Birthdays All Around

Posting has been lacking lately. This post will not be anything special, however my upcoming weekend will be. Tonight we’re going to the Sixers game for Tom’s birthday which should be a good time.

Tomorrow Chad and I are racing a 5k in Philly. I’m aware I’ll be running off little sleep and likely hungover but my goal is to win the race. I have no idea if that’s realistic but I recall looking up the winning time from last year and it was mid 17s so I don’t see why a slightly hungover Sam wouldn’t be able to run that. The President, CEO, and other important people from my company will be there so if I won I’d assume a promotion would not be far off.

Then on Saturday I’ll be going to Ursinus to hang out and celebrate Liz and Nicole’s 21st birthdays which both happened this week. I don’t know how their celebrations have been/will be but it couldn’t be worse than my 21st at Ursinus which was me Gourlay and Nipane at the Trappe on a Sunday by ourselves. It wasn’t fun.

Next Thursday is my surgery so there’s that. As always with less than thrilling posts, I’ll close with some funny gifs I found on 4chan. I’ve been 4channing way more than I would like to admit but the funny stuff is hilarious and I’ve been saving the ones I like. Here are two that I found last night that had me laughing pretty good.

launched

 

Microphone wtf

Well, this sucks…

I visited the doctor today for a check up on my finger. The x-rays revealed what I would have guessed, my finger is displaced. Two weeks ago today I innocently hurt it in the shower (it was extremely painful and the finger wasn’t straight like it was before, so I could have guessed it was messed up). I was told that if it didn’t happen then, it likely would have happened the next day or the day after. I’m not quite back to square one, my finger is somewhat straight, but it’s obvious that it’s not normal.

Now I’m sitting here, almost exactly 2 months after my injury, faced with a choice. I can choose to have a more in-depth surgery in order to fix it (the recovery time will be longer and the physical therapy post-op will have to be more intense if I want the finger to function properly) or I can allow it to heal as it. It is definitely not as crooked as before, but it’s noticeable. The only real thing that it has interfered with is playing guitar. The placement of my ring finger is off, although I’m sure there are things that haven’t come up within the past two weeks. Let’s weigh my options

Get the finger fixed
Pros

  • I can say with a very high degree of confidence that my finger will be fixed for the rest of my life barring another injury.
  • $900 isn’t that much money, especially when I’ve already paid as much I have, to make sure this is fixed.

Cons

  • It will set me back another $900.
  • The next 2 months are going to suck. I’ve already gone through the entire process of being unable to use my left hand and now I’ll be forced to do it again.
  • The finger will be in a much worse spot in terms of functionality than it was post-op last time.

Let the finger heal as is
Pros

  • I won’t have to bother with any physical therapy because my finger is almost fully functional.
  • I save $900 and months of inconvenience.

Cons

  • I was told by a family friend/doctor that it could get worse as the bone heals.
  • My future COULD be worse because life MIGHT be inconvenient with a semi-crooked finger.

The answer seems somewhat obvious to me now but if you asked me a few hours ago I was not sure at all. I think it boils down to this. With both options, ask me in 10 years if I regret that given option. I would definitely not regret having the surgery done 10 years from now to ensure I had a fully functional finger. If I didn’t have the surgery, I might not regret it because my finger might be fine, but there’s a chance I do regret the decision not to fix it.

TL:DR – I need to suck it up and fix the finger now. It’s going to be really annoying and the next few months are going to be really bad, but it’s just the right decision. Opinions are welcome.

FWIW here is my finger now.

1105132000

 

1101131217

My Take on the Sixers Start

The Sixers began the 2013-2014 season ranked a convincing last out of 30 teams. Despite the horrible ranking, many fans saw this season as a season of hope. Of course we weren’t going to win many games, there was even talk of the Sixers breaking their own record of worst season record OF ALL TIME at 9-73 (set in 1973), but the future seemed bright. We adopted the tagline “Winless for Wiggins”, referring to the supposed next coming of Lebron in Andrew Wiggins, currently playing at Kansas. Most fans agreed before the season began that we would tank (not voluntarily but because we are just that bad) and hope to get the #1 draft pick to get a franchise player like Wiggins.

