Will Run Hills for Wine

Dundee Wine Run 1When a girlfriend asks you to run a half marathon on her “birthday weekend” you can’t refuse. When she tells you it’s kind of hilly, but there’s a great after party, you just have to suck it up and sign up.

July 10th 2011, marked the second annual Fueled by Fine Wine One-Half Marathon held in Dundee, Oregon in the heart of wine country, and Team Bubbles was there to suffer and celebrate.

I picked up the Team Bubbles Captain (the birthday girl) at 5:30am to make the drive from Portland to Dundee, and we arrived with just enough time to drop off our post-race paraphernalia at a friend’s house, meet up with the other members of Team Bubbles and head to the park down the street for the 7am start. I knew I was in trouble when the first turn across the start line was straight up a 45-degree hill into a Dundee neighborhood. The paved road quickly turned into gravel when we turned off into a winery at Mile 2.

Then the fun began.

Running along dusty dirt paths between rows of vines reminds me of the fact that picking up the rear on a dusty road is never a desirable position to be in. I used the water at Mile 3 to wash the grit out of my mouth.

Dundee Wine Run 2

And Miles 4-12 weren’t much better. Some of the terrain was so steep that I could power walk it faster than I could run it. I heard more F Bombs uttered in this race than I have in any other race, including the three marathons I’ve run.

“Are you f*cking kidding me?! Another f*cking hill?!” was the mantra of the day.

At some point between Mile 12 and 13 we turned onto a paved road and encountered one of the few downhill portions of the entire route. Thankfully I still had a good kick left and sprinted the last mile of downhill to the finish line where the rest of Team Bubbles was already standing in line to collect their wine glasses for the after party. We quickly grabbed our glasses and went straight to the Argyle table for a glass of what else but bubbles.

Dundee Wine Run 3

I pity the poor people who chose this race as their very first half marathon. They have probably all hung up their running shoes and decided this whole half marathon thing just isn’t for them. Don’t give up! The Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon is just some crazy person’s idea of seeing how much torture runners will endure if there’s free wine at the end.  Apparently the answer is “a lot.”

We worked our way through the post-race nosh of salami, bread, cheese and brownies, and sampled plenty of wine. In the end we raised our glasses of bubbles in a toast to surviving the crazy course, and swore we’d never run this race again.

Team_Bubbles

Epilogue

The day after the race I drove 647 miles to Lake Tahoe. When I stopped to get gas after four hours of driving I could barely get out of the car, let alone walk. I have been running for 30 years, and I felt like I had just run a marathon for the first time. I lived on Advil for three days after this race. But like childbirth, you forget the pain, and even though we all said we would never do it again I’m sure you’ll see us standing in line at the wine tent after the race next year with dirt on our shoes and smiles on our faces.

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Oh the Spammers I Get on this Site

I’m sure many of you wonder why I make you have to work for a comment on this site, and why you have to provide an email address. I can tell you I am not collecting email addresses so I can spam you. Quite the opposite. I use the email addresses to either whitelist you (allow) or blacklist you (block spammers).

The first time you leave a comment here you have to enter an email address and I have to approve the comment. The second time you leave a comment you get approved automatically. Why? Spam!

The spambots are rampant and ridiculous. Let me share a few “comments” that have landed on this page. I will not share the links that are associated with these people, because I don’t want you to give them any traffic or get any viruses by clicking thru.

Some sample comments on my blog entitled “The 10 Commandments of Travel,” with my own comments in bold.

I opine that to receive the credit loans from banks you ought to present a firm motivation. However, once I’ve received a small business loan, because I wanted to buy a building. I’m not sure what this has to do with buying a building, but good luck.

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And on the topic of “How to Win an Emmy: Add it to your Bucket List!”

Scads of substantial, tough to obtain data here. Checked this blog article by accident on Yahoo. You’re truly making me reexamine my feeling about this stuff and rarely does that happen to me… LOL. Thanks! Accident my ass, but I’m glad you’re reexamining your feelings about the Emmys.

Hi. I go through a few of one’s other posts and wished to understand in the event you would be interested in exchanging blogroll links? Can haz cheezburger.

Classic exposition, I have also mentioned it in my blog article. But it is a pity that almost no frienddiscussed it with me. I am very happy to see your article. You have no click thrus because I’m not posting your bogus comments. So there! Ha!

That was intriguing . I like your finesse that you put into your post . Please do move forward with more similar to this. Why thanks. I’m so grateful for your opinion. Now go spam someone else.

So now you know why I require an email address to leave a comment. Once I know you’re not a spammer you are whitelisted and can comment without my approval. If you don’t want to comment you can just click on the little heart at the bottom of each blog and show some love. :^)

Cheers and Jeers for July 8, 2010

Cheers: to Showtime for being nominated for a Technical Emmy for their Interactive Sports technology, and Dexter Interactive. I have been technical lead on their Showtime Boxing app for the past 18 months. Woot! You can see a demo of the application here: Showtime Boxing.

Cheers: to all of the Portland food carts downtown for providing me with ample lunchtime choices. My favorite by far is Rick’s Wild Seafood.

Cheers: to summer for finally showing up in Portland.

Cheers: to my friend Veanne who has kept her brilliant sense of humor throughout her battle with breast cancer.

Jeers: to the breast cancer and chemo that is making my friend Veanne feel like crap!

Cheers: to my friend Al in St. Petersburg, Florida for hosting me for a fun weekend in Florida. The Salvador Dali museum was the highlight of my trip.

Jeers: to the people two rows behind me on my red eye flight to Tampa who decided it was a good idea to watch a movie on their laptop without wearing headphones.

Jeers: to Hurricane Alex who made it rain the entire time I was in Florida!

Cheers: to Beth for taking me to see The Wailers at the KINK Live Performance Lounge on Tuesday.

Jeers: to BP for being so greedy.

Cheers: to Eleanor Reese Morse, who, together with her late husband A. Reynolds Morse, founded the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mrs. Morse passed away the day before I toured the museum. Fantastic collection of Dali art. I took home a print of my favorite piece Nature Morte Vivanteb (Still Life–Fast Moving).

Cheers: to all of the people who will be walking the Survivor Lap at Relay for Life in Lake Oswego this weekend.


To the Point Topics for April 22, 2010 Show

These were the topics of discussion for the two To the Point shows we taped on April 22, 2010. You will be able to find the shows on our YouTube channel and on the To the Point website soon!

Show 1

Topic 1

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will not accept demands that Israel stop building in occupied East Jerusalem. Will this cause a new flare up in violence or is Israel using this as a bargaining chip to jump start stalled Palestinian – Israeli peace talks?

Topic 2

On April 16, the Securities and Exchange commission filed a complaint against Goldman, Sachs & Company and one of its employees Fabrice Tourre. The suit alleges that Goldman, Sachs created a synthetic housing-market bond that was sure to fail, sold the bond to customers, and then conspired with a short seller to bet against it. Could this one bond and the people involved have triggered the collapse of the financial markets, and one of the worst recessions in recent history, all while Goldman Sachs posted record profits?

Topic 3

The Portland City Council recently approved a plan that would impose new regulations on where and how developers can build along an 11-mile stretch of the Willamette River. The River Plan, as it’s called, would require developers to set aside 15 percent of their property for landscaping when they start projects, and would require any existing project that expands a business’s footprint would undergo a new city review process. Many businesses along the river are already crying foul, and rumor has it that Washington is already courting the ports and rail yards to move north. Is the new River Plan the best way to strike a balance between businesses and the river environment, or will it just drive businesses out of the state?

Show 2

Topic 1

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made a successful appeal to the Iraqi court to order a recount of votes for the recent parliamentary elections, due to allegations of widespread fraud. Election results showed former prime minister Ayad Allawi with a slim lead. Will this recount signal an end to the Maliki government and a shift in US-Iraq relations?

Topic 2

The FAA recently imposed a moratorium on all new wind projects in the Mid-Columbia region of Oregon. The reason? The wind turbines interfere with a military radar site in Fossil. Wind farms developed by large corporations and private land owners in Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Klickitat counties have time-sensitive binding power purchase agreements and a wide variety of contracts in place that could cost the Mid-Columbia region to lose $2-3 billion dollars in new investments, jobs, property taxes, land leases, and other economic activities if the ban is not lifted. Did the FAA blindside these projects by shutting them down in such a critical stage, and do the landowners have any recourse? What’s the real story here?

Topic 3

The Portland Police Bureau has been under siege for recent actions resulting in numerous deaths. Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman requested further review, and the FBI is now beginning an investigation into at least one specific incident, the fatal police shooting of Aaron Campbell, an unarmed man who was shot in the back earlier this year. If the investigation finds violations of federal criminal civil rights statutes, what can and should be done to get the police bureau back on track?

Scene in Portland: Leverage, NBC Movie, Con-Con and more…

Scene_in_PortlandNBC Movie of the Week Shooting in Portland

I was standing in my agent’s office when the breakdown for NBC’s Movie of the Week In Her Shoes—not to be confused with the Cameron Diaz movie of the same name—came in. The excitement of yet another major movie project coming to Portland certainly created a buzz. I have not read the entire script, but I will say it involves a few very topical events, including families struggling to cope when a family member is away on military duty.

First-round auditions are over for most roles and callbacks are in progress. So far no major roles have been cast out of Portland or L.A.; fingers crossed for all of the Portland actors!

Extras Only hasn’t announced if they will be doing the extras casting for this project, but my guess is they will. So go sign up to be an extra if you want to be part of this movie.

In Her Shoes will be directed by John Kent Harrison and films in Portland during May.

Leverage Needs You

So you missed the Thug Boot Camp that Lana Veenker put on and you want to know if you can still be involved with Leverage. The answer is YES! The staff at Extras Only Casting needs you. They are looking for all types of people, not just “thugs.” They need all minorities, and upscale business types as well.

Go to www.extrasonly.com, fill in your information, and put the word “LEVERAGE” in the Project Code box at the bottom of the page. Extras Only is the premiere extras agency in town, and there are no fees. They get paid when you get paid. They cast almost every major project that comes into town, so if you don’t get on Leverage they may be able to use you for something else.

Leverage Fans Converge on Portland for Con-Con 2010
Back in October of 2009, a group of fans got together and decided to meet up in Portland to share their passion for their favorite TV show: Leverage. What started as an idea became a full fledged convention (Con-Con) the weekend of March 20th, attended by hundreds of fans from around the world. The highlight of the convention (held at the Governor Hotel) was a Q&A session featuring the Leverage cast and executive producer Dean Devlin.

Industry Networking Events

Schmooze, a networking event for people from all areas of the film community (casting directors, musicians, crew, and of course actors), is happening on Monday, April 12, 7pm to 10pm at Urban Grind, 2214 NE Oregon St, Portland St. Bring your self, your screenplay, your project and network with the local film community. The event is free, and the organizers hope to make it a regular event.

Casting Couch

Spots recently shot: Humana, Leverage promo. Recent and current castings: XBox, Capital One, Oregon Lottery, AT&T, T-Mobile, Kroger (Fred Meyer), NBC Movie of the Week In Her Shoes, Leverage, Meet Jane Doe.

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