Tuesday, December 20, 2011

There is one in every crowd... and it is usually me

Totally unrelated running post, but maybe some humor for you all this week.

I flew to St. Louis yesterday for a quick trip before the down time of the holidays (us in sales can't do much these 2 weeks... Nobody wants to see us)

Anyway, went to go pick up my rental car at Dollar. Not a single sign in the airport showing they even existed. Figured I would follow the Thrifty signs as they are usually close to each other.

After some searching, I found a little filled with people waiting for the Dollar bus. They had been waiting quite a while.

Long story short, we get there and they don't have any of our info on file. So they start from square 1 trying to upsell to a larger car, add ons, etc.

We all just wanted to get in and go. Since I was at the end of the line, I had a lot of time to come up with smart ass answers to every useless question they were going to ask.

So here it goes
"Good morning Mr. Patten, what brings you to town today?"
Answer "I am a hired assassin here on a hit"

"Uh.., where will you be driving?"
Answer "Hawaii"

"Who is your employer"
Answer "I can't reveal my source"

I almost said "Maybe you should call the guy at Radio Shack because I bought some batteries there last week and they have all of my personal information"

So later that night in the hotel lobby I saw one of my fellow soldiers who had to endure the same silliness. I told him I am still worried the guy reported me to the FBI.

Yes, there is a smart ass in every crowd...... I am honored to be that person.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Empty Glass Phenomenon

Through my extensive travel in the past 2 years, I have come to notice a commonality in the world of food service.

Try this the next time you go out to eat.

> Sit at the bar
> Order a beer
> Drink half of it
> Try to get the servers' attention (only through body language and eye contact)
> Finish the beer and count how many seconds your server comes to your service.

My point..... The empty glass is a far greater motivator than an eager server.


Empty glass = another full glass of XXX = larger bill = bigger tip

Yes, it is that simple. Our primal instincts are motivated by money, not by making people happy.

At a company I used to work for, I had a co-worker who called me "root cause Matt". I mentored and trained many people there, and I ended up spending a lot of time challenging people on the "root cause" of any issue.

The "root cause" has always been my key motivator, and the thing which has distinguished me from the competition.

What does this have to do with running?

Training. What is the root cause to success or failure in races?

Training. But not the formula of training. I have come to believe that there is no such thing as junk training/miles.

In the bike mechanic world, there is a saying "bad grease is better than no grease"

Well, "junk miles are better than no miles".

And that is what I have been lacking for the last year and a half. Not enough miles.

The restaurant server who ensures who is always focused on an empty glass, is the runner who always worries about "not enough miles"

As dumb as that sounds, I think there is some truth to that.

This is why I finally got my mileage up to 40 last week.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Airport Body Scanners - A runners anmaly?

First off, thanks to all of you (both) who keep reading. My temptation to quit blogging was not a cry for attention... just crying.

I will work on some beer posts. I have 4 beer available in the house, so drop me line and come by (maybe during the holidays is best)

So.... we all know the controversy about the new full body scanners at most US airports. I, for one, don't get caught up in the controversy. I find it very odd that we have willingly surrendered many liberties for all sorts of "public good" and airport scanners are the things that push people over the edge? Really?

Personally I think it gets legs because certain groups scream and cry about them, and the lemmings follow.

Me... yawn.... give me something real to worry about.

Anyway, I started noticing I was always stopped after going through these. The person TSA agent proceeds to a minimal "pat down" focused on my left leg. Hmmm, whatever.

But I kept happening. More specifically, my left knee. In fact, I turn around and see it on the little screen. It happens with different pants, different scanners, etc. Always the same knee.

So Tuesday I go through and jokingly say "let me guess, left knee?". Sure enough, left knee.

TSA dude says "Do you have any pins or screws? any surgery". No

But wait. Could my 30 plus years of running, some with 2000 miles plus years have an effect? Could it be scar tissue from running? Could it be a lingering effect of the infamous Sawtooth bee attack? (same knee, and I still have numbness there)

So any of you orthopods (Nic?) or geeky tech scanner experts want to try and theorize?

So how is that for a post?