Monday, October 9, 2017

Product Review: Karhu Fast 7

Sometimes you need a Porsche, sometimes you need a Cadillac and sometimes you need a School bus.
Sometimes you need a Saucony Kinvara, sometimes you need a Hoka Clifton and sometimes you need a Karhu Fast.

Who really needs a school bus?

Smashy smashy

As with any review/reviewer, it's important too look at what other products have been given the Thumbs Up or Thumbs down. Just because I like something doesn't automatically mean you will. How do my other reviews compare with your own experiences? That is very important in any review.

After writing my last blog I decided to make a Rush Pandora station. Wow. Did you ever hear the Power Windows album? I had that on cassette back when I was in Airborne School in '91.

I think my opening comments rather set the tone for this Shoe Review, but I shall elaborate.

The Fast 7 has what Karhu calls "MRE" Maximum Rolling Efficiency" based on a "Fulcrum" in the bed of the shoe.
A Size 10US weighs in at 11.2oz and has a pretty wide sole.
These attributes are designed to help with the landing all the way through the roll and into the toe off.
There's a 10mil Heel/Toe drop and some pretty serious plastic overlays holding your foot into the shoe.
Karhu calls this their Everyday Training Shoe.

That is indeed rabbit turd in the background. 

There's a few things that I, and I think all of us, look for in a shoe. Comfort, Running Efficiency of the shoe with our stride, style, price and reputation of the company.

Lets jump right in eh?

Comfort: Nope.
Not for this guy. There's something going on on the lateral side of the heel. This shoe is almost pushing me into pronation. I don't want that.
After wearing these at work for 6hrs, I could not wait to take them off.

Running Efficiency: I ran one of our typical 5k loops just now. So let's do some pros and cons.
They stayed nice and secure to me foot, there's no slipping in the shoe (I was wearing Feetures Ultra Lights).
 There's the pro.
I have no idea what the MRE Fulcrum concept is really doing in this shoe. No matter what kind of foot strike I used, I felt nothing assisting in the gait.
I was still conscious of being pushed into pronation.
Although it wasn't harsh, the cush under the forefoot doesn't stand out as anything to brag about. 
I felt like I was getting jammed up with each landing. I had a hard time rolling through my natural gait.
Although all the plastic on there makes them look waterproof, they're not.

Style: That's one fugly shoe. What the hell do I look like? A twelve year old?

Pretty great picture in the background, but man is this shoe ugly.

Price: One Hundred and Twenty Dollars. Want me to show what you can get for 120 bones?

And you'd still have change for a case of Miller Genuine Draft.

Reputation: Karhu is a Finnish company based out of Helsinki, and they've  been around since 1916. They originally started making skis, javelins and wooden sports shit, then moved on to shoes. They even made skis and boots for the Finnish Army during the Winter War with the Soviets. (Even though the Soviets ultimately ended up winning through sheer numbers, the Finns kicked their ass at every turn, many times through the use of Ski Troops. That my friends is fucking bad-ass. Finns are bad-ass, plain and simple) And Karhu is still around today, rocking the feet off the Finns. That's a pretty solid reputation. One hundred years.

And my final thoughts on this Karhu Shoe...

This shoe is not a shoe for me. Hell no.

But is it a shoe for you?  If you want something on your foot that you are very, very aware of, if you need a back-up rubber mallet,
if you need support on the lateral side of you foot (lateral is a fancy term for Outer) or if you're looking for a pair of ugly non-performance enhancing shoes to match your ugly non-performance enhancing outfit, this is the shoe for you.

Tent Peg banging tools.

Honestly, I think a new runner with a normal foot, maybe on the heavier side would like this shoe.  It's not awful like a Walmart shoe by any stretch. You can tell it's a quality built shoe.

I hope to one day maybe get my hand on something Karhu that isn't footwear. I really want to like them, not just because of the cutesy Bear logo, but mostly because I really dig that they're heavily involved in really cool Finnish Sports and they helped kick some Soviet ass way back in the day.

Rock on Karhu.

Announcing my Second Give Away!!!

Simply comment below with your shoe size. If your'e the right size, you win! Plus, get a free T-shirt to show everyone your support for this bus crash of a shoe. Plus Plus, get a free matching pint glass that you can put your pens or spare change in.

You can win!

Only one pair of shoes will be given away. First person with same shoe size wins the entire package.

UPDATE 11/18/2017
I have donated these abominations to a charity at a race this past weekend.

Later shit-shoe.
Ya, there's  more than a hint of hostility there.

This review was originally posted on October 9, 2017. At the time I was working at the only local store where you could purchase this shoe. 
As a free-agent blogger, I write about whatever the hell I want, I do my best not to slander or name names and provide honest,, if sometimes less than favorable, reviews.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fourty Seven Tendencies of Highly Unsuccesfull People

 At forty seven I sometimes feel like maybe somewhere down the line I should have had some direction in my life.
 Hell, I probably did have direction but got confused or lost or distracted or whatever.

Creative trail marking, creative life decisions. Symbiosis.

Today, so I may help all of you from making similar decisions, I am going to attempt to dial in the deets on what the hell went wrong.

And let me emphasize this point: I may not have a ton of shit, but I'm happy as hell. So take that Success.

Here we go in no particular order (I wrote this over several days so my mind wandered all over the place).

FAIR WARNING: Most of the links send you to music videos. Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Rush, Iron Maiden and such. You should listen to them while reading this. That's why I put them there.

1a) Miscount whenever possible: If the presentation calls for forty seven bullet points, give 'em forty six. Or try to over achieve and shoot for forty eight. Or twelve and half.

) Misspell "Successful" in the title of your blog.

2) Stay hungry: There's never going to be enough food to feed this stupid planet anyway, and you need to do your part. Being hungry all the time makes for some wonderfully piss poor decisions. Whether it's dieting or just being poor, Stay Hungry.

3) Pick a career in a dying trade: Get yourself a job at Best Buy or Blockbuster. I put my years into the printing industry. Stupid internet.

4) Spend all your money on your pets: Got a decent 501k? You should probably cash that in to afford the vet bill. In fact do it twice. (Hint: it's worth it)

5) Skip College:  Maybe you don't need a degree to get a decent job, but I tell you what, being half educated pretty much guarantees you're going to be working at that Blockbuster or picking up garbage.

Harvard is pretty. I miss New England.

6) Waste your High School years: My Dad ran a sub two minute half mile in school. Do you know how fast that is? It's really damn fast. He spent his time on athletics and studying. I spent my school years getting laid, getting stoned and playing bass in a Thrash Metal Band (see #3, Thrash is pretty dead).

7) Don't sweat the light stuff: Don't sweat the important stuff either. You should only sweat when exercising or eating.

8) Fall asleep while reading textbooks: Reading is hard, sleeping is easy.

9) Ignore parental advice: Remember when your Dad told you not to get married straight outta high school? But you were smarter than him, huh? Or worse...maybe you got someone pregnant? Remember when the family disapproved of you dating that heroin addict? 

This ain't her, but you get the idea.

10) Collect credit cards from different banks and see which ones you can max out the quickest: Use your credit cards to buy shit you don't need. Use your credit cards to buy your friends shit they don't need. And then when you lose your minimum wage job you can buy crappy food. Or race entries....and that conveniently brings us to eleven.

11) Spend all your money on your hobbies: Race entries and gear, race entries and gear, race entries and gear. You cannot have enough EVER. This shit never ends.

12) Don't live in box: Boxes are quite frail, cardboard will not withstand a storm. You wanna live in bunker. A big fuckoff concrete bunker with rubber coated walls, inside and out. Everything you want to keep out should bounce off, nothing gets through unless its given to you by a hot blonde chick.

If I lived in a bunker on the beach I'd probably come out to surf a bit more. 

13) Develop random and miscellaneous OCDs. OCDs are an integral part of anyone's personality. When I'm not dicking around on this blog or falling asleep in an un-read textbook I really enjoy cleaning. If your environment is similar to a barn, this gives plenty of opportunity for you to OCD the shit of your day. 

This structure is more stable than my apartment building.

14) Suffer an un-documented head injury: Use your imagination here.

15) Judge not lest ye be judged: What the hell kinda bullshit is that anyway? We all judge each other whether consciously or not. It happens. 

Recognize this? See bullet point #6.

17) Don't put anything other than cocaine up your nose. This coming from a guy that's never even done cocaine.

I just wanted to post this picture.

18) Live like there's no tomorrow: The hand of the Grim Reaper could be reaching out for you right now. That Savings Account isn't gonna stop him. Neither is that horrible song I just linked up there.

19) See bullet point 1a and stop at 19 points.

  There you go. What a bunch of crap. In a few years perhaps we can look back on this and laugh. 

   If I was successful (in the socially accepted point of view) I would probably be at work right now and not have time to write this drivel.

 To hell with the socially accepted point of view. Better to be poor and happy with nothing than rich and miserable with everything.  Although longterm I think it'd be better to be kind of rich and happy with something. I gotta work on that. When that happens I shall write another blog post called "The Sixty Three Tendencies of Kinda Rich and Happy People".

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Product Review: Mt Olive Sweet Salad Peppers

Attempt #2 at the Food Blogger thing.

Food Bloger. Fod Blooger. I like that better. I'm gonna be a Fod Blooger.

I'm currently drinking some of that new 1.75% Maxwell House coffee. It's gross, but has me pretty cranked for a 1pm coffee.

But I'm not reviewing coffee today (maybe later). Today I'm going to put forward my two cents on Mt Olive Sweet Salad Peppers.

Wasn't Mt Olive where Jesus gave his speech?

I think everyone likes sandwiches. We all like our own type of sandwich, of course. But I feel confident that everyone has to eat sandwiches sometime. Or burgers, ya? Does everyone eat some kind of burger? Of course we do. I obviously only eat the veggie burgers, but I like to doll them up the same way you nasty carnivores doll up your Cow Paddy. 

 Maybe some (vegan) mayo? Lettuce or Spinach? Tomato? What else? Ketchup, Mustard? Sauerkraut? The list goes on. 

 Well, I like to use Sweet Pepper slices.

I'm sure you've come to recognize that dinner plate.

These peppers add a nice little tang to my meal. 

I'm not the best at describing a unique taste, especially while drinking coffee. How the hell am I supposed to remember EXACTLY what they taste like. 

But I can tell you, they're a little sweet and a little tangy with just a hint of onion going on.

The product is indeed Peppers, but they're pickled. They're good. If you don't like peppers or onions or though, you won't like these. Probably. And you probably don't like sauerkraut? (Side note, the Sweet Salad Peppers don't have the same gastrointestinal issues as the kraut often does)

Peppers and Onions

I tried finding an image of the ingredient list, to no avail. So I had to poke around a bit and found this list, which does match the in-copy-able image on Mt. Olives' site.


Banana Peppers, Onions, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Mustard Seeds, Calcium Chloride, 0.1% Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Celery Seeds, Sodium Bisulfite (Preservative), and Yellow 5.

Serving Size: 1 oz (28g, about 7 pieces)
Amount per Serving
Calories                    40Kcal 2%
Calories from Fat    0Kcal 0%
Total Fat                  0g 0%
Saturated Fat           0g 0%
Trans Fat                  0g 0%
Cholesterol               0mg 0%
Sodium                      180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate  9g 4%
Dietary Fiber            0g 0%
Added Sugars           3.5g 15%
Sugars                      7g 16%
Protein                      0g 0%
Vitamin A                 100IU 2%
Vitamin C                 3.6mg 5%
Calcium                     0mg 0%
Iron                            0mg 0%
Vitamin D                 0IU 0%
Not exactly a high nutrition food source, but it's a fucking condiment!

My biggest problem with this labeling is the serving size. Seven pieces. Seven? What am I a damn rabbit? Each piece is about the diameter and thickness of a nickel. 

 For some reason it didn't show up, but Mt Olive says you'll typically get seven servings of seven pieces per jar. So approx. 49 chunks of pepper in a 12oz jar. This averages to 8cents per piece of pepper. (There is no cent symbol on my keyboard...) These retail about 3.89 per jar.

 I'm gonna tell ya, no way in hell is a human serving size seven gahdam pieces. Try 20, which brings your single condiment value up to $1.60. 

Just throwing fancy Business Math math at you here, try to keep up.

And just like that, we're now at 2.5-ish servings per jar. If you eat two sandwiches or burgers per meal, as I do, you are now stuck with a half a bloody serving of peppers clogging up the fridge.

 I don't like to bitch without offering options to the said problem. Two immediate solutions come to mind. Three, three immediate solutions come to mind:

 1) Use a bigger serving. Just go with two servings per jar. Not really cost effective, but I hate useless clutter in the fridge.
 2) Get a bigger jar. This one's probably the best option, if the jar fits in the fridge.
 3) Don't even buy this product. Bad option, these are tasty.

Once again, I'm skint, so I won't be buying these for some time.


But man, if you have the extra money to throw into some garnish, this is a pretty good way to go. Add a little bit of summer time flavor to an otherwise boring sandwich, put some flare into a salad or just eat them straight out of the jar.

The Mt Olive webpage has some recipes for you foodies. I don't do recipes, so let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading the Fod Blooger.