Random musings and activities of a 30 something mom, potential sprint triathlete, vegetarian, dog and cat owner, and a evolving urban homesteader just trying to do the right thing in life for my daughter and the world around us. If the blog seems random, it's because life is and hits us all at 100mph.
Monday, June 28, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Swimming : you just need to relax

Just a quick note, if you're tired of trying to remember to keep your head down, turn, breathe, kick less, kick more, etc. (all of which can be overwhelming to a new swimmer), I have a suggestion.

Don't think about it.  Seriously.

I was swimming laps yesterday at our community pool while my little one was discovering her newly found love of going off the diving board (first time!).  Luckily, the lap lane is next to the diving area, so I didn't miss much.  After all, I did catch the first dozen or so times.  But I digress...

While swimming a man I was sharing the lane with made a suggestion, relax.  Enjoy. (um, ok.)

He suggested either singing songs that don't require a lot of thought (such as Mary Had a Little Lamb) or coming up with games in my head, such as running through the alphabet.  For example, A is for Apple, B is for Bat, etc.  He says games like that require thought, and make you "think less" about swimming.

Seemed counter-intuitive.

I tried it.

Children Songs definitely pass the time a bit, but don't distract me too much from form.

Thinking games?  Maybe I need to wait until my form is a little more improved.  I definitely took on some water with that experiment.

What I learned:  I really do need to relax and while I'm not sure if my legs had less drag this workout, I went about 100 more yards than I normally do.  Win.

Conclusion?  Not sure if it worked, but I appreciated the advice and will tuck that nugget away for future use.
Friday, June 25, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Friday Book Recommendation 25 June 2010

Environmental hazards that are part of our everyday existence.  It's not everyday that I can tell you about a book the profoundly changed the way I look at what I buy and the environment (self-made) around me AND how you can buy that book for $5 and change.  I'm happy to be able to do that today (and frankly, bought 5 copies when I realized how cheap it was, hoarding for next Christmas season).

The Friday Recommend of the day is:

The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-being

I realize that doesn't sound like a very exciting topic to most, but once you get into it, you'll be enthralled by what you learn.

Did you  know that the FDA does not test or check the submittals by chemical companies?  If the company submits XYZ is safe for your baby to lick, and can provide the reports to back it up, it is taken as truth.  That is, until someone gets sick or proves otherwise.

What do you know about what your family is being exposed to?

If you are worried about the rising rates of cancer, ADD, leukemia, autism, asthma, and other diseases, read this book.  Learn what the plastics we use in our baby bottle, the chemicals in our carpets, and other every day items do to us.

Do you think eating organic is worthless?  Then you should read the chapter on pesticides regulation in the US (or lack of).

Environmental hazards that are part of our everyday existence.  The question is, which ones can you control?

The book is full of documentation for you to follow up on and do your own research.  Baker's book traces the path of atrazine (a common pesticide), phthalates, flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), bisphenol-A, Teflon (perfluorinated chemicals) through their impact on humans and the environment, and through any relevant (though mostly absent) government regulation.

This book is also where I found the link to the website where I check the safety of my moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos, and other personal care items: http://www.ewg.org/.  I certainly look at nail polish differently now.

In short, this book makes me angry and increases my resolve at the same time.  It reinforces the point of view, that as consumers, we really are at the mercy of corporations and it's up to us to make informed decisions the best we can. 

Each time I make a purchase, not only do I ask myself if it will end up in the goodwill donation box in the next 3 years, but also have started asking myself the impact on my house and my family if I buy this.

This bok is one of the reasons I bought a previous Friday review: Organic Housekeeping.  I felt I had to start with small steps with making the environment for my family better.  After all, what is the use of making my house organic dairy/organic produce, if I'm just going to introduce toxic chemicals when I clean up after dinner?  It all matters, and as the book points out, it's cumulative.

It's an eye opener.

It's definitely a "must read"

My Rules of Friday Recommendations.
1. I've read it (probably more than once)
2. I would loan it to you.
3.  I would then buy a copy in case you didn't return it because I loved it so much I want to keep a copy in my house.
4.  Even if you didn't return it, I would be happy to have blessed your home with its pages.
5.  I'm pretty sure you'll get something out of reading it too.
(rules subject to change weekly)
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

PostHeaderIcon TI take 2. Day 1.


Tuesday June 15th:

It appears that not swimming for 7 mos did not improve anything.  (shocker I realize).

So, I googled once again, "learn to swim".  The google masters promptly took me to a post that I remembered reading in January(ish) 2009.


I remember buying the book from Amazon, but not the DVD (due to funds at the time).  MAny of the workouts I found on youtube and also found elsewhere.

The little one has outdoor swim lessons for every week in June Mon-Thursday.  I can work on finishing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and getting a little sun on my legs OR try and conquer this beast that seems to be mocking me.

I hate to be mocked, and the legs can get some sun while flying a kite with the kiddo at the park.

Game on TI.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

PostHeaderIcon It's good to be back, right?

My basil, rosemary, and tomatoes all doubled in size while I was on holiday.  The broccoli is showing signs of edible parts, and so are my pepper plants. 

My strawberries did not survive (it appears), nor did my arugula. 

My inbox is overflowing and if you don't hear from me in 20 min, you might check out my office.

I have over 300 unread emails in my box because I refused to be a slave to the blackberry while I was gone, and I'm not sure I'll go read them all.

My knee doesn't hurt anymore, so will also resume training today.... although does it count if all I want to do is 90min of yoga?  What if I do 90 min of yoga, and a quick 1.5 mi jog?  After all, I should probably ease back into it after 10 days off... (or so I'll say).

All in all..... the dog missed me, the kiddo missed me, and my routine is back.  Bonnaroo is checked off my bucket list.

Yes, it's good to be home.

Now, what trip do I plan next.....?
Thursday, June 10, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Workouts and Your Period. Different Perspectives.


I realize this may not be the most fun topic to tackle, but it's worth a post in my opinion.

