Friday, December 30, 2011

It seems you can’t teach stupid:

7:00 AM this morning. Not only is it foggy but it’s also drizzling. Running with the oncoming traffic is the faint outline of a jogger in a light grey hooded sweat suit. The road is a two lane divided highway with only a two foot shoulder. Nobody has any business running along this highway. It’s a very busy road that long ago, on a clear day; I learned it’s just not a safe place to be, even if you’re running properly against traffic and can see what is coming toward you.

The jogger and the drivers coming up behind him are completely oblivious of each other. Two cars pass him from behind without moving over to avoid him. My guess is they never saw him. A third car comes up from behind; jogger is startled this time and eats the ditch. Driver of the car continues on, seemingly unaware of what just happened.

Pulling over into a driveway I see the jogger get up and I holler over at him. He says he is fine. I tell him to change sides of the road and to get off it ASAP. He just waves me off and resumes running on the same shoulder he was on. I did not recognize this runner and he had a hood up. I can only assume he was also wearing headphones. He was quite fortunate that the car did not strike him and he’s also lucky not to have taken a header into the power pole that was only a few feet away.

If I am able to indentify this guy at a later date, and I see him out running again, I will make an effort to talk to him about staying safe. However, by the way he shrugged me off I doubt he'd care.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Seriously? Capacity Issues? Wow!

Tourists and locals flock to Orlando area theme parks

ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - For the second time in as many days, several Orlando area attractions have reached capacity crowds.

Shortly after noon on Thursday, Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure had to place guests in queues outside of the theme park until staff could accommodate additional people. As it did on Wednesday, Universal Orlando announced extended at IOA.  The park will close at midnight, rather than 11 p.m. as originally scheduled, according to Public Relations Manager for Universal Orlando Resort Alyson Lundell.

Three of Walt Disney World's major parks -- Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom -- reached capacity crowds on Wednesday.  The parks were expected to be as crowded on Thursday.

Park capacity has not been an issue for SeaWorld Orlando because of additional parking and holiday celebrations which are primarily nighttime events, according to a park spokesperson.  Terry Prather, President of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment's three Orlando parks said this year has seen one of the top holiday weeks ever. "We're having an incredible holiday season," said Prather. "The weather is great and crowds are pouring in to experience Seaworld's Christmas Celebration."

By late morning, new arrival to Florida's attraction offerings, Legoland Florida, was nearing a capacity crowd.  The park had to turn away guests around 2 p.m. just a day earlier. 

Once people do get through the gates at most of the major theme parks, they are having to wait even longer for their favorite rides.  Wait times of 1-3 hours are not uncommon for popular rides such as Space Mountain at Disney's Magic Kingdom or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure.

For those who are tech savvy, you can use special mobile applications which are availble through iTunes which allow guests to track wait times at Walt Disney World and wait times at Universal Orlando .

The large crowds are expected to continue through the holiday weekend.  Those who plan to visit an area theme park should arrive early and expect to wait in long lines.   It would also be advisable to call ahead to make sure parks haven't already reached capacity.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Wallpaper

Happy Holidays from the Snowy Trunda

Monday, December 19, 2011

Breaking a Wall

It has been a number of weeks since I posted anything about training on this blog, so with only a couple weeks left I figured I should chime in.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how quickly someone can lose their conditioning. Equaly amazing is how quickly you can regain endurance if you have not slacked off too long.

Over the past weeks I have been consistently getting in "some" exercise. Mostly I'd been hitting the elliptical and getting in 5 miles at a time 4-5 times a weeks. Certainly not slacking but a week ago on the 10th I came to a surprising revelation.

The weather had finally warmed up to low 40s and I knew I needed to get in a long run in my new shoes. As I began my run I found my breathing was very haggard even when I slowed down my breathing was so choppy that by mile 3 I had to walk and the next 3 miles was a mix of walking and jogging.

Upon reflection I realized that when I was on the elliptical my breathing was steady - so steady in fact, that I could breath through my nose for 65 minutes and never have any difficulties.

The difference being, that when I transferred back to the road, the experience became completly unique. Compared to the machines at the gym, movements are no longer fluid. Every heel strike transfered impacting forces through my core, turning me back into an avid and gasping mouth breather.

So over the course of last week I focused only on getting in treadmill miles when the temps dipped back down into the 20s.

This past weekend temps reached back up into the 50s. Christmas plans kept me off the road on Saturday but Sunday afternoon I was free to run. I think it was around 56 when I went out and the breeze was very light. Shorts and a long sleeve tech shirt were perfect. I kept my pace in check as I started out and it wasn't log before I knew that already the treadmill work had helped greatly. In all I completed 10 miles with a 10:28 averaged pace. At mile seven I did walk for about two tenths of a mile to catch my breath at the top of a hill, but other than that it was a steady jog.

Today I'm a bit sore but its a good kinda sore. Tomorrow I will get back on a treadmill if weather does not permit me to get out on the road.

I want to share one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. In this scene from Run Fatboy Run, Simon Pegg hits the wall at mile 17 of a marathon.

This scene really speaks to me. As Simon's character Dennis Doyle comes to mile 17 he is surrounded by supporters and yet when he hits that wall they all fade away. This puts the focus on his personal struggle. When that brick moves and he sees himself urging himself on, ahh what can I say?

This scene has so much truth in it. To achieve our goals its great to have support, but once you also beleave in yourself, nothing can stop you.

Beleave my friends. Marathon weekend will soon be here!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Merry Christmas Podcast

Nando, Fred, Jeff and now a new alias comes into view as I launch a trial podcast which I might turn into limited series.

Hello my name is Carlton and I'd like to introduce you to KHTH Radio. A podcast series that will showcase musical choices inspired by or featured in the themeing of Disney's Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Carlton is one of the Tower Hotel's many Bell Hops and he also happens to be in charge of the music playing throughout the grounds. He knows that a tragedy befell the hotel back in 1939 and he steadfastly believes that the music of the era he grew up in was simply the best ever recorded. My intention is to model Carlton's voice and delivery after Terence Stamp who played Ramsley in Disney's 2003s Haunted Mansion movie.

I've been trying to come up with a way to launch this possible new show and Christmas music of the 1920's is were I have chosen to start. Below is the link to the podcast blog. The show will start automagically.

Please leave feedback here or on the other blog page.

Excited or Not?

Apparently a trip to Disney can sometimes be more for the parent.

In this second clip I would really wish the video had not ended. I would enjoy hearing what else this mom had to say to her kids.


But on the other hand. Sometimes a trip can bring joy to pop culture

or in real life.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

End of Year Maintenance

Out with the old

In with the new

Yesterday was phase one of my big end of year maintenance. In all we replaced six end of life servers and upgraded another six remotely. To our retiring SUN v240 I say thanks you've served my company and our customers well.  Never had one hardware problem in over five years. Very solid equipment. I hope the new x4250s are as reliable. I can say they are freaky fast.

The over night maintenance was performed Tuesday into Wednesday and ran about 14 hours. Very long, very tiring, but knock on wood very smooth.

The equipment we replaced runs our Video On Demand service and delivers streaming video to Des Moines and three other major locations. Our furthest customers are located in Flandraeu, SD and Little Rock, Ill.

Today the field engineer remains on sight and will be providing training on some new software features.

Having this completed is a huge weight off my shoulders going into January. There is a second phase to this update in that, due to some space limitations the new equipment had to be activated in a temporary location. The plan is that once this has been stable for a week or two we will power down and remove the old gear and then schedule moving the new servers to a permanent location. My hope is that due to Christmas and my upcoming vacation this can be done when I return from Orlando. I should be able to confirm that today.

In other news...

I was able to take a 1.6lb step off last weeks weight plataeu and this weeks new number is 215.6 I'm getting there. My new shoes are working out great in the gym. Hopefully I will get some road miles in soon.

In other other news...

Yesterday it was announced that actor Harry Morgan has past away at age 96. Harry was best known for roles on Dragnet and M.A.S.H. He was in numerous movies including many Disney films. In fact, he was in so many Disney films I was surprised to find he is not listed as a Disney Legend. In my opinion he should be. I will have to look to see how Disney Legends are nominated. Harry Morgan was a likable person onscreen, I'm sure was was just as likable off. To learn more about Harry, visit this link to the IMDb database. You may be surprise at how many films and guest TV spots he has done.

If I had my way this screen would be found on our local VOD menu today. Actually I think a few of Harry's films are in our current library.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shoes are like a box of Chocolates

Over the past five years I've tried a number of shoe brands.

Saucony: My feet shred the insides of these shoes. The material is not durable.

New Balance: Arch support? Why provide arch support? Who ever heard of arch support? And speaking of arch support,what is it anyway?

Asics: I have owned two pairs of Asics. I ran my first two halfs in Asics. Des Moines 08 and WDW 09. I also developed plantar fasciitis while using these shoes for long runs. I can't truly blame the shoe. The problem really lays in the fact that regardless of the shoe I need some additional arch support.

Mizuno: My first pair was an Alchemy 9. These I ran in using heat molded arch supports from RED WING. An absolute and proven combinition for me. Later on when discussing how my toes fell asleep during long runs my Doctor suggested I needed a wider toe box. It was at this time that my running shoe store placed me into my second pair of Saucony's. I used them twice on a tredmill and took them back. The interior of both shoes had ripped apart behind my heels. So I asked the saleman about going back to Mizuno and while they did not offer anything with a "wider toe box" we found that the Alchemy 10 in a 2E wide worked well for me. I've since retired two pairs of those shoes and they have held up great. After adding up my miles a few weeks ago realized I was way overdue for a new pair. There was only one problem. My running store informed me that Mizuno had retired the Alchemy 10. The new Alchemy 11 was a close replacement but they did not have it stocked in a 2E. Hence I ordered the shoes.

A few days ago my impatience got to me a little bit and I began looking over the Mizuno website. I ran through an online shoe fit guide and it suggested two different shoes. I went back to the running store and asked in my order had arrived and then I asked to try on these other options. Those were in stock but WOW even in a wide shoe they we tight!!!

So I just had to wait and hope that the 11 would fit right.

The next day I received a call and my shoes were in. I brought along a new pair of inserts I had molded to fit my old shoes and the fit was...


Yesterday was a balmy 25 degrees so I tried my new shoes out on the treadmill at the Y. Got in 5 miles and my feet felt good. Planning another trip to the Y today after my wife gets home.

This past weeks weigh in was a bit disapointing. I've finally hit a plateau. Looking back over and comparing the last few weeks I can see why. Last week my daily calorie intake creeped up due to holiday goodies which I mistakenly thought I was displacing with exercise. Too much sugar here and there I guess. One other eye opener is that my weekly calories have been in the 50% range since I started watching calories. I need to work on getting the carbs down and the proteins up. As I said, no weigh loss for the week is a downer,but it does not take anything away from what I've accomplished so far. Besides another weigh in is less than a week away.

And now back to happy news. My Magic Express packet has arrived!