Nihar & Scripps National Spelling Bee

I watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night and I’ll just say that Nihar is the freakin’ man. For an 11 year old, this kid has swag.

Below is Nihar as Jairam is misspelling a word in the Championship Round, and then as he returned to his seat.


Below is Nihar when he spelled the final word right to become co-champion.


I’ve never been a huge spelling bee advocate, but Nihar made this worth watching for the hour or so that he was highlighted.

My Running Playlist

I’m interested in what other people listen to while they run / workout, so I figured I’d share my running playlist. This is updated as of last night, 5/24/16.

The songs highlighted in green are the songs I really like running to.



1 AFI Miss Murder
2 Air Supply Making Love Out Of Nothing At All
3 Alabama Shakes Always Alright
4 Alabama Shakes Hold On
5 Alanis Morissette Hand In My Pocket
6 Alanis Morissette You Oughta Know
7 The All-American Rejects It Ends Tonight
8 ALO Walls Of Jericho
9 Anberlin Impossible
10 Arctic Monkeys R U Mine?
11 Atmosphere Sunshine
12 Avenged Sevenfold Afterlife
13 Avenged Sevenfold Beast And The Harlot
14 Avril Lavigne When You’re Gone
16 AWOLNATION Knights Of Shame
17 AWOLNATION Not Your Fault
18 Bare Naked Ladies Pinch Me
19 Bayside Devotion And Desire
20 Bear Hands 2AM
21 The Beatles Golden Slumbers
22 The Beatles Let It Be
23 Ben Folds Losing Lisa
24 Ben Folds Landed
25 Ben Folds Song For The Dumped
26 Ben Folds & Regina Spector You Don’t Know Me
27 Ben Kweller In Other Words
28 Better Than Ezra Desperately Wanting
29 Big Data ft. Joywave Dangerous
30 Billy Joel Goodnight Saigon
31 Billy Joel Zanzibar
32 Billy Joel The Entertainer
33 The Black Crowes She Talks To Angels
34 The Black Keys Little Black Submarine
35 Black Sabbath War Pigs
36 Bleachers I Wanna Get Better
37 Blink 182 Mutt
38 Blink 182 Adam’s Song
39 Blink 182 After Midnight
40 Blink 182 All The Small Things
41 Blink 182 Boxing Day
42 Blue October Overweight
43 Brand New At The Bottom
44 Butch Walker Synthesizers
45 Cage The Elephant In One Ear
46 Cage The Elephant Shake Me Down
47 Candlebox Far Behind
48 Chvrches The Mother We Share
49 City and Colour Lover Come Back
50 Coleman Hell 2 Heads
51 Collective Soul Run
52 Counting Crows Round Here
53 Dashboard Confessional Heaven Here
54 Dashboard Confessional Vindicated
55 Dido White Flag
56 Donovan Atlantis
57 Dr. Dog Do The Trick
58 Dr. Dog How Long Must I Wait
59 Dr. Dog Shadow People
60 Dr. Dog Where’d All The Time Go
61 Dr. Dog Jackie Wants A Black Eye
62 Dr. Dog Humble Passenger
63 Dream Theater Wither
64 Dream Theater Pull Me Under
65 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes Man On Fire
66 Eminem Sing For The Moment
67 Eminem Till I Collapse
68 Eminem The Way I Am
69 Eric Hutchinson Rock & Roll
70 Filter Take A Picture
71 Fiona Apple Criminal
72 Florence and the Machine Delilah
73 Foster the People Broken Jaw
74 Foster the People Houdini
75 Foster the People Warrant
76 The Fray Never Say Never
77 The Fray How To Save A Life
78 The Fray Heartless
79 The Fray You Found Me
80 The Front Bottoms Cough It Out
81 Fuel Falls On Me
82 Golden Earring Twilight Zone
83 The Goo Goo Dolls Iris
84 Houndmouth Come On, Illinois
85 IllScarlett Life Of A Soldier
86 Imagine Dragons Demons
87 Incubus The Warmth
88 J Roddy Walston and the Business Brave Man’s Death
89 Jimmy Eat World 23
90 John Butler Trio Ocean
91 John Mayer Dreaming With A Broken Heart
92 John Mayer Why Georgia
93 Ju-Taun By The River
94 The Killers All These Things That I’Ve Done
95 The Killers Read My Mind
96 Linkin Park Papercut
97 Linkin Park With You
98 Linkin Park Forgotten
99 Linkin Park Pushing Me Away
100 Linkin Park Don’t Stay
101 Linkin Park Lying From You
102 Linkin Park Breaking The Habit
103 Linkin Park The Untitled
104 Linkin Park Waiting For The End
105 Matchbox 20 Bright Lights
106 MGMT Time To Pretend
107 Mika Happy Ending
108 Modest Mouse Float On
109 Modest Mouse The Best Room
110 Muse Hysteria
111 My Morning Jacket Dondante
112 The Neighbourhood Afraid
113 Oasis Live Forever
114 The Offspring You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
115 Papa Roach Scars
116 Papa Roach Last Resort
117 Paramore Decode
118 Pearl Jam Yellow Ledbetter
119 Phish Horn
120 Phish Sample In A Jar
121 Pink Floyd Brain Damage And Eclipse
122 Portugal. The Man Sleep Forever
123 Queens of the Stone Age The Vampyre Of Time And Memory
124 Queensryche Silent Lucidity
125 Rachel Platten Fight Song
126 Rage Against the Machine Killing In The Name
127 REO Speedwagon Roll With The Changes
128 The Revivalists It Was A Sin
129 The Revivalists Keep Going
130 Rob Thomas Her Diamonds
131 Royal Blood Figure It Out
132 Seryn Disappear
133 Shakey Graves Roll The Bones
134 Simon & Garfunkel The Only Living Boy In New York
135 Sir Sly Gold
136 Something Corporate Konstantine
137 Soundgarden Burden In My Hand
138 State Radio Fall Of The American Empire
139 Stone Temple Pilots Trippin On A Hole In A Paper Heart
140 The Strumbellas Spirits
141 The Struts Could Have Been Me
142 The Struts Kiss This
143 Sum 41 Pieces
144 Supertramp Goodbye Stranger
145 Third Eye Blind My Hit And Run
146 Third Eye Blind Motorcycle Drive By
147 Twenty One Pilots Holding On To You
148 Twenty One Pilots Glowing Eyes
149 Twenty One Pilots Screen
150 The Zutons Valerie


I was going to highlight in red the songs that I was embarrassed to say were on my list, but it only would have been the two Papa Roach songs.

The Pink Watch Paradox

When it’s nice out, I run in short shorts, no shirt, and a watch. Most people don’t care, but there are some raised eyebrows and even some shouts from cars or punk kids across the street trying to impress their friends. Most are questioning my sexuality.

Now that we’re in short shorts / no shirt season, I expect the usual looks, but have noticed a friendlier tone from people, and I think I know why – The Pink Watch

Pink WatcI bought a pink watch about 6 months ago because it was a little cheaper than the others and have been wearing it ever since.

You’d think that because these people are questioning my sexuality, by adding the pink watch I’d receive MORE comments. However, it’s been the exact opposite.

The pink watch removes all doubt that I’m gay to these people. It’s essentially my gay flag that I’m flying while I run, and in this day and age, you do not harass gay people for being gay (or ideally anyone for being anything).

My point being this – yelling Fag! to a straight person usually won’t result in much. But yelling Fag! to a gay person could become way bigger.

My theory is that the usual hecklers have learned this in recent years and changed their behavior. If they saw me in short shorts, it wouldn’t cross their mind that I’m actually gay. But the pink watch makes them think twice, and they decide to not say anything

So by appearing more gay, I actually get less gay comments.

This should be published in science books.

Hero or Stupid?

This video has gone viral:

Emlamb showed this to me and asked if I thought it was as stupid as she did. The backstory is this:

  • This girl qualifies for the 400m hurdles finals in her college conference meet.
  • She tears Achillies like 100 meters into the final.
  • She finishes the race scoring one point for her team.
  • Everyone calls her a hero for finishing.

There are two sides to this argument.

She’s a hero

She tore her Achilles and ran through the pain to score the point. She’s the female version of Derek Redmond.

She’s a dumbass

She ran 300 meters on a torn Achillies and probably risked doing more serious / permanent damage to herself than she already did.

What do I think?

I’m torn (Ba-dum Tss!). I understand finishing because you’ve been so set on doing that, but hypothetically, if the doctor was like “You would’ve been fine had you stopped, but now you’ll never be able to walk again for the rest of your life”, she’d probably have said “Okay, fuck the point, I’m stopping.” 

I don’t know the actual odds of that happening (she had surgery and is fine). The point seems important now, but in the grand scheme, swallow your pride and walk it out.

How to Not Name Your Kids

I don’t know why my “real” name is Samuel. When I fill out my name for a flight ticket, I have to write Samuel so that it matches my license, but for everything else in my life, I’m Sam.

Whenever you’re trying to think of whether something makes sense or not, try explaining it to an alien:

Alien: “Why are your shoes bigger than your head?” Woody: “That doesn’t make sense!”

So when someone is born we give them a name, but then we like never actually call them by that name, we call them some shorter version of that name. Like absolutely no one acknowledges that real version of the name, but on legal documents, like the most important things out there, we call them by the name that no one calls them. We easily could have just named them the short name in the first place to avoid all this confusion and have just like, one version, but fuck that.

Drew Mackin is the only person who consistently calls me Samuel. To everyone else on the planet I’m Sam.

My children will have one name. Since I’m a man of efficiency, I’ll leave as little room for error as possible, their names are just going to be one single letter.

A Stortz – first one right out of the womb (I initially spelled it whoom, whoopsies.)

Trust. The. Process.

To all the Process Trusters:

Getting the #1 overall pick last night was reward for our patience and a sign that the process is turning into progress. It took 3 long years. With players like Ben Simmons (19), Joel Embiid (22), Jahlil Okafor (20), Dario Saric (22), and Nerlens Noel (22), we have a REAL shot at being GREAT.

Of course it may not work out, but I’d much rather be where we are now (coming off a 10-72 seasons with those players), than the Sixers of 5 years ago who went 41-41, got the 7 seed, and lost in the first round. We could have stayed in that cycle, and it would have sucked.

For Hinkie fans, it’s bittersweet. He set us up to be where we are but he won’t reap much of the credit / reward when the Process pays off. When the Sixers win it all, Hinkie will be a largely glossed-over name, but the die-hards and knowledgeable NBA fans will realize that the Process worked.



I can see it already:

30 for 30: Trust. The. Process.

Hop on the bandwagon sheeple.

Proper Prep for a 5k

There was a 5k this morning that I was undecided about running. Whether I ran or not hinged on how my Saturday went.

Here’s the series of events beginning Saturday morning:

>7 mile run
>Meet Tom and Jordan for bowling
>Bowl 10 games while casually drinking
>Go home
>Get dinner with Rob
>Start power hour with Rob and Abud
>Puke 6 beers in
>Go out for one drink
>Get a slice of pizza
>Get in bed by 12:00
>Wake up at 5:30 (couldn’t sleep)

I drove to Wawa for a coffee and some Saltines then headed over to the race. I was a little dehydrated and pooped four times before the start, but other than that felt okay.

The race started and me and one bro were out fast-ish. For the next 1.5 miles this guy would stay 5 meters behind me, but I threw in a surge up a hill and he broke. I finished in 17:00 exactly with second being 17:48.

No ideaI guess this goes to show that I have no idea what I’m doing the day before a race. Personally I think the power-hour puke was my savior.

Would I have really run 16:30 or faster had I done nothing yesterday? I don’t know, I don’t think so, but it’s possible!

Maybe I can have my cake and eat it too, just get hammered before every race and still do well somehow. Might have to try it again next time!

I Watched Scarface – 33 Years Later

On the (extremely long) list of movies I’ve never seen was Scarface. So last night, I passed on the drinking, or bowling, or whatever else, and decided to knock Scarface off the list.


