The 10,000 Step Club – 2020 Edition

Last year, as I was finishing up my fourth year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at my 25 best step days since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 217 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 45 occurrences, my 3rd best year to date, for a total of 262.  With my fifth year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my top 25 step days over the past 8 1/2 years, featuring only 3 new entries.

1: 4/14/2018 – 27,470 steps

My best single day total is from my April 2017 trip to New York to see Angelina.  The day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.

2: 7/21/2018 – 27,278 steps

My July 2017 trip to Virginia, to hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob with Jeff and Val, fell just short of the top spot.

3: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

2013’s trip to Disney World, which spent 5 years as my single day best, included excursions to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom, and yes, falling 12 steps short of 25,000 still irks me.

4: 6/3/2019 – 24,665 steps

The first new entry comes thanks to last summer’s trip to Washington DC, and the day spent at the Smithsonian Zoo.

5: 8/8/2019 – 23,866 steps

The second new entry is from last summer’s work trip out to San Francisco and the day I walked to Pier 39 and then back to Oracle Park to see the Giants take on the Phillies.  It would have been even higher but I was dead tired and took an Uber back to the hotel after the game.

6: 3/18/2018 – 23,780 steps

Dropping out of the top 5 after only 1 year is my first day in Las Vegas for the 2017 IBM Think conference.  The day’s totals include gallivanting around town, including a trip up to Caesar’s Palace from the MGM Grand to see Absinthe.

7: 10/24/2018 – 23,362 steps

My October 2018 trip to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday gives us our next entry.  While she was in class, I took tours of Fenway Park and Harvard, before meeting up with her for a late lunch and then heading to the airport for the trip home.

8: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My one-time second highest day took place during the ill-fated trip to Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

9: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

Still my highest total at home in the state of Illinois, the next entry comes thanks to the 2013 BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

10: 12/29/2018 – 20,374 steps

We wrap up the top 10 with 2018’s trip to California and the trip to Disneyland to see Danny perform with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band.

11: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The next entry came in August of 2017 on the first day of my trip to Boston with Danny and Michael.  After landing in town, we traipsed to the Science Museum, a breakfast joint, our hotel, and, finally, Fenway Park.

12: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

Down to #12 is my 2017 trip to Disney World, a one day journey with Angelina to celebrate her high school graduation. Continue reading →

The Still Growing 10,000 Step Club

Last year, as I was finishing up my third year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at the top 25 step days I’ve had since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 165 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 52 occurrences, my best year to date, for a total of 218.  With my fourth year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my top 25 step days over the past 7 1/2 years, featuring 10 new entries.

1: 4/14/2018 – 27,470 steps

My best single day total is our first new entry, coming this past April during a trip to New York to see Angelina.  The day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.

2: 7/21/2018 – 27,278 steps

Another new entry, from July’s trip to Virginia, fell just short of the top spot, thanks to a hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob with Jeff and Val.

3: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

After 5 years as my single day best, 2013’s trip to Disney World falls down two spots.  The day’s excursion to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended up with a total of approximately 12.5 miles.

4: 3/18/2018 – 23,780 steps

The third new entry comes from last spring’s trip to Las Vegas for the IBM Think conference.  The day’s totals include gallivanting around town, including a trip up to Caesar’s Palace from the MGM Grand to see Absinthe.

5: 10/24/2018 – 23,362 steps

We round out the top 5 with the fourth new entry, from last fall’s trip to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday.  While she was in class, I took tours of Fenway Park and Harvard, before meeting up with her for a late lunch and then heading to the airport for the trip home.

6: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My former second highest day took place during the ill-fated trip to Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

7: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

My now seventh highest total, and my highest at home in the state of Illinois, came thanks to the BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

8: 12/29/2018 – 20,374 steps

The eighth highest entry, and fifth new entry, took place just over a month ago and the trip to Disneyland to see Danny perform with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band.

9: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The ninth highest entry came in August of 2017 on the first day of my trip to Boston with Danny and Michael.  After landing in town, we traipsed to the Science Museum, a breakfast joint, our hotel, and, finally, Fenway Park.

10: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

We wrap up the top 10 with another trip to Disney World, this time a one day journey with Angelina to celebrate her high school graduation. Continue reading →

2018: The Year In Travel

As I arrive home from California, I thought it would be nice to look back at the many trips I took last year.  Things got started in March, when I headed out to Las Vegas for the IBM Think conference.  Along the way, I took in a show, Absinthe, at Caesar’s Palace, a Barenaked Ladies concert at Mandalay Bay, and a show by The Chainsmokers at MGM Grand, where I was staying.

