The Good & the Bad From This Weekend

The weekend was a success. I ended up racing the 5k on Saturday which was very painful. I’m not in fantastic shape and I haven’t done any workouts in the last month so my body doesn’t react well when I go from running my normal 7 minute miles to going all-out. Although it was painful and I’m still sore now, I ran better than I expected. I ran a 16:36 averaging under 30 miles per week the last three weeks and again, with zero workouts, so I’m confident that if I put in some good mileage and actually start working out, I could be sub 16 once again.

I would go into detail about my Saturday night but I can’t because there are few details to recall. The night began with a lot of Trials while sipping Natty Ice. Things escalated quickly when Slade and I played 1v1 quarters for ~an hour. It’s not ideal to not remember what happens when I visit Ursinus because I only go once a month. In college, if I had a rough night, it was no big deal because there was another night of drinking/hanging out right around the corner. Now, I don’t see those people that often anymore so it’s not good to waste a night by blacking out.

The two days at Ursinus reminded me of some good things about college as well as some bad. While I do miss the daily shoot-the-shit mentality as well as the team aspect, I’m not sad that I’m gone. This goes back to a post I wrote a while ago saying “the stage of life you’re in, is the stage of life that you want to be in.” I’m transitioning from a college student to an independent (eventually), working member of society, and that’s exactly where I want to be.

I left Ursinus around 12:20 on Saturday while the snow was beginning to fall. Little did I know what I was in for. My mom called me out of concern for driving conditions and I assured her I was fine. 10 minutes later I was flooring the car up a hill at ~2MPH and making basically zero progress on the snow/ice. I managed to slip and slide to the shoulder of the road and waited 30 minutes for a salt truck to come and help clear the road. The Beamer is god awful in the snow. About 5 miles from home I got stuck again going up a hill only this time there was no shoulder to pull off on. I put on the blinkers, got out of the car, cleared up from under my tires, and barely managed to make it up the hill. All in all, the normal 30-40 minute trip ended two and a half hours later. I managed to make it home without damaging the car at all which was a small miracle.

The weekend was enjoyable but I’m not sad at all to be going back to work. Also, the Eagles game was as good as football gets in my opinion. The holidays are coming up which brings three things I absolutely can’t stand. I’ve said this countless times before so most of you probably already know but cold weather is miserable, snow is destructive and annoying (albeit pretty for the first 24 hours), and Christmas music is as bad as it gets.

Happy Holidays!

Friday Update

I’ve been planning to run the 5k at Ursinus’ first indoor track meet which is tomorrow. I emailed about it a few weeks back and was told I could probably get in. Unfortunately I was told yesterday the race is “full” (21 people) and for now, I won’t be able to run. If I had to guess, I would say I’m still going to run it, but if I can’t I’m going to be pissed. As a non-collegiate athlete who doesn’t have a race scheduled every weekend from now until May, it’s a big deal if I miss a race.

This also dictates my weekend plans. If I drink tonight and learn that I could race, I’ll do it anyway but won’t run as fast (not a terrible scenario). If I don’t drink, and end up not being able to race, then it’s a real lose lose. If I do race, I’ll hang out at Ursinus for the night, but if I can’t race, I don’t think I’m making the trip. Somehow, even after graduating, Bayless still manages to affect my life in some way.

It’s not like I’m in great shape. I’ve done one mediocre workout in the last month and averaged about 25 MPW cause of my finger, BUT, I’d still like to run.

Speaking of my finger, I have one thing to say – it is incredibly annoying when I’m asked about it. I’m aware that I walk around with a club on my hand. I also know that most people don’t actually care, it simply serves as a conversation maker. If someone is 20 feet down the hall at work and they see me it’s almost a guarantee “How’s the finger?” just so we don’t have to avoid eye-contact for another 5 seconds. I’ve told the same story about 50 times now.

So it’s just a note – if there’s something really obvious to make conversation about, it’s likely been done countless times before.

And with a boring life post comes funny gifs!

cow

get owned

 

sweet getaway

Where in the World Are We Going?

Here is a Domino’s commercial that is running now.

They also have a deal where from 12/2-12/8, any pizza you order ONLINE is 50% off.

Why am I posting this? Domino’s is not trying to hide the fact that they prefer online business over phone business. You would never intentionally cannibalize your own business unless it was so obvious you were moving in one direction.

This isn’t just where Domino’s is going, this is where the world is going. Business moves to where it’s done most efficiently. That’s why iPods are made in China despite it being “unethical”. Most efficiently means as little human error as possible. In order to get rid of human error, you replace humans with machines who can do simple jobs faster, with less error, for way less money. It doesn’t matter if some companies think it’s wrong, because some companies will do it and they’ll be able to drive the dumb companies out of business.

This is one example that has become more and more clear in the last few years. 20 years ago most people probably couldn’t conceptualize a way that libraries would go out of business. “We’ll always need books, that’s not going to change.” It wouldn’t surprise me if libraries went kaput in the next 20 years. Soon drive-through workers will be replaced entirely. Then who knows what else.

This was semi-related to an article I read today about a man who was arrested for stealing from a local middle school. What did he steal? Power. He had a fully electric car and plugged it in for 20 minutes to charge while he attended his sons tennis practice. The police spotted his car and charged him with “Theft of power” and took him to jail a few days later. It was estimated that he “stole” about FIVE CENTS of power. I look at this and think, you definitely wouldn’t arrest this guy if he plugged his cell phone in, why arrest him for plugging in his car? It’s a joke. This crime is something most people 20 years ago would never have imagined because the idea of fully electric cars was far off to most.

The world is changing rapidly. The laws we have right now won’t even apply to some of the things that come along in 10 years. The jobs we have right now might not even exist in 10 years. I’m certainly not going to be leading the charge into the future but I am excited to see where we go (as long as I can make a living and not become enslaved or anything).

Challenges

I spent my entire run yesterday thinking of another challenge to do because the last one I did was the Capri Sun Challenge. Since I’m not at school anymore, challenges don’t come up as often. I need to be proactive.

Jonny suggested this post (jokingly I believe) but I’m going to write it as more of a personal organization of the challenges I’ve done rather than a highlight of my successes. Here is a list of the challenges I’ve attempted and their result. I might be missing some but this is all I could gather.

Challenge Result
100% Cocoa Chocolate Bar Success
300 Push Up Challenge PR – 20:53
40 Hands PR – 28:30
6-12-18-24 Challenge PR – 15h 23m
Banana/Sprite Challnege Success
Beer Mile(s) PR – 7:58
Capri Sun Challenge Failed
Cinnamon Challenge (5x) Success (5x)
Free Throw Challenge (80/100) Success – PR – 80/100
Gallon Challenge (2x) Failed (2x)
Saltine Challenge PR – 59 seconds
Soft Taco Shells – 1 Hour PR – 21 shells
Sub 5:00 Drunk Mile Success – PR – 4:58
ZB3 (2x) Failed (2x)

I have multiple challenges I want to do in the near and far future. If you have any suggestions, please comment. They are as follows:

  • 100 beers + 100 miles in a week
  • 1.5 miles every hour for 20 hours (a la Ian Edwards)
  • Complete Capri Sun Challenge
  • PR Beer Mile
  • PR Drunk Mile (need a good way to quantify “drunk”)

I’m not opposed to another gallon challenge but I just don’t think I can do it. Again, if you have any suggestions please comment. Some of these obviously take more planning than others. I can do the Capri Sun challenge whenever but I need to plan an entire week for the double century. Food challenges seem to be the most accessible but recommend anything.

The Thanksgiving Black Friday Puzzle

Imbemba retweeted something today that made a very obvious connection which I never realized. Maybe I’m way late to the party on acknowledging this but I just experienced my 22nd Thanksgiving/Black Friday and I never picked up on this.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to giving thanks for what you have. Traditionally you’ll have relatives over in the afternoon, eat dinner with everyone who’s able to join, and hang out later than normal. The conversation is generally humorous and enjoyable. You take time to reflect on all that you have and realize that family is number one. Materialistic things don’t mean much on Thanksgiving. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 relatives over to your mansion for the finest dinner in the nicest part of town or if you and your significant other are eating a microwavable turkey in your one bedroom apartment because it would be too expensive to fly home this time of year. We’re just thankful for what we have.

Then, the very next day, we disregard everything we just celebrated, and literally stampede each other for 50% off a TV. Once you get through Thanksgiving, it’s just okay and accepted to be materialistic. We take a day to be thankful for what we have, and then we go apeshit trying to get more. This is a huge contradiction. This is like Mardi Gras and Ash Wendesday. You go, get extremely drunk, have unprotected sex with 5 people, and then vow to stop sinning or whatever it is you do on lent.

I’ve never gone out for black Friday, not in spite of the holiday, but I just don’t like shopping that much and it’s way to far in advance to start doing Christmas shopping. Every year there are ridiculous stories of people mistreating each other in Wal-Mart or wherever for a few holiday deals. Although rare, people literally die because of this holiday. How quickly do we abandon the Thanksgiving spirit? Is it really just a coincidence that these two days are right next to each other? I don’t know, but it seems very strange that they are.

This is all easy for me to say. I’ve been lucky enough to never be in trouble financially. Maybe that’s why this day doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe if I were living pay check to pay check and had a wife and kid to feed or something, I’d have an entirely different stance. But doesn’t the idea behind Thanksgiving stick with some people? Is it strictly because people are in huge financial trouble that they go bonkers? Black Friday has been around a long time so I find that hard to believe.

This video shows what low prices can do to people. This looks miserable. I’m also amazed more stuff isn’t stolen (although for all I know it is).

Kobe’s Contract

Kobe Bryant recently signed a 2 year contract extension with the Lakers worth 48.5 million dollars. That’s over 24 million for two years, There are two sides to this. We’ll start with the Lakers organization.

The Lakers’ Perspective
This $48 million is paid to him for two reasons.
1) Assuming he returns from his torn achillies like we would expect him to, he’ll still average 25-30 points a game and be a top 10, maybe top 5 player in the game. Now, 24 million a year still makes him the highest paid player (with Dirk and Melo close behind) next season. So you could debate he doesn’t deserve that much as a potential top 5 player when Lebron, Durant, CP3, are near locks to be top 5.

2) Jerry Bus estimated (before passing away) that Bryant brought in $60-70 billion worth of revenue per season to the Lakers organization. That is a ridiculous number. Kobe also brought five championships to LA. He’s a legend and it’s a tribute to what he’s done to the city. They’re a loyal franchise.

I don’t blame the Lakers for offering him this much money.

Kobe’s Perspective
Kobe essentially said that the Lakers put a contract in front him, he looked at the dollar amount, and signed the contract. I believe this. I do have a problem with this though. Kobe is smart, he knows the Lakers will pay him whatever he wants, which is why he should have asked for less money. 

Kobe is 35 and only has a few good years of basketball left. If he’s going to win another championship, it has to be sooner rather than later. He’s already made an absurd amount of money (though he absolutely earned it). He’s not playing basketball to make money at this point in his career, he’s playing to win his sixth, and likely final, championship. The Lakers just committed a lot of money to Kobe that could have been put to much better use elsewhere had Kobe allowed them. They need better players right now. Kobe and Pau Gasol are not going to win a championship with the roster they have now.

Kobe is obviously a business man. He’s not stupid, he has to recognize this. If he wants that sixth title (to tie him with MJ no less) he’s going to need help and as it stands now the Lakers can’t afford to get him enough help because he took too much money of their money.

Look around the league.
Lebron took less money so the Heat could sign Bosh and Wade. Tim Duncan, arguably my favorite player ever,  went from making over $21 million a year to making $9.65 million a year in order to keep the Spurs together. He was the third highest paid in the whole NBA and went to fourth highest paid on his team! Do you think it’s a coincidence those two teams made the finals last year? Imagine if it were just Lebron and Bosh or just Duncan and Ginobili. It would have been a Pacers-Grizzlies final. You have to make sacrifices for the betterment of your team.

I can’t really blame Kobe for taking the money. I imagine when someone offers you that much money, you take it. But Kobe shouldn’t care about money. It’s not like he was choosing between $48 million and $48 thousand.

In the past I have always rooted for Kobe and I will still root for him going forward. However, when he doesn’t win his sixth title, we’ll know why.

Macklemore at the AMA’s

Macklemore’s Acceptance Speech

I’ve been neutral on Macklemore. I think his music is average and the political message in Same Love is something I can agree with. I have no doubt that racial profiling is real. You’d be ignorant to say that it’s not. Macklemore is obviously implying in this speech that white people profile black people but fails to acknowledge that racial profiling is A TWO-WAY STREET (also, if he was trying to imply that it’s two way, he did a terrible job of it). There is no race that is innocent of racial profiling. To act like black people don’t profile white people is just as ignorant as saying racial profiling doesn’t exist at all. Give me a freakin’ break.

Macklemore’s line of “…and fight against racism and the laws that protect it” is a crock when directed at this case. The law(s) that allowed Zimmerman to get off had nothing to do with race.  How many people know the facts about that night? One – Zimmerman.  We know that Zimmerman pursued Martin even though he was told not to, they fought, Martin was winning, and Zimmerman took one shot from close-range that killed Martin. Is the law that allowed Zimmerman to shoot Martin the one that supported racism? What if Zimmerman shot a white person in the same scenario and got off because of the same self-defense laws? Is that law still enabling racism? No, it’s there for what some would argue a good reason (gun control is a whole different topic, I don’t necessarily agree), and it in no way supports the idea of white>black. This is so overdone but what happened that night with Zimmerman and Martin will never be fully known. I’m not saying Zimmerman was in the right, he probably deserved to get beat up, but because no one fully knows what happened, so you can’t convict the guy. I’m sure there are way better, more concrete examples of white on black racial profiling than this.

This brings me to the Knockout Game, AKA Polar Bear Hunting. It’s a game played largely by black people who go up to unsuspecting non-blacks and punch them as hard as they can to try and knock them out. There was one case recently where 18 year old Jesse Smithers got out of his car, sucker punched Colton Gleason (white) who was walking home his girlfriend and another female, and then ran off. In court Smithers admitted he punched him for “no reason”. Colton Gleason died that night. Why didn’t Macklemore bring up this case? We know FOR A FACT that Smithers acted with absolutely zero justification (less than Zimmerman) when he punched and killed Gleason.

I might be coming off as some white supremacist but I assure you I’m not. I would argue that overall, being born black gives you a different and more difficult set of obstacles to go through in life because of profiling when compared to whites. I’m just playing devil’s advocate because the media and political pop-stars like Macklemore seem to highlight one side more than the other. With Same Love, it’s obvious. There are actual laws prohibiting a man from marrying another man. This is not similar to that. White people definitely profile blacks. Black people definitely profile whites.

Macklemore has dropped in my book.

Excellent Job Interview

I don’t know if this is real or not, but aside from how absurd and socially out-of-touch the kid is, I kind of buy it. I would probably laugh too if I was the interviewer. I had no problem sitting through all 12 minutes.

Musical Duos

Twenty | One | Pilots
I have to start with the band that inspired the post. The band currently consists of Tyler Joseph (piano, ukulele, vocals) and drummer Josh Dun. I have been on an absolute binge of these two, on par with my recent Phish and Pink Floyd binges if not worse. Their single Holding Onto You hit it big and now they have a few popular songs from their album, Vessel. The album only has 12 songs so I can literally listen to it four or five times a day while at work (and then another one or two when I get home/go running). They’re a little more electronic (think AWOLNATION) than my normal tastes but the constant use of piano and ukulele gives it a great sound. Initially I was not a huge fan of some of the rapping Tyler insists on doing (Ode to Sleep, Migrane) but it’s growing on me. Out of the 13 songs I have by them, there’s only one song that I would say is 3/5 (Truce) while the rest are categorized are 4s or 5s. They’re also awesome to run to because most are upbeat and hit a great climax (specifically Trees). My recommendations would be The Run and Go, Migrane, and Car Radio.

The Black Keys
I wrote a post a while back about the Black Keys already but they’re certainly worthy of being in this post. The band is currently Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and drummer Patrick Carney. These guys have been around for a while and again, the way I would describe them is just pure rock. I saw a Facebook status the other day that said something like “For two white guys, the Black Keys play with an incredible amount of soul” which I 100% agree with. I haven’t heard much from them recently but they’ve established themselves as a very good band. In all honesty I haven’t listened to that much of their stuff (I probably should) but the ~10 songs I know are top notch.

Hall & Oates
Daryl Hall and John Oates obviously weren’t too creative with their band name but these guys are good. I can’t explain why, but on Sundays in college when Mark and I would say “Alright, let’s just clean the room and get it over with”, I would turn on You Make My Dreams on full blast and it honestly made cleaning fun. Rich Girl is another hit and Pat’s go to song for a guitar sing along and I didn’t realize how good it suits that until he played it. They’re also from Philly which moves them up.

The White Stripes
I’ll start by saying I don’t know that much of the White Stripes but what I do know is very good. The band is Jack and Meg White, who initially claimed they were brother and sister before eventually revealing they were married. It’s impressive that they continued to make good music for years after divorcing. The obvious #1 hit is Seven Nation Army which is often in ‘top song’ and ‘top guitar riffs’ lists, the riff is unforgettable. I’m also very fond of We’re Going to be Friends which was introduced to me in my music class at school. It’s funny how such a simple song can be so good. Jack White is a bizarre guy but obviously very musically talented.

Flight of the Conchords
Brit and Jamayne (Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement) are a musical comedy duo from New Zealand who had a TV show on HBO that I watched all of. The fact that their show and live performances are comedy based makes most people think they’re not really that good of musicians but they actually kind of are. Their songs are catchy, their lyrics are funny, and their accents are legit. Most Beautiful Girl in the Room, Bret You’ve Got it Going on, Cheer up Murray, and Leggy Blond are among my favorites. I also find this clip from the show hysterical.

Feel free to share your favorite musical duos.