Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Idol

Well, it's been long enough: time for my first "official" post of the 2008 season.

Couple of thoughts:

-- I don't care what anyone says, it's still the most watcheable freaking show on TV. It's hypnotically addictive and even with 5 plus hours a week, I can't seem to get enough.

-- Why is the above true? I genuinely don't know. Anyone have a decent answer?

-- All the above being said, I think this is the lamest season thus far. There is simply nothing terribly inspiring about this group. Which leads me to my next point.

-- Have you ever seen a group of less masculine men -- ever? Holy need a good dose of HGH batman.

-- I think part of the problem is the lack of drama this year. That young, 17 year old kid, David something-or-other, is the clear cut favorite thus far. Gotta say that this kid is really something else.

-- On the female side, I like the young Filipino girl. She has a terrific voice too and what appears to be a good personality as well.

-- Ryan Seacrest is the luckiest man on the earth this side of Justin Timberlake. Dude is everywhere and is literally making a fortune and yet .. what's his talent, exactly?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Part One From My Old Man

Evidently, I missed Part I of my fathers stories about our athletic exploits (or lack thereof as the case might be). So without further ado., the complete, unexpergated .....

(PS. If you like his tales, please leave a comment. I tell you, the man lives for comments.)

First son howard is continuing the coaching tradition started by me when he was a kid. I can fortell the future on this. With today,s tight rules about aggressive behavior by fans and coaches, he will probably end up in the mill valley prison system. Community service there might be something like serving mint juleps to guests of meet the prisoner day. Coming from a tough neighborhood in washington heights where the amateur code was take no prisoners i thought the suburban coach should bring the same semi ruthlessness. Apparently i was behind the times. The players ,sons #1,#2and #3 each had his own identity. #1 started fast as a left handed fastball pitcher but faded fast as his weight seemed to stand still for several years while everyone else grew like they were on steroids. He was the winning pitcher of his league one year early on. After that came #2 , the best athlete of the 3 but rather timid. A starting pitcher on his 1st liitle leaguen team: one that went undefeated for the first time . He hung around for a long time but never lived up to his potential in baseball. His real sport was basketball where he excelled and i kept getting into fights with refs,coaches and parents.this kid got so nervous before a gamer he usually threw up. #3 still cannot hit a baseball. He was a runner and ok but no superstar. He played football and could run away from the defense but couldn,t catch the ball. A tough situation for a wide receiver. He played tough and even made the h.s. varsity basketball team based on his hard work on the court.

Part One From My Old Man

Evidently, I missed Part I of my fathers stories about our athletic exploits (or lack thereof as the case might be). So without further ado., the complete, unexpergated .....

First son howard is continuing the coaching tradition started by me when he was a kid. I can fortell the future on this. With today,s tight rules about aggressive behavior by fans and coaches, he will probably end up in the mill valley prison system. Community service there might be something like serving mint juleps to guests of meet the prisoner day. Coming from a tough neighborhood in washington heights where the amateur code was take no prisoners i thought the suburban coach should bring the same semi ruthlessness. Apparently i was behind the times. The players ,sons #1,#2and #3 each had his own identity. #1 started fast as a left handed fastball pitcher but faded fast as his weight seemed to stand still for several years while everyone else grew like they were on steroids. He was the winning pitcher of his league one year early on. After that came #2 , the best athlete of the 3 but rather timid. A starting pitcher on his 1st liitle leaguen team: one that went undefeated for the first time . He hung around for a long time but never lived up to his potential in baseball. His real sport was basketball where he excelled and i kept getting into fights with refs,coaches and parents.this kid got so nervous before a gamer he usually threw up. #3 still cannot hit a baseball. He was a runner and ok but no superstar. He played football and could run away from the defense but couldn,t catch the ball. A tough situation for a wide receiver. He played tough and even made the h.s. varsity basketball team based on his hard work on the court.

Your Favorite Guest Blogger is Back: My Father On Coaching

Yesterday I wrote about how I volunteered to coach both my kid's little league teams. 'Cause coaching one simply wouldn't be enough of an effort. But I digress.

Anyway, the subject got me to emailing with my father, who the truth be told, is indeed legendary in Paramus, NJ circles for his coaching exploits back in the late 70's and early 80's. Legendary for all the wrong reasons I might add, but legendary all the same. He was truly out of his mind back then; it's astonishing to me that me and my brothers came out quasi-normal, all things considered.

Anway, without further ado, following is his description of a true situation in his inimitable words which I haven't touched. That would be like trying to touch up a Michaelangelo.

It isn't exactly coaching related per se, but you'll get the point.

Another classic from the Gerry Solomon collection.

I got thrown out of so many sport venues that i became somewhat of a celebrity. Got thrown out of little league games, town sponsored basketball gams and even jewish center basketball league. The rabbi wanted me to convert . Anyway, the wife, a very quiet person was appalled at my behavioir and that of a couple of my cronies; one a doctor; another a partner in a major law firm,and a successful bond broker to name a few. She stopped attending any of the kids games or sat with the visiting teams fans. So one hot summer day we are dressed up and on our way to a wedding but first had to stop off at the local field to give #2 the keyes to the house. He was umpiring a very young girls softball game. The wife stayed in the a.c car while i stepped out to give the keys. Her last words were don,t get into any fights. How can i i said . the kid is not playing, problem was it was the beginning of the inning and i had to wait. The kid is on the mound with the pitcher calling balls and strikes. The batters at that age didn,t know the difference and swung at everything or nothing. One parent sitting on a beach chair right in front of me disagreed with every one of the umps calls and told his companion after every pitch that he was going to get the ump after the inning. With each of his threats my blood boiled (it is doing it now just thinking about it ) so i leaned over and smacked him on the top of his bald head. I threw the keys to the kid and jumped in the car and sped off with a flock of parents chasing me and the bewildered wife totally agast.

So howard don,t let your genetioc make-up control your destiny as a coach.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Coach Solomon

So somehow I got roped into coaching not one, but two baseball teams this year. One is a group of five year olds, featuring The Girl. I think she's the only girl on the team. Should be interesting. Kid doesn't even know which hand her glove goes on.

Also looks as if I am coaching The Boy's team as well. Where I am finding all this time is anyones guess but somehow I will make it work out. Both kids are stoked and by the transitive property of stokedness, I guess I am as well.

So -- coaching tips anyone? And not you, dad. Actually, I take that back, you were a pretty darn good coach. When you weren't making us (or one of us, anyway), "nervous."

In other news, a good hurray to CrazyMama everyone for her clean scan. That is just great, awesome, fantabulous news. (Fantabulous. I like that one).

I am finally getting over the disease. Went for a little run tonight and only found myself bent over hacking my lungs out twice.

That's progress.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Post Vacation Blahs

A combination of bad weather (until today that is), still feeling sick and some goings on around the house has left me in a post-vacation funk. Figure nothing a little sleep can't fix; if I can score eight hours tonight I should be good to go.

Random things:

Baseball is around the corner. Can't you just feel it? The Little Boy is going bananas for Spring Training.

I've decided not to do the Way Too Cool 50k the first week of March. A combination of this sickness/not enough training has led me to the conclusion that while I could probably finish if I went out there, there's not much point. I have big goals this year and don't want to injur myself early in the season.

Speaking of "season" I came back so geeked on getting back to Hawaii as soon as possible I went off and did it: signed up for the Hawaii Ironman lottery. With my luck I will get in, especially considering I have no inclination to put in the training. Though if I actually got in (and I am zero for the past ten years), I'd probably find the motivation. Probably.

Speaking of Hawaii Ironman I watched the NBC broadcast this past rainy weekend, and for the first time in a long while I didn't find myself terribly inspired. This is an annual favorite, but I think previous broadcasts were much more interesting.

I finished The Nine by Jeff Toobin, his insiders account of the Supreme Court. It is an absolutely fascinating read and comes very highly recommended. Four stars for this one, which was at the top of nearly every reviewers list in 07.

The Oscars last night were b-o-r-i-n-g. That said, I did pretty well with my predictions.

And that's what comes to mind. Gonna watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles and call it a night.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oscar Predictions

Ok, here are my early Oscar predictions; note I may make a chance or two prior to the show tomorrow night. All I can say is I really wish I saw There Will Be Blood.

So, without further ado:

Best Actor:

Daniel Day Lewis

Best Actress:

Marie Cotillard (this is the category where I am most unsure, so this is nothing more than a guess)

Best Supporting Actress:

Ruby Dee. I want to say Cate Blachett for her role in the Dylan biopic, but I think Ruby gets the sentimental nod.

Best Supporting Actor:

Javier Barden. Man was he unbelieveable in this role. I think Josh Brolin should have been nominated for Best Actor.

Best Director:

The Coen Brothers

Best Picture:

Man, this is a tough one but I am going to go with There Will Be Blood over No Country for Old Men. This one could go either way.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The End

Well, today is the last day of vacation and we are all still alive. Barely though; last night was the Little Boy's turn to have a rough night. He had a high fever that fortunately broke after a few hours.

I refer to our clan as "Moses": we walk around this joint and people part like the Red freaking Sea. They can hear our honkin' and snortin' from yards away.

Joking aside, we definitely made the most of a sub optimal position and all in all, we had a great time. As my friend Silbo said, "If you gotta be sick, may as well be in Hawaii."

I have to say I love Hawaii and if it was at all feasible - which it isn't -- I would move here in a nano second. My friend Rob and his absolutely terrific family live in Oahu and were kind enough to come down and visit early in the week. He's got it worked out with his employer where it doesn't matter much where he's based, so he moved back home to Hawaii to be closer to family. Rob my friend: I am on the record as being jealous as hell. Good for you though.

I will post some great pictures tomorrow when we arrive back at home.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hanging in There

This family doesn't even communicate with words anymore; instead, we talk via hacks, coughs and grunts. We are the Solomon's and we're sick as hell.

It really isn't all that bad but we are indeed all sick. It's pretty funny. I think everyone else in our hallway moved away after last night; we had to have kept everyone awake with our group coughing.

I blame it all on you, Finkel. You jinxed me.

One of the ancillary benefits of my legendary ability to metabolize food, is that I am equally adept at metabolizing disease. When I do get sick, my halflife is generally much shorter than others. So when my Hawaii doctor told me to expect to feel this one for 7-10 days, I don't think he foresaw me swimming a half mile in the ocean inside of 48 hours. I actually should not be such a punk - I will probably get even more ill tonight.

This place is beautiful and I'll post more when I have more time at the computer but my favorite part thus far: the age difference between some of the gentlemen guests and their female consorts. Money evidently does indeed talk. Especially if you are from Texas. I will try to take some stealth photos; you'll die laughing.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Flu

So, of course, my luck being what it is, the flu strikes me the moment I leave my house for Hawaii. Actually, it struck the night before. I knew it was going to be bad and the plane ride was really rough; I felt like I was getting worse by the minute. I genuinely feel bad for the poor woman who was sitting next to me. She knew I was sick and she knew there was absolutely nothing she could do; she was stuck with my sorry ass for the next five hours. I sincerely hope I didn't ruin her vacation.

We landed and I was in a really bad way. Tne wife took my temperature and it was 102.7. I was exposed to pneumonia through a colleague and I thought for sure that's what I had; it was bad enough that I had to find a doctor on a Sunday, no small feat in Maui.

One funny story: I was lying in our cabana taking a nap and was quasi delirious. I looked over to the guy next to me and thoght to myself that he looked exactly like Newt Gingrich. Two minutes after I noticed this someone came over and asked if they could shake his hand; it was indeed the former Speaker of the House. He was reading a book about Ronal Reagan, surprise, surprise. Pretty cool.

Anyway, turns out I had the flu. It broke last night and it was gnarly: it literally soaked through the bed and two pillows. I haven't sweated like that since Ironman in 1999. I still feel like crap but I am orders of magnitude better than Sat and Sunday. Of couse, now the Wife and Boy are feeling it too, but not nearly to the same extent.

Fun vacation so far.

Actually, now that I am feeling better it is a fun vacation. Hawaii is just beautiful.

One other cool thing. At the pool today we met a young pitcher with the Dodgers. The Boy is the biggest baseball fan ever and he was stoked to put it mildly. He was a super cool guy. He told the Boy he didn't start pitching until he was 11. the Boy was cute; he told him he hoped he won 20 games this year. His first name was Paul; can't remember his last.

Anyway, I am in the game room typing away on the free Internet (they charge 14 bucks a day for wireless!)and the boy wants to play so I gotta run.

More later.

Friday, February 15, 2008

And We're Off

I didn't blog yesterday in respect to a close member of our family who experienced a terrible, terrible tragedy this week. It's not appropriate for me to comment with any greater detail, but if this person happens to be reading these words, please know that your California family has been thinking of you nonstop these past few days and are sending thoughts and prayers.

With that said, although I have indeed been wearing a heavy heart these past few days, I don't think there's any better feeling than heading to Hawaii for six days of R&R after an absolutely grueling, but great week(s) of work. Oh yeah, there would be one thing: not having a daughter who's never sick decide to come down with a 102 fever two days before we head out of town. That would be nice. I really believe that The Man Upstairs exists in part to torture parents. Should be an interesting five hour flight.

So, we are off to Hawaii in the am. My main man Wiley, my curmudgenly friend like no other, reminded me today that I did indeed have a "proper" vacation just this past Christmas season during our drive to LA. So for his sake, allow me to clarify: I did indeed love that trip, and would do it again in a heartbeat, there ain't nothing "proper" about having two whiny kids in the back of a car fighting like cats and dogs nonstop and holding a blackberry that doesn't stop pinging with work emails. "Proper" is defined as sitting by a beach in Hawaii watching the sunset with a mai tai in hand. WHich is precisely what I plan to be doing in 24 hours.


(Ps. I do plan on bringing the laptop so stand by for posts and pictures)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rocket, Rocket, Rocket

From a pure public relations standpoint (which of course, is my chosen profession), I have never seen worse decision making than what has transpired the past few weeks with Roger Clemens. I don't even know where to begin: it seems to be as if he's being less than truthful (an understatement to say the least), his responses to questioning have been ill thought and his logic has been spurious at best. Long story short, I really don't understand what he was thinking. This was never about the court of law (though it may be soon if he is caught lying to Congress) but rather the court of public opinion. And he has unquestionably lost that battle. This guy McNamee, while certainly no angel, really has no reason to lie. In short, Clemens should have taken a page from his friend Andy Pettite's book and made an attempt to mitigate the damage as early in the process as possible. Here is what he should have done, in order: admitted complicity, apologized profusely, renounced his actions, done a mini contrition tour and then keep a very low profile for at least three to six months. He's chosen none of these paths through either obstinancy or poor counsel and the cold hard truth is that he's lost the one thing that I suspect means most to him: his integrity.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

TV Season

If I had to rate the TV season thus far, I'd have to give it a B-. To a certain extent I am sure this has a lot to do with the writers strike, so I will try to fully reserve judgement until later this spring.

Thus far, the show that I am enjoying most is -- get ready for it -- the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Yeah, it's dumb and illogical and not much is really happening these past few episodes (more Cyborgs, please) but it's mindlessly entertaining, which is mostly what I am looking for on Monday nights. I've tried to watch the two new female-oriented shows (the wife's doing; I'm really only watching with one eye) and I am unimpressed. They are essentially the exact same show (Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia) and they thus far appear equally dumb. I might have the Wife do a guest post on one or the other though she too isn't terribly impressed.

Gossip Girl is also half decent and has a chance of filling the void left by Beverly Hills 90210 and The OC. The other show that has promise is Eli Stone. It's a goofy premise but it is working for me. That said, I can easily see it tipping the other way. The dude who stars in that show was Angelina Jolie's first husband. A big far Word to him for that.

My favorite show bar none remains Boston Legal and of course, for sheer entertainment, nothing comes close to American Idol.


In other more macho news, the Little Boy and I are headed to Arizona in March for Spring Training. Anyone want to meet up with us? We are going to try to catch at least two games; he really wants to see the Cubs. I have to say that the Little Boy is just insanely nuts about baseball. Crazy Mama, want to try to grab lunch or something?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Live Blog: Grammy Freak Fest

I've just started watching the Grammy's and already it is a full on freakfest. Most bizarre moment thus far, which I am sure will be beat in the next five minutes: The Time reunion (!) with Rihanna singing Umbrella. Can someone please tell me what Rihanna is wearing? She literally looks like a duck.

I will say this though: there is something about Alicia Keys.

Now Tom Hanks of all people in on stage talking about the Beatles. Wait. Cirque d Soleil is ..... playing Beatle songs? What the F(*&? Some chick in a red dress s flying through the air. This is is utterly surreal, to say the least.

I might have to live blog this whole damn show.

Wait, now the woman in the red dress is lyiing on the ground and everyone is .... cheering??

Wait. Now Aretha Franklin (I think it's Aretha Franklin, anyway) singing Let It Be .... with Gospel Choir background. This show is the gift that keeps on giving. Ok, now the Cirque d' Soleil people just joined Aretha and the gospel choir .... and I think my head is going to explode.

BUT WAIT. "Now please welcome Cindy Lauper and Milie Cyrus/Hannah Montana. And I think my head is *really* going to explode

Ok, enough for now.......

(Just as I say that Amy Winehouse has just won an award for best new artist. But she can't be there -- because she couldn't get a visa! Only in LA.........)


Ok I am back. This Daft Punk/Kanye West "Stronger" duo ruled!. That was very cool. But now Kanye is singing a song to his mother. Not quite as cool.


When did Tina Tuner turn 80? Seriously?


I am 96 percent certain I could sing Proud Mary better than Beyonce.

Tina just ended with this little kick thing that will likely live on in YouTube infamy.

Some lady just called Andy Williams "The orignal O.G." For those of you unfamiliar with Andy WIlliams, he is upwards of 90 years old. Trust me when I tell you he ain't no "O.G."

But wait, Amy WInehouse won again. But as you know, she can't be joining us tonight. "Cause she's in REHAB. The irony of this is beyond belief.


The Foo Fighters are cool and all but don't you think that Dave Grohl's hair is slightly affected?

Update V: Ok, no more updates. I'm just going to live blog the rest of this damn thing. I've made it this far. So here we go....

Has a bigger stroke than Kanye West EVER walked the face of the planet? Sure, he's talented but good lord. He is the absolute definition of self absorbtion.

And oh yeah. Kid Rock rules.

I just had to say that.

Foo Fighter just won for best rock album. I actually like that album but I gotta say -- it wasn't anywhere NEAR album of the year.

Hell, it wasn't even top ten.

Stevie Wonder just took the stage. Eddie Murphy once had the best line ever about Stevie. He said" if Stevie really wants to impress me, he'll drive the car." Nothing like Eddie Murphy circa 1987. Stevie's the best though.

Ok, Alicia Keys time. SInging No One.

Wow. She rocked that. Say what you will but she is a major talent.

John Mayer and Alicia Keys? Somehow this is actually working for me.

Ringo Starr looks pretty good for an old dude. Hell of a lot better than Tine Turner, that's for sure.

VInce Gill just gave the speech of the night, namely because he dissed on Kanye.

(I wonder if my father is following any of this.)

Kanye, by the way, continues to wear these outrageously dumb white glasses. What a pretentious ass. I mention how I feel about him yet? Well, at least he was kind of enough to give Vinnie Chase a ride on his jet.

In my next life I think I want to come back as Jay Z (Derek Jeter or Justin Timberlake would be acceptable as well). Dude is straight up cool.

Amy WInehouse is performing live from London. Presumably after this she goes right back to rehab. Tell you one thing about her: she has the worst tattoos in the history of mankind. Literally.

Now she is singing Rehab, which I might add, is the most grating, annoying song in recording history.

Don't get me wrong. I think she is talented. I just freaking HATE that song. I am willing to bet you all agree with me.

Tony Bennett just took the stage. I think this is the octagerian Grammy's.

Amy Winehouse just won for song of the year. Man is this lady dazed and confused. Second best line of the night, "This is for my Blake. My Blake who is incarcerated." Classic!

The head of the academy is giving his annual speech that no one cafes about. What a waste of my time. Come on dude, it's 10:58 and I'm holding on by a thread here. Who cares who you "advocate" for?

People are actually cheering this dude like he is a political candidate. Weird.

Now they are going though the list of dead people. Included is a guy named "Pimp C". I kid you not.

At least they included reggae great Lucky Dube. RIP, LD.

Boceelii just sang with Josh Groban. Who is Josh Groban? He's got a hell of a voice.

Alright, it's 11:09 and I am zonked. Thing I am calling it.

Enjoy the rest of the show.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Little Run

Went for a little run today that turned into a long one; took my eye off the trail for a minute and for the first time in along while, I got a tad lost. Just goes to show that one should always carry a trail map. It wasn't too bad; no more than a five on the nervous-o-meter, but it was a tad disconcerting. I did discover, however, that the legendary Pacific Coast Trail (Which I think would take you up to Canada) bisects the coastal trail. So, I ended up running for about 2.5 hours, or roughly 15 miles. The biggest problem though wasn't the distance, but rather the hills. I finished with a two mile non stop climb from Muir Beach back to home. It was rough, to put it mildly.

All that said, today was one of those glorious NoCal days where the temperature hit around 68. August will mark our three year anniversary here yet I still am not quite used to walking around in shorts and a t-shirt in February.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Fog

Most of you are probably aware that the Bay Area is known for its fog. Having been here now for nearly 2 1/2 years, I'm stuck somewhere between being in complete awe at its natural beauty and being completely over it.

Days like today, however, I'm completely awe inspired. We are fortunate to live right above Tam Valley, which is where the fog essentially originates as it comes off the ocean. Today was one of those rare but spectacular mornings where it literally spread out and encompassed the entire region, including the City. I have attached a poor picture that does not nearly do it justice. Our house is up high and today we were above the fog line. As I drove to work, it was encompassing to the point in which I had no more than three feet of visibility. Yet shortly after that it completely broke and I was surrounded by blue sky -- for only a mile, before I entered complete fog cover again. Only in the Bay Area. And maybe London too for that matter.

In other news, I signed up for a 100 mile run today.

Egads, what have I gotten myself involved in?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Random Stuff

Forget my post from yesterday; damn kid held a freaking press conference to announce that he hasn't made up his mind! Now Penn State has entered the equation and I think we've lost him. Penn State would be ok by me; anywhere but Ohio State. On a separate note, it is astonishing how much traffic my blog got today by people searching his name.


Fascinating watching Super Tuesday last night. I love the political season and listening to the pundits (most of whom know nothing). This is a spectacular race all around; one of the best in my lifetime. I love a good competition and this is shaping up to be just that. I must say though that I am surprised left leaning Cali did not go for Barack.


Did something pretty strange/dumb tonight; I donned my miners lamp and ran up to the big state park in the pitch freaking black. I must have been a site to behold. Anyway I ran about two miles to my favorite hill, which goes upward for oh, about a mile, and ran 5 :90 second hill repeats, which is a pretty gnarly workout. But on the fourth I looked up and it was pitch black -- and I mean pitch freaking black, and I got a bit spooked. The thought entered my mind that if some axe murderer killed me they probably wouldn't find my sorry ass for a month. Then I started thinking about how mountain lions like to hunt at night. Needless to say, I did finish the workout, but I hightailed it out of there pretty quickly.

On the subject of mountain lions, I saw the world's largest freaking bobcat two weeks ago while on the trail. That was a sight to behold. Looked like a housecat on a Rodger Clemens-ish dose of steroids.


The Solomon's are headed to Hawaii in less than two weeks for a some much needed R&R. It has been quite some time since I have had a proper vacation. Anyway, I need some new books. ANyone have any recommendations? I am thinking about the new William Vollman (too depressing for vacation) and the new Charles Bock book which is receiving near universal accolades.


I have been pretty quiet thus far on this subject, but it's shaping up to be a good season of American Idol. Anyone else watching?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

An Open Letter to Terrell Pryor

Dear Mr. Pryor:

It is not often that I write letters to high school students. Particularly students who I have never met. But extraordinary times sometimes requires extraordinary measures.

As you get set to announce which college you plan to attend next year to play football (and possibly basketball? you could probably start on that team tomorrow), I implore you to choose Michigan. I understand you're likely to choose between Michigan and Ohio State and you've probably gone back and forth in your decision making process. So allow me please to bottom line it for you: we need you, they don't. We *really* need you. We really, really, really need you.

For Michigan, you are a "must have." Your decision will likely make or break us for years to come. For OSU, you are a "nice to have." They've been to the national championship for two years in a row (and allow me to remind you they got beat badly in both games) and will frankly probably be playing for it again next year as well, with or without you (respect).

By deciding to go with Michigan, however, you will arrive as a savior. You will be the biggest thing to ever hit campus. Bigger even than my debut in the fall of 84. Bigger even then Tom Brady, Brian Griese, Glen Rice, Ryan Mallett (the rat bastard), Jim Harbaugh and my main man Scooter Hurwitz.

You will win a Heisman with Michigan. You will win a national championship with Michigan. You will win three national championships with Michigan. And you will part the Red Sea.

I am currently watching CNN and on one subject, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain all seem to agree: they think you will be much better served at Michigan. Word just in Mike Huckabee agree too. Romney wants you at BYU, but who the hell cares what he thinks.

So, do the right thing, please. I'm practically begging, here.

So is all of Michigan nation for that matter. We are on their hands and knees tonight.

Do the right thing.

Go Blue.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Marin County in New York Times

Just stumbled on this absolutely terrific article on Marin County in today's travel section of the New York Times. As one who lives for the miles of miles of trails in my backyard, I really appreciated this article.

Super Bowl

Now THAT was a Super Bowl. Maybe one of the best games I have ever seen. Hugh props to the Giants for playing their hearts out and not giving up. I do not profess to being the biggest Giants fan in the world (somehow I got stuck with the freaking Jets as my pro team) but I will root for a New York team ANY day over one from Boston. The Michigan man in me of course loves Brady, but him aside, screw the Patriots. Boston fans are insufferable enough with the Red Sox; winning a Super Bowl and possibly an NBA title would just suck beyond belief. Something tells me Boston fans are going to be thinking about this loss for many, many years to come. And a big freaking Word to Eli for sticking it to New York fans. Man, I can't wait to read Bill Simmon's column this week on He is one of my favorite sports writers ever but is SUCH a Boston homer.


In other news I ran a half marathon today in pretty darn inclement weather. I treated this one as a training run and my goal going into it was to run 7:50 pace. I took it fairly easy the first few miles and when I realized that I was feeling good -- at around mile or so -- I decided to open it up a bit. The last four miles were run in driving rain/wind and were pretty miserable but I finished strong and in a pretty decent time: a notch under 1:40, around 7:35 pace or so. Overall, I was pretty stoked as my longest run this year has only been around 7 miles or so and I am certain that I could have gone even faster. One month and four days until my 31 mile race. Not quite certain if I am ready for that one.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Apple Air

So, I just got back from the Apple store to check out the new Air notebook. I have to say, they almost got me again: if they had had any in stock (they sold the original lot in mere minutes), I would have made the purchase on the spot. It's that bad ass. Bad ass looking, anyway, and bad ass design. That said, it definitely has some serious flaws, in my humble opinion.

The main reason I would get this is that so I can turn over my current MacBook to the kids, who are beating this thing to pieces. The Air would become our second laptop and would be off limits to everyone in our house under the age of nine.

The other reason I consider getting it would be for my business travels: I travel to LA virtually every week, and it would be a great relief to my aching shoulders not to have lug around a seven pound laptop and all its accompanying accoutrements. But what I really need to understand prior to purchasing is whether it would be feasible for me to run Outlook versus Webmail, if I install Parallel. That is what will make or break my purchasing decision; I could not work for two or three days at a time off of Webmail.

So, I think my "review" will be the same as all the others. Let's first look at "likes":

-- The design is incredible. It's as slim as you can imagine, yet it does not at all feel flimsy
-- The 13.1 inch screen is beautiful and I love the fact that is is a full keyboard and not at all condensed
-- What other "likes" do you need -- the thing just looks absolutely killer.


-- Embedded battery is a bummer, but for me, not the biggest deal as the most I'm travelling on a plane is SF to NYC, and I can deal with a five hour battery life (or even threee hours if I am watching a movie). I think international travellers will be bummed by this however.
-- lack of firewire and only one USB port. I get it that this is a quasi-experiment on Apple's part to see if consumers readily move to a wireless environment ... but still. One more freaking USB port and a firewire port would have GREATLY -- and I mean GREATLY -- enhanced its appeal. I imagine it was probably near impossible to add from an engineering standpoint but man, it would have been worth it if it added even a little more weight to the unit. I'm sure I would eventually get used to working wirelessly (of course, there's the not so significant issue that most wireless networks are password protected), but I'm comfortable with working in my current manner. And already, the guy at the store was trying to sell me Time Capsule to accompany it, and that's yet another $299 or $500, depending on size.
-- lack of a CD/DVD drive. I know there was no way they could have included this in a unit so small, bu I use my drive regularly. Getting the $99 external drive is non negotiable. They would have bought a lot of goodwill if they just included it for free as part of a bundle.

So, we will see. Now that I have touched one I am pretty stoked, but this one merits greater consideration. Not an "impulse" purchase like the iphone by any means.