A while back I wrote a post about buying a 60 minute massage from Groupon because I needed to make at least one purchase with it. Today I went to my scheduled massage appointment.
I really didn’t know what to expect. In reality, I just wanted to go in, get a massage, and leave. But the details on the Groupon painted a slightly different story. There was talk of a consultation with a chiropractor and although I would have done, it wasn’t my first choice.
My appointment was scheduled for 5:00PM. I walked through the door at about 5:03 and signed my name. I was given standard paperwork to fill out and a few minutes later a middle aged woman called me up and gave me the tour of their building. I nodded and smiled the majority of the time but didn’t say much.
Around 5:15 they showed me to the massage room and I met the masseuse (yes I had to look up how to spell that). I would guess she was an early 30s woman who looked younger than that (I only know she was 30+ because she says she went to massage school and had been doing this for 6 years).
At 5:20, the massage started, and right off the bat my 60 minute massage was cut down to a 40 minute massage. I was under a blanket and in my boxers which I thought would be unusual but it wasn’t. The room was dimly lit and the oil she used smelled like mint. We made small talk the whole time and as a whole, I would say it was an interestingly positive experience.
It was definitely relaxing, but not as relaxing as I was thinking it would be. At one point she was digging into these knots on my shoulders and I thought I was going to lose it. I managed to tough it out. My calves were also a touchy subject, as focused pressure on them has always been a problem, but she didn’t go HAM so it was fine. I was disappointed to see it end 20 minutes short (she had an appointment at 6:00) but I wasn’t going to fuss since I used a Groupon. Afterward, I walked out, went up to the front desk expecting some closing paper work or something but they told me I was free to go, just as I hoped.
I would say it was certainly a worth-while experience and I’m glad I did it even though it was different from what I expected. I would entertain the idea of getting another one, but wouldn’t make it a weekly thing due to the cost.
I hope my first Groupon purchase isn’t my last, and I’ll be looking to do more to “expand my horizons” as my dad would say. We’ll see how it goes, but I would say I’m 1/1.
Below is the last ~15 seconds of the game last night between the Heat and the Nets where the Heat lost by one point. Lebron had a dunk attempt that was blocked by Mason Plumlee with about 4 seconds left and the Heat ultimately lost the game. Lebron complained during the game, shortly after the game, and a while after the game in the post game interviews. You be the judge (they show a slow-mo up close shot of the block)
So the obvious question here is “Was it a block or a foul”? In my opinion, not including the context of the game, this is a block. Plumlee gets ball first, knocks it out of the Lebron’s hands, and follows through to hit Lebron’s hands. In my opinioin, that’s not a foul, that’s a block. Was it 100% clean? No, but if you want to call a foul every single time there’s contact made like this then there will never be a clean lay-up other than on fast breaks.
Now let’s include the context of the game. In the final seconds of a basketball game, it’s well known that the refs take on a more “Let ’em play” attitude. This play was very fast happening and obviously it’s tough for a ref to make that call. But based on what he saw, hand hit ball before hand hit hand (which was true) and in that case, I don’t see any circumstance where you call the foul. The best part of this, in my mind, is that Lebron is the best player in the game but they didn’t just give him the foul call because he’s the best and they’re at home. He called it as he saw it which is awesome.
Lebron’s Reaction & My Take
As you can see in the video, Lebron begins complaining with 3.5 seconds left. He has an opportunity to foul the Nets player who rebounded the ball, but instead argues to the ref. With that said however, it’s obvious in the video that Rashard Lewis had the best chance to foul him and intentionally didn’t for some reason. Best case scenario after the foul is you’re down 3 with 2 second left which, although the odds aren’t good, there’s still a chance.
Back to Lebron. He complains about the call during the game. As he was walking into the locker room, he saw the play slow-mo on the big screen and complained even more. In the post game interview, he continued his complaining saying that he didn’t even need to see the replay because he knew it was a foul, but that seeing the replay only confirmed it. There’s no credit given to Plumlee for a great play on the best player. There’s no “It was a really close call and it just didn’t go our way“. There’s just (paraphrasing of course) “They should have called the foul regardless because I’m Lebron… but it was still a foul”.
