Farewell Sneezy

Sneezy was put to sleep yesterday afternoon. At 18 years old she was the oldest cat we’d ever had, and she was the last remaining cat from my true childhood. Yesterday was sad, no doubt about it, but Sneezy lived a great life.

She never liked being in the spotlight. If she were alive today and saw this post, she’d be a bit embarrassed, but she deserves the recognition as an all-time great kitty.

Sneezy1

 

Sneezy2

 

Sneezy 3

Rest in peace, Sneezy.

AC Getaway

Hayley and I went to Atlantic City this weekend for a late Valentines Day getaway.

The Outlets
We kicked things off by shopping at the Tanger Outlets and both walked away with some quality products. No big deal, we’re going to make back any money we spend here anyway.

The Dinner
BuddaWe had dinner reservations at Buddakan for 8:00. I’d say it was fantastic. We had these delicious chicken and ginger potstickers, black bean scallops, and crab fried rice.

As far as food goes, it was an A, would definitely recommend.

The Room
I was in charge of booking the room and did a below-average job. I’d post where we stayed, but then you’d read the online reviews that said things like “Where’s the option for 0 stars?” and laugh at me. It wasn’t nice, but it accomplished the goal of giving us a place to rest our heads.

The Gambling
GamblingFortunately for us, the money lasted a while and there were swings in both directions, but we lost. I clocked a PR in biggest personal loss at $610. Whoopsies! Hayley fared much better, but was still in the red. I just think of it as I paid $100 a drink for 6 drinks and got to gamble for free.

Overall
We enjoyed a great getaway and learned a lot. It’s such an easy trip as AC is just over an hour away from Philly and the food options / casinos make for a unique experience. If you can snag a day off of work and go, the (good) hotels are dirt cheap.

My Lucky Day

Winning the tickets to the Sixers game and entry to the knockout tournament is probably the second luckiest thing that’s every happened to me.

The luckiest thing that’s ever happened to me was winning $5000 in Vegas.

So what do these things have in common?

They both happened on February 26th.

Exactly one year ago today I had my run in Vegas, and a year later I’m winning radio contests!

Feb 26I checked the archives, and on February 26, 2011, I ran 15:36 at indoor conferences in the 5k, still my indoor PR to this day. I also placed 12th which was my highest conference placing in an individual event!

I don’t know what it is about February 26, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s my lucky day.

I’m going to put some cash in Bovada tonight and make a ton of money. I’ll tweet what I bet so you too can know what to bet.

What else should I do on my lucky day?

A Knock-Out On My Drive In

The Fanatic97.5 the Fanatic is running a contest now where if you win, you get 4 tickets to the Sixers game on March 2 and you get to play a game of knock-out on the court after the game.

The way you win is to “know the show” – you listen to the show, call their contest line when they tell you to (always busy), answer a question about the show on the air, and if you’re right, bam, you win.

I’ve called almost every morning for like two weeks (they do it at the same time on my drive) and I get a busy line every single time.

But not this morning.

***Update! You can listen to the live radio broadcast here (start at 2:04:45)

This morning I called in, and it actually rang. It went a little something like this:

97.5 – “Hello 97.5 the Fanatic contest line.”

Me – “Hi I’m calling for know the show.”

97.5 – “Okay cool, what’s your name? I’ll put you on hold.”

Me – “Sam, thanks.”

Then I heard the broadcast through the phone:

Gargano – “Mike, you’re up on know the show. Who was the quarterback that a caller said should come out of retirement and play for the Eagles?”

Dumbass Mike – “RANDALL CUNNINGHAM!!!!”

Gargano – “Incorrect, sorry Mike. Next up we have Sam. Sam, who was the quarterback a caller said should come out of retirement and play for the Eagles?”

Me – “Brett Favre!”

Gargano – “CORRECT! Congrats Sam, you and three friends are going to the Sixers game and you’ll be playing in the knock-out game after the Sixers.”

And that was that. They put me on hold, some bro collected my information, and I’m going to the Sixers game on Wednesday to play some goddamn knockout.

This is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. I’ll write a follow up post about strategy before the game, as there’s a lot to discuss there.

 

Luke P. and Social Media Power

There’s a gofundme page for Luke Puskedra (4th place at the US Olympic Trials a few weeks ago for you noobs) and his wife, because their 7 month old daughter has Neuroblastoma.

