Monday, June 30, 2008

NECC 2008: Day One

Beautiful San Antonio, TX and its Riverwalk = good times. Spent last night walking up and down the walk with some of our ProQuest crew, indulged in some Mexican cuisine, and retired early so I could bring it to NECC 2008 in a big way.

An amazing 13,000 educators, administrators, tech folks, and -- oh yea -- vendors have taken over this town. The classes were crammed, Web 2.0/social networking was top of the list, and lots of folks are here trying to figure out how to make use of technology in their schools.

In the middle of this... I rode a bull. Voluntarily.

Total time in the slippery saddle with a 2" nylon rope to hold = 6 seconds.

Give or take. ;)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

To NECC on a wing and a prayer...

Had an uneventful car ride from NC to Lancaster, PA, and a wonderful day by the Kinyon Manor pool, relaxing with Julie and the girls -- and even Todd, nice -- and, too soon, it's nearly time to board that little NWA plane in route to San Antonio and NECC 2008.

There's lots to do at this great event -- we have our usual slate of amazing learning solutions to show off, and this time around I'll be pulling attendees aside and conducting very short interviews to get their feedback on how they do their jobs, help facilitate technology use, and in general support learning with online solutions. It's an important project, and I'm anxious to capture as many people and viewpoints as I can.

Will report in during the show and keep things moving -- enjoy your weekend, your 4th, and a relaxing week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 180 P90X Review Photos: Two Rounds Complete

Hard to believe that two full rounds -- one P90X Classic and one P90X+ Classic -- are complete. These photos show you what Tony Horton's amazing workouts can do for you IF you truly bring it to the workouts, and the diet. I'm 100% jazzed about moving to Round 3 -- do I do Lean? Doubles? ;)

Weight is down to 181 -- it likes to move up to 184 on Fridays/Sat's, then it seems to settle back to 180/181 early in the week. Odd, but consistent. My resting heart rate is way down, and my recovery times during the tough cardio workouts is the best its ever been. The sweat keeps coming, and it's all good.

Feel free to read back posts to follow the journey, or email me anytime via timothymclain at

Round 2 Week 11 P90X Plus
Wednesday: P90X+ Total Body & Bike Ride
Thursday: P90X Yoga X

Woah, what a week... busy, busy. Lots to create for our ALA/NECC events in Anaheim/San Antonio. Not to mention a long week away (next week) in PA for Deb and Will, and all the swim meet/practice nights crammed in there for extra excitement.

And Week 11 rolls on... My second full 90 days of insanity nearly complete, this time, ending P90X+ on a super-high note. Hitting all the reps, nailing 18-21 miles on the bike, feeling great all around. The scale is showing me the love of 180-183 daily, and it's all good.

Ahh Thursday + Yoga = OOommmmm.... Nice. It's amazing how many sun salutation combos are crammed into this workout. My legs love it -- now. In the past, not so much. But as P90X+ comes to a close, I can make it through all the postures (well, don't ask me about Warrior 3's, OK?) and feel the awesome burn, with push ups for all the moves. If you've done the workout, you know what I mean -- basically 30-40 mins. SOLID of up/down dogs, push ups, Warrior 1/2/3, with some chairs and other postures thrown in.

Lots to wrap up today/Thursday, then will head North for a few days, then Texas... Nice to have the final rest week match up with my travel plans.

Time to Bring It!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Round 2 Week 11 P90X Plus
Monday: P90X+ Upper Plus & Abs Core Plus + Bike Ride
Tuesday: P90X+ Invervals + Trail Bikin'

"Those who are dead,
are not dead,
they're just living in my head."

New Coldplay album is firmly wrapped around my brain, and this tune -- 42 -- is my title track. "Time is so short, and I'm sure... there must be something moreeee...." Indeed. George Carlin, I'm looking at you on this one. We'll miss you.

More, in my case, as in... taking time in this short span to take care of ourselves. I, for one, am enjoying the burn of a firmly entrenched daily exercise routine. It's been a year of Power 90 + one complete P90X round + the final crazy week of P90X Plus before the Week 12 rest. Looking in the mirror, I'm not sure who's staring back. This is all new territory for me, physically. And it's awesome.

"You thought you might be a ghost -- you didn't get to heaven but you made it close!" Rock it Coldplay!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Visualize: Costs of Iraq War

The First Five Years in Iraq

And on a MUCH lighter note... what if MTV crashed World of Warcraft and did an episode of Cribs:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Will @ Crazy Hair Day

Once a year Olive Chapel lets the kids do whatever they want with their hair -- and many months of waiting have paid off. Will went to school as Sonic the Hedgehog... blue spikes it is!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Round 2 Week 10 P90X Plus
Wednesday: P90X+ Total Body Plus
Thursday: P90X Yoga X
Friday: P90X+ Upper Plus & Abs Core Plus
Saturday: P90X+ Kenpo Plus

It's been eight awesome years working for ProQuest -- we specialize in providing online access to school/academic research solutions like eLibrary, SIRS, CultureGrams, and ProQuest. When our K-12 division was rolled out to in 2000, we were all about eLibrary -- in the years since we've added lots of additional solutions. Kids and teachers/librarians in 30,000+ schools use our offerings, and I'm proud to be part of the small team that helps support usage and sales of these in-depth, crazy-great online destinations.

One of the most fun things I get to do is make training videos for our K-12 website. These started out as pretty basic, voiced-over screen capture affairs in 2000ish. Today, I use Camtasia (Windows) and iMovie (Mac) to make much more compelling videos -- some are 30 minutes, some are three -- but they all let me stretch my creative muscles ;) and keep our audience in-the-know and informed.

Hence today's picture. I recently wrapped my first all-new video for SIRS Researcher -- check it out.

Next up is CultureGrams. Yesterday I spent part of my afternoon doing a cooking spot in my kitchen. CultureGrams has a huge recipe collection, with 5-6 yummy dinners/desserts/side-dishes for more than 200 countries. I made Chicken with Bananas (who knew that Platains tasted more like potatoes and less like bananas?) -- a speciality in Burundi. I also made Fruit Compote from the Ukraine. (Talk about... easy.)

Today, I'm planning a trip to downtown Raleigh with Deb in tow as my production crew. One of the big parts of CG is its States Edition -- so shooting my standups in the capital of North Carolina = makes crazy sense. And since I'm pretty close, why the heck not?

Will post links to Chef T ;) and the new CG video in the next few weeks. Lots of trade shows (NECC) coming up, so early July will be it.

Oooh yes, nearly forgot. Had a hard time getting out of bed this morning (sunburned and still excited from Will's big swim wins last night!) but managed it with a bite from Deli to get out of bed and feed him -- heh -- and then rocked all the Total Body Plus moves. Feeling a little shaky -- in a good way. I meant that in a good way.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Republican Offshore Drilling Scam

Don't let the Republicans get you to believe that it's Obama and his Democrats that are blocking offshore drilling and keeping gas prices high. Get the facts and be afraid, very afraid of Prez. Bush and his Republicans trying to pull the wool over our eyes for the 1 billionth time:

Don’t be fooled, amigos. All this talk about offshore oil drilling and the price of gas and the pump is a bunch of BS. In fact, the Republican Party is colluding with the oil and gas industry to drive up the price of energy.

This is criminal.

The oil and gas industry, buoyed by their Right-Wing minions are on a coordinated and well-thought out mission to end the twenty-six year old moratorium on off-shore oil and gas drilling. The goal? To at once embarrass Barack Obama, take down the Congressional Democrats, increase corporate profit and further drive up the price of energy.



On a lighter note, enjoy this fresh YouTube video: "Requiem for a Day Off" -- perfect for all you Ferris Bueller's Day Off fans out there, myself included.


And we have to put up a LOLCAT image for the day -- don't miss the link down the right side to the mother load of these gems.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

William's First Swim Meet @ Apex Breakers

...and he took two out of three events, first time out of the gate. One proud Poppa -- William, you rock.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Round 2 Week 10 P90X Plus
Monday: P90X+ Upper Plus & Abs Core Plus + Mountain Biking
Tuesday: P90X Plyometrics + Mountain Biking

Awesome weekend down, the beginning of a new week starts with the thunderclap o' Big UP and Abs Core, with a sweaty trail ride planned w/ol' Wes. More punishment, more gain, no pain. Well, a little maybe -- those lean-back bicep curls and uber-hanging from the pull-up bar Ab exercises really get things stretched out and worked.

Bringing it big time as Week 10 arrives. Round two coming to a steady close, two more weeks to rock it, then a recovery week... and back to P90X? We'll see.

A HUGE post-Father's Day shout out to all the Dad's out there -- and mine. Love ya Dad. Always will. Stay strong, healthy, and take care of yourselves. Your kids want you around foeva.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Round 2 Week 9 P90X Plus
Friday: P90X Plus Upper Plus & Abs Core Plus & Mountain Biking
Saturday: P90X Kenpo Plus
Sunday: Dad's Day Rancho Relaxo ;)

Talk about syngergy -- start the week with the Big UP/ACP, and end it the same way. Bang, zoom, to the moon with those muscles!

I was ultra-tired last night -- this whole week has been pretty warm, sapping my energy, and the workouts have been pretty intense. Tack on some monster trail riding mid-day, and it's no surprise.

Even fell asleep last night in a deck chair during Will's Swim Team practice -- my gracious/awesome neighbors, the Keenan's, made sure to call me on it. Suzanne and Kyle -- you got me. ZZzzzzz... The droolmaster. (Tonight, the usual Friday night joint family dinner, guys? We'll bring the steaks and Margarita fixings, you guys supply the awesome back deck and sides. Deal? Great.)

Yesterday's crazy cloudy day/orange sun = a thick blanket of smoke hanging over the center of the state thanks to a huge wildfire (63 acres+) out the near coast. Check out this image -- and the plume of smoke leading right over Apex and Raleigh:

Still managed to hit the trails for a full ride, but when I came in, Deb could smell the smoke all over me -- pretty nasty stuff. It hung in the air like low clouds all day, saw patches of bright orange sunbeams all over the place.

Looks like it'll stay here today, may wave off the riding -- can't be good for the ol' lungs. Rock your Friday folks and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Round 2 Week 9 P90X Plus
Thursday: Yoga & Biking

Took a whole new approach to the ol' Yoga rountine today -- a new DVD from Netflix. A basics course, to help me work on the ol' breathing aspect. I've read some other reviews of P90X and most point to a lack of Tony stressing the breathing enough, and after this intro DVD, I can say that breathing is indeed important to even better outcomes. Very glad I snagged this title, will use it a few more times before returning to the P90X version methinks...

Cooler (93) day today, anxious to hit the trails! Pretty cloudy out there...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Round 2 Week 9 P90X Plus
Wednesday: P90X+ Total Body Plus

Let's be honest with ourselves, ok? There are some moves in P90X and P90X+ that are... kinda crazy for some folks.

Take the second move right out of the gate on the ever-lovely Total Body Plus. Grab your pull-up bar, bring your chin up over the bar, then... raise your knees to the bar as well, make a nice tight ball up top, then bring the legs back down, then the upper body, pause while still hanging... then repeat.

Thanks to my first full round of P90X, doing these in + has been insanely fun. I'm averaging 5 in my first set, stand down and pause a few seconds, then 3-4 more, rest, followed by 2-3 more -- about 10-13 in total when it's all said and done. Nothin' but LOVE.

Have to pass this gem along -- Will caught a report on the Today Show about the China quake recovery efforts. He was mezmerized, asking questions about quakes, why one happened there, what the people were doing to clean up/why there were schools that collapsed, etc.

After taking everything in, he pauses and says, "I hope the Lead Stores all collapsed, too."

I say, "What do you mean?"

He says, "You know -- the place where the bad people buy lead to put in my toys. They even put it in food."

And to cap it off, he ends with, "And I hope they don't build them again."

Ahh the mind of a child...

Cooler today, only 90 as a high, finally out of the 4-day 100+ record breaking heat here in the Carolinas.

By the way -- had a doctor's appointment yesterday, crazy rash on my back. I know -- what the? Right there with you. No idea. Anyway, they checked my last few visits -- going from 201 to nearly 230, then down to 205 last July.

Weight [7/07] = 206
Heart Rate = 118/72


Weight [6/08] = 186
Heart Rate = 104/58

Axious to avoid this by keeping up this routine... forever:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Round 2 Week 9 P90X Plus
Tuesday: P90X+ Intervals & Abs Core Plus + Hot-er Trail Riding

Nice to get back to the ol' Intervals -- slow, medium, FLAT OUT -- sweat, sweat -- on to the next. Plyometrics = pretty crazy, but Intervals is even more intense in a shorter amount of time. Then tack on Abs Core like the cherry on top, and I'm a happy, sweaty guy.

A guy who smiled into the face of William yesterday as he proudly displayed his second lost tooth. Happened in school just before he got on the bus -- makes him sooo happy to be growing up and losing the pearly whites. Ms. Tooth Fairy brought him a gold coin last night, and now he wants to write a thank you note. Of course -- my good little man.

