Friday, June 29, 2007

Health & Fitness: Mid Year Update

We're half way through the year and my Resolution was to do 10,000 pushups this year. I resolved to run a 10K & do 10K pushups. Yeah, I know but crazier things have been promised on party nights, believe-you-me. Fortunately most folks forget these promises.

Anyway, I use my running log to keep track of the pushups and I'm on target for my goal. As of this writing I have pushed 5230 ups and run 85 miles including my first ever 10K. The race was all trails & all hills. I finished and ran every step. I even managed to do 35 pushups that day.

I started doing my pushups in sets of 15 and increased the amount by 5 every month. Since it is June I'm supposed to be doing 40 at a clip but I usually do 2 sets of 20 or just some other number that works for me at the time. I've done as many as 45 at a time but I think I've plateaued as they haven't been getting any easier for several weeks now.

If you could only do one "muscle" exercise, pushups should be that exercise. They hit your triceps, pectorals, deltoids and most of your trunk for support. Do them fast to get the heart rate up or do them slow to feel the burn! My Dad always did pushups and credits them for retaining good upper body strength well into his 50s. That's all well and good, but I need a challenge. A few years ago I researched the training to become a NJ State Trooper and noted that a requirement was to do 45 pushups in 2 minutes. Well, I didn't intend to become a cop, but I made sure I could do the required pushups. They've since changed the test to a point based system rather than a flat number. Oh well. I'll just have to make sure I can do all of the 'maximum point' exercises on their new list!

Know what the hardest thing about the pushup challenge has been so far? That month where the vacuum cleaner was busted and I ran out of clean patches of carpet. Yech!

Linky: NJ State Police Physical Qualification Test

Orignal From: Health & Fitness: Mid Year Update

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Showered with photos!

My cousin David & his wife Asami are expecting the first Great Grandchild in my family and the Baby Shower was this weekend. It was my first "shower" and the new thing is that everyone attends, including the guys. I didn't mind so much because the shower sort of doubled as the wedding reception they hadn't been able to have at the time.

Quick summary: Lots of folks from all sides of the families. Good eats. A cake made out of diapers. A real cake with little "booties" on it. A gifting ceremony with many a "Awwwww!" from the audience. Tons of photos.

I'll spare you the bandwidth by not posting the shots here, instead I'll upload them to the photo gallery.

Click here to see my shots of the shower.

Congrats to David & Asami on becoming parents!
Congrats to Tiff on becoming an Aunt!
Congrats to Dave & Bev on becoming grand parents!
Congrats to Nana on becoming a Great grand parent!

Orignal From: Showered with photos!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton & the Sunny Palace

Apparently I'm the only only blogger writing about Mrs. Clinton's visit in the Garden State last night. Here's the story:

I'm out on a date with my wife at the eatery of her choice: Sunny Palace featuring fine Chinese cuisine. We pulled into the parking lot which was just packed and were surprised to find the one section vacant except for a police cruiser which was just pulling out, one limousine and one black SUV. None of this seemed too odd but I wondered if there was a private party and I wasn't allowed to park here. Sure enough, while I was futzing with the radio I heard a wrapping on my window, rolled it down and was greeted with a secret service badge. The conversation went like this:

Man with badge: "Could you stay in your car for a moment sir."
Me: "Sure. What's going on?"
Man with badge: "Hillary Clinton is in the building."
Me: "No kidding."
Man with badge: "Just stay in your car until we leave the lot."

So we did. While waiting I took the opportunity to notice the extra pair of American flags that had been draped here and there. After about a minute they pulled away. We went inside and found a festive atmosphere of post-rally enthusiasm. Mrs. Clinton had been garnering support (for or from) Asian Americans and there were bumper stickers and buttons all over. A bus load of supporters had been carted in from DC & professional musicians from... violin world? It must have been a real gala event. Hopefully Hillary has finally make up for prior mistakes. Not that I blame her. It seems the Asian American community might be getting oversensitive.

Once the hubbub died down we found a table and enjoyed a good meal. Heather ran into a student of hers having a birthday party and learned that we missed an opportunity for photos with the former first lady.  Oh well. I would have had way too much fun with that photo anyway. My dad would have had a coronary. ;-)

But it was good to see Capital Hillary again. Well, the back of her getting into a limo anyway. I had seen her speak once before while I was in high school and she was plugging for her hubby while he was still in the primaries in 1992. That's nearly half my lifetime ago already. I feel old! Good thing I chose to open my fortune cookie last night...

"You will have a long and healthy life."

Orignal From: Hillary Clinton & the Sunny Palace

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Eagles Tickets Ain't Happening

My teams are the Eagles & Dolphins. Yeah, I know you can't have two, but I can. I'm special that way! Bliss would be going to a game and watching both teams at once. The trouble is they're in different leagues and they only play each other every 4 years. To make it more complicated, they alternate home teams. That means they only play in Philly every 8 years. They WOULD have played a game 5 years ago, but there was a shuffling of divisions in 2002 and the Dolphins getting two home games in a row. They played in 2003 in Miami. This year they play in Philadelphia!

Tickets went on sale at 10 AM today for all of the Philadelphia Eagles home games and I was ready with Internet & Phone. I had juiced up on caffeine and laid out my credit cards in front of me. I was READY. A few minutes before 10 I started dialing the phones (plural) and hitting Refresh on my stripped-down-for-speed Internet Explorer (in 3 windows). The phone continually told me that all circuits were busy. The Internet told me tickets were not yet on sale. The phone continued to tell me all circuits were busy. Suddenly the Internet told me tickets were available! I told it to give me 4 "best available" seats and clicked the Next button. They told me that to prevent fraud I should tell them what is displayed in the graphic shown above.

The graphic couldn't be displayed in my stripped down corporate IE session.

I failed.

All circuits were still busy on the phones but I had Firefox ready to go with a quick refresh. I tried only 2 tickets, filled in the Captcha "KISSING" & waited. A screen popped up telling me I had a 5 minute wait. Then it went to 7 minutes. Then 15.

It took about 6 minutes until the site came back like this:

Your request Is not available

There were no tickets available that matched your request

There are several things you can try:

  • Change the quantity of tickets you are requesting.

  • If you selected a specific seat section, try switching to “Best Available”.

  • If you are unable to find tickets, be sure to check back often. As the date of the event nears, often times a limited number of tickets may be released.

  • If you entered a promotional code, check that the code is valid for the ticket price and criteria you selected.

Return to Event Page

So once again I have failed to get tickets. This does not mean I will fail to see the game. It just means that it will cost me 3 or 4 times as much. Good thing Pennsylvania has that law that limits what a scalper can charge for the ticket! Good thing scalpers can charge a $200 "convenience charge" to get around that!

Hmmm. That's a pretty clever idea. I wonder where the scalpers got that idea? (Hint: Ticketmaster).

So out I go to look at the low-life scum suckers who are already selling tickets. They'll sell me end zone seats for 400% what they paid AND they'll charge a $50 "service charge" on top of that. Nice, huh?

Long story short, I'll have my tickets to this game one way or the other and then I'll never see another professional sporting event in Philadelphia. Tickets are out of reach for the common man. I only hope that Adobe gets kickbacks from Ticketmaster because not loading the flash player probably cost me $1000 today.

Eagles Tickets sell out in six minutes

Orignal From: Eagles Tickets Ain't Happening

Monday, June 11, 2007

NJ Tour Update

NJ Counties
Since I last posted my Geocaching update I've nearly finished the tour of 21 counties.

5/27/2007 - Essex has fallen! (South Mountain Reservation)
5/29/2007 - Union is no more thanks to the Wachung Reservation.
6/03/2007 - Passaic has been conquered. (High Mountain)
6/10/2007 - Cumberland has been assimilated. (Union Lake)
6/10/2007 - Gloucester has fallen into The Blue Hole.

This week I'll be finishing off Ocean County and visiting the house we're trying to buy in Jackson all in one fell swoop.

Here's the official link to my Tour De Cache log page so you can follow along with all the exciting action!

After this I'm going to to for all 50 states, then every country, then every continent! Ok, maybe not. What I'll probably do is take a long vacation... one that doesn't have me driving all over the state in holiday/weekend traffic. :-)

Ocean Country here I Come!

Orignal From: NJ Tour Update

Saturday, June 09, 2007

You can bank on it. . .

Can we buy a house? Maybe. We set yesterday, June 8th as the day for the seller's bank to provide feedback regarding the short sale (yes, no, or stage of process). The bank showed some progress in making up their minds, but no decision has been made yet. The seller's attorney had all kinds of problems zeroing in on the correct person to talk to at the bank but with that mission accomplished things started moving a little. An appraisal has been ordered and all the bank needs now is a gob of paperwork and documents from the seller. This could be a problem if the necessary documents are/were in the house and therefore scattered to the seven winds. The bank was requiring work history, pay stubs, tax records, etc. Considering the house was in foreclosure... well, draw your own conclusions on that status of financial records. I'm hoping a lack of paperwork stands on it's own as proof that the bank should sell to us. Of course, lack of paperwork might just look like incomplete paperwork and more delays. *sigh* As of this time we agreed to a two week extension. I'll post more as I learn more.

Orignal From: You can bank on it. . .

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My name is mud mask

My wife just attacked me with a mud mask. Here I sat ready to type out a blog about human nature and mountains when she slides up and starts smearing "warming" mud on my cheek. Then my chin. Next thing I know it's EVERYWHERE and she says it's detoxifying and I say it's smelly.

What have I become.

I just had a look at myself in the mirror and I feel a little better. It just looks like I'm smeared over with vasoline. Not that being covered in vasoline makes me feel more masculine, but at least I don't look like I'm supposed to be in a spa commercial. Yaurgh. I'd rather have coins on my eyes than cucumbers.

Ok, so anyway... as I've been Geocaching all over the state the past few weeks a pattern emerged that I had been noticing subconsciously my entire life....

Every time I crested a hill and found a nice high place with a view... I also found a fire ring. At first I wondered about the paleolithic remnant of our brains that insists that mountains need fire. Then I realized that even Mountain Men like to enjoy the view now and again, but male bonding isn't possible without Beer or Fire or - better yet - Beer AND Fire. Then I reflected on the Mountain Boys who had been up here recently and had the same problem but instead of two guys toting a faggot of firewood up the hill, these two boys carried spray paint and wrote "faggot" on the rocks. I can only assume this was in brash defiance of the feeling that "if my friend's hand brushes mine one more time I'm going to grab it and if he doesn't pull away I'll squeeze his hand tight in mine for the rest of my life"...

My mind tends to wonder while I wander.

Of course the truth of the fire-rings has nothing to do with human nature.

That is where the space ships land. Obviously.

Orignal From: My name is mud mask

Friday, June 01, 2007

Almost The End of an Era

If you don't touch your website on Geocities for a few ages they disable the account. I hadn't touched My Original Website since the late 90s and it (finally) went disabled! Fortunately I somehow managed to remember my username and password and re-activated the site.

I realize now that I was really bummed about the site going down. At the time I was quite proud of my creation. I self-taught myself HTML before there were guides online or books in the stores. I created all of my own graphics from scratch pixel by pixel. More importantly, it was Mine. The worst part is that I realized I don't have the site archived anywhere, Google doesn't have it Cached any more and even the Wayback Machine doesn't have a working copy. I thought it had really vanished for good this time.

Well, web historians needn't worry because this scare has set me right. I'll be archiving the site on the Ego Surfing page and my personal hard drive ASAP so that future generations shan't be deprived of the worst website in the history of the World Wide Web!

Orignal From: Almost The End of an Era