Luke
In 24 hours, its raised almost $50,000. Luke is one of the US’s best marathoners, but that doesn’t pay well, so this is like a year’s worth of salary (I’m guessing) in literally one day.

Puskedra20 years ago there would be a bunch of “Did you hear about Luke’s daughter?”, but very little action would be taken by most aside from the standard “I’m sorry to hear“s. Even if you wanted to give him money, you’d have to give him cash in person.

Now, 700 people, a small percentage I presume are Luke’s direct friends and family, and a large percentage of whom know him through running one way or another, have given him $50,000.

That’s insane. That’s life changing in this case. We’re not only aware of the issues now, but we’re able to act in ways that didn’t exist before.

So, if you feel so inclined, donate to help baby Penelope.

 

If you don’t watch Shark Tank, you should.

Shark Tank is a genius idea for a show for a two reasons:

  • sharkEntrepreneurs come up with the ideas so the show writers / creators don’t have to. All they have to do is take other people’s ideas and let the investors work their magic.
  • There’s plenty of incentive for entrepreneurs to come on the show due to its popularity. Even if a deal isn’t done, the publicity they receive is irreplaceable.

If you pitched the idea of Shark Tank on Shark Tank, the investors would be ALL over it.

Watching the show is great for a few reasons:

  • You learn how business works and what’s important. The sharks dissect companies and people in ways you and I could never think of.
  • It spurs imagination. By seeing dozens and dozens of potentially smart ideas, you begin to think of things differently.
  • It’s funny / entertaining. The sharks are ruthless, and that makes for good TV when someone stupid comes on as well as when someone very smart with a good idea comes on, as the sharks are forced to fight with each other.
  • You can play along. You predict what’s good, what’s bad, who will go in, will a deal happen, etc. You can also try to think of ideas to pitch.
  • You find some potential things to buy. There plenty of useful things that you otherwise would have never known about. I’ve purchased plenty of things from the show (I haven’t, but I’ve thought about it!).

My thoughts on the Sharks:

sharks

Mark Cuban – The guy everyone wants to do a deal with. When he talks, you listen. When he offers, you accept. The show got infinitely better when he joined.

Daymond John – It always sounds to me like he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. He goes out for “not being able to add value” very often.

Kevin O’Leary – Like him or hate him, he’s a must for the show. Very entertaining and loves to trash people by asking the critical questions. Loves perpetuities in his offers which is annoying.

Barbara Corcoran – Seems like a very thoughtful shark and I’d be very happy to do business with. A solid contributor.

Lori Greiner – Everything revolves around QVC for her which gets annoying, but adds some diversity.

Robert Herjavek – Huge fan. He’s the nice guy but critical when he needs to be. Girls like Robert, those eyes.

If you started an NBA team TODAY, who would be your #1 pick?

10. James Harden – 26 years old
I’ve never been a fan of Harden. He’s a great scorer, but not a winner. People don’t like playing with him. There’s definitely hope, but there’s not much suggesting he’ll change. I was going to put Towns here, but I really don’t know anything about him.

9. Ben Simmons – 19 years old
SimmonsCurve-ball! I’ve never watched him play, but I’ve heard enough that Simmons MIGHT be the next Magic Johnson, and that’s enough for me. Is he going to be anyone good? I really don’t know, I’m just going by what I hear. High risk, high reward. Going to be a Sixer next year!

8. Damian Lillard – 25 years old
Since Aldridge left Portland, Lillard is all they have left. He’s a good shooter (38% from 3 and 86% from FT), good passer (7.3 APG), and steps up in the playoffs. He’s likable and coming into his own as the #1 guy.

7. Russell Westbrook – 27 years old
I’m not a Westbrook fan. I think he tries to do too much and it hurts the chemistry with Durant. However, you can’t deny his physical talent and ability to post big numbers. I don’t know if he can win championships being THE guy, but he’s a good start.

6. Paul George – 25 years old
paulgeorgeA bit under the radar since he was hurt all of last year, but he has playoff experience and has shown he can perform in the big games. He made a statement at the all star game, is a great player, and a seemingly good person off the court as well.

5. Andrew Wiggins – 21 years old (as of TODAY, happy birthday!)
An iffy pick at 5, but he’s just so young. In only his second year he’s averaging 21 points. He’s 6’8 and as athletic as they come. His 3-point % this year however is 25%, which is concerning, but he doesn’t have trouble getting to the basket. Surround him with shooters and let him create.

4. Kevin Durant – 27 years old
I love Durant as a player and I, along with all of America, think he and Westbrook do not really fit together. I’d take Durant over Westbrook. He’s clutch, and shoots / handles like no 6’9 guy should be allowed to. He hasn’t won one yet, but he’ll have at least one championship when all is said and done.

3. Kawhi Leonard – 24 years old

The epitome of a Spur. Great fundamental basketball, awesome defense, and very humble. He’d be the leading candidate for MVP if the 3 point line didn’t exist. It’s hard to tell what portion of his awesome play is him vs. Popovich / the Spurs system, but I’m a believer.

2. Steph Curry – 27 years old
Steph is on a level of his own right now. His game shouldn’t deteriorate too much with age. There’s no reason to think he won’t be a lethal shooter / play-maker for another decade and win a couple more titles along the way.

1. Anthony Davis – 22 years old

59 points and 20 boards last night which sort of inspired this post. He’s been a stud for two years and he’s only 22. He’s going to be great for another 10-15 years. The only concern is the fact that the Pelicans aren’t good. You’d like to see him make the team around him a bit better, but it’s hard to put the blame on him.

Feb Weekend Update

I’m in need of a post and not feeling creative.

On Friday, I stayed in and rested for the Frostbite 5 miler on Saturday.

The Race

Frost

I was hoping for 27:30 and top 10. Tom and I went out in 5:20 and felt okay. Tom, some other bro, and I hit two miles in 10:52. Me and the bro (not Tom, the other bro) ran the rest of the race together but I didn’t feel good. We closed okay and I think he let me win.

My time was 27:50 and I finished in 12th. Bleh. Not the confidence booster I was hoping for, but I ran 62 miles this week and think I’m heading in the right direction. Tom ran great and finished in 28:40 (you can read Tom’s recap here) and Hayley crushed her goal time by like 5 minutes. Props to Palmisano for winning the race in a quick 25:23.

The Work Party

IMG_5477Later that night Hayley and I attended my company’s annual winter party. We dressed up nice which is always fun, easily the best looking couple there. It was casino themed and I lost $1,750 fake dollars which was probably more than anyone there and the CEO thinks I’m a gambling addict.

Sunday

I did 13 this morning in 6:45s this morning which was great considering the race yesterday. Since then I’ve done nothing except bowl with Alex, Tom, and Watkins where we all sucked.

The weather is turning and life is good. Be happy.

A Running Commitment

If you think running is stupid, just skip this post entirely.

This is my commitment to actually trying to run fast again. By putting this in writing, I’m more likely to carry it out.

Where I’m At

joggerSame old shit. I’ve been running 40-50 miles a week with few workouts the last month+ and am in decent shape.

I’m doing a 5 mile race tomorrow where I’ll post a respectful but generally mediocre time which I’ve been doing for three straight years now.

Either shit or get off the pot.

The Plan Moving Forward

Run more and more often.
60-80 miles a week, doubling 2-4 times a week.

Structure my weeks / workouts.
I randomly decide what I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it. A little more structure will help.

Choose a goal race.
I need to choose a distance first. Anything 5k – half marathon will be good. Suggestions for races in April – May? I can’t do Broad Street.

Choose other races.
A goal race is great, but there’s no fun in running if you don’t race a lot.

Avoid injury / down weeks.
Last time I got “serious” about training I got hurt and ran the worst (only) marathon of my life. Sleep, ice, ibuprofen, etc. will help. Also taking down weeks every so often will help.

Do core.
Simply put, I’m a weakling in almost every sense. Doing core 2-3 times a week will only help.

Goals?
It’s hard to say, but here’s a stab at general goals for getting in shape.

5k (track) 5k (road) 10k (road) Half Marathon
Okay 16:00 16:15 33:30 76:00
Good 15:45 16:00 33:00 74:30
Great 15:30 15:45 32:30 73:00

 

Updates.
I’ll post every other week about how it’s going for those who care.

Help?
Give advice, ask to run, let me know what races you’re doing, whatever. It’s more fun to do this with other people.