Monday, October 27, 2008

Big Kick aka Super Toe

Benjamin got a Big Kick for his birthday from one of his friends from day care. We had this game back when we were kids, it was called Super Toe and we spent hours kicking field goals.

So when we open the box, I set it up and started booting field goals. I was on a roll when Benjamin yelled out "Daddy I want to try it!"

Daddy will definitely have fun with this gift, ha ha!

Benjamin uses two hands here for more power.

This one is wide left so we adjusted and Benjamin made the next one! We spent an hour goofing off with this and Benjamin was bummed when it was bed time. We'll get up early tomorrow and boot some more field goals before heading off to day care.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Benjamin 3; Maryland 27, N.C. State 24

Today was Benjamin's third birthday. Today was also Maryland's Homecoming game vs N.C. State. Obviously I didn't get to Byrd Stadium, this game was not on television and I just got to hear the last 7:00 of the game on radio as we had Benjamin's birthday party at Sports Bounce of Loudoun, followed by another family outing to go to afterward.

In a game with a lot of rain, Maryland won on a last second field goal by Obi Egekeze to improve to 6-2. I will post recaps here and here. Plus check out this link from a new blog I've added on the My Favorites side of the page called Around The Harbor.

So instead of a Maryland football write up, I'll post a party recap similar to how I've written about the Maryland games.

Benjamin's Sports Bounce party:
He had eighteen classmates, friends and relatives there with the adults watching. For a little over an hour they got to run, jump and bounce around the facility. He also played Pop-a-shot basketball with Daddy and laughed at the goofy mirrors similar to what you see at a carnival. The pizza arrived and the group headed into their party room where we all feasted on pizza, water, juice and then we had cake and sang Happy Birthday. Everyone loved the give aways and overall we had a great time. Once we loaded everything back in the car, Benjamin was fast asleep on the ride home. We liked the Sports Bounce because they were organized and did all the work. We did not have a house to clean up if he had all his friends over to celebrate. That was big!

The Good:
Benjamin turns three, he was surrounded by family and friends and all of us had a wonderful time. No clean up for us afterwards. The cake Weena bought was great as I put my diet and exercise routine aside for a day and even got to dig in!

The Bad:
The day ended.

The Ugly:
Today's weather was cold and rainy. I would easily be suffering from a cold if I sat in Section 19 today (I traded my tickets with my aisle mate as he needed more for Homecoming). Props to the fans who did stick it out.

Enjoy the photos!

Cake preview


Cut that cake!

Happy Third Birthday Benjamin!

Today Benjamin turns three years old. Here are his Fall portraits from day care.

A look back at prior birthdays:



2005 (He is a day old here, this is one of my favorites)

Happy Birthday to my little buddy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Take That Diabetes: A1C is 5.5!

I had a follow up doctor's appointment today and my A1C is 5.5!

This is below the 5.7 I was projecting after averaging the 350 or so blood sugar readings I've done since I was officially diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in mid July.

This is down from the whopping 11.5 when I was last tested in July. When I left the office I was all confused and didn't understand the significance of this number then and I forgot about it as I was thinking was I had to make serious lifestyle changes. I'm stunned it was so high then, but I saw the results from that appointment when I was there today.

It was 7.4 back in March, three months after I collapsed in my basement. For those keeping score I go from 7.4 --> 11.5 ---> 5.5

Here's a quick rewind: I collapsed briefly in my basement in December. A lot of factors were involved. Stressful job situation, a minor car accident the day before and I had a cold as well. I went to the doctor and a variety of tests were done to see if I suffered a stroke, had any heart or brain damage when I was passed out.

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes then. Being the stubborn person that I am, I did nothing but take the blood pressure and cholesterol medication I was prescribed. No diet change, no real exercise and I still ate what I wanted. I work for a CPA firm and during the tax season they had all kinds of food and sweets available in the kitchen and I took advantage of that.

Then comes the July appointment and I was Type II diagnosed. I had to do something so I got very serious with my diet and exercise. I couldn't just pop meds and have everything magically disappear. So after three months of exercising 45-60 minutes a day, five days a week, I feel healthier and stronger today. I can't get down at myself for the six months I blew off to start the year as time can't be replaced once passed, but I know now not to take a break. This is with me for life.

Truthfully, I don't miss the ice cream, donuts, cakes and candy I used to pound down. I don't miss McDonald's or soda. Sometimes I will take Benjamin there for lunch and I will eat a grilled chicken sandwich, no mayo and I toss the bun. No french fries and I'll drink either water or unsweetened tea. I actually like the time on the treadmill, elliptical and bike as I can listen to music and sweat uninterrupted. Weena's been great when it comes to preparing my meals and she makes sure I have healty snacks in the house.

According to the scale in the doctor's office, I have lost 20 pounds, down to 196. I'm 5'10 and want to get to 170 so there is still work to be done. The good news is I don't have to go back to the doctor's office for six months.

My attitude is I'll die with the disease, not because of it. I don't want to check out early.

I will have a piece of cake though at Benjamin's third birthday party on Saturday as I feel I've earned it!

Today is a day I pat myself on the back but it's back on the treadmill tonight as I have a lot of work to do now and the rest of my life.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Maryland 26, #21 Wake Forest 0

The good Terps team showed up today. Not the bad Terps team that was on the receiving end of a 31-0 beat down by Virginia two weeks ago or the bad Terps team that was embarassed by Middle Tennessee State in September. Today the Terps were prepared and ready to play from the opening kickoff. This was easily the best game the Terps have played all year and the 26-0 win over Wake Forest was their third straight victory over a team ranked in the top 25 this season.

Where to start? First, it's always fun writing about this team after seeing such a convincing victory in person from my seats in Section 19 on what was a picture perfect Fall day at Byrd Stadium.

Second, all facets of this team were clicking today. On offense, QB Chris Turner threw for a career high 321 yards on 28-for-41 and one TD. I looked up at the scoreboard near the end of the game and saw these numbers and couldn't believe it. This is two games worth of stats for Turner. Impressive.

The Terps needed to get WR Darrius Heyward-Bey more involved in the offense and today they did. Result: A career high 11 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Hey-Bey Highlight of the Day was an incredible catch he made where in mid-route he adjusted at the last second to make an unbelievable 41-yard catch in double coverage. Think of the classic highlight of the Steelers Lynn Swann in the Super Bowl vs Dallas.

The defense applied pressure all day, sacking Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner four times. Skinner, the ACC's leading passer, was just 14-30 for 127 yards. This was only the second time in Skinner's career he completed under 50 percent of his passes. Skinner is the one who keeps Wake's offense on track and the pressure he felt today by the Maryland defense threw him off his game.

Special teams: Kicker Obi Egekeze is back on track now, having made nine straight field goals since he started off the year missing five straight. During pre-game warm ups he was nailing kicks steady from 45 yards and in. For the record, his kicks today were from 40, 39, 35 and 26 yards.

All in all, a great effort by this team today. Two weeks ago I was as fed up as could be after watching the debacle at Virginia. Hopefully the bad Terps are finished for this season. Quote of the day was from Head Coach Ralph Friedgen addressing the media during his press conference when he said about N.C. State, Maryland's opponent next Saturday: "Any way you guys can put them into the top 25?"

The Good: Finally getting Darrius Heyward-Bey involved in the offense. The defense getting a shut out and Obi Egekeze making four FG's in a row. You'd love to see your offense cash it in for touchdowns but if you can't, get the three.

The Bad: RB Da'Rel Scott fumbling, not once, not twice but three times in the first half today. Fridge didn't give up on him though as Scott finished with 73 yards rushing and he also threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Heyward-Bey for Maryland's first score.

An injury to cornerback Kevin Barnes.

The Ugly: Where was everyone today? The announced attendance was 46,257. I hate seeing empty seats in the upper deck. I was ticked after the Virginia loss but come on fans, don't give up. Come to the game.

The Champs Bowl patch Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow had on her red blazer as representatives from this bowl were in attendance. It's a nice, mid level bowl the Terps went to in 2006 but this team at 5-2 can still snag a more prestigious Peach or Gator Bowl bid. If everything falls into place and the Terps can win the ACC Championship, the Orange Bowl bid is there for them.

As long as the bad Maryland team doesn't re-appear.

Washington Post recap here

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Picnic Time!

This past Saturday was my company picnic. As you can see Benjamin had a fun time. We played a little soccer after having fun in the moon bounce. Beautiful weather outside!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seve Ballesteros

Seve Ballesteros, one of the greatest golfers ever, found out this week he has a brain tumor after briefly collapsing last week.

The five time major winner is 51 years old. Flash back to December and pretty much the same thing happened to me as I collapsed briefly while working on my computer. I'm 46 years old and went through a variety of tests this year before it was determined I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Thankfully I did not have a heart attack, heart murmur, brain damage or stroke.

I've been working on lowering my cholesterol and blood pressure as well as exercising and monitoring my diet. I am down twenty pounds since July. I have a follow up doctors appointment on the 22nd and will write more on that after the appointment.

