Welcome to the weekend, folks. I'm sitting here enjoying my Starbucks brand home-brewed coffee, some Irish steel cut oats and I thought maybe I'd holler at y'all for a few minutes.
Shelby Lee Adams, of No RelationOK, first things first I found the name of that photographer featured in Berkshire Living magazine. To catch everyone up who isn't Bizarro or Russ-T, I saw this guy's name in the magazine and thought "Wow, if that guy isn't Captain Berkshire County I don't know who is". His name is Shelby Lee Adams, which if you aren't from these parts won't mean much to you, but Lee and Adams are both towns around here, and Shelby could simply be short for Shelburne, home of Russ-T. As I read some of the article I quickly learned that the guy is not from around here at all, but rather hails from Appalachia, Kentucky. I'll be damned.
A Track Star is BornThis summer you may have noticed a change in my running focus from snowy trails to road races. Granted, you can't run snowy trails in the summer but I really got into the whole racing thing. Many of you may ask why someone would pay perfectly good money to run x.x miles down the road, and to that I say "Cuz that shit is fun". It's not that you expect to win, but it's like a big party where everyone is scantily clad, dripping with sweat, and some people are vomiting in the bushes. It's like college without the alcohol. People show up extra early to talk trash and see how everyone is recovering from this injury or that sickness, then those same people hang around afterwards to talk about how it went. It's a real community affair.
Anyway, I've decided that maybe I'll start coming up with some goals for races other than to finish with a respectable time. I doubt I'll ever come close to winning because the people who do win are still only jogging. They finish and don't even have to shower, the bastards. Last night I went to Taconic HS to do a track workout with MB. Armed with a simple workout from a coach friend (of CRG fame) and our Timex Ironman watches we cranked out a bunch of laps.
I always figured running on a track would be boring as all hell, but when you're trying to time yourself it's a nice way to keep your focus and have real distances. Otherwise I just have to estimate everything, which is a poor way to time yourself when you have to multiply a time by a number of miles (i.e. a 1/4 mile time extrapolated to a 10k or 6.2 miles). If you're off by a few seconds it can become a big difference in your mile time. So I did my workout that was designed to help me get a feel for what a particular pace feels like. The first few laps were a little wild, with my times all over the place but eventually I was hitting them within a couple seconds difference between two laps. NICE. Unfortuntely the times equate to a slower pace than I would have liked, but for my first time I didn't want to hurt myself.
End result, I have a good feel for what a 7 minute/mile feels like. My goal for the upcoming Turkey Trot is more like a 6:30 mile, but in reality I'll be happy with anything under 7:00. With somewhere around 5,000 running that race, it's hard to get going at your desired pace especially when you practically walk the first mile while the crowd spreads out. But man, oh man, is it fun!
What to Do on a Day of Rest?With today being a self-prescribed rest day, I'm looking for something to do. I've got a few loads of laundry kicking, I already cleaned the dishes, and once it warms up a little I'm going to get out and give the lawn a good mowing. I had to raise the deck up last time because it had gotten so tall between mowings. I didn't want to risk scalping it this late in the season so I cut it a bit long. Today I wanted to drop the deck back down and give 'er another trim. Plus I cut it at a diagonal last time and I want to go in the reverse direction for that cool diagonal checkerboard look.
I've also got some windows that need to be siliconed up properly. I put the windows in last November and it was too cold to seal them up, and I never got to them this summer. It seems like a lazy Saturday activity plus it'll give me an excuse to go to Home Despot. Hmmm, maybe I'll pick up some lumber to build the skirt around my porch. Hmmm. Let's not get too ambitious here.
Yum, BreakfastFor all of you out there who don't eat breakfast, you need to get up offa that and start. Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, it's also the most delicious. Most of the time when you talk about having inter-meal foods (pie for lunch, pancakes for dinner), you hear about breakfast foods for some other meal. You know why? Because breakfast foods are the bomb.
For example, my breakfast this morning consisted of delicious coffee and Irish Steel Cut oats. The oats are similar to oatmeal in that they're the same thing, but the way they remove the oats from the oat trees is different. You end up with extra parts of the oat intact (don't ask me what) and the individual oat particles are more like little oat kernels instead of the traditional flat oat thing. They take a lot longer to cook but have a delicious nutty flavor. Plus when you add dehydrated fruit - as I do - it is freaking awesome. Today's oats contained cranberries and papaya, each lightly coated in some fancy sugar product. I'd rather they didn't have the sugar, but when cooked into oats you don't need to add brown sugar so I guess it's alright. Between sips of coffee I also had some delicious exotic fruit juice.
Mmmm, mmmm bitch!
Say You Wanna Rock?Heey-ohh, listen what I saaay-oh. If you haven't heard the Red Hot Chili Peppers album Stadium Arcadium, drive to your nearest iTunes website and buy that shit immediately. I have a dubbed copy that's getting me by for now, but one of these days I'm going to buy the full thing.
That's right, BUY the full thing. I'm one of a dying breed of people who still buy music. The way I see it, I get my money's worth out of an album. For the amount some people spend on martinis after work on a Tuesday, I can have a legal copy of two albums. And I can enjoy those two albums long after that person's hangover has worn off.
Plus, with lyrics like "Move around like a scientist" how can you go wrong? You know how scientists move around, so how can you not heed my suggestion?
Over and Out,
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Welcome to the weekend, folks. I'm sitting here enjoying my Starbucks brand home-brewed coffee, some Irish steel cut oats and I thought maybe I'd holler at y'all for a few minutes.