Just admit you lost a tough game. He’s using this questionable NO CALL AT THE END OF THE GAME as a big excuse for losing to the freakin’ Nets. They’re supposed to be the best team in the NBA, a dynasty, and you’re putting up 87 points against the Nets at home? The game could have been won prior to that play. You didn’t play well enough. It’s one regular season game and obviously they’re fighting for the #1 seed, but we all know that’s going to come down to the head to head game between the Heat and the Pacers on Friday anyway.
Here is a sample of something I see almost every single day on Facebook, and I guarantee your’s is the same.
Ads have more or less taken over Facebook. While the “Should This Be Banned?” ad can be scrolled over, the ads on the right-hand side stay no matter what. Even when I do scroll past the “Should This Be Banned?” ad, it’s not long before I scroll down and find another one.
So what’s the point? Now that my job is based around marketing, I have a completely different take on these things.
First, I realize Facebook needs to make money. They’re obviously going to piss people off with the ads, but essentially they assign a monetary value to how much the ads piss people off, and decide that the revenue the ads will bring in will outweigh the number of people they piss off.
Second, and more importantly, people are paying to have their ads put up in these places. Each impression cost money, so when you’re choosing what to put in front of people, you want to make them click your ad. The side ads are acceptable. Although I don’t like ads in general, I’ve come to appreciate them more since I work with them all of the time. The side ads of a University, a credit card, a dating website, etc. are relevant to me as a young single human. Although I almost never look at them, let alone click on them, I don’t have a problem with them.
However, I cannot stand ads like the main one in the picture I posted. I view these as 100% garbage even if they aren’t. I’m not talking about the placement, I’m talking about the tactic to draw you into to clicking it. It’s essentially playing on peoples curiosity and I don’t believe for one second that there are “Two ground breaking formulas scientists are talking about and celebrities are using.” Who clicks on these things?! I feel I’ve been conditioned to 100% avoid those and I’m surprised not everyone else feels the same way.
The “Must Sees”
Here’s an example of something I’m seeing more and more.
Have you noticed the increase in videos these? “This Girl Is Passed Out Drunk on the Couch. See What This Man Does To The Girl“ or “WATCH: Student’s April Fools prank on professor may be the best ever” or “A 3-Year Old Boy Walked Out On Stage And SHOCKED Everyone! INCREDIBLE!“ and of course “75 Thoughts Every Runner Has While Out For a Run“ These are popping up all over the place and in general, really dislike them. The thing with these though is that, from my experience, there actually is something worth seeing (as opposed to “Should This Be Banned?” ad). I’ll never click on these if they organically show up, but if I see a trusted source share it and comment, then I might take a look.
For example, this Sunday, Drew told me about the April Fool’s prank listed above. When I was scrolling down my Newsfeed, I saw it and knew it was legit, so I watched it. However, I’m not going to be clicking on everything willy-nilly.
I’m cynical when it comes to these things and I don’t like being baited. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to know what I’m getting into. The internet is a scary place, and clicking on that 3 minute video of the dog that probably has two legs, one nut, and five tumors, might not be what you thought it was. Seeing titles like that is a turnoff for me. I was under the impression that the majority of people were like me, but given the recent rise in popularity of things with baiting titles, I’m starting to think I’m wrong.
This weekend was quality. Friday night was a Manayunk night. Kurt, Ben, and I drove down to meet up with Jared and Dan where we were pregaming at Dan’s friends house. After passing around a fifth of Fireball, we headed out to Kildaire’s for a $20 open bar where we met up with Gourlay and some La Salle friends. Things were slow to start but somehow I got too drunk and don’t remember much of the night. I could tell you that Alex, Ben, and I got some pizza and we eventually headed home. However, the parts I remember were fun.
