Saturday, April 11, 2009

Now the Struggle Has a Name

It's grim out there, folks. Another grey, gloomy day, with bone-chilling temps, wind and rain. But I'm in a good mood. I got my last long run in before the marathon, a good 10-miler to Beverly Farms and back. I'm feeling strong and not too sore. Nine days to go before Boston...

My running column this week focused on race-day tips for Marathon Monday. I'll be up early and boarding a bus for Hopkinton chartered by my running club, the North Shore Striders. It's equipped with a bathroom, which will mean we won't have to stand in the endless PortaPotty lines in the Athlete's Village. That's one major stress inducer that's eliminated right from the start.

After several false starts due to scheduling, my buddy Eric finally made it over here Thursday night and we recorded a two-part conversation for the podcast about the decline of the newspaper industry. It was a very informative discussion and makes for good listening if you're at all interested in that subject. We talked a lot about the Boston Globe's current woes and what may lie ahead, and we also looked back at our days as young reporters at the Peabody Times. Part 2 will be posted early next week.

The podcasting fun continues tonight as I head over to Dr. Doobs' house in Shrewsbury to talk about pop culture in its various forms. Doobs is nothing if not opinionated about movies, TV and music (and everything, really), which should make for some entertaining talk. He also recently launched a movie review blog that looks at a wide variety of films from the obscure to the mainstream. Good stuff. I expect this to turn into at least two episodes of CompCon that I'll post in the weeks to come.

Deb and I went to the Sox-Rays game Wednesday night and had a good time despite temps reaching the mid-30s. We were way in the back of the right field grandstand and dressed appropriately, but it was still damn chilly. I was even rooting for the Sox because starter Jon Lester is on my fantasy team, but he got lit up by the Rays and the Sox lost 7-2. But the Jays have gotten off to a good start, taking three of four from the Tigers and winning last night against Cleveland. I don't expect that to last, but it's nice to see anyway.

Swingin' on the flippity flop:
  • Man, these Somali pirate dudes keep upping the ante. Four of them still have the captain of a U.S. cargo ship as a hostage on a 28-foot covered lifeboat. The guy actually tried to escape and was in the water and tried to swim away, but he was recaptured. Hopefully he'll be rescued, but man, what a crazy situation.
  • Even though my team, the Leafs, are out of the postseason for the fourth straight year, I'm still excited about the NHL playoffs, which start on Tuesday. There don't appear to be any locks to win the Cup, so things should be pretty competitive. Here's hoping the Bruins can make a good run. And reports are saying that Fenway Park will host the 2010 Winter Classic between the Bruins and another team, which would be awesome.
  • Here's a strange, but cool story: Kal Penn, best known for playing Kumar in the "Harold and Kumar" movies, this week was killed off on "House" so he could take a job in the Obama administration. Despite the fact that he's responsible for the fact that I have to hear an endless string of lame jokes about my last name, I don't hold it against him because he seems like a good guy and has been in some good movies. He was pretty active in stumping for Obama during the campaign and apparently will be serving as some sort of minority liaison. Good luck to him.

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