Saturday, November 28, 2009

Volunteering in the Seattle

Rebuilding Together Seattle has become a regular group that I volunteer with, since moving out to Seattle.  Their 15-30 person outdoor, yard cleanup, and repair of homes in need projects remind me a lot of Give Back Cincinnati's Paint the Town annual project (#2).

Here in Seattle, RTS select homes at "no cost to low-income homeowners," and whom are often "elderly, disabled, or are families with children."

Originally named Christmas in April, the Rebuilding Together organization formed affiliates all over the US, and Seattle's chapter this summer celebrated it's one year anniversary of the Young Professionals Society with having close to 40 members volunteer at the RTS - YPS April event.

The YPS was founded in August of 2008 for the purpose of expanding the RTS "mission through community outreach, fundraising, networking, and volunteering on an annual basis to ensure the growth and strength of RTS."

Photos were taken from my second outing with the RTS-YPS group. Funny how I only seem to sign up for the rain day event.s :-)

Did you guys even get wet that day?

Our whole group at the end of the day (minus Margie Thirlby - who's taking the photo).

Seattle Works was the first group I volunteered with after moving to Seattle.  SW's goal is is to inform, connect, and inspire people in their 20s and 30s to take action in their community.

SW has a two pronged approached to engage the young minded by either focusing on one time volunteer projects called Hot Topics, or using a several week commitment of 15-16 people who work on 4 projects together called Teams Works.  Both are designed to help those connect to their community.

My first event with our Team Works team Blue Steal was for the Lettuce Link.  A program geared towards creating "access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce for low-income families in Seattle."  Our team stocked envelopes with seeds, that will allow families to start gardening as they "encourage people to grow food for their families." 

By the end of the event, even Shannon Murphy was in favor of my carrot cheer:

"We got carrots!  We got carrots!  Yes we do! Yes we do! How about you?"

 Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pittsburgh > Seattle > Cincinnati

Readers of the Medicine Man's Blog already know that Pittsburgh is much, much better then Boston from a previous post.

Now, Transportation for America ask "How dangerous is your city?"  A study was conducted to find and measure the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) of 52 US metro areas with populations of greater then 1 million people.  "The PDI was developed to allow a fair comparison of metro areas according to their risk to pedestrians, relative to how much an ordinary person walks in that metro area."
Over all Pittsburgh was found to be the 4th safest city (based on PDI), Seattle the 5th, and Cincinnati the 7th.  Philadelphia is an abysmal #15 in overall pedestrian safely.  The worst city: Orlando (#52).

If you're over 65, the study finds that states such as Hawaii, California, and Florida are all the more dangerous for you!  TfA reports that the "the higher fatality rate for older pedestrians can probably be attributed to several factors: 1) older pedestrians have a higher risk of death than young people given the same severity of injury; 2) older pedestrians are more likely to have perceptual, sensory and cognitive impairments that decrease their ability to avoid oncoming traffic; and, 3) existing pedestrian infrastructure, such as the duration of crosswalk signals, ignores the needs of older walkers." 

I really think from point #2 that TfA is trying to say that older walkers are slower to cross the street, slower to react if they feel they are in danger, may not see the cars or trucks coming at time, may not hear the roar of the traffic coming at them, and may not know what to do if they feel they are in danger. 

Even if you are young and quick, you still have to be lucky.  This video just goes to show you that brightly warn crossing guard reflectors don't always avoid close contacts with cars either. 
Urban Cincy did a great recap of the findings and expanding upon how pedestrian traffic relates to safety in our fair city. 

At least Cincinnati > Cleveland.  :-) 

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How's my running coming along?

After running in the 2009 Run Like Hell 5K, I decided to find/track down my place and race times amongst the dozen or so 5K races I've done in the past (initially in Philadelphia, then to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and now here in Seattle.) I know I'm missing a few bigger runs such as the Koman Race for the Cure and the Reggae Run, but here's what I've been able to find so far:

Run Like Hell 2008!

