I’m Back, Sorta, Kinda

I’m back in the office for the first time since I left on October 3rd. I have a lot of catching up to do today.

InterAmericas Hash 2011: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
As you might remember, this intrepid reporter rolled from Hartsfield Airport to the ITP Estate on Thursday to grab a bunch of clothes and a mountain bike prior to heading to Savannah for a long (and ultimately expensive) weekend. I left Savannah around 8:00am yesterday under gray skies and forecast of rain.

The Good
The Weather (Friday/Saturday) : For the most part the weather cooperated. This was very good for me because of my fast packing and lack of forethought my chosen wardrobe for each night could be best described as “short-sleeved t-shirt and shorts”, with just enough of everything to get me through to Monday. It was also a good thing for the hash’s organizers too since all evening activities were held in a minor league baseball stadium with very little covering.

The Trails : I did two trails! Contrary to my initial planning I wound up doing two Atlanta-based hashes.

I rode with the Wheelhopper Hash on Saturday. The Wheelhopper trail had nearly seventy riders, was flat (this was Savannah), and took us around interesting parts of the city. I had a really good ride especially when I went the wrong way on a check and had to ride my ass off in order to regroup with the pack.

I ran the Black Sheep Hash on Sunday. I chose Black Sheep so that I could claim my one hundredth Black Sheep at InterAmericas. The trail was everything to be expected — mud, swamp, shiggy — with a little more flat-out running than my rotund body enjoys.

Yesterday my legs ached with the sort of pain that can only be achieved through exercise, something that hasn’t happened in a long time.

The Camaraderie : InterAmericas in Savannah was essentially a home game for Atlanta hashers. Because of this I saw many Atlanta hashers, some of whom I’ve not seen in a long time. I also saw some of the Colorado hashers that I’ve gotten to (somewhat) know through my three trips to Colorado for the Colorado InviHashes.

It was interesting that I saw some people just once (like Whiner, who I only saw on Thursday night) while I continued to run into some people over and over.

The Food At My Hotel : Apparently my hotel was the only one offering bacon as a part of their breakfast offering. SCORE! Other than that the hotel breakfast wasn’t anything special.

A New And Significantly Improved Public Enema
At the Black Sheep Hash we found out that there is another hasher named Public Enema out there. In addition to the jovial, Cheddarhead-running Atlanta-based male Public Enema there is also a seriously cute, twenty-something, blond DC-based(?) female Public Enema. UPGRADE!!! 🙂 While doing circle each Public Enema sat back-to-back on the ice, and the female Public Enema’s “hash friends” filled the bedpan which she was holding with beer for her to drink. No sooner than the thought “I hope she doesn’t stop drinking and pour that entire bedpan’s worth of beer onto our Public Enema.” she did. Thankfully for all involved our Public Enema has been hashing for ages and took the dousing without a care in the world. There are a few great action photos of this event, so if anyone finds one I think that it would make an awesome Cheddarhead gift for our Public Enema.

The Bad
The Beer : I can drink Yuengling, but I do not wish to drink Yuengling all of the time. In fairness to the organizers they also offered Natural Light at all hashes as well as Fat Tire and craft beers from Moon River at the stadium. By weekend’s end I was ready to take a break from drinking beer. Yeah, you read that right.

The Food (hash-related) : I heard the low country boil at the stadium on Sunday night was fantastic; the only problem with this for me was that I didn’t make it to the stadium for the group dinner on Sunday night. On Friday night the dinner meal consisted of poorly cooked hot dogs / hamburgers with baked beans. On Saturday night the dinner meal consisted of “pulled pork” with baked beans and cole slaw. Seriously, who thought giving hashers baked beans on two consecutive nights was a good idea? The lunches each day were fair at best, usually consisting of a sandwich and a piece of fruit, and a snack. I’ll cut the organizers some slack as I understand preparing meals for 1600 complainers isn’t the funnest job in the world.

Too Much Time Alone : On Thursday night I really overdid it and as you know paid the consequences on Friday morning. In part because my memory is not that short I found myself back at my hotel room at 10:00pm each of the other nights. I had intentions to go back out and hang, but not having arranged to meet someone at a specified time, nor having a roommate to instigate my return to the fun I went to sleep early the remaining nights. (It was nice not waking up with a hangover on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings however.)

The Ugly
My Figure : I’m still much fatter than I want to be, and my self-conscience was also not raised because more times than I can remember in recent history (the last six years) I either hugged a lot of people or had people literally pat me on the back — each time resulting in a hand being placed right where one of my “genetic issues which needs attention” resides. My distress has (finally) convinced me to work on these as well as my self-confidence in the near future.

My Two Unused Condoms : In the schwag bag we were given two condoms; mine are still contained within their packaging. It seemed if every woman I found attractive was attached to a male, or in one case turned me down at ITP-Reader Barb’s wedding ten years ago. 😉

The Hotel Cost : I have to take partial responsibility for this. I do not like sharing hotel rooms with people with whom I am not sleeping (a condommate if you will). It’s a “me” thing. Because of this I must foot the entire hotel bill, which for four nights at the Four Points by Sheraton (one of the four hash hotels) wound up costing me over $700 in part because I had to pay and additional $40 to park my car at the hotel. Can you say “This was Paulie’s ‘BIG’ vacation for the year.”?

I should have done more research to find out that there was a Quality Inn across the street from the hash hotels. Even if they wouldn’t allow me to cash in the two free nights I’ve accrued, I’m sure the cost would have been lower than that charged by the Four Points. I chose to stay in one of the four hash hotels the be part of the gang.

The Weather (Sunday) : Sunday was the final night of the event and because of this there was a dress-up cotillion (Gone With The Hash) at the baseball stadium. Since I’m not a dress-up type I decided to go to a local Packers bar to watch the Packers v. Falcons game. From what I understand the rain ruined a lot of the plans for the outdoor cotillion.

If you are an ITP-Reader who was in Savannah feel free to amend my list with a comment.

What Was Lost Has Been Found!
Remember those USB flash drives that I lost about a month (or more?) ago? Remember my disbelief that I could not locate them? On Saturday I moved my briefcase/messenger bag by picking it up from the bottom and felt something strange, something lumpy. Sure enough when I opened the zippered front pocket I found a quarter-sized hole, just large enough allow passage for the four USB flash drives and two pens that I recovered from the bottom of the bag. Now I need to figure out the best way to patch the hole so that my small items cannot escape the pocket via it again.

Bait And Switch?
Well, not really, I chose the title because this story-related photo shows sushi.
Bait And Switch?
I wish that I posted this photo because I took it. Instead, I’m using it to highlight the lack of communication which has convinced me never to purchase a Groupon again!

Last night I ate dinner at East Atlanta Thai and Sushi because I possess two Groupon coupons for the restaurant. Here is the description of the Groupon I bought.

Thai & Sushi – East Atlanta
$10 for $22 Worth of Asian-Fusion Cuisine

The Fine Print
Expires Dec 15, 2011
Limit 3 per person. Limit 1 per table. Dine-in only. Not valid with lunch specials.
See the rules that apply to all deals.

Last night I went to the restaurant and it was $1 sushi night. Having more than my fill of beer this weekend I decided that rather than try to run up my bill with alcohol I’d order three orders of $1 sushi, which you must order in two-piece quantities so it’s really $2 sushi, and an order of red curry beef. I calculated that this would cost me $17 before tax, so I’d lose about $4 in Groupon value when all was said and done.

As the sushi was delivered I told the waitress that I was going to use a Groupon, to which she apologized informing me that the $1 sushi was not eligible for Groupons. Huh? WTF? Look at the “Fine Print.” Where does it say that dinner specials are not valid??? I thought about arguing the point, but I wasn’t in a confrontational mood.

I paid my bill (what was not covered by the Groupon) and left a respectable tip since I should have asked about the Groupon before ordering and I figured the waitress shouldn’t be punished for the restaurant’s policy. I will eat at East Atlanta Thai and Sushi again to use my other Groupon, and perhaps again in the future. However, I will be deleting my Groupon account when I’ve used that last one. I’m tired of having to consult fine print and the interpretation thereof in making food purchasing decisions. My life is already complicated enough for me.

Is There Anyone Competent At Netflix Qwickster Netflix?
While on my drive home yesterday I heard that Qwickster — Netflix’s spawning of DVD-by-mail services — is no more. This bungling of what was a company with storing soaring stock prices will certainly be the subject of some MBA candidate’s thesis in the future.

Stats & Goals
Daily
Current Mood – relatively okay
Current Music – listening to a CBC Radio 3 “Breakfast Club” podcast
Website Of The Day – I’m a bad Mets fan because I didn’t realize that the Savannah Sand Gnats were a Mets minor league affiliate.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing yesterday
Morning Weigh-In – should have weighed myself today, but didn’t

Monthly
Foot Mileage – ~5.5 miles
Wheel Mileage – ~16.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 0 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Meals – lost count, far fewer than carnivorous
Carnivorous Meals – lost count, far more than vegetarian
Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

October Goals
– “Completely” recover from the bike crash (though I’m beginning to this this will never happen)
– Ride my bike no fewer than 100 miles
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run at least twice
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than fifteen vegetarian meals
– Lose three pounds

2011 Goals [will be a little more fluid than in past years]
– Reduce my weight by 25 pounds based on the my weight as measured on February 1st
Completely read the book Daily Negations which I received as a Christmas gift.
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business — one which does not get penalized.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
Run in no fewer than two one half-marathon
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

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15 Responses to I’m Back, Sorta, Kinda

  1. Barb says:

    I”m with you on the Groupon thing – we got screwed on a Whirlyball one, mis-read the fine print, you couldn’t book until 5 days or less of the day you wanted to go play. Like that was ever going to happen…….

    Good recap on the weekend- we just wandered around to the hashpitality suites in the later evening, never knowing (or caring) who we would run into. but – I know we didn’t stay out past midnight any of the nights – I just can’t hang that late after drinking beer all day. I saw Whiner Friday morning at the beer pickup, and at the stadium that night, but never again after that either. (or so I think I remember, 1500 people can mess with your memory)

    and – you were/are better off without Terri – she is Allan’s friend from college, but I think she is a weird girl.

    our parking was $15/day – so $60. The valet lost the key for a few hours, thought about trying to get a credit, but figured it would be too much effort. We had another key, and we had to get the beer stashed & trail laid Saturday morning.

  2. Yeah, I know what you mean about Terri (not ITP-Reader Terri for those not in the know). 😉

    $15/day? Wow, I never thought my $10/day was a bargain.

  3. Martha says:

    Two unused condoms, that is a shame, the least you could have done was use them as water balloons or something.

    Hash food is notoriously bad in my option. Not that’s it is easy to feed 1600 people but I would have had to spend a good chunk of my own money to feed myself for the weekend.

    I stayed overnight in Nashville last year, got a great deal on the hotel, like $70, I seem to remember parking being like $30 or 40 a night … 🙁

    I want to say at some point I saw that you couldn’t use the Groupon for $1 sushi night, but who knows when that might have been. EATS seems to put out the coupons pretty regularly (might not have even been a Groupon but LS or another one). I do know we’ve never tried to use one for $1 sushi night.

    Last time I shared a hotel room with someone, other than Jerry, was last year in Columbus for the Solider Marathon with CBT. I really didn’t mind, but it was for only one night, pretty much just slept and showered. Days and days may have been a different issue.

    So what is the ‘issue’ with your back, the lumps? I’ve noticed them, never bothered me…Jerry has several cysts, mostly on his legs, he’s had several removed but still has others. He’s told me what kind they are but I can’t remember. Hey they stop him from wearing a Speedo so they can stay as far as I’m concerned 🙂

    Can they be removed? If it will make your feel better, do it.

  4. Stacy Fox says:

    Ha! Whenever I see “Terri” I think ITP-Reader Terri, so I had to go back a second myself. Then I realized it wasn’t the ITP one. 🙂

    That really sucks about the Groupon! I’ve never used Groupon before. I have used Half Off Depot (halfoffdepot.com) and have never had a problem with them.

    Did you at least get to take some good pictures?

    Good choice on the Packer game, btw. I was there — did you see me? 😀 Considering we were in the 2nd last row at the very top of the Dome? I’m gonna guess highly unlikely!

    I was almost afraid to come here today…does this mean you haven’t had a chance to watch TAR yet either? I’m going to tonight!

  5. bets says:

    FWIW ITP-Reader Terri is a weird girl. But in the good way. 🙂

  6. Barb says:

    yes Bets – ITP-Reader Terri is definitely in a good way. And -she can sing at karaoke too!

    I never expected the food to be much more than edible – we went to a place friday afternoon while reccying the trail called the Green Truck Pub (very locals only type of place). Excellent (but expensive) burgers, and way too many funky beers, but we were so glad we did, so the bad burgers & dogs didn’t matter so much. I think I’ve always spent plenty of my own money on food at these events, had a great crab stew out on Tybee at A-Js at the extra credit beer stop. Head Nurse insisted we get some, and Just Licks Dix & I did not regret it.

    We roomed with Mango & Kat for 4 days, it wasn’t too bad, a little crowded, but once they figured out we didn’t all 4 have to be places at the same time, it was better.

    I watched TAR last night – just let me know when you all do. I still don’t have a favorite team, but the snowboarders are fun.

  7. Betsy, you were another one I only saw once. Though Wil U Suck said that he saw you while we were out riding the Wheelhopper.

    Yeah, it’s the lumps on my back to which I refer this time. I’ve never had anyone look at them (I know, shame on me) so I don’t know what they are (yet). They don’t hurt and haven’t increased in size since appearing (no scientific measurements have been taken) so except when I do something like use a door jamb to scratch my back I kind of forget they are there.

    I didn’t expect much of the food, but had heard rumor that it was catered by Paula Dean’s place, though maybe only on Sunday?

    I watched TAR online yesterday so I am TAR-compliant so fire away! I am like Team Dude much more than on the first episode.

    Of course I saw you Stacy! You were wearing Packers gear, right? 🙂 I took zero photos. In fact, I figured I’d either be drunk, hashing, or dodging rain so I left my camera at home. At least this gives me a reason to return to Savannah (and stay at a more reasonably-priced hotel) in the future.

  8. Jenka says:

    I never buy Groupons anymore, I either don’t manage to use them before they expire or there is some kind of fine print that precludes their use. I probably actually redeemed 1 or 2 out of a dozen or so I purchased before I gave up. LivingSocial, too.

    What are “storing stock prices?” 😉

  9. Storting stock prices are the ones you find when buying retail, or a typo not caught by a computer spellchecker. 😉

  10. Stacy Fox says:

    Hmmm. So then what are “storting” stock prices? 😉

  11. OH FUCK IT ALL!!!!

    Did I spell all of that correctly? 😛

  12. Stacy Fox says:

    LOL!! (I totally did)

  13. Terri (SW) says:

    Do I win the award for “Most Comments About a Person Not Mentioned in the Original Post :)?”

  14. whiner says:

    Hello Paulie, it was great seeing all the ATL hashers. WLB, don’t be so hard on yourself,I thought you looked well. Do get that lump looked at. I spent most of Friday at Tybee riding around and got waist high in the water, just so I can say I went swimming in October. Saturday I walked over 7 hours around and my hips were hurting by 9pm. I stopped at over 10 different bars, 3 allowed dogs, one gay, two very old but none that were really NASTY. Sunday, I found 2 different places to read all my WSJ for the week, drink and watch football. MC and I got along well, no issues there. Again, it was great seeing everyone, I miss you all. Panama won are you going there in 2013?
    Love you guys.

  15. Planning on having everything checked out, Whiner. Thanks.

    Sounds like you had a busy weekend.

    I went to sign up for the “early pledge” list for Panama but think I missed out. As of now I am planning on going there in 2013.

    Love you too man. Great seeing you again!

Comments are closed.