Monday, December 31, 2012

Some Running and a Snowpocalypse

So lets get things started, been a while. Been doing that running thing. Up to about 10 miles on Sunday. That's pretty much to my place of employment and back. Seems so much shorter in my car going 70 (give or take 10 mph). I have been regularly getting 5-8 miles otherwise. Sometimes early in the morning, sometimes later in the evening, occasionally on a treadmill. Early in the morning is tough, usually have more layers and less energy, and dear god, it is like 6 AM. I used to still be drinking at that time, man I am old. I actually prefer the early evening time run. The right after work time frame works best. Because, really, dodging traffic adds a degree of difficulty, and, probably pisses a lot of drivers off after a long day of work. Objective achieved. And as I have noted before, right now it is pitch black out by like noon, so night running is harrowing journey that can be bragged about after completion. Kinda like shopping at Wal Mart at 2 AM, or eating 2 AM taco bell. The most most mundane of these is of course the treadmill at the gym. Now, some people just bash and hate the treadmill or dreadmill for those with a penchant for clever spelling puns. Me on the other hand, I don't hate it, I think it provides a few great opportunities.

First of all, it's configurable, until I can turn my neighborhood into my own personal minecraft space, I am at the whim of the majestic Kansas mountains and valleys, and by that I mean, flat as a pancake. Also, I am no master of pace, so while I may try to keep up a consistent pace, I slow, I quicken, I slack, I effort, I, well, run. A treadmill I can do all sorts of fantastic things like go up, and go down as well as go faster and slower. MAGIC! And unlike street running, there are some pretty stiff consequences for not keeping up with the treadmill, see right.

Another beauty to treadmill running, no weather. I mean, unless your gym/room turns into rain forest levels of heat and humidity when the sweat starts dripping. When you live in the great state of Kansas, weather more resembles a person with Tourettes than some semblance of temperature and precipitation patterns. Pretty sure in no other place in the world can I be sweltering in the ice storm. Not entirely sure how that works meteorologically speaking, but it happens, I swear. Then we get  what we lovingly call blizzicanes, that is if your definition of love is pants-filling pandemonium. Pretty sure, this was what happened last week.  

So generally we as Kansans are used to this kind of weather, we hit the liquor stores appropriately, get our heavy blankets out, order pizzas as emergency meals, and forge through. This one, on the other hand, seemed to catch us by surprise. In all fairness, last winter we had had no winter, skipped it and went straight into 'Dear God its a hurricane out' spring mode. So I guess we forgot our snow manners. Well. After some panic stricken moments, we clawed out and drove like a-holes again, no worries. That's fine when you are in a vehicle with it's seat belts and doors and metal. Running in the white aftermath, on the other hand, is like ice skating on the freeway, which is also a minefield, and tanks. No, I don't know what tanks have to do with anything, but, I felt this link needed to be shared. Anyways, back to ice follies. So off I go, running through wintry awesomeness. Now, as my blog states, I am a Sasquatch fresh out the woods. I am not, however, a yeti. My snow prowess is less than optimal. Instead of a graceful gazelle darting up and down the streets, I was more of a lumbering oaf trying to keep his balance on a sheet of ice. Which, thankfully, I did. After 11 miles, I crawled back up my stairs, victorious. Well, victorious until the blood feud with the kids bicycle Christmas present...but that is another story for another post. Until then. Stay hairy.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Such Sorrow

I will dispense with the normal wacky shenanigans as now is not the time. I, like most people, spent yesterday on the verge of tears at the news out of Newtown, Connecticut. 28 people dead, 20 kids, all under the age of 10. It's heartbreaking, it's tragic, there really aren't adjectives that accurately describe it. It's hits home that much harder having 2 very young kids of my own. 2 kids that will be in school in the coming years. I get worried when they crawl into the other room and I cannot see them, I could not fathom the terror that must have beset the parents involved in this. Not knowing if your child was ok, or alive, that just ate me up yesterday.

I think that we have become desensitized to mass shootings like this for the most part, sadly enough. When adults shoot adults, its sad, when peers shoot peers at work or college it is tragic. But when an adult shooting young children, it's unspeakable, it's unconscionable, it's...a true societal disaster. After trying to absorb all of this, I tried, like so many, to wonder why. I tried to step and make some sense of all this, and then I got angry, very angry. My anger was sparked by Tom's facebook post about not trying to scoop this guys name. An incredibly valid point that is always brought forth when things like this happen. However, like every other time, the news outlets have a race to "scoop" this kind of bullshit information. That is where my anger started. And the more I looked at what they were doing, the more I became enraged. Young children with mics being thrown at them, pictures being taken of them with the horror of what just happened still imprinted on their faces. It's despicable. If that was my child I would be hauled off to jail for punching out a reporter trying to make my child recount something so terrible. So haunting that they probably cannot and will not be able to fully comprehend for many years.

