It was a Good Day

I drank last night and it’s possible that it was the last time of the summer. It was a great day all around though. I watched Zombieland which was very entertaining then went bowling with Katie, Ian, and Pat. I did average but we bet on two games and  Katie and I beat Pat and Ian both times. We did a game where every strike you get, you draw two cards, and every spare is one card. Evan showed it to me so props to him because it makes for a pretty interesting time. We were in dire straits for the second game until Katie hit two strikes out of nowhere in the 10th frame and we managed to pull out a flush. It was a fun time. I think Ian brought up the idea of drinking and I had nothing better to do so I figured sure why not. Alex said he was in so this time we had 4 people instead of 2, a big step up from last time.

It was a pretty normal night actually. We played pong and drank and pretty much that was it. Nothing too significant happened but it was just a very fun time. Ian and I rematched in beer pong and I lost again. I woke up this morning feeling awful. I was short on sleep and had to go to work for 6 hours. It was not pleasant but the time passed by relatively quick. I ran 9 miles after work and felt surprisingly well. I think my theory of drinking the night before does actually make you feel better running the next day. I don’t think I’ll ever have the balls to try it before a race but still.

There’s officially less than a week until I go back and unfortunately I have a lot of work to do at work. It’s weird that when you only have a week left, you realize all the shit that you need to do before you go back to school. I don’t really have any free time to go and do things during the day and I don’t really like it. I’m pretty excited to go back but going one place means leaving another place. I don’t feel like saying all these goodbyes and whatnot but you gotta do what you gotta do I guess. Going to school should spice up this blog a bit too which is good.

Summer’s End

I did a workout at Valley Green yesterday and it went great. The two days off that I had must have rested up my legs cause I’ve felt great every day since I’ve come back. I did a 4 mile tempo and each mile was faster than the last and my time was much better than the time I had 2 weeks ago. Not only that but I didn’t feel dead at all at the end. I could have gone another mile I think at the same pace. It really gave me a confidence boost with only a week until I head off to camp and do the 5k time trial. I’m not saying that I’m going to win or anything but I think I’m in good shape for this time of year and I think it’ll only get better from here on out.

Anyway, it’s Sunday and I missed bowling last week due to my sickness, not this week. I’m going but not anticipating anything great. It’s the last week I have before school and while it’d be nice to go out with a bang I just don’t have the high of aspirations anymore. I’m going for fun and if a 200 comes along with it then that’s great.

There’s a single week left of summer but it hasn’t quite hit me. It’s been an above average summer I think. Nothing too significant happened but it’s been solid all around, just a lot of fun things like the Phillies game, states, Union, Phil’s Tavern, it’s just been a very fun.

The school year should be awesome though. Living in Reimert this year will make it so much easier to pass out in my bed so I won’t have to walk back to my room blacked out by myself in the snow. It’s a good group of people and it’ll interesting to meet the new freshman. I could only imagine what people thought of me when I first came in as a freshman. I remember Ben talking about it one time. He said “I remember one of my first first impressions of Sam. He was just a small kid who seemed a little shy and didn’t really know anyone that well, but one of the first things he said was “so… anyone here seen nugget porn before?”. If any freshman comes in this year and says that he is officially going to be my best friend. Who knows, maybe I’ll meet my best friends for the rest of my life, or my wife! There’s so many potentials.

TV Time

Growing up as a kid, there were two things that occupied most of my time. Video games and Television. I already did my video game post so here’s my T.V. one.

The early years were dominated by the basics. Sesame street and what not. I hit Nick Jr. as a kid and Blue’s Clue’s I’d say was easily the best show. It was fun to play along, find the clues with that crack head Steve, and solve the mystery. The classic catchy jingles like “Mail Time” always had me groovin’. Gula Gula Island was another one. The story of a tribal black family and their pet yellow frog. I don’t remember this show as much but Binya Binya always caught my eye.

As I got older I moved on to the older shows. At 6 years old I watched the Y7 Are You Afraid of the Dark? and felt like a badass. I always said I could handle it but every now and then I’d catch an episode that just messed my shit up mentally for days. There was Snick too that was also for older kids that I watched because it made me feel cool but I didn’t actually like it that much. All That was a kids version of SNL and put it this way, I don’t watch like SNL today so I didn’t like that show too much. Keenan and Kel was on too. It was so obvious that everyone liked Kel more, it must have sucked for Keenan, not only did people not like him but he was also severely overweight.

