Friday, May 29, 2009

Sumthin smells funny.

You know the water here smells funny? I thought this initially when I was staying in hotels when we first decided to move to this area for my job and we were looking for a place to live. At the hampton inns it kinda smells like they cooked it over a flame, but it still does not leave me feeling as clean as I once felt when showering elsewhere. Then when we moved in, the water kinda smells like reclaimed water. Not a lot, just a little. It smells like that all over though, not just at my house. Just a hint of "there used to be poo in this water, but now it is....clean?". Like if the reclaimed water that they use on the grass here was the perfume, the house water would be the body wash. Not a huge problem, just wanted to mention it.
On that same topic, there was some "Why are triathletes getting sick?" articles just recently, and one of the reasons is because of the increased levels of e-coli in the water after heavy rains. I guess the huge amount of water fills up the drainfields and septic systems, then runs off into the drainage ditches and eventually into the waterways. I imagine that industrial fertilizers, and even regular lawn fertilizers would also run into waterways during these periods of increased precipitation. That being said, we have had record amounts of rainfall in the area, and I just swam in a lake which was surrounded by houses. . If you are interested in this topic and are in a position of power, like a county planner or administrator, what the hell are you doing reading my blog? and get involved.
More later.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jobs, jobs, and more jobs.

So, I need some money. Probably a lot like everyone else in this world. Here is my list of wants right now and then I can go from there. First, I would like to purchase a house in the next 6 months. I think it is a good way to make my family happy. They need a house that fits us, perferably one where two of the bedrooms (one of which is the master bedroom) does not have a door to the main living area. If someone is sitting on the couch watching the bigger TV, or is sitting at our dining table eating or doing homework, they are right outside of my bedroom window. That coupled with the fact that all rooms down the center of the house are open to the rest of the rooms so you can hear a pin drop throughout the house (or in our case, the kid's gaming TV, the noise from the computers, and/or the microwave in the kitchen or the dishwasher). Someone wasn't thinking when they put this thing together. So, I would very much like to move into a different house in the next 6-9 months. I need money for that.
Why, you ask? Because I still own my house in Milton, I reply. And rumor has it that banks are not willing to lend money to someone who has a house (even if it is being rented) without a larger than I can afford down payment. I would estimate this as 20% of the cost of the new house, so let's put this at a liberal $60,000. I don't have any, so it really doesn't matter.
Reason #2 My hobby is an expensive sport. It is not fishing, which would put me in at $bookoo for a boat, and weekly/monthly gas and fishing supplies. It is also not collecting things which take up space on a shelf.. It is training for a triathlon. Soon, it will be racing triathlons, but I think I should probably be better at it before I can tout that my hobby is "Triathlons" or "Adventure Racing" or somesuch verbage. Right now it is training. Speaking of which, I have a 1.5 hour bike and 30 minute run to do here as soon as I am done with work. I keep seeing things I really would rather have, like a new bike built for Triathlons and time trials, a new bike trainer that is very quiet, tri shoes, blah blah blah, it adds up. Add to that the race fees and potential travel expenses, and I am up there in cost.
Third Reason: Team In Training. Part of the reason I initially got into triathlon training is because of this program. I am doing a second season and would very much like to race in the Nation's Triathlon in September. In order to do this, I need to fundraise $4200 in the next couple months. I did not do so well on the last fundraiser, and so my confidence is a little low that I can make this one. Recommitment is in July, and I need to be more than half way or have some guaranteed money on deck to make this happen.
Fourth Reason: Family stuff. I can not neglect the family stuff I still need to get. Examples; I would like to switch to YMCA from LAFitness so that J, A, and S can sign up for the programs in the Y. Problem is the sign-up fee, and the additional fees for the programs. It seems outlandish that the YMCA, the place where everyone can go, charges close to $100 for a monthly family membership, $100 to $150 in initialization fees, and then an additional $50 per month PER PROGRAM for the kids to do during the summer. That is $300 minimum to start, and $100 fee+$150 in programs if all three of them sign up for one thing. HOLY CRAP! Then there is the books that everyone wants to read, the allowances, fixing broken stuff, getting better stuff, paying people to come in and do the things I don't want to do like cleaning carpets, etc. Just all costs money.

Solution: Here is where I need some help from you. I am planning to blog for a while, going to put on adsense, Barnes and Noble associate links, etc. I am also going to start writing a book/books. If you have ideas for a fundraiser that I can do, and/or for easy ways to add onto a blog that could earn a little extra cash, or if you see a business opportunity I can capitalize on, please let me know.

