Monday, November 29, 2010

EPIC Bike Trip

My friend is biking across the country (San Diego, CA to St. Augustine, FL). In case you are wondering he is peddling his bike (cycling) all 3,200 miles!
WHO: My Friend Andy G. from work
WHAT: Cycling across country 3,170.5 miles in 32 days!
WHEN: Thanksgiving - New Year's 2010
WHY: He is raising money for a friend of his who has cancer
HOW: On his bike by himself! (0.3 horse power!)

Here's a little something about Andy's friend Ashley who he is raising money for:
Why am I blogging this? Well, Andy is a friend of mine at work AND it's for a good cause. But mostly because I am so impressed with Andy's BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of biking cross country by himself. Also 100% of the money that is donated to Andy's ride goes towards his friend Ashley's cancer treatment. That means Andy is not only donating 32 days of his time but he is also funding his entire trip (flights, equipment, hotels, food, etc). Andy also gave up all of his vacation this year in order to use the time for this trip!

I have been really inspired by Andy since he told me about this EPIC bike trip. Andy and I trade training stories and now that I know about this trip - I really feel motivated to train for next year's triathlons this off season. Everything I need to do to get in shape for the next bigger triathlon is peanuts compared to Andy's EPIC bike trip (while trailering 20 lbs or more behind him all the way!)

Andy is also "tweeting" his progress maps. Today Andy covered 106.85 miles!

If you would like to support Andy and Ashley you can donate to "Project Levanter" here:
Or you can read all about Andy's Project on his website here:

I'll post a few updates about Andy's EPIC bike ride throughout the Holidays!
About Project Levanter (from Andy)
It started with a hair-brained idea a few years ago after completing TOSRV with my dad for the second time. Then the idea raised its head again this past April during some cigars with my good friend Chuck…
At the most basic level, this is a solo bike trip on the southern tier route from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida. There are three reasons why:
1.)    I like cycling
2.)    I love big, audacious challenges
3.)    To help a friend
That last reason is really why there is there is a "Project Levanter". With the help of some close friends, we have set up this website to leverage my cross-country bike ride to help raise money for a close friend of ours who is and has been battling cancer since she was in her early 20's.  There's never a good time for cancer, but in your 20's is pretty crappy.
Since I first met her at Xavier University in 2003, Ashley Thompson has epitomized a positive, motivating person. She's always had an amazing outlook on life, regardless of cancer.  She's been there for me in rough spots with a little extra push, offering a little bit of her courage to help along the way. This is the least we can do for her…
When I first started talking to people about this trip, questions always came up.   But two came up more often than others:
1.)    You’re really going by yourself?
2.)    Are you doing it for a cause?
For the first question, while I love team sports and the camaraderie that comes with
them, cycling and running have always been something I enjoy more alone. I'm sure
someone can read into the reason why, but I think it's because of the freedom that
comes with it. As for the second question, I wasn’t going to do this ride for a cause unless it was one that I knew I personally believed in to my core and that I knew any money raised was actually going to the cause.
So the setup is pretty simple. I ride my bike. Folks donate money. The money goes to Ashley directly, 100% (except for the paypal service charge). As anyone can imagine, living expenses when you’re on your 3rd round of Chemo get pretty crazy.
Any donation is welcome… if you’re looking for a suggestion, take a look at my ‘draft’ day-by-day itinerary under "The Ride" section. Pick a day donate $0.50, $1.00, $2.00 per mile (you'll have to do the math as you enter the amount into PayPal, we’re not that sophisticated here). Then shoot us an email at so we can track the donations.  Finally,  mark your calendar and check back in. I'll be using my iPhone to update my progress daily, via twitter, flickr, and some GPS apps to show my route.
Team Levanter will be helping me post pictures and stories from the ride as we go…

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Computer Animation Progress

There is a lot of work going on in the computer animation world - especially to try and make animated faces look more realistic. Here an employee talks about the difference between motion capture and what her company is doing which is pretty amazing as you'll see at 1:18

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Canobie Lake Park - Turkish Twist

Every year P&G has "dividend day" where we take over the local amusement park. Only King's Island is more like a 6 Flags - so there are tons of roller coasters.

I remember growing up and Mom & Dad would take us to Digital Day at Canobie Lake Park - which is a little boot leg. From what I remember it is closest to Coney Island in Cincinnati only it looked like that in 1984. What is even more bootleg is I heard recently that Gillette STILL takes their employees there. I can;t image how much rust is on top of the rust we saw when we were there.

Anyways - here is one of my favorite rides from Canobie Lake Park - the Turkish Twist.
You are in a little tiny room that spins around as you lean against the carpeted wall. Eventually the ride is going fast enough that the floor can drop away! Pretty cool!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Favorite Organ Music

This is my favorite piece on the organ - Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, is a piece of organ music believed to have been composed by Johann Sebastian Bach sometime between 1703 and 1707.

If you make it through the piece - there is just some amazing hand work which boggles the mind!

If you thought that was good - someone is able to play it on wine glasses (by rubbing them with wet fingers)!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Funny Cat Pictures

The cats are always up to something funny- even when they are up to nothing at all!!

Here they are fighting to sleep in a drawer - why do they always want to sleep on my socks!

" they all rolled over and one fell out two cats on the bed and Brady said..."

Here' Manny - I'm not sure why they like to sit against the wall like a car seat

Here's Manny "helping" Meghan with her puzzle!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Young Me / Now Me

I ran into Ze Frank on - he is a pretty interesting person who has found some unique ways to connect people over the internet. Here is one of his projects that I found called Young Me / Now Me where people find a childhood picture of themselves and then re-create it today.

I think since Dave, Mike, and I will all be home for Christmas we should find one to re-create since we have an unfair advantage - our parents are in the same house!

Here is a sample of the pictures below - you can see them all here:

Monday, November 01, 2010

Remote Controls

When your team has the best record in the NFL and you have DirecTV - good things happen, like my new remote control!