Every once in awhile, I go through a music depression, if you will. This usually happens when an artist I like hasn't released an album lately, and the older albums are pretty well worn.
When this happens, I usually settle on some podcasts. Having found podcasts a couple years ago, I thought I would recommend some of my favorites. So here we go!
My favorite sports podcast is The Bill Simmons Podcast. Bill Simmons is my favorite sports guy, with great takes on the NBA, MLB (Go Soxs!), and the NFL. He also has some amazing connections with celebs, who he invites to the show. For example, recent guests include Judd Apatow, Malcolm Gladwell, Will Ferrell, James Corden, Ice Cube, etc... and that's just the guests over this last month!!! If you like sports, Bill Simmons is your guy, must listen!
My other go to pod is The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Colin is another guy I love listening to. I've been listening to Colin for years, and he keeps getting better. The pods are clips and full shows recorded from his tv show on FS1. He, like Simmons, brings on all kinds of sports figures and celebs. The Herd is a must listen too!
Make you think Podcasts
There is no better than Malcolm Gladwell's pod called Revisionist History. Malcolm is one of my favorite authors, having read the books David and Goliath and Outliers, they are two of my all time favorites. Revisionist History discusses the "overlooked and misunderstood" moments of history. He is in season 2 currently, releasing an episode a week. There is some really good thinking material in these podcasts, please listen!
Invisibilia is another "make you think" pod. This podcast is brought to you by NPR and covers a long list of topics. I've only listened to a couple pods from Invisibilia, but one I loved is titled "The Problem with the Solution" discussing mental illness and how it's treated differently around the world.
These podcasts are like reading a book. Both of my favorite narrative pods are real stories, with twists that will make your jaw drop. The first I thought was really special, titled S Town. S Town focuses on a small town in Alabama and a gentleman named John B. McLemore. Please listen to this podcast, it takes so many amazing turns, all during the interviewing stage. I couldn't stop listening to this amazing story!
Serial is another amazing story telling pod. The first season of Serial, a high school murder case was discussed. Before long, you'll be searching about Adnan and his case! The second season discussed Bowe Bergdahl, the supposed deserter in Afghanistan. Some of the interviews and sound bites are just amazing!
Being a YNAB (You Need a Budget) family, I recommend the YNAB founder's podcast. These pods are awesome! Really interesting topics all within 4-5 minute pods. These are great to keep you motivated to make wise financial decisions.
Lastly, my main man Dave Ramsey and his podcast is awesome! My wife and I started our financial revolution with Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. His down to Earth, no nonsense, common sense approach is great for young married couples, like we were. His podcasts are clips from his radio show, and they too keep us motivated to making smart moved with our money!
Studying and Resources
When I first found out our family was traveling to Hawaii, and visiting the Big Island, I immediately wanted to climb something. I have had a goal of climbing Mt. Rainier for the last year, planning on going in early Summer 2018. After looking through some options, we landed on Mauna Kea, the 13,800 dormant volcano which happens to be the highest point in Hawaii. This was going to be a big day, and we prepared and studied the best we could. I wasn't able to find a bunch of information, but found two useful sites. The first was the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station (VIS) website. The second was an article written by Dobbs, a hiker, who wrote for On Walkabout. The Dobbs account can be found here. I depended on these two articles heavily, taking a lot of notes, then comparing these notes with a couple YouTube vides I was able to find.
In this blog post, I will do my best to break down how we prepared, how the altitude and incline affected us, and ultimately, where we went wrong. That's right, we didn't summit, but we had a great time in one of the most visibly amazing places we had ever been!
Fitness and Preparation
Disney's Aulani Resort and Spa is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It was about a 30 minute drive from where we picked up our rental car, to the resort. Most of the drive was on big highways, so the drive was nice. Aulani is nestled in with a group of resorts located on Ko Olina Beach. This is on the southwest corner of Oahu and is a beautiful location. There are golf courses surround Ko Olina and great little shopping areas too.
We were amazed at the smallest details, like this picture above. Where can you find views like this, FROM THE PARKING GARAGE!! Everywhere you look, there are views like this, pretty cool, especially from some people from Indiana! We were very happy though, that there was a Target within 10 minutes, plus small shopping centers and places to grab food outside of the resort. The small shopping areas and food shops were within walking distance and a nice second option.
Living in the Midwest, in Spring and early Summer, we play little league baseball. This season started like the last few seasons we've played, slow and a little unsteady. We play in the recreational league, which usually keeps us clear of the politics and drama of travel league teams. I feel strongly that travel teams are killing not only recreation leagues (rec leagues) but they are also killing baseball for young kids. Travel ball is all or nothing. Travel ball is year long and travel ball is made up of only all stars. When I was growing up in the early 90's, little league was where it was at! I had such a great time playing the rec ball season, then at the end of the season, we would have an All Star team made up of the best kids in the league and we would travel a little bit to play other all star teams. Well, that doesn't happen anymore. Now, while there is still snow on the ground, travel teams are gathering, working out and practicing indoors. Most of these kids won't play in rec ball. This is causing numbers to drop in rec leagues due to kids flocking to travel teams. For those kids that haven't played enough baseball, or maybe aren't quite skilled enough, they are left behind for rec ball. The other thing that bothers me, is that maybe a player's family can't afford rec ball, so they are also left behind. Travel ball is becoming an "elitist" group, and that's frustrating.
The ball park we are a part of has chosen to bend to and make choices to make the travel teams happy. This has left rec ball playing second fiddle and, as a coach, its frustrating to work with these kids that seem to get left behind. With all of that being said, a good friend and I have accepted the challenge to coach our sons and some of their peers in rec league little league. This is the same friend that when I found out I was having a boy, I called to let him know I had the catcher of our future team. Then, a few months later, he called and let me know he had the pitcher! We have teamed up for 3-4 years now and tried our best to right the rec vs. travel ship.
Tonight we had our second playoff game in our end of the season, single elimination game. Why single elimination? Because the park didn't have enough time to fit a double elimination tournament in before travel ball and all stars started. Tonight we played in a David vs. Goliath game, and we were David, without the same ending. We went against the Number 1 Seed, a team that is made up of some travel kids, and lead by one of those coaches none of us want as our kid's coach. We were up early after a big first inning, but they came back with a bigger first inning. We went back and forth, leaving it up to us to overcome a 6 run deficit in the top of the 6th to force a chance to play defense and extra innings. We started with a couple singles, then a double. We scored a few runs, finding ourselves with 2 outs, kids on 2nd and 3rd. What happened? One of our kids that hasn't had a lot of experience playing baseball found himself with 2 strikes. Just imagine the pressure. Even though he hasn't played a lot of baseball, he knows what's riding on his at bat. He knows how important it is for him to get a base hit. He knows he has struck out twice already tonight and people are watching him. Well, he struck out a third time... My heart broke for him.
As a certified diver, PADI Open Water, Dive Rescue International Public Safety Diver and Rescue Diver I, I've been in the water a fair amount. With that being said, I've been in Northern Indiana water, I'm lucky to see my hand in front of my face when I'm diving. At work for the fire department, I dive with a Viking Pro Dry Suit (in the picture above, I was diving in a drainage pond and found what looked like a goldfish that got ahold of the same ooze the Ninja Turtles did. The Viking dry suit works great for staying dry and remaining isolated from the contaminates in the ponds and river we dive it. The dry suits, though, don't offer a lot of cold protection and can leave some pretty nasty pinch marks when diving at depth. As you descend, the suit compresses and pinches small spots all over your body! I continue to dive with it because it offers the best protection, with just a little discomfort. I recently dove in 40 degree water with nothing under the dry suit other than shorts and a t-shirt, and remained "kind of" warm.
I'm a lucky man. I have a beautiful and loving wife who has allowed me to give it a go at being a dad. Our 3 children are amazing little creatures that continue to amaze me every day! I'm so happy I can be their dad!
I was given a great gift this morning, a whiskey decanter! She bought it from West Elm, click the link below!
I went right to work, filling it with a great bourbon to throw on ice or as a perfect mixer, Bulleit Bourbon! This will be a great decanter for dinner parties!
The views and weather are making it hard to leave, but it's been a great trip! Time to start the journey back to the Midwest! 24 hours of travel starts now!
Not a terrible view for the last day of our Disney Hawaiian vacation here at Aulani! We've had a great vacation, full of adventure, views and great weather!
Today is ripe for the picking! There could be snorkeling, swimming, sliding, character meeting and space goo making, let's go!
Jack of All Trades, Master of None