Friday, March 31, 2006

Spring is Here Again

This was supposed to go up last night, but blogger decided to eat the post. Twice. Grrrr. I'll try to remember what I discussed. Anyways, I should just bomb the blogosphere.

So spring has decided to arrive. Yesterday there were blue skies, in the 60s, and I was able to run in shorts & a sleeveless-T. Let's just hope we see no more snow...of course last year we got dumped on something like the 3rd or 4th weekend in April.

My buddy Tom has a blog. It's not that exciting, but he's a law student, so what do you expect?

I was in the shoe lab talking with some folks the other day about my plans for Boston (17 days out!!). The question came up about which shoes I'm going to run in. I made the comment that I have no shortage of shoes to choose from, but I think I'll be going with my Brooks Axioms. I then commented about how back in my swimming days our coach (tdc3 ya'll) always told us to put our suits, goggles, etc in our carry-on luggage in the event that our other luggage gets lost. Our IT guy pipped in that his XC coach said the same thing -- pack your uniform and spikes in your carry-on. I got a bit of a kick out of that.

In other swimming-related things...over spring break the OFOMOL and I decided to spend a couple of days in Canada. My parents had sent my birth certificate so I could travel to and from the country. Due to inefficiencies in the US Postal system our departure was delayed and I had doubts about whether we would be going or not. In my gloom, she offered up this nugget of wisdom: "what is it you always say? suck on the good."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Get Over It!

Who's been following the South Park/Isaac Hayes/Scientology ordeal? Personally I'm a big fan of the show. I think it is one of the few outlets which creatively spoofs and satires pretty much everything. And whenever you think they've done it all, they go one step beyond. But this is getting ridiculous. I identify with numerous groups that Matt & Trey have made fun of. Do I get pissed off? No. I realize that anything you identify with is not perfect and subject to ridicule and scrutinization. The fact that Isaac Hayes quit over this issue and Tom Cruise is being...well Tom Cruise, goes to show you that these people take themselves way too seriously.

I've noticed while driving around a diappropriate number of political stickers on cars left over from the 2004 campaign. For those of you still cursing/celebrating the election I have some words for you.

The Democrats
OK, we get it, you supported Kerry & Edwards. However, they lost. GET OVER IT! That sticker just shows that you still haven't accepted the victory of the GOP. Your party ran the wrong candidates, plain and simple. You had a prime opportunity to take over the White House from one of the most polarizing presidents in history and you screwed it up. This just shows the ineptitude of your party. Hopefully in 2008 you get it correct and can make amends for the past 10+ years slide into mediocrity.

The Republicans
OK, we get it, you supported George W Bush. The election is over and done with. GET OVER IT! Just because your party & candidate won, doesn't mean he's the best president ever. No, it is pretty obvious that he has made some mistakes. If you hope to keep control of Congress and the White House in 2008 you cannot sit on your laurels and assume the religious-right will carry you to victory. Remember those more moderate (and more sane) members of your party.

OK and another note. Remember all those people who were going to move to Canada in their post-2004 election sorrow? Doesn't that go against what we, as Americans, believe in? I've always been under the opinion that a defeat can lead to future victory. If you Democrats (presumably they are the ones that wanted to move to Canada) move, that just gives the GOP a better chance at victory next time. In all actuality, if you are displeased you should stay and organize and fight so that victory next time is yours. Seriously, this is one of the reasons the Democratic party has been in disarray the past couple of years.

Monday, March 20, 2006

28 Days for 13 Grand

28 Days until Boston. The training is going well and I've got one more week of hard stuff until I officially start taper. I did a nice 8-mile time trial on sunday clocking in at 48:35 with half-splits of 24:30/24:05. Of course my legs were a bit fatigued but I still managed 7:30 pace. Ahh yes...taper. Quite the fun time of the training program. After all those weeks of hard work, the mileage cuts back and you to enjoy something you haven't had in a long time -- rest and recovery. Of course in the world of marathons there is only one distance in one discipline so hitting the taper isn't as hard as in the world of swimming. On the other side of things, there is no shaving down. :( As for my success in beantown...I'm thinking that sub-2:50 is entirely possible. As long as the weather cooperates and I stratergerize the hills, my training dictates that I can do this. One last thing...the bib numbers are up. I'm #3178. I was hoping to make it to the 2nd corral, but I'll be in number 3. I'll try to make sure to start up toward the front of it.

Quick side note. I was about 13 miles into my 18 mile run today when some guy running in the opposite direction says "hey." I stop and talk to him. I'm wearing a CWRU fleece hat and he asks if I went there. Turns out he graduated from Case in 1982 and is working in Lansing as an attorney. We talked a about the school and its lack of social opportunities. He lives near me so we may go out running together sometime. Small world.

Big 10 = Big Suck. Yeah the #1 RPI conference that sent 6 teams to the big dance failed to get one team in the Sweet 16. Lots of us took a bath on that one. The sad thing is all of the teams underachieved. Izzo has some work to do for next year. Also, in a nod to parity, all the Final Four teams from 2005 are gone -- MSU and UNC to GMU, Illinois to Washington, and Louisville didn't even make it. Of course we still have the team everyone loves to hate, Duke, and perennial contenders UConn. To borrow a phrase, I'm sucking on the good and have all four of my final four teams left in each of my 3 pools.

Anyone catch How I Met Your Mother tonight? It was an OK episode...hitting a bit close to home with the whole Ted's-girlfriend-is-now-living-in-Germany plot line...but it ended with Robin calling Ted at 2:00 am asking if he wants to come over. Yeahh.....wondering what will happen there.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Let's Dance

The first round of the NCAA Tourney has come and gone and brackets are busted -- mainly due to Bradley (Kansas was a fairly popular Final Four pick) and Northwestern State (Iowa was overrated btw). Of course, my Spartans laid an egg to George Mason last night ending a pretty crappy season. A couple of number 1 seeds got some scares, but Memphis and UConn both moved on. Side note: statistics say that eventually we will get a #16 seed that beats a #1 seed. I'm not a betting man, but say like you put $10 on each number 1 seed each year -- $40 a year, not a big risk. Eventually that number 16 seed will pull it off and you will reap the rewards -- would it be a sound investment? I don't know Vegas-lines on the 16-1 match-ups and I don't want to do the math to see if it would be a feasible thing. Anyway it would be nice to say that you picked the #16 seed when they beat the #1

Now to the analysis of my brackets:
CWRU Swimming (Yahoo)
Currently in a 3-way tie for 7th place (out of 37). I like where I'm sitting. I've got all of my final four picks left -- Duke, UCLA, UConn, and BC. BC did give me a scare in the first round, but pulled it off. This is the most personal group, as I know most people involved in it. Its fun looking at everyone's picks and seeing who took it seriously and who not. My kudos to Ray for picking an All-Big 10 Final Four, but right now 2 of those teams are headed home.

Deadspin Pants Party (ESPN)
Awkward Moments are sitting in the 11.6th percentile. Stellar performance I must say. Already 2 of my elite eight teams (Kansas, MSU) are gone, but all Final Four teams remain -- Duke, Gonzaga, UConn, and Villanova.

Awkward Silences are apparently without a group. I meant to join the Daily Quickie group, but apparently I didn't. So this is a bracket just competing in the whole scheme of things. This one is doing a bit better then the Moments and are in the 61st percentile. All FF teams of Texas, UCLA, UConn, and Villanova are still left. Again, Kansas hurt me here.

We'll see how I'm sitting after the second round games. After seeing the Awkward Moments in the 4th percentile after thursdays games, I had a thought. Everyone plays to see how WELL they do in the brackets. They should start having brackets to see how BAD you pick. Of course the scoring and logistics would be a bit harder...but picking the teams that are going to lose is about the same challenge as picking which teams are going to win.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Awoken By Grief, Our Spirits Speak

Its been a bit of a crazy last week for me. A week ago the OFOMOL and I headed up to Canada to enjoy the alloted time for spring break and get out of the EL for awhile. It was a very nice time and we both enjoyed it immensely. During our time away, my paternal grandmother passed away. So after returning to the EL, I rested a night and then drove back to C-town to pay my respects.

I guess I was being a bit prophetic when I discussed my aversion to funerals a couple months back. My grandmother was 88 and lived a healthy and fulfilling life -- 6 kids, 17 grandchildren, and 6? great-grandchildren. I don't ever recall her being sick or in the hospital -- I must get my immune system from her. I know I'll be more then happy to make it to 88 without a serious illness. She was quite an opinionated woman -- this got a chuckle out of the family when the priest was giving his eulogy. We will all miss her and she will be in our hearts.

March Madness is almost upon us -- it starts promptly tomorrow a bit after noon. Got your brackets filled out? I really don't know if the OFOMOL understands the extent of MM. She already complains that I watch too much sports...can she really figure out the complexity and excitement that is March Madness? To throw a wrench into my tv-viewing....MSU plays at 7:10 on friday night...friday is also St. Patrick's Day, but it is also her birthday. I'm sure I'll screw up in some fashion. I have been fiddling with my brackets and I'm in a very nicely organized group of CWRU swimming peeps. Right now we've got around 25 people, so it'll be fun. For those of you participating and who read this, I'll try to document results and progress.

33 days out: monday I did 17 miles with 14 @ marathon pace. Those 14 miles felt very solid and put me right on a 2:52 finish time. Could I go sub-2:50? That would just be bad-ass.

Monday, March 06, 2006

There's Dancing Behind Movie Scenes

Had a nice dinner last night at a local Indian restaurant. This was my first foray into the world of Indian cuisine. It was recommended highly by the OFOMOL so I figured what the heck. The restaurant is decorated in traditional Indian stylings. I ordered a traditional Indian beer, Kingfisher. I thought it was pretty good -- a bit on the sweet side, but this didn't bother me. For the main course I ordered a type of lamb -- with almonds, peanuts, and raisins. I thought it was quite good. I know that Indian food has a tendency to be spicy, so I ordered the medium, but I could have handled the spicy. The food was all very good and I had a pleasant time. The kicker about this restaurant is that on the main wall they play Bollywood movies. Now I've never actually seen one of these, so this was the first time for me. They are something else, that is for sure! Lots of singing and dancing and it all seems pretty cheesy...but I guess it is supposed to be that way. I realized that they are just like American movies (minus the singing & dancing) in terms of plot and what not. It was all quite entertaining.

Some information about today's quote.

Watched the Oscars last night. Thought that Jon Stewart wasn't really appreciated. I did like his take on Three 6 Mafia's celebration and the fact they have one Oscar and Martin Scorcese has zero. I don't know about anyone else, but Diana Ossana, after winning for Best Adapted Screenplay, looked like she would have been happier anywhere else but there. Additionally she looked like she was drugged-up on something. No joke. In other Oscar-related news, I actually saw three of the main films, Crash, Munich, and Capote. Kudos to PSH on his best actor award.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I'll Be Back in Time

Entertaining article in the NYTimes today about the influx of Brokeback Mountain spoofs on the web. I watched the Brokeback to the Future clip today and was amused. The clip is available on Youtube. If you are unaware, Youtube is the newest sensation burning across the interweb. It has plenty of video downloads and encourages sharing of the videos. It is streamed across the web and onto your computer screen free of charge. You folks with normal day jobs could probably waste the better part of the day watching videos like this and that. On the topic of videos, be sure to check out the new Jordan ad.

Let's see...there were some other things. Prompted by a friend, I signed-on to to yesterday. Quite a neat little accessory. It's a plug-in for Winamp and other audio programs and tracks which songs & artists you listen to the most. Of course my #1 artist is going to be R.E.M. but does that surprise anyone?