Saturday, August 30, 2008

I broke my elbow and all I got was this lousy sling

So, I have a radial fracture in my elbow. Apparently, these aren't cast, because you arm will seize up and you won't be able to move it.

So.... I have a sling. I have to start working my arm out (bending/extending) next week so it doesn't lose mobility. (The mobility is already gone.. I'm just hoping it comes back)

No running for a week, either.

It's hard typing with one hand. Probably no Playstation, either. heh

Oh well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Try something new

There's a guy at work that says to keep yourself on your toes, you should brush your teeth left-handed once in a while. (Unless of course, you're left-handed, in which case, use your right..)

If you want to mix it up even further... try shaving with a double edge razor with your non-dominant hand. Yowza! Go slow and steady, and you'll be OK. :)

I got my first MRI last night.. pretty interesting. I had them put on 'Orinoco Flow' by Enya.. something I wouldn't be too likely to get up and try rockin' to. That puppy is pretty damn loud.

I did walk away with a CD full of MRI images. Earlier in the day, I had picked up my x-rays to take to the various doctors.

So, I had all of this right here. What was I to do? Of course I did! I opened it all up and looked at it. First thing when I got home! :)

Pretty neat stuff. Armed (pun?) with the xrays, mri images, and the wonders of the world wide web, I decided to become a home schooled radiologist. hah!

Well, I'm off to go get a cast. Keep on rockin'!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Samuel Adams Pale Ale

Well, it may be a bit before I can get to tasting the pumpkin ales I picked up the other day. My NSAID (Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug) says I shouldn't drink too much while on it. Something about bleeding ulcers and such.

Sigh. Cut back drinking? What fun is that?

In the meantime, here's the last review for my Sam Adams sampler pack. I don't think I got them all, but hey, what can you do?

The Sam Adams Pale Ale is an English style pale ale. It does indeed have an 'earthy' tone to it. It poured with a thick head on it and had a fair amount of carbonation. The beer smelled somewhat sweet, but it had a slight bitterness to the taste. An interesting combination.

Other than that, it wasn't bad. It was an average English pale ale. I wouldn't avoid it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt to find it.

I really do enjoy the Sam Adams beer line in general. I think their fall/winter beers are stronger than the summertime ones, though. But, if you're out at a restaurant, you can never go wrong ordering a plain ol' Sam Adams.

I did see that the local grocery store has cases of the Sam Adams Octoberfest in stock now, so I'm stoked about that. I do enjoy the fall beers. I also noticed that behind the Octoberfest, a small section of microbrews is starting to form in the grocery store. It seemed to be a bit more expensive than the one 'good beer store' that we have here, but for the convenience, I can't complain (too much).

Alright. I'm off to get an MRI on my wing. Keep on rockin'!

My wing

Well, the results are in...

Broken elbow.

Getting it cast tomorrow. Exciting!

I did go running last night with my running buddy. Nailed a 2.5 miler, doing some solid hill work. It was right before dark, and there weren't many cars out. Wonderful temperature, as well.

It is extremely awkward running with one arm being kept rigid. I thought it might be, and I was right. :)

The anti-inflammatory medicine I'm on had this listed as a sign of overdose: "vomit that looks like coffee grounds"

Really? Does it really look like that? How's that work? Who thought that phrase up? Inquiring minds want to know.

Well, that's all. As an aside, this is my 100th post. Wow. I wasn't sure if I'd like doing this blogging thing. I really do. Granted, it's pretty much only me and a friend of mine reading this, but hey, that doesn't really matter. It's an interesting mechanism to communicate what all is going on in my life, as unexciting as it is, and beats just a boring & drab e-mail.

I'll have to post a pic of my cast once it's on. Tomorrow.. something to look forward to!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A brief lesson in physics

So last night, my running buddy sent me a text and proposed going biking instead of running. I was totally all over that, and she met up with me, and off we went.

I wasn't sure how she'd do, as she hasn't rode a bike in quite some time, and was borrowing my wife's. (She did just fine, for the record)

I was a bit rusty getting into those toe clips, as I've been pretty lax on biking lately. Finally got hooked in after a bit.

We did a little tooling around the local neighborhood, and then proceeded to hit the main drag. No worries.

We took a turn into another neighborhood and rode around there for a bit, and decided to head back.

On the way back, there was a small hill to go up. I led the way up the hill. Upon reaching the top, I stopped to make sure she was alright. I turned my head and saw that she was.

Physics lesson: The interesting thing about a bicycle is that unless you're balanced just right, you generally need to be moving in order to stay upright.

So, you'll recall that I had stopped. After swinging my head around, I realized that the bike was tipping. "Oh, no problem. Let me just put my foot down."

Yeah. Well, unfortunately, I was successful in getting my feet in those toe clips.

My foot stayed securely in place in the toe clip, and down I went.

Of course, being the resourceful guy I was, I said to myself "Self, let's put our arm out to stop the fall!"

Yep. Wrist planted in the ground, I crumpled up on it, and down I was.

And yes, this happened out in the public street with someone watching (besides my running buddy).

So, I was with a dinged up palm, a hurting wrist, a hurting elbow, a hurting shoulder, and a case of severely wounded pride.

The guy standing in front of his house was nice enough to ask if I was ok. Of course, after I assured him that I was, he did ask if I had raced in the local bike race this past weekend. Har har.

Managed to bike on home, yielding a result of about 4.5 miles. I was hoping for 5, but, things happen.

My shoulder started to feel better later in the night, but my elbow was killing me still. I did follow the 'RICE' principle. Well, at least 'RI'.

Today, after taking an informal poll here at work, I decided to go to the doctor, who promptly sent me for x-rays.

I await the results. Stay tuned!

Sam Adams Hefeweizen

I'll preface this review by saying I'm not really a Hefeweizen guy. I've tried a few, and just didn't care for them. For instance, I had UFO from Harpoon, and it fell into this category of general dislike.

So, in my Sam Adams sampler pack, there was a pair of Hefeweizen beers, and I was wary. I do like Sam Adams beer (a lot), though.

This beer wasn't too bad. It didn't have that normal taste that a Hefeweizen does. (Maybe that makes this beer a bad one for the category). For a non-Hefeweizen drinker, though, it's fine.

The taste is crisp, and the beer is cloudy. The cloudy nature is from the yeast not being filtered out. The taste is slightly bitter, but a very light taste overall.

Not too bad. I would drink it again, but probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy some.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

71 and 3.9

Did my exhaustion test for the 100 pushup challenge last night. Scored a 71. Not bad on something like 3 hours of sleep.

I'll do the second column of week 6, and try again in a week or so. It gives me hope that 100 is an attainable goal.

Afterward, I met up with my running buddy, and we did a hill workout.. It was a route that was just over a mile flat, a big ol' hill (~.75 miles), and then back. We finished with a total of 3.9 miles.

Today, the outside of my left knee hurts to touch. Very odd. Seem to be walking OK, though. The stairs at work were a bit touchy. Hope it's not my ITBS. blahhhhh.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pumpkin ales

looking forward to the taste tests...

big freaking orange cucumber

this is a real over-ripe cucumber.
the bacos are for a size reference.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rockin' 10

Went out yesterday afternoon/evening for a long run. I was aiming for 7.5 miles at a 10:30 pace, followed by 2.5 miles at a 9:00 pace. The break was going to contain a stop at home to get a drink of Gatorade.

Actual results- 7.5 @ 10:29, 2.5 @ 8:58. Can't do better than that!

I wound up meandering through some neighborhood streets I hadn't hit yet, so that was some new scenery at least.

I do love going for a long run. Just a personal sense of accomplishment saying, hey, I ran 10 miles. Just for the heck of it.

Good news was that my ITBS didn't act up, and my broken toe didn't twinge, so I think those guys are pretty much on the mend. Can't be disappointed there, either.

I also gave doing a pushup exhaustion test a try after running. I did 50 followed by me immediately collapsing on the floor. After laying in a heap for a few minutes, I did another 30.

I'll try again Sunday, after a 2-3 mile run.

I definitely see and feel the value of doing the long runs at a slower pace. Last year, I didn't do that, and I think that contributed to me breaking down at the end of the year. Today, I honestly feel like I could go running again. I won't, but it's good to feel this way. Last year, after running a long distance, I'd be barely making it, feeling all creaky and achy and ugh.

Kicking up the pace for the last 25% was definitely challenging. I set it at 9 minutes per mile, just to see.. Ideally, I'd like to complete a half marathon in under 2 hours. I think it's possible, but may be tight. Debating just running it at a slow pace just to finish. I have a couple of months to decide, anyways.

Keep on rockin'!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beer Stein Night

Went and got my beer stein giveaway at the ball game last night. I use the term 'stein' very loosely. It was really a small plastic mug. Sigh.

Nice night for a game.. been really wonderful weather this summer, all things considered. I scored a free ticket, so that was cool.

The game dragged on quite a bit. Took 3:20 to finish the game, and it wound up being 2-0. Lots of long pitch counts, runners on base, etc. Just was very very sluggish.

.....Good thing I started out the night with:

Cooperstown Brewing's 'Old Slugger'. It's a Pale Ale, and it's the first beer I think of when I think of the Cooperstown Brewing. The beer has an amber color, and a medium amount of carbonation. There's some spice in the flavor, and it has a very dry finish. I'd say it's more of an English-style pale ale.

The Cooperstown beers aren't my favorite, but they're not too bad. It's a good way to start the ballgame, and then switch to something involved in a drink special. I haven't tried the stout or porter flavors yet. I generally view those as more suitable to wintertime, but I'm willing to give them a try at any point. :)

I was jonesin' for some nachos at the game, but my buddy had enough to eat, so I went without. When I got home, my wife had some leftover nachos in the fridge from Moe's. Totally awesome!

Needless to say, no running occurred. Tonight.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gaming Wednesday

I did 3.1 miles with my running buddy last night. It was fairly flat, some little hills. My legs still felt a bit on the dead side. I think we averaged a 10:00/mile pace. Nothing too amazing, but we got our miles in.

It was a nice and cool night- good time to go for a run.

She's going away for the weekend, so I'm on my own to do my training. I'm hoping that Friday I'll do a long run. Maybe 8-10 miles. We'll see.

Tonight will be a rest night. Going to hit the baseball game tonight.

I was supposed to do my pushups last night, but I decided to give myself another day, as my muscles felt a little tense. In theory, this is it. It's the final test. I suspect it will just be a day of doing pushups, and I'll redo week 6, maybe on the "intermediate" column.
Of course, coming home from the game tonight will not be ideal conditions for doing pushups, either. So, it will be Friday.. :)

So, what else did I do? I played games last night! Woot!
I finished up 'Metal Gear Solid 4' for the PS3. My wife kept coming in and saying "What are you watching? It's so weird!" during the ending movie.
It was a fun game, but not my favorite. It came with my system, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

The only Metal Gear game I had played before was the original NES version. (I only played that for a little bit at someone's house, so I never really got into it). The MGS4 game has a lot of cinematic clips which continue the storyline(s) of the previous games. Playing this game is like watching a movie after it's been playing for a while. You can generally catch up, but there's still a lot that you don't get the significance of.

The graphics on this game are phenomenal- even on a standard def TV. Game play is good, as well. I didn't even come close to cracking the full potential of this game. Will I replay it? I don't know. I went through on the 'normal' difficulty. I could turn it down to 'easy' and see what else can be done. I have some other games to dig in to first, though.

Keep on rockin'!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Computin' Tuesday

Tuesday was a beautiful night. Warm, but not hot. Went over to my running buddy's place and we did a 3 miler. It was a mostly flat route around town. Legs felt a little dead, hers apparently felt very dead. I think it was a 10:22 pace.

Oh well. No biggie.

I used her situp bench and banged out 50.

Afterwards, I helped migrate her stuff from her old laptop to her new one. Wow. What a nice laptop. It's an HP, and it was sharp. It was even running Vista, too. The SP1 version seems a bit smoother and more tolerable than the original version. I haven't played too much with either, truthfully.

Didn't make it to the ballgame. Would have been a nice night. Going to go Thursday. Cleared it in advance with anyone that would care. It's beer stein night, too!

Speaking of... last night was a Hook & Ladder night. I had previously had this beer at the brewfest in July. I enjoyed it then. Decided to try it again last night.

Still is a good beer. The Golden Ale is an American style ale. It's a yellow/gold colored beer. It's not very hoppy at all. It's got a slight sweetness to it as well.
I think it's listed as a wheat, but you really don't get that sense when drinking it.

It's a microbrew, and a step up from drinking the run of the mill beers you have. Probably not my favorite microbrew, but there's nothing wrong with it.

That's all for now.. Keep on rockin'!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's a new week!

Excitement! A brand new week!

Yeah, ok.

I did finish Week 6, Day 3 (easy column) of the One Hundred Pushup Challenge. I guess the next set will be the ultimate test...
I think I'll switch to doing my pushups on the floor, rather than using the Perfect Pushup gear. My hand hurts pretty bad. Only one hand, though. Weird?

So, after a mentally exhausting day, my running buddy and I went out and went for a run. Started with a mile of hill work. Between the humidity and the hills, that sapped a bit out of us. We were running by the local ice cream store and saw my wife and a friend in the lobby. We stopped and said "hi". (I'm sure everyone loves sweaty and stinky folks coming in)

After a brief chat, we continued on our way. We stuck with a flat route for the remainder, and ran through a nearby park. This park had a set of horseshoe pits, and it looked like a league was going. I didn't know that was there.. pretty cool.
I love seeing new things while running.

After looping back, it was a total of 3.5 miles.. A bit longer than she and I usually do together. I enjoyed it though.

She also got me a present! Woot! She got me a Road ID. Totally awesome. This way, if I get hit by a car, the digits to call my wife are all right there.

I do carry my personal info on a piece of paper in a ziploc bag inside of my Shoe Wallet. It has my personal info as well as blood type, medications, & allergen info on it. However, I could see it easily getting overlooked in a situation. So, this is pretty cool.

Tonight is supposed to be a nice night. I'm not sure what's going on. My running buddy got a new laptop, so I may be helping her set that up and transferring her files and whatnot.. It's also the last week for baseball here in town, so I may go there. Plus, I want to go running.. blahhh. Work gets in the way of things, you know?

Keep on rockin'!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Semi long run Saturday

Saturday I went out running. My goal was to do 10 miles- 8 at a 10:30 pace and 2 at a 9:00 pace to end it. If any runner out there knows how to use the virtual partner function on a Garmin Forerunner for such a workout, I'd love to hear how. I farted around with my watch for a while, but gave up.

On Friday, I picked up a phone case for my phone.. One of these Body Glove cases. The purpose is twofold. One, so I have a music player with me. Two, so I have a phone in case I run into trouble far from home. The case itself is nice. The phone fits in there snugly. The armband, however... Not as nice. It's just cloth and velcro, and it chafed a bit. I'll have to smear some BodyGlide around underneath the band next time. It was also sort of tight. I put it on the last velcro stop, and it just fit. I know I've been doing pushups, but I don't have above average pipes yet.
My old armband for my iPod mini was all neoprene. Nice, smooth, fit well. (Too bad the LCD went on the mini. :( ).

I don't always use a music player. I haven't in a few months, really. But, I thought I might like to on Saturday. I turned on the mp3 player on my phone, and off I went. I threw some Moby on. Nice and relaxing, with an occasional song to get me pumped.

I did a 5.5 mile loop and swung back home to grab a drink. Literally, as I got home, the phone rang. Sigh. We were heading out shortly, so I had to call it a day. Oh well.

I was able to keep my pace between 10:20 and 10:30 for my run, which I thought was amazing. My legs felt wonderful afterward. Just like they had run, but not all achy and creaky and falling apart.

I also did Week 6, Day 2 of the pushup challenge. My hand has been hurting a bit, and I think I've attributed it to the 'Perfect Pushup' gear. I may revert to regular hands-on-floor pushups soon. I eeked out my sets over a long period of time, and am looking forward (uh huh) to day 3 this week.


When I was a little kid, I really enjoyed the Olympics. It was awesome because the winter ones were the same year as the summer ones. I forget when they started to alternate between winter & summer every 2 years compared to the both-every-4 format. Doesn't matter.

At some point, I just didn't get into it any more. Maybe it was high school. I had never really gotten into it since.

This year, though, I've just been into it. It's not even that I've jumped on the Michael Phelps bandwagon, either. I've been watching everything.

Well, most everything. The whole open big square gymnast mat where they go dancing around just doesn't do much for me. They're good at what they do, I just don't enjoy it.

I will say that I did know who Michael Phelps was before this Olympics. (That's about the extent of my knowledge, though.)
What he & his team did was incredible. Props to him!

I watched the men race in the 100m dash.. That was pretty incredible. I can't imagine letting up at 85m saying that you're all good. Sure, he (Bolt) won by a good bit, but wouldn't you want to let it all out? It's only 100 meters. It's not the 85 meter dash.

Anyway, it's all been amazing, the athletes and such. Been enjoying it.

Off the grid Friday

So, Friday afternoon, I took a halfer. Blah. I needed some time away. Just had a lot on my mind. Turned my phone off for a bit and went out.

I went and got a massage, and it was good. Of course, how can a massage not be good?

I did a couple of errands that needed to be done, as well, so it wasn't all fun & games- it was minorly productive.

I had some time to kill before my wife got home, and I still needed to decompress. I wound up going out and had a couple of drinks in relative anonymity. One waitress/bartender knew me, but that was OK.

While out, I had the freshest Magic Hat #9 that I've ever had, hands down. It was on tap, so I'd figure I'd give it a shot. Wow. Must have been a fresh keg. It's an American Pale Ale style beer, with a bit of fruit flavor to it. (I think it's apricot?). Usually, after having 3 or so of these, my taste disappears for it. However, I suspect with a fresh batch, there might be a different ending to that story.

I also had the opportunity to try Glenlivet 12.

Let me tell you, for a single malt scotch that you're likely to find out at a chain restaurant, it's not too shabby. Good flavor, smooth. You'll pay more at a Ruby Tuesday's/Ground Round than you should, but if you're jonesin' for something like a scotch, it's really nice.
I didn't add any water, just had it neat. The color was golden, and it had many hints of wood and smoke.

Figured there was no need to get lit up at 5:00, so I thanked the bartender, and walked back home and got back on the grid.

All in all, not a bad afternoon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Good thing I can read a calendar

Yeah, so I pay close attention. Turns out that local 5K I mentioned is actually tomorrow.


Not Sunday.

That would have been weird. Showing up, no one there. Awwwwkwaaard.

I'd have to have my own personal 5K. I'd be sure to win it!


That just throws a monkey wrench into the plans.

I guess I'll just see what time I get to bed tonight and how I feel. The odds of me getting up at 8:30 or something on a Saturday are pretty slim.

Billy Wagner

So, Thursday was to be either a rest day or a cross-training day. After the track workout on Wednesday, I figured I should either bike or relax.

One of my friends here at work asked if I was going to the baseball game. It was about that point where the scale began tipping towards a rest day.

Turns out that Billy Wagner, the injured Mets closer was doing a rehab start. OK.. I'm game.

We went down to the game early and grabbed a bite to eat. Unfortunately, there were no Cooperstown beers to be had. That was sad. No beer report for you today. :(

The stadium announcer indicated that Billy would not be starting the game as previously thought. (boo!) Instead, he would come in as a reliever and pitch for either an inning or 20 pitches, whichever came first (yeah!).

So, Billy came in for relief and threw a perfect inning. Here's a pic:

He looked good.. It was fun, and good to see a major league guy.

It was also fireworks night. Here's a picture

That's all for now!

Track Workout

Wednesday night I did something I just never do. I went to the track. Drove over to the local college campus and met my running buddy.

I was actually trying to think of when the last time I had been on a track really was. I think back in 97, I had a gym class in college where I walked on the track one time. Hehe. Before that, the last time was probably in high school gym class.

Needless to say, it has been a while.

My running buddy expressed her distaste for running lap after lap after lap, so we agreed that we would do 2 laps, and then run up and down the stairs in the bleachers. Up one section, down the next, across the bleachers. There's probably 6 aisles, so that's 3 complete stair climber trips.

Our first two laps we averaged a decent clip, around an 8:20/mile. After that, I don't know where we wound up, because the pace on my Garmin was getting all messed up due to our slow movement in terms of GPS feet while on the stairs.

We wound up doing 3 sets of that.. Afterwards, we decided to run on the track for a final pair of laps. The first was the pace that we could sustain (it certainly was slower than 8:20, though). The second was to be faster... about halfway around she told me to just go, and I sprinted out the rest.

The next day, my legs were sore, but a good sore. A solid workout sore.

I'm glad we went.. we'll have to go more often, just to mix up the running a bit.

It's put me in a quandary, though. This Sunday is a local 5K race. I was debating running it. The issues I see are these:
- I did a hard workout this week, and I just came close to having IT band issues the other week. Should I push it?
- I wanted to go on a long run, maybe 8-10 miles on Saturday. Doing that would nix the race for sure.
- It's a 10am race, with a 9am registration. I know, to most everyone on Earth, that time is like "so?". I don't run very well when waking up. On Sundays, I might get up around 9:30. It's just a bit early for my tastes.

I've never run in a 5K. So, I wonder if I should. Or, I could just pass on this one and figure there will be another one in the future. Decisions, decisions. I'll have to see how Saturday goes, and how itching I am to go out and do my long run.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moderate Hill Workout

Went out with my running buddy last night, and banged out a little over 3 miles. The first mile was a series of rolling & steep hills. None are particularly long, but the cumulative effect was felt.

The next mile and a half was all flat, so that was good.

The ending half mile was all uphill. What a way to end a run. Unfortunately, her place and my place tend to lead to runs which are uphill at the end. Blah. By the end of the run, I was spent. Worse than normal. Maybe it was all the Chinese food for lunch. hah!

Maybe it's just because I'm not a stellar runner. :)

I squeaked out Day 1, Week 6, Easy Column of the 100 pushup challenge. Ugh.

Also did 40 situps on my running buddy's situp bench.

A fairly productive workout day. Nothing stellar, but better than sitting on the couch.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Doctor Who

I recently cleaned up my DVR, and finished up the season of Doctor Who in the process.

It's been a while, so hopefully anyone who cares has already watched the season in it's entirety.
If not, some spoilers may exist below... I warned you..

My thought on the season & series. You could really tell that in this finale, the goal was to tie everything together. I do my best not to hit spoilers on the Internet, so I don't know what is coming.

I don't watch Torchwood or the Sarah Jane Adventures. (Mainly because I just don't want another TV show). I've been a big Doctor Who fan for a very long time.

So... the finale. Well, I knew something was going to happen with Donna.. all of the Doctor-Donna references that had been made during the season. I was glad they didn't kill her off. That would have been unnecessary.

I was truly impressed with the writing, and how stuff over the past few seasons all tied in together. Little clues that you saw a couple of years ago suddenly appeared in a flashback, and everything was linked.

I'm not one for the whole soap opera thing going on between Rose & The Doctor. Blah. My wife was happy that they wound up together, after a fashion.

I think most of the plot lines of the past few years were tied up. The only one I can think of right off that wasn't is that whole "Doctor's Daughter" thing, which I'm not a fan of anyways.

Plus, K-9 had an appearance in the finale! Any episode with him is just awesome.

Looking to the future, it appears there's going to be 4 or 5 mini specials in 2009, as David Tennant has other acting obligations right now. The current writer, Russell T. Davies, is also ending his run, phasing out his writing over the 2009 "season".


The thing about Doctor Who is that with the regeneration of The Doctor, the show can go on and on (although, the regeneration limit of 12 times seems to have been dropped, as no one remarks on that any more). I remember how crushed I was when Tom Baker's run came to an end. I grew to like Peter Davidson after some time.. That has happened with each regeneration. Each Doctor has their own personality and gift they take to the role. Maybe David Tennant will stay on.. we'll see.

Hitting the Pavement

Got back into the running game after a few days off. My IT band feels better, and it was the right thing to do. No sense in over-training and taking myself out for a few months.

My running buddy and I put in a fairly easy 3 miles last night. We had about a 9:50 pace going. It was kind of cloudy, and my Garmin took a bit to sync up with the satellites, so I'm missing about a quarter mile of data. Grr.

Did a few situps, but no pushups.. I'll hit that program tonight or tomorrow.

Later, she and I went out and had loaded waffle fries and ice cream for dinner, completely undoing any caloric advantage we had made by running over the past month. But, it was an extremely tasty meal.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Idle Weekend

I opted not to run this weekend, in order to let my legs rest up and heal. That approach seems to have worked, I only have one or two spots that feel 'twingy', compared to the 2 dozen I had on Thursday.

I'm looking forward to getting out and hitting the pavement tonight, though. The time off can be maddening.

The only workouts I did this weekend were some pushups yesterday. It was supposed to be an exhaustion test, according to the plan... I opted to do the following: 45, 45, 45, 30, 35. That put me at the 200 mark. The first 45 were with my 'perfect pushup' gear. The rest were au natural.

That qualifies me to move on to week 6. I've decided that I'll jump over to the 'easy' column for week 6. Then, I'll probably move to the middle column, followed by the last one. I was barely squeaking by, so this will give me a chance to earn my keep for the week.

I went out to a new (to me) bar this weekend. They had this beer on tap:

It's the Purple Haze by Abita Brewing.

The bartender was kind enough to give me a sample. That was ample for me.

It's a wheat beer, with very strong fruit tones to it. Reading the web site, there is raspberry pulp added to the beer. When drinking it, I knew nothing of it. I did immediately notice the fruit. The fruit really was overpowering.

I preferred the Raspberry Wheat Ale from Southern Tier Brewing, as far as a raspberry beer goes.

The bartender also told me that her experience was that most people tried a taste and moved on. Those that sampled really never ordered a pint of it. I guess I added to that list.

Interesting to see that this bar also had the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat on tap. Not something I see too often around here.

I also had the opportunity to try out Three Olives grape flavored vodka.
I thought the vodka was very smooth. There certainly was essence of grape which you could easily taste. Unfortunately, the grape flavor had an odd aftertaste. I prefer the grape flavor found in Grape Pucker. Maybe it's because the vodka wasn't sweet, that the flavor wasn't balanced out the way I'd expect. Trouble is, though, most of the other flavored vodkas (Van Gogh, Absolut, Smirnoff) I've had haven't left any kind of weird taste in my mouth.

I'm willing to bet that the plain Three Olive vodka is very nice, however.

That's all for now...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Banana Oreos

My wife picked up these banana filled Oreo cookies the other day. They're the chocolate cookies, with banana flavored cream instead of the usual Oreo filling.

Holy shmoly. They are fricken good.

If you like bananas and at all like Oreos, I recommend them.

I'm not the biggest fan of eating Oreos. They're OK, but not something I go out of my way to have. These Oreos are awesome.

Twinging Thursday

So, I got out of work pretty late Thursday. I figured getting in a good run might be a good way to wind down.

I put in something like 2.75 miles at an easy pace.. I wanted to go farther, but my leg was twinging a bit. I don't know what the story is there. I suspect I pushed a bit too hard doing my speedwork last week, and I need to rest it some more.

Hopefully it's nothing serious. I went through a bout with ITBS for 5 months at the end of last year-the beginning of this year, and that was no fun.

I was thinking about biking today, but I've decided I'll refrain, just to rest my leg.

I did finish week 5 of the 100 pushup challenge. Next is another exhaustion test, followed by week 6. Week 6 looks to be the hardest of them all, as one would expect.
Nearing the end.. We'll see if it pans out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prima Wednesday

Wednesday night, I got home and did no workouts.

Slacker I am. Well, really, I'm just resting my IT band. I'll get back to it tonight.

I pulled out my hammock and proceeded to fall asleep rest my eyes.

The guilt got the better of me after a while, and I got up and mowed the lawn. It was longer than I realized. I think if I had waited, it would have gotten to that point where you need to make 4 passes across it in order to cut it and declump the clumps. Waiting and saving you time one day at that point really doesn't save you anything- it just costs you.

For the sake of research, I gave the Prima Pils beer, also from Victory Brewing, a try. This is the third and final type of beer from my sampler pack.

This is a Pilsner style beer. (My glass isn't a pilsner glass. Sorry.. didn't feel like digging that out)

As far as a review, it tastes like a pilsner. It really underwhelmed me, honestly. As tasty and flavorful as the other two have been, I was disappointed. It wasn't bad, but it did nothing to stand out in my mind. Drinkable, certainly. Very smooth. But, it's not something that when seeing it while out, I'll say "Ooh! Give me that!"

Again, we'll see what the second bottle does for me, but I don't hold out high hopes.

J-E-T-S.. Jets! Jets! Jets!

So, I flip on SportsCenter this morning, and what do you know... The Brett Farve saga is over.

I like Brett Farve. I think he's a great player. No, an outstanding player.

I hate the media circus that comes when a superstar is about to retire or unretire, etc. This 24x7 media coverage thing that the world has going isn't always a good thing.

I'm not a football general manager. I still don't understand Green Bay's position. Isn't the main goal of football to win it all? Win the Super Bowl? Isn't the GM supposed to put together the pieces to do that now? For the current year?

They had a proven QB star who wanted to play for them. Yet, they wanted to work on the 'future', with a basically unproven QB. I mean, what gives?

Yeah, it would suck to almost make the starting lineup, and then be sat back down. You're still getting paid, you're still learning behind a future hall of famer.

That being said, with him moving to a new team, I can think of no place I'd rather have him than the Jets. When the Jets were listed as a possible destination, I thought "don't tease me". And I figured we'd wind up not quite making it, per usual.

I have nothing against Chad Pennington, our old QB. He's just, well, average. I think his best year was probably 2002. He just doesn't have the arm to get it done. He can't throw long.

Brett sure as hell can. OK, so maybe we have a few more interceptions because of some risky pass that Brett threw. That cuts both ways, though. We'll probably have more scoring as a result. And, at least he can throw it there.

To be a starting QB in the NFL, you have to be good. There just aren't that many slots, and there are a lot of guys competing for those few slots. Pennington made it there. He can take hits that would knock me into next week. Hell, I can't always throw a spiral.

It's still the best thing for the club. Let's take the superstar, and see what happens. I'm really excited going into the season. Last time that happened was probably back in 1999 (of course, that season went up into flames during the first play of the second quarter).

A brief Verizon Wireless rant

So, I got a new phone a few months back. It's the LG 'enV2'. Nice phone. Not quite a smartphone, but a few steps up from what we were using.

It's got a QWERTY keyboard, takes pictures and movies and all that, and is a music player.

It's that last bit I'm going to complain about.

I'm attempting to use the phone as my new 'iPod', as the LCD on my old one went a long time ago. I first started loading up my wife's phone with some songs. Not a lot, let's say around 400. Just to test the waters.

OK, so I dump the files on to the memory card and load it into the phone.

First complaint: Why on this sweet chocolate earth do all of the files have to reside in the same directory on the card? Why? The phone obviously understands the concept of directories, as the videos are kept in a different folder than the music, so on and so forth. You're telling me that here we are, in 2008, and you still have to lump all of the files in one spot?

OK. So, let's say I look past that. (Which I don't, but we'll move on.)

I go to check out the music on the phone. At a brief glance, it looks OK. The album art appears to be there, the albums appear to be there. Of course, if everything was copasetic, this post wouldn't be continuing.

Interesting that Firefox's spell checker doesn't know the word 'copasetic'.

As I was saying, things were not all right. One of the albums wouldn't show the album art. A couple of albums only had one song in them.


So, the album art issue was due to the artwork embedded in the MP3 being too big. OK. It was 86K. Stupid, but I'll allow it. For real.

The songs not being there? Not cool.

After digging around on HowardForums, it appears that the issue was due to the file names of the MP3s being too long.


I mean really?

You've got to be kidding me.

I popped the memory card out and took a look. Near as I can tell, when a file name was too long, the phone software truncated it to what it liked. However, if other files would truncate to that same name, the jig was up.

Now Verizon has more than high school co-ops working on this. At least I hope so.

C'mon. What the heck?
I can't name my file 'artist - album - track - songname'? And if I shoot for 'album - songname', and the album is too long, you're going to hose me on that?


I know why you lock down the phone now. It's so people don't replace your crappy nff software.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday workout

I started out Tuesday evening doing Week 5, Day 2 of the 100 pushup challenge. It was a success, but a close one.

The workouts are divided into smaller sets, but there are more of them. This day was 2 20s, 2 18s, 2 15s, a 14, and then a max (with a minimum of 40). The second 18 was tough. Needless to say, I 'maxed' at the minimum of 40.

Day 3 looks easier, thankfully.

Went for a run with my running buddy as well. It was hot and humid and gross out. We went at an easy pace, and did a little bit of hill work along the way. Not a great run, but I'm glad we went.

My IT band started acting up part way, so I stopped to stretch it out. I may take tonight off to let it rest. (Perhaps I'll do some side leg lefts to try and strengthen it). I'm hoping it's just the recent speedwork that has made it flare up.

We wound up only running 2 3/4s of a mile. That's OK, though. Probably for the best.

She recently bought a sit-up bench, so I gave that a whirl. That's a pretty nice contraption. I might have to go get one. I guess she picked it up for about $60 at Dick's. I banged out 30 of those, and called it a night.

Hop Devil

I'll start today off with my beer review, rather than my running report, just to mix it up.

What we've got here is HopDevil by the Victory Brewing Company.

Not a bad beer. Above average, certainly. It's got a hoppy flavor, for sure. Maybe not quite as much as some other beers. There are also some spices mixed into it. (I would say a different set of spices than in Golden Monkey.)

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting. I think I was expecting something along the lines of an IPA. This isn't quite that. This is a darker beer, and it has characteristics not found in an IPA, such as those spices.

That all being said, it is a very good beer, certainly one worth drinking if you're out and the place you're at has it.

I'll be interested to see what my second bottle of this tastes like, now that I know what to expect.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Golden Monkey

After running last night, what better way to end the evening than a new beer?

Again, we're cursed by the lack of a flash on my phone. Sigh. Anyways, this is Victory Brewing Company's "Golden Monkey.

It's a Belgian style ale, and quite potent.. 9.5% ABV. Nothing wrong with that!

This beer has a lot of different flavors in it. I should be like Gary Vaynerchuk and build up my nose for different scents. My sniffer doesn't work very well.

There were many different spices in it, and different essences of fruit. Everything was very well balanced, and it was a delicious beer.
It was different than many of the Belgians I've had before. Ommegang makes some very good Belgians, and this was right up there, if not better.

This came in a sampler 12 pack.. There are two other beers in there to taste test, so those will be coming over the next few days. :)


We all know what time it is when it's 4:20.. but what about 8:20?

Last night, I was curious about what I could pull off in a 5K, with my recent personal success.

I set up my Garmin to run 3 miles at an 8:20 pace. That would set me at 25 minutes for the 3 miles.

How'd it work out..? I'm glad you asked! The first mile was done in 8:13, and the remaining two were done in 8:17. I was left with about :20 to spare. (And my watch started displaying "You win!" as I raced against my virtual partner.

I also warmed up and cooled down with another mile (total.. about a third up front, and the rest on the back end).

Calves were tight this morning, but they're loosening up.

While running, I felt that I had a bit left in the tank, and that I probably could turn it up another notch if necessary..

That bodes well for me. I was really curious about the feasibility of running a 25 minute 5K. Looking at the pace calculator over at Cool Running, it appears I'd need to do 8:03 splits.

If and when I ever run a 5K, I'll probably put my goal at 27 minutes, and my stretch goal at 25.
Of course, if you had asked me about running a 5K a year and a half ago, I'd have laughed and walked away. To go from a non-runner to somewhat realistically wondering about a sub-25, I'm pretty happy.

Monday, August 4, 2008


So, my brother in law gave me some new shave cream to try (thanks man!).

This is it, albeit a terrible picture. The one downside of my new phone is the lack of a flash on the camera. Oh well.

It's an avocado shave cream. I'll have to find out the manufacturer and update this post with that information...
Update: This is Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado Shaving Cream.

I went back to my tried and true methods for shaving, the best way to try something new.. go back to the familiar and make the new item the only variable. Very scientific of me, I know.

I used my CVS blades and my boar hair brush, threw some of this shave cream in my cup, and off I went.

The first thing I noticed was that it lathered very fully, very quickly, and nicely, even with the boar hair brush. I'll have to try it with my badger brush next.

The aroma was pleasant. It wasn't too manly, wasn't too girly. It was something that a guy could live with and a girl would like.

The lather goes on well and provides good coverage. It was not drying like some of the soaps I've tried, and it wasn't 'menthol-y', either. I did my usual 3.5 passes (only a fourth against the grain (ATG) pass on my cheeks), all without incident. My face was happy, and willing to give it a go again.

I have enough for a couple more rounds, and I'll probably mix it up and try it combined with a pre-shave oil or the like.

My vote is give it a shot. It's worth it.


So, one of my favorite drinks is a gin and tonic. Classic. Gotta love it. (OK, so none of my friends love it. But I do.)

In one of my posts, I'll describe my quest for the perfect gin, and where it's taken me.

Right now, though, I'll discuss one in particular:

Hendrick's Gin. It's a gin that has hints of rose and cucumbers infused into it. Yes, you read that right. Cucumber.
The traditional juniper (aka 'pine tree') smell with this gin is present, but not overwhelming like it is in some gins. I don't mind that smell, but a lot of folks do.

So, it was Saturday night. I think it was Saturday. Maybe Friday. Doesn't matter for this discussion, though. My wife and I were eating at home, and I whipped up a G&T, made with this Hendrick's gin. I threw in a lime, per usual. Downed it, and enjoyed it.

We were in the process of eating dinner in front of the TV, and I went up for a refill on salad and my beverage. While there, I realized.. hey.. we have cucumbers. And they're sliced.

I'd always heard that you should try making a G&T with Hendrick's and a cucumber, instead of the lime. So, I cleaned out my glass, and proceeded to do so.

I must say, it was interesting. The cucumbers loose in the gin did enhance the taste of the cucumbers in the gin. (And, they tasted delicious after sitting in the gin for a bit, too. :) ).

It was worth trying, and I'd certainly try it again. Not a requirement, though. Hendrick's is versatile enough to handle limes or cucumbers in the tonic...

Virtual Partner

So, Friday, I hooked up with my virtual partner.

Whoa... what did you think I was talking about?

No, no.. not that partner. My Garmin watch has a function which lets you run with/ahead/behind a virtual partner. You input the distance/pace/etc which you want to run, and your partner runs that pace to a T. Very impressive.

I figured that my watch has all of these functions, I should try using them out.

Since my legs were aching a bit on Friday, I decided to punch out an easy 4 miles, sitting at a 10:00/mile pace.

It was kind of neat, interacting with the watch.. Trying to speed up or slow down to keep it exactly right. In the end, I succeeded. My first mile was like 10:06, my second at 9:58, third at 9:56, and ended with 10:02. There was an extra quarter mile in there afterwards, because I couldn't remember the exact distance to my landmark/turnaround point.

I may have to start using that feature on my long runs. I didn't like slowing it down like that, but I think it was beneficial. I felt fine for the first 3 miles, but the 4th, I started slowing down. My legs had had enough for the week, I suppose.

I was adding up my mileage, and it was 16+ miles for the week. All of which were quality miles, too. (For me, there's no such thing as 'junk miles', though). When adding, I kept coming up with 20 for some strange reason. I finally got it to the correct number of 16. Basic skills sometimes elude me.

Friday, I skipped the next day of the pushup plan. I did do some pushups, though. I started out with 50 regular pushups (not using my 'perfect pushup') apparatuses. (Is it apparatuses? Must be, since the spell checker in Firefox didn't complain). I did some extras later on with the perfect pushup gear. Enough to feel it, but not to over tax me.

On Sunday, I completed Week 5, Day 1 of the 100 pushup plan. Barely. But I did. Good thing the directions indicate you can take longer time between sets if you need. That last set, I took a couple of hours. (Well, we did get a phone call and left the house right then..)

The next days appear to have more groups of pushups, with fewer numbers per group. The rest time goes down, so I think the goal is to start pulling the numbers in closer together, almost like doing 100 in a row would be.

I have more topics to blog about, but I'll throw those in different posts. It will give you all something to look forward to. (And, it will kill some more time)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thursday pictures

Thursday was another trip to the ballpark... woot!

Warmed up with a bottle of this:

Cooperstown "Back Yard". It's a pleasant IPA, with decent hops. Nothing like that Hoptical Illusion, but not too shabby either. I did enjoy it, and would certainly get another.

Home team had an 8 run inning. I was curious what they would do with the scoreboard had the team hit 10 runs. Each inning only has one digit for runs, and it's an electronic scoreboard.. But, I'm just that kind of guy who would think about these things.

While there, I noticed this phenomenon..

What you see there are pretzels and such just laying on the ground. The disgusting part is that the kids who owned these items would just pick them up and eat them. Repeat. I guess I could understand if they had some paper towels or such underneath.

One of my friends at the game noticed this too.

I dunno.. maybe it's just me (and him, since he noticed too).

It was also fireworks night. Here's a picture:

After I got home, we tried a sampler of Van Gogh melon flavored vodka:

I really enjoy the Van Gogh vodkas. This was no exception. A very nice watermelon flavor. Not a 'Jolly Rancher' sort of watermelon, but real melon. The vodka was very nice and smooth, goes down without a problem. The Van Gogh page discusses mixing it with melon liqueur, grenadine, and OJ for a martini... I don't know about that. It would certainly work, and it would make a great 'top shelf' martini.. but, I think you'd lose some of the flavor of the vodka and couldn't appreciate it as much.

Van Gogh has a gin, as well, but I can't find it around here. Sigh.

That's all I have for pictures right now, and it's time for me to go get some more coffee..