September 28, 2012 - Padilla Miami Oscuro Limitado cigar, classic gin martini with 3 olives, and Miles Davis - Kind of Blue... not a bad way to finish September.

Work has dominated everything lately. I keep telling myself that's a good thing but deep down I'm looking forward to the day I call it quits. At the tender age of 54 that's still a ways off, but more and more it's been a vague picture that begs detail on a regular basis. My dad retired this year and seems to regret it passionately. He misses being busy and complains about having nothing to do each day. I would LOVE to have that problem... except there's a little voice in the back of my mind that warns it's a trap and, like my dad, I'll miss the days of pushing myself for deadlines and deliverables.

So I press on and march the Monday thru Friday ritual, relishing the end of each week while pretending Monday mourning isn't going to be tomorrow.

CigarsThis Padilla cigar is very nice. When they first arrived I gave them the usual 1-2 week rest in my humidor, but after trying a few decided they were still too raw (I hoped) and let them sit for another couple of months. Tonight I broke one open and am finding it very pleasant... nice balanced taste with a great draw. Billows of thick lazy smoke cloud my office while I'm reminded life is good and God's blessings are even better.

I've held off on mentioning this to anyone, but today I started the 2nd half of my 12 week P90X routine. Chest, shoulders and triceps, plus a 15 minute ab routine. I've been steady as a rock with the 6 previous weeks, only missing an occasional (maybe not so occasional) weekly yoga session. (I pretend to hate yoga - it's a 90 minute workout that involves a lot of positions that demand balance and strength. Truth is it is a great workout, but if I can do 1 hour I feel like I've satisfied the minimum requirements and am grateful for that alone.)

The reason I don't want to say anything to others is that I think sometimes I'll SAY I want to do something more than I actually want to DO it. So I've decided that unless someone else brings up the topic I'm going to shut my mouth and keep working at this until I've done the entire 12 week program 2 times in a row. It's a real challenge - but this is one routine that works IF you do it.

Also I noticed I had a pattern of doing well for 2 or 3 weeks, then would take a break for a week or 2 and have to start all over again. The thing is, after a certain amount of time working out you build up muscle and it feels good... and you can build on that if you keep pushing onward, instead of taking breaks. So that's what I'm fighting against - just keep pushing forward, don't think about what has been accomplished or what will come next... stay in the moment, do the workout for today, and see how it all turns out. So far I'm liking the results.

But this is only half way, and already I decided to do to do this at least 2 times in a row. Why? Because it works... it really does. Maybe after that I'll mix it up and try a new P90X program, or try going to a gym for a while just to do something different. But for now - one day at a time and just keep going.

The A's Win! The A's Win! The A's win!

Late September and the little team that couldn't is clinging to a playoff spot. They're 2 games ahead of the Angels for the 2nd wildcard spot and 3 games behind the Rangers for the division title. Anybody who predicted this at the beginning of the season would have been checked into a mental institution...

If they don't make the playoffs this will still be a tremendous accomplishment, but to be so close to competing in the post season against teams with far more resources (read $$) is the stuff of Cinderella dreams. Each game is high wire drama ending with either crushing defeat or mind blowing victory... baseball is a tremdous sport and the 2012 Oakland Athletics are the embodiment of what pure competition is all about. LET'S go OAK-land!!

September 2, 2012 - Rocky Patel Decade and Gurhka Vintage 2001 cigars, Allman Brothers and now Cars and The Pretenders music, and Rusty Nails all night long... I am blessed.

Even though it's a Sunday this is actually my Friday night. This weekend was Daniel and Amanda's wedding, so today was the first day we were actually able to pause the madness and take a breath. Friday was the rehearsal dinner and Saturday was the wedding. Everything went great, but it was a bit of work for the Puzzle Master and myself. She was working overtime to set up decorations and I actually had the job of performing the marriage ceremony. Yup... I got to say the words, "By virtue of the authority vested in me as deputy commissionaer of the county of Alameda, I now pronounce you married under the laws of the state of California." Wow. Not something I do every day...

So today we rest. Except I didn't... still was able to stick with my workout routine and did the Arms and Shoulders workout of P90X. Whew... my legs haven't quite recovered from the Plyometrics workout yesterday, but I'm determined to press forward no matter the hectic schedule and do my exercise. I'm tired and sore but damn glad to be sticking with the program.

And it's getting really good now as I'm into the 3rd week of this workout. That means I've pushed thru the beginning phase where the goal is to introduce your muscles to hard workouts. When starting out in the first couple of weeks you want to go easy, only introducing your body to the stress of working out. But after that you can begin to push it, increasing the weights to a more challengining level where real muscle is begins to develop. It takes time to get here and I'm appreciating it. But after that it takes real work to keep pressing and doing more and more difficult workouts. It won't be easy, but you can't challenge yourself unless you have a base built up and that's the place where I'm at right now.

Baseball update - the Amazing A's have won NINE GAMES IN A ROW! Holy freaking cow - the little engine that couldn't is climbing the hill and is now 3 games out of 1st place with a solid hold on one of the two wildcard spots available for the playoffs. Simply amazing... for a team with one of the lowest payrolls in the league this is nothing short of amazing. They just finished a 3 game sweep of the detestable Boston Red Sox, who have the 3rd highest payroll in all of baseball - $173m - vs. the Amazings $53m... sweet.