My Christmas Week of Walks and Hikes

December 29, 2019

How was your Christmas? Mine was lovely. I spent a week in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, with my family. We played poker a couple nights (I won $40), went on family outings, made big dinners together (I was in charge of vegetables), and… I met a bear!

When I wasn’t doing those other things, or just relaxing, I was walking. I’m still recovering from a year of racing, but I wanted to stay active, so I made a point of going on a nice long walk every single day. Read the rest of this entry »


California City, Here We Come! A Day Trip To the Mightiest Metropolis That Never Was

May 30, 2017

Here’s a great pic of me and my two friends Tavi and Jonathan, hanging out in the Mojave Desert:

If it looks like we’re in the middle of nowhere, well… we are. But there’s so much more to the story than that! There’s standing on the site of what could have been a great American city. But things didn’t turn out quite as planned… and what’s there now has to be seen to be believed. Read the rest of this entry »


A Visit to the Famous Dipsea Stairs

March 24, 2016

Climbing the 52-story 555 California building twice might seem like enough stairs for one weekend, but NOPE! It wasn’t. So, the day after the race, I went with my brother Steven and my sister-in-law Alexis to the Dipsea Stairs, a public stairway in Mill Valley, California. These were some long flights of stairs!

David-dipsea-stairs-sign

The Dipsea Stairs are well-known because Read the rest of this entry »


Photo Explosion

May 4, 2015

I wasn’t super prolific on the blog last week, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t keeping busy and staying (mostly) on program. I kept my camera handy and captured lots of fun moments. Some of these photos ended up on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), but a lot of them didn’t, so get ready for a photo explosion!

plane-overhead

One of the parks where I run is in the Read the rest of this entry »


CARDIO TO VEGAS Update: Welcome to Phelan!

July 11, 2013

I’m in full-on nerd mode right now, which means this is gonna be a really good post. The last time I was nerding out to this degree, I ended up introducing my new workout goal, which is called Cardio to Vegas. Simply put, I’m logging all the miles I complete during any sort of cardio workout, with the goal of getting myself, hypothetically, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. You can read more about the challenge right here.

Time for my first update! Las Vegas is 274 miles away, and I had already gone 57.85 miles. Let’s see how many new miles I’ve gone since then! Read the rest of this entry »


Disney California Adventure

March 14, 2012

I love theme parks. Love ’em! I love the rides, the atmosphere, the rides, the scenery, and the rides. I’ve written pretty regularly about my theme park adventures on this blog. I debuted this blog with a post that recounted my first visit to Magic Mountain – a momentous occasion, since it was the first time that I wasn’t too big to fit on a roller coaster in almost a decade. Since then, I’ve visited Knott’s Berry Farm and made a triumphant return to Cedar Point, the park I grew up visiting but hadn’t been to since college, when I was kicked off a ride because of my weight (details about that horrible experience here).

At the end of January, I visited, for the first time, the most famous theme park in the world: Disneyland. I had a wonderful time with my friends Heidi, Tom, and Keith – click here to read about it and see pictures. I had gotten a good deal on a park ticket, too – Disney offers southern California residents a 2-day pass for $99 (a basic 1-day pass is $80). And that meant that I had to go back to Disney a second time before my pass expired in June.

Luckily for me, there are two Disney theme parks in Anaheim. There’s the classic Disneyland, and the much newer Disney California Adventure, which is literally a few hundred feet away. So on Monday, I gathered up Heidi, Tom and Keith again, and we checked out Disney California Adventure. I love a theme park I’ve never been to before!

DCA opened about 10 years ago – it was built where the Disneyland parking lot used to be – and since I had never been there before, I had no idea what to expect. I had briefly heard about a few of the rides but knew very little about the park. Heidi and Keith are Disney junkies that know everything about everything – the perfect theme park companions!

I’m squinting in that photo, but here I am with Paradise Pier in the background. Paradise Pier was my favorite themed area – it’s a big carnival midway section of the park that wraps around a big lagoon. Screamin’, the roller coaster, wraps above and around a lot of it, and there are smaller carnival style rides. The ferris wheel, called Mickey’s Fun Wheel, is 160 feet tall and has both stationary gondolas, like a regular ferris wheel, and swinging ones, that add a thrill element. We waited in the longer line for a swinging one, and I snapped this photo of myself while we waited:

Here’s Heidi, Tom, and I on Mickey’s Fun Wheel:

My favorite amusement park rides are roller coasters, and Screamin’ is a good one – it’s fast, has great dives and air time, and it’s long. Paradise Pier is also home to what turned out to be one of my favorite rides: Toy Story Midway Mania. It’s a fantastic mash-up of ride and carnival game. You wear 3-D glasses, and sit in cars equipped with toy guns that whip you through fun carnival-themed environments. The cars stop in front of 5 or 6 giant screens, and you compete against the other people in your cars in virtual carnival games populated with Toy Story characters: there’s a ring toss, and games where you break plates with baseballs, pop balloons with darts, and shoot at moving targets. The ride keeps track of your points, and at the end of the ride, you can see who won! I rode with Tom…

…and I won (I was Player 2)!

