Oct 31, 2013

When Cancer is Not by Happenstance

Smoking and obesity cause 66% of all cancer in this country.  In other words, two thirds of cases are triggered by lifestyle choice.

Last weekend, local oncologist, medical director and chief of staff Richard Deming spoke at the Des Moines Marathon expo.  Dr. Deming founded the Above+Beyond cancer survivor advocacy group.  He encourages survivors to fully live life through adventure, tackling Kilimanjaro, marathons and Everest.  

Dr. Deming dropped some difficult numbers, he said:  "If people stopped smoking, and if everyone ate right and exercised, two thirds of all cancer in this country would go away."

Whoa, I didn't know that.  

Oct 24, 2013

Be Tween

She's 11.5, a tweener and confusing to her old man.  Help.

Pigtails' growth rate is weedy, often climbing half an inch in weeks.  Skinny jeans are baggy on the twigs and have a 3-month expiration date.  In two moons, her jeggings shrink to bare ankle pirate pants and the polo becomes a midriff. She wears size 7 women's shoe and they're getting snug.

Why does she need 5 pairs of shoes?

These are the days of an opposing rift between the little girl she's always been and the person she'll one day become.  Her maturity pendulum swings between kiddo and c'mon dad, that's so babyish.

Oct 18, 2013

Runner Roll Call

Running is my daily detox.
20 below or 100 degrees doesn't matter, we roll hard.
Stress is best busted on quiet singletrack or a salty paced Loop of Pain hill session.
Most importantly, a weekly 5,000 calorie burn lets me do no-guilt repeats on the Chinese buffet.  

This Sunday, I'll prod 30 people through 26.2 miles of the Des Moines Marathon.  Aiming to finish in three hours, ten minutes and helping our group qualify for Boston.  Pacing is a fun way to give back to the sport and more gritty than handing out Gatorade at aid stations.

Hopefully this time, I won't have issues with cheeks drooping out of the Daisy Dukes.

Memphis Marathon is next up in December.  Six dudes from our running group will cram a Honda Odyssey and migrate south to help pace the 'thon that benefits the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Tennessee posse, let me know if you live near Memphis and can help guide us to some messy ribs.  Corky's BBQ and Beale Street are on our list.  What else should we see and don't say Graceland.

It's not too late to get on the fitness horse this year.  Let me know what race you've signed up for this fall or healthy goals you have for next year.  If you've never done a 5K and your knees are not void of cartilage, make it happen.


Oct 14, 2013

Hank 3 @B.W.

Easing you into another Monday, here's a three minute of our Boundary Waters float from August.  We were deep north and six hours from a cell tower, Hank's playing.


Oct 8, 2013

Fireplace Fixup Stage III - Finish It

I get it, you're bored silly from a 5-pack of fireplace posts.  Let's finish it.  Then we can move on to more important topics, such as do you like it on top or bottom.

Stage III was cut and nail the wall trim, bolt the steel TV mount through brick (not simple, drill bit was smoking hot), snag a 1950s Umanoff reed rocker and hit my dusty junk with a lemon wet nap.

It finished clean, looking both techno and retro. 

Picky on flat panel selection, wanted something 1" thick with barely a frame edging the glass.  Float the screen and hide all cords.  Over-the-air HD antenna pokes out the top...I'll find a way to tuck it.

Oct 3, 2013

Fireplace Fixup Stage 2.5 - DIY Dojo

Prior to this fireplace fixup, I'd never worked with brick and mortar, malicious cat whiz or an oak floor refinish.  Figuring things out yourself on home projects is an effective teacher, a DIY dojo.

Pigtails was out of the house last night for two hours, so I spooled up the orbital hand sander and chewed the wood floors beneath the bookshelves.  The oak was beat up where I removed the cabinets.  Scratches and residual cat piss needed tended to.

YouTube is a great place to find how-to video on home projects.  I watched a few clips to learn the rhythm of sanding and refinishing a floor.  Needed to remove cloudy old polyurethane, plus sand a few millimeters of oak to smooth scratches and cat skat.  24-grit sandpaper got after the topcoat.

Oct 1, 2013

Fireplace Fixup Stage II - Pale Shale

You'll save paint and get a better finish by starting with a bushy rough surface roller when slapping primer on brick.  Then switch to a semi-smooth medium nap roller for the first coat of paint.  Finish with a second skin of paint using a smooth surface roller.  I also hit the mortar joints with a brush so naked parts won't peek through.

Progress since v1.5:

  • Primed and painted the brick
  • Concealed power cord (chisled out a line of mortar and caulked in power)
  • Located wall studs and devised a plan for bolting TV bracket in front of wretched vents
  • They are reproducing, more vents found on the lower sides of fireplace; painted them flat black to match surround
  • Ordered a $25 TV mount on Amazon, this
  • Cat whiz stench be gone
  • Picked up trim and quarter round, getting busy with the miter saw
  • Swapped incandescent spotlights with Cree LEDs (130 watts down to 18 watts)


The color card say nimbus cloud, we'll call it pale shale with a blue aftertaste.