Busy Busy Busy

I just wanted to write a quick update on the last two weeks or so. So far, I have survived the first 2 weeks of my job. It is quite interesting. I am enjoying being in corporate america for once. Things are alot slower paced. Sometimes that is a good thing and other times I wish the pace would pick up.

I have survived the first week of my marathon training. I did runs of 3, 5, and 8 miles. The training program I am using is from runnersworld and is 16 weeks long. Since the race isn’t for 20 weeks, I plan on doing the first 4 weeks of running and then starting over on the training program. This will help me get my mileage up and in the right mindset.

Another change that I’ve done with my running is that I have started to listen to music. For the 3.5 years that I’ve been running, I can count on my hand the number of times that I ran with an MP3 player and earphones. So this has been a nice change for me – although I still feel there are benefits to running without any sort of music/distraction.

Also – a quick update on my chinese language classes…So far its been going very well. The language is pretty difficult to master because of the different tones, the many meanings of words, and the fact that a direct english translation isn’t always possible. With this in mind, I am enjoying the class and just need to put a little more effort into listening to the audio a little earlier than 30-40 mins before class 🙂

Finally, I am going to share more articles that I stumble on in my google reader or the random ones that my friends send me. I apologize for the lack of article posting!

More to come this week…I’d like to write a more indepth post on my chinese classes especially the cultural aspects I am learning and also do a posting about my trip to India.

Have a great evening.

"Lasts" for awhile…

As I sit here in my home enjoying a few last beers until June, I thought it would be good to announce that on Monday, January 19th, I will start training for my second marathon. I have decided to enter the race known as Grandma’s. This is a race in Duluth, Minnesota on June 20th.

This year I am going to be more disciplined in my training as far as eating more healthy foods and drinking less alcohol during training. As part of that effort, I am going to do three things.

First, I am giving up drinking beer while in training. Don’t get me wrong….I love drinking beer, but it won’t help me train better for a marathon. It also helps me keep my gut (which I am trying so hard to get rid of).

The second thing I am going to do is lift weights at least two times a week. I think this will help be a stronger runner and it should certainly help me burn more fat both during my runs and while I am resting.

Finally, I am going to eat more healthy foods. I have ordered multi-vitamins for training and I am trying to eat more fruits and vegetables. To help me do this, I have order a beverage called mix1. (www.mix1life.com) I ordered the blueberry vanilla flavor. I am hoping that this will contribute to my overall nutrional health. Overall, I am going to pay more attention to what I am eating.

I am both excited and nervous about training for a second marathon. This is definitely a big committment over the next five months. I have never signed up for a race and not completed it. I have no reason to believe that my trend will stop with this race. I encourage you to check out the marathon website —> http://www.grandmasmarathon.com/ . The next 5 months will certainly be interesting and hopefully a lot of fun as well.

Looking for a new theme

Just a quick note – I am looking for a new tumblr theme. I don’t have time to create my own, so I’ll be google searching for ideas. If you find a cool theme, drop me a line and send me the link. I’m also going to add a feature that will display the “tags” on each post if I can find that on google.

Led By Citibank, Bank Rewards Cards Cutting Bonuses and Redemption Opportunities

Led By Citibank, Bank Rewards Cards Cutting Bonuses and Redemption Opportunities
Well this confirms my new rewards strategy of only accumalating starwoods and membership rewards points. I am going to use my outstanding thanky you points on Amazon gift cards and then close the account. I will keep acquiring AMEX and SPG points for my goal of long term travel.

Goals and an update on my major announcement

First my update to the announcement…

Last week I announced that I was leaving my previous employer of 4+ years and taking a different position elsewhere. I wanted to give a brief update on the response to my farewell email and my observations of the new job so far. That job was my first one out of college and it was weird making the announcement and leaving the only office environment I have known. I did feel like I learned so much in the consulting industry and I am sure there are aspects of it that I will miss.  I will definitely miss the people – hopefully they will still want to hang out from time to time. Time will only tell.

My observations are my new employer are pretty positive right now. I am trying to complete all of the required paperwork and get down to business in my current role. I’ve work with many of the people within the information security team, but not specifically with many of the people in the team that I am on. It is a little different and will take a little getting used to, but I think there’s a high chance of success. Things move a little slower in industry and I’m already seeing that now. For example, I’m still waiting access to some forms that are supposed to be “pushed” out to new hires. I do admit that I did start right after the holidays and I am sure there is a lot of backlog.

The one major thing I’ve noticed is the focus on work / life balance and the pace of the office. It is definitely expected to put in a solid 8 hours of work a day, but after that, and as long as you are getting your work done, you don’t need to sign in at home or stay late at the office. Sometimes it may be necessary, but it definitely is not expected. This leads me to a point about goals.

One of the reasons I decided that it was time to leave consulting was because I wanted to pursue personal goals. Due to the nature of consulting, you could be called upon at a moment’s notice to travel to a different city or respond to a client problem/incident. While this happened infrequently, I respected and understood this part of the profession. I didn’t feel right making a committment to an organization, class, or group and all of sudden not being able to give a 100% of my effort because I had to called away to my job.

I wanted to post these thoughts in order to provide some perspective on the first update of my 2009 goals. Shortly after the year began, I posted my goals which included learning a foreign language. As luck would have it, I found a Chinese language class about a 5 minute drive away from my house! It meets twice a week for 1 hour in the evening. I have had two classes so far and am enjoying it. Everyone told me that learning Chinese would be difficult. So far, I have to say I am having difficulties on a couple of the tones. The only way for me to improve is to practice it. I also a little bit of trouble with the “z” and “j” words. Other than that, I’m really glad I signed up for the class. I would like to continue the classes for the entire year if possible and as a long term goal become fluent in Chinese.

Cox, others react to Smoltz’s exit

Cox, others react to Smoltz’s exit
Sad day for me….My favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, let John Smolts, the icon of the franchise for the last 20 years go. I can understand the braves don’t want to take a chance on a 42 year-old pitcher that has 5 screws in his shoulder, but, its John Smoltz! Best of Luck to you, Smoltzie, and I hope the Braves get their acts together….please don’t screw over any over franchise player, namely, Chipper Jones.