Friday, January 25, 2008

The place I'm going skiing at tomorrow may not even have 500 feet vertical. Why am I jacked up to go?

As many of you know, I spent four fantastic years in Colorado, skiing at some of the greatest areas known to humankind. I'm in Alexandria, VA now, and you're probably wondering why am I so jacked up to ski tomorrow night at Liberty Mountain, PA? A rinky dink hill like that, and at NIGHT? Of all times?

Well, is it going to be Colorado even on one of their bad days where it hasn't snowed for two weeks (and yes it does happen)? No. But I don't care. It's skiing, getting outside and cruising down the hill. Breathing fresh, hill, countryside air. Making turns on the snow. Stories from strangers on the lift. Even if I'll have to use my edges more now that I'm back on the east coast, as my buddy Adam says, it ain't much but the hardpacked snow will make you a better skier. Not to mention getting out of the city is always nice.

Since moving here I've taken the following approach towards skiing and hiking, no 2000 feet of vertical a half hour away anymore, make do with what you have and be creative if you want to get a tough workout in. I can't wait to do that tomorrow night. Bon voyage.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Super Bowl Time - 320 hours away

It's just after 10:30 am on Monday morning, and I'm in complete geek Super Bowl mode, that's how I know the kickoff is 320 hours away. As you may now, I have watched the New England Patriots since I was barely old enough to speak. We all know what this season has been like, so I don't need to re-hash it here. You've seen it all 399 times already. Yesterday's game was a little odd, it reminded me of the last Patriots Super Bowl when you never thought they were in any real danger of losing, even when down early, but it was a struggle nonetheless. The difference this time was the turnovers the Pats committed. Murphys Pub was as packed as I've ever seen it for a Sunday game, but not as raucous as say, the Colts game earlier this year when half of us wanted to throw the officials out the second floor window. But the game itself dictates a lot of that, it was your January struggle with some momentum swings but no real bad calls to piss anyone off, only one scuffle between hated rivals, you name it. But it was a great time as usual, and Hi Ho Hi Ho, Off to Glendale we go!

Now I want to give some mad props to our Super Bowl opponent, The New York Football Giants. Remember all the controversy about "they're the five seed no matter what", "should they even bother playing their starters", "can they even stop the Pats from being 16-0 anyway", et al? Well, those who rested starters in Week 17, where are they now? Tampa Bay? Got steamrolled by the Giants on the wild card weekend in one of those games where the winning team wasn't in danger at any time, even when down 7-0. Colts? AH HA AH HA AH HA AH HA AH HA AH HA AH HA AH HA AH HA AH HA!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for giving me $70 in a playoff picks pool as I was the only one of 14 entries who picked San Diego in round 2!

Back to the Giants as I get back on track, mad props for what they did, only the third team to make the Super Bowl by winning three in a row on the road. Took Tampa out with ease, took the two haymakers Dallas delivered in the first half before delivering a bigger one just before halftime on their way to the second win, and won the struggle in Antartica, I mean Green Bay. Tremendous accomplishment, especially with all the questions about their secondary. Now, said secondary may get exposed in two weeks (I hope so), but now's the time to give them their due props for their planning and execution. Very impressive! Well done!

Finally, it will be at least a generation before any playoff team pulls and "El Grande Siesta" for their starters in week 17 in the copy-cat world of the NFL. The Giants run began when they gave the Pats all they could handle in a game most "experts" thought they had no business even trying to compete in, save for the one in one hundred chance to end the quest for 19-0. Awesome job, NYFG, you deserve it. Even you, Eli Manning. Your brother is still a pompous media whore though.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Battery fixed, spin class, and 36 packs of beer

After a brief but understandable delay Friday morning, my battery got replaced. A 3 year unlimited warranty, then 3 years service warranty of some sort beyond that. Car runs great now, for the limited times I need it. Works for me. I made it to my spin class this morning, which made me really happy. Why do I go to the gym to a ride a bike instead of riding outside? Well, I workout at the gym, it has all the exercise equipment I need, the only things missing are a hot tub and pool. It's a quick workout too, one hour, that keeps me in some resemblance of shape (I really need to watch my weight so other health issues don't come about as by-products). On top of that, if you've been to the Washington area you know the climate ain't ideal for outdoor exercise for a lot of the year. Not to mention that while I will and often like to run in the rain, bike ride? No. Don't feel like riding outside with wet brakes. Not safe. Not fun. Female-male ratio? Appealing, no question, even though it's not why I go to spin class. There you go.

How the heck do 36 packs of beer fit into all of this? They don't, but while I was food shopping on the way home from the gym, I thought about picking up some beer for the weekend. From time to time I wonder what happened to the good old classic 30 pack, what you buy during college and just out of college years because you and your friends want lots of beer that you can carry easily. Well, I got my answer today. The 30 pack is apparently no more. In its place is THE 36 PACK!!! We're getting closer to those lost weekend skits, people! 36 packs of beer! Party time, tailgate time. Oh wait, nevermind, Coors Light is what you drink when no other options are available, Bud and Bud Light suck ass, and they cost $21 on special anyways. For $21 I can go out and buy a couple bottles of decent wine had my wine experiment not ended last month after the worst hangover I've had in ten years. Or I can get 3 6 packs of quality beer. Or I can stay sober and use that money for something else. Not a bad alternative if I want to keep weight off, not feel like I got run over by a Mack truck the next morning, you name it. But I imagine by 2012 we'll have 48 packs.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

So that's why you always re-new your AAA membership!!!

Okay, a little "snowstorm" that wasn't went through our area today. I'm all excited to get off the shuttle bus, go right to a spin class at my local Gold's Gym, with plenty of time to beat all the resolutioners to a bike. Whoops. Big problem, my car won't start. It won't even turn over. Okay, this happened to me before, right after the holidays. I'll try in 5 minutes. Nope. Worse, my car started going bananas. Still won't start. I look at my battery, it's all corroded (sp).

When I had the issue a couple weeks ago, I decided to re-new my AAA membership so I could at least get a few miles of free towing should the battery die while I'm in the gym. That would get me to a garage. In hindsight, I never should have let it expire, because it would have made getting my car looked at just a tad more difficult than a three minute phone call and reading off my membership number to someone. The truck stopped by in the first 20 minutes of the 2 hour window. From there, I got the confirmation that I need a new battery. Oh well, the Sams Club-purchased battery lasted just about three years, right up to the warranty expiration no doubt. Three years, that's in the top ten for product functionality timeframes for products purchased at Sams/WalMart but that's besides the point.

The real point is, remember to re-new your AAA membership. I just lost a spin class. I could have lost a day or more worth of time dealing with headaches from this. And there's another spin class on Saturday I can go to, getting me back on the I wanna lose 15 pounds by the end of March wagon. AAA Plus gets you 100 miles of free towing, which could come in real handy should I ever break down near Shenandoah NP. With my old car, I wouldn't be surprised if I need that AAA Plus soon.

Next time, blog about the spin classes? Sure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fairfax County's longest running cold

I have it. Or at least I think I do. I went to a holiday party at early December, had a great time, had some wine, and some Sam Adams too. The next morning, not so much fun. To start, the after effects of the night, even after I drank lots of water before going to bed, were almost as bad as they had ever been for me. Then I came down with a cold...which is significant because it's January 15...and I still have a cold.

The hacking, half a pack of cough drops a day cough has somewhat gone away, you can say it's calmed down a bit. But it hasn't gone completely away. It's definitely nice to not feel like I'm about to cough myself into a broken lung for ten minutes after I wake up, but I still do get coughing spells once in a while. I've tried running a huimdifier in my apartment since it's real dry here for some reason. That helps a bit. Running outside in the snow last month? Believe it or not, during the stretch where the cold was at its worst, that helped for a a day or two.

I'm good at not going right out into the chilly temps after a workout or run. But I still can't shake this cold completely. Do I need to accept that I'll always be tired and have a cold? Drink more herbal tea? Continue my pledge not to foray into wine drinking anymore? Or maybe just say it's allergies?

Next blog entry will be .... I dunno when this cold gets worse, maybe.

Friday, January 11, 2008

At least they don't have a coin toss to screw up

Who else thinks this is hilarious? Ref gets busted for involvement in a gambling ring, possibly shaving points, now they can't keep track of fouls. Yeah. Remember the oops we see the logo in the "sealed" envelope and it ain't the one we want? Yeah.

I guess the threat of Shaq Fu still holds sway. I hope nothing ever comes down to a coin toss, because they'll soon prove that NFL refs aren't the only ones capable of screwing it up.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Viva Mid Majors! And Sometimes It's Better To Fall In The Creek.

Okay, I didn't go to fun run tonight because it was raining. Well actually, I am still shaking the remnants of a cold I've had for a month so the rain would have helped bring that back. Even with the proper clothing, it's when I stop running in cold, damp temps and am travelling home from wherever the run ends that is the concern.

But enough of that. I was waiting for Keith Olbermann to show how he somehow got into a Rudy Giuliani campaign ad but he was taking too long to do so, so on my TV goes college basketball. And what did I watch, not the usual Thursday night 7th vs 9th place team from the major conferences, I found some mid-major games! Why do I want to see VCU vs Georgia State and Butler vs Wisconsin-Green Bay instead of the big time teams? Well, the mid majors usually only get on TV a couple times a year unless they make March Madness, so they always come to play. On top of that, it's cool to see games from more traditional buildings such as Butler's, that's 80 years old and an old school fieldhouse, instead of 17,000 empty seats in MSG for a St. John's game. Furthermore, seeing different teams on TV is cool. Finally, Bracket Buster Saturday in February helps me pick the teams that are going to pull upsets in March before anyone else.

So, yeah I'm going to watch some more of this Butler game before I go to bed. But not until I give you this piece of advice. If you're crossing a small stream while hiking, start slipping on a wet rock, and are putting too much pressure on one leg to try to stay up and about.... Just fall in the creek, cross your arms so you don't smash your hands and wrists, tuck your neck in so you don't hit your head on anything, and fall on your butt. You're only going to fall a foot or two, there won't be any pointed, jagged rocks to break your back on, and your clothes wick the moisture away so they'll dry quickly. Worked for me! My buddy Brian is convinced, and I am too, that I would have blown out a knee. Take the safe route and fall, it's good for a laugh too. As long as you're hiking up Cedar Run and not down it, it's too slick to hike down.

Okay, we hiked this in October but I just got around to restarting my blog tonight. Check out my Fairfax County Restaurant Reviews, as I go to more I'll post more.