Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Fun

A ChaLEAN cardio workout, followed by 100 burpees -- 200 down, 9,800 to go through the next 98 days.

Now THAT'S a goal...

Monday, March 30, 2009

No April Foolin' Around...

Nearing the end of my first 30 days on ChaLEAN Extreme, and still diggin' it six days a week. Loving all the heavy weight work and the shorter duration of the routines, and am pleased with the extreme burn coming on the one Abs day.

Will move to the next set of workouts next week, and have added -- thanks Wes! -- 100 burpees per day for the next 100 days, for 10,000 total.

I managed to snap on a full 50 of them after ChaLEAN was done with me this morning. Started at medium speed, and will add reps/speed as I go. Full-body burn win with this baby. (Nailed the last 50 after my "active" lunch break, 100 in the bag. Huff. Puff.)

What's a burpee? Check it out:

Also nailed the Tobacco Trail on Saturday -- rode out in the early afternoon while Will was at a bday party. Rode down to the trail, all the way into Chatham County/the 1/4 done railroad bridge, back down to the Olive Chapel Rd. trail head, when the sky opened up. Rained for the rest of the ride, then home -- 21 miles in all. The end of the ride on the trail was about 6 miles? of mud. Hard on the legs, but good for the burn.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Winner @ Twitter & Kodak

Decided to have 'em send the prize (a Kodak tote bag) up to Deb's dad -- a former 30 yr. Kodak vet, could use some up to date swag from his former company. ;)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pepsi = Phatty

John Hope Franklin: Father of Black History

ProQuest's latest issue of ProQuest's History Happenings email newsletter -- "The Color of History" -- is presented in memory of John Hope Franklin, celebrated as "the creator of black history," who passed away on March 25, 2009 at the age of 94.

Learn more about Franklin at the link above, and, below, click the play button to watch a short video clip from our The HistoryMakers oral histories offering of Franklin discussing his role in researching the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case in 1953.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Will's First Soccer Practice: Season 3

First video shot with my new Flip video camera. Does a pretty good job on normal zoom, but the fuzzy parts are when I went 2X -- must be digital zoom, hence fuzzies.

Into the Twittersphere!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Joy of Tech Comic: Twitter-ific

Yes, yes I would.
Post #500 = Eat This, Not That...

That's right -- for my 500th post, why not climb atop the ol' McLainHome.com Soap Box and say... hold it right there.

Going out for lunch today? Dinner later? How about a snack late tonight?

I implore you not to go out without a crazy-good book entitled "Eat This, Not That." Dreamed up by the editor of Men's Health magazine, this colorful book will help you avoid the crazy-calorie-laden meals out there, and instead eat like a king for 1/2 to 1/3 the calories.

Here's the editor on Ellen talking about the book and showing some examples. And click below to get your copy at Amazon.com. Today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The most dangerous country is...

...not the one you might think of first.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sat. Early Morning Image Blitz

I am Tim's blog. It's early. He had these images. Wanted to post them. I did it for him. Enjoy. From FFFOUND and Penny Arcade.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Free Music Friday
The Decemberists Live @ SXSW

Click here and start listing to their new album, The Hazards of Love, performed live this week at South by Southwest.

Worth a listen, brought to you by our friends at NPR -- The Decemberists re always insanely great if you're into literature, great music, and interesting vocals. The Crane Wife (last year?) was their best album to date.

Recent review:

The Decemberists offer listeners a complete thematic journey through "The Hazards of Love" in a fantastical love story.

When committing to the album, you have to listen to it all the way through, without skipping songs, repeating songs or doing anything that can distract you from the storytelling brought through the speakers by the seasoned indie band. Only when this is achieved can you appreciate its complexities.

The lyrics to every song paint a vivid picture of Margaret and her journey for love.

The characters Margaret meets on her journey are a shape-shifting faun, who is Margaret's true love, The Queen and the Rake.

Each song is a different chapter in the tragic love story, and has different characters, themes and events.

The lyrics are the true masterpiece in the album. Without the story, the melody would be repetitive and simple, filled with acoustic instruments like the guitar and violin, with a few organ sounds tucked in here and there.

Most of the really touching, interesting tracks on the album pair complex lyrical stories with memorable melodies.

"The Wanting Comes in Waves" relates a conversation between the over-controlling queen and her son. In the song the son pleads for the chance to follow his heart, and his mother begrudgingly lets him have one free night to follow his heart to Margaret. The melody uses the organ to create a haunting tone, which emphasizes the power struggle between mother and son.

Another standout track is "The Rake's Song." The chilling melody is paired with a horrific and cruel description of how the Rake killed each of his three children. The song is unique because during a casual listen you have one aesthetic experience, but a deeper listen provides a different experience altogether.

The final song on the album, "The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)," brings the tragic story to a close.

Its heartbreaking lyrics, -- "with this long last rush of air we speak our vows" -- are enveloped in a casing that pulls together the melodic theme of the album.

The danger with this type of album is the casual listener will not understand or appreciate the complexities of the lyrics. Without the necessary attention the album calls for, the lyrics are lost and the album is reduced to 17 simple, repetitive songs.

"The Hazards of Love" requires time and dedication to fully appreciate its brilliance. Once that time is given, listeners are transported into a complete one-hour story that is not only masterfully told, but is also complete and touching.
The Big Takeover

The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution.

If you only read one article this week about the bailouts, Wall Street greed, and how AIG ate itself alive from the inside out, read this one -- from Rolling Stone.

The details are insanely maddening -- and there's plenty of blame to go around -- Democrats, Republicans, bankers, regulators, everyday folk getting loans they should never have asked for, and a global lack of accountability from governments, corporations, and tens of thousands of individuals.

Be afraid: "In essence, Paulson and his cronies turned the federal government into one gigantic, half-opaque holding company, one whose balance sheet includes the world's most appallingly large and risky hedge fund, a controlling stake in a dying insurance giant, huge investments in a group of teetering megabanks, and shares here and there in various auto-finance companies, student loans, and other failing businesses. Like AIG, this new federal holding company is a firm that has no mechanism for auditing itself and is run by leaders who have very little grasp of the daily operations of its disparate subsidiary operations."

"In other words, it's AIG's rip-roaringly shitty business model writ almost inconceivably massive — to echo Geithner, a huge, complex global company attached to a very complicated investment bank/hedge fund that's been allowed to build up without adult supervision. How much of what kinds of crap is actually on our balance sheet, and what did we pay for it? When exactly will the rent come due, when will the money run out? Does anyone know what the hell is going on? And on the linear spectrum of capitalism to socialism, where exactly are we now? Is there a dictionary word that even describes what we are now? It would be funny, if it weren't such a nightmare."

And finally: "There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power. In the age of the CDS and CDO, most of us are financial illiterates. By making an already too-complex economy even more complex, Wall Street has used the crisis to effect a historic, revolutionary change in our political system — transforming a democracy into a two-tiered state, one with plugged-in financial bureaucrats above and clueless customers below."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Left4Dead: Tank Insanity

How's this for a gaming AI? The Tank is a crazy-huge baddie, a few come at you on the final levels of each Campaign -- and here's a video showing you how one Tank took care of business recently...

One word(s): ROFLMAO

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Flying cars: Right here, right now...

"Where's our flying cars? Great question. It's 2009, and they're here. Watch the debut flight and start saving your pennies kids...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Send Stephen Colbert into space...

Head here and write in COLBERT as your vote to name the new ISS module. You know you want to send Mr. Truthiness into space, don't you? I do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Workout Week(s) @ ChaLEAN Extreme

Wow... What can I say. A few weeks into my all-new ChaLEAN Extreme workouts is paying huge dividends. The workout time, less. The output, more. The focus -- major arm and leg muscles, with some nice abs thrown in.

I'm bringing my 8/12/20/30 free weights to the mix, pushing myself to failure @ 10-12 reps, and coming out a semi-quivering mess on the other side.

All really, really good, and I can already see more muscle definition with less work.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Kramer vs. Stewart:
How Wall Street Breaks the Law, Daily...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The HistoryMakers: From Obama to MLK, and all in between...

One of the first videos I helped piece together for ProQuest, showing off our integration of these truly amazing videos of prominent African Americans and their oral histories, integrating their lives into our Black Studies Center research tool. Worth a watch -- and yes, President Obama is in there, along with a long roster of short clips from other noteworthy AA's.
Tuesday: Crushing It

Hit the Trail twice in the past two days, been 80 degrees 'round here -- rode for 15 and 12 miles respectively. Add to that ChaLEAN workouts and, well, March is moving along much better than February. Nice.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pack 218 @ District Pinewood Derby Finals

Congrats to our own Joey M., who took the trophy for the Most Unique car in the Tiger class for his Screaming Eagle at this weekend's event! More photos of our 218 boys and their cars, including William's. Full slideshow here.

Will's car is right next to this boy's -- the white w/blue stripe down the middle. The red car on the end is also one of our Den members.

There it is again, second row from the left, third car from the bottom.

This is Carter's car, entered in the most unique. Surfer guy!

There's Joey's dad on the right in our 218 yellow class B. Congrats guys!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Meet Emily Bear, youngest composer... Wow.

...just, wow.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hooked on U2: New @ Letterman

Can't... stop... listening... to this album. First pair of listens, wasn't so sure. Got to #3, and have been unable to turn down the volume since. Worth a listen/buy folks -- U2, No Line on the Horizon. Make it so. "Magnificent!"

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Monday, March 02, 2009

Avoid the "no," seek the "yes..."

See Seth Godin's blog post today below. This is precisely how I've run my personal career of 15+ years now and running -- results/yes is my full-time focus, never excuses/the easy "no" so many fall back on.

Seth's nailed it again -- look for the yes people, avoid the whiners/complainers/those who say no out of reflex.

Love his reference to the post office -- I've had similar experiences. Heck, one of their "employees of the year" in Apex noticed, in mini-letters cut out of a larger old address label an obscure code number and charged me 3 times as much to ship it since I was trying to re-use this OLD address label for a lower-priced shipping method. What a twit!

Looking for yes

I hate going to the post office in the town next to mine. Every time I go, they look for a reason not to ship my package. "Too much tape!" "Not enough tape!" "There's a logo!"

On the other hand, I really enjoy the few times I have something weird to ship fast... and I bring it to Fedex. The guy at the desk has a totally different approach. He's not looking for a reason to say no, he's looking for an opportunity to say yes. "Here's some tape, we'll just add it right here..."

The obvious reason is that the person at this post office has no incentive to make a sale. Okay, fine. But why doesn't she? Why is it okay to have employees in any organization who look for a no? It turns out that the post office in my little town has a few yes men, people who look for a reason to ship my package even though they work for a big government bureaucracy.

The same thing happens with the tech crew before I give a speech. About 75% of the time, the lead tech guy (it always seems to be a guy) explains why it's impossible. Impossible to use a Mac, impossible to use the kind of microphone I like, impossible to use my own clicker, etc. And then, the rest of the time, using the same technology, the producer asks, "how can I help make this work for us?" and everything is about yes, not no.

I don't think it should matter whether or not you're trying to make a profit. If you're out to provide a service, or organized to deliver a product, then look for a yes. At every interaction.
March = Starting ChaLEAN Extreme - P90X Hybrid
...all for a winter-spring workout bridge of semi-insanity...

Yes indeed. March is here. It's Monday, and there's, well, an inch or so of snow and ice outside the door. In NC. Yes indeed. Second year in a row for a March snow, and that's just fine with me.

Also time, after feeling sick late last week and some recent travels, to get the workout back on track in a big way.

So, I'm going to change things up. First, I'm adding ChaLEAN Extreme workouts (also from BeachBody.com, home of P90X) to the schedule, and mixing in some rough cardio from P90X to keep things churning and burning on my 6 day/week rotation.

Here's my March workouts, first 30 of 90 days on the new hybrid:

Monday: Burn Circuit 1
Tuesday: P90X Plyometrics
Wednesday: Burn Circuit 2
Thursday: Burn Intervals & Ab Burner
Friday: Burn Circuit 3
Saturday: Burn It Off & Recharge
Sunday: P90X Stretch/Rest

Brought it to Burn Circuit 1 this a.m. -- impressions? Easy stuff. Short. (30 mins-ish vs. 60 mins-ish for P90X.) Felt some burn, will bring heavier weights next time. This is certainly the intro phase for those new to a serious program. Will be up to me to max things out while these kids are using 5/10/15 pound weights. My 20's and 30's are going to kick... well, you get the idea.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ricky Gervais @ Extras & Gandalf
You Shall Not Pass!

Patrick Stewart on Extras + More Ricky G.