Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Five: Hearst Castle; Doctor's Office

So, last night we (the WIfe, actually) drove form LA to Hearst Castle. I'm feeling a bit like a loser for saying this, but it was our fourth trip to the Castle. This time we went on the night tour, which features actor's in period costumes. It was pretty cool and the kids were very much into it. Again, if you haven't been to Hearst Castle, make sure you get there sometime in this lifetime.

We spent the night in Cambria, which is our favorite Central Coast town and we drove home this afternoon -- straight to the doctor's office and then the local Xray joint. The good news is that nothing is broken. I was fairly certain that was going to be the case. I am real curious about whether I have any ligament damage though. It hurts like hell, especially when I try to rotate or pivot on it. I wouldn't normally be so anal about this, but I'm a runner and I really need a sound foot and ankle. The plan is to to give it a few more days and then decide whether I need to see a specialist. Again, whatever the case maybe, I cannot express how thankful I am that the kids were not injured. It was truly a matter of inches.

I think I will be glad when this year is over.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hit by Car

I got hit by a car today. True story. I was crossing the street with the Kids - at a green light mind you - and next thing I know I got whacked by a car. It was utterly surreal. I managed to avoid major damage except for my foot and ankle. I don't think it is broken but it really hurts and I am worried about ligament damage. Somehow my pants got completely scuffed up as you might be able to see from the pictures. Not sure how that happened, exactly. It all happened so quickly.

Even if my foot is damaged I am so grateful it was me and not the kids. No exaggeration; two inches more and I think we'd all be seriously injured.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day Four: Beverly Hills, Santa Monica

ANother action packed day. Woke up super early and went for a five mile run before the family even woke up. Wife went for a run too and afterwards we went to meet my Boss and his two terrific kids (his son is a budding magician and he has the Boy totally hooked on card tricks) at my Wife's Holiest of Sites: Nate and Al's Deli. Sorry New Yorkers; Nate and Al's out deli's anything that even New York has to offer. It's that good. I had scrambled eggs with salami and stuffed cabbage. Sounds weird, I know, but it really works. After breakfast we cruised around Beverly Hills and checked out some of the sites. We then headed back to Santa Monica and met some of our Mill Valley friends at the same sketchy ass Santa Monica pier that we went to last night. No matter though: the kids had a blast and I guess that i what it's all about. After that we met a colleague from work and his family for dinner and then cruised around the Promenade for a while. We got home at 10:00 pm n the nose, making this another fun filled, 12 hour plus day.

Tomorrow we will hang out in the morning and cruise to Venice Beach on scooters (kids) while the Wife and I run. After that, we will hit the road and drive to Cambria on the Central Coast where the plan is to go on the night tour at the Hearst Castle. That's right; it wouldn't be a Solomon vacation without a trip to the old Hearst Castle. I think this will be visit number four if I am not mistaken. Probably our last one too; after this, I suspect we will be all castled-ut.

Day 2: SLO-LA; Day 3: LA

So, we drove on the 26th from San Luis Obispo to LA with brief stops in between in Santa Barbara/Montecito and Ventura County (with a very brief stop at my own personal holy grail; Patagonia HQ). I must say that Santa Barbara is most impressive. We took a slightly different route this year and drove through the mountain range, which I believe is the Santa Ynez Range. It was beyond beautiful. You get the full mountain effect, with the added bonus of sweeping, majestic Ocean views. I tried to take some photos and will post later, but they simply cannot do justice.

We arrived in LA late on the 26th after watching the sun set from a park in Malibu, which was also majestic. In typical Solomon style, we haven't sat still since; we went for a run early, walked on the beach yesterday, played in multiple parks, had breakfast in Santa Monica (and sat next to Clippers star Baron Davis) visited friends in La Canada, went to the amusement park at the Santa Monica Pier and had dinner at our old vacation favorite, Benihana. Not sure what today will bring us, but we are thinking Venice Beach, possibly and if the Wife has her way, Beverly Hills.

