Friday, March 30, 2007

Here we go again

Stardate 2007.330, Captain's Log

(exasperated sigh) Just when I think all is calm on our little Enterprise Alcatraz, Ensign Kevin goes running off, much like a stubborn child who also has ADD and insists on testing out the stove, over and over again. “Ooh, that’s hot! Ouch, that hurts! Ooh, that’s hot! Ouch, hurts! Owie!” This time when he started whining about how The TriBorgs are cooler because they’re more SERIOUS and therefore they must be finer athletes, and I yet again pointed out the fallacy of that assumption, he darted off anyway, scampering in the direction of the last known TriBorg location. That little imp. I’m never sure if I should pat him on the head or strangle him.

Anyway, I decided this time to let him go off and have his “fun.” He’ll soon see that being part of The Borg means having no discernible identity whatsoever, no endearing character traits. That being part of a collective means that what the others do, you’re doing as well. So when TriBorg Chuck (who is clearly suffering from the rampant Borg virus that causes brain malfunction and meltdown) wants to go swimming in the icy Lake Michigan waters on April 6th, you’re ALL going swimming. I kept trying to remind him of The Borgian philosophy: “they think as one, and act as one, tooling about in vast cube shaped ships that look like a compressed pile of industrial junk. In the collective, individuality is surrendered to the greater good of the whole.” Yet as the newer recruits are wont to do, Ensign Kevin – oops, I mean “8 of 8” - blithely ignored me for the siren call of the unknown, the flavor-of-the-month, so to speak. So be it. Sometimes the new ones have to figure these things out for themselves.

Ensigns Max, Heather et al, this means that YET AGAIN we get to shoulder the burden of being the fun, charming, witty, stylish, dashingly good-looking ones. Good thing we’re used to that!

I guess eventually we’ll go try to pry him from the Borg Cube, as tricky and tedious as that can be, and with no guarantee of success, with many people turning into mere shadows of their former selves. Sometimes it's not worth it - it’s best to move on rather than try to recapture the glory days of past camaraderie. Shrug. Until we make that tough decision, we move on to other matters. I now have pictures from my travels to the Western Galaxy, and will resume documentation in my next postings, as I’m sure has been eagerly anticipated by all.






Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Put the crackpipe down, part III

Considering that the water temperature of Lake Michigan is now 33 degrees, and since Schleprock (me) rolled into town today bringing with her the 40 degree plunge in temps, I'm thinking it's not going to warm up that much between now and next Friday, the 6th.

So put me in the "you people are on drugs" camp along with JockDoc and Chunky. Though I might bundle up in a parka with fur-lined hood (SOME of us know how to dress appropriately for the weather) so that I can take pictures of you fool.....umm, I mean INTREPID SOULS: Zhivago, Sharkbait, C-Monkey, and I'm sure Peabody will be leading your little indestructible TriBorg clan. But in the interests of galaxial unity, I'll bring the thermoses (thermi?) of hot chocolate...........for you and all our little penguin friends.


i'm game!

i'm game as well. i should be able to do the 6th, but the following week i'll be in Mexico, so no go for that friday. count me in for most fridays though and 6am works perfectly for me. however, i'm giving you and everyone that comes with fair warning that it may take me awhile to get in the water being that the water is going to be insanely cold!
have a good day!

put the crackpipe down, part II

I can't decide if I'm more appalled by the April 6th part or the 6am part. I am siding w/ Chunky on this one. I'm waitin' for May. And I'll be rolling in at the hour of 7 or 7:30 - I'll see if you're still alive, you can tag out, I'll tag in. I got my wetsuit a few days ago....looking forward to breaking it in, but not looking SO forward that I'll be in the lake on 4/6.

i am in....

Hey Chuck, i'm already somewhat used to the cold water so i'm game.
Just let me know the details.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Chuck - you are high. You will see me in in Lake Michigan Mid May at the earliest.
You'll be using a blow torch and a crobar to reverse the effects of shrinkage at those temps. Have a blast without me!


(first, Kevin, yes I forgot little Ren of Ren & Stimpy. please accept my apologies. If you cannot, I request that the punishment be held under 10 floggings)

I think May 4 is too long to wait to get into the lake. I am moving the (or at least my) start date up to FRIDAY APRIL 6 at 6:00 am

Let's coordinate by email. We don't need everyone there every week (but I'll probably be there) but we should at least make sure we have a wingman/woman since it's a little dangerous at these temps to be out there alone.

On a related note re cold temperatures, I watched this with the boys on Saturday night. Good flick. If you're not familiar with Mr. Freeze, he wears the suit to stay cold inside it bc he can't be warm. Mr. Freeze in the movie would on ocassion swim in arctic water temps without the suit with his friends the polar bears (depicted). Rest assured, I WILL be wearing my wetsuit in the Lake.

Memories of Ren

Chuck, hope life in the cave is going well. You completely forgot about this Ren.


So, I am at the barber shop this morning and the phone rings. The Italian owner picks up and I hear this broken-English side of the conversation:

"allo ... yes ... noon ok ... name? ... what is it? ... spell please sir ... R ... E ... N ... that's it? ... Ren? ... ok Ren we see you noon, yes?"

