Saturday, December 27, 2008

We win

I don't celebrate football as much as I used to, but it was nice to watch my alma mater win the Champs 2nd Rater Bowl tonight. It was played in Orlando but Bri and I got together with the Triangle Seminole Alumni club at Buckhead Saloon in Raleigh to catch all the action.

We had a great time at Aunt Heather and Uncle Sean's house in Chesapeake. Bri and I checked out a new park on the VA-N border, called Northwest River Park. It had some nice running/hiking trails. We also got a run in on the Virginia Beach boardwalk (a cement run next to the beach). I also logged 16 hours on Call of Duty 4.

Then we watched Marley and Me and everyone cried. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, Marley is a lovable yellow lab, who terrorizes his owners, goes through lots of zany antics, lives a long, great life with a loving family, and then dies in a long, drawn out scene designed to make hardened criminals, stone cold Special Forces, and evil silicon trophy wives cry like babies. The end.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Investment advisory coaching

I've decided that Bri and I will open up an investment advisory firm, or hedge fund, or unregulated security pool, sometime in the near future. This whole personal coaching thing is great but it's time to take things One Step Beyond. Ha ha. We'll take the money and do wonderful magical things with it, until people start to ask for it back, in which case I will tell them all about the early redemption fees and penalties for leaving our fund. Our fund name will be called Phoenix & Ash Returns Wealth Advisory Management. It's like a clever play on words, if you're an @sshole.

The great thing is, since all these supposed qualifications and letters and fancy schmancy diplomas don't mean anything anymore, we're not going to get any of them. We'll just make you sign a document that states you trust us completely and we can do whatever we want with your money.

Our minimum account requirement is $100,000. We accept gold coins and small unmarked bills. A check will work if necessary but then add a 10% handling fee for check and bank stuff.

Here's our return since 2001:
2001: 12%
2002: 11%
2003: 12%
2004: 10% (a bad year)
2005: 13%
2006: 14%
2007: 12%
2008: 7%

As you can see, we totally kick ass at investing shizzle. Throw me your dollars, quick.

Friday, December 19, 2008

survey results

1. Did you miss the surveys?

47.4% Yes
10.5% what is a survey
31.6% I don't even know how I got here

2. Interests rates may go down to 4.5% for a 30-year fixed mortgage but only for home purchases, not refinancing. If they do, what will you do?

31.6% Buy a new house
21.1% Put some more newspaper in my clothes to keep me warm while I wander the streets
21.1% Shoot a banker
21.1% Refinance, because I don't have good reading comprehension skills

3. I am in danger of losing my job.

47.4% No
47.4% It is scary out here

4. My savings and investments these days are concentrated in:

5.3% Booze and hookers, like Eliot Spitzer, who now writes for Slate Magazine, so he must know something
26.3% I am too young/too poor to have things like investments and asset allocations, ha ha, you said assets
26.3% Stocks/ETFs - they always go up in the long run

5. In 2009, I will (triathlon related):

36.8% Race and travel as much as usual
15.8% Reduce my consumption in order to make my carbon footprint smaller, and smoke dope hippie

6. Next summer my big trip will be:

52.6% Somewhere close but nice with family/friends
36.8% No big trip for us

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I've had tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, consistently for longer than I can remember. It was not something I paid attention to until a few months ago, when it kicked up a notch in volume. Imagine a subtle high pitched tone in your ear, that never goes off, ever. That's tinnitus.

It's not loud enough to make me stone deaf, but if you've ever sat with me in a crowded restaurant, you may notice that I have to turn my head or cup my ear to hear what you're saying. I literally can't make out words in those situations. You might say "So what did you do yesterday?" And I would hear something like "Sas vassid suyou sterday?"

This is great when people insult me, because I just nod my head and give them an idiotic smile. Which sort of takes the punch out of an insult. But if you're going to insult me, go &@^* yourself, really. (I just like writing that to you, oh dear reader).

Anyway, we picked up a product called Ring Relief from the local drug store. It is a homeopathic remedy, but thank God, it actually works. It doesn't completely stop the ringing, but reduces it significantly. The downside is that it is short term relief. The upside is that I'm not always going "Huh? Whaaa?" to Bri all the time.

The point is, don't go to 50 rock and roll concerts in your teens and 20s. Also, don't do drugs. And stay in school. And don't stay up late. And stop picking at that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bond Park 5k

I ran the Bond Park Jolly Elf 5k this morning. The race is part of the Second Empire series so there were plenty of competitors out. Bond Park has a mixture of singletrack, paved trails and dirt trails. A lot of people took it out really fast so I had to fight my way through a bunch on the first mile. During the second mile I was with a group of 3 others and we missed a sharp right turn that was not well marked, and wound up adding about 15-20 seconds to our times. Fortunately since this is our local training run, I was able to get us back onto the correct course.

I felt solid and ran 19:30 despite being out late at a Christmas party last night.

Tassie and Bri cheered me on.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


On Monday I bought a few shares of SKF, an ultrashort financial ETF. This is basically a bet that financial news will be bad. We got it at 104.5 and yesterday and today sold half at 118 and another half at 116. I had to go to lunch so put a sell stop order in on the half that sold today. It proceeded to close at 130 but I didn't want to give up the gains. It might go to 200 but you never know.

Bri and I will be running in the Bond Park 5k this weekend, just down the street from our house. Looking forward to it.

I played poker last night and came home up 130%, but was out later than planned and Bri wasn't happy with me. :( But I have to practice for the world series of poker.

My race plans for 09:
Dec-Jan: local runs
Feb - Coach Bubba 20k and Gasparilla 15k
March - Azalea Sprint tri
April - Virginia Smithfield Sprint
April 26 - St Anthonys
May 2 - White Lake Half 1
May 9 - White Lake Half 2
May 30 - King of the Mountain
June 28 - Philly Tri
July - ?
August - USAT Nationals
September - VA Beach Tri
September - Wilmington
September - Duke Half

Monday, December 8, 2008

New open water swim series in town

We bring you the Triangle Open Water Swim Series:

April 18 - The 5280 Swim at Beaver Dam (Falls Lake)
June 7 - Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge (Jordan Lake)
August 30 - The Nuclear Swim at Harris Reservoir (Harris Lake)

Proceeds will benefit the Triangle Aquatic Center, where we swim.

Since Bri and I started the master's group, we'd been discussing starting an annual open water race in the area. I used to do tons of these and we have all these great lakes around. So last month I started the process of organizing a swimming race in Jordan Lake.

After looking around a bit, I found out that Jason and the gang at FS Series were planning a one mile race in conjunction with a triathlon at Beaver Dam in April. I got in touch with him, we sat down, and decided to join forces. We came up with three events. So next year, you'll have ample opportunity to jump in an organized open water race here in the Triangle area.

We're still finalizing sanctioning, but it'll either be USA Triathlon or US Masters swimming. Unfortunately, USA Swimming (age group) has a tremendous amount of hoops to jump through, and if you haven't figured it out, I don't jump hoops.

We'll have all the details for each event up by mid-January.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend survey

By popular demand: Weekend survey is back!

weekend update

Mortgage rates at 4.5%

Another article here

That adds up to a big savings over time. Finally Joe Responsible on the street is going to get a chance to participate in the handout process. Buy 3 or 4 of them if you can.

This morning we swam 3x through: 4 x 100 fast on short rest, 200 easy. I got in with the group and felt good, held 1:02s leaving on 1:10 for the last 2 sets (with paddles).

Next week I move up to the Silver Eagle classes in Kung Fu, which means I will be taking on 10 to 12 year olds. I will rule them.

We're off to Charlotte for a day to see my sis, niece, and bro in law and family tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

swim test

Yesterday morning I tortured our master's group with a 1,000 yard swim for time. Everyone was psyched to do it. :P

What most of them don't know was that I'd go on to do the same test in the evening. It's been a long time since I've done a 1,000 for time, and it was good to see I haven't completely lost it after this past easy year of training. I swam an 11:15, which is 1.07.5 pace per 100.

About 600 yards into it I realized that almost exactly 20 years ago, I swam a December dual meet my freshman year in college, and swam a 9:40 (my PR). Point being, I've only slowed down 10 seconds per 100 yards - or 1/2 second for every year that has passed.

Which leads me to my deep thought of the day: The clock is always ticking. 20 years have got behind you, no one tells you when to run, don't miss the starting gun.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cyber Monday

Bri has mentioned it in person or on her blog, but in many ways I can be a tightfisted cheapskate. I don't like to part with money unless it's on:

a) beer and food
b) investments of any sort
c) travel
d) races
e) worthwhile stuff for family or friends

Things that don't make it onto my list:
a) expensive restaurants
b) clothing
c) consumables of every sort.

But, for the past year my laptop PC has been getting slower and slower. We also have an old desktop that is even more of a dinosaur. The stuff that most internet sites streams down these days is high tech, takes up huge memory, and even some basic programs like Outlook move in very frustrating motion. I can't take it anymore, and Bri's laptop is also dying of old age.

So today we bought a new computer. My laptop has 384 MB of RAM, and the new desktop comes with 2 or 3 gigabytes of RAM. We also got a 20 inch monitor for $100 as part of the package ( until 12/4). Not bad at all.