TonyA solid 6/10.

Tony Montana just doesn’t take shit from anyone which is why it’s entertaining, but for being just under 3 hours I was hoping for a bit more to actually happen. His rise to power is decently exciting, but his relationship with his wife and friends all seem so under-developed.

The incestual relationship with his sister was weird, and I don’t even know what happened at the end. They mentioned the Diaz Brothers a few times, so I assume that’s who killed him, but it was completely unclear. I just looked it up and it was Sosa’s people, not the Diaz Bros. Poorly explained.

SkullThe bro with the shotgun and glasses was hysterically bad.

I’m glad I watched it since it’s considered a “classic”, but I don’t know why it’s considered a classic and I definitely wouldn’t say it’s a “good” movie.

Also, the 80’s soundtrack, specifically Push It To the Limit, seemed like a joke. I guess that’s the 2016-me talking. But seriously, listen for 30 seconds and tell me it’s not like a Team America Parody.

Am I missing something?


Atlanta Update

It’s Day 3 of the conference and I have 30 minutes until my next session! Figured I’d sneak in a blog with a short recap.

The Conference

Silicon ValleyIf you watch Silicon Valley, all I can say is that it is 100% spot on. These tech people are exactly as the show depicts. Everyone’s got their phone, laptop, anti-social-ness, etc. on full display. To be fair, people are actually pretty friendly, but it’s a very real depiction of the show.

The Phillies

Bat to faceJess and I went to the Phillies Braves game yesterday which turned out to be really good. The ball park was pretty empty and Jess biffed a foul-ball grab by about 3 inches and the guy next us to got it. The Phils held on in the ninth in a thrilling finish.

Stevie Wonder

StevieWe came back from the game and headed to the conference-sponsored concert featuring Stevie Wonder. We showed up late but the drinks were free and Stevie was going HAM. Stevie wrapped up the concert with some subtle anti-Trump talk so I started chanting “MA-GA! MA-GA!” and got kicked out of the concert. Just kidding about that last part.


Attending sessions and talking to people makes me feel like I know what I’m doing and am valuable to my company. Whether that’s true or not, who knows, but at least I FEEL that way.

My recommendation is to always travel if possible. I’m very lucky that I have the opportunity to do so so often, but my word to others would be to never turn down the chance to go somewhere. These four days in Atlanta for this conference are way more unique and character building than the four days I would have spent in the office.

Stortz vs. Mcgrath BBall

Player Summary

Sam Stortz – Not particularly good at anything and at 5’8, 140 lbs, is significantly undersized. In the best cardio shape?

Tom Stortz – Good hustle and solid defender, though struggles finishing around the rim and at 6’0, 175 lbs, is undersized compared to who he’s guarding.

Ian Mcgrath – As uncoordinated as a newborn deer but at 6’2, 190 lbs, he’s a hard person for me to guard. Not nearly as bad as I describe, I just refuse to give him credit.

Steve Mcgrath – A brick wall at probably 6’3, 230 lbs. Won’t shoot outside of 10 feet but can back his way in every time.

Game 1

  • Ian played with the energy of a sloth.
  • The Stortz’s played with the energy of a severe cocaine addict.
  • Both Stortz’s shot well and ran away with it early.

Result: 11 – 5 Stortz

Game 2

  • The Mcgrath’s used their size wisely.
  • The Stortz’s shot as if they both had cataracts.
  • It was a completely lopsided game.

Result: 11 – 3 Mcgrath

Game 3

  • The Mcgrath’s continued to use their size wisely.
  • The Stortz’s played as if we had both eyeballs removed and shoved right up our asses.
  • It was an even more lopsided game.

Result: 11 – 2 Mcgrath


The Mcgrath’s played to their advantages and Tom and I can’t shoot for shit unless we’re playing HORSE.

Congrats Mcgrath’s. I hate losing to you. I imagine your victory made your Mother’s Day more than anything. I’m up for a rematch anytime. I don’t know why, cause I suck, but I am.