Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Coming!

Before the main story, thank you again to all who have donated to the Alzheimer's Association on my behalf. It is so exciting and humbling to see that I have reached nearly half of my goal and it's only January 31st!

I am so appreciative of the support from many and I also have learned a lot about how Alzheimer's affects families terribly from some of the stories people have shared with me. How emotionally painful it is to see a family member in that state. If you have a story to share, I would love to add it to my mental file.

As always, if you find it in your heart and budget to donate, I would be greatly honored. You can click on the link on the side or click here.

I don't want to get too preachy, but I liked a verse our pastor shared during the message last weekend about giving money. It was about Moses and the Israelites after they left Egypt. Moses spoke to the people about bringing offerings. He said in Exodus 35:20-21:

20 Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, 21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.

That's been my whole approach with seeking donations. I don't want to pressure people. If they want to donate to this cause, great. If not, that's fine too.


The newest storm of the century is approaching as we speak. Hysteria has been created in the media. Green (rain) is good. Pink (sleet/freezing rain) can get dicey. Blue (snow) sounds like it'll mostly stay north of Pittsburgh. I'm seeing reports online about how Chicago and the midwest is getting pounded pretty good. School's even delayed already for Tuesday.

From my vantage point, it's looking like we'll have an icy Tuesday morning and then it will change over to rain, get a little icy again Tuesday night and then go away. We'll see how things turn out I suppose.

Here's an optical illusion for you--icicles forming upward. Isn't that called stalactites or stalagmites? I always get those two confused.

What happened is the icicles were forming, but then the snow that was on top of the overhang began to shift forward as temperatures warmed up. For some reason, the snow stuck together and curled around, causing the icicles to be facing upward.

Not that we ran out and got groceries due to the storm, but Sunday was when I went to get groceries. For entertainment purposes, I snapped a few photos of our our weekly cyclical pattern:

Refrigerator full.

Two people training many, many hours per week consume/devour the food, leaving the refrigerator barren.

Go to the grocery store and load up the cart to the top (even though it's only for two people).

Refrigerator is replenished. Repeat once weekly.

In other news, the Steelers are now in Dallas getting ready for the Super Bowl against Marit's Green Bay Packers (Sorry to Jen H's Bears). The picture is one I took driving home as Heinz Field prepared for a Steeler send-off rally last Friday.

Looks like a pretty evenly-matched game and will be interesting to see what big plays make the difference. Sitting back, I definitely think that Steelers fans are fortunate to have such a great franchise. Eight Super Bowls in 37 years. That's one appearance in less than every five years. Some NFL teams haven't made it. Ever.

Then, there's my beloved Buccos who won three NL East titles in a row from 1990-1992. Until...
They were a Francisco Cabrera cheap hit (and poor Barry Bonds throw) away from making it to the World Series in 1992. In my youthful ignorance of seeing the Steelers success and the Pens win two Stanley Cups in a row with Mario & company, I just assumed the Pirates would be back competing for a World Series in another year or two. 18 years later...

I was sharing that story with a student on the track team. I told him to appreciate the Steelers being back in the Super Bowl for the third time in six years. To appreciate the Penguins making it to back-to-back Stanley Cup finals (and having some of the best players in the NHL). It may not always be like this! (Okay, I feel old now)

We were at Robert Morris University last weekend for a track meet. To say the athletes were packed into the Sewell Center like sardines is insulting to sardines.
It was a good meet, the jumping is coming along--not that they get to practice jumping into sand during the week. I guess they could jump into snow?

I had a chance to run with Beth on Sunday as our training schedules meshed. It's been a few weeks for our weekend long run to match up. I have been following my marathon training plan to a T and four weeks in I haven't missed a workout. Prior to this regimented training, here's how my training was set up--especially on the weekends:

Beth: How far are you running today?

Me: I don't know. How about you?

Beth: I'm running ____ miles (or for _____ minutes).

Me: Okay, I'll do that, too.

That was that. And that's how a lot of my bike training for my half ironman went last summer, too.

Stay safe out there if you have to travel with the bad weather coming!

Saturday, January 22, 2011



*In my first attempt at serious fund-raising. It's coming along. I made my first round of directed emails to solicit donations for the Alzheimer's Association and it went well. For those of you who responded, thanks so much for the generosity. I'm already over 1/4 of the way towards my goal of raising $1,000. If you are interested in donating, you can follow the link here.

If you haven't heard from me yet about it, you probably will some time in the next three months. :) Thank you in advance!

*On the college basketball front. My three teams are definitely at different stages:

Arizona (15-4, 4-2 Pac-10) - worked their way into the rankings this past week, but then went out and lost to #20 Washington on Thursday. As long as they maintain their current efforts, Sean Miller's team should be in a position to start a new NCAA tournament appearance streak.

Penn State (10-8, 3-4 Big Ten) - seems like they're playing a ranked team every night out. After edging out #19 MSU and then #16 Illinois, they lost by 3 to now #1 Ohio State and after that by 1 to #13 Purdue, both on the road. Maybe they're on to something and are no longer the doormat of the Big Ten. Maybe. They've still got Michigan and Northwestern (twice) but all the others are ranked teams. Maybe just maybe they can hold on and go .500 in conference play and sneak into the tournament.

Davidson (8-11, 2-6 Southern)- is in a clear rebuilding year. They kind of held it together last year after Stephen Curry left for the NBA. But, they are now in a position of getting younger guys in the starting lineup. In their top 7 minutes leaders, they have 1 senior, 4 sophomores, and two freshman (one of which starts). The next two years will certainly be better for Davidson.

*In my training. The marathon mileage is coming along. 32 miles last week and, after tomorrow's 13-miler, 36 this week. I swam on Tuesday and also this morning to sprinkle in some cross training. Slowly the swimming is improving. I definitely enjoy swimming. Just not a lot of it and I'm just not that fast. However, I was happy that I was able to execute a 2x10x100yd on 2 min (w/ 1min rest in between) today.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Will the Streak End at 18?

My blog-writing? Yes. I'm blogged out and need a break for a few days.

The Pirates' number of consecutive losing seasons? Probably not, unless they get some better pitching this summer.

Good night.

Monday, January 17, 2011

History of Pittsburgh in Pictures

Back in December, Beth went to a swim clinic at Carnegie Mellon University. I dropped her off and came back to pick her up. I got there before it finished so I had some time to roam around the building where the pool is.

So, I go up to the second floor and come across this mural that wrapped around all the walls of the second floor rotunda. What I stumbled upon were these paintings that captured what Pittsburgh looked like from about the early 1900's to the 1970's or 1980's. It spans the entire rotunda and you can read more about it

I snapped a couple of shots and here were some of my favorites (If you click on the picture, it's a little bit bigger and you can see more detail):

This first one shows downtown WAY back in the day. Lots of steel mills and smoke. Also, that's not PNC Park, it's Exposition Park along the North Side. It's interesting to see the bridges that connected downtown back then.

The next two show the Oakland area with Forbes Field from two different angles. I know where Forbes Field was and the topography around it (close to where my education classes were), but I guess I never realized how steep of a drop off it was set upon along the right field side of the park. You can make out Pitt's Cathedral of Learning (the tallest structure) and the hospital where Beth now works!. Also, CMU was called Carnegie Tech back then.

The last two show more of present Pittsburgh along the Monongahela (above) and the Allegheny (below). In the view with the Mon, you can see 'The Bluff' that Duquesne University sits upon. In the one of the Allegheny, you can see most of the modern downtown buildings and the bridges that I come down along during my daily commute. No PNC Park in the picture, though.

Anyway, thought that was neat and highly recommend it for anyone who's a fan of Pittsburgh, history, and maps. I spent a half hour there and didn't even realize it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hijacking the GPS

Since Beth was stuck on her bike for FOUR HOURS this morning, I hijacked (errr.....asked to borrow) her GPS watch for my 12 mile run. I mapped out a course and wanted to see how well it worked. I loved the feedback of getting the beep for each mile and also the split for each mile. Very informative.

I chose one of Charlie's favorite courses, running along the river and then up Oak Manor Drive. Very steep from 8.33 miles to 9.75 miles (thanks to the Garmin). I was able to average 7:26 pace for the whole run, which I'm excited about since it's still January.

Probably the coolest part of the watch was the data and graphs you get when you upload it to the computer:

As of Saturday, four months until the marathon. And, if you haven't read in the past, I'm running to support the Alzheimer's Association and would love to receive your support towards my goal of raising $1000 as I work towards trying to go sub-3 at the Pittsburgh marathon.

I'm still looking for stories of how Alzheimer's has affected people's families and would love to hear your story and carry it with me on marathon day. You can click HERE to donate online. Thank you very much for the help and support.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Edinboro, Stillers, and PSU

The trip to Edinboro was a little snowy going up, but at least I was greeted by our yummy, friendly neighbors to the north.

This was our first time at Edinboro University's indoor track.

It's a bubble and the track inside is 230 meters. Something about they had to make it big enough to accommodate multiple basketball courts for the IM department, so the athletic department didn't have to foot the whole bill.

Here was my view for the meet:

I was asked to help out with the timing computers today. I did this back in the day at PSU (was it really 10 years ago?....I am OLD!) while Beth was blazing around the track for the Nittany Lions. After being a little rusty at the beginning, it was like riding a bike. Click, click, click, save, next race! The only thing is that I miss the whole meet in the process while staring at the computer all day. Some of the jumpers got some video of their events, so I'll have to take a look at their jumps over the next week.

The Steelers won a close slugfest against the Ravens. On to the AFC Championship game in New England if the Patriots win or here against the Jets if NY wins.

PSU almost made it three ranked teams in a row when they took Ohio State down to the final minute. But, the Buckeyes pulled it out, 69-66.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Thursday night indoor meet at Pitt. Saturday meet at Edinboro (2 hrs away). Thank goodness no long travels next weekend.

So far so good with the marathon mileage. After the 12 on Sunday, I'll have 32 for the week.

Penn State basketball had two big upsets this past week against ranked Michigan State and ranked Illinois. We'll see what happens when the head to Columbus to face #2 Ohio State this weekend. I was looking at Penn State's schedule last week and wondered since when was more than half the Big Ten ranked? Just making those Lions earn their NCAA tournament berth (yeah right).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

First Indoor Track of the Year

Pretty much just writing to keep the streak alive. 13-for-13 in 2011 and 14 in a row. Not really sure why I started this streak. I guess I figured around January 3rd it would be entertaining to see how long I could keep it.

Track meet tonight at Pitt. Most of the performances would be what you would expect from a meet in January. It was a good measuring stick and we found lots of stuff to take away and improve on. For the jumpers, it's just a great experience to get to jump into sand.

My run this morning was scheduled to be a 9-miler. With the snow I figured any route near home or near school would be somewhat snowy. But, I knew our high school's maintenance crew always does a great job clearing the road and sidewalks around the building and they did not disappoint. Clear sailing! Each lap is 0.5 miles (I think more like 0.49 when I went back and clicked it off), so I did 18 wonderful laps around the school. I switched directions every two miles just for a change of scenery. Surprisingly, it went by fairly quickly.

School and practice tomorrow and then a trip up to Edinboro for a meet on Saturday.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WINTER Track & Pirates' Top 10 Minor Leaguers

The "less than an inch" this morning turned into 3-5 inches and closed or delayed most schools here in Pittsburgh (way to go, National Weather Service). We ended up just having a delay which means a rushed day, especially when giving tests in two classes.

Thursday is our debut Indoor Track meet of the season at Pitt. It's nice to get back out there and see where the athletes are. It's always interesting with the jumpers because we don't really have any indoor "sand pit" and the outdoor one is covered with a half foot of snow. So, we've done agility drills, plyometrics, run-throughs, and several other things. But, we'll see what happens when they get on the runway and take off into the pit. It should be fun!

Every off-season, Baseball America comes out with a ranking of every team's minor league system. The Pirates' review came out today and, thanks to my Baseball America subscription Christmas present from the sis-in-law, I was able to check out all the scouting reports and all the "insider" information on the team.

Here's the Pirates' Top 10 from the free part of their website:
1. Jameson Taillon, rhp
2. Tony Sanchez, c
3. Stetson Allie, rhp
4. Starling Marte, of
5. Luis Heredia, rhp
6. Bryan Morris, rhp
7. Rudy Owens, lhp
8. Jeff Locke, lhp
9. Zack Von Rosenberg, rhp
10. Chase d'Arnaud, ss/2b

I've seen #6-8 and 10 at various minor league stops. Sanchez and Marte are slated to start at Altoona this spring (can't wait to see them) and I hope the wave of high school pitchers from the 2010 and 2009 drafts start making their way up the ladder.

Back in August when my dad and I made a trip over to Altoona for a game, we saw Rudy Owens pitch.

Here was my scouting report from August:

Owens' fastball sat in the 86-88 mph range, hitting 90 mph twice. His offspeed pitches produced a lot of swing-and-miss by the opponents. A good comp would be Maholm or Duke with the Pirates.

Here's a portion of BA's scouting report released today:

Owens grew stronger as the season progressed in another way, too, as his fastball went from 87-90 to 90-93 mph down the stretch....His fastball command is solid—occasionally, it's excellent—and the pitch has some late run. His secondary offerings, a slurvy breaking ball and a changeup, are no better than average pitches but he locates them well. ...the way he uses it to pick apart hitter's weaknesses is reminiscent of a young Zach Duke.

Maybe I have a future in scouting....or not.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In The End...

They (the National Weather Service) pretty much got it right....on the third revision! The only thing that stunk about the snow was when it came down. Poor Beth was the victim of being on the roads after the snow started but before they were treated in the mid-afternoon. Her drive from downtown-- 90 minutes

For me, the roads were just wet, but I had to deal with rush hour traffic. My trip home-- about 90 minutes.

Also, in the end, it turned out that Auburn is the national champ (even though there's no playoff still) and Beth and I are very mediocre at making bowl selections. Final tally:

Beth: 13-20-2
O: 18-15-2
and O's over/under: 15 right, 18 wrong.

Seems like the snow's through so we should be good for tomorrow. That's a good thing because there's a lot of testing and midterm preparation that still needs to get done this week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'll Believe It When I See It

So, the National Weather Service (note: this is NOT the local media trying to drum up viewership) started out Sunday issuing a "Winter Storm Watch" where there could be "Greater than 6 inches."

Around 4pm, they then issued a "Winter Weather Advisory" to replace the Winter Storm Watch where we may get 3-6 inches between Tuesday AM and Thursday PM (36 hours). I go to the local forecast and it's now saying 1 inch Tuesday during the day, 1-3" Tuesday night, and "snow showers possible" Wednesday (with nothing about any additional accumulation.

So, in conclusion, this went from 6+ inches to maybe just 2 inches in two days.

Come on!

To quote Charlie's high school coach, the immortal Coach A, "That LIAR the Weatherman" strikes again! The only profession where there's a lower success rate is major league baseball where getting a hit 3 out of 10 times is highly successful.

Good luck to Maija's Oregon Ducks tonight against Auburn. I picked the Ducks (+3) over the Tigers on my bowl picks back in December. I've had a great run since the New Year started. 10 out of 11 until Nevada failed to cover the 9.5 against Boston College. So, will the hot picks continue or will the law of averages strike again?

Off to the grocery store for our WEEKLY shopping (nothing to do with the weather) where I'm sure there will be chaos and long lines for this 1 inch of snow predicted for Tuesday during the day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Frigid and Uphill Running

So, the windchill ended up being 3 above. Not much different in feel from last year. I ended up 6th overall and 3rd in my age group. I was 14 seconds slower than last year- 30:24 vs 30:10. Chad had a great race and gapped me early and I couldn't catch him on the last hill. Beth ran a solid race and finished 3rd female. Ben followed right behind Beth, and Heather had a solid race after a week of being sick and not getting much sleep.

(Pictured is the Lebo teaching/running brigade)

The splits were interesting. I was actually slightly ahead of last year through three miles.
mi -2011 (2010)
1-5:54 (5:52)
2-5:43 (5:40)
3-5:24 (5:36)....17:01 (17:08)
4-6:19 (6:12)
5-7:03 (6:50)

But, I just didn't have it in miles 4 and 5. That last hill sure is a doozy! Overall, a decent day, but I feel like my breathing was not as good as it could have been. Official marathon training starts tomorrow. Pittsburgh, here I come!

After that, Beth and Chad were two of the presenters at the Pittsburgh Triathlon Club's Clinic at REI on the South Side. Good knowledge shared by all.

And, to end this I'll present to you a Youtube video someone created of Marshawn Lynch's game-clinching run for the Seattle Seahawks against the New Orleans Saints. He breaks a ton of tackles and ends up even scoring. This video put it to the sounds of Super Mario Brothers. A good blast from the past!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Frigid Five Upcoming and My Pirates Compadre

Still going to be Frigid Sunday morning, but at least it won't be zero when we wake up like last year. They're calling for 16 degrees with a wind chill of 3. The goals for the race are always dependent on the snow and the traction. The one thing that's constant in the race is that last .75 mile up-hill. Killer but so fun!

It's been a fun weekend of hanging out with Beth's mom and playing scrabble and celebrating Christmas again. It finishes up with Beth speaking at a Triathlon Clinic Sunday afternoon. Full weekend.

How about Seattle answering the critics and beating New Orleans? Impressive. And to think that their Tight End who caught a TD, John Carlson, was drafted by the computer for my fantasy team and I didn't even know who he was back in August.

Speaking of fantasy teams, at the Christmas party Friday night I caught up with Beth's cousin's husband who is the most knowledgeable Pirate fan I know. Every time we get together we talk Pirates. We carried on a 10 minute coherent, logical conversation about the state of the Pirates and where they need to improve and where the future looks bright. It's so fun. You know he's good when the conversation shifts to Benito Santiago and he totally knew when I told him that we got him for Leo Nunez and Nunez has been closing for the Marlins on and off the last two years. That's a baseball guy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Merry Christmas!

...and "Kala Christougena" from Beth's mother's side of the family that is Serbian Orthodox.....and also wishes of a Merry Christmas from a pretty good DB for the Steelers:

Here's an article about Troy Polamalu and celebrating his faith from the Post-Gazette today.

That makes it 7-for-7 on a day with a picture of #43 (4+3=7)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lebo Drumline at the Winter Classic

At the NHL Winter Classic on New Year's, our high school's drum line was lining the entryway to the ice for the Pens and Caps. One of them is even our top 400m guy in track. The video gets chopped off on the blog so you can see it a little better on Youtube here.

PS: 6-for-6

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Scrabble Victory!

Jan 5 and 5 blog entries (getting cheaper by the day).

Beth's mom is in town to celebrate the Serbian Orthodox Christmas on Friday. She's staying with us and of course we engaged in a lively game of Scrabble this evening (picture above from Facebook Scrabble where Beth's sister KILLS us every game). Somehow, I ended up on top by 2 points. How did that happen? I was the scorekeeper I guess.

Tomorrow is Curriculum Night at the school from 7-9pm so I, with my before school run with my cousin, I won't be home from 5:30am-10pm. We'll see if blog #6 happens. Not looking promising.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

P is for Pizzelles

4-for-4, but I'm stretching....

My grandma makes awesome pizzelles. They're somewhat unique because they're very thin (unlike the picture below).

Here's a picture of Beth toting the literal buckets of pizzelles my grandma made for all the grandkids at Christmas.

I fell asleep at halftime of the VT-Stanford game. I wish they started earlier. Ohio State-Arkansas tonight, probably won't make it to halftime again. Let's see if the Big Ten can win at least one bowl game. Not that any of these games matter in the grand scheme of things except for Auburn-Oregon. If only there was a playoff....

During the commercials I was switching over to ESPN2 because they were airing a Harlem Globetrotters 'game.'

I find it to be so hilarious. Kind of like WWF, but funnier and it's basketball, not wrestling. They're amazingly skilled athletes and I find myself laughing out loud even though they're doing some of the same skits from 30 years ago.

Pitt basketball is playing Providence College at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Yum!

Time to walk the dog and check out the OSU-Arkansas game. I can't believe I'm somewhat pulling for the Buckeyes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

In My Dreams...

3-for-3 in blogging in 2011.

The first day back at school went well. It's funny because I always feel like it takes forever to get to lunch the first day back. I get so hungry probably because I eat the last lunch period (a little before 1:00) and when I'm home for an extended time, I get used to eating earlier.

Not much else going on, but figured I'd put some words down to keep the streak going. One thing that I didn't follow up on from a few weeks ago was a trade proposal that I would love for the Pirates to make. This will never happen, but I can at least make a coherent argument in favor of it working on both sides.

So, here's the trade - The Pirates acquire infielder Michael Young from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Ryan Doumit, Paul Maholm, and a player to be named (among a list).

What got me thinking about this was, back in early December, Young was rumored to be on the block as the Rangers were trying to acquire Cliff Lee and also 3B Adrian Beltre. Well, Cliff Lee ended up signing surprisingly with the Phillies. So I figured it wasn't worth writing about any more. However, the Rangers look like they're going to sign Beltre, creating an expensive logjam in their infield. Also, Young has a history with new Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. Hurdle was the hitting coach for the Rangers the past few years. That's gotta count for something.

Why would this be a good trade for the Pirates? I think they could put Young back at shortstop and get similar defensive results with much better offense. Young has been at 3B the last two years, but was a shortstop before that. While his UZR from 2008 was -4.6 (negative isn't good) and he's now two years older (35 for 2011), Ronny Cedeno was a -3.6 in 2010, also subpar. So, you're not losing much there either way--both below average.

However, Cedeno's OPS in 2010 was a tiny 0.675 while Young's in 2010 was 0.774 (and in 2009 0.892). Imagine a right-handed slugger to protect the lefties Alvarez, Jones, and Overbay (not really a slugger) and the switch-hitting Walker.

Or, you could even put Young at 3B and make the inevitable move of Alvarez to 1B under the tutelage of Overbay some time within the next three years.

Doumit has fallen out of favor with the Pirates, but he's a perfect fit for an AL team. Maholm's days are numbered as there are cheaper alternatives on the way that will hopefully be up later this summer (how exciting that it's the new year and I can say 'later this summer')

Why would this trade be good for the Rangers? Money. Young is due $16 million per year in 2011, 2012, and 2013. They are going to sign Beltre, also a third baseman, for somewhere in the neighborhood of $90 million for 6 years ($15 million/year). They will also have players like Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, and Neftali Feliz all reaching Free Agency in the next few years. The Pirates can certainly absorb some payroll right now.

Also they would be buying low on Ryan Doumit. A perfect AL player--he can "adequately" play catcher, 1B, and RF. He's had decent OPS years but can't stay healthy. Doumit is due $5 million for 2011 with options of $7 and $8 million for 2012 and 2013, respectively. If Doumit doesn't work out, get rid of him after this year with no long term ramifications (allowing you to focus money on all the other guys outlined above). If he finally lives up to his potential, he's a bargain.

Maholm would be a solid #4-5 starter for them since they lost out on Lee. The PTBNL would depend on how much cash was going in which direction. If the Pirates absorb all of Young's contract, it would be a lesser minor leaguer. If Texas would through in some $$, then perhaps one of the AAA pitchers.

So, I say be bold and make a trade. It would benefit both teams and would give the casual Pirate fan hope that the turning of the corner may be closer than you think!

Also, on the front of being bold, why couldn't the Pirates have paid $3million more for Derrek Lee (who's reportedly getting $8-$10 million) to play 1B instead of Lyle Overbay? A 0.972 OPS in 2009 for Lee (but 0.774 in 2010) while a 0.762 OPS in 2010 for Overbay. Both are solid defensively, but Lee has more pop and his right-handed bat would have balanced out the left-handed power. Disappointing for a team that did very little through free agency this off-season. I hope the young guys continue to get better, but they need a better supporting cast.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2 Days, 2 Blog Entries

Let's see how long I can keep this going. My guess is the streak will end by Thursday.

*Back to school tomorrow. The break seemed like it went quick, but I guess you can't get greedy because there are a bunch of people out there who don't get time off between Christmas and New Year's.

*Had you gone against my Bowl Predictions, you could've made yourself some money. So far I'm 13-14-1 against the spread but only because I went 5-1 on New Year's Day (wimpy Michigan State). Beth is 9-18-1 but was beating me until she went on a 1-11 slump from Dec 29-31 and went 2-4 on New Year's Day (misguided Big Ten loyalty). My over-unders are ugly: 11-15 but again bailed out the last few days. Bottom line, gambling is not the way to go.

*The Pitt situation went from sad to bizarre. I thought they should've given Wannstedt one more year. But, this situation with the new coach being charged with assault of his baby's mother is odd. Pitt is really behind now on recruiting as more are decommitting each day. I'm surprised, but don't disagree, with Joe Paterno's insistence that Tom Bradley is the best candidate for the job at this point. I'd hate to see Bradley go (especially to Pitt), but he deserves a shot as a head coach and was the main recruiter in Western PA for Penn State.

*Over the break, I logged 43 miles in 6 days. It's fun getting back into it. My official marathon training starts the 10th and the 15th is already four months out from the Marathon. Oh, you may have heard me mention this before (ha ha), but I'm running to help raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. If you can spare a few bucks, you can donate online here.

We'll see if I can get entry #3 in tomorrow...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Highs and Lows

Ran out of time yesterday, but here are the highs and lows. Last year's can be found here. And 2008 here.

The lows aren't really lows. We've been very blessed. They're more just inconveniences and have silver linings. But, here they are:

1. The week of snow. Can you say cabin fever as we were stuck inside for just about an entire week? It did lead to the video capturing Roxy guarding the house from the mailman, though.

2. Our summer travels where we were stuck on planes trying to get back from Providence and when Beth's eyes were almost falling out on our trip to NC. But, both were great trips, so just minor bumps in the road.

3. The Pirates years of losing turned old enough to vote. 18 years of sub .500 ball and counting. And I was there to witness loss 82. But, the future is beginning to arrive. If only they could find some pitching.

2010 Highs

1. The Kona Experience. The Big Island and the Ironman is truly and event. Beth and all the other Pittsburgher's sure made it a fun trip. Definitely a memorable experience.

2. The summer trips. One of the nice things about triathlons is that you get to go to places you wouldn't otherwise. This year, we went to Maryland (twice), Providence, Durham, Cedar Point, and (of course) Hawaii.

3. Running success. No marathons this year, but I completed my first ever half ironman, almost went sub-17 in a 5k, nearly equaled my 10k PR, and captured my first ever road race victory. I'll be doing the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and will be running to support the Alzheimer's Association.

Happy New Year all!