Apr 26, 2005

Congrats to my brother

Steve Alten is a author who writes about sharks, a la Jaws. you can visit his web site here: http://www.stevealten.com/. My brother, being a fan of sharks, is also naturally a fan of Steve Alten, and likes to plug his books (and now an upcoming movie) on his blog and radio show. Apparently, Alten has a thing set up where he'll name characters in his books after fans. Here is an email that I received from him this morning:

that author i've been plugging on my show and blogs, steve alten,
well i sent him a couple copies of the coyote chronicle with an article i wrote about him,
and he called me.
he got my phanfone number from the website, and left a message while i was on campus.
he said he loved the article and he wants me to e-mail him my description because he's gonna base a major character in his next book on me,
name and all!

now that is cool. (:

Apr 20, 2005

hot & humid/new bike

welcome to april 20th!

current temperature in suffern, NY: 81.5º. and it's humid enough to add 10º to that number.
so when i did my 3-mile run today, i was hurting. i'm used to 40º, not 90º.
here's a question - we always seem to get july weather sometime in april. Why don't we ever get january weather in september?

in other news, i am buying a bicycle.. the marin highway one. here's the review from outside magazine:

Marin's Highway One is an interesting bike. Basically, it's a mountain bike frame with road-running gear and tires. The idea is that you have the relatively upright, comfortable seat position of a mountain bike with the lighter weight and lower rolling resistance of a road bike. What's so interesting is that most "hybrids" are sorta low-end bikes, in the $400 to $600 range. I'm trying to decide if it's worth the dough to get a really good hybrid. I should think it would be a good commuter, and comfortable for shortish rides (up to 20 miles). But if you really intend to put in the miles on the road, I'm also inclined to suggest that a road bike will make you happier in the long run. Deduct points from that statement to account for the fact road bikes are indeed less comfortable than more upright models. But, they sure are a lot faster, too. Be that as it may, I can't see a thing wrong with the Highway One. Nice aluminum frame, carbon front fork, Shimano nine-speed running gear. What's not to like?

Apr 17, 2005

5k results..

finished in 34:50.. got my goal of finishing in 35:00 or less. the cheesesteaks slowed me down, but apparently not by much. i didn't get a chance to take a whiz before the race.. maybe that's why i ran faster.

full results should be posted here in a day or two.

and here's a pic of me at the finish line:

Apr 16, 2005

cheesesteak report

went to philadelphia, and i wanted a real philly cheesesteak. a friend sent me the following philly.com link that rated 23 places..


this was good, because they rated the stakes 5: cheesesteak paradise, 4: worth busting the diet, 3: Will satisfy the craving, 2: If you had to, 1: Save the calories.

Friday night, i went to chinks:

4: worth busting the diet
Chink's Steaks, 6030 Torresdale Ave., Philadelphia, 215-535-9405. Step into a time warp at this marvelously preserved soda shop, where chocolate egg creams and frothy shakes are the ideal pairing for what may be the most succulent traditional soft-roll American cheesesteak in town. Owner Joseph Groh's rib-eye steaks have a great, lingering beefy flavor. The restaurant's monicker [sic] is the late founder's nickname.

got a regular standard cheesesteak.. it was really good. alex was in cheesesteak heaven.

saturday afternoon, I set my GPS to head to tony lukes, but on the way, by sheer luck, i drove by the only place rated 5:
5 - Cheesesteak Paradise
John's Roast Pork, Snyder Avenue and Weccacoe Street, Philadelphia, 215-463-1951. Wedged between a train track and a chemical plant, this sandwich shack has existed in delicious obscurity since 1930. Aside from serving the city's best pork sandwiches, chef-owner John Bucci Jr. unanimously swept all three categories of the cheesesteak competition, serving up heavyweight portions of zestily seasoned, perfectly seared beef and chicken steaks on crusty rolls with real cheese and garlicky spinach. The picnic tables offer a great, gritty city view. It's open only weekdays through lunch; come early if you want a seeded roll.

the article said that it was only open on weekends through lunch, so i bummed we wouldn't try it. when i drove by, i saw a shop that was open.. alex saw it too and said, "wasn't that the name of the place that was rated the highest?"

Me: "I thought so, but the article said it would be closed - that place is open, but the name matches"

Alex: "And it's between a chemical factory and railroad tracks"

So we went to check it out, and sure enough, there was a sign on the door that said, "now open saturdays." still wanting to go to tony lukes, we ordered one cheesesteak and split it.

Alex's response: "we're never going to chinks again."

afterward, we went to tonylukes.
4 - Worth Busting the Diet
Tony Luke's Old Philly Style Sandwiches, 39 E. Oregon Ave., Philadelphia, 215-551-5725. Crusty house-baked rolls, bitter broccoli rabe and aged provolone give the hefty steak Italian a gutsy neighborhood flair, and the neon-lit awning lends the South Philly location an authentic ambiance [sic], from the employees in black T-shirts to the diverse and colorful clientele. The Rittenhouse Square outpost has the food, but none of the ambience.

alex is a lover of broccoli rabe and so am i, so that cheesesteak what we ordered - which, with the sharp provolone, had a flavor that overwhelmed the meat - so it can't be compared to the two above. suffice it to say that it was delicious..

alex and i split a sandwich at both johns and tonyluke's, so our net lunch was just one sandwich, not two. we drove by geno's (rated 3) and pat's (rated 1), but didn't stop because they were mobbed and we were full. in fact, it's now 6 hours later and we're still stuffed - after essentially one cheesesteak..

Apr 10, 2005

a postscript to the previous story..

at the restaurant, we received our drinks, and when i looked to my right where the kids were sitting, i was overwhelmed by a pinkish orange color. all the kids, male and female, ordered shirley temples.

at a bbq joint.

in harlem.

Apr 8, 2005

the whitest thing i've ever seen.

so i have a friend from california who is a high school teacher, and he and about a dozen students (all seniors) are in new york on some high school trip. he asked me to recommend, and go with them, to get some "really good food" in new york.

after a little discussion, it was decided that we'd go to dinosaur bbq in harlem.

the kids are typical orange county white kids - 6-figure parents, sterile concrete garden communities, completely shielded from the realities of life. if i had to describe them in one word, it would be WonderBread.

to make a long story short, when we got off the train at 125th street, we walked past a barber shop, when one of the girls commented, "hey i ought to go in there and get my hair done. then when i come out, i can walk around harlem saying, 'yo; i'm black.'" the horrible fake accent was nothing compared to the fact that a black woman, walking the opposite direction, was right in front of us when she said it.

as i covered my face in humiliation, the other kids scolded her because "the harlem people heard (her)."

the rest of the evening went off without a hitch though - they loved the barbeque and we got to meet the owner!!