Coffeechug 2011 Year In Review In Numbers

I know everyone is doing it, but I cannot resist and must take a look back at my year to reflect on all the amazing things that have happened the past 365 days. Take a glance and hope you enjoy. Needless to say I think I accomplished my mantra of GETTING IT DONE! I did not include any education/teacher goals as I feel that is just part of my job of constantly staying ahead of the game and keeping education interesting.

Lastly, none of this would ever be able to happen if it was not for my amazing wife and kids. They are so supportive in all my adventures that I tackle. My wife supports what I do both in training and in my geek world and without her support it would not happen. I only hope that I am good role model for my kids. Speaking of kids……

Kids
IMG_2008IMG_1994
It is hard to believe that this year we brought Ava into the world. I cannot remember life without her. It seems like yesterday we were in the hospital and now she is up and crawling and pulling herself up in her crib and eating real food 8 months later. Aiden is now 7 years old today on 12.31.11 in first grade and becoming bigger, smarter, and cooler each day. Addy is 5 years old and continues to bring us the unexpected each day.

Training – I had an amazing year of training. I went from starting out running in 2010 completing my first Bix, half marathon, and Urbanathlon completing about 425 total miles. I thought that was amazing in itself. This year 2011 brought a greater focus and renewed sense of training, enjoyment, and pushing myself. I am currently in the early stages of training for my first triathlon and half Ironman, but in the meantime here is the breakdown of my training for 2011.


1 – week of training over 100 miles. That just so happened to be this week in which I put in a great week of training with 114 miles. What better week than the last week of the year?

1500 – miles of training I put in 2011. Mind blowing. considering I had only 425 in 2010 this is a huge improvement. You can see with my training load towards the end of the year I am in process of having another breakout year in 2012.

2011 Training Totals
6 – The number of races I completed this year
5 – Pairs of shoes I went through. Kinvara 2 light shoes only have 75 miles on them as they are not designed for big people like me. I fell in love with Brooks Ravenna 2 shoes and am currently on my third pair.
1090 – miles of running completed this year in 2011. This is amazing considering my slow start to the year. I never dreamed this possible. Amazing to look at the graph and see what I am capable of doing when I put my mind to it. It is all mental.
Run Totals for 2011

391 – Miles on the Bike in 2011 – Not bad considering I just got a bike a few months ago and just started riding regularly about 4 weeks ago. I cannot wait to see how this develops in 2012
Bike Totals for 2011



17 – Miles of Swimming – Once again not too bad as I just started with swimming about 4 weeks ago. I have a long way to go and only hope to improve in 2012
Swim Totals for 2011

Online 

I have made more things online that I care to admit. Some have taken a backseat, but others are in full force. I am in love with Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/coffeechugbooks/

All my online goodies are located here: http://about.me/coffeechug

I have been testing out many avenues and gathering all sorts of things this year to finally begin my book about my life mantra of GETTING IT DONE(2012 goal)

Twitter
I love me some Twitter. It is nerd paradise for the ADHD. I continue to load up my gmail account with tweets that love. I started small and still have a small following, but I am happy to be around 375 followers. I hope to be around 500 by the end of next year. It is all about the tweets baby.

Books of 2011
I read and reviewed 85 books this year. I was hoping for 100, but my reading tempo slowed down quite a bit the last few months with my training. I just cannot stay awake past 9:00 to read. I did actually read 87 books, but have not written up reviews for them so I will keep my number at 85 books

Blog Stats – I started this blog May of 2009. I only had a few posts as I was experimenting. I really started to blog in August of 2009 with the start of a new school year. It rough and a completely different blog as it was more classroom focused and then merging to book reviews, and then just constantly changing from that point on. I have had a total of 102,000 visitors since August 2009. My audience has changed quite a bit, but I have made some good progress as I now average between 5000 – 8000 visitors a month. I hope to make this improved to 7000 – 10,000 visitors in 2012. I must become a better writer.

Here are my all time posts. You can see that many of my top posts are actually from 2011 which I take as a sign that I am improving on my blogging skills. I still don’t know why Alex Trebek is so popular. I made one nerdy post about the man and now my blog appears on the first page of a Google search for Alex Trebek.

Posts
Aug 14, 2010
6,475 Pageviews
May 25, 2011   
1,615 Pageviews
Dec 8, 2009
 1,030 Pageviews
Oct 28, 2009
578 Pageviews
May 14, 2011, 2 comments
548 Pageviews
Mar 24, 2010, 3 comments
402 Pageviews
Apr 26, 2011, 1 comment
297 Pageviews
Here are my top pages on my blog. This can be somewhat misconstrued as I am constantly changing my pages on my blog depending on what contest, challenge, or current thing I am working on. However, the Board of Inspiration has really taken off this year.
Pages
Dec 15, 2010
1,211 Pageviews
Feb 15, 2010
752 Pageviews
Dec 20, 2011
580 Pageviews

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My Direction in Life

On Thursday, December 10th it will be my birthday. The day I screamed out to the world for all to hear as I also peed all over the doctor and he stated, “At least we know that end works!”.

After spending quite a bit of time here on Earth and enjoy another year that has come and gone I cannot help but wonder what direction my life is taking.

I don’t ask this question to myself as if I am lost and confused and not seeing any sort of purpose to my life(I know my purpose, to try and figure out how to beat Mario World on the Wii), but it seems that every year I celebrate another 365 days I have taken my life to a new direction. This time last year I was not taking college classes as I had already completed my masters, I was teaching sixth grade social studies and computer, and really enjoying the time I was spending with my family and glad that I got out of coaching high school sports. Fast forward to today and I sit here taking college classes for my new job, trying to write and create five different curriculum, still spending time with my family, but not as much as I am helping my father in law coach basketball in Fulton until my 8th grade basketball season starts, and now I have this blog which has slowly morphed its way into my daily existence.

It is amazing how much has changed without me really realizing it. So what does the next year hold in store? I hope the following

– more followers of my blog
– more contact with amazing young adult authors who provide me copies of their books to read and preview which I can then give the copies to students in addition to any swag they also send my way
– a continuation of my YouTube videos and really captivating a larger audience.
-trying to find a central focal point to my blog. I have a lot of things that I have bounced around since its creation
-more time with my family as I watch my children grow up way too fast
-to have as much fun with life as I have had so far being a big nerdy person who loves to act like an immature kid
-continue my lifelong goal of trying to write a young adult book. I still don’t know how to begin. Any authors who read this blog I am open to ideas!

Why do I write all this on the brink of mybirthday? Shouldn’t I be asking you to send me birthday wishes? Yes, I hope that you would do that without asking. Furthermore, I ask that you take time to reflect on your life. What changes have come your way? What would you like to happen in the next year?

Lastly, my ultimate birthday wish is for someone to find me a bag of the peanut butter and strawberried M and M’s. I heard that these were being sold in stores several months ago. However, I have not seen them nor had an opportunity to taste. My birthday wish is for someone to find me a bag and present them to me so I can see for myself whether or not they are at all tasty. Additionally, send me other birthday gifts and cards and I will create a video about all the items that I have recieved to demonstrate the power of the Nerd Clansmen that follow this blog. Greedy, partly, but more importantly it just gives me an excuse to make another nerdy video. How about we try to gather as many different flavors of M&M’s as possible? You see a weird flavor, grab and bag and send to me. We will make it a M&M birthday celebration. Yes, I love it when ideas just arise suddenly.

I send you forth on your quest of PB&J M&M’s and birthday cards and gifts. I hide in the Nerd Factory anxiously awaiting your gifts of nerdiness.
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Saturday Morning Insights

Alrighty then, I have a few things to share on this wonderful morning.

1. The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is now up to Episode 4 which was created by Susan Cooper. I hope you have had a chance to check out the previous episodes. It is quite cool to see how the authors each take their own spin on the story. This has been fun to follow. Don’t forget that I still have the challenge for us to create our own little story. All you have to do is post a sentence or more and I will add to the storyline. We have had one submission and looking for more.

2. My children have now been sick for one straight week. Our house has been a bundle of joy with illness and lack of sleep. I wish I had this for my family.

3. I have tried to create a video quiz using YouTube. I know this one works, but I already know a few things that I would tweak for future quizzes. Anyways, here it is. Be sure to post your score to the comments here on the blog.

4. I have been having lots of fun working on this blog. Actually, it has become my addiction to keep me distracted from doing all the things that I should be doing instead of this. Please don’t hesitate to let me know ideas or suggestions of things that you would like to see on the blog. I cannot promise I will use or do every single idea, but I would like to keep this entertaining for everyone who does use the blog.

5. I posted a lot of videos this past week. This will not always happen, but I had lots of ideas floating through my head. This next week will be focused on the Great Nerd Debate and book reviews that I need to post.

Enjoy your weekend!
Coffeechug

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My favorite author WINS!!!! John Green

*This is a special edition of Saturday Morning Insights*

Paper Towns by John Green is the Top Teen Read of 2009! Congratulations to one of the greatest authors of our time, John Green!

I know this came out a couple weeks ago, but I kept forgetting to post about it on my blog. I am now marking this off my checklist of things to put on my blog. Not that this is not important because it is, it is just that I have so much to share that I became temporarily sidetracked.

Here is the whole Top 10 Teen Reads list:

  1. Paper Towns by John Green(I have read)
  2. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer(Yes, I have read)
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins(Yes, LOVED IT!, Why only #3?)
  4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare(In my TBR pile)
  5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins(Of course I have read this, her stuff blows my mind)
  6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman(Booktalked this bad boy already, yes I read it)
  7. Wake by Lisa McMann(Also read this one, quite good, still need to read the sequels)
  8. Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Have not read nor considered reading as of this time)
  9. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Was in my TBR pile only to be lost in shuffle before being returned without being read… So Sorry!)
  10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore(Also read this one, a fantastic story!)

Until next time

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Saturday Morning Insights


I have let a couple days slip by in my posting, but it was not due to a lack of ramblings and useless information to share. Rather, it has been due to the fact that I have been asked to be everywhere.

I know this is somewhat old news, but I still don’t understand how this is ethical? I understand that the moon does not have an atmosphere and therefore things much larger crash into the moon all the time, but this just seems like it is opening up a new can of worms.

I have finished up two books and the reviews will be coming shortly.

I am SO excited. I have been contacted by an author to review a novel. This is my first time where an author has contacted me. I cannot wait to read and review. I have the book and it is titled, “Dirty Little Angel” by Chris Tusa. I am finishing up a book right now and then I will begin my review. I cannot tell you how awesome this is for me. In a sense it makes me feel important(even though I am just a peon of the large spectrum of blogs like mine)

Yes, my reading of The Lost Symbol continues to get pushed further behind. On the other hand, I am creating my first vlog as we speak so be wary of my ugliness creeping on this blog.

Just in case you have not read it, Episode 2 of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is available. Read Episode 1 first if you have missed out on this.

Finally, another video. How I love to show crazy clips.

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Saturday Morning Insights

Another Saturday morning insight posted on a Sunday. I should have realized that nothing interesting happens until after Saturday when I created this series. Oh well, no turning back now.

I am going out to buy a new battery recharger for my Macbook Pro this weekend. Why do I share this statement with you? Because, once I charge up my Mac then I will begin to experiment with vlogs. This simply means that instead of always writing my posts I will also be creating posts using video. I will probably start off with my face right up on the screen and venture out from there. Should prove interesting.

As I check to see how people found their way to my blog I came across a search from the United Kingdom looking for “brain wake-up”. May I suggest coffee right away in the morning with regular intervals of coffee uptake to keep going full speed all day. Or, I could send you my two dogs who like to wake me up at 4 in the morning to be fed and nothing makes me more angry that having dog breath in my face. My only other suggestion for brain wake-up would be to try the challenge where you have to see if you are smarter than a chimp. Be sure to watch Ayumu tear up the challenge.

Still looking for people to submit their creativity to our own Exquisite Corpse Adventure. I promise that once we get one of these to take off, this could turn out to a popular way to waste time.

I promise to post some book reviews this week as I have read a few more. I am falling behind on the reviews.

I would like to leave you with some useless knowledge as you enjoy your Sunday. When Coca-Cola announced the return of Coke’s original formula in 1985, ABC News interrupted General Hospital to break the story.



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Saturday Morning Insights

My allergies have hit me full blown. My head feels like it could explode any minutes. What a lovely feeling. I have been reading quite a bit lately. I have been on a roll trying to help some teachers with some book suggestions. I will begin to post them in spurts this week so I don’t overwhelm the readers. I have come across a wide array of books and I love it when I am able to find one great book after another. I will tell you that I have begun reading an adult book that is beyond scary. I hate scary movies, but I love it when a book disturbs my cranium. All I will say is that I am only 24 pages into the book and I am beyond terrified. The book has the reader watch videos and that does not help the situation either.

I leave this short post with a quote from Pablo Picasso. This was used at the end of a children’s book I was reading to my children tonight. This quote holds so much truth that I think it is very important that we try to keep our inner child.

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

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Saturday Morning Insights

This post is a few days late, but I have good reason. Usually, I write on Saturday mornings, but this past Saturday the tailgating action of Notre Dame was already underway. I did not have access to internet nor was I in the mood after a traffic jammed, construction frenzy drive to Indiana Friday night. Needless to say, it was nice to have a break from the children and watch ND kick some serious Nevada tail.

Enough of the excuses and on to the insights. I must start off by telling everyone about a book I just finished by an excellent author. This book has really put my mind in a whirlwind. The book has once again opened up the discussion of young adult literature. The genre as a whole contains such a wide range of audience. The book I read is not suitable for middle school in my opinion, but it is one of the best books I have read due to the range of emotions I went through. This author is also one who I pre-order every book she writes and when I finish one of her books it stays with me for a very long time. What I am saying is that here I have a young adult book that is worth every star I could give it, but I won’t suggest it to any student and middle school because of what all happens. Is this censorship which I am against? In a way it is, but I also look at it from an educator and parent perspective and realize there is no reason for anyone under the age of 15 to read the book. So this brings up my question that has not left my head all day and that is,

“Should there be two categories for young adult?”

I think it is question that has been brought up before and one that needs to be raised again. I am stuck in a rock and a hard place. On one side I want to give the book all the publicity that I can because I love the author and the novel. On the other side I know who my audience is of this blog and I don’t want them going out to read the book because they are not ready for the content on a maturity level to grasp what the author is trying to convey(by the way if you want to know the book, just ask me in the hallways or email and I will tell you if you are an adult). I debate the situation all day and choose to keep the book silent.

Well, I am off to get ready for tomorrow and move on to another book that I know will not do for me anything like the one I just read. This is the negative side to reading a book that stops you in your tracks.

On to better things and don’t forget about Reading Rainbow…..

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Saturday Morning Insights

Today is a day of many emotions. Well, I am still half asleep so maybe that is why I feel a little bit scattered this morning. My coffee has not quite removed the crust from my eyes. It is a sad day today. Why? I know I am not a man of much emotion besides being loud and boisterous, but today I learned that the Reading Rainbow television show has been cancelled after a 26 year run. I will admit that I have not seen an episode in quite some time, but that does not take away from how much I loved this show growing up. Later as an adult to hear the host, Levar Burton, be the voice of the audio book Watsons Go To Birmingham always brought back memories of the theme song.

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high
Take a look, it’s in a book – Reading Rainbow.

I can go anywhere!
Friends to know and ways to grow – Reading Rainbow.

I can be anything!
Take a look, it’s in a book – Reading Rainbow.

Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow!

Sorry, but how about a moment for a theme song that will surely be stuck in your head all weekend.

On a happier note, my son Aiden has his first soccer game this morning. I will be joining that major mass of people at Paul Norton who occupy the Crow Creek road and the school. I will be in there watching my son do who knows what. He is excited, but I question his knowledge of the game since neither of his parents know anything about the game. It should prove to be interesting.
I have rambled, but now it is time to drink more coffee and watch some SpongeBob and do some reading(surprise, surprise). I need to enjoy these moments as I am back in school to learn again at Drake.

As Adam Sandler states in Billy Madison, “Yahoo for school and yahoo for me!”

I’m out, take it easy and keep Reading Rainbow in your hearts this weekend.

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