Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Back to the Grind, or something like it...

Wow! It's been 2 weeks since I've written anything new for no one to read. (If you are reading this, sorry. I didn't mean to offend but I think that this is for my own entertainment as much as anything else.) Christmas is over and, for that, I am thankful. I like Christmas but it can be stressful. Both my family and Miyo's are here in Austin, so we usually spend the day running all over the place to make sure that we see everyone. By the time we get back home I am worn out.

But, as usual, we lived through it. Seem to every year. It's good when it's over but busy while it's going on.

The boys all had a great Christmas. We missed the older boys as they went to Virginia to visit their grandparents but they had a great time there. All the cousins were going to be there and their uncle was back from the Middle East, so it was important for them to be there. They see that side of the family rarely, so we try to make sure that they get there as much as possible.

I went back to the gym today, after a 3-day hiatus. Did a 50-minute spin class followed immediately by 30 minutes on the Precor. I know, it's not the same as running but I'm trying to minimize the high impact stuff until closer to the season. It was a good brick. I'll run tomorrow, I think. I try to run once a week, at least 5K, just to make sure that I stay in running shape. I can build cardio base on the Precor/Eliptical but it's not the same as running. Anyway, the workout was good and I was happy to be back in there, sweating out all the bad toxins that I have been putting into my body over the weekend. It's kind of cathartic. (Did I spell that right?)

I am looking forward to the coming year and the fresh start that it brings. Miyo and I have grown so much closer this year and I believe that the coming year will bring more of the same. This year was filled with many highs and lows but is ending on a good note, personally. I am blessed to have such a wonderful wife and family! That might sound sappy but it's true!

That's all for now. I'll post some later about the "exciting" Friday and the meeting that the right front of my car had with a Ford F-150. Here's a hint: My car lost...


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tuesday's Rant (on Wednesday)

This may ramble more than normal as I'm listening to Buffet, which often has that effect.

I'm a fantasy geek, and my football team sucked this year.
I got a speeding ticket yesterday on my way to therapy. That pisses me off! (My fault, though.)
Why not Merry Christmas? Cards from vendors that say 'Happy Holidays' go straight in the trash.
I like rice. And breakfast tacos. But not necessarily in that order.
I like pickles, too. And beer. (But I've said that before.)
I haven't started shopping for Christmas yet. I think I'll wait another week or so.
I'm ready for warmer weather.
I like the change of seasons and cool weather for a little while but would rather wear shorts year round.
My kids are great!
Ryan hates to get his hair cut; he's got a wild head of hair. (We can only cut it when he is sleeping, so sometimes it takes a couple of days to finish the cut. That is comical.)
I like working out. I don't like people who pose at the gym.
I don't understand people who stand in the middle of the workout floor and talk on their cell phones like the conversation can't wait 20 minutes until they're done.
I like my job!
I love my wife!
My best friend bought Rose Bowl tickets for $600.00 each. That's a lot of money for a football game.
My sister and her husband are coming to town on Sunday. It will be good to see them.
I like Scotch. (I thought of that because my sister's husband drinks a lot of Scotch.) Scotchy scotch scotch! (A mindless Will Ferrell reference.)
Why do Austin drivers stop on MoPac @ the 35th street bridge when there is no apparent reason for them to slow down? I have never understood this. Maybe there's a presence there that makes the people at the front of the line slow down subconsciously, causing the backup. It's that only plausible theory that I can come up with.
What makes Austin drivers think that they can drive on ice? It seems to me that they speed up when the weather gets worse. Go figure.
I could go on for a while about how crappy Austin drivers are. Do I have room to talk? After all, I did get a speeding ticket yesterday.

Oh well. See ya!

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Christmas Party Extravaganza & a Life Lesson

The wife and I went to my company Christmas party this weekend and it was huge! There was an ice sculpture on every table, extravagant food, open bar, live music, the list goes on!

We had a great time! The only drawback was that we didn't know anyone there. The party was at corporate headquarters and I work 150+ miles from there, even though I am officially attached to the corporate office. Nevertheless, we made our own fun! We spent the night in Houston, which meant a rare night without the boys. While I can say that we both missed them, the night of grown-up time was much needed and a lot of fun!

Today, it's back to the real world. Work. I suppose that it's a necessary evil but I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I tell my kids that all the time. Don't worry about figuring out your life at age 12 (or 10.) You have plenty of time to do that later! Be a kid! Play in the rain. Play kickball in the street. Ride your bike fast and far until you feel like you can't ride anymore, then ride some more.

That's what everyone should do until life smacks them in the head. Let it lurk in the shadows. Ironically, by doing so you'll be grabbing it by the horns. Living to the fullest. Do what you want to do as long as you don't harm others in the process.

Stop to smell the flowers, but not so long as to miss the trees blowing in the wind. We all get so caught up in the big picture that we have the tendency to forget the little things. I'm guilty of it, too.

Last year Miyo started competing in triathlons. I have been doing them for 5 years.) I went to a race south of Austin to participate but mostly to help pace Miyo. This was one of her first events and she was a little aprehensive about it so I wanted to make sure that things went well and that she enjoyed the day and all that it held for her. In the process, I learned something myself. I had lost the innocence of S/B/R. (Swim/Bike/Run) While riding with Miyo, I took the time to look around at the landscape and enjoy the trees, the wind blowing through the canopy and the shade making shapes of imagination on the ground. On the run we talked and laughed and ran and walked and started over at the beginning. At the end, Miyo sprinted to the finish, as the day was about her success.

As a result of that day, during training rides and runs I try and look around and notice my surroundings more. It's sad that I live in such a beautiful city and area, Austin and Central TX, and take it for granted. Make a point of loving the outdoors and noticing the beauty that it holds. It might surprise you!

(Wow! That got really off topic from where I started but it flowed out of my fingertips. Here's to running and riding in Austin. Enjoy the beauty of it all!)

Friday, December 09, 2005

What's in a title?

I don't have a title for this, just some assorted, semi-coherent thoughts and observations.

We had an ice storm over the past couple of days that crippled Central TX. Not a true ice storm by northern standards but enough ice to make people freak out and drive more stupid than normal and run into as many different items as possible in one instance. I saw more people mashing on brakes and locking up their wheels when sliding across ice than I care to remember. It's actually quite comical, in a weird sort of way, to see the look on people's faces when they are sliding out of control and can't figure out why their cars are not acting as expected, yet they are stomping on the brakes to stop. I'm thankful that I did not have that experience; I'd rather be a spectator than a participant in this one.

I am starting a new work out next week and I am pretty excited about it. I will be focusing more on strength specific training and building cardio endurance through this path along with 3x/week of low impact, high intensity cardio work as I begin to enhance the base building that I have been doing for the upcoming season. I really want to have a strong year this year and build on the successful season that I am coming off of. I had 1 1st and 2 2nd's this year along with several top 10 finishes in bigger races. Add that to the fact that I beat the 'hairy man' (it's a long story) and I had the best year that I have ever had! Here's to a great '06 season!

This weekend the wife and I are going to Houston for my work Christmas party. I am really looking forward to the time without the children! I just finished ordering a fruit and cheese basket and a bottle of wine to be delivered to the room and waiting for us when we check in. I hope this has the desired effect! I tried to get a Jacuzzi suite but they don't have any at the Hilton downtown, so we'll have to make due without. Oh, well!

As I'm sitting here listening to The Cure, it reminds me of times I spent in Virginia Beach back in the day. Good Times! Many stories to tell that I may put down at a later date. If the mood strikes me...

I'm flaming out, so I'll cut this off. I'm out!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Damn it's cold

As a point of reference, I am in Austin, TX, so consider that everything is relative. Knowing that, Damn It's Cold! We had an arctic front blow through and it's 31 degrees outside. I know. It's -7 in Denver but that's Denver. It's supposed to be cold there. It's not supposed to be cold here. Three days ago I was running around in shorts and a t-shirt. Now I'm wearing a turtleneck and a sweater over it.

Oh well!

I sat for an hour in spin class today trying to decide what the background was of the other participants in the class. The woman in front of me was a triathlete. I decided this because she still has tanlines from swimming. There are a couple of spring-fed outdoor pools here that you can swim in year round. That would explain the remaining lines. There was a blind woman in the front row to the right of me. I didn't know that she was blind until the end when we were stretching and the instructor helped her navigate around the bike. The guy in the front right is there every class; I can't figure out what he does. The couple that is usually to my left took the day off. There was a new "old" guy in the back and another guy that I had not seen before who was there for the whole class but did his own thing throughout. Can't figure him out either. (As you can see, I'm not too good at this. My mind wanders and I try not to stare at those around me, making it more difficult.) The woman to the left of the triathlete is a regular. She looks like a mom who comes during lunch while someone is watching her kids. Maybe they're in the center downstairs.

Anyway, there weren't too many people in class today, so it was a short list. I think that the weather kept most people away.

Next week I am going to start to work with a trainer and begin preparations for the upcoming season. I need to work on developing some more strength to generate the Power & Speed necessary to build on last year. Here's to a good season!

Stay warm, everyone!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday's Rant

I have had a few thoughts running through my head today and thought that I would put them on "paper" for your review...

Why do we stare at collisions then get mad at the traffic jams that result from everyone staring at the wreck?
Who decided that the small, stiff saddles on bicycles were made more comfortable by putting little gel pads in them? Three plus hours in the saddle and nothing is comfortable.
New Order is, quite possibly, the greatest band ever.
Since when did "Merry Christmas" become offensive. I'm more offended by people succumbing to political correctness and saying "Happy Holidays" than I am by recognizing the season as it is and should remain.
I'm glad I live in Austin, where I can wear shorts 11 1/2 months a year.
I've had the same job for almost 3 years and am still not bored. That must be a good thing as it's the first time that I recall that happening.
I have a great job!
I don't like ATM's. My card was eaten by one this morning for no apparent reason.
As cheesy as this sounds, I love my wife!
Did I mention my wife is hot?
I'm ready for triathlon season to start. I'm not in shape for it yet but I'm still ready for it to start.
I like pickles. And popcorn. And beer.
And beer.
And beer.
The keyboard on my blackberry doesn't work and it's driving me nuts.
My fantasy football team sucks!
If my wife wins our fantasy league, I'll never hear the end of it!
What's the deal with... nevermind, I lost that thought.
I had a great workout today. Hope tomorrow's goes just as well.

That's my rant. For what it's worth...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Another weekend over...

I'm actually glad it's Monday. Monday's are insanely busy, juggling work, workout, boys to therapy, home to cook dinner, etc. But, strangely enough, I look forward the normalcy that is the insanity of it.

The weekend was good. Had a great time with the wife @ Wideawake, until she fell and hit her head and knees walking back to the car at the end of the night. Her knee is still swollen from that one, and she was mostly sober to boot. (I know, if I hadn't tripped her she wouldn't have fallen.) The Longhorns are in the Rose Bowl, which has most of Austin going nuts over how to get to Pasadena and get tickets to the game. My buddy Geoff has been planning this trip since he went to the Rose Bowl last year. I'm not making the journey with him but I'm sure that he'll drop whatever dime is necessary to get tickets and get there. My nephew Matt will be his partner in crime that weekend. I'd rather stay home with the kids and hang. That's sounds old but, as they say, if the shoe fits. I can't sit through an entire football game without losing interest, at least temporarily, anyway. When I go to games, I find myself watching the clock and hoping that it keeps running so that the game will end. My ADD brain can't concentrate on one object for that long a period.

Hiro went to his 2nd birthday party this year @ Pump It Up and had a blast. He loves anything that involves jumping and really seems to enjoy being around his peers. This is a huge step for him, and he makes more friends every day. I'm very proud of him. Ryan and I were buddies while mom took H to the party. He was very cute, dancing to his videos most of the evening. At some point, the mischevious Ryan got into my key drawer and managed to hide my wedding ring and college ring somewhere in the house. Still tearing it apart to find them. Oddly enough, Miyo had a prophetic moment Sunday morning when she reminded me that Ryan has started taking things out of my drawer and to be careful with my rings. I obviously didn't listen closely enough. You're right again, love!

Hope everyone has a great day and a great week! That's my goal.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ready for the weekend

The weekend is upon us and I am thankful. I started back to working out full-time this week to begin preparations for triathlon season, a mere 3 months away. I don't know when my 1st race will be but it is typically some time in late March to early April, so I have plenty of time. I went to spin classes 3x, ran 2x and lifted 3x. I hope to run once this weekend and that will be plenty.

We are keeping the big kids this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing them again. (It has only been since last weekend and we have talked on the phone a couple of times but I miss them during the week.)

Miyo is adjusting nicely to her new job, although she is working very late and we do not get to spend as much time together in the evenings as I would like. But she is happy and the job is challenging, and that's important, too.

Saturday night is date night and that should be fun. We are going to a casual dinner then to see Wideawake @ Antone's. Haven't seen them in a while so I hope it's a good show. I'm sure that we'll stop in at the Lounge and see what's going on there, too. Have to have a shot or 2 w/Danny Boy, our favorite bartender in Austin.

Hope everyone has a good weekend! Thanks for sticking with this, if you are paying attention!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

If it's Thursday, this must be Belgium...

I know that's not the name of the movie, or quote, or whatever, but I didn't really have a clever title for this post so that's what you get.

The wife is feeling better, getting over strep, which is making life in the house better. I am really looking forward to this weekend. Saturday night is date night and we are going to dinner and to see Wideawake, a local Austin band that is quite good. (Check out to listen to their music and learn about the band.)

Haven't figured out dinner plans yet but I've got time for that.

I'm amazed daily by my youngest sons and the way that they tackle problems. Shortly before bed last night, Ryan wanted to eat candy. Repeated denials from Mom & I prompted him to get it on his own. I don't know how or when but I discovered that he had found a stash of blowpops when he came to the trash to throw away a wrapper. A quick glance at the table found that he had 5 of them open and ready to eat! Good thing we caught that in time!

I just discovered Half Nekkid Thursday and am quite amused by this. I may have to begin participating soon. I have some pics that would qualify.

Anyway, that's about it for now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Toothpaste & Television

My 2 youngest sons, Hiro & Ryan, have autism. I am fortunate that both boys have a high level of emotional capacity and attachment to my wife and I and both are intelligent in their own ways. Last night, I learned a valuable lesson from Ryan, our youngest.

Ryan has a fascination with smearing various substances on the TV screen. The telltale sign that this is occurring is when it gets very quiet in his room and you can hear the Dora DVD but not hear Ryan jumping or laughing or getting into other mischief. Last night was one of those nights.

Miyo came home sick and went straight to bed @ about 6:30 PM and slept all night. That left the boys and I to a night of pseudo-batchelorhood (if that's a word!) Hiro and I were playing downstairs and I was trying to keep him awake as it was about 8:30 PM and he was getting sleepy. I wanted him to stay up until about 9:00 PM because he would not sleep all night if he fell asleep before then.

About that time, I noticed that it was too quiet upstairs. I went up to check on Ryan and discovered that he had taken the toothpaste from his older brothers' bathroom and smeared it all over the TV screen, the dresser, his hands and his hair. (Toothpaste, in a crunch, would make a good, very stiff, hair gel. Another lesson learned.) After spending 20 minutes cleaning the room, you could see Dora and Boots again. Ryan would have none of letting me take down the spikes in his hair, so that was comical to see this morning, but at least his hands and the mess in the room was clean.

This was apparently stressful for him as he fell asleep shortly thereafter. When I went down to check on Hiro, he had decided that the day had been long enough for him as well, so he fell asleep. After picking up it was time for me to reflect on the day and head to bed myself.

The lesson of the day is that silence is not always golden but will typically produce a lesson learned that had not been considered before. One more thing, toothpaste makes a pretty good cleaning agent and, depending on the type used, can leave a fresh sent behind.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Communication Skills

I wish I was better able to communicate with people. I find that, sometimes, it is easier for me to be in a shell than to open up and talk to people. Unfortunately, that occurs during interactions with my wife during stressful times. The net effect of this is that I allow myself to be placed in situations that are not healthy for me, my wife or our relationship. I am working to overcome this but it is a challenging task.

Often I find myself losing track of conversations and drifting off to thoughts of everything and nothing at the same time when I should be paying attention to the conversation that I am having. It typically has a detrimental impact on the conversation as I am not participating at the level that I should. I try to listen actively and ask questions to make sure that I am staying engaged and catching all the key parts that I should but even that becomes difficult.

It is most difficult for my wife to handle and I am very proud of her for putting up with me and all the baggage that I have. I can't imagine what life would be like without her. Thanks Love!

Monday, November 28, 2005


Welcome to my "Fountain of Useless Information." Hopefully, you'll find something of value and use here. The title comes from a saying that I use often referring to my ability to retain alot of information that provides sometimes little value but more fun.

I have a wife, 4 beautiful sons and a love of outdoor sports. I have been a triathlete for about 6 years (this is my 6th season coming up) and really enjoy pushing my body.

Two of my sons have autism, which has lead me to learn a great deal about the disorder, its treatment and the often puzzling ways that government works. I'll talk more about that in later posts.

That's all for now. Hope you enjoy my ramblings...