Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Love is a Bull Market

Summer's over, or at least it's getting close. Deb's back to work, although Hannah doesn't start school for another week. I wrapped up my spring/summer hockey hour last night; my fall/winter skate starts tomorrow night in Lynn. Nice timing.

I ran another 20-miler on Saturday in some serious humidity; it was a struggle, but I muddled through.

Fire up the grill:
  • So Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) has gotten hisself into quite a mess. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct earlier this month for making sexual advances to a police officer in an airport men's room, but now he says he's not gay and he overreacted by pleading guilty. Riiiiiight.
  • I was surprised to hear of Owen Wilson's apparent suicide attempt over the weekend. Not that I know the guy or anything, but he always seemed like the kind of guy who didn't take things too seriously. Guess you never known what's going on behind that public persona. Remember Freddie Prinze?
  • Ah, poor Miss Teen South Carolina. If you haven't seen this mind-numbing clip of her amazing answer at the Miss Teen USA pageant, well, you've been under a rock for the last few days. Or at least under a rock without a high-speed Internet connection. Holy stupidity, Batman! The clip also comes with helpful subtitles to amplify the dumbiosity. Enjoy. Oh, and much credit to host Mario Lopez for managing to keep a straight face through the whole thing.
  • So it appears the mighty Beethoven was actually (cue dramatic music)...murdered! The new theory is that his doctor dosed him to death with lead, or maybe he was chewing on a Polly Pocket toy.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 36: Too Damn Hot to Talk

The title says it all. It's ridiculously hot here right now, so I went with another all-music episode of tha CC. Download it directly here (right click and "save as").


There are a couple of points during the Sunset Rubdown and Los Campesinos songs when the music cuts out; not sure what the hell that was all about. Oh, well.


The show notes, if you will:


Music:
- Blake Morgan - Danger to Wake You
- Jesse Malin - Broken Radio
- Elliott Smith - Needle in the Hay
- Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II
- Los Campesinos - You! Me! Dancing!
- Built to Spill - Lie for a Lie


Promos:
- The Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon. Find out more here.

- New England Podcasting. Find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!

The Jesse Malin song is from the album Glitter in the Gutter on Adeline Records; find out more here. It is provided by the Podsafe Music Network. The song from Blake Morgan is on his album Burning Daylight on Engine Company Records; find out more here. The Elliott Smith song is on his self-titled album on Kill Rock Stars; find out more here. The Sunset Rubdown song is on their album Shut Up I Am Dreaming on Absolutely Kosher Records; go here for more info. The song by Los Campesinos is on their EP Sticking Fingers Into Sockets on Arts and Crafts; find out more here. The Built to Spill song is on their album Ultimate Alternative Wavers on C/Z Records; find out more at their Internet home page. All five songs were provided by IODA Promonet.



Burning Daylight "Danger To Wake You" (mp3)
from "Burning Daylight"
by Blake Morgan
(Engine Company Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Stream from Rhapsody
More On This Album





Elliott Smith "Needle In The Hay" (mp3)
from "Elliott Smith"
by Elliott Smith
(Kill Rock Stars)
Buy at Kill Rock Stars Store
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album




Shut Up I Am Dreaming "Stadiums And Shrines II" (mp3)
from "Shut Up I Am Dreaming"
by Sunset Rubdown
(Absolutely Kosher)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
Buy at Insound
More On This Album




Sticking Fingers Into Sockets "You! Me! Dancing!" (mp3)
from "Sticking Fingers Into Sockets"
by Los Campesinos!
(Arts & Crafts)
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
More On This Album




Ultimate Alternative Wavers "Lie For A Lie" (mp3)
from "Ultimate Alternative Wavers"
by Built To Spill
(C/Z)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
More On This Album

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog.


Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Safe Beats Sorry Out Again

Friday has arrived quickly, as I knew it would. We haven't had great summer weather this week, but it hasn't been awful, either. I'm not complaining about it, but Deb was hoping to get to the beach once or twice. It's supposed to get hot and humid today, but it's still kinda hazy out.

Deb did some prep work at school yesterday while I took the girls up to NH, where they hung out with my mom while I had lunch with an old UNH buddy of mine in Portsmouth. Then I visited another friend who's just become principal of a middle school in Rye before going back to get the girls.

