Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If I Was Ever In A War,

I'd want Leeroy on my team 'cause he ain't no chicken. Yes, I've finally given in to my darker impulses. I was a Blizzard gamer for many years. Warcraft, Warcraft 2, Diablo, Starcraft, Diablo 2, and Warcraft 3. However, about five years ago, I made the switch to console gaming. The Dreamcast and the Xbox were my friends. The past year, with my Xbox broken and not having the time to play that would justify buying an Xbox 360, I've had to rely solely on my Sony PSP, which is cool, but it's a BART only type of game system.

Well, I've finally given in. A friend of mine is an artist at Blizzard for World of Warcraft. I signed up for my Free 10 Day Trial (yes, that's a hint) and now I am hooked. Oh, by the way, that Leeroy Jenkins clip at the top contains profanity, so be advised if you'd rather not hear that. Maybe I should have put that warning up top. Oh, well.

Both the Leeroy clip and this South Park WoW clip are fairly well known, but something tells me that most of my loyal readers have lives and have probably not heard of World of Warcraft before. Enjoy. Let me know when you'll be joining the online sensation (over 7.5 million players) and want to play. I'm currently a level 12 Night Elf Rogue in the Uldaman realm. I'm questing baby, questing.

Oh, and don't worry about this taking time away from Zane or Liz. Liz is an Undead Mage and Zane is a Troll Hunter. I just taught him how to chop a boar in half with his axe. I was so proud.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I don't have much of a passion for candy. Ice cream, yes. Cheesecake, yes. Candy bars, hard candies, suckers, no. However, last year I was introduced to these and I must say that I was smitten. The good thing is that they are limited edition, which means that finding them in stores is tough. The bad thing is that when you do find them, you buy every last bag on the shelf. Such an occasion occurred last week and I have now eaten two bags in about 9 days. I'm not counting calories at this point. I'm counting notches on the belt.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What My Family Doesn't Know

Is that I make the best menudo on the planet. Tripe, calf's foot, hominy, and three kinds of chiles. Don't tell grandma though. I'd like to remain on her good side.

It's up to us kids to take the recipes that have been handed down to us and to improve them. Some might not think that possible, but trust me, it can be done. Witness the drunkin turkey, the spanish rice, and now the menudo. However, nobody will ever make a better deep fried cheeseburger than my father.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I interviewed a Berkeley MBA student the other day. Very bright, we're going to hire him, yadda yadda yadda. The important thing is that he introduced me to Dreyer's Slow Churned ice cream. Apparently he did an internship at Dreyer's over the summer and found out all about slow churned. He gave me the science behind the product. Once he said that you could taste more fat, I was in. The slow churning keeps the fat molecules separate from the rest of the mix, which means that instead of a bunch of very well mixed molecules, you're tasting big giant separate molecules. As an ice cream addict, I had to try it.

I'm now just about done with the first gallon of mint 'n chip. It is magnificent. Whatever Dreyer's has done, they done it right. Even though it has 1/2 the fat/calories, it's not watery and it tastes better than the regular full fat premium ice cream. Yes, this is good news.

On a separate note, I kicked Skyline Ridge's butt yesterday at 5:45am in a downpour. I came in 3rd out of 6 and I'm not sore today. I will become a trail runner yet.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Dim Bulb

I am not sure what it is about me that says, "Hey, remember last week when you almost crapped your pants running due to the pain? That was fun. Let's do it again tomorrow."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Skyline Ridge

I agreed to meet a friend and his friends for a 10 mile trail run this past Saturday at 5:45am. What that meant is that I actually woke up at 4:45am in order to eat and then drive to the trailhead. To run. 10 miles. Up a mountain. Challenging my intellect at this point is acceptable.

We ended up going to Moraga (the Eastern side of the Oakland Hills). I could tell I was in trouble when A) I couldn't see the top of the hill from where we parked and B) Everyone had a headlamp but me. As we started running up the hill in the dark, I could tell I was in for a world of hurt. The first mile was worse than Diablo. These trail runners are seriously crazy. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't see. And everyone around me was laughing, having a great time, including a woman whose apparent job was to keep me from being last in line.

We finally summitted the ridge and from there it got worse. Up and down and up and down we went. Into the valley and then back up to the ridge and then into the valley again. Beautiful run, I think. Most of the time I felt like I was going explode from one end or the other, but I was never quite sure which one was going to pop first.

Seriously, the run was amazingly beautiful. Redwood groves everywhere and the feeling of being in Jurassic Park. What I've learned is that although I am a fast runner, I am not a strong runner. Time to change that.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


If you're not looking forward to this movie, then I'm not sure we can be friends any longer.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two Weeks

roscoes"Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Inexcuseable and unacceptable. I don't have much to report on the running front. After a marathon, I typically only run about 20 miles a week for a month or two. Well, I'm on post-marathon week 3 and I'm right on track. I also haven't gained any weight which is surprising. Check that, it's not that surprising. I've been on the Diet Coke diet. I'm surprisingly full most of the time.

So I have a laundry list of items and zero time. I just didn't want you to think that I was ignoring you out of"

I wrote that two weeks ago. I don't remember why I was interrupted or what I was going to write, but because I don't want you guys to miss any of my very important thoughts, I'm including it in this very brief note.

Well, my seven weeks of Monday through Friday travel have come to an end. I now have at least two weeks at home before I am off to who knows where for who knows how long. Management consulting is definitely a business that keeps you on your toes. I won't talk anymore about work. Primarily because I don't want to get fired, but also because it is very dull. The most exciting part of my last engagement, which was in Pasadena, was my visit to Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles. Before I hear the accusations and see the hurt looks, yes, I cheated on my gluten-free diet. How could I not? Fried chicken and waffles covered with syrup and gravy. It could not be passed up. What happened next was somewhat comical and something that a co-worker and I now refer to as The Roscoe's Coma.

After eating two huge waffles, 1/4 fried chicken (dark meat), covered in gravy and syrup, we headed back to the client site where we proceeded to do, I'm not sure what we proceeded to do other than sit in our office, groan, and fart. At least I was discrete. My co-worker didn't even try. He just let them rip. I had to leave a few times it was that bad. I could tell that it was tough for him to look me in the eye today. Roscoe's Coma or not, that's just wrong.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pictureless Review

It seems very wrong to write about an experience at Lake Tahoe and to not have any pictures. We're talking about one of the most beautiful places on Earth and no pictures. Sorry, but with my location and schedule, it's not happening at the moment. For some pics, go here and here. Liz took some great shots.

So going into this marathon, I knew that I wanted to run with my sister Amy and my father. Running together with my family, particularly a marathon, has always seemed very right. My training reflected the type of race I was going to run. I only ran three days a week and didn't do any speedwork. However, the speed just doesn't sit on idle. It's there. If you've read some of my previous training runs and looked at my beautiful brown salt-encrusted eyes, you'll know that I trained hard and fast on my long runs. On a flat course, I still think I could have run a sub-3:10. On this course, probably a 3:25 or so. But that's not why I wanted to run the Lake Tahoe marathon. I was running it for the experience. What I found is that running a marathon for the experience and to run it with your family is probably a richer experience than running it for myself and for a PR.

We arrived in Tahoe on Thursday. We went two whole days early in order to get acclimated to the 6500 foot elevation. I later found out that it takes 6 weeks to become properly acclimated.

I'm not going to bore you with the non-marathon activities. Yes, we stayed in a casino. Yes, we went to a buffet. Yes, we took the paddlewheeler to Emerald Bay and it was amazing. Yes, we had sushi the night before as required by Mike F.'s marathon laws. Liz can tell you all about our adventures with Zane in restaurants. He just wasn't having it. Let's go straight to the race.

