Finding a purpose

It’s been repeated over and over that if Tom or I actually wanted to take our blog somewhere, having a definitive purpose to our blogs would help increase popularity. People have specific interests and when you can focus in on one particular interest you will draw that group of people who want to read about whatever topic. I say this because my good friend Adam Dicaprio has started a blog and his blog has a specific purpose. It’s call A Few More Beers and he focuses in on beer drinking. He samples a variety of nice beers and gives his personal opinion on each beer. As an experienced beer drinker he is using his blog as a way to channel his knowledge to the public and specifically those are interested in good beer. Another example is my good friend from high school etrain11. I call him etrain11 because that what he goes by now. His blog, etrain11, focuses on running, more specifically Pennsylvania high school running and a tad of NCAA running. Now you may ask yourself, how many people could be interested in PA high school running? Well his blog is incredibly more popular than mine (that’s not saying much) but he draws in hundreds of views every day. Again, this blog is a channel for him to share his knowledge on running and those who are interested visit frequently. My friend here at school John Schroeder has a blog mostly dedicated to gaming (although he strays a bit more in the way I do). He plays a game and review it, what’s good, what’s bad, and if he recommends it or not.

The thing about these three examples are that Adam and etrain both have something to share. Adam knows beer and people would value his opinion. Etrain knows running, and a shout out to some high school PA runner in etrain’s blog is a huge honor to those serious in the PA high school running game. Schroeds knows gaming and takes it seriously. An avid gamer who is considering whether or not to buy a game may visit his blog to find out more information.

These people have knowledge and share their knowledge to people who want it. My blog does not do this. I don’t really have knowledge that I share (although sometimes). I more just observe things in the world and share my opinion on what I think is interesting to me. The only people who would actually visit my blog are personal friends who actually know who I am. No one who doesn’t know me would want to read my blog. People who relate to beer can read Adam’s blog, running to etrains, gaming to Schroeds, and me for my blog. If someone doesn’t know me they’re just not going to become a consistent reader. My opinions are not that valuable and I’m not giving and life changing tips in this blog.

So then it becomes, well what do I know really well? There are a few things I would say that I know a lot about. Running is definitely one of them but I’m not going to make a post every week about my personal feelings on who’s doing well and what’s going to happen in the future with certain people (although I would enjoy doing it). My current group of readers just don’t care about that and there’s nothing I can share that Letsrun or Flotrack hasn’t already said.

So to my loyal readers who like my current blog, don’t fret, I have no intentions of specializing this blog. I seem doomed to remain posting about pointless random thoughts that only a select few will care about. This blog will likely never grow to more than ~100 people visiting a day but I’m content knowing that. There simply is no purpose to this blog other than me using it as my own personal diary for everyone to read. Mark, you’ve been right all along.

Baby hearing for the first time

I’m aware that I’m extremely late on this video but I hadn’t seen it until last night (courtesy of Wacker) and was pretty amazed so I figured I would share it. The following video shows an 8 month old baby who was born deaf but has some hearing implant that allows him to hear. He’s just a baby who pretty much has no concept of hearing and then bam, he can hear things. That would be absolutely crazy to experience and there’s no better test subject to show the raw emotion one would feel than an 8 month old baby. Sure we’re extremely dependent on technology in our daily lives and some would say it’s made us fat and lazy but things like this show the awesome side of technology. I can’t help but smile when I watch these.

This video is along the same lines but with a 2 year old, pretty cool stuff.

http://youtu.be/WDDfGMuofuw?t=30s

 

Concluding Spring Break

My final break from college has concluded. I am back at school with one two month stretch until graduation and then it’s all over. Break itself was fantastic for the most part. Each night was something new and entertaining. I got to hang out with Mark for the past two days which was great. A few of us went down to the city on Saturday to hang out with Tom and Jeff. It was naturally a total sausage fest for the pre-game but the bar was fun. Last night Mark, Ryder, Ian, and I went to Happy Tymes BYOB bowling last night which was a riot. We showed up and the place was packed. There’s kids aged 10-17 all over the place and we stroll in with a case of Pabst and we’re getting looked at like we’re the absolute coolest kids ever. These middle/high schoolers were in awe of us. Also, we were the only ones drinking out of the 16 full lanes which I thought was unusual. I don’t know why more people wouldn’t go to drink, it was awesome.