Naturally, they open up their season at home against the two-time defending champions and undisputed #1 ranked team, the Miami Heat. Miraculously they overcome a 9 point deficit going into the fourth and win the game. Next they beat the below average Wizards and Championship hopeful Chicago Bulls. Who predicted the Sixers would be 3-0? Nobody. They even earned the #1 spot on NBA.com’s power rankings. Granted I think the ranking was being generous for a feel-good story but regardless, they were 3-0 and the 3 games they won were against better teams than any other 3-0 team.

People were upset, saying the Sixers need to tank because this season isn’t going anywhere. The Sixers then played Golden State tonight (another arguably top 5 team in the NBA) and got absolutely smoked. It was ugly. This is the team everyone was expecting to see. Suddenly balance is restored and Philly fans can rejoice because those first 3 games were a fluke and the Sixers now look like the team that will finish with a 25% chance of the #1 pick. Here’s my take on all of this.

Wanting to tank is for pussies. There are two different sides to this though. If a team is in the off season and trades away a good player (Jrue Holiday) to build for the future, I’m okay with that. When people are telling the players to tank in order to get a good draft pick is where I start to get pissed off.

These guys are out there in the gym every day working there asses off to become better players. Obviously most of them won’t be all-stars but you certainly can’t blame them for trying. It would be a crime to deprive them of the opportunity to show what they have. We were ranked 30th out of 30 because our roster was terrible, not because people expected them to sit down and not try for 82 games. They were ranked 30th with the expectation that they would hustle and try hard and STILL be the worst team in the league.

Now they come out, show some character by winning against some quality teams, and people are upset. I want this Sixers team to go out and win as many games as they can this season. I don’t expect them to get 45 wins or get a 6 seed in the East, but if they’re capable of that then I want that to happen. You try being the asshole to go in tell these young guys “Look I know you’ve been trying hard and everyone thinks you’re going to be bad this year, but I don’t want you trying hard come game time, I don’t want you fighting to win games”.

It’s fine for a city to think that Wiggins is the answer to their problems, but if I was a coach I would want every player in that locker room thinking they can get the job done with the team they have right now. If these guys give it their all and win 16 games, that’s fine by me. If they give their all and win 38 games and slip into the 8 seed and get blown out in the first round, that’s also fine by me. If they sit down and tank the season for 16 wins, I’m going to be pissed.

I’m finishing with a picture of the recently retired Sixers legend Allen Iverson. This guy gave 100% every night and although some may have criticized his play, he put his heart into every game regardless of the implications it may have had. Good luck telling AI to “tank” a season.

Allen Iverson wants the crowd to be louder

My Evaluation of the Philly Run the Bridge

This post is going to recap my experience at the Bridge Run this morning. It may sound like I’m tooting my own horn throughout because I am, but I haven’t had many good races in the last couple of years so I’m going to take advantage of this one.

I slept at Tom’s house last night which was nice. I was woken up a few times due drunk wanderers but all in all it was significantly better than a Reimert-night-before-a-race. Tom and I woke up at 6:45 and were at the race early. I was somewhat nervous because my runs on Friday and Saturday were slow, like finishing at 8:00 pace slow, so I wasn’t super confident.

Going in I wanted to break 36:00. I had no idea if that was a realistic goal or not but I figured it was a nice round number that would be tough, but achievable. I won’t go through the details of the race but here it is in a nutshell. I felt great, I gauged my ability near perfect, the weather was perfect, and the course was fast. This resulted in a final time of 35:03 for 26th place out of about 4,500. My mile splits were 6:00, 5:37, 5:37, 5:30, 5:41, then 6:40 for the last 1.2 (5:33 pace). The first mile was slow due to the gradual incline of the bridge. I was hurting bad at the end and I guarantee the picture of me at the finish line is not going to be pretty but I never look good when I’m going max effort. My 5k splits were about 17:48 then 17:15. In theory I could have gone out slightly faster but how was I supposed to know?

The only bad thing was that I was in no-mans land for the hard parts of the race (miles 3-5.5). I had people to run with until 3 miles then I dropped this one bro and was on my own. I was about 100 meters behind this Kenyan women who I caught with about a half mile to go but I didn’t get to really “run with people” for much of the race. Despite my dominance of that particular Kenyan, two other Kenyan women beat me. Overall I give the whole experience an A+. The course was great (and fast), running on the bridge without getting arrested or fined was great, the atmosphere was great, the weather was great, and I performed way better than I expected. I plan on running again next year.

I wasn’t the only one who ran well however. Tom, who has been sidelined with injury for a month, ran a very respectable 38:19* and most likely would have beat Cecily Tynan if she was running. Chad wanted to break 58 and ran 55 while Nikkii beat her time from last year by 8 minutes and beat her now husband by 2 minutes with a 53.

It’s never “fun” sacrificing a Saturday night of drinking but this was well worth it. I have a 5k this Saturday that I will likely be hungover for. However, I’m in much better shape than I expected so that cancels out in my book. I’m looking forward to a winter of running. The training won’t be fun because all runs will likely come after work when it’s dark and 30 degrees but I’m confident I can get in good shape now.

***I can’t post the photo because the site prohibits it, but I can link to the photos of me. Here’s me 3 miles in and looking smooth and silk. Here’s me a mere 20 minutes later looking like death.

I Feel Cheated

Watch the video below. That lean is incredible, unreal even. And it is. It’s not real. I guess that should be obvious but for a little I was somewhat convinced that maybe, just maybe, people could do that. As a youtube viewer pointed out, watch the guy on the far right of your screen. As they’re coming up from the lean, he gets caught on the bolt that his shoe was locked in on clearly giving away what made this lean possible. Assuming the rest of the dance is real, it’s still pretty impressive all around, but you can’t trust anyone.

http://youtu.be/cpQIBSyXYEM?t=3m48s

Halloween 2013

Halloween was a big disappointment. To start things off, today is Alex’s birthday (happy birthday Alex) and there were plans to celebrate last night. I needed to be at work this morning (not just present, but functional) so I couldn’t join in the fun last night.

Instead, I ran to the Plaza to get some Halloween candy as I had told my mother that I would gladly take responsibility for handing out candy. It seemed like it could turn into a fun thing. After my run I got home and eagerly asked if any kids had come by. They had not. That was okay though, it was still early. I made myself some dinner, showered, then grabbed a few beers, my book, and a bowl of candy, and sat on the front porch to await the children. In the hour I sat outside, ONE girl came who was probably 16 and didn’t have a costume. I bought 63 pieces of candy only to give away 4. I was pissed.

However, it is incredible the effect that this stupid holiday can have on children. While on my run I saw a group of about 10 kids outside of a house leading what seemed like a cult. If I didn’t know any better I would think they were planning to burn people on a cross. They were in the front yard of what I would assume was one of their home’s screaming and chanting “WE WANT CANDY! WE WANT CANDY!” These sweet little children had turned into monsters just for something they could buy at a convenience store for a dollar. It was terrifying. I can’t remember if I used to act that way or not but it regardless, I stand by my post that said kids are stupid.

This Sunday is my big race. I’ve been training a good amount although this week I had to take a day off because my back was bothering me and I decided to play it safe. I’ve averaged about 55 miles a week for the last month. I’ve done one workout that was fine. I’d like to think back to back 18 minute 5ks shouldn’t be that hard but I don’t know. That’s just under 5:50 mile pace and in the last month I think I’ve run one mile that fast or faster. Now all of a sudden I think I can do it over six times in a row. I don’t know what I’ll run but I’m confident that I’m in decent shape and most importantly I think it will be fun. I’ll update on Sunday.

Since I have no picture idea for this post I’ll post one that made me laugh. Enjoy.

Shaq Puns

Funny Cat Gifs

Here is the link to the Buzzfeed article where I found these. I encourage viewing all 30 because they are pretty good (Unfortunately yes, I did recognize #18 was a pornstar (I bet that makes every guy click the link)). I’ve selected a few that I personally think are the funniest.

Caught

 

bathtub

 

ups

 

bounce

 

eating

 

attack

Questions I Can’t Answer

What kind of music do you like?
Whenever I attempt to answer this question I struggle. There are two reasons for this. The first is that this is a stupid question. I, along with nearly everyone I know, am not limited to one or two types of music. I guess if I had to be as general as possible I would say I like rock with a slight favoritism towards classic rock. But that doesn’t come close to covering everything. The second reason I struggle with this is because when someone asks me this, I’m not thinking to tell them Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, I’m thinking in my head if I’ll know/like their favorite bands. Led Zeppelin may be my favorite band, but if the person I’m speaking with said their favorite band is Dispatch or Weezer or Boston, then I could definitely relate to them and say we have similar music tastes. I’d rather try to play to them than vice versa because I KNOW I want to engage whereas if it’s the other way around, they may not be interested when I say the cliche Led Zeppelin.

What do you do at your job?
This may appear like a bad question to have on my list, and people may even tell me to take it down, but let me explain. If I were a salesperson at my company, I would answer with “I make calls and send emails to prospects to try and sell our product.” If I was in support I would say “I take calls from clients who are having trouble with their system.” This more or less explains your day to day routine. Because I’m in marketing, my answer to this question would essentially be “I promote our brand/product as much as possible by sending emails to clients and prospects, looking for advertising opportunities, and seeing who we should try to market to.” That’s actually not a bad answer but it’s always followed up with “Okay, just walk me through a normal day.” Well I don’t do the same thing every day so there is no “normal” day. I might be doing a report for someone or sending out 30 emails on behalf of the sales reps or sitting in meetings. When I say it doesn’t exactly work like that, this is generally the reaction I get. Then people just think I’m in idiot which is not the case!

Why do you like running?
This question obviously comes from non-runners. My initial thought was Satchel and how under no circumstances ever would he understand this. I think these people are equally baffled from the fact that I choose to run a lot, and from the fact that I enjoy watching the big-time 5ks and 10ks. Why would someone choose to put themselves through that and why would someone want to watch people “run around in circles”. The truth is, I don’t care about being skinny or keeping general fitness which is what most people assume. I run for two reason. The first is that I literally enjoy running. I ran 8 miles yesterday and it was the best hour (55 minutes) of my day. I think running is fun. The second is that I want to be fast. I’m trying to get in good shape so that maybe, just maybe, I can PR in something or run a fast marathon or whatever. I follow the pros because I can relate to them in terms of training hard and it’s cool to see people run that fast. Yesterday I watched the entire Chris Solinsky 10k American Record for the Nth time. The whole thing is great but the last 800 gives me chills every single time. If you can watch this (starting from 24:50) and not get chills, then you won’t understand my answer to this question no matter what (having context would help (10k debut, no white guy has ever gone under 27) but regardless).

What’s your favorite ________?
This question is such a bad question and it’s similar to the first one I listed but not quite the same. Let’s fill in the blank, what’s your favorite food? How the hell am I supposed to know? There are times when I would prefer BBQ ribs from Outback over a DQ Blizzard and vice versa. There’s no way I can pick one food that’s my all-time favorite because given different scenarios, I’ll prefer different things. What’s your favorite movie? Well when I’m really depressed I like Schindler’s List and when I want a great story I like Forest Gump but when I want a great sports movie I’ll watch Remember the Titans. Give me a freakin’ break. Favorite is flawed in it’s definition. To pick one thing is ridiculous. Favorite should be used in the Twitter sense, I ‘favorite’ tweets all the time but it doesn’t mean they’re my ‘favorite’.

Smile! Actually, don’t.

I’m developing a bad habit. Whenever I’m in one-on-one meetings, no matter how big or small, I begin smiling and sometimes even laughing for no apparent reason. This is not a good thing to do because when you’re smiling/laughing and the other person doesn’t know why you look unprofessional and even more-so, you look like a dick.

Cheese!It started with one specific person in the company who is very high up. We normally don’t do too much together but we were working on one thing and had to meet a few times. For whatever reason I just couldn’t stop smiling. I knew I was doing it and I knew it was bad but I couldn’t help it. He even called me out on it, “You’re laughing, what’s funny” for which I had to make up some excuse. Once he triggered that, it was like a permanent switch flipped where everyone I meet with one-on-one gets the smile treatment.

I don’t know what to do in these situations. It’s like a disease, once it begins it only gets worse. One small smile and the cycle starts. I try to think of the most serious and depressing thing I can but it doesn’t last long. I keep telling myself not to smile but it only makes me smile more. I’m at the point now where I expect it and because I think about it before a meeting even starts it only multiplies the odds of it happening.

Ideally this will just be a phase that will pass given some period of time, but I’m in the thick of it right now. Hopefully it passes before I piss off the wrong person. Does anyone have any suggestions?