Lots to do today, still recovering from the morning's insanity, and looks like the last of our string of 100 degree days today... yikes. Down to a cool, crisp 93 tomorrow --LOL.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Round 2 Week 9 P90X Plus
Monday: P90X+ Upper Plus & Abs Core Plus + Hot, Hot Trail Riding

Talk about a weekend to remember... Julie and Ben roll into town from O-HI-O and supercharge an amazing Jimmy Buffett Experience. We hook them up with some amazing sushi, Sushi Thai style, be sure to introduce 'em to Eastern Carolina BBQ via Smithfield's, help them chill with plates of authentic Mexican thanks to our friends at Torero's...

...and plan an amazing tailgate and concert experience at Walnut Creek with our favorite party host, Mr. Jimmy Buffett. Drove over, discovered parrotheads on the left, the right, center, up, and down in the Premier parking lot (venue in sight, thanks B&J!) -- cheeseburger's cooking in the parking lot, our plastic blue swimming pool turned into a suitable large adult beverage dispenser, and some folding chairs and tables to round out the camp.

We made new friends, shared what we had, ate some amazing burgers thanks to our friends on our small patch of shade in the 100 degree late afternoon and evening -- and then -- almost forgot -- jumped/shouted/clapped/swayed to the music of JB.

He kept us in the mood, 100% authentic in his love for Carolina and apologizing for his long absence -- the last one was 4? 5? years ago @ the RBC Center, which Doug and I scalped our way in to -- and the crowd was in great spirits.

An amazing time was had by all -- THANK you JULIE AND BEN! Can't say it enough -- you guys went above and beyond the call, and I could tell you guys were just as pleased as Deb and I. Can't believe it's already over! We miss you guys already -- tons.

Check out our complete set of concert photos/tailgating time. Rock on!

Now, on to the final 30 days of the 90 day awesomeness that is P90X Plus... Second and last recovery week is over, a long relaxing? weekend done, and now it's time to get back on the horse and blow out this last phase in a HUGE way. Hit the big UP/Abs this morning, and will nail the trails at 100 degrees w/plenty of H2O over lunch.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Why I'm not voting for John McCain...

Watch this to the end, it's backloaded with the best video. It's a slam dunk -- he's not what this country needs right now, period.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Round 2 Week 8 P90X Plus
Friday: P90X Legs & Back

Have a great weekend -- Jimmy Buffett, here we come (Sat.)! ;) Welcome Julie and Ben -- Will can't wait to hang with you guys, and Deb and I are anxious to tailgate and... have fun!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Round 2 Week 8 P90X Plus
Wednesday: P90X Chest & Back + HOT Biking ;)
Thursday: P90X X Stretch + Abs Core Plus & More Toasty Riding

The "lack of energy" express rolled into the ol' Chest and Back P90X brick wall today... I'm truly stumped. Is it the heat/summer? Am I *really* needing to jack up my calorie intake even more?
Those push ups are getting crazy -- I hit 11-12 reps and BLAMO my arms/chest are begging me to stop. I go all the way down, then push as hard as I can to get back up and... nothing. Nada. Zilch. My body is failing me.

Honestly, coming back to this routine after many weeks in P90X+ land -- was hard. This was the very first workout I ever did when I kicked off this crazy "next phase" of Tony Horton craziness -- made the jump from a year of Power 90 to P90X in January. And I remember hitting so many reps, enjoying it the whole time.

My body has changed. I certainly in MUCH better shape -- but one small part of me misses the ready energy stored in every fat cell in my bod. They've been burned at the stake on my altar of health consciousness and... vanity? ;)

Now I'm left with the stragglers, and what I put in my mouth. More? Maybe. It's hard to get over the mindset of limiting calories and kicking your own butt all day long to achieve a huge deficit and lose weight. But, we all know that this leads to a mini-stavation response, and your bod holds on to fat/calories even tighter since it thinks it's being... starved.

Ahh well, I'll get through it. Anxious to hit the trails today -- Will is back to school today, his last weeks before a short break and... first grade. Man, time flies.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Round 2 Week 8 P90X Plus
Monday: P90X+ Upper Plus
Tuesday: P90X Core Synergystics

Another Monday, another Upper Plus. Honestly, I *should* be having a recovery week. And, equally honestly, after hitting the Big UP again today, I think I need it. Will downshift to what Tony wants, and slot in Core Synergystics on Tuesday. (Which I did -- not as easy as I remembered it to be! Rock this recovery week!)

Just really, really energy-less these past few days. I don't feel sick -- although who knows, I could be and just not having many symptoms? Or, more likely, I'm just not eating enough, as usual. I'm working through the Energy Booster diet for the final phase, hoping the increased carbs will help me hit a home run in the final stretch of P90X+, ending in early July.

Lots of video fun this week @ work -- some links when it's further along.