Posted by Todd at 10:13 AM
Friday, September 29, 2006
Good afternoon, ladies and gents. This is a quick update based on the fact that I said "I'm definitely going to blog that" during a rousing game of after lunch ping-pong, or fing-fong to the winded, overweight community.
Here are some things we learned today about the game of fing-fong:
When hit in a post whoopie-pie belly, one's belly will make a low WHUUUUHHH sound as the ball presses into the belly, and a high PEEEE sound as it is expelled. The resulting sound is, of course, WHOOOO-PEEEE.
As we all know, a tied game can be simply "ones, twos, threes, etc" until it reaches 8-8, whereupon it will be "ochos" (sidenote, 4-4 is either quatros or faahrrrrs in pirate-speak). With each team scoring one additional point, the game is then tied at "nachos", with nacho being the spanish word for nine. A subsequent tie is called tacos. Then it's just 11-11 and so on. PlacaTANachos.
While tackling near the yoga mats is acceptable - so long as the tackle carries the tacklee onto the mats - one should use caution if his vertical leap is not higher than a 2x4 (1.5"). This can result in injury as one's ankle slams onto the buried 2x4. One should exercise extra caution when nursing shin spints.
If a cake is baked with one leaf of savory, it will implode. The cake will be both sweet and savory, two mutually exclusive properties.
The rest of the lunchtime/fing-fong conversation has not been cleared for discussion on the futureweb. It involves topics to which women are not privy. Should any woman who is also a wife or girlfriend catch wind of the un-aforementioned topics the result would be either divorce or the purchase of very expensive shoes on the man's good credit. For all the single ladies out there, you still can't find out cuz you women are conniving and back-stabbing. The whole lot of you. I've seen enough Jerry Springer, Judge Judy and Chris Rock to know you'll do anything to get that new Gucci bag.
Y'all are Scandalous.
Okay, that's all I have. I'll holler at you later.
Over and Out,
savory. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved September 29, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/savory
Posted by Todd at 1:48 PM
Hey y'all, due to unplanned rebooting of my PC yesterday, you were not given access to my newest blog entry, as it was deleted. In fact, I don't even remember what I was talking about, but today I'm going to attempt to make up for it. I recall that there were two points of discussion, with one being the moonwalking bird. If you haven't seen this video, using your pointing device, press play on this embedded video player.
The sound really makes this video worthwhile. Otherwise it would just be another wacky animal flick.
Thank you for playing; please exit to your left.
My Sister is so WackyFor those of you who do not normally read the comments to this here blog, I recommend that you do. Most of my comments come from my sister who, in a classical definition of the word, is a fool. Not a fool like being able to easily separate from her money, but a fool like she's foolish. She's crazy, no no, frazy. Maybe the comments are only funny to me because I know her and most of the time they're inside jokes from when we were chilluns, but I regularly have to remove the snot from the mustache portion of my power 'tee upon reading her comments. Phew. So give them a shot.
In case you're wondering, she has an account but must post anonymously because she's blogging with the new Beta Blogger, and the bigots at Blogger don't want the different classes of bloggers intermixing. She actually has to send a comment to a guy known only as 'Chocolate Mousse' by means of The Pony Express to avoid lashback from the Blogger Republican Guard.
Since When is a Lump Bad?This strange lump on my ankle is becoming a real nuisance. It hasn't affected my running yet - which is key - but it turns out it's an early form of shin splints. Fortunately I caught it in time and can do something about it. I just have to stretch the old calves and do toe lifts. It seems that my gas trucks (calves) are too diesel for my shin muscles and they're literally tearing the shin muscles away from the bone; straight ruthless. I don't know why this creates a hard lump on my shin, but it does. So for the time being I'm going to be doing toe lifts at every convenient moment (read: when I can remember).
DILEMMAEver since I learned that North Adams was holding not just a race, but also a parade honoring my birth, I've been planning on running said race and perhaps watching some of said parade. This all became less than certain last night when I received an e-mail from the leader of the RRFs (a subset of the CRG). She was planning a "surprise" run in my honor complete with breakfast at Bob's Country Kitchen, one of my favorite breakfast establishments in Berkshire County. Surprise is in quotes because I received the e-mail directly but the instructions included not telling me about it. She's so kuhrazy.
While I am leaning heavily towards running with the CRG and anyone else who shows up, I'm in a mental state of debate (thank you Digable Planets). I've been talking a lot of trash about this race, a LOT, and if I don't show I won't be able to show my face in public until I'm able to outperform my peers (or super-peers, since they're all older than I am) in an organized race. Plus Bizarro said he'd be there with his wife and kids to root me on. FANS! I could have fans! One time I thought I had someone cheer for me but she might have been talking about her gold boots. Old Coot isn't even my real name, so I don't know why she would have been yelling "Old Coot" at me anyway.
The next option is to run with the CRG in the early AM, gorge myself on pancakes after the run, then haul ass to North Adams by 11:00-11:30. It's certainly doable, I might just leave the race option open and not rush everything else just to make it there on time. People were kind enough to plan an honorary run/breakfast/surprise for me, I think that's more important than some lousy race.
Well, that folks is what's on my mind today. Also, my sneakers are hurting my feet, but I'm dealing with that. For those of you who expressed concern with my ice cream-less freezer I'd like you to know that I bought some ice cream last night, plus some Reese's hard shell sauce (similar to "Red Dip" only it's not red, you don't dip it, and it's Reese's Peanut Butter Cup flavored).
No More Bah Humbug for HalloweenOH, and I bought Halloween candy! This will be the first year that I'm giving out candy. Over the years, my hatred for Christmas has crept into other overly-commercialized holidays and as a result I have boycotted Halloween.
This year, probably due to The Summer of Todd, I have decided that Halloween is an okay holiday. It's not about companies making money off of somebody's birth or death, it's about giving candy to kids. I think I've softened in my old age and no longer find kids to be a complete nuisance. Unlike dogs, I might even consider buying some someday (although listening to the fellas at lunch provides a strong case against owning kids), and kids in costumes are certainly out there working for that candy. So this year I'm going to give out candy, and I'm getting the good shit too. I toyed with the idea of full-size candy bars (ahh Mrs. Richmond, you were too kind) but I think that's more of a punishment for parents so I'll just give each kid several smaller items. Anything is better than the scowl I gave them last year.
And that's that. You heard it here, folks. Now tell your friends.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 7:35 AM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Welcome back, kind patrons. After wrestling with my blog nemesis (my freaking PC) I am once again attempting to holler at you. Twice this past weekend I attempted to regale you with splendid stories of what I've been doing, only to have my laptop just close my web browser. Having had this problem in the past, I used to resort to typing in notepad then pasting it into the Blogger window for publication. As you might imagine, this is annoying and doesn't allow me to preview the post or make use of any automatic features like inserting pictures and hyperlinks. For now I'm going to try to write in notepad; we'll see how long it lasts.
Friday's Bike RideFriday, being the last day of nice weather for a bit, I joined forces with Johnny A of Thursday Night Run and Josh Billings fame and Danny Badmeat of HW Engineering fame to go for a bike ride. We met up at the ol' Stockbridge Bowl boat launch, mounted our trusty steeds and headed down routes 183 and 7 towards Connecticut. It was a perfect day for a bike ride, warm and sunny (but not too warm, just right). Ahhhhhh. You just wanted to take a bite of the tasty air.
As we rode through Great Barrington, we were thrown back in time by the Model Ts driving around, and even a steam boat on a trailer. "What the hell is going on?" we thought aloud. Even the guys driving the cars were wearing those funny old school driving caps and leather knuckle-less gloves. Those Great Barringtonians (Great Barringtowners?) are some wild and crazy folk. What's even better is some of them looked at us like we were crazy. Damn they're wildin'.
When we finally decided to head back towards home we were torn between continuing on towards the MA/CT border - an unknown distance - and just going back to the cars. Mr. Badmeat was new to cycling and his nether regions were strongly suggesting that less would be more, so we turned around and headed for home. 2.5 hours and 37 miles later we were back at the boat launch. Mmm mmmm, bitch! A delish ride.
Side note: We were less than 5 miles from the CT border. Damn!
Picnic Table ProjectAfter three months of not working on JO's picnic table, we figured we should finally meet up (as in I should drive to Albany) to put the wraps on it. I loaded up the A-car with the tools I thought would be handy and drove my sweet ass out there.
After a brief pool closing mishap set us back about an hour, and a tooling problem (we didn't have a big enough drill bit) sent us on a trip to the Home Despot we were able to start. We kicked it into overdrive and powered out the table.
The directions were a waste, so we just assembled it as we/I saw fit. My supreme knowledge of all things mechanical gave me Yoda-like picnic table insight and the final steps of the assembly went off with only a few hitches (read: JO can't work a drill). What's important is that it's done and it's sweet. Below is a picture of the table, complete with the built in blur. The thing weighs in at probably 200 lbs (surrisly, the shit is heavy) and is uber sturdy. It should hold up for years.
Nevermind on the photo of the table. Once again Blogger is refusing to let me upload a picture.
Monday Night Kayak Trip on PontoosucAfter overdoing it on Saturday, I've been nursing a tender ankle and have been unable to run. What's an outdoors junkie to do when he can't run? Obviously load up his kayak and hit the high seas of Berkshire County. A nighttime paddle on Pontoosuc was just what the Dr. ordered for my ankle. By the time my boat hit the water, the sun was just about down. Paddling in the dark is both meditative and scary as hell. The meditative portion comes from the fact that you really can't see the water, you just glide along. I had my headlamp in case there were other boats out there (I counted one) but it didn't do much for my own visibility. The scary part is being on the water in the dark, plus there were bats.
I got to paddle through the bat feeding frenzy which is simultaneously really cool and really scary. Having hundreds of bats whipping past your head in the dark is a surreal feeling, and while I know they know what they're doing there's always a fear that one will crash into my face. At that point, I would remove my life jacket and throw myself into my watery grave.
As the night grew cold, the trip drew to an end. I was approaching the boat launch when I got a little close to land. As I moved out from shore, I heard the sound of an animal slipping into the water. Without a clear visual, I can only assume it was either a muskrat, moose or The Swamp Thing. Of those three, there's really no preferred choice - they're all scary as hell. As soon as the first hair (or tentacle) hit the water, I let out the loudest, most womanly scream I think I've ever made. It was similar to the sound Homer Simpson makes when startled, only in the dead calm of the evening the presence of the Y chromosome was imperceptable. Yup, very womanly. Luckily only one person was there to witness it, and we took my car so we reached an agreement and my secret is safe... unless someone reads about it here.
Well folks, that should keep you up to date on what I've been up to. I'll try to keep things interesting, but my life is pretty much a lot of the same thing. Y'all take care now, ya hear?
I said ya hear?!
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 8:54 AM
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Get the Whole Story Here...
I named this one B&W in Color. Click it and enjoy it in it's full size splendor.
As the hitcounter tells me, my readership has been waning in the last week or so. I'm not really worried about losing anyone in the long term, but I want to make sure you diehards are rewarded for your loyalty. I've been in a bit of a rut lately, with nothing much to report. I wouldn't want anyone to think my narrative has become stale and as a result have been keeping a distance between my fingertips and my blog.
Tonight was my Thursday Night Run at Kennedy Park. It was chilly (mid 50s) and I wore a long-sleeve shirt. This - of course - made the run extra hot, but was nice to keep the cool breeze off my arms. For some reason, the cool breezes don't reach your lower limbs until you dip into the low 40s. That allows me to continue wearing shorts right up until I make the bold switch to mantights. Before you judge me, there is nothing finer than running in tights. It's probably better than nude running in that it leaves little to the imagination but supports you all over. A little support goes a long way.
Afterwards we supped at O'Laughlin's Pub, where I filled my belly with traditional Irish fare - a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. In Buffalo it would be called a Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The food was good and the water came in a really cool carafe one would probably use to serve cheap white wine to make it seem fancier. It had a name printed in the glass (what is that raised printing called that they put in glass?) that made me want to steal it, but the restaurant is owned by my running buddy's - and fellow Pretty Boy - neighbor. Plus one of the guys seemed to be a regular.
It said something like Cristal or Alize.
Now I sit in my livingroom draped in cats, watching a documentary on Andy Warhol of soup can fame with a fire crackling to my right, nursing a warm cup of Starbucks coffee (brewed right here in my own kitchen). My right leg is ever so tender after a week of running roads and an evening turning my ankle on rocks and tree roots, and it feels like my homemade concoction of Advil and Target brand Ibuprofen might be kicking in. With that, I'm ghost.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 9:39 PM
Sunday, September 17, 2006
First of all, I'd like to welcome everyone to our 150th blog entry from all of us here at Old Coot Productions®. Second of all, I'm tired. Today was the 30th annual Josh Billings Runaground triathlon and I helped power The Pretty Boys to a less-than-climactic finish. I'm not sure where exactly we finished, or how my extraordinarily powerful paddling fell in comparison with my recreational kayak compadres. By recreational, I think they mean large-bicepped, small-boated paddlers.
Now, before I get to the finer details of the Josh, let me tell you about the T-Russ party at Russ-T's house. It was sweet. First, we stood around drinking coffee making smart alec comments, driving Russ-T up the wall. Then we put a couple of T-Russes up. Following another break for lunch, we hoisted the remaining T-Russes into place. Then I went home to clean up for the pre-Josh spaghetti dinner.
The spaghetti dinner was pretty standard. The pasta was heavily overcooked, with 1/4" thick strands and canned sauce/canned meatballs. The salad came out of a bag and the sauce was most likely out of either a can or a big jar, but the price was right. Included in our $100 entry fee was a 100% free dinner, complete with - count 'em - two meatballs. We asked for more, but were told there was only so much to go around and we only get two. The kind woman on the other side of the warming dish reinforced the meatball policy by telling us "Hey, it's only supposed to be a pasta dinner". Oooo-kaaaayyyy, can I have an extra scoop of those delicious styrofoam strands?
But in reality, the dinner was fine and dandy. We ate good and they had a drum circle who played fun, but loud music. It was CPG's last night in town so she met us out there for some spaghetti and conversation. The drum band made the conversation difficult but once the sun went down, they hit the road. Freaking hippies :-) Alright everyone, keep your fingers crossed for the CPG situation.
Sunday morning I headed over to Stockbridge Bowl around 7:30 to get set up for the kayak section. I had the boat dropped off and the car parked at the take-out area and back to the boat launch by 8:00. With the bikes starting at 9:30, it's conceivable that I would have 3 hours to kill before it was my turn with the race bracelet. To make it worse, I quickly ran out of coffee, forgot my breakfast and didn't know a soul at the lake. Long... three... hours.
Once the race started, it was awesome to stand by the radio listening to the play-by-play. There were a few national level ringers in the race who quickly pulled ahead of the rest of the pack. At one point they were ahead of the pace car, that's some fast shit. 1:04 into the race the first pack showed up at the lake. For a 27 mile race, that's just shy of 27 mph in the big hills of Berkshire County. It took me almost 2 hours to ride it when I tried, to put it into perspective. Granted I was not racing and I'm not a national level cyclist, but still those guys are something else.
Anyway, when my cyclist came in I took the bracelet and booked it for my boat. I grabbed it, headed for the water and got to paddling. Feeling strong in my new Nike shirt (ahh, compression shirts), I started off well and just kept going stronger. While the two-man racing canoes were passing me with ease, I had only one kayak pass me in the first lap. WHAT! Plus, she was in a racing kayak and she's one of my running homies, so it was all good. I draughted off of her for a little while until she got too far ahead. At that point I wished her the best of luck and dropped in behind someone else. Ahh, draughting. Not to bore you with the details, I finished in a hair over an hour and passed the bracelet to our runner.
Once the runner had the bracelet, I knew I had about 40-45 minutes to get the boat out of the water, change my clothes and get to the finish line to see him come in. I made it just in time to snap a few pics. Afterwards we GRAZED on wraps, snacks and most importantly Choc-oat-chip cookies. Mmm mmm bitch.
When they finally posted the results, we finished 14th out of 31 in our category. What sucks is that your category is based on the youngest person on your team - in our case that was me - so we were in the 39 and under category. The other two guys are in their 40s and/or 50s and being in the younger category really hurt us. We beat the 40+ teams by about 15 minutes, so my youth definitely affeted our placement. Oh well, it would have been nice to win the mug but it was fun nonetheless. I'm thinking next year I might have to do the Ironman (one-man team)!
Well folks, that's it for me. It's about beddy-bye time for me and I need to get myself ready for sleep. I'll holler at y'all later.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 8:05 PM
Friday, September 15, 2006
What's going on in Readerland, players? Today was a pretty nice day so far. I only had to work for about 4 hours, and by 'about four hours' I mean to say 'four hours'. There was nothing 'about' about it, that's just how long I had to work. It involved more play time in the lab which is always fun. After that, I typed up some results of some testing we did then got my ass out of there.
Thanks to the good folks over at sitemeter.com, I have a nice little record of everyone who visits my site. Before you get all bent out of shape and start calling me a Republican, the information I have is only what your computer transmits when it accesses a website. The information is pretty simple, your IP address (which I think gives me location), your monitor resolution, operating system, # of porn sites you've visited that day, your mother's maiden name, how you take your coffee, and so on. But even more useful than that crap is which key words people searched for in Google that ultimately brought them to my site. The most common is "Old Coot", obviously, but sometimes I get some doozies that cause me to spray snot all over my shirt/keyboard. Below is a list of some such searches...
For some of the more interesting ones, I added the country in which the search originated. What I love about these visitors is that they probably did not find what they were looking for, but often they stay and read a few entries. To those of you who come to my site seeking answers, I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, but have a seat and let me spin you a yarn.
Take for example the bloke from England. You know he wanted to learn how to chug a pint of ale really fast; perhaps even pour it down his throat like the old guy (may he rest in peace) from The Man Show. Instead, the story he got was about me donating blood (after which I was down a pint) and then eating ice cream (I downed a pint). Sorry, no beer guzzling instructions.
The guy from Spain was looking for Coot Socks, well, I'm not sure what in blue blazes those are but he couldn't get them from me. Sorry player, I don't ship internationally.
Then the poor sap who was looking for information on a torso cramp. Come on, a torso cramp? I made that shit up, don't pretend like it's happened to you. That kind of shit wouldn't even happen on the most bizarre episode of House, and they can make up some shit. Surrisly, House is the result of the creators of ER and X-Files ripping one too many bongs together. And if those shows were created by the same person, well I think he really should step away from the sensimilia and put the gravity bong away for another day. You got problems, dude.
The other ones aren't that great, I really only added them to pad the list a little. In case you're wondering, the last one is a line from a Dave Matthews Band song (a live version of Two Step). For your enrichment, the most he can do while he's here now is 'not a thing, leave it as I found'. The music drops in on the word 'found' and it's enough to make even me speed in the car and I drive slower than Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy. As a matter of fact, take a look at the following picture...
This picture is not actually from the movie, but rather one I took of Morgan Freeman zipping by me on the other side of the double-yellows en route to a chauffering gig he had back in Buffalo. He's about to say "What the fuck is your problem, grandma?" then flip me off. That was back in the days of analog cameras when you had to advance the film yourself, so I couldn't get the action shot off in time. You'll have to take my word for it.
So that's that. I did a hot practice paddle of this weekend's race course and developed some nice blisters. CLUTCH! The good thing is that I did learn that I lean the wrong way when I'm trying to maintain a straight line. For some reason I thought you had to lean in the counterintuitive direction - away from the direction you want to go - to turn. After constantly fighting to follow a straight line I learned that I'm an idiot and I should have been leaning the other way. Well, at least the left side of my body will be good and strong. That will make the race much less frustrating for me, since the boat naturally pulls toward the middle of the lake (I don't know why).
I also ran into this guy who had retired from my workplace about 5 years ago. We bullshat about The Josh for a few minutes before I got in the water, and it wasn't until about 45 minutes later that it clicked who he was. I saw him again when I got out (how the hell did he beat me?) and forgot to mention that I know him. Later, under some strange, small-world circumstances I met his canoeing partner who clarified that it was indeed him.
Okay, I have to wrap it up, Bs. I have a long day of busting HECOW's balls (even though he wussed out and won't even be at Russ's house), then installing T-Russes and T-Riangles on Russ's new garage (let's see if either one of those words gets any google hits). I've been slaving over dinner, Choc-oat-chip cookies, and chicken salad all evening and I needs me a rest.
Oh, but let me tell you about my get-up for the race. In case you've forgotten, our team name is "The Pretty Boys" (we aren't pretty boys) and we were trying to come up with a uniform for either the race or the shindig afterwards. Sensing that it wasn't going to happen, I went out and hooked up some gear. I picked up a pink polo from Old Navy and some plaid shorts from Target. I think I'll rock thsome white athletic kneehigh socks and my Kangol hat to complete the ensemble; footwear is still undetermined as of press time.
Let me tell you how nervous I was buying a pink polo and plaid shorts. I didn't want the cashiers judging me (despite the fact that they were both older than me and working the register at mall stores) but those stores don't sell condoms and I couldn't draw attention away from my pretty boy purchases (google that one, losers). I paid cash at Old Navy and managed to pick out enough buffer gear at Target to adequately dilute the shorts; two bags of kitty litter and some 2,000 flushes (which is now good for 4,000 flushes for the record) did the trick. Hopefully I can remember to bring my camera to the race and I'll get some shots of the boys looking oh so pretty.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 6:18 PM
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Cooterinos, this isn't your typical treadmill accident video. My coolrunning.com message board posted this one and I searched high and low for it on youtube so I could imbed it in the posting. Enjoy!
You have to give it a few seconds to get into the good part, but the whole thing is pretty entertaining.
