Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rutgers Student Suicide - Thoughts on Ultra’s - Rule Against Perpetuities

I read a sad article this morning about a Rutgers student who committed suicide after discovering his relation with another male was broadcast by his roommate via a webcam.  It’s a cyber-bullying / sexual orientation discrimination case.  The story alludes to the fact that the roommate, who now faces up to 5 years in prison, commented on his twitter about his roommate’s activities and requesting others view via iChat at certain times.  It is utterly despicable to bully and expose anyone’s intimate acts online.  I hope that the roommate is brought to trial and if guilty serves time for his acts.  Regardless of your feelings about someone’s sexual orientation, they give you no right to violate their privacy and freedom.  It is an unfortunate loss to have someone young take their own life, it is difficult enough to have teens stay motivated to get into college only to have them bullied and discriminated against when they get there.  I hope Rutgers and all academic institutions steps up their vigilance against this and all discrimination. 

The last few days I have been troubled.  I get the feeling that I have bitten off more than I can chew.  Maybe I am trying to do too much this year; maybe making up for years of a sedentary lackluster life.  But I think back and I never was completely sedentary, I tried.  My weight gain and lack of fitness show that I did not try very hard but I still tried.  In my darker moods I come back to the same motto I tell friends and family when they asked why I kept at school or pursue a law degree.  Because you can talk all the trash you want, but until you invest in yourself, it’s all just words.  You have to go out there and give it your best shot.  Ultra runners always say the same thing, “you have to dig deep” then deeper still.  For me the struggle has been to get there.  At this point in my life I am so lucky to have support from everywhere.  There are a lot of people I have reconnected with and relationships that I have brought back from the dead.  Because of this new found strength not only in me but in those loved ones close to me I have committed to running the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run, it is on the schedule and barring a calamity I am not going to quit.  We’ll see how it goes, and oh yea…100 mile bike ride is in 1.5 weeks and the 50 miler is a month after the LA marathon.  If you’re gonna go, go big.

In Property we are covering the Rule Against Perpetuities: no interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than 21 years after some life in being at the time of the conveyance.  Pretty much…an interest in invalid unless it can be said, with absolute certainty, that it will vest or fail to vest 21 years after the death of someone alive at the time the interest was given or deeded or whatever.  Why do we need this?  I am not sure, but our professor does an amazing job of explaining it and I get it when in class, but afterwards on the drive home it kinda slips away, not trying to lie about it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Michelin Tires (bike, yeah a bike!)

So deciding to be billy badass I take a quick ride on Saturday.  I figure it’s a good day, I rock my retro 7-Eleven gear and I am feeling alright.  Earlier that day I had seen a few billboards about Halloween Haunt and I recalled that I had not been scared in a while, big mistake.  Anyway, brutally hot and I decide to charge some hills.  I was about 5 miles into the ride and on a steep downhill.  I was, according the GPS, doing about 35 mph, on new tires.  The downhill has a slight bend to the right about halfway down.  I have taken this hill full speed at night, day, rain, so I am familiar with it.  As I lean to take the bend, the bike starts to wobble under me.  I am unable to keep my right lean because it felt like a flat, so I knew that if I lean the tire could rip off and I would be cheap fondant on the black pavement.  I tap my brakes to no avail; I just hear the rubber fighting the rim for friction.  In an effort to correct I straighten out and pray cars are paying attention because I sure as hell am not.  In that split second the world went silent and all my attention was focused on the back of a white suburban. Why? At that moment, as I shifted from the right shoulder to the center divider I decided that the pavement was a bad idea and I would risk trying to stop myself with the suburban’s momentum or at least hit it and get cars to see me and stop.  But I genuinely freaked out.  I even did the whole cold sweat thing.  Not being in control on a bike that I have put thousands of miles on was awkward and nerve-racking.  I pulled to the side after slowing down some, only to see that the tire was not flat; scared me even more.  Lessons to be learned; no Billy badass maneuvers, new tires = time to adjust, God really likes me and I owe him big.  And I am sorry for even thinking about not being scared in a while, my bad, not going to entertain that train of thought again.       

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mob Justice/ In-Justice in Mexico - Blood Donation - Moleskin Notebooks

According to the BBC, in Ascension, Mexico, men tried to kidnap a 17 year old girl. Cops caught them; shocker, and then a mob did not let the police through. The mob lynched two kidnappers. The police stated the men were alive when taken away, others say they took them so the mob would not set them ablaze. I am not sure how to feel about this. The situation in Mexico is terrible and often times it drives people to desperation. But at the same time you should not deprive someone of their liberty, extort them and make them suffer (not to mention their family) and then think you are going to get away free and clear. If you think that way get your head checked. I am not saying these men got what they deserved, because mob style death penalty is pretty serious punishment, but given Mexico’s storied history with criminals and corruption I am not sure the message would get through to other potential kidnappers in any other way.

I donated blood yesterday! I was debating going running tonight or not because my calf feeling pretty sore but I guess that sealed it. I was scheduled to donate blood so it was a blessing in disguise. I guess the guy upstairs is protecting me from my running bug. I did run two nights ago, felt better and had a quicker pace. I am beginning to really enjoy running at night solo status. It is calming and I notice when my mind shuts off and I get in the zone. Me, ma boy Orion (belt included) and the road.

I blog a lot, fact, however, I avoid blogging when I am angry or frustrated because I let them lips fly and can really offend people. When I need to write because I am frustrated I write in Moleskin Notebooks. I like the paper and quality. I have a few full ones at home and usually carry whichever one I am working on. I have done this since High School. I was in Barnes and Noble and I picked a notebook up because I wanted something sturdy that I could jot ideas for my philosophy thesis in. I ended up writing the outline for the whole paper in it. Between ramblings of perfect cities, Plato, Thomas Moore and Michoacán were documented fights and fragmented feelings. I would be frustrated with my ex-girlfriend and jot down my thoughts in such a way that only I would recall it. Whenever I feel sad I will write myself out of it, or read all the past musings and get mad at myself for feeling sad about things of no consequence. I bring it up because I saw a post in The Art of Manliness about famous people known for carrying notebooks; Mark Twain, Patton, Beethoven, Jefferson, etc. I think it’s a good habit because no person can remember everything and random thoughts often illuminate dark paths and offer us insight we never knew we had. I re-read a lot of my journals and am amazed at the things I did or put up with. The upside is that through all of it I see things that I consider essential to my being. I wonder if those great men looked at these notebooks to find themselves in times of trouble or seek guidance during the trials of life. I know I do, and I can honestly say through these I have saved myself time and time again.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Honey Stinger Gel - Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race

I have been messing around with nutrition lately because I have been expecting my body to react a certain way under unique circumstances. My typical day 5:30 am to 10pm is spent sitting at work for eight hours, driving after work an hour to school, reading (sitting) for an hour or so, going to class (sitting) then driving home another hour and half home. Once I get home I throw on some running shoes, roadID and hit the road for a few miles. Upon my return my legs hate me, my back hates me, heck I hate me sometimes but it feels so nice. I have a sedentary life but when I ask my body to do something it pisses and moans but it does it. Whether it is churning out a 75 mile bike ride on the fly or a 7 mile run when you only thought 3 were possible.

Because of these circumstances I have focused on staying healthy and watching what I eat at all times. Southern California is the Mecca of amazing food and unhealthy living. Randy’s Donuts (google it, big donut on the top) was one of my haunts during college since it was right down the street from LMU and a big mamajamma glaze donut after riding for a few miles is like fairy dust pushing you to the end. Unfortunately my body is not 20 years old anymore. I can’t eat like Joey Chestnut and drink like a sailor and still function the next morning. You can even follow the LA Food Trucks on Twitter and know where your favorite meal on wheels is going to be and when. Abbot-Kinney, west LA, first Friday of the month, look it up and thank me later and repeat.

