Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Ah, I love the new year. It means, well for one thing, that pesky Christmas season it over. And it also feels like such a fresh start. Everything feels so new and possible in the new year. I'm not big on resolutions, but there is always lurking in the back of my head the thought that things will be better in the coming year. Maybe, I'll be a more tolerant and cheerful person. Maybe I'll date a man who actually wants to commit to a relationship. Maybe my job will shift to include only the fun stuff and the tedious boring stuff will go away. Maybe I'll be able to do a muscle up in crossfit. I do realize that usually the new year turns out to be exactly like the old year (it is only a day different), but there is always that glimmer of possibility. I always get excited for the new year to start. The hope never dies.

I do have a New Year blog goal. Actually it's not so much a goal, but a test. I want to try and blog every day for the month of January, just to see what I come up with. Maybe it will be like that person you see every day and you have so much to say to them. I will have so much to blog if I'm just in the pattern. The next couple days will be blogging from the windy city!!

Happy New Year everyone, may all your glimmers come true.

Love, Otto, Daisy and Roberta

Friday, December 26, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

So I thought I would give those non Seattlelites (or post Seattlelites) a quick glimpse of what it is currently like to walk in Seattle. I am still unable to extricate the car, so I have been walking everywhere. It wasn't so bad when the snow was new and crisp and sticky, but now that it is melting things are getting messy. One walks very gingerly on the once packed snow, now solid ice that is the sidewalk. Only to get to an intersection and encounter six inches deep slush and water. If you're really lucky, a snow plow will have passed by leaving huge ridges of snow in the middle of the road. And, if you're really really lucky you'll be at a corner in which the snow plow has decided to deposit an entire mountain of snow, making it impossible to actually walk from the road to the sidewalk.

And of course there is walking with Otto, who thinks the only thing more exciting than smells emerging from a week of snow, is the three weeks of garbage sitting on the curbs.

Slush, water, slushy water, and a dog ear.

More intersection action.

Ridges of snow mid-street, try crossing there.

Mountains of snow on the corner, yes there is a sidewalk on the other side of that mountain.

Obligatory Otto shot.

Not sure when garbage pick up is happening, snow last week, Christmas this week, New Year next week......?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The nice thing about having a blog is that you can babble on about anything. Sure your readership may dwindle, but you don't know if people are avoiding you and you don't have to see the looks of utter boredom caused by your very presence. I have no idea what/who my readership is, so I will feel free just to prattle on at length about whatever I chose. Today, in honor of this festive season and because I can't get to my holiday party due to snow, we're going to talk about my toes. Actually, we're not going to talk about all my toes, just the second smallest one on the left foot.

Those of you who talk to me regularly (and are still with me here right now) may remember my going on at great length about my toe last winter. Last winter I was sure I had broken my toe. It was swollen and red and hurt like a mother. There were times I could barely walk. I had to buy all new socks. It got so bad that it hurt too much to wear socks with a seam across the toe, so I had to buy socks with individual toes and no seams. Fancy dress shoes, forget about it (so you can just imagine the effect on my social life). I almost went to the doctor, but I was pretty sure that if it was broken they could do nothing and would charge me $300. So I saved my pennies and suffered in, well certainly not silence.

Then at some point springish, I noticed I hadn't felt it for a while, I was healed!!

Healed that is, until the snow and cold snap hit. In the last couple weeks I have realized it's coming back. And now I'm sure it's not broken.

So, not to end this exciting story without a complete conclusion, I'll tell you what I've found. Since it seemed to be cold related, I googled frostbite and toes and quickly found 'chilblains'. Chilblains are basically ulcers of the extremities that occur in cold weather. Smokers get them, people with diabetes, old folks, people with poor circulation and me. The picture look much like my toe. There isn't much you can do about them, except maybe move to Arizona (something that is sounding very tempting at the moment) and rubbing them with lotion. And I'm here to tell you that the lotion thing is pretty effective. And charming too! After a walk or bus ride to work in the snow, I pop off my shoes and socks at my desk and sit there rubbing my toes. I am sure it is winning me some serious brownie points at work. Maybe I'll get promoted!

So, if you're still with me, Merry Merry Christmas. And if you're still with me, you're a true fan.

