Sunday, March 30, 2008

One More Thing

The last few weeks I've been talking some smack at work in the realm of facial hair. For those of you who don't know me in the real world, I am follicly challenged about the face, head and ankles. If I undertake a new facial theme it takes serious dedication because any mistake takes months to undo. Well, the latest has been a real leap of faith...

Introducing the Speed 'Stache

All winter I have been sporting the A-Beard, and as the weather has been slowly showing signs of spring I've been preparing to return to the Power 'Tee. As you may recall, the Power 'Tee is just an ordinary goatee, but more powerful. What makes it so powerful? you may ask. The answer is simple: It just is.

This winter I read a little about a runner named Steve Prefontaine, watched a movie about his short but influential life (isn't that always the case?) and came to one simple conclusion: his mustache made him really fast.

All this time I've been streamlining my facial hair with the Power 'Tee, when instead of more Power what I've really needed was more Speed. So last night while I was shaving my head I took the trimmers to my face as well, and what's left is the Speed 'Stache.

"But Old Coot, aren't mustaches stupid looking?" you may ask. The answer: "Yes, they are." Your response: "Won't that mean you look stupid too?" My answer: "Yes, very much so. But I'll also be faster."

Other concerns people have had include:

Other person's concern: Dude, you're never gonna get any chicks with a stupid mustache.
My response: Which is different how?
Other person's concern: Mustaches get food and boogers caught in them.
My response: That is true. The A-Beard and Power 'Tee have the same issues, but I get by.
Other person's concern: Mustaches suck.
My response: You suck.

Of course, I don't take myself very seriously which allows me to do all sorts of Rick Dickulous (5 Brownie Points for the reference, Ab you're automatically disqualified) things and sporting a mustache is no different. The best part is that I get to laugh whole heartedly each and every time I pass a mirror, shiny car or greasy forehead. So let's see if I can rock the Speed 'Stache successfully for at least a month. And who knows, maybe I'll be recruited by a time-traveling 70's porn director or the writers of Reno 911 (is that still on?).

Until then friends, I'll just keep on keepin' on.

Oh yeah, once the folks at work get a gander at my performance enhancing mustachioed grill I'll post some pics. Until then, this puppy is only viewable in first person.

For more information about other sub-30 gentlemen sporting mustaches, please visit Glorius (sic) Mustache

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Procrastination at it's Finest

Let's see... Last weekend I was supposed to take my full three days and repaint (or paint for the first time) my spare bedroom/yoga studio/computer room. Well, I successfully managed to not do that. Fast forward to this weekend and I got so far as to take everything off the walls, patch any holes or spots that needed filling, cleaned the cobwebs and spider nests out of the corners, and rendered the room utterly useless. Now I'm rationalizing not working on it for another day.

Drive By

One day last week some dickless pieces of shit shot my house up with a paintball gun. Considering I keep to myself and pretty much keep my karma account in the black, I have to think these were some dumb ass kids with nothing better to do and not someone with a beef against me personally. Either way, I have to clean the shit up and it's annoying.

The dickless pieces of shit were clearly aiming for my windows because there are two straddling one window, one that hit the frame of a window and the fourth hit my storm door, mashing paintball shit all in the screen. Those fuckers better not let me catch them doing it again. I think I'll put some rocks on the front porch just in case.

January in March

Here we are at the end of March and we got a snowfall the other day to make it feel like January. I went xc skiing for what I think will be the last time this season and the conditions were as perfect as the guy at the ski place said they would be.

They hadn't groomed all of the trails, so we ventured off into the wooded trails sans guide. It wasn't long before we were completely lost and I was getting tired. We came out of the woods into a clearing and took a long, carefree, ride down the virgin tree-lined driveway. At the end of the driveway was a sign reading "End of Marked Trails". Damn, we had to go all the way back to the top and try another way.

Well, by the time we made it back to the Visitor's Center we had covered 7.2 miles of trails and I was dogged. My arms felt the worst from having to push up the hills and push to slow down the hills. I was wicked tired and could have eaten a horse.

The Group Run that Wasn't

After skiing I went home, had a light supper and passed the hell out. Hours later I awoke, realized I had never turned my phone back on after skiing (there's no service out there so it kills your battery) and there were several messages from people asking what the run was for the next day. Somehow I have become the Sunday Long Run leader, which is not my intent.

In case anyone else is interested I post my Sunday long runs on our group's running site, and while it is nice to have company, if nobody shows up that's fine too. Being out on back roads in the sunshine is a nice place to get lost in your own head and do some personal reflection. If people do show up, it's nice to have company to while away the miles. It's a win-win situation, really.

Last night I saw that people really wanted to know what my plan was, so I stopped what I was doing, planned out a route, posted it, texted the people who had called to let them know, then resumed my evening's chores.

A little background information: Planning a route is not just about having the right number of miles. We need a convenient place to meet, ample parking, a route on non-major roads, relatively small hills (since most people had run a race yesterday), scenery, familiarity, shelter from the wind and a convenient breakfast place in case we decide to grab something to eat afterwards. Dirt roads are nice, but not if they're gonna be icy or muddy so temperature and recent weather are both important too. It's no small task to put all of that together.

Then this morning all but two of the vast herd of runners decided to do something else. Well, it was their loss. Our route was great and personally I had a great time. The sun was shining, the traffic was non-existent and the conversation was just right.

As much as it may seem like I'm complaining, I'll continue to advertise the runs and if only two or three people show, so be it.

Just... Can't... Paint

All I have to do tonight is put one coat of paint on the ceiling in my spare bedroom. One coat, that's it. It's a rectangle too, so I don't have all sorts of wacky angles to deal with. But for some reason I just can't get motivated. GAH!

Maybe after dinner...

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blood Letting

Since my last post, there hasn't been a whole lot going on but I'll fill ya in on what excitement there has been. Fasten your seatbelts, it's about to get rowdy-rowdy in heruh.

Set Back by a Pint

Monday evening I went in for my bi-monthly ritual blood-letting. They re-confirmed that I have not since 1977 been given money to live in Europe (for time adding up to 3 months) with anyone infected with Tuberculosis as a result of living in Africa, sharing needles for drugs not prescribed by a doctor while receiving a tattoo and/or body piercing.

The three people ahead of me in line were sent packing, so I started to worry. I could tell when I came in that they had low iron, but who am I to tell someone not to donate? As it turned out my iron was perfect, and if my lifestyle is only good for one thing, that one thing is giving my blood to others.

As usual, the nurses on staff were tired when I got there. Now don't get me wrong, they were professional, friendly, accurate and efficient. On paper this was the A-Team of blood-letters. But I could tell they were not in the mood for small talk after a full day of agreeing with people about the weather, how busy they were that day, how good those cookies smell (the Otis Spunkmeyer fresh made joints), how hard it must be to resist them, and so on. Nope, these ladies (yeah, they were all women) got to business without the chit-chat.

My one complaint is that they had the newbie "take me down", meaning get the test samples, crimp the tubes, remove the needle and so on. While she was a little shaky on the order of operations what I found the most unnerving was the way she wiggled the needle around during the whole process. I thought for sure it was going to bust out of my arm sideways spraying blood everywhere and leaving them no choice but to burn the building down and amputate my right arm on the spot. Fortunately I made it out alright, had my snacks and went about my business.

Oops, This is the Setback

Okay, so that wasn't the part about being set back. Last night I headed out to do my hill repeats (that means run up and down a hill 8-10 times) and the first thing I noticed was that I had NO OOMPH in my body. A side effect of donating blood is that it reduces the ability of the remaining blood to deliver oxygen. If you've ever run any distance, you probably understand the importance of oxygen.

So there I was running up the hill for the first time, about half the effort that I usually put forth and my legs just wouldn't respond. My breathing was LABORED and my heart rate was approaching 100%. It was a strange feeling to know in my head that I could go faster, but my legs would not do what my head was telling them to do. If I really pushed it just got worse until I felt like I would puke at the top of the hill.

Okay, I realize this post is about a week old and rotting in my Draft Box, so I'l end it here and start another for today.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Alright, I've been badgered from urry urrngle about blogging but that's not why I'm writing. I just watched a Woody Allen movie and I'm all tensed up and thought this would be a nice way to unwind.

Editor's Note: The Old Coot gets into some shit here, so if you don't like foul language or hearing the truth about stuff, please point your web browser elsewhere. The rest of you, come on in.

But For Real

A couple of weeks ago I started to get the feeling that I was losing creative control over my day-to-day life. You remember when Dave Chapelle turned down the $50M contract and fled to Africa? Well, it was a lot like that only it was free and I just stayed home.

I won't get into details, because to most people it would only come across as whining. And what does a swinging bachelor like me have to complain about anyway? I have nothing but free time, right? Right, that's the problem right there. Why shouldn't I do one more thing I don't want to do? It'll make someone else happy, and I have no real reason not to.

Yeah, well that culminated in a near breakdown. I was literally on the hairy edge, ready to snap at the next person who so much as asked me if I wanted free money. I was closing in on being late to my Thursday Night Run (which you know I love) and the guy I work for said "So you working this weekend?" (which you know I hate). I looked him right in the face and laughed at him, but he wasn't laughing. He suggested I speak to the manager about some sort of alternative compensation. You see, overtime has been squashed as part of a company-wide re-evaluation of our work-life balance, so now we have more crises and nobody wants to put in any extra effort. HEY, ASK THE SINGLE GUY! HE'S GOT NOTHING TO DO!

I told him I was in no way agreeing to ever work overtime, but I'd speak to the manager because it seemed important to him, like there was more to it than having me work a few extra days each week. I was right, there was an agenda and it wasn't necessarily for me to work any extra but rather to get the message to management that nobody wants to fucking work for free.

Then I missed my run and like the bitch I am I stayed later than everyone else (for free) and finished up something I knew would be negated by an arbitrary high-level decision first thing Monday morning.

Fast forward to Monday morning - my work was not only for naught, but I had to undo it.

Whoa, I guess I went into detail.

But That Was Weeks Ago

Yeah, so I've been spending a lot of greedy, selfish, introspective time with the most understanding person I know, no god damn body. I gotta tell ya, it's been great. I do whatever I damn well feel like doing, whenever I damn well feel like doing it, and if someone doesn't like it that's too bad. I don't accommodate!

I don't get into the eggstra juicy details on this here blogge for obvious reasons. I'm sure if we all took a step back there'd be something about ourselves we don't want published on the internet. What I will say is I have really been enjoying this break; man did I need it.

So What's New?

Well, I've started training for a half marathon in a couple of months. It's a three-month training plan that goes against every fiber in my running body. My fibers all say "Run as fast as you can, as long as you can, then criticize yourself and push harder tomorrow". But the guy who wrote this plan has me taking "easy" days - slow, slow, slow pace for short distances and only one speed work day a week.

The first few weeks were tough. Getting yourself psyched to run 4 miles (sorry, that's a short distance) in the 34 degree blowing rain is tough. If I'm going to run in the cold and wind and rain it better be for 10+ miles, dammit! But I'm sticking true to the plan and it's paying off handsomely.

The most notable feature of this new style is that I'm not sore anymore. I kind of forgot what it was like to not walk around in agony every day of my life. You get used to a certain amount of pain and just deal with it, but it turns out you can be a real runner and not have all of your muscles, tendons and joints ache every day of the week. Huh, who knew?

So You're Running Less? Then What?

Well, with all of my extra free time I've been practicing yoga. I'll wait while you laugh.

Yeah, so on top of all the other non-masculine things I do why play the y-card? Because I'm freaking selfish, remember? If you haven't tried yoga, and I don't mean take a class because some chick you like is going, but actually tried, you should. It just makes you feel good.

I actually get up early and spend some time with a few sequences that uplift me for the day. It's easy to keep going once you've started too, because at the end is not a big chocolate cake you're dying to eat but on the contrary, work.

And then after one of those weak 3-milers on my schedule I take an hour or so (no clocks, that's my rule) and go through some poses. After that a nice 9:00 PM supper, brush my teeth and hit the hay. All that leaves no time for blogging.

So there you have it home bizzles and home grizzles. I have a few unposted rants, but I think this one will make it through editing and publication.

P.S. Oh man, I finished up my taxes today and it feels great. I'm so lazy about that, but now that it's done I just have to sit back and wait for the cash to roll back in. Oh, and by finish I mean I still have to e-file but that's Monday after I print out all 283 forms for my records.

Now for bed, I have to run in the morning!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...
"Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him.' and I just took off." -Pre