Thursday, December 31, 2009

December Update

So Dr. Phil really inspired me. After my awful November Calendar:

I ran much more in December:

I upped my normal mileage from 3 miles to 5 miles. Long about December 28th my legs were really starting to stay sore for a couple of days past running. Then I noticed my mileage for the month, over 50 miles. That's double what ran in November. That made me happy. I was hoping to get a six mile run in before the end of the year, but I came down with a rotten head cold and the weather SUCKS. It snowed Wednesday morning and was too slick to run outside. I attempted a run today, but got caught in a freak sleet storm, so I only made 3 miles. I'll shoot for 6 on Saturday, and if I make it, I'll sign up for the St. Louis half marathon in April.

Less Of Me to Love

I've noticed my clothes have been fitting better. For a long time we didn't have a scale, so I'm not sure what I topped out at, but I think a safe bet is somewhere in the 230 lb. range. I started noticing my clothes fitting better, so I bought a scale. I'm down to 213 lbs. Now that I finally have a scale, I've re-read the Hacker's Diet. The whole premise is your body is 75% water and your weight at any given time is a reflection of how much water is in your body. A night with a bag of salty chips will cause you to retain water and weigh a little more the next day. To solve this, you monitor your weight on a daily basis then run some fancy math to calculate a weighted average. Then you monitor your trend line to see if you are gaining or losing weight, and to see what your calorie excess/deficit is. It's easier to show you:

A daily deficit of 500 calories will lose you a pound a week. I haven't started on a diet yet, I've basically just been logging how my weight is acting without a diet. I'll probably start by cutting out soda/vitamin water after the first of the year.

Look, Ma, I Have a Running Blog

I had an odd thing happen to me over Christmas weekend. One of my cousins referred to this blog as my "Running Blog". I'd never really thought of this as a running blog before, but looking through my latest posts, it kind of is. I'm not saying that's all I'll ever post here, but maybe this blog has found a purpose. The name even kind of fits. I've found quite a few running blogs that I've been following over the past couple of months for inspiration:

Frayed Laces
This girl is crazy. She's an ultra-marathoner. I'm focusing on just a regular marathon someday, but this girl is a huge inspiration.

This dude is funny. His writing style is a lot like mine.

MegaNerd Runs
This was not what I thought it was going to be. The MegaNerd is actually a chic. I would have figured a dude. Anyway, she's about ready to run her first marathon, so she's about a year ahead of me on running. It looks like she can cook up a storm, too.

The Booze Hounds Inc. Running Team
Booze. Running. Need I say more?

New Year's Resolutions

Putting more resolutions to digital ink. My three health related resolutions this year are to a) lose about 40 lbs, b) run a half-marathon, and c) do the hundred pushup challenge. I'm really not looking forward to the last one. I hate, hate, HATE pushups. I'm trying to recruit some coworkers to try this with me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Running Confession

Even though I've run two 5K's in less than two weeks, my running schedule for November left much to be desired. October's training schedule was all pretty, three runs a week, weekends off:

From Blogger Pictures

Some bad weather days and a couple rounds of with a bad back left November looking like this:

From Blogger Pictures

That kind of consistency is never going to get me to a half marathon in April. So I was thinking over the weekend about making a motivational sign to hang, to keep me focused. It was going to be a list of all the reasons I run:

High blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol run in my family,
Diabetes and depression run in my family,
I eat and drink too much,
I want to be there for my kids when they are older,
I intend to spend that damn 401K money I'm saving,
I want to play tag with my kids without running out of breath,
I'm really sick and like the feeling of sore legs after a hard run.

I was all set to print that out to motivate me, and that same day I get the following email from a friend:

From Blogger Pictures

I printed that out instead.

P.S. I also run because I ate this for breakfast this morning:

From Blogger Pictures

Yes I'm serious, and yes, that is the most delicious thing I've had for breakfast since I poured chocolate milk over cocoa puffs.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day 5K

The Arnold Turkey Day 5K is in the books. Based on my non-scientific analysis of how many Phil Collins songs (yes, Phil Collins, and no, I'm not gay; not that there's anything wrong with that) I finished in the 30-31 minute time frame. I'm awaiting official time. That would be a couple of minutes under my goal of 33 minutes. Next stop, the I64 5K.

