and 'rice bowls'. (A Navy term meaning someones little empire. Tread lightly around someone else's rice bowl.)

- Ballet night for Hailey Bug, so I had the other two yard apes.

- Ended up on conference calls til almost 6:30pm. So I was cooking, filling sippie cups, breaking up fights, wiping up messes all while talking about the intricacies of broadband capacities, resident programs, network usage, blah, blah, blah.

- After the call it was time to head to the basement and work out. Alyssa's hooked on a Nintendo game and doesn't' want to go. I put on my Drill Instructor hat and the argument was over. No fun though.

- But wait, we can't find Gracie's' shoes. The basement's not finished so she has to have shoes. 20 minutes we looked. Nada. So I call Vic and whine. Of course, she knows exactly where they are.

- Takes another 5 min to get the girls sweat shirt and shoes on.

- Get down stairs, check for bugs and wasps, (that time of year), find a video, put it in for the girls, tell Alyssa no, she can't go back upstairs, change into work out gear, start music and get on the treadmill.

- 35 sec into the routine here comes Alyssa "Can you put this dress on my doll?" You ever try to do that while walking on a treadmill? Definitely increases the level of difficulty.
- 1:35 on the timer: I have to move their Winnie the Pooh tent.
- 3:30 on the timer: I have to untangle the two tricycles
- 5:15 on the timer: I have to rub a hurt knee
You can see where this is going?

Anyway, Vic finally gets home and rescues me about 32 min in to the workout. It's one of my best so far this year. Then my iPod battery dies. I step off the treadmill to turn on the stereo and accidentally pull the safety cord out of the treadmill. Lost all the stats I track from the displays. Time, distance, calories etc. ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! So I grabbed my Blackberry and from memory, jotted down what I could remember and trudged on-ward.

- After the workout I learn Kentucky lost to Marquette. Not a surprise, but a still disappointing.

- Watched the last 10 min of the Belmont-Duke game. Belmont had a legitimate shot at beating Duke, but the refs blew 2 key calls with less than 40 seconds in the game and gave Duke the win. In my opinion a Duke loss is as good or better than a Kentucky win. I even pull for Indiana or North Carolina when they play Duke and I can't stand either of them.

- Dishwasher heater didn't work tonight, so I had to dry all the dishes when I got them out.

- What? No pressed shirts? Where's the iron? Sigh.

So, not a great day from some perspectives, but that is life. The sun rose, there was air to breathe and I still have my wife and kids who love me, 2 cars and a mortgage or two. What else can a man ask for?

Cheers!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Melody

If you're ever in a relaxing, rainy afternoon mood and want some great mellow jazz, you have to check out Melody Gardot. Sweet, sultry, sexy,,,everything you'd want in a jazz singer.

Work out today was good, but the tops of my ankles have been getting sore after the work out. Not sure if its strain, stress or form. Did over 50 min on Bike and Treadmill tonight, plus 10 min of ab work. Gotta beat this tire into submission you know.

Well, gotta get some rest. Kids are in bed, Vic's watching Dances with the Stars and I'm pooped.

G'nite

Monday, March 17, 2008

St Patty's Day

You'd think I would have learned my lesson in grade school. Wear green on St Patty's Day. But nooooo. I took a day off from work today, first time I've done that in a long time. I liked it, may have to do it again. Anyway, where was I, oh yes, Green. I was very relaxed, not really paying attention to things like the color of my clothing.

So Hailey comes home from school and enters my office. She starts checking me out like a piece of meat. I'm curious, but clueless. I turn my head back to the computer screen. That's when the pain hit me. The sharp, searing pain of little 8 yr old fingers pinching the back side of your arm. And through the pain I hear her sweet, angelic voice, "You're not wearing green! "

Yep, guilty. Not gonna let that one happen again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Birthdays, Plastic and March Madness 4

The end of another special day at our house. Hailey celebrated her 8th birthday and we brought in another pound of plastic into the house. Before we had children I would bet Vic and I had less than 20 lbs of plastic in our house. I mean really, think about. Before any of you had children, how much plastic was in your house? Tupperware, tumblers, some portions of the refridgerator and microwave, a few odds and ends here and there, but no substantial quantities of plastic. Now I would bet we have 200 lbs or more of plastic in the house.

Perhaps the makers of plastic in some evil, capitalistic scheme are actually putting chemicals in our water supply to make us more fertile and produce more children just so they can increase sales. Ok, maybe that's a stretch. More likely we're just too weak to tell our kids no and buy them everything under the sun, and thier grandparents are worse. :)

Anyway, ramblings aside, Hailey had a great birthday. Beautiful cake, new clothes, toys, shopping, movies. Yep, she's a happy kid today. Next birthday is Vic, she'll be ,,,,cough, cough,,,,hic,,,,ahem,,,,,cough,,,,,excuse me,,,,,,,34,,,,yea, that's it,,,,34 in the fall. :)

And believe it or not, the NCAA saw fit to invite UK to the tournament. That's right. The Kentucky team that at one time lost 4 in a row is going to the big dance. I'm happy about it of course and hope they do well, but don' t have any illusions about thier chances. At best this will give the younger players some excellent experience. Of course, the NCAA also invited Georgia to the dance. A team with the worst record in the Southeastern Conference and who only won 16 games all season. Pretty sad. As my dad put it, "a donation to the state of Georgia due to the tornados this week." Perhaps not far from the mark.

Here's to another day in paradise.


Hailey's 8 Years Old






It's amazing how time does fly. Our little girl is eight years old today. For those of you who may not know her, she's the smartest child I know. She's sweet, honest, talented and we love her with all our hearts.

March Madness 3

I didn't get to see the game with Georgia today, so I can't first hand comment on how the really, really, really bad UGA Bulldogs beat Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. However, my Mother did give me a quick synopsis of the game.

"Those refs gave the game to Georgia. I haven't seen such biased, pathetic, horrible officiating in my life. Those Geogria players were beating the crap out of our boys, and the refs just stood there with thier hands in their pockets."

Now my Mother is a saint and would never exaggerate anything. So I have to take this as gospel. I'm sure an NCAA investigation will be forthcoming. ;)

Only hope now is for UK to get a miracle birth in NCAA tourney, or perhaps NIT.
Either way, I think they'll still have some games left this year.

And last note for today, IT'S HAILEY'S BIRTHDAY NOW!!! Everyone send money. I promise I'll give it to her. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Vic - Trapped in Target

Doing some secret shopping today and ran into Target. I'd been there about 15 minutes when the tornado sirens went off and then the target employees directed us to their "Tornado Safe Zone", which just happened to be back in the domestic department (lots of pillows). We had to stay there roughly 30 minutes until the all clear was sounded. Finally got to get back to shopping when the sirens went off again, and back I go to my good ole' trusted spot. Fortunately I was never afraid for myself, but worried about Joe and the girls home alone in the basement. My cell had no signal that far back in the building, but I figured out I could text and receive messages so that's how I kept in touch with my family. I was next to a very nice couple from Nelson county, Jen and Blake (I think that was his name) and a pregnant lady who thought she was going to starve. Thanks to these folks, it was nice to get to know you given the circumstances, I enjoyed talking and laughing with you.

I would like to say one thing about the stupidity of some people. When tornado sirens go off and your told to go to the "safe zone" please do so and don't try to fight with people trying to keep your sorry butts from getting killed. I'm sorry you have a wedding to go to or someplace better you want to be, if you don't think things like this should be taken seriously just take a look at the local news tonight and be grateful that someone cared enough about you and your family to keep your dumb ass safe.

Pics from Target.

