Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun death numbers to consider

Just some facts for you to ponder.
US all gun deaths 2010: 31,513.  Homicide 11,015, suicide 19,308. Accidental 600
Rate of all gun related death per 100,000 people: 3.03 (2009)

UK all gun deaths 2009: 2009: 138.  32 homicides, 101 suicides. 
Rate of gun death 0.22 persons per 100,000 people.

Australia all gun deaths 2010: 231.  Homicide 31, suicide 162. Accidental 10, undetermined 28.
Rate of all: 1.04 per 100,000

Germany all gun deaths 2010: 891.  Homicide 49, Suicide 761, the rest undetermined
Rate of all: 1.1 per 100,000

Japan all gun deaths 2008: 11. 
Rate of all gun deaths 8.73016E-08 (Excel is awesome)

Brazil 2008: 34,678 homicide, ~1,000 suicide (estimate), accidental ~300 (estimate)
Rate of homicide: 18.1 per 100,000

As for murder (ex suicide ex accidental ex undetermined) the United States is #5 behind South Africa, Columbia, Brazil, and Thailand: 

In other words, we rank #1 in gun-related deaths in "1st world" countries.    

All Sources: 

Just sayin'.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Junior pwons birthday cupcake

A new dessert fiend is created.

What is this thing?

Well this might be all right.

I pwoned this cupcake!

Sure you can have some crumbs Pops

Birthday boy!

Monday, December 10, 2012

why I don't like the bike trainer

The bike trainer is stupid, for one thing.  I didn't start riding my bike as a kid so I could increase my lactate threshold heart rate and all that other stuff.  I started riding my bike because it was fun and we could do ghost riding and wheelies on it.  Can you ghost ride a trainer?  No way.  It sucks.

I don't hate the trainer.  I stopped working out on it before that happened.  So I can jump on in a pinch, if it's really cold out or I just don't feel like riding outside either, but if I don't feel like riding outside chances are slim I'm going to be all excited about riding the trainer either.  Total emergency really. Nothing over two hours and preferably 1 hour and under.  These are rare occasions. Whee, look at me riding in place, I rock and am so motivated. Imagery of breaking the tape, shouts of joy. rah rah.

I sweat like a pig.  Riding outside the cool breeze caresses my soon to be sculpted like Adonis body and carries the heat away.  While I listen to birds chirp and watch the sun slide across the sky.  Righteous.  Inside I'm all hot and sweaty and make a puddle on the carpet.  If I want to get all hot and sweaty I'll go to a hot yoga class.

There are some bike shops that have organized trainer rides during the winter near my house.  That is a good idea.  But that would require packing the trainer into my car, putting the bike on my car, driving somewhere, unpacking the trainer, unpacking the bike, and then talking to people.  I already don't like the trainer, why would I take it on a date?

It's all a matter of perspective and why you're doing things.  I am into riding my bike for fitness, fun, camaraderie, and then competition.  If competition is number one for you, you'll feel way differently about the trainer.  It is great for dialing in your workouts, especially if you have a computrainer or other high tech gadgetry.  But I personally still think they sort of blow.  Not total chunks, but at least some dribbles.

It is also loud and will make you go deaf since you have to turn up the TV volume to 70 to understand WTF they're saying.  Just saying.  I would read a book but can't balance well enough to do so.  Maybe a recumbent stationary machine would be better. 

And that's how We feel on most Mondays. 

Also, gasoline taxes suck.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2013 goal list

On the drive to a downtown bar for our winter team party last night, I told Bri I was going to make a list of things I want to accomplish/change/do next year.  Number one, I told her, was to stop having to rush around everywhere.  If I have to rush, I said, I just won't do it.

"You should call that how to continue my path to being an even grumpier old man," Bri said.

Number two, I continued, with nary a pause, would be to slam the door in anyone's face who rings my doorbell and wakes up my baby, when clearly there is a sign on the door that says "Don't ring the doorbell; Don't knock." (true story)

"Yes," Bri said, "that fits right in with the whole on the path to grumpiness theme."

Number 3 will be to not take crap from anyone, including Dear Wife.

"You've said that one before," she laughed, with a twinkle in her eye.

Number 4, since you must ask, is to quit doing low revenue work things, like type these ridiculous blog posts.

Number 5 is to sleep as much as I want.  As long as this does not interfere with rules 1 through 4. 

Number 6 will be to save at least $100 more than we did this year.  This should be an easy goal to accomplish.

Number 7 is to love my wife and my son with all my heart.  This rule trumps all other rules.  No matter what.

Number 8 is to ignore grammar and syntax on all text messages or emails sent from the world's tiniest keypads.

The end of my story and this stupid list.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

2013 race plans

I am sure you have been waiting on pins and needles for my 2013 race schedule.  All about me.  If all is going well here is what's on the agenda.  Don't tell Bri.

December 8 - Jolly Elf run 5k
Jan-Feb: random 5ks
March 2 - St Pete 10k
March 17 - Tobacco road half-marathon
March 23 - Sampson County Super Sprint triathlon
May 5 - White Lake double sprint tri
June 2 - Raleigh 70.3

July 20 - Triangle Triathlon
August 4 - Lake Logan Triathlon (sprint)
September 21 - Wilmington YMCA Triathlon
October 26 - Beach2Battleship Half

Monday, November 5, 2012

One million miles a day and counting

I haven't written much the past few weeks because I have been really busy and tired which makes it difficult to write thoughtful updates.  Bri has been keeping you up to date with Junior Awesome, he has been chugging along:

October 19 - started taking unassisted steps
October 30 - jamming out steps like a champ
November 2 - started saying "Ma" and "Moma"
November 5 - recommended short selling the DOW30 (I think that is what he said)

The XC season is over and I am thankful.  It is great working with the team but puts some strain on the rest of my life.  It would not have been so bad if I could have run with the kids 2-3 x a week but my foot issue kept me from doing that. 

Instead I have been blowing up like a blimp, gaining about a pound a week.  Being tired all the time, working crazy hours, and being injured makes it really tough to stay on a good training program.  This is a sentence I read from several of my athletes every year. :)

Anywayz dawgz.  I can get back to it all now as the foot is almost healed and the easier time of year is here.  I plan to hammer it all winter.  Super secret training (except I will blog about it so it won't really be secret, but whatever dude).

Here are some random pictures:

 Great Value!

We hold these tooths to be self eleventen

 OMG who's this cute little disgruntled pee-pants

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

stroll down memory lane

Bri, Junior Awesome and I took a trip to Tallahassee via Pensacola over the weekend.  It was a good time catching up with family in Pcola and friends in Tally.  The FSU swimming and diving team put on an alumni meet and reception for us and then we caught the Noles playing against Boston College.  We got out on the field for recognition in the 2nd quarter.  Pictures below.

 Inside the athletic offices at Doak Campbell stadium

 Alumni workout on Saturday morning (we swam 2,000)

 Various alumni and significant others tailgating

 Your narrator and his better half doing the Tomahawk chop


 Perfect landing

 Bri and Bron on field

 Maclay Gardens State Park hike 

 Visiting the beach on Perdido Key, outside Pensacola

 Junior gets checked out at airport security

 John, Marty, Chris at the Varsity club

 Look Ma, I'm somebody!

View from the good seats

Monday, October 8, 2012

up to my eyeballs

I have been keeping busy. 

Did the swim-bike at the Wilmington YMCA tri, that was fun.  No run.  Stayed in a nice beach house with friends for the weekend.

Swimming and biking regularly.  Nothing eventful.

Last swim of the year in honor of my old buddy Scott Mundell went well.

Short trip to Atlantic City NJ with my Dad and brother-in-law.  Sustained no losses.

Looking forward to November when I'll start walk-jogging again.  Plan to do a Thanksgiving day 5k with Junior and Momma.

Cross country season is going well.

Coaching is going well.

That is all I have time or energy to tell you.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Trials and tribulations

This week was a little tough.  On Monday while doing an easy run with Bri I took a bad step with my bad foot and had a re-injury of a stress fracture of my 5th metatarsal.  It is not as bad as when I originally injured it, but I am just going to take 8 weeks off completely from running so it heals well.  So, that is it for the triathlon season, and my run season won't get restarted until November at the earliest. 

It is frustrating because this is a very nice time of year to be out and about running.  Cool but not cold.  This accident also occurred about 24 hours after Bri and I had a big chat about getting motivated for some more serious efforts at racing performance in 2013.

Anyway, I will be swimming and biking lots to make up for it.

In other news, the XC high school season is going well and the team is enjoying the season.  Today they participated in the Adidas XC Challenge.  I brought Junior to hang out with them while Bri was winning a 5k race.  She came over to help us out after she earned us some more horse racing dough. 

Had a nice family reunion the past weekend, I have a few pics but uploading those will have to wait.

Hope you all are groovy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

useless knowledge

Bri and I have both signed up for the Raleigh 70.3 coming to town next June.  About 50% of our athletes have also signed up for it.  It should be a good time.  This year I've managed to hold onto some fitness but it will be nice to really gear up for some racing next season.   Last Saturday I went riding with some of my very fit athletes and got blown off the back like a clingy ex-girlfriend. 

Tonight we're going to do our first and probably only group ride of the season with the Inside-Out Sports crew.  I expect to get dropped, cramp, and barf.  What a difference a year makes.

A couple weeks ago I realized I was dying slowly from lack of and poor sleep so have undertaken Project Nappy Time.  This means I prioritize sleep.  Little Man is not a consistent through the night sleeper so something had to change, 5-6 hrs per 24 hours doesn't cut it for me.

Last race of the season is Wilmington YMCA sprint 9-22. I was 7th overall last season, but top 50 this year will be good.

Open water clinic on Sep 16 and one more in Wrightsville Beach on 9-23.

We had a nice evening in Ocean Isle Beach with some friends last weekend, here Junior and I ham it up for the camera.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 2012 updates!

It has been a whirlwind of activity round these parts.  Little man has progressed from turning in circles to sprint-crawling in the space of ten days.  His puff to mouth ratio has improved from 1 for 20 to 19 for 20 in about a month.  His capacity for laughter has increased as he discovers the world beyond his own toes.  It is a joyous time in the Gaal household.  There are many giggles, a few sighs, and the occasional sleepless night.  I wouldn't trade them for all the gold in the world.  He just had his eight month birthday so we took him to DisneyWorldinOurHouse.

Onto the racing front!  Bri took one for the team and drove by herself to the Lake Logan sprint triathlon, while Junior Awesome and I held down the homestead.  She did well, taking second overall and bringing home a few pieces of bacon.  Her run was lickity split.

I also managed to represent team OSB well, taking 3rd overall at the Mayo Lake triathlon this past weekend.  This race takes place in Roxboro at Mayo Lake park and the run is on a seriously technical singletrack cross-country course.  The ground was wet and muddy and I played it very safe, averaging a 7:51/mile pace.  Good enough to hang onto the overall podium spot.  My swim and bike were much better than they have any right to be given the really low volume of training, but I suppose the years in the bank are paying dividends.

We held another open water swim clinic this past weekend and everyone seemed to enjoy the content and practice.

Upcoming this Saturday Aug 18 is the 4th annual Nuclear Swim at Harris Lake.

The high school cross country season is now in full effect.  We have a great team this year with a new crop of freshman ready to tear up the course.

My next and final race will be the Wilmington YMCA sprint triathlon on Sep 22, and then I'll pseudo prepare for a half-marathon sometime during the winter.

Have a great day.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Big blobby bleagh.

We went on vacation to the OBX last week.  It was a good time but next time we'll be bringing a Gramma to help watch the boyo.  An eight month old can't really do much at the beach except the same thing they've been doing at home.  We did have some fun though!

In other news, I have tipped the scales at my maximum acceptable weight so am back on a strict intake of diet soda, dry spinach, and hamburgers sans cheese.  Everyone has their limits.

With this in mind, it shouldn't surprise you I'm very ambivalent about even starting the Lake Logan international distance triathlon this weekend.  That is a far way to swim, bike and run, and I am chunky and unfit.  I have been kvetching about it but will probably tighten up my skirt and give it a whirl.  Don't be surprised by abysmal results, faithful reader.  Knowing how to do something well and doing it well are very different paths of righteous warrior-ness, Daniel-san.

The high school cross country season is here in full effect so I plan to write even shorter and more sporadic posts through November.

Vacation pictures:


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why I don't want to do an olympic distance race & other things

I'm signed up for the Lake Logan international distance triathlon on August 4.  I will be skipping the run portion.  I am not the world's most natural runner.  Running a 10k after swimming and biking for 1.5 hours is a challenge when in great shape.  Right now I am not in great shape and my overall endurance is really low.  I get tired after about 1.5 hours of exercise.  Like really tired, want to stop and lie down sort of tired.  Also my foot is not 100% better. 

Anyway.  I will be doing 2-3 more sprints this season:  Mayo Lake August 11, Belews Lake September 15, and maybe Wilmington YMCA on September 22.  After that we're both going to get fit for some half-marathon and 5k racing. 

In other news, the last Old School Aquathon on July 4 had a great turnout.  We also hosted a good open water clinic last weekend.  

This Sunday we are holding one of our Powerstroke swim technique clinics.  The following weekend we have the Little Uno and Big Deuce and then go on vacation for a week.  Looking forward to that.  I keep working on athlete schedules/plans but at least it is a change of scenery.

Last night I caught Roger Waters The Wall Live tour.  It was a great show.  I am a big fan of Pink Floyd and could recite just about all the lyrics to this album.  It is more of a rock-opera show than anything but what a great musical story and performance.  For those of you who think I am a classless goon.  Here is proof:

Monday, June 25, 2012

a day in the life

Last Friday I had a busy day and because this blog is all about me, I have decided to write it up for you.

5:05 - wake up, coffee, drive to pool
5:40 - set up knockoff TRX straps for core work for Masters
6-7:00 - coach Masters
7-7:30 - coach individual / technique lesson
7:40-8:10 - shovel breakfast in mouth at local eatery
8:10-8:25 - drive to downtown Raleigh to coach HS runners
8:30-9:30 - coach HS XC team (run 3 miles easy for me)
9:30-10 - drive to West Cary
10:05-11:40 - lead group ride with intervals (28 miles)
11:40-12:20 - drive to Chapel Hill for swim with athlete
12:30 - 1:15 - swim 2,000yds with athlete / discuss race strategy
1:15 - slide down fun-kiddie-slide
1:30 - drive home; shovel sandwich purchased at breakfast in mouth
2:00-2:30 - answer emails
2:30-4:00 - fall into a deep dreamless slumber
4:00-4:15 - make coffee, grunt greetings at wife
4:15-5:45 - answer emails / feedback / plan adjustments
5:45 - off to dinner/fun time

The Wednesday prior I had a similarly busy day, which was preceded by our boy waking up early.  Apparently I told everyone I met that morning what time I had been up since (he did not go back to sleep until just before I left to swim at 525).  One of my athletes wrote up this, from the Book of Logan, verse 3:52 (am):
Logan 3:52 (am) -
Arise! Arise, parental unit, Arise!
Thou art the beacon of light for feeding,
teething, and changing late into the night.
'Tis the noble man who bears the heavy load
of a full diaper upon thy shoulders, who warms a bottle
with eyes closed, and who entertains until sleep befalls the
little one just minutes prior to your morning alarm.
Thou shall bear this responsiblity for 2? Nay! 4? NAY! 18 Years!
Sleep is but a fleeting memory for thee.
Power naps and coffee are now your elixir of life!
Arise, parental unit, Arise!

On Sunday we went to cheer Bri on at the Smile Train sprint triathlon.  She had another great race and finished 1st female, top ten overall.  Here she is approaching the finish. 

Bri rocks!  I have a lot of fun watching her and everyone else race.  I did not miss racing the event at all.  I guess that means I have perspective.  Or am lazy.  They amount to the same thing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

May-June 2012 updates!

Hard to believe it has been almost a month since my last blog post, but the time does fly by.  Where to begin...

The end of May saw Bri racing and boyo and I cheering at the Doughman Eatathon.  This is a silly run-eat event that raises money for kids to learn to grow organic foods or something like that.  Bri's All-Girls relay had bike issues and was relegated to sixth place out of 80 when they really should be more like 2nd or 3rd.  It is a fun goofy event, but it also ties up our Memorial Day weekend so, uhm, yeah, maybe we can skip it next year.

Early June saw us at Summer Boone Camp.  Pictures.  Fun times.  I will have to write up a separate post on this.

This week was something else.  I came home exhausted from Boone camp on Sunday.  My Mom flew in on Monday to visit with us and boyo and help us out for the week.  We had Old School Aquathon #2 on Wednesday and the Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge on Sunday.  A good bit of time goes into the organization of the events and the events themselves take 4+ hours to set up, run, and clean up after.

I also have several athletes headed out to IM CDA this weekend, and started up with 2 new athletes this week.  All in all, I worked from sunrise to past sunset almost every day.  Managed to wrap everything up by Sunday at 415PM.  Just in time to start Monday.

In other news, I signed up at the last minute for the 3 Little Pigs triathlon, which was held Saturday June 16.  I had a foot injury a couple months ago and have been getting back to it slowly.  The plan was to go as hard as possible in the swim and bike, then controlled fast on the run and see how the foot held up.  It held up great!  I was able to go fairly hard and finished the run at just over 7 minute pace.  This combined with a good swim-bike was enough to take 3rd overall.  The race venue is a good one, nice mostly flat ride and pleasant run course on some greenways.  The Smithfield Aquatic Center is nice as well though I'm not the biggest fan of pool swims. Overall awards are wolves (the age group awards are pigs).

You can see results here.

Here are a couple pics:

On Sunday I snuck into the Jordan Lake Challenge swim and felt good as well, taking 3rd in the men's division (6th overall).   I was really happy to do this, because as the host/RD of the swim it is very difficult to get everything covered in time to actually swim with the racers.  Most races I am out on a paddleboard, but this time we had two OSB volunteers capable of taking that task, which allowed me to jump in.

Thanks to everyone that helps us out at these and our partners at FS Series!

All in all, it was a busy multisport-lifestyle week.  Most of them are not this jammed and I am looking forward to decompressing slightly for the next few.

Other events this week:  Our son had his half-year birthday!  We rented clowns and a dance troupe to entertain him. Justin Bieber and Maria Carey sang a duet. Nothing but the best for our boy!

We also celebrated our first Father's day together.  Here we are in almost matching outfits. 

He is a happy kid.  Life is good!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

8th anniversary

The family headed to the Maggie Valley area of NC for our 8th anniversary.  We stayed at the same cabin we've stayed at several times for anniversary and other weekend getaway trips.  There is a soothing creek adjacent to the property.  It is as peaceful as peaceful gets.  I had visions of a relaxing time as we all caught up on sleep and enjoyed our time together.  This was true with the exception of the sleep part.  Little man had other ideas and decided to wake up more than once each night.  We also started the day at 415AM on Friday.  Part of this was our fault as he had outgrown his last batch of diapers and was getting wet/full fairly quickly.  Nonetheless, we had a nice time, had lunch with some friends on Thursday, and visited a few shops and pubs in Asheville.  Bri had time to get in a run around Lake Junaluska, and I snuck in a swim at the Waynesville Recreation center.  Do you like my new block format of typing?  No more paragraph breaks.  I may eventually do away with punctuation and proper spelling as well which would be neat it would just be a long sentence that rambles on with some disconnected seguays and maybe some umms and ahhs to give you the sense of me actually speaking rather than reading what I am saying dont you agree that would be funny ha ha funny not oh weirdo dude funny anyway here are pictures:

Friday, May 11, 2012

5280 Swim

The 4th annual 5280 Swim at Falls Lake is tomorrow morning, come on out and enjoy a beautiful day.  9AM start time.

In other news, I am way behind on sleep the past few weeks.  Good thing we are taking a short vacation next week to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.