Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Geek Conversations: Thanos and Ray Lewis

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Geek Conversations: Thanos and Ray Lewis

Tuesday – 04 August 2015
So, this just happened:

Keith: Envision, if you will, Thanos doing the Ray Lewis dance.
Me: I can totally see that. Right after winking half of the universe’s population out of existence.
InfinityGauntletSnap

ray-lewis-s-last-dance-o

Keith: WOO!

(Images added for those who don’t get the references.)

We’ve got a pulse!

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We've got a pulse!

Friday – 31 July 2015
It’s been a few NBN Thursdays – and Fridays – since my last post. Figured I should get back to it.

At the beginning of the month, we went on vacation. It was a greatly needed break from the norm, for the most part. The parts where the girls got sick, we could have probably done without, though. But, seeing new family, old friends, and other relations was good. Highlights of the trip included (but were not limited to):

  • A family reunion

    Family Tree

    Family Tree

  • Seeing my parents
  • Team DiVa’s first fireworks display
  • Team DiVa playing with cousins they don’t get to see very often, other than on Skype or FaceTime
  • Setting off the alarm at my mother’s house – twice – prompting a visit from the sheriff’s department
  • Taking Team DiVa to the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Greensboro Science Center
  • Seeing another high school classmate for the first time since graduation

    Rachel

    Rachel

  • Surprising my aunt – on her 60th wedding anniversary, no less – with an impromptu reunion of some of the kids she used to babysit and our kids
  • Catching up with friends
  • The very serendipitous meeting up with another friend, while stopped at a traffic light

Yes, there were a few so lowlights – what trip doesn’t have something go not-as-right as it could – but why dwell on the negatives?

All-in-all it was a decent trip and we all survived. I’d call that a “win.”

Workout
This will be coming under a separate post. I’ve got a plethora of backfill to cover.

For now, though, let me just say that I am still not a fan of lunges, which I did yesterday. And my glutes are “thanking” me for today.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

July 4th

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July 4th

Saturday – 04 July 2015
It’s Independence Day!

id4

Wait… not that.

This one…

Have a enjoyable and safe holiday!

Dr. Bill’s Discount Sychaiatry

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Dr. Bill's Discount Sychaiatry

Wednesday – 24 June 2015
Another No Bad News Thursday Eve is here. I hope that it finds you well.

I’ve mentioned that I was cast in Dr. Bill’s Discount Sychaiatry as part of the 48 Hour Film Project in a couple of previous posts (1, 2). Last night, there was a “Best of the Fest” award ceremony…

Some of the Dr. Bill's cast and crew with Bill Higgins (center), Director of 48HFP -SLC

Some of the Dr. Bill’s cast and crew with Bill Higgins (center), Director of 48HFP -SLC

… and Dr. Bill’s won the Best Writing Award!

McCord and the Award

McCord and the Award

Congratulations to Andrew Malin and McCord Larsen for writing such a fun – and well-received – script! This is notable as it was the second script that they wrote: They had to scrap the first one after it became apparent that the location they wanted to use was unavailable. All of this on the Friday night they received the genre and criteria… and before rehearsals and shooting started VERY early Saturday morning.

It was interesting to juxtapose the reactions at the screening last week against the ones last night. Last week, there were assorted laughs and chuckles on the right beats, but the reactions last night were bigger. I’m assuming that the reason – or at least part of it – was because last week, our film was being screened with all of the other people in our group, so there was a pretty large personal stake for each crew as to whether their film would make the cut, so to speak. Last night, casts and crews from all three film groups were there and I think that helped alleviate some of the tension. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, it was nice to see hear that people enjoyed it.

I should also note that while there wasn’t an official “Best Comedy” category, Dr. Bill’s was the only comedy shown during the “Best of the Fest” screening… so we’re pretty much claiming the unofficial title of “Best Comedy.” Because we can. Q.E.D.

As I’ve said before, the cast and crew were great to work with and just… fun to be around. I’ve heard from others in the cast that Dr. Bill’s was a really well-oiled machine and that’s why things went as smoothly and quickly as they did. I hope to have the opportunity to work with them again.

And, before I forget, click here to see the finished project: Dr. Bill’s Discount Sychaiatry

And, keep watching after the credits.

Namaste.

Father’s Day 2015

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Father's Day 2015

Sunday – 21 June 2015
I’d like to wish a “Happy Father’s Day” to the fathers out there. I would especially like to send Father’s Day wishes to my father and stepfather.

