20 Years Of Remembrance

It was a normal Tuesday morning, 20 years ago this morning, when someone stopped by my desk to say that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and that we were under attack.  Little did I know that for once, Chicken Little was right and the sky really was falling.

Most of the morning remains a blur.  Updates were hard to get through traditional sources and most of the news I was getting was from the old Warren Ellis forum on Delphi and whatever incarnation of the Bendis Board was up at the time.  At one point, I went out to my car to get an update from the Howard Stern show, which at the time was on a one hour tape delay here in Chicago, but we were one of the few markets that cut away from the show in order to simulcast a news station.

We all know what happens next: the Pentagon gets hit, another flight crashes in Pennsylvania, and, eventually, the towers fell.  We went to a pretty deserted Superdawg for lunch that day, listening to the radio for updates the entire time.  I remember the eerie drive to the gym after work, as people were as polite as they’ve even been on the roads.

The legacy of that day is messy.  Two long, ill-advised wars followed.  The nation united in a way that it is unable, or unwilling, to do today, as the COVID pandemic, our biggest tragedy since the 9/11 attacks, continues to rage as the right battles against both masks and vaccinations.

It’s a day that, for a little while, unified the country, but at great cost.  A day we would all like to forget.  A day we never will.

Fitbit VII – Week 31

A pretty decent week, all things considered, as I notched my first 10,000 step day since May.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I made a return trip to Tropicana Field to watch a horrible baseball game, finishing with 5100 steps.  Things improved a bit on Monday, as I relaxed for my last day in Florida and chalked up 5400 steps.  On Tuesday morning, I hopped in the car and headed to Atlanta, where an ill-advised uphill walk to Truist Park to watch the Braves and the Yankees put me 10 steps shy of 10,900.  I left Atlanta on Wednesday and headed for home, which left me with only 4700 steps.  Going back to work on Thursday left me with a depressing 3500 steps.  The return of crosstown baseball on Friday lifted me back up to 4600 steps.  The return trip to Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday was another improvement, leaving me 4 steps away from 5500.

Total steps: 39,888

Daily average: 5698.3

Fitbit VII – Week 29

Another disappointing week, that took a strong start and pissed it away.  Things got off to a good start on Sunday, as I used the final crosstown game at Wrigley Field to pass 7500 steps for the fourth consecutive day.  As I went back to work on Monday, i reverted back to my usual poor habits, so I fell back down to 2800 steps.   Tuesday was a little better, as I managed an increase up to 4400 steps.  Wednesday fell back down again, coming in 17 steps away from 3200.  Things took a turn for the better on Thursday, as I went back up to 4500 steps.  Friday was the exact opposite, falling pretty steadily down to 2600 steps.  A return to the ballpark on Saturday put me back up over 5700 steps, to end the week on a high-ish note.

Total steps: 31,011

Daily average: 4430.1

Book 29 (of 52) – The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – Timothy Ferriss

In The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss advocates for abandoning the traditional 9 to 5 grind by finding ways to work remotely and infrequently, letting your business run itself and enabling you to travel the world and experience life to its fullest.  While it seems easier said than done, it is a goal for many of us to work less, travel more, and get more enjoyment out of life.

I recently got myself a digital Chicago Public Library card, despite not living in Chicago, which gives me access to eBooks and audio books that I would never have otherwise.  This was my first checkout, and just the second audiobook I’ve listened to in the past 11 years of this 52 book challenge.  Ferriss, as read by Ray Porter, has some interesting ideas, many of which were probably novel when he first wrote this back in 2007, but I wonder how much of it is still applicable in 2021.  I imagine all of the façade companies sitting in front of drop shippers that were going to be successful have already been created, so finding a turnkey business that can run by itself with limited hands-on focus.  His chapters on how to convince your bosses to allow working from home seem quaint in a post-pandemic world where many people, myself included, have been working remotely for 17 months and counting.

I do like the concept of what he is selling here.  As a newly minted home-based worker, I have been looking for ways to translate my ability to work from anywhere to spend time away from home.  I haven’t quite figured out a good way to do that as of yet, at least not without paying twice to live somewhere, but this has just put my thinking about these plans into hyperdrive.


Fitbit VII – Week 25

An improvement over last week, though still well below where I want to be.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I finished with 4900 thanks to my first post-pandemic trip to the movie theater to see Black Widow.  Monday improved that total just a bit, up 42 steps.  Tuesday started PI Planning, so I fell back down to 3400 steps.  Wednesday was back up a bit, to 3700 steps.  Thursday was even better, as I managed to get up over 4600 steps.  Friday was my first game of the second half, which left me with the evil looking total of 6,666 steps.  A return trip to Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday put me one step over 5600.

Total steps: 33,955

Daily average: 4850.7

10 Years Of Step Tracking

10 years ago, I started a program through work that “encourages you to track your steps and help you to focus on your fitness in a simple and accessible way.”  They gave us a tracker, which attached to your shoe and used “an accelerometer to accurately calculate the number of steps, distance walked, calories burned and time of activity.”  I received that first tracker 10 years ago today.  After a little more than 3 1/2 years, the program shut down and I finished with a little more than 6.5 million steps.That same week, I ordered my first Fitbit, looking to continue tracking my steps.  Which worked out well, at least until last March when the global pandemic caused by the corona virus shut everything down.

That is a total of 22,247,266 steps over 10 years, which averages out to a little over 2.2 million steps per year and 6095 steps per day.  In the early days, this was well above my goals.  I started looking to get 2,000,000 steps in those first few years, which I had a difficult time making.  As I moved over to the Fitbit from the Global Fit tracker, I started meeting those goals and, subsequently, increasing them each year.  These last 2 years have seen some backslides, as I try to get into a sustainable rhythm while working remotely.

Along the way, I participated in some 5Ks, hiked up a mountain, and traveled the world, racking up steps along the way.  Now that the world is opening back up again, here’s hoping the next 10 years is even better.

Fitbit VII – Week 23

Another slight improvement, as things continue to move in the right direction, even if they are still well below where I want to be.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, as I finished 1 steps shy over 4600 thanks to Lucas Giolito bobblehead day and a double header at the old ballpark.  Monday improved a bit, up to 4700.  Tuesday fell back down, as I barely managed to pass 4400 steps.  Wednesday saw a big improvement, as I was off work and ran some errands which got me all the way up to 5700 steps.  Thursday was even better, as another trip to Guaranteed Rate Field put me up over 6500 steps.  Friday fell off quite a bit, as I dropped down to 3700 steps.  A day of leisure on Saturday put me back over 4000 steps.

Total steps: 33,839

Daily average: 4834.1

Fitbit VII – Week 19

A move in the right direction this week, thanks in part to multiple baseball related outings.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I traveled to Guaranteed Rate field and finished with 4700 steps.  I celebrated the Memorial Day holiday on Monday with a trip to Wrigley Field, which left me with 6400 steps.  Tuesday’s return trip to Wrigley Field left me over goal with 7600 steps.  Left to my own devices on Wednesday, I managed only 5200 steps.  Thursday was the lowest day of the week, but still had 4400 steps.  Friday was back over 5000 steps, thanks to a trip out with friends after work.  Saturday sent me back to the ballpark followed by a trip out for dinner, ending with 5700 steps.

Total steps: 39,311

Daily average: 5615.9

Fitbit VII – Week 17

Things continue to trend in the right direction, as I managed to post my first 10,000 step day and my first 40,000 step week since March.  The week got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as the final day of my 7 games in 6 days week at Guaranteed Rate Field left me 6 steps over 6000.  Monday fell off a bit, coming in 8 steps shy of 4800.  Tuesday was the low point of the week, finishing with a mere 3100 steps.  A trip to Wrigley Field after work on Wednesday put me over goal, finishing with 8300 steps.  Thursday fell back down again, with only 4200 steps.  Friday saw an increase up to 5500 steps.  Saturday’s trip to Brookfield Zoo put me 20 steps shy of 10,900.

Total steps: 42,962

Daily average: 6137.4

Fitbit VII – Week 11

A decent pandemic week, though still quite shy of my goal.  Things got off to a good start on Sunday, as a trip in to Chicago to celebrate birthdays with Val and Daryl put me over 7500 steps.  Monday and Tuesday were slight disappointments, as I finished over 7000 and 7100 steps respectively, but couldn’t get those few additional steps to put me over goal.  Things fell off on Wednesday, as I dropped down to 4000 steps due to meeting after meeting after meeting.  Thursday saw a bit of a bounce back, thanks to the White Sox home opener and my triumphant return to Guaranteed Rate Field, leaving me with 6400 steps.  Friday was a little worse, with only 4800 steps.  A rainout on Saturday kept me home all day, which left me only 3 steps shy of 2400.

Total steps: 39,524

Daily average: 5646.3