So, this has been a pretty pathetic blog entry so far. No juicy bits at all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Snake in the toilet

Before you go all FREAKING out because the title is called Snake in the toilet, let me tell you there was NOT a snake in my toilet. Here is the deal:

Sometimes the dog wakes up in the middle of the night, and smacks his lips, sits up like he is begging for a treat, and wags his tail against the floor and starts whining. This is an indication that he needs to go to the bathroom. At this point in the night, Josy pushes me a little and says, "Can you let the dog out?" to which I reply, "Mphh". Then I get up and let the dog out. I sleep on the couch next to the door until he whines to come in, then I let him in. Inevitably, I have to go to the bathroom at this point because that is what happens when you wake up. Try as i might, I am awake at this point, so , to the bathroom I go. This morning when this scenario played out at roughly 3:30, I got to thinking. What if there is a snake in the toilet. I have not turned the light on, so I have no idea, and I am sitting there (because I know what kinda trouble I would get into if I tried to aim at this time in the morning), and freaked myself out, because you and I know that A) peeing on a snake would be the number one way to get bit, and B) the snake would bite the low hanging fruit if you know what I mean. Anyway, I went as fast as I could, then jumped up and danced over to the bed and tried to go back to sleep. Sleep finally came at 5:45 just after the first time the clock-alarm went off.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

One of THOSE days.

Last night at dinner we discussed whether we would be working out as a group today. The concensus at dinner was, we would not. Then I got a text that we might, then was asked my opinion about whether we should or shouldn't, and plan to go on Sunday. My impression of the weather was this: it would be OK from 6:30 til 10, then it would get rainy. The other in formation that we had was this: Hector (a trainer in the area) went to talk to the meteorologist at Channel 13 and the prediction was that it would be way rainy. He sent a message to cancel his team's group workout, which was forwarded to my coach from one of the team-members. So, being on the safe side, when Coach and I talked, we decided that it was best to not workout based on the information we got from an honest to goodness meteorologist. I woke up at 7:30 today to find that there was no rain, and that the coach was working out on her own. This frustrates me a little, since I hate it when um.. female athletes, workout on their own. I have heard too many stories of abductions, rapes, and murders to think that it is OK for someone of the female persuasion to go out and workout by themself. This is not even considering the fact that the roads are wet, and there is not anyone out there to help if you get hurt.

If you are a woman, do not work out alone in scary places. Work out in places where there are a lot of people, and where someone knows you are there.

Off that track, onto another. I ran for 5 miles today and tried to find the zen zone i was in the other night when i ran. Unfortunately, i found only hints of it, but never ended up in the zone. I am a little bit bummed because it was a nice zone to be in. My heart rate was a little high for where I should be training in, but the speed I wanted was there, and the effort overall was minimal and nothing hurt. Normally my calves will start to burn, and that did not happen Tuesday, and it did not happen today, but I did not feel happy today like I did on Tuesday. Maybe that will change tomorrow during my brick (Bike 30miles, run 30min), and please let the rain not start until 11am...

Last night at the mexican restaurant I did not find the hair. Musta ate it.

Two times in the past week or so, someone has come to the door and suggested that I sign up with them to take care of the yard. One was a yard maintenance person, and the other was a bug and week treatment person. I think they not only want my business, but want to do my yard so that it is easier to do the neighbors and so the weeds and bugs do not migrate to the good yards. I guess that means I need to get off my butt and work on it. I took care of the mowing and trimming in the front today, and will take care of the back as soon as we have 24 hours of no rain. I will get the bug killer and the weed killer and the plant killer for the cracks in the pavement. I really have no excuse for not taking care of it besides not wanting to. The same is for cleaning the carpet. I will do that this weekend as well, although i had better do it before the brick tomorrow, since that is going to pretty much kick my butt for the day.

We got a movie called Outlander from Blockbuster. I will let you know if it is any good. Jim Caviezel plays an alien who lands on earth during the time of Vikings, and they battle a dragon that landed at the same time. James Verniere from the Boston Herald says "Beowulf meets Predator" and Tim Long from the Detroit News says it is "Honestly: Best. Movie. Ever." I wonder if it has any boobies in it. In my opinion, you really can not say that a movie is the best ever if it does not have any boobies in it. - caveat, Jim Caveizel's boobies do not count. And they can not be gratuitous, they need to somehow be worked into the plot. 300 is a good example, although I wonder how many days beyond 18 that oracle girl was.... Speaking of that, Mary Louise Parker kinda was upset about her bathtub scene in Weeds. I looked up the picture on the internet, and I thought hers were quite nice. She should not be upset or ashamed.

OK. Making an edit. This was not the best movie ever.... and that is not the only reason. I would put this movie on par with The 13th Warrior, with a bad-assed space herpie. Pretty cool, but I am not writing home about it. I may let my brother know so he can rent it, but he probably wont. This one is going to come in below 300 and below Beowulf. Beowulf gets kudos for the Angelina Jolie parts, even if they are digital and slightly cartoonish. I think they did an excellent job making her the least cartoonish thing in that entire movie. All their budget was blown on the CGI AJ. Anyway...

