Easy for you to say...

The sixth sick Sheik’s sixth sheeps sick.


Long lost friends

Karen is alive and well!

2007 Mesa Turkey Trot

2,224 of my closest friends got together on Thanksgiving morning for the 38th annual Mesa Turkey Trot 10k race.


Remind me to train for this race next year.

To all the Bunker's, Ray's, & Madsen's...see you on the starting line next year! (Melissa there has got to be a story behind your officially posted time??? You're a speed demon!)


It pays to count, pedometer study finds

CHICAGO (Reuters) - People who use a pedometer to measure how far they walk lose more weight, exercise more and have lower blood pressure than those who do not, researchers said on Tuesday


Check out my earlier post about my life in measured steps:



Listening to podcasts at 2x normal speed

Here is an excerpt from an email that I recently wrote to my friend about how I listen to podcasts at faster-than-normal speeds...

"There are far more fascinating podcasts out there than I can possibly consume. I’ve switched over almost entirely to NPR podcasts in the car instead of live NPR. I do miss out on traffic and weather updates but I also get to skip all the crap happening in Iraq. And I’m pretty sure they are going to tell me it is going to be hot and sunny into infinity.

I use iTunes as my tool for finding and subscribing to podcasts but I have found that Windows Media Player will automatically grab what iTunes has pulled down (not everything, but most everything). Within WMP I use the speed control settings:

I usually listen at 1.4 or 1.5 normal speed but sometimes I do go as high as 2.0. After a little while you don’t notice that they are speaking fast. I usually listen to “Marketplace” in 15 minutes instead of the regular 30.

I REALLY wish I could do something similar with my iPod. Apple must have some proprietary agreement with Audible.com because as far as I know only audio books downloaded from Audible can use the “Faster” playback setting in the iPod (maybe audio books from iTunes as well, but I haven’t tried it). I don’t know if you can adjust the speed of everything in the Zune player, but if it can it would almost be a compelling enough reason for me to get one."


Throwing down the gauntlet: Casa Grande Duathlon

I'm reporting back on my earlier Throwing Down the Gauntlet post...

The Casa Grande Duathlon/Triathlon was my first multi-sport race after a 17 year hiatus. The bike route wasn’t marked very well at one of the turns so along with about 100 other people I did a 17 mile ride instead of the planned 10. Both sections of the run were cross-country style out in the desert -- which I liked.

All in all, a fun race. I'll do it again next year.

The Turkey Trot is in a couple of weeks and then the Anthem Sprint Triathlon to finish out the year. All are welcome to join the fun. Even Austin.


The Messiest Old Navy in America

On our recent trip to UT, Becky and I came across the messiest Old Navy in America.

One poor shopper got trapped in a clearance pile and was left for dead.
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Global Warming and AZ

For those of you not paying attention it is already November. It was also over 90 degrees in metropolitan Phoenix today. Arizona is NOT the place to live on a planet that is getting warmer.

Nov, Dec, Jan are supposed to be the best months of the year to live in AZ. It is when we get the payoff for living in an oven in June, July, & Aug.

When will we get some relief?


Happy Birthday Sophie

Halloween 2006
9:00 AM...

2:00 PM...

Halloween 2007

It was a DELICIOUS cake!

It has been quite a year. We can't imagine life without Sophie!


The Planet Zarcon

We traveled for thousands of light years from our home planet of Zarcon -- utilizing only the most advanced eco-friendly technologies -- to make it to this Halloween party.

Light Sabers

Within minutes of arriving at Shandon & Darlene's party, the various Jedi and Sith Lords found each other and proceeded to battle with their light sabers!
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I just haven't felt like myself recently.

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Black Licorice

Sophie found an abandoned piece of black licorice and decided she liked it!


Me wantee 5: The Walkstation

I just saw this in the latest issue of Business Week:

I love it! (...for work, not home)

I saw an obesity researcher on TV a few months ago who had rigged up something similar for his work desk. He said he walked 8 - 10 miles everyday while at work.

