Monthly Archives: September 2013

Revisiting My 13 for 13: Losses

I’ve certainly been guilty of having eyes bigger than my stomach and my aggressive List of Things for this year proved that out again. I can’t do it all and that’s okay. I’m calling this the Loss list.


  • MTB – This one makes sense when I see how much less bike riding I’ve been doing overall. MTB was never a big thing for me anyway and with my commitment to running (and running and running) I just haven’t made the time for much bikes this year.
  • Hiking – This hasn’t come together at all this year. I’ve been taking the kids on the odd run every now and then this summer and it’s been fun. Even though hiking is just walking in the woods (the way we planned to do it) it was never something that we all wanted to do together at the same time so it didn’t happen.
  • Weight Lifting – This one goes in the same pile as the other two. In order to get through the run events I’ve scheduled I have to get training runs in during the week. I’m only willing to commit to so much fitness time and things like weightlifting get bumped. I underestimated how much total time my running when I made this List. I’m stoked to run but it doesn’t leave me much time for other fitness opportunities.
  • Woodworking – I wish I could use running as the excuse (reason!) for not doing more of this one. I took that great frame building class and then didn’t spend the time working on it to get any better. It’s a classic move. Luckily, the tools and the wood stock aren’t going anywhere so I’ll have ample opportunity to get another crack at it.
  • Smoking Meats – I haven’t bought a smoker yet. I’m still planning to do it but it’s way, way off of my radar. It’s more likely that I’m going to start brewing beer again (which I’ve done in the past and had some success with) than try to tinker with smoking.
  • Windows 7 Certification – Work stuff has changed for me since I drew up this list. I still work in the same place but my role is evolving into something new for the first time in almost 20 years. I’m excited. I don’t know that a Windows Cert. is what I need right now but I’m looking for something to work on.
  • Those are the things on the list that I didn’t get to (and likely won’t). I’ll follow up with the third list soon.

    Revisiting my 13 for 13: Wins

    Like a lot of people I had big plans for a new lease on life that I was going to start in January. I brainstormed and hung my list here. At the time I didn’t think any of it was out of reach or impossible and I was mostly right. I’ll start by listing my to-date wins.


  • Running – I’ve been running a *ton* this year. Completing the Monument Av. 10k Training Team, running that race (with a less than successful result) and the Carytown 10k, and now on the Half Marathon Training Team means I’ve racked up a bunch of miles. I like where I am with my running. My pace isn’t as fast a I’d like but it’s not something I dread before I go out and do it. I have also gotten better not questioning the point is of a 5 mile run. Even if it doesn’t feel like the best thing ever it’s also not the worst (besides, suffering in 95-degree heat isn’t the best time to have an internal debate about the philosophical merits of physical exercise).
  • Facebook – I hesitate to call this a win because it’s still just goddamn Facebook. But I’m doing it, engaging with people socially online (like they do these days), and it hasn’t killed me. I almost only use it on my phone so my experience hasn’t been the magnificent hassle the desktop experience seems to be. The #1 reason I joined was to keep tabs on my oldest daughter, now a teenager, who I assumed would be all up in the Facebook. I was wrong. She is all up in Instagram so my Facebook efforts have not generated the gains I was hoping for. There has been some benefit to being on Facebook, I’ll admit, but I don’t know that I like it, if you get my meaning.
  • Computer RepairThis one was 100% win. My goal was to bring a small HP laptop I rescued from the bin back to life, and I did it. The first series of repairs required the replacement of the heat sink and the fan. The parts were relatively inexpensive and the repair was surprisingly straightforward. The second phase of repair involved replacing the display. It was not an inexpensive part and a much more complicated process. There was a lot of functionality that I had to be sure was connected cleanly. It was a terrific confidence booster when I powered it on and all of it worked and then didn’t burst into flame.
  • Gardening – I’ll take half a win on this one. I didn’t pay as much attention to plant selection and tending as I planned but that was because the rest of family was gung-ho as hell when it came to planting. We always have unrealistic expectations when we plant the garden (symbolic representation of my of expectations for what I hope to accomplish in a new year?) so the garden gets overcrowded and eventually ignored when we’re in full-on mosquito season and it’s 90 degrees all the damn time. The half-win comes from my successful hop planting and harvest for the Hardywood Brewing RVA IPA. First year bines tend to produce limited cones so I’m excited to see what grows in 2014.
  • Table Top Games – This goes in the win column for sure. It’s tough to get room in the schedule for late-night outings because every morning is an early morning these days so I only got a couple of game nights in at Adam’s. There is plenty of year left and I see another couple, at least. It’s still not something I spend cycles on outside of the table but I like hanging out with the guys and drinking beer.
  • I’ll be back soon with some Losses and not-really-a-tie-but-something-between-a-win-and-a-loss.