Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Avoid that Holiday Ass Fat....

So there's a lot going on in the next few weeks as we enter the Holiday Season. I'm mostly going to focus on keeping off those extra holiday pounds that seem to easily creep up on you as you have "just one more cookie".

Speaking of food, I met up with a bunch of my buddies the other night for beers and dinner at The Yardley Inn in (appropriately) Yardley, PA. I hadn't been there in years (my wife and I had our wedding dress rehearsal dinner there) and all five of us that met up were shocked at how packed the place was on a Monday night! If you've never been, I highly suggest it. Food is very good, reasonably priced, atmosphere is great although it's not really a place to bring your kids. Anyway, if you go when the weather is nice, be sure to arrive early to take a stroll down Main Street, along the Delaware River or D&R Canal - Yardley is simply a great small town.

On to other things.

If you have nothing better to do at 8 AM Thanksgiving morning and you want to have a guilt-free extra piece of pumpkin pie and raise money for a good cause, you can still sign up for the Trinity Church 3rd Annual 5k Turkey Trot through historic Princeton, NJ. For those of you that are USATF members, it's a USATF-certified run. If you want a quick video tour of the route take a look below. Enjoy the run and see you there, although don't look for me at the front of the pack...a gazelle I ain't.


 What else? It's that time of year when I undertake the annual Concept2 Holiday Challenge - that is, row 200,000 cumulative meters on the Concept2 ergometer from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. At first thought it may not seem like much, but then you realize it's 200 kilometers or about 125 miles (a little over 4 miles a day). This is the 6th or 7th year I've done this since it was started 10 years ago. If you have access to an erg, create an account on Concept2's website and start entering your workouts into your online logbook. Complete the Holiday Challenge and you'll receive a nice enameled pin in the mail in Jan/Feb and be eligible to buy a t-shirt. More than anything, it's a great way to ward off excess holiday weight. And lest I forget, for every meter you row, Concept2 will donate $0.02 to water protection efforts; row more than 100,000 m and each meter is worth $0.04! Lose weight and protect water at the same time...what could be better?

This past weekend was the Tough Mudder event here in NJ. If you've not heard of it before, let me say this: It's not for the faint of heart. a 7-12 mile run/obstacle course involving mud, water, and fire among other things. This is something right up my alley and I'm planning on attempting it next year and dragging a few of my friends along for the ride as well. Fingers crossed.

Now a shameless plug for one of the guys I had dinner with - if you want to get into shape or reach your maximum potential for next year's Turkey Trot, Holiday Challenge or Tough Mudder, visit Bob's website, Coach Kaehler. Bob is a 3x Olympian and 4x World Champion rower. Combined with his Masters in Physical Therapy from Columbia University, he has the first-hand, world-class practical experience and education to set you on the right path toward fitness.

If you're not brave enough to tear them away from their new toys and bundle the kids up Christmas morning to watch the annual re-enactment of Washington Crossing the Delaware, you can get a jump on it by attending the dress rehearsal Sunday December 12 from 11-3 at Washington Crossing State Park in PA with the crossing at approximately 1 PM. I've wanted to see this for a number of years and I'm finally getting around to it.

Oh...a couple more items. Do you know any guys (maybe yourself even?....nah) that takes his Fantasy Football League a little to seriously? If so, check out this very funny computer-generated douchebag extraordinaire video posted on my buddy Dave's blog The Savage Truth. But Dave, you need to get out more if she's a comely vixen. Dude...she's a computer cartoon even if she's supposed to be hot!

My idea of a comely vixen or something along those lines but not sure the word is meant for polite company is here in this pic of Kim bent over (let your imagination run wild).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

My father, Roman D. Horoszewski, Capt USAF, Vietnam Combat Veteran, Bronze Star

Very, very little we do in our lives matches the sacrifice and willingness to make the Ultimate Sacrifice our men and women in uniform make every day. Make sure you thank a veteran today for their service.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday!!!

Happy 1st Birthday! The Balanced Guy is now 1 year old...the blog that is, not the writer. On occasion of it's first birthday I thought I'd reflect on a bit of the past year as well as look ahead a bit. First some statistics for you: over the past year there have been 7,703 visits, 7,148 of them unique visitors hailing from 123 countries and all 50 states. There has been a steady increase in daily visitors and while TBG doesn't get the volume of traffic of say...Google...it does ok for a very small blog. Even manage to have a fair number of repeat visitors so at least there are a few intelligent people in the world that realize what I have to say is worthwhile; groundbreaking if I do so say so myself. Of course, a large number of visits have been prompted by having pics of and using as a key search word "Kim Kardashian". Very funny. Hey, whatever works to get 'em in the door, right? (and guess what? I'll use it again for this post since I mentioned her!...GOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!)

The blog itself has changed over the course of the year as I've searched for "my voice" (as it's called; or at least am in the process of finding it). I've definitely been posting less often the last few months as I found it too demanding with my other life commitments to get something out once a week. Although I'll admit that if I was generating significant revenue from advertising it would be a different story. but alas I'm not. For better-or-worse there's nothing dramatically exciting about a blog written by yet another middle-age guy about his life. I really need to come up with a better angle; maybe I'm not controversial enough.  Or maybe my writing essentially sucks and is boring. If nothing else, it's cathartic for me, so you'll just have to endure it. However, I like to think my readers (fans???) find solace in knowing there are actually other common-sense guys out there like themselves who take the time to write about it. For sure I know there are far more entertaining blogs out there, such as Dave Sheridan over at The Savage Truth.

Enough contemplating my navel.

The mid-term elections have come and gone. Really, quite a bunch of silliness this time around (but yes, I voted). I'll never understand politicians, their grandstanding, saying things they know to be patently untrue or bending the truth until it screams "Uncle!", and ripping apart their opponents instead of giving an honest accounting of themselves and specifics of what they intend to do if elected. More often than not it seems they see themselves as akin to the genie in the bottle - rub the bottle (elect them) and they'll grant your every wish. And they wonder why the average man-on-the-street doesn't trust politicians no matter if they are a donkey or an elephant? And at times I wonder about the electorate. If the average voter was on the board of a large company needing to hire a CEO or other senior executive, they'd be looking for the best people - hopefully even smarter and more competent than themselves. So why in the world do voters of all stripes often elect candidates who try so very hard to present themselves as "an average guy"? Look, call me crazy, but I don't want "an average guy" running this country or representing me in Congress or the Statehouse. I want better-than-average...a lot better. What is with our national obsession with demonizing experience, education and intelligence? Blows my mind.

In a crazy, complex world things aren't always black and white, right and wrong. There are always nuances. Yet this seems to escape the notice of many people...except you, gentle reader (as Ms. Manners would say). Take the age-old paradox about lying. Let me begin by stating that it's generally wrong to lie. Unfortunately there isn't exactly a bright line in even this most seemingly simply of matters. Here's the scenario to demonstrate: You are sitting in a restaurant when a man comes in with a gun and asks where your brother is because he is going to kill him. Now, you know that your brother happens to be in the back room having a private dinner with some business clients. So here's the dilemma: do you tell the truth and let the man know where your brother is thus getting him killed, or do you lie and say you don't know where he is at which point the armed man will walk out of the restaurant and your brother's life is spared? Only by lying does your brother live. Of course this is an extreme example but in a black and white world, extremes are irrelevant. It's yes or no. You might argue "well, it's only a white lie and it saved my brother's life" or "the end justified the means". True enough, but at that point you've opened wide the door to shades of grey and dimmed that bright line. If it holds true here, it then holds true in any just about any other situation.

I've mentioned the site before but it's worth mentioning again. If you want a pretty non-partisan, straight-dope analysis of world events, I highly suggest you take a peek at Stratfor. George Friedman and his staff do a fantastic job of pulling apart geopolitical issues and examining them in a no-nonsense manner. It's definitely a 50,000 foot view of things but in many cases it's helped me to understand the larger picture of world events and make sense of why the US or some other country did something without all the right/left, political BS muddying the waters. This week's free Geopolitical Weekly, The World Looks at Obama After the U.S. Midterm Election, is a great analysis of what Obama faces going forward with respect to the rest of the world. We also hear a lot in the news about Iran which is now increasingly important in light of Obama losing domestic policy power after the elections. Why important? While Congress can control domestic policy, foreign policy always lays firmly in presidential hands. Between the Aug 31 article, Rethinking American Options on Iran and September 14th's Elections and Obama's Foreign Policy Choices, Stratfor lays out a convincing argument for Obama looking to regain power by dealing with Iran. Let's watch and see what happens.

OK. On to more important things. What is Kim doing this week? Who cares?!! (As an aside - what a hell of a blog! Only here can you go from deep, philosophical questions regarding politics and ethics straight into gossip about it-girl Kim K. You're definitely getting your money's worth; and considering you're here for free...)
So here are the Top Ten Reasons I'm not Kim's latest boyfriend:
  1. I'm not rich
  2. I'm pretty sure she mostly dates black guys
  3. I'm not an NFL player
  4. I don't live in LA
  5. I'm not rich
  6. I've got three kids and don't think she's ready for that
  7. I'm not rich
  8. I might be a tad old for her
  9. I forgot to get in line for a number
  10. Most important - I'm already married.
I'm in the middle of rebuilding the shower in our downstairs bathroom. Actually not that bad of a job. While it's certainly not the first tiling job I've done, it is the first shower. Truth be told, I was a bit nervous since there is water involved, but after visiting a few websites to get the skinny, I came away with the one value to hold true to with showers: silicone caulk EVERYTHING. Oh yeah, and don't use greenboard. Only go with cement board. There is some professional disagreement online about whether to use a mastic or thinset for the tiles. Old school guys say only thinset since mastic softens when exposed to water. However, there are a number of newer mastics out there that purport to perform just fine as long as they are not submerged in water, thus shower walls are just fine.

Finally, am I reading or have I recently read anything worth hawking and putting up an Amazon ad for? Not really, but I did recently get a cool little weather station that our family really enjoys. Pretty nifty.

Until next time.