Thursday, August 31, 2006

Marathon training is like childbirth

Hey, I didn’t say it, this chick did:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Check out my montage!!!

You want baby photos?
I don't do photos.  I do video, baby.
Check it out.  Don't just enjoy it, love it.  You know you want to.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What the hell was she thinking?

Ok, so I passed this lady in the mall today (I eat lunch in the mall occasionally, I wasn’t shopping).

I’m going to try and be nice…

I passed this lady and thought to myself, “Poor girl, she paid for that hair style.”

The thing is, it looked like a very expensive style, it was just ugly as homegrown sin.  I mean, it wasn’t even fashionably ugly.

You know what I mean, when you see people with hair that it looks like they just woke up but you know good and well that they spent $50 or $75 to have someone style it so that it would look like they just woke up because it’s not quite as randomly mussed as if they really just woke up, it’s more precisely placed in a pattern that would give the impression that these people just woke up.


That’s fashionably ugly.


This poor lady’s hair looked like it was … um… like she had her hand on one of those silver balls that makes electricity.  Except it wasn’t that cool.

It was almost like there was a balloon underneath a layer of her hair… or a helmet with a wig on top of it.  Or as if she was wearing a shaggy lampshade.  It was just disturbingly horrid.

It was one of those hair styles where you say “Yea, it’s perfect, it takes all the attention away from your giant ass, hobo clothes, and terrible body odor.  You stepped in dog crap and wet yourself, too, but thankfully nobody will notice because of your hair.” 

Seriously, it was shameful.

And the next time someone asks me “Does this dress look ok on me” I’m going to say “yea, it takes all the attention away from your terrible body odor, horrid hair style, and the fact that you stepped in dog crap.” or “yea, it makes your giant ass look perfectly normal.”  That’ll get me out of having to answer that question ever again (or ever having to have sex again, for that matter).


As I was leaving the mall to walk back to the office I saw someone running around the block where the Waterwall in the Galleria is located.  I felt good that I at least wanted to have the energy to consider running… and that my hair didn’t look as bad as that lady’s.

How exhausted do you have to be to want to have the energy to even consider doing something that you hate?  Wow.


I still haven’t ruled out the possibility of stumbling through a marathon this year, or maybe a half marathon.  Energy and the calendar will work with me on that one.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Most of the people in the lower 9th were actually homeowners.  Statistics show 60% were homeowners.
I'm standing by my opinion, though.
If you're a landowner and someone wants to pay you for your land and you don't have a penny to your name, you're an idiot not to sell.  That makes it even more mind boggling that you DON'T want someone to come in and give you money.

Trivia answer


That’s right, 5.


But truthfully, I’m not complaining.  I’d let him pee on 10 outfits (or more) if he wanted to.  If he keeps it up, though, he’ll be doing his own laundry sooner than college.


No running lately.  I’d like to get out there, oddly enough.  I’m just exhausted.  I’m told that’ll change somewhat in about 18… years.


Oh yea, Ray Nagin is an idiot.  Sorry, New Orleans, I’d love to still have compassion and patience for you, but you reelected that idiot.  You’re getting what you deserve.  Why isn’t reconstruction moving along?  You reelected the buffoon, you tell me.  That’s like hitting yourself in the hand with a hammer and asking why your hand hurts.  Dummies.


Speaking of New Orleans, here’s something to think about.  The Lower 9th, that crappy neighborhood full of impoverished renters and crime and drugs and gangs and generally crappy conditions, was nestled behind sub-par levees. 

Has anyone considered that maybe, just maybe, the neighborhood was crappy because the land values were so pathetic? 

Has anyone considered that the land values were pathetic because it was behind sub-par levees? 

Has anyone considered that when (if) the levees are rebuilt to adequate engineering standards that the land values might go up? 

Has anyone considered what the owners (not the residents, mind you, who are predominantly renters) would do with their properties when the values go up?  (answer:  sell for a profit) 

Has anyone considered who will be buying the properties when the landowners do with their properties what landowners do when property values go up? 

Has anyone considered that the impoverished Lower 9th Ward, that was a crappy neighborhood behind sub-par levees, will not be the impoverished Lower 9th Ward, a crappy neighborhood, behind vastly improved levees but rather a gentrified Lower 9th Ward, a residential neighborhood full of town-homes and relatively wealthy residents behind vastly improved levees? 

Seriously, landowners have to pay taxes based on land values.  Do you really think they’ll be renting cheap, falling down, slum shacks AND paying considerably higher property taxes? 

Yea, I didn’t think so either. 

And I don’t think too many people are really thinking through “rebuild New Orleans” very well.  Far too many people are suggesting that the washed out parts of the city be rebuilt right back to where they were without considering the fact that what we HAD was an impoverished area that couldn’t fend for itself and was nearly demolished by a hurricane and completely destroyed by the resultant aftermath (mold, etcetera) and merely rebuilding that garbage on top of what was there will simply be inviting the same catastrophe some years down the road.  After all, those who could get out did, those who couldn’t (read, Lower 9th Ward) didn’t and suffered the most.

Rebuild the levees to better than they were and cope with the changes.  Maybe the hurricane was a blessing to get you out of your slum and rut and into a productive and contributing role within greater society… and make you an emissary to bring some of the New Orleans flavor to an otherwise bland landscape.  Or you can simply be a victim.  It’s your choice, I suppose.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm a numbers dork

Yup.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Last night we watched the finale of Treasure Hunters.

Yes, I know that was, like, 2 weeks ago, but get off my back; I have a new baby.  (I’m going to be milking that excuse for about 18 years.)

Anyway, the winners get a prize of 1 million each.  There were 3 winners, so you can do the math.

Genworth Financial was the sponsor of the prize.  My wife says “There’s no way they can do this again, that’s a lot of money.”  I say “It’s not like they’re giving away 3 million dollars, plus they have 3 new clients.”

That got me thinking.

The disclaimer thingie said they either got a 25 year payout from an annuity or a lump sum.  So I go to my calculator and begin to calculate.


A 25 year annuity that pays 40k a year ($1,000,000) is “only” about $570,000.  that means that after 25 years the annuity (assuming a 5.25% interest) will be valued at $0 and the contestants will have received $1,000,000.  Or they can receive a lump sum of something like $570,000.  To compound the dorkiness, I filled out a 2005-1040 tax worksheet complete with form 6251 (Alternative Minimum Tax) to determine our new millionaires will be paying $143,430 in taxes on their booty if they take the lump sum.  That is, of course, assuming they earned nothing else and I’m almost certain that they didn’t earn much for the rest of the year.

So, their net take, less taxes, will be $426,570.00.


$426,570, assuming the same 5.25% payout that I assumed from Genworth (which is pretty conservative and allows for added income of 1 – 4% to be plowed back into the fund for a hedge against inflation) will yield a PERPETUAL payout of $22,394.93.  Plus these kids will have something to hand down to their kids when they die.


Alternatively, they could take 40k for the next 25 years and Genworth can take the $570,000 and make 3 – 5% on the money while giving only 5% out to the winners.  The winners’ children get nothing and the party that controls the funds makes all the benefit. 




This is, by the way, also why social security is a rip off.

I looked at a pay stub from awhile back that said $88.99 was being “contributed” to social security every 2 weeks.  That comes to $192.81 a month.  At the same conservative 5.25% that $192 a month becomes $314,174.58 after 40 years.  If that were an actual account under my own control that would yield (at the same 5.25%) $1374.51 a year for ever and ever and ever AND I’d have something to hand down to my children when I die allowing them to live forever with someone who works part time, takes up no space, and doesn’t eat (that is, an extra $16k a year of free money).  What would you do with an extra $16k a year of free money?  Whatever you want, that what.

But I get a statement from my benevolent government that tells me that I can expect a whopping $850 a month from Social Security.  WOW!!  $850 whole dollars!!  Let me plan that vacation.

What’s worse the $850 means that $119,888 of MY MONEY has vanished into the governmental black hole.  Management and administrative fees, you say?  To the tune of 38%!!!  For 38% I better be getting a better return than 5.25%!!!  AARRRRGGGGGG!@!@#!@#$



I’d rather them keep the money and give it to someone who needs it and let me keep my $89 a month to invest on my own, thank you very much.


Yes, I’m a nerd.

But I’ve run a marathon, so stick it.

Running update



I haven’t run a lick in 2 weeks…  except to the fridge for another bottle or to the store for some diapers or medicine or to the changing table for… well, you know what goes on there.


Here’s the weird thing…  I want to get out there, if only to get out of the house.  I really want to get back on my bike.  I really want to get out of the house.


Today’s trivia:

How many outfits did my son pee on yesterday?


Answer on Monday.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

America's Got Talent is sports... really

Ok, so it’s cheap entertainment, but at least it’s entertaining.

America’s Got Talent is quickly approaching the great finale show.

I’ll admit it, I’ve been watching.  It’s entertaining.  Get off my back.


Here’s my breakdown of the top 10:

Top 3—Millers, Passing Zone, and that Biancha chick.  They’re clearly the top 3 talent.  If that Biancha chick hooked up and sang for the Millers that would flat out rock my world.  Any one of those 3 groups can win this thing.

The rest—

“Rapping Granny” is a side show suitable for state fairs, charity events, and high school assemblies.

Quick Change is boring (yes, they’re talented but I’m tired of seeing the same 90 second show every freakin’ week.  If you have a 90 minute show it should be perfectly simple to pick any of the other 59 90 second segments from the show, but no, you’ve done the same damn 90 seconds week after week after week.  When the only judge to give you honest criticism gave it, you ignored him.  He didn’t say to change the act, he said to do something different.  Seriously I could lay down a path on the stage where you walked for each of the shows you did.

Realis is cool, but that chick freaks me out.  It looks like she has a super bad tan.  She’s very bendy, though, and super hot, but she should sue that tanning salon.  Otherwise she’s got a very lucrative career in straight-to-DVD movies ahead of her.

All That is tap dancers…  I’ve seen River Dance and Stomp.  I’m done with that.  Too bad you guys weren’t around 5 years ago when that act was hot.  You’re super talented and put on a great show, but last time I checked it wasn’t 5 years ago.

At Last…  you’re a singing group that reminds me of Boys to Men.  Too bad you weren’t around 15 years ago and in Phili.  That act would have blown up there (and then).

Irish Spring…  These guys were good.  Again, though, I saw River Dance and I’m totally over that.  Seriously, I can watch Irish dancers at the local pub for free—complete with bagpipes and everything.  Plus I don’t have to sit through a little child trying to dance solely for the cute factor.  Because of that alone I think you should have been kicked out of the competition.  Talent shows are no place for additions simply for cute.

Taylor Ware…  speaking of cute, she’s the yodeling chick.  She butchered an Alan Jackson song last night by singing it too fast so she could yodel at regular speed.  Just like the Quick Change people, I’ve seen this act 3 times and am now bored with it.  Yodeling is cool—once.  It’s still pretty neat the second time.  After that it’s an irritating shriek in the background (yet I like bagpipes).  Not to say that yodeling isn’t a talent, it’s just not a talent that I want to hear any more.  I can balance a multi-million dollar trust statement, but that doesn’t mean you’re willing to pay to watch me to do it.


That all said, I can’t believe that the magician What’sHisName isn’t in the finals.  That dude was flat out good.  Plus he was original (and better) each week he was on the show.  He did 3 acts and each act was completely different and better than the one before.  Somehow he managed to get beat that arrogant prick and his lady (Quick Change) in the Wildcard show.  I don’t get it.  America might have talent, but the entire country is completely devoid of intelligence.


Tonight Blue Man Group will perform.  Those guys bug the crap out of me, too.  I don’t like them.  I think they’re idiots and their entire act is retarded.  But don’t take my word for it.  Join the slobbering masses and watch them then tomorrow talk about how great and cool they are even though you’re wrong and they suck.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Thursday's run and adventures in Fatherhood

I wen and ran in the ran Thursday.
There was a ittle improvement...  32:10.
I still wasn't satisfied, but was willing to make a go with a good night's sleep today.
Events, however, conspired against me.
I shot a message off to Jon this morning at roughly 4AM informing him that I wouldn't be running.  Why?
I had a baby who refused to sleep.
Earlier in the week we were stretching night time feedings to 4 to 6 hours and getting 1 or 2 in at night--2/6, 12/5, times like that.
That stopped Monday.  Last night was 12, 3, 4, and finally 7.  I turned off the alarm at 4.  He's currently sleeping peacefully on the couch with mommy...  they're both so beautiful.
I'll run some time this evening, probably... maybe.
Babies are a quite fabulous invention.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's Raining!!!!

Yay!  It’s raining!!

That’s Legitimate Excuse #402.1 (It’s raining, so I can’t run.”



Last night I didn’t sleep too well. (Care to hazard a guess why?)

I’m not sure I’m going to hit the park.

I’m fairly certain I’ll actually go to the RTW, I’m not certain that I’ll actually run.


Check this out…

Last night around 2-ish my wife nudges me and says “Honey, he’s slipping, grab him”.  I reach over in a sleep induced stupor and grab for the baby.  First thing I grab is round, but not the baby.  She says “hurry, he’s slipping!”  I reach some more, feel the cat’s butt and push it away muttering something along the lines of “stupid cat, get out of here”.  I feel around some more and finally find her arms so I can follow them to where the baby is slipping from.  About the same time my eyes begin to open and adjust to the light.

I see our cat, Bagwell, trapped under my wife’s arm and pinned to her chest while he desperately tries to get away and she calls out in an increasingly panicked voice “hurry, I can’t hold him!”

Our kid is still a little furry, but he’s not that furry.

I say “honey, it’s the cat”, she says “oh”, and we’re both immediately back asleep.

She doesn’t remember that, but then again I don’t remember walking into the living room and asking something along the lines of “do you need anything” or “do you have everything under control” then immediately turning around and going back to bed without an answer.  Nor do I remember waking up while she’s changing a wet diaper off of a screaming baby and saying “you get the diaper, I’ll get the bottle” and then laying back down and immediately falling back to sleep.  Nor do I remember actually staggering all the way to the kitchen to get a bottle, warm it up, clean a nipple, and bringing it to the screaming bundle of tax deductions in my wife’s lap.

That’s pretty much how the whole dadgum night went.

Her doctor is going to discuss birth control at the next appointment.  Last time I checked a fussy baby at 12, 2, and 4 was pretty effective birth control.

You know how in Driver’s Ed they showed those movies called “Red Asphalt” or some such to deter you from driving like a maniac?  You know, the ones where they have car crashes and, of course, bloody trails on the concrete. 

In health class in middle school they should simply run a 1 hour loop of a screaming baby during class for a week or two.  If that doesn’t convince little boys to keep their power packed away and little girls to keep their knees together nothing will.  Forget this “how to use condoms” crap.  Try “changing a hungry baby while feeding him at 2:30am”.  Maybe even having the soundtrack running in the pharmacy down that aisle where teenage boys are so embarrassed to shop.  You know the one… it’s the one with the condoms AND EPT tests.

And just to chalk one up for the “mixed messages” file, I wouldn’t trade the screaming baby for anything in the world (except maybe the same baby, just not screaming).  It comes with the territory, and it’s a territory I’m glad to have claimed. 

Then again, that’s the whole reason I bought the ticket.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The day after

I’m not sore.

I’m not particularly tired.

The baby slept most of the night last night (only 3 feedings, 10PM, 12AM, 4AM).  Sure beats Monday night’s schedule (10PM, 12AM, 3AM, 7AM).  I was pretty wiped out yesterday.

I feel refreshed.

I feel pretty good.

I still hate running.  I’d rather stick needles in my eyes.

In fact, if you release the hounds I’m not going to even flinch. 

I hate running that much. 

Just let them catch me.  I don’t care.  I’ll even put some ham in my pockets.


If my time improves at all tomorrow and other circumstances cooperate then the odds are pretty good I’ll be in the Great Wooded North on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I hate running

3 miles.
Mile 1:  9:18.83
Mile 2:  11:22.57
Mile 3:  11:57.86
This sucked.  I hate running.
I hate the way it makes my feet ache.  I hate the way it makes me gasp for breath.  I hate the way my lungs burn.  I hate...  ooh, she's cute.  I hate that weird ache in my shoulder.  I hate the way I can push and push and push and still not catch that guy running.  I hate the way that guy in jeans passed me.
I hate running.
Dear Lord, I hate running.
Odds of a RTW appearance are somewhere near 50-50.  Odds of running...  book makers won't touch that one.

August 12

Ok, August 12 has been circled on my calendar for weeks.  Seriously.

Before last Monday I was genuinely considering running this weekend and even running after a PR for the 5k.

Then came the baby who is the most perfect little fellow you’d ever meet (except for all the peeing, but that’ll pass).  Last week I didn’t run a lick, unless you consider tending to my lovely babymama “running”.


So, I’ve been thinking about it over the past couple of days and I thought to my self “Self” I says to my self “Self”, I says, “Get out to the park and run 3 miles and see how the pegs are holding up”.  My self considered this for awhile and eventually conceded the notion of stretching out the old pegs to see what their status is.


Of course, there are extenuating circumstances such as 4:00am feedings (and 2:00am, 12:00am, 10:00pm, 6:00am… sigh), there’s the nutrition factor, and there’s the general fitness factor.  Light eating and light sleep can combine for a wicked illness if you don’t stay on top of that stuff.  But then again I did ride an MS150 with an upper respiratory infection (twice), so we’ll just have to see how things shake out.


One cool side effect of this whole baby thing is that I’ve actually lost close to 6 pounds since last Friday.  And the lbs keep dropping off.  Go figure.  Ironically enough, due to the whacked out sleep schedule I’ve been laying off the coffee except for at work because I have to sleep when I get the chance and can’t really afford to be up when I get the opportunity to be down.  My hunch is that the reduced sugar intake has had a significant effect on the old spare tire.  That hypothesis will be tested now that I’m suffering through 3-cup-days at the office.


The first part of the decision will hinge on today’s run.  If it goes well the decision will be to run Saturday if everything else falls into place.  I may even go public with the results of the run… depends on how evil I’m feeling (BWAHAHAHAHA!)

Friday, August 04, 2006

An update, of sorts

Ok, on Wednesday, 7-26, I ran the fastest mile of my adult life, 8:27, or thereabouts.  For some reason that post, written on 7-26, posted on 7-31.
That's the thing I was referring to when I wrote "something happened but I'm not talking about it".
Coincidentally enough, it posted on the very same day something else happened that drops the odds of me being in the Woodlands on 8-12 to near 0%.
I'm now officially a daddy.
Joseph Ashley Breda was born 7-31, at 12:59pm.
There's still a chance I'll be there, but it's pretty low.  I'll have to get some time to actually get out and run (and I don't see that happening).