Update: I broke 30 minutes for the first time!!! Official time 29:41.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Updates Galore

No shave November went out with a thud last weekend. We had family photos, and I was required to clean up the under the neck area. But, the beard remains!

I've done a bunch of work to the yard this month. Gary came over and we dropped two trees. One of them was hollow up about seven or eight feet. Hit up Heather's site for some pictures.

I screwed up my back a little when we were dropping the trees, so my Couch-to-5K calendar looks all forked up this month. I missed almost a full week of running. Good news is, I'm up to 5K and running my first race in over five years tomorrow. Wish me luck!

This past Saturday, I spent the day up on the roof hanging Christmas lights. Abby thinks they are "so bitty". I think that means she likes them. Sunday I put in an invisible fence for the dog. I hope to get a few good hours this long weekend out in the yard to train him.

I'm looking forward to a day off work tomorrow, then a semi-tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. A buddy of mine from work and I work part of the day, then go to Growler's for drinks. I think the group may be expanding a little this year, but it should be good fun.

I'll try to get some pictures up sometime this weekend, of the dog, no-shave November, the backyard, the Christmas lights, and a hair on my bum that may be infected. Ok, I lied about the hair.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

No Shave November

After Heather firmly put her foot down on Bacon Stupidity Month, I was forced to find another frivolous way to spend a month. Website The Art of Manliness provided just the activity. They are running a Movember contest to raise awareness of men's health issues:

Started in 2003, Movember is an annual, month-long celebration of the mustache, highlighting men’s health issues – specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and male depression. During the month of November, men grow a mustache and raise funds for charities like the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONG).
Now, it just so happens that I got a wild hair and shaved my beard off in September. I don't want to be one of those guys that gets pulled onto the Oprah show for a makeover, and gets his beard shaved on for the first time in 20 years. I don't want to become that attached to it. Unfortunately, I was already planning to grow a March-stach so I have no desire to sport a mustache in November as well. Also, Heather really wants me bearded for holiday photos. So, instead of doing a true Movember, I'm doing a No-Shave-vember. That's right, I'm not shaving my ugly mug at all this month. I'm thinking that this will include trimming as well, but it depends on how much like Ted Kaczynski I end up looking.

So, without further fanfare, I present to you No-Shave-vember Day One:

PS - I'm sure Heather appreciates all the sympathy she gets for marrying a guy who feels the need to fill months with such juvenile activities.

Also, I'm still working on the whole Bacon Stupidity Month angle. I'm running now, I should be able to indulge.

And yes, I'm aware that I'm a grown man. I just don't feel the need to act like it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Couch To 5K Week 4

I'm halfway to my goal of running a 5k in 8 weeks. I've been impressed I've been able to maintain roughly a 9 minute mile pace. I'm hoping that keeps up next week, when at the end of the week, I get my first decent run with no walking. Next Friday is two miles straight. I can't wait.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Couch-to-5K Week Two

Another week in the books. Much less sore this week, but wasn't as good about getting up and running in the morning. I had an upset stomach on Monday, so I had to run Monday night. I also couldn't make myself run in the cold rain on Friday morning, so I ran Friday night, too. But still, I haven't missed a day of the program, so I'll count that as a victory.

Abby's First Halloween Pumpkin

From Abigail Lynn Rhoads

Isn't that the scariest pumpkin you've ever seen?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Olivia Update

Olivia had her two month checkup on Thursday. Got a handful of shots, but did ok. She's 12lbs and 24" long. 86% for weight and 96% for height.

Abby Attenborough

We were playing in Abby's room this morning when I looked outside and saw a scene straight out of Alfred Hitchcock's The Bird's.

There were probably at least 50 birds in the front yard. Naturally, my cat was going nuts. Abby thought it was funny, the way Bart was acting. I told her that sometimes cat's chase and eat birds, and that's why Bart was excited.

Abby looked at me and said, "Bart don't eat the birds. They're not good for you. You eat kitty food. I don't eat kitty food; I eat Abby food."


Hall of Famer Gets Sad

I never thought I'd live to see the day Brett Favre became a punch-line:

Still, one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Couch-to-5K Week 1 Update

1 week down, 7 to go. Everything went well. I did a little too fast of a pace on Monday, and was still sore on Wednesday. After running Wednesday I was extremely sore. I complained a little about it at work, but shut up quickly after a coworker of mine complained that she was sore, too. Only she had run 18 miles, and I did 2.25. That kind of put me in my place.

I'm looking forward to this week's runs.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Birthday Weekend

We had two toddler birthday parties to go to this weekend. Saturday, Abby's godparents daughter Shelby had her second birthday. Unfortunately, Crabigail showed her face badly on Saturday, so Abby and I had to sit that one out. Heather took Olivia and had a good time, in spite of getting rained on and being chilly.

Sunday, my friend's Joseph and Julie's daughter Brenna had her third birthday. Joe, Julie and Brenna just moved back to St. Louis from Mississippi, and this was the first time Abby and Brenna met. Both girls seemed shy, but they appeared to get along. This is good, since Abby can be quite anti-social. We hope that Brenna and Abby can get be close friends, now that we should see her more often.

After dinner tonight, I took the girls out back to play in the sandbox while Heather went and bought us all ice cream from Ginny's. Abby had a blast, and the fresh air knocked Olivia out. It was a great end to a nice weekend.

Putting Goals in Writing

I read somewhere that in order to better achieve goals, it's best to publicly announce them. I've been wanting to take up running again seriously since Abby's been born (yeah, THAT long.) So, tomorrow, inspired by a coworker, I'm recommitting myself to the Couch-to-5K running challenge. I've attempted this before since Abby's been born, with varying degrees of success, so hopefully this announcement will help keep me on track.

I'll keep this website updated on my progress.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I Thought Having Heather Stay Home with the Kids Would Help Them....Learn

For those of you who don't know, Heather can sleep. She's a sleep expert. She can sleep anywhere at anytime. She's fallen asleep sitting up in school, at stoplights, driving down the down the double nickle. So you'd think she'd show our daughter the proper way to sleep. :)

From Abigail Lynn Rhoads

Update: Heather said I forgot the time she fell asleep standing up at the art museum. And after posting this, maybe Abby falling asleep under the bed makes perfect sense after all.

I used to think Twitter was pointless

Then I found this

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How to Block Facebook Polls and Quizzes

Feel like you have to have the Facebook to keep up with your friends, but really couldn't give a shit about what type of doughnut they are?

Sure, you could go in one by one and block all of the quizzes and polls you don't want to see. But that's a lot of work (especially if you have some of the same friends I do).

For an easy way to block all these quizzes and polls, grab yourself the greasemonkey extension for Firefox (you are using Firefox, right?) Then, restart Firefox and get yourself the Facebook Purity script. Restart, or reload, Facebook, and all those bothersome apps are blocked automagically.

If for some odd reason you feel like torturing yourself, you'll see a little link on Facebook at the top right hand side of the page. It will say:
FB Purity blocked: 3 app msgs [ Show ]
If you really, really need to know what boy band some girl you barely remember from highschool is, just hit the show link and all of the quizzes/polls show back up. Hit it again and you have unbothered bliss.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to the Hospital

I had to take Heather back to the hospital today. Apparently, there may have been a hole leaking spinal fluid from the epidural. Poor Heather had been suffering from a terrible looking headache (and that's a statement from someone who gets migraines) since Friday. They took some blood from her arm and injected it into the epidural space to try to fashion a patch. She seems to be feeling a little better, so hopefully that helped.

Some of Olivia's Gifts

I wanted to post a sampling of some of the gifts Olivia and Abby have received over the past couple of days. I apologize, I know I'm missing some, but I'm catching the ones I have pictures of.

Flowers from Aunt Michele and Uncle Mike:
From Olivia Jane Rhoads

Markers from Aunt Sheri and Uncle Brian (Abby absolutely LOVES them):
From Olivia Jane Rhoads

A yummy fruit arrangement (the whole family LOVED) from Aunt Cindy and Uncle Tom:
From Olivia Jane Rhoads

Many, many thanks for all the thoughtful gifts.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Welcome Olivia Jane Rhoads

From Olivia Jane Rhoads

Olivia Jane Rhoads was born today at 2:34pm. She weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs 5 oz and is 21.5" long (incidentally the same length as her sister.) Heather went into labor at 1:00am and we were at the hospital by 3:00am. It took forever for Heather to get fully dilated, but once she got there, she only had to push through 4 contractions to get Olivia out. The doctor almost dropped her, but thankfully they set up a "net" of sorts to catch dropped babies. (Apparently that happens from time to time.) Heather looks a lot better than she did after giving birth to Abby. I can't wait to get Abby up here tomorrow to meet her baby sister.

Our friend Danielle was kind enough to take a day off of work to take pictures for us, so I hope to have some more pictures up over the weekend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Surprise Work Shower

My coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower last week. I was really impressed all of my friends and my wife kept quiet about it. I almost inadvertently ruined the surprise a couple of times, but thankfully I didn't. The best part of the shower was Heather and Abby being up there. I walked into the room and Abby got so excited. She screamed "I found Daddy" and ran up to give me a big hug. One coworker's wife made the new baby a beautiful handmade quilt.

So, how 'bout some pictures:

The diaper cake (which I mistook for a real cake)
From Rhoads Shower

One of my coworkers wanted to hide a dirty diaper in that cake. :)

The real cake (Great decorating job Bonnie)
From Rhoads Shower

Me. Surprised:
From Rhoads Shower

Abby, after she found Daddy
From Rhoads Shower

One of Abby's gifts, a new baby doll:
From Rhoads Shower

Another of Abby's gifts, a picture frame. She wouldn't put down the doll:
From Rhoads Shower

More Abby gifts, a tiara:
From Rhoads Shower

Abby eating cake:
From Rhoads Shower

The handmade quilt:
From Rhoads Shower

The whole family:
From Rhoads Shower

I'm really grateful to everyone at work who pulled this off. It was such a neat surprise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bye Bye Baby Bed

We moved Abby into a big girl bed last night. Her crib broke and the piece that had broken caused the crib to be recalled. So, it looks like Emma, or Olivia, or whatever the new baby's name will be, is getting a new crib out of the deal. In the meantime, Abby is now in a daybed. I'm not happy. She hadn't figured out how to climb out of her crib yet, and I was more than happy to leave her in it until she figured that out. 20 years old and not climbing out yet...well, the crib would be cramped, but at least I'd know where she is at night! Last night went really good for her though. We've been talking up the big girl bed for several days, so she was totally stoked to get her new bed. She got a little emotional when we took down her crib, petting it and saying "I love you baby bed." That's not unlike her though. She's kissed utensils bye bye and told her she loved them at dinner before, so I'm not too worried about about that. She went to bed at her normal time, and thankfully stayed in her bed all night. She cried out at 5:00 am, but Heather thinks she was either cold or had a bad dream. When she woke up at 7:00 am, she called out for Heather and didn't climb out of bed until Heather got in there. One night down....I hope the rest go this smoothly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Phones

Heather and I went out on Sunday and bought new cell phones. We have always went with the free phones you get with your contract, but this time we splurged and upgraded our phones. We went with the Samsung eternity. Its a neat little touch screen phone. It isn't as full functioned as a blackberry or an iphone, but for the price, it's pretty cool. In fact, I just posted this from my phone.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's A Girl

Heather and I found out last Friday that we're going to have another baby girl. Now, I know that men are supposed to want a son, but I have this fear that my son would end up like Bobby Hill:

Later on in the weekend, Heather and I were watching a rerun of The West Wing, and came across this:

All of a sudden, I'm wondering if Bobby Hill wasn't an O.K. option after all. I have to go now and work on my strategy for handling two girls dating at the same time. I need to figure out how to be in two places at once.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentine Book Review

My lovely wife bought me Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better for Valentine's Day.

I'm a big fan of the lifehacker website, and this book is a good companion to the website. Depending on your comfort level around computers and your exposure to personal time management techniques like Getting Things Done, the book is a pretty quick read. I finished it in two days. The book is broken into a series of tips, called hacks. My biggest complaint about the book is sometimes the hacks don't appear in logical order. For example, Hack 74: Setting Up a Home Web Server references giving your website a hostname with a service like, but doesn't explain how to do that until Hack 76. That's only a minor gripe, when you get to the DynDNS part in Hack 74 it tells you to reference Hack 76, so you aren't lost; it's just kind of annoying.

All in all, this is a good primer book for anyone wanting to tweak their computer or time management skills, without being committed to an entire book devoted to a complex system. I'd like to forward Hack 3: Craft Effective (e-mail) Messages to most people in a corporate setting. Tips: Determine your purpose, use an informative subject line, be succinct, make it clear why everyone got the message. I've been using Hack 1: Empty Your Inbox (and Keep It Empty) for awhile, and to say it changed my life is over dramatic, but everyone should give it a try.

Bottom Line: This book isn't going to teach you how to conquer the world, but it's full of interesting nuggets like how to perform better Google searches, managing a doable to-do list, and step-by-step instructions for some pretty neat computer tricks. It's a book that would be hard pressed to be over most people's heads, yet has enough advanced stuff as to not be a wasted read for more seasoned computer geeks. If you like the lifehacker site, you'd probably like this book.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Relaxing Sunday

I'm spending a relaxing Sunday at the in-law's house today. (Happy day late birthday, Holly.)

We've got Daytona on TV. I'm always excited about the start of NASCAR season. I think it lasts too long though, because by about July, I have a hard time making myself want to follow it. But for now, I'm excited. We've got chicken wings from Holties, toasted ravioli, and who knows what other kind of junk food in the kitchen.

I've also been working on starting my family tree. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I'm making it on this website. I'm going to have to enlist family help to go a whole lot further than I have right now, so if any of you read this, expect me to hit you up next time I see you.

Anyway, I'm off to stuff my face and see if one of my guys can pull off this race.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fixing A Corrupt Thunderbird Address Book

I had a little scare this afternoon while trying to add my new blogger email address to my Thunderbird address book; I got a message claiming my address book was corrupt.

Fortunately, the good people at Mozilla didn't delete the corrupt address book. I was able to find and open in Notepad the file abook.mab.bak

Most of the file looks to be in a format similar to this:




At the end of my file, though there was a bunch of gibberish, like the following


On a whim, I deleted all of the superfluous lines at the end of my file, and saved the edited file as abook.mab. I was able to open up my address book and get all of my old contacts back.

This is one of the most popular posts on my site, but I never get any feedback from it. I'd love to hear in the comments section if this works for anyone else or not. I'd hate to leave bad information out there.

My Next Weekend Project

As soon as Heather and I get our job situation figured out, I think I've found a great weekend project for me... building a new multimedia center.

I've been wanting to build my own custom media center for awhile, but didn't want a huge, noisy frankenmachine. This write up via DeviceGuru takes care of those fears. And it's a surprisingly cheap build, too. Although, we will need to finally buy a new TV....

Site Moving

Well, it's a bit of a sad day for me, as I move my blog from the platform to the blogger platform.

I've heard too many issues with people not being able to comment on the old website, that should be fixed here. Also, I couldn't get Google Analytics to work on my old website, so now I'll know who's watching me. ::evil grin::

I'll also be able to do some additional cool things on this platform, post by email, have more control over it's layout, etc.

It will probably take me a couple of months to get everything working the way I want here at my new home, so bear with me. Hopefully I'll actually update this one more often, too.