Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Cult Of Personality

What is it about some people? There are those that command attention when they walk into a room. They have a certain je ne sais quoi. I don’t mean the doofus who shows up at the party naked. I mean the person that just has “it”. Most presidents have it. Obama, W, Clinton, and Reagan definitely had it. Sarah Palin has it. It trumps her lack of synaptic efficiency. It’s why Julia Roberts makes about three times as much money as Meryl Streep for a movie. Unfortunately, for me anyway, Tim Tebow is one of these guys. I’m watching the NFL combine – aka the underwear Olympics – and Tebow is dominating the attention. He’s not doing anything to draw attention to himself. He’s running as fast as he can. He’s jumping as high as he can, just like every other NFL hopeful in Indianapolis. But for some reason the announcers can’t stop talking about him and the cameras can’t stop finding him. He’s the corn fed handsomness. Right now there’s a commercial about Myron Rolle. I should care about him more than Tim Tebow. He’s a Negro; I’m a Black militant racist. He’s a Seminole. He’s a Rhodes Scholar. I don’t care. I timed my bathroom break so I wouldn’t miss Tebow running his 40 yard dash. I should be watching the USA playing Canada in the gold medal hockey game. Instead I’m watching Tebow stretch. The camera is on him stretching instead of whatever non-Tebow player is actually running the 40 yard dash. I can see the dude running in the background. I’ve done nothing but hate on objectively evaluate Tebow for the last four years. I discount his college accomplishments because he went to a football factory. I discount his leadership skills for the same reason. If the Jaguars draft him in the first round I’m going to be pissed. If they let him fall past the third round and he goes to another team I’m going to be pissed. He’s another Heisman and national championship winning quarterback from a Florida school. They’re dime a dozen, but for some reason, if he’s on TV then it’s must see.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

One Down, One To Go

I had my best race ever today. I took more than 75 seconds off my time from three years ago and more than 4 ½ minutes off last year’s time. The Ortega River Run is by far my favorite race. Everything was in place this morning. I’m in good shape, it was cold and overcast, and my earphones fit comfortably inside my headband. I was jacked up about this race for a week. I had my clothes and shoes ready on Thursday afternoon. My champion chip was on my laces. My bib was safety pinned to my shirt. I was ready to go. I was even excited about the 35 degree weather, until I got out into it. Cold weather is great for running. It’s horrible for standing around waiting. I got to St. Marks Episcopal Church about 45 minutes before the start of the race, and I planned on sitting in the car with the heat blasting until about 5 minutes before the gun was scheduled to go off. I was only able to force myself to get out and head to the start line because I had to pee. I didn’t bring gloves so I was standing in the port-o-potty line with my hands in my pockets, pouting like a little girl. I didn’t care about how the race went, I just wanted it to be over. Thankfully, after I relieved myself, I still had about ten minutes to go, so I warmed up just so I could warm up. It worked out perfectly. By the time the race started I was refocused. Then I ran into a problem I hadn’t anticipated – slow people in front of me. I normally don’t encounter this. I was starting to get frustrated because there wasn’t a lot of room to pass them at the beginning of the race, and I was being forced to run faster than I wanted to in order to clear them. I added almost 200 yards of zigzagging during the first mile. After that the pack thinned out and I was able to cruise. I even managed the bridge well. The mile 3 marker is at the top of the bridge, and when I looked at my time as I crossed it I knew I was going to do it. I was able to relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. The locals come out and cheer on their front lawns. That is so positive and it’s appreciated. But my favorite part – other than finishing and not having to run anymore – is the dance that MJ, Grammy, and LMJ do so that they can cheer me on at three different spots along the course, especially today when it was cold and rainy. I’m really looking forward to two weeks from now.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Winter Olympics Tweaks

I have some suggestions for the Winter Olympics. First is for the US to stop inventing sports just so we can win more medals. I think all the X-Games need to go, along with short track speed skating. The Olympics should include figure skating and “how Scandinavians get to the store”. I also don’t like team sports with huge professional leagues in the Olympics, winter or summer. I think the skiing events should be held in the forest, and wildlife should be a natural hazard. I think biathlon should get rid of target shooting and the skiers should have to bring home some kind of game. There will be a grading curve based on the carcass weight and the overall time, so there would be a balance. If Toki finishes ten seconds before Skwissgar but Toki drags a rabbit across the finish line while Skwissgar drags a polar bear, then Skwissgar wins. How dangerous the animal is will also be taken into account. A 60 pound wolverine counts more than 60 pound fawn. In regular cross country the wildlife would be a factor as well. If a pack of wolves is hunting a pack of skiers, well, you don’t have to be the fastest, just don’t be the slowest. Outright sabotage will be illegal. Stabbing an opponent in the leg to slow him down or save your own life will carry a penalty, possibly disqualification. I would also add an ice lake in ski jumping, kind of like a short water hazard in golf. It won’t be difficult to clear, but it will there to give the competitors something to think about. As for media coverage, the winners get hyped, not the photogenic athletes we think might have an outside shot at a medal. Finally, if a country is going to compete in one event, it has to compete in every event. If the Jamaicans want to send a bobsled team, they also have to send a cross country ski team. NBC is, reportedly, going to lose a $250 million on these games. I can’t imagine that showing a Rastafarian in the tundra with a rifle trying to shoot a walrus would hurt ratings.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rambling Nonsense

I did a double session of swimming this morning. I didn’t want to run so my legs would get some rest for Saturday. I don’t know if it was a good idea or not. I swam a half mile and it was pretty hard. Considering that when I started last spring I could only swim about fifty yards, I think I’m doing very well. It’s important for me to remember where I started because I planned on swimming 1000 yards and couldn’t do it. I got to 900 yards and had to quit. There was just no way I could finish the last two laps. If I was running I would have been able to walk the rest of the distance, but the pool drops to twelve feet and I can’t breathe under water. I completely overestimated my swimming endurance, but it’s good to know now that I’m not ready for an Olympic distance triathlon. I’m more than ready for my little sprint coming up in July. I have to start working on my bike riding now, which is my least favorite part of the triathlon. It’s boring and dangerous. I’ll get into that after the Gate.

