Tuesday, January 29, 2008

naturally effervescent & germ free

a good number of my office mates have gotten ill recently. after having one of my guys tell me over e-mail thankfully that he definitely has strep throat i decided it was time to do some spring cleaning in the office. so i announced to the office that beginning today at 4:30 we’d break out the cleaners & wipe all areas down which would include clearing off mounds of paper & crap off of people’s desk.

i even stopped at whole foods on my way in the morning & picked up two boxes of
emergen-c for everyone to take. i also for the first time picked up a bottle of organic synergy kombucha tea. it’s supposed to be super healthy & i’m all for defending my immune system from the crap folks have & are spreading in the office. i can’t risk getting sick at this stage of my training – i’m just beginning to ramp up & get in the groove. i was pretty excited about the drink so when i got in my car i quickly opened it & myself & the inside of my car got dosed with kombucha tea. i missed the little warning label on the top that reads “naturally effervescent – be careful when opening.” it was mostly a light mist of kombucha that was released – none the less it required a bit of clean-up. the stuff really is pretty horrible BTW.

it’s now 7pm & i’m not feeling sick & actually about to leave the office & head to the gym for some time with the bike training & food network so i suppose my double doses of emergen-c & kombucha tea paid off. probably didn’t hurt that i took a multi-V this morning & had 3 -4 cups of green tea throughout the day.

unfortunately i got consumed by conf calls & other work & forgot to have everyone start the cleaning today at 4:30 as planned & since no one really wants to clean no one reminded me. so tomorrow we’ll clean the joint up & make it as germ free as possible.

Monday, January 28, 2008

week3 - CDA training in 2008

i learned the importance of recovery this week & the need to get in bed early. a busy week at the office kept me up a number of late night's at home. also, i probably need to get some more run miles logged underneath me (i think i was holding back this week due to the 3M this weekend). i'm happy with my 7500+ meters in the water & my diet continues to rock. i didn't get on a real bike once this week, something else i'll have to handle this coming week.

goals for week4: at least 3-swim workouts, get a yoga class in, get on the bike, log more run miles, & more sleep! also, start using that more sophisticated workout log that ed sent me so i can easily track mileage & time.

week3 CDA ‘08

mon
- total body workout at home (30-mins)
- total time: 30-mins
tue
- hill repeats with ed (1-hour)
- 2500 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-mins)
- total time: 2-hours & 15-mins
wed
- spin class at pure (45-mins)
- treadmill at pure (20-mins)
- total body workout at pure (30-mins)
- total time: 1-hour & 35-mins
thu
- spin class at pure (45-mins)
- treadmill at pure (15-mins)
- 2500 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-mins)
- 2-hours & 15-mins
fri
- 3-mile run with payton at the lake (30-mins)
- elliptical machine at pure (20-mins)
- total body workout at pure (15-mins)
- 1-hour & 5-mins
sat
- 2700 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-mins)
- spin bike at pure (1-hour & 30-mins)
- 2-hours & 45-mins
sun
- 3M ½ marathon (1-hour & 29-mins)
- 1-hour & 29-mins

total training time: 11-hours & 54-minutes

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the trainer

i figured i'm going to spend some serious hours on the trainer so i decided to see what i look like on one. quite easy to do when your phone is also your iPod & camera too.

i'm borrowing a buddies trainer at home which comes in handy. at the same time, it's nice to use the gyms equipment, sweaty up their floors & not my own, & take advantage of cable TV for days when you just want to be distracted by the TV for 2+ hours.

i've learned that i can really zone out watching the food network. minus the commercials i'm locked in. there is something i find just so relaxing yet appealing about watching someone cook up all types of food. for me, diet & nutrition are just as important to my training as is logging the actual time in the water, on the bike, & running. let's not forget the value of recovery time too. for the past few weeks my diet & nutrition have been superb. i've added so many good veggies & carbs to my array of foods that i sample given kristin's love for cooking & her recent switch to a mostly vegetarian based diet.

so if i've got to get on the bike & i don't feel like hitting the roads, then me & the food channel are going to have some long hours together this season. if i had my choice of chefs to watch it would inlclude giada de laurentiis, emeril lagasse, & mario batali.

our little man is growing up

i weighed payton late saturday night. when we got him exactly one month ago from this past saturday he weighed 47 pounds. not a bad size for a 5-month old pup. as of saturday night’s weigh in he weighed 58 pounds. in the last month he's put on 11 pounds. that’s not bad for a pup that is also running a solid 6 – 9 miles a week & walking at least 5 – 7 a week.

according to the dog experts he's coming out of kiddy stage & graduating into adolescence. months 6 – 18 are supposed to be some of the best. he should still have that puppy energy, yet he *should* really begin to calm down & not have everything involve so much trial & error. what kristin & i are both looking forward too is taking him to the many awesome dog parks in town. our vet recommended we wait until he’s had his final distemper shot & then we can let him loose.

3M 3-years later

older, wiser, & faster!

01/30/2005 – chip time 1:57:56 (9:00 minute mile) – age 27
01/27/2008 – chip time 1:29:16 (6:49 minute mile) – age 30

i had a great day today. it was great having kristin out there on the road with me. i also saw a number of great friends on the course – always encouraging. i have to thank john for running as fast as he does & being there to motivate me to push myself really hard those last two miles! it also rocked that my folks, kristin’s folks, my aunt bev & uncle al, & my cousin angela & her husband jim (who ran the race after having one too many last night) were out there cheering for us. thanks also to alex & eryn, julie, patti for cheering for kristin & i – although i didn’t see any of you :). & thanks to trevor for being there at the end & for enjoying brunch with us & not once picking a political fight with my dad.

i’m a long way from being ready for coeur d’ alene, but damn this was a good start for 2008 finishes! a special thanks to my beloved kristin who continues to support me & is there every morning to kick me out of bed when that alarm clock goes off!


next race on the schedule – oceanside (a half ironman) in san diego!

kristin conquers 3M

today was a great day for the 3M 1/2 marathon in austin. the weather is currently 68-degrees & it is sunny out. as late as saturday morning it was 36-degrees out & it felt cold - trust me, i was swimming in it!

anyhow, today i ran my first race of 2008 & the best part about it was that i was running it with kristin. it was kristin's first long distance race event & she totally nailed it! she ran 9:05 minute miles to finish with a race time of 1:58:56 (under two hours)!

i did this race for the first time back in 2005 & i was also 27 years old. i remember how i could barely walk afterwards. my training was crap & i paid for it the days following the race. not kristin - she trained smart & rather than having to be rushed home & soaked in a bath like i had to be 3 years ago she headed out to brunch right afterwards with my folks, her parents, & one our best friends. she happily ordered a glass of champagne, followed quickly by a mimosa, with her migas. it was a couple of drinks & a meal well deserved. way to kick some butt girlfriend!

on the drive home from manuel’s kristin started telling me she wanted to sign up for the chicago marathon later this year in october. registration opens up on february 1st so we'll see :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

3M race goodies

all organized races (meaning you pay an entry fee) offer some time of race bag. the “race shirt” has become an expected item these days. depending on how big the race is (how much your entry fee is & how many sponsors are involved) depends on what else you can expect in that race bag. while i’ve yet to experience an ironman race bag (my first one is coming up in march) i suspect at a minimum you get a good quality shirt, a nice visor, a nice water bottle, & crap loads of gus, bite-size cliff bars, lara bars, etc. BTW, if you know how i can get some bite-size cliff bars or lara bars without entering a race please tell me – they are the perfect size to carry & eat while on the bike.

yesterday kristin picked up our race packets for the 3M ½ marathon. as expected we got the “race shirt.” it’s actually made of good cotton & is long sleeve – totally rocks! we also got a few flyers for other upcoming races, some discount coupons at local sport shops & physical therapy shops. what we didn’t get were any nutritional goodies – not a one!

so what else was in the bag? enough 3M products to amaze even the most senior of administrative assistants (aren’t i so PC?). each bag was filled with different items from 3M’s suite of products. we’ve got all types of post-its, tapes, ear plugs, adhesive strips, etc. the one item that kristin & i both laughed at was the “on-the-go” post-its. i didn’t know that post-its were to be used for anything other than quick notes that you can post anywhere or take with you. marketers have a special magic when they can label one set of post-its “on-the-go” & the other traditional post-its & charge folks more for the “on-the-go” ones.


anyhow, if you need any tape or post-its over the next year we have plenty to share. wish us a good time at 3M tomorrow. i swam this morning & rode the spin bike for 1.5 hours just to stay warm for the race. tonight, kristin & i are going to enjoy dinner at casa (vegan restaurant) & get to bed early!

we've waited all month long

the warm & sunny weather we all expect from austin returned today! just in time for the 3M ½ marathon. both kristin & i will be running this one.

i was mr. solo this morning at t3 swim practice. noah ended up getting his swim in yesterday at lunch & ed just wasn’t feel up to it after his visit to the physical therapist yesterday to check out his shins.

i’ve been sleeping like crap this week. not only have i not been getting into bed prior to 11:30pm (thursday night i was up until 1:30 am working on a proposal for my VP & CEO. when you are waking up between 5am & 6am each morning, your getting to bed late, & then worse off just ended up waking up constantly & struggling to get in bed in the first place it can be pretty rough on the training schedule.

regardless i hopped out of bed at 6am this morning & was at the pool at 7am. i had already made up my mind that i wasn’t going to road ride today & would instead spend 1.5 – 2 hours on a spin bike at the gym (that’s were i’m headed shortly). anyhow, the weather was 36 degrees out when i jumped in – as usual that warm water felt like a sauna compared to the temps outside. during the last 500 meters of my 2700 meter workout the sun started coming up! it was awesome to see the sun rising & knowing that later today the temps would reach the high 60s to low 70s. what a way to start your day – i’m really digging the swimming folks. i’ve still got a lot to learn, but at least they are fun!

my folks will be in town later today & a cousin of mine along with her husband flew in from raleigh, NC to run tomorrow’s race. i’m glad the weather won’t spoil anyone’s day tomorrow.
here’s to a great 3M run tomorrow!

Friday, January 25, 2008

out with the old, in with the older

today i departed with my a4. i know it is going to a good home; however, i am still sad. i’ve never owned a car longer than 2 years & i had this a4 for 4 ½ years. i was $2K away from having it fully paid off too. we had some good times & i will miss driving it. i remain very impressed with german engineering. a good friend of mine likes to say, “if it isn’t german, sweedish, or jap it is crap.”

so now i start a new chapter with automobiles. the old (’03) a4 has been replaced with an even older (’99) 4runner. the 4runner fits my current lifestyle – i don’t need a fancy car to pick up hot chicks (didn’t have one when i picked up kristin 6 years ago either - i was driving a civic at the time), i don’t need a standard transmission to have fun driving because now i need something that is hands free so i can hold conference calls from my car & drink coffee at the same time, i need it to be easy to haul around bikes, we now have a BIG dog (payton – a rhodesian ridgeback), & most importantly i don't need a car payment & now i’ve got a car that is paid off! NO more car payments – well that’s not exactly true, we still owe on kristin’s ’06 4runner.

it’s been 10 years since i haven’t had a car payment. i was 20 years old living in hawaii & i was driving an ’89 prelude. i suppose i’ve owned a few cars – 8 in 14 years to be exact. that’s a different car every 1.75 years (21 months). i think i like the aspect of buying a car more than anything else. not to mention my needs (wants) change as i mature. i’ve got an entire theory on male car buying (based on my own knowledge) that will find its way to the blogosphere very soon.

vorsprung durch technik

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

it is about time starbucks!

times finally aren’t so good for starbucks. about three years ago i tried to give starbucks coffee up – let me repeat that. i tried giving up “starbucks coffee”, not “coffee” – i’m not that crazy :) it wasn’t that i didn’t enjoy their coffee, in fact i love their coffee. i’m not one to order a frappucchino, a mocha, etc. – i just want a cup of black coffee with nothing added to it & in my opinion starbucks coffee quality & taste is consistent & rocks.

so why did i try to give it up? starbucks was becoming to commercial. it started feeling like a fast food shop – how quick can we turn a customer in/out appeared to be their driving concern. drive-thru windows were even installed. OK, i’ll admit that drive thru can be convenient at times. ever try sitting at a starbucks to actually do work? have you noticed that it’s always freezing inside starbucks & loud? you think that’s an accident? heck no, they want you in & out that door as quickly as possible. so they crank down the air & turn up the music & people leave because they can’t concentrate. the straw that broke the camels back was when they introduced t-mobile & *not* free internet - i was so pissed! then more food items started showing up (none of them good for you), they started selling walls of merchandise to include $1,500 espresso machines, CD purchases, & over-priced odwalla drinks, water, etc. most importantly of all these things – a tall coffee costs over a $1.70! i was checking out starbuck’s menu one afternoon & if you order anything other than a tall coffee or a espresso shot you are in for a $2+ drink. most drinks on their menu range from $3 - $4 bucks! give me a break!

the problem i ran into while trying to give up starbucks... other coffee spots were convenient given my location & the coffee was usually hit or miss day-to-day. it also seemed that ever corner i turned someone was giving me a starbucks card as a present so how could i avoid free coffee?

so i continue like so many others to frequent starbucks on a daily basis. how do i afford it? you’ll love this – the credit card kristin & i use is a starbucks rewards card. we don’t earn air miles – we earn starbuck’s points. for over two years now we’ve been fortunate enough that we’ve never had to “pay” the high dollars at starbucks due to the plethora of points that we earn each month.

we’ll i’m not the only one that has been frustrated by starbucks obviously & as a result starbucks IS now starting to feel some pain due to all their “dirty” tactics. they claim to serve their consumers – yeh right! gouge them for every dollar you can & get them out as quickly as possible has been their approach for too long!

it was just two weeks ago that they brought back their original CEO that took them to the top. early this month they fired jim donald & they reinstated howard shultz. if you own
starbuck’s stock then you know that on jan. 4th their stock price was sitting at $18.11. the stock had fallen over half of its value since may 5th of 2006 when it was at its peak of $39.63 a share.

upon hearing this news i visited
starbuck’s website & the home page was nothing but a letter from their CEO howard shultz explaining to consumers (aka investors) how he was going to turn things around & serve his customers ethically. you can still find the letter on their website but it no longer makes up their main page.

oddly enough starbucks is supposedly feeling the crunch from dunkin donuts & mcdonalds. i hear mcdonald’s coffee is actually really good & cheap; however, it goes against everything i believe in to visit a mcdonalds. as for dunkin, there is only one that i know of in austin & it’s out of my way to visit. i have been reading a lot about dunkin & how they have been working on changing their brand image recently. they’ve always been the coffee/donut shop for the common man. while i think they still stand by that statement, they are changing things up to draw more consumers (yuppies that are frustrated with starbucks) through their doors.

so this morning i heard something on NPR about starbucks that really peaked my interest. starbucks is going to offer a
$1 cup of coffee. i have repeated it over & over that a cup of black coffee should *not* cost any more than a buck. unfortunately for me starbucks is only rolling this promo idea out in its seattle store locations to see how it’s going to work & probably more importantly whether they can sustain at selling coffee at this price. i think it may actually work for them & more importantly us – the consumer! now how about turning that A/C down & providing us some free internet shultz!

additional information about starbucks if you are curious:

- 1971: first stoor opened in seattle
- 1982: howard shutlz gets involved
- jul. 03, 1992: starbucks IPOs for $0.71 – 165 stores
- 1999: starbucks buys TAZO tea (ever wonder why they sell TAZO?)
- 2000: shultz steps down & orin smith becomes CEO
- 2001: the starbucks card that we all have learned to love makes its appearance
- 2003: starbucks acquires seattle’s best
- 2004: t-mobile hot spots installed (bad (greedy) move)
- 2005: orin smith retires, jim donald takes charge
- may 05, 2006: starbucks is at it’s peak $39.63 – 12,440 stores!
- jan. 04, 2008: starbuck’s stock is at $18.11 (less than half of what it was worth in may ’06)
- jan. 04, 2008: starbucks sells naked juice brand (cutting loss leaders)
- jan. 04, 2008: starbucks stops offering organic milks (cutting costs & inventory)
- jan. 07, 2008: donald is fired & shutlz is brought back in as CEO
- jan. 23, 2008: trying $1 coffee in seattle stores

- jan. 23, 2008: starbuck’s stock is at $18.67 (well, we are headed into a recession folks)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

cramp!!!

i felt like a million bucks when i woke up this morning! it was nice to have the day off from training yesterday (i did light weights & pilates at home last night). i woke up at 5 to 5 & didn't need to be out of the house until 5:45 so i started the coffee, made some oatmeal, & hopped online to pay some bills & attempt to catch up on some home budgetary items.

i met ed at 6am for hill repeats. we choose to stay away from wilke as i'll be doing 3M this weekend & we wanted to change things up anyway. i don't recall the street name but it's just a few blocks shy of coming to wilke & it starts with a long steady incline & then jets way up. it was good, i got my lucky 7 repeats in.

great day at the office too (first time i've introduced work to my blog). it involved a lot of talking & not e-mails, responding to fires, or writing docs all day. i had a 2 1/2 hour lunch with my boss at kenobi sushi (a new sushi restaurant in the arboretum where dan mcclusky's used to be) & when i returned to the office i took gene, one of our senior systems architects, over to the steeping room in the domain where we enjoyed a reserve oolong tea & edamame while we discussed the R&D required for a pretty cool new project that i can't talk about publicly (NDA & stuff). i do enjoy being able to step outside the office to work; especially really focused work where the effect of a new environment lets you explore new ideas.

finally & why i started this blog... so i left the office just in time to make it down south for 7:10 swim practice with t3. it was freezing - 36 degrees & i prior to stripping down to swim i was only wearing a short sleeve shirt & a thin jacket - i should have checked the weather more closely this morning. i suppose the news of dropping short term interest rates by the federal reserve & the ongoing talk about a recession distracted me. back on track brian - get to the point!

2000 meters into my swim my left foot cramped up. i was able to shake it off luckily & keep going. then 500 meters later my left calve totally seized up & it hurt like hell! i was helpless in the water & done for the night. the calve muscle basically locked up for a good minute & now two hours later & it is still sore. lesson to be learned here - stretch & ensure you have the right balance of electrolytes in your system. i suppose i'll have to start taking nuun again.

long story short - cramps suck & so does 36 degree weather!

Monday, January 21, 2008

dogs & dinner

this past saturday eryn & alex invited us over for dinner. eryn suggested we bring payton so we did! from the get go the dogs were chasing one another. well actually, payton was chasing saci (acronym for the school that eryn & alex attended in florence) the entire night. well not exactly all night, alex locked saci away in her crate just prior to sitting down for dinner - poor dog locked away on her home turf while payton was left to roam freely!

minus the dog frenzy we had a great time & the food was amazing - i took multiple pics! i've never seen a salad with so many fruitful colors. we started with some homemade soup that was sprinkled with roasted pine nuts & complimented with bruchetta (made with a soft pumpernickel bread). in between soup & salad we had a variety of olives. then the salad came & it too was awesome - so many colors folks! have you ever had blackberries in a salad? if you haven't you must try it. then to the main course - salmon! & finally a medley of frozen fruits whipped into a homemade sherbert & coffee made with a real french press.

lucky for me, eryn made a lot of everything & given the training i was in for the next day & what i had experienced that morning i wasn't shy with eating two bowls of soup, 3 pieces of bruchetta, 2 plates of salad, & 2 1/2 pieces of salmon!

when payton finally calmed down alex let saci out of her crate. we ended up watching 'knocked up' - kristin & i hadn't seen it before. we started with 'superbad', but kristin wasn't enjoying the humor all that much.

