I Think I Love My Wife

I have not seen the movie, but today TB caught me with a nice one-liner that warranted a flagrant foul for un-sportsmanlike conduct. It also provided a new quote of the day entry.

Scene: TB and I are exchanging instant messages discussing today’s release of our employer’s quarterly earnings report, plans for the evening, etc. Trying to catch her off-guard, I walk into a verbal smackdown:

Me: Should I get a Range Rover or that Lexus hybrid?
TB: You have no sense. Try getting some of that first.
Me: [feeling tart] Dag, that’s raw.
TB: LMAO….you know how I do.

She’s a hater.

The Time I Met Quincy Jones

I was driving home from the office tonight listening to the shuffled playback of music on my in-car MP3 stereo. The deck has something like 10,000 songs on it which is like an infinite music supply for my 15-minute morning and evening commutes. Randomly, Quincy Jones’ cover of the song “Ai no Corrida” from his album, The Dude, came up in the queue.

Humming along, I momentarily drifted back to the summer of ’94 when I met Mr. Jones. I was a summer intern at Microsoft working in what was then known as the Consumer Division under Patti Stonesifer (currently CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). I was piddling behind the keyboard as usual on a workday afternoon, at the desk closest to the doorway of the office I shared with a guy who’d just completed his senior year at college—he paid me no attention but having an older office mate seemed like a big deal because I was heading into my sophomore year and graduation seemed so far away.

With my eyes scanning the vast 13″ CRT display attached to a then state-of-the-art 486 computer running Windows for Workgroups 3.11, I caught a brief glimpse out of my right eye of a dark figure passing through the corridor. I thought to myself, “Was that Quincy Jones?” paused, then turned toward my office mate and asked him the same question. Without taking his eyes from his screen he shrugged and flatly replied, “Quincy who?” His routine wardrobe of Guns N’ Roses T-shirts should have told me better. (I can’t lie, I rocked out to “Sweet Child o’ Mine” too…don’t tell anyone from my ‘hood though.)

A few seconds passed, and the dark figure again appeared in my periphery to the right, but this time it was stationary, directly in front of the open doorway. I didn’t want to get caught sleeping like McLovin in the Superbad liquor store scene, so I quickly swiveled my chair to the right while, simultaneously, backing away from my workstation and glancing up, fists cocked and ready to rumble.

A mild-mannered, medium-framed, north-of-middle-aged Black dude glanced down at me warmly, almost paternalistically. His small entourage was at rest a few steps behind his left shoulder. The gears were spinning at this point, and the gentleman extended his hand toward me with a smile and said, “Hello, I’m Quincy Jones.” I was like, “Get the @%!* outta here. Yeah, right!” (in my head) but, while shaking his hand and telling him my name and how nice it was to meet him, I realized it really was The Dude.

He and his crew continued down the corridor. I turned to my office mate (all excited) and told him it was Quincy Jones. He was even more unimpressed and unconcerned. Whatever.

While I didn’t go on one of those crazy, “I’m never washing this hand again” trips, I was elated to meet one of my musical heroes. You see, I played the trumpet and so did Mr. Jones (before becoming a prolific composer, conductor and producer). I didn’t know until later that he is actually from Seattle (as you may recall from the film Ray) and he was probably visiting the Microsoft campus negotiating something-or-other and, as Ray Charles would say, making it do what it do.

One thing that really stayed with me since that day is how this world-renowned, accomplished man came back to my office to introduce himself to me. That says a lot about his character. To borrow from Rudyard Kipling’s “If”:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much…

The other thing that stuck with me is his hands seemed massive for his size. Shaking his hand was like gripping a bunch of bananas. I’m so glad he didn’t catch me with that McLovin sucker punch.

Mission Accomplished

I completed my 12 runs in 4 weeks goal yesterday (Wednesday). Yippee! Check out my nifty video showing the animated Nike+ completion widget. You may need to click the picture to get it to replay.

Of course, in the process of completing my goal, I aggravated a couple old sports injuries (torn meniscus, broken ankle) and now I’m spending 6 weeks doing physical therapy. I am under strict, no-running-until-you-complete-PT orders from Michael. That means my Nike+ wings are effectively clipped for the time being. It’s all elliptical and stationary bike for a couple weeks. 🙁

Here is where I’m leaving off, for the time being, in both iTunes and the Nike+ site:

keith-workout-results-itunes-01-09-2007 nike-plus-first-13-runs

As the governor of California would say: “I’ll be back!”

Practice Safe Zune with BodyGuardz

If you have purchased a Zune Original, like me, you probably want to preserve the laser engraved artwork as long as possible. The solution: use protection.

While the price is kinda steep, the BodyGuardz for Microsoft Zune 80GB ($24.95 shipped) works exactly as advertised. The BodyGuardz products are precisely tailored to protect the most popular mobile devices without adding any noticeable bulk like other protective cases. The Zune kit includes 2 complete (front and back) sets of protective covers and everything needed to attach the covers to a device.

After following the manual and watching the online instructional video, my “installation” went smoothly. While it is a time-consuming, detail-oriented process, if done correctly, the result speaks for itself.

It’s not worth attaching a picture as the protective film is meant to be unobtrusive and practically invisible. Visit http://www.bodyguardz.com or watch the BodyGuardz product demonstration videos on YouTube to get a better idea of how the products work.

If you and a family member, friend or significant other have matching iPods, Zunes or other portable devices, you should check them out and take advantage of their 2-in-1 packaging.

Keith Gets the Runs: 11 Down, 1 to Go

Nice title, eh? No, my digestive tract is fine. This is just an update to let you all know I managed to keep my running regiment throughout the holidays while visiting friends & relatives back in the frigid east.

As you may recall, I set a goal back on December 15th to run 12 times in four weeks. A picture is worth at least several dozen words:

Nike+ goal run 11 of 12

As you can see from the second picture below, I actually have already run 12 times. However, my first run was before I set the 12-in-4 goal.

Nike+ first 12 runs

In other news, I met with TB’s personal trainer, Michael, this past Sunday to have my personalized heart rate training zones calculated. The hour-long test calculates the heart rate zones to make my aerobic activities most optimal for increasing my endurance and helping me burn calories more efficiently.

In addition to $85, the lactate threshold (as in acid, not milk) ramp test cost me blood, sweat and ego during a grueling treadmill run just up to my body’s physical limit. To put things in perspective, I actually enjoyed the finger pricks every 4 minutes, during which my blood lactate level was measured; those brief 10-15 second breaks provided a welcome rest just before the treadmill speed was increased. (I hear the VO2 max test is even more intense but I have a ways to go before I need to worry about that.)

I’m sore, but it’s a good sore. I’m also sleeping better. I attribute this mostly to the increased physical activity but also, in part, to a better diet. I just hope I can maintain both which would mean a healthier lifestyle. As we all know, it’s not easy.

What’s my plan after I reach the 12-in-4 goal? Michael put me on a 5-hours-of-cardio-plus-2-hours-of-strength-training-per-week program which started today. I will need to mix in some cycling, elliptical and stairmill to break up the monotony but I will continue to track and report my runs here on my blog.