hmm... thoughts

Kicking Fat Adam to the Curb

5:30 AM comes early on a Friday. I look at the time on my phone, “You’re kidding me, right?

Tired, groggy, and not feeling it I roll out of bed.

It’s time for my run. Three days per week for the last 6 weeks. Meh, this isn’t fun anymore. Stoney is the only one stoked about this morning routine. He’s having the time of his life with all of this running.

A few early morning demotivating thoughts cross my mind as I tried to find my shoes in the dark:

  1. I’m not a role model for health. Why don’t I just go back to bed or make some coffee and find something better to do.
  2. I’m not getting much faster or running any further. The same mile and half hurts just as much today as it did May 1st.
  3. I could just walk. Not like anyone will know or care. For that matter I could walk to Starbucks and no one would know or care either.

Then I walk by the mirror. And that puts a few motivating thoughts in the mirror:

  1. I am a role model to my kids for health. A big reason they want to play inside and do nothing all day is because that’s what I like to do.
  2. Where did those extra 40 pounds come from? Seriously, that’s not cute.
  3. My running clothes barely fit any more. The same is true with all of my clothes. My shirts are a little less full and I’m pulling up my shorts all the time. I’m kind of digging that.

Fat Adam yells at Skinny Adam every day. For too long he has won out. It’s time for Skinny Adam to stand up for himself and leave Fat Adam behind.

Next goal? Stop talking about myself in the third person.


Conversation with Stoney

Last night, Stoney decided he wanted to go for a walk. I stood in the living room, talking to Kristen, and Stoney sat next to me with those eyes.

If you have a dog you know the eyes.

The only problem? A strong winter storm had rolled in. While it was sunny, clear, and in the 70s on Monday. It was dreary, raining, and about 50 by Friday night.

Here’s how the scene played out, real life conversation recorded for you:

Adam [staring at the dog, his eyes bright and tail waging] – What? What do you want?

Stoney [Sitting politely at his owners feet, gazing up at his beloved inquisitive face] – I want to go for a walk. Take me for a walk. [Eyebrows up] Please?

Adam [hearing the rain beat against the roof] Dude, it’s raining. You don’t really want to go out there. You just think you want to go, but it’s pouring and cold outside.

Stoney [ambivalent to the news, tail wagging] OMG. You just said “outside!” Outside is like my favorite word! I can’t wait! Thank you for understanding me, master. You are totally awesome!

Adam [walking to the blinds and opening them, convinced that if the dog saw that it was raining, that his dog/friend would not really want to go for a walk] Seriously. Stoney, look outside. Its pouring. If we went out there we’d get soaked. We can’t go for a walk in the rain.

Stoney [his excitement has built to a frenzy. This is shaping up to be an amazing evening] I know, that’s OUTSIDE, where you just said we were going. Holy crap… did you say WALK too? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. [prancing and licking his lips, he can’t stand still he is so excited] You said outside and walk. This is the BEST DAY EVER! YES!

Adam [looking at his wife, full of disbelief at what is happening, then looks back at his dog] No. Really. We can’t go for a walk. It’s raining. Sorry buddy.

Stoney [his head sinks down for a moment of sadness] Are you kidding me? I sat in this house all day waiting for you to come home. You haven’t been home all week and I haven’t really cared. I just thought it’d be a good time for us to reconnect a little. The pecking order is going to change in like 3 days. You’ll bring home that baby and you’ll have even less time for me. So I just thought… I know it’s raining. But that doesn’t bother me. I’m a labrador retriever. My coat is wicks moisture away from my skin and keeps me warm during a fall duck hunt. Wet is in my DNA. It’s hard wired as exciting. And you… you bought a $100 rain jacket… even though you live somewhere that only rains like 10 days a year. I knew you didn’t love me. It’s all just words. You are full of excuses. Jerk.

