Force of Habit: One fast clock can make a world of difference.

I got it from my mom: Growing up, she always ran the clock in the car 5 – 10 minutes fast. I remember the rides to peewee football practices and saying, “Mom, we’re gonna be late. ERRRR!” She’d tell me to relax and that we had plenty of time, but looking at the clock, I knew I was going to be late. “This is 8 minutes fast, Will. We have plenty of time.” But the clock, mom. The clock says we do not. The clock says we have to be there in two minutes, and I know the field is at LEAST 5 away. Are you some sort of magic woman? Rules don’t apply to you? You can get somewhere in two minutes that takes the average human five? Well, I came to find that, in so many ways, that was the case. Keeping the clock fast instilled that sense of urgency in me even when I knew beyond any doubt the clock was fast. I went by the time in front of me. And little has changed…

I keep the clock on my microwave faster than the rest of the times throughout the place. It’s the numbers I stare at in the morning getting ready for work and making my breakfast and lunch for the day. And literally every single day, I rush. I rush because I think I’m going to be late. “It took me ten minutes to brush my teeth? Dammit. Gotta rush.” Pack the bag up, throw on the jacket, exit and deadbolt the door, look at my watch… I still got time. Now I have some time to walk. Meander. Awesome.

So say what you will about playing tricks on your own brain, and I don’t know how it is I am constantly able to fall for this stunt everyday, but I find it beneficial. A bit of panic followed by that sense of “Ahhhhhh, s’all good,” is maybe one of the best feelings in the world. And it’s simple to achieve. So, thanks, Mom, for getting me to all those practices and games on time although I was the brat in the back seat giving you a hard time… Coach liked how I was always on time and even early sometimes.

100 Days of Ties: Day 83 and the stripes of Saint James and Billy Reid

Saint James Scarf. Billy Reid Tie. Gant Rugger Jacket. Rugby OCBD. Boulder Organic Pizza Patio.

I think one of my favorite parts of the 100 Days of Ties project has been finding places to pose. I look back to, say, Day 3, when I was bashful and would wait to take pictures until alone at my desk. Now it’s all, Whatever, gawkers. You can stare. You know you like what you see. BAM! Not to sound cocky or anything, but what does it really matter if someone notices me posing? The world isn’t going to end.

That aside – the NYC party in February now has an official name, and we’re close to inking the locale. One thing I still want to do is turn this event into something charitable. I am think if we all bring one or two items of clothing to donate for a makeshift clothing drive of sorts, we can do a little good while looking extremely good. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

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100 Days of Ties: Day 82, the dead leaves, the dirty ground, and riding the bus with my sister.

Scorpions, rocking my neck like a hurricane via Lands' End Canvas.

I switched it up a bit this morning and did a shot with a new camera app I got on my phone. I liked the way it turned out, so I used it in lieu of the standard pose. And, no, my sister isn’t on the bus with me today, but she does delight in taking the Light Rail from the burbs to the city to come see me, so she’s with me in spirit.

Anyway, I strapped on the Lands’ End Canvas scorpions today with the Animal Command jacket and an svelt OCBD from J.Crew. My dapper feeling almost had the kibash thrown on it as I headed out the door this AM and slipped on a patch of black ice at the foot of the stairs of my building. Luckily, it was 6:30 and no one was walking by. I would have looked quite the fool. Or not. I don’t think I really would have cared…

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100 Days of Ties: Day 81 and time to break out the J. Crew Down Jacket.

Went all J Crew today. Not on purpose. Just how it went.

It was cold as hell this morning. Hell, in this scenario, is not the flaming inferno but a frigid wasteland of icy sidewalks, rosy cheeks, and no escape from a blistering wind. Luckily, and I was actually looking forward to it based on the reco from Jennifer Broome, I got to don the Crew Puffer I acquired last year and haven’t worn. Compliments galore from lots of folks already on the bad boy. And while that’s all well and good, it’s warm as all get out. Quite nice.

But dammit, if I don’t need some new denim. Kick the tires and light the fires.

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Made in the USA: Quality family time in Breckenridge, CO and the MSR Evo Tour 22 Snowshoes

My MSR's: All the way to the left.

Any time I get to spend with my family is the best time. I make no secret how close I am with my mother and father and little sister (and yes my two brothers when they are around). So when I get the chance to be with them, I chomp at the bit. That said, this past week (December 30, to be exact), I found myself in Breckenridge, CO to not only hang out with the fam but to also try out the MSR Snowshoes my dad got me for my birthday. Whoa, buddy… Killer.

So for the 6 mile hike we take, I am floating on the snow, all the while telling dad how he needs a pair of these. “And, Dad? They’re made in the USA… Double bonus!” After only minutes in my birthday present, he’s going to buy his own pair. USA! USA! USA!

And for a gratuitous, “This is why I really love my family life,” photo, read on,,,

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100 Days of Ties: Day 80 and the best is yet to come.

Break out the ice scrapers, we're going to town.

Finally, Denver got hit hard by some snow and brutally cold temperatures. I got the chance to head to the hills for some snowshoeing, which was ideal, save for the patch of ice I hit afterwards while running out for dinner supplies ending in me and my car in a ditch. No one was hurt. We’re all good. What a way to see out 2010.

With 2011 here and as cliched and hackneyed as it sounds, I’m embracing this fresh start and aim to live everyday to the fullest. I try to already, but there’s no harm in trying harder, and trying to do a bit of good everyday.

Cheers, all, and let’s make this year one for the books.

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Go for the Goal: Today I’m going to…

It’s 2011, and the cliche uttered the most, or at least what I always hear as the clock ticks to 12:00, “We made it! High five, bro!” I oblige and engage in a few fist pumps as well, but when you think about it, you should be saying, “We made it,” every morning. Every single day is a gift. Every single day is a way to make your life and the lives of those around you better. Every day is an opportunity.

That said, and as I have enjoyed so much the contributions to the 100 Days of Ties project, I am embarking on another community project that should and will have no end. Today I’m Going To will focus on a daily goal we can set for ourselves. Whether it’s major like, “Today I’m going to cure cancer,” or simple like, “Today I’m going to say hello to three strangers,” etting a goal for the day gives a sense of purpose and, upon completion, accomplishment.

On the daily, I will be posting my goal. I would love it if you commented with yours and help build this community. Though, if personal, I understand not wanting to share. But to kick it off, on the, January 1, 2011, I will begin…

Today I’m going to start figuring out how to make my life and the lives of others better in the ways I know how.

And you?