How to Potty Train in 3 Days without Losing Your Sanity

I am 23 years old, make $61,000, live in Philadelphia, PA and work as an IT Analyst.

Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement Balance: $2789,91, I put in 5% of every paycheck and have no employer match until I hit my 1 year anniversary in a month.
Savings account balance: $11,905 across three accounts.
Checking account balance: As of today, it’s $2,291, typically it’s between $1,000 and $1,500 but rent is due soon.
Credit card debt: None, I pay off my bill in full every month. I currently have two credit cards, one that is solely mine and one that I share with my partner, B. More on that below.
Student loan debt: ~$85,000 (yikes) for a business degree from a state-affiliated school. About $58,000 are private loans and the rest are federal.
Net worth: According to Mint, around -$64,000. Oy.
Section Two: Income
Main Job Monthly Take Home: $3,076
Section Three: Expenses
Rent: $750/month for my half
Renters / home insurance: Comes out to ~$8/month, I split this with B and pay in full once a year
Emergency savings contribution: $200/paycheck, my goal is $10,000
“Fun” savings: $100/paycheck, I use this mainly for vacations and holiday/birthday gifts
Insurance: $69.15/paycheck for health, dental, vision, and life insurance
FSA Contribution: $21.74/paycheck
Federal student loan payment: $189.65/month (currently in deferment, but I’m setting this money aside to pay at once when the deferment period is over if I don’t end up needing it)
Private student loan payment: $759.93/month to one servicer and $120 every 3 months to another
Utilities: Varies month to month, but I budget $40/month for my half
Wifi: $20/month for my half
Cellphone: $30/month to my mom
Spotify student: $5.29/month (until my student account expires in December)
Disney+: $35/year for my half
Other subscriptions: B and I let our families use our Disney+ for use of his parents’ Netflix account and my mom’s Amazon prime account
Gym membership: I paid $399 for a year in October (and haven’t been since March :/)
A note: I live with my partner, B, and we split all housing expenses down the middle. We also have a shared credit card where I am the primary account holder and he is an authorized user. This is used for shared expenses (groceries, household items, joint holiday gifts for family) and larger expenses we are making together (mainly trip expenses as we like to travel together). When I use this card throughout the diary, I note my half for a more accurate picture of my spending.
Monday
8:30 - Pry my eyes open, roll out of bed, and log on to check my work email. After about a half hour, I finally get up and get ready for the day.
12:00(ish) - Take a break for a few minutes to give my pup his medicine (he got neutered on Friday) and prepare lunch for B and I. I decide to make “fancy” grilled cheeses with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, and pesto, and we have them with some watermelon.
3:00 - Get snacky and want something sweet. I have an absolutely insatiable sweet tooth and try not to keep too much junk food in the house because of it, but I eventually scrounge up some chocolate peppermint Ghirardelli squares that I’m pretty sure are from Christmas and have one of those.
6:45 - Start making dinner while B takes the pup out for a walk. Tonight, we have sausage sandwiches with roasted pepper and fried onions, tomato salad, and grilled zucchini. After dinner I have a chocolate cookie and some ice cream. I try to stop eating sugar at night by 8:30 because I don’t sleep very well otherwise, but dessert is non-negotiable in my mind (see above note about insatiable sweet tooth).
9:30 - Order a custom doormat for B whose birthday is next month. Admittedly, this seems like a weird gift, but we’ve been joking about getting a specific doormat since we moved in together a year ago and, after my searches have been coming up totally empty, I’ve finally decided to take matters into my own hands. Eventually, I stop scrolling long enough to get ready for bed and fall asleep around 1 am. $40.54
Total - $40.54
Tuesday
8:30 - Wake up and check my email to see that my custom doormat order has been cancelled due to copyrighted images (it had a screenshot from a movie so I’m not shocked, but disappointed nonetheless). After about 15 minutes of scrolling through Reddit, I roll out of bed, log into work, and check my work email. Nothing too pressing this morning, so I take a few minutes to get ready for the day and make some tea. +$40.54
11:15 - I jinxed myself by saying there wasn’t anything too pressing this morning and now I’m putting out about 5 fires at once. After my first meeting, I stress eat peanut butter from the jar and look for a new doormat option to take my mind off work for a few minutes.
12:30 - Give the pup his medicine and make a pb&j for lunch before hopping on to another meeting.
4:45 -Trying to power through the last thing I need to get done today but finding myself getting very distracted and snacky. I make myself a weird version of a grilled cheese using a leftover hot dog bun and shredded Mexican cheese. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
6:35 - Finally log off of work for the evening and immediately start making dinner. Tonight we’re having pasta with fried chickpeas and broccoli, and eat while watching a few episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
9:00 - I take the pup for a walk before I give him his night time treat of a (very VERY tiny) spoonful of vanilla ice cream and pain medicine. He proceeds to demand bark for more ice cream, and I fear I’ve created a monster. Thankfully, he only has a few days left with this medicine and we can go back to our usual midnight snack of peanut butter and a CBD treat. Afterwards, I shower and get ready for bed before watching YouTube videos for a bit and falling asleep around midnight.
Total - +$40.54
Wednesday
12:15 - I’ve been in meetings/training pretty much since I woke up this morning, so when I finally come up for air around lunchtime, I make a pb&j and give the pup his medicine. I dive back into work at about 12:30.
3:00 - I have a half hour between two meetings this afternoon and decide to make tea. I usually make a cup every morning when I start work, but this morning was a bit hectic and I’m really feeling the 3pm slump. I also place an order on Amazon for a birthday gift for B, a baby shower gift for my cousin, and some cleaning supplies. I try not to order from Amazon often, but I haven’t been able to find most of this stuff elsewhere in recent weeks. $116.27
5:15 - Take the pup out for a long walk before he, B, and I head to Home Depot (pup has SERIOUS separation anxiety, as we got him right before the q and he’s pretty much never known life without both of us at his beck and call every second of the day). We have some things to return from pre-q and need to get some more potting materials for some plants B bought me for my birthday. We get store credit ($60.85) for the items we returned, so our total out of pocket for four pots, a large bag of soil, and two more plants (I have no self control), our total is only $12.96. We also stop at the grocery store on the way home so I can get a can of beans to use for our dinner tonight, rolled oats to use for dessert, and potato sticks for snack time. Total there came to $7.97. My half for everything is $10.47.
7:15 - I make stuffed peppers and Mexican street corn for dinner, as well as a strawberry crumble for dessert. Work this week has been pretty hectic, and when I’m stressed, I bake. While I do that, B repots the plants we just bought and pup happily chews on a stick he found on the ground.
10:30 - Take pup out for one last potty break of the evening. When we get back, I shower and try to coax the beast to sleep. He eventually settles, so I put him in his crate and fall asleep around 1 am.
Total - $126.74
Thursday
8:15 - Wake up, check my email, and get dressed. I call into my first meeting for the day while brushing my teeth and making a cup of tea.
12:15 - While in training, B brings me lunch consisting of a pb&j, potato sticks, and some watermelon. What a gem.
2:00 - Get out of my class for the day and I have about an hour until my next meeting. I catch up on some emails and things I’ve been putting off.
5:00 - Get done my last meeting of the day to find an email in my inbox with updates on an issue I’ve been working on for about a week now. It looks like it’ll be a (relatively) simple fix in the end and I’m THRILLED about it. I have some more potato sticks as a celebratory treat before sending notes off to the team that will have to make the fix.
6:30 - After logging off work, I decide to go grocery shopping tonight because we are totally out of TP and I don’t want to go all the way to the store for one thing. I quickly make a list and head out. While there, I get bacon, pasta, frozen veg, fresh fruit, eggs, bread, cheese, and heavy whipping cream. I also grab TP from Target on my way back. My half comes to $32.37.
7:15 - When I get back, I see B has made perogies for dinner. We eat and watch a few episodes of Avatar.
9:30 - I take the pup out for a walk while B showers. After our walk, I talk to our neighbors for a few minutes before heading inside to shower and get ready for bed. I fall asleep around midnight.
Total - $32.37
Friday
8:30 - No meetings this morning until my class starts at 9, so I sleep in a bit. I’m very lucky that my work hours are pretty flexible, I don’t have a super strict time that I have to be online in the morning, unless I have an early meeting. I finally crawl out of bed at 8:45 to brush my teeth and get dressed before class starts.
12:30 - B brings me lunch again just in time for a break in training. B’s dad invited us over for a cookout tomorrow so we figure out what our game plan will be. I’m a bit disappointed because I wanted to go to a protest tomorrow, but we haven’t seen his dad since January and Father’s Day is this weekend so I understand. I make a donation to Black Lives Matter to make up for it. $11
2:00 - Class is over and I reward myself for making it through with a little break. I watch YouTube videos for about a half hour before getting back to work on what I missed while in class.
5:00 - I log off work and head to a nearby park to meet B, pup, and a few friends for a socially distant hang out at a park nearby. We chat for about 45 mins until our friends’ dog decides it’s time to go and we all go our separate ways.
6:30 - I make leftover stuffed peppers and Mexican street corn for dinner and B and I eat while watching more Avatar. After dinner, I decide to make a kind of mousse for dessert with a pudding mix we have and the heavy whipping cream I got at the store yesterday. It turns out surprisingly well, and we have it with some cut up strawberries.
9:15 - I FaceTime with some of my friends. They were my roommates in college and I miss seeing them all the time. Weirdly, I think the q has brought us closer; we now FaceTime about once a week, whereas post-college but pre-q we only hung out once a month or so. That said, I’m VERY excited to see them in person for 4th of July in a few weeks. We hang up at about 1:30, which is pretty early for us, and I do my skincare and crawl into bed.
Total - $11
Saturday
9:30 - Begrudgingly get out of bed and shower. I was super restless last night and didn’t end up falling asleep until well after 3.
10:30 - We head to B’s dad’s house, about two hours away. On the way, we stop at a grocery store to pick up ice cream and a card ($12) and a liquor store for a gift/more vodka for us ($37.08). $24.54 for my half.
9:45 - Pack up and head home after spending the day at B’s dad’s. The pup was very happy to have a huge yard to run around in and is now exhausted. B and I decide to start bringing him to the dog park more often, he loves running around and other dogs and we don’t have to worry about him mounting another dog anymore.
11:30 - We arrive home, get ready for bed, and the three of us are out by 12:30.
Total - $24.54
Sunday
10:30 - Wake up and lay in bed for an hour or so. I call my mom to chat and she invites us over for dinner next weekend. I tell her maybe, we’ve been out a lot more than usual this week and she’s immunocompromised so I’m very cautious.
12:30 - Make brunch for B and I and proceed to almost chop my finger off pitting an avocado in the process. Oy.
2:00 - I pack up and head to the grocery store. Pre-q, B or I went to the grocery store almost every day on our way home from work. It’s been quite an adjustment trying to cut down to once (maybe twice) a week. Now that things are opening back up, I feel better about going multiple times a week, though still not every day and obviously being very cautious and wearing a mask and thoroughly sanitizing when I get home. The grocery store is also weirdly empty for a Sunday afternoon, which is fine by me. I get chicken, fruit, frozen veg, ricotta, bread, peanut butter, and perogies. $20.89 for my half.
4:30 - I decide to do some prep work for dinner this week and make gnocchi. Since the q, I’ve gotten very into homemade pasta, and gnocchi is my latest venture into this world. I think it turned out well, but we’ll see when I actually make it.
6:30 - I make chicken cutlets, peas, and corn for dinner. Afterwards, B washes up and I play with the pup.
8:00 - We watch a few episodes of Avatar until I get up to shower and get ready for bed and B takes the pup out. We try to get him to settle and go to sleep, but he has so much energy right now. We eventually get him in his crate, which he is not thrilled about, and fall asleep around 12:30.
Total - $20.89
Totals:
Food + Drink - $81.79
Fun / Entertainment - $0
Home + Health - $25.31
Clothes + Beauty - $0
Transport - $0
Other - $108.44 (gifts/donations)
Weekly total - $215.54
Reflection: Other than the ~$100 spent on gifts, I feel like this is a pretty typical spend week for me. I would like to incorporate more no-spend days into my life, though. We also went out a lot this week, which, looking back, I don’t feel great about. Luckily, it wasn’t to crowded places for the most part, but still feels really irresponsible going out 5/7 days of the week during a pandemic (not counting taking the pup out, of course). I also realize I forgot to mention that B is unemployed at the moment, so he takes care of the dog a lot during the day. When we were both working from home, we split the responsibility.
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I'm 34 Years Old, Live in Birmingham, Alabama and make $78,000/yr as a Store Manager

