New Shoes: Merrell Barefoot Bare Access

Got some new kicks this week. I put about 250 miles into a pair of Nike Free Run+ (version 1). I wanted to get 300 miles out of them, but they started to wear a blister on my left foot after even moderate workouts. Which means get out of my life.

As you are all WELL AWARE, I got a pair of them freaky five-fingered deals a few months back. I really like them, but I also understand and respect the amount of damage you can do trying to transition too quickly from supple padding and support to what is essentially a thick coat of paint on the bottom of your foot. I love the Vibrams and I hope to someday run in them exclusively. As it stands, I still consider myself “in transition” to minimalist running. And I am okay with that.

New Tires

I first read about the Merrell Barefoot Bare Access (MBBA) shoes at Birthday Shoes. I was looking for the next logical step in my minimalist evolution, something between the Nikes and the toe shoes, and the MBBAs seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Zero toe drop, but an 8mm thick sole. So, on Tuesday afternoon, I ordered them from Zappos.

Zappos being Zappos, the shoes were in my hands fewer than 24 hours later. I walked around in them Wednesday evening for a bit, and they felt great.

THURSDAY MORNING. I dropped Marty off at school (iOS corrects ‘Matty’ to ‘Marty’ so Marty it is) and hit the hills of Smyrna for a jaunty prance in the shiny new kicks. I ran 4 miles and … honestly … felt fucking awesome pretty much the entire time [/FORESHADOWING].

There are currently 4 customer reviews on the Zappos page for the MBBA. Two of the four reviews mention an issue where the sole separates from the upper after minimal use. I noted this when I was shopping for the shoes but wrote it off and attributed it to poor suckers receiving manufacturer’s defects. [/FORESHADOWING]

Oh, Jesus Christ, here are the pictures (after a single 4 mile run).

Right Shoe (instep):

Left Shoe (instep):

Additionally, and this is going to seem like I’m piling on Merrell here, look at the sole by the toes. Again, this is after one run.

Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was ordering racing tires for my Veyron that need to be replaced every 30 minutes.

This would be an open and shut case if the shoes didn’t fit or didn’t feel right whilst pounding le pavement. I would be like, “Remember that time I got that shitty pair of shoes from Merrell that felt terrible and fell apart after one run so I sent them back and never thought about them again? That was weird.” Alas, they felt GREAT on the one short run I enjoyed in them. My calves are burning today, likely a result of the zero toe drop, but it’s the good kind of burn that makes you want to get your ass back out there.

I called and emailed Zappos yesterday. Their Customer Service department was temporarily closed because they were “taking part in teambuilding and celebrating our culture.” It’s pretty awesome when a company can respond, “Can’t listen to you whine right now, getting drunk, kthxbai.” I’m being serious. Zappos is awesome.

Desired result: Merrell fixes their manufacturing process to eliminate these issues; sends me new shoes for free.
Likely result: New Balance Minimus

UPDATE: Zappos responded to my email letting me know that a replacement pair of MBBA are already in the mail, which is awesome, but I still give the “Likely Result” above about a 75% chance of becoming reality.

Running and a Dog Named Riliy

Riley Black Lab

This is not the dog in question. I did a Google Image Search for: riley black lab.

I am here to recap a story from yesterday that involves an incident with a dog I encountered whilst running a couple miles from my house. But before I do, I should probably back up and establish some context.

I’ve been [pretending to be] a runner, on and off, for about a year and a half.

I had been pretending to be lifting weights for a few years, but I never found a program that really clicked. It should be noted that I didn’t try, at all, to find a “weight-lifting program” that “clicked” … whatever “clicked” means. I would still like to find said weightlifting program, because I enjoy lifting weights, but I digress.

I decided to give running an earnest try because … it’s totally natural. It’s free, it’s outdoors, and it’s beneficial to be good at it should you find yourself pursued by something that wants to kill the shit out of you. I was also intrigued by the recent surge in running devolution (I know there are virtually no correct uses of the word ‘devolution,’ but, I think it works here, so DEVOLUTION). The idea that people ran barefoot comfortably and effectively for 2 million years was an undeniable draw for me. If all the non-runners around me could do it, and without crazy-ass, moon-boot running shoes, I could do it too, right?

