Sunday, August 31, 2008

REMINDER: Run for Cancer is Upon Us.

Lovely holiday weekend out here in Marin County, CA; hope you are all having fun, too. Highlight of the weekend thus far was hanging out all day today, moistly at Stinson Beach, with our friend's the Schultz's, who moved here a few weeks ago from Chicago.

Time has crept up on me, but just a friendly reminder that next weekend is the Run for Thyroid Cancer. Like last year, all you have to do is something "active" -- you can swim, bike, run, walk, hike -- I don't care. Do something and send me a photo of you doing it -- coupled with your mileage -- and I will be sending a donation to a cancer organization. I think I have a cause in mind; I will talk about it later this week. To kickstart activities, I will be running a hilly 30k race. It's not quite as your as last year's half ironman, but alas, it will have to do.

In other news, Michigan football squad sucks. And while I am at it so do my Yankees.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Democrats

Thought I confess to an inherent bias - I am a registered democrat and have been my whole life, though I hasten to add I have crossed party lines in the past for certain candidates - I think the Democrat's really nailed this convention. Finally.

A couple of things that came across crystal clear the past few days:

-- they have learned lessons from the (Rovian) Republican's and aren't afraid to get a little proactive and take the fight to them direct.

- they've learned the importance of imagery, an area where they have big-time lapsed, post Bill Clinton. From a PR perspective, staging Obama's speech at the football stadium was a masterstroke of brilliance, regardless of how the Republican's try to position it next week. I liked the backdrop too; it made him seem even more presidential.

-- they learned the importance of coming together as one. To this I have to give props to the Clinton's. WIthout question, they did their job. It probably killed them, but they get big time style points for sucking it up and doing the right thing.

-- they kept the speeches tight and they were all good. Every single one of them. Kennedy. Michelle. Biden. The Clinton's. Al Gore. They all killed.

I have to say that Barack is impressive. As many of you know, I've met him a few times in the past when I lived in Chicago and he was a State Senator. He was impressive then, he is obviously impressive now. He killed his speech tonight, he is riding the zeitgiest full tilt, and I believe he will be the next President of the United States.

And he damn well better be a good one because we need a lot of help.

So there it is: my first, and probably last, political diatribe. I've tried to keep politics out of this blog, but given the season, I feel I had to say something.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Random Thoughts

Just back from LA and am utterly exhaused so a few random thoughts:

-- given the choice, I'd pick the Olympics any day over a political convention. Its not even a contest.

-- speaking of political conventions, what is the Clinton's problem? I am a huge Bubba fan, but seriously; this dude has got to get over himself. He just might be the biggest narcissist of all time. Listen, Bill: you ran (actually, your Wife ran). You lost. Sh*t happens. Get over it and let Obama have his moment. It's unseemly to the point where there's no doubt it will have an impact on his legacy.

-- Breaking Bad on AMC; two thumbs up. I rented it on itunes and have on;y watched the first three episodes, but this one is a winner. It's slightly (more than slightly, actually) depressing but really well done and interesting.

-- Vacation is cool. Returning to work from vacation: not so cool.

-- Yankees lost tonight to the season and I'll get on record and say it: this season is over.

-- That said, Michigan football starts this Saturday; the dawning of the Rich Rod era. Hope springs eternal. Go Blue.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Over Time

Well its over. I'm talking about pretty much everything. My vacation. The Olympics. Summer. Where to begin?

Vacation was great, but as always, too short I was in Lake George and in NJ for the last day and a half (apologies to everyone I wasn't able to see). Yesterday was really special: I think it was the first time that all my kid's cousins (eight in total, plus one second cousin) were all congregated in one place. While we probably woke up the residents across the street (which happens to be a cemetary) it was a very enjoyable day. I was very surprised, too: nine kids ranging from eight months to eight, and there was nary a fight. Ok, maybe a fight or two, but nothing of any real consequance. Lake George was great fun and before leaving on Friday, we were able to squeeze in our annual swim to the Island, where I swim to an Island that's about a mile off shore, while the kids and father-in-law kayak alongside me.

The Olympics? Amazing. I'm already jonesing for more. Best three weeks of the year, sports-wise and I say that being a very serious fan of the Tour de France. There were too many story lines to count, but obviously Phelps and Bolt were the stars of the show. I was a bit dismayed by the performance (or lack thereof) of the mens track and field and boxing squad. We struggled in the sprints, puked the relays (except for 4 x 400) and didn't gain any ground in the distance races. Props to Bryan Clay though for winning the decathlon; that was huge. Anyway, great Games all around. And kudos to China for near perfect execution. Can't wait for London and hopefully Chicago after that.

