Greg Nilsen

Simple Marble Roller Coaster 0

A Half-Day For Building A Simple Marble Roller Coaster

This afternoon, I took time off from work to go in to my son’s preschool and help the kids build a “simple” marble roller coaster (using this video as my motivation) as part of a “simple tools” unit they’re working on.  I showed up with a base and a screw-based elevator, and had the kids help me thread the tubes with wires, make holes in the tubes, and use screws to connect the tubes together and to the posts to...

My Chemical Romance 0

Midweek Music Break: My Chemical Romance – Destroya

So, somehow I’ve managed to avoid one of my favorite bands in the Midweek Music Break, but no longer.  Today I bring you “Destroya” off their last full album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.  The album is thematically about a rebel group in a post-apocalyptic future, and “Destroya” fits right into that theme. What I love about this song is not just the drum buildup, or the power guitars, but the unadulterated rebellion in this song.  It’s...

The sun rising over Pittsburgh from the West End Bridge 0

A Run To Be Excited About…

The thing I enjoy so much about marathon training is the challenge combined with the adventure.  When I talk about it, people ask “You ran how far?!?”, but it gives me this great chance to explore and be lost in thought.  I ran for 3 hours on Sunday, the time just seemed to melt away, and I had fun doing it. I won’t claim to be the fastest, or breaking any records (except for my own, hopefully), but this was...

Run20150311 0

“No Room For Normal…”

At least today’s, as here’s the weather description for tonight’s 5-miles of intervals (following a relaxed 6 miles this morning): That’s right!  There is no room for normal here!  

All Falls Down 0

Midweek Music Break: Kanye West – All Falls Down

While I’m not a fan of Kanye West the person (egotistical and paranoid makes for a weird combination), but I’ll admit that he does bring a good hit to the forefront every now and then. One of my favorites, which has been popping up on my randomized playlists a lot lately, is 2003’s All Falls Down: It’s a combination of a great beat, great hook and strong rapping, which has managed to defy aging for the most part (not a...

Halestorm 0

Midweek Music Break: Halestorm – I Miss The Misery

Picking something a bit newer this week, with one of the better rock songs in recent memory: Halestorm’s “I Miss The Misery”. While having a catchy beat and guitar riff, it’s really the vocals that make this song.  They line up perfectly with the lyrics and are a great blend of anger, frustration, disappointment and longing.   It’s a great bold and strong song that I can play again and again.


Midweek Music Break: The Used – Pretty Handsome Awkward

In a similar vein to My Chemical Romance, The Used has been great for solid music for more than the last decade.  While they broke through with 2002’s The Taste of Ink, I’ve enjoyed much of their more recent music, including 2007’s Pretty Handsome Awkward: While I dig the vocals and the dichotomy of the lyrics, it’s the guitar riffs that really drive this song.  It’s one of those songs that make me pick up my pace “while running a mile”,...

Missy Elliott 0

Midweek Music Break: Missy Elliott – Work It

In what was the highlight of the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show, out of nowhere comes Missy Elliott and steals the entire show and save us all from the modern pop wasteland.  While it’s hard to pick just one song out, I’m going with “Work It”. While Missy’s been out of the loop for a while (which everyone without an education directly went to twitter to share their ignorance), her music was waaay ahead of it’s time (unfortunately, the videos...

If You Can't Say No 0

Midweek Music Break: Lenny Kravitz – If You Can’t Say No

Following his mini-cameo in the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show, where he spent less time on-screen than he did in The Hunger Games, I thought I’d call up my favorite Lenny Kravitz song, the no-frills and moody “If You Can’t Say No”. What’s astounding about that song is that it’s 17 years old, yet it makes me stop and listen every time.  The power, the loss and the longing all ring through with each listen, but combined with the smoothness...

Bad Sidewalk Shoveling 0

6 Types of Snow Shovelers You’ll See This Winter

While I do enjoy winter, as a runner I’m not always a fan of how I see some people “maintain” their sidewalks.  Most of the time, it’s not that bad, and other times you bit the dust, as I did earlier this week.  Thankfully, the damage was limited to a torn glove (picture from post-run, since I was too annoyed to do anything but keep running):   However, my runs keep me thinking about all the different variations I see...