Andrew, it looks like someone beat you to market on this one.


UPDATE: After our Sunday dinner conversation, this idea does not obviate Andrew's idea -- it validates it.

The cleanest part of your body

Someone anonymously posted about what might be the cleanest part of the human body (see the comments in my earlier hand washing post). Well, strangely enough this topic has crossed my mind recently...What is the cleanest part of my body?

Here's my official nomination: my hips -- as in 3 or 4 inches below my belt line on either my right or left side. They are covered essentially 24/7 and never interact with the outside world in any significant way.

There you have it. Anyone want to top that? (Exterior of the body only. I understand most of the interior of the body is considered "sterile")


300 Miles per gallon

As you can see its a practical, family car


They will be available in 2008 for less than $30,000.

Disneyland Advice

We are seeking Disneyland fun-maximization advice

· Is there a specific time of year when it is least crowded?

o Ive heard the week after Thanksgiving or the first full week of December are both good

· Do you know of some secret source for low-priced entrance tickets?

· How can I minimize my expenditure on food inside the park?

· Any hotel recommendations?


Update: Two awesome websites related to Disneyland

Annual attendance figures (answers, "When is the best/worst time of year to go?" question):


A software tool that plans which order to ride the attractions to minimize your wait time:



Don't get used to using the word use

I was just writing an email and got stumped on the conjugation of the word use:

      I use to be a lion tamer.


      I used to be a lion tamer.

The voting was split 50/50 when I queried the neighboring cubes.

I scoped the dictionary and am now fairly confident that the ed version is correct.

Ill probably forget this in 6 months and get stumped again.


Music to the ears

I realize I am a far cry from being hip on the music scene, so most of what I am about to share is probably very stale-dated to my more musically aware friends. But here goes…

My favorite song of the past 12 months: "Dashboard" by Modest Mouse. Most songs/artists take me 3 or 4 listens before I am ready to pass judgment, yea or nay. This song was immediately likable.

Runner up: "Four Winds" by Bright Eyes. (Conor Oberst’s guest DJ appearance on All Songs Considered was interesting (link also takes you to streaming “Four Winds”)

My favorite recently discovered song: “Cap Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend (download free from their website 3/4th of the way down the page)

Favorite "new to me" artist of 2007: Sufjan Stevens. “Casimir Pulaski Day” is a good place to start with him. His Austin City Limits performance was unbelievable! Look for it to be re-run sometime. Amazing. I want to learn to play the banjo now.

Runner up for “new to me” artist for 2007: The Decemberist. Start with “The Crane Wife 3”. Check out their interview on Fresh Air here.

My favorite "new to me" artist for 2006 was: Jamie Cullum. I like “Photograph”, “London Skies”, and “My Yard” from Catching Tales and All at Sea (his biggest hit) and “Next Year Baby from Twentysomething. His performance on Austin City Limits was also a lot of fun.

Favorite music podcast: NPR’s All Songs Considered

Runner up: MPR’s Current Song of the Day (Minnesota Public Radio not NPR) has some occasional gems.

Fresh Air also frequently features musicians. The Arcade Fire interview was interesting. Gene Simmons’ (KISS) was one of the weirdest of all time.

Favorite music related TV show: as evidenced by multiple references above, Austin City Limits on PBS. In addition to Sufjan Stevens and Jamie Cullum, the Coldplay, Ben Folds, and James Blunt episodes were all very good. Norah Jones, The Decemberist, and Arcade Fire are all coming up in the next 4 weeks. Set your DVRs.

Please share some of your recommendations via the comments section below.


The Mid-Afternoon Dip

I’ve been nibbling on an interested book about sleep for several months now (as in, it is on my night stand and I read a few pages periodically right before I…go to sleep). Incidentally, I don’t recommend that you think too much about sleep right before you try to do it. It's too much pressure!

