Thankful? Do Something Positive!

For this Thanksgiving Day, instead of simply listing all the things for which I have been thankful (there are many), I decided to take action and do something positive to express this thankfulness. This year I decided to register with the National Bone Marrow Donor Program

bone marrow testing

bone marrow envelope

bone marrow envelope back

bone marrow inside

bone marrow swabs

There are many ways that you can take a positive step to show your thankfulness with being a bone marrow donor only one of them. I hope you will consider stepping up and move beyond simply thinking about all you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving and do something positive which shows that thankfulness. In addition to showing my thankfulness, this also completes #15 on my list of 45 things I want to do this year.

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Westin Saint Francis Hotel Glass Elevators

I’ll admit it — I felt a little dirty and devious heading to the glass elevators at the Westin Saint Francis hotel in San Francisco (335 Powell Street in the heart of Union Square) since they are used for hotel guests and aren’t technically supposed to be a tourist attraction. That feeling immediately disappeared when I was inside one and the elevator cleared the lower front building…

I received my first look at the elevators from a distance since I managed to get myself lost (something that is, unfortunately, not that unsual for me) trying to find the hotel, but that did provide a spectacular view of where I would soon be:

Westin Saint Francis hotel in San Francisco

westin glass elevators

I fully expected to see a large line in front of them since it was a Saturday afternoon, but apparently most people fail to overcome that dirty feeling of not supposed to being there like I managed (rather easily) to do. The elevator door opened, I hit floor 31 (floor 32 wouldn’t light up for me) and zipped to the top to see a spectacular view of the city:

westin hotel glass elevator view

westin glass elevator view

westin saint francis glass elevator

westin glass elavator union square

The only problem is that soon as you reach the top, people below that want to use the elevator send it back down (despite the temptation of hitting the red “stop” button to freeze the elevator at floor 31, I resisted). I did, however, decided I needed to take another two trips to the top (yes, I did hear my mom’s voice the entire time telling me that elevators are not toys, but it was still totally worth it). Definitely something to add to your list if you are ever in San Francisco…

Number 11 crossed off the list

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Hugo Hotel: Howard Street Defestation

There is something about the quirky that always calls to me. I highly doubt that it would surprise anyone who knows me that when I heard about a building where there was furniture attached to the outside of the walls and hanging out of windows, it was something that I had to see. Defestation in San Francisco (corner of 6th Street and Howard Street) provided plenty of that:

hugo hotel

hugo hotel san francisco

hugo hotel defestation

howard street hotel

crazy san francisco hotel

furniture on outside of building

The only unfortunate part of the sight seeing was that the Hugo Hotel is now closed, so I couldn’t go in and see the artwork from the inside out (which I think would have been wonderful). The building is boarded up on the bottom and it is showing wear on the outside from being closed and not maintained, but it still is something that is worth seeing simply to say that you have.

Number 31 crossed off the list

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Half Marathon and Concert Completed (sort of)

I’m not sure what it is when I start these new challenges, but apparently me getting violently sick is a prerequisite. These challenges are never as easy as I think they will be…

The day started off fine. I was running the race with Dana Hughes:

dana hughes half marathon

and plenty of other people (the starting line was actually around the corner):

half marathon crowd

Since we had only been training a month, we had a pretty realistic approach to the half marathon. We were going to walk / run it — basically run a bit and walk a bit throughout the race. That strategy went out the door fairly quickly. Dana’s shoes were giving her trouble making it painful to run in them (and she ended the race with some nasty blisters) so we knew we decided that the race would be mainly walking early on. At mile three, we were offered some free bacon:

free bacon

which I am very thankful that I decided to pass on because it was about a mile later that my intestinal troubles began.

All of a sudden my stomach started cramping and I began to feel sick to my stomach. As we reached the later miles, there were several instances where I thought I was going to throw up, although I did manage to not do so during the race. As Dana’s feet continued to get worse and my stomach issues did the same, the goal quickly became to finish the race in under the 4 hour designated time limit:

half marathon finish

While the clock makes it look like we just barely made it, we actually had a bit more time to spare since it took us awhile to make it to the starting line at the beginning of the race. Then end result was that even though my time was slow, it was officially under the limit and I managed to complete the half marathon. And then the fun began…

The Blues Traveller was the band that was playing after the race which is a band I have never seen before and was #2 on my list of 45 things I wanted to do. The problem was that at this point both Dana (feet) and I (stomach) weren’t feeling well to hang around for very long, although we did see them:

The Blues Traveller

The Blues Traveller San Jose half marathon

We quickly decided that we should head home which was another 3 mile walk (we had not anticipated feeling the way we did when we decided we could walk home after the race). Along the route home, the stomach issues I was having finally hit the point where I was unable to keep everything in my stomach and I gave some bushes in a park some extra nutrition.

