American Odyssey Relay 2015

The relay is over. If you’d like a detailed recap, read Tom’s post about it. There’s no need to rehash everything.

Here are my thoughts about it:

  • teamWhen you put it on paper (200 miles, 36 legs, 12 people, stuck in a van for 30 hours, no showers, no sleep), it sounds like the dumbest thing in the world.
  • When you put it in reality, it is pretty dumb. You’re sitting uncomfortably in the van at 4 in the morning after two hard runs just wanting to get some sleep, and think to yourself “why the hell am I doing this?
  • There’s no good answer to “why do you do it?”. It’s an experience. It’s unique. It’s unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s memories. It’s something I’m glad I did and will probably continue to do.
  • The running was great. I felt pretty good and the weather was perfect.
  • SamWith that said, and Tom echoed this, if you’re not prepared for the running part, you probably shouldn’t do it. You don’t need to be running seven minute miles for all of your legs, but you need to be able to maintain your pace (be it 6s, 8s, 10s, whatever) for your three legs.
  • You bond with everyone in your van on a different level than say going out for drinks.
  • I’ve never been happier to just take a shower, lay in a bed, and eat something that’s not granola before. You realize what you take for granted.
  • Most of the teams are comprised of people I don’t know that well. It would be really fun to do this with a group of people I know really well (UCXC???).
  • It’s out-of-the-norm things like this that make life exciting. It’s something to look forward to and something to break up the monotony of working then decompressing on the weekends.

As I said, I’m glad I did it. I would recommend it to everyone at least once.

20 things we should say more often

For those checking in on the blog frequently, I will be away from 5:00 PM today to mid afternoon on Sunday. I’m participating in the American Odyssey Relay for the second consecutive year. I will not have access to the blog, and will not be posting.

So to leave you on a positive note heading into the weekend, watch this cute little guy put things in perspective and give advice on how to live.

Morning Coffee?

I stopped at Wawa this morning for a Sizzli (spectacular as always), and noticed just how many people have morning coffee. As my life goes on, I see more and more of my friends and coworkers not only turning to coffee, but relying on coffee to get them through the day.

I’ve had exactly two cups of coffee in my entire life.

  • The first was in Washington D.C. when Gourlay and I were visiting Dale. I was worn out from a long day, and not excited to go out. Gourlay suggested I drink coffee. I did. It didn’t do anything. We went out and I had fun.
  • The second was in Philly when Gourlay and I were visiting Brookes and Laura. I was worn out from a long day, and not excited to go out. Gourlay suggested I drink coffee. I did. It didn’t do anything. We went out and I had fun.

I intentionally avoid coffee. I get my energy from a good night of sleep and eating properly. I don’t like the idea of relying on something to get me through my day. This is the same reason I’ve never had an energy drink (aside from Trash Cans). I’ve read that coffee can actually increase athletic performance, which intrigues me. But at this point, I’ve gone this far, and been this successful without it, I see no reason to start.

How many of you are coffee drinkers? Why did you start? Can you stop? What would your life be like if you had to quit coffee right now? I’m interested in this because I feel I’m in the minority for never drinking coffee.

[socialpoll id=”2268697″]

 

Allow myself to introduce… Myself

 

The blog had some errors when I updated my theme. I don’t know what I did wrong. I’m a dumbass. Thanks Tom for fixing it for me.

So enjoy this new theme. I actually used to use this in freshman year in college and it sucked. The tree to the right is like the dumbest thing to put there and I couldn’t change it no matter how hard I tried.

I don’t have time right now to fool around and choose a new theme but by tomorrow I should have something different.

As far as my life goes, Chicago was a blast and I’m back on the grind. This weekend is the American Odyssey Relay which none of you care about.

Thanks for tuning in, enjoy the tree.

 

My Experience in Chicago

Touring Chicago

The conference went off without a hitch. My co-worker and I did well, then we did a lot of typical touristy things in Chicago since neither of us had ever been.

First, the Bean and Millenium Park. I don’t know what the Bean is supposed to be, but it looks pretty sweet and is a huge attraction for people. We went with Amos and Sarah to make it extra exciting.

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Next, the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). We paid $20 each to go to the top of the Willis Tower and take pictures. It seemed expensive at the time, but it really is a pretty spectacular sight.

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After the tower, we needed food, what other than deep dish pizza while in Chicago? The pizza had green peppers, onions, sausage, and mushrooms. It was wild and actually incredible. I had 2 and a half slices and was stuffed beyond belief.

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Finally, the people. I saw Amos and Sarah there who I haven’t seen in a long time. Amos knew I was going thanks to this blog. Score 1 for the blog. Next, I saw Allie, a friend from college who I knew lived in Chicago. I tweeted at her that I was in town, and miraculously enough we met up for a drink before I left for home.

The rest of the day was spent walking around Chicago before we had to catch our plane. It’s a beautiful city, very clean, and a lot of cool things. The weather is kind of a drag, but aside from that, I could see myself living there. Overall an A of a trip.

Off to the Windy City

I’m heading to Chicago tomorrow for a conference for work. I’ll be joined by a girl from the support department, and we’ll be there until Friday evening.

I like traveling for work. It gives me the chance to explore new cities without having to shell out a ton of my own cash. Thus far I’ve been to, in order:

  • D.C.
  • D.C. again
  • New York
  • Las Vegas
  • Philadelphia
  • Chicago

Not necessarily the most diverse group of cities, but you get the point.

Aside from that though, my knowledge of Chicago is limited. Here’s what I know off the top of my head:

  • The Cubs have sucked for 100 years
  • The Bulls are good
  • They have good pizza
  • Dennis Kimetto holds the course record for the Chicago Marathon in 2:03:45
  • It’s the third most populous city in the US.
  • A girl from college that I was friends with lives there

What should I do while I’m in Chicago?

WAITBUTWHY Blog

If you want to see what a real blog looks like, and read posts that are actually interesting, look at waitbutwhy.com

Mark suggested I read this blog, and it’s basically what a good blog should be, and what me and Tom’s blogs are not.

Mark said to read the post about artificial superintelligence. If that doesn’t make you think, then you’re brain-dead.

Even posts that are stupid, like how much space would every human take upif we stood in a circle (four times bigger than the orbit of our moon), on a flat plane (we’d fit in the space of NYC, with even a little room to spare), or in a cube (1.07 kilometers for all sides), are way more interesting than anything I’ve put together. The most interesting tidbit out of that post was that if you removed all of the empty space in atoms, and left only the nuclei and electrons, the 7.3 billion people on earth would fit into an M&M.

This is NOT something I aspire to. This is way more involved and time-consuming than I want my blog to become. I imagine these take weeks to complete. I can applaud the effort it takes, and envy the motivation and intellect that this person has, but I know this would become way too stressful for me to do.

So instead, I’m just sending you all to these people so you can see what a real blog looks like.

 

 

Paying Full

There are two things in my life that I use often, and am considering “upgrading”.

Spotify Premium

Cost – $10.00 per month.

Benefit – I use Spotify almost every day. The free version is very convenient, but has it’s limitations:

  • I don’t like how mobile HAS to be shuffle.
  • Playing it online can be choppy at times.
  • The ads don’t really bother me that much, but it would be nice to remove them.

Thought – Their free product is almost too good for me to justify spending $120 a year, even though that’s not that much money. I don’t see THAT much value in upgrading, but if anyone who has Spotify premium wants to weigh in, please do. I feel like I should just give them money because their product is so good.

ESPN Insider

Cost – $2.50 per month for two years

Benefit – I see articles on ESPN all the freakin’ time that I want to read but can’t because they’re for Insider subscribers. For example, they released detailed draft notes and strategy for each NFL team for the upcoming draft. I want to see if any experts see us getting Mariota (it’s seeming less and less likely, but I’m interested). I also get a bi-weekly copy of their magazine which would make for good toilet material.

Thought – $60 is nothing for two years of a service that I would use constantly. I don’t follow baseball and hockey that closely, which means I’m missing half the material, but outside of the four major sports, I enjoy Golf and Tennis as well, so there’s added value. I may actually do this one. It’s just a shame there’s no track and field articles. Does anyone have this? Thoughts?