Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top 10 - US Holidays

Top 10 Holidays ~ here's my list...

10. National Running Day - This no cost, fun holiday promotes an active lifestyle and allows everyone no matter of skill level to participate. (
"There are clubs you can't belong to, neighborhoods you can't live in, schools you can't get into, but the roads are always open." ~Nike
9. Father's Day - Membership has its privileges!  
"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right." ~Bill Cosby
8. Halloween - A holiday that allows you to dress your kids up in silly costumes and parade them around the neighborhood so they can demand free candy from the neighbors... awesome!
Q: Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the street? A: It had no guts! 
7. Easter - It's like Christmas with warmer weather; but without the pressure of gifts.   
"Easter is the only time it is perfectly safe to put all of your eggs in one basket." ~Unknown
6. Super Bowl Sunday - Someone in Congress needs to create an official holiday that gives everyone off the Monday after the Super Bowl.  That way everyone can fully enjoy the magic that is the Super Bowl.  No matter your favorite part: the game, the commercials, complaining about the half-time show, or the Puppy Bowl, the Super Bowl has something for everyone.  (Side note:  I think it is time for Budweiser to bring back the Bud Bowl.) 
"If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" ~Vince Lombardi
5. Independence Day - A day filled with BBQ, beer, and fireworks designed to celebrate our freedom and remember the American beat down of England.  USA! USA! USA! 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." ~The Declaration of Independence
4. New Year's - I consider this a combo holiday.  New Year's Eve is a celebration; party like it is 1999 because who knows what's going to happen.  New Year's Day is a day of new beginnings and new starts; anything is possible.  The two combined make for a roller coaster of ideas.
"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve.  Middle age is when you're forced to." ~Bill Vaughan
3. Mother's Day- Moms rule!  Everyday moms take on the daily stinky, sticky, un-fun jobs so the least we can do is give them one great day.  Plus, in my family it has been the tradition to get Boston Market on Mother's Day so it is a win for me too!)
"You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." ~William D. Tammeus
2. Christmas - Christmas is by far the biggest, most over-the-top holiday.  Each year the "season" begins earlier and earlier.  This holiday has everything: religion, gifts, tradition, family, light shows, TV specials, family recipes, etc, etc, etc.  So why isn't it #1?  With all of the fun and potential around Christmas it can be too much.  The stress of trying to keep up with it all can be overwhelming. 

 "Where do you think you're going? Nobody'd walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas.  No, no.  We're all in this together.  This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here.  We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ******* Kaye.  And when Santa squeezes his fat *** down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of ******** this side of the nuthouse."  ~Clark (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)
1. Thanksgiving - Without a doubt, the best holiday!  A day about being thankful for what you have, centered around a big meal with your family, capped off with football. 
 "Thanksgiving, man.  Not a good day to be my pants." ~Kevin James 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Running Games

Running is fun, but running for extended distances can get pretty boring at times.  To limit the boredom, I try to run in new and interesting places and play simple games along the way. 

A fun game, particularly during this time of the year, is to see how many leaves I can catch during my run. 

What do you do to keep you mind focused on long runs?

"Long distance running is 90% mental and the other half is physical." -Rich Davis

Friday, August 10, 2012

Shooting Stars!

The 2012 Perseid meteor shower season is here!  Every year in mid-August the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet named "Swift Tube" and meteors fall into our atmosphere. From now through August 13, the late-night/early-morning crowd will be able to witness this annual event. During peak hours 60 to 100 meteors per hour could be seen. 
"Seen a shooting star tonight slip away. Tomorrow will be another day." ~Bob Dylan
Between the hours of 11pm - 4am will offer the best viewing times, but this year's show is expected to have increased visibility due to a dimly lit waning moon.  In addition to the meteor shower, the sky scene will be extra enjoyable since Venus and Jupiter will also be visible the to naked eye.  
"Attention all shooters, I'm a shooting star.  Life is a course and I'm a shoot for par" ~Lil Wayne
Tips for watching the meteor shower:

  1. Know when the shower will peak in your area.
  2. Watch from an area with the least surrounding light.  
  3. Bring a reclining chair so you can watch the sky more comfortably.
  4. Play the Star Wars theme song in the background to make the experience that more dramatic.
  5. Let Google Sky Map help you identify what you are seeing.
  6. Relax and enjoy the show!
"I love just who you are, I ain't gon' try to change ya.  You are a shooting star, that's why you are my favorite." ~LMFAO
For more information check out this video from NASA:
"Don't you know that you are a shooting star, yeah.  And the all the world will love you just as long.  As you are, a shooting star." ~Bad Company

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: The Giver

"After reading The Giver, I was left confused and disappointed. It seemed as if it would be interesting, but you can't judge a book by its cover. The contents were dull and predictable. Quite honestly, I wouldn't recommend it to any reader seeking a fine piece of literature. It just doesn't suffice.

