Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow Job

This is just astounding. Makes me so glad to have a garage!

"It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Again for the first time

You know when you have a great idea and think, "Whoa...! What a great idea. I should write this down," but instead go to bed thinking, "This is such a great idea that I'll never forget it!"

That's a bad idea. You should write it down.

That said, the joy of finally remembering the the idea is at parity with, if not better than, hatching the idea in the first place.

"The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, November 29, 2010

Time moves faster than I do

I got an email today.

It was from the Dallas White Rock Marathon reminding me about my packet pick-up.

Holy crap! I'm running a half marathon in less than a week?

How did this happen? Was there a solar flare / time warp thing? Last time I looked it was still August and 103 degrees. Apparently time moves much faster than I do.

There is a world of hurt headed in my direction...

"It's better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."
Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Did you run today?

Did you wake up early to chase the sunrise?

Did you give it everything you had to give?

Did your doctor nod approvingly after reviewing your vitals?

Did your neighbor ask if you've lost weight?

Did you run today?

"One today is worth two tomorrows."
-Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Austin Marathon

In an effort to Keep Austin Weird... I'm In!

"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon."
- Emil Zatopek

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dallas Half

Despite its many benefits, running for the sake of running can be difficult. Without a goal there's no training plan to stick to... no obvious downside to skipping a workout... no finish line, rife with screaming fans, to imagine crossing in record time...

My days of running sans objective are past as I'm now signed up for the Dallas Half Marathon!

I've been thinking about going at it hard. After all, it's been four years since I put up that 1:34:14.

Beyond the half marathon, I'm fully committed to running a full marathon this winter. I just need to chose between Cowtown and the Livestrong Austin Marathon.

"I plan to be running as long as I can and have no plans to stop."
-Frank Shorter

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Communist Yardsale?

Another exquisite example of mastery over the English language.

“Communism is like one big phone company.”
-Lenny Bruce

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Here's a great piece of advice: Don't fall off your bike at 20 miles per hour.

It hurts.

A lot.

"I just want to show off my scar proudly and not be afraid of it."
-Carly Simon

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wise Tri Race Report

3:45 AM is a ridiculous hour to wake up. There's really no getting around that.

Yet, that's just what I did on Sunday morning. Roughly 12 hours after crashing my bike I slogged out the door for an Olympic distance triathlon.

Well, truth be told I did pay a visit to Mr. Coffee before I got to the door.

I spent the next hour or so with Bill and Pomai, our new friends and training partners, driving to Lake Bridgeport for the second annual Wise Tri Triathlon. Despite the ungodly hour there was an abundance of smack-talk (Oh yeah? It is so on, Pomai! What are you going to do when I bring the heat, Bill? What are you gonna do???).

Kidding aside, a few serious words about the race... The Wise Tri is a non-profit race and all proceeds go to research Galactosemia, a rare but potentially fatal genetic disorder that affects one's ability to metabolize the sugar galactose (found in dairy) properly. In addition to its philanthropic roots, the Wise Tri is a fantastic small race. It's really well organized and incredibly well staffed. The course is challenging (particularly the trail run!) well supported and clearly marked. And the volunteers... Wow! Seriously some rock star volunteers!

Once we arrived at the race it was straight into packet pickup, body marking, and the obligatory bio-break. All was going swimmingly until I realized I'd forgotten something. Two somethings. DOH! I left my contact lenses at home! Oh, and did I mention that I crashed my bike the day before?

So with multiple open wounds and near blindness as companions, I set off on a 32 mile journey (1.5k swim, 40k bike, and 10k run) across North Central Texas.

The Swim

Since there were only a few dozen people doing the Olympic distance (there's also a sprint) the race organizers made it a single wave, mass start. So Bill, Pomai and I toed the start together. Despite the churning chaos common to every open water swim start, I managed to stay calm and focus on my stroke. Even though my vision was 'impaired,' I managed to spot the buoys well enough and stay 'mostly' on course. I finished the swim in 34 minutes flat - ahead of Bill but way behind Pomai, who apparently has the ability to channel Michael Phelps on command.

I transitioned to the bike in about 2 minutes... so some room for improvement there.

The Bike

Nice course! Some rolling hills and mostly void of traffic (except for a gaggle of Harley-Davidson biker dudes who seemed a little perplexed by all the spandex and bicycles). Several miles in I hammered away down a steep decent, hitting about 40 miles per hour when I saw Pomai headed the other direction. She'd already hit the turn around and was a couple miles ahead! So with Pomai burning it up out front and Bill closing in fast, I stomped on it (my ego was on the line, after all!). I managed to catch her a couple of miles down the road... but I had to put it all out there.