In terms of running the was also a success. I ran all but one day and did a semi-miserable workout on the track but it was good. I’m gearing up for outdoor where I’m contemplating focusing on the steeple just because the competition is weaker there than any other field. This is reinforced by the fact that Haverford had a runner get 1st and and another one get 7th in the 5k at D3 nationals this weekend. D1 nationals was this weekend. My predictions we’re surprisingly good and the meet itself was quite entertaining, a lot of good performances.

The only draw back of the weekend was that I took a hit financially. I kind of spend at will which isn’t really a problem assuming I get confirmation of my post-graduation job. I’m in the process of being approved for hire and if all goes well it will be a nice weight lifted off my shoulders. Until then though I have two months to go bonkers and enjoy the end of my college days. The time does fly but it’s been a joyful ride.

2013 NCAA T&F Predictions

Nationals begin tomorrow and just for fun, here are some predictions from the events that I pay attention to. I doubt many (if any) will care but I’ll enjoy doing it on this lonely Thursday night so here goes.

800 – This one is a total crap shoot in my opinion. Greer had an awesome run at his conference meet and Loxsom has been on a tear lately. Two Arkansas guys ran blazing times recently that shakes things up. A lot can happen (go wrong) in an 800 so it’s tough to say but I’m going to pick Loxsom to get the job done. I believe Loxsom is not running the DMR to focus on the 800 so only one round of prelims shouldn’t take too much out of him. I know he does this every year, where he runs well and blows it at nationals, but I think this year I think he’s running well enough to take the win. The Arkansas guys coming out of nowhere is scary but one potential fluke performance is not enough to make me pick either of them for a top 3 finish.

1. Loxsom
2. Kemboi
3. Greer

Mile – This one is much less a crap shoot. Chris O’Hare is a huge favorite and there’s absolutely NO reason to not pick him to win. He won it leading wire to wire last year and broke the collegiate record this year. He should win if the pace is fast and should win if the pace is slow. The rest is tricky though. I’m not confident in Lawi’s tactics in a mile. I would pick Creese to medal but the DMR will be a max effort race the day before along with mile prelims. Mudd from Wisconsin doesn’t have a DMR to race so he will be as fresh as possible and has a huge kick if the pace is slow. I think the pace will be relatively slow and I think he kicks to 2nd assuming inexperience doesn’t ruin him. The 3k is after the mile so I think Hill has the strength/kick combo to snag 3rd.

1. O’Hare
2. Mudd
3. Hill

3k – This is a tough one. Lawi, Kithuka, and Hill are all doubling. Lelei has fresh legs and ran a great 3k last week so he’ll be up there pushing the pace. Kithuka has the 5k the day before but I doubt he gives a shit, he’ll push the pace too cause he’s an endurance moster. I think this will sap the kicks out of Hill (unfortunately cause I’m rooting for him). I think Jenkins is a dark horse although everyone realizes this so maybe he shouldn’t be called that. He’s fresh too and will hold on to the top as long as he can. With 3:58 mile speed he can do some damage. With all of this said, I think Lawi out kicks Kithuka off the fast pace while Jenkins out kicks out a dying Lelei for third place.

1. Lalang
2. Kithuka
3. Jenkins

5k – Kithuka is a bigger favorite than O’Hare. He’ll push the pace from a long ways out and just drop everyone with ease. It really shouldn’t be close. Estrada will boldly go with him for a while but die hard in the end. I think it boils down to a chase pack trying to run down Estrada for second. I think the favorites in that pack will be Rotich, Darling, and Williams. I think this pack doesn’t let the gap open too big and will catch Estrada. Since the pace will be fast I like Darling who’s proven himself the past couple of weeks especially with a fast 3k over Andy Bayer. I think he flips the table on Williams and Rotich, both of whom just out kicked him in a 5k a month ago. Williams snags third.

1. Kithuka
2. Darling
3. Williams

DMR – This will be an awesome race. The favorite is Penn State. Creese will have run mile prelims but so will almost every other anchor. It’s hard to bet against them as this race almost always comes down to which miler has the best kick and Creese has proven himself multiple times. Princeton with Callahan, Stanford with Atchoo, and Nova with McEntee are the other big favorites in this race. Oklahoma with Pat Casey and Indiana with Andy Bayer are good choices in my head too. Picking Loxsom and the PSU DMR would be too easy so I’ll make a slightly homer pick and go with Princeton FTW. Callahan can change gears big time in the last 200 which is what it takes. Casey doesn’t quite have the team to get him in the right spot in my head if the pace is fast. Bayer has been solid but not spectacular so I’ll take PSU for second and Indiana for third.

1. Princeton
2. PSU
3. Indiana

Madness – Muse

I listened to Madness by Muse the other day. I’ve known about this song for a bit but haven’t heard it in a while, I couldn’t get it on my itunes but now I have it. Anyway, I listened to the studio version and really liked it and wondered how they would do performing it live. I youtubed it and listened to the first version and I was blown away. I have to say I  was so blown away that I was actually pretty skeptical. The live version sounded too good in my opinion. My suspicions were reinforced by some comments on the video so I knew I wasn’t the only one.

This made me think of Michael Jackson performing Man in the Mirror at the 1988 Grammy’s. He lip synced the first four minutes and then it went to him actually singing and the difference is extremely noticeable. In the first four minutes, he would move his head away from the mic and the sound wouldn’t change. You don’t really think anything of it until it goes to him live and then you really notice the difference. Don’t get me wrong, he still sounds good live, but I’m just saying that you can tell when he’s actually singing versus when it’s synced.

Now, granted it’s been 25 years and I suppose technology could have improved but with the Muse live recording I would expect something similar to happen and it just doesn’t. I will say this though, the vocals in the live version definitely DO NOT match those in the studio. He does different things with his voice that differ from the other version so that suggests it’s live but again it sounds too perfect. Obviously this all sounds cynical but take a look for yourself if you have the chance and see what you think. Here are the two versions. The part that stuck out to me is roughly 4:05 into the studio version and 3:35 in the live version. On a final note, I really like the guitar solo in the song.

The Pro’s Apologies

rory 3ritz 3

Two things happened lately that caused this post. As Tom talked about in his recent post, Rory Mcilroy totally bitched out at the Honda Classic last week and walked off the course in the middle of a terrible day due to a tooth ache. Obviously his poor play contributed to that. Rory has since apologized saying “What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me – it was not the right thing to do.”

In lesser known news, Dathan Ritzenhein, was criticized recently for trash talking the World Cross Country Championships. He placed 2nd at US XC Nationals and earned a trip to Poland for the World Cross Champs. However, he opted out of the race to do the NY Half Marathon instead. Ritz stated before the US XC Nationals that XC is his true passion and he has always loved it. All of this would be okay (though slightly annoying) until he trashed the World XC Championships saying that the race has become “insignificant” and that he pretty much doesn’t want to waste his time with that when he can get a way bigger payday by running the NY half (my words, not his). I can understand this because runners are not golfers (or any other athlete in a big sport) who make millions of dollars a year. Ritz is a person too who needs a secure financial future just like everyone else. Ritz later came out with this apology on his blog acknowledging that his comments were poorly worded and that World XC’s should not be played down at all.

Now, these are two very similar situations. Two big name people (within their sport) make a ‘mistake’ and then opt to publicly apologize for what they did. My question is, would they actually be apologizing if people didn’t make a fuss about it? Rory walks off the course in a hissy fit because he’s playing bad and let’s just say it’s brushed over. Would he still announce a few days later that what he did was wrong? How much credit should we give these guys for manning up and apologizing? Ritz completely spoke his mind when he said that World XC’s is becoming insignificant and you could find thousands of people in the running world that would 100% agree with him. However, people think it’s bad for the sport when you say things like that so we criticize him which then causes him to apologize.

Is Ritz really sorry for what he said? I don’t know but why should he be? He spoke his mind. Is Rory sorry for walking off the course? It’s tough to buy the idea that it was just a rash decision. You damn well know what the consequences will be if you walk off in the middle of the round when you’re the #1 golfer in the world. Why should I buy his apology? It’s obvious the media puts a ton of pressure on these athletes all the time and that public image is a very important thing in sports. I’m way more inclined to believe these apologies are brought on by the media as opposed to sincere feelings.

Then again, how can I blame them? I would probably do the same thing if I were them. But then how the hell do I know who is lying to save face and who is telling the truth? It’s all just one big charade.

