running experiments, how to make anything sound creepy, and a last plea from my mustache

November 29th, 2015

Yesterday, I tried a running experiment – multiple runs on the same day. First I did a 5-miler at a slower, but respectable 8:03/mile pace. I stopped at home.  I had a little bit of water, caught my breath, and then did a faster 2-miler at 7:39/mile. That was good – faster than my target 5K pace (7:43). After that one, I got the notion to do a third one mile run just for grins. My third run of the day was the fastest, setting a 1 mile PR with a 7:01/mile pace. That was freakin’ cool.

Today’s German lesson… how to make anything sound creepier…

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Demetri Martin explained it… just add “ladies” to anything and it sounds creepier. And for some reason, adding the “my” to that sentence takes it up another level. Well played, Duolingo for a seriously creepy phrase.

Speaking of creepy… tomorrow will be my last day as a mustachioed fellow. Movember is about to pass, and I am happy to shave this thing off of my face, but also very grateful to the four people that donated. Thank you to Kim, Rachel, Justin, and Natalie. My motivation is the 1 in 7 brothers, fathers, grandfathers, and friends around the world that will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am growing or supporting a moustache to spread awareness and raise funds for this important cause.

I have done my best to make it fun and silly, because I sure feel silly having this thing on my face. Here are a few comparisons along the way… Ned Flanders…


My Name is Earl…


And last night, after Abbe and I had watched Queen Rock Montreal


So, please consider donating to a very serious cause and help me reach my goal of $400 towards men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer.

Movie reviews…

Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife – nothing earth-shattering, but fun… and hey, it’s free on Amazon Prime

Funny/Interesting Links…

My Name is Van

November 24th, 2015

My name is Van, and I only have two donations to the total of $45. While I appreciate the generosity I have seen so far, I also know that men’s health issues are a major concern. If you can donate, please consider doing so. I’m only going to look this ridiculous for another week. Please donate to my Movember page.


Ahhh, German lessons… always fun…

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Funny/Interesting Links…

Taking Notice of National Epilepsy Awareness Month

November 23rd, 2015

So something really cool happened at work. See down there where the red arrow is pointing?


That links to this small article that I posted on our company’s Individuals With Disabilities site. I gave a quick synopsis of when Abbe and I ran the 2012 Disney Marathon together after she had two grand mal seizures.

The real point of the article was to explain seizure first aid to as many of my co-workers as possible. With the help of the IWD committee head, I got that little link on the front page of TD’s company intranet. That means 25,000 TD employees will hopefully see that, and click on the link to learn something about how to help a family member, friend, co-worker, or customer in the event of a seizure.


I work for a HUGE company, but this made my workplace feel a little bit closer. I really appreciate the attention that a few individuals game me to bring this very important topic to light. The comments on the article have been incredible. From fellow seizure disorder patients in the company to fellow employees that truly appreciated the information. And if you are interested in learning basic seizure first aid yourself, please follow this link to the Epilepsy Foundation.

And here is the original text of the article if you would like to give it a read…

November is National Epilepsy Month


This photo was taken immediately after my wife, Abbe Meck and I finished the Disney Marathon in January 2012. What you can’t see in this photo is Abbe’s tongue which was badly bitten from having two grand mal seizures 36 hours prior to the marathon.

You may notice that I am holding two medals in my hand and she has one. The second medal is given to Goofy Challenge finishers. I had run a half and full marathon on consecutive days. Abbe was supposed to have two medals as well, but after hitting her head during her second seizure the day prior to the half, she was not cleared to run. Miraculously, she was cleared by the doctors in the ER to run the full marathon the next day.

People often exclaim, “wow, a half and a full on consecutive days?” And I smile and tell them that what Abbe accomplished was 10 times more difficult than my 39.3 miles.

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month and I wanted to do my part in spreading awareness about this condition that affects my wife’s life, but absolutely does not define her. How can you help?

Learn Seizure First Aid

Basic seizure first aid: 1) Put something soft under the person’s head and turn him on his side to keep the airway clear. 2) Keep onlookers at a safe distance and help everyone stay calm. 3) Do NOT hold the person down and do NOT put anything in her mouth. Holding a person down can cause injury to you or her, and placing something in her mouth can damage her teeth or worse.

When should I call an ambulance for someone having a seizure?

When you know someone has epilepsy, talk to them about their seizure action or response plan and when an ambulance might be needed. If you don’t know the person’s seizure history, then call for help if the seizure lasts 5 minutes or longer, there are signs of injury, if the person is pregnant, or if the person has repeated seizures.

Helping After a Seizure

After having a seizure, a person may be confused and disoriented. You can help by staying with the person until they’ve physically recovered, keeping the person calm, and asking simple questions like, “Do you know your name?” Be caring and supportive — and ask others to do the same.

The good news is that seizure disorder patients like Abbe are getting the care they need to lead “normal” lives. I am incredibly proud that Abbe is now nearly a year and a half seizure free. After the Disney Marathon in 2012, I went on to run 3 more marathons on behalf of the Epilepsy Foundation – most recently Philadelphia 2014. 

To learn more about National Epilepsy Awareness Month:

Movie Reviews…

Heist – extremely derivative and unoriginal, but I couldn’t really hate it.

Funny/Interesting Links…

Or maybe that is what true strength is?

November 20th, 2015

Last night, Van Jr were lucky enough to go see the Flyers face off against the San Jose Sharks. These tickets were a gift from my cousin to thank us for helping out with rides for his son to ice hockey practice while he recovers from heart surgery. This is an extreme treat for us, we can’t really afford tickets to Flyers games any more. Our budget keeps the vital things alive (and vital includes the kids’ activities), but it does not allow us to do things like go see our beloved Orange and Black in person. We appreciate this so much.

I thought this was funny, but Van made me change before we left…


I saved up just about all of my calories for a slice from Lorenzo’s… this might explain why I was a little slow this morning on my run. Look at that big beautiful slice… you can see the fear in Wayne Simmonds’ eyes on the cup…


This morning was yet another example of how lucky I am… this is Viv texting Abbe to do her hair around 6:50am…


And here is the finished product…


Tonight, my little girl is going to make me cry. She’s going to be MCing and performing at the Medford Lakes Talent Show. I never hold up. There is no amount of burpees or miles I can run that will make me strong enough to not shed some proud, happy tears when my daughter sings.

Or maybe that is what true strength is? I dunno, but I’ll be crying big girl tears for sure.

Funny/Interesting Links…

the two-upper

November 19th, 2015

You know what’s more annoying than a one-upper…


Funny/Interesting Links…

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