Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Talkin' Turkey, the Missing 5F4, etc.

Turkey Trot

The 55th Annual Flint Mott Park Turkey Trot was easily the cheapest race I've ever ran.  Registration was $5 and you got a long-sleeved shirt and a generic China medal.  There was a clock, but no chips, so there's no record of how fast slow Jason and I were going.  Also, I will not be telling you.

Mott Park used to be a public golf course, but on the day of the race I think the grass was thick enough that you could have given the entire park a comb-over.  Add in that it was kind of wet, a little cold, and the moles (or possibly Dig Dug) have done enough work to make every piece of ground collapse under my feet, and  I had a pretty decent bit of things to slow me down.

Chunky Green Shag
The run was 3 loops around the park, with the front part going up a hill somewhat diagonally (with your right foot more uphill than your left), and then straight down it on some slick ground.  I didn't see anyone wipe out, but I was almost a casualty on 2 of the 3 loops because I was trying to use the hill's momentum.

Come now, you can't say that you believed for one second that I was going to hold off Thanksgiving week.  Starting of what was my 5F4 cycle on Saturday, I had enough pancakes in the morning to be my daily intake of calories.  Sunday was the usual family O.G. punt the calorie day away by lunch.  Monday I pretty much ate nothing but Tyson chicken nuggets.  Tuesday I tried to be good and grabbed a salad at lunch, but after dragging my wife to a speech/book signing that night she was starving and talked me into getting her and I a onion/green pepper deep dish pizza.  Wednesday and Thursday deserve their own paragraphs.

We had our annual friends get together the day before Thanksgiving again this year.  As usual, it was basically a "Meat-A-Palooza" with Ken making lasagna, Jen making beef enchilladas, me making some New England sweet and sour meatballs, and Katie making potatoes chock-a-block full of bacon.  Mike rounded things out by bringing us all some Magners Hard Cider and some Bell's Christmas Ale as his usual drink surprise installment.  After all that, we went to see the Muppet Movie, which gave me a personal record for longest period while smiling/laughing for the year.  I just don't see how it could have been much better.  Anyone that didn't like it just has to be dead inside, because even a rashly cynical bastard like me melted into a mystified 5-year-old watching that movie.

Thankgiving was the usual food orgy.  I started off actually trying to be reasonable.  We went to my wife's grandparents' and I kept a fairly healthy first plate, but the whole thing collapsed under her grandma's pecan pie.  After that it's not like I took huge clumps of things and devoured them, but I nibbled my way to hell with the desserts, all of which were fantastic.  After spending a few hours there and watching the Lions lose, we went to my brother's and ate more turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, green been casserole, and all the usual suspects.  I made some pumpkin cheesecakes, and I had some of that as well as Mom's pumpkin pie.  The pumpkin cheesecake recipe for 2 pies is a liar, though.  It says it makes 2, but I somehow ended up with enough for 4 (freezing the others for later...maybe). 

Obviously Friday was left-over day, and there still exists some left-overs, despite the fact I've made my best attempts at eating them.  I've even gone to the extremes of sharing them with the cat and turtle.

Happy Thanksgiving, Newman!
New Shoes

I have a slight confession to make.  Despite the fact the Brooks Ghost 3 completely tore the crap out of my heel a few times, with a TON of tape and even more stubborness I've actually still been using them.  Now, I didn't really use them for many actual races or any runs of big distance, but for day-to-day shorter runs I've strapped them on every single time.  I just decided that I was going to get my money's worth no matter what, and I did.  The tread at the balls of my feet are completely worn to nothing. 

Other than the bad heel rubbing, which, after tearing the thing apart I've found out it was just a badly placed seam, they were very functional until the last month or so where I noticed they were pretty much dead.  So my outright hatred of the shoes and the brand has been replaced with a "maybe I'll try them again" but I'll "proceed with caution" next time attitude.  Although it would be hard to tell "Hey, this shoe is going to eat my foot up after 10+ miles" in a store.

The other thing I've found is that, even on pavement, I'd rather just wear my trail running shoes.  They just seem to get me more traction and help me pull and push myself around easier.  I've been saving my trail shoes for off-road, but I keep wishing I could use them anyway, and I've finally given in.  Most of the shoes I see for running are too flat, fragile in design, or soft on the bottom (or have an awful zig-zag thing going on), and they wear out too fast for me.  Since it's winter and extra traction is a must anyway, I ended up buying a pair of Adidas Marathon 10 Trail Running shoes.  They were a little slippery today on the paved trail as I braved the snow and black ice.  They'll get better next time out, though.  Other than that, I love the feel of them, and my legs felt like they could have went all day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seven Random Facts

Ken over at Read/Write/Run has tapped me to write 7 random facts about myself after he, himself was infected with the idea from Becki at The Middle Miles.  I do not see her post on this, so I'm assuming in this spreading epidemic of "seven random facts" that she is simply a carrier.  Obviously, given the fact I'm writing this, I am fully susceptible to the contagion.  Note to self:  zombie movie where the zombies are created from a magical curse placed on a chain letter...nevermind, that sounded better in my head.  Write 5 more people for good luck and an unnatural hankering for brain stew (not the Green Day song).


1)  I don't/can't do planes.  I hate heights, but compound that with a plane someone else is in control of (which also makes me uncomfortable) and I can't do it.  I did try once, but I locked up like the Tin Man at the airport, and I've kind of given up on it.  I still work a little on the heights thing at times when I feel up to it.  I've climbed ladders up to 50 ft roofs and I was on steel grating about 100 feet up at a wood burning power plant not too long ago (which is a win despite the fact I bailed on going the next floor up).  When I did the Warrior Dash, there were quite a few climbing obstacles that I just had to swallow that lump in my throat and just do without thinking.  Is it possible to fly if you're completely unconscious?  When are we going to develop teleportation devices?

"Will you knock me out, please?"
2)  I'm probably much more abrasive in person than I seem here.  You may not see it here much because I'm generally writing with a good mood wind at my back, and I think overall I am fairly good-natured, easy-going, and fun-loving person.  However, I love a good debate, and I will argue points I don't even believe in to the point where a lot of people get visibly upset with me.  Sometimes that's the best part of starting the debate in the first place.  I will usually accept a defeat gracefully, though, but you have to actually win first.  The only exception is when someone is trying to persuade me to do something I really don't want to do.  Whatever logic you throw at me, doesn't matter, no means no.  Other than that, I'm also very direct, and sometimes not very tactful at being so.  I let a lot of things fly out of my face in my outdoor voice that shouldn't go past the tongue at all.  Also, sometimes I can seem like I'm blowing people off, when I'm really not.  Things like that.  I still have a great deal to learn about living in society, and sometimes even when I'm congnizant of what I should do and how I should be, I knowingly refuse to do or be so.

3) Peaches and Ham are my food Kryptonite.  Anything predominantly containing peaches is disgusting to me.  I don't like them, and I don't like them in anything, either.  I will, on rare occasions, suffer through a beer with peach notes, but that's about as far as it goes.  The story goes that while my dear mother was pregnant for me, she ate nearly an entire bushel of peaches over the course of a week.  I guess I was sick of them before I was even born.  The ham, well, I just hate it.  I don't really like any pork products much, honestly (yes even bacon...I know that makes me less of a man).

4) I'm "Sweet-talker" Drunk.  Some people are sad drunks, some are raging angry drunks, and some are just foolish drunks (and all of those have materialized in me as well at certain times), but the most common drunk you get from me is this.  It is a super power that I wish I could pass along to my single male friends.  However, it still works really well on the wife, so it isn't being wasted.   It's not just some misplaced perception of myself, either.  This classification has come from outside sources.  

5) I have an extensive collection of Care Bears.  I loved them growing up, and I still make reference to them to this day.  This led to me getting one as a present once.  Then came another and another.  Eventually it got out of hand, and I bought a few myself.  It's okay now though, I've stopped (I think).

6) I once moved in with my worst enemy.  No, I'm not talking just deciding to move in with someone and them being the roommate from hell.  I'm talking flat out moving in with the person you may like least in the world at the time.  How does this happen?  I still don't know.  He was finishing up school and wanted to get out of his Mom's, and wanted a roommate.  Nobody else was available or responsible enough to room with him at the time.  So he asked me if I wanted to get a place with him.  At the time, considering where he was looking, there was no benefit for me to do this.  It wasn't going to be cheaper for me.  I wasn't any closer to work, and I wasn't really the type to want permanent company.  I liked my place to myself, and it was all clean, all mine, and at whatever temperature I wanted, with the TV on whatever movie or antenna receivable station I chose, or any music I wanted in the background.  I guess I just realized my life could use a shake-up, so I said went along with it just to see what would happen.  Long story short, as it stands now, the guy's one of the best friends I have, and in the process I've added several other close friends because of this move.  It could also be argued that this sudden change in life trajectory led me directly to my wife as well.

"The Roommate!"
7)  I'm sometimes a "walker"...a sleepwalker, that is.  It's not something that happens often, but it has been known to happen from time to time.  Each time I've done it, it's been in conjunction with times of great stress in my life.  It's only happened once in the past 5 years, and it happened at my wife's (girlfriend at the time) apartment only a few months into our relationship.  The details of these episodes are always more funny than frightening.
Good early 90s comic that never quite caught on

Friday, November 18, 2011

5F3 (You know the drill)


Not that the popper calories counted (see clown from the last entry)
Still considering the possibility it wasn't their fault because
I love them too much

Olive Garden: Stuffed Rigatoni with Chicken

Yes, I know I was just at the OG last week.  I pretty much go there every Sunday because, for some reason, my family loves it too much to go anywhere else.  I can think of at least 3 better Italian joints (let alone restaurants in general) within a 2 mile radius.  Oh well, I'm almost always out-voted, and the creatures of habit get their way. 

Had a few of these as well...

...and one of these...

I still really love eggnog,  even after Dave Attell
revealed what it REALLY is made from. Had 3 glasses

If you insist on looking up Dave Attell's take on what eggnog is, I can NOT be held responsible.  Keep in mind the comedy album was called "Skanks for the Memories."  Also, keep in mind that it's Dave Attell.

In addition to the usual occasional beer I also have been drinking a lot of wine lately. Had 3 glasses between dinner (where I made some real good, real low cal eggplant parm.) and reading time.

Hey, those left-over boxes of  wedding
wine aren't going to drink themselves...

Out of curiosity, I had to see what the deal was with these Flint-style vegan Coney Dogs at the new "Vegan Soul Hut" place.  Interestingly enough that venture has merged with a regular barbecue and full on meat place, and they seem to get along fine.  Tried two of the regular ones, and one of the vegan ones.  Honestly, with whatever they're putting in the sauce and how spicy it is, I couldn't tell much of a difference.

Flint-style Coneys x 3

I barely ate anything Wednesday, and then ran on top of it.  When I finally got home "dinner" was just some cornbread (the good way with the creamed corn and all) and coffee spiked with some irish cream.

I was doing just fine until Jessi showed up with her father and they wanted me to go to
We got our usual green pepper/red onion deep dish.
Swerved all over "Wing Street" too

Also had my first Steel Reserve 211 in 10+ years.  I haven't had one since I was a broke college kid and they had them for 87¢ out-the-door.  Some things should remain in the past.

Left-over pizza, more wine, more nog.

Bonus F
Fozzie Bear
I'm excited about the Muppet Movie coming out next week.  I'm happy that they continue to thrive today, in an environment where decent entertainment is hard to come by.  The best thing is, they can be around forever.  Puppets don't have to ever age or die.  The Muppets can be around as long as we love them.  Who wants to see an old Fozzie Bear still trying to make it as a comedian or even as a successful one that loses his edge and does horrible movies for years on end (e.g. Eddie Murphy or Adam Sandler)?  Nobody wants to see Fozzie mature or get old.  It would be sad watching him all old and wobbly in his Wakka Wakka Walker.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Streak Over

No long run this weekend.  Running mileage increase streak over.  I either got some bad jalapeno poppers or a 24 hour stomach flu.  Not sure which, but not taking chances and threw the rest of the poppers away.  Recovering today.  This sucks.  I'll spare the gory details.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fatbrent's Fantastic Food F***-Up Fridays - Part Deux

Everybody loves a sequel.  Ok...let's go..

Saturday and Sunday were really good.  Part of that was just having a big run on Saturday and not having a family get-together for food on Sunday.  That's always going to help.


Bill Knapp's Cake.  Yes it still exists, even if the restaurant doesn't


Blame the deep fryer

Stupid Halloween Left-overs still


I'm thinkin' Arby's too much


Casa de Alicia (dramatization...but it did look that good). 
Killer hot sauce.  Between them and the Thai place by work
I am going to burn a hole in my stomach.


Yes, Arby's got me again today.  No, I'm not proud, but I did go and get my free Michigan State basketball magnet schedule from them, which was the main objective anyway.  No more Arby's next week, I swear.

Anyway, that's it for me.  Have a good weekend.  The wife and I will be heading to Smurf Village  and I'll maybe try to catch some of my Spartans playing North Carolina on the aircraft carrier at one of the bars in enemy territory before we go see "Revenge of the Electric Car" with Mike and Annie.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nerdsicle: Coming Winter 2011

Wow, the wind was really killer yesterday.  Leaves were getting blown at us so hard, I thought they may actually do a little damage.
What is this, the Wood Man stage in Mega Man 2?
A big shout out to all the men celebrating "Movember," especially Jonas Hiller (even though he plays for a fake hockey team), who has put photos of his entire team with mustaches on his goalie mask.

I, myself, am not allowed to participate.  I used up my mustache exemption this year hoping I could shoot the Tigers into the World Series sporting the Magnum.  I was not successful.
Where's my Ferrari and TC with the Chopper?
It's getting dark way too early.  So, for any of you that were worried about me running in the dark and traffic (especially light cycles) not seeing me, fret no more.  I've got this covered.
Yes, this is a glow-in-the-dark TRON shirt.  Jealous?
I challenge anyone to out nerd me on the road from now on.  I mean, I've already got a Blackest Night Flash Blue Lantern shirt, a Run Fatboy Run shirt, and a Homestar Runner shirt, and that's just the loosely running related ones.  Now, for night runs, I will be a glowing geek beacon. 

Speaking of, I've been coming home with a slim brown magazine bag every Wednesday for a while.  I tried to hide it at home, but eventually the question came up, quite a while ago now, why I was coming in with a bag and running upstairs.  She probably wondered if I was hiding a porn addiction, but it is much much worse than that...
It's comics...
First it was just "The Guild" comic series (supplementing Felicia Day's incredibly funny webisodes of the same name).  Then it was that and the Infestation series where the zombies were taking over Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Transformers, and GI Joe.  Then I started catching up on Green Lantern and a few others I used to like years back before I sold all my books (and, fortuitously, before the market bottomed out).  Now, with DC rebooting their entire product line with the "New 52," I've pretty much been fully sucked in.  I'm even reading Aquaman, and liking it.
Damn you Geoff Johns and your superb writing!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

...And...I'm feeling like I might be back

Minus having to give the deep fryer a whirl and make us some waffle fries, I haven't eaten bad this weekend.
The New Enemy in the Making
Yesterday, I went off on a 14+ mile run to make this week #5 that I've increased mileage.  I really only needed 8 to keep the streak, but I had to see if I could push out something killer this weekend.  I didn't even want to go out at all yesterday.  I kept telling myself, "Mow the lawn, or do some work around the can run tomorrow."  For the first 5 miles, I still felt that way.  It was a rough go early, and I'm pretty sure I could have walked as fast as I was running, but I was already out there, and cutting it off would have been a major failure.  So I'm still keeping the dream of the double-Crim alive this year.  We'll see what happens.  If I manage that I'll be scrambling to find that out-of-state make-up race.  Any suggestions within close range of Michigan (OH, IL, IN, etc) but not in Michigan would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also starting to plan out the races for next year.  It really saddened me to find out there would be no Witchy Wolf this year (at least not the 15 miler).  I really was excited for that one, knowing I could handle the mileage.  Same damn thing happened to me last year for the Frozen Blueberry, but that's apparently back this year.  One thing my friend and I have been discussing is running the Bigfoot Race.  I've already looked pretty extensively into buying some snowshoes for it.  I will probably pick them up this weekend, even if we don't do the snowshoe race.  I will probably need them for our trail running this winter.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fatbrent's Fantastic Food F***-up Fridays (In Photos)


No horrible eating to report




Thursday & Friday
Very sad that Witherbee's is closing so I had their best sandwich two days in a row.

It's been a bad week...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Return to Power (badly fueled power, but power nonetheless)

I'm actually getting back into my groove here.  My mileage has been on a steady up the last 4 weeks.  My speeds completely suck, but I've only just started to push a little again.  I haven't really had the mental desire to go fast lately.  I'm in winter mode, and as long as I get back close to even with summer me, I'm good with that.  Plenty of time for next year's ramp up.

Speaking of winter mode, I had my first run with a stocking cap Sunday, running the Crim route.  There was a lot of traffic out, and they stalled me at nearly every cross street.  I also lost my focus when I realized, going by Atwood, that I missed yet another UM-Flint Kodiaks football game and it was the last one of the year.  I really meant to get out to one of those (dammit!).

Winter mode also forced us to finally actually turn the furnace on finally.  The only problem was, it didn't come on.  That added a little drama to our Saturday, as my wife and I were both in a good mental state about getting rid of her car and getting her a new(ish) one.  She needed it and did a lot of research and found a great deal on a very low mileage used Vibe.  I have a little car envy, but my old car is still perfect, and I'm good with it until it starts to bite me in the back pocket.  Going to do that also kept me from seeing that horrible MSU/Nebraska debacle, so thank goodness for that.
Hello New Friend
The rest of the weekend was book-ended by a trip to Detroit to see Evil Dead: The Musical (Friday) and a trip to my mother-in-laws for dinner (Sunday).  Evil Dead was wonderful, and if you missed it, sorry, but it's probably too late for you now (this year).  When you walked in you were told "If you sit where there is a plastic cover over the seat you may or not be drenched in fake blood, which may or may not come out of your clothes."  Exact warning word-for-word...and those people up there were very liberally hosed down at times.  Too bad only 1 of the 3 of us that went knew that this wasn't a "dressy bessy" theatre gig and wore his jeans and t-shirt instead of nice clothes.  
At least they didn't start freaking out and shaking their head and burying their head in their lap and other entertaining reactions involved weirdly staggered breathing like the girl in the row in front of us.  When they were approached by security, they told a little fib about her drinking too much, and they got her out of there.  I called B.S. and had to explain to an older lady, that somehow was completely buffered from the 60s and 70s, why the alcohol claim was ridiculous ("drunk my a**...ha ha").  Can you guess what I said it was?

Anyhow I'm back on the good running habit train.  The eating train is still derailed, but I'm thinking of adding a nice weekly segment to call myself out on here with that.  I'm going to do a mini one here just by showing you the floor of my passenger seat from today.  No it's not all FROM today, but it's there today.  Stupid coupons and Halloween candy forming a coalition of the filling...every day this week has been bad.  
Still though, hard to call yourself out and say you're going to do better while watching Colbert and eating his Ben and Jerry's brand ice I won't bother.
Don't Judge Me

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