El jefe got me some Honey Stinger Products and said that the REI guy was stoked on them. I naturally did a search and found out they are made by a small company in Colorado and a recent part owner is, Mr. Alpe d’Huez himself, Lance Armstrong. At a recent running expo, charities were out trying to get you run a marathon for their cause, I decide it’s a good idea to quiz the Livestrong rep. Yeah leave it to me to ask a rep promoting the fight against cancer about Honey Stinger and honey based products from Colorado… but she knew exactly what I was talking about! She said that she personally loved their products and used them herself; she was an athlete, naturalmente. But she did clarify that Honey Stinger was Lance’s own thing, not associated with Livestrong Foundation. I did some research about the picture because I figured the guy lived on a road bike. Lance won the 2009 - Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race. It’s a century that is a 50 mile out and back course. The altitude and climbs are brutal; sign-ups are in December and its open to amateur cyclist like me. If I don’t get into the Death Valley Century or Double Century (sign-ups in November) I am going to try and get into the Leadville one, I know both of these rides are very different. mountain/cold/windy/altitude vs. desert/hot/road; but if you are going to push someone push yourself first.

Anyhow, honey stinger gel is great. I have used both Gin Sting and Gold on a few hikes and trail runs. It tastes like a not-as-thick honey, and has added vitamins. I am going to incorporate it and use it alternatively with GU Tri Berry, which I do like. The Honey Stingers gradually give you energy taking longer than the GU, and sometimes you just need energy immediately so will not do away with GU completely. Honey stinger bars, any of the peanut butter flavored ones are good and so is the Berry Banana Buzz, I did not like the Apple Cinnamon at all, stay away from the apple cinnamon and feel free to point & laugh at friends who purchased that flavor in bulk.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Compression Equipment

As many of you can tell I read a lot about equipment and tips or tricks that will help me be a better cyclist, runner, student, son and brother. Recently I have read some interesting material regarding compression sox, organic training products, metronome training (cadence setting), Garmin Forerunner 110 (heart rate training), and meditation. I mention them sporadically but I figured today would be a good day to chat specifically about what I am reading and or using. (this will be split into a few posts)

Compression sox and compression generally I love. I have read the research of how hospitals use compression sox to aid blood flow after surgery, or how this ultra runner or that one swears by them. I have a problem with dropping $ 40 on a pair of sox. I am a guy who loved trails, and running through puddles, fact. But I am not dropping a couple hundred bucks for set of sox for every night I run, that’s crazy talk. I did read a post by Steve Magness (Science of Running) and another by Pete Larson (Runblogger) with regards to compression. Both of these bloggers are great because the way they write is so honest and you can just tell they care about what they are talking about. Both experienced positive results but both, although they liked the idea, did not swear by it. So, I used to being injured 90% of the time I did any physical activity. I did what I knew to do…went out and purchase calf sleeves (McDavid Brand from Sports Authority but cheaper online 12 bucks for one). I figured two things; the purpose of the compression is to avoid injury (stress of running) and to heal once the running has stopped. My calves and I are going through a semi divorce/separation. They do not like my new stride (mid foot landing) and I do not like that they warm up during a run then kill me the next morning. It makes getting out of bed martyrdom. So the sleeves are neoprene. I decided for neoprene sleeves rather than the compression sox or sleeves because
  • I run with Vibram Shoes and compression sox would be an issue, therfore going with sleeves that can be used with any shoe sox or no sox. 
  • $40 or $50 ?!! or 30 and the neoprene material seems more resilient and I know can take a beating.
  • I use them for after running, during the run I experienced no difference, except I was warmer, but besides that not much. After running I can tell my calves feel stronger and ache less when I wear them for a few hours after running as opposed to nothing at all.
  • Compression is compression regardless of if it comes from well made sox or sleeves.
I know that the sox technology is amazing. All he companies ZENSAH, ZOOT, CEP, Balega, etc. have really worked on having the most compression at the bottom and easing it towards the top which is not the case with the McDavid Sleeve which has even compression throughout. But, that being said the compression thing works. I feel better after I wear them than the days I do not wear them after a run. If I hit the lottery maybe I will throw down for a pair of compression sleeve from one of these companies, but for now I am good thanks.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Golf Range Session blister – NJ Expunged – process to remove, blur, or pointless? - con law – its tough – no lie.

This past week I have had longer night runs than I had before. I did two 7 milers and am significantly increasing my distance and quick. It is both good and bad, but my motivation was different than other days. I was motivated by the blister on the ring finger. How you may ask? Well, I had a king fu death grip on an 8-iron that refused to participate in my swing. I struck the ball well only about 30-50% of the range time. Since that blister, last wed, I went to the range on Friday and have gotten my swing rhythm back. I hit on Friday in San Clemente and things went well. I had a draw, but not as bad as I would expect given my terrible range session Wednesday. I want to play soon because I have to start posting some scores, and with winter coming, I am thinking afternoon rounds will not happen or if they do they will not be finished. Aside from that the running has been good. I have been increasing the miles and although I have noticed a tad more fatigue the first few longer sessions they have progressively gotten easier.

In interesting question arose in New Jersey…does an expunged crime mean it did not happen? Does expunge net mean that the conviction is not shown, or that it is neither shown nor did it happen? Story is that a campaign aid was convicted of a drug charge which was later expunged. The opposing party ads exposed this fact but the conviction was expunged. So can they circulate flyers with this info or not? The circumstances here make the case more difficult that it ought to be. It can go one of two ways…the truth is that the conviction though expunged happened. To say that it did not happen would be a lie and the law does not lie. However, the conviction was expunged therefore no longer on the record, and exposing the fact such as, John Doe was once convicted of “Blah” is true but defeats the purpose and intent of expunging. It seems to play of semantics and if it allows it to happen, but lies if it does not allow it to happen. I am not sure how to feel on this one. I think that it would be limited to a case by case basis. It is not fair to go through the procedure of expunging because the point is to avoid it being public, but a lie is a lie. I think that a solution is two pronged. One of the solutions would be for cases of public persons or public issues. If a conviction is expunged but attention is drawn to it, any published information must contain all the facts. It would not serve public policy if people thought that to expunge, is pointless and simply a way for attorneys and courts to make more money on the convict who is looking to straightening out their life. In private, or among individuals, stick to the script, there are no convictions on the present record for John Doe and deal with explaining it if John Doe thinks it is necessary, if not and the other party continues to press the issue, then go after them for defamation, potentially. Speaking in hypothetical’s gets super sticky anyway so it has to be case by case.

Law school is going well. I am reading and understanding the material but I already know that some classes get my attention a whole lot more than others. I am going to have to commit myself to going to office hours. Because some of the concepts are not connecting with each other…e.g. Constitutional Law - I am struggling to stay motivated because I do not see how it is connected, whereas Property the connections are clear and follow a logical progression. I guess I just thought it was going to be different. I think that it is going to be more of a grind than I expected it to be is all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marathon Running Fear - Property (Pappa Cristos) - 1st Amendment - Need not apply in France

The Road Runners training program begins Saturday and that, holy crap what did I sign up for feeling is in full swing. Honestly what the heck am I doing? 10 years ago I was nursing a knee the size of a sweet melon and walking like a pirate with a wood leg. The injury that took me out as starting goalkeeper and assisted my official decree of 2000, I hate running. 2009-2010 year has taught me a lot about myself and a lot about life. The year had a lot of ups and a lot of downs. At the beginning of the year my life was geared toward family, settling down into a profession, etc.; something inside had just given into a certain method of getting to those goals. My life turned 180, I feel the same way but more determined to do what I was doing only better. Through no act of mine everything was flipped backwards. I became like one of those metals that can only be cleaned from its non essentials elements by fire. I went through a phase of reckless behavior followed by a steely calm. I decided to seek those things that made me an individual and strive to do good and avoid evil. I sought those things that others didn’t. I wanted to help my community, help my family and focus on me. I wanted more than anything to have something to show for the work I put in. I did not want momentary wins I wanted flat out personal character domination. I became obsessed with doing those things I hated because I figured…if I can conquer things I dislike but that I know are good for me…it will make sorting out good and bad things among things that I do like a lot easier. Unfortunately I discovered that I like to do a lot of random things, one being my sworn nemesis - running. I feel that I am a good place. I am perennially tired, near empty at all times. I read for law school, go to work, then run or ride close to midnight in either an annoying Toxic Green windbreaker or a White Jacket (with toxic green on it…hmm Nike Frees have lime green on them too…hmm…trend). For the first time in a long time my life seems to be moving forward. I use the comparison of a vacation. Before, I wanted to work for momentary vacations (concerts, shows, bars, clubs, dates, random’s, etc.) but now I am working toward permanent vacation (life, retirement, personal achievement, family). There is no time-share for the kind of vacation I want, but hopefully when the time comes and my vacation starts I will not even feel it because I will be too busy living it.