About a year ago, I bookmarked an article so wittily called "Cycle Training".  (insert groans here).  There is no earth shattering news in this article, but gives a good breakdown of what your body may need during each phase of your cycle.

A few days ago, I was reading in Yoga Journal about inversion poses and menstruation, which I thought gave good balance to the argument of doing (or not doing) inversion poses during that "time of the month" (hereby known in this post as TOTM).

That got me thinking about in all of my preparing for a triathlon last year, and my years attempting yoga ..... surprisingly this topic rarely comes up.  So I thought about it and of course Googled.

In short, there is lots of advice out there, and more information than I care to think about.  Most of these studies and "rules" were done by men (who probably didn't bother to ask their wives for input).  What it boils down to is that, as with most things, you need to exercise your individual choice for what works best for you.  Listen to your body, maybe write down changes in your workout log, and go with whatever you decide.

From my experience, Western (or at least American) culture has deemed our period as "dirty" or almost like a disease to be cured (take this pill and skip your period, which I'll admit to have doing in the past).  But the reality of it is, it is a natural process and we should embrace it and try to understand how it affects us.  That includes our workouts.

I found this article to be interesting regarding TOTM and Yoga: http://yogapilates.suite101.com/article.cfm/practicing_yoga_on_your_period

TOTM and Triathlon Training and Racing: http://www.trifuel.com/triathlon/triathlon-training/the-challenging-periods-for-women-in-training-001342.php

Iron Deficiency and Nutrition: http://www.trifuel.com/training/health-nutrition/triathletes-and-iron

And on a lighter side, of course I run across a similar musing by a triathlete who wonders if you have a greater risk of being bit by a shark during TOTM and open water ocean swims.  http://www.triathlontrainingblog.com/post/for-females-do-you-swim-in-the-ocean-while-mentruating/

Be sure when you (if you're a woman!) line up at the start of  Tri, or in a room full of women waiting to do Downward Dog or Warrior, be assured you're not alone when it's TOTM.  As with anything, be sure to listen carefully to what your own body is telling you and work with your body, not fight it. 

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Lunch Today. Goodness in a box. Yes, I said it.....

Yes, Giraffy  , I'll admit... Pacific Soups in a box.  I guess I can't claim, "there's no good lunch that will come out of a box" anymore.  The tomato soup is also good (and can be bought at Costco!).  It's a little runnier than I make my black bean soup, but is still delish.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air."~R.W.Emerson
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
Friday, June 04, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Friday Book Recommendation 4 June 2010


Today's Friday Recommendation.

 Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck

To give you an idea, I refer to this book at least once a month.  It's starting to look like it too.  I'm fighting the clutter-bug urge to keep a "clean" copy around.

Chapter Highlights:

Chpt 1 - First Things First, Everything in Moderation
(what I tell A on a weekly basis)
Chpt 2 - The Kitchen: You Are What You Eat
Chpt 3 - The Low-Maintenance Bathroom
(maybe I need to read this chapter weekly...)
Chpt 4 - The Bedroom
(this is your space for nightly renewal, does your room bring you peace?)
Chpt 5 - Laundry
(*sigh*  that's it. How can 2 people produce so much?)
Chpt 6 - General Cleaning
(Martha Stewart I am not, but let's do it as organically as possible!)
Chpt 7 - Indoor Air Quality
(did you know  most homes have more chemicals in the air than the outside air?)
Chpt 8 - Hazardous Material, Fire Safety
(all those pesky home chemicals and stuff for automotive repair)
Chpt 9 - In and Around the Garden

There is a recurring theme in the book about decluttering and routine, which for some may seem second nature, but for me is a struggle.  Not only do I want my home to be physically as chemical free as possible, I would like it to be peaceful as well.  Clutter is my burden.  I'm shooting for the healthy body / healthy mind connection.  It's definitely a journey, not a destination.  I consider this book one of the top 5 books for that journey.

If you're interested in how to clean more with vinegar, and salts, and lemon, and more natural ingredients, then this book is for you.  Mother Nature provided us with some natural anti-bacterials and cleaning agents.  Let's leave the laboratory created chemicals behind.

In short, it is uncommon good sense for protecting our health and the planet.  If you have interest in being more green, then your own home is a place to start.  Under my kitchen sink used to have as many chemicals as a chemistry lab, and now I can say we've reduced that amount by half and each month work on eliminating more.

Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck

Ask your local library if they have it.

It is my understanding it is available on the Kindle as well.

My Rules of Friday Recommendations.
1. I've read it.
2. I would loan it to you.
3.  I would then buy a copy in case you didn't return it because I loved it so much I want to keep a copy in my house.
4.  Even if you didn't return it, I would be happy to have blessed your home with its pages.
5.  I'm pretty sure you'll get something out of reading it too.
(rules subject to change weekly)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Maybe it wasn't as crappy of a run as I thought....

.Photo by Ivan Sciupac

Last night while cleaning house, and about 27 hours after my self-proclaimed crappy run of 2010, I noticed my bum muscles were a little sore.

Maybe those hills, even at a slooooow pace did some good.

To the commenters who said doing a crappy run was better than no run....


Thanks for your support.  Now, off to my cozy 3 mi lunch time run on the treadmill.....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Crappiest Run of 2010


I love when I'm done with a run, and on the inside I feel like the girl in the picture.



Ready to do it again.

Last night wasn't one of those runs.

Up at 5:45 to start getting ready for the day.  A to school by 7:50.  On the road by 8:30 to visit a client.

As a side note, if there was a highlight of the day, it was the fact I didn't eat any of the dozen Krispy Kremes in my car on the way to said client.  I bought 12.  I delivered 12. 

After a 3 hour drive, I had the pleasure of taking client and team out to lunch at the only diner in town. It was yum, but the daily plate (enchilada) might have been heavy.  Not to mention I haven't had red meat since before Christmas, and I'm thinking the ground beef shocked my system a bit.

Then after 2 hours on site, another 3 hour drive home.  Scenic, quiet, and if anyone asks... my blackberry gets horrible service and that is why they went to voicemail.  Sometimes, you just have to enjoy the ride.