When I finally did get back home, I decided that I needed to try and get some sleep. That lasted about an hour when I got up and promptly emptied out everything else that remained in my stomach. It was at this point that the cramping reached it’s high point and I realised that it wasn’t just an upset stomach, but very similar to what had happened to me back in May. A trip to the hospital confirmed this and now I get to go through a whole battery of tests again to see if they can figure out this time what is wrong (since they were unable to determine it last time)

The end results were that technically I completed 2 of the 45 numbers on my list (#2 and #5), they were definitely not completed in the way that I would have liked to have done them. I’m thinking that either the Las Vegas Rock and Roll marathon (December 5) or the New Orleans Rock and Roll marathon (February 13) may be added to the list so that I can have a more positive feeling on the completion of one of these…

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45 Things Everyone Should Do This Year

Apparently, I am always talking about all the things that I want to do, but never do them. At least that is what my sister thinks. I tried to explain that the reality is that I have so many things that I want to do that I am forced to pick and choose since there is simply not enough time to do them all, but I do accomplish quite a few of them.

My sister immediately pointed out that last year was supposed to be a year of travel (I wanted to travel to different places and spend a month in each country, and she wanted me to do so because then she could come to visit me). It started off on the right foot when I went to Mexico for a month. Unfortunately, that was the only international travel I did last year because of other projects that came up.

My sister insisted that this is what always when I say I am going to do things and that it would be impossible for me to make a list of things I wanted to do and complete it within a year. After some discussion, we decided that the list should include 45 things that I have mentioned over the past years as wanting to do (since my 45th birthday is coming up in a few days), but for one reason or another have never have completed.

Thus the latest challenge was born. While the following is my list of 45 things I want do do in the next year (October 1, 2010 – September 30 2011) it probably would be worthwhile for one and all to make their own list. I am pretty confident that I will be able to do a majority of these in the next year, but getting them all done will certainly be a challenge, especially with all the other work and projects I have going on. Here is what I hope to do in the next year:

1. Visit Carlsbad Caverns
2. Attend a live concert of one of the artists I have never seen (Technically Completed)
3. Visit a new National Park
4. Swim with turtles
5. Run a half marathon (Technically Completed)
6. Do a multiple day bike ride
7. Take a train ride
8. River raft
9. Give $25,000 worth of food to food banks
10. Hike Paria Canyon
11. Take the glass elevator ride at the Westin hotel San Francisco (Completed)
12. Take a spur of the moment road trip
13. Rent a place for a few months where friends can come and visit
14. Visit New Orleans
15. Volunteer to do something I have never done before (completed)
16. Learn how to clean wildlife in the event of another oil spill
17. Learn to paddle board
18. Skydive
19. Visit the military aircraft graveyard
20. Sea kayak
21. Take surfing lessons
22. Start a non profit organization
23. Help Habitat for Humanity build a house
24. Send a postcard a week to my nieces (week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 sent)
25. Hike in Yosemite
26. Hike in Bryce Canyon
27. Write a book
28. Travel to a foreign country
29. Snowboard
30. Search for diamonds
31. See Defestation in San Francisco (Completed)
32. Donate blood
33. See penguins in the wild
34. Compete in a triathlon
35. Climb a volcano
36. Ride a zip line
37. Geocache
38. See the northern lights
39. Try zorbing
40. Create pay it forward cards that I will hand out
41. Travel the pacific coast highway
42. Search for fossils
43. Visit Crater Lake
44. Snowmobile
45. Volunteer to do a clean-up

While each of these individually shouldn’t be a problem completing, getting them all done in the next year will definitely be a challenge, especially with my already busy schedule. Please feel free to ask any questions about the list I have created. There will definitely be some adventures along the way and I hope that you enjoy the journey with me…

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Experiment Blog

Welcome to Experiment Blog. The genesis of this blog comes from a sibling rivalry between me and my sister and the bets that we make. While we have had many of these bets over the years, I actually recorded for the world to see the last one when the bet was that I couldn’t Eat Well On $1 A Day. This blog has been created to document any future bets that we may have…

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