Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Wow -- thanks all for the outpouring of good wishes both on the site and off. I have to say, that it blows me away when people respond en masse like that. I am truly grateful, and lucky, to have so many good friends and supportive family. So -- thank you.

Now that we have cancer out of the way at least until the next test in the fall, we can now revert back to the usual nonsense that this blog is (somewhat) known for. Like this incredibly asinine new Ozzy Osbourne "variety show" I am currently watching. What in the hell is this all about? Has Ozzie lost his freaking mind? This is Ozzie of Black Sabbath fame? The founder of Ozzfest? On a Fox Variety of show? Pardon me for a minute; need to go see if the four horsemen of the apocalypse happen to flying by my window here in LA. This might be the most nonsensical thing I have seen, sine, well, Bromance (respect, Wife). I give it two episodes.

In other news I am in LA and had to miss the LIttle Boy's baseball game. But fortunately or me one of the dad's live twittered (what is the world coming to?) the entire game and I was able to learn that despite going 0-2 (we have to work on the hitting, big time) he made two amazing plays at 2nd base, including the game ending play. Bless that kid's heart; he loves baseball more than life itself.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Clean Scan!

Got the double thumbs up today from my endo; clean ultrasound and blood work is al clear. The even better news is that they sent my blood back to the Mayo Clinic and it came back with no antibodies so I don't need a scan (and more radiation) either. All in all, a pretty prefect report. My endo actually did a fist pump when he read my blood. That stoked me, to put it mildly. He's a great guy my endo. When we were done talking cancer, we hung out for a few minutes and talked about watches. He's a guy after my own heart.

I asked him if this meant I was effectively cured and he told me what I kind of already knew: unlike other cancers, where you get a clean bill of health after X years (generally five), there's no such thing unfortunately with thyroid.

So, I guess I can live with that, as if I have a choice. Bottom line is that everything looks good and I couldn't ask for anything more. Having your health (not that I didn't exactly have it before, but you probably follow my point) makes everything in life, even this miserable economy, easier to digest.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Last Push to Boston

Ran 5 miles on Friday, an easy 3 yesterday and then 21 today. A long, slow slog, but overall, I felt pretty good, all things considering. I was thinking while running that this really was some week. In no particular order I:

-- had bloodwork
-- neck ultrasound
-- emergency root canal
-- one very big new business meeting
-- 45 miles of running including a 16 and 21 miler
-- two little league baseball games, one baseball practice and one baseball pitching clinic
-- all the other things I probably missed.

Anyway, hope that this week is a bit mellower, though I doubt it.

In regards to Boston; I'm as ready as I'll ever be. at this stage of the game, I'm just looking forward to it being over.

To celebrate Boston and my birthday and to thank everyone who supported by Livestrong effort (thanks Darius and Steve-O and Sheri), the Wife is planning a pretty cool party up at our house on Sunday, April 26th. She sent an evite to local area friends, but suffie to say, if you are reading this, you are welcome to come join; we'd love to see you. And you get extra bonus points if you join us from out of town.

Let us know if there's interest.

In the interim, more tomorrow. I get to see my endo and get results of labs and ultrasound, so good vibes are definitely appreciated.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Long Day

Not much to say today; did an other early (I mean early) 16 mile run to the office. This was my third and probably last for a while. I have to say, running to work has proved to be a terrific way to start a day - nothing like watching the sun rise over the Golden Gate Bridge, but the downside is that it has left me pretty shelled come the end of the day. So right now I am sitting here, watching American Idol with the boy (more on AI later but thus far I am not blown away by this season. I think the show might finally be losing my attention) and trying to muster to press the keys here.

In other news, I finished the Lost City of Z, which was my first Kindle book. I dig the kindle but it's a bit disconcerting not knowing what page you are on. Last night, I was surprised to have finished the book. I knew I was approaching the end, but I didn't know that was it until I literally read the last word. It said that I was 72 percent done, so I thought I had more to go, but I didn't realize that this included footnotes.

So, it's a bit of a paradigm shift to read in this manner, but reading off the device is much easier than anticipated and overall, it's ben a great experience.

Lastly, get well, Lance. I cannot freaking believe he crashed out in Spain and am bummed for him that the break was complicated. I think he'll be ok though. He'll ride Giro not to win, but to regain his fitness and that will make him that much moire dangerous at the Tour.

I think a lot of riders in the peleton, Alberto (who I respect tremendously) included, are under estimating Lance. All I can say is: if so, big mistake on their part.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Go To The Dentist, Kids

So, per my note yesterday, I went to the dentist today for my broken tooth. Thought it was going to be a quick in and out and I'd be back to work. Didn't quite turn out that way.

First, a bit of background and a confession. I hate going to the dentist. I dread the dentist. I am fearful of the dentist. I hve nightmares about the dentist.

My father can back me up on this; I had an inordinate amount of dental work as a kid. I had more oral surgeries than is right for any kid. I had enough work in total that according to my surgeon, it is likely responsible for my thyroid cancer.

So, do you get the point that I'm not a dentist person?

here is where the confession comes to play. I haven't exactly gone to a dentist since moving to California. And based on my visit today, the chicken has finally come home to roost(or whatever the colloquialism).

Turns out I have some, umm, issues that need tending to. Like a few cavities. And wisdom teeth that finally need to come out (I've been purposefully putting this off for years). And some gum issues. And so on and so forth.

But back to the tooth. She gave me an xray today (today was the day of many, many oral xrays. If I had a thyroid, it would lilely be very tired about now). She looked at the broken tooth and said, "bad news. That went down to the nerve. You will need a root canal."

I was surprised by this because the tooth really didn't hurt per se. Sure it was cracked and all and that was irritating, but it didn't hurt in that "damn my tooth" hurts manner.

So, I said ok, I need a root canal. I can live with that. Should I do it pre or post Boston marathon?

Her response: "Umm dude (ok, I added the dude part). You need it done now. As in right now. Like today or tomorrow."


So, she sent me off to a periodontist down the street (who, ironically enough -- in the event irony is even possible when it comes to root canals -- turned out to be the sister of my wife's very good friend) and 1 1/2 hours and about $1500 later, I was finished with my root canal. And now that the novocaine has worn off, I can say: my mouth finally hurts like hell.

So, that was my day. So let's recap my week thus far (and it's only Tuesday!): yesterday, bloodwork for cancer. Today, root canal. Friday: ultrasound for cancer. And sometime next week, I start my dental work (bridge, cleaning, extraction et al).

The moral of this story? Actually, I don't have a moral. Oh yeah, guess I do: try to go to the dentist at least once every five years.

This one I bought upon myself...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cancer Stuff

Just a short post tonight because I am just back from the first little league game of the year (the little boy went 1-3 with a single and two nice plays in the field. He is a heck of a fielder) and have a ton of work to do.

Anyway, this is my quarterly cancer week; blood work today, neck ultrasound early Friday am and then doctors appointment next Monday. Fingers crossed that these pesky antibodies don't rear their head.

In top of all that, I was eating a salad Friday night when I bit into what was supposed to be a pitted olive. Only -- surprise! Their was a pit. It marked a wonderful conclusion to a very long week. First I spit out the olive. Then I spit out half the tooth; it was a nice clean break. And last, but certainly not least, I spit out the filling to said tooth. Fun stuff. So, tomorrow off to the dentist I must go.

In other news, I ran 43 miles last week and felt pretty good. My body is getting used to the volume. This is another big week (featuring another 16 mile run to work and then a 21 miler on Sunday) and then I start my taper to Boston. In the event anyone is curious, I will very happy when this marathon is over. But I am VERY, VERY grateful to everyone who has supported my Livestrong effort: my main man Wiley, Amy Foreman, Amanda Meisner, and everyone else who I have rudely not emailed directly. THANK YOU. This training is for you all.

And while I am on the subject, of the 25 plus runners on Team Livestrong/Boston, I am currently in "second place" fundraising wise. One last push and I might make it into the pole position.

More on that later.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Random Stuff and Books

Nice weekend here in old Marin County, albeit a bit on the rainy side. Highlights yesterday included: the annual little league parade, which was great, as usual; a nice 9 mile tempo run; Michigan basketball game (we lost, but I think our season was a resounding success); and a special dinner with The Girl (The Boy had a sleepover at a friends).

I also finished one book; Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life, by Neil Strauss. Struass, a former New York Times music reviewer, is also the author of one of my favorite book, The Game, which is the story behind his transformation into a world-renowned pick up artist. It also spawned a reality show, which I guess speaks for itself). Emergency is the story of Strauss' obsession with becoming adept at survival skills . It's a very entertaining read: I breezed through the 420 pages in about three days, but at the end of the day it's not quite on par with The Game (though I hasten to add that few books are from a pure entertainment perspective).

Anyway, that's three books down thus far in 2009, and pretty soon I will also be finished with the Lost City of Z, which thus far is really excellent. This book has received across the board accolades, including a great review in the New York Times this past weekend.

On the docket (I think) is: The House of Cards (which chronicles the fall of Bear Stearns) and another non-fiction that got a great review in the TImes: The Tourist (a spy thriller in the spirit of Le Carre).

Anyone have other recommendations?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good Day

Here's my definition of a good day:

-- started off with a great 16 mile run to work

-- enormously productive day with several accolades from big clients

-- an absolutely huge Michigan win at NCAA tournament, which marks a clear turnaround in our program

-- received some love from the tax man, which could not come at a better time

-- a nice Ferry Ride back home from the office. Taking the ferry is a rarity but being on the water in such great weather is really enjoyable

-- two amazing report cards for both kids. It has become expected of the Boy, but I have to say that I am very happy -- very, very happy -- about the progress that The Girl is demonstrating

-- nice dinner with the entire family plus one friend

-- one of those evenings in Marin County where it's so nice you almost want to sleep under the stars

-- a great glass of scotch

-- The Office

Wish I could bottle this day. And with that, I bid thee a good night!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Elusive Leprechaun

Had a fun St. Patty's day with the Little Girl yesterday. In the days building up to it, she and I worked on creating a special "leprechaun catcher" for school. It was a super fun project and I thought we did a pretty good job. We had a net that fell over the pot of gold and a "lucky charms" trap door. I'll post a picture tomorrow, but suffice to say we were stoked.

She woke up early yesterday and found a little surprise on her bed: a stuffed animal and personal note from the "leprechaun" (read: me). She was out of her mind with excitement. The two of us raced to school to see if any of the kids were successful in their effort to nab a leprechaun. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, although the classroom was a mess: there was leprechaun dust, crumbs and little green footprints all over the classroom. I have to say it might have been the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Anyway, the bad news is we failed in our effort to catch that ever elusive little fellow. The good news; there's always next year. And we are already talking about future modifications. Next year we are going to get him; I just know it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Waeger Won

I am real sad today, so will keep this post short.

I first heard about Dan Waeger a few weeks ago when Lance Armstrong sent a supportive tweet his way. By the way, Lance is just unreal on Twitter. It's worth joining Twitter simply to follow Lance.

Anyway, I quickly became consumed by Dan's blog, which was co-written by himself and his fiance Meg. It chronicled his three plus year battle with lung cancer. Pretty heavy stuff for someone under 30. It is a very well-written blog and is part humorous, part serious, and large part poignant. I don't suggest you visit this site during the workday; you won't get much done.

You can probably imagine where I am going with all this: Dan succumbed to cancer earlier today. Though I never had the opportunity to meet or correspond with him, he's touched many lives and I believe (and many others) that his message will endure. It's just so sad and senseless for such a young, promising guy to be taken so soon.

Rest in peace, Dan. It's clear you were put on this earth to serve a higher purpose and wherever you are, you should look down knowing that you had a deep impact on many, many lives.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Apple 3.0 software

So, Apple is getting set to announce their new 3.0 iphone software tomorrow. My prediction: it will have a lot of things consumers such as myself are clamoring for (but not all -- they gotta keep you pining for more), such as cut and paste, MMS and more. However, in typical Apple fashion tomorrow will be more of a "roadmap" presentation, and the actual software won't be available for at least 30 days, if not more. I think their objective is to cut The Palm Pre off at the pass. So, I believe the objective will be to release prior to the Pre. Would love to see Pre beat them to the punch, however, and set the stage for some real drama. I think it's great the Apple seems to finally (maybe?) have a real competitor in the mobile realm. Will be fun to watch how they react. If they really want to impress, they will make this software available tomorrow, but I think we could put about a 5 percent chance of THAT happening.

Will also be interesting to see if they launch a tablet I think that's coming, but not tomorrow. And I think when that announcement DOES come, many Kindle owner, myself included, will be bummed.

In other news, not too much to report. My Boston marathon training is coming along well and have had a good block of training. Now I need to integrate some speed and perhaps hill into the mix as well.

Listening to some great new music these days including Flobots, Metric and more. I'm very much anticipating the new Silversun Pickups and the new Eminem.

That's it for tonight; been a near 12 hour workday. Over and out.

Oh wait, one more thing: huge thanks to some recent Boston Livestrong donors, including my good friend Emma! She wins the award for youngest donor (9 or 10). Thanks Emma -- you rock! Also big thanks to my boy John H and my girl Val. Much appreciated guys.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Detroit Rock City

I am back from a three day whirlwind trip to Detroit that included one red eye flight and one very early return flight.As a result, I am beyond exhausted. I was there for the bat mitzvah of one of my closest college friends. It's astonishing to me that my friend's kids are entering their teenage years. It was a great time, as is always the case when we are reunited. But I have to say: aside from it being a great time, it's hard to enjoy oneself too much in Detroit these days, given what is going on with the economy. What's happening there is nothing short of astonishing. It is literally ground zero of the economic meltdown. I went for a run yesterday in Bloomfield Hills, which is one (or I should say, WAS one) of the most affluent zip codes in the country. Without exaggeration, virtually every other home is for sale and the ones that aren't for sale are foreclosed. It is worse than you can imagine. Poor Detroit. But; that's the price to pay for being a one trick pony and having no other industry beyond automotive.

So, that;s that. But while I am on the subject of Michigan, I am proud to see my Wolverines back n the big dance for the first time in a decade. We are a 10 seed and probably won't make it very far but it's nice to see our basketball program on the rebound. Go Blue!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Great Morning

One of my favorite part sof running is coming up with new and different routes. Well, today was something pretty special. I left the house at 6:25 and within five minutes, despite my head lamp and reflective vest, I successfully evaded my first car. I went down to our local towpath, through Sausalito and then up the hills to the Golden Gate Bridge. I missed sunrise by about five minutes but it was still a site to behold. All you runners out there: try to run across the GGB at least once in your lifetime It will be well worth your while. I then dropped down to Crissy Field (and got a little confused in the process), through to the Dolphin Club (one of the oldest swim clubs - if not the oldest -- in the country) through the various Piers, to the Ferry Building and at long last -- my office. I have never been so happy to make it to work. All told, it was 16.7 miles and I arrived a hair before 9 am. I felt pretty good until around 4:00 pm, at which point I would have given anything for a nap. It was super fun and something I'd definitely do again. Attached are pictures from along the way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It might be just because I am stoked on the Kindle, as you probably gathered from yesterday's post, but I have made a commitment to watch less TV and read more books. I've always been a pretty voracious reader and I still read a ton of newspapers, magazines and other media, but I need and want to get back to books. So, similiar to running, I have set forth a goal: to read 10-15 books in 2009. I think this is doable.

Thus far in 2009 I've read Dark Summit, an Everest account (6.5 on a 1-10) and The Historian (7 stars. Faltered towards the end and far, far too long). On the docket is The Lost City of Z, which is thus far excellent (I'm about a quarter way through) and Emergency: This Book Could Save Your Life by Neil Strauss, author of The Game, which is one of my all-time favorites. ANyway, you can probably sense a (not so) new obsession coming on. I am all ears in regards to recommendations.

Who knows, maybe I'll even start a 'virtual" book club of sorts on these pages.

In other news, I have a little adventure planned for tomorrow morning. The plan is wake up at o dark hundred, eat a quick breakfast and head out and run to work, which I estimate, depending on the route (which I am unsure of) to be somewhere between 13-16 miles. SHould be pretty cool: down the mountain from our house to the flats (hoping to avoid wayward cars) down through the towpath from Mill Valley to Sausalito and then climb up the Golden Gate bridge (if I time it correctly I should be on the bridge when the sun comes up), down the Bridge to the Marina and run water side to the Embarcadero to my office. Should be pretty gnarly. I'll post a brief wrap up tomorrow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Kindle 2

So, I bought the Kindle two weeks ago, and I am pretty solid. I have long wanted an ebook reader and have been eye balling the SOny Reader or more than a year. I think the aesthetics of the Sony are much more appealing but in the end, for me personally, the wireless access offered by Kindle proved to be decisive. the built in EVDO, in my opinion, is the killer app. It really is a wonderful thing to be able to read a review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review and be able to order and be reading that book in the comfort of your own home (or better yet, a plane) inside of a minute. It's a bit of a paradigm shift to be reading on an ereader versus holding a book, but I can tell you halfway into my first book, that you get used to it pretty quickly.