I learned something today: killer whales are dangerous. I had always assumed the name was ironic, like calling a bald guy curly or a short guy stretch. It seems that a killer whale at Sea World killed another trainer. Wait. What? Another? How did it kill another trainer? Why wasn’t this thing put down or let go or at least left alone after it ate its first trainer? This thing isn’t a rambunctious puppy. It’s a 20 thousand pound killing machine. There is literally nothing in the ocean that these things don’t kill. They sometimes hunt sharks. There’s a type killer whale that kills seals for the lulz, seriously. I’m willing to believe that Sea World was able to trick find a second trainer, but what kind of dumbass works with an apex predator that has already killed her two predecessors?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Running Well But MJ Has Some Kind Of Disease

I did a pre-race today even though I set out to only stretch my legs. I looked at my watch when I heard the mile beep, liked what I saw, and decided to push it. I ran a lot faster than I thought I was able to. I kept waiting to get winded. I ran mile two at a fast pace just to do it. I ran mile three even faster. I thought I would run into trouble on the way back because it’s up hill, but I didn’t. Mile four was faster than mile three, and after that there was no way I was slowing down for the last mile. I’m getting excited about the Ortega River Run. I think I can put up a good number. My goal was to beat last year’s time, but I think I’ve got a shot at a personal best. I set my record the first time I ran the race. I was in much better shape than I am now, but I was messing around. I just wanted to finish my first race. If I can deal with the bridge in mile three I can beat my time. That is if Typhoid MJ doesn’t infect me. I still think she’s suffering a bad case of hay fever, but she swears she has malaria. I feel great right now, but if she’s right, and I can’t run well, I’m going to be very put out. However, it would be better to get sick now than two weeks from now. As much as I love the Ortega – it’s by far my favorite race – the Gate is the reason for the season. The best scenario is that everybody’s healthy and happy for the next month, I run well in both races, and then it will be spring and time to start going to the beach.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Recommend The Tudors

I think I may have a different sensibility than a lot of other people. I was going to write a review of The Tudors on Netflix about how the writing, acting, and directing are made up of equal parts awesome and win. Then I read some other reviews and had to take a step back to reflect. I’m really surprised by the number of people who were shocked by the show. The show is grotesque – it’s about Henry VIII and his court – but it’s not gratuitous. What do people think was going on in 16th century Europe? The show is aimed at a very specific niche audience – history geeks – so there aren’t a lot of pulled punches. Everyone watching knows things don’t end well for Anne Boleyn. The only really big artistic license that’s taken is that everyone has good skin and good teeth. What people in the other reviews have a problem with, both on Netflix and IMDB, are the execution and torture scenes. It’s not Saw or Hostel, but the violence is sold by the actors. I think they’re funny because they’re so absurd. It’s ridiculous to me that there were guys on the king’s staff whose only job was to torture confessions out of people, and it seems like it was a regular, blue collar, 9 to 5 kind of thing. I also found it ridiculous that there wasn’t any kind of progression in the torture, no starting with a rap on the knuckles. It was straight to grievous bodily harm. One scene that most people have a problem with, and illustrates the cut to the chase mentality, was when the King needed “evidence” that Queen Anne had been unfaithful to him. They show up at a gay court musician’s house, wrap a rope tied to a stick with a knot around his head with the knot over his eyeball, and ask him if he’s having an affair with the Queen. When he responds “What?” the torture dude twists the stick, tightening the rope. There’s a squishing sound and the interrogator is sprayed with a little bit of blood. There was no “Say ‘What’ one more gottdam time!” just straight to maiming. This wasn’t the first guy to get brutalized. It was in the penultimate episode of season 2. We all knew where this was going, and it wasn’t graphic – other than the screams of agony. I guess not everyone has the ability to remember that it’s a television show, no actors were harmed during its filming, all these characters have been dead for 500 years, the Renaissance wasn’t all art and philosophy, and Anne Boleyn was a manipulative bitch and had it coming.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