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Growing up, like most kids, I didn’t truly appreciate my parents, their rules, and – quite possibly most important – the sacrifices they made to make sure that my siblings and I grew up in safe home environments. Looking back, through the lens of time and some nominal wisdom, I am indescribably grateful for all they did – and continue to do – for us.

I also consider myself blessed and fortunate to be able to celebrate Father’s Day as a father, thanks to these little ladies:

There are times when they can drive me positively up a wall (see: “threenager”), but I wouldn’t trade the experience of being their dad for anything.

The Art of Manliness posted what I consider a very interesting and sobering article called The Importance of Fathers (According to Science) last week. The first two lines of the article surprised me:

In 1960, only 10% of children were raised without a father in the home.

Today, 40% are.

The article goes on to give examples of life in households with and without fathers, as well discussing how children growing up in those environments often wind up. It doesn’t take a long time to read and it makes more than a few points worth considering.

I hope that the fathers – and/or those who are fulfilling the role of fathers – who read this have a phenomenal day and get to spend it in the company of those you love and love you, as well.

Namaste.

Miscellany for a Thursday

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Miscellany for a Thursday

Thursday – 18 June 2015
Today is #NBNThursday, but it is also my sister-in-law, Melissa’s, birthday!

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And, I just found out that she’s coming to town and will be joining us for this year’s Run Through the Lavender 5k. Win-Win. She’s a bit of a runner, so she’s going to make the rest of us look bad not as good. I think I can live with that.

Workout
I really didn’t want to go to the gym this morning. Then I remembered that it was a leg day. #neverskipalegday. So, off I went. At first, I wasn’t going to do the elliptical, but decided to get five minutes on it, to get a little cardio. Then I found that the smith racks were all in use, so there went my squats – I would rather have a spotter if I was going to attempt squats with free weights. Today’s routine:

  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 120 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 120 lbs
  • Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs

Stray Toasters

  • I think that “threenager” is my favorite Sara-ism for describing Team DiVa.
  • If you have the opportunity to pick up a copy of Long Distance, by Thom Zahler, do it.
  • Tuesday night, I went to screenings of some of the short films made for this year’s 48 Hour Film Project, including the one I was in: Dr. Bill’s Discount Sychaiatry. (“Yes,” the misspelling is intentional.)

    Some members of the Cast and Crew of "Dr. Bill's Discount Sychaiatry" at the 48 Hour Film Project screening

    Some members of the cast and crew of Dr. Bill’s Discount Sychaiatry

  • By way of Coworker Brad: The History of the Carlton Dance As Told By The Legend Himself, Alfonso Ribeiro
  • I love the sheer joy of this little girl while flying with her father: First Aerobatic Flight Lea
  • I had an epiphany last night: I could move the girls’ videos off my iPad and onto theirs.
    Why it took me so long to realize that, I have no idea.

Namaste.

Happy Anniversary!

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Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday – 16 June 2015
Happy 36th Anniversary to my parents (well, one set of them, anyway…)!

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They’ve been married for 36 years and are still going strong.

Otherwise, today’s been a pretty average Tuesday.

Workout
Made it to the gym for another #neverskipalegday workout… and even upped the weight on each exercise.

  • Squats: 3 x 8 x 90 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 120 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 120 lbs
  • Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs

Stray Toasters

Back to it.

Namaste.

Monday… something… something…

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Monday – 15 June 2015
The new work week is under way. Where did the weekend go?! Oh, yeah… it was devoured by doing things. But, there was a fair measure of productivity involved.

Friday night we went to Noodles & Company, at Team DiVa’s behest. (Remember that point, it comes up later.) We haven’t been to N&C for a while, mostly because Diana decided a while back that she no longer likes macaroni and cheese. This was unfortunate, as we had long been able to get a regular-size bowl of mac and cheese and split it between them. They’d eat and life was good. So, we were a little surprised when they both said that they wanted to go. As much as I enjoy the food at Cafe Zupa’s, I was glad for the change of pace. So, we were off…

Vanessa boldly asserted that she wanted mac and cheese and Diana agreed to spaghetti with alfredo sauce and broccoli. Done and Done. There was a bit of… consternation on the girls’ part, when we got them water, rather than root beer.

*sigh*

We averted total drama meltdown by sacrificing my root beer to the girls. Shortly thereafter, the food arrived: Mac and cheese and spaghetti. Vanessa looked at hers and decided that she “…[didn’t] like that macaroni and cheese!” At the same time, Diana complained that she didn’t like her spaghetti, either. (It’s spaghetti. What’s not to like?!) Turned out that she didn’t like the alfredo sauce because it didn’t look the same as the sauce we used at home. Both girls resolved not to eat dinner.

::: braincramp :::

We got past macaroni disaster after Sara! stirred the shredded cheese in with the hot noodles. All of a sudden, it was the “right” macaroni and cheese! Hallelujah! One kid down, one to go. Diana still wouldn’t eat the noodles, but she was picking some of the broccoli out and eating it… as long as it didn’t have any of the alfredo on it. In an effort to both save our sanity and avoid sitting in the restaurant for hours, watching a child not-eat, I went and ordered a small bowl of spaghetti and broccoli. A couple minutes later it appeared, Diana was appeased and dinner was eaten. And I had a lovely serving of spaghetti and broccoli (with alfredo) to go.

The rest of the evening was relatively uneventful. Mercifully. A little after 8 PM, I received a message from my friend, Andrew:

Do you want to be in a movie, playing a well-dressed asshole at the bank?

With a line like that, how could I say “no?” So, I didn’t say “no.” And that’s how I wound up going to bed at 10:00 on a Friday night, so that I could get up at 3 AM to make a 4 AM call. About an hour later, I got another message, noting a change in venue. Still a 4 AM call, though.

Going to bed so early on a Friday seemed “wrong,” on many levels. But, I did it. Or, I tried to. I had the worst time getting to sleep. By the time the alarm went off, it felt more like a resignation to just get out of bed than having gotten a decent night’s sleep. Up. Shave. Dress. Go.

I got to the location with time to spare… and kill. The next five hours were spent learning lines, prepping, and shooting the movie – a short film for the 48 Hour Film Project. The cast and crew were great to work with and made it a very pleasant experience. “Pleasant” is an understatement, actually. It was a lot fun. I’ll post more about it when I can.

At 9 AM, I was done and headed home for Adventure #2: Going with Sara! to take Team DiVa to their first swimming lesson.

Poolside!

Poolside!

Things started off well enough. Then things went a little skewampus:

  • The girls were listed as being in the wrong class – not the beginner class. (Quickly resolved)
  • After a few minutes of dangling their feet in the water, Diana decided that “swimming” wasn’t for her. The reason: “I don’t know how to do that…!” The “that” in question was blowing bubbles in the water, which their instructor was showing the kids how to do.
  • A minute or two later, Vanessa was out of the water, too. Same reason. No amount of reasoning could persuade them to go back in the water. Sara finally told them that we couldn’t go to Redfish Lake this summer if they didn’t at least try. Voila! Success! Children in water!

Not too surprisingly, by the time it was over, they said had a great time and wanted to do it again.

The rest of Saturday was a little blurry – mostly because I was horribly tired and undercaffeinated. But, nothing of great import happened. Sara! and I did cap off the evening with cocktails and a movie: The Sorcerer and the White Snake, a Korean film, starring Jet Li. It was a little disjointed – a good bad movie, possibly a bad good movie. The jury is still out. It wasn’t great, but I’m still not sure if it deserves LEGO bricks or lawn darts.

Sunday was “cleaning up” and “room rearranging” day, after breakfast and a trip to Wheeler Farm.

Playing at Wheeler Farm

Playing at Wheeler Farm

Back home for lunch, a movie for the girls/nap for me, and then cleaning! We also rearranged the girls’ room for the first time since their beds went in. They seem to like the new layout, which is good, since they can’t really move the furniture by themselves and I don’t plan on moving it again for a few months, at least.

Workout
I made it to the gym this morning for a slightly abbreviated workout (skipped elliptical):

  • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 125 lbs
  • Standing Shoulder Dumbbell Press: 3 x 8 x 30 lbs
  • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Barbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (fwd): 3 x 15 x 40 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (rev): 3 x 15 x 40 lbs

Stray Toasters

And, we’ll call that good for now.

Namaste.

Friday’s interminable ramble…

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Friday's interminable ramble...

Friday – 12 June 2015
It’s the end of the (work) week. Amen.

It’s been a good, though tiring week, as Sara! spent Tuesday through Thursday at Altitude Summit… including being a panelist on Wednesday. This means that Team DiVa and I had to fend for ourselves on those days. We all survived the experience. And, we even managed to do an art project and make s’mores in the process. I’d call it an all-around “Win.”

Photo Jun 11, 7 47 58 PM

Photo Jun 10, 8 01 11 PM

I even made it to the gym five days this week; I haven’t done that in a few years.

Chew on This: Food for Thought
My news feeds have been full of articles about Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane Chapter of the NAACP and how it appears that she has lied about being Black. The story apparently came to the national spotlight after her mother outed her. It’s interesting to note that this story is not about someone adopting or borrowing from a culture, but rather has asserted, to no small degree, that she actually is a member of that culture.

What I find curious is that no one has talked about the historical precedent for the reverse of this: Light-skinned Blacks “passing” as White. For decades in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, people of mixed race and fair complexions lived among the general populace, identifying as White… or at least claiming to be, when it benefited them. For a fictional account of such “passing,” I highly recommend reading Mat Johnson‘s Incognegro (1, 2, 3).

incognegro_vertigo

I don’t know of any stipulation in the NAACP’s charter that requires members to be “of color.” Hint: There isn’t one. ANYONE is welcome to join.

From the items that I’ve read, no one is calling into question her right to be a member of – or to be president of – the Spokane chapter, which is good. The whole issue seems to stem from her racial identification.

I am most curious to see how this shakes out.

Workout
I should probably log these before I forget. Again.

Monday

  • Elliptical: 10 min/1.1 miles
  • Lat Pulldown (long bar): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Lat Pulldown (shortg grip): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Row: 3 x 8 x 80
  • Tricep Rope Pulldown: 3 x 8 x 70
  • Standing Tricep Press: 3 x 8 x 70

Tuesday

  • Squats: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs

Wednesday

  • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 115 lbs
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (fwd): 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (rev): 3 x 8 x 40 lbs

Thursday

  • Elliptical: 5 min/0.55 mi
  • Squats: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs

Friday

  • Lat Pulldown (long bar): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Lat Pulldown (shortg grip): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Row: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extensions: 3 x 8 x 30 lbs
  • Tricep Rope Pulldown: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Standing Tricep Press: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs

Stray Toasters

I think that’s good for now.

Namaste.

Happy birthday, Kristen!

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Happy birthday, Kristen!

Wednesday – 10 June 2015
Today is New Comic Book Day.
It is also No Bad News Thursday Eve.

It is also the birthday of my sister, Kristen.

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Thirty-two years ago, the child who would – for years – become the bane of my burgeoning teenage existence was born. To say that we didn’t get along is being generous. And not entirely true. Kristen got along with me fine; I, however, very often just didn’t want to be bothered with my little sister.

Things got a little better over the next couple of years. A little. Then I moved back to Maryland for school and off to college. By the time that I returned home (or that home, anyway…), I’d had a rectal craniotomy and learned to like – and like being around – her. No, our age gap didn’t always make things easy or by any means perfect, but we got along much better. After I moved to Utah, she would occasionally call me to discuss things she couldn’t – or just didn’t want to – talk with our parents about. I remember thinking how much our relationship had changed and how good it felt to know that it had.

She was a great kid and she’s grown to become a great woman, wife, and mother.

IMG_0811

 

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She’s someone I’m proud to call my little… um, make that “younger”… sister and my friend.

Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday – 07 June 2015
Some people will note that today is Sunday.
Others might lament that it’s the end of the weekend.

I’ll take a little of Column A, a dash of Column B, and a double-helping of “Neither of those things really matter, because it’s my mother’s birthday!”

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It would be a gross understatement to say that “I love my mom.” Because, I do. Not just because she’s my mom – and is, therefore, more or less stuck with me – but because she’s been one of my biggest supporters and, when needed, biggest voices of reason… even when it’s caused her pain, heartbreak and/or sacrifice. My sister, Kristen, and I have been astoundingly lucky and blessed to have her for our mother.

A few days ago, her high school chorus threw her a surprise birthday/second retirement party. I found out about it via social media. The best part wasn’t seeing the pictures, but reading the wonderful things that her students – who only saw her for a small fraction of their day, five days a week – had to say about her. I loved the fact that so many of them said that she was such a strong and positive influence in their lives. To be fair, it wasn’t the first time that I’ve heard/read these things from her students, but it always makes me even more proud to be her son when I do.

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And, if was only the students from her current classes who had such glowing things to say about her, that would be one thing. But that’s not the case. Students from years (even decades) past still show up when she “puts out the call” for her alumni chorus. And it is far from unusual for some students – past and present – to show up at the holidays, just because they were in town.

That’s the kind of teacher she is… at least for the next five days. She’s retiring. Again. After forty years in the classroom. (I don’t know what amazes me more: That the school system asked her to return to teaching a year after she originally retired or that she said “Yes.”)

That’s also the kind of mother that she’s always been. Kind. Generous. Loving. Not that she wouldn’t light into you if you got out of line, either. Thank God she’s mellowed with age. Somewhat. Regardless, I wouldn’t be the person I am without her influence. For that, I am grateful.

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Or, for the “Too long; didn’t read” version: “Happy birthday, Mom” and “I love you!”

Namaste.

“A long time ago…”

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"A long time ago..."

Thursday – 04 June 2015
Hello and welcome back, #NBNThursday.

This morning, we had a little change to our routine: We took Vanessa to the dentist to look at what was causing her mouth to hurt. She has a little cut on her gum that the dentist said should heal in a week or two. The ladies go back in a few weeks for their first “real” visits. But, I think that seeing more or less what it is that the dentist does today should make going back for a check-up and cleaning much easier.

Last night, I actually made a reasonable dent in cleaning the Train Room. It’s amazing how much “out of sight, out of mind” factors in once you sit down at your desk, focus on your computer, and basically ignore the rest of the room. I’ve made a solid start and I just need to keep forging along that path.

Workout
I got up, out, and into the gym this morning.

  • Elliptical: 10 min/1.1 mi
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs

Many of you have most likely noticed that I tweet about going to the gym. Part of it is because of Swarm/Foursquare and the other part of it is for motivation. I guess that another part, at least for leg days and my #neverskipalegday hashtag, is an acknowledgement of two things:

  1. Leg days are not my favorite, and
  2. Thanking Jay Whittaker for the inspiration/incentive to go in and do leg work, like it or not.

I’ve also been using #carveawaythestone for workout tweets. That’s a throwback to a Rush song of the same name and a nod to not being lethargic and doing something that’s good for me and that I enjoy.

Stray Toasters

  • Sara introduced Team DiVa to Star Wars a couple nights ago, showing them the first few minutes of “A New Hope.” At this point, they can identify Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, R2D2, Chewbacca, and (most of the time) Han Solo.

    Picture (c) gameinformer magazine

    Picture (c) gameinformer magazine

    And, “Yes,” I plan to introduce them to the Disney Infinity version of the characters, when the games are released.

  • Why Haven’t You Canceled Your Cable?
  • These Dolls Get Sunburn to Teach Kids About Using Sunblock
  • I’ve never played Minecraft, but it seems to me that the new LEGO Worlds – which is being endlessly hyped as “basically Minecraft but with those little plastic bricks we love” – might be better served if people said that it was the next evolution of the now-defunct LEGO Universe, which was a game whose time was all too brief.

Namaste.

“It’s lonely out in space…”

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Wednesday – 03 June 2015
It’s a sunny #NBNThursdayEve in the Land Behind the Zion Curtain.

Last night, I was putting Team DiVa to bed and, as they were getting into bed, they reminded me that “…we didn’t do a special story,” which is how I referred to Monday night’s D&D-style story. We spent the next ten minutes spinning a tale of their new adventure. (Yes, this made my inner #geekdad grin like a fiend.) They went to bed; I went to pick up this week’s comics. Win-Win.

I managed to make it to the gym this morning… after oversleeping. But, I went. I had a decent workout. Back home to help get Team DiVa ready for the day and out the door. And to get me ready and out the door, too.

Work’s been good and there haven’t been any major monkey wrenches thrown into my day, so I consider those all positive things.

Workout

  • Elliptical: 5 minutes/ 0.55 miles
  • Lat pulldown (wide grip): 3 x 8 x 70
  • Lat pulldown (short grip): 3 x 8 x 70
  • Dorsi Flexor row: 3 x 8 x 75
  • Row: 3 x 8 x 70
  • Standing tricep pulldown (rope): 3 x 8 x 70
  • Standing tricep press: 3 x 8 x 70

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
I found this quote as part of an interview with Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars:

Moving on doesn’t mean neglecting my past.

I like it. It strikes me as an interesting corollary to a couple lines from Time Stand Still by Rush:

I’m not looking back
But I want to look around me now

Namaste.

The Tale of the Gumdrop Pirates

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The Tale of the Gumdrop Pirates

Tuesday – 02 June 2015
Today hasn’t been bad, on the whole. Sure, there was that whole “getting a ‘Can you look at this…?’ call at 5:30 this morning” thing. A problem that rectified itself while I was still hearing about what was broken.

*sigh*

Of course, that was after I’d been in bed for about four hours, because I’d forgotten to do some laundry that I needed for this morning – gym stuff, not skivvies – and had to stay up long enough to wash things and put them in the dryer.

*braincramp*

So, this morning’s trip to the gym was lost to the need for more sleep. I could have gone to the gym on four hours’ sleep, but I did that yesterday and I don’t relish getting that little sleep on back-to-back days.

Last night, I tried something new with Team DiVa. Rather than doing  Blue’s Clues or Wonder Pets before bed, I decided to go with a bedtime story for the girls. So… I went downstairs, got a few D&D supplements  (like you do), and proceeded to spin a tale about The Gumdrop Pirates – Captain Diana and First Mate Vanessa – “continuing” a story that my father-in-law made up for them a few weeks ago and that Sara spun a tale about, a few nights ago.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why the D&D books?” Easy answer: They gave me picture references for easy associations on the girls’ parts.

Examples: I told them that pirates had to have a sword, so they picked out the types of swords they wanted to “have” from one of the books. I was also able show pictures of a dragon (one showed up) and townspeople (because they started in a port town).

The other reason was: While I wasn’t exactly teaching them to play D&D, I did tell the story in an interactive manner, much like the way a DM sets the scene for a player group: I gave them a very broad situation – going to a store or talking to travelers – and let them tell me what they wanted to do. The basic story had them setting out on their ship, getting to port, getting supplies, traveling to a cave to find treasure (candy and gold coins – hey, it’s what they said they wanted to find), and returning home.

It went over well, the ladies did a great job explaining what it was “they” were doing and how they did it. My inner geek was pleased. After I finished the story, they wanted to tell stories, as well. They each told a variation of the story I’d just told, but with embellishments. I was quite proud of how they each put their own spin on the story.

After the ladies went to bed, I went downstairs to spend some time playing Disney Infinity… which is how I lost track of time and forgot about doing laundry, until far too late into the night.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Carve Away The Stone

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Carve Away The Stone

Monday – 01 June 2015
It’s Monday. It’s the first of June. And… something something something-or-other.

There’s far too much blood in my caffeinestream for me to be writing a post this early. And it’s already been far too long of a day – I received a lovely wake up call from room service our after-hours monitoring company at 4:15. One issue was a non-issue, according to my manager, the other was… relatively minor in my book, but still needed some attention.

An hour and change later, after getting confirmation that the alerts had cleared, I headed back to bed. In the back of my head was a notion to go to the gym. I pushed it way back. As I laid in bed, I realized a couple of distinct possibilities:

  1. I could fall asleep, just in time for my alarm to go off, or
  2. I might not fall asleep and just get steadily more irritable at not being able to sleep.

I got up and went to the gym. I have to say that it was more crowded at 6 AM than I expected – the ellipticals were almost all in use and the treadmills appeared to be equally employed. So, I skipped cardio today.

But, I didn’t skip doing my leg workout. One of these days, when I’m a bit more coherent – or, Heaven forbid, I actually plan it out the night before – I’ll add a couple of things to my leg routine. Since I was early (and also because I missed a few days last week with st00pid work issues and/or a sick kid), I went ahead and did my chest and biceps routine.

Back home, started waking up Team DiVa – Vanessa requested We Will Rock You (so she could sing to it) and Diana, much to my surprise, requested Because the Night, by Patti Smith… and to my greater surprise: started singing it! Yep, that’s my kid. After that, it was shower time and I just want to go back to bed getting dressed and ready for the day time.

Let’s see what the day brings.

Workout
Today was a double-workout day:

  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs (because I didn’t think to go do squats on the Smith rack)
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 60 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 65 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 115 lbs
  • Decline Press: 3 x 8 x 95 lbs
  • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 20 lbs
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Barbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
  • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (fwd): 3 x 8 x 40
  • Wrist Curls (rev): 3 x 8 x 40

And it was good.

Stray Toasters

I should probably figure out what I want to do for lunch…

Namaste.