Tuesday, July 29, 2008

budweiser green apple flavoured NA

i've been staring down the fruity NAs for 2 1/2 weeks now.  it was way too humid to go to the bar, so i stayed in the room and decided to try one of these drinks.
i settled on the green apple budweiser.  before trying, i read the label to see what was in the can:
N/A base, malt, water, hops, inverted sucrose, citric acid, apple flavour, carbonated water....yum.
opened the can, got a whif of apple-beer sweetness...pungent.
ok, the thing tasted like a mixture of beer, perrier and a jolly rancher...minus the alcohol.
it had no redeeming qualities...i took a couple of sips. at least it was better than bud & clamato.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

graphing workouts

playing with the garmin 405 data, trying to find the best software to use. all require a workaround, because garmin didn't develop the 405 with the mac in mind, so for the time being i'm downloading to my roommate's laptop, then transferring the data. have tried garmin connect...it's pretty cool, and free. now i'm test-driving ascent, which is much cooler, but costs $40. i'm doing a free trial. i'm not sure what i can do with all this graphing, considering i'm a recreational runner/cyclist that aspires to mediocrity and middle-of-the pack finishes. but, the graphs look cool, and i was a math major, so graphs should be appealing to me.

here are 2 recent runs. the first is the 4th of July race, where we had decent running conditions (as good as they get in july in the desert) ...the red line is heart rate and the green line is pace...they're both pretty consistent throughout the race, signifying that i gave a solid all out effort for the entire run.

this is the run from last tuesday, a miserable morning with high humidity. you can see the red and green lines are divergent, signifying a horrible run. in fact, you can see where the run went to shit...at the 1 mile block, the lines cross converge. that was the cross-over point...the point during the run, when i realized it was a bad idea.

what kind of conclusion can i draw from these graphs?....running in 100F+ temps and high humidity sucks.

fruity NA

these fruity NAs have been in my fridge for 2 weeks now. seemed like a good idea at the time, but now i fear them...particularly the oranjeboom, which i don't think is fruity, but it looks like the schlitz of european non-alcoholic beers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

nipplectomy II

i wrote this post last year, complaining about nipple chafing when running.  since then, this has been one of the most read pages on this blog, with viewers all over the world (most recently from Milazzo, Italy  and Piedmont, CA on 25 July) searching google with the keyword "nipplectomy" ending up on my site.  are there that many people like me that have the running/chafe problem?  the shirt that the man requires me to wear now has a high chafe-factor.  thankfully i brought a 6month supply of bodyglide with me. 
i'd like to know what the nipplectomy searchers are looking for...is it cosmetic?  or do they have problems while running?  please comment.


at 0000 gulf time, i went over the hump...halfway done with this trip.  3 months to go.  can't wait to get this mess over with.  i'm using a few other milestones to countdown my time here.
salisbury steaks--13
bowls of kashi cereal--180
runs in the sweltering heat--52
briefings to present--80
trips downtown--6

Monday, July 21, 2008


the weatherman told me we were going to have 3 straight days of low humidity.  since i wasn't briefing today, thought it would be a good morning to run...after all, yesterday morning the weather was great.  when i walked out the door, noticed the rocks and sand were wet, meaning it was a humid day...thought it couldn't be too bad, just the standard gulf humidity.  started my run fine, but felt like i was breathing in soup...did the first mile in 8 minutes, thought it a good warmup.  i should've given up after that, as it all went downhill from there.  the soup got thicker and thicker.  i finished my bottle of water by mile 3 and my shoes were heavy with sweat.  i wanted to stop, but knew that i needed to get back to my room as soon as possible...needed some water, gatorade...anything.  mile 4 was at a 10:05 pace...and I was struggling with that.  there was not one dry spot of clothing on me to include socks and shoes...unbelievable.
forecast high for today is 120F.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

NA procedures

i've been keeping some NA in my fridge at work.  this NA is 0% alcohol...the same alcohol content as a bottle of water.  this isn't the .5% nearbeer you can get in the states.  this is completely void of alcohol.
my boss told me that we're not allowed to drink NA until after 5:30pm...don't want to give anyone the 'perception' that we're drinking.
rules are silly.  i'm considering wearing black socks and an untucked shirt drinking the beer at 5pm.  maybe they'll send me home for that.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

chow hall avoidance week

managed to avoid the chow hall a record 6 times this past week.

