I ran a 5K race after a long time this morning. To make sure that I did not wait for that long a time for the next one, I went ahead and ran a second one this evening. Morning one was on a flat surface and I was able to post 8:13 min/mile. The evening one was on punishing hills and I had to slow down to 8:41 min/mile. But there was wine at the end of it 🙂
Nikita and our dog Jay Jay came to cheer me up. (Sharmila is visiting Natasha in New York).
Your probably remember some of the inspiring pictures of kids running in the morning. The evening one was no different. The evening run was to raise money for differently abled kids who are financially disadvantaged. There was one kid who clearly was differently abled who showed up (for the shorter version of the race) to raise money for his brethren.
I was touched by him enough to hang around till he showed up at the finishing line. I was completely humbled by the fact that somebody who can barely walk properly would show up for a race just to raise money for kids like him but in a different financial situation.
What blew my mind was the sight of his mom walking step for step with him all the way. What sacrifices must she have made to raise her son all her life!
Every time the next hill in my run threatened to take my breath away, all I had to do was remind myself of what I had just seen. The world was very even after that.
Let the records indicate that for all the divisiveness we have pushed ourselves to in the garb of so called knowledge and intelligence, our basic instinct of just being humane is often still intact!!!
It was extremely heartening to see so many people come out to run to raise money for research and cure of ALS. Quite a few of my friends have one or the other parent affected by this and some, unfortunately, have eventually lost the battle.
There were some very cute kids who came for the Fun Run. The youngest one divided her time between taking a few steps and focusing on her pacifier!! It was very encouraging to see the sense of camaraderie among all the young participants.
In the 5K run itself, there were kids around 10 years old on one hand and there were septuagenarians on the other. There were a few who finished it in their wheelchairs – and one of them is currently afflicted by ALS. There were people sprinting, people jogging and people walking. Regardless of their capability, they came out to show solidarity in the fight against ALS. A few dogs, not to be outdone, ran the whole race with us!
If medical technology cannot find a cure soon, I am sure the human spirit will.
Amitesh ran after a long time and posted one of his career best times. I ran a 5K race after a long time too (these days, I focus on the long distance runs instead of the fast ones). Mine was good enough to get the 3rd prize in my age category.
FEW is an American Style Gin. If you have followed all my Gin research by now, you probably realize that Genever was the original drink from the Belgium/Netherlands area. Then came Tom Gin and finally London Dry style (which is not aged in a barrel at all). American style Gin is a very recent phenomenon and they tend to be (not always) less junipery and a little more citrus forward.
That said, this Gin is very different. To begin with, there is a distinct wood-y nose. Which is surprising for a gin not aged in a barrel till you realize that the base of this gin is not the traditional neutral grain but more akin to white whiskey. The warm toasty malty nose comes from the base of barley, corn and whiskey used.
In terms of the botanicals, other than the standard juniper, citrus, orange peels, lemon and cassia, you have the interesting twists of vanilla (Tahitian vanilla), grains of paradise and home grown hops.
If you are into brown alcohols and want to try gins, you will like this. If you are not too much into barrel aged alcohols, do not take this straight up or with tonic water. Your best way to try this might be with something that compensates for the woody-ness — perhaps a cocktail like Negroni or a Martini.
FEW is made in an interesting place – Evanston – about 30 miles north of Chicago and very close to the Northwestern University. The real interesting part of this area is that this was one of the areas that inspired the Prohibition area!! The distillery is rather new – only about 6 years in existence.
I would also put this gin on the higher end of price – although nothing like Monkey 47.
In the past, you probably have read about my team mate Bob Hickey and his really, really funny comebacks. He is a guy with an incredible sense of humor and presence of mind.
Early this morning, I called him up from the West Coast and went..
Me: “Was it your anniversary yesterday?”
Me: “How many years?”
He: “32 long years”.
Me: “I did not realize that our anniveraries are so close. Mine is tomorrow”.
He: “Oh! How many years for you?”
Me: “Not as long as you. 24.”
Perhaps touched to the quick on that “not as long as you”, in about half a jiffy, he came back with…
“Hey! Rajib, only if my wife agreed, I would be more than happy to step aside and let you catch up to me”.
Again, all you could hear is both of us guffawing on either side of the phone!!!
After three days of coast to coast meetings, finally dragged myself to the Portland airport (with no help from United Airlines, if you needed to know 🙂 ). After checking in, went thru security and dropped down in a chair at the Delta Skyclub. There was one more hour long video meeting to be done before I could walk into my flight.
Somewhere during the meeting, as my team mate Anand Iyer explained something that has been a practice for quite some time in our company, I asked, rather impatiently – “But that makes no logical sense, right? Why would anybody do it?”.
Anand, much smarter than I – and who obviously agreed with my premise, instead decided to answer the core thesis behind my question. “There have four Nobel prizes given in recent times to people who have proven that we all behave irrationally”.
I had to take a time out for a few seconds to laugh my heart out.
“Well played, Sir, well played!!”
Sometimes I wonder why do I foxtrot to office every morning – is it because I am surrounded by very smart people or is it because I am surrounded by very funny people…
This is probably the last cocktail with the Esme gin for me. Aviation is, of course, gin, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice. The original Aviation is supposed to include creme de violette to give the distinctive light purple color. Commonly garnished either with a lemon peel or a brandied cherry.
Jasmine was the first cocktail I experimented with the Esme gin. The floral essence of the gin played rather well with the edgy bitterness of a Campari. To soften the Campari, I went with some Triple Sec and then some lemon juice to retain the citrus-forward gin’s character.
The nose was mostly carried by the gin and the Triple sec – junipers, orange and rose petals were the most prominent. The palette started with the citrusy taste but quickly the soft bitterness of Campari took over and settled down. The finish was mostly the junipers, the lemons and the rose petals.
… which means a quick 5K run by Des Plaines river right next to the O’Hare airport…