The book is called Power Sleep and it is by the sleep researcher who coined the term “power nap”:

The author includes the following two diagrams on pages 48 & 49 that have thus far been my favorite insight from the book:

The second figure illustrates that at all times during the day we have two forces working on us: a “wakefulness” force and a “desire to sleep” force. In other words, at any point during the daytime if you lay down on your couch you could probably fall asleep.

The reason I thought the graph was so interesting is the fact that it shows a significant mid-afternoon dip in wakefulness. I thought I uniquely suffered from this condition – and suffer I do. Turns out it is common in our species.

You could basically set a clock by my profound desire to take a nap at exactly 3:00 PM. I am more tired at 3:00 PM than at any other time of day. I wish I could relocate my mid-afternoon tiredness to 10:30 PM.

Nature wants us to take a siesta!

Eye drops

Even though most optometrists recommend that you remove your glasses before tilting your head back to put drops in your eyes, sometimes I like to blaze my own trail.

There, Their, They're

I unwittingly type the wrong version of there/their/they're with alarming frequency in my emails.

10 Gloriously Action Packed Years

Happy Birthday Madison & Savanna!

Welcome to the double digits!

(The same two dynamos 9 years ago: here)

The Feather Pillow Incident


Check out Beckys very creative post about the incident surrounding this picture by clicking here. 

No animals were harmed during the alleged accident, PETA was not offended (as far as we know), and the police were not called.


Name that celebrity impersonator

Arm a man with a blue tuxedo and there is no telling what he can accomplish in life.

The new Accord

Speaking of cars…

We had to take Becky’s Odyssey to the dealership last week to get something to do with the braking system fixed. While there I saw the new Honda Accord for the first time.

I have to say that I was quite impressed. I had seen the pre-release photos and I HATED them. It looks much better in real life.

From a distance the profile looks like a BMW’s back-end and an Infiniti’s front. It’s a noticeable bigger car than the prior model and I believe the interior is taking cues from its up-market brethren at Acura.

All in all, a much more substantial car than any of its ancestors.

An automotive tragedy

The first time I see a new car model in the wild is always a special moment for me. Unfortunately, I witnessed an automotive tragedy a couple of weeks ago.

I really liked the look of the original Subaru Tribeca. My hands-down favorite part about the car was the funky front end:

I don’t know why but it looked “European” to me (code for: a lot cooler than most American cars).

Here comes the sad part…check out the 2008 model:

Apparently someone at headquarters didn’t like the old front end. The new one looks comparatively boring.


Throwing down the gauntlet

Im throwing down the gauntlet

The November 3rd Casa Grande Sprint Distance Duathlon or Triathlon:


And after your muscles have recovered, the December 8th Anthem Sprint Distance Triathlon:


Who will join me?

I havent done any bike or swim training so youd be in good company as we struggle toward the finish line.


The old house

The old house, with the International in the carport.

Women better than men at washing their hands

In a recent survey researchers camped out in public bathrooms in NY & CA and watched if 6,000 men and women washed their hands after using the bathroom.

Heres what they found:

Women = 88% washed their hands

Men = 66% washed their hands

Is anyone surprised?

From the 9/18/07 episode of 60 Second Science



My favorite song lyric

Devil and the deep blue sea behind me
Vanish in the air you'll never find me
I will turn your face to alabaster
When you will find your servant is your master

"Wrapped Around Your Finger"

Steve, Emily, Becky, and I went to The Police reunion tour concert a few months ago and had a blast.

Many moons ago Becky and I saw Sting for his "Mercury Falling" tour and paid about $25 a piece for the tickets. The Police tickets were almost an order of magnitude more expensive.

Me wantee 4

I'm a HUGE fan of convergence.

I really want to have my calendar with me all the time. Currently, I have to boot up my laptop anytime I want to check my schedule.

Having Google on my person at all times could make me unstoppable!