Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017 Meltdown Mountain Bike Challenge

The countdown has begun for this years Meltdown.  Only two weeks to go until the big day - June 11, 2017.   Get all the info on www.cowtowncycling.com

We have custom awards for each class as well as USA Cycling State Championship medals for Kansas licensed riders.
I decided to try something new this year in regards to the Marathon class.  Increasing the distance to 4 hours.  This was done for several reasons but mainly because Steve Tilford encouraged me to increase the distance to make it more challenging and a true marathon. 

T-shirts are ready to be ordered, but I have a tough call to make.  As of this morning we only have 14 athletes registered.  Do I pull the trigger on ordering 100 t-shirts and hope we get a good turnout?   I did have one idea - order the shirts and sell them on race day with all the proceeds going to the trails.  
Flyer below:

Monday, March 6, 2017

2017 God's Country Fat Tire Festival

Join us at the 15th Annual God's Country Fat Tire Festival.  2 days of events at the Lawrence River Trails.

Details: 2017 God's Country Fat Tire Festival

Registration: https://www.bikereg.com/godscountryfattirefestival

Friday, January 20, 2017

Life Without a Phone

Truth be told, I have never personally owned a phone.  Work has always provided one for me.  Due to this I guess I associate a phone with work.  No work, no phone for me.

It has been 6 weeks since I last had access to a cell phone.  I do have a Google number that I have been using for text and calls.  Works great and it is free.  I also use email more to communicate.  Carolynn was worried what I would do if I had an emergency.  Turns out 99.9% of the communication via a phone is of a non-emergency situation.  Still waiting for the .1% to show its head. If it does I can still make an emergency call from an old phone that I carry to take pictures.

What have I missed?  I do not think much.  Only my wife, mom and about 3 friends ever contacted me via my phone. The rest of the calls were work related.  Society now communicates via FB, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.   Everyone has to be in constant contact.  It seems they can not even go to the bathroom without being on their smartphones.   I decide to be in contact when I want to and I have really been enjoying it.  BTW, I never used my phone while in the restroom.

Now if I can only get my wife and son to put down their phones.   Every time the family is driving or sitting down, their faces are glued to FB or Snapchat.   Personally I now set aside a period of time either daily or weekly to check on social media or say check on stock prices.  I used to be constantly checking the Dow and other stock indexes.  It used to really stress me out when the market was down.  Now I rely on the financial plan that I created for Carolynn and I and  just check the market only once a week if I want to.  If I go back to day trading this might have to change, but for now I am really enjoying not reacting to every event.

How long can I last without a phone?  Who knows, but for now I am living in the moment and enjoying a Cage Free life.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 New Years Day Ride

Carolynn and I headed over to Lawrence for LMBC's annual New Years Day ride.  I believe this is our 17 annual. 
Very good turnout today.  I would say well over 50 riders.  As one would expect, turnout usually depends on conditions. Today we started at 29 degrees with a small amount of cloud cover.  
Trail boss Art King was happy to announce that the River Trails were all rideable until the sun started to come out. 
Gerard making the Mary look good.  I believe this is Gerard's 17th LMBC New Years Day ride also. 
Chuck I do believe you are a little over dressed.  And what is up with the boots and that helmet?  I will send you a new Rudy Project winter helmet to replace that god awful pink unit you have on :-)

Check out the 2017 LMBC New Years Day Ride album for more pictures.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Leaders Matter

A little over 15 years ago I was doing some research for my brother John who was a Quad (Stem cell research) and came upon a great Institute that wanted to change humanity and cure cancer.  It was led by a great man who had a dream.  I wanted to be a part of that dream which just so happened to be located in the heart of KC.

 I clicked on the Careers tab and as luck would have it there was a position in the Telecommunication field - a field that I was just starting in.  I applied along with nearly 100 others (Sprint had just had a massive lay off back then).  I really did not have the qualifications for the job but I did have the desire to be a part of this great Institute.  Through persistence I got an interview and 2 months later was offered the position.  I was so thrilled and ready to begin a new chapter of my life.  I thought at the time that I could help the Institute for the rest of my life and be a part its great cause.

The next 8 years were awesome.  The Institute invested in my career, I worked hard and enjoyed being part of this great Institute.  Fellow members had smiles on their faces and worked well together.  We got things done and we were making a difference.

When things are good at work you do not realize how important leaders are.  You take for granted how all the teams are working well together, how they share ideas and work hard together as a team. I was part of a very good team that, at least in my eyes, contributed to the success.  

Then things started to change.  A new CEO & COO came in with new policies.  We go from a culture that worked together to fight this monster called Cancer to a corporate culture based on greed, money, who's ass you need to kiss and nepotism at the highest level.  It was not about science anymore which is very sad.

The next several years things slowly changed for the worse.  The hierarchical structure that was created just did not work and "bad managers" took advantage.  For example, directors hired their old babysitter to work at the Institute - just an FYI, babysitters do not know anything about project management nor construction.

You know there is a problem when management start to test new technology, the technology that you support, and you are not involved.  They can not get it to work but they do not even ask for your advice (even though you know how).    

After 15 years of dedication and hard work my department was "absorbed".  Nothing in the budget for me or the services I supported - The "Cloud" and the new poisoned culture had ended my career.