The Giver is about a young boy named Jonas. He resides in a futuristic society in which each citizen is assigned a job, a spouse, and children. The children are born to mothers who will never get to see them. Trying not to give anymore away, I will only say that Jonas is assigned an important job and is challenged with the release of an innocent child. Jonas is left with the option of leaving his home, job, and family to save the child, or facing the harsh reality of his community and job, and enduring the release of the child.

This book was dreadful. I became more and more dissatisfied with each page. It was a waste of time and hardly made sense. I'll admit, there were a few interesting lines, but far too few to continue reading after the first chapter. Although I finished it, I regret doing so. It was, by far, the worst book I've ever picked up. It proved to be mediocre, no better than what the average person could conceive. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone." ~Teen Ink

General Book Info:
Author:  Lois Lowry
Plot:  An eleven year old boy is selected to become "The Receiver of Memory" in his utopian community and learns the secrets of his town.
Book Type:  Fiction
Genre:  Dystopian

My Thoughts:
Initially I hesitated at purchasing this book because it was advertised as a novel for young adults.  However, since it was a Newbery Medal award winner, considered controversial, and most importantly was on sale, I thought I'd give it a try.  I'm glad that I did.

However, if I would have read this when I was younger, I like the person quoted above, I probably would not have liked this story either.  At this point in my life, now that I'm a little more aware of the complexities of everyday life, I really enjoyed this story because it reminded me of the importance of personal freedom.  In this story life has been simplified to the point where no one suffers and everything is perfect.  Or is it?

Pick up a copy today:  The Giver

"How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made." ~The Giver

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Netflix Movie Review: The Descendants

"Alexander Payne’s latest offering The Descendants is based on the book by Kaui Hart Hemmings who wrote it aged 28, whilst living in San Francisco as a full time mum. It is another opportunity for us to admire Payne’s skill at portraying middle-aged men trying to cope with a mid life crisis badly. In some cases the characters in his films have crises of their own making, such as Sidewaysand About Schmidt, but in this film the opening scene of a mother being injured in a boating accident changes the lives of everyone connected with her.  Payne’s dark humour and acerbic observations of middle aged men has never been better portrayed than George Clooney as Matt King, the central character of the story. The film has already won two Golden Globe Awards, won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as having four other nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Clooney." ~Thinking faith 

General Movie Info:
Genre:  Drama, Comedy
Plot:  A wealthy Hawaiian land owner's wife is injured in an accident leaving him to care for his two daughters alone.
Rated:  R

My Thoughts:
The movie was well acted acted but the plot had too many layers for my tastes.  Listed as a comedy/drama but is way more of a drama than a comedy.  If it had more of a comedic twist, the many layers to the plot could have provided funny moments but it wasn't that kind of movie. The movie was good but not great.  This George Clooney film is one to watch with the wife not the guys.

Check out the official trailer:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Netflix Movie Review: Moneyball

"This is really a movie about business. None of the individual players have major roles. The drama all happens in the mind of a general manager and his numbers guy. They bet against tradition and in favor of numerical analysis. That goes against a century of baseball history, although for all of those years, fans have thumbed through their baseball almanacs and issued mind-numbing statistical theories on talk shows. What the numbers crunchers demonstrated is that a computer can assemble a team better than human instinct." ~Robert Ebert
General Movie Info:
Genre:  Sport, Drama, Biography
Plot:  The Oakland A's attempt to put together a low budget team that will compete with major league baseball power houses like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Rated:  PG-13

My Thoughts:  
The biggest question I had going into the movie was if story itself was worth telling.  I watch baseball and I don't remember the the A's winning the World Series.  So what is the point?  This movie, while being a story about a baseball team, is more of a story about taking chances to get what you want.  This movie got a lot of attention due to its star power.  Staring in this film, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman all did a great job worthy of the praise they received.   Overall, the movie is good and I recommend watching it.

