Friday, October 14, 2011

10/13/11 My Trip To the Walt Disney Family Museum

This is one of those posts that I wish I could add tons of pictures and art work so you can see some of the stuff I saw. But this museum has quite a few rules. On the ticket:

· No Cell Phone
· No Photography
· No Strollers
· No Backpacks
· No Food or Beverages

I believe the no Cell Phone rule is no calling or taking pictures or video. I had to check flight information a couple of times while I was there and they didn’t have an issue with it, I did it in a corner away from everybody, but still in the view of the docents.

Couple of quick things about me: I’m not a big Museum guy. I heard about the Museum on many podcasts, but Window to the Magic really sold me on going. My love of Disney is really only to the Theme Parks and the man, Walt Disney. Besides the live action musicals of the mid to late 60’s, the cartoons and the movies are only okay to me. I’ve probably only seen all of them once, maybe twice. Disneyland and Disney World, I haven't been enough, but I've been a lot. So that’s my background with Disney.

When you arrive to the Museum, it leaves you in awe. It is absolutely beautiful. Looking at the building, you can see the Golden Gate in the background. The day was sunny and absolutely beautiful. I’d love to come back just to explore the grounds of the Presidio.

When you enter the building, it’s actually quite empty compared to the exhibits. I needed to use the restroom, and it took me some time to find it, head downstairs. Downstairs, there’s some cool Disneyland Attraction posters, but that’s it. I think this area is used for bag check. The restrooms are very clean and open, I think they need to add music or something to this downstairs area.

On the first floor, I glimpsed the store and a tiny refreshment stand. Listening to a WTTM podcast, I had pictured this area a lot larger, the ears tricked me. I bought my ticket at the desk, 20 dollars for my adult size, and got the rundown of rules, which I knew thanks to the podcast.

Behind the desk is a large room where you can view all the awards that Walt had received. I think the most interesting part of this large room was the Snow White Oscar awards and the furniture from the apartment above the Firehouse.

You give your ticket to the ticket taker, get the rundown of rules again, and enter the first exhibit. This first exhibit was fascinating. It chronicles from Walt’s Grandparents to Walt joining the Red Cross. Pictures on the walls, articles to read, video displayed with Walt telling stories, and memorabilia tell a wonderful and vivid story. You really get the isense of Walt’s youth and the family members that pushed him to be great. Even his father’s Fiddle was there to look at. Some of the things that you could read, you would hear Walt say again in the video. By the time I left the first room, I knew who Walt’s Family were and what they looked like. I found it interesting that Walt and his sister were photographed together a lot. Perhaps due to the closeness of their ages? I read, looked and saw everything.

The next room continued the story after Walt returned from the war. He continues with his animation skills and gets a job perfecting those skills. I didn’t realize how much time he also spent behind the video camera. The home videos, the backwards video, and Laugh-O-Gram videos were awesome to see.

One thing that definitely impressed me was the High Definition black and white photos. Some of those pictures were simply awesome.

You take the elevator up to the second floor. The elevator is a little confusing. Me and the other couple in the elevator actually stood there for 30 seconds until we realized we had to push a button. Yeah, we felt stupid. Then Uncle Walt came over the speakers in the elevator and gave a little introduction.

The first room on the second floor had to do with the Alice cartoons. I was a little confused with the different pictures of the little girls, until I read that there were actually 4 girls that played Alice. You were able to read some of the correspondence from the people who released the Alice shorts, and they weren’t kind messages. I was kind of surprised by the harshness of the messages.

Prior to the second floor, all the audio came from the ceiling for the videos. On the second floor, some of the videos had audio in the ceiling, others had these cool little speakers you held up to your ear to listen. That was pretty cool. When Walt’s family showed up in video, I was surprised that I knew who everybody was, and didn’t need to read the captions.

In the next room, the story of Oswald, the loss of Oswald, and the creation of Mickey. On one wall, there were tons of individual drawings from Steamboat Willie, only 15 actual seconds of footage. In this room, my fascination with Ub Iwerks really started rooting in my brain. He’s in tons of pictures, did tons of the artwork for the Mickey cartoons, and I wanted to know more. Weird how I’m in a museum for Walt Disney, but I was in need to learn more about Iwerks.

In the center of this room was a hands on exhibit where you could add sounds to video footage. Being alone, I watched the instructions and then moved on. Now understanding the story of Mickey Mouse, and how Steamboat Willie was actually the 3rd short of Mickey Mouse, I was heading into the next room when I looked at my phone. It was 4:00 PM. I had been there for 2 hours and only had an hour left. I also realized that my brain hurt.

In the next room, I found a bench against the window and sat down for a breather. Being a Theme Park fan, I was hoping to spend most of my time in the Disneyland section, and now I only had an hour. Putting myself back together, I quickly went through the Snow White room, the Pinocchio room, watched a little of the Fantasia video, and moved on to the artist strike.

I spent some crucial minutes watching this section of Walt’s history. While this exhibit was relatively small, it gave me an idea of what was going on back then. I wish there was more information, but no time to dwell.

Went quickly through the Mexico section, and spent very little time in the animation room which looked to have some really cool hands on exhibits.

The next room caught me completely by surprise. DISNEYANA. Of course, Disneyana was the collection of Disney memorabilia...Right? Not exactly. There were these little replicas of tables and chairs, books, and tons of other stuff. Walt was interested in having an exhibit tour the United States with these miniatures. It was fascinating. I never knew, and had to move on, unfortunately.

Quickly walked by the True Life Adventures, spent a couple of minutes relaxing by the window looking at the Golden Gate (what a view), and finally found myself in the Disneyland room. First up, Walt’s train. The videos, the pictures, it was fantastic. No time to read, I walked around the walk way only to come face to face with the Disneyland model.