Thanks for listening. Maybe tomorrow you can read me ranting about snow removal and bus snow schedules in Seattle, ie the lack thereof (okay, I don't think I have any fans willing to sit through that 10 hour rant, probably not even my mom!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Early morning laugh

Thought i should add the original Monkey Boy.

Not quite sure what Megan was??

I just think this is the best picture ever!

Okay, I'm supposed to be hauling my tired ass to work (yes that would be walking, probably 10 inches of snow on Beacon Hill at this point, buses and driving are a thing of my past). Anyhow, I just saw these photos and just had to post them. This was Halloween some year. I was Monkey Boy . Monkey Boy is a character Eben created for the Snowboard connection. It's a monkey riding a snow board with boxers on his head, carrying a cup of coffee and something else in his other hand. I think it was my favorite costume ever! Oh, I know, there was a cowboy hat in his other hand.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

As promised, les photos from the scanner wars

Serious pre race strategy being discussed here. The Safeway gal was
my nemesis for the cat 4 contest, I beat her out for the free frame!


I don't remember ever having a look like this. It's like someone else impersonating me.

New Years 1998 maybe? My cousin Larry was getting married and
there was a huge snow storm and I was sick as a dog, but looking good!

Pre Eight Limbs, Phyfe teaching yoga on Olin Place. I certainly appear to be enjoying myself.

All you can say to this is AHHhhhhh. I guess Suzanne got the hat
for her birthday and I was dressed up, maybe just because.

Going free style

I have nothing much to post except to say that I have serious cabin fever. We have lots and lots of snow on the ground and for some reason I didn't think to park one of the cars up on the top of my hill, giving me at least the option of at least thinking about driving somewhere, anywhere. However, I am about to head out to a party and I am so excited. (I actually had two parties tonight, but one is too far away given that it's snowing again.) Can I mention that it is very hard to look beautiful and sexy when one has to gear up for 20 degree weather and snow. Hats are hair killers!

In other exciting news. So, there is a serious facebook phenomena taking place at the moment. Everyone seems to be posting pictures of days gone by, high school, college, scary grunge photos. It's seems to be a growing trend. One person called it scanner wars. It's not just one group, cycling friend, high school friends, other people's high school friends, 90s grunge friends. Everybody is doing it.

And I'd have to say it's bringing back all kinds of memories. The current one is Steve Van Liew. He was the heartthrob of 5th grade. He was the one you couldn't really have a crush on, because everyone did and you just knew you were way too dorky for him to even look your way. His hair feathered perfectly and he always had that really cool goody comb in the back pocket of his wide legged saturday's star jeans. I just saw a picture of him on face book, he's a singer in a band which seems about perfect. My brother has been going crazy with the scanner. I might upload a few pictures here for you all to enjoy. But that will be something to wait for until another day, it is going to take some focus. Of which I have none at the moment.

Oh, and happy birthday Luca Erbeck. Congrats on picking such great parents and a pretty cool brother.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seattlelites and snow, part 2

Yesterday I dissed Seattlelites and their (over) reaction to the snow. Today we will explore the whys of such terror. There is really just one word, hills. These pictures were taken as I walked to and from work, as the buses were on their regular s(no)w schedule. Above my house in the snow picture. That was this morning, I'm guessing 8 inches on Beacon Hill by the end of the day.

That's a lot of snow.

12th Avenue Bridge

I5/I90 from 12th Ave Bridge

Boren was tough!

Neon pants there in the background was writing down insurance info.

More Boren, not sure why anyone was even trying.

Very very large truck moving very slowly with a fleet of cars behind.

Ah, this is the stress free way to go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seattlelites and snow

We had a snow storm in Seattle today. It was a pretty big deal. I'd say probably 50% of the corporate work force for my company did not show up for work today or 'worked' from home. One of my employees was three hours late because he had to take him 80 year old mother to the doctor because she was too scared to drive. I had a meeting and a training class canceled because attendance was going to be so low. All the buses had chains on them and were running a little late. Seattle public schools started out this morning on a two hour late schedule, but then ended up not opening at all because the snow was so bad. It was all anyone talked about the entire day - bus drivers, people on the street, NPR, co workers, friends. No one had any other topics.

Me, I spent the entire day obsessively checking the weather, wondering if I was going to be able to make it to crossfit or if I should just save myself the stress of driving in the inclement weather and just work out at home. Up until 6.30 (when I actually left my house) I was still checking the weather on about 4 different sites. It was quite a day.

Of course, there has not been one single snow flake in the city of Seattle the entire day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

12 Day of Crossfit

It's hard to look pretty when you're crossfitting.

So for the last week or so I've been very excited for the '12 Days of Crossfit' workout. Essentially it's a workout that goes just like the song. On the first day of Christmas that lucky lover got one partridge in a pear tree. On the second day of Christmas the lucky lover got two turtle doves and another partridge in a pear tree. By the twelfth day the possibly not so lucky lover was feeling a little overwhelmed, what with everything she'd gotten the first eleven days and then all the new stuff.

So it was like that for us. First round, a 100 meter run. Second round, two bear crawls and a 100 meter run. By round twelve we were all feeling a little overwelmed, what with having already done 11 rounds and then completing........

12 rolling pistols (This crazy thing where you roll on your back and then stand up on one leg)
11 pull ups
10 squat thrusts
9 ring dips (okay, I cheated and did regular dips)
8 hanging legs raises
7 Kettle bell swings
6 knees to chest
5 Dive bomber pushups
4 Clean and Jerks
3 second hand stand
2 bear crawls
100 meter run.

It took me 31 minutes 35 seconds. It is possible I was the fastest woman of the day, but I did cheat on a few exercise (like the regular dips) so it might not count.

I will post pictures. So come back and check them out!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Question of the day.

Well, the real question is why on earth Otto decided 6:05 was the time I needed to get out of bed on my day off, but I'll move to weightier matters.

Here is what I have been thinking/wondering. Gas prices are obviously insanely low (dipping below $1.80 here in Seattle). And at the same time governments are having huge budget shortfalls. So, let's mix and match here, add some emergency taxes to gas and pay for the shortfalls. Let's see $.20 per gallon to the city of Seattle, $.20 per gallon to King County, $.30 per gallon to the state of Washington. Gas would be $2.50 per gallon, still what we consumers would consider extra cheap, it would be better for the environment, and lots of extra money to the government.

Perfect idea, huh?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Big Three

No, I am not about to blog about the car companies who are currently begging our elected officials for billions of tax payer dollars. I am going to talk about food. Those of you paying close (or not so close) attention know that I haven't eaten wheat or dairy for a good bit of time now, three months maybe? Well, it doesn't seem to have fully solved the problem. My stomach is still acting up. So, in my doctor's appointment Monday we decided to see what soy is doing to my stomach.

So now it's no wheat, no dairy, no soy.

A week ago I would have thought that was not possible. But Saturday I ran into an old friend I haven't seen since high school. As we were catching up I learned that she does not eat wheat, soy, or dairy or meat (I don't eat meat) and hasn't for 10 years! And she looked happy, healthy, well fed, and she just had a movie accepted at Sundance (I'm sure that's a result of the diet)! So there is hope. Perhaps I can do this. I may not have a social life, but I don't have much of one anyhow, so that's not a problem.

Maybe I need to eat some meat. I cannot really imagine, nor do I have any interest in eating meat, but it seems like getting a little (or a lot of) protein in my body is a good thing. Then I can keep doing pullups and running fast. If I can just figure out how to cook it.

I start tomorrow. We'll see. All this hard work , something had better start clicking soon. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get into Sundance.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Otto pulls a Clayton

Clayton, aka Satan.

Maybe if I look really cute, she won't get mad at me.

I don't feel well.

So Clayton, the dog I owned before Otto, was a bad dog. Clayton didn't try to be bad on purpose but an extraordinary amount of energy combined with an insatiable appetite made it virtually impossible for him to control his urges.

A few examples...... Back in the day Volunteer Park had a dog 'off-leash' area that wasn't fully enclosed. Clayton viewed a trip there, not as a chance to play with other dogs, but as license to patrol the perimeter of the entire park scouting for squirrels. I would hang out embarrassed, not quite sure how to answer the 'which dog is yours' question - since mine was no where to be found.

Then there was the time I had a broken collar bone and Clayton decided to use my weakness to his advantage when a cat appeared. He sailed into someone's back yard and I got to stand there like an idiot as the owner came out and we both watched my dog chase her cat back and forth along the fence.

There were the morning walks to the Madrona Woods when Clayton would torture this poor homeless guy (ie steal his food). One time he disappeared for about 10 minutes as I called and called. When he finally showed up he had a can of rotten beef stew lodged onto his nose.

And finally, there were the countless countless times he ate god know what and spend the night waking me up to go outside and relieve himself. One time he ate an entire (grocery store size) plastic bag full of chicken bones (ate the bag and bones). Some how he managed to throw that up.

Anyhow, Otto's not like that. Otto is an angel. My friend Jabu calls Otto an alien because she says he is too good to be a dog. I walk Otto off leash around my neighborhood every morning. I take him up to cougar mountain and he runs right behind me, not even leaving the trail. He's a good dog.

However, today Otto and I went walking on this closed/dead end road on the green space. It's about a block long section that is kind of secluded and I take him there so he can run a bit. Tonight he headed off into the green space and I figured he'd just go sniff a little and pee then catch up. So I kept walking. However, he never appeared...... So I went back to where I'd last seen him and started calling and whistling - nothing (Otto is good, he can be called off food, cats, though maybe not squirels). Anyhow, nothing no tags jangling, no Otto. So this green space area has some trail looking sections, so I was thinking homeless people probably hang out there. I had these visions of Otto being held hostage by a colony of homeless people. I wanted to go find him, but it was dark and scary and deserted. Also, cars kept driving down this empty road which was making me really nervous. Anyhow, after about 15 minutes of this, Otto, of course, appears, licking his lips, smelling like food and looking quite proud of himself - JUST LIKE CLAYTON.

Now, two hours later, Otto is beginning to look a little ill and keeps acting like it's my fault he isn't feeling well. 15 minutes is a long time to eat crap. It could be a long night!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Looking better than I feel, mile 20. Of course I probably
would have been faster not wearing 10 pounds of sweaty
cotton shirt. Good sunglasses though!

Looking exactly like I feel, mile 21. (Devastated family members not in picture)

Tracy, Suzanne, and Mom cheering at the finish.

Nice form for the sprint!

Mom and Suzanne demonstrate the fine art of cheering at the Portland Marathon.

Mile 22 on a much better day!

What is it about watching marathons that makes me all teary-eyed. Otto and I walked down to Lake Washington Blvd to watch the Seattle Marathon. Mount Baker marks the 9th mile for people heading out and mile 17 for people on their way back to downtown. So in my hour of marathon watching I got to see the full spectrum of racers, from 1st place to last place. Really it's only the people near the end who make me all teary-eyed. The people in the front do not look like they are pouring their very heart and soul into the race. Some of the people at the end are giving all they have got (and more).

Some highlights/thoughts: Mr. First Place (I'm sure he's won by now, but I don't know who he was) cruised by mile 17 at about 9:55? That would mean he was running about a 5 1/2 minute mile. He was well in front of number two and three proceeded by a motorcycle and a couple cars. He did not look too tired. Ms. Last place, she walked past mile 8.5 at about 10:25, which would put her at about a 16.5 minute mile. She didn't look super tired either, with all the walking. She was followed by 5 very very very slow moving cars. That I am guessing have to follow her for the full 26.2 miles. That's a long time in a slow moving car.

When I ran my first marathon (pictures above are marathons 1 and 2). My family (having slept in and eaten a nice breakfast) was waiting for me at mile 20 or so. I was not having a good race (though I did finish in 4 hours, a 9 minute mile pace - not too shabby really). My sister said that they kept thinking they'd missed me because I looked so much more fit that lots of people in front of me. And it was interesting watching today's race. People running the same pace look so different. Some people running 7.5 minute miles look like they could run all day. Some look like they've taken their last step. Some are all hurky jerky. Some are so smooth they are barely moving.

I think you could put my friend Owen in the super smooth category. He ran by mile 16.5 at about 10:25 looking like he didn't have a care in the world and was out for an easy jog. Owen ran a 100 mile race with 20,000 feet of climbing in August (that's about 36 hours of racing). So for him I'm pretty sure a marathon is a walk in the park. Though he says they are hard because he has to run fast.

#2 was not having his best day (#2 as in #2 on his jersey and not the second in the race). #2 was probably wearing #2 not because he registered second, but because he came in second at some point, maybe last year. He looked like a real runner. Okay, they are all real runners, but some make their living off of it, and he looked like he could fit that category. He was walking at mile 16.5 wearing full sweats. I am guessing he did not start the race planning to do much walking. He seemed to be taking it pretty well though. I smiled at him when he went by and he smiled back. I was not sure what to say - 'good job', 'looking good', 'keep it up'? None really seemed to fit.

And a word about cheering. Cheering at marathons suck. The good people come up with phrase and keep it up. One guy standing by me kept saying, 'mile 17, you're in single digits' over and over again. Of course the marathoners don't know that. They find it encouraging. Me, I feel stupid doing that so I end up clapping with a little smile on my face saying 'good job' 'looking good' (see picture of mom and Suzanne demonstrating that technique). 'Almost there' isn't really fitting for mile 9 or 17 so you can't say that. Some said '#1507 looking great' or 'way to go 8592', personalizing it. That's probably a good thing to do. The runners aren't very helpful. Some would smile or get excited if you cheered for them. But most just run on and don't even look at you. Now, having run a marathon, I know it helps if people cheer, even when you don't acknowledge it. But it's might tough to keep cheering when you get no love back!

And finally, watching a marathon almost made me want to run one. Of course, watching those people also made my IT bands clench and ache. I'm really not so sure there are anymore marathons in my future. Though I may hit the Mercer Island Half Marathon this spring.

Oh, and Otto wants me to add that watching marathons is about as much fun as watching paint dry!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Highway Robbery

So that gas that I paid $1.99 for yesterday (see yesterday's blog). Today, it's $1.89. I was robbed!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm confused

If you haven't noticed. This weekend seems to be a tough one for my brain. There are currently two issues plaguing me and I thought I'd share.

1. I just paid $1.99 per gallon for gas. How is this possible? I keep hearing it's the reduction in demand?!??! Okay, I will accept some reduction in demand, but enough for gas to be 60% lower in price than it was 2 months ago. I just don't believe that. There has to be something else going on. Equal perplexing are the price of groceries (I just paid $65 for a very small bag ). Perhaps those are going to start going down now that gas is inexplicably $1.99 per gallon. Or how about the fact that my company's stock - which was at $60 per share a couple years ago, is now less than $7 per share. We are still profitable (a bit less perhaps) but still $7 per share for a profitable company? To state the obvious, something is completely out of whack with our economy.

2. And perhaps something completely out of whack with my brain. This is the second mystery of the weekend (after the phone call). So I got home from my grocery/gas buying spree and found the house filled with smoke. I walked into the kitchen to discover that the burner under my kettle was on. Now, this morning I walked the dog and then returned home only to grab my grocery bag and water bottles and head out to the store. I would not have turned on the burner. Daisy jumps on the stove, but it was a front burner with a kettle on it. I don't see how she could have gotten the angle right to turn on the burner. She would have to jump right into the kettle to hit the knob. Plus, she would have to turn it all the way down to light the burner. It's more likely she would have just jarred it and gas would have leaked into the house.

God, I hope this blog isn't the harbinger of some type of early dementia.........

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Losing my mind

So the question for the day is, am I losing my mind? So I picked up my phone and hit a button that shows all the calls I have made and received. On 11/20 my phone is telling me that I called someone named Todd with a 415 area code. I CALLED HIM. Not only that, but he is in my contact list, him and his 415 area code.

Who the hell is Todd? How could I have called someone named Todd two days ago and have zero memory of the event. The only Todd I can think that I know is Todd Davis and I am not sure I have his phone number and I really don't think it could be a 415 area code phone. And if I put him in my contact list it would be as Todd Davis, duh.

So, am I losing my mind. Or is it possible that there is some spam phone calling place that not only calls you to sell you something terrible, but adds the phone number to your address book and makes it look like you called the person instead of them calling you. That's not possible right?

So I guess at 6.30 on Thursday night I called some guy named Todd in San Francisco........ Hmmmmmm. Any one have any clues to this mystery? Todd are you reading this?

(PS I just tried to call the number and some guy answered the phone and said 'this is Todd' and I was too scared to say anything. I probably need to call back.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Days Off

Taking a weekday off work for no reason is truly one of the best things ever! And happens to be what I am doing today. It started with a hair appointment. My new 'stylist' (fancy, huh?) is terribly popular. So three weeks ago when I tried to make an appointment for Sunday she was booked and I had to make it for a Wednesday. Me being me (and employed in a loss reduction area) I was feeling guilty about taking some time off work just to get my hair done (for some reason my work doesn't let us take 1/2 day vacations when we're on salary). Anyhow, then it turned out that since we are not selling anything right now we need to take all our vacation days for the year. So I am on my 'Wednesday, for absolutely no reason' vacation! And it rocks.

I know everyone is dying to hear how I have spent my day. It started with a little sleeping in. At my house, that's 7. The animals just do not understand why anyone would want to continue sleeping when it's light outside (forget the fact that they actually sleep all day). Then I had a little breakfast and took the dog for a walk before I headed downtown for my hair appointment. Yes, I look fabulously beautiful!

After the hair appointment I decided to go jean shopping. Yes, jean shopping sucks, but when you're not eating wheat, sugar ,or dairy it is oh so much easier - see previous blog. The real issue is whether or not the jeans will fit properly when I start eating like a normal person again. I got straight leg jeans. I went back to straight leg jeans a couple years ago when they became popular again and I think I'm back to stay. I played around with the bootleg/wide leg thing for a while when it was popular in the late 1990s early 2000s. But, I think straight let is the way to go. Though I was informed today that the newest game in jeans are 'boyfriend' jeans. These jeans are a bit baggy, rolled up, and come with their own holes and fraying. The idea of course is that they are the jeans that you borrow from your boyfriend on weekends when you're kicking back at home. They are actually super comfy, and for the first time in forever the style is actually on the bigger as opposed to skin tight side. (The ones I tried on were extra cute and had they not been $200 I might now own them). Anyhow, I couldn't decide which jeans to get and bought two pairs. Now I need to try them on about 10,000 times and decide which two very similar jeans are better.

Back to the perfect day. I swung by the store for a few soup makings. Headed home for a little lunch and (much to the dismay of the dog) a nap. Now I'm making soup, trying on jeans, blogging, thinking about dog walking, deciding if I should crossfit at 5 or 6. It's a tough life really. What could be better! I could be at work right now. Yuck! Doing nothing is absolutely underrated and should be undertaken by everyone much more than it is!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Table

So I thought I'd post a final table picture and put the table serial to rest. It's done. It's super cool. I am very happy with it.

The end.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crossfit Update

So it's been a month and a half or so and maybe it's time for a little crossfit update. I just reviewed my crossfit blog and while I haven't actually achieved (and probably not even tested) any of the goals I have set, I have certainly improved.

When I first started my classes were extraordinarily painful. Painful muscularly. Painful cardiovascularly. And even painful egoly (okay that's probably not a word). I felt like I was working so hard, and really not achieving much. Fortunately, for my ego and various other body parts. The improvement curve has been quick and steady. Now, a month in, I feel like a crossfit expert (I am not actually an expert - far from it, but at least I go to class and feel comfortable and fairly competent. When I first started I felt far from competent.)

A couple crossfit milestones. My first or second class I did a work out that involved doing 5 pull ups, 10 pushups and 15 squats - as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes. I think that time around I did 15 or 16 rounds and I was toast. My upper body (mostly from the push ups) was more sore than it had ever been. When I finished class I could barely wash my hands or hold a glass. Essentially I had no muscular control of my arms. We did the same workout last week. I did 18 rounds, plus one extra set up pulls ups. Yes, I was very sore (yoga the following day was a joke), but I could actually wash my hands when I finished. And I think I did more rounds than anyone else in the class (though I think the most rounds was 21 in a previous class.)

