March 15, 2008


FCA Coaches Appreciation Run
I decided to run a low key meet up in Denham Springs today to just get out and stretch the legs and notch another race. I did not know what to expect as I have been battling a little bit of a stomach flu, which does not equal a great time when running. The parents showed up at around 3 a.m. this morning for the weekend, glad they made it safe. Showed up at the race and I knew it was going to be a low key race. Warmed up, felt OK, not great, and got ready for the start. First mile felt great, then it was down here from there. I don't think I'll post my time as it was a huge letdown after running so well last weekend. Placed 2nd overall, but again it was a low key meet. In the end, I came away with a disappointed performance, a blown out shoe, and a great appreciation for all those road races that are put on in a great orderly fashion. This one lacked a little bit of organization and though consideration, but it was a good time nonetheless. One event down for the weekend, only a few more to go!

March 14, 2008

Marching towards Madness

This weekend will be a crazy, family filled time in which the Daily Dose gets relegated to the bottom of the list of things to do. Not that I won't be constructing "daily" tidbits of goodness, but completed postings will be put on the backburner for the time being. So what does the weekend hold forth?

  1. Another 5K Road Race

  2. Arena Football Game: New Orleans Voodoo -vs- Tampa Bay Storm

  3. Big XII Tournament Concludes: Go Kansas

  4. NCAA Tournament Selection Show!

That's about it, look forward to reading the weekend recap and get ready for some crazy basketball in the next couple of weeks. Office productivity will be decreasing at a steady pace the next couple of weeks, guess that means Kwags will have to pick up the slack for me! Have a great weekend!


March 13, 2008

Stumblin and Bumblin to Catch Up!

Catching Up

I have been trying all week to get caught up and it just wasn't happening. I had several posts running, but never finished them up until today, so here is the recap for this past week up to today.

Monday: $5 Bill Makeover
Tuesday: Gebrsellassie pulls out of Olympic Marathon
Wednesday: Chuggles and Dinner at Zachawii's Place

Green Beer Day
Today is the annual ritual at Miami University (OH) where students get up at 5 a.m. and partake in a day of drinking green alcoholic beverages. The much celebrated Green Beer Day. The annual ritual celebrates St. Patrick's day, which always falls during Miami's spring break. It really is the unofficial start to spring break, but every now and then you get that crazy professor that scheudles the test on GBD. Their rating on goes down just like the many drinks during the morning binge! *clink*

Diving in Dominica
A nice article has appeared in on Dominica that I absolutely loved. It was one of the few really good articles about Dominica that I feel truly captured the essence of Dominica for what it really is about. There is no mention of 'grinding' poverty, or lack of international airport, as many other travel magazines complain about. It highlights all the things that you will take from a trip to Dominica. The article highlights some of the great diving in the area but also the wonderful scenery of the island as well. To all those on the island, be on the look out for Miami University students enjoying their spring break on the island! Wish I were with them and enjoying a nice cold Kabuli, or a rum punch, either one would suffice!

Dominica Geothermal
I conclude today with news coming out of the island that Dominica is a step closer to moving towards geothermal technology for its energy needs. It was announced yesterday that the commencement of an exploratory project was about to begin. Dominica sits on a "gold mine" of geothermal energy which is on display throughout the island. The most famous if of course "The Boiling Lake," but many geothermal hotspots dot the island.

The project will provide the following (Courtesy of Caribbean Net News):
  • Measure the size of the geothermal resource and determine its chemical characteristics
  • Conduct of a feasibility study on supplying electricity to Martinique and Guadeloupe
  • Conduct of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Completion of the project will wrap up in 24 months and the recommendations of the finding will be presented to the government. Hopefully it will be a positive outcome and will eventually lead to a source of cheap renewable energy source for the island.

March 12, 2008

Chuggles Chugs Along

Tonight I had Kmewalt over for some good home style cooking courtesy of Zachawii. They happened to bring Chuggles (short for Chiquita and Snuggles) along for the ride, which by the way made my day. It was a good time of getting together sharing a good meal (or so they told me) and good company. I decided to try and flex my atrophied cooking skills and try something new. Here is the recipe for dinner:

Steak au Poivre with Roasted Potatoes
It might sound and taste fancy, but this dish (I believe is French) takes about 30 minutes to perform. I have made this recipe for three, but is easily modified down.

Salad Greens with Balsamic Dressing:
3 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
1 Cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1.) Mix the vinegar and mustard in a medium mixing bowl.

2.) Slowly mix in the EVOO, the dressing will start to thicken. Add spices to taste. I think the next time I make this simple dressing I'm going to add minced garlic to taste. Its an experiment in the process

3.) Drizzle over salad greens and enjoy


1lb fingerling or baby gold potatoes, washed
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 8-oz strip steaks
2 Tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cube the potatoes and toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil (preferably flavored), salt, pepper, and roast on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, until fork tender.

2. During the roasting of the potatoes, rub the steaks with crushed peppercorns.Heat 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbs olive oil (approximate) in a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the steaks to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until a crust has formed. Flip the steaks and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Continue flipping until desired doneness is reached. Transfer the steaks to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

3. Over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter in the pan you used to cook the steak. Add garlic (if desired) and cook until soft. Stir in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Stir in the cream. Boil for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and arrange the potatoes.

After the meal the cameras got broke out and the dogs were having a little photo session. Chiquita has not made it to the blogosphere on my blog, but she has on Kmewalts blog which can be found here, that's her to the left. Snuggles, who was my car mechanic buddy a few weeks back has made it back to the blog, but I'm keeping my eye out on her. I may have discovered why she likes cars so much, she's a Termidog. Her and Vladimir, the Russian politcal terminator, have an eerie resemblance to one another dontcha think? I have my eye on you Snuggles, I have my eye on you! (Or is it, she has her eye on me?!?!)

March 11, 2008

Olympic Roundup

This is just a quick update on some Olympic news. Sort of busy the next couple of days, hopefully I'll be able to keep up. Sad day in the world of running today:

Geb is Gone
Back January I previewed Haile Gebrselassie's quest to break his own world record (2:04:26) in the Marathon at the Dubai Marathon. After that race Gebrselassie had contemplated pulling out of the marathon at the Beijing Olympics because of air quality issues in and around Bejing.

He recently announced that he is pulling out of the marathon for fear of damaging his health to the point at which he will not be able to compete at the elite level he is accustomed to. He still has the option of competing in the 10,000m, but loosing the worlds best marathoner and world record holder is a serious blow to these Olympics. Yes its not the 100m, the glory child of NBC's coverage of the games, but it is still a major blow to what I am hoping to be a great Olympics. 148 Days till the Opening Ceremonies!

March 10, 2008

Redesigned Mullah

Lincoln Makeover
The ole $5 greenback is getting a colorful face lift this week. On Thursday, circulation of the latest generation of US $5 will officially makes its way to banks. The new design is the latest chapter in the continued fight against those who make counterfeit money.

The new bill still features the offset Lincoln, but will be the most colorful bill we have, as a splash of purple has been added. The most noticeable feature of the new bill is the large purple 5 located on the back of the bill. New security features such as an enhanced embedded security thread, watermarks, and new colored micro print.

The $5 joins the redesigned $10 note (splashes of peach), $20 note (enhanced splashes of green with a peach center) and the $50 note (with multiple splashes of color). The $100 will soon follow with a colorful redesign of its own. I welcome the addition of color to our money, its a nice touch and gets up up to speed with nearly every other currency in the world that has bold splashes of colors and holograms. I wonder how long it will take before I'm able to snag one of these new bills. I look forward to getting one soon!

March 9, 2008

Sunday Selections

Trudging up Tunica
I decided to venture up north today and escape "The Rouge" for a little while to do a little hiking and running. I had heard from some passing conversations with other runners about running hills in Southeast Louisiana. Hills in Louisiana? This was something I had to investigate. It turns out there is 'some' topography here and I didn't know what to do with land that wasn't flat. So I trudged up the hills on a nice little 40 minute or so run. Hope to hit the hiking trails next time I'm up here, but I now have a place to run some good hill workouts for this coming 1/2 marathon season! Check out sometime, I hear there are waterfalls during the rainy season as well! (That's me in the picture running up the Tunica hills)

Classical Rocky IV
If you have never seen Rocky IV with Sylvester Stallone, you are missing out on a great East -vs- West movie where the west prevails in a raging fit of fists. It pits Rocky, the fighter from Philly, against Drago, the Soviet juggernaut that, when he punches something, "he destroys it." What it really comes down to is that its a movie about the arms race, but in a different sense of the word "arms."

In the end hard work, perseverance, and the American spirit prevail and Rocky wins over the Soviet crowd and Drago is defeated. But, after being given a history lesson the other day by Morning Edition on NPR, I believe that ole Stallone borrowed his plot line from the classical music world. What, Stallone cheat? Nah...

It is the 50 year anniversary of the Van Cliburn destruction of the Soviets during the height of the Cold War. Van Cliburn...never heard of him have you? Turns out, during one of the tenses times of the Cold War, the Soviet Union hosted an international competition, inviting the best and brightest pianist to compete in its Tchaikovsky competition. Van Cliburn, a lanky 23 year old Texan, singly handily gave hope back to the downtrodden American people in the doom of this time (the Soviets had just launched Sputnik), and he did it no less playing classical Soviet pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. When official inquiries were brought to Kruschev concering whether they would be permitted to award the prize to a non-Soviet pianist, Khrushchev himself replied, “Is Cliburn the best?” he asked. “Then give him first prize.”

Van Cliburn arrived back in New York to a ticker tape parade and was seen as a national hero for "stickin it to the commies." But his accomplishments did not stop there, with several of his recordings becoming some of the greatest sellers of all time, including the first ever classical music LP to go platinum, his Tchaikovsky concerto with the RCA Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kirill Kondrashin. I am shocked that I had never heard of such an interesting story and in a way, I feel that its better than Rocky IV. It was real, something that affected history in a meaningful way through of true talent, and we all know that Stallone lacks a little in that department(Ever seen the movie Daylight?). But, I guess to make this story really complete, I wish Van Cliburn would have looked down another Pianist and stated in a firm Texan accent. "I will destroy you!" Now that my friend, would make Classical Music concerts AWESOME!