Monday, November 30, 2009


So I got me one of these Blackberry jawns. Having just had my iPhone stolen, I needed to get another Smartphone, and after much research, I decided on the Blackberry Curve 8310. Its not the fanciest model, but its got what I need. If its good enough for the leader of the Free World, the President, than its good enough for me

So, here is my review of the Apple iPhone 2G versus the Blackberry 8310

The 2G iPhone operates on AT&T's "Edge" network. Its not the super-speedy 3G network on which the new iPhone 3G operates. The Blackberry also operates on the Edge network as well, so from that perspective, I didnt downgrade.

I could have gone up a model and gotten a Blackberry that runs on 3G, but I dont do much web-surfing, so I really dont care.

Both the iPhone and the Blackberry have cameras. The Blackberry takes the edge here because it can also shoot video. I could never understand why a phone as robust as the iPhone didnt come right out of the gate with video recording. Blackberry takes the edge here, but I think the new iPhone 3G has the ability to record video. Additionally, the Blackberry has a flash for low-light pictures, a feature that should have been incorporated into the iPhone from the start

MP3 Player
iPhone = iPod. IPhone wins by a landslide. However, the Blackberry makes a strong challenge with its ability to connect to my stereo bluetooth headphones - a feature that was missing with my iPhone (although the new 3G iPhone has this feature)

Blackberry wins. The iPhone doesnt have the ability to send pictures text messaging (the 3G does).

The iPhone has a virtual QWERTY keyboard; The Blackberry has a physical keyboard. Right now, the iPhone has the edge - the keys on the Blackberry are very small, and the iPhone's screen would rotate to allow me to type with two hands.

The iPhone had on-board Wi-Fi, the Blackberry does not. I didnt use the Wi-Fi terribly much on my iPhone, so this is a draw for me. The Blackberry has built in GPS; the iPhone didnt. the GPS might come in handy with the Google Maps app that I have installed on the Blackberry. Winner: Blackberry

iPhone, hands down. The screen is enormous and the touch-screen functionality is certainly more user-friendly than the Blackberry's trackball.

Blackberry wins. What it lacks in screen size it makes up in reduced weight and size. The iPhone was a brick, but a really nice brick

The iPhone battery SUCKS and its a commonly identified weakness for the phone. However, the Blackberry battery is outstanding. I charged the phone Saturday night, and I have been using frequently and I still 2 out of 5 battery nits on it.

I had to get a data plan for the Blackberry, and it appears to be just about the same cost as the iPhone's data plan. My iPhone was jailbroken and I had the ability to put a number of 3rd party apps on it, but it appears that I might be able to put some apps on the Blackberry as well.

I could have moved up to Blackberry models that have Wi-Fi, a touch screen, 3G connectivity and a host of other features, but I would never use them.

So, at the end of the day, who wins? I'd have to say at this point, its a draw

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rockin’ out the 2-1-5

215 – thats the total number of finishers that we had today for St. Bernies. That’s phenomenal for a first year race. I had 150 runners pre-reg’d going in, so that had 60+ walk-ups. That’s outstanding, and what makes it even more impressive is the fact that there was another large race happening at the same time less than two miles away. I told the RD that if she moved the race a day or so, they could probably break 250 next year, easily.

I already have 11 races on my calendar for the spring/ summer of 2010. That doesnt include the four Pickle Runs. That’s good stuff. Its alot of work but I love it. People ask me alot about the burden of having a full time job and a side job. I dont mind it. Most races I am home before 12. It would be a different story if I was working ten hour days on the weekends.

I didnt get a chance to run or ride after the race – I was beat. Actually, I came home and slept for two hours after I helped the girls put up all of the Christmas decorations. Theres some talk about doing a ride tomorrow, but the plans arent finalized

Friday, November 27, 2009


I’ve been thinking about what I posted yesterday, about not having alot of oomph in the engine lately. I have been cramming in alot of stuff in lately, and I dont think I am giving myself alot of recovery time, relative to my present fitness level. For example, Tuesday morning, on five hours of sleep, I took an hour-long spin class that knocked the shit of me. I go hard for the entire hour. Tuesday’s class was alot of climbing and I try to keep MY HR fairly high were a portion of the class.

I followed that up on Wednesday with a hard trail run. I think I suffered on the trail run because I was still recovering from Tuesday. I took Thursday off and then rode today. In theory, I should have been fully recovered for today’s ride, but I think that trail took more out of me than I thought. I dont think it was the distance – it was more of the fact that I havent done a run like in a long time, and I need to adjust.

Look, when I am in shape, running and riding on back to back days isnt a real problem, within reason, but I guess I am not where I need to be just yet that I pull off some of these harder efforts without alot of rest in between

Turkey Day

Its been nice having a few days off from the office. I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing. I did some leaf raking, some banking stuff, but nothing that’s on the level of a major home improvement project, like my neighbor across the street. This fucking guy, let me tell ya. For the last three months, this guy has been out in his driveway with a saw cutting wood and trim, just about every night of the week. I think he’s re-building the house at this point. Dude, go inside. Relax. Spend time with your kids. Go have sex with your wife. Do something. Enough with the bandsaw. You’re making me look bad. Motivated people annoy me.

I started the holiday out with a nice, sloppy trail run over at Ridley Creek State Park with Tim and some other folks that I know. Kevin, owner of one of the area’s largest residential painting companies and frequent sponsor of alot of the area’s races, just bought a beautiful piece of property adjacent to Ridley Creek State Park, and six of us met over there for a trail run on Wednesday afternoon, in a steady stream of rain. The trails were an absolute mess, and I loved it. Some of the pansies I ran with were trying their best to avoid the sloppy stuff, but I charged right threw that sh*t. That’s how I roll. There’s no room for dresses and high-heels in trail running. Christ, you’re already out there running in the slop – running around puddles isnt really accomplishing anything, so take off the dress and be a man.

I suffered a bit on this run. Our group of six broke up into two groups about midway through, and I ran with the slower group for a bit. Near the end of the run, the course took us back onto the main paved trail that loops around the Park, and I got dropped on one of the hills. I think we were about 6 miles into the run at this point, and the trails killed me. Its a whole different story running 6 miles of trails versus 6 miles on the road, and I havent run trails in ages, and it sure as shit caught up with me. I am still feeling it today.

Thursday, I helped Tim time the Gobble Wobble up in Abington. It’s the biggest run that we have chip-timed to date. Things went off without a hitch. Looks like we might have walked out of there with a few more races under our belt – there were two other area race directors in attendance watching our setup. One of our competitors has had some issues with larger races, and we’re in a prime position to pick up some big events.

I headed over to Brandywine with Mike and Dom for a traditional post- T-day MTB ride. We settled on Brandywine since it was the closest place to all three of us and would have the least amount of road traffic since its not located near any major shopping malls. I gotta say that I aint feeling good on the bike. The last two rides have sucked. Its a combination of me being out of shape and Dom and Mike being much faster than me. I bagged the ride after 50 minutes today while the two of them soldiered on. Add in the fact that I am not a big fan of riding in cold weather. As crazy as it sounds, I would rather ride in the heat. That’s just me. But anyway, it was good to get outside. The forecast had originally called for a really crappy day, but it turned out to be nice – chilly – but nice. The trails were a bit muddy, but not so sloppy that ride was a shit-show. Running through mud is one thing, but riding through mud is awful.

Tomorrow, I have to time a race at St Bernies in Drexel Hill. This is a first-year race, and I think they are expecting a decent sized crowd, but lots of walkers (and luckily I dont have to time the walkers). After that, I am thinking about going for a run or maybe a ride. There was some talk about the group of us getting together again tomorrow afternoon to ride, and if I have the energy level for it, I am in. These races can be a lot of work – I am usually on my feet from the minute I get to the venue up until the minute I leave. Its not unusual for me to get home and pass out.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I admit that I have been lazy as of late – I havent been all that motivated too blog. I apologize.

I did a nice ride with Mike and Dom today over at Brandywine. Everything was great, especially the weather. There was one problem: I had absolutely no legs. Eight miles of running yesterday, and six the day before really put a hurtin’ on me. Sad part is, we werent killing it today. We had one small problem: we ran into some condescending running prick on one of the trails. He “politely” reminded us that bike running is prohibited on the side of the river that were riding. It wasnt so much what he said, as it was the way he said it. It was very condescending.