Understanding that I couldn’t simply walk out my front door and start chewing through the miles with no shoes on, I got a pair of ye olde Nike Free Run+ (which have since been replaced by the v2 model) and started slowly. On September 16, 2010 to be exact.

I did pretty well for the first couple months. I ran 4 times in the last two weeks of September, and then ran ten times in October. Near the end of October, though, my left knee started to feel a little loosey-goosey. I ended up psyching myself out, hard, and I didn’t run again until May. I ran a couple times in May, and a couple times in June, but didn’t really get back on the horse until mid-October, 2011. I wasn’t too stressed about physical activity in the Spring and Summer. Those keeping score know that I was spending nearly every weekend KILLING MYSELF building a deck.

Side note: My ability to recall such specific dates is entirely a product of the Nike+ GPS app on my phone. Having raw data (speed, distance, route, etc.) available has made the difference for me. I look back at my previous attempts at running and laugh-wince, because I would leave my house, run way too fast until it sucked, and then stop, convinced that running just plain sucked.

ANYWAY, back on the horse in mid-October. I kept a solid 3-time-per-week routine through Thanksgiving peaking with a 5-mile prance on the Silver Comet averaging 8:55/mile the Saturday after Turkey Day. I fell off a bit in December, only managing 5 runs all month, and I have resolved to make a solid routine, er, a routine this year. Or something. The Nike+ app allows you to set a number of different goals. I have already done that.


I left my house, set to do 5 miles around lovely Smyrna, GA. I was about 1.5 miles in when I noticed a black dog happily skipping along next to me. Usually when this happens, it’s because some shitty attack dog has decided to engage, so it is safe to say I was … alarmed. It quickly became evident this was not the case. This was a black lab, female, probably about 8 months old (40-50 lbs?), and her tag said her name was Riliy. R-I-L-I-Y. That is not a typo.

I coaxed Riliy out of the street and waited for her owners, who I was sure couldn’t be very far behind her. If she had gotten off of her leash, surely they would be jogging up any second, breathless and thankful. She could have escaped from her yard, so I also scanned for a slow-moving vehicle, maybe one with people leaning out of the windows yelling the name Riliy.


Still clutching Riliy by the collar, I called the number on her tag. Now, that sounds a hell of a lot simpler than it was. I, a complete stranger, am forcing a young, recently-liberated Labrador to do the one thing she does not want to do: sit still. Additionally, have you ever tried to use an iPhone (or any touchscreen device) while the screen is covered in sweat? You should try it sometime, while trying to keep control of a berzerk dog. I left a voicemail at the number (the girl on the voicemail sounded like a teenager, awesome), sent a text, and left another voicemail. Reality started to set in. What if I can’t get a hold of anyone? I was a mile and a half from my house with no leash and no car.

Riliy was wearing a second tag with a number to a vet, so I managed to hold her down and call it. They gave me a different phone number, but they wouldn’t give me an address, citing privacy laws. I called the second number and an older woman answered. She said it was her daughter’s dog and that she (the dog, heh) kept getting out. They lived right around the corner and said they would be right there.

Ten solid minutes passed, and nothing. I couldn’t release my grip on Riliy for fear that I would not be able to get her back. We were only a few hundred feet from 4-lane Atlanta Rd, which would be a doggy death trap. I called the number again, expecting no answer because they were on their way and THE WOMAN ANSWERED. I gave her my nicest WHAT THE FUCK YOUR DOG IS FREAKING OUT COME GET HER and hung up. 5 or 6 minutes later, the woman and her daughter came meandering around the corner with no apparent urgency in their gait. By the time they got to me, Riliy’s freakout had reached full Bullet Time. I helped the daughter, who was maybe 13 or 14, get the leash on.

They thanked me, but overall seemed very matter-of-fact about the whole thing, like, of course that is what anyone would do upon finding an apparently escaped dog, stop everything they’re doing and spend over a half hour wrestling with a strange animal while also trying to track down its owners. I have convinced myself I saved Riliy’s life, mostly because of her proximity to a very busy road, and partly to make myself feel better because the owners were such mouthbreathers. Unfortunately, Riliy will probably be back out on her own sooner rather than later. Next time, I’m going to let her run all the way home with me.

