Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Power of Egg Salad

  1. Boil eggs
  2. Peel eggs
  3. Place eggs in vessel 
  4. Add mayo and Dijon mustard until right
  5. Salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste
  6. Paprika on top for color
This simple recipe dominated our pre-Yom Kippur preparation for years.  More or less since I left the URJ to move into the private sector, Abby and I have hosted the break-the-fast for our Jewish friend who were stuck far away from family on the holiday. It started small, with about 10 people (a dozen eggs) we collected at services who had no where to go and ballooned to about 35 people (four and half dozen eggs) in our 550 square foot apartment in New York, with the smoked fish sponsored by the CC parental units.  

It was a big deal. We had kuggel and bagels.  We had fish for about 300 people and fruit and cookies and challah, juice, coffee, soda, and every once in a while a few shots of booze.  But for our friend Anna, the egg salad was reason enough to move heaven and earth.  Her break-the-fast was not complete without the consumption of copious amounts of the above listed egg salad. 

This year, we did not make it nor did Anna eat it. And that was strange.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Report: Eat & Run

While I read this in about two days (during the week and having work to do too), this book was not that good.  I suppose reading one of the best memoirs ever written according to some list I read somewhere and then reading this semi-self-help running book didn't set it up for what it could be...but overall I didn't love it.

Scott Jurek's story is an interesting one and one I trust others could learn something from.  However, as he notes, it isn't that special.  He was a kid who had it tough but not that hard (it might have been worse but the book doesn't dive that deep into it) and he had trouble with his marriage that doesn't seem that extraordinary (or it might have been but the book doesn't dive that deep into it) and he worked really hard at becoming the greatest ultra runner of all time but not harder than I think you would have to in order to run more than 100 miles in a day (or he did but the book doesn't dive that deep into it).

I will say that I very much enjoyed the stories of the races and wish he went into more detail (see above) about what he had to do and what made him run like this.  I run marathons and I have to change parts of my life to get by...I believe it would have made the book better to know more about his non-running struggles.

This was also my first "with" book.  I believe after flying through this light read that I could tell when Steve Friedman's hand was heavier than Scott Jurek's dictation.  It wasn't always extremely apparent but it was clear after a while.

A couple of words about vegans.  There is no such thing as a non-militant vegan.  I believe Jurek might come close, but not really.  A vast majority of the recipes in this book seem good, but would be improved with butter.  I will however, try to recover with less animal product in some ways Jurek wins.  In others I had a burger last night and it was good.

Three and half out of five stars.

Friday, September 21, 2012

An Anti-Government Rant

Over the course of my running I have lost a good deal of poundage.  I was pushing American unhealthy when I started running. Now I am in better shape...I even have one of those before and after shots. 

Pre and Post Running
I am in even better shape now than I was in this picture which was taken during the IU Mini Marathon in 2011.  But according to the USDA I am border line obese with an estimated Body Mass Index (BMI) of 29.  Now I don't feel like I am on the edge of death by heart disease or walking up stars and having the house lit on fire

Not in the humble brag way, but I have run 974 miles this year and will complete two marathons within a month and I love it. I eat at least 1/3 of a plate of greens with every meal and I don't have red meat more than a few times a month. We have cut most of the "bad" foods out of our at home diet and have low-fat high-protein breakfasts 6 days-a-week.  I can't tell you the last time I had McDonald's and I have  completely ended my Diet Coke addiction.  All of this and the Government says I am border line obese -- which sucks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Report: Homage to Catalonia

George Orwell is a bad ass.

That could very much end this report but I cannot leave it there.  I choose to read this book because it was listed on a list of the best memoirs ever written by some person who read a lot of memoirs.  While I am no expert in such things, or any things really, I happen to agree.

The narrative chapters about Orwell's time at the front and his posts during the May fighting in Barcelona were raw and beautiful at the same time.  He pulled no punches and provided an honest view of something I never want to know.

While written in the 1930s, there are a number of parallels to today's economic situation in Europe generally and Spain specifically.

I will say that the chapters about the internal anti-Facist political struggles behind the front were extremely complicated and hard to follow.  I understand that, at the time, they were used to set the record straight (or as straight as they could be set) but they were tough to follow today.

War sucks and this book does nothing to convince you otherwise.  However, it does provide insight into the mind of someone willing to die in the muck to fight against what should not be.  It was clear that Orwell in someways enjoyed the fight and what he was doing, but he didn't pretend that it was something beautiful.  His heroism was beautiful, as was his desire to leave the country.  His dedication to democracy and workers' rights was as inspirational as was his dash to get out of Spain before he was killed or arrested.

4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eating the humble pie

NYRR caved listened.  There will be a baggage check for the NYC Marathon.

And the peasants rejoice while I am must eat my humble pie.

Nice work NYRR.
However, you have to think that this was an option from the very beginning.  NYRR did some really serious damage to its reputation.  As a friend said to me earlier today, you can't unring a bell.

But this is still the right move and will help with the finish.

Well done.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the Democratic Party

Save a Puppy.

So, that happened. 

AP is now reporting that President Obama intervened personally to change the recently adopted platform, which was pro-Israel by any account, to include more specific language about God and Jerusalem.  This was met with opposition by many of the party members and CSPAN zooming in on the only Arab it could find in the crowd.  The vote was close and most likely did not reach a two thirds voice approval. But that doesn't matter, it passed.

He is saying "No."

Now, I am a Democrat and a Jew.  I believe that Israel has a right to exist in peace and security; and I think the US should support Israel.  I know that Israel believes that Jerusalem is its capital. The United States has never recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital but still is its only staunch ally in the world.  Republicans and Democrats alike have not recognized Jerusalem and both have been supporters of the Jewish state. 

The fact that the Parties must include Jerusalem, even if neither has ever had a president that recognized the city as Israel's capital, as a plank in their platform doesn't make any sense. Supporting the country is clearly more important than this stupid semantic argument but hey, substance has no place in convention season.

This is a failure of democracy and transition.  This change and then regression, via presidential intervention, is a power play of small minded special interest politics. Good job AIPAC, you still have your chops.

Not only was this a back-track, flip-flop, or whatever else you want to call it, it was done shamefully. The Party builds the platform and nominates its leader...not the other way around.

So, no matter how you feel about the Jerusalem issue, this was just as bad, if not worse, than the rules changes forced upon the GOP by the Party Leaders that the wack-a-do Ron Paul delegates were so pissed about.

If you wonder why young people aren't interested, his presidential intervention a perfect example of why.  Party leaders say something and then it is done.  No voice for those not in the back room.  No voice for those without the ear of the special interests. No power for those who are told they are being empowered.

Monday, September 3, 2012

And now the Democrats look like fools

Puppy Link.

Last week we got to see the wonders of the GOP convention and its non-fact based presentation.  Now we get the Democrats.

To kick off the week the California Democratic chair, John Burton, compared Paul Ryan to Joseph Goebbles.


“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie… Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it,” Burton said Monday before the Blake Hotel breakfast. He said Ryan told “a bold-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.” (Source:
New rule that shouldn't have to be said: NO NAZI REFERENCES. That goes for both sides. And this quote wasn't even that good! If you are going to have the gal to call someone a Nazi at least put a sentence together, you illiterate ass-hat.

This bodes well for the next few days.  Perhaps the DNC and the California Dems might think about giving this guy the boot for being an idiot.  Doubtful but it would be nice.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Just a thought

Puppy Link.

It would appear that my posts about Paul Ryan and FOX News and Paul Ryan and his marathon times garnered a lot of views on this little, meaningless blog. So after making a big deal about Paul Ryan being a lying sack of shit, I want to talk about how the media has jumped on an unimportant issue --his marathon times-- as harbinger of something more meaningful.
  • FACT: Paul Ryan said he ran a "two hour fifty-something" marathon.
  • FACT: Paul Ryan ran a 4:01:25 marathon in 1990. 
  • FACT: Paul Ryan finished a marathon and that is nothing to scoff at. 
  • FACT: His "slip-up" should upset runners but not the general public. 
  • FACT: The general public should be upset with Ryan about his lies about everything else.
However, the NPR, the New York Times, The New Yorker and a few others have made a big deal about his marathon lie.

Besides the fact that many people in high stress gigs, like political reporting, tend to run and also hate when people lie about their PRs, this seems like a pile on. These publications have discussed short parts of the nearly 99% untrue speech delieved by Ryan, but they have given significant digital column inches to his "mistake" regarding his marathon time. Not to go all liberal-media-conspiracy here, but come on folks.

Do not take this for me for forgiving this lying sack of shit for lying about his PR. But I am a runner who will never BQ nor ever coming close to a "two hour and fifty-something" marathon.  So after the untruths perpetrated during his speech in Tampa, this just got my goat.

As a runner I feel like I am in the right bitching about Ryan's slip-up, however the Times, NPR and The New Yorker should focus on fettering out the real, important bullshit that Ryan and Romney are spewing to lead our country back to the 1700s and not about the running thing.

 Just a thought.