I weighed the pros and cons of buying a 1/2 oz gold American Eagle instead. But we need a fully functional PC that will last us for the next few years and the constant hangups on this thing have driven me around the bend.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

biggie size wit dat

Bri and I have decided that in the spring we'll buy the biggest house we can afford. Rates are going to be back to all time lows (5s or under). Locking a 30 year mortgage on a big house before inflation kicks in will mean our future payment streams will just get smaller over time.

I will also be buying several assault rifles and shotguns, to defend us from the zombie hordes that are sure to overrun all civil and federal governments in the next fifteen years. Or from the governments. Whatever.

My big question is, do we go with electrical fencing and barbwire or a bunch of snarling rottweilers to secure the perimeter?

And, underground bomb shelter to wait out the apocalypse, or a helicopter for quick entry and exits?

This is what I sit around worrying about.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

8k Turkey Trot

I went for a pleasant run this morning. Took the neighborhood route to Inside Out, which was a 2.5 mile warm up, then ran the Turkey Trot 8k with 800 of my closest friends. My turnover/stride rate is not great right now but I did a respectable 33:15. Will do some work today and then celebrate Thanksgiving with Bri, my sis in law Shana, her boyfriend Scott, and a couple other friends.

Happy T day to you all.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Video editing

I'm in the process of adding titles, text, and other stuff to the lecture portion of our DVD. It actually looks fairly professional, for which I credit the nearly dummy proof Mac software interfaces. Timelines, layers, and other cool stuff are moderately intuitive. The movie is not going to be quite as high tech as Spider-Man, for example, but I won't be embarrassed to ask someone to pay for it.

In other news, Bri and I had a really nice and relaxing weekend here at home. We did a run on Saturday (I ran, she fought the dogs) and quiet dinner/movie, then a ride through Umstead and our local trails on Sunday, followed by lazing around the house.

Tassie has been very tired today, and slept through most of it.

I will be running in the Inside Out Turkey Trot 8k on Thursday.

Congrats to first time IMers Jen Davis and Amy Kramer, who both did well at Ironman Arizona.

Here is a nice picture of Bri and Tassie I took on one of our walks around our local Bond Park.

That is all.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Today is the greatest

Today I learned a few new things:
- Don't touch a new silver coin with your bare hands if you want to keep it spotless
- Target sells cheap beanies
- Japanese salarymen are too tired from work to have sex, so companies are ordering them to go home and make babies
- Shopping with your wife will make your wife happy
- Economic declines are good times to expand business advertising and operations (provided you haven't gone into insolvency) while competitors exit the industry

On that note, you can check out the new Powerstroke DVD website here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Technical barriers, asset allocation, and market panic

Today we're plummeting down towards 7,000 in the Dow, which if you listen to the folks on Bloomberg is an important technical support level in the market. Institutional buyers may come back in. If they can. So they say. In 2000-2001 I didn't have a pot to piss in, so the dot com crash was meaningless to my finances, and actually beneficial since I started buying in at a low. Bri and I saved a fair amount of dough over the past few years, and now, like a bunch of you, we're watching it disappear into the electronic graveyard. Here's how I cope:

- Keep working and looking for new opportunities to increase current income
- Reallocate a bit - we've taken smallish positions in commodities
- Don't panic - a 30-40 year investment time horizon allows us to get clobbered a couple times (and I don't plan to 'retire')
- Don't commit wasteful spending (instead of a $60 dinner, how about a $30 dinner and $30 in the MMA)
- Watch for opportunity - real estate is going to be a major bargain after all this stuff is washed out of the system
- don't call Bri every half hour and say "The market is up! The market is down!"
- Buy some physical gold and silver as a hedge against a complete collapse

- Keep buying in to the market to some extent
- Keep having fun, turn off the news and chill
- If all else fails, break out your Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A year of DNS

This will go down in my personal history as the year of did not starts (DNS). There are a bunch of them. IM Arizona in April. Mission Man in July. Survival of the Shawangunks in September. Philadelphia Marathon in November. Makes you wonder, what is going on in Marty-world?

What can I say. I just didn't care that much this year. A combination of demotivation and a decided lack of perseverance on the personal athletic homefront regarding endurance events. I signed up for all of these with good intentions, but sometimes things don't work out the way you plan. Since Bri can't run, my lust to drive to Philly and run a marathon has petered out. I'm actually training pretty well and getting fit. Running 5-6x. Swimming 3-4x a week. Kungfu-ing it up. Will even be getting back onto the bike shortly. Just a non-competitive season for me personally. I have been living vicariously through my athlete's exploits (they have done well and that really is pretty rewarding).

Next year will be good. We also have some events in the pipeline that I am going to be psyched to announce. Need to work out a few kinks before making them public.

Next week Master Chen wants me and Dave to test out of Bronze Eagle and start in with the Silver Eagle class. Did you ever see the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer is the best in his karate class? That is us right now. Two 30+ year olds vs five eight year olds.

In other news, the stock market tanked today. Auto industries need to go into bankruptcy and re-org. $78 / hour union workers. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Old Reliable 10k

We're going to head to downtown Raleigh today for the Old Reliable 10k. It's a 2 o'clock run. Pleasant and cool outside, so it'll be a good day for a run.

I'll give it a decent effort but my leg speed is not all that terrific right now.

I have been working on the swim DVD and plans for 2009 the past few days.

In other news, I've been doing some homework on Jim Rogers and the Rogers Agricultural commodities index. (RJA). It is an exchange traded note which tracks 20 commodities like wool, corn, soybeans. Check it out.

That's all I got today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Banking and autos

Today a friend and I chartered a bank and opened up an auto manufacturing business. We immediately declared insolvency and applied for $20,000,000,000 in no interest government loans and preferred stock. They agreed, since our business is vital to the economy.

We are prepared to lend out this money to you, our good friends, for 7% interest, but we will require your home and your family as collateral. Should you fail to repay your obligation, your family will be indentured into serfdom, your home will be razed, and your earth salted.

Have a nice weekend.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend update

We had a nice weekend here. On Friday my Dad and I went fishing for striper bass on Jordan Lake. We didn't catch a thing but it was a gorgeous day and we had a great time. On Saturday we bummed around a bit and then held a poker game here at the house. I lost. But that's how it goes. On Sunday Bri and I were going to head out for a long run in Umstead, but her calf was bothering her. So instead we went home, grabbed Tassie, and took her for a nice walk around Bond Park. The leaves are changing color and it was a nice time. Then we had dinner at our friend Dan's house. Very busy weekend.

The Philly marathon is coming up in just a couple weeks. I am overweight and undertrained, but plan to finish without any drama.

Afternoon update: Due to my general indifference and Bri's current calf/achilles issues, we may bag the seven hour drive to Philly. If that's the case I'll run in the Thunderbolt Marathon over in Charlotte on 12/13. This weekend I am doing the Old Reliable 10k. With a run to downtown that'll be 16 miles or so.

Looking at next year's racing schedule and plan to be more competitive than this season. Here's the 2009 plan right now:

Gasparilla 15k
Azalea sprint
St Anthonys
White Lake half
random summer sprints & 5ks
Duke Liver Center

That is all.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Google ads on Bri's blog

I am the party guilty of placing advertisement on Bri's blog. My website has been getting a couple clicks a month, which adds up to free dollars over time. So while we can't actively encourage you to click on the ads, if you see something you're interested in, feel free to check it out.

This weekend my Dad is coming into town. Tomorrow we're going fishing for striper bass in Jordan Lake. On Saturday we're either going to play some poker here in town or head down to Myrtle Beach to go out on a gambling boat.

I am still taking wushu / kung fu, it is a great physical workout. In a couple of months I will need to be able to do an aerial, which is a cartwheel without putting your hands down. I have never had much of a vertical leap so this is going to take some practice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The last two days here in NC have been cold and rainy. But this morning Bri was a trooper and dragged me out of bed for a 55 minute run with 4 x 5 minute tempo in the middle. It takes me a while to get moving in the morning.

I voted a split ticket today. The toughest choice was either Kay Hagan (D) or Elizabeth Dole (R) for Senate. I voted for Dole since a) she did vote against the bailout and b) a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate with a Democratic President is not something I lie awake dreaming about.

I also picked a couple Libertarians for good measure.

Monday, November 3, 2008

weekend update

We are safely back home here in Cary. It was a good day on Saturday. We watched everyone compete in Ironman Florida. Bri's athletes both did well and my athlete (all first timers) also beat his goal time. Everyone was happy. I opted to sleep in on Saturday morning and skip the swim start, then rock and rolled the rest of the day.

Driving down and back was a bit of a chore, but other than that we had a lot of fun. I listened to Howard Stern, Sirius Patriot or Bloomberg radio for most of my driving shifts. Sirius Patriot is a conservative leaning station with the likes of Mike Church, Andrew Wilcow, and Sean Hannity. They are basically more entertaining than the hippies and stoners that you get on Sirius Left. I occasionally listen to them, but the dialogue tends to be slow moving and the callers are all peaceful and placid, like surfers on valium. Angry conservatives make for better talk radio.

Bloomberg news is just waaay exciting. Korean stock talk. You can't get any better.

We ran 1 hour 45 minutes on Saturday during the race.

I ate a lot of junk food.

The end.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

travel to IMFlorida

Tomorrow morning we're going to drive to Panama City Beach to watch some of our friends/athletes compete in the Ironman. I'm not looking forward to the drive but the event is always a good time. Going to try and do my long run for the week on Saturday during the bike portion of the event.

I won another 50% of my stake last night in poker. I was down to my last 15 dollars, then called an all-in from one of the more aggressive players. He had a pair of kings, I had slow played a low flush on the flop.

The end of October also is the deadline for submitting 3rd quarter payroll taxes. I'd like to take this opportunity to give the finger to all the idiots in Washington who piss away our hard earned tax dollars.

Isn't poker and politics more interesting than training log updates?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crash Proof review

I finished Crash Proof, by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital. It paints a dire picture of the US economy and what the near future holds for the US dollar. A summary:

Prognosis: Devaluation of the dollar vs other currency, resulting in both inflation and recession. The devaluation is due to the excesses of printing dollars backed only by faith and credit (but not gold), and deficit spending. Plus the $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities like SS and Medicare.

Key info: real inflation is closer to 8%, not what the government tells you in the CPI.

Treatment and cure (for individual investors): Invest in foreign dividend-paying stocks and gold (through physical bullion, certificates of deposit at the Perth Mint, and maybe an ETF like GLD). His advice is something like 70/30 with additional adequate liquidity (6 months living expenses) denominated in yen, euros, yuan, or swiss francs. You can do this through various ETFs or open a foreign bank account.

The book was released in February, 2007. For fun I decided to take a look at what might have happened if I had been smart enough to follow the advice to the T on October 10, 2007 (just after the peak of the US stock market). Using a fictional $100,000 for ease of calculation we'll allocate $60 grand to VTRIX (Vanguard Intl Value Fund - no US Stocks), $30,000 to gold (spot price), $5,000 to Swiss Francs, and $5,000 to Japanese Yen.

$100,000 on 10-10-2007 buys:
$5000 to Yen = 586,050 yen.
$5000 to Francs = 5,932 francs.
$30,000 to gold = 40.47217 ounces
$60,000 to VTRIX at 47.57/share = 1261.3 shares

Converting back to USD on 10-10-2008 (1 year later):
We'll add 1% interest to the cash on yen and francs figuring we had them in interest bearing accounts of some sort:
591,910.5 Yen to USD at 100.481 = $5,890.77
5,991.32 francs to USD at 1.129 = $5,306.75
40.47217 oz gold to USD at 900.5/oz = $36,445.19
1261.3 shares + 3.35 dividend at 23.78/share = $34,227.87.

total = $81,870.59. The foreign markets have been hit as bad as the US lately. The total allocation has done better than a US equity portfolio (but not a cash account) and if you believe that the US economy is in trouble then taking another look at this sort of allocation might be worthwhile.

Anyways, it is a good read.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Handouts for failed institutions

Here it goes. The Fed is handing out funny money to anyone with a lobbyist in Washington. Detroit automakers that were churning out gas guzzlers with absolutely no visionary strategy. Foreign bank subsidiaries. Failed insurers and banks. Who's next? Starbucks. We need this stalwart on every corner. Medical insurers. They don't collect enough. Hospitals that can't collect from insurance companies but keep servicing illegal immigrants. Local governments. Foreign governments. A cat food company. Some company I incorporated that does something obscure but needs funding. Everyone gets a piece. Who cares? It's not like we need to pay it back. What a total and complete cop out.

Onto another subject. I'm convinced that insiders in the Republican party did their best to torch McCain's chances of actually winning the election. They hooked him up with a relative unknown for his VP candidate. They've probably given him bad advice on a variety of issues, from not accepting public funding to policy issues, all under the guise of being friends and confidantes. Bri mentioned a few days ago that she felt bad for McCain since everything seems to have gone wrong for him. After pointing out his net worth of $30 million +/- and several houses, we decided he's doing OK and can handle losing a presidential election. I don't think John Kerry has been doing much crying about 2004.

Onto fun things. We went to the NC State fair last night. Good times. Lots of crappy food and silly games. I ate a fried cheeseburger, which was absolutely disgusting but yummy. I won Bri a rose.

Going to run (literally) down to the 5k in Raleigh later today, which will get me about 10 miles to the race then another 3.1 during. Might as well. It's nice out and I need the miles.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poker night

There is a Wednesday poker group that a fellow triathlete/poker player clued me into a few weeks ago. Last night I played for the second time. The stakes are not too high and the format is sit-and-go, meaning the blinds don't go up and you can leave when you want to (not a tournament like you see on TV). It is an all in Hold 'em game though, so if someones goes all in you better have good cards if you're going to call. I typically play pretty tight but mix it up once in a while. My dad has been a poker player for most of his life and these days counts it as part of his income.

The first time I played I made 25% on my initial buy-in. Last night I was able to make 150% on my initial buy in, which is good for Bri's running gear fund. I figure at this rate I can outpace stocks, the government, and inflation.

This weekend Bri and I will race in the Second Empire 5k on Sunday. The race start times around here are usually pretty manageable - this one goes off at 2pm. So you don't have to sit home like a lightweight the night before.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Book review

I was on Amazon to purchase a couple books and one of the Amazon recommendations was "The Great Bust Ahead," by Daniel Arnold. Arnold wrote the book in 2002 and predicted a massive US/UK depression from around 2013 to 2025.

It's a short book, 65 pages, with a simple premise: GDP is/has been driven by the 45-54 year old demographic since the early 20th century. This demographic is theorized to be the largest consumer segment. Arnold finds a high degree of correlation between the size (sheer number) of people in this group and the economy as indicated by the DJIA. When the segment (baby boomers) start to exit the 54 year old age group (but 10-15 years before they actually retire), GDP will decline precipitously.

His predictions:
A DJIA high of around 26,000 sometime around 2013, +/- for wars, pestilence, acts of God
A drop in the DJIA back to around 10,000 before trending upwards in 2025
a 12 year depression that will make the Great Depression look like a beach party; resulting in a peak of 25% unemployment starting around 2013, with the resulting sociological problems
A deflationary period similar to Japans in the 90s to today

His recommendations (not mine):

Get into cash or long and intermediate government bonds before 2012
Sell your house, bank the profit with bonds, and rent, then rebuy after prices collapse

He's not a professional economist but the book brings up some interesting points and frightening predictions. You can check it out here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Long run and random thoughts

Ran about 12 miles in Umstead Park today with Bri, then ran home (about another 5 miles) for around 17 miles. My total weekly mileage has not been monumental, but I felt good today. Stopped at a Kangaroo convenience store with about 3 miles to go and picked up a coke and a Gatorade. Nothing quite as sweet as a Coke around 15 miles into a run.

We had a nice weekend with our friend Bill in town, caught the FSU-NC State game, and the Powerstroke swim clinic yesterday went well. We are both always pretty wiped out after one of these, and last night after a quiet dinner, we slept close to ten hours. Tassie was going apes hit this morning trying to get us up to go play play play!

The weather has turned cold here, down into the 40s at night and in the 50s today.

We're going to be driving down to IM Florida to support our athletes who are racing in a couple weeks. I've been there several years running and was leaning towards going over to Beach 2 Battleship instead (where I have a couple folks racing), but Bri has two athletes who are doing their first Ironman at Florida and we thought it would be good for her to be there. It is an 11 hour drive.

I'm now going to look for a running race for next weekend around here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stock feels depressed, underappreciated

Stock, an ownership certificate in the conglomerate company General Electric, feels depressed and undervalued, it said on Tuesday.

"Things just haven't been the same recently," said Stock, sipping quietly on a beer in a pub outside GE headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut. "I know I haven't been quite on top of my game in the past few months, but look, I'm still in positive territory. I'm making a profit every quarter, I sell and produce mostly real products that people want to buy and use. Not like those idiots on Wall Street."

Stock added, "When was the last time you saw our P/E ratio below 10? I mean, what the f***?"

Stock, who has been with GE since the company's inception in 1894, has not taken the last year well. After several decades of teetotaling and a healthy diet, it fell off the wagon in June, just around the same time its value dropped below $30.

"That was total bullsh**," said Stock. "At thirty (dollars) my dividend yield was something like four percent. Not bad for a big, stable, longtime diversified company like me, right? Growth and stability all the way, I say. But no, they had to go and pummel me down. Now look at me. Look at me, I said!"

Stock paused to pound its chest with one hand. "I got a f***ing bargain for ya, right here, buddy. Nineteen dollars will get you six point five on the dee yee. And I guarantee a mother f***ing bounce back, GE style."

Stock took a swig of its beer. "What a bunch of sissy-weight cowards out there. Buying low-rate CDs, stuffing mattresses with paper bills."

"Paper bills, you dipsh**s! I mean, duhhhhhh!" Stock spat vehemently.

"You think gold nuggets gives you a dividend, or the pride of ownership in a great American company - an icon of ingenuity, perseverance, and all those other big fancy words?"

"***k No!" Stock yelled. "Sh*t man." It paused for a breath.

"Maybe I'll just buy myself and wait out all you morons. I get the idea that most of you don't even know who Thomas Edison was, anyway. Now that was a great American. Man. Those were the days."

Stock then crushed his beer can, threw it to the floor, and quickly left the pub.

A spokesperson for GE was unavailable for comment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I am 11% yesterday, and so can you

I'm back to working on the DVD. Found a website that licenses music for a reasonable price and they have a nice selection of instrumental background sounds that can go on the various menus. We're running another clinic this weekend and will capture additional footage in order to splice the two presentations together.

In other news, the underwater camera I paid for two months ago should be on its way this week. The fabricator had some personal business that held him up.

On Thursday night we're going to catch the NC State - FSU game. Should be a good time.

In other news, I expect the stock market to drop 6% today, rise 5% tomorrow, trade sideways on Thursday, and then close down another 2% on Friday. But don't bet on it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oct 12 weekend update

We've had a fun weekend with Mom in law in town. On Saturday we went to the UNC-Notre Dame game in Chapel Hill. We started tailgating at 10:30AM, with the game starting at 3:30. During the 2nd quarter Bri, her Mom, and myself wound up on TV for a few seconds while the refs were reviewing a play. Bri has a funny pic up about that. I heard from an old buddy from high school who spotted us. Funny stuff!

Today Bri and I went for a long run in Umstead, then I sat down to knock out some work. Bri and her Mom went shopping. A little while after they left I went to get a drink from the sink and noticed the water pressure was low. The Town of Cary had come out on Friday to let me know we were going through a lot of water, so I had a plumber came out and they replaced a t junction gasket lockie thingie in our crawlspace. Problem solved.

But today it was not as simple - I went out to the water heater closet and noticed that a pipe leading into the heater had disconnected and was spewing water everywhere. I'd like to tell you I calmly turned off the house water main and then got my dad's awesome toolkit to make a new crimp and fix it myself, but alas I could not find the house shutoff valve and my dad never liked doing house work, either. So I had to call the town's 24 hour service to come out and shut it down at the meter. Luckily the water closet is an attached but mostly separate structure from our house so there's no internal water damage.

That's the weekend update. Congrats to everyone who raced in the Chicago marathon or Ironman Hawaii over the weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I don't know about you, but we stuck with our 'diversified' portfolio and have ridden everything all the way down. Unfortunately the entire civilized world is trying to dump their stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds at the same time, resulting in plummeting prices everywhere. This is a good time to have a lot of cash. I cut a check to my IRA today and will keep plunking along with a few grand in there every year and keep my fingers crossed that the whole system doesn't implode. Bri is also putting a few percent of her paycheck into a 403b every month. The rest of our savings are going into CDs and gold from here on out. F*cking scary world.

In other news, in 'every day' world, people around here are still doing things like eating out, going out, watching movies, running, riding, swimming, and having fun, despite the erasure of 10 trillion dollars in global equity. I guess they're not paying attention! I would not want to be close to retirement right now with a 50/50 portfolio, that would be extremely painful.

In other news, some of you might be interested in a local bank that is paying 4.01% APY for a checking account on amounts up to $25,000. You can open it up online. All you have to do is 10 ATM/credit transactions per month and one automated deposit or withdrawal. We have an account and it is legit. Capital Bank.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Federal Government to Buy Your House

The US Federal Reserve, with the approval of both Houses, promised today to purchase your house, and every other residence in the United States, at fair market value. The stunning new rule will go into effect at the end of 2008 and is named the Home Land Protection Purchasing Act of 2008 (Sponsored by Nancy Pelosi and John McCain).

Purchases will be made in an orderly process. In January, 2009, all homeowners who have a last name beginning with A, J, or P will have their home purchased by the government.

All primary homes, condos, townhomes, and beach shantys will be purchased for exactly $230,000, the median home price in the United States, regardless of square footage, backyard, age, frontage, or state of disrepair. Funding for each purchase will come from new issues of Treasury bills, and revenue generated by renting the homes back to the original owners.

"This is another win-win for us, the people of the US, for we are the government," said Hank Paulson, a triumphant look on his face. "By purchasing each and every home in the country, we have truly unified the people with an equitable distribution of responsibility."

Homes with 2 bedrooms or less will be rented back to the owner-citizen for $1200 per month, while homes with 3-5 bedrooms will be rented back for $2000 per month. Homes with 6 bedrooms or more will be rented back for $2100 per month. Owner-citizens will not be allowed to move for a period lasting up to one year as the orderly process of repurchasization begins.

If a homeowner is unable to make his or her monthly payment, he or she and his or her immediate family will be processed for reeducation to learn a new useful skill or trade at one of the newly built US Reprocessing Centers in Arizona, Montana, Alaska, or Tennessee.

"It's time for us to get behind each other, and work our way out of this dreadful financial situation caused by greedy bankers and politicians," said Ben Bernanke, pounding the table with his fist. "Hard work will make us all free in the end. We've lost sight of that as a country."

As part of the Home Land Protection Purchasing Act of 2008, each owner-citizen will be responsible for upkeep and maintenance of his or her residence.

Second and vacation homes will be appropriated by the government for government use.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Singularity of purpose

I keep an eye on other coaching outfits and there is a longtime trend towards naming coaching services, products, and philosophies. This is a way of both differentiating a product or service and making it memorable in the mind of an athlete/reader/consumer. I do the same thing if you look at our coaching site with One Step Beyond, Premium Steps, Powerstroke, and so on.

What I haven't done is name-brand my particular 'philosophy' or method of coaching because I think that is cheesy, feel-good BS. I am into marketing and differentiation as much as the next outfit, but anyone who tells you they have "the way" is either delusional of full of it.

There is a right way for everyone - but it should always be prefaced with "the right way for everyone is right...for that one."

But today I am feeling snarky. So here it is:

The Way of the Singularity of Purpose within the Method of the Smaller Circle of Focus inside the Triangle of Strengths within the Greater Circle of Meaning.

The Greater Circle of Meaning includes and encompasses your reasons for participating in your chosen sports.
The Triangle of Strengths helps winnow down your field of excellence and pursuit to suit your strengths.
The Smaller Circle of Focus enables you to make the most of these strengths by making them into a smaller circle.
The Singularity of Purpose is the knife-like edge of your greatness. A singularity enables you to 'break through' to the other side.

That is your One Step Beyond new age lesson for today.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

training, politics, life in general

I agree with my buddy Rob that our only real course of action in the next round of elections is to vote against every incumbent (except Ron Paul). I have written a few emails to my representatives, but other than that the only other action you or I can take is to get involved in your local, city, state government (and be sure to vote). It's going to be a bumpy ride for a while.

But back to training, racing, and all that fun stuff. Bri and I decided to skip the ocean swim on Saturday since the entry fee had gone to $40 each, and we're cheap and somewhat lazy on occasion. Then I heard about a 2 mile swim on Sunday with one of the local age group teams, but it was going to be mostly kids, so scrapped that. Instead we slept in and went for a run to the St Pete Pier. This week has been a good week of running for me. I ran 6 times: Monday 25 minutes, Tuesday 30 minutes, Wednesday 55 minutes, Thursday 2 hours, Saturday 45 minutes, Sunday 55 minutes. I also swam 3 times and did some core strength a couple of days. I'm looking forward to getting some running speed back through the winter.

I also started taking some Kung Fu classes at a center near our house a few weeks ago. I've been talking for years to Bri about getting back into some martial arts (I took Tae Kwan Doe when I was a little kid) and finally decided there's no time like the present. The classes are tough and my hamstrings have been screaming for a couple weeks. I'm going on Tuesday and Thursday nights with some Saturdays.

Friday, October 3, 2008

weekend update

We're here in sunny St. Petersburg and about to head out to First Friday in downtown St Pete, which is a regular monthly street festival. We always run into folks we know and have a good time.

Today Bri gave me and her father a massive scare. Her ear had filled up with fluid on our flight descent, and then just before we got on an elevator (after landing) to get to our car it popped and she started to feel a bit dizzy. That dizziness quickly escalated and she wound up getting wobbly and then passing out as the elevator doors opened for our floor. We had a hold of her and were able to get her out of the elevator and gently lay her on the ground. The scary part was that her eyes were wide open but there was nobody home. I was scared beyond belief. Fortunately as I was saying Bri Bri Bri Bri Bri she came back and said "Oh, where am I?" She then broke out in a cold total body sweat.

All is well though. It was one of those ear canal imbalance/disorientation things that can happen to anyone. Freaky! She is fine and back to making fun of me as usual.

In other news, welcome to the new debt bondage of America. There is a gas station down the street that has been having some trouble paying their bills, I think it is time we as a nation get behind this necessary institution with a fresh injection of capital. By that I mean we should pay $1,000 per cinnabon so he can balance out his books.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back to work

We're headed to St Pete this weekend to hang out with Bri's dad for a bit. He wanted her to join him for a weekend of father-daughter time, but I insisted that I'm now part of the package so they let me tag along. A day without Bri is like a day without sunshine. :)

So. Onto the financial markets! I'm clearly not smart enough to figure this stuff out. You've got very smart folks on both sides of the argument saying opposite things. The distillation I get is that we go through a lot of pain now or we go through a very slow pain for the next few years. I read one proposal that said the govt should form an ETF which will buy all these 'toxic' mortgage backed securities and make the ETF available to the public to invest in. Seems like a better idea than giving a bunch of highly leveraged banks cash to balance out their spreadsheets. (Excuse me..."purchasing" "troubled" securities at book values and then selling them at market value in a few years, econ 101 right) But...we don't want the credit markets to dry up. Locally, Wake county had to withdraw plans to issue $300 million in school bonds because there were no buyers. And so on.

Save your pennies and don't quit your job, that's my motto. My other motto is live like tomorrow will never come. My other other motto is to seize the day but also save your pennies. My other other other motto is don't trust the wealthy entrenched power elite (Illuminati? The Skulls? Lizard people?) who rule our little lives. My final motto is to just be nice. Now you can blend all that together and you've got a snapshot of my viewpoint.

What I'm saying is, we're gonna skip entering the ocean swim races this weekend ($80 for the 2 of us) and just have fun.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Is your voice heard?

Dear Mr. Gaal:

Thank you for contacting me about our country's financial crisis and the proposed recovery legislation. Today the House defeated this legislation, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, by a vote of 205 to 228, despite my support.

Like you, I do not have any interest in "bailing out" Wall Street firms and business leaders who have speculated recklessly, endangered our country's consumers and homebuyers, and resisted regulation that would protect the public interest. My concern is for Main Street - for the people depending on a sound economy and the availability of credit to buy a house or car, to run their business and meet payroll, and to save for college and retirement.

Like it or not, we are all in this together, and the entire economy is threatened as we teeter on the edge of a 1929-style meltdown. Today Wachovia Bank, a North Carolina mainstay, collapsed. But this goes much deeper than bank failures. Last week, the City of Raleigh could not find a buyer for a $300 million bond, and Wake County cancelled its planned $472 million bond issue for school construction, Wake Tech, libraries, and open space acquisition. Both have AAA bond ratings.

Although President Bush lacks the credibility to be of much help, I take the dire warnings of economic analysts very seriously, particularly in light of everything that has happened in the last few weeks. But I could not support Secretary Paulson's request for a blank check for $700 billion to purchase mortgage-backed securities and stabilize the markets.

I thus became part of the intensive discussions over the last ten days to rewrite the Treasury plan in several critical respects. The legislation which came before us today would:

o Provide strict independent oversight and accountability for all activities undertaken by the US Treasury

o Release the $700 billion in installments, with multiple reviews along the way

o Make certain that the entire $700 billion is recaptured by the Treasury and thus by the American taxpayer, by requiring that taxpayers share in any profits resulting from the government's help and providing for assessment of the financial industry for any remaining losses

o Forbid "golden parachutes" and limit other compensation for executives of participating financial institutions.

o Require the government to work with participating institutions and loan servicers to help deserving homeowners negotiate reasonable repayment terms and stay in their homes

The defeat of the bill prolongs and perhaps deepens the crisis. Coordinating with the Senate, the House will need to return within days to try again. Perhaps the economic situation will then lead some members to reconsider. Perhaps the bill can be changed in ways that attract a majority; I certainly have a list of improvements I would like to see. But considering the members who voted "no," I will want to scrutinize carefully any changes designed to attract them.

I am committed over the next few days to continue working to avert financial collapse and get the best possible deal for America's taxpayers and homeowners. I welcome and share your concern about this situation and will be glad to hear from you at any time.



Member of Congress


"Hi Marty,

I stumbled across your site while looking for Raleigh-area blogs, and I thought I'd take a stab at emailing you. I thought your "Paulson orders US to eat babies" post was hilarious. And I'm pretty impressed with all of your training. I've been meaning to start working out again to get my body back to something that's more affiliated with the male anatomy. I just became a new Dad last year, so I've been graciously absorbing all of my daughter's baby fat. Anyway, I'm also emailing you because I had this really weird favor to ask you...

I'm a writer and a cartoonist, and I have this newly-syndicated comic called "DeFlocked", which currently appears in newspapers all across the country. Your daily paper - The Raleigh News & Observer - is thinking of adding a couple new strips to the paper, and I'm being considered for one of the slots. I was really hoping to get some local support for my work, but the problem is, I literally know NOBODY out your way.

If you had a minute, would you mind checking out my strip at, and, if you like my sense of humor, maybe go here and vote for DeFlocked: (You can vote for up to four new strips, but it's ok to vote only for DeFlocked). It would only take a second, and it would truly help me out in a big way. They also let you vote up to 5 times from the same computer.

And one more thing - this is kind of urgent, because the voting ends late Monday night, Sept. 29. So, if you were into posting this or passing this along to all your friends/fam/co-workers, that would be huge. I'm up against some stiff competition, so I have to get the grassroots growing quickly. My strip has been slowly building a national following (even got an endorsement from Larry David!), but I'm still just a newbie and I honestly could use all the help I can get.

Anyway, thanks for considering all this, Marty, and I wish you continued success with your training and coaching business.

Have a great week, and I'll talk to you soon.

Jeff Corriveau"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fat, drunk, and stupid...

"...Is no way to go through life, son." said the sage Dean Wormer to the ill-advised Flounder. But it can get you through a 10 mile running race in non-record breaking time.

I'm still carrying a few extra pounds of non-performing flesh and they add up at roughly 2 sec per pound per mile. Also had few beers at the Flying Saucer last night, then we got to sleep at a decent hour.

I dialed in at 7:30 mile pace and held it there for the Anna's angel 10 miler in Research Triangle Park. The course was pleasant enough, rolling hills and little traffic. Didn't feel bad but I am revisiting my marathon goal time after today. A Boston Q time for my age group (M35-39) would be 3:15.59, which works out to 7:28 per mile pace.

Today I held 7:29 per mile pace for 10 miles. You can do the math. I have 2 months till the marathon in Philly. I am going to shoot for 3:20 or 3:25 and enjoy myself.

Bri had a good run, taking first for the women in the 5k and setting a new course record!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

let the good times roll

It is funny how a few years and dollars can change a person's perspective on things. Talking to a couple of my younger buddies over the past few days, they are not particularly worried about the going-ons in the economy. They still trust the system. I sure don't. I've written my senators and congressman about the bailout(s). It is robbery. They may as well come into your house and take the cash from your pocket at gunpoint, or raid your kids 403(b), if you're lucky enough to have one. If I had lots of dough I would move a chunk of it overseas.

They want to throw $600 billion into the wind, but won't invest the same in national health care? That's 10 grand a person if my math is correct.

Back to burying my head in the sand.

Been planning our 2009 spring break training camp. Going to be in St Pete Beach. Renting a plush house for a week. Will finish with the Gasparilla running weekend. Want to join us?

Swam 3,400 yards the past two evenings with our masters group. Getting some swim form back before the 5k on October 4. Should be fun.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Paulson to order consumption of babies

Secretary of the Treasury Henry (Hank) Paulson, today issued the unprecedented order that all US taxpayers must eat their young.

"It's a win-win situation," said Paulson, biting down on what looked to be a steak. "By reducing the number of mouths we have to feed, there will be more food for those of us strong enough to remain. It's a classic case of supply and demand." He paused to nudge President Bush, sitting at his side. "Besides, I can do whatever I want, right, little buddy?"

Paulson eye's then turned bright red, fire spat from his mouth, and he flame broiled our reporter.

Non-taxpayers, which comprise more than 50% of the US population, are exempt from the order, since they are mindless cannon fodder, anyway.

"It doesn't make much sense to me," said Sara Solomon, a secretary of Des Moines, Iowa, sitting on a park bench during her lunch break. "I mean, I can understand it if he says we should try to save our money, and live closer to work so we don't use as much gas, and stuff like that, but he wants me to eat my babies? I mean, that just seems wrong."

Dan Jones, of Atlanta, Georgia, agreed. "I ain't eating my kids, or anyone else's kids, regardless what this knucklehead in Washington says. In fact, I think I'm done paying taxes and going to church, too." He scratched his head. "Between you'n me, I'm stocking up on supplies'n ammo and heading to the woods with my family."

Ben Bernanke, spotted on his front lawn in a bathrobe and wearing a dazed look while he retrieved the morning paper, had this to say. "Uh, well, as you can see, I didn't exactly sign up for this sort of stuff, you know? I mean, I used to believe in the American dream. But now that dream has become a nightmare, and I'm sort of caught in the middle of it."

Bernanke began to tremble and put his head in his hands. "Why couldn't I have just been a 5th grade math teacher, like I always wanted to be?"

weekend in Wrightsville Beach

We had a great time over at the beach. On Saturday, I got in a 2 hour run while Bri raced in the Wilmington tri. She did well and took 4th in a competitive field. Then we lounged around, drank beer, told stories, and had fun. I forgot my laptop AC adapter and so couldn't do much work, which was a good thing. Got in a couple surf sessions as well.

On Sunday we went for another run, then I spun around the island on the bike. Got home and 7pm and plowed through some scheduling for my athletes.

At this moment I'm listening to a webinar from Mike Morgan, who believes Paulson is the devil, we're about to enter a depression, and you should be shorting or using put options on selective financials and REITs. For small fry like us he is advising to get your IRA/401k into treasuries, and expects to see Dow 8000 before we see Dow 12000.

Interesting times.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Weekend update

We're headed down to Wrightsville Beach for the weekend. Tomorrow Bri will race alongside 1,300 other folks in the Wilmington YMCA Triathlon. I'll be out getting my long run in and cheering. We get to spend the rest of the weekend chillin' like a villian with bob dylan' at my bro-in-law's brother's beach pad. Phat. I'll get some easy riding in on Sunday and hopefully there will be waves worth surfing. Other than that, relax and enjoy.

today's stock trades

Today in my fictional stock market account, I was a moron. I held onto my Wachovia shorts, and got hammered by good news and happy talk of mergers and hand holding. I also held onto Ultrashort financials and lost most of yesterday's gains. I didn't buy gold earlier this week so have no happy news there. Goldman Sachs shorts are my only good move at the moment. My uranium mining stock is a stinker, having lost 70% of it's value over the past few months. BRK as my fictional core holding would be good if it was 1992.

In fake real dollar terms, I was up to 110,000 yesterday, and today am down to 95,000. Those are fake dollars, I am not really trading out of Bri's retirement fund.

But in the real world today, since I didn't cash out everything in our retirement funds, I was a genius and made nearly 4%. Amazing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good news

In other news, life goes on and we've got to enjoy the moments we're given. So, a few more positive notes:

Starting tonight I will be running regularly at 6PM on Wednesday nights from Inside Out Sports for a friendly group run. The route will start as a 5k through Preston at a conversational pace, if the group grows we can add miles and/or include some tempo running.

The TAC-OSB Master's team is doing well and growing. The addition of evening practice times has brought in a bunch of new faces and the morning crew is solid. Next week I am going to extend the morning practice times on Monday and Wednesday to 1 hour 15 instead of one hour. Our current practice schedule is:

Monday Wednesday Friday 6-7 AM
Monday Tuesday Thursday 730-845 PM

Fees are $50 per month or $6.25 per drop in.

I'm planning to run the Anna's Angels 10 miler in Durham on Sunday, September 28.

And now, here are some cool pics of our vacation in St Pete with my sis, bro-in-law, niece, Dad, and his wife Lilian.

Little 10 month old Cate likes the beach:

Dinner with the gang at Snapper's:

Group hug on the beach:

I like the beach but could have used my sunglasses!

I own AIG, and Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, and so do you!

There are about 140 million individual US taxpayers in the US (despite a population of 300+ million). The non-taxpayers are exempt for one reason or another. So all of us taxpayers are now theoretically equity owners of American Insurance Group, Fannie & Freddie. The $85 billion dollar 'cash injection' into AIG works out to be $607 per taxpayer.

So here's my rhetorical question - in a few years when things calm down, and these companies are broken up and re-privatized, do you think I'll get 10 common stock shares (and the accompanying dividend stream) worth $60 from the new CEO of AIG?

Me neither. But he'll get a $10 million signing bonus.

Everything need to pop and revalue rather than this slow death march to the same inevitable conclusion.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Black Monday 2008

Today in my fictional stock market game I was a genius. I sold a few things short in the AM and had made 10% by the close of the market. Sort of expect more of the same tomorrow and the rest of the week. Panic and mayhem. In the real world my retirement account is taking a pounding. It is amazing to watch these institutions go floating by in the river of woe. This is why you should always hedge your bets in the real world. Of course I wish I'd sold everything in our 401ks, gone short on some ETFs, and then cashed out at night. But I didn't. If you have any play money I'd sell all the financials short and ride them down. It is going to be UGLY! When government officials start addressing the nation about keeping cool, you can bet it will be UGLY!

My prediction for the rest of the week is that almost everything will go down another 3-5%. Google will go up since they keep taking my (and everyone else's) ad money and transaction fees. GLD may also be on the way back up after dipping to the low 70s.

I swam almost 4k tonight, which makes 3 days in a row of swimming, which totally kicks ass.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Whew. That sums up how I'm feeling tonight after all of our antics over the weekend. Had a nice swim on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Wrightsville Beach for the Pier 2 Pier swim. I got out with the lead pack and hung on...for about three minutes. :P then realized that I needed to slow down or roll over and go belly up. Found a nice rhythm and finished in about 40 minutes flat, which put me 6.5 minutes behind the men's winner, a fella named Chas Peterson, who swims for UNC Chapel Hill and apparently was 13th at the Olympic trials for the 10k open water swim. So, OK.

To translate that into running terms, you could say that the winner is a guy who can run a 28 minute 10k, so as a training race he might run 29 or 30 - being 6 minutes behind that time is still a respectable 35 or 36 minute 10k run. Not bad, right? I will optionally neglect to mention the dozens of teenage girls who also soundly whipped me out there. It was fun either way, saw a bunch of folks we know, and I got 3rd in the M35-39 age group.

Drove home, packed up, picked up Bri, and then we headed off to VA Beach. Visited the Final Kick Sports shop to pick up our packets for the Sandman Triathlon; it is a nice tri-shop with shoes, wetsuits, bikes, and all the other stuff.

Had dinner with one of my athletes and then we headed to Sis-in-law's house to crash.

Back up early, off to the beach to do the Sandman Tri. I wound up having a good race - 3rd in the swim, moved to the front on the bike and held the lead until the end when Brad Pigage caught me; held 2nd until mile 2 when another fella passed me - almost finished 3rd but a strong runner came from way down and put 30 seconds into me in the last half-mile. My swim was good, bike was better than expected - run was about where I thought (painful, uncomfortable, belly flab flabbing about) but the heat really zapped me. Also think the run was a little long. Wound up being 5th overall (an ager beat me by 3 secs) which makes me happy after having a less than competitive 2008 season.

And more importantly, I beat Bri in the 1st annual showdown or throwdown competition. She was 1.5 minutes faster on the run, and won the women's division, but she didn't beat me. :) Just kidding honey, great job.

That's it - coach tomorrow AM, swim tomorrow PM. I may look into doing one more local tri since I feel good.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weekend update

This weekend I'm pulling an old maneuver, back-to-back races. In the old days I might have won one of them and been top five in the other; now I'm just looking to finish both without having a stroke. But seriously folks...

The Pier 2 Pier swim on Saturday is 1.7 miles at Wrightsville Beach,NC. Conditions should be relatively mild. I haven't done an all out swim race since 2006 so we'll see how it pans out. We're allowed to use swim skins like the PointZero3, which I will. Not much surf predicted so I probably won't take my board down.

On Sunday Bri and I are having a bloody battle royale (with cheese) at the Sandman Triathlon in Virginia Beach, VA. I am going to hammer the swim and bike and then try not to lose too much ground to her on the run. There are some fast guys racing so chances of me being in the money are minimal. Cash purse is $300-$200-$100. Running a 20 minute 5k doesn't hold up against dudes who're running 16-17. Maybe next year. Bri will be gunning for some rent money. Baby's dadda needs food.

Have yourself a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

US Treasury to bail out Cuba

In a surprise news release destined to foreshadow the upheaval in the markets for months to come, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson announced that the Treasury would be injecting up to $500 billion into the isolated communist state of Cuba. The small island country was recently ravaged by consecutive hurricanes.

"We've used Cuba as a strategic red herring for many years. To allow Cuba to fail now would deprive of us an important ideological and imaginary enemy, right there on our own shores," said Paulson yesterday. "Without Cuba to bash as an example of the failure of Neo-Marxist communism, we would have to turn our eyes to Haiti, or the Dominican Republic," he paused, "and they really don't work within the confines of our military rhetoric."

Cuba, which for years has barely hung onto a diminishing balance sheet due to forced liquidation of assets, like Model T Fords, cigars, grumpy old guys, and floating car boats, had not been seeking bankruptcy protection, or any other form of help from the US. Cuba's net worth is estimated at 100 billion (US), less than five times the amount the US Treasury is seeking to inject. However, by taking out various loans from Venezuela, China, and Russia, all close Cuban allies, it has a book to loan value of seventy-four. A standard acceptable book to loan value of a bank in the United States is ten. The US itself has a book to loan value of about one gazillion.

"Die, American pigs!" wrote Raul Castro, in response to repeated email inquiries. Fidel Castro was regrettably unavailable for comment.

The capital injection will begin as soon as the Treasury can ramp up dollar bill production using unskilled immigrant labor. The cash will be delivered to Cuban nationals in Miami for distribution through their network of relatives who live in underground caves outside Havana.

"It's a short term, necessary evil," said Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve. "I mean, what's more American than owning your own home, watching the New York Yankees play baseball on a flat screen TV in your living room, and hating Cuba?"

Monday, September 8, 2008

St Pete relaxation

We had a good time in St Pete this past weekend. On Friday I got a par on a par 3 145 yard hole. After a series of dismal tees, I put one right on the green and putted for birdie. Almost made it but it ran around the lip. Lots of fun. Total score was 140 something. YeaarrrghhhH!!

Ran around the beach and swam with Bri. Went gambling on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. Lost 20 bucks on the ponies and won about 20 on poker. Raked in a few hands but gave some back with shoddy play. The guy next to me played every hand and was just giving his money away. Sad to see but that is life. If we were all winners it would be called winning, not gambling.

In other news, I put together a decent DVD to send to the clinic attendees from the last Powerstroke clinic. It came out pretty good, which is a good sign for the real deal in the works.

In other news, here is a picture of a happy clown.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

St Pete Beach!

We are here in St Pete Beach for my Dad's 74th bday weekend. Gonna go golf tomorrow and then I dunno after that. Will be working throughout the day as usual. I would tell you more but then I'd have to write something interesting.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Video editing, guitar hero, and evening masters

Our first master's evening practice went well, about 13 people showed up which is great for the first night. Bri coached and I swam for this one.

Bri is hooked on guitar hero. I would love to post some videos of that but she's banned me from entertaining you with vids/pictures of her rocking out with the Wii guitar. It is awesome.

I am getting into the video editing stuff. Quickly discovered that iMovie 08 does not compare to Final Cut Express 4 for video editing purposes, I was losing a ton of video quality in the process of importing/exporting in iMovie. If any of you have tips on that stuff I will take it.

Swam 3k tonight, which totally rocks.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Broken bricks and sweaty days

Bri talked me into doing a 3 x 10 mile bike / 2 mile run this morning. A couple friends joined us for the session and we had a great workout. It was hotter then heck but we all toughed it out and really pushed the final round. Afterwards, Bri's sister and boyfriend cooked us breakfast.

Now I'm working on the couch. Later we'll head out to have some holiday weekend fun of one sort or another.

Tomorrow (Labor Day) I'm working a half day at Inside-Out Sports.

I have no other random things to say.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Holee Mackeral!!

I am tired (pronounced tarr'd). Bri and I hosted a Powerstroke® triathlon clinic today. It was a good crew and a good day, but talking and being animated for six hours straight is pretty draining. We decided to videotape everyone and we'll be burning DVDs shortly.

I finally sat down yesterday and started figuring out how to edit video on the Mac, they make it pretty easy to get the basics done at least. The more advanced stuff is going to require a learning curve.

I was supposed to do a long run yesterday or today, but it ain't happening. I am tarr'd.

Last night we had a team social/happy hour for the masters swim crew; it was a solid turnout and a lot of fun. Tassie chased everyone around and then collapsed in exhaustion before the end of the party.

Next week we start evening practices. Come on out and swim with us!

College football is back.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So on the business side of things, I've doubled our Google Adwords budget. There are certain key phrases that cost a bit more per click then what I had set as our daily limit default. They have an amazing program going on there (obviously). Word of mouth is still the best advertising for our coaching business, but a number of folks do find us through the search engines.

On the other side, for every $1 you spend on Adwords per month, Google waives fees on Checkout transactions up to $10. For example, if you spend $100 on Adwords in a month, you get the first $1,000 of Checkout transactions without the 2% transaction fee. The transaction fees take a chunk of change over time as I'm sure many of you with merchant accounts have realized.

The clinic this weekend has nearly filled up! We're going to record a lot of it and use some of the material in the upcoming DVD.

Monday, August 25, 2008

weekend update

It was a pleasant weekend and a good week of training for me in my quest to beat Bri at the Sandman Triathlon in Virginia. Feeling decent again. Tassie and I watched Bri race at the Triangle Sportsplex triathlon on Saturday morning. Tassie was really excited. We watched Bri forget to take her Blue 70 Point Zero3 off but didn't get to record that part. Shoot. After the race and a nap, Bri was kind enough to accompany me on my first 10 mile trail run in a long time. We did the Turkey Creek loop in Umstead. Quick happy hour at the Flying Saucer then off to bed.

On Sunday we rode a couple hours then enjoyed the rest of the day.

This week I'll be back at it with group rides, trail runs, massive swim sets, and other kooky stuff.

BTW, OSB decided to be a minor sponsor of the Pier 2 Pier swim in Wrightsville Beach.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fed to bailout Marty Gaal

In a closed emergency session, the Federal Reserve has decided to bail out individual investor Marty Gaal. Rumors of the bailout have been circling for months, leading to a precipitous decline in Marty Gaal's dinner offers and weekend getaway excursions.

"Marty Gaal is an important US institution that cannot be allowed to fail," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, at a hastily convened news conference on Marty Gaal's front doorstep.

Gaal, 36, has run up in excess of $10 billion dollars in debt and IOUs over the last four years through multiple credit cards, home improvement loans, home equity loans, bad checks, flimflam, and general chicanery.

"Damn that guy!" Said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson from his morning breakfast conference. "I knew we should have done something when his debt level surpassed the five billion mark in January."

"The markets are acting like a bailout is inevitable," said Tom Tucker, managing director of Tom Tucker Ratings, an independent credit ratings firm.

Tucker said he believed the federal government would need to help pump about $8 billion into Marty Gaal's multiple bank accounts, possibly through a government guarantee rather than through a direct injection of capital.

"We believe Treasury is going to be forced to act within the next couple of weeks," he added. "Probably some time after Labor Day, when investors are back from vacations so that the bailout has the biggest possible positive impact."

"Without government support, important companies like Citibank, Visa, American Express, Lowe's, Victoria's Secret, Paulie the Loanshark, Boston Beer Company, and Gap may fail. The fallout would be horrendous."

Gaal, who recently laid off his entire domestic staff of ten and sold six of his ten Porsches, said he would be happy to get onto some sort of payment plan.

"If they can lock me in at 3% for forty years or something like that, sure, I'll pay it all back," he said, while munching on a candy bar. "It's not like I'm not good for it."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

open water swims

Since we've got the master's team building up and a swim DVD in the works, I'm slowly becoming more interested in promoting and entering (not particularly racing just yet) open water swims. Here are a couple upcoming that I may do:

Pier 2 Pier swim in Wrightsville Beach, NC on September 13
Daiquiri Deck Tropical Splash 5k, 3k, 1k on October 4

A couple in Virginia that look good but I won't make it to:
Lake Montclair open water swim on September 6
Smith Mountain Lake Open Water Swim on September 20-21

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today's scientific training graph

To keep this blog thematic on the topic of training and triathlon, I occasionally have my crack team or researchers, scientists, doctors, exercise physiologists, and professional athletes get together for a technical conference to discuss and disseminate the latest information on scientific training principles. Here is what they came up this week.

I hope this helps.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The daily gruel

Rather than take the time to make a sandwich and a side dish I find myself more inclined to throw stuff together, stir it up, and dive right in. It takes less time, tastes just as good, and is better for me than heading out to Taco Bell. I call it gruel. Today's gruel consists of:

mashed potatoes
spinach leaves
canned chicken
queso dip
hot sauce

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I read an article in our local paper today about a new documentary coming out this weekend, called IOUSA. Turns out a local fellow who is running for Congress is sponsoring a showing at a theatre in Raleigh for the Thursday night premiere. I went ahead and called their office today and left a message that I'd like a couple tickets. It should be interesting. There's supposed to be a live conference with Warren Buffett after the movie.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

4 week crash course

I've got four weeks to go from slob to not-quite-a-slob. Bri has laid down the smack for our showdown at the Virginia Sandman triathlon or whatever the name is. She poked me in the belly and said she was gonna kick my you know what. So it's go-time. I'm going to experiment with myself and see how 3.5 weeks of serious training works out. It'll be my last triathlon for the season so I may as well finish on a high note. There is also some prize money but that might be stretching it. I'm currently weighing in at a doughy 167 lbs, while my svelt racing weight is closer to 153. I'm not a fan of crash diets but cutting back a few empty calories shouldn't be too difficult.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Busy week and random thoughts

It was a busy week here at OSB headquarters. Traveled a bit, swim lessons, schedules, video work, webwork, and so on.

Random thoughts:

Are Billary still running for office?
Is there something in the water at the olympic swimming competition?
What is the chicken monster?
Where is Michael Jackson?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

in-and-out of Orlando

It was a very quick trip to Orlando. I flew in yesterday at noon, picked up my car, drove the the dermatologist to get my spots checked out, then to the Y to give a swim lesson. Had a short break at Panera to do some work, then back to the Y to run with the Downtown YMCA runner group, which Bri and I used to be regulars at. Saw a bunch of my buddies and did 8 x 400 at 1:30 pace, which is gut-busting for me at the moment. Then dinner at Anthonys, a few more beers at some pub down the street, and crashed on the couch at Bill Payne's place. Today up at 8, off to the Y to meet with a Premium Steps client at 9. Ran-swam with him then did a 1,200 easy afterwards. Cleaned up, breakfast at the Daybreak Diner (a great diner near Bri and my old condo). Now in the airport waiting to board my plane to head back to RDU.

The Macbook is a lot easier to carry around then my old heavy laptop.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back from NJ

Returning from the shore this weekend was an exercise in frustration. There was a huge storm so everyone left at once. Combined heavy traffic with flooded streets and you get massive delays everywhere you go. It normally takes about one hour to get from South Jersey shore spots to Philadelphia and a bit more to get to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. On Sunday it took us nearly four hours. That put me way behind since I had met up with John (the 40th b-day guy) in Baltimore. We made it back to Baltimore by 7PM, then I drove a couple hours south before calling it a day and checking into a Quality Inn outside Fredericksburg, VA. Woke up at 5:30 to finish the drive and got home with just a few minutes to spare before heading into Inside Out Sports for my half-day shift (I am working there 2x a week).

It was a fun weekend. The STP concert was great and I caught up with some old buddies. Talked to the beach patrol chief about possibly returning. Would need to try out in mid June of next year, so we'll see if Bri and I can pull off a couple months on the beach next year. The Outer Banks is nice but it is the sort of place you go for a week-long family vacation, not for two months of work and play.

Back to the grind this week - tomorrow I fly down to Orlando for a couple meetings with new clients. I'll run with the YMCA track group tomorrow evening then head out for drinks with a few of the gang. Return on Thursday evening. I think Bri and I will be staying local this weekend, I need a break. Feel like I am coming down with a cold, which sucks.

I have more to say but am tired of typing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jersey lingo

Having some fun here in South Jersey. Just finished up my work for the day and gonna go head up to the Trump Marina to relax a bit before we go to see Stone Temple Pilots tonight. For your amusement here is a typical conversation in Jersey.

"Hey &^&^&@ G@&(@#$! *@&*@ @(&@*!"

"&*&#N SS@&&@ Sam @&^#*"

"No &^#)!"


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

weekend update

I'm going to head up to da Joisey Shore this weekend to meet up with an old buddy for his 40th birthday. We're going to watch the South Jersey Lifeguard Championships on Friday night in Ventnor City. This competition has been around since 1924 and is one of the longest running mixed-sport competitions in the country. It includes a 1.5 mile two-man row, a 3/4 mile swim, and a sprint singles row. There are fifteen patrols in the South Jersey Chief's Association and each patrol sends a team. It's usually a four-person team, but sometimes an exceptional athlete will row and then swim, or do both the singles and doubles row. It's always fun to watch and a good time to catch up with old buddies.

In the early 1990s I was the swimmer for Ocean City at four of the championships. At the time I was probably swimming close to 20-25 miles a week (30-40,000 yards) and my best place was 3rd in 1992, which should tell you about the level of competition. I was also 5th twice, and 7th once (in my rookie year).

On Saturday we'll go see Stone Temple Pilots at the Borgota Casino. I'll sit in a few hands of before or afterwards.

On Sunday I'll go for a long run on the boardwalk!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Duke half

So at about mile 15 of the race this past weekend, my legs were already getting that worn out feeling. I had tentatively planned to do a crash course of training for the Duke half, but have decided to scrap that and just focus on running until Philly in November. Have a nice Monday!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bri wins!

Today is a day that will live in infamy. Bri has taken me down in an Olympic distance triathlon. The world rumbles and shakes. Children cry. Small dogs run in circles while buzzards circle overhead. An old woman screams.

3 minutes and 10 seconds. I left it all on the swim. I was sick. I was tired. I got a flat. I had rocks in my shoes. There was a fire. Earthquakes. Martians.

That's what happens when you detrain for several months.

I am, however, getting more fired up to take on some running races. There is a series around here called the Second Empire Running Series that puts on several runs. And I've decided to run the Philly Marathon on November 23. Might qualify for Boston, might not. 'Tis OK. Just keep moving is the thing.

I missed the swim prime by about 30 seconds. Kevin Lisska from Fletcher took all three primes and won the race.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lake Logan

Tomorrow morning we're racing in the Lake Logan Triathlon. Bri is also competing so I won't be allowed to sleep in / skip this one. That's OK. I am feeling mighty fired up!! Raarr! No, seriously. It's supposed to be one of the more scenic races around North Carolina. They have a $100 swim preme that Bri wants me to win. So my strategy is going to be bust a gut in the swim and see if it's good enough. I haven't looked at the start list but am sure there are a couple decent athletes racing.

In other news, OSB Cary Masters will be adding evening swim times starting in September. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights from 7:30-8:45PM. Come on out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We own a TV

Today Bri and I mailed off our final check for the LCD TV we bought on moving into our house. Best Buy gave us 0% interest for two years so we took them up on it. Of course the same TV can now be had for about 60% of our cost, but can you put a value on all the evenings we've spent curled up in front of our high definition flat screen TV eating pizza and downing high gravity beers? Of course you can't. These moments are like starlight. Here today, gone tomorrow. Yes, I'm comparing watching The Family Guy to infinite space.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday, Monday

We had a nice but short trip up to Boone to see my MIL. Boone is a neat little college town and we did a quick tour of App State. Cool place to go to school! I told Bri that when we're 60+ we can go back to school together somewhere like that.

The Housing bailout bill has passed the Senate. All us suckers with good credit who have been saving our pennies get to pay more pennies for people who don't save their pennies. Soon we may all be penniless. Pennies cost two cents to make, did you know?

Tassie says "Bull****!"

I am going to go for a run with Bri in Umstead.

Last night our buddy Paul Power from Long Island made me stay out late drinking beer. Bad Paul!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sleeping in and other fun things to do on Saturday

As you may surmise from the title of this post, we opted out of the 5:00 AM wakeup call to get to the Mission Man tri in time. Instead, Bri and I slept in and then went for a leisurely bike ride on a cool Saturday morning. Bri is intent on whipping me back into shape before I turn into a complete pile of sludge. She made me do intervals with her. And we went far! She is a tough coach but a good one. Anyhoo. Off to Boone/Sugar Mountain in a bit. Going to get some running in tomorrow.

That's not really us in the picture but these posts are more interesting with some sort of visual effect.

Friday, July 25, 2008

video blog

Tomorrow morning we're off to the Mission Man Triathlon in Burlington, where I'll continue to illustrate what a lack of serious training can do to an 'elite' athlete. The seven hour training weeks and 40 minute long runs just don't cut the mustard for a 54 V02max guy like me. I have a video that goes into extensive detail about this, but the camera is getting the best of me right now. Check back later.

After the race we're off to Sugar Mountain to hang out with Bri's Mom. I haven't been to the Boone area so it should be fun to check out. We might even do some riding.

Edit: We might skip the race since I am feeling lazy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you

I dunno about you, but I waffle between a really optimistic relaxed attitude about finances and retirement (everything will work out, man) and a total and complete sense of sheer panic (we're gonna be on the street, man!). Money doesn't grow on trees, unless you're the Fed, in which case you can print as much as you want, right?

If it was the 1950s we'd all be comfortable living on one income, own a decent home in a nice quiet tree-lined Beaver Cleaver community, have a high probability of a funded pension and social security retirement benefits, and probably have enough left over to raise two or three (or five) kids without major stress beyond not punching Mr Dithers in the nose at work.

But today we're a DINK (dual income, no kids) with no pensions, no guaranteed social security benefits, spiraling health care costs (I debate bagging them and taking on all the risk sometimes), massively higher energy costs, and massively higher college costs for any possible kids. Since I run my own business it's up to me to decide what projects or advertisements are worth funding with infusions of owner equity (read: money that would go into savings or retirement) in the hopes that the ROI be worthwhile. It might not occur to you reading my laissez-faire blog, but this year OSB will spend close to three grand on direct advertising. This includes the cost of printed materials, sponsoring a race series, email campaigns, website hosting, graphic design costs, etcetera. For each of these choices I have to use a combination of quantitative analysis and intuitive sense to decide if something is worth it or not. Every decision has an opportunity cost. Later this year and next year I get to decide how, when, and where to market the Powerstroke DVD. We've done everything up to this point with self-financing, but I've started debating a small business loan. Then you have to factor in the cost of financing into your rate of return. Yadda yadda.

It's also up to me to fund my retirement account. All the calculators I plug our numbers into say we'll be good enough in retirement but this is provided that the inflation rate stays around 3% and our investments grow at 8%+ for the next thirty years. I factor out social security because we can't count on it. Past results are no guarantee of future performance. In ten years it seems the entire financial system in the US could collapse. At that point we all need to head to the hills with our shotguns.

And then when I find myself dwelling on thirty years from now I have to look around and say, what about what's going on today, right now?

There are essentially three paths to becoming comfortably wealthy for those of us born without a silver spoon in our mouths: Work diligently for other people for 40+ years, save a good portion, and retire at 65; work diligently for 40-X years to achieve a high executive position and take a golden parachute or well-compensated professional position and save a good portion of your earnings; Start a successful business and get rich either running it, selling it, or selling part of it; Or win the lottery.

So what I'm getting at is today is one of my sheer panic days.

Have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gramma didn't like us

It turns out the matriarch of the family wasn't comfortable with us strangers in the house. She hadn't been forewarned we were coming. Of course, what Gramma wants, Gramma gets.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You've been voted off the Island

So we had a fun weekend in the OBX. Saturday got kind of weird though. Bri and I were invited down to the beach by April and Lou, who we know from UCF running. Lou's extended family had rented a 4 bedroom house for the week. We got in on Friday night and had a great time, had dinner and drinks with everyone, were told we fit in well (no drama, drank alcohol, and ate red meat), and slept on a pullout couch. On Saturday we got up and did our thing - went for a run, went for lunch and to pick up the surfboard, and so on. Around 4pm we asked Lou and April if they'd like to go to the Outer Banks Brewing Station with us. So we all went and had a good time. But then...

apparently there was some sort of miscommunication between family members - we weren't invited to the Saturday dinner. We figured all right, no problem, we'll go eat a nice dinner somewhere. Bri and I found a place on the water and had a romantic dinner overlooking Currituck Sound. On our way out from dinner, April called. The miscommunication had continued to deteriorate. She was in tears. We'd been voted...out of the house!

April and Lou were kind enough to bring our stuff to us outside when we arrived back at the house. They booked us a hotel room down the road. I've got to say it's been a long time since I've been booted from somewhere. If you've ever had Bri and I over you know we tend to make decent house guests, refrain from pooping on the carpet, issuing profanities at old ladies and kids, and so on. So anyway, I guess the family didn't even want us back inside.

We're really not sure if we did something offensive or if there are some psycho members of the family. Whichever way, please be warned, if any of you out there invite us somewhere on a Friday night, we're assuming you mean the weekend, especially if the drive is 4+ hours away.

Anyway, Bri has never been booted from anywhere, since she is a nice person and a good person. In my youth I was asked to leave a few establishments, but that's because I was an asshole. Bri was really upset. I thought it was ridiculous but not something completely foreign to me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Duck NC surf report

Picked up my new surfboard today at the Corolla Surf Shop. This type of board from New Surf Project is made with epoxy rather than fiberglass, and a bit less expensive. It will last a schmo like me for a while.

I had some fun paddling around out in the Atlantic, but the waves were dumping onto a sandbar, making things pretty unrideable. Managed to fall down a few times, which is my SOP. I paddled for a few minutes as my swim workout for the day.

Now we're going to go check out the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills!