Winner: A picture is worth 300 albums

The winner of the “A picture is worth 300 albums” contest is: No one. 🙁

Nichole is the only person who submitted an entry. Notably, all four of her answers were correct. However, she missed two of the four Anita Baker albums. As a consolation prize, she has won her choice of one of the six albums involved in the contest. Congrats, Nichole!

The answers are below for anyone who is curious. I hope to have a better showing in future contests.

Contest Answers - Wall

Anita Baker

  • The Songstress (1983)
  • Rapture (1986)
  • Giving You the Best that I Got (1988)
  • My Everything (2004)

Coldplay

  • Parachutes (2000)
  • X&Y (2005)
Contest Answers - Covers

One year, 500 miles and a new iPod

Nike+ 500 mile certificate

I started running with Nike+ on December 15, 2007, exactly a year ago tomorrow. Today, after a 12-mile run, I passed the 500th mile mark. In my quest to keep fit I fully expected to stick with running for at least a year; however, I certainly didn’t expect to be running as far or as often as I am today, a year later. My previous Nike+ certificate came at 100 miles. I received the “big dog” certificate to the right after uploading my run from today. (The date is off…probably a time zone issue.)

It seems like just yesterday when I set a goal to run 9 miles/week for 3 months. I’m now averaging about 25 miles/week whether running in the hot sand of Cabo or along the icy sidewalks of Seattle—it snowed last night and the roads were a mess today.

Apple iPod nano 4G in blue There was one casualty of all the long-distance, outdoor running: My refurbished iPod nano 2G. Apparently, iPods don’t like liquid and you may have heard it rains quite a bit here in Seattle. Further, those fancy, expensive Nike+ armbands are merely water-resistant, not waterproof. So, after running 11 miles in a downpour, my nano bit the dust. Not only did I lose the results of that run—which would have catapulted me to the 500-mile mark sooner—I lost my $99 running partner. It was a sad day.

TB, noticing the extent of my devastation, green-lighted an emergency trip to the Apple Store for a replacement…upgrade! I love my wife.

I am now running with a blue 8GB iPod nano 4G. Apple offered a $15 credit for the broken unit but I’m still not happy about paying $135 (before tax). I figure it’s still a pretty cheap running partner/trainer. The new 4th-generation nanos are much nicer than the two-year-old, 2nd-generation unit I ran with previously. The 4G has a bigger screen, twice the storage, better sound and snazzier navigation & graphics.

Also, if you buy (or already own) a nano 4G and are thinking of getting started with the Nike+ running program, I recommend the Apple Nike+ Sport Armband (TU017ZM/A). It is available through Amazon for about $30. The strap is much simpler to adjust and the full-body, protective film makes viewing and controlling the nano easier than the official 2G armbands. Lastly, it fits the 4G nano like a glove so the player won’t slide or slip during a run.

Where do the new iPod and I go from here? Well, four people have logged 10,000 ❗ miles with Nike+ leaving many milestones to reach.

Babymoon in Cabo San Lucas

TB and I are just returned from a mini babymoon in Cabo San Lucas, soaking up sun and R&R before the winter and our little one arrive. The weather was fantastic, in the 80s and sunny, completely opposite the weather in Seattle this time of year. While it was great vacation weather it was not-so-great running weather particularly in the hilly, rocky terrain surrounding the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica resort where we stayed. I kept up my training by running shorter times/distances but more days.

There is a lot I liked about Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and a few things I disliked. Here are my quick lists:

Highlights

  • Beautiful location: Located on the tip of the Baja peninsula, one can watch the sunrise and sunset.
  • No smoking: With a pregnant wife this is a no-brainer.
  • Adults only: We have to enjoy the kid-free, 16 or older, environment while we can. It is quiet and uncrowded.
  • Courteous staff: Everyone is very pleasant and accommodating.
  • Comfortable quarters: The room is well-appointed very clean with nice furniture and a great bathroom. However, the hard bed and pillows are not the hotness.

Lowlights

  • Location, location, location: The resort is remote and isolated. Free shuttles are available into town which is about 30 minutes away.
  • Food: While the quality and quantity are passable, the prices are not. Clearly, food is how the operators choose to make their money. Cabo overall is more expensive than Cancun or Puerto Vallarta but $9.50 for a 32 oz. bottle of water? Extreme. Making matters worse, the resort forbids any food or beverage from outside its gates including that 128 oz. jug of the same water sold at the grocery store in town for $2.45.
  • The beach: The phrase "fun in the sun" typically conjures up images of the beach with walks in fine, hot sand and dips in calm, cool sea. Here, the sand is not fine and the sea is not calm. The beach seems more an afterthought at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and, unsurprisingly, most guests sit around the pool or in the Jacuzzi, instead. Doing so makes them prime targets for over-priced martinis and beers, of course.

Silly Syllogism: The Plaxico Burress Conundrum

Maybe it is because I envy the New York Giants perch atop the NFC East divisional rankings. It is true my judgmental side makes me a bit harsh in situations like Plaxico Burress found himself last weekend. But, I mainly question the calculus which lead him to the illogical conclusion that the best way to make an environment safer for himself was to make it unsafe for everyone else. The rich irony being his “solution” backfired (no pun intended).

silly-syllogism

450 Miles and Running

I realized I had not blogged the latest milestone in my unofficial “# Miles and Running” series (reference the “100” and “200” posts). Since reaching the 200 mile mark in early July, I reached the 450 mile mark this past Saturday translating to 250 miles in 5 months. Not bad considering it took 7 1/2 months for the first 200 miles.