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My 1st Half Marathon

Here’s the post run report.

Official Time: 2:07:19
Official Pace: 9:44
Official Place in Ages 25-29: 83/123
Official Overall Place: 900/1800

Now that the official numbers are out of the way, let’s look at my “real” numbers based on the RunKeeper app I used during the race. I consider these as real since I did have a GPS and timer attached to me throughout the race.

Final Time

Based on either set of numbers, I’m proud of my final time and pace. My ultimate goal was to have a pace of under 10 minutes a mile so mission accomplished. Of course if it wasn’t for the instigator himself, Will, then I would not have posted such a great pace of 9:26. You see, I used him as a motivator by keeping him in my sights for the first 2.5 miles and keeping a consistent pace. Prior to the run, I was barely able to run consistently for anything over 2 miles. Day of the race, I was able to run for close to 4.5 miles without needing a small break to walk. Its possible I could have continued with my best pace ever if I had chosen to stay with Will but I was arrogant and passed him which in turn gave him full capability to pass me around the 6-7 mile makers and never look back.

The course itself was brilliantly designed, except for one minor flaw. The minor flaw were the final 3 hills that made one hate life and want to punch out the run supporters that were stationed at the hills. Granted, now that I look back on the course, there probably was not much they could do to avoid these hills. The rest of the course “began in the heart of downtown, snaked through campus, navigated Five Points by way of Milledge Avenue, hit Cobbham Historic District, down Prince into Normaltown, ran north and then swung around back to downtown with a finish line in front of the fabulous 40 Watt Club.” My favorite part of the course was probably the final .10 mile stretch as it was on a downgrade and really pushed you to finish strong.

Athens GA Half Marathon - Map of Course
Figure 1: Map of Half Marathon Course (Click for better map)

As this was my first half marathon or even actual race, I have to say that I really enjoyed it. People were spread throughout the course to cheer on people they knew and of course people they didn’t as well. I had my music to motivate me and push me but those random people did so much to make me continue on as well. I’d even fine myself running to them if only to take a small break after passing them. The signs along the course also helped in the motivational department with my favorite sign easily being “Run like you stole something.”

Overall, I’m proud of myself for running and completing the race and I actually look forward to possibly making this an annual event in the coming years. Next event for me is up in the air. I enjoyed this one enough to actually look to find another race that I can attempt. There is a San Francisco Half Marathon on November 7th but I’ll probably hold off on any race in the bay area prior to Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll just shoot for a 10K next. We shall see.

Here are a few final charts that cover my times and distances during the Half Marathon. I’m also throwing in a group photo of our running crew.

Runner's Pace
Figure 2: Pace vs. Elevation vs. Speed

Mile Breakdown
Figure 3: Pace Breakdown

Mile Breakdown
Photo 1: (Left to Right) Cory, Ginny, Will, Me.

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Pump It Up

The half marathon is on Sunday and I wanted one final post before the “big event”.  For the event, I’ll be filling my mp3 player with the following Workout playlist to drive me towards the finish line:

