Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Custom Orthotics

It's the holiday season and everyone is thinking of the perfect gift or item to buy. I got my gift a little early. I got two pairs of custom orthotics. I've had some issues with my knees, feet and lower back for years. After have a podiatrist and chiropractor look at me, I found out I needed orthotics. I figured I would considering I have flat feet, but I didn't know how much they would help out the rest of my body. After the exams, you start to learn a lot about your body and how everything is connected and effect each other.

I've been running a lot lately and I spend a lot of time on my feet when I'm speaking. It's only been about two weeks, but what a difference. It cost me a total of $350 for both pair of orthotics, but the money it will save me for doctors bills in the future is worth it. I've been running with Kelly and no complaints about my feet and knees. I wish I would have been examined years ago!

We spend tons of money on material items, but we don't spend enough on personal health. It's hard to enjoy the material things in life if we don't take care of ourselves first. So, with the Holiday Season upon us. Consider this for a gift for yourself or you loved ones. A book of healthy living or exercising, a massage, or something that will help you enjoy/be around to enjoy the gifts we get for the holidays. The #1 gift we all have is our lives. There's no price tag you can put on your health, but when it comes to taking care of our body, we'll go out and buy something we don't need, but complain how much it might cost to see the doctor or pay for a healthy meal. Take care of yourselves and the people close to you!

For more information on orthotics, click on this link The Orthotic Group

The Tree is up!

Picture of Kelly and I before Thanksgiving Dinner.

Our Christmas Tree! Yes it's fake/permanent! It still looks good!

The Christmas tree went up this weekend and it looks really good!

Ferrelli's Cinema Supper Club (click here)

A few weeks ago, Kelly and I were watching the Food Network and saw a cool idea for a restaurant. The place is called Ferrelli's Cinema Super Club. It's a restaurant/movie theater. It's similar to going to a comedy club. You show up ahead of time and you place your food order. The food arrives to your table before the movie starts and you have dinner while watching a flick. During the film they will bring "hot" butter popcorn to you if you order it and also dessert.

Kelly decided to take her parents there for a birthday gift. We watched "Michael Clayton." The movie was good and the food was even better. For more information on Ferrelli's, click on the link above!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turkey Day Run!

When you are about to consume thousands of calories in one meal, what do you do? You go out and exercise! Go out for a morning jog to get the blood going. Sounds good right? How about your alarm clock going off of at 6 AM on Thanksgiving morning. You and your girlfriend get u; get your running gear on; stretch out a little bit ( I got in the hot tub to warm up my joints and muscles); you grab a light breakfast; and you head down the street to the local Spring Training Baseball Park to take part in the Annual 10 mile race for charity. Thats right 10 mile race on Thanksgiving morning! We weren't the only crazy ones there. There were at least 2,000 people there for the 10 mile race, 5K race and 1 mile walk. The race was raising money for the West Valley Child Crisis Center. They were also collecting toys.

A few weeks earlier, I thought Kelly was CRAZY to sign us up for the race. As the race got closer that changed and we were both excited. We're running our half marathon in about 2 months. The race started at 8 AM. We were off. Around mile four me and a few other runners almost got blown up by the group of 20 people launching bottle rockets and fire works in the park we were running in. Hmmmm, park, a couple thousand runners, wind.....hey kids lots go shoot off some rockets! The one rocket landed infront of me and a female runner, we scattered when we saw what it was, then it exploded. Crazy! Would I make it home to eat turkey?

I did the Gallway run and walk technique. Run a mile, walk for about two -minutes and repeat for the race. The course was hilly and by the time I got to the last two miles I had a lot of energy still. My knees didn't feel so good though. The finish line for the race is inside the ballpark the hosts the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. It was cool to run in the park and having people cheering in the stands as people crossed the finish line by the third base dugout. I had a lady sprint past me coming in the park. She had a great final kick. I wanted to catch her before the finish line, but that didn't happen. I was in a full sprint and the two of us probably passed about 10-15 runners on the way in. I crossed the finish line;my trip to the men's rooms; and went back out on the course to find Kelly. I got to her with about 3/4 of a mile to go. Her foot started to bother her at the 7 mile mark, so all she wanted to do was finish the race. We we got inside of the ballpark, she was ready for the race to be over, then we saw the clock. She was 5 minutes ahead of her goal and on pace to finish under two hours! She found enough energy for a final kick and she finished under two hours!

After the race it was off to the hot tub and a bottle of Aleeve! A bottle of wine for Kelly!

We'll have offical times next week. I finished around 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I spent my first Thanksgiving in Arizona with my girlfriend Kelly and her parents. It has been a really good time. Thanksgiving is Kelly's favorite holiday, so she's been planning this for a while. She's been searching cookbooks, the internet and under ever rock to find the perfect recipies. I think she did a great job.

I was "hired" to help prep foods and be the baker. I made my very first cherry pie from scratch and I impressed myself. We (Kelly, the family and I) did all the appatizers, side dishes and desserts. Her friends Kevin and Holly took care of the bird. We've all watched a little too much Food Network over the last couple of weeks and you could tell by our assortments of food and presentation of the food. Kevin did a great job with the Turkey.

So, you're probably wondering, what was on the menu. Here it is:

Squash Soup
Watercress Pear Salad
Handmade Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes with leaks
Sausage Stuffing
Homemade cornbread
Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
Whole wheat rolls with poppy seeds
Turkey Gravy
New Miexican Chille (a spicy gravy)
Chocolate Tort
Sweet Potatoe Pie
Cherry Pie
Homemade Whip Cream
A couple of bottles of wine

Does that sound good or what? The best part will be all of the leftovers for the next week! Mmmmm!!!! I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday! I did. Enjoy the pictures!

My cherry pie before before it went in the oven. Look at that lattice crust!
All of our pies! Are you hungry?
Kelly and her dad in the kitchen. They are having a little discussion over the stuffing being too dry.
Kelly with her table set up. She put a lot of time into making everything look right.
The Bird! The moistest (is that a word?) turkey I've had in a long time!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Scottsdale Artfest

Many of you know I moved to Arizona a couple of months ago. Arizona does feel like home, but I'm still getting settled in. I'm still trying to adjust to a few things. One of the things I'm adjusting too, but not complaining about is the weather. I'm used to being in cold weather the week before Thanksgiving. I'm liking the 80 degree temperatures herein Arizona. The temperatures are a little higher than normal, but I'm not complaining.

The wether here is similar to what I've experienced in Spring/Early Summer in Ohio. People are planting plants, the golf courses are busy, and there are tons of festivals and fairs. I feel like summer is about to start. It's doesn't feel like Holiday season until I go into the stores or watch TV. My body and mind are definately a little out of wack.

The weather has me out and about more. This weekend Kelly took me to the Scottsdale Artfest. We didn't make any purchases, but it was great to see all the different examples of art on display. I'm used to going to these types of shows in the summer, not at the end of the year. I love all the food, especially the Kettle Corn! MMMMMMMMMMM! Being at the Artfest was motivating for two reasons.

#1 It's great to be around crative people who are pursuing and accomplishing a dream or talent. Many of the vendors were from around the country and world. They were all passionate about what they were doing. You rarely see people passionate about what they do, because it's work. For the vendors, this is a way to make money and provide for themselves, but they all looked happy because they are passionate about what they do. I really loved all the photography vendors. Seeing all the photos from around the world inspires me to travel more and see all of the places in the photographs.

#2 The Artfest cost nothing. I was able to spend a lot of quality time with my girlfriend. We hung out with some of her friends for awhile, but we still had a nice relaxing day to ourselves. There was music, people watching, and good food (that did cost a few bucks). A lot of people complain that they can't do anything because they don't have money. Artfest, fairs, time with friends and more can be done without spending money. All you have to do is look around to see what's going on in your community/local area.

Enjoy the pictures!

You have to love this picture of the SPAM truck! Yes the truck is shaped like the SPAM can. They were giving out free SPAM sandwiches

Two LARGE swans kids were feeding at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park

A recreaton of the "LOVE" statue from Philadelphia

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Great Debaters

I was reading the entertainment section of a online newpaper and came accroos previews for holiday movies. I came across this preview for the movie "The Great Debaters." Definately looks like something I will have to go and see. It comes out Christmas Day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Spokane, Washington

Riverside Park in Downtown Spokane. It's different seeing leaves falling off of trees and the change of seasons now that I live in Arizona.

The buildings of downtown Spokane. Spokane is the second largest city in the state of Washington and the farthest north I have ever been in the continental United States.

A view of the Spokane area from the window of my plane.