On Wednesday, I ran in the Lynn Woods Relay with the North Shore Striders. We had a bunch of four-person teams running 2.5-mile legs through Lynn Woods Reservation; the first mile was pretty much entirely uphill and rocky. I finished my leg in 18:16, which wasn't bad. My team was in the Men's Open and was near the bottom because we were up against some really fast teams, but the Striders won some medals in the older age categories. I've been a member of the Striders for a few years but haven't done a lot of club events, so I was rightfully given crap by some of my friends on the club. There's another relay coming up in December that I hope to run in.

Fiddle faddle:
  • Memo to drunk husbands sitting naked on the couch watching TV: Next time, don't forget the fireproof underwear. Yowza.
  • So Nicole Richie served exactly 82 minutes in jail yesterday for driving under the influence of drugs. The sheriff said he was following federal guidelines designed to reduce prison overcrowding by releasing the pregnant pinhead early from her four-day sentence. Still, it makes you wonder how much time you'd spend in jail for the same charge. I suspect it wouldn't be a paltry couple of hours.
  • Penguins star Sidney Crosby is branching out with his own Reebok fashion line in Canada, including shoes and gear for the ladies, the ladies. What's next, a line of face care products for men? Oh wait, Jeter's got that covered. What happened to athletes endorsing light beer?
  • It has been 40 years and counting since the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup, but here's a cool story about how a member of that last championship team was reunited with his Cup ring. Guess those clowns with the metal detectors on beaches are good for something after all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Did It, Done It, Doing It Again

I'm very relaxed right now. Maybe too relaxed. I dragged my butt out of bed at 8:30 this morning. We had a pretty chill day yesterday. I went to the gym in the morning and then we took the girls to Bearskin Neck in Rockport (see my Flickr page for some photos from yesterday, as well as stuff from the last six weeks or so since our Disney vacation). I played hockey last night for 90 minutes and had a pretty good showing with a hat trick and a bunch of assists. Next week's my last week in Concord and also my first skating back in Lynn again. Good stuff.

On Saturday, I got a nice 13-miler in; I left the house at 6 and was back before 8. Then at noon, I headed off to play in my company's golf tournament in Lynnfield. I was pretty terrible, but fortunately it was a scramble and my buddies Z-man and John picked up the slack for Rick and me. The weather was unusual for August, almost chilly with some serious winds whipping through. As I teed off on the 18th, I heard my phone ringing in my golf bag; turns out Deb had been trying to reach me for about an hour. She had felt lousy for the previous few days and got the word that she had tested positive for strep throat. Plus she had a fever and the girls were driving her crazy. So I ditched the post-tourney BBQ and awards and came home in time to tuck the girls in. We finished at +2; the winning team was -5. Deb's on some antibiotics and feels a little better, but she's still not 100%.

On Sunday, I played softball in the Easter Seals tourney. We had only seven players show up, so we had to borrow a couple from the other team. We ended up tying them 14-14, although we blew 10-1 and 14-4 leads in the process. I felt pretty good at the plate even though I hadn't swung a bat all year; went 3-3 with a double and drove in a few runs. I'm just glad I didn't pull any muscles running the bases.

Looks like the weather will remain cool and dry until Friday, when it's supposed to get all hazy, hot and humid on us. I suspect we will attempt to hit the beach on last time on Friday.

Where's the beef?
  • The Boston Globe had a front-page feature yesterday on the debate over races banning runners from using headphones during events. USA Track and Field, the governing body of competitive running, has passed a rule allowing such a prohibition, but it's still up to individual race directors to enforce it. It gets much more difficult to enforce for bigger races where you're dealing with thousands of runners. Grandma's Marathon in Minnesota notably informed runners they would be disqualified if they were found wearing headphones. The argument is that runners who wear headphones are distracted and could cause injury to themselves or others because they're not totally focused on what they're doing. Some also say that people who run with headphones on aren't real runners, just recreational "joggers." As someone who wears my iPod whenever I run alone, I find it just enhances the experience, just like whenever I drive somewhere, I listen to the radio or stereo. I try to keep my iPod's volume low enough so I can hear approaching cars, people, animals, etc. In a race situation, especially a marathon, my iPod helps me stay motivated and pumped up when my body may be telling me otherwise. I have never bumped into, tripped up on, or had any other mishaps in race in which I've worn headphones, and I've run some of the biggest marathons: New York, Chicago and Boston. Can I run a race without music? Sure, I did Maine and my second Boston without it because I ran with other people. And in NYC, Chicago and Boston, I turned off my music at the start and at several points to soak in the atmosphere and sights. I'm running Baystate in Lowell in October and it looks like they won't ban iPods this year, according to the race director who was interviewed in the Globe article. Which is good because that race doesn't have anywhere near the crowd support or scenery that some of the bigger races have. Hopefully the flat terrain and my tunes will propel me to another personal best. But if I'm entered in a race that bans headphones and they threaten to disqualify runners, I'd probably go without. It's not the end of the world.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Running the World

Hey. I'm on vacation! Woo hoo! We're not going anywhere, but I'm still on vacation. It's Deb's last week before the school year starts again, so we figured we'd get some good family time in next week.

Just watched a great movie that came out on DVD this week, The Lookout. I had heard a lot about it earlier this year on the excellent Filmspotting podcast; it had a cup of coffee in the theaters without much notice, but the Filmspotting review, star Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, 10 Things I Hate About You) and director-writer Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Get Shorty) were enough to get me to rent it. In a nutshell, it's about a former star high school hockey player who suffers brain damage in a car accident and gets caught up in a plot to rob a bank. Great acting and interesting plot; I highly recommend it.

I've got a busy weekend ahead: I'm running 13 miles in the morning, playing in my company's golf tournament tomorrow afternoon, and then in an Easter Seals softball tournament on Sunday. Funny to think that will be the only time I play softball all year, after all the games I've played over the last 16 years.

Let the bullets roll...
  • This hit the wires a few days ago, but I had to make mention of the "Duct Tape Bandit" and his clever disguise. Must have felt good when the cops took the tape off. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am constantly amazed at the depths of stupidity people will display.
  • Seems like there have been of celebrity deaths lately: Merv Griffin, Phil Rizzuto, Tom Snyder. One that didn't get a lot of press stateside was that of the great Sam Pollock, who was the mastermind behind the Montreal Canadiens' powerhouse teams of the 1960s and 1970s. He was 81. In the 14 years he was GM of the Habs, they won nine Stanley Cups, including four straight from 1976-80. That latter squad, which featured superstars like Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden, Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson, Steve Shutt, and Serge Savard, was for my money the best NHL team ever. While Gretzky's Oilers got more attention in the '80s, that Montreal team was simply dominant. Pollock later went on to be president of the Toronto Blue Jays from 1995 to 2000, but unfortunately they didn't have similar success.
  • Great news for Leafs fans: Newly acquired forward Mark Bell will serve six months in jail after pleading no contest to drunken driving. As part of his settlement deal, he'll be allowed to serve the jail time after each of the next two NHL seasons. Bell had a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit last September when he slammed into a car stopped at a light in the San Jose area. The other driver was injured in the accident. Bell then allegedly ran from the scene before he was picked up by police.
  • The Boston Globe ran an article yesterday on an old friend of mine from UNH, Lauren Clark, who writes a great blog about Boston bars and the art of the cocktail. I'm strictly a beer drinker, but I can certainly appreciate mixed drinks. Even though they never treated me that well when I used to partake in college.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 35: Follow the Bouncing Ball

A bit of a sports-themed episode of CC for ya this week, so check it out here (right click and "save as").



The show notes, if you will:



Topics:
- The decline of ESPN
- The arrival of David Beckham
- The Pinhead of the Week


Music:
- The New Bomb Turks - Radiobeat
- Screeching Weasel - What We Hate
- The Riverbeat Gamblers - Ice Water
- The Lords of Altamont - Live Fast


Promos:
- The Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon. Find out more here.
- New England Podcasting. Find out more here.


Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!


The song from The New Bomb Turks is on the album Switchblade Tongues, Butterknife Brains on Gearhead Records; find out more here. The song from Screeching Weasel is on their album Weasel Mania on Fat Wreck Chords; find out more here. Both songs are provided by the Podsafe Music Network.


The song from The Riverboat Gamblers is on their album Something to Crow About on Gearhead Records; find out more here. The Lords of Altamont song is on their album Lords Have Mercy on Gearhead Records; find out more here. Both songs were provided by IODA Promonet.



Something to Crow About "Ice Water" (mp3)
from "Something to Crow About"
by Riverboat Gamblers
(Gearhead Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
More On This Album





Lords Have Mercy "Live Fast" (mp3)
from "Lords Have Mercy"
by Lords Of Altamont
(Gearhead Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
More On This Album





The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at http://jbreitling.blogspot.com/. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of Mark Campbell; find out more at http://www.icompositions.com/artists/Boris_the_Bull.


Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.