Thursday, December 31, 2015

So long to 2015

It's been over five months since the last time I did anything here on my blog.

I am pretty sure that 2015 set a record of sorts for the least amount of posts at this site and the least amount of visits to the gym.

My goals for 2015:
  • Move my body two thousand and fifteen miles(Complete, 2,165 miles)
  • Donate platelets fifteen times in 2015(Donated 11 times, gave too frequently and was put on unable to donate list for three months)
  • Read a book each month and write a review.(Incomplete, epic fail, within my control). 
Some of the other things that I accomplished in 2015. 
  • 4,000,040+ steps as counted by my FitBit watch. This accounted for over 1,825 of the miles for the year. 
  • 10,000+ steps, 231 days. 
  • Rode my bike a paltry 380 miles. 
  • Participated and completed my first NANOWRIMO(National Novel Writing Month, write 50,000 words during the month of November) challenge.    My book still needs an ending and lots and lots of editing before the world is ready to read this book. 
  • Wrote at least 750 words every day at  I ended the year with a consecutive days of writing of 406 days at this site. 
Fun things: 
  • Happy Patriots fan, finally! 
  • Theater
    • Les Miserables
    • Into the Woods
    • Went to see Adam reprise his role of Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls at the Lakewood Center for Performing Arts seven times. 
    • Two episodes of Avenue Q at in Louisville, Colorado
    • Three episodes of Dogfight, a very intense play set in the time period of the Vietnam War.
  • Dinner with Molly(One of Kelly's sisters). 
  • Weekend golf outing with Adam at Grand Lake and Pole Creek.  
  • Golfing with Lindsey and Adam
  • Went to Vancouver Canada and saw, Once the Musical with Sue(Traffic in Vancouver sucks)
  • Spent a night on Whidbey Island in Washington and furiously wrote several thousand words in my novel. 
  • Went to a Nuggets game with Laura to see Kobe Bryant for a final time in Denver.
  • Seeing Laura get her 100th run shirt with the Irish Snug running club. 
  • Touchdowns for Tomorrow Trivia with Laura, Sue and Lindsey. 
  • Thanksgiving open house with my niece, Kristin.  She is all kinds of awesome! 
  • Adam singing O Holy Night at Burns Methodist church for his grandmother. 
Life things: 
  • Accepted a full time position at First Data again as a software analyst. 
  • Around the sun one more time. 
On tap for 2016?  
  • Hopefully a return to running, not sure what that will look like, but I sure would like to be able to run again and for once it doesn't seem like my knee will be the thing that stops me. 
  • Reading on a Nook instead of a physical book.  I have lots of books that I would like to read and looking forward to reading as a writer, paying attention to how a real write tells their story. 
  • Ski outing with a friend from work.  I haven't gone skiing since 1999. 
  • Golfing with Adam
  • Running with Laura
Next month: 
  • Participating in Joyful January challenge on Facebook.  Post something every day that brings me joy during the month, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a hashtag of #joyfuljan
  • Begin to revise my novel, it needs an ending and a lot of work. 
  • Set some goals for 2016.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015


Today is the three year anniversary of a world that none of us wanted to live into, a world changed forever again by a crazed gunman, shattering twelve lives, taking them away forever, shattering other lives, other lifetimes, waiting to be born into, a world changed forever, a world none of us wanted to live into. 

Remembering the lives of those we lost on this awful day, on this awful moment in our lives. 

Alex Sullivan, Alex Teves, John Larimer, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Jessica Redfield, Micayla Medek, AJ Boik, Jesse Childress, Matt Mcquinn, Jonn Blunk, Rebecca Wingo and Gordon Cowden.

"What better honor in this lifetime to be surrounded by people who make you constantly think and say, "My God, I want to learn how to love you so well.

Gordon Cowden surrounded by his family 

Turn your whole life into a quest to be good to those people.  Like make your whole life into a quest to figure out how to show up for them.  At airports.  On birthdays.  On days where you know there is a decision lurking around the corner and they're scared and wondering.  Those good people are your people--fight for them."~Hannah Brencher

Monday, May 25, 2015

All the Dancing Birds-May Book review

"Thoughts enter like a piano concerto, lively and in full sustained legato, only to return in diminuendo, a single wavering note in the room.  I'm not much more than a wordless simple tone, wishing desperately for the return of the bright harmony of language."~Auburn McCanta

This was another difficult book to read.  Next month I am going to find something a little less upsetting to read.

The author does a good job telling the story from the point of view of the person who is losing their memory from Alzheimer's as well as capturing the confusion, fear and anguish of the adult children.

Worth reading, but be prepared to feel uncomfortable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies-April Book Review

This was the most difficult book that I have ever read.  While it is well written and presents in interesting history of cancer and the evolution of it's treatment over the years it is also the most discouraging glimpse of how far away we are from being able to do anything about it.

After zillion of dollars of research, in the war against cancer, we are armed with crude and primitive weapons against a cunning adversary with unlimited resources.
"Cancer, we know now is a disease caused by the uncontrolled growth of a single cell.  This growth is unleashed my mutations-changes in DNA that specifically affect genes that incite unlimited cell growth.  In a normal cell, powerful genetic circuits regulate cell division and cell death. In a cancer cell, these circuits have been broken, unleashing a cell that cannot stop growing. 
That this seemingly simple mechanism-cell growth without barriers-can lie at the heart of this multifaceted illness is a testament to the unfathomable power of cell growth. Cell division allows us as organisms to grow, to adapt,, to recover to repair-to live.  And distorted and unleashed, it allows cancer cells to grow, to flourish to adapt, to recover and to repair-to live at the cost of our living. Cancer cells can grow faster, adapt better. They are the more perfect versions of ourselves."-Siddhartha Mukherjee
This is an important book to read for anyone that have ever been touched in any way by cancer in their lifetime.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Remembering Laiken

Laiken's Mother Stacey posted this picture on Facebook this morning.  As she does each year she creates an event where people can do something to "Pay it Forward" in honor of Laiken's life.

I never met Laiken while she was living.  I know Laiken through Stacey's words, through the love she has for her daughter.

Seven years later Laiken's legacy lives on as hundreds of people will do something today to create a ripple effect of kindness and love.

Smile on pretty girl. 
Light and Love x 13 x Forever

Monday, April 20, 2015

We are Columbine

It is sixteen years now since the school shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.

There was very little in the news and on social media sites.  Channel 9 news posted this on their site today and I thought it was perfect, quiet, dignified.  No mention of the two gunmen. 

With love, remembering all that we lost and all that was lost on that day in spring sixteen years ago. 

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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March book review-The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson

I found this to be a very interesting read about an important time period in the United States.  I had visited the Lyndon Johnson library while I was in Austin two years ago.  I thought the author did a good job bringing many of the stories about President Johnson to life.

I would have liked it if the author had spent more time covering the Vietnam War, but there was a lot of time and material to cover.

It was really amazing to read that President Johnson withdrew his name as a presidential candidate in late March of the election year and it was almost a month later when Vice President Humphrey declared his candidacy.  That is unthinkable in this day and age to think of a candidate running for six months.

I think this book is a good read for anyone that is interested in U.S. history.  President Johnson's programs to this day have had a profound impact in the United States.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Thinking of Kelly

Seven years ago today Kelly passed away from her almost twelve year battle with Leukemia. How can that be, and how cruel is it that each year we are left to wonder, what might have been, could things be different for her now, would there be or is there now another treatment that could have saved her life, something that would have let her live a life without cancer? 

I still don't understand any of this, there will never be any words that I can write that would make sense of it, so I don't know why I would try again. There are no words, nothing at all that will wash away the hurt of this world without her, a world with blood cancer, a world without Kelly being able to live in it free from cancer,

I wonder what Kelly would be doing today. Would she be running a day care, would she have a husband, where would she be living? Would she have started a family, adopting children to love? All of these unanswerable questions, we will never know, none of us will ever be able to answer.  I wonder what would she look like now, what color would her hair be, would her eyes sparkle like they did on prom weekend in 2006, what would she be interested in, what would be the thing that makes her heart leap? 

