Sunday, July 29, 2007


I have been keeping my promises to Alex, so, in accordance with my previous posts, and as an addendum to the post below (which is actually worth reading) here is a shirtless picture of me, during the triathlon.


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Saturday, July 28, 2007


As most of you know, I have been training for triathlon for the past couple months. Today was the first of two races I will be running as a result.

For my first race, I guess it went OK. The raw stats are as follows:

1:27:53 (my time)
47th (my place)
153 (total racers)

That puts me in the top third, but well off my 1:17 goal, and top 25 finish.

What went wrong?

The swim, quite frankly, was more than I could handle. I took a full six minutes more than I thought I would, or than my best time in the water. The problem was two fold. First, I am not a good swimmer. I seriously need to get a swim coach this winter, so I can be more competitive. Secondly, I tried to keep pace with the group. I made it about 300m before I was completely tired out. I need to pace myself, and run my race.

I also need to get a tri suit. Not only will it help my buoyancy (someone went so far as to say it cut 30% off swim times), but it will let me transition faster. Without seeing the splits, I estimate I spent almost four minutes in transition. I saw other people take less than 30 seconds. The reason was those damned suits. They don't have to change any clothes, just put on shoes and go. Another three minutes wasted. And another lesson learned.

The bike suffered a bit as a result of the swim, but not bad. I could have pushed harder, but I was happy with the result. I passed more than a few people, and kept a good pace.

Similarly, I did ok in the run. I could probably get a minute or two back from that by pacing it out, again, and pushing more at the beginning, as I thought it would be harder, and still had some fuel left in the tank at the end.

All that being said, I finished, and finished pretty well. I have made it through the first of what I hope to be many triathlons, and I feel good about it. I am on my way to becoming a triathlete.


Even though the above was sports related, Alex made a request for more sports news. Specifically, he wanted MLS news.

Thursday, Chivas met the Red Bulls on the pitch. Chivas took an early lead and kept the pedal to the metal, blanking the Red Bulls two nil. There were just over 10,000 fans in attendance.

Wait...10 thousand? Honestly? WNBA games have more fans than that. Really, no one watches this stuff. I thought at least they would have some hard core, tailgating soccer hooligan wannabes. Nothing?

David Beckham, you have your work cut out for you, my friend. Trying to make this sport relevant is like trying to get Barry Bonds off the juice.

Good luck.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007


Because I think I a big post is coming (and it is, watch for it) I thought I would get this post out of the way.

Last week I visited Colorado. I went with my boss. Reread that last sentence if you thought I was on vacation. Officially, we were there for a buying show. I think I have discussed this before, but the idea is all the vendors show up, and we play with their stuff. Then, the stuff that gives us the most enjoyment gets ordered, and we sell it. There ya go. That's retail.

I will say I am impressed with some cardio pieces we picked up. I am glad we are expanding fitness for two reasons: One, it is our top seller, and top growth industry. And two, I have carte blanche in that area. So we are expanding, slowly, and hopefully it will pay off. It did last year.

Now back to Colorado. Ken took the first day to play golf, so I was left to my own devices. My devices found me in a bike shop, where I rented a LeMond Buenos Aires for the day. It was a sweet rig, and I daresay a step above my bike at home. A 25 mile trail was suggested to me by Ken's cousin, so I took that. I tried to find a picture of the trailmap online, but I could not. It was the c-470 trail, and I ended up taking it quite a ways more than 25 miles. I went from Littleton to Red Rock, and back. Not a bad little ride. And it was an asskicker. Guess what, we don't have hills like that! I was climbing all day; over three hours of climbing. I ended at about elevation 5500 on that trip.

But, I would be remiss if I did not talk about the way DOWN. Honestly, I prefer the "up" it is a lot more work, but a lot less scary. There was one part of the trail that went through a golf course (golf is EVERYWHERE there) and the trail was shared by golf carts. Let that sink in, and then add to that switchbacks and a nice 25% grade, downhill. It was white-knuckles all the way to the bottom.