For the record, I am not against news outlets getting information. I think the country and world needs to know what is going on. But it is never just information. It doesn't stop there. It is outlets trying to out do the other. They reported the wrong person did it, wrong weapons, people who died that didn't, so many other things just to be the first. It's appalling. It shows an immense lack of respect for the situation. Maybe it's a society issue as well, maybe we shouldn't be so immersed in every aspect of these stories. Maybe instead of an overabundance of instant news, we need to see it and spend a bit more time reflecting upon it. I know I hugged my kids extra tight when I picked them up. Held them just a bit longer before bed time. Seems like that is a better reaction then salivating over another detail from CNN or NBCNews or whatever news group.

I will spare everyone a debate of guns here. Hopefully it plays itself out in the near future. I guess I just wanted to bleed off some emotional stress here, as if I wasn't already mired in a flood of it with the divorce, and missing the kids anyways and everything else going on. Suffice it to say, it weighed heavily on me. As it really should have. I hope that in this holiday season people take a few extra moments to think what's important. Like this...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Well, I'm still a Noob

So, despite growing belief to the contrary, I am still a noob. On Friday I decided I was going to put in one hell of a run. I blew out of work, got dressed, and got out the door. It was a gorgeous night for early December in Kansas. Down the road, up the road, over the Buick sized cracks in the sidewalk. Before I knew it I had gone an hour and 16 minutes and almost 9.5 miles. Records for me, suffice it to say I was feeling pretty good about myself. Much like this picture, only, it was dark, there are no mountains in Kansas, I was too tired to raise my arms, and I was fairly certain some sort of ninja mercenary outfit was chasing me (not really but I thought the picture was hilarious and needed to be shared).

I know what you are thinking, that doesn't sound very noobish at all, what the hell? Well, let me explain. I had been invited to run with the Sunflower Striders on Sunday. This was to be my first time running with a group. I was excited for the opportunity, but also both intimidated and nervous. So I get out there and meet the group, very nice people if not a bit to a lot older than I am. I find my man and he gives me some intros and a brief overview of what is going on. "We are going on an easy run today" he says. "Just a little 6 mile morning roll. By the way, what kind of pace do you run at?" He asked me as everyone was getting all stretched out and warmed up. "Well" I replied, "I try and stay under 8 minutes per mile". "Great! You will do just fine, we should be going about 8:15 per mile".

Whaaaaaaaaaaaa?!?!?! That's easy? Well, in the words of the old knight dude in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, "He chose, poorly". Yes, good knight, yes I did. I was stil a little worn out from Friday and Saturday, but I did manage to keep up. They drug me all over west Topeka. I was huffing and puffing and these guys were just breezing along. I am speaking in one word sentences and sweating like I was a snowman melting, these guys, still, running like they were just walking to the coffee pot after waking up. I am both impressed and hurting from my above rocky-esque display of pride in my abilities. Humbled, some would say. So eventually we cruise around and end back where we started, all the while talking about running marathons, and running marathons faster, and runnign speed intervals in the 15 degree mornings. Yes, these guys are good. In the end, it was a good experience, I need something to make me work a little harder and go a little further. They will probably give me some good tips that a noob such as myself wouldn't have known otherwise. So, that's good right?

So there were non-running activities this weekend as well. Old friends made their way back to Allen Fieldhouse. Colorado, and ex KU player now coach Tad Boyle came out to Lawrence, and there was much handshaking and sweet words about missing each other's company. Things were just swell until about, oh, 5 seconds after tip off. Things escalated quickly, and I am pretty sure Travis Releford killed somebody with a trident (See evidence: Exhibit A). May want to lay low for a while Mr. Releford. It was good to see a good ol fashioned Big 12 style throttling of our old friends, please come back anytime. Also, Saturday was an Alonso poor man cooking extravaganza. First it was spaghetti with some Mrs. Renfro's Ghost Pepper Salsa mixed in for some flavor, delicious. But that wasn't it, oh no, that evening it was Chili with, yes, that's right, lots of Mrs. Renfro's Ghost Pepper Salsa mixed in. Thank's for the jar mom, you chose, wisely.

So I was going to put in some hilarious Halo hijinx here (alliteration, my 5th grade english teacher would be so proud), but I think we have decided to do a running commentary of a Halo session instead. Mostly because by this point you have left to look at cute kitties doing murderously cute things, or maybe murderous kitties doing cutely murderous things, I don't know. So stay tuned, cause it will involve me dying a lot, and Tom yelling things that are only mildly comprehensible, and a tank.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Its Safe for Work Time!

In a Safe for Work post you will get a bunch of stuff without all the tits and ass that your boss hates you looking at without him so much.  Linkage to follow.

Hyperbole and a Half

Robert Brockway - Cracked

Michael Swaim - Cracked

Time Wasting Awesomeness

Fail Compilation Page

Beer Pong Trick Shots Compilation

Hopefully that will help you keep your hands off your junk at work, internets.


Tom Haslett

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jesus Christ in Sneakers
Quick entry here. 
I have always been amazed by what people can do in athletics.  I think that's why I started playing.  I have seen many great players do tons of awesome things.  But I am not sure I have ever seen anyone do anything like LeBron.  Transcendent is the only way to describe him.  Anything that tall (6'9") or that big (270lbs) should not be able to move like that.  3 steps from 26 ft to Dunk on your face awesomeness.   That's not bad defense either.  There is just no way to recover.  Tyson Chandler, one of the best in the NBA at stopping that very play, knows at the top of the key its over. 
Move bitch, get out the way.
Glad I get to see him play.

Tom Haslett

Marshmallow Mateys!!! And something something running

Like an asparagus and liver dinner followed by an amazing ice cream cake dessert, lets get the bad stuff out of the way first and plow straight for the awesomeness. Needed a good run yesterday after the myriad of suck hit me like this. So, after having to do some work follow up when I got home, I took off. I altered my route to throw some new challenges in (Translation: huge hill and dark). What I did not account for the utterly glorious smell of the new pizza place, La Roccas and then Boss Hawgs a little further down the road. Of course, then I had to contend with the repugnant smell of our stagnant creek running through my route. Suffice it to say, I ran a little faster by that one.

Another fine attribute of this run is the lack of light. Nighttime running is really just the same as daytime running, only infinitely more exhilarating  terrifying. Anyone who lives in Topeka knows that our sidewalks and streets are about as smooth as Edward James Olmos' face. Basically, this means I am doing almost 8 miles of "please don't trip in front of hundreds of cars, or take a branch to the face".  I know, it's my own fault, but seeing as how it gets dark at like noon right now, it's my only option. Another glorious piece of last night's run was the insanely creepy 6 ft Santa standing in the window of some house. People want to be festive and that is OK, but really, do we need Santa Krueger staring all the passer byes down? And I am not talking about a festive, jolly, plastic Santa either, it was a old school, eyes glaring out of the closet, don't go in the basement alone, true piece of American holiday horror.  So again, I ran faster to save my soul. Thankfully, I made it home in one piece and without taking a sidewalk to the face. I know what you are saying right now, Edward, please stop looking creepily at me, so, let's move on.
I promised a fantastic bloggy dessert, so lets get to it. Marshmallow Mateys. For those of you who don't know, you need to find your nearest wal-mart, go to it, push the fat lady in 9 sizes too small leopard print spandex out of the way, and get you a bag. Get it home, open it, and bask in the best cereal purchase you have made to date.

First of all, this is just a knock off of Lucky Charms. They consist of puffs, some sort of hard pressed colored sugar thing that they call a marshmallow, and that's it. Nothing complicated. They come in bags from normal size to something resembling the 60 lb bags of Ol' Roy dog food you might buy for your Great Dane  And if you get anything less than 60 lbs of Mateys then you are probably making the wrong choice. Marshmallow Mateys follows some vaguely nautical theme. Lucky Charms has a Leprechaun chasing lucky items like hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers and blue moons, pots of gold and rainbows, and a red balloon (You are damned right I remember that whole list). Mateys on the the other hand, has a Kangaroo (the most nautical of all pouched mammals) chasing some vaguely sea worthy bits. Let's see, we have anchors for the puffs, pretty obvious. The marshmallows on the other hand looks like my two year old designed things she had seen on one of her cartoons. There is something resembling a sun, a dolphin, a beached whale, a shark attack, and what I believe is a pirate hijacking. But who cares, they are colorful and pure sugar.

But the thing that really makes Mateys stand out isn't its lack of discernible sea-faring representations, oh no, it is it's ratio of puffs to marshmallows. Now all of us that had childhoods, and I am guessing that is most of us, remember that Lucky Charms fatal flaw was having way too many puffs and way too few marshmallows. Mateys on the other hand seem to be in the vicinity of 1:1. Now for those that didn't get 3rd grade math, that's freaking 1 puff to 1 marshmallow. Consider your mind blown. Now, that number is approximate, but yes, when I dunk my Sasquatch paw into the bag, I know I am getting some of the good stuff out of the bag. I dare you to tell me a better cereal experience than that!!!