to sum up the night: the food was amazing & when you let dogs crash your party you shouldn't expect to have long deep conversations & resorting to a movie can be a good fall back plan :)

bikini fans

i'm surprised that i'm talking (blogging) so much about the green bay game too... it really was a disappointment. i mean, this is probably favre's last year & for them to go the super bowl against the patriots would have made for such good marketing & hype. how in the world did they loose at home in that crazy weather?

enough with the game, how about those bikini girl fans? did you miss seeing these girls on the camera yesterday? how nuts will fans get? is it really worth it to be on TV? my answer is yes!

for 2 minutes they probably froze their nipples off - literally ;). in that two minutes their faces, well their bodies, were seen by millions & now with all the web attention they've probably been viewed & talked about by hundreds of millions. granted, it's not the most respectable thing to be known for. of course, it wasn't like they were stripping - millions of women wear bathing suits everyday around pools & beaches. it's the cold weather aspect that makes it a "big deal." their stunt worked & they've created a lot of fun chatter & probably brought smiles to a lot of faces.

i suppose if fans are going to show off their bodies for the camera i prefer it be "bikini girls" versus the usual overweight fat man that's drinking his beer & eating a mouthful of chili dogs with his buddy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

comfort food

green bay lost BIG tonight (even NY times sent me a "news alert" about it) & now kristin is down in the dumps. i'm a bears fan remember & even i was pulling for green bay. i'm quite shocked that the giants upset green bay at home in the zero below temperatures. this could very well be favre's last game.

i recall some years ago when philadelphia knocked green bay out of the playoffs - kristin became a real football fan that day & she realized for the first time what a BIG loss feels like. unfortunately she revisited that feeling again today. we were going to have a super bowl party if green bay would have made it too.

oh well... maybe i can cheer kristin up with some comfort food. i think it's time for kale, edamame, tempeh, & mashed heart-shaped sweet potatoes! i recall that it brought a smile to kristin's face a couple months ago when i first put this treat together :)

avocado + fish tacos

how could i forget the avocado? avocado is a must on fish taco night. whole foods had a sale on tilapia last week & we must have had fish tacos three nights this past week. kristin says the are "easy" & i just think they are amazing.

so what makes the perfect fish taco at our house?

3 tilapia fillets cooked on a pan with diced tomatoes & green chillies, whole wheat (burrito size) tortillas from whole foods, avocado obviously!, fat free sour cream, black soy beans, & optionally queso fresco.

lucky for us the fillets were on sale again this weekend & i foresee a good number of nights with fish tacos this week!

i'd post a pic but some how i've missed taking one & all the google image results don't come close to what we put together. i'll take a pic later in the week & post it.

week2 - CDA training in 2008

mon
- pure pump class + abs (1-hour) (6:30 am)
- spin class at pure (55 min) (5:30 pm)
- 2-mile on the treadmill (20 min) (6:30 pm)
tue
- 3,000 meter swim with t3 (5:45 am)
- 7-mile jog on the treadmill (53 min) (8:15 pm)
wed
- 3-mile lake jog with payton (30-min) (6:30 am)
- bike trainer at pure (1-hour) (7:30 pm)
thu
- spin class at pure (45-mins) (12:00 pm)
- treadmill at pure (15-mins) (12:50 pm)
fri
- yoga/pilates at pure (45-mins) (12:00 pm)
sat
- 11-mile run from town lake to 46th & back (1-hour & 20-mins) (9:00 am)
- total body workout w/ focus on legs at pure with ed (1-hour & 30-mins) (11:15 am)
- 3-mile run with cisco the local neighborhood dog (30-mins) (2:00 pm)
sun
- 2800 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-mins) (8:00 am)
- 43 – 44 mile mansfied damn loop from lost creek & 360 (2-hours & 30-mins) (10:15 am)


total training time: 14-hours & 42-minutes

twenty six

i wish i was talking about a marathon... oh btw, i don't think i'm doing the AT&T full marathon. maybe the 1/2 marathon just for fun & to get some of the energy that comes with a race of that size.

the twenty six i'm referring to was the temperature this morning. my buddy colleen blogged about her morning too & she was reporting
18 degree weather - i think she was just being *extra* dramatic or maybe her temperature gauge is just broke :)

yesterday was already a pretty cold morning too, but i didn't have to strip & swim & then jump on my bike & ride in it. i suppose sometimes you just do what you've got to do! i was at lost creek country club to swim with t3 just before 8am & i was in the water 15 minutes later. when that tarp comes off the water & the steam rises from the pool all you want to do is jump in. we swam for about an hour & 15 minutes. ed had setup a mansfield damn loop leaving from lost creek & 360 so we quickly changed over into our warmest biking gear after jumping out of the water & we took off.

the full finger gloves, long tights, & head band i purchased paid for themselves BIG time today. i still need some booties or something because my feet were frozen for the whole ride. it wasn't my best ride (more to come in my next blog) by any means; it was however a good mental experience for me & for that i'm very thankful that i got out there & did it!

how many more months of this cold weather?

yoga was overdue

this past friday i took my first yoga class of the year. i actually goofed the schedule at pure & it turned out to be a yoga/pilates class & in all honesty i liked it more than just the plain hatha flow yoga i attend occasionally.

this second week of ironman training, along with work (which like a lot of folks i know right now is consuming a lot of time & it is full of deadlines), dog training (payton is great - it just takes a lot of work - kristin is being a real trooper with him!), considering a home purchase, trying to sell a car, my father coming into town this past week, both of my folks coming into town next weekend for the 3M 1/2 marthon, & trying to spend time with the one i love was all just wearing on me.

the yoga was great!. i went at lunch on friday & the breathing & stretching really helped. i'm not sure which one was better - they were both needed! i've decided from this point forward i'm going to include yoga/pilates into my weekly routine. i really want to try out bikram yoga which is supposed to make you super sweaty & is considered a very tough workout.

an update on my eagle entrepreneurs - 2008 take II

the attached pic & story date back to early december actually. it was the first time i visited roland's lakeline watersports shop. i was blown away with his inventory & the custom kayak racks he had built to show off his product. he has turned this little shop into the real deal very quickly.

anyway, on that rainy day back in december another buddy of roland's & myself drove out to a baby clothing store in cedar park to pick up a used check-out counter for his shop. roland had initially set up a folding table & was now upgrading to a more legit setup. it would be the place for which he would soon take in large sums of cash - i hope :)

as of right now roland continues to do well; even in the colder months of the year. he's actually bringing more technology on board to make things easier & more efficient for himself & his operations. he's currently shopping the iPhone to use as a mobile internet connection so he can process transaction while on the road.

keep it up roland & when are we going camping this year?

an update on my eagle entrepreneurs - 2008 take I

paul & his partner richard launched their website a couple of weeks ago. i was lucky enough to be partner one's first customer shortly after they finalized their reseller agreement with dell. that is right, SQ-0001 was processed by my company networkIP. i have talked to paul about once a week since he started partner one. we talk about current projects that i've got going & i suspect partner one to be an integral part to two of our biggest projects this year that will involve hardware procurement.

paul is always on top of his game & has the information i need on time. while i know paul is very busy with all that goes into turning up his business - he has never once denied me the time on the phone when i've called & in fact he goes out of his way to keep me up to date & dialogue with me at length about what he has going on.

i really hope all of paul's customers see what i see in him & partner one. thanks for always taking care of networkIP & more importantly thanks for being such a good friend at the same time.

my first black toe

i suppose i'm now officially a runner - at least that is what kristin tells me. a couple of weeks ago the same toe on my right foot starting going black but never turned all the way. if there was a "black toe" judging i'm not sure it would pass.

now this puppy on my left foot is officially a black toe though - no doubt about it! i'm sure there are a number of causes of black toe; in my case my toe nail was simply catching just a bit when i was running & when that catching action happens over & over on an 11-mile run that's a lot of catching going on. as a result the toe gets really sore, turns black, & i suspect will eventually fall off - lucky me! the first few days after the initial "injury" is a bit painful, but then it's just turns into an ugly black toe with no pain.

how i will i attempt to prevent future black toes? keep toe nails super trim, good socks, a shoe that fits like a glove (i'm considering switching from my mizunos to some asics gel nimbus 9s - that's what i sported in my first 3M 1/2 marathon in '05 & they did me well).

anyone else got any good black toe stories or pics? for more about black toes (thanks google) read on:

black toe

at the end of a long walk or run, you may notice that a toenail has turned black or gray, and may be swollen under the nail. what happened? what's going to happen?
what is black toenail?


as you walk or run, your foot slides forward in your shoe, banging your toes against the top, front, and sides with each step. your feet also swell during a walk or run and get compressed by your socks and shoes. that pressure and impact can damage your toenail beds, or create a blister under the toenail itself. when this happens, the extra blood and fluid cause your toenail to separate from the toenail bed, or the "toenail in training" as the jeff galloway site calls it. the blood colors the toenail black.

is your black toenail painful?


if there is a blister under the toenail, you may see the toenail raised and it may be swollen and painful. it is best to try to ignore this for 24 hours and see if it goes down by itself. if it is still raised and painful after a day, then you may want to drain the fluid. if the edge of the swollen area is near the edge of the nail, sterilize a needle, sanitize the area, and try to pierce the blister with the needle. press to drain it, apply alcohol and/or antibiotic cream.

if the swollen area isn't near the edge of the nail, you will need to drill through the nail to drain it. sterilize a paper clip with a flame, sanitize the nail with alcohol, and while the paper clip is still glowing red, pierce straight down through the nail to make a puncture to drain the excess fluid. press to drain the fluid. sanitize the area with alcohol and antibiotic cream.
if the toe continues to be swollen and red after you have drained the excess fluid, see a doctor to ensure it has not become infected. take infection seriously, if it continues to hurt or the pain increases, this is a bad sign. toe infections can lead to blood infections, gangrene, and worse, especially if you have diabetes.


will i lose my toenail?

the short answer is - yes. it will take a few weeks or months, but as the toenail continues to grow, eventually it shoves out the damaged, blackened toenail. the black toenail is raised off of the toenail bed, and underneath it is often the healthy remainder of your toenail. your black toenail will gradually loosen from the sides and you will be able to trim it away.
when will my toes be pretty again?


if pretty toes are important to you, you can paint the black toenail or even the thin new toenail, or the bare skin. most people won't notice the difference if you use a darker shade of polish. full replacement of your toenail takes about 3 months, and the new toenail will often be a bit wavy, thin in some areas and thicker in others. after 4-5 months your toenail should be back to normal.

how can i prevent black toenail?your running or walking shoes and socks must fit correctly. your feet swell a full shoe size over the course of a longer run or walk, and your toes must have someplace to expand into. the toebox must be wide enough, yet not too wide or your toes will bang around in it. getting fit at a technical running shoe store in your area is your best method of ensuring your shoes fit correctly.

i promise i’m not a vegan or vegetarian

due to kristin’s recent switch to vegetarianism some months ago (she will occasionally eat red meat & in the past two weeks she added fish to back to her diet – i think there is an official name for this, i just don’t know & haven’t bothered to look it up) & my ability to eat anything as long as i know it’s good for me (regardless of taste) has made eating nothing but veggies for many meals very easy for me. the best part about all this veggie eating is that i’ve discovered some really amazing new veggies that i knew nothing about to include: kale, brussel sprouts, & red swiss chard.

i used to think that brocolli was the best veggie for me – good carbs, vitamins, & even packed with a bit of protein. while i’m still a fan of brocolli, it doesn’t come close to touching well prepared brussel sprouts. we use a very simple recipe – pop them right off the stalk & on to a cookie pan, dust on some olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, & some sea salt. stick ‘em in the oven for 400 degrees for 45 minutes (shake the pan ever 10 to 15 minutes to ensure the sprout is roasted on all sides (a little charred makes them oh so good!).

oh, & the things you can do with sweet potatoes! i may have mentioned this before but we eat sweet potatoes in a variety of ways. baked & eaten whole, baked & then mashed up (leave the skins on folks!, sliced & then baked, make them into sticks with olive oil, cracked black pepper & sea salt. i’ve even added them to waffle & pancake mixes!

some other great things to eat when meat isn’t around are nuts. almonds are my favorite – dry roasted with *no* salt added. we started buying this spread at the vegan counter at whole foods called “happy tuna” & another one called “like turkey” & they are awesome. basically they grind up almonds & then mix in some really awesome spices & tahini – spread that on some hemp bread & you’ve got a great healthy snacked packed with protein, fiber, & the right type of carbs.


the attached pic was my 2nd lunch (yes, i'm eating a lot during training) yesterday consisting of baked brussel sprouts, grilled tofu, & brown rice mushroom pilaf.

to reiterate, i’m not a vegan or vegetariain. during a normal week i eat on average 6 – 10 chicken breasts & fish as often as i can get it. i eat red meat very seldom – usually only when i’m at a fine steak house or if we decide to make buffalo burgers at home. however, i do love this new diet of eating way more veggies than i did before & i don’t mind one bit eating an entire plate of nothing but veggies as a meal.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

iPhone release 1.1.3

never before have i been excited to update software… in fact, every time my PC tells me it is time to update i fight with it for days before i’ll let it force me into a reboot. today, for the first time i rushed to download release 1.1.3 for the iPhone. what’s so special about this release?

all i really cared about was being able to text message the same text to multiple people without having to type out the same exact message over & over & then send it individually to each person. if you were wondering why you didn’t get a “happy new year” text from me it was because i would have had to type “happy new year” 20 times to send it to the 20 people i would have wished a happy new year to. i cursed the iPhone immediately when i realized this so called “feature” didn’t exist a day after i got the phone. i was amazed that apple of all companies missed this very simple use-case.

other than the multi-person text “feature”, release 1.1.3 allows you to arrange your icon view, find yourself on the map, the map interface is a bit more intuitive, you can now download 3rd party apps to your iPhone, & you can rent movies from iTunes.

the other so called “feature” that i’m waiting on is the ability to be on the phone & use the internet at the same time. say i’m on the phone & the person i’m talking to asks me the hours to a store, if i put the person on hold or just jump to safari the edge/wi-fi network is disabled. i have to hang up with the person i’m talking to, use safari to find the store’s hours & then call the person back to tell them the store hours.

apple will eventually get it right – i’m sure of it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

official week1 - CDA training in 2008

adjusting to the schedule & workouts. i wish the weather would warm up. running wilke tuesday morning in the rain & cold with kearney sucked.

mon, jan 7
- 3 mile run with payton around the lake (28 minutes) (6:45 am)
- chest & arms workout at home with some abs mixed in (1 hour) (9:00 pm)

tue, jan 8
- wilke hill repeats (7 hills) 1 hour (6:00 am)
- t3 2,800 meter swim (7:15 pm)

wed, jan 9
- spin class at pure (5:30 pm)
- 15 minutes on the treadmill (6:15 pm)
- 30 minute total body weight workout at pure (7:00 pm)

thu, jan 10
- t3 3,000 + meter swim (5:45 am)
- 1 hour & 5 minute spin bike at pure (7:00 pm)

fri, jan 11
- 10 mile lake run with small t3 group (6:00 am)

sat, jan 12
- 3 mile run with payton around the lake (7:30 am)
- kuota k-factor test ride on 360 (1 hour 30 minutes) (12:30 pm)
- 15 minutes stretching at pure (3:45 pm)
- 45 minutes spin bike at pure (4:00 pm)
- 15 minutes stretching & light weights at pure (4:45 pm)

sun, jan 13
- 30 neighborhood run (7 46th st. repeats) (6:30 pm)
- 15 minutes stretching & misc. weights (7:00 pm)

5 to 5

5 to 5, no i don’t mean 9 to 5. i’m talking about 4:55 am. that’s what time my alarm went off for the remaining workdays (thursday & friday) last week & 5 to 5 will continue to be the time my alarm sounds through the remainder of this ironman training season. one of the coaches at t3, maurice, taught me the 5 to 5 saying. 4:55 am just sounds too early to be waking up where as 5 to 5 doesn’t – it’s a mental thing.

so what kind of training am i waking up for? thursday morning was a 3000+ meter pool workout & friday morning was a 10 mile run. knowing that i’ve got to get these workouts in to stay on track, i am safer working out first thing in the morning because work & other things can’t get in the way. of course, to meet my training goals i’m sort of dependent on working out two times a day so this approach won’t really mean much – it will ensure i get at least one of the two workouts in a day that i need. just during this first week of training i have worked out twice on monday, tuesday, wednesday, & thursday. surprisingly this weekend’s workouts have been more relaxing & i’ve been able to sleep in a bit.

i’ve noticed that there are some really cool things about getting up early (especially in austin). like seeing the city from south 360 in the morning, seeing the steam come up off the lake, watching the rhythm of the sculling teams on the water, seeing bikers on the road with their lights beaming, & the sunset from almost any angle. not to mention that you get to hear most NPR stories twice because they recycle the 5am stories around 7am so if you the news didn’t sink in the first time you’ll have a second shot at it. oh & the last really cool thing is coming home & enjoying a cup of coffee after you’ve been out working out in the cold.

Monday, January 7, 2008

what is it like running 100K?

ever wonder what running 100K (62 miles) would be like? i couldn't begin to tell ya, nor do i want to know what it would feel like. my buddy peter who just finished the bandera 100K this past weekend can.

peter's account of his race tells you like it is. he knows how to put you right in his shoes & those are some big shoes to fill. my hat goes off to a guy like this who can get out there & push himself beyond both physical & mental extremes. i don't know many people that can run for 15+ hours & i know that was the easy part compared to the months of long run training. i mean this guy was doing beyond marathon distance runs for training week in & week out.

congratulations peter!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

swimming is actually cool

i broke the cardinal rule during this past off season. i didn't practice the worst of my three sports. in fact, i've been avoiding swimming like the plague. today that all changed; i joined t3 this morning for their swim practice & boy did i need it.

i swam 2800 meters which was the longest i've ever swam in the pool for a single workout. the entire workout of various drills took just over 1 hour & 20 minutes. my fingers actually turned into prunes; it was great though. chrissie (coach pain) was awesome & kept me focused throughout the entire workout. i'm not actually as bad as i thought i was either & by the end of the workout i was really enjoying it. granted, i was wiped near the end & i'm sure to be sore (for the first time ever from swimming) tomorrow morning... it was just different pushing myself in the water. it wasn't like a really long run where your knees, feet, or hips start hurting - i was just physically getting tired. the muscles you use when swimming aren't the ones we normally work while in the gym lifting weights. i told kristin that after a month of doing these workouts with t3 (yes, i'm officially signing up) my shape is sure to change as a result of all the swimming & the new muscles that are going to be worked.

after the swim ed & i met noah down at the lake. we ran a quick 7 miles & all called it a day. i'm still iffy on the AT&T marathon in mid february. i suppose i don't want to give in; however, almost everyone is telling me that it's only going to conflict with my tri training & worse off it could slow me down due to the recovery time i'm going to need when the race is over when i'll need to be focusing on my tri training. we'll see - there is still time to decide either way.

don't let your brain fool ya

i read the article i’m not really running, i’m not really running by gina kolata which was published in the NY times on dec. 6 2007.

the story gives an example of an ivy league pole vaulter whose coaches and teammates always noticed that he could jump higher than he was. every time he made a jump he cleared the pole with about a foot to spare. however, if they moved the bar up just a single inch he would hit it every time.

so one day, when the vaulter wasn’t looking, his teammates raised the bar a good six inches & the kid vaulted over the new height, again with a foot to spare. when his teammates confessed about raising the bar, the pole vaulter could not believe he had done it. yet, when he tried jumping that same height now knowing how high it actually was he couldn’t clear it.

the story explains how our brains have the ability to hold us back if we let it; especially when dealing with endurance sports training. the story goes on to talk about zoning out while running & how to push your body to it’s peak even when your brain is telling you to take a break or slow it down.

as i gear up for this year’s ironman this is sound advice & i’ll have to learn to deal with my own brain & recognize when it’s in conflict with my body’s physical ability. of course, pain is an entirely different topic & i’ll need to realize when i’m encountering pain so that i don’t risk pushing so hard that i injure myself.


i often have to remind myself when i’m racing that i am *not* racing the guy or lady next to me, i am actually racing myself.

obama smokes

barack obama is a true intellectual in my opinion. obama graduated from columbia & harvard law school. while at harvard he was president of the harvard law review. while i know many people with power have their degrees paid for, i believe without a doubt that obama earned his. i’ve listened to him during the debates & on NPR & have also read excerpts from his book & there is no hiding his ability to think.

i suppose that’s why it’s so hard from me to understand why the man smokes. i understand addiction; however, anyone with half a brain knows how bad smoking is for you. while this one bad habit won’t prevent me from voting for him, it would bother me if our next president was a smoker when everyone understands the health risks associated with smoking.

week1 - CDA training in 2008

tomorrow, january 7th i start my hard core ironman training for CDA 2008. rather than start another blog i'm going to tag all entries with "CDA 2008 training". i need to work on a more sophisticated training log. my buddy noah is supposed to hook me up with his soon. for now i'm documenting in a simple format that makes posting to this blog easy.

(all times reflect start time of workout)

tue, jan 1 (4:30 pm)
- 3 mile jog around the lake w/ trevor

wed, jan 2 (6:45 pm)
- 30 minute spin
- 10 minute (1+ mile) treadmill
- abs
- misc: pushups & dips

thu, jan 3
- 3 mile jog around the lake w/ payton (6:30 am)
- abs (11:50 am)
- 45 minute spin class (12:00 pm)

fri, jan 4
- 3 mile jog around the lake w/ payton (7:00 am)
- 20 minutes on the elliptical (6:30 pm)
- quick total body workout (6:50 pm)
- lap swimming 750 meters (7:15 pm)

sat, jan 5
- 50 mile fitzhugh ride w/ aaron, jason, & billy (9:00 am)

sun, jan 6
- 2800 meter swim with t3 – 1hr 23min (8:00 am)
- 7 mile run – 56min 45 sec (10:30 am)

the audi is naked

the a4 is officially ready to sell. after i got home from biking yesterday i pulled off the bike rack & then took it over to arbor car wash for a cleaning. it's the first time in a long time that i've taken the car for a washing. i've always be adamant about keeping the interior in pristine shape (that's where i sit everyday). the exterior for the most part i could really care less.

i think the a4 is a beautiful car, (i wouldn't have bought it if i had thought i otherwise) i just think mine looks naked now without the bike rack. i suppose it's like the day after i shaved my "mountain man" beard that i was growing last month. i didn't even recognize myself for the first 24 hours after. hopefully soon i'll recognize the a4 too :) more importantly, i hope it sells quickly!

brussel sprouts 101

my lesson learned the other day about brussel sprouts... kristin i went grocery shopping at whole foods where we buy 90% of our groceries. the other 9% come from central market & the remaining 1% come from HEB. anyhow, we headed over to central market on the way home & kristin dropped me off to run in & grab three things: chicken, sandwich buns, & brussel sprouts.

the chicken was easy; three ancho marinated breasts & one greek marinated breast. the sandwich buns were even easier, they are already packaged up. the brussel sprouts however were a bit more complicated.

i've never picked up brussel sprouts before. kristin & i share the grocery shopping chore & i don't recall us every buying brussel sprouts. a few weeks ago when we were having dinner at whole foods i grabbed some grilled brussels sprout & they were amazing. then this past weekend while at my parents house my mom made brussel sprouts for dinner. so kristin decided she wanted to make some brussel sprouts too.

the brussel sprouts were easy to find, however, the approach to getting them wasn't so straightforward. they were on this long stalk that i'd never seen before. so thinking that central market is all foodie & all i assume you just start picking the sprouts right off the stalk. so i started picking one sprout at a time - filling up my little baggy all happy & all. then i noticed a couple of ladies looking at me kind of funny, almost giggling. i stopped what i was doing immediately & dialed the girlfriend. "kristin, i think i might be doing something wrong. i'm picking these sprouts off the stalk & some ladies where kind of giggling at me." kristin chuckled & said, "sweetie, you are supposed to grab the entire stalk. when we get home we break off the sprouts - not at the store." well that answered the question about why these ladies were giggling. geez, they could have just helped me out ya know...

anyway, i grabbed the full stalk & made my way to the checkout line as quickly as i could - lesson learned!

fitzhugh ride – saturday, jan. 5th

yesterday, saturday, jan. 5th i rode fitzhugh with aaron, jason, & billy. i had ridden a portion of fitzhugh with t3 some months ago & i wasn’t too thrilled with the ride. with t3 we left from the city (circle c) & had to work our way out there & then we didn’t go very far down fitzhugh.

we did it much different yesterday. aaron has a buddy whose parents own some land just off of 290. we parked the cars (last time the a4 is going to have bikes on it – assuming it sells quickly) & were able to get right to the riding (no stop signs, traffic lights, heavy traffic, etc.). i was all jazzed up when we got going because i knew aaron & jason really like to ride hard & fast. then one mile into our 49 mile ride i lost the ability to shift using my front derailleur & when my cable broke i was in my small ring. this meant i was going to be doing a lot of spinning today & i wouldn’t be able to take advantage of my power on the hills & on the down hill i’d only be able to go as fast as gravity would take me. while i was at a disadvantage to riding with these other strong riders i thought to myself it’s good to happen here & not in a race & two it’ll be good training (lemonade from lemons approach).

good training indeed! the ride was awesome, we did a quick loop on the main portion of fitzhugh road to add a few miles & then took it way west out to
pedernales state park (i hear the falls there are worth seeing) & then looped back. the ride was fast, hilly, full of great scenery, & little to no traffic! it was a really fun ride that i want to do more often. with the wind & my loss of 10 gears basically i was still able to ride an average of 18.5 mph.

after the ride i swung by bicycle sport shop to drop off the tri bike, pick up the road bike (broke a spoke about a week ago & it needed a tune-up), & most importantly pick-up some warm weather riding gloves & a beanie. the guys at bicycle sport shop rocked again – they took my tri bike right from me & fixed it within 10 minutes. so when i left, i had both bikes on the car!

2008 texas tri series

it is going to be a fun tri season here in texas for 2008. the texas tri series has just been announced. check out the fun at www.texastriseries.com! last year i completed all but two races in the series - i plan to do them all this year (maybe not the longhorn race because i'm not a fan of the course). odd, but this year the texastriseries just looks like fun; not work :) see what signing up for an ironman will do to a person.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

super healthy pumpkin bread

i would have taken a picture of the actual bread but i ate both loaves to quickly. if you don't want the super healthy version & don't mind settling for the healthy version you just need to add some sugar. kristin recommends 1 1/2 cups of sugar. this bread really is amazing folks!

super healthy pumpkin bread recipe:

- 3 1/2 cups: whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tspoons: salt
- 2 tspoons: baking soda
- 4 tspoons: nutmeg
- 4 tspoons: cinnamon
- 1 cup: chopped walnuts

mix dry ingredients together

- 2/3 cup: water
- 1 cup: apple sauce
- 4 egg beaters (or real eggs if you prefer)
- 1 can: pumpkin

- mix all ingredients together
- spray pans (makes 2 pans) with pam & then dust pans with whole wheat flour
- bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr & 10 mins

now keep this stuff away from me because i'll eat it all immediately!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

product placement

i’ll lead off by saying i am fool for even watching tranformers the movie. the TV cartoon kept me company for many years & i wanted to see what it was all about. of course i knew the autobots would win in the end; i am referring to the special effects folks & how technology put this movie together. from the get go i couldn’t understand why bumble bee was a chevy camaro. everyone knows that bumble bee was a freakin VW bug. then i started doing some googling while watching the movie (i was at home & kristin was at central market enjoying a wine tasting) & i discovered that GM sponsored a good portion of the movie. hence why the autobots where all GM vehicles & the decepticon vehicles where ford (camaro versus mustang).

as i continued watching the movie i started looking for even more product placement. this movie was full of it. i suppose the audience for such a movie is quite vast unlike most of the grammy award winners that actually involve a story that requires some thinking, some emotion, & a damn good script. so what other product placements did i find while watching this movie?

an HP laptop, cisco, ebay (probably appeared 20 times), a reference to the 40 year old virgin movie, GM vehicles (the new camaro, a hummer, cadillac, pontiac, & GMC), apple computer, ford mustang, yahoo, the washington redskins, burger king, reference to the taco bell dog, radio shack, & mountain dew.


i find product placement in so many places now – it’s actually become very annoying. also, we’ve got to be cognizant of where we get our news & what stations fund what other programs, companies, politicians, etc. we all know what people think of fox news :)

about last night

while "about last night" is also the name of one my favorite 80s movies (stars demi moore, rob lowe, james belushi) i'm referring to how we rang in 2008. for 4 years now (excluding last year when we were in prague) kristin & i have made dinner reservations for two at 10pm at flemings. i think it was after our first new years together that we both decided that waking up late in the afternoon with a severe hangover is not how we wanted to start our new year off.

we would enjoy a nice dinner together, celebrate at midnight with a champagne toast at the restaurant, & then off to the house for bed. i think the first couple of years we did this we actually went to a party after we rang in the new year which would for the most part just result in the very thing we were attempting to avoid (waking up late with a hangover). so by year 3 we had perfected having a nice dinner, a champagne toast, & then home for bed.

this year we modified things just ever so slighty... we switched up the venue from flemings to vin bistro (www.vinbistro.com). it's a cool little restaurant next to kerbey lane that prides themselves on the wine & food pairings. kristin recommended vin after a night out with the girls there some months ago. we also invited another couple out with us - eryn & alex. we've known them for just over a year (i work with eryn - she's a graphic designer). they are very cool & interesting company & more importantly fun to hang out. they are actually getting married in april of 2008 in florence (where they met while studying abroad in college). anyhow, the company was great. eryn & alex met us at our place to visit with the new pup. i think eryn got a real kick out of payton - especially his ridge.

as for vin, it wasn't horrible & it wasn't great either. the decor at vin was nice & comforting. right out of the gates they warned us that they had run out of their fillets. eryn, alex, & i were all thinking fillets tonight too. eryn & kristin ordered wine & i went with a tito's & soda (wanted something other than wine tonight). kristin's wine actually tasted like a match stick so after she asked the waiter for a wine card & they didn't have one he offered to bring her a glass of something else. she went with a safe riesling (same thing eryn ordered) & all was well.

without the fillet the menu consisted of the usual sea foods: tuna, sea bass, halibut, & lobster. they were sporting a new years menu so chicken, lamb, salmon weren't on the menu last night. kristin, eryn, & alex all went for the sea bass. i was so close to getting the lobster when i caved for the tuna because it came with soba noodles (i swear the dish was made just for me). the sea bass was pretty nice. kristin & eryn didn't like the maple syrup that accompanied it. while alex finished his quickly i don't think he was a huge fan - just very hungry. i thought for sure that the tuna & soba were going to rock, however, the tuna wasn't that great a piece of meat & it didn't cut up very well & worse off it has some sort of bbq sauce like thing on it - oh well, at least it was healthy :) i forgot to mention the appetizer - the crab cakes were fantastic! lightly seared & almost nothing but crab.

the night was full of fun conversation. discussing '08 plans & goals. talking about our pets & other low key stuff such as movies, etc. we had some pretty good laughs throughout the night. we toasted at midnight with a glass of champagne & then eryn & alex came back to our house to see payton one last time & hear some more of thelonious monk's great jazz.

& that was our new year's celebration. 2008, i welcome you with open arms!

2008 texas caviar

for 3 years now kristin has made up a big bowl of texas caviar on new years day. i love the stuff not only because it taste good but because it is also so good for you. i think i may go the entire day & eat nothing but texas caviar. i'll be a vegan for the day! i've already finished the bag of organic blue chips w/ flax seed (sounds great huh?) & moved on to the whole earth wheat chips (super healthy version of a triscuit). hopefully we'll have texas caviar more than once this year.

first thing learned in 2008

something interesting about car insurance, at least in our case. it's actually going to cost more to have the same level of insurance on the '99 4runner than it is to cover an '03 a4 or the '06 4runner. it's about $100 more a year than the a4 & about $70 more a year than the '06 4runner. i would have thought for sure it would have cost way less. maybe after some time we'll drop the comp & collision on the '99 4runner. one thing that the agent from amica said was that newer cars just have more safety features & it usually costs more to get parts for older cars because they aren't as readily available. in the case of the 4runner i don't think the parts example is true because i see a crap load of 4runners with the same body style on the road everyday. oh well, lesson learned. i suppose this is my first learning experience of '08.