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 →

FB4: Week 23

After a disappointing start to the week, a nice bounce back due to some changes at work.  Sunday got off to a slow start, as I spent all day inside the house and finished with a whopping 1900 steps.  Things improved immensely on Monday, thanks to a move to Willow and my continuing to park at South and spend some of my time there in the lab.  I finished the day with over 9200 steps.  Tuesday was also a good day, coming in 11 steps shy of 9000.  I celebrated Independence Day on Wednesday by taking off for a long walk, including a stop at the (not so) local Starbucks, which was good for nearly 15,700 steps.  Thursday and Friday finished a mere 10 steps apart, both over 7400 steps.  Saturday used a trip to the grocery store and an afternoon walk to finish over 8100 steps.

Total steps: 58,812

Daily average: 8401.7

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 21

An up and down week, with 2 below goal days wiped out thanks to one tremendous day.  The week got off to a slow start on Sunday, where, for the third week in a row, I failed to reach my daily goal to start the week off.  Monday and Tuesday did little to make up the difference, as both days just eked by the 6500 step total.  Wednesday turned things around, as a day of work followed up by a 2 hour walk to Starbucks and back gave me my 6th highest total ever, with 18,290 steps.  Thursday continued the good times with just over 8000 steps, thanks to a post-work trip to the Glen for dinner with Val.  Friday was the second below-goal day of the week.  Saturday just surpassed the 6500 step goal thanks to a trip to Guaranteed Rate Field to see Mark Buehrle’s jersey retirement.

Total steps: 55,761

Daily average: 7965.9

Something’s Different At The Old Ballpark

The Cubs opened the home portion of the 2017 schedule Monday night and there were quite a few changes in and around Wrigley Field. First, outside the ballpark, construction finished on the long-awaited Triangle building and an open plaza area named the Park at Wrigley.
The plaza contains seating areas, beverages, and view of a large video screen.  On game days, admission is limited to ticket holders for that day’s contest, so crowd size should be manageable.  The triangle building itself, which is outside the plaza, contains a new team store and a Starbucks, in addition to team offices.  I must admit, I wasn’t really too excited about this, but, after stopping in prior to Monday’s game, it was a nice place to stop and relax if you’re meeting someone prior to the game or arrive before the gates open.  An additional bonus is a new gate providing entry (and exit) from the ballpark.

This new gate should make it much easier for me to get out after games, as it is right off the ramp I come down from the upper deck.  Entry should also be a breeze, especially if coming in from the plaza.

Once inside the ballpark, you notice the other big change to the surrounding rooftops:
All of the counters have been set back to zero.  I guess the World Series victory really happened.

There were plenty of changes inside the ballpark as well.  Chief among them are the new bullpens.
The new bullpens are under the bleachers, with opaque doors blocking the view inside.  The old bullpens down the lines have been converted into additional seating.  The other big change is the addition of 4 new flag poles in center field, 2 on either side of the old scoreboard.

From left to right, the new banners on the poles represent the 1907 World Series championship, the 1908 World Series championship, the 2016 NL pennant, and the 2016 World Series championship.  No word on what happens to the 2016 pennant after this season, as there are no special banners for the teams previous 16 pennants, dating back to 1876.

Vacation Recap: Los Angeles

dodgerstadium

We left off yesterday with me in a rental car leaving San Diego behind and heading towards the city of Angels.  The plan was to stop at Dodger Stadium on the way to my hotel and take in an afternoon matchup between the Dodgers and the Giants.  I’d given myself 3 hours to make the 2 hour drive so I would have time to get to the stadium and acclimate myself before the game started.  Trip Issue #3!  Things were smooth sailing until I got closer to LA, when traffic started to swell.  All told, the 2 hour drive ended up taking closer to 4, and I arrived in my seat during the 4th inning, by which time the Dodgers had fallen far behind.  One Dodger Dog later and many Giant home runs later, the game was over and I found my way to Glendale and the local Hilton, which would be my home for the next 4 days.

Saturday night, in search of a nice dinner, I headed out for a drive and decided to just wing it.  Somehow I ended up driving through Griffith Park and seeing some of the sights, but I didn’t find anything interesting as far as food went.  Eventually I ended up back at the hotel, where I caught the end of the Wisconsin loss in the NCAA tournament along with a tasty hamburger at the hotel bar.

muppet_starsSunday was the only day I didn’t have anything specific planned, so, after a morning walk to the local Starbucks for a nice breakfast, I headed down to Hollywood to check out the Walk of Fame and to get a good look at the famous Hollywood sign.  To be honest, the Walk of Fame was mostly creepy, other than the block or so around Hollywood and Highland, where Jimmy Kimmel’s theater is located.  I tracked down all of the Muppet-related stars and a few others of interest, including Ricardo Montalban, Mister Rogers, and George Takei. Continue reading →

GlobalFit III: Week 20

Y3Week20Another topsy turvey week, with 4 days above 5000 but the other 3 well below.  Things started off slowly on Sunday, where the big movement of the day was going down in the basement to avoid the impending tornadoes.  The good days during the work week were helped out due to trips to North Plaza for Starbucks, in an effort to move up to Gold level on the Starbucks app.

Total steps: 33,568

Weekly average: 4795.4

30 For 30 – Take One Ultimate Road Trip

SheaBoardThe fine folks at away.com have come up with a list of 30 Things Every Traveler Must Do Before They’re 30.  Of those 30, I’ve managed to accomplish 12 of them, or roughly 40% of them, some of which was even before I turned 30.  Today we look at #12 on their list, take one Ultimate Road Trip.  In the year 2003, the Chicago Cubs were scheduled to open their season on Monday, March 31 in Queens against the New York Mets.  What better way to celebrate than with a road trip to New York to take in the festivities?

The trip sort of started out Friday afternoon with a quick jaunt out to the Budget rental facility near O’Hare airport.  They were the one rental agency that didn’t seem to mind that we were taking the car out of state.  It for real started the next morning at 2 AM as we headed out on I-80 heading east.  Very little of interest happened throughout Indiana and Ohio.  Eventually, we stopped for lunch at an Arbys in Pennsylvania.  This particular Arbys happened to have a breakfast buffet, which was weird.  The customers of this Arbys seemed to be more at home in the hills of Appalachia then in Pennsylvania.  One in particular was wearing overalls with no shirt underneath (at least that’s how I remember it) and was waiting patiently for a new batch of bacon to be brought out to the buffet.  Once it was, this hill person got up, emptied the whole tray onto his plate, and returned to his seat to chow down.

After finishing our processed meat sandwiches, we continued on to our final destination: a Howard Johnson hotel in Newark, New Jersey.  From my recollection, the whole trip lasted a little more than 12 hours.  After a brief nap and a few episodes of the Chappelle Show, our plans for the evening required a train ride to Manhattan, which should have been a piece of cake.  There was a train at the airport and an airport shuttle should have come to the hotel every 15-20 minutes.  After waiting for an hour, the shuttle finally showed up, taking us to the Newark airport where we were finally able to take the train into New York City!

Continue reading →

GFY2 – Week 22

Y2Week22Thanks to an impromptu trip to the office yesterday, we get an earlier than expected look at my last week of work in 2012.  Sunday had an unusually high (at least of late) amount of activity thanks to shopping trips and a stroll to Starbucks.  Monday was a day off and, thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures, I was able to get out for a nice walk.  Tuesday through Friday were mostly confined to the office, as I tried to tie everything up before leaving for the year.  Saturday returned us to the now normal weekend activity level, but also kicked off the start-of-vacation cleaning spree that has left me with a clean and organized office for the first time in 3 years.