Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Father Time marches on undefeated

I went to my first ever Orange Theory class yesterday with Adam.  We ran right next to each other on the treadmill and I glance over to see that our heart rates were almost identical.  When my heart rate was at 158, I was at 95% of my maximum heart rate nearing the upper limit of my red zone.  Adam's heart rate was identical to mine and he was in the upper end of the green zone, almost entering the lower end of the orange zone.

I checked a few other times and when my heart rate reached 162 I was at 102% of my maximum heart rate.  Adam was at 82%, safely in the orange zone.  Interesting to note how our hearts were pumping the same number of times and I was flat lining, in the Danger Will Robinson zone and Adam was at the lower end of the Orange zone.  Oh to be 24 again.

At the end of the class we are able to view how much time we had spent in each of the zones.  I joked with Adam that I had clearly "won" as the pyramid view of my heart rate showed clearly that I had spent almost 21 minutes of a 57 minute workout in the Orange zone and almost 31 minutes in the Red zone.  Actually I think this makes me the biggest loser, a clear indication that I am out of shape.  The goal is to spend no more than 20 minutes of the workout in the Orange or Red Zone.  I had 51 minutes total.

Much of the time that I spent in the Red zone, I was at total rest, doubled over, gasping for breath hoping my heart rate would come down.

Clearly I have work to do and I have no illusions about taking down Father Time. After all he is undefeated.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


We had to take our poodle Rocky to the Vet this morning.  It was time to say goodbye and let him run free again with no pain in his legs.

Rocky came to live with us on November 11, 2001.  He was a show dog at heart.  We never showed him, but he had it in him.  Whenever he was out on a walk, and a person would approach he would change his gait and proudly began to prance.  He could be a ham.

He had such a sweet disposition.  He was a happy go lucky and at times a very ungraceful dog.  He could be quite athletic in one moment and then mistime his jump and end up doing a face plant.

Laura and Adam grew up from the teenage and pre teen years with Rocky.  This morning we all went together as a family to the vet.

We stayed with him the whole time during the procedure, never leaving his side.  It seemed to be the least we could do for him.

When Laura went out of state for her Freshman year in College, it really hit Rocky hard.  Every time when Laura would come home from college for a break, he was her shadow.  He would lay on her lap and lick her obsessively.  Even in this last year whenever she would come over to the house for a visit he would still perk up.

Rocky would wait up for Adam to come home from his radio gig at Mile High Sports or from a late night of working out at the gym and happily trundle downstairs to Adam's room.

I think Rocky was more Laura's and Adam's pet then he was ours.  How he loved his kids.

Rocky loved taking Adam to school in the morning, and loved it even more when he got to pick him up after school.  Rocky would always cry in the morning when Adam would get out of the car.

Rocky loved going to the Furry Scurry in May.  We have many happy memories of Rocky as he would make many new "friends" during the annual two mile walk.

Rocky takes on the obstacle course at the 2008 Furry Scurry

Rocky loved the first snow of every year and would happily bound into the snow.

It was so hard to have to say goodbye to Rocky.  I shed many tears last night and I know that are more tears to shed.  I am okay with that.  I love Rocky and that love doesn't stop with his passing.

I am so grateful for the thirteen years that we were blessed to have Rocky share his life and love with us.

Go chase those bunnies now!  I love you Rocky!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

#Reverb14 Day 1

Day 1 prompt for Reverb14

At the start | Where did you start 2014?  Give us some background on this year.

I started the year off building a website Honor with Action which was built in honor of Claire Davis who was shot and killed by a fellow classmate in December at Arapahoe High school.

I built the site using Ruby on Rails.  It was a simple site that gave some background about Claire with a call to action.  Claire was armed only with kindness as she faced her killer so the call to action is to live like Claire and to make your actions speak so loudly that we can not hear your words.

I attended her memorial service which was attended by thousands of people who came together to honor Claire's life and listened to her father's impassioned plea to forgive the young man who had killed his daughter.

I was attending a web development immersion boot camp in Austin and returned from Denver for the final four weeks of the course.  It was hard to get back on the plane for the final leg of this journey.  I did not want to go back.

I woke up one morning in mid January with an intense pain in my left leg.  I was having a really bad calf attack.  I have had this numerous times over the years, but this one felt different.  Hours later I could barely walk.  I didn't think much of it at the time, but it was a foreshadowing of things to come.

