Monday, June 29, 2009

Favorite: Day of Your Life

Ok, here's the "Favorite" of the week -- what was the favorite (best?) day of your life? One rule however: we have to eliminate the easy targets: your wedding day, day your met your significant other, birth of your kids, blah, blah, blah. Because we all know that if you're married with kids, there's only one way to answer that question.

Not sure if I have a clear cut answer for this question, myself. I think it's tie between the first time I got a "clean scan" and completing Ironman, which was an epic, epic undertaking. Come to think of it, there might be a third: the day I got accepted into the Unversity of Michigan. That was definitely a good day, too.

That's the best I can do. But enough of me; you?

In other news, headed to Chicago for business and 4th of July holiday. Will be sure to send updates via Posterous. If you haven't checked out that site yet, you need to do so, pronto. You can become a blogger within seconds, from the luxury of your mobile device. If you own an iPhone, it's a no brainer as it's a great -- and free -- repository for uploading pictures and video.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My New Sport: Stand Up Paddling

We went to the beach in Sausalito today and my buddy Mark just bought a new paddleboard. This is a different type of board than the one I wrote about a year ago; this is a stand up board.  It's super wide and fairly easy to maneuver. I paddled around the Bay for quite some time until I got the hang of it and I have to say that ir was both super fun and one heck of a workout, mostly the arms and core. The Board is big enough that the Little Girl was able to get on it with me and we cruised around quite a bit. She was loving it and I think I might have to get one of these bad boys. The only problem is that they aren't exactly inexpensive. Let me know if anyone would like to sponsor me (read: you, Dad). It was a very California day in total: went for a long swim in the Bay, paddled around for a good while and then ran six miles (see previous post). And to top it off, it was 77 and blue skies. I couldn't ask for a more perfect day. 

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Barefoot Running

I have recently started running in my Vibram FiveFingers, which is essentially the same as running barefoot save for a very thin piece of rubber. I'm taking it slow but ran six miles today. Since wearing these things my calf pain that has persisted since Boston has all but gone away and I can feel my feet getting much stronger. I think my posture has improved as well. I admit they are pretty weird looking - I get constant abuse over them - but they definitely have functional use. They are probably a passing fad but even if so they have injected some fun and a new spin into my running.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Way to Go Little Girl

Solid effort today for the Little Girl; she swam best times in both freestyle and in butterfly (which she won). Backstroke wasn't too bad either - just one second off her mark. All in all a good day despite the fact that I sat in 93 degree heat for five hours to watch her swim less than two minutes in total.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, June 26, 2009

Missing the Little Boy

I'm generally not too prone to what I'd call "sappy" posts but this is an instance where I really can't help myself. The Little Boy has been at camp for little over one day and already I miss him dearly. How could one not miss a face like this? Not sure how I'm going to get through the next three and a half weeks without him. Of course I know how this story will play out: as soon as he's back and fighting with his sister I'll wish he was away again.

In other news, the mother of the Little Girl (aka The Wife) is back home again and boy am I glad to see her. I truly had a great time with the Little Girl - it was important I think that we spend some time together, alone -- but at the same time, I have a newfound respect for single, working parents.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And In Other News

A Big Day and all I know, between the death's of Farrah Fawcett and Michael. May they both rest in peace. I am particularly saddened by Farrah, given her noble battle with cancer. She really did a tremendous job at the end in furthering the cause. If you didn't get a chance to see her NBC special, it was really quite moving.

Anyway, in other news, Team Astana named their Tour de France squad today. I'm sorry to see that Chris Horner didn't make the team, but I can't say I am surprised. Johan fairly - and wisely -- announced that Alberto, and not Lance, would be team leader and I think that was the right call. I cannot wait until the tour.

Little Ms. Swimmer Girl

Ok, let's if this works. I've now linked together my blog and my Posterous site that I wrote about yesterday. If this autposts on both I will be stoked. This picture is one of my favorites; the Little Girl lining up for a race.
Here goes nothing. If this works expect to see a lot of shorter, micro posts. Btw, this is all being sent directly via iPhone. Cool stuff for this tech geek.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Interesting New Website

Every so often I stiumble upon an exciting new website/technology that I feel is potentially gamechanging (as relates to the social web). I've just found one in Posterous. I created a personlized site that you can see here. I haven't fully got my arms around it but it's really interesting -- probably the most interesting site I've seen since discovering FriendFeed.

