2/28/07 - The wedding and the trip home

We are back from Florida...finally. Although we both had a great time and got to spend all sorts of time together (something that our current schedules don't allow) we were both ready to be home. We stayed at some condos on the beach called North Beach condos I believe. We knew the owners, and Cristi's mom picked it out (we shared a room with them). The rates are very reasonable and only a stone's throw from the beach (which was incredible). I was going to put a link up to their site, but can't find the web site. If I find it later, I'll update this.

We got to Florida around midnight on Thursday and made our way quickly to the condo and into bed. We knew we would be busy all weekend, but it was crazier than I had imagined. Friday morning was the rehearsal at Kapok Gardens where the wedding, reception, and cocktail hour was going to be and since I didn't have a ride, I got to go too. After that was over, Cristi has some errands to run so we started running those along with some that her mom needed to run. I think I saw pretty much all of Tampa as much running around as we did. We made it to Target, Payless, Publix, Loius Pappas' for lunch, and several other places. We got all of our errands run and headed back to the condo. We were there just long enough to get changed and lay around for a few minutes before we headed back where we had come from (a little over 30 minutes away) to go to the rehearsal dinner that night. We had barbecue sandwiches which is always a good selection as far as I'm concerned. For most of the night, we stood around the kitchen area and everyone shared stories about the bride and groom. Although I had not met Josh until that evening and had really only been around Kassie in person 5 times in my life, it was interesting to hear some of the stories about the two of them.

After the dinner, we made our way back to the condo and wasted no time getting to sleep. Cristi had to be back at the wedding site early saturday morning for the luncheon, hair and all that jazz. I, on the other hand, got to lay around most of the morning. A little after lunch, I went out for a run with Cristi's mom's boyfriend out on the beach. Although I didn't run for a long time, it felt really nice to be outside in shorts in excellent weather, running on a beach. After my run, I sat in the pool for a while and got ready for the wedding. As for the wedding, it was very pretty. Cristi looked incredible (as usual), but of course for the wedding she had her hair all done up and the fancy gown and so on and so forth. The worst part about the whole night though was that I had not worn my suit since our honeymoon over 3 years ago. I've gained many pounds since then and it was not very comfortable.

The reception after the wedding was crazy. I've never been to a wedding where the entire wedding party was announched as they came down a large staircase. They served a full meal as opposed to the more common finger foods. We had prime rib, chicken, green beand and carrots, potatoes and several other items. Of course, this didn't help my pants fit any better. For most of the reception, the dance floor was open and the deejay was playing dance songs with an occassional slow song. Overall, it was a great night.

The real excitement didn't happen until we got to the airport Sunday morning for our flight home. The plane was scheduled for takeoff at 6:00 am which means we were at the airport at 5:00am. It takes 30 minutes to get there and we had to pack some things that morning which means we were awake at roughly 4:00 that morning. When we walked in the door of the airport, we found out that our flight had been cancelled, along with MANy flights the day before. All we could do was stand in line to find out when we were going to get to leave. After two and a half hours of standing in line, we found out that if we were flying out of Tampa airport, we would be in Florida until Tuesday. Luckily, Cristi's mom lives in Ocala which is closer to Orlando and they had a direct flight to Little Rock Monday afternoon. After all that, we went back to the condo and slept for a few hours, met Josh and Kassie for lunch at the Rockaway Grill before they headed off to Orlando for their honeymoon and then we started the trip back to Ocala from Clearwater. What should normally take us about 2 hours, took nearly four. Add on the hour we waited for a table at lunch, and nearly half our day was spent waiting in line somewhere for some reason. After we made it to Ocala, nothing exciting happened. Our flight Monday went over with no problems and we are now safely back home back in our routine. For the record, if I ever have the option to fly Delta over American Airlines for a small extra fee, I'll probably take it.


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2/20/07 - Crank Review, workout and TS update

I really had all intentions of mentioning this before, but about 2 weeks ago, Cristi and I rented two movies: Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest and Crank. I had been wanting to see Crank since it came out. I loved Jason Statham in Transporter and Transporter 2 and really liked the idea behind the movie. Overall, I don't think I could have asked for more. The story was pretty crazy, and at times very difficult to follow, but the action pretty much never stops, and when it does stop (or slow) there was comedy thrown in to keep things light and lively. Amy Smart did a great job in her role, and was probably the funniest character in the movie. The ending was both sad and enjoyable as I'm not always excited about getting that warm feeling that most movies leave you with.

I just looked at the temperature according to google's weather, and realized that it was 75 degrees outside. That's incredible considering that just a few days ago, it was mid-20's in the morning.

So I delivered the note to "that student" last night and it worked. She never said anything to me, and didn't not cry or seem upset, so I'm assuming that she understood my request. She kept her comments to a minimum, and I was very appreciative for that. All but maybe one of her comments were truly helpful, and I was impressed with one of her comments that I actually added to it.

So I have started, sort of, the P90x stuff and it has so far kicked my butt. I can tell it works, and above anything else, I am going to be much more flexible by the time it's over. The 15 minute warm-up/stretching at the start of each session is enough to get me winded in most cases. My plan is that this week I will do just a few of them in no particular order, run for a few minutes and just get to a point where I'm in a bit better shape. I'm hoping to lose 5 pounds this week. I've already lost 2 since Sunday afternoon, and I need at least 3 more for me to feel happy. The main reason for needing to lose the weight (not to mention the competition at work) is so that I can hopefully comfortably fit into my suit for the wedding this weekend. I had to buy a new shirt because all my other dress shirts are too small. This will show you how often I get dressed up, but since I haven't worn any of them in probably a year or two, they are all WAY too short in the sleeves. Apparently, my shoulders are much wider still from my fitness kick I got into two summers ago.

"If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit." -Mitch Hedberg


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2/16/07 - P90x and my new fitness room

I've got a few things to mention this morning/afternoon. First of all, I just got clearance from Cristi to turn our guest room into a fitness room. After taking into consideration the amount of usage that the guess room has gotten (maybe three times in the last three years), I figured it should be put to better use. My plan is to take out the bed and either lean them against the wall in the room, or cover them in plastic and move it to the garage (which I've got to get better organized, more on this in a second). Once I do that, I should have plenty of space to bring the treadmill in, the free weights in a corner and then room in the middle for moving around (more on this later as well).

As far as the garage goes, it's getting out of hand. When we first moved in, we could park both of our cars in there. It was a tight fit (and I coudn't walk around the front of my truck), but we made it work. Since then, no matter what I do, we could never fit two vehicles in the garage, and it would take a miracle to fit one car in. On top of that, it would be difficult to get a car into the garage because I have a trailer and basketball goal in the drive that take up quite a bit of room. My lawn stuff is what takes up most of the space, and if I would break down and purchase the enclosed trailer I want, I'd be able to get most of the stuff out. Of course, the four-wheeler, grill, ping-pong table and other misc stuff aren't going anywhere.

Now, the main reason for this post. I have decided that my current workout routine isn't working. Mainly because it is non-existant. I've gotten pretty good at running on a regular basis and the results are showing. (I played a full game of basketball last night without being dead-winded by the end of the game). However, I'm doing no weight or resistance training to tone the muscles that I actually do have. I'm just running which burns calories and therefore reduces body fat. Here's my plan: Recently, I've seen a recurring commerical for P90x and was impressed with the philosophy and routines it seemed to offer. Now, I'm not real excited about spending that much money (nearly $150) on something that I can guarantee is going to work. Although I can't go into detail on how I obtained it, I have come across the discs and they are ready for viewing. Each workout is an hour long and ends with a 15 minute ab workout. It's going to take some dedication, but with the contest at work, and my desire to feel better physically, I think I can stick to it for the 90 days it suggests.

