2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


Just got back from a nice 4mi run. A little slower than I wanted to go, but not bad considering it's been a while since I've managed to get myself out of bed on a Saturday for a run ;).

Yesterday was Halloween at work and I promised I'd post a couple of pictures of my costume. I have to say that I was a bit hesitant to wear this one as I thought it might be cheesy, but when I finally put it all together I liked it pretty well.

I had many compliments at work and it was a lot of fun...I'm going out Trick or Treating with my great niece tonight, taking the dogs and debating whether I'm going to be wearing my costume again.

Here is a photo of my cube at work. Nothing too fancy, just fun...
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So, here it is....What do you think?
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Even two of the puppies got mummified....
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

October's Almost Over...

I know that I've been quiet this week. I've been trying to get ready for Halloween, which means making my costume...Now I know why I usually just buy things and put them together. Should be okay for this year though!

I've run two days this week and walked one. I should be able to get out and run again tonight - it's only going to get to 65 here today (chilly for AZ)! Walk tomorrow and Sunday and run Saturday.

There are two races this weekend that I normally do, but I think I'm going to skip them this year. I need to train more than I need to race. We'll see though - both are fun races and I feel guilty not
running them.

I started a 10 week half marathon training plan this week. I combined the plan I used before with a new one I found. Four running days a week - one of those days a long run. A good two week taper before the race. I think it's going to work well for me. On non-running days I'm going to walk. Next week I'll add strength training back in too. Figured I'd start slow since I was so lazy for the last two months.

I've also got my eating back to a more manageable place. This week I've been making better choices and I think I'll be okay. Want to get some weight off to make the running easier - although I've felt pretty good running this week.

On the job front, I'm still really torn. More huge changes this week threw us in a bit of a tailspin. I know what I'd like to do, but I don't think I'll be able to do it any time soon. Just trying to stay
open and see what happens.

Well, that's it for now. I'll post costume pictures tomorrow and I should be able to continue my trip report this weekend.

Hope every one's making good choices and training hard. January is just around the corner.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloweens Past

So I love Halloween and thought I'd share a few of my past costumes.

Our office has always gone all out. Decorations, newspapers, stories, etc. This year probably won't see much from anyone - morale is low!

I've included some of the stories in our publications. I've done all the writing - just for fun, I'm certainly not a pro :)!

2005 - Zombies
Friday, October 28, 2005 started out as any other Friday at Cytec Engineered Materials in Tempe, Arizona—but it wouldn’t stay that way.

It was late afternoon and the Information Technology (IT) department headed out for a late lunch meeting at a nearby restaurant. Little did they know that it would be the last meal that they would enjoy (at least as humans).

Tim Kinkead, Mike Cuendet, Aaron Kyes, Orville Gore, Bob McAfoos, Dick Zimmerman, Amanda Young and Janell Maiorana were all riding in Mike’s minivan. Mike had previously injured his foot (imagine green and infected and totally disgusting) and turned the keys over to Janell to drive.

As they neared the office in the Research Park as a Mazda 6 came barreling out of the parking lot, clipped the minivan’s mirror and narrowly avoided a collision with the minivan. We now believe that the Mazda 6 that nearly crashed in to the minivan was being driven by Eddie Del Toro. Eddie was headed home on Friday afternoon and knowing that he had an unpaid speeding ticket was avoiding a run in with the police as one more offense would mean jail time. It also appears that he didn’t have a clue that his near collision set in motion a series of “deadly” events.

Based on data collected we believe that Janell was driving one handed while eating a large chocolate cookie and was forced to violently swerve the minivan to avoid the collision with the Mazda 6. This caused her to lose control and the van flipped and rolled in to the lake by the Cytec office building.

According to sources, Bob McAfoos was a relatively new contractor and he had yet to discover how important it is to wear your seatbelt when riding in a car with Janell driving. As a result, Bob was thrown from the minivan as it rolled and he hit his head and was rendered unconscious. Bob turned out to be the lucky one in this case for we now know he escaped a fate worse than death.

There were no witnesses to this horrendous accident and so we have to speculate what happened. It appears that the rest of the IT Staff was trapped—injured or dead—in the minivan as it submerged in the lake. It is assumed that Bob regained consciousness some time after the accident and had no recollection of the horrible events that had transpired as he returned home to his wife as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.

Fast forward to Saturday, October 29, 2005. The Cytec Global Help Desk started receiving calls that users couldn’t use one of the company’s websites and this caused the Help Desk to begin calling the Tempe IT Staff in an attempt to locate someone to correct the problem. Turns out the last person they called answered—Bob was apprised of the problem and he agreed to go in to the office to investigate.