Ren? Aside from re-runs on TNT, I have not heard that name since approx. 1984. Let's hear it for Ren, and everybody cut footloose ...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

All systems have been restored

Stardate 2007.325, Captain’s Log

Disaster aboard the Enterprise has been averted. Upon receiving the missive from the real Ensign Kevin via the BlogoMaticTeleporter, I put a plan into action. By holding the SliderAromaActivator in front of me as I ran stealthily through the starship, I was able to hold the TriBorgs at bay, as they ran in fear and loathing from the wafting smell of fried onions and burgers. Then, once they were clustered around Borgmaster Ryan, I activated their iPlasma wristbands, so that they were suddenly all raptly watching famed triathlete Peter Reid discoursing on the difference in caloric intake between a daily 1,000 calories and 1,050 and how that additional 50 calories via wheatgrass juice helps him increase his wattage by .004. With the furious notetaking that ensued, I was able to slip past the Alpha Sector unnoticed.

I soon discovered Ensign Kevin in the Delta Sector, fending off the drones with nothing more than nunchucks and a corkscrew. We quickly dispatched the drones by pelting them with their most feared substance, i.e. Lemonheads. I then was able to offer Ensign Kevin a much needed supply of transitional food, Clif Bloks and Sharkies, aka candy masquerading as energy/fitness snacks, of which I am a huge, huge fan. Our poor Ensign had been bravely subsisting on protein bars and Infinit, in the absence of vastly superior and healthier fare like the brats and Swedish Fish I usually rely on to keep me in peak training shape.

I will not soon forget the sight of Ensign Kevin faced with the specter of being down to his last Twinkie. Shudder. I am not sure I myself would have been so strong under those same circumstances.

The TriBorgs have now been confined to the Alpha Sector, which had doubled as storage space and now contains a vast supply of old gadgets such as the CycleopsRaygun 6200 Trainer and numerous Jazzercise videos, all of which will keep them preoccupied for many stardates to come.

Of course, now that we are aware that Ensign Kevin has an evil and overly serious TriCyBorg clone in existence, we must remain ever vigilant should he again attempt to make an appearance. I am confident we will keep him contained, though our small but fearless crew stands prepared to beat the crap out of the CyBorg should he attempt another takeover.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

..... Hello? .........Captain Tasha.... Come in Captain Tasha!


Not assimilated. Yet. Over.

TriBorg clone is not me. Over.

Last post not me. Over.

Fighting in Delta Sector. Heavy casualties. Over.

Down to last Hostess Twinkie. Mountain Dew gone. Over.

Need supplies and back up. Over.

Last.... transmission...... please...... send.........

......... carbs.

Dispatches from the front

En route –

In keeping with my motto of seizing every opportunity for a workout, I stride through the airport, arms swinging, breathing deeply and athletically. Standing in the endless security line, I jog in place. The traveling public around me seems puzzled at this kind of exertion, but I ignore them: the traveling public is not an Ironchick. After firmly elbowing people aside so that I can get past them on the peoplemover, I notice that not one single person is taking the stairs as opposed to the escalator. 4 tiers of stairs while carrying my shoulder bag – no problem for the finely honed athlete I am.

(Gasping for breath on the 3rd landing)…….okay, what genius put so many fricking stairs in a damn AIRPORT?? What do they think, we’re a bunch of Olympians or something? Sheesh……*wheezing*……..

I had contemplated taking my Thighmaster with me on the plane, so that I could work out and thus listen to my iPod, but decided against it. Had I known that my plane would be designated the Squalling Infant Airlift, I would have reconsidered that decision. To distract myself from the tedium of being squashed onto a plane for 5 hours, I look around at my fellow passengers, all of whom would be useless in a “Lost”-like situation. Hmm, I wonder….why is it that the Lost plane went down with a veritable sea of hunky guys – Sawyer, Sayid, Jack et al – yet I see only pasty dumpy guys on MY plane?

I’m also intrigued by the couple across the aisle from me, who each buy the $5 snack box on the plane, but then also pull out 12-inch subs to devour. At 9AM. I find this all a bit odd. We’re not about to embark on a 12-week trek across the Gobi desert, so packing in food to bulk up the fat reserves seems a bit…unnecessary. Not to mention, where we’re going has normal food, unlike, say, Calcutta. Albeit it’s probably a bit overly healthy, being California and all. Maybe that’s the problem.

Day 1 –

I get directions from my brother to a place where he says there’s a path that makes for a nice run. Since I’ve arrived, it’s been raining. And cold. And windy. Of course.

I get to Andrew's tranquil little path……which is going up at about an 80-degree angle. Up into the mountains. I guess his directions should have tipped me off: Tujunga Canyon Road, Foothill Drive. I start off, popping a piece of gum for sustenance. Trudge….*gasp*…….needless to say, I stop trying to actually run up the damn hills. Holy shit. I seriously hope the IMMOO run course at least is flat. Please?

I bend over to sniff a flower. Is it poisonous? Who cares! Yep, that’s me - ‘danger’ is my middle name. I try to remember what I’ve recently read about scaring away mountain lions….I think one is supposed to whistle nonchalantly and wander away from a mountain lion, compared to bears, which one is supposed to stare down. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Boy, I wish I could remember which was which.

I suddenly realize that I’m far enough into the hills that I can no longer see the highway, and am just surrounded by trees, hills, the mountains, with a haze of clouds hanging over it all. Very much like Costa Rica, which I consider one of the most beautiful places on earth. Sunlight, I decide, is highly overrated. I turn off my iPod so that I can listen to the occasional peep of the birds, the rustle of the wind, my feet hitting the ground. If I listen carefully, I think I can hear the sound of my own heart beating………no, wait, those are just the Tic-Tacs in my pocket. Never mind.

As I struggle up yet another mountainside, my poor little heart about to explode, I realize the sad truth: my brother is trying to kill me. Et tu, Andrew, et tu?