Although I haven't done a ton of research, I came across this one particular success story and was blown away by progress he made in the pictures. You don't need to read the whole article, but down towards the bottom, he has some pictures, and although I probably look closer to the first picture (as far as body shape and stuff), I don't feel like I'm too far away from his March 2004 picture which is when he started P90x. If I could get close to his June 2004 picture, I'd be very pleased. I too will take some before/after pictures and will decide later if I post them or not.
With that said, I should probably get back to work. Oh yeah, one more thing, Sarah Buxton's cd is incredible.


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2/13/07 - That Student

So I'm taking this class at UCA about Home Landscape Design. I'm mainly taking the course so if a lawn care customer asks if I can do that type of stuff, I will be somewhat knowledgeable. Also, since I love being outside and working on stuff like that, I figure it might come in useful at some point. For anyone who has ever been in a classroom setting, you will be able to relate to my rant that I'm about to lay out. If you have not, you might be able to recognize someone like this in another part of your life, but for me, it's the classroom setting. Here it is (including a summary at the bottom for those that don't want to read the whole thing):

First of all, I understand that it is beneficial to share your opinions and get feedback and verify information while learning, but there should be a limit to how much you share. In the very first class last Monday, "the student" sat right behind me. Although she looked just like all the other females in the class (grey-haired, retired and very "maintained"), I did not realize that she was going to be "that student".

The class began with a slideshow presentation of some of the designs that the teach felt summarized some different types of landscape design. On each of the 10 or so pictures, "the student" (I will refer to her as TS from this point on) had a comment on each of them. Whether it be "Oohh..that's pretty", "that looks lovely", "what a wonderful design" or whatever popped into her head, she commented on it. On several slides, she had more than just a two or three word comment, and went on to explain how she once tried something like that, or would go into detail on what she would like to see different, or why ivy beds are better than a mulch bed. If the teacher would make a comment that disagreed with what TS said, TS would have a comeback for it. And although I'm sure many people had comments that they might have said under their breath, TS made sure everyone could hear what she said.

After the slide show, the discussion turned to materials we would need for the class, and TS had alternate suggestions for each and every item we needed. Needless to say, with her sitting right behind me, I was having difficulty focusing on the teacher.

I was prepared for her this week, so I thought. I made sure I didn't sit anywhere near TS, hoping that it would prevent her comments from getting on my nerves as much. I was incorrect. The teacher said that she had planned a one hour lecture, and was leaving time for the class to talk with each other about ideas and things like that. This one hour lecture turned into over an hour and a half of discussion because of the comments, questions and stories that TS HAD to share with the rest of the class. One thing that was amazing, is that if anyone else in the class had a comment or question, the teacher was able to get an answer out, and then immediately, TS would have a counter story about how she also has sand in her flower beds, or how her neighbor also had a lot of grass, or how the builders left building materials on her property when the house was built. I will say this, she had a handful of good questions, but if you ask a question a minute and have stories every 3 mintues, at least one or two of those have to be useful to someone.

After class, I had a question for the teacher that was only important to me and had no meaning to anyone else in the class, based on the property that I'm designing. Well, wouldn't you know it, about three other students had a question, and I decided to let them ask first. TS stood right next to the teacher while each of these students asked their questions. In many situations, TS would answer and give her two cents before the teacher could get a word out. Because of this, it took 30 minutes for these questions to get answered correctly.

I've decided that I'm going to have to write a note or letter and give it to TS because something has to be done. Based on the reaction of the rest of the class every time TS would open her mouth, I'm not the only one that has a problem with it. I don't want to be rude and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also want to get my money's worth out of this class, and I sure didn't pay to hear TS tell stories.

Summary: (for those that don't want to read the whole thing). TS, as I have called her, is one of the most annoying people I've been around. I would talk to the teacher about it, but I believe they are friends. I'm going to write the note/letter and give it to her. If that does not slow down the questions/comments/stories, I will speak with the teacher because I want to get as much out of this class as I can. Some feedback from students is good, but all the feedback coming from one student is very bad.

I'll post again and let everyone know how it works out.


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