Monday, June 30, 2008
The sign of a rookie blogger, I suppose.
I had said that I was surprised my wife was no where to be found.. she was just talking to someone she knew on that street.. so, no harm there. I was worried the bike came apart, or she came apart, or who knows.
Also, I had guessed my Sunday run mileage to be 6. I got home, plugged my numbers in mapmyrun.com, and came up with 6.02. Not too shabby.
OK, that's all for now, until I remember more things I forgot.
Got a picture of it on her phone.. I'll have to upload it.
Saturday we went out and biked in the local neighborhood. We went out and did 2.5 miles together.. She called it a day because her butt hurt, which I can understand.. Not used to biking and all (not that I am). I went and did a couple of hill intervals for another .5, putting me at 3 for the day.
Afterwards, I was surprised she wasn't home yet, so I grabbed my water bottle and jogged to where I had left her. It was a bit of an eye opener, going running immediately after biking. My distant dreams of a triathlon are a bit farther off than I had realized. Wow. Props to all of you tri-folks.
Sunday we were going to go biking, but we kept getting delayed and delayed.. Got to be about 5:30 and my wife said for me to just go. I got all suited up, and it started raining. Dejected, I came inside.
I debated for about 30 seconds and decided I'd go for a run. My wife fully supported that venture, because apparently I'd been a bit cranky all day. She said I'd 'feel better' (read: I'd be out of her hair). She even saw me looking dejected about not using my water bottle, and suggested I use the CamelBak.
Great idea! So, I strapped that on and headed out into the muggy & rainy weather. I decided to go running in a neighborhood I'd never run in before.. That was kind of fun. This area has recently been redone to allow for a highway to be re-routed/engineered/etc. At one point, I started running along a sidewalk, and it looped to someone's front door. Oops. Turn around!
Along the way, I saw this sidewalk which cut under an overpass which I'd never seen before from the car... I opted to take it on the way back. It cut over to the area near one of my old apartments, so I decided to run by it for old time's sake. Still the same. Hehe.
I continued on down the street and was speculating how long the run would be. My guess was 6 miles.
I got to about a half mile from my house and my knee started aching, around the IT band area. Man oh man.. I stretched it out and jogged home, but later that night it was twinging when I'd walk up stairs.
Seems OK today, but I don't want to re-aggravate it. I'll have to do more stretching.
So, this past week, I exercised 5 days. 3 running, 2 biking. Not bad. Hopefully I'll put in another 5 days this week. My running buddy is supposed to be back and around most of the week, so I'm hoping for a good solid week of running. With the 3 day weekend, I'm hoping to get some exercise in over the weekend too.
That's all for now...
Friday, June 27, 2008
We'll see what's going on when I get home, I suppose.. take it from there.
What else is going on? Ultimate geekdom for me.
First, I set up free WAP (mobile web) on my phone. (And my wife's, as well, of course). A bit hacky and non-intuitive. (Of course, the cell company doesn't want you working around their fee-based proxy.) I did manage to persevere.
Then, I took my PS3, partitioned it, and installed Linux on it. Managed to get the wireless working, the graphics, the sound, and the Bluetooth controller. Sweet. But, it's ultimate geekdom.
Yes, the PS3 is my new toy.. I bought it a couple of weeks ago, and have been having a lot of fun with it. The last new console I bought was the Super Nintendo, and that was many many years ago. I held off buying into the current generation of consoles for a while, but I finally caved.
Next toy to buy will be an HDTV. The PS3 would look even better running on an HDTV, compared to the tube TV I'm using now. Went looking at TVs, though, and they can get quite expensive.. So, no rush on that.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Only trouble was that I didn't eat a lot yesterday, it was a little warm, and I had just spent a good amount of energy mowing. So, I felt strong, but I had to walk at the top of the hill because I was getting dizzy and all.
Is that weird? Feeling good, but light headed? Hrms. Either way, it had been a month or so since I did that route, and I felt that I did it well. It's some little hills followed by a steep mile long climb.
This morning as I was getting some cereal out of the cupboard, I found myself spying what else was in the cupboard. That particular cupboard is rather large, and contains the cereal, various baking trays and such, and... our entire liquor supply. (It is a large cupboard, don't worry).
So, it's 7 in the morning, I'm thinking about going to work, and I'm eying up a bottle of Cuervo. Sigh.
One of the project managers here cornered me yesterday and said something like "you think you go to a lot of meetings now.. just wait until next month!" Grr. I hate meetings.
Funny story.. I was about 8 years old or something, and my dad came home one day. I asked him what he did, and he said he had 3 meetings. I was all impressed, I thought.. "wow, he's really important.. It must be great to go to all of those meetings". Years later, I feel bad for him. Heh. On the other hand, it was only 3 meetings that day... could have been worse (unless they were all 3-4 hours or something like that).
Now, they have me setting up my own meetings, as if all of the other ones scheduled weren't enough. I feel like I should spontaneously combust for doing such a thing.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I love shopping online. I ordered something Monday night from newegg, I just received notification that it will be delivered this afternoon. I didn't need to go hunting around town for it. Perfect.
So, yesterday I received word that one of my friends here at work is leaving. I'm happy for him, I really am. He was in a department which was basically said that they'd be fired in 9-12 months, but should keep working like dogs in the meantime. He found a job with another local company, so that's good. It's just a bummer that he's leaving. If I ever need a break during the day, I can go see him and chat for a bit. He inserts that bit of randomness into work.. if he comes to your office, you just have no idea what he'll be asking about or talking about next. That's fun.
Best wishes, man.
On a lighter note, I went biking last night. Clocked in a little over 6.25 miles, mixing in some good hills. Cramped up pretty good on the way back home... I suspect my muscles are being taxed in new and exciting ways. Getting better at the toe clip thing, too. (Not perfect, by any means).
While biking, I was riding with traffic. At one point, along a very busy stretch of road, I spied an interesting sight coming at me. There was some kid, probably 14 years old, standing on his bike, coming at me. Hmm. What to do with two bikers coming at each other on the same side of the road. While I was in awe of the kid's balance, and knew that he was a better biker than I'll ever be, and certainly had way more coordination than I could ever fathom, he was being a clown in a bad place. It's bikers like that which give bikers a bad name. Not that I do everything 100% correct, but I'm at least on the correct side of the road.
On the way to work this morning, there was another joker on a bike. A guy, probably 25, all buff and everything biking on the wrong side of the road. He was the type that looked like they were all that and such. Hey, fool, high school is over. Get on the proper side of the road.
OK, that's all. I'm supposed to be paying attention to this conference call I'm on.. :-)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
We tried going on this loop a few months ago, but after the winter thaw, things were just too wet.
You can already see where this is going.
Made it down to the pond, no issues.. we then had to cross a stream. (meanwhile, we're running through 2-3 high brush, making verbal notes about checking ourselves for ticks). Well, my buddy had been referring to things today as 'poopsicles', things that were just not good, fun, and generally stunk.
Got to the stream, no obvious path across. OK. We'll run down a bit further to cross. Nope.
I got to a ledge halfway across and volunteered to run upstream to look for a path. Nothing. Except that I got a few toes wet in that process. Doesn't bode well. I run back, got the other foot soaked. Nice.
So, we decided to just go for it. Well, the other foot became soaked. Sigh.
We finished the remaining half of the run in wet feet. 3 miles on the nose. 1 mile dry, 2 miles squishy.
Oh well.. Shoes are open, insoles are out, we'll let them dry off. Just kind of bummed, since these shoes only had 75 miles on them or so.
On a positive note, no ticks! Woot!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday was perfect weather.. it was about 73 and sunny. I went for a bike ride in the morning, put a little more than 5 miles in. The hills in the area totally owned my quads.
A friend of mine said, "I don't know how you'll be, but I can't really get a good workout on a bike." He must be in waaaaay better shape than I am.
My wife threw a 'surprise' birthday party for me that evening. We basically had a barbecue over at our place. Turned out well.. good turnout. I think we had 13 friends & family over.
Sunday was a bit of a lazy day. Stayed up too late Friday playing my new PS3, and was up late Saturday. So, I rested in my birthday present hammock and kicked back most of the afternoon.
I'm in the process of reading 'War and Peace'. Really.
No, I'm not really enjoying it. I'm at page 1000 as of yesterday, so I figure I may as well finish it.
I do like the 'war' parts. The 'peace' parts, well... My big issue is this.. I don't like to have to keep track of lots of different characters. If there are lots of people, I may as well pay attention to the real world. I had trouble with another book like this- 'Pride and Prejudice'. (As one of my faithful blog readers will remember reading that with me. :) ). Lots and lots of characters. So little going on.
You'd think it'd be easy, if the characters aren't doing anything. But noooo.. It's all these subtle soap opera interactions that come into play later on in the story.
Last night we watched an old Denis Leary movie called 'The Ref'. Cute. It's one of those chick flicks a guy can stand to watch.
How about that George Carlin passing thing? Wow. I had always wondered about going to see him, and I figured the next time he came to town (which he used to do every few years), that maybe I'd go. Guess I won't be now.
But seriously, that's too bad.
Well, that's about it for now. Catch up with you later
Friday, June 20, 2008
What to discuss this fine morning? I mowed my lawn last night and worked on our landscaping. I'm calling it done. Either it's done, or I'm done. Probably the latter. Not really my cup of tea. I have a ton of grass to pull out of the existing landscaping. I can't get grass to grow in the lawn, but it grows like mad in the landscaping. I guess that's what I get for letting it go unattended for 7 years.
I'm reading a newsletter here at work, and there's someone named 'Robin Hood' in it. I find that amusing.
I'm poking around amazon this morning, and found on the front page a section on "toilet tattoos". I find that amusing as well.
I'm easily amused today, it appears.
Speaking of tattoos, I read about ultraviolet tattoo ink yesterday. That seemed interesting. I have mixed emotions about it. On one hand, I can understand, if you aren't allowed to have tattoos at work or similar restrictions, that might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you want a tattoo, shouldn't you go for the real thing and let it all hang out?
I don't know. I guess I like the idea. I suspect your design options would be limited, though, as I'm guessing it'll pretty much show up as one color. If you wanted a symbol or a word or something, that would be a good medium, I suppose.
Maybe you could do some sort of accent with it, though.. Like a pair of eyes on an animal that glow under UV light.. that could be cool.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
IT band seemed to hold up fine.. I felt a twinge on it at the halfway mark (of course.. why would it happen anywhere near the start/end point?), but maybe I landed on my foot wrong or something which caused it.
Of course, when I felt that twinge, it disrupted my rhythm and I landed on my other foot wrong, the one with the busted (broken?) toe. So, that smarted.
That toe is still tweaking a bit today. It's not black and blue any more, and it hasn't been swollen for a couple of weeks. Perhaps I should have been taping it. Sigh. Maybe I'll tape it every time I run.
All in all, though, a decent medium length run. Only done a few of those runs this year, and this has been the least painful of them, so perhaps I'm turning the corner. My calves seemed to have held up, too. Perhaps I'm getting into last year's fitness shape, finally. I've got a minor sore muscle this morning between my calf & shin, and I suspect that will be better tomorrow. Other than that (and my toe), I feel good.
Provided the weather holds out today, I'll get my exercise tonight by mowing the lawn. Yippee.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The regular season started, and we started out 8-0 or something like that.. I said, "this is something special". We ran out to have the best NBA record this year. Amazing, considering where we were last year. We secured a playoff spot, and I said "wow. That's great. We've come a long way." It wasn't until we made it to the finals that I let myself start thinking about winning the championship. Once we made it to the final 7 games, I let myself start thinking about winning it all. Even if we had lost, it was an amazing season. Watching the jumbotron video of the Celtics gives me goosebumps.
Last night, game 6, was incredible. The Celtics played their defense, and never let up. They wanted to win, and played superbly. I was fired up going into the game (my wife turned to me at one point where I was a bit over exuberant and said "I'm sitting right here..."). We watched the whole thing, and it was just wonderful.
I wore my Celtics garb into work today. Got a few looks and laughs, but hey, it's been 22 years.
In other news, I went to the baseball game last night (left early.. we were winning 10-0, and the game was on.). It was "Mardi Gras" night, on a 2 for Tuesday. The group behind us was hilarious, a bachelor party. They kept calling it "Party Gras".
I'm taking a bit of break watching sports on TV, just to wind down. Lots of baseball left in the season. I also promised my wife that I'd watch a double feature of "The Young & The Restless" tonight with her, as she's been so good watching the playoff games with me.
We beat L.A.! Woot!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I ran a little more than 5K last night. I'm thinking about finding a local race and giving that a go at some point this year. I doubt I'll be doing a marathon this year, as my longest run this year has been about 7 miles. I read a good quote/piece of advice about the marathon recently. It was (and I paraphrase) that your body will let you know when you're ready.
My body has clearly indicated it is not ready.
In other news, I'll be attending meetings all day today. I live for attending meetings. Something like that.
Tonight is Tuesday. At the ballpark, it's 2 for Tuesday, one of my favorite nights. Also, it's Mardi Gras night..... hmm..
It's also game 6 of the NBA finals tonight, back in Beantown.
Not sure about the weather, either.. 30% chance of rain right now for 7pm. Game 6 starts at 9, pregame at 8:30. Could do the time shifting thing and hit both.. (and get to bed at 1am). Decisions, decisions.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Game 5 was last night. We were close, but alas. Of course, I was hoping to win the first 2 games (which we did), and steal one in LA (which we also did). So, I shouldn't get too greedy. We head back to Boston for game 6 on Tuesday, and game 7 (if necessary) on Thursday. Hopefully it gets wrapped up Tuesday. Game 7s, while fun, are intense. I'd like to close it out while we have the advantage.
Game 5 also saw the end of our big jar of cheese balls. Long live the cheese balls.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
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Friday, June 13, 2008
I ate dinner at Panera Bread, followed by a short jaunt into Target, looking for a couple of Father's Day presents.
We went home, and proceeded to watch the Celtics game. The first half was absolutely abysmal. Down by 24 at point. But then, we entered the 3rd quarter down by 18. We subsequently left the 3rd down by 2. (This is the ubiquitous 'we'. I wasn't playing, so don't look too hard for me in the highlight reel)
I feel better being up 3-1, rather than leveled off at 2-2. The stats show that no team has rallied from a 3-1 deficit, but I'm not going to bank on that. I'm hoping for a win on Sunday to wrap this up, though. No sense in giving the Lakers any more chances at this.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Let's just say I looked silly.
I managed, somehow, to get the chain off the gears at one point. I'll guess that I tried shifting too far too fast or something like that.
My biggest nemesis, apart from my puny quads, are the toe clips on the bike. For those that don't know, toe clips are these 'cages' that go over the top part of the pedal, which you can put your foot into. The idea is that your foot is firmly secured on the bike (but not too secure in case of an emergency/fall/etc), and that you can also use your leg to pull the pedal upward and make better use of your energy expenditure.
That all sounds good, no? Well, the design of these pedals is that at rest, the cage is on the bottom. Yes, you read that right.
So, at a stop, you can flip one of the pedals over and put your foot in the straps. No big deal. The big deal is the second foot. If you do it while you're stopped, you'll get your second foot in, sure. You'll also be lying sideways on the pavement as you've tipped over.
So, the art is to get going and then, nonchalantly, kick the pedal right side up, and smoothly insert your foot.
I am not very coordinated.
Certainly not enough for a finesse move like that.
So, I pedaled around on the bottoms of the pedals. We'll try again some other day.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I'm hoping they view game 4 as a 'must win'.. (That's so cliche, I know). If they snag game 4, they would be up 3-1, and in super position. I'm hoping the series doesn't get evened out at 2-2.
If Pierce shows up (did someone forget to get him a plane ticket to LA?) and they start driving the ball in the paint more, I think good things will happen.
BTW, memo to David Stern: These late games are ridiculous. I understand on the week day, to some degree. The whole east coast/west coast thing, yeah yeah. Must they start at 9, though? Couldn't they start at 8 or 8:30? The weekend games, start them at 6. That line you gave about the ratings being higher after 11pm.. C'mon. For the west coast, maybe. What about those of us on the east coast? What about kids? Think of the children!! How can they get involved in the game if it starts after they go to bed? I think at least a couple of the games should have earlier start times.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
What's more interesting is that I went to bed early last night, as these late NBA games are taking a bit out of me (another game tonight, for those interested :-) ). As I was lying in bed, the phone rings. It's never a good thing when the phone rings at 11 at night. Turns out, my mother in law had a bat in her house. My father in law is away. So, I went over (along with her father) to see what could be done.
I was armed with a broom, a box, and a flashlight, and went on the hunt. We hunted high and low for over an hour and couldn't find the silly thing. Sigh. Eventually, my sister in law let their cat loose, and he finally started going a bit nuts at one spot in the house. Grandpa made it to the area first and spied the bat, so it was my duty to remove the cat from the vicinity. After a brief struggle, I removed the cat, Grandpa removed the bat, and we all went home.
Only minor disappointment here, as my new career as a bat hunter wasn't fully tested. It was certainly a 'win', getting the bat out of the house. But, I didn't do a lot in the removal. It's more of an 'assist' as opposed to a 'score'.
Monday, June 9, 2008
I guess I'll start with the Celtics. 2-0, baby! We did our best to give the game away.. Hopefully we won't do garbage minutes in the 4th quarter any more.. finish all 48 minutes at full intensity, don't give the Lakers any breathing room. But, we did win. I'll take it. Apart from the disaster in the second half of the fourth quarter, I thought the guys played superbly.
Now, if we can go to L.A. and steal one, we'll be in great shape.
Regarding an earlier post about Joba, apparently Cashman did ask Joba what he wanted to do- if he wanted to be a starter or a relief man. Joba chose the former. If I were Cashman, I'd not present the choice. Leave 2 solid arms in the bullpen, and figure out a different solution for the starters. But, they didn't ask me. I wouldn't have traded Ted Lilly a few years back, either. But, yet again, they didn't catch me at home when they called soliciting advice.
The Belmont was run, no triple crown, yet again. 30 years now. Don't know what to say. The horse I was pulling for in the Kentucky Derby, Denis of Cork, put forth a decent showing again.
On the local front, I went for a run on Sunday morning. It was 10:00, and the weather was at 78 degrees, with a guesstimate humidity of 80%. It was disgusting. I ran a little over 4 miles, but mixed in some walk breaks in there. The humidity and heat just sucked the energy out of me. I even ran with my iPod for a little extra boost, but it didn't help. Maybe I should have tried some different tunes. (I was listening to Rush's "Rush in Rio" album.)
That's about it for now!
Friday, June 6, 2008
I donned my Bird jersey, threw on my Celtics hat, and watched. It was a very good game. I was stunned when Paul Pierce went down. I was psyched when he jumped back onto the court and was back in the game. That guy can play. Always has been able to. I bet his body hurts like hell this morning, though. Strained knee.. He took a hand to the face/eye. Big ol' scratch on his chest. Not to mention the normal pushing and shoving and bumping and bruising which goes on in a game (especially a finals game).
And, for those that don't know, we won! Woot! 1 down, 3 to go. Beat L.A.!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I wasn't sure that I'd be able to do it. I've battled knee pain for a long time, and I didn't know if I could take the constant pounding. But, a year ago, I decided to throw on some sneaks and head out the door. I made it .71 miles before my panting forced me to walk. I wound up doing a total of 1.2 miles, .9 of which were running miles.
Since then, I've gone on 146 runs, so a run every 2.5 days. (Not that I keep crazy statistics about this kind of stuff, or anything).
I remember when I hit 10 miles last year. I felt such a sense of accomplishment, that I could persevere and do something like this. I've never been an athletic sort of guy. I ran cross country mumblemumble18yearsagomumblemumble, but was horrible at it.
But running outside of a team is nice. Especially for me. I'm not particularly fast. Nor efficient. I sweat a lot. But, it's something I can do, and constantly improve at.
I've got a running buddy, my wife's sister. She and I run at about the same speed, and when she's around, and our schedules mesh up, we go running together, usually doing about 3 miles. It's been good, because I do like running with her. We can talk about whatever, usually about our respective days, and just run, and it's nice. It's good to have someone to run with, so that you push yourself up the hill and don't crap out. I doubt I could have made it this far without her, and I look forward to many more runs with her.
I have done a good amount of running on my own. The really long ones are usually a solo mission. It's a wonderful stress relief. Coming home after a day of work, and just going out and running. It clears the mind. Any stresses are purely muscular after a while.
I started out with my daily sneakers, and the usual t-shirts and shorts I had. Over the year, I bought or obtained:
- those wicking clothes (shorts, tanks, pants, shirt)
- a Garmin Forerunner 305 watch and heart rate monitor
- My wife's iPod (pink, thank you very much!)
- New sneaks
- Inserts for the aforementioned sneaks
- A shoe wallet
- A camelbak
From where I started with no gear, I was going out last year dressed as some sort of bionic mercenary. I had all sorts of stuff on, wires going everywhere, etc.
I've cut it back, though. I do like the wicking clothes, and I generally wear my Forerunner watch. But, the HR monitor usually sits at home. My heart rate is always high. Got that. No need to track it. I typically leave the iPod at home too, to let me pay attention better. Since I run along roads 99% of the time, it's best to pay attention. I try to have my wife bring me drinks along the route I'm running, or plot to stop at water fountains, etc.
So, this past year, I've had a few injuries. I had a few bloody toenails. A few bloody toes, until I learned how to better cut my toenails. (That's something, coming home, taking off the sneakers, and seeing a red sock. heh). On the longest run of my short running career last year, a whopping 13.1 miles, I ran into a case of ITBS. I know that run didn't cause it, it was more of a case of me pushing myself too hard too fast over the year. Too many hills, too many cambered roads. That really sidelined me over the winter, where I was only running once or maybe twice a week, for just a couple of miles.
I think I'm past that.. Of course, my left leg (my ITBS leg) is still problematic. My hamstring is pretty tight on that leg. Both of my calves are sore after running. I'm working up to the shape I was in last year before I went on that 13.1 expedition. Plus, I recently busted up my little toe, so that's been a bit awkward to run with.
Looking forward, though...
Ideally, I'd like to run a marathon. Realistically, I think I should probably wait longer before doing that. I should try to run 5 days a week this year, and maybe do an official half marathon in the fall. We'll see how it all goes.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
So, last night was Joba's first start.
It went as well as I thought it would. Call me a heretic Yankee fan, but I have always thought that the make-Joba-a-starter was a bad move.
Last year, Joba was in the low minors, if I remember right. Now, they're trying to make him the starter which saves the franchise. Isn't that a bit much?
I'm just an armchair sports fan, so I'm just pontificating here with nothing to back it up.. (but, isn't that what most sports writers do anyways?)
Anyways, I think we're robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. We take a highly effective arm out of the bullpen, and put him in the starter's group to save the starters. Well, isn't the bullpen now lacking? Of course it is. Mariano is great, but after that, what's left?
Wouldn't we do better trying to groom Joba to take over for Mariano?
Perhaps though, maybe Joba is pushing to become a starter. I really haven't seen any articles talking about what Joba wants. Maybe what he wants doesn't really matter.
Last year, I remember Joba doing some relief work where he threw 30-40 pitches. Towards the end of that, he looked absolutely gassed. Maybe you approach being a starter differently than being a reliever. But, with him hitting triple digits as a starter, I can't believe that doesn't affect you somehow. Rather than just blowing the ball by everyone, you are supposed to use deceit and be crafty and such, throwing some change-ups and such.
Oh well, I wish him and the team well. I really do. I'd love to have people say, "Remember when you said it was a bad idea, and now he's a 350 win, multi Cy Young award winner?" We'll see how it all goes on his next start.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The taste test has yet to be performed, but I anticipate big things.
Long live the cheese ball!
Thus endeth my first blog post.