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.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New York, Redux

Greetings from New York - again. Second time in two weeks, which is definitely a bit much. Getting tired of all this traveling business. This trip was around an industry awards ceremony that was held last night. Our new-ish firm was selected as the New Agency of the Year, which was pretty cool. As a senior partner, I felt it might obligation to attend. The best part of these events are catching up with old friends, and I was able to chat with several really good friends that I haven't seen in years. That alone made the trip worth it.

The second highlight was visiting Crossfit NYC. You know you're hooked when you are waking up super early and a jet lagged state to hit a Crossfit workout. To make matters worse, it was a mile from my hotel and it was pouring. So, I got a wet two miles in as well.

Sometimes I really think I need my head examined.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Swimming Part XVIV

Another swimming weekend gone by. The Little Girl swam ok yesterday, not what I'd categorize as great (I'm a tough critic). Just when I think she might be stuck in a rut, she goes to today's USA meet, sets a best time in 50 back by nearly three seconds and qualifies for Junior Olympics. Shows how much I know.

I'm proud of her and the Little Boy, who also swam great. She gets most of the credit but it's hard to believe that six months ago he could barely swim. He's right there in the middle of the pack of his age drop, which is a huge accomplishment considering many of these kids have a six year head start on him.

Next weekend my parents will be in town and get in on the action; we have another meet both Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Oh MO! Say it Ain't So

Apologies for the horrible pun; I could not help myself.

So, yesterday happened. A rotten day all-around, made worse by Mariano's ACL tear. The Little Boy and I sat in front of the computer yesterday in utter disbelief; we watched that video on a continual loop maybe ten times. We simply couldn't believe what we were seeing.

Suffice to say, that's no way for a Hall of Fame career to end. The only consolation I take in this is that I think it will ironically extend his career. Although he's quiet, he is a flat-out warrior and warriors don't go down like that. I suspect he will work his butt off on rehab and come back in 2013. It may have not been his original plan, but I don't think that plan included a year ending injury SHAGGING FLY BALLS IN CENTERFIELD.

Anyway, Yankee nation can only hope that my theory is correct. Either way, get well soon, Mariano. And if that is indeed the last we have seen of you, thank you for one hell of an 18-year ride.

(POSTSCRIPT: I am so smart, if I do say so myself. I swear, I wrote all of the above before seeing this.)

RIP, Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys died today at age 48 of salivary cancer.

Wow, that hits home on so many levels. One, he's not too far from me in age (I turned 46 this week). Two, salivary is sort of a sister-cancer to thyroid. There is a correlation between the two (evidenced by Roger Ebert. He had thyroid first and got salivary a few years later). I've long been fearful/paranoid about salivary cancer.

Wow, wow. I knew Yauch was sick but had no idea he was dying. What a bummer. On top of it, the Beastie Boys are without question one of my top ten favorite bands of all-time. I just love those dudes and think Paul's Boutique is an all-time classic.

Not even sure what more to say. Not a good ending to a tough week.

RIP, Adam Yauch. You made the world a better place and had a hell of an impact for a very young guy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

No Hitters

I've been fortunate enough to catch both of this year's no hitters with the Little Boy and I have to say that I'm not sure if there's anything more exciting in all of sports, short of a championship game or some sort of series finale.

The one thing I've always wanted to see in-person is a no hitter; I've never even come close. The tension of the last few innings is singular, regardless of your feelings towards the team or player. I'm neither a White Sox nor an Angeles fan, but last night I sure was pulling for Jared Weaver. As was the Little Boy.

Not sure what it is about the no hitter - in this day and age they've almost become commonplace - but there's something about them that's indescribably transcendent.

Anyone out there ever see one in-person??