September 03, 2007

App State 34 Michigan 32

Photographed by mmbutler

On several occasions at the early morning track sessions, while talking college football, this game came up as a topic of conversation. Jay graduated from App State, and was a placekicker on the football team. I called Jay during the game, and he said that several thousand Mountaineers made the trek to the big house. They certainly were rewarded with a big win.

July 05, 2007


I made some changes to the blog over the holiday, including adding support for entry tags. As a result, it will be necessary to re-subscribe to the RSS feed. I am now handling my RSS feeds through Feedburner, so in the future if I make changes it won't be necessary to change subscriptions. Here is the new RSS feed. Please let me know if you notice any funkiness with the website.

There will most likely be additional changes soon. Movable Type 4 is in testing, but from what I have seen so far, I will make the jump when it is out of beta.

July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

070704_4th_of_july 004

Emily and Maggie getting ready to go out and watch the fireworks.

BBQ turned out great

The meat fell off the bone on the ribs, and the pork loin was very tasty. The smoke ring on the loin wasn't as pronounced as some in the past, but it was still there. I was constantly trying to regulate the temperature today for some reason. For most of the day, it was either 200 or 250 degrees. There was a spot in the middle where it was right on the money. Nonetheless, fantastic BBQ.


As Mike Sinelli says, today is a national smoking day of obligation. The others are Memorial Day, Labor Day, Presidents Day (that's when we used to compete in The Flaming, an annual BBQ contest that was held until a couple of years ago), plus a few others.

Today I'm smoking St. Louis style pork spareribs and a pork loin.

Smoked BBQ Ribs
220 degrees (7 hours) or 200 degrees (9 hours)

1:00 Spritz, add wood
2:00 Spritz, add wood
3:00 Spritz, add wood
4:00 Spritz, add wood
5:00 Spritz, wrap
7:00 Pull and carve

Smoked BBQ Pork
220 degrees (6 hours)

1:00 Spritz, add wood
2:00 Spritz, add wood
3:00 Spritz, add wood
3:30 Spritz, add wood
4:00 Spritz, wrap
6:00 Pull and carve

The first column is elapsed time. For both, I've used the Electric Bill rub. An award-winning rub developed by Pete during a cold Chicago winter and captured on the back of an electric bill (duh!). The Electric Bill recipe is a secret, but can be acquired by asking nicely.

I'm using black cherry wood and my Brinkman smoker.


July 03, 2007


Pipe Bomb-Like Device Explodes at Disney

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A device similar to a pipe bomb exploded in a trash can early Monday at a remote parking lot at Walt Disney World, authorities said. No one was injured and no serious damage was reported in what officials called "an isolated incident."

Orange County sheriff's deputies responded to a 12:30 a.m. call from Disney. An employee heard a loud noise and saw white smoke coming from the can near the Downtown Disney shopping and entertainment district, Sheriff Kevin Beary said.

Several recent FSU recruits were unavailable for comment.

July 01, 2007

Rode the long loop yesterday

Did the Open Road 40-mile ride yesterday. Including the ride to and from the shop, it was just under 60 miles. Was a little apprehensive before the ride, but confidence from last month's ride made it easier.

HR Data:

June 29, 2007

Photos from Maggie's birthday party now online

070620_Maggie_Bday 064

The Princess Pool Party was a terrific success, and the photos are now online. My favorite was the "Bob for Snow White's poison apples". Really freaked the kids out!

@#$%! Comcast

Internet connectivity has been spotty today. I have been looking at an ASP model point-of-sale solution for my parent's dry cleaners. There is no local caching of data, every time you need info you have to hit their servers. I told them I didn't like that idea for reasons just like today.

Comcast is usually pretty good, but it would take one busy day with limited connectivity like today for a really bad situation.

10 years

Yesterday Karen and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. I am a lucky guy, and I remind myself every day.

June 28, 2007

Drip, drip, drip

By the end of today's track workout John, Mike and I looked like Frosty the Snowman when Professor Hinkle locked him in the greenhouse. After the cooldown when we were standing in the parking lot, it was funny to watch the puddles around our feet grow.

Here's the comparison:.






















The numbers are off again, but as I look back at my logs, at this point last year I had run 77 more miles. The other wildcard is how poor my speed sessions have been the first half of this year as I battled the hip issues. The key is to consistently do the speed sessions.

June 27, 2007

The Fairness Doctrine

So, talk radio skews too far to the Right?

House Republican lawmakers are preparing to fight anticipated Democratic efforts to regulate talk radio by reviving rules requiring stations to balance conservative hosts such as Rush Limbaugh with liberals such as Al Franken.

Hmm. NPR admittedly has a leftward slant, and is partially funded by the federal government. I haven't heard folks on the left complaining about the need to guarantee the diversity of views on NPR. This news is also interesting after reading a recently released report that shows in a survey of 143 journalists, 91% have contributed to a liberal cause.

June 25, 2007

Summer goal

The goal for this summer is to train hard (and not over train!) and break 2:30:00 in the Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon. My Oly tri PR was set at St. Anthony's last year with a time of 2:32:28

Here are the finishing times for past HOTs:
2004 -- 2:50:51
2005 -- 2:49:39
2006 -- 2:37:59

Here are the HOT splits from last year:
Swim -- 34:50
T1 -- 1:31
Bike -- 1:08:37
T2 -- 0:54
Run -- 52:09

The HOT is not the ideal race to target for a PR. The swim is notoriously always long. The bike is pretty flat. In the past, the run included an annoying hill around the 4-mile mark. This year, they have made the run an out and back, and eliminated the first spur. That will put the hill around the 2-mile mark.

As long as the swim isn't crazy long, I think I can break 30:00 this year. Assuming the transitions are the same, that means I need to find a little over 3 mniutes in the bike and the run. Improving the bike average from 21.8 mph to 22.5 mph will save me 2 minutes. All that's left for me to hit the goal is a 51 minute 10k.

So, I need to maintain my bike fitness, start doing intervals in the pool to sharpen the speed now that endurance isn't an issue, and build the running fitness back up now that the hip issues are gone.

It's good to have goals.

June 21, 2007

Tipping take-out

Karen and I were talking about this the other night. How much do you tip the folks that handle the pick-up door of places like Chili's or Outback? According to Waiter Rant:

Like I said, you don’t need to tip 20% or even 15% on take out. A good rule of thumb is between 7% and 10% percent. For example:
$20 takeout order? $2 tip.
$50 takeout order? $4 or $5 dollar tip.
$100 takeout order? C’mon, leave the guy ten bucks.


Somebody has to take the order, pack it up carefully, and make sure it gets to the right customer.

I guess that makes sense. Before you leave a fast food place you always have to check to make sure the order is right.

Another track comparison

Here is another comparison of track work-outs. We ran in a light mist this morning, and it was very humid. John and I were discussing how it always seems like we have a headwind on the back straightaway, but never a tailwind on the front straightaway.





























The difference in running fitness from last year to this year are even more obvious in today's workout. The good news is, it seems like most of the hip pain is now gone, so I'll be able to slowly ramp up the running mileage. Then again, 11.5 miles on Tuesday wasn't exactly a slow progression.

Next week we do 4400 again with a little more emphasis on the long stuff, and then some short stuff. The plan is 1600, 1200, and then 4x400. I only have last year's data for next week's track session.

June 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Maggie

It's hard to believe our little booger is 4. She is also quick to remind everyone that she is the birthday girl.

June 19, 2007

11.5 mile run this morning

Ran to downtown, across the bridges and back. James joined me at St. Vincent's. Very humid. I lost about 5.5 pounds. Maintainedan 8:00/mile pace, but the HR crept up toward the end. Went without fluids, so it was probably dehydration.

Arlington is not a place for cycling

For the second week in a row I have ridden my bike to Arlington to visit family. Last week I rode to Hope and Jesse's house off of Atlantic. This past Sunday I rode to Karen's parent's house off of Kernan. The first trip I went straight up Atlantic, and through the Regency. The area around Regency Mall is not the place to be on a bike. This past trip, instead of going all the way down Atlantic, I turned left on University, went down to Ft. Caroline, and came in the back way. University had nice shoulders to ride on after you cross the Arlington Expressway, and Ft. Caroline has a bike path that goes for a couple of miles. However, once off the bike path on Ft. Caroline, there is no shoulder. Once Ft. Caroline merges with Merrill, there is nasty construction and no where to hide. The same goes for McCormick and Kernan. I'll keep looking for safe roads in Arlington.
Training - Oleander to Sites 6-10-2007       Training - Oleander to Lazy Meadow 6-17-2007

June 18, 2007

Funny coincidence

070617_owl 019In an effort to catch up with the rest of the world, and in anticipation of last volume in the series being published next month, I read the first Harry Potter book over the weekend. No more than 30 minutes after finishing the book, I had to go to the garage to get the garbage cans out for pick-up. When I opened the door, I saw a bird fly through the rafters. At first I thought it was a miserable sky rat or a dove. And then I saw 2 large eyes staring back at me. Not sure I have ever seen an owl that close, and certainly not in my own yard. It was really funny seeing him so soon after reading a book full of message-transporting owls. And no, he didn't have a message for me.

The girls really got a kick out of seeing him. I think he (she?) is an Eastern Screech Owl. Now I need to find out how to keep him happy so he stays around and takes care of the rodents that sometimes frequent the creek behind our house. I would much rather have an owl lurking around minimizing the rat population than snakes.

I wonder if he knows Hedwig?

June 15, 2007

The Summer Beaches Run is one of the few local classics that I've never raced. Looks like this year will be no exception. I'll be in Gainesville. . .

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