Monday, April 30, 2012

Sometimes the weekend lives up the hype

Over the past four months I have either traveled or recovered from traveling on my weekends here in San Francisco.

This past weekend did not follow that trend.

Needless to say, people like me don't often have weekends like the one I will recount in all its glory for your reading pleasure. It was rare for me to have such a weekend even in the best city in the world.  So I can now say, without any doubt, that after a weekend of epic proportions, San Francisco has a lot to do. Perhaps, it has more to do than New York. Or at least it is easier to do it here.

But now, for my epic weekend of epic-ness. It all started as the sun was breaking the horizon and other overly-dramatic descriptions of Saturday morning.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

People are still idiots

Remember that time last week when we used social media for good?

I do.  It gave me hope in humanity.

This use of social media does not do that.  In fact it diminishes my hope for humanity.

Cynthia Boris of Marketing Pilgrim, explained that the SoCal centric media obsession with car chases has taken a turn to the social:
"Yesterday, the phenomena took on an even stranger turn when a man in a tow truck led police on a two hour “low speed” pursuit through the streets of Los Angeles. It was rush hour, so he hardly ever moved more than a few miles per hour and like a good driver, he stopped for red lights. He also stopped to chat with fans."
Read her post for the rest, but come on guys! This is just sad. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sports can be great

I love this ad.

As the kid who stood on the sideline more often than I started and a fan of the team that always finds a way to loose, this ad speaks to me.  I love the story behind the game.  Those ESPN specials about the star getting there early to help the new guy are better than any Top 10 play list. The love of the game but the respect of the process...I love it.

This winter and spring have provided the opportunity to watch many more sporting events than I have watched in the recent past.  Why, I don't know but for some reason there are no complaints if I watch an hour of Greco Roman Olympic Trials or some other craziness of a Sunday I may have yesterday.

Sports have a funny way of bringing out the best and worst in people.  But when done correctly, even the worst of people seems to be fun in context.  I heard third-person tales of a producer on Moneyball bringing dirt from the new (and fake) Yankee Stadium into Fenway during the shooting of the film so to continue the Curse of the Bambino. (If you have to learn about this via Wikipedia, we aren't friends anymore).  Then there was that guy that buried an Ortiz jersey in the new (and fake) Yankee Stadium to curse the Yankees

Needless to say, I think the dirt guy won.

But sports and being a fan, if done well, can be cause for standing up and being really excited. We could win or we could also lose; but there is always next year.  The start of the race is unbelievable and the finish line is always the best thing you have ever seen. Two down, full count, and bottom of the 9th are three of the best and most nerve-wracking descriptions that have found their way into sentences from Fenway to Bush Stadium to Chavez Ravine, and to just down the street. There is always a Cinderella and you know you want it to beat Kentucky.

Nothing deep and powerful to say...just that this ad is great and it reminds me of the greatness of sports.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Course Records and Social Media

Yesterday was pretty interesting.  As you know, I wrote a short blog post about Jon Gugala's sexist and disrespectful engagement with fellow journalists and members of the running community online.  This post garnered a lot of attention, not only from my friends and family who normally read this blog but from about one thousand other people as well.

Without any doubt, I did not expect that kind of reaction.  Over the course of my personal blog's lifetime, it averaged between zero and 60 hits per day.  Yesterday, after some proactive social media promotion, which I do with most of my posts, the blog saw over 900 visitors. By this morning the post had over 1,040 hits and eight comment (including two about a typo that I didn't remove after fixing the mistake). OK, enough with the self-congratulations.

After posting and pushing my post out to my small Twitter and Facebook community, the re-Tweets started coming in with small edits about how this is unacceptable.  It would appear that the call to email the editorial and publishing executives at his major outlets also was successful, in that by yesterday evening Runner's World's official Twitter feed published two Tweets distanced itself from Jon (H/T Charles Mandel).

Now, Jon is entitled to his view and should be free to express said views, however, he can't expect others not to react.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sexism is ok when funny, right Jon?

My running chum Tracy wrote about Jon Gugala's sexist remarks in his Twitter Feed from yesterday's Boston Marathon.  But the strange thing was that when he was called on it by a fellow journalist and my other running chum Sara, he replied with an ill fated attempt at humor and more sexist commentary.

Here are some choice tid bits:

Today Jon Gugala, who is a freelancer for "Runner's World, Running Times, Competitor, RunBlogRun, and more," [sic] according to his Twitter bio, said that Tracy, as an amateur blogger, should stay in the shallow end. The shocking assumption he makes is that he is a professional blogger, considering his extremely impressive social media presences puts his Klout score at 12 out of 100 and he has a breathtaking 218 followers on Twitter and 60 likes on Facebook (as of the writing of this post). It is even more shocking because this professional blogger had the time to engaged me in a back-and-forth on Twitter for hours about his "perceived" sexism. 

Granted I am not trying to measure up to this professional writer with my admittedly amateur blog post or more highly ranked Twitter feed.  What I want talk about is the acceptability of his sexism within sports reporting.

Some facts for Jon and others: Women make up more than 50% of the US population and have been the fastest growing segment of the running community over the past several years, according to Running USA.  My current PR will not qualify me for the Boston Marathon and I am OK with that.  I hope one day to come close but I don't see it happening. However, I do not believe my current pace per mile has anything to do with my ability to identify sexism. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

An Open Letter to Trader Joe's

Dear Trader Joe's,

Thank you for making it impossible to control myself. I have known for years that I was not really allowed to buy your Chocolate Raspberry Sticks; they have long been on the "DO NOT BUY OR YOU WILL BE SORRY" list .  But living alone means that you have no one to blame but yourself when you, say, sit down and eat an entire bag of Gummy Tummies Penguins. 



So TJ, while I love your store and your affordable organic goods, stop it with the really good snacks that make it impossible to stop eating.  I have a crazy "tummy" ache due to the seven servings of these impossibly tasty fruity bites.

No more Gummy Tummies for me TJ and I am sorry that it most likely will hit your bottom line.

Thanks again,

The dcc

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ann Romney's Experience is the Question

Stay at home parents -- moms or dads -- do work. It isn't easy raising children. I know, I was a child and a pain in the ass.  There is no doubt in my mind that those who stay at home contribute to the family and provide real economic benefit to the household.

Now, parents who work full time also raise children. They also do laundry, make dinner or leave early to see kids at said dinner, help with homework, and even sometimes have to deal with the negative consequences of having kids due to pesky social norms.  These parents contribute to the household with both income and to those other areas where stay at home parents provide their primary contributions.

All of this being said, Hilary Rosen's resume building statement on CNN yesterday was 100% true and has nothing to do with Ann Romney being a stay at home mom.

The Romney family is rich. Like really rich.  They have people to clean their many homes and cook meals for them. I am sure that there were many times that Ann or Mitt or one of their five boys cooked or cleaned but I would imagine that it wasn't often and it was for recreation rather than out of necessity. As my mother (a working one, for the record) said, "Ann Romney has no more idea what it is like to be a working woman than George H.W. Bush knew about the price of milk in the grocery store."

But that isn't even the whole point.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Racing Again

This coming weekend I will race again.

I have not run a 10K race in a long time and I am both excited and a bit worried. My last race at this distance was on a fantastic day for running and I was in great shape. But now I feel like a slob and am way behind in my goal distance for the year. Not to mention my hamstring doesn't seem to like the idea of running up hills all the time.

Current 10K PR = 48:21 (7:40 pace) 

I am nearly certain I can't keep that up for the 6.3 miles. I will try but I don't see it happening. The real bummer in that personal failing is that if I can't keep that pace for a 10K there is no way I will PR next month at the Brooklyn Half. (I need an 8:00 pace for 13.1 miles.)

So yeah, this is a downer post but I am hoping it will help me get back to running more as I have semi-publicly announced that I want to get this goal.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Book Report: City of Dragons

As any of you who read this rarely updated blog know, I moved to San Francisco.

So after reading two books, one based mostly in New York and the other located in the mind of a crazy person during my quest to read 10 books this year, I went to my local independent book store (duh, it is San Francisco) to pick up a novel based in this fine city by the bay.

Now I suppose I should have known -- the author spells her name with an "i" at the end of her name to make an "e" sound.

Needless to say, City of Dragons was not my favorite. In fact I would go so far to call it bad; about three fifths of the book were just alright, one fifth kept me reading due to wanting to know what would happen in this trite excuse of a murder mystery, and the final fifth was painfully overwritten, completely unnecessary, quasi-poetry based prose, that did nothing to further the story and minimally informed the character development.

If you do choose to read this please know you are getting into a somewhat predictable yet completely unfeasible story based on the era in which it is set. The late 1930s and 1940s were not a time of race interaction, feminist empowerment, or any of the other societal commentaries attempted in this book.

One thing I will give the story was that I knew where things were taking place as I read the story. And that is fun.

So, yeah. Don't read this one. But I will say, if Volume 2 of the Miranda Corbie Mystery series was sitting on my book stand and I wasn't reading anything else, I would give Kelli Stanley about 50 pages to get my attention.

1 out of 5 stars