Friday, November 30, 2007

New Books

I bought two new books this week: The Boys of Everest and No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs, who is one of my heroes.

I'm not exactly sure as to why, but I am very much drawn to climbing books. I have great respect for climbers, but due in part to my struggles with high altitude, it's not something that is terribly high on my "to do" list. That said, some of my favorite books of all-time, are about climbing. Maybe it's the sense of adventure and/or the great outdoors, maybe it's the story(s) of man's indominatable spirit, which is the leitmotif of most climbing tales, or maybe it's just that they are simply interesting, but give me the heads up about a good climbing book and I am in. I also am an avid reader of business tomes (though I find most to be pedantic and unoriginal) but I have to say that in certain respects, I've learned more about business from climbing-related books.

Anyway, I plan to start first with the Viesturs book and will post a review by end of week.

In other news, I put that Motorola Q through the paces these past few days and boy, do I remain impressed. It's pretty close to mobile phone perfection, though the jury is still slightly out on the GPS features. Man, am I a tech dork or what?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random Thoughts and Musings

Just back from a whirlwind, less than 24 hour trip to Chicago (apologies to peeps I did not get to see but this was a literally land last night, return this afternoon type of trip) and so tired I can't think straight, so just a few random musings from the peanut gallerty:

-- how could season two of Sleeper Cell (Showtime) be SO good only to blow in on the last episode, which was beyond ridiculous? That said, the season was still good enough to rent, especially for any of you 24 fans. Something weird though about watching a show about terrorists while on a plane.

-- how could it possibly take 5.5 hours to fly from Chicago to San Fran? That's the same amount of time it takes to fly coast-to-coast. But, that's how much time I was in the air tonight. The pilot said they were up against 150 mile an hour winds. Conversely, yesterday the same trip only took 3.5 hours.

-- how bummed will Yankee Nation be if the Red Sox get Johan Santana? Conversely, how psyched will we be? He is the missing link for us so far as I am concerned. If we add him to the rotation we will give the Sox an excellent run for their money next year. And if it costs Hughes, Kennedy or Melky, so be it. You gotta expect to pay a high price if you want the best pitcher in baseball.

-- how much do I miss the Chicago weather? Uhhhh -- not much. It was in the low 20's and it's not even December yet. No thanks. I'll take by 64 degree California days, thank you very much.

-- A couple of you have purchased that Daft Punk Live on my recommendation and seem wishy washy. My suggestion: keep with it. And be sure to put in on while running or biking. It will definitely help you pick up the pace.

-- Lastly, got a big ultrasound coming up this Monday. Thoughts and good vibes are appreciated.

A Call to Community Action

Greetings from Chicago. I flew in for a quick in-and-outer so that I could attend a dinner event for one of my main buddies, Steve-O.

Both he and his father (who I regard as my "Chicago father" and is a man I have just tremendous respect for) were honored by a local Jewish organization, Shalva, which provides much needed aid and services to women who are the victimes of domestic violence.

It was really a fantastic evening and I am glad I came in to surprise my friend. I was beyond proud of him (in Yiddish we would say "I was kvelling"): he and his father both were awarded a lifetime award for service to the Jewish community. This is especially staggering in Steve's case given that he is only 41. As part of the introductions they went through a list of his accomplishments and organizations he has either led or been a part of and it was beyond impressive that someone so young could give so much of himself to various important causes.

All that being said, it was also a very good reminder to myself (and hopefully other attendees as well) that giving back to the community should be one of the more important things we do in life. It also made me realize that on a personal level, I am not doing enough. So with that, I am going to look to get more involved with an organization that is closer to my heart: ThyCa. I've long felt that I need to support the cancer community and shame on me for not doing anything about it. But that will change as of now.

So, congrats, Steve-O and Neil-O: you are both terrific people and role models and it was an honor to be part of last night. Thank you for all that you have done for the Jewish community and thank you for inspiring me into action.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Toy: Motorola Q

By now most of you know that I have a pretty strong predilection for gadgets, with particular emphasis on phones and mobile devices (see my countless posts earlier this summer regarding my iphone)

Anyway, I recently received a new toy (actually, it really is more of a business device), the new second-generation Motorola Q replete with Mobile Windows 6.

I am going to save my long review for later this week after I have fully field tested this bad boy, but having used it for about 72 hours thus far, my early impression is very favorable. In fact, I am pretty damn stoked on this thing.

A bit of background: I am one of Blackberry's original users. I mean that almost literally. I was Ruder-Finn's beta Blackberry user and up until the last year, I have owned literally every single AT&T and T-Mobile blackberry ever produced. Literally. I was a Blackberry acolyte, to say the least.

Then, one fateful December year ago, about one year ago, my Blackberry blew a gasket and died. I will never forget that day or the fact that I was compelled to go almost 48 hours without a mobile device. I'm just getting over that now.

Given how much I travel, my IT guy, who's also a good friend, encouraged me to abandon Blackberry and try a Windows Mobile (WM) device instead. After a bit of hesitation and much research (I research new tech offerings like a freaking talmudic scholar. As the Wife can attest, when it comes to new devices, I can spend days on the computer) I decided to go with the Cingular 8525, primarily based on the fact that it was one powerful little device that could act like a mini PC while I travelled, thus allowing me to leave my laptop at home.

I must say that upon first use, I was pretty impressed with the 8525: I loved the 3g speed, which is faster than my home PC, and I liked the fact that WM 5 was essentially an extension of my Outlook, enabling me to toggle back and forth seamlessly between PC and Mobile device.

That being said, there were a lot of things I eventually grew to dislike: the battery life on the 8525 is truly atrocious. It NEVER made it through a full day without needing to be recharged, which is a real pain considering I am on the road at least five days a months, if not more. This is a key reason why I bought the iphone; to serve as a backup phone. Also the form factor of the 8525 is terrible (read: it's a damn brick) and while I saw the promise of WM5, it was/is buggy as hell and felt more like a beta software version than ready-for-prime-time. Among its many problems, I had to manually reboot it multiple times a day as it would freeze up on me for no apparent reason -- even when it wasn't in use.

Anyway, after one year of usage, the negatives were starting to outweigh the positives and I was strongly considering moving back to Blackberry.

But then I came upon the Motorola Q.

As I said, I will save my full review for later in the week (I am headed out of town in the am for two days so this will give me a good sense of how this thing performs while on the road), but I have to say that thus far, this is nearly a perfect device: it has so much functionality built in it is incredible (including GPS!), it comes with THREE batteries (and single battery life is far better than the 8525), including an extended version and most importantly, in typical Microsoft fashion they have quickly worked out the warts and WM6 rocks (great interface, very stable relative to WM5, easier to navigate, enhanced functionality, etc).

More on this later but I have to say that if I owned this thing a few months earlier, I would not own an iPhone (though I hasten to add that I would own an ipod Touch instead) and I'd be completely ok with that. In fact, if this thing hold up, there is an excellent chance I will cancel my iPhone service and just use it as an (expensive) video ipod.

Bottom line: while I still like Blackberry a lot, but methinks the good folks in Waterloo have a lot to be worried about with Microsoft coming on this strong.

More later. Next post I'll try to send from the Q, live from the road.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Point Reyes, Ca

Yesterday the Little Boy and I joined Payro and his family on a tour of Point Reyes National Seashore, which is one of the coolest spots in the Bay Area. It's on the far end of Marin and features amazing trails, Ocean views and more. It is also home fo the epicenter of the San Andreas fault and we went on cool hike literally on the fault line. As part of this, in one area you could see how much the ground shifted (21 feet to be precise) during the big 1906 quake.

The coolest part is that Payro's brother-in-law is an ornithologist with National Geographic and showed us a number of really cool birds. Point Reyes -- and most of Marin for that matter -- is considered an important area by birdwatchers.

It was very cool and made for a really memorable experience; even the Little Boy enjoyed it immensely. Thanks to Payro and the family for having us along.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Perfect Day

Today was nearly as perfect a day as I could imagine. Woke up early, breakfast, then a quick bike ride with the kids. Then my Main Boy Payro and I headed down to the famed DIpsea Steps, and ran from downtown to Stinson Beach; the hardest seven mile run you could imagine (ok, maybe not quite but it is up there, with approximately 3,000 feet of climbing). Through Muir Wood, up and over the famed Cardiac Hill, down to Steep Ravine into Stinson Beach. It took us approximately one hour and thirty minutes and featured a bit of walking. The Wife and Kids mets us in Stinson and we had lunch at the fabled Parkside Cafe. After that, we went down to the Beach and played for an hour or so. It is utterly surreal to me to have 70 degree, perfect weather in late November.

If I haven't said it before, the Bay Area rules.

I'll post pictures from the Epic Run tomorrow; right now we are off to the Cajun Cookoff. More on this later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Way To Go, Nana

My Number One Mother in Law finished her radiation treatments today for breast cancer and I wanted to give her a public shout out (hope you don't mind, Nana!).

It's been a very tough eight weeks for her; on top of everything else, she got the shingles not once, but twice. But she's a super tough lady who's as stoical as they come. She didn't complain once, didn't let it slow her down (she went to Europe less than one month after her diagnosis) and she continued in her inimitable style to put family first. Congrats Nana and may this forever behind you. We are all very proud of you. And may no one else in this family ever become a member of our little club, eh?

Many of you who read this pages know Nana (aka Ann Silk) and many of you don't, but how about y'all give her a little love and leave an "atta girl" in the comments section. I would appreciate it and I know she would too.

On the topic of cancer, I just a few moments got back from my weekly track workout. It was one of those days when I was really just feeling it and I felt like I was eighteen years old again. As I was coming through my last quarter mile interval, I couldn't help to think how a mere seven months ago I was completely levelled -- I am not at all exaggerating when I tell you that I could barely make it one lap around the block. I am not saying this to brag at all, but there's a lesson here for all of us: if/when the chips are down (and I of course hope this never happens to any of you) don't ever give up hope: with a little hard work and perserverance you will come back BIGGER, STRONGER FASTER, BETTER (that's a nod to Daft Punk -- and Kanye West too I guess -- which I was just listening to on my ipod).

And on that note, for you runners out there or anyone who's into the gym, go to itunes NOW and download Daft Punk Live 2007 and ask questions later. if you don't like it, I will refund the $11.99 (but you will have to submit a 500 word essay on why you don't like it).

Monday, November 19, 2007


Thanksgiving is without question my favorite holiday and day of the year. I love every aspect to it and wish I could stretch it out to two days.

As part of my own little tradition, I wake up early and try to find some sort of Thanksgiving Day run. This year The Wife, myself and my boy Payro plan to do a local 5k in San Francisco, which we have done together the past few years. Afterwards, wo do the traditional Thanksgiving thing: get a little fire going, put on some NFL on the tube, eat some great food. This year we're having some good friends over (at lat count we expect to have seven or eight kids in the house, which should be interesting) so it should be an extra good time. Not to mention, I've been saving some special bottles of wine for the occasion and have picked up a bottle of the Nectar of the Gods (16 year Lagavullin to be more specific. Matt G, if you are reading this, you are welcome to come back out and enjoy a glass!).

More than all that, though, as a cancer survivor, the word Thanksgiving has truly taken on new meaning for me. This year, I'm thankful to have my health (with a big knock on wood as I am scheduled for a big battery of tests in two weeks) and to have a great family. Not to get all sentimental, but I've learned that is *really* all one needs in life. All the other trappings - money, material possessions, etc. -- are nice to have but to use a Thanksgiving Day metaphor, are merely gravy.

Anyway, though it's only Monday, Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Beginnings

As many of you who follow this blog know, there are two sports teams that I follow passionately: the New York Yankees and the Michigan Wolverines. Both have long illustrious histories and until recently, featured a manager/coach who will forever be linked with both programs. Both programs, though, have stumbled upon difficult times: the Red Sox have superseded the Yankees as the premier team in baseball, and Ohio State has done the same to the Wolverines, evidenced by the whupping they gave us yesterday. And now, both coaches appear to have moved on. Joe Torre is now a Dodger and as of tomorrow Lloyd Carr will soon be enjoying his retirement.

