Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Anticipation

We are officially on baby watch now. With exactly two weeks to go, and keeping in mind that Alison was three weeks early with Gabby, I am rather anxious at this point. I can't wait to meet "mini-me". It's a feeling I can relate to other big events in my life, like the night before my first real job, or the night before our wedding. Except that this time, it lasts for weeks! Genuine anticipation, excitement, curiosity and perhaps a smidge of fear.

As I worked in various hospital operating rooms last week, I was diligent about placing my mobile phone in a location that guaranteed cell reception. No way am I going to miss "the call". As previously mentioned, I've limited the distance from home that I am willing to travel so that I am not more than 1 hr away - a timeframe that Alison and I have agreed will allow me to get back before the serious fireworks begin. If I'm lucky, it will happen on one of my home office days, or in the middle of the night. Time will tell!

Over the weekend, Alison and Gabby left me alone on Saturday to go shopping with my mom. This gave me the opportunity to embark on an epic cycling journey. I've been trying to increase my mileage in preparation for some upcoming rides that I plan on participating in. Fortunately the overnight rain had cleared, and it became a beautifully clear day. It started out as several of my recent Saturdays have; cycling with the donut ride group. For those unfamiliar, the donut ride began back in 1984 at the Winchell's donut shop (now a starbucks) at PCH and Avenue I in Redondo and has been a Saturday tradition at 8AM ever since. It loops around PV with several big hill climbs, tours San Pedro, and ends up back at the start 35 miles later. I was a bit late getting out of the house, and ended up meeting up with the group about 2 miles into the ride. Similarly to the previous few Saturdays, I was only able to maintain the furious pace for 20 minutes or so and was then ejected out the back of the peloton. Not the slightest bit discouraged, I continued on with the ride. It was a great ride, and I still had a lot of energy when I got back to Redondo, so I continued towards Manhattan Beach. I turned around at the pier, and headed back home. 3 hours, 22 minutes and 55 miles later, I made it home. Hopefully I'll beat that this weekend, but that depends on the rain!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good Weather, Good Food, Good Life...

Today was one of those winter days that SoCal kids long for... 72 degrees, sunny and that much closer to spring. I worked out of the home office today; something that I have been too busy to do for the past few weeks. Having imposed travel restrictions on myself for the two weeks prior to my wife's due date, I've been working long hours and traveling a lot to make sure my outlying customers are taken care of before I check out for awhile. It makes a man nervous (especially one of the sales rep variety) to set his business on cruise control, but this is a situation that I just won't allow myself to compromise on. I'll be taking a few weeks off after my son is born, and I am really looking forward to it. Am I anxious? Just a bit.
Since I've been out of the home office for awhile, the pile of crap on my desk had gotten rather high. Fortunately my wife makes one of the best egg sandwiches around, and I had all the energy I needed to tackle such a pile. I waded through it, returned overdue emails, and took calls for the better part of the morning. I hate office work, but sometimes it just needs to be done. Lunch came and went, and before I knew it, it was 3:00. At that point, I had had enough. Time for a ride. Grabbed the new Madone and headed out.
Today was the first day of a new training program I'm trying out. The Time Crunched Training Program by Chris Carmichael, who happens to be Lance Armstrong's coach. I picked up his book a few months ago, and liked what I read. On 6-8 hours of riding a week, I can seriously improve my speed and endurance. Two things that I could certainly use improvement on, which I became acutely aware of riding with the donut ride group. Getting dropped by guys that are almost twice your age is rather humbling. The ride today was great; perfect weather, great route, and felt strong. Wasn't a fast ride at all, but focused on keeping my HR in a certain range, and keeping my cadence steady.
If you know me, you know that I pride myself on what I can do on a BBQ, and tonight was no exception. Pancetta wrapped Filet Mignons with cracked pepper and Japanese Akuni Sea Salt graced my Weber tonight. They were as awesome as that sounds. Alison whipped up some home made blue cheese dressing for the salad, and I opened some Hitching Post Pinot to bring it all together.
It's days like these that make me thankful for the great life that I have!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Catching Up...

Hello All... It's been awhile since I last posted here. Mainly because this blog started out as a simple narrative of family vacations, and was sort of forgotten. I stumbled across it again as I was signing up for Google Buzz (more on that in a minute) and it occurred to me that this could be a useful tool for keeping a loose record of the events and happenings in my life. I've started following a few well known blogs on the internet like FatCyclist, and it just seems like an effective way to do it. My intent is that this is really more for my own memory, but I am also happy to share these things with you, should you be so interested. Think of it as an open personal reflection, if you will. I plan to update it frequently... We'll see how that goes.

Google Buzz - It seems like a neat idea. It appears to try to combine several services that I currently use: Gmail, Twitter and Facebook. It also adds location, which is cool in certain instances. But as I was filling out my profile, and selecting how much information I wanted to make available to the world, I started thinking about how careful you have to be with these services. Our lives are becoming ever more public with things like Facebook and Twitter, but how much is too much? Does anyone really have time to understand exactly how these services work and if all this information is being protected exactly as they desire it to be? I have attempted to do that, but it does take some time. I think I've done a pretty good job of being social without going overboard. Then I get to something like Picasa and I'm not sure what to do. There are a lot of things there that probably shouldn't be public, either for my sake, or that of my friends, and those things are properly marked private. But what about normal family pictures? It's nice to have them in a Public album so that relatives and friends can view them easily, but is that safe? Am I being paranoid, and if I am, why am I writing about this on a Public blog?? What happened to my carefree invincibility that i had back in college? Oh, that's right. I'm married with kid(s), which I wouldn't trade for the world, but it's funny to think about how I used to love being all about me and fun. Now I love being all about my family and protecting them and about how much I enjoy watching the kids have fun. So what does all this mean? Hell if I know, but I do know that life changes fast, so remember to make the most of the now! Oh, and make sure you set your Facebook to "Friends only"!