  1. “Let Go” by Frou Frou
  2. “We Made It” by Linkin Park featuring Busta Rhymes
  3. “My Hero” by Foo Fighters
  4. “Ladies and Gentlemen” by Saliva
  5. “Pioneers” by Bloc Party
  6. “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphy’s
  7. “Around the World / Bigger Stronger Faster” by Daft Punk
  8. “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance
  9. “Party Hard” by Andrew W. K.
  10. “One Step Closer” by Linkin Park
  11. “Starseed” by Our Lady Peace
  12. “Memphis & 53rd” by Minus The Bear
  13. “It’s Tricky” by Run D.M.C.
  14. “Amazing” by Kanye West
  15. “This is War” by 30 Seconds To Mars
  16. “Okay I believe you but my Tommy Gun Don’t” by Brand New
  17. “Invitation to Understanding” by MxPx
  18. “Make You Smile” by +44
  19. “Power” by Kanye West
  20. “Ring Capacity” by Kirby Krackle
  21. “Guerrilla Radio” by Rage Against The Machine
  22. “Crush” by Jimmy Eat World
  23. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
  24. “Light & Day” by The Polyphonic Spree
  25. “Everlong” by Foo Fighters
  26. “Magic” by B.O.B.
  27. “Running On Empty” by Jackson Browne
  28. “Hallelujah” by Paramore
  29. “Angles of the Silences” by Stretch Arm Strong
  30. “In Your Honor” by Foo Fighters
  31. “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park
  32. “Handlebars” by Flobots
  33. “Runaway” by Cartel
  34. “You’re Gonna Go Far Kid” by The Offspring
  35. “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.
  36. “Family System” by Chevelle
  37. “Airplanes, Part II” by B.O.B.
  38. “In the Air Tonight” by Nonpoint
  39. “Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major” by Yo-Yo Ma ***
  40. “My Hero” by Paramore ***
  41. “Ohio Is For Lovers” by Vitamin String Quartet ***
  42. “Cute Without The E – Cut From The Team” by Vitamin String Quartet ***
  43. “Welcome to the Black Parade” by Vitamin String Quartet ***

*** Denotes song used for warm-up and stretching

Wow, now that I’ve typed out that list I really realize how all over the place it really is.  Here’s hoping I can run faster (maybe correct term is finish faster) so that I won’t need to use all of these songs or even replay a few of them.

And in an effort to really state how far a Half Marathon is here are a few numbers for your brain to crunch on that are less than a half marathon

  • Round trip from my youthful home to my high school
  • Round trip from my current SF home to the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Distance across the city of San Francisco (approx 7 miles)
  • Distance from my old Sandy Springs Apartment to the Midtown MARTA station (9.6 miles)
Posted under Music, Sports | Tagged as , ,

Athens Half Marathon Prequel

With the approaching Athens Half Marathon that my “good friend” Will talked me into doing with some other friends I thought this would make for a perfect post. Maybe not truly perfect but the pictures of me during the event clutching onto my last breadth and life should be entertaining enough. But before we get there you have to know the prequel or you won’t care about the characters….if you even will after.

So the story is…well Will thought old roommates should run the half marathon at the end of October and…well that’s it. I’m not sure why I agreed or even how I ever did but I’m in it and in it to win finish it. With two months before the big event, I knew I had to start training immediately. I’ve run maybe 3.11 miles (5k) previously in high school when I was on the cross country team (soccer purposes only) but that’s the furthest distance I’ve ever completed without walking it all and I’m not in high school any more.

I began running around where I worked at the end of the day in order to get into shape and kill time for traffic to die down. Well after only a few days into training, I knew something was up. My legs were in some much pain that there wasn’t a day where I wasn’t sitting at home with ice packs on my knees. Didn’t take me long to realize it was an issue in my shoes. What can I say? I’m cheap and I just thought I could get through this with the crappy shoes that I had. I was, of course, wrong and broke down buying some legitimate shoes thanks to a running store in San Francisco. With reasonable prices and a great staff to help me pick the perfect shoe for my style of running, I settled on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10. Talk about running on air, these shoes made me pull a 180 on running. Instead of a chore, it became something I looked forward to at the end of the day.

I had the shoes, the drive, and being a geek, I now needed the data. That’s right. I love all things tech and with my Android smartphone (HTC Eris) I had apps that could help me track my performance and training. I settled on RunKeeper only because of other friends using it as well and helping to cheer me along in the process. It tracks my time, distance, pace, elevation, and pretty much any other statistic I would want. I’m debating paying for the pro capabilities only to gain more data. We shall see.
Anyway, here’s the data from my latest run of 10 miles. I’m two weeks away and I had two primary goals: Complete 10 mile run prior to the Half Marathon and run under 10 minutes a mile. I’ve completed one of the two but I’m dangerously close to that second.

Figure 1: Pace during the 10 Mile Run

Yes, I know the first thing out of most runners mouth when looking at that graph. I am not a consistent pace kind of guy. Its hard for me to slow my pace and keep it across the length of my runs. If I have the power and I want to run it now. Sure this makes me look like an EKG but my overall pace goal is on target. Here’s another breakdown.

Figure 2: Further Breakdown of Pace during the 10 Mile Run

First, don’t let the last number fool you. The 11th mile was only .10 miles in length so I hope it was averaging at 4. On record to date, my best mile run came earlier this week during a 3 mile run where I clocked in at 6:43 on my first mile. Yes that was with a -128 ft elevation but I’d say that is still fast.
Now with the half only two weeks away my training is winding down. I feel well prepared and I’ve even experienced the runner’s high (it’s amazing). The only real variables I’m worried about now are the climate and the course. Training in SF is not the same as Athens but it will be late October so hopefully there will be less humidity. I’ve experienced several days here of running in 100 degree weather but humidity is its own beast. The course only worries me because I’m not as well prepared on hills. Sure, I live in SF and could have found the hills but my training ground is in Pleasanton and I didn’t have any.

Anyway, to conclude, I’ve enjoyed this process more than I ever thought I would. I look forward to running days and feel terrible when I miss out on a chance to run. It is my new stress reliever and it works wonders. For those thinking of preparing for a half marathon after not really running prior, here’s one final chart of a breakdown of how much I was doing on my way to the event.

Figure 3: Weekly Break Down of Distance

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World Cup 2010

World Cup 2010

Another four years have passed and the World Cup has returned. From my previous post, you can tell that I was/am pumped about this quatro (?) annual event. Now that we have a few games under wraps and nearing the end of group play, I’d like to provide my initial thoughts overall.

Well the best place to start will be my bracket (sorry for the pdf format). I suck at putting any type of bracket together so this one should be no different. However, so far my final pick isn’t looking so bad. Argentina has looked the strongest of the teams that I have been able to see (work gets in the way). Here’s hoping most, if not all, of my predictions come through (mainly the US).

Otherwise, here are the quick thoughts:

  • The main talking point of the tournament has been the vuvuzelas. It is the sound of the South African people and the buzz that you hear during every broadcast. When I attended an international friendly last year in Atlanta, I learned what they were like first hand. If I was in attendance, I would absolutely hate them. However, watching in the comfort of my living room at home, they don’t bother me. After about 3 games, their sounds start to fade for me and I don’t focus on them as much. Of course, that’s not the same for everyone else. I did find an article that helps you remove the buzz but for me, I’m just content at watching great competition on the field.
  • After watching Greece’s first game against South Korea, I thought I had watched the worst team that qualified for the tournament. Of course, I didn’t realize that France would be playing only days later. I firmly believe that the team of Ireland should be waiting at the airport for France to return so that they are allowed to punch each and every player in the face. It’s one thing to steal a team’s spot. It’s another to just not even show up for play.
  • After enjoying the Socceroos in the last world cup, I was pumped to cheer them on and expecting good things. However, it seems they have taken a US turn for the worse. The red cards don’t help but this team has looked at times to take way too many steps backwards as opposed to the needed direction. Granted, still helps they have one of the best kits of the tournament. To me it looks like if you crossed a soccer and rugby jersey.
  • Speaking of kits, uniwatchblog had a great article where a designer provided their perspective redesign of all competitors’ kits. Many look amazing and the inspiration is interesting. For the US one, I can’t decide if I hate its bold nature or love it. And it kills me to say that the US’s current blue kit is really growing on me. Hall Monitors of the World, Assemble!
  • So England, eh? This team seems to fall from all expectations about as bad as the Flying Dutchmen do. If they fail to make it out of group play, I’d hate to be the coach or many other positions on that team.
  • Goals are down this year. Does that mean bad play or does it mean that the even nature of the tournament is growing? I’m going to split my decision 25-75, respectively. The 25 is because top scorers such as Messi can’t find the back of the next while other “small” teams are holding their own overall.

I can’t go this far without talking about the US, especially as a separate piece. On the short description, they have been dreadful in the first half of their games thus far. The defense, which I have always been very critical in my comments, has played exactly as I expected, except that the worst player has been the captain, Carlos Bocanegra. Without Timmy, we would been in much worse situations than we have already placed ourselves. If the US could just convince FIFA to only play the second half of games then we could be a favorite in the tournament, but alas that is not the case.

The most recent game vs the Slovenians still leaves a bad taste in my mouth for the goal that was waved off, but I must applaud the US for showing so much determination. They battled back from a 2-0 start where most previous teams might have given up. However, we powered forward in an effort that I will remember for quite sometime. Here’s hoping that Wednesday’s game provides another flash of top play but this time from start to finish. I predict goals by Dempsey and Donovan will spark the team on to the next round. They are 2/3 of the passion of our team (Howard is the remaining 1/3) and that’s what the team needs to rally behind.

Posted under Sports | Tagged as , ,


Every time I see the following commercial/promo/trailer, I am just pumped up beyond belief.

That’s right people! World Cup time is almost upon us. A time where everything the Olympics promises actually comes true. Here’s hoping the Hall Monitors of the World provide some excellent drama and even more pride. Let’s just say I plan to arrive late for work on certain days where USA will be playing live.

And if you need more pumping up, here we go. Time to RISE UP!

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2010 NFL Draft Recap

Well, another NFL draft comes to a close. This one came with a new prime time format and an ending that was saved for Saturday as opposed to Sunday. While I am not a proponent of the Thursday night start time (really sucks for those west coasters), I loved the fact that the first round flew by in about 3 1/2 hours. That’s definitely better than the normal 5 hours we have endured in the past. Of course, the first round is is even more enjoyable when one has a KFC Double Down to keep you company (better than one might expect).

Enough of those pointless remarks. I need to get to the point on my overall thoughts. I’ll start with the Falcons first as they were my true purpose in watching the draft. My night didn’t start off well once the Eagles were on the clock as they went after my main target of Brandon Graham. However, at least my second prediction came true as the Falcons welcomed the latest member of the family, Sean Weatherspoon (Falcons introduction video). SPOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sean’s presence fills a hole that will VERY soon need to be filled for Stephen Nichols or Mike Peterson.

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. This format doesn’t work. Let’s just list and discuss.

Player Description

Sean Weatherspoon
Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
Round 1, Pick 19 (19 overall)

If I can’t have Graham, I’d love to get SPOON!!!!!!! After the draft a two years ago and Curtis Lofton, the Falcons now have the next beast of the linebacking core who will control the outside of the field. Watching some of his highlights, I have become pumped for this year’s season.

Corey Peters
Corey Peters, DT, Kentucky
Round 3, Pick 19 (83 overall)

After taking Peria Jerry last year with the first round pick, adding another Defensive Tackle puzzled me slightly. However, I thought about the pick and the need and it started to sink in better for me. When Jerry went out early due to season ending injury, the interior of the line was hurting. The free agency pool during the season was slim to none due to other major injuries around the league. Depth is needed and Peters gives us just that. Check out the highlights here.

Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 34 (98 overall)

Once I get out of the first round, like most people, I realize I have no information about any of the new draft choices. Therefore, I went to my best scout for the Crimson Tide. His response when I simply said “Mike Johnson. Go.” was just as simple. “All American, Leader, Versatile, National Champion prepped by Saban.” Hmmm….I’d say that is exactly the description I needed as the Falcons are preparing to build a offensive line to protect the franchise Matty Ice. Johnson is projected as a guard but has had time at the tackle position. Check out the highlights here.

Joe HawleyJoe Hawley, OL, UNLV
Round 4, Pick 19 (117 overall)


Again, the thoughts provided for Johnson above work here as well. The Falcons needed to continue building the line and Hawley helps add that depth. Same Baker was a welcome addition the same year as Ryan, but his inability to stay healthy has provided weaknesses in the line that we can’t afford. Hawley is projected as a center, but can also play guard.

Dominque FranksDominque Franks, CB, Oklahoma
Round 5, Pick 4 (135 overall)

Note: This pick was due to a trade with St. Louis for fifth (149) and sixth (189) round picks.

Even with the addition of Dunta Robinson, the Falcons still need to find that corner for the other side of the field. Is it Grimes? Is it Owens? Is it Williams? Is it Jackson? Is it now Franks? Regardless of who it will be, I believe that the competition at training camp should be a great one. I’m just hoping that Grimes stays on the team so I can continue to see this highlight again and again. Franks was expected to be off the board much earlier than this so maybe we were able to get a great deal. Check out highlights here.

Kerry MeierKerry Meier, WR, Kansas
Round 5, Pick 34 (165 overall)

When discussing this player another current Falcon just might come to mind. “Meier is a flat-out football player. He started off his career as a quarterback at Kansas and had some early success. But an injury cost him his starting job and he moved to wide receiver in 2007. All Meier did was go out and set a school record for career receptions. He played all three receiver positions, got some work as a fullback and H-back, served as the holder on place kicks and even still got some time as a backup quarterback.” Sounds like Brian “The Finn” Finneran to me. Finn is getting old and has filled many needs for the Falcons over the years. Looks like now it is time to start thinking younger. Nice little catch here. Maybe we can get a few more of those.

Shann SchillingerShann Schillinger, S, Montana
Round 6, Pick 2 (171 overall)

I really have nothing here. I can see this as depth and I can see this as just adding another player that can relate with Kroy Beirmann and his time at Montana. Heck, if he can be as productive as Biermann has been for a late rounder, then I’d say this is a steal. Can’t complain on his speed either for a sixth rounder (4.51 and 4.53 40-yard dash).

Now with the picks out of the way, it is time to grade the draft in a way that is meaningless because we are only a day removed and have no way of knowing what will happen here. I’m guessing not having a second round pick really hurt us. With that being said, I’m giving the Falcons a C/C+. Sure, we addressed the LB and OL needs, but where is the defensive end? The secondary was destroyed last season because of no pressure on the opposing quarterback. Look at the results from 2008 and 2009. In 2008 we were all over the quarterback. In 2009, most quarterbacks were building new homes behind their lines. A Van Gorder defense is built around a strong pass rush. I guess we are hoping to see more production out of the line we have and have more faith in the newly built secondary. Let’s just hope it all works out for the best.

UGA Note: The following players were taken from the University of Georgia.

  • Rennie Curran, LB to Tennessee Titans. Round 3, Pick 33 (97 Overall)
  • Geno Atkins, DT to Cincinnati Bengals. Round 4, Pick 22 (120 Overall)
  • Reshad Jones, S to Miami Dolphins. Round 5, Pick 32 (163 Overall)
  • Jeff Owens, DT to Philadelphia Eagles. Round 7, Pick 36 (243 Overall)
  • Kade Weston, DT to New England Patriots. Round 7, Pick 41 (248 Overall)
Posted under Sports

2010 NFL Draft Preview

Thursday night is the 2010 NFL Draft and the third year of the Smitty and TD connection. There are of course many others involved in turning the Falcons’ franchise around but we will stick with those at the top for the moment. The current path has looked promising with the addition of Matt Ryan in year 1 and Peria Jerry in year 2. Year 1 gets most of the attention due to the fast start and quick production while Year 2 was riddled with injuries. Regardless of the stance you take, one must not forget that the 40+ curse ended late last season (like really late).

As we prepare for the new season, both sides are the ball are possible within this year’s draft. The hole filling began with free agent signing of Dunta Robinson. We are a team that drafts on need and the current pressing needs are:

  • Outside Linebacker (OLB) – Mike Peterson was great last season providing veteran leadership, but his age is a factor and the Falcons have slowly tried to remove the Over 30 Club from the team as needed. Peterson won’t be with us many more years and that needs to be addressed.
  • Defensive End (DE) – John Abraham was a beast two seasons ago and one of the main reasons why the defense looked better than it was in 2008. 2009 was a different story and caused the secondary to be called into question on numerous occasions. We all know that Brent Grimmes just can’t do this every week. Well, maybe I believe he can.
  • Offensive Lineman (OL) – One must commend Paul Boudreau for what he has put together in order to protect Matty Ice. However, continuing the improvement is a need and possible that it will be addressed in the draft (most suggestions currently are later rounds).

Due to work and other commitments, I haven’t been able to perform my research on this year’s possibilities. I can only provide my quick impression based on what I do know and what names have popped up.

  • Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan – A majority of the mock drafts out there have the Falcons picking Graham with the number 19th overall pick. Seems like a good fit as Defensive End is the MAJOR hole in my eyes. With a strong rushing attack, the secondary will seem stronger and hopefully turnovers will increase. We have the interior of the line set with Peria and Babs. Now to just fill the outside and provide opponents with the real choice: real or artificial turf. Here’s someone’s version of his highlights.
  • Taylor Mays, S, USC – Yes, I know what you are thinking here. Mays is a safety and that was not a need list. True. But I’ve heard that some teams are interested in moving Mays to the LB position because he does not have the top level speed to play safety in the NFL. He does have the speed to be a great linebacker and who doesn’t love a good hard hitting player?
  • Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri – In every mock draft that doesn’t list Graham, Weatherspoon’s name is the next to pop up. I wish I had more to go on here but the limelight is always around the probable pick (see Graham) or the sexy pick (see Mays). I guess this highlight video will have to do the talking for me. I’d be happy with him.
  • Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech – I’m only listing this pick as it just popped up as a possibility on one of my favorite NFC South blogs. I don’t know how I feel going after a WR with the first pick and no second round pick. There are more pressing needs at the moment. I could see this happening if we trade Jenkins for the second round pick. Highlights are here.
  • C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson – The man is a human highlight machine. Some say Reggie Bush. I say something better. Sure we have Norwood, but his durability has been called into question. If Norwood can’t stay healthy, then there really is no change of pace option in the backfield. I only take this pick if he is available. No trading up for this one. It’s just a sexy pick.

As for the other Draft expectations?

  1. Who is this year’s cryer? I would assume Tebow due to prior evidence. However, I think it could be Eric Berry just for the fact that he should be the number 1 overall pick and no one will take him. Everyone feels that a safety is not worth that high of a pick which means he will fall and could fall fast and hard.
  2. Please someone make certain that Jimmy Clausen stays off camera. He has one ugly mug, but I can’t hold it against him. It does run in his family.
  3. Can Oakland out do itself this year with its first pick? I’d bet on it.
  4. Will the new prime time airing of the draft really help the ratings that much? Of course they will, but will it really help me staying up so late watching the draft on delay due to timing?

Check back after the draft for full list of Falcons draft board plus any UGA players that were taken too.

Posted under Sports

Where am I?

Much like one of my close counterparts, I too have been away from posting for far too long. I’m not promising anything life changing here, but at least it is more than a heartbeat to let people know I’m here. So like many posts where I try not to say too much, here are the fast facts.

  • I upgraded my old phone and am now enjoying life with my Android powered device. Sure it has its cons, but doesn’t every phone? Next path will be to attempt to build my own app for it and see if anyone is willing to download and/or buy it. I doubt the second part of that. Here’s hoping I can put together a better future post talking about apps and how this phone really measures up.
  • My newest side project will move any of my future movie posts to The AC Guild or Amateur Critics Guild. I’m hoping to push this really hard because it has been a thrill to create so far. If you don’t believe me, just head over to the About page and enjoy the most random ramblings you will find as well as a good picture or two.
  • I’ve just picked up the new The Rocket Summer album. I’m not enjoying as much as the past ones, but it still has a few fun tunes. Check out Nothing Matters.
  • In keeping up with my Falcons from my new west coast location, I’m pumped with the new addition of the Falcons family, Daunta Robinson. Now we just need a fearsome pass rusher and other teams will fear the days they have to face us. Saints, we will knock you down first.
  • I just enjoyed a wonderful weekend snowboarding in Mammoth. I’m no Shaun White, but I think I’m doing quite well for only having been two times now. The new board, bindings, and boots worked out great. Anyone ready for a fall trip now? Possible picture and video to come later depending on when the one who took the pictures and video lets me get my hands on them.
  • I’m a little behind the times, but thanks to a great deal, I just picked up the God of War collection pack. Sure I’ll be stuck playing God of War while everyone else is enjoying God of War 3. That’s fine. I enjoying playing games on the cheap.
  • The greatest candy time of the year as arrived once again. I’ve already begun stock piling as many as I can. I will note that the bunny shaped Reese’s are quite good as well so please don’t write them off. You still can write off the smaller easter eggs though. They just aren’t the same as the big ones.

Possible future posts?

  • NFL Draft Preview – Sorry Mike.
  • All things Android
  • My Music History – Have had this one in the works for a long time so we know that it will probably wait longer as well.
Posted under Games, Movies, Music, Other, Sports

Live @ Shark Tank

Thanks to work, I was able to attend the San Jose Sharks game on Tuesday where they were taking on the Detroit Red Wings. I had heard many great things about the Sharks (great team and amazing venue live). Well, the Sharks lost and the crowd was out of it. Maybe it was because of the loss or maybe it was because of being on a weekday.

The positive though was that I actually new a player on the ice. I’m not a huge hockey fan, but I at least try to watch the Stanley Cups since I state that is the most entertaining championship game(s) to watch. However, not being a true fan, it is hard to follow. Well, I was quite shocked then when I saw Dany Heatley on the ice for the Sharks. I always wondered where he went after Atlanta.

Here are a few pics from the game. Click for full view.

Entrance on to the ice
Zamboni with Shark fin

On another side note, looks like my minor care to follow the Thrashers is gone.

Posted under Sports

Podcasting The Commute

Now that I have settled into my new city and been placed on a new project at work, it is time to deal with the commute.  Please understand that this commute is by no means terrible even if it is about an hour and forty minutes each way (morning and afternoon).  The trip is a straight shot based on the MUNI (if it is running correctly that day) and BART.  I am able to have a internet connection for about 90-95% of the trip so if I need to do work I have that option.  Some may say the BART is terrible, but I am provided an easy laugh twice a day as I read the “Committed to Excellence” Oakland Raiders sign that rests on the stadium.

However, there are those days where I don’t need to do any work and I can just sit back and enjoy the ride.  Now my sister will tell me that I should pick up a book to read.  Well I have picked up a book, which is just a book I started while at the beach this summer but never finished.  It’s just that I can’t force myself to read along this trip because I’m very picky about my reading spots.  That and I’m of the generation who doesn’t know what reading is.  We won’t laugh about that in the future, but we can laugh now.

Anyway, I decided to get back into listening to podcasts on my Creative Zen Vision W, or the Betamax player as it is known on my project team.  I have been away from podcasting in general for several years so I wasn’t sure what was still out there or what new good ones were available.  Here’s a quick list of the ones I have found that I have enjoyed so far.

Podcast Name Description
DiggNation DiggNation is pretty much where my world of podcasting started out. DiggNation, hosted by Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, discusses the week’s top stories from the social news site, Digg.com. I truly enjoy the way the two hosts play off of each other and the topics can range from tech, news, sports, etc. It is usually a random assortment of “news” selected by those that post to Digg. I have listened to this podcast since it was first started as just audio. Now with video, so much more is added to the experience.
NPR 7AM News I’m not a huge fan of the news, mainly because it is usually so depressing and only certain stories are stressed in the political realm. NPR’s 7AM news report provides me a fast and effective update for the day’s news stories. The report is offered in the audio clarity that only NPR can offer and usually is not much longer than 5 minutes in length. Perfect for a quick update.
PTI Pardon The Interruption has become my true DVR pleasure. Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser are always entertaining and provide a quick shot of all the latest sports news. I love watching this show daily but I ran into an issue recently where I didn’t have time to watch the show each day. Thanks to the podcast, I don’t miss a beat. The audio only version of the show is not as good as the real thing but it is as close as you are going to get if you just don’t have the time to sit in front of a TV to enjoy. This one is not a push (Wilbon’s trademark).
If DiggNation was my first podcast, then This Week In Tech is my tied first. A weekly discussion of the week’s tech stories is hosted by Leo Laporte. This is truely a geek’s show but I still find my chance ot laugh and enjoy another dose of tech talk.
This Week In Google Provided by the same group that produces This Week In Tech and Security Now, TWIG (as it is known) follows the top stories related to Google or cloud computing. I’ve only had a chance to enjoy a single episode, but I did find it interesting enough to give it another shot. I’m just wondering if too much Leo Laporte in one week is good for me.
Security Now! Not long after I was listening to TWIT and DiggNation while in college, Security Now! began. I gave it a listen a few times in order to find out more within the security industry (might need this for work), but I just haven’t been able to consistently enjoy it. That basically means I’ll drop it soon, but for those that are concerned with their computer security, then give the show a chance. The show does find itself able to explain even the high level security issues so that normal users can understand them and how they could be affected.
AppJudgement DiggNation was the first of many shows to come for the Revision3 online network. For those familiar with the days of TechTV, you’ll notice many old faces. AppJudgement provides a simple review of applications or “apps” for smartphones. These reviews are for both iPhone and Android phones. Since I’m close to purchasing a smartphone (NOT AN IPHONE), I thought it’d be a great idea to begin finding some apps that I’d find useful. The show runs between 5-10 minutes so it is easy to get in, learn, and get out.
The Totally Rad Show With my enjoyment of Alex Albrecht from DiggNation (that’s too many plugs for that show), I thought I would try his second Revision3 show, The Totally Rad Show. TRS discusses movies, video games, and comic books. I tried a single episode and enjoyed it but not sure if I will continue thanks to a few of the other shows below.
CO-OP Need a review of current and future video games? Well, CO-OP is a well produced show that does just that. My introduction to the show was an older episode that discussed Uncharted 2 and Super Mario Bros. Wii since I had just played both of them recently. My time to spend playing games is not what it used to be but I might follow this show every now and then if I’m looking to find a new game to try.
InstMsgs InstMsgs had the most interesting concept in that they dramatize all things web. From instant messages to craigslist ads, they do it all. I first heard of this show from the first podcast listed above (I can’t name it again or I might have to start paying fees) and thought “Why not?” Well I jumped on for episode 8(Mad Men?) and that’s about as far as I’m going to get. The show was good and interesting but I don’t know if it is enough for me to keep going with it. Those who find lolcats funny might want to try episode 10.
iFanboy A podcast about comics? I’m so there! The discussion is sporadic in the episode (I’m only one in as of posting), but that’s the only way to describe comic book stories. Finding new comics, diving deeper into stories, or providing interviews, this is a great stop to keep up or find out more about the world of comics.
The Linux Outlaws Since moving to Linux, I wanted a chance to learn more on a more consistent basis. When I found Linux Outlaws, I thought that a podcast could be the perfect place if it was done correctly. Well I’m only one show in (Simple Doesn’t Equal Shit) and I have a few thoughts. First, I will not continue with this one if the running time is around 2 hours for each show. I need shows that are an hour or under to truly enjoy a show during the commute. Two hours is just way too much for me. Second, the content is there in this one. They discuss different flavors/distros, new application updates, and news within the Linux world. As long as the time is shortened for future episodes, I’ll continue listening along.

Anyone have any others I should try? I am interested in checking out others that are not only tech based but I do like what I like.

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