17 September 2011

Brunch and Lotsa Perty Flowers

As it is with any Sunday when my wife and I travel, the first order of business was brunch. Our destination was Canteen which I’d read serves the best French toast in the city.

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12 September 2011

DuClaw's 4th Annual Real Ale Festival

Overall, my experience at the 2011 Real Ale Fest was not good. Actually, scratch that, I did have a good time at the fest--it was just mostly spent bashing the disappointing beers with my equally beer-savvy brother Ryan.

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10 September 2011


Commis only serves one menu for a flat rate of $68 per person. You’re served five courses with a few bonus courses thrown in for good measure. It’s an extremely good deal considering the quality of food served.

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I called and specifically reserved counter seating so we could watch the chefs perform their magic.

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Sorry, no web or fireball spells… Well, not unless you count the web I cast in my pants when I tasted the second course.

07 September 2011

Labor Day Weekend 2011

Saturday I smoked some butts for a little get together at my mom's place on Sunday.

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03 September 2011

The SF Street Food Fest and Drinking in Oakland

As you may already know, my wife and I spent a week in the San Francisco bay area for our second anniversary. Honestly, this is the first trip I've planned where the non-food-related stuff outweighed the eatings. That's not to say some of the food wasn't great, it was, but we did so much other super cool stuff that for the first time my fondest memories don't involve stuffing my face. Our flight arrived mid-morning Saturday the 20th and after checking into our hotel and checking out the view we rushed out the door to stop our stomachs from further digesting themselves.

18 August 2011

A Journey to Philly

Two tickets to see Journey/Foreigner/Night Ranger at Susquehanna Bank Center provided me the perfect opportunity to reaffirm (or disaffirm) my favorite sandwich on the planet: Tony Luke’s roast pork Italian with broccoli rabe. The show started at 7pm, so after packing up the cooler with a few pre-gaming goodies, we were on the road by 2pm.

The traffic heading north on 95 was pretty brutal. What should’ve taken 1.5 hours took over 2, so it was about 4:15pm when we snagged a great parking spot (in the middle of the street) and were presented with this disheartening sight:

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13 August 2011

The Most Epic Day Ever III

This past Friday was supposed to be spent eating and bar hopping our way through NYC, but due to some excessive celebrating the previous night, one member of our party (Chris) was ridiculously hungover the next morning so we ended up cancelling the trip.  After getting a couple more hours sleep, we decided to make the most of the day by getting breakfast and then smoking some ribs.  It ended up being a damn fine day all things considered.

Aside from the horribly slow service, our breakfast at Open Door Cafe was quite good.  We chose to dine al fresco and after our hostess seated us, she mentioned she was the barista and that they had a fully functioning espresso bar so I ordered my usual decaf soy latte.

12 August 2011

30/66 Chicago: The Finale

The original plan (and original plans never seem to work out) was to get up early Sunday morning and partake in two separate breakfasts. Matt and I actually did manage to arise on time, but after dumbly staring at each other for 10 minutes we both went back to bed. There was an unspoken agreement that breakfast #1 was cancelled (it was supposed to be at Southport Grocery and Café in case you were wondering.) Luckily, the entire gang was up in time for our 11am brunch reservation at Nightwood. After an ass-blasting drive down Lake Shore we arrived right on time.

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09 August 2011

30/66 Chicago: Part 4

Sorry to sound like a glitched out cyborg (i.e. repetitive), but Hopleaf was yet another venue where everything simply fell into place. Aside from the fact that it was pretty packed, and loud as F, I simply had no complaints.

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04 August 2011

30/66 Chicago: Part 3

Our destination for dinner was just a few short blocks away at Avec. I knew they didn’t take reservations and coupled with the fact that it’s one of the most highly recommended restaurants in Chicago, I was expecting a wait. But not quite this type of wait. When we rolled up right around 8pm the place was back to the gills with a huge crowd of people outside. Dismayed, but not deterred, I went inside and put our name in for a party of 5 and was quoted with a wait of 2.5 hours. Holy shit. That would mean we’d be eating somewhere around 10:30 and we had a show to catch at Second City at 11pm. Dinner at Avec simply wasn’t an option.

After much brainstorming we finally decided to go to Abuelo’s since it was cheap, delicious, and we had a virtual guarantee that there wouldn’t be a wait. I loved the large windows and airy space, but was kind of annoyed that the only lighting they had were a few strands of Christmas lights hanging in the front window. So, therefore, I’m sorry that these pictures suck.

31 July 2011

Sucsexful Boobecue Recipenis Testes

I'd say that's the most profound and intellectual post title I've come up with yet. The purpose of my most recent barbecue was to test some new recipes I've been wanting to try out. Overall, they came out very well. This was also the second meeting of our beer club the Maryland Beer Appreciation Society, which also went well.

My favorite items of the day were my fried pickles with a nice remoulade for dipping, the chipotle brown sugar sweet potatoes, and the coffee cocoa stout barbecue sauce I whipped up. Honorable mention goes to Deana's crab stuffed jalapeno poppers, and Jen's oreo-stuffed cookies (yes, I've decided to use people's full names, that abbreviating shit was getting on my nerves.) And, of course, Karen's amazing apple pie, my favorite. Join me on this epic quest of smoking meats and quaffing brews.

24 July 2011

Summer Sundays Done Right

I hope your Sunday was as good as mine. Enjoy the (somewhat shitty) photos of our day spent on the water and then cooking and eating our catch.

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22 July 2011

30/66 Chicago: Part 2

After rinsing off all the sand and sweat from hours of Spikeball, we all piled into M’s car once again and headed down to Fulton Market. I’d done my research on how to score a reservation at The Aviary and was delighted when I received a confirmation email that afternoon. We scored a table for five at the 6pm seating. We turned our keys over to the valet and checked in with the doorman. He told us to have a seat on the snazzy outdoor couches for a few moments while they finished preparing our table. We took a few group photos and then a hostess led us to our table.

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19 July 2011

30/66 Chicago: Part 1

My 30th birthday, celebrated in 66 hours in Chicago, get it? Moving on. Our flight departed at 9pm and we arrived with about 30 minutes to kill so we checked out the bar at Phillips Seafood right next to our gate.

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I ordered a MM Manhattan neat, and apparently to this bartender neat means warm. I guess I have in the past said chilled, neat, but I never expected to be served a warm Manhattan.

10 July 2011

The Most Epic Day Ever II

While maybe not quite as epic as our first dude day, this day was still pretty amazing. Boys, let's get to it.

I had a haircut at 9am. As usual I arrived a few minutes early to partake in the goodness next door at the Cockeysville PA Dutch Market. MMmmm, doughnuts.

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I also nabbed two sexy NY Strips for dinner later that night.

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04 July 2011

Happy 10 Days before My 30th Birthday

Nah, I'm not trying to sell it. If you can comprehend basic math, then you can deduce my exact birthday from the title of this post. Are you up to the challenge?

This is just a pic post. These were probably the best ribs I've smoked to date. 7 hours total, six hours naked, one hour foiled. Temps held strong at 250 degrees. Four fist-sized chunks of hickory provided the perfect level of smoky goodness. Transported to my dad's place and sauced on the grill at around 300 degrees to caramelize and serve. Also tried a new baked bean recipe, which, after some serious tweaking, turned out pretty damn good. To drink? Lagunitas Lil Sumpin Sumpin, Flying Dog Raging Bitch (pictured below) and Table for Two.

03 July 2011

Heaven is spelled N.O.L.A... The Finale

Mo' pics, less clicks (that would be my fingers clicking the keys.) That's the name of the game for this post. My ass is spent talking about New Orleans, so I'm going to give you very sparse details for this post. But don't worry, there'll be lots of perty pictures.

After brunch at Commander's Palace, we found a brochure in the lobby that offered a mapped walking tour of the Garden District. Since this was what we were planning on doing anyway, we grabbed one and ran through your wicked garden... district.

24 June 2011

Heaven is spelled N.O.L.A. Part... Something

As we left the gates of Jazz Fest and observed the throngs of pedestrians fighting for a cab/bus/shuttle we decided to just hoof it down the Esplanade until we could flag down transportation. Some of the neighborhoods we strolled through were a little shady, but we never really felt in danger since there were a few other groups of people walking nearby.

Welp, next thing we knew we’d walked all the way to the FQ. I didn’t feel like dealing with the Bourbon Street crowd so we hung a right on Dauphine Street which proved to be a much more relaxing atmosphere. It was no coincidence that it happened to lead straight to our next destination: Bar UnCommon located inside the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel.

I’d read from numerous sources online that the chief mixologist Chris McMillian was not only the best cocktail man in the city, he was one of the best in the country. Oh, did I mention he’s also the founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail? Yeah, that too.

11 June 2011

Heaven is spelled N.O.L.A. Part 4

Saturday morning we were feeling lazy, so instead of looking up the various methods of public transportation to Jazz Fest we simply phoned the front desk for a cab. 10 minutes later we were on the road. One great bonus that came with being lazy is we drove right past the Superdome which has to be one of the most impressive man-made structures I’ve ever seen. It looked like a steampunk airship battle arena. I loved how it wasn’t plastered with advertising like so many other stadiums are these days. A very impressive sight indeed.

The cabbie dropped us off at about 10:40 so instead of waiting around for 20 minutes for the gates to open I decided to go check out Parkway Bakery now instead of waiting until after the festival. A short walk had us in front of the doors and what I thought as the first people in line.

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Little did I know there was a back entrance, luckily there were still only a handful of people waiting.

30 May 2011

Various Foodsings

I wanted to take a little break from the NOLA love to catch you up on what I've been up to lately.

A week before our NOLA trip Daddy Micro and I saw Rush at the 1st Mariner Arena. Beforehand we got some gyros at Samos in Highlandtown right off of Eastern Avenue. I was jonesing for a gyro and this more than satiated my craving. The Greek salad was pretty damn good too.

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26 May 2011

Heaven is spelled N.O.L.A. Part 3

Just to refresh your memory we'd just arrived at NOLA Brewing after sampling some wonderful Pisco Sours from Marvin at The Carousel Bar. I approached our “tour guide” and he assured me that I was in no way late, they usually wait until a quarter after to start the tour, ensuring any stragglers (us) have had a chance to make it. He pointed me over to a small table where another brewer handed us our glasses and pointed us to the taps. That day they had their Hopitoulas IPA, Blonde Ale, and Brown Ale on tap and the Flambeau Red on cask.

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18 May 2011

Heaven is spelled N.O.L.A. Part 2

We rolled out of bed and got ready and made the short walk down Magazine to Surrey’s Café and Juice Bar for a morning beverage. This was a very funky little joint that immediately reminded me of Silly’s in Portland. There was a hefty wait for a table, so I inquired if we could simply order our drinks to-go from the bar.

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They had no problem with that so after a quick glance over the menu we both chose the apricot green iced tea. They brought out our drinks in a matter of moments along with some sweeteners and a few lemon wedges. After sweetening up our drinks, we headed back out onto the street and walked north up towards the FQ.

13 May 2011

Heaven is spelled N.O.L.A. Part 1

I really am floored by how many great dining experiences I’ve already experienced this year, and New Orleans definitely ranks up there with some of the best. One thing I was really impressed by is that even though most of the restaurants I visited were considered tourist destinations, they (for the most part) served food of a very high caliber. I guess this is how New Orleans came to be known as a food town, even to those of us who may not consider ourselves to be food enthusiasts. I have quite the story to tell: foie gras 3 ways, shrimp on top of shrimp with a side of shrimp, the best Mint Julep in the world, and more bread pudding than I’d like to admit, so let me waste no more of your or my time and join me on this fantastic culinary quest to stuff my face and drink myself retarded in New Orleans.

Our trip definitely started on less than ideal ground. Thursday was plagued with flood watches and tornado warnings which lead to our flight to be delayed. The Mrs. and I drove to work together and left straight from here to go to the airport. We dropped off our car at the blue lot of Airport Fast Park (which ended up costing only $45 for five days, not too shabby) and in a few short moments were through security and eagerly awaiting our flight at gate D7. The wife had a busy day at work so she needed some sustenance before boarding so we took a load off at the festive looking Rum Island Bar.

09 May 2011

Wet in NYC: Part 2

I apologize for the delay of this post, but I kept forgetting to email myself the Word doc (I sometimes type up posts on my lunch break and then email them to myself.) Apologies all around as I'm sure you've all been dying for juicy new content. So heres the stunning conclusion to our wet and wild day in NYC.

Whilst en route to Chinatown we happened upon a few Steve Madden outposts in SoHo. I was giddy as a schoolgirl because I LOVE Steve Madden shoes. Yes, he makes men’s shoes and no, I’m not gay. Can’t you tell by the way I live/write/roll that I have an eagle talon-sharp sense of fashion? Hell yeah I do. So I picked up a nice new pair of brown boots for $99 marked down from $149. Score! Soon after we broke into Chinatown and I spotted Teariffic Café on Mott Street.

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I told the ladies that it looked like a good place to get their bubble tea fix, so we headed and inside and after verifying that they took to-go orders, placed our order. I wasn’t ordering one for myself, those things are quite filling, but I gladly sipped off of theirs. The Mrs. went with Almond, K ordered a bubble tea without flavoring, and after pointing out the fact that they had sesame on the menu, R went with that.

22 April 2011

Wet in NYC: Part 1

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to plan our most recent trip to NYC around. My first inkling was a burger tour, three great NYC burgers in one day, but as my idea developed and the Mrs. added her input, the goal developed into a reaffirmation of NYC favorites. It’s tough to put my Micro stamp of approval on a dish that I’ve only sampled once, you understand? So, I moved forward with that idea in mind.

As a travelling food blogger, sometimes one chance is all I have. Luckily NYC is only a (relatively) short bus ride away, so I planned accordingly. Our first planned stop was actually an insistence on behalf of my wife and her unstoppable rebel force of a sweettooth. But as we emerged from the Lincoln Tunnel, the idea of a piping hot cup of coffee to accompany our cookies popped into our heads. While, yes, there is a Starbucks literally right across the street from where Megabus drops us off at 7th Ave and 28th Street, I insisted we make the short 3 block walk to Stumptown Coffee in the lobby of the Ace Hotel.

11 April 2011

The Most Epic Day Ever

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What started out as typical plans to hang out and watch the UFC on PPV turned into one of the most awesome days I've had in a long, long time. Not any one experience, mind you, but the day as a whole. What did we do, you may be wondering? Well, if that picture doesn't give you any hints, click through to read all about our day o' fun.

02 April 2011

The Dark Tower Casting Dream Team

I don't do many non-food related posts on this here blog o' mine, but I've been thinking a lot about my favorite novel series going to the big (and little) screen and ever since they announced who will be playing the main character Roland (Javier Bardem) I've been pondering who I would like to see cast. So, I thought I would put together the perfect cast that fit how I pictured the characters in my head as I was reading the series. I know this probably won't really strike home with many of the readers of this blog, but I figured I might as well throw my two cents out there into the infinite blogosphere.

28 March 2011

Pork Hangover

Yes, that's what I woke up with on Sunday morning, well at least that's what I tell myself (the hangover was more likely due to the copious amounts of Resurrection, Raging Bitch, and Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, and Pipeline Porter that I consumed.) Nonetheless this is not a post about words and artful descriptions, it's more about a happy little shindig that I had the pleasure of hosting Saturday night.

