Friday, May 31, 2013

Sally's Art Show

My wife held her first annual art show for the kids she teaches in her class, Art and the Artist.  I took some pictures of the show and of some of my favorite pieces.

Maybe I'm biased, but I think Sally is a terrific art teacher, and some of her kids have real talent. 

My daughter Hannah did this one.  I told her it looked like a Matisse.

Hannah also did this one, called Two Mountains.

A very talented little girl named Abigail did this one.

Abigail also did this one, called The Four Limes.  I thought it was
the best piece in the show.

A 3-year-old did this one.  I loved it.

My daughter Emma did this one, based on a Dr. Seuss piece.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Invitation, Un-looked-for: 2013 Duathlon National Championships

Congratulations Daniel Head! With your finish at the Brian's Beachside Boogie Duathlon, USA Triathlon would like to invite you to the 2013 USAT Duathlon National Championship, presented by 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wet Daddy

I rode into work yesterday because it was a beautiful morning.  I knew it was probably gonna rain, but I decided to take the chance.

Well, it did in fact rain yesterday afternoon. 

I don't know that that picture quite does justice to how wet I got on the ride home. Regardless, it was a cold, miserable experience. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stratford Memorial Day Parade, 2013

My favorite thing about the Stratford Memorial Day Parade is that it seems like half the town marches in it while the other half watches.  My girls marched with the Girl Scouts this year, and they even had a float!

Pics are after the jump!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Triathlon Training Diary: 5/20 to 5/26

I’m gonna try to keep this short because it’s Memorial Day, and I can think of lots of better things to do today besides sitting there reading my blog.  
Happy Memorial Day!  

Now go outside and do something exciting!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mask of the Red Panda

Mask of the Red Panda #1 from Monkeybrain Comics.

Bought it yesterday.  Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm sooooo looking forward to it.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Mad Science: On Turning 40.

For the longest time, it’s seemed like I’ve been nearly forty.  At physicals the last couple of years, doc’s have told me, “You’re almost forty now, so you need to start blah, blah, blah...”  I had to get glasses for the first time last year, whereupon one of my friends immediately said, “That’s what happens when you turn forty!”  Hrm.  Well, I may have glasses now, but no power on Earth can make me wear them, it seems.  And finally, this year I even started racing in the 40-44 year old age bracket in triathlons--because age is figured at the end of the triathlon season for some reason--and that just made it more real than ever.  
And now, finally, the day has come and gone at last.  There’s no more hiding from it.
I am 40.

Friday Hair Metal: Free Fallin'

Sally had this version of this song on last night when I got home.  I've never been a huge fan of Tom Petty even though people have told me that I look like Petty--not a compliment, that--but I liked this version quite a bit.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Email from USA Triathlon

Congratulations Daniel Head. You have qualified for the Olympic-Distance race at the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on August 10th, in Milwaukee, Wis., after finishing in the top 10 percent in your age group at the The Y Tri

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

And just like that...'s Summer. 

So long Spring.  Too bad we barely knew ya!

A Look at NBC's Dracula

Well.  Now that the Duke of Suffolk is about to make a star turn in Man of Steel, it's good to see that his good friend Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) hasn't been totally swept under the rug.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stray Voltage: 5/21/13

Sally and I were supposed to ride together this morning, but after a hard week of work last week and then a second night in a row of crappy sleep, I begged off.  And even now that I'm feeling better, I still can't say that it was the wrong decision.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Triathlon Training Diary: 5/13 to 5/19

This week started off kind of slow.  It was a little hard to get motivated coming off of the race last weekend, and then, too, there was a lot of family stuff going on.  But I think I managed to end on a high note, so I guess I’ll take it.  
Moreover, this was a run-focused week, and since running is by far and away my weakest discipline, I felt good about putting whatever effort I had into it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Mad Science: Going Bulworth

Right up front, let me just say that the news this week is depressing as Hell.  You’ve got the President talking about going full-on “Bulworth”, sexual assaults apparently rampant in the military, and the mayor of Osaka defending Japan’s use of “comfort women” during World War II as “necessary at the time to maintain discipline in the army.”  Oh, and the CEO of Google wants to start his own country, so that he can beta-test his weird-ass social programs without the pesky oversight of people or government.  

Friday Hair Metal: Patience

Why is this song on my mind?  


I don't think I could explain it.

Happy Friday, everybody.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Trailer

You might've seen this yesterday.  It was all over the Internet.

My only comment is that Gunn isn't big enough to play Luke Cage.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Polygamy, USA

Sally and I sat down to watch TV last night, and we wound up watching this crazy reality show on NatGeo called Polygamy, USA.  We were both fascinated.

I couldn't get the videos to load off of Nat Geo's website, so
you're stuck with this logo.  But by all means, jump through
the link and take a look at this for yourself.
The show was pretty much exactly what it seemed like--a reality show set on a massive polygamous compound out in the middle of nowhere in, I think, Nevada.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

After Work: Beers for Relaxing

As I write this, it's Monday evening, and Sally and I are getting ready to relax with a couple of beers.  Today's beers of choice are Hoptimum, Sierra Nevada's Imperial IPA (for me), and Widmer Brothers' Unfiltered Hefeweizen.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Y-Tri 2013 Race Report

FIRM Racing and the Woodruff Family YMCA held their fourth annual Y-Tri over the weekend, and I raced it as my first full triathlon of the season.  The race is a short sprint, consisting of a 300 yard pool swim, followed by an 11-mile bike course, followed by a 2.35-mile run.  That makes it the triathlon equivalent of a 10K--a good race for beginners and/or folks looking to try triathlon for the first time, and also a tune-up race for more serious triathletes early in the season.
I did well in this race, and that was important to me because I coach the Woodruff Y’s triathlon club, and while the club itself is neither large nor particularly formal, I still wanted to put my best foot forward with people that I like and respect looking on.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Mad Science: A Few Things to Think About...

A report released on Monday was the first to openly blame the actual Chinese government for a lot of the cyber-attacks that have hit this country over the past ten years.  And while I don’t think it’s surprising that the Chinese are trying to hack American government computers as part of a prolonged espionage campaign, what is surprising is that the American government has responded by making what would ordinarily be a covert struggle public.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

This is what drives me crazy about D&D...

These guys go to the trouble to make a game, make a trailer for that game, make that trailer look awesome, but then they can't spend $100 to hire a decent screenwriter to give the trailer words that will make sense to a regular human being.  

I mean, seriously?  I love D&D, and even I'm turned off--way off!--by this thing.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Red Panda

I've become such a fan of Decoder Ring Theater.
Ugh. I have a headache, so of course, I also have to design something.  

On days when I feel great, nobody ever asks tough questions.  They wait until I look like poop, and then suddenly, I'm the smartest guy in the room, and only I can answer the difficult questions. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tour de Cure 2013

Dear Friends,

The 2013 Tour de Cure is coming fast, and I need your help! 

The Tour is a bike ride sponsored by the  American Diabetes Association. It's an opportunity to change the future and make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes and to remind folks of the importance of living healthy lifestyles. 

In today's sedentary society, diabetes is becoming an increasingly prevalent and dangerous disease, and that fact is that you almost certainly know someone who has been affected by it.  That means that you already know how important it is to stop this disease. By making a donation on my behalf or by joining my Tour de Cure team, you will be helping the Association provide community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.

I am committed to ride and raise money in this inspirational event not just because 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, but because I personally know some of them, and I want to do something about it.

I am asking for your help.

With your help, we will fight for a future where a parent does not have to hear that their child has diabetes. A future where an adult does not have to face the uncertain times ahead after receiving a diabetes diagnosis. A future where you and I will know that we had a part in making this possible. 

To donate to the cause, please visit my Tour de Cure website at:

I truly appreciate your support. Together we can Stop Diabetes!



Quassy Amusement Park Pics

Monday, May 6, 2013

Triathlon Training Diary: April 29 – May 5 (Week 3)

This was the last working week before my first triathlon of the season, a short sprint at my local YMCA called the Y-Tri.  The week’s training was slightly complicated by the fact that I didn’t ride my commute as much this week as I usually do, but ultimately, I think this was a decent week of work.

As usual, I got in the water twice this week.  The first time was Thursday morning before I drove up to Albany for a business meeting.  I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I do remember struggling with it because it was so early.  I’m almost 40, and I still feel like I can be a decent athlete when I work at it, but the early mornings are a struggle these days.  If I want to perform, I need to give myself at least an hour to wake up and get moving before I start really working.

I got in the water Sunday afternoon and swam better.
5 x 100 @ 1:30 warm-up
100-200-300-400-400-300-200-100 Ladder Set @ base 1:25/100
200 warm down

My intent during the main set was to swim at a comfortable, aerobic pace.  I’d run long the day before and wanted to work at that same effort level in the water—which is not always easy after a lifetime of being a mid-distance swimmer.  This time, I was able to hold a heart rate of about 145 bpm while holding a pace of just a hair over 1:15/100, and that’s not bad.

I’d like to be a shade under 1:15/100 at that heart rate, but it’s tough when swimming only twice per week, and I know that I don’t have any more time to put into it than that.

Swimming Total: 2 x swimming workouts (2000, 2700); 47 pts.

I rode my commute twice this week.  In addition, I took Friday off and put in a longish ride during the day, first with my wife Sally and then on my own.

Sally and I rode an easy 12 miles together to start on Friday morning.  Then I dropped her off and rode some in the rolling hills on the north side of Stratford, coming in at about 36 miles total.  I’d liked to have gone a little further, but my back was sore after having been in the car all day the day before, and quite honestly, I don’t think I’ve ridden long often enough this season.  Gonna have to work on that a bit in the next few weeks.

Cycling Total: 2 x commute ride, 1 x workout ride (22 miles, 36.7 miles); 58.7 pts.

It seems like I say the same thing pretty much every week—I wanted to run three times this week, but when push came to shove, I only got out twice.  The first time was a mid-tempo lunchtime run, 4.4-miles at an average of about 8:25/mile.  That’s not bad, and in fact, I feel like I’m more comfortable running right now than I have been in quite a while.

My second run was Saturday.  I was tired and a little stiff after Friday’s ride, but I still managed to go out and run easy for an hour.  Well, the first 40-minutes felt kinda rough, but I finished strong and definitely could have kept running.  Which, again, is pretty good for me.  I feel like I’m running well.  I’ll never be a great runner, but if I can run comfortably at the end of races, that’ll be something, at least.

Running Total: 2 x running workouts (4.4 miles, 6.7 miles); 44.4 pts.

Weekly Total: 150.1 pts.

Final Thoughts
Like I said, my next race is the Y-Tri, and I feel like I’m more than ready for it.  I’ve got to go up to Albany again on the Friday before the race, which means I’m gonna have to make sure to schedule some quality yoga after that in order to get my back right before Saturday morning, but I can manage that.  What concerns me, though, is that after the Y-Tri things start to get longer, and I need to be ready for that, too.

So far this season, my average long workout has been something on the order of about 40 points, but after next week, I’ll have a metric century on the bike and then an Olympic triathlon on a hilly course, and both of those events come in at around 65 points total.  I need to be ready for that, but right now 40 points feels like a significant effort.  Which means that I need to do some more long rides and/or long bricks before this month ends in order to start building up the right kind of aerobic fitness and get myself ready for the longer efforts that are coming in June.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Iron Man 3 Quickie Review

As I mentioned in Friday Mad Science, Sally and I went to see Iron Man 3 last night.  It was a fun flick, don't get me wrong, but I think some of the reviews I've seen have been a little overblown to say the least.

I mean, yeah, the movie is funny and clever and often surprising, but it wasn't by far the best of the series.  In fact, I think it falls into the trap that a lot of superhero movies fall into--it doesn't really want to be a movie about a superhero.  Unlike the earlier Iron Man films, this one is much more a movie about Tony Stark, and it seems almost uncomfortable with him actually in his armor.  In that way, it's similar to Thor, where the first thing that happens is that Thor loses his hammer and essentially becomes mortal.  He then spends the entire movie trying to become who he really is, meaning that the movie itself isn't exactly about Thor, it's really a little more about a guy who wants to be Thor.

On the one hand, it's good that they found a way to make Iron Man mortal.  But then again, I kept waiting for Stark to don the armor and kick ass, but that's not really how it unfolds, even in the climax.

Anyway, I liked Iron Man 3, and I'd recommend it, but it's not by any means a better movie than either the first Iron Man or the Avengers.  It's probably about on par with Captain America--which is good, but maybe not game-changing.

Final thought: Rhodey gets to do almost nothing in this movie.  So at this point, I'm totally ready for a stint with Rhodey in the suit as Iron Man, ala the '80s West Coast Avengers.  There's a whole unexplored plot line there, trust me.

Friday, May 3, 2013


One of my buddies endorsed me on LinkedIn lately, and that was nice.  Thanks!

But it was also funny because I haven't seen the guy in almost twenty years, and I think that the last time I did see him, we argued.  Which doesn't mean that I don't think we're friends, or that I have bad memories or anything like that.  On the contrary, had I known it was gonna be, like, two decades... I probably would've tried to make sure we didn't part on mediocre terms.  'Cause he's a good guy--at least as I remember it.

And although it has taken me four days, I've finally endorsed him back.  Frankly, that seems like the least that I can do.

So then LinkedIn asks me if I want to endorse anybody else.

Do I?  Shit yeah!  Of course I do!

So, bottom line, I endorsed pretty much everybody for everything until I ran out of time, and I'm telling you right now that if you want me to endorse you, I will totally do it.  Odds are that we haven't seen each other since we were cadets--or maybe since we were in high school--but why worry?  I want to endorse you.


Friday Mad Science: Hydro-Fracking, Chromebooks, and Martha Stewart!

Hydro-Fracking, Chromebooks, and Martha Stewart!  
Yup.  Not a bad week of news if you ask me.

Friday Hair Metal: Natalie Maines's "Mother"

Natalie Maines was on NPR last night, and in the interview, I learned that she has a new solo album.  The album is called Mother, and this is the title track.

The interviewer noted that the new album is "empthatically not a country album," and Maines responded that she'd never really thought of herself as a country singer.  Which is maybe a little weird, but I suppose at this point I can see why she'd say that.  I gotta say, though, that while her songs are instrumentally not country (maybe), her vocal progressions certainly still sound that way--at least in my ears.

Anyway, the NPR interviewer also noted that this song is creepy as Hell, and on that I agree emphatically.  Maines responded that she'd tried to sing from the point of view of the child, but that she herself is a mother, and that she can therefore see why, as a mother, the subject of this song would want to wrap her kid in bubble-wrap and build a wall around him.

Yeah.  That comes through loud and clear.

I dig this one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


2000 - 2013

Our dog Dixie was born in the late summer of the year 2000.  At the time, my folks were living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and they were friends with a couple who bred retrievers at a little farm they owned within the city limits.  My folks agreed to stud out my grandfather’s dog Toby in exchange for the pick of the resulting litter, and Dixie was their pick.  She was born in the week before I got back from Korea, and I first met her the day after I got back.  

She was less than a week old.  Back then, she could stand comfortably in the palm of my hand.

Sad Angel, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, and Infinity

I read today that Fleetwood Mac has just put out a new EP.  This is the first cut from the album, called Sad Angel.