Jul 31, 2008

Dodgers - LaRoche = Manny!!

The Dodgers just landed Manny Ramirez -- the Manny Ramirez -- for Andy LaRoche and some obscure minor league pitcher (Bryan Morris).

First reaction as Dodgers fan: shock! I can't believe that Ned Colletti has finally pulled off a good deal for our team. The best part about it: the Red Sox for paying the $7 million remaining on Manny's contract for this year. How could it get any better?!
This is how: the Dodgers did not have to give up any of their young studs like James Loney, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier. Go Blue! World Series or bust!

Jul 29, 2008

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Here's an interesting lecture given by Randy Pausch, former professor at Carnegie Mellon University.  He tells about achieving your childhood dreams, interspersed with various advice on life, taught through "head fakes."
One of his better quotes was this:
'Brick walls' are there [in our life] for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.
Enjoy.

Jul 22, 2008

Running

One of the things I love most about running is you have a lot of time to think.  It's not like other sports where you have to really focus on what you're doing.  You just put one foot in front of the other, and go.  I don't know, maybe it is like that for people in other activities, but running sure does it for me.

I found out today that slow rock music is not a good motivator to me to run faster.  I often find myself subconsciously running to the pace of the music I'm listening to.  Prior to the start of my run, I put a couple tracks on my playlist that had a pretty slow beat to them.  Bad idea.  It's not that I need some heavy metal, head bangin' music.  Even something like Jack Johnson or CCR will usually work fine at getting me in a good running rhythm.

I thought about going to the gym earlier to run on the treadmill, but on my way there decided to just run outside instead.  I started running laps around a large field close to our apartment, which also included one main walkway that leads to our apartment complex.

At least a couple dozen people saw me running.  This is what I love about running, though.  Nobody knows how long you've been running for.  Although I was sweating profusely (I was drenched after just one lap), and going at a slow leisurely pace, for all these people knew I was on my 100th lap around that field.  Just to top it off, I would intentionally avoid eye contact with the people I didn't know; the image of a seeing someone run with complete disregard to their surroundings has always seemed very 'in the zone' to me.  Hopefully the discomfort on my face didn't expose me :)

Jul 17, 2008

Movie: United Flight 93

Lois and me just got done watching the edited version of the movie United 93.  It is about the 4th plane that was hijacked on 9/11, and eventually crashed into an open field because of some brave passengers.

Every time I see on TV or read in the newspapers about a tragedy where someone dies, even not of this magnitude, I have a hard time feeling sorrow for whoever was involved.  It is not because of a lack of sensitivity (Lois will verify my sensitivity), but because of a disconnection.  I don't know the people who are killed every day.  I have no connection to them.

The same went for the victims of 9/11.  I have seen dozens of stories about some of the victims who died, or about what happened on the airplanes, or the various heroic acts of people who gave their lives on that day to save others.  But I still always felt disconnected from them.

This movie, however, was directed so that it didn't focus so much on how the hijackers carried out their plan, or what they were feeling, but it focused on the passengers.  The tender and emotional conversations that they had with their loved ones as they bid their final farewells, though for the most not verbatim, could be empathized with. After witnessing them attempt to stop the hijackers and save their lives fail, I was left emotionally moved.
Perhaps because I am now married and have my own "family" I can better understand how heart-wrenching it must have been to know  you're never going to see your loved ones again.  Without a doubt, though, this movie left an impression on me.

It may seem silly, but this movie caused a deeper appreciation and reverence for the lives that me and my loved ones have been granted.  Each day I thank God for the blessing of life.  Tonight, I think I'll be thanking Him just a little bit longer

Jul 16, 2008

Being Productive

"There are certain moments in every person's day that, if excellently used, will determine the direction and quality of all the other moments. These certain moments are few in number-sometimes very few. They are necessarily hard moments, testing moments."   -Anon


I labeled this quote as anonymous because I can't remember where I read it from.  I was going through my old sent-messages today in my email, and I came upon this quote that I sent to a friend a couple of years ago.
Every day, I find that there are moments like this that I encounter.  Some of my moments are:
  • Waking up in the morning. I can't say that my whole day is ruined when I sleep in an extra 30 minutes, but it does annoy me when I lose this daily battle.
  • Coming home from school/work. When I'm tired and worn-out from the day's activities, this is the #1 moment that I enjoy being lazy.  But, I find that when I come home every day, if I do more productive things (doing the dishes, taking out the trash, exercising, etc.), it makes the rest of my day better.
Those two moments are for me the most applicable moments to the quote above.
I hate how my body convinces me to be lazy, but when I give in I hear it the rest of the day from my mind.  I guess that says something about the true nature of laziness.