Anyway, I"m toying with the notion of moving my entire blog to this site, but will likely play around with it a bit more before making a final decision. At minimum, however, I will use it as a repository fro uploading video from this shiny new iPhone 3GS. That's right; you knew there was no doubt I was getting on one of those bad boys. I will save my iPhone commentary for a separate post, but suffice to to say, between the snappiness of the faster processor and the new video capabilities, coupled with the new 3.0 upgrade, I give it a resounding two thumbs up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Favorite: Athlete

Long day. Not sure exactly how single working parents do it. Too tired for a full fledged posting, so let's keep it to Favorites tonight. The question is: who's your favorite athlete of all time? Pretty tough call for me: I have so many ranging from childhood (Thurman Munson) through college through the current era. At the end of the day though, I'd have to say Lance Armstrong. He was my favorite even before I was diagnosed with cancer; I just love how he ripped his opponents heart out and ALWAYS rose to the occasion. His seven victories were all dramatic and each of them made my Summer. I can't wait to watch him again, though I am worried about this one. Given all he has obviously done to further the cancer cause really seals the deal though; he's a great role model for kids and adults alike. Go get 'em at the Tour, Lance.

So, that's mine. What about y'all?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day One: Me and The Girl

So, the Wife ad the Boy are out East. I won't see the Boy until mid July, which really bums me out. Considering I had to spend a considerable amount of time working today, she and I had a good time. Took her to swim practice and then we headed to my office (where she was given her very own office) where she actually helped out for several hours. I was a combination of proud and relieved that she was well behaved. She was awarded $1.50 for her assistance (she helped make a "welcome " sign, she glued some receipts to paper and she made pictures for the staff) and a proper lunch with her dad.

Afterwards we came home and took a father-daughter run/bike. That girl can bike just as well as she can swim and run, which is saying something. All these bikers were making comments about how fast she was going. For a six year old she's something; definitely a budding triathlete. We then got pizza, and now it's bed time. Aside from a bit of whining for her mother and brother, day one down and was pretty enjoyable.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sorry for the Absence

Last week got a bit away from me: had to travel for business for the six consecutive week and then headed out on Wednesday night (Thursday morning, actually) on the red eye to Detroit for our annual Boy's Weekend. It's my favorite four days of the year and suffice to say, this year did not disappoint. I am incredibly close with my college buddies and this is the one time a year where we get together, relax, hang out, catch up, etc. We do a whole bunch of nothing but we enjoy ourselves tremendously. I'm sorry it's over but at the same time I'm absolutely exhausted.

Tomorrow starts a bit of a new chapter in our lives; the Little Boy leaves for Summer camp. He's officially growing up and it stokes me on the one hand, and bums me out on the other. All I know is that he hasn't even left the house yet, and already I am going to miss him to pieces The Wife is taking him to Camp, which is located in New Hampshire, so I am responsible for the Little Girl. I'm sure I will have some interesting updates to report on that situation. In the interim, however, it's off to bed for me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Favorite: Sporting Event

Ok, this week's question, courtesy of the NBA champions Lakers (man do I hate the Lakers): what is your favorite sporting moment of all time?

For me, it's a tough call. I have my '78 New York Yankees, which is my coming of age baseball team, much like the current Yankees are for my Little Boy. Plenty of Michigan football games might fit the bill. Then there are some of the 90's Yankees teams. Great teams, great games.

But at the end of the day, it's an easy call for me. My favorite sporting moment, bar none, was Michigan winning the NCAA basketball National Championship in 1989. First there was the drama of the tournament itself. And then added drama that Michigan's coach quit right before the start of the tournament. And then there was the not so insignificant fact that I was born a Wolverine, and this was the first national championship of my life. And lastly, it occurred during a period in time in which I was consumed by college basketball. Man, was that game gratifying. I got to watch it with my Old Man, too, which was pretty cool.

So that's mine. Second would probably be more of personal nature: crossing the finish line of Ironman in 1999. That too was a pretty special moment.

