Monday, September 27, 2010


Tis the busy season in professional and collegiate sports. The big thing right now in our household has been the Yankees late season swoon. The Little Boy and I are on the verge of a full on freakout, despite the fact that the Yankees are almost assured of a playoff spot. Incredible how their pitching has utterly failed them - including our one constant, Mariano Rivera. The problem with the Yanks as I see it is that after CC, we have a significant drop off. Hughes has faltered during the backstretch (probably due to too many innings) and Burnett has been an utter bust. I think our season is going to come down to whether Pettite regains his mid season form. Not feeling all that good right now; hopefully they will quickly get it together.

In regards to football, my Michigan squad is without question as exciting as hell. I think Denard Robinson is - and will remain - the most exciting player in college football. However, the problem is that games are won and lost based on defense, and ours is non-existent. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the back end of the season unfolds. Regardless of how we do over the long haul, however, I think we are seeing enough snapshots of the future to say that Coach Rodriguez has bought himself more time. Deservedly so, too, in my opinion.

And lastly, my Jets. They looked awesome these past two weeks and it's nice to see Sanchez starting to develop. They are a good, aggressive team, but I confess to not loving their style. I didn't think their decision to star in Hard Knocks was a wise one (though the show certainly was interesting) and I'm not enormously impressed by their bluster, or in the case of Braylon Edwards, their off the field behavior. They've set the bar pretty high for themselves; it will be interesting to see if they can deliver.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two Interesting Beers

I received my beer of the month shipment on Friday. Included were two interesting ones from Coney Island Brewing; a Freaktoberfest IPA and an Albino Python white lager brewed with spices. Both are pretty good though I think the colors might be their most interesting part. Never seem a beer quite at color as the IPA - it's a near blood red, which I guess is the intended effect based on the name. The Albino color is pretty interesting as well.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, September 24, 2010

That Time of the Year

Well, it's nearly that time of the year again. The one in which difficult decisions need to be made. Decisions such as - witch or pirate??

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Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Meet the Toughest Little Dude of All Time

Everyone in our little community here, meet E. To protect his privacy, I'm not going to share his full name. Let's just call him E.

E, who as you can see on the basis of this picture, has got to be one of the cutest kids on the planet. He is also the son of one of my dearest friends from college.

Let me tell you a little about E. He is seven years old. He has two brothers. He loves school, to the extent of course that little kids like school. He loves roughhousing with his brother. He also loves sports, most especially tennis and baseball. In the world of Southern California, where he lives, E is what they would call a gnarly little grom.

He's not gnarly in a bad way mind you.

E is gnarly in that he's one tough little Kid - tough doesn't begin to describe it, actually - who's endured more hardship in life than most adults. While he's a normal little Kid who like to do normal Kid things, unfortunately, there's something slightly abnormal about Little E. Sadly, it's his heart.

Of course, it's not what is in E's heart in a metaphorical sense; he's one of the sweetest, kindest kids you would ever know.

It is what's in his heart in a literal sense; he has some congenital issues that have necessitated multiple open heart surgeries.

We're certain that E is going to be ok over the long haul, but he's recently coming off yet another surgery and is having a hard time at the moment. And so with his mom's permission, I am telling his story and asking that you all say a little prayer for E, and throw some good vibes his way.

Without getting all spiritual and new-agey, I believe good vibes work and right now, E can use them. So could his mom. And so could I, because as I said this is one beautiful little Kid and it's not fair that any child - let alone a kid like this, has to suffer.

So, we're thinking of you E. I think I've learned more from you, Little Man, than I have from any other seven year old on the planet. Hell, for that matter I think I've learned more from you than from any damn adult.

So keep on keeping on Little Man. You are an inspiration to many. Can't wait to get word from your mom that you're back on the baseball diamond.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Todd's Race Report

Following is a guest report from Todd, a recap of his 50 mile run from this past weekend. I promise you don't need to be a runner to enjoy this one!

Congrats again, Todd. Hope you are recovering well.


So Sunday was the “Ocean to Sound 50 Mile Relay”. For those of you who don’t know, this is 25+ year old 8-person relay race that traverses the entire width of Long Island starting at Jones Beach (the Ocean) and ending in Oyster Bay (the Sound). I was one of 3 individuals who ran the relay as an “individual” this year, completing all 50 miles solo. Let me start by stating that while I ran all 8 legs, I was not alone for a single moment of what ended up being 9 hours and 55 minutes of arduous running. I was supported by an amazing group of 5 colleagues from Cantor who all chipped in and ran with me for various legs/distances of between 6 and 18 miles. So a big “thank you!” to Alex, Bobby, Avi, Jim and Brian. I could not have completed this endeavor without your support and encouragement. Words cannot begin to express my gratitude.

LEG 1 – 6 miles
I pushed off from Jones Beach at 7:00am with my first running partner, Alex. After a quick jog along the boardwalk, the bulk of leg-1 followed the bike path from the Jones Beach Amphitheatre along the Wantagh Causeway. We had beautiful views of the ocean at sunrise and there was lots of horn-blowing and cheers from all of the other race crews. I was feeling great and we were sticking to a planned 10-minute/mile pace, but what struck me right away was the heat. It was not yet 8:00am yet it was already pushing 70 degrees. My heart rate was running higher than I would have liked and I knew it was going to be a long day.
Leg 1 – 1:04 (10:42 mm)

Leg 2 – 6 miles
The second leg traversed a very flat course thru the streets of Massapequa. The Nassau County Auxiliary Police were out in force and really did an amazing job of controlling traffic for the runners. During the entire 50 miles, I did not have to stop for traffic a single time – pretty amazing. Leg 2 was fairly uneventful although I continued to be concerned about the heat. The first elite runners (who started an hour after we did) began to pass us. Watching these guys go by running 6 minute/miles was exciting but also a bit disheartening. I couldn’t help think about how they were going to be done in a few hours, and I still had a long slog ahead of me.
Leg 2 – 1:03 (10:36mm)

Leg 3 – 6.3 miles
I swapped out Alex for Bobby and we headed off for the start of leg 3 which was mostly on paved bike path through Bethpage State Park. We had a bit of shade and it was really nice to be off of the streets and away from cars. This was one of Bobby’s longest runs, so we eased back into a nice, leisurely pace. The course traversed out of the park and along the Beth Page Golf Course (home of the U.S. Open). As I watched the golfers enjoying themselves, I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be so much nicer playing golf than running 50 miles?” But then I remembered that I don’t pay golf, so on we pressed.
Leg 3- 1:10 (11:12mm)

Leg 4 – 5.8 miles
After a quick bathroom break and a little chicken soup, I headed out on leg 4 with Avi. Avi is training for the NYC Marathon and would be running the next three legs with me. Avi had fresh legs and was excited to finally be running after waiting around for the last hour or so. I needed to dial him back from an initial 9 minute/mile pace. I was starting to feel the heat and my heart rate was now high enough that if I didn’t start to bring it down, I could easily end up in trouble. I began to really focus on my breathing, nutrition and Avi and I started to walk the uphills.
Leg 4 – 1:07 (11:35mm)

Leg 5 – 5.7 miles
The pain begins. While I was still feeling relatively good physically at this point, the middle of leg 5 is where my mind started to play games. I was 25 miles in and only ½ way done. The sun was still rising along with the temperature and my heart rate. Avi was great at helping get me back into a better frame of mind and I figured if I could just get done with this leg, it would be 5 down and 3 to go. I would grab some food at the next rest stop and try to get some of my energy back. So at the end of leg 5 I proceeded to have two more cups of chicken soup. My stomach did not like it one bit. I was conflicted with the choice of trying to hold down the food I knew I needed or throwing up so I could feel better. I opted for the former and just took some time to relax and let my stomach settle down before heading out on the next leg.
Leg 5 – 1:09 (12:09mm)

Leg 6 – 6.5 miles
The wheels come off… So the vim and vigor Avi started with on leg 4 were now gone. The heat was really beginning to take its toll on us both. We were now in the thick of the mid-day sun and the temperature was pushing 80 degrees. The course traversed up into Huntington and we had beautiful views of Huntington Harbor to help take our minds off the pain. The course continued up into Lloyd Harbor and down and across into Cold Spring Harbor. My friend, Micky happened to be driving by with his daughters and a few words of encouragement and a friendly face gave me enough energy to complete the steep downhill on Snake Hill road to the end of the leg. I was completely shot at this point. I met up with my crew and proceeded to lay flat on my back as I began to contemplate how I was going to run another 13 miles.
Leg 6 – 1:30 (13:56mm)

