February 2013 Awards

Improbable sentence. “Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out Thursday with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on the third day of his improbable journey with VICE to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later dining on sushi and drinking with him at his palace.

Personal finance vid of the month. Helaine Olen, author of “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry“.

Apocalypse sign. CTA Digital’s iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad.

Noteworthy death. Mr. Matthew Crowley.

Weightroom t-shirt. “Gardening. It’s cheaper than therapy.”

Non-conformist. Photos.

Wasted talent. Professional sports division. My favorite excerpt, “Justify My Glove”.

Word—sequester.

Social media app—SnapChat. This news story gives it real cred. Maybe they’ll make a movie.

Consumer purchase, minimalist division.

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Nature pic—Holden Village (taken by La Fuerza)

Near Stehikin, WA

Near Stehikin, WA

Weekend get-away—Holden Village

Sitting in the bus I was flashing back to when I was a high school water polo legend traveling to away games.

Sitting in the bus I was reminiscing about when I was a SoCal high school water polo legend traveling to away games wit da’ boys. Lake Chelan water visibility, easily 25′.

Most widely read post. The Link Between Walking or Cycling to School and Concentration.

Happy “Half Century” Birthday to Me

By the time you read this, it will be too late to get me something for my 50th birthday. That’s okay though because I’m in permanent “declutter, give away things” mode. It’s never too late to drop by, wish me a happy b-day, and take something.

Recently Olympia’s semi-permanent winter blanket of low lying gray clouds parted so I headed out for a sun run with Regina Spektor pulsing through the iPod. Her “On the Radio” lyrics couldn’t have been more timely.

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

I’ve always thought of myself as young. Younger than my sibs; younger than my betrothed; younger than Madonna; the 20-something high school teacher; the 30-something college professor. Like wooden barrels bobbing atop Niagara Falls, I’ve watched most of my friends disappear over the 50-year old ledge already. Now though older peeps aren’t enough to counterbalance Spektor’s undeniable truth—You’re young until you’re not.

As an aspiring Stoic, I should embrace the new “old” reality, but that’s easier written than done. If I live as long as Steve Jobs, I have six years left; my dad, 19; Joe Paterno, 35; Jack LaLane, 46. The average of those four is 26.5. That’s kinda scary given how fast the last 50 have gone. Seems like just yesterday I was the most dapper dude in the first grade at Zachary Taylor elementary school in Louisville, KY. A dodgeball/kickball legend in my own mind. And yes, fortunately the rest of my gourd eventually caught up to my ears.

The key of course is making the most of however much time is left by listening a little more intently, by being a bit more observant, by putting my family’s needs before my own, by finding humor in things, by writing, by prioritizing friendship, by embracing nature.

At the risk of getting too sentimental, let me close by coming clean on that fact that I didn’t know how to spell “Niagra” Falls until using my dictionary app which offered up “Viagra” in it’s place. A few days ago at 49, funny, today at Fiddy, not so much.

Postscript—The Girls Club pooled their resources and got me the perfect gift.

Since I'm past the midpoint, it' can't be a mid-life crisis can it?

Nature Day

When was the last time you were intentional about spending time in nature?

I live only two hours from one of the world’s most beautiful mountains, but don’t visit it often enough. And usually when I do, I’m working too hard on two wheels to truly enjoy it. It’s trippy driving through the Paradise parking lot and looking at license plates from all over the country. Its proximity probably contributes to my taking it for granted.

Amazingly, the sky and hija’s social calendars opened up last Thursday, so the four of us spent the bulk of the day hiking to Bench and Snow Lakes from the Stevens Canyon trailhead. Highly recommended. Spotty snow through the first mile and solid snow the final 400 meters. One daughter with a 3.9 g.p.a. wore sandals which proves good grades and common sense are not inextricably linked.

At one point I found myself 30 meters behind the galpal. I fired three snowballs at her and each landed right between her shoulder blades. My mad John Elway, Will Ferrel Elf-like snowball skills never cease to amaze me.

One half of the family makes A LOT of noise when they hike. Wonder if anyone at Saturday Night Live would be interested in a “Loud Hiking Family” sketch?

After lunch at Snow Lake and the hike back out, we visited the nice, new Visitors’ Center. The 20m long movie was excellent.

Do yourself a favor, unplug and make time for nature this summer.

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