When Bob arrived at the office he thought it was strange that he was called to come in to fix the problem when the rest of the IT Staff was already there. At least he thought they were all there as their cars were in the parking lot. He assumed the problem must be worse than the Help Desk reported and he headed toward the building. As he approached the staircase he realized that something wasn’t quite right. There were what appeared to be bloody handprints on the handrails. Sensing danger Bob turned around and headed back to his car.

That’s when he saw it—something that made his blood run cold. There were people—no, not people—something much more sinister at the top of the stairs. The creatures were pounding on the doors and windows searching for a way in. Bob didn’t hang around to find out who or what these things were.

Once home Bob called the local police department and they sent a patrol car to investigate. After an extensive search, the wreckage of the minivan was found at the bottom of the lake—but the strange thing was—it was empty. The police brought in divers, but no bodies were ever recovered.

The wreckage suggests that something broke in to or out of the minivan.
A hazardous materials team was brought on to the scene and samples of the lake and surrounding areas were collected. Preliminary tests show that the water is toxic, but the toxic substance has not been identified yet.

Experts fear that the Cytec Engineered Materials IT Staff did indeed die in the car crash, but they didn’t stay that way. The experts believe that they have been re-animated and now walk the earth as the undead.

Residents of nearby housing developments have been warned to keep their pets and children inside. If anyone sees or hears anything strange they should immediately contact their local police department. Everyone is urged to maintain their distance if any of these zombies are encountered as they are quite dangerous and more than likely will be hungry and that makes them deadly.

Cytec Engineered Materials employees are being instructed to return to work on Monday, October 31, 2005 as usual. Will the IT Staff return as well? If they do return, will they be alive, dead or both?

We’ll continue to update you as more information is collected.

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2006 - Pirates
Crooked Island Oct 14, 1695
A few days outside of Cat Island the Dragon Claw docked at Crooked Island where Captain Scurvy Rickets, Carver Black Blood and Scarlett PowderKeg decided to take a few days to restock the ship and see what mischief they could get in to, little did they know that someone beat them to it. The motley crew headed towards the tavern but what they saw on the way had them drawing their weapons and preparing for battle. The town was dead, not quiet, literally all the townsfolk were dead – bodies were everwhere. Whatever happened looked like a crew of 200 pyrates had been through there. The first building they actually came to was the church and opening the doors they found a person sitting on a pile of loot like they’d only dreamed of. Had this person done all this and if not, where were the rest of them? Captain Scurvy Rickets cautiously introduced himself and the rest of the crew, the person on the loot introduced herself as Brandy Blood Bath and no one had to ask where that name came from after they learned she was on her own and that she didn’t care so much about the loot (although that’s a bonus) as she does about the kill. Captain Rickets invited Brandy Blood Bath (given name Amanda Young) to join his crew. Brandy signed the code with the blood off her cutlass and now the crew numbered four.

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2007 - Cruella de Vil
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2008 - Psycho Vanna White Job Stealer
Wheel of Misfortune!
Popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune is going in to its 27th year in prime time. In 1982, Vanna White took on the role of hostess for the show and became recognized worldwide for smiling and flipping the letters as the contestants called them out and they lit up. Vanna was said to be one of the sweetest, down to earth people on TV. Vanna didn’t miss a single show until early in 2007 when she mysteriously disappeared and the show’s producers were forced to find a quick replacement.
There was a casting call held in Tempe, Arizona (where the show was shooting on location) to find a temporary replacement hostess on March 1, 2007. One applicant stood out above the rest. She came to the casting call in full makeup including blond wig and wardrobe and wowed the producers with her ability to mimic Vanna White’s style.
On March 3, 2007, Amanda Young stepped in to fill the hole created by Vanna’s disappearance. Fans of the show quickly switched loyalty from Vanna to Amanda, as if Vanna had never been on the show.
The viewers had no idea what kind of show they had tuned in to on that fateful night a year ago today. The theme music starts and the title screen comes in to focus, but wait, it’s not the screen everyone is used to seeing. Audiences were shocked to see the death and destruction on their beloved show. It was supposed to be a Happy Halloween episode, complete with spooky decorations and creepy sound effects. Yes, we saw the decorations haphazardly strewn around the set. There were bats, pumpkins, ghosts and all the other stereotypical decorations you would expect. Then there were the parts that caused some people to seek professional counseling.
Pat Sajak was on the ground, lifeless, where he had fallen. The HAPPY HALLOWEEN letters were backlit and brought fear to watchers everywhere – behind the lighted letters were body parts.
This must be a sick joke – no one believed this scene could be real. How could this have happened? Who did this? The answer became clear as the camera slowly panned to focus on an insane, blood soaked, wild haired Amanda Young. Seems our perfect
Vanna replacement had been putting on a very good show all this time.
The network removed the offensive program as quickly as they could, but the damage was done. The world knew that Pat Sajak was dead and everyone assumed that Vanna didn’t just take an extended vacation as was reported. As the next few days passed, the scene at Wheel of Fortune was anything but normal. More body parts were found around the stage (some of them later identified as Vanna White’s), multiple weapons were recovered and phrases, words, and places were left as clues posted around the walls backstage.
In the year that has passed we now know that Amanda Young has a vendetta against game show hosts and hostesses everywhere. No one knows the real reason behind the hate, but we do know she is a master of impersonation. Game show personalities everywhere need to beware.

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Yes, I even made the letters so that it looked like the Wheel of Fortune!

2009 - Check back next week!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rest in Peace My Beautiful Sam...

I've been so preoccupied and wrapped up in my own stress that I didn't notice that one of my birds was getting sick. I went to say goodnight to him and found him in the bottom of his cage. My baby passed away and I don't even know if I could have stopped it from happening.

He just turned 18 in March and he was way too young to have died. I totally blame myself - it seems like he just wasted away and I so should have noticed that something was wrong.

I adopted Sam when he was just 4 years old. He was a sweet loving bird until my first bird passed away and then he turned a bit mean, but I still loved him like I always did (I have the scars to prove it).

Rest in Peace Sam - I hope you forgive me and that I see you again someday!

Here's Sam - another brother for the new girls!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sea World - September 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Today the alarms went off at 7 and 7:10, but since there were no real plans I went back to sleep until 8:30am. It felt really good to sleep. Finally, I got up and took a shower and just took my time getting ready to go this morning.

I left my room at 9:15am and after the now familiar drive to Sea World I was headed in to park at 9:30am. Yikes - $12 for parking. I still can't believe they charge that much for parking. I guess I could have been one of the people that paid $20 for preferred parking - after all I would have been two whole parking spots closer to the gate than I was!

Sea World

I headed up to gate and used my Discovery Cove ID to enter the park. The gate employee was none to friendly, but it was no big deal. I grabbed a park guide and headed straight to see Blue Horizons which was starting in about 10 minutes. The first seat that I took was not ideal and I quickly discovered that I would have a pole in all my pictures so I decided to move. The view was perfect, but the sun was brutal! I really enjoy this show. There are lots of animals to see and they do a good job showcasing their abilities while entertaining.

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After Blue Horizons I headed over to Penguin Encounter to visit the penguins. They are fun to watch today and what do you know - the exhibit doesn't smell like it sometimes does.

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I stopped to see the sharks. One of the tours was going on. I think it's going to be interesting being in the water with the sharks at Epcot.

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I headed over to Shamu Stadium for the Believe show. On the way in, I bought a frozen lemonade to help cool down. I sat in the upper part of the splash zone - I knew I was pretty safe where I was, but it was entertaining watch everyone around me put on ponchos and get all paranoid about the possibility of getting wet. Silly people! This show sort of disappoints me. There's too much emphasis on the trainers and not enough on the whales. It has a corny storyline (in my opinion) and they don't seem to spend as much time showing off the power and grace of the whales. I know it was a big thing when they got the whales working with the music and I can respect that, but I just wish there was more whale time. Maybe my views have been tainted a bit as a little birdie told me that the Shamu trainers tend to be pretty stuck up and have a high opinion of themselves. Granted they probably have very good reason as they do have to work pretty hard to get in that position!

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After Shamu, I was very hungry and I went on the search for food. I wasn't having very good luck finding anything appetizing. I decided to head in to wait for Clyde and Seamore. As I was waiting I checked my work email - thankfully there wasn't anything too big there.

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Clyde and Seamore were in rare form today. The show was awesome. Why was it so good? The animals had their own script today. They were having fun and doing whatever made them happy - that's when I like the show best. It shows that they really aren't made to do anything they don't want to do. Then they got a volunteer from the audience and he didn't speak any English so hilarity ensued for sure.

I was still thinking about food after the show, but I was just in time to go in and see Pets Ahoy. This is a show I had never bothered to see before and I thought it was high time I checked it out. It really was a fun show. There were tons of dogs and cats, birds (they had a Double Yellow Head Amazon - I have one too named Sam, but this bird was even older than my boy as its whole head was completely yellow - they get more yellow as they get older), rats and a pig. I loved all the wiener dogs - they were adorable. It's very cool that they use rescue animals for this show!

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That was pretty much all the shows that I wanted to see - A'Lure was the only other show on today and I have already seen that one. I headed over to Sea Fire Inn - as I was in line there were a couple of ladies that spoke very broken English - I would have guessed they were Italian, but then they asked me to explain Marinara, Alfredo and Dinner Rolls. We tried lots of different ways of explaining and pointing and finally I think they understood - they were very nice and I hope I helped :)! I ordered Fish and Chips, Chocolate Cake and Water. It was a good lunch and at about $17 wasn't too expensive.

I went over to Pacific Point Preserve - I had to see the seals and sea lions. Kenny was out on exhibit and he was bullying the others around. I took a bunch of pictures and headed off to the next destination.

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I did a walk through of Manatee Rescue, Dolphin Cove and Stingray Lagoon. I couldn't believe the line of people waiting for the next feeding for the dolphins - it was the longest line I had seen yet!

Sea World Manatee

Manta was calling to me - I just had to try it. Of course, you can't take bags on with you so I went to find a locker and paid my fifty cents. The line said 20 minute wait, but it was a walk on. I would have liked to spend a little more time in the queue as the aquariums in there were gorgeous - very peaceful and quiet in the line. There was a couple on my left and a guy on my right. None of us had ridden the ride before - I love it when that happens. You sit down - it's a bit of an ordeal as the seats seemed a little high and I kind of had to climb up a little and then there's a divider at your knees you have to straddle. Once you sit down you pull the strap down and it locks your legs in at the ankles and your upper body too. Then, you tilt forward so you're staring at the ground. It's a different perspective and a bit disorienting at first. Then, away you go. I did really enjoy the ride, but it seemed very short. I'm very glad I did it - the perspective is quite nice and the loops are very fun. I recommend giving it a try - it's not that intense as the hills aren't that high or scary.

I got my bag out of the locker and took a stroll through Dolphin Nursery. Then I headed over to Wild Arctic. I did the simulator ride - this really needs an update in my opinion. It's very rough and not all that entertaining. I only do it because I like to see the Narwhal :)! I headed in to watch the Beluga Whales - I think it was Maple that was out today, so cute. The polar bear was asleep and I did see Dozer and Garfield the walrus.

I walked through Clydesdale Hamlet, but there were only two horses in the stalls and one for pictures (which I skipped this time). Next up was some shopping where I parted with some of my money.

At 5:05pm I headed out of the park. It was an uneventful drive back to Pop Century where I bought a lemonade and some water and headed back to my room. I was in my room by 5:40pm. Craziness hit me and I decided I wanted some exercise. I would have liked to go for a run, but I also wanted to take pictures so I decided to go for a walk instead. I grabbed my room key, camera and umbrella and headed out the door.

It had been hot and humid all day - really humid. I got a little bit of rain on my drive back to Pop Century and I thought we were due for some more rain. Just as I started my walk it started to sprinkle. Then I was taking some pictures when it decided to rain - I have my umbrella so I keep going. Then, the heavens let loose and within a couple of minutes my shorts, shoes and socks are completely soaked through. I went back to my room. I was already wet so I changed in to my Crocs, put my camera in a zip lock bag and headed back out. I just walked around taking pictures. take a look in the lake next time you're there - tons of fish and turtles!!!

Pop Rain The view from my room through the rain!
Pop BuildingPop PotatoPop PlaydohPop FishPop Turtle

I went 2.75 miles when I decided to drop the camera off at my room and head to Everything Pop! for dinner. A double bacon cheeseburger, cookie, tie dye cheesecake and water - way too much and way too good!

After I finished my dinner I packed up my suitcases to get ready to move over the the Animal Kingdom Lodge in the morning. It's about 10:30pm and I'm headed to bed so I can get up early and have a great day!

I walked over 10 miles today.

The weather today was hot and humid, humid, humid.
The best thing today was Clyde and Seamore because the animals were being animals.
The worst thing today was the heat and humidity.
The funniest thing today was going out for a walk and getting drenched in the rain.
Today I tried Manta and the result was a good rollercoaster (although short), the Pets Ahoy Show (fun and cute).
The most magical moment today was taking my time and doing what I wanted.

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