Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day Zero Project #74: Donate money to charity

I think it's important to try and donate when you can to whatever worthwhile charity you like. It doesn't have to be money, many charities need things like stuff we have around the house that we don't need or just someone to give some time. What's important is that you do something.

I figure that if I've got the extra money to go around doing 100 random things, then I should be able to spend some of that on charities. There are all sorts of great organizations out there that you could help, here's two that I like:

1) The Children's Cancer Center in Tampa, FL - This one hits close to home for us and they do a ton of really great things for kids who have cancer and for the families of those kids. They have fundraisers all over the place or you could sponsor a family for the holidays or you could just buy some Christmas cards.

2) Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg, FL - I won't hold it against them that they are a religious organization, because they do some good work in my immediate area. I hadn't really spent much time thinking about homelessness when I lived in the suburbs outside of doing my best to stay away from them, but now that I live in an urban area I see how big of a problem it is and I decided that I need to try and do more. I gotta think more about what I can do in 2013, but donating to these guys was a start.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day Zero Project #86: Send someone an anonymous gift

Four random people are going to get $5 gift cards to Publix in the mail this week. How did I pick who gets them? There is this little building on the way to where I buy my daily rations of soda and Funyuns and there's always people grilling and hanging out and I thought, "Hey, those guys could use a random holiday gift." So that's who's going to receive these little anonymous gifts from the Postman.

I wanted to write something witty and/or sarcastic to include in the envelope that I'm mailing, but Kate talked me out of it, so they are just going to be receiving plain ole gift cards. Lame, but probably a lot less confusing than a letter saying that you won a prize for being awesome.

From: Me, To: Someone Random-ish.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day Zero Project #92: Go to a NFL game

In my family we were raised with two important principles: 1) veggies are not good and 2) there's one thing above all others that you should dedicate your Sundays to. No, not church, but football.

And while I've managed to become the family rebel by learning to love all sorts of vegetables, my love for professional football remains.

Despite this love, I've only been to two football games in person, partly because they are ridiculously expensive, partly because football is best while watching 14 other games, eating fried food and drinking beer and, lastly, because I live in Tampa and I have no desire to see the Buccaneers.

But when a friend said that he had extra tickets to the Patriots / Dolphins game, I gladly accepted, threw on my lucky Pats jersey and made the four hour trip to Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

The view from the top. Literally, our seats were at the very top!
And for all my trouble I was treated to three hours of tailgating with a parking lot full of fans of the visiting team (fairly common in Florida), followed by a game that alternated between light rain showers and blistering sun (also fairly common in Florida).

The game. I really need a new phone with a good camera.
 The end result: a Patriots victory and a great day at the stadium

P.S. Dear NFL, is it necessary for everything to cost 15x what it would outside the stadium? I have no idea how the family of four in front of us managed to afford their trip. Second mortgage, perhaps?

This is what happens when Kate tailgates too long.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day Zero Project #66: Participate in a charity run

I've been saying that I should run a 5k for about five years now, so I'm glad that this goal randomly showed up on the Idea Finder. This is one of the rare instances where something in my Day Zero to-do list is something that I would have actually put on there if I were picking my own goals.

A few weeks back a friend was talking about the 5k that his family runs every Thanksgiving called the Turkey Trot. I know how to take an opening when I see one, so I invited myself along. I went home that night, signed up for the race and began a very serious training regimen that involved Googling "How to train for a 5k in two weeks" and then ignoring those instructions completely with the misguided idea that I could run it in less than 40 minutes having not ran anywhere for any reason in years.

I thought no one would want to run Thanksgiving morning. I was wrong.
To highlight just how unprepared I am to exercise, I had to run out the night before to buy running shorts so that I wouldn't have to run in jeans.

Decked out in my brand new running shorts, I waited at the start line with over 10,000 other crazy people who thought that it was a good idea to wake up at 7:00am on Thanksgiving morning. The starting pistol sounded and I...waited. And then I waited some more. It turns out that it takes a few minutes for a mass of 10,000 people to get moving. By the time I crossed the start line over two minutes had already passed.

Eventually the crowd thinned and I was able to start my jog/walk alternating style of moving. To be honest, it was mostly walking.  It turns out that a person can't just run 3.2 miles without practice. Even so, I managed to finish the race in 42 minutes. It wasn't a great time, but not bad. And, hey, I finished, which is good enough.

We ran 3.2 miles. And lived!
Later that day I ingested some 8,000 calories and, because of the race, I didn't feel bad about a single one of them.

Seriously though, me and my wife both had a blast. And we're already signed up for another one in two more weeks. I think if I dedicate myself to running even one day before then I can break the 40 minute mark!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day Zero Project #58: Play a round of golf

I am a businessman. Golf is a game for businessmen. Naturally, one would assume that I have at least an elementary understanding of how to play the game of golf, right? Wrong.

In my 32 years I've golfed maybe twice and both of those times I focused more on downing beers with my father-in-law than hitting that little white ball into a small hole some 400 yards away.

So when the time came to accomplish #58, I called up a buddy of mine who is actually good at the game and we set up an early enough tee time that I hoped would ensure that I wouldn't be thinking about drinking Bud Lights and racing golf carts. I figure that the best way to try and see if I'm any decent at this game is to start it early and hope for the best.

The approach to the infamous Hole Six
And for the first few holes my theory seemed to work. I started with 3 or 4 double-bogeys, which was my goal for every hole. And then something magical happened on the par 3 6th hole (they were all par 3s, by the way). My tee shot wasn't too terrible and landed just outside the green. And then, even more unbelievably, rather than chip it all the way across the green I managed to put it close enough to the hole to make a putt for par. I fist pumped like Tiger Woods winning the Masters and it was then that I realized that golfers put up with all the horrible shots for those one or two times per round where you actually hit a perfect shot. That rush of hitting a great shot can make you forget the last 14 drives that you shanked into that road that runs alongside the golf course.

Chipping? Not a problem. Except the other 17 times when it was.
And after that par? It was a blur of bad shots, bad putts and a few lost golf balls. All made worse by the fact that on the 9th hole I decided to give up playing golf sober and stopped by the clubhouse only to learn that they don't serve beer at this particular golf course. No beer on a golf course?!? That really messed my day up.

At the end of the round, I'd guess that I was somewhere around 60-70 over par for 18 holes. Not too bad considering that I had to play the whole round with exactly 0 beers.

The End.