Now, if you are one of the two people that have made it this far in the blog, you must be a robot, but we appreciate you none the less. I have added a prize for you getting this far and not bleeding from your eyes. On the right hand side of the screen, and probably up a wee bit you will see our Interwebz of the day. We will try to bring you a little bit of awesome every day, hence the o the day title. So come back and check out the things we find awesome/hilarious/disturbing or any mix there of.  And while you are up there sign up for the email notification so you can always read what we are doing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The 2012 KC Chiefs - An Enigma

Those who know me best understand my love (read: IRRATIONAL INFATUATION) with the Kansas City Chiefs.  My first real memory of my team was the kicker who shall not be named missing 3 field goals against the Colts in the playoffs.  That memory pretty much sums up the Chiefs/Tom relationship fully.  The Chiefs are the fairly attractive girl that wants to make out with you but right before the kiss she kicks you in the junk and walks away laughing after stealing your wallet.

You might think this relationship is unhealthy, but you would be wrong  right.  But with all of its drawbacks, there have been some highs.  The 2010 AFC West Championship that we shouldn't have won.  Going to the playoffs year after year in the 90's.  Priest Holmes running behind what is perhaps the most dominant o-line ever assembled.

But lately, oh so many lows.  The Herm years: where 4-12 and 2-14 happened.  Then the Matt Cassel Era:  Where deep down-field throws COULDN'T happen.  The Todd Haley/Homeless Man coaching fiasco.  The ACL Trio (Berry, Charles, Moeaki).  TYLER F*CKING PALKO.

But none of that quite compares to this season.  So much hype going into the season.  Our GM told us that we would be going into the draft without any glaring holes.  We could just pick the best player available throughout the draft.  We were thought to be a surprise team in the AFC and several pundits picked us to win the AFC west.  Matt Cassel was back, and with a new throwing motion.  We replaced our horrible offensive coordinator who once fell asleep in the booth with a legit play caller who made Reggie Bush/Matt Moore look like studs.  The ACL trio was back and healthy, and chomping at the bit.  And the man who nearly saved our season the year before, Romeo Crennel, was here to lead us to that title.  The man who was considered a defensive genius/guru/savant would take care of that side, Daboll would do offense, and we would be winning home games and kissing babies in no time.

The first preseason game seemed to confirm all the hype.  The offense came out, looked unstoppable.  The defense was an immovable force.  14-0 and no one could have ever beat us.  I was so excited about a preseason game that I had goosebumps.  And oh how wrong I was.

Blow outs and Kansas City Chiefs have never been uttered so often in the same sentence.  Unable to acquire a lead through the first 9 games.  Longest such tenure since the 1927 Buffalo Braves?  And that team immediately folded out of pure embarrassment.  Sadly my Chiefs couldn't do the same.  We made the Chargers and Raiders look like world beaters (they of the combined 7-17 record).  We were on pace to set the single season record for turnovers, pt differential, turnover differential, and times I wanted to vomit watching our offense.  Nearly 6 QB changes from suck to unknown suck to suck (again) to (known) suck again.  Our right tackle called out the entire fan base for cheering when Cassel went down and somehow came out looking like an even bigger dbag for defending his QB.  Not 2 weeks later, the other guy gets a concussion.  Maybe block someone instead of bashing the fans that pay money to come see you let our horrible QBs get beat over the head.

And this doesn't even come close to how embarrassing a Romeo press conference can be.  The man used the players thinking about thanksgiving turkey as an excuse for a loss.  He repeatedly said it was the players fault.  He used the word BOOM far to many times in a press conference.  He advised he had to make sure his team avoided a LET DOWN after we narrowly lost to the Broncos.  At home.  By Eight.  We would be playing the Panthers (a horrible but moderately exciting team) the next week and Romeo wanted to make sure we took them seriously.  Our record was 1-10.  You cant take a team with a better record lightly.  Because you suck worse than anyone.  No one has a worse record.  NOT ANY OTHER TEAM.  Everyone looks at us as a win, and the man said we needed to avoid a let down.  Holy shit.

Needless to say, I was embarrassed to be a fan.  I couldn't defend the team, nor the coaches, or the GM.  I could barely defend going to the games.  If it wasn't for a fantastic tailgate every week, I would be home watching whatever else is on on Sundays (something on Lifetime about women being abused by evil terrible men Im sure).  I hated Romeo, I hated our situation, I hated Pioli and I hated that we were finally bad enough to draft a QB #1 overall in the draft and no one could decide how to get Notre Dames starting middle linebacker to play the position.

Suddenly, my perspective changed.  Jovan Belcher took the life of his GF in a dispute over their child.  He shot her nine times and then got in his Bentley and drove to the stadium.  He was seen by security, who called the police.  Scott Pioli also saw him, and had a discussion with him.  Jovan thanked him, and asked him to have Crennel and coach Gibbs down.  When they showed up, he thanked them.  The cops began to arrive on the scene.  Jovan turned around, walked away, and put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.  In a matter of a few hours, he orphaned his daughter, a 3 month old, and changed the lives of 3 men forever who had to witness him falling apart before their very eyes, unable to talk him out of taking his own life.

I, like everyone else, was in shock.  I followed the story on every news outlet and social media site.  I didn't understand why.  And I knew for sure that I thought playing the game the next day was out of the question.  But the chiefs leadership and team captains gathered and decided to play.  And they played the best football of the season.  No penalties, no turnovers and a six point win.

I walked out of the stadium after the win running a gamut of emotions.  I was happy we won.  I was proud of the players and coaches for playing the way they did.  I was proud of Romeo for his guidance.  He was a rock for the team.  But, at the same time, I was disappointed.  I was disappointed that it took the tragic event on Saturday for us to finally become a team and do the things it took to win.

I guess in closing, all I can say is:  Romeo, Pioli, I respect you as men.  I'm glad you were able to guide the team through what happened.  But after this year, we all need a clean break.  We need to move on from you, and you need to move on from us.  And that cant happen soon enough.  This city needs the Chiefs to heal the wounds from this weekend, and we cant do that with you here.

Tom Haslett

Monday, December 3, 2012

Long runs at home, long days in KC

Well, I always dread taking the kids back, so a good run was what I needed to cheer me up. Thankfully, the weather has been phenomenal around here for December, and we both know here in Kansas it can be 70 and sunny today and 20 and snowing the next day. Really, its like blindly eating out of a bag of jelly beans, one reach in you get a red one and you're all smiles, next time into the bag you get a black licorice one and you are regretting life choices. But I digress. I figured it would be a fantastic opportunity to do a lake lap.

Got to the lake, gorgeous out, got loose and ready to go. Started across the dam, ugh, no energy. Hmm, this could be bad. Kept on trucking. I felt like frogger a bit cause there was a stream of bikes zipping around all over. Suffice it to say, I would win some of those collisions as well, but I stayed on my side and kept out of the way. The lake is great route, scenic, some hills, occasional wildlife, however apparently geese were enjoying the lake more than I was. For about a 3 mile stretch it looked like a pack of geese went on a Taco Bell bender after downing a case of Busch Lite. Maybe that is where I got a little boost, getting past the bird poo as quick as possible. Thankfully, got all the way around, back to the dam in record time, but I wasn't done. One more across the dam and next bridge back to the fringe of the bird binge fallout and then back across the dam. 8.34 miles, 1 hr 3 min 16 seconds, at'll do pig.

Speaking of at'll do, thank sports gods that my Jayhawks have mercifully ended their football season. I tend to have a lot of blind optimism in my teams and I know they improved. But by the end, a completed pass was cause for celebration and a defensive stop was an elusive pipe-dream. At least we got basketball, I think. Maybe. We have, uh, a shot-blocker? That's fun right? Please?

On a sadder note, I was heart broken hearing the news out of KC this weekend. Two young lives gone. Thoughts go out to the families and friends of Ms. Perkins and Belcher. I think the thing that really hit me hard was their little girl, a 3 month old that will never know her parents outside of this tragedy.

I think I will end this post with a couple links in case anyone reading (wishful thinking) needs it: - Domestic Violence National Hotline

And this one cause it always gets me and it is that time of the year:

Freaking New Guy

As you can see, I am neither Geoff nor remotely related to a Sasquatch.  At Geoffrey's behest I will occasionally be posting thoughts/links/funny stuff on this page.  I work in KC and am the guy the owner of this blog started his weight loss/get in less horrible shape competition with.  I play all manner of sports ranging from Flag Football, Softball (Co-rec), Basketball, and Indoor Volleyball.  In the picture below, I'm the dude in black in the middle.

I will be posting here more often (even more than Sasquatch likes, id guess).  Ill end this little diatribe by throwing in a couple links that I enjoy.  Peace.

Cracked - Natural disasters
Hyperboleandahalf - The Alot