Saturday, March 29, 2008

The (Not So) Amazing Race

Well, today was the big race. The first annual Dawg Trot 5K, benefiting the University of Georgia Alumni Association. This was the race, on the campus of my beloved alma mater, that I chose to be my "comeback" first race since suffering a heart attack almost a year ago. I had three goals coming into this race: 1. Have fun. 2. Finish. 3. Have enough left in the tank to be passing people at the end. I was so unconcerned about my finishing time that I didn't even wear my watch.

36:23. I wish I would've worn my watch.

There were a lot of factors involved in that unsatisfactory time...some physical, some mental. And it's not like I was expecting to lay down the kind of time that I was running a few years ago when I was fortunate enough to win my age group (40-44) in several races. After all, I was practically sedentary for six months after the heart attack. But bringing it home at 30-minutes-plus isn't acceptable for me.

Training went pretty well for the last three months. I realize I didn't do nearly enough hills...especially given the terrain on the UGA campus. And the race-day adrenaline that I was counting on to give me a little boost jumped up and bit me on my pert backside. The starter sent us off and the opening pace was like that of a hundred-yard dash (primarily due to the presence of many, many Run and See Georgia Grand Prix regulars...this was a field of greyhounds, man). I pressed way too early and wound up gassed by the first mile marker. Total rookie, bush-league screwup.

By the time I was able to recover my pace, I was well past the two-mile marker and staring up the formidable "Ag Hill," leading into the home stretch. That's when things got very mental. I reached for the reserve mojo and just couldn't tap into it. And I think I know why. I think I was afraid to push myself because I was worried about my ticker. Ultimately, I did manage to kick it somewhat around the the 2-and-a-half mile point...but I knew when I crossed the finish line that I hadn't left it all out there on the pavement. I knew I had held back.

So, that's why I can't wait to get out there again. There's a big race in downtown Athens next Saturday...but, from running it before, I know the hills are hellacious. So I think I'll try the race at Sandy Creek Park next Sunday. I've had some success there before and maybe the field won't be so hardcore with another big race the day before. Meanwhile, it's "on the road again" every afternoon next week. Gonna hit the hills and gonna push myself. Get past that mental block.

All in all, though? I had a blast. It's good to be back...ish.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More Of The Wright Stuff

Hillary Clinton today on Reverend Jeremiah Wright:

"He would not have been my pastor," Clinton said. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."

You know what else you choose? You choose which preachers you want to invite to the White House to beg for absolution and forgiveness after you've been busted for carrying on with one of the interns.

President Bill Clinton chose Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Hillary needs to think long and hard before playing that particular card again. She's got a nationally televised debate with Obama coming up in a couple of weeks. Does she really want to throw Wright in Obama's face and give the moderator an opening to bring up the good Reverend's visit to the Clinton White House? And exactly what he was there for? Chances are she'll try to gloss it over by explaining about all the sniper fire he had to dodge on the way into the building.

"Deltalina"? More like "Fugalina."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What In The Blue Hell Is Wrong With Pennsylvania?

I mean...COME ON! Where you at, Phillie? You gotta represent. Steeltown, don't tell me you're buying Hillary's shit. Southcentral, you guys awake? Intercourse, are you intercoursing with me? I'm not even going to make some smartass remark about Hillary's message resonating in Santorum Country ( I just did)...but the prospect of Obama sustaining a double digit stomp-job deep in the very cradle of the republic does not exactly fill my heart with optimism. I can only assume (read...hope) this thing is going to tighten up naturally as we get closer to the primary. You want to be 12-15 points up on the Sunday before the primary, not over a month out. That's a long-ass time to sit on a lead.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Playboy" Gary Hart (1941-2008)

"Playboy" Gary Hart, manager of some of the most feared pro-wrestlers to ever step into the ring, died yesterday at the age of sixty-six. He was found dead in his Euless, Texas home by his other information has been released yet. You can keep "Captain Lou" Albano, Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart, and even Bobby "The Brain" Heenan...for my money, the "Playboy" was the best wrestling manager ever. Having been "blessed" with a naturally menacing appearance and a tongue of pure silver, Gary Hart's niche in the business was serving as a mouthpiece for mute monsters such as The Great Kabuki, The Spoiler, The Missing Link, and Pak Song (pictured). However, my most indelible Gary Hart memories are of his longtime association with Abdullah The Butcher.

Gary Hart and Abdullah (pictured) were made for each other. Abdullah, now an Atlanta restauranteur, was the one wrestler that always scared the living crap out of me as a kid. On nights that Georgia Championship Wrestling came to town, my buddies and I used to stake out the parking lot of the local gym in Buford to watch the wrestlers arrive. It was always such a trip to watch Abdullah drive up in an ordinary compact car, gather up his gear, and then immediately get into character as soon as he spotted us. He would usually perform a judo thrust in our direction, accompanied with a menacing grunt...and we would run like hell.

As terrifying as he was, though, it was Gary Hart's microphone skills that took Abdullah to the next level. "Ladies and's 'bout to get scary in hold tight to yah children's hands...'cause I'm 'bout to bring out...dah beast...dah remorseless creeee-chah....dah 'Mad Man from dah Soooo-dan!' Aaaaahb-doooooh-laaaah...dah....Booooooootchaaaah!"

So long, "Playboy." And thanks for the nightmares.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sorry, John...Not This Time

A mere eight months out and you're already digging deep for the "Vote for me or the terrorists win" card? I shudder to think what your fourth-and-long play must be. Or is an unrejected, unrepudiated, and undenounced (and, no, a simple "he doesn't agree" from a campaign spokesperson doesn't come close to cutting it) Rep. Steve King trial-ballooning it for you? Give him a little "Straight Talk," Senator.

If there's one tiny bit of upside to Georgia having their SEC Tournament second-round game against Kentucky moved to Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum in light of the extensive tornado damage to the Georgia Dome, it's this: With attendance being restricted to only the players' families and the working press, they'll feel like they're playing back home at Stegeman Coliseum.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You Can't Keep A Good Dog Off Your Leg

Did you notice that slight whiff of vinegar in the air? Yes...HYH's favorite douchebag, Mitt Romney (pictured, left), is back. And he's furiously humping John McCain's leg for a spot on the Republican ticket in November. Never mind that just a couple of months ago, he very publicly said:
“I’m not going to be any vice president to John McCain either, that’s not going to happen.”
It must be nice for your every utterance on the record to be nothing more than a first draft, to be struck through with your inner red editing pen at will. Still, I wouldn't bet against a McCain/Romney marriage of convenience. After all, McCain fell right back into Dubya's loving arms after getting slimed repeatedly by Bush during the 2000 campaign. I say bring Mittens on. There's not a Democrat on Barack or Hillary's VP short lists that wouldn't humiliate this emptiest of suits in a debate. And it gets Dan Quayle off the national punchline hook. Call it the 20-Year Mercy Rule.

Six More Long Weeks

I've had tickets in hand for over four months now...and the Bruce concert is still more than a month away. Still more than a month to the most alive, electric moment possible...that moment in every Bruce show when the regular set ends and the houselights come up. It's encore time...and there's no telling what you're liable to hear. If you've been there, you know exactly what I mean. The entire arena, buzzing with anticipation. Anything can happen. Jeez...I can't wait.

It looks as though Bruce is still faithfully plugging "Magic" all these months later, playing three-quarters of it in most sets. No complaints...I love that record. But, for the hell of it, here's my dream Bruce set:

Radio Nowhere
Prove It All Night
Hungry Heart
The Promised Land
Brilliant Disguise
I'm On Fire
Darkness On The Edge of Town
The River
The Rising
Candy's Room
Out In The Street
No Surrender
Glory Days
Racing In The Street
Thunder Road
Born To Run

(First Encore)
Cadillac Ranch
Born In The USA
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

(Second Encore)
"Devil With The Blue Dress" Medley
Dancing In The Dark
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yeah, More Politics...Deal With It

You know, seeing as how she's a 49-state losing, race-baiting gaffe machine, the Clinton campaign could've kept Geraldine Ferraro around to be a constant pain in their ass for all I care.

Dude, they raise a lot more doubts about "humor" than "neutrality."

Silda Wall Spitzer = Total MILF

What the hell is Eliot Spitzer thinking?

His wife, Silda (left), has totally got a Lindsay Wagner (right)
thing working. You can even throw a little Erin Gray and Cheryl
Tiegs into the mix. Very appealing to us dudes of a certain age.

"The Results Of Those Primaries Were Fair..."

Guess who?

If you are a voter from Florida or Michigan, you know that we should count your vote. The nearly two and a half million Americans in those two states who participated in the primary elections are in danger of being excluded from our democratic process and I think that’s wrong. The results of those primaries were fair and they should be honored.

She can't believe that. She just can't. When she goes to bed at night, fully pantsuited and blinged-out just in case the phone rings at 3:00 AM, she can't honestly believe that the sham results of the Florida and Michigan primaries are "fair." Is there anything she won't say to steal this nomination? Comparing Obama to Ken Starr? Obama only wants to see the Clintons' income taxes...maybe he should remind everyone about what Ken Starr was looking for. Trying to spin the absurd fantasy that Obama would lose to McCain in the blue states that Clinton has so far carried? Freaking Dennis Kucinich would probably carry California and New York against McCain.

Every day this campaign goes on, my memories of Election Nights in '92 and '96...the fondest memories in a life of political junkiedom...grow dimmer and dimmer.

Friday, March 7, 2008

STFU, Hillary

Here's Hillary Clinton on a "do-over" in Florida and Michigan, which held nominating contests that broke Democratic Party rules:

I would not accept a caucus. I think that would be a great disservice to the 2 million people who turned out and voted. I think that they want their votes counted. And you know a lot of people would be disenfranchised because of the timing and whatever the particular rules were.

Oh, absolutely. That's why the unfairness of caucusing was such a pet topic of yours during the Fall and Winter debates leading up to primary season. You were so eloquently passionate about the disenfranchising, undemocratic caucus process long before you started getting the ever-loving snot kicked out of you in every single one of them, weren't you?

Yeah, that's right. I know. The last time you guys heard from me, I was "wobbly" about the Obama/Clinton race. I was still in the Obama camp but growing increasingly anxious about his ability to hit back...hard (and I still am, BTW). But the conduct of the Clinton campaign has been such a dealbreaker for me that, much like my pal JMac, I'm having trouble fathoming why true, blue Dems aren't deserting Hillary in droves.

How dare she come on my TV and even so much as insinuate that my sleeping children are in trouble if I vote for the other guy? And who's pantsuited, coiffed, and immaculately made-up at 3:00 AM, anyway? But don't settle for my take on this...take it from Larry David.

Rock on, Obama. Let's finish this effing thing.

On a personal note, I've entered my first 5k race since my heart attack last Spring. It's a charity race, sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association, set for March 29. My cardiologist has warned me that there's a very good chance that I will drop dead before reaching the finish line.

Nahhhhh! Just selling the drama. But this is, of course, a very big deal to me. Can't wait.