Section One: Assets and Debt Retirement Balance (and how you got there): $4600 in a company 2% match 401k, $940 in a STASH Retire account. I bounced around jobs a lot in my late 20s and when I left I would just cash out my 401k. I had a son at 27 and as a single mom, I needed as much cash as I could get. I’ve been contributing for a year now, and as encouraged as I am that I haven’t missed that ~$5000, I know it’s not enough of an annual contribution to retire on, so I need to contribute more aggressively. Equity if you're a homeowner: My husband paid cash for the house where we live in 2017. His dad died in 2015 and left him several million (I’m going to be intentionally vague here to protect him). Most of it is tied up in investments and bond ladders-he lives off of bond dividend payments that equal about $120,000/year, but it varies. Savings account balance-$1250 Checking account balance- ~$1000 Credit card debt~$7600. I have a severe shopping addiction and I’m curbing it. Everyday is a struggle. Judge if you must, but my dad died of a prescription overdose when I was 6 and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the addiction gene-mine is just cashmere and suede instead of opiods. I have been writing MDs on and off as a form of therapy and increasing cognition of my spending. Student loan debt~$40,000- I finished my MBA last summer and have just started paying it down. My husband has $0 in debt of any kind. We do not combine assets or expenses, but he does take care of a lot of household expenses, meals, etc. Section Two: Income Main Job Monthly Take Home: $4304 per month ($2152 paid twice/month) $300 ~ 401k $1332 ~ taxes $30 ~ Dental Insurance $30 ~ United Way Side Gig Monthly Take Home I’m an affiliate for The Real Real, and make $5 per item when I sign up a new consigner~$100/month but not every month. I also do closet cleanouts/consultations and charge $30/hour, and usually do 1-2/month-could do more if I made time. Any Other Monthly Income Here My son’s father sends me $656/month in child support. During the school year, $200-250 goes to his after school care, $150 goes to savings, and then I usually reimburse myself for health insurance and other expenses with the remainder. I only have him 3-4 weeks in the summer, but day camps are ~$200/week, so that money gets eaten up pretty quickly. I have him full time during the school year other than the odd holiday weekend and the week after Christmas. Section Three: Expenses Rent / Mortgage / HOA fees: Our house is paid for (see above), and my husband pays HOA fees. I couldn’t even guess as to what they are. Renters / home insurance- My husband pays for our insurance. I think its ~$6000/year, but I haven’t seen the documents since 2017. Retirement contribution $100/month into Stash Retire Savings contribution $150/month into my son’s account Investment contribution $200/month into a Stash Index Fund (this is my personal savings account) Debt payments $400-$1,000 dependent on expenses, $385 for student loans Donations: $25/month-Planned Parenthood, will go back to donating to Doug Jones when his campaign starts Cell phone- $50 Netflix-$15 Gym-$15 Pet expenses-$0 if you don’t count the multitudes of shoes, underwear, bras, and bathing suits of mine our beagle puppy has chewed up since November. My husband,P, pays for his food, vet bills, and daycare. Car payment / insurance $429/car, $130/insurance. Health Insurance: $544/month for me & my son
Day One: Monday, June 24
6:00 am My alarm starts going off and I am not having it. I really wanted to go on a walk this morning but I am dragging, and vow I’ll go after work tonight. I finally get moving around 6:30-I feed the pup(he is a beagle-sweet but WILD), let him out and hop in the shower. I fix breakfast- scrambled eggs and sausage patties- and have my daily fight with the Keurig (no amount of water is the correct amount of water). I feed my leftover eggs to the pup and finish getting ready. My makeup routine consists of La Mer foundation (free tester from work!), Bobbi Brown concealer, blush, bronzer, eye shadow and liner, and Better than Sex mascara. I get dressed in a ruffle sleeve floral top, high waisted, black Madewell jeans, and my Target flats that are the best Free People dupes. I fill up my water cup and the pup and I head out-I think it’s so cute that he hops up into my passenger seat when I tell him it’s time to go to school! I drop him off at daycare and head to work.
8:00 am Process payroll for my 50ish employees. This is an easier week than most. It’s a quiet morning because a lot of our people are on vacation. I plan out our social media posts for the week, file e-mails, audit our hold closet, and make some notes on employee performances. We are almost to the end of the month and I’m going to need everyone to push so we can make our numbers.
11:45 am I’m starving. I get a text from my friend I’m visiting this weekend-we signed up for a Pride Soul Cycle ride-she thought it was on Friday, but it's actually Saturday, and too close to our dinner reservations to work. We prepaid for dinner so we can’t move it. She says she will figure it out-hopefully they will give her credit to take a different class or something. I’m caught up at work, so I read reddit and refinery MDs before heading out on my lunch break. I have to run by the post office and drop off a Poshmark order (woke up to an out-right sale this morning-no offecounter-offer b/s, she just bought it!) I sold a NWT Free People top that I never wore, because like I said I have an addiction. After, I head to Trader Joe’s to pick up lunch items. I get a package of Southwestern quesadillas, a couple of volpi cheese + prosciutto sticks, frozen frittatas, buffalo hummus dip and pita chips. ($17.41)This should get me through lunches this week, since I’m only working three days. I heat up a quesadilla back at the store and buy a diet coke from the vending machine ($1) I over-microwaved the quesadailla a little bit, but the hummus is so good that it's all I want anyway. $18.41
3:00 pm Thank God I have an off-site meeting today, because there is NOTHING going on at work. I leave a little early and stop by a local coffee shop on the way that serves Columbe lattes-on draft(!!). I order a draft latte with vanilla syrup on their app, and pick it up at the window since it is monsooning all of a sudden. By the time I get up the hill to the meeting, the rain has stopped. Alabama summer. We put on a huge fall fashion show, and it is a year-round planning process. Today is the initial meeting with our AV Vendor, and after my producer and I give him direction he will draw up a quote. We are still so far out, but there are a lot of moving parts that have to be taken care of. I love this event so I don’t mind meeting about it. We run until about 4:15, and I head home since there is no point in going back to work since I’m off at 5. $4.50
5:00 pm I play fetch with the pup in the backyard until P finishes what he’s working on, and then we head to our Monday night sushi/tex mex place. Its a hole in a wall but we love it-we know everyone and always order the same things-no menus necessary. I get an “avocado bomb” which is spicy tuna, crab mix, seaweed salad and tobiko wrapped up in a sliced avocado. So good. P gets a margarita and a sushi roll. He pays and we head back home.
7:00 pm Walk the neighborhood with the pup while listening to This Land podcast. My friend, S, calls and tells me to download the soulcycle app and register for a class. We pick one and I buy a first timer class pass. Check the mail and I got an affiliate check from The Real Real! I thought it was going to be more, but it's $70 more than I had! I will deposit this using my banking app tomorrow. $20
10:00 pm I’m a little bored, so I open my library app and look for a book to read. I find Micheal Lewis’ Boomerang and I’m immediately intrigued-I loved Moneyball and The Big Short. I’m hooked-it’s a short read on the collapse of global economies-its eye popping but I can’t stop reading and I’m almost halfway done before bed. I finish off a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Fudge Brownie while reading. P is playing video games so I hop in bed and read until my melatonin kicks in around 10:30.
Daily Total: $42.91
Day Two- Tuesday
6:30 am Every night I optimistically set my alarm to work out and every morning I curse my nighttime self. I hit snooze-I thought P had a 7am meeting but he isn’t moving, and I don’t want to wake him up if he isn’t going. I get up, shower, feed the pup, and fix breakfast. This time I am prepared for the Keurig battle. I have to hit the brew button twice, but I get a full cup of coffee! I fix 4 sausage patties (P requested I cook him some, so 2 for me and 2 for him) and scramble 2 eggs with mozzarella. I get dressed-my new Anthropologie top that I am obsessed with, L’agence coated black flare jeans, and beige booties. I get to work about a half hour early to make up for slacking off yesterday afternoon.
10:30 am I’m starving so I grab a snack - one of the Volpi cheese and prosciutto sticks I bought yesterday, and heat up my coffee. My boss asks me to plan an “Appreciation Day” for our maintenance man on Monday. Since I’m leaving town Thursday, this means FIELD TRIP! I work on some reports that are due on the 1st and head to Target for party supplies. I love an escape on a boring day! Head to Target and pick up birthday plates, a balloon banner, noisemakers, and look for a crown he can wear in the toy department, but I come up empty. I settle on a glittery “Happy Birthday” headband that he will wear and it will be so cute. I really want popcorn from the snack bar because I have no self control, but I remember pita chips+buffalo hummus and tell myself no. I add $10 to the collection I started for Appreciation Day employee instead. I do pick up some Atkins Protein Shakes because I like to punish myself. ($5.79) I pay for the party supplies with the company card. $15.79
12:00 pm Attempt another quesadilla but this one ends up undercooked. That’s ok, I’ll just gorge myself on pita and hummus. I read Boomerang while I eat, and make light conversations with co-workers since I’m in the breakroom and don’t want to seem rude-if I wanted to be alone I could have read in my car.
3:45 pm Deathly bored. Summer in Birmingham is so dead. We are three hours from the Gulf and just about everyone vacates for the majority of the summer. I go to the Real Real website and make a packing list of items I need to sell, and after a little thinking, I get up to 12 pieces (which is either sad or mad genius, that I can visualize everything in my closet without being there) and decide I need to get this done before Chicago. I also e-mail my rep about my referral check- it was less than half of what I expected. I’m sure there is an explanation, but I deserve to know what it is.
5:30 pm Date Night with my niece. She is the same age as my son, so this is good kid time for me. I pick her up, and she tells me she wants “Japanese steak”. Hibachi grills are built in entertainment, so I’m up for it. She talks so much more than my son. I know they have phases, I just feel like little girls talk non-stop and little boys move non-stop. We split the steak meal-she doesn’t touch her soup, salad, or veggies, but she eats a great deal of her noodles, steak and rice. We harass the koi in the indoor pond after she is done eating rice with her hands. ($39.64) After, I take her to a yogurt buffet place and she makes the most disgusting concoction of cotton candy and cake batter yogurts, sour ribbons, marshmallows, cherries, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup. I try to talk her out of the syrup but she is insistent. She eats about 3 bites and declares it “gross”. No kidding. I indulge and get cake batter yogurt with brownie pieces, white chocolate chips, coconut, oreos, and chocolate syrup. I literally eat my entire cup before she is 3 bites in. ($12.50) I take her back home and we play frisbee in the backyard while her parents worriedly ask how she behaved-she was perfect! We chat a little and then I head out. On my way home, my sister-in-law venmo's me $25 and tells me how much my niece enjoyed the night. I didn’t expect any money but I appreciate it! $27.14
8:00 pm Home. P and I catch up on our days, and I read Boomerang and snuggle with the pup while he watches baseball. We head to bed around 10. My nightly skincare routine is just removing makeup with Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil-I do all my major steps in the morning.
Daily Total: $42.93
Day 3- Wednesday
7:00 am Slept in a little later than normal today. Let the pup out, shower, skincare routine, which is: Natura Bisse Oxygen Cleanser, Natura Bisse The Cure Toner, and Chanel Creme Moisturizer. I get a lot of perks through work and one of them is a lot of deeply discounted/free skincare. I don’t have enough time to make breakfast, and consider Starbucks on my way. When I drop the pup off at daycare I remember that I have those protein shakes and TJs frittatas. Maybe I can make it work. I resist stopping on my way in. When I get to work, I pay $215 on one of my credit cards from my son’s child support check-it’s to cover his Taekwondo camp for the first week he is back home.
8:45 am Can’t take it. Order an iced coffee and sous vide egg bites on the app, then head down the hill to pick it up. Pay for it with the prepaid card. Spend the rest of the morning on the phone with tech support-one of our computers isn’t scanning upc codes in the way it should.
11:30 am One of my clients texts me that she is on her way. I only have a handful of clients-I don’t work off of commission so I try not to sell, but I have a few that prefer to work with me. I love styling people so I don’t mind one bit. She tries on a couple of pieces-my favorite being a baby pink, knit Victoria Beckham midi dress that makes her look like a dead ringer for posh spice. It’s going to be on a deeper sale next week, so we hold off to see what the price will be. I don’t make my clients pay more just to get the sale that day. She lingers and tries on sunglasses and falls in love with a leopard printed cowhide clutch, and tells me to text her if they are still here when I get back on Monday. After she leaves I head to lunch-I remember that I have a voucher for a free Daily Special at our local Greek chain, but I have to eat in, which is fine because I want to read my book. The special today is Spanakopita roll-ups (chicken, feta, bacon in a fried tortilla), which comes with chips and fruit. I try to pay for my drink but the clerk refuses-he says my entire meal is free. Yay! Pick up my dry cleaning on the way back to the store-why is it I only spill coffee on my “dry clean only” items? $37
5:00 pm Home from work. P is taking me to Perry's tonight since I'm leaving town this weekend. Very sweet of him. We eat early, which I am grateful for because I still haven't packed a stitch. Dinner is lovely: we split a tempura lobster tail, and each have a small filet Oscar style. I have an aviation spritz (bewildering but delicious) and P has a couple of glasses of wine. Our favorite server is being transferred to another location, but he is getting promoted to management! We wish him well, P tips him generously, and then we head home. We have had rocky moments in our little marriage, but it is smooth sailing right now and I am just so in love with him. We head home, cuddle a little, and then he makes me get up and pack.
9:00 pm Packed and tired. Lots of pup and P cuddles and bedtime.
Daily Total-$37
Day 4-Thursday
7:30 am Up and at em. I am nervous about driving to Atlanta to fly out, so I get up and get ready. P gets up too, and he asks me if I have time for breakfast, and it seems that I do. We head to his fave biscuit place and then to Starbucks. He treats me, and gives me a big hug and kiss goodbye when we get back home.
9:30 am On the road. Atlanta is a 2 hour drive and I lose an hour since we are going from Central to Eastern time. I've done the math in my head dozens of times, but I am still stressed about having enough time. Stop once for a potty break.
1:45 pm Of course there was traffic. Of course they are piloting using drug dogs in security. Of course I get selected for a random screening. Because I have 20 minutes to get from security to my gate and my bladder is about to burst. Make it to my plane with 10 minutes to spare. And now I am hungry. Look for places at O’Hare where I can get food when we land. I finish Boomerang and download another book but I am spent after all that rushing around. I assumed we would have the tv screens on this plane but no luck. I pay for the upgraded internet since I don't feel like reading-and justify it because I didn't spend a penny in the airport, and I can use the app on the way back. $15.95
3:30 pm Landed! Starving! Head to baggage claim, see a Starbucks, and order a tomato caprese sandwich and a grande iced black tea ($18.45). My bags are on the claim belt before my food is even ready-okay O’Hare!! I pick my bag up, and then sit down to eat my sandwich before I go look for the L. It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve used it, but it’s a straight shot so I think I can handle it. After I eat, I grab my bag and head to the train. Surprise, you can use ApplePay to go through the turnstiles($5). Very impressed that I figured that out. I listen to White Lies during the 40-minute ride. $23.45
4:30 pm Reunited and it feels so good! I haven’t seen my friend, S, since December and that was brief. We transfer trains and head to her stop, it’s only 2 on the Green line from where she picked me up. We walk a couple of blocks to her place. She lives in South Loop which gave me a little pause, but it’s super nice, and so green! The air here does NOT feel like a big city, one of the many charming things about Chicago. We drop my bags and head up to her rooftop with a bottle of champagne.
8:15 pm Get ready and head out for dinner. S covers the uber. I’m wearing a polka-dot sleeveless Anthropologie top I got on sale,the black L’agence flares, and black Zara sandals. We head to Girl & the Goat for dinner-I am a HUGE foodie and have been obsessed with this place and Stephanie Izard for awhile. We grab drinks at the bar while we wait for our table ($20). We get to our table and order a ton of food- crispy duck tongue, goat empanadas, soft shell crab, cauliflower, stuffed squash blossoms, and probably more that I forgot and another round. We split the ticket in half, and head to Bombabar for dessert ($86.92) We order a 4 pack of bombas and S covers them. I get our Uber back to her place. ($10.88) $117.80
10:00 pm Back at her place. We split the Bombas-which are amazing-and have a few more glasses of Champagne while watching Euphoria on Showtime. It’s weird, but the imagery is beautiful. Head to bed in her (eerily) quiet guest room around 1am.
Daily Total: $157.20
Day 5- Friday
8:30 am Sun started streaming in the guest room windows around 6 am, and I give it up around 8. We head to a coffee shop that is literally across the street from her building. I get an iced latte and a breakfast BLT with grits as a side. Who knew you could get grits in Chicago? We lay out our plan while we eat in the cute little courtyard. $18.36
10:30am Head to the Art Institute of Chicago. The line is long, and it’s crowded for a pretty summer Friday. We take our time and both agree that the European contemporary collection is our favorite. We pay the additional fee to see the Manet exhibit and its good, I’m just not crazy about the impressionists. $32
1:30 pm Lunch time! We head to a pretty touristy place on Michigan because we are starving. I get a diet coke, fried pickles, chicken pesto sandwich and fries. I’m feeling a little nauseated but I eat as much as I can since we have a Soul Cycle class in a little while. $33.43
3:30 pm We meander down Michigan after lunch waiting on Soul Cycle to start. We walk down the waterfront and people watch until it's time to go. I’m still nauseated and so worried I’m going to puke in class. I love the studio though! It’s so bright and everyone is friendly even though it’s bustling. I don’t have a water bottle so I buy one at the desk. ($4) We change and a super nice employee helps me get set up on my bike. The first 2 songs are so hard and I feel like I might die, but I push through. After the weights section I feel like I can do anything and so accomplished!! We finish up and I stagger out of the class. $4
5:00 pm After class we head next door to the Goddess and the Baker to have coffee while we wait on our other friend A to get to us from the airport. I order a nitro cold brew ($6.75) and resist all the fancy desserts in the case. We sit around, chat about life, and when A gets close I ask if she wants a coffee and get her what I got. We meet her at the station and my heart is so happy. Two of my best friends together in the best city!I swipe my phone again to get on the train and we head to S’s place. ($2.50) $16
8:00 pm Dinner time and I am NOT feeling fine. I was nauseated all day and that SoulCycle class pushed me way over the limit, but I power through. We get ready and head to The Kitchen that’s on the river. Once we are seated, I immediately order ginger ale. I know I’m not going to eat much so I don’t weigh in on appetizers, but S and A got something to split. They order wine and I order a glass too and just drink it really slowly. I order a pork ragu pasta and pick at it. We split the bill 3 ways. $59.47
10:30 pm I am dragging. We head home(someone got an Uber, I felt like garbage so I’m not sure who), watch some Netflix, and head to bed around midnight. A brought me an eye mask and it will help me with this 6am light problem so much!
Daily Total: $154.33
Day 6- Saturday
8:30 am Thank God for that eye mask. Sleep until about 8:30, wake up to hear them chatting in the next room. We have brunch reservations at 10:30, but everyone wants coffee so we head downstairs. I order an iced oat milk latte. We sit out on the patio for a few minutes before we head upstairs to get ready. $6
10:30 am This brunch spot is so cute! West Loop is amazing, and A marvels at how much it's changed since she was in grad school here. We order a trio of pastries- lemon strawberry poptart, blueberry lemon tart, and a chocolate croissant. The girls order mimosas and since-big surprise-I’m still nauseated-I order a ginger ale and a coffee. I order spicy chicken and french toast for my main and it is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. We split 3 ways and head down Michigan to shop. $38.71
1:30 pm Shopping on Michigan gives me a new lease on life. Madewell is having a huge sale, and this store is three times the size of mine in Birmingham. The line to try on is a mile long, so I grab a few things thinking I can try them on and return at my home store-wide leg, pale pink pants, a rainbow dress, and black shorts. ($125.71) We meander down Michigan, and end at Nordstrom. I look all over the store for a Prince Peter t-shirt I want, but the associate and I can’t find it. I order another coffee at the N Bar-a frozen caramel ($6.38). S tries to order us a Lyft but the driver literally passes us going down Michigan, so I call an Uber. ($12.35) Time to get ready for dinner! $144.44
5:00 pm Time for Dinner!! I am a huge Grant Aschatz fan-we tried to get in to Alinea but it was booked, so we settled on Next, and it does not disappoint. We did not prepay for wine, but the server tells us that the pairing is better than ordering a-la-carte, so we all order it ($105). The first course is overwhelming-soft shell crab, poached lobster with tomato, scallop ceviche, beef carpaccio, three different crostinis-one with beef tongue, house made burrata, figs, and bread. It's incredible, and we have the best time enjoying the food and each other. By the end, I am stuffed and buzzing on the 12 or so glasses of wine we have had, and the server asks if we want a tour of the kitchen-DUH! What an amazing experience! Although gratuity is included, I tip another $30 for the kitchen tour and her never ending hospitality. $135
7:00 pm We are stuffed and buzzed off of wine, so we head to the rooftop bar around the corner at the Hoxton. It turns out to be another Stephanie Izard place and is so cute-and so crowded. We have a round that either S or A buys and hang out for a bit before deciding it's time to move on after a few guys we have been talking to start making plans for us to go with them to the next spot-not happening. We end up at the bar next to BombaBar, Bar Siena. We order drinks and start talking about our love lives and careers, and everyone ends up in tears. Two rounds and then it's time to call it a night. A calls the uber and we head home. $40.45
Daily Total: $364.60
Day 7- Sunday
9:00 am I feel like DEATH. Wake up and throw up. Lovely. Crawl to S’s couch and watch a few episodes of Below Deck before dragging myself up to pack. I am severely hungover. The girls go get coffee again, but I pass because I know any effort to consume is futile right now.
11:00 am Pack up and walk to the CTA stop. S walks A and me, and we hug hard when we get to the station. I have had a great weekend with them, and I hate that we are all so far apart. We promise to do a trip every year. A and I hit the green line and transfer to blue, and I manage to not puke on the train (even though I think I might). $2.50
1:30 pm We get to the airport and A and I separate. We have been friends since middle school, and her family lives in Alabama so I know I’ll see her in the next few months when she comes home. We haven’t lived in the same city since 2008 and we have maintained our friendship, and I am so proud of that! I debate on getting something to eat, but I still feel pukey, so I just head to my gate. I sleep the entire flight.
4:00 pm Home, bag claimed, at my car. Puked right when I got to my car. Running total: 6 times. I need some ginger ale or something before I get on the road-I’m weak and I have a two hour drive ahead of me. I pay for parking ($44), get gas ($55), and buy a ginger ale and a cup of ice ($3.50) $102.50
7:00 pm Make it home, and P made steaks! I am so happy to see him and the pup. He helps me bring my bag in and I immediately lie down. He knows I’ve been sick all day, but tells me I need to try to eat something. I get a couple of bites of steak down and I feel so much better after I eat something. Sweet husband. We chat about the trip, I show him pics of the food from Next, and we go to bed around 9. I need another day off to recover from my weekend.
Daily Total: $102.50
Categories: Food + Drink: $502.41 Fun / Entertainment: $88.40 Home + Health $57 Clothes + Beauty $125.71 Transport $132.23 Weekly total: $901.47
Reflect on Your Diary. So obviously this was not a typical week for me-I do one girls trip a year, and since R29 was asking for travel submissions, I chose to do one this week. This is definitely not typical, and I know I blew it out but it’s just how I travel, and why I can only do one a year. It is eye-popping to realize I spent that much in one week, travel or not. I am happy with how disciplined I was in the days leading up to the trip, and eating meals from home is something I am definitely trying to do more of. Doing the money part at the beginning also made me realize that I need to know more about our household finances, in the event that something happens to my husband. He says it's all written down for me, but it hit me hard that I don’t understand the whole picture of our living costs.
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Emily Oster's "Cribsheet" book is out today (author of "Expecting Better")

My copy of Cribsheet is being delivered today, so I can't give my review, but I thought others might be interested to pick it up! (I have no affiliation/skin in the game, just a nervous and nerdy FTM due in 3 weeks here lol). Oster is the author of Expecting Better, where she "evaluated the data behind the accepted rules of pregnancy, and discovered that most are often misguided and some are just flat-out wrong"--her new book evaluates data about child-rearing from birth to preschool. I didn't always 100% agree with her views in Expecting Better, but I appreciate pregnancy/parenting books that are less anecdotal/woo-woo and more data driven --and I'll be curious to read it alongside books in the same vein like The Informed Parent!
Here are a couple of write ups on the book (they aren't really 'reviews' per se): AP and Romper.
From the Amazon description of the book:
"As any new parent knows, there is an abundance of often-conflicting advice hurled at you from doctors, family, friends, and strangers on the internet. From the earliest days, parents get the message that they must make certain choices around feeding, sleep, and schedule or all will be lost. There's a rule—or three—for everything. But the benefits of these choices can be overstated, and the trade-offs can be profound. How do you make your own best decision?
Armed with the data, Oster finds that the conventional wisdom doesn't always hold up. She debunks myths around breastfeeding (not a panacea), sleep training (not so bad!), potty training (wait until they're ready or possibly bribe with M&Ms), language acquisition (early talkers aren't necessarily geniuses), and many other topics. She also shows parents how to think through freighted questions like if and how to go back to work, how to think about toddler discipline, and how to have a relationship and parent at the same time.
Economics is the science of decision-making, and CRIBSHEET is a thinking parent's guide to the chaos and frequent misinformation of the early years. Emily Oster is a trained expert—and mom of two—who can empower us to make better, less fraught decisions—and stay sane in the years before preschool. "
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Looking for your teams - inspiration, cool ideas, stuff from your table - what have you got?

Hola amigos!
I run a 3e game playing once a week, for a few hours.. the curse of growing up and having families - it's been getting harder to get free time at mutually convenient points. We started in December '16, and occasionally miss weeks because of holidays and such like, but we're up to session 103 now, so we're making progress, and the team are coming along nicely. After every weeks game, I write up the action as a narrative - link if you're curious: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wpj9vw5v1i8ciqf/Smuggler%20master%20story.pdf?dl=0
My players in my smuggler game have just reached their first proper smuggler nexus, and are about to meet a bunch of other teams. I have a selection ready to go, but would love some inspiration - so who better to ask than you lot!
And then I thought - if I post up the details of my teams, from current game and previous, it might help some other GM who needs a quick drop of inspiration or a skeleton to build on.
So - our game is currently focussed on eastern Europe / the black sea and the 'Stans. The team have reached a smuggler base just north of Volgograd - so the Smugglers will mostly be working the New Silk Road. The teams I have in the smuggler base for initial meetings are:
The Paladin (team buzzed between Baku and the ranch, episode 86)
The Zephyr (Episode 69 in Constantinople)
The Half-pint
The Bandit
"69pp"
Sandstorm
Bogbuster
Mondrian
Swarm
My older teams from my Seattle based game are:Scav's crew - driving an extended Landrover 2046:
The Blackeyes - an all Female Elf group in an Ares Citymaster.
The Dukes - driving a Red Ranger hovercraft:
The Redlines - flying an Osprey II Tilt Wing, with
The Hammerheads - flying an Ares TR55-C, led by
The Vikings - piloting a Rivermaster Patrol Boat. Led by
So - there's some of my crews - I'd love to see a description of either your team, teams you've encountered or npc teams / gangs from your game!
Obviously some of the stuff I've listed here clearly displays its 3rd edition heritage - I'm sure some of the stuff either doesn't exist or works very differently in 4/5/6e. But the concepts should still be workable, I assume, and the feel / attitude of the teams or their vehicles should be fairly generic across the timeline. At least, that's what I'm hoping...
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Anyone interested in Elimination Communication? (X-posted)

Hi everybody! I’ve been lurking for over a year and I’m now 12 weeks out with a baby girl!
So elimination communication...when I talk about this at my mom group, they look at me like I have 3 heads.
For those who don’t know, elimination communication is when you notice cues or signs your baby needs to pee or poop (eliminate) and you communicate with them about it, to the point where you might anticipate it coming and put them on the potty (from an earlier age than traditional potty training).
The argument for “EC” is that babies are born with the innate awareness of going to the bathroom, and we “train” them to use diapers, before then having to potty train them at a later date.
In case you think I’m crazy, just know that...I did too! I thought this was nuts but I tried it one day and my baby peed into the toilet. I find it easiest to let her try to potty just after waking up from a nap. And generally I don’t have to wait that long, 10-15 seconds and she’ll either start to go or I know she’s not in the mood.
Also to add, she wears diapers. I’m not letting my baby pee all over everything just for fun! I know elimination communication is sometimes interpreted as letting the baby run wild and never putting them in a diaper. There are so many ways to do it and that is the most extreme!
We practice EC just part time. In an average day, my baby might pee on the potty ~3 times and poop once or twice. When I hold her on the potty I cue her (say sssssss) until she goes, or a lot of times, doesn’t go. I have no idea if this is helping yet but theoretically it will in the future? She will also probably pee in a diaper 10 times in addition to that. (We cloth diaper and I’ve been changing her after each pee since we hang out sans cover at home.)
The goal of this is not necessarily to get the baby out of diapers sooner (though that is a common benefit and throughout babyhood you’d end up changing far fewer diapers), but to communicate with your baby and help them retain awareness of one of their bodily functions. Supposedly this makes potty training easier.
Like I said before, my baby is still making plenty of diaper laundry for me at this point. I try to not get too caught up in the “misses” but instead just have fun. At the end of the day, it’s just baby pee! Plus her tiny butt is just so cute on her little potty. (We use the $5 green one from IKEA.)
PLEASE ask me questions...I could literally talk about this all day and I was struggling to find info when I wanted to start out. Or if I’m the only one interested in this I’ll just go back to lurking! 😂
There are a few books (Diaper Free Baby) I could recommend, and some websites and blogs (Go Diaper Free). I’m not affiliated with either, I’m just super excited about this!
Have a happy Friday!
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[Race Report] Chicago Marathon 2017

Race information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Finish the Race Yes
B < 4:00 Yes
C < 3:55 No

Training

On my 29th birthday in February of 2016 I decided that I wanted to run a marathon by 30. I can’t really explain this arbitrary goal, especially since I’d never run much further than a 5k at the time, but one of my good law school friends once ran the Apalachicola “Running for the Bay” Marathon with little training and after a night of heavy drinking, so I reasoned that if he could do it, so could I. What more motivation does a man need?
Alas, my arbitrary goal was too ambitious as I crashed out after months of prepping for the DONNA Marathon (Jacksonville, FL) with a painful hip/psoas overuse injury just weeks before the race (which was actually scheduled for the day before my 30th in February 2017).
The silver lining to my first foray into marathon training was some much needed experience. I had run every single training run as if it was a race itself, never grasping the concept of an “easy run” or the value of steady mileage over speed. The injury taught me that, at least for training, I needed to slow down, focus on my running form, and take care of my body. Before the injury, I had at least managed to run two half marathons with a respectable 1:47:15 in the Orlando OUC Half Marathon.
In the midst of that first training season, I decided to enter the lottery for the Chicago Marathon just for the hell of it. I probably wouldn’t get in the first try, right? Since you’re reading a recap of my Chicago Marathon race, you know where this leads . . . Even though it wasn’t going to be a “Marathon by 30”, it could at least be a “Marathon While 30”, which had to count for something.
With the help of an amazing physical therapist, hours of YouTube yoga videos, and a supportive wife, I gradually worked my core and hips into shape and set off on another season of training with Chicago as the goal. A few hip/groin flare-ups and a short bout of painful plantar fasciitis aside, six months later I completed the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training program and another half marathon without much drama, and managed to lose about 15lbs in the process (giving up beer helped, no doubt). My longest training run had been 20 miles in the brutal Florida summer, so I held out hope that Chicago would be nice and cool and that those last 6.2 miles would be fun with the crowd support. Boy, was I in for a lesson.

Pre-race

My wife and I flew into Chicago early the day before the marathon. Chicago was beautiful and bursting at the seams with runners and their families. We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Chicago, which proved to be perfectly located just four or five blocks away from the start and finish lines. After a nice morning exploring the city core and Millennium Park, we headed to the race expo. Since Uber and Lyft were constantly surging downtown, we waited in an obscenely long line for one of the free shuttles to McCormick Park Conference Center. This enormous expo was also packed with runners, so we tried to hustle through it to save my feet while picking up a few souvenirs along the way. We ate a delicious Italian dinner at RPM and I was able to fall asleep around 9pm without too much effort.
I woke up naturally around 4am after a good night’s sleep and tried to quietly stretch out and get ready without disturbing my wife. I wasn’t successful at the latter, but some coffee from downstairs was accepted as a peace offering. The hotel delivered a "Power Box" to our room and I ate a banana, a housemade power bar, a boiled egg, and a muffin.
With a final good luck kiss goodbye, I ventured out into the (not so) brisk Chicago morning air.

Start Corral

Much to my disappointment, it was about 60 something (15c) with temperatures projected to rise to the 70s (21c) with clear sunshine by the finish. I reminded myself that, despite being much warmer than ideal, this was far cooler than the Florida summer that I had just endured. And, how could I possibly feel anything less than ecstatic as I marched toward Grant Park with tens of thousands of similarly determined runners in the predawn light.
I thought that I had given myself enough of a buffer to make the 7:20 AM cutoff for Wave 1, but the sheer mass of bodies that was at Gate 1 already had me nervous, and the security line was barely moving, if at all. A cheer went up soon enough as they started screening again and runners passed quickly through to their corrals, and I made it through with about 20 minutes to spare.
Once in the corral, I gulped down the last of my water with a Gu.
Before long, the national anthem was under way and the start gun sounded, but since I was in Corral E, we slowly inched our way forward for the next 15 minutes. Before I reached the start, I realized to my dismay that I needed to pee, but there was absolutely no time to duck into a port-a-potty; I’d have to find a suitable secluded area on the route to relieve myself or hold it the whole way.