At the next turn around I saw Bill barreling down the road and gaining fast! I dropped into a bigger gear, got up out of the saddle, and poured on the gas!

I came in from the bike course in 1:19:19 with an average speed of 18.8 MPH. Not too shabby and a little better than I expected.

T2 went a little quicker and I was on the run in under a minute-thirty.

The Run

Whoa... here's where things get interesting ugly. With the mercury flirting with 85 degrees and the humidity at 90%, more than just the competition was heating up. Frankly, the conditions were better suited to frozen cocktails than running, but here I was just a simple 10k away from the finish line.

One little problem... this was not your ordinary 10k. This was a challenging trail run with steep climbs and descents, uneven terrain, a (dry) creek crossing, and fit friends on a mission to put me in my place. In a word, brutal. 

I could practically feel Bill and Pomai breathing down my neck so there was no letting up. I caught and passed a few dudes. A couple of dudes caught and passed me. Then a couple of chicks caught and passed me. I hit the turn around and made my way back, shuffling up and down the craggy hills.

The course is actually an out-and-back 5k so the first loop is a total tease. The finish line is just steps away but you've got to turn around and do it all over again. For better or worse, this allows you to see your competition... who were way too close for comfort! Twisted. Cruel. Awesome.

As I headed out for lap two. They were coming in from lap one. I didn't have much of a lead and even with blurry vision I could tell Bill was digging deep to close the gap.

I mustered up some gumption and pushed my weary body forward but there wasn't much gas in the tank. I hit the final turn around and as I made my way back, looking like death, there was Bill, looking strong and picking up ground. And Pomai, all smiles, was not far behind. Uh oh!

Finally, I trudged up the last hill and turned into the finishing chute. I didn't have anything left for a kick but I managed to hold my lead, barely. I finished the run in 1:03:59 a pace of 10:19 per mile. S-L-O-W!

After reviewing the results, it's clear my concerns that Bill was gaining on me were well founded. He was closing that gap by more than a minute per mile!

Pomai crossed the finish line moments later to secure the 3rd place female finisher and 1st in her age group!

For me, the swim and bike went a little better than expected. The run was tough, but I finished. Given the difficult course, my limited vision, and the crash I'm pretty pleased with the effort. Most importantly my ego is intact... for now!

Kidding aside, I've nothing but praise for the race organizers, course, race shirt and visor, finisher's medal, community support, volunteers, and friendly competitors! You guys are all first rate!
“Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.”
-Jesse Owens

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I must have slid ten feet before friction brought me to a grinding halt in the middle of the street. I know this because I was able to drop the f-bomb at least as many times (I figure the crash lasted 4 seconds and I averaged 2.5 f-bombs per second while rapidly decelerating from a speed of approximately 30 feet per second. Go ahead, try it yourself). Thankfully the concrete was there to break my fall and slow me down.

Yup, while taking a casual spin around the neighborhood I hit a little patch of water and in an instant was smearing DNA into the road.

And all of this the day before the Wise Triathlon! COME ON, FATE! GIVE ME A FREAKIN' BREAK!

I'm cut, scraped, scratched, bruised, and have some wicked road rash. I'm in pain. But I'm still going to race!

Grrrr.... Road Rage

Gnarly Road Rash

Falling down became second nature and it really didn't bother me.”
-Nancy Kerrigan

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A Matter Of Timing

I'm a week away from running an Olympic distance triathlon yet I'm already thinking about what's next... Well, I'm torn between the Dallas White Rock Marathon and the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth.

Both are medium-to-small races and are practically in my back yard. What it comes down to is timing.

Dallas takes place in early December. If I come off next week's race and go right into distance running, I'll be able to leverage my current fitness as a base to build up for marathon training mileage. However, going from a base of 15 miles per week to a peak of 50 miles in just three months is akin to begging the Gods of Marathon for injury.

But still... I'm keen to get in a marathon in 2010, ya' know. Because moving across the country, buying a first home, and having a baby aren't enough challenges for one calendar year.

Cowtown is in late February which gives me plenty of time to safely ramp up my weekly mileage. It's also not so far off that I'll lose momentum but it does mean training through the winter - which is a bit of an x factor here in Texas.

That said, I'll be burning an inordinate amount of calories during the holidays - so no worries when it comes to hydrating with egg nog.

Decisions. Decisions.

UPDATE: I've added a poll (to the right). What say you?

"Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly."
-Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Late Night Baby Daddy IPA

I am positively thrilled to introduce MoreFew's Brews very first homebrew, Late Night Baby Daddy!

Late Night Baby Daddy gets its name from a series of quite literal circumstances. The details can be found here, but the gist of the story goes as follows:

The brew kit was an awesome Father's Day gift and I couldn't wait to get started. Well, the brew took several hours longer than I expected and it was 3am before all was said and done. Thus, the "late night" and because the fermentation ended around the same time as the birth of my daughter... the "baby daddy."

Late Night Baby Daddy is a partial-mash India Pale Ale and it's very tasty. Amber in color and light to medium in body, what this ale lacks in head is more than made up for in aroma and flavor. Hop Damn!

Perfect for entertaining or for quenching your thirst after a hard day... or an easy day...

Really, the only problem with this beer is that it's going too fast! You'd think 5 gallons would be sufficient.

You'd be wrong.

"He was a wise man who invented beer."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oy, What A Week

This morning I got up to go for a brick. For the uninitiated, a brick is a workout specific to the sport of triathlon, and combines any two of the three disciplines (swim/bike/run) into one workout. Brutal!

After punching the snooze button in the face for or five times I finally put my feet on the floor. Of course the dog wanted to go for a walk. So bleary-eyed and wobbly I found the leash and opened the door to... THE MOST GOD AWFUL SOUND IMAGINABLE!

Blundering, sleep deprived fool that I am, I forgot to disarm the house alarm. Needless to say I woke everyone up. And the ferocious guard dog? Vapor trail. Found him cowering under the bed some time later.

As for the workout, well, the bike went okay - put in about 23 miles at an average pace of 18 MPH. On the other hand, the run was terrible, a measly 4 miles at a pace of nearly 10 minutes per mile! I just didn't have it in me -- I'm chalking it up to a fatigue cocktail of equal parts:
  • sleep deprivation
  • heat
  • humidity
  • donating blood
Seriously, I hope I bounce back here because it's getting ugly. Aside from setting off the burglar alarm I've:
  • Walked into a wall
  • Poured a cup of coffee, then put the coffee pot in the cupboard and the coffee cup on the warmer. I actually did this and walked away empty handed!
  • Spilled a cup of coffee (different day from prior bullet)
  • Leaving trail of lights and appliances turned on
  • Went the wrong way on a one-way street
Must get more sleep...

"The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late."
-Charles Caleb Colton

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lost Soles

Friends, we gather here today to celebrate the life, and the death, of two precious soles that together provided a great deal of comfort. These kind soles cushioned many miles on the hard road of life.

Born of science, their heavenly scent inspired action! But like all of us they too aged with time and newness eventually gave way to a less sweet perfume - one fueled by sweat and mud and... other things.

Through time and distance these hearty soles endured to the end - stretching the very fabric of their being in pursuit of life.

"The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
- Carl Jung

Friday, August 06, 2010

Wise Tri

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of the word “wise” is as follows:

a: characterized by wisdom : marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment b: exercising or showing sound judgment : prudent

Somehow signing up for the Wise Olympic Distance Triathlon fails this definition… Where exactly have I shown a “capacity for sound judgment” by committing to swim/bike/run in the middle of a blazing hot North Texas summer?

What “keen discernment” is evidenced by my haphazard training regimen?

And where was my “deep understanding” when I signed up for this race with my newborn daughter asleep in my lap?

As a friend and colleague pointed out, I’ve gotta be doing it for the t-shirt…

"He who hesitates is a damned fool."
-Mae West

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NYC Marathon Charity

Want to get into the NYC Marathon? Sure, it’s sold out but that’s no excuse!

I was recently contacted by a representative for the Institute for Community Living (ICL). They need help spreading the word about their mission to assist those with serious mental illness in and around New York City.

ICL is also a bona fide charity partner of the ING New York City Marathon and they’re holding a spot for you on Marathon Sunday… All you have to do is help raise $2,500 for this worthwhile charity!

Just click here for more info! But don't delay, applications are due by August 1st.

“He who wished to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's a girl!

