Archive for July, 2013

Brooks is trying to kill me.

I came across this running “challenge” . . . the Brooks Run Happy Summer Challenge.  The shoe company is giving away two pairs of running shoes per day for a month.  Winners are randomly selected from those participting in the challenge.  No purchase necessary.  Odds of winning are practically zero, but better than one’s chance of hitting the powerball jackpot.

At the end of the challenge a grand prize winner will be drawn . . .

At the end of the challenge, we’ll draw one grand prize winner for an expense paid trip for two to the Las Vegas Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon on November 17, 2013.

Free running shoes?  Is this Florida State University?  Sign me up!

In the first few days, I was in the Top Ten of the Leaderboard, 5th out of 29,000+ contestants!  There are now over 30,000.


But what I didn’t realize is that this ranking system is based solely on how many days you have run and “rated” your run.  You have to log in your miles, time and click on a rating icon ranging from a smiley face to things like a frowny face, an oxygen mask and a coffin.  I’m just kidding about that last part.  It’s actually a tombstone.

Normally, I run 5-6 days per week.  Most running and fitness experts recommend that you take days off to allow your muscles to rest and rebuild.

But that means a day you can’t win the shoes you aren’t likely going to win anyway, and you have to watch as your name plummets down the list because you now have one fewer workout than the rest of the field.  The first (and so far the last) day I didn’t run, I saw my ranking fall from 5th to 30th.  I’ve slipped from 6th to 10th just while writing this because I only have 13 happy runs instead of 14!

In short, the shoe company is throwing sage running advice to the wind and rewarding runners for pushing themselves too hard.

You don’t need no stinking day off!

Take a day off?  NO SHOES FOR YOU!

I usually don’t run on Tuesdays.  After I watched my name plummet last week, I considered adding in a “small run” of like a hundredth of a mile.  I could always run it with the next run but not include it, but I’d have my workout total to keep me on the rank list.  But then my conscience got the better of me and I accepted my ranking such as it is.  After all, if we runners don’t have our honor, what would we be?  Cyclists or ball players on performance enhancing drugs?

So this Tuesday, I dutifully got up and donned my NON-BROOKS running shoes and ran.  I was only going to do one mile–slowly.  It would almost be like taking a day off, and yet I’d still have my negligible chance to win some shoes.  I ended up doing 3 slow miles, but my conscience is clear, even if my muscles ache.

Why do we runners do this to ourselves?

Its gotta be the shoes!

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The Daily Prompt asks bloggers to “Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.”

These people hate me.  Where do they come up with this?  Is this like that quick brown zebra chasing a fox that has every letter of the alphabet in it?  Does 26 sentences an epic poem make?

Have you ever played the game Apples to Apples?

In this game, you are dealt a hand of red cards, each with a person, place, thing or phrase (basically a noun of some sort).  Players take turns being the “judge.”  A card is then drawn from a second set of green cards with descriptive words (Adjectives perhaps?)   Players must pick a card from their hand that somehow matches the green card (for example, a synonym or antonym but probably not a homonym or a church hymn.)  For instance, the green card might say SMART.  If you have ALBERT EINSTEIN in your hand, the judge will probably pick your card.

My hand sucks.

My hand sucks.  Is Detroit radiant this time of year?

I never have EINSTEIN when SMART comes up.  I never have BILL GATES when RICH comes up.  If you don’t have anything that matches. you end up throwing in a random card which you know won’t get picked, but at least the worthless piece of crap (SOY SAUCE) is out of your hand and you have the opportunity to draw another card next turn that might actually match one of the 7,000 other green cards.  (Is it politically correct to call them green cards?)

Short story, memoir or epic poem?

Three green cards and I don’t have anything in my blog hand.

So here we go . . .

A man walks into a

Bar. (He hits his head.)  This gives him a

Concussion.  (See, the bar wasn’t a tavern but an actual bar . . . . get it?)


Eventually he comes to and yells “what the

F&$%!  Who put a bar there?!


How unsafe

Is that?

Just put a bar up there with no warning?

Kinda stupid, don’t you think?

Like it’s my fault I walked into that bar.


Nobody gives a crap anymore about



Quite the sign of the times.


Some people deserve to be sued.

That’s what I should do!

Unleash my lawyer on the world!

Very good idea!

Wait.  What?

Xcept I don’t have a lawyer, do I?  (see what I did there, wink, wink!)

Yikes!  Lawyers cost a lot of money!

Zero chance of me getting anything from that bar.  I’m underage anyway and shouldn’t have been walking into that bar.”

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The Daily Prompt has challenged Word Press bloggers to analyze their top 3-5 posts and find a connection between them.

Since The Eye Life was hatched, here are the top 5 posts:

The Little Piggie That Should Have Stayed Home   2,835
My Lunch Bucket List   1,321
Youse Guys Ever Eat at Five Guys?   1,002
Signature Moment   841
Sponge Boobs   588

For those that don’t feel like clicking through the links, The Little Piggie That Stayed Home is a light-hearted post about my experience having several toe nails surgically removed.  I am a runner, and this activity is apparently hard on toenails.  But I think the number of hits has nothing to do with HUMOR or RUNNING, but rather visitors are brought there by Google Images–there is a picture of cute little toes decorated to look like piggies.  This picture has also been linked to Pinterest.  There are also before and after photos of my feet but I’m pretty sure that is NOT what has driven traffic to that page.

People love this pic!   The Blog--not so much!

People love this pic!
The Blog–not so much!

My Lunch Bucket List is a post based on a Facebook posting of 100 Things One Should Eat Before You Die, which may include some things which might cause me to die if I actually tried to eat them.  The article is humorous and the title is an amusing play on Bucket List (things to do before you die) and Lunch Bucket (which implies foods.)  Get it?  Whatever.

Youse Guys Ever Eat At Five Guys is an amusing tale of my trip to Five Guys where I’m pretty sure there were a couple of women working.  This confused me, but I am easily confused.  Search terms that bring one here are led by FIVE GUYS.  Go figure.

Signature Moment is my tribute to our founding fathers and always gets a blip of hits on July Fourth.  GO FIGURE!

Seriously, if the Congrefs of today was meeting to pass this resolution, we all know what that would mean.  We’d still be British citizens.  God Save the Queen!

And lastly Sponge Boobs, which has nothing to do with boobs as a synonym for female anatomy, but probably benefits from searches for said anatomical parts, is about a study that showed that four year olds who watch just nine minutes of Sponge Bob (that’s two episodes minus the commercials) experienced learning difficulties.  I know!  I watched an entire Sponge Bob Marathon one day–but I did it at a Holiday Inn Express!

It should be quite clear what the connection is here between these posts.

They were all posted on this blog.

I’m sorry.  I’ve got nothing else.

It’s a humor blog, so I guess they have that in common.

Two are about food.  The rest, not so much.

Oh, and they all made this post about stats!  So they’ve got that going for them too.

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Whine and Dine

My idea of dining out is sitting down at the neighborhood McDonald’s for a Big Mac—McReservations optional.  In my younger years I was convinced that gourmet food was something that came in a Styrofoam container.  Alas, I married and discovered (or was taught by force depending on how you look at it) that gourmet food is not served in Styrofoam (although the remnants may be taken home for pets, kids, etc. in such) and they have since stopped serving Big Macs in Styrofoam.  Apparently, the Styrofoam is not biodegradable (and the Big Mac is?)

Anyway, there are these occasions when my wife insists on exposing me to the finer things in life.  I am not talking about a hot dog slathered in mustard at a football game (which should be included in any discussion between galloping gourmands.)  No indeed, we are talking about a restaurant wherein you must wear a tie.  This, gentlemen should be your first warning that you will not receive beef in a bag—having to wear a tie to eat.  Business is barely a reasonable excuse for wearing a tie.  But enforcing some medieval dress code for satisfying ones basic nutritional needs is bordering upon lunacy.

But I wanted to eat, and later on I would want to sleep in my bed and not the sofa, so I grudgingly obliged.  I finished clipping my tie on and was about to strike a GQ pose, or maybe just pass some gas, when my wife demanded, “Aren’t you going to wear anything with that?”

Not only must I suffer the indignation of having to wear a tie, but I must wear a suit coat as well.  Eating alone at McDonald’s and sleeping on the couch were starting to sound more appealing.

So, I found myself in a posh restaurant, wearing a clip-on tie and the best polyester coat I own just to please my wife, and I was thinking: what is on this menu?

It could have been Hollandaise sauce or maybe Béarnaise.  It was hard to tell just by the color.  I know it’s not special sauce!  But it was not the stain that was confusing me.

The top of the menu listed a CONSOMMÉ of CHICKEN.  I think I know what chicken is, but I have nary a clue what part of the chicken a CONSOMMÉ comes from.  I was becoming afraid.  Very afraid.

The salad (I think) was PASTRAMI CURED SALMON NAPOLEON SALAD WITH WASABI CRÈME FRESH.  I did not jumble these words either—this is the order they were presented.  The only words I understood were ‘fresh with salad.’  Wasabi is not an American word.  Napoleon was French.  I was ordering something and I had no idea what I would be eating.  It could be snails for all I know.  Or, escargots.

The list of entrees included Beef Tournedos, A Duck Two Ways, and Cranberry Scallops.  I have no idea what the Tornado might be, but at least it has a recognizable meat associated with it.  So does the duck, but the only way I would eat duck is cooked, and since I didn’t want to find out what the other way was, I thought it best to pass on that.   Scallops are seafood and this dinner was not during my seafood period of life.

The entrees also come with a bird’s nest of root vegetables and a multi-grain pilaf.  Now I don’t remember much botany from school, but vegetables in general, are plants.  Plants have roots, which distinguishes them from orphans.  So root vegetables could be any conceivable plant.  It would be a veritable chef’s surprise of organic material.

Usually I look forward to dessert, but tonight the last course awaiting my palate was a heart cup filled with a chocolate mousse, pecan tuile (?) and a sorbet medley (was this something I was to eat or listen to while munching my chocolate covered mouse?)

Thank God the meal was served with a wine flight.  (Strap on your helmets and get ready to fly!)  The table was set with the usual accoutrements, including a lot of silverware that I would never use (and had no idea what to use it for if I had to) and four liquor/wine glasses awaiting the various wines and champagnes.   I figure the primary purpose of the flight is to liquor you up enough to know that you’re not crunching a chocolate covered mouse, various inedible plants and a beef hurricane.

We started off with a delicious Champagne.  Things went downhill after that.

The consommé arrived in a large shallow bowl.  I looked at my wife as if to say, you’ve got to be kidding.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” I said after the initial shock wore off.

There were three little piles of organic debris in my bowl—none of which resembled any part of any chicken I had ever seen.  They could have been chicken food at one time, I suppose.  The waitress seemed concerned by my lack of enthusiasm.


Just Add Organic Debris!

“What is this?” I dared to ask.

“Bok choy, enoki mushrooms, asparagus tips and orzo.”

I now knew less than before I asked.  Obviously, chicken must mean garden fungus in some foreign language, and I don’t want to even speculate at this point what consommé might mean.

However, the bubbly was loosening my inhibitions.  I started to gently pick up something—I prayed it was the asparagus tips—with something that might have been my butter knife.  It was definitely not a spork, but that would have been helpful given the ambiguity of the situation.  I no sooner began crunching the green crap when the waitress returned with a pitcher.  She poured broth out of the pitcher on my wife’s vegetable piles and gave her a soupspoon.  With sprigs of asparagus sticking out between my lips, the waitress looked at me —it was a look of disdain.  No ambiguity there.  She dropped my spoon aside my bowl and poured the broth over what I hadn’t managed to eat yet.

I tried to explain.  “I’m very hungry.”

She snorted and left.  It’s a good thing for her that the tip was included in the meal, because otherwise she just blew a perfectly good quarter.  Would it have killed them to say BROTH instead of CONSOMMÉ???

Before the consommé was finished, the second wine was poured.  The glass was a little bigger, and this time it was a chardonnay.  It may have had a full body and fruity flavors, but I hardly noticed as I downed it in one gulp.

I was beginning to feel better and thinking to myself that this might not be all that bad.  The next glass was humongous and I figured if I could survive the salad without any further gourmet faux pas I was all set.

I tried to loosen my tie, but it fell in my consommé.  I looked around frantically for the wine steward—hoping I could get a refill on the chardonnay.  I think the staff was avoiding our table for some reason.

And when you think things couldn’t get any worse, the salad came, such as it was.  The salmon was a raw chunk of meat wrapped in a waffled potato chip and the salad greens looked more like dandelions and weeds from my backyard than it did like lettuce or other more-or-less edible leaves.

“Aren’t you going to eat your salad,” my wife asked.

I leaned over to her, and in a hushed voice, unmuted by alcohol, I explained, “I can’t eat anything I mow in my lawn.  It’s a tradition.”wineglass

There was a candle on the table so I was able to cook my salmon—until it caught on fire.  I doused it in my water glass.  No problem.

Thankfully, the third wine—a Marietta from California—came.  Unfortunately, the wine steward didn’t fill the glass to the rim.  I asked him if he would.  He rolled his eyes and walked away—quickly.

The ‘beef’ was beef and it was delectable.  The final wine was a naughty little port.  Or it might have been starboard.  At that point in the meal, I was in flight and even the chocolate mouse tasted great.

Next time, I wonder if I could just get the wine flight.

For more humor, check out the Daily Post Weekly Challenge:  The Best Medicine.

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