Monday, December 7, 2009

Free Beer!!

Yes indeed. I'm offering free beer - at least $110 worth. But there's a catch...

You see those charming ladies at Fit Milwaukee ( have put forth a challenge to me to run 110 miles in the month of December. Don't let those cherub-faced cuties fool you - they're devils in disguise! 110 miles?! The most I've probably ever run in a month before was 40. Seriously. In fairness to them, this challenge didn't come out of the blue. I was true to my 2009 resolution and I have kept a very active running year, and consistently ran a few miles every couple of days all year. BUT NOWHERE CLOSE TO 110 MILES IN A MONTH!! This is going to take a lot of willpower and drive - maybe more than I can muster alone. That's where you come in...

I've devised a plan to help me reach this goal. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that - in Milwaukee - nothing motivates like FREE BEER!! So here's the plan: you stay on me and push me to get to the 110-mile mark by midnight of December 31, 2009. If I make it, I'll buy at least $110 worth of beer for a party at The Blatz Condominiums' Party Room (beer from Blatz Liquor; If I don't make it, it's your fault for not pushing me hard enough and NO BEER FOR YOU!! Truly the American way.

If FREE BEER isn't enough, there's more good news: after 20 days in to December, I'm 12.7 miles over the pace! To get 110 miles in 31 days it takes at least 3.55 miles per day. After 20 days, I should be at 71.0 miles, I'm presently at 83.74. Only 26.2 more miles to go!

I hope that I don't get injured, but it's always a possibility - especially running in snow and on ice. If I get hurt and can't complete the challenge, I'll still buy - as long as I'm over the pace at the time of the injury. (e.g. If I break a leg after Day 20, I better have at least (3.55 x 20) 71 miles in.) So that means you can't let up on me!

Please use the hashtag #PushMike when tweeting your motivations. I respond well to threats too.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Perfect Dinner

Tonight, I got home and realized that my DVR was 90% full. Now I could just delete junk that I'll probably never watch (that "The Soup" episode from August probably isn't topical anymore"), but instead, I decided to watch a few things that I hate to miss. In my sights: missed, Sunday morning episodes of Wisconsin Foodie (filmed right here in Pittsburgh!). So, sure enough, I watched a couple of episodes. It's always a good show and I feel a certain sense of pride watching my home state produce world-class products with such passion and dedication [].

My real mistake? Watching Wisconsin Foodie on an empty stomach! Yup. After 2 epsisodes I had a hankering for some of Wisconsin's finest cheese and a glass of red wine. Going many years back (more than I care to admit), my wife (then girlfriend) got me to understand the simple pleasure that is a nice wine, fresh bread, and good cheese. Our tastes have matured over the years (Cabernet has replaced White Zinfandel; Gouda has replaced Colby), but my appreciation for this simple dinner staple has never wavered. So off to my local Sendik's I head [] and, in the spirit of Wisconsin's Deer Hunting Season, I came home with an 18-pointer!! Sartori Reserve Bella Vitano. We paired this with a 2000 il Leopardo - a Californian Nebbiolo. It's a wine that's deceptively light (Pinot Noir-like), but packs a punch at 13.9%. We had a couple of blocks of cheese from Madison's awesome Fromagination (, a must-visit the next time you're in Madison) to dice up too. These were Roth Kase Gran Queso (3-time American Cheese Society winner; 2-time World Cheese Gold medalist) and Marieke’s Foenegreek Gouda (voted "Best of Class" in the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association United States Championship Cheese Contest; 2nd place in the 2008 World Championship Cheese Contest). I was in heaven!! My favorite of all is the Gran Queso, but all 3 are stellar Wisconsin cheeses. To complement these fine cheeses I added a few slices of dry, herbed salami and some fresh-baked French bread. Truly, an evening meal from God!

In summary, I will never, ever cringe at being called a "Cheesehead" again. In fact, I will accept your "Cheesehead" compliment with gracious appreciation and pass you a knife so that you may have the opportunity to cut the cheese!