Friday, March 25, 2011

I just spent what?!? on sneakers...

My new shoes...It's the Brooks Ghost 3
For the longest time I've avoided admitting it.  I was just doing it to feel better...I wouldn't do it forever, I like the way it makes me feel, plus it was mostly free.  That is until now.  The other day I spent more on a pair of good running shoes than I ever have on a single pair of footwear...In fact it may have been more than I have ever spent on 2 pairs of footwear.  This might be getting out of hand.

In late 2004, my wife and I started jogging around the neighborhood in an effort to improve our health.  It wasn't much, but since then I've been running more...Much more...Almost daily even.  In 7 years, I would never have called myself a runner in any way.  My friends can attest that my mantra has always been "There is no reason to run, unless someone is chasing you."

In fairness, this purchase did not come lightly I had worn out my 3rd pair of shoes since last June and each consecutive saunter was met with pain and struggle.  If I was going to take this running thing seriously I would have to make a commitment and get properly fitted by people who know what their doing.  So I went down to the local running store and sat down with a very helpful store associate.  She watched me walk, looked at my feet, and asked about my running experience.  Fully loaded with this knowledge she went off to find me the perfect shoe.

I tried on 3 or 4 pairs and liked most of them, but when confronted by the actual price I had a bit of sticker panic and left without a single pair.  It took a couple days but I realized that this was an investment and if I intended to ever run pain free again I needed to bite the bullet.

However, I do have a little extra motivation this time around that helped make the final decision. At work, we've started another round of "The Biggest Loser".  My weight has started to creep up again and I joined the competition to get myself back on the wagon.  In order to catch that wagon I needed a new pair of shoes.

On top of all that, I'm in training for the "Broad Street Run" in Philadelphia in May.  It's a 10 mile race through center city Philadelphia.  Make no mistake, the only person I will be racing will be myself.  I ran it last year, but was not pleased with my finishing time.  I've decided that if I am pleased with my time this year then I will try to run a half-marathon in the fall...Until 2004, I had never run more than a single mile at once, in my life...And now, despite owning more efficient means of transport, I am wracking up miles on the ground.

This doesn't have much directly related to my life as a father, but in the end it may help make my life as a father last a little longer...And if nothing else, my improved fitness will help me keep up with my daughter in the coming years.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Growing up Geek...

That's not a typo, I am a geek.  As my little girl gets older I find myself getting more and more excited about sharing some of the favorite geek things I enjoy and have enjoyed throughout my life.

Thanks to entertaining references and callbacks to some of my favorite geek things in podcasts like The Nerdist and shows like Psych, Community, and the BBC's The IT Crowd I have realized it's OK to let it all out once in a while.

Now, I am a parent, a geek parent, and I feel it is important to expose my child to all those shows/movies/things I found fascinating and nerdy growing up....Here are a few of my favorite things that I cannot wait to share with my daughter:

  1. The Karate Kid & Back to the Future::: 80s movies at their very best...Now that Ralph Macchio is going to be on Dancing With the Stars I might actually watch the show a little this season.  The Karate Kid always insights fond memories of childhood.    My daughter will also learn the ways of Mr. Miyagi and Dr. Emmett Brown..And then there's this for Karate Kid fans everywhere...

  2. 8-Bit video games:::Thank you NES for hours of hours of easily attainable fun while I was growing up.  I didn't need to memorize complicated spin moves using 12 different buttons, I couldn't realistic blood splatter with every shot, my conquered enemies blinked a few times and just disappeared, and there were never complex movie sequences to disrupt my turtle shell crushing exploits...Long live Super Mario Brothers...For 8-bit fans check this out.

  3. The Goonies & The Princess Bride:::I can recite each of these movies from beginning to end, and you can be sure that if I ever find a treasure map in my best friend's attic or my wife is attacked by an opportunistic R.O.U.S I will be ready.

  4. Dr. Who:::When I was a kid I stayed up way too late on Saturday nights to watch the low-fi adventures of this wily Time Lord.  It wasn't until earlier this year that I decided to sit down and watch the reboot of one of my favorite childhood shows.  Let me tell you, my favorite Time Lord is back and better than ever.  I've spent most of my revisiting with the latest Dr. incarnation Matt Smith, but I've found and enjoyed episode with other more recent Doctors played by Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.  Easily one of the best shows on television and great for any child's imagination.

  5. Steve Martin:::There are comics and there are geniuses, Mr. Martin is both.  He is a writer, actor, comedian, musician.  I discovered him on Saturday Night Live, and didn't realize (until much later) the full scope of his genius.  Comedy is difficult and there are few people that can perfect it across mediums as Steve Martin has done...

  6. Stephen King & J.K. Rowling:::I could have easily just said Books here, but not all books are great...I enjoy books that offer adventure, epic journeys, and great characters.  It may seem odd that I've placed these particular authors on the same line, but King (The Dark Tower) and Rowling (Harry Potter) have a unique ability to tell a harrowing story that allows the reader to become completely immersed in the tale.  I hope my daughter loves to read and discovers it much sooner than I did.  I am continually excited that she loves books now, but I look forward to experiencing those true written adventures with her as she gets older.
I could go on and on, but I have to approach this delicately so she doesn't realize right away that her father is a geek...I mean over time she'll pick it up and let me know I'm sure, but there is no need to spoon feed her the ammo to use later.