Painting pictures with words

Thanks for all the feedback and response on last week’s extended rant against the current state of the fast food industry. It felt really great to get that off my chest. Since I’m currently not working, I’ve been at my apartment with the television on while I’m doing other things (like writing this blog, looking for jobs to apply for, etc.) more than I would otherwise. As such, I’m seeing the same ads again and again and again …

You get the point.

After three months of seeing men portrayed as scruffy, fat slobs, I felt like an entire industry was insulting me. It wasn’t like I was ever going to order a Double Down, I didn’t eat that the first time it came to Canada when I was still fat, but it was the blatant pandering to our obesity epidemic.

And you wonder why obesity is contagious despite not being caused by a virus? The obese are now in the majority, let’s not encourage them to buy the healthier option, but instead let’s create menu options to get them even fatter.  If the zombie apocalypse happens, these guys will start serving brains. At least they’l stop cheating on their wives with their secretaries:

I suppose they figured they could never get away with what the alcohol industry does routinely and portray their products as a pathway to desirability. The irony is the average night’s consumption of their product contains the same amount of calories as the fast food burger, which was likely consumed before, during, or after alcohol consumption.

I guess this must be how women feel when portrayed in popular culture as Louboutin and sex-crazed bimbos. At least they get portrayed as objects of desire instead of unkempt, overweight underachievers in a permanent state of arrested development.

Besides, most of the “bimