Wheely’s Coffee Bike in Lowell? #BIKECITY

Ummm…so do I quit my job now and get on my Wheely or do I wait for the masses to arrive when Corey Belanger moves LHS out of town? I mean, I don’t want to be the guy that puts Andy Jacobson out of business. But let’s be honest, I pretty much already own the bike lanes. I’ve got an intoxicating personality. And I will pedal that Box of Joe anywhere. I will come to you…as long as you don’t live in Centralville. (We can all agree that Centralville is the Bermuda Triangle for Bikes and large denominations of cash, right?) I’ll live for my customers. I’ll even go as far as sourcing a little “extra kick” aka pure Columbian Arabica if you know what I mean, for all you caffeine junkies (which will probably mean I will have to go to Centralville). As I said, I will live for my customers.

Sorry chief, you didn’t RUN a marathon.

(The spoked b walking up Heart-Brake Hill literally broke my heart.)

Not so hidden among these Heart-Break Hill Warriors are the folks that will tell you that their biggest achievement in life was running “fill in the blank” marathon. They’re the people who will show up at work the next day wearing their medals and tinfoil. They’re the ones waddling their chappy ass cheeks to the printer room…jones’n for you to ask them why they’re walking like an asshole. Well, this guy is not falling for it. I know the difference between “running a marathon” and exercising for more than 5 hours. (Both by the way are things I cannot do.)

“Yeah, but do you know how much money these people are raising for charity?”

Yes I do. It’s a noble gesture to fleece your family for donations under the guise of accomplishing what used to be considered an athletic super-milestone. Do you know what happened when Pheidippides arrived in Athens to share the joyous news of victory? He f’n died. Let me ask you this, Sally from Accounts Receivable …did you almost die when you sauntered down Boylston Street a few ticks shy of 6 hours?

Look, I’m not looking to belittle everyone who took to the streets yesterday. By all means, feel as empowered as you possibly can be. This is more a call to action to defend what “running” a marathon actually is. How about we cap it at 4 hours? That’s just over a 9 min/mile pace. If you fail hit that mark, you should be required to return all collected funds to your disappointed aunts and uncles, and shamefully cover the freight out of pocket. It seems only fair. If you hit that mark then by all means; flaunt your bloody nipples for weeks to come. You’ve earned it.

Can I Be Frank?: Running is Stupid

With the Marathon approaching I am dusting off this one for your reading pleasure. The subject of the Marathon has become a very touchy subject due to the tragedies of 2013, but let’s try to bring a little levity and some laughs to the whole subject of running.
March running martial art23, 2012

With The Boston Marathon just around the corner I wanted to offer a comprehensive review of the “sport” of running.

I can sum it up in 3 words: Running is stupid.

Whew. I feel better just writing those words down.

Let me backtrack a little bit. Running, for the purpose of exercise and general health is, I suppose, a positive and productive activity. Of course, running improves your cardio-vascular health, relieves anxiety, and certainly keeps the pounds off. But guess what, I don’t care. Running – just for the sake of running – is stupid.
Think back to when you were a kid. You ran for reasons. You were playing tag. You were running in a race against your friends. You were playing (real) sports. You were running from your Dad because you opened your big, sarcastic mouth one too many times (maybe that was just me?).
But, to run just…’because’. I’m all set.

Well, I can already hear the “BOOs” from all of you running rebels that live and breathe this horrific hobby. Several of my closest friends and family members love running and a few have even completed marathons. My Dad, my cousin, my college roommate to name a few. Listen, good for you guys! Congratulations! WOO HOO! Job well done! Yippie!

Running is stupid.

Which brings me to a more specific aspect of running; marathon running. Are you freaking kidding me? Why on God’s green earth would ANYONE want to run a marathon? Anyone? Bueller? Come on! Forget the actual act of running a marathon. I can almost understand the satisfaction of having thousands of fans cheer for you as you trudge through 26.2 grueling miles. I get that. But, how about the incredible amount of training and preparation that goes into it all? No thanks. Months of work. Millions of miles (maybe not millions, but it’s called alliteration, folks). Hundreds of hours of your time.

Really, people? Sore muscles. Achy joints. Bloody nipples. Odd bowel movements.

Wow, that sounds fantastic…where do I sign up?

OK, bring on the counterpoint, Bill Rogers and Uta Pippig. I’m waiting.

“Running alleviates my stress.”

“I don’t feel right unless I get a run in.”

“If you have never experienced a runner’s high, then you should not give your opinion.”

Too late and here it is: Running is stupid.

Well, I think I have clearly relayed my standpoint on the subject, but I am going to offer you a chance to get back at me. Perhaps there is a more personal reason for out-of-the-blue attack on all of you jogging jackasses?

