2013: My Year In Review


Since this is a personal blog, I figured that instead of writing a year-end review about other things, it would be better suited for me to give a year-end review of things that actually happened in my life. It’s much easier to do something like this now since chances are I captured those moments with my phone, giving me photographic proof of the events.

With all of that out of the way, here’s a month-by-month photo essay of how things went with me and the family in 2013, some of which was never mentioned here on the blog. Take a virtual trip of the things we did, places we saw, events that brought us happiness, triumph, and even sadness.

Got your scrollin’ finger ready? Good! Here we go!

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Blogging 365, Day 40: A Busy Day


The title of today’s post pretty much sums it up but I’ll break it down for you in words and pictures.

It started around 7:15 when I went for my morning run:

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And I’m not saying it was cold this morning but here’s how the roof of my car looked when I stepped outside:

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It’s not quite what the east coast is going through but for us thin-blooded Californians, this is plenty harsh. Oh, be quiet.

Once I got home and filled my body with the necessary nutrients, I took a shower and changed so that we could take Anthony to Lowe’s for today’s Build and Grow project, something called the Wheel of Love. It looks a little something like this:

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This boy’s good with a hammer, I’ll tell you what. By the time we were done here it was around 10:30 and it was off to our next destination: a free health screening at a newly relocated medical center down the street from Lowe’s. Here’s a shot of me getting blood drawn for my glucose and cholesterol tests.

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The bad news? They had to do it twice so I had to be poked again on my right hand. Apparently my blood was so strong that it broke the machine. Ahem. Anyway, the good news is that my results were outstanding:

  • Total cholesterol: 146 mg/dL which is well below what is considered desirable and puts me at less of a risk of getting coronary heart disease.
  • Glucose (non-fasting): 94 mg/dL, also perfectly acceptable and means I’m not diabetic.

The weird thing is that even when I was heavy, my levels were all at an acceptable level. That’s not to say that I don’t regret losing the weight but that genetics seems to play a bigger part in all of this. Losing the weight definitely brought the levels down, so low that even the nurse who gave me the results – he was about 30 pounds lighter – told me that my levels were better than his. Not too shabby.

While at the screening, I met KFI’s Tim Conway, Jr. He was there giving stuff away and greeting listeners. Here’s me and Anthony with Mr. Conway:

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Funny guy just like his dad.

After the event we went home and relaxed for a bit but also gave Arliss a bath since the local Unleashed by Petco store was having low-cost immunizations. While waiting for the event to begin, we checked out some of the animals up for adoption and I have to admit that, even though I’m more of a cat person, this little doggie melted my heart because of her cuteness:

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She was one heck of a dog and I hope she gets adopted real soon.

If all that wasn’t enough, our final trip of the day was to WinCo to get some groceries. And I gotta tell you, $100 goes a lot farther at that store versus our usual places. Sure, you have to bag your own groceries but that’s a hit I’m willing to take in order to get cheap stuff. We’re well-stocked for the week and beyond.

Side note: man, what did we do before cell-phone cameras? How else would we be able today’s action as well as life’s little “WTF?” moments, like this sign at WinCo’s bulk food section:

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I don’t know about you but if I was to sample something from the bulk foods area, there are lots of better choices than rawhide chips. But maybe that’s just me.

And now it’s late and I’m tired. There’s little chance of me waking up early tomorrow to go for my usual Sunday morning bike ride since I’m still beat after this whirlwind day. I may just put it off until next week.

Other than this…we did absolutely nothing today 🙂

Blogging 365, Day 34: Super Bowl Sunday


Oh, don’t let that title fool you. I couldn’t give two shits about the Super Bowl or anything associated with it: commercials, halftime shows, etc. I honestly couldn’t care less.

So rather than give you my boring assessment of the overhyped game, here’s a summary of what made my Sunday super.

I rode over 18 miles. In preparation for the Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride in a few weeks, I thought it would be beneficial to get on the saddle and start riding again now that I’m no longer feeling like total crap. While I would have liked to make it an even 20 miles, my total distance of 18.2 was definitely close enough. Just tack on another 11.8 miles to that and I’ll be gold on February 23rd. It’s gonna be epic.

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I tried a new grocery store. When I returned home and cleaned off the road debris from my person, we decided to give a new grocery store a try. It’s called WinCo Foods and unless you’re in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California or Oregon (hence the name WinCo), you’re pretty much screwed. Oh, they do have locations in Utah as well but the U is not included in that nifty acronym. At any rate, WinCo was pretty amazing with unbelievable prices on just about everything: ketchup was 48 cents a bottle, my Silk Soy Milk was $2.79 (regular is closer to $4 for a half-gallon), and they have tons of food in bulk. They even have fresh honey made by live bees. I know that may be a big “DUH!” but really, they have dispensers with bees inside them doing what they do best. Here’s proof: me being a smartass by pretending to lift the cover that the sign warns customers not to do (“DANGER: DO NOT LIFT LID. BEES WILL ESCAPE”).

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And oh yeah, it helped that the local fire station was there buying groceries. Nothing makes a boy happier than seeing a bright red firetruck.

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We had a great lunch. You gotta love Pasty Kitchen, a place that’s been around for ages. That means they’re doing something right and that something is serving up one item: English meat pies (okay, they also have vegetable pies). Available in small or large sizes and either ready-to-eat or frozen, they are simply delicious and a great way to load up on carbs and protein. In fact I may eat a couple of these pies before my bike ride in a few weeks.

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We went to the driving range. I had promised Anthony I would take him to the driving range today and I did not disappoint. And up until I drove a few balls well beyond the 200 yard marker, Anthony was killing me. Come on, what do you expect? This boy plays 9 holes every Friday and has an excellent golf coach while I’m just some idiot who picked up a club in my teens and thought it was fun. He’s got such an advantage over me that I don’t even want to think of what he’ll be doing on the course by the time he’s a teenager.

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Look at that form. Did I mention he’s still 8 years old?

So there you have my Super Bowl Sunday. You can keep your parties, your football games, halftime shows, headaches and hangovers. Spending time with the family was truly a super and awesome way to spend the day.