Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bike Trek

So... the trip was sort of a failure. We started out with 5 guys when we originally planned it. Then one guy broke his hand, and another guy bruised his ribs (during a practice run on the Katy Trail the week before the ride), and so we were 3 when leaving KC, heading for Clinton. Then on the way there one of the guys (Kevin) got sick, and though he tried to do the ride, he was puking every 4 or 5 miles the first day. We still made it (35 miles - from Clinton, MO to Sedalia, MO) to the hotel, half of the time we were riding in the dark, with 1 light between the 3 of us, attached to Richard’s helmet.

It was kind of crazy, because we got off the trail at 9pm, and rode along the side of a 4 lane highway in the dark for a few miles to where our hotel waited... right at the beginning I went off a curb and my bike rack broke from the weight of my bags. So I was riding in a dangerous 1-handed fashion (left hand was holding the bad up off my back wheel), and I quickly lost the guys in front of me. I had to stop to try to fix the setup, meanwhile losing sight of both Kevin and Richard. Then I was biking for a long time, because I didn't know where the motel was, and finally I got to a gas station, and past that there were no more business buildings... just houses. So I stopped and called Richard (who apparently had been trying to call me), and he told me I had passed them.

So I had to go back about 1/2 mile to the hotel where they were at... in the dark. Not fun. The funny thing was that Kevin was trying to wave me down when I rode past the hotel (Richard was checking us in), but Kevin was 15 feet from the road and puking his guts out, so he couldn't wave me down. So I didn't even hear or see him in the dark. Anyway, he was very pale and ill by that point, and ended up calling for a ride home.

Then we were 2.

Richard is a pretty hardcore guy, and that night we decided to shorten the trip from the originally planned 4 days, to just 2. So we had to cover a lot more ground, at a much higher speed. We started out the next morning doing pretty well, but I started having some knee pain at around mile 20, that continued to get worse with each passing mile. My right knee hurt each time I pedaled the bike. I ended up having to do a few miles with basically 1 leg... which didn't make my left knee feel much better than the hurt one.

Richard knew I was hurting, and suggested that maybe we call it in. I finally broke and said, "Alright, I'll have Sam come get me in Boonville (a little outside of Columbia)." Richard was thinking of continuing on, but his wife didn't want him riding alone for 100+ miles, so he and I stopped for lunch and then he let Sam and me drive him home, and then we went home.

Total distance covered on the trail: 72 miles (approx)
Distance off trail: 8 miles (approx)
Total distance: 80 miles.

Not bad for a couple of days, but not the planned event. I think I might have been ok, if we'd done the original slower paced 4 day ride. But the way it went, I just hadn't trained for that well enough. I plan to do a lot more riding, coming up in the next several months, and then we're going to try again in the spring.

That is, if I don't break a leg when skiing in Colorado in Feb.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Leaving for Katy Trail 225 mile bike trek

So I leave in 1 hour for the Katy Trail in Clinton. We'll be riding 225 miles on our bikes from Clinton, out past St. Louis to St. Charles. Then we'll be taking a train back to KC on Tuesday next week. The trek will be a ton of fun, as I'm going with 2 friends from work. What will not be so fun is being away from Sam and Sariah. Sam just came by my work to get my car (it's got the bike rack) and then she'll be picking me up at the train station with it.

Anyway, Sariah was with Sam, and she is just so sad to leave and not get to bring me with her. Normally it would be ok, but it's Friday and I'm not going to see her until Tuesday. She'll probably grow a 1/2" by then! She was crying and reaching out for me with both hands when I walked back into work to finish my final hour before leaving for the ride. *sniff*

I'll try to post some fun pics of the trek, so stay tuned!

Test blog

Testing that I can blog from my iPhone. I will be blogging from my
bike trek this weekend!

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 29, 2009

Corporate Challenge

I was up until 1:30am last Friday night going to See Transformers 2. A pretty crappy movie, imho. I was disappointed in the plot, the directing, and the confusion that ensued. In parts it was kind of like the people who made it were saying to themselves, “Ok, let’s have them do this.” And they didn’t stop to think how it would look to the audience, and that we would go, “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.”


However, the action and special effects were out of this world! I wish we could have followed what was going on a little better. The first movie was definitely better.

Ok, back on topic: I had to get up Saturday morning at 5am to go to the final Corporate Challenge event. I slept in until 5:50, so my morning was pretty rushed! We met down at Longview Lake for the event at 7:30. We were the first pull to take place in our division, so we had to dig holes in the sand to put our feet in.

Here is us digging:


We dug in and pulled for all we were worth, and won the first tug! Then we won our 2nd pull 20 minutes later. Then we kept on winning until we were in the final round! (and the team we were pulling against had lost 1 round already against another team).

Before event - Corporate Challenge

We were still undefeated. We pulled for all we were worth, but we thought that we were winning when the timer was running out, and when it ended it turned out that the other team had more of the flag than we did. During that round, I was pulling for all I was worth, but my grip was shot and the rope kept slipping through my gloved fingers.

But that was our first loss, so we got another shot. So we took a small break and then went at it again. This time we were ready! We pulled hard at the start, and then set in and held on for the duration of the time left on the clock. The other team kept trying to pull it from our grip but they couldn’t do it and we won the GOLD!

Yay for BATS and the Underdogs!!!

Underdogs Go For Gold

We finished 9th in our division (out of 27 teams).

Today is Monday, and I still have injuries from this event. Mostly in my legs. My left calf is still locked up, and it’s very painful to climb stairs… or walk… or jump even.

But the glory is worth it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson is Dead

I know that everyone and their mom is probably blogging about this today, but I just wanted to say my piece/peace. We were out to dinner last night at Gordon Beirsch, in the Power & Light District, getting ready to head over to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert, and I looked over to check the scores on TV, and I saw a big scrolling, “Michael Jackson is Dead” on the bottom of the screen. That was the first I knew of what had happened.

I personally really liked many of Michael’s songs, especially “Purple Rain.” What a great song … oh wait , that was Prince.

I actually liked “You Are Not Alone” and “Black or White” the most. I could listen to those 2 songs all day, and they’re both on my iPhone’s iPod song list.

Michael, I’m not sure if I’ll miss you, but I’m glad you were here to be such a great influence on the music world. 50 years isn’t very long to live. You definitely burned out, rather than fading away.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Here is another pic of Sariah that I think is cute. She was never that little!:

Sariah Dishes

This was back when she knew only 1 mood: happy. Now she knows 2 moods: happy and grumpy. I was ok with the two moods, but once she learned how to differentiate between what she wanted and what she got, it got worse. ;)

Sariah’s likes:
Playing outside
Oreo cookies (we’ve learned not to say cookie around her, or she HAS to have one)
Going bye bye
Walking on her knees
Pasta Pickups
Blue teddy bear
Keyboards (piano and computer)
Playing with other kids
Wind blowing in her face
Helping with the dishes
Being tickled

Sariah’s Dislikes:
Eating anything that she doesn’t recognize as tasty (ie: not cookies)
Walking on her feet
Sharing with other kids
Watching “Daddy’s shows” on TV instead of Elmo

Neutral stuff she doesn’t care about:
Diaper changing
Loud noises
Playing in her crib while mommy and daddy sleep in

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


So I bought some Crocs.  I bought a pair of Chocolate colored Yukon Crocs that I find very attractive.  They’re slightly dressy, and I like ‘em.  Well apparently my coworkers are part of the “Anti-Crocs Foundation” (ACF).  One of them told me that she actually finds my Crocs offensive!  Ha!  Crazy people. 

I just think they’re comfy, and they’re dressy enough to wear to work.  Why can’t these people just let it go?



Have you ever seen a happier kid in your life? This is Sariah, my daughter. And she’s the best.

Sariah Swing

Just look at her happy face. She’s like that most of the time. Almost all the time, actually. Last Sunday she was being REALLY happy during church (smiling, waving at people, laughing out loud), and my friend Tracy leaned over to me and said, “Is she like that all the time?” I smiled and told her “Yes, ALL the time.” Then Sariah suddenly got really grumpy, and stayed that way for the rest of the meeting. I even had to take her out a couple of times to quiet her down. Ahh, kids. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

iPhone update

Vacation skipped, iPhone obtained!

I Heart LAN Parties

I love LANs. I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s just something about the sound of whirring cooling fans and frantic mouse clicking, paired with the wonderful smell of sweaty palms and overheating microchips.

My wife doesn’t understand why I love these things so much. She has tried to understand. She’s even come to a LAN event or 2 and gamed with me. She just doesn’t get the same exhilarating experience out of it that I do. But you want to know what the best part about LANs is? It’s being able to yell this at the top of your lungs to a room full of people you’re trying to kill:

BOOM Headshot

Yes, for those of you wondering, a “head shot*” is a glorious thing in the world of gaming. It’s the best way to frag someone. That guy above in the pic is also very funny. Here is a short video of him (but only watch the first 1/2, because at the end someone kills him in Counter Strike and he goes on a rant that has some words in it that shouldn’t be repeated):

Still, he’s a funny guy.

*A “Head Shot” is when you shoot someone in the head in a video game and instantly frag** them. I would give an example of how this is used in a sentence, but the term “Head Shot” is its own sentence. :)

**A “Frag” is a kill. To Frag someone is to kill them. Frag is a gaming term mostly used around children who you don’t want to use the word “Kill.” For example, you don’t want them to go to school and say, “I killed you!” to other children.

This post is dedicated to this weekend’s Cerner LAN.

Monday, June 22, 2009

iPhones are the Devil

So Sam and I have iPhones. We had the original iPhones back in the day, and then we were quick to upgrade to iPhone 3G iPhones as soon as they came out (I think we got ours the week after the original release date, so we could avoid the rush). When we did that upgrade, we were able to sell our old iPhones for the same price we bought them for, so that was great. However, now that the iPhone 3G-S’s are out, we want to upgrade again, but this time we will have to pay a lot for the upgrade, because Apple is evil. AT&T is also evil. Why do they do this to us? :)

Anyway, my friend Rob™ already upgraded to the new iPhone, and he can’t stop saying enough good things about how fast it is and how wonderful the new stuff on it is. Sam was originally against the idea of getting new phones, but once she saw how awesome they were, she agreed with me that we had to get one for each of us. I know what you’re thinking… “That’s a lot of money to spend on a phone.” But when you’re an iPhone user, you quickly realize that the iPhone isn’t just a phone, it’s a way of life!

And besides, it’s good to splurge every once in a while, right? We’ll just skip our vacation this year, and then we can “afford” it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Employee Recognition Award

So last week I had my 6 month review with my 2 managers (I've been here about 9 months, but they do reviews on everybody twice a year all at the same time). Well the review went great, and in some ways it reminded me of one of my previous employers, where one day I won the Employee Recognition Award. That employer didn’t do monthly or even yearly awards. They just up and decided one day to give a recognition award to an employee. I don't know why they did this, but it might have had something to do with the fact that they had 4 extra Chief's tickets to give away. :) They never did the award again while I was there (and I worked there for 7 years!)

Anyway, they asked each employee to secretly vote for 1 other employee, and to explain why they thought this person should win the award and be recognized as a special employee. There were over 100 people working there at the time, and apparently I got more votes than anyone else. Here are some of the notes that people wrote about me:

While he worked in my department, he always worked through the chaos with a smile on his face. As people ran in with last minute projects, yes beyond the designated deadline, he always took them with a smile. His efforts were very much recognized and he was promoted to a higher position. Life gets hectic as well in his new role, but he again never lets us see him sweat. Maybe they do in his new department, but in interacting with the other departments he keeps his chin up and doesn’t get frustrated when things get tuff.

He is always willing to help others and answer their questions. He is always polite and never rude about things. He occasionally answers customer calls about things that he isn’t involved in and either takes care of it or directs them to the correct person.

He is the most pleasant person I have ever worked with. His attitude is wonderful. He is always positive, and has a way of looking on the bright side of every situation.

Yes, isn't it funny that 2 people wrote exactly the same thing as their titles about me? "Makes the work place more enjoyable." Apparently I make the workplace better for those around me! :) Well, I wasn't writing this to brag or gloat, I just wanted to share that being positive isn’t just an attitude, but a lifestyle, and it does make others feel better towards you.

What I found most interesting at the time was that about 15 different people came up to me afterwards to congratulate me and they all said pretty much the same thing: "James, I didn't vote for you, but I knew you would win!"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Interesting Note

So, you know how sometimes something normal will happen that will leave you discovering something new about yourself that you didn't even know? Well, I just put my receipts in our personal accounting software for the last 3 months, and there really weren't that many (I don't do much shopping). In fact, I put in probably 20-25 receipts. ALL of them, except for 2, were for one of the following:
Chipotle, QuikTrip, or MicroCenter.

Apparently I only eat at one restaurant, buy gas at QT, and shop at one electronics store. Man, I need to get out of this routine! ;)

Well, that's it for my self-discovery for today!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Those who wish to sing always find a song

(post warning: there is repeated use of the word "Crappy" in this post. If this offends you, please don't read any further)

So I've decided to title all my new posts with Chinese fortune cookie quotes. Today's was Those who wish to sing always find a song. Some of my coworkers didn't really get the quote when I read it to them after a delicious Chinese lunch one day. They just looked at me and said, "How does that work?" But I think it has deeper meaning. I think that if you want to sing, you will find a way, and if you want to be happy, then you will make it happen. YOU choose your destiny. Yes, bad things can happen to you, and you can blame all your problems on them. For example, some of us have crappy parents (or think we do), and others have crappy friendships, or crappy jobs, or crappy dogs who break into their stuff and eat their giant -partially eaten- chocolate kiss that they got for Valentine's Day and then get deathly ill and then poo chocolate crap all over their carpet. But in the end, we decide whether to do something about it, and whether to be happy. Some decide not to be happy. They decide that some days they will be happy, and others they will rip off someone's head and eat it because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You choose which you'll be. Will you sing, or will you not sing?

Now, to explain my previous post about the glass desks... I posted that as somewhat of an inside joke with my friend Rob. However, others who read it are probably confused. Basically Sam and I got new desks. They're made of glass. If you want to see pictures, Sam will probably post some on her blog. http://www.samransom.blogspot.com/ End of explanation.

Friday, February 20, 2009

In Every Dream Home

When he came through the back door, the kitchen was quiet and empty. He thought maybe she wasn't home. But he found her, sitting at the dining room table, in silence. A cigarette burned in the ashtray next to her, sending grey curls of smoke up toward the ceiling. At first, she didn't even look at him. Then: "You're back."

"I'm back," he sighed.

"Did you forget something?"

"No. I'm coming home."

She stared into his eyes. "I don't know why. We've said all we have to say. You know how I feel. I know how you feel. Unless you've changed your mind about buying that new desk."

"I haven't. But-"

"But nothing. You know I think we can't afford a new desk. That hasn't changed. It won't change."

"I know."

She looked away. "So what are you doing here?"

"Now… now we can both have one."

"We've already discussed this. We don't have the money to buy you a new desk, let alone me a new desk."

"What if they're on sale?"

Her eyes locked on his. "If you're playing with me, I swear to God – if this is a joke…"

"It's not a joke. The Sharper Image Stockton Collection is not a joke. It's real. The dark wooden legs, the sharp lines, and yes, the sleek glass surface – all real."

"So… we can have it all?"



"Yes. Yes. Yes."

She was up, going to him, finding the space between his arms.

"Let's never fight again," she sobbed. "Never let me go."

"I won't," he assured her. "I won't." As they entwined in the darkening dining room, their bodies fitting together in a familiar embrace, just one thought distracted him: Now I just have to make sure she never finds out I'm addicted to computer games.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Planet Sub

So, today we had Planet Sub at work, and it was delicious! I forget how much I like that place. Such good food. I think they are the best fast food type places I've ever eaten at. Fazoli's is a close second, and Chipotle is definitely third place. I don't even get anything special at Planet Sub, just the regular Planet Sub sandwich, with whatever they put on it. I think that must be why they named the restaurant after it... because it's just such a good sandwich.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cool photo I took with my iPhone

Ok, so this is nothing special, but I took this photo last Summer while hanging out with my sister and 2 friends at Worlds of Fun. This is the boomerang rollercoaster. We had a great time, but after this was taken we went on this ride and it made Jessie really sick. Anyway, I think the photo is awesome.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First blog entry

Hmm, what to say for my first blog entry? Usually I just write my thoughts... and right now I'm wondering how long it will take people to find this blog. Should I link to other people's blogs yet, or just leave it empty for a while to see who finds me? Oh wow, the high level of self importance I must have to think that anyone even cares whether or not I have a blog? The blogging world has gotten along just fine without me this far, so what makes me think that I have something important enough to add to make creating a blog worth while?

The answer to that is simple: I've started to read some people's blogs, and I find them quite fascinating at times. Enough so that I feel I could add some insight to some points people make in their daily writings. If I get that much enjoyment from another's thoughts, then I hope I can add something worthwhile to this huge collection of blogs.

Simply stated, I think my own opinion matters enough that I want to say it. Whether anyone reads it, or anyone even cares, is yet to be seen.