We began the final project which entailed many hours of hacking away during a weekend so we could give an initial presentation to the class on Sunday afternoon.  The pain in my left leg continued to persist and seemed to be worsening.  Over the course of the next two weeks we continued to work on the final project and it had reached the point where it would take twenty minutes for me to walk six blocks from where I parked my car to get to school.  Something was definitely wrong

The final week of class had finally arrived.  I was so looking forward to leaving Austin and returning to Denver.

On the morning of the day that we were to give our final presentations to the Austin Tech community, the pain in my left leg had become so intense that I went to an Urgent Care Center.  They immediately sent me over to the emergency room at a hospital to see if I might have a blood clot in my leg.

The initial diagnosis from the Ultrasound were negative.  No explanation for the cause in my leg, but the doctor assured me that I would be safe to make the 900 mile or so drive back to Denver the following day.  She encouraged me to stop ever hour or so and walk for a few minutes to promote circulation in my leg.

I headed home the next day and called my primary care physician to make an appointment as the doctor at the hospital told me that I needed to follow up with my doctor because "something is going on" and we needed to figure out what that something was.

I finally made it back home around 5:00 the following day.  I was home at last with my family.

I was looking forward to watching the Super Bowl the following day.  It had been 15 years since the last time the Broncos were in a Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl was a super bust.  Everything went wrong beginning with the first play from scrimmage and we watched in disbelief as the record setting high powered offense was relegated to a single consolation touchdown in order to avert the first shutout in Super Bowl History.  A season that had so much promise ended in shambles as the Broncos lost 43-8.  Sue and I had lived through many of these Bronco Super Bowl shellackings before.

The next day I met with my doctor and after discussing the symptoms with him briefly he stepped out of the room and made a phone call to discuss this with another doctor.  He came back and told me, when it sounds like a duck and quacks like a duck, then you treat it like a duck.  It sounds like a blood clot and ordered another ultrasound.  I walked across the hall and told the technician that I had a prior Ultrasound done in Austin 4 days prior.

Very early into the procedure she confirmed that I did indeed have a blood clot in my leg.  How this was missed just a few days ago was and is still a mystery to me.

So I began 2014 with a blood clot in my leg and hopes of beginning a career as a Ruby on Rails Web developer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

It is only supposed to take 24 hours to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge once you have been nominated.

Well it took me almost 144 hours.  I am not good enough with my i-phone to take the challenge selfie style like Adam did, so I had to wait for my videographer, but I finally got it done.

So as I waited for my schedule to sync up with Adam I completed what I think are three essential steps to take before dumping a bucket of ice water over your head.

  1. Donate  
  2. Educate 
  3. Advocate
Check out the video that Adam put together for me and then take on the challenge yourself. 

Visit ALSA.org o learn more about how you can get involved. 

Remember you have 24 Hours to: 

  • Donate
  • Educate
  • Advocate
  • Participate

Monday, June 2, 2014

Writing 101, Day One: Unlock the Mind

Today's assignment:  Loosen up.  Unlock the mind.  Free write for twenty minutes.  Don't think about what you'll write.  Just write. 

And for the first twist?  Publish this stream of consciousness post on your blog. 

I occasionally write 750 words of unfiltered thoughts at 750.words.com so this is somewhat similar.  The challenge in doing this today will be actually writing the gibberish and then posting them.  

I went to see my primary care doctor for to have my INR(international normalized ratio) levels tested.  I developed a blood clot in my leg in January and have been taking Coumadin(blood thinner medication for the last four months).  

I haven't been to the doctor for four weeks and I was hoping that my INR level would be within the acceptable range between 2.0-3.0.  

Bummer, the INR came back at 1.71 which is too low.  So tonight I have to double up on my Coumadin dosage and then go back to the normal dose and then go back next week to find out if this week was a fluke or if I have to adjust my dosage yet again.  

I will be so glad when this episode is over.  Two months to go and hopefully the blood clot will have resolved itself and I can donate blood again and put this behind me. 

Every Monday I receive an e-letter from Hannah Brencher, a young writer who made a strong offer in the world several years ago to write everyone in the world a love letter that needed it. 

Her wisdom for the day:  "You. Don’t. Get. To. Do. This. Again."  This is our one life to be lived.

One of the many blogs that I receive updates from posted a cute song that was written about of all things, writing code set to the tune of Barry Manilow's, I write the songs.

I am always so amazed when I see the creativity that other people have.  Creativity envy.

I have kind of gotten away from writing.  Every year the frequency of my published posts diminish, although my draft folder has over one hundred items in it now.  Why I keep them I don't know.  I am a pack rat even in cyber-space.  Hoarding data, thoughts unpublished over the last six years.

I have posted a few times lately on Medium which I think has a fantastic community of writers.  I enjoy stopping over there and reading interesting stories.

I particularly enjoy reading the inspirational stories that I find them.  A bunch of uncovered jewels to sift through.

Sometimes that does bring up the comparison trap, I can't write as well.  I am not creative.  I enjoy re-tweeting the articles that I find and sharing that work in the world.

Two of our dogs are older now, Harley is 15 plus years and Rocky is almost 13.  I don't want to think about how much time we have left with them.  I want to enjoy the gift that they are in our lives.

Ah, that worry about the future.  Truly the biggest thief of joy that there is in our lives.

I began listening to a mediation by Mastin Kipp about forgiveness.  I wonder if other people have breakthrough's when they listen to this meditation.   Forgiveness is the gift that I give to myself, why do I resist it so?

I am not looking forward to the NBA championship finals.  The thought of another Miami Heat championship makes me cringe.  I am a huge San Antonio Spurs fan.  I love the ways the Spurs play basketball and to me the Spurs stand for everything that I love about basketball, playing as a team, setting picks, running the give and go.  Tim Duncan is one of the most underrated players of all time and he is one of the fundamentally sound players I have ever seen and his bank shot to me is truly a thing of beauty.

The Miami Heat represent everything that I hate about the NBA product.  One on one basketball dominated by arrogant and selfish players.  Brute force basketball.

Time is up.

Daily Post June Writing Challenge

I haven't been writing much this year and each year the postings become more infrequent so in the hope of getting back to writing more regularly, I am going to participate in the June 2014, blogging challenge.  Each day, Monday-Friday during the month I will receive a writing prompt along with an additional twist to complete as part of the daily assignment.

So the goal is to write and publish twenty times this month.

Now on  to day one!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thirty One Years

Sue and I got married thirty one years ago.  That is a crap ton of years as Sue likes to say.

We flew to San Francisco for our honeymoon.  Sue's brother Rick drove us to the airport and offered to buy us a drink, but he didn't have his wallet so we ended up paying for the drinks :)

One of my first memories of what was to come in our lives together occurred when I hailed a cab to take us to our hotel in Downtown San Francisco.

The cab I hailed was pink and inexplicably to me, Sue found this to be hilarious.  She giggled all the way from the airport to our hotel.

Years later we would describe this as road tripping, when Sue and Laura would begin to laugh uncontrollably about something that may or may not have been funny.

Adam and I would look at each other and wonder what in the world is happening.

Cab Drivers reaction when encountering road trippers...

When Sue and first got married she had only been to other other state(Nebraska).

Sue saw the ocean for the first time on our honeymoon and in the years that have followed we have crossed two oceans together, raised our two incredible children Laura and Adam in a house filled with love. 

We said our goodbye's to people we loved who shaped us into the people we are. 

My Grandmother, Sue's Mother and Grandmother, my Aunt Joy and Uncle Norm and my dear friend Kelly. 

We have shared the disappointments during our career's, job loss, a failed business, extended bouts with auto-immune diseases.

Maybe nothing all that remarkable that any couple that has been married a crap ton of years and it is in the ordinary that we find that which makes our lives together extraordinary. 

Thanks for choosing me to share your one wild and precious life with. 

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.” 
― Mary Oliver

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Remembering Columbine

It has been fifteen years since the world that we live in was forever changed by the shootings at Columbine High School. 

Today the anniversary of that horrible day falls on Easter where families will gather for Easter Egg hunts and consume chocolate bunnies.

So today I remember all that was taken from us on that day and all that we have lost since then. 

Cassie Bernall, Stephen Curnow, Corey DePooter, Kelly Fleming, Matt Kechter, Daniel Mauser
Daniel Rohrbough
Coach Dave Sanders, Rachel Scott, Isiah Shoels, Lauren Townsend, John Tomlin, Kyle Velasquez

Columbine High School, April 20 1999

We are  Columbine!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Asbestos Awareness Week April 1-7

I learned today from a comment left on my blog that this is Asbestos Awareness Week.  My new friend Heather asked me to share her story and even sent me some awesome pictures to share as well. 

A Mother' and daughter's love!
Please take a few minutes to learn about the dangers of Asbestos and follow the links in the article and share the message with your friends and family on Twitter, on Facebook, wherever you can.  

Every year 3,000 people are diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to Asbestos. 

On average these people are given 10 months to live, 300 days, 7,200 hours. 

Imagine what might be possible if 7,200 people shared this message, used their voices to raise awareness, sharing a simple message that could save a life.

Make your actions echo so loudly that no one will be able to hear your words.  Heather beat the odds, will you be a voice so others can as well?

"Remember: From awareness grows hope. Each voice could save a life."~Heather Von St. James

Cameron, Lily and Heather 

Will you commit to being one of the 7,200 voices this week?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thoughts about Kelly

Six years.

It has been six years now since Kelly's Dad called me to tell me that Kelly had died.

Kelly has been in my thoughts a lot this last week.

I went back and reread many of the posts from Kelly's CaringBridge page during her last month.

It has been six years and it was like stepping back into yesterday.

I cried, I felt sad.  I felt inspired, grateful for her life, for the love she brought to my life.

My wife, Sue who is so much wiser then me has told me for years, that I perhaps I missed the biggest gift that Kelly gave to all of us that knew her.


Choosing to be grateful in spite of her circumstances.

Kelly chose her life, which meant choosing her cancer for everything that is was.

Adam rented a movie for us to watch last night, About Time.

I loved this line from the movie.

"I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day to enjoy it as it is was the final day of my extraordinary life."

Here's to Kelly.

“The lamp has not been quenched, it’s just that the dawn has arrived”~Irish Proverb

Kelly, Marcy, Molly, Adam and Rose, Disneyland 2001

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dreaming of Kelly

I had the most amazing dream the other night.

I was in a room full of people, I don't know who they were.

Kelly walked into this room.  Kelly was 25 years old in my dream.  She looked amazing.

I ran over and hugged her and fell into her arms crying.

"Why are you crying?", she asked me in wonderment.

"I am so happy to see you", I told her.

I looked around the room for a familiar face, for the people who would know, who would understand what Kelly meant to me.

There was no one in the room with me who knew who Kelly was for me.  I so wanted to find someone and tell them this is Kelly.

The alarm went off on Sue's I-phone.  I couldn't get back to my dream.

What did this dream mean?  I haven't had a dream about Kelly in such a long time and in this dream she was alive, vibrant.  This was the Kelly I knew while she was alive.

The last month since I have been home from Austin has been very difficult for me.  I am dealing with the aftermath of a blood clot in my left leg.  I have felt discouraged after completing the web training in Austin.  I have felt sad, lonely.

Kelly has always known when I most need her and even now she found a way to reach out to me, to touch and comfort me beyond the portals of time.

In love and gratitude for Kelly Melissa Sandra Grubb.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Claire's gambit

Claire Davis's last spoken words were to the person who shot her.  "Oh my gosh Karl, what are you doing?"

Claire tried to shine her light into the darkness that had overtaken Karl’s life. That was her gambit, armed only with kindness and concern, she tried to start a conversation with this troubled young man.

I have never before mentioned the name of a school shooter before and Claire's parents call to action for all of us is to not sweep his name under the carpet.  Karl has parent's and a sister.  "Karl is gone now and it is not our responsibility to judge him."~Mike Davis. 

Mike went on to share that he had forgiven Karl.  I was stunned by the courage he showed to be able to say his name.

The minister, challenged all of the Claire's classmates to find the other Karl's in their school.  That is the challenge for all of us.  Find the Karl's in our community, reach out, connect.  "I won't give up on you." 

This was a new perspective on school shootings that I never considered before.  I have steadfastly refused to write their names, banishing them to obscurity.

Missy Franklin spoke at Claire's service today.  She is proud to call herself a Coloradoan.  She grew up 5 miles from Arapahoe High School.  Kudo's to Missy for being a role model, for caring about Claire, for her classmates, for her community.

Colorado leads the nation in school shootings.  I love Colorado, I have lived here my entire life and as awful as that statistic is, I hope no other state will overtake us, because that will only mean that the shootings have continued.

Today I launched a website that was built in honor of Claire.  Please take the pledge to honor Claire with action.  Accept the gambit that she offered armed only with kindness and concern for a classmate.

Go into your community, into your schools and find the Karl's.   Shine her light at the Karl's that are lost.  Arm yourselves with kindness, compassion and concern like Claire did. 

We are Claire's angels now and we are her light.

Claire's light

We found out today that Claire's nickname on her Equestrian riding team is "Fluffy Little Rainbow Child".  FLRC(Flerk) as Claire pronounced it.

If you are on Twitter and Facebook and happen to read this post, please post on your timeline, please retweet with the hashtags,

#honorwithaction, #flrc, #ClaireDavis