P.S. I think the band is called something like OK Go!
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 8:20 AM
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Dag nabbit! I hope the last post I wrote actually makes it onto my blog. My guess is that it's sitting in the browser on my PC at work. That's what I get for proof-reading that puppy before sending it out. Anyway, here's another posting for you patient folks.
Today was yet another long day of trying to get our damn equipment at work functioning. What sucks is that I keep feeling like I'm holding up everyone else because we take one step forward then have to stop working for two days while I track down the problem and come up with the solution. It's satisfying to be able to fix stuff, but it's still a pain. The up side is that so far I've been able to fix everything. I don't mean to make it sound like I'm some superhero, there are several people working on this equipment, but ultimately it's my design that keeps effing up. Fortunately, it seems that so far it's been wiring errors and broken wires along with a bad piece of electronics; not design errors. Also, it's corporate policy to blame the software guys when something doesn't work, but the guy doing our software has been pretty spot on so far, so I can rule his work out right away. Nicely done Easy E!
After work today, I went home, changed my clothes and headed out to the Rail Trail for a casual 10.3-miler. I didn't get there until 6, which meant if I hauled ass I could finish by roughly 7:30 when it would be pretty much dark. At distances such as that, I usually aim for 8:00 miles, so simple math tells us I should be able to finish in a little over 80 minutes. Cutting... it... close.
After the first half, I was right at 41:30, pretty much just what I expected. There was a brief dog situation where an unleashed German Shepherd was wandering near some guy. I expected when he saw me that the guy would at least put a hand on the dog, but he just let the dog wander free while I nervously walked by. I didn't want to run lest the dog should think I was playing and eat my savory ass meat. I later passed this thoughtful gentleman later walking his dog (on a leash).
When I finally made it back to my car, it was 1:23:48 into the run. Damn I'm good. That's 83 minutes and change, exactly twice the time it took to get to the halfway point; talk about pacing.
I headed over to the friendly neighborhood Price Chopper for a few viddles when I finished. I wasn't dressed like you regular grocery shopper, but I didn't think I was that far out of the ordinary. People kept looking at me like there was something up; looking at me like I had a huge booger hanging from my lip. It wasn't until I got home that I realized my face crevices were filled with a thick salty crust. I said crevices, not wrinkles. When it's dry out, the sweat dries up on your face before it can drip down, leaving a salty crust.
I stocked up on some delish foods, including extra thick all natural chips with sea salt. It wasn't until I opened the bag that I realized they weren't really all that thick, what a rip. What they lacked in thickness though, they did make up for in salty goodness. I jacked those puppies up first thing. While I wasn't that tired after my run, I was certainly hungry.
Next I made up a small pot of Starbucks coffee. I've been using regular coffee at home while slowly developing a taste for Starbucks coffee on the road. I'm not sure it's exactly Starbucks itself that I like, but just good coffee. This test pot answered the question, it is good stuff.
Well folks, it's time for this blogger to get his ass in the shower then get to bed. Thanks for listening and I hope to keep up with my writing a little better in days to come. In the meantime, kick back and relax with a piping cup of coffee.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 9:38 PM
Ho Lee Crap! I didn't realize how long it had been since I last blogged at y'all. Sorry about that players and playeresses. The truth of it is that I meant to, but things got in the way. Take work for example: I've been mad busy but a good kind of busy (at least some of it). Plus outside of work has been pretty blah, not much to blog about.
So at work I've been troubleshooting what I think has been found to be a couple of broken wires and miswired signals. Please Jebus, let that be the problem. I spent most of yesterday with an ohm meter (a device used to meter ohms) set to beep when there's a short (i.e. you're touching both ends of a wire and it goes where it's supposed to go). The lab sounded a lot like this:
S11-13 to s6_P4-A1, okay.
Esss eleven pin thirteen tooooooo essss six peeee foooouurrr, aaaayyy one
And so on and so forth for hundreds of wires. The slow talking was me trying to find the pins on the connectors and get the ohm meter probe onto them. If anyone else was in there, I'm sure it was annoying. After hours of doing that it turned out that the only miswired signals I found, I found right away. Oh well, at least now I have some confidence in the wiring.
Last night I went a-kayaking out on Stockbridge Bowl to get a little more boat time before The Josh. I also wanted to scope out the good parking area; I think I know where I should go, but they had it blocked off so I couldn't get right to it. No biggie. After a few trips around the bowl, I sat floating in the water as the sun set, all the way until the stars came out. I got to watch the bats zip around catching bugs (often very close to mine person). I also learned this neat trick where you sit in the kayak and lean your head waaaaayyyyy back so you can see the water again. It has a neat feel to it, wicked neat.
Sunday morning I went for a run in the woods with The Crazy Running Group. Our fearless leader bailed on us, giving us bad directions and then running back to his house. I could give you the whole story but I already typed it up for my other blog (to which I won't point you) and it's mad, mad long. The short of it is that we got lost; mad, mad lost. Instead of your typical run through the woods on marked trails and solid ground, we ran through corn fields, over barbed wire fences (not a good idea) one lady fell in a disgusting stream (so nasty) and we all got our legs ripped up by the pricker bushes.
Man, let me tell you guys about the woman falling in the stream. We had just gone around the barbed wire fence she attempted to climb, and through the corn field we were promised we would miss, when we came upon a drainage ditch/stream. At its narrowest it was probably 10 feet across, with mushy edges. There would be no jumping over that one.
