Sunday, October 28, 2007

That's the Stuff

Here's how to spend a Sunday*: Have breakfast with Ryan Ahrens (up from San Diego to enjoy the cleaner L.A. air) at the Beachwood Cafe, do next to nothing for the intervening five hours, enjoy a couple helpings of serious organic eggplant Parmesan prepared by Michael Hudson, sip coffee and munch on pastries from Figaro, walk home, go to bed.

If you're not jealous, you gotta be told what time it is.

*I would highly recommend having Karis Eklund, Rocket Fever Resident Archaeologist, along for the ride.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This Just In ...

... the Hudsons' daughter is a beaut.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No Worries

Well, maybe it's a bit worrisome when hell on Earth is burning all around your city. But in response to many queries, my part of town is in no danger from these fires (which means that the Hudsons are safe too). It is an eerie scene though: the air smells like a campfire, the light is a dirty yellow from all the smoke, and you're likely to see a chopper in the air at any time.

Now that that's settled, I'm gonna go back to bed and continue fighting a cold/flu.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SoCal Burning

Had to post this pic from the LA Times (submitted by a reader, no less). This still tells the story better than CNN...

Friday, October 19, 2007


Rocket Fever isn't the only one impressed with Micah's political efforts. Check out LA Observed!

Thursday, October 18, 2007 Goes Wild!

I’ve heard that Stephen Colbert recently announced on his show that he’s running for president. I’d have to believe that our own Micah Muzio had something to do with that. As you may remember, Micah launched and an accompanying petition to encourage Colbert to run for the big enchilada. I tell you what: When Micah Muzio puts his mind to something, there isn’t a thing on this planet that will stop him.

And, now, in a neat little Möbius strip of media, entertainment, and media, the petition is blowing up. Its signature total zoomed up after Colbert’s announcement, and the current total is about 3,500. Further, is the No. 1 hit for the Google search “Colbert for president.”

So, in summation, let’s show Fred Thompson what a real insurgent candidate looks like!


Another item for the Rocket Fever Digital Media Shoutouts Department: S’newser and S.F. Valley diva Alethia Calagias points us toward, started by her friend Bill Macfadyen. I haven’t spent too much time on the site, but it appears to be a news source for Santa Barbara that’s an actual news source and not a disgrace to journalism. Neat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Whither the Olive Burger?

I’ll get to a wrap of the 2007 Pleasant Peninsula Tour soon, but we have important matters to discuss first: How do you make an olive burger? More specifically, how do you make the sauce?

For the uninitiated (read: those lacking familiarity with Michigan), an olive burger is topped by a delicious, creamy white sauce full of chopped green olives. The sauce precludes the need for other condiments. It is likely mayonnaise based, but it certainly isn’t just mayo and olives. The sauce is tangier and of a lighter consistency. Properly made, there is no cheese on the patty. I was told as a child that Dagwood’s in Lansing invented the sandwich, but that just sounds too cool to be true. What is certain is that Dag’s makes the best one I’ve ever had. If you go, and you have an appetite, order two: They make ’em so that one will easily fit in your palm. Also, the Peanut Barrel serves a strong o.b.

Anyway, how does one go about making an olive burger? My foodie co-worker, Derek, searched the Internet for a recipe, but came up with nothing. In fact, plugging "olive burger" into Google returns surprisingly anemic results. Theres hardly a mention of it anywhere. And no one I’ve talked to in L.A. has ever heard of them. I guess olive burgers join pasties as the only Michigan-specific foods. (Although, has anyone else ever tried a Spam-and-Velveeta melt?)

So, I put it to you, Team Rocket Fever: What are the secret ingredients in an olive burger?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Not Sure...But I'm Signing Off Anyway

I'm not sure exactly if Gaines is ever coming back, but I think I'm going to post a picture of Beck and Maggs and just let the chips fall where they may.

One note: Hudster Starkins will be in Chicago, the Second City, The Windy City, Old Swampy (Kinda, right?) for the majority, let's say...the entirety...of next weekend. I'll have a hotel room, an expense account and smiles-o-plenty to be back among the Broad Shouldered ones. Anyone and anyone AND anyone is welcome to come down, partake in the joyousfulness and maybe even take a picture with me that will then be up here.

Rah, Rah...Focket Rever! Pocket Clever! Docket Lever! Socket Beaver!


"Sideways: First Time in the Carrier Thing That Gaines Once Strangely Got Upset About Claiming That Parents Should Carry Their Kids (a.k.a. -- First Time in the Carrier Thing that Inspired Perhaps the worst rant Gaines has ever gone on)"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hoorah for Gaines

I have absolutely nothing interesting to post for you fine readers today...frankly I'm stinkin' busy, what's it to ya?

But, the RF World needs to stay tip-top and keep it real.

So I thought...wouldn't this be a nice time for you folks to just recognize Craigers for starting this stupid blog and sticking with it? I've enjoyed the hell out of reading it each day...and then about every third day...and now about once a week.

Seriously though, eh? Hats off to Gainser. He's one heck of a happenin' LA dude. This soy latte's for you, pal.

Monday, October 08, 2007

RF Reports: The Battle of Chicago

You a fan of all things media and reporting, that was a strangely interesting experience seeing an average marathon turn into a national story. Yahoo! had it on their homepage feed, Drudge had it up once the Midland runner was confirmed to have died on the course, DetNews, Freep, Chicago everything, NYT...

It was particularly interesting to see how much good detail a person in LA could get from a mix of traditional Web media, user-generated content (photos, etc) on big sites and the blogs and forums of runners in the event or watching.

For first hand accounts, read my brother's extensive account in the comments of the post just after this one (he went to watch) and/or hear all about it from the increasingly heroic Sheri Hall on her blog (plus you can read about her and Paul's move to ATL, which is also a tale of overcoming extreme heat and humidity, I suppose.)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Chicago Marathon: 26.2nd Circle of Hell?

CHICAGO -- I'm trying to track down our two RF runners for an in person, but the blogs and forums around the race are going ape!

The race featured no water at Mile 3 by the 12 minute pacers, several cancelations at Mile 13 and then Mile 20. Ambulances couldn't keep up with the pace of emergency calls.

Some 10,000 runners didn't even dare start, I hear. And the finish, staked out by Tribune photogs, was a scene of human wreckage with passing outs, barfings and agony aplenty.

Wow. Seriously, folks, much respect to Sheri and Craig. History was made today.

LIVE! It's Unofficial!!!

editor's note: To properly enjoy the drama of this morning, scroll down to the first LIVE post and then kinda just read up. Good times.

CHICAGO -- We've got a final...Sheri Hall comes in at 4:16:08 and a 9:46 pace, courtesy of the BlackBerry update which started working again for no apparent reason. Web site still down, so we can't put Sheri's time in context of the field, but it should be admirable considering the conditions.

What is remarkable about Sheri's time (her first marathon, mind you) is a dogged ability to stick to her pace, holding between 9:35 and 9:46 through 26 miles. Great discipline and hats off.

Great work, Sheri and Craig! It's Miller Time!

UPDATE: Here's Sheri's finish against the field:

Overall: 7125 Gender: 2433 Division: 404

ALSO: This is truly incredible...look at this announcement from the Chicago Marathon site...though, not sure how long the course was going to be open much past the 8 hour group anyway. But holy cats it must be hot...

Attention Particpants and Spectators:

Due to the rising heat index and higher than expected temperatures, LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski and Medical Director Dr. George Chiampas, in cooperation with city officials, have implemented a contingency plan, as a precautionary measure, to effectively close the Marathon course at the halfway point. Runners who have not reached the halfway point by approximately 12:00 p.m. will be diverted back to Grant Park via Halsted and Jackson. Jackson will be closed to automobile traffic and the participants will be provided with additional support along this route. Participants who crossed the halfway point prior to the shut-down will continue to be fully supported along the standard course to the finish line. Participants are asked to take advantage of medical personnel, cooling buses, runner drop out buses, water, Gatorade and other means of support en route back to Grant Park.

LIVE! This Might Take a While...

CHICAGO -- So now the site won't even acknowledge our past relationship, resetting my connection with every attempt.

So I'll keep trying...

For what it's worth Sheri should either have crossed the finish in the past 15 mins or is about to.


UPDATE: The page just crashed completely, so feel free to spend some time with the fam, enjoy a cold beverage and check back later today.

Whatever Sheri's time was, it was sure as hell faster than mine. So CONGRATS to every last one of the 45,000 bastards who took the 30th Chicago Marathon on this year.

LIVE! LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Site Locks Up

CHICAGO -- So I still don't have a 40K time for Sheri and the site is locking up when you send a request for updates. The BlackBerry thing quit working after the halfway point. (I did briefly start getting updates for Heinz Testermann, who is running the race of his life today.)

The InfoWeb is jammed with results seekers.

In the stead of actual times, here's a map of the course from the ChiTrib. As Schmidt, a north-side resident and Cubs hater, would say: you needn't worry for Cubs traffic today, marathon spectators. Such a beautiful course...and a hell of a town.

LIVE! Schmidt Nabs 3:36 Finish

CHICAGO -- Craigory is done and likely extremely glad to take in that Goose Island Ale at the finish. This will be a historic running of the Chicago Marry.

Schmidt ended up finishing 1,447 out of 45,000 overall.

Craig H Schmidt | Bib # 3687 | Chicago, IL - USA | Age 33 | M
START 5K 10K 15K 20K HALF 25K 30K 35K 40K FINISH
0:03:34 0:22:54 0:44:18 1:06:34 1:35:06 1:40:06 1:59:11 2:26:30 2:53:43 3:24:31 3:36:05
TIME Chip Time: 3:36:05 Clock: 3:39:38 Pace: 8:14
Placement Overall: 1447 Gender: 1200 Division: 212

And, as I'm guessing he would approve, I'd like to take this time to reset his 2004 performance, from which I still shake my head in amazement...

Time -- 2:54:20
Pace -- 6:38
Finished 376th overall out of 43K
Finished 66th in his division out of several thousand

To put this heat in perspective...a 2:54:20 this year would be in the top 30 in males 30 to 34 and the top 100 overall.

LIVE! Sheri & Schmidt Smell the Finish

CHICAGO -- The heat appears to be taking a toll on our RF sponsored club team of Sheri and Craig as the pace is tapering a bit toward the end. Considering the reports from the race (the hottest Chicago Marathon ever, it is being said) they will be champions simply for completing the course without medical attention.

As of an hour ago, it was 88 degrees at the finish. That's stupid hot. Plus, high humidty...the kind of day as a runner where you poke your head out and say, "Maybe after the sun goes down." (In a bit of irony, it's actually kind of chilly here in LA as the Beckster went out for a run in Griffith Park this AM.)

Neveronceagaininsomuchas, our runners press on, with Schmidt just past the 40K (24.8 miles) and Sheri at the 35K (21.7 miles).

Maggie is thrilling with the drama.

LIVE! The Pros Are Done, Sheri/Schmidt Press On

CHICAGO - Patrick Ivuti edged Jaouad Gharib in a photo finish to win the muggy Chicago Marathon on Sunday, giving Kenya its fifth straight title.

Ivuti, competing in only his second major marathon, leaned at the finish line for an unofficial time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 11 seconds. It was the hottest Chicago Marathon ever, with temperatures reaching 88 degrees when Ivuti finished.

Gharib, from Morocco, had the same unofficial time, losing by a fraction of a second.

Sheri and Schmidt are about to pass the 35K and 40K marks respectively. We should have final results for them within the hour.

LIVE! Details on the Weather

CHICAGO -- So forget that negative split storyline. A quick check of the weather and on-course reports shows that this strategy would only be for the insane today.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Unseasonably warm weather sent six high school athletes in Sugar Grove to the hospital Saturday, and officials warn that the heat and humidity Sunday could be even more brutal for the record 45,000 runners expected for the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon.

"This is weather more typical of summer," said Andrew Krein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville. "When they're out there running, they should really treat it like a day in the middle of August or July."

Krein said that the temperature is expected to reach a record 88 degrees downtown Sunday and that temperatures in the 90s "are not out of the question." That would mark the hottest Chicago marathon since 1979, when temperatures hit 84 degrees.

LIVE! Sheri and Craig Go for Negative Splits?

CHICAGO -- Forgive this reporter for rumor mongering...but RF has obtained information that would allow us to say both Sheri and Craig may be going for negative splits in their effort to tame the Chicago Marathon 26.2 mile course.

Here's what we know:

  • Sheri's pace has dropped to 9:34 at the 25K mark.
  • Schmidt's is at 7:51 past the 30K mark.
  • It is hot and humid.
  • Northwestern beat MSU in OT.
  • We have no pictures of the race, so please enjoy this picture of Maggie in her pink sleeping bag with a bear with heart on it as she cheers for her friends...

LIVE! Sheri (& Craig Schmidt?) Pass the Halfer

CHICAGO -- Sheri has kept up the pace, tipping the clock at the 13.1 mile mark with a 2:05:44, keeping the same 9:35 pace according to the automated update thingy. Still estimated to finish at 4:11.

Schmidt passed the half at 1:40 at the 25K mark at 1:59, but since we didn't know he was running, I can't get the automated update to guess a finishing time. Double his half would be 3:20.

Also discovered by the RF team...Schmidt is a current Chicagoan. Sheri is a former Chicagoan and graduate of the Northwestern University just north of town. How about that.

Also, Schmidt is a Spartan, which means Sheri's team just beat his in OT yesterday.

UPDATE: We have weather for Chicago...79 or 80 with 65 percent humidity. Running experts contacted by RF were quoted as saying, "Ugh."

LIVE! Sheri Crushes First 15K

CHICAGO -- This just in...Hallster and her ChampionChip timing device have just flown past the 15K mark. Here's our official clock time so far:

Sheri Hall | Bib # 16266 | Plymouth, MI - USA | Age 30 | F
START 5K 10K 15K 20K HALF 25K 30K 35K 40K FINISH
0:06:48 0:30:30 1:00:00 1:29:20

The BlackBerry update says this is a 9:35 pace with a predicted 4:11ish finish time. Going against last year's result, this would put her in the top quarter of her age group and all females, and the top third-ish of all runners.

Like Becky Marshall used to say, "Run like your ass is on fire!"

::::::HOLD THE PHONE::::::
We have late breaking news from Chicago...Craig Schmidt may dammm well be running this thing, too! RF was able to obtain training logs from as late as June showing Schmidty running 70 miles per week and wanting to keep up this effort for "three more months".

RF was also able to obtain this report from the official LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon page:

Craig H Schmidt | Bib # 3687 | Chicago, IL - USA | Age 33 | M
START 5K 10K 15K 20K HALF 25K 30K 35K 40K FINISH
0:03:34 0:22:54 0:44:18 1:06:34 1:35:06 1:40:06

Saturday, October 06, 2007


CHICAGO -- Hey Gang. Hudder here. The only thing better than running a marathon yourself, is having a friend running one that you can track from the comfort of your BlackBerry.

Sheri Hall...the girl portion of the Sheri and Paul Awesome Peeps Combo (pictured here at a computing machine)...will be dashing for the cash tomorrow morn through the streets of the Windy City. RF will be receiving !!!LIVE!!! updates and posting them here.

Cheer from the windows, pray from the pews, wave banners and flags...and then celebrate with the finest meats and cheeses in all the land, as a wise man used to say.


And while cheering for Sheri, also pay homage to Paul (pictured here perhaps making tea, washing out a turbocharger or pondering the strange drawl of his new neighbors) who has an Ironman Tri on his resume, which is an achievement us mortals can only imagine with quakes and shudders.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I Just May Escape L.A. Alive

Hoo, baby! In about 24 hours, I'ma be on a jet plane to Detroit. And I think, I just think, I've got everything in place to make that happen. It's been nasty busy at the corner of Hillhurst and Finley the last few days. There were deadlines aplenty, extra work at the Weekly for our Best of L.A. issue, putting finishing touches on the wedding speech ... oy! Special thanks to all those who helped me through that mess. You know who you are.


Speaking of the Best of L.A. issue, I tricked the editors into letting me write a few pieces. The fools. The rest of the edition has some great stuff (including: one, two, three, four, five), and I had offerings on:


And that's about all I got. Maggie June Hudson is looking beautiful these days; maybe Mike will supply you with a photo while I'm gone. ... L.A. being what it is, I didn't realize it was fall until about five days ago. ... Can't wait for next year, Tigers. And, Dodgers, I'm starting to get just how mystifying you truly are. ... MSU football has been pretty fun so far, huh? ... Charlie Don't Shake has a neat little demo on its MySpace page. ... Roll on Red has some new stuff up on his page. ... I bought a blender a few weeks ago and use it all the time (but we call them "blendeds," not "smoothies"). ... Rocket Fever World Series Pick: Cleveland over Colorado, 4-1, in the least-watched Fall Classic ever.