Dash For Donor Awareness 2.5 Mile Run, April 13, 2003, Philadelphia, PA
167 Alexander Hamling M 25 Philadelphia PA 22:59 9:12 90/152 M

St. Joseph Home 5K - Race for the Stars, August 19th, 2006, Cincinnati, OH:

Run for the Hill! - St. Joseph Home 5K

Freestore Foodbank Hunger Walk 5K, May 28th, 2007 at Lytle Park, Cincinnati, OH:
215 ALEX HAMLING 25 M CINCINNATI, OH 33:44 10:53 138/199 M

The Hyde 5 - St. Mary Church, August 16th, 2007 at Cincinnati, OH:
169 ALEXANDER HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 30:40 9:54 M2529 78/91 M

Emerald Mile 5K, March 15th, 2008 at Newport on the Leave, Newport KY:
198 ALEXANDER HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 30:55 9:59 112/158 M

Run For Life 5K, May 10th, 2008, at Winton Woods, Cincinnati, OH:
105 ALEXANDER HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 32:49 10:35 68/89 M

Ariane and I post Great Urban Race, Cincinnati 2008
OK, so a little bit longer then a 5K.

Kilgour Carnival 5K, May 16th, 2008 Cincinnati, OH:
109 ALEX HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 32:06 10:22 84/125 M

Freestore Foodbank Hunger Walk 5K, May 26th, 2008 at Lytle Park, Cincinnati, OH:
309 ALEX HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 33:38 10:51 183/772 M 

Cincinnati Bar Association - Young Lawyers Section - Run for Kids, 5K, June 6th, 2008, Cincinnati, OH:

Downtown Dash and Block Party, August 1st, 2008 Cincinnati, OH: 
134 Alexander Hamling Cincinnati 27 32:01 10:19

Emerald Mile 5K, Newport, KY, March 14th, 2009:
209 ALEXANDER HAMLING 27 M CINCINNATI OH 30:25 9:49 135/218 M 

Freestore Foodbank Hunger Walk 5K, May 27th, 2009 at Lytle Park, Cincinnati, OH:
396 ALEX HAMLING 27 M CINCINNATI OH 39:42 12:49 161/490 M 

Seattle Union Gospel Mission, One Meal, One Hope 5K, October 3rd, 2009, Seward Park, Seattle, WA
70 Alexander Hamling M 28 32:11

Run Like Hell, October 30th, 2009, Cincinnati, OH
200 ALEXANDER HAMLING  Seattle WA  28 32:44 10.34/M

Green Lake Gobble 5K & Mashed Potato Munch Off, November 22, 2009, Seattle, WA.
180 Alexander Hamling 28 M Seattle WA 195/271 29:58
Photo Finish at the end of the race!

Seattle Marathon 5K, November 28, 2009, Seattle WA
188 Alexander Hamling, 28, 28:39

12 Ks of Christmas Holiday Run, December 20, 2009, Kirkland, WA
661 Alexander Hamling, 28, 1:22:43, 11:06

Firecracker 5000, July 4th, 2010, Seattle, WA.
319 Alexander Hamling. 28. 28:30.  9:25

Seattle AIDS Walk & 5K Run Sept, 25th 2010, Seattle, WA - Volunteer Park
88 Alexander Hamling. 29. 25:11. 8:07

AAP NCE 5K Fun Run/Walk, Oct, 4th, 2010, San Francisco, CA - Golden Gate National Recreation Area
52 Alexander Hamling. 29. 26:33. 8:26

In graphical from here's my Run Chart (get it?)

Jenn and I, post race from the St. Joseph Home 5K !
She finished 3rd in her age category!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Monday, November 2, 2009

500 Days of Summer

After seeing "500 Days of Summer" on my flight back to Seattle from Cincinnati, I got to thinking.

Just one day, I'd like this to happen to me.  Well... I can forgo the animated birds.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex