Monday, August 24, 2015

M-Cubed for 8.24.2015

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

- We had a June that seemed like April with all the rain. Now, we've gone over a month with not even a thunderstorm and hardly any rain. The neighborhood is quiet with no lawnmowers, all the lawns are brown and honestly, I'm ok with that! I've loved all the sun, especially since two back-to-back brutal winters in NE Ohio.

- It's fair week! Almost time for my one Amish-style funnel cake of the year. Tons of fat, calories and powdered sugar. Bring it!

Kendrick Brothers
- If you're a fan of the Kendrick brothers who brought us the movies Fireproof and Courageous, definitely go see "War Room" that opens this Friday. On our Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise in February, they were on the cruise and premiered the movie to us then. It was super good and earned that standing ovation at the end. We'll definitely be going to see it again. Watch the trailer here.

- On Sundays, we definitely take a break from CrossFit and for the past few weeks have run together before heading off to Sunday morning church. Yesterday, we enjoyed an upper 50s, clear, gorgeous morning run along the Cuyahoga River in Kent, OH. Fantastic run and awesome to hear nothing but birds and the water moving in the river. Given the lack of rain, the water level is pretty low but still refreshing to see and hear.

- After our run yesterday and a visit to a new church in a nearby town, we did head back to our CrossFit gym but not to work out. Once a month, they clear it out and do a deep clean. With all the heavy weights and equipment, they opened it up to members this month with an added bonus of burgers and steaks on the grill afterwards. It was a great time to help out! Many hands make quick work! On Saturday, though, I had the choice of running roads down south, some trails out east, or head into the box for a surprise workout. I opted for the 3rd choice, mostly because it didn't gobble up the day in time and I'm definitely a glutton for "punishment." What waited for me was Ashley's "Sassy Saturday." Appropriately, I did with two female members at the gym and got my tail handed to me when it was all done. Still, a great workout and I bested my "Helen" time by 8 seconds. Not a huge PR but a PR nonetheless. That 3rd WOD within the WOD was a lion in sheep's clothing. We all thought that was going to be the easier one but it ended up being the hardest because you never get a chance to let your heart slow down. I was pretty happy with my deadlifts, too. I've been working a lot on them and this was a good test for me. Last week as a whole was a great week cumulatively as well. Our coach began a whole new method of programming that really helps us make the best of the limited time in the gym and helps him coach more efficiently as the membership grows. Still loving it! (Oh yea...I almost forgot. On Thursday, I tackled an "issue" of mine...the 30" box. I have zero issue with jumping all day on a 24" box but I have stood there and stared at the 30" box, unable to will myself to jump on it...nothing but fear! Well, I finally conquered that fear in a WOD that when all was done, I had jumped on it 50 times! BOOM!) ... and no bloody shins. :)

- I had the honor of doing my 4th veteran pinning last week via my volunteer effort I've talked about previously. This man was being ravaged by cancer but I had the chance at sitting down with him for a few minutes. Here was my summation of our few minutes together that I posted online: "Did my 4th Veteran to Veteran pinning today. Army yet again but sandwiched in between WW2 and Vietnam. Super kind man, sharp mind, but physically attacked by cancer and a weak heart. While waiting to talk to him, I sat with a lady who had a companion dog with her named "Sugar" who took a real liking to me. My visit was brief with the Army Vet and alumni of the 1st Calvary. I asked if he had seen We Were Soldiers and sure enough, he had. I said my goodbyes but before I left the facility, an Army Ranger vet stopped me and rendered me a quick salute and handshake from his wheelchair. I don't think I can volunteer with this program and not be changed. Up until today, I only went to a veteran's home. Today, it was a facility and while I tried to sneak by, every head turned and set of eyes scanned me on the way in and out...but they were awesome and cheerful. In fact, a guest musician was playing his accordion in a mini concert in the common area when I arrived. It put a smile on my stepping out of 2015 and into an era better represented by the population living there."

- Surely, many of you have an iPhone and perhaps even reading this on one. I drank that Kool Aid awhile back with the iPhone 4 that spawned multiple purchases from more iPhones to the iPad to an iMac and Macbook Pro. I'm a marketing junkie, too, and love watching how they market their stuff and like to predict what's coming before it does. Well, we're nearing the next big event that happens twice a year when they schedule a big press conference and make surprise announcements, some bigger than others. It hasn't been announced yet but most agree it will be on September 9th. Since we got the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last Fall, a mid-cycle update is expected, most likely as a 6S and 6S Plus. Visually, probably the same but inside some upgrades and tweaks. One interesting tidbit was the metal being used. Thanks to some production leaks, the man who tested the bendability of the current 6 and 6 Plus got a hold of a new, supposed case and the rumor mill says there is now zinc in it making it FAR more stronger than the current version. If you recall, some people have had their phones bend, especially the huge 6 Plus version. The new operating system is coming, too, called iOS 9. I've actually been running the beta version of it for the past month and like it. My #1 new feature is a battery saving mode you can turn on that absolutely works. There is also rumor that a 3rd iPhone model could be released...nicknamed the 6C..a lower cost version like the 5C was. That is more rumor than anything at this point. What's true is this...Apple has garnered a lot of Samsung's business via the 6 Plus. Samsung was leading the way for the larger phone market but with the release of the large 6 Plus, many waiting for such an Apple product gave up their Android operating systems and came to Apple...many for the first time. If you're an Apple junkie, too, I highly recommend and their Twitter feed.

- If you've been away from the news, you may not have heard of Ashley Madison yet. It's not a's the online website/service that has been facilitating those who want to have an extramarital affair...priding itself on protecting the identity of members and secrecy. Well, it turns out that a former disgruntled employee has led to the leaking and publishing of millions of users online. The Associated Press said “The list includes at least two assistant U.S. attorneys, an information technology administrator in the White House’s support staff, a Justice Department investigator, a division chief, and a government hacker and counterterrorism employee at the Homeland Security Department. Others visited from networks operated by the Pentagon.” Quite honestly, it's sickening. When you think about the last wedding you attended or photos you just looked at on Facebook from a friend's wedding, to think there is a service out there to totally dismantle those vows made is wrong on so many levels. It's surely a sad testament to the state of humanity...and not just here in America, but around the globe as this bar graph shows the number of users per country...and this is only the Top 25.

- Before I close up shop this Monday morning and "almost" the last Monday of August, let me give you a dose of I attempt to drink this same encouragement for myself. I encourage you to keep your priorities, faith, family and self in check and always strive to do the right thing, even in the face of fear and possible persecution and attacks from the outside. Often when we're faced with a fork in the road, either choice is going to offend, anger some and satisfy others. For me, I choose to go to prayer and seek what truly is right for me to do, how to lead my family, and let Him whom I elevate above all else lead the way. For me, the peace that follows whatever decision being made is priceless, even in the face of opposition like I mentioned. If we constantly seek to "people please" and seek the approval of others, we're destined for stress, disappointment and probably yet another course correction. In the end, it's about having courage which is defined as "Doing your duty in the face of fear." What is the most courageous thing you have ever done? I posed this question online earlier last week and am thankful for those who shared their stories. What is yours? Whatever it is, you most likely had to go to the core of who you are and your raw humanity came forth...regardless of the cost. That is the epitome of who we are and what we must own up to. If we don't like it, we need to start making changes in the right direction.

- If you're a friend of ours, you may have picked up on our pursuit of less...owning less, filling our schedules with less and focusing more on quality time instead of stuff. We're actually to the point now where we don't have our annual garage sale because there isn't enough to justify it. When there IS something for the garage sale pile, it gets donated or sold pronto! So instead of leaving you with an inspirational quote this week, I'm just going to leave the image below. It's true, you know! Have a fantastic week, everyone!

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