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Quest for 100 Pushups

March 4th, 2009 · 2 Comments

This week, I started up on the 100 pushups plan.  I’ve never been great at pushups and Sarah and I decided this was a simple plan to follow.  It’s been out there for a while and I’ve thought about doing it several times.  Now that I’ve got someone else also doing it, there’s a little more motivation there to actually follow through on it.  I told my brother and he started it up also.  

You can check out my progress here.  I plan on using this to win bets at the bar once I reach 100.

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Wolves Recap

March 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Mascots everywhere 

Mascots everywhere

I just finished reading the Strib recap of the Wolves game and it’s no wonder they also have an article about some suicide online chat room.  What’s with all the doom and gloom?  We don’t need that right now.  I’m more of a glass half full kind of guy.  Sometimes that means sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the bad stuff but let’s look at the positive side of things for a change (how un-Minnesotan of me).

Last night was Crunch’s 20th Birthday party and you would have thought you were at Flaming Lips concert or a furries convention there were so many mascots there.  A quick list of team mascots in the house: Twins, Vikings, Gophers, Lynx, Wild, Cavs, Pistons, Jazz, and Pacers.  This lead to several of the best commercial breaks all year.  

The first promotion they had was like old-skool American Gladiators Powerball.  Two teams of two fans each were dressed in sumo costumes.  Their goal was to get as many colored balls into the center bin.  The catch was that all the mascots were allowed to prevent them from doing so by any means necessary.  I saw tackles, clotheslines, and even a drop kick.  This needs to come back.

The next event was mascot bowling.  Great premise which fell apart in execution.  A mascot would sit on a gym class like scooter (flat plastic board with little castor wheels on the bottom) and then be sent via giant human (mascot) sling shot to the other end to knock down as many plastic garbage cans as possible.  TC took down 6 in his attempt and then Goldy rolled a doughnut when he fell immediately after being fired from the sling shot.  I hate the fact that the world has so many lawyers because it probably means they will never let regular fans do this.

At halftime, they had mascot trampoline dunking which can probably never go wrong.  For the grand finale, they said they were going to have Crunch step it up a notch and dunk over fire.  I had the image of Will Ferrell doing his mascot jump through the ring of fire in Old School for a minute.  This idea sounded awesome until the other mascots lined up right behind the trampoline holding up lighters.  Also at halftime, SELF and I moved down to the first floor for a much better view.  A friend had some open seats next to him so we sat in row B for the entire 2nd half.

You know when the mascots exchange their regular mascot outfits for those inflatable ones and then do all sorts of gags?  Yeah that one.  I thought it’s been a little played out but somehow my SELF had never seen it before so she was pretty psyched.  If one inflatable Crunch is funny, and then they add Stomper (he’s like the mini me of Crunch only less bitey), then 7 of those inflatable mascots is awesome.

For the UPS truck race, Mad Dog won for the 2nd time in the last 3 games I’ve been there so he’s gotta be pretty psyched about that.  It was his only appearance in the game but his UPS clutch rating nearly doubled in that short span.

I think the best part though was Crunch was surrounded by all the other mascots in the middle of the floor and then the dance team danced around them to some Birthday song.  Then it switched to a 7th grade dance with the guys on one side and the dance team on the other.  It was really awkward watching the dance team taunt/tease the mascots.  It’s one thing if you’re into furries but I feel dirty watching it happen.  Then the mascots took off their jerseys to reveal their own dance team leotard outfits and they brought it on, again.

If you read the comments at the Strib recap, it’s seriously depressing.  If you went to the game to be entertained then I say you got your money’s worth and you should stop your complaining.  Some might argue that it’s more about the game being played but those people just need to be tackled by a mascot and then they’ll know what entertainment really is.

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Vegas Update

February 10th, 2009 · No Comments

Vegas

(as posted at RandBall)

Vegas was a lot of fun. There’s nothing like a lack of real sleep combined with great buffets, gambling and overpriced drinks at foofoo clubs to bring a group of friends together. But let’s back up a little bit first.

Before SELF and I even got engaged, there was talk of going to Vegas to celebrate the engagement with a whole group of friends. Once I popped the question last fall and the wedding planning began, talk immediately moved to going to Vegas to celebrate and eventually 19 of us met up in Vegas.

It was my first time there and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I only knew I planned to gamble, eat, drink and spend time with friends. The hard part in the beginning was that there was an overwhelming number of options for doing just that. I spent Thursday night and Friday morning just getting orientated by walking down the strip a little bit and stopping in here and there to check things out. Long story short, just find something that looks like fun and do that. Don’t look around for the “best” option. Some are good, some are bad. I found a little of both.

Here were some of highlights rather than going into a bunch of long stories:

– Getting free passes Thursday night into a nightclub since they needed “filler.”
– Checking out several of the ridiculously huge hotels and casinos. Really, it’s amazing.
– Learning that it takes only $5 wager on any horse race versus $250 of sports wagers to get drink tickets. Suddenly, we came pony experts.
– My friend from SC constantly winning money all weekend. He was up $150 before I even saw him. Then another $600 playing Let It Ride. Saturday morning he quickly won another $100 playing slots and then $180 playing roulette. When you start getting really lucky and someone says “you should go to a casino,” this guy was already at a casino.
– Learning that Fanta + vodka is actually pretty good.
– Finding a casino that offered beer pong (sadly, you couldn’t officially wager on this)
– Spending almost 4 hours at the Mirage buffet Saturday morning. I followed a similar chronological path: breakfast, lunch, filler. That’s how you end up with a plate of prime rib, guacamole, a chocolate doughnut and some fruit by the end of the day. I don’t regret that decision.
– Ordering my brother (the best man) to find out how much a Shanghai Tang t-shirt cost. ($80)
– Cambodian Whiskey isn’t really Cambodian or whiskey. Discuss.
– Spending time talking to the manager of a certain shady “establishment” and finding out his grandma thinks he manages a nightclub somewhere “just off the strip.”
– Seeing my first Cirque du Soleil show (Mystere)
– Giant sized sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli.
– Meeting several of SELF’s friends from CA for the first time.
– Learning to play Pai Gow
– Talking about the upcoming tiger vs dolphin fight we were sure was happening based on a couple of ads in the hotel

And I know I’m forgetting things. I’m pretty sure this is how Las Vegas sucks you in. There’s so much to offer that you’re bound to find something that will create a memory for years to come. The 19 of us that spent last weekend in Vegas now have many stories to share both at the wedding and beyond. It also made me want to go back. We just have to convince someone else to get engaged next year.

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Wolves Recap

February 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

Posted to Randball.

Last Friday’s game against the Lakers was exciting for several reasons. First, my dad was in town from Seattle last week and so I got to go to a game with him. While my dad may not be so enthusiastic about sports to the point that he writes on a sports blog, his passion for Minnesota sports has grown ever since he moved out of state. I’m pretty sure we’ve been to more games together now, either here in MN when he visits or when I go visit him, then we ever did growing up.

Second, the Wolves were playing the Lakers. This was big for several reasons. I originally bought the Section 203 tickets by myself when the Pay the Pick promotion came out. My SELF and I were planning on going to most of the games together. So when Rand and Brandon wanted to go in on the tickets, I said yes because I knew it would be tough to get to all 43 home games (don’t forget the two preseason games). My Lady Friend’s only stipulation for splitting the tickets was that we go to the Lakers games and she gets to see her NBA boyfriend, Steve Nash. For the record, she wanted to see the Lakers because she lived in LA for 10 years and HATES the Lakers. That’s right, AV style all caps, HATES them. For obvious reasons, the same hatred doesn’t apply to the Clippers. Can anything that Frankie Muniz likes be that bad???

Also tagging along for the night was my brother and SELF’s father. Tickets were actually kind of hard to get for the game, but I found 3 more tickets in Section 236, but we ended up sitting in Section 237 because that was the first place we found 5 seats together. What??? you say. How could there not be 5 empty seats together anywhere in the Target Center? It turns out that the Lakers are quite the draw. Even the upper level was 95% full. The upper level concessions were 100% open and you could even buy hard liquor upstairs instead of just snow cones.

The Wolves did their part for most of the game keeping the game close. They were playing the top team in the West, afterall. Many people would say that all the wins the Wolves got in January were mostly against inferior teams. Could they hold their own against a top team or would they be blown out. Although there was a lot of purple in the crowd (and I’m not talking about the jersey’s with horns on them), the crowd really stayed in the game and cheered the local squad. The Wolves played hard, but the Lakers were just too good. Kobe put on a show in the second half and the duo of Bynum and Gasol took advantage of the Wolves lack of size. My SELF would like to note that Big Al outscored Kobe in the game (34-30).

Other highlights were a couple of promotions. They picked one fan to make a 3 pt shot to win lots of $$$. They some how ended up choosing an older gentleman who took a step inside the line and still came up 3 feet short after hoisting up a shot. That’s one way to insure you don’t have to give out the big prize too often. The other was a Let’s Make a Deal type game. Two guys on the court, Guy A gets to either shoot a free throw or pass to Guy B for a trip to Mexico. Guy A declines and Guy B misses the free throw so Guy A wins.

Questions:
1) What’s your favorite memory going to a game with a parent or bringing yours?
2) I put the Wolves over/under for total wins at 33.5. Over or under? I say over.
3) What team do you hate the most?

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2009 Race Schedule

January 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

One month into the year and I’m finally writing. Obviously I didn’t have any resolution to blog more.

I’ve got at least a tentative race schedule planned for the year. It’s pretty much all over the place with stuff ranging from a mile on a track to a 50k trail race. I’d love to do my first 50 miler too but I’ll have to see where that can fit in an which race. Here it is:

Sarah has said she has goals for TC so I’ll be helping her train for that and possibly run her to pace her.

I’m hoping to break 4 hours for 50k and I want to be under 5 minutes for the mile in July.  The Superior 50 miles would probably be my big race for the year.  I think the summer will be enough to train for that…I hope.

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Pants

December 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

I almost these pants last night based in the name alone. Is that enough of a reason to buy pants? Sadly, I wasn’t going for the division sign look so I left them at the store.

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Timberwolves Game Update

December 1st, 2008 · No Comments

Note: This was also posted at Randball.

I finally got to go to my first game last Wednesday against the Suns since I had to miss the opening night. I was pretty psyched to go, even though my SELF was salivating at the thought of Steve Nash. I might have a strange thing for girls that say ‘aboot’ but she’s got a weirder thing for Canadian guys who like soccer but play basketball, eh.

Since the game is 5 days old I can’t spoil the ending by telling you the Wolves played some serious Whitless basketball once again. I should probably check out who the NBA lotter guys are this year so I know who it is we’re trying to draft. I do have to argue with Zgoda’s take on Shaquille O’Neal, though. Shaq’s performance was very underwhelming, I thought. He may have scored 18 points and had 10 boards but he also was 4 of 9 from the line and missed several seemingly easy shots. I remember when people flocked to see him, but those days are long gone.

What I really want to talk about is the lack of atmosphere at the Target Center. It’s pretty appalling really. The night started with a quick stop at the concessions on the 2nd floor. They were out of both pretzels and nachos. The guy behind the counter explained they had asked for more 30 minutes ago but still were out. They also did not have any beers on tap — only plastic bottles and your choice of Miller Lite, Bud, or Mich Golden Light. It’s been a while since I had to pick what flavor of pee I liked best but I settled on Miller Lite.

Maybe they’ll at least have some beer vendors walking the stands, I thought. False. The only guy I saw was the snow cone guy and he came by about 3 different times in the first half. It was 30 degrees outside but apparently the concessions brain trust determined that what crowds really wanted was sugar-flavored ice. So besides the fact that the team itself isn’t much of a draw, the food and beer choices are terrible (but thankfully they are out, anyways).

One more complaint, while I’m at it. The music was all over the place. And nothing remotely motivating during the final minutes when the Wolves were trying to close the gap. Not that it mattered since most of the crowd had already left. Go Wolves!

A few other notes:

* We noticed Mike Miller rubbing under his jersey too. Our theory is he’s doing a little tweaking to help him focus.
* McCants is like A-Rod. He hits big shots when it doesn’t matter. He had 5 turnovers and 0 assists.
* My SELF things that maybe since she was cheering for Steve Nash and his lovely locks her streak is still intact. Next time she

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Is Running Bad for Your Heart?

November 20th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Heart

Just read this article (via The Gear Junkie) and it’s kind of scary.

The study, administered at the West-German Heart Center Essen, focused on male marathoners age 50 and up. Among its findings, while the runners had lower than average cholesterol levels and better blood pressure, they had more measurable coronary calcium buildup or plaque than the general population.

It’s hard to deny that many people have died of heart attacks despite being considered “fit” by most standards.  I would think that our evolution would have given us the ability to run long distances without these kind of health concerns.  It’s kind of scary.  

When I was 10 or 11 I went to see a heart specialist to have my heart checked out because a doctor had heard something funny during a routine checkup.  It happened again freshman year of college during our physicals for cross country.

It’s definately counter-intuitive to think that running could be bad for you so I’ll be following this study to see what comes of it.

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November Madness

November 19th, 2008 · No Comments

It feels like it’s been pretty crazy lately with lots of things going on.  We’ve been in the new house for about 3 weeks now and there’s still plenty to do.  We’ve only made it to Ikea once so far but Home Depot and Target numberous times.  Still need to go through some boxes and get rid of stuff not to mention find a dining room table.  Craigslist seems to have lots of possibilities so we just need to pick one.

Last night Muxhut came over to help me out with some clogged pipes.  It turns out that pipes sometimes have roots growing in them and it clogs everything.  No bueno.  

Other than that, I have lots of open projects to complete.

  • 5280s – A website to track miles and workouts.
  • Brewing beer
  • Electric car or motorcycle (purely an idea at this point)
  • HTPC – This is in the final stages but I recently bought a remote on the interwebs that acts like a mouse.  It worked on my laptop but didn’t work when I plugged it in at home.
Sarah and I also started going to the gym again in the mornings so that means 5:45 wakeup.  Luckily there’s a Caribou across the street.

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Learning From History

November 12th, 2008 · No Comments

After reading Chad’s blog about trying recreate a great race, it prompted me to review what led up to qualifying for Boston in 2005 and then breaking 3 hours at Boston.  Let’s review:

Jun 2005 – 110.5 miles
Jul 2005 –  123.2 miles
Aug 2005 –  143.8 miles
Sep 2005 –  155.5 miles
Oct 2005 – 200 miles
Nov 2005 – 132 miles
Dec 2005 – 82 miles
Jan 2006 – 130 miles
Feb 2006 – 186 miles
Mar 2006 – 184 miles
 Apr 2006 – 100 miles

Somehow it seemed like I was running a lot more.  I remember being pretty good about logging the runs but I wonder if I wasn’t perfect.  Either way, I never had a month over 200 miles which says that 50 MPW would be fine.  Now I just need to work on getting to that.

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