Last weekend I was in Spokane, Washington for the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) West Regional Conference. What a GREAT time! I was invited to give/teach four workshops. I was also there with Rodger to sell ourselves/services as "The BAD BAD Apples." Between my workshops and Rodger's, the BAD BAD Apples and Coleman Productions (the agency the represents us) was well known. Two of the company's speakers performed during the lecture showcase. Another one of the companies speakers also taught two workshops. Between the five of us who were present, the company had two showcases and seven workshops. All the face time had our booth packed!

Rodger and I gave some of the best performances/workshops we've done all year. You know you're doing a great job when one of your workshops gets cancelled but people still show up and you fill the room! You also know you're doing good when people show up to your workshops not because of the subject you're talking about; they show up because they just want to hear you talk/perform. That's what several students told us. I was teaching one workshops for college staff and advisors and several students asked if they could sit in because they saw me in the room and knew they would learn something.

I have to plug one of the speakers. His name is Marcus Engel. He plugged Rodger and I on his website so I need to do the same for him. Marcus is a Insperational/Motivational Speaker and Author. I've read about his story, but it was more inspiring to hear in person. Marcus was hit by a drunk driver in 1993. The accident blinded him and broke everyone bone in his face. He barely survived. Years later, he is traveling the country speaking about his accident and inspiring people to live every day like it's your last, because it could be. For any of you who read this blog and constantly complain about what life brings you, read Marcus's Blog. I'm sure you'll have second thought about some of the "little things" you complain about. I was only around Marcus for a little bit, but I never heard him complain! Marcus Engel's blog

Something to add to the interesting facts was my conversation with a local taxi driver. People in the state of Washington have tried to split the state into two states sveral times. More people live in King County (Seattle) than the rest of the state combined. There are 39 counties in the state and the votes of 38 counties and be trumped by the vote of one. I guess there have been a lot of time when 38 counties will vote one way and King County will vote another. A lot of the people feel this leads to misrepresentation. I didn't know if this was true our not, so when I got home I looked up the subject on the internet. Turns our the taxi driver wasn't lying. Several times the people of Eastern Washington and the panhandle of Idaho have pushed to form a 51st state. The state would be called Lincoln or Eastern Washington. For more information go to this website. Eastern Washington Information

It's November already?

This has been a busy year for me. Time has flown by. I realized how fast has gown by when I got home and Kelly asked me if I could get rid of the pumpkin on the patio. In less than a week, our pumpkin went from cool to soft, moldy and deflated. What a clear sign of how fast time flies when you're having fun and how close the holidays are getting! Wow!

Phoenix Half Marathon (Click Here)

I'm going to run a Half Marathon! Kelly has beeen running 5K and 10K races this year. Her goal is to build up her indurance to run in a Marathon. I've had the same goal, so we are both in training for the PF Changs Rock N Roll Half Marathon. We've been training for a month now and this weekend we ran 7 miles. We'll run 8 miles on Sunday and Thanksgiving Morning we'll run in a 10 Mile Turkey Day run. The last time I tried training for a half marathon my knees and feet didn't hold up to well. Kelly normally has issues with her feet and ankles

This time Kelly and I have both been smart. We've had our feet examined, we've researched training techniques from books and other runners and most importantly we're eating good and hydrating properly. Our plan is to do the 1/2 marathon in January and sometime next year you should read about us running our first marathon. I've got bad knees, so my first marathon may be my first and last, but when I finish the race, I will have another one of my life time goals knocked off of my "to do list."

For more information on the race, please click on the title above.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hartford, CT

Last Wednesday, I found myself being dropped off at the airport on Halloween Night. I was taking a "Red Eye" flight to Hartford, Connecticut for the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Northeast Regional Conference. Sounds like the perfect set-up for a Horror Movie! =0 ) The flighst to New York and and Hartford were very uneventful. I didn't see anything on the wing and there weren't any snakes on a plane. I did wake up around 3 AM to look out the window. I couldn't take a picture, but I'll describe what I saw. It was a clear cloudless night. I could see stars against the black sky. When I looked below the plane, everything was black except for the orange glow of street lights making up towns and cities. The sky and the ground ran together. The sky had white dots and the ground had orange dots and patterns that looked like spiderwebs when enough of the dots formed a town or city. It was a pretty amzaing view.

Here are some pictuers of Hartford, the state capitol of Connecticut. I had a break in my schedule so I walked around the downtown area and took some pictures.