Nerd Alert!

December 17, 2012

NEWS FLASH! I’m a nerd. A great, big, Urkel-sized nerd. Well, thanks to my weight loss, I’m not as big a nerd as I used to be, but I’m still a nerd, and I’m proud of it. I don’t consider ‘nerd’ to be a derogatory term – I just think it means that I know what I like and am not afraid to express it, embrace it, learn every little thing I can about it, and share it with others.

Long-time readers know one of the things I nerd out about: charts, graphs and statistics. This weight loss journey I’ve been on has been well documented by all of these things: I have a weight loss chart that I update once a month. I have a running chart (more on this later). I track StairMaster workouts with a chart that I call my Skyscraper Collection (more on this later, too!). Even though I haven’t blogged about it lately, I keep statistics on my workouts in the form of Monthly Progress Reports. Long story short (or is it too late for that?), if I can monitor what I’m doing and how I’m doing it in a fun, interesting way, than I’m all for it.

I find all these charts incredibly beneficial. They provide concrete evidence of my improvement in areas like running and stair climbing, both of which are still rather new to me. They allow easy ways for me to look back at where I’ve been, and help me project where I can go in the future. They assist in the setting of both short-term and long-term goals, whether it’s training for a big race or event, or helping me plan my week so I get in enough workouts. They give me a reason to pause, smile and congratulate myself on a great week or a great workout, and offer the opportunity to immortalize that feeling of pride and accomplishment by creating a permanent record of it. They fuel me. They push me.

There’s a new chart in my life, and I’ve kept it a secret from you for months. I keep it on the wall in my office, and it occurred to me the other day that there’s no reason for it to be a secret anymore. Here’s the story behind this new chart, which I’m going to unveil today.

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Breakfast Fail

July 25, 2012

I tried something new as part of my breakfast today, and it was disgusting. This may look like oatmeal, but it’s not just oatmeal:

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Wednesday Potpourri

June 6, 2012

I’ve been a fan of “Jeopardy!” for as long as I can remember. I’ve even taken the test to be a contestant three times (but never passed it – it’s hard!). I learned the word “potpourri” from “Jeopardy!” I knew it as a word that means ‘a little of this and that’ (it’s the catch-all category on “Jeopardy!” that features questions answers on anything and everything) long before I knew it was a collection of dried flowers, fruits, and twigs that grandmothers put in their bathrooms so they smell nice.

I got a bunch of topics to cover in this post, so welcome to Wednesday Potpourri! Let’s get started, shall we?

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Back on the StairMaster

June 5, 2012

Happy Anniversary to me! It was one month ago today that I stepped on a StairMaster, fired it up, and climbed 163 stories without stopping – the equivalent of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. There’s a wonderful little 3-minute video documenting my achievement that I’ll never get tired of sharing, so, in case you missed it the first time around, check it out:

You can also see pictures and read about the climb here.

After reaching my goal, I vowed to stay off the StairMaster for a good long time. I was sick of it. I didn’t even want to look at it!

Yesterday, I used the StairMaster for the first time. A month seemed like a good answer to the question “how long is a ‘good long time?'”

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Lego

May 25, 2012

I had to buy a new iPod. I last wrote about my iPod in March, when I dropped it on cement and cracked the glass. My iPod rebounded from that trauma, and the cracked screen proved not to be a fatal wound, just an unsightly cosmetic one. What did my iPod in was some sort of faulty, damaged battery. I didn’t get the specifics, nor did I care – what was important was that I got a new iPod, and, once again, all is well in my mobile music world.

The iPod wasn’t the only thing that came home with me from the mall. That’s because the Apple store I frequent, at the Glendale Galleria, is right next door to one of my favorite stores in the entire world: a store that whisks me immediately back to my childhood and fires up every creative and design-related synapse in my brain…

…The Lego Store!

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Today’s the Big Day!

May 5, 2012

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I don’t have plans to celebrate the Mexican army’s defeat of the French in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. Instead, I’ll be spending my morning finally completing my 163-story stair climb fundraiser challenge! I feel like it’s taken forever for this day to get here, but, in actuality, it was only two months ago when I announced that I’d be climbing the equivalent of the Burj Khaifa (the world’s tallest building) on the StairMaster without stopping. I’ve done a lot of training since then, including an actual skyscraper climb in downtown Los Angeles, then had a setback and postponement when I fucked up my foot.

But now I’m ready. And if you’re reading this after 11am PST on Saturday, then chances are I’ll have completed my stair climb.And I’ll have rocked it!

If you’re looking for a recap, than you’ll have to come back Monday, because I’m actually writing this Friday evening, and I can’t predict the future!

What I can do is share my final two training sessions. I used the StairMaster on both Monday and Wednesday, and both were great workouts. On Monday I climbed 116 stories in 30 minutes, and on Wednesday, I climbed 140 stories in 37 minutes – a new personal best!

That’s two skyscrapers I can add to my Skyscraper Collection! The problem is that I’ve already exhausted most of the buildings on the planet that are over 100 stories, so this time I’m going to do something a little different. I’m adding more than one tower for each climb!

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“Before” and “Current” Photo OVERLAY!

April 30, 2012

I met my friend Steve in 6th grade at West Maple Middle School, and now here in California, not that far from me. I’ve always known Steve to be smart and talented, but last week, after I shared my glowing-yellow-wall “Before” and “Current” pictures and the cool silhouette photo, Steve shot me the following email:

“Your new photos inspired me to Photoshop your new silhouette onto your ‘before’ picture. I tried to line up your ears and elbows to keep the two pictures proportional, and I think it turned out pretty well!”

And this was attached:

I absolutely LOVE it – it’s so unbelievably cool! No need for “Before” AND “Current” pictures… Steve combined them into one! This is going immediately into the Photo Gallery. Thanks, Steve!

Movin’ on…

Did you have a good weekend? Mine was quite nice, except for the jarring realization on Saturday that my 163-story stair climb fundraiser challenge is only one week away. If you’re struck with a sense of deja vu, it’s because I already wrote a post about the stair climb being one week away, but that was before I injured my foot and postponed the climb for two weeks.

Now my foot feels a whole lot better – I’ve been gradually putting more pressure and weight on it during my workouts over the past few days, and there’s been no flare-ups or pain whatsoever. On Saturday, when the one-week-away realization hit me like a truck, I decided to ramp my StairMaster training back into high gear. After all, thanks to the injury, I’ve only been on the StairMaster once in the past two weeks.

I ended up spending 21 minutes on the StairMaster, and climbed 84 stories, burning 318 calories. Not bad at all. It’s only half of the 163 stories I’ll be climbing this Saturday, but I hope to get one or two more training sessions in before the big day. I’ll be ready.

And I get to add a new tower to my Skyscraper Collection!  I plan on taking a little (or big) break from the StairMaster after my challenge, so I thought I’d add another landmark to my collection while I still could.

You know it, you love it… the latest addition to my collection is…

…THE CHRYSLER BUILDING!

It’s 77 stories tall, and I’ve wanted to add this guy to my collection for a while now.

My favorite thing about the Chrysler Building was how Walter Chrysler and architect Willam Van Alen, during the building’s construction in 1929, kept the now-famous 7-story, 185-foot spire a complete secret. No one in the press knew it existed, and it was constructed within the lower part of the building, so no one could see it taking shape. Then one day, to everyone’s surprise, it was hoisted and bolted into place in just 90 minutes. Just like that, the Chrysler Building became the tallest building in the world, edging out 40 Wall Street, another building under construction at the same time. The Chrysler Building only had the world-tallest-building title for 11 short months, though… then the Empire State Building came along.

And here’s something I just learned while researching this post: The Chrysler Building has never been owned by the Chrysler Corporation, nor did the Chrysler Corporation pay for its construction, even though their headquarters were there from 1930 through the ’50s. Walter Chrysler paid for it himself, so that it could be passed down to his children.

FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I’m almost there! I’ve raised $1,555 dollars, which means I’m 95% of the way towards my $1,630 goal. Only $75 short! Can you help me with those final few bucks? Click here to read about the stair climb, and CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION. Thanks!

Finally… I went to the pool yesterday for my second swim in a week (read about the other swim here). My friend Emily came along, and the pool was very crowded and it was hot. I got in 2,100 yards before calling it a day, and then Emily and I walked across the park to a… carnival!

I love a good rickety carny-operated ride, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any cash money on me, and the ticket booth didn’t accept credit cards. I did take this picture with the Ferris Wheel:

I took the exact same picture at Disney California Adventure with Mickey’s Fun Wheel (see it here). I guess it’s my thing with Ferris Wheels. Yep, me and Ferris Wheels have a thing. Jealous?

Even though Emily and I didn’t ride any rides, we did buy a snack (er… Emily bought us a snack, to be specific). There were a lot of options: Funnel Cakes. Cotton Candy. Nachos. Corn Dogs. So what did we decide on?

Roasted Corn on a Stick!

There was a row of Food Trucks, and this came from the Corn Heaven truck.

I got mine with lemon juice, and added some Cajun seasoning. Might have been the best corn I’ve ever had! I definitely wanted to go back and buy 4 more ears, although that’s where the lack of funds became an issue.

Eating veggies at a carnival?

Keep it up, David!


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