My Fifth and Final Marathon (at least for a while)

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A week ago was the one-year anniversary of my first ever marathon, and my fifth completed in the past year. The Sacramento marathon will always be a bit of a turning point for me, I felt like if I could run it last year–then run a few more during the year–and then run Sac again one year later, then I’d have hit some significant milestone. Though, now that it’s done, I’m not sure I feel that way. You’d think your 5th marathon would be your easiest, but last Sunday’s race was really tough for me–and nearly an hour slower than I’d run the Chicago marathon just six weeks before. Super humbling, though I had a few physical issues going on that contributed to making this one a bit more difficult. But, here goes.

Following are a few things I learned about myself over the past five marathons, more general tips than practical ones I’ve written about before, or other running stories about how I never thought I could do it, then I said screw it I’m doing it, and a few in between and one more here:

1. I hate the cold. I’m now a California weather wimp, and I now know I can get very Wangry. Do know the definition of angry ? Perfect. Now, know the term “hangry”? That’s anger induced by hunger. Therefore, “wangry”, is anger induced by cold weather. After this last weeks run (was 20’s during most of it) I never want to run long distances in cold weather again.

20's in the 2013 Sacramento CIM Marathon. Way. Too. Cold.
20’s in the 2013 Sacramento CIM Marathon. Way. Too. Cold.

2. If you want to run a marathon…Just put some steps forward and make it happen. Pick a race (like, literally this week–pick a race for sometime late Spring or early Summer). Sign up. Develop a training plan. Start running. Just. Get. Going.

3. Training is part of the gift. It’s also a pain because it’s so time consuming. If you don’t train, and this is pretty straightforward,  you will be in a lot of pain during your marathon. Like you might find yourself in a port-a-pottie at mile 23 crying from the pain. Hypothetically. And you run the risk of not finishing. Plus, while you learn a lot about yourself from the run itself, you also learn a lot throughout training.

4. Pick a marathon song. A soulful one. I have a song for every marathon. And it’s not a “power song” like in a Nike-sense where you need something to amp  you up. It’s more significant than that. It’s, well, soulful…and I can’t really explain it further. Every marathon of mine has a different one, which is usually scattered several times throughout my marathon playlist. Of course it gets plenty of use during my training runs as well. And whilst blogging. This past race’s song was “Pieces” by Andrew Belle. It’s pretty amazing.

5. Stretch your ass off. Especially if you’re over 30. If you don’t stretch pre and post running,you’re a ticking time bomb. Especially if you have accumulated injuries from previous sports or, maybe, you’re just getting old(er). An Ortho once told me those with greatest risk of ligament and tendon tears are guys in mid 30’s who forego stretching and still do the weekend warrior thing and then…Stretching stinks. I hate it. But you have to do it.

6. Only listen to half of what your doctors tell you. Years back a doc told me I shouldn’t run. So I quit. Then I started running anyways. I’ve kept doc advice about running to pretty much zero ever since. But seven days before this past marathon I had to ask my doc about a little medical thing going on (fixed now, and I do not mean that literally) and I asked her whether I could run the marathon to which she basically said “Ummmm, no. This is probably a bad idea.” Days later I decided to ignore her advice, because I realized  she translated my question as “do you think this is a good idea?” rather than “could something really really bad happen?” Don’t let other people talk you out of something you really want. If I had, I wouldn’t have started running, nor completed last weeks race.

7. Keep your head up. The most epic line I heard from a spectator this past race will forever be burned in my memory. As I’m at mile 24 there were still stretches with very few spectators. At this point I’d taken my headphones off and I’m just trying to run one step at a time while looking right in front of me.

Suddenly, I hear a lady standing around the 2 o’clock position on the sidelines yell out to me in a booming voice “GET YOUR HEAD UP HONEY! AIN’T NO DOLLAR BILLS DOWN THERE! NOW GET YOUR HEAD UP AND LOOK TO THE FINISH LINE!” I kept my head up the final 2.2. miles.

8. And keep your eyes open.

Joyce's First Marathon! Great job!
Joyce’s First Marathon! Great job!

Because you’ll be inspired. And this is what I love most about marathon running.

Watching my friend Joyce finish Chicago–her first marathon–was inspiring to me. So was the guy I saw at the same marathon running WITH brain cancer, who was having serious brain surgery the following day. That story is here,. And then there was the guy with muscular dystrophy, in the same race, who 17 hours later crossed the finish line. Or, simply, during this last Sacramento marathon, when I saw this guy cross the finish line completing his first marathon–and when his eyes met his girlfriend they were both crying. That stuff’s inspiring to me.

I LOVE watching people finish things they thought might be out of their reach. It’s a milestone towards their destiny. And it’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve received from running five marathons this past year, though completing them have also given me a bit of confidence moving forward.

But, despite all the fun I had, I’m not doing five again next year. Most people suggest two is the optimal number, so that’s what I’m sticking with.

Probably.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Part Two: A S*&$@Y Way to Lose $1,000 (the follow-up)

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A few months ago I wrote a post about how I lost a grand. And didn’t follow my intuition.

You can read about that one here.

Shortly after writing the post a friend of mine encouraged me to reach out to him and let him know I’d forgiven the debt. It was the right thing to do, after all, I’d just written about what I KNEW I was supposed to do all along. A few months went by, and finally I wrote the overdue email.

Early in the morning I sent the email off relieving him of his burden, never expecting to hear back a response or acknowledgment. And to my total surprise, later that afternoon, I received an apology email with the promise to pay me back.

I’ve carried the chain of messages (omitting names and anything remotely descriptive) because I feel it’s given me two different learnings:

The first is that when your intuition says to do one thing and you do something else, well often we’re given another chance to get it right. I didn’t get it right the first time…but I think I did the second time when I sent the email relieving the debt. Note: this isn’t anything noble or generous that I did, it’s what I was supposed to do–so please don’t interpret me as posting this as anything remotely self promoting–to the contrary, it took me a while to figure out what I was supposed to do all along.

The second is that even if you’ve screwed up (and man, I know I have…) you often get a chance to get that right too. And my trainer did, he offered to pay me back in full. While I’m not accepting it–you can’t pay back a debt that was relieved–he did his part to make things right. And that’s enough.

Tonight I’m looking at this situation which bothered me for a while and finally feel a sense of accomplishment in such an unexpected way. Not just for me, but for him as well. It wasn’t easy to respond to my message, acknowledge it, apologize, and own it. But to his full credit, that’s exactly what he did.

Sometimes you do get a few shots to get things right.

Thank God…

~Raz

On Nov 9, 2013, at 1:11 AM, Rich Razgaitis <richraz@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi XYZ,

Thanks for your email response, I appreciate it.
But, also, I meant it. I am relieving you of it. There’s no more debt to pay off.
I hope you’re doing well.
Best,
Raz
On Nov 7, 2013, at 4:16 PM, XYZ wrote:

Hey Raz I thank you for the email. I am well and truly apologize for my behavior. I considered you guys to be really good friends. Although you have forgiven my debt I would like to pay you back starting at the beginning of the year. I was in a bad place and felt like I was drowning so I made some bad decisions. I’m back in the Bay and would love to maybe hook up with you and talk.

Cheers,

XYZ

On Nov 7, 2013, at 6:19 AM, Rich Razgaitis <richraz@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi XYZ,

I am not sure what’s going on in your life, but I wanted to drop you a quick line and give you an update.

The short version is that I am forgiving your debt that you owe to me of the nearly $1,000 outstanding.

I do want to mention that I felt how you handled this by ignoring me and not following through was disrespectful, especially when I believed in you and went out on a limb to help you out. This also hurts yourself and your reputation. There are a lot of courses of action that I could have taken on this, including having my personal attorney file claims against you, which would have landed you in court and tied you up in legal trouble/expenses.

However, I have decided to take a different tact and forgive your debt instead. I believe you are a good person, who could do really well, but have gotten into a difficult situation and simply made a really bad decision about how you handled this with me.

Hopefully life is turning around for you, and that you are making inroads with your business.

Best of luck to you,

Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

The Magic of the Guy in Seat 9A

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Have you ever had a travel debacle, like an all out traveling clusterfiasco? Yeah, of course you have. And while it’s logical that your experience of debacles coincides with your frequency of travel, it also spikes in relation to the importance of getting to your destination. Of course, right?

So in typical Planes, Trains, and Automobiles fashion (if you haven’t ever seen the movie it’s still such a great one to watch–especially around Thanksgiving), my latest one involved more than my fair share of adventure.

But there’s kind of a twist at the end. 

On Thursday and even Friday morning of this past week I’d been receiving email confirmations for my Friday afternoon flight, which I thought departed at 3:30pm Friday from SFO. Thursday night was a long one for me (the whole week was long), and I didn’t get to bed until 4am Friday completing work stuff …I awoke at 7am Friday, cranking out more work knowing I had ample time to get packed. At 10am I got an emergency call from my business partner–who was on the same flight–and he realized that OUR flights weren’t at 3:30 but 12:30…and out of another airport. Much further away. Apparently, XYZ travel company was sending me the wrong confirmation emails intended for a 3rd guy in our group who was on a different flight. So in 30 minutes I packed for a ten day trip–including all my running gear for a Chicago event this coming Sunday–and grabbed a quick shower in between pouring down a few cups of coffee.

Then, EVERYTHING misfired. AND it clicked. Simultaneously. I can’t go into each detail, this blog post would be ten pages. But seemingly everything that could go wrong did, yet we also made–sometimes by seconds–each critical bus pickup, security checkpoint, and boarding needed to get to our final destination. Until Houston. For “complicated” reasons, we missed our connection and XYZ airlines said the next available Nashville flight would get us in by Saturday late afternoon. Which wouldn’t work. Would’ve been a disaster, as we had to be there for a meeting and set up for the launch of our new product by 9am.

“Get us within a six hour drive to Nashville and we’ll figure out the rest” I told the agent. Energetically. 🙂 I can’t remember all the times an all night drive from some mid-point along a final destination to get to a meeting or event on time–but it’s easily in the double digits.

We decided to reroute to Memphis, and the agent worked out a way to get us seats on a flight that arrived at 10:20pm Friday night. XYZ travel company showed on it’s website rental cars for one way that were <$400 for a trip to Nashville, but kept failing when I tried to confirm the order while in Houston. No biggie, I thought, I’m just going to figure it out when we land. But upon arrival I call the travel booking company and they can’t book the rental cars either–keeps failing at checkout.

Net net, they end up finding one they can book for >$800. USD–not pesos. No way am I paying $800 for a rental car–I’d end up hitchhiking before doing that. After some vigorous conversation, and hours of calling rental car companies and doing walk up price checks, I resigned myself that it was going to be impossible to get out of Memphis. By a rental car. But I knew we’d get there.

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Because…there’s always Greyhound. $25 per person one way (if you get the web fare). So we went to the bus station at 1am, with the plan to sleep there and jump a 5am bus and make it to our meeting in time by 9am. Somehow, though, upon arriving we snagged the last two seats on a 1:30am bus to Nashville despite not being able to actually buy tickets, and not the most friendly people helping us. IMG_0085

I am not sure if you have traveled by bus. But, let me just say, you have never REALLY traveled by bus until you’ve done the Memphis to Nashville 1:30am journey. 😉

We arrive Nashville around 5am, get to the hotel with enough time to sleep for 90-minutes, run back to the airport to pick up our luggage which finally arrived and made it to our 9am meeting and set up for our big product unveiling.

Seemingly fifty ridiculous things happened during this “adventure” and often I wonder why, and try to find meaning in it. Perhaps even if no meaning exists.

Sometimes…Oftentimes…Maybe usually…I think this stuff happens to test us:

How bad do we want it? And are we willing to just make stuff happen and figure it out? How creative will we get, and how hard will we push through to get from the 80% mark to 100% Or, do we resign ourselves…and just throw in the towel saying “well, we tried.”

To some, “we tried” would be resigned to taking the Saturday afternoon flight originally offered because “nothing” else worked.

To me, “we tried” is being ten miles outside of Nashville at 9am Saturday morning after hitchhiking all night and not quite making it whilst running in dress shoes and my suede messenger bag (okay, fine it’s a murse) in tow behind me still doing a last ditch effort to make it to our meeting by 9am.

Othertimes…Oftentimes…and maybe even usually…I think there’s another lesson:

And maybe this is me finding the meaning in it.

But one particularly interesting thing happened as a result of our traveling adventure. I met a guy on our flight to Memphis and we clicked. There’s something I love about meeting new people in new places, most of whom I’ll never see again.

The guy was about 15 years older than me, with two grown daughters that were less than two years apart. Just like Royce and Zoe.

So I asked him advice about raising two girls from the perspective of a dad.

“Just try to do two things as best you can” he said to me. “Alright”, I replied, “just tell me what they are.”

He replied, “First, go to every event you can. Every single one. Look, based on your job and travel I know you work a lot and you can’t make everything. But when you’re in town, you’ve just got to try to make it happen. You can’t do those again. Can’t get them back.”

Ugh. Okay, epic fail on numero uno. But, it was a good reminder. There are still many events left, and when I’m in town I try to do the best I can but…Anyways…

“Second” he continued “Is to tell them you love them. All the time. I told my kids every day, growing up all throughout the day, how much I loved them.” I immediately responded and said “Okay, great I’ve got that one covered.”

As he’s saying that, I’m thinking I really do have that one covered. I tell them that all the time. And, I even add my “I love you…NO MATTER WHAT” so they–hopefully–know that it’s totally unconditional.

But then he looked over at me and he said “No, hang on. I’m not sure you fully understand.”

So he gently grabbed my arm as he continued talking and proceeds to look directly into my eyes.

(side note: yeah, I get this might sound weird…but this is one dad talking to another dad about each others daughters and how precious they are).

“You look into their eyes…and you tell them as you’re looking into their soul how much you love them” he explained as he’s looking right into my eyes. “You look at them, and you don’t break eye contact. And you say, ‘Royce, Zoe, I love you so much–more than you know’ and you let it sit there. You do not break eye contact with them. You have to look deep into their eyes so they can feel it with their heart.”

And when he did that, when he was looking at me and telling me those words, it hit me hard. So hard. Like really hard.

Hard enough that I’m right now sitting at a car sitting outside of McDonalds in Nashville, totally sleep deprived in between a litany of emails and projects, jumping the free wifi to write about it.

Hard enough that I’ll never tell Royce or Zoe that I love them without looking them in the eyes directly, at least when I’m in person.

And hard enough that I actually think the reason for my travel debacle was to meet the guy in seat 9a.

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No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Reeling…and Inspired

The Butler

It’s 2:30am and I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Paso Robles, California drinking an Honest Tea while listening to “The Devil’s Tears” by Angus and Julia Stone. The front desk staff are watching ESPN highlights and even with my earphones I can hear them talking about some great kickoff return that’s been replayed incessantly. Guests are slumbering in from the evening festivities.

And I’m still reeling from the effects of watching the movie “The Butler.”

Generally it’s received favorable reviews (side note: Forrest Whitaker was brilliant). But it’s got a fair share of critique–like anything that’s published or otherwise–from the acting itself to the fictionalization of the loosely-based true story, to the accuracy of the portrayals of each Presidents perspective (particularly that of Reagan).

But I can only give The Butler a resounding review, and especially for one specific reason. It caused me to reflect, deeply and at various times during and after the movie quite emotionally, on both the tragic history of our nation that so violently and abhorrently divided on race (yes, there still remains too much a chasm but clearly not what it was), and also the heroic contributions of those that brought about the civil rights movement in the 60’s and beyond.

Likely, I would be a terrible movie reviewer. Because even if there were any basis for fault or critique, with a movie like The Butler it’s an amazing means to an end. And upon that I can overlook dozens of faults. There’s little about The Butler that I can criticize or even objectively review, because it serves such an important purpose of reflection. And hopefully something more profound and enduring than that.

On the rare occasion that I watch a movie I want to be so enveloped in what’s on the screen that I forget about life for two hours. And, even better, is if it’s so powerful that it engages me think about life differently after it’s over.

And The Butler does both.

~Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

24 Ice Cream Sandwiches: Killing the Binge

Bulletproof Coffee
Breakfast: coffee, kerrygold butter, and MCT oil

In high school I remember our neighborhood grocery having a sale on ice cream sandwiches. $1 per box. Deal of the century. So I bought something like ten boxes. I remember eating two of those boxes in one day (meh, that’s 24 ice cream sandwiches). What made me think of that was when I ate one box (and only one, people) of ice cream sandwiches in a single day last week (I was famished and skipped two meals). To be really transparent, I think I did it in an evening–not even a full day. And, I kinda recall that I might have had a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies that evening as well. And I say might because if I stated it definitively I’m afraid you’d start judging me.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yes, I can be compulsive. But it can work to my favor as well, like when I am eating really clean. Which has been most of the past year but not without some binges. Ironically, in the last year I’ve received many articles from friends about the downside of following a Paleo-style eating plan, or the cautions of being too strict with diet, or losing too much weight. When I wasn’t eating well, guess how many articles I received about the downsides of eating poorly, or being fat? Zero. If I’m going to an extreme, I’d rather be on this side than the other one.

I’m still chasing my final bodyfat goal and hope to hit it by mid-October. My final target is to have less than 8% body fat, which I revised from my previous goals of 15% and then 12%. Right now I’m probably still a few points away and hovering around 10%, and the last few percentage points have been tough to shed but it’s because I’m having food breakdowns. So I’m revisiting the things that I know worked for me over the last year that have helped me drop over 40lbs of fat and need to keep dialed in so I can hit my goal.

Here are a few tips on how to kill the binge so you can kill it with your fitness goals:

1. Have three cheat meals a week. And figure out what days these will be in advance, OR pick two in advance and then use a third wildcard during the week. For the rest of the week pick your eating regimen/philosophy. I am pretty strict Paleo, but if it’s my cheat meal I’ll practically snort wheat (okay fine so I’ll have two pieces of toast, but snorting wheat sounds so much more ruckus) and guzzle dairy–both of which aren’t Paleo–so I use Paleo as a means to an end, not because my body can’t tolerate gluten and dairy or because I think either are inherently bad.

2. Do not have a “partial” cheat meal. Meaning, don’t “kinda graze” and then not count it as your cheat meal, because then it turns into five, seven, then ten meals…Before you know it, you’re getting fat. And just because it’s a cheat meal doesn’t mean you should binge. I (generally) don’t. But I will have a cheeseburger, extra crispy fries with aioli, and a milkshake–or maybe a Dr. Pepper. I really want to eat that right now. At Shake Shake. And I haven’t even been to Shake Shack yet, I have been resisting for years–but the stories are glorious.

3. Bring your own food. Yeah, it’s a little ridiculous to go to a dinner party at someones house and bring your own eats, but I’ll do it. Or, I’ll eat a healthy meal right before and then not eat (people love inviting me over –or out–for dinner :)).

Almond Butter and Banana

4. Meal prep. Prep your meals for the following week over the weekend. Super critical for me, and when I don’t do this my chances of falling off the wagon go up 2-3x.

Breakfast is easy–each morning I drink two cups of coffee with one to two tablespoons of Kerrygold butter, one tablespoon of MCT oil and sometimes a little vanilla (ground beans or flavoring) all blended together. If I CrossFit or lift in the morning then immediately post-workout I’ll consume BCAA’s for muscle recovery, followed by this coffee concoction.

Lunch and Dinners: The more you prep your lunches and dinners the less likely it is you’ll skip a meal or delay grabbing food. Which I think is the killer to healthy eating. Or at least it’s the road to binging. When I am famished I binge eat. 24 ice cream sandwiches in a day? I could do that all week long, especially if I skip a meal.

For my afternoon snack between 3-4pm, almost religiously I will have a small organic banana (~70 calories) and a packet of almond butter (210 calories, so total of 280 cals).

Evening is where things totally unravel for me. So what’s critical is that I don’t skip lunch, and definitely not my banana and almond butter snack. If I come home from a long day, with still more work to do, and I’m hungry AND I don’t have food prepared? I’m totally hosed. Which is why the weekend investment of prepping for meals is so invaluable during the week.

There it is. Nothing too magical. As I’ve looked at my last few weeks these are the areas where I’m breaking down–it’s pretty simple, really.

If you have any tips on what’s worked for you I’d love to hear about them too.

~Raz

 

 

 

 

 

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

When It’s Your Time, You Should Sign Up Too…

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This is one of my more unconventional posts. Perhaps a little awkward. It’s about that thing you should do when you hit 50. Or, in my case, much earlier if you have family history.

Get your Colonoscopy. 

This isn’t exactly fodder for compelling writing, but days after my procedure during my  debrief call (and notification of clean bill of health) I was talking with the physician who performed the procedure, Dr. Roger Kao, who shared with me that many individuals don’t get this done because of the fear factor.

After some reading, I learned that getting a colonoscopy carries such a stigma and perceived ick-factor that many–around 40%–of those who should be getting one don’t. I’m not quite as passionate about this as Katie Couric, but I wanted to personally share a few reasons why you–both men and women–should go get your colonoscopy when it’s your time. If you don’t know your full family history, ask your doc if you should get screened earlier.

1. Colon cancer is essentially asymptomatic until it’s in advanced stages. An early colonoscopy can detect problems far in advance, and polyps (some of which are pre-cancerous if left untreated) can easily be removed during the procedure. The whole ounce of prevention thing applies here…in spades.

2. Prep is really not that big of a deal. Have you ever had a rough day after eating bad street cart food? Well, it’s better than that. I’m not suggesting it’s fun. But it is predictable. The stuff you drink tastes less than great. What happens after the drink is also less great than that. But it’s not horrible. From 4pm onwards the day prior to my procedure (“prep day”) I continued to work from home until late in the evening without much nuisance.

3. It’ll set your mind at ease. Or, if something more serious presents, it will give you a very early opportunity to address it. which, especially if detected early, usually has a very positive outcome.

4. Finally, you might get propofol! Or some other anesthesia if you live in the U.S.–as some countries don’t use any. And propofol is really good stuff, though tragically it is also the drug Michael Jackson was on for sleep sedation that led to his way-too-early death. So, obviously it should only be used in the right setting for the right reasons and under the care of a medical physician. But when it is, well, it’s pretty amazing. Especially when you’re getting a six foot tube shoved up your…it’s not thad bad, people. Seriously, it’s not that bad (but, it is six feet…that part is true).

Apparently propofol turned me into both an entertaining and outrageously happy patient. When I was floating in and out, I shared some ridiculously silly childhood stories followed by my theories around managing costs of skyrocketing medical care and whether the United States should move to a national health insurance plan. It seems I know far more about national health insurance under the influence of propofol than when I am not. As they were winding things down, I specifically instructed the doctor and anesthesiologist–repeatedly and with quite a bit of enthusiasm–to keep the propofol flowing until the last possible second.

My recovery ended with me gleefully yelling down the hall to the doctor from the recovery area “You, my friend, are the BEST DOCTOR EVER with great bedside manner! I LOVE YOU!” And for all my anxiety around the entire procedure, it’s ironic but that was basically the worst of it.

Not so bad, especially for something that is such a critical preventive tool.

 

 

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless significant for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

A S*&$@Y Way to Lose $1,000

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Last summer I ended up hiring a trainer who was in amazing shape physically and lousy shape financially. After he got to know me a bit, and without any prompting, between sets he’d tell me what was going on in his personal life. At one point over months of struggling, he had an immediate need for $1,000.

I seriously considered giving it to him anonymously. In fact, I felt like I was supposed to. Not obligated, just intuitively compelled. While I don’t think it’s my job to try to fix or help every person in need that comes to me, nor does my intuition always tell me to help them out, I do feel like it’s my job–at the very least–to have compassion. In certain situations I’ll try to help, especially when it’s coupled with some intuitive calling. Too often these situations present an opportunity that defies my logic. Like the time I was supposed to give my coat to a guy whose car just caught on fire BUT DIDN’T DO IT  (though there’s a follow-up to the Car on Fire post, where “I Finally Found Him” on this link here.)

Sometimes my intuition tries to lead me to a bigger conflict with rationality, like the time I was supposed to give my car away to a waiter at my favorite restaurant in Reston, Virginia, but also didn’t do it.

Sometimes I listen to my intuition. Sometimes I don’t. Other times I get to observe random strangers demonstrate What a Little Hope Can Do, like a few weeks ago.  I wish I deferred to my intuition more often, but sometimes my analytical, risk-averse, or logical side wins out, which of course is sometimes the right thing as well. If I’m hesitant or anxious to take a risk, I can justify seven ways to Sunday why I shouldn’t do it. But sometimes you have to make the jump.

Finally the day came when my trainer hit me up with his idea: I’d pre-pay $1,000 for training, and in exchange he’d reduce his rate by 50%–effectively giving me double the number of training sessions. I thought about it for a few minutes and agreed to the plan. Drafted a simple agreement with signatures, captured all his information including social, address, alternate phone numbers, and his email.

Fast forward two weeks, I text him to schedule a workout and he never responds. Eventually called the gym where he trained and found out that he had skipped town. Totally gone.

Numerous calls, emails, texts over a period of weeks and months yielded nothing (though I did catch him on the phone once). I went full spectrum from southern polite to New York City nuclear. Nothing worked. Since then I’ve been torqued at this guy for ditching our deal. Until two days ago. I was at the gym late one night and on Pandora came a song by Safety Suit called “Life Left to Go” and as I’m listening to the somewhat mesmerizing melody doing lat pull downs I realized what happened with this situation was really lousy, though not because I’d lost a grand.

But because I knew that I was supposed to give this guy a break before all of this went down. Incidentally, if I’d done that I wouldn’t be blogging about it–instead I’m sharing the scenario where I didn’t listen to my intuition. Which resulted in two dynamics, both of which are pretty s*&$@y:

It left one man knowing he was a thief.

And another man knowing he was robbed.

I’m not absolving this guy of his responsibility. If you interpret this as me saying that my act of not giving a guy a $1,000 makes him justified, then you’re totally missing the point. That is, most definitely, not what I’m saying. There could be a lot of lessons in here. I see all the obvious ones, but I saw those in advance–I knew the risk. And then there’s a chance that the logical lessons really aren’t the lessons at all.

Maybe there’s another lesson in here. Maybe it’s the hidden one.

And maybe it’s the magical one.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Lessons Learned, Numero Tres

SF Marathon, Mile 18-ish
SF Marathon, Mile 18-ish

A few quick lessons learned from my latest marathon, which was really not a very good run, all for self-inflicted reasons. Some of my other running posts are here, herehere, and here.

These are all the things I learned not to do through my personal experience of making a mistake on each item below. If nothing else, there might be a few amusing anecdotes in here; for me it’s a living list to read through again at a later time.

1. Don’t enter the race fatigued.

The week of, you really do need to bank up the sleep. I couldn’t have changed it around anyways, as I had been on the road for most of the month prior to the marathon including a long Asia trip. If you can regulate your sleep when you travel you might be in good shape. I didn’t, and missed at least several nights during the week of the run. This is a straightforward fix.

2. Don’t forget to read your list.

Make a marathon check list, and READ IT in the morning. Sounds obvious. But, I was overly confident the morning of, grabbed my stuff, and went. I forgot several important things, perhaps most importantly I forgot rule number one from one of my earlier marathons. Tape your nipples. Which leads me to lesson number three.

3. Don’t try to be clever if you forget rule number one.

By “clever” I mean do not find packing tape at the starting line and tape your nipples. Well, that part might be okay. But if you do that do not then, at mile 13, because you’re wondering how the pictures are going to look with packing tape across your chest underneath your running shirt, take the tape off and run the remaining 13 miles with your chest that has remaining residue that’s stickier than the floor of a U-haul rental center. There are two types of people in the world. Those who have had that experience…and those who haven’t.