I got home about 90 min before the after-school care closes, so I thought I'd squeeze in a hill run near my home.  My first run outside in months (I run 4 days a week on treadmill at lunch at gym).  This is where it went bad.

91 degrees.

90% humidity.

6 hours in car plus heavy lunch.


2.75 miles in 31 minutes.


I even walked home the last quarter mile.

Not only did I run slow (yes, it was hills, but that's besides the point), I think because of the humidity, I was sweating like I had just done a 10k.  I showered and went and picked up the little one. 

It's one of those runs when you're done, you're glad you're done.  I could blame it on a lot of things, but in short.... I just need to get my butt outside more and just run.  Indoor lunch runs on the treadmill are making me soft.
Monday, May 24, 2010

PostHeaderIcon According to Amazon.... 100 Great Indie Albums of all time. Agree?


Whether you agree with the sum of the list or not, let's agree that there are some great choices on this list.  I'll admit a few made me scratch my head puzzled, and a few I was embarrassed I wasn't familiar with.  A quick trip to both iTunes and the Amazon music store fixed that.

100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums of All Time

I was happy to see Magnetic Fields rank as high as 11, but disappointed no Death Cab for Cutie was in the top 10, but did make a showing at #14.  Pixies at #8 got a nod from me (if that matters).

I have no doubt, you ask 100 professional (paid or otherwise) music reviewers, you'll get 100 different lists.  In fact, in reading some of the comments, some people are down right angry about some exclusions to the list.  That made me giggle a bit. 

Really, the only thing we can all agree on is that there is more good music out there than I could have find or have time to listen to.  What is forced down our throats by the mainstream music media, in my opinion, has never been representative of the best that is out there.

What do you see missing from the list?

Anything on the list that makes you question the sanity of the author?

Friday, May 21, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Friday Book Recommendation : Happy Back by Dr Scott Fuller

I read the book, HAPPY BACK, based on a recommendation. I loved it's simplicity and real life applications of simple exercises. In fact, I recognize a lot of the daily stretches from my yoga classes. The product summary from Amazon summarizes it best:

Happy Back is a self-help, how to book about caring for your neck and back on your own. Neck and back pain books typically focus only on exercises and stretches. Happy Back not only demonstrates effective spinal stretches, but also focuses on the ergonomics of daily living to avoid the accumulation of spinal stresses which may lead to pain. Over 140 pictures show readers do's and don'ts of standing, sitting, driving, working out, computer postures, bending and lifting, and even golf. Happy Back teaches you the simple stretches and exercises which are taught to each patient in Dr. Fuller's chiropractic office. These effective stretches only take a couple minutes a day.

It also helps that I know Dr Fuller personally and can vouch for not only him as a Doctor, but also his advice in the book. If you're dealing with the "normal" and everyday aches and pains of sitting in front of a computer 8-10 hours a day (pretty sure humans weren't designed for this type of activity), then this book will be a blessing to you. At least it has been for me.

I had no specific injury to set my general discomfort in motion but have a stockpile of reasons for stress and anxiety in my life, not to mention sitting at a desk in front of a computer for 8-9 hours a day. If you add on the high impact of running 20-30 miles a week, back discomfort was not a stranger to me. After I implemented many of the exercises in the book, I find my back hurts less, I have more energy, and feel more relaxed.

It only takes a few minutes a day, and is cheaper than bottle after bottle of Advil to relieve the back pain and aches ;)

Happy Friday!

Friday, April 30, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Another Race Paid For. Hospital Hill 10k


Through the power of Facebook feeds I haven't blocked (sorry Aunt J!), Hope House reminded me that tomorrow was the last day to sign up for the Hospital Hill run under their team.

I had been on the fence about it, but Hope House is an organization I can get behind, so getting off the fence was an easy choice.

Then came the hard choice.




I love running a 5k. It's quick, it's relatively easy, and they are always fun... even if you walk them (hint: sign up for one TODAY with a friend, try Couch to 5k program. I swear it works.). The problem with one of the most popular 5ks in town? The crowds.

A half marathon seemed daunting with pending sprint triathlons on the schedule.

So, to avoid (some of) the crowds and also not to put too much on my (already full) training plate.... the 10k was the obvious choice! Figured it would be good for the triathlon training (right?) anyway.

So, another race I'm officially signed up for AND I get to raise money for Hope House.

Despite feeling overwhelmed and behind., the summer is off to a good start. Garden started, shed built, Bonnaroo less than 40 days away, school is almost out, and races on the credit card.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Overwhelmed and spinning plates.



It's a word that has such depth, but is seemingly simple.

I know we (I) bring a lot of it on ourselves. So much to accomplish, so little time.

There's so much I've been trying this year (much to the detriment of my triathlon training) to make our lives simpler and more organic. What I didn't plan for in all my planning for our garden and hiking and other activities is what I was going to remove from my life to accommodate all these changes.

Planned workouts seemed to fall by the wayside the easiest, but I haven't let them go. Meaning, everyday my planned workout is on my list, and every day for the last 3 weeks (except 4 days), it's gotten bumped for other things.

Tomorrow's yoga? Bumped by having a 2 week late birthday dinner with a friend on my night where bebe is at her dads.

Today's lunch workout? Bumped by the fact I need to go to Lowe's to buy fencing supplies for the workers that will be there tomorrow.

Last night?  Stay up late working on project for Bebe's school program this Saturday.  

and on and on it goes. I thought I was working closer to balance, not throwing myself off more.

“Unless I accept my virtues, I most certainly will be overwhelmed by my faults.”
Thursday, April 22, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Triathlon Musings : Arm Sleeves

a Repost from :


Arm sleeves are a great invention. Thinner ones warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer. They stop sunburn and bright ones can help you be seen in traffic.  They are a fast way to do all of the above because they go on and off in seconds, even while you ride.

And don't call them arm warmers.  The thin material actually keeps you cooler once you start to sweat. Compounded with the prevention of sun exposure, you'll finish a hot ride in better shape than if you went without them.  Just make sure you wear lighter colored ones in the hotter months and you'll be fine.

Now, since my only tri-goals this year include sprint triathlons, I'm rarely on my bike long enough to get sunburned, but this post by Zentriathlon has me thinking about my sun exposure and riding time.

Time to check out his links....
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Urban Homesteading Musings : Backyard Beekeeping


A twitter feed today caused my ADD to itch.  Combine that with industry mags I get at work telling the woes of how the bee populations in our country are slowly dying and you have my google time suck of the day:

Backyard Beekeeping

I don't like bees.  In fact, I have a strange suspicion based on a sting reaction when I was 11 that I am allergic to them.  Did I let those two facts stop me from researching the possibilities of bees in my backyard?

Nope.  That would just be silly!

Didn't I warn you about my projects that start with the words, "How hard can this be?"

I now am following:




and have a few google books boomarked (here's ONE for tonight's reading) and will report back on the feasibility of this project.

Want to know what groups and association of backyard keepers exist in your area?  Try going to this site:  State Honey and Beekeeping Associations.

 Organic bees in my backyard?  This strangely appeals to me. 


PostHeaderIcon Peeling Off Your Labels

Sometimes I come across an article or blog post that will stop me in my tracks.  This is one of them.  I haven't quite figured out what to do with it yet, but I can't get it off my mind today.  I hope you enjoy as well. 

Peeling Off Your Labels

A few years ago I did this crazy thing and walked a few hundred miles across the Indian countryside, looking for the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. And I found them. At the time, I had plastered myself with the following labels (and many more):

"chef, farmer, organic, local, healthy, vegan, pure, conscientious, clean, dedicated, serious, relaxed"

Labels, like everything else, are exactly what they are: nothing more and nothing less. They're not good, they're not bad, they're just labels.

The funny thing was that with all the penniless walking (the no money was part of the experiment, the contract with the universe) and 100 degree temperatures, the labels started to peel off. And the harder I tried to stick them back, the more of that gritty stuff got between my skin and the glue, and eventually I just had to give up.

Like with the chai. Indian tea, chai, was exactly what I didn't drink. It's made from low-quality over-boiled black tea, assuaged with full-fat (7%) buffalo milk, mountain ranges of refined white sugar, and a few tasty spices. In terms of labour and environmental politics, the tea and sugar are a cocktail of misery and oppression. And it's a far cry from vegan. And it's what I had every day, maybe many times a day, because I was a penniless pilgrim walking through the wilds of countryside and compassion, and the chai was my ticket into people's hearts.

The next step was the cookies. These damn ubiquitous wafers branded "Parle-G" and pronounced not in the French way at all, but rather, "parlee-gee". Refined wheat and refined sugar. Nothing whole or healthy about and yet, it's what the "common man" swears by in India, from villagers to urbanites to wandering holy men, all bow down to the temple of the "Parle-G". So, as you can probably guess, I could literally watch myself, get more comfortable with the little atrocities, relax into enjoying their sweetness and crunch, begin to savor their texture after dipping them in my chai. It's a matter of relaxation, of relinquishing control, and understanding "This is where I am, and at every moment, I must start where I am".

So maybe that's relevant to you. Maybe you're not thrilled about what you normally have for breakfast, or the roles you're playing or the scene you're building. That's fine. But what I've seen is that your ticket Out of There is not through resistance or hatred or pressure but through acceptance. It's where we are. Once we stop thrashing ourselves about it, we can see clearly, and start to deal.

written by Ankur Shah, author, chef, farmer and Spiritual Care Jedi.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Board Game Challenge.


We used to have a habit in our house that somehow we slid away from.  It wasn't that we just stopped cold one day, but you know how it is.  Let's skip this tonight, there's too much homework.  Or there's laundry to do.

or Mama is mentally exhausted, so I make up a lame excuse and let her watch iCarly

You know how these things go. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you're out of the habit.  I'm not talking about my gym habit (although that could apply), but our board game tradition.

It used to be every night after dinner, we'd play a game.  Or a puzzle.  But it was something, just the two of us, no tv, no music, just us on the floor playing a game with no mercy.

hint to parents of young children.  try Candyland. it's really random who will win and you don't have to "let" them win .

This week is both Turn off the TV week (aka Digital Detox week) and Earth Week.

As I was thinking how I actually miss this tradition in our home, it also has applications to the themes of this week.

No only are Board Games an alternative to sitting around the tv, but it's greener too. And it's frugal.  Instead of heading out the door, driving somewhere and spending money, you have that time at home using things you already possess.

Maybe taking things back to a simple entertainment where it's about laughs and interactions, rather than zoning out is the next step on our 2010 goal of simplifying and detoxing our household.

can anyone share how to save up the mental energy to match hers at 730pm?

And maybe we can't do it everynight, but if nothing else, we can designate one night a week for this and start from there.  Why not schedule in this time the same way we do yoga, girl scouts, and swimming?

It starts today. What about you? Can you give up the TV one night for a family board game?

Monday, April 19, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Like Seventh Generation goods? A green deal at Ecobunga!

Drugstore.com is offering savings up to 40% off on a variety of Seventh Generation's earth-friendly household cleaning products and paper products. The best deals are on their bathroom tissue, facial tissue, and paper towels. Free shipping on orders over $25 for first-time Drugstore.com shoppers.
End: 04/23/10

PostHeaderIcon Thoughts on Turn off the TV Week (aka Digital Detox Week).


Turn off the tv?  No problem.  I probably only watch an hour a night, and Bebe is only allowed 30 min a night during the school week, IF she has all her homework and household duties done.  So, I sat here for a moment thinking how well we are doing.

But you know what they say about pride.....

Then it hit me.  My vice isn't TV.  I could care less about the media-created "American Idol" (don't get me started on so-called reality TV) or who did it on CSI.  I.don't.care.  I think Reality TV represents the worst of our culture and also the decline of society in general.  Just my opinion.

