Sunday, May 30, 2010

My life is just a tapestry

I'm so tired of being tired
Sure as night will follow day
Most things I worry about
Never happen anyway

Tom Petty

I would love to say that the Carole King-James Taylor concert was unforgettable for all the right reasons, but the truth is I will remember it mostly for the ridiculous amount of time it took us to get into the parking lot. The show was scheduled to begin at 8pm. We saw the all-state arena at 7:45 pm and then had to wait an hour and 15 minutes to traverse the last two miles into the parking lot. We missed the first dozen songs and literally put my butt in my seat as Carole was saying we will be right back after this intermission :(

The part of the show I did see was as enjoyable as it could be for a guy steaming about missing so much of it. They were on the stage together at all times. Carole at 68 and James at 62 still seemed to really be enjoying themselves and the crowd was very enthusiastic. Up On The Roof was the highlight of the evening as they traded lines on the Carole written, James sung hit. Hearts and stars filled the arena. It's a great show, so if they make it to your town I do really think you will love it. And make no mistake Carole steals the show, as she should, because Tapestry is simply flawless.

The new store has now been open a little over a week and is doing well. I got in 6 nights of volleyball last week. Have been having a fairly chill memorial day weekend, although I got in some volleyball today. I rode my bike down to the capital this week. I need to find a new way to hold the handle bars because the sorest part of my body was my wrists and two outside fingers.

I'm trying a new way to stay motivated to pick up my exercise. I am in a challenge with 3 other ridgers to see who can earn the most points in the month of June. Here's how you earn points:

Okay Kids heres the challenge. Self reporting. 1 point for every mile you travel on foot, 1 point for every 2.5 miles you travel on bike. 1 point for each hour of organized sport like tennis, volleyball, or basketball. 1 point for every 1/4 mile of lap swimming. 1 point for every 200 sit-ups.

3 losers all send a shirt to the winner. Hoping for 3 new shirts but am in no way the favorite to win this thing. I wont call out the other challengers but they are welcome to reveal themselves if they like.

I know I came off as somewhat mean last week in regards to the article in More magazine. The writer really came across as condescending, told a story that wasn't true, said I made no effort to befriend her, and accused me of not taking any pictures of her. Just for the record here she is, off my camera, in front in the black. There are over 65 people at the ridge each week and it is virtually impossible to meet and befriend everyone. No one excluded her from anything, no one made her feel unwelcome, and only when she looked and talked down to us, after the hike, did we call her out. Should I have implied that she may have come across as a "whore wannabe"? No, but she certainly pissed me off and wrote a crappy article.
Happy June to everyone. Hope it's the start of an awesome summer for all of you. Peace, Jim

Saturday, May 22, 2010


It’s time for you to prove,
Within your ruby shoes
You deserve a smile with no regret,
Look at you
Kicking off your shoes,
Dancing for the world to see,
You got the power to believe,
Open up and see,
And I’ll be free and fly away,

Go on, go on, go on, the stars are watching,
Just say, just say, just say, what you’re feeling,
You know, you know, you know, you gotta take a bow and do it your way

Erin McCarley

It has been a pretty surreal week. A picture in the NY Times with a review of the CNBC show that called me articulate and sympathetic, a shot on National TV of me shirtless, man-boobs jiggling, diving into a pool, called "Big Jim" in some Women's magazine called MORE, and the local paper did an article that mentioned our store and was great for business. 6 straight nights of volleyball with 3 doubleheaders for a total of 9 hours in the sand, but only got out and jogging/walking 3 times. And finally the new Sunshine Daydream opened which will keep me extra busy this summer.

