Old Man Winter

Where does the time go?  Where was Old Man Winter this year?  I don’t know and quite honestly I’m glad Old Man Winter didn’t show his icy face this year.  Here we are March 1st.  In the past week the temps have yoyoed from the 60s to the 20s back to the 60s and today, mid 30.  How many days have the temps been above 50 this winter? My guess, a lot.  If you couldn’t figure it out my favorite time of year is summer.  My second favorite is spring.  Why you ask, because its the end of winter and time for new beginnings.  The winter is over and the summer is still all ahead of you.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a pretty snow fall on Friday night.  And I love to ski.  But please, just don’t snow on my driveway.  All this while I’m planning my second trip to Colorado for an epic skiing adventure in 10 days, can’t wait.  In all fairness I suggested the Caribbean.

 

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Selfie

 

I do love New England.  I love the change of season.  I love the ocean and Cape Cod where I grew up.  During any given winter my thoughts will drift to a warmer lifestyle with year round green waters and flip flops, but then spring settles in, the temperatures rise and the sun is up a little bit earlier each day, so I remove the “For Sale” sign from my yard and enjoy the warm sun on my face.

 

But the Fishing

One day last week myself and two buddies arranged for a day of fishing down on the Cape.  One of those buddies has a boat in Wellfleet Harbor.  With the calendar flipped to October we knew we only had a few good fishing days left.  Well, this day wasn’t good, it was perfect, at least the weather was perfect.  Have you ever heard the expression “skunked” when referred to fishing?  It means you didn’t catch a thing!  Millions of bait fish in the water, with tiny gulls diving in for a meal and not a single striper driving up from underneath  to splash and boil the ocean’s surface.  Nothing, nada, zilch…..SKUNKED.  But for the record I did catch three small Mackerel.  We used them as live bait and still came up empty.  It was however an epic day weather-wise.  We got out about 30 minutes later than expected as D and D was “worth the trip”.  After loading the boat with all our tackle, gear and beer we were off to Race Point in Provincetown.  I had been texting with a friend from high school, Rob Conery, (checkout his interview for his novel “Winterland”) who writes a fishing report for the Cape Cod Times.  I was asking him “where are the fish?”.  He suggested Billingsgate, right outside Wellfleet Harbor and Race Point.  He said if we catch anything by 2pm he would put it in the paper (he did, read the report).  Cool.  I kept Rob up to date on our beer drinking and baby whale spotting, but no fish.

As we rounded the rough tides of Race Point, in depths of 200 feet to the ocean’s bottom, the waters calmed, the sun beat down and Kevin lit up his second stogie, no thanks.  I had the Gopro rolling when I spotted two humpback whales about 50 yards ahead.  We motored slowly over to where we last saw the two giants.  As we approached we knew they had gone deep below passing quietly.  We spotted one more humpback later on, but it was the Sunfish and our spoof on Jay and Mikey, the now famous duo who couldn’t tell the difference between any sea creature and a sunfish, that kept us laughing.

Perhaps it was hurricane Joaquin that chased the elusive schools of striped bass out into the great Atlantic Ocean, maybe it was Doug’s impression of Mikey and Jay.  At the end of the day it wasn’t about the fish, but the Fishing.

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London Bridge is Falling Down

So I thought I was on London Bridge because its was very ornate and grand looking.  Turns out it was Tower Bridge and London Bridge was not very exciting at all.  Of course Tower Bridge did have four giant towers but really, don’t you think they should change the name?

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What I enjoyed most of all in London was watching all the people commute to work on either a bike or running with a backpack on. There were plenty of walkers but the bikers and runners were cool to see.

When I arrived Tuesday morning at 6:30am, after not getting any sleep at all on the plane, I found myself in the customs line checking the voting results from my election.  I ran for Board of Health in Southborough. Well, there I was in line when I saw that I had won, with 70% of the vote.  I started telling people around me.  They were like “jolly good chap” .  Nah they weren’t, of course they looked at me like I was a weirdo.

