Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Broke 7...

Last night I got home and proceeded to do my exhaustion test for my pushups. It's the pre-week 5 test. I scored a 42, which puts me in the third category again. Looking at what's ahead for day 1, I think this week might own me. Day 1 has 40, 32 30, 25, and then a max of at least 40. If I was barely getting out 40, how will I do that twice? I suspect I'll take longer than the '60 seconds' offered for rest.

I felt the need for nourishment, so I snacked on some potato chips and onion dip. Mmm. Fresh bag of chips.. mmm.

Nothing but the best food and drink goes into this body! hah

I went out for a run just after that.. Probably not the best thing to eat before running, but.... too bad.

I was debating doing a hill workout or some intervals. Since I did a long run on Sunday, I decided not to do the hill workout. I finally decided that I would do a mile warmup, followed by a 'how fast can I run a mile', followed by some cool down and maybe a subsequent fast interval...

Mile warmup went OK. Not stellar. My calves were balking a bit, so I didn't have high hopes here on any sort of good timed mile run. I don't check how fast I can run too often.. The last time was about a year ago (I looked and don't even have the date written down).. maybe about 10 months ago, because I'm sure I had my Garmin at that point. My previous time was 7:32, which I was quite pleased with, as I've never been a fast runner. (I'd never really been a runner, period. Certainly not fast).

One of the downsides of my training is that I usually only do a couple of speeds. I run a bit slower with my running buddy, and only slightly faster alone. My long runs, which should be slower yet, keep the same pace. It all averages to about 9:30/mile on a regular basis. The good news is that I could 'run forever' at this pace. (Until my legs fell off or something like that, of course). I really should mix in some track workouts or something.

So, after my warmup, I reset my Garmin, hit the 'start' button and took off. I was guessing how fast my pace should me. Not doing this too often makes it difficult to judge this. My route was more or less flat.. there was a small uphill, and a small downhill, so that cancels out. I had also found a stretch where I wouldn't have to be waiting at an intersection for traffic, in order to give me a decent flow.

After a tenth of a mile, I looked down and saw that I was hitting a 6:52/mile pace. I was immediately petrified and thought about slowing down, as what good would it be if I ran that pace and couldn't finish a mile...? I reasoned it out with myself and said that I wasn't going full bore, so I might be able to do this after all. And, so, the run continued.

And continued.

And continued.

I'm not used to running at this pace.

I got to about 3/4 of a mile, and I was breathing pretty heavy and my legs were getting pretty tired, but saw that I was still on the same pace, so I ground it out just a little longer.

It seemed like forever.

In the end, I held on, broke the 7 minute per mile barrier, and wound up at 6:50 for my mile. Woot! First time I have run that fast for any sort of reasonable distance.

I walked a bit to cool down, and then proceeded to do a two mile jog home. Calves are really tired today.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday's beer

Almost forgot..
At the game last night, I started out with:

The Cooperstown 'Pride of Milford'. It's a reddish-colored beer, and pretty potent (website lists it as 7.7% ABV). It was just OK. I prefer the 'Old Slugger' from Cooperstown. There were a bunch of odd flavors to the beer.. It reminds me of the taste of the 3rd or 4th 'Magic Hat #9' in a night. (My theory being that one is good, but there's some sort of odd flavor that develops after having a few)

It was something different that I haven't had yet, but I'll probably not have it again.

Slacking Tuesday

Well, Tuesday has come and gone. I had intentions of going for a run, but.......

I slacked off. Sigh.

What really happened was this... I was talking to a friend at work about what baseball games we would go to locally, and we both decided to go that night. Plus, it was two for Tuesday....

Beautiful night for baseball.. Most any night is a good night for it, though. I've decided on what I want to do when I grow up (read: hit the lotto so I can go do this). I'll be an usher at the local ballpark. That sounds pretty good... show people their seats, point people to the bathrooms, etc. (All while taking in the game).

Everything that is wrong with baseball isn't wrong at the local park, thankfully. The games start at a reasonable time so kids can go. The players walk right up to the kids looking for autographs and sign their baseballs. I saw one kid, probably 6 years old, getting an autograph on a Post-It pad. The player signed that, then gave him a batting practice ball. The kid looked thrilled. There was another kid who seemed a bit 'awkward'.. probably 15 years old or so. He got a few players to sign his baseball, and after every one, he was just beaming. It's just nice to see.

My friend brought his daughter and his nephews to the game.. They were very well behaved. I always worry about watching 3 kids while he's off buying hot dogs or whatever, but they are absolutely no trouble. They're there, just watching the game.

It was also fireworks night after the game:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


My wife said I should talk about music sometimes. So, today's the day, dear.

This probably won't be too in depth, but hey, it's a start.

I came across this page today, which has a plethora of links to downloads for music mashups.

Mashups are an interesting creation, I must admit. Existing songs are mashed together to form a new song. Often the tracks are slowed down or sped up so that they blend well. They're certainly not something for the purists.

One example of an extremely well done mashup is the one done between Jay-Z and Linkin Park. The two styles fit well together, and it makes for an excellent album. I wish this album was longer than the 6 songs that it is. (Maybe that's a sign they knew what they were doing - they quit while being ahead).

Over that album, the songs are mixed together and cut in and out between LP and Jay-Z. I'm a big LP fan, but haven't listened to a lot of Jay-Z. Truthfully, since LP is not too far off from the rap/hip-hop scene at times, it really isn't that big of a stretch to see them together. (The CD came with a DVD of a live performance of the mashup, as a matter of fact).

Part of the beauty of the mashups is that it may introduce you to new music. I listen to a little Jay-Z now, for instance. It also presents old music in a new light.

Anyways, I came across that page today, and decided to download some of the songs and albums. It's a mixed bag from the little bit I've gotten to listen to. None of it seems bad. Some is average, some is very good.

I'll take a couple of songs and discuss, I suppose. Track 20 off of the 'Best of Bootie - 2005' is a mashup between Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and N.W.A.'s 'Straight Outta Compton'. I have both of these albums, and enjoy both of them. Certainly, not two that I'd pair together normally. (The thought never occurred to me until today, actually). It's pretty well done, all being said. The N.W.A lyrics are put to the music of Nirvana, and it's a reasonable fit.

On the other hand, track 15 of that album is a mashup between Billy Joel's 'Big Shot' and Jay-Z's 'Big Pimpin'. The lyrics from Billy Joel are slowed down and force fit into the style of Jay-Z. It just doesn't go.

I'll give them props for trying it out, though.

So, if you get bored, check out some of those albums. You may want to listen with headphones if anyone around you could be offended by lyric contents, depending on what songs you choose.

Monday's Day of Rest

I took Monday off from doing major physical activity. I figured after my 8 miler the day before, I should take it easy. I wanted to go hiking up a hill nearby and travel through the countryside, but I talked myself out of it.
I did go for a walk.. probably a mile to a mile and a half.

On a whim on the way home, I picked up this:

(OK, maybe it wasn't a whim. It was a combination of two things: a curiosity on my part and a bad day at work)

This is a small (375ml) bottle of Patrón Silver tequila. Now, according to the Patrón website, this is a "smooth, soft and light" tequila. I got this as an attempt to better understand tequila and appreciate it more.

Opening up the box was very nice. It was wrapped in tissue paper & sealed very nicely. Each bottle appears to be hand numbered.

My verdict: I don't see the smooth part. The initial taste was smooth.. It's certainly tequila. You can taste that easily. But, it bit me up on the way down.
We (my wife and I) only tried a little doing it 'sipping' style. Still have to try it under other conditions (margaritas, shots, after a long night of drinking, etc).

I'll try it again, just to give it a fair shake. Patrón has a number of other types of tequila, so maybe it's just the Silver variety like this.

Of course, there's other brands too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

This looks like fun

Found this video off of CNN this morning. It's footage of a marathon where people run a lap, then drink a beer. Repeat. Over and over.

That sounds like it's for me!

It's put on through the Hash House Harriers. Wish there was an active local chapter here..

Weekend Beer Reviews

So, I went and moved furniture up at my brother in law's house this weekend.

Afterwards, he was kind enough to provide me some brew..

Started out with this:

Sam Adams Summer Ale..

The seasonal brews of Sam Adams are very good, and are very well suited to the different seasons.

I used to view the Summer Ale as 'fruity'. Any more, though, it's got a hint of lemon and some spice. It works quite well on a warm summer day. (So well, in fact, that a large number of these were consumed later that night, but I get ahead of myself).

The second beer provided was this:

Yes, that would be a Bud Light Lime (BL Lime). Back in my college days, I consumed a lot of BL, I must admit. Over the last few years, though, my tastes have evolved to the microbrews and better mass-brewed beer.
This brew was a surprise. A big one.
I had tried the 'Miller Chill' a couple of weeks ago.. I think that was the first of the mass-produced beer-with-a-lime-already-infused. It honestly just didn't do too much for me. Below average beer, with a hint of saltiness and a lime waved near the brewing tanks. It was alright, but not something I'd go out and buy.

This beer.. You could really taste the lime. I liked that. Bud Light isn't a bad beer, especially for what it is. Works well on a hot summer day (don't most beers, though?). The lime, though. Wow. Totally awesome.

I gave it to my wife for a sip, and she said it just tasted like beer. Pfft. I told her it was my 'expert beer connoisseur-ness' that detected the lime.

So, I was pretty pleased. A new beer this weekend. If you're sitting outside on a hot summer night, it's worth a try, at least. (I'll try anything once. :) )

Later, we all went back to my place and picked up case of the Summer Ale. My brother in law and I put a hurtin' on it. Oh yea.
He didn't care for the Highland Park scotch, though. Oh well.

Sunday's good and bad LSD

So, Sunday, my LSD trip was both good and bad. You ever have those? Aspects you really like, and aspects you don't?

no, I'm not talking about Lysergic acid diethylamide.
I'm talking about a Long Slow Distance run.

I went out around noon, and it was overcast... I said to myself, well, since it's overcast, I won't really need to bring water or anything along those lines.
Yep. About a mile from my place, the sky clears right up.

So, I trucked around town.. I ran by a park that had a water fountain, and proceeded to drink up, as well as douse myself in the water. No one really was there, so I didn't get any strange looks. (The strangest looks came from me doing that on a golf course one time. Chuckle.)

I ran by another park later in the run, but they didn't have a water fountain. Really? I mean, what is that? A park with no water fountains? That's just mean.

So, yes.. back to the good parts and bad parts.. The good part was that it was my longest pain free run of the year. I clocked in 8 miles. My IT band twinged a little, I felt some pressure on the outside of my knee.. It seems OK today, but I think I really need to do some strengthening exercises and stretching on a regular basis.

The bad part.. Well, I started out saying "I need to go slow". I proceeded to run my normal long run clip of 9 minute miles. I was really hoping to do 10:30/mile or so.

(For the non-runners, the theory is that if you go slower for the majority of a longer run, the body doesn't break down as badly, and you're less likely to hurt yourself.)

After the water break, I did slow down some, but it wound up being about a 10 minute/mile pace after all was said and done. I'm just mad at myself.

But yes, it was my longest run of the year. Hopefully I'm getting back into good long running shape, provided I can slow it down. I'd like to do a half-marathon this fall.. I need to bump up the mileage a bit on the long run to do that, though.

I also finished week 4 of the 100 pushup challenge. Next is an exhaustion test (I should pass, I'm exhausted!). Week 5 looks pretty challenging.

Relaxing Friday

So, I took Friday off. No work. That right there makes the day about 5000 times better than a normal Friday.

I woke up, and launched into my pushups. I finished Week 4, Day 2. Not over the top style, but I did get them done. I don't especially enjoy jumping into physical activity immediately after getting up, but the day called for it.

I went off to see the barber. It was kind of funny.. A few guys there, nothing too out of the ordinary. After a while, one guy couldn't wait any longer, and he got up and left. Probably only had another 20 minutes to go. My hair sure as heck isn't going to take long to cut. But, it was nice, just sitting there and not having to worry about being any place at any particular time.

After I got my hair cut to the appropriate 1/4-3/8 inches long, I went to Mickey D's for some breakfast burritos.. Yum yum. I do love breakfast burritos.


I went for a massage. I had a gift certificate from Christmas, so this one was free. My oh my.

Let me tell you, if you've never had a massage, it is so worth it. Save up the bucks and go. Just once. Just to see what it's like.

This was my 4th ever in my life (over a period of 6 years or so. :) ). There is no doubt this was the best one yet. I was a bit worried when I met my therapist.. She was this tiny thing, I was unsure of whether she would be able to get the kinks out.

Her thumbs were like machines made of steel. Wow. Totally fricken awesome. So good, I made another appointment for next month. hah.

I also went out to lunch later in the day. In front of the Lowe's in our area, there's a sandwich cart. It always smells really really good.
I ordered up a cheesesteak..... and it was good. Pricey, but good.

Believe it or not, that was one of the items off of my 'things to do in life' list. Sweet. A good day when I knock one of those off.

It was a nice day off. I'm going to have to do this more often.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Firefox Favicons Downloader

I finally got around to cleaning up and officially releasing a little project of mine. It's nothing too exciting, but it's a small contribution to the community.

This is a Firefox add-on which churns through your bookmarks, and goes and fetches the icons for the various bookmarks which are missing icons.

The addon can be found at

I have made a 'sandbox' entry over at for this plugin. After it floats around a while, I'll nominate it for a review for public release on the addons site.

One may ask, 'why?'.

I use an extension called Foxylicious, which goes and downloads your bookmarks from When this happens, the bookmarks all have the default bookmark icon.

After downloading, you can run this extension, and presto! Your icons are all there.

Comments are welcome, of course.

Of course, this is the initial public offering. I've used it myself, but that's the extent of the testing. It should work on Firefox versions 2.0.0.x and 3.0.x. Use at your own risk. :)

Rockin W4D1

I completed Day 1 of Week 4 of the 100 pushup challenge. Woot! My final max was at 30, 3 over the min. All of my pushups were 'good form', as well. I took a bit longer between the sets, but that is a-OK in my book.

Went for a slow 3 mile run as well. My running buddy called me up and asked if I wanted to go.. who was I to say no? It's amazing what a day of rest will do for your legs.. They felt good before, during, and after the run. Awesome. We did the 3 miles in 31 minutes, a very leisurely time. At least we got out there. My running buddy had a snack of pasta that seemed to be bothering her for the last mile of the run.

I'm fighting off a head cold.. been doing this for almost a week now. Bleh.

Last night, in an effort to unwind, I watched a movie off of my DVR... Saw II. Not as good as the original, IMHO. I was able to figure out the plot points and twists in advance.. The original snuck a few past me. I'll have to see what III and IV have to offer at some point.
The acting was pretty decent, and it wasn't a bad movie, especially for that genre. It just fell short of the original, as sequels often do. (Nothing as bad as the Matrix sequels, which couldn't even see the original from the spot they fell to).

I was also flipping around the TV and saw that there were new episodes of the Twilight Zone. Like, full color with modern actors and everything. When did that happen? What sort of cave am I living in? I started watching one, but my wife came home and I DVRed the end of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cherry Wheat

So, after a long day yesterday, I was in the mood for this:


For those using lynx or something like that, it's a photo of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

I'm not a big fan of cherry flavored things in general.. I'm iffy with the wheat beers, as well.. Some of them I really like, some I really dislike.

As far as this beer goes, it is exactly what it is billed as. A cherry wheat. If you like wheat beers, and you like cherries, this is an excellent one to try. The wheat is very crisp, and the aroma of cherries is unmistakable. I'm a big proponent of drinking beer from a beer glass, but even drinking straight from the bottle leaves you knowing the flavor and essence of the beer.

So, since I'm dicey with the cherry flavor, it's not one I stock regularly, but I do enjoy it once in a while. Right now, in the Sam Adams summer variety 12 pack, you'll find a pair of them..

Monday and Tuesday Madness

Well, I didn't get to posting yesterday due to some family issues. All is more or less OK now, so on we go....

I'm into the blog catalog now, so that's exciting. I'm sure people will just be pouring on in now. :) Chuckle

I completed Week 3 of the 100 pushup challenge. It was a doozy getting that last day done on the 'Perfect Pushup' stuff. I was debating redoing week 3, but I saw Week 4 started out a little easier than week 3.. some sort of ladder approach to the training. So, I'm going to persevere for now.

I went for a run on Monday night.. Silly me forgot my Garmin. Alas. Looks like it charted to 3.33 miles, though. Seems about right. It was pretty humid, but not too hot. Still, I was soaked. Yuck.

I put another coat of paint on the edges of our bathroom. I think it just needs a couple of minor touch ups, and we'll be good to go. I'll be glad when I finally finish this project. It just never ends. (That's what happens when you never work on it).

More posts coming in a bit. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

blog catalog

In an effort to promote my blog, I'm throwing it into the mix at:

Scotch & Beer

Over the weekend, I tried a couple of new beverages.

First off was Macallan 12 year scotch. Of all the scotches I've tried, this was probably my least favorite. It reminded me more of Hennessy VS cognac than anything. Not that it was bad, mind you. It had a very smooth finish.. The initial taste was harsher than I expected. I think I prefer scotches with a stronger smoke essence to them, as well. It's generally rated well, so it may have been an off-day on my part.

The other new beverage I tried was Blue Point's 'Hoptical Illusion'. I was at a pub and saw that you could try a bottle for a mere $3. I gave it a go, and it was an excellent IPA. Very hoppy. The color was darker than I expected, there might have been a caramel taste in there. Very nice, though.

Weekend's Over, Now I'm Keyed Up

You ever have one of those days where you are just on edge as soon as you wake up? Grr. That's where I'm at now. I was starting to feel it last night, honestly. It stems from my dislike of my job and how overwhelming my list of 'to do' items at home is.

This weekend turned out to be completely different than what I thought it would be. My soon to be brother in law had his bachelor party. Unfortunately, due to a large number of circumstances out of my control, I didn't make it. I feel bad. It's odd.. I missed both my brother in laws' bachelor parties.

I didn't work out any of the days this weekend, so nothing too exciting to report there. I did manage to do week 3, day 2 of the 100 pushup challenge. Again, I just barely squeaked by.

On a positive note, I do have a couple of liquor reviews I can do later today.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Through some sort of miracle, my e-mail inbox at work is now empty. It's been at least 7 years since that occurred.

My efforts to better manage my folders and deal with junk immediately seem to have paid off.

Short post, yes. But still blogworthy.

El Duque

Got home and went for an easy 2.5 miles with my running buddy. It was hot, but not as humid.. The second half of the run was very labored, but we made it. Unsure of whether we're going tonight or not. The weekend probably won't have any workouts, alas. Big excitement there.. something for everyone to look forward to reading about on Monday. :)

So, yesterday, as I went for coffee, a friend of mine mentioned that Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez was going to have a rehab start at the local minor league team. The curiosity gnawed at me for most of the day, and I finally decided that I'd go. So, after my run, I showered and hurried over.

It was a zoo. Holy shmoley. After I parked, I trucked over towards the box office. Someone I knew from work saw me and was saying "hi". She asked if I had my tickets yet, and that immediately set off warning bells.. She then said "well, I heard they're sold out". grrr..

Well, turns out that they had 'standing room' tickets, for a mere $4. Awesome. I'll take one. I grabbed a sub and a 'Nine Man Ale', and proceeded to wander through the stadium, looking for my coffee buddy. I didn't find him, so I found a spot to stand and proceeded to eat & drink my dinner.

El Duque came out and the crowd seemed into it. Turns out it was a record crowd for the stadium. That's really good, given that events which I think should be big deals are generally ignored by the area. The stadium is often very very empty.

He got the first two outs pretty quickly, and he had his high leg kick going. Then, the wheels fell off. He labored through the rest of the inning, and gave up two runs.

I decided at that point, hey, there are still some empty seats, I'll go try to snake one. I ran into my coffee buddy, and he had a couple near him, so I was good to go. I pulled out my phone, ready to take a snazzy picture of El Duque for posting here on my blog and......

He had been pulled.


Turns out, in the first inning, he had hurt his foot. So, wisely, the manager pulled him.

And, that is why there is no cool picture of El Duque for you to see here.

It turned out to be a wonderful night for watching baseball. The home team lost, though. Interestingly enough, one team member that I think is pretty useless hit a 2 run homer. Of course, as the last out in the bottom of the ninth, he got back to his usual form and whiffed it.

Slept pretty good last night, but I'm dragging this morning.. have to turn in earlier tonight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Green Hump Day

Well, another Hump Day has come and gone.. on the back side of the week.. hooray. Only 3 conference calls today, that's not too bad (unfortunately). Sadly, I have to run a couple of them.

Last night, I put the first coat of green paint on our bathroom. Once it's done, I'll throw a pic up here.. It's a pretty awesome color.

I did Week 3, Day 1 of the 100 pushup challenge.


Hehe. The recipe called for 25, 17, 17, 15, and then for you to max (putting in at least 25). I made it through the 25 & 17 with no issues. The next 17 made me think "uh oh". I chugged through it and the 15. Alas, the final 25 was a struggle. I kept shifting my arm position.. narrow, wide, narrow, wide. Just to get it done. It wasn't a fluid set of 25, but they did get done. 99 pushups on the day.

I did a few sit ups later in the day, after a very humid run. Not terribly hot, but humid. As one sports writer once wrote "It's as humid as a Patrick Ewing head band!" ewwwww. My running buddy and I put in just over 3 miles, at just over a 10 min/mile pace.

My abs feel like they were worked out today. Abs of steel, here I come!

Tried again with the Merkur blade. No dice, again. I used a shaving soap, rather than my Proraso cream, just for a new flavor. I wound up doing two passes and calling it a day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

13 Seconds

Well, it was a pretty light workout night for me last night. My body thanks me.

My wife and I went to a somewhat local park and biked around for about 3.36 miles. (Wouldn't you know it, I forgot my Garmin! Grr.. had to map it with MapMyRun). Afterwards we sat down, ate a couple of subs, and polished off a bottle of wine. We did go biking for another 1.04 miles afterwards, yielding a total of 4.4 miles.

What wine you may ask? I'm glad you asked that! We had a bottle Kat Knapp White. It's a very sweet wine, and tastes a lot like some of the Niagara wines in the region. It's not ice-wine-sweet, but certainly sweet. Has a nice apple juice color to it. We picked up the bottle a few years back, and decided to bust into it last night. Good decision.

So.. 13 seconds, you ask? What's the point of the title? Well, I was trying to think of something to write about that might be somewhat interesting.. Yesterday, I decided to go give blood.

Giving blood is something I started doing last year. Truthfully, I wish I had started 10-12 years ago. I don't know why I didn't do it. But, I am doing it now, and that's what's important. Perhaps, now that I'm older and wiser, I see the value of it.

Back to the story.. I took my manager and a co-worker down with me. 6 months ago, my manager had hinted she like to 'race' giving blood... so, I kept that nugget in the back of my mind. We got all checked in, hooked up, and off we went...

I turned in a respectable 5 minutes even for shedding my pint. Wouldn't you know it, she turned in a 4:47. She beat me by 13 seconds! Sigh. (My co-worker put in 9 minutes and change.. we didn't tell him it was a race)

I watched a bit of the All-Star game last night.. I decided to turn it off after 9 innings.. Good thing, as it went past one in the morning. Glad to see the A.L. came out on top again. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Not sure that I'll use twitter a lot, but I do have a twitter feed.

Monday monday

Well, I got home and jumped right into doing my pushups. I was between weeks 2 and 3, and it was time to do another exhaustion test.

I don't know if it was the 4 hours of sleep I had the night before, the long day at work, or the fact that I'm a weakling (probably choice 3), but I barely eeked out 27. It still puts me in the rightmost column for week 3, so I'm happy about that. I am very worried about being able to do the week, though. :(


My running buddy came over, and we clocked 3 easy miles. She's got a lot on her plate now and used the time as a venting session. I feel bad for her. One of the stressful topics is her upcoming bridal shower.. I did mention that "this is why guys don't have showers".

I mean, seriously. I can't imagine that.. who gets invited? "I can't invite so and so, because so and so doesn't want them".
Guys are just guys. "Yeah, sure, bring him along." Worst case: "Yeah, sure, but we might be low on beer.. grab a 12 pack on the way if you would"

None of this registry stuff, either. I can't imagine guys saying "Gee, why are you registered at Target? Shouldn't you be registered at Pottery Barn?". Instead, it'd be: "Here's some scratch.. Sorry I didn't have more to give you. Next time we go out, drinks are on me.""

Craziness. Pure craziness.

I also watched the Home Run Derby.. I don't usually, but felt like it last night. What a show by Josh Hamilton. A shame he didn't win, but a very very impressive show.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend recap

Well, another weekend has come and gone. Sadness.

The brewfest was awesome. Good time.. Good food, good tunes, great beer.
My favorites were two cask-conditioned beers. One was an unlabeled beer from the Brooklyn Brewery. The other was from Rohrbach.
The Brooklyn reminded me of their regular bottles, but just a bit fancier.. I do enjoy Brooklyn on tap, so it's no wonder I liked the cask-conditioned.

I took Friday off from physical activity (apart from raising the beer glass to my lips repeatedly).

Saturday, I only did my pushups. I finished week 2 at the minimum, 69 pushups on that day. But, enough to pass on to week 3. I start with an exhaustion test, to see where I go next. Probably be doing that tonight.

Sunday, after laying around the house all day, I went out for a run. I clocked in 4 miles, but wow.. painful. Felt a little shin splint action or something. Yowza.
Plus, I was 'that guy'. You know, the one running in the rain, looking like a wet rat. In my defense, it wasn't actually raining when I started (although I knew it was a strong possibility).

That's all for now...

Friday, July 11, 2008

party on at the brewfest...

no blogging while imbing..


Almost to the weekend! Woot!

I mowed what little of the lawn needed to be mowed last night. No rain will do that to a lawn, I suppose. I did a little other yard work as well.. nothing too much, though. I found a remainder of some fireworks the neighbors shot off in the lawn.. hrms.

I painted the ceiling of the previously primed bathroom. This bathroom is small. Let me tell you a couple of things about a small bathroom..

- It's wonderful to paint because:

It's small.

- It's awful to paint because:

It's small.

Every time I turn around, I'm running into the step ladder. I put the paint can lid down on the edge of the shower and said "OK, don't step in this. You can step anywhere else in the bathroom, but don't step here."
How hard could that be?

Yeah, well. 10 minutes into the process... step. Nice.

Paint on the foot. That leads to paint everywhere you step. Then you step into the paint footprint. And the cycle continues.

I did day 2 of week 2 of the 100 pushup challenge. I added 3 to the final set, so I wound up at 69 for the day.. whoo hoo. Pipes, here I come!

Last but not least, I went out for a run. My body evidently didn't care for that. Pain, pretty much the whole way. I wound up doing 3.5 miles at about a 9:45 pace.. I made a deal with my body about a tenth of a mile into it, saying that I'd take Friday off. It asked about Saturday, and I said that we'd see.

What's going on Friday, you may ask? (OK, you probably didn't).. I'm going to the Empire State Brewing & Music Festival! Whoo hoo! It's a beer 'tasting' event.. Lots of music and people, and it's a lot of fun. I'll post a pic of it when I get there...

On a sad note, today is the last day for one of my buddies here at work.. He's moving on to bigger and better things. I'll miss him and his spontaneity..

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Highland Park

Last night, I went and bought something I've never purchased before... a bottle of single malt scotch.

I asked a guy here at work for some recommendations, and have scoured the Internet for recommendations.

What I came up with was this:

Highland Park 12 year..

Before I go into my tasting review, let me disclose my prior scotch interactions. I've had a few blends here and there over the years.. nothing I can really remember, mainly because I wasn't paying attention at the time.

Since then, I've had 2 other single malts..

The first was Glenmorangie Port Wood finish. I had this at my wife's company Christmas party a few years ago. The host was kind enough to bring out a bottle of it. Poor guy.. He had a glass, and then a friend and I polished off the rest.
What I remember about it was that it was very very smooth, and I really enjoyed it.
And, I was really really drunk afterwards.

The second was Lagavulin 16 year.. I had this at a local upscale restaurant. It had a very smoky nose to it.. I enjoyed this as well.

Since having these, I've read that they aren't good starter scotches. Oops.

I'd prefer to try these things at a local bar, but the only bars in the area are either the T.G.I. Friday's type, or the local "old man" bars. I frequent both, but neither is good for finding scotch.
The upscale restaurants will have scotch, but one of them charges $17 for a single of Lagavulin. If I can go buy a bottle at $60 or something, it's almost more effective to just do that.

So, I went to go buy a bottle.. I won't get as much variety, not being able to buy single glasses, but hey.. nothing ventured, nothing gained.

You see my tasting glass there.. Not an official scotch tulip style glass or anything, but I can get my nose in there.

On to the scotch. This Highland Park is... straight forward. It's a good scotch.. good for beginners, certainly. I know I'm a beginner, and I can't really comment as well as a pro can.

The Highland Park is slightly smoky, not as much as the Lagavulin by any means. It's fairly smooth. Got a nice caramel looking color to it. I didn't add any water to it.. I figured I'd try that on the next tasting. Adding water can "open up" the taste and aromas, and you can notice new things, by doing that.

Not a bad first purchase, but I'll probably try a different scotch once this bottle is gone, just for variety's sake.

Merkur blades = Sweeney Todd

So, a few months ago, I switched to shaving with a double edged razor (aka: a safety razor).

Why did I do this? I don't know.. I had always been curious.. I then read this blog post:

I went and bought this razor:

It's a Merkur Heavy Duty Open Comb razor.. (I think it's the 11C? I forget).

This style of shaving is perfect for me. After I was about 15 years old, I became un-enamored with shaving. Especially when I realized I'd be doing this for the rest of my life. My tact the last few years has been to shave once a week, and sport a week's worth of growth in the meantime. The people at work have grown used to it, so I'm good to go there.

The only problem I had with it was trying to shave after a week. The twin/tri/quad blade razors would just bog down and tear and rip and I'd just be a mess. (Which made me want to shave less, and the cycle spiraled on)

My razor came with one Merkur blade, but everything I'd read said that it was harsh, and you should just start out with some blades from CVS or the like. So, I did that. And all was well.

Last week, I opened the Merkur blade just by accident, and I figured, "Hey, why not?"


I felt like layers were coming off of my face. Argh.

It's a better constructed blade.. it feels more solid than the CVS ones, and it probably won't rust as quick... that's great, but, I'd rather have something I can use.

I figured, maybe I had an off day... so, last night, after my run, I gave it another go. I brushed up my face with my Prosaro shave cream, and went to work. It was a bit better, but yes.. still harsh. I'm glad I only have one of these blades.

I have a sampler pack of other blades to try.. after I finish up my current CVS supply, I'll probably give them a shot.

Wednesday Intervals

So, I couldn't decide whether to do a hill run or a speed workout or what. So, I opted for the best (worst?) of all worlds.

I did an interval workout on a hill.

I've done this before, but it's been a while..

So, to set the scene.. it's a bit over a mile to get to where I was running this workout. Probably 1.25 miles.. There's a lot of uphill to get to this spot as well, but I tried to take it easy getting there. (It also seems like it's uphill on the way back... maybe that's just me, though)

The hill I was running on has a nice loop.. it's about .25 miles up, and then an equal amount back down through a quiet street.

I took the first interval really easy. A moderate pace up, with a jog back down.
The second interval I went full bore up the hill.. until I ran out of gas and proceeded to finish at a slow trot. Too bad, too.. I had an audience on this interval. chuckle.

The third was another zippy one.. I started a bit slower, with a big sprinting finish. This led me to barely be able to jog back down the hill...

My last interval, I wussed out on. I did another interval just like the first one.. pretty easy going. I guess I'd be glad about this later, as you'll see. I felt a bit bad at the time, though.

So, I finished up, and started the jog home.. On the way, I typically hit this little dead end side street, just to add a bit more distance. At the very end, there's a house on the hill, and usually a dog tied up which barks when I get near the end of the street. Anyone guess where this is going?

I approach the end of the street, and I see the owners of the house at the end of the street getting out of their car. I also see the dog. Loose.

It starts running at me.. I decided that I'd skip the end of the street, and turned around... I heard the owner whistle and yell at his dog to stay. I was waiting for the comment that typically comes from dog owners.. "oh don't worry, he won't bite".. Didn't hear that, though.

So, I know I'm not going to out run a dog. I have trouble out running snails and turtles. Dogs are completely out of the question. I was hoping to just get far enough away that it would lose interest.

I was also looking for some sort of heavy stick or projectile during my sprint away. Nothing.

Thankfully, the 'flight' portion of the 'fight or flight' prevailed, and the dog lost interest in tracking me down. He did go pretty far, though.

Down the street from where I live, there were some kids yelling something as I was coming home.. It took me a minute, but I finally figured out they were selling Kool-Aid. (Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! That's me, being the Kool Aid man).
They seemed annoyed I didn't want to stop and buy some.

Kids: I don't carry my wallet when I go running. Plus, if I'm going to drink some sort of sugar laden thing, it sure as heck isn't going to be Kool Aid.

I know, they're just doing their thing, and I wasn't mean.. I just turned up the final stretch and finished my run. They were annoyed with me, though. <shrug>

Run wound up being around 4.25 miles.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Well, Tuesday was an alright day.. I had to leave work early, so that wasn't all bad.

I went home, and did my pushups.. Week 2, Day 1 was a success.. I eeked out the minimum. Leaves me a bit worried for what the rest of the week will hold.

I also went for a bike ride.. It was 6.28 miles, if I remember right. Some good hills and such were tackled.

At work, I put Firefox 3 on.. I'm going to play with having different browser profiles. That way, I can keep a browser all set up for blog-type things, a browser for personal things, a browser for work things..

One of my favorite extensions Foxylicious hasn't yet been updated for Firefox 3. That's sad. It's the main reason I haven't fully switched to FF3 yet.

Last night, I also put some primer on the walls & ceiling of our extra bathroom. It's the last time that bathroom is the putrid pinky-peachy color it was. I tolerated it for 7 years, but it is no more. whoo hoo. We have a nice shade of green we're going to throw on the walls (that's the ubiquitous 'we' that will be putting paint on the walls)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Last few days

The past week was a very good week for workouts.. I wound up working out 6 of the 7 days, a mix of running and biking.

On Sunday, I finished day 3, week 1, of the 100 pushup challenge. The week was a success. I just squeaked out the minimum on the last set, putting my total that day at 63.

We also went back to the park on Sunday for another bike ride.. We did about 4.6 miles, so we did over 10 for the two days. Nice and flat, good way to ease into biking for us.

On Monday, it was back to work. I love 3 day weekends (not as much as 4 day weekends, of course). Alas, it had come to an end. After the day was over, I was wishing it was Friday, because it was just terrible. Argh.

I debated stopping at the liquor store on the way home, but I decided I'd go for a long run when I got home. I strapped on the CamelBak and iPod and out I went.. I went into an area I never run in.. It's a bit seedy, but it was light out, and no one bothered me. My stretch goal was 8 miles, I wound up doing 7, which was the minimum I wanted to do. It was 82 and humid out. Bleh. After about 5.5 miles, my CamelBak was mostly warm, I hadn't put enough ice in it. I decided to mix in a stretch and brief walk. (The end total was 7 miles of running, though).

My ITBS seemed to be relatively OK.. I'd give it an 8.5 out of 10. After I got home from work, I popped 3 advil (normally I would take 0). I know you're not supposed to run after taking advil and such, but... oh well. So, maybe that masked some of my ITBS issues.. It seems OK this morning, though.. I'll have to go easy this week, probably.

My long route was pretty much all flat. I had debated doing some hills in the midst of the long run, but opted not to, just to keep it a bit less taxing on me. I may do a hill workout Wedesday.. Or, I might do a speed workout. I'm not sure yet. I haven't checked how fast I can run a mile in a year or so.. I thought that may be interesting. (Or disappointing)

I put in splits at about 10 minute miles for the long route. It's probably a bit fast for my long slow distances, for me, but I have a very hard time slowing it down any more than that.

After running, I did feel immensely better, stress-wise. Only 4 more work days this week. *sigh*

Well, that's all for now.. tonight is day 1 of week 2 for the pushups.. Shoulders are a bit sore from carrying around the CamelBak last night, so I hope that doesn't hinder my progress. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

blogging from my hammock

well, i took the 4th off. no running or biking. I did do my pushups... final max was 12, if I remember right. Only a couple over.. still, not too bad. I did go for a walk.. probably 1.5 or 2 miles

We went for a bike ride today. Did 6 miles in a nearby park. The weather was beautiful today.

We're having my inlaws over in a few minutes to eat the leftovers from our 4th of july get-together.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Blog maintenance

I supposedly redirected my blogger feed to my feedburner feed, so I can get statistics. If you have any problems, please let me know.

I suspect the statistics will say something like "2 readers". :)

Wednesday night

I left work a bit early yesterday to get some stuff done.

My running buddy and I went running for a little over 2.5 miles.. The route was a series of rolling hills, so it was a decent workout. She's going away for a week and a half, so I'll be on my own after today for a bit. That's a bummer.

I also squeezed in 50 situps after the run, just for funsies.

I came home, and proceeded to do day 1 of week 1 for the 100 pushup challenge. My final 'max' attempt in the series was 12, 5 over the minimum, woot!. That put me at 46 for the day.

I then proceeded to go mow the lawn. Decent workout, as well. We've got a self-propelled mower, but I never use the propelling part of it. I just push it around for a better workout. The thing with those is that the self-propelling mechanism certainly adds to the overall weight of the mower. And, they break easier, too. My next mower is going to be some sort of $99 job, where I can do my basic maintenance, and if it breaks after a couple of years, it's not a huge investment.

All of that not being enough punishment, I decided to pull my car out and wash it... then, I decided to wax it. (Looks nice now, though.. wish I had done the armor-all on the tires and all that, but I wasn't really interested at the time).

I hosed off myself, then proceeded to sit outside and have a couple of beers. I opted for an Ithaca pale ale and a Saranac pale ale. I also found my guitar, and sat outside playing it for a bit. Hadn't played in a couple of years, but the right synapses were firing, and it sounded as good as it ever did (which doesn't say a lot, I know.. :) )

Today is the 3rd.. I'm hoping they send us home early from work today. Not much planned for the weekend. I'm hoping to do some more workouts, but the weather looks pretty iffy right now. If I don't post any time soon, have a happy (and safe) 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday workout

Went for a run last night with my running buddy.. It was a pretty easy run, mostly flat. We ended with a moderate hill, and hit just over 3 miles.
Wound up doing some situps, too, just for good measure.

Maybe after I finish the 100 pushup challenge, I'll ratchet up the situp count to 100 as well... hrms..

Speaking of the 100 pushup challenge, I'm now linked in as a blogger taking the challenge. Woot!
Pecs are still a bit sore from the initial test I did.. That doesn't bode well, now does it? I'll give it a go tonight with day 1, and see what happens.

I didn't go see the Hulk last night.. The show times didn't match up very well with my work schedule.

Looks like it's supposed to be a nice day today. Should be able to get another run in today...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Feedburner feed

If anyone would like to use a feed from feedburner for this blog, here ya go:

Gettin' ripped

I was reading a recent post on a blog I read, and became intrigued by the '100 pushup challenge'.

I'm going to do it. Why not? It's something that has always intrigued me.. I've never been really physically fit, but I've been working on it this past year.

Of course, I'm not content to do what everyone else is doing. So, I'm mixing it up a bit. I've been doing pushups on and off for a while now. For Christmas, my wife got me the 'perfect pushup' exercise thingys. (I used them religiously over the winter, and slowly dropped off).
Using those perfect pushup handles, I found that it was a better workout, but I could only do about half of what I would normally. So, I'm going to do the pushup challenge using the perfect pushup gear.

I ran my initial test last night, and came out at 25 pushups. Me so studly.
errmmm. Maybe not.
That puts me in rank #3 out of 7. We'll see how this goes.

In other exercise news, I went biking last night. My running buddy got trapped in Dulles airport and had to drive home from there, so no running last night. (We may run tonight.. I may go see the new Hulk movie. We'll see what all happens).

Any way, I went biking, and of course, at the halfway mark, the sky started spitting. Oh well. It was just a passing shower. The route I took was one of my favorite running routes.. It's just under 7 miles (6.95). The first half is pretty much all uphill... (Meaning, of course, the second half is pretty much all downhill)

I made it to the top, and scooted back on down the hill. Man, my back brakes squeeeeek. Holy moly. My legs are tired today, but not sore or hurting awful, so I consider it a success.