Leg 7 – 7 miles
I managed to get myself off the pavement, but the despair was really starting to set in as Jim and I started out on leg 7 (the toughest leg of the race). Jim had been waiting since the middle of leg 3 to run and I felt horrible that I was so incapable of running a decent pace with him. In fact, I was barely capable of running. But true to form, Jim was ever the optimist. He somehow helped pull me out of the doldrums and aside from walking the uphills, we managed to keep a fairly steady pace for the next 7 miles. When I wanted to walk, Jim would give me a minute and then get me running again. My quads were throbbing, but Jim kept me thinking about just finishing leg 7 and only having 1 more leg to go. While I certainly wasn’t seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I realized that I was definitely going to finish. It was going to be painful, but I was confident that I would emerge victorious at the end of the day.
Leg 7 – 1:34 (13:30mm)

Leg 8 – 6.4 miles
Brian was waiting for me at the start of leg 8 with his wife and two sons. He looked fresh and ready to go. I felt like garbage. I only had 6.4 miles to go, but it seemed like an insurmountable distance. We hit the 1 mile marker into leg 8, but the race coordinators had incorrectly marked it as mile 2. I had a brief moment euphoria as I thought we had just knocked down two of my last 6 miles, but the joy was quickly destroyed a mile later as we passed a second “mile 2” sign. I managed to choke down a Hammer Gel with caffeine which gave me a bit of a boost. We were in the home stretch. With about 3 miles to go, an officer from the Oyster Bay Police Dept. found out that I was running all 50 miles and proceeded to give us a police escort for the next 3 miles. I’m still not sure if he was protecting us from the passing traffic or waiting for me to pass out. In either case, I appreciated the thought and knowing he was behind us gave me a little extra motivation to keep running. As we entered downtown Oyster Bay, I knew the finish line was just a few tenths of a mile away. As we approached, I began to hear the encouraging cheers of my wife, Liza and I could see my two older children waiting to run last 50 yards to the finish with me. As we all crossed the finish line together, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment for what I had just achieved, but those feelings were eclipsed by the appreciation I felt for the 5 friends who had stood by me for the last 10 hours and the family that had supported me through months of training. In my mind, they were the real winners of the day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Group Vote

Ok, I am in the market for a casual watch for weekends. I am on the fence with this one; not sure if I really like it or not. So, I will put it up to you all to decide. Thumbs up or down?

Group Vote

Ok, I am putting this out to the wisdom of this crowd, because I am on the fence. Inquiring minds want to know -- cool, or not cool?


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Random Stuff

First and foremost: congrats to my boy Toddie B for finishing his first - and maybe last? (though I doubt it) - 50 miler. Todd has been bitten hard by the ultra running bug and he's knee deep in it now, which stokes me to no end. Race report please, Todd.

In other news, action packed weekend that included a day of temple and fasting for Yom Kippur; a soccer game yesterday; fall baseball game today; a short run and much more. I have to say that there's nothing better than fall weekends. Especially when Michigan is on a winning streak (though I hasten add that yesterday's win was a Pyrrhic victory at best; we looked absolutely terrible in beating U Mass, which just so happens to be my brother Scott's alma mater).

Anyway, all that being said, the highlight of my weekend is getting set to happen in t-minus 13 minute: the debut of Boardwalk Empire on HBO. I've been waiting for this show for months and am hoping it doesn't disappoint.

Anyone else check it out and of so, what did you think?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


So, if you happen to watch Survivor, or even if you don't -- you should -- as our family friend Marty is a contestant this season.

He's a really good dude and based on tonight's episode, I think he's going to play an excellent game. I've long been a fan of the show - I've pretty much watched every season -- but it's a heck of a lot more fun when you know someone in it. This is a first for me and reality shows, which now that I think about it is kind of amazing given how exactly how many reality shows I watch.

Anyway, I expect that this will not be my last post on this subject. Best of luck Marty. This season promises to be a ton of fun.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Parrots of Telegraph Hill

One of the coolest things in San Francisco is the famous parrots of Telegraph Hill. There are literally hundreds of these feral parrots that live within a few block radius. One of their favorite areas is literally right next to my gym. After a swim late yesterday afternoon I took the little Girl to check them out and she was utterly fascinated. Unfortunately, they are hard to capture on video as they like to fly high, although on occasion I have seen them on lower lying branches. But as you'll note, you sure can hear them; they make an absolute racket.

Download now or watch on posterous
IMG_0955.MOV (1929 KB)

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A New Trend in Running?

Two weeks ago if you will remember was the Skinnyman 50k, a race that was put on by Todd and myself. Unbenownst to us, we have been on a trend.

On Thursday, I was invited to participate in the third annual RLJ 50k/30k run. This is a run put on by a bunch of buddies, that has grown to about 25 runners. The race founders rent a house in Stinson Beach and everyone meets up there first for coffee, comraderie and to review the race maps. We all walked outside -- and started running. Afterwards, we all met up at the house for beers and bbq. Theiur were also t-shirts and beer mugs for all participants.

So, basically the same concept as Skinnyman, only slightly larger in size.

After years of running assorted organized trail and road races, I am loving these new, unsupported types of race. I think they particularly embody the spirit of trail running.

In regards to the running itself, I felt absolutely ... horrible. Not sure what was up - could have been I am not fully recovered from my 50k two weeks ago, but man did I feel lousy, in every sense of the word. It was hot, too, which could have been a factor.

Regardless, it was fun being out there with Coach Phil. I'm hoping that I can find a similar type of "race" some time soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

L'shana Tova

To all of you reading this -- Jewish or not, I want to wish you a L'shana tova - a happy New Year. May the upcoming year bering you and your respective families peace, health and happiness.

And with that, off I go to synogogue.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. My how time flies when you are having fun.

14 years. Damn. That is one long ass period of time. How she puts up with me is beyond my comprehension but perhaps she sees something in me that others don't.

All that aside, I couldn't be happier nor could I ask for a better Wife. Those of you who know me know that I oftentimes give her a hard time, sometimes even on these here pages. We have a bit of a schtick between the two of us but if you hang out with us long enough you grow to understand it. It's kind of inexplicable but it seems to work for us.

I could go on but I don't want to give her a big head. She's a great woman, a terrific Wife and an even better mom and those of you who know me know that I'd be lost without her.

So - Happy Anniversary, Wife. I look forward to the next 14. Though after that (28?!), you might get traded in for a younger model.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Go Blue

After two consecutive years of what have amounted to complete and utter debacles of a football season(s), it was a bit harder than usual to get excited for college football season this year. For maybe the first time in my life as a Michigan fan, I feared the worst.

And so, it was with some measure of trepidation - but also, as usual, excitement, that I watched the kickoff of our 2010 season. And man, what a kickoff it was. I was trying hard not to get too excited because it's one game and we went through this drill last year. But wow -- we had a new look to us and our quarterback was beyond description. That might be the best Michigan QB performance I have ever seen, and e've had a few decent QB's (read Tom Brady, Jim Harbaugh, Elvis Grbac, Chad Henne) come through the program.

Notre Dame should be an even better test, so I will try to remain calm. But let's just say that I speak for a lot of people when I say that let's hope Saturday is a harbinger of things to come.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crazy Week

Sorry I haven't blogged too much this week. I had my bosses in from out of town, which always keeps me on my heels.

Although I try to reserve my tech posting for, I can't help but make mention of the big Apple announcement yesterday. My assessments:

- the new iPods are cool but I am squared away in that department so will not buy. If I were to buy one though, it would most certainly be the Nano, though I do wonder how a touch screen will work while running, in the gym, etc. I like where they went there.

-- iPad 4.2 software STOKES me greatly but it's disappointing that it won't be available until November. iPad needs 4.0 software - most especially folders -- NOW.

-- the new social iTunes, Ping, is intriguing, and full of possibilities, but as of now it's a bit rudimentary and limited. It would be far more interesting if it linked to Facebook. I have to imagine we'll see that functionality in the not so distant future.

-- and last but not least, Apple TV. This one I ordered, but only because it is very affordable at $99.00. If it was any more expensive I would have passed. I was very disappointed that it wasn't built on iOS platform and app capable. That was a letdown, as was the rental only model -- and the fact that their only content partners thus far are ABC and FOX. I can't wait to compare Apple TV against Google TV (disclosure; client), which comes out later this fall.

Anyway, that is my high-level take. Nice announcement, but nothing that I'd categorize as earth shattering.