Wait, I will tell you about our Friday drive of the race course. I knew the west side of Tahoe was pretty hilly and I had seen the elevation profile. I've been to Tahoe a number of times in the winter and have driven that road in order to get to Squaw Valley. What I had not done is actually drive the road and consider what it would be like to run it. Maybe driving the course in advance was a mistake. The last 13 miles are painful. Up and down and up and up and up and up and up and up and then down and then up and up and up some more, followed by the downhill to the finish. What made me the most nervous was where the up was located. Between miles 15 and 21 is not where you want to see massive uphill. It was like Boston, but steeper, longer, and at 6500 feet.

So back to Saturday morning. My dad, Amy, and I, along with Liz, Zane, Kevin, and my mom all boarded the buses. The marathon had a spectactor pass that you could purchase that allowed you to take the buses to the starting line and then take to three points along the course, as well as the finish line, to support your runners. It was pretty cool and very helpful. More on this later. We arrived at the starting line about 30 minutes before the race started. Only about 400 runners. Amy, my dad, and myself get ready and then bam, we're off. Only 26.2 miles to go.

The first 10 miles are amazing. Right on the shore as the sun is rising. People were stopping and taking pictures. When the event organizers tell you that it is the most beautiful marathon in the world, they are not joking. We see the family at mile 1.5, mile 4, and mile 7.5. It was great to see them. High fives to Liz. Waving to Zane. Hearing my mom encourage my dad. Everyone is having a great time. I'm acting as the mule and carrying everyone's gels and making sure we're on pace (not too fast, not too slow). Our goal is to run a sub 5 hour marathon. My dad ran it last year in 5:05.

It was tough at first being a pacer. My body just wanted to scream and run and go, go, go, go, go. That tapered up rested feeling had me ready to just hammer down. I held it back. Our first six miles or so were right around a 10 minute pace. Probably a little fast, but after seeing that road yesterday, I wanted to book a little time, as I knew that some of those miles would be in the 13 and 14 minute range. We just ran, talked, joked, and enjoyed it.

At about mile 9, I had an issue. I needed to use the facilities. Fortunately for me, I saw one of two port-a-johns about a 1/4 mile ahead. I told my dad and Amy that I was going to use it and for them to just keep going. I sprinted out ahead, which felt very, very good, did my deed and then sprinted until I caught up to them again. I was surprised at how far ahead of me they were. It took me a little bit to catch them. Once I caught them, we started to space out a little bit. I could tell that Amy was a little winded and that my dad was raring to go. I gave my dad three gels and told him to go and that I'd stay back with Amy. He went. Up a short, but steep hill, then down, them bam, there was the mother of all hills. Two miles long with an average incline of 8%, with some sections being even worse.

It was brutal. This was around mile 15 and we were in the thick of the 1/2 marathoners. I didn't see a single person running up the hill. Everyone walked, except my dad, who we could still see, and me and Amy. We went slow, but we ran. Amy then told me that she could see that our dad had started to walk. I told her that I'd be right back and to not stop running. I ran up to my dad who was about 200 yards ahead of us, gave him a pat on the back, told him he was doing great, to keep running, and to let his arms do his work. You pump your arms and your legs can't help but follow. He was running again at this point and I told him I was going back down to Amy. On my way down, people looked at my like I was nuts, which I was. Once I got back to Amy, I told her to keep her head down and to just focus on my feet and to keep her arms pumping. We kept running. But like I said, this was a 2 mile hill. It was massive. I saw my dad begin walking again. I knew we were near the top, so I charged back up the hill and repeated what I had done before. I ran with him until I could tell we were near the top. We could also hear the spectators from the spectator bus. I told him that this was it, then it was some sweet downhill and to just take off. That was the last time I saw him until the finish line.

Back to Amy. This is the second time that these people had seen me go up and down. It was actually pretty funny. I heard a few "God bless you"s. I told Amy to not waste any energy talking and that we were almost to the top. A couple of minutes later, we crested the hill and there was my mom with water to dump on us and Liz, Zane, and Kevin. It was good to see them. The hardest part was over. Liz was screaming. It was great. Just 9 miles left.

Going down into Emerald Bay is something I'll never forget. We had just killed ourselves getting to the top and to then be going down with that view was incredible. Amy and I talked quite a bit. We couldn't believe how well our 58 year old father was doing. We totally knew he was going to smoke his goal time of 5 hours. We knew this because although we had a view of at least 2 miles of road, he was nowhere to be found. We knew there was one very steep hill left, but it seemed like the worst was behind us.

Technically correct, but I had forgotten about those last few miles. As we chugged up the road that led out of Emerald Bay, we kept running. Once we came to the top at mile 20, we both were feeling good and sped up a little. The most scenic and tough parts of the course were over and we thought we had this race in the bag. We were slightly wrong. At about mile 22, that wall. That soreness. That fatigue began to set in. Amy had only decided to do the marathon about 4 weeks ago and although she is an avid runner, it's hard to fake the last miles of a marathon without the mileage under your feet. Me, I'd never run for this long before. I'm a 3 hour guy. My dogs were barking and I just wanted to get off of them. To make matters worse, we were diverted off of the main road onto the bike trail that somewhat follows the road. Except that it has a lot of little turns that bug the crap out of you when all you want to do is go straight.

We slowed down and kept going. Amy never stopped to walk. 1 mile left and we're sharing the path with tons of people. 1/2 marathoners, bikers, people out for a walk. Then we hit 26 miles. .2 to go and we can see the finish line. Nobody is talking. We just want to get done. We saw my mom. We saw my dad. We finished. 5:00:45 for Amy and 5:00:49 for me. Then, we went to the beach and just relaxed. What a great run. I think I've found my calling. Now to find a way to make it profitable.

Oh and my dad. 4:44. Amazing.

Monday, September 18, 2006

For LisaPow

Tapering. Something that I am enjoying right now, probably a little too much. My advice for the taper and marathon in no particular order:

- Enjoy it.
- Don't stress about not running as much. The body needs time to heal.
- Cut back on your calories only slightly. Don't worry about a little extra weight gain.
- Cut your toenails a week before.
- The night that is two nights before your marathon is the most important, as there is no way you're sleeping the night before. Get a solid 8 or 9 hours in.
- Nothing out of the ordinary in your diet the week before the race.
- Nothing spicy for the two days prior to your race.
- Carbo-load, but don't overdo it.
- Don't forget your band-aids and vaseline/bodyglide in order to prevent chaffing.
- Eat breakfast in the morning. I usually eat a banana, drink a gatorade, and have a bowl of cereal about two hours before.
- Use the port-a-johns at least twice. You don't want to have to stop.
- Sign up for a pace group. If you can't keep up with that pace group, don't sweat it and when the next pace group catches up to you, stick with them.
- Wear shoes that have only about 50 miles on them, but make sure they are the same make/model that you have trained in.
- If you plan on wearing any cold weather gear during the marathon, make sure it's something that you don't care about, as you will be tossing it on the side of the road at about mile 4.
- Rotate water and gatorade at each aid station. Don't overdo it.
- Take a gel every hour. I recommend the ones with caffeine, but if you haven't used ones with caffeine before, don't try them for the first time the day of your race.
- If you're tight, stop and stretch.
- If you're in pain, walk for a minute, then try to pick it back up.
- Write your name on your bib or your arms or better yet, have it stitched on your shirt. When you're at mile 22 and people are screaming your name, it means everything.
- Let the people at the end of the race ice you down. A lot.
- Eat plenty of ice cream at the end, then go to Tony Romas for all you can eat ribs.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Humbled And Delusionaled

DSC_0027If you look closely at this photo, you can see the salt that my body purges while I'm out on a long run. Last Saturday's salt levels weren't particularly bad, as it wasn't very hot, but it was the first time I remembered to take a picture of it. I'm surprised that small woodland animals aren't running up to me for a lick.

Last Saturday was my last big long run before Tahoe. 22 miles. I'm happy to say that I will not be running another such run for at least 9 months. Remember, I'm on the one marathon a year program. During my long runs, I need something to keep my mind off the fact that I'll be running 22 miles. I've developed a real passion for running people down and not being passed. Prideful, yes. Distracting and fun, yes, yes.

I was moving along pretty well, picking people off one by one or in one case a huge group of people and then off in the distance I saw him, a runner about a half mile ahead of me. I was determined to get him. I slowly started to reel him in. Surprisingly, it took longer than expected. It was probably about four miles before I caught him. As I caught up to him, I could tell that this guy was a serious runner and also a little bit older than me. We were also both running sub-7 miles. As I drew abreast, he started talking to me. He asked how far I was going. I puffed out my chest and said, 22 miles. He laughed and told me to ask him how far he was going. I asked and he said 22 miles. It turned out we're both running marathons in three weeks. He then told me that he was shooting for a 2:55 marathon and that it would be sweet if he could do it because he was turning 51 on Monday and to PR right after turning 51 would be special.

I hope he didn't see my jaw drop. Wow. Amazing. I told him he was the man and then we chit chatted for another couple of minutes before we hit his turnaround point. I hope I'm still running strong at 51. If genetics have anything to do with it and they always do so I'm not too worried about it, then I'm sure I will be.

Now I told you that I like running people down and I don't like getting passed. Well, I don't remember the last time I was passed. It's probably because I treat every training run like a race, but what can you do. To run fast, you've gotta run fast. Well, at about mile 18, I heard footsteps behind me. My heart began to beat a little faster. No way is some chump that is out for a 3 mile run going to pass me at mile 18. I'm not a mark. I'm the marker. So I slowly sped up. I couldn't shake the guy. Finally after about a mile, I'm resigned to getting passed. It's going to happen. But the person won't pass me. At this point, I'm beginning to get annoyed. Just pass me already dammit. I refused to look back as I didn't want to see this person's smiling face as he toyed with me.

About a minute later, I realized that there was no one behind me. What I took for footsteps was in fact the sloshing of my two water bottles. My delusional already having run 19 miles mind was playing tricks on me. I was glad that no one was around, as I'm sure I turned an even brighter shade of red.

To infinity and beyond!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Coming Down The Mountain

I realize that I am somewhat obsessed with this mountain. I won't promise never to talk about Mt. Diablo again, but I'll try to incorporate other mountains such as this one into my endurance athletic feats, but for now, Mt. Diablo it is. At least this isn't about running. It's about cycling, something I only do once or twice a week.

My office is full of endurance athletes. Just about everyone has run multiple marathons and about half the office has done a triathlon, with one guy having just completed an Ironman. I'm not even the fastest guy in the office. Maybe second on a good day. And everyone rides. One of my peers lives in Danville, the next town over and once a week rides up Diablo from the south side. We decided to ride it together once a week. Yesterday was the first day.

I rode around Diablo to Danville, which is about a 10 mile ride, and then we took off. A shortcut through the Danville Country Club and we were on Mt. Diablo Scenic Boulevard. The south side is much different than the north side. It's more wooded, longer, and has some flat recovery stretches, which are key. On the way up, I'm gasping for breath and laughing at the same time. The guy I'm riding with used to be a professional mountain biker and knows his stuff. He likes to play the "Let's go 70%, let people pass us and get about 20 bike lengths on us, then hammer down and go after them" game. He especially enjoyed doing this when someone on a $5000 bike named after a very famous cyclist who he'd actually met passed us. Comments such as, "They better back that up." and "His jersey matches his rims, which match his bike?? He better back that up." were heard several times. Like I said, it was an amusing ride.

What wasn't as amusing, but was very surprising was the number of tarantulas crossing the road. I guess it's mating season. I saw two going up and probably another two going down. Almost nailed one, which would have been a mess as the things are huge.

Anyway, we got to the top, took a quick break, looked at the sun, and estimated that I had another 20 minutes of daylight. Time to bomb down the mountain. This is where it was almost spiritual. The picture above, while not taken by me, was what I saw. Mist covering the valley and the sun going down to my left. I laughed out loud at the beauty of it, which probably startled the two guys on a tandem that I passed going 40mph, but what can you do, my bike goes fast. I'm a little tired today, but not sore. It's definitely a ride that I'm going to do at least weekly.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Mt. Diablo Trail Run

Mt. Diablo trail run
A guy at church I've spoken with a couple of times asked me if I wanted to go running with him Labor Day morning. He was very humble about his running ability and concerned that I wouldn't want to run 'slow'. I told him not to worry about it and that I enjoyed running with people of all abilities, as it's nice to have company. He then asked if I wanted to go on a trail run. Built up at this point thinking that I am a running god, I said sure and we agreed on a time and place. I told Liz that I would be going for a nice easy run, probably 3 or 4 miles. Yes, I was wrong.

We met up at 8am this morning and proceeded straight up a mountain. Mt. Diablo to be exact. In a little over 3 miles, we gained about 600 feet in elevation. Brutal. At the top of the first climb, he asked what my heart rate was. Fortunately, I hadn't brought my heart rate monitor, as I would have likely had to tell him that I was approaching 200. Nothing like going anaerobic first thing in the morning. Of course his was 173. Oh, did I forget to tell you that this guy is 12 years older than I am?

It was actually a very nice run, once I learned how to breathe fire. We're going to do this run weekly. 7.5 miles of burning quads. Actually, the last mile or so is pretty flat. That's where I showed him how it's done. You know, running on flat asphalt. It's so tough.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Moons Over My Hammy Re-Redux

It's not a serious injury, but my right hamstring is very tender this morning. My Zaneless run last night was not that fast. Fast enough to not be comfortable, but not fast enough to sweat. Oh, you didn't know that I have a sweating problem? Yes, I simply don't sweat that much. This probably explains my complete bonking in any run/race that is held in temperatures over sixty degrees. My hair looks good the whole way though, so it's a trade-off.

Anyways, my right hamstring is sore. We'll see how it goes tonight on my bike. And Mo, just come out and visit and I'll push you by the creek. The only requirement is that you provide conversation based upon sentences made up of at the most two words. For example, "Daddy, duck."; "Daddy, truck"; "Daddy, horsie." And my favorite, "Daddy fast." I might let go of you when we go down the hill though.

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Training Regimen

I've discovered the secret to running long and fast. It involves pushing a jogging stroller with a 35 pound 2 year old twice a week over a very hilly 8 mile loop. I know, that's crazy. You'd think it'd never work. Pushing 50 pounds over hills is just supposed to make you tired, not strong. Well, it turns out it makes you strong too. I suspected as much last week when I was pushing Zane over the hills and when I finished up and looked at my watch, I found that I had completed the run averaging just over 8 minute miles. So I decided to put my strength to the test on Saturday by going long and fast.

Twenty miles. I wasn't excited to go out and do this run. Especially considering I had a timetable and needed to get back in order to get ready to go to the IRL Grand Prix of Sonoma, which was pretty cool by the way. Zane loved Turn 7. I would have bought him one of those little collectible Indy cars, but they were $500 and that's just a little much for a car that doesn't even have an engine.

Well, even though I didn't want to get out there, I still had to go and do it. I have a marathon in five weeks and skipping a long at this point just isn't acceptable. I started out conservative, running an 8:30 first mile and then slowly built up my speed. At the end of mile 10, I was averaging just at 8 minutes per mile. That's when I decided to turn on the afterburners and see what I could do. Surprisingly, the afterburners just kept on going. For the remaining 10 miles I averaged 7:20 miles. For miles 11, 12, and 13, I was running sub-7s. I backed off of that, but it sure felt good. I was only nervous about my last mile, which is a mile long hill. I usually run that last mile at about 9:45, due to the hill and it being the last mile of a 20 mile run. Not that day. I charged up it and finished it in 7:45.