If you haven't read them yet, Jim Butcher has a great series of books about Harry Dresden, Wizard/PI. They are great. Once I get my Barnes and Noble associate thingy, I will link to them and you can read them too. I am on the 5th in the series right now called "Death Masks". If you want a ranking, I would say better than Sookie books (they made Tru Blood from those), more adult than Harry Potter, although as well written, just to a different audience. Easier to read than Anne Rice - she can get tedious sometimes. And on par with the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, but with less penises. Peni? anyway, those Black Dagger guys were friggin HUNG. Something tells me that they went a little far with just how hung those guys really were, but if you like the sexy vampires, they are a pretty good read. Definately some parts to put you in the mood, so don't read them if you do not want to be doing that sort of thing....

Lots of typing not much carpet cleaning. We can chat again later. Bye guys!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hey, there is a hair.

From now on, I think i should just trust that there WILL be a hair in my food when ever I eat food not prepared at home. Today there was a fine, long, curly, blond one in my nachos bell grande from Taco Bell. I wonder how these people are losing their hair so much. I also wonder how sanitary it is to continue to eat my food once i find and remove the aforementioned hair. Based on my previous assumption, there are many hairs that have gone down the hatch. So far, there has been no serious side effects. Sometimes when the dog eats a hair, they get little poo dangles where the hair holds the turd about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from their bum and it dangles there like some type of Super-Dingleberry. As far as I know this has never happened to me, and if it has, nobody has bothered to mention it.

On to the good stuff, it seems like my habit/hobby is getting more expensive, and I need to make some money to support it. It is not as expensive as some hobbies/habits, but it is getting pretty up there. My current fixation is that I would really like to purchase a new tri-bike. I am not looking for the top-end $10,000 job.. I want to be able to ride it, and if I bought a new bike for that much I would be scared to touch it. I would have to hang it on the wall with some do not cross lines like they have a museum and treat it like fine art. I would call it "Depreciation appreciation" or something like that. But no, I just want your standard carbon-fiber (not the great stuff, but just the good stuff) and a moderate component set that would get me by and make me blend into the crowd. This is me on my current bike "Big Red" (it was big red til it got horns, now it is "RedBull"). It is a 2-3 year old GIANT and it works ok. I got it for $350 off of Craigslist last fall so that I would not have to ride my Trek 820 Mountain bike for the races. I think RedBull is going to have to last a little longer, since I need income to pay for my fix. I have a couple things going right now, and you will likely see them pretty soon. I am going to set up Google Adsense, and join some affiliate programs like Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, and such to get some passive income coming through, and the other thing that I am tossing around is Advocare. I currently am an independent distributor for Advocare, and am thinking about pursuing this a little to see if a slight expansion will pay for my races, travel, and a new bike.
This sport is not a cheap one, between the outfits ($50 for a pair of shorts!) Bike, Running shoes, Biking shoes, goggles, etc. Add in nutrition for before, during and after workouts, gas for drive time to the workouts, bike trainer for when it is raining and your workout is inside, plus fees for a coach if you have one, or time/cost if you are doing a program like Team In Training. Add to that a HR monitor - cause once you get beyond the beginner training you are going to need to make sure it keeps beating, and does not explode.
My HR monitor will beep if my heart gets too slow, and also when i am close to exploding. Intially I had it set to no beeping mode, and I thought that the rates were the actual rates not the % of max. Long story short, I got to the end of the workout and it said my max HR during that exercise was 204. I think that was when I sprinted to catch up to the peleton, but still, according to all the charts, I should have probably spontaneously combusted on the spot. There should be a grease spot somewhere near the Jet-Blue terminal in Orlando with my name on it.
I am not complaining about how expensive the sport is, just letting you know what the real deal is. I have pontificated enough for now, time to go back to work.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There is nothing here.

There is a fine line between funny, and inappropriate. I may need supervision.

You probably want to learn a little about me, so here we go.

I tend to get very focused on things, and right now, my focus is on training for triathlons; Namely, the Nation's Tri in Washington DC as a member of Team in Training, and the 70.3 Half Iron-man in Augusta, GA. I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon a few weeks back in Miami Florida.

Tri-Miami Triathlon - Here is the deal. I was placed 30th out of 31 in my age group. The other guy DNF (Did not finish) or got DQ (disqualified) or SFT (some f-ing thing). That was highly motivating for me, not de-motivating like some would think. More motivating than that, is the pictures from the race.
My results are as follows:
Total Time: 3:37:59.532 Swim Time: 41:58 T1 Time: 5:27 Bike Time: 1:28:45 T2 Time: 2:27 Run Time: 1:19:22
Overall Place: 208 out of 254
Gender Place: 149 out of 162
Category Place: 30 out of 31
My pictures are at the following location (Warning, these may be NSFW depending on your office definition of safe pictures, and your ability not to say, "Oh my GOD" and then have everyone over in your cube looking at my mooseknuckle and laughing at the 4 pictures of me dancing out of the swim leg. - Sheesh.):

Anyway, these are motivation for me to lose another 40-60 pounds and get really friggin good at this. By the way, just so you don't freak out, losing 40 pounds for me would put me at just under 200lbs. If you will notice by my results, I ran 6 miles in 1 hour 20 minutes. I think there is my biggest potential improvement point at this time.

See how i get focused on one thing and don't move on! You are going to have to wait to find out more.