Check out the official trailer:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Taking a Stand at Work

Sometimes it feels like the powers that be at work are trying to keep you down.  Not in a motivational sense, but in the stay seated and do your work sense.  For the past month, I've been fighting those powers and standing the whole time at work.  I converted my cube from a normal 'grow old and retire cube' to a high action power standing cube!     
 "Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and like to write standing up." ~Ernest Hemingway
The American Cancer Society found that women who sat more than six hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die an early death then women who sat for less than three hours a day and men were 18 percent more likely.  To make it worse, other studies have have suggested that the time you spend exercising does not negate the time time you spend sitting and being lazy when it comes to heart-disease.  Statistics have shown that the more hours a day you spend sitting increases your chances of living sickly or dying young.  Exercise, even daily, don't allow you to escape this truth.
"Regularly exercising is not the same as being active.  A person may hit the gym every day, but if he's sitting a good deal of the rest of the time, he's probally not leading an overall active life." ~Peter Katzmarzyk, Ph.D

Standing cubes, while not a new idea, have been growing in popularity over the past few years.  I first saw a standing cube last year while touring the Treasury Building in DC and the Wall Street Journal did an article last year refering to them as "Silicon Valley's newest status symbol" (Standing Desks Are on the Rise).   Some notable standing workers include:  Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Chirchill, Earnest Hemingway and Donald Rumsfield.  Currently in my office, myself and about five others have transitioned to the standing cube.

"Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity.  Public health programs should focus on reducing sitting time in addition to increasing physical activity levels."  ~Archives of Internal Medicine
So what's it like standing all day?  Don't your legs start to bother you?  Standing all day is certainly different than sitting all day.  There isn't that "let me sit down and get to work" feeling when you arrive because... well... you don't sit down.  Standing locked into one place can get uncomfortable after just a little while, so I find myself swaying and rocking back and forth a lot.  I admit, if others could see my movements through out the day they would probally think I'm crazy crazy!
"Excessive sitting is a lethal activity." ~Dr. James Levine, Mayo Clinic
With one month in the books I don't plan on stopping this experiment anytime soon.  If you are looking for a way to get more active and shake-up your at work experience at the same time - I highly recommend giving the standing cube a try.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: The Call of the Wild

"THE CALL OF THE WILD is a great work of literature; there can be no doubt. Written in a style that is at once muscular and poetic, it is both an adventure story and a meditation on civilization versus savagery, with savagery clearly having more appeal to the author. As Buck gradually reverts to the instincts and behaviors of his wolf ancestors, he becomes both more alive and more truly himself. This, and its implications for human beings, gives young readers plenty to think and talk about, which explains why this book continues to be a favorite for discussion groups and classrooms.

There's a brutality here that not all children will find to their taste, and modern American children are more likely to want to discuss the way Buck is treated than the way he acts. The sensibilities that drove the author and his original audience have changed dramatically since the time this book was written, and animal rights and treatment are a hot topic with children these days. "The law of club and fang" is a long way from the experience of most modern young readers, who may not agree with author Jack London's view of the whole situation. This, of course, can also prompt interesting discussions, though they may be different from what the author was thinking of when he wrote it." ~Common Sense Media

General Book Info:
Author:  Jack London
Plot:  Buck, a large domesticated family dog, is kidnapped and forced to work hard labor during the gold rush of the late 1800s.
Book Type:  Fiction
Genre:  Animals

My Thoughts:
Since this book is a classic, I had obviously heard of the book but had no idea what the book was about prior to reading the story.  As the story began and progressed I was fairly certain I knew how the story was going to go - I was wrong.  The read was fairly simple and straight forward and the author kept me entertained as I followed Buck's journey of personal growth and development.  I would definitely recommend this book.
"His eyes turned blood-shot, and he was metamorphosed into a raging fiend.  So changed was he that the Judge himself would not have recognized him." ~Call of the Wild

Netflix Movie Review: Friends with Benefits

"Sweet, funny, romantic, and not nearly as post-modern as it pretends to be, Friends With Benefits has everything you'd expect from an R-rated romantic comedy in the 21st Century -- but not any more than that. Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are smoothly convincing as a couple who initially resist their deep-seated attraction to one another, cracking a steady stream of jokes and looking very enticing in their underwear. The supporting cast features the likes of Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins, who always brighten up a movie. And director Will Gluck (Easy A) keeps the action popping until the more serious consequences kick in."  ~ Peter Martin,

General Movie Info:
Genre:  Comedy, Romance
Plot:  Two friends try to add casual sex to their friendship.
Rated:  R

My Thoughts:
If you are expecting a great top-notch movie you will be disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, the movie was good and keep me entertained but this type of "love" story has been told many times before and this version didn't add anything new.  But if you are looking for a light-hearted romantic comedy this movie will keep you entertained with occasional laughs.  (I did find Timberlake's running joke about landing airplanes funny.)    

Check out the official trailer:

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Netflix Movie Review: Stay Cool

“That sucked,' says Henry McCarthy (Mark Polish) about twenty minutes into Stay Cool, which is a funny coincidence, because I said the same thing when the movie ended an hour and a half later. This is the sixth film from the Polish brothers (Mark wrote and stars, Michael directs), whose earlier films include the odd and fascinating Twin Falls Idaho and the lovely Astronaut Farmer, so its poor quality is all the more surprising. According to imdb, it was shot back-to-back with their currently-unreleased fifth film, Manure; I’m not sure if they were just worn out from finishing another picture, but however you slice it, I think they gave that title to the wrong movie." ~ Jason Bailey, Fourth Row Center

General Movie Info:
Genre:  Comedy, Drama, Romance
Plot:  A successful author returns to his hometown to deliver the commencement speech at his old high school and struggles to let go of the past.
Rated:  PG-13

My Thoughts:
The basic storyline of a person confronting his past in light of current success is nothing new.  In fact, it has been done successfully several times before but this version may be the worst adaptation I've seen.  The movie was filled with stars such as: Winona Ryder, Sean Astin, Mark Polish, Hilary Duff, Jon Cryer, Chevy Chase, Michael Gross, etc. so the expectation was there that the movie would be at least entertaining.  However, it fell fall short of entertaining.  The movie plot did have potential and the star power associated with the film could have been great but for whatever reason it just didn't happen.  Do yourself a favor and skip this movie.  I'm sure you can find yourself a better way to waste an hour and a half.

Check out the official trailer:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy 1st Anniversary!

Today marks the one year anniversary of "Thought of the Jay!"  Thank you everyone who has followed or stumbled upon one of my posts over the past year.  It has been a really good year for me!
"Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments." ~Rose Kennedy
From the beginning, the purpose of this blog was to help me prioritize my many completing priorities and to find ways to improve my life.  Over the past year, my life has improved across the board. 
"It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached." ~Mike Huckabee

My family life took a major step forward as my wife and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl (aka - Tiny Hiney) into the world to complete the perfect pair.  The boy continues to grow and add daily excitement to our routine.  He's about to finish his first year of preschool and has developed greatly as a result.  And my wife... pretty as ever!
"If the family goes, so does our civilization." ~Ronald Reagan

This past year has also been good for my career.  My hard work was recognized and I received a promotion within my department.  My new position offers greater responsibility and potential to get involved in new initiatives.  I was also named Committee Chair to our regional Program Integrity Committee.
"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all." ~Sam Ewing
I'm still breathing, so my health and fitness can't be too bad.  I've done a good job at keeping consistent in my efforts as opposed to extreme peaks and valleys.  While the "page views" for Thought of the Jay! have been fairly good my fitness and health posts have been the most well received.  My Run til you're tired.. then keep running! post has by far been my most viewed post.  Next month I'll be competing in my second Tough Mudder so I expect to have a post shortly after to discuss the experience.  I've also given up sitting at work - adding a little more activity to my day.  I also plan on doing a post about my standing cube in the near future.
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver." ~Mahatma Gandhi

Finance wise, I've managed kept everything in order.  Most of my saving is done automatically, through ShareBuilder and my work TSP plan, so I just have to sit back and let time take care of its self and hope that nothing interferes with my ability to continue making contributions.  But on a more interesting subject, I'm planning on purchasing a new home in the near future.  I'm sure that process will result in some sort of post or two.
"A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life." ~Suze Orman
Well... Thanks again for following the Thought of the Jay!  Be sure to follow me on your social platform of choice: Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. because this next year I expect things to only get better!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Netflix Movie Review: Drive

"Drive is a quiet film. Yes, there are intense action scenes that push the R rating toward an NC-17, but the overall vibe of Drive is one of silent menace. And although the film centers around a mechanic/stunt driver/getaway driver, high speed car chases aren't what Drive's all about. There's so much going on under the surface of Drive's unnamed main character (played with simmering intensity by Ryan Gosling) and so much left unspoken - when other directors would have chosen to fill the air with dialogue - that Drive does something films rarely do: it makes audiences think. Who is this strange man who parcels out his words as though he's being made to pay in blood for their usage? So much is left up to the audience to interpret that Drive is less a film you passively watch and more of an experience you must engage in."  ~Rebecca Murry,

General Movie Info:
Genre:  Crime, Drama, Thriller
Plot:  A quiet Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver finds trouble when he assists his neighbour's convict boyfriend. 
Rated:  R

My thoughts:
Overall the movie was just not very good.  The styling and music was very 80's (and not in a good way).  Ryan Gosling is a good actor, but in this role his character was not very believable.  Since the movie has an odd quirky quality, I'm sure some people will love this movie but if you ask me... I'd skip this one.

Check out the official trailer:

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Netflix Movie Review: 50/50

"Part of me doesn't even want to tell you that 50/50 is a comedy about a guy with cancer. Chances are you'll groan and stop reading. That would be a mistake, because 50/50 is not infected with the usual TV tear-jerking and bogus uplift. It's actually hilarious, heartfelt and acted with such no-bull audacity that you'll hate yourself for just thinking you'd hate it." ~Rolling Stone

General Movie Info:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Plot: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogan star in this dramedy inspired by a true story. 50/50 follows the relationship of two friends after one is unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. 
Rated:  R

My thoughts:
Since cancer isn't exactly a knee slapping topic, I wasn't expecting this movie to be the most enjoyable movie experience.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a compelling job portraying a young man facing his mortality.  While Seth Rogan adds just enough humor to keep the movie moving along without ever getting too dark and sad.  Overall, it is a pretty good movie.  As long as you are aware the movie is about cancer and not your average Seth Rogan joke-fest, I would recommend adding it to your queue.

Check out the official trailer:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Product Review: Vibram FiveFingers - KOMODOSPORT

"With today's athlete in mind, Vibram FiveFingers has raised the intensity with the Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport. This aggressive multisport design inherits what we love about the KSO with functional improvements that appeal to the most active fitness enthusiast. For the first time ever, Vibram introduces a stitch-free, seamless 2mmfootbed to reduce friction. Heel and instep hook-and-loop closures help secure the stretch nylon upper to the contours of your foot-just like a second skin. The KomodoSport wouldn't be complete without a4mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber outsole which provides the grip and protection you need for a variety of cross training activities. Machine Wash, Air Dry.” ~

General Product Info:
Type: Running, fitness, minimalist
Cost: $110
Materials: UPPER - Stretch Mesh and Polyamide - SOLE - TC-1 Rubber - FOOTBED - 3mm PU & CoolMax - Machine washable. - Air dry away from sun or heat source.

My thoughts:
I had considered buying a pair of these since I first saw a fellow participant wearing them at the 2009 McGuire “Beast of the East” Mud Run and since then have gotten close to buying a pair several times, but could never seem to pull the trigger. Just after this past Christmas, in need of a little extra something to get me motivated enough to go for a run in the cold, I decided to just go for it and buy a pair.

"Stadiums are for spectators.  We runners have nature and that is much better. ~Juha Väätäinen
Prior to buying them, I was concerned about how comfortable it would be having my toes separated. However, after wrestling with the shoe to get them on, and finally getting all of my toes into the right spots, I knew that these funny looking shoes were going to be fun! They were much more comfortable than I was expecting. They felt more like an extension of my foot as opposed to something I was wearing on my foot.
"Running is real and relatively smple, but it ain't easy." ~Mark Will-Weber
Minimalist shoes, like those offered by Vibram, have really gained in popularity ever since Christopher McGougall's "Born to Run” book hit shelves in 2009. The book tells the story of how the Tarahumara Indians are able to run great distances barefoot. Since then, many articles have been written to the pros and cons of running barefoot or with minimalist shoes. The pro camp claims that the human body was designed to run. And only recently have we begun doing wearing shoes. The con camp claims that most people are not perfect running machines and shoes can assist runners compensate for their physical shortcomings. Both camps claim to be the healthier, better option.

"Every run is a great run!" ~Sasha Azevedo
Before buying the shoes, and since, I’ve read quite a few articles about how to properly ease into this type or running to avoid injury. Most runners won’t be able to put on a pair and run as they normally would without some discomfort. Typical running shoes absorb much of the impact and provide stability to the runner. Since these shoes don’t provide cushion, or additional stability, the runner must adjust his/her stride to feel totally comfortable while running. It does take a few minutes to get your stride down but once you do it feels very comfortable and natural. However, I found my feet and legs got tired very quickly. This was because my muscles were being used in new ways. Experts recommend transitioning to these shoes be done slowly. Starting off with about 10% of your normal running load and slowly building up and I would certainly agree... but too many miles too fast isn’t the only way one can hurt themselves.
"Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder. ~William Sigei
My interest in these shoes had nothing to proper running form or healthy running. I was more interested in wearing them to get muddy. This pair in particular, I bought to wear during the Tough Mudder event I’ll be doing in April. So far, all of my running I’ve done in these shoes has been done in the woods on and off the trails. Instead of avoiding mud, I aimed for the mud. (Yes, the mud feels cold and mushy between the toes.) Who needs bridges? Not me, when I could just run in the creek.
"Life is short... running makes it seem longer." ~Baron Hanson
So... I got hurt. I pulled something in my leg. But my injury wasn’t because of too many miles, or poor running form, it was done trying to do something silly. I hurt my leg while trying to jump out of a creek onto a steep muddy embankment and crawl up the hill. Why was I trying to do this? I’m not sure, it was not the first odd decision I made on that run but it was the last.
"My greatest ideas stem from running." ~Sasha Azevedo
So would I recommend a pair? Absolutely. The shoes are comfortable and easy to wash. Up until my injury, I had fun every time I wore them. Actually, I had fun the time I hurt myself too!  But if you get a pair use them wisely -start slow and remember you are not a superhero just because you are wearing super shoes. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

OK now I’m motivated... but where’s MY pen?

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty motivated guy.  I get done what I need to and hopefully a little more, but at the same time I’m aware that none of my actions are leading towards a cure for cancer.  So often, I need to find a little extra motivation to keep me going.  That extra little kick to help keep my interest.  When I got bored of taking little runs around the neighborhood I signed up for a marathon.  After that, I couldn't go back to just running around the neighborhood, so I signed up for the Tough Mudder.  Having a little something extra that you are working towards helps keep the juices flowing.  With a little creativity you can always find an activity or idea that can distract your mind from the realities of your current situation and keep you moving in the right direction.  The past few weeks at work have been a little more hectic than usual, but luckily, fate gave me a little something to use as a motivator.  The little something extra was a classic whodunit. ~  Who stole my pen?  
"No matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sights on a higher one." ~ Jessica Savitch
So the walk to my desk that morning was nice and quiet.  I was able to plop into my chair and drink my coffee in peace and quiet as I waited for my computer to fully load.  I dismissed all of my calendar reminders that expired, deleted the junk that collected in my inbox, and prepared myself to jump into my workload.  Typically I sip on my coffee throughout the morning, but this morning I decided to to sit back and enjoy my coffee.  I knew my day was going to be hectic so why not at least enjoy all of my coffee while it is still hot?  Well... it was go time ~ time to get to work.  I grabbed the large post-it pad I use to keep myself on task and my pen.  As I grabbed my pen the top fell off.  My pen was broken!  
"Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward." ~ Victor Kiam
This pen was special.  A while back, a very small group of us at work got the same pen.  Since the pens were so nice we ended up each getting a couple of them.  In meetings, others began to comment about how they liked the pens and slowly the pen circle began to grow.  At this point, about ten or so have the pen.  It was not a very expensive pen but it looked nice, felt good in my hand, and wrote well.  I’ve had this pen for quite a while.  In fact, this was the first pen that I’ve kept around long enough to need ink refills.  I really liked that pen...
"Be miserable.  Or motivate yourself.  Whatever has to be done,it's always your choice." ~ Wayne Dyer
Bummed that my pen was broken, I found it difficult to find the motivation needed to really dive into my work.  So I picked up my broken pen and admired it... the shiny exterior, the stylish etchings, the bar code sticker.  HOLD ON!  My pen didn’t have a bar code sticker!  Upon further inspection this pen also had the original ink cartridge, not the ink refill my pen had.  This was not my pen!  Someone, someone in the pen circle, had broken their pen and then switched it with my perfectly good pen.  ~  Let the games begin!  With great motivation I attacked my work.  I was going to do whatever I could to get all of my work done because I had something that needed to be done.  I am going to find my pen!
"Determine never to be idle.  No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any.  It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing." ~ Thomas Jefferson
OK, maybe I shouldn't have worried about the pen, but I did. And maybe I should have used something else to motivate me through my day, but I didn’t.  I used what I was dealt.  Everyday we face obstacles in life, what we do with them is up to us.
"Either you run the day or the day runs you." ~ Jim Rohn
To date I still have not found my pen... but I’m still looking! And when I find the pen, because I will find the pen, the satisfaction will be sweet but it won't be end the end of my story. I'll still face obstacles both large and small that will need to conquered and most likely I'll need something new to keep me motivated... but I'll find something to keep me going!
"It's always too early to quit." ~ Norman Vincent Peale