Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fruit Trees

One of my favorite aspects of living in California is the horticulture. I love the wildflowers in the spring; the overgrown chapparal on the trails; the year round smell of lavender. But what I really love most is my own two fruit trees. The first is my lemon tree. It yields a couple dozen meyer lemons three or four times a year. It isn't the greatest yielding lemon tree in the world (I've seen trees with literally hundreds of lemons) but it's the centerpiece of our small backyard. I enjoy it so much that I recently bought another - a satsuma tree which yields clementines. This one is a baby and while it struggled at first it has recently started to really take off. According to our gardner it should bear fruit this spring. I'm thinking about a third one too and am considering apricot or maybe even pear.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yom Kippur

Today was/is Yom Kippur; the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. In the spirit of the holiday, I hope that all of you -- Jewish and non-Jewish alike are inscribed in the book of life and have a healthy and prosperous year. During Yom Kippur it's tradition to fast for the day. Generally, it is pretty tough but this year it was oddly easy. I feel as if I could have gone on another day.

In other news, I also saw my cancer doc this afternoon. I know; probably a weird day to do this but I booked the appointment months ago and this doctor is hard to see, so I kept the appointment. Bottom line and I am sure I will post more on this subject when I'm not so tired, but he has decided he wants to do a three year full body scan. Which is great, but it is going to be a fairly big pain in the ass: I need to go through the typical drill - back on the diet from hell, off the thyroid meds and it culminated in a tracer dose of radiation and scan. Only difference is I will be given a two thyrogen shots (each of which costs $1,000) which will mitigate the effects of going off my meds. Should make for an interesting December; I am going to start the protocol the day after I finish (hopefully I will finish!) the Quad Dipsea.

Anyway, more on this later.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beer Review: Blind Pig IPA

I had a long, long day in LA so too tired for much of a post -so - beer review time. Tonight's beer is Blind Pig, an American IPA from Sonoma County. Beer Advocate gives this one a straight up "A" based on 589 reviews, which I think speaks for itself. It's very hoppy and citrus-y and is very drinkeable. If you're ever able to find this one on the shelf (though I believe distribution is limited) - be sure to give it a shot.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Post 600!

I am astonished that this is my 600th post. Wow. That's probably enough writing to fill a volume or two. I'm pleased to have stuck it out thus far and to have been (relatively) consistent with my writing. But as I have said in the past, I'm far more pleased -- and proud of -- the little community that we have formed around this site. Things I really love about this cancerman.com include:

I love when y'all comment (so let's hear some comments!)
I love the Thyroid Cancer Run
I particularly love comments from my old man and my mother in law
I love when posts get picked up and posted throughout the Internet (that's happened exactly once by the way)
I love new TV seasons because it provides new fodder
I love my new cancer friends: Crazymama and Gail in particular
I love why The Wife posts (oh wait - she never has. Wink wink)
I love that I've reconnected with so many friends from high school (here's to you Geremy and Rookie)
I love when my college boys and Payro rear their head
I love when Finkel rants
I love my Hawaii/Singapore friends who are one and the same
I love when the Work folks friends past and present (hi Nick and Michael) say hello
I love when my Mill Valley friend pop on bye (what's up Megan and Hope?)

In short: I really do love you all.

And that is my Oscar speech. Or at least the closest I'll ever come to an Oscar speech.

Good night and thanks for coming!

(Ps. Think it's time for me to change the name of this site?)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New TV Season

The new TV season is upon us ,and none too soon. Couple of random tv-related thoughts.

While Entourage is always as entertaining as hell, nothing has really happened this season. It's getting stale. And E's girlfriend (or ex, as the case appears to be) has GOT to be the most annoying character ever.

Trueblood is the best (relatively) new show on TV. It's approaching Soprano's level good. Only thing: I am glad that freak Miriam is gone. That was getting a bit old.

The Office: Still the funniest show ever. It's the new Seinfeld.

Community: This one has promise -- what's not to like about Chevy chase, but was that pilot episode not a bit disappointing? Any thoughts/predictions on this one?

Hung: Never took off and won't live to see another season.

Fringe: I like it alright, but might need to give it up unless there's some sort of interesting breakthrough.

Survivor: Watched religiously for years, then gave it up but did watch the first episode of the new season. Watch out for this villain dude. He has potential.

The New Melrose Place: Worst show in the history of television. But Heather Locklear is coming aboard so big ups for that.

Did I cover all my bases here? Anything else egregiously missing?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random photos

I'm too exhausted to post anything of substance so instead you'll have to bear with some photos from the past few days. In no particular order we have a few pictures of the kids tearing it up on their bikes; the Little Boy pitching during his Fall baseball league (he pitched surprisingly well) and an amazing heirloom tomato/mozzarella salad that the wife whipped up tonight. The tomatoes are in season here in California and man oh man are they good.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Marincello Trail Run

My training for the Quad Dipsea (28 miles with almost 10000 feet of climbing) has begun in earnest. Yesterday I ran the Dipsea Steps three times (brutal) and then the Cascade Trail. About an hour an a half total.

 Today I ran from Tennessee Valley up the Marincello Trail (1.3 miles of straight climbing) all the way down to the Bobcat Trail (where I saw - go figure - a Bobcat) to Rodeo Valley. About 2 hours in total with just a ton of climbing. Must have been 80 degrees today so pretty hot as well.
All in all a good training weekend.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, September 18, 2009

L'shana Tova

Today marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish Ne lw Year. I wanted to mark the occasion by wishing all of my friends - Jewish and non-Jewish alike - peace, prosperity, happiness and health in this coming New Year.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Energizer Bunny

My daughter has inherited my curse: she has insane, crazy, boundless energy. This is my problem too and the reason why I do all these crazy endurance races. Since I was a little boy, I had boundless energy, and she too appears to suffer from this malady. To wit: she's in a Fall swimming program and is back to swimming three to four days a week. Most 7 years olds would be wiped out from this effort, coupled with school, but I get home from work and this kid is just bouncing off the walls. So, I take her (and her bike) out with me on my nightly runs. I run, she bikes. I have to say, it's great fun. She rides alongside with me, pedaling away, and we chat about her day as the sun sets and with Mount Tam in the background. Great father-daughter bonding and I am certain these are the memories from her youth that neither of us will ever forget.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Announcing: The Third Annual Solomon Run For Thyroid Cancer

What do you all say? This seems to have been a pretty big hit in the past. I love getting all the stories and posting the photos.

So I'm thinking: let's do it again. Here's the drill - it's simply, really. I pick a date - right now I am looking at the weekend of October 11th and 12th and all that's asked of you is that you do some sort of physical activitiy (swim, bike, run, walk, hike - I don't care).

This year, though I am hoping that perhaps we can do something special. The last few weeks I have been reading the blog of a friend of a good friend of mine from Chicago. Sadly, one of his good friends from college died on Tuesday night from colon cancer. His name was Tony and he was younger than 40 and left behind a wife and two very young children. There's an existing fund that I will find out more about, but I believe it's intended to help offset their costs and help his kids. I will post a link to the site tomorrow if by show of hands, there is enough interest. Regardless, I will be making a contribution on behalf of myself and this blog.

So -- what say ye? Let's hear it in the comments.

Monday, September 14, 2009

RIP, Patrick Swayze

Well, we all expected this to occur, obviously, but it still sucks all the same; cancer gets another good guy. Rest in peace, Patrick Swayze. What a shame; 57 is far too young.

On a quasi-related note, Crazymama reminded me today via Facebook that September is national Thyroid Cancer Awareness month. Make sure to check your neck next tie you are at the Dr's. It only takes a few moments as is absolutely painless. ANd if you have any questions relating to hit "symptoms" (to the extent there are any) please feel free to hit me, Crazymama or Gail.


Back from Vegas (and flew direct to Chicago) with the Wife. We had a lovely time and it was nice to be child-less, if even for a mere 48 hours. Reminds me of what life will be like -- one day. One day in the very far off future.

We had a great time and mostly did a whole heck of a lot of nothing. Sat poolside in the 103 degree heat (no joke), ate well and well, gambled. Nothing too interesting on that front; I broke even, pretty much to the dollar (due in part to the Wife keeping an eye on me like a freaking hawk).

Anyway, Vegas is always a good and interesting time. But 48 hours is about all I can handle.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sin City

I am taking the Wife to Sin City (read: Vegas) for approximately 72 hours for our 13th wedding anniversary. While Vegas certainly isn't the most relaxing place in the world, we are going kid-less and because of that, I cannot complain. The World's best mother-in-law - and I mean that sincerely - came to town to keep an eye on them for a few days. For that I will forever be grateful. Words can't express how much she comes up big for us time and again. You rule, Nana.

Anyway, I'll be sure to live blog some of the action live from the Mandalay Bay Pool, which if you haven't been, is one of the more entertaining places on this planet.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Today's Apple Announcement

Super tired tonight so here's the post I wrote for Techdork.com. Would have written the same for this site if the new one hadn't existed.

Attendees from today's Apple event are probably still in their seats, but I wanted to quickly offer up my thoughts while still processing all the "news".

The easy response would be "disappointed" and "let down" -- that seems to be the typical kneejerk Apple fanboy response these days.

But I'm not disappointed at all. In fact, I'm pretty stoked. Why? Because short of the Tablet being announced, which we all realized was a long shot, there wasn't anything I was really going to buy today. I already have iPhones (that's right, plural) and iPods out the wazoo (at last count eight in our household). So really, even the 8 gig Nano with video recorder - more on that in a second -- which was a bit of a surprise, wasn't going to compel me to run to the Apple Store.

So why am I stoked? Because I get two totally cool new features in iTunes 9.0 and iPhone 3.1. And I get them for free. And I get them today. I suspected 9.0 was going to be announced and available today but 3.1 was a bonus -- and for that alone I am very happy. It's too early for me to comment on both of these in detail, but stay tuned. I am sure I'll have detailed thoughts in the coming days.

In regards to the product announcements, a few thoughts:

-- the souped up Nano with video recording was a surprise. But it's pretty weird -- I can't quite get my head around it. And why would they only announce this in the 8 gig version, not the 16? You need more room to store video. And what's the real practicality for this product? As my friend Dave texted me during the announcement (because that is what tech dorks do), it's a move to keep Nano relevant and in the game. And so, I think it's an experiment of sorts on Apple's part. We will see how that goes. I do know this; today marks the beginning of the end for the Flip; theres no question about it.

-- why no camera in the Touch? This is really surprising. I suspect it came down to either a sourcing issue (not enought cameras to be found) or they didn't want to risk cannibalizing iPhones. Either way, it's a bit of a head scratcher.

So, that's it. It goes without saying that the most exciting aspect of today was seeing Steve Jobs back on stage. As a fellow cancer survivor myself I have particular empathy for what he has gone through and beyond being among the greatest marketers ever, he's also one tough hombre.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Go Blue

I haven't written about Michigan football for an eternity because, frankly, there hasn't been much to write about. But I have to say, the Boys in Blue looked *really* good on Saturday. Really, really good - for the first half at least.

The thing that impressed me the most is that we were FAST. I realize we were only playing Western Michigan (respect, Bronco's) but for the first half of that game we looked like freaking Florida out there. I think that we saw the true dawning of the RichRod era; last year doesn't really count because he didn't really have any guys and the guys he did have weren't really molded to play his style of football. That being said, it was only the first game of the year, it was against a MAC opponent (respect, MAC) and we are still very, very young and led by freshman quarterback(s). But I liked what I saw. And I can't wait to see how we do against Notre Dame. And for all you still reading this post, I'm on record saying that I have and continue to believe in RichRod.

Go Blue.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Kid in Marin

Today's Labor Day activities included: skateboarding at the coolest skate park ever; batting cages for the Boy; soccer fest at the local recreation center; swimming at the local pool; playing at an area park and dinner at PF Changs. These kids are so damn lucky and still they find something to complain about. I never complained about a thing when I was a kid - right dad? That's a rhetorical question by the way. No answr necessary.

 In other news today is my 13th wedding anniversary. Big ups to the Wife for putting up with me for this long. Seriously. I don't know how she does it. But she's a great Wife and a better mother and I love her more than anything. Happy anniversary Wife!

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Race to the Finish Line

Download now or watch on posterous
IMG_1663.MOV (2525 KB)

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Go Little Boy, Go

We did a family 5k this morning in San Francisco. It was a flat but windy course and the Little Boy showed great determination. His goal was to be his previous best of 31 and he did that and more with a time of 28:40 and a win in his age group. He's definitely a runner though he doesnt quite know it yet. His sister had a tougher go of it but still finished in 35 minutes. Not too bad for a 7 year old. I'm proud of them both for just making it to the starting line. Same goes for the Wife.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bond. James Bond.

I'm at dinner with two fifth grade boys both of whom are going through a huge James Bond phase. They just posed to me one of life's most critical questions: what is your favorite James Bond movie? And who's the best Bond? After some introspection I've decided my favorite is The Man with The Golden Gun. And Sean Connery. Definitely Sean Connery.

 Your opinions on this matter would be greatly appreciated by the Boys.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Cascade Trail: A Pictorial

Ran the Cascade Trail today with the wife. The hardest part is running the three sets of Dipsea Steps, which is the equivalent of climbing a 50 story building. After the steps it levels off and is pretty much flat, though in certain areas it's somewhat technical. It's one of my favorite forest trails and is stunningly beautiful.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shameless Plug

A shameless plug to remind you all to please check out www.techdork.com. We have a good number of posts and have had some good feedback but we are kind of lacking a bit on the traffic department. Not that it matters, really. Its been a fun exercise thus far and it's good for me to start critically thinking and articulating my thoughts on a range of issues that are tangentially related to work.

Speaking of work, rough week. That's all I will say on that. As you all know, I never write about work on this site and don't intend to start, but I will say this: it's been a doozie of a few weeks. The Wife and I are going to break away next weekend to go to Las Vegas for a few days of R&R. While I'd frankly rather go somewhere a bit more relaxing, I will also take what I can get.

What else is new? Let's see. I got the new Jay-Z album from one of my friends and thus far, it's pretty good. And I am getting deeper into my new book, The Girl Who Played with Fire and that is also good. And I'm looking down the barrel at a long weekend and that too, my friends, is good. Think I will kick it off in a few moments with a Macallan 12, neat. That's scotch talk for all you non-drinkers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sweet Home Chicago

At the airport getting set to return back home to SF from a whirlwind two days. I love Chicago -- as you all know it wil always be the hometown for my two kids -- but something is seriously amiss with the weather. Chicago winters you all probably know about, but summer's are generally fantastic. So good, that they almost make putting up with winter a worthwhile endeavour. And usually late August is peak season; solid 80's and hot.

But not this time. I went running this am and the weather was decidedly San Francisco-like. As in high 50's, low 60's. IT didn't get a whole heck of a lot warmer througout the day either. And that ain't right. My boy Dave tells me the water temperature this weekend for the Chicago triathlon was in the high 50's. It is usually in the 70's. So anyway -- I am not sure exactly what is going on -- perhaps it's a meteorological anomaly -- but just between you and I, I'm kind of glad I got out of dodge when I did four years ago.

Said with respect of course.