Friday, March 30, 2007

The Price of a Trail Run

As I went on my trail run yesterday afternoon along the Potomac, I couldn't help but think about why I like trail running so much... I mean, it hurts my knees, I have a total of 5 scars on my body that are a direct result of running this trail, and I usually have to tell someone I'm running the trail beforehand in case I break my leg.

What I like about trail running is that for an hour and ten minutes, I am doing nothing but focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. I am not thinking about anything else, and if I do happen to lose my focus, I am reminded pretty sharply by slipping or in some cases, cutting myself.

How much is 1 hour of complete quiet, and complete focus worth in today's world of instant messengers, the BlackBerry, cell phones, and high definition television? In my mind, worth the bumps, bruises and scars I have accrued, though yesterday I got off cheap with nothing at all!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poker Night

The quest to learn how to play Texas Hold'Em continues. After the game got off to a late start, I lasted a bit longer this time around than the first time. I can honestly say that I'm understanding the game a bit better though I still have a lot to learn about what the potential draws could be based on what's on the table. I'm getting there... but for only second time, I don't think it was too bad.

Prior to the game, some of the guys entertained themselves with the host's Wii as seen below. You may not be able to tell it, but they are playing the new Tiger Woods golf.

We'll see if we can rally up enough people to play again in two weeks and see how I progress...

Monday, March 26, 2007


Nothing made me happier yesterday than seeing Georgetown roar back from 10 points down to beat UNC in overtime of the East regional final. North Carolina missed 21 of their final 23 shots as Georgetown ran away with the game once they sent the game to OT on Wallace's three.

My favorite sound of the entire game... "clunk." To hear it 21 times over the final 10 minutes and well into overtime, including two free throws, was music to my ears.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the big man match up next weekend between Oden of OSU and Hibbert on Georgetown, though I hope we can make it through this week of sure-to-be-expected hype.

One final note... for a conference that sent 7 teams the NCAAs this year, should we be a little upset that not a single team from the ACC made the final four? Should we be wondering if perhaps a few of those at-large bids was given to one of the unsung mid-majors?

Just some food for thought...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tuxedo Day

My friend Jeff is getting married this August and today was the day we were going to pick out a few options for the groomsmen.

Here are a few of the options we looked at. I personally was a fan of the black shirt with the silver vest since we are going with silver as the color of the vests. I'm not sure if that color will look good on everyone, so it comes down to being Jeff's fiance's call.

I really liked this look, but again... not sure if it would look as good on us.

Here are some random shots of Jeff's brother-in-law, Ahmed, and myself assisting Jeff with the process.

I was pretty surprised at home many options there are for tuxedos, with the different style of jackets, vest or cummerbund (does anyone where these anymore?), pattern for the vest, color, black or white shirt, round or square shoes, etc. If you really wanted to turn your wedding into a box of crayons, I suppose you could...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Big Ten and ACC

I didn't have high expectations for the Big Ten. Other than Wisconsin and Ohio State, all of the other teams were seeded lower than 6. So the fact that only Ohio State has advanced is not surprising. The ACC, however, which had been talked up all season, with it sending 7 teams, only has one team advancing to the sweet 16, UNC. All of the high hopes for Maryland, Virginia Tech, and UVA were squashed when all three teams lost in the final minutes of their games to lower seeds.

The big surprise to me is the Pac-10. If USC holds on to beat Texas, three teams will have moved on to the final 16. I'm impressed.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New York and the NCAA Tournament

It seems that the time to blog comes and goes like the tide (and more practically, like the warm weather around here). While the time was easy to come by over the winter holidays, sitting down for a few minutes on the computer when it is not related to work, is very rare. Time has been so limited lately that trying to pull together my brackets for the NCAA tournament and my player list for the NCAA fantasy draft was tough... and those of you who know me really well, I always make the time for the NCAA tournament.

So what has happened around here? For Valentine's Day, I gave Lauren a ticket to The Lion King on Broadway and a hotel room in the theatre district. So, we left Friday afternoon and drove up 95 with all of the other thousands that had the same idea. Needless to say, a 4.5 hour drive took over 6 hours. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. I feel the same frustration sitting in traffic that I do when sitting on a runway waiting to take off. Helpless.

Anyway, the show was great, and we were lucky to catch the city on a nice weekend in March. The weather was in the upper 50's and sunny which in retrospect is pretty darn lucky considering the weather that moved up the East Coast this weekend. While up there, we also had a chance to catch up with some friends who have a place on the Upper West Side and get a nice tour. Of course, while we were up there, we lost an hour of sleep due to the earlier implementation of Daylight Savings Time (which I think I still have not recovered from). Fortunately, the ride home was much less eventful as we left the city at 2:45 and made it home by 7.

On the note of Daylight Savings Time, I'm still puzzled as to why there was such a mad scramble to implement the DST patch across the country. The law was passed in August of 2005 yet Microsoft was releasing the final patches for Outlook a week before the change in time. Do you remember the paranoia around Y2K that ended up amounting to nothing? I want to know how much productivity was affected by this DST change. I know personally, my BlackBerry did not changeover when it was supposed to, and when I manually changed it, all of my meetings and meeting requests sent from the BlackBerry were an hour off. It took me to manually download the patch from my BlackBerry to get it right. And my brother brings up a good point... what is going to happen when the old DST date comes and goes? How will we fare?

On to my favorite weekend of the year, the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament. Over the past four years, I've either been in Vegas or off from work to fully enjoy all four days of the opening two rounds. This year, I did what supposedly every other college basketball fan does, check the scores throughout the day and leave the office as close to 5 as possible. That being said, there was an interesting article on that talks about the myth of lost productivity due to the NCAA tournament. Some consulting company claimed that over $3.8B worth of productivity is lost each year due to workers checking scores or following games online. Speaking as someone who does keep an eye on the games, it is no more distracting to keep an eye on a score as it is to have people come up to you all day long to BS or ask you questions. In fact, I felt like I was able to get more done because I had my headphones on and people would not bother coming up to talk to me.

Anyway, the first two days of the tournament pretty much held to "chalk" as they say with most of the bigger teams winning as they were supposed to. The only "surprise" (in quotes because I picked it), was VCU beating Duke. The second round has been exciting, but again, not too many surprises unless you count Maryland losing to Butler as a surprise. The Terps looked sloppy yet again and consequently lost in the 2nd round. However, currently my Hoyas (I say my because I have always liked them, no matter what anyone else says) are struggling with a pretty good BC team.

I would like nothing more for the ACC teams to all get knocked out and the Big Ten to rack up as many wins as they can since it was downplayed as a weaker conference this year. I guess we'll see just how weak it was during the UNC-MSU game tonight.

More later...