Monday, July 18, 2011

My Three Least Favorite Harry Potter Cliches

So now that the Potter series is over (book form and film form), let's talk about the 3 most annoying recurring themes.
  1. We all knew Harry Potter wasn't going to die in books 1 - 6. J.K. made it clear from the start that there are 7 years of school and there will be 7 books in the end. And yet every book the plot was always basically "uh oh, someone's out to kill Harry. Watch out!" Severus, Voldemort, Sirius Black ... it didn't matter. I wasn't worried. I knew book 5 wasn't going to be Hermione Granger and the Frizzy Hair. I knew book 6 wasn't going to be Ron Weasley and the Lack of Confidence.
  2. Ron and Harry always sass Hermione when she says something with confidence. "Harry, get started on the tent." ... followed by Harry going "A tent? Where am I going to be able to find a tent!?" We're in book 7, Harry. Haven't you learned that Hermione has everything figured out at all times? PLUS we're talking about magic here. When Hermione says tent or gum drop or elephant that poops ice cream, I don't think it's a stretch to realize she can manifest anything in the world. And furthemore, Hermione's the only one that's actually good at magic.
  3. Expelliarmus. F'ing expelliarmus. It's the only spell Dumbledore's Army knows. The Death Eaters can leave fangy clouds, turn into flying smoke monsters, split their soul into 7 pieces so they are basically invincible and actually kill people with their spells, but they can't fight off expelliarmus - the first f'ing spell you learn at Hogwarts. I thought you guys were pros, Death Eaters. Hold onto your wands, you f'ing rookies ... and you might have actually won this thing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Best iTunes Marathon Smart Playlist

So I've already documented the best smart playlist of all time - my Master Playlist. One place though where the master playlist won't do ... is while running.
When it comes to distance running, I break things into 3 phases:
  1. Running1 - Songs to kick start your run early in the morning and get you going. Upbeat songs that might lean towards having a long lead in. Think "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Polution" by AC/DC or "Knocked Up" by Kings of Leon.
  2. Running2 - I use these playlists when running half marathons and marathons and my secret to a good long run is keeping a good pace in the middle of the race. These songs tend to have a nice groove and often end up being the highlight of my run. Think "Use Me" by Bill Withers or "Covered in Rain" by John Mayer (what was once my most played song ever).
  3. Running3 - Now that Running2 has effectively saved you from burning out at Mile 20, these are the drop dead adrenaline songs that are gonna bring you into the finish. Think "See Through Head" by The Hives or "Positive Tension" by Bloc Party.
So use the comments field in iTunes to label your songs as Running1, Running2 or Running3 according to the rules above and you'll have laid the ground work.
Now time to load the playlist. I like to be surprised by what's coming on next on my run, but obviously not totally surprised (I mean, we can't have a Running3 at the beginning of the run - am I RIGHT!?!?). So to load your playlist, first figure out how long you're going to be running for - let's say 2 hours. Divid the time into thirds (ish) - let's say 45 minutes for each third. Then set up 1 playlist to randomly pull 45 minutes of Running1, another playlist to pull 45 minutes of Running2, and another to pull 45 minutes of Running3.
Load all three of these playlists into one final playlist in order (so all the Running1s are first, Running2s are second, etc.) and voila!
You now have a random (and yet predictable) set of tunes that are going to pump you up, set your pace and let you finish strong (TWSS).
For example, here's what my system just spit out for tomorrow's Aspen Half Marathon:
Easy, right? What? I have too much time on my hands. Okay, fine. Ruin my fun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't drink and ride

In the afore mentioned carbon footprint killing bike ride, I remember having my water bottle with me. Looks like I found a well camouflaged replacement for the ride home.

Yes. There was still beer in it.

For what it's worth, the "silver bullet" didn't seem to help my speed at all.

Location:E Hyman Ave,Aspen,United States

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I am a Mac Genius!

So there's a power outtage at the liquor store yesterday. They are being forced to calculate sales tax by hand, write down credit card numbers for later charge, etc.

The girl behind the counter asks if I have an iPhone. I say "yes." she hands me her phone and says "can you take the calculator out of scientific mode?"

I take the phone from her. Turn the screen so it's facing her and rotate to the left.


I may or may not have said the following:

I am a Mac Genius! That'll be $65. Thanks.

Location:S Ute Ave,Aspen,United States