Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I didn't know you liked to get wet?

No, not like Wayne Brady and Dave Chappelle. Though, I wouldn't judge you if you were down with that.

Today I took off on a "walk/run" out to the good ol' Golden Gate, truckin' along with 4 bricks, and about 70oz of water sloshing around in the backpack. Most of today was focused on time/not speed, since last Saturday I did a 14 mile RUN with a full backpack of bricks that was weighing around 30-35lbs with everything in it. Of course, if you know me, you know I don't take much of anything "easy". Fortunately I was able to keep the pace to a fast walk - with one minor exception.

Once I had descended the Lyon Street steps (my old friends) and passed the Palace of Fine Arts, I decided to get a little beach running in - except today I decided to actually run through the water. After the initial cold and accepting the fact that my shoes were now FULL of sand, the experience was rather "nice" - mainly because the 50 degree water was cold enough to numb most of the pain in my joints from last weekend's workout. I mainly wanted to break in the trail running shoes that I picked up today - and this was definitely a great test to see if they'd hold up to the GORUCK. Overall I was pretty pleased.

*Ignore the fact that it looks like I have munchkin feet. I have only slightly smaller than average feet for a male, thank you.

Anyway, the length of beach along Crissy Field is about a mile, and as I trudged through the sand and water (and sandy water), I got more than my fair share of strange looks from other beach goers. This is actually something I've been training for, as I know come May 21st our cadre will get more weird looks and photos taken of us than the crackheads at 6th and Market. No matter how many times I drop down at a red light and start doing pushups with a weighted backpack on - people are still going to stare at me like I'm doing the pushups completely naked.

Once I reached the point at which I could go no further, I snapped a photo and turned back. The picture actually turned out rather well - at least I think so:

I also ran through the ramnants of what looked to be an old fishing pier - but I actually think is a "wave wall" of sorts meant to break up the incoming waves from the Pacific. Being that the Hipstamatic was in full force, I figured snapping a shot couldn't hurt. Another one I think came out pretty well.

All in all, the shoes held up, though they let in a ton of sand. Two miles in the sand and waves, and fact I was running in the part of the water that was carrying the most sand were mostly responsible for this, I'm sure, as opposed to the actual design of the shoe. All told I did 7 miles (including the 2 in the water) with about a quarter mile of uphill lunges, and about a hundred pushups thrown in there as well. Not bad for a "light" day, I suppose.

The coolest part, is the fact that I was able to take in one of the most highly sought after views in the world, and it only took me less than an hour to get there - walking. It's pretty awesome to think sometimes that people travel from all over the world to see something I get to see anytime I want. Amazing.

How to know when you have too much money...

First, you probably live in a house like this:

And it's a given you don't do your own yard work. But, really?

When you can afford a few dozen goats to come in and eat the weeds you've neglected all year, yeah...fair to say you've earned your spot up there around the corner from Billionaires Row.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You will never get today back.

A friend tipped me to this a couple weeks back. Highly inspirational. I suggest everyone watch it and forward it on to friends as well.

What's your excuse for not being amazing?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I suppose I should weigh in on this whole ‘Osama is Dead’ thing too, because, why the hell not?

September 11th 2001 was exactly 8 days before I started my freshman year of college. I woke up to a phone call from a friend telling me to turn on the television. “What channel?” I asked. “Any channel.”Uh oh. I knew from the tone of his voice that this couldn’t be good. “I’ll be over in a few,” he said.

Begrudgingly, I got out of bed and headed downstairs in my boxers, grabbed a bowl of cereal and plopped down in front of the television. The flurry of news and anchors and panic that came spewing out of the television for the next several days was a literal blur. So, I’ll try to describe what I felt and what I can remember.

A lot of people will say they’ll always remember when they first saw the planes crash into the World Trade Center – but I honestly can’t remember the feelings I initially had. I think I was mostly confused since my Hayward Public Education failed to teach me what the “World Trade Center” even was (let alone, nouns, verbs, pronouns, and adverbs - thanks to MadLibs for that). Or perhaps I wasn’t paying attention that day in class. Either way. When I asked my friend (the one who initially alerted me to the news), he summed it up simply by saying, “It’s the WORLD Trade Center.” OH. Got it.

I remember people thinking it was initially an accident...and then the second plane crashing into the towers. I remember talk of someone named Osama Bin Laden. I remember people vowing revenge and retaliation. What I don’t remember is when I stopped remembering. I suppose it happened in college.

I was fortunate enough to go to school in sunny Santa Barbara, CA – a wealthy beach town that almost seemed insulated from the entire thing. Granted, I was a declared Sociology major entering school, and one of my professors (Mark Juergensmeyer) had just finished writing “Terror in the Mind of God” (making him an instant celebrity for practically predicting what happened), so I was inundated with theories on the rise of religious activism/terrorism and even presented with the “logic” behind terrorist acts and organizations. Unfortunately, like most college classes, after my final I proceeded to destroy any insight or knowledge gleaned through the course with a healthy (read: unhealthy) amount of booze.

Though I briefly entertained pursuing a military career after college, I certainly wasn’t thinking about Osama Bin Laden when I graduated a quarter early in 2005 - less than 4 years after the attack on the World Trade Center. I don’t think it was even mentioned at my commencement ceremony – or any of the other dozen or so I attended while working at the Campus Police Department. Somewhere in there, it wasn’t being remembered.

This of course isn’t to say that the attacks of September 11th, 2001 didn’t have lasting residual effects on thousands and thousands of Americans (and non-Americans) who lost family and loved ones on that day - as I’m sure they still do. Personally, I didn’t know anyone who perished in the attacks. Hell, as an 18 year old I barely knew anyone outside of my high school graduating class…Which is why I was confused to see college students celebrating like they had each just won the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right (back when it was Barker, not Carey). I mean, these kids were 8-12 when the attacks happened. Aside from those who had immediate familial loss, how many of these kids even remember it happening? I mean, if I was there I suppose I would have gotten my celebration on, too. Kind of rhetorical, kind of not, I guess. Again, I was 18 at the time and didn’t even know what the World Trade Center was, so perhaps my view is invalid anyway.

Did I celebrate? Nah.

In fact, when I first heard the news, I actually thought my roommate told me that they killed OBAMA. Yup. Smack dab in the middle of a Ninja Warrior Marathon on G4, I paused the TV looked at him and said, “What!?”. “Yeah, Obama’s gonna make a statement in a minute.” Again, “What!?” “Yeah, they killed Osama Bin Laden somewhere in Pakistan.” “OH!!! OSAMA.”

For what seemed like 5 minutes, but was really only seconds - time slowed down and I began to tell myself that this was our JFK. Growing up, kids in my high school complained that we never had anything significant happen in our lives (until 9/11). No President assassinations, no MLKs. But now??? Here, it was. Obama was killed. And all I could think was, "Great. When my nephew asks me where I was when Obama was killed, I'm not gonna have anything cool to say. Instead I'm gonna be like, 'Well, I was eating gummy bears on my couch watching Ninja Warrior.' Then he's gonna be all like, 'What's ninja Warrior'? Then I'm gonna be like, "OH MAN, you don't know what NINJA WARRIOR IS!??!" And then he's gonna ask me something ridiculous like whether it was like Power Rangers, and it's all gonna go down from there..."

Oh wait, Obama wasn’t killed. OSAMA was killed.

So what did I do? Set my TiVo to record the Daily Show the following night, knowing I would get only the finest news. And then put the Ninja Warrior Marathon back on.

What a world.