Heidi, who was one car over, handily beat me by an additional 30,000 points or so. Well played, Heidi!

While Toy Story Midway Mania was a blast, my favorite ride at DCA was Soarin’ Over California, where you sit in chairs that allow your feet to dangle. When the ride starts, the chairs get repositioned in front of a giant concave IMAX screen. There’s beautiful footage of scenery and landmarks from around California, and it comes together to make it seem like you’re hang gliding over all of it. The ride isn’t scary – it’s simply beautiful, and wonderfully done.

I don’t have too many more pictures to share – I didn’t take many to begin with, and then my battery died halfway through the day (whoops). But I did photograph my lunch, because even though I was at a theme park, that didn’t mean I was going to make poor food choices. We ate at Paradise Garden Grill, which serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food – cuisines I’ve never seen in a theme park before!

That’s a beef kofta skewer. Kofta is basically a Middle Eastern spiced meatball. There’s cucumber salad, rice pilaf, and a piece of pita on the side. They offer 4 sauces, but I couldn’t pick just one, so I got all four to try. The white one was tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce), the green one was chimichurri (an Argentinean herb and oil-based sauce), and I forget what the other ones were, but I think one was a Moroccan-spiced chili sauce.

Later that night, we got a quick bite at Downtown Disney, a shopping and entertainment area next to the park. I got two chicken tacos at a taco stand, with lettuce, onions, cilantro, and salsa (no cheese or sour cream). I’m kinda happy to report that I wasn’t even tempted by any of the unhealthy theme park options, although I did love this vending machine, which we saw while waiting in line for the Monsters Inc. ride:

The “Sugar Salt & Fat” snack is my favorite! (It’s probably pretty delicious, too.)

Apart from the rides, we saw a couple really cool shows. DCA has a Broadway-style musical production of Aladdin that was well done, and, after the sun sets, the lagoon becomes home to World of Color, a very impressive, bright event that involves dancing fountains (like the Bellagio in Las Vegas) that shoot up walls of water that images and film clips are projected onto.

I’m excited to go back to DCA at some point i the future – two big parts of the park were under construction (opening in June): a Cars Land (themed around the Pixar Cars movies), and Buena Vista Street, a tribute to Los Angeles in the 1920s, when Walt Disney first arrived in California.

The best part about theme parks: I was walking all day long. Mile after mile after mile. Normally I’m very diligent about keeping track of my exercise, but every once in a while, it’s fun to have a very physical day (I was exhausted by the time I came home – we were there for around 11 hours!) and not worry about minutes or resistance levels or calories burned.

Keep it up, David!


Yes! My New Driver License Photo!

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I didn’t get my act together this year, so I don’t have a fun or clever Valentine’s Day post. Last year’s post, which was a love note from a variety of fruits and vegetables, will have to suffice. If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t seen it in a year, check it out here. I guarantee you’ll smile, or I’ll refund your money.

LOOK WHAT RECENTLY CAME IN THE MAIL!

It’s my new driver license!

 

I just realized that I’ve been mispronouncing the name of this ID card my entire life. I’ve always said “driver’s license,” but it’s actually “driver license.” I had no idea.

I went to the DMV a few weeks ago to renew my license, which was due to expire next month. In California, you can go online and make on appointment at the DMV, so I made one for 8:40am – nice and early. I got there on time, filled out some paperwork, and 15 minutes later, I was at a counter with a nice DMV employee named Jackie.

My last driver license was from the summer of 2003. I was 24 years old, and I hadn’t stepped on a scale in at least a year. The paperwork required me to list my weight, and out of ignorance, I lied. I said 290, which was very generous, because I’m sure I was probably much closer to 350. So when Jackie started comparing and inputting information for my new license, one of the first things she commented on was my weight. She complimented me on my weight loss – and that wasn’t based on the numbers, that was based on comparing my old picture (which is below) with the me standing in front of her.

I shared with Jackie that I’ve lost 165 pounds, and she asked a few more questions about how I was doing it, and she shared that she’s been losing weight, and was halfway to her goal. We talked about that a little bit, and I ended up telling her about this blog and giving her my card. I also confessed that I lied to the DMV nine years ago, which Jackie said wasn’t a big deal.

My new driver license lists my weight at a very truthful 235 pounds. Let’s take a closer look at my new license!

I don’tlove my photo, but it’s fine. I love that it’s current and new and not nine years old. I love that it shows that I have a neck!

Here it is, with my old driver license below:

What a difference nine years and 165 pounds makes!

KEEP IT UP, DAVID!