Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive has been around for a bit but I just found out about them.

I’m crushin’ on the lead singer (we have the same birthday). Here are some of the good ones that I’ve found so far.



Ebbs and Flows

Tom wrote this post a month ago saying he more or less had bowling figured out and was going to throw a 300 game & 700 league series any day now. Neither has happened.

I didn’t write a post about it, but I’d felt the same way Tom did in that post over the last month. In my last 12 games in the league, I’d averaged 207. Last week I threw a 685 series. On Saturday I bowled 5 games and averaged 200.

Like Tom, I assumed my days of “bad” bowling (at least in the league) were over.

Last night was my back-to-reality moment. All three games were in the 160s and my series was about 500. What. Happened.


Like everything in life, bowling has ebbs and flows. For the last month, I’ve been in a bowling flow. Last night was my ebb. It’s not a permanent ebb like Erlich and Jian Yang, but it was an ebb nonetheless.

The realization that ebbs and flows are always occurring in every aspect of life is important. When things are going well you think you’ll only keep going and when things are going poorly you think you’ll never snap out of it. But eventually, you always break out of whichever one you’re in.

Temper your expectations. Never get too high or too low.

A 300 is coming NEXT week.

Making Sacrifices

When I began this training plan, I told myself I was only going to drink one night a weekend. Then, one weekend I drank two nights in a row and almost died on my Sunday long run.

Me on Saturday nights

Yesterday, while half of all Philadelphians aged 21-30 were out at Erin Express, I stayed in. I wanted to go. I had friends going. But I have a 10 mile tempo today, and if I went out, I’d be in trouble.

I didn’t think staying in each weekend would be a big deal, and sitting here 0% hungover on Sunday morning is pretty nice, but I must say yesterday was the first time I really felt like I was missing out.

I guess what I’m saying is, I better freakin’ PR or I’m gonna be PISSED.

Russ Westbrook and the Stats

This generation of sports fans, aided by ESPN and other sports media, is almost too invested in the individual stats. Here’s ESPN’s headline in regards to the Blazers Thunder game last night.



The Blazers clearly did have an answer for Russ last night, since, you know, they won the game. Russell himself would be the first to say he’d rather score 0 and win than score 58 and lose.

But every time Russ puts up a triple double, everyone gushes over how amazing he is, regardless of the outcome.

Russell Westbrook is the prime example of a player who will NEVER win a championship.

Stars don’t like playing with him and he doesn’t make his teammates better (to the degree a ‘super star’ should).

He fills up the stat sheet because he’s an athletic freak and a gunner, but you can’t play the way he plays and win a championship.

I actually like Westbrook as a person, and he’s exciting as all hell to watch, but his “dynamic, unstoppable style”, which fuels his triple-doubles, will ultimately be the reason he never gets a ring.

 

Coincidentally, this article was published by the Ringer the day following this post, noting “Statistically, Russell Westbrook is the biggest ball hog of all time.”. It’s worth a read.

Leaving My Phone in a Lyft

I took a Lyft from Old City to Manayunk on Saturday night. For the first time ever, I left my phone in the car.

I submitted a Lyft Support ticket on their website ASAP hoping for the best.

I woke up the next day with an email from the driver saying I did indeed leave my phone, and to call her to coordinate retrieving it.

“I can be in Manayunk around 3-4 today, does that work for you?”

I told her I didn’t have a problem driving to her, since I’m the bonehead who left the phone, but she insisted.

When she showed up, I walked to her car, she rolled down the window, gave me the phone, and I said “Thank You!” about 5 times and a couple “I’m Sorry”s, then walked away.

What’s the tipping situation here?

I felt like I should tip her cash on the spot, but there’s also the option to tip via the app. I considered asking “Would you rather me give you cash or tip on the app?”, but didn’t.

I opted to not offer a tip on the spot, but tipped $5* on a $15 ride, gave a 5 star rating, and responded to Lyft Support that she was super helpful.

I feel cheap, as $5 is way too little for the potential disaster the situation had. A $10-$20 tip I think would’ve been more appropriate.

Thoughts?
 


*I’ve since tipped an additional $15 due the comments and feeling guilty.

Wedding Save the Dates & Invitations Are Useless

My friends are getting married in droves, and another part of the marriage process stuck out as a complete waste of time and money: Save the Dates & Invitations

The Save the Date / Invitation is another wedding-must. They have to be pretty, well designed, and have a posed picture that can make even the best looking couple look stupid.

An Argument FOR Save the Dates & Invitations:

The people you invite can hang them on their refrigerator.

Okay, with all of the pros out of the way, let’s get to the uselessness:

  • No one under the age of 50 has an address book or knows all the addresses of the invitees.
  • Invites or responses can be lost and take forever.
  • Responses cannot be updated electronically if needed.
  • They cost hundreds of dollars, which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of a wedding, but that’s a whole different story.
With pick-up lines like this I might not have to worry about getting married.

In what world is a physically mailed Save the Date / Invitation more reliable, efficient, or cost effective than an online invitation? No one sends any other party invite by mail, why weddings?

Online invites might not fit the traditional model, but tradition is the enemy of progress and innovation. And weddings are the ultimate tradition-over-any-logic-whatsoever event.

I don’t feel as strongly about this as I do about engagement rings, but this just strikes me as inefficient and unnecessarily stressful in an already-stressful process.

My Personal Scrums

In the workplace, a scrum is a short recurring meeting where you go over what you’ve done and what you’re going to do. It holds people accountable and keeps everyone informed as to what others are working on. I have four scrums a week at work.

While in scrum today, I had this though sequence:

“Damnit, my armpits are sweating. I’ll probably have pit stains on my shirt by the end of this. Why didn’t I trim my armpits / chest hair this weekend? I said I was going to and I just never did.”


That’s when it hit me. I should start having personal scrums!

I’m the king of not doing things right away then forgetting about them. These personal scrums will change that. They’ll include everything from:

“Brilliant!”

  • Manscaping
  • Following up with people
  • Feeding the cat
  • Checking my car oil
  • Casino trips
  • Etc.

I’ll meet with myself for 5 minutes twice a week to go over my list. I just need to pick which days / times and then I’ll set the recurring alarms on my phone. I should add that to my SCRUM.

How do others manage their everyday to-do list?

Last Chance Training – Update 2

I’m four weeks into the training and this week was my best yet.

The Workouts

Workout One
5 x (200, 200, 400) with equal rest. Goal was 34-high and 69-mid.

I averaged 34-low and 69-flat while speeding up towards the end. Not mind-blowing but I felt great. First time sub 70 pace felt good.

Workout Two
4 x 1600 with 1:00 rest, then 4 x 200 with equal rest. Goal was 5:30 and 35.

Ran 5:30 for all four, then about 35s for the 200s. Not a killer workout.

Workout Three
12 miles with a 9 mile tempo. Goal was 5:59.

Splits were a little uneven but I ran 53:48 (5:59 pace). The last time I did this I averaged 6:03s and pushed harder than I did today. I closed in a 5:46, kind’ve an accident, but I felt good so I opened up a little.

The Injury

The most important update of all! My leg is actually getting BETTER.

I bought different shoes with more arch support and a cushion insert. It’s still not 100% pain-free, but it’s improved significantly. So much so that I’m confident I’m actually going to finish this training program.

My Thoughts So Far

Two thumbs up. The structure helps and I’m pumped to be back on the track consistently, though having some company could help! The weather has also cooperated big time.

I don’t know if everything will go exactly to plan, but I’m happy to be making a serious run at my PRs, and am starting to believe I’ll get there.

Happy running.

Sixers All-Star Break Grades

Player Grades

These are based on performance vs. expectation. C is average.

Joel Embiid – A

The only reason it’s not an A+ is because of him being injury prone. On the court he’s exceeded even the highest expectations anyone had.

TJ McConnell – A-

Compared to what people thought he’d be, he’s playing great. He’s not a starting point guard on a real contender, but he’s proven he belongs in the league 100%. TWO game winners!

Nerlens Noel – B+

Had limited minutes early on. Still very solid on defense and offense was improving. If he can hit the 14-footer consistently, he’ll be a good starting center.

Dario Saric – B+

You’ve got to love the guy’s heart / attitude. All around solid player who’s improved significantly already this year. Looking forward to having him long term.

Ersan Ilyasova – B+

A good shooter, tried hard, took charges, and was a professional for the young guys. Shot just a little too much, but someone had to I guess.

Nik Stauskas – B

More than just the shooter I initially thought he’d be. Can make plays towards the rim and isn’t as bad on defense as people say. AND he IS a good shooter.

Gerald Henderson – B-

A solid all around player who can create his own shot which is rare on this team. Probably won’t be here long term.

Robert Covington – C+

He’s been good on defense but hasn’t shot the 3 like we hoped. I applaud him for playing hard all the time though, doesn’t deserved to get boo’d.

Richaun Holmes – C+

High energy and good defensively. Needs work offensively and should get the opportunity with Noel being gone. Has potential and could be the long-term Embiid back up.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot – C

A rookie playing rookie minutes. Hasn’t wow-ed anyone but has shown flashes and I’d prefer to keep him.

Sergio Rodriguez – C-

Started off okay but has faded a bit since. I never believe something good will happen when he has the ball. TJ earned the starting job over him.

Jahlil Okafor – D

A defensive liability. Although he can be effective on offense, this team doesn’t fit his style. We’re up-tempo and share the ball and he’s half-court and the offense needs to run through him.

Chasson Randle – D

Wat


The Front Office – D-

The Sixers front office as a whole, and specifically GM Bryan Colangelo, have disappointed this year.

  • The two trades today were bad. Colangelo was backed into a corner after turning down offers for Noel / Okafor in the past year.  In fact, the best move he’s made so far was getting Ilyasova in the first place. It seems these moves were made with no plan in place. Just trades for the sake of trades. The OPPOSITE of Hinkie. RIP Nerlens.
  •  

  • WTF is going on with Ben Simmons. He’s getting a scan today. First he’ll be back by Christmas. Then January. Now March. When the FUCK should I expect this guy to play?
  •  

  • The Embiid meniscus tear was handled horribly. Why didn’t they come out with it right away? Transparency, Bryan!
  •  

  • Leaving Okafor home because he’s going to get traded, then not trading him at all… are you kidding me? I feel bad for Okafor at this point.

 

We replaced Hinkie for this?

 

Not my GM

The whole reason for canning Hinkie was so we could be MORE transparent and media accessible. That hasn’t happened.

Fans bought tickets in January for March games thinking they’d see Embiid AND Simmons and they may see neither due to the stupidity / lack of transparency from the front office.

Bryan Colangelo has done nothing to instill hope in the fanbase, and has only made the city of Philadelphia miss Hinkie more. I hope the anti-Hink-ites are happy.


Brett Brown – A

This guy deserves a goddamn medal of honor for what he’s had to deal with. Not only did he tough it out when the team was one of the worst in league history, but he’s working through an incompetent front office who constantly hangs him out to dry.

He has these guys playing hard and having fun, and they’re finally winning games since the talent level is above 0! I’m a firm believer that Brett has earned the right to see this thing through until the end.


Through it all… Trust the Process

There’s enough in place to be a REAL contender moving forward. I don’t have a lot of faith in Colangelo, but he’s been gift-wrapped Embiid, Simmons, Dario, Kings’ pick swap, Lakers’ pick, Kings’ 2019 pick, etc., which is enough to contend.

Thank you Sam Hinkie.