I spent 10 minutes looking at the model and trying to figure out how to duplicate it for my house, not possible. The model was smaller than I anticipated, and I thought I had heard that all the rides up to today was included. But that wasn’t really true. I think all the attractions that Walt worked on were included. Every time I looked at something I had already seen, I found something new, some extra that I missed early. I looked at it from all directions, and it was breath taking. The worker who watched over the display (bored out of her mind) kept asking me if I had any questions, I just wanted to look.

I pulled myself away, literally, and walked by exhibits for Wonderful World of Color, the Mickey Mouse Club, and Mary Poppins. I took a close look at the Abraham Lincoln exhibit, read some of the information on Epcot, and kept moving. In the final exhibit of this room were the last projects that Walt was a part of: Happiest Millionaire (my favorite Disney movie), planned ski resort and Disney World.

There was a video montage in this section that showed about 10 seconds of what looked like a huge model of the Disney World property. I have never seen this footage before, and I would love to see more. I watched this montage twice trying to see more of the detail of that model. Does anybody know of its existence and where I might be able to see more? Maybe pictures of the model? One of many things that I wish there was more on.

The saddest part was the story of the final 2 months of Walt’s life. How he went from hip issues, to a lump, to getting better, to gone. Left a lump in the throat.

And then to really kick you in the gut, when you enter the next room, there was a small video of the broadcast of Walt’s Death. Had to stay there for a second to compose myself. Then it was time to leave. I walked past the cartoons and walked through the white room with video on the wall. I walked through the exit and into the store. Not enough time…

CONCLUSION

I have heard many people say that you need a full day to go through that Museum. I disagree, I think you need multiple days to go through this museum. In all honesty, I experienced Walt from birth to Steamboat Willie, visited him at Disneyland, then his passing. That was my 3 hour visit at the Museum. My head hurt with all the information that I had sucked in from those couple of rooms. Staying there longer probably would not have been enjoyable. Maybe go from 10 -12, take a 2 hour walk on the ocean and get something to eat, then return for another 3 hours? That might work. Then on the third visit, bring my boys.

Between the amazing pictures, amazing videos, the story and the wonderful hands on exhibits, this is a wonderful museum.

Questions that I would like to research more on:

· Who is Ub Iwerks, definitely check to see if there’s a biography on him
· Relationship between Walt and Ruth
· Disneyana and the miniatures
· Artist Strike
· The Disney World model that looked like the size of a football field

But the biggest question I have is why is this museum in San Francisco? Is it because of how close the family is? I would think this museum should be in Marcione, Kansas City, Hollywood or Orange. Or am I missing something? Which is definitely possible. I still have 75% of the exhibits still to look through.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Running Day #21 - Best run this month

Uh, yeah, best run this month means it SUCKED!! I decided to run 3 miles, then I decided to see where the flooding was taking place on the bike trail. So I ran to the bike trail, up over the bridge (water was extremely high) back down, to I16, which is where the flooding started. Probably okay for bikes, but I would have gotten wet.

Back over the bridge where I took a couple of pictures. Accidentally stopped Run Keeper, which is why my run is cut into two. Ran down from the bridge and was exhausted. I felt relaxed and my muscles were not in the mood to go any further. Walked 30 seconds, then ran the rest of the way back. Running down 19th instead of 16th to get back faster.

So why no running? It looks like our Disney World trip in January 2012 isn't in the cards. So getting ready for the marathon isn't on the top of my list. Instead, I've enjoyed reading, movie watching and even some video game playing (I forgot how much I love to play video games). Plus, the boys are playing t-ball, and that's number 1 on my list. Great team, great parents, I'm really having a great time this year, game on.

So with nothing to push me forward, my running has kind of been pushed to the side for now. I've cancelled a lot of my television shows, leaving me with reality television, some sitcoms, and a few murder mysteries to watch. I'm usually caught up by the weekend, which means I'm cleaning the house and preparing dinner more. It's actually really nice. SCORE!!

Now, if I can just find a way to get my family to Disney, that would be awesome.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: NULL
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 100.8 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 2/19/10 - 7.93 miles

Just realized I didn't blog about my longest run, probably due to the really bad headache I got from that run. It was kind of cool, ran around downtown on the bike trail. Started at work, went to the almond factory, hopped on the bike trial, ran to Discovery Park, ran to Old Sac, to the Capitol, and back to work. Close to 8 miles, but I was exhausted after that run. Needed a nap. Til next time!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Running Day #19 - The Invaders & Valentine's Day

I was hoping that the rain would come and I would have to cancel my run. But the rain held off and I went off running. At the looks of my stats, I took off at an 8:50 pace, trying to beat the rain. But I slowed down, especially on the way back when I was running against the wind.


Just completed a 5.56 mi run with RunKeeper
Duration 0:53:12 Calories Burned 705 Average Pace 9:34 / mi
Average Speed 6.27 mph Elevation Climb 272 ft

When I entered the Bike Trail, I was shocked to find no homeless anywhere. Saw a couple of walkers, which is normal, but no homeless. It was a strange and empty feeling. When I went over the bridge, I found out why. There was a prison bus with 5 or 6 other cars right outside the tenting grounds. The huge blue tarp tent was completely gone, and only 2 smaller tents were still there. Further along, I found the dumpster by Northridge full of sleeping bags, chairs and other living items. On the far right of the trail was another huge pile of the same kind of stuff.

Looks like the homeless were forced out. On my way back, one of the two tents was being taken down by the inhabitant and he was packing his stuff up.

At times, the homeless kind of freaked me out on the trail. Especially that one guy who turned around and looked like he was going to fight. But all in all, they are a quiet people who want to be left alone. That big tarp-tent was where most of them were probably living. When I saw them, they were sitting in chairs laughing and enjoying the day. Kind of like the old people sitting on porches back in the day. I have a hard time with them being kicked out, especially when they will probably return in the next week or two.

On the Disney World front, we made our reservations for the run in January. We will be staying at the Treehouses. I hope we are able to afford it.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 328 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 96.81 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/22/10 - 7.26 miles

Friday, February 11, 2011

Having fun with the guys on The Hub


Been Awhile - Update and Vinyls

Man, it's been awhile. Last Friday was my 4th day that week running and I hit over 20 miles. Then I hit nothing this week. Monday, woke up and just didn't feel right, and it's continued on through the week. My head is stuffed up, got some coughing, and physically I am exhausted.

I was going to attempt to run today, but I decided to head out to another comic book store to see if I can pick up some back issues of the Stand. Been using my Birthday money to catch up. I've picked a couple of Comics that I'm going to stick with, mostly because I love reading them just don't have the time or money to read a lot. Those comics are:


  • Stephen King's The Stand
  • Walking Dead
  • Batman - the Dark Knight

There's also Jurassic Park, which I can't find, and the continuing story of Jericho, which sounds really intriguing.

Also, my boys and I received our Vinylmations for the month. This month we got 2 from the Animation Series 1, Villains Series 1, and Holiday Series 2. Out of the six vinyls, we received 5 new ones (both the Holiday 2 vinyls were the same, disappointing). In addition to the Vinyl I got at my birthday party, here's our new additions:










Disney Shopping also just released an additional vinyl for the Animation Series 1, which you can buy for 25 bucks:

Also went to a new restaurant yesterday called Spin Burger Bar. Could easily have the best burger in Sacramento. Add a Cheese skirt from Squeeze Inn, and it WOULD be the best burger in Sacramento. 1/2 lb burger with tons of fries and a coke for under 10 bucks plus tip, not too bad. Burger juicy, well cooked, and delicious. Check it out on 16th and K.
Also, as for that DPM I over at PSU, yeah, not going to happen. They decided to change that position to a DPM II. Do they have a candidate in mind? No idea. Just another disappointment with the state, was really hoping for that job. Oh well.
Been a weird week. Lots of things not going my way, but I move on. Can't wait for a nice relaxing weekend and then back to my regular routine on Monday. Too bad I don't have a lot of money for Vinyls, comic books and throw in some time to accomplish all the stuff I'd like to do. Don't even think the Lottery could help with time. Have a good weekend everybody, and I'll be running on Monday...I hope.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Running Day #18 - Disappointment, not the first, not the last

The run was a good one. Felt like I was going a bit slow, but kept on moving. Couldn't beat that. Another train on my run, more bikers than usual, and a beautiful day. Then I got the results:

Just completed a 5.51 mi run with RunKeeper
Duration 0:54:55 Calories Burned 701
Average Pace 9:58 / mi Average Speed 6.02 mph Elevation Climb 262 ft

First, I ran the exact same run as yesterday, yet one was 5.57 and todays was 5.51. What the f*&*? Then the pace, 9:58, are you kidding me? Very disappointed. Got to speed things up, I don't approve.

But the good news is, I ran more than 20 miles this week, Hurray!! And my next run should get me over that 100 mile mark. On my way peeps, on my way.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 338 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 96.76 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/22/10 - 7.26 miles

Vinyls, Vinyls, Vinyls, Oh I wish I had more money

So I was extremely happy to get an email from Disney Shopping letting me know that the new Disney World anniversary vinyls have popped up on their website. I was just about to take my birthday money and go shopping, then I saw the price: 16.95!! Are you kidding me? The normal ones are 9.95, the non-surprise ones are 12.95, and these are 16.95!! YIKES!! Hopefully the price will go down but I doubt it. Would have loved to add these to the collection:


So that was a bummer. Then they also put on the website the Ticket Book collection, going for 99.99. Not really too bad, I've seen these types of collections going for 250 dollars.

On Weds, Erin let me buy a couple of Vinyls which they had snuck in like these. They are currently on their way to the house and I can not wait to see what I get, neither can the boys:





So the last Vinyl collection to talk about is the Star Wars collection. Unfortunately, these may never be found on the Disney Shopping website, which sucks. The reason seems to be that there's a copyright rule. So you have to buy them at the resort. Thinking about making a call and getting a couple mailed to me. If only the lottery fairy would visit me...SOON!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Running Day #17 - Boo or Poop

Today was a fight to get out the door. Normally, on a day as hectic and stressful as this morning has been, I welcome a good run away from work. Today, I was just tired. But, with a friend saying "I think you should just go", I headed out the door (thanks Linda!!).

Just completed a 5.57 mi run with RunKeeper
Duration 0:53:40 Calories Burned 707
Average Pace 9:38 / mi Average Speed 6.23 mph Elevation Climb 266 ft

First, I lost to a train who got to the bridge first. Then right before mile marker 3, I passed a guy on the right who I scared and turned around ready for a fight. Good thing he turned left and I was on his right side.

Then, I passed a guy taking a poop by the pond area. He was squatting for some time, so I think that's what he was doing. Then I ran into the same train that beat me to the bridge, back up over the raised track area (which was pretty cool), going back over the bridge (I won this time) and back through midtown. Very bizzarre.

At the end, I had some more energy and completed the run strong. Not too bad for a guy who didn't want to go out. My left foot is still bothering me, but I'm thinking a new pair of shoes are going to be in my future.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 339 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 91.25 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/22/10 - 7.26 miles

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Running Day #16 - Man Vs Wind

Getting out the door wasn't too hard today. But running, that was a different matter. 3 blocks in, I realized I better keep this one short. My left ankle/foot, the one I sprang yesterday, is still giving me issues. It felt weird just walking from my car to work this morning, not a good sign. But the weird thing was, my body really didn't want to shorten the run. So I kept going.


Just completed a 5.55 mi run with RunKeeper

Duration 0:53:56 Calories Burned 711
Average Pace 9:43 / mi Average Speed 6.17 mph Elevation Climb 274 ft

I was against the wind all the way to the bridge. When I hit the bridge, the wind gave me a "oh hell no" and started blowing extra hard. My hat almost flew off my head. I brought my head down, held my hand, took in air through my mouth, and ran through it. On the way back, I flew over the bridge, and got a good kick in the butt when I turned onto 16th. Was kind of wishing for a full push all the way down, instead, just a kick.

Had a minor scare on the bike trail. There were four shady looking people watching people go by. Wasn't sure I really wanted to run by them a second time, but they were gone when I returned. Kind of a relief. I am glad that the section I do run on is usually really populated by people or cars.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 340 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 85.68 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/22/10 - 7.26 miles

Monday, January 31, 2011

Running Day #15 - Running with my first minor injury

I think the hardest part of running is getting out the door. On somedays, it's also hard to keep running. But the feeling you get after finishing a run and cooling off is one of the best feelings in the world. The excitement, the need to do more, run farther and succeed. That is truly the greatest part of running.

Runkeeper Stats:

Just completed a 6.28 mi run with RunKeeper
Duration 1:00:25 Calories Burned 804
Average Pace 9:37 / mi Average Speed 6.24 mph Elevation Climb 300 ft

I almost ran a VERY long distance today. I stopped myself for two reasons: one, I wasn't sure if I had the time. And Two, I twisted my ankle around 2.5 miles. It didn't hurt, but my left foot didn't feel right. Hopefully it won't be sore.

Now this VERY LONG run is something I must do in the next couple of weeks. And I think I have a plan to make it happen. On February 19th, I have to come in at noon to do Saturday Maintenance. If I show up around 10, I can get a long run in and be ready to work by 12. Strongly considering this. We'll see.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 341 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 80.13 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/22/10 - 7.26 miles

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 2011 - Brodie's Field Trip

There's something to be said about having a bunch of little kids who don't know you at the beginning of a field trip, and love you by the end. It's a feeling that words simply can't express.

All the kids but two took the Discovery Tree van, while Brodie went with me and a little girl went with her dad. We followed the lead van to the Amtrak station ($1 for every 20 minutes, we were there for an hour). After paying for parking, we took a quick tour of the station, which is unbelievable. Unfortunately, we weren't there for long so no pictures. We then went outside to see the trains. A young man, doing nothing, asked if we would like a ride tour. We loaded all the kids and parents on the cart and off we went. He drove us to the tracks for a close up of the trains, and then dropped us off right next to Old Sac. Saved us a lot of walking.

We quickly walked past the Railroad Museum and the Discovery Museum, ending at a train car that was standing by itself. The kids explored the car.





This little guy, Zach, became my friend real fast. At one point, Brodie and I went running after him to catch him before he got too far away. Good kid, but loves to run...away!!










After hanging out on the train car, we headed over to the river. They were amazed by the "big boat, which in my opinion needs some major TLC.



Being kids, their attention on the big boat didn't last very long. Before we knew it, they were flying off the boardwalk. When one starts, the rest follow.









After the flying lesson, next up is something the kids were really looking forward to: The elevator (some kids sounded like they were saying alligator)

After the elevator ride, we turned right to walk on the boardwalk, which was surrounded by water. With child safety in mind, there was only a chain link fence between child and water. Parents quickly grabbed as many hands as possible, and quickly walked past the danger zone.

















After the Danger Zone, time for the stairs and the bridge!












After regrouping, it's time for a group picture!!






After the group shot, we visit the trains that got in trouble. At least, that's what we told the kids. Really, just trains in a cage.


















We return to the lone train car. This time the kids play on the other side. One of the dad's yells "Riley is going to start the train" and all the kids hold on for dear life. PUSH RILEY PUSH!!




















Right after passing the Railroad Museum, we come upon a little cubby hole where there's a bell ringing, is a train coming?



The day is done. We head to the cars and say good bye. Well, there is one last chase of Zach, but then the day is done. Another fun field trip in the can. Til next time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Running Day #14 - Running with Glee

For some reason, since the new update the app is having issues sending the information to the website. Just resent the last two back to RunKeeper, which finally sent my stats to Facebook and Twitter.

Runkeeper Stats:

Just completed a 5.56 mi run with RunKeeper
Duration 0:52:38 Calories Burned 688
Average Pace 9:28 / mi Average Speed 6.33 mph Elevation Climb 103 ft

Won't lie to you, getting my booty out the door was hard today. I was mentally saying no no no no no no no no no no no no all morning. Then out I went. It was hard heading out, easy coming in. Which was weird, it's usually the other way around. I think the music picked up the last two miles which helped a lot.

"My Life Would Suck Without You" came on and sped up my pace. What a great song to run to. When I got back, looked up the song and it was from Glee Volume 2. Score, always great to find a good song to run to.

Also did my out, loop, and back. Love that path. When I feel stronger, I hope to push that out a little further. Even passed a jogger today!! It counts, even if he was over 65.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 348 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 73.85 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/22/10 - 7.26 miles

Running Day 13 – A Saturday Run

Spring certainly feels like it has arrived. No rain in weeks, sun is out, and the days seem longer and warmer. And it’s only January. Day 13 was an easy day to leave the house, but to keep running, that was the tough part.

Runkeeper Stats:
Just completed a 7.26 mi run with RunKeeper
Duration 1:09:51 Calories Burned 915
Average Pace 9:37 / mi Average Speed 6.24 mph Elevation Climb 230 ft

Lot of cars out for this run, which meant more time at the stop lights waiting for them to change. I tried to leave the traffic behind, but it always seemed to follow me. Nice run, one that I will probably do again for a couple of weeks. 7.25 miles was a lot, and my body will probably need to get used to it. Will push on good days, if I can.

Today, I’m tired, lazy, whatever. Not sure I’m going to get a run in today. We’ll see.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 350 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 68.29 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)
Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/22/10 - 7.26 miles

Friday, January 21, 2011

Allergy Meds and a Week of Nothing Planned

Part 1: Allergy Meds update

Yesterday, before my amazing run, I took a Kirkland brand Allergy pill from Costco. As I mentioned, it made me feeling weird on the last two miles and feared that a headache may still occur. The good news, no headache. The bad news, it left me in an almost catatonic stupor. Didn't talk much, just kind of laid around, and was physically exhausted. This morning, Erin said she was concerned about the way I acted last night. I kind of floated from place to place and watched TV, even laughed which surprised me at the time. After my TV break, I made lunches, took a shower, laid down to read and ended up passing out. Only to have one of the most imagery filled rest of my life. Dreams jumped from one scenario to the next, which left me sad and angry when the alarm went off. Now, I'm still tired, I don't really want to move too much and my eyes really want to close and return to sleep. If this is due to the meds, holy smokes!! I'll take that over a headache any day.

Part 2: A week vacation with nothing planned, and how it is driving me NUTS

The real reason for today's blog is that I don't plan on running today. My body still feels like its asleep and I didn't make my lunch. So I get to go hunting the only way most of us state workers knows how: Hunt for someone who will join us, then off to someplace to eat where we hope to spend less than 10 bucks.

At the end of February, Conner and Erin have a week off. After two weeks of working during the Christmas vacation, it left me feeling bad that I couldn't have stayed home for at least part of it. Every evening, one of the boys would ask me to stay home, and somehow I always talked myself into going to work. So I decided to jump on taking that week off in February, and got it.

But now, we have nothing, absolutely nothing planned. Not that we don't want to, it's just we haven't saved for a vacation for that week. So even though there's no funds, my mind still dreams and plans of a vacation. In truth, I think I missed my calling of being a travel agent. I get excited every time someone asks for help on a Disney vacation. So here a two top five lists of trips I wouldn't mind taking:

Top 5 Trips that we can do in a week:

5. Disneyland / San Diego trip: It's beginning to look a lot like spring, which is my favorite time to be at the Disney parks, followed by Halloween of course. The boys have been asking, I've been asking, and I think Erin is wishing too. In September, Brodie didn't go on his favorite ride (Tiki Birds) and I still feel terrible. Plus, we could go during the week, which would be awesome.

4. Disney Cruise (Mexican Riviera or Caribbean): Something that we would definitely have to save for. Would like to wait til Brodie is a little bit older, but it would still be fun to go.

3. Disney World: I would love to return to Disney World during a month we haven't been. Unfortunately, it costs way too much to fly there for four, so this will definitely be just a dream. Plus, way too late for dining reservations, I bet they are pretty much all taken now. Have to wait til January before we can go.

2. Hawaii: Ever since our vacation to Tennessee, I would love to go somewhere we have never been and Hawaii is definitely at the top of the list (Europe [by train] and Tokyo also rank up there, but need more than a 4-5 day trip to make that happen). I think the boys would love playing in the ocean, better include Erin in that one.

1. Road Trip - Oregon: Been wanting to take the kids and Erin up to see the Trees of Mystery, Sea Lion Caves and then San Francisco. That would be a great trip. Pricing it, not too bad. But again, when there's money involved....

Top 5 Day Trips

5. Gilroy Gardens - Would definitely be higher on the list if it was actually opened. Doesn't open until late March, so number 5 it is. I would like to take the boys before they get too old to enjoy that fun little park. Discovery Kingdom is also closed, which is why it's not on the list.

4. San Francisco - Boys love Sea Lions, and have been asking to go to that "place where the sea lions sleep on the wood above the water." Great idea and would be fun to go back.

3. Lake Tahoe - It's been a couple of years since we all went to Lake Tahoe. We use to go there for the buffet, but they took away our favorite buffet and the price for the other one was too high. Plus, Brodie has never seen REAL snow. So that would be cool.

2. Santa Cruz - The Beach Boardwalk is open on Presidents Day, the beach, the wharf, what better day? All depends on the weather though. If it's cloudy and rainy, probably not a good idea. If the weather is mid 60's, bring it on. BRING IT ON!!

1. Monterey - Another spot that Brodie has not been to is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. That would be a great spot. Neither boys have been to Point Lobos, another great spot. And who could go wrong with the ocean and some Ghirardelli ice cream?

Of course there's the top 5 of destinations I would go to if I had unlimited money and time, but that would probably be more depressing than exciting. Hopefully something will happen. Hate to spend the week sitting on my butt catching up on tv, playing video games and reading. All three I would love to do, but where's the family in that?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Running Day 12 - OH YEAH!!

First, another one of those days that it was hard to get out the door. Second, something was funky about the Run Keeper. It started then paused, then started and then when I stopped it, it gave me the time, but didn't stop. So I pushed it again, saved my activity, and didn't post anywhere. So if it finally posts, I'll update the below.

I took the info from the app and added it below:

Runkeeper Stats

Just completed a 5.57 mi run with RunKeeper Duration 0:52:35 Calories Burned 695
Average Pace 9:26 / mi

This run was amazing. I took my first Allergy Pill, and I think it made my body feel a little weird the last 2 miles. My legs felt a little shakey, and my head didn't feel right. Hopefully my body will get used to the meds and no headache will happen. PLEASE NO HEADACHE!!

Did my run on the bike trail again. Beautiful weather and smelly homeless people. Then up ahead of me, there was a running buddy and I was gaining on him. His name is Dean and we often talk in the changing room. Right when I was going to get to him, he turned right and I went left. Good thing I did because I found an amazing loop that is just over 5.5 miles. Now I don't have to think of where to go for that 5.5 miles. It's a perfect loop, LOVE IT. And if I wanted to, I could go under Northgate and keep going down Garden Highway, very nice!!

Plan to do this tomorrow, depends on a meeting. Great run, makes one excited about running.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 353 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 61.03 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/6/10 - 7.15 miles

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Running Day 11 - the excitment goes down

On Running Day 10, I came down with a migraine that night. The first migraine I've had in a long day. So when I went out for Day 11, I was nervous that a headache would occur. So I went out slow, did a shorter run, then came back.

Runkeeper Stats

Just completed a 4.60 mi run with RunKeeper Duration 0:46:23 Calories Burned 602
Average Pace 10:04 / mi Average Speed 5.96 mph Elevation Climb 236 ft

I ran the bike trail again and I do love running out there. You can see the homeless camps and the little community that they have created out there. I thought it would be uncomfortable, but the people out there either keep their head down or say hi as you run by.

I love being able to run without worrying about cars and having to stop at lights. I can run for miles if I wanted to. It's my new favorite location with tons of places to explore.

Unfortunately, something is out there that is bothering me. Last night, I returned with headache #2. Not as bad as Friday nights, but a headache nonetheless. The thought of returning to McKinley does not excite me, and I would hate to leave the Bike Trail. Might have to start trying some Allergy medication, just so I can continue. Plus, the smell of almonds is AWESOME!!

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 355 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 55.46 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/6/10 - 7.15 miles

Friday, January 14, 2011

Running Log: Day 10 - A Beautiful Spring Day

Is it too early to say what a beautiful Spring Day? Probably, but it was a beautiful day!!

Runkeeper Info:

Distance 6.26 mi Duration 1:02:04 Calories Burned 809
Average Pace 9:55 / mi Average Speed 6.05 mph Elevation Climb 297 ft

While my mind wasn't totally in it, I decided to veer off my normal run and hit the Bike Trail. What a wonderful idea. Also found a perfect 10k, so if for some reason my phone doesn't work, I've got the run figured out. I also want to turn left instead of right and run through Discovery Park. See how long that run is. Someday. Someday.

I also took a couple of days off. The body said take a break or enough. So I took a 3 day break. Now, back to training.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 359 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 50.86 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/6/10 - 7.15 miles

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Birthday Wishes - Oh Yeah

So for the first time in years, I am excited about my birthday. My thinking is that I'm finally past all the family drama that has been going on since 2001, and looking towards the happiness that my own little family is currently having. It's nice to be surrounded by such happiness and joy. Add in there some good exercise, a new look at finances, and I got a pretty healthy future ahead of me.

So, for the first time in years, I'm going to make myself a wish list. Five of the top things that I would love for my birthday. My second list will be those things that I wish I could have when times are better. But lets do the first one first. Of course, there's one gift I'm leaving out, and that's private, and for a non-private sort of guy, that's saying something.

Let's do this David Letterman style:

5. Flesh Light - Okay, so not for the kiddies. But Kevin Smith has been pushing this item for the last couple of months, and dang it, I'm intrigued. Yes it's dirty, yes, it's something you don't really want to think of me doing, but dang it, this is my list and I'm putting things I'm interested in. If you REALLY want to know what it is, and don't mind going to a dirty site, I think the website is www.fleshlight.com, but better google it first.

4. Running Stuff - yeah, this ones vague. But I'm running now, and some of the cool running stuff out there is fun. Yes I need a new pair of running shoes, but in this economy, can't put that on the list. That just wouldn't be fair. Just a side note, I'm thinking about shaving my head for the marathon and putting the Pirates crossbones on the back of my head. That would be awesome.

3. Donkey Kong Country for the Wii - Wasn't going to put any video games on this list. Why? Video Games demand time, and I don't have time to play video games. I've got Epic Mickey, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Diablo 2 all waiting for me to play. Yet, I have no time. It's a bummer, I know.

2. Binaurial Microphones - These microphones actually fit inside your ear and you record sound around you. Used for Theme Parks and other fun stuff. Took a recorder to Disney World last year and recorded the kids saying some fun stuff, like learning the word "tushy" which was hilarious. Would like to record more of that stuff without having to hold the device, just clip the mics in my ears, put the recorder in my pocket and off I go.

1. Vinylmations - Those crazy Mickey collectibles that I can't get enough of. My boys get excited about them, I get excited about them, it's just fun to open that box and see one that you don't have. Love it, love it, love it.

That's it folks. If your looking at me going that gross, that's uncalled for, well, that's me. I'm not going to hold something back unless it involves someone else, and one of those items does so I'm keeping it quiet. That's my list this year, should be a great birthday no matter what I get. I think the boys might even go shopping, but I might have to wait til February for that. That should be fun. If Brodie had his choice, I'd get either a pony or a goat. Next time, I'll give the expensive wish for when time's are better. Don't give me that look, we all have that wish, just have to convince Hugh Hefner that I'm his long lost son.

Running Log: Day 9 - Runkeeper Malfunction

So I am one of those runners that tries hard on organized runs, and then takes a week off and starts up again. Not this time people, I'm training!!

Unfortunately, this time, the RunKeeper App malfunctioned. I started the app up, the music started and I started to run. When I got to Rite Aid, I usually get a mile announcement. Not this time, I kept running. 2 blocks down the road, I checked my IPhone and sure enough, the app had stopped. While running, it took me 2 more times to get the app started. Then we were good. So I actually ran over a mile more than the reading. Here's the actual reading:

RunKeeper (Malfunction):
Distance 4.51 mi Duration 0:43:13 Calories Burned 576
Average Pace 9:35 / mi Average Speed 6.26 mph Elevation Climb 178 ft

So my distance was about 5.6, which is pretty good. No idea on the duration or the avg pace, so we'll keep that.

This time, I ran my usual run except I ran around McKinley twice. I'm hoping it's going to be closer to a 6 mile run, which would be my goal run right now. We'll see.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 363 daysTotal
Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 44.6 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)
Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/6/10 - 7.15 miles

Looking to the Future - Running

As you can probably guess, got lots of ideas for posts today so I might just keep on posting.

In order for Erin and I to keep practicing, we need to start looking for the future. Think of it, as Bill Murray’s character learned in “What About Bob”, as Baby Steps. These are the races we are thinking about doing in the future:

Jan 8: Rocklin 10K – So not really in the future, but it was one on our list to do while training for the Marathon

March 5th: Bidwell Classic Half Marathon OR March 19th: Whale Run 10K- My dream is to eventually do the Bidwell Classic in Chico. My dad use to run it, and my family would go and support him. Remember a guy from the Oldies station there and a park with a bridge. Ah memories. I can’t remember if we drove there that morning, or slept in a hotel. I think this year, we’ll probably do the Fort Bragg Whale Run. Too early for a Half Marathon

April 10th: Zoo Zoom with Conner – This one I won’t be doing my best on. This will be Conner’s first run, and I want to spend the time with him running it. Encouraging and seeing him get through it.

May 22nd: Windsor Half Marathon – First Half Marathon, also a new Half Marathon. I looked for new stuff, things that we could get excited about. If we have to drive a little to get there, so be it.

October 2nd: Urban Cow Half Marathon – Another first. Unfortunately, this one is in Sacramento, I find running here a bore.

December 10th: Walnut Creek Half Marathon – This will be about the time I hope to be doing 20 miles on the weekend. This one should be easy for both Erin and I, and hopefully our time will show it.

Thought this was interesting:

8/11 ? 8/14: http://www.thinairdistancefestival.com/ - This one looks like a lot of fun. We are considering doing this one, if we can find the time.

Running Log: Day 8 – Race #1

Lou Gehrig Roseville 5k/10k Run/Walk

Before we get to my run, let me tell you a little about Conner's run.

First, Conner was just as nervous as the rest of us. He got to see the 5 and under group run the 1/4 mile, so it gave him an understanding of what needed to be done. When it was his time, I took off down the track to take some pictures of Conner running. For the whole race, Conner stayed at the front of the pack. On his way back, his shoe kept falling off. Erin and I had forgotten to check his shoes. But he still finished in the top 10. Not bad for a 6 year old racing with 10 and under.

For my race, I was tired after the first mile. Which concerned me. I wasn't sure if this was going to be a good race. The track was on a bike trail and when up and down the whole way. Very few flat areas, and 3 or 4 pretty good sized hills. A great location to jog on weekends, and I hope to practice there in the Spring. Even with being tired, I did not stop to walk or get water (didn't train for water).

Erin beat her time by 3 minutes and had a really good race. Probably thanks to all her hill work. This team thing is working for us, game on folks, game on.

According to the Race:
Chip Time: 56:51.8
Race Time: 57:05.1
Pace: 9:10/M
Age Group Placement (Male 30 to 39): 11 (last place :-()
Overall: 57/166

RaceKeeper:
Distance 6.24 mi Duration 0:57:09 Calories Burned 804
Average Pace 9:10 / mi Average Speed 6.55 mph Elevation Climb 471 ft

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 365 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 39.06 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/6/10 - 7.15 miles

Friday, January 7, 2011

Guilty Pleasures [book] and a little Nine [movie]

So I said earlier that I would never get the Nine soundtrack in my collection. But I found a good copy for it will be joining it momentarily. We'll see if the music grows on me or if it ends up in the trash.

As for Guilty Pleasures, by Laurell K. Hamilton, was a wonderfully enjoyable read. Guilty Pleasures introduces the character Anita Blake. Anita Blake was introduced to me through a comic book called the Laughing Corpse, which is actually the second book in the series. Anita Blake catches my interest kind of like the way Lara Croft caught my attention.

Normally, I don't read female authors. The characters are way heavy on romance or perfect english. I have my favorites though: Sue Grafton and now Laurell K. Hamilton.

Anita Blake is a strong woman who kicks ass. She is a Vampire killer for the police and an animator, someone who raises the dead. So this is kind of a sci fi, horror, mystery novel. Something that definitely catches my attention.

In this alternate universe, the law now protects werewolfs, vampires and other forms of the dead. There's even a church for vampires, the only church that can promise you eternal life. You immediately get sucked in and before you know it, the book is almost over. Great read, definitely recommend. Can't say too much because I don't want to give it away. The one scene that is stuck in my mind is when the wererat tris to rape Anita. Nasty, nasty and nasty. Can't wait to read more.

Running Log: Day 7

A little late posting this. So here we go:

Runkeeper Stats for run:

Distance 7.15 mi Duration 1:11:25 Calories Burned 901
Average Pace 10:00 / mi Average Speed 6.00 mph Elevation Climb 224 ft

Run was amazing. I couldn't stop. Had a route in mind, it was shorter than I thought so I kept going. Erin didn't like me doing this, but I did run about 1/2 mile on Sunrise with no sidewalk. Not really the safest thing, but I wasn't about to turn around.

So I ran down sunrise to cirby, was going to run around the track at Oakmont, but it was too dark (CSI images raced through my head), took a left down Rocky Ridge, then continued around Maidu Park to Champion Oaks, then ran home. Amazing run, lots of hills, and holy smokes 7.15 MILES!! Disappointed in the pace, but the hills did slow me down.

Aftermath, next day: tired, headache, want to go to bed

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 367 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 32.82 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/6/10 - 7.15 miles

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Running Log : Day 6

Before I being, if you are a runner and would like to have Runkeeper for Free!! Check out:

http://runkeeper.com/fitness-app-download

Runkeeper Stats for run:

Distance 5.27 mi Duration 0:51:13 Calories Burned 663
Average Pace 9:43 / mi Average Speed 6.17 mph Elevation Climb 212 ft

I relatively easy run. Same mental issues I've had for the last two weeks. Legs started to tighten around mile 4.

The really strange part was I'm running with a new arm band for my IPhone, actually built for the Iphone. My old one was built for the IPod, so it covered the phone completely. While this one was built for the Iphone which meant that the ports and other areas are open, which might give it better GPS connection. That being said, the mileage was off by a good distance. Which means I've been running further than what Runkeeper has been telling me. Should rerun the run from yesterday to see how much further I actually ran.

Funny thing. As I turned onto 16th, I started following bicyclist. Let's just say, I was following the bouncing butt crack for about 1/4 mile.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 369 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 25.67 miles / 2852.79 (miles to WDW from my house)Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/5/10 - 5.27 miles

Monday, January 3, 2011

Running Log: Day 5

Runkeeper reports:

Distance 4.92 mi Duration 0:47:55 Calories Burned 623
Average Pace 9:44 / mi Average Speed 6.16 mph Elevation Climb 204 ft

Good run. My big toe on my left foot starting hurting for about 4 blocks and then disappeared. Muscles felt tight (insert dirty joke) but I kept going. Mind again tried to stop me, but the lights were the only thing that was successful. Must have lost at least a minute waiting for the dang lights. Added some mileage in hopes of hitting 5 miles, missed it by 0.08. Bummer

This Saturday is my first organized run in a long time. Just a 10K, but a good place to start. 2 more runs for this week, and then the big run on Saturday. Oh, and Conner is running is first 1/2 mile too.

Disney World Marathon 2012 Countdown: 370 days
Total Distance Ran (since 12/27/10): 20.4 miles / 2852.79 (miles to Disney World from my house)
Fastest Mile: 12/30/10 - 9:01 / mi
Longest Distance: 1/3/10 - 4.92 miles

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2 Movie Reviews - Nine and Tooth Fairy

Twice today, I almost stopped movies that I had tivo'd. The first 15 minutes of the movie did not catch my attention and I feared that I was wasting my time. At the beginning of Tooth Fairy, a movie I almost went to the theaters to see, I was angry that I almost wasted my money. But things change.

NINE

Nine had two things going against it. One, people told me the movie sucked. And two, I hate movies about making movies. I like the fantasy of creating a movie. Even Kevin Smith's stories about creating a movie help that fantasy. I don't need to watch a drama about the creation.

I thought the music was entertaining. Kept my attention and I kind of want to download one or two songs. The past story of the director was also interesting. His sexual needs vs his parents strong religious values. Yet the story involved his love and respect for his mother, which isn't fully realized in the 2 hour movie. His girlfriend, his wife and the other women that surround his life help keep the story interesting and watchable.

The one thing I didn't like is the way they made this movie a musical. Movies like Music Man and Pete's Dragon, the music is part of the movie. Characters jump into song at weird times. You never know when the character is going to go from dialog to song. This movie takes the song out of the movie. Most of the time the characters will be doing something, then you get removed from the story and you find yourself looking at a stage where the song takes place. Very strange, and I don't think it helps the flow of the movie. I've seen another movie recently do this, can't remember, and I hope that future musicals do not continue down this path.

I don't think I'll ever own this movie, or even watch it again. Except for the select songs that I think I can run to, I think this movie is a one timer.

TOOTH FAIRY

When I started watching this, I really thought it was a load of crap. The Rock tried to do what Tim Allen did in Santa Clause, make you hate the character and then love him. Except for the The Rock, I hated the fact that he couldn't act. It was terrible and I wouldn't blame anybody out there for turning this crap off and walking away.

But after 15 - 20 minutes, the movie actually got good. The fairies were fun to watch, thanks in part to Julie Andrews and a great surprise to see Billy Crystal and Seth MacFarlane. You beging to like Dwayne Johnson as an actor and his character, which I was extremely greatful for. The boys loved when the Tooth Fairy got small, or flew, or screwed up. It's a fun movie that both touches you and makes you laugh. The hockey part is also fun to watch.

I think they should make a sequal, but pick another action character, maybe Vin Diesel, and do another storyline with him. That would be fun.

I might sit through this movie again with the boys, but I won't own it, or willingly watch it again. Too many movies to watch, not enough time.