Following the conference, I took a detour to Phoenix for a long weekend, where I took in some Cactus League action at Camelback Ranch and Peoria Sports Complex, seeing the White Sox, Cubs, and Mariners (twice!).  I also enjoyed a trip to the slot canyons and Horseshoe Bend in Page, followed by a quick trip to the Grand Canyon.

About a month later, I took a short weekend trip to New York.  Danny, Michael, and I flew to New York on a Friday night, where we met up with Angelina and had dinner with the family she was nannying for.  Saturday was a glorious spring day, spent sight seeing at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.  Sunday was spent at the Lyric Theatre, watching both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, before heading home early Monday morning.

My next trip came at the end of July, as Val and I headed down to Roanoke, Virginia, to celebrate Jeff’s 50th birthday.  After a day of “work”, the highlight of the trip was Saturday’s hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob.  Sunday was spent recovering, before heading home.

I spent most of September in Europe, starting with a week in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Aside from work, there was a trip to Castle Ward in to look at Game of Thrones filming locations, a hockey game featuring the Belfast Giants, a trip to the Ulster American Folk Park and a nip across the border to the wonderful town of Muff in Ireland, and a Black Cab tour of locations in Belfast related to the Troubles. Continue reading →

FB4: Week 38

Another disappointing week, thanks to another poor start to the week on Sunday, where a trip up to the Glen to see Venom with Jeff and John, followed by dinner at the Yardhouse, left me at just over 2700 steps.  Things rebounded on Monday, where I was able to finish over 8000 steps.  Tuesday was back down again, as I came nearly 300 steps shy of my daily goal.  Wednesday was the high point of the week, falling just short of 8100 steps.  Thursday improved on Tuesday’s step total by a single step, despite a return trip to the Glen for a goodbye dinner for John, again at the Yardhouse.  Friday was a disappointing day, with just over 5100 steps.  Saturday was another down day, despite heading in to work for a round of video games followed by the latest Halloween film and yet a third trip to Yardhouse for the week.

Total steps: 42,327

Daily average: 6046.7

In The Land Of Cotton

This past weekend, I got on a very small plane, along with Val, and headed down to the beautiful metropolis of Roanoke, Virginia, to celebrate Jeff’s 50th birthday.  Our trip started Thursday night after work, where we arrived and got some quality time with a young puppy named Simba.  Friday, the three of us worked remotely before heading out for dinner and to see the sights of Roanoke, which basically was The Roanoke Star and a grocery store.

Saturday, we headed out early to hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob.  With an elevation of 3,197 feet and a trail distance of approximately 4.4 miles, McAfee Knob is one of the highlights of the Appalachian Trail.  It took quite an effort on my part, and probably more time than we were planning, but the views from the top, not to mention the satisfaction of one of my traveling companions, were worth it.  The trip back down was a bit easier, thanks to a fire road, but a small stumble certainly made it interesting.

Sunday was spent relaxing and recovering from the strain of the previous day, until it was time to head back to the airport and fly home.

FB4: Week 25

A tremendous week, pulling in my second highest weekly total of the year and my second highest single day total of the year and all-time.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, where I managed a pedestrian 3200 steps.  Monday was a nice bounce back, coming in at over 9800 steps thanks to going back and forth between Willow and South.  Tuesday was another nice day, finishing just shy of 7900 steps.  Wednesday combined work, a trip out with IBM, and some last minute shopping to come in close to 11,000 steps.  Thursday improved on that, finishing over 11,500 steps, thanks to a trip to the airport after work to head to Virginia with Val.  Friday was a slow day, as we spent the day working in Jeff’s apartment before heading out at night.  Saturday was the big day of the week, as we hiked up to McAfee Knob in the Appalachian Mountains.  All told, the day ended with 27,278 steps, taking over second place since I started tracking steps 8 years ago.

Total steps: 74,769

Daily average: 10,681.3

FB4: Week 10

A good week that started slow but finished strong.  The week got off to a bad start on Sunday, staying inside all day and ending up with only 2300 steps.  The bounce back started on Monday, where I surpassed 9000 steps thanks to multiple jaunts around the workplace.  Tuesday was another bad day, falling a mere 343 steps under goal, despite a post-work dinner with Jeff and a car accident for Tom.  Wednesday made up for that slightly, coming in at 7100 steps.  Thursday was the big day of the week, with a meeting with IBM in the morning followed by my first trip down to Guaranteed Rate Field for the White Sox home opener.  Friday came close to tying it, with 2 trips over to North and a post-work dinner putting me at 9800 steps.  Saturday was another trip to the South Side for exciting baseball, coming in over 7700 steps.

Total steps: 53,388

Daily average: 7626.9

 

Top 200 Albums – #171 – 179

itunes_imageNearly 4 years ago, we first counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library. Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact. So, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2018.

We continue things with the next batch of 10 albums that rank between #171 and 179, including 8 studio recordings, 1 live performance, and, to kick things off, 1 comedy record.

#179: Patton Oswalt – My Weakness Is Strong
iTunes stats: 45 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

The third comedy album from Oswalt combines to make it’s debut on the list.

#179: Beatles – Beatles For Sale
iTunes stats: 45 plays
Previous Ranking: 141

Only 3 tunes make up this abbreviated total, which would be higher if I hadn’t deleted the original versions, for the remastered version of the Beatles fourth studio album.

#177: Garbage – Virgin Megastore In-Store
iTunes stats: 46 plays
Previous Ranking: 135

A slight drop in ranking for this WXRT broadcast of the in-store appearance to support the new Beautiful Garbage album.

#177: Cracker – Cracker
iTunes stats: 46 plays
Previous Ranking: 152

Only 2 songs from Cracker’s debut album make up this total.

#171: Weezer – Weezer (Green Album)
iTunes stats: 47 plays
Previous Ranking: 135

After a long layoff, Weezer returned in the early 2000s with their third album (and second self-titled effort), which had 2 songs make up this total.

Continue reading →

The Ever Growing 10,000 Step Club

Last year, as I was finishing up my second year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at the top 25 step days I’ve had since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 116 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 49 occurrences, raising the total to 165.  With my third year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my top 25 step days over the past 6 1/2 years, featuring 7 new entries.

btn10K-41: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

My best single day total continues to be from my 2013 trip to Disney World.  The day’s excursion to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended up with a total of approximately 12.5 miles.  And yes, it still bothers me that I didn’t get those 12 additional steps to reach 25,000.

2: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My second highest day shares much in common with my #1 day, taking place in Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

3: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

My third highest total came nearly 2 months after my highest, thanks to the BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

4: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The first new entry came last August on the first day of my trip to Boston with Danny and Michael.  After landing in town, we traipsed to the Science Museum, a breakfast joint, our hotel, and, finally, Fenway Park.

5: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

Our second new entry came last July, as Angelina and I took a day trip to Disney World to celebrate her high school graduation.

6: 9/19/2017 – 20,028 steps

The third straight new entry, which helped to double my total of 20,000 step days from the previous 5+ years, had a myriad of activities.  First was the latest edition of the Sprint and Stride, followed by a trip to Best Buy with Val to buy a new TV, then off to her apartment to install the new TV, and, finally, Season Ticker Holder Family Night at Wrigley Field.

7: 11/11/2017 – 19,590 steps

Our fourth straight new entry came thanks to last fall’s trip to California to see Angelina skate.  This day was spent in Anaheim at Disneyland.

8: 6/2/2016 – 18,725 steps

Day #8, which dropped 4 spots, comes from June 2016’s trip to Universal Studios.  Our first full day at the park, we split the day between Universal and Islands of Adventure, taking in all of the different Harry Potter options.

9: 6/4/2016 – 18,617 steps

Our next entry is also from the June 2016 trip to Universal Studios.  The day included another trip to Islands of Adventure, and would have ended up even higher but for an afternoon trip to the hotel pool.

10: 6/21/2017 – 18,290 steps Continue reading →

Fitbit III: Week 40

An overall decent week, with each day finishing over my 6500 step goal.  Things got off to a decent start on Sunday thanks to a birthday celebration with the family.  Monday jumped up over 8000 steps thanks to upgrade related trips around the building at work.  Tuesday was back down around 7000 steps, with Wednesday and Thursday both surpassing that plateau.  Friday was the big day of the week, coming in over 8500 steps thanks to an after work trip to Rosemont with Jeff, Hayley, and Val.  Saturday used a trip down to The Second City to come in over 7500 steps.

Total steps: 52,345

Daily average: 7477.9