Sunday, May 31, 2009

May Fun

Update: We're still having fun out here in Miami. Playoff basketball started a few weeks ago and we decided to check it out. We went to the Friday night Game 6 in the Heat vs. Hawks series. It was a great game and I'm glad we were able to do it. I bought some tickets on ebay but as soon as I paid for them the guy emailed me and said he had just sold them so he would refund my money. Luckily, I found some cheap tickets on stubhub (I hate all of the random fees on StubHub. I had to pay some "$15 close to gametime fee" or something like that).

All of the fans in attendance received a free clapper so it was very loud in there. Around halftime, Jackie and I got up to go use the bathroom. I left my clapper on my seat while Jackie took hers to the bathroom. When I get back, my clapper is gone. I look at the guy next to me (one empty chair in between us) and all of a sudden he has two clappers. Ugghhh, hello. We bought the entire series of Seinfeld on DVD and we've been watching those. I remember thinking at that moment that this would make a perfect Seinfeld episode, if it already wasn't. What do I do at this moment? I mean, that guy that took my clapper was clearly a bigger fan, he had his jersey on and everything. Plus, he was already using that clapper a lot more than I was. Jackie thought I should ask for it back but I decided against it.

A little later I noticed he had set it inbetween us on the floor in the row above us. I thought this might be his subtle way of giving it back to me. I reached for it and soon realized why he had set it back there. It was broken. The guy grabbed my clapper and then broke it. What a little punk.
The following week we had tickets to Madame Butterfly and that is quite the opera. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of my beautiful wife but I did get a picture of the stage from our seats. I bet you were dying to see that. Anyways, the reasons we got tickets to this show was because Jackie accidentally bought 4 tickets to the Bryn Terfel/Sarah Coburn concert. When we tried to give two tickets back they told us we could trade them in for another event so we picked this one. In the end, Jackie was glad for her mistake because we both had a good time at the opera and who knows if we would have gone otherwise.

If someone comes to town, we go to the Everglades

A friend of Jackie's, Vicky, flew into town with her husband to visit her daughter and vacation a little in Miami. Vicky and Jackie worked and sang together at the Rhinelander in Portland.
The 'lil baby alligators are growing up
No fear Jackie standing next to the gator...
... and once again she is about 2 feet closer than I am
That night the Mannyless Dodgers were in town
Here is Scott, Vicky, and her daughter Megan (also worked and sang at the Rhinelander). The best part of the night was that our section won something. I was actually getting some chicken fingers when they announced it but Megan found us and told us that our section won something but we had to go pick it up somewhere. We eventually found the both and it turns out we won $10 gift certificates to Dave and Busters. Yee hah!!

The first 15,000 fans to arrive at the staduim received free silver pompoms (with the attendance at Marlin's games, that probably left about 2,000 pompoms unclaimed). I feel bad for the guy that came up with this idea because they immediately started to regret it. The winds were about 20+ mph with a storm threatening. Anyways, fans began to rip apart the pompoms and sent the silver tinsel-like material onto the field. Every half inning they sent about 10 guys out onto the field to pick it up. Check out the video below, closest thing to snow we've gotten here in South Florida.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shout out to Elder Mikey

My little brother gets home from his mission in less than two months now. I saw this truck on the way to Disney World and I took a picture of it for him. We're both excited to get him home.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fun with Google Analytics

I thoroughly enjoy Google and almost everything they come out with. I especially enjoy Google Analytics. I'll admit that when I first added it, I would look at the data everyday. I did this for about 3 weeks until it became boring for me, because it was the same thing everyday. The number of visitors would shoot up to around 30 each time we posted, and then slowly trickle down to somewhere less than 10 visits a day, and then do the same thing once we created another post. Now I look at it about once a month and I thought I would share some interesting facts as well as play the guessing game.

Traffic Source
I'll start with the most interesting thing in Google Analytics, the traffic source of visitors, specifically the search related traffic. It records all of the Google searches that brought people to our website and here are the highlights

"Brian and Jackie Emmett" (this is the number one search, no big surprise)

"Samurai Babe" - 2 searches (At first I was confused as to why people looking for 'samurai babes' would be led to our sight, but then I remembered Jackie's Halloween outfit. Interesting side note, the 2 visitors spent an average of almost 2 minutes on the site. Must have liked what they saw!)

"Samurai Babe Archive" - 1 search (This guy didn't last long on the site, maybe because there was only one samurai babe)

"Where did Sarah Coburn Go to College?" - 1 search (Sorry to disappoint this visitor because I have no idea).

Our biggest source of traffic from other blogs was (again, no surprise) but the next biggest one was a tie between (girl cousin my age on my Mom's side) and (girl cousin my age on my Dad's side, interesting, huh?). Biggest non-family referral comes from (Jackie's friend and old roommate)

Location of Visitors
Question: Since the top three 3 states should be pretty obvious, can you guess the top 5? (answers at bottom). Clue - we had visitors from 24 different states, so it has to be one of those. Ok, so that's not really a clue if you don't know the 24 states but it was a way to squeeze in more useless information to you.

Question: This past month we had visitors from 8 different countries, can you guess the top three?

This actually got me thinking. Since I am in a "random" state (at least compared to my family), I've noticed that it would be fairly obvious to someone that expects me to read their blog to know if I'm not reading it. For example, if my sister or a cousin checked Google analytics and saw they only had one or even 0 visits from Florida over the past month, they would know I’m not checking the blog. So naturally, I thought of Jake and Lesa Emmett in Illinois. They're the only people I know there but I see that we had two visits from Illinois this past month, so it looks like they're keeping up on us. Thanks guys! (Unless of course Illinois is home to the "samurai babe" fetish).

State Answers:
1. Utah - 124 visits
2. California - 77 visits
3. Oregon - 22 visits
4. New York - 15 visits
5. Florida - 9 visits (hey, it's a sign we're making friends, right!?).

Since my Mom has left California and Dad will do so this weekend, I suspect to see Utah gain a stronger hold on its first place grip while California's numbers will decrease. Although, I recently found out that Shauna Rasmussen "creeches" (that's how she said it!) on our blog so I know the California visits won't completely stop.

Country Answers:
1. United States (duh)
2. Portugal - 5 visits
3. India - 2 visits (your explanation is as good as mine)

Brazil only had one visit so it's clear that Jackie is doing a better job at staying in touch with her friends from her mission than I am with mine. We also had one visit from Germany, Italy, the UK, and Australia.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Miami 5k Corporate Run

I participated in the Downtown Miami Corporate Run on Thursday of this past week. It sounded like a good idea when I signed up for it last month. I thought, "ya, I got four weeks to train, shouldn't be too bad." Of course, it wouldn't have been bad, had I included running in my training. Walking around Disney parks, surfing at Newport, and playing Nintendo Wii baseball just didn't cut it.

As the day of the race approached, I began to get nervous. I knew it was going to be tough but at the same time it was only a 5K. It's not like I was going to die. If I got tired and absolutely couldn't run anymore I could easily just walk with the other 10,000 people. I did have a back up plan if I hit the wall and absolutely couldn't run more then a couple of miles: that being my house. We ran past my building a little after 2 miles so that was comforting to know.

I actually became very excited once the race day came for one simple reason, I compared it to the Jog-A-Thons we would do back in elementary school. You're in class (work) for a little while and all you and your friends (co-workers) can think and talk about is the jog-a-thon (corporate run). You size up the people in your class (finance department) and then wonder how you'll do compared to the kids in other classes (Marketing, HR, etc.). It may sound silly but once I started to make those comparisons, I was pretty excited. I always did pretty well at the jog-a-thons, for sure the top three every year, but always behind Danny Capper (I should facebook him). When he told me he was moving to Hawaii after the third grade, my initial thought was, "Well, I’m going to miss my friend, but this gives me a very good chance at winning the jogathon next year!"
My support crew. I had the most beautiful support crew there

I've always enjoyed my Uncle's reports from their marathons and other races so in a feeble attempt, I will do the same.

- I got to leave work a little early so I could go home and change (I live four blocks from home and two blocks from the starting line so it worked out great). They already have the music blaring over the loud speakers, playing Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty." I think, "yep, that's going to be me tonight, 'runnin' low, runnin' on empty."
- The very next song was Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream." Looks like their playlist has a pattern!

Walking to the Race with Jackie
- I showed her the course and where I would be finishing so she could get a sweet action photo of my finish. I was trying to think of the song that could possibly be playing and I thought about the Boss with "Born to Run" or maybe even the Dixie Chicks singing "Ready to Run." To my surprise it was Roy Orbison with "Pretty Woman." I thought that was random until I heard the "walking down the street." Now they're stretching it. I guess it is a 5k run/walk so the song counts. That opened up a lot more options like "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base ('just walk away!') as well as "Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash. Unfortunately, I didn't hear either of those songs the rest of the day.
Right before the race, standing in front of the Citi building

The view from the Citi building

The Race
Mile 0 - 17,000 runners started at the same time. My guess is that I started in about 10,000th place. It took me about a minute or two just to get up to the starting line. Even then I couldn't really move because we were still packed in there tight.

Mile 0.3 - This isn't going to be very bad. We had just made our first turn and I kept on the right side of the road because it appears to have more room to dodge and weave. I'm on the street, then I'm in the grass, on the sidewalk, back on the street. I'm used to cycling where I always know how fast I'm going and how far I've gone. Since those tools were not available to me, I decided to gauge my speed by how many people I was passing. At this point I was probably passing at least 120/minute and getting passed by about 5 people/minute.

Mile 0.6 - I hopped over the 3 foot wall on the bridge so I could run on the sidewalk. My pace has slowed a little at this point, closer to 100 people/minute.

MIle 0.9 - I run by Guillermo from my office and give him a what's up.

Mile 1.2 - Warm, gross water for free at the tables. I took the effort to throw my cup in the trash can but soon realized nobody else had as I ran over a 1,000 hard, plastic cups.

Mile 1.3 - 60 people/minute

Mile 1.6 - Why the heck am I wearing this free head band. It's making my head so much hotter!

Mile 1.8 - We run back over the bridge and my cycling mentality takes over. "If I can just get up this hill as fast as I can, I can just coast down the other side." I got to the top and unlike cycling, I had to keep moving my legs if I wanted to keep moving. As sad as it sounds, I hit "the wall" at this point. I want to stop so when I get to the bottom of the hill I move over to the side and pretend I need to stretch my leg out. Did I really need to stretch it out? Nope. But did it feel good to stop for a second? Ah yeah!

Mile 2.2 - I'm locking in at about 50/minute

Mile 2.3 - Warm, gross water again. Not this time!!

Mile 2.4 - I pass an 11 year old kid who is stopped talking to what I assumed was his Mom on his cell phone. "I'm almost done! I'll be back in a little bit."

Mile 2.5 - That same little kid comes cruising by me. What a little punk.

Mile 2.7 - We make the turn on my street. Now I know we are super close. Oh my gosh, I see people handing out Otter Pops at the end of the block. "I want two!!" I told the lady. She has one in her hand but tells me the guy next to her will have the other one for me. I grab hers and realize something is wrong. I try to grab the second one but it falls threw my hands. And why did it fall through my hands you ask? Because it wasn't even frozen!! I've never gone from being that excited to being that down so fast. I downed the orange liquid and got ready for the final turns.

Mile 2.9 - I can hear the announcer calling out the numbers and companies of the people finishing. I can see the time board around the corner and see 28 minutes up there. D'oh! I was hoping to do under 25 minutes but that chance was gone.
Mile 3.0 - I slow down and swing to the left of the street so I can find Jackie. I wave to get her attention. If you look at this picture it looks a little weird because my knees aren't bent so it looks like I'm speed walking. I promise I was running pretty fast, at about 40 people/minute.
We got the picture and then I ran under at about 29 minutes 15 seconds. Overall it was a great experience. I'm still feeling a little sore but glad I did it.