Phoebe Alexandra Morphew
July 10th, 2010
7lbs, 7 ounces
20 inches

"Oh... She's beautiful!"
-Josh Morphew, on witnessing the birth of his daughter

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Batch

Because I am a patient man, I waited a full eight hours before starting to make my first batch of home brew. Turns out that brewing - with all the sanitizing, boiling, steeping, and cooling - can be a little time consuming.

Lesson one: Starting the process at 8pm on Sunday night is not advisable for those who have to wake up and go to work the next day.

The first batch is an IPA and almost everything went according to plan. Brand spanking new equipment cleaned and sanitized, ingredients at the ready and with recipe in hand I set off to make my very first home brew!

First the steep:

Once the steep of the base grains was complete it was time to remove the mash and add the dry malt over low heat to avoid scorching.

Then for the favoring hops. Sure, it has a striking resemblance to gerbil food but this stuff has a unique and potent aroma. It also gives IPAs their distinctive flavor.

As the boil draws to an end it's time for the addition of a finishing hops and a "quick" cool down of the wort.

Apparently there's a couple of ways to do this and I chose the method known as the "kitchen sink ice bath" method. Little did I know it's probably the least efficient way to chill the brew.

Essentially, you need to chill the liquid from boiling to under 80 degrees as quickly as possible before pitching the yeast. This requires a great deal of heat transfer... and lots of ice. I did not have lots of ice. And here lies the problem.

I dumped every ice cube and freezer pack I could find at it. I even dropped a frozen bottle of vodka into the ice bath! At three o'clock in the morning and the wort had still not gotten down under 80 degrees. I gave up and pitched the yeast at about 82 degrees.

My starting gravity was 1.050 with a potential alcohol of 6.5%.

After about 3 days it was time to transfer from the primary fermentation to the secondary. This requires more sanitizing and some careful siphoning to leave behind the trub, or sediment. And then... More hops!

Once the beer is in the secondary fermentation it's just a waiting game. Watching for bubbles in the air lock and periodically checking the gravity.

And this is where we're still waiting. Bubble... Bubble... Bubble...

Once the secondary fermentation is complete I'll add some additional sugars to start the carbonation, bottle, and wait about two weeks before cracking open my very first cold one.

Can hardly wait!

"He that can have patience can have what he will."
-Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Loved and Appreciated

If ever there was any doubt, it's been obliterated! It is undeniable that this father is loved and appreciated. How else can one explain an inspired gift such as this... Behold the embodiment of true love!

You might be asking yourself, 'what is this collection of peculiar instruments?'... It's a Home Brew Kit, I tell you! She's done it again. Sheer genius!!

"A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure."
-- Czech Proverb

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Great to be a Dad

Just a few reasons it's great to be a Dad...
  1. Crazy dancing
  2. Running races in the backyard
  3. Tickling to hysterics
  4. When he takes off his Crocs and shouts "stinky piggies!"
  5. Watching Toy Story together
  6. When he tells me to "have a nice day, daddy"
  7. High fives
  8. Watching him sleep
  9. Putting away all our toys at the end of the day
  10. When he picks me (instead of Mom) to read a bedtime story
"Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them."
Dr. Seuss

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Grapevine Triathlon

Thanks to a friend and colleague, I was made aware the Grapevine Triathlon, a local sprint distance triathlon, that takes place just outside of Dallas. The event was held on June 5th and wouldn't you know it... I did it.

The race was a 300 yard pool swim, 20 kilometer bike, and 6 kilometer run. The distances are a little odd, and I've never done a triathlon in a pool, but hey, a race is a race!

The athletes started the swim one at a time, in 20 second intervals. Unfortunately, I severely overestimated my swim time and was lined up in the back of the starting queue with slower swimmers. I passed the guy ahead of me before I'd swam the first length. I think I passed 6 or 7 people in just 300 yards.

Once I got on the bike, I hammered away at the rolling hills of the bike course, hitting over 30 miles per hour at times and averaging 19.4 mph for the 20k. I must have passed another half dozen by the time I rolled into T2.

Then the Texas heat (and mediocre training regimen) began to take it's toll... It must have been well into the mid-80s and humid! Knowing I'd not trained as fully as I should have for this race, I eased into the run and settled into what felt like a modest pace. After the first quarter mile I got my legs back but chose to be conservative given the heat.

As the finish line approached I realized I could have (and should have) pushed a little harder through the run. Turns out I was only running a 9:18 pace. No wonder I felt so good out there.

Alas, I was in excellent form for the after party... a wine, beer, and BBQ fueled post-race party on the grounds of the Cross Timbers Winery. Great stuff!

All told, it was a great little race, well managed, good support, and a great after-party. I finished in 1:22:21 which was good enough for 29th place (out of ~150) and just shy of an age group podium placement.

Next year it's mine!

"Time is the longest distance between two places." -Tennessee Williams

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Since so much in my life has changed of late I figured it high time for my blog to follow suit. So, new look, new feel. Heck, maybe I’ll even post some new content from time to time. Stick around, stranger things have happened.

"All is change; all yields its place and goes."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hello Texas!

Well dear readers, it’s been a little over a month and the dust is beginning to settle, the boxes are slowly disappearing, and the words “do you know where the ____ is?” are fading from daily use.

In many ways life has changed little. I get up, workout (when motivated), go to the office, put in long hours, head home, eat, sleep, repeat. It's the environment in which I do these things that has changed dramatically.

A cramped apartment has been replaced by a spacious home.

An overcrowded subway has been supplanted by a quite drive on back roads.

In lieu of a drab office, I toil in a sprawling and certified green campus complete with gym, bike parking, and shower facilities.

Frankly, in most ways, suburban family life in Texas is better. Though I will readily admit that DFW is lacking a few important amenities. Chief among them: delivery.

It’s much more difficult to find good ethnic restaurants. And when you do find them… augh, delivery is not really viable. In New York I took it for granted that I could have Panaeng curry or Chana masala or a spicy tuna roll delivered… at midnight… in less than 30 minutes. Alas, good bibimbap is no longer my reality.

Also a surprise, and you'd never know it by looking at our overgrown weed patch, but I’m developing a fetish for lawn maintenance. Perhaps it’s the exercise. Maybe the meditative state reached while walking behind the mower. Or it could be pride of ownership. Perchance the binary nature of mowed vs unkempt. Whatever it is, I’m all giddy when it comes to firing up the Toro and mulching up some Bermuda grass.

The long and short of it is that we've arrived and are enjoying our new home.

(yeah, yeah, yeah... the yard needs work)

"Fine art and pizza delivery, what we do falls neatly in between."
-David Letterman

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Farewell New York!

It's astounding how a casual conversation can so dramatically change the course of life. A few months ago, while bemoaning the exorbitant costs of real estate in New York City, a colleague teased, "Hey, you could always move to Texas."

This off-the-cuff remark was a reference to the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, which is home to the global headquarters of my employer. And now, less than three months later, we're poised to close on our first home… In Texas.

Yes, we're packing up and making a fifteen hundred mile trek to The Lone Star State.

After nearly fourteen years as a resident of New York City I find myself with mixed emotions about leaving. Moving means leaving behind over a decade of memories, dear friends, and professional networks. It's walking away from the incredible nightlife, the world’s best restaurants, Broadway, Lincoln Center, Times Square, Central Park, Astoria Park, Hell’s Kitchen, Little Italy, the LES, the NY Road Runners, the Hellgate Road Runners, and all of the things that make New York City…. well, New York City.

Walking around, knowing my time as a citizen of Gotham is drawing to a close, I still have those “only in New York” moments… when you turn a corner and are struck by the grandeur of the skyline… hearing a Verdi opera in the subway performed by a guy sporting an orange mohawk … walking down some random West Village street full of boutiques, bars, and charming cafes… getting into a cab driven by a turban wearing Muslim with aviator sunglasses who’s listening to Lynard Skynard and drives like Mario Andretti… There are many things I will miss about New York City.

Conversely, there’s a long list of inconveniences, a litany of annoyances, and a cadre of complaints, but I’ll spare you all that negativity and instead focus on the positive.

We’ll gain a home, a backyard, our very own washer and dryer (no quarters required!), we’ll have a garage, a garbage disposal (a genuine luxury), nearly four times the square footage and I’ll cut my commute by more than half. We’ll be near good schools, our cost of living will go down, we’ll pay less in taxes, and we’ll build equity rather than pay rent.

And we’re doing all this for two simple reasons. One of which stands at about three feet tall and the other is still growing in utero… Yup! We’re having baby number two. Due later this summer!

When I first moved here in 1996 the grime, the noise, the crowds, the hustle and pomp were riveting and enlivening. Now all these years later what we want out of life has changed. What we need has changed. Somehow, squeezing into a filthy N Train at rush hour has lost a little of its luster.

Like true New Yorkers, we’re rolling with the changes and will bring a little bit of NYC to DFW.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy