Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Game Over

That's a wrap for the Cancerman blog.

It has been an awesome ride. This will be my last post to this site, extenuating circumstances nonwithstanding.

If you want to check out my new site, please click here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Boy Todd

This is a photo of me and my boy Todd, who ran around Manhattan on Sunday. That's right - he ran around the entire freaking Island of Manhattan. Unsupported. Meaning, he was responsible for carrying his own water and food. In the 80+ degree Manhattan heat and humidity. And he did it in the amazing time of 5:30 which is incredible. He wins the award - by far - for biggest badass performance. Unbelieveable job, Toddie - well done.

Pictures people, I need pictures.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Wiley's

One of my favorite families of all-time, the fabulous Wiley's, after a double px90 session. I've seen px90 up close and personal and it is pretty damn hard. Awesome job, Wiley family and great seeing you all this weekend.

All you other peeps - where are the pictures at?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Picture 2 - Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k

So I followed up yesterday's 5k swim with a 5k run earlier today. It was the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k, which is sponsored by my client and is in part produced by my work team. I'm exceptionally proud of being part of this important cause.

I ran this with the entire family. The kids led the pre-race stretch with our friend Jen Shelton. Think they had a blast. The Boy started the race like a bat out of hell and I had a hard time keeping pace. I ran with him until around the 1.5 mile mark where he started to falter a bit. I took off and finished in 22:06. He was about a minute behind and the Girl came in at 27 minutes. Even the Wife had a great day finishing in 30 minutes flat.

When we got home I checked out the results and was excited to see that the Boy won his age group, the Girl took second and yours truly also took 2nd. Solomon family, represent!

Picture Number 1 - Big Shoulders 5k Swim

This is me an my boys Dave and Jim after finishing the Big Shoulders 5k swim. It was rad. It stormed the day before which made for epic conditions. We had 2-3 foot waves the entire time with some four footers thrown in for good measure. Made for a tough day but it was fun as hell being out there and I was stoked with my time (1:38) considering the conditions. I'd love to do this one again.

Kudos to my man Dave for finishing after having a really rough past few weeks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Greetings From NYC

I'm in New York CIty for a few whirlwind days of business, meetings and events. I'm headed to the US Open tonight with clients, which should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow I'm headed to Chicago for a weekend of 5k's; I have a 5k swim on Saturday am (I am suitably nervous - will be my longest swim ever) and then Sunday I have the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k run. That run is sponsored by a client, so this too is a quasi work event. Should be fun.

Remember that it's also the Howard Solomon Thyroid Run for Cancer. Get out there, do something and be sure to send me a photo.

And special word to my boy Todd. He will be running around Manhattan on Saturday - literally. 31 mile self-supported run in this brutal New York City humidity.

That's hardcore.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Paul Ryan

I generally do not wade into politics because, quite frankly, I don't exactly care to the extent I used to. I've grown cynical about politicians ability to be honest and get the job done, regardless of their political affiliation.

But I digress.

Putting aside political orientation, I was absolutely mortified to learn of Paul Ryan's lie about his marathon time. There's a code of honor among runners; you don't lie about your times. Period, end of story. And I can assure you that NO marathoner has ever forgotten a time. I've run nearly 20 marathons - my first was about 15 years ago - and I could probably tell you my time for each one, plus or minus a few minutes.

For those of you not familiar with what I'm talking about, the long story short is that Ryan was asked his marathon time. He quickly replied that is was a sub 3. Runners World got to work and determined that he really ran a 4:01.

Unreal. If he had gotten it wrong by a few minutes - half hour even, it would be forgiven and forgotten. But to say under 3 - which is a major badge of honor - is absolutely unforgivable and there is no way I could possibly vote for a guy who demonstrates such a fundamental lack of integrity.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Four More Posts

Four more posts until this site is officially retired. I must say, that 2,000 posts is definitely a lot. I never expected to get to that number when I started this thing. Progress is being made on the new one, but I am running into URL issues (the URL I really want is taken). Anyway, will come up with some sort of fix and will hopefully debut the new one come Monday or so.

I am t minutes 8 days and counting to my 5k open water swim in Chicago with my boy Dave (and probably 500 other people). I'm not enormously nervous, but I'm not feeling exactly ready either. I've really managed to pick up my swimming these past few weeks, but haven't done anything longer than an hour. I'm hoping that all the CrossFit pays off and that my shoulders are able to hold up. Will be interesting, that is for sure.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Football Season Is Upon Us

We are a day away from September which means only one thing - football season! I could not be more stoked. Our season kicks off on Saturday night against defending national champion Alabama. I'm not anticipating a great outcome on that one - I don't think we are quite in their league yet (though I think that under the leadership of Coach Hoke, we will get there in time). That said, I am very excited about our prospects this year, especially now that we have a year of Coach Hoke's new system under our belt.

I'm also excited about Denard Robinson's senior season. He's been a fantastic Wolverine - you could argue that he's an all-time great - and I suspect he will give us another great year. One prediction: I expect that he will show significant improvement in his passing game and will cut back interceptions significantly.

Anyway: Saturday night could not come soon enough. Hope springs eternal for this Wolverine.

Go Blue!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

9/11 Memorial

One of the things I was able to do while in New York was quickly visit the 9/11 Memorial. Suffice to say, it is a pretty powerful experience in so many different respects. The sadness is tempered slightly by the site of the emerging Freedom Tower, which is absolutely inspiring. Seeing it is one of those moments where you are proud to be an American.

I was also able to pay respects to three friends who perished in 9/11.

Pete Kellerman was my buddy Dave's best friend from college (Tulane). I hung out with Pete a ton while we both lived in New York. He was a character and a great, spectacularly fun guy.

Steve Goldstein was my freshmen orientation roommate at Michigan. He was a fellow Jersey boy and we really bonded. We also lived on the same floor in the same dorm. We went our separate ways after freshman year but remained friends and occasionally got together during the Summer. Another great guy.

Melissa Doi worked for me back in my New York days. She was one of these bright, energetic kids who was always smiling. You had a feeling that she was going to change the world.

I miss the three of you and think of you frequently. You are gone but not forgotten.

Rest in peace, Amigos.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Howard Solomon Run for Thyroid Cancer, Part IV

I just this morning realized that our annual Howard Solomon Run for Thyroid cancer annual event is upon us. That is, if anyone is interested. You guys should know the drill by now - it's pretty simple. Everyone does something physically active (run, swim, walk, hike, bike, tennis, etc) on the designated date. You send me a picture. I post it. In the end I make a donation on our collective behalf.

That's it.

I'm thinking that the weekend after next might make most sense, as that is the date my boy Dave M and I are swimming an open water 5k in Chicago. I'm also doing a 5k run the day following.

September 8th and 9th would be the dates. Requesting a roll call on this; who's in??

And remember: any activity counts and the entire family is encouraged to participate.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Headed Home

Been gone a long while from these here page; was in Lake George for a week and then in New Jersey for several days. Typing this at Newark Airport where my Summer has come to a official end. Today is about getting back to work both figuratively and literally. It's time too, despite the fact that I had a really great time in every respect.