I started running this week.

Yes, yes…I know. Laugh all you like. Not sure what inspired me to start this week. Possibly because of the 87 pounds of corned beef and cabbage and 105 pints Guinness I have ingested over the past few weeks. Could be that I have been lacking any exercise program in my life for a while. Entirely feasible that I was feeling guilty that my wife has recently decided to taking up jogging with the rest of you imbosiles. Could be all of the above? Doesn’t really matter, but I woke up earlier this week and took to the street.

Mrs. C.I.B.F. leaves for work at 6:00AM and, with a busy day ahead; I knew I should just get this out of the way early. So, at 5:32, I laced up the Asics and hit the road.

I began my first jog in a very long time at a slow and steady pace. I am not looking to break any records. I have no goal or end game in mind. I am simply out here to feel a little better about my health and possibly drop my blood pressure down to a normal range. What I soon learned was that it would not be the actual act of running that would cause me issue; but rather…panic.

As I made my first turn down a side street I realized how damn dark it is at that time of day strictly reserved for the newspaper kid and insomniacs. Suddenly, I felt an overcoming sense of fear. A dog (90% positive it was Cujo) barked from its yard and I nearly jumped up a tree like a Tom & Jerry episode. I smelled something? Oh God, it’s a skunk. Where is it? Christ, he is going to spray me right in the face! Who‘s that coming at me? Crap! I bet it’s a serial kill….nope; it’s another one of you stupid joggers.

“Hey man” I huffed at him like a 80 year old, chain-smoking asthmatic as I am trying to play the role of neighborhood Kenyon. I was completely thrown off my game. All of these distractions and empty fears were actually adding stress to this supposed stress-reducing activity. My pulse was not racing from the intense aerobic workout. It was because clearly there was a madman (or a blood thirsty, rabid animal) tracking me through the neighborhood. A Boogey Man (quite possibly Boogey Men?) was surely on my tail. That I know for a certainty.

Before I knew it, I was actually sprinting – not jogging – in one direction; back towards home. I am not going to risk my life over this silly pastime. I will not be maimed by some psycho or wildebeest for the love of this game. Just not worth it. I have a family to think about for crying out loud.

And there ends another chapter of my storied athletic career. Sneakers are retired. Wind pants are doing just that; blowing in the wind. I am hitting the proverbial showers for good.

Running is stupid.

Best of luck to all you marathoners!

How does the Lowell Police Academy let guys graduate with such awful game?

Super Troopers_Vinok2.007Lowell Sun

LOWELL — A 2013 Lowell Police Academy graduate who was still on probation resigned last week, just days after an investigation determined he violated numerous policies in an effort to contact a woman he met responding to a call.

Police Superintendent William Taylor and Solicitor Christine O’Connor both declined comment, but The Sun has determined that Augustine Manyo-Washington is no longer employed as a Lowell police officer.

Manyo-Washington was among 59 graduates of the Lowell Police Academy last Nov. 15.

In late January, Manyo-Washington, and another police officer, Joseph Comtois, responded to an unidentified Lowell bar to investigate alleged drug activity.

During that call, Manyo-Washington met an employee “he liked,” states an Internal Affairs Report, a copy of which was acquired by The Sun. As a result of that encounter, Manyo-Washington ran the license plates of several cars in the parking lot, looking for the car that belonged to the employee he’d just met.

“Officer Manyo-Washington ran the plates ‘trying to find out who she was,'” states the 5-page report, completed by the Professional Standards Division and dated April 7. “Which he did.”

Manyo-Washington accessed the license plate data base on several dates in February, including on one of his days off. Police Department policy states that only “authorized persons in the performance of their official duties may access, use or disseminate this information for official and lawful criminal justice purposes.”

I love this Augustine Manyo-Washington guy. He’s a throwback’s, throwback. He’s not one of those new-age glory hounds that are chasing legends. He graduated from the academy, was outfitted with a sharp uniform, a car with cool lights, lethal weapons, hand cuffs, and access to all the personal information you can handle…and he did what any man in his situation would do. He immediately started wrangling poon.  Should a few criminals get between him and his demanded dinners from women that he’s stalking…all the better.

Is his game flawed? Certainly. This story had all the makings of a made for TV romance and then veered sharply into a creepy guardrail. But is that Augustine Manyo-Washington’s fault?

Seems to be more of a player development issue to me. The academy these days seems to be all about catching bad guys and bureaucracy and nothing else. Lost in the shuffle are the basic fundamentals: effective shift napping, finding ways to unnecessarily speed/discharge weapon, and obviously getting women to buy you dinner…voluntarily.  The tenets of strong policing.

Seems to me Chief Taylor is passing up a real opportunity to coach these guys up.