I got nothing

Couple months have flown by and I still don’t have anything to write about.  I spend more time on Facebook than here these day – shorter, simpler, easier.  Eventually I’ll have something to say, just don’t expect it’ll be worth reading.  Until then…

Most boring day ever!

That’s right, April 11, 1954, was the most boring date ever; according to Tunstall-Pedoe’s a computer programmer/scientist who tackled the age old question.  Seems to me, this must have been the most boring project ever…  seriously, with all the worlds problems, this is an answer we’re looking for?

Mr Tunstall-Pedoe’s computer programme, called True Knowledge, came to its lofty decision after being fed some 300 million facts about “people, places, business and events” that made the news.

Using complex algorithms, such as how much one piece of information was linked to others, True Knowledge determined that particular 1950s Sunday to be outstanding in its obscurity.

Cambridge University-educated Mr Tunstall-Pedoe said: “Nobody significant died that day, no major events apparently occurred and, although a typical day in the 20th century has many notable people being born, for some reason that day had only one who might make that claim – Abdullah Atalar, a Turkish academic.

“The irony is, though, that – having done the calculation – the day is interesting for being exceptionally boring. Unless, that is, you are Abdullah Atalar.

Read the rest of the story (if you’re bored) >>>

So what are your dreams

Or more importantly, what are you doing to achieve them?

As always, David duChemin is spot on… if his most recent post doesn’t cause you to reevaluate, I’m not sure what will.  Fear is something we all must face, but regret is something we can avoid.

We’re all terminal folks. We’re all in the sniper scope. We’ve got less time that we think. For every ten people that email me and say, “I wish I could do what you’re doing. I wish I could follow my dreams, I wish, I wish…,” I wonder if even one moves forward. I hope so.

Read David’s latest post about getting off your butt and taking responsibility for you dreams.

Video production

Been knee deep in video production the past week or so for the upcoming Lady Jays Softball banquet.  I’ve replaced Final Cut Pro with Adobe’s Premier Production Suite, After Effects, etc., and feel as if I’ve climbed Everest this past week – learning new tools and scrambling to meet deadlines.  It’s pretty much just your basic slideshow at this point, perhaps one day my skills will match my vision, assuming there’s enough time to complete the project.

That’s the thing with video… it really takes a long time to produce.  Yes, I know there are easier tools, automation and alike, iMovie for one, but you give up so much control in the process.  In Premier, nothing is automated, every single pan and zoom is deliberate, every photo’s placement is deliberate, every transition, every effect is deliberate.  Forty-something hours invested in this so far – almost done.  Yeah!

I had plans for a really great 6-7 minutes video with lots of effects and video intermixed with stills, but settled for a 16 minute slide show, without any video.  There just wasn’t enough time and I couldn’t bring myself to cut so many photo.  Previous years videos have been 30 minutes or more (from another person), but I still have the idea and over the winter I’ll work on putting it together, just for fun and practice.

Lightroom, as always was a big help in categorizing, sorting and selecting the 240 photos out of 6000 plus this season.  Without Lightrooom, just the selection process of what makes the video would of taken forever.  Oh, I forgot to mention – photo collages – those too – 27 individual collages.  Man, I just love Lightroom – it’s a life saver for quickly putting together projects like these.

Anyway – that’s about it – haven’t been up to much otherwise.  Softball season is wrapping up this weekend and so is baseball.  None too early I might add.  Hopefully within a few weeks we can dig our house out from the chaos of this year’s ball season.  I can barely walk through the garage and I think we still have mail we haven’t opened.

Do the right thing.

Tony Horton nails it again this month and this month “Fail and try again”, along with “Persevere” mean something to me.  Vacation, baseball, softball, etc., have all gotten in the way of my exercising and eating right in recent weeks.  I guess that’s to be expected at times, but there’s also been an attitude of “Ah screw it,” too.  It’s been so freakin’ hot, get up at 5 am and it’s already 80 degrees with 80% humidity or more and go run 4 miles then stairs. COME ON!?!?  Excuses – that’s all when it really comes down to it, a bunch of reason to not do the right thing.

So this week, I’ve been getting back into the game.  If it’s too hot outside – then P90x routines inside.  Don’t want to do that?  Then get your butt out in the heat and run and stop being such a baby about it.  So far it’s working and honestly it’s been interesting doing some of the P90x routines after taking about a month off.  Mix and match – different, that’s the key to staying motivated and engaged.

We have become the United States of Quick Fixes.

Why are we so addicted to shortcuts, tricks, and magic potions? Far too many people in this country live in some kind of wannabe fantasyland. We’re trying to keep up with the Joneses without working as hard as they do. This bigger, badder, and faster world doesn’t give us an opportunity to stop and look at real and authentic ways to achieve greatness.

How many people have you talked to about Power 90® who, when they find out they have to exercise and eat right say, “Forget it!” There are millions of people in this country who have absolutely no clue that you have to work hard, take risks, and be willing to fail over and over again to earn what’s worth having. Hard work, risk, and failure . . . “Forget it!”

This is a very sad commentary that reveals what we’ve become in this country. We have the best of the best in the U.S. of A., but we hold the record for the highest percentage of fat people. Why do we reach for drugs, alcohol, sex, food, lies, blame, anger, hate, guilt, and self-pity far more often than power, courage, discipline, forgiveness, wisdom, and self-reliance? We’ve become a bunch of crybabies, filled with excuses, blaming everyone else for our problems!

You can read Tony’s full article here >>

I feel like such a hypocrite

It seem I’m always preaching to others, part of the job I guess, giving encouragement and sometimes a kick in the shorts.  I’m not one to sit around and listen to excuses, if you want something, need something, well, get off your butt and go get it.  But here’s the confession bit…  I have a huge interest in photography, always have, but I do very little with it most times.  I love black and white photographs and I follow and occasionally converse with some professional photographers who make a living making photographs they want to make verse those who’ll photograph anything to get paid.

About a year ago I purchased and began the restoration of a, 8×10 Deardorff film camera with the intent to get my butt in the proverbial field and make some photographs I wanted to make.  Alas that hasn’t happened yet.  In my head are a list of excuses, excuses I’ve rebuked others for and frankly excuses I don’t have the guts to mention here – they’re all too petty – they are excuses.

So what’s the purpose in writing this?  I’m not entirely sure, but when things aren’t going as planned, I’ve always encouraged others to call it what it is – to give it a name.  So few of us are willing to do that, because usually it’s a personal failure that we’re reluctant to name, as is the case here.  I’m failing to execute on my own desires and worse yet, I’m failing to execute the advice I so often give others and that make me a hypocrite.

Argh… so tonight I’ll go home, exercise a bit and drag out the old camera.  My intent – my goal – to take a photograph with the Deardorff, any photograph (even of my back yard if necessary) before the week is out.  As they say…  you don’t have to be great to start something, you just need to start to become great.  I’ll settle for starting this week.

P90x summary lost

Yeah, I still owe you guys a summary…  it’s been crazy with baseball, softball, work, etc.

I’m still at the whole P90x thing – didn’t miss a beat or a day, just kept on going, starting over with day one.  I’m now into my third week, almost complete with Phase one for the second time – hard to believe, time just flies.  Going for more weight and trying to bring it with all I have.  Paying particular attention to all the pull-up exercises in this phase – all the way down to freely hang, then all the way up.  And that cut my reps in half, its amazing how this simple change has made the workout so much harder.  Talk about being spent.

Diet wise, I’m a tryin’…  Shooting for 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fat – I get there most week days, the weekends not so much.  I use a calorie counter app on the iPhone (myfitnesspal.com) it’s awesome and I track everything that goes into my mouth.  I’m even drinking a ton of whey protein and eating protein bars.  It’s a difficult thing to achieve that 50-30-20 ratio of protein, cards and fat – impossible (for me) without the supplements and a calorie counter.

I’m eating about 1400-1600 calories a day, that’s 200-400 more than I was during the first round, but still about 1500 shy of where the P90x diet plan would have me.  I certainly feel more energetic now than I did in Phase 3, but still feel like I’m draggin’ a lot.  I’ve been reading about a Zig-Zag approach, where one day I’d jump up to 2000 calories (+500 or so), then the next, my starvation diet of 1400 and keep alternating for a few weeks and see how my body adjusts.  If the experts are right, my weight loss (not that I really need much more) and fat reduction should increase as my body shifts out of starvation mode.  And if all goes well there, you keep reducing the starvation days until there are none, then you’d bump your calories again, another 500 or so and repeat the process until you get the diet dial in.  Given I have a desk job, I don’t think I need anywhere near 3000 calories a day, even with all the exercise, but 2000, I can see that.

That’s about it… I’m still a fan, still at it and doing my best.  Next up I’m thinking Insanity (Sheri’s doing that now), then back to P90x for a third round over the winter months.

Owning a Classic Muscle Car

Owning a vintage (1970) Pontiac GTO is about as good as it gets… except for:

  • It drives like a 40 years old car.
  • You’ll only drive it on nice sunny days, when it’s not too hot and not too cold – lets say some where between 60-65 degrees.
  • That famous question:  “Hey guy, nice car… wanna trade?”  Ah, NO!
  • Looking for a parking spot where the guy driving the rusted out ’84 pick-up won’t park next to you, just to door ding your classic ‘cuz he doesn’t have one and therefore you shouldn’t either.  Who am I kidding – you can’t leave the dang car unattended.
  • Insurance.  Need I say more?
  • Gas:  $6.00 a gallon – no that’s not a typo.
  • Gas:  4 miles to the gallon – maybe 4, if you keep your foot out of it and have a good tail wind.
  • Your 15 year old son and daughter asking, “Hey dad, can I drive the GTO?”  Ah, NO!
  • There’s always something that either needs fixing or more likely improving.
  • When driving it’s hard to pick your nose with everyone looking at you.

Just for today

OK.  I guess I’m just a sucker for all these little inspirational tidbits and for some reason they always resonate with me.  One of my pals at work has the phrase “Thought – Word – Deed” on his screen saver and I’ve had something similar on a post-it note stuck to my monitor for the past 5-6 months; Priorities – People – Performance.  These little reminders are like a flashlight in the abyss of one’s day, week, and life.

The other day I ran across a whole sheet of these from another co-worker and I’m obviously not alone enjoying these so I thought I’d share them here.

  • Just for today:  I will try to live this day only and not tackle all my problems at once.
  • Just for today:  I will be happy.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
  • Just for today:  I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.  I will take my “luck” as it comes and I will fit myself into it.
  • Just for today:  I will strengthen my mind.  I will study.  I will not be a mental loafer.  I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
  • Just for today:  I will exercise my soul in three ways:  I will do a good turn for someone and not be found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count.  I will do at least two things I don’t want to do — just for the exercise.  And I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt today, but I will not show it.
  • Just for today:  I will be agreeable.  I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous and not criticize one bit.  I won’t find fault in anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.
  • Just for today:  I will have a plan.  I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it.  I will save myself from two pests; Hurry and Indecision.
  • Just for today:  I will have a quiet half hour all to myself and relax.  During this time I will try to gain a better perspective of my life.
  • Just for today:  I will be unafraid.  I will enjoy what is beautiful and believe that as I give to the world, the world gives back to me.

Well, there you go…  I’m not sure where this comes from, but I’m likely the millionth person to post about it.  If you created this, well, you’re a genius and must certainly have your life by the tail and a perspective about the world and self.  For me, it’s another reminder that no matter how much work you’ve done, there is always room to improve.

Busy April

It’s been a busy month… P90x as usual.

I overhauled the ole ’70 GTO.  High compression heads, aggressive cam and everything that goes with it.  The car just screams now – not a chance it’ll hook up.

Baseball galore, practice and games.  And summer softball is getting underway too.

Lady Jays Pancake breakfast earlier in the month and Sheri is busy putting together the Jays Baseball Banquet.  Not much has spilled onto my plate, but I got a few extra to-do out of the deal.  She’s doing all the hard work along with Joyce.

And finally, I built two more websites this month to boot.  The Lady Jays Softball got a new site: http://www.ladyjaysoftball.com and late today we just launched a new website for Jay’s Baseball:  http://www.jaybaseball.com, still a little work in progress.  Yes – they like black.

Oh yeah – I went to work in between all this too.  Yeah, I’m whining, but honestly, I like busy.