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Dec '11

As 2011 Comes to a Close…


I will dispense from the typical family blog intro of apologizing for not posting in a while and instead just tell you to deal with it. 😉

I am excited to say that Jenn and I received an iPad for Christmas this year as a group gift from my parents, her parents and my brother and his wife. It is awesome and I am updating our blog from the iPad!

Oh, why the Bruins logo as the picture for this entry? Two reasons… One, 2011 culminated the crowning of Boston as The Powerhouse Sports City of all time! Since the Bruins are the current champions, it is only fitting to use their logo. Secondly, I got a new image editing app on the iPad and made the graphic from a picture of a tee shirt I took in Target. Pretty cool!

Since last I posted, obviously a lot has happened. Let me fill you in on the highs and lows of the last three years…

  • 2009 started great, but by the end of the summer I would be laid off by Juniper Networks (little did I know it would be almost two years to the day before I would work again…
  • I decided to try out the whole, “stay at home dad thing” for a while.
  • 2010 came and went without a journey to Europa.
  • The Winter Olympics were great, even though USA Hockey only won silver.
  • I got the Swine Flu (H1N1) and was down for weeks!
  • Jenn moved down to teach 1st grade and loved it!
  • The SJ Sharks continue to break hearts by floundering in the playoffs.
  • Casey earned the Arroe of Light and bridged from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.
  • Casey went away for a week (at different times) to 5th grade Science Camp and Boy Scout Camp.
  • Quinn became a Webelos Scout.
  • Casey played on the Red Sox in our local little league.
  • Quinn played for the Cubs which I managed and uncle Chris was an assistant coach.
  • Jenn got a Kindle (and uses it every day).
  • Jenn became a successful blogger and is a minor celebrity in her blogging world. Check out Finally in First
  • Jenn and I start a blog design business. Visit us at Dream Team Designs
  • I earned my Wood Badge beads!
  • I received the District Award of Merit!
  • I started a new blog and podcast along with Joey Hoover (on of the classic Internet sensations off decade…
  • I let my new blog and podcast languish. A victim of the folly of big dreams. Maybe one day Where Icarus Flies will live again…
  • I turned 40. Jenn turned 40 too, but I am not allowed to publish that.
  • I got a new job working for the Boy Scouts of America!

The above list is by no means a full and comprehensive list. We also had lots of fun with friends, family and innocent bystanders along with some heartbreak and tears thrown into the mix to balance things out. Life has a way of doing that.

Things are looking up for the Bates clan. I look forward to 2012. Quinn is starting basketball on Monday and little league tryouts are in a couple of weeks.

As a wise man once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”


Posted by Bill on December 29th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

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Jan '08

Is It 2008 Already?

Well, well, well… 2008 already. I haven’t written or posted any pictures in a while. My New Years Resolution is to post once a month! Even with my schedule, I can do that… right? 🙂

So let me sum up July-December 2007…

Waves-to-Wine Bike Ride

Amazingly, I made it! 155 miles in two days with about 10,000 feet of climbing! I had a big plan to blog my training experience as well as the race weekend. Oh well… 🙂 Here are my scattered thoughts and tales regarding my training and the 155 mile ride…

  • My first bike (a hybrid not a light road bike) almost killed me!
  • It has been 4 months since the ride and my ass still hurts! 😉
  • On my first training ride with the team, my bike chain snapped 4 miles into a 40 mile ride! Luckily I was 6 blocks away from a bike repair shop!
  • On four of the first five training rides, I got lost! The worst part of that is that I rode an extra 5-8 miles each time (after 40-50 miles, that makes a big deal)!
  • I LOVE the camel pack (water in a backpack)! Combine that with my iPod and I cold ride all day!
  • A real road bike with all the accouterments makes ALL the difference in the world!

Some tidbits from the ride weekend…

  • We started at around 7:30am from PacBell Park (alright, it is really AT&T Park now, but I can’t cal it that).
  • The first 30 miles had the most climbing, but I was fresh and powered through it.
  • I only got 4 hours of sleep the night before the race (we had a pack meeting and couldn’t sleep because I was still wired and had to get up at 4am). Around mile 34 it began to hit me.
  • It was a great party, going from rest stop to rest stop every 15-2o miles until… MILE 56!
  • FYI there was a woman that rode the ENTIRE 155 miles on a unicycle!

At the rest stop at mile 56, I really didn’t think I was going to make it. I was out of gas. Completely out of gas. I still had 24 miles to go! I sat at the rest stop at mile 56 for 45 minutes. I drank my fortified water, ate oranges and GU (basically sugar with electrolytes and such) and peanut butter on bread. Then, suddenly, I got a second wind! I jumped on my bike and plowed through the rest of the first day!

  • The end of the first day was a rush. I had a tent set up for me by some volunteers form Bank of America. They were awesome!
  • I ate a good dinner, drank 5 pints of Blue Paddle (the Pislener from the makers of Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewery) and racked out about 8:30pm

The second day was a lot better. It was freaking freezing in the morning. By the afternoon it was warm. Ah, California! 🙂 The second day was not a bad ride. I was with a friend that was slower than me (if you can believe it). I stayed with him most of the day. That coupled with the fact that there was not too much of a climb made it a fairly “easy” 80 miles. 😉

  • It was not until bout 45 miles into the second day that we finally saw grape vines (Waves-to-WINE, remember).
  • Over the HUNDREDS of miles I rode when I trained, I got ONE flat tire and that was because I was careless and hit a curb.
  • Between mile 55 and 66 on the second day, I blew my tire THREE times (and I only had two spares).
  • I was on the side of the road all alone until a few people rode by and gave me spare tires and tire patch kits!
  • My buddies came back and I rode my ass off the last 15 or so miles and finished strong! Although, I had been going so slow most of the day riding my another friend of mine, I missed most of the end party!

Jenn, Casey and Quinn were at the end waiting for me! The guy that talked me into it all (John Connolly, an AWESOME guy) stayed with me most of the day. He was an inspiration to me the entire time we trained. Thanks John!

It was a LONG hard ride, but it was worth it. Not only to me personally, but I also raised money for a very worthy cause. Finding a cure for MS is no joke. If I can be part of that it was all worth it.

Finally, thank you to all of my AWESOME donors. Without you, I could not have done it!

Bill Got an iPhone!

Yes, I got an iPhone!!! It could be the greatest piece of personal technology EVER! One of these days I will create a blog post just about the iPhone. I setup a special website that I can send pictures to directly from my iPhone. Check out the link on the left side of this page!

Jenn Goes Back to Work!

Jenn started teaching again. She was hired less than a week before school started!! She is teaching 4th grade at the school Casey and Quinn attend. It has been an adjustment for all of us, but I think we are finally starting to settle into a routine. More importantly, Jenn is finally feeling like she is getting a handle on 4th grade.

Quinn Starts Kindergarten and Casey Starts 2nd Grade

It was a big school year for us. Quinn started kindergarten. It was an emotional day for me. Seeing my little guys growing up. Jenn had to get her own class started, so I took the fellas to their classes. I put pictures in the gallery, if you haven’t seen them yet. They are some really cute ones!

The Holidays Were A Whirlwind…

Halloween came and before I knew it, we were watching the ball drop in Times Square! What the heck happened with the time?

  • We had a great Pumpkin Palooza 2007! I took al lot of Halloween pictures with my iPhone. You can see them in my iPhone link.
  • Thanksgiving was a good time. Jenn’s parents came up from Palm Desert. We watched football, ate Turkey and played games!
  • Christmas was a great time! Jackie and Jonah came out, Jenn’s parents came up and we had a really good time! The only bummer was that Matt and Sanne couldn’t make it out. 🙁
  • New Years was spent in Massachusetts with my family. It was so awesome to see everyone!

Other Tidbits

Of course there was way more that happened than I have written about. I am having a great time as Cubmaster of Pack 374. I am coaching Quinn’s basketball team and baseball starts in a few weeks, I’ll be coaching Casey’s team.

Well, that is a quick summary of events since July. 🙂


Posted by Bill on January 27th, 2008 at 9:49 pm
Jul '07

Bill Decides to Ride a LONG Way…

This may sound crazy to many (because it sure does to me), but I will be participating in the Waves to Wine bike tour (San logo_bike_large.gifFrancisco to Healdsburg). It is a 155 mile bike ride over twodays on Sept 29 & 30. I have not ridden a bike more than 30 miles before (and that was quite some time ago). This ride begins at the AT&T Baseball Park in downtown San Francisco, continues along the San Francisco Bay, over the Golden Gate Bridge, up the scenic coastline of Northern California, and into the Sonoma Wine country.


Visit my Waves to Wine Website to see more!

I joined a 12 week training program, but I have missed the first three weeks! I have done a few rides on my own, but I feel very behind. I’ll try to keep things updates to let you all know how I am doing.

I went on a short ride today (about an hour and a half). I haven’t measured the distance of the ride yet, but

I will this week. It had some small hills. It was a hard ride. The rest of my team is riding for 3-4 hours. I am not worried about my conditioning yet, but if I can’t catch up in a week or two, I will start getting concerned.


Posted by Bill on July 24th, 2007 at 11:49 pm

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