All I can say, is that new beginnings are oftentimes a good thing. Though I respect and admire both of these men immensely, and think that they both define the words "classy" and "gentlemen," in both instances I believe that a regime change is necessary and rather dwell on the past, I look forward to the future.

In regards to Michigan, please let us get Les Miles. I am guessing he will win the national Championship, and as a result will feel compelled to return to LSU despite his strong ties to Michigan. If this occurs, I might cry. I am not quite willing to hand the keys to the proverbial kingdom to an "up and comer" such as the Cincinnati coach, which is a rumor that is picking up buzz. Not our football program. Though I embrace change, I still think a Michigan man should coach a Michigan football team.

The next few week should be really interesting......

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Governator

So I was at the LA Auto Show earlier today on behalf of a client and I ran into this dude -- literally. There was a throng waiting outside the Staples center for the Governor to give a press conference and award the "Green Car" of the year. It was about 85 degrees and after about 45 minutes of the withering heat I decided to bail and walk back to our booth. On my way back inside I literally ran smack into the Governator and I nearly stepped in front of the CEO's of Audi and Chrysler (Robert Nardelli) who were waiting to join him for the press conference. I am pretty sure that I will be in the background of an AP photo tomorrow. While I didn't get a chance to shake his hand, he gave me a head nod.


Say what you will about Ah-nold, the dude is a *very* good Governor and he is immensely popular in California. He's focused, knows what he wants to accomplish yet at the same time he's self-deprecating and well, funny.

But the thing that impressed me most? The Dude is a freaking pimp. You should have seen him; he was wearing the sickest Audemars Piguet Offshore Chrono in Gold (has to be a $20,000 watch, easy) that was stone cold pimping. He had a big ass diamond pinkie ring and he was wearing alligator shoes.

Straight up pimp. He looked good, too, his waxy demeanor aside. A colleague and I agree that he almost doesn't look human. In fact, I think he might be a cyborg.

In other matters, as you are probably aware, it looks like A Rod is going to be a Yankee. Over the past few weeks I had a feeling the market was going dark against him (collusion, anyone?) and I had a nagging suspicion that he might come kiss the Steinbrenner's ring. I've been so crazy busy the past 72 hours I haven't had time to process this; more on this subject over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Album Review: Jay Z, American Gangster

Despite the title, I'm not going to write an album review per se. I don't have the time in my life to review each song and get into a lengthy analysis. I'll leave the (pretentious) reviews to Pitchfork Media. Pitchfork, by the way, is probably the first site I visit each day simply because of the sheer volume of their reviews, but holy obnoxiously pretentious, Batman. Three quarters of their reviews are virtually unreadable.

Al that being said, the new Jay Z is one of the better rap albums I have heard in a long while. I've listened to it about three times through now, and it gets better and better. I see this one being a mainstay in my ipod. And while I lam a big fan of rap/hip hop/gangster, i say this adding the caveat that I have not historically been the biggest Jay Z fan, though I've started coming around the past few years. The thing that I like about Jay Z is that he doesn't have the best voice per se, and his lyrics don't stand out against other rappers such as Lil' Wayne, but all in all, he is the complete package. And as Pitchfork artfully said, he's the master of the pregnant pause. You'll have to give the album a listen to understand what this means.

Anyway, on a 1-10, I rate this an 8 and I think it's my third favorite album of the year next to Eddie Vedder and Radiohead. Top songs include Roc Boys, American Gangster, No Hook, and Ignorant Sh*t.

On the same subject, has anyone seen the movie AMerican Gangster yet? If so, thoughts? It's so rare I get to the movies I have to pick them very judiciously.

The other album that I plan to buy and review soon is the new Seal, unless anyone has given it a listen and suggests otherwise.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Michigan-Ohio State

Well, I may as well get this out sooner versus later. Here's my prediction: Michigan 24, Ohio State 17.

I'm not just saying this because I'm (obviously) a homer of a Michigan fan. I just thing that our seniors, particularly Hart, Henne and Long, do not want to go down as four times losers to OSU. I think they will will themselves to victory. Not to mention, the game is at home, which counts for a lot and I think the big kicker will be the announced retirement of coach Lloyd Carr, a rumor which is already lighting up the blogosphere.

I'll tell you what: if we can't win this year's game, we will never beat this team. Unless Les Miles (LSU coach) comes to the rescue.

Anyway, I make this prediction with tremendous trepidation. Tressel really seems to have our number, so I wouldn't be surprised if he pulls another rabbit out of his hat.

I'll say one thing: it's not our offense I am worried about. Our defense looked absolutely abysmal against Wisconsin (not to take anything away from the Badgers because they flat out beat us, but I think we gave that one away knowing that Saturday's showdown versus OSU was for all the beans) and they are really going to have to step up their game if we are going to be competitive.

Anyway, even though I am down on Michigan football and have been for a while (a three loss season is a disaster in my book --not to mention we have two games yet to play), there is nothing like Michigan versus Ohio State.

To conclude, all I gotta say is this: Let's Go Blue! If the rumors are true, and it makes perfect sense that they are, let's send out the very classy Lloyd Carr in style, boys.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Killer Party

We went to an amazing party last night in Tiburon in celebration of a friend's 40th birthday. This party was completely off the hook; maybe the best party we've been to since moving to the Bay Area two-plus years ago.

I won't go into all the details but I think my favorite part, aside from the house, which is brand new and absolutely beautiful, was the bagpipers. The birthday boy is half Scottish, and his wife -- who's an absolute hoot - hired bagpipers to celebrate that part of his heritage.

Despite it being a multi-scotch night, the thing that really struck was meeting two fellow cancer survivor's; one had cancer of the mouth, the other breast cancer. And though I didn't ask, I suspect neither was older than 40. Another reminder that cancer does not discriminate based on age, race, or socioeconomic status. Another observation; there is nothing quite as bonding as meeting another survivor. Even if they are a complete or relative stranger, it's amazing how this shared experience can bring people together.


On a brighter note, after much back and forth, it appears as if we have decided on a 100 miler: details here. So far it's me, Payro, Wiley and I think Phil. Anyway else interested in joining us for our little jaunt? The good news is we all have about a year to get ready.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oil Spill

Well, my race was cancelled today as a result of the oil spill, which I presume you all know about. They pulled the race directors permit, as it both started and finished at Stinson Beach State Park, and they closed all the area parks because of the spill. I had a chance to walk to the beach and check out the water. It didn't seem bad but there was someone there from a federal agency (EPA maybe?) who said the level of contamination was very bad. What a bummer. This oil spill is really bad news and I think it is going to have a very significant effect on the marine environment for the entire region.

So, the race was shut down; would have been great to have known about this earlier, as I was out late playing poker and up early but such if life. My coach Phil and I decided to run anyway as the course was marked. I headed up and out and was reminded how tough this course is: the first several miles were literally uphill. It was beautiful though: I think we passed three waterfalls in the first few miles alone.

About ten minutes after we started the rain started coming down in buckets; enough so that I decided to bail and just do the 12k course, with two added on at the end for good measure. All in all a good time, but the trails were pretty slippery and I ended up going down hard two times.

I came home in time to watch Michigan get decimated by Wisconsin. I fear next weekend is going to be even worse.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Race Tomorrow

Just got back from physical therapy for my back. First time I have ever been to PT and I must say I was really impressed. For all you Bay Area denizens, be sure to check out Presidio Sports if the need ever arises (which I hope isn't the case).

I told me therapist that I was planning to do a hilly trail 20k tomorrow and she just rolled her eyes -- but she didn't say no!

So, that's what I am planning to do tomorrow. 2300 feet of climbing inside of 12.7 miles; should be a good old fashioned sufferfest. Not to mention, I am playing poker tonight with the boys, which promises a fairly late evening.

I expect to suffer greatly.

Have a good weekend y'all.

(Ps. Downloaded the new Jay-Z last night. At first listen it is really good. More on this later)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday Night Lineup

It's been a while since I've written about TV. Couple of random thoughts:

-- in my humble opinion, DirtySexyMoney is the runaway winner of this new season. I am *really* glad I stuck with this one; I'm in hook, line and sinker. It's got a great premise and a very strong cast and I think it hasn't quite yet reached its potential. If you haven't watched, I would give you a window of two or thee weeks before the plot layers become to complex.

-- Thursday night lineup is still the strongest, simply based on the strenth of the Office and 30 Rock. That said, it definitely needs a strong drama in the 10-11 pm slot (9-10 for my central standard friends) ala what ER was back in the day. I'd love to see DirtySexyMoney moved into this slot.

-- Tuesday night's are very much on the heels of Thursday, though, and will probably surpass it once American Idol kicks off. House and Boston legal are a terrific combination and I still stand by my statement that pound-for-pound, Boston Legal is still the best show on TV.

-- Friday nights are pretty solid too with Friday Night Lights (haven't watched yet Finkel, but I promise I will get to it) and Vegas.

-- And for the record, I gave up on Dancing with Stars (sort of) and don't get Gossip Girl, which is The Wife's favorite show of all-time, short of Laguna Beach and The Hills (I think my wife aspires to be a 19 year old SoCal girl).

Any important shows I am missing?

-- For all you 24 fans out there, I strongly urge you to rent or download season one and two of Showtime's Sleeper Cell. It is totally and completely off the hook.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Epic Run: 100 Miler

So, I have been giving some thought as to my 2008 race calender. Every few years, I feel a compelling need to do something "epic." Back in 1999 it was Ironman Lake Placid. In 2002 it was my first ultra, a 50k. In 2004 it was a 50 miler with my man Payro. Since then, I have dealt with a number of distractions (moving from Chicago to SF, dealing with cancer) that have made my goals more modest and less of a priority.

That being said, I am starting to once again feel the call of the wild. I'm thinking there is really only one "biggie" left for me to do: a 100 miler (actually, that's not exactly true. I'd like to swim the English Channel. But we'll save that diatribe for another day).

So, I am officially using this forum to declare that I am in for a 100 miler in 2008 -- anyone care to join (seriously -- I am going to need pacers)?

The only thing that will get in my way is health issues (we'll have a good idea of where I stand next month when I undergo my next battery of tests) or if I get into Ironman Hawaii via lottery, which based on my track record ain't happening. I feel no compulsion whatsoever to do another Ironman -- the training is much too great a commitment for what I am at in life right now -- but I do feel the call of Hawaii.

So, its official -- I'm in. Payro?

Now I just have to go find the right race. Might make sense to break the news to The Wife as well.

It goes without saying that I will also use this as an opportunity to raise funds for ThyCa.

And while I am on the subject of declarations, I will also state that after this race, I plan to officially retire from Endurance sports.

(And if you believe that, I have some great property for you in Brooklyn that I am willing to sell for next to nothing.....)

Monday, November 5, 2007


I've got a serious case of the Monday's which I think it has a lot to do with daylights freaking savings time (which is one thing when the weather stinks, like when we lived in Chicago and is entirely different when the weather is actually pretty darn good). Anyway, nothing that a good trip to Napa (which is where I am headed tomorrow) can't cure. By the way, for those of you that have never been to Napa, it alone is worth the trip to NorCal, even if you aren't a wino.

My father asked me today why I haven't written more on Michigan football. While I am pleasantly surprised by their turnaround -- they have shown a lot of (Mike) Hart -- I refuse to get excited until post Ohio State game. If we lose to OSU again the season is a disaster; if we win, it is salvaged.

Anyway, following is a list of my top ten albums of the year so far. The new Jay Z breaks tomorrow and if it is as good as the early reviews, I can see it being added to the list.

10. Black Kids: This one isn't so much an album but a four song EP but it is amazing. I think the songs are available via download at their Myspace page. Get this one immediately. The only reason it comes in at ten is because it's not a full-fledged album

9. Feist, The Reminder. Not my typical cup of tea, but there is no denying that this is an amazing album. She has an ethereal, gripping voice.

8. Joan as Police Woman. Real catchy and listenable. Gets better each time.

7. Linkin Park, MInutes to Midnight. Maybe not their finest work but I am no longer embarrassed to say that LP rocks and their is NO better music to listen to while running or on the bike.

6. Perry Farrell's Satellite Party. See Linkin Park above and substitute "Perry Farrell" for Linkin Park.

5. Pinback. I am not even sure how to describe this one but it's quickly becoming a favorite.

4. Robert Plant and Alison Kraus. I just picked this up last week and am blown away. This will win Grammy's. Lots of Grammy's.

3. Kanye West, Graduation. Say what you will about Kanye -- and I think he is a bit of a stroke - but he is unquestionably the biggest talent in the world of hip hop. This album gets better with each listen.

2. Eddie Vedder, SOundtrack from Into the Wild. I finally saw the movie on Saturday and was alittle disappointed. Then again, it's 2:30 hours, we went to alate viewing and I was exhausted. That said, I think the soundtrack was better than the movie. This is a classic.

1. Radiohead, In Rainbows. For the record, I am not a Radiohead fanboy. On the contrary: I've always appreciated them, but never really "got" them. That's history, now. This album is utterly brilliant and it will without question endure the test of time. Best album of 2007, hands down.

Others of note that I need to listen to a bit more, but show promise: Akron/Family (Megan, if you are out there you will like this a lot); Devendra Banhart (ditto this); Jens Lekman, Justice and Vampire Weekend.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Big Sports Day

Today was a big sports day. On top fo the "traditional" sports (baseball, basketball, football) I'm also a huge fan of "alternative" sports as well: running, triathlon, track and field, swimming, etc.

ANyway, big news today was the Men's Olympic Championship qualifier, which was ran in Central Park, my old home course. In A A day that shoul;d have ben a celebration of the emergence of some of our younger runners, Hall (the winner, in 2:09), Dathan Rithzenheim and Brian Sell, was marred by the tragic death of 28 year old emerging star Ryan Shay, who collapsed and died at the six mile mark.

Life really is astonishing: here you have a young, fit runner running to qualify for the Olympics. One moment he is at the start line; less than 45 minutes later he is dead. Thoughts and prayers with his wife and family.

On a brighter note, kudos to my friend Chris Hauth on his 9th place finish at Ironman Florida. I was emailing with him last week and he wanted to go under 9:00 hours; he finished in 8:38. Tyler Stewart, who coached my e-cycling class, finished third in the women's race. In a very strange manner, Tyler may have saved my life. I took her ecycling class and it broke me down physically and I came down with a nasty chest cold; a cold nasty enough that I was compelled to go to the doctor. And it was that visit that they found a bump on my neck. The rest, of course, is history. Anyway, congrats to Tyler on another great race. I am convinced that she is going to one day win Ironman Hawaii.

In the world of more "traditional" sports, Michigan won a nail biter against Michigan State. I have to say, this team is showing a lot of character. But a big showdown looms in two week in Columbus.

In other "sports" news, I ran for a back pain free hour today, which I am excited about, and managed to bike for around 40 minutes with the Little Girl (she has a little bike thing that attaches to my mountain bike which she absolutely loves) . ALso played baseball with the Little Boy for 2 hours. ANd last but certainly not least my first "coached" athlete (more on this in a future post), Nick, ran eleven miles today.

A great Fall sports day iall-around. And on top of all that, it was a picture perfect day her in Marin County: 74 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Survey Time

Greetings from hot and humid Dallas. Is it never hot and humid in this town? Anyway, I'm here for a quick business trip and am typing this from the iPhone so it is going to be a short post today. Here is the big question on everyone's mind: should I keep the name of this site or change it to something else. I will let you, my adoring public, decide. And on yeah - I am very open to suggestions.

So - what do you say?