I am not a bike snob, in that I believe that cyclists have some sort of inalienable rights to ride wherever they want. I am runner, as well as a cyclist, so dont lecture me on trail usage. Yes, I will admit that were were probably on the wrong side of the river; fine, I will admit the mistaken, but dont speak to me like a self righteous prick.

Rant over

My iPhone got stolen on the train. No joke. Friday, I took a half day in the morning, and took a much later train back to the office. I dozed off, and my phone was by my side, when I woke up the fucker was gone. Talk about having some big balls: what would have happened if I wasnt really asleep – merely “resting my eyes” – and I wake up and catch you in the act. I cant win for trying

Its amazing the things I think about on daily basis that I want to blog about, but when I actually get in front of the laptop, my mind goes blank.

Looks like were gonna do the traditional post-Thanksgiving MTB ride on Black Friday. So far, it sounds like its me, Dom and maybe Lou.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guess Who’s Back?

I made a vow to myself to get back on a normal schedule once my traveling was over. I got off to a great start this week!

I managed to get to the gym four times this week, all in the morning at the ass crack of dawn. Every day I was there, at the doors, at 5:00 am. I have to admit that the first two days were rough. I havent gotten up that early in a very long time. Hearing that alarm go off at 4:30 am was a bitch. Getting out of the bed was worse.

Monday, I kicked things off with a good run. Honestly, I think there was something wrong with the treadmill. I kept jacking up the speed on the treadmill and it seemed like running was effortless. I capped that amazing run off with a session of lifting.

Tuesday, I dragged my ass out of bed and ran brisk three miles on the treadmill, and capped it off with a tough spin class. I didnt feel great, but I havent been on a bike in ages. Legs felt good but my HR was pegged. At one point, during a spring, my HR was in the mid 180’s. That’s redline for me.

Wednesday I woke up at 3:30 am and I felt like I was having a heartache. My chest was extremely sore from lifting on Monday. It was excruciating, so I bagged the gym and went to work instead, since I was up anyway.

Thursday, I did some lifting and then took a spin class. I felt a bit better, but my friggen arms were killing me, because I still had some residual soreness in my arms and chest, and holding myself up on the bike was sapping my strength.

Today, I hammered out four miles and then another three-quarters of a mile on a straight incline. I followed that with some lifting. The soreness is more or less gone at this point.

So, not a bad week eh? Tomorrow I am timing a race so I wont be able to hit the gym in the AM. Maybe after I am done….

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I have never been on a plane that’s this empty in my life

Just like the title says, I am on the last leg of my trip back home to Philly. I am on a wide body jet and the damn thing is empty. I am in a three person row and I have the whole thing to myself. Nice leather seats. This is shocking, considering that I almost didnt get a seat.

IMG_0019 Admiral Jackass at 30k over the US

My trip is over. Another EEI has come to end. This particular show is unlike any other trade show I have every attended. The crew that comes to the show (and its the same crew at every show) is nuts. Usually we have the conference at a really nice city that always tends to be a party city – the last two shows were in Vegas and New Orleans. The next two are in Boston (on St. Patty’s day no less!) and back to Vegas. This show very low key in comparison. The hotel that we stayed in was very, very nice but there was nothing around it. zilch. We were relegated to the hotel bar, which closed at 12:00 every night. The show attendees were not happy at all, and I imagine that the folks who organize this had the best intentions when picking this particular venue, but they should know better. This group is a not the type who eat dinner, maybe have a drink, and then hit the sack for the evening. Quite the contrary – these people are absolute lunatics. I think I might have told some stories from the Vegas trip many blogs ago. I’ll give you an example from this show, to put things in context.

So, on the last night of the conference, there are many dinners happening between customers and vendors, etc. But when its all said and done, everyone retires to an establishment for some after-dinner beverages. And it amazes me how things travel through this crowd throughout the day. So, last night, after I got home from dinner with my co-workers and a customer with whom we had the pleasure of dining with, I retired to the hotel bar, which was packed with show attendees. The hotel kicked out at 12:30 am, and I decided to pack it in. No sooner then I get to my room, I get a call from my boss with the word that some folks are heading to the pool with a couple of cases of beer. Dont ask me where the beer is – this group is very resourceful. Never one to miss a party, I thre on my bathing suit and headed over to the pool, where I find about 20 other people kicking back beers. There was a even a guy with a laptop and speakers playing some tunes. Only at EEI. I wound up hanging out until 2:30 or so after having a couple of beers and taking a dip in the pool. We were making a fair amount of racket, but we werent that close to any of the guest rooms, so I guess the hotel staff figured its better to have us out by the pool, then inside the hotel bar. Placate us, because you’re not going to beat us, there’s too many of us. We’re like the Borg.