Questions, questions, so many questions, and none that I can answer.  Who would she have chosen to love, to spend her life with?  Who is that man that will never receive such a gift?  How is his life different, because he didn't get to know Kelly, how was his life forever changed by her passing? 

I so miss her sweet smile that would light up a room.  A smile that cancer took away from us in this world, a smile that lives on in our hearts a smile tucked closely to our hearts in a place that cancer can never reach into. Yes, a place where her smile lives and lives forever.

Gavin, Kelly and Marcy

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February Book Review: The Girl On The Train

An interesting aside to my reading this book was to find out that my daughter, Laura was reading this book at the same time that I began reading the book and we both were intrigued by the hype that this was the next Gone Girl.

After reading this book, Laura and I both agree that this book didn't turn out to be the next Gone Girl, but overall it was a decent way to while away the hours in pursuit of reading for enjoyment.

Similar to Gone Girl, this novel is narrated by different characters in the book.  I could have done without Anna as I didn't find her to be a very compelling character.

I thought there were some decent twists and turns that needed to be unraveled.  One narrator would seem to be leading the story in one direction, while the other narrator would point you down a different path.

I didn't particularly care for the ending of the novel, but I didn't hate it like I did with the ending of Gone Girl.

If you are looking for a fun read and nothing more I think Girl on the Train is worth a look.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January book review

One of my goals for this year was to read a book each month and then write a short review about it.

I found this to be a difficult book to read.  I had to put it down several times.  Anyone growing up in a family may may see glimpses of their own experience within the pages of this novel.

The book stirred uncomfortable memories of my childhood.  Brought fears to the surface about what I perceived as my shortcomings as a father.  Was I a ghost to my children?

"It's the things a family is silent about that say more than what they talk about all the time."~Scott Berkun

The author paints a powerful picture of the dysfunction in his family, the longing he had to understand who his father was, the choices that he had made.

Someone once told me that when you are born your parents give you two gifts.  They take a picture of you and then they give you an evaluation of that picture.  This author spent much of his life, seeking the evaluation of that picture from his Father.

I felt conflicted as the book ended.  I had hoped for a different outcome, but this was real life.

I would recommend reading this book, but would advise anyone reading it to be prepared to feel uncomfortable and to be open to the possibility of choosing something new for yourself.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015

I have been thinking about how to welcome in this new year.  I am not a fan of new year's resolutions.  I don't think that making a resolution will effect lasting change.  I think goals and intentions are more effective.

A resolution is weak, a commitment is strong.

You only make commitments for things you can control.

You can make a New Year's resolution to lose weight this year, but you can't commit to it.

However, you can make a commitment to running, cycling, and lifting weight three times a week and eating a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day.

Having said that, here are my goals for 2015.  Over the course of a year the goals may need to be adjusted.  After a year where I ran a grand total of four times, rode my bike outside a total of three times the very first goal I have set may not a realistic goal.  So rather than abandoning an unmet resolution, a goal can be adjusted.  During the years when I was fortunate enough to be able to run marathons, I always had an A race time goal if everything went perfectly, a B race time goal, all the way to a D race time goal.  Over the vastness of running 26.2 miles anything could happen and over the vastness of a year an athletic goal will most likely need some tweaks.  Only once in my running years did I ever exceed a yearly mileage goal so while I can commit to this goal, I will need to stay healthy and avoid the injury bugaboo that has derailed me in the past.

So here are my goals that as I begin this year are in my control.

  1. 2015 miles. This can be done either running, cycling, swimming, walking for a total of 2015 miles. I don't care what the medium I use to accomplish this.  Moving forward is the goal. 
  2. Read one book a month and write about it here or publish a review on Amazon.
  3. Donate platelets fifteen times.

“Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”
—Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close