a letter to my dad

[25 years ago, my father decided to leave the law firm he worked at to start his own.  It was a risky venture, but he built one of the most successful personal injury law firms in Central PA, and more importantly, dedicated his life to helping those in need in the way he could best.  This letter is for him, in honor of his 25 years of hard work]

The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

It has been my father’s life work to give people who have been hurt, wronged, or taken advantage of space– space to heal, recover, and move on with their lives, often after experiencing terrible trauma.  He has done this under the law, a system of codes which at best is ambiguous and at worst unintelligible and unjust to many of us.  But Tim Shollenberger is a man who truly represents the alignment of lawful good, and he has wielded the law- an imperfect creation of imperfect beings- as a powerful tool in service of his fellow humans.  It is not easy to authentically and truly live this way, but I’ve watched my father do it for my entire life, and it has been a great example of how to live with integrity and purpose in the face of easier ways out.  “Don’t take the lazy man’s way,” he would often say to me as a kid.  Annoyed I’d often ask myself, ‘why not?’ His success is the answer to ‘why not.’  Here is a man who has not only built an extremely successful business (one in service to humanity rather than at it’s expense), but didn’t sacrifice his family to do it.  For all the hours he spent in his basement office of our home preparing for trial, he spent an equal number down there playing intense games of indoor soccer with me.  And for all the times he was 15 minutes late for dinner- “It’s ok,” he’d say, “I prefer my food room temperature”- he was never late for one of my soccer games or my sister’s dance recitals.
So Dad, raise your glass (which I’m sure is filled with water, because let’s be honest, you’re not drinking)!  This is a day to celebrate all that you’ve achieved.  25 years ago you took a risk and went out on your own into the inferno, and through your constant vigilance, sometimes apprehension, and deep dedication, you have not only endured; you have thrived!
With love,
Ryan

Geoguessr 12/5/18

It was sort of lonely Geoguessing this week, with only @theanchor and I checking in.  We decided to try a U.S. map after having done mostly world for the past few weeks.  We also decided not to poke around too long, spending 5 minutes or less on each guess.  Here’s how we fared:

Not bad for spending <30 minutes on this map.  Our only big miss was a shot in the dark at Tennessee, when the actual location was in northern Iowa.

11/7/18 Geoguessr

This week, @hugo suggested we try a London city map.  This provided a unique challenge because the point system is based on a much smaller area, making it harder to achieve the perfect 5,000 point score. Here’s how we fared:

Special thanks to @hugo, who was a great help due to the fact that he used to live in London (one location was even on his old route to school)!

(Halloween!) Geoguessr Results 10/31

This week in Geoguessr, we tried a U.S. Halloween themed map that took us to exciting and spooky locations like Hell, Michigan, Deadwood, South Dakota, Salem, Massachusetts, and Tombstone, Arizona, the backdrop for the historic showdown at the OK Corral.  Most exciting of all to this guessr was Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, a part of the chain of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks (I spent most of my summers as a child in Duck, NC, just a few miles down the road from Kill Devil Hills).  This weird little town is now the sight for the Wright Brothers’ memorial to the first flight of a heavier-than-air flying machine.  While it is usually Kitty Hawk, NC that is mentioned as the sight of the first flight, it actually occurred in what today is Kill Devil Hills, which wouldn’t be founded until nearly 50 years after Orville and Wilbur successfully hit the skies.

Also of note:

We ranked in the top 5 for this map!

Exquisite corpse stories

Here are two very short stories, crafted by combining four individual sentences jotted down by two ALFs and two students during writing time with @melody today:

 

“Spookie Szn”

Wild spooky loud mornings, you say. They could hear the thud all the way downstairs, and it sounded bad. Cupcakes are natural and happening all the time. The ghost smiled back.

 

“The Pumpkingdom”

Purple stars? I see. The Pumpking loves to make jokes. How long will roasted pumpkin seeds last, really? The skeletons are getting closer with every passing moment.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

Geoguessr Results 10/24/18

This week we decided to do a U.S. cities map.  The average score was higher on this one, so we expected to do pretty well…. instead we (mostly) nailed it.  We got a perfect score (5K) on three of five locations, and were no further than 100 meters from any location.  Signage was a big reason here, as we found evidence of exactly which cities we were in on each location.  Thanks to @hugo and @theanchor for their continued and consistent support!

^From our first location… “where God is doing a new thing.”  Haha.  This was actually our worst score at 4,972.

Geoguessr Results; 10/3/2018

This week, we decided to play a U.S. map.  After getting 4,000+ scores on our first two locations, we were given a rural grainy image location, making it hard to read any text or signage.  This led to the Wisconsin/Washington mix-up above, affording us only 1,000ish points.  While this knocked down our score, we still crushed the average for this map (9,600)!

Want to play?  You can find this awesome game HERE. Want to challenge us?  Bring it.  You can try the maps we’ve completed HERE (scroll to the bottom to try an ALC locations map).

A new challenge!

I had some trouble figuring out what I wanted to blog about today, so I decided to go with my most recent fitness challenge.  Last year, I did a 10,000 kettle bell swing challenge – and I even got a trophy from my #superALFteam here in NYC when I completed it =).  This time the focus of the challenge is lunging- another basic human movement- and requires NO weights at all!

Here’s the program:

Week One

First up, 300 lunges.  Yes, 300.  This seemed pretty attainable to me until I realized 300 meant 300 per leg, or 600 total.  I broke these down into 15 sets of 40, with 1-3 minutes of rest in between.  I also chose to perform 100 of the 300 lunges as reverse lunges rather than a traditional walking lunge, and will keep something close to this 2:1 ratio for the rest of my 8-week challenge.

Next up, 4 sets of Sissy Squats for max reps.  I want to make clear that this movement is not a great idea for those who have consistent knee pain poor ankle mobility!

Now with my quads thoroughly thrashed, it’s time to target the hamstrings with 6 sets (again for max reps) of swiss ball hamstring curls.

To complete this brutal workout, we stay with the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) by performing 4 sets (again for max reps) of “straight fire” glute raises. These were brand new for me and very challenging, especially when trying to hold the contraction for 2 seconds.

Week 2

+25 lunges

*Attempt to increase max reps for each assistance movement*

Week 3

+25 lunges

*Attempt to increase max reps for each assistance movement*

Week 4

+25 Lunges

*Attempt to increase max reps for each assistance movement*

Week 5

+25 lunges

*Attempt to increase max reps for each assistance movement*

Week 6

+25 lunges

*Attempt to increase max reps for each assistance movement*

Week 7

+25 lunges

*Attempt to increase max reps for each assistance movement*

Week 8

+50 lunges

*Attempt to increase max reps for each assistance movement*

 

I’ll update this post after 8 weeks.  Hopefully I can still walk by then…

 

With love and agility,

 

Ryan