4. Don’t do anything new on marathon day.

Everyone says this. It seems SO LOGICAL. It should be an easy rule to follow, you know, like along the lines of “Don’t play out in the street” and “Keep your hand out of the blender.” But then you run two marathons in half a year and you’re a pro and suddenly you’re all like “I got this” and the best practices don’t apply any longer and you stick your hand in the blender. For this latest race I bought new shoes on the day of the race because going into SF Marathon I decided to drop to the half, and I brought a different type of training running shoe to run in. At check in I decided to run the full, and needed shoes. I also bought new Yurbuds, which I absolutely love. The shoes were totally not broken in, and this was just a bad decision. The Yurbuds were the wrong size, and fell out of my ears continuously. I must’ve put them back in 300 times during the run.

5. Don’t under train.

Perhaps obvious, but if you want to finish, and finish comfortably, you really have to put the miles in. I was reminded of this on my last marathon, thinking that despite very little training 45-days prior it would be easy as I’ve been CrossFitting more, lost another few % bodyfat, etc. But, nothing works like putting miles on your legs; at mile 17 or 18 your legs just don’t care how much you’ve been crossfitting, or how good the Kale nutribullet was from three days ago. Check out great programs from Hal Higdon, Jeff Galloway, and the Hansen Method are all winners. I’ve just bought the book and am training using Hansen for Chicago, my goal is to run a sub 3:30 which for me would be quite fast–but I have a TON of training to be able to get close to this and not a lot of time. Miles on the legs matter. Get your miles in.

6. Don’t go out too fast.

Marathoners say “run reverse splits” which is basically translates into “run the second half faster than the first half.” It is good advice. Everyone generally feels pretty good, if not amazing, the first few miles. Crowd energy, music, glycogen loading, fresh legs…it’s all a recipe for going out too fast. And remember that the first few miles you’re in a heat that is following a way-faster heat, so say you’re targeting to runs sub-nine minute miles then early on it’s easy to run those first few miles in the seven’s or even six’s Like ridic easy. Don’t do it. Save some gas.

7. Finally, don’t forget to fuel your muscles.

Glycogen load big time during the week. If you’re a Paleo eater you can still do this, sweet potatoes are perfect. And eat clean days before, and on the morning of make sure you’re consuming what you generally do prior to your longer runs (I usually take SFH pre-race with water, a banana with Justin’s honey-almond butter and drink a few low calorie G2 Gatorades with a several Nuun tabs dropped in each). For your nightly meal before, you could try something like my dinner before the SF marathon. I had fish tacos. Two beers. And some Tequila (it came with the beer). This will not go down as one of my better pre-marathon meals. And I forgot to glycogen load race morning by taking my GU Energy Gel’s 30-minutes pre-race or at mile five. By the time I took my first GU gel at mile 12 it was too late, and I couldn’t catch up on fueling my muscles, which became very–very–cranky around mile 15.

 

 

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

What a Little Hope Can Do

hope

Yesterday I was working at a Starbucks. At one point I stepped outside to make a few phone calls. Since it was the day after Independence Day, the whole shopping area was pretty quiet. A few hours earlier I’d seen a girl and her mom walking around with a sign asking for money, seemingly without much success. Were they really destitute? I don’t know for sure. But based on what happened yesterday, I became pretty convinced.

I was outside leaning against a corner in between calls and had a close view of what’s basically the back alley of the shopping area. Nearby, I saw a guy leaning against his car. Then the little girl–I’d guess about ten years old who was wearing relatively tattered clothes–and her mom approached the guy by his car.

The girl and her mom looked so…Dejected. Exhausted. Hopeless. Step by step they apprehensively walked in his direction.

The little girl approached the guy with great hesitation, and finally mustered up the courage to ask for money.  The guy shook his head no and moved them along with a little wave of his hand. The little girl looked devastated. And so tired.

Then, he did a double take, almost as if he knew he couldn’t send them along without some help. With a gentler and more compassionate tone than I would have expected, he called her back and said “Little girl, what do you need the money for?”

“Para comer, por favor. Para comer” she said meekly.

He reached in, and I could see him scrounging through his wallet–I assumed to find a smaller bill–and to my surprise I watched him hand her a $20. It was gracious for him to give it, but from the looks of his high end denim and European car, I’m sure the $20 meant little to him compared to that family (which, from my subjective observation, I think, is part of his realization later).

As she sees the gift is $20, the little girl burst into a scream of delight as he handed her the bill. She grabbed his hand and thanked him profusely in broken english. She ran, hugged her mom, who smiled brilliantly and had tears welling up in her eyes, and as they were walking away the little girl turned around and yelled out “Gracias Señor, gracias Señor!” Then, she proceeded to–literally–skip off holding her mom’s hand with a smile the size of Texas. As they faded in the distance, I could hear her talking excitedly with her mom. It was as if she got a new lease on life.

Two minutes and $20 later, her entire outlook on life at that moment had changed.

I looked back to the guy who was still leaning against his car, and saw him moved with uncontrollable tears of compassion pouring down his cheeks.

And yesterday I was reminded, probably just like that guy, what a little help–and a little hope–can do.

~Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all date. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good heartiness, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

My Most Epic Bike Ride Ever

Biking
Purely a re-enactment, on my Plan C bike after the evening festivities

Sometimes I write stories with an intentional point. Other times I just write. Today falls into the latter category.

41 out of my last 50 days were spent traveling. When I got home two days ago, I PROMISED the kiddos I’d watch the fireworks with them last night. And I’ve missed a lot of events in my years of being a dad. So I wasn’t going to miss this one.

Last night we arrive at a neighborhood cookout at 6pm, where we were to view the fireworks later that evening. At 8pm I drove home to jump on a conference call with China (yes, I had a call with whole country). It was supposed to end at 8:45pm, plenty of time for me to get back for the 9:30pm fireworks display. Of course, the call went long and at 9:10 I’m hustling out the door to make it as promised.

As I got closer my destination, all the roads to my final venue are blocked off and street parking was non-existant. I circled around to head back towards our house, and by the time I found roadside parking I was about a mile away from my destination. So I headed back home for plan B.

And here begins the story of my most epic bike ride ever.

Since it was then past 9:15, my best option was to run inside and jump on my road bike–dress shoes and all. But it had two time-flattened tires so after a minute of energetic use of the air pump I was back to 115 PSI and at 9:20 ran out the door, threw my bike on the ground and hit the road. My last thought to myself as I ran out the door was “Should I grab a helmet?” But I didn’t, rationalizing that I’ve never laid down a road bike or a motorcycle, it’ was only a mile away, nobody was on the road, oh and up to six weeks ago I’d been training for a half-Ironman so clearly I was an expert biker (insert sarcasm).

What could go wrong?

About a quarter of a mile away from my house I was cycling around 20MPH and suddenly heard a pop–I get a flat–then suddenly caught the rim on the asphalt, fork the handlebars, and flew over the bike headfirst. As I was in the air, I actually think I laughed. Yes, right in the face of danger. And then, after I landed and rolled around a few times, my laughter changed to moderately expressive commentary. I moved my arms and legs to make sure it all still worked, felt my head to see if it was still in one piece, then picked up my bike with mangled handlebars and a seriously bent front rim and started running back to the house. I then noticed my right arm burning with thick liquid dripping down it. Yahoo! A battlescar! I reach for my iPhone to use the light to see how bad it was

No iPhone. I run back to the spot of my accident,and found it in the middle of the road. Shattered. Grabbed the iPhone in my left hand, with the bike still in my right, and at that point I’m pretty much in a dead on sprint back to the house because it was then 9:25. I had five minutes left to make it!

Debated between taking Erica’s bike (plan C) or throwing on running shoes (plan D), I opt for the former. As I leave I noticed her bike, too, had time-flattened tires. About 9:29pm I’m out the door with a minute to go. Since it was pitch dark and eerily quiet, I had assumed nobody was around–until I heard our neighbor yell across the street “Hey partner, looks like you really wanna see those fireworks!” He must’ve been pretty amused. Perhaps even frightened.

At 9:32 I made it back to our venue looking like a hot mess. But I arrived within the first few bursts of red, white, and blue explosions in the sky, in time to grab the kiddos, grab a seat on the asphalt (intentionally this time), and proceeded to watch an awesome show with RoZo. Once they knew everything was okay, the girls got a kick out of the story at the end of the night–though they kept asking me “Dad, are you SURE you’re okay?” 🙂 Though waking up this morning quite sore all over my body, and several Benjamin’s poorer, it was worth the excitement.

And that, my friends, is the story of my most Epic bike ride ever.

~Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

“You Lose Your Face?” (my first before and after photo)

Raz before and after

If you stop by on occasion you know that I’ve been working on losing weight, after many years of going up and down. Mostly up. Usually staying up. Several things motivated me to finally make it happen; and a big one of them was seeing all these before and after pictures of different people who had lost weight. So I promised myself that when I hit my goal I’d do the same thing, in the event that it might motivate just one person to keep after it.

Yet I have bailed repeatedly on posting my before and after photos. Why? I guess because I’m embarrassed. Partly from the before pics themselves, and carrying the weight for so long. Partly from my goals evading me for so long. But two weeks ago I was traveling in Asia and as I was going through customs the agent looked at my passport picture, then at me, several times back and forth and finally asked “you lose your face?” Going through customs again this last week, I had another agent say, after looking at my passport picture and me back and forth several times, “this isn’t your passport, is it?”

