Summer 2012 Mix - Afghanistan Heat

Hello again.  Two posts in one day? Yep.

I've spun up a new mix with some of my favorite new and used tunes that I hope you enjoy.  It's a lively mix designed to be played loud.



Dropbox Public Link

(Right-click and select "Save Link As")

Track List:

1. Gotye, SHM, Sandro Silva & Quintino - Epic One I Used To Know (Garmiani Bootleg)
2. Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Miss Palmer - No Beef feat. Miss Palmer - Original Mix
3. R3hab & Swanky Tunes vs Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes - Sending My Love vs The Edge (R3hab Bootleg)
4. Pleasurekraft - Satyr Song - Umek Remix
5. Khia - My Neck (Hupe Coman Soenke Re-Bounce)
6. Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
7. DJ Hero - Bounce
8. Whiskey Pete, Oh Shit! - Pushin Harder - DJ Hero VIP Remix
9. Afrojack - Funk With Me (Original Mix)
10. Martin Solveig - Hello (Benjamin Bates Remix)
11. Dada Life - Rolling Stones T-Shirt (Instrumental)
12. Mord Fustang - Welcome To The Future (Original Mix)


Review: New Balance 110s

Greetings and welcome to my failure blog.  Today I'm writing a quick review of my new pair of New Balance (NB) 110s.

Before purchasing them, my previous experience with NB shoes were the 991s. They were my shoe of choice from about '03 until '04. I ran in a different model (trail) of NBs for a short time before causing over-use stress fractures in my tibiae in the summer of '04. Afterwards, I experimented with Aisics, Saucony, and Brooks but never really was able to get comfortable with any mileage over 3 miles per run (and running 1-2 times per week). 

So, fast forward five years of college and two years of active duty army service. I have come to love minimal/barefoot running. It started with Barefoot Ken Bob and Jason Robillard and has grown to a collection of shoes that puts my wife's footwear selection to shame.

I currently own one part each of Merrell Trail Gloves (TG) and Road Gloves (RG) and with Merrell Sonic socks.  I've been deployed to southern Afghanistan for about three months now and live in an area almost exclusively covered in gravel.  We have about an 800m strip of nice pavement, but aside from that it is a mixture of small, medium, and large size gravel. 

The need for a new pair of shoes (I LOVE my TGs and RGs) arose from repeated stone bruises under the ball of my left foot.  I couldn't do any significant distance without bruising my foot 5-6 times.  And the pain is ridiculous.  I've become such a pansy to foot/leg pain after the comfort of barefoot/minimal road running.

Before deploying I ran with a couple of guys who trained in the NB 101s.  I recalled them mentioning that their shoes had "rock plates" in them and were great for technical trails (Colorado Springs). So, I jumped on them internets and looked at what NB had to offer.  I found the 110s on amazon, did a little bit of research and took the plunge.  The selling points for me were the (1) rock plate and (2) the minimal 4mm drop.  They did not fail to impress.

Their maiden voyage was a short one.  We did a crossfit workout today that consisted of a short warm up jog (about 600m) and 10x200m sprints on pavement.  Also a little bit of jogging/walking lunges on medium gravel.

The Good:

The rock plate worked like I hoped it would.  I still felt the pointy rocks, but no sharp pain.  The pressure was diffuse well across the plate.

They are super light!  Just a tad bit heavier than my TG/RGs.

The 4mm drop is noticeable after running in zero drop for about a year, but I had none of the traditional knee/hip/back pain that I had when running in shoes that ranged 12-16mm drop.

The Nicht-So-Gut:

I had some rubbing on my left toes.  My middle three toes felt slightly raw on the walk back to my room after the workout.  I'm okay with this - I think it will pass as the shoes break-in a little bit.

They feel pretty squishy.  At first I liked that, but I soon felt out of control on the gravel.  My ankles wanted to tilt some.  Again, I'm okay with this because the cushioning will eventually degrade and get me closer to the ground.

All-in-all, they do the trick and I'm happy with them.  I'd like to run them on the trails at home (Red Rocks Canyon, Cheyenne Mountain, etc.) and see how they hold up.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you in some fashion.




Sick Baby and CPT Morgan's Tattoo

My poor little girl is sick.  Mims got up this morning to a burning hot and sobbing toddler (100.0F temp).  She's had sick eyes all day and has just wanted to lay on us and watch MoMo (AJ language for Elmo from Sesame Street).  On that, I absolutely love Youtube and the Sesame Street channel for creating the Elmo playlist.  We think it may be her first molar trying to push through because she doesn't have any other sick-like symptoms to go along with her fever.  Whatever the case, we rock the baby tylenol like it's our job (isn't it?).  I hope she gets some peaceful rest tonight.

I also hope E gets some rest tonight.  Too many nights without sleep makes wifey a sad panda.

On a completely different note, have any of you tried Captain Morgan's "Tattoo" Spiced Rum?  I bought a bottle of it recently looking to try something different.  So far, it tastes and smells more like dimetapp and robitussin had a child (as Em tells it).  I'll finish it up, but don't think I'll purchase this stuff anymore.

Any of you try it?

Here are some recent photos for your enjoyment!

AJ and my dad cheesing at Rudy's BBQ

AJ and Mommy smooch at Rudy's

Mims snuck a picture of Pops and I at Texas Roadhouse


Rinsing Your Baby's Hair

I haven't quite figured out the perfect technique in rinsing my 14-month old daughter's hair during bathtime.  As the primary bath-giver, you'd reckon I'd have figured this out by now, but no, not yet.

I've tried to teach her how to close her eyes, but then she accidentally breathes in the water as I pour it over her head.

I try reclining her and rinsing that way, but she won't lay back for longer than a few seconds before freaking out.

My wife has her look up towards the cup and this seems to work best.  I think I'll try this one out during her next bath.

AJ jumped in the shower with me this morning and she wasn't too sure about the shower head.  I had to turn it into a game (with the assistance of my determined wife).  Eventually she was ok having her back in the water, but once I went to put her head under to rinse the shampoo, she was trying to get away from it...

Any ideas?  Have any of you figured out a sure method to rinse your kid's hair without simultaneous choking and screaming?


Happy Father's Day!

As I sit here enjoying my early afternoon Paulaner, I can't help but feel loved.

I can't believe I'm a father and that this is my day. I am blessed with the sweetest, most beautiful and loving wife and daughter ever created. I am thankful beyond words.

Thanks must also go out to my dad, Bill, who if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be the man I am today.

All told, I've had a wonderful first Father's Day. I spent the day with my favorites, had some amazing bbq at Rudy's, nommed the world's best no-bake cookies, and received a slick new watch to wear when I dress up.

How was your Father's Day?




Almost Ready

Emily, Amelia, and I are just about packed up for our first family trip! We are flying to San Francisco (or as I say Sansenfrisco) tomorrow afternoon and will be gone for seven days as we bask in each others' company and take in the sights of beautiful California. It will be both Amelia's and my first trip to the west coast and we are both very excited.

Emily has really been the driving force behind getting us ready for the trip. Sometimes I think we are so similar, and other times (like now) I realize we can be very different. Emily is very organized and I, well, am not. If it wasn't for her meticulous pack-plan and determination to get our house in order before our trip, we'd be a mess...I'd be a mess. Sometimes we butt heads because our different personalities, but after the initial rough spot, we come out stronger, closer, and happier. I've heard it said that people can't change, and to some extent I agree. However, I have come to find that in a marriage, people can and do change - for the better.

Before meeting, dating, and subsequently marrying Emily, I've was a completely unorganized right-brainer who procrastinated and didn't take much seriously. I'm not much different now, but I am a little, and that little bit is very important. She makes me a better person, husband, and father. She is amazing and I'm grateful for her love and patience.

So, if you haven't been keeping up with us on the Facebook, we've been super busy since my redeployment. From working on our house, to spending quality time together, to getting to know our neighbors, we've been all over. Emily and I were talking about it last night. It's so weird for me to be home and leading a normal life. Up until this point, we would try to cram 5 yrs of life into 3 months before I had to leave again - be it school, training, or deployment. Now I'm here at home and quite a few of my friends are deploying and it's an odd feeling, being on this side of leaving. I dropped my friend Phil off at his assembly area last night for his Afghanistan deployment and I just got really sad. I wasn't expecting it because I have always been the one leaving, trying to focus on the task at hand. I got just a tiny morsel of what Emily has had to endure these past 5 years and I'll tell you: I do not like it AT ALL.

Well, it's' about time for my ladies to wake up, so I'll close with some photos and a new mix. I hope you enjoy it all - I sure do.


Redeployment Mix by DJRedsamick