Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Hunger Games

My oldest daughter and I went to the midnight showing of Hunger Games at Thanksgiving Point last night.  She was so excited to see the movie that I put a countdown timer on my phone several weeks to track our progress.  The movie theater was packed.

The movie was true to the book, which was good enough that it didn’t need to be changed.  Tom Clancy wrote a great Jack Ryan series of books that Hollywood felt needed to be changed.  We all know that Hollywood has no clue about anything, so their opinion doesn’t matter.  I was impressed with how they dealt with flashback scenes and the Capitol city.

Jennifer Lawrence did a fantastic job of portraying the fear, despair and confusion of a teenager placed in a horrible situation.  She can act, unlike Julia Roberts who plays the same character in every movie, and she’s horrible.

Suzanne Collins wrote an accurate social commentary of things that aren’t so hard to imagine.  It’s not like we see examples of government neglect and repression around us, not to mention the superficiality of the Capitol city.

It was fun to be at a late night movie premiere with my daughter after eating tacos at Del Taco.

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Casio G-Shock

 Casio G-Shock watches rule.  I bought my first G-Shock in 1995 or 1996.  I was looking for a tough watch to wear mountain biking so I could at least track my riding time after my bike computer died.  I started to look at the Ironman, but that didn’t seem like it could take the abuse I was expecting on my rides.  Someone told me to look at the G-Shock, and I have owned one ever since.  I use the black DW-6900 for workouts, and the silver MTG 900 for times when I need to look professional.  Both watches can take a beating.  The silver watch is solar and receives an atomic signal from Colorado every night to keep it accurate.

I was talking to my friend Marty a few weeks ago when I noticed he had a G-Shock.  Then I realized that every person I’ve met who wears a Casio G-Shock is cool.  I’ve never met a jerk wearing a G-Shock.

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Thomas Kemper Ginger Ale

I just drank my last Thomas Kemper Ginger Ale from my Christmas stash.  I was working the graveyard shift the first time I had this soda.  It took me half the bottle to decide that I liked it, and I haven’t found a ginger ale that I like better.  One of the reasons I like this one so much is that it has a bold taste that knocks you on your butt.  It isn’t watered down like most brands.  And it has a hint of honey.  Sweetness.

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Favorite Android Apps- My Fitness Pal

I have been using the My Fitness Pal App on my Android phone since mid-December.  I have lost 14.4 pounds since then.  I have tried to track my phone intake in a log book, but I could never track the calories correctly, and I couldn’t tell how my exercise affected me.  Enter My Fitness Pal.  I was able to choose how quickly I wanted to lose weight, then track my food with a database of over 1.1 million foods.  I can enter my exercise and see how it changes my calories for the day.  I have spent an average of 60 minutes of cardio six days per week since I started using the App.  It has really helped to see how many calories I have throughout the day so I can adjust my eating accordingly.

If I had known I had 15 pounds to lose I would have done it years ago.  I am not a good judge of other peoples’ weight, but if I had 15 pounds to lose, most people I see are more overweight than I thought.  I have noticed a huge difference when I ride my Specialized Roubaix road bike because I am lighter and I have spent so much time on my trainer during the winter.  I can’t wait for the riding season to hit full swing.

Though I love this App, I wish I could make a few changes to it.  First, I wish I could break the snacks in to groups.  I usually eat 5-6 times a day, but the App doesn’t account for this.  It simply compiles the snacks in to one list for the day.  Second, I wish the App would save my data and start over when my weight goals change.  For example, when I started I decided I wanted to lose one pound per week.  The App set my calorie goal at about 1800 per day, which I followed until I lost the weight.  Then I changed my goal to lose 1.5 pounds per week.  On the second round it was about 1670 per day, so the App lowered my goal to 1670 calories for the whole time I was using the App, showing that I had no self control.  But I do, and I’ve lost almost 15 pounds.  In fairness, there may be a setting on the website, but I’ve only been there once.  The convenience of using an App on my phone over having to use a website is what makes the App so useful.  Even with these two shortcomings it is a great App and one of my favorite and most useful online tools.

Categories: Favorite Apps | 1 Comment

The Fearless Mind

This week I read The Fearless Mind by Craig Manning.  I was so enthralled that I read it in two days.  That is pretty unusual for me and business books, but this book grabbed me from the start.  I took a Sports Psychology class at BYU thinking it would be right up my alley, but the class sucked.  The book was over 20 years old and the professor was the one I struggled with the most in the Psychology department.  Anyway, I have long been fascinated with momentum in sports.  It is very interesting to watch a team gain and lose momentum, especially in a fast sport like basketball.  The Fearless Mind used many sports analogies since Craig Manning was a professional tennis player at a young age, and head coach of the men’s and women’s teams at BYU.

The book gave me greater understanding of momentum, and I look forward to watching sports with that new understanding.  It taught me the power of thought, and I have used that in the last few days to push through the pain of exercise when I have been tired.  This is one book that I will be referencing throughout the years to keep the concepts at the forefront of my mind.

After reading the book I started making a list of all the things that have held me back.  Once I am done I will be burning the list in a ceremonial fashion in my backyard.  Then I will move forward with much speed and focus.

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When I die

I look forward to a few things when I die.  No more back pain.  No allergies.  No more aches.  I look forward to seeing both sets of grandparents, and my great-grandmother.  I wonder who will be there to greet me, because I believe someone will meet me and walk with me to wherever I am headed.  I look forward to seeing what it looks like on the other side.  I look forward to seeing if I will have done any good in this world.  I especially look forward to seeing the influences other people have had on my life.  Many people have done things for me in secret.  I hope I can see who it was so I can thank them.  I hope I will be able to see the things that people did for me that I know nothing about.  Maybe someone has said something nice about me to another person.  Maybe someone has made a choice that benefited me without me knowing about it.  Maybe someone has given me an opportunity that I didn’t deserve.  I know many people were watching out for me in my youth.  Bob Sauter saved my life at Scout camp when I was 12 and almost drown in the river.  I want to see what happened behind the scenes and in the shadows that helped me along the way.  I want to see who was with me when I couldn’t see them.  And I want to see my friends that have already left.

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Two years later

Two years ago I went to Invision Eye Health for an eye exam.  They dilated my pupils, making it very difficult to see.  I then went to my job at E*Trade Financial a block away to start my swing shift.  It was very difficult to see the computer, but someone was sending me an Instant Message as soon as I logged in.  I could make out the last name of our HR Partner, but I couldn’t read what he was writing so I asked him to call me.  He did, and asked me to come to the 4th floor conference room.  Nothing good happens on the 4th floor conference room.  As I approached the room I could see the Site Director through the glass door and I knew I no longer worked at E*Trade.  Due to the failing economy E*Trade had to cut back the management staff.  Several months later a Senior Manager was laid off, followed by a few more Managers.  I was surprised, but not shocked, given the fact that I had a feeling the prior summer that we were in for a major change.  I was given the opportunity to pack my stuff and say goodbye to my co-workers, many whom I have not see since that day.  Mike Both, one of my best friends, was out of the office when he heard the news.  Mike lives about six mile from me so we met up for a mountain bike ride in the valley between our houses.


I have had many highs and lows since that day, and I definitely have a better appreciation for the difficulties, anxieties and disappointments I have seen others face.  I have spent the last two years trying to figure out what is next, and therein lies the confusion and uncertainty.  I think I have it figured out now, but I have to execute and prove it.

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Happy birthday Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris was born 72 years ago today.  After dealing with a sore back all week I am even more impressed with how agile he is at his age.  I saw him in Las Vegas at the Martial Arts Super Show in 2006, and he did not move like a man in his mid-sixties.  I guess martial arts and clean living go a long way.  And it doesn’t hurt to be the baddest man on the planet.

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Science project

My oldest son asked me to help him with his science project.  They are building a catapult and several kids have a specific assignment for parts.  He did not have a blueprint for the design, so we did the best we could.  We cut and drilled his parts in a way that we can modify them if necessary.  I taught him how to use a tape measure and mark with a “carrot.”  I also showed him how to put a 2″ X 4″ on either side of the 2″ X 4″ we were drilling to keep it from tipping over, and putting all three boards on another board so we didn’t drill into the ground.  My kids are growing up too quickly.

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Rustico leather journal

 I attended the Big Business & Technology Expo at UVU on Thursday.  I came across a company called Rustico that makes fine leather products.  I used my barcode scanner to scan the QR Code and Like them on Facebook, thereby receiving this small leather journal.  It has a leather strap closure and a lighter piece of leather that holds a golf pencil.  The pages are hand sown in three different sections on paper that resembles parchment paper.  It is a unique item, and I plan on using it for recording my inspiration.

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