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Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Quote of the Day: “TV is chewing gum for the eyes.”

- Frank Lloyd Wright


This might be a first… a catch-up blog that references the last major entry in my blog which, stay with me here, is actually a catch up blog in itself. Oooooh, it’s blogception!

So if you want to walk with me here, you are going to have to go back and read THIS BLOG ENTRY.

Caught up?

No, you are not. That’s why I’m writing this today: to catch you up from that catch-up attempt. Silly, isn’t it?

OK, so I went with the bulletized laziness last time and I think I will put that approach back to work because I am STILL a lazy-ass writer but more importantly, I think it works for this stupid catch-up dumbassery…

Here is how it will work:

I know you didn’t go back and read that whole entry so I will repost each bullet and then catch it up. The original will be in BOLD and my updates will be normal. Well, as normal as it gets in my world…

“I am currently a Project Coordinator for PACCAR. What does that mean? It means I didn’t quite have enough juice to be a Project Manager and am in a supporting role until I get a call to the Big Show. I am the Project Plan Whisperer and will be getting “Microsoft Project 2010” tattooed on my chest very soon.”

I am not a Project Coordinator now. Hell, I’m not even with PACCAR anymore. I launched the dream, people! I walked into HR one day and looked a nice lady in the eye, and slammed down my two weeks. Why did I do this? Some reasons I will talk about but some I won’t. What I will say is that I discovered I cannot live in a Dilbert Hellscape. I cannot sit in a cloth cubicle in a sea of cloth cubicles with my computer and phone and live like a drone. I just can’t. More on what I am doing later.

“I was a Production Analyst for Kenworth (same corporate company) which meant I was on the production floor all day being “The Man” oppressing the “Working Man.” Some saw me as this, some saw me as someone who actually gave a shit about them. Opinions vary. I did that for a year before landing a job at the IT Department.”

I still keep in contact with all of ONE person from these days. I think about many of them often and hope that my success will be a source of motivation and happiness for them but I can’t help but feel like I escaped a type of prison and I left quite a few people sentenced to stay there pretty much forever.

“I am also the COO of UrbanHarvest, a startup that is building greenhouses on flat-top buildings in urban areas and growing lettuce to sell hyperlocally. No, I am not growing pot. Yes, we won the UW Business Plan Competition (the Heisman of entrepreneurialism in Seattle) and are on track to be super-successful (little known business vernacular for “we blowin’ up, yo!”)”

THIS is what I left PACCAR for and although not as much has happened to it as we had hoped, it is still moving along. We have meetings with all kinds of interested parties and our latest project will be explained very soon.

“I bought a small hydroponic setup and put it up in my backyard. I have killed the first 4 crops but am narrowing down the reasons I am killing the innocent lettuce seedlings. Soon I might have enough to garnish. I would rather kill these guys in my backyard than in a greenhouse. My new job will be to set up the growing operation. Then it will be to teach someone else to do it. Then, eventually, it will be to supervise farmers at our different greenhouses. Do, teach, supervise. I know, crazy approach, but I want to wake up each morning NOT to go to work but rather go to my passion.”

The new plan is to build a small greenhouse in my backyard. This will accomplish a few key steps for the business:

1. We will grow lettuce and sell it at Farmers Markets in the area. This will establish our brand.
2. Once we make a certain amount of profit as a business, we are eligible for government funds we can use to expand.
3. I get to take my learning lumps in a small greenhouse rather than a fully sized rooftop farm.
4. Um, PROFIT! Hello!
5. We can experiment with different growing approaches and products to find the optimum growing conditions and inventory.

“I just finished the Insanity workout with my wife. Go ahead and finish your snide remarks… you done? OK, like I was saying, I’m halfway through my SECOND trip through this little joy called Insanity. Really? More jokes? Done? It is an intense 60 day program I do in my garage and I got through day 50 last time before forming plantar fasciitis for the first time in my life. I lost 17 lbs and gave it a couple of months rest before going at it again. I’m not much for leaving the score 0-1 with ANYTHING! So, yeah, it’s killing me but it’s killing my wife less and that is causing my killing to be of a worse variety. Kill.”

Like I pointed out, I finished my second trip through Insanity and turned right to running, training for the Seattle Marathon. Everything was going great until I hyper-extended my knee doing some P90X leg kicks with my church group. That caused more than a little pissed off days as my training plans once again took a header into a large pile of shit.


(OK, this is not my knee and mine wasn’t this bad but I felt like I needed your attention at this point…)

The end result was that I gutted through a grueling marathon with a pitiful 5+ hour marathon, my 27th overall. Oh well, I got the bling for it.

Then I got another one of my great ideas: I will give myself a one week rest and then get back to the Insanity workouts. But because I am not very smart, I decided that one through again was not enough and I committed to doing TWO cycles, back to back. That’s right, DOUBLE INSANITY!

What was my logic? Well, if I am not some kind of training plan, I will not stay consistent. If I say, “I will just get to the gym a few times a week because I don’t want to run in the cold” … I won’t do anything. I will degenerate into a lump of snack-eating gluttony and self-hate.

Since Insanity is a 60-day program, I thought that if I do it twice, back to back, that would take me through the cold winter and I should be in top shape by the time spring rolls around when I can get back outside and run again.

Sounds sensible to me. But then again, we are talking a double dose of a program that has proven it can kick my ass 17 times and twice on Sunday. (Actually, Sunday is the day of rest so my cliche’s wheels kind of fell off there…)

I am now currently on day 34 which also happens to be the last day of the middle recovery week (between the two intense phases) so starting next week, it kicks into high gear and for a month, I slam my poor body in a way that makes last month seem like stretch time in kindergarten.

“I’m also a coach now. Let me explain that one: I wanted the shake mix they sell and it was cheaper overall to become a coach and buy it at a discount that to buy it outright so, yeah, I’m a coach. I’m not all that interested in the business side so my approach is “buy my shit or I’ll never talk to you again.” I don’t know why no one has bought anything yet.”

Nothing has happened on the coach front except me paying $15 a month for cheaper shakes. I am still drinking my breakfast each day (I know that sounds bad, especially from someone who is technically unemployed, but it’s a healthy, all-encompassing brown sludge to start out each day.)

“My son is currently working as an intern at my work so we carpool every day and shoot home for lunch together. It’s not a very big deal for me, I hardly think about it. I never was the one to be sentimental when it came to my kids and riding and working with one of them is just a passing consideration.”

Alex finished his internship and packed away all the money he earned for his college. That boy makes me proud! Now he is back in school and still working at the movie theater which means I am still getting free movies like you read about!

“My wife is no longer working at Spank of America which is good because they suck. She left to work for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Basically, the fund collects donations and distributes money to Marines in need who were wounded in combat. Carrie is a caseworker, works from home, and is basically a professional Guardian Angel. You know when people say you should do something for a living that you would do for free? She does. And has. She volunteered for the same program when we lived in San Diego years ago. She rocks.”

Carrie, also referred to as “Long-Suffering-Wife” in this blog, is still doing her Guardian Angel thing and as far as I can discern from her phone calls, she is pretty good at it.

She is also remaining very understanding with my general unemployment and believes, as do I, that UrbanHarvest is going to be a huge success soon.

“We have a new dog. Buster died and I can prove this because I have his ashes in my living room. Hey, calm down, they are in a vase! Toby looks similar and we claim he is a curly-tailed wiener-beagle. In reality, we don’t know what he is because we got him for free at a 7-11 (no, not on the shelves, it just happened we met a lady who was trying to find a home for the little idiot.). Boy, did he get lucky. He is treated like a king, of course. He’s an idiot.”

Toby continues to be an idiot. His highlight of each week is the 2-3 hour nature hike we take each Friday. This dog is the most affectionate dog I have ever met. He naps and sleeps cuddled up with me. (Yes, I still nap just about every day because, how do I put this …. I CAN!)

“I’m trying to get back into Getting Things Done (GTD). The irony of trying to get back to productivity is not lost on me. But I am still making lists and reading books like “168 Hours.”

This continues to be a challenge and most frustrating is the fact that I have more time than ever and still can’t seem to get on track with this. But hope springs eternal and I keep chipping away at it.

While writing this blog, I have been sampling my last entry and realize I didn’t even bring up my lovely daughter so I will rectify that right now:

Steph graduated high school in 2012 and was accepted to both the University of Washington main campus and the Bothell campus. She chose the Bothel campus for the smaller venue but will likely move to the main campus her last two years. My wallet is sobbing but she is riding a full scholarship thus far so all is well.

Oh yeah, and she nailed a 3.9 GPA in her first college quarter. That’s my girl.

She is also working at Starbucks so, yeah, free coffee.

There were a few more bullets on that last blog but, as I am trying to solve the verbose writing thing I have had going since I could write, I think I will cut off around here so I can get this published. Believe me, there is more going on but I think this gives a decent catch up of where I am now and maybe I can free myself up a little to post daily.

Free Advice for Today: “Always compliment flower gardens and new babies.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


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