Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Share The Ride

Fitness Journal
The one thing that seemed to help me when losing weight is to weigh in once a week and record it where my wife can see it - it works, at least for me. I wanted to broaden that idea to my workouts so that I could be responsible to more than myself because just the act of showing one's progress to others seems to have a motivating effect.

I found that Fitness Journal has a neat feature that allows me the ability to both log my workouts and post the results to my blog via this map. What you see here is the combination of a quick ride to test the mapping, and my 45 minute workout last night. I think this image should update automatically whenever I log another workout so I may post a link to this post for quick reference, or I might just re-post the map once a week or so. Either way, I am posting my workout progress (usually on an exercise bike but walks, running and regular bike rides also count) for all to see - and to comment on if I don't seem to be moving much!

I'm going to make fairly aggressive (for me!) goal of biking "across America" twice before the end of next year. This will require me to average 14.25 miles per day between now and then so I'd better get cranking!

Friday, November 25, 2005


Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a loving and peaceful Thanksgiving! Since my wife had to work and the girls were at the aunts for the day, I took a job driving a truck down to Kenai on Thanksgiving. Despite working, there were many things to be thankful for - I got to talk with my Dad and brother (briefly) before the storm and mountains interfered with my cell reception; as I drove south the blizzard eventually petered out leaving a dazzling fresh landscape to enjoy; spotting the bald eagles in the trees along the Kenai River in the winter is always great; when I delivered the truck the whole household of able-bodied young men got up from the Thanksgiving table and helped me transfer product into the truck from a rental van; the cabdriver for my trip to the airport was a great guy whose life is finally turning around at the age of 51 after making bad choices (the company tipped him well for the ride); I had a long wait for my flight as it was running late due to a de-icing routine back in Anchorage but the long wait made it possible for my friend Tim and his fiance to surprise me at the airport with two slices of pie, one pumpkin and one pecan (since I had eaten nothing all day - just try getting food on the road at Thanksgiving! - the pie was doubly appreciated); on the flight back to Anchorage there were only two people - myself and a little old lady clenching a plate of leftovers from her son's house - the closest I'll ever get to a trip on a private jet; and finally I went to bed early in a quiet house and got caught up on some sleep.

I miss you all dring the holidays and wish we could get some kind of family reunion organized (thanks for the note Penny!). I'll post more tonight after work.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


The Thousandth Man

One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother,
And it's worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninty-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin you.

'Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show
Will settle the finding for 'ee
Nine hundred and ninty-nine of 'em go
By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world don't matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.

You can use his purse with no more talk
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As though there had been no lendings.
Nine hundred and ninty-nine of 'em call
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man he's worth 'em all,
Because you can show him your feelings.

His wrong's your wrong, and his right's your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men's sight -
With that your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninty-nine can't bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot - and after!

- Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Thanks Bro for being my Thousandth Man, and my Best Man last March. I could ask for no better . . . . .

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Good Morning!

This is the Alaska Travel Industry Association's new Alaska Before You Die ad campaign which appears to be creating a fair amount of buzz in the advertising industry. The $180,000 campaign placed 11 billboards in three key markets (Seattle, Minneapolis and Los Angeles) in the lower 48 chosen for their easy access to an airport. The billboards stayed up for the month of October which research has shown to be the month folks start planning their next year's vacation.

The concept of having a list of things to do before we die has now became mainstream enough to be commonplace. If you google "before you die" you will find there are lists for just about anything, from 20 Hamburgers To Eat Before You Die to 50 Places You Have To Play Golf Before You Die and everything in between. It would be an interesting exercise for someone to write down a list when they were 10 years old and then every ten years after that, to see how priorities have shifted and goals have grown. When I read other people's lists and contemplate what mine would be, the temptation is strong to put cool things on the list that you've already done, so you can check them off - like Hike Down To The Colorado River From The South Rim Of The Grand Canyon or Get Married On An Un-named Beach In Hawaii. Maybe there should be two lists - 100 Things I've DONE Before I Died and 100 Things Still To Do Before I Die.

It's fascinating to look at other people's lists and mentally check off items you've accomplished - it really makes you thing in new ways. One list had the idea of Make An Enemy For Life because in the words of Schopenhauer, "We can come to look upon the deaths of our enemies with as much regret as we feel for those of our friends, namely, when we miss their existence as witnesses to our success." As a perhaps too kind-hearted individual, the idea of fostering an enemy and mourning their passing is truly a novel idea. Some lists you can check off things you have done and see how you are doing - I scored a 33 on this list.

Anyways, it's a beautiful Saturday, crisp and clean and full of promise. I have a million things to do and with the wife in Seattle and one daughter on a sleep-over, I need to get started and take advantage of the quiet. I may someday post a list on here of things to do before I die, or more likely two lists of things I've done and things yet to do. I hope everyone is having a great weekend and enjoying their journey!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Okay . . . .

All of you that know me well also know I can't resist a good moose photo. This was taken this past weekend when we had another snow flurry that dumped another inch or two on Anchorage. It appears that even though the peak of the annual rut has passed, this bull still very much has love on his mind. By December, January at the latest, he will have shed his antlers for the year and re-focused on eating to make it through the long winter.



This photo was taken November 1 downtown - you can see that we got our predictable dusting of snow by Halloween, the one thing it seems we can count on about our winters in Anchorage. You can also see that a four foot chain link fence makes very little impression on a bull moose that always amaze me with their grace and agility given their size.

It has been a tough week. Work has been more of a grind somehow now that I have made my decision to move on, plus it is the busy season and we are short staffed. My son was robbed, at gunpoint, in his own apartment . . . . that sort of thing just doesn't happen that much in Alaska, and if it does, it happens to "the other guy". I'm still a little bit in shock and worry about his safety as they crooks are still at large and have his keys. They were clearly looking for something in particular, and just as clearly had the wrong apartment. I'm just so glad he and his roommates are okay and I pray he never has a gun stuck in his face again. The parenting just never ends - does it Dad? The girls and I are going to a concert and a boxing match tomorrow night - hopefully that will blow off steam and clear my head. Kerri heads for Seattle for an extended weekend with her sister on Thursday so I'll have some time to putter around the house and finish some projects and finally finish organizing the garage. I'm a little adrift on my drive to the apex - I need to sleep more (much more), I need to read something besides the paper, and now that we are not housesitting a dog for a friend I need to get back on the exercise bike in the mornings as my weight loss has stalled!

Thursday, November 03, 2005



I love this picture of Turnagain Arm at low tide taken from Penquin Ridge above Girdwood. You can make the drive along Turnagain a thousand times and capture a different mood each time - not to mention the ever-present bald eagles and dall sheep. The drastic tide swings strand the occasional beluga whale and give rise to one of the world's largest bore tides.

I wanted to make a quick post to announce a very dear friend of mine started a blog today! I won't tell her story here but just know she is an amazing young woman with a special sense of humor and a unique view of the world. You can read her blog here and I have also placed a link to Roal Wands Thoughts on the left margin of this page. Welcome!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


New Chapter

Sometime last week, I can't remember which day, I gave a six month notice at work. I know, I know - a SIX MONTH notice??!! Well, bear with me here, there is a method to my madness.

I have a good job, some would say a great job. I've been able to set my salary and define my own job to a large extent. When I work hard, the company does better. My boss and owner of the company trusts me to keep his best interests at heart and he has been very generous to my family and I and we have several meals a year at five star restaurants with his credit card. I know there will be many eager and highly qualified applicants to take my place and I have no idea how I will spend the two years between leaving this job and starting pharmacy school but it just wasn't enough.

My boss was in from New York and we were having discussions about how I tend to inhale everyone's problems and make them my own, and it gets overwhelming after awhile. He said I need to spend less time helping my co-workers, and more time moving forward on a certain security project that had been on my plate for, admittedly, too long. I walked back to my office and sat down and realized that I really didn't want to stop helping my coworkers and concentrate exclusively on the security project - so I went upstairs and quit. The process of explaining to him how I felt really crystallized in my mind that I was making the right decision, even though it started out as a gut reaction. When it was all over, he told me I had a job at his company for life if I wanted, even after we hired a replacement, and he got up and hugged me. The whole quitting thing went so well I almost changed my mind!

So, there will be changes on the road to the apex. It feels right, after a week's reflection, to be moving on. My wife is very supportive of my decision and I'm hoping to find something really positive and fun to do for a couple years in Alaska - any prospective employers, I'm available around May 1!


Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween weekend! As you can see, we have Trevor looking saucy down in North Dakota in his French Maid outfit, and Lydia is gorgeous here in Anchorage as Batgirl - what talented and interesting children I have . . . .

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