New Jersey was great - saw all of the family as well as two of my very good friends from high school which was a real treat. I'm hoping my boy Geremy revisits this site from time to time. What up Ger?

What else? Went to a Mets game at Citifield (very impressive - the stadium that is), went to Crossfit a few times (it's fun visiting other gyms), got a new camera (thanks Scott), and got a million mosquito bites (didn't miss you at all, Mosquitos).

I've got a lot more posts in the queue, including one on Lance Armstrong.  Will try to knock those put this week and might even unveil the new site, too.

Until then, big thanks to both sets of grandparent - Nana, Papa, Papa Gerry and Nana Ida - for the hospitality.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Greetings from Lake George, Part II

So the Kids are home from camp. IT's safe to say that the kids had a great time. Beyond great, apparently. It's all she will talk about and she's begging us to take her back. It was cute the first day but I'm starting to think she is obsessed. Better to have them love it though than otherwise.

It's great to see them, obviously though the 3.5 weeks was really over in a blink of an eye. We're having a nice time in Lake George and we are really taking advantage of the lake: I swam an hour yesterday and 40 minutes today (I have a 5k swim in a mere three weeks and am not yet ready - though I'm starting to get there) and we borrowed two paddleboards and have been paddling the hours away. Paddleboarding is super fun the the Little Boy in particular is terrific at it.

Tomorrow our friends the Berlents arrive in town, which will be super fun. Pictures will follow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Here's Where I am At

So, if you recall I said that I was going to stop publishing this blog once I hit post number 1,200. I have ten to go.

A number of folks have encouraged me to carry on, which is really a very nice thing to hear. I wasn't sure if anyone really cared. So, I've struck a compromise.

I WILL carry on - but not with this site. I think it's kind of run it's course title and platform wise. A number of you have said that it's difficult to leave comments here and I've had the same issue, which I simply cannot seem to figure out.

So, I'm toying with a new platform, title, and look and feel. I'm going to continue to play around with it a bit and have some ideas; I'll look to "debut" within the next week or so.

In the interim, I do have a few titles I'm toying with but am open to suggestions.

Anyone? Bueller? Ferris Bueller?

Whomever comes up with a winner gets a (electronics) special prize. So put your thinking cap on. And stay tuned for more.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Step Back in Time

My boy Wiley left yesterday after visiting for two weeks. I have to say, we had one heck of a good time. For two weeks, we stepped back in time, maybe 20 years or so. I'm not so certain that's sustainable for the long-term, but for a few short, summer months, it was super fun.

We definitely kept ourselves on the move and entertained. On Thursday, we had a great dinner with some buddies at a local drinking establishment and went to local music hall  Sweetwater. Upon departure, at o dark hundred, it was abundantly clear that none of us were getting behind the wheel of a car. We called a cab to no avail, so then called an audible; we were walking home. In the dark. Via the infamous Dipsea trail. Up all 673 steps. Using only moonlight to guide us.

Sounds crazy but was one of the most fun things I've done in a long while. And despite his initial protestations, I believe Wiley would concur.

The next night we went to a Pacifics game (Independent Baseball League) which was super fun. Saturday morning we got up early, went to CrossFit (me, anyway) and headed into San Francisco to meet up with an old friend and for Outside Lands. OL was a bit more crowded and colder than last year, but also fun. We saw Portugal. The Man, Big Boi, a few seconds of Alabama Shakes, The Kills and the absolute highlight of the evening - Metallica. I'm not a huge Metallica fan but man oh man - they are indescribably awesome live. We were both wowed.

After OL we miraculously got out of dodge without last year's problem and headed back to ... Sweetwater, where famous jam band God Iron Wine was playing. Another great show and super long but fun day.

Anyway, Wiley left early yesterday. I went to CrossFit, came home and immediately -- took a nap. I woke up, went to lunch (see attached photo for specific menu), went for an hour swim and then pizza with friends. Despite the fact that I very much miss my family, it was almost a perfect dude's weekend.

Anyway, sorry to see Wiley go. Though my liver strongly feels otherwise.

Friday, August 10, 2012

More Olympics

Two more days to go and it's all over. Not sure what I'm going to do with myself.

Three highlight from yesterday included:

1. Men's 200. What can you say about Usain Bolt, really? The dude is the best and I love him. He's arrogant though without being a jerk, he talks the talk but then walks the walk and most importantly - he is hilarious. There was a point during yesterday's 200, at about the 3/4 mark, where his teammate - who's also unreal - pulls close to him. Bolt gives a sideways glance - and then hits the afterburner. Dude is a straight up champion.

2. David Rudisha crushing - annihilating the field - en route to a world record time in the men's 800. Rudisha might have been pound for pound the most unbeatable distance racer in the Olympics. Dude split 49 and 51. That is almost incomprehensible.

3. The women's 10k swim. This is one of those obscure races that stokes me so greatly. 6.2 mile swim! How gnarly is that? The American and Hungarian ladies absolutely duked it out, with the Hungarian winningmy less than a half second. Can you imagine swimming for 6 mile and nearly two hours - to lose it by .4 second? Crazy-town and the last 300 meters was as exciting as anything I have ever seen.

Man oh man - they should really have the Olympics every year.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Men's 1,500 meter

If you haven't seen the men's 1,500 meter final, go find that on YouTube and give it the 3:32 out of your day that it deserves. Keep a particular eye on American and silver medalist, Leo Marzano. Pay particular attention to the 100 meter to go point and watch him make his move. THAT'S RACING. Wow - what a masterful race and what a kick. I've watched that one about ten times and can't get enough. I also can't wait to show it to my kids (in fact, I wrote a letter to the Little Boy early this am describing it in detail). That race defines the notion of racing. Man, do I ever love when the American's do well in the distance events and between Marzano and Galen Rupp we are looking good. A medal in the men's marathon would be a real silver lining.

My rant of the day? I can't believe I had to wait until midnight last night to see that freaking race. Had to wade through SO much gymnastics, beach volleyball and more. No offense to any beach volleyball or gymnastic fans, but man oh man. And meanwhile, cool but obscure sports like weightlifting, rowing and triathlon get ZERO love whatsoever. Kind of does not stoke me but I'm happy that I can at least webstream other events.

I'm really not sure what I am going to do with myself once these Olympics are over. I simply can't get enough.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I've been watching non-stop Olympics. I can't get enough. One thing that I do wish is that NBC would broadcast some of the more "obscure" sports such as rowing, weightlifting and more. I have to say that I'm slightly tiring of beach volleyball (except the female bikini part of course) and gymnastics. I can't get enough of track and field and diving though. Track and field is my favorite sport, followed closely by swimming. Looks like Usain Bolt is going to be the star of this Olympics too, which is fine by me. I love hoe he rises to the occasion and he's hilarious. As well, he's a great sportsman and I loved how he stopped an interview so he could pay respect to the American 400 meter winner during her medal ceremony. That was super classy.

I thought the men's 10,000 meters was epic and was stoked to see Galen Rupp take silver. I'm equally for the distance races and would really like to see America do well, particularly in the marathon (go Meb - Go Ryan) and 1,500.

Lastly, I'm stoked for triathlon on Saturday. Look for a 1-2 finish by the British Brownlee brothers.

And speaking of the British, I think they are doing an amazing job both from a host-nation and competitive standpoint. Sebastian Coe is the man.

Last point: I will be super bummed in a week. I wish they lasted a month.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Yosemite Part II

Back from Yosemite. Wow - that is an absolutely wondrous place. If you all ever get a chance to go, go. I have so many thoughts. First is around the sheer vastness of the place. It is beyond enormous - apparently it's the same size as the State of Rhode Island. It's so big that it took us 45 minutes to drive from our camp site to the Valley. My second thought is that the Valley is where most of the action is, but poses a conundrum because it gets crazy crowded, particularly this time of the year.

But man - is it something. We got to see most if not all of the main characters; Half Dome, North Dome and the grand daddy of them all - El Capitan. El Cap moved me and to top it off, we got to see  a SAR (Search and Rescue) operation on a climber who got himself in a bit of trouble (understatement). Wow was that something - helicopter going back and forth up the mountain (along with requisite materials) where they eventually had to set themselves up to belay down the freaking Nose to rescue this moron. And based on our conversations with the lead rescue guy, this guy was indeed an idiot; inexperienced and on a short rope. We were captivated by the entire scene and must have sat out there for three hours watching the entire situation unfold. It was like something out of a movie. That dude was stuck on the mountain for almost ten hours too - though an idiot, I sure do hope he is ok (according to his radio report - he had a walkie talkie so we could hear him - he lost feeling in his legs).

The rest of the trip was great; We hiked a ton. We did a hike out together and when we hit our end point, I ran ahead and then ran back myself. Even though I never lost the trail (it was well marked) it was pretty disconcerting to be out there and not see any sign whatsoever of another human being. I realized that if I can blown off the path, I could have been lost for literally days. Sobering reality but again, I was never in any trouble at all.

The camping part was super fun. I'm not much of a camper but my friends are and I really enjoy it; more so than I ever thought possible. Only downside if there was one is that it's dry this time of the year and the campsite was DIRTY. And I mean - DIRTY. For all of you interested, I've attached a photo of my foot - and that is after having scrubbed it for a full 15 minutes. I was never so happy to see a shower as when I got home.

Anyway, I can cross that one off the bucket list. And I'd go back in a minute, hopefully with the kids in tow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Headed camping for a few days with the boys to Yosemite. I've lived in California for almost 7 years now and still haven't been to Yosemite; I am stoked. I am particularly stoked to get some trail running in; from what I understand some of the Yosemite trails are absolutely epic.

On the unstoked side of the equation though, it's supposed to be a bit hot. Forecasts seem to be hovering in the mid 90's, but it cools down significantly as the sun sets (typical of Northern California). If internet access allows, I will be sure to post pictures.

In regards to the Olympics, it was interesting to see Michael Phelps make the same mistake as my kids - you gotta hit that finish STRONG. I cannot believe that he made such an amateur mistake. Just proves that no one is infallible.

Monday, July 30, 2012


So, as a bachelor, I've been watching a ton of Olympics. Even if I was a non-bachelor, I'd be watching a ton of Olympics. There isn't much better than the Olympics.

Unsurprisingly, I've been most stoked about swimming. I think much was made of the first Phelps-Lochte showdown. Truth is, Lochte was a heavy favorite for him - it's arguably his strongest event (which he proved). I think the real surprise wasn't that he won, but that Phelps failed to medal. He really didn't look too good but I'm not sure I'd read too much into that - I suspect he's going to be more than fine.

I do wish that NBC would broadcast a little more of some of the more "obscure" sports such as weightlifting. My new roommate Wiley and watched some weightlifting on the computer and it was incredible; this little dude from North Korea of all places - guys weighed about 125 pounds - clean and jerked THREE TIMES his bodyweight. That is almost incomprehensible to me.

Beyond swimming, I've been watching whatever they got for me; water polo, gymnastics, beach volleyball, synchronized diving, etc. As far as I'm concerned, it's all exciting. But what I'm really most stoked for is track and field. Cannot wait for all of those events.

Anyone else out there have a particular favorite?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Most Perfect Day Ever?

Yesterday as my first "true" day of being a bachelor - meaning I wasn't traveling for business or working. It just may have been the most perfect day ever. I woke up, went to CrossFit, ran two miles afterwards and then went out for an awesome breakfast. Went home and watched the 400 meter IM unfold - props to Lochte on swimming an amazing race. And don't worry; Phelps will be back. Went to the pool just as the sun was coming up. Swam for an hour, lounged around the pool for a while, had a burger and went to get a haircut. Went to Whole Food, met up with a friend for a few minutes and her brand new baby, had some dinner and went to see the Dark Knight Rises, which was pretty damn good. Came home, more Olympics, sleep.

A more perfect day I could not imagine, though today is giving yesterday a run for its money: Crossfit, breakfast, typing these words, going for a run and then picking up my boy Wiley. More later.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Los Angeles

Sorry been so quiet; been on an extended trip to Southern California. Been here since Monday and it has been a LONG but productive week. Somehow we can an amazing rate with the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. I've stayed there before with the Wife but never before for business (never stayed at any Four Seasons for business for that matter).

I have to say, it is the most luxurious hotel ever and it really softens the blow of business travel. I woke up early, did a CrossFit workout in the gym and then swam for a half mile in their pool. Had a coffee poolside, had a quick steam and got ready for work. I have to say - a VERY civilized way to start a day. My fingers are crossed I can get a similar rate for future visits.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Well, I am back from my great Adirondack sojourn, and it's that time of the year again - for the next 24 days or so, I am a bachelor. Even though today is "Day 1" I already miss the Kids - though they fight and whine and bitch and moan, they are generally pretty darn good Kids and I really enjoy hanging out with them.

So, what will I do during my bachelorhood? For starters, I have a three day trip to LA planned. But that's all business. And on the back end of next week I'm meeting some of the boys at Yosemite for camping. Beyond that - I will probably chill and enjoy the relative peace and quiet.  And by week two, as in year's past, I am sure I will be bored stiff. Will be sure to keep you updated.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

5k Race

We ran the Silk and Satin 5k this morning. The whole family ran really well. Most impressive performance went to the Little Boy who ran a 22:20 - a PR by almost two minutes. That is 7:15 pace - pretty impressive for a kid who has done little to no running over the past several months. He stuck with me and ran the first mile in 6:45. I couldn't shake him until mile 1.5.

I ran 21:21 which was pretty decent considering I did a hard squat session at CrossFit yesterday and was feeling pretty cooked. The Wife ran around 30 minutes flat - also pretty fast. And last but not least, the Little Girl came in 3rd in her age group (12 and under - and she just turned 10). Every time that Kid does something she wins some sort of award. Anyway - both kids are pretty decent runners - and I am super proud of them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Greetings from Lake George

Am back in Lake George, NY for my yearly sojourn. Getting set to drop the kids off at camp. I'll be back here in late August to pick them up.

So far, so good. Went to CrossFit Lake George yesterday, which was fun, did a little swimming, a little hanging out with the kids, etc. I love it here in the Adirondacks. Only thing is that it is HOT. And I mean really hot. I sometimes complain that Northern California isn't warm enough, but all things considered I think I will take its relatively mild temperatures over the crazy hot and cold of the East Coast and Midwest. 

Anyway, headed to a minor league baseball game with the Little Dude and doing a 5k with the family on Saturday morning in Saratoga. Will be sure to send some pictures from the road.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Swim Season Come and Gone

I think 94% of my weekend was dedicated to swimming. I love the sport but am very glad the season is over; I think we all need a bit of a break before it resumes again in the Fall.

Saturday was Champs - the big Championship meet. Both kids swam great. The Girl took 2nd overall in back, fifth in fly and six in IM. She scored her team a ton of points in the process. I thought the real story of the day though was the Boy. He really rose to the occasion and took 9th overall in back and 16th in IM, scoring ten points for the team in the process. That's a really amazing accomplishment in my opinion for a kid who one year ago could not swim at all. His IM was really an amazing race. He ended up winning his heat, despite being in 5th place half way through. His team was going nuts cheering him on as was his grandparents. It's one of those moments where as a parent you almost cry, you are so happy for him. I will post a video later so you can see what I mean.

Unfortunately, their team lost by 27 points to Sleepy Hollow, the team we beat just last week. The Champs meet in a sense isn't a fair playing field as Sleepy Hollow has 86 more swimmers than us. Without getting too far into how scoring works, etc, to beat them requires some very difficult math. It's essentially a game of numbers. Anyway, it was a disappointing outcome but very dramatic and fun nonetheless.

On Sunday we had our awards banquet. The Girl ended up winning the Coaches Award for her age group and I am obviously super happy for her. Goes without saying that she's an amazing little swimmer and she can add this to her arsenal of hardware with pride.

But this year I was really holding out hope for the Little Boy. I *really* wanted to see him win Most Improved and though he didn't really say much, I knew he wanted it too. When the coach announced most improved for his age group all the kids began chanting "Zevan, Zevan" and I started filming what I thought was going to be a special moment. Alas, another kid's name was announced. That's sports for you - it has its fair share of ups and downs.

That said, I have to say, sometimes my heart just breaks for the Little Dude. I know life isn't all about awards and trophies and he has an amazing perspective about things, which I will get to, but ... man. Still.

Just once.

The net of it is I feel like he often gets left behind and ignored. Maybe it's because he's a smaller, quiet-ish dude. Baseball being a case in point; in my opinion, he should have made the all-star team this year. Several less worthy kids made it - and everyone in town knows he can play the game well. But he didn't. Might just as much my fault for not getting involved in the political part of it, which is a rant for another day.

So I help out hope that he'd get some recognition in the pool instead. And not as a gift mind you - I thought he really deserved it. He worked his butt off all year and the results showed it. But alas, it wasn't to be. I was watching when they announced the award and I could see his face sink for a second but here's what I love so much about him - he picked his head up, smiled and was truly first one to pat the other kid on the back and congratulate him.

When we chatted later I told him a was disappointed for him, but that life was very karmic and his time would come. He told me not to worry about it, that the other kid was awesome and more deserving and while disappointed, he was very happy for him.  But his lips quivered a little as he said it; I could tell he was still disappointed and putting on a bit of a brave front.

But it was those words - and that genuine attitude - which makes him such an awesome, awesome kid.

And no trophy could possibly have made me prouder than the grace he showed under disappointment.

It reminded me of what sportsmanship is really all about. 

You're the man in my book, Little Dude.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crazy Week

More radio silence from me this week than usual due to a ton of running around for work; we had a big event in LA on Wednesday night in downtown Hollywood. In all my years of going back and forth to LA I have never done a night out on the town in Hollywood. Let's just say that that place is straight up nuts and eerily reminiscent of Vegas on a Saturday night. Anyway, fun time had by our office.

Tomorrow is Champs, the last swim meet of the season. Hoping the kids do well. Regardless, it's been a great - amazing, even - season. Their win over Sleepy Hollow continues to get local media coverage - I will post a few links later. But alas, all good things come to an end.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nothing New To Report

Not too much going on at the moment. Still reveling in the big Sea Serpent win I guess. Seems like our whole town is reveling in that win. Apparently Sleepy Hollow's win streak was one of the longest youth sports win streaks in the country. Or so they say. And don't ask me who the "they" is because I believe "they" are 12 years old. So take that for what it's worth.

Couple of things:

- did anyone see the movie Savages and if so, any thoughts? The book by Don Winslow is a favorite of mine and I'm reading its precursor, which came out last week. It is also very good.

- Listening to some good music, including the new Pumpkins, which I wrote about previously, along with new Purity Ring and Metric. All three are on heavy rotation. I'm very curious to hear the new Frank Ocean, which is getting a lot of buzz.

- Starting to swim in earnest myself. I signed up for a 5k open water swim in Chicago in September I'll get it done but I'm not quite yet in top swimming shape. That will be by longest swim ever. Starting to ramp up my running too; have been taking it *really* easy this year in hopes that my hip gets better. It isn't getting better but it isn't getting worse and I'm hoping to see another specialist soon for a consultation.

That's it for now.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sea Serpents!

Well, the Sea Serpents did it; they beat the Sleepy Hollow Sea Lions, who had not previously lost a dual meet in 19 years.

That's right, 19 years.

Not one of our Kids were born when they last lost.

This meet was insanity and high drama all day; every parent and kid was watching on the absolute seat of their pants. I've never witnessed a youth sporting event quite like this. It. Was. Awesome.

The team really, really rose to the occasion and both kids swam pretty well, too. The Little Girl had two 2nd place finishes and had three best times, which is always the goal. The Little Boy had a kick ass backstroke, taking nearly two seconds off his previous best.

All in all, a great day. The team partied for an hour after their victory, the coaches sprayed bubbly apple cider, all the kids and parents were in the pool - good times and a swim meet that a LOT of people will never forget.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Swim Meet to End all Swim Meets

Tomorrow is the biggest swim meet of the season: the Scott Valley Sea Serpents versus Sleepy Hollow Sea Lions.

Last year, Sleepy Hollow beat us by five points (which is as close as you can get in a swim meet) by winning the absolute last relay race of the day. It was absolutely electrifying and one of the best sports events I've ever witnessed. Sleepy Hollow is a legendary squad and have not lost a duel meet since 1999, which is absolutely incredible. We are the up and comer and some people think that this very well might be our year (I'm trying hard not to jinx us here).

Marin Magazine wrote a great story about this rivalry and Marin swimming in general that you can read here. Even if you aren't from the area or have no interest whatsoever in swimming, take ten minutes and read this article. It's written by one of my favorite sports writers, Austin Murphy, who writes for Sports Illustrated. Among other subjects, he usually covers the Tour de France (more on that in a separate post).

Anyway, my two swimmers are ready fro the big day; it's all they've been talking about for the past two weeks. Can't wait to see how it nets out. Either way, we should see some great swimming.

 Go Sea Serpents!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Minor League Baseball

We have a minor league (technically, they are an Independent League team) team here in Marin County, CA, the San Rafael Pacifics. We went to a game last night and it was a huge stoke; $10 admission, excellent food (amazing tri tip sandwich) and a great selection of beers.

Additionally, they really involve the kids; they got to play musical chairs between innings (the Little Boy won a $25 gift certificate to local BBQ joint) and after the game the players line up to speak with the kids and give autographs. I have to say, even though the crowd was just about 300 people, I think I will take that any day over a major league game. A tremendous value, pretty decent baseball and great family fun. If you ever get a chance to go to a minor league game, it is highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Boy's Weekend and a 10th Birthday

Sorry so quiet; was away on our annual boy's weekend in Northern Michigan. Aside form my lost bag (which Delta sent from SF to Atlanta to Baltimore to Detroit to Flint back to Detroit to Bay City) and a stomach bug on Saturday, it was all good. The usual; hanging out, swimming, boating, lots of eating and drinking and re-telling the same old stories for the 67th time. The big, breaking news is that a 2012 Monopoly Champion has been declared - yours truly. I won't get into a recitation of the entire game (though I have done so several times in my head - as well as providing a full debriefing to the Little Boy) but let's just say thaty I rolled last, only was able to secure one property - and still won. Maybe my finest hour.

I got back Sunday in a fog and had to head to LA yesterday for an afternoon meeting. That was rough. I was able to get back on an earlier flight though and join the Little Girl for her 10th birthday dinner. I cannot - cannot - believe my baby is ten years old.

I always wanted a little girl and I sure got all I bargained for with this one.Like all kids she sure does have her moments, but she is a great kid in every respect and I love her (and the Little Boy of course) more than anything in the world. Happy birthday, Little Girl. I hope you get to celebrate 90 more.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Howard Stern on America's Got Talent

A few years ago, I would race home on Tuesday nights to watch American Idol. The kids would be waiting for me, already having finished both their homework and dinner and we'd sit down and watch it together. Slightly hokey, yes, but it was definitely fun family time that we looked forward to.

Flash forward to the post Simon Cowell years and we still might have American Idol on, but it essentially serves as background noise. We might watch the occasional performer but we are not riveted to our chair like year's past. A lot of that has to do with the impact that Simon Cowell had on that show; the other part is that it's simply worn a little thin (not to mention, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are mediocre judges at best).

But there's a new sheriff in town, and it's made for some fun Summer nights in the Solomon household; America's Got Talent.

Part of this is due, of course, to Howard Stern, who you all know is a bit of a hero to me. Regardless of your feelings about him, he translates really well into this new medium, in my opinion; he's funny but fair and has shown himself to be a pretty good judge of talent.

Some of it has to do with the show itself though; it's absolutely zany, doesn't take itself too seriously and most importantly - it's fun as hell. Everyone connected with the show from the judges to the host to the talent, seems to be having a blast - and that translates to enjoyable TV.

So, if you haven't been watching and are looking for something to pass away the Summer nights when broadcasting is not at its finest, I'd suggest you give it a shot. I don't think you will regret it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Olympic Trials

The only thing I like more than the Olympic trials - is the Olympics itself. What's more, the Little Boy has adopted my affinity for esoteric sports. That Dude is the best - he's obsessed with the upcoming Tour de France and he has watched all Olympic trial events with me; track especially, but diving and rowing as well. He's my little sports compadre and his body of knowledge is pretty impressive, especially around track and field and the Tour. And of course, swimming kicks off tonight as well, which promises to be a family affair. Even the Little Girl is excited about the swimming trials.

Speaking of swimming, this past week was the big all-star meet. The Little Girl miscalculated her finish on back and ended up third, which was slightly disappointing. She finished fifth overall in fly and sixth in IM, which was what was expected. Not bad overall, especially considering she's on the young side of her age bracket.

The Little Dude qualified for backstroke and took 12th overall. For a first year swimming, that's a pretty cool accomplishment.

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Music

Well, the Miami Heat have won their championship. Only thing that can cheer me up form that today is music, and fortunately, some good music abounds.

For starters, the new Smashing Pumpkins came out this week. I mean new in every sense of the word; new album and new band. But Bill Corgan proves his point; he IS Smashing Pumpkins - it doesn't matter wheat band he had behind him - and this new album is excellent. I've been listening to it non- stop all week and it keeps getting better and better with each successive listen.

I also managed to get my hands on the new Linkin Park. I haven't formulated an opinion on this one yet only because I am spending more time with the above. At first listen, though, I think I'm slightly disappointed. Will spend more time with it this weekend.

Last but not least is the new Metric and the new Fiona Apple. Apple is getting across-the-board rave reviews. I need to listen to his more too but I like it. It's dark and Bill Holliday-ish sounding but she can sure write and sing. Metric is one of these bands that seem to have come from nowhere but are really excellent. I'm really digging on this one a lot too.

I've got some others as well, but these are the ones that are on high rotation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gonna Be Hard to Beat the Heat

I've been transfixed by the NBA finals. It has a bit of everything: super duper stars (James, Wade, Durant, Westbrook), youth, energy and just incredible athleticism. Like 90% of America, I've been pulling hard for OKC. What's not to like about those guys; they love playing in a small market that adores them; they play hard and heads down. No drama - just hard nosed basketball.

Unfortunately for them, you will not be served this year. They've demonstrated that they aren't quite ready. Each game has been there for the taking and each time, they have fallen short. The media will pontificate as they are apt to do that their troubles relate to a player (Westbrook, mostly) or coaching, but bottom line is that they are losing to the better team.

I dislike LeBron but you have to give it to him - he's playing out of his mind as is the rest of his team (you can argue that's it's the unheralded guys on that team that are making the difference).

It often takes years before a championship is earned; look at Jordan, James, Garnett and others - and you learn something in the process. OKC will lick their wounds and come back stronger; that team is so young that they have dynasty potential written all over.

I hope they take one more game but regardless, it's been an exciting series all the same.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Microsoft Surface

It's now been 24 hours since the introduction of the Microsoft Surface and I'm still not sure what to make of it.

First of all - I'm not sure what it is. They seemed to position it as a tablet, but it's really more of a cross between a tablet and a PC. It's pretty spec'ed out, but I am really not certain as to why they didn't announce a shipping date or pricing. Pricing is going to be really, really key. If they can keep the intel version (I personally have no interest in the ARM one) under, say $700, things could get interesting. I have to imagine they will get this right; the stakes are too high to blow it on pricing and they can afford for it to be a bit of a loss leader.

No question, the keyboard is cool as hell. Aesthetically, the whole damn thing is cool but I'm not entirely surprised; their new phones are cool, too. It's apparent that they get that in this day and age, design counts for a lot. In regards to the keyboard, I'd love to see how to works; I find it interesting that they didn't allow any demos.

The implications of this of course are huge; Microsoft just got into the hardware game (essentially conceding an important point to Apple - that in order to make world-class devices, you need to take ownership of both  hardware AND software) which is sure to piss off a lot of their partners (i.e. Acer, Dell, Lenovo, et al). It will be very interesting to see how that plays out in the coming weeks and months.

I do give them huge credit for taking a different approach and not simply introducing a me-too-ish, Android-type tablet.

From a pure PR perspective, I really didn't get the mechanics of the announcement. Not announcing the venue until the day OF the announcement? And then conducting the event at 4:00 pm PST? Strikes me as a bit illogical but clearly they were going for a lot of attention on this - and they got it - so maybe it was indeed a decent strategy. I'd love insight into their rationale though.

Anyway, the bottom line question - as the resident gadget lunatic, will I be getting one? Quite possibly, but until I understand pricing and a few more specs that were conspicuously absent from yesterday's announcement (LTE?) it's too early to tell. And that's a shame, because if they *really* followed a page from the Apple playbook (which it seems was their intent), they likely would have pre-sold thousands of orders by now. And in this game - which just got a lot more interesting - every second counts.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Swim Filled Weekend

Another weekend of .... swimming. This weekend we had two meets - our Marin League on Saturday and a USA swimming long course one on Sunday. 

The Little Girl swam well at both meets; on Sunday she got JO (Junior Olympics) times in two events; 1-- back and 100 fly. I was tired watching her do both (long course events are held in a 50 meter pool, so there are no walls to push off of - they are much harder). In the backstroke, she missed a Far Western time by 1.5 seconds; that would have been an incredible accomplishment. That's the thing about swimming that I love though; short of winning an Olympic gold, there is always room for improvement.

Props to the Little Dude, who is improving by leaps and bounds. Amazing what he's accomplished in his first year of swimming. 

Aside from all that, the weekend featured the usual - Crossfit, running, etc etc.

Been watching every minute of the NBA finals, too. Having a hard time getting my head around the fact that the Heat might win the championship.I just don't like that team and on the opposite side of the spectrum, Oklahoma is so likeable. They are young though and I'm not sure if this is their time. Hope I am proven wrong on that one.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Perfect Game!

I got home from LA last night around 8. I was pretty exhausted and say down around 8 in front of the TV, bemoaning the fact that there was NOTHING on TV. The Little Boy, who was at his computer looking at baseball scores, which is what he does, said "Matt Cain is throwing a no hitter. Turn on the Giants game." I asked what inning it was in. "Fourth" he responded.

The Little Dude is obsessed with no hitters, as am I. He gets excited when someone is throwing a no hitter in the second inning. But I figured, what the hell, there's nothing on.

And the night proceeded to turn to one of electric excitement. By the 7th inning we were utterly transfixed and in the 9th we were straight up screaming at the TV. When it was over, we were whooping and hollering (yes, we are Yankees fans. Of course. But the Giants are our hometown - and adopted - team) like they had won the World Series.

Boy, was that something. A no hitter is one thing - they are becoming almost commonplace - but a perfect game is truly special. Wish I was at that one.

Congrats Matt Cain, on one of the best pitched games in history.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Apple Announcement

Yesterday's Apple announcements were about what I expected. I'm fairly exhausted tonight - I'm in LA on business, so a few brief thoughts:

- people are straight up nuts if they thought Apple was going to introduce a TV. They very well might do a TV, but if they do, it will gets its own press event. It won't be announced during WWDC.

- the new 15" MacBook Pro Next Generation or  whatever it is called, is BITCHING. But it's also a first generation machine and is expensive as hell. That's the direction they are clearly going with the MacBook Pro line - think you will see similar versions next year in 13 too. It is sharp as hell but I'd sit it out a generation or two - and that;s me saying that. Also, so far as personal preferences are concerned, I prefer the Air over the MBP.

- iOs 6 is cool - very cool - but it's not game changing like other iOs versions. But that's ok - I said this before - iOS is so refined that it's approaching near perfection. Improvements are going to be incremental and that's what version 6 is all about. The coolest aspect  shown so far is Maps, which looks just awesome.

-- Passbook, the new digital wallet. Now THIS is badass and might have been the star of the show. This is the future of mobile that we have been waiting for. Just wait until they add payments to the equation, which is inevitable.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Nick? Beno? Anything you boys want to add?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three Day Weekend

I had a really enjoyable three day weekend.

Took Friday off and spent the day with the Little Girl. It was awesome; we went out for a proper lunch, swam (of course) and then I took her shopping. All I can say is that I hope my Wife lives forever, because shopping with/for a little girl isn't easy. But we picked out the cutest dress ever at J. Crew and in the process, also almost picked up the salesgirl, who thought we were very cute (had to have been the little girl!).

Saturday was a swim day, per usual, and both kids swam great. The Little Girl took first in back and two thirds but the story of the day was the Little Dude. He took two thirds (overall thirds - not just in his heat) but on back and breast. He nabbed three best times. and he qualified for the all-star meet in back. These are all considerable accomplishments, considering that he barely knew how to swim seven months ago. I gave him crap in a previous post but I will give him all the credit on the world in this one: he works his tail off with swimming and he's starting to reap the rewards. I am very proud of him.

On Saturday we co-hosted a "White Trash" party with friends. I will let this picture speak for itself.

And finally, on Sunday, the Little Dude and I ran the legendary Dipsea as volunteers. We were "sweepers" - our job was to assist runners that were in trouble - and there was a fair decent number of them, given the extreme heat. We had a complete and utter blast - we were able to watch the race unfold (and what an exciting race it was), help others and get in a pretty solid run ourselves. Doesn't get much better than that.

I might never race the Dipsea again as a "competitor" - but I would do that again in a heartbeat every year.

Next year both kids are pretty committed to running the Dipsea as competitors - that should be interesting to see.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Well, now I figured out what it takes to get some comments and banter around here - be a shitty dad! Excellente. I just might go for a few similar posts, just to keep things stirred up a bit. I respect all opinions - everyone makes excellent points. The post remains up - for now. Been too busy to rethink whether I shoudl take it down (which would be a first for this blog, actually).

Short post today because crazy day. Highlight of this coming weekend, swim meet aside, is the Little Dude and I are running the famed Dipsea race (do check out the link if you have some time -  it's such a cool race) together - as volunteers. We are sweepers - meaning we take off about 15 minutes after the last runner and "sweep" the course. We make sure stragglers are ok; tend to the injured and clean up the course. I think it will be super fun, for no other reason than we are doing it together. It's also good to give back form time to time, especially to a sport that's been so good to me.

I will send some pictures form the trail.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Last Post

So, there was a little back and forth between me and my Old Man yesterday regarding yesterday's post. The Old Man suggested that I take that post down, as the topic should have been between me and the Little Boy.

