Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Belated: M-Cubed for 7.14.2014

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for July Fourteenth, Two Thousand Fourteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Surely you can relate. Life. Busyness. Some things have to take the back seat. So here ya first ever Hump Day M-Cubed 48 hours late. Plenty to say, little time to type it.

- Over the weekend, I got the bug in my brain to build a homemade lightbox. What's a lightbox? Technically, it's "a flat box with a side of translucent glass or plastic and containing an electric light, so as to provide an evenly lighted flat surface or even illumination, such as in an art or photography studio." You can spend all kinds of money on them but I Googled how to make a homemade one. I adapted it to use only what I could find laying around the house and in the basement. So with an old Hammer Nutrition box, a few sheets of copier paper and a glue stick, I made one.

My first round of photos were in my laundry room with that fluorescent light. Even with the white sides, I had no idea about setting manual exposure so my photos all had this creaminess to them. See below for just a few. Luckily, a few friends who know about photography chimed in and gave me feedback after seeing these.

So today after breakfast, I grabbed the leftover avocado and took several photos but this time with the natural light from outside coming in from the side and moved the manual exposure around to achieve the true background as it exists. Here is the result...a complete up-tick in quality in what I'm going for. I now feel very limited by my ultra-tiny free box. I need a bigger cardboard box and some large sheets of white poster board and I'll be in business. Won't be free but won't even cost me the price of a Starbucks Frappuccino. (click on photo for high resolution version)

- Huge congrats to Bob "Gombu" Combs who finished yet another Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run over the weekend. It's a monster race without the normal 30hr limit but instead a 48hr limit...even starts on Friday morning to give enough time through the weekend. An incredible accomplishment!! (photo credit to Kimba who was there to assist Gombu...Bob's son paced him through the final miles)

- My running streak is still alive and kicking. Day 28 is today and has yet to happen...but it will. Also ahead of schedule for my monthly mileage goal. I'm also a month in to my "push up" initiative. I've been pausing a few times during each run and cranking out 25-30 military regulation push-ups. On Monday morning's 10, for example, I did 25 at all of the even miles so I got in 125 push-ups. I have definitely seen a change in the mirror thanks to these and feel stronger. Since I do nothing but run, I wanted to not only look better in a tank top ;), but increase my upper body strength. Working so far!

- Like my Facebook page yet for RTRSBM? No? Click here and "like" away! I typically post daily with all kinds of things. "Like" if you'd like to!

- I retired yet another pair of Pure Flow 2's a few days ago. Amazing to me the mileage I continue to get. Most specialty running stores will tell you that you'll get 250-300 miles out of a pair. At 6'3" and weighing in 200-205 pounds, I keep getting 400 miles out of every pair. The photo below shows the retired pair (right) and the new pair (left). Talk about even/perfect wear and honestly, not a whole lot of wear at all. The insides, though, are done. My knees told me so! So now, I'm wearing these obnoxious bright orange/directing traffic kind of Pure Flow 2's. It's the last in my inventory so I'll be on to the Pure Flow 3's next. "Rest in Peace, blue!!! You did well!"

- I am amazed at how one man/athlete/guy can have such an impact on a city. Things are rolling for Cleveland recently. First, they got picked to host the 2016 Republican National Convention which is HUGE for the city and now LeBron James is returning to the Cavs. Seriously...the ripple effect from his return boggles my mind. Just his announcement has caused a spike in season ticket sales and will benefit every restaurant around the "Q" in downtown Cleveland and pour revenue into the city. Then you have the retail element where his jersey and "LBJ" gear will once again be everywhere and sold on street corners...even counties away like it was 4 years ago. He's just a guy...but wow. I really couldn't care less as I don't have any interest in basketball but I am happy for the fans and the city of Cleveland. It would be awesome to see Cleveland get a championship. We really do have the best fans around, regardless of sport. They/we deserve one! So you go, LBJ...but I'm not going to call you the (K)ing. That's just a bit much for me.

- In closing today, here's a quote to digest for a moment...

"Every run is a work of art, a drawing on each day's canvas. Some runs are shouts and some runs are whispers. Some runs are eulogies and others celebrations. When you're angry, a run can be a sharp slap in the face. When happy, a run is your song. And when your running progresses enough to become the chrysalis through which your life is viewed, motivation is almost beside the point. Rather, it's running that motivates you for everything else the day holds."

-Dagny Scott Barrios, Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running

Have a great rest of your week and Happy Hump Day!

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