I was going to take the bike back then, but when I got to the shop I still had a bit of steam left in me. I refilled my water bottle, and was handed this map. It is a nice little 10-15 mile ride, with a summit right in the middle. Same story, but steeper. The way up was easily slower than jogging, and the way down was faster than a Porche. I was a bit more used to it by then, but it was still hairy. took me about an hour, and that should tell you about how steep the incline was.

The next day we had classes, and I won't bore you with those details. I sat through an OK seminar on fitness, and a bad management training. Then we had time off, again.

This time we ended up in the flatirons. This is what one of them looks like. Impressive? Yes. The hike to the top and down is about 7 miles, and a peak elevation of over 6500. Here is the view from the top.
I was with a couple 30 somethings, and we had to take a few breaks. I made up for it, though, by running down, back up to where they had hiked, and back down. I was dripping when I was done, and the next day I was bow legged, but it felt good.

The rest of the trip was a lot of class, hot show, and order forms. It was pretty boring.

I do want to say that it is tough being a travel partner with your boss. It is a hard line to skate between buddy and employee, and it is even harder to assert yourself when you want to do something. Ken is a pretty cool guy, and if he wasn't my boss we would probably be great travel buddies. But BECAUSE he is my boss, it was a bit uncomfortable at times, and I felt like I was being paid to be his friend sometimes.

That being said, I got a free trip to Colorado, and got to get some fun stuff done. And, for the most part, got along with my boss. So it's a win, and a good time, and I would do it again.

I will probably revise this, it is kinda ramble-y.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I would first like to thank my friends, Josh and Mike, for sending me these links. Without them, I would be completely ignorant of much of what is going on in the world.

This first link is about Cindy Sheehan. Any of you who read this blog know how I feel about her, and her attempts to parley her son's death into air time. I think she has gone too far many a time, and has whored her son's memory for her own gains.

But this time, I think, she is on the right track. Now, after my initial knee-jerk reaction, I went back and read this article, and the quotes from it. The whole thing can be found here, but I will highlight what I think is important.

Sheehan will run against Pelosi for a seat in congress, saying that Pelosi has not done what she was elected to do, that the Democrats have not done what they were elected to do, and that it is time for change.

She also wants to impeach Bush. Now, her reasons might be a bit skewed there, and off base for what is impeachable, but at least there would be a forum for Bush to answer for his actions.

The important part, though, is that first step. What makes this country great is that if you don't agree with something, you can go through the proper channels and try to change it. I don't think Sheehan did that in the past, camping out outside of Bush's ranch and making a big public ass of herself.

But now, she is. I say good. Let her run for office. Let the people speak and decide which person they trust, and which person is most aligned with their way of thinking. That is the whole idea behind elected government.

And she is doing this without throwing around the name of her son. The issue, centrally, is still the war, but that figures to be a hot-button issue in the election anyway. And she is using the government, and its agencies, exactly how they were intended. Even if I don't agree with her, or with what she has done, I respect her right to do it, and applaud her for getting it right.

Now, I missed a post on July 4th, and I feel bad about that. But, my longtime friend, and Badass Marine, Mike, sent me a post that has American Pride all over it.

USS New York
> >
> > It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade
> >Center.
> >
> > It is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for
> >that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a
>crew of
> >360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by
> >helicopters and assault craft.
> >
> > Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry
> >Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the
> >on Sept. 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total
> >erence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a
> >spiritual moment for everybody there."
> >
> > Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the
> >center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair
>on my
> >neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said.
> >knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."
> >
> > The ship's motto? "Never Forget"
> >
> > Please keep this going so everyone can see what we are made of
> >this country!

This is American ingenuity at its best. Recycle what they destroyed, and send it right back at them. I love the idea of it, and I love that it happened. It speaks to the resiliency we say we have, and we
claim as our highest trait.

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