We spotted a log across the stream to an "island" that looked somewhat promising. It wasn't immediately clear what was on the other side of the island but one woman felt she could get across the log to find out. There were sticks in the ground that you could use for support, but they only made it halfway across, the rest was up to you. She made it halfway across then fell in. The shin-deep water was somewhat of an illusion, since the ground was actually hollow from deserted (zombie) beaver tunnels. She sunk to mid-chest in murky, swampy, scummy water before I could pull her out. It would have been sooner but I was laughing my ass off and couldn't risk falling in myself. Good times.
What made it even better was that when we decided to head back to find another way around, we immediately found that on the downstream side of the dam the water was reduced to a measly trickle; you could just step right over it. Ha ha.
One more thing about that run, besides the fact that we were "lost" for 2.5 hours, was that despite what Hollywood wants you to believe, you really can't run through a cornfield. The only safe way to do it is to put your arms in front of your body to protect your face and just go for it. You catch a lot of corn to the legs and arms, and it's easy to trip over the stalks. You certainly can't run with arms a-flailing like they do in horror movies, even in a panic.
Okay, well that's all I have for you guys today. I'll try to be better about filling you in on the adventures of my daily life.
Over and out,
Posted by Todd at 12:00 PM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday was Labor Day, a day traditionally used my mine family for camping, maxing, relaxing and - most importantly - playing Euchre. Since life doesn't always cooperate, this year that did not happen. My sister is a little too far to make the drive to either my house or that of my parents, and I just plain forgot about the holiday and didn't plan a trip back to the old homestead.
Labor Day was much akin to Labor Day Eve in that the weather sucked and I mostly sat around waiting for it to just do something. Like it's eve, I waited until roughly 5:15 to decide to head out on the A-bike. By 5:30 I was suited up in my lycra getup, had a route selected and written down and pinned to my chest (seriously, I safety-pinned that shit to my reflective vest), and was heading out the door. I left Nan-Whores (the alpha male cat) in charge and got to pedaling.
Yesterday's ride was different from Sunday's in that it didn't involve wolves or the Rail Trail. Instead, I headed south toward Lenox, sticking primarily to back roads. If there's one thing that Berkshire County has that other places in the world might not, it's hills. Most hills seems like ballbusters on the way up, but some were downright scary on the way down. I found myself thinking on several occastions "Holy Crap, I rode UP that monster?" That's some shit!
The lack of vicious dogs was a nice reprieve from previous runs/rides but what it lacked in canines, it made up for in ignorant drivers. The roads I rode were hilly and for the most part lacked shoulders. When the occasional driver would come up behind me many would veer over into the other lane to give me room. Those weren't the problem drivers, it was those sumbitches who A) honked as they approached, scaring the hell out of me, and B) stayed in the lane passing within inches of my handlebars. One jackass was towing a trailer when he whizzed by me, practically pulling me over into his trailer. Think about a semi passing you on the highway with it's draft pulling you over, now imagine that on an lightweight road bike. I made sure to give him the "yo, what's the deal" hand after he passed.
As I sit here, my belly full of California Rolls from my friendly neighborhood Price Chopper, I'm wishing I could get back out on the A-bike. Two consecutive days was a real treat, but with autumn rapidly approaching the days are hurriedly shortening. Plus, as you might imagine, it's raining.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 7:36 PM
Monday, September 04, 2006
All the players came from far and wide, with their out-of-state plates; kickin them gangsta rides.
Local and distant players, allow me to tell you about my trip to the Saucony Outlet yesterday afternoon. I hopped in my mom-mobile, cranked up the gangster music (I got that new-new Nas and Common album Uncommonly Nasty and had that shit crizanked in the ride). It's not super since it's not Nas and Common collaborating on anything, and all the songs are old songs, but remixed. I'm finna listen to it a few more times before I can give it either the thumb's up or thumb's down. The shit was excrunsive, so it better be good!
I decided to take the scenic route to the Outlets yesterday to both enjoy what little bits of sunshine were peeking through the clouds and to avoid traffic on Pittsfield-Lenox Rd. That road is a mess to begin with, but now they've torn it all up so it's much, much worse. I can only hope they'll figure out a better speed scheme; right now the 20 minute drive takes me through 13 different speed zones. Some change before the Subaru can even catch up with the last one. But that's not the story I was here to tell...
I wound my way through the lovely back roads of Pittsfield and Lenox with the mountains on my left side and the Housatonic River hidden to my right (and sometimes left). As I pulled into the parking lot to the outlets, feeling refreshed with my drive I noted that there wasn't a Massachusetts license plate to be seen. Not A Good Sign! People were literally driving every which way as if this were some NYC street. I wanted to get out and tell them to chill the fuck out, this is the Berkshires, slow your roll.
Unlike those out-of-state heathens, I took the road less traveled and attempted to park in the always-empty back lots. Some people feel the need to park in between the shops where there are about 45 spots total instead of walking 50 feet to the lots where there are probably 1,000 spots. I'm not one of those people. As I pulled into the mega lot I noticed that ALL of the spots were taken, and the CT, NJ and NY plated cars were pushing and shoving their way into spots the instant they became vacant. I took my cue and hit the road, sans new shoes.
My next stop was the Berkshire Mall, completely on the other side of the county. Well, at least the other side of Pittsfield. I feared that the mall would be more of the same, but remembered that people don't come from anywhere to shop at that ghetto mall. My hunch was correct and there weren't many people there.
I thought I'd check out the discount shoe joint just to see if they had one of the two models of shoes I desired. They didn't. My next step was the shoe store where the employees dress like referees and get an attitude with you if you have to try on a few different sizes. Sorry, some of us like our shoes to do more than match our clothes. One peek at the price on the shoes I wanted and I hit the bricks. $20 more than I've found them online? I think not. Come to think of it, I should have just tried them on to find out exactly what I wanted, then tell them I'm waiting for "them new orange joints to come out" and leave. I think people still talk like that.
So that part of my day was unproductive other than it got me out of the house. I proceeded to watch a movie on TV while waiting for it to hurry up and rain. I knew it was only going to rain once and only for a little while, so once it was done I could go back outside and get my fitness on. As night drew near, I had to say "Eff it" and just go out.
As is always the case when I ride my bike, I had to figure out where to go. There are a few rides I'd like to take but due to time constraints (and my ass can't take that horrible saddle for more than 30-something miles) I still couldn't try any of them. Once again I was going to ride out to the Rail Trail, take that all the way to Adams and head home. It's nothing special, but it's relaxing and primarily off the road.
1/4 of the way to Adams I crossed a road and was about to ride along Cheshire Lake when out of nowhere a wolf-looking dog emerged from the brush. He looked slow, but not slow enough. In a pinch I could probably propel myself to 40 MPH when going downhill with a tailwind, whereas a dog can lunge at my throat in any conditions. I turned my bike around, turned up the road I just crossed and finished out my ride on Rte 8. I'd rather take my chances with traffic than contend with uncontrolled dogs. Besides, if I get hit on the road at least the driver won't get out and eat my delicious organs.
The ride to Adams via roads is very different from the ride on the Rail Trail. The trail, as its name implies, is an old railroad route. They didn't have hills to climb and valley down which to careen. Nope, they leveled that shit out to make engineering those cars much easier (and safer). While the northbound ride (to Adams) on "The Trail" is smooth and downhill, the Rte 8 equivalent has hills and bends and intersections. I toughed it out and made it there without any problems.
Once in Adams, I pointed the A-bike toward the Rail Trail and headed for home. There were a lot of people out which made maintaining high speed difficult but also offered a sense of security in the fact that there weren't wolves wandering an empty path. Unsure of where that wolf-like dog might be, I stuck to the road once I got halfway back (the trail crosses the road, so it's an easy switch). The clouds had already wreaked havoc on me and were beginning to thin out, so I just pedaled my sweet ass home. A few chocolate chip pancakes later and I was passing out in my recliner. Ahhhhh!
Today seems like exactly the same day as yesterday. It's cool, dreary and constantly threatening to rain. A surefire way to make sure it rains would be to either suit up for a run/bike/paddle or get that fire started out back. I still have piles of branches left over from last fall that I want to be rid of, but it seems that it's always either windy or rainy, or been dry for too long for me to build a fire. Oh well, if it comes down to it I'll just split some of my good firewood and get the old fireplace a-roaring instead. It won't help get rid of yard waste, but it's a pleasant way to spend an evening.
That's my yesterday in a nutshell.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 9:42 AM
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Dearest Players, allow me to say a few things before we get started with today's festivities. I've noticed that a few people have been religiously reading my blog without so much as a blurb, tidbit or somethin-somethin in their own. I won't mention any names, you know who you are. One of you even introduced me to the beautiful world of bloggetizing, then left the game only to thrice return, then leave again.
One damn fool in particular - whose name I won't mention - even sent an e-mail containing information that would have been perfectly suited for a blog entry. That merlfickee (how old no-tooth-havin' winos say emmer effer) needs to reprioritize his entire life to make sure that blognastics are at the upper end of the spectrum. In general, a persons priority list should read something like this:
That wasn't aimed at anyone in particular, just an example of how one might prioritize his life.
Now, let me bitch about how my knees are sore. I took three days off from running for a variety of reasons, and thought for certain I'd be back in the game today. A little 9 AM 10K should have been easy as pie with all the rest I've been getting. It was, but now my knees hurt again. I'm thinking it might be time to hook up a new pair of shoes. And with the weather being as crummy as it is, the Lord knows I like to shop for running gear.
Perhaps I'll open a can of whoop ass on the Saucony outlet. And this time I'm getting a different style of shoes, the Grid Omni line has let me down. As you all know, the Grid Omni 4s were dopalicious and when the 5s came out I thought they would be 25% better. Instead they were much, much worse. My instep is always sore, now my knees hurt, plus they had dog shit on them the other day. I can't operate like that!
Oh man, I forgot to holler at all y'all about the dogshit episode. After the Live on the Lake race Wednesday I got home (it was late and dark) and the cats had ruined my house. There was fur everywhere and the place had a bit of a stink to it. As I sat on the couch checking my electronic-m I could smell the distinct odor of an animal's ass. One of the cats was sitting on the floor grooming himself, so I was quick to tell him his ass stank. Then he left the room and it still stunk.
Hmmmmmm, maybe it's my shoes. Yup, a monster dookey was mashed into the arch of my shoe. Not only had I walked all over the house with my shoes on, but I also drove home from the lake that way. I made a mental note to check the floor mat the next time I got in the car.
Having promptly erased that mental note, the next day I went kayaking. I borrowed some of those trendy new sandals called Crocs, and returned them after kayaking. I only had about a 2 mile drive back home, so I didn't bother putting on my shoes. It wasn't until later that night that it dawned on me that I hadn't checked the gas pedal for dog shit before driving barefoot. ILL! It turns out it was clean, but still.
Okay sucka uckas, that's all I have for you for now. I'll let you know how the hunt for new kicks goes.
Over and Out,
Posted by Todd at 11:38 AM