Yeah, so that flight, a red eye, it sucked.  I was in the back, in a middle seat between one big guy and one medium sized guy.  Both were older.  One fellow was from Ireland, the big guy, and was very knowledgeable about American sports.  He said he was at the Patriot’s last Superbowl, ya know “their FOURTH” Boo-ya.  Half way through the flight he pulled the blanket over his head and the seatbelt around the blanket.  I found myself wondering if he was still alive.  I’m sure it didn’t look good.  The other guy was a comedian turned minister or the other way around.  Good times.

In all, my experience in London was great.  I was there for a brand conference.  Sales and marketing people are fun.  We were lucky with the weather.  The first two days was sunny and warm.  Those two days I was able to do all my sightseeing, I even saw Prince Charles and “what’s her name”.  We tossed backed a few pints for-sure that day, and night, not me and ole Charlie, but me and the sales crew.  Wednesday after the conference about thirty of us dawned Inov-8 gear and ran through the streets of London.  That was very cool.

I had fish and chips, a ride in a London cab, a few pints etc, I really like that place.  But please change the name of the bridge!

Patriots Win Super Bowl 49.

The universe is in balance again and life is good.  I’m going to make a big effort to put some work into AP.  Since my last post I have a new J.O.B. with Inov-8 shoes.  I’m the north east brand rep.  I sell shoes and support sales from West Virginia all the way up the east coast including Philly.  Its been 3 months now and I’m still trying to flatten out the learning curve.  I really like the job. Its in the fitness and nutrition industry so I will meet some great peeps and I’m around CrossFit boxes.

 

Its snowing at a good clip right now on top of 3 feet of snow we got last week.   We decided we would embrace last week’s Blizzard-2015 with a party.  So I popped the NRG BAR tent up in the front yard, built a bonfire and had a bunch of neighbors over.  We slid down the road, the driveway, the yard, on anything we thought was slick.  Its was a blast.  The next morning I woke up and looked out the window into the front yard and Thought I was at a NH bike rally the night before.  So that was definitely fun, cool and made lots of people happy.

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My neighbor Doug and I even drove to a local hill at 9:30pm.  We climbed up 2x and skied down.  Its about the journey and adventure, not so much the skiing.  The snow was knee deep and the hill isn’t very steep.  I’d say it was a maybe 400 meters up, maybe more.

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Wellfleet Oyster Festival- Mulligan take one

Ok, so I didn’t make 30 days but I’m right back on the horse today.  The Wellfleet Oyster Festival for all its succulently slurping oysters and cold beer was a mere bump on my road to 30 days.  As a matter of fact I will start the clock again.  Remember no one is perfect unless they are 6 feet under and that just shucks, I mean sucks.  Look at these pictures, they scream good times.

Arriving late on Saturday, 4pm,  allowed us to to avoid parking in Eastham and paying $20.  However, main street was still crowded, with a fair amount of well lubricated patrons.  In the spirit of AP I can say we weren’t having fun yet and not so happy.  That will happen with 2 kids after being in the car for 2 hours and 15 minutes.  They just wanted to head to our friends house and play with their kids.  Kristen and I decide “hell we drove all this way, we will go to the festival”.

We pay $10 to park at the local church, walk the short distance to the entrance of main street, pay $5 per adult and immediately pound a dozen oysters.  I like my oysters with just a squeeze of fresh lemon, sometimes a drop of horseradish-heavy cocktail sauce, but just an eye drop.

I usually can’t go anywhere without recognizing someone I know and at this point I have already recognized two people I know, one is the cofounder of Reach the Beach.  By Sunday I saw 5 people I know.

We did our damage and the next morning, we woke up to this,

Our host and I took off for a morning run along the Wellfleet harbor.  The weather Sunday was a bit chilly to say the least, about 20 degrees cooler than Saturday.  For lunch we hit up Mac’s Shack, insert thirsty beverage picture now.

In the end I drank more beer than water.  I could have eaten healthier, I could have run longer.  Instead, I enjoyed my family, my friends and 20,000 other oyster loving party people.  So I will take my first mulligan in my 30 days to fit and healthy.  (Yes, a Wellfleet cop told me 20k attended Saturday.  I believe it).

Our final tally was about 14 dozen oysters between five people, including my 8 year old daughter who quite frankly was like a seagull chasing its last meal.  We couldn’t keep her away.

