Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Old 97's at 9:30 Club

I went to 9:30 Club last night for the Old 97s. Other than my buddy got caught up at a job site and couldn't make it, it was a good show. Shit happens, I wish he could have made it though, was a good show. First opening bad, the Spring Standard, was decent. Rhett Miller produced their CD FWIW. The second band was okay too, I didn't catch their name but they were from El Paso.

I enjoyed the $3 happy hour Guinness at Duke's House on U and 12th at lot more than the $8 ones at the Club. Keep in mind that if I had known my buddy was gonna have issues getting there I probably wouldn't have drank beyond the $3 beer, that was my only regret. Old 97s didn't take the stage until 9:40 or so, too late for this old 34 year old who is in bed by 11 unless he has plans to be out. They put on a good show though. Very fast paced, not a lot of in between songs banter, sounded like seasoned pros.

I hadn't been to 9:30 in a while but now I have a better idea of what to expect when I go there next. The club didn't really get packed until 9 or so, between 8 and 9 no one really came through the doors. IF I so see Squeeze, I now know not to get there until 8:30 at the absolute earliest. Doors open at 7:30, I really don't need to see Spring Standard again (nothing against them but I can use that hour sleeping or doing other stuff). I stand wherever the crew does but try to stay away from the immediate front for many reasons.

Sargeant Stadanko, Sister Mary Elephant, and Dave are back - Far Out Man!

Cheech and Chong are reuniting for a tour. Just another thing for me to spend precious money on should they visit DC. Far Out Man! This would be worth going to though. I need to find an old vinyl record player so I can play Black Sabbath at 78 Speed! Maybe Dave will have one. Dave! Who? Dave's not here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trail run was a ton of fun, even if my hamstrings didn't cooperate

The run went for about 5 miles or so, maybe slightly more. Great trail, some small climbs and drops but nothing daunting, it's tough for me to describe the feeling out being out there other than it rocks. Mostly shaded trail, which in this morning's hazy, hot, humid sun was very much appreciated. The one and only drawback, I did stop and walk for a bit because my legs felt very heavy and tired, especially the hamstrings. It's usually the quads that feel heavy first but the hamstrings felt like 20 pound weights so I took it really easy at the end. I even stopped for a few minutes to take the view of the woods all in, seeing as I needed a couple minutes to rest and I don't get out on the trails much anymore.

All and all an excellent day. I did have the same issue as last weekend in Rockville with shorts falling down as I lose a couple pounds of water weight during the run, even with the Camelback for drinking water this happens on hazy/hot/humid days. That's a good reason to have shorts falling a bit though, the temporary and hopefully permanent weight drop I've experienced this year. If it means I can't wear these shorts running anymore, that's fine I can donate them somewhere.

Now it's time for rest, dinner, a little bit of further stretching (especially the hamstrings), and trying not to stress over the latest Red Sox garbage. The rest is needed because from last Sunday to today, here is my workout schedule:

Last Sun / Mon / Tue: Spinning class, with weights work on Sun and think Tue. 8 miles plus run on Thursday with a nasty hill, tough run on Friday, spin class and race last night, trail run today. BTW, I was happy with the first half of my race last night, not the second half as I really started to sag a bit. over time of about 55:05, which is fine in that heat and humidity. No challenging the 50 minute barrier until it's a lot cooler.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Losing my Smartrip Card, and Running Update

Okay, jackass who took my Metro card from the shuttle bus: you only got a free ride because I didn't get to the office in time to call and get my card cancelled. I admit to being careless in losing it on a five minute shuttle ride, so I'm not blameless. But stealing someone else's card from your own apartment complex, that's so teenage wannabe gangsta. I just wish I could see the look on your face when you tried using the card in the afternoon to find it cancelled! Sort of busted.

Running update: A coworker and I went for a post-work run. Coworker has 20 years in the USMC, so an easy jog it ain't. It's a struggle, but one I'm glad I went through when it was done. I think running at platoon pace or faster will help me become a better, stronger runner. I do know I should add more sprints to my training. That would definitely help me push through the end of races.

Tonight is a 10K race in Vienna to benefit Friends of the W&OD Trail. I had committed to this before Pacers' Twilight 5K was put together so I'm forgoing post-race beer and a quick Metro jaunt to and from the race for my original commitment. It's hot today but not really close to as humid as last Saturday, that's a plus. Humidity is supposed to increase later in the day as the race approaches, a minus. I thought I'd try to make a run at finishing under 50 minutes (my PR is 51:36) but that isn't realistic, so I'm going to make a best effort and see where it takes me.

Another wrinkle into the race is I went to a spinning class this morning. Spin plus race, haven't done that in that order since I started running somewhat seriously. I did spin after running a 5K once, but this is a new level of challenge. I'm up to it. Tomorrow I'm also up for a Trail Run here. I'm maybe even more excited for that than I am for tonight's race. I get to hang out and run on trails. YEAH!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

My soon-to-be trip to the "Mall" - What should I get? is still doing very well for itself, I guess. I don't think I've been to that site more than a half dozen times in its existance. But I got a $40 gift certificate for my birthday so I will need to shop there soon. So help me out, what I should I get from Amazon? I'll really find out if is is really a "Mall" but without the foot traffic, parking lots, and yuppie mall rats that I can live without (I'm very proud to say that in four years of living in Denver, I only set foot in the yuppieish Cherry Creek Mall once, and that was only because I needed to get to a store for my cell phone provider and there was an event downtown that prevented me from going to that one).

What should I get at Amazon? The only thing I can say I really need is a new wallet. I needed a new coffee maker but I got that at an in-person store, I do not have the time to make an extra trip anywhere because a carafe busted in transit from a shipper. I have plenty of running shoes, don't know if they even sell clothes (I can always use new business causal pants), and definitely don't need anymore gadgets. Maybe I'll get the Led Zeppelin re-issued with new songs "The Song Remains The Same" double CD that I wanted to get at Circuit City. Back in the old days, that was my favorite double tape to play while driving through the New Hampshire mountains. Maybe I'll find the litte battery powered radio I've been looking for, Walgreens doesn't sell the $5 ones anymore. Or maybe I'll hold onto it until I actually need something. That sounds like a good deal to me.

Unless someone has a suggestion for me. Hey, Seattle's 90 miles from the Canadian Borders. Maybe they have an alcohol license and can ship me some Alexander Keith. Or am I getting away from efforts to drink even less than I do now, which ain't much, to save money?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Run went pretty well, considering the heat

Well, the race was delayed 10 minutes because of something called code black, i.e. it's quite dangerous to run with the humidity levels. So it started when the sun was completely down. The first mile was my best mile out of the almost five in this 8K. I tend to start out very quickly (for me) with the adrenaline and/or desire to get a bit ahead of the large pack of people. A lot of them will pass me but oh well. My first mile was 7:45, which for me is very good. This race had a couple small rolling hills, and we ran through the Montgomery College campus too. It was VERY humid so I slowed down a bit to make sure I wouldn't overheat.

All in all a good effort, 42:22, about 2 minutes behind my personal record, but very good considering the conditions. Yeah, even after 9 pm it was still like running in an oven with more moisture. But that's cool, and I kept my shorts up too! Well, I had to pull them up a bit twice to avoid a potential embarrassment. But that's a blessing in disguise because I need to tighten the same shorts that I would have had more issues fitting into them comfortably six months ago. I'm down 15-20 pounds since January 1, and hope to drop a couple more before my big hike in September, while doing some weight training as well.

For today, no running, taking the workout inside as it's miserably hot. 30 minutes on the stair climber, then a spin class. But beforehand, I need to get a new coffee maker. Mine's over two years old, and it seems to take 15-20 minutes just to brew coffee for me. So I'm going to Wal-Mart (which I VERY RARELY DO) to use a birthday card that was given to me in...........2006. I'll be so stressed out from fighting the crowds there that I'll work off the stress at the gym. he he

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My first ever night road race

Well, it's tonight. I'm running in Rockville, should be a good time. The one drawback, Metro's doing track maintainence again so there are 36 minute delays until 7 pm. Yeah, I gotta take the 9A to Metro to Red Line at Gallery Place. I think the trains are supposed to run as normal after 7. Looking forward to another step in my racing "career".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Got $1.56 million? Wanna buy a small city?

White's City, New Mexico was basically put up for sale recently. If you had $1.56 million and wanted a small city at the exit to Carlsbad Caverns, you would have had the winning bid and hence would own your own city. Now if I had $156 million and the small city was near Taos, I'd bid.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thunderstorms always get in the way of stuff

In my attempts to get ready for two 10 mile runs (Annapolis on August 24) and Army Ten Miler (October 5) then a half marathon (Richmond on November 15), I figured I'd go for a nice long run. And I did for quite a bit, mostly down Eisenhower Avenue, Pickett Street, and Taney Avenue, before it got too hot and I got too tired (gee Jeff could it be those beers you drank at the soccer game last night). So I walked a lot but that's cool too. Wanted to crash by the pool but by the time I got home, the sky got really dark with a ring of brighter sky around it. Nope I know it's only a short walk to the pool but I ain't gonna go outside in a thunderstorm. After two very close calls, one in Deer Creek Canyon Park, Colorado, on my 31st brithday, and a second in 2006 on Mount Washington, I go nowhere outside where there's even a half percent change of me getting hit by lightning.

So no pool, decent run, a lot of walking around Alexandria City, some exercise, a dinner at Baja Fresh, I feel okay. Now if it would only drop rain like it's threatened to for the last hour. If you're gonna keep me inside, at least warrant it. It could be a dry thunderstorm, which is one of the few things I didn't like about living in Colorado, so it could be worse.

For a more pleasant topic, I found another beer that I can drink without any side effects the next morning other than just being tired. Negra Modelo is the new addition to the all too short list, which includes:

Flying Dog Scottish Porter
Negra Modelo

I'm all about the darker beers. If anyone actually sees this, recommend some beers that won't give me hangovers.

Brett Favre situation: not a good one all around

If you follow NFL Football and have not just crawled out from under a ten million pound rock, you know that Brett Favre wants to return to the NFL but not with the Green Bay Packers, who IMHO rightly refused his request to be released. Rumor has it that he wants to go play for the Minnesota Vikings. Yeah, Green Bay's really going to do that. If Green Bay lets him go anywhere, it will be somewhere in the AFC who the Pack won't play this season, as John Fricke and Lincoln Kennedy alluded to on Fox Sports Radio yesterday.

This is obviously a bad situation for the Packers and for Favre. His legacy is almost unparalled in today's modern sports world, you don't think that will take a Lake Michigan sized hit in a lot of people's minds if this goes on for too long? Especially if he somehow worms his way to the hated Vikings or still disliked Buccaneers? The current word is that the Packers would welcome him back as a backup to Aaron Rodgers. That will rip the team apart before the season even began.

Who else would this be not ideal for? Even if he did end up with the Vikings, I'm not convinced it would be good for them. Would Favre be an immediate improvement at the quarterback position on a team many think can make a Super Bowl run? Yes. But, as great as he has been throughout his career, he takes a lot of unnecessary risks that lead to bad interceptions. This was especially true in past years when he receiver pool was not deep. Minnesota has Bernard Berrian to stretch a defense but not a ton of talent otherwise.

Their offensive game plan needs to be: Run. Adrian Peterson. Left. Side. Run backup. Left side. Run third string RB. Left Side. Bringing in Favre would make it too tempting to throw the ball 40 plus times a game when the strengths of your team are ball control, run behind McKinnie and Hutch and defense, which will be one of the best units in the league. If I'm a Vikings fan, if you could even get over your bitter rival coming to play for you, would you not be concerned about too radical a departure from the ideal game plan for you team?

Brett, please stay retired. This isn't good for any party involved.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

World Cup Getting The Boot From South Africa?

2010's World Cup is scheduled to be in South Africa. Whether or not it's actually there in 2010 has been up for debate for a while. Official word came down that FIFA President Sepp Blatter has had talks with three countries' Football Associations / Federations / yadda yadda about serving as alternate sites should something prevent South Africa from serving as host. Count me in the unsurprised camp on this one. There's been talk of security concerns since pretty much the day they were awarded the World Cup. All I hear and read is those concerns are still prevalent. A lesser concern is one of the main stadiums won't be ready for next year's Confederations Cup, a tournament of basically regional champions and the host country that is supposed to be the infrastructure tune-up for the real deal the next year. This isn't a huge deal given all the hyper, the sky is falling thoughts about Greece not having their facilities ready on time (they did when all was said and done). A significant concern is reports of a large TB outbreak that is happening at the moment. I feel for those affected by it, but if that doesn't get under control soon, it's time to give real thought to pulling the tournament in the name of preventing a potential catastrophe along the lines of thousands catching this and going back to all corners of the globe and spreading it, in many case unknowingly.

Now, let's play a guessing game. Which three countries did Mr. Blatter talk to? My educated guesses are England, Spain, and the US. Think nations with lots of facilities (i.e. stadiums) for a competition of this magnitude. Think infrastructure. FWIW, I did not put France or Germany under consideration since they hosted it so recently and didn't think they'd get an emergency tourney as a result (why did they get it again?).

Thursday, July 03, 2008


7-0 complete game shutout against the Yankees, in NY. Gotta love it! After walking the first two batters of the game, he dominates afterwards. No more walks, eight strikeouts, most importantly, no runs. What a great start to the big weekend series vs the hated Yanks. Thank goodness we don't get players like Johan Santana!

Happy July 4, everyone! Enjoy, drink up if you choose to, stay safe! Me, after my 8K, I get to take my car to NTB to make sure my brakes still work, then it's just baseball watching, chilling by the pool, and grillin. I'm not going to get caught in the madness, to each their own. Besides, I saw fireworks after last Friday's O's-Nationals game in DC.