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Two Weeks To PMC 2018

Julie and I are neck and neck in fundraising this year.  Probably because many of you donate to both of us (thank you for that).

Show your support –> or to Julie

2018 has been a busier year than average.  I’m not sure exactly why, but I know I wanted to make Thank You Songs™ for each and every one of you and that idea has fallen flat.  I am also behind on my training.  I don’t feel as good as I have in past years.  There are plenty of miles (2,500) under my belt for the year, but too many of those have been soccer practice and regular slow going errands, not enough “workout” rides.

It’s like walking vs. running.  You can’t train for a marathon by walking even if walking is fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the slow going errand rides far more than I do the fast moving training rides.  The bike-exercise is just something that I have to do to participate in the PMC.  It’s the only way to manage the distances in a reasonable amount of time and with minimal pain at the end.  So, as I type this on a Sunday, I’m convincing myself to get on one of the bikes and go ride in the rain for a few hours because I will be no time during the week to do it.

Yes, one of the bikes.  Today looks like a super fun fat-bike-in-the-woods day.  Or possibly night.

2018 Personal OKRs

I already feel stupid writing that heading.


Let’s just call them “goals”. OKRs are Objective and Key Results. Basically just goals that have measurements so you can see exactly how badly you’ve screwed them up.

Full disclosure, I stole this idea from this fellow. We do this type of thing at work, of course. So why not outside of work? It’s not a New Years Resolution™ exactly. Resolutions tend to be things like “Stop procrastinating!” and “Lose weight!”.

These are fine goals to make, but without a way to measure them, it’s hard to know if you’re working toward them. Use “Lose weight” as an objective, and add some ways to measure it like: stop taking the elevator, walk 5+ miles/week, 3 beers/week max, etc.

Key Results. Measurable things.

If you only focus on the weight loss, it can be overwhelming when the scale doesn’t change.

Let’s Get Started

I didn’t set any goals for 2017 so any new objectives might seem a tad out of whack.

If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself that I’m just doing it all wrong, please just close your browser and move along. This is how I’m doing it! Write your own OKRs!

1. Health And Fitness

Start with the cliché. I know.

  • > 20 pushups each day
    • “That’s easy!” No, it’s easy to forget. You do it punk!
  • 10 Pullups each work day
    • This is an important detail. Work has a gym with a pullup bar.
    • Sets of less than 10 are fine since I can’t do 10 in a row anyway.
  • Bike 5,000 miles !
    • Why 5,000? Well, I did about 4,500 in 2017. 5,000 is just a tad more work.
  • Run 250 miles
    • Loosely based on 5 miles/week
    • Biking is nice, but it’s not everything. Running is good heart stuff.

2. Learning Things

“Read More Books!!!!1!!11” Right?

Books are nice. Picking up new skills is also nice.

I’m not going to play in any recitals, so that’s all I’m going to promise for now.

  • Practice Spanish
    • Make Duolingo think I’m 50% fluent (It thinks I’m 35% now, which is bit nuts).
    • Read at least one book written in Spanish. Like, say… 100 pages.

My daughter is in a Spanish immersion kindergarten. It’s weird, I know. I figure I should at least try to keep up. I’d like to know what she knows.

  • Learn Sketchup
    • Design the kitchen for our house. At least one option.

More on this later. I’m repeating OKRs in two categories. But sketchup is a pretty handy tool for designing many things. And in a world of 3D everything, it can’t hurt to know well.

  • Read at least one actual book
    • I’m like 100% audio books.
    • Reading to the kids doesn’t count.

3. Home & Family

Making myself less fat is nice and everything, but what’s the point in being a parent if I’m not going to focus improving their lives just a bit? Any improvement will do.

  • Remove clutter from my office.
    • 50% fewer useless books.
    • Nothing spilling into the hallway.
    • Remove all of the old cameras, parts, pieces that I don’t use.
    • Empty the basked of useless cables.

IT HELPS THEM, trust me. My office is a MESS. I’ll provide before & after pictures at the end of the year.

  • Help the kids donate $$$s
    • Research at least 10 charitable organizations
    • Donate their spend pile at least twice during the year

The kids are following a spend/save/give program now with their money. More on this later, perhaps. But this particular goal is to help them work through the process of deciding which charities will get their money.

  • Home Projects
    • Patch the hole in the bedroom ceiling that we thought was filled with bees but turned out to be ants instead.
    • After learning Sketchup (see “Learning”) create one or more first floor layouts.

I don’t have a “honey do” list because she does most of the doing. But I’m the one that cut the hole in the ceiling, so I should probably patch it.

4. Community & Giving

Julie and I ride the PMC every year, that’s just about a given at this point. That consumes quite a bit of time and energy. But we have plenty of money that could do more good.

I am also already on one local committe and the youth soccer board in town, as well as a coach. This also eats up a ton of time but I will keep doing it.

  • Scheduled Donations
    • At least 2 automatic recurring donations to different institutions.

I tend to donate to things randomly but not consistently. There are plenty of charities that I would love to support on a recurring basis and should get started doing that right away.

  • Complete Streets
    • Work with the school system to address shortcomings in the walkability at the schools.
    • Work with the Safe Routes to School folks to get some programs started.

You probably already know I’m a big fan of not driving. Especially when you’re going on a 1/2 mile trip. Especially especially when you’re going to bring your 3,500 lb rolling steal death box to the roads where kids are converging for their daily education.

Put them on the bus, or let them walk bike there. “But it’s not safe!”, you say. Well, in comes the Safe Routes to School program and now you understand my objective.

No More Time For Typing

With all these THINGS I’m promsing myself that I’ll do, I’d best be getting started. This office isn’t going to clean itself. I am on track with pushups though. No problem there, but I’m going to have to start running next week and kick up my bike commuting miles or I will quickly fall behind!

Happy New Year.

PMC 2017 Begins!

It’s a new year and that means it’s time for PMC 2017!

Skip all the rest of this nonsense and show your support

Donate To Randy Donate To Julie
(We can balance funds later, so please don’t worry about who’s ahead/behind.)
Read my review of last year’s PMC

What is the PMC?

The PMC is a very large sports based fundraising event where 100% of the proceeds make it to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  We bike to show our commitment and to enjoy the ride with thousands of like minded people dedicated to our cause.

I bike to preserve the memory of my niece and help others win their battle with cancer.

Bumpy Start

I was enjoying skiing a bit too much this winter and managed to shatter my collar bone a few days ago. It will be 2-3 months before it is near 100% so training is going to be a bit tricky. Even worse, just riding where I need to go will be difficult. However, in the last three years I haven’t driven a car to work once and I don’t plan on breaking that record now!

But first…

Family Updates

We’ve had many biking adventures

In the wild.

Snake *skins*

Rides to school.

Rides on her brother’s bike.

Christmas Tree By Bike


I turned 41.

Molly turned the big 5.0!

I crashed my bike (sorry, gross).

We Did Some Running

And Some Skiing


Played soccer.

First day of school.


Julie and I celebrated 10 years!

The GREATEST glove/boot dryer ever made.

Ladies at the check presentation.

Hiking in Purgatory Chasm.

Julie built a glorious cat condo for a stray cat.



And probably lots of other fun stuff happened too. OK, perhaps it wasn’t always fun, but life is what you make of it, so why be down about things you can’t change?


Last Wednesday, February 15, my employer took the company on a ski trip to Loon Mountain. I have been skiing, instead of snowboarding, this season to help teach Molly how to ski. Up until last year I have snowboard most of my life. It is what I know. It is what I am good at on snow. Unfortunately that confidence may have carried over into skiing and made me a bit to careless.

Here’s what happened.

A small group of us skied into the small terrain park. I stopped at the top to look at the features. There were ramps, rails, and boxes all over the hill for fun or avoidance, depending on your personal aspirations. My plan was too look for some relatively small jumps and avoid the gnarly metal objects completely.

A friend went ahead and hopped over the knuckle of the first slope and it looked like fun. Instead of following my original plan to scope things out, I followed him. What i didn’t know is that he had just barely missed a ground level “feature” pipe that was buried in the fresh snow.

I did not miss it.

As i jumped, I must have clipped the pipe. I’m not 100% on what happened next. I know I went higher than I was planning though. I must have also been knocked off axis.

When I hit, I hit hard. My back right side took the impact, but not well. I yelled as the air was knocked out of my lungs but I didn’t recognize the real problem right away.

After I regained my breath, I heard someone ask if I was alright, which was nice of them. But I wasn’t alright. I raised one finger as an indication to wait while I tried to determine the answer to their question. Sitting in the snow with my skis still on, I moved my left hand slowly over my right shoulder until I felt the bone.

I dropped my hand and said, “I broke my collar bone.”

They turned and quickly skied off saying, “I’ll get ski patrol!!”, while some others stayed behind. My vision blurred a bit and I didn’t try to get up. I asked one of the guys to take my skis off while I sat and waited for the ski patrol to rescue my butt from the cold snow.

I was pretty impressed with how quickly they arrived and thanked them many times. They asked me all of the does-he-have-a-concussion questions while I tried to lay in the snow and take a nap. Perhaps that was why they kept asking me the questions. I knew I hadn’t hit my head, but I was likely exhibiting some “shock” symptoms. I did know my bones had snapped and I was trying to focus on not letting it bother me. Also, it takes a bit of focus to tell your brain that your right arm should no longer be considered a useful part of your body.

I could have skied down. I COULD HAVE!

About twenty minutes, a ride in a led, and a WW II style cloth sling later, the ski patrol medic says to me, “Well, that’s about all we can do. You should really get yourself to a hospital.”

“Can I get a beer first?”

, I asked.

“I can’t recommend that, but if it were me in this situation, I probably would.”

So I had a beer, snack, and a couple ibuprofen with my left hand while we worked out which hospital to patronize. Luckily someone was leaving a bit early and was able to give me a lift to Emerson Hospital in Concord. We arrived in the ER about 6:00PM to more skeptical medical staff.

“What’s going on with you sir?”
“I broke my collar bone.”
“Has this been verified?”
“By whom, sir?
“Would you like to see the bone?”
“OK, the doctor will see you shortly.”

A few more hours of waiting, talk, and x-rays later I was released with the not so great news. I don’t have a “simple” break. The bone shattered into several pieces and some of them ended up perpendicular to their natural position. Usually, a simple break is left alone to heal all by itself. Mine is the case where they use surgery to piece the puzzle back together.

Yes, it is weird that I left the hospital with bones trying to punch through my shoulder, but apparently that’s how all this doctoring stuff works. I wasn’t in any immediate danger, so they scheduled the surgery for a day that worked for them. It is now 4 days later and I’m still walking around with broken bones. As I’m learning, this is just how collar bones are handled.

If you’re wondering, this is the after picture.

My best advice for those of you reading this is to not break your bones. I was stupid and I am paying the price for it. My family is on their way to the ski vacation I’ve been looking forward to all winter. It makes me sad that I can’t be with them and I’m angry at myself for creating this situation. The best thing I can do now is work to recover as quickly as possible to be with them.

I can promise you that this will not stop me from riding. It may slow me down and hurt the whole time, but it won’t keep me from PMC 2017. I’m hoping for less hurting though.


I almost forgot. Max and I have been practicing the piano. Whether or not you want one, we’re going to play each and every donor a song. We’ll try to anyway. It always gets tight near PMC time, but we can keep playing long after!

Thank You

I can never tell you this enough. Julie and I could not do this without your support. We have a lot of money to raise in a very short period of time and you have pulled through for us every year.

Year #5! No wait, it’s #6!

In 2009 I made a blind leap into a new adventure.
In 2010 my father came along for the ride.
In 2011 I joined an actual team and we rode together.
In 2012 Meg died.  I miss her.
In 2013 We made some awesome pictures together.1

In 20142 we are going to crush it as a family.

My fantastic wife will be joining me, and the rest of Team Lick Cancer, for the full 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown.  I can’t wait.  She’s going to be great.

I can’t thank you enough for your support in the past.  And we are going to need it more than ever if we are to reach two goals!  Don’t worry about which one of us you donate too, we can balance the funds later.  Do check with your organizations for a company match though,  it can be a tremendous help.

Ride on baby.

Donate Now

  1. The pictures will continue.  And this year, Molly will be contributing her awesomeness to the mix. []
  2. Yes that’s a link to this page.  Don’t click it. []

Fundraising is hard.

It’s May 20th 2013 and summer is really starting.

Technically I do have many more months to fundraise for PMC 2013, but I always prefer to be ahead of the game by ride time in August.

I’m not special in my hatred of asking people for money.  It’s hard.  I think next year, I’m going to have to switch to an event based fundraiser where I can give something back.  Currently, I’m lacking in ideas, so if you have some, you know where to reach me.  But a “dunk tank filled with horse manure” isn’t a great suggestion.

There fundraising rule I haven’t been following this year –> “ADD NEW PEOPLE EVERY YEAR!”.  Not every donor will return.  I need to replenish them.  Unfortunately, many of my donors used to come from work.  And in my new position, I have very little “face time” with other people.  While in IT I knew everyone.  In software, I work on projects in isolation, with headphones on and see no humans for days at a time.


So, here comes the hard part.