Adam [noticing the instant and deep sorrow of his friends body language. The words were a jab with a knife, but the body language twisted the knife to maximize damage to internal organs] You don’t seem to care that it’s raining outside, do you? And I did buy that jacket. And you really are made to be wet and cold and not really get cold. [checking Kristen’s face, it’s smiling as she sees Adam’s heart break for his friend.] I guess we could go.

Stoney [gives a little wiggle to his eyebrow. It’s a give away that his act of playing the abused dog worked] Did you say OUTSIDE and GO? Yes! Yes! Yes! I knew you wanted to take me for a walk. What are we waiting for? [cue: tail wagging]

Adam [searching his closet for his rain jacket and a change of socks] OK, let’s go for a walk.

[End of scene]

family Photo San Diego Living

Beach day

Stoney rules!, originally uploaded by mclanea.

Today we took the whole family on an outing to dog beach. We all had a great time, but I think Stoney had the most fun of all.

Here’s a link to the rest of our pictures from the beach.

Photo Video Clip

61 Minutes: The Kitchen

I’m learning to love time lapse videos so I thought I’d start off by making a series of my own.

Here’s an ordinary 61 minutes in my kitchen. A mom makes dinner, cleans up, takes the dog for a walk, a dad sneaks a snack, the kids come and do homework.

There is something extraordinary about the ordinary, isn’t there?

family hmm... thoughts Photo

Stoney and Friends

Stoney and Friends

Stoney and Friends

Originally uploaded by mclanea

I woke up this morning to see Stoney, the family dog, laying on his blanket completely surrounded by the kids Webkinz.


Weekend Review

I’m still amazed at how much fun we can have in a weekend. It’s been since high school that I’ve had weekends off so consistently. Love it!

Friday night, we stayed home and rested. With temperatures in the 100s most of last week, the kids had been stuck in the house a lot. I’d even say that by Friday night they had a bit of cabin fever. Saturday morning, I got up early, did a little reading and writing, then took Megan and Stoney to dog beach.  It’s amazing how much fun we can have there. Stoney loves to play with his ball, but really he loves to socialize with other beasts. You forget that dogs are a pack animal until you let them hang out with other dogs. Stoney would like to be a dominant male… which basically means that he spends his time at the beach trying to get other dogs to submit to him. On Saturday, the funniest part was when two springer spaniel puppies spent 10 minutes messing with him. These 7 month old pups knew some of the rules of being submissive/dominant, but like adolescents, were playing with the rules. Stoney would chase one down and he would roll over to submit to some sniffs. While Stoney sniffed his belly, his brother would jump on Stoney’s back. Stoney would snap at the other and chase the other puppy. It was a riot. In the meantime, Megan and I enjoyed wading in the San Diego River. The crystal blue warm water was perfect. We could have stayed there all day… if Stoney didn’t want to chase and play with every dog on the beach we could have.

After a couple hours of beach time with Stoney, Megan and I took him home. We rested for a little while, had some lunch, then packed up the truck to go to the beach as a family. It was hot at our house when we left. Close to 100 in San Diego is twenty degrees warmer than normal. As we headed west towards the Pacific anticipation built up. To be honest, it was a tense drive! Megan and Paul were snippy with one another the whole way to the beach. Mom and dad were in that “head down, focus” mode! When we finally got to Torrey Pines State Beach we were ready to pour our energy into the waves.

As we gathered our stuff out of the truck to take to the beach Megan and I decided to lose our sandals. This is pretty normal and isn’t usually a big deal. But about 200 yards from the truck we were really in pain. It was so hot that I could feel the bottom of my feet burning, literally. Mom was able to swoop up Megan and carry her the rest of the way to the beach while I tried to trot there. It felt like I was walking on glass the whole way. When I finally made it to the beach the pads of my feet were covered in first degree burns. It’s hot! (They are now blistered up, yuck!)

