Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gabriel's Word of the Day


"Gabriel cooks like Bobby Flay!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Friday, April 25, 2008

Painful Mountain Biking

My mountain bike ride last night kicked the shit out of me.

Now I’ve been riding for a number of years, starting out with some really beginner mountain biking in Florida, then switching to road biking last year. After the last several month of road biking, doing 50-60+ miles a week and dropping almost 20 pounds since November, I was excited to get an invitation to ride with a bunch of people from work. We hit up Sope Creek, which is barely 5 minutes from our office. I wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing that some of the riders are pretty hard-core, but the reviews I read online said it was a challenging trail for beginners to intermediate riders.

chal-lengi-ng (adj) “Steep hills (12% grade) with large rocks and timber throughout designed to make you wish you’d never gotten on a mountain bike.”

It was, by far, the hardest ride I’ve ever done. Even the tough ride I did in December in Alabama with a friend was cake compared with Sope Creek. Unfortunately I fell (hard) early and couldn’t get back into the mental state I needed to have a good ride. In hindsight, I’m glad I went out with the group and tried to keep up. If I’d known what I was getting myself into, I’d likely have talked myself out of it.

I’m looking forward to the next ride, as long as the next ride is far enough into the future to let my wounds heal first.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's not what you do, it's who you do it with.




This weekend was marked by my niece’s first visit to Atlanta. After not seeing us since Christmas (and by us I mean Gabriel), my parents decided to make the trip to Atlanta and brought Gracyn with them. (My single-parent sister just started a new job- yea! – and couldn’t take the time off.) So they packed up for a few days and took a “Rocket Ship!” to the ATL.

When we first heard about their plans to come for the weekend we started thinking about all of the places we could take them. Coca-Cola! The Georgia Aquarium! The Children’s Museum! They were only really staying the weekend, flying in Friday afternoon and flying back to Chicago Monday morning, so we were looking at filling 2 days with kid-friendly activities. (Gracyn is 10 days older than Gabriel.) After much deliberation we decided on going to Alpharetta’s “Touch a Truck” event on Saturday, and took the kids to the barn where Esther boards her horse on Sunday.

We found out that we didn’t need major plans to have a good time after all. The kids had a great time climbing up into a fire truck, big-rig and Yellow Bus at our local event. And at the barn, although they both had a good time getting up on Esther’s horse with her, they were also happy running through the fields and playing in the dirt. In fact, we might have been able to stay at the house the entire weekend, since they were also content playing in the backyard, or, as Gracyn calls it, “Gabriel’s Park.”

They had a blast. So did we. It was a great visit, and I’m bummed the kids don’t get to see more of each other.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gabriel's Video Word of the Day


"Go Red Sox!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gabriel's Video Word of the Day


"Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Boys Night Out!



After being out of town last week and spending most of my weekend on my bike, we decided Gabriel needed a Boys Night Out with Daddy. We had a very full agenda... The park, CPK for dinner, then storytime at Barnes and Noble. I think he had a good time... "Boys night makes Gabriel happy... Boys night is Gabriel's favorite!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Monday, April 7, 2008

Gabriel's Word of the Day


"Superbaby!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Gabriel's Word of the Day


"Gabriel's a goof-bucket!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Friday, April 4, 2008

I Fell Off the Wagon

I have a confession to make - I fell off the wagon this week. It’s frustrating because I’ve been good for over a year now, and I simply shouldn’t be backsliding. The trigger was my business trip to Irvine, California, this week. I was away from home, so I wasn’t in my normal routine, and it was very accessible; I found 2 dealers just in the 3 miles between the hotel and the office.

Damn Starbucks.

Back during my consulting days, I was addicted to coffee, Starbucks in particular. When you’re working long hours, tired from not sleeping well in a hotel and on an expense account in a city like Boston with a Starbucks on every corner, it was very easy to wind up at one 3 or 4 times a day. Typically I would order an Americano, although I would occasionally throw in a nice vanilla latte from time to time. Regardless of the how I took it, I was consuming just too much caffeine.

Then, about 18 months ago, I realized that there was a Teavana at the Prudential Center, just a few quick steps from the Sheraton Boston where I stayed every week. So, I started drinking tea every morning and evening and cut out my Starbucks habit completely. There continues to be more and more research done on the health benefits of tea. It’s a natural appetite suppressant, so it’s great for dieting, it’s high in antioxidants, and it’s also a known cancer fighter. Now, instead of drinking coffee throughout the day, I drink a couple of pots (3-4 cups each) of my “during the day” tea, MateVana mixed with Almond Biscotti. It has a great nutty flavor, not unlike coffee, and because of the nature the caffeine in the tea, it provides the right amount of energy without the shakes I used to get with coffee. At night I’ll have a large cup of naturally caffeine-free Rooibos tea, either Peach Bloom or Blueberry Bliss. For my 30th my wife bought me a cast-iron tea pot and warmer that, with a tea light, keeps each pot hot for several hours.

Meanwhile, back in Irvine, although I had brought my tea with me, I didn’t have the “conveniences” I have in Atlanta, like my honey, soy milk, etc., so I fell back to Starbucks. Within the space of four days, I consumed a few lattes, a couple of macchiatos and even another Americano when I got back to Atlanta this morning. Shame on me.

Excuse me while I go brew a cup of Blueberry Bliss and climb back on my wagon.

Gabriel's Word of the Day


"Hamburger!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gabriel's Word of the Day


"Mosquito!"

Mobile post sent by _itguy using Utterz. Replies. mp3