Just want to take this time to wish Seve Ballesteros best wishes as the two of us are close in age. The only time I ever saw him play golf live was when I worked as a marshal at the 1982 Kemper Open at Congressional Country Club. On the final Sunday he was in near the lead so he was in the last threesome with Craig Stadler and a fellow you may have heard of, Jack Nicklaus. At the 12th tee I stood about fifteen feet from this trio holding up the Quiet Please sign. I was shaking like a leaf but didn't drop the sign.

Get well Seve!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Benjamin Update

First, those Terp faithful who are looking for an update, there is none as the Terps had a bye week. Next game is Saturday the 18th at home vs Wake Forest at noon.

Couple things involving Benjamin. First, in three weeks he will be moving to a new day care facility. While we liked where he was at, there were no plans to move him into the three's group until the first of the year at the earliest. He's been in the two's since last September and we felt he would be spinning his wheels there so to speak. Weena and I had a disagreement with the Principal over this last week. We have found a place where we believe he will thrive and after taking a tour and observing how things work there, we signed on. (Please contact me via e-mail if you'd like the name of the facility)

Also, Benjamin had his first dental appointment Friday. All went well. He has twenty teeth and x-rays show he will probably start losing teeth in a few months. He was very good during his cleaning and loved the experience there.

He does needs a procedure though – a part of his tongue tissue needs to be clipped so that he can talk properly then after the procedure he needs to go through some speech therapy as he’s not used to rolling his tongue upwards. It's nothing to worry about, it's a 30-45 minute procedure and it is scheduled for the first week of November.

In two weeks our little guy turns three!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

UVA 31, Maryland 0

I'm sorry but the earlier loss to Middle Tennessee State University has nothing on this debacle. This was an absolutely gutless performance by Ralph Friedgen's Maryland football team. This team is, apologies to Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Football Teams with tonight being the Worst of Teams.

Let's review: Maryland got their rear ends handed to them by a Virginia team that lost to Duke 31-3 the week before. This same UVA team that had scored 36 points in their first four games.

Maryland was clearly not prepared and did not show up to play tonight. Everyone and I mean everyone associated with the University of Maryland football team should be embarrassed at this. It just hurts seeing this team play with heart, guts and emotion in a great victory at Clemson one week and then come into UVA and get slapped around by the Cavs who, let's be honest, were a terrible 1-3 football team. I am done describing this mess of a game simply because I switched to D.C. United and later to baseball midway through the third quarter.

The Good:
No game next week as the Terps have a bye week.

The Bad:
Switching from this game to D.C. United's game. They lost at home to Chivas USA 3-0 and their playoff hopes have pretty much been extinguished with that debacle.

The Ugly
A shutout against UVA in their place a week after beating the #20 team in the nation.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

2008 Light the Night Walk in Reston VA

First time I've recycled a blog post but there is time to make a donation for Weena, Benjamin and myself as we're participating with my employer. Weather looks to be great so a lot of pics of us will be posted later. Looking forward to this!

Light The Night Walk

Reston VA

October 4, 2008

7:00 PM

The Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's nationwide walk to raise awareness and funds to cure leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma as well as to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $550.8 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Although research is responsible for increasing survival rates for these diseases, there's still work to be done. Since I've been looking for ways to get and stay fit, I decided to join our group at work and will be participating in the walk, along with Weena and Benjamin.

Here's a little history of the event from the Light the Night Reston web site.

For the 8th consecutive year, balloons will light up the night sky of Reston, VA during the 2008 Light The Night Walk. Thousands of Walkers will once again fill The Reston Town Center and surrounding streets, enjoying an evening full of family fun as we celebrate and commemorate lives touched by blood cancers. The Reston, VA Walk is one of five Walks hosted by the National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This nationally recognized campaign consists of evening walks that take place in all 50 states and helps build awareness of blood cancers as well raise funds for cures. In 2007, the efforts of Walk Teams and Individuals came together to the tune of $540,800 just at the Reston Walk alone, $1.84 million in the DC Metro Area, and nearly $40 million nation-wide!

This year, we hope to raise $2 million in the National Capital Area and we are well on our way. Dario Marquez, CEO of MVM, Inc. has joined Light The Night this year as the 2008 Reston Corporate Walk Chair and is working to help secure the support of companies and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. Additionally, our Executive Volunteer Planning Committee is already hard at work garnering additional sponsorships, in-kind donations and volunteer support in the area.

I've set up a web page if you wish to contribute and help the cause. You may access it here. If you have further questions or wish to send a donation via mail, please click the View My Complete Profile section to the left of the blog and contact me.

Thank you very much. Full report after the walk.