Day 2 –

I set out again on a different path – and not learning my lesson the first time around apparently, I get directions from my brother, again. Seems straightforward, follow zigzagging streets until I get to the national forest. Piece of cake. Besides, how lost can I possibly get?

(2 hours later)

Hillrose St. Sevenhills Rd. Mountair Place. Hillirise Ave. Monster Fucking Hill Way. Okay, I made that last one up – not the others though. I’m lost in maze-of-streets hell, all of which loop around endlessly, and all go uphill. Of course. I also keep winding up back at Tujunga Canyon Road, which makes me think evil forces are at work.

I turn down a street, see the maillady, and think hey, I saw her earlier! This must be the way back! Umm, sure. Because a) there’s only one mailwoman in this town, and b) they deliver the mail by standing in place or moving verrrrry slowly. Yeah. Right. Say, are those turkey vultures circling up ahead?

As I’m trudging on, I suddenly come across Buddhist prayer flags hanging from a line strung up across a driveway, and also entwined around the line is the most beautiful climbing rose vine I’ve ever seen. It goes from the line to a brick wall along the edge of the property, with branches tumbling over and cascading every which way, each one with a riotous bloom of small yellow rose-like flowers. Gorgeous. That alone makes being hopelessly lost worth it.

Of course, this illustrates my big problem (well, one of) with triathlons: I get a bit too easily distracted. There I’ll be, biking or running along – oh look, a butterfly! hey, a black squirrel! – and poof, it goes to hell in a handbasket. In the past, I’ve contemplated getting off the bike to collect seeds from especially pretty flowers. I once slowed down on the run to ask some sweet elderly couple what kind of tomatoes they were growing in their well-tended garden plot. This only seems crazy in retrospect. Well, no, it seemed nuts at the time too, yet with a certain Tasha logic. As I always say, madness takes its toll: please have exact change.

(still lost) I trudge along on feet of lead, every step kicking up choking clouds of dust, with all my worldly possessions strapped to my back. My food supply is running low: I am down to my last 2 pieces of sugarless gum. The serious rationing has begun, as I furtively glance around the barren windswept land, looking for any equally dusty travelers who might attempt to steal my meager supply. I……oh, wait, I was channeling Tom Joad there. Actually, while I do have only 2 pieces of gum left, I’m in some perfectly normal neighborhoods, even though all the streets spiral into some black sucking vortex of lostdom. Besides, if I get desperate, it’s a good thing I always take my cell phone with m…………oops. Better keep walking.

(an emergency dispatch comes in over the wire)

Stardate 2007.323

This may be my last communication. The situation is grim. I seem to be alone on the Enterprise Alcatraz, and I now fear the worst – that we have lost Ensign Kevin to the powers of The Borg. I suspected something had gone terribly wrong, when during my reconnaissance mission to the Western Galaxy, I received only limited response to my communications. I now see that Ensign Kevin has also been assimilated, and has degenerated to speaking only in transitive equations, as per the last sentence of his final posting.

I have barricaded myself in the Exercise Pod, where none of them will ever think to look for me. The boxes of Lemonheads provide a natural cover, one that The Borg will instinctively cower from. I had also had the foresight to hide many packets of Gu at the other end of the starship, as a decoy, and I am certain that will have the former members of the crew fighting like rabid dogs, thus distracting them from their search. In the meantime, I await rescue while fortifying myself with my stash of beer and brats. My last hope lies in the return of Ensigns Max and Annette. But, perhaps, resistance is futil.......

(transmission abruptly ends)

Friday, March 23, 2007

lots o' ironmen/women

I am pretty sure Ryan's doing an IM this year. Tasha and Heather are also doing one 2007. Kevin's talking about 2008. Unsure about Max or Annette. I know Carolyn and I are doing 1/2 IM this year. That's a lot of serious thoughts. Kudos to everyone.

ok, looking to the new trend of workout posts, I'll try to be brief. I am no longer in the optimal physical condition from the days I played football, but I'm trying


did trainer last sunday am (120 min long ride became 60 min bc the kids' stomach issues and/or flu hit me). I realized this re flu shots: while of course it doesn't protect against all strains, even the protected ones can hit you to a small extent (bad upset stomach, etc) while the rest of the house is puking. A little more trainer this week, I do trainer only during the week, outside on weekends only (if nice out, read: the bike has not been outside yet this year)


- Weights wednesday. It hurt.

3. RUN

I am quite sure that I am not as accomplished a runner as Rick Deckard

or Ben Richards

or Logan 5,

... but I am getting better. I did a 7-8 miler (can't remember) at slow pace last week. was fine. Ran today faster and shorter, still at 9:00 min miles at best but feeling better. I realized after reading ChiRunning that I already leaned fwd as they said and dropped foot below me rather than in front, so I was pretty good to go. Read a Chris Legh article in Triathlete years ago re a style good for bad knees and adopted it and it's similar to Chi:

1. lean 10 degrees fwd or so, feeling as if pulled from belly button (exactly Chi)
2. high rpm's (like Chi)
3. low upper body movement (differs from Chi bc Chi says movement is good so long as driven by core)
4. land middle foot (like Chi)
5. push off with calves, light on feet (unlike Chi which goes easy on calves and looks for a fast shuffle of sorts). As to this aspect, the Legh is MUCH better on the knees than Chi, more cushion. Tends to cramp calves in long races (13.1m as part of a 1/2 or 26.2m as part of anything) but ok for shorter.

I guess I just have to up the cardio and fitness to go faster. I used to turn 8:00 min miles when I was in better shape so it's possible. We'll see. I am done with it if anyone wants the Chi book.


(that picture is not me, but it IS what I am one chesseburger away from)

I am happy to announce that I plan on swimming this week for the first time whatsoever since 8/27/06 (Accenture). This means that my 100 time is probably 1-2 seconds less, but also means that I will get out of the water 50% more tired. Ugh. I had mentioned earlier that I wanted to start swimming in Lake Mich starting 5/1. I am out of town 5/1 but just marked Friday 5/4 at 6:00 am. (MARK YOUR CALENDARS) I did it as a recurring weekly entry through Friday 6/15 (I won't be downtown 6/22, will be on plane) and realized that's ONLY 7 DATES !! Not enough. last time, I had at least 15 lake swims in before alcatraz. Need to figure out another time, maybe 2 total per week, maybe a set time or randomly meet from time to time. I can do another am but for the most part not after work.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Serious Post?! - Hell has Frozen Over!

I know, I know. Day after day of sharp and unfiltered wit, flowing from a seemingly endless supply source, and yet today is different. I am sore and tired, but still determined with iron clad resolve to be prepared for this race and the upcoming season. Looks to be about 4 or 5 races on the horizon, including the Chicago Marathon and onward to IronMan in 2008, so those thoughts are already in play.

No, of course the silliness of my diet never really existed, ok... never really existed more than a meal or two, but I digress. I am down to 212 as of this morning, and with race day looking 90 something days away, race weight of 195 is on track to happen.

I have given up offroad, my first love, completely until after IronMan and sold the mountain bike ala eBay. I already have two medals from Xterra... lets see what happens when I hit the pavement. New road bike here in a couple weeks.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are more like scientific experiements than tasty edible meals, consisting of powders and capsuls and the occasional edible something. Everything has a purpose. I am fueling these days more than eating. My body is changing into a leaner, faster machine. I have almost completely stopped drinking - which is a good thing (see pics from Team outing as proof). This fitness thing aint too bad.

To solidify my efforts to dominate the competition (read: win free dinner) I have hired a friend who is also a level 1 coach to help my swim. That starts next week. Bike has always been solid and nothing will ever help my run, so I am doing what I feel I can.

I have adopted the motto : Joy is Life : Life is Pain : Pain is Joy

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I know you missed me

Well, I'm back. I know that I've been such a strong presence on the board, and you're all relieved that I'm resuming my extensive posting. South Africa was incredible. What a country! It's beautiful. We saw lots of animals (lions, cheetahs, giraffe, zebras, all kinds of antelope varieties, wildebeest, tons of birds and 1 very poisonous adder that I almost leaned right over b/c I thought it was just an interesting looking rock of some kind. oops!). We ate lots of great food. Meat in the desert; seafood at the ocean. The Garden Route along the coast is just stunning. I highly recommend. Once I get my pics online, I'll send them. For some reason, my computer at home (that houses all my pics) won't sign me on to post, so I can't put any pics on the blog. BTW, if you're not really into manatees (if they just don't have the speed you're looking for in an adoptee, for example), you could adopt a cheetah. We went to the DeWildt Cheetah Ctr. outside Johannesburg. They do good work as far as cheetah conservation and educating the public about cheetahs. You can adopt a cheetah for as little as 250 Rand (approx $35). We got to pet a cheetah (he purred really really loud - how cute), and we got super close to cheetahs running at full speed during the 'cheetah run' they do. So, Tasha, I don't think I'm going to use your manatee imagery. I'm going to visualize myself as a cheetah during my training. how cliche, I know.
Now, on to the real topic at hand. I don't know if you all know, but I'm signed up to do the Grand Columbian ironman (in WA) on Sept 15. Yesterday marked the official kick-off of my training! Yay! I went swimming! Yay! It felt good! Yay! Right now, I'm feeling optimistic about this whole adventure/insanity, however I'm also using good portions of denial, i.e. not looking at the future workouts on my plan. Just pretending they're not there. Kind of like how I completely ignore the counter on this blog. Until someone so ungraciously pointed out that it was down to 100 days, I had no idea. To me, that section is just a blank part of the screen. Anyway, b/c I know you'll all be waiting on the edges of your seats, I'll keep you posted on the progression of things.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bob "Mr. Incredible" Parr

I watched The Incredibles with the boys yesterday, the first time for all of us. If you've never seen it, the premise is that Bob Parr, Mr. Incredible, gets sued for injuring a suicide jumper when saving his life, which leads to a bevy of similar lawsuits against superheroes, which leads to the abolition and anonymous relocation of all superheroes. Once a Superman-like superhero with superhuman strength married to Helen, the Elastigirl, Bob and Helen Parr are relocated and raise a family of children with restrained superhero powers, and Bob is relegated to being an HMO claims adjuster. While still a superhero in his mind, Bob gains A LOT of weight.

After 16 years, Bob is called back into action. The first indicator that there may some issues is when he can't fit into his vehicle to launch into his mission. Poor guy, it's the exact same feeling I had when trying on my triathlon suit after 24 months of physical therapy and very little working out.

I couldn't find a picture of it, but he also had some love handles spilling out of the sides of the old suit. After ripping the blue suit, he gets a new suit, the more familiar red one. This suit is cut a lot bigger than the blue one, and ordering a larger size and hoping it fits kinda like the old smaller one is something I am VERY familiar with.

I love when the family is all dressed in Incredibles outfits on their way to save the world, and the the superhero kids are in the back of the van whining "are we there yet?" and Bob says "WE'LL BE THERE WHEN WE GET THERE!!" and then Bob and Helen start arguing about which is the quickest exit to take to get there.

Bob Parr, twice the hero he used to be. Move over Superman, this is my new favorite superhero.

A million tear-stained eyes

You never think it’ll happen to you. “Oh no, not ME, I’d never stray down that path, I’m better than that,” you say. You hear the warnings, about how easy it is to get sucked in, innocently surfing the web, but you ignore them. Because that’s just not your style. All that stuff is for silly, weak people who need to get a life, a real one, not a virtual fantasy one.

So how is it that one day you’re just looking around on google for some appropriate pictures to add to your blog post, and you click on one and suddenly you’re drawn into a world you never even knew existed, really. Or at least it’s one you never thought about much, except maybe in the abstract, knowing that it was out there somewhere. You find yourself totally absorbed, looking at one picture after another, enthralled by their beauty, their seductive yet playful ways, as they beckon to you, enticing you with their hypnotic and graceful movements. Promising you many things, and now you’re shocked to find yourself pulling out the wallet to actually sign on, to send real money to support this hidden, underground, shadowy world, inhabited by all kinds of charmers with a million stories to tell. That’s it. You know there’s no going back now. I’m thinking you’re all nodding now, knowing what I’m talking about.

Yes, it's true........

I’ve adopted a manatee.

Meet Lorelei, my new family member, adopted for a mere $35, and no trip to Florida needed. For that meager sum, I get a certificate, updates, a picture, and the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping a defenseless creature that’s constantly being abused by idiots in their speedboats. I picked her because while she does like to rest with her compatriots, she’s also known to “work out” on occasion, i.e. swim from one end of the spring to the other. At a glacier’s pace, I’m sure. You can see why I immediately knew we were kin.

Adopt your own manatee here:

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Promise of a Brave New World

Bah. Hogwash. I fear for our country’s future, dear friends, if someone can come up with tripe like this and it somehow becomes a #1 bestseller:

“If someone is overweight, it came from thinking "fat thoughts".... Food is not responsible for putting on weight. It is your thought that food is responsible for putting on weight that actually has food put on weight..... Think perfect thoughts and the result must be perfect weight.... Food cannot cause you to put on weight, unless you think it can. If you see people who are overweight, do not observe them."

So basically it’s not my eating Ho-Hos and lemonheads and corndogs that makes me chunky…’s the fact of my looking in the mirror and thinking boy, you’re looking plumpy Miss Tasha, maybe you need to cut it down to 3 corndogs a day instead of 5. I think I’m zaftig, therefore I am. Who knew? And how much would I weigh if I ate crap all day long but thought happy sundress thoughts? Helga in a sundress. This may be my next tactic, so consider yourselves warned, the tens of you out in Readerland.

Anyway, according to the reading I’ve been doing as part of my strategic plan to beat the Feuding Hatfields and McCoys (aka Chuck and Kevin – sorry Ryan, I’m leaving you out not to be mean, but rather to be the slightest bit realistic given my negative chance to beat you and your freakish Rainmanesque capabilities), hill riding is the domain of those of us who are light-on-our-feet, so to speak. Loping manatee gait notwithstanding, I think I weigh at least a few pounds less than the boys. I hope. Maybe.

Speaking of manatees, oh sure, there are you naysayers out there thinking huh, manatees don’t run, you dumbass. In the first place, that’s a bit rude of you. So bite me. In the second place, you’ve sorely misunderestimated triathloning and its apparently boundless capacity for humiliation. Where one would think that running, unlike the DeathTrap that is cycling or the SwirlingVortexofDeath that is swimming, would be somewhat foolproof. You’d think wrong - some of us will always find a way. Let’s just say that watching a video of one’s running gait,and seeing with horror that one has a serious case of heel swing, which brings to mind the placid manatee and its flippers (arms?) waving as it meanders along…….this is not a good thing.

So there was an article where these cycling guys were bleating on about VO2max something and AT thisandthat blahbahddy blah blah, whatever. I’m about results, people, the bottom line, so I focused on the key takeaway: lighter = faster. Therefore, I’ve calculated that if I were at my current watts but weighed, say, about an even 100, according to the Power Profiling Chart I’d vault from the “Suckitude” column all the way to “Semispeedygoddess”! Hence, new goal: worry less about training, lose lots of weight. I guess this means I have to stick to the damn Longevity Diet, at least until it kills me from sheer boredom. I’ve actually figured out the secret to living the longest life possible: if you’re on this kind of diet, every day will seem like an eternity. So you don’t actually have to live to be 110 – it’ll just seem like you are.

As a random aside, is pistachio ice cream considered a fruit?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A crack in the ice appears

I hesitate now to post anything here about my own humdrum existence, while others are out scaling Mt. Kilamanjaro or making their way across Tibet in a rickety bus held together with chewing gum and a prayer. Oh wait, I’ve done the Tibet thing. Never mind. Still, even though it’s sad that my life has deteriorated into such menial hobbies as going to watch a Wolves game (foosball season is still two months away, darnit), that’s what I have to work with, dear reader, so off we go. Since I actually do PLAY hockey, does that cancel out the lameness of watching a game, i.e. watching someone else doing something? Or does that just mean that the yin/yang of it will cause my head to explode? The mind reels.


The Wolves played a great game, and I’m not just saying that because I was tanked on mai tais – I mean, my NUTRITIONAL INTAKE for the evening. (As an aside – is a hot dog a fruit?) No sirree. I love Wolves games because the people-watching is par excellence. The Rosemont Horizon is apparently built on some kind of hallowed Indian burial ground where the time-space continuum does not apply, so it’s permanently stuck in the 80s. Where else can you play Count the Mullets, and marvel over women who still feather their hair? It’s a beautiful thing.

My happy evening was somewhat dimmed by the fact that I hurt my neck/shoulder yesterday, which made movement a bit painful. How did I hurt my neck, you ask? Was it hockey? Hours of cycling? Swimming? No, no, nothing that pedestrian. I injured myself doing the unsuspectingly strenuous activity of…….reading the paper. Yes, there I am, innocently reading the paper, not realizing what Dangers Lurk Within, when out of nowhere, sharp pain in my neck and shoulder, radiating down towards my shoulder blade. Excellent. I’m glad I have my friends for support though – that means the world to me. Colleen: “Those paper-reading injuries are killers!” Laura: “I will take your warning to heart and use extra caution around the paper.” Smartassery abounds – I’ve taught them well.

And under the heading of Things I Have Learned Thus Far doing this bullcrap MC diet:

Apparently detoxing involves walking around with an ice pick in the head, because that’s what the headaches feel like. Workouts aren’t “fun.” The Mai Tais at the UC are way better than at the Rosemont. Though, lemonheads are advertised at the Rosemont, and I’m a big fan of lemonheads. Blueberries have about 1 calorie each.

That’s about it so far. Oh, and looking at the pizza picture below is making me hungry. Thanks Chuck.

Also, word to my chick posse – ma homeboys on the Fireballs (hi Joe! Richie! LJ!) have urged us to come back to the bar at Johnny’s to hang out after games. Where the ratio of Guys: Tasha is usually about 20:1, and I get props for being a badass. Not bad odds, even for me. Now, I’m not saying you all need to take up hockey, but perhaps hanging out at the rink wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Take advantage of the “halo effect” and all that. Brand equity. Bundling. Synergies. Porter’s Five Forces. Advanced game theory. All that fancy-schmancy MBA stuff I learned, finally put to good use at the rink. My professors would be proud.

Soon up: Run Gait Analysis, or, Whereupon Tasha Learns That She Runs Like a Manatee.

Chuck, some suggestions...

Having seen your fine legal work in contract form, you must be a reader. Here's a suggestion:

"Tongue in Cheek: Understanding the Smartass" by Benjamin Dover, PhD. Random House Press, 1992.

I also understand there is still an opening or two in Smartassery 101. Spring classes start soon!

100 days left !!!!

see counter at left

Discussion/Debate continues

Well, it seems that this conversation has digressed (rather, progressed) into an actual discussion/debate of sorts. re the "Great American sports spectator mentality", and the hours of one's life lost analyzing sports and indulging in "chips and soda and/or beer," I have some comments:

1. Hours of one's life can be wasted in various ways, at one's own discretion. If one chooses to analyze basketball for fun, so be it. If one chooses to analyze fast motorcycles based upon a personal interest when this person does not own a motorcycle, so be it. Similarly, when I was young I had a personal interest in firetrucks and the space shuttle, though I did not own any. Not having time to relax and watch a game or movie or quality tv show is really in many cases a personal choice of what someone would rather do, which can include going to bars, reading a book or (say it ain't so) a lot of blogging.

2. I am pretty sure that I did not suggest that I approved wasting away the hours sitting on my couch with chips and soda and/or beer. Rather, I may even do a trainer session during tonight's game.

3. Even if I WAS going to enjoy the game with chips and soda and/or beer, and partake in this activity for, say, 3 hours, I am seeking an explanation as to how this differs from pizza, beer and sambuca for 3 hours. Clarification, I am not against pizza, beer and sambuca, I am just seeking explanation on how one activity is condemned or criticized by a person who partakes in the other. Pot, meet kettle. Here's lookin' at you, kid ...

I suppose then you've never gone to a bar to watch a game and have a few beers, which is no different (and definitely has more potential for mayhem) than watching at home with a couple of beers.

Sorry Buddy...

But I just never got the whole Great American sports spectator mentality that requires that amount of premptive thought not to mention pre and post game analytical discussion. I'd be thinking, "jeeze, there goes a couple hours of my life I'll never get back." To each his own. Now, you wanna talk sport? I mean sport that turns boys into men and puts hair on thier chest to boot? Yeah? Well my friend, let's talking Curling. Now THERE"S a sport.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dearest Kevin ...

It seems you have become quite the contrarian nowadays. Thus, I fart in your general direction. Do you really not think that the NCAA tournament has exciting moments? I don't see it as a pick and choose proposition, one can participate in sports and also watch sports. goof.


Thank you for that most entertaining post on... was that college hoops?
Yes, college hoops. Uh huh! Sitting on the couch, surrounded by chips and soda and / or beer. Watching someone else doing something. Yes, very (YAWN) exciting!

NCAA Tournament Pool Dilemma

I am doing an alternate tourney pool based on which mascot would kill the other head to head. I watched "last stand of the 300" on the history channel yesterday (great documentary btw) but already had the trojans beating the spartans in round 3 but I am now am reconsidering. seeding cannot be used to determine the winner, unless it is Memphis Tigers v. BYU Tigers, for example, then you can pick the higher seed. Pitt panthers v. KY Wildcats was intriguing as well.

After the round 3 victory, I had the trojans killing a cougar (Wash St) and then a Tiger (Memphis). I'm not dumb, I did see Gladiator. Then they lose the final game to Gators. The fighters will have a tough time bc their swords would not be able to get through the hard gator skin as easily as against other animals and the flanking gator took off their legs when the trojans tried to get close enough for a headshot on the first gator.

I am now re-thinking trojans v. spartans. if the spartans beat the trojans, they will also go to the final game and lose to the gators. I think the problem for the spartans/trojans will be the reptilian attack patterns of gators and crocs. These animals are known to attack head-on while others flank and attack from the side. Flanking maneuvers were the downfall of the 300 Spartans. These attack patterns have been passed down from reptilian ancestors, the dinosaurs and was explained in detail in Michael Crichton's Jurassaic Park novel (not the movie), as well as other studies.

Man to man power spartans v. trojans, prob edge to spartans. Cunning, edge trojans, after all, they had the horse to trick opponents, while the spartans (thru no fault of own, their rear defense provided by another force caved) got outflanked. Spartans though heroic lost their key battle but the trojans won theirs. What do you think? I am thinking of switching to the Spartans bc this is a one-on-one matchup and it seems the spartans would dominate such a fight. Thus, my pick has been changed to the Spartans !!

Yes, I know I just said one-on-one but I also said that the final game is decided on pack attack patterns of gators. Reason: I can see a Gator-Spartan one-on-one matchup to be much of a stalemate. The Spartans establish their defensive wall and wait for the attack and counter, while gators attack as packs as well. I can see them just staring at each other across the battle field. Thus, we move the contest to a fight bw many spartans (or trojans) and gators.

Bloggers, please advise if yoy have thoughts. Random readers, you can send an email to the address listed in the "donor post" to the left. Thanks.

Here's the pool, listing the Spartans as the winner v. the Trojans. You need to click on it to enlarge to see the macots written in. There are a couple of interesting picks, such as:

1. controversial calls: (a) Buckeye beating a Devil, but it could have been the infamous poisonous buckeye, while the Cougar then crushes the buckeye ambivalently on his way to a real meal, (b) tarheel over colonel (I really have no idea, I guess that little harheel guy looks scrappy, and the colonel is probably an old guy nearing retirement), (c) I had jayhawk over an eagle in the attached, but that made no sense at all, so it has been changed since I scanned it in. Of course, Bill Self is always a candidate for a 1st round loss, so it made the 16-1 upset a little more palatable.

2. toss-ups: (a) hoya v. bruins, both dogs (b) vol v. 49'er, (c) commodore v. colonel, (d) crusader v. Illini indian tribe, (e) wilcats (KY) v. panther (Pitt)

3. easy calls: (a) anyone against a Quaker, (b) anyone against a turtle (Terp), (c) rebel (unlv) kills badger (wi), then also shoots an eagle (winthrop) out of the sky, (d) anyone against that little damn leprechaun, (e) L'Ville Cardinals v. Stanford Cardinal (yes, singular, stands for the color cardinal red and the mascot is a tree). Edge 'Ville, the birds crap on the tree and there's nothing the tree can do about it (unless it's one of those Lord of the Rings trees).

"In the interest of full disclosure: I went to USC. That said, the Trojans will beat all comers. We will break NCAA rules (Reggie Bush), we will take ballroom dancing (Matt Leinart), we will give scholarships to the most overrated of all hoopsters (Harold Miner, "Baby Jordan"). Nothing will stand in our way!!"

The thin ice of modern life

Ah, who knew there were so many pitfalls and temptations in the course of the day, all beckoning to lead one down a not-so-primrose path? Everywhere you look, sliders and Slim Jims and corndogs, sigh. This is Day 3 of the so-called happy horseshit known as the Master Cleanse diet, and I’ll tell ya, the nuts and berries and twigs of the Longevity Diet are starting to look pretty good. As is most food. Today I put out some food for the chirping, tweeting bastards that inhabit my backyard, and as I did, I thought hmm, nuts and raisins, this kinda looks like trail mix. I wonder if it’s safe for people to eat? But then a hooliganish band of sparrows started giving me the eye, so I left it all to them.

I admit I have not been perfect. Yesterday, after shepherding small children around the ice rink in a spirited game of Sharks and Minnows during their Learn-to-Skate lesson, I had a cherry BlowPop. Which I rationalized by saying it was nutritionally dense, being made of fruit and all. Tonight, when I’m at the Wolves game with friends, I fully intend to have a Mai Tai. Again, fruit. Practically a salad, for god’s sake. Besides, if I drink any more tea, I’m going to start speaking Indian and working for a technology company.

What’s been particularly motivating is the fact that I received my beautiful Desoto wetsuit yesterday, all ready to be tested out. And today I got my heavy duty neoprene swimcap. Sweet! Note: when wetsuit instructions suggest putting plastic baggies on your hands when you’re trying on your wetsuit, do NOT extrapolate and think hey, I’m sure fuzzy gloves will work just as well. Because – and I’m not saying this happened to me, I’m just imagining out loud here – your hands might get stuck in the sleeves and you’ll be hopping around the house trying to get the damn thing over your head without, say, falling into a lamp. And then the phone will ring, and the person on the other end will wonder why you’re being so abrupt, not understanding that you’re like a turtle half in its shell, trying to get the rest of the damn thing either ON or OFF before you cut off the circulation in your begloved wrists. I mean all this theoretically, of course. Me, I’m always the very image of grace and perfection, so I’m just trying to help you, the little people, out.

So I’m all ready to tackle that frigid...long....swim. Well, I will be, in 3 months. Hopefully we’ll all still be speaking to each other by then. Speaking of which, I now leave you back with your regularly scheduled pissing contest between the boys. By the way, if I did beat you guys, I in fact WOULD be calling incessantly reminding you of that fact – in a humorous and jocular way, of course. But since this is about as likely as, say, my showing up on the cover of Maxim, rest easy.

And, Annette, eve though you’re in far-off lands, you’re not forgotten – I saw this guy and immediately thought of you.
Though he might be a bit...old?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mathematical Genius

ok, let's test Kevin well-thought out theory of "I think the deal should be you pay for the person you did not pass. The lower you are on the ladder, the more dinners you pay for".

1. Scenario #1 (pay for full dinners of everyone who beats you) - ok, so let's say a person loses handicaps to everyone else and thus needs to pay for his/her plus all 7 dinners, at Gibsons a cool $500 at least (guessing a low $60 per). Since someone who loses to everyone as far as handicap times owes 8 dinners, the person who finishes 3rd does not need to pay for dinners 1 and 2 b/c finisher #8 is already on the hook for those. That makes no sense, so ...

2. Scenario #2 (all people you beat split your dinner cost) - eg. Ryan beats 6 of 7. Those 6 pay 1/6 each for Ryan's $60 dinner, $10 each. Everyone else is a "push" and nobody wins as gainst anyone else. the #7 person beats the handicap v. Ryan, but beats nobody else, so Ryan pays for #7's whole dinner ($60). Everyone else owes zero to each other, so end of day ryan's out $60, #7 (who beat Ryan) owes nothing. All the others pay for their own plus $10 to Ryan's ($70). So, Ryan pays $60, all the people he beat pay $70 and the person who beat Ryan owes nothing even though he tied all 5 others. And THIS "push" is the easy scenario. Try to figure it out if Ryan beats all but #7, and #7 LOSES to everyone else, and #5 beats #6 and #7 and nobody else. This possibly could not be what you conceived, unless you have a calculator in your head and/or are Rain Man, so ...

3. Scenario #3 (you buy dinner for everyone you lose to, one on one). This means that a loser needs to take out each winner to dinner separately. I reject this idea bc the idea of 1 on 1 dinner alone with you scares me, as does the roommate situation.

Good thing...

... this isn't an olympic event! No medals on the line. Bragging will be minimal is at all. In the end this is all good fun, but if the idea of a free steak dinner or the cost of paying for one motivates you to work a little harder and gets you into a little better shape - all the better, right.

It's not like anyone is going to call you insesantly after we return home to remind you of winning or losing.

Your call. We have me, Ryan and Tasha in. Keep in mind I have the Borat suit on as well. Lots of factors here... Haven't heard from Carolyn, Heather or Annette. Times will be handicapped somehow. We'll figure that out. I think the deal should be you pay for the person you did not pass. The lower you are on the ladder, the more dinners you pay for, but again, times are handicapped based on... I dunno. Some sort of time average. We'll have to coordinate a time trial of sorts before we go. This would be a nice group workout, too.

For me there is no stress. Simply knowing I'm going to kick Ryan's ass makes me warm and fuzzy.


Honestly, I don't know if I am up for a contest. Every time I have done that, it has raised the intesity level of a race from enjoyable fun to stressful pressure. I am not sure that I want that backdrop to this race.

Is it Just Me...

...or was that a little unclear? I mean, nice prose and all. Again, the creative little graphics. Cute. But are you in or not? (Hint: this requires a yes or no answer.)

Marv says ...

If you haven't seen Sin City, this little rant below will make no sense to you. I thought of my main man Marv bc of your 300 reference. Frank Miller, you may know, wrote both Sin City and 300 ...

Meet Mr. Non-sensical

Dearest Kevin -

You make little sense.

1. You say "Yes, your little guy is cute. For now. Soon he'll grow up to look just like his dad (there's still time and gentics that say he can grow out of it - one can only hope)" Jeez, if that's the case for my kids, what hope do yours have?

2. You say the person "shouts out threats and taunts, all the while hiding behind his friends, who then pummel you even after you cough up your milk money. In this case, your human armor is... your five year old son." uhhh, I don't see where I am hiding behind my son. I am simply posting a simple fact that he can kick your ass.

3. You say "nor am I some overgrown ex-jock who feels the need to somehow compensate for my age by doing these crazy competions and better yet, beating his friends in doing so" yet in the next breath say "See you at the starting line about a steak dinner?" Interesting, to hear this from someone who has been egging on everyone he can find to bet a steak dinner. Something to prove, sir?


OK, now we're incoporting our children into the fray? Exposing thier poor innocent little existences to the harsh, cruel winds of competition and trash talking??? Tsk, tsk, Mr. Chuck. For shame. For shame.

Yes, your little guy is cute. For now. Soon he'll grow up to look just like his dad (there's still time and gentics that say he can grow out of it - one can only hope) and be a trash talking bully, but not the kind that stands up in your face and pummels you even after you cough up your milk money. No, no. Rather the kind that shouts out threats and taunts, all the while hiding behind his friends, who then pummel you even after you cough up your milk money.

In this case, your human armor is... your five year old son. Nice.

So this team wager is on. Everyone has turned up the heat a bit on themselves to bring thier A game to this race - in a friendly sort of way - of course. But what about you, dear Chuck? Perhaps you should save the time it takes to make funny little graphics and be doing some more sit ups or something. Oh, yes, that's right... ailments, staying safe, having fun. Worry not, I am not a professional athlete either... nor am I some overgrown ex-jock who feels the need to somehow compensate for my age by doing these crazy competions and better yet, beating his friends in doing so. No no. I'm just the guy whose going to call you out from behind your cover and make you answer the bell you so like to ring in good fun.

So, Chuck.. what do you say. See you at the starting line about a steak dinner?


(By the way - go see 300. Best movie I ever freakin' saw.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nice poster !!!