Monday, July 27, 2015

M-Cubed for 7.27.2015

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

- Hot and humid and in the upper 80s. That was the forecast over the weekend as the Burning River 100 Mile trail race took place from east of Cleveland to downtown Cuyahoga Falls. That's been the typical offering of weather for that race and the main reason I have said since my 2009 finish of this event that I wouldn't return. Heat and humidity is definitely my kryptonite and I'm just not up for that kind of suffering again. It has grown to massive proportions now with over 800 participants in the 100 miler, 50 miler and relays, too. From all accounts, it was another great event.

- It's now been 11 days since the horrific shootings in Chattanooga, TN where four U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy sailor lost their lives. It's been interesting to see how things have progressed since then and the reaction of many. If you skim social media, you'll see that the fallen are being laid to rest now. For the immediate days that followed July 16th, there was a social media outcry about why the flag wasn't ordered to half staff. 5 days after the shooting, the President finally ordered it to half staff until this past Saturday at sunset. The biggest contrast for this taking so long was the very recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states when the White House was lit up in rainbow colors 2 hours after the ruling. I'm not making a statement about that ruling but just stating the facts. You can decide to think what you may about this. There has also been an out-pouring from the gun-rights community and concerned citizens as many armed citizens from around the country have shown up at recruiting centers to stand watch in an effort to protect military on U.S. soil. On Friday, the Pentagon released a statement, asking those to not show up any longer. "We take the safety of our service members, our DoD civilians, and the families who support them very seriously, and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is currently reviewing recommendations from the services for making our installations and facilities safer — including our recruiting stations," Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. "While we greatly appreciate the outpouring of support for our recruiters from the American public, we ask that individuals not stand guard at recruiting offices as it could adversely impact our mission, and potentially create unintended security risks," Cook said. "We continue to partner with and rely on first responders for the safety of the communities where our service members live and work." Lastly, it turns out that those killed "could" get awarded the Purple Heart...but first, the act of "terrorism" must actually be proven to be tied to terrorism. Amazing, isn't it?! The red tape is crazy. Before I sign off this subject, I just want to say this: I hope you're angry if you consider yourself an American. You should be. You should be livid. Servicemembers killed on our soil in our backyard...the outcry should be deafening. But it isn't...and social media is a perfect litmus test for it. There are certain "issues" in our world that light up social media and sadly, garbage stories like Bruce Jenner light it up more than this. That's messed up!


- It was an "interesting" week of CrossFit. I won't bore you with the details but I will say that I let my emotions, past "baggage," and self-hatred get the best of me. In the end, I feel I came out stronger and even my hands are healing. On Wednesday's workout, I tore them in 3 places during one workout. Skin was dangling afterwards and my blood was on the pull-up bar where I was fighting for chest-to-bar pull-ups. I was back on the pull-up bar on Saturday, not shying away from the chalk bucket one bit. Speaking of Saturday, it was a great workout and the gym had nearly the entire membership present. The picture here is all the components of the workout I ended up doing before I left for the day. It was an up-and-down ladder workout of: 30 GHD sit-ups, 40 kettle bell swings at 55 pounds, 50 box jumps, 40 more swings and wrapped up with 30 more sit-ups on the GHD. (that piece of equipment in the background is the GHD) I did it in 12:02. Before I left, the rope was pulled down so I decided to fully zap my arms by getting about 6 climbs in. I've been working on a more efficient hook grip with my feet and I finally nailed it. It's far more efficient, faster, burns less and I can get up the rope 18 feet consistently in 3 pulls. Now, I need to work on doing them in succession with no rest and moving faster. Doing one at rest is easy...but doing a second immediately thereafter is another story entirely. Here's the last climb I did before leaving on Saturday. CLICK HERE. (pardon the vulgar language in the background music. :) ) All in all, the week ended well and I'm pumped to get back at it tonight...8 1/2 months in!

They picked silver and gold.
- If you think about it, you probably haven't heard much talk of the iPod in recent months and years. For many, the smartphone has replaced the music player. In fact, the 5th generation of Apple's iPod Touch came out in 2012 and most thought that Apple was letting it die. In Apple's most recent press conference, no mention of a refresh was made, either. Then, about 12 days ago, Apple released the 6th generation of the iPod Touch at a very competitive price point of $199. It's physical design is almost identical but the insides are brought current, including the same zippy processor that powers the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This release prompted my wife and I to do what we hadn't done ever before. For years, our girls have been the recipients of hand-me-downs...old iPhones that were deactivated and turned into virtual iPods. Well, I took them on a surprise trip to an Apple Store on Thursday night and it went off without a hitch! Seriously...they had NO idea what was happening until we were standing in front of them at the Apple Store. So much fun and as a dad, a blast to hear their surprise, giggling and joy for getting them.

- I got a few sunrise runs in this past week. This was one of them where I ran my favorite 10K route. It was moist as heck but a great run! I really appreciate every run I do.

- I mentioned Donald Trump last week and simply asked him to zip it after his slams on John McCain's service history as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. I won't dive into politics this week except to say this. "Republican candidates: I recommend you stop slamming him and spewing tons of negative rhetoric. Look at the polls...people are jumping on his bandwagon. I wouldn't suggest jumping on, too, but instead sticking to your own campaign and creating distance from his...but leave him alone." That's my 2 cents! Ya know Hillary is just licking her chops to take him on!

- A huge congratulations to my parents...44 years of wedded "bliss"!!! Well, I don't know if it has all been "bliss" but they've made it 44 flippin' years and that's awesome. "Happy 44th, Mom and Dad!"

- To wrap up this week, this is a fitting quote. Have a GREAT week, everyone!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill

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