My vice?  The laptop.  Hands Down.

but don't I deserve a little me/down time?  right?

Too often I will log on in the evening knowing there are clothes to iron, and dishes in the sink, and yet will log onto the laptop for "just 5 min" to check email.  I should know better.  Before I know it, it's not 9:05, but 11:05 and *sigh* yet again, I wasted another evening.

I really, really, meant to organize the garage / pantry / linen closet,  I really did....


So, instead of "Turn off the TV" week, in our home it will be the Digital Detox Week.  After all, I spend 8-9 hours a day in this chair staring at this monitor.  Do I really need another 2-3 hours a night staring at a monitor at home?

that was purely rhetorical and I'm trying to motivate myself, stay with me here....

Digital Detox Week.

What can be accomplished?  Let's find out........

this better go smoother than the week I tried to give up caffeine and sugar in some crazy detox attempt.....

Monday, April 12, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Food for thought: The Lie Many Parents Believe


I was recently turned onto the site, Simple Mom.  Love it.

The following article, The Lie Many Parents Believe, made me stop.  Literally.  Push back from the laptop a bit and think. 

From the article.
We are much more responsible TO our children than we are FOR them. Our children have been granted the same power of choice as us.

Interesting food for thought.  Read the article and let me know what you think, whether you're a mom, dad, or just interested in this type of thing.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Constance McMillen's "Fake Prom" (Mississippi Goddamn indeed)


In  1963 Nina Simone  wrote a song called "Mississippi Goddamn".  Even today, it's an in-your-face political and social statement on the sad, pathetic state of affairs in the South.  Racism.

She was tired of it, and let you know.  The (partial) lyrics below do not even begin to describe the depth and strength of her song.  In my opinion, it is well worth your time to catch it on YouTube It's powerful and you can't help but feel her pain.  Go watch it, then come back here and finish this post ;)

Unfortunately, the racial divide remains in the South.  Ignorance and hate is still alive and well.  This time though, the focus is on a High School Senior, Constance McMillen.  

Constance wanted to take another female to the prom.   The school canceled the prom, and a group of parents put on a private prom.  Supposedly, Constance was sent an invite, but when she showed up, there were less than 10 kids there.  They had sent her to a fake prom. Here are pictures from the actual prom.  No Constance.

What is the Itawamba County School District and the parents of the Seniors trying to teach their kids?

What do they have to fear from this couple attending?

What is there to gain by ostracizing these girls?

How will these kids feel in 10 years for their part in Hate Prom 2010?



   It makes me sick.  This has NOTHING to do with a left or right agenda, or trying to shove anyone's beliefs down their throats.  It is simply about equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation. 

Like Nina said, "You don't have to live next to me/Just give me my equality."

Mississippi Goddamn indeed.

Lryics of Mississippi Goddamn by Nina Simone (1963).

The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Can't you see it
Can't you feel it
It's all in the air
I can't stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

This is a show tune
But the show hasn't been written for it, yet

Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day's gonna be my last

Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don't belong here
I don't belong there
I've even stopped believing in prayer

Don't tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I've been there so I know
They keep on saying "Go slow!"

But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
Washing the windows
"do it slow"
Picking the cotton
"do it slow"
You're just plain rotten
"do it slow"
You're too damn lazy
"do it slow"
The thinking's crazy
"do it slow"
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don't know
I don't know

Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

I made you thought I was kiddin' didn't we

Picket lines
School boycotts
They try to say it's a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me

Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you'd stop calling me Sister Sadie

Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You're all gonna die and die like flies
I don't trust you any more
You keep on saying "Go slow!"
"Go slow!"

But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
"do it slow"
Mass participation
"do it slow"
"do it slow"
Do things gradually
"do it slow"
But bring more tragedy
"do it slow"
Why don't you see it
Why don't you feel it
I don't know
I don't know

You don't have to live next to me
Just give me my equality

Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

PostHeaderIcon Another Step Towards Bonnaroo 2010 (and adding a plan B)


4 nights of camping with Bebe.  Seems a little daunting, so for the sake of argument went out to find a hotel. (see my first Bonnaroo 2010 post HERE).

I knew it's be somewhat booked up, but I was surprised by what I found.

1 hotel.

Ok  cool, we can deal with whatever

Super 8.

Not a hotel snob and it's part of the experience.

I'm cool with that, I just want clean sheets, a place to sleep, and a shower.  Anyone want to guess what that Super 8 was going to charge during Bonnaroo week?


Still not sure why I'm surprised by that.  It's, capitalism at it's best.  But it is a 1.5 star hotel according to travelocity.

Forget that.  

Honestly, I had another 2 letter phrase in mind that starts with an 'F'..

So, in what may be a moment of genius (or epic failure, we shall see) I looked for a bed and breakfast, thinking  maybe something outside the norm might work.  And if I'm going to pay that much per night, I don't want a stupid day-old continental breakfast with fruit loops from a dispenser.

Thanks to the miracle of google maps and a zip code, I booked a bed and breakfast for 2 of the 4 nights.  Sweeeeeeet!

Anyone want to guess how much it is (with tax)?

$112.00 per night.

Jen 1.  Greedy Capitalist.  0.

actually if I owned a motel in that area during that week, i'd probably do the same.  I can't front.

The plan is this.  We could camp the first 2 nights, and then when Bebe becomes tired and in the need of real rest, I'll take her there.  Then we'll spend the second 2 nights there.  Or maybe, we'll camp all 4.  But I'm really liking how my plan B is shaping up.  If we decide not to camp, I'm not out much on the deposit.

There was another plan B to help make our first Roo experience a little easier.  Rent a tent at Bonnaroo Tent City .  Somehow though, I still think we'd run into the same problems, so that is now our plan C.




Here we come!
(can you tell how excited I am?)

Monday, April 05, 2010

PostHeaderIcon House Projects 101 - You'll always underestimate time and cost. Always.


It's true.  Every time.

Whatever you estimate for time and money on a house project, you'll underestimate.  I always say figure in 20% more money and 30% more time.

Today though, it turns out 50% more money and lord only knows how much more time.

I have 2 fence projects.  The first is extending to the front of the house what is now our back yard fence.

The second is fencing in the second lot behind us, so we can use it.  The dog and Bebe would probably appreciate that.  After all, we've been there 3 years and rarely use that extra green space. It's also one of the few sunny areas on my 2 lots that it makes the most sense to put our raised garden beds.

It's a shame.

On fence project #2, the lots on each side of it are not fenced.  After a couple phone calls with the city, I have determined that a survey needs to be done.  Keep in mind, my neighborhood is relatively old.  We don't have nice equally spaced lots on nicely laid out streets.  The neighborhood was built around existing tree areas, creeks, and estates/farms that were still in existence when being developed.

So, I found a guy that would install the fence and help me purchase the right amount of materals for fence project 2.  Unfortunately, because of the survey and needing the property to be staked, I'm looking at an additional $750.  It turns what should have been a quick and reasonably priced project into something drawn out and quite a bit more expensive.

So, in addition to the rule of never starting a home project with the words, "How hard can it be?" *cough*raised garden beds*cough*, always know you will underestimate the project in time and money.

Before and after pictures soon to follow.......

Monday, March 29, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Cooking 101 Lesson : Using Lemons (practical advice)

I've been cooking since I was 8.  You would think in the last 20 (some) years since I started cooking, I would learn the following lesson:

Do Not Squeeze Lemon Without Gloves if You Are a Nail-Biter and Pulled on a Hangnail Earlier That Day.

The pain that will ensue to equal or greater than the pain of walking half asleep over the living room rug to step on a corner of a lego.  But without the 3 am surprise factor.

Another side affect is that you may say a word (or three) that makes cooking-dinner-time a not-so-family-friendly event.  There will be nothing Zen-ful about the 30 seconds that follow this incident.

Lastly, if you decide to disregard my advise, I am not responsible for any wrinkles that may permanently appear on your face from the wincing involved.

This is my public service announcement for today.    Carry on.
Saturday, March 20, 2010

PostHeaderIcon St Patrick's Day Parade 2010


St Patrick's Day in Kansas City.  You never know what you're going to get.  This year, I was pleased it fell on spring break week, so we were able to head to the parade. 

It was cold.  Toe numbing cold.

A's biggest concern was seeing the Dancing Cobras (and similar groups) and the Irish Step Dance girls (especially important considering she's only days away from doing her own Irish Step routine at a school assembly).

We found a spot near the end, across from Streetside Records.  Despite the fact we only got there 10 minutes before the start of the parade, we got curb seating (yay mom for bringing the camp chair).  Unfortunately, we had to wait about 45 min before we even saw the start of the parade.  By then, we were already discussing what we were going to eat at Eden Alley before I had to go back to work!

The boys on the balcony of the apartments about 30 yards to the North of us kept us amused until the parade got there.  The best exchange of the day was, "Mama?  Are those people drunk?" Of course there was nothing left to say but "yes, dear.  remember, moderation is key, otherwise you'll look and sound like that."  Her response was a simple, "Oh."  Maybe you had to have been there, but let's chalk it up to an opportunity for a life lesson ;)

After about 45 min of parade and no end in sight, we packed up and headed off to lunch.
Overall, another year, another parade, and one more notch in our tradition of parade watching.

Monday, March 08, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Road Trip 2010 : Bonnaroo

In deciding whether or not to take Bebe to Bonnaroo, there were many considerations for my (will be) 8yo. We go to many local music festivals, and so far have fared well.

This isn't just any music festival though, and if you add on a road trip plus 3 nights of camping, well....... I have two thoughts. This will either be an epic adventure that we repeat year after year (until she doesn't want to be seen with her mom anymore) or an epic failure and I'll never get her in the car again! ;) I hope it's the former.

In researching this topic, of course google was pretty handy. A search of "children and Bonnaroo" brought up more links than I could ever read. Overall, it seems that the type of person who would bring a child to an event like all had an overwhelming positive experience. Even the moms of small toddlers found workarounds that made the festival enjoyable for all. I think it helps that Bonnaroo provides a family-friendly campground where we can retreat if needed.

Now, on to start making lists, practice camping trips for Bebe, and gathering supplies.

Epic indeed.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Urban Homesteading Plan take 1.


I don't know why I do this to myself. LOL



Working Out.


and now?  Urban Homesteading.

This actually isn't a new concept in our house, we've been working towards purging clutter, going green, being frugal, and being more self-sufficient for years.  This is just an attempt at a formalize plan and take our current habits to the next level. LOL.

So, the March/April rough draft looks like this:
  • raised garden beds (that I meant to do LAST April  *blush*)
  • fencing in the second lot behind ours
  • extending the fence on the main lot to allow the raised beds to be within the fenced area
  • moving the plants from my container garden from last year to said raised beds (to be built)
  • finish compost pile structure
  • gutters  (ok, gutters have nothing to do with urban homesteading, but just need to be done before spring rains)
  • install rain barrels

Seems like a lot, and I decided it's worth it to hire the fencing done by my awesome Rent-A-Husband aka Miguel and his team.  They've helped with various projects over the last 18 mos around the house, and I would give them a 100% recommendation for painting, carpentry, and other handyman type services.

One of the best things about this project, is my daughter is 110% on board with this and realizes since this will be a family garden, the whole family helps out.  Good in theory, I'll update you on the reality come Mid-July when it's over 90 in the shade. ;)

Combine this with the busiest travel month I have for work, and we have a recipe for one of two things.

Either the most productive home-improvement month ever
The biggest FAIL on home to-do list ever.


So, send me links to your favorites gardening and home-projects blogs and sites.

p.s. I don't really need to blog about how home-repair/upgrades cut into tri-training, I'm pretty sure you know how that blog would read. haha
Monday, February 15, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Attn Gmail users. Can you answer these questions?

Dear Gmail Users,

Below is a link to a form to regain access to your gmail account if it is ever hacked.  I suggest looking at the form closely and writing down the answers PRIOR to your account getting hacked.  Or loose your gmail account forever.  Really.