I'll be sure to post pictures later.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 1: Mill Valley to San Luis Obispo

The Solomon's are on the road again for our annual sojourn down South. This year we decided to bypass Highway 1 simply because the one lane road takes too long. So, we took 101 down to San Luis Obispo and stayed in the famous Madonna Inn. If I wasn't writing from my iPhone I would send a link but Google this if you have a chance. It has 120 rooms, each with a different theme. We stayed in the 1950's room and it was a trip. Photos attached but they can't really do justice to this place. Definitely worth a night's stay.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My First Board

I came home from work today (took both kids to the office; that was a story unto itself) and found this waiting for me literally on the house. My first (paddle) board; I am officially a Californian. Wow am I stoked; can't wait to take it out into the Bay. Huge props to the Wife, who's pretty excited about this herself - s he likes paddling as much as me. For that matter, the Kids enjoy it too.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Ok, Here's the Plan

I wasn't thinking too much about my running endeavours these past few weeks, but I am getting back on track. I gave it consideration and and out of deference to my father, I am not going to go for 12 marathons in 12 months.Frankly I agree that it's too much and I also agree that I would get bored and tired of it come August.

So, I am going to do a modified version that I am calling the California Series. It's is going to look (still a bit loosely) something like this:

January: Phoenix Rock n Roll Half Marathon
February: Surf City Marathon (Huntington Beach)
March: either Napa Marathon or Los Angeles Marathon. Still tbd
April: Big Sur Marathon
May: Greenbelt 50k in LI with Todd, Payro and hopefully Gail
June: Off
July: San Francisco marathon
August: Off
September: Off
October: Long Beach Marathon
November -- Off
December: North Face 50k or 50 miler

During the "off" months I am going to try to work in some long swims, including hopefully (finally) the Big Shoulder 5k swim in Chicago with my boy Dave M.

So, that's looking like the plan. Anyone care to join me for any of the above? The one I'm most stoked for at the moment is Big Sur. The plan is to take that one particularly easy so I can enjoy the scenery.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Moment of Silence, PLease

I think it's important that we all take a brief moment and bow our head in rememberance of Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. They were both great Yankees and their contributions these past few years --- and most especially this post-season -- have been significant. I for one, will miss them greatly. Godspeed, Godzilla and Johnny D. May the wind always be to your back.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Push Up Challenge

Coach Phil came up with a good but very simple workout. Here's how it goes: do ten pushups at t top of every minute. See how long you can last. Record it. If only it were as easy as it sounds. I lasted 19 minutes tonight. I probably had a few more minutes in me but the arms were definitely a little bit rubbery. Anyone out there bold enough to give this a shot?

On a different front, I am eating. And eating. And eating. Funny what happens when you are deprived of something, if even for just two weeks. While on the topic, thanks again for all the great support these past few weeks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Good!

Alrightee - clean scan! That was a pretty nerve wracking morning. The full body scan is not a lot of fun. Without getting too into the details, it's a bit like being buried alive. It's definitely not for the claustrophobic. I then had to wait for results and during those 50 minutes I think I may have aged five years. After that, I headed directly to In 'n Out where the Wife surprised me by bringing the Kids over for lunch. That was pretty awesome for me and them. So - it's over. I am immensely grateful for all your support and well wishes. It means the world to me. Now I have to catch up and start enjoying the holiday season. Word.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Radioactive (slightly)

Just back from the hospital where I took the following nine (I took the picture after having already swallowed two) pills. This is for my diagnostic test - long story as to why so many pills but I'll confess that it kind of freaked me out. The Big Scan is tomorrow at 9 am and I get results immediately thereafter. I still expect everything to be fine - my doctor does too - but you never know. I'll confess to being a tad bit apprehensive; this whole process is unnerving. Frankly, I just want it to be over.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

The $1,000 Injection

Just got this injection this am right on my "bottom". Hurt like a mofo. I have another other tomorrow and then the big scan on Wednesday. Then it's hopefullly all over. After which, I shall let the eating commence. First on the docket: In n Out Burger, followed by a big old pepperoni pizza. Word.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Secret admission: I have my own, custom made bowling ball. Not that's it's helping my game all that much.140 for my first game and 157 for the second. By the way, this is post 666. A perfect metaphor for my children's behavior today.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not Too Much New To Report

Been a kind of uneventful and frankly, dreary week. My focus has been on work, which has been more crazy than usual lately, this freaking diet (all I can say is that if/when I have a clean scan, I am driving directly to In 'n Out for a double double animal style. I am literally dreaming about this moment), the Kids and this miserable weather. It's about as cold in San Francisco as I have ever experienced. Oh and one other thing: Jersey Shore. My new obsession. Can't believe that I just wrote about TV and forgot this one, though come to think of it I don't think I watched the first episode until Tuesday night. Coming from Jersey, all I can say is wowza. These exact same characters existed back in 1982; they haven't changed an iota, except that they are far more metro.

And that is about it. I've also dialed back on the working out because I'm trying not to stoke my appetite too much. I'm already constantly hungry as part of the diet. Instead, I've been hitting the weight room and trying to get back some strength. More on that later, in the event anyone is interested.

Ok -- off to grab my Thursday night scotch. That's right; it's diet approved.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New TV Season

I haven't written much about tv of late, probably because I have been too busy these days to really watch much. The real action starts in January with the kick off of the new seasons of 24 and American Idol. Until then, there's really not too much to get excited about except for -- dare I say, it -- Glee and Modern Family, which I have to say is probably the best new sitcom I have seen since the debut of the The Office. It is that good. And Glee -- well, all I can say is that the singing is very good, and the bubble gum plot line is mindlessly entertaining. The other show that has been getting better each week is Parks and Recreation. That one has solid potential. I also have to say that this is a pretty uneventful season of The Office. Not that it is bad -- like Seinfeld, it is always entertaining -- but it seems to have lost a bit of its original zany energy.

Anyway, that's that regarding TV. Am I missing anything? If so, I am all ears.

In other news, I got a bit of a lecture tonight from my father regarding my plan for 12 marathons in 12 months. He thinks it is asinine. I think that is kind of the point. Regardless, I will give what he had to say consideration before making a decision.

Coming later this week by the way: my top albums of 2009.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ice Skating

This just about killed me today: I took the kids ice skating at the local recreation center. Only it wasn't on ice, but rather some sort of "environmentally friendly" alternative. That, in a nutshell, perfectly characterizes Marin County, CA.

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The Diet

Sorry I have been so quiet, lately: work had been utterly crazy and the kids have been sick. And on top of it all, I have been dealing with The Diet.

I have seen some of the comments here and I don't mean to bitch too much. I know that on paper, the diet doesn't seem so bad. And it is definitely healthy, as some have cited, so that's good. It is hard to explain -- the only one who could help me out here is CrazyMama -- but it just sucks. It's not necessarily the lack of taste in the dishes; I could live with that. For me, it's more an issue that nothing is filling (and note that I already have a highly revved up metabolism) and there is no margin for error. So for me, there's a feeling of having a constant, insatiable hunger. I'll stop bitching now; after all it is only ten more days (knock on wood) if everything goes according to plan. Props again to the Wife, who has steeped up to the plate and beyond. Without her I don't know how I would get buy.

Post Quad Dipsea I am feeling pretty good physically; I went for my first trail run today and felt excellent, all things considered. I guess that is a good thing because it looks like I am running 12 marathons in 12 months, thanks to you all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Survey Time

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Survey Time

I wanted to check out this cool feature available via Posterous; let's see how this works. In fact, I do think I am going to "crowdsource" this decision so whatever you guys come up via this poll with is what I will likely do. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Breakfast and Lunch

Here it all is, laid out on my desk.

Breakfast: oatmeal (whole oats - gnarly) and a smoothie.

Snack1: almonds

Snack2: carrots and peanut butter

Lunch: salad, chicken soup, pasta and turkey sauce.

Snack3: sunflower seeds and mandarin

Snack4: bag of celery

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Tonight's Dinner

Low iodine diet Day Two. One the menu for this evening: an artichoke, salad, kale stew (that's right. And it actually isn't half bad) and beef stew.

Wait till you see breakfast and lunch. I'll send a picture of that in a separate post.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon