Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

The Beauty is the Little Girl. I just love this kid and think she's the most beautiful - and photogenic - kid in the world. Of course, that's my job being her dad and all. The Beast is the knee. It's getting better but as you can see, is still pretty damn gnarly. Stitches are coming out later today. That should be a lot of fun.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Robin Williams

I am a long time comedy fan and to put it out there, the raunchier the act, the better. My all-time favorites include the "classics" - Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy (in his heyday), George Carlin (RIP), Dice (in his heyday), Chris Rock ... and Robin Williams. I've long said that Robin Williams is a more evolved human being than the rest of us given how fast his brain (and mouth) work.

Every Tuesday night, our local theater, which holds about 100 people tops, has a comedy night. I've gone twice before, and they bring in excellent comedians from San Francisco and other parts of the country. But the two big attractions are Robin Williams, who lives one town over, and Dan Carvey, who lives in our town. They are both known to make unannounced appearances from time to time.

Last night our good friends Brian, Emily and Jim took me out to dinner and comedy night (thanks again the three of you!) and it did not disappoint. Halfway throug, Robin Williams took the stage and embarked on an hour long improv riff along with another comedian (his name eludes me but he was almost as good as Williams. Just being able to keep pace is a feat in and of itself). Definitely was one of the most entertaining experiences of my life; the excitement of seeing his take to the stage on a random Tuesday night, compounded by the fact that all of his bits - each one of which was done in complete improv fashion -- absolutely killed.

What a gift he has; to be able to turn any word, situation or circumstance into pure high comedy. And to be able to do so almost instantaneously. Wish I had that ability for just one day.

Anyway, definitely an experience I will remember for a very long time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Guest Post by Todd Berlent: IAMACROHNS Man

This post stokes me so much. I kindly ask that you all please give strong consideration to supporting Todd's important cause.

So let me start right off by stating that I’m not much of a writer. Howard can certainly attest to that given all the proof reading he had to do for me during our college years at Michigan. I am, however, an avid reader of this blog. With my best friend on the other side of the country and me not being much of a phone person, this blog has been a great way to help me keep up with the goings-on of Howard and his family. The other is my wife, who speaks with “The Wife” on a regular basis.

While I always enjoy Howard’s blogging on beer, music, sports, trips to Hearst Castle or how great California is (New York is a coast, too), the thing that I’ve found most inspiring about his daily postings is Howard’s dedication to two things – ultrarunning and the fight against cancer. I’ve been so inspired, in fact, that I’ve decided to take on my own personal challenge.

On May 8th, Howard and our friend Payro will be joining me in New York to tackle the Greenbelt 50K – a 31 mile race on the trails of Long Island’s north shore. I am dedicating this run to all those who suffer with Crohn’s and Colitis and specifically to my brother, Matt, who has been battling Crohn’s Disease with dignity, strength and determination for most of his adult life. While not a Crohn’s sufferer myself, I have witnessed first-hand how debilitating and life-altering this disease can be.

If you would like to help in the search to cure Crohn’s disease, please use the link below to donate directly to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Please also forward this link to anyone else you think would be interested in helping. Any amount is welcome and hugely appreciated.

Kindly link here to donate.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pictures from Boys Weekend

A Great Weekend

I had one of my best weekend's in a long, long while. The Wife and Little Girl were in NYC for a bat mitzvah/girl's weekend, so the Little Boy and I decided we'd do nothing but fun things out here. To make matter even better, one of my closest friends, Rob, was in from Singapore and spent the entire weekend with us. Activities included:

-- Little Boy's baseball game. The Met's finally won their first game of the year, and the Little Boy was a star, going 2-2 (one hit being a stand up double) with four RBI's and a great catch in the infield
-- small hike at Rodeo Beach (don't tell the Wife or Doctor, please)
-- Giant's game, where we saw an amazing outing by Barry Zito. And learned some interesting new words in the bleachers.
-- late night dinner at In 'n Out Burger
-- outing at batting cages and skate park
-- hang out and small hike at Muir Beach (don't tell Wife or Doctor about the small hike part please)
-- lunch in Bolinas, my all-time favorite California town
-- BBQ at the homestead

I could go on but bottom line: great all around weekend, with absolutely *perfect* weather (74 all weekend with no variation) to go along with it.

If you are reading this, thanks Uncle Rob for making a terrific weekend even better.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Triple Play

I went to the Yankees game today with two terrific clients - my second Yankees game of the year - and was witness to a triple play, the first one by the Yankees since 1968. Even though the Yankees lost that will be a game I won't soon forget. Now all I need to see is a no hitter and my baseball career will be complete.

In other news, the Wife and Little Girl are in New York for a bar mitzvah, so it's boys weekend in these here parts. We are having all sorts of fun already and the weekend hasn't even started. And on the topic of baseball, for our "big night" we will likely head to the Giant's game on Saturday night. Three games in one week. Think I might turn into a hot dog.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Man Oh Man

Those of you who know me well know that I like to bitch and moan. It's a part of my schtick. But I like to think that at my core, I'm a fairly tough dude. You can't be a cancer survivor and/or an ultra runner without being pretty tough. That being said, good lord. This is the most painful injury I've ever had - by far. Now I know why pain meds exist, though I still refuse to succumb to them out of principle, perhaps foolishly. I have to say the pain is a good 8.5 and I feel it every time I move, as the cut goes right across where my knee hinges. Last night I took the Little Boy to the Yankees-A's game and it was all good - except for the seats. And moving around. And as I type this I am sitting in LA waiting for my plane, which is an hour delayed. I could go on but the point is - rough week. I'll stop bellyaching now and my next post will focus on something entirely more fun and uplifting.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Warning: Gnarly Pictures Attached

Don't say you weren't warned! Day 2 and this sucker hurts like a mother and is stiff as a board. In keeping with my own personal little tradition though, I refuse to take pain meds. Can't run, bike or swim for two weeks and doc is advising against weights too because the injury is on a weight bearing part of my leg. Two weeks. I'm going to go absolutely bonkers.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trail accident

Came back late last night from terrific vacation. Will post more with pictures later tonight or tomorrow.

I went for what was supposed to be a three hour run this morning/late afternoon. I was about 11 miles in when I tripped on a rock (I think) and went down hard. I got up, dusted myself off, saw a little road rash bit nothing too too bad - then looked down at my knee. And I almost fainted. Literally. I don't know how I did it but I cleaved it nearly to the bone. Some mountain bikers helped me off the trail to the road and a nice young couple drove me to the base of the Golden Gate bridge. The Wife picked me up and took me directly to the hospital where I spent the next three hours. I needed 20 stitches which is a lot apparently for a knee. The worst part though was that they had to irrigate it and clean out all the dirt. I also needed a tetanus shot and an antibiotic shot, both of which hurt like hell. Anyway - heck of a last day of vacation. Here's a picture of the stitches. I have some more gruesome ones of the injury if anyone is interested.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Wife the Trapeze Artist

My Wife has fallen in love with the trapeze. Thing is - she's actually pretty good at it. I'm thinking she might run off and join the circus.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

My Wife the Trapeze Artist

My Wife has fallen in love with the trapeze. Thing is - she's actually pretty good at it. I'm thinking she might run off and join the circus.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Greetings From Mexico

Sorry so quiet; we are on spring break in Mexico with the family and in laws. We are at Club Med in Ixtapa which is a first for us. The Kids are loving the camp activites and both have ran into friends from back at home which has been great. The food isn't at all bad - it's actually pretty decent - and so all good. Except that it's hot. Real freaking hot. Hot enough that its pretty tough to run more than six miles which doesn't bode well for my impending race. Anyway, I'll try to post a few pictures later tonight.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale

This beer was highly recommended to me by our local shop, which definitely ranks among the best beer purveyors in the region. It's a Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale and wow is it good. Not sure if you can tell from this photo but it is literally the most interesting color I've ever seen in a beer - deep rust is the closest I can come to describing it. Anyway, Beer Advocate ranks it an A- which is pretty impressive.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kodak Playsport

I bought this to replace my antiquated original Flip Mino. My Daughter is a swimmer and I love tha this is waterproof. I also like that it takes 5 mp still pictures as well a HD video. Full review to follow in a few days.

Posted via email from Tech Dork

The Mets

Well, the Little Boy's baseball team, the Mets, lost their sixth in a row tonight. Man, I just want them to win one game so darn badly. As I told him a few moments ago, though, of all the teams he has played on this one just might be my favorite. These kids are scrappy, they keep their heads up despite the losing, they have a collective love for the game and they are an absolute joy to watch (most of the time). I tried to explain to him tonight that though I know the losing is hard, he was learning an important lesson that he will appreciate later in life. I'm not exactly sure at the moment what that lesson might be, but I'm sure we'll figure it out over time.

In the meantime -- as a Yankees fan I never though I'd utter the following words-- but Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book, Music and Movies

Not to report, really. My life consists mostly of work, trying to get back in shape for this damn race, hanging with the family and hanging with my iPad. And not necessarily in that order if you know what I am saying. I won't bore you with more on the iPad, except to say that damn am I impressed by this thing. If anyone is interested in buying mine at a very good price in 30 days, hit me offline. I am definitely going to upgrade to the 3g version as I envision using it for work travel purposes.

In other news, we are headed out of town next week for Spring Break. If anyone has any good music, book or movie recommendations, I am all ears. Particularly on the book front. Neil? You usually have good suggestions.

Lastly, that was one terrific basketball game last night. I watched it at a bar with a bunch of buddies and we were going just about crazy. Too bad Butler couldn't pull it off but good on them for giving it the old college try.

My buddies by the way make my athletic envedours look absolutely puny in comparison. One is swimming from the Farralone Islands, home of the Great White Shark (literally -- look it up on Wikipedia) to San Francisco as part of a 5 man, 32 mile relay team. The other, a two time Olympian and Ironman Champion is aiming to possibly win the infamous Leadville 100 mile trail run. Pretty freaking gnarly.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Let's Go Yankees

Pretty excited for the start of the 2010 baseball season. What better way to start if off than with the Yankees vs Red Sox. Hoping of course that the Yankees can repeat but either way, there's nothing better than major league baseball season.

In other news, yesterday was iPad release day, as I'm sure you are all aware. I'm such a moron that even though I pre-ordered one, for some reason I felt compelled anyway to get on line. I am even more embarrassed to admit that I was first in line at our local Best Buy. So I now own two units though one gets returned tomorrow am, unless one of you want it. It's the 32 gig model.

You can read more first impressions at Techdork, but suffice to say I absolutely love it. It has been pouring rain all day here so I got a great opportunity to test drive it and there's really not too much i don't like. The keyboard system is not optimal for long form writing - I'm writing this on the iPad and it is taking a while, but I'm getting better with time. The thing that impresses me most? The quality of the screen as well as the incredible battery life. While it's not yet ready to replace my laptop, I have a feeling that it will as soon as multitasking is introduced, which should be soon. If you are a gadget guy like me or consumer a lot of media and have enough disposable income to afford one i say go for it. I don't think you'll regret it for a second.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Whoop. There It Is

I have the distinction of purchasing the First iPad ever at the Best Buy in Marin City. Yes, I was first in line. Yes, i pre-ordered one too. Yes, I am a complete loser.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another Tough Game

I've been writing a lot about Little League of late; don't hesitate to let me know if it's getting boring. Trust me, no offense will be taken.

So, another rough game for the Little Boy and his team,the Mets (he's lucky I allow his Mets jersey in the house by the way). The good news? He got his first hit of the season: a 2 outs, top of the six DOUBLE to put his team up 7-4. It was a great at bat and we were all stoked.

Problem occurred though in the bottom half of the last inning. The Kid pitching before him, who's pretty darn talented for a third grader, gave up a bunch of runs - enough to tie up the game -- and loaded the bases, with only 1 out. In comes the Little Boy to pitch.

Gulp. I just about had a heart attack.

First batter -- he strikes the kid out (sidenote: that kid happened to be the son of the other coach -- who in the small world department happened to be a fraternity brother of mine from college). 2 outs, bases loaded. All of a sudden, it start to rain.

Little Boy gets a 1-2 count on next batter - one strike away!) -- and the Kid hits a squibbler to the Little Boy. The Little Boy fields it but the wet ball slips in his hand a bit. He makes the play home and in a very controversial call, the Ump (who I don't think wanted to stick around in the rain) calls his safe.

Game Over. Mets lose. And the Little Boy is just standing on the mound alone, crying.

Man, baseball truly is a game of both joy and heartbreak. I consoled him and told him he played great and that this loss wasn't on him. He shook it off after a few hours -- the Kid is a gamer -- but I am not sure that I have.

Anyway. As I told him when we walked off the field - "That's baseball." Not sure what else could be said.