I blogged earlier in the month about getting hacked ( I was hacked ).  I got everything covered and back except one thing.  My valued gmail account.

My gmail account was obviously somehow linked with the yahoo account that got hacked.  It's not just ANY gmail account (like this blogger account), it was MINE:


I'm sure you're wondering right now why can't I email someone.  I did.  I have.  MANY, MANY times.  They refer me to this link:

I'm not sure what the d-bag hacker changed, but obviously my answers to these questions (like 5 of my contacts) is wrong.  I've attempted this form 14 times.  14 times I get the following auto-response:

Thank you for your report. We've completed our investigation and cannot return your account at this time. We were unable to verify that you own this account based on the information you provided.

If you can provide additional information to verify that you own this
account, please visit:


and submit another report. Whether we can return access to this account depends on the strength and accuracy of your responses, so be sure to provide as much information as possible. If you're unsure about specific dates or information, provide your best guess.

To create a new account, please visit

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

The Google Team
 Inconvenience?  It's more than that.  My daughter's school communicates to me through that, my registration for anything important (sorry gap.com, you get my throwaway yahoo), and my friends and family are linked through there.
I can't remember when I opened that account.  I could probably look at my emails and see when I received the first one.  Oh wait.  I can't.

I can't tell you when I first starting using google docs.  All I know is that I have tons of info in there, and even my houshold budget, and can't access it.

I could go on and on about how I try that form with each month of 2007, but it's pointless.  If the dbag erased all my contacts like he did while in my yahoo account..... I'll never answer that bot-form correctly.

So, dear Gmail users.  Take a lesson from me, and if you don't use outlook or other programs that downloads your emails (ie you do it all online) you risk losing it all and despite having 12.675 forms of ID to show it's yours, Google and Gmail don't care.

Good luck.

Monday, February 08, 2010

PostHeaderIcon You Can Make a Difference (QOTD)

 Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
        ~Margaret Mead
        ~US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 - 1978)

What do you see in your world that needs to change?

What are you doing about it?
Friday, February 05, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Simple Ways to Make Someone's Day

Oscar Wilde once said, "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."

I've taken to a new habit at work, writing a thank you note a day. Sometimes it's to a vendor, or customer, or trucker, or even a customs broker. I'm always careful to say thanks on the phone, but how often do you get a thank you note. I do it not only to stand out, but also because I'm sincere. Without the help of dozens of people a day, I could not succeed at my job.

Today, I noticed Real Simple (a guilty pleasure of mine!) posted an article on Simple Ways to Make Someone's Day. It gave some great ideas, but don't underestimate the power of the Thank You Note!

link to article:
Simple Ways to Make Someone's by Real Simple

So many times, we are so wrapped up in getting to the next place, we are not present in our current location. Our mind is elsewhere. When that happens, we fail to see all that is happening around us, including people.

My hope for today is that I do not fail to recognize those who help and support me.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

PostHeaderIcon The Swim. Let's Do It.

The Swim on my last tri kicked my butt.

I'm laughing today because my brother took his first adult swim class and is talking about how much he hates swimming. I feel your pain brother. Really.

So, I'm about to get into the pool for the first time since my triathlon.

What do you suggest?
Private lessons?
Total Immersion classes?
A simple class at the Y? (not ready for Masters classes yet)

I have access to an indoor pool across the street from my work. Luckily they also have a zero-entry pool for the little one that is life guarded.

This is what I'm working with.

I know all of you have suggestions.... let's go!!!!! This year, the swim will NOT kick my butt. I promise you.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010

PostHeaderIcon The Passing of Howard Zinn

I think Larry and Carol Barkan say it best in this NYTimes letter.

To the Editor:

Bob Herbert’s Jan. 30 column about Howard Zinn, “A Radical Treasure,” is a wonderful tribute to a great man. We never met Mr. Zinn except through his books and films. Yet his death left us with a profound sadness.

There aren’t many people who speak truth to power and do so with as much grace, intelligence and compassion as Mr. Zinn. His “People’s History of the United States” should be read by all Americans. It’s our failure to understand and take responsibility for our arrogance that has led us into so many military mistakes and economic calamities.

Thank you, Bob Herbert, for reminding us of what this world lost when this great man died.

Larry Barkan

Carol Barkan

Tempe, Ariz., Jan. 30, 2010

It saddens me that Zinn was considered a radical, for being what I considered a true patriot.  It is our duties as citizens to question everything, and to trust but verify, and to help those struggling below us.

Howard Zinn was truly a great American.

PostHeaderIcon I'm so thankful I have the friends I do.

I was directed to the following link by an attorney friend.


Luckily I was able to print off what I needed before it was removed.

A few more phone calls, and I think I can start the process in motion.

Whew.  I don't wish her ill, but the harassment needs to stop.

PostHeaderIcon Monday was hell and everyone wants to know why I "defriended" them on facebook.

Monday was hell. Let me try and make this short.

Monday my yahoo was hacked and sent an email to over 500 contacts, including vendors and customers, friends, and family stating I was in Wales and send me money.

I could deal with that.

Then he/they got into my FB account and locked me out of there.  Despite several emails exchanges, I still don't have access.  In fact, I didn't hear back from the FB rep yesterday.

Then he/they went on to other sites associated with this email address (like facebook) and click "forgot password" and went on to reset my passwords.  About 5 hours after the first email was sent from this d-bag, I get a noticed from ebay that my account was suspended due to suspicious activity.  He/they bid on close to 15 laptops.  Luckily, ebay caught it and shut my account down (but I now have it back).

Then he went into my XX@gmail account.  I tried answering the questions to regain that account, but obviously I didn't answer something right.  Because after 4 attemps, I have 4 emails from google stating I did not provide enough information, and I'm locked out of that account.

I was on the phone with yahoo for over 2 hours trying to regain control of THIS account, but while on the phone, I was getting notifications from facebook, gmail, ebay, etc that my passwords were being changed.  I couldn't keep up with him/them.  I then realized since I had this yahoo account for like 4 years, that many of my financial institutions were associated with this account, so I immediately starting changing the passwords on those accounts, then called the banks and put fraud alerts.  then I called my cc companies.  They ALL decided to cancel my CCs and send me new ones.  I had to take a business trip yesterday with the $23 I had and a company card.  I felt naked.

So, Monday all in all it took about 7 hours to clean up the chaos he/they created.  This doesn't include getting calls from vendors, co-workers, and customers telling me they think I've been hacked, others who hadn't talked to me in awhile concerned I really was stuck in Wales, and the embarassment of it all.

It was truly hell.

Monday, February 01, 2010

PostHeaderIcon I was hacked.

So today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  One of my emails accounts were hacked.  Yes, all 500-and-some contacts in my address book got an URGENT email stating I was in Wales, had been mugged, and needed $2000.  An oldie but a goodie.  Just to think, last week I won the UK lottery.  Maybe I was mugged because someone thought I had all that cash on me?  Ok, my seriously bad attempt at finding humor in this situation.

It went from bad to worse, and I could go on to explain how I'm locked out of ebay (temporarily suspended), Facebook (hopefully temporary), gmail (hopefully fixed tomorrow), and a couple of other sites.  But I won't.  What I will explain is some common sense rules I ignored.

My IT guy in corp HQ suggested changing all my passwords every 60-90 days.  I need to come up with an organizational system to do this.  I realized I hadn't changed my email password in over 3 years.  I'm not sure it would have prevented today's attack, but it would have been a line of defense.

I'm locked out of facebook, why?  It was the same PW as my email account.  How to solve that in the future seems pretty self explanatory.  Again, a new organizational system needed to keep track of a unique password for every site I visit.

Bank accounts.  Thank G-d I used a different PW for all my financial institutions.  I went ahead and changed those passwords too, called CS and asked for a fraud alert.  I'm already thinking not all my financial institutions need the same password.  I'm starting to see a trend here.  Following me?

Overall, I could go into it, but you've heard the warnings.  No longer is it a friend of a friend that it once happened to.  It happened to me.

I don't open emails from unknown senders.

I don't click on links that I'm not sure about.

Attachments to emails get run through a virus scan.

So, how did this happen?  No clue.

Ebay was nice enough to provide me with the IP addy of the person who changed my ebay password.  It belongs to an anonymous proxy server/service (?).  I was told that means this person can't be found.

So, dear hacker who ruined by day, made me cry, has locked me out of facebook, and overall my week a hell (and it's only Monday).... I have a message for you.  I even put it in a heart to show you how much I care:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

PostHeaderIcon What's the Point? part 1

Two different conversations has brought me to almost a stand still today.  I look at my paperwork, and I look at my to-do list, and I look at the things I'm saving my money for and all I can think about is:

What is the point?

Really?  We bust our asses working for a company that only very few of us believe in, but mostly it's a means to pay the mortgage and for private school.  One hundred years from now, will my great-great grandchildren really know or care that I saved up for a year to remodel my bathroom?

Does my short-term happiness in owning that (insert name of object here) matter to those who have nothing?  My future grandchildren?  The people of Haiti?

I'm finding it harder and harder have enjoyment in my home.  It's just things that mean nothing, but in some strange paradox are seemingly important at the time.

Around Christmas a co-worker told me about a morning radio show he was listening to where a family had lost everything (fire?) and people were calling in donations to help them have a decent Christmas for their kids.  One guy called in who was a sandwhich maker at Subway.  He probably makes $8 an hour and has his own money problems.  He gave $100.  I was told that story 6 weeks ago and can not get it out of my head.

The second incident that has brought me to a complete distraction today is the following:

January 25, 2010

Homeless Guests at Kansas City Rescue Mission
Collect Money for Haitian Relief
“Heart to Heart will receive a very sacrificial gift this week,” said Chaplain Joe Roberts.

Kansas City, Mo.—When homeless men at the Kansas City Rescue Mission, 1520 Cherry Street, learned of the tragedy in Haiti, many stepped up to offer what little they had during three evening chapel services late last week.

Their collection — a total of $132.42 — will be donated to Heart to Heart International’s Haiti Quake Response efforts.

“These men have no homes of their own. Many have no contact with their own families, have only the clothing on their backs and rely on KCRM for shelter, food, medical care and hope,” said Chaplain Joe Roberts. “Yet when they learned about the tragedy in Haiti, they gave very sacrificially to help folks who were suffering even more.”

Pete Brumbaugh, a spokesman for Heart to Heart International, said, “This disaster in Haiti has touched so many lives, including those who are finding hope at the Kansas City Rescue Mission. We are humbled by their gifts, which show us that everyone has something to give to this massive relief effort providing healing and hope to the survivors.”

To learn more, for interviews and photos, please contact Development Officer Julie Larocco at (816) 421-7643, ext. 41, (816) 699-3029 (cell) or jlarocco@kcrm.org.

Kansas City Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community offering freedom and hope to the poor and homeless, empowering them to reach their full potential.
 Homeless men gave all they had to the victims of Haiti.  All.

I'm worrying about a bathroom remodel?  I'm going to go sit in my corner now and figure out how to make these feelings feed change.

If the Subway worker and a group of homeless men living in a shelter can give to those around them in that way.... no matter how much time, money, or donations I've given in my life up  until now.... NONE of it is even remotely enough.

People like to go to church on Sundays and raise their hands and talk about the love of Christ?  There you go.  Right there.  In real terms.

The question is : What am I going to do with this knowledge now?
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Blog Archive


Hood To Coast Relay 2007

Quotes as I come across them......

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour, a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it last forever.” ~~~Lance Armstrong

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ~~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I like running because it's a challenge. If you run hard, there's the pain----and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is 'Don't overdo it' and 'Don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." ~~~Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Famer. (Will-Weber's "Voices From the Midpack" chapter.)

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.~~~Denis Watley

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. ~~~Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)