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Avenue of the Giants Half Marathon

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May 5, 2012

I was just bolting down to the finish line as if I was running away from a crazy dog or a bad dream. One more half marathon had ended and this time it did not feel like half death. Due to the lack of a meticulously executed training plan, I had told myself  that I would keep the timing and the stupidity under control. So, I ran this race well with myself without trying to outpace my mind. In the end, I thought it was beautifully executed race. I kept my pace around 10:19 min/mile and I came home without wincing. 

About the race itself, this is one of the prettiest courses I have ever run. I would put it right alongside my runs in Mammoth lakes and in Stanley Park, Vancouver. The entire race is run amidst old, tall and fabulous Redwood trees whose presence make you feel insignificant in the worldly scheme of things.  If you ever want to run a race married to your watch and times, this is a bad place to do it because this is one of those races you need to enjoy  the surroundings around you and run.  Yet, if you are picking a race to do a PR, this is not a bad choice at all because the course is flat and easy. 

One last word- I tip my hat to the organizers Six Rivers Running Club []. The arrangements were excellent and the aid stations were abundant. A well managed race and kudos to all the volunteers. There was nothing haphazard and stressful about running here. ImageImageImage

Cameras can never do justice to the beauty of this place and my camera and photography skills might make them look ordinary. So, please check this out for yourself.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

May 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm

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moment of zen yesterday while running. I was telling myself constantly “Conversation pace”. Then realized, not only for a good run but also for a good life “Conversation pays” 🙂

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

April 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm

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Lets Play Ball

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The NFL Playboy Association & the Owners Association announced a new collective bargaining deal today ending a six month long clusterfuck, which was threatening to restore Sundays and Mondays to American families. The agreement was 6000 pages long and neither side claimed full knowledge of it but seem to have signed it just because ABC was threatening to do Desperate Housewives re-run on Sundays. Speaking on the occasion, NFL commissioner Goger Roodell said “In order to repay the fans for their unflinching support and commitment to the game, all teams will observe “5 dollar Chalupa” day on opening day of theseason.On this day, fans will be able to enjoy a Chalupa for $8 and roar in support of their favorite team.” Bisele Gundchen, spokesperson for the NFL Playboy Association said ” Nothing excites me more than seeing athletic and muscular men in compromising positions. Sundays are back Baby!! “

Experts at Touchdown Fetish magazine have identified the following as the most important changes to the game.

  • Coaches who die during the Gatorade Bath will be not be eligible for workers compensation.
  • Rookies under the age of 21 or with a GPA over 3.6 will be automatically suspended for the season.
  • In order to help the NFL reduce its ecological footprint, the environmentally conscious Bay Area teams Raiders and Niners have pledged not to score during the entire season.
  • As a part of our “NFL cares” initiative, tailgating parties will be made strictly vegan.
  • It is now mandatory for players to sanitize their hands with Gem-X Aloe Hand Sanitizer  prior to every snap.
  • There is a 25% reduction in all fines and penalties if you like NFL on Facebook.
  • Non-white players appearing in a game in the State of Arizona are likely be shot in their belly buttons.
  • Quarterbacks will be required to wear helmets even when they are having sex and wear condoms even when they are playing.
  • Meaningless numbers on player jerseys will be replaced with last four digits of their Social and their Mother’s maiden name.
  • Every fantasy team will have at least one Victoria Secret Model.
  • Players are allowed only 3 F bombs per minute and anyone who violates the rule will be fucking punished.
  • Five touchdowns or two wardrobe malfunctions are guaranteed in every Super Bowl until 2018.
  • Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will accept that he is an asshole on national TV.
  • Players are allowed to tweet lewd photos only with NFL logo.
  • Players with fake birth certificates will be banned for life and trained to run for President of America.
  • Anyone carrying reports on Brett Favre will be waterboarded.

Tim Tombrowski, a die-hard Steelers fan  and season ticket holder exclaimed “I am indebted to the league and to the Steelers. To show gratitude, I will clean up the entire 20F section in Heinz Field with my terrible towel after every home game. Go Steelers!!”. Conservative voice Pat Buchanan touched on a very important and often neglected aspect of the game  “Everyone expects this to be a fun season but lets pause for a moment and pray for the safety, security and virginity of the cheerleaders in the game.”

