Bold Predictions for 2020

Well, 2019 was a some sort of year. 2020 has to be better, right? A new decade should signal good things.

My 11th incredibly sought after, absolutely viral, never repeated set of bold predictions is here! You may feel dirty after reading this, but who doesn’t these days?

What might I try to achieve in the upcoming year?

Continue reading “Bold Predictions for 2020”

12 for December 2019: To Do List

2019 To Do

My seventh annual December To Do List! What a time to be alive!

If ONLY you had clicked on anything else, you might have found yourself with a few productive minutes. Instead of ogling puppies or Baby Yodas, all you get are a few ill-placed words. As long as your eyes are glued to the screen anyway, go right ahead and scan down to greet this legendary listicle.

As I will spend about half of December in Washington State and half in DC, what will I do?

Continue reading “12 for December 2019: To Do List”

Bold Predictions for 2019

So…2019, eh? Well, let’s get after it.

My 10th annual, and fantastically original, set of bold predictions is dropping on your lap today like a hot splash of spilled coffee. Enjoy, but do go towel off after.

What might I try to achieve in the upcoming year?

 

Continue reading “Bold Predictions for 2019”

12 for December 2018: To Do List

2018 went by in a blur. But let’s not sleep yet. There are still a few days left!

I’ve returned to Washington State for the holidays, so I’m puttering around looking for things to do.

So now in its sixth year, my annual December To Do List drops like a hammer on the big toe. Very painful and thoroughly unwelcome.

Watch your toes and proceed at your own risk.

Continue reading “12 for December 2018: To Do List”

Step Off!

The World Vision International Walking Challenge is over!

For the 30 days of November, I stepped briskly about DC and other places (like Richmond – pictured), pitting myself against all walking challengers.

What did I get for my efforts? A 2nd place finish and victory for my monthly goal!

 

November Goal: Finish with 500,000 total steps.

Result: Success!

I walked 683,584 total steps in fact. Or an average of 22,786 steps per day. Try it, it’s not easy. Also, I had to step up my game during the last week, since the person in 3rd was gunning for me, using the notorious ‘training for a marathon’ scheme. Nope, didn’t work.

 

Walking Challenge Top 5
1st = 772,883 steps*
2nd (Me) = 683,584
3rd = 663,644
4th = 613,308
5th = 602,601

* I understand the 1st place person put a treadmill to good use. I did not. I was outside, in the fresh air, hiking or exploring.

My Daily Breakdown

  • 30,000+ steps in a day (8 times)
  • 20,000+ (11)
  • 15,000+ (7)
  • 10,000+ (3)
  • Sub-10,000 (1)

 

I also made a second goal, about helping Capital Bikeshare move their bikes around the city or some such.

November Goal #2: Finish with 500 total Bike Angel points.

Result: Failure! Epic! 347 points total.

I basically quit this goal with a week left in November because I traveled to Charlotte and Richmond. But up to that point, I was definitely in the conversation for reaching this goal as well, on a pace of 15 points per day (I would’ve needed a pace of 16.67 points per day).

Now step out and walk!

500,000 for November 2018: Steps

November is World Vision International’s 2nd annual Walking Challenge.

Last year I finished 3rd overall with 644,051 steps in 42 days (it ran from 8/21 to 10/1/17). The 1st and 2nd place finishers were FAR, FAR ahead of me (200,000 and 100,000 more steps respectively).

Last year my average was 15,335 steps per day. Not too bad…but let’s up the game and go for an average of 16,667 steps per day to reach 500,000 in 30 days!

 

Goal for November: Finish with 500,000 total steps.

 

Also, I’ve been participating in the Capital Bikeshare Bike Angels program, and in the first three months finished #5, #5 and #4 in the overall points rankings (for the whole city!).

My last point total was 253 in October, so let’s double it and set my November goal to 500 points!

 

Second Goal for November: Finish with 500 total Bike Angel points.

 

It is on!

The December List, and Other Stable Facts From 2017

I dominated my most recent December To Do List! Snooze.

Results, outcomes and the correlative aftermath of same are about to be apportioned, so cut out the tedious part (aka reading it) by aborting your web session now and hitting the sack. You’ll need the rest. We may soon have a Wall to tear down after all.

Also, it’s 2018. WTH is going on?!

Goal for December 2017: Do all 11 items on my tremendous, very stable To Do List.

Continue reading “The December List, and Other Stable Facts From 2017”

Bold Predictions for 2018

When you absolutely, positively, truly must have a list of New Year’s Resolutions, call them bold predictions.

Sounds fancier. Probably not.

What might I try to accomplish in the upcoming year? Let’s find out!

In 2018, I predict I will…

Continue reading “Bold Predictions for 2018”

11 for December 2017: To Do List

Wow, another year in the books. 2017 is almost toast, but we still have a fair bit of work to do.

For the fifth year in a row, I present my December To Do List. And like all the many years before it, it’s an amazing, transcendent ride that will have you weeping for joy, and high-fiving people you don’t even know!

Okay, as Jedi Master Luke Skywalker likes to say, “None of those words are true.”

But that shouldn’t stop you from closing this post now and heading out to high-five someone! Or just give them a hug. They may need it.

These lists have a certain sameness to them, because December also represents the season I return to Washington State for the holidays. And there are certain things I like to do when I head back to my home state. I’ll spend about half of December in DC and the other half in WA. (Editor’s note: At press time, I’m already there!)

December 2017 To Do List

  1. Write a concert review – I’ve been doing it all year, might as well do one in December too.
  2. Attend two Seattle Seahawks games – The games are do or die, luckily for us fans, just the way Russel Wilson likes it.
  3. Sleep in a cabin – Have a few spirits, watch bad movies, tussle in the snow. Escape.
  4. Witness Star Wars: The Last Jedi – (Hint: I did this already! Making this list easier for myself!)
  5. Check out four new (to me) breweries – I did three last year so let’s make it harder this December! Sigh.
  6. Eat a Dick’s Drive-In Deluxe burger – I said I’m putting this on my list every year, did you not believe me?
  7. Do some outdoorsy things – Hike? Ski? Just get outside.
  8. Write – This blog has seen little activity in recent months, so I’ve hired a few gifted spam bots to craft incredible click bait content and relentlessly post until you cry mercy!
  9. See family – That’s why I come home for the holidays, so might as well do it!
  10. Go somewhere I haven’t been to in a while – Vague and unspecific. Just the way I like it, makes it easier to win this list.
  11. Wild Card – Something that might have made this list, if I was smart enough to think of it ahead of time.

High-fives

 

dec-to-do-list

372 for July-August 2017: Miles, Miles, Miles!

I haven’t been putting too many monthly goals together the last year or so, so I suspect this will be a real treat for you. Finally doing another one! The wait must have been excruciating.

This goal is dead simple.

Continue reading “372 for July-August 2017: Miles, Miles, Miles!”

130 for February 2017: Bike Rides

Capital Bikeshare has given me a ready-made goal in the form or their Winter Warriors campaign.

No work from my side, except to take a bike ride (or many).

Their challenge goes thus for January and February:

  • Gold Medal: 150+ rides
  • Silver Medal: 75+ rides
  • Bronze Medal: 35+ rides

One’s prize for success is to acquire a ‘digital medal’ and entry into their prize drawings.

I probably rode about 20 times in January, so only 130 more rides to go!!

 

February Goal: Take 130 bike rides and win a Gold Medal!

 

Ride it!

 

Bold Predictions for 2017

2017 is here! New Year’s Resolutions sound so passé, so I do Bold Predictions. This is that.

But don’t get too worked up, predictions and resolutions amount to the same thing, right? No idea.

I like counting, so I liberally litter these predictions with numbers. Often ones I can’t even count to.

2016 was a year that lasted 366 days, and is now over. You can skip to the bottom to see how I did on my 2016 Bold Predictions…not too bad actually if you have low standards.

Last year I also tried to do more, more, more. This year I’ll just do. Let’s go.

 

In 2017, I predict I will…

…finish my Major League Baseball stadium quest that is years in the making! You heard me! Only two stadiums left! San Diego and Kansas City.

…hike over 304 total miles.

…read six books I own that I haven’t read. I have so many…

…hit up another Seattle Seahawks road game. Nashville? New York? San Francisco?

…do an adventure trip. Whitewater rafting? Island hopping? Trekking? Who’s in?

…start one new venture.

…organize, clean and get rid of stuff. On an epic scale.

…complete three home improvements.

…tear down walls.

…steal your dog to play with. Forget to give it back.

 

________________

Let’s look at how I fared from my 2016 list:

Success rate: 7.5/10

…visit two new baseball stadiums. Only four left! Result: Complete! I went to Denver for the Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) and Phoenix for the Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field).

…read 33 books (one more than last year); watch 101 movies (one more than last year). Result: Got there just under the wire! Read 33 books and watched 111 movies.

…visit two new countries (one more than last year). Result: Success! I went to both Honduras and India for the first time.

…run in at least four races (one more than last year). Result: Fail! I only ran one race, the Semper Fi 5K. I tried to run the Army Ten-Miler but had to travel for work. I did the One Day Hike (50K) for the fifth time, but that’s not running.

…find a reason to do something even crazier than the last time. Result: Last crazy time was whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River, so for this crazy time…let’s see…how about 4 nights/5 days backpacking in Colorado? A total of 43 miles with a 39-pound backpack while being stalked by a bear!

…hike over 250 total miles. (Last year I hiked 185) Result: I crushed it and hiked 358 miles! Easy.

…take no prisoners and give no shits. Result: Hard to quantify this, but I tend to give a shit, so 1/2 right only!

…pick a few musicians and go deep into their music catalog. Result: Nope! Did not do this.

…binge watch three new TV shows. Result: Indeed. In fact, I quadrupled my output and binged 12 new TV shows. See which ones here.

…play with two puppies. Result: This is a given. One of them was my niece’s new wiener dog, Jedi. He wants to come back to DC with me, I know it.

The December List, and Other Ugly Facts About 2016

I crushed my December To Do List! I did 12 out of 11 things! Wait, what?

It’s 2017, so I’m bending the rules, along with hearts and minds.

Hop on board, this new year is about to get interesting! Let’s leave all the ugliness behind us.

 

Goal for December 2016: Do all 11 items on my painstakingly (for you) curated To Do List.

Result: Success! 12/11

 

December 2016 To Do List

Sip at three new (to me) breweries – Always looking to have a brew or three, see. Of course! Beer is good! I went to Odd Otter Brewing Co. (Tacoma), Populuxe Brewing and Maritime Pacific Brewing Co. (Seattle).

Take a road trip – But where to? Buckle up. Did a few short trips around Washington State; to Mt. Rainer, Seattle and Arlington/Marysville.

Attend a Seattle Seahawks game – Boom! December 24th vs. the Cardinals. And…they lost a wild and crazy game.

Experience two Oscar buzz movies in theaters – Someone has to do it. Well, I kind of did it. I saw Arrival and tried to see La La Land (but it was sold out). I saw Rogue One, which should get 3-4 noms for music and special effects. So there, I’m claiming it!

Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – As always. Burp.

Eat or drink at four new (to me) places, like coffee shops, bars or restaurants – Keeping up on my goal from Oct/Nov on trying new things. Did it! No sweat.

Get some snow on me – What is winter without wonderful white snow? I threw a few iceballs and did a five mile snowshoeing trek in Mt. Rainer National Park.

Hike! 20 miles at least! – Walk it off. I already achieved and more the hiking goal I made this year (read: hike 250 total miles), this is gravy. Done! And done!

Get rid of some stuff – I have clothes to donate, and some other things that need to go. Unclutter. Tidy. I organized a bunch of things to get rid of. I only managed to donate a few things to the 9:30 Club’s holiday charity. Plus I chucked some stuff still at my parents house.

Watch the Washington Huskies in the College Football Playoff Game (Peach Bowl) – I won’t go to the actual game in Atlanta, but I’ll be watching. Oh yes. Go Dawgs! I watched it at The Loose Wheel in Puyallup (which was surprisingly packed out with UW fans). Did not like the result, no I did not.

Wild Card – Something that in hindsight, should have been on this list! I went to visit the Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent and Covington, where 3 of my grandparents are buried in honor of military service. Jack Parker (1921-2006), Walter Bailey (1919-2016) and Verla Bailey (1927-2013).

Bonus Wild Card – I attended my sister’s wedding at The Rustin Chapel in Tacoma!

Random TV Shows: Binge 2016

One of my 2016 bold predictions was to…binge watch three new TV shows.

I went a bit overboard and binged out on 12 new (to me) TV shows. Having goals is hard, you don’t know when to say when. Damn you Netflix!

 

Here they are, ranked:

1) Stranger Things (Season 1: 13 episodes) – Pretty good. Pretty scary.

2) Marvel’s Daredevil (Seasons 1 & 2: 13 episodes each) – Season 1 was what a superhero show should be; dramatic, a bad bad guy, good action sequences and some bouts of conscious. Season 2 got annoying however, with the existential crisis of whether you should kill bad guys. From the guy that beats everyone to a bloody, permanently mangled pulp. #TeamPunisher

3) Narcos (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Pablo Escobar is a bad man. But you can’t look away.

4) The Expanse (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Slick sci-fi whodunit in space!

5) Mr. Robot (Season 1: 10 episodes) – No robots were harmed in the making of this show. Though many of your brain cells were tweaked.

6) Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Season 1: 13 episodes) – David Tennant is not Doctor Who, he’s Kilgrave!! More mind games than action, but a dark look at redemption.

7) The Man in the High Castle (Season 1: 10 episodes) – What if Germany and Japan won WWII and then invaded the USA and split the conquest? Life 20 years later isn’t so rosy.

8) The Night Of (Season 1: 8 episodes) – A suspenseful look at the consequences of poor decisions and the terrible prison system we have. Solid, but no surprises.

9) Documentary Now! (Season 1: 6 episodes) – Fred Armison and Bill Hadar star in re-make parodies of actual documentaries, well done and often damn funny, especially the “DRONEZ: The Hunt for El Chingon” episode.

10) Broad City (Seasons 1 & 2: 10 episodes each) – Sometimes funny, often annoying, but a few genuine laugh-out-loud moments.

11) Vice Principals (Season 1: 9 episodes) – This sounded promising, with Danny McBride and Walton Goggins. Yet way too mean spirited to start, but does find its groove if you keep going.

12) Horace and Pete (Season 1: 10 episodes) – I really wanted to like Louie C.K.’s show, but boy is it tedious. Once in a while a flash of something interesting, but mostly no.

New TV Shows 2016

New Places, and Other Inspiring Palavers

Victory!

My goal in October and November was to visit a ton of new places. And I did it! So I say. Chalk one up to persistence.

I went to a fair number of new places in DC, mostly restaurants, and I discovered many more new places in Chennai (India), Manila (Philippines), New Orleans (LA), Montauk (NY) and Frederick (MD). I traveled a lot…I explored a lot. So now I’m resting a lot while I write.

October/November Goal: Visit 32 new places (70% have to be in DC)

Result: 32 reached and plenty more!

  • 23+ in DC
  • 9+ elsewhere

New places in DC:

  1. Fathom – A nice space for a wedding.
  2. Radiator – A nice bar for an after wedding party.
  3. The Haymaker Bar – Updated space (formerly The Atlas Room) on H St NE. Not a huge fan.
  4. Seoul Spice – Korean tacos, if you like.
  5. BKK Cookshop – Decent Thai food.
  6. REI – The new flagship store! Your outdoor gear fix is here!
  7. La Colombe (at REI) – Coffee with your outdoor gear!
  8. Walmart (on H Street) – I finally went inside. And now life continues.
  9. HalfSmoke – If you want a half smoke, hit Ben’s or Meats & Foods.
  10. Library of Congress Tunnel – Went on a private tour…secret things happen down there. Very bookish secret things.
  11. Sonoma – UW reception with wine and sliders.
  12. Smoked and Stacked – Good sandwich with DC prices!
  13. Kahlil Gibran Memorial Garden – A poet, and you didn’t even know it.
  14. Spanish Steps – Supposed to look like the famous steps in Rome. Okay.
  15. Soho Tea & Coffee – Coffee they have, did not confirm the tea.
  16. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop – The Bobbie because it was close to Thanksgiving!
  17. Zero Milestone – Just a thing to commemorate the center of the city.
  18. Renwich Gallery – Very cool art museum brought to you by the letter ‘S’ (for Smithsonian). Surprised it took me this long.
  19. Thip Khao – Laotian food. I avoided the ‘Jungle Menu’ but could be convinced next time.
  20. All Purpose Pizzeria – Oh yeah, they do pizza here. Try it.
  21. Peirce Mill fireplace – For starting fires in Rock Creek Park post-hike.
  22. Donburi – Curry katsudon. Katsudon with curry.
  23. On Rye – Reubens with a some sort of bread!
Just a sampling of the new places I visited while traveling. I whittled it down…
  1. People’s Palace – (Manila, Philippines) A cool Thai restaurant in the heart of the trendy Greenbelt Park (in Makati).
  2. SM Mall of Asia – (Manila, Philippines) The second largest shopping mall in the world! And by mall standards (which I try to avoid if possible), it was a good one. Manila loves malls. Loves them!
  3. Ente Keralam – (Chennai, India) Serving food from Kerala, they love coconuts. It seemed like everything was peppered with coconuts. Most of it was good, all of it was interesting.
  4. Cane & Table – (New Orleans, LA) A boozy brunch to start the day before the real weekend drinking starts.
  5. Mercedes-Benz Superdome – (New Orleans, LA) Seattle Seahawks lost to the New Orleans Saints, but it was still fun.
  6. Courtyard Brewery – (New Orleans, LA) Post-game beer sipping.
  7. Montauk Brewery – (Montauk, Long Island, NY) A brewery at the end of the Earth.
  8. Goldberg’s Bagels – (Montauk, Long Island, NY) Needed bagel sammies at the end of the Earth.
  9. Sabor De Cuba – (Frederick, MD) Tasty cuban food right in the middle of Frederick’s downtown.

Peace out!

Kerala foodKerala food in India

 

11 for December 2016: To Do List

I present to you my so rare, it’s annual December To Do List!

Get comfy and grab a buttery fistful of popcorn. If no popcorn is within reach, re-evaluate your life choices.

December is here, I’ll be in Washington State for the last 11 days, and in DC for the first 20 days!

Goal for December: Do all 11 items on my painstakingly (for you) curated To Do List.

 

December 2016 To Do List

  1. Sip at three new (to me) breweries – Always looking to have a brew or three, see.
  2. Take a road trip – But where to? Buckle up.
  3. Attend a Seattle Seahawks game – Boom! December 24th vs. the Cardinals.
  4. Experience two Oscar buzz movies in theaters – Someone has to do it.
  5. Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – As always.
  6. Eat or drink at four new (to me) places, like coffee shops, bars or restaurants – Keeping up on my goal from Oct/Nov on trying new things.
  7. Get some snow on me – What is winter without wonderful white snow?
  8. Hike! 20 miles at least! – Walk it off. I already achieved and more the hiking goal I made this year (read: hike 250 total miles), this is gravy.
  9. Get rid of some stuff – I have clothes to donate, and some other things that need to go. Unclutter. Tidy.
  10. Watch the Washington Huskies in the College Football Playoff Game (Peach Bowl) – I won’t go to the actual game in Atlanta, but I’ll be watching. Oh yes. Go Dawgs!
  11. Wild Card – Something that in hindsight, should have been on this list!

 

dec-to-do-list

32 for October/November: New Places

No goals for me this year? Well, this will only be the second time I’ve done my monthly Random Goal in 2016, so I guess not!

My last goal in July was to run 36 miles. Hahaha, I only managed to run 15. Good job!

Over the next two months, I’m going to try a bunch of new things.

There are quite a few new restaurants in DC and a bunch of places I’ve been meaning to visit for the first time, like museums and whatnot.

I also have a bit of travel coming up, to the Philippines and India, and maybe 1-2 other places!

But the main point of the goal is to go to new places in DC, so let’s say 70% of them have to be in DC. Yes?

 

October/November Goal: Visit 32 new places (70% have to be in DC)

 

Lincoln Memorial

36 for July: Miles Running

I haven’t done a single Random Goal this year!

Boo, me.

So why not try a goal I have no chance of completing? As mentioned in previous posts, whenever I do a running goal *poof* fail.

But in October I’ll be running the Army Ten-Miler for the third time. In August, I’ll be doing a backpacking trip in Colorado. And I want to run an 8K or 10K sometime before October.

So, the point, I need to train. I need to run baby. Run like Forrest.

It’s already July 7th, so only 24 days left.

July Goal: Run 36 miles

It is on.

Forest

Bold Predictions for 2016

2016 will be more than 2015. In the sense that I will invent even bolder predictions and fail even bigger. That’s the theory.

I didn’t do well on the 2015 bold predictions front, but that can be forgiven because no one is holding me accountable! (Right?)

Yet, I still did a lot. I went to eight different countries, but only one new one. I waded along beaches, rafted along crocodile infested rapids, climbed the head of a lion, those types of things.

I didn’t run all that much, but I hiked a fair bit. I played a lot of sports, from volleyball to softball to soccer to flag football. I watched a lot of sports as well, mostly football (Seahawks and Huskies) and some baseball. I went to a ton of music concerts…and reviewed a few.

What does 2016 have in store?

The theme is ‘More than 2015 or bust‘.

 

In 2016, I predict I will…

…visit two new baseball stadiums. Only four left!

…read 33 books (one more than last year); watch 101 movies (one more than last year).

…visit two new countries (one more than last year).

…run in at least four races (one more than last year).

…find a reason to do something even crazier than the last time.

…hike over 250 total miles. (Last year I hiked 185)

…take no prisoners and give no shits.

…pick a few musicians and go deep into their music catalog.

…binge watch three new TV shows.

…play with two puppies.

________________

 

Let’s look at how I fared from my 2015 list:

Success rate: 6/10

…visit three new baseball stadiums. Surprised? Result: Nope, I only went to one this year. St. Louis.

…do something crazy. Climb a mountain crazy. Run a half-marathon crazy. Crazy like that. Result: I went white water rafting down the Zambezi River and waved to the crocodiles! Cray cray.

…read at least 35 books. I haven’t read that much the past few years. Doubling down. Results: Nope. I only got to 32! So close!

…read seven books I own that I haven’t read. I estimate I have over 30 unread books lying around! Results: Well now…no, I only managed to read five.

…run 300 miles. That’s 25 miles per month. That sucks. Results: Hahahaha! Wow, I failed this one miserably! I ran 86 miles. I’ll blame the fact that I didn’t run much the first few months because I had thrown out my back. But to be fair, I knew that fact when I made the prediction.

…get myself to at least one new country. I haven’t been to a new country since 2012. Result: Boom! United Arab Emirates!

…write more. Result: Yes and no. I wrote more for the blog Parklife DC, but wrote somewhat less for this blog. But overall, it was more!

…volunteer to be a commissioner of a sports league. (Hint: I already did this for volleyball…victory! 1-0 already!) Result: Done.

…win a championship with one of the sports teams I play on. Let’s do this! Result: Our sand volleyball team won a championship via forfeit. Lame, but another team I was on should have won it all also, but the league scheduled the final match on a day no one was available to play. I call victory.

…play with a puppy. Result: Of course.

Cutthroat Lakes (Walt Bailey Trail)
Cutthroat Lakes (Walt Bailey Trail)

Leisurely Pursuits, and Other Timely Travails

Prepare to get assaulted by blog posts. So much useless (and timely) end-of-year content to share, so little time!

So let’s recap. My goal in December was to complete a random assortment of leisurely pursuits of my own devising. Mostly while on a holiday-type vacation in Washington state.

I dug in and really went full half-assed at the task, but like all things of piddling consequence, I amazed myself with a 85% success rate! Parade worthy?

Let’s have a gander at what transpired. (Your cue to bolt.)

Goal for December: Do all 13 items (for luck) on my specially curated To Do List.

 
December 2015 To Do List
  1. Go skiing – Last year I hurt my back, so did not get to ski. This year that situation is rectified. Result: I hit the slopes at Crystal Mountain! I did not slide all the way down a black diamond slope! Where did you hear that rumor?
  2. Attend three Seattle Seahawks games – Boom! One in Baltimore and two in Seattle. Result: Boom! Boom! Boom! They won two and lost one.
  3. Visit Portland, OR – I hear they could really use a force like me. Result: Done. A quick and dirty drive-by for lunch.
  4. Experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maybe even up to five times if it’s good… Result: The Force is with me.
  5. Visit two new breweries – There are so many new ones, so let’s get it on! Result: Yes, I went to 7 Seas Brewery (Gig Harbor, WA) and Fremont Brewery (Seattle, WA). 
  6. Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – This will go on every future To Do List forever and ever. Result: Eaten deluxedly.
  7. Enter a cabin – Preferably one that we rent, but I’m not adverse to a little B&E if that’s what it takes. Result: True. It was called ‘Sweet Dreams’.
  8. Try 12 new beers – Burp. Result: Of course. I lost count, but I’m sure the final number of beers I tried was impressive.
  9. Hike a hike – I need to get outside! Result: I did a short meander about Clark’s Creek Park in Puyallup.
  10. Eat at one of Seattle’s best restaurants – According to this list here or even this one hereResult: Did not!
  11. See Book of Mormon – Want to. Will try. Result: Nope!
  12. Attend and write-up two concerts – Minimum. Result: Done! I reviewed The Arcs (a side-project of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) (read about it here) and Des Ark (read about it here).
  13. Wild Card – Something fun or dumb, that I can’t think of now. Result: One day we decided to drive to Portland, hang for a hot minute, then drive home. Dumb but typical. We used to do that often when there was a Chick-fil-A at the Lloyd Center. But it’s been gone a long time. Yes, this is different from #3 above. No fact checking allowed.
Final Results: 11/13
2015-12-29 11.07.54
Sweet Dreams

 

2015-12-23 17.43.25
Seven Seas Brewery

 

Clark's Creek Park
Clark’s Creek Park

13 for December 2015: To Do List

It is the holiday season once again. Ho ho hum.