We spent the next four hours playing hard in the surf. The water temperature was refreshing! And the waves were awesome by the shore and a bit scary at the break line. I had fun getting Megan and Paul on the boogie board by the shore. They caught little 2 footers and would ride effortlessly to the beach… like 50-75 feet in total. It was awesome! When they tired of that I’d head out towards the break line where the waves varied from 5-10 feet. With surf that big I got plenty of practice ducking the big ones. It felt so good to be in the water! I was able to watch the surfers from close up, chat with fellow boogie boarders, and catch the occassional big wave. It’s hard to describe the joy of catching a wave. It’s a lot scary as the wave is way more powerful than you… but completely exhilarating when you catch it just right and zoom along with the wave breaking behind you while you dodge tourists.

Exhausted, we left the beach about 4:30 and went out for pizza. It’s taken us a while to settle on a favorite pizza joint. Truth be told, San Diego has a lot of good cuisine but pizza is not their thing. When we go to Pizza Port, the pizza is good enough, the surf feel is awesome, and the kids love that they have machines to dump quarters into. While enjoying our pie we watched the local Chula Vista Little League team pound the Texas team to take home the U.S. Championship, it was good fun. We drove home, full and tired. Everyone was sound asleep by 9 o’clock!

Sunday morning, our small group decided to bring a little rejoicing to the church by hosting a surprise tailgate party. That was a great lead in to worship. I’m still lost in the idea that we celebrate sports figures but not religious leaders… it was fun to mix those two things up intentionally for a morning. I think it was a success.

After church, we went home and chilled for a while. We watched Chula Vista win the Little League World Series (woot!) and then went to Maddie’s 3rd birthday party. All of the church staff has kids about the same age, so it was a blast to see all the little kids party and dance together. Megan and Paul… were awesome in playing along with a “little kid party.” They really did have a good time. And it warms my heart to see that they feel like they fit in. The whining about leaving Michigan… finally dissapating.

From there, we went home and embraced the quiet. The kids convinced mom to allow them to camp out in the living room. They were in bed early and mom and dad retired to read and go to bed early.

I think it takes someone who never really got weekends off to really appreciate the simplicity and joy of a weekend off. Then again, I think everyone loves weekends and I’m just finally getting to join in!

Next weekend, college football. That makes me super happy.


Stoney swims!

We adopted Stoney, a yellow lab, three and a half years ago. As I have well documented he is part of our family.

Yet Stoney had one weird flaw. (beyond his love of humping middle school girls legs.) He hates the water. Most lab owners can’t keep their dogs out of the water and I couldn’t get mine in.

Since we now lives just 15 minutes from the ocean I have gotten used to taking him to Ocean Beach dog beach every week for something I call, Beach Therapy.

I did some reading this winter and learned the trick to getting reluctant dogs to swim. It involves lots of praise and play.. Two things Stoney really likes!

About 4 weeks ago I got him to play in very shallow water. He came home wet and I knew he had a good time. Today, the water was a lot warmer and the tide was way, way out. Long story short, I was able to throw the ball into the water and he would go get it.

He is still reluctant about bigger waves and doing more than wading up to his chest… but you could see instinct begin to take over. He even did that characteristic hop labs do to hurdle through water.

Congrats Stoney, you did it.

Now if only he could read.

hmm... thoughts

Things I’m thinking about today

Ever just have a hodgepodge of slush in your mind? Here’s some random thoughts this morning.

– While I still think of myself as a down-the-middle, maybe even conservative evangelical Christian… I’m finding myself tired of the grey haired leaders.

– As much as I’d like to say I agree with the complimentarian position of women in ministry, I thinks it’s just a politically correct version of it’s older self. I think you can put me in the egalitarian position of women in ministry, if those are my choices. I think its straight up revisionism, chauvinism, and crazy hermeneutics to say women can’t be elders and pastors in churches. (Conservative brethren allow women to practically serve in these roles, they just call them “directors of ministry” and pay them 50% less. That’s sexism.)

– Speaking of crazy hermeneutics… I think the rapture was made up by someone who liked science fiction. People argue about a pre-tribulational and post-tribulational rapture of God’s people in revelation. I keep reading the New Testement verses about that, and I have to say I think it was made up. I’m still firmly in the pre-millenial camp, but that whole rapture deal?

– This year’s American Idol is ridiculous. Paula and that new lady are cheerleaders. Seriously, what is Paula on? Randy isn’t say “dog” nearly enough. And the longer this thing goes,  the more I like Simon. At least he tells the truth.

– I’m officially addicted to the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel. I could watch them both 24 hours a day.

– I’m trying to be more green by taking the trolley to work in April. The mile walk back and forth to the trolley stop won’t hurt me either.

– I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit more so I can swim at the Kroc Center.

– The last month has been amazing on the stock market. Seriously, one of my stocks gain 25% just this week.

– Call me a hypocrite. But I made $1 per share on Ford in the last 2 months. Easy money! I think GM is going out of business in the next 6 weeks. But Ford and Chrysler are going to make it.

– I wanted to pull an April Fool’s joke on YS, I really did. But after I saw all the online jokes I was glad I didn’t.

– Speaking of work… I’ve been wanting to run around screaming about how excited I am about new stuff we’re doing. But people there already think I’m nuts so I didn’t.

– I like my iPhone, a lot.

– The other day I had dinner with Gary Shell from our church in Romeo. He asked me if I had any regrets about this move. I feel bad about it but I laughed. No regrets. I’m not the kind of leader who second guesses himself much. But I do miss our friends, big time. We are trying to scrape together a plan to go to Detroit in July.

– Baseball season is upon us, I’m calling it. Cubs win the World Series. 6 games.

– The kids Spring Break begins today. I doubt we’ll make it through April without a trip to Disneyland.

– When Jesus told his disciples, “Take up your cross and follow me” before the crucifixtion… what did they think? Is that kind of like U2’s new song, “Get on your boots?”

– Stoney still hates the water. He’s the only labrador retreiver in the world who won’t swim.

Funny Stuff

Stoney — EXPOSED

If you’ve ever met my dog… you get this one.

Thanks to Gary for emailing this to me.


Dog & Car updates

I don’t stress out too easily. But the last 48 hours kind of rattled me. Our super reliable car seems to have blown up and our super simple dog had to be rushed to the vet. So when a man’s best friend and his ride both get busted in a day… now you know that freaks me out a little.

The car. After comparing sounds on YouTube with what my car is doing, I’m 99% sure I need to have the engine rebuilt. I plan on taking some time tomorrow to talk to mechanics and decide if we should sell it for parts and use that money to buy another car or pay to get this one repaired. With Kristen starting work in a couple weeks we’ll need to get a second car soon, which just makes that a whole lot more fun to think about! In the meantime, I headed over to Enterprise to get a rental car. You know, they really do pick you up! For those who know San Diego, the office is at 46th & El Cajon Boulevard. (About 4-5 blocks from where we go to church.) The mananger actually said to me, “I don’t see many white people in this store, do you live near here?” So until we get this sorted out, we’re driving a Mazda 5. It’s half minivan and half car. Weird, but I really like it too.

Stoney. Yesterday I made an appointment with a vet that a coworker recommended. (Ian recommends all kinds of great things for my area since he went to school up the street at San Diego State.) Stoney’ right hind leg had swollen to about double it’s size, was leaking all sorts of nasty fluid, and he simply couldn’t leave it alone. The vet helped us a ton! She gave Stoney the infamous e-collar, a cortizone shot for the infection, and 3 prescriptions to keep down the swelling, fight the infection even more, and dull the pain so he could sleep. It turns out our dog is super allergic to fleas. This lead to him chewing a hot spot that got infected. I’m happy to report that this morning the wound is about 1/3 the size it was yesterday. Stoney is starting to act a little more chipper despite the silly collar thing which runs into everything. Just wait until he realizes that we’ve halved his food again! He’s 13 pounds overweight… considering he’s lost 15 pounds already since the spring… that’s a lot more hard work. One may wonder how I’m getting a dog to take so many pills. Let’s just say Stoney thinks he’s getting a lot more treats made of cheese and pepperoni!