Welcome to the World Kianna Skye Chasey

Introducing Kianna Skye Chasey, born just hours ago weighing 9.1 pounds and 21.6 inches long!

I can't wait to meet my Papa and Nonna!

What's all this talk I've been hearing about the Red Sox?  I don't know what they are, but I already love them!

It's so good to be here!

(Baby, Mom and Dad are doing great!)



Wine Review: 04 Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) blend from Ribera del Buero Roble by Real Sito de Ventosila (Spain)

Spanish wine is probably the best value old world wine that we American’s can get (at least here on the East Coast of the US).  Most of the Spanish wine I drink is from the Rioja region, with my favorite Spanish varietals including Tempranillo, Garnacha and Monastrell.

Here’s the thing about Spanish wine: there are about three million acres of vitis vinifera planted in the country, making it the most widely planted wine producing nation in the world, but interestingly it’s only the third largest producer of wine on the planet (behind France and Italy of course).  That’s because Spain produces low yields from old vines planted in dry, infertile soil (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The region where the PradoRey I’m drinking was made is located in the northern plateau of Spain.  The bottle notes indicate that this is is 95% Tinto Fino (which is another word for Tempranillo), 3% Cab Sauv and 2% Merlot. 

Let’s begin:

Color (8/10)
Inky red with a rusty hue.  This is a very nice color, aside from the rust which speaks of a slight tannic overload.  No matter, and it won’t taint the rest of my review.  This is a tough one to score, because I know what a good Tempranillo should look like (ruby red with a light glow on the edges) but this is a blend and I think the merlot changes the hue.  Then again, I could just be color blind since I really don’t know what I’m talking about…so let’s call this a solid 8 and move on.

I said LETS MOVE ON!!  Stop staring at the glass, you’re creeping me out.

Nose (27/30)
Ah the nose.  First we swirl (note that uncorked this baby an hour ago and it’s been decanting in the glass; a Reidel; so yes it’s had a chance to open up), then we sniff. 

I closed my eyes and did kinda of a “wine association” thing (similar to “word association” but different).  Here’s what I got: Almonds, Soy Sauce, Black Currant, Green olives and HOT SAUCE! 

I love the nose on this wine, but at a whopping 14.7% alcohol this is a HOT wine, as in two glasses and you’ll feel it.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but again I digress.  I score this a 27 on the nose both for its complexity and fruit forward goodness.

Palate (37/40)
“Hoo-Yah” this is a medium textured wine with the merlot rounding out the finish in a spicy, black pepper pucker.  As it hits your mouth you get an infusion of butterscotch for just an instant and then the spices start to shine through like an old vine Zin, but drier. 

I scored this a 37 out of 40 points.  I enjoyed it a great deal, but it was a little too much on the finish.  Again, as with the color, I’ve not had a Tempranillo with Merlot mixed in (although, the Cab Sauv really balances this out nicely).

Don’t get me wrong, I love this wine: but I’m not dancing around the room with excitement about it (given the time and two or three more glasses, that would be a possibility, but there I go with that digression thing again).

Overall (19/20)
So, here we are, looking for an overall score.  I gave this a 19 out of 20, which I know a lot of you who actually KNOW what you’re talking about when it comes to wine (please remember: I am a doofus, and I’m making most of what I’m writing here up as I go along); but when you consider that I’ve never had a blend like this, and the Tempranillo really shines through in a well balanced (although slightly alcohol hot) wine; I have to call this as I see, smell and taste it: and this is at least a 19.  It might be even better than that if I knew what I was talking about.


8+27+37+19= 91

I get accused of scoring my wines very highly, but you have to remember that my WIFE is the one with the palate in this family, and she picks all of the winners.  I can’t remember the last time she picked a 80 to 90 point wine, and she didn’t do that tonight.

The 2004 Tinto Fino blend from Ribera del Buero Roble in Spain, produced by Real Sito de Ventosila.  This is a keeper.


- Steve


Fellow Runner Podcasters, Lend me your Promos!

Do you produce or take part in a podcast about running?  Would you like some free publicity on a goofy little podcast that will be heard by some old and new media journalists as well as several podcast hosting service provider sales folks? 

Have I got a deal for YOU! (actually, it’s more of a free OFFER than it is a “deal”).

In a few weeks (last week of June or first week of July) I’ll be producing a VERY SPECIAL episode of Phedippidations titled “More Running Podcasts” as a follow-up to an episode I first produced back in September of 2008 (Fdip152: Running Podcasts).

If you produce or contribute to a podcast that is related to the topic of running, consider this your invitation to record a short (less than 2 minutes) audio introduction telling us what your show is about, what it’s called and where listeners can find it.

Send your audio file or promotional announcement in an email message to Steve@steverunner.com

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I won’t be able to mention every running podcast that’s out there, because there’s just not enough time (and I really don’t want to make the entire content of the episode a recital of the ever growing list).  This is why I’m posting this blog entry today; to remind you that the sooner you send me some audio, the better your chances for getting a mention. 

Please keep it short. One to two minutes is all I’ll have time to play, although if you’re unsure of the duration I can edit it down for you.

If I do not mention your podcast on this special episode, it’s only because I couldn’t fit it in, and by not sending me any audio I assumed the you didn’t really care to get a mention (which is cool, but please don’t feel offended that I didn’t include a mention of your show if you don’t send me any audio.  Consider this is fair warning!).

Over the past month or so, I’ve been asked by several old and new media journalists, and marketing/sales people at a couple of different podcast hosting services, to recommend other running related podcasts to listen to.  I’ve been sending them to runningppodcasts.org, but I realize now that it would be much better if they heard your voice instead of reading a directory entry.

That’s why I want to produce this special episode titled “More Running Podcasts”.

So how about it?  Here’s your chance to get some free promotion and to let the non-running/non-podcast-listening world hear about your GREAT podcast!  You could be the next or at the very least, make a few listener-friends who might not otherwise have heard of your running related podcast!

Run long and taper!

- Steve


Wine Review: 2008 Gouguenheim Malbec, Vale Escondido Mendoza Argentina

Okay, have you noticed that I drink a lot of Malbec?  Have you noticed that I drink a lot of Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina?  Have you noticed that I SHOULD BE LIVING IN ARGENTINA working at a vineyard?


Yeah, welcome to my life.  When I win the lottery or accept that HUGE multi-year contract from Entercomm for Phedippidations I’m packing my wife, puppy and anyone else who wants to join us in our new life in South America.


So, this is going to be a VERY quick review of the ’08 Gouguenheim Malbec that I picked up at a local wine store for a mere $12 US.  I just want to get to the basics here, and understand that you’re not interested in my pontifications.

So, here we go. Quickly: because you don’t have time to read my rambings, and I have another glass of this stuff to consume.

Color (10/10)

Yeah, sue me.  I scored this a perfect TEN in color.  I did that not because I popped this open for my wife and I at dusk, but because I actually held it to the light as is my style: and YIKES, it’s the perfect color for a Malbec.

Have you ever witnessed the color of a good Malbec?  It’s DEEP DARK and PURPLE…but actually, purple only describes the hint of it’s color, this is more LICORICE color than it is purple, but when held to the light, you see this purple SHEEN…it almost GLOWS it’s so deep; which is exactly what you want in a Malbec.  Well done Gouguenheim.  Me likee.  For color, you’ve earned a 10.

Nose (26/30)
Have you ever grabbed a bowl of cherries and sprinkled hot cayenne pepper over them and taken a wiff?  No?  Really? Well, then you’ve not smelled anything like this.  It’s a combination of sweet and hot; and the combination works.  I won’t belabor the point this is worthy of a 26 score.  I’d have given it a higher score, but the nose was lighter than I’d hoped for in a Malbec, which is fine: but there was also this hint of blueberries on the nose, and it was too light to brag about: so 26 it is.

Palate (38/40)
Very nice!! This wasn’t as rich and thick as some Malbecs from Mendoza that I’ve savored, which means it’s a good summer wine.  I cooked a VERY thick steak tonight, and this wine went extremely well with the meat; but when I review wine it has to be independent of the food I’m having with it (only because I’m a doofus, and really don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to wine, so I can’t let food get in the middle of my tastings).  This Gouguenheim Malbec was great: light bodied but packing a punch in sweet tangy goodness.  The fruit shines on this one, and I got notes of red apple, cherry, watermelon and also freshly cut grass.  Remember when we were kids and chewed on grass stalks?  THAT’s what I’m talking about here: welcome to your past.  This was good stuff.  38 points, well deserved.

Overall (19/20)
I don’t score a lot of wines this high, although if you’ve been reading Intervals for a while (how long have I been writing these things?) you might disagree.  I’ll yield to your opinion; but I like to think I’m stingy when it comes to high overall ratings.  This 2008 Gouguenheim Malbec was fantastic, and overall: considering the mouth feel (light, not syrupy) the texture (no tannic crystals at all, yet still strong and powerful), and the nose (cherry pepper goodness) I have to give this a solid 19 for a score.  This is exactly what I’m hoping for in a Malbec.  I got what I wished for.


10+26+38+19= 93

Interestingly this is the same score that I gave the Italian 07 Cantina Zaccagnini Riserva…but this one is well deserved.

Trust me, the  2008 Gouguenheim Malbec from the Vale Escondido in Mendoza Argentina.  It’s a GREAT Malbec that you will thank me for.


- Steve


Opening Night for the Worcester Tornadoes

Tonight I’ll be at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field for the sixth opening night of the Worcester Tornadoes; our local Canadian-American (independent) League baseball team. 

This is baseball at it’s finest, with great athletes such as catcher Alex Trezza, infielders Omar Pena (the younger brother of Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena); local favorite Chris Colabello, and California native Nick Salotti; just to name a few.

I love this game.  Baseball is a game of athleticism, coordination, strategy, coercion and trickery.  Ball players have to constantly “psych out” their opponents, giving them the impression of confidence and ability.  They must attempt to steal bases, execute a “bunted ball” at the very last millisecond and judge the abilities of an opposing defensive player to “tag them out”.

The great Red Sox slugger Ted Williams once said “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”

This is a game of statistics, percentages and chance.  Going into tonight’s game infielder Omar Pena has an on base percentage (OBP) of .392 which gives him almost a 40% chance of reaching a base every time he steps up to the plate, but his batting average is .300 thus he’ll get a hit less than one out of three times at the plate.

It is in KNOWING this that, as a baseball fan, you can more appreciate each attempt that a player makes in helping his team to win the game. 

Tornadoes pitcher Albert Ayala has only pitched 3.2 innings over 3 games.  He’s responsible for one win and one loss and has an earned run average of 4.91 (meaning that, on average per nine innings when he is pitching, the other team will get almost 5 runs in)…and when he takes to the mound we will cheer for him, with fanatic enthusiasm because we know; nay we are CERTAIN that he is going to strike that batter out, or force him to hit a “pop fly”, easily caught by someone in the infield, and that his 4.91 ERA will drop like a lead balloon. 

The numbers are important in baseball.  They help us to understand and predict what is happening, and what might happen on the field of play.

When you’re at a ball park with friends (and your son; if he’ll go with you to the game) there’s nothing so fine as a bag of peanuts, an ice cold beer and a ball game taking place before you.

I love this game, and the Worcester Tornadoes are MY team.  They play hard with a great passion for the sport.  They work together as a squad of professionals, enhancing each others performance and supporting each other through every move on the field.

Tonight I’ll be in a box seat of section J, right along the third base side behind the Tornadoes dug-out.  I’ll have a few beers, probably a hot dog and some peanuts and cheer with my friends as the Tornadoes play against the Sussex Skyhawks of New Jersey

The Skyhawks have a winning percentage of .571, having won 4 out of the 7 games they’ve played thus far in the season.  My Tornadoes are at .333 with only 2 wins of the 8 games they’ve played (having just been shut out by the Quebec Les Capitales in a three game series).

Tonight I predict a Tornadoes win, as they come home to the season opener at Fitton Field at the College of the Holy Cross.

But there’s an 85% chance of rain tonight, with a band of thunderstorms due to roll in through the first hour of the game.  Me?  I’m betting we’ll only get a few drops and plan to be at the ball park for the first pitch: whenever that first pitch takes place.

Officially, Summer is still three weeks away, but as far as we Tornadoes fans are concerned; it begins tonight.

You see, we have a baseball game to go to, in our park with our team: and if the game isn’t cancelled I’ll be there to watch and cheer as the boys of summer come to play ball.

Go Tornadoes!


Cory Doctorow writes in 1,700 words what I’ve been thinking about the iPad

For months now I’ve been voicing my opinion (some might say in “terrets like fashion”) about my long-standing aversion of all things Apple.  I even wrote a brief one paragraph blog post here, titled “Why on Earth (or any other planet) would I want an iPad?” which raised the question which has been perplexing me since the gadget first came out.

A lot of people who read this post (and my ongoing Tweets on Twitter) regarding my lack of love for the Apple-verse, took great offense at what I was saying: and in the process completely misunderstood my perspective and reasoning.

I had been trying to articulate the idea that I felt that the new iPad wasn’t something that anyone really needed.  That I felt the iPad device was hampered (crippled) by Apple, that it lacked the ability to be tinkered with by creative people, and that it was merely a platform specifically designed to trick owners into spending fistfuls of dollars on applications and content (point of disclosure: I have an iPhone/iPad application in the iTunes Market), without the ability to share that content with friends and family.

Most of all, I was flummoxed by (what I believe to be) the ridiculous notion that it was “ground-breaking”, “magical” and “innovative” (in every sense of the word, it is NONE of these things).

My experience with Apple goes back almost 18 years, when I worked for Alpine Computer Systems, Inc. out of Holliston, Massachusetts.  As a field engineer responsible for designing, wiring, implementing, programming and configuring the first local area networks (using mostly Novell Netware) I knew a bit about Macintosh computers.  Several of the local newspapers and graphical design companies that I worked with had their Macs connected to their LANs.  I wasn’t much of an Apple fan, back then, as just about anything I needed to do in order to make Mac applications and hardware compatible with the rest of the world (Unix, Mainframes, Novell and Microsoft) was a kludge.

Back then, I looked at Apple products as pc-wanna-be’s; a candy-corn Disney version of an operating system that made cute noises and had pretty icons dancing around the screen in an effort to confuse the user into thinking they were using ANYTHING but a personal computer. 

Prior to working for Alpine, a friend let me borrow his original Macintosh computer (circa 1984) for several months, as I was in need of a computer to write up the technical documentation for a “touch screen” based radio station remote control system (running on IBM compatibles); and my Commodore 64 wasn’t powerful enough to do the job.

I wasn't impressed, and found both the hardware and OS to be frustratingly simplistic. I ended up typing the document on my Commodore 64 (using it as a remote terminal to a Newstar wire-edit server we had running at the radio station we were working at).

I understand that Apple has come along way since then, and that their computers and laptops are the finest in the world…still, the impression I was left with, about the Apple OS, is that it was the “kid sister of a REAL operating system”.  I was left without a love for anything Apple related…that is, until the company started getting into Consumer products.

I love the iPod…it’s slick, sleek, functional and there are many third party add-ons that work well with it.  I own two myself, a G4 Nano and a G1 Shuffle; both great products that I’ve gotten a lot of use with…BUT, I don’t buy a lot of music with these, I pretty much listen to free podcasts exclusively.  The whole DRM thing really bugged me with the iTunes store, and aside from a Black Lab song that I purchased when thousands of us around the world decided to “Bum Rush the Charts” I’ve not purchased any songs on iTunes; I prefer to purchase music directly from the artists I listen to, or through non-DRM channels.

So, I’ve never been an Apple Fan Boy, and when I hear someone go on, and on, and on, and ON about how wonderful and beautiful and “game changing” Apple is, especially with their iPhone and now this iPad thing: I usually just smile quietly to myself and shrug my shoulders as if to say “okay, whatever; I’m glad you’re happy.”

See: I don’t think it’s wrong to own an iPhone or iPad.  I know many people enjoy these products and consider them to be fantastic in many ways: I don’t harbor disdain for such opinions and would expect that “Apple Fans” would regard me with the same respect.


I made the mistake, back in April, of giving my honest opinion when asked about the iPad.  “Are you going to get one?” I was asked by an iFriend.

“No.” I answered, not wanting to elaborate.

“Really?  Seriously? It’s most amazing, game changing magical and innovative device ever made!” my iFriend insisted.  “Don’t you agree?”

“I do not agree” I answered through clenched teeth; holding back my true feelings on the subject but not wanting to offend my iFriend.

“But HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE the iPad?!” my iFriend trembled “it’s so cool and sleek and futuristic!!”

It was then that I launched into a salvo of points highlighting why I was unimpressed with Apples version of a tablet computer; and why I felt that this device was not something I’d ever spend money on.

I’ll spare you that argument, except to say that my iFriend was left with drool coming out of his mouth and a neck-snapped expression on his slapped with reality face.

And THAT’s when the tweets and emails started pouring in, a few of which were quite heated and defensive.  Most comments about my lack of enthusiasm for the iPad were reasonable and made good points; while others transmitted the unwritten message that “I must be crazy not to love the iPad!”

Myself, all I could think of was that whatever they were putting in the Kool-Aide must have been delicious; but I’ll stick to my Malbec.

A few weeks ago, I took my wife to Best Buy to have her check out some consumer electronics.  She was looking to get a new notebook computer and some kind of an ebook reader.

Knowing that the iPad promised some kind of convergence on these two themes, I showed her the $1,000 64G iPad WiFi and asked if this was what she wanted.  I got the impression that it was and so a few days later placed my order with Apple.

Later that afternoon, she called me to ask if I had ordered her the gadget.  “Yes!” I told her, “It’ll be here in a few weeks”.

She asked me to cancel the order.  When I asked her why she told me that what she was really looking for was a new notebook and an ebook reader.  The iPad didn’t impress her.

We are of like minds, that wife of mine and I.

Then, today I came across an article written by Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, blogger, journalist and co-editor of the blog Boing Boing.  It was titled “Why I won’t buy and iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either)” and KER-BLAM, there before me was the best articulated explanation as to why I don’t like the iPad.

I urge you to read his essay.  It’s well thought out and brilliant.

At some point, in the next year, Google and other companies will begin to sell an Android version of a tablet computer: which I will take a close and serious look at.  I’m not opposed to the idea of a tool that integrates what I’m already doing with my smartphone and laptop; something that could bridge the gap for the content that I’m looking to create; but will I need such a device?  Probably not…but I’d be much more willing to spend $300 dollars for something I’d use once in a while, than $1000 dollars for something that would end up on my coffee table, chewed on by my dog.

- Steve