And almost time for my annual sojourn to Washington state!

Let’s start a new tradition. Every December, a new To Do List. Okay, I say that now, but check back with me in 3 years.

 

Goal for December: Do all 13 items (for luck) on my specially curated To Do List.

 

December 2015 To Do List

  1. Go skiing – Last year I hurt my back, so did not get to ski. This year that situation is rectified.
  2. Attend three Seattle Seahawks games – Boom! One in Baltimore and two in Seattle.
  3. Visit Portland, OR – I hear they could really use a force like me.
  4. Experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maybe even up to five times if it’s good…
  5. Visit two new breweries – There are so many new ones, so let’s get it on!
  6. Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – This will go on every future To Do List forever and ever.
  7. Enter a cabin – Preferably one that we rent, but I’m not adverse to a little B&E if that’s what it takes.
  8. Try 12 new beers – Burp.
  9. Hike a hike – I need to get outside!
  10. Eat at one of Seattle’s best restaurants – According to this list here or even this one.
  11. See Book of Mormon – Want to. Will try.
  12. Attend and write-up two concerts – Minimum.
  13. Wild Card – Something fun or dumb, that I can’t think of right now.

Force-this

65 for October/November: Projects + Miles Running

Whenever I do a goal that features running, I fail. I’m just not a consistent runner. Or maybe just not highly motivated.

I successfully completed the Army Ten-Miler on October 11 (running 8.5 out of 10 miles). I didn’t really train, so I did better than expected time wise and in the ratio of running to walking.

I’m going to try another race in November. Hopefully a 10K (an 8K would be okay), so I will keep the ‘training’ alive for now.

I also need to do some cleaning and sorting around my apartment. I have tons of old clothes to donate, stacks of papers to deal with, and a general amount of ‘what do I do with this old thing?’ to figure out. Maybe I’ll even entertain once the place is immaculate. (Haha, don’t count on it!)

 

October/November Goal: Complete enough projects in my apartment and run enough miles so they total 65

Let’s get busy!

Stay Strong
Stay Strong

12,281 for August: Climbing Mt. Adams

This August I have a work trip and then will jaunt over to Washington state for a brief time of vacation.

What do I choose to do with said vacation?

Nothing relaxing, I can tell you that.

Instead, me and a few others will attempt to climb to the top of Mt. Adams, the second highest peak in Washington state.

 

August Goal: Climb to the top of Mt. Adams in Washington state (elevation: 12,281 feet)

 

If anyone recalls, I have a goal to climb Mt. Rainer someday. Let’s call this practice.

Although this hike is not technical (unlike Mt. Rainer), they do recommend you have crampons and ice axes for the summit.

And a recent trip report from July states that the temperature plummeted to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. Brrrr.

And Mt. Adams is one of the largest active volcanoes in the Cascades Volcanic Arc. It hasn’t erupted in 1,400 years, but now that I’m going…

 

Nice knowing you.

Aspen grove at Conboy Lake NWR with Mt Adams in the background

 

Mt. Adams
Mt. Adams

22 for July/August: New Restaurants Encore

I have a bit of travel coming up in July and August (some of it will be vacation!) and will need to eat. In theory. There are also a fair number of restaurants I want to check out in Washington, D.C.

Since I’m short on new goal ideas, why not recycle another one I did last year? Why indeed.

 

July/August Goal: Eat at 22 new (to me) restaurants (at least half should be in D.C.)

 

It would be fairly easy to go to new restaurants while traveling, so I added the twist at the end.

Good eating to all!

Refresh your memory on last year’s (same, same) goal: 10 for November/December: New Restaurants in D.C.

Maybe the food will look like this?

Maketto

16 for May/June: New Coffee Shops Encore

Last year I did a random goal to visit new coffee shops. Originality is not my strong suit, so let’s do it again.

To make it more interesting, let’s up the ante and do more than last year.

May/June Goal: Visit 16 new (to me) coffee shops

I have two goals in May, just to keep the blood flowing. Coffee and exercise. What could go wrong?

Best Coffee

 

187 for May: Mopping Up the Miles

I made myself a goal to run, hike or bike 550 miles in four months. I failed. Big time.

So I’m punishing myself by having to finish the goal over the month of May. With a 26 mile penalty added.

Goal for May: Hike, run or bike 187 miles to make up for the fact that I didn’t finish my January-April Goal.

This is six miles a day. Or, more likely, zero miles for 30 days and 187 miles in one day!

 

————————————————————————————————————————-

Here’s the epic failure laid bare:

Goal for January-April: Hike, run or bike 550 miles total. Just do it.

  • Running = 8.92 miles (weak!)
  • Hiking = 168.25 miles (robust!)
  • Biking = 211.88 miles (not enough!)

Total: 389.05 miles

Result: Fail! By 161 miles!

I will blame travel…about 4+ weeks of being away. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

The One Day Hike (31.1 miles) gave me a boost, but not big enough.

Just a walking down the trail
Just a walking down the trail

 

550 for January-April: Miles

I’m a little slow in posting this goal.

I guess you can say I’ve been doing other things… And I have been working on this goal since January, but I can report I’m woefully behind. Woefully. A March Madness miracle is in order.

I do have the 50K One Day Hike in late April to look forward to, along with a few training hikes, so maybe that will be the difference!

 

Goal for January-April: Hike, run or bike 550 miles total. Just do it.

 

Just a hike in the land Down Under
Just a hike in the land Down Under

 

____________________________________________________

My last goal was in December. Let’s peek at how I fared.

Goal for December: Do all 11 items on my freshly minted To Do List.

Total: 9 (out of 11)

Result: Fail!

 

December To Do List

  1. Touch snow – I would say go skiing, but my back may not have recovered enough by then. Result: No. I could have driven an hour and stuffed frigid snow down someone’s back. But I didn’t. Instead, upon my return to DC, it snowed.
  2. Attend two Seattle Seahawks games – One in Philadelphia and one in Seattle. Result: Boom, son! Done!
  3. Grace Portland, OR or Vancouver, B.C. with my presence – They both need it! Result: Indeed. I hit up Portland for an evening of…stuff. I believe alcohol and karaoke reared their ugly heads. Don’t quote me.
  4. Watch two Oscar buzz movies in the theater – With extra butter. Result: Yep. Wild and Unbroken.
  5. Take a hike – I need to find out what bears do in the woods. Result: True. I did a quick 8-mile jaunt along the Foothills Trail in Orting.
  6. Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – Eat it! Result: I ate it.
  7. Try 10 new beers – AKA beers I’ve not had the pleasure or displeasure of drinking before. Result: This I did in abundance. I should get extra credit, because I had about 25 new beers…but who can remember?
  8. Eat at Thai Tom (Seattle) – Or any Thai restaurant on this Seattle Times list. Result: No. I tried, but the line to get in was out the door. So I went to a different Thai restaurant a few blocks away.
  9. Visit Two Beers Brewing Co. (Seattle) – Or any brewery I haven’t yet visited in Seattle. Result: Burp.
  10. Visit one Espresso Vivace coffee shop (Seattle) – Or any coffee shop from this King 5 list around Washington state. Result: Sipped! 
  11. Wild Card – Add something awesome when I think of it. Result: I can add anything here, right? Well, I’ll put down the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, because it is crazy excess for coffee lovers.

 

Starbucks or something like it.
Starbucks or something like it.

peace!

Eat and Be Merry

Happy Christmas! My second to last random goal of 2014 was to visit a plethora of new restaurants in D.C.

November/December Goal: Eat at 10 new (to me) restaurants in Washington, D.C.

How did I do?

Result: 15 restaurants. Success!

(Pause here while I run my victory lap)

–huff huff —

Okay, I’m back.

I’m too good at this self-refereed random goals game…undefeated so far this year. Witness. Maybe I cheat?

Food Highlights

DC Harvest’s S’mores Pot du Creme. Damn!

DCity Smokehouse’s The Brisket Champ. Oy!

Sona Creamy & Wine Bar’s scones. Gimme!

Yoon Ha’s Kitchen and Deli’s bibimbap. Boom!

Food Lowlights

Not a fan of ShopHouse’s peanut sauce. (It’s like a Chipotle or Roti for Asian cuisine)

Bolt Burger is nothing special.

Here’s a handy list, restaurantwise, to put on your refrigerator.

Print This!
Print This!

Dessert porn…

S'mores Pot du Creme at DC Harvest
S’mores Pot du Creme at DC Harvest
Scones at Sona Creamery & Wine Bar
Scones at Sona Creamery & Wine Bar