When I completed that last mile, I felt like a lion. I felt fast again and wanted to roar, which I have done on occasion. The adrenaline and endorphins just get to me sometimes. At the end of the day, I ran 20 miles in 2:33 (11 minutes faster than last week), which is probably the third fastest 20 miles I've ever done. The fastest being the Flying Pig Marathon where I did a ridiculous 2:22 and the second fastest being a training run prior to the Pig when I ran a 2:29.

This experience tells me one thing. I haven't lost my speed. A sub-3 hour marathon is still attainable. This Saturday I have another 20 miler. I'm not promising to break 2:30, but if I'm feeling it, I'm going to go for it.

So thank you Zane. What I thought was just going to be nice father-son time running along the creek pointing at ducks, doggies, and horses has now turned into a serious strength training workout. Now if I could only avoid those thorns that keep puncturing the tires on your jogging stroller (three punctures in two weeks).

Monday, August 21, 2006


I ran my first 20 miler since April two days ago. Surprisingly, I was only a little sore, especially considering that I hadn't run long in three weeks due to the Arizona trip. I started out pretty conservatively running the first 10 miles around 8:20 pace. It always takes me about 6 miles to start feeling comfortable. Additionally, the out leg is uphill and on Saturday there was a headwind. The back leg I sped up and was running 7:20s, at least until the mile long hill that was mile 20.

I know, I know. It was just two years ago I ran a full marathon at 7:11 pace. I guess that's what running three days a week and trying to have a family life can do to your speed. I WILL hit a sub-3 hour marathon. Likely target is St. George 2007. But that will be the second most important race of 2007, as I will only be racing against myself. The most important race will be the St. George triathlon. Mav and JP must die.

Here are my target splits:

1500m swim - 25 minutes
40km bike - 22mph
10km run - 39 minutes

Let that last number sink in a little. Let me also say that although I think my first two numbers are realistic/slightly aggressive, my last number is most definitely conservative. How does it taste? The fear that is.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rebel Yell

No, not Billy Idol, although if he lived in Walnut Creek, I would be pretty excited. Would I ask Billy to sing Rebel Yell or White Wedding?

Hey, little sister, what have you done
Hey, little sister, who's the only one...

I don't like quoting lyrics, as wasting space with unoriginal text seems wasteful. You know, because the internet might fill up. However, in this case, with me dancing around the office playing air guitar, and I play a pretty good air guitar, almost as good as Mo's, I will make an exception and quote Billy.

Wow, that is some terrible English.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the non-Billy Idol rebel yell. So I am pulling into the Walnut Creek BART station yesterday and I glance down (BART is on an elevated track) and I see a flagpole. Flying on this flagpole are two flags, the first one being the U.S. flag. The second one wasn't the California state flag. It was the Confederate battle flag. In Walnut Creek.

Monday, August 14, 2006


How could I not have seen it? When it was later pointed out to me, I wondered how I could have been so blind. Was I in a rush? Was my cart so full that I just needed to escape? Did the buy one, get one free offer overwhelm my ability to read? Was I dreaming of a Diet Dr. Pepper that I later forgot to buy? Or was it simply my lack of attention to detail? Whatever the answer, it was a tragedy. I inadvertently bought light ice cream. Light Mint 'n Chip to be exact. Now light ice cream is usually better than no ice cream and this particular batch was no exception, but non-light, full of delicious fat, ice cream is so much better. There are two main differences. First, it's obviously not as rich. Two, and this is the part that really drives me mad, it's melting point is much lower than normal ice cream. And once it melts, it's incredibly watery. Now it was a good snack. Don't get me wrong. It just wasn't as good as it should have been and it was all due to my inability to notice the word "light", which happened to be printed on the lid 50 times. Fortunately, I had two root beer floats, which contained normal vanilla ice cream, later in the day to help me out of my light ice cream funk.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Suki Desu Ka?

Hai, suki desu. Any job that sets aside an entire Friday afternoon in order for the office to have its fantasy football draft is pretty good in my book.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Whatchagonnado When They Come For You?

That's right. The DPD was out in force Wednesday night and just like Maurice Clarett, this Bad Boy got pulled over after a serious highway chase. Ok, maybe it didn't quite happen that way. Maybe I was riding my bike instead of driving a SUV. Maybe I blew through two red lights (the coast was clear, I promise) instead of weaving erratically. And maybe it was a water bottle in my hands, not four guns, including an assault rifle. Ok, maybe it wasn't like Maurice Clarett at all, but I had to bring him in somehow. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. One minute you're scoring the winning touchdown at the Fiesta Bowl, a sure fire NFL running back and the next you're going to prison for 30 years. Ouch.

So yes, I was pulled over by the Danville Police Department, in all of my spandex glory. Apparently, running a red light on a bike is a no no, even if the coast is clear a la NY style. Fortunately, he just gave me a warning as a ticket received while riding a bicycle counts the same as a ticket you receive from driving a car. That wouldn't have looked pretty on my insurance.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Contrary to popular belief, the puma is not a mythological creature. It did not try to turn Theseus into stone, it did not spring from the head of Zeus, and it most certainly did not strap on wings, fly too close to the sun, watch its wings melt and do a nosedive into the Aegean.

Congratulations Beka, I hope you're having fun.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pressure Cooker

Can you feel it? The pressure to post is insufferable. All week long people have been emailing me and telling me that I must post. I'm not sure why as this has turned into one of the more dull blogs in the blogosphere. Ever since I moved from NY to the Bay area, my life has literally become more and more dull and it's been reflected in my posts. My latest hit entry is about a foam roller?? This is a problem.

I'm not one of those who didn't know what he had when he had it. I loved NY. Every minute. Even the nut jobs on the subway. I'm glad I'm not there right at this moment, as sitting next to a window unit A/C hoping to cool off to a pleasant 93 degrees sounds pretty terrible and being in the subway gives me nightmares thinking about it. The smell must be truly awful. Who knows what is cooking down there. However, overall, the flair that NY has is missing. Maybe we should move to the city? Maybe we should just accept the fact that we're suburbanites now. But I can't do that. It'd be like denying my inner Comic Book Guy. And that my friends is something I am not prepared to do.


I hope that this post releashes those who have been hounding me. Seriously people, this stuff just isn't that good.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Blind Man

Does it strike anyone else as odd that a blind man would get onto BART, call 911 and report a suspicious package at the previous BART station?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Middlesex and Beyond

Due to a couple of 15 hour travel days, I had more reading time than usual and I finished Middlesex. I give it a thumbs up. Superb writing. Engaging story. I was happy to step out of my usual mix of history, science, and other non-fiction. Very good summer read.

Next up, The House of Morgan. A specific history about the rise of J.P. Morgan the institution and more importantly, a history of modern finance. I've read two other Chernow books, Alexander Hamilton and Titan and loved them both. Chernow has a very easy to read writing style and his detail is to the nth degree. After I read Alexander Hamilton, I always felt a little bit differently about walking past his tombstone at Trinity Church on my way to school.

Sick of the Tampon?

First of all, it's not a tampon. It's an ultradense foam roller. It has healed me. Don't make me choose between the two of you. Second of all, I've been more than a little busy. 15 hour travel days, insane people with insane requests, and of course trying to escape this awful heat. 113? That's simply wrong. We left Arizona for many reasons. Number 6 on the list was escaping the awful heat. Our neighbors are blaming us. That's ok, they're all pretty dull anyway.

So today's post. I won't bore you with my 16 mile run in triple digits. Nor will I comment on any of the movies I've seen lately. What I will write about is the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Because as most of you know, boardwalks are where the entertainment is. Deep fried twinkies, check. Centrifuge-like rides, check. Young girl who looks half drunk puking two feet from my feet, check. Swimsuits that are much, much too small in a very bad way, check. Pretty much the only thing that prevented the SC boardwalk from being Coney Island was the complete lack of freaks. I however refused to let the lack of freakiness deter my ability to be amused. I am a ghost faced killa, but c'mon, it was a Saturday at the beach.

I will now share my two favorite boardwalk events (and yes, I've reverted to the writing style that one of my International Relations political science professors dubbed, "The Most Boring Writing Style I've Ever Read". I blame my reversion on the enormous length of time I've spent on Excel over the past two weeks.). I will not use this space to comment on the heavenly reception we received at Vasili's post-boardwalk. I don't want to sully that experience with boardwalk dirtiness. Event #1: Parking at the boardwalk.

This event would be much more amusing with either a picture or a personal demonstration. The wait to park was a little long. As cars approached the $10 a day parking lot (Liz and I gave each other high fives that it wasn't $10 an hour.), three lanes of traffic were merging into one lane to enter the lot. As we were merging, a minivan next to us began honking like mad and pulled up next to our door. What we then witnessed was beyond amusing. Again, a picture or a demonstration would be worth so much more than this paragraph. A man with three teeth and a woman with purple hair were both screaming at the top of their lungs at us. The woman was especially amusing as she was also jumping in her seat and pointing at us. Instinctively, I knew what to do to infuriate them further. I simply pointed at them and began laughing. It was then that I saw her begin to foam at the mouth, at which point, I threw back my head and laughed even more. Unfortunately, once we got into the parking lot, we couldn't find them. We would have had the camera ready.

Event #2: Dance Dance Revolution 2. Again, a picture would make this story much much better. As we were making our way back to the car in order to go to Greek heaven, I had to visit the men's room. The closest one was in one of the boardwalk arcades. At the entrance to the arcade was DDR 2. Surrounding DDR 2 were about 15 guys with shaved heads, no shirts, and plenty of tattoos. One guy was dancing, but he was holding onto the bar. He was obviously doing very well. As he finished up the round, another huge guy with a shaved head, no shirt, and plenty of tattoos told him, "If you were a real dancer, you wouldn't hold onto the bar." The other guys with shaved heads, no shirts, and plenty of tattoos all murmured in assent. I'm glad that I stifled my laughter as I'm sure they would have first kicked my ass and then used me as their dance pad.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mexican Food

Always gives me a little charge for the rest of the afternoon. At least for the first 30 minutes. After that, I'm more than a little sluggish. You might ask if it's worth it. I'll tell you that in those 30 minutes, I accomplish more than in the remaining 4, er, I mean 2 hours of my workday. Did I just say that out loud? I take late lunches. Late I tell you. Good thing the internet is anonymous.

For those who are looking at this as correlation, rather than causation, and are attributing my renewed energy to the walk to the taco stand, rather than the tacos themselves, you're wrong, dead wrong. I function off of grease and fat. It is my fuel. Short bursts of hyperactivity. Do you want to be a supernova or whatever the opposite of a supernova is? (If anyone knows, please share. Wikipedia AND Google both failed. Unbelievable.)

25 minutes left.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dear Mr. ITB Part Ni

foam rollerHi there. Haven't heard from you in a while. Guess what? I'm pretty happy about that. I know we are close and you know some of the more intimate details of my life, but really, have we ever had a close emotional relationship? It's simply been physical and basically, you've only caused me pain and suffering. Well, after speaking to my therapist, we finally figured out that I couldn't let you run my life for me and I needed to take control. My medication wasn't working, resting wasn't working, and ice wasn't working. It was finally time to do what I'd talked about doing for years, but never really had the courage to do. Buy an ultradensity foam roller. I don't want to hear about your complaints. I know, I know. It hurts you not having the type of control over my life that you're used to. I finally don't give a damn. You should count yourself lucky that I didn't have you removed.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've rolled on the new love of my life. Sweet rolls that bring such pain. As you are squished between the roller and my femur, the pain slowly builds and by the third roll, I'm sweating and grimacing, but I know it's for my own good. Once I'm finished and stand up, the pain is gone. I can see you run away like a little girl into the corner and cry because of what you've lost. Just remember that I own the ultradense foam roller now. It has a special place in my closet right next to my running and cycling shoes. I will never get rid of it. Now crawl away into the darkness. I'm through with you.

With complete indifference,

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For My

Econ geek loving friends. I know there are only two of you. Makes me nostalgic for business school.

Thank you Andrew Sullivan for making YouTube a part of my daily routine.

Update: The guy singing this is the Dean of Columbia's business school. Apparently he coveted Alan's old position.

Monday, July 10, 2006

For The Haters

Now tell me you're not saying, "Holy...". And this doesn't even do the last mile justice. 15% grade.

Many thanks to Klimb. What a sweet program. Sorry for those that don't live in the Bay Area or Ohio (how random is that).

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Slow Afternoon

Funniest YouTube clip ever.


middlesexApparently my devotion to non-fiction doesn't cut it on the Left Coast. I have been coaxed into trying a work of fiction that doesn't involve dragons or planetary travel. This should be interesting. I've heard and read the reviews. Hermaphrodite? Ok. As I have an open mind, I'll read it, but this is no guarantee that I'll continue down Pulitzer's fiction list. Why read make believe when I can read about reality?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Devil Mountain

p2k-2001-bgWalnut Creek is home to Mt. Diablo State Park. The centerpiece of the park is of course Mt. Diablo. Well, ever since I bought my tri-bike, the Cervelo P2K pictured here (stock photo, not my actual bike - mine has an upgraded seat and Rolf wheels), this mountain has been taunting me. Granted, it's only been two weeks, but I thought, "Hey, I'm an endurance athlete, let's do this." (I was speaking to my bike. I haven't named it yet, as it still feels like I'm just borrowing it.)

So off we went late Monday morning. I would have started earlier, but I had to hold my son down while the doctor tortured him. That cry. Ouch, makes me sweat. Horrible. At first, I wasn't really planning on going to the top. It is a 3900 foot climb over about 12 miles. That seemed a little too aggressive. I entered the park and the climbing began immediately. Switchback after switchback after switchback. I passed several people and was passed by several people. I quickly learned one thing. Tri-bikes are not made for climbing. They are made for speed. Oh I was wishing for some bigger sprockets or at least a granny wheel up front, but I had to make do with what I had.

Early on, there was a climb that almost caused me to puke. I haven't had that much lactic acid in my system since I ran cross country in high school. But I made it through. I passed the 1000 foot marker. I passed the 2000 foot marker. I passed the ranger station. I passed the Livermore lookout. It was at this point that my legs were beginning to get a little, actually more than a little rubbery. They just weren't used to this punishment. I made it up to Juniper ridge (a lower peak at around 2900 feet) and looked up at the summit. I didn't have it in me to go the rest of the way. Another 1000 feet over a mile and a half just wasn't happening. I wish I had had my camera because that was one steep road. It made the puking, lactic acid climb look like child's play.

I reluctantly stopped and it was at that point that I looked around. It was pretty amazing. I look forward to summitting the peak in another two weeks. I'll bring my camera this time.

The ride down was another story. I'd never gone 40mph on a bike before. I'd never gone 40mph down a narrow, steep, windy road on a bike before. Now that was a rush. Terrifying, but definitely exhilerating. I did use my brakes, sparingly. At one point, even though I was using my big gear up front and my smallest gear in the back, my hips were rocking because I couldn't pedal fast enough. It was extremely entertaining. Now if only I didn't need to share the road with those pesky cars. A guard rail would be comforting as well.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dear Mr. ITB,

I had thought that we had come to an understanding and that your constant flareups were history. I guess not. Apparently, you have come to grips with my running, but throwing cycling into the mix has really pissed you off. I know that you don't care, but I want you to know that it's somewhat depressing.

Thanks to you I'm back to RICE, although I'll probably just skip the Rest and do ICE only. You know me.

Just so you know, I just bought an ultra-dense foam roller, which I will use to torture you into submission. You'll probably recall that that is how I beat you before and just so we're clear I will win again. You will lose. The other thing is that I used a standard density foam roller last time. Well, you've really irritated me now. Ultra-density. I'm not sure you know what that means as you're only a tendon and don't really have the capability of doing anything other than causing me pain, but ultra-dense means ultra-pain, possibly even bruises. Deep bruises. I know, I know. I can feel your glare now. Your threat of completely buckling is one I take very seriously. Thank you again for doing that in the middle of the Boston Marathon. So kind.

You better watch it or one day, I'm just going to cut you off. Floppy knee?? I don't care. I just want you to suffer. I have a marathon to run and many triathlons to win.

Your One and Only Highly Skilled Endurance Athlete

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Worse Than Birkenstocks

clogsThis is wrong on so many levels and yes, these are being worn by a man. The socks kill me. I only wish I had turned down the volume on my phone, as there was a loud snapshot sound as I captured this on BART today.

Much, much worse than my new cycling sunglasses that I tried wearing with normal clothes.

Monday, June 26, 2006

6000 Years Old???

I'll just leave it at that as I don't want to possibly cause a ruckus, but for this to be said, wait, I said I'd stop...

It's still in me, but I must desist. Must stop snark. Please willpower, stop me from the cynicism and ripping that must be freed. It MUST be freed!

Deep breath. I'm holding it in.

I used this experience to help fuel my 4:20am ride this morning. It's amazing what observed obtuseness and a non-response can do for one's cadence and speed. I was 4mph faster during this recollection. Maybe I should make a new friend. It'd do wonders for my cycling.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Sitting on the floor 2

BART, not the BART, or Bart, but I rode BART today or I BARTED in. It wasn't like this when I rode THE subway. I didn't subway in and I definitely never rode subway in. Very interesting, this Northern California place, which doesn't quite feel like home yet and doesn't really feel all that different from the blur of places that we have lived in so far. If you're counting, this is our sixth residence in seven years. It's not as bad as it sounds, as we lived in three places in our first year, but still, our nomadic existence continues. This place just has a weird hippy vibe to it. Maybe speaking of the mass transportation system as if it was a living thing has something to do with it. Or maybe the six trash cans I have. Or the fact that I found myself in lycra yesterday riding around on a bike. Has this place already begun demasculinizing me? Is that even a word? Did I just invent a word similar to how the NoCalites have invented a living thing that goes through tubes and takes you to the city (I refuse to capitalize city. There is only one City and that is NY.)?

Ok, on to the picture. Apparently, it is ok to sit on the ground on BART. I'm not sure how BART feels about this because you know, he's alive (oh, crap, what if BART is a female and my chauvinistic tendencies are creeping in assuming that BART is a he?? - I hope none of the NoCalites I know read this or I'm screwed. Wait, who am I kidding, I have Vinny Bag O' Donuts on my side. What are they going to do? Call the recycling police on me?) So yes, I've seen this behavior many times by people dressed casually and by those dressed professionally. It's weird I tell you. Now I'm assuming that the NoCalites are comfortable sitting on carpet and would likely not do this on THE subway. Let me tell you something, BART's carpet and cushions are nasty. It skeeves me out just sitting on the thing. I don't even want to think about what's been spilled or shot into those things. The carpet and cushions have got to be the originals. They are seriously brown.

Ok, next amusing BART story, but first a sidenote. I hadn't posted anything recently about my travels on the subway. Not because the subway became boring, but because anything that I'd see had become commonplace. Subway performers? I knew them all by name. Women getting punched? I could pick the guy out in a lineup. Women purse snatchers? Again, line 'em up Law and Order and I'll testify. The one thing that I thankfully didn't see was a guy dropping his drawyers and diarreahing all over the place. I've heard about it, but never witnessed it. If I ever see that on BART, I'll take a pic as I'm plugging my nose. Ok, so I thought that my BART rides would be considerably more tame than the subway and that my days of mass transit photography were over. I was wrong. Within the last 24 hours, I have the lovely pic above, as well as one of the funniest lines I've ever heard. No pics. Sorry.

I'm riding home last night and happen to sit next to a woman whose age I couldn't even approximate. Oldish, but not super old. I think. As soon as we're out of the tunnel that goes under the Bay (I'll capitalize this one.), she whips out her cell phone and begins conversing with someone that I assume is her daughter. Her daughter has problems. Can't handle the kids, can't handle her job, can't handle her boyfriend, her car is messed up, her house is a wreck, and to top it off, she wasn't able to go grocery shopping yesterday and has nothing to eat. This isn't just me snooping. The whole car knows what is going on. Wait, it gets better. The mother (remember, she's sitting right next to me) begins to go off on her. "You need to listen to me. All you do is complain and whine. You're never trying to solve your problems, just talk about them. Listen to me and I'll tell you what to do. Focus on the solution, not the problem." blah, blah, blah, blah. Now this wasn't done with a calm, soothing voice, but with a voice like sandpaper. I know where her daughter got that whine from. They just whined differently. It was painful and amusing at the same time. I received many a sympathy look. Ok, that's not the best part. This went on for fifteen minutes or so. Finally, one guy in the car couldn't stand it anymore and yelled, "Put a sock in it Dr. Phil." Oh, yes, it was sweet. Me and about half the car were rolling. The best part was that she just ignored us and kept on advising. Screech screech.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

"It's Chasing Me Around the Kitchen"

Break time from RFP writing. RFPs are only so exciting. Even when you have the Sweden-Paraguay game in the upper left hand corner of your screen. Time to talk about our washer.

You see, it was installed last Thursday. We didn't have the venting for the power cord for the dryer until Monday so we didn't use the washer until then because we didn't feel like hanging our clothes all over the house to dry them. Monday night, I go to Home Depot and buy the venting and the power cord, go home, and install them. Everything is now hooked up. Time to test these beauties out. I load the washer and Liz and I both pull up chairs to watch. It's beautiful. A proud moment in our family. No quarters. We watch for five minutes and then proceed about our business.

Thirty minutes later I hear an awful racket. I go upstairs and the washer is shaking violently and dancing across the floor. I shut it off and Liz and I get out the manuals to figure out what the deal is. The manuals tell us to get out a level and use the adjustable legs to make sure it is balanced. Move the washer, get out the level, adjust many legs, and sit back. The shimmying doesn't stop. Frustration begins to set in. Liz leaves a message with the guy who installed it, who agrees to come over.

He comes over the next day and levels the washer some more and leaves. Liz calls me about 30 minutes later and yells over the din that the washer is chasing her around the kitchen. She's determined to wash our clothes and has thrown her body on top of it in order to stop the thing. She quickly finds out that she needs to gain at least 200 more pounds before that tactic will work. She's frustrated. I'm frustrated. What's the deal?

This is where the magic of Google comes in. Vibrating, Frigidaire, washer, why? are all entered in. First entry: shipping bolts and plugs must be removed in order to balance the thing. I go home, turn the washer around and guess what?? The guys who installed the washer didn't follow the directions. The bolts and plugs are still there. I unscrew them, push the washer back into place, and put it on spin only. What a beautiful, quiet sound. I'm so excited that I call Liz, who happens to be out buying us a new phone (VTech phones are horrible by the way) and put the phone to the washer. We both squeal with delight. Happy times. No more rabid washers.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Things I Require Immediately

- Shelving for all of my books. Playing my PSP every day on BART is getting a little old. I need variety.

