Thursday, March 31, 2011

Breaking The Ironman

I'm sitting in rehearsal right now.
I just do not want to be here at the moment. I e got things to do at home, and this "sit-in" drummer, isn't up to speed with our material. It feels mushy.

My bike is calling.
This afternoon I bought a few things I will need for tomorrow's ridiculously long ride... 113 miles. It's our Break The Ironman Ride.
Ok. I think rehearsal is over now. Be right back to finish this up...

...ok. I'm back.
I stopped by the store to get a couple more items, and got to the task of outfitting my bike.
Mounted on the bike, I've got:
80oz of water and Gatorade
2 Cliff bars
2 oatmeal bars
3 gels
Pepper spray
2 tubes
2 air canisters
patch kit
and I rigged a velcro mount for my iPhone and extended battery on the aerobars. That's for my GPS and cyclometer. I like to track my rides.
Plus I'll have the phone for emergencies.

Alright. All set. Check me on the flip and I'll tell you all about it.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting It Done

We finally got our taxes done today. I think this is the longest we've ever waited to file.

The guys want to do a 113 mile bike ride Friday.
Ok. I'm a follower. Haha I'm going to give it a shot, but definitely not push it to injury.

I'm so tired right now. Gotta get to bed...


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Biggest, Strongest, Fastest Loser

Why am I sitting here watching biggest loser?
I mean, I respect the fact that these people are trying to improve their lives, and in fact DO lose tons of weight, but, I dunno, I'd rather watch Bear Grylls or something. I like survival oriented reality shows.
Anyways... The girls somehow got control of the remote tonight so Biggest Loser it is.

We had another good ride this morning. I'm getting STRONGER!! I am finally feeling like I did before the foot accident. I'm back to being the fastest rider in our group (brag brag). Hehe!

The friend I rode with yesterday, whom I am NOT faster than, says my bike is set up for comfort, not speed. This is GREAT news. I'd rayed be fast than comfortable. We're going to try and hook up on a trainer to get the best fit. It will require taking the bike apart and rebuilding it. I'm all for it.

Tomorrow is a swim/elliptical day. I'm ready to extend that workout. Hopefully I can hang.


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Did a killer, KILLER 40 mile ride today.
A friend and I road this morning in the Woodlands area north of Houston.
The route we took is actually part of the Official Ironman Texas route. Pretty cool... and hilly.
A VERY good workout. I was completely bonked by the end of the ride. By that I mean, drained of all energy. I got home and had a protein rich lunch, and basically tried to eat anything within arms reach for the rest of the day.
By the time I got to the gig, I was feeling somewhat better. It was the bi-monthly Women's conference.

Anyway, good day, and I am BEAT!

Oh, and here is my beautiful wife. Best photo I've ever taken.


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Totally Cool

-Jammed some good music today with a good band.

-Ate at an incredible little pizza joint in old Houston called Pink's Pizza. Goooood stuff!

-Slew my wife with some well timed, poetic words and got all emotional.

-Took Tristan to the indoor gun range where we prepared ourselves for the HipHop Zombie Apocalypse of 2012.

-Had a pretty cool rehearsal with another band for a little gig tomorrow night.

-Set up a cool, long bike ride with an old friend in the Woodlands tomorrow. It'll be on the Texas Ironman Course. Gonna be fun.

-Finally got to watch an edited for TV version of "Children Of Men" with Tristan. He loved it.

It's been a great day leading into a good tomorrow.


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

It Was Good

I had a great day today.
Started off the morning with a 40 mile bike ride that, even though wasn't my fastest speed, felt responding to get back under my belt.
While I'm off work, there really is no excuse for not riding at least 40 miles from now on... at least while I'm off work. I've got nothing but time.

Later in the day, Tristan and I did some yard work that has been needing to get done. Surprisingly, he did it without any fuss at all. We just worked and talked about movies. Good bonding time.

After that, some family came over and we grilled ribs, chicken, hot links, burgers, and all the trimmings. I was STARVING! I still don't think I am anywhere close to recovering the calories from the bike ride, 2.5 hours was probably around 1800-2200 calories burned. Ugh. I feel like I've been bonking (exhaustion) all day.

Like I said, it's been a great day.


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Friday, March 25, 2011

A Whole Lot

Well I did a whole lot of nothing today.
The thing about doing nothing is that there is nothing to write about.
I DID do a 25 mile ride this morning, but I've already talked about that so much.
To prove it, I will now tell you about the 40 mile bike ride I'm going on tomorrow.
It's a group ride at 7:30am. I'm feeling pretty good about it even though I haven't been on one in several months. Should be fun.

I had fish for dinner.


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is It Right?

Trouble on the home front. What's new?

Tristan's grades are suffering. Badly.
He was out of school for more than a week with the flu, and then right after that, Spring Break. He's having a lo of trouble catching up. I don't know if it's all him, or if it's the teachers as well. I'm sure somewhere in there, Amy and I are at fault.
At any rate, changes are a'comin'!

I'm about to email his math teach to see just what the heck is going on, and how we can rectify the situation.

After a rather unpleasant discussion with Tristan, with punishment distributed freely, he broke down and said "I don't know what's wrong! I'm just stupid!"
Of course I don't believe that at all, and it's not true, but it still broke my heart.
Amy seems to think it's just a ploy to mess with our emotions. He IS clever... I don't know.

Anyway, I've put some things in place that will hopefully help him out.
All of his "grounding" can be relieved simply by bringing his grade up.
Score comes up, time will be added to TV and Game time.

I hope we're doing the right thing...


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yada Yada

Rode early with a group this morning.
We were holding 20-23mph For almost an hour and a half so I'm feeling good about that.
The same group of guys want to do a crazy long 3-4 hour workout tomorrow.
I don't know if I can handle all of the activities. I'll have to do elliptical instead of the 6 mile run... still don't know about the strength training class, but I know I can do the 40 mile bike.

Blah blah blah
I'm tired.


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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Spin

I had a great day at the gym today, a 1 mile swim followed by 1 hour on the elliptical machine.

Oh yeah, one "oops": before I get into the lap pool, I splash water on my face, neck, and chest to get used to the cold. They keep it a few degrees colder than what is "comfortable" so people don't overheat while they're working out.
Anyway, I usually dive in without my goggles, get used to the shock then kick back to the side, except THIS time I slipped on my bum foot as I was diving in. It sort of re-twisted my ankle and hurt like hell! I screamed a long, loud "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU***!!!" underwater. Haha! luckily no one was in the pool because I know they would have heard me.
I thought my workout was over before it even started, but after some time, gentle massaging, and maybe a little sobbing, the mobility came back a bit and I worked it out.
Gotta be more careful.

Oh yeah! One other cool thing happened today: I visited a music store in downtown Houston. It was almost closing time, but I just wanted to check out that cool Jazz bass. When I went into the bass room, there were a couple of guys playing around on a couple of basses, and it looked like they were in the middle of a lesson. I asked if it was cool for me to be there and the yeah said no prob.
After the lesson, I talked to him a bit.
Turns out he's the bass player for the band The Spin Doctors!
The guy on the left:

He said he heard me playing and that I sounded good (I never plugged it in, but I guess he could still hear it).
Anyway, he charges $50 an hour for lessons and I might just do one. I got his number. It would be cool to hang out with the guy if nothing else.


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Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Riding

I got up this morning feeling good and ready for a ride.
I met some friends at 8 and we did a 25 miler. Blasted out a few sprints. It felt good.
It's coming back.
When I got home, I had my customary protein shake and a light breakfast. Later, I asked Amy if she wanted to go for a ride. She did, which was a little surprising. We went out and did 10 miles into a brutal head wind. It was her first ride of the year and I know she's anxious to get back out there as well.
Something about the open road...

On the way home we talked about doing another road trip. She wants to take the Jeep and "rough-it" rather than ride in luxury with the Lexus. She's a girl after my own heart.
Having done a road trip in both, we realize that there is something special about being out there together without the amenities and luxuries of home, just nature, the wilderness, and each other.
No schedule, no agenda. I miss it...


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Sunday, March 20, 2011

What To Do?

What to do today?
I know Amy and I have some work to do on wedding albums... I also know that she will not want to work on them until Monday.
That's not a problem for me. I think I'll be able to finish them in one day.
We've also got a huge order to finalize with the client. Should be around a $1000 order. Yes! Smells like success.

I'm so ready to get this ball rolling again, the biz, I mean.

Amy's mom is doing a lot better now. She is staying with us while she recovers. Her strength is definitely coming back, proof: she can now walk up the stairs without help.
The other day, she wanted to take a bath so Amy was there to help her out.
The problem was, her mother, being so weak, couldn't get out of the tub... and Amy couldn't lift her.
Lucky for them, I was home, and after a few moments of frantic whisper arguing (channeling Seinfeld) I agreed to go upstairs and help my Mother-in-law get out of the tub. Haha! I know it was embarrassing for her, but we all laughed about it later. It wasn't so bad. Amy had wrapped a robe around her, I simply got in the tub behind her, hooked her under the arms, and lifted her up and out, easy as that. I'm just not used to having to assist people like that. I guess that's what we're all in for sooner or later.

Have a great Sunday!


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Saturday, March 19, 2011


What a great ride this morning!
I got up at 6:30am and met a group of friends for an easy ride. Of course, as per the usual, it turned into an intensely competitive speedfest on the last 6 miles or so. Good times!
Even though I felt out of shape, I acclimated pretty quickly, and estimate my loss of cardio capacity to about 10-15%. That's not terribly bad at this point. If I keep up what I'm doing, I'll be back in racing shape in a few weeks.
Except for my foot, of course...
I'm not sure how it's going to feel as far as running on it goes.
Fingers crossed.


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Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Like A Saturday

Today felt like a Saturday.

Tristan and I did a little work around the flower beds, VERY light work mind you.
It was our second day of clearing out weeds and small brush. I must say it's looking pretty nice, like we gave the house and yard a haircut.

After that, we went out in Jeep for Tristan's second manual shift driving lesson. We drove out to a developing neighborhood that had no houses and found a small loop to practice on. Right off the bat, he drove over the curb and crashed through the barrier into the empty dirt lot. Haha! He just couldn't put together the clutch, the gas, and steering all at the same time.
After a refresher, he got his Mojo back and we cruised around the block eight or nine times without incident. He likes the stick shift, he is his father's son.
When we got back home, Amy was already there and starting on the grill: Steak, shrimp, a tuna steak (for the seared sashimi sushi), and veggies.
One word:
Love me some grillin' and chillin'.

Now I have to get to the gym a some point tonight. It's already nine, but the gym is open 24 hours.
We'll see...


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Conquer Or Be Conquered

There is always something else to conquer.

That's something I just told Tristan.
He was wondering how people with money, a family, and everything they want could be depressed.
We're watching an episode of House and somehow that question came up.
He's random like that.
Anyway, I told him I didn't really know the answer, but that there is always something else to conquer.

I guess it's true...


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Upward And Onward!

Today, Tristan and I put together a new gas grill.
I've been wanting to get a new one for more that a year now. The one we had was a cheaper model that had finally rusted out. It lasted more than 5 years so we definitely got our use out of it. The new one is made of stainless so I expect it to last a lot longer.
I LOVE grilling. Grilled chicken breast beats baked chicken breast any day of the week.
We broke it in by grilling shish kabobs. Shrimp, chicken, steak, and veggies. Delish!
Tomorrow, more chicken and maybe pineapples or something.

We also watched a good movie together:
Of mice And Men
Great movie! I even felt a little bit cultured afterwards.
It was definitely a father and son kind of day.

In other news: My mother in law was finally released from the hospital. Mil, Fil, and Amy stopped by their house to pick up some things first then drove here. She'll be staying with for a little while until she gets her strength back.
Things are finally looking up!


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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another One

Got another good workout in tonight, upper body lift with 30 more minutes on the elliptical.

So tired. That is all.


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Monday, March 14, 2011

Back In The Mix

I got that workout in today.
It went well, but I'm seriously out of shape. Well, compared to where I was, anyways. It's been 5 weeks since my last cardio workout... Yikes.

My ankle is still pretty swollen and stiff so I started out on a stationary bike to see how that would feel. Apparently it's flexible enough to ride because it didn't hurt too bad at all. I may get on my road bike before the end of the week. Then I did some therapeutic stretching and lifting for my legs. Weak.
I finished it all out with 30 minutes on the elliptical.
My heart rate was in the 160s the entire time, but my work output was only around 170 watts for half an hour. In contrast, my heart rate is usually around 156bpm @225 watts for one hour, and that's after an hour long Spin or Strength class.
That means I've got some catching up to do...

The solution is just to get back at it everyday.
Hit the therapy, don't overdo it, but kick up the intensity at every opportunity. I'm pretty sure I'm going to two workouts per day as well.
I've got less than 7 weeks to get tip top before my race.
I won't be able to start running for at least 4 more weeks, but if I'm on point with everything else, that will come fairly easily.
The race is only a Sprint Tri after all, so if the run turns into a hobble, no biggy.
I'm not planning for any long races until Fall possibly. Maybe a 70.3 Ironman, then the full Ironman next April.
Ahhhh, I love my training.


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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Savings Emergency

So this morning, I hit the snooze from 7:00-7:30. I was supposed to be at rehearsal at 8:30.
As I stood bleary-eyed in front of the bathroom mirror, I thought: something was happening today... What was it?

Don't you just love that feeling? I managed to hurry, and was 45 minutes late rather than a full hour, but that was with no breakfast, or more importantly, coffee.
Luckily, I was already pretty solid on a our setlist. That's what Thursday night rehearsal is all about.

Did I mention that I hate Daylight Savings Time? I really really need... ok, want that extra hour.
Oh well, I'll have plenty of time to acclimate since I'm off work.
That being said, I'm ready to get back in the gym, early morning classes included. I've lost too much gym time already, read: cardio/lung capacity.
I hate, HATE that.
I'm thinking about hitting the gym twice a day, as my ankle permits that is. I've got almost two months to lock it in before my race in May.
The guys I train with are doing 20 mile bike/5mile run brick workouts now. Hopefully I can catch up to them pretty quick...

All in good time...


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'll Take That

I'm at the hospital in Bryan again. My mother-in-law was moved into a regular room today and is recovering.
Whew! Finally. We're so happy she's doing better.

She won't be running a marathon anytime soon, but with some physical therapy, rest, and TLC she'll be back up an at 'em in a few weeks... or six.

I'm ready for Amy to come home. Her mom will be staying with us while she fully recovers. I'll take that over what we've been doing any day.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Sooner The Better

I am so out of the loop.
I don't even know what's going on in Libya. The only reason I even mention it is because CNN has changed gears from the Japan earthquake.
I only knew about the earthquake and tsunami from Facebook.
I usually follow the news pretty closely. I read my digital newspaper pretty much everyday. However, since I've been off work, I haven't done much reading, and being sick for so long, haven't concerned myself with any news at all.
The freakin' world is falling apart.

That being said, I was taking personal stock of this year so far:
1. I've been sick THREE times this year.
2. I broke my foot and sprained my ankle.
3. My brother-in-law shattered his hand in a yet to be told drama story of his newlywed life.
4. My dog of almost 10 years died.
5. My mother-in-law almost died, and is STILL in ICU right now.
6. Out highly anticipated trip to Vegas mostly sucked.
7. The entire family had the flu at the same time.
8. It's only March.

I'll stop here.
I'm not a negative person, and some positive things HAVE happened this year. We got a new puppy, and I have a job that continues to pay me when I can't come to work.
I'm grateful for the good things, but this has been a messy year so far.
I'm hoping it gets better sooner rather than later.

My Lord. During my pity party I forgot to finish my thoughts:
In light of the truly devastating things going on around the world right now, my problems are minuscule. Just wanted to let you know that I've got a teensy bit of perspective left. Ha!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Catching Up Some More

With everything going on, I haven't been writing consistently... I'll get back on that.
Here's a puppy pic to keep you occupied. The statement is something that I say to this little devil, spoken in the voice if Elmo. Makes Tristan and Amy laugh.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Catching Up

With everything going on, I haven't been writing consistently... I'll get back on that.


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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

About That...

So, what I was writing yesterday, I'll continue along that path because it's important…

I'm in the ICU waiting room at St. Joseph's Hospital right now.
My mother-in-law had contracted the Flu, which turned into Pneumonia, which has almost killed her.
I'm not sure of the details, but basically her lungs were not processing oxygen, or something like that.
She's been in ICU now for 3 days.
Her condition is not worsening, but it hasn't gotten better yet either. She's not out of the woods, as it were. They have her intubated, and hooked up to all this monitoring equipment right now, seems like a hundred different tubes and hoses…She is sedated and her hands are constrained all of the time because of the intubation.
It's troubling to see.
Anyway, we're hoping things get better… obviously. If everything goes well, she may be off the ventilator in a few days, and then they'll observe her in ICU for another day or two. After that, I think she may go to another part of the hospital for another day or so, then we'll take her home with us until she gets her strength back.
This is how we hope it plays out anyways.
Keep your fingers crossed for us.


Monday, March 7, 2011


My long post got erased.
When will I ever learn?


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Where's My Amy?

It looks like Amy may be away until Wed or Thurs.
I'm off work and she's gone.
Oh well. Her mom is getting better, and that's great news. When she's released from the hospital, she'll probably come to stay with us for a while until she gets her strength back.

Yesterday, I got the main photo album done, and placed the order.
Score one for me.
Two more to go... I'll probably just wait for Amy to get back to work on the other ones. It really wasn't all that difficult once I got used to the tools in the application.
I think I'm going to try Craigslist to advertise for weddings. It's free and I bet it will bring at least a little traffic... I just REALLY REALLY need to get Google Ads up and running. I hear that it's a good way to go. Last year I used Yahoo Ads and really didn't see much business from it. I'm sure it would have performed better if I would have managed it a little more closely. Oh well. Google it is.

Have a nice Sunday.


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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weddings And Competition

I'm at a wedding right now.
A friend, actually a student of mine, asked me to play for it, so here I am. I don't particularly enjoy weddings, even if I'm getting paid... which I'm not today, but that's ok. Shooting a wedding is a lot more fun and it pays WAY better... unless you're doing it for a friend.
I'm glad he didn't ask us to do that. We're already a little behind on our work.

The woman that IS shooting the wedding is new here, new to this church, and new to this town.

When we were starting out, and she was still working in Nashville, a mutual friend meaning well, connected us and we tried to have a pow-wow over the phone to discuss how/where to set some price points for our new business. She was NOT very forthcoming with information and actually seemed a bit offended that we and our friend were asking.
I suppose I get it, but at the time, she lived a thousand miles from us. We were not competition for her.
I think the slight animosity I detected came from her feelings on the way people are breaking into the business. Saturating it maybe?
Apparently, she has a degree in photography, and has been in the business for 18 years or so. She seemed to not like the idea of people taking a more direct route into the business. I get it.
In spite of that, I wish we had a better relationship... ANY kind of relationship really. Maybe if we hired her to take our pictures. Haha
Amy would never do that now...

Life goes on.


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Friday, March 4, 2011

Round And Round

Today, I've been working on this album again. I basically had to start over on the project because the application crashed yesterday and we lost all of our work... even the saved work. I don't get it, but never fear, I'm over halfway done now. Again...

Amy had to leave to be with her mother who was admitted to the hospital yesterday.
Turns out she has pneumonia. Not fun... She apparently got the flu from Tristan when she was watching him while we were suffering with the flu in Vegas.
...and the wheels on the bus go round and round...


Thursday, March 3, 2011

In It To Win It

Amy and I worked on a wedding album today, and almost completed it... before the software client locked up and erased the entire thing.
I even saved our progress before that happened, but it's a new version and I think it's just buggy.
Now I know what we'll be doing tomorrow. We've got three wedding that need to be ordered, and looks like we'll be starting from scratch again.

You know, Amy and I used to get worried when people would ask us about our business, like where we do our printing, equipment and software we use, and general questions that we mostly had to learn on our own. We were afraid that every upstart with a new Canon Rebel would try to start a photography business and take away clients.
Well... Let them come! Haha! The one thing we have learned over the last year and a half is: Having a photography business is HARD, STRESSFUL WORK.
There are obstacles and frustrations at every turn, people are ALWAYS wanting something for nothing. The learning curve is huge... at least to become profitable it is.
It's no wonder that the great majority, I think it's something like 90% of photography businesses go under within 5 years.
Now that being said, through all of the difficulty, we still love it. We want our "baby" to grow into something great and substantial. We STILL love photography, but if you're not in it to win it, forgetaboutit!

Through these weeks of being off, I'm focusing on getting things organized and making our workflow more efficient. THEN we can focus on branching out, and get into some creative advertising campaigns.

Life is good, and we are blessed.


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Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I've been playing around in the studio a lot lately.
There are several songs that I've sketched out over the last year or so. I'm really interested in fleshing them out now. One is almost done.
The problem is, the solos all tend to sound the same.
I've got to come up with some fresh melody ideas. A friend suggested listening to a particular jazz artist. I can't remember the name, but one of his songs contains what is considered the quintessential jazz solo. Instructors at music colleges have their students learn and transcribe this piece. He suggested I do the same.
It makes sense really. Thoroughly learn solos from different sources and then reconstruct the ideas into a new coherent... statement.
That's i: Expand my vocabulary so I can express myself more completely, so that through my music I may compel the listener.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Watched a weird and disturbing movie tonight: Splice

I would like that 2 hours of my life back. What a strange movie...


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