I began getting into the bulk of my career at probably 9 years old. All of the classics that I can still recall today were what everyone watched and if you didn’t you should have. Hey Arnold, Doug, Rugrats, Catdog, and my personal favorite, Rocko’s Modern Life.

Hey Arnold was just a great show all around. It had everything. Arnold had the coolest room and was the smoothest kid in town. He could solve any problem and turn anything into a life lesson. I learned my basic set of morals from that kid. I remember specifically in 2nd grade, we were playing a get to know each other better game and the question was what was your favorite TV show, and I couldn’t choose but I remembered Tom saying Hey Arnold was his favorite and since I liked anything that Tom liked, I said Hey Arnold, and felt so cool doing it.

Doug was a minorly dumbed down and animated version of Boy Meets World. A kid in the awkward years of like going through all the normal problems like acne, girls, bullies. Doug was a weird dude with a big nose but his blue friend Skeeter helped him through it all. He’d day dream about being a super hero and it was awesome.

Rocko’s Modern Life was always my favorite though. I don’t know why but it was just perfect. There wasn’t a huge load of major characters. There were the basics of emotions and character traits that interacted with one another and it was great to watch. Rocko was a conservative romantic who just enjoyed getting by and living life. Heffer was a fun loving dope who would impulsively go about things and generally make things harder for Rocko, who would always be looking after him. Filbert fit right in the middle, he was the nerd who was always kind of a grouch and always had shit with Heffer, when those two would go at it, my eyes were glued to the screen. There were minor characters though that made it even better. Mr and Mrs. Big Head were just balls of anger looking for fight and had a problem with everyone. There were jokes in that show that went way over my head until years later but nonetheless it was a great show.

Spongebob was another show that was hilarious. To be honest it’s really far out there but once you get passed the talking sponge and the underwater part it’s just a really funny show. The faces and the things they say are just ridiculous. Patrick has some lines that can leave me laughing for the rest of the day. I would make a point of being awake at 10am on Saturdays to see the new episodes. I can still watch it today and find it really funny.

As I got older I moved from Nickelodeon to Cartoon Network. At 6am there was Zoids which I don’t think anyone watched. It was a very underrated show with the Liger and packed with action. Following Zoids was Dragon Ball Z which may be the greatest show ever created. Tom and I would wake up just to watch that show. My favorite saga was the Freza Saga, watching Goku go Super Saiyan practically made me shit my pants. The spirit bomb was also such a baller move. The only problem with the show was that A, it was too predictable, people just kept getting stronger and then Goku would someone get way stronger than everyone, and B, going from SSJ 2 to SSJ 3 could literally take an entire episode. Cartoon Network had a couple of other good ones. Ed Edd and Eddy was probably my favorite. Samurai Jack was also underrated I thought. Dexter’s Laboratory was always creative and had fun episodes.

The summer of my 9th and 10th grade (I think) I only watched one show. I had 5 seasons on DVD and would recycle them until I knew every single line. It’s not a very mainstream show and very few people I meet actually know it, and a very few people that know it actually like it. I think it’s awesome and could watch it all the time. Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Now this is way more out there than Spongebob and a little more grown up. The key to the show was the fact that it was so short. 12 minutes an episode is perfect. Long enough to enjoy a great episode but short enough so that if your not enjoying it it’ll be over quickly. Master Shake is probably my favorite character from any show ever. He’s a total bamf who is 100% talk and can’t back anything up. It’s so funny to see what he can talk himself out of but once anyone puts back any sort of physical threat he completely gives up and tries to get out alive. The only bad thing about the show was that it had some awful episodes. One’s that I couldn’t even watch more than once, but the good ones are so funny that I think it’s easily worth it.