Today, Monday, its back to eating healthy.  Green drink, coffee, eggs/spinach, water for breakfast.  Lunch, egg sandwich water.  Snack, hummus, pickles, orange peppers, crackers, water.  NO OYSTERS

Workout; 5 mile run sporting some sweet Inov-8 gear..

Wicked Mud Run

This past Saturday Ray Thompson and I pulled off our 3rd  Wicked Mud Run.  Located at Ski Ward in Shrewsbury the

This is what a MUD RUN was meant to be!

The Wicked Mud Run is a RaceMenu timed 5k OBSTACLE COURSE through SLOPPY MUD, over WALLS and BEAMS, through TREES and TRAILS and TRENCHES full of WATER and MORE MUD a SANDBAG carry and more UNDISCLOSED HARDCORE BARRIERS.

  

Then we hose down while drinking Cisco Beer straight from Nantucket while listening to live music and eating great food with all of our new MUDDY FRIENDS!   

We donate to 3 charities.  Autism Speaks, Tubular Sclorosis, and the Nick Xiarhos Memorial Fund for Veterans.  

30 days to fit and healthy

For a long time I’ve wanted to go 30 days of eating clean and working out, and writing about it.  Its not easy, not even to start.  I’m not 30 years old any longer, I’m 42 with 2 young girls.  My wife works and I’m always onto something.  There are plenty of reasons or events why I can’t start or keep it going the past 2 years but only one reason I can, because I want to.  I can name 3 social events coming up within 2 weeks that will involve alcohol, candy, desserts and junk food.  The first two weeks are the hardest when it comes to strict dieting.  If I/you can make it two weeks without cheating then after that it gets easier.

I won’t be doing any particular diet.  Paleo is pretty hard to do.  I eat meat.  I eat tons of vegetables.  I don’t eat 100% organic or gluten free.  I don’t consume much dairy.  I will eat cheese if its part of a recipe or a cheese burger.  For this 30 days I will avoid dairy.

So this is what I will do, as often as I can I will write about each day and post it.  I will post everything I ate and drank and my workouts.  I will post a before and after picture as well.  And at the end I will roll it up into a book you can download.  I will even try to get a physical exam with before/after measurements, including cholesterol, body fat and how far I can wrap my leg around my head, ha.  My neighbor and friend works over at Inov-8, a kick-ass shoe and apparel company right out of my home town in Southboro.  It is a UK based co. but I would say the U.S. is the bulk of their business, I could be wrong.  So I will be showing off some sweet workout gear as I burn and build my body.  Thanks Chris-

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I’m an all or nothing guy.  If I cheat its really hard for me to jump back on 100% so I will summons my inner Jedi Knight to fight off the evil dark side.  Most people may want to give themselves a mulligan or 2 in a 30 day stretch.  I think I got this one.

I’m not doing this for any particular reason.  I’m not doing it for a race or because I think I’m overweight.  I’m really just doing it because I want to feel better.  The past two years has not been easy.  I know, life is never easy blah blah-BS.  Sometimes life IS easier, when we are in better shape and are healthy.  That is a fact and I know it because I’ve been there.  I want to go back.  So yes, running a race will be easier.  I might be running faster because I’m in better shape and running faster is hard, but you know it, its a different hard.  Its a damn good hard.  You know that feeling after a great workout, after a week of great workouts.  That’s why I’m doing it.

BTW- if you know my story you know my wife and I educated ourselves a long time ago when we struggled with fertility.  When there is a real health problem you get serious with your food and your stress/hormone levels.  You search for information and find people and gain knowledge and share it.

READ ON!

Food this am: green drink- as always 8-16oz of Amazing Grass green super foods (I love this stuff.  The key is cold, cold water and shake/mix it really well.  I use my Nalgene bottle)  banana with almond butter, coffee, and a bite of home made bread my neighbor brought over. Yum.

water 16 oz

Lunch: half chx salad wrap- romaine/tomato- some egg salad.

