Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Locker Room Burrito Is a Lie

I went to the gym tonight for the first time since I hurt my back a few weeks ago. To avoid hurting myself again, I only did cardio, which I need to focus on anyway.

In the locker room, there was this flyer taped to the mirror. After reading it, I needed to take a picture. (Yes, I was that guy using a cellphone camera inside the locker room):

The burrito is a lie.

It's a flyer for the relatively new Chipotle in Reston Town Center; the promotion involves showing your Fitness First membership card there on Saturdays in March for a free burrito (or bowl, tacos, or salad); the picture features a burrito, with the caption, "More Than Worth Those Ten Extra Minutes on the Treadmill."

Now, according to the calorie calculator, a standard chicken burrito combination clocks in at just under 1100 calories.

Using any given calorie calculator (say, this one at SparkPeople), 10 minutes on the treadmill, at a basic 10-minute mile pace (6 mph), burns about 100 calories.

Unless you can run at 60 mph (you shut up, Mr. Steve Austin), what the ad implies is off by a factor of 10. It's a lot closer to two hours than ten minutes.

This does not mean that I won't be there on Saturday to snag a free burrito. (Hey, free burrito.)

I enjoy Chipotle, but I like Baja Fresh more, mostly because I raid the salsa bar and use the extra red salsa in meatloaf, marinades, etc. (Hate the new condiment bags, by the way -- they suck. I used to be able to fit 8 salsa cups into one of the old paper bags.)

Anyway, I did 20 minutes on the treadmill (brisk walking at about 4.4 mph -- running makes my knee hurt), then followed with about 10 minutes of jumping rope.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Weekend of Crisis Fatigue and Back Spasms

I'd signed up for CrisisCampChile on Saturday, but flaked due to a combination of crisis fatigue, laziness, and despair at recognizing the futility of my own uselessness.

It's been a bad year so far for earthquakes.

Sunday morning started pretty well. The night before, had watched Duke *thump* UNC pretty soundly, and I was all set to possibly enjoy a warm-ish day outside (or at least as outside as one gets walking to and from parking lots).

I was making breakfast, when I had a particularly energetic morning coughing spell and all of a sudden felt a bolting pain over my right kidney and then folded up onto my knees on the kitchen floor.

It's happened once before, coughing my way into a back spasm after jacking my back during a workout (deadlifts this time, squats last time).

It took me a while to get back on my feet, and to limp over to the couch. It was pretty bad for a while -- I spent the afternoon trying unsuccessfully to get comfortable and watching Life, Season 2 (which I'd mentioned picking up earlier.) For a little bit, I couldn't stand up without pulling myself up on a doorframe, which involved having to pad around on my hands and knees.

The little blue pill -- Naproxen (generic Aleve) -- didn't do much for me, but fortunately, Mom had given me a bottle of Excedrin Back and Body after the last time. It's basically buffered asprin and Tylenol, and it seemed to do the trick. Either that, or I'm a rapid healer (I'm not), or it wasn't as bad as I made it seem (it was kind of bad for a while).

So here we are.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Shamrock Fest 2010: The Year We Make Contact

[Note to self: Have not been making enough 2010 references. This is its moment: Don't make the same mistake as we did letting 1999 slide by.]

Shamrock Fest 2010 is coming up March 13, 2 Saturdays from now. I've been going since its days in Arlington, before it moved to RFK (and before I started getting a VIP pass hookup, see blogger disclosure notes at the end) and I'll be going again this year, with my usual bunch of friends.

The site touts 40+ acts on 10 stages, though to be honest, of all the years I've been going, I can't recall a single song I've heard. Okay, maybe a bit of Carbon Leaf last year, but it wasn't The Boxer. (I, personally, don't really go for the bands, which are more of a background ambiance thing for me -- I go to hang out with my friends, people-watch, take pictures, and run into people I know.)

Looking back at 2009, while I did do a preview entry featuring a Shamrock Fest Survival Guide, I didn't do a followup post featuring any photos or videos I took that year. (I could have sworn I at least posted them to Facebook.) So this look forward is actually a look back.

For 2009's Shamrock Fest, the weather was kind of dreary and rainy, though this year, I think we'll all be happy if it simply doesn't snow.

At public events, it usually takes me a few drinks for my camera shutter finger to loosen up (I start out sneaking candids), but after a while, people usually have no qualms about mugging for the camera, and I have no problem shooting them:


In previous years, in addition to the usual strange outfits, pretty girls and funny hats, I've picked informal themes. Last year featured a bunch of mini-themes:

DSCF5751 DSCF5776 DSCF5767

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Questionable Behavior:
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Oh, and there's a bucking bronco, too:

Anyway, we can only look forward to similar photo opportunities this year.

Blog Disclosure Note
Once again, I am getting VIP passes to Shamrock Fest, for which I am thankful (as I'd be going anyway) and which I am disclosing here, as in previous years.

Now, I know for a fact that some of my blogger brethren have had similar arrangements. While I'm not going to point any fingers, I can say that I haven't noticed any similar disclosures in years past.

While one can argue issues of transparency, government interference, payola, "newspaper reviewers get media access without needing to do ham-handed disclosures" and whatnot, with the FTC focusing in on blogger freebies, I suggest that now more than ever, the right thing to do is the right thing to do.

Things That Are Upcoming

I haven't been to any concerts, and relatively few unconferences for a while. Since it's now officially March (bunny bunny, rabbit rabbit), here are a few upcoming things that I'm looking at for March and beyond (mostly beyond):

* Shamrockfest, Saturday, March 13. Separate entry about this forthcoming.

* TransparencyCamp 2010, Saturday and Sunday, March 27-28, GWU, DC.

* Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Monday, April 5, 9:30 Club. Saw them live from the wings at VirginFest in 2008.

* Hot Lava, Tuesday, April 6, Black Cat. They were one of the openers for Dressy Bessy at the Black Cat. I bought the album. They're pretty good.

* Hirshhorn After Hours, Friday, April 9. First one of 2010. Tickets aren't on sale yet. I haven't been to After Hours or the Hirshhorn for a while.

* Fol Chen, Wednesday, April 14, Rock and Roll Hotel. Have had them on my tourfilter watchlist since I heard about them on NPR.

* The Apples in Stereo, Sunday, April 18, Rock and Roll Hotel.

* The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race, Saturday, May 1. Seems to be the official date, though the American Visionary Art Museum web site hasn't updated it yet.

This would also mark the anniversary, and my first trip back to Baltimore since my car got broken into at last year's race. (Also, I still haven't produced and uploaded the videos I took last year. If I try skating with the homemade fig rig again, I'll need to do something about wind noise.)

* TEDxPotomac, Thursday, May 20. I was at the organizational meeting at BarCamp DC, and have been lurking on the listserv and group since then, though I haven't really done anything for it.

So, it looks like things pick up in the spring. See you then.