Let's start with the actual TV show. Now CNBC/NBC/GE/Comcast had a whole lot of time and money vested in my segment. Crews came to St George 3 times and Madison once. My guess is they spent around 150 man hours just on the actual filming, toss in travel expenses, editing, and production and they spent a heck of a lot of money for what turned out to be five minutes or so of air time. I know they interviewed other guests and the owner of the ridge and none of that made the show :( I don't feel like the piece examined the ridge and what it offered very well. Some stuff they filmed that you didn't see. At the ridge: Pool class, lifting weights, medicine ball sit-ups, swimming laps, eating meals, playing volleyball, other triathletes from the ridge, and graduation. In Madison: making breakfast, Jacky's interview, grocery shopping, state st., and Sunshine Daydream. As far as the rest of the program, I thought they really glossed over the fact that the guy who had the surgery to prolong his life died. I realize that CNBC is a financial station so I understand the bend they took with their theme but it seems like it is awfully tough to quantify a lot of the numbers, costs and per centages that were bandied about. At least the last 5 minutes seemed slightly uplifting :)

The reviews that I read including the one in the NY times really questioned the ethics of CNBC choosing the Biggest Loser Resort to cover given their parent station's ownership of the franchise. I didn't really think I would ever see a picture of myself in the NY Times so that was really cool. I guess being called articulate and sympathetic is a good thing, and even though they took a back handed slap at CNBC about why I was chosen, they did concede it could have been for my personality.

Here's the New York Times review:,%20overweight&st=cse

I have never heard of More magazine but I do remember the writer when she was at the resort. I don't really know why she thinks it's cool to call me "Big Jim". She certainly never did to my face. Nor did I call her anything inappropriate when she told of her previous assignment writing about brothels in Nevada and being "intrigued" by the offer of one of the customers to join in for a price. I would never call someone a "whore wannabe" in print, just wouldn't do it.

Oh well my 15 minutes of pseudo-fame is over and believe me they are done for good. I want to thank all of the people who posted really sweet things on facebook. You know I love all you guys and hoped you enjoyed seeing yourselves and others from the ridge on TV. Nice to see trainers, John, Sharon, Tiffany, and Paige. Also got to hear Robin exhorting us on the treadmills. Hopefully it shined a positive light on the Ridge, not that it really needs it right now with reservations now only being accepted for 2011.

The new store is open and had a decent first weekend. It has been a ton of work and will continue to be so. I am now playing volleyball every night except Saturday. I love it. It's 90 degrees here today and I am a huge fan of summer. I am excited to see Carole King Monday night in Chicago. She having produced the greatest album ever by a female, the incomparable TAPESTRY. And she is playing with Sweet Baby James Taylor so it is going to be a night full of fabulous music. I promise some great pictures as we have seats 7 rows back :) I hope everyone has a great week full of fun, amazing music and perfect weather. Next up for me is the Komen 5K breast cancer run on the fifth. Time to get is some serious training for that. Peace, Jim

Monday, May 17, 2010

Let the Sideshow Begin

Step right up, hurry, hurry before the show begins, my friends
Stand in line, get your tickets, I hope you will attend
It'll only cost you fifty cents to see
What life has done to those like you and me

See the man with the broken heart, you'll see that he is sad, he hurts so
bad [So bad, so bad]
See the girl who has lost the only love she ever had
There's got to be no sadder show to see
No doubt about it, satisfaction's guaranteed

So let the sideshow begin
Hurry, hurry, step right on in
Can't afford to pass it by
Guaranteed to make you cry
Blue Ocean

So when your mom says that your most recent blog entry was depressing you know that perhaps it's time to step back and reassess. :) It was a tough week for me but that's the great thing about calendars. They keep on moving, you turn the page and things get better :) So let's wrap it up. I worked on the trial all week. Spent Thursday evening working on the closing arguments with my good friend Paul and then got on the road heading to Toledo. Now there are few things in life I hate more than driving through Chicago. Two things are a certainty when I drive through the windy city the express lanes will be flowing the opposite direction of the way I am headed and there will be bumper to bumper traffic. It took me two hours to go from one end to other with construction taking place at 11pm.

I got into South Bend around 2 am Friday morning and stopped for the night. Took a quick drive by tour of Notre Dame in the morning including the required stop for me at the football stadium and of course the picture of touchdown Jesus, who is across the courtyard from the stadium. I would make a joke here about the Irish football team but quite frankly they have been their own joke for most of the last decade.

I spent Friday afternoon in downtown Toledo which was overrun with Crystal Bowersox fever. I didn't want to admit I had no freaking idea who in the hell Crystal was but then I saw I whole bunch of American Idol stuff and connected the dots. So Go dreadlocky Crystal. I have a thing for girls that can sing :) I spent time with my Ridge friends Gretchen and Stephanie and was joined at the concert by Cherise also from the Ridge. In total there were 8 of us at the show that night. As we headed to the concert I was told that the jury had been deliberating for 6 hours and was still going at it.
Now I have made no bones about the fact that I love the red headed girl with the guitar. Although I think Ingrid is sporting a ukulele in this picture. I don't think it has made threatening status for my wife as my love is slightly more admiration than twitterpation. She was nice enough to leave us 8 free tickets for the show. And fabulous seats ten rows dead center. She was the opener for Bare Naked Ladies
so she only played 7 songs and I joked with her that I drove an hour for each of those songs. BNL put on a really fun show and I am pretty certain most of the other 8 were really happy to see them. It was a beautiful weather night, and the amphitheatre at the Toledo Zoo a great place to see a show. We headed back to downtown Toledo where I learned still no verdict with 10.5 hours of deliberations done. A couple late night drinks in Toledo and finally got the call the verdict was in. Guilty on two accounts, not guilty on one. A weird split decision, that amounted to some type of compromise verdict that left one of the jurors in tears as the verdict was read. A bizarre case, a bizarre verdict, and most of all a great reminder that our legal system is really screwed up and the courtroom is not a place the defense, and especially the defense for a minority client should expect to to get a fair shake. Got up early Saturday, and started heading back towards Chicago. Big shock as the express lanes were heading towards me and traffic was at a standstill. Veered into Arlington racetrack to catch the Preakness and pulled back into Madison 48 hours after I left.
So I will close this week's blog with a little preview of CNBC tomorrow night. Here's one of the commercials featuring me
I am nervous about it. I said things I probably wouldn't have shared with you guys by choice but somehow felt like I could say them to a TV camera..Go Figure?? I have said before I did it for only two reasons 1) perhaps in some small way helps somebody else and 2) I hope it brings good publicity to the Ridge. I will be playing volleyball tomorrow night when it airs for the first time but will watch it later on the dvr. Feel free to laugh and point and ridicule me but good natured ribbing please :) Hopefully a lot of you fellow ridgers and triathletes get to see yourselves because without your support and continued inspiration none of this would have happened. One thing is for sure when I am around you guys, I long for something more and you never fail to deliver. So thank you to all the people who have helped, and all the people who have inspired me and held my hand and made me do things I didn't want to, and most of all thanks for all your love, it means the world to me. Peace to all of you, Jim

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Blogged Down

Well, I don't know but I've been told
You never slow down, you never grow old
I'm tired of screwin' up, tired of goin' down
Tired of myself, tired of this town

Oh my my
Oh hell yes
Honey, put on that party dress.
Buy me a drink, sing me a song
Take me as I come
'Cause I can't stay long
Tom Petty

It has been an exhausting ten days for me. I have more stuff going on then I can handle. The new store, a week long trial I am sitting second chair on as a favor to my good friend and defense attorney Paul Schwartz, a 7 hour drive to Toledo to see Ingrid with a group of Ridgers, 5 nights of volleyball, and the premiere next Tuesday night of the CNBC documentary. More about that here

To say I am struggling with all this would be an understatement. I feel like I am being pulled in ten directions at once. I would never have scheduled all this with the store opening staring me down next week. The computer system we are putting in will cause us to enter every single piece of inventory that is going into the store. Time consuming is an understatement. It will all be good down the road, but that road is currently up hill.

So what's struggling. Pretty much everything. I am cranky as can be. I am tired. My volleyball play has been mediocre. I haven't had a home cooked meal in two weeks. I haven't been on my bike in ten days. My exercise seems to mostly be an hour of volleyball. I am struggling to keep this blog interesting and am seriously considering taking the summer off from blogging. I am sore and disappointed.

Here's Maggie and Chille playing tug of war.

A quick shout out to all the BYU fans back in Utah.

My friend Paul, my brother Jay, and my teammate Tim hanging out at Volleyball.

Walking off the court after a volleyball win.

My Brother Jay, who has been a great help in our preparation for the new store. Here he is unloading a bunch of showcases he drove up from St Louis.

I know that in the grand scheme of things my problems are temporary and not that staggering. They just feel like it now. Sorry to be a downer, it's just been a tough few days for me and you can tell t by looking at the date I started this entry and when I finally finished which is wednesday night May 12th. I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm not sure what happened to Spring here as it was below 50 degrees and rainy in the sand tonight. I hope it comes back and brings some sunshine and smiles for me. Peace, Jim

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April into May

Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end--
waiting 'round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.
Henry Mancini

Sorry people who may actually be reading this. I struggle at times to find things to talk about, struggle with fears of mundaneness, and start to write and run out things to say and ditch the whole idea. I will try to keep a once a week schedule on the blog during the summer. Between the new store, Jacky being in Hawaii, CNBC coming into Madison for some extra added filming, the Kentucky Derby, and volleyball, I am keeping busy but not finding the time to tackle keeping this updated. When I am in Utah it sort of writes itself, but in Madison it I feels like work at times and well you know how I feel about that whole work thing :)

Volleyball is closer to full swing. I love it. I look forward to it all day when I am playing that night. But, hey, I have said all this so many times. My life is different because of volleyball. My life is more fun, I have more friends and I am on the couch so much less. This is the Monday night team. we look fairly happy for having just lost. Losing weight is all good, Losing volleyball is not so good.

I got a call Tuesday from Na Eng, the producer doing my piece on CNBC. They wanted to come to Madison to get more footage and were under some time constraint. Now Jim was planning to spend Friday watching and betting the Kentucky Oaks and Rachel running for the second time. But I acquiesced to the call of the little screen, and I agreed to spend the day with the film crew that was coming in from Jersey and Chicago. Here's what they filmed so get your checklist ready to make sure you see it all. They filmed Jacky and I making and eating breakfast, looking at my old photo albums which they then leafed through and took pictures of, walking the dogs around neighborhood, interviewed Jacky, took shots of me driving my car from the outside, passenger's side, and back seat, filmed me grocery shopping at Copps, and finished with me at Sunshine Daydream waiting on a few customers. Now I am not going to be, say, disappointed if this piece doesn't take home a Pulitzer, but seriously if we don't get at least an Emmy I will be holding Miss Eng personally responsible. Just kidding Na :)

Again the show is scheduled to air on Tuesday May 18th at 10pm eastern time. This was the most surreal moment of the filming yet. Me driving singing a little running on empty with a camera pointed at my face. Somehow I managed to drive, sing, and take this picture.

My brother Jay is arriving this week to help with the store, and by help I mean really really help and it is greatly appreciated. In fact he is going to rent a uhaul and driving 8 showcases up from St Louis. I sent the check in for the Susan Komen 5K. I am having some trouble with the June Triathlon due to the expected water temperatures. They strongly advise a wetsuit. 2 problems I have never worn a wetsuit and I have no idea where to find a wetsuit in my size. Not a whole lot of demand at the big and tall shop for skin clenching rubber suits.

That's all the news, the new store is really going to be my focus for the next two weeks. We want to be open in two weeks. Wish me luck :) I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Peace and Love, Jim