Property class was good last night. I did not feel lost, at least not that much. Life Estates are easier to understand for me because I work in the insurance industry and everything revolves around life expectancy. I also felt more connected to the material then other days. I really tried to focus all of class and write notes only when I thought the information was important…slides are being posted online, no need to repeat…and I just paid attention. It took some energy because stretching the brain after an 8 hour day and a 60 mile commute is tough, but good ol’ Pappa Cristos on Pico Blvd helped me out. The food was good and I had a nice table to lay the ugly property book down to read it…so among horseradish, gyro, salad, a Fanta (I am Hispanic what do you expect), I critically read and it made a huge difference because I felt better prepared than my usual quick read of the material.

I read a story in the WSJ law blog, the French Senate voted to ban burquas and other full-body robes worn by some Muslim women. It makes me mad. But I step back and remember that the 1st Amendment, although not uniquely American, it has a lot more weight in the states that overseas. It is disgusting that freedom of religion is not respected. An individual’s religious belief is not respected simply because of their association and what I think is international panic. No one stands up for things anymore. Are all countries just bending over to mass media and uninformed opinions? What happened to standing up for the little guy? I expected more from the French Senate and quite frankly the French people as well. Now I am glad they got booted from the world cup first round, (your welcome Ireland for the shameless plug).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

OC AIDS RIDE - American Flyers

As a kid I was a huge fan of the cycling movie “American Flyers.”  It is still in my top ten movies, but as I have grown older I have seen myself fitting different roles in the film.  I remember thinking in High School that I wanted to be like the younger brother.  I wanted to be the strong one who no one could stop.  I wanted to have an untiring strength, luck with the ladies and a permanent chip on my shoulder and he to be the winner.  In college, I was injury ridden, always falling off my mountain bikes or getting hurt.  I snapped my mountain bike forks while riding on a flat loop at school, I flipped on a San Clemente side street and compressed my back; i.e. the invincible thing was not working.  But I kept pushing. 

At that time I saw myself as the older brother, injury prone and sick, always needing to succeed by thinking and out maneuvering opponents instead of raw power.  Now, in grad school and in the working world I do not see myself in a character, but instead associate with the Latin phrase from the movie: “Res firma mitacre nescit.”  The literal translation is “a firm thing does not know how to become soft.”  It is a phrase that serves as a reminder that my convictions, desires, goals when well grounded do not change and find a way to come to the forefront, but if they were always soft there is no way to pass them off as firm.

This year I am participating in a 100 mile bike ride to raise funds for the Orange County Aids Services Foundation.  The ASF was founded in the late summer of 1985 by a small group of volunteers because people were dying, had nowhere to turn, and desperately needed help.

Consider donating any amount because the firmest conviction is the will to live and the will to live does not know how to soften.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cross Country and Care Free Running

It had been years since I ran out not really sure where I was going. When I arrived to boarding school as a freshman I did not know what this “cross country” was, sad but true story. So I signed up because in elementary school I did not have the opportunity to sign up for sports and since this cross country thing was available I said what the heck. After day one I wanted out, but Fr. Steven encouraged me to stay, I did, I never became a particularly good runner but I did enjoy it. We would go on “exploratory runs,” i.e. running randomly trying to get lost on purpose and hopefully finding our way back by sunset. I remember once we were dropped off in a development community, one of those track homes type places. It was the most frustrating thing to run down a street only to find that it led to nowhere or that it looks the exact same as the street you had just left. Regardless we still had fun. The feeling of just going carefree was great and Saturday, I ran a little over 7 miles that way. It was just what I needed. It was calm and slow but keenly focused. My energy was spent monitoring my body and how it was reacting to running in downtown LA. I ran in Asics Bandito shoes (similar to the Asics Racer), they were a steal from running warehouse and with the RunBlogger 10% off coupon. The shoes were comfortable; I changed out the laces for some bungees so the pressure on the foot was even throughout the whole run. The shoe is also neutral and promotes landing on the mid foot, which just happened to be what I was trying to do. The image I was using to accomplish this came courtesy of CHI Running. I imagined I was peeling my heel off the floor and letting my feet relax so I did not get the strain in the calves. I also tried Honey Stinger Gel. Le Boss suggested it and the product worked out far better than expected. It is made with all natural ingredients, sweeter than GU which I have been using; it was like a less dense honey - quite delicious. It helped me get through the miles without any significant issues, other than the whole tired thing. Also as a suggestion from el jefe I ran with a hat. Yes the sun is bad for you in excess and no I do not want skin cancer so I got a running cap. Those runner people sure have the cap thing down, it was breathable and very comfortable, I did not think about it until I took it off. I will be reviewing it and the Amphipod Hydration pack in upcoming posts.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tamales - 3rd Circuit Court protects privacy - Trail Running

Only one day of class this week. So I decided to add some spice to the blog. I was starving this morning, so in an emergency situation, when you just need to throw down delicious lunch, paper works as a makeshift plate until suitable accommodations become available. It’s a fact. And tamales fresh off the stove at 5 am and consumed at approx 6: 30 am are miracles wrapped in corn.

Tuesday the 3rd Cir. Court of Appeals ruled that the government needed a warrant to access telephone records that could pinpoint a customer’s location. The idea is that access to phone records shows where you are dialing from, i.e. cell towers can pinpoint within several hundred feet, and by determining the pattern the police could reasonably know where you are. The government argued that warrants were needed for content on phones, but call info was “non-content” and did not require a warrant. I am glad we get to keep our privacy for a little longer. If the police truly needs this kind of information they can request the appropriate warrant. It is a concern to think that on a whim we can be located or tracked biologist track migrating dolphins. It is a good tool to be able to reasonable guess where a person of interest is because it can help the government be more efficient and cause the least amount of disturbance for the law abiding public, but there has to be a limit.

There is something about running on trails that I cannot explain. Running on dirt simply feels free. I feel more connected to my body than when I pound the pavement. My splits are worse and my muscles ache, but the connection with nature is amazing. I am so appreciative of cloud cover or a light breeze and even the wordless nod you get from other runners or bikers. When you ride bikes in general; roadies say hi to roadies and mountain bikers say hi to mountain bikers and that’s where it ends. A very similar division to sport bikes and harley’s …lines just don’t cross. But when you are on a trail and you are out there by yourself and happen to see someone you nod, say hi or just smile because the undeniable connection to nature is felt by both of you. It’s a good thing. Hopefully I can get more proficient at it. I am not good at running downhill. My legs kill at the end and I feel like I am losing control all the way down with no benefit of speed. I guess I will have to practice.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nike Free 3.0 first impression - Future Girlfriend

Here are the new Kicks !!!  I took these Nike 3.0 out for a spin and they preformed perfectly.  I did notice more heel striking as opposed to my VFF.  However, I was able to clock one of my fastest miles since changing my stride.  On a side note I have updated my schedule to show the Los Angeles Marathon.  It has been one of my goals for sometime and I am going to give it a good go this year.  I am also signed up for some trail 10k's and I am looking for a 1/2 marathon sometime in December or January in case anyone has any suggestions.  I am going to start training with the Road Runners club.  I have been doing some training on my own, but marathons are not my "forte" since this will be my first marathon I can benefit from their expertise.  Also I had a chance to ride in Malibu this weekend.  The landscape is gorgeous.  Its a truly beautiful place.  I felt that I had left so-cal.  I spent the morning after the ride walking along the beach and taking in the sights.  I am really appreciative of being able to have that great morning.  I also met a guy who is a vegan and really quite brilliant.  I used to think it was odd or at the very least easy to be a vegetarian, but since trying it for 2 weeks in college and utterly failing I have come to respect that life style.  It must feel pretty good to align your beliefs and your choices.  I know that I sometimes fall short in that regard and that's why i think its bad ass for someone to live 100% vegan.  Ups to that.  I may give it a go, but time will tell because i am rather addicted to carne asada, sorry its true.
This is my future girlfriend.  I am glad el jefe is not jealous because that could cause an issue.  Its a 2010 Giant TCR Advanced...i.e. amazing.  The frame is just under 2 lbs and won my heart at first pedal stroke.  The TCR has the same frame geometry used by professionals and its feels so aggressive and the stiff frame so responsive that i am excited just thinking about flying up hills.