Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why the BCS is BS

There's nothing greater than Saturdays in the fall. Wake up at 9:00, walk over to the couch, and turn on the TV for 14 hours of college football. The tradition, the bands, the rivalries, watching future NFL players develop, all of these things make college worth watching. Indeed, almost everything in the college football world is perfect, except for one little thing: The BCS. OK, not such a little thing. The fact that there is no playoff system is not only illogical, itls downright shameful. Every other sport in the NCAA has a playoff system. Every single one. No computer system, no polls decide who is the champion. It is settled on the field, where it should be. Even the other divisions of the NCAA have playyoffs for football. Why does NCAA Division 1A continue to operate in the dark ages? Whatever the current excuses are, the money, the bowls, final exams, whatever, one can not escape the fact that we have the possibility of the national title game featuring the winner of Michigan-Ohio State facing.....Rutgers. That's right....Rutgers. I hope it happens. The bellyaching from the SEC schools would be so epic you wouldn't be able to turn on talk radio without hearing about it. If a one loss Florida team winds up in the Orange Bowl while Rutgers is playing Ohio State for the BCS crown, there might be finally be enough impetus to get a real playoff system. I don't mean to pick on Rutgers, but if they were playing in the Big Ten or the SEC they would have had three losses by now. Cinderella teams like Rutgers should have to prove themselves in a 16 team tournament before having a shot at the prize, not just waltzing through the Big East schedule. I'm sorry, but Louisville and West Virginia are not power schools. If Rutgers beats them and wins out, I think the voters and computers will have no choice to put Rutgers in the title game. Ohio State vs. Rutgers. The fact this possibilty exists is why the BCS is BS.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Going George Lucas style on my blog

Inspired by George Lucas' constant retooling of the the original Star Wars trilogy, I've decided to use new technology to spruce up my blog. What new technology you ask? The excellent Beta Blogger tool from Google. There are new templates (you may have noticed I have ditched the anarchic black minima for what they call "Rounders 4"), a new page element function that makes changing layouts a breeze, and last, but certainly not least, is the new labeling feature for organizing posts. I've been waiting for Google to get around to this for months because it allows people to focus on specific subjects on my blog. Don't care about my running but interested for my take on Tinley Park's potential use of eminent domain? Don't have a Treo 650 but interested in my Libertarian punditry? Now you can pick which parts of the blog you want to follow, or you can read the whole thing to appreciate my eclectic interests. It's up to you dear reader.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Finshed Marathon, barely

I ran my worst marathon time ever, and not just because of the cold. I hit the wall at like the 9 mile mark, which is beyond pathetic. I shouldn't have been suprised by this, as it happened on my training runs too. I think the Nu Gels I used were worse than useless, and I think I will use the power bar version of the gel next time. However there is no doubt in my mind that I simply had too much time since my last long run and the marathon. Despite all the running I did in Montreal I never cranked a 20 miler out like I should have. The whole Montreal trip just killed me and shouldn't have let it. Maybe the most important thing for me to do is analyze my diet and make adjustments. My current diet is abysmal and I need to rectify if I ever want a shot at under 4 hours.

Jehovah as my witness I will never take Metra again

One delay is one thing. Now we are stoped again and I am now putting one of my infamous curses on the entire Public Transit system. How hard is it to get a train to go? It is on rails. You don't have to steer it. I can understand how Mussolini gained power by making the trains run on time because it's a bigger deal then I thought.

Stuck on train, hating Metra

People wonder why more people don't take the Metra Rock Island. Now I know why. Besides the fact that don't run on convient schedules (hello, why no train to bring the drunks home from Chicago), the fact they don't stop at places people want to go (US Cellular Field, IIT), or the fact it takes an hour to get to Chicago from Tinley Park because it does stop every half mile from 123rd to 103rd, now I'm dealing with the fact my stupid train has been delayed 7 minutes for freight interference. This is approximately the time I would have taken to drop off my marathon bag. So now the time I saved by not bringin one is gone. Grrrr!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Last Post until the Marathon!

Well, I've carbo loaded, hydrated, picked up my marathon packet at the health and fitness expo, filled up my amphibapod with 60 ozs of water, packed all my Nu-Gels, put my tracking chip on my running shoe, and put my bib number on my racing T. I'm a little concerned about the weather, as they say it will be cold and blustery. I'm going to try wearing my spandex, which I've never tried on a long run before, but I don't want suffer from exposure. Hopefully the rain will stay away, but I don't anticipate temperatures over 50. I'm taking the train tomorrow as the Dan Ryan has amazingly got worse since I last traversed it over the summer. I'm going straight from the train to the run, no bag to drop off, which I hope will get me closer to 9 minute milers, although I don't know how long I'll be able to stay with them. Well, I'll try and keep you posted, maybe send off a picture mail before the start, and then I'll have a recap after the run while I wait for the train to take me home. Good luck to all the runners and thanks to all the people who are going to come out tommorrow, escpecially my Mom!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Countdown to Marathon

Well, it's only 4 days to the Chicago Marathon, and the carb loading continues. I have 6 bagels in front of me that I plan on scarfing down before the end of the day, plus some granola energy bars. Also on the agenda is to drink my 4 bottles of water to hydrate myself to the point where I go the the bathroom every hour. It will all be worth it on Sunday if I can avoid the "wall" and cramping up. But if I do I'll take time to post from the course to tell you about it. :)

Testing Beta blogger from Treo

Hello everyone. Now that I have switched to the beta blogger, I figured I would try updating via e-mail to see if it will still work. If not, I will be fairly ticked off. Cheers!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Trying out the Beta Blogger

My blog might start to look a little different as Google has new features to try out with Beta Blogger (By the way, don't you love how everything is in Beta all the time with Google, Beta News, Beta Blogger, I wish we all could go through life with the Beta tag so when we screw up, we could just say "hey, I'm still in Beta.) The main reason I decided to try this out was the label feature, hoping that it could better organize my widely varying interests, i.e. running, politics, treo 650, general life updates so my mother knows what's going on, etc. I'm putting this one under "Update", although I may refine it later under the label "Google" as often comment on Google's new stuff/progress toward world domination. By the way, for the longest time I didn't have a problem with Google world domination, but now that I know that Google employees donate 98% of their money to Democratic Party, I'm a little nervous. Still, I love Google as it is the annoited successor to Microsoft and they do turn out wonderous amounts of free products that make my my life more groovy. So there's my first post as a Beta Blogger and may be the first of many at a more regular interval.

Google Maps for the Treo 650 has arrived!

It's finally here! A stand alone app from Google for mapping on the Treo 650. It downloads straight on to the phone from the web and it has worked fairly well in my tests so far. It retains the web version's ability to switch between road map and satellite, plus it has some useful features like "Find Location", when you need to know where the nearest pizza joint is, and "Show Traffic", which shows highway congestion with color coded maps. All in all, one of the best programs I've ever seen for the Treo 650 and I heartily recommend you download it if you have one.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

North Korean Nuke Test: Thank Clinton

If there is one lesson to be learned from today's nuclear weapons test by the North Koreans, it is this: America's foriegn policy can not be trusted to the Democratic Party. Now that's not to say the Republicans are perfect, but the current nightmare we now face on the Korean Peninsula is directly to the action, or inaction as it were of the Clinton Administration. Make no mistake, if George Bush 41 had been at the helm in 1994 when the North Korean nuclear crisis started, we would not be in this mess today. Clinton's policy of appeasement, subsidies, and negotiation enabled the North Koreans access to the nuclear reactors that are now turning out plutonium for their nuclear weapons. It is forseeable that once North Korea has built up enough of these weapons for a deterrent, they will start building them to sell to al-Qaeda or Iran to shore up the DPRK's shattered economy. So add this to the Clinton legacy along with Monica's blue stained dress: A nuclear armed dictator who's crazy enough to use them or sell them. Thanks Bill.

Update

I know, I know, I haven't updated in a while. The whole experience in Montreal had drained me badly. Ten straight days sharing a hotel room could be constituted as cruel and unusual punishment by some, but then I realized there are people in Iraq, boot camp, and various naval vessels across the world that made my arrangements seem like paradise.

In other news I recently have been voted in as the president of my condo association. I have been bombarded by various issues ever since. The job is an incredible pain in the posterior and I have a new found respect for all public officials.

On the running front I have been tapering for the marathon. Tapering is just staying off your feet and resting. I have never been comfortable doing this so I might do one more long run before the marathon.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Homeless in Montreal

These are homeless people lined up in a park in downtown Montreal off St. Catherine's waiting for the Salvation Army