Second milestone. In crossfit there is a workout called Helen. (Most of the crossfit workouts have women's names. I believe the one above is Cindy.) In Helen you run a 400 (once around a track), do 21 kettlebell swings, and then 12 pull ups. You do that three times as fast as you can. The first time i did it, maybe my third class, it took me 11.28 minutes assisted (assisted means I am using a belt to 'reduce my body weight' and assist with my pull ups). YESTERDAY I did it in 9.50 minutes! With the same amount of assistance. Yes, I will congratulate myself for all of you. Now, the goal is to do it under 10 minutes without assistance. THEN I get a t-shirt! First, I need to learn kipping pull ups. Those are so far eluding me to the point I am beginning to lose faith I will ever figure them out. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there are many things that aren't possible without a kipping pull up. So there is no way I can quit.

So there is my current crossfit status. Yippee!!! Don't worry, I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Street View

The fleet.

So I don't know if any of you have explored Google 'street view', but if you haven't, you should. It's extra cool. AND Google has just published the Seattle version (I know there is a Chicago version too). Basically Google is driving around the world in a bunch of cars taking pictures of everything. And they they are attaching it to Google maps.

So, go to Google maps. Type in an address. Click 'street view'. At this point you'll get lots of blue boxes and a person. The person is at your address. Double click the person and you'll see your address. You can swing the picture around with your mouse and see a 360 degree view. You can zoom in and essentially see up on a porch. You can click the arrows on the street and drive down the street. It's really crazy.

My house isn't super interesting because they didn't make it all the way down the dead end so it's kind of distant view. My bosses wife was sitting on the porch of their house with their cat when Google zoomed by and she's there, with the cat for the world to see.

I guess there have been some complaints. Some guy was filmed coming out of an adult book store. Some woman was captured in her underwear and so far Google has removed those images. I guess they are somehow obscuring faces and license plates at well.

Google seems to be determined for everything to be downloaded and available on the web. I know they are copying books ,driving the world. I even read something about a person who is trying and experiment where every minute (maybe not by minute) of his life is being captured in pictures to be placed on the web. I am not sure how I feel about all of this. There is such a thing as too much information. But, I think Google 'street view' is pretty cool. And helpful with my job too.

Oh, and for homeowners. Check out

Friday, November 7, 2008


Check out my once basketball court and future table!!!!

So Pretty.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Eben Barnett Carlson

Me and my dad. (I was 14 months and too cute for words).

Maybe 1996ish?

Self portrait during his dead fly and rotted cantelope phase. This picture only included an apple.

I dreamt about my dad last night. I love dreaming about dad and I wish it happened much more frequently. When I dream about my dad I have him back, maybe for only a bit, but he's there I can see him and talk to him. And, of course, in real life I can't do that. When I wake up after these dreams I feel a mixture of happy and kind of melancholy.

A couple of my friends have had parents die in the last month. I will be going to my second funeral in a month this week. Maybe that is why I have been thinking about my dad. I have not been to any funerals since my dad died. Actually, I did not really goto a funeral when my dad died. My family or my dad's family doesn't really do funerals. My dad actually wrote in his will that he did not want a funeral of any kind. In the end we threw a party for him then later had a much smaller get together of family when we 'buried' his ashes. We all thought, even given the interdiction, my dad would have been tickled pink about the party and the stories.

I don't think about my dad all the time, but when I do, I really just want to be able to talk to him. There are so many things about my life I would like to share with him. Otto, he would love Otto. When I was growing up I had a dog named Nellie. When I went to college Nellie kind of became my dad's dog. Nellie adored my dad. She went every where with him - even walking him to the bus stop every morning (which involved crossing a really really busy street by herself on the way home). I would love to discuss my work with my dad. My dad was an attorney and would probably have some good insight into the world of investigations. My dad always told me not to become any attorney, but he might like investigations. What would he think about Obama? The Iraq war - the only time my dad and I ever disagreed on politics was about the first Iraq war, he thought Sadam was evil, like a Hitler and needed to be removed.

My dad was super crazy smart (he spent his friday evenings discussing physics for fun), funny, lazy (that's where I get my ability to sit around and read a book rather than cleaning a really messy house), a bit of a slob (ditto), kind, terrible with his own finances, a scratch golfer, a great photographer (he took the picture of himself), and a great friend. He may not have been great sharing his feelings, but I know he loved me and my brother and sister more than he could ever express. I saw it sometimes. He died 9 year ago on November 9th. He was 61 when he died, one year older than he ever thought he'd be.

I love you dad!