And lastly, the Summer? Work aside (which was busier than ever), it was absolutely great and came and went too fast. Though ironically, NorCal summer starts around now, weather wise.

What to look forward to now? Certainly the Conventions (any early commentary/thoughts?) followed by the kick off of the Fall TV season. And there's the start of fourth grade for the Boy and first grade for the Girl. And in two weeks we kick off Fall baseball season. And then there's marathon training. All a long winded way of saying that life is good.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic Beef

I am perhaps the biggest Olympics fan ever. I have watched every single broadcast in its entirety, every night. I have watched it all. I think this is one of the greatest Olympics of all-time, barring the disastrous performance of the US track and field team. All that being said, I have a beef. It's not with the Olympics per se, but rather with NBC. While I understand why they need to focus a majority of airtime on the "desireable" sports: volleyball, swimming, track, and gymnastics, primarily, I really think they have missed the boat by not showing some fo the 'secondary" and "tertiary" sports, many of which have offered their own drama.

Granted, I'm a bit unique (read: weird) in terms of my love for esoteric sports, but it;s ridiculous to me that the only way I was able to watch certain sports, namely men's and women's triathlon and the marathon swims, was via the NBC website. To add insult to injury, these broadcast didn't even feature an audio feed. I had to watch them in utter silence. And as it happens, men's triathlon and the men's 10k open water swim (my new favorite sport) were unbelievable races that were decided in the final meter. If you can find them on Youtube, I suggest you check them out -- they are both well worth watching.

It's not that I don't get it -- I fully recognize where the ratings come from -- but I think they could have showed these sports a little love, if only in even recapping their respective finishes. The beauty of the Olympics in my opinion is recognizing human achievement, and I don't think achievement is limited singularly to top tier sports.

That's one man's opinion.

And once again; men's 10k marathon swim. Wow is that badass. The dude who won is a cancer survivor who at the time was given a very dire diagnosis. Today he's a gold medal winner. Nothing quite like the Olympics.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Baseball Hall of Fame

My father-in-law and I took the Little Boy to the Base ball Hall of Fame. The day could be summed up best by the Little BOy himself, who turned to me at one point and said "Daid, I think this might be the greatest day of my life."

It's the second time I've been to the HOF and I have to say that it is beyond amazing. It's amazing even if you aren't a baseball fan. We had a fun-filled seven hours (despite having to take a number of work phone calls) and we could probably have stayed longer. Highlights, in no particular order (and I will attempt to post some photos tomorrow) included:

-- an original Honus Wagner card; the "Holy Grail" at the HOF itself refers to it
-- Babe Ruth's locker and uniform
-- Ditto Lou Gehrig
-- the Barry Bonds "asterick" home run ball number 756
-- the glove WIllie Ways wore during the Vic Wertz catch
-- lunch at Sal's Pizza, one of the best freaking pizza joints in the country
-- Cy Young's glove

And the list goes on. Fantastic day; something every father and son should do in a lifetime. Big props to the father-in-law for helping make this trip happen.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lake George, NY

A lovely time is being had by all in Lake George. After a bit of a rocky trip getting here in which I slept of all, oh about two hours it was great seeing the Wife and Kids. We came up to my in-law's house, which sits on Lake George, and despite the fat that I fell asleep every time I sat down, immediately felt relaxed. Today's activities included a ten mile run (I am NOT used to the heat; I absolutely melting), a three hour sail (the little girl's new favorite activity; this kid is a total water bug) a little whiffle ball playing, dinner with some friends and now the Olympics. All in all, a pretty darn near perfect day.

Tuesday my father in-law and I are taking the Little Boy to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I'm not sure which of the three of us is more excited but if I were betting, i'd probably say the Little Boy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gone Fishing Part II

Getting set to head to New York on the dreaded, miserable red eye to see the Wife and Kids and enjoy a week of relaxation (I hope) by the Lake (Lake George, that is). Can't wait to see everyone and looking forward to enjoying a hot summer week, one thing we are sorely missing out here in NorCal (if you looked at my window right now you would not believe; we are shrouded in fog, the wind is howling and the temperature can't be above 50. I just came back from a trail run and it was clear as day (pretty much) when I took off, and I could not see two feet in front of me when I got home. That's how fast the fog moves.

Today is our third anniversary of living in the Bay Area. I'll never forget the day the kids arrived here from New York. It's been an interesting three years, but overall, I have enjoyed it immensely. When we moved here we literally knew no one. Yesterday, when I was waiting for a colleague for at the local Starbuck's (we had a meeting in Marin), I saw three people I knew inside of 15 minutes. I think we are slowly weaving our way into the fabric of this place, which is very cool.

Anyway, great pate mom, but I have to motor if I want to make the plane. Trivia time: that is a derivation of a famous line from what movie? Scooter will get this if he's reading.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Olympics

I am so addicted to these damn Olympics it isn't funny. I don't expect to go to bed any time before midnight for the next three months, which is just fine by me. The best thing is that this week has been great, but in certain respects it is similar to the first week of the tour de France: it's but the prelude, and you know things are only going to get better in weeks two and three.

Right now I am watching volleyball and have only two words to say: Misty May. Good lord is that woman hot (said with respect, Wife. But you gotta admit it's true). In my next life I think I want to come back as the volleyball.

In other sports, there's nothing I can say about Michael Phelps that y'all haven't read in the press. Full on respect to MP, the greatest Olympian our generation has ever seen. Someone at work today asked me who my favorite Olympian of all time is/was. The answer to this one might be surprising but it's Apolo Ohno. I enjoyed his speed skating matches more than I can express and that dude was one bad ass competitor. If you don't know what I am talking about, I suggest you check out some of his past races on YouTube.

On a separate note, this week marks by third year of living in the Bay Area. I will probably write a post on this topic, along with what I have learned and what I've learned to love about the Bay Area, but in the interim my main man Michael Beno indicated he'd like to write a guest blog on this subject, so stay tuned for that. You are officially on the hook, MB.

Lastly, I am getting set to do some travel and want to rent another series. I am thinking of Bad Brad, an AMC show which seems to have received good reviews. Anyone have thoughts?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ice Snobs

I read the most ridiculous article yesterday in the history of journalism: The New York Times Style Section (aka the Jewish Sports section) actually published a full article on ice connoisseurs. You read that right: people who are ice snobs. People who bring their own ice to parties because they don't like what the host has to offer. People who delineate between shaved, dimpled and fragmented. People who, and I quote: "post recipes for making ice with a level of internal clarity greater than that of a D-flawless diamond."

This is the single most asinine thing I have read/heard about in my life. Seriously, y'all are welcome to bring your own ice to my house the next time you come visit. Just don't hold your breath for a return invitation.


For all of you who haven't had a chance yet to watch the replay of last nights 4 x 100 relay, WATCH IT RIGHT FREAKING NOW. Because I honestly believe, at the risk of hyperbole, that that race is going to go down in history as one of the greatest moments in American sporting history. Without question, it will be the poster child for the adage "never give up." That was one for the ages. And to beat the smack talking French makes it only sweeter. I suspect France isn't going to get over that one for a long, long time to come.


I am officially week three into my little bachelor party. I confess to having had a great time and it was awesome to have so many visitors. That said, I really miss the Wife and Kids and cannot wait to see them this coming weekend.


Lastly, I went to see Pineapple Express this past weekend with Payro. He was freaking out the night before his race (understandably so) so to calm his nerves I took him to what I had hoped would be a funny movie. I gotta say I was disappointed. It certainly had its moments, but it fell down compared to Super Bad and Knocked Up.

If I haven't already stated this, I am totally and completely stoked on the Olympics. I can watch it all freaking day (and I just might; we get new cable installed in our offices tomorrow). Swimming has thus far been fantastic, but I really cannot wait for track and field. That's my sport. the only bummer for me thus far is boxing. I am a huge boxing fan but this scoring system is a bit too complex for my simple brain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


My buddy Payro -- my running/training partner in arms -- has been in town the past two weeks and yesterday he ran a 50 mile race through a good portion of Marin County (Sausalito to Bolinas and back through the broadside of Mount Tam). We generally do these epic sorts of races together and it was a bit weird for him to be out there without me. That being said, I wasn't nearly fit enough to be running at that distance/difficulty level.

So, for the first time ever I was reduced to being a crew member and yet I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. I was out there for about 11 hours in total driving from spot to spot, setting up mini camp, filling water bottles, and getting in my own run(s) when I could (12 plus miles in total) but all in all it was super good fun and it was very rewarding to be out there helping a friend. Definitely an enjoyable way to spend a day.

Payro absolutely killed this course and finished in 10 hours, 26 minutes; nearly 45 minutes ahead of what he predicted. Some of this was attributable to Coach Phil (who we share as coach), but most of the credit goes to good, hard training on Payro's part. Anyway, all in all it was a super fun day all around.

Today, we woke up late (actually, he woke up late. I woke up and went biking), had some breakfast and in celebration of the 10,000 calories that he burned yesterday, we cruised out to Bolinas for beers and Oysters.

I was thinking about this today; if I had to pick a place, today, to retire, I'd without question pick Bolinas. In my opinion, it's close to Utopia. The residents evidently agree, which is probably a good reason why you will never find a road sign directing you to Bolinas. You kind of have to know where you are going. Payro and I were talking and family, etc. etc aside I really need four things in life to be content: my trail shoes, mountain bike, road bike and a surf board.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

50 Miler

This certainly was the week that was; I worked pretty darn hard this week, to put it mildly. ad two consecutive all-day meetings Tuesday and Wednesday and then headed direct to Seattle for meetings with a certain software company. Just back now and I am t-i-r-e-d.

On top fo that all, I've had the three clowns in all week (Dave M Dave G and Payro) all week, which has also been fun. Work aside, I kind of feel like I am back in college again.

I plan to take tomorrow off (though working from home in the am) and then take Dave to the airport and then help Payro get prepped for his 50 miler on Saturday. Generally I'd be his partner in crime for a run of that ilk, but not this time; I simply was unable to put in the training, given my crazy work/life schedule. So be it. SHould be pretty darn fun though rewing for him all day. I will take pictures form various points on the trail.

In other news, Brett Favre is a Jet. Not sure how I feel about that to be honest. Finkel, you still out there? You are about the biggest Jets fan I know -- your thoughts? I think it's kind of cool but it's important to note the dude is 38 with lots of mileage; not exactly the QB of the future.

Lastly, I am completely and totally addicted to Californication. Might be the best show I have seen in a long, long while. Very strongly recommended for all of you that haven't seen it. Another thing I am addicted to: the new Dennis Wilson album, and as previously mentioned, Girl Talk. Anyone else out there ever make that purchase?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


1. Does anyone *really* give a crap about the whole Brett Favre saga

2. Is Lindsay Lohan *really* a lebian?

3. Are the Tampa Bay Rays for real?

4. Who got the better end of the bargain: Dodgers (Manny) or Red Sox (Jason Bay)?

5. What was the more enjoyable movie, Ironman or Batman?

6. How much damage will the three clowns do to my house tomorrow while I am away?

7. Do the Kids miss their dad as much as he misses them?

8. Ditto the wife.

9. Will Michael Phelps win eight gold medals?

10. Will Pineapple Express be the funniest movie or the year?

Inquiring minds want to know; feel free to post your answers below.

Monday, August 4, 2008


My buddy Dave from Chicago is visiting town for the week (this is the week of visitors; later in the week we'll have three friends at Chez Solomon) and convinced me to purchase the Showtime show, Californication.

All I can say is: THAT'S what I'm talking about. This show is off-the-hook good. David Duchovony is terrific, the plot line moves along at a great clip and it's absolutely hilarious to boot. I've watched five episodes i two days and think it is orders of magnitude more entertaining than Mad Men.


Finished the half marathon yesterday and actually ran pretty well; probably my best race of the year thus far. It was nice and hilly but overall I was very pleased.


Four days and counting to the start of the Olympics; I am stoked. Can't wait for: track and field; swimming, triathlon and boxing in that particular order. But I could watch virtually any Olympic sport/competition and be completely entertained.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Half Marathon

Woke up late today, went or a very easy run, bought a breakfast burito, looked at my clock, realized it was 10:20 and I had no idea what in the world to do with my myself. So, I did what any reasonable Californian would, given the high 80 degree temperatures: I packed myself some lunch, magazines, a bit of sunscreen and a folding chair and I headed to the beach. And I must say: it was a perfectly civilized day. Those who know me know I relish in running around like a nut, and it was really nice to decompress for a day. Not to mention the weather could not be any more accomodating.

Now I am going to meet my main man Payro for a little bbq at his bro's house and it's early to bed as I have a half marathon in the morning. My ambition for this one is modest: I am hoping to average around 7:45-8:00 minute pace. Nxt weekend I am crewing for Payro as he tackles one very gnarly-ass 50 miler. It will likely be a 12 hour endevour for the two of us but I am looking forward to it very much.

In other news, the Family has headed to enemy territory today; that's right, Boston. The Little Boy and his grandfather are going to a Sox game and he has very explicit instructions as to who too root for (The A's), albeit quietly, as those Boston fans are nuts.