Haight's Hangout

From running to music... just a place for random thoughts and observations. No real thinking involved. A short escape from the mundane.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Brooklyn Chick Visiting Jersey

Here's a little somethin' for my gal and her Brooklyn roots...


A world of its own,
The streets where we played,
The friends on every corner were the best we ever made.
The backyards, and the school yards
And the trees that watched us grow,
The days of love when dinner time was all you had to know.
Whenever I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see,
That place just over The Brooklyn Bridge
That will always be home to me.
It'll always be home to me.

- Art Garfunkel

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tao of Steve

If you haven't heard of this movie, it's a must see. Basically, it's a 'guy' movie. In the mold of 'Swingers' but in New Mexico. Women will like it too and then say to us, 'Are you guys really like this?' Of course our response will be 'umm, yeah, pretty much.'

Here's a few samplings:

Dex: Do you want to have sex with this woman?
Dave: Definitely.
Dex: Okay, then you're violating the first rule of being Steve.
Dave: Who?
Dex: You must learn to eliminate your desire.
Rick: It's Buddhist.
Dex: I think the Taoists said it first.
Rick: Hey, are we gonna have a seminar or are we gonna play golf?
Dex: Just a short seminar on the elimination of desire, okay? If you're out with this girl and even THINKING about getting laid, you're finished, cuz women can smell an agenda like shit on a shoe.
[Dex takes a substantial hit off a bong at 7:30am]
Syd: Would you describe this as a typical morning for you?
Dex: [Trying not to exhale] Hell no. Usually I spend this time cross-training.
Rick: This is almost as ridiculous as your sleeping diet.
Dex: That time I lost 30 pounds.
Rick: You also lost your job.
Dex: Y'know, no one ever says, "Hey, God, how was your day? What can I do for you, God?" Or, "Hey, God, did you catch Letterman last night?"
Syd: Oh, and I suppose you talk to God like that?
Dex: Always. All the time.
Syd: And what does God say?
Dex: He says, "You know what? I saw Letterman and it sucked."

So if any of these lines made you at least smirk, go out and rent it. It's a very funny script.

Ironically, the lead guy kinda looks like me (at least according to Lora). And by the looks of the movie pic below, that would be me and Lora in New Mexico (soon) ;)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I'm sure some of you have seen this extraordinary story before. It's quite remarkable and in some ways unfathomable. It's amazing what the human spirit is capable of.

Enjoy and make sure you have a box of Kleenex near by...


Here's a little history about
Team Hoyt.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Baby Cub

Oh what this poor kid has in store for him...could be worse I guess...could have been a White Sox outfit.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Good Deed of the Week

We had 'Customer Service Week' last week at work. One of the employee things to do was volunteer to give blood. I've done this many times so was not a big deal to help out LifeSource. But this time it wasn't a regular blood donation. They asked if I would like to donate red blood cells. So like a trooper I said sure, what's another 15 minutes in the chair (more OJ and Oreos then...sweet).

The machine you see separates my blood via a centrifuge and replentishes my platelets with plasma (you medical folks can correct me if I misspoke). Was kinda wild to see the flow of blood turn different shades or red/orange/almost yellow when the transfusion process took place. You can kinda see the pretty colors in those bags. After about 15 minutes a 'beep' was repeating and supposedly there was a kink in the tube. They couldn't figure it out, so he thought the best thing to do was stop the transfusion. At any rate, they said they got a good amount. It was good timing too, because I developed a cold sweat right when we finished. It was gone in about 5 minutes.

The group of us that drove to the blood drive thought we should stop for a cocktail for a quick buzz, but needless to say we were good boys and went back to work.

We also had our company picnic this past week. Was a good time. Your basic raffles, games with some awesome southern style bbq.

I thought this was a cool pic with a few guys I work with. If we were a band, it would be our album cover. Rock on!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brokearm Mountain

For any of you that are baseball fans, you realize what us poor Cub fans have been through the last 3 years...let alone our lifetimes. Here's something from Goat Riders that I thought was hilarious. For you other frustrated Cub fans that haven't checked out this site...please do.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Little Hike

First off...Lora's next post will include our Saturday evening at Ravinia. It was a very nice evening (Lora, better get snappy on that post).

Today we hopped in the Jeep and went off for a hike in the
Lake County Forest Preserve. I'm as guilty as about the other 99.7% of the area residents that don't utilize our preserves and the nature trails they provide (people, we pay for them...taxes, remember?). And it's such a shame, they're peaceful, well kept and good for you!!!

The one thing I wish they could improve on are he mile markings. They exist, but since there are a few forks in the road, it's a little difficult to keep accurate milage (plus Lora forgot her Garmin). Anyway, we logged about 6 miles in 2 hours...we think. Like I said it was just a hike...enjoying the scenery. And our 3rd hiker, Bayley, thought it was more than enough. He was a bit of a drooler after one mile. Oh, in case you didn't know, he's our dog...a Portuguese Waterdog (that's hates to be in water...go figure).

Speaking of water, here's the Des Plaines River...

During our trek, we started counting runners, bikers and walkers. About half way thru we stopped counting the walkers, we didn't feel they were worthy (I know, yes, we were walking also). We got to about 40 bikers and 30ish runners. Since we didn't start this hike until about 8:50am, we figured more runners we're there before we arrived. Lora thought this was a lot because last time she was on the trail, there wasn't near that total...like 80% less. Maybe that was one of those Africa hot days.

Another added dimension to this trail is that horses are allowed on it.
Before we saw these guys with their horses, we kinda figured horses were allowed on the trail due to the 'massive' piles of evidence we came across on quite a few occasions...

OK...horses on the trail...I'm cool with that. But why are they exempt from cleaning up the horse shit? We have a dog and are expected to clean up after him. I'm sure there is a 'tool' that can be made for a guy to 'shovel' up that mound of road apples and at least toss it in the woods. If not, get off the damn horse and clean it up anyway!! Everyone has seen a cowboy movie. Ever see all the stuff a cowboy packs on his horse? I think these 'equestrians' could have packed a shovel.

OK...I'm off my soapbox. All in all it was a nice morning and once my leg gets all better I'm sure I'll want to check out those trails in the running capacity. And probably the trail bike before that even.

So we loaded Bayley into the Jeep...

...and headed home.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Showdown at the UIC Corral

Ok sports fans...it's official.

I finally have an appointment with Dr. Nicola. Good news and bad news.

First the good...he's extremely respected in the Chicago running community for his experience and expertise. Saw him at a couple CARA clinics last year and enjoyed his sessions.

Now the bad...he's so popular (along with his UIC duties) that I couldn't get an appointment any earlier than 9/5 at high noon...crap.

But I'm sure it will be worth the visit....Big Daddy needs to get moving again.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Cheap Sport?

OK...I stole the idea from
Jason and Leah. But I thought I would add our toys for a scenic background.

Back in the day it was, "All ya need is a tshirt, a pair of gym shorts and some of those weird running shoes and you'll be all set. It can't cost that much, you're just runnin'."

PS...I left a message with Dr. Nicola's office and awaiting a call back.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

On the road again....

OK...first....leg update...

I went to AthletiCo, which is a physical rehab/athelitc club sorta place which was recommended to me from our trusted leader from
Illinois Runs. After going through the questions, physical prodding and treadmill observation, they think I'm a probable candidate for orthodics.

I told them that's fine, but I am going to get a 2nd opinion from Dr. Nicola from UIC. He's a well known sports doc that is used with
CARA and Illinois Runs. I'll keep you posted on that outcome (as long as I don't procrastinate over getting in contact with him).

During the week, I snuck into the health club a couple days for some cardio since it was so ridiculously hot outside (yes, Africa hot). I haven't been there in a while. Since I was there last they added about 20-25 total of new treadmills and elliptical machines...and they all have their own LCD screens. SportsCenter and a treadmill...sweet.

Yesterday...since I'm not really able to take on any long runs yet (Saturday was a scheduled 8), I decided to hop on the bike for a long ride. (My
running group was aware of my situation and understood why I wasn't able to help pace my group.) So as Lora went down to the lakefront solo to meet the Saturday runners, I got ready for my bike ride.

I decided to head south via the Chicago Bikeway System which starts about 5 miles south from my doorstep.

So off i went...

To get to the northern access point of the bike paths, I had to cut through the
Chicago Botanic Gardens. Since it was only a bit after 7am, I stopped at the guard gate to let him know why I was there. So he gave me a quick rerouting to get to the actual bike trail that is within the CBG. The last turn I made to get on that trail was passing through a double yellow gate. You know, the kind that has the yellow planks that go up and down automatically via payment or whatever.

Anyway, I took the turn towards that gate and didn't really pay attention at the speed I was going and was aimed right at one of those yellow gates that was in the down position. I really didn't have any time to manuver away from it and BAM!!! Yep, I went right through it. Just like a hokey car chase scene from the A-Team. Luckily for me, the board used had to be pine or some other soft wood. Cuz it had some good give in it before I busted it off it's base...lol. My first thought was 'great, this guard probably saw me via a cam at this gate and they'll send the Garden Police after me.'

Of course, since I'm a typical guy, I decided to keep going. I was in the middle of a bike workout for pete's sake. I'm sure it's not that expesive to replace a 1" x 4" piece of yellow pine (I promise to make a donation to the Garden). Oh, and did I mention since it was early and pretty quiet...it made a huge noise (quite impressive actually). So as i went on my merry way, about 200 yards around the bend I saw my first set of people walking. They had to have heard it. So as I rode past, I said my 'good mornings' with a smile. The farther I went the funnier I thought that incident was. I wish I could see a video of it. Remember the scene from National Lampoon's Vacation, when Chevy Chase flew the family truckster about 30-40 yrds in the air in the dessert? How he was kinda impressed with himnself? Well, in weird way, that was me for the moment...lol.

OK...onward...I left the Gardens...and began the biking trail. From tip to tip it's 13 miles. I've done portions of it before with Lora, but the south end was new to me. It was relatively flat with a few ups and downs (usually an overpass from cars). The majority of it is wooded until you get to some open areas where there is public places for picnicking, etc.

During this portion I was witness to a runner vs. biker tiff. I'll let you decide who was in the wrong (although it seemed pretty obvious to me). Coming toward me was an older couple running with about 10-15' between them. There was oncoming traffic, ie. me and another guy in front of me. behind the couple was an approaching biker. The biker decided to weave his way between the couple and continue on. That's when this runner blew his stack. He screamed at the biker that he should never cut in between runners like that and man was he pissed. The biker stopped, turned his head and said, 'How else was I supposed to pass you?'. By this time I rode passed them but could hear the runner guy yelling for at least a couple hundred yards after the scene. I guess the biker was in a hurry and couldn't wait in order to pass properly. But I won't get into the Biker vs. Runner road/trail etiquette at this time.

OK....I make it to the end of the trail. Small dilemma. My plan was to end up at the lake front to meet up with our running group in which I could through my bike in the back of Lora's Jeep and we would head home. Timing wise it would work out perfectly and should get me about 28-30 miles of biking. But I had a few road options to make and none of them I was too confident in. I'm now at Devon and Peterson. To any of you locals, you kinda know my whereabouts. So I decide to head NE on Peterson and hook up with Foster and then head east to the lake. It's pretty busy for about 8:15am on a Saturday, but then again, it's the city.

I make it about a half a mile. Then up in front of me I see a section of road construction. You know the part when they eliminate a big section of concrete which leaves the road about 2" lower than the rest of the road? And the edges are as sharp as the corner of your desk? Yep, that's what was in front of me. Since the traffic was pretty heavy, I couldn't really stop right there. So I tried to absorb the shock the best I could. I tried to lift up as much as possible to elevate as much weight as possible from hitting the sharp edges. And that I did. Up ahead I saw a really busy intersection, so I thought I would take a turn into a nice neighborhood to avoid it and pick up the main road farther down. As I'm on this new road, it feels like this surface is really rough. But it doesn't look it, weird. So I look down and around...and there it was...a fuckin' flat tire.


That leap over the concrete bit me. So here I am with a spare tire in my bike pouch, but no tire pump...I'm such a doofus. I leave a message on Lora's cell so she can get a laugh and so she can pick me up.

So I begin to walk....and walk....and walk....

I make it back to Devon and head east. For those of you that aren't familiar with this part of Chicago, it's a trek through a real live Benetton. I started in a WASPy neighborhood....a few blocks and it was a mix of Polish and Hispanic...a few more blocks Korean....a few more block Orthodox Jew....a few more blocks Indian/Pakistani.

I enjoyed the trek, even though I was still pissed about the tire. I was looking forward to arriving at the lakefront.

Biking - 20 miles
Walking - 2.2 miles
Crashing through a gate - Priceless