Houston, Texas

“Oh, your Austin connection is leaving from C17 in in C Terminal. You have to take the inter-terminal shuttle to get there. Walk down to the end of this terminal until you get to gate A2. That’s where the shuttle is.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

Sigh. I know where the shuttle is. It’s right there under the blinking sign that says, “This is the part where you have an hour-plus layover, yet you still have to hustle to make your connection.” I’ve written before about what an unmitigated infrastructure embarrassment Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is, so I’ll spare you most (but not all) of my personal vitriol. It’s like an unindustrialized country’s “My First Airport.” Did you read that horrible story last week about the DC-9 in Congo that failed to takeoff and smashed into the crowded market at the end of the runway? That’s what the Houston airport is like, instead of innocent Africans being caught in the angry path of industrial deterioration, it’s big fat fucking fatasses from Texas getting caught, I don’t know, being fat and stupid in the path of me being cosmopolitan and judgmental.* Insert “Houston, we have a problem,” joke of your liking here. I’ll wait.

I approached the end of the terminal and encountered a large woman on a stool reading a newspaper. It was a typical gate, but all signs indicated this gate was set aside, out of the limitless kindness of Continental Airlines’ hearts, specifically to whisk travelers like me from one terminal to another. I would prefer an airport that was designed by people who design airports like people who are not idiots, but, you know, thanks, Continental.

“Is this the shuttle that goes to Terminal C?”

Looking up from her classifieds, “Yyyyyyyep.”

I stepped toward the jetway door. Let me rephrase. LIKE AN IDIOT, I stepped toward the jetway door. The resulting admonishment was administered in an incredulous tone not often heard outside the DMV. I swear this is a direct quote.

“Whoa there! No no no! You can’t walk down that jetway! In fact, you couldn’t even open that door if you wanted to.”

I could not walk down that jetway. I could not even open that door. Even if I were to have wanted to have. Thankfully, my expectations were already appropriately low. I took a deep breath.

“What am I supposed to do?”

“You’re supposed to wait over there until another bus gets here.”

“Oh, okay, thank you.”

I took my place over with the other three idiots who had dared try to transfer from terminal A to terminal C. We waited. A fellow idiot appeared on the horizon doing the Tight Connection Shuffle with a roll-aboard and a laptop bag. The other idiots and I said, “This ought to be good,” to each other with our eyeballs. It was good. The jetway door, which she had opened, was slammed closed in his face and she demanded to know just where he thought he was going. He needed to get to terminal C. Well, he can just wait for the shuttle with everyone else. You didn’t have to slam the door in my face. As he joined us, we all nodded sympathetically, eyes closed, teeth clenched.


“Is your connection to Atlanta on Continental or Delta?”


“Oh, you are flying out of terminal A. You have to take our inter-terminal shu-”

“Yeah yeah yeah. Thanks.”


Despite the fact that I had booked the entire itinerary on Continental (via my corporate travel portal), this IAH-ATL leg, like the ATL-IAH leg the day before, was being operated by Delta. Never mind my primary gripe about not earning points on other airlines with names other than Delta, this multi-carrier shit is just confusing. I can’t imagine a family who doesn’t travel very much on vacation with their kids trying to navigate this cluster. Why couldn’t I have just booked the flight through Delta? Oh, that’s right, because that would have cost $1200. I want to fly Delta because it’s where I’m comfortable and it’s where I earn points. And because they are based in my home city, I want Delta to succeed, yet here I am on a Delta-owned-and-operated jet and my money went into Continental’s pocket. HEY, SOMEONE SIGN ME UP FOR THAT MBA PROGRAM!!

Back on the shuttle [note to self: come up with word that captures phrase Business Traveler's Short Bus, over], I met a man in an oddly similar situation as myself. He got on the bus and told the driver he was headed to Atlanta. He took the seat next to mine and said, “You know, even with a long layover, you kind of have to hustle around here don’t you?” I imagined this must be what it feels like to make a breakthrough with a therapist. Many emotions flooded forth, but they came out as the phrase, “This is the worst airport I’ve ever experienced.” He agreed, though I could tell he wasn’t the type to join in on venting through vilification so I let it go. We talked a bit. He is from somewhere near Madison, GA. He was quite a bit older than I, but we were pretty much the same; Powder blue shirt, black slacks, black dress shoes, small combo roll-aboard bag, both heading home from one day in Austin.

We chatted as we walked toward the gate. His cell phone rang and he stopped to dig it out. We were being friendly, but we were still very much traveling strangers, so I kept walking. A few seconds later, I heard, “Hey.” Then again, “Hey.” I turned and it was him about a hundred yards back, waving me back toward him. I walked back and he motioned toward the Continental Presidents Club. “We’ve got about 40 minutes until we board. I could get you in here as a guest if you want relax for a bit.” Absofreakinlutelythankyouverymuch. Once inside, he said, “Make yourself at home,” and wandered off. So, for the next half hour, with my feet up, I sipped free bourbon while catching up on email via free wi-fi. I wanted to board early because the flight was on a small regional jet and carry-on space is a super premium, so I left a little early and thanked him on the way out. Never got his name.

When I arrived at the gate, I was dismayed to see that boarding had already started. My seat, I presumed, would be something along the lines of a middle seat in the back over which everyone on the plane would have to climb to reach the bathroom. When I handed my boarding pass to the gate agent, I expected her to laugh, slap me across the face, and shout, “GET ON THE PLANE, MAGGOT!” This explains my surprise and disbelief when the boarding pass scanner beeped the most magical and succulent of all beeps. “Here’s your new boarding card, Mr. Simon. Seat 1D.” There aren’t enough double-us in the entire English language to convey the AWWWWWWW YEAH that I felt.

I sank into my seat, sipped another bourbon, and played All Songs Considered: A Band to Call Your Own II. The first song that came on was Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.

* I’m really glad the worst places I have to fly through are places like Texas and not sub-Saharan Africa.

Chasm. Youth. Wider.

As the chasm between me and my youth creeps ever wider, I find myself observing the behavior of younger folks less like we’re distant peers and more like I’m a miserly old researcher in a frayed lab coat with a salt and pepper combover.

Many many months ago, the Geester and I attended a birthday party for one of the Geester’s cousins who happened to be teen-aged at the time (not sure how old she is now). Upon opening one of her gifts, she exclaimed, “Oh. My. God.” What was in the box is not important, and her response was not at all unusual for someone in her demographic. I remember thinking that people have been saying Oh. My. God. since I was in middle school back when the girls who said it were referred to as ‘bops’ and they had bangs that could be used to guide maverick Space Shuttles to safety. (This is the part where you try to remind me of tight-rolled, acid-washed jeans, and I pretend to not know what you’re talking about.)

There may or may not have been some zoning out on my part during these particular gift-opening festivities and I began to ponder the two long pauses in the phrase Oh. My. God. I wondered how much of my life I’ve spent waiting for someone to get from Oh to My and then from My to God. I started to think about what would be required to calculate such a figure, but quickly realized it nigh impossible as the two pauses have different lengths every single time the phrase is spoken. In fact, I’d venture there’s almost as much variance in the phrase Oh. My. God. and there is in the word dude. Not quite, but almost. I don’t ever use the phrase with exaggerated pauses, primarily because the valley girl within this one is weak, but I do say OMIGOD! with no pauses whatsoever quite often, usually when I’m in the process of dropping something expensive and/or dangerous.

What the hell was I just talking about?

Oh yeah, the chasm between myself and youth culture. It widens. Most notably, I’ve recently noticed, “not getting” music more and more frequently. Don’t get me wrong, I am awash these days in so much quality music I actually experience pangs of anxiety at my inability to consume even a small percentage of it. I feel like I’ve been steadily falling behind for years. But, periodically, when I do finally dive in and go exploring, I often find myself with a furled brow asking, ” … what.” The most recent instance of was a few days ago creating a muxtape. Reviewing other people’s muxtapes (of which there are thousands) yielded a metric truckload of music that quite simply zoomed past my ears. I found myself conceding, “So … this is what kids are listening to these days. I see.”

I’m casting a very wide net here, and citing specific examples (like, say, so many artists’ tendencies to replace or augment traditional instruments with synthesized beeps and clicks or this inherent need for pop music to be precious and mousey) will only serve to undermine my point. I’ve never been surprised to feel older as I actually get older, but it always gives me pause when I feel like I’m missing out on something, not for lack of trying to understand but something beyond my realm of control, like because I’m “from another time” or some such cliché. I am certainly cynical and egotesticleâ„¢ enough to believe that it is I who gets it and everyone else is a moron. Another way to put it would be that I am acutely aware of the emotional attachment I’ve had to music my entire life. And when I listen to a lot of new music and imagine thousands of people having a similarly strong emotional attachment … it kind of bums me out.

And that’s pretty much it. Good talk.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

YESTERDAY: First day back in the saddle after a little spring break week in Portland. Thought I avoided any discernible jet-lag, but now there are forehead grease stains on my monitor. Interesting. Our trip to Stumptown was fairly typical. We ate and drank like there was perpetually an electric chair on the horizon. We got to spend at least a couple quality hours with damn near everyone we wanted to, and I made plans to see the folks I missed when I’m back out for work in a few weeks. It rained. It was sunny. It was cold. And warm (ish). Got to visit some great beer haunts including but not limited to Walkingman, Full Sail, Double Mountain, and Hopworks. We were reminded (not that it takes much) how much we love Portland and the Pacific Northwest as well as how difficult it would be to move back there despite how much we might want to. Oh well. I’ll continue to visit whenever I can. Last night, we went to see Avenue Q at the Fox. It was uproariously funny.

TODAY: This should be it’s own blog entry, but maybe I’ll keep it shorter this way. Why the hell hasn’t Atlanta been included in Google Maps Street View yet? Google announced yesterday that they added 13 more cities to the Street View list bringing the grand total of available cities to 48. Now, I’m not like someone from Boston or New York who will argue my city’s superiority simply because I’m too proud and / or insecure to admit otherwise. And I am well aware that Atlanta proper is only 34th largest city in the U.S. My problem is with the fact that the Atlanta metro area is the 9th largest Metropolitan Area in the U.S. You’ll notice the other glaring omission is the DC / Baltimore area. Yes, they should be giving Google the WTF eyes as well. I could understand if the problem was that Atlanta covers too much square mileage and the Street View photography was too large a project. But Dallas and Houston, both sprawling monstrosities, have Street View. And sprawl aside, it’s hard to view the fact that Albuquerque, Anchorage, Austin, Cleveland, Fairbanks, Little Rock, Madison, Nashville, Rockford, Richmond, Spokane, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Yosemite freaking National Park all got the creepy surveillance treatment before Atlanta as anything other than intentional. Google is not allowed to use our airport until this shit is fixed.

TOMORROW: A little light housework and then the Terrapin Grand Opening fiesta in Athens. I’m going to drink beer!!

Surprise Bender II: Moment of Sobriety

Following Friday’s post wherein I whined about my diminishing ability to deal with … uh … the radio, Gia and I heard an extremely refreshing interview while en route to the gymnasium. It became a full-fledged driveway moment as we sat in the gym parking lot and listened to the entire thing. I immediately wanted to post about it as a pleasant update to my wah-wah-whiney-making and then this morning I found a post on boingboing.

For those of you not inclined to link-clicking, I’ll summarize. Montana is one of several states to formally tell the federal government to take the Real ID act and cram it in their cram holes. With 100% approval, Montana passed legislation that besically says, “No.” In the 4:21 interview, Governor Brian Schweitzer explains his state’s position to Melissa Block. My favorite passage:

NPR: Well, Governor Schweitzer, what happens in May if somebody from your state wants to get on a commercial flight?

Schweitzer: They’re gonna show ‘em their Montana drivers license and they’re gonna get on that commercial flight and nothing is gonna happen.

NPR: But that’s supposed to be the deadline …

Schweitzer: BLAH BLAH BLAH supposed to be the deadline. There’s nothing in the constitution that tells homeland security that they’re supposed to do this or they must do this, in fact, there isn’t even any actions by congress that says, “This is the specific letter that you must have.” This is another bluff by some bureaucrats in Washington D.C. and thank god we live a long ways from Washington D.C.

If you have 4 minutes, it is worth the listen.

Surprise Bender

Ever find yourself on an accidental bender? Not a planned bender like a bachelor party, or a music festival, or even an out of town wedding weekend. No, I’m talking about a random series of parties / events / personal influences that arrange themselves, almost cosmically, in such a way that you suddenly find yourself saying, “Holy crap. I’ve been drunk for like four days.” It doesn’t happen often–maybe once every 12-18 months–and once I realize what’s going on, pulling out of the tailspin is a pretty straightforward endeavor. But that moment of realization is one of stark self-loathing. It usually involves a slow survey of the surroundings, a mental replay of the previous days’ events, some moderate shuddering, and an inner monologue to the effect of, “Wait just a cotton picking minute. I feel absolutely terrible. Why in god’s name is there a full beer in my hand? I feel like I’ve been embalmed. With dumpster water.”

That’s how I’m beginning to feel about this election cycle. Not about any candidate in particular, but about the whole thing. I still had a lingering national politics hangover from 2004 when this election lurched into motion, so that’s where the bender analogy comes from. Actually, it might be national news in general that is beating me about the head and neck with the circus of primaries simply leading the charge. Hearing the sound bites from all the voters who have been inadvertently granted more influence over the election process than myself followed by sound bites from Boeing employees / supporters complaining that, despite losing five out of five criteria in the bidding process, the $35 billion aerial refueling contract should be awarded to Boeing because MY TAXES AIN’T PAYING FOR NO FAUX FRENCH PLANE makes me want to calmly convey from the rooftops, “Damnit, America, you suck. Shut the fuck up.” During the drive to work yesterday, I involuntarily moaned loudly at some nondescript doomsday news story and stabbed the CD button on the stereo with a violently thrusting digit.

AAAAaaaaaaaaaaanyway, the beer tasting last night was super duper. For those of you who have been longing to know the relationship between lupulin glands, Alpha Acids, and isohumulones, last night was your chance and you blew it. One of these days you will learn. Actually, I don’t think there were any empty seats so never mind. Next week: yeast.

I’ve delayed reporting on the gutters until after some rainfall, which we received this morning. They were installed while we were at work on Wednesday and they look great. As for performance, I didn’t see any glaring problems during a cursory inspection this morning, but they did make some design changes that I’m not totally sold on yet. I’ll wait for a torrential downpour for final judgment. A quasi-humorous aside regarding customer service: I called several gutter companies requesting estimates last week. One company (Company A) seemed particularly skilled and they said they would call me back later that day. No call. The next day, I called them again because I was interested in hearing their price. They again said they would have someone contact me that day. They never called, so I gave their website the finger and selected a different vendor (Company B). Company B said they would send their crew out on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning I get a call from someone who says, “Hey I just wanted to call and let you know we’ll be out there to do that estimate today.”

“Well that’s great, but you’re supposed to do the actual work today.”

“Right, the estimate.”

“No, Phil did the estimate last week. You’re supposed to install the gutters today.”

“There’s no one named Phil working here.”

“Who did you say you’re with?”

“Company A.”

“Oh, my bad. Yeah, I called you guys twice last week. Company B is coming out to do the work today because you suck at life.”

Like I said, only quasi-humorous, but satisfying nonetheless.

Tomorrow: Wood chipper.


Two entries in two days. Shut up.

I haven’t talked about pants in a while, so lets talk about pants. Rob believes that adding pants as a suffix to any word makes it funny / funnier and I tend to agree with him. Today’s topic, however, is more annoying than amusing. Through my frustration, maybe you will be amused, I don’t know. Shut up.

The length of my legs, combined with the way I wear pants, puts me exactly between a 30″ and a 32″ inseam. (For those of you playing Fantasy Pants at home, that would equal a 31″ inseam.) Now, anyone who has ever set foot in a store that carries two or more pairs of men’s pants also knows that odd-numbered inseams only exist in museums and those mythical places where hot dogs and hot dog buns come packaged in the same quantities. (I really hate that hot dog / hot dog bun joke. When I hear someone tell any form of it, I reflexively check the box next to their name marked “not funny.” It’s worse than all of Carlos Mencia’s jokes combined. Alas, I tried to think of a better one, but failed, so there you have it. Not funny.)

There was a time in my life when I preferred my pants obnoxiously long. And huge. The explanation given to parents and authority figures was that they were baggy “for skateboarding.” Sure, I was an avid skateboarder, and loose pants made much of the wicked-mad shreddery easier to execute, but let’s not kid ourselves … it was more like a contest who could dangle the most fabric from a belt around the waist. (FYI – Keenan was the clear winner with his 28″ waist and 50″ pants. No exaggeration. I love you, Mike.) Giant, cumbersome pantwear. Little, itty-bitty wheels on our skateboards. Ah, the early nineties. One of the side effects of this giant pantdom was that the cuffs were in a constant state of deterioration from being dragged around on the ground. It was during this period of my life I first became aware of the inseam measurement, and by “became aware” I mean “couldn’t care less about.” As my pants touched the ground, nature and physics would take care of the rest.

Fast forward to … I don’t know … some point during or after college when the cuffs of my pants had invariably become soiled by the elements and I probably had one of those pseudo-adulthood revelations. “Look at yourself, you fucking slob. From now on, you’re buying clothes that fit. Whatever that means.” In some fitting room at some reasonably-priced clothier somewhere, I decided that a 30″ inseam was Tony’s inseam and I wouldn’t need to change again until forced.

Maybe because thirty (the age) is on the horizon, and that is causing me to subconsciously hike my pants up toward adulthood, but at some point in the past couple months, 30″ has become too short. The initial revelation, believe it or not, occurred when I was in Vegas between sharfs. I was waiting for an elevator and I caught a glimpse of myself in a giant mirror. “HAhahaha! Nice flood pants, asshole,” I said. “Is everything today coming up Milhouse?” Every full length mirror or reflective window I’ve passed since then has served as a reminder.

This whole inseam issue came bubbling to the surface this morning when the outfit in which I was prepraring to march proudly out the door to work … was vetoed by the Geester. Now, I am fully accustomed to her approving or disapproving my clothing due to color mis-matches, but today was the first time it happened because of the fit of one particular item. “Those pants? You can’t wear those pants to work. They’re too short.” Ouch.

Upgrading to a 32″ inseam has produced far more reasonable results, but I am still left with the problem of the cuff dragging in the back slightly. My solution thus far has been to simply hike up the 32″ pants higher than I would normally wear them, and hope I don’t shear the cuffs off in too short a timeframe. The next time you see me, I will probably have my pants cinched up a little too high, but the cuffs will be scuffing the ground loudly behind me. And I’m probably balder too. Don’t make fun.


Starbucks coffee tastes like Kingsford soaked in hot pee. It is so over-roasted that it makes me pound my desk in rage. I can’t even deal. If you disagree, your tongue is already dead. How’s that working out for you?

I am going here today. Good thing I derive some sort of twisted enjoyment from miserable weather.

Antics are imminent, though. Brace yourselves.


I can’t imagine I’m the first person to yammer about this … hell, I may have even brought it up before. Regardless, this post is poorly written and not entertaining. Do not read it.

Why hasn’t someone designed a gym where the energy generated from weight resistance is captured and used to power other stuff? I hit the gym last night and it was packed. Looking out over the crowded facility, at a time when more machines than not are being molested by something sweaty, it’s hard not to marvel at the sheer amount of energy being expended. Seems awfully wasteful. And the cardio machines are the worst offenders. Users spend far more calories on a treadmill than they do on some stupid adductor machine, yet the cardio machines have to be powered by electricity. I imagine the motors required to power the belt and incline controls draw quite a bit of energy, and my gym has no less than four or five million treadmills. Powering the treadmill so that the user has to spend calories to keep up seems woefully counter-intuitive and wasteful. Why not design it so the user powers the treadmill and the treadmill captures the extra energy? Even better, imagine if you had your own personal battery pack that plugged into each machine. You could carry it from machine to machine, gradually charging it at each machine along the way, and then you could take it home and power stuff around your house! The more you work out, the more you save on your power bill. Obviously, equipment design, with regards to overall usability, would be arguably more important than how well the power-generation systems work, but don’t think engineers would have any problem at all finding people to test the equipment if the testers got the equivalent of a free gym membership in return.

The real issue here is that I need to quit going to the gym like a douchebag and start sprinting naked through the forest after chopping wood a few times a week.