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Archive for September 26th, 2010

Abort!  Abort!  Abort!
Seriously, the first time I test wore the Speedo “Men’s Seaside Water Shoe”, I got a blister on the top of my foot.  I wasn’t wearing socks, so I gave that a skip as down to my bad…
I’ve worn the shoes pretty consistently on short runs – 2 miles to 10K and they’ve been ok.  Today, I wore them on a long, slow run (my second such in them) – two hours plus, and for the second time (on a two-hour plus jog) my right foot has blistered underneath!  Maybe, I can blame the socks.  Maybe, but I just don’t feel like it.  The review is over for these puppies!
I’m only at 55-60 miles on them, but stick the fork in – it’s done.  I’m attaching a photo of the bottoms so anyone who cares can see the wear pattern.

Wear pattern on bottom of shoes.

Wear pattern on bottom of shoes.

As you can see, the wear is on the outside of each mid-sole, rolling through the center of the ball, and then over the toe of both shoes.  Fairly classic wear pattern for POSE/Chi running.  Given the wear at just 50-ish miles, I doubt they would have lasted 125 to 150 miles.  Still, they were only $20; half the price of the Ahnu’s.
Final recommendation: I don’t recommend them for “almost” barefoot running.  They are NOT close to almost barefoot.  They are very comfortable for wearing around the office – VERY breathable shoes.  They are also comfortable for moderate walks – the crepe feel is different enough from regular shoes that they give your feet a different experience.  They are “supposed” to be water shoes.  Given you MUST wear socks with them, and wet socks are not comfortable for long days of wear – I can’t recommend them for their stated purpose.  Finally, my first thought was the top draw string was a great idea.  In fact, it does little to hold the shoe on.  Mud or current would easily suck the shoe off.  What it does do is make the shoe “feel” more snug across the arch of your foot while still easy to put on. VFFs tend to be either too snug or too loose to put on.  This kind of draw string would make a reasonable addition.
By the way, today’s jog was in the morning, 2 Hrs 20 Min and about 8 miles.  Like I said – long and slow.  Depending on how my time goes this week, I’m going to try for another 55 mile week.  It’s six months since my birthday and that was the week I last went that far.  I will try to get a chunk of it done at the gym, but I will have to cut back on reading, blogging and hunch.com to get even close.  I’m hoping today’s blister doesn’t end my effort before it’s started.
The two best things about mourning runs are the sky brightening and the birds singing.  The worst thing is the progressive increase in heat.
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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)  —  movie review
I must admit I’ve really been looking forward to the release of this sequel.  I’ve only seen the original (maybe) three times in full, but everyone has seen Mike do Gekko, “Greed is good!” a million times.
I took along my youngest (Sarah), unfortunately – for her.
Visually, the movie was appealing to me in a TRON/PowerPoint kind of way.  Using the NY skyline as a backdrop for stock market ups and downs, and the roads as ticker runs was good.
Greed and excessive wealth were on display – but both lacked emotional appeal.  The characters kept saying “It’s not about the money”, when clearly, it was all about the money.  There were long, slow pans of skinny, tanned, bejeweled ladies and fat, mostly older, white guys.  …And lots of stiffs in suits.
I did enjoy the “finding family” aspects of the film even though they were not particularly believable, but then it’s entertainment not real life!!  I’ve not followed Shia LaBeouf before (other than Transformers), but I now think he can act.
I think the movie will reach a certain crowd – those who saw and understood the first movie and those who have followed (and understand) the economic problems of the last decade.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe there are very many folks in either group.
I think the liberals will vilify Stone (again) for not explaining the problems government (Bush and Obama) had or at least offering any evidence there were viable options.  Nothing but the bailout or economic collapse are given as options – black and white (binary) in a world of nuance.  I think the conservatives (and Tea Baggers) will vilify Stone (again) because he presents a harsh look at the new corporate greed – which is offered as FAR worse than individual greed (but doesn’t explain why).
The film is a lot of investment banking and Wall Street bashing, pure and simple.  I don’t have a big problem with that, per se, they are big boys who can take it, and they did screw up (and are continuing to do so).  The shortfall of the movie is it was a missed opportunity to be a learning moment: it could have said more about what happened, why it happened, why it was allowed to happen, and what were some of the other options (for future reference).
Sarah’s review – if the chairs were more comfortable, she’d have fallen asleep after about 20 minutes.  (From the mouths of babes…)
My recommendation: if you are one of those two groups mentioned above, or if you love Oliver Stone (hate the government, hate the rich, hate the corporations), you’ll probably enjoy this film.  As a film buff, I’ll wait for the X-mas twin pack to come out and re-watch them both.  (Life is hard for film nerds!)
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I was reading Wired magazine last month and they were telling folks about a new website named: www.hunch.com
It’s kind of a combination of Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google, and a bunch of other social networking sites all rolled into one.
I signed up early this week and I must admit it is the most addictive web site I’ve been on in quite some time.  It is a complete time waster – but it feels good doing it.
Basically, you answer 20 questions and the system builds a psychological profile of you.  As you answer more questions, it fills out your profile.  You can add likes and dislikes (movies, books, authors, foods, TV shows, politics, ethics) to just about any topic and it uses these favorites, like and dislikes to make suggestions to you and others based on the similarity of the others to you (based on their answers).  You can also make your own topics.
If you decide to give it a go, I’m on as kmabarrett (what a coincidence!), so please follow and fleck me.
I’m not sure I’ll keep it up as I’ve not used the site to provide me with any recommendations, yet – but it’s still early days.
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3 and 3

What are you doing about it?
A simple question, but also an indictment…
If you are upset about the state of our country – what are you doing about it?
My suggestion: Ask three elderly people you know, how they will get to the voting poll site in November and then offer to give them a lift there if they need it.  Then ask three young people you know between 18 and 25 years of age if they are registered to vote.  If not, offer to get them a registration form, help them complete it and mail it (or help them drop it off).
Most places cut off voter registration 30 days before the election, so you need to get started on the youth contacts NOW!
I’m not asking you to poll them to see if they agree with your views or not – for the young or the elderly.  All I AM asking is that you help make the system work.
Three people before October 2nd and three more before November 2nd…
If you are not part of the solution, you ARE part of the problem.  What are YOU doing about it?
VOTE 2nd November 2010 !!!
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I watched Rooster Cogburn with Hil this evening.  I’ve seen it before – many years ago – but had forgotten what a terrific little movie it was.  John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were terrific together.  The dialogue was witty and they played off each other tremendously.  It was JW’s 2nd to last movie and he was already dying of cancer at the time.
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