Snack-1/4 cup egg salad, almonds, cashews, 4 slices of ham

Water 32oz

Dinner: HM enchiladas ham/egg/vegies

Lemon water- hot water with fresh squeezed lemon.  This is a great drink especially in winter but anytime.  Make it cold in the warmer months.  Lemons are naturally detoxifying because they have a  higher  ph level.  They are more alkaline.  Beware- it will make you pee a lot so drink it well before bedtime so you aren’t getting up when you should be sleeping.

Workout- 10 hill repeats on Ledge Hill

Ziggy Marley and Big Head Todd

After Imagine Dragons Kristen and I were ready for some more live music.  In June I bought tix for Ziggy Marley.  It was an early birthday present for Kristen and we took two good friends along.  In August those two good friends had us come to the Beach Comber in Wellfleet to see Big Head Todd.  Kristen and I have seen both Ziggy and BHT about 4 times each.  They get better each time.

Ah St. Croix

Probably my favorite place in the world is St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Kristen and I first visited St. Croix on our honeymoon and knew right away St. Croix would be apart of our lives and lifestyle.  That was in 2002 and we’ve gone back about every other year since.  I even competed in the 2005 Half Ironman in St. Croix.  We’ve now taken our kids several times as well.  St. Croix certainly has poverty and crime but they also have a strong ex-pat community and native folks steeped in tradition, from art to Moko Jumbie filled festivals.

The year I turned 40 we went to St. Croix and I went SCUBA diving for the first time ever.  I took the “resort” dive course.  Its about a 45 minute class with some pool time.  It was a one on one class around 8am.  By 9:30 we were heading out on the boat.  I will never forget that experience.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  We went back to St. Croix two years later and I went again.  This time I was armed with a GoPro Camera.  You can check out the footage here.

Another one of our favorite things to do or have on St. Croix is a Jeep Wrangler.  In St. Croix the steering wheel is on the left side of the car but, you also drive on the left side of the road.  so often you have to perform a mental check-in before you pull out.  We love to drive along the water or into town with the top down while listening to some local music.  We’ve found a great music store in town called Riddims on Queen Cross street and visit each time to add to our collection.

For me St. Croix has a vibe which aligns to my roots of Cape Cod and its salt water, hot sun and the easy-going-on-vacation-attitude.  Plus flip-flops, board shorts and rum punches.  Add in some roadside chicken stands with home-made Johnny Cakes and I have my Heaven on earth.  Of course we owe it all to Aunt Janet and Sylvan.  Thanks guys, we love you!

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Imagine Dragons

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Would you believe it had been 9 years since Kristen and I had gone to a real live concert!  Imagine that? (pun intended)  Yup, 9 years.  Ironically we could have gone to this show and paid half price if I had bought the tickets months in advance as I had intended.  But no, I waited until 5 nights prior under moderate to heavy beer sedation and bought up 4 tickets.  We took our good friend Ray and ate the 4th ticket cause no one could go last minute, what the hell? oh well.   It was worth it since we saved 9 years worth of ticket cost.  I knew if we were going we needed to be on the floor and the floor was packed-tight.  We could hardly move at all.  Some how we managed to dance and shake a bit.

Neither Kristen nor Ray knew many songs from Image Dragons.  However, once the show was over I know Kristen was an instant fan.  We downloaded the rest of the album from iTunes and played it for days.  It was great.  At one point toward the end of the show giant beach balls came rolling into the crowd filled with confetti.  Eventually they burst as confetti flew through the air.  It was so cool.

During the show the band often highlighted their talents on the percussions.  You can see in the photo one giant drum.  It had to be 10 feet tall and everyone seemed to have a drum set in front of them.  Front man Dan Reynolds was tossing drum sticks all over the stage, but lit up the drums any time he had those sticks in his hands.  Of course there was the drummer, Dan Platzman, who totally destroyed his drums with da’ beats.

Dan Reynolds spoke several times to the audience.  Once it was about how the band started.  Another time it was about his band members all attending Berkley School of music in Boston.  And once about a friend, Tyler, who lost his fight with cancer and how he inspired one of their songs.  When they played it the entire building was lit up with iPhones.  That was cool and sent chills up my arms.

After the show was over Kristen and I were re-inspired to see live music.  Imagine Dragons put on an awesome performance and we’ve been missing that in our lives for a long time.