Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ode to New Resource Bank

The beauty about exercise is that there is not really any downside to it. You look hot, you can eat as much as you want, it gives you confidence, it's a legitimate hobby, etc. The New Resource Bank is a similiar no brainer. I joined the bank about two months ago driven by two things.

First, the bank is dedicated to environmental issues, both in its operations (e.g., small global footprint, LEED certified headquarters) and in its decisions on the businesses with which it does business. This makes me feel good, that I am in small way making a difference.

Second, this focus on green issues is not at the expense of a customer-focused approach. While they are growing quickly, they treat each customer like they are important, as opposed to Wells Fargo's "I don't care about you, customer 1,222,444" approach. And get this. Even though they have much fewer assets than Wells, they charge no monthly fees AND reinburse any ATM fees incurred from competitor's machines.
They had me at hello.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm finally mobile

I have figured out how to use mobile blogger. Live scene from my power office.

Merrill and Sam

Merrill and Sam - January 2008 in Hunter, NY

Monday, February 18, 2008

What now?

Whenever I am in the middle of the all consuming training for an endurance event like a marathon or a triathlon, I can't wait for it to be over so I can return to more normal, singular daily workouts in which I can seek pure fitness and fun. And then the minute I finish the race and am working out without a specific goal, I start to feel aimless. This Catch 22 situation is compounded by three other factors.

1) It is really hard for me to peak for a specific race because I have an addictive and insecure personality. If I workout for less than 45 minutes, I feel anxious, bloated and lethargic. Miss one workout and I feel like my whole "endurance guy" persona is a fraud, my abs soft and my will to get up at 5:00 am damaged. With this baggage to deal with, I am not particularly good at tapering before a race or resting when sick or injured. I know this hurts my race performance but my psyche is willing to concede a few minutes for the emotional fix of the daily workout.

2) In the last year, I have learned that doing a race a second or third time, particularly if I did well the first time, is not fun. Vineman 2007 and the 2007 New York Marathon were nowhere near as fun as the first time I did them. I am not sure if I am bored of doing the same distances (half ironman, half marathon, marathon) as well or if I need to do completely new races. Whatever it is, there is currently no race out there that has me excited.

3) I am getting old and am probably about to start slowing down. I am not sure if it is the residual affects of the January flu, running in the winter morning or the December hamstring problem but my habitual 8 mile run has gotten slower by a minute or two. I will give it a month to see if I recover before panicking.

So I am searching for the next endurance fix.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Ben has now reached 14 and his gift to me is he doesn’t like me. I encroach on his freedom, his independence, his cool factor. The group message is that this is the normal rite of passage for a teenager but it is hard not to take it personally. To accept that the boy who I have watched grow from a tiny little baby is now permanently angry at me and there is nothing I can do to change this other than bribery and gifts. It is payback or the way I acted to my parents as a 14-21 year old but that doesn’t make it easier to take.

The counterweight to this is that Sam still likes being with me. We just spent an awesome weekend together snow boarding, discussing sports, going to his basketball game where he was awesome, watching movies and bonding. He even told me he loves me in response to my many similar proclamations. Of course part of me thinks that this can’t last, that his teenage years are coming and I’ll get shunned for a second time. But I am relishing the time while I got it.

I know that I can’t take it personally – that being a good father is not about being liked, it’s about respect and being a good role model. But it is hard not to let my emotions run rampant when one of the two most important people in the world doesn’t want to be with me and there is nothing I have done other than exist.

Of course I am compounding this by reading the uplifting book The Road.

Friday, February 08, 2008


In Kingston, NY Holiday Inn skimming free WiFi, waiting to go on client calls. Random thoughts.

  • The Shield is the best TV cop show ever, beating my previous passion, Hill Street Blues, by a mile. Mackey, the main character and dirty cop is even more lovable and hateable than Tony Soprano. I am going to shave my head and fatten up my neck in his honor.

  • I don't get Facebook. I thought I did, that it was a passive aggressive way to keep up with a few of your real friends, pretend to have some type of relationship with hundreds of others and engage in exciting activities like online scrabble. But after a few months of this ground breaking activity, it has ceased to be a buzz creator. Microsoft must be freaking over their investment. At least the value of Yahoo! makes sense.

  • The audience for the Hack and the Flack has almost doubled in the last two months. OK - that means it has gone from 22 to 44 faithful downloaders but the stats don't lie. I think its time to do some news breaking on it to really drive traffic. My attempt to tie Lance to the murder of Heath Ledger (Mary Kate Olsen was supposed to be the smoking gun in a vicious love triangle) didn't have the desired effect.

  • I am the ultimate front runner sports fan. No sooner did the Patriots lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl then I was writing them off as joyless cheaters. Brady still might be a great quarterback but his limping with flowers, yapping at Giselle's heels and his quiet, solo pondering on the bench took him out of the Jeter room of greatness. Jeter doesn't genuflect on the bench, he leaps to the top of the dugout to congratulate his teammates.

  • I can't make a decision on Hillary vs Barack. OK - I did make a decision and voted for Barack in the Calif primary after listening to Slate podcast comparing him to Bobby and John but he is not inspiring me with his constant not red, not blue but united cliche. Barack is supposedly the inspirer, Hillary the doer. Inspirers can win nominations but can they govern. West Virginia voters will decide on May 18 - can't wait for another three months of over analysis.

  • I am almost back to my normal level of endurance. From Thanksgiving to late January I suffered a hamstring pull and flu/bronchitis that had me miss two, count them two days of exercise. Somehow I survived this crisis without alientating Rebecca or my friends.