I woke up in a haze on Saturday and called Slade to see if it was worth it to go to the track meet at Muhlenberg. Eventually I sacked up and drove 45 minutes to watch some friends run in circle. I’ll give shout outs to Drew for a quality 1:58.99 800, Rudy and Jamie for big 5k PRs, Wacker and Slade for solid 1500 performances/near PRs, and Simoncini for almost breaking 5 in the 1500 for the second week in a row. Although I wasn’t running, I really enjoy being at track meets. Watching the start of the 5k had me itchin’ to get on the track and run an in-shape 5k. Talk is cheap, but I’m pretty determined to NOT have 15:27 and 32:40 be my lifetime PRs. If I could do it at 19, I should be able to do it at some point in my 20s as well.
Anyway, I decided to go to Ursinus for the night. I arrived around 8 with two cases of beer and sipped gently while doing the occasional shot. People began showing up and Flip Cup began which is a personal favorite. The plan was to head to a house on Main Street at some point. Sadly, I’m a repeat offender, and don’t entirely remember the rest of the night, though it’s a little more clear than Friday. A group of us headed over to Main Street for the party. There are very small glimpses of being in the bathroom with Drew and his friends, and next thing I know, I’m at the diner. Once again, these are very small glimpses, but I could tell you who I went with and what I ordered (duh). The night concluded with a very bizarre sleeping spot, and I couldn’t tell you the reason I slept there.
I wasn’t as hungover this morning as I expected. After slogging around for a few hours, a few of us headed to the diner for lunch. The plan afterward was Frisbee and basketball. Drew and I tossed the disk for a bit and then rounded up a crew to play some ball. Perhaps the highlight of the entire ordeal was Drew saying “If I make this, you have to run a 50 second 200 backwards”. He launched up a half court shot and of course, he swished it. I didn’t know what to expect, but I ran an all-out backwards 200 in 48 seconds and let me tell you, it was one of the most painful rigs I’ve ever had while running. I almost fell with every step in the last 40 meters because of how rigged up I was. I challenge anyone to beat 48 seconds. It sounds stupid, but it was about a 9/10 on the physical difficulty scale. Anyway, we played a few games of basketball and I headed home. I’ll give credit to Simoncini who was more athletic and better at basketball than I expected.
The weekend was a fun one, but I must say, I need to work on this whole “getting too drunk” thing. Once in a while is okay but it’s become more regular than I would like. Worst of all I become a burden to others when it happens because they have to watch out for me which is bad. It’s a learning experience I guess, and I don’t intentionally do it, but I need to be aware of how much I’m drinking. Other than that though, this was a high quality weekend.
Though some are stupid, this had me lolin a few times. Specifically 7, 22-23, 26-31, 40, 45-46, and 63-67. I don’t think 19 is funny, but I do that all the time.
“1. What a beautiful day for a run!
2. This sucks.
3. Well, five miles is only two and half miles each way, which is basically two miles each way, so I’m really only running four miles. That’s not too far.
4. It’s starting to feel far.
5. How long have I been running? A year?
6. SIX MINUTES?!
7. I can barely remember what my life was like before I started this run.
8. OK, concentrate. There are still four-plus miles to go.
9. But who counts the first and last mile? This is pretty much an easy three miler.
10. Oh, shit! A fellow jogger!
11. Should I wave?
12. I’m totally gonna wave.
13. OOOK, they didn’t wave back. Never doing that again.
14. Just keep running, no one saw. Except that old guy who may or may not be averting his eyes.
15. Man, I think I’m hitting that “second wind” thing my gym coach was talking about.
16. Wait, never mind. I’ve been running down a decline.
17. If I leap to avoid dog shit, does that make me a CrossFit athlete?
18. What the heck is CrossFit anyway?
19. Mental reminder: Google CrossFit when I get home.
20. If I ever get home.
21. If I had a heart attack right now, I wonder who would find my body.
22. OMG, I hope I never find a dead body. Joggers always find dead bodies.
23. Bodies. Body. Bod-ay. Runnin’ all day, no one can catch … may.
24. OK, I must be halfway done by now.
25. What?! Only two miles in?
26. Alright, stay focused. What am I going to eat when I get home?
27. I’m running five miles so I should probably eat five slices of pizza.
28. Or I could buy one pizza and ask them to cut it into five slices.
29. I should probably get a side salad too.
31. Fuck the salad actually.
32. Man, what are these people doing in front of me? Walking?!
33. Is this a contest to see who’s the worst at walking? Because you are both champions in my heart.
34. Maybe if I pound my feet on the ground they’ll hear me coming and let me pass.
35. Oh, God. They didn’t turn around and now I’m right behind them. They’re going to think they’re getting mugged by the world’s sweatiest criminal.
36. You know what? Now seems like a good time to run in the street.
37. * Jumps off curb * Parkour!
38. Hi hi hi please don’t hit me with your car.
39. Pedestrian pedestrianizing over here, let me cross.
40. Thank you, Mr. Blue Honda. I’m trying to smile at you but it probably looks like I’m having a stroke.
41. Actually, I wonder what I look like right now.
42. * Checks out reflection in shop window * Yeesh.
43. Is that what I look like when I run? What am I, a newborn deer with a drinking problem?
44. Whatever, I must be almost done by now.
45. Heck yes. Three miles down, two to go. It’s all downhill from here.
46. Except for that very real uphill in front of me. God damnit.
47. Wait, is that… Is that…
48. A DOG!
49. Hi dog! You are so cute. You are now my mascot. I will finish this run for you, pup.
50. And — hello — what do we have here? Your human is pretty cute too.
51. Hope you like drunk fawns, Cute Human.
52. Watch my bambi ass prance up this hill.
53. Holy shit, prancing is exhausting. I am exhausted.
54. Honestly, I don’t even like running.
55. Why do I even run?
56. Why does anyone even run?
57. Why are we even alive?
58. OK, let’s not go down that road.
59. Focus. Focus on that sweet, delicious ‘za waiting at the finish line, calling your name with its cheesy breath.
60. Wait, less than one mile to go? I am KILLING this run.
61. I AM THE SWIFTEST GOD OF ALL TWO-LEGGED CREATURES.
62. YES, including ostriches.
63. Honestly, I should sign up for a marathon.
64. What is it, like 30 miles?
65. That’s just 15 miles each way, which is practically 10, and 10 is twice five, and I can run five miles EASY.
66. That’s it, I’m doing it. Thirty miles.
67. Thirty-mile marathon…30-mile marathon…30 Rock marathon.
68. On second thought, I’ll probably just binge-watch every episode of 30 Rock. That takes a lot of dedication and I will be winded from laughing so hard.
69. But I could probably do a marathon IF I wanted.
70. OK, almost home. Should I shower first and order pizza or order pizza and shower before it shows up?
71. Yep, definitely ordering first. I earned that shit.
72. Oh, no. Oh god no. Another runner. Should I wave?
73. No, be strong! Do not get burned again.
74. OMG, SHE waved first! Hello! Yes! We are both runners! Look at us run!
75. I guess running’s not so bad.”
After a solid week of work, my weekend will consist of fun, though nothing out of the ordinary. Tonight is a trip to Manayunk as I have to get acclimated to the new terrain. I’m in a particularly springy mood right now. I had a very good tempo run the other day which could have to do with it. I did four miles at Mondauk hoping to hit 6:00s then drop down the last two miles. Instead I went 5:44 (oops), 5:55, 5:54, 5:45. I think Mondauk is probably worth 5 seconds a mile so I’d give myself a 5:45 average for a four mile tempo which will hopefully translate to ~35:30 next weekend for my 10k. I’m not in great shape but that’s better than I thought. Also, the weather in general is becoming nicer (despite a shitty day today) and moods are naturally lifted.
This post is 100% a filler. I don’t have anything of substance to write about, but as always, something is better than nothing, right? I should also mention a shout out to Gourlay, who started his own blog, Gourlay’s Goodies. It’s good to see blogging becoming more popular (though ulterior motives played a part). Granted he’s only one person, but I don’t think bloggers get enough credit for how difficult it is to come up with content on a daily basis. Readers see me and Tom have a bad week where we publish two or three shitty posts in a week and wonder what’s going on. In reality, it’s difficult to maintain these things week to week, let alone year to year.
Anyway, we all knew it was coming. Here are some funny gifs and pics to make your visit worth it. Enjoy.
I like to think I saved the best for last. Get your lols ready.
The past few years my life has sort of done a 180. I would say there has consistently been three big aspects: Working, Running, Social (drinking).
Since graduating my placement of these three in terms of priority have switched. Though the social (drinking) aspect has remained relatively constant in the last few years, work has moved up and running has moved down. It’s not like this has come as a surprise, but the adjustment has been eye opening in more ways than one.
When I was in school, running was the thing I cared about most. And when I was capable, I was running a lot. I would do doubles, workout twice a week, race once a week, etc.. Compare this to the workload I had. I generally had 2-3 hours of class a day with an average of 1-2 hours of work (if that). I also rarely had a class before 10:00. Meaning the earliest I would wake up is ~9:30, though there were a few exceptions.
This routine would be broken up in the summer, where instead of having classes, I would intern at my current company. I worked a six hour day, 10AM – 4PM, five days a week. Most days I would run before and after work. I remember thinking “Man, these six hour days are brutal, I’m never going to be able to tolerate 40 hour work weeks.” After three quick months, I would go back to school and settle back into my normal routine of running a lot, drinking on weekends, and working little. I remember one time specifically when John Ryder came to visit Ursinus and I asked him something like “How do you do it? Commute 40 minutes each way, work 8 hours, go home, and do it over and over again?” I couldn’t fathom it at the time.
Now that I’m fully employed and don’t have anything to “train” for, the tables have turned. A normal work day for me is getting up at 8:00, working from 8:30 – 5:15 with a 45 minute lunch break. Working 40 hours a week seems easy now. I don’t mind going in and working 8 hours a day, it’s just become the norm. I don’t mind waking up at 8:00 each day either, as that has also simply become the norm.
Running on the other hand hasn’t come as easy. I’m finally back in shape, but given that I have less time, less motivation, and am in worse shape, sometimes running doesn’t seem so fun. I thought about running this Saturday when it was raining and cold, but ended up saying “Nah, I don’t realy feel like it“. Now running as much as I did in college seems unrealistic. Not only from a time standpoint, but also from a health standpoint. I’m having these little nagging injuries that will cut an 8 mile run short by a few miles. Now, one workout a week leaves me sore and aching, and if I’m lucky I’ll only take a day off the rest of the week.
Though the lifestyle change has had it’s pros and cons, it helped me realize something about my future. I’ll be moving out soon, and the drive from Manayunk to work is significantly longer than the .8 miles I have to drive each way now. The laundry and grocery shopping that my mom does will disappear, among other things. Waking up 30 minutes earlier, doing my laundry, doing my own food shopping, etc. will need to be. But I’m not worried. These things will become part of the norm.
Right now, I have a tough time imagining shopping once a week, driving an hour each day, and the other things that come with living independently. Although I have little experience with this specific situation, my past experience with a lifestyle change leaves me optimistic and excited, as opposed to nervous and worried when thinking about my move out.
I’m going to give you reasons as to why this tournament is not worth watching and this entire post will not even touch on the actual game-play of women’s basketball.
The Undefeated Seasons: Women & Men
This year in women’s college basketball, two teams had an undefeated regular season, UConn and Notre Dame. Since 1973, an undefeated regular season in women’s college basketball has happened 18 times, with 10 of those teams remaining undefeated and winning the tournament. Two undefeated teams in one season, pretty impressive right?
In men’s college basketball, dating back to the same 1973, there have been only 9 undefeated seasons, and only 2 of those teams went on to win the NCAA tournament.
But let’s keep going. In the last 20 years, 11 of those 18 undefeated regular seasons for women have happened, 6 of which who went on to win the title. So basically, a team goes undefeated every other year, and more then half of them go on to win it all. Hmm, maybe two in one season isn’t that crazy.
In the last 20 years for the men there have been only 2 undefeated regular seasons (one being Wichita State this year, and the other being St. Joe’s in ’04), and neither team even made the Final Four. So for the men, we get an undefeated season once every 10 years, and it guarantees you nothing.
We’ll take it one step further just because. In the last 5 years, women have had 6 undefeated regular seasons, with 3 of them going on to win the title. That number will soon be 4, because UConn or Notre Dame are both in the Final Four of the current tournament, and almost certainly one of them will win. An undefeated season is expected at this point in women’s college basketball, and that team is almost a lock to win it all.
In the last 5 years for the men, as you already know, only Wichita State has gone undefeated, and although they are actually a very very good team, they play in an extremely weak conference, so their schedule is significantly easier than any other big name team.
Here’s a table that makes it easier to understand what I just said.
# of Years
Avg years btwn UDS
% UD Champions
Why does this matter?
Women’s college basketball is so one sided now. For the women, #1 UConn is so dominant, that when they played #3 in the country Louisville on three separate occasions their average margin of victory was 19 points. When Notre Dame played Duke three separate times, who was ranked in the top 10 each time, their average margin of victory was 16. Who wants to watch that? UConn has made the Final Four seven times in a row. If you’re a top high school recruit, and you see that odds are you’re going to go to the Final Four at least a few times, why wouldn’t you go to UConn? You can almost guarantee that UConn and Notre Dame will meet in the finals even before the tournament started.
The whole fun of the tournament is the idea that #14 Mercer can beat #3 Duke in the first round, or undefeated Wichita State can’t get past the #8 Kentucky, or that one of the favorites to win it all, Michigan State, can’t beat #7 UConn, who shouldn’t have even gotten past St. Joes in the first round. At this point, Vegas gives Florida a 50/50 shot to win it all while UConn has the worst odds at 8-1. For the best team in the country already in the Final Four that seems realistic.
Even upsets outside of the top women’s teams are rare. In the first round, there was one 12 seed over a 5 seed, and two 11 seeds over a 6 seed. The Men’s Elite 8 seeds were 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 7, 8, 11 compared to the women’s 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4. The “madness” of March doesn’t seem so mad, especially because the Final game was an almost certainty. Will that final game be good? I have no idea. Personally, I expect UConn to crush them. But that’s based off nothing more than my extremely weak knowledge of women’s NCAA basketball.
Granted I wouldn’t watch women’s basketball even if it were competitive, but when there’s no madness in March Madness, I’m not interested.
The blog has been lacking lately. There’s no excuse really, just that I haven’t had much to talk about and the creative juices aren’t entirely flowing. This is a filler post, so I’ll simply steal some material that will hopefully make your visit worth while. This first gif might be the funniest one I’ve ever seen.
Scott Beury showed me this game and for whatever reason, I’m hooked (at least until I beat it). There’s a simple 4×4 grid and you start with two blocks that each have a value of 2. You can press up, down, left, or right and move all of the blocks on the grid in that direction. When two blocks of the same value hit each other, they double in value. So a 2 block hitting a 2 block gives you a 4 block. Two 4s give you an 8 and so on and so fourth. The object of the game is to combine blocks until you have a block with a value of 2048.
The idea is simple, but the execution of a “strategy” is difficult. Although I’ve been getting “better”, I don’t really know what I’m doing to make me get close to a 2048 block. So far the best score I’ve gotten is 5316 with a 512 block. Most likely I’ll be playing this game a lot until I beat it. It’s very strangely addicting. Give it a try.