Ashfall by Mike Mullin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s the end of the worlds as we know, the super volcano under Yellowstone erupted and spirals everything we’ve ever known into a dark place. Chaos reigns in the days, weeks, and months after the event, a teenager sets out to find his parents in Iowa, who left for a weekend trip just before the explosions. He deals with some very tough choices, but finds a friend along the way.
The book was easy to read, it was written for younger readers though it tackles some tough subjects. The author who’s from Indiana like me, gave me a bit of hope that I’ll be able finish my story and get it out there.
On to Ashen Winter, the second book in the series.
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Yesterday, I got up early and took care of my weekly sprint intervals at the indoor track at the Monon Community Center (MCC). This has become a Wednesday morning ritual, a time when I wear no headphones and leave the phone in the locker. I try to let it all hang out and listen to my body and just push.
Yesterday didn’t feel too different, especially when I cursed the alarm when it went off at 5:00am; I got myself together and headed to the MCC and got started. My method is to go 4 laps normal, then 1 lap sprint and repeat until finished. I usually go 34 laps which is 4 miles, signs at the MCC state that 8 laps is a mile but we’ve figured out it’s really closer to 8 and a half laps for a mile. Anyway, yesterday I went in deciding to just push as hard as I could and ended up finishing the 34 laps in 33 minutes and 21 seconds (Avg. 8:20 mile/min). My previous best was 34 minutes and 22 seconds (Avg. 8:34 mile/min), I pushed and finished a minute faster than my previous best. It felt good even though I was completely gassed when I finished and started my walking cool down laps. I gave it all and left nothing on the table.
I plan on changing to 3 laps normal and 1 lap sprints in the future; that will help push me even further along. It’ll be tough, but what’s the point in playing it safe and taking the easy road?
The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An IT novel? Yes indeed.
I wasn’t sure how this would really work, but really it worked out nicely for me. It was so easy to relate to; actually it was eerie considering I felt like I was reliving the past during certain parts. My IT career has been riddled with some of the same craziness described in this book.
It was written pretty well and was pretty quick to read; luckily I got this from Amazon for free on the Kindle. All in all it was a good find, thanks to a friend who recommended it.
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The 3rd Annual Carmel Championship Weekend was a success; I was able to set a new personal record finishing the half marathon at 2 hours, 1 minute, and 32 seconds. That was about 21 minutes faster than my previous record. Some of the issues I saw and experiences last year were gone this year, no shortages on shirts and the post-race nutrition was managed better. I’m not sure I needed it, but I did get chocolate milk and did chug it. Boom.
It was amazing to see all the support for Boston among the runners and everyone on the sideline. It was very touching. Thanks needs to be showered on the police officers, EMTs, members of the military, and the rest of the volunteers who pulled off an amazing weekend of racing. Again, thank you so much!
My next half marathon goal will be to finish in less than two hours; I’m already so close. I’m not sure exactly how my time will be for the upcoming Geist Half Marathon with the hills and all, but I’ll do my best!
Ascension: Rise of Vigil
I funded Ascension Online on Kickstarter and because I made that very smart decision, I received a physical copy of Ascension: Rise of Vigil about two weeks ago.
This is the first physical copy of Ascension I’ve owned, before now I’ve only been playing it on my iPhone or iPad through the Ascension app. Since I now have this copy I can sit down with my wife and or friends and enjoy some time together. The app is great but will never replace the great times that you create when you sit down with your friends and play.
At this point I believe my wife and I have played through at least 5 complete games. Each game has been different, both in cards played and in length of time. The energy mechanic is fun and adds a nice twist: you may not always get to use all of your card’s actions depending on that rounds draw. This will definitely help keep each game different and adds to replay value. The one thing that’s stayed the same is that my wife continues to win! I’ve yet to win a game against her, but that’s all right because we’ve had a great time playing.
We’ve both enjoyed this stand-alone expansion of Ascension and I plan to pick up Ascension: Return of the Fallen that will add even more variety and the ability to play with up to six players.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Yesterday was a whirlwind day so I’ve not had a chance to share this until now: I reached my goal weight!
From 250 pounds to 165 pounds, simple math says that’s 85 pounds … but it was so much more. The stress, guilt, anxiety, and the ongoing feelings of being ashamed of myself are gone. All that has been replaced with a lot of energy, good health, and self-confidence.
I thank God, family, and friends for helping to keep going when I felt like giving up.