The old new people

I was running at Mondauk today when I bumped into a familiar face. I met him this summer while running at Mondauk and I believe I blogged about our run as well. He once beat THE Alan Webb in an 800 meter race. Anyway, we ran together for a few miles and talked about our current situations and whatnot. He’s less than a year out of school and lives around West Chester but works less than a mile from Mondauk. He doesn’t know the area too well or know too many people so I’m sure he’s willing to run with a relative stranger for the company.

On a somewhat similar note, Jeff, Miron, Pat, and I ate lunch on Sunday with Corey Smith. I was very good friends with Corey’s brother Kyle for years in middle/high school but have not talked to either of them for probably 5 years. Jeff, Miron, and Pat shared the same thing, as they had not seen Corey in a few years. Lunch was great and everyone had a good time. As we all departed Jeff and Corey made a point of hanging out again.

These two things made me realize that I’m getting to the point where I will need friends post-graduation. For the next few years I will be living around Upper Dublin and likely somewhere near Philadelphia after I move away from home. I’m sure some friends will have a similar set up but others will be moving away and my group of friends will diminish while my time to hangout with people will increase sort of. It seems that’s what happened on Sunday highlighted this. Ordinarily they might not hang out but because they live near each other now and because they don’t always have friends to hang out with, it is mutually beneficial to hang out here and there and gain relationships.

So would it be crazy if I asked this kid on a run if he wanted to bro out sometime because we’re both lacking friends? I mean, I’d rather go out and having a drink with this guy than sit in this house and watch Mrs. Doubtfire like I’m doing right now. I feel that as me and my peers get older and more mature we’ll see the benefit in being more outgoing and friendly to each other. Maybe I never hung out with kid X or Y in high school but if I see them around after 6 months of doing nothing I’ll decide that I should ask them to hang out. Instead of going into a random interaction thinking that it’s awkward and that I can’t wait to get out of it, I’ll try to actually get something from it. Thinking about this sooner is better than later before it’s too late in my opinion. Post-graduation life is approaching extremely fast and I need to be ready.

In all honesty I may be thinking about it too much. I’m in the mindset that I’m done, that college is over. I still have 2 months of the best years of my life left to live and I should be trying to make the best of what’s here. Then again, it doesn’t hurt to prepare yourself for the future.

Catching up

I briefly touched on this in my previous post but something happened today that hasn’t happened to me pretty much ever. We were at waiting for our food at Parc for a while when finally it arrived. I ordered the Eggs Benedict (shocker) which came with a side of potatoes and a little serving of ketchup in a small cup. Ordinarily I would not even think twice about this, I would put the ketchup aside and not touch it once for the entire meal. Today however, I had a very unique urge to use the ketchup on my potatoes. I honestly can’t describe it. The thought of using ketchup of the potatoes seemed so incredibly natural, like I do it at every single meal. Normally I wouldn’t think twice about not using it, I never ate ketchup before. This time was the complete opposite, it was as if I had been eating ketchup my whole life.

After my first go around I was actually kind of shocked. The taste caught me off guard, it wasn’t really what I was expecting but I did enjoy it. I dipped almost every potato shred in ketchup and because of that I had a much better experience. It seems retarded to say this but after 21 years I may have finally discovered how good ketchup can be. I don’t know how it took this long but I’m finally catching up. This could be a potentially life changing discovery that could effect multiple meals a day. If that’s not life changing I don’t know what is.

A great way to kick off break

Yesterday was an exceptional day. I woke up around 9:30 and made myself some pancakes, good start. Two hours later I crushed a 6 mile run and then went to see Silver Linings Playbook with my mom and sister. Now, all in all I thought the movie was good. The acting from everyone as well as the whole group dynamic was intriguing. The problems were deep rooted and the relationships between characters were complex I thought. I enjoyed it the whole way through. HOWEVER, the ending just did not do it for me at all. I will spoil so beware. Granted Bradley Cooper’s character was developing the whole way through but it seemed just too ridiculous that he would write that letter to Tiffany a whole week before he gave it to her and never tell her. It was a very out of character move I thought that they wrote in to give that cliche ending which sucked in my mind. Obviously they were going to get together but the way in which it happened sucked. I will say though, the talk De Niro gives to his son right before he goes to give her the letter and right after the dance was very good. I like that a lot. Overall it was a good movie but the ending had me shaking my head.