Anyway -- let's hear it from the peanut gallery.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Somewhat Active Day

So, this in a nutshell was my day:

-- woke up and ran the famous Dipsea, the second oldest trail race in the County. This was the 99th edition. I lollygahged it because I was using it as a training run (more on that later). To be honest, I felt lukewarm about it. Too many people, too much pushing, too much traffic. I hit the trails for the solitude of it all and this was a little too much for my taste. But whatever; it was fun. My time stunk but again, it was one of the rare races where I wasn't paying much attention. I kind of raced this one just to say I did it.

-- Immediately after the race, I ran 7 more hilly miles from Stinson Beach to Muir Woods. In certain respects, I think this was more fun. Tell you one thing: I was getting some pretty strange looks from folks driving home from the race. I could tell they were trying to figure out what the hell I was doing.

-- Got home, ate lunch closed my eyes for the better part of ten minutes and then took the little girl for a swim. Probably swam about a half mile and worked with the little Girl on her stroke (she took two 1st yesterday -- back and breast, and one 2nd --- free) and was having fun until the boy beckoned and pulled me to the......

-- Baseball field. Where I proceeded to throw him and chae after 100 balls, depsite the fact that I was growing increasingly sore with each passing minute.

-- After that I headed to Coach Phil's for a beer and now I'm about ready to go to pass out (but I have to watch the season premier of True Blood), as are both kids, both of whom had sleepovers last night (the first ever for the Girl). I think between the two of them they must have slept about five hours each.

Tell you one thing: we're going to sleep well tonight in the Solomon household.

Friday, June 12, 2009


About 15 months ago I wrote a tribute to my good friend H. Brian Binder. Today I received a comment from his partner, David Craig, who's a great dude that I haven't seen in far too long. I also received another message from a friend of Brian. Hey David and hello Binder family if you are reading this. I am glad you tracked this down. It's moments -- and connections -- like this that keep this blog going.


I didn't do my "favorite' of the week. So, this week's question: favorite food of all-time? I have to say that all things considered, the pretzel wins, followed closely by the artichoke. A lame one, perhaps, but I am wiped out from this week's travels and that is the best my brain can come up with this evening.

Sweet Home, Chicago

Sorry for my absence of late; it's been an insane week work-wise. I had to travel unexpectedly to Chicago, from where I am writing these words. I have ony been back to CHicago twice since moving from here almost four years ago, and both those trips were one nighters. I have to say that it's good to be back. Chicago in the Summertime (though yesterday was anything but Summer like with grey skies and pouring rain) is fantastic, and while I still prefer San Francisco, this is one terrific City composed of terrific people. There's something about the Midwest sensibility that makes this a very special place. I'm leaving tonight but already feeling a bit wistful about it; I look forward to returning sometime soon, hopefully with the kids in tow, so that we can show them the sites that they sadly barely remember.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New iPhone

Well, Apple managed to do it again: completely delight and simultaneously piss off their customer base. They have gotten so proficient as this they have turned it into a quasi art form.

Bottom line is that this iPhone isn't all that, especially compared against the prior two versions, where were both groundbreaking. I'd categorize this as more of an incremental, "evolutionary" improvement on the platform. There are a number of "nice to have's", including video recording and voice control, but nothing that I'd categorize as game changing.

The bad news though: if you own the 3g you are pretty much hosed on this though given the new pricing structure, unless you're moronic enough to pay "asking" (hello, Beno!). I think I have a way of getting the 32gig at $299 provided ATT is kind enough tto take back my Nokia e71x, and if that turns out to be true (I will know in the morning), I'll go for it. My major rationale for purchasing iPhone 3g s (what's up with that branding, btw?) would be the video recording feature. I'm the right demographic for that. As an example, it would be killer to shoot video from the iPhone of the Girl's swim meet and email it immediately to my father. That would be cool. But in my opinion, it isn't more than $299-level cool.

On a related note, I checked out the Pre earlier today and was very impressed with the OS but not so much so with the build; it indeed has a "plasticky" feel to it. I'd buy this but only once it moves to AT&T. Not worth the migration to Sprint and I'm mentally going to let this go, though my boy Dave is convinced I'm going to torture myself over this over the next few days. Something tells me he's right. He knows me better than I know myself at times, particularly as relates to gadgets.

Anyway, Apple announcement days are always interesting. And oh, if you were ever interested in buying a MacBook Air, now's the time.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Movie Review: The Hangover

Simply put, this is the funniest movie I have ever seen in my life.

There, I said it.

It's funnier than Old School. It's funnier than Knocked Up. It's funnier than any Apatow movie. It's funnier than Animal House, Harold and Kiuma, the 40 Year Old Virgin. It's funnier than .. well, you get my point.

Every character is great, every scene is great and the there's literally a laugh a minute. It's a comedy, but it's a cleverly written, quasi dark comedy and the acting is terrific, including one breakout performance and an unreal cameo by Mike Tyson. In a nutshell, it is everything a movie should be and more and I suggest you run -- not walk -- to the theaters to see this one. That's about all I can say: you have to see this one yourself to believe it. And this is the kind of movie when it's all said and done, you won't watch once. It will be more like 50 times.


My main man Rob was in from Hong Kong this weekend and he and I had a damn near perfect day yesterday. It went something like this:

--swim meet in am (his girls swim too so he can relate. The Little Girl took 1 first and 2 seconds btw)
-- baseball game late am. Rangers lost. Got destroyed, actually
-- In and Out Burget for lunch
-- Gnarly trail run early afternoon
-- Hang out at the beach with kids late afternoon
-- Indian food for dinner
-- Above movie
-- Killer bottle of cabernet
-- Beer sampling and WIll Ferrel Semi-Pro on HBO

If anyone can frame a better day than that, I'm all ears.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Favorite (alcoholic) Drink

So, yesterday's post seemed pretty popular so we will extend the theme to close out the week. So, the question of the day: if you had to pick one alcoholic drink to bring with you to a desert Island, what would it be? Mine is a toss up between scotch and beer and specifically, I'd probably narrow it down to Macallan 12 vs. Racer Five. Note that MaCallan isn't my favorite scotch per se, but it's very well balanced. The Oban 14 I'm drinking as I type is probably my all-time favorite. that or Lagavullin. But I digress.

Anyway, the scotch probably would win. Something about scotch that just works for me.

So what about you guys? What will win the day? Wine? Scotch? Beer? I'm sure Beno is going to have an interest response to this one.......

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Ok, I am headed to Seattle later tonight for business, so I need to keep this short.

To help encourage a bit more interactivity, I am starting a weekly posting called "favorites" in which we all post our favorite X of the week (book, movie, sporting event, etc.)

Sound interesting? Shall we all play along.

So, let's start out with ... Books. I've always been an avid reader of both the highbrow and the lowbrow but my favorite book of all time orients towards the latter. I have to say that all things considered, it's ... The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Much like the movie (and remember -- the movie is based on the book) - it's just an epic classic. You can pick it up at any page and find something compelling. Its characters are all rich. It's fun. It's a period piece. It's a gangster piece. It's about family; it's about enemies. You get my point -- it has a little something for everyone. there are others too, but this is about "favorites" and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So, I showed you mine. Let's see yours.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Because so many of you have been inquiring ... still no word from Palm in regards to my shameless plea for a Palm Pre. I remain optimistic and stand by, waiting with bated breathe however. Let's see if the tech g-ds are looking after me as reward for serving them all these years as the mother of all early adopters.

In other news, let's see:

-- I'm fairly convinced that the Yankees are going to the World Series. They have been playing damn near perfect ball these past few weeks and one can't help but feel that all is right in the universe.

-- As previously posted, Born to Run is one terrific book and I'm following it up with one that's almost eqaully good: Road Dogs, by Elmore Leonard. It's astonishing that he can write as well as he does at the age of 83. He is truly the master of dialogue and this one has movie written all over it. More when I am finished.

-- I'm sad to report that the Eminem and Green Day albums are a disappointment. No other way to state it. Never did I think I'd be more interested in bands named Passion Pit, Sparklehorse, Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear than I would be in these two, but that is definitely the case.

- Lastly, but certainly not least, I think we have a real swimmer in the family. The Little Girl took first, second and third in her swim meet this past weekend, and improved her times in each (actually, it was first time she swam fly -- that's the one she won). The most important thing: she absolutely loves it. And I think she's also developing a bit of the eye of the tiger, too. Much like her dad, this one has crazy, mad energy coursing through her veins and swimming is a spectacular outlet for her.

That's about it for now. Off to a baseball game shortly -- Little League playoffs start tonight.