He raises a fair point and I gave it careful consideration. And I decided to keep it up.

Here's the lens through which I viewed it: I asked myself, is it something I'd want the Little Boy to read (note: he knows about this blog, but I don't think he ever reads it. And if he does, great) at some point down the road? He'd probably be the first to understand that I am not looking to embarrass him in any way, shape or form. I love him more than life itself. And he knows I have points of view on things - particularly on this subject.

Also, say I wasn't here anymore.  That was the original intent of this blog - to serve as a legacy of sorts. Maybe he's reading it five, ten, twenty years down the road. And if that were the case, the central point of that little parable is one I'd want to strongly reiterate: if you want to improve at something that you care deeply about - anything - sometimes you need to evaluate your weakness, step out of your comfort zone and commit. And if you do so, there's opportunities where that work will potentially pay a major dividend.

That's the point of that post; it's not at all about baseball. I could care less about the baseball elements of it but  I think it's one of the most important things a kid or adult needs to understand in order to thrive in this tough world.

Nick, I get your point too but understand, I am not trying to be a baseball dad. Far from it - those dudes (and we have a ton of them out here) bum me to no end. I really don't care; I think in many respects little league is a bit silly. I much prefer swimming as a sport. But what I neglected to mention and is important to this story is this: he came to ME after last season, asking what HE could do to get better at baseball (he was fixated on making the all-star team).

So, I gave him a suggestion. A good one, I think. He decided not to pay heed to that advice and that's absolutely fine and his perogative - the Kid is only 12. I get it. I was the same kind of Kid.. I'm not angry or upset in the slightest. I just think that it was one of those rare opportunities where my advice could have been validated and thought it was noteworthy and worth sharing.

Anyway, enough on that. In other news, the Little Girl got her braces off yesterday and looks really cute. What a wackadoo - maybe the only kid in the world who misses her braces. Said they were her "friend".

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Little League Season Come and Gone

All "off season" I tried to explain to the Little Boy that his baseball skills were pretty refined, most particularly, his fielding. He's an excellent fielder and has terrific eye/hand coordination.

I tried to explain to him that he was at the stage where he needed to focus more on developing his weaknesses. In his instance his weakness was hitting and by extension, his power (or lack thereof in his case). Athletically, lack of power is both my kids weakness. I explain to them that it isn't their fault - it's mine. These things are genetic. If the Little Girl were 15% stronger, it would be scary what she would do in a pool.

The Little Boy basically disregarded my advice and did little to improve his strength, though in fairness, the swimming probably counted for a little.

And so flash forward to  last night in the fourth inning with him at bat, the bases loaded and his team down by one. The moment he's been waiting for. He got up and - popped up to the first baseman. His team later lost 6-3 (after starting the game 3-0!), thus concluding their season. And I couldn't get "mad" - the theme this season relating to his hitting has been to make contact and that he did.

At home later that night, I gently tried to tell him that it would have been interesting to have seen what would have happened if he heeded my advice. Maybe that pop out would have had 1% more power and gone past the first baseman for a single, driving in two critical runs. I tried to explain to him that sometimes athletes train for a lifetime for one brief moment in time. I wasn't trying to make him feel bad (at all) but pointing out what I felt could have been an important life lesson. I wish this story ended with a positive affirmation but it fell on deaf ears. He blamed it on the bat.

Actually, all wasn't lost. The Little Girl was listening from afar and started doing push ups. That wasn't exactly my point, but good to know someone is paying attention.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Solid weekend out here in Marin County, CA. Headline of course was a swim meet. Little Girl had the breakthrough we've been waiting for this season. She busted out three best times, a win in the backstroke and a new pool record in back. I was super proud of her, but I'm more proud of what a great, caring teammate she is. More than anything else this whole swimming business is great for her self esteem.

The Little Dude lost his playoff baseball game. He played well in defeat with a few great plays and a sharp single in the last inning. Next loss will be their last game of the season; it was a good season for the Little Dude. Thought he played well throughout.

What else? Little girl went to a big swim meet in Santa Clara to see how the big boys do it. She got to meet Natalie Coughlin, which was a thrill for her. Bit of Crossfit, some running and swimming - the usual.

Also, Game of Thrones season finale - wow. All I have to say about that one is don't mess with dragons.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I had lunch with a colleague today who asked me if I ever thought about retirement. Not an easy answer: if it makes any sense, I think about it every day - and yet, not at all. I couldn't imagine not working (after all, the Old Man is 70-something and still working) and yet what I do, while not brain surgery, is pretty darn stressful. Those of you who have seen me have likely noted my hair has turned pretty darn grey. It's for good reason.

The question then was asked what would I do next. I don't have an answer because it's something I haven't thought through - or at all, even - but I think the answer would have something to do with what's obviously my passion - fitness. I'd love to open a small, boutique-y workout facility of some sort, ala Crossfit and would love to coach a select group of endurance athletes. All the while, doing non-profit work for a cancer organization.

And oh - would like to be doing all of the above from the North Shore of Hawaii.

How does that sound as far as a gameplan?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Longest Swim Ever

So, I bit the bullet last night and signed up for my first ever 5k swim. It's happening September 9th in Chicago and should be a blast; I will be swimming with my boy Dave and a few of his buddies.

I needed some sort of big goal, and with my hip still being out of sorts (though slowly improving), I think this is a good one. I love the open water and my longest swim was part of Ironman more than a decade ago, so this should fit the bill.

Of course, though this seem daunting to the uninitiated, it's a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to what my friend Pablo is planning; a 78 mile crossing of the Sea of Cortez. Words can't describe how gnarly this is, on so many different levels. Pablo has been training in our local pool and I've never seen anyone put in so many hours and such effort. If anyone can make it, it's him.

If you are interested in learning more, check out this article here from our local paper. He's getting set to take off for Mexico pretty soon. Please send good vibes his way.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Plans

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone (and what a good one it was), I guess it's officially Summer. I'm not there in my head quite yet - too busy with work - but I will get there soon enough. Don't have any "formal" plans, but things I am looking forward to include:

-- my annual sojourn East to get the kids prepared for Summer. I really love the Adirondacks in particular in Summer and look forward to going back to Lake George, one of my favorite places in the world
-- our annual Boy's trip to Michigan. Can't talk too much about that one since it's a .. boys trip (ok, I'll break that rule. Here's what we do: eat a ton, drink a ton, tell the same stories over and over, go for an occasional swim and run. That's it. It rules).
--going on the Top Secret camping trip (again, can't talk about it. That's why it's called Top Secret) with a few of the Boys to Yosemite. It's disgraceful that I've lived in California this long and haven't been to Yosemite. Super stoked.
- and last but not least: watch the Olympics. I love the Olympics like nothing else; I can't get enough of it. Swimming, weightlifting, baseball, boxing, triathlon, cycling, track and field - bring it all on. I'm just sorry that the Little Boy is going to be away at camp - would be awesome to watch all of this with him. He's turning into quite the sports enthusiast himself.

Anyway, that's my Summer plan. Would be interesting to hear yours (or woudl be interesting to hear any comment - what's the matter with you all? On that topic - anyone having trouble posting comments? If so, hit me offline - I am curious to know).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

CrossFit. Decorating a float. The pool (always, the pool). Fireworks. Beer. BBQ. Parade. CrossFit. Bar Mitzvah. Amusement Park x 3 days in a row. Trail run. Concert. More BBQ. Maybe one last beer.

The weekend that was.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Holiday Weekend

Happy long holiday weekend, all. This has been one long ass week and a break could not come at a better time. Taking the Little Boy to a Yankee's-A's game tomorrow and beyond that, not sure. Probably some Cross Fitting, swimming, running and who knows what else. Hopefully will even get the Paddle Board out on the Bay. I love that thing but don't use it nearly enough. Maybe even some reading, if there is time; anyone have a good recommendation?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mount Everest

I've been slightly obsessed with what's been going on on Mount Everest these past few days. If you haven't heard the most recent news, four climbers died over the weekend, making it one of the worst disasters in the history of the mountain. The pictures, which mostly come courtesy of Outside Magazine (who, per usual, have been absolutely killing it with their coverage) have been extraordinary. One picture showed nearly 300 people queued up for a summit push and climbers who have made the descent are starting to say that the traffic is responsible, in part, for several of these deaths.

I think what's happening on that mountain is an absolute joke, bordering on travesty. People who are incapable climbers at worst, amateurs at best are shelling out $60,000 per head for the sole purpose of saying they've climbed the world's highest mountain. To me, that represents everything that's wrong in the world of "sport."

"Vanity" climbing has always struck me as a bit of a joke but it's gone well beyond that. Base camp has been desecrated with litter and people are not just dying but endangering the lives of others. I imagine Sir Edmund Hilary is doing 180's in his grave.

I'm not sure what, exactly, can be done to bring about an end to this nonsense but I think something has to give.  Will be interesting to see Outside's perspective on the matter as the story takes shape over the next few months.

All I can say is that if the next 300 or so who are lined up to climb really want to impress, maybe they should focus their attention on an adjoining peak; a K2, Lhotse or Annapurna. They might not be tallest, which might not necessarily resonate in today's society, where the urgency always seems directed towards the "biggest and best" but without question, those are real climber's peaks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Damn Yankees

I'm not exactly certain what's going on, but I do know that the Yankees season is in serious jeopardy if they don't get their act together. Losing 6 of their last 7 and getting shut out by the Royals at home? Unacceptable.

The problem, as has been the case for the past several years, is their pitching. Kuroda's last few outings have been terrible. I think there is enough evidence to say that Hughes isn't all that good. I'm concerned that hitters have figured out Nova. Which leaves us with CC and ... Andy Pettite. I'd feel better about that if we were looking at the year 2004.

Also, Tex needs to wake up and Arod needs to find some power. We are .500 at the end of May. ALl is not lost yet but they need to wake up soon. And Girardi better sound the wake up call or he will soon find himself replaced by Donnie Baseball (I'm writing this post form Los Angeles .. and I can tell you that they love Mattingly in these parts).

Ok, diatribe over.

Let's Go, Yankees!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Visit with the Parents

Well, the parental units have departed. Hope they agree that a good time was had by all - was sorry to see them go. We had our usual fun-filled weekend that included:

-- a Giant's game with the Little Boy
-- a swim meet
-- Little Boy baseball game
-- swimming and tennis

And who knows what else - we are always on the go doing something. 

Highlight for me though running with the boy from Mill Valley to Stinson beach via the famous Dipsea trail. It was a 7.2 mile run and he kicked ass - arguably faster than me. 

The other highlight was the solar eclipse. Any of you see that? We saw it with special goggles and it was a site to behold. One of the coolest things I've ever seen; the kids and I were absolutely mesmerized. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Poor Little Dude had seven teeth pulled this am. According to the Mrs. everything went smoothly and he is home resting. Hopefully, his grandparents will spoil him later this afternoon. Poor kid; when I left the house this morning he was literally shaking he was so scared and tears were just falling flowing from his eyes. I am extraordinarily sympathetic because I had a ton of dental work when I was a kid - and I mean a ton. Enough so  that it's probably the cause of my thyroid cancer.

Anyway, send good vibes to the Little Dude. I promised as a reward to take him to the Giants game tomorrow night and let him pick the seats.

(update: pictures of said teeth attached)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Little Boy and Baseball

The Little Boy is putting on a good show for his grandfather, baseball-wise. Over the past two days he's gone 3-4 at the plate with a bunch of runs scored.

But where he's really made his mark is in the field. Be forewarned I'm going to sound like an obnoxious parent, but I guess that is part of what this blog is about. Anyway, the Kid has just been money at second base. He must have made five or six fielding plays yesterday and he made them all seem pretty effortless. It underscored to me the importance of defense in youth baseball, because without some of those plays it could have been a different outcome. One thing about that Little Dude that stands out: he's got exceptional hand/eye coordination.Now if only he could put on some weight and muscle........

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Howard Stern on AGT

Like virtually every other Howard Stern fan in the country, I sat glued to the television last night for his debut on America's Got Talent. I expected him to exceed expectation but truth is he was very, very good. And I think as he settles into this role, he's only going to get better.

I had a conversation with my mother of all people about Howard, who called him a sellout. I could not disagree more. Prior to being selected as a judge for AGT he's spent countless hours judging performances on show's like American Idol, Dancing with Stars, The Voice, and yes, AGT. His analysis is generally spot on, and always funny. And I think that's exactly what he's going to bring to the table for the public at large these next few months.

Also, he's arguably at the twilight of his career and I suspect he wants to show the country that he's not the ogre that he's been made out to be these past few decades. I think people will be surprised that he's actually thoughtful, passionate and charming.

He probably won't be for everyone and there will always be detractors (including, surprisingly, my mother) but I know I haven't been this excited for a show in along, long while. I predict it/he will become a sensation.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Activities

The Parental Units are in town and between two swim meets (one in Marin, one in Sonoma) and a baseball game (the little boy had two great hits; maybe his best hitting day ever) I think we kept them pretty busy. Between another two games, another swim meet, a visit to the Peninsula, a visit to Sonoma and two tennis lessons, I think they will have a fruitful visit. One thing about us Solomon's is that we are always on the go - not much rest for the weary.

On that note, I think my favorite part of the weekend came yesterday afternoon. After waking up early and swimming five events in the freezing cold, you'd think the Little Girl would want to take it easy ain the afternoon and maybe nap. Not the case. Instead, she asked me if we could run (three miles) to my partents hotel before dinner. So off we went, with her gabbing the entire time. Once we got there she said she could easily run three more.

We didn't, but I believed her.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Force

There's a Force about to hit California. It's the dude below. He's coming to town with his Bird in tow for ten days. Not sure if California is prepared. And conversely, I'm not sure he's prepared for the slate of swim meets
(three) and baseball games (two for the Little Boy plus one Giants game) that he's about to encounter.

I'll be sure to post periodic updates.