After the movie I headed into the city to spend the night with my brothers. Us three along with Bud went to the Sixers game but not before some ping-pong. The Sixers have been god awful and were getting only 2 points, despite that everyone felt the Sixers were the team to bet on. When they were down 16 in the second quarter things looked grim but somehow the team rallied back and won the game. I spent 11 dollars on a 24oz Miller which is ridiculous but whatever. We got back to Jeff and Tom’s place and played a great series of doubles ping-pong. I was extremely rusty in the beginning but got much better as the games went on. I attribute that half to busting the rust and half to getting drunker.

It was around 11 and Bud headed home. Tom, Jeff, and I went out on the town for some entertainment. I was rejected from the first bar that we went to because I’m not 23. What the qua, right? We went to another bar and bumped into some people that Jeff knew. The five of us shared a table in the upstairs at some random bar and cruised through six pitchers. The place was absolutely packed and eventually Tom and I headed downstairs for a different vibe and who do I run into? None other than John freakin’ Yokomizo. I’m amazed we bumped into each other but was happy to see a familiar face. Tom and I talked to him and the two girls he was with for a bit and then decided to head back to the apartment. I never got too drunk and was having a good time throughout. Overall a positive bar experience.

We woke up today relatively hung over so a group of us decided to get some food at Parc right by Rittenhouse Square. I must say I’ve been to that restaurant twice and it was extremely good both times. I highly recommend it. I need to let my body recover from the past three days so the next few days will be relaxed and hopefully I’ll eat healthy. It was a great weekend though. Now it’s time for spring break to begin.

6-12-18-24 Recap/review

Well It’s 1:30 in the afternoon the day after the challenge. I will take this moment to reflect upon the experience.

It started off spectacularly.

I cruised through 9 miles at about 6:40 pace and was eating doughnuts, drinking beer, and changing oil with ease. However I hit a serious road block about 3.5 hours into the challenge. It was at this point that the idea of eating a doughnut started making me sick. I had no choice but to power nap and hope for a strong recovery.

That is exactly what happened. From 2-4 I was revitalized physically and mentally. At ~4:30 I went on a really fast 3 mile run to wrap up the miles which turned out to be a mistake.

I was absolutely drained after the run. I substituted water for beer and put the doughnuts on hold. I needed to recharge the batteries. I was done the running and one oil change away from the end but the beer and doughnuts were presenting a problem. Slade, Rudy, Wacker, and I went to Zack’s for some dinner but I had no intentions of eating. Wacker got fries from the grill and I couldn’t help myself. I was craving ANYTHING besides doughnuts.

This was a good move. I went back to the suite, finished off the oil changes, and got prepared for the night.

It became easier to drink when there were actually people to drink with.

I had 8 beers and 7 doughnuts left when I switched up my game plan. I decided the beers had to go first, that would hopefully make the doughnuts go easier. 7.5 beers later I was pretty buzzed but still reluctant to take on the crusty glaze of the doughnuts. I also came very close to puking when I opted to do a shot with Drew. Anyway, the vanilla frosting with jimmies was particularly repulsive at this point. Slow and steady wins the race as they say and I slowly finished doughnut after doughnut. The last two had to be taken down with water to prevent vomiting.

At 1:22 AM, after 15 hours and 22 minutes I completely the challenge with a final chug of beer.

Overall I never really got that drunk. Spreading the beer out over time definitely helped out, also, if I ran 18 miles instead the beers would have hit harder. Also, I was never really THAT full. It was more that the idea of eating the doughnuts made me sick to my stomach. The running was easy as I expected. The oil changes were also slightly easier than I expected. Without getting into too much detail, they were progressively more difficult but once you start there’s no turning back in my mind. Overall the calorie count was 2304 in beer and 6780 of doughnuts for a grand total 9084.

I believe that’s a PR. Also worth noting, I did not poop one single time during the whole process, I don’t know how that’s possible.

I would say it went slightly better than I expected. There was only one point where I actually doubted if I could do it or not, the 2 o’clock roadblock. My goal was to break 16 hours and I did so that’s good. I don’t care how much you love doughnuts, if you do this challenge they will begin to make you sick and you will not want to eat them. Also, the amount of attention/support it got was incredible. Four people describe the feat as inspiring. There was ~50 Twitter acknowledgements, whether they were favorites, retweets, or replies. I also gained 8 followers. I’m glad I did it.

Here are two other pics.