- A newspaper subscription. WSJ, NYT, or SFC? I'm leaning toward the WSJ.

- A tri-bike. I have a helmet, shoes, cleats, and shorts. Now I just need the bike. Hopefully Thursday works out.

- A new right index finger. This tiny mouse is just not working out.

- A new mouse.

- A BBQ.

- A 4 day, no make that 3 day, workweek.

- A place to stay at Yosemite the weekend of July 22. How can every cabin and every tent be sold out?

- An Xbox 360.

- A larger trash can, but just for two weeks. I need to get rid of all of this moving trash.

- For either Zane and his running stroller to lose about 70 pounds or for that hill up to Marchbanks to not be so steep.

- The ability to wake up at 4:15am. It's just not happening right now.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

3043 in 62

That's with a 12 hour stop in Cheyenne. We had to stop to watch the Suns game. It was a sad series. The Suns lost three of those four games headed into the fourth quarter with a lead. Live by the jump shot, die by the jump shot and a big freaking German. With a 2005 Amare, it would have been a different story. Here's hoping that Amare's microfracture surgery has a different result than every other athlete who has had the surgery. Something tells me to expect the worst or at the least, only 80% of what we had.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

So Long

and thanks for all the fish.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Feedback? Please.

I'm finished, right? I have my MBA. The grades are in. I achieved the GPA I was targeting. New job. New location. Everything is peachy, right? No, everything is not alright. And let me tell you why, I have not yet received any feedback on the cleverest group project I've ever been a part of. When I say clever, I mean, wow, I wish I would have thought of that clever and just so you know, I didn't think of it. I usually am not the one with the clever idea. I'm the one that takes the clever idea and teases it out, asks the tough questions, and finds a way to fit everything together. I'm also pretty witty (and humble), as evidenced by my paper on the death of globalization vis-a-vis Rod Stewart, but hey, I'm not here to sing my own praises. I'm here looking for feedback on an idea that wasn't mine, but that still has my name somewhat associated with it.

The class: Game Theory with Adam Brandenburger (the brilliant strategist that co-wrote Co-opetition).

The assignment (55% of our grade): group project defining a situation and how to use game theory to solve it.

Our specific project: a paper on how game theory is used in group projects (I'm giggling right now as I write this. I mean, is that clever or what??)

Our base approach: Usage of a decision tree to show that when a group project is assigned, it should never be completed.

Our solution: Usage of added value to calculate the willingness to pay and opportunity costs of each participant in the project.

I won't bore you with all of the details, but I must say, that was an entertaining project. We're not going to bore the professor with nuclear arms races or what should Google do next. Nope. We're going to talk about how group projects suck, nobody likes doing them, and how they eventually are completed.

Yes, there is a small part of me that will miss this.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Delivered to the Curb

Who knew that buying a washer and dryer could be so thrilling? Not just one of those hook me up to the sink washers or a dryer that takes five hours to dry one towel or worse, going to the laundromat, which we did for years in Brooklyn, but a real washer and dryer. Just take a look at this beauty. I won't even need to go to the garage or put in quarters.

And the corresponding dryer.

Maybe I'm confusing my excitement for these appliances with my overall excitement at our new adventure, but whatever it is, what a rush.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Irony

Nothing like reading an article like this on the train two days after graduating. If only I'd known. Well, at least I was able to wear sweet purple robes for a day.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Monday, May 01, 2006


Mission accomplished, thanks to our friends the Wheelers. I neglected to take a picture of the most important part of my house finding trip, but I will leave this with you instead. Stop wasting your time with blizzards. Cherry Mr. Misty Float please.

Our new home. Well, not exactly, but close enough.

A new friend?

Pt. Reyes

Marin County has cheese factories. The deal was sealed.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Legs of Steel

My legs have the beginnings of that iron feel to them. Richard, there is no way in hell you'll ever beat me in a race. Maybe if you go Tonya Harding on me. Otherwise, keep looking at my back, 'cause that's all you're ever going to see. BTW, I'm officially challenging you to the Olympic distance of the St. George Triathalon, 2007. I know, I know, I don't have a bike and haven't ridden one in over 10 years, so what. Let's race. My friends, who organize the race, have already been told that we will be racing to the death. The death. I should probably start swimming again too. Wait, can we make it just a run?

JP, you can join in the fun as well. May, 2007.

St. George Tri

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Whoa Nelly!

I couldn't let a whole month go by without entertaining you. That just wouldn't be neighborly and it appears that where we are going (sshh, don't tell my current employer. I'm going to surprise them in a couple of weeks. Probably right after I get the welcome package. I hope it includes balloons and a clown.) ahem, ok, it appears that where we are going, being neighborly is very important. In Bronxville, neighborliness - not so important. Aside from our next door neighbors, who happen to own a dry cleaning business. I am going to miss the neighbor discount and my clothes magically appearing on my doorstep. Having to drive to pick up my clothes doesn't sound like fun. Wait, who am I kidding. It'll be Liz picking up my 25 shirts, including the three new pink ones. Yes, I feel like a beautiful butterfly.

In Brooklyn, being neighborly was also not very important, especially in our first Brooklyn apartment. Did I ever tell you about the time I left my building in South South Park Slope just in time to witness the SWAT team, battering ram in tow, crash through the building three buildings down? How about the mariachi band and their 50 cousins that lived upstairs from us for the first six months? Or what about the time they had the hugest party, then unexpectedly left the place, but left their trash, all 20 bags of it, sitting on their landing, thus stinking up the entire building? Or the time that someone's female products clogged up the pipes in the basement, thus causing the basement to flood with raw sewage? Or the hallway being under construction for the first six months? Or the fact that I could place a ball at one end of the apartment and watch it roll across four rooms and two doors to the other end of the apartment due to the funhouse-like tilt? How about the said neighbors banging on my door at 2am because they couldn't get to sleep because my ceiling fan was too loud (hello, mariachi band)? And my personal favorite, the time the entire kitchen ceiling collapsed due to a pipe in the kitchen upstairs breaking. Oh, yes, we had visitors due in town a day later.

Good times. I'm going to miss this place.

Monday, March 06, 2006

No More Numbers

I've grown lazy. I admit it. I've begun using numbers as post titles. I'll slap myself twice on Tuesday if I do that again. Now, I'm no writer, but if I was and I began using numbers as the titles of my articles, I'd fully expect to be fired. Not numbers combined with actual nouns and verbs, but just numbers. Like say, 488 or 160. I really don't know how I got into Stern. It must have been that interview where I told them that I was born in Sonora. (And yes, I know I've said something like this before. It shows again my lack of creativity and overall limitedness of my brain power. If I could only remember.)

Even if I'm not using a number for a title, I still have numbers on the brain. 11.5 and 13.5. The past two Saturdays, I went on runs of these distances. The 11.5 was an accident. Well, not really. I was just tricked into it by someone with superior intellect. Again, not surprising. The 13.5 was deliberate. Now I know, you're thinking, "11.5 and 13.5? You could run that in your sleep." Well guess what? I haven't run that far since last September. The closest I've come is 6. Did it hurt? Oh yea. Was it worth it? Yep. I'm back in the saddle. Or is it Liz who is back in the saddle. Whatever. I'm a runner again. I even ran with this super smart guy who tricked me the first time past the reservoir. It was beautiful and I felt fast. My last mile was 6:40 and I was raring for more. Kind of. Once I stopped running I could barely walk.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Single Digits

This morning's weather for my run along the East River was in the single digits. At one point, I was wishing that I was a duck. There they were just floating on the river. No clothes. No thermal gear, no beanie with a tassle. Just them and their feathers. I wasn't sure what kind of ducks they were as I wasn't able to get a good look at them due to needing to continually look straight ahead. Turning your head when you're that cold requires the whole body turning, Freinkenstein-like, and that was something that I was not prepared to do. Not when a gust could suddenly go down my shirt.

My East River running partner told me yesterday that he is changing offices and will no longer be coming to the City. Instead, he will be staying in Jersey. Have I told you about my ability to avoid Jersey? Maybe another time, but those jug handles irk me and you don't want to see me irked. I kind of resemble a pigeon when I'm irked. Well, it looks as if my morning Manhattan runs are over. No way I can do those by myself. I'd rather be running on a treadmill watching Sportscenter.

Anyways, I'm not feeling it. This hasn't been an amusing session.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


12 miles to go before I hit the magic 500 mile marker on my shoe odometer. For those not familiar with running, 500 miles is when the internal components of a shoe begin to break down. In other words, I have 12 more miles and then these shoes are going to the Boys and Girls Club bin on Central Ave. Now I've had many, many shoes and I've hit 500 miles on all of them. It doesn't take that long as I'm running between 100 and 200 miles a month. Although I did have that phase where I had this strange compulsion to go to the running store every other weekend and I ended up with five pairs of running shoes, each with under 100 miles. I still have four pairs of those. It's tough to hit 500 miles when you're rotating shoes every day.

Anyways, this pair is special. As a matter of fact, as I sit here thinking about these shoes (Asics Gel Kayano Xs), I'm a bit melancholy. I might even have an Interpol song going through my head. Usually, any of you could call me a girl if I spouted off about some song that meant something special to me (something that has never happened btw), but in this case you cannot. I don't pay attention to lyrics. None. It's all about the beat and the sound. I could care less what some dude is crying about. If he's singing about his pet rock that he used to bash his girlfriend's head in or about how some guy broke his heart, it's all the same. The only differentiator is the sound. Anyways, as I'm thinking about the impending retirement of my AGKXs, the 2nd song on Antics is going through my head. Good beat.

So let's talk about this particular pair of AGKXs, as I've had more than one pair. They are orange, which strangely, is one of my more favorite colors. For having no soul, I seem to like bright things. Very odd. Maybe I'm hoping that the shoes will rub off on me. This pair is the pair that I Boston Qualified in two years ago. I didn't run Boston in them as I was seduced by this hot pair of Mizunos. I shouldn't have given in. They were just eye candy and gave me blisters. So, they have a special place in my, wherever my heart would have been. Should I save them in remembrance of the fastest marathon I've ever run? Will that be the pinnacle of my marathoning career?

Forget it, they're going in the mice infested trash can under the stoop.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pow Pow

I can't wait for the first time I catch my son doing something really wrong. I've waited my entire life to say, "Son, go cut yourself a switch." Parents are still allowed to whip their kids, right?

Monday, February 06, 2006

SF Bound

But don't tell my present employer. I'm waiting for just the right moment to spring that one on them. They'll be devastated I'm sure. And totally surprised. Now to figure out this logistical nightmare. Anyone have a huge truck? Free flights for L & Z? I'm begging at this point. I'll even paint myself blue and ride through downtown naked on a horse.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Am

not VTOL. I am PTC, as in PassTheChips (which will be my new gamertag whenever I get another Xbox - damn Microsoft not wanting to fix my current Xbox. So what if I had opened it up? Your lousy 90 day warranty had expired about 45 months ago. The only reason I will be getting a 360 is because I have a hell of a lot of original Xbox games that I still want to play.). Where I got this moniker, is a long and boring story, kind of like how I was going to nickname Zane JJ. D Y N O M I T E!! Needless to say, I like chips, I don't put a lot of thought into nicknames, and my mind wanders. A lot. Now, go off and continue to be bored reading something else.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

And Just To Be Fair

If I were president, I wouldn't illegally spy on Americans, wouldn't trash the constitution, wouldn't condone torture, would clean up corruption, would curb spending, would stop borrowing, would ditch most of the religious right's nutty social agenda, would fire Rumsfeld, would actually show an interest in things other than clearing brush in my desolate part of Texas, and would answer honest questions and provide honest answers without spin rehearsing for two weeks prior. Worst president ever, quite possible. This coming from someone who voted for him twice and is as far to the Goldwater right as Kos is to the left.

"If I were president...

I'd disband the military entirely." Never has such drivel from such a wannabe intellectual who wants nothing more than to be taken seriously and to make a difference made me laugh louder at work. That's a lot of caveats, but I like to cma. It's a nice sentiment and maybe that's where that person was going with his comment, but think about the consequences before you spout off nonsense. Another reason I cannot take the far left seriously. I still read them. The things they aspire to are noblesque and the ways they want to reach them leave me in stitches.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I won't be needing Prozac, Xanax, Valium, Zoloft, or Paxil after all. My anxiety/panic attack about my running capabilities appears to be much ado about nothing. I can run after all. It just appears that I actually need to run in order to build up my muscles. Very wierd concept. You'd figure that if you ran comfortably fast at one point, you'd be able to run comfortably fast forever regardless of training. Ah, the young and deluded. We just don't learn. And if anyone comments about how I'm not so young any more, give me a call because I have a special gesture and phrase just for you. I'm not sure it's even found here, but it could be. (By the way, I've never been more excited about a book in my life. Even Liz likes it. It belongs in all personal libraries. It's that cool.)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Too Much Too Soon?

I've run three times over the past 10 days for a total of 10 miles and my ITBs are already sore??? I'm breaking down more quickly than I thought. Good thing I have those amazing metabolism genes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What's Wrong with Foie Gras?

Absolutely nothing and yet when a plate of foie gras terrine came to the table last night, no one would eat it except for myself and one other. Let them have their hummus, their lobster, their chorizo. I'll take the buttery, engorged duck liver goodness. I can still taste it. Mmmmmmm. Terrine is good, but what I wouldn't do for seared foie gras. Now that is heaven. Looks like I need to drop some hints to the next vendor. Just kidding. I wouldn't do that. Pass the envelope please.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

On the Road Again

Well, not exactly. It was more like the treadmill. Three miles. First time in three or four months that I've run. It felt good to stretch my legs doing something other than trying to reach for the remote with my toes. I could bore you all with how my chest felt (bad) or how slow I was going (9:15 pace) or even how the multiple signs posted in the locker room banning the use of cell phones due to men taking pictures of naked men for their after-gym viewing pleasure kind of skeeved me out, but I won't. Let's talk about genetics.

I've been the first to complain about how screwed I've been due to my parents choosing that particular moment to mix their genes together to form me. If they'd have waited an hour or two, I'm sure that I'd be 6'3, 190, with the ability to jump, a genius, and better looking than I already am. Seriously, where did these eyebrows come from. It's like I have a giant fuzzy caterpillar on my forehead. Well, if I'm going to complain about the things I've been batsued with, I might as well do the noble thing and brag about those things I've been blessed with. Actually, it's not things, just a thing and before you think that I'm just a dirty little 32 year old, it's not that thing. You guys are seriously ill. I wouldn't talk about Wilbur on a family site like this.

So my blessing is my metabolism. Before I ran the other day, I stepped on the scale, like I always do, but hadn't done in 3.5 months. I was nervous. What had the holidays done to me? What had my inactivity done to me? My pants were definitely snug. Please, not 160. Please not 160. I was at 151 the last time I ran. My ideal racing weight is 148. So what did all of those tamales, menudo, gravy (I drink it straight from the boat sometimes it's so delicious), and more candy than I care to think about at the moment do to me? Three pounds. I weighed in at 154 and this was after lunch. I almost started to cry. I was so happy. So thank you mom and dad for this magical gift. I seriously appreciate it.