Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
last month, from none other than jason bonham himself, came the news that led zeppelin was back in the studio working on new material. well, almost. robert plant was on tour and wasn't part of the page, jones and (jason) bonham collaboration. but there was hope that once his tour with alison krauss was done, he'd join the group and we'd see a new album and/or world tour soon enough!
speculation ran so high that last week a british tabloid, the sun, ran a story to the effect that plant agreed to join them for a world tour! file that one away under "way too great to be even close to true." plant was so incensed by the rumors that today he issued an official press release that artfully denied his involvement with the reforming group.
artfully? well, me thinks he protest too much. especially the part about no plans to do anything for 2 years following the end of his current tour with krauss. looked at another way, plant could be available in 2010! but the world waits for no one!
even more rumors are circulating about a possible led zeppelin tour without plant. the band is auditioning possible replacements, and the current favorite - of all things - an american front man!
check out this great led zeppelin blog, lemon squeezings, for more news.
very important reminder: there will probably NOT be race day registration for the ted corbitt 24 hour run this weekend. in fact, the official registration deadline is only two days away: wednesday, 1 october.
however, rich will try to accomodate any last minute registrants:
"[T]here probably will NOT be post entry. Any last minute entrants can contact me by cell at 718-909-2555."
but even more important is the NEED for race volunteers!
"[P]lease mention the event needs volunteers. The two “thin” periods are 6PM-10PM and especially 6AM-10AM. We really need extra people for the morning shift to conduct the small loop and they also can see the end of the race."
here is the race application.
here is the text of the last b.u.s mailing that provides additional race information:
September 15, 2008
As you already know, the Ted Corbitt 24-Hour is less than three weeks away to be held at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village, Queens on Saturday, October 4 starting at 10AM. All of you should have received a race application a few weeks ago. The following are the segments of the event:
ENTRY: There is not an entry limit like at the 12-Hour, but do not count on post-entry. Please enter as immediately as possible. Please note that event starters will receive a long-sleeve microfiber pullover with an embroidered design on the crest. You also may want to enter early to guarantee your desired size. These items were ordered from Alabama, so I had to order earlier than usual and "estimated" what quantity and sizes that may be needed. No, the pullovers were not a hurricane special or leftovers from a Wallace campaign, but I suggest you should enter soon.
FURTHERMORE: Your entry is also requested to honor Ted. To experience that same joy of movement, no matter how fast or slow, like Ted did for over 80 years. That’s the purpose of this event. You may note that I have not publicized this event nationally. Originally, my plan was to coordinate the race on a grand scale. But since the event was not approved until late August and with my own personal nonsense, such a production was not possible. So, the event is being presented between us BUS friends. But if you want to "talk it up" among your out-of-town ultra buddies, please be my guest. Their participation will be welcomed.
Note: Omitted from the application: A race information sheet will be sent to entrants around September 25.
VOLUNTEER: Enclosed with the 24-Hour application was a volunteer sign-up sheet. So far, I have only received 2 submitted sheets. This event needs volunteers. I have set up volunteering at 4-hour intervals, starting at 10AM to 2PM on Saturday. CAN YOU ASSIST? Multiple personalities will be welcomed. I have shifts for each of your alter egos. So, if you are bipolar or wear bifocals and anybody in between, I can use you. One concern will be the periods from 10PM to 2AM and 2AM to 6PM. If you have any experience as a hooker, an obscene caller, security guard, telemarketer, vampire or something, please then volunteer for one of the mentioned shifts.
Super Volunteer: In some instances, some event functions may need a certain special someone as an "event captain". Such functions are course set-up, food, public relations, transportation, etc. Please call if you are game and qualify. I may even present you with an official captain’s cap with scrambled eggs or eggs beater if you have high cholesterol. Assistance in those areas would be helpful.
FUNDING: As I mentioned in a previous mailing, the event will be costly. I already have received some generous donations and I realize money is tight especially after today. But the event can use some nominal donations like $10 or $20 to help foot the bills. Our big expenses are providing shirts to the Police as our appreciation for their patrols and reimbursing Parks Dept for supervision of their facilities during the off hours. Such reimbursement is paying for Parks personnel at overtime pay plus benefits. I didn’t realize BUS was providing medical and pensions?
[P]lease make every effort for the 24-Hour to be a success.
Thank you, take care and cheers.
PS: Please contact me by e-mail at email@example.com.
i'll try to post the race information sheet when it becomes available.
hope to see as many of you as possible this weekend!
here are the race photos and results. link to race report will follow.
wow, the best news the giants got this week was washington's shocking upset of the cowboys - in dallas, no less - and now the giants sit atop the division all alone! washington and dallas are now tied for second place, each with a 3-1 record. the good news kept coming after the sunday night game when the eagles managed to lose to the bears, 24-20, and dropped to third (last) place in the division with a 2-2 record.
thankfully, this news easily overshadowed what had become a mini soap opera at giants stadium last week. fans were shocked when plaxico burress was give a one week suspension for failing to show up (without explanation) at the monday team meeting - and he seemingly compounded that problem when he failed to return any phone calls from the team, as they tried to find him.
that gratuitous act of disrespect means plaxio sits out the seattle seahawks game this weekend. and, perhaps even more painful a punishment, is the hit his pocketbook will take when some serious money is withheld from his paycheck as a result of the missed playing time!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
after the marathon tune-up, emmy, rob, and i took the shuttle bus at 100th street and central park weswt down to tavern on the green for the ing retirement run series brunch (which consisted of the 2 long training runs and the tune-up).
photo-op at the sign in!
pretty impressive brunch!
emmy and neil.
espn's kenny mayne.
tough day to get in a long run - soggy and humid conditions from start to finish. but we got those 18 miles in! emmy took first in her age group with a 2:16:27/7:34 pace - awesome! i finished 9 minutes later, in 2:25:14/8:04 pace, with rob just behind me in 2:27:05/8:10 pace.
here is my race report.
i didn't have the chance to get any pre-race photos because of the early start. nor did i get too many post-race photos because we grabbed the shuttle bus down to tavern on the green for the brunch.
here are the official results from nyrr.
here are the photos from the post-race brunch at tavern on the green.
right now i'm waiting for emmy and rob to meet me, then we'll drive into the city for the marathon tune-up (what promises to be a humid, soggy, 18 miles). what a great way to start the morning!!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
"boogie man: the lee atwater story" is a must-see film for any self-styled political junkie. interestingly, political affiliation doesn't really matter in watching this film. one caveat, however, it is not the seemingly even-handed treatment the reviews generally describe it as;
for example, this is from the brief ny times review:
'Like a trompe l’oeil painting “Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story” deftly positions its subject as both the savior of the Republican Party and the Antichrist of American politics.'
optical illusion, or not, for lefties, lee atwater was the original darth vader of politics (and the man karl rove learned all his dirty tricks from all those years ago). on the other side, conservatives worshiped atwater as a man that always managed to win - when the winning was impossible.
while i enjoyed watching this film - especially all those nifty 1980's video clips that reminded me of the hair and clothing styles of my formative years - ha - i couldn't believe how much was left out. not so much the biographical story line - but the list of characters that could have provided the color commentary.
for a man that profoundly shaped the political trajectory of the bush family - not one sound bite from the current president, nor the first president bush? not one current interview with karl rove? not one interview with james carville? carville's wife, mary matalin does provide some great and insightful commentary. but james carville was the true re-embodiment of lee atwater. a year after lee atwater's untimely death at age 41, carville emerged on the scene, set up the war room, and got bill clinton elected president. while karl rove is seen as atwater's progeny, it took two election cycles for him to eventually emerge in that role.
most of the reviews are overwhelming positive, especially as i mentioned, taking pains to evoke the even-handed treatment of atwater from friends and foes alike. still, i wonder why the bulk of the commentary is from the other side of the political spectrum. two liberals writers (joe conason and eric alterman) provide significant commentary throughout, the vanquished michael dukakis (and an obscure early political casuality, tom turnispeed) also get a good deal of screen time, and snippets of former dnc head terry mccauliffe in the back seat of limo. on the republican side, ed rollins, roger stone, and robert novak are pressed into service to tell atwater's story!?
maybe i read too much into this - but there was not one word from his own family?! nothing about lee from his wife (or children). but the most disappointing aspect of the film was the utterly nasty finish - with the mawkish hearsay offered by rollins to the effect that the bible lee supposedly read so passionately during his last years on this earth was found among his personal effects, still wrapped in plastic, according to what he was told by atwater's widow! what can one say to the implication shouted out there that atwater's entire born again conversion was all some sick cynical pitiful act?
i walked out of the theatre with the bard's imortal lines on my mind, "i come not praise caesar, but to bury him."
fwiw, pat and i attended the inauguration ceremonies of the first president bush - since she was living in washington d.c. at the time. pat, a big dukakis supporter, was not too keen about that - but above and beyond the call of duty, she humored me (a bush man at the time).
Friday, September 26, 2008
today kicks of the 46th annual new york film festival. while there are no running-related films to speak of (in stark contrast to the fred lebow documentary that premiered at the the tribeca film festival last spring), there are a few i'd like to check out.
unfortunately, the number one film on my list to see, che, starring benicio del toro, is scheduled for the one night that i can't take off (tuesday, when i teach my once a week estate planning class). with a running time of 268 minutes - and a 30 minute intermission - it promises to be a serious endurance event!
however, i'm hoping to catch my second choice, tony manero, about a fan of saturday night fever that takes imitation/impersonation to new levels. this brooklyn boy has two chances to catch the john travolta wannabe in action - very doable!
then there is the very mainstream happy-go-lucky (dare i say, borderline chick flick) to consider?!
with the festival running for two weeks (until 12 october), should be able to catch some of it!
the name of this beer joint should strike a familiar chord ;)
after we visited the ginger man, emmy and i walked south 3 blocks and checked out the rattle n hum craft beer bar, before finally heading to the riders on the storm concert. this was brennan's suggestion, and was well worth checking out. rattle n hum had a decidedly working man's bar feel to it - albeit the working men and women probably had a strong affinity to u2. in addition to that "neighborhood bar" feel, it had a great beer selection to match. while it wasn't nearly as extensive as what the ginger man had to offer, there was plenty of good stuff to be tasted.
this time around i opted for a much lighter selection. i took the opportunity (no pun intended) to grab a spaten oktoberfestbier. unfortunately, after 2 great selections at ginger man, and emmy's choice below, it was something a let-down.
in keeping with the seasonal mood, emmy had a weyerbacher imperial stout pumkin ale. it was packed with some serious spice - and had late fall/halloween written all over it! funny, it was the second pumpkin ale i tried in a week ("fisherman's pumpkin stout" at the manhattan cask ale festival) - must be fall.
this was no light-weight pumpkin ale, as the brewery describes it:
Yes that's right! The mother of all Pumpkin Ales is currently in transit to our wholesalers and should be out on shelves around mid-September. This 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is heartier, spicier, and more "caramelly" and "pumpkiny" than its faint brethren! Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night, or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream. If you don't agree this is the mother of all pumpkin ales, then you just don't like mothers!
before we to the fillmore (irving plaza) to catch the riders on the storm concert, emmy and i grabbed a couple of beers at the ginger man. i'd look forward to checking this place out for a while because a few of my friends suggested it as an alternative to the blind tiger ale house. as recently as last week, it came up twice in conversations. john mentioned it at the manhattan cask ale festival at the chelsea brewing company last friday. and, the next day, at the staten island 6 hour run, it came up in conversation with brennan while we ran some of the loops at clove lakes park!
the short version: blind tiger ale house has nothing to worry about ;) first, i should mention that as someone who both lived, went to school, in greenwich village - just the location along give blind tiger the edge. second and, more importantly, the ambiance of blind tiger is more attractive. while blind tiger could probably fit into half the space of ginger man, it's a much more "corner-bar" place atmosphere (it helps that it's also located on a corner - ha). last, and not least by any stretch, both have great beer selections - so that's a wash.
the biggest drawback, of this otherwise great beer joint - with an awesome selection - is the overly corporate crowed. granted it was a early wednesday night in midtown, but the place was packed with young suits, ties, and skirts. does the term yuppie ring a bell? that, itself, isn't bad - but having to fight (elbow) our way to the bar to order beer was a downer.
i had a cask conditioned "great divide hercules double ipa" - which made it all worth the effort :D
here is a photo of that great ale in a bottle:
emmy had the just as great "ithaca ten" - which looked just as pictured (in same glass) when the bartender poured it for her!
released early this year, here is the official description from ithaca brewing company:
The second of this years Excelsior! series, TEN, is now available! This is our biggest beer ever in celebration of our upcoming tenth anniversary. It is currently available in 750ml bottles. From the label: "TEN is an Imperial American Extra Strong and Special Double Red Ale. Our anniversary beer, TEN, is brewed with too many malts to list and an excess of American hops, including several additions during fermentation. Enjoy the russet color, aggressively hoppy aroma and flavor, rich body and fiery finish." Come visit the brewery and pick up your bottle of TEN today!
while not planning to visit ithaca any time soon - if we run the finger lakes 50s next summer, will definitely stop there and check it out.
finally, brennan had mentioned a second place to check out, "rattle n hum," which - since it was only 3 blocks way - we took the time to visit on the way to the show!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
last night two original members of the doors, ray manzarek and robby kreiger, played at the fillmore (at irving plaza) with their band, "riders on the storm." i went to check them out with emmy - and what a great show it was! the performance was intense and rocking! the small venue combined with the loud sound made conversation of any kind impossible! as expected, the show was all about the doors music.
the new front man standing in for jim morrison, ex-fuel lead singer brett scallions (who himself had just replaced the cult's ian astbury who left the band this summer) was impressive. he did an excellent job of channelling morrison's spirit for the night (jim is probably up there nodding in approval).
here are some photos. i'd like to post a complete setlist if i can track one down (but i didn't have a chance, myself, to keep tabs on the song order last night).
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
i had actually toyed with the idea of running the fall distance frolic (notwithstanding the staten island 6 hour run the day before), but i came to my senses when we pulled into the parking lot. instead, the better (and equally as fun) option was to participate as a volunteer. following on the heels of the norwalk half marathon, it was my second race as a volunteer in as many weeks!
like norwalk, there were many familiar faces running the race (dawn, don, joe, and kate to name just a few). don actually switched race plans that day, having planned to run the niantic half marathon initially, he opted for the 30k instead. dawn, after the 30k, went over to darien and ran the 10k that afternoon! and joe, doing the course as a training run - wore new pair of running shoes and paid the predictable price - blisters.
emmy, rob, and i helped marty's dad set-up and man the aid station at the 1.2 mile mark (conveniently located just in front of marty's new house). there was a second aid station a few miles further along the course, and more aid at the start/finish area. the course consisted of three laps of the 10k loop. for the first loop we only handed out water. then rob and i filled the water cooler with gaterade and offered the runners a choice for the second and third loops.
after the runners completed the first loop, emmy and i ran the course. i took my camera along, took some pictures, and finished the loop in 57:08. when we got back to the aid station, it was rob's turn to do a loop of the course - and emmy joined him. don had just passed the aid station so they caught up with him and ran together. before they had gone too far, kate reached the aid station and i told her they just passed through. she caught up to them and they ran together all ran together for a bit.
after the final wave of runners came through, marty's dad and i broke down the aid station. i had planned to drive emmy's car back to the beach - but i couldn't find her car keys. instead, i hitched a ride back in the truck - and picked up the cones and signs marking the course along the way back to the beach. just as we arrived, the horns and sirens of a fire engine, police cars and ems truck broke the morning quiet.
one runner, it seemed, had collapsed from the heat when she reached the beach. she was looked after by the ems volunteers and seemed to have recovered. i saw rob, who had run the last portion of the loop with kate, and he told me emmy was just behind them. when i told her i couldn't find the car keys - she told me, sheepishly, that she had them with her (in her jacket - which was tied around her waist)! so she and rob jogged back to to get the car.
post race festivities included pizza, breads, brownies, cookies, bananas - tons of good stuff. the interesting news of the day was the possibility that stratford may become the permanent fall distance frolic location - with a return to fairfield for the boston blow-out in march. while the beachside location as a site for the boston blow-out doesn't offer any meaningful protection from the vaguaries of late winter weather, it's ideal for the late summer race.
check out the race photos and results.
check out emmy's volunteer report and photos.
next up: the nyrr marathon tune-up 18 miler this weekend.
saturday was my second staten island 6 hour run, and my first race since getting sidetracked with anemia. for the last few weeks my weekly mileage had hovered around 30 miles, with my longest run at only 12 miles the previous sunday. with only a couple of weeks of 2x daily iron supplements in my system and doctors still insisting i keep the running to a minimum, i wasn't too sure what to expect out there. my plan was to cover at least 26.2 miles - enough to satisfy the race minimum. then, if all went well, i'd push on to 30 miles (and, maybe, 50k).
the drive down to staten island started with some bloody excitement. as rob and i sat in the car, emmy let out a scream as she opened the hatchback to grab some water for the trip! the door caught the edge of her forehead and sudden a nasty little gash appeared. when she got behind the wheel, we were shocked to see the amount of blood! despite the pain and blood, emmy lined up for the start - not to be distracted by that incident.
when we arrived at the start, needless to add, the dried blood on her forehead was a topic of conversation. out of my earshot, she dropped hints that it was my fault - that i knocked her on the head because she was late meeting us! that explained the very strange looks i got - until she finally fessed up and absolved me of responsibility. phew! still, emmy sported quite a knot for most of the day. but she didn't let it stop her from logging 37+ miles!
it also turned out to be a good mileage day for me. i started off with susan for most of the first mile and then continued on with brennan through the end of our third loop. the 49:18 split for the first 6 miles (3 loops) was a bit too fast for me. brennan went on ahead (to ultimately finish 3rd overall), and i slowed down for the next few loops. still, the next 4 loops were all between 16 and 17 minutes, which netted me 14 miles in just under 2 hours (1:58:30).
the next 3 loops, 18:22, 21:15 (which included a bathroom break), and 18:43 got me to the 20 mile split in 2:56:56 - a roughly 7:54 pace. just short of the half-way point of the race i was more than pleased with my performance. the combination of low mileage weeks and the iron supplements had really helped me bounce back. but i wasn't in the mood to push my good fortune and risk my recovery. and fate did intervene to slow me down a bit.
my next 3 loops 21:01, 22:35, and 23:15 included a series of calf cramps that appeared in mile 21 and nagged me until mile 25. i drank as much gatorade, and ate as many banana pieces as i could swallow, each time i passed the aid station. aside from the calf problem, i was in otherwise great condition throughout the day. i also took the unexpected slow-down as a positive omen. even with three slower loops, i reached the marathon split at 4:06:06 - not too shabby under the circumstances.
i did the next three loops with rob, who had gotten sidelined with a flair-up of his planter fasciitis in the last loop. rob had just run the first 22 miles with susan (who finished in 3rd place). susan had just passed me midway through the last loop, as i headed toward the marathon split. since i still had almost two hours left on the clock, i planned to keep moving forward (even if at a walk). with the extra 3 loops (6 miles), i reached 32 (and passed 50k mark). then, with one turn of the small loop (0.4 miles), i increased my total to 32.4 miles.
what surprised me the most was that this total was less than one mile off my 2007 result (33.19 miles)! granted, we had very humid conditions (and even rain) last year. but, it hardly explains the similar outcomes. be that as it may, the post-race festivities were great - and included beer and pizza! the only negative, to an otherwise excellent day, was the long drive home (3 separate traffic jams on the belt parkway alone).
it that wasn't enough running for one weekend, the next day we (emmy, rob, and i) drove up to stratford and volunteered at the fall distance frolic 30k.
next up: the nyrr marathon tune-up 18 miler.
check out the race photos and results.
check out emmy's race photos.
from the archives: my 2007 staten island 6 hour run race report.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
david blaine just kicked off his newest stunt, hanging upside down for 60 hours in central park and ending it with the "dive of death." the finale will, ever so conveniently, be shown live on abc tomorrow (wednesday) night.
showing no fear, kelly ripa decided to check out the view up there. she got into a harness and was hauled up to interview blaine for "live with regis and kelly." blaine, coincidentally, does have something to prove to regis and kelly. on friday, blaine's underwater world record 17 minutes and 4 seconds of holding his breath was broken - live - with a 17 minute 19 second performance on the program by tom sietas! he reclaimed the world record from blaine, who himself had set it last april, live on oprah - phew!
that was a spectacular finish to the already stunt-filled week on the program - where each day brought a new effort to break a guiness world record. on the running front, unfortunately, dean karnazes didn't succeed in his attempt to break the world record for miles run in 48 hours on a treadmill.
check out this cool report from the associated press:
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
this year the fall distance frolic 30k found itself on the streets of stratford, instead of its traditional home base at the scandinavian club in fairfield. a decidedly more scenic course, it consisted of three 10k loops. since emmy, rob and i ran the staten island 6 hour run yesterday, today was about volunteering. rob and i each ran one loop of the new course, and emmy ran two.
here is my race "volunteer" report.
and here are the race results.
rob, emmy, and sheri, setting up the aid station.
rob, mixing the gaterade.
views of the course.
views of the course.
another view from the course.
marty's dad and emmy.
plenty of post-race food (including pizza).
emmy, kate, and rob.