Tuesday, July 29, 2008

training for the 2008 rock 'n roll marathon

yesterday i kicked off a 16-week marathon training program in prep for the 2008 rock 'n roll marathon in san antonio, texas. D-day, or marathon day, is november 16th.

this will be my first marathon & seeing how i normally take things of this nature to the extreme my coach, kristin, (who will be doing her first marathon in october of this year) helped me pick a training program that would allow me to relax more about the training & let me focus on the experience versus looking at this race as a competition or going after some specific time. i'll be running to run & enjoying the experiences along the way & on race day.

today i have my first training run which includes a 4 mile run combined with 4 minutes of up-hill running. i'm a bit bummed that i've got to start my first run off indoors but being on the treadmill will make it easy to get in the 4 minutes of up-hill running. i plan to run 1-minute on a very steep incline in between each mile. nothing wrong with the treadmill really; it allows me to catch up on what's been happening on the food network.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

sunday, a variety of foods & calories

each day i become more & more creative in the kitchen & try new things. this sunday has been a day full of a variety of foods & calories. for breakfast i decided to go all in & try waffles; not just plain ordinary waffles either, i included blueberries! my breakfast dish turned out great. i enjoyed 4 whole wheat blueberry waffles with real maple syrup & a sliced up banana with light cinnamon on top. the waffles were garnished with a bold texas pecan roasted bean coffee & a sliced pink lady apple.

for lunch kristin & i made a pasta salad with whole wheat pasta, some of the best tasting olives, some super rich sun dried tomatoes, some roasted peppers, & some simply amazing artichoke hearts that had been seasoned in olive oil. we enjoyed this lunch with a glass of red wine also.

for dinner we hit an old favorite - manuels. kristin had her usual 3-sauce mushroom enchiladas & i enjoyed a bowl of tortilla soup & migas with black beans for dinner.

kristin was feeling super good about her 16 mile run yesterday so we went over to NXNW for apple crisp. it was by far the best apple crisp ever. it was so good that we had to order a second plate of it & this time with 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream instead of the 2 it's normally served with.

for a late night snack i had one of my very own recipes that only i would enjoy - a warm wheat tortilla with crunchy natural peanut butter & go lean cereal added for crunch. i actually had two of these puppies with a cup of dark roasted coffee.

it was amazing day for this foodie. i enjoyed a wide range of foods & calories today. i am looking forward to the new week as i begin marathon training for the san antonio rock 'n roll marathon where i'm sure to make good on my calorie intake from this weekend!

Friday, July 25, 2008

brian's version of car talk - 1 of ?

i noticed more closely today while glancing at a full ad taken out in the wall street journal by general motors (GM) how much their marketing has turned away from price, performance, luxury, etc. & is completely focused on miles per gallon (MPG).

the advertising was clever because it only include MPG for highway miles - always read the fine print. according to GM's ad all of their trucks/suburbans are right at 20 MPG for highway excluding the escalade which falls just below the 20 MPG mark at 19 MPG. their saturn aura & pontiac G6 were the only two cars listed in the ad that were reported to get 30 MPG which for highway mileage isn't all that great considering what some models from toyota & honda offer.

it shouldn't shock anyone that GM is hurting right now. i heard a story on NPR last week discussing GM's move to cut insurance coverage for retirees. the article jokingly referred to GM as generous motors.

GM isn't going to get themselves out of this hole that they've dug for themselves with some clever ads. they need to begin building sensible vehicles that offer solid quality all around which includes good gas mileage. it's time for GM to remember what engineering & not marketing is all about.

Monday, July 21, 2008

starbucks & vivanno, give me a break

i've been behind a lot of the moves that shultz has taken since returning to starbucks. specifically the decision to replace t-mobile wireless service with a "free" solution powered by AT&T. i'm even a fan & understand the need to close some 600 stores here in the United States (2 in Austin). i like the $0.99 cup of joe idea that was piloted in seattle although it has yet to make its way to austin.

however, the move to only offer the pike place roast after 12 PM really bugs me. especially because i'm not a fan of the new blend. for heaven's sake, it's a coffee joint that only offers one roast after 12 PM. from the time they open (probably safe to go with 5 AM for most locations) they only offer two roasts. the rest of the time they are busy selling $3+ lattes, mochas, etc.

their most recent move to sell smoothies, the vivanno as they've branded it, just adds fuel to the fire. face it, starbucks isn't trying to return to their roots of being a coffee shop. they are simply doing everything they can to make a buck. i haven't tried one of these "healthy" smoothies yet; regardless i can only imagine that this drink is going to cater to the sweet tooth person & not the health guru that wants something safe to put in her/his body.

i wonder if this new drink will bomb as quickly as the chantico drink they tried selling a couple of years ago?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

3M half marathon 2009

kristin & i enjoyed the 3M half marathon so much this year that we've already signed up for the 2009 race. talk about *not* procrastinating! maybe we'll get the #1 & #2 bib numbers :) i bet we definitely get a number below 100.

since withdrawing from the ironman in april i've yet to sign up for any races/events. i'm semi-committed to the rock 'n roll marathon in san antonio this november. i need to begin training & actually cough up the entry fee. once i commit the dollars i'm all in.

who is going to join kristin & i next year for 3M? it's a great race course, great people, & the weather is totally rocking! what do you say boshart; has your ankle healed?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

lloyd dobbler

this past weekend kristin & i ventured into a best buy for the first time in probably a year. those stores make my skin crawl. you walk in & there is music blaring on 20 different radios, 10 TVs all with something different on screaming at you, & kids running around playing video games. it's not my ideal shopping experience.

about the only reason i ever visit one of these stores is to purchase a DVD which i've been caught saying is such a ridiculous thing to do. kristin & i subscribe to netflix so rarely do we have a need to rent, let alone buy a DVD. of course this weekend the "gotta have it now" bug hit us hard & we both wanted to see 'say anything.'

about two weeks ago, ben, updated his gTalk message with an oh say famous quote from one of my favorite movie characters lloyd dobbler. the quote was, "i don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. i don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. you know, as a career, i don't want to do that." for a great list of 'say anything' quotes visit IMDB. ever since reading that quote i've been wanting to see the move again. i have it in a closet at home on VHS, but i no longer have a VCR to play it on...

anyhow, we rushed in & out of best buy as quickly as we could. we coughed over the $10 bucks for say anything & kristin couldn't resist from buying the love story & tear jerker, the notebook. in total we spent just under $25 bucks. that's almost two months worth of netflix. whatever you do, don't tell our accountant that we splurged.

if you haven't seen 'say anything' you were either born in the 80s or you've been living on another planet. go & rent it now. it's such a great flick & i assure you that you too will become a fan of lloyd dobbler. you'll also never be able to hear the song, in your eyes by peter gabriel, without thinking of lloyd dobbler.

Monday, July 14, 2008

payton makes a new friend

payton, our 11 month old rhodesian ridgeback, is still growing. i weighed him about 2 weeks ago & he weighed 82 pounds. his dad was just over 100 pounds & his mom was 85+ so we are expecting him to put on another 15+ pounds at least. of course with all the walking, running, playing at the dog park, & eating super healthy organic dog food that kristin insists on it's a wonder that he weighs as much as he does. payton is nothing but muscle; i'm actually quite jealous of how lean he is. he makes me want to go to the gym more.

as kristin's marathon training requires her to put in more miles i've been doing more & more dog walking/running than previously. the walks around the neighborhood are quite peaceful & relaxing. it's actually a nice way to wind down after work & it clues me into what's going on in our little neighborhood.

when we aren't able to hit the trail for a run & i'm short on time for a walk payton gets to hang with his friends at the dog park just two blocks from our house. payton is quite the pain when around other dogs too. he's actually great with the other dogs; it's us that he chooses to ignore. i've been spending extra time to ensure he starts coming when we call him.

usually payton dominates the park. he's definitely got the most energy, he's usually the biggest dog out there, & with the ridge on his back he just stands out in a way that catches the attention of all the other owners. this past friday, payton finally met his match.

there was a one year old great dane at the park & he was just massive. he wasn't just big, he was very lean, had a great shiny coat, & was just so masculine looking. he was very friendly with payton & the two were playing for a good 30 minutes non-stop. however, the great dane was just so much bigger & stronger than payton that he would roll payton every time the two tangled. while it looked aggressive at times the two were definitely just having fun. of course later that night we noticed a few new scratches & bruises on our pup. i suppose he's got to learn that playing rough with the wrong dog will leave him with some bumps & bruises.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

raw foods diet

not sure what i was thinking... as usual i'm from one extreme to the next. i got the bright idea to try a raw foods diet. i've been following in kristin's foot steps with the vegetarian thing for a while now. of course on the 4th i celebrated with a burger on the grill & kristin stuck true to her diet & went for the portabella mushroom. from time-to-time i do enjoy red meat & i couldn't imagine giving up seafood. i used to think i couldn't live without chicken, but since kristin became a vegetarian we just rarely buy it & i can't remember the last time i ate chicken (probably about 3 months ago).

anyhow, i'm back to working out (like a normal person, not an ironman) & with the working out my super healthy diet has returned too. while at the store this friday kristin grabbed some carrots & snap peas to enjoy as snacks. we also bought some red cabbage & after we got home & chopped things up i started nibbling on a bit of each raw vegetable. right then & there i told kristin i was going to try a raw foods diet for a week. only seven days, why not?

meal #1 (dinner) was easy & quite simple. in-fact it was just more of what i ate as a snack earlier that day. red cabbage, carrots, & snap peas. by 9PM last night my tummy was grumbling for more & something with a bit of substance. i had a glass of green tea & forced myself to bed early so i wouldn't give in to eating something cooked or processed.

meal #2 (breakfast) i actually felt good when i woke up this morning. probably even dropped a pound or two. kristin was well into her morning oatmeal when i headed to the kitchen to figure something out. oh BTW, no way i was giving up coffee (or tea) on this diet. i was well into my second cup of joe when i started making my breakfast. i pulled a pear, an apple, some blueberries from the fridge. i chopped up half of the pear & apple & tossed them on a plate. i grabbed a handful of blueberries & threw those on the plate too. it didn't seem like enough... i headed to the pantry & grabbed some dried prunes & some flax seed & added them to the morning treat. surprisingly i was full & feeling very good again.

meal #3 (snack) i enjoyed the other half of that pear & apple i chopped up for breakast. i also had an apple cinnamon lara bar on the drive to the gym. i had no idea that the lara bar was a raw food either. i knew it didn't contain anything that was processed, but i didn't realize it was a raw food. thankfully that little bar held me through my afternoon gym workout (25 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes treadmill, back & core workout).

meal #4 (lunch/post workout) by the time i got home from the gym, feeding trevor's cats (he's out of town), & picking up more raw veggies at the store so i could keep this silly diet up i was starving. i fixed a heaping bowl of salad to include spinach lettuce, 1/2 of a roma tomato, red cabbage, carrots, snap peas, & broccoli.

meal #5 (snack) the other 1/2 of that tomato :)

by dinner time i'd thrown in the towel. kristin & i fixed up vegetarian stir fry consisting of mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, & red cabbage all tossed over steamed brown rice. while i'd given into the "cooking foods god" it wasn't like i was eating another burger or something. the raw food thing was fun but not knowing how to eat beans or grains without some cooking or processing i would have been feeling some real hurt come tomorrow.

oh, for dinner i had a plum... a raw plum at that.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

a speech from my bro to his troops in iraq

tomorrow (the 4th of july) my brother jason, a lieutenant colonel in the army, will deliver the following speech to his troops in iraq:

JULY 4th Prayer Luncheon, FOB HAMMER, IRAQ, 2008

Thank you chaplain…

A rider on horseback, many years ago, came upon a squad of soldiers who were trying to move a heavy piece of timber. A Corporal stood by, giving lordly orders to "heave." But the piece of timber was a trifle too heavy for the squad.

“Why don't you help them?" asked the quiet man on the horse, addressing the important corporal "Me? Why, I'm a corporal sir!" Dismounting, the stranger carefully took his place with the soldiers.

“Now, all together boys---heave!" he said. And the big piece of timber slid into place. The stranger mounted his horse and addressed the corporal.

"The next time you have a piece of timber for your men to handle, corporal, send for the commander-in-chief."

That horseman was George Washington, then General of the Army.

Independence Day Celebrations brings to mind many fond memories for all of us-I'm sure that in this room, many of you can think back to cookouts in the park, waterskiing on the lake, and enjoying the fireworks under the stars-always a gathering of family and friends fondly reflecting on the freedoms earned for us beginning with the original DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, July 4th 1776.

It is my honor to join with you today, this Independence Day 2008. Working as your BCT XO,
I am afforded the chance to come in contact with so many of you-so many different folks making different and important contributions to the IRON BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM; your talents come together to truly put the TEAM in BCT!

On the screen behind me, I draw your attention to a painting many of you may have seen before, it is a painting by Arnold Friberg titled "Prayer at Valley Forge."

The Story of Valley Forge is a Soldier's story of blood and gusto. It is a story of "near naked Soldiers wrapped in thin blankets huddled around a smoky fire of green wood." It was believed that conditions were so bad that "the plaintive chant from the starving: We want meat!
We want meat!" echoed throughout the camp. These indeed are the indelible images of Valley Forge...of suffering...but also of endurance.

While our great mess sergeants and our KBR partners ensure that our Soldiers aren't having to chant, "we want meat, we want meat," we do face our own challenges and relative privations here in Iraq in 2008.

So how did the Soldiers and their leader, GEN George Washington survive through the harsh winter of 1777-1778 encamped on the banks of the Delaware River in Valley Forge. For GEN Washington and many of the Soldiers, they drew strength from their belief in God and their
connection with him through prayer and through their belief in their mission-their fight for freedom. I trust that you enjoyed the IRAQI National Anthem video that helps to capture the effort of so many fine Iraqi Security Forces fighting their own “REVOLUTIONARY WAR.”

Allow me now to share with you a prayer attributed to George Washington, one he wrote during that harsh winter some 230 years ago:


Almighty God, Father of All Men:

To Thee we raise thankful hearts for deliverance from forces of evil...Deliver us also, we beseech Thee, from the greater danger of ourselves, Have mercy upon us and forgive us for our part in the present desolation of the world.

Awake us each time to a sense of responsibility in saving the world from ruin. Open our minds and eyes and hearts to the desperate plight of millions. Arouse us, from indifference into action. Let none of us fail to give his utmost in sympathy, understanding, thought, and effort.

Fulfill in us-- and through us Thy glorious intention: that Thy peace, Thy love, and Thy justice may enter into the regeneration of the world.

In our Father’s name, AMEN.

(This prayer, attributed to George Washington, is said to have been written by him on Christmas at Valley Forge. Copied from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.)


Many years ago, then President Ronald Reagan commented on the "Prayer of Valley Forge" - I quote: "The most sublime picture in American history is of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. That image personifies a people who know that it's not enough to depend on our own courage and goodness; we must also seek help from God, our father and preserver."

(Ronald Reagan, commenting on a painting that is well-known to be a work of fiction, on the National Day of Prayer, May 6, 1982 (Dallas Morning News: June 11, 2004)


As you go about your days and nights her in Iraq, take time out-in the mornings, prior to patrols, before you go to bed-whenever, to seek that help from your God, your preserver, your strength. May you be strengthened-to move out on your daily missions to bring peace and security to the good people of Iraq, just as the young Soldier recruits of GEN George Washington's day made their historic crossing of the Delaware River and fought the hard fight against tyranny, oppression and for FREEDOM.

Again, thank you all for joining us this afternoon.

May God bless you all, May God bless our Armed Forces and May God Bless America.