I was uber-excited, it being my first barbecue of the season and all. Of course the date I chose for it had to be right smack in the middle of a horribly chill bout of weather, along with below freezing temperatures overnight. Fortunately, in the end I defeated the vile and corrupt Lord Jack Frost with my Kingston Charcoal Claymore enchanted with all things Fire and Brimstonish... What the hell am I talking about? I think what I'm trying to say is that I was able to successfully smoke my meat despite temperatures in the upper-20s. Yeah, that was it.

26 March 2011

Epic Meal Time

So a few weeks ago I was at work waiting in line with a few co-workers to get a free blood pressure test (116/67 and 45 bpm resting heart rate... Am I dead?) when another guy in line overheard us talking about food. We gotsa talkin' and he mentioned that we should check out Epic Meal Time on youtube. Well I'm just now getting around to it and I have to say it's pretty freakin' hilarious. Check it out. These guys make Man vs. Food look like Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee.

Well, I've got a huge barbecue to host, so I'd better go get on that. You want a little taste, do you? Alright, just a taste:

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22 March 2011

The Stuff of Legends, right Boo?

It’s nights like two Fridays ago that fuel my love for all things food. Our dinner at Woodberry Kitchen simply couldn’t’ve gone any better. Well, that may be overdoing it a bit, but nonetheless this was an experience that left me seriously impressed and eager to return.

An old friend of mine from high school contacted me on FB out of the blue after my Emo post and said we should all get together for dinner sometime. Well, due to scheduling issues and such our plans got pushed back a few months, but she was finally able to secure us a table for 5 at 6:15 on a Friday in March. This was in early February. Woodberry was near the top of my list of places in Baltimore to check out and I’d heard nothing but rave reviews from friends and collegues so you can imagine how excited I was. But I held my expectations in check, and vowed to dine with an open mind.

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I’d been checking their online menu weekly, and as the big day got closer I was sad to see a lot of the dishes I was looking forward to drop from their menu. I guess in this transitional period my heavy and rich winter favorites were making way for the coming of the light and fresh cuisine of Spring. Fortunately when we arrived the menu had in fact several decadent dishes that screamed winter. I was immensely pleased.

11 March 2011

Raleigh Day 4

Our third night in Raleigh was the one I was looking forward to the most: We had reservations at The Pit. After having pitmaster Ed Mitchell’s barbecue at The Big Apple BBQ Block Party this past May, I was super-excited to try his grub in his home digs. This was the first time we’d walked out of downtown and my co-workers definitely made a few comments about the sketchy scenery. I ensured them that the restaurant was just over the next hill, which, gladly, it was.

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04 March 2011

Raleigh Day 3

Day 3 spent in Raleigh found us a little rushed. Class ended at 4:30 and Clyde Coopers Barbecue closed at 6pm. Luckily that day we got out of class on time and we had enough time to drop our stuff off at the hotel and walk one block to Coopers.

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Besides one or two locals, we had the entire joint to ourselves, but the atmosphere couldn’t be beat. Now THIS was a barbecue joint. Too bad they don’t serve real barbecue, but more on that later. Being manly mens we were quick with our orders. I’m usually very indecisive, but when it comes to barbecue I know what I want. I ordered the ribs and chopped barbecue platter with Brunswick Stew and I allowed our server to select my second side, requesting whichever she thought was the best. She chose the coleslaw. Giddy up.

24 February 2011

Raleigh Days 1-2

I must apologize in advance for the quality of the photos from my trip. I fear my camera is on it's last legs and I had no idea the pictures were that blurry until I got home and viewed them on my computer. I hope your eyes don't bleed too much from reading this...

Ah, Raleigh. I’ll be honest, you really surprised me. Before I found out I would be visiting you for training, I figured you were just another Anytown, USA like my local craptastic Bel Air. Boy, was I wrong. There’s real character here, even amidst all the skyscrapers and mile-high hotels. We sped through BWI like it was our job and landed in Raleigh without a hitch. It was probably the least painless flying experience I’ve ever had. We picked up our rental car, checked into the downtown Sheraton (no complimentary breakfast and no free wi-fi make Homer something, something) and practically ran down the street to grab some dinner, my two co-workers and I were hungry for food, and even more so for beer.

13 February 2011

My Bloody Valentine

I know for most of you ladies Valentine's Day is about flowers or chocolate, but in the Micro family household is all about a big hunk of bloody meat. Since I'll be away for work in Raleigh this upcoming week (my flight actually leaves in a few hours) we celebrated V-Day last night. A nice bottle of Cab from Napa, two thick cut NY Strips with a Cabernet peppercorn reduction (holy shit that was good), some sauteed asparagus, and a big old hunk of chocolate peanut butter cake from the PA Dutch Market (Sorry I don't have a better picture of it, we were too busy stuffing it into our gullet.) This is how we do it up right:

07 February 2011

The 5 Beers You Will Most Likely Find In My Fridge Right Now

The name explains it, does it not? I'm posting about the delicious beer I've been drinking (maybe a bit too much of) lately. I'm in the minority when I say that I most certainly value quality over quantity. Its a very rare occasion that I drink to get drunk. I just really really like the taste of beer, the alcohol is just sort of a bonus of sorts. Snorts.

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There they are in all their glory. Simultaneously hideous and wonderful. They're your best friend and your worst enemy. Or maybe they're just really good beers, what the hell do I know.

28 January 2011

Yay, we found it!

To celebrate the fact that we found our camera today, we decided to top off our daily errands with a stop at Flavor Cupcakery.

Flavor Cupcakery is a newly opened--they opened their doors to the public this past Summer--cupcakery located in the same strip that houses Burlane Cat & Dog where we get our little devils groomed, and Fiesta Grill, a surprisingly authentic and delicious Mexican joint. I'd first heard about Flavor Cupcakery... Frankly, I don't remember where. Anyway, despite my love/hate relationship with cupcakes, I was intrigued at the possibility of another local food venue in Bel Air that actually had some soul (Fiesta Grill being the first). So we pulled up the car and luckily they had just opened so we walked right on in.

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22 January 2011

Micro.mantage: Ummm, where's the camera?

Well, as you may or may not guess by the title of this post, our digital camera has gone missing. The last time I saw it my wife was putting it in her purse to take with us on Christmas day. What makes it doubly sucky is we had an amazing dinner at Bluegrass Tavern this past Friday that I was very excited to blog about. And now I can't. Boo.

So until we find our camera or break down and purchase one I give you a sizzling hot sample of some of the backlogged food adventures I never got around to blogging about for one reason or another. So here we go:

13 January 2011

Tell Me What You Eat And I'll Tell You What You Are

Diet. When certain people hear that word it can inspire utter terror and trepidation in their heart. People eat rightly, people eat wrongly. Some people swear by organic vegan unprocessed raw foods while others eat fast food every meal of every day. No, it’s true, Morgan Spurlock didn’t just make that up to boost DVD sales. Working on a military base I witness it every single day. It sickens me to some extent, but I try not to judge. People like what they like, who am I to tell them what they should or should not be eating.

I’m 29 years old, six feet tall, and 152 pounds of bone, skin, and (some) muscle. One thing I absolutely hate hearing is “You’re so lucky…” Fuck no I’m not! I work my ass off to stay fit. It takes supreme dedication to not only watch every single goddamned morsel I eat, but to also trek off to the gym four days a week, usually after working ten hours. It’s freakin’ hard! During the summer I exercised five times a week: Two days running outdoors, two days doing free weights at the gym, and one day doing machines at the gym. Now, since my wife and I don’t run in the cold, I’ve condensed my running down to one day a week on the treadmill. I don’t care who you are or what you do, it takes a lot of dedication. I do it for myself, as opposed to anyone else. I do it for health and to feel comfortable in my own skin, and to feel confident in public (that’s definitely a big part of it, I won’t lie). Plus, those cheesy 3am infomercials you see preaching about the next best thing in effortless weight loss really do hold some truth to them: Being fit does help improve your sex life! Just ask the missus.