One last thing, on my way out of Target I couldn't find my car!! I walked the parking lot for 10 minutes trying to find it. I held the key alarm up in the air and tried to set off the car alarm, I went back to where I entered the store and tried to retrace my steps, I could not find the stupid Big Rig. I was headed back inside Target to call Joe and the police to report it stolen when it hit me......I wasn't driving the Big Rig,,,,,I was in Joe's car. Talk about a blond moment!

Thoughts of Ed Morrow

The tornados weren't just confined to downtown Atlanta. Today they're headed our direction.
Me and the girls are in the basement listening to the tornado sirens. We have food, water and entertainment. We're good.

Vic headed to Target on a secret mission while I stayed home with the girls. I was watching the news and radar and saw it was headed our way. Hailey made lunch for the girls while I assembled supplies and gear. After lunch, got the girls dressed, jackets on, shoes on and Hailey and Gracie ran supplies to the basement. Then the tornado sirens sounded. Vic was trapped at Target with no cell service, but we could text message back and forth. Fun times.

Everytime I hear those sirens though I'm reminded of the radio broadcasts of Edward Morrow during WWII in London. The air raid sirens were sounding in the background while he made his reports. No, I'm not that old, my dad had all his broadcasts on tape and used to play them for me.

An eerie feeling indeed.

But we're good for now. Watching the radar and taking care of the girls. I could kiss my neighbor Kurt for giving us this portable TV. Been able to watch everything.


video

Friday, March 14, 2008

March Madness 2

I was hoping my second post of March Madness would be of UK beating Georgia. Instead, it's of the tornado going through downtown Atlanta during the Alabama/Miss St game. Our game is now postponed til who knows when, but it looks like UK will have to play 2 games tomorrow. (Notice the confidence in our victory over Georgia.)

Quite a mess down town. CNN building damaged, cars damaged, debris everywhere. Glad I wasn't working tonight. Truly hope no one was seriously injured.

Contact with the Enemy

The plan for an upcoming battle is good only til initial contact with the enemy. I believe Gen Eisenhower or Gen Omar Bradley said that in WWII. And you know what? It's true.

My plan was to lose 10 lbs per month thru Oct, a total of 100 lbs. On Feb 1st I was down 22 lbs, weighing 265. Today I did a mid-month weigh-in, and I still weighed 265 lbs. No change in 2 weeks. So much for the plan. Check please!

So, how to overcome? I feel like I'm starving now. I'll make at least 10 trips into the kitchen looking for food each and every night. I find myself doing it and not even realize I'm doing it. I'm working out longer each night with more intensity, so I should be burning more calories as I get fitter, but it's not evident on the scale.

So how to get past this point:
- Can't cut back on eating. Starvation doesn't do the body good. Need fuel and nutrients to stay healthy, get fitter and work out.
- Can't increase intensity of work outs too fast. Slow and steady improvements is best to avoid injuries. Especially since just 2 months ago my primary leisure activity was to ensure the couch stayed secure if Earth's gravity failed.

So what to do? I've thought about this all day, and have come up with the following plan:
- Monitor 'what' I eat more carefully. Choosing foods with less sugar and carbs.
- Eat a good breakfast and smaller meals for lunch and dinner.
- Eat several small snacks (healthy of course) between lunch and dinner.
- Do 8 minutes of exercise in the morning prior to breakfast. Calisthenics, exercise tape or something. Anything to get the heart going and metabolism up.
- Every hour, do 1 minute of something. Push-ups, sit-ups, lig lifts, squats. Anything to provide a quick pick-me up.
- Eat nothing after evening work-out. No matter what game or movie is on.

Now, I'm not a genius who just figured this out. I've scoured the net for ideas and recommendations, traded emails with Reger and selected these tasks as the approach for me.

So, in 2 weeks when its time to weigh-in again. We'll see if this has been effective. Wish me luck!

That's all for now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Don't Have Time to Bleed

What a day!! Aside from Vic being down hard again and work being rough, it's been a very positive, exciting day. Today I've had the chance to be creative again (not that I'm the greatest mind you), the chance to dream up ideas and work on something that has me totally psyched. So totally psyched that when I hurt my knee again this evening, I really didn't mind. It hurt, but I kept on going. I was too pumped to quit. I was in a good place. I was motivated. I knew I could finish what I started. Some Motrin, a little ice, I'll be good as new.

By the way, the cortizone shots have really helped my elbow. I may actually be able to use that arm in some exercises soon. Ooooh Rah!

And the day wouldn't be complete without a pic of one of my screamers. Our beautiful Alyssa.

Semper Fi Devil Dogs

As ex-military, with a family history of men in uniform, protecting this nation during times of war and peace, I feel it is my obligation to share this video with you.

Marines vs Berkley

New Currahee Squad Member

My cousin David from Florida has joined our merry band doing Currahee this fall. Ooooh Rah!!! Now if he can just get his loser sister to come along too. Love ya Laura!!




Here's a pic of David and my little Gracie taken a couple of years ago, and one of him more recently in a 10k down in Florida.
CORRECTION: Ok David, it was a 15k, not a 10k. Wow, what a whiner. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Professor's Babe and other thoughts

Another beautiful day in Atlanta. Work, kids, work, clean, work, cook, work, drive kids to school,,,,etc, etc. It was interesting to read about Mary Jane,,,,I'm sorry,,,,I mean Marrianne from Gilligans Island getting busted for possesion of marijuana. I guess it''s been a long slide down hill for the girl from the farm in the mid-west.

My girls got a visit from our neighbors little girl and her friend. The screaming was so loud I was sure permanent damage was being done so I went to the basement to work out. Above the din of my LOUD work out music I could still hear the thundering herd above screaming and running for joy. I need to make a note to myself to get Vic's hearing checked. Mine too for that matter.

I found out today the IRS has a new website where you can ask "Where's my refund?" I was excited. I logged in with the information required and expected to see something like:
- Return Received - Date
- Processed for Verification - Date or ETA
- Return Verified - Date or ETA
- Refund wired to your checking account - ETA

Instead it was more like. If you haven't received your refund by XX Date. Call the IRS. Kinda dissappointing. Oh well.

A great evening to everyone.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shots

Finally went to orthopedic doctor for my elbow. Severly strained elbow. He showed me some love and gave me a cortizone shot in the elbow. And believe me, I felt the love!! It really wasn't that bad. Which is good cause I have to go back in 2 weeks for more.

And if that wasn't enough, our little Gracie had to have shots today. 4 big ones. 2 in each arm. She was a trooper though and didn't hurt anyone in the doctors office.


Monday, March 10, 2008

March Madness 1

I am a huge University of Kentucky basketball fan, and yesterday UK beat the Gators in thier last regular season game of this season. With a less than a memorable season this year it was a nice ending. Now if they can just win 2 or more in the SEC tournament. They've already beaten Vandy and Tenn each this year. And if not for the refs, they would have beaten Tenn during thier second match. Oh well, such is life.

When Vic was expecting our first daughter in 2000, she went into labor on the day March Madness began. Jokingly I told Vic she'd better have Hailey before tip off at noon.

Hailey was born at 11:54am. What a woman I got!!!!


This shot was just taken just a short time after Hailey was born. As you can see, I was dressed appropriately for the tournament.


GO BIG BLUE!!!!

The training of a new UK fan began shortly thereafter.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

And henceforth, this weed shall be called Asparagus

Anyone who knows me also knows I prefer pizza, spaghetti, baked potatoes and steak to any thing healthy. I never try anything new, hate spicy and am perfectly comfortable with bland, as long as there is a lot of it. Vegetables were something Mom made me eat to satisfy some Nazi torture experiment carried over from WWII. Green beans and the occasional salad were as ‘veggie’ as I ever got. Never ate a pea voluntarily til a few weeks ago. Never ate a brown colored bean like pinto, bbq etc until recently. And I never ate the long phallic shaped vegetable known as asparagus until today.

Vic got a recipe from somewhere and made fresh asparagus on the stove tonight with dinner. I was starving the other day when I ate peas. I figured eating them was better than downing another glass of water. And believe it or not, I didn’t fall over and die like the wicked witch of the west when exposed to water. So I figured tonight, I’d expand my horizons and willingly added the oddly shaped growth to my plate. And you know what? I liked it. And so did 2 of my daughters. Gracie looked at it with the disgust one normally reserves for rat poop.

So here’s to Asparagus. A new vegetable entrĂ©e on my menu to a healthier me.

On other topics, I was up all night doing Daylight Savings Time monitoring. Finished preparing my reports and finally got into bed at 6:30am. Brain pretty much waxed all day.

And if that wasn’t enough, today was tax day for us. Time for us to document to the IRS what, when, where, why and how we earned our meager living and justify why they can’t keep all of it. In the end, we’ll get some of it back, but not enough. There are too many stupid, ignorant, wasteful, vote buying programs costing billions of dollars each year which have to be funded.

I’d also like to issue an alert to anyone in the Columbus, OH area. My cousin David got his learners permit and is now on the open road. After David’s first drive with his father Tom, I understand Tom had serious regrets about giving up alcohol for Lent.

Ok, enough for now. More tomorrow.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

GraciLyssaisms

Every parent has stories of their children. Stories of things they’ve said and done around the ages of 3-5. Here are some of mine.

- Gracie comes running through the house screaming “HURRY, HURRY, HURRY, HURRY!!!!” All the way up to Vic, where she promptly says: “Pull my finger!” I don't know where she learned such crude behavior.

- Alyssa looked at me and said: “Dad, is Freakin Crap a bad word?”

- Gracie this evening getting her hair cut by a black lady. “Why are your eyes brown?” The lady says, “Why are your eyes blue?” Gracie says, “My friend Katie’s eyes are brown.” The lady says: “Why are her eyes brown?” To which Gracie responds: “Cause her skin’s brown like yours silly.”

- Alyssa again: “Dad, is A##hole a bad word?” I’ll never let her visit Reger’s site again.

We have more, just have to write them all down at some point.

Spoke with Marti Groce tonight. She’s going to join our little group doing Currahee in October. This brings us up to 9 now, so I think I’ll start calling us the Currahee Squad. If we get a few more I’ll start calling us the Currahee Platoon. Keep'em coming.

Changing subjects, the girls may not need therapy after all. There were enough snow flurries today so they could get on one of our decks and catch some flakes with their tongues.
And no comments about what they're wearing. I was working on our taxes and just threw something on them. :)

Well, gotta work tonight. Monitoring servers for Daylight Savings Time change.
May write more then.

Friday, March 7, 2008

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Snow, no snow, maybe snow, yes snow, no snow.
Love the weather forecasters these days. My kids are going to need therapy due to their up and down emotions over hearing the weather forecasts.

Vic did better today. Still some pain, a lot of soreness. Very tired. Not surprised considering the meds. It's been over 3 yrs now. No doctor has been able to isolate the cause, but the latest neurologist from Emory has given her the most relief. She's resting now and hopefully will be able to make the hair stylist appointment she made for tomorrow morning. In case I haven't said it to any of you, I love my wife. She's my heart and soul.

Ok. Enough there,,,,,workout today was great! Really seeing improvement for my fat butt. Goal in site for 250 by Apr 1st.

Heard from an old Navy buddy of mine, Keith Davis, today. He and I got on a plane in 1994 from Philly to Italy to Baharain, for a lovely helicopter ride to the USS Callaghan. Didn't know this guy from Adam, but we spent the next 2 yrs together on the Callaghan. Got out of the Navy and went to work together at KLA in San Jose, CA in 1996. Keith is a great guy. Smart, good looking, hell, if I were a woman,,,, :) Anyway, I have to re-tell this story. The lucky SOB and I, along with everyone else from the Callaghan, were bar hopping in Sydney, Australia. Keith ran into to one of the most beautiful ladies imaginable, Chantal. We called her Shanny (spelling is horrible, so shoot me.) They met, fell in love, came to the states, got married and now have 3 lovely children together. Eventually moved back to Australia where they live today. Cheers mate!!!! Love ya Keith and Shanny!!!!

Keith has asked if he and I can work out together virtually since he wants to lose weight as well. I can think of no better minds than Joe Reger and Paul Kindzia to come up with a way for us to do this. So gentlemen,,,,,,,,????

I have a huge box of photographs in the basement from my time on Callaghan. Of particular interest is our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There are some of Keith and I there,,,,,before the local police got invovled. :) I'll try to scan them in next week.

Good night everyone!!!!

Callaway Gardens Sprint Triathlon

If my elbow recovers and I can get some swim training in, I'm considering entering the Callaway Gardens Mini Triathlon this summer. 500 yd swim, 10 mile bike ride, 2 mile run. Could be a good start for me if I stay healthy, elbow heals and I stay on track with my weight loss and training.

Callaway Gardens Sprint Triathlon

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Thought Forgotten

Ever set out to do something and forget what you're doing? You know, you head to the laundry for,,,,,,, "why did I come in here?"

I did the same thing tonight. Meant to mention that Paul Kindzia is going to join our group at Currahee and Steph is going to consider it. Definitely hope both of you and yours can make it.
I would like nothing more than a whole cadre of people of there with me.

Good night everyone.

In the Still of the Night

It's nightime. The tranquility of the evening on this great planet Earth is upon us and most animals great and small prepare for thier daily period of rest. At least in most places, not my house.
With three small girls I'm keeping the earplug industry in business. "Daddy I want,,,," "She hit me,,,," "She hit me back,,,,," "That's my toy,,,," Yada Yada Yada. The sounds of love, freedom and the American way. We had ballet tonight, baths, dinner, thier hair's dry, night gowns are on and I have the Benedryl ready to pour. :) (dont call DFACs, I'm joking,,,,really,,,,I'm just joking)

Steph asked me to post race links for Currahee, so I posted what is available along with other information I've gleaned from the net. (History, prior challenge results etc) The 2008 race details and sign-up forms aren't available yet. I did, however, speak with a very friendly lady at the Toccoa Chamber of Commerce who said this information and details should be available by early summer. She took my address and promised to mail me everything she could. Here's a picture of Currahee.
Also, the image at the top of my homepage now is from the top of Currahee. Can you tell I'm serious about this? Focus, focus, focus!!! Keeping my eye on the ball!!
The Currahee Challenge is part of the Military Weekend in Toccoa. They have battle re-enactments, airborne demonstrations, museums, reunions etc. It looks to me like a lot of fun and a great history lesson for my girls. Well, my 8 year old anyway. My little ones are liable to take off and join the battle re-enactment. They bore easy.
Anyway, I'll keep posting more information as it becomes available.

Work out was good today. Very intense for over 32min on the treadmill. Due to work, kids, Vic, ballet, etc, etc, that's all I could get in today. But I had some additional incentive. I spoke with my good friend Greg Brown this morning and not only did he tell me Kerri (his wife) are expecting a baby boy in July, he asked me to join him for the mini-triathalon at Calloway Gardens in June. I'm considering it. (I can't believe I just wrote that. :0) I'm pretty sure I can do the bike and run portion by then. It's the swimming I'm concerned with. A 1,000 yd swim is tough for a novice like me and I've no where to train. And there's my elbow situation. Quite the challenge here, but I'll see what I can do.

A pic of the Alyssa and Hailey here, they're truly insane.

Vic and the Screamers

You know,,that kinda sounds like a band. But no, it’s my gorgeous wife and 3 little girls.

It occurred to me this morning, I haven’t really mentioned them on the site yet. It’s all been about me. So I’m adding a few pics of all my girls from the last couple of months.
The oldest is Hailey, middle one is Alyssa and the little firecracker is Gracie.




The pic below was taken during a momentary parental lapse in judgement. Vic decided to have a water fight. In the house. Good thing it was on the hardwood.


Vic's not doing any better this morning. In the bed now trying to shake the pain. So I'm playing Mr. Mom again and working from home. Good thing I like my kids or this would be a drag. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Day

Good: Got paid and received annual bonus. Doesn’t compare to the enormous pay cut I took by taking a job there,,,,but hey,,,,I’m employed.

Bad: Vic had her first episode in almost 3 months. I had to leave work early to take care of the kids.

Ugly: Didn’t get to work out like I wanted due to 3 screaming girls. Go figure. And I ate Tortelini,,,,breaking off my diet. Ugly indeed.

But I did get some exercise in,,,,got a lot of work in,,,,,got some daddy time in.

Focus tomorrow is getting Vic to feeling better. Hopefully, this episode will have run it’s course by the morning and she’ll be recovering.
Good night,,, wish I had more.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Training for Currhee

I've mentioned Currahee before, but I'd bet most people don't know what I'm talking about.

In WWII the Army began training its 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne in Toccoa, GA. About 90 or so miles NE of Atlanta. The training was very rough, the most brutal to date for the US Army, but to become a US Paratrooper you had to complete everything.

At Camp Toccoa part of the training included a small mountain in the distance called Curahee. It's an indian term for 'Stands Alone". The trooper wannabes had to run up this mountain, 3 miles up, 3 miles down just about every day, sometimes twice. If I'm not mistaken they had to do it within 55 minutes. I've read the grade is 5-8% for the uphill parts and much worse near the top.

In 2001 Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks, fresh off thier collaboration in Saving Private Ryan, produced an HBO mini-series called Band of Brothers about one of the most decorated outfits of WWII, Easy Company, from the 101st PIR. It was based off the Stephen Ambrose book by the same name. It is my favorite movie/series of all time and the very first episode of the series is called "Currahee". It's all about the training they underwent at Toccoa.

Anyway, that's how I learned about Curahee. It was my first exposure to Stephen Ambrose and Dick Winters, the Commanding Officer of Easy Company. Since then I've gotten several Ambrose books and Dick Winters memoirs. Being ex-military, with a strong family military history, I couldn't get enough.

On Jan 1st of this year, I weighed in at 287 lbs. Enormous, huge, heart attack waiting to happen. 100 lbs heavier than my days in the Navy. I had to do something. I needed to lose weight for health, myself and my family. But I couldn't find a trigger, a motivator to drive me. Until I found out about the annual Currahee Run/Walk Challenge each fall in Toccoa. I now had my motivation.

I'm going to run (maybe walk some) Curahee. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get into shape to get up and down that hill, just like my heros in Ambrose' books.

And I've invited my friends and family to join along with me. So far I've gotten:
- Wife (Vic - recovering from ACL surgery)
- Daughter (Hailey- 8 yrs old)
- Greg - Marine friend of mine
- Joe Reger - Psycho uber athlete genius friend of mine
- Marty - Co-worker and genius friend of mine
- Kristen - Co-worker (and maybe one of her friends I don't know.)

I'm working on a few more, we'll see. And if you think my 8 yr old daughter can't do it, they had 2 girls, 7 and 8, complete Currahee year before last.

So this is my goal this year. I weighed in Sat at 265, so I'm well on my way. -22 lbs in 2 months. I figure I need to get down to 180 in order to comfortably do the run.

All for now, some pics below of me, Vic and Hailey training. Mr. Kindzia says I should take pics of my progress, so here it will be.