FB8 – Week 42

A lost week, thanks in part to a dead battery and too much work, ending my streak of finishing above 30,000 steps at three weeks.  The week went off the rails on Sunday, since I forgot to bring my Fitbit charger with me to Boston and my battery died on my flight home, meaning I lost a lot of airport steps, registering only 3100 steps.  Things picked up considerably on Monday, as I ended up with just over 4300 steps.  Things fell off again on Tuesday, as meetings left me at 2900 steps.  Wednesday was even worse, dropping down to 2500 steps.  The promise of the final 70-degree fay of the year on Thursday led to the best day of the week as I played hooky in the afternoon, spending some time at a beach by Lake Michigan and finishing with 4800 steps.  Friday fell off again, dropping down to 3500 steps.  Saturday was spent making sure Michael was fed, which left me with a mere 2800 steps.

Total steps: 24,120

Daily average: 3445.7

FB8 – Week 41

A weekend trip to Boston helped pick up what had been a down week to that point, helping me finish above 30,000 steps for the third week in a row.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I finished with 4000 steps.  Despite answering the doorbell for the handful of trick or treaters on Monday, I ended Halloween with just over 3800 steps.  A trip to the office on Tuesday left me just 17 steps away from 4600.  Wednesday turned into the week’s low point, finishing with only 1900 steps.  Thursday bounced back a little, going up to 2800 steps.  An afternoon flight on Friday put me up above 6900 steps.  A trip to the Museum of Science and birthday dinner with Angelina on Saturday pushed me up over 8900 steps, my highest total since the end of September.

Total steps: 33,100

Daily average: 4728.6

FB8 – Week 40

Another fairly consistent week, where every day fell between 4000 and 5000 steps, and I finished above 30,000 steps for the second week in a row.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I finished with 4300 steps.  A 6 step increase on Monday also put me over the 4300 step plateau.  Tuesday fell off just a bit, going down to just over 4000 steps.  A trip into the office on Wednesday turned into the week’s high point, finishing just 8 steps shy of 4900.  A day off of work and a birthday dinner put me just 6 steps over 4000 on Thursday.  Another day off on Friday led to 4300 steps.  A trip out to see Black Adam and celebrate my birthday with Daryl left me with 4500 steps on Saturday.

Total steps: 30,438

Daily average: 4348.3

Travelling The 50 States – Indiana

Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we start today with the 19th state to be added to the Union: Indiana.

State: Indiana
Joined the Union: 1816
Visits: 1100+

From the fall of 1992 through the spring of 1997, I matriculated at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  Accounting for breaks, weekends home, and other holidays, I estimate I would have spent over 1100 days in the Hoosier State.

While it is possible that I visited the state of Indiana at some time during my youth, given its proximity to the Chicagoland area, the first confirmed visit would have been in the early 90s, when I made my campus visit to Purdue.  I can’t say that i have any particular memories from this trip, but I’m fairly sure it happened.  Starting in August of 1992, West Lafayette became my home away from home for the next five years.  In December of 1993, I made my first visit to Indianapolis for a double header of Purdue women’s and men’s basketball at Market Square Arena.

As I was stopped at a gas station before getting on I-65 on my way home after graduation, I said that I would never return to the state of Indiana again.  That pledge lasted a little more than two years, as I returned to campus in September of 1999 to see Purdue defeat Notre Dame at Ross-Ade Stadium.  I would return again in December of 2000 for the final game of the season, seeing Purdue defeat IU and earn their first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1967.

My next trip to Indiana came in March of 2001, when I saw the Monkees at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville.  In November of 2004, I returned once again to my old stomping grounds to see Purdue once again defeat Indiana at Ross-Ade Stadium.  I made two football trips the following year, watching Purdue fall to Notre Dame in October and defeating Illinois in November.  In 2006, I made my first visit to South Bend with friends from work to see Notre Dame once again defeat the Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium.

My next trip to Indiana came in November of 2008, when Purdue managed to defeat Michigan at Ross-Ade Stadium.  The following September, it was another loss against Notre Dame.  In October of 2011, there was another family clash as Purdue defeated Illinois by a touchdown.  Two months later, I spent New Year’s Eve of 2011 at Mackey Arena, watching Purdue defeat the Fighting Illini in my first basketball game back on campus since graduating in 1997.  I returned a little more than a year later on the second day of 2013 for another successful tilt against the Illini at Mackey Arena.

In 2013, I made the mistake of returning to Ross-Ade stadium in September with a work friend, as her husband’s alma mater, Northern Illinois, throttled Purdue.  In March of 2015, a trip to Mackey Arena saw the basketball team beat the Illini, but the football tilt that November went the other way. Continue reading →

Travelling The 50 States – Hawaii

Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 30 states I have visited (60% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we start today with the 50th state to be added to the Union: Hawaii.

State: Hawaii
Joined the Union: 1959
Visits: 2

I’ve made two trips to the Hawaiian Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland, first in 2019 and then again earlier this year.

Way back in 2019, I made my first visit to the island of Oahu, arriving the first Saturday in February.  After a day of checking out my surroundings around the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort and down Waikiki Beach, I took a tour of the island of Oahu on Monday, with stops at Hanauma Bay, Nu’uanu Pali lookout, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, Sunset Beach, Waimea Falls, and the Dole Plantation.  Tuesday, I took in a whale watching cruise, where we were able to see multiple whales surfacing during the excursion.  After a day of relaxation on Wednesday, I traveled to Pearl Harbor on Thursday to see all of the associated attractions and museums.  I enjoyed another day of relaxation on Friday before heading home on Saturday.

Following a long pandemic, and nearly two years of working from home, I decided to break out in a big way this past January.  Using airline vouchers left over from my cancelled trips of 2020, I booked a two-week trip, returning to the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort for the first week and staying in a lesser hotel for the second.  Not knowing how the pandemic would impact the local tourist offerings, I decided to play it safe and go for ultimate relaxation.  My days were spent reading by the pool, taking the occasional swim, both in the ocean and in the pool, and listening to music and podcasts.  It was heaven.

The second week I was working remotely, meaning my days usually started at 4AM local time.  This let me wrap up the workday around noon, when I would usually head back over to the resort, to enjoy some of the outdoor spaces, or the beach.  All told, I racked up seven books and two week’s worth of 10,000+ step days.

Will I return?  Absolutely, although I would like to check out some of the other islands on future trips.

FB8 – Week 36

After a late week surge last week, disappointment settled back in as I fell back below 30,000 steps.  Things got off to an ok start on Sunday, where I finished with 4100 steps after lunch in downtown Lafayette with Danny.  Monday fell off quite a bit, dropping to 3300 steps.  Tuesday was the high point of the week, finishing with a sad 4500 steps thanks in part to my first visit to an Allstate office since March of 2020.  Wednesday was the week’s low point, finishing with only 3000 steps.  Things started to improve again on Thursday, going up to 3300 steps.  Friday saw a nice jump, going up to 4100 steps. Saturday fell off a bit, finishing 10 steps shy of 3800.

Total steps: 26.298

Daily average: 3756.9

 

 

FB8 – Week 35

After the disappointment of last week, a late surge helped put me back above 30,000 steps for the week.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, where I finished with 3800 steps.  Monday fell off quite a bit, dropping to 2800 steps.  Tuesday saw a very slight increase as I ended the day 4 steps away from 2900.  Wednesday was the week’s low point, finishing with only 2200 steps.  Things started to improve on Thursday, where an after-work trip to the local grocery store helped push me over 5600 steps.  A trip to Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday left me with 5200 steps.  My best day of the week came on Saturday thanks to a trip down to West Lafayette for Homecoming, which left me with 9400 steps.

Total steps: 32.078

Daily average: 4582.6

FB8 – Week 34

After a week off of work, it was back to the grindstone for a horrible, horrible week.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, where I finished just 37 steps shy of 4500 thanks to some chores around the house.  Things began to go off the rails on Monday, as I missed 2800 steps by a single step.  Tuesday was somehow worse, finishing with just 2300 steps.  Wednesday saw a very slight improvement, rising up to 2400 steps.  Thursday saw another slight increase, finishing with 2500 steps.  Friday was the low point in a week full of low points, falling 32 steps shy of 2000.  The week wrapped up on Saturday with 4100 steps.

Total steps: 20,617

Daily average: 2945.3

Travelling The 50 States – California

Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we start today with the 31st state to be added to the Union: California.

State: California
Joined the Union: 1850
Visits: 11

With eleven visits between 1998 and 2019, the Golden State is the state I have visited the most, outside of those I have lived in and/or attended college.

My first visit was in 1998 to attend Comic Con International in San Diego.  I went early, spending the entire week and enjoying some pre-Con time checking out the sights, including the San Diego Zoo.

I returned the following year for Labor Day weekend, but this time up to the San Francisco Bay area, to visit my old friend Scott, who had moved out there after graduating to work at AMD.  What I remember from that trip is my first Giants/Phillies tilt at the former Candlestick Park, my first trip to the toilet that at the time was called Network Associates Coliseum, and a car trip over the Golden Gate Bridge.

I returned to San Diego for Comic Con in 2000 and 2003.  I don’t remember much of the 2000 trip, but the 2003 trip included my one visit to the former Jack Murphy Stadium to see the Padres face the Diamondbacks.  At the Con, I managed to see many of the stars (or, at least, bit players) from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Smallville, and Tru Calling.

With the Cubs coming off their first division title since 1989 and a new stadium opening in San Diego, my friend Pete and I planned a trip for the Cubs mid-May road trip.  We attended all three games at PETCO Park, which the Cubs swept, while also taking in the local sights and the ambience of the Elephant and Castle bar in our hotel. Continue reading →

Travelling The 50 States – Arizona

Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we start today with the 48th state to be added to the Union: Arizona.

State: Arizona
Joined the Union: 1912
Visits: 2

Both of my trips to Arizona have occurred within the past seven years, first in 2015 and then again in 2018.  Both visits can also be connected to my job, either directly or indirectly.

In 2015, my first trip to Arizona was for a work recognition trip in March.  Staying at The Phoenician resort for three nights, we enjoyed the facilities (especially the pool), took a rafting trip down the Lower Salt River, and travelled to an offsite ranch for a farewell dinner.  Outside of the work-related activities, I also managed to sneak in a Friday afternoon trip to Sloan Park to see the Cubs battle the White Sox in exciting Cactus League action.   Rather than heading home, I extended my stay for a couple of days.

Saturday, after a trip to the airport to pick up a rental car, we headed to Camelback Ranch in Glendale to watch the White Sox take on the visiting A’s in another installment of the Cactus League.  Looking for some non-baseball activities, Sunday consisted of a lake cruise along Lake Pleasant while Monday started at Heard Museum, which claims to be one of the premier Native American museums in the United States.  When that turned into kind of a bust, we headed to nearby Chase Field for a tour of the home of the Diamondbacks.

I returned to the Phoenix area in 2018, following another work trip.  A conference in Las Vegas led to me stopping in Arizona for the weekend before heading home.  I again took in some Cactus League action, this time 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.  I also managed to see my dad for the first time in years (and, to date, the last time I’ve seen him).  He had recently moved to the Tuscon area and drove up for a quick bite to eat before going back home.

Will I return?  I have to assume that yes, I will return to Arizona someday.  Leaving aside any future spring training action, I do need to take in an actual game at Chase Field at some point.  I will also likely need to deal with something related to my dad.  So I’d say the odds are much better than 50/50.