0-3 Miles (5K Split 27:37 – 8:54/mi pace):

It was business time, and I had a plan. My primary goal, of course, was to finish; that was non-negotiable even if I had to crawl the last mile. My secondary goal was sub-four hours. And, I held out a bit of hope (based largely on the 1:47 half) that if I ran a perfect race I could pull off a 3:55 or even a 3:50. The key to meeting those lofty goals was to keep a steady pace for the first half and leave some energy in the legs to run a negative split (faster second half). To do so I’d have to keep my emotions in check and run within myself. I had tried to drill that into my head for weeks.
Surprisingly, despite the dense mass of runners, I held it together really well for the first three miles and found that I was really enjoying the steady pace, the tall buildings and the crowd support. I didn’t find it difficult to move within the pack and let the 3:45 pace group pass me by without issue.
My wife had spent the evening planning out her own race strategy—she had meticulously mapped out her own route to maximize seeing me. I saw her for the first time at about mile 1.5, and it gave me a nice boost to know that she’d be there for me for the race.
I had resolved to grab a water or gatorade at every aid station, and I did so at the first chance. The line for the port-a-potties were horrendously long (and, disappointingly, spectators seemed to be using them too), and I couldn’t bring myself to pee in the tunnel on the first mile as seems to be tradition for a lot of dudes, so I held it. Instead I focused on good form. After the 5K split I was very happy with my pace, and I tried to stop thinking about how far I still had to go.

3-6 Miles (10K Split 27:00 (54:37 total) – 8:42/mi pace):

This was more of the same. My wife texted me that she was near the mile 4 marker, so I was excited to see her on the course for the second time. Coming up the slight hill to the bridge and seeing her gave me a burst of energy, I yelled her name and after a quick drive-by high five I was on my way. She, along with other friends and family, kept texting me updates and encouragement as I went. I can’t begin to describe how meaningful those messages were each time they flashed on my Garmin watch.
At some point around mile 5 I took my second Gu and I felt perfect. The crowd support was still incredible as we started up north out of the City core and into Lincoln Park. I kept having to remind myself to slow down, but I was still pretty pumped up and was checking off some quick miles and felt dangerously good.

6-9 Miles (15K Split 27:20 (1:21:56 total) – 8:48/mi pace):

This was up there as the best portion of the race for crowd support and scenery as we went through Wrigleyville. Boystown did not disappoint with the stages set up with the cheerleaders, outfits and all, as well as different drag queen shows. It certainly didn’t lack for distractions from the running.
Based on my official numbers, it looked like I did start slightly slowing down here and ran a good pace. I can thank a brilliant female runner whom I locked on to through this portion. She ran a metronomic cadence and stuck right on the blue line (the official line that is used to measure the race and that follows the tangents on the corners). She was solid as a rock and frankly I wish I stuck on her for longer. I was probably enjoying the crowds too much and drifted ahead of her when I saw a huge South African flag and sprinted over to high-five the man holding it. Besides, I told myself, I feel great and could probably go a little faster. 3:50 here I come! (Bathroom break long forgotten at this point.)

9 – Half (13.1 miles) (1:55:15 total – 8:45ish/mi pace):

This, too, was a beautiful segment. Running south through the oak-lined streets of Oldtown I was still loving life. I scarfed down another Gu and was clocking some quick miles (my Garmin watch says I hit an 8:30 pace through a lot of the first part), despite literally repeating “slow down” in my head over and over again. There was also an awesome Elvis impersonator on a stage somewhere around here and at some point around mile 11, my wife texted me that she was set up and ready for me. We saw each other and exchanged another quick high five. My wife unveiled her motivational poster that had the South African flag, and a quote and picture of Nelson Mandela saying “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Before the race I had mentally carved the race up into three phases—first the north loop through mile 12, next the western loop through mile 21, and the final southern loop back up to the finish. I was excited to have completed the first phase, but now I was starting to feel it
The segment right before the halfway point was probably where I lost my way. Summiting the Franklin Street bridge and re-entering the city core I was almost floored by the sheer flood of humanity that lay before me. Between the cavernous skyscrapers crawled tens of thousands of brightly clad runners, snaking their way through wall-to-wall rows of screaming spectators. The sound alone was indescribable and almost deafening, and I get goosebumps just reliving that moment. As we came over the bridge, it was as if all the runners around me sparked up at once, and we practically sprinted down the back side of the bridge and into the throngs of adulating fans below. I gobbled down two Gatorade candies/gels that they handed out here.
My Garmin clocked me at around 8:33/mi through this portion, though the official splits seem to suggest that I was starting to slow down. All I can say is that it felt like I was flying and it was almost worth it. We zoomed through the city core, taking a tight line around the corner at Monroe street, soaking it all in and feeding off the energy of the crowd. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about how much of my own energy was being spent.

Half (13.1) – 15 Miles (25K split 27:41 (2:16:51 total) – 8:55/mi pace):

My race really began here--I still felt good, but now I was breathing. On my Garmin data you can literally see my heart rate cross a line at this point and never come back down. I took a second to take stock of my body: feet felt great, calves felt great, hammys felt great, but my quads and my hips were burning a little. It was unlike any run before in this sense, and I’m not sure why I was running differently. All in all, however, pretty good for 13 miles in and I felt pretty good about the 1:55 half split. I honestly thought it was going to be faster, but I told myself that it was setting up nicely for that negative split I had been hoping for.
Frankly, I didn’t enjoy this part of the race. Perhaps it was coming down from the high of Franklin/Monroe or perhaps I was just starting to realize how long this race really was. Either way, I kept taking on wategatorade and trying to hold steady until Chinatown, where I hoped to see my wife again. There was a stretch called the “Charity Block Party” with a bunch of really loud people screaming encouragement, but I was starting to phase it out and run my own race. I barely glanced over as I cruised through, my gaze locked ahead.

15 – 18 Miles (30K split 28:00 (2:44:51 total) – 9:01/mi pace):

There honestly was nothing remarkable about this stretch either. I forgot whether I had taken my Gu or not (I hadn’t), so I took one anyway, and basically just concentrated on keeping my form together, taking wategatorade and counting down the mile markers to Chinatown.
You see, I had been told time and time again that this race really only starts at Chinatown. My mantra was “Chinatown then Hammer Down” and I had planned to run the first 20 miles like my 20 mile training run, and then run the last 6.2 miles at a faster pace. Unfortunately, I knew at this point that I was in trouble.

18 – 21 Miles (35K split 29:12 (3:14:03 total) – 9:24/mi pace):

Pilsen was the perfect antidote to the languor of the last couple of segments. This is a Mexican community and the party was on! Forget about the fact that it was about 10 in the morning, the tequila was flowing and the music was bumping. Bananas, food, shots, you name it, it was being handed out to the runners that wanted it. I politely declined and stuck to my own nutrition plan and took down another Gu.
My friend also texted me around this point to tell me that Galen Rupp had won the men’s race, which was a nice lift. I knew that my pace was sliding, but I wanted to hold steady and just make it to Chinatown when the third phase would begin. All around me people were dropping like flies and many had started walking through the aid stations. The sun was out and the temperatures were up. I knew trouble was brewing.

21 – 24 Miles (40K split 33:00 (3:37:02 total) – 10:37 pace):

Chinatown was hardly the lift that I had hoped for. The highlight was actually a Korean group that had seemingly tried to steal the thunder from their Asian friends by setting up a Korean-flag painted school bus right before Chinatown. They were blasting Gangnam Style song on repeat and banging on drums. I honestly remember very little about the rest of Chinatown besides seeing my wife and speaking with an awesome South African runner from Joberg. I had visions of running with him to the finish since he seemed so strong and talking to him was doing me good. I was deflated after about a mile when he wished me good luck and he started walking. I was on my own, and I was horrified to realize there was basically no “hammer” to put down after Chinatown.
“So this is how I die?” I asked myself near the end of this stretch. I had left Chinatown and the crowds were thinning. The sun was beating down, the wind had apparently disappeared, and it was as hot as at any point of the day for me. I felt a tightening in my calves and I knew a cramp was imminent (I have never had cramps in any of my prior training runs or races). Texts kept coming in from loved ones, but I couldn’t even hit the button on my watch to read them. All I knew was that my wife was waiting at the 40k mark and I had to make it back into the city.
I eventually gave in and started walking, hoping that it would stave off those cramps I felt coming. It did the complete opposite. I’ve never felt pain that bad and I couldn’t bend my knees at all—my quads and calves on both legs had completely seized up. I waddled for a few miles, half walking half running, but I felt like I was a failure. I could barely bring myself to look at my watch because I knew that 3:55 and even my sub-4 goals were in jeopardy. This was the wall that I had heard so much about but had completely underestimated.
In the depths of my despair and at the height of my pain, I looked around. In the blazing sun I saw others walking, many others. I had hoped to latch onto someone and ride their energy to the next aid station, but I couldn’t find anyone that looked like they had any energy. The crowds were gone and we seemed alone. I didn’t know what to do or whether I could finish. I was finished.
Fair warning, this part gets a little sappy, so you’ll have to bear with me. I have never experienced anything like what happened next. As I said, there were no crowds and sporadic supporters. My posture is awful at this point so I’m hunched over, waddling forward as slow as anything, eyes looking straight down. I hear a powerful voice up ahead. It is a woman and she is preaching to the runners to keep moving, to stay strong, and to finish this race. She seems all alone, this powerful woman, and I stagger toward the sound of her voice. As I pull up to her I raise my eyes and make eye contact. She stares at me and speaks calmly, but forcefully, to me: “I believe in you. You can finish this race!” Something about the way she spoke it to me resonated deep within me. I don’t know where the strength came from, but I let out an absolute roar from the depths of my lungs, “I will finish this race!” It was as if my legs heard me, and I suddenly broke back into a stuttering jog. I wasn’t a run, and the cramps were still there, but I knew at that moment that I could finish. Whether I could hit sub-4 was forgotten for the moment.
Soon after that chance encounter, in my staggering, painful half-jog, I went past a group of three kids watching the race from the sidewalk. One of them was holding out three packets of Gu for the runners. I was obviously cramping and unfortunately between aid stations, so one of those Gus was exactly what the doctor ordered. I reached for one, but in my weakened state I couldn’t grasp it. Agonizingly, it fell to the ground and I knew I couldn’t stop or turn back for fear of further cramping. So I continued plodding on for what felt like a while. Before I realized what had happened, one of the guys was sprinting up to me and holding the Gu. I grabbed it from him and gulped it down. It was probably less about the Gu and more about the gesture of him sprinting after me, but again I felt a stirring deep inside me and, for a minute at least, forgot about all the pain in my legs.
I don’t know who that woman was, or who those guys were, but they were truly my saviors on that day. They weren’t affiliated with the race and only did what they did out of true love for their fellow human beings. It touches me to the heart to think about them and I thank them whoever they are.
Now I saw the city center come into view and I knew the crowds were waiting just up ahead. I just needed to hold on and ride their energy to the finish line.

24 - Finish (26.2mi/42km) (3:59:37 – 9:14/mi pace for the split)

This part was an absolute blur and seemed to go by in a (painful) blink of an eye. I saw my wife at the 40k mark and staggered on. There were no high fives or words from me, maybe just a nod and a grunt. I finally cracked a peek at my watch and calculated that my predicted time was right on, if not over, 4 hours. If was going to break 4, I needed to move.
“Pain is temporary. Glory is forever.” Someone held that sign about a mile from the finish. I always thought it was a cheesy line, but it kept going through my mind as I forced my legs to keep moving those last few hundred meters. I had been warned that there was a moderately steep hill near the finish line, and that it had claimed many a runner right on the verge of the finish, so I wanted to hold onto just a little energy for that final push. As I hit the 1km sign, I sped up slightly and found that my legs were working again, at 800m I broke out into a proper run, and once I turned the corner on Roosevelt I had never been happier to see a hill in my life.
I broke out into a full on sprint and passed runner after runner on that stretch (I have to admit I was practically barging through them just longing for that finish line). As I crested that hill I could hear the finish-line announcer to my left so I knew I was right there, but to my right was one of the most heartbreaking sights I’ve ever seen—a medical tent was treating runners that had collapsed on that hill. I couldn’t help but think of myself between miles 23 and 24 and how close I had come to giving in, and now these runners had come oh so close but just couldn’t go on.
As I rounded the top of the hill, I could see the finish line below at the bottom of a glorious downhill. Now was the time to force a smile and act as though I was just as fresh as the first half of the race. I lifted my arms in celebration and made sure to smile for the cameras as I crossed the finish line. There was no collapsing here, only jubilation and some tears as it finally hit me that I had completed a marathon and had just squeaked in below 4 hours.

Post-Race:

As I write this the day after, everything hurts. My jaw literally aches today from gritting my teeth. Some of the tougher moments actually happened after crossing the finish line. Those cramps came back with a vengeance and I had to stumble through about half a mile more of pictures, drinks, bananas, chips, beer!, more photos, a bathroom!, and my medal. The medal was everything, but now I wanted to see my wife.
My wife and I reunited and the tears started to well back up again. I looked at that poster she had made and Mandela’s quote finally clicked—it truly had felt impossible at times but here I was and it was truly done. We struggled the four or five blocks (with a terrible detour when we got lost in a literal maze—yes, an actual maze in a public park near the marathon finish line, thanks City of Chicago for your cruelty!) back to our hotel and I collapsed on the bed and read all the e-mails and texts of encouragement and congratulations from all of my friends and family.
So, “Marathon While 30” was a success. Who knows what the future will bring, but I’d like to continue to run unless and until injuries stop me.
Running is a lonely sport, but when you have the love, support, and prayers of the people that you love--like my wonderful wife and my family--as well as the love of random strangers like I encountered on that Chicago course, you never run alone.
submitted by shootermcgav1n to running [link] [comments]

Anyone interested in Elimination Communication? (X-posted)

Hi everybody! I’m a chronic lurker with a 12 week old baby girl!
So elimination communication...when I talk about this at my mom group, they look at me like I have 3 heads.
For those who don’t know, elimination communication is when you notice cues or signs your baby needs to pee or poop (eliminate) and you communicate with them about it, to the point where you might anticipate it coming and put them on the potty (from an earlier age than traditional potty training).
The argument for “EC” is that babies are born with the innate awareness of going to the bathroom, and we “train” them to use diapers, before then having to potty train them at a later date.
In case you think I’m crazy, just know that...I did too! I thought this was nuts but I tried it one day and my baby peed into the toilet. I find it easiest to let her try to potty just after waking up from a nap. And generally I don’t have to wait that long, 10-15 seconds and she’ll either start to go or I know she’s not in the mood.
Also to add, she wears diapers. I’m not letting my baby pee all over everything just for fun! I know elimination communication is sometimes interpreted as letting the baby run wild and never putting them in a diaper. There are so many ways to do it and that is the most extreme!
We practice EC just part time. In an average day, my baby might pee on the potty ~3 times and poop once or twice. When I hold her on the potty I cue her (say sssssss) until she goes, or a lot of times, doesn’t go. I have no idea if this is helping yet but theoretically it will in the future? She will also probably pee in a diaper 10 times in addition to that. (We cloth diaper and I’ve been changing her after each pee since we hang out sans cover at home.)
The goal of this is not necessarily to get the baby out of diapers sooner (though that is a common benefit and throughout babyhood you’d end up changing far fewer diapers), but to communicate with your baby and help them retain awareness of one of their bodily functions. Supposedly this makes potty training easier.
Like I said before, my baby is still making plenty of diaper laundry for me at this point. I try to not get too caught up in the “misses” but instead just have fun. At the end of the day, it’s just baby pee! Plus her tiny butt is just so cute on her little potty. (We use the $5 green one from IKEA.)
PLEASE ask me questions...I could literally talk about this all day and I was struggling to find info when I wanted to start out. Or if I’m the only one interested in this I’ll just go back to lurking! 😂
There are a few books (Diaper Free Baby) I could recommend, and some websites and blogs (Go Diaper Free). I’m not affiliated with either, I’m just super excited about this!
Have a happy Friday!
submitted by musicalmamatobe to beyondthebump [link] [comments]

If You Had The Chance To Tell Your Story, What Would You Say To 75 People?

I was not originally invited to speak at a Kairos retreat in August. My best friend was asked to talk about her brother who was fighting cancer for the past two years. However, she desired for me to talk, in her place, about my own experience instead. She was familiar with all of the difficulties that I have encountered throughout my childhood, and I am forever grateful for her graciously offering the opportunity to me.
I hope this encourages you to share your stories too, to know that I was able to speak in front of 75 people about my experiences growing up in a narcissistic household, most of the 75 people complete strangers to me. I was only affiliated to them by my organization and had no idea what they were going through, let alone be able to relate to their family lives. Hours before the speech, I was riddled with crippling anxiety and depression because I feared so much what people would think of me afterwards. But I did it, despite the anxieties.
----------------------------
"We have all stories. We all have broken and sad things about us that if any of you stood up here yourself, we would all cry for you. But today I was invited to talk about my story. If you guys see me around, I like smiling and giggling, cracking sarcastic jokes and hopefully getting to know you all better. I like to blog and I love fashion, and I love making things pretty. But I wasn’t always like this, and i wasnt always so secure in myself. it took a long haul to get here.
And any long haul has a story of suffering. Mine starts my family, and its three generations of abuse.
I’m the middle child of 3 sisters. And we are closer than siblings I’ve seen because our struggles make our bonds stronger. Our parents? Not so much.My father is a narcissist. He does not feel empathy the slightest bit. Once, he threw a bowl at my older sister’s face. Another time, he tried to grab my neck and choke me. He was the first guy in my life. And he also cheated on my mom multiple times, in front of. He was very disrespectful. He created so much suffering in my family. He has told me multiple times that I am not a princess and I should be getting to work. and so I did. I buried myself in work.
If I wasn’t lifeguarding, I was dancing, if I wasn’t dancing, I was studying. My goal was to get to college because I could escape the horrible circumstances that I call home. I found my worth in guys that did not deserve me the slightest bit. My first real relationship lasted a year and 8 months. It was only after when I found out that he had cheated on me with two girls. Then I was raped sophomore year. And then found myself in a codependent relationship my senior year. My mom was a different story. She always claimed that it was always our fault when she was upset. And she was always upset. But she wouldn’t tell you until a month passed and could no longer hold all her frustration in. She claimed we never did enough to help around the house, yet she would get mad if we did help, it just wasn’t the way she wanted it. There was no way to make her happy.
When I was in high school, my little sister got in a fight with my mother over something silly. My mom threatened to put her six feet underground. So i took my little sister with me to work. I was crying by the time I told my manager why I had to bring her. My manager told me that my little sister would always remember what I did for her. And she did.
It was not until my Junior year when I felt better. I had joined the dance team. I knew there was something wrong, but I was so busy and able to stay outside of the house for so long, I didn’t even have time think about it. Before, I questioned why I was still alive, until I helped my friend who almost cut herself at dance camp because she felt she wasn’t a good enough dancer. Then my neighborhood got redistricted for my senior year, I had to leave my school that I grew up with. I thought I had everything planned out, varsity dance team, graduate with my class, homecoming, turnabout, and prom. It was my only home and it was being ripped from me. So I became suicidal. My aunt came with me to tell my mother I needed help. Instead of being supportive and loving, my mother decided to make it about herself instead. “Don’t you think I’m depressed??” She yelled to me, in the middle of a public restaurant. Not the first time she’s done that to me in public.
Yet after all of this shame, deceit, brokenness, and sorrow, i still chose life. I finally felt validation for what I have been through the moment I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder my first semester of freshman year. And here I am today.
—-
But this time to tell a story about a girl who is so in love with herself and people that she empowers those around her and everywhere she walks, flowers bloom.
She got into her dream school.
She joined a sorority.
She founded and led an organization.
She potty trained her 4 year old cousin.
She made a Reddit post about why people can and should stand up to narcissists. It received 1,600 likes and 200 comments
She began a blog on ethical fashion and beauty.
She learned how to cook salmon 4 different ways.
She became the girl they talk about among bible study leaders because of how much she has grown in her faith
She learned how to let loose and party once in a while
She opened her heart and began dating again

That girl is still me.

I always told myself I would be a better friend, sister, and parent. And I can say that I am now. When I speak about my life story, it will always hurt. it’s not easy to be vulnerable, but I don’t carry it with me like a bag of tragic news anymore. I didn’t choose my circumstances. Instead, I chose life. I chose God. I chose to be a better person. Most of all, I chose to stop the abuse cycle. By learning how to love myself. Learning that there were so many better men for me out there. Learning to the point where I completely disregarded the lies telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that I don’t deserve to love, live, or believe in something better. I always appreciate the days I live, but it’s nights like these where I am so glad I never killed myself because I am here to tell you today that my heart has been broken thousands of times, and whatever you’re going through, it’s valid. And you will get through it. And you will have better days. and your life isn’t doomed. And most of all, you made the right choice in being a sorority sister. Because this sisterhood is my new home that I can’t wait to share with you."
----------------------------
At the end of my speech, I was hugged, one by one, by all of these amazing women, some of them coming to me crying and sobbing. One of my best friends who attended the event swept me off of the floor completely. Another one whispered in my ear "You are the happiest ray of sunshine I have ever met". It feels so great to know that I am known.
In the end, I was able to get a handful of women to open up about the abuse they were experiencing in their household. I also received 2 handwritten letters thanking me for sharing my story.
Knowing that my experiences are validated and being able to say it out loud, with such dignity, has helped me realized how far I've moved past my old life. Please share your stories, whether they are on here, with your friends, or other writing outlets. The things you have been through do not make you any less worthy of love and belonging. And, if you don't have the courage to put it all together right now, I hope you do sometime soon.
submitted by la_rosee to u/la_rosee [link] [comments]

Finally scratching my own itch! Don't know if i'll make money, but looking to hear what you think...

I've been working as a programmeweb-developer for over 10 years already, for various startups mostly. For the past few years, I tried to build a few side projects, in the hope of them becoming profitable, but with no success. Part of it had to do with the fact that I would try to tackle problems I thought people had, and not my own, and part of that would be because I would never fall through on some of my projects.
Reading a lot about different successful side projects, made me realize that I should try something that's close to home. So... after a while I got an idea that I really relate to, and I think others might too.
Since I'm pretty much "a geek" (I definitely don't mean that in a bad way. I'm just a techie, into programming, gadgets, life hacks, I read a ton on the internet, etc) and in the past year I became a dad too I thought about combining those.. I read many sources on the internet for fun (reddit, twitter, techcrunch, kickstarter, news sites, hacker news) and I often run into cool products related to raising kids, or into cool articles about 'hacks' people have done related to their kids. So I thought I can build a content site around that, and aggregate and summarize all those things, since there are probably other people like me looking for these kinds of things..
Usually I build all my side projects myself, but this time I decided to save the time. So I started a wordpress content site. It's called http://www.GeekyDad.io
I just started it literally a few days ago, so there's only 3 articles there now, but they represent the kind of articles I would like to have. One is about a product that helps kids learn that integrates with an ipad. Another article is about a father who connected an AWS IoT button to help potty train his kid, and the last, is just a funny pic I found on the internet. As time goes by, I will obviously add much more - I run into these kinds of things all the time, but they're scattered across the internet.
I'm looking for any advice I can get, and to know what you think in general... ? Do you think a site like this can be a success? Is it something that appeals to you, or to any one you know? Would you go back to a site like this? How does it look? How do the articles look to you? Any other advice at all ???...
I forgot to mention (and this might go against the nature of this subreddit) that another thing I decided to do for the first time on a side project is to not think about the money. I'm kind of depressed chasing these ideas all the time and dreaming about getting rich from them. I decided to just 'f*ck it', and go with something that i'll have fun doing, and maybe others will enjoy too. If it's successful it will turn into a cool hobby of maintaining the site, but I really don't think i'll get a lot from it. Also, I can always make some dough from affiliates, and I plan on doing that, but from what I read, I don't see myself quitting my day job for this, just making a few extra bucks from it in the best scenario.
Thanks in advance! :)
submitted by gilly914 to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

BEFORE:You get a dog or puppy!

Dogs do not come with their own “take care of me” manual and it’s easy to get confused and bombarded by the other load of information out there. While there are different styles for training your canine companion, the basics of dog care stay the same whether it is a puppy or an older dog adoption. Housebreaking and leash training..from nipping our feet to chewing the furniture, it can be daunting, frustrating and overwhelming to both new and seasoned dog owners.
Do your research! Start with what kind of dog do you want .
Make a list of the breeds you are interested in and ask yourself the following:
Do I want a puppy or older dog?
Do I want to go with a breeder or a rescue/shelter?
How much time do I have to devote to care and training?
Do I have the finances to be able to care or vet a new dog?
Do I have the support of friends and family in rearing this dog?
What resources in terms of parks/doggy day care is available in my area?
What type/brand of food do I want to feed my new dog?
What method will I use to housebreak-Potty pads/straight outdoors or a combination?
Do I want to crate train my new dog (Highly recommended!)
Do I have other pets that will accept this new addition?
Do I have kids? And can I safely integrate a new dog into our family?
Am I willing to go above and beyond for the care/training/socialization of my new companion?
PICK A BREED SUITABLE FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE AND EXPERIENCE (Courtesy of fennecfox89)
If you choose to go with a breeder, ASK questions! Any decent breeder will take the time to answer your questions. If you receive a puppy pack with your puppy from the breeder READ IT!
It has a host of useful information for you and your puppy. Prepare a list of questions to ask the breeder when you do a home visit such as:
Look on the internet for resources. Check your local library or book store on how to care for dogs.
There are many training methods now and each has it’s pros and cons and not every training method will work in every situation for every dog.
Some dogs are food oriented and some are more interested in toys, while still some maybe interested in lots of praise.
No matter what gets your dog up and going, use it to your advantage in training your new friend. Your “lures” as we call them, can be faded out over time, so that the dog will listen to the commands, solely based on conditioning. Getting a dog is not a single, one time decision. Like having a baby, it takes time and preparation.
DO NOT adopt a dog on the spur of the moment.
DO NOT adopt a dog based on cuteness.
DO NOT adopt a dog because you feel pressured by friends or family.
DO NOT adopt a dog as a gift.
DO NOT adopt a dog from a pet store (unless they are affiliated with a local humane society)
If you choose to adopt an older dog or puppy, do so because you want a companion in your life.
DOGS ARE FOR LIFE and are not disposable!
Too many dogs end up in shelters and rescues because their owners failed to do their research and adequately prepare for a canine in their house.BE RESPONSIBLE!
submitted by bd42 to dogs [link] [comments]

[Race Report] Best Damn Race Cape Coral 13.1

Note: I ran this race as a pacer. My entry was comped (I'd paid last year, and had paid for this race before it was refunded), but I'm otherwise not affiliated with BDR. My opinions are my own.
Background: I ran BDR last year, signed up for the marathon and then deferred to the half when I came down with a bit of a cold the week of the race. This year, I'd registered for the marathon, but got derailed during training (marathon training just doesn't seem to agree with me, alas.). One day, while on a run with a friend who was coordinating the pace groups for this race, she mentioned that they needed a 3:00 pacer for the half. That would be well within my reach (when I'm on form, 1:45 is more like it), I'd just have to run-walk the race, using a run interval pace that's my LSD pace.
Training: see above. I was training for the full, but about 2 months ago life got in the way and I couldn't spend the time to do it properly. So I was going to defer to the half (doing a half with long runs of 10-12 miles is fine. Not so much with the full) before signing up to pace. Long runs became more of an experiment in finding an interval that brought me down to the 13:44 pace (turns out, 1:1 with 11mm runs worked for me).
The Course: It's essentially a small lollipop, out from Cape Harbor, along a long, slightly twisty out (with 1 spur) through mostly residential neighborhoods, to Rotary Park, a quick loop in the park, and then the same route back (sans spur). The full essentially does the same course twice (there's a small divergence at mile 13, where the full does another 1/10 mile spur, then rejoins the course going out again). There were 4 or 5 water stops on course, so there was plenty of water, Nuun, and GU (and, later in the race, we saw a truck hauling more water out for racers doing the full).
The race: I got onsite to Cape Harbor (where the start and finish were, along with the expo/afterparty) early, as there was limited parking; there was offsite parking with shuttles, but I didn't want to fool around with that. I met up with a couple friends who would also be running (one doing the half, one doing the full), spent a little time chatting, and found the pace group coordinator. Got my 3:00 sign, chatted with some friends who would also be pacing, got my pacer bib pinned onto my back (I wore the special "Pacer" shirt that was made for the pacers at another race I paced this year, for extra effect), and made my way to the start line.
I was surprised when several people asked me, on the way to the start line, if I was pacing the full. How many marathons have a 3 hour pacer? What's that for, making sure you BQ? Took up my place at the back of the pack, found a couple of people who were planning on hanging with me (including the pacing coordinator), and laid out the plan. Everyone seemed cool with run-walking, so I felt good about that. I did note that we'd probably run straight for a couple minutes at the start, just to let the crowd thin out a touch and to warm up.
We sang the national anthem, the horn sounded, and we walked to the line. "Annnd... away we go!" Run for about 4 minutes to let the crowd clear, then, run-walk-run. I had to keep pulling myself back a bit during the runs, but I kept a decent pace on it, with mile splits on the outbound portion at or slightly faster than goal: 12:59, 13:33, 13:36, 13:08, 13:34, and 13:44. I took an extra walk break just after then halfway mark, so that one of my runners -- sort of, she was doing the full, but pacing with me for the first half -- could get a potty break. We had, by my calculations, about 2 minutes buffer if we maintained pace. On the way back, during mile 8 or 9, there was a nice couple sitting in lawnchairs in their driveway with a cooler and a hand-lettered sign, "Free beer for runners." Enroute Michelob Ultra? Don't mind if I do! Several of my runners joined us in grabbing a libation.
This is when I realized something; I've run near the front of races, and at the back, and there's a big difference. Races are like mullets; work up front, party in the back.
Splits on the back route were pretty solid as well: 14:02 (extra walk break for the potty pause), 13:27, 14:01 (there was a beer pause here), 13:25, 13:28, 13:16, 13:17 (yes, adrenaline got the best of me at the end. I kept telling myself to slow down!). During the last 3 or so miles, I kept telling people we were passing, "3 hours is on that side of me. You might hit it behind me, but if you stay in front, you will hit it." Some flagging runners, I told how much further it was (in terms of laps around a track; only when it was less than a mile, "only 2 track laps to go!"). I paused at the next-to-last turn, to wave a couple runners in before me, knowing I had about a minute buffer, then I ran it in with one lady. Clock time: 3:00:33, chip time: 2:59:38. That's about as perfect a pacing job as I could do, I think.
Strava link, if you're curious
The Bling: Race shirt and medal.. Ignore the messy hair.
Conclusion: I really like this race. It's flat, there's plenty of support, I like seeing the race leaders due to course design, the afterparty is nice -- this year, there was a DJ playing music, free beer (Michelob Ultra and an alcoholic rootbeer), free screwdrivers and bloody Marys (Absolut was a sponsor), free food from Pollo Tropical, free massages... and, I might add, pretty damn good pacers if you're trying to hit a mark. I've paid for it twice (although this year I got a refund due to pacing), and I'll pay for it again next year if I'm not pacing again.
submitted by cork_dork to running [link] [comments]

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submitted by kindbroker777la to pwmood72 [link] [comments]

Foster an AMAZING, loving and chill dog. Foster organization pays for a dog walker + food + all costs associated!

http://www.lovinliferescue.org/adoption/pet-detail.php?id=417
Earlier this year I decided to foster a dog named Doug from a small rescue organization. He's a SUPER loving dog. I walk him in the morning, he sleeps all day. He loves cuddling, sleeping, chilling and generally just being lazy. When he gets his toys out or goes for a walk though, he turns into a little puppy.
The organization that I'm fostering him through is awesome. It's run by a super passionate woman named Linda. The organization has been paying for all of his food and also pays for a dog walker to come Mon-Fri to walk him midday. He is potty trained, perfect around kids and strangers, doesn't bark and is just overall lovely. However, he doesn't do well around cats.
I would love to keep fostering Doug, but I was recently promoted at work and will be traveling a lot more often. If you have any questions about him, please let me know! (I am not affiliated with the foster organization at all, I am just a foster parent who wants to see him go to a good home).
submitted by readyourbooks to chicago [link] [comments]

BEFORE-You get your puppy/dog

Dogs do not come with their own “take care of me” manual and it’s easy to get confused and bombarded by the other load of information out there. While there are different styles for training your canine companion, the basics of dog care stay the same whether it is a puppy or an older dog adoption. Housebreaking and leash training..from nipping our feet to chewing the furniture, it can be daunting, frustrating and overwhelming to both new and seasoned dog owners.
Do your research! Start with what kind of dog do you want .
Make a list of the breeds you are interested in and ask yourself the following:
Do I want a puppy or older dog?
Do I want to go with a breeder or a rescue/shelter?
How much time do I have to devote to care and training?
Do I have the finances to be able to care or vet a new dog?
Do I have the support of friends and family in rearing this dog?
What resources in terms of parks/doggy day care is available in my area?
What type/brand of food do I want to feed my new dog?
What method will I use to housebreak-Potty pads/straight outdoors or a combination?
Do I want to crate train my new dog (Highly recommended!)
Do I have other pets that will accept this new addition?
Do I have kids? And can I safely integrate a new dog into our family?
Am I willing to go above and beyond for the care/training/socialization of my new companion?
PICK A BREED SUITABLE FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE AND EXPERIENCE (Courtesy of fennecfox89)
If you choose to go with a breeder, ASK questions! Any decent breeder will take the time to answer your questions. If you receive a puppy pack with your puppy from the breeder READ IT!
It has a host of useful information for you and your puppy. Prepare a list of questions to ask the breeder when you do a home visit such as:
Look on the internet for resources. Check your local library or book store on how to care for dogs.
There are many training methods now and each has it’s pros and cons and not every training method will work in every situation for every dog.
Some dogs are food oriented and some are more interested in toys, while still some maybe interested in lots of praise.
No matter what gets your dog up and going, use it to your advantage in training your new friend. Your “lures” as we call them, can be faded out over time, so that the dog will listen to the commands, solely based on conditioning. Getting a dog is not a single, one time decision. Like having a baby, it takes time and preparation.
DO NOT adopt a dog on the spur of the moment.
DO NOT adopt a dog based on cuteness.
DO NOT adopt a dog because you feel pressured by friends or family.
DO NOT adopt a dog as a gift.
DO NOT adopt a dog from a pet store (unless they are affiliated with a local humane society)
If you choose to adopt an older dog or puppy, do so because you want a companion in your life.
DOGS ARE FOR LIFE and are not disposable!
Too many dogs end up in shelters and rescues because their owners failed to do their research and adequately prepare for a canine in their house.BE RESPONSIBLE!
submitted by bd42 to Dogtraining [link] [comments]

BEFORE you get a dog/puppy!

Dogs do not come with their own “take care of me” manual and it’s easy to get confused and bombarded by the other load of information out there. While there are different styles for training your canine companion, the basics of dog care stay the same whether it is a puppy or an older dog adoption. Housebreaking and leash training..from nipping our feet to chewing the furniture, it can be daunting, frustrating and overwhelming to both new and seasoned dog owners.
Do your research! Start with what kind of dog do you want .
Make a list of the breeds you are interested in and ask yourself the following:
Do I want a puppy or older dog?
Do I want to go with a breeder or a rescue/shelter?
How much time do I have to devote to care and training?
Do I have the finances to be able to care or vet a new dog?
Do I have the support of friends and family in rearing this dog?
What resources in terms of parks/doggy day care is available in my area?
What type/brand of food do I want to feed my new dog?
What method will I use to housebreak-Potty pads/straight outdoors or a combination?
Do I want to crate train my new dog (Highly recommended!)
Do I have other pets that will accept this new addition?
Do I have kids? And can I safely integrate a new dog into our family?
Am I willing to go above and beyond for the care/training/socialization of my new companion?
If you choose to go with a breeder, ASK questions! Any decent breeder will take the time to answer your questions. If you receive a puppy pack with your puppy from the breeder READ IT!
It has a host of useful information for you and your puppy. Prepare a list of questions to ask the breeder when you do a home visit such as:
Look on the internet for resources. Check your local library or book store on how to care for dogs.
There are many training methods now and each has it’s pros and cons and not every training method will work in every situation for every dog.
Some dogs are food oriented and some are more interested in toys, while still some maybe interested in lots of praise.
No matter what gets your dog up and going, use it to your advantage in training your new friend. Your “lures” as we call them, can be faded out over time, so that the dog will listen to the commands, solely based on conditioning. Getting a dog is not a single, one time decision. Like having a baby, it takes time and preparation.
DO NOT adopt a dog on the spur of the moment.
DO NOT adopt a dog based on cuteness.
DO NOT adopt a dog because you feel pressured by friends or family.
DO NOT adopt a dog as a gift.
DO NOT adopt a dog from a pet store (unless they are affiliated with a local humane society)
If you choose to adopt an older dog or puppy, do so because you want a companion in your life.
DOGS ARE FOR LIFE and are not disposable!
Too many dogs end up in shelters and rescues because their owners failed to do their research and adequately prepare for a canine in their house.BE RESPONSIBLE!
submitted by bd42 to puppy101 [link] [comments]

I had a really hard hitting dream last night. I want everyone to picture themselves and/or their families in it because it wasn't pleasant. Yet everyday what I dreamt happens countless times.

Thought I should share this dream I had last night. It’s not pleasant, but I think a number of people on this sub, and possibly other subs, will identify with it and I hope it can help understanding. What I had was a dream. What I find most harrowing, is that when to me was a nightmare, for too many people is a reality.
For context, I’m a male in my 30’s in a developed country. I have a wife and two children – a boy aged 2 and girl aged 5. My neighbourhood is multicultural middle class suburb much like any other with a mix of upwardly mobile professionals, families, migrant workers, second and third generation non-natives and so on. Our kids are in the local schools mixing with kids from every religious, cultural and ethnic background. They learn about different cultures – at the moment the eldest is doing about the Chinese New Year so we discussed the street festivals and men dressed as dragons over breakfast. Their friends are just that – their friends, regardless of their parent’s backgrounds or beliefs. At this point the eldest, our daughter, is vaguely aware that the Indian family that we used to live next to weren't friends with the Pakistani family a few doors down, but that was it. They have no concept of geopolitics that we as adults have. They are as naive to the world as children can be and have no grudges against anyone. They don't fear any other children because they are accepting of others children as being like themselves.
Now I’ve seen my fair share of violent Hollywood blockbusters glamorising wars, read books about the genocides in Bosnia, watched war clips on the news, talked to friends who have been in war zones and seen the occasional stomach churning clip on LiveLeaks when a NSFL tag has come up on Reddit. In my education, I've seen graphic images of cadavers as part of studying different aspects of biology. I've never really been around guns. A friend had a bolt action hunting rifle for occasional trips away to an estate, and I once knew a couple of farmers with shotguns to keep rabbits off their land and to shoot pheasants and grouse when they were in season. I live in a suburb, we have no need for guns and I hope this echoes true with a lot of other people who read this. A very normal background which I suppose millions of people will identify with - just an average human going about their normal life.
In my dream the four of us in our family were in the local woods. It’s a former industrial pit which has been landscaped and turned into a little nature reserve for our area by the council – local shrubbery, firs, trees, a pond and so on and a couple minutes’ walk from our front door. Nearly everyone will be able to identify with this either from where they are now, or their childhood. Its former industrial past is still apparent as at some points through the top soil builders rubble pokes through with bits of miscellaneous white plastic which you always see. In a way it could be anywhere without much effort –it could be a wilderness, a town oasis or a haven in a war zone. As a family we've often scrambled around this area, jumping out from behind trees, a sledge in the winter or in a spare 30 mins go and look for wildlife. But this time in my dream it was a lot more sinister.
We scramble around for a bit playing as usual. We come up over a berm to find a littered road with a woman standing there with her back towards us. Nothing untoward as this area is popular with dog walkers and people pass through all the time as a shortcut. My wife, my son and I stumble out of the woods and onto the old road while the giggles and mischief of my daughter is heard through the trees. We are a very playful family so tease each other as we come out of the shade. However, as the woman hears us and turns round, I can she is holding a gun with the strap over her shoulder. I don't really care for guns or weapons so to me it is a rectangle with a tube which I know can do a lot of harm. I don't know what type of gun it is, why she has it or who she’s with but I guess there is a back story to her because this isn't the place where you'd normally find an armed woman, or any armed person. I approach her cautiously to find out why she has a gun and what she’s doing here. It’s so out of context. The woman, maybe in her 30’s, speaks to us with a manner which is constrained but assertive. She tells us to stop. As a person I’m naturally inquisitive so what to know more about what’s going on when I notice two other men further up the incline of the road with guns too, sitting on a low wall. As my wife continuous to talk to the woman and tries to gather why she is here, my son is in his own little world like any two year old on a fun day out would be. He’s enjoying the sun on his face, looking in the long grass and seeing if his sister is going to jump out at him. He's oblivious to what the women and men are holding.
The two men maybe 10 meters further up the road are muttering to each other about their guns. Like I said, they are just boxes with barrels to me, but they appear to be comparing them like office workers discuss which mobile phones are seen in which films, just this time it is guns. The men aren't military or in military uniforms, but men in their 40’s - a little portly, in casual clothes and looking like anyone’s regular uncle you see once in a while for a family occasion. They look barely trained and brought in for some reason and I doubt they've ever used their guns. I’m sure they have some story as to why they came to be sitting on that low wall with assault rifles or machine guns or whatever they are. As they're obviously not regular army I can’t work out if they are militia, junta, home guard, defending their property or being forced to fight by someone else. I’m sure that normally they would be running a small business, working in a cafe or doing an everyday job.
From further up the road and out of view, three more men are marched down the road by another man with a gun who has a similar look to the two on the low wall. What started as just being out with my family now has this whole different picture is in front of me and I’m trying to work it out. My wife is still talking to the woman just to right of me, maybe a meter or so away. My son has now gone up to and looking up at the three men that were matched down the road, and like any two year old learning about the world is asking them “what you doing?, what you doing?” My daughters voice is heard calling out from the woods, she's shouting her brother’s name. I’m expecting at some point she’ll jump out at him and roar as she usually does. Everything is strangely relaxed but tense.
From above us around the corner and out of sight, I hear another voice. It has a strong male accent and an authoritative tone. With a very short time frame, I see if anyone reacts – the woman, the three men marched down, the two men comparing guns or the man who marched the three men down. Then from nowhere I can hear the sound of guns. Not a succession of gun shots or a rasping rattle like in a film, but a single shot and then nothing. If you've ever been too close to a large fireworks display, had tinnitus or an ear infection or been clubbing till 4am and have that silent ring in your ears, it’s that kind of ringing nothingness. The two men who were comparing guns are hit first, indiscriminately. It’s not a Hollywood shooting either. It’s a shooting where the detail is too real.
In Hollywood films you know that the actors and stunt men that fall are still human. They play for an acting credit or an Oscar but in a second they'll reset and stand up. But this is different. From my view, it’s like a wave of disorder spreads from right to left. First are the two men on the low wall who go from a very ordered anatomy to something very different. Blood caps don’t pop, but skin rips, tears and shatters. Instead of just falling over, a man’s head looks like it deflates. The images I’ve seen in books or online for my studies and morbid curiosity don’t match the horror of what I see going on in front of me. Those images are removed by a cameraman or are stills. This is very different. I can feel the pressure waves of bullets as they shoot past me. They remind me of when a boy through a stone that just skimmed passed my head in primary school. Only this time it isn't just a stone and it isn't just one of them.
I’ve known my wife for 10 years. We’ve lived together exploring the world around us and I know her without having to be with her. She nearly broke my wrists when my son was born but all I could do was laugh at the irony of my pain when she was in labour. There's a look she gave me when I gave my groomsman speech, a look I occasionally see in our daughter. I remember the stepping into the unknown phone call when I rang her to tell her I had a job offer meaning we would have to move city; we sold a house together; she crushed my hand and screamed when our daughter was born; she’s slept next to me nearly every night for over ten years. Yet in the dream, I never see her again. Without looking I could tell she was next to me, but not there anymore. I knew I would never see her face, feel her hand in mine or give me a comforting hug.
My eyes were on my son. My ears were on my daughter. My son is just about potty trained. He’s in his big boy pants and nearly in full control of his bladder. As parents we're still cautious of being too far away from a potty. While everything is going on around us - the two men with guns on the low wall, the three men that were marched down, the woman and my wife who are all now in that split second between life and death – my son stands frozen unable to work out what is going on. He is yet to find out about guns, religion, war or hate. My daughters scream is worse than the scream of when she trapped her finger in a door when she was around one year old and couldn't understand why it could hurt so much. She doesn't know why she’s screaming and probably can't see what is unfolding from where she's hidden, waiting to jump out at her brother when she thinks he'll be unaware, but she knows that the noise is scary. She wants her parents to protect her just like the first bonfire night we took her to and she wanted to hide inside my coat, or when she was about two years old and scared of the noise of the hand dryer in the toilets of Ikea. All I want to do is protect my children who have no understanding of what is going on. My son wee’s himself as he flinches and looks at me. His face has the mixed fear of the loud bangs and the fact that his favourite orange pants are now wet. I stumble towards him to give him a hug, knowing that I am leaving my wife. I want to embrace my daughter but I can’t see her. I grasp my son in my arms and it ends.
My dream was horrific and haunting. I have an immense amount of love for my family. I woke up this morning and my wife was by my side. My children woke up early and I could hear them playing on their wooden bedroom floor before their alarm clock told them it was OK to come out of their room. I don’t want to say “Thankfully it was just a dream” because for hundreds of thousands of people it wasn't and it isn't "just a dream." I don’t know the meanings my mind gave the various characters – the woman with the gun, the two men on the wall, the three marched men or whoever the group of people out of sight shooting were – but I know that throughout history and across the world today, what I dreamt has and is going on. The news will say Muslims are killing Christians, or Sunni’s are killing Shia’s, but in reality humans are killing humans and my dream will be acted out every day somewhere in the world. Families are destroyed. Men, women and children who have no part in being involved in various conflicts are silenced in the same way.
I have no religious affiliation. I don’t hate Muslims because they are Muslim, or Jews because they are Jewish or anyone else. What I dreamt could have been any genocide, religious war or fight over any ideology and the men on the wall or the people shooting could be any army, militia, religion or state police force. But I wanted to understand the stories of the other people without a bias. I want my children to understand, and I want them to keep their childhood inquisitive minds to find out what is going on without others doing this to them. I want every child to be able to understand that we are all human. I also want every adult to know what it would be like to be in my place in that dream and to think about what it feels like to lose their loved ones in this way, so that just maybe someone with a gun in their hand may see that who they're pointing it at is just like them - another human, who is or was just as innocent and as playful as my two children.
I feel as if I was moved by this dream because it wasn't an unnamed boy and dad being shot on the edge of a village in Iraq – it was me, my wife, my son and my daughter. I could picture what would have been each person’s reaction and movements. I want everyone to picture what it would be like for their families to see this, regardless of what religion, cult or ideology those people on the TV are. This is what happens. Shitty humans kill humans.
Many people who are on Reddit can be thousands of miles away from any conflict or war zone. Some Redditors can be right on the edge or in war zones or areas of oppression. I'd like every person to feel or relate to the discomfort that those people less fortunate go through to help others understand why it is wrong. I don't mean my text to be graphic or gory, my dream was to vivid for me to actually narrate in the way that I saw it, and I know in reality it would be infinitely worse than anything i can imagine or dream. But I hope it can hit home that anyone could be in this situation and that those who have and are being killed in this way through no fault of their own suffer immensely. As this is a humanist sub, I'd hope everyone can be civil to each other. I know a lot of people on other religious/non-religious subs would see this as a way of blaming one religion or another. It's not. It's about what humans do to humans for whatever reason.
submitted by KIAA0319 to humanism [link] [comments]

Confronting Fascist Mobilizations on the Street -

Saturday 30th January saw 2-300 of the UK’s most vicious fascists and racists descend on Dover armed with knives, knuckle dusters, bricks and nun-chucks. Billed as a ‘Unity Demonstration,’ the coalition consisted of the most violent and depraved groupings in the country, from old-timers Combat 18 to barely potty-trained National Action. Accounts of the day’s events can be read here and here.
What should be highlighted is that many see Saturday 30th as the most violent far-right mobilisation since the 1990s. The fascists came armed with lethal weapons which they pulled out during skirmishes, ready to maim, if not kill, antifascists.
How have things reached this stage? A decent analysis by the Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) can be read here. They write, ‘every successful demo for [the far-right] makes it more likely that their next demo will be bigger and more violent.’ This was written after the last Dover demo by the same Nazis, where the increase in violence from previous mobilisations was also notable. Bricks and padlocks were hurled from behind police lines, injuring several antifascists. In January bricks came with knives.
The authors point out that this rise in confidence and violence by the far right can be tracked to complacency shown by the left towards the EDL, an earlier and much tamer right-wing street movement. ‘Because we didn’t stop the EDL quickly enough, we now have openly nazi groups like National Action and Saturday’s mob operating on our streets in numbers for the first time since the early 90s.’ Antifascists more than held their own on Saturday 30th, by many accounts inflicting significantly more casualties than they took, while also suffering less arrests. However, the AFN’s predictions of increased numbers and violence were clearly borne out on the day.
Beyond the worrying development in street confrontations, the wider economic and political context is still more alarming in its potential for fascist recruitment. Deepening poverty and continued attacks on organised labour echo the historical conditions of fascist peaks in the 1920s-30s and the 1980s. Attacks on ethnic minorities, the far left and related cultural events are also historically the precursor to a far-right force confident enough to attack organised labour. By this point, fascism will represent an embryonic mass movement which will be far more difficult to defeat than it is in its current limited, extremist form.
More than ever, the call to nip the fascist threat in the bud needs to be taken seriously by the labour movement. The IWW should lead the way in responding.
For many years in the UK the mainstream unions have thrown their lot in with UAF, if at all, in anti-racist activity. This activity has consisted of largely pointless and self-congratulatory rallies miles away from fascist lines. However, the past 5 years has seen a reconfiguration of British antifascism with the argument for militant opposition gathering credibility beyond a small hardcore, while the UAF has massively shrunken in size and influence. This reconfiguration is ongoing with links between some TUC unions and UAF reportedly wavering, while the AFN continues to fill the void left behind by UAF’s demise.
In this situation, the IWW should lead by example and affiliate to the AFN. This move would be a welcome boost to the radical left’s willingness to combat fascism and would realise the full meaning of our slogan ‘An injury to one is an injury to all.’ Affiliation would be firmly in line with the union’s history of antifascist action against the KKK and the participation of IWW members in the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Most importantly, it would be a shrewd recognition of our immediate stake in the antifascist fight.
Practical consequences of affiliation should include regular funding of antifascist activity, active mobilisation in opposition to the far right and aggressive propaganda drives that win the argument amongst wider swathes of the working class that racism is used to divide and weaken our class by our capitalist enemies. The appeal of the far right to the working class is intimately tied to the failure of an organised left offering a proud and practical alternative to liberal capitalism. As a class antagonistic union, we are well placed to speak to those same concerns that turn working people towards fascism if starved of a left wing outlet. It is our responsibility to address to this.
Importantly, the IWW’s involvement should also firmly be on the front line. Not only must the far-right threat be dealt with ruthlessly and offensively, but the argument needs to become louder that at some point (soon), a revolutionary union must begin work in increasing the street confidence and ability of the working class.
With the continuing criminalisation of union activity – e.g. the trade union bill – specifically in response to IWW -style tactics, we have to act early to prepare ourselves for rough pickets and difficult campaigns which do not look that far away. Working class, militant antifascism is therefore a hell of a transferable skill to invest in.
The political moment presents a challenge to the maturity of the still embryonic revolutionary union movement in the UK; A real, violent danger sits on the far right, stoked by the worsening refugee crisis in Europe and powered by increasing economic despair. Unless it is opposed, it will continue to grow in size until it is confident enough to come after the labour movement.
We must cultivate our own self-belief as a militant, working class movement by taking the initiative and removing the fascist threat while it is still in its infancy. As a loud and practical step in this direction, the IWW should affiliate to the AFN.
https://newsyndicalist.org/2016/02/22/are-we-militant-unionists/
submitted by ShaunaDorothy to BritishCommunists [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA 30-Y.O. national public radio host and new media entrepreneur. AMAA.

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-03-06
Link to submission
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Are you constantly on the lookout for new shows to add, or is it more of an organic process? How big is your vision for the eventual size of the MaxFun network? Is there a singular quality that makes an existing podcast a good fit for the network? We'll just keep adding shows as we can. We're not funded by venture capital or anything, donations grow slowly, so we're growing slowly, but we're building for the long term.
How do you describe yourself? For example: how would you respond if a stranger asks you what you do? "I run a podcasting empire?" I usually say I'm a public radio host. My editor Nick is moving out here to LA from Chicago, and before he left he went to the dentist. He called me afterwards and said, "have you ever tried to explain podcasting to your dentist?" Which is why I usually say I'm a public radio host.
What prompted the change from TSOYA to Bullseye after so many years? It sounds like something you and MaxFun had been considering for a while; how did you decide the time was right? Well, we'd thought about changing the name (it used to be The Sound of Young America, for folks who don't know) for a long time. Like... since shortly after I graduated from college. Basically people who hadn't heard the show didn't get what it was based on the name. Which was a big problem in the iTunes store, which is where most listeners come to a podcast. They assumed (anecdotally) that it was a kids show or a politics show or both. So that was a continuing problem. We had a hard time coming up with something we liked better that wasn't totally banal and boring. Then I had a bunch of meetings with public radio program directors, and PRI did some focus groups with program directors, and it was really clear that the name was a much bigger problem there than I knew before. Basically, they were taking it very, very literally. They wondered why I wasn't interviewing more young people, or exclusively young people. So we just sort of decided to bite the bullet and do it. No time like the present. My friend Roman Mars suggested the name. There were also some formatting changes we wanted to make to the show, and we figured we'd take the opportunity to sort of sit back, look at the show and re-adjust. Which we'd never done. I mean, we'd adjusted the show, but always while the train was moving, so to speak.
Lots of questions build up listening to all the great shows in the Maximum Fun empire. 1) How did you get involved with Stop Podcasting Yourself? They weren't originally MaxFun affiliated, correct? 2) How involved is Jordan in MaxFun Business? Is he at all, or is he mostly on-air talent? How does that work with him being "In from the beginning?" 3) How has having a baby changed the dynamic of having an in-house studio? Any funny off-microphone stories? 1) They started doing the show on their own, and they had fans in our forums. Dave sort of outed himself as a member of the forum, and so I listened to the show, and really liked it, and talked to Dave and then we got married and made love and that's how you were born. 2) He's not really involved at all. Basically, we made a deal when we started JJGo, which was that he would get half of the JJGo merch money, half of the JJGo ad revenue, and a salary from donation money. He's tried to turn down that money in the past, though not for a couple years. His only job with JJGo is on-air, pretty much. He comes in with ideas and is a great partner, but he really just shows up and is funny. He has his own very successful career to tend to. 3) It's been pretty tough, frankly. The real problem is that my dogs bark when people come to the door, and that wakes up the baby. My wife was sort of in charge of the dogs when guests came, and it's really hard for her to handle the dogs and the baby, but I have to greet the guests. So that's not funny, but it's true. We're thinking about trying to move to a duplex or something where there's two buildings, or at least a separate entrance for the studio.
How did you meet the honorable Judge John Hodgman? Who's idea was it to start the show? I was just talking with John last night about how we met! He was a guest on The Sound of Young America when his first book came out. This was when I was still on college radio, though I was out of college then - I was like 23 or 24, doing the show from my apartment in San Francisco. Anyway, he was really great on the show, and I went to his book reading at the Booksmith on Haight Street, and it was me and my girlfriend, plus Dave Eggers, Dave Eggers' baby, the staff of the bookstore, Hodgman's literary escort (the person who drives the author around to press), Coulton, and like one other person. We met in person the first time then. He was apparently impressed by me, because he recommended my show to his friend who worked at WNYC, who has since become a mentor of mine, and at the time put a special run of my show on WNYC, which was really my big break. Shortly after all this, Hodgman was a guest on the Daily Show, and that led to his audition to be a contributor there, and to his audition for the computer commercials, and to a whole new life for him. But we just stayed pals and got together when we were in each others' towns. And he helped me many, many times along the way as his burgeoning fame allowed. I owe him a lot. The show was originally a segment on JJGo, which was my idea. I think we did it on episode 2 or something. When Hodgman's This Day In the Past podcast ran out of content (it was stuff from his audio book), it was his idea to make it Judge John Hodgman a standalone show.
I gotta say I love me some Judge John Hodgman. Can you please tell me to shut my piehole? SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE BURNTSAC.
Between Jordan, Jesse, Go; Judge John Hodgman, and Bullseye, you seem to have a few different personas (always as yourself though). Do you consider yourself to be playing characters, or just exaggerated versions of yourself that fit the vibe of each podcast? It's really just my role on the different shows. On Bullseye, I'm mostly an interviewer. That means that while I'm a little more personality-forward than some in public radio, it's mostly a showcase for my guest. I'm trying to find out about them. On JJGo, I'm the host. That means that it's my responsibility to keep things going when the wind falls out of the sails. If Jordan's idea finishes unexpectedly, I have to be ready to say something, whether or not I have something useful to say :). Jordan can sit back and just say a funny thing when it comes to him, I have to talk when no one else is talking. It's also a sillier show, a more community-oriented show, and a more vulgar show, obviously -so the tone is different. On JJHo, that's John's show. I basically get to be like Jordan, just saying a funny thing when it occurs to me, or goosing things when they can use some goosing. I also do a little producing, guiding things from time to time, though we edit that out. In the interview segments, I just try to reveal the drama a little and maybe say one silly thing. I really enjoy myself when I get to be on Never Not Funny or something, and someone else is steering the ship (especially a masterful host like Jimmy), and I have no responsibility other than to have fun. That's really a blast for me, and something I look forward to more than anything else.
How much energy are you putting into getting more public radio stations to air Bullseye? How has the success of the MaximumFun network of podcasts effected your radio strategy? With the re-launch of the show, we're re-evaluating our strategy on this. I'm actually going to Minneapolis to meet with PRI next week on this very subject, and am sort of considering all options. Everything from shutting down the show (very unlikely) to dropping our affiliation to affiliating with someone else to making an all-out push with PRI to everything and anything. We've gotten some really good feedback from the format and name switch, and I don't want to lost momentum. There are some formidable competitors, shows that I really like (Studio 360, Snap Judgement, The Moth, Sound Opinions) that are competing for the same airtime we are, and I'm sick of losing. In the past, I sort of vacillated between trying and not trying and focusing on the podcasts. Theoretically, it's our distributor's responsibility, but they're sort of like a record label - sometimes you have to take your band's future into your own hands. Really, the success of the podcasts has meant that I can eat. Because I literally make about $20,000 a year from stations that air Bullseye, and Bullseye has two employees who earn about $80,000 between them. That's not counting me.
Are you going to be doing a "meet and greet" or anything else special while in the Twin Cities? I may be able to. Not sure what my schedule will be yet. I must prioritize my dinner with Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.
I had a satsuma the other day. They're pretty amazing, right? Now you're just pandering. Anyway: I'm all about sumos now.
What do you see as the key pros/cons of working in broadcast radio versus podcasting? Do you think that public radio is a long-term home for your work, or do you think that you'll eventually go "full internet"? I've always wanted to be a public radio host, and I'm incredibly proud to be a public radio host. My hope is that I'll continue to be one. The public radio system is very change-averse, very diffuse and very institutionally-bound. It can be incredibly frustrating to work within. It's also full of wonderful, brilliant people who work there because they want the world to be a better place, or at least not a worse place. So it makes me nuts sometimes, but I'm really genuinely proud to be part of it. That said, the internet has been what's allowed me to pursue all kinds of crazy projects and make money from them and build an audience that I never could have built on broadcast. And eat. Also: eat.
I recently looked up what you look like and was really surprised (based on the sound of your voice). Do you get that a lot? Yes, because I'm so handsome.
One of the things I find so fascinating and great about the MaxFun empire is how positive it's programming is. For an internet entity none of it is based in pure negativity or snark. But I sometimes get the feeling that when a discussion turns into some for of criticism listeners have a hard time with you speaking negatively about something (i.e. you mentioning some faults with Community resulting in people assuming you hated the show.) Do you find it hard to reconcile the positive attitude of MaxFun, with being critical of culture? Yes! Just: yes! People do a lot of extrapolating. For me, they tend to assume that I'm A) insincere and B) secretly super hateful. Actually, I like a lot of things and don't like a lot of things and just sort of focus my energy on the things I like. I dislike The Real Housewives, but, you know... I'm a grownup. I just don't watch it. But you're totally right: if I say that Arrested Development fell apart a bit towards the end, people freak out and think I hate Arrested Development. It's weird. And hard.
When you're considering adding an independent/fledgling podcast to the MaxFun network, what factors influence that decision? I imagine it's some combination of numbers, similarity to or difference from podcasts already on the network, and general enjoyability, but is there anything else? I really don't think the internet is saturated with comedy podcasts. Not as long as only 10% of people in the US even know what a podcast is. Is iTunes saturated with rock albums? You don't need that many people to follow your podcast to make a living from it. Tens of thousands. MILLIONS had to watch your TV show 15 years ago.
Also, with the internet so saturated with comedy podcasts at the moment, how do you envision the landscape of new media changing over the next few years? Any ideas on what might be the next big thing? Does it fit into our lineup, does it compliment what we're offering, that kind of thing. Does it feel of a piece with what we're doing.
How does one make a living from a podcast with tens of thousands of followers? All from ads? In our case, mostly donations. But presumably it would be a combination of sources. It wouldn't solely be from the podcast, it would be from having a few tens of thousands of fans that you're monetizing in a variety of ways (shows, a book, donations, ads, selling merch, whatever).
I just want to say that I love Put This On and wish that you guys posted more. What is your "go to" outfit? If I'm not working or making any public appearances, old jeans (LVC 1947 501s), a white t-shirt, a heather gray sweatshirt, and a pair of boots.
With devices such as Roku and Boxee beginning to put indie media on the same level as big players, what do you think will be the next big break to completely level the playing field? And what do you think will happen once that field is leveled? I don't agree with your premise :). I think the field is getting leveled-er, but I don't think it will be leveled. In terms of audio, which is my specialty, I think the difference would be a standard that makes it stupid easy to listen to internet audio in the car. STUPID easy. But it's been almost ten years with almost zero progress on that, and I'm starting to despair. Apple is really into proprietary formats, and also doesn't seem interested in cars. I just have to hope that Microsoft's efforts might pan out there. They've actually done some really good stuff with their phones lately, and I haven't used Sync, but I've heard good things. Basically, cars are the place where most audio programming is consumed, and most people won't mess with anything unless it's CRAZY simple, and podcasts still aren't crazy simple.
Why do you think there are so few prominent podcasts featuring women or non-white dudes? Am I just stuck in a white dude podcast network, and am not being exposed to the other amazing things that are out there? Where should I look (aside from Throwing Shade, of course)? Something about nerds and the equipment, I think. It frustrates me, too. I'm a big fan of Julie Klausner's show, too.
You're a big Hip Hop fan. What's the best Hip Hop album of all time? This isn't a very creative answer, but probably Illmatic. My personal favorites are probably The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest, Blowout Comb by Digable Planets and Just Tryin' Ta Live by Devin the Dude.
What is your single favorite piece of clothing? I swear, I have been thinking about this since you posted it and haven't come up with an answer yet. Nominees so far include the peacoat (post WWII, pre-Korea) that I bought in HS and have had and worn ever since and the (dated 1958) Abercrombie & Fitch tweed suit I bought at the Los Feliz Goodwill that I wear once a year at MaxFunCon.
Forgive me for not knowing much about podcasts, but where does the revenue come from? Display ads? Commercials? Do you own the site for the podcast? How much time do you spend on the monetizing aspect of things and what do you spend that time doing? Most of our revenue (this is from memory) comes from donations. Maybe 60%. Then some comes from ads in the shows, some comes from broadcast, and some comes from events. I spend a significant amount of time on monetization, but the mechanics are at this point farmed out to employees. My wife is the development director, so she handles our pledge drives and donor relations. I have an events director who handles our events. I handle our relationship with our distributor on the radio. On Put This On, I'm still steering that ship. We do display ads there, which bring in signficant revenue. I've turned down a few ad networks for various reasons, and most of our advertisers have been smaller, independent businesses rather than major brands. The big brands tend to want to do huge buys, and they tend to want more than display ads, if you catch my drift. The web series of Put This On is funded via Kickstarter, with most of the money coming from individuals, though we do have to advertisers, for whom we created commercials that will air in episodes.
Sorry to pander but I still smile everytime I remember Marc Maron saying "Papa Jesse of the Nerd Plantation" at MaxFunCon. So my question would be to talk about how awesome MaxFunCon is. I've been every year but the first. What was the first year like not knowing how things were going to turn out? Were you afraid it was going to bankrupt you? Yeah. I put $35,000 on credit cards to do the first one :)
How do you reconcile your (from my understanding) less-than-privileged upbringing with your seemingly divergent loves of menswear and hip-hop? Not unlike Popeye, Iyam what Iyam. In all sincerity, though: my upbringing was less than privileged, but while my family were short on money, they were long on taste. My mom especially. She's still a part-time antiques dealer, and one of the most elegant people I've ever known. She also came up in DC friends with Gil Scott Heron and making clothes for Miles Davis and stuff, so she's not one-dimensional, either. I'd say my childhood, while it was in the hood, was as much bohemian as it was straight-up "hood," and pretty unusual even in that context.
Hey Jesse! I love your show. My question for you is, how did you first get into the industry? Do you have any advice for someone like myself who just graduated with a broadcasting degree and is trying to break in? Get any job you can, and demonstrate that you're the most reliable, useful person in the room, and that you want to do more than what you're doing at any given time. Pursue new skills whenever you get the chance, and look for chances to learn them or teach them to yourself. ALSO start your own project(s) that you have to do consistently and improve over time.
I really didn't think the Merrill Markoe episode came across as very awkward. On a totally unrelated note, remember that episode of 30 Rock when Liz Lemon invites her hero, a groundbreaking female comedy writer (played by Carrie Fisher) to be a guest writer on the show, only to realize that this woman she admires so much is bat shit insane and mean to boot? Oh, Tina Fey! Where do you get your ideas? Actually, after meeting someone who wasn't Merrill, I always assumed that character was based on someone who wasn't Merrill. COUGHhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_BeattsCOUGH.
How hard is it to keep the McElroy's potty mouths under control during their segments on Bullseye? Those are good West Virginia boys. They know not to swear when daddy's in the room.
I'd like to know a little more about MaxFunCon - How did it come about? Are there plans to expand it or take it elsewhere? Essentially, a few years ago we wanted to have some physical manifestation of all this online stuff we were building. I thought about alot of options, including a traditional convention, and couldn't come up withsomething that seemed worth doing. We were at UCLA, and they said, "have you thought about our Lake Arrowhead property?"
Who has been your all time favorite guest on Jordan, Jesse, Go? Also, I'm going to San Francisco for the first time in October, what is the one thing I shouldn't miss? All time favorite JJGo guest is a tough one. My wife when we announced she was pregnant maybe?
Is Hodgman's mustache as wondrous in real life as I'm lead to believe? Was hanging out with him last night, and yeah, it's majestic.
So, I'm about to start a new podcast. What would be your number one tip? And what should I not do? Remember that you're making the show for the audience, not for you. And make it regularly. Don't make it too long.
Outside of the Maximum Fun network, who should people interested in great radio be listening to? I actually posted on my Tumblr about what podcasts I subscribe to recently: http://jessethorn.tumblr.com/post/15678234125/what-podcasts-do-you-subscribe-to-jesse-folks . In terms of things that actually go out over the air, I really love 99% Invisible, A History of the World in 100 Objects, Radiolab, Fresh Air, The Best Show on WFMU and The Memory Palace.
So, Jesse, your cultural recommendations are always top-notch ( I'm talking Downton Abbey, Satsumas, Larry Sanders.) And as an SF native, it warms my heart whenever the city comes up in podcast conversation-- So, I'm curious-- what things around SF can you endorse? favorite spot in the city to grab a burrito? thrift store? a tailor you'd recommend? etc. Favorite burrito is probably El Farolito in the OMI, near Ocean & Mission. Favorite thrift store is probably Community Thrift. Don't have a tailor in the city anymore, but I've heard that Cable Car Tailors near Union Square is good (iirc). I think natives should visit the Musee Mechanique sometime. And go see W. Kamau Bell's monthly show The W. Kamau Bell Curve - bring someone of a different race and get in for half price. And maybe spend a weekend morning at West Coast Live.
Who is your dream guest (for either Bullseye or JJGo), and have you ever come close to booking him/her? I haven't really thought about a dream guest for JJGo - those are usually our friends. Patton Oswalt has never been on, we've talked a few times about him coming on but he's crazy busy. He would be wonderful. For Bullseye, there's a few... in terms of non-obvious ones, Randy Newman's near the top of the list. We've come pretty close. May still happen. Albert Brooks, we've tried really hard but not gotten anywhere. There's tons of super-famous people, too, but I just don't even really consider them. I mean, I'd love to have Will Ferrel, but it's not worth the effort for me to try and do that right now.
Hey Jesse. I'm a big fan of JJGo and have a lot of respect for what you've done with podcasting. I do a comedic podcast in the midwest (Kansas) and I'm finding younger podcasts with lower production quality from Southern California getting way more recognition than ours. Any suggestions? Move to Southern California or New York. It's not about the geography. The people aren't getting recognition because they're physically close to somewhere, it's because they're part of a comedy community that just doesn't exist in Kansas, because there's no comedy industry in Kansas. You can help create an analog to that community online... but real life communities are really important and they always will be. That's why I live in LA even though I'd rather live in San Francisco.
Am I the only one who thinks that this bear looks just a little like Jesse? I sure hope so.
Jesse, could you explain the fact that you don't consume alcohol? Is there some specific reason? Or do you just have a general distaste for it? My father and stepmother are both recovering alcoholics, and my mother had substance issues as well. All of them were largely before my memory, but I've tried to learn a lesson from their lives.
On an earlier episode of JJGo you discussed not having made your greatest creative achievement yet. Often times this thought paralyzes me from making at all, knowing that the creative product I produce will probably be embarrassing to me in some way, in as much as it's not perfect. For this reason I distrust compliments and find it very hard to stay consistently motivated, having a binge and purge system with creative success. What mental gymnastics, if any, do you have to perform to keep yourself motivated? I'm sure the established fan base you have now helps plenty, but what about in the beginning, in the college radio days? Yeah, that's sort of why I had to create a thing where I just have to make stuff every week. Because if I get into what needs to be just right... then I get paralyzed too. But shows have to go on the air. And JJGo just is what it is.
How is the preparation for an interview different when you are either not as familiar with the interviewee or don't really like the stuff they make? I don't book people whose stuff I don't like. The show has a really strong editorial perspective, and I think that's one of its essential qualities. That said, sometimes I'm less familiar with a guest's work. Rock people, for example - I'm just less versed in the rock world than I am in soul and hip-hop. Once in a while something that listeners have introduced me to, like Kate Beaton, the webcomics artist. In short, it's more work then :). I mean, I put in a lot of work anyway, but it's a matter of familiarizing myself THEN getting to the point where I know what I want the interview to be, rather than just the second part.
Did you know /maximumfun exists? Yes! Though I haven't checked in in a while.
I'd like to say that I'm a huge fan. My brother and I listen to your podcasts nearly every day. What are some of your favorite non-Hip Hop musical groups/artists? As far as my favorite non-hip-hop musical artists... well, I'd say that soul music is probably, if push came to shove, my favorite genre. My all-time favorites are Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, The Staple Singers, Sam Cooke, Al Greene... James Brown, especially sort of Fred Wesley-era James Brown. In terms of newer soul music, D'Angelo, Bilal. I'm a casual jazz listener, too. I love Nina Simone as much as anything. My wife grew up listening to rock music, so she listens to a lot more, uhm, demographically-appropriate music than I do :). I like some of it more than others - Band of Horses I like a lot for example. I'd still pretty much rather listen to the Stylistics every time, though.
How do you prepare for podcasts like JJGo where it seems that you're more just shooting the shit? How much do you rely on a list of talking points or witty things to say, and how much of it comes from an unscripted ability to perpetuate an interesting conversation? There's a pretty thorough rundown of the equipment I use here on BoingBoing: http://boingboing.net/2010/06/24/a-visit-to-maximum-f.html . It's pretty much the same now as then... I run the calls on JJGo off of a little netbook with an old Edirol UA-1EX audio interface plugged into it. As far as white people go... I like Van Morrison, though I prefer the R&B to the folky stuff. I love Randy Newman. Andrew WK. I like country music... sort of traditional country, George Jones, that kind of thing. Fiddles and steel guitars and aching hearts.
One-sided, possibly. Asymmetrical.
You've been working with Jordan Morris in some capacity for 10+ years I think. Your chemistry is the best part of Jordan, Jesse, Go! but I can also imagine you getting frustrated with each other. How do you keep this partnership fresh and on track? Jordan's just a really good guy. Probably my worst quality is that I'm a perfectionist with over-strong convictions, and Jordan can be a bit passive. Luckily, those fit together pretty well :).
You and Jordan have been friends for a while. Has there ever been a moment when you thought that it might be better to split ways? Jordan's the funniest guy I've ever been friends with. He's a real genius. And besides that he's got a wonderful heart and he's committed to doing a good job, and you couldn't ask for a better partner than that.
What are your favorite public radio shows? Van you recommend any shows that are more obscure? 99% Invisible is a favorite. So is The Memory Palace. On the Media. There's THREE!
Will hang it up/keep it up come back at all? It's one of my favorite segments ever. Also, got anything that needs to hang it up or keep it up? Hang it up Skyrim. Too many dragons. DANGEROUS.
What's the next conquest for the Jesse Thorn empire? Anything interesting in the pipeline that you'd like to talk about? Well, Season Two of PTO premieres next Tuesday, March 13th. That's really exciting. And we're going to premiere International Waters very soon, too, which is a pop culture comedy quiz show. You can check out the pilot here: http://soundcloud.com/colin-anderson/international-waters/s-DdlTw . And of course the pledge drive!
To what extent do "big interviews" (like Herzog or Bootsy) freak you out, and what do you do about that? (Or is there a point past which you're no longer nervous to have some ultra famous hero in your house?) Bonus question: did you ever get a reliable supply of caffeine free Dr. Pepper? Let's see... Second question first. You can mail order caffeine free regular Dr Pepper (no . after the Dr) from Dublin Dr Pepper. Or at least you could - they had a dispute with the parent company of some kind, and they took the order form off their website. http://www.olddocs.com/ I haven't called. I've been trying not to drink soda on account of the old on-camera work. As for the first question... I mostly get nervous when I'm not prepared. For Bootsy and Herzog, I was ready. Sometimes, if someone really has a lot of emotional meaning to me, I get nervous. I was nervous for Bill Withers, for example. And he gave me reason to be, too :). Mavis Staples. Bootsy had a lot of meaning for me, but I just knew he was a great guy and it would go well. Herzog I was kind of nervous but I just thought it would be fun. I do pee a lot before interviews. That is the physical manifestation of nerves. I will pee like three times before an interview. In the toilet, of course.
I've heard of this other radiot host called Rush L. What do you think of his recent comments? Also how often do you hear jokes relating to having a "face for radio" and how quickly does that grow old? I haven't followed the whole thing. His politics don't jive with mine, and I think he's a slimeball overall, but he's a talented broadcaster, and I think that people on the left take him a little too literally - he's a self-aware, self-parodist, in part. I think that saying his show is from the "Excellence in Broadcasting Network" is actually pretty funny. It's a bit like when Kilborn used to be his own announcer.
Does PRI give you pressure about the Bullseye podcast? I wonder if they ever say "Why would someone listen to a radio station when they can download instantly?" PRI have never pressured me about anything. They understand my situation.
How do you balance your growing media empire with time for your wife and baby? It's really hard, and it's been a big adjustment, especially since my wife is also my colleague, and has had to scale back her schedule about 95% to take care of the baby. Still figuring it out, frankly.
Bullseye seems to be part of a new movement in Public Radio, along with RadioLab and 99% Invisible, that keeps the thoughtfulness of traditional public radio, but with content, pacing, and tone that engages younger listeners more. Amongst young people, podcasting is the preferred way to consume these shows. It's awesome. But it makes me wonder about public television. I haven't seen anything similar for it (with the exception maybe of This American Life) . Why do you think that is? Have you considered producing a long-form video podcast that would meet the standards of Public Television, but innovates in the same way this recent movement of public radio has? Short answer: video production is way more expensive.
When is the MaxFunDrive (the annual fundraiser to support your network) this year? We just started announcing it on shows, but it starts March 26th. We'll have some excellent thank-you gifts and just generally it will be kick-ass.
Last updated: 2012-03-11 04:06 UTC
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3-Day Potty Training Tip #6: Get Out of the House—with a Travel Potty. This will depend on the time of year, but if at all possible, get out of the house during this 3 day period. Take a walk around the block. Run a quick errand. Get some fresh air. I always try to get a good pee in before we go, but again, if they won’t go, just go outside If day two of potty training seems worse than the first, don’t worry. Consider potty-training a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of progress. Your son may have done well the first day because it was new, or for the gold stars and rewards. Slight regression is okay so long as you continue to see a general trend of improvement. Even though this is a review of the 3-Day Potty Training Method, I’m including Day 4, to show continued success and some flexibility on my part. 3 Day Potty Training Method Nighttime Day 4, I tried to take my son to the potty upon waking and he refused. Before you put this step by step 3 day potty training method into practice, you must amass all your supplies. Some of the things you must have include a potty chair or a potty seat (aim to put one in every bathroom of your house), training pants or underwear, beverages (water or juice), and snacks that are conducive to urination. Nighttime potty training can be a slow process and needs repeated attempts. If you feel that the toddler is too young for nighttime potty training, then focus on daytime training. You can put on the diaper at night. [ Read: Best Potty Seats] Potty training – day 2: The next day, repeat the steps from day one.

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