The Kindle is perfect for me for two reason: I like to read/juggle multiple books at a time, which you can do with ease with the Kindle and you I travel a ton. So for me, it was a near no brainer, although from an economics perspective, it's a somewhat losing proposition (you need to purchase upwards of 40 hardcover books to rationalize cost). That said, it's almost worth the cost not to have the clutter of multiple books around my house; we have literally boxes of books in our garage and others scattered throughout the house.

The device itself is pretty pleasing and sleek, though I think it's going to become quickly antiquated. The one thing I wish it offered was backlighting, but it would have come at the expense of battery life, so I guess it's all a tradeoff. In two years, we will be looking back at Kindle 2 in a similar manner to early generation ipods. And speaking of early generation ipods, and my good friend Apple, I predict we will soon see an Apple touchscreen device that will also serve as an ereader. This device will be a Kindle killer, though in the end Amazon stills win in that any device that Apple introduces opens up yet another new channel for the business that really matters most to Amazon: selling books.

In the end, however, cost structure aside, the truth is everyone is a winner because anything that encourages reading is a good thing.

So, net net: I am both pleased and impressed. And by the way, in addition to books, I'm also enjoying reading magazines and newspapers via Kindle as well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thank You, Thank You

I want to thank everyone who has supported my Livestrong/Boston Marathon effort. I really cannot express how moved I am by all the support. People are coming out of the woodwork to support me and I am greatly -- greatly-- appreciative. In fact, with your support I am nearly the top fundraiser thus far for my Boston group. I'm normally not that competitive when it comes to this stuff, but to come in "first" would stoke me.

I've emailed some of you offline and have been negligent with some others. Please bear with me: work has been hectic of late, to put it mildly. I will send you all individual notes, but in the interim, thank you to the Brenners, the Quirkes, Maryann C, the Fishers, the Strays, Amanda, Norm and Scooter and the Jacksons. I know I'm forgetting someone and will go through the list and hit you offline.

Again, thank you. With all this support, I really have to represent at Boston, don't I? Better get training; I'm woefully behind.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Janes Freaking Addiction

Want to see Rock n Roll at its finest? Then check out this video that Pitchfork just hosted from a surprise Janes Addiction show this past Monday night in LA. Of course, I had to be in LA on Tuesday night. Great timing on my part. Though Jane's last few albums have pretty much sucked, to me, they remain the definitive band of the 90's and one of my personal all-time favorites. I add the caveat, however, that Dave Navarro is pretty much a stroke.

That's it for me tonight; long two days in LA and I need to get some sleep. Coming up soon: review of Kindle (gadget time!) and my thoughts on Amazon. They have sure kept things interesting in the technology landscape and you have to give credit to them for making books and reading relevant again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Bid for Congress

One of my closest friends, John Fritchey, was unfortunately unsuccessful in his bid for the 5th congressional seat in Chicago tonight. This was a highly contested race and John ended up taking second (12 candidates ran) behind Mike Quigley, who had the endorsement of The Sun Times and Tribune. John ran a great race and I'm super proud of him, as are many folks in Chicago. He may not have won this battle but his political prospects are very bright, and I am sure we'll all be hearing more from him in the future. He is a great politician and an even better person and while I am certain he is disappointed, he can hold his head high knowing that he ran a great race while not compromising his integrity.

Onward and upward, Homie.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Shout out to a New Friend in Chicago

I just got off the phone with a friend of a friend who was just last week diagnosed with thyroid cancer. There are incredible parallels between the two of us: same age, same industry, same position. It's amazing we hadn't previously met one another as he lives in Chicago. One big difference: he has a genetic predisposition towards thyroid cancer. His mother had it when she was younger.

We spoke for an hour and that conversation really took me back in time. It was only less than three years ago for me, but it really seems like yesterday. He sounds like a great guy and with three young kids in tow, I know how much he's freaking. Like most of us thyroid cancer survivors, I am sure he's going to be fine, but there's no doubt he has a pretty trying year in front of him. In a weird way, it felt good to talk about it and I hope I was helpful.

Anyway, please throw out good vibes to me new Chicago friend, who'll I refer to as "G". In fact, if you would, please send a shout out to him in the comments section, and I'll direct him to this site when we connect next. I'm sure he'd appreciate it greatly, as would I.