last sunday, had my standard subway lunch.  always a big treat, since they serve fresh vegetables and the bread isn't stale.

later on that day, made it downtown to the Beach Rotana Hotel, for dinner at Indigo. this was by far the best indian meal i've ever had, and by far the best meal i've had in the past 3 months...the lamb curry kicked ass.  even the post meal burps tasted good.  

wednesday, went out to eat with one of the guys in my office that's going back to the states...he spent his time here in some of the upscale hotels, so he knew all the best restaurants.  we at at Chamas, a brazillian restaurant in the intercontinental hotel.  my pickup truck looked out of place in a lot full of mercedes, bmw, ferrari's, etc....lots of bling in this hotel.  this was the best brazilian meal i've ever had...actually, it's the only one, but it won't be the last.  they have a huge salad bar (all fresh vegetables, unlike the wilted iceberg lettuce i've grown accustomed to), and deliver 15 kinds of meat to you fresh from the grill...managed to make it through all 15 cuts of lamb, duck, turkey, chicken, and steak...damn good stuff.

thursday and saturday, ordered pizza from pizza hut.  normally wouldn't go crazy for pizza hut, but this week the chow hall topped itself by serving meatballs & corn dogs 3 days in a row...they also pulled off an unprecedented triple salisbury.

holsten NA

went out last week and bought a collection of NA.  the Carrefour has an entire aisle of NA, so I bought a couple six packs and a few individual malt beverages.  this trip, i purchased:

-Holsten Pomegranate
-Budweiser NA Green Apple
-Budweiser NA Tropical Fruit

the NA out here is different than NA in the states.  NA here truly is non-alcoholic, and all proudly advertise 0,0% alcohol.  some of these NAs scare me (fruity fake beer), so they've sat in the fridge for a week.  so far, i've just tried the Holsten and Bavaria...both weren't bad...for fake beer.  opened them up at the end of the day at work, and as long as i kept my mind off what i was drinking...just for a split second, i felt like i was drinking regular beer.  

Friday, July 18, 2008

new salad

chow hall debuted a new salad today
-boiled eggs
-bell peppers

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

AFN's Response

Good morning Stephen - Sorry to disappoint but please understand that one of AFN's primary missions is to draw as many viewers as possible to their television sets with the most popular stateside programming and, for good or ill, in the states more viewers are interested in the MLB than the Tour de France. While we are offering full coverage of the Tour de France during the day we are have to reserve our prime time slots for events that are more highly rated in the states. May I suggest that you arrange to record the race for viewing at a more convenient time? Again, sorry to disappoint. V/R - XXXXXXXXXXX Affiliate Relations AFN Broadcast Center Riverside, California
There you have it...mid-season baseball is more popular.  

Monday, July 14, 2008

afn and the tour

had to write a complaint e-mail to afn yesterday.  sat down at 1100 with my pb&j ready to watch the first mountain stage.  noticed that afn sports was showing the ny mets/colorado rockies baseball game, which was only in the 4th inning.  so, i went to the website and saw that the tour wasn't being shown until 1200, and only 1 hour of coverage.  i sent a long e-mail to the network complaining on their paltry coverage, asking why they felt the need to pre-empt the stage with a mid-season baseball game of no consequence.  at 1200, i went back to afn sports to catch the 1hour shortened coverage, only to find out it was cbs's tour coverage instead of versus.  cbs takes the week's highlights and waxes poetic about the "pageantry" and "drama" of the tour, with plenty of interviews and snippits of phil liggett calling the highlights.  basically, this was wide world of sports quality garbage time coverage, condensing a week's worth of racing into an easily digestable 1hour fluff-piece.  it thoroughly pissed me off, as i purposely avoided the news crawl on cnn international and al jazeera, so that i wouldn't know who won...then, i don't even get the coverage.  complete bullshit, from a network that shows arena football games in their entirety.  who the hell watches arena football?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

3 Horses NA

last night i hit a new level of desperation...after finishing my allotted 2 beers (Hoffbrau Original and Stella Artois), i wasn't quite ready to call it a night.  chose to reach for the NA (non-alcohoic) malt beverage.  the only one available was 3 Horses, a Dutch beverage.  according to their website, this NA has been popular in the gulf region for over 30 years.  i think the bar purchased this beer over a year ago, as their current inventory is about 2 months past its expiration date.  the drink went down harsh...it's like a skunked corn flavored water that tastes slightly like beer. 
the product's website calls the beverage a NAM, or Non Alcoholic Malt Beverage.  (shouldn't that be NAMB?  or does that too closely resemble NAMBLA?)  the site goes on to say that this NAM is thirst quenching, and due to only natural ingredients being used, fits easily into a healthy life style.  i'm not convinced this beer's going to fit into my lifestyle.  it left a horrible aftertaste...and even worse, i woke up this morning with a horrible taste in my mouth, and my breath smelled like a piece of poop coated in burnt hair.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

the tour starts and it's raining men

the tour de france started today...after a few weeks of trying to find out how i'd get to watch it, just discovered that AFN will be covering on a 1-day delay basis.  we'll get the 2 hour condensed version, conveniently around lunch time.  sonya sent some natural pb&j that arrived today, and i got some fresh jam from the carrefour last weekend.  looks like it will be lunch in the office, with the tour in the background.
usually during the tour, i'm inspired to ride more.  unfortunately, the only option here are beater huffy mountain bikes and spin bikes.  tonight i went to spin class...a different kind of spin class.  the first song was herbie hancock's rock-it.  the instructor started off with some sort of breakin' 2 electric bugaloo type moves, and a few of my classmates followed suit.  i was ok with this, so long as i didn't have to bust a move.  the 2nd song, was 'it's raining men'...and there were dance moves to accompany it.  needless to say, the riding here just isn't the same.  did have a good workout, as i stuck to peddling the bike, while the class rocked out to 'it's raining men', various queen songs, random disco songs, and what must be a spin class first...the fat boys singing 'wipeout'.   i'm not hoping these workouts will make me a better cyclist, just a more tolerant one.
 at least there are no pitbulls in the room.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

4th of july 5k

ran the 4th of july 5k this morning.  run started at 0630...a rare morning where the humidity wasn't bad.  3 weeks ago ran the father's day 5k in 21:05...good enough for 5th overall...was hoping to improve upon that time.  started off today feeling good, holding in the top 10 through the first mile...started to pass a few guys that went out too hard during the 2nd mile.  by that point, the sun was coming up and the temperature was rising.  mile 2 was about 30 seconds slower for me than the first.  as i finished mile 2, my boss passed me...i couldn't have that, so i stayed on his heels for the next 1/2 mile.  looked down at my HRM, and saw that I was at my max HR, so backed off to catch my breath...got a 2nd wind, and tried to close the gap...couldn't do it, as he finished 10 seconds ahead of me.  the clock showed 20:30, but my watch gave me 20:53...still better than the last race.  unofficially, was probably the 5th place finish...my boss claimed he was in 3rd or 4th.  i had an average HR of 171bpm...5ks hurt.

finally...some beer

beer shipment came in yesterday.  for about a week, all the bar had to offer was hard liquor and bacardi breezers, not even the popular red flavor of wine coolers, just the yellow stuff...pineapple.  there was a shitload of pineapple breezer in the fridge.  hopefully they didn't buy any more of that crap, instead focusing on good beer. 
grilled outside yesterday evening...really good idea when it's about 110F outside, but that's what the boss wanted to do.  it was pretty damn hot standing over the grill, so i was more excited about getting a cold beer.  showed up at the bar after eating, saw they had stella artois and 2 varieties of hofbrau (original and hefeweizen).  i opted for the hofbrau original, which was served room temperature...nice.  good thing is that room temperature is about 40 degrees lower than the outside temp, so it's all relative.  after grilling outside, drinking 2 warm beers at the outdoor bar, my uniform was drenched.  good times.
in food news, we had a double salisbury week...served for lunch 2 days in a row.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


the chow hall has developed a new coffee marketing strategy.  they labeled the 2 industrial coffee pots with nice little labels as "dark roast" and "light roast" using a coffeeshop font and decorative style.  despite the labeling, they've done nothing to the standard issue coffee.  both pots have giant costco-sized buckets of maxwell house medium roast coffee grounds next to them.  i've seen the tcns load both pots with the maxwell house.