And these are the two interactions that nudged me to post my first before and after picture—using my passport picture as the baseline—and also one I just took on this flight as the “after.” I’m still not feeling it right now, as I’ve been on the road most of the last month and my eating has been horrible. Ah yes, I also need a haircut. Plus my eyes look a little wigged out. And I think my nose looks bigger. No, no, my nose is definitely bigger. Which I didn’t think could be possible. Despite many imperfections that I can find in both pictures of me all too quickly, I do look skinnier in the pic on the right than I did a few years back in my passport pic on the left. And, THAT is the point.

The customs agent dialogue also prompted me to set a date of September 15th to post my before and after pictures, this way I’ve got enough time to work up to it mentally and I wrapped a goal around that date too. So, there it is. My first before and after picture. Nothing great but I finally made some progress on the lbs. I’m not shy about telling people that I failed at my goal of losing weight for a long time. I’m still very humbled by the whole experience.

I don’t have (usually) pithy little quotes that I rattle off. But, I do have one overarching theme I lean towards. Which generally translates into “keep on going.” Of course, this isn’t a universal truism. For example, if you’ve failed at being an entrepreneur 50-times, the data is showing that this is likely not your thing (though success could be right around the corner–who am I to tell you to stop going if that’s what’s in your heart?).

But there are some things that, no matter what, you shouldn’t quit pursuing. Starting something. Stopping something. Whatever your thing is, you shouldn’t quit the pursuit of your accomplishment of it. Instead, you should get after it. Hard.

Don’t ever give up on your goals. Even if everyone else has.

~Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Why You Should Run a Marathon (seriously)

The San Francisco Marathon Start
The San Francisco Marathon Start

I have become one of those annoying “hey-I-ran-a-marathon-so-should-you” types.

If you’ve never had an inkling to run a marathon, if the thought of it bores you to no end, or makes you nauseous. then read no further. But if you’ve ever had even the slightest thought of it, let me give a quick rundown on why I think you should sign up. Now.

I signed up for the San Francisco Wipro marathon five months ago, when I was in better running shape. And, I’ve kinda lost that over the last three months: work–and particularly travel–crushed my running schedule. So going into the weekend I decided to step down to the half marathon…until I checked in where I decided to do the full. There were lots of mistakes with this last marathon, including going out way too strong, and the last 11 miles were a serious struggle–I have a lessons learned on this one coming soon.

Yet, one of the gifts of the last 11 miles was that it caused me to think about why I even love marathons–despite being so frustrated and “uncomfortable” on this last one.

Not an all inclusive list, here’s what went through my mind during those last 11 miles as to why I love marathons. And you will (might) too.

1. Check in is a blast.

Adrenaline. All these runners with the anticipation and energy of the next-day race. Check in is a great experience, it’s a blast because you’re still a day away from pain. This is the fun part, anticipation, carb loading, butterflies, all that stuff! Really great energy. Check in is totally underrated.

SF Marathon Check In
SF Marathon Check In

2. Training shapes you.

Years ago, I started playing the guitar. “Playing” is probably gracious. Strumming? Plucking? Screeching? I could play a few songs. And sing along. Horribly. Truly, I am horrible horrible singer. And the last time I touched that guitar was three start-ups ago…But when I was playing a lot I swear it changed my thought process–as if playing music started mapping my brain differently. Yes, there is probably data on this. No, I do not want to google it. I just want to write. Leave me alone. 🙂

I think running does something similar, though not through the same mechanism. Running will map you differently, perhaps less because of how sound and dexterity maps your brain and more because you’re going to have time to think. And if you’re doing the proper training, a lot of it. So get your miles in! It’s part of what shapes you, the discipline of training. And your mind will be open to thoughts and ideas that never have time to germinate in quite the same way otherwise.

3. You get to break limits. Your own limits. 

Especially if you don’t think you can run a marathon, but you kind of want to, you should do it. Because it’s a breakable limit. When you break it, your perspective will change. About yourself. You will be less boxed in, less risk averse, and less timid on the next challenge. Which might not have anything to do with running–that’s cool. But do it once and I think it’ll change your mindset on your limits.

It's You vs. You
It’s You vs. You

4. You’ll be inspired during the race.

Perhaps by watching someone that you never thought would run a marathon run alongside of you. Maybe by some guy carrying the American flag whilst playing country music out of his iPhone. Perhaps by a father and son combination, shirtless and running in front of you.

It might even be the playing of the National Anthem at the beginning of the race. Or magical scenery throughout the run.

I promise, you’ll be inspired. Somewhere along the way. In a big way. By someone. Something. Or even yourself.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge

5. You’ll fall in love with new music. 

Since you need to have tunes. A lot of them. Some swear by not listening to music in a marathon. I, on the other hand, have to listen to music. This latest playlist included Jeff Bridges (frequent favorite), Kaskade (newer all time favorite–especially after hearing him perform live in LA), The Civil Wars (hoping they stay together!), and a pretty eclectic smattering of other artists.

And, of course, every marathon has to have a “song” that’s basically your Power Song. And every marathon has a different one (these are just my rules, if you’re running then you get to create your own). I just learned of these guys from Pandora (have I told anybody how much I LOVE Pandora? Did you buy your ad-free version yet?), and here’s my SF Marathon power song.


6. You’ll get healthier in the process.

You’ll eat better, you’ll learn more about your body, you might even fall in love with the Nutribullet (does ANYBODY know how much I love this thing? Kale as the base…always Kale as the base then fruit after it’s half full). Your metabolism will increase, bodyfat will decrease. But, still, you have to watch what you eat–weight is 70% managed in the kitchen. You’ll feel better.

I LOVE the Nutribullet
I LOVE the Nutribullet

7. You might replace one affliction with another one.

Pretty self explanatory. Some people think runners are obsessive, or caution about the ills of finding a new addiction. Generally, this is probably a good thing and better than the alternative. I wish I were more obsessive about running, but I’m getting closer. For the most part, I don’t have much of a dial–it’s more of an on/off switch.

In the process of training, you might find yourself with a new affliction.

8. You’ll see some clothing that nobody should be wearing. And that will amuse you. 

And, if you do wear long pants that show every crevice of your booty body, especially if you are a guy, please make sure you’re running close to a three hour marathon rather than a four. I mean, really… 🙂 But, I guess, you know, if you’re running your marathon, each to their own…

#tryingtoforgetisawthis
#tryingtoforgetisawthis

 9. Nothing beats crossing the finish line.

And it doesn’t matter who is there, if anyone at all, to greet you. Or even your time, especially if it’s your first. Yes, for sure it’s awesome to get a personal record, or have friends or family there–two of the three marathons have had my wife and RoZo waiting for me, which was great. But one of them I was in Phoenix, by myself, and in some ways it was just as gratifying. Because there’s something internal about running one of these. If you don’t know whether you’ll have anyone at the finish line, sign up anyways. And tell me you’re running it. You can call me after the marathon and I’ll be someone that gives you a virtual hug and high five. But you won’t need it.

~Raz

Finally finished...
Finally finished…

 

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Anecdotes from Asia

Streets of Shanghai

My name is Rich Razgaitis. I am in Asia. And I am a type A.

My patience is being tested. Not because of Asia, but because of me. And my type A-ness. Perhaps a surprise to many, I’m easy—if not downright great—to travel with. Live with? At best I’m moderately difficult. But the adventure and activity of travel somehow calms me on the road, like New York City does. Though sometimes I can get tested through some of the seemingly little things. Following are a few stories from my latest trip. Any reference to language barriers is me laughing at myself—as I don’t speak more than two words of either Chinese or Korean.

On trying to get a wifi signal…

I’m at my hotel in Shanghai looking for a wifi network to jump. I found my digs by going to hotels.com, reverse sorting price “lowest to highest”, and selecting the cheapest one without the word “hostel” or “hotel-like” in the heading. Yes, seriously. It’s called the start-up grind. No more CoEx Inter-Continentals for me.

I walk up to the desk and say “Hi, yes I’m in my room and the wifi doesn’t work. And on hotels.com it said wifi comes standard. I haven’t connected since I left 24-hours ago and I’ve got to get plugged in quickly.”

The woman at the front desk says “Oh, only in the lobby. Wifi is only in the lobby.”

Twenty minutes later having tried all three network names, rebooting, and repeating the process I approach the desk.

“Hi. The hotel wifi is, ummmm, how should I say it? Ah yes. A nightmare. I need to get online. Pronto. Can you help me?” (okay, I didn’t really say pronto, but I did do that little twirly thing with my hand going upward commonly associated with the usage of the word pronto).

For a split second I feel like she is yelling at me and says “Yes, yes, it works. You do not understand. You need to sit over there.”

I point to a general area of the lobby to clarify. “Over there?” I ask.

She looks at me directly and exclaims “No, no. There. You must sit right there. Right there. Do not move your body.”

And she points exactly to this chair. There is wifi. But only in the lobby. And apparently only in this chair.

 IMG_0074 - Version 2

On plugging into Social Media…

Arriving to the hotel I plopped (this really is a word that should be stricken from the English language) down on my chair, and proceeded to get all my social media updates, forgetting for a moment which sites were restricted.

Twitter? Blocked

Facebook? Blocked

Vine? Blocked

YouTube? Blocked

Pandora? No global licenses

Instagram? Available (for now)

Yes, believe it or not, I get tired of social media so it’s nice to force myself into a break. But I do miss Pandora. By the way, for next to nothing get a much better experience, and support a great company. Go and buy the ad-free Pandora subscription.

 Starbucks

On finding a Starbucks…

Me: “Hi, I’m looking for a Starbucks so I can get some wifi since someone is sitting in the wifi seat. Specifically, my seat.”

Concierge: “Nihao.”

Me: “Hi hi, yes for sure, nihao. Starbucks?”

Concierge: “Tour bus?”

Me: Nicely smiling “No no, I’m sorry. Starbucks.”

Concierge: Raising voice and eyebrows “Oh oh, tour BUS!”

Me: Matching raised eyebrows and his tonalities “Ummm, no. StarBUCKS. Bucks. STAAAARRRRR–(long pause)–BUCKS.” Big smile with my eyebrows raised for effect to help increase translatability.

Concierge: Nodding profusely with big smile “Yes, yes, get you tour bus right away.”

I walk over to the front desk.

Me: “Hi, Starbucks?”

Front desk lady: “No, no. No Starbucks. Too far. You cannot walk. So sorry.”

I walk outside, hang a right because I could’ve sworn I saw a Starbucks in the general vicinity on my late night taxi drive in days before. 200 yards later I’m there.There is wifi, but after I order a hyper-customized coffee drink I learn that unless you have a Chinese mobile number you can’t get on. But there is a taste of home. After I’m done with my drink I go next door to Costa Coffee. There is wifi!

I ask if I need a Chinese number to access the wifi. They tell me no number needed, so I buy more coffee, open the laptop whilst shaking with excitement—which could be due to the IV drip of caffeine all morning—to find out that the wifi doesn’t work unless you have a Chinese mobile number. J

On Finding Wifi...

On finding a Doctor…

You don’t want to really get sick in China. Trying to find, schedule, and coordinate a doctor’s visit wasn’t the most fun or efficient accomplishment. Okay, so it was a PITA. But, fortunately “Z-Pack” translates easier than “Starbucks” and after a full afternoon of messing around with this I am purportedly within five-days of feeling like a new man.

The experience was still way better than the time I had to go to a hospital in Kolkata—holy shazam…

On Finding a Doctor...

On eating…

“Do you like Chinese food” my hosts in Wenzhou ask me. “Of course!” I reply, debating in my mind whether I’ll be calorie-splurging on an order of all-white meat extra crispy General Tso’s chicken with a medium-hot spiciness level, or sticking with healthy—steamed veggies with a nice soy/garlic sauce and a side of organic tofu.

We arrive at what doesn’t look like any Chinese restaurant I’ve seen before, and upon entering I see a buffet of what looks to be creatures that must have dividing cells, but none of it I can place. “Order whatever you want!” they offered enthusiastically. I didn’t recognize one thing, let alone could I name any of it. A friend told me one of those items in the picture is silkworm. Which sounds eerily close to tapeworm.

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So when I saw these little fried guys, disturbingly open mouths and all, I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to order a plateful (you eat the whole thing, bones, head and all).

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Alas, we ate family style which means we shared everything, but I dug into every single item on the table. There is a pretty high probability that I had some funky stuff, but it all tasted good. And the conversation was amazing and quite humbling to hear as an American. I wish I could share the content, but I can’t. I met some great people there.

Days later in Seoul, my other hosts (also equally delightful) took me out to Korean BBQ. Woohoo! I love Korean BBQ—a little kimchee, grill some beef or pork and wrap it in lettuce and throw it down with an Asahi or a little soju. Easy peasy!

But did you know that instead of ordering the plain ‘ol boring pork or beef options for Korean BBQ, you can get it with cow heart, stomach, and intestine instead? Yes, you can! And we did.

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I gnawed down that cow heart, stomach, and intestine (and I preferred them in exactly that order) like the Paleolithic-caveman-eating-long-haired-Californian that I am. Perhaps too enthusiastically, because they ended up ordering as a third course Bibimbap, which I generally like, but subbed the tofu for more cow stomach. I hung in there like a champ, though during dinner I also justified more-than-normal amounts of soju (still within reason).

A fun night, which I’m convinced they did this for equal parts experience and hazing. I loved the adventure and I’ll never forget my first really authentic Korean BBQ.

But I’m ready to get back to my traditional fare. You know, like a breakfast consisting of 2 tablespoons of grass-fed Kerrygold salted butter blended for 95 seconds into my nitrate-free coffee with 1.5 tablespoons organic MCT oil and ¼ teaspoon of wildcrafted vanilla.  Yes, seriously.

Oh, and I wouldn’t mind sucking on a few metronidazole tablets as if they were Ricola’s, either.

On showering, including with my clothes on…

My Korean hotel was “cozy” (per hotels.com) meaning I could do a 360 turn in my room if I pivoted on my heels just so. My tiny washroom also contained a wedged-in toilet; for a minute I thought they forgot to give me a room with a shower. Then I saw the showerhead resting above the sink. Basically, you just washey washey right in front of the sink, somewhat next to the toilet. Everything gets soaking wet but it all seems to work out.

The last morning between meetings I hustled up to my room to check out; I am obsessed with germs, specifically keeping them off of me, so I tend to wash my hands whenever I can (read: compulsively). After packing up I decide to wash my hands up one last time.

Standing in front of the sink wearing my suit I turn the water on full blast, not realizing the shower lever was still switched “on” from hours earlier. You know in the States when you have that little shower lever on the tub faucet and you lift it up, and how it is SUPPOSED to drop back down once you turn off the water pressure? Well, that should be an International standard. J

So as I turn on my sink full blast, the showerhead hanging right above the sink and is pointed right at me kicks into gear. It takes more than two seconds to break free of the disbelief of my predicament, soaking most of my suit and even dress shirt underneath it in the process–though you can’t see it that clearly from this picture.

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I walk outside pretty much dripping, say hello to my host and simply exclaim with as much confidence as I could muster “Wooohooo, that felt good!” He smiled and nodded, and we were on our way. Sometimes you’ve just gotta act like it’s all part of the plan.

(repeating to self) Life is an adventure. I am on an adventure. Everything is okay. I am happy. I am smiling. This is funny. Laugh at yourself.

From this post you’d think all I did was work, sleep, and try to get on wifi. And you’d be mostly right. But I had some fun along the way.

~Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

What If Money Were No Object?

What if Money Was No Object

Tonight a three minute video moved me.

I already have another blog entry prepared, and wasn’t going to publish it until a few days from now. But, this is quick, and I just had to share it…I wish I’d seen this years ago, repeatedly. And I’m blogging about it now so that, if nothing else, I’ll watch it in the future. Repeatedly. Because it has a good amount to do with what we do for work–and with life.

I look back on my professional and personal life and in many ways feel as though I’ve had more luck, fun, and great experiences than I deserve. I’m genuinely thankful for all of it. Yet, in other ways, I wonder how my life would’ve unfolded had I more often listened (or what could happen) to the voice that echoes in the video below.

It’s a voice of passion rather than reason.

That tells a song of love versus logic.

Brings forth a story of purpose instead of pursuit.

There are times in my life when I knew I shouldn’t give up on something, or that my heart was pulling in a certain direction and towards a particular passion, yet instead at times I answered to a “voice of reason” when my heart and soul told me to do otherwise.

My most recent example sits in the pit of my stomach as I write, a lingering regret from a voice and intuition I ignored. Years ago, my favorite DC-area restaurant was in Herndon, Virginia. And at this restaurant there was a server named Henry. He worked there many years, lived a simple life. And he was a fantastic man.

The short story is that, after getting to know Henry over a period of months, I knew then–and carried this conviction with me all the way up until two weeks ago–that I was supposed to give him my Toyota Prius when I bought a car to replace it. Not loan it, not discount it, but give it to him. Freely. Without expectation or reciprocation. I can’t explain it logically. I. Just. Knew.

What happened that changed my conviction?

Through a forced combination of ignoring this voice, and distraction, I pushed it to the back of my head, and I sold my Prius two weeks ago to some guy in California–when what I was supposed to do was send it back out to Virginia to where Mist (yes, I name my cars) belonged. I think there are probably only a handful of people in my life who would even understand this, and an even shorter list who would have said to go ahead and do it.

Regardless, I didn’t. And I regret it.

It’s a reminder to me of the things that I should and could do, professionally and personally, if I thought less about the money and logic, and more about “what makes you itch?”

~Raz

(if you’re reading this via the Feedburner newsletter subscription, you’ll have to go to the site www.razflections.com to watch the video)

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Prepared to Fail

Tomorrow is the Sacramento marathon (also known as California Marathon, or CIM).

I am not really a runner. Yet, I love to run. The solidtude. Steps on the ground in a rhythmic pattern. Letting your mind wander. The runners rush after a good jaunt.  I just wasn’t built to be a long distance runner. But that hasn’t quelled my enthusiasm for it.

I have two prior (failed) Marathon attempts, both three years ago. Midway through my training I got some pretty harsh tendonitis that benched me. A little over a year ago I sought out a highly regarded Orthopedic surgeon who I was sure could get me back into running. After my evaluation, he told me his best advice was to lay low a year, possibly two, do light stretching and exercises—maybe aquatic!—but to do nothing running related. Was basically a lot of “you know, tendonitis is tricky…not great blood flow there, slow to repair, there’s just really not a lot you can do…” Upon my request he reluctantly made a physical therapist recommendation. I still remember how hopeless I felt leaving his office.

Instead (of basically doing nothing) I found a physical therapist who got me jump started. I remember on my first visit asking him if he could help me run again, with the end goal being a marathon. With some optimism he said yes. Part of what I needed was some physical help, and he used an amazing (and painful—like bring-you-to-tears-painful) technique called Graston Therapy that made a huge difference. But he also gave me some hope.

So fast forward 1+ years, I’ve now been training for the Sac Marathon for four months, supplemented with Crossfit a few days a week, and have been following the Paleo diet consistently and have dropped a few pounds. At worst, I am in decent shape. But even still, I’m lacking confidence for tomorrow.

So up until this moment, I have given myself an out for tomorrow’s race so that if I don’t finish I’m okay with it. And myself.

In other words, I’ve set myself up to be okay with failing. Which is not really like me at all, but this dang marathon has evaded me for years and I’m quite a bit humbled by it.

It manifests through a lot of ways, by how I share with others that I’m “trying” to run the Sacramento marathon and simply “hope” to finish, to my latest series of internal conversations this morning about how the cold I caught this morning and lousy running weather all make it more understandable if I “try” but don’t complete it.

Why have I done this? It’s protective. If I finish, then I still feel good. But if I don’t, well, then I won’t feel so bad because I’ve been hedging all the while. It’s pretty primitive, really. And I’m kind of a sissy for doing it. Because all I’ve really done is reduced some of my determination, and increased my risk of failure.

Hours ago before I boarded my flight from the East Coast to Sacramento, by way of my hometown Dallas, I realized what I’ve been doing psychologically over the past four months. And in an instant it totally changed my context and beliefs. Because, a) I’m not really a sissy, and b) I don’t quit stuff, and c) I should have enough mental mojo to fix this deficient thought pattern.

So here’s where I am now, and I’m not deviating from it for one minute.

Tomorrow, I’m going to run—and finish—the Sacramento marathon.

And, here’s the real stretch for me: I’m going to run it in under four hours.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

I Finally Found Him…

Back to back blog posts one day after another? I’ve not done that in over a year.

But, this one was too good for me to pass up. And, not a “pat myself on the back type of good,”, but more like a “I can stop kicking myself in the face type of good.” Well, okay. Not really that either. But whatever.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a coat I was supposed to give away when I stumbled upon a car on fire (how, exactly, does one “stumble upon” a car on fire?). That story is here, and it’s about my complete failure to listen to the voice that said “give the guy your coat.”

So as I wrote that day, I haven’t worn it since and was determined to give it away. I’ve carried that coat in the truck of my car since March 4th. Practically driving around the streets of New Jersey Jake and Elwood Blues style with a huge megaphone shouting out for a guy that needs a large coat from Buckle (some of my friends are probably saying, please, the world needs less Buckle clothing to go around–keep your coat hidden away somewhere). Alas, nothing.

At one point, a friend of mine who I love, said “Raz, just keep your coat. I like that coat. Nobody needs your coat.” And, I thought, well if she would’ve said nobody WANTS your coat, now, then she might have a point. Still, I couldn’t shake it. Have. To. Give. It. Away.

Last night I’m walking in the City and I round a corner…and there he is! I knew the instant I saw him, standing on the corner with no warmth. Too bad I didn’t have the coat, I thought to myself, it was back in the car and I was late for dinner. So I kept walking.

Fifty steps later I spun around, ran to the garage and with the privilege of annoying some Central Parking attendants, grabbed the coat from the trunk, and brought it back to…Him.

I wasn’t going to blog about giving my coat away, this is a ridiculously trivial gift, and has more to do with me following the “voices in my head” (the one that said for me to give it away, not the one that screams at me to stop by Dunkin Donuts every two miles on Route 22). And, let’s remember, the only reason I have two blog entries about this is b/c I was selfish, hard of hearing, and logical in the first place.

So I was determined not to write about the follow up to this one. But…

When he put this coat on, his coat, and he wanted his picture taken, well, the smile on his face was worth a million bucks.

And all I had to do was pay a hundred bucks to see it.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless significant for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Happy 6th Birthday Buddy

Third letter in the series. My first one is here, and the second one is here.

Dear Levi,

I’m flying home from Dallas the day before your birthday as I start this letter; I was born in Dallas, you know, and it’s a great state to claim as ones birth since I think Texans appreciate this more than any other State. I’m sure by now you’ve met quite a few peeps from all over the world up there, including those from Texas, and yes, kiddo, I know many Texans can be loud, boisterous, and overly proud of their heritage. But they’re also my people. So hang with them, you’ll find they have a lot of heart. But I bet in heaven, it’s probably hard for the Texans to continue to proclaim, “Everything is bigger and better in Texas.” That’d be awkward to be saying that, then turn around and see Jesus standing above you tapping his finger and clearing his throat.

It’s strongly familiar that I write to you as I’m flying and looking outside at 30,000 feet with cumulus clouds spanning miles in the foreground of a soothing blue sky. Some of my best memories growing up were of me and my dad flying around in a little private plane he had, and I adored going to the airstrip with him to wash it, watch him do some mechanical work, or to simply go for a ride on what felt like a magic carpet. With me, you’d have to settle for a commercial flight—I don’t think I’ll ever get my private pilot license at this point (though I started when I was 21 and had enough time and no money; now, the opposite is true). But you’d enjoy flying with me all the same, traipsing through the airport, seeing all the sights.  You’d probably even find going through security as an adventure.

This year, my friend, is the year you’d start playing football. And even though it’s just March, we’d be getting ready now. You’d be so little, engulfed in a dizzying array of pads, protective gear, and a helmet too big that it would be weeble wobbling all over your little head as your little legs churn as you run. We would spend more time getting the gear on and off you, than you would actually spend time playing in a game, but I’d love every minute. I’d have you out in the yard, doing little drills and making you sprint and tackle–as well show you how to catch a football, which despite the teasing you’d hear from my College football buddies, I became moderately good at doing. And I’d probably secretly be hoping that you would grow to be 1″ taller than me, a few 1/10th of a second faster in the 40 yard dash, with a few lbs more muscle mass than I was in high school so you could really compete in the big leagues, at least some strong D1 stuff.

Instead, today, I am listening to Nicki Minaj sing “Moment for Life” which somehow is adding to my sadness, whilst sitting here just hoping you were with me–under any circumstance. And even if you couldn’t play football, we would do other things that you and I would be good at doing. Like making fun of the other kids playing football. 🙂 Sorry, that was wrong, but that thought did enter my mind for a second. No, instead, we’d do the stuff you could do, and we’d find your gift and pursue it wildly. Like we’re trying to do with Zoe; she’s super talented at all things, but she just wants to cook and create stuff. And while I want her to be disciplined, I care more that she finds and develops her gift so the challenge is to try to do both without stifling her. So we cook a lot. 🙂 And Royce has so many gifts, but even the stuff that she’s only “okay” at she is ferociously determined. I’m sure there are a few things that I’d push you to develop if you had the talent, certainly football being one of them. But I’d also dig whatever your natural gifts were–even if it were limited to Croquet and Knitting, though those activities aren’t the best for a hyper-type-A personality. I’d adjust.

I feel better just writing your birthday letter today; yet I’ve also let you down. I know you know, but your book isn’t done. No excuses my friend; it’s been a wild year, but I am still plugging away. Stay patient with me, and I’m sorry I’ve missed my committed date of having it complete—and I won’t promise another date until I know I can honor it. But I’ll keep working on it.

Normally I give you a bit of a family update; this year, it’s a bit too complicated for me to write, and I’m sure you know enough. We’re all good, though it has been far from an easy year.  RoZo and Mom say more than hello. And I know it’s hard for all of them not to be able to see you on this day. Mom thinks about you ALL of the time. 🙂 This afternoon we spent some time in honor of you at the house. RoZo wanted to go and get helium balloons and tie cupcakes to them and send them off to you in heaven. And while a part of me thought this is a charming and magical idea, the pragmatic side of me is contemplating the potential consequences of a cupcake hurtling down towards earth at 50mph. We went with emotion rather than logic today, and off went the cupcake with six balloons. You can guess who picked out the football balloon. RoZo selected the rest. The kids want to send stuff to you so badly, and see you even if just for a minute.

I really miss you. A lot. Perhaps it looks like I’ve gotten on with my life and often forgotten much about you. But it’s not true. My heart aches for you. And I wish you were here, with me, right now. You’d think I were a cool dad, at least for now, finding me entertaining, funny, strong, confident, and dependable. You would look at me and proclaim things like “You’re the best dad in the world!” But as time would go on, and as years pass, you would see me for who I really am. A mix of some good attributes, but plenty of broken ones as well. But for now, I’d be quite perfect in your innocent eyes. Which would be very cool.

Today, I wish I could see those little blue eyes and what I know would be a mischievous smile with lots of cackling and laughter throughout the day–merciless teasing of your big sisters, who are pretty good at dishing it out as well. Little dude, I miss you more than you know. And this very day, my only prayer would be that JC takes you on his knee and somehow reads this letter to you.

There are probably too many snapshots of my life that I’d like you not to see, but today I wish you could see me and my eyes as I wrote this birthday letter to you. Then, with just one look, you’d know just how much I love and miss you.

Happy Birthday, buddy.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

A Raz Family Update


So it’s a long ways coming, but anyways here’s our update. It’ll be a quick entry, one because at the end of the day nobody really cares THAT much to know the minutiae about our move, but I still have people who text or email and say “dude, where did you go?”

Where we went: New Jersey. Neeeewwww Jeaaarrssaaaaayyy!

Side note: my daughter, Zoe, recently said to me very sincerely “Dad, now that we’ve been here a little while shouldn’t we start talking like them? Like, shouldn’t I start saying “yooooous” instead of “you”? Ummm, no Zoe. Absolutely not. Please don’t even let those thoughts creep into your head.

So on June 1st I started as CEO of DealOn Media, a VC-backed start-up company that is in the Group Buying space (competitors that you might have heard of include GroupOn and Living Social). Here’s eight months of summary at what we did at DealOn: bootstrapped, built great technology, secured some big partners, didn’t close a few big partners we should have, made some brilliant decisions, made some lousy decisions, built a great team of incredibly-talented-and-highly-committed people (this was really the key success factor), tested and trialed to figure stuff out, figured more stuff out, got some momentum, and along we went until we unexpectedly and very rapidly found ourselves in a position where we started to get approached by a lot of buyers.

And, last week it was announced that we were acquired by ReachLocal. I never expected that we would get acquired within eight months, but we did more things right than not, we got a few breaks, we built and accomplished some pretty cool stuff, and we landed with a very successful publicly held Company that’s full of exceptional talent, passion, and commitment. Things I dig. So my Board and DealOn investors are (very) happy, I’m quite certain all of my employees are happy, and I think the buyers are happy…so, therefore, I’m pretty happy. While it wasn’t all fun and games (though we did have some fun, too), this has been one of the most stretching and adventurous business experiences of my life.

Here are a few links to the announcement:

http://www.screenwerk.com/2011/02/15/reachlocal-buys-dealon/

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2026544/reachlocal-buys-dealon-plans-deals-exchange

http://www.socaltech.com/reachlocal_s_zorik_gordon_on_daily_deals/s-0033998.html

So, I left Olympia the end of May, and Erica and the kiddo’s came out in August. We’re at a temp location in Western NJ, and while we miss the West Coast immensely there are quite a few nice things about being on the East Coast–including being much closer to three of my sisters, Erica’s dad, and a MUCH shorter flight to see my parents (at one point on the West Coast we’d gone years since seeing them, and now we see them every few months).

There are things that I really love about being out here (like, that I’m able to write this from a coffeeshop in Manhattan and adore the energy in this town; I literally think my biochemistry changes when I drive through the tunnel to get into Gotham).

And there are things that I don’t love about being out here (like, working out at the gym w/ the natives in New Jersey. It’s not normal, and it’s an experience I hope you can bypass).

But, all in all, it’s part of the adventure we’ve been on and I’m grateful for every minute. Hour. Day. Okay, at least every week. 🙂  Seriously, I’m very grateful. And I’ve met some incredible people out here who have changed my life in so many ways.

Erica continues to homeschool, in an environment that isn’t that homeschool friendly or resource laden (“okay, now, which cult did you guys say you belong to again?” I promise, peeps, it’s not that weird; but it was way easier in the NW/Olympia where SO MANY people homeschooled); Royce is booting away the soccer ball in between reading books (I LOVE that she wanted her 9th birthday party to be a “bookstore birthday party” where they all got together at Clinton Bookstore to read and share stories out of books. Go Royce Go!). And, Zoe, ahhhh little Zoe. She’s more creative than ever, has turned into an aggressive little basketball player, and completely adores cooking (often but not always with me, and she’s an avid Food Network viewer). Ahhhhh, I miss our Oly kitchen! She could watch cooking shows for hours on end. It’s pretty darned cute, and I think it might be her gift.

Longer than I expected (it always is), the Raz Family update. The adventure continues…

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good heartiness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Apple Store = Happy

Time for a quick post (written on Friday; uploaded on Sunday), it’s been forever since I’ve blogged.

This week’s a “vacation” (in quotes b/c it never seems to work out that way) week, and while I’m spending a lot of time in the Apple store to get some stuff serviced, I don’t mind. I love it here. And, judging by the perpetual crowd whether morning or night–or maybe just the market cap–a seemingly unlimited supply of people love it here as well.

Here’s why I love Apple, and here are a few reasons why I think they’ve done so well:

To begin, product innovation; these guys are tireless with their ability to see the future (okay, so Jobs is the ringleader on this one but there remain many internal beacons as well) and they have a team that can execute on it.

Which leads to, fantastic execution; most companies are lousy at execution. You can have great ideas, but with crappy execution it’s all irrelevant. These guys have the normal challenges I’m sure, but the stuff gets done. Testament to Jobs and the management there.

And this relates to, passionate people. The people that buy Apple are generally passionate (the only people that I know who don’t really like or respect Apple are Corporate IT guys who got shoved into lockers in high school, thus are still a little bit mad at life; I’m cool with the absence of love, except when these same guys keep me from using Apple products in a corporate environment 🙂 ). But this passion from consumers didn’t start with consumers. It started with passionate people inside. And they did the things they did, that got them what they got. Go into an Apple store. These guys love working there. Compare to other stores that sell competitive non-Apple products. Huge difference. And it’s not just good for the business environment, it’s good for culture.

So there it is, some of my quick observations that relate to business in general; of course there’s more, I’m not even suggesting these are the “big three” (though they very well could be), this just really struck me while sitting here and it prompted a relatively quick post from a very happy Raz at a very cool Apple store in Bonita Springs.

Adios, off to the beach…and some work emails. 🙂

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

9/11: Dreaming with a Broken Heart

We spent the weekend of September 11th in New York City a few weeks back (for those still trying to figure it out, I moved out East in June and took a job to run a start-up company, our update in a forthcoming post). I was in the City all day Friday for meetings, one that was supposed to last 90-minutes which continued for eight hours. By the sixth hour of meetings, with no end in sight, I told E and the kids to come into NYC and we’d stay the night. We’d already planned on getting up early to drive in to spend the morning at the 9/11 memorial. By the way, before I dig much deeper, please note all photo credits go to the amazing photographer and writer Jodi Kendall; www.jodikendall.com

We had a great night that evening over Tomoe Sushi during the kick off of “Fashion Week” in Manhattan, and the following morning we awoke early and caught the R subway line down to Rector Street, but not before taking the kids to a typical Manhattan-style coffeecart (“regular” with two sugars for me and E), a kaiser roll with butter, and an everything bagel w/ cream cheese. Kids loved it.

Riding the subway south brought back so many memories; the hotel we stayed at Friday night was, literally, less than 300 yards from my old start-up company in midtown (right by Macy’s, 35th and Broadway). And I used to take that exact subway from our apartment, departing from Rector and jumping off at the 34th street. On this particular day, Saturday,  September 11th 2010, I was doing the reverse commute nine years later, down to the area where we lived during the event.

As the subway clickity clacked from stop to stop the late summer smell of the subway brought back so many memories; a smell of heat and humidity, sweat and metal, urine and basement…Oddly pleasing yet borderline nauseating. Like skunk.

“Rector Street, Rector Street next stop! Brooklyn-bound R-train last stop in Manhattan” barked the conductor, and I wandered ahead with one kid in tow tightly wrapped around my hand, and another kid being corralled by Erica. I can’t remember which kid it was, but I was squeezing her hand so tightly–never forgetting for a minute the time I saw a guy fall into a subway that came all too close to being crushed by an oncoming subway train. As well the time when I was ten years old in Chicago and having a guardian angel change my life as a result of a near-death subway experience. I’ll forever compensate for those experiences by overprotecting our kids in subway stations. It’s now in my DNA. It’s interesting how life’s experience dramatically change you. Sometimes, in ways that you can’t or won’t let yourself change.

As I started to walk out the subway on the gum tattered steps, the morning sunlight rays streaking through the underpits of Manhattan transit as I climbed the steps, I forgot about kids, work, my wife, and my life.

Transcendence, I think is what they call it. The colloquial definition, not the Kant definition.

And I was lifted back to nearly 10-years ago on such a crisp summer morning; this Saturday was no different. I walked over to Broadway, one block south of our old apartment, two blocks north where the World Trade Center used to gallantly stand. And the memories flooded. As did the emotions coming with it.

Sorrow, at the tragedy that happened years ago.

Inspiration, to be able to see and hear again the stories of so many people who were so valiant during such a difficult part of time.

Anger, at not just the events that occurred years ago, but also those who used the day as a platform to espouse personal political belief, like those who maintain a conviction that 9/11 was an “inside job” to the  drama around the mosque as well as proposed burning of the Koran’s (all of which I also have personal opinions about, but the 11th was a day to memorialize those lost–not to use as a platform for  political gain or statement-making).

The sights and sounds so powerful, the air resonated deep with conviction. I’d been downtown since the actual attacks, staying in our apartment a few blocks south of the WTC after 9/11, to our move out of the City a month thereafter, to various visits over the years. But, Saturday, well, Saturday was different.

Trinity Church, made very well known during the events of the day and thereafter, lined with flowers and luminaries memorializing the many who passed.

Feeling the methodical notes played with the breath of human life through the bagpipes singing solemnly in the background as we walked closer to the memorial.

The quiet rustle of people walking by, calmly and contemplatively, with shared glances of an understanding of the sacred ground on which we stood.

Hearing, name after name after name, hours and hours worth of names, read by family and friends for those whose lives were savagely claimed.

Seeing the bright morning sun eclipse through the 9/11 memorial as I stood with both kids and Erica by my side, near my sister Jodi, as I stood with many others and simply cast a gaze upon the worksite of regentrification as well great sorrow.

Watching other Americans, one with a British accent to my left, an Arab-American to my right, a group of Amish Mennonites standing behind me, with every other imaginable nationality in close proximity, all paying tribute to those whose time had past.

An experience that can’t be articulated or “explained”, but something that, again, has changed the way that I look at the world and our life.

It was, simultaneously, not enough and also too much.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.