That’s what happens at this show. There’s a gang of criminals that are always out partying. It’s amazing.

Tomorrow, its back to the office, and I have a boat load of work to do. I just hope that I can get back into a normal routine now that the bulk of my traveling is done – I have one small trip planned in Chicago in December, but I think that’s it until the Spring.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Let the games begin

There’s talk about some of us chipping in some cash, going out to store and stocking up on some booze, and renting a golf villa for the night. These people here are serious motherf*ckers. Let the hijinks begin.

Last night was rough, but I have had worse. I had to sit in our little booth for two and half hours and mingle, etc, yada yada yada. We had some good foot traffic, but I know most of the people at these shows already, so this is really an opportunity for me to talk to people that I normally talk to on the phone.

After the cocktail, I went up to my room and watched the last three innings of the game. That shit show on third base lost the game for us. Not only did Lidge pitch like shit, he also didnt cover third.

After the game ended, I headed over to the hotel bar, and surprisingly, it was dead. I met some peeps that I know and had a couple of drinks, which turned into more drinks, which turned into a bunch of us going to someone’s room and breaking open the mini bar. Around 1:30 I bagged and ordered some room service. I dont know what it is about alcohol but it makes really friggen hungry.

Now, I feel kinda shitty, but not terrible, because I didnt go over the edge with the drinking. I feel worse from the pizza I ate at 2:00 in the morning and the resulting four hours of sleep.

The conference officially kicked off this morning with a series of presentations. The first hour is always fun – they have a mock game show and they bring in two clowns who do a Carson/ Ed McMahon thing. After that, its 2+ hours of presentations. Half-way in, I bagged it, along with the rest of my crew. I came up here to the room to catch up on some emails. I have to admit that this iPhone is really helping me chomp through some of the email traffic, which means when I get back to the office on Thursday, I wont have to slog through 200 emails, which would normally take up half of my day.

I have to be at the booth at 12:30 for two hours. On deck for tonight: the host utility is having a meet and greet at 5:30, followed by a social/ party thing. Thats usually fun. Thats when the alcohol really starts flowing.

Its always Sunny in Philadelphia

I managed to get up and run this morning, and although the weather was great – 82 degrees and sunny when I left the hotel- I felt like shit. I think its the combination of a) shitty sleep b) drinking the night before c) not eating much yesterday and d) no running for three weeks

I managed to get a little over 3 miles, but there was some walking inter mixed there, but I’ll take what I can get.

After, I retired to the pool for three hours. Not a goddamn cloud in the sky today. Friggen beautiful. I then registered for the conference and constructed our little display booth thingee, which was a really pain in the ass. There’s a cocktail hour thing starting at 5 where I have to be in the booth and what not. I havent heard from any of my cohorts yet, so I am going to head down and man the booth on my own I guess.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I am here. Finally.

The plane got in without a hitch. Got my bags, jumped in a cab, and took a 20 minute ride to my hotel, which is absolutely amazing. By it the time I got myself settled, unpacked, ironed my clothes (that were crumpled up from sitting in my frame pack for nine hours), it was about 10:00 PCT. I decided to head down to the bar and get a drink, because, as crazy as it sounds, I was a bit wired.

So it turns out that the hotel has some really high end nightclub

called Costas that’s open only on the weekends, and they were having some kind of big Halloween Party. I ran into one of the other vendors that I know from these shows, and she told me that her and some other folks were heading over. I am not a big club person. I would rather sit at the bar and relax.

Down at the bar, I found some counter space and ordered a nice G&T (that was a little light on the G). I wound up talking to a guy named Danielle who is from the area but here on vacation with some friends, and a girl named Cody who was here for Phish. Oh yeah, I should mention that Phish is playing some huge show not far from here – its a festival actually- so there’s a bunch of Phish fans running around this place. However, these arent your typical dirty-hippy Phish fans. The people in this place are the upscale fans that can afford a really nice hotel room. So anyway, I wound up talking to these two until about 11:30, and in that time I had a watered down G&T, a shot of Cuervo and a small Long Island. I was buzzed, but not drunk. It was enough to put me out when I got back to the room.

However, I guess with the time change, I woke up at 4:20 am PCT raring to do, with a massive headache. I needed sleep, so I tool a Lunesta and passed out again until 9:00, got up, had some coffee and went to the gift shop to pick up some Excedrin- which is a miracle drug because my head ache is gone. Amazing. So in a bit, I am going to go for run and then sit at the pool for a while. Nice.

iPhone: Steve Jobs get your head out of your @ss

So I got one of those iPhone jawns. I didnt get one of the new 3G shits – I bought a used 2g because a) I am not due for a phone upgrade anytime soon and I dont want to pay $300 for a phone, and b) I didnt want to buy the mandatory $30 data plan that AT&T horn-swaggles you into . Sons of bitches.

I like this thing. I can check my work email, which although I had eschewed in the past as being “too connected,” I find it rather convenient to check my mail on the train, for example, and get some of the bullshit out of the way before I get into the office.

This thing also has an 8GB iPod, which is great. I also “jailbroke” the phone, which is a hack that allows the installation of 3rd party applications. Without the hack, only applications from Apple’s iStore can be installed on the phone. What’s amazing is the ads I see on Craigslist advertising jailbreaking services. It took me an hour to google “jailbreak,” find the right software, download it and install it, and then proceed to jailbreak the phone. It’s not rocket science. But I guess people are willing to pay some one upwards of $30 to do something that probably takes someone with experience 15 minutes to complete.

The one thing I do not like, and this a big source of consternation among iPhone fans, is the inability for the phone to send MMS text messages. MMS is a fancy way of describing text messages with pictures attached or imbedded. I have been doing a fair amount of research over the past two weeks on various on-line iPhone hacker forums. There is a way to hack the phone with 3rd party software to enable the MMS texting. I got that piece installed. However, there’s something on the AT&T side that prevents the message from going through. There’s a number of iPhone geeks working on this and I am watching the situation very closely. Some of the guys have described these really convoluted work-arounds that involve calling AT&T’s tech support and having them enable various things in your account, like WAP-pushing (dont ask). And in alot of cases, the AT&T tech people have caught wise as to what’s going on, and they may or may not enable the required features, so some of these guys have called multiple times to get to the techs that dont really give a shit and enable the features without any push-back. And, to complicate matters, the jury is still out as to whether all of this enabling of this and that actually works. Some people have had mixed results. They’ve called AT&T, gotten to the right tech, had everything enabled that needs to be turned, and they get zilch. Nada. Nothing. Some of the posts on these forums go back to 2007, so its obviously been on the radar screen for a long time.

Anyway, all of that seems like a lot of work, so I am waiting to see if a simpler solution presents itself.

The Hustle

So as I am writing this, I am on the second leg of my trip out to Palm Springs for a conference/ workshop/ trade show. The first flight left Philly at 3:40 pm (on-time!) and arrived in Denver about 7:00 EST. The 2nd leg from Denver left at 8:00 EST. I am also missing Game 3 of the World Series, but before I left, the word was that the game was delayed due to rain in Philly. As soon as I land I’ll fire up the cellie and see what’s wh

We hit some turbulence on the first leg and some really nasty shit at that. At one point the plane dropped straight down and I saw people lifting out of their seats. Good Stuff. The plane had the feature that allows the passengers to listen-in on the cockpit chatter. I was “tracking” the turbulence situation as we headed west. All the pilots were chiming in, trying to get a report on where the turbulence is and what altitude they should fly to avoid it. Neat stuff.  As I was walking off the plane, the Cap’n was there wishing all of well, and I really had the urge to ask him if there is anyway we can actually try to aim for the turbulence on the next trip, rather than fly around it. Now there’s a guy I want to fly with. He’s not some pansy who’s worried about some of the passengers spilling their free soda all over themselves. He’s a daredevil. He probably made his bones flying fighter jets does barrel rolls for shits and giggles. That’s who want handling the stick of this bird. Hands down end of story case closed.

The ride on the way out was nice. I was in one of those newer jets with the bigger leg room, and I was on the exit aisle. On this flight, I have an empty seat next to me, but this plane is the size of my closet. But in comparison to the recent flight I had from Denver, with the fat Mexican guy next to me snoring like hibernating bear, and the 2 hour delay, this is trip, so far, has been a godsend.

By the time I arrive in CA it will be close to 12:00 am our time, but if you figure in Daylights Savings Time, Its really 11:00, which is good.

The weather looks AWESOME. The next four days: 90 degrees and nothing but sun! I scoped out some running routes near the hotel last night on MapMyRun. Looks like no matter where I go I should be in good shape – all the streets criss-cross over each other. My tentative game plan is to get to bed by 11:00 Pacific Time, then go for a run tomorrow in the morning, and then either take walk around or sit at the pool. Its a real shame Heather couldnt come with me, but as luck would have it, her parents are here visiting. The place I am staying at is a RESORT and from the pictures I have seen online it looks AWESOME.

Now, if I can manage to not go out and get shit-faced every night, I would like to try to get in some runs here and there. There’s always one night at this show where I get completely obliterated, although in the Spring, when I attended the show in New Orleans, I managed to behave, but that’s only because I had Heather with to keep me straightened out. Vegas, however, which was the year before, was an absolute shit show of the highest order. By the 4th day, I had nothing left. It was the combination of the drinking, the staying out till 4 am every night. Not good. I remember getting up Wednesday morning to leave, and we were going to meet a customer at 8 am before we left. I met two of my co-workers, one of whom is a demon when it comes to partying and entertaining at these shows. The two of us looked like shit- I mean like absolute hell. I think I took the next day off, and if I remember correctly, I picked up a cold immediately after, which I assume was the result of four days of parting and no sleep. It took me three or four days to recover.

The last two weeks have been an absolute blitz. It all started with my trip to Dallas, which resulted in some long days at the office playing catch-up. That rolled into my trip to MYC for two day. I spent a 12 hour day on Monday to get ahead as much as I could on my work. Tuesday I did a normal day and then left for NYC. Thursday, the day I departed, was a three trek home. Friday, I was back in the office for another 12 hour day, and then cap that off with this morning, where I timed a 160+ person race up in Burlington County. Whew.

The good news is that I am in the clear for traveling for the foreseeable future. I havent run or biked in 3+ weeks, with the exception of a small run here and there. I need to get back on some semblance of a normal schedule. This is getting ridiculous, but the good news is that I dont have any races to time this weekend coming, so maybe I can get on the ole MTB (although I could really use the money from timing).

Getting back to NYC, it was  a good trip, although if you saw my previous blogs or saw my status on Facebook, the class that I took wasnt quite what I expected. It was the second time this particular firm had given the class, so I think they still need to work off some rough edges. However, I got to spend alot of my time with my boy Tommy and his awesome wife who is so far out of his league it hurts. We went to dinner at a really nice Mexican joint on Tuesday, and then Thursday we hooked up to watch the Phillies at a bar on the Upper East Side

In Manhattan…

Surrounded by Yankees fans…

While wearing Phillies hats

And making ALOT of noise, because neither one of isnt exactly “Mr. Discrete.” Tommy’s got a big mouth, and he’s a world class shit-talker, although half the time the stuff that comes out of his mouth, doesn’t make much sense to anyone but him, but its the way he says it that gets the point across.

Actually, it wasnt that  bad. We were in Manhatten for christ’s sake, not the “Bambino’s Bar and Grille” in the heart of the Bronx. Regardless, we were in the Lions Den. We were amongst the enemy. Rat bastard Yankees fans. Front runners.

We only had one jerkoff mouth off to us as we left the bar. He saw our beautiful Phillies caps as he was leaving, and in a very “I am not kidding around because I take this shit way too seriously and I am a scumbag Yankees fan with no class” tone, he turned around and said, “ NICE FUCKING HATS.” He was big. He could have taken the both of us by himself. I mean dont get me wrong, I am pretty wiley, and Tommy would come at you with all teeth and claws, like a badger, and we would have given him a run for his money, but in the end, he would have gotten us. But we just kept going.