​God Bless Football and God Bless America.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

September 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

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An untimely pain in the butt

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Words(especially mine) do not do justice to the beauty of the beaches and the colors of the twilight sky in Maui. The beaches are not as cold as the ones in Northern California.  I recommend the beach resorts in Western Maui just because there is a running trail quite close to the beach with an uninterrupted view of the ocean and the running is quite exceptional.

Just when things felt perfect, Mr. Murphy had to play his cards. After two days, for the first time in seven years, I picked up an injury. I pulled my gluteus maximus( buttocks in pure English) not while running but while putting the little one in the stroller.  I had to haul myself to the spa (maiden appearance at the spa) in the resort for a deep tissue massage. Gentlemen, be very careful if you ever have to enter a spa. There is an unnerving tranquility about the place and you are treated very respectfully as if someone is going to illegally harvest your kidneys and feed it to the koi fish.

The massage therapist at the spa was straight out of Haight and Ashbury – did not own a microwave or cellphone, thought Food Inc was the best movie ever made and does not drink Coke or Pepsi in spite of being an Iowan – a self-proclaimed old fashion hippie. The best part of the session was there were no serious complications. But I was advised against snorkelling or scuba diving – one of which I was planning to do. The irony of the situation was that I had just begun reading Christopher McDougall’s bestseller – “Born to Run”, a book that talks about the exceptional running abilities of a tribe in Mexico and how humans were born to run.

I soon realized that there is justice in this world. Maui was experiencing the worst high tide in 16 years and no snorkelling/scuba tours went out. Thank you, Al Gore for making the oceans spill over.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

September 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

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Flying High

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You would normally expect someone flying to Maui for a vacation to be overjoyed but I was going through an assortment of fear and excitement. This was my ten month old daughter T’s first flight. TSA played their part to add to the fear factor by re-checking our luggage twice as they identified T’s butt wipes and toy drums as a major security hazard. When we finally arrived at the boarding gate huffing and puffing, we were keeping a 747 full of passengers( wildly exaggerated) away from their vacation.  I could just smell the disapproval of my fellow passengers walking along the aisles of the plane.

We bought a separate ticket for T. So she was fully excited to be seated as an equal along with everyone else.   She even paid full attention to the safety procedures demonstration. The air hostess were impressed. We got her ready for takeoff. Parenting Tip:  We used the CARES harness instead of a car seat in the plane and it worked like magic. Although, a separate seat was an overkill on this half-empty plane.

I am almost always asleep or drunk during takeoff. But this time, I was wide awake as I was preparing to hear that loud wail from T. I was beginning to rehearse the Gayatri Mantra hoping for divine intervention. But the wail never came. She aced the take off like a veteran.

Rest of the flight was fortunately eventless. T continued to be the chic- magnate. All the women in the flight wanted a piece of her when she was on walks with daddy. I guess that’s my perception.

Talking about perception, there were quite a few babies on board with us. I was left wondering where did they all come from? Where they always there in all my previous travels too? Am I acknowledging them now because I have one too? It is really true when that we see what we want to see.

Besides babies, I saw a lot of e-readers. Expectedly, I saw a few iPads but I also saw a equal number of kindles and other tablets . The iPod seems to have died. 7-8 years ago, you might get into a plane without a ticket but not without an iPod. RIP, the game changer!!

Maui is so unlike United States in many ways. The airport itself is very uncomplicated and in some ways reminded me of the old Bangalore airport. Sugarcane juice and tender coconut was being sold along the roadside. The first dose of  being a part of United States hit me when I saw a Safeway and this ruined five-eighth’s of my vacation.  Travel Tip: if you have booked a car through Alamo, change your booking now. Horrible staff! and the fleet is even worse.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

September 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm

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Jobs Resigns : Reactions are pouring in

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Reactions have been pouring in since Jobs announced his retirement.

Michelle Bachmann: I learnt all alphabets and numbers using the iPad last month. Will my iPad still work?

Sarah Palin: This is false propaganda by Obama. We all know there are no jobs to resign from.

Rick Perry: Time for him to secede and start producing cooler gadgets for God.

Joe Biden: Jobs will fucking return. It is not the fucking end of fucking jobs in fucking America.

Barack Obama: Sasha and Malia love their iPads. On their behalf and on the behalf of the hardworking people of the United States of America, get well soon sir.

Jim Cramer: I live this ploy by Apple. Jobs resigns; Market goes on a frenzy for black turtlenecks. Turtlenecks outsell HP Touchpads. Doom HP, Booooyaaah!!

Bill Gates: Pancreatic Cancer, isn’t there an app for that?

Larry Ellison: Rest In Peace , my friend with the knowledge that I will buy your company and let it prosper.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page: F@#$%^&* , we should have waited before we spent the twelve billion on Motorola Mobility.

Stephen Colbert: Ladies and Gentleman, you know I am not a big fan of Steve Jobs. He wears his black turtleneck and shows up at many Gay Marriages as a bridesmaid. But he has a chance to redeem himself by introducing himself to iGod.

Tim Cook: I have been preparing for this for a long time. I even speak to Aaron Rodgers every day of the week to mentally prepare for this.

Dennis Kucinich: He is a iCon who pushed consumerism and materialism.

Forrest Gump: Lieutenant Dan got me invested in his fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don’t have to worry about money no more. And I said, that’s good! One less thing.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

August 25, 2011 at 11:26 am

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Nation readies itself for a “protestival” at Ramlila grounds

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The nation is rallying behind Anna Hazare as if Katrina Kaif and Sachin Tendulkar are his kids. At the same time, the Congress Party is falling as quickly as Hazare is rising. “With the knowledge gained by watching “Hindustani” multiple times, we are not stupid to take an ageing corruption crusader to the prison.  He was either taken to Mainsha Koirala’s house or in Urmila Matondkar’s friend’s hostel.” asserted Mr. Rashid Alvi, spokesman of the Congress absolving the Government of any brutality.

Meanwhile, hectic preparations are underway at Ramlila grounds for this contest between Team Anna and Government of India. Arvind Kejiriwal, captain of Team Anna,  has requested to make it a “slow low turner” so that Anna has to bat only once, Kiran Bedi spins it like Bishan Singh Bedi and the Government ignominiously “follows on” Anna and his demands.   “We don’t expect the contest to last more than 3 days but we asked for 10 so that we have enough time to bowl out any opposition. ”  confided Mr. Kejiriwal. Contrary to earlier reports that there will be no food for the crowds coming to watch Anna fast, Team Anna has said that non-governmental organizations have arranged a full fledged buffet at the venue. “Dasani has bagged the rights to be the official water of the fast and they will be selling bottled water with the Anna logo to mark the historic occasion.” said Mr. Kejiriwal.

“We are working round the clock to bottle water from the Delhi Public Water Supply. As a mark of solidarity, Delhi Water Board has shutdown water in certain neighborhoods of Delhi and given us exclusive usage for this water.  ” said a spokesman from Dasani.

In addition to food and water, BJP/RSS/VHP  are planning to celebrate “Krishna Jayanti” and “Ganesh Pooja” at Ramlila grounds.  “Anna can enthusiastically fast with the breeze wafting from the modak and sweet poha preparations.  It cannot get more energizing and portending. ” said Ms. Sushma Swaraj of the BJP.  Indian Union Muslim League is planning a giant Goat cook-off at the venue to celebrate Ramadan but its President could not be reached for a comment.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

August 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Mallika Sherawat to perform outside Tihar to promote Anna’s message of transparency.

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Public support is growing for Anna Hazare following his detention at  Tihar Jail today.  Several celebrities have expressed solidarity with the veteran Gandhian’s crusade against corruption. Sri Sri Ravishankar, the founder of  Art of Living, called on Mr. Hazare at the Tihar Prison late tonight but was turned back by Mr. Hazare as the meeting time intervened with his bedtime.  Not disappointed by the spurning, dangled from gate of jail complex, plunged into crowd, giving a quick preview to his next course Art of Flying.  Close on the heels of Mr. Ravishankar’s visit, Bollywood diva Mallika Sherawat and hunk Emraan Hashmi tweeted that they would descend on the  Tihar red carpet tomorrow and perform in sheer clothes to show their support for transparency. Not to be left out, Salman Khan tweeted that he would perform in private parties for any number of Members of Parliament if they voted for the Jan Lokpal bill.

The Government on the other hand has a massive problem on its hands. Quickly after arresting Anna and 1200 other detainees, Mr. Kapil Sibal proclaimed that most protesters courted arrest only because they liked the free food in the prisons. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, another cabinet Minister who has long believed that television is cure to all problems in India, said the Government plans to counter the growing movement by telecasting free pornography on all Doordarshan television channels for the next 5 days.

The script took a different turn when Congress Supremo Rahul Gandhi intervened and asked that Mr. Hazare be released. Dr. ManMohan Singh obliged with a Shahrukh Khan impersonation saying “Yes, Boss!”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hazare has refused to leave Tihar even after being released . “I had let people at home know that I will not be coming home for dinner and no food joints are open here at this late hour. Besides that, it is well past my bedtime” said Mr. Hazare reflecting on the sorry state of night life of Chanakyapuri area, near West Delhi.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

August 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Alter Ego

Dow Chemical bags exclusive sponsorship rights for London riots

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Just days after becoming the official chemical of the Olympic games, Dow Chemical Company, the manufacturer of many toxic chemicals, has bagged the exclusive naming rights for the ongoing London riots. The Midland, Michigan based company has also agreed to sponsor all events of rioting and looting across the world.  Terms of the sponsorship weren’t disclosed although independent agencies have estimated the cost to be about  a million human lives.

“We possess deadly track record with chemicals in all across the world especially in Bhopal and Vietnam. Our record in cleansing generations of underprivileged communities is unparalleled and we have yet another opportunity to free the world of miscreants and misfits. Dow is extremely happy to be adding value to our shareholders as London burns bright.” said a Dow spokesman, after Dow won the bid to be a official chemical company for all riots through 2020.

“All the things that go into making a successful riot, we can be a big part of that.  This is a tremendous growth market if you listended to the voice-mails of  Prime Minister Cameron Brown,  that were tapped by News Corporation and Dow is excited to make a large piece of the “riot-pie.” ” the spokesman said. “You can be guaranteed that nothing gets approved by the board of the Dow Chemical Company unless it generates shareholder value. ” added the spokesman.

Last week, Dow’s stocks tanked by 412.1984% after they announced their move to sponsor the Olympic games. ” The Olympics fosters brotherhood, friendship and love and these are not the values of Dow Chemical Company which stands for destruction and lack of accountability.” said Forbes magazine.

The  investment community has responded very positively to this new riot sponsoring initiative by Dow.  An anonymous source at investment firm Pippar Jaffray said “This indeed is a brilliant move by Dow.  It  is the “first of a kind” idea of making profits out of civil unrest and will pay off  handsomely in the long term. We are upgrading Dow to a strong “buy”  rating as we see a great growth potential for riots in the up and coming Middle Eastern, African and South American markets” . Dow stocks were up 1% in early trading.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

August 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

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Lok Pal Bill burns, Media fans, Singh stares.

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The Government of India tabled its controversial “Jan Lok Pal” in the Parliament yesterday, where Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh has perfected the art of sleeping with his eyes wide open.  The Bill was treated disdainfully by civil activist Mr. Anna Hazare, who set the bill on fire with a matchbox hidden inside his Nehuruvian cap. “The Government’s LokPal bill is like its Prime Minister – It doesn’t say or do much.”  clamored Mr. Hazare .

Parliamentarians have long used legislative documentation as hand fans and back-scratching wands so burning such an utility has angered many of them. “How can Hazare protest a bill that has the blessing of Sonia Gandhi and call himself a Gandhian?” questioned first time MP and former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin.  Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh also reacted strongly to Mr. Hazare’s actions by giving a prolonged and awkward stare at the reporter who asked him for a comment.

While Mr. Hazare has become a cult hero in the pyromaniacal yet crucial 5-30 young male demographic, he seems to be losing ground with the small business owners – especially the effigy makers.  “For years, protests have been marked by burning effigies. Hazare’s decision to burn a bill is not only lame but also shows his lack of knowledge about the history of protests. We strongly urge him to make amends and signify his discontentment by burning 100 effigies of  Mr.Kapil Sibal, which we have in our inventory.”

Anna Hazare has called for a nation-wide fast starting August 16th against the Government’s Jan LokPal Bill.  NDTV has successfully won the exclusive broadcast rights of the fast and will have a mobile ultrasound machine to periodically show pictures of Mr. Hazare’s stomach. “Considering this is the greatest standoff between Septuagenarians(Dr.Singh and Hazare),  the battle lines have been clearly drawn. Protests will be held only between 10:am to 4:00 pm with a three hour break for siesta. All Protesters are requested to keep their decibel level to the minimum and make their protest signs in bold and large font. Since the protest is a fast, free food will not be provided at the venue and attendees are expected to make their own arrangements for food.”  said Ms. Barkha Dutt of the NDTV.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

August 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm