Thursday, September 23, 2004

Enough is enough!

Many of you just might possibly have heard of the slogan, "What Happens Here, Stays Here." What you may not know from not living here is that it's been reappropriated by pretty much every business in town. Including:

Hooters, selling T-shirts with the slogan on the back.

Cheetahs, a strip club undergoing an interesting ownership struggle, has billboards with "What happens in Vegas Happens at Cheetahs." (Someone with a snide sense of humor could add, ...and can cause lots of trouble in San Diego."

The Palms, running billboards saying, "What happens at the Palms...never happened." (Does this apply to Mrs. Federline's first wedding?)

It's also on pretty much on every T-shirt for sale. As a local, I've yet to come up with an effective response. Such as:

"What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas, and We're Hoping Your Cash Does the Same."
"What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas, but Expedian and TRW are EVERYWHERE."
"What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas, Except for Whatever That Street Hooker Gave You."

There's also a larger number of stupid people in the valley than ever before, particularly those who are all upset because some of the billboards in town are-get this-sexually suggestive.


Apparently when they read all the magazine articles about the New Las Vegas, they were told that the old Las Vegas was kept in a hermetically sealed dome, and its inhabitants entertained the masses and kept taxes low while the rest of us whiled away the hours in Sandville Paradise.

The Hard Rock Hotel had billboards that said, "We Sell Used Dice." The dice were held up at a very precise angle in front of a topless woman's nipples. They had another one that ran during the rodeo, "Get Ready To Buck All Night." A group called American Mothers Incorporated, which presumably just heard about Las Vegas two months ago, was all upset.

Look. You better learn how to explain it to your kids, because that's the town. I grew up next door to Lyons, and drove past scores of topless bars on my way to my grandmothers. Maybe in my mind it's just part of the landscape. To assume that this place is family-friendly is to ignore the 95% of cities in America that are friendlier.

If it really bothers you that much, there's a couple solutions. They're called "15" and "95." Your house has probably appreciated enough in the past year that you could easily afford to live somewhere else, and there's probably not a cash register in town that isn't giving you change untouched by those eeeevil casinos.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

America. You couldn't make this up.

In a surprise announcement, Stewart -- convicted in March and later sentenced to five months in jail and five months of house arrest -- said through tears she hoped to be a free woman by March, so she can plant her spring garden.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Frenzy Begins

Writing has been light, as my goal has been self-inflicted pain for the past several days. You see, I completed a triathlon once, and decided it would be a swell time to start training again. The race I want to do is a little less than a year away, and I have an intermediate run coming up in six weeks. Here's what the training plan has looked like so far:

9/6 (Labor Day) Spin class at 6 AM.
9/7 11 AM walk on treadmill at work, 1 mile.
9/7 5 PM jog on treadmill, 2.5 miles.
9/8 11 AM walk on treadmill at work, 1.25 miles.
9/8 Spin class at 5 PM.
9/9 11 AM walk on treadmill at work, 1.25 miles.
9/10 5:30 AM, 750M swim.
9/10 Spin class at 5:30 PM.
9/11 6 AM, 5 mile run/walk, Valley of Fire.
9/12 Weight training, 20 min. bike, 20 min. treadmill.
9/13 5 AM, 4.7 mile run/walk, Spencer/Pyle to Las Vegas Blvd.
9/13 11 AM walk on treadmill at work, 1.75 miles.
9/13 50 min cycle ride, ab workout.
9/14 5 AM, 750M swim.

The intermediate run is a 4.7 mile run through Valley of Fire State Park on October 23. I'm training at the distance now and doing all kinds of supplemental cardio to keep myself loose. Today is a "rest" day, so there's no afternoon workout, but I will be walking again at lunch. If I can pile up the miles over the next month or so, I won't be as sore.

I'll keep you posted. I'm at about a -4 right now, but it's a transformation thing more than weight loss at this point.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Who's coaching this team?

Dave Barry writes on the joys of watching a team coached by Dave Wannstedt. Does this sound familiar?

Say I'm lying on the sofa watching pro football, and my team, the Miami
Dolphins, have the ball, and it's third and four, a situation in which the
Dolphins, after considering all 3,487 of their offensive plays, always decide to
send the running back into the middle of the line for a gain of 2 yards.


So as the Dolphins line up - with the opposing team's entire defense
bunched around the middle, holding signs that say, "WELCOME, DOLPHINS RUNNING BACK!" - I'm thinking this would be the perfect time for the Dolphins to - just once! - try something different, maybe an actual forward pass. But sure enough,
when the ball is snapped, the Dolphins ... send the running back up the middle
for a gain of 2 yards!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The insanity resumes

I've taken the summer off. I've eaten lousy food, haven't sat on a bicycle, maybe I ran twice, and swimming and the snooze button have collided. Well, with the passing of Labor Day, summer's over, and I have a year to prepare for next year's triathlon.

I got an unexpected surprise last weekend. Nat said, "If you do the Olympic distance tri in Chicago, I'll do the sprint." Knowing what I went through just to do the sprint last year, I was impressed. So now, there's focus.

The next step is preparation. We got personal trainer sessions as part of our membership. My goal was to find someone who could work with MY goals-finishing the race in Chicago. I've been going to gyms enough to see what kind of trainer you can get if you don't pay attention. If you want to bulk up, there's a trainer for you. If you want to do kickboxing, there's a trainer for you. If you want to just lose weight, there's a trainer for you. The problem is that I want to do some of that and more, and I don't need the person standing there every workout.

In addition, those of you who read my account of the sprint tri I did last year know that I had several problems that could be averted by experience. Having no stamina for the bike ride, for instance. Swimming erratically. Unbalanced training. These are things that somebody else could tell me I was doing wrong.

The woman I found after a spin class at 6 yesterday morning had that background. She ran a triathlon club previously, participated in several races in Berkeley and has not only raced in the event I did in April, she has another race coming up in two weeks. I was excited. I told Nat she had to meet her, and all appears smooth. She's trained people for these sorts of races before.

I told her what my milestones were: same leg of the Brass Challenge on October 16, Olympic distance at Lake Las Vegas on April 26 of next year, Olympic distance in Chicago next August. Nat explained she'd like to do the two sprints.

We agreed on a philosophy of exercise, on the timing of what we're doing, and a fee schedule. She also pointed out that if we were looking to do activities outside the health club, such as swimming or cycling, she could schedule that as well. She agreed that of all the events in triathlon, there's no simulation for open water and no simulation for the cycling.

This might just work. I tried a spinning class yesterday morning at 6 AM, which ironically would be too late in the morning on a workday because it's an hour-long class. I need cycling legs if I'm going to get where I want to go, and a spinning class will get me there. Then, maybe next week, the mornings start in the water. I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier today, and will add on fifteen minutes tomorrow, and by the end of the week, I should be ready for mornings.

By Christmas I hope to have lost thirty pounds. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Watching the RNC convention...

I imagined the following.

A soldier slain on the beaches of Normandy walks into my garage, which has a Volkswagen Passat and a Nissan Xterra. He then walks through my front door, where on my Japanese television, Arnold Schwarzenegger is whipping the GOP delegates into a frenzy.

"Dammit. We lost."