Thursday, April 22, 2010

It’s hard to argue when you won’t stop making sense – Volume 3

I’ve got another round of questionable products and one fact that just rattles the mind for ya! I received my Garmin 405 in the mail Friday while I was on vacation and successfully ran with Garmela (my Garmin’s nickname—more on that later) so I’ll hopefully have a review of it in the near future. It’s looking like a 2- or 3-part segment because I want to give you the scoop on the ordeal I went through to get it as well! Silly eBay…

Shake Weight

Has everyone heard of the Shake Weight? Because I’ve been spoiled by DVR, I don’t get to see too many commercials (or in this case infomercials). Also since I’ve moved, I’ve been sans cable! Shocking…I know, but I’ve gotten used to watching minimal TV and I’ve made my peace with leaving 15-20 hours a week of television-watching behind. Anyways—I’d not seen this apparently well-known infomercial for the Shake Weight until my brother and I were sitting at the bar of a Texas Roadhouse. I was floored at what I saw these men doing. The entire concept behind the Shake Weight is completely absurd and I’m honestly appalled this made it through marketing and R&D and passed the CEO of the company’s desk and…so on. We pointed the infomercial out to our bartender and she laughed. “OMG! I know, right?! The first commercial was with women [demonstrating it]!”

What was this company thinking? What was the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office thinking when they approved this? What was ESPN thinking when they decided Yeah, let’s go ahead and run this advertisement! Do they have no standards? Are they just a glutton for advertising revenue? I realize I’m not entirely normal, but these are the questions that immediately pass through my head when I see this kind of stuff…

I fully admit this isn’t even new “news”…everyone’s jumped on the parody band wagon for this—SNL, College Humor, etc…and others are just blogging the hell out of it! But for those of you late to the comedic brilliance known as Shake Weight, here ya go (DISCLAIMER: If you’re easily-offended, don’t watch this!):

Bimbo Bakeries

I know everyone’s heard of this company. I crack up every time I see a delivery truck that just has a big “BIMBO” logo on the back of it…delivering goodies to the nation. I’ve personally never tried their products, because I don’t want to be caught holding something that says Bimbo on it. But did you know this is the largest bakery company in the U.S.? What we see here in the states is the American trading arm of a Mexican company called Grupo Bimbo. Seriously! Group of Bimbos? Wow. At least this isn’t an American company…makes it easier to poke fun at it. Actually no it doesn’t. I’d still make fun of the company if they were domestic! Sadly, they purchased my beloved Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries in 1998 and it was their largest acquisition. I totally didn’t know that until I researched it just now. Yup, I just teared up a bit… But what were these Mexicans thinking? I read elsewhere there’s no Spanish to English conversion for this word so it’s not like it got “lost in translation” like the Chevy Nova (no va = no go) or Nigaz (Gazprom’s JV in Nigeria). Simply put: weirdos.

delivery truck

Secret Stealth Sound Amplifier

On my flight back from MSP airport this past weekend I opened up the skymall magazine, because let’s face it…this puppy is like a flea market—full of great stuff junk you never realized you wanted until you actually saw it. To my amazement, I saw what I thought to be a dying piece of technology…the nerdy Bluetooth earpiece on a goofy older gentleman. But no! I was about to flip the page until the bold headline grabbed my attention: Improve your hearing—and enhance your image. hahaha what?!

A) How is this stealth? Stealth means secret, so it’s redundant to say both, and there’s nothing secret about a foreign object hanging off the side of your noggin. B) It says you can “hear soft voices from 50 feet away.” Creeper! C) Somehow you get a more “youthful appearance” from it…uhh, no. It should say a more “DB” appearance.

secret stealth sound amplifier This guy’s “I’m so cool!” look on his face boggles my mind… Why?!

A, B, and C people! Seriously! A, B and C. I rest my case. If you decide that my mockery is foolish and want to fall heir to this little bundle of joy, Amazon’s selling it for $30. Or if you want to pay more and possibly get some airline miles out of it, you can go directly to the SkyMall website and grab one for $40.


Yes, NPH. Neil Patrick Harris! The man we all know and love from his early years as Doogie Howser. Currently he’s on the hit CBS show How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM, or “him-yem” amongst fans) as a “supporting actor,” but only because there are no leads in the show. There are five main characters that you could either classify as all leads or all supporting roles. He absolutely KILLS it on this show as Barney Stinson—his comedic prowess is unmatched, though many would argue Marshall (played by Jason Segel) is just as funny on the show too. I think he’s a very close second to the Barnicle.

Neil Patrick Harris & Jason Segel Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel

What doesn’t make sense to me…what makes me tilt my head like a dog in confusion and go “hmmm…why?”…is the fact that he’s never won an award. I don’t count the “people’s choice award” he won in 1990 for Doogie. I’m talking Emmy. I’m talking Golden Globes. Nothing! Sure he’s been nominated many times, which is an honor in itself. But how has he won nothing?! I will give him credit two of those years—in 2007 and 2008 he was up against Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold, Entourage) and that’s just not fair to have to compete against Ari!
Ari Gold Jeremy Piven

If he wasn’t on HIMYM, I honestly don’t know if I’d watch the show with such fervor. I could easily find something else to do on Monday nights, but no—I set aside 22 minutes to watch my second favorite show on television (behind, of course, Lost). NPH’s Barney can bring me to tears with his quips and his never-ending supply of brilliant one-liners. In real life, no one would like this guy. He’s the guy who gets all the girls, brags about how awesome he is, and thinks no one is better at life than him. I’d never allow myself to hang out with someone like that. Yet NPH makes this character lovable. You can’t help but root for Barney in his crazy conquests.


To me, that takes talent as an actor. You could compare this (easily) to Michael C. Hall in Dexter. Hall has taken a type of person (serial killer) NO ONE would ever like and made him lovable. You find yourself rooting for the supposed bad guy to be able to get away and not be caught. What?! We’re not supposed to cheer for the bad guy…we’re not supposed to cheer for the cocky, arrogant guy…but if you’re a good enough actor, you can pull the audience in and make them love you. Has MCH ever won anything for his great acting? Yes! A Golden Globe! A SAG! But no, nothing for NPH. It’s a shame really.

 Michael C Hall as Dexter Morgan

I could probably write a novel on this guy (because he’s that great) but I won’t. I will, however, give you a rundown of his bio and career. He’s a 36 years old gay man who’s been in the industry for 22 years. His first big success was with Doogie Howser, M.D., where he filmed 97 episodes from 1989-1993. Everyone remembers the theme music  and the opening sequence with him sitting at the old school PC typing away as a teenage medical doctor.

He’s been in tons of one-time performance roles in television and had small-time roles in B- and C-grade movies. But never the lead in a major motion picture. Then in 2004, Harold & Kumar went to White Castle and picked NPH up along the way. The next year, HIMYM’s pilot was picked up and a star was re-born (to date, he’s been in 110 episodes; his longest-running series). Since his non-rewarded success on the show, he’s done two voice-over roles each for both Family Guy and Robot Chicken. Last year he was the voice of Steve the Monkey in the animated flick Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. In the summer of 2011, you’ll hear his voice in the lead role of Johan in the highly-anticipated Smurfs movie! Ok, maybe I’m the only one anticipating it!

This year he’s staring in Beastly, a modern day take on Beauty and the Beast, and the indie film The Best and the Brightest. NPH is the lead in this indie film and if it can garner enough success it has the potential to go from limited release (like most indies) to full release, like last summer’s (500) Days of Summer. This would give NPH the best opportunity for having a huge leading role in a movie, something that has eluded him in his acting career.

Either way, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that he’s never been rewarded for his acting ability. I think we need to start some sort of petition…who’s with me?

Monday, April 19, 2010

New latitude PR: Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota (Pt 2)

Saturday was incredibly beautiful day numero tres. The weather alone slapped a smile on my face each morning we walked out of Matt’s apartment. Usually I take the lead on vacations and plan all the fun stuff and sight-seeing. I don’t mind and usually the others (aka, my brother) appreciate the idea of not having to think…otherwise known as “a vacation.” Gasp!!!!?!?!? Was all the air just sucked out of the room? Yes. Most of the time I don’t get to rest and come back from vacations more tired than when I left!

In St. Paul, I was actually getting into the groove of this whole ‘letting go’ thing. Because his place is in such a great location, we could literally walk to almost anything we wanted or needed. We walked down to a nearby bus stop to catch a route that would take us to the brand new Target Field where the Twins play. Matt had gotten us tickets to see them play game two of their weekend series with the Royals as an early birthday gift.

Target Field Target Field, Minneapolis

Our seats were great—halfway up and right behind home plate! The way the stadium was built, it somehow blocked any and all wind to where it felt like the cloudless sky was baking you as if you were laying on the beach in a tropical location. It was actually scorching in 50-something degree weather! (Matt would argue the “scorching” part, but I think it’s just because he’s become Minnesota-ized and welcomes the unseasonably warm weather!).

IMG_1271 IMG_1270 brat  A Minnesota bratwurst

The screen in left-center was huuuuuge! Crystal clear HD…I think I even saw some angels floating above it playing heavenly music on harps to let us know how worshipful this piece of electronic art was. As the game progressed though, the sun rotated in the sky earth rotated enough to where the stadium’s upper-deck “roof” blocked the sun so that we could be in the cool shade. Matt convinced me to get a brat (see picture) and at this point I questioned whether I was letting this new mindset go too far. I mean look at that picture…I just tossed my cookies looking at it. But I manned up and tried it anyways and it was great! Could’ve been grilled a few minutes longer, but otherwise it was tasty. The Twins were able to pull a win out by the hair on their chinny-chin chin by striking out the final batter with the tying run on third in the ninth! It was a fun one to watch for sure and great to experience the Twins first Saturday game in their new, state-of-the-art ballpark.

After a head-scratching few hours of trying to figure out how to get home via public transit, we decided to take the light rail to the end of it’s line—the Mall of America! If any of you have ever taken a ride on Houston’s MetroRail, you know exactly how Minneapolis’ rail system works. It’s not elevated, so it has to stop at all stop lights, which means it can’t get up to high speeds and is therefore not too efficient. Matt and I wondered if they were in a rush to get construction completed in time for opening day of Target Field, much like Houston was in a rush to get their rail “system” done in time for the 2004 Super Bowl they hosted. You would think the most logical way to do a rail system is an elevated or subterranean one to bypass traffic and stop lights, but both cities have theirs on street level…which has to be a quicker, cheaper way to implement the system. Oh well—Matt and I enjoyed the ride anyways. He and I are both the same in that if mass transit is great enough, we’re taking it to avoid driving!

IMG_1281 IMG_1282 IMG_1283 IMG_1284 Mall of America, Minneapolis

Now I know what you’re thinking. What the hell, David. It’s a mall. Well, so what. We visited it and I took some pictures and so it gets a little blurb in my post! If we hadn’t visited it, everyone back home would’ve asked me some variation or form of “Did you visit the Mall of America?!” Now that we’re collectively over the issue of potential lameness, I can proceed. The Mall of America is just what you would expect—massive!

The core of it is an atrium-covered theme park for those wintry months where it’s just too damn cold to be outside. It looked super fun and if we’d had more time, I would have tried to ride something! The outer shell of the MOA is three stories of retail store after store after store! Just about anything you’d want to find could be found here. Matt said that some of the larger chains even had two locations here! Nuts. We didn’t stay long because we had plans for the night over near the University of Minnesota’s campus. Awesome plans involving imaginary performances—an Air Guitar competition!

US Air Guitar Regionals Varsity Theater, Minneapolis

We arrived back in Minneapolis around 9 Saturday night for the Minneapolis Regional Air Guitar Championships. Yes, Air Guitar! Some of the contestants were a little stage-shy, but still had a ton of guts for getting up on stage and making fools of themselves. Others were just great! With reckless abandon and a lack of inhibitions, a few of the contestants totally shredded their performance.

IMG_1287 The host showing us how it’s done

It was as if they were a rock star in another life! The energy they channeled strumming away at an imaginary instrument was incredible…definitely worth the price of admission.

Sunday morning we both slept in pretty late and eventually made it to Bon Vie for a fashionably late breakfast (brunch?)…again over on Selby. I had the Bon Vie Scrambler with eggs and sausage, some potatoes and cheddar cheese…and scallions! I can’t forget the kick-a side of fruit I ordered as well. Mmmm… I wish I’d taken a picture of it!

Matt and I chit-chatted over many cups of coffee about life and love and careers and hopes and etc. Like little old ladies. (I swear I’m ruining all manly credibility with this single post alone!) We only see each other once, maybe twice, a year now so those heart-to-hearts are inevitable each time we visit. I know, I know… “When did this become a sappy blog? We want running stories!” 

Afterwards we finally made it down the street to see the Cathedral of St. Paul. Every time we made it over to Selby Avenue you could see the top of the Cathedral tower over everything around it so naturally I wanted to get a better look!

IMG_1317IMG_1320IMG_1313 Cathedral of St Paul, St Paul

This puppy was huuuuuge! Truly breath-taking art. You couldn’t help but be in awe and speechless. The detail and precision… Something huge inhabited this space and it definitely wasn’t of this world. It put the jumbo-tron at Target Field on a back-of-the-bus seat in terms of classifying “heavenly.” Even if you’re not Catholic or religious, when in St Paul this cathedral is a definite must-see. You would think it’s rightful home were in Europe or Washington D.C. Nope. It’s in Minnesota!

 IMG_1307 IMG_1304 IMG_1312

I’m writing this on the plane trip back, in my little crop-duster Embraer RJ-something Continental flight, sitting next to a divorced lady named Phyllis who is heading back home from having visited her grandchildren in Minnesota. Phyllis grew up in California, married and moved to Minnesota to have kids, then moved to Colorado after the kids had grown, and then moved to Arizona to be closer to other family. How fun to have lived in such great states where outdoor activities are a huge part and way of life! And such extremes—California to Minnesota and ending up in Arizona?!

She said that she had no regrets in life even though it didn’t work out the way she expected it to when she was younger. I smiled and told her that’s what I want: no regrets and to make the most of things even when they don’t necessarily go my way. She smiled in a very appreciative and grandmotherly way and gave me one last piece of advice before we got off the plane: sprinkle lots of friends and a big family across the country so that you can always have an excuse to visit beautiful places… like Minnesota! I kinda like that idea…

New latitude PR: Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota

I made my yearly spring trip to visit my oldest best friend this past weekend in St. Paul, MN. The mini-vacation was definitely needed as my job has intensified a bit over the past 2 months after my recent promotion. The ball-and-chain has transitioned from a work-horse position to a think-tank type position where my ideas and solutions are more in need than actual workload. Sounds more mentally stimulating, right? In a way, it is…but my workload has not diminished any to offset the new responsibilities and it feels a bit like I’m being required to fulfill two desks.

I like challenges (don’t get me wrong; I know I can do this) but I know this is part of the job transition where I work longer hours, workout less, eat less-healthier, and generally my health just takes the brunt of the punishment. Some of you might think: “but David…I don’t notice any changes in you at all!” Maybe. But I can definitely tell when I’m wearing thin and I can see where the extra 3-5 pounds are padding my frame in what I like to call the ‘inner tube’ region…the area around your waistline where little kids “wear” their kiddy tubes in the summer at the pool. So the 4 day trip to Minnesota was perfect for me. Maybe not the best time at work, but definitely the best time for me. I think I’ll be able to return to work this week and kick some butt!

waiting at IAH Waiting at Bush Intercontinental for my flight

I arrived Thursday afternoon and met my buddy Matt and his girlfriend Heidi, a native of Minnesota. They’re the cute, get-a-room, lovey-dovey couple that you either love (when you’re in love or happy) or hate (when you’re single or unhappy) to see. Thankfully I’m at a great point in my life to where I could fall into the former category and not the latter so it was refreshing to see my great friend happily in love. You always want the best for those you love and meeting Heidi and seeing them together Thursday set me up for a happy, stress-free weekend.

Our first stop was The Happy Gnome on Selby Avenue in St. Paul—a few blocks west of the famous St. Paul Cathedral (more on this historic cathedral in my next post). The Happy Gnome calls itself a gastropub (look it up) and had amazing food with a spectacular bar accompanied by plenty of wine and rare beer choices. I had the Mixed Green Salad with candied walnuts (mmmmm!) and cider-nutmeg vinaigrette and a small entree of Four Cheese Gnocchi paired with my Great Divide Samuai. Delicious! I will not sit here and tell you that I purposely ordered a blonde ale to enrich the flavors of my gnocchi (or whatever) because I don’t even know how to do that, nor will I try to be a poser on my blog! haha I just ordered a blonde ale because I was craving one on The Happy Gnome’s patio this beautiful Thursday evening. And their service was great too! (I’m not sure about you, but to me it looks like the gnome on their sign is an UNhappy gnome—does it not look like he hung himself?!)

happy gnomeThe Happy Gnome, St Paul

Afterwards we made our way back to Grand Avenue where Matt lives and found a bakery called Cafe Latte for some coffee and dessert. I always have a hard time passing on dessert choices so of course I got the most richest dessert they had—a slice of flourless super dense chocolate cake! We had great conversation mixed with a little ribbing over Texas and Minnesota accents and dialect. Words we made fun of were “sauna” and “hammock”. Minnesotans pronounce it more like when a kid gets hurt and says “oww!” So think “soww-nah”… Weird, right? Heidi claimed it was her ancestry who invented the sauna so they should get the pronunciation rights! haha With “hammock”…she said they pronounce it “ham-MOCK” with the emphasis on the second syllable. Super funny to hear! All of their “o” and “u” words sound cute too—hearing women say “no” or “know” this weekend cracked me up. (Think of the accent of the principal’s secretary in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

Friday was beautiful. Clear skies and temperatures in the 50s meant I was running in the morning for sure! I coaxed Matt into tagging along and we sandwiched an easy-paced (yet challenging) 5 miler around a classic pancakes-eggs-sausage-hash browns breakfast at Day by Day Cafe. We sat out on patios whenever we could over the weekend because the weather was soo nice! I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend to visit, especially considering how garbage the weather was back home in Houston.

We had no plans for the remainder of the day so we just meandered through Grand Avenue and Selby Avenue, stopping in to random coffee shops (like Bread & Chocolate!) for something sweet to nibble on with our mochas and hot teas. We even made a stop into a potential place of employment for Matt to check out the digs…a little Italian place on Selby that looked fancy but not too fancy. It was small enough to be manageable (for a server) but had the potential to make some good money on busy nights. We ordered the Capesante to tide us over until dinner, which as their website says is: Mexican Diver Sea Scallops wrapped in angel hair, lightly deep fried, lobster sauce, basil oil. Mmmm…creepy looking, yet sooo good!

Capesante Capesante at La Grolla, St Paul

It was great to relax and not rush anywhere…not worry about anything. Ahhh…a real vacation for once. I left all the plans up to Matt and I just relaxed and went with the flow—something I don’t normally get to do on vacations! We ended up at The Nook that night, a tiny dive bar across the street from where the famous and highly-beloved Twins catcher Joe Mauer went to high school in St. Paul. This place had the best, most unhealthy, greasy burger! I got the Juicy burger (though I ordered something else) which is stuffed with American cheese and dripping with juices. Hence the name.

nook burger The Paul Molitor burger at The Nook, St Paul

It was so messy that I needed silverware to eat it civilly…but I didn’t have any, so I just ate it super fast and licked my hands clean to fully ensure I sped up the rate at which I’ll have a heart attack. The sweet potato fries that I ordered with it were more like dessert than a burger’s side item as they were covered in cinnamon sugar! Very tasty meal overall…and the best part--$4.50 Strongbows! If you’ve ever ordered this hard cider in Texas, you know you can’t order one for less than $7 in a bar or restaurant! As Borat would say: “Very nice.”

The rest of my weekend getaway to come in Part 2! Also--I received my (hopefully) last Garmin 405 Friday so hopefully I can get it working and a review for you up soon!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Time is on my side

The Stones had it right. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I’ve been wanting to write about my newest acquisition—the Garmin Forerunner 405. But… well, I’ll keep waiting until the story finally unfolds. It’ll have to be a two- or three-parter as well, because it’s taking forever to make it’s way into my possession. It’s winding journey is so time-consuming that it (among a million other things) is wearing me down and making me feel like taking a mental health day. “Patience…” I keep telling myself. It’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to!

What I will talk about tonight is the Nike+ Sportband that I got last summer when they released their newer colors. It’s a great device if you’re just getting started running or aren’t as serious about time and mileage like some of the hardcore Garmin runners are. Don’t get me wrong—once you get the Sportband calibrated, the mileage/pace/calorie count are pretty accurate! I say it’s great for entry-runners because of the price. $60 will get you on the trails in a great, lightweight product that will give you a pretty decent estimate of your mileage and pace. (As opposed to the $150-$370 Garmin's!)

sportband Yellow/grey Nike+ Sportband

Other colors available are white/pink, grey/powder blue, and black/red. The watch has two simple buttons so the learning curve is maybe 30 seconds. The display shows the time when not being used to keep track of your run. When you want to record your run, you hold the button shown above (to the right of the display) for three seconds to activate the sensor you placed in your shoe. The watch will flash “WALK” to let you know to scratch your butt. No—to walk! Duh. Once the Sportband and sensor are in synch, you simply push the button one more time and it begins recording. Easy peasy japanesey. To end the run, hold down the button for three seconds again. BAM! You’ve just recorded your first run. There’s more stuff you can learn about the watch here.

A few suggestions… I wouldn’t start the recording until after you get into your comfortable stride. If you start it before you take off, your Nike graph will show a slow pace to begin with and you don’t want that! Same with your finish—stop the recording before you actually stop running. Also, if you need to stop in the middle of your run for red lights or to help an elderly woman in distress cross the street or whatever, just press the button once and it will pause your recording. Your current mileage will flash on the display until you press the button once more to un-pause the recording and resume your run. Lastly, you do NOT have to own a pair of Nike+ shoes in order to use this device. You can get whatever shoes you want and then buy a ‘shoe pocket’ at your local running store. They typically cost between $8-12…not bad at all. I got a $10 Nathan’s Sensor Pocket at my local Luke’s Locker.

Nathan's Sensor Pocket on Asis Gel Cumulus Nike+ Sensor in Nathan’s Sensor Pocket attached to Asics

Some of the things it shows during your run are mileage, pace, time, and calories. Here are some pictures I took last month:

mileage Mileage
pace Pace
length Time of run
calories Calories burned

The clock looks like this:

clock Clock

It even shows total mileage recording on the watch, as well as weekly mileage:

total mileage Total Mileage

Now as to why I’m leaving this product behind? Well…I guess as you progress in your training and your pace changes, you have to re-calibrate…and then you get a little stronger and faster,then recalibrate. The recordings were always within 0.1 miles, but that can affect an accurate pace calculation. I didn’t calibrate mine for a while and I thought I was running 8:15 to 8:30 minute miles. Then in January I run the Houston halfsie and I finish with a 7:49 pace! What? How did I improve 20-40 seconds? I didn’t. Not overnight at least. It was my watch needing to be recalibrated.

halfsie 2010 Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Did I realize it back then? Maybe. Was I too lazy to dedicate one evening to run a set mileage at a track so that I could properly recalibrate? Yes. I workout every evening I can. I don’t want to waste an evening doing this every time I feel like I’ve grown better, faster, stronger.

So I run the Rodeo Run 10k the next month and set a new PR (personal record) with a 7:28/mile pace. Que? I was shocked! I didn’t even feel like I’d done all that awesome. I felt like I’d taken care of business—what I wanted to, but not 60 seconds faster pace than normal on this notoriously dangerous course…

Then in March, I attempted my first 5k in years at the Stride 4 Stroke event. I pulled a 6:46/mile pace out of my posterior for another new PR! How was I deviating so much from my normal pace? I wasn’t. After this run I soon realized I was a 7:15-7:30 minute miler now. So I tried recalibrating my Sportband, but I think I messed it up. I thought I’d run 10.01 miles on Good Friday, but turns out it was only 9.61 (which was a stupid idea btw, because I hadn’t run that long of a distance in a while…and so I got a few blood blisters on the old dogs).

So I decided after constantly seeing Joe’s Garmin 405, I wanted to try to find one on eBay (to save some money…I’ve still got financial goals this summer, ya know!) I see Danica’s “Claude” (305) but it looks too bulky for me, even though it’s more in my price range. I want something that can double as a watch as well and the 405 does that for me. It will give me a better distance and pace, which is something I’m looking forward to being able to track with more accuracy. Once I get it (again/back/etc.) I’ll post a sweet review!

cap10k Cap10k runners crossing the Congress Avenue bridge

No more posts for me until next week when I write about the Cap10k this weekend I’m running with my brother! It’s the largest 10k in the state (and fifth largest in our great nation), with more than 18,000 participants. EIGHTEEN THOUSAND! Makes for a fun weekend in the ATX. Hopefully I’ll have some great pictures to show. Wish us luck for some great weather!

Friday, April 2, 2010

It’s hard to argue when you won’t stop making sense – Volume 2

I’ve got a couple more hmmmmmm…’s for ya. I see these next few signs on my trips to see friends and family and it confirms why so many people think Texans are weird. Well, because we just are! And we like it! Because after all…Texas is the greatest state in the nation! The U.S. had to beg us to join their little gang of rebellious, tricorne-toting hoodlums. And because of this greatness, we get to fly our state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag…and we can be weird and get away with it! (The following can all be found on Hwy. 290 between Houston and Austin.)

Donut Shop AND Seafood Kitchen? Giddings, Texas

This restaurant (?) thankfully is no longer open. I guess people realized when their morning bearclaw always tasted more like crawfish than raisins, they decided to pass. But could you imagine the possibilities around 11 a.m.! That time right in between breakfast and lunch? You and your workmates go out and you walk into this place for lunch… You’ve got options! Donuts on the left? Or seafood on the right? Hmmm…I wonder if they take requests: fried alligator fried in the apple fritter batter! Mmmm…

Lamar sign Brenham, Texas

Lamar should give a raise to the marketing/sales genius who came up with this sign found just west of Brenham. I mean seriously…how do you con a model into posing for a sign that says in huge letters “I am SO available”? Does she have no pride? No sense of self-worth? Or was she duped into it like Joey was duped into the VD ad on this episode of Friends (classic first season episode 9):


Beaver Believer Giddings, Texas

Here’s another gem out of Giddings. Everyone loves Buc-ee’s, right? But why? Is it their extensive selection of homemade beef jerky? The fact that they carry that special Dr Pepper? Hmmm… Actually it’s because we like to believe in long-lost, mythical creatures who wore red ball caps once known as beavers. What? Did they really need to go that direction? If you’re like me, you’re wondering if this was really necessary. Either way you respond to the huge billboard—highly inappropriate use of advertising space or strong store pride—you beaver believe Texans love their Buc-ees! Ha! Get it? Beaver! Instead of better?! I crack myself up…

I was able to run a 9.6-miler today around lunchtime and felt great, even though I thought I had run a 10-mile route…more on that issue on a future post once I GET MY GARMIN! I really fell into my groove around mile four and just trucked along in the ridiculously warm weather. I’m gonna die when summer gets here. Honestly. Or else be forced to find an area of the world where it’s not illegal to run without clothing.