Archive for September, 2007

QotD: Culinary Celebrity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 28, 2007 by Budd Black

Who's the coolest culinary celebrity?


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TV Talk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2007 by Budd Black

Okay, I know I haven't seen everything I have wanted to yet, and that tonight is the office, but I think I can assess some new shows for everyone.

Bionic Woman – I almost turned it off, the acting and dialog's were that bad.  Special effects were only a little better.  Why on earth would someone be pissed off that their life and way of life had been saved?  "You almost died.  We had to amputate your arm and your legs.  Did you want to be in a motorized wheel chair?  Because, we can take back all the bionic stuff."  Why didn't Starbuck get the lead?  She is a way better actress. 

Journeyman – I liked this more than I thought I would.  It channels The Time Traveler's Wife a bit, but that isn't really a bad thing.  The jury is still out.  I don't really like formulaic shows though.  If it becomes a save a person a week type show, I think I will just watch Quantum Leap reruns. 

Prison Break – They are just going to put Scofield in multiple prisons and have him escape from them every season.  The show has always been ridiculous and this year doesn't look to change the formula.

Heroes -  New plots abound.  My question is still what happened to Sylar.

Chuck -I thought this show was going to suck, but it doesn't.  It rocks.  It is witty and charming.   You can't help but like Chuck and hate Captain Awesome.

Kid Nation -  The premise of this show was supposed to be about how kids would run the world if they were in charge.  Unfortunately this is restrained by the amount of rules imposed on them.  They have to be on teams, they have to compete in a challenge, and said challenge dictates a class structure.  The class structure has the upper class get paid the most for doing nothing.  They don't even allow a free market on the show.  Last night they did kill some chickens; that was pretty cool.

The Ultimate Fighter – Same show, different weight class.  I already hate several people on the show.  This show perpetuates the stereotype that all fighters are idiots. 

I have not seen Reaper yet.

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Partay Friday Night

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 26, 2007 by Budd Black

To celebrate banned books week, I am inviting everyone to come over to my house with the banned book they read this week.  There will be food, drinks, and a bonfire.  We will discuss the books we read and then throw them onto the fire*.  Yes, we will burn the banned books.  We will do this becuase they are banned and should be burned.  We will then go door to door forcing people to read only books that we like. 


*I don't actually condone the burning of books.  Statements made here are for entertainment purposes only.  You can show up at my house Friday night but I will not be there.  Please do not burn books in my yard.   There will be no bonfire as my yard is to small and I would need a permit.

Oh, by the way, I am reading The Chocolate War.


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Resident Evil: Extinction

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 25, 2007 by Budd Black

Resident Evil Extinction promised nothing but a scantly clad Milla Jovovich and lots of zombies. On that front it delivered. If you are going to this movie to see a well thought out and contemplative story, maybe you didn't watch the first two movies.

In the first two Resident Evil installments we see the spread of the zombie creating T virus through the Umbrella Corporation compound and then through Raccoon City. In Extinction, the virus has decimated the Earth. Five years later and the T virus has spread to both plant and animal populations making the Earth a barren waste land.

Ali Larter plays Claire, a tough as nails mother figure for a band of scavenging survivors. She is joined by the returning Oded Fehr as Carlos. This ragtag group roams town to town trying to stay away from the zombies. The desert is their playground as it was sparsely populated in the first place. Alice, Milla Jovovich, has the same game plan and soon meets up with the group. Umbrella Corp. isn't done with Alice though and that puts the whole group in danger.

There are scenes in this movie that will have you rolling your eyes, but the movie had a fun charm to it. The acting is well done all around and there are several homages to zombie movies that have come before. If you like things jumping out at you, you will not be disappointed. This movie isn't smart or cutting edge, and never claims to be. Resident Evil: Extinction is just pure zombie killing action. Not for everyone but fun for some.

The final scene of the movie definitely reveals a world that is about to emerge that I would love living in. 

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Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 24, 2007 by Budd Black

I have been a bad host and not introduced real world friends that have started Voxing.  So, without further ado, I bring you:

Phil-  Phil is in my book club and we both used to be in an Anime club back when they were cool.  Phil likes Martial Arts.

James-  James is my supervisor at work.  He loves horror movies, Stephen King novels, and Football (UnivTenn and the Steelers). 

Please give them a kind welcome.

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Can’t Run Away Forever

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 24, 2007 by Budd Black

In October of 2004 I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, and in November, I ran a Thanksgiving day 5k that would be my last race. It also turned out to be one of the last times I ran. From marathon to nothing in about one month. I can look back now with regret and understanding, but mostly regret.

I guess the story starts a lot earlier than that. I served four years in the military from 1996 to 2000. They made me run there and I garnered nothing but disgust for it. When I left the service I thought I would never run again and rejoiced in it. Then came the cushy desk job and the extra weight. Living a very active live style I didn't realize how easy it had been for me to gain weight. Weight is a sneaky thing though. You don't put it all on at once. It comes a little at a time until you wake up one day and your really heavy. You try to eat better, but that is only moderately successful. By the fall of 2002, I had decided to change.

That fall had many changes in store for me. I had decided to quit my cushy desk job and return to school. I picked out some running clothes and really crappy running shoes for my wife to get me for my birthday. I started running again. This was torturous and monotonous at first. I started out on the indoor track at the Middle Tennessee State University Recreation Center. It was six laps per mile and I would go in on Tuesday and Thursday evenings after a late class and do twelve laps. Of course I couldn't complete them at first but I soon found myself able to do them slowly and then at a fair speed. As the weather cooled down, I moved outside. I don't know if it was the cold air, the wind, or the hills, but running outside was completely different. I was set back a little but continued to improve.

In February 2003 I went to the campus employment office to find some part time work. To my surprise I found a running store in the listings. I applied and, again to my surprise, was hired. Working at a running store will do wonders for your running. All the employees ran and the store had organized fun runs. I immediately had people to run with and set dates and times to run with them. Up until this point I had only run a few race with very limited success. I had set PRs (personal records) at both, but hadn't really met anyone or made any friends. As an employee at a running store, the people you meet at races are customers and you get to see first hand how your advice and customer service has helped. It is very rewarding.

Fast forward to spring of 2003. My running has greatly improved. Everyone I know is running marathons. On a whim, I sign up for the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon. In my life to that point I had won a cake (in a cake walk) and a gift certificate. Wouldn't you know that I won the Marine Corps Marathon Lottery. It was time to start training, and training I did. Still working at a running store, I had access to any and all information and expertise that I needed. I knew how far, how often, and if their were any groups doing a training run of that distance. I had a training schedule in hand tailored to me and all the support I could have ever wanted.

During my first twenty miler, I felt me legs tighten up on my in the last mile or so. In my second twenty miler, I had severe knee pain that stopped me at about mile 17. I had Iliotibial Band Syndrome. I had two weeks until the marathon and I almost completely stopped running to give myself the best chance of being able to run it. I mean, I had plain tickets, hotel reservations, and I had trained the entire summer for it. I tried all the stretches, I tried the bands, and I tried frozen golf balls. I was determined to get my IT band back in performance shape before the race.

Race day; seventeen thousand runners line up at the starting line. I line up with them. I had made the fatal mistake of arriving in DC two days early and doing site seeing in the interim. I am packed like a sardine in the midst of other runners who are planning on finishing in 4:30 hours. There is no sweat yet, just an electrical charge of excitement that surpasses anything I have felt at a 5,10, or 15k. I can't even see the starting line. It isn't that I am too crowded, but that it is too far away. The gun to start the race fires and I don't move for five minutes.

Once we get moving, I feel great. I am in the moment. I am keeping my pace. At ten miles, it happens. It feels like someone has stabbed me in the knee. I look down and of course there is no knife. My IT band is throbbing. I power through. I keep running I see my wife at twelve miles and she graciously rubs my down my leg for me. I get back up and keep running. By mile fifteen I can't bear it anymore and I have to stop and walk for a prolonged period of time

For anyone that hasn't had IT band syndrome, the most frustrating thing is that it doesn't hurt to walk on it. Stairs and hills hurt but normal walking is fine. In everyday training this is bad enough, but in a Marathon it is multiplied exponentially. You know that you trained for it. You know that friends and family are following your progress. You know they just saw a huge drop in your time form checkpoint to checkpoint. You can look at your perfectly synced specialty running watch and see your goal time slip away. You are walking and you are not tire and you are not in pain. I think frustrating only slightly scratches the surface.

I finish in 5:38 an hour and eight minutes slower than my secondary goal. The only goal that I achieved was to finish the race. I should have been happy. I should have felt a sense of accomplishment. I didn't. I felt betrayed by my body. Well, at least by one knee. The rest of my body was a well oiled machine. And, as funny as it may sound, I was embarrassed by my time. To be honest, I still am. Yes, as much as my knee was hurt, my pride was hurt worse.

Of course, I took time off after the race. I dropped my distance way down, but it wasn't helping. I was now getting pain at about a mile. I entered the Thanksgiving race immediately after the marathon thinking I would be healed. The Thanksgiving race was as bad as the marathon. I couldn't keep my eye off of my watch or the pain from my knee. I finished in 26:46, ashamed. I attempted to run several times over the next six months. Every time with a continuation of pain. Sometimes I would just feel the pain for now reason. Very quickly I had got out of the habit of running.

Now, four years later. I have put the weight back on, maybe more. I am back in a cushy desk job, my blood pressure is up, and my energy level is down. I have no physical relief to stress and my shame in self image is by far overshadowing that of running a 5:38 marathon. I don't have friends that run anymore or a fancy running watch. I still have all of my running clothes even if they do fit a bit tighter. Luckily, I have a pair of brand new running shoes with only a few miles on them that have been doing nothing but collecting dust for the past few years.

This morning, I went out for a two mile run. I was surprised at my muscle memory. My legs still knew my pace, but they were screaming at me to bring it down very quickly. My heart and lungs were making that call to slow down come across in stereo. I was disappointed in myself again. Not in how slow I was going or that I had to stop and walk a lot, but because of what I had let myself become. I don't know if I will ever run another marathon. I don't even know if I will ever run another race. I do know that I need running. I need it to stay in shape both mentally and physically. I need it to feel good about myself again.

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Today’s Birthdays

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 21, 2007 by Budd Black

Stephen King is 60

Bill Murray is 57

H.G. Wells would have been 141

Nicole Richie is 26, pregnant, and in rehab

I am 30.


I know, it is scary!

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