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Down By the River – My Journey to the Gate River Run

I was sitting with a good friend a couple of weekends ago watching football and throwing back a couple of brews, when I came to a life changing decision: I am going to get into running shape over the next four months so that I can start and finish the Gate River Run ®! Yeah, I know. I must be crazy. Here I am at 35 years old (36 on December 28th), 5 feet 8 inches (5’9″ on my driver’s license or if I grow out my afro), and somewhere between 195 and 205 pounds (you can decide for yourself whether I am in between or somewhere near one of the ends). Other than playing Flag Football every winter in a 30 and over recreational league, I haven’t participated in any regular exercise regiment in almost 10 years.

So I guess it begs the question, why am I doing this? I can answer this in three simple words: vanity, sanity, health.

  1. Vanity – This one’s easy. My daughters (7 and 4) called me fat. Not phat in the hip-hop vernacular. Just plain FAT.
    Now I know that kids can tease and can be cruel as a normal course of their daily routine, but that’s usually with other kids. And unless your kid is a bully, they don’t mean anything by it. No, my girls were speaking the unedited, insensitive truth of children. Let’s face it; kids call it like they see it. I know my kids see other dads outside running, or exercising and playing sports on TV. Plain and simple I want my girls to look at their dad and not see some old fat dude


  2. Sanity – Work and life are stressful enough. The economy has been in the tank for the past couple of years and is only now starting to slowing climb out of it. Exercise is a proven stress relief and the only thing it really costs is time.


  1. Health – 10 years ago I weighed 170 pounds. That means I have been gaining and average of 3.5 pounds per year. And that is no bueno. There is a history of heart disease in my family. Both my paternal grandfather and aunt died of heart attacks in their mid 40’s. That’s only about 10 years from now and it really does have me terrified. If this adventure starts me down the path of consistent exercise leading to good health, then my greatest years of my life are still ahead.


Below is my running journal thus far:

Running Journal

    November 30, 2009

  1. Rode my bike 3 miles (apprx 1.5 each way) to the fitness center.
  2. Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill

   December 2, 2009

  1. Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill at 1.5 incine while listening to Trey Songz album Ready 


December 4, 2009

  1.              Ran for 31.23 minutes on the treadmill for a distance of 2.4 miles        

So there you have it. This is part one of what I envision to be a weekly journal leading up to running the Gate River Run on March 13, 2010. I look forward to sharing my story along the way. Here’s to sanity, vanity, and health.

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for:

  • My loving wife
  • My beautiful daughters
  • My parents
  • My sister
  • My nephew
  • My cousins
  • My grandparents
  • My aunts and uncles
  • My in-laws
  • My health
  • My job
  • Love
  • Writing
  • Books
  • Friendship
  • Laughter
  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Excitement
  • The Yankees
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Music
  • Musicals
  • Movies
  • My God

Happy Thanksgiving!

Battle Studies

I listened to my first John Mayer album today.  It is an interestingly titled collection called, Battle StudiesNow you might be asking yourself the same thing I have asked myself during the 5 times that I listened to the album in its entirety,  what took you so long to join the party?  Admittedly, my taste in music has always been eclectic.  If I passed you on the street on any given day, you would be just as likely to hear LL’s Boomin’ System, as you are likely to hear Sinatra’s Summer Wind.  The biggest change for me is that roughly 17 months ago I went from being a passive consume of music, to an active participant.  The change, not coincidently, came about at the same time that I started taking guitar lessons.  I started out with baby steps on a beautiful Alvarez, Acoustic-Electric, before running full speed towards an ESP electric.  Both masterly crafted instruments in all of their left-handed glory. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to music for the pure unabashed joy; it’s  just that now, the creation, expression, and performing of music allow me to connect with the music that I consume on a much deeper level.

The Album

Battle Studies in its simplest terms, is an album about love;  love found, love lost, romantic love, passionate love, friendship love.  From the opening track Heartbreak Warfare, through the final track, a final cover of The Boss’ I’m On Fire, John Mayer takes you on a journey through the ups and downs of love using his smooth as silk vocals and signature guitar licks.  Thus far, the middle section of the album, which starts with the album first single, Who Says, and moves on to Perfectly Lonely, Assassin, Crossroads, War of My, and Edge of Desire standout as the albums highlights.

Now I admit that I am late to the John Mayer party and as such I can’t compare his latest creation to his past albums, but I am comfortable is saying the John is a confident musician that has grown well beyond the  media labeled pop trappings of Room for Squares into a formidable rock and blues guitarist that is comfortable in his own skin.  And after just one listen of his debut album, with standout tracks like Neon  and City Love ,I wonder why anyone would have ever labeled him as a pop artist.

Whether a John Mayer neophyte, or card-carrying fan club member, Battle Studies is definitely worth the price of admission.  Now if only I could master a couple of his deceptively simple yet layered and complex riffs.

Perchance To Dream

I had a dream last night that I was still living in Queens, New York.  Of course the dream had a sci-fi twist to it.  Apparently everyone was a clone living in a post apocalyptic world.  Like any sci-fi world, most people didn’t realize they were clones (shades of the Matrix anyone).  Is this the start of clone trilogy novel that I has been kicking around in my head for the past twelve years?  More to come…

Call of Duty: World at War – Map Pack 2

Call of Duty: World at War Headquarters

I’ve been playing the Call of Duty: World at War – Map Pack 2 steadily since its release and June 11 and I have one word that sums up the experience: WOW! The World at War team has hit another homerun with this release. Each multiplayer map, Bonzai, Corrosion, and Sub Pens lends itself well to intense Team Deathmatch and Team Objective map types. Multiple levels add to the strategic element by requiring teams to focus on various sight lines and flank. Simple focus on North, South, East, and West will quickly find you in respawn limbo watching the other team rack up points. To win on these maps, you must pay additional attention to opponents that are above and below. This is especially evident on the Banzai map, which finds both teams fighting for ground amongst a wooden train bridge that spans a waterfall source ravine, sorrounded by a tunnel network and opposing hut filled camps. Each map is a delight suited to run ‘n gunners, snipers, and strategic geniuses alike. As an added bonus, the developers have added double experience points from June 11 through June 16.

Criterion thinks if you’ve maxed out the 360, you’re not trying hard enough

Criterion thinks if you’ve maxed out the 360, you’re not trying hard enough

One has to wonder if EA Europe received any financial consideration that would have prompted them to state publicly that the Xbox 360 is maxed out while the Playstation 3 is not. Kudos to Criterion for releasing a statement that contradicts the public belief of their parent company. Software publishers and developers should focus on producing the best possible product for multiple consoles and PC to improve the earnings potential for its stock holders.

What do you think?

Why Do I Write?

I found an old journal today. I wasn’t looking for it, truth be told. I happened to by looking for the AV cable that would allow me to connect my Sony DV camera to the TV. As I began my search, it dawned on me that for all of its technological brilliance, Sony can be extremely short-sided with its reliance on proprietary cables and technology-Betamax anyone? It was during my search that I found the journal hidden in a random box of cables in the garage. Am I the only one that has 5 or 6 different versions of the same type of cables and only 1 version of the one that I need and can’t seem to find? WTF!
Anyway, this newly rediscovered journal contains an interesting selection of poems, brief stories, and novel ideas written sporadically from 1998 through 2004. Some were written during times of stress; others during times of comical whimsy. All were written with the same inate, died in the wool, love of writing.

Faithful Servant

On Monday, October 6th, I returned from my trip to my mother’s home town of Kansas City, Kansas. The trip was to celebrate the 90th birthday of my grandfather, Reverend Russell W. Davis Sr, a man who has been a faithful servant of the Lord for 80 years of his life. Below are the words of tribute that I delivered during the Sunday afternoon service at the church that he founded in 1971, Christ’s Church of the Jesus Hour.

My earliest memories are of traveling to Kansa with my family to visit grandma and grandpa. This was exciting because it would mean a long cross-country journey by car, but at the end I would see the family that I was not fortunate enough to see everyday back at home (in NYC). As a child, grandpa was just grandpa. I mean, I knew he was, as my cousin Tyke once said “a preacher man”, but what does that mean to a child? To me it meant, here was this wise man, a father who had–with his wife by his side–raised his children in Christ. My grandfather, the Reverend Russell W. Davis, has been a faithful servant on the Lord’s team for 80 years. Not eith hours, eight days, or eight years, but eight decades. Today, Grandpa has reached the 90th anniversary of his birth. I’m not the best with math, but I’m pretty certain that he’s been serving the lord for almost 90% of his life. Now I’m just about 35 years old and there have been plenty of times that I have walked and stumbled and gotten up again. Grandpa has remained the same in his steadfast love and service of the Lord. He has shown me how to live in the world and not be of the world. Through his faithful service of the Lord, he has been the type of father that all men should strive to be. My children will be raised in Christ because that is what has been passed to me from Grandpa to my parents and now together with my wife. I am thankful that I learned to love the Lord through the consistent teachings of his faithful servant, my grandpa, Reverend Russell W. Davis, Sr.

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