January 10, 2006

Mind, Body, Spirit

A couple of years ago I started doing Bikrahm Yoga which I did for 6 months or so. I was in pretty good shape from it. Believe it or not it really does strengthen your "core" and build you from the inside out. I stopped because the local studio went out of business.

Today I re-engaged with Yoga as a part of my "you better get your fat ass, you're stressed out mind and your lost spirit" back in shape before you keel over routine going (drinking Tequila in Cabo only went so far). I've always kept "semi active", running, lifting weights, swimming, etc but more on an add hoc basis - hasn't done the trick. So today was Iyengar Yoga at lunch - and now I can barely freaking move. Tomorrow is Hatha Yoga followed by an intensive of Vinyasa Yoga on Thursday. I don't know if I buy all the "this pose twists your left kidney so you will now be enlightened through your bowel movements somehow" jargon but I certainly do hurt a lot from it so something must be working. 

January 10, 2006 in Biographical, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

Cabo San Lucas vacation was perfect!

Every year about this time, usually a day or two after Christmas, we go down to warm, sunny Cabo San Lucas for a week or so. It's a perfect time to do it, work slows dramatically, it's usually cold or snowy in Denver, and it gives me time to reflect on the past year and get recharged for the coming year. This year was no exception. The kids are getting a bit older now so there are more things to do with them. Dscn0366 Here's Alec and I on the pacific side of the Cabo. We rented a couple of ATVs and had a blast!Rolling through a mountainous national park and descending to the beach on the Pacific side was amazing. Waves were breaking about 20' and the guide let us go wherever we wanted to up and down a 5 mile corridor. Very cool!There were 5 adults that had a child doubling up with them and Christine was solo - wild woman on an ATV!

We did the usual activities, adults out to great dinners a few of the nights (Edith's, Poncho's, LaDolce) which were all fabulous. Of course too much tequila and an overdose of fish tacos, guacamole and Queso Fundido are now being paid for through a new healthy eating regimen.Dscn0360_1  The kids always love going to MiCasa but the service is starting to wane given their new expansion. Here's the crew out one night (I think it was at MiCasas) and yup, that's a margarita in front of me. One evening we took an amazing sunset cruise around the tip of the Baja. I'd highly recommend doing that. We did New Years eve at Cabo Wabo - which was a blast. Golf was fantastic at the Desert and Ocean courses in Cabo Del Sol. The hammock at the beach under the palm tress called my name a few times allowing me the occasional nap and the opportunity to read "The Search" by John Battelle and "City of Falling Angels" by John Berendt. Both great books however I'd high recommend The Search if you're a tech guy or involved in a start up. It chronicles Googles rise to stardom along with all the twists and turns. So now it's back to life, back to reality (which I like just as much as my fantasy vacation). If you're planning to go to Cabo get a hold of me. I'd be more than happy to give you some recommendations. I've been going for the past 10 years or so now and know the landscape pretty well.

January 8, 2006 in Biographical, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 27, 2005

Pass the Phillips Head Screwdriver

arrrggg. On Christmas eve Christine and I had her parents and some good friends of ours over for dinner. It's a tradition for us to have Christmas eve dinner at our house. Once everyone leaves, the cleanup starts and then the dreaded hauling of the "Santa presents" that we were in hiding, up from the basement to put under the tree. Usually there are countless hours spent putting together toys from directions written and illustrated by someone with a 9th grade eduction - this year was no different. Except for the fact that I wound up putting Alec's "ESPN 6 Game" (that's right, 6 different sports games in one) monstrosity together on the 26th vs Christmas Eve/Day. Two and a half hours later, I had the 24 second clock working on the basketball backboard and the kids yelling and screaming to "be next" in trying to beat dads score of 73 points. ahhh Christmas!

p.s. I think they should put a sticker on toys that require assembly that indicate how many hours "on average" it should take to assemble. Like they do for food with calories, fat, carbs, etc.

December 27, 2005 in Biographical, Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 19, 2005

Hanukkah vs Christmas

This year Hanukkah and Christmas start/fall on the same day. When I was growing up there were like 2 Jewish families within 10 miles. The majority of families were Catholic, and there were some Protestants given most everyone was either Italian or Irish - so I knew nothing about Jewish holidays. I couldn't even tell you where the nearest synagogue was. Now, some of my closest and dearest friends are Jewish. This year Christmas day starts the beginning of Hanukkah. I always guessed that the start of Hanukkah had something to do with the the number of days after the solstice so I looked into it - and it does! It follows the Hebrew calendar, which follows the lunar calendar (I have no idea which came first) and is the 25th day of Kislev (apparently there was some type of re-dedication of a temple on the 25th). The Hebrew calendar follows a 19 year cycle and Hanukkah starts on the same day (25th) of every year of the Hebrew/lunar calendar. But the rest of the Christian world follows the Gregorian calendar (a solar calendar). So the Christians follow one calendar and the Muslims and the Jews follow another - I think we got started on the wrong foot. Another thing I don't get is that other Christian holidays, like Easter, follow the lunar calendar. So some Christian holidays follow the lunar calendar, others follow the solar calendar. Hmmm, weird. Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool that at least this year the Christians and the Jews can start to celebrate together. Now if we can only figure out Ramadan.

December 19, 2005 in Biographical, Religion, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 30, 2005

Where Do The Years Go?

You always hear the adage "they grow up so fast". Lex and Alec turned 9 and 7 this month, (17th and 29th). Dscn0199

I'm continually amazed by both of them and by Ashley who's now 17 and is in the process of interviewing schools for her next challenge. I look at the calendar and it's 2005 but I clearly remember it being 1977 and me graduating from high school and off to college - although that was 28 years ago! I learn different things from each one of my kids as I observe and interact with them. Each with their own unique way of contributing to the world, of impacting others. As Alec turned 7 yesterday Christine was having a difficult time seeing "her baby" transition into being a young man as if there's something magical about a date on a calendar associated with how many years you've been alive. I remember my parents being "worried" about their kids growing up and what the world would be like for them. I look at the rate of change we have in our world and see nothing but excitement and opportunity for their future. So I sit and smile each time I look at them, each time I talk to them knowing that they make a difference.

October 30, 2005 in Biographical, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

It's a "Severe Clear" day

Ya gotta love Colorado, this morning when driving to work the weather forecaster mentioned that there was a "severe clear" warning. Translation; the air was so free of any particulate, the sun was so bright, the air so crisp that you should wear sunglasses and be careful driving. And he was serious about it! I love this time of year, mornings, afternoons, evenings - absolutely perfect.

September 15, 2005 in Biographical, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Running in Central Park

I've been in NY the last couple of days on business. This morning I got up early and took a run through Central Park as I continue on my quest for my "Fall Get Healthy Plan". Some random thoughts I had while running;

- What a perfect day, sun shining, low humidity, beautiful!

- Gorgeous park, the city planners had amazing foresight in planning to dedicate this much space on a small island.

- Man. there's a lot of people that run early in NY. And most all of them are in great shape.

- Yowsa!

- 5 Miles is a long way to run, but it's so beautiful outside I forget all about how long it takes

- All this in the middle of the craziness of Manhattan. Unbelievable.

- The pavement is hard, it's starting to get hot, my legs are hurting, I need new running shoes (mine are 3 years old although they don't have a ton of miles on them)

- ah, done.

September 7, 2005 in Biographical, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

My New Approach

A friend of mine mentioned I should post to my blog more often. Normally, I take a Saturday or Sunday morning and write about a significant event that happened to me/around me that week. I'm going to take a little bit different approach moving forward. I'll continue my normal habit of the Saturday/Sunday post but I'll also start posting short excerpts or link to blogs that I read that I find interesting/informative, a couple of times a week. I read 50 or so RSS feeds a day (300+ posts) so the content is certainly there, now it's up to me.

September 7, 2005 in Biographical, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

The Hamiltons from Hopkington

Last week my brother Scott, his wife Mary Jo and their kids (Julia and Ryan) came out to stay with us for a week here in Denver. They live in a great little town just west of Boston called Hopkington. Originally the reason for their visit was because I wanted to invite Scott out to play golf with me in my member-guest tournament at my club. But as the months grew closer to the tournament, I realized that it was just going to be a great excuse to get to spend time with all of them and really get to know them.

Now I'm a pretty competitive guy, especially when it comes to sports. Losing hasn't been a big fan of mine in my vocabulary. I don't like the feeling I get when it happens to me so I try to avoid it at all cost. Last year, at my member-guest, my partner and I ran away with our flight and I had all intentions of doing so again this year, except now doing so with my brother. Well - we got beat up pretty bad. Decent shape going into the 3rd day of the tournament with a clear shot at 2nd and maybe even 1st, but then just fell apart on the last day and wound up finishing 4th out of 6 teams in the flight.

A weird thing happened to me going through the last match while being just creamed by the 1st place team - I started to just enjoy being with my brother. Now don't get me wrong, I still don't like to lose, in fact I detest it, but this was bigger than winning or losing, it was about being with my brother in a different way that I've ever experienced before. And I liked that way of feeling even more than I hated losing. While Scott was bummed out about losing, deep down I felt like I won the lottery. Dscn0151In fact, that same night at the awards ceremony, a good friend of mine (Kathy Bergstrom) asked me if I was "bummed out that I didn't win" and I responded "I got a chance to play golf with and get to know my brother - how often do you get to do that". Needless to say, I had a blast with the Hamiltons from Hopkington; Julia (my God Daughter) is an incredible 13 year old that's going to be breaking a lot of  hearts. And, she's already decided she wants to be a "Colorado Chick" and go to CU - Go Buffs! Ryan (the Swami) knows more about sports trivia than any other 10 year old on the planet - an ESPN Sports Center fanatic and a big fan of the "Bob Your Head Burger King commercials :-). Mary Jo is more than just a sister in-law, I consider her a friend.

Scott's the second from the right in this picture and closest to me in age, the other two (Keith on the left, Kevin on the right) are part of the Hamilton clan as well - along with Debbie and Kim. One of my goals over the next two years is to get to spend the quality time with each of my brothers and sisters that I haven't over the last 46 years.

So here's to spending time with your brothers and sisters in a way that you've never done before.

August 2, 2005 in Biographical, Weblogs | Permalink | TrackBack

July 19, 2005

I Love NY

...I just don't want to live there anymore. Over the 4th of July I was back east for a family reunion. My family is pretty large 30 or so, given the good Catholics that we are :-). Anyway, I had a blast, it was great to catch up with my bothers and sisters, my nieces and nephews, my mom - and believe it or not, the weather was perfect! Typically this time of year you get 90/90 weather, 90 degrees F with 90% humidity. Not this time, it was low 80s with low humidity.

We ate a lot (all Italians do that when they get together), we drank a lot (all Irish do that when they get together), we laughed, got competitive (bocce ball, crockett, golf) and just hung out. Went to the local 4th of July parade, went to a cookout at my mothers Country Club and saw fireworks, ate at the Culinary Institute of America, took the train into the city (I grew up in the Hudson Valley about 60 miles north of NY). I get back to NY a half dozen times a year for business and once or so a year for a family get together. What stuck me most this time around were the people. Most every person I came in contact with was genuine! I don't use that term lightly. New Yorkers get a bad rap for what some people call their "in your face" type of communication, but what the rest of the world is experiencing are people being genuine, its real. It's the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, the love with the anger - it's NY. New Yorkers have a way of actually saying/expressing what others are thinking, or are afraid to say - that's why I love them. For business it's great, it's a quick "yes", or a "no, that sucks, I'm doing business with the other guy"! In relationships it's very revealing, "nice shirt", "where did you get that, it looks terrible", "honey you need to change your hair style", "I'm pissed off at you", "I love you".

Another thing that struck me, listening to some of my brothers/sisters talk about their friends, their acquaintances just cracked me up. Some nicknames; Tommy "Guns", "Lefty" (lost his arm in a car accident), "Big Ears" (easy one), "Geep", "Marco", "SanDooch", "Sack", "Stugats", Joey "peperoni" (makes pizza), "mot" (a dyslexic friend of mine). Everybody has a nickname, young or old, it's like a badge of honor.

There are a number of things I love about NY, the people are top of my list, the energy, the food, the ethnicity, the attitude and oh yea - the Yankees. Where else are you going to find characters like Donald Trump, or George Stienbrenner, or Rudi Giuliani. In Des Moines Iowa?? There are also some things I can't stand about NY, the weather, the taxes, the stress, the environment - but hey, that's why I live in Colorado.

I've now spent 1/2 my life in NY and 1/2 my life in Colorado, I've learned that there there positives and negatives to most everything in life. But the people in NY, they're kind of special to me.

July 19, 2005 in Biographical, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | TrackBack