I woke up this morning and I felt a little bit off. I didn’t really feel bad, just a little bit off. I went through my normal routine getting ready, but I was slow. Everything that’s normally automatic was taking a high level of mental focus. I thought it was just a case of the Mondays. Then I went to the gym. I was late and the pool had already been changed over to geriatric aquaerobics, so I skipped the swimming and headed upstairs to do my strength and cardio training. I struggled with my pushups. I forgot my gloves so my pull-ups were difficult. Strangely though, my abdominal work was easy – easier than I expected, that is. After those struggles, I hopped on the dreadmill and got nowhere. My body would not do what it was supposed to do. I slowed down, almost to a walk, but I was about to evacuate and that would have been extremely embarrassing. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I got a good night’s sleep. I ate a good breakfast. I was hydrated. Then it hit me. I got loose on some Natty Light on Sunday. My parents skipped lunch out together to come over earlier so they could spend more time with LMJ while she was awake. I got pizza and a 12 pack of Natural Light in cans. I thought it would be funny. I knew it would be cheap. Natty Light is garbage. I have no idea what they put in it. One of the great things about German beers is the purity laws – the other purity laws. There are a combination of five ingredients that are allowed to go into a German made beer. If there is an ingredient six then you must call it something other than beer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Natty Light has a bunch of road salt and broken glass in the secret recipe. There’s a reason it’s so cheap. I will not be making that mistake again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I was going to write about how much I enjoyed the weather today, but then I started to deal with MJ’s machine, and now I’m trying to look at Macs. They’re not that expensive but if I got one, which I don’t really need, MJ would want to get one, and then it would get expensive real fast. It wouldn’t solve anything either. My work PC isn’t mine. I lease it from Lincoln and I don’t have a choice about using it. There’s nothing wrong the machine itself. The problem is the stupid configuration. I like the computer. It’s the best PC I’ve ever had. It’s beyond tricked out. It has a 2.4 GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM. I can do everything at once. Having to use MJ’s is all kinds of frustrating. The processor is slower, she has half the RAM, and she’s running the ridiculous resource hog, Vista. I don’t really want a Mac. I’m not an artist, so the only advantage it has for me is that I won’t have to deal with viruses. I don’t know if that’s worth $1500 or $3000 since we’d have to get two – or three if Grammy decides she wants one. The worst case scenario is that I’m without a computer for a week, and I’m getting used to not being “plugged in” all the time. MJ and Grammy even joked about me having to be more engaged because my computer was broken and there was nothing else for me to do. Just like my Facebook break a while back, I’m finding that I’m not missing it. It might be because I’ve only been without it over the weekend and all my favorite gossip sites take the weekends off. I’m going to miss what Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson are doing tomorrow, and I’ll see how I deal with it. If I’m bragging about my brand new Mac Book in tomorrow’s post you’ll know I didn’t handle it very well.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Make Sure LJ Is Fed

Today was too long. We did the day trip to Disney, and there isn’t enough time in the day to do it the way we like to do it. The trip down is fine. That’s part of it every time we go, but the looming trip back kind of put a damper on everything for me. I started to get time conscious at about noon, thinking about the hour that it takes to get out of whichever park we happen to be in before we can even start the three hours on the road home – two and a half if I’m driving. That’s not the Disney attitude that I want to have. We’ll probably try it again, if for no other reason, this was our first try and everything should be tried at least twice. We made some rookie mistakes: we went on a Saturday, we got out of the house a little bit later than we should have, but the most glaring error we made was switching parks. Switching parks is great if we’re staying the night and time isn’t a big factor, but it took more than an hour from the time we decided to leave the Magic Kingdom and the time we slid through the turnstiles at Epcot. The monorail is not a ride. Epcot was a poor choice as well. There really isn’t anything interesting for an under six year old in the park. Chicken nuggets don’t count. Ice cream sandwiches don’t count. At about 2:30 or 3:00 I was hungry and cranky and started pitching a bit of a fit. I did not want to get home at 11:00, and I knew there was still a trip to IKEA. IKEA is another place that it’s impossible to walk in and walk out in less than an hour. However, as low as this trip ranks on the trips to Disney list, it was still a trip to Disney and was infinitely more fun than anything that Jacksonville has to offer. We’ll tweek the logistics and may try again in two weeks.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Night On The Town

MJ and I saw Esperanza Spalding tonight. As of Wednesday, I had no idea who she was, but I was feeling guilty about sitting on the Riverside Fine Arts board of directors and not going to any shows, so I bought some tickets. It’s really easy to find excuses not to go, to procrastinate and think that we’ll make it to the next one. The artists that we bring in are well known to their groups of fans, but they’re not huge acts, so I haven’t heard of most of them – like Esperanza Spalding. I’m glad that this was the show we picked. She’s the first performer since I don’t know when that I thought, “Wow! She’s cool.” She plays the bass, which isn’t my favorite instrument. It’s too low and the notes don’t “ring”. Bass players also have weird phrasing. She didn’t change my mind about any of that, but she’s insanely talented, and an absolute artist. She’s also really cute, and that always factors in. I know that she was aware that we were there because she interacted with us a bunch. She even gave us parts in her last piece, splitting the audience into “musicians” and “non-musicians”. But if we weren’t there, I think her night would have been spent doing pretty much the same thing, playing her songs with her band. I was worried that MJ was going to feel that I was dragging her to some silly marketing thing, but she was more blown away by the young Ms. Spalding than I was. I call her the young Ms. Spalding because she’s 25. When I think of jazz musicians, I tend to think of older performers. I’m not surprised by music very much anymore, but she was absolutely fantastic. She was so good that I wish I had gone to earlier shows because now I’m afraid that I missed something. She reopened my mind to the idea that new experiences can be worthwhile. That’s the biggest compliment I can give to an artist.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I’m writing this on MJ’s machine because mine if FUBAR. I’ve seen the blue screen of death. I hate the ridiculous Byzantine security protocols – that obviously don’t work – that are set up on my computer. I have three distinct passwords that I have to enter just to get to my desktop. There’s no vital information on my computer or proprietary software. I can only partially log on to the company network remotely, and today my virus software failed miserably. In order to clean the virus I need to stop it from running, and in order to stop it from running I need to start the system is Safe Mode. Unfortunately, Safe Mode makes my second password undetectable, so I can’t get in to fix anything. When I tried to start normally, the blue screen showed up and shut everything down. These passwords frustrate me because they’re trying to fight the swine flu with a bullet proof vest. Fortunately, I was smart enough to get all the crap that I care about off the computer before I started trying to fix things. I would have a sense of humor about this if I had been surfing porn or placing bets, but I was on the Times-Union website. I was on friggin’ the first time I got the threat detection message. I couldn’t take care of it. I would have ignored it but it kept popping up every 30 seconds. My hatred of everything Microsoft is expanding at a geometric rate. My machine runs XP and it sucks. MJ’s machine runs Vista, nuff said. I have no idea what the hell is going on with this version of Word. Why is the toolbar so busy? Why does it keep switching me to a different window? Why does the cursor randomly move my typing spot? Now I understand why MJ rarely uses this program. I bet I’m stuck using this for a week.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Topics Are Sometimes Hard To Find

Some guy took a swing at Mitt Romney on a plane a couple of days ago because Romney asked him to return his seat to the upright and locked position for takeoff. First, I didn’t realize Mitt Romney is as old as he is. He’s 62. I thought he was in his late 40’s/early 50’s. Second, he didn’t retaliate, perhaps because he’s 62. I don’t know if this makes me like him more or less. On the one hand he showed remarkable restraint. On the other hand I don’t know if that’s the type of restraint I want in a president. He was flying coach for some reason. He’s 6’2”, which means he didn’t have a bunch of room for his knees, and even less if the jackass in front of him had his seat back. He made a reasonable request and was met with violence. With the naturally heightened stress level of air travel, if someone took a poke at me for asking him to follow the rules and show a modicum of courtesy, we’d be on the front page of the newspaper the next day. I would utterly lose it. There would be a picture of me covered in the gore of this guy’s exploded eyeballs and my thumbs two knuckles deep in the sockets. MJ would be covered in an airline blanket – if they still have those – trying to pretend she didn’t know me. If there was an air marshal on the flight he’d be wondering why his taser wasn’t working on me. When asked about it, John McCain would say he’d do the exact same thing. Colin Powell would disagree saying it would have been more efficient to jam the guy’s nose into his brain. George W. Bush would say that’s why he doesn’t fly commercial air or visit Arab countries like Canada. Dick Cheney would have been the guy who wouldn’t move his seat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gettin' All Positive And Stuff

I had a very good exercise day today. It was good because I did not want to do it in any way shape or form. I was as close to prepared as I can get before I went to bed last night. I had all my gear in my gym bag and the only thing I had to do was grab it and go. Then I woke up this morning and came to the realization that exercise is bulls**t. I wasn’t sore or tired. I was just unmotivated. I had to start psyching myself up at 6am just to get out the door at 7:30. I headed to work – skipping the gym – and got some stuff done. Then my brain got into a battle with itself. I didn’t want to work, but I wouldn’t let myself leave unless I was going to exercise. This lasted for about three hours. I sat in my office brooding, getting angrier with each useless e-mail I got. Finally, I broke down and decided exercising would be better than fuming for no reason. I needed to break in my new shoes anyway. With the new shoe christening as the main reason for me being active, the gym and the dreadmill weren’t going to happen. And even though it was cold, and even though I was grumpy, I planned on running ten along the river. I would allow myself to cut the run in half if my shoes were bothering me. The Nikes were not a problem. I ran just short of ten because it was the end of lunchtime or the beginning of happy hour and the Landing was crowded, and I didn't feel like running through a bunch of people. I’m excited about a ten mile run becoming part of my routine. I’m even more excited about my time at 9.3 miles. I was struggling to finish because I hit it pretty hard yesterday, but I was well below last year’s River Run time. I ran 9.86 miles and I feel pretty good. For the first time in about three years I’m ahead of my fitness goals.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Presidents Day

Today was made of pure unadulterated win. I woke up at 5am, forgetting that today was a holiday, and while I would have enjoyed the extra sleep, I was able to get out of the house by 7:30. I had a great swim and a great run, and I was done by 10am. Today was one of the rare holidays that MJ has off and stuff was open, so I took her to lunch at Chew. It’s our favorite lunch spot in the city, but due to the temporal effects of having a baby, we hadn’t been in more than two years. The last time we went we were carting LMJ around in her car seat. MJ had some kind of spinach and bacon salad. I had the Reuben and French fries. It may have had to due with the fact that I hadn’t eaten after working out, but the sandwich was the best thing I’d ever put in mouth. If MJ hadn’t been there I would have ordered another one. Before lunch we stopped at 1st Place Sports and I bought my new shoes. They’re blue and they’re awesome. I’m going to start writing down the mileage I put on my shoes. I never know how worn out my running shoes get until I buy some new ones and get shocked by how much support I’m missing. I don’t think that can be good for my feet or knees. Finally, I read a story that made me laugh about Floyd Landis. Who is Floyd Landis? He’s not Lance Armstrong. He won the Tour du France a couple of years ago, failed a drug test, and was stripped of the title. His defense was that the tests were mishandled and the testing system could be hacked, so years later, a French court has issued an arrest warrant for him. They’re accusing him of hacking the testing system. I thought this was funny because doesn’t the accusation prove his point? I also thought it was funny because they’ve harbored Roman Polanski – child rapist – for thirty years but now are moving to try to have Floyd Landis – cheating bike rider – extradited, I assume in the name of justice. There’s your example of irony, English teachers.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hard Headed Cheap Bastard

Today was made of 100% pure unadulterated fail. All I want to do is buy some new running shoes, but it’s been like searching for the Holy Grail. I like a very specific shoe. It’s the only shoe that I’ve ever worn that doesn’t decimate my feet, knees, and shins when I run farther than a hundred yards. If I had any sense or didn’t suffer from chronic cheap bastard syndrome, I’d be rocking the new Air Pegasus right now. I should have bounced over the river to the San Marco 1st Place Sports and paid what they asked me to pay, but instead I went price shopping, which led to a trip to the Nike Factory Store at the St. Augustine outlet mall. I was willing to wear last year’s model to save fifteen bucks. I called to make sure they had the shoe but didn’t make sure they had my size. So after a difficult trip that had a detour to put air in the tires and another detour to get snacks for the baby girl, I find the Nike Air Pegasus in a size 7. That was the biggest size they had. I don’t personally know a full grown man with feet that small, which may explain why there were so many on the shelf. I thought about buying another model, but I would have no idea what they would be like, and I’m not giving them money for not having exactly what I want. It’s not a high end model. It’s basically Nike’s Honda Civic in running shoes. That was a whole Sunday and 70 miles of wasted time and gas just to save the cost of a large pizza, and I came away with nothing. Now I have to go to 1st Place Sports anyway and pay full price. The sad part is that when I need shoes again in three or four months I’m going to exact same thing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm Into The Winter Olympics

