Not a Sucker

*I was told to call and schedule a follow up even after I said I wanted it to be my only visit. They’ll get a call if my finger falls off but that’s about it. Also, good comment Tom.

In less than an hour I’m going to a physical therapy appointment for my finger. I have already spent a ridiculous amount of money on this finger, a lot more than the Ben Franklin incident, and it’s just one bill on top of the other. I don’t need physical therapy. I’m a young, healthy adult. I’m fully confident that I can rehab my finger back to normal. If I was a 75 year old man who was physically failing, then I could understand the need for this, but I’m not. To top things off, my mother is a physical therapist.

Why am I telling you this? The old Sam (who’s parents paid for his medical bills) would not really have thought twice about this. I’d go, do the stupid therapy, acknowledge I probably didn’t need it, and be on my way. But now that I’m on my own insurance plan paying my own medical bills, I think differently. I know these people will ask me to schedule another appointment after today and I’ll tell everyone right now there is no way they’re getting me back in that building for another hour long appointment, $100 appointment (guess), where I also have to miss an hour of work.

I don’t like being confrontational. In fact, I pride myself on not being confrontational given the right circumstances. This, however, is not the right circumstance. I know they’re going to give me shit and insist that I should come back when I get my pins out but I’m not going to do it. If I have problems, then I’ll go back. I’m already typing all 10 fingers and the pins haven’t even come out, how much physical therapy do I honestly need? It’s a freakin’ finger. These people have me lined up for weeks upon weeks of appointments and it’s just a scam.

I am not a sucker and today will be an independent step to not being suckered into things (especially when I’m paying for them). I’m posting this on my blog because it will make me more likely to follow through with it. I will probably make a post afterward saying what happened. I don’t know what they’re going to say, but regardless, this will be my first and last visit to the physical therapist.

Old Dog, Old Tricks

Old dog new tricks

My father asked me this morning if I had heard the news story about a nine year old boy who got through all of the airport security and boarded a flight to Vegas with no ticket. He was telling me how outrageous it was and asked if I had heard about it. I told him that I had not until just now. His response was the following:

Pay attention to the news today and see if you can catch it, it was wild.”

Now, even JC is smart enough to know nowadays that the internet is a fast and easy source of news. If I responded with “Yeah, I look it up sometime today.” he would acknowledge that this information is readily available via the internet. But my dad was born in 1950. He grew up in an entirely different time period and I’m aware of that. He didn’t have a computer growing up as a kid. For roughly the first 45 years of his life, he would never think to use a computer to check the news.

This, in my mind, is the perfect example of the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” My dad will always look to the television for news. My dad will always read the newspaper in the morning. These are old tricks. My dad will never go online and check out CNN or NBCNews for his news. My dad will never keep his cell phone on him the way that most do. These are new tricks. These are examples of the generational gap that exists.

If I explain to my dad why the internet is a better news source than the newspaper or TV or that people should have their cell phones on them, not just have them in a room to be checked on every few hours, he would probably agree with me. Logically it makes sense. But in reality, it just doesn’t matter, because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. For the rest of his life, my dad will read the paper and not use the internet effectively. He was brought up in a time period and environment that shaped how he would respond to today’s tools. Hence why parents always joke about how their kids are the ones teaching them things about technology these days instead of vice versa.

I’m making it my mission to always be learning new tricks. I will not fall into the trap of being the old dog who can’t learn new tricks. When I’m 50 I’ll be showing my kids how to use new technology (new tricks) while still pwning them in Guitar Hero (old tricks). Nothing is going to slow this dog down.

Weekend > Posting

My weekend was busy which explains the lack of posting. Friday was Chad and Nikkii’s wedding which was an absolute blast. After that, along with Laura & Brookes’ wedding, I think I’ve decided that weddings are the most fun social events to go to. Everyone is in a good mood, the food and beer are free and high quality, and you get to dress up nice which is always fun. It was also fun/funny to see so many people from work in a different setting. Congrats to Chad and Nikkii, your wedding was the most fun I’ve had in months and I know you have a bright future ahead.

The bride and groom
The bride and groom

Saturday Gourlay and I went to Paul Short to see some of our friends from school. The meet was an absolute shit-show and was cancelled early because the ambulances and medical staff couldn’t keep up with the amount of runners who couldn’t handle the heat. It was like nothing I had ever seen before but as I said, this is pretty much what’s happening;

“Let’s gather up a few thousand people, have them sit around all day in extremely hot weather, then send them off to run as hard as they can for half an hour with no shade, and see how many of them pass out.”

They made the right call canceling the rest of the races but it’s a shitty way to spend a Saturday if you didn’t get to run. Sorry Ursinus women.

I didn’t plan on going to Ursinus but the annual XC case race along with a lack of other plans and Amos saying he would go caused me and Gourlay to go for Saturday night. The case race was a good time as always and congrats to Drew, Jamie, Emlamb, Sarah, Grace, and Kim for winning. *Before anyone asks, due to the circumstances they did 4 teams of 6 drinking a 30 of Natty Light. The rest of the night was fun as well. Nothing too crazy happened but Gourlay and I had a good time and ended the night with a trip to the diner. Slade and I even managed to do a solid 8 miler the next morning which matched our longest runs in some time.

My time this week will be mostly devoted to Breaking Bad. After the finale aired I decided to catch up on everything. I began at season 3 to refresh my memory and have almost finished it. I should be done by sometime next week.


Abud’s Seinfeld Pitch


As most know, I’m a huge fan of Seinfeld. I know others who share my love for the show, and one of those people is Andrew Abud. Abud texted me yesterday about a dream he had last night that not only had Seinfeld in it, but the dream itself was so incredible that it, with out a doubt, could have been in a Seinfeld episode. Here’s a summary.

Abud got a seined Signfeld picture for Christmas last year (that actually happened). So in the dream, Abud was at a bar when the whole Seinfeld crew walks in. In his words:

“I was like, “I have to get their autograph” but all I had was a pic they already signed. So I was like fuck it. I grabbed the pic and went up to Jerry and was like, “Excuse me, can you sign this again?”

Jerry agreed to sign it but that’s not the point. I would say that in the past X number of years, I’ve had 5-10 “ah-ha” moments where I’d say “that could be in a Seinfeld episode” but none that would fit in better than this. Abud fully agreed.

I mean think of it, you could pick Kramer or George to have this happen to. I’m not sure who’s better and I’m not sure how you would draw it up to happen, but you could. If it was George I would make sure he got rejected and he would throw a fit. If it was Kramer the guy would question signing it again and Kramer would have a standard confused Kramer reaction as if he never thought of it that way. Regardless of how you fit it in, it would work.

Now I have two observations.

1) When something ‘comes to you’ in a dream, did you really ‘come up’ with the idea? If it comes to you in a dream like that is it really your creativity? Not to take anything away from Abud as he certainly gets credit here because the idea wouldn’t exist without him, but it just got me thinking.

2) Over years and years I’ve probably thought of one scenario that Jerry and Larry David would even consider for their show, yet they have 180 episodes! How the hell did they come up with that many funny ideas? That show is already 25 years old but still gets played all the time because of how good it is. I would watch it until I die. The situations shown are timeless.

I reference Seinfeld a good amount in my daily life. Has anyone else thought of something that would work for the show?

Back into Running

It’s been over two months since I last blogged about running but that streak will come to an end today. If it doesn’t interest you then you won’t like this post.

Since Phil’s Tavern which was on July 17th, I have not run with any regularity. Six miles here, four miles there, then I broke my finger and decided to stop completely for a couple of weeks. I would say I’ve ranged from 0-15 MPW on any given week with an average of 10. As of yesterday however, that is going to change.

I ran about 7.5 miles yesterday and felt way better than I expected. I ran the first 5.5 at a steady average of about 6:45 pace and the last 2 at about 6:15 pace and felt great doing it. I don’t know how or why I felt so good but somehow I’m still in decent shape. This will make the whole “getting back into shape” phase a lot quicker and more enjoyable. I have my somewhat long term race schedule set.

In November I have an XC type 5k and a road 10k. These are just for fun with no expectations. I plan to run the Frostbite 5 miler and the UC Alumni Mile in February. If things are going well up to that point I will entertain the idea of a marathon in March. Broad Street is in May which is a bit too far away but it’s a possibility.

This will be my first serious and organized effort to get into good running shape. If I think I’m in awesome shape, I may give my old 5k and 10k PRs a go, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m very optimistic about my running and although I can still feel my back, I think I’ll be able to train at a high enough level where I can get into great shape.

Also, kudos to Jatin who just PR’d in the XC 8k with a time of 26:36 (5 seconds faster than mine!) and is running a marathon ia few weeks. Also to Chuck who appears to be in incredible shape for a marathon. It’s somewhat motivating to know that other people are doing similar things to what I’m trying to do.

Throwback: Sophomore Sam setting his 5k PR

Returning From the U!

My trip to Ursinus was a success but ceased all blog posting. Overall the trip lived up to my expectations. I spent a lot of money, drank a lot of Natty Ice and Tortilla Gold, played a lot of Frisbee including a great game of Ultimate, and had Eggs Benedict twice. It really was great to see everyone again. Everything is funny in some way when you have a group like that which makes things laid back and enjoyable. Multiple things happened that I don’t think would happen anywhere else I’ve been aside from another college campus and although one happened at the expense of a Frisbee, it was one of the funniest and most frightening things that I’ve ever experienced.

The trip made me realize a couple of things. Believe it or not, but first and foremost it made me realize that my 8:30-5:00 job is not bad. I was asked multiple times “How do you do it?” and I specifically remember asking John Ryder that same question after he graduated. My only response was “It’s not as bad as you think.” and it’s not. I remember thinking last year that that type of job would be the worst thing ever but I’ve been living it for four months and it’s really not bad at all. Maybe if I did this for 30 years I would feel differently but for right now I like my work situation.

The other thing seems obvious but I think it’s often overlooked: Surrounding yourself with easy-going people versus uptight people makes things much less stressful. I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m the most easy-going person in the world but I like to think I’m not too stressful to be around. I stepped away from college for the past 4 months and then visited and some things or character traits that you wouldn’t ordinarily notice hit you like a brick wall, this easy-going vs. stressful being one of them. An example would be Mr. Mackin. He lost a Frisbee and had his car temporarily hijacked but is able to see the humor in most things. Conversely, when I stole Jared’s car in high school he went berserk (granted I think Jared has mellowed out a bit since then). I couldn’t really imagine getting in a fight with Drew or Slade or a lot of others at Ursinus which is why returning and hanging out with those people is so enjoyable.

I had a good time and will probably return for Slade and Rudy’s birthday weekend. Again I don’t want to make a habit of going back but if every visit is as good as this past one was then I may have to take advantage.

I couldn’t think of a good picture so I posted this meme that had me lol’ing.

Comments on Comments on Comments

Here is a short and somewhat funny post about Wal-Mart. I’ll summarize it quickly for you.

A guy says that he never really had a problem with Wal-Mart until they decided to build not only in his town, but directly on his cat, Oreo. He goes on about a city council meeting and how he expressed concern for his cat but the board just ignored him. He cites other pets in other towns being built on as well. He talks about how he loves his cat and will do everything in his power to make sure they don’t build on him. It’s a ridiculous story that is obviously a joke (troll) but it was an entertaining read nonetheless.

I was reading through the comments and this one made me laugh more than the actual story. The second comment I read was the following:

“I’m having some trouble trying to understand this. Does Walmart pick an animal every store they decide to build, and build over it? Or, is the cat in the way? If the cat is in the way, why not just pick him up and move him elsewhere? If its the former….well, that’s just messed up. Walmart has destroyed so many lives, it just isn’t right.”

Either this lady is one of the dumbest people I’ve ever seen or she’s the best troll I’ve ever seen but I highly doubt it’s the latter. This comment did make me laugh but the comments on her comments made me laugh even more. They were as follows.

“try a bit harder there.”

“Oh Jesus Christ do people like you actually exist.”

“i dont even…. wat”

That last one had me dying. The story itself was good for a laugh but the comment by the stupid lady made it better. Then on top of that, the comments on her comment were the funniest. Granted the use of “wat” is always funny but this one was brilliant.

This is just another example of how commenting on posts can increase the entertainment value for all. Something as short as four words can be good for a lol.

Let em’ Lose

Click here to read the article that inspired this post.

It basically says we’re treating children like pussies these days by calling everyone a winner and giving out a trophy for trying. I couldn’t agree more. Recognition of success is important. If everyone is recognized it sends two messages. It tells bad kids they’re doing okay and it tells good kids they’re doing okay. These are not the things we want to tell kids.

Good kids need to know their good so they can continue doing what they’re good at. If a kid is really good at baseball but thinks he’s just okay, he’ll wander off because his success is not being recognized. Why would he think he’s any better than anyone else.

Similarly, bad kids need to know they’re bad so they can stop doing what they’re bad at and find something that they’re good at. I grew up playing baseball and basketball. Now I know I’m no Kobe Bryant on the basketball court, but I was way way worse at baseball than basketball. In fourth grade I made contact with the ball twice and neither was a hit. I knew I sucked and I hated it so I stopped playing and went on to other things. If people were giving the impression that I was okay at baseball, I may not have felt that way.

Now, people will say “Oh so we should just encourage kids to quit everything they’re not good at right away?” No, not at all.

I started running in 7th grade and I sucked. I continued sucking big time in high school. Freshman year I was last on the team, even Gourlay was beating me! Granted Gourlay would beat me almost every time for the next two years but still, I was garbage at running. They didn’t tell me I was good either. I knew I sucked at running, but I still wanted to do it. That’s the difference. If you suck at something, and you know you suck, and still want to do it, then you’ve found something you really like.

Not rewarding the good kids and rewarding the bad kids is setting kids up for failure. Nothing works that way in the real world, why teach them that when their brain is like a sponge? If my kid sucks but wants to do something I’ll be in full support but he has to know he sucks. There’s no mercy in sports or the real world for that matter.

Everybody’s Changing

To those of you who know the Stortz brothers, it should be no surprise that I have followed in Tom’s footsteps and changed the look of my blog. The old look was nice but needed an upgrade. This offers more options and is more advanced. Initially I was skeptical of the look but since Tom’s implementation it has since grown on me. By far the biggest improvement in my opinion is the live twitter feed on the side. Now those who keep telling themselves they don’t want a Twitter (Slade & Jeff) can see what they’re missing out on.

If you don’t like the new look I will say wait a week or two and then decide. Things are constantly changing and those who roll with it will get ahead. I hope you enjoy the new look and easy access to my Twitter. I just wanted to have a post that acknowledges the change.


Getting Caught with Porn

Adam Dicaprio showed me this. If you have two and a half minutes you should watch it. I lol’d extremely hard right at 2:00.