Now throughout all of this was one show that I think you could say trumped them all. The Simpson’s was just an amazing show. It’s so basic in that it’s just a normal family but in it’s prime (aka anything besides the past 8 years) The Simpson’s was just hilarious. I would sit down from 6:30 to 7:30 every single night and watch it. There are so many characters that get worked in so well and so many great plots for the shows, just a 10/10. Now I was a little young for this but from 7:30 to 8 right after the Simpsons was Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld now. I can watch it pretty much at any time and always be entertained. It’s a genius of a show, it just deals with real life problems that 15 years later we still have to deal with. It’s not like it doesn’t relate to today because of technology and how everything has changed, it deals with everyday life that everyone encounters and makes all types of scenarios that are possible. I read that Seinfeld makes something like 50 million a year of that show still or something like that so that’s just how good it is.

That’s the extent of my TV watching as a kid, at least in terms of animated shows. I left out a bunch but I couldn’t write about them all, I hit the big ones that I wanted too. Here’s a good chance to be reader interactive, what was your favorite show as a kid? Rocko’s anyone? Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Ipod Repair Debacle

My mom asked me to get her Ipod fixed for her so I said I’d help her out and get it working. I went online and looked up a couple of different options but one, “Digiexpress”, stood out to be the best. All you had to do was pay 25 dollars, send the ipod in, they fix it, and send it back. Pretty simple right? Well I got an email saying they received the Ipod a couple of days ago. I received an Email yesterday saying that it couldn’t be fixed and they were going to send it back. I made the simple request of “Okay, please refund my money. Thanks for your time”… The following is the conversation I had with various people from the company regarding my statement and as you imagined… it wasn’t good.

Them – “Hello Sam, Unfortunately, we do not refund our $25 diagnosis/repair service because this is our fee for diagnosing exactly what is wrong with your iPod and it also includes our labor fee. We apologize for the inconvenience, we will ship your iPod back to you. Thanks & have a great day.”

I was in shock when I saw this. Absolute shock.

Me – “You do not state anywhere in your “Repair Servies” summary OR in your FAQ’s that you do not refund the money for problems that you can’t fix. That is something that, although you may want to keep a secret, you should tell your potential customers. Please allow me to do a testimonial for you guys, free of charge of course, because I’m sure I’m not the only extremely dissatisfied customer.”

Them – “Hi Sam, it does state on the site under warranties and refunds policy that we do not refund labor charges. I have copied it directly from the site for you below. I also put stars to point it out for you. We value our customers, providing them with the most cost effective repair possible, and unfortunately there is no way to replace a logic board in this model of iPod, as the cost of the part exceeds the value of the unit itself.

15 Day Refund Policy. We will gladly refund your money, no questions asked, for any part you purchase from us unless otherwise specified, as long as you return it to us within 15 days of the purchase date, unopened in excellent condition. Used batteries can not be returned or refunded. Any main electronics board or hard drive that has been installed or opened is not eligible for a refund. ** Labor and shipping costs are nonrefundable.** Refunds are only available to the original purchaser. More than 15 days but less than 30 days from the order date, you may still return eligible items for store credit.”

Who the fuck reads the Warranties and Refund Policy before they buy something? And how am I supposed to interpret labor charges?!

Me – “What labor charge? You guys didn’t fix anything! I paid you to tell me it was broken. I E-Mailed this site before I ordered the so called “professional repair” specifically defining the problems that my IPod had and asked if you thought you could fix it. No technician or anyone actually experienced with an IPod responded. The only response I got was that you guys were pros and would fix my IPod quickly and inexpensively.”

Their response was pretty lengthy but here’s the general gist of it. They said they’re sorry that I’m unhappy but they did all they could. They had a technician open it up and test every part to see what was wrong. There would have been no way to find out what was wrong with it via phone or email. And every other place would have charged me more money for the same result except for Apple who would have given me a new Ipod for around 100 dollars.

I’m just wondering how many people they say that too. It can’t be fixed, sorry, but we’re going to keep you’re money. I was contemplating asking them if it was pointless to keep arguing for my 25 dollars back, but I figured that, yes it was pointless because I’m not going to get it back. It was Nancy’s money and Nancy’s Ipod so it doesn’t effect my really but still, the whole situation just pissed me off.

Near Death

Last night was brutal. After the post I made yesterday I attempted to go on a run. I got 11 seconds in and stopped. Then I decided that I was being a pussy so I started again. 27 seconds later I was feeling really dizzy and had to stop. I wasn’t even off of Salt Kettle before I started heading home. After walking for about a minute towards my house, I decided to give it one last shot. I jogged for 3 seconds, stopped my watch and my legs, and nearly vomited. I went inside and wasn’t feeling so hot. I was actually freezing. I sprinted up the stairs to warm up a boiling hot bath and I was pretty violently shaking from being so cold. I couldn’t text on my phone because my entire body was just having a seizure. I took a half hour bath and it was fabulous. I decided to continue the ‘sweat it out’ method so I put on a shirt and a sweat shirt and laid on the couch bundled up in a blanket. I managed to take a little nap while I was at it. I woke up, ate some food, then went back to the couch.

After about an hour I felt like I was burning up so I decided to take my temperate. It hit 102.3 and started to slow down, I was literally about to take it out of my mouth but I figured I’d wait until it finished. It ended up rising all the way up to 104.8 which I’m pretty sure is a little high. I got a little freaked out so I took the sweat shirt off, took some ibuprofen, and began icing my head. 20 minutes later I took it again and it dropped slightly to 104.5. Still, way to high. I kept at it though, I was drinking cold water and then I attempted my temperature again. 104.0. Still… way to high. My dad and I called our family friend who’s also our doctor and he said if it stays around 104 to 104.5 I should probably go to the ER just to be safe. I really didn’t want to do that. For the next hour or so I had my routine going and eventually I got my temperature down to 103.5 then to 103.0 then to the 102’s then I stopped keeping track. I didn’t feel that awful but I didn’t really want to take any chances.

I went to bed at 11 and had a predictable night. I woke up at about 1 or so pouring sweat. I switched blankets and woke up at 5 still pouring sweat. I got up at 5 and decided to take a shower and then relocate to the family room couch. My temp had returned to normal. I woke up there at 7 or so with my parents asking how I was. I was fine. I woke up again at 8 and the couch was all sweaty now so I relocated one more time to the chair. I stayed there until 9:30 and then I got up and went to work for a solid 6 hour day.

I ran today, a measly four miles but it was nice to get back into the swing of things. I started off at 8 minute pace but felt like I was flying. I finished at a little under 7 minute pace and felt like I was going the same speed. I guess I was shaking the dust off. Two days off shouldn’t be a huge set back I don’t think. I’m just happy that I’m still alive after a 104.8. My highest before that was pushing 103 flat I believe so this was big for me. I did well out there and walked away with a huge PR so I’m happy.

Fever and Sixth Sense

I apologize to the people that visited yesterday only to find that one sentence. I’m just going to act like the last post never happened. If you couldn’t tell, it wasn’t me who posted that. This isn’t the first time my password protected things have been broken into. Multiple times at school, if I left my facebook open, I would pay the price. Satchel ‘liked’ about 80 different things on my account the one time and I was also in a 4 month facebook relationship because of Mike too. I’ve learned my lesson, I lock my computer now. You always get shit too if someone changes your status to something like “<3 cock” and then you go and take it down. They always say “aww cmon there’s no fun in that”. I don’t really bother taking them down anymore (hence why I’m leaving the other post up) but I’d rather just try and make the person who did it feel like its not funny, which most of the time it isn’t.

Anyway, my theory of immunity has completely failed me. I’m currently taking the day off from work because I woke up with a 102 degree fever. I swear I only get sick a couple times a year and the one time I talk about my awesome immune system I get sick. That’s karma for you I guess. I had to take off running yesterday because I felt so shitty. Today I woke up at 9 freezing cold again and extremely thirsty. I didn’t think I was that sick but after I saw the thermometer I called in sick. I don’t know if sweating a fever out actually works or not but I tried it. I grabbed a really thick ski jacket, got all settled in a chair in front of the T.V., and watched The Sixth Sense from start to finish without moving at all. It was a really good movie but I was kind of pissed of because I knew the whole time that (spoiler alert) that Bruce Willis was actually dead but I hadn’t seen the movie in 10 years so I didn’t remember anything about it. It was pretty much like going to watch it for the first time and having someone tell you the ending before it started. Nonetheless I enjoyed it. I actually shed two tears, one from each eye, at one point. When the kid is in the car with his mom talking about their grandma and whatnot, for some reason that part caught me off guard and I teared up a bit.

Post movie I was full sweat. I went outside, took the ski jacket off, and was glistening in the 90 degree sun. It actually felt great. After that I just like… got better. My fever was gone, my headache was gone, and I still feel good. I plan on going for a run today which I didn’t think I was going to be able to do. Thank the lord.

So far the unanimous vote for what I should change this blogs name to (1 vote from Jonny) has been “Spit in the Butt”. The overall response was a little disappointing. I don’t think I’m going to change it to that but who knows.

I just wish i could be as cool as Alex Gwynne…

Let’s get this thing rolling

Well it’s been a bit since I’ve posted. Not to much has happened in the recent days and I’ve been beat up from running. I set another two records this week. Most miles in a week (70), and longest run (14 miles). It’s taking it’s toll and I can feel it. This week wasn’t a very bright spot in my training but I gutted it out and managed to get through it. I had a good workout, at least I thought, on Tuesday where I did 5×1 mile with a minute break in between each. Now I was running at Mondauk at about 6pm so it was packed and at one point I actually yelled at a fat old woman to get out of the way because she was literally blocking the whole trail. Anyway, I averaged 5:40’s about and with the circumstances I’d say maybe 5 seconds or so per mile was added due to everything. I’m going to hit 70 this week (that’s the game plan) and then take a down week before camp starts up.

Speaking of camp, I can’t begin to explain how excited I am for school. There’s no doubt that I enjoy being home but it gets old when me and any group of people hang out and there’s just nothing to do. It’s no ones fault, it just sucks. I’ve been enjoying my time off but actually working more this summer than I was at school probably. I just want to go back and see everyone again and get the new year started.

On another note, this blogs traffic has been up as of late which is a plus. I felt obligated to make a post. It’s weird, if I didn’t see any numbers about how many people visit (it’s not that much) I would probably be updating once a week with a couple of interesting topics but nothing much. Seeing that people actually take the time to read what I have to saw is an interesting concept. If you build it they will come I suppose.

With that in mind, I need a new name for this blog. Tom renamed his to attract more traffic from specialty searches which is what I need to do, odds are if you googled “full speed ahead” this probably wouldn’t come up (I know it doesn’t I just tried it). That along with adventures of me are too generic. I need to spice things up a bit but I don’t really know what to make it. So if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to let me know. I figure a reader-interactive blog is better than one that isn’t so please, I enjoy reading the comments. I’ll have a better week this week and I’ll be updating daily hopefully, I’ll try not to disappoint.

Tomorrow is Monday and I’m really not excited to work a full week but I’ll be enjoying the money I made at school so, think future not present, until the future comes, then think present.

Lance Armstrong and Steroids

Before I start about Lance, I thought a little bit more about the post I made yesterday and it’s not totally true. People probably read that and said this kid is an arrogant asshole who takes the fun out of everything and is way to competitive. I don’t play ping-pong to be really good, I play it to have fun, and if I happen to get good then so be it. But realistically, being good at things makes it more fun. Jake went bowling last Sunday and bowled a great first game and he was totally loving it. After that he went downhill so much that he opted to not even play the last game. He said, and I quote, “it’s not fun when you’re doing bad”. So being good at things makes it more enjoyable. So things that I do in my leisure time are for joy that are more enjoyable if I’m good at them. I think that’s probably how it is for most people.

Anyway, to the title of this blog. Lance Armstrong has been getting nailed lately with steroid allegations from fellow teammate Floyd Landis. Landis says that Armstrong’s 7 tour wins were completely tainted. Now from the research I’ve done and the articles I’ve read, everything seems to be he said she said and there’s no real proof. Armstrong hasn’t failed a doping test ever so it’s hard to believe Landis if he just comes out of nowhere and claims roids. Now, do I personally believe that he took steroids? I don’t know enough to give a concrete answer but if you put a gun to my head I would say yes he definitely did something that he was not supposed to do that helped him perform better, a lot better. There is one main reason that makes me say that. Whether Armstrong did them or not who knows, but whether SOMEONE did, well that’s almost a guarantee. It’s pretty likely that a large percentage of the top guys were on roids and for me to believe that a CLEAN Lance Armstrong could so convincingly and so consistently beat a large number of elite athletes TAKING STEROIDS, well I just can’t believe it.

The reason I’m even talking about this subject is because doping is such a popular topic about runners too. When you’re a really good runner, on the verge of being great, you have to make a decision, “Do I stay clean and hope that I have a breakthrough and if I don’t I’ll be forgotten before I even finish my warm down, OR do I take performance enhancing drugs, rise to the top, and make a fucking name for myself”. They should literally have a league for steroids and a league for clean athletes. As a runner who is trying to be the best he can be, I encounter frustrating periods of time where I question why I even run and if I’m ever going to get any better. If I could make it a guarantee that I would achieve the times that I want, why wouldn’t I do it? I’ve put so much time into this sport there’s no way I’m coming out empty handed.

When I look at the careers of runners like Daniel Komen who from the age of 20-22 broke multiple world records, ran absolutely ridiculous times, but only lasted 2-3 years of being one of the best of all time, I don’t see how you can logically look at that and say he didn’t use PED’s. Noah Ngeny is another example. He ran against the established king of the mile, Hicham El Guerrouj, and nearly stole the world record away from him. He ran 3:43.40 for a full mile at the age of 20 and won the 1500 in the Olympics at age 21 with a huge upset over El Guerrouj. He peaked in 2000 and claimed that injuries plagued him but I’m not buying it.

This brings up the question, did El Guerrouj use drugs? I like to believe that he didn’t but it’s hard to say. I only want to believe it because I’m bias towards running and like the idea of a beast like him. I just don’t know though. I wish that before every cheater died, they just admitted on their deathbed that they did it. It would make things so much easier.

Why You Shouldn’t Try Anything

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about human nature and being competitive and wondering why that’s the way we’re wired. I’ve always had this urge to be the best at what I do, when I started playing guitar hero or ping pong, my intention was to fully become the best person I knew. When I’m playing Diablo and I see that Ben got a P-Hoto and a Mara’s and all this shit, it just makes me want to get better stuff. Now I’ve always had this and I’m sure tons of other people have it too. When I’m in my basement and I win 5 games in a row in ping pong, I just think, “that’s it, that’s exactly what I wanted to do and I did it”.

Now with something like ping-pong, I’m pretty limited as to the people I play and I can watch really good people play but never know how bad they’d beat me, if at all, if I played them. Running is not like this. Running is something that you can directly compare to anyone anywhere in the world. So when I compare my times to the best people in my division 3 college conference, and see that I’m nowhere near the top, well it’s a little discouraging but I just think that if I keep training hard and stick with it, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be as good as them when I’m a senior. Then I look at division 1 runners, I say if I stick with it and really breakthrough and I’m in my prime at 27, I can match some of their times… maybe. When I look at the Olympics, and the Kenyans, that’s where I pretty much have to draw the line. I’m fully aware that there is roughly a zero percent chance that I will ever run a 44 second 400, or a 1:45 800, or a 13 minute 5k, or even a 4 minute mile.

I think that this can pretty much translate to any activity that I take seriously. I’m not even in the realm of being the best at anything I’ll do probably ever in my life. Why the hell do I spend countless hours playing guitar hero, or even real guitar? Why am I running 70 miles this week when I don’t feel good just to maybe run a sub 26 8k? None of these things are going to make me any money. If you’re a competitive person like I am then you understand this. Now I’ve mostly tried to just not think about these kinds of things but when it’s so in your face all the time, I can’t help it. I’ve come to the realization that I won’t be amazing at anything and I think I can accept that. I try not to get down in the dumps at all about it though. Realistically, there’s no point in doing anything because 999 times out of 1000 you will never get anywhere with it, but I do it for the self satisfaction I guess. If I run every day for 5 months to have one great race that only lasts 25 minutes, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. If you don’t get any pride for doing something like that, well then you’re probably a stoner but I can’t let this one life I have be a total waste. I’d like to make the best of it and achieved as much as I possible could, even if it is mediocre at best when comparing it to others.