NBC’s utter incompetence was brought to the forefront with their mishandling of the late night situation, but they’re also the butt of a bunch of jokes about the Winter Olympics and they’ve just started. Since ESPN is owned by ABC and Fox Sports is obviously owned by Fox, it’s no holds barred when it comes to making fun of how much money NBC is losing showing the Winter Olympics. Is NBC trying to do a bad job? The reason I ask is because I watched Lindsey Vonn utterly destroy the downhill course, winning by a more than second and a half, on some off brand channel in the pit of my cable package in 480i. They skiers finish the race going faster than 70mph. A second and a half is a large margin. When a commercial came on I flipped over to the mother ship only to hear Bob Costas pontificating about something other than Lindsey Vonn ruining the rest of the world’s s*it. I don’t know if it’s clear that I’m on board the Lindsey Vonn bandwagon, but I’m driving that summbitch. I understand that NBC feels the need to have Costas do something since they’re paying him some ridiculous amount of money to show up once every two years, but Lindsey Vonn is the best in the world at a real sport. Feel free to mix in a highlight or two in HD. Short track speed skating isn’t a real sport. Apollo Ono is going to get clowned by the Korean dude who would have won four years ago but fell down. I don’t need to hear about Ono winning Dancing With The Stars until he’s standing on the top step of the medal podium. This isn’t only about more screen time for Lindsey Vonn; it’s about showing the actual sports and not Costas, Tom Brokaw, and Al Michaels.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I’m seriously considering getting a case of Natty Light, and even though the bottles are the same price as the cans I’m thinking about going with the cans. I’ll invite the neighbors over to get piss drunk and commit some misdemeanors – most likely felonies if I get the bottles. They’re going to need to bring their own case(s) because one won't be enough. I wonder which choice is more environmentally friendly. I grew up on Natural Light. It wasn’t the first beer I drank, but it was the beer of choice for those of us under twenty-one when we were all under twenty-one, especially if females were present. It’s a great beer. It won’t get you bloated like Busch. It doesn’t pose the same danger of alcohol poisoning as Old English 800, and it won’t break the bank like Bud Light. It’s $11 a case now, almost double what I paid for it twenty years ago. How awesome is a $6 case of beer? Natty Light is a beer designed for binge drinking – college students and hobos with an aversion to wine – despite the ridiculous disclaimer Anheuser-Busch has on its website about it being brewed to be enjoyed responsibly by adults. According to some research I’m making up right now, Natty Light is responsible for 3 out of every 5 pick-up truck pregnancies in the United States since A-B first started selling it in 1977. I think it may have been specifically designed to grease the skids to bad decisions. Another finding from the previously referenced research is that 15 out of every 10 arrests (you read that correctly) in a trailer park involve Natty Light. I remember selling the Tallahassee Democrat door-to-door in some of those mobile home communities. They were some of the nicest people in the world, especially if it was warm outside. If it wasn’t a Friday (payday) there was the same chance of me selling a subscription as there was of me finding some clean urine, but they always had some Natty Light and they always shared. One night I rolled up on these two good ‘ol boys who didn’t want the newspaper but one of them offered me some Natty Light. The second one asked if I was going to get drunk. When I said no, they rescinded the offer. So I sat with them pounding Natty Lights and talking Seminole football for the next three hours. The best part is that they convinced four of their neighbors to get the paper. Yeah, I gotta get a case of Natural Light.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sucked Down A Wiki Whirlpool

I saw this in Whole Foods tonight and thought it was funny. Why were we shopping in Whole Foods? Because we’re damn dirty hippies, that’s why. I thought it was a clever joke like Cherry Garcia or something like that. It never occurred to me that a marionberry was a real thing. Fortunately, I have the interwebs so I looked it up and found out that it’s a type of blackberry. After learning that a marionberry was an actual fruit, I asked myself what the hell was wrong with Marion Berry’s mom. Again, thanks to the net, I learned that nothing was wrong with Mrs. BARRY. Even if the spelling wasn’t different, the crack smoking mayor was born twelve years before the government genetically engineered the marionberry. He was also hired as a consultant for an investment bank after leaving the office of Mayor of Washington D.C. for the second time. I would have loved to be at that meeting. How the hell could he consult for an investment bank? I mean other than helping find new ways to launder drug money. This sounds like the entire third season of The Wire. I’m really disappointed that all of the fun I saw in the yogurt carton disappeared when I found out the fruit was real and stopped misspelling Marion Barry’s name. The whole ride home I wondered if it was an energy yogurt with guarana or some other stimulant mimicking the effects of cocaine or if it was just one of many militant blackberry yogurts. Was there a stokleyberry or a hueyberry? Is there going to be a barackberry, which could be a barryberry, even though he’s not exactly militant? Hopefully, it will take off and hit the mainstream because I know I’m not the only one who will notice the name without knowing the berry.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jacked To The Max

We were watching Biggest Loser tonight during dinner while we gorged ourselves on chicken and dumplings. Grammy and MJ watch the show for the positivity of people changing their lives. I don’t watch it, but when I do it’s to see Jillian Michaels melt down. She’s never actually crossed the meltdown threshold on the show, but the potential is there. She’s like Mt. St. Helens: it’s going to blow, everyone knows it, we just don’t know when. Jillian is amped up all the time. I don’t know how far her cheerleading career went but it didn’t go as far as she wanted it to go. I think she takes the contestants’ weight loss more seriously than they do, which I guess is her job, but the gay guy other trainer on the show doesn’t seem like he’s about to snap. I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I like her on the show, and she seems genuine, but she may want to back away from the bitter orange and ephedra jell-o shots a little bit. There is was a woman on the show this year who was “playing the game” more than she was trying to lose as much weight as she possibly could and Jillian was not having that. According to MJ, Jillian called the chick a liar to her face. That’s what sparked my interest, mild as it may be, in this season of the show – well, that and Alison Sweeney’s post-baby boobs. If this show was on cable it would be must see TV for me because, dollars to donuts, Jillian’s got a mouth like a sailor. The chick she had a problem got kicked off the show for losing the least weight during the week. She actually gained a pound and started crying because she didn’t know how that could have happened. Jillian couldn’t even look at her. Her disgust was visceral. Don’t come on her show not motivated and playing games.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I almost couldn’t believe what was happening. After a great workout this morning, I stopped at Publix to get some refuelage. I got a Met-Rx Big 100 bar and a Diet Dr. Pepper – two items. Two is less than ten, which I only point out because not everyone understands how the express lane works. I got behind this old guy with what I thought were exactly ten items. I counted. I thought the old lady in front of him was done and leaving. I didn’t realize her stuff hadn’t been bagged yet, that she had shopped for the month, and that they were together. The checkout lady was more than a little annoyed, and I was on my way. Then the annoying transcended into the surreal. I kid you not. After the checkout lady rang up all their stuff she gave the dude the total. $78.49… in the express line. He looked at her like she asked him if he voted for Obama. Then he pulled out his wallet, reached into the billfold, and pulled out a check. All I could think was NO WAY! It was blank. He asked for a pen. The checkout lady took a moment to calm herself and pointed to the pen attached to the counter. This couple was in their mid-seventies at the oldest. I’ve written about this before, there’s no such thing as old people anymore, not like this anyway. These people were in their thirties during the 1960’s. They were young when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. They grew up on technology. There are all kinds of drugs nowadays to keep people focused. There’s a guy named Bob that works out at the Y who’s 87 years old, still runs the River Run every year, and flirts with the female trainers. I thought to myself, these people are trying to be stereotypically old, like they read about it in a book. That’s the only explanation. The checkout lady bagged up their groceries and sent them on their way and then apologized to me. I told her it was no problem and then asked if she minded if I paid by check. She laughed and the long line of people behind me did too. I bet that’s the last time I’ll see anything like that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wasted Days.

Today was not a good day. Today was one of those hurry up and wait days. I rushed to work and got a whole bunch of stuff ready only to find out a company I’m doing business with dropped the ball. I guess it’s the economy and nothing is efficient. I had to call a client and cancel a meeting. There are simple ways to get done what everyone wants to get done, but some people are cheap, some people are incompetent, and I just keep a big bottle of rum in my desk drawer (old school). I skipped my pool time this morning because of this crap. Don’t people know I’d rather be in the pool or at the gym than in my office waiting? Days like this make me regret not getting cable in my office. If I’m going to waste a day I want to waste a day. I’m sure there was some type of Law & Order or CSI marathon being shown on TNT or Spike or both. I don’t know whose idea it was to get cable in the office, but I’m pretty sure it’s not working out the way they intended. We have a huge conference room overlooking the Landing and the River with a big screen TV hanging on the wall. It’s used for video conference calls and garbage like that, but when it’s not being used to show insurance salesman talking about better ways to sell insurance it’s supposed to be on CNBC. Nobody likes CNBC, so depending on who's using the room; it winds up on HGTV or the Food Channel. We get blasted an email about once a quarter telling us not to do it, professionalism blah blah (ctrl-A, delete), but since no one really has any authority over anyone else in the office it’s ignored. I really hate wasting time in my office. The day picked up, however, when I got home and saw the baby girl. She was in a great mood, and whenever she’s in a great mood my mood improves.

EJG and JSG: what running club do you guys belong to?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Thanks LMJ! Oh well, now you get to go to community college – if you’re lucky. MJ asked LMJ who she was rooting for in the Superbowl, and LMJ said the Colts. Isn’t that cute? I thought so and I bet her college money on the Colts. Then I doubled down when they went up by ten points in the first half with money I don’t have. The Colts went on to blow the ten point lead and wound up losing by fourteen. Live and learn. Unfortunately, if we’re going to live, we’re going to have to learn how to live on the road like gypsies. I’m probably not going to be blogging anymore since I’m going to be on the lam. However, I will check the comments section for advice. How do I (we) get new identities? Should we start with new social security numbers, or should we start with new driver’s licenses first? I blame Peyton Manning – and my daughter – for this predicament. I guess I should take some of the responsibility for using a two year old as a gambling tout, but Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel made it seem like two year olds were as good as the professionals. I forgot that Manning’s natural state is that of a choking dog. He choked at Tennessee. He choked in his first three trips to the playoffs. Even after he led the Colts to the Superbowl three years ago, the only reason the Colts won is because Rex Grossman was so horribly incompetent. The Colts didn’t win that game as much as the Bears lost it. Then he went on to choke at home in the playoffs the following two years. I got caught up in the hype of his infallibility and ignored the “Team of Destiny” vibe the Saints were giving off (read: the NFL scripted it this way). Congratulations New Orleans. I imagine they’re will be some property destroyed on Bourbon Street tonight – not to mention some brain cells. One last question: what’s a good name for a beautiful little mulatto biracial girl who obviously doesn’t know squat about football?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Good Exercise And Sports Day

I ran ten and change this morning and felt great doing it. I can’t remember the last time I was this stoked about my running shape. I’m five weeks out from the Gate River Run and I’m way ahead of where I was last year on race day. This was the farthest I’ve run in more than three years, and the weirdest and most encouraging thing was that I ran the second five miles faster than I ran the first five miles. I held back on the first five but still. I also ran over a pretty steep bridge – twice – that has given me trouble in the past, it didn’t bother me in the least today. I kept waiting to start breathing hard but it didn’t happen, on the way out or the way back. My goal is to beat last year’s time by five minutes. I think I could do that next week. I struggled all of this week trying to run ten, but that was because I was trying to do it on the dreadmill at the Y. Man do I hate that thing. I have to get a half marathon on the schedule this year. When I got home I had more than enough left for another three miles.

I’m cutting the running post short because it’s boring and the alpine sports I watched on television were a lot more exciting. It started out with MJ watching some figure skating and saying how much she was looking forward to the winter Olympics. I made fun or her because the winter Olympics suck. An hour later I was watching the ski jump and really getting into it. It’s stupid how much of a sports fan I am, especially when national pride is on the line. There weren’t any Americans in the competition but that didn’t stop me from choosing sides. The first guy up was a multiple time world champion from Norway. I hated him instantly and hoped he fell. Why? Because MJ is half Swedish, LMJ is one quarter Swedish, therefore Norway sucks. I assumed there would be Swedes in the competition. There were zero. That was the only thing fueling my hatred of the Norwegians. Apparently, the Swiss, Austrians, and Norwegians are into the ski jumping and downhill racing. The Swedes are into cross country and biathlon. It wasn’t a total loss though. There’s a subjective judging portion of ski jumping. It’s not just who jumps the farthest. So I was able to get worked up about the crappy judging.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Swingaholics Anonymous

I’ve got a top notch stupidity sweat going, and probably a few slipped discs. The new Wii Fit game has a driving range on it that I had forgotten about. That was a good thing. MJ took out the Wii Sports Resort game that’s a lot of fun and put in the stupid Fit game for some reason. She was playing the obstacle course and made me play. When it was over I saw the driving range on the menu and decided to give it a try. I thought it was going to be like the Sports Resort golf just a little more technical. I forgot that it’s a lot more technical and much closer to real golf i.e. I slice like an O.J./Bobby Flay love child. I quit playing golf almost five years ago because it’s expensive and MJ will frustrate and enrage me for free. When I found the driving range this evening I went through the classic addict-falling-off-the-wagon steps. I was just going to hit a bucket of balls with my iron. The Wii Fit is all about balance. It will be fun. The target was 150 yards away. I tried to swing as easy as I could; let the club do the work. My first shot was straight and true and came up at 128 yards. I need to clarify that I’m not addicted to golf. I’m addicted to swinging hard. The game shouldn’t have disrespected me like that. A successful golf swing is about torque and not power. I know this but it means less than nothing to me, so I suck and I hurt myself by swinging as hard as I can. Golf is a taproot to my rage. Before I knew it I had abandoned the iron and was slicing drive after drive in rapid succession, hence the sweating. I was throwing myself off the balance board and the game was telling me I was swinging too hard. If the game didn’t want me to swing hard it shouldn’t have a 300 yard marker on the TV. It was just like I was at the real driving range. I don’t know if I’ve written about this before but my golf rock bottom moment came at the UNF driving range. I bought two buckets of balls and worked my way from my pitching wedge to my driver. I would move up clubs when I hit three good shots in a row. Wedge thru 3 wood took less than half a bucket. I still haven’t hit three good drives in a row. I was in the last spot on the range so when I looked up all I saw was trees. It was the middle of the day in July in Florida. I was the only one out there, so I didn’t keep my emotions in check. My rage was at berserker when I got to my very last ball. I tried to calm myself down and let the club do the work. I just wanted to hit one straight. I would have settled for hooking one. I just didn’t want to slice it into the woods with the rest of its bucket and a half of brothers. I can hit the ball straight as long as I don’t swing hard, but somewhere in my downswing I have to put just a little extra on it, and that’s what I did. The ball sliced into the woods. I completely lost control. I threw my driver as far as I could, knocked over my golf bag, and started kicking it like I was Joe Pesci and it told me to go get my shine box. I turned around and there was a little old White lady standing twenty yards away watching a 240lb. Negro go Chernobyl on a golf bag. She was 87 years old if she was a day. I didn’t care. I retrieved my driver, which I had thrown far enough for me to notice the walk to get it and the walk back. I picked up my bag and left. I was almost home before it occurred to me that I may have overreacted and golf may not be for me. I had a mild relapse tonight. Fortunately, no one was hurt. My name is LJ and it’s been forty minutes swung hard.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bittersweet Reading

I don’t know if any one else ever feels like this, but I’m caught up in a really good book and I don’t want it to end. Actually, it’s not just a book it’s a series, and the series didn’t get really good until halfway through the third book of five. The first two and a half books were a fun little bit of brain candy, a better way to spend time than watching television. Then I guess the writer, Rick Riordan (sounds like a TV detective), decided he needed to start tying things up, and stopped with the obvious character developments and plot and got deep into the storytelling. 99 times out of 100 I would have quit fifty pages in. I would have chalked it up as a blatant Harry Potter rip-off, but the story was in my literary wheelhouse. It’s about demi-gods and Greek mythology in the 21st century. I think Riordan’s main goal was to expose kids to Greek mythology that they most likely didn’t know, as well as things they were familiar with but may not have known were Greek mythology. Does that sentence make sense? It’s late and I’m not fixing it, so I guess it really doesn’t matter. Anyway, I think education was his primary goal before the first book became a best seller and then he was stuck writing a series, might as well do a good job. Now that I’m almost at the end – just started the 5th book – I’m sad that it’s almost over. I’m also curious to find out if he has the courage to kill off his hero. Greek heroes don’t live happily ever after, and Riordan has made that point more than once in the story. I hope he doesn’t. I hope Percy and Annabeth get to ride off into the sunset. They’ve grown up with absentee parents. Just because the Greek gods are immortal doesn’t mean they’re good moms and dads. They’ve spent their tweens fighting monsters and trying to save the world. They deserve a break and some downtime. I’m a sucker for a happy ending, love triumphant and a bit with a dog.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tim Tebow Wasn't Aborted

I have nothing to write about so I’m going to write about Tim Tebow and his abortion ad. He’s doing a spot during the Super Bowl for a group called Focus On The Family. I haven’t seen the ad but what I’ve read is that it has something to do with him being a difficult pregnancy for his mom but she decided to keep him and he went on to cry like a little bitch on national television because he lost a football game. I suppose the implication is that if a woman chooses to keep her baby it might turn out to be a big college football star. That’s dumb. Not a single one of the 7 billion people alive today was aborted. A baby has the same chance of being Osama bin Laden as it does of being Tim Tebow, but that’s not the biggest issue I have with the premise of the ad. My problem is that these people think a 22 year old male virgin is the one to get their message across to women who may find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy during a show with an overwhelmingly male audience. How the hell does that work? Whose mind is this commercial going to change? Will there be a knocked up woman who was planning to head down to the clinic Monday morning, but because of a male zealot who’s good at football that she saw on the TV she changes her mind? “I was going to have an abortion, but because Tim Tebow doesn’t think I should, I’m not going through with it. He won more games than any quarterback in Florida Gators history.” I don’t have a problem with Tim Tebow or his beliefs. It’s America and he seems to take the a lot more of the good parts of evangelical Christianity seriously than the bad parts, but Focus On The Family doesn’t seem interested in changing minds as much as gathering followers, and I would hope that Tebow wouldn’t want to be part of that.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rahm And Sarah

I’m drawing the line at retarded. I’ve eliminated – for the most part – racist and homophobic slurs from my daily lexicon due to political correctness. The United States is still fighting two wars. The economy is still in the toilet. So I’m not seeing any real upside to eliminating some of my favorite words and phrases. Retarded and all its iterations stay, including slapping “tard” on the end of any word I see fit. Sarah Palin is whining about Rahm Emanuel using the R-word to describe liberals against the president’s health care bill. Palin has a son with Down’s syndrome (which obviously means God is punishing her for something, WHORE). Ironically, his name is Trig, a higher mathematics his extra chromosome will never allow him to understand. She’s comparing the use of the R-word to the use of the N-word. I don’t think it’s a valid comparison. One of those slurs leveled at a member of the affected group will get you knocked the f*ck out. The other won’t. Personally, I think everything needs to be in play. The retards that seem to get elected in the square states would experience a catharsis if they could openly call the president “That Uppity Nigger”, and it would hopefully pull into sharp contrast exactly where this country is for the retards that seem to get elected from the funny shaped states – though they’re not getting elected as often as they were. We hate each other. We always have and we always will (see Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America). However, we’re never going to make any progress until we can put aside fake hurt feelings and at least try to have an honest discussion – or all out race war. I’m cool either way. Emanuel has contacted the Special Olympics, but hasn’t apologized to the liberals he insulted (good for him). Palin wants Emanuel fired. Barack Obama can wrap up my vote right here and right now. I’ll ignore the economy. I’ll ignore the wars. I’ll ignore healthcare. All the Magic Negro has to do is respond to Sarah Palin’s request with a question: Bitch, are you fu*kin’ retarded?

Monday, February 1, 2010


I had big plans today. I was going to ramp up my running and do ten miles this morning. I was going to do my resistance training and then run a very easy ten miles in a minimum of two hours. The Gate River Run is five or six weeks away and I want to see where I am. Some gastrointestinal distress killed that almost immediately. I struggled through everything: my pushups, my pull-ups, and my sit-ups. I got about three and a half miles into my run before I was forced to stop. I started to get really frustrated but then remembered that a month ago I would have been done with my workout and completely spent. Today, my muscles and cardiovascular system were ready to go, but my stomach wasn’t. I did all I could and I can’t reasonably expect myself to do more. All I can do is watch what I eat and try again tomorrow.

I’m cutting the exercise post short because I saw something a little bit disturbing on television. LMJ and I were watching a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode where Donald has to help some (other) ducks fly south for the winter. I understand – you should too – that I’m going to get a little bit existential about a children’s cartoon but it’s weighing on my mind. Cutting to the chase, Donald helps these non-speaking, apparently non-sentient, ducks by leading them south in an airplane. Is Donald a duck god? Or did he and the rest of the Mickey Mouse Club characters make a pact with the devil for self-awareness and speech in exchange for the loss of their natural animal advantages? The ducks heading south were much smaller than Donald, Mickey, and Professor von Drake (I don’t know where Daisy was), and they were naked. This would make Donald a four and a half or five foot tall talking duck that can’t fly, but is seen as some type of guiding force by a bunch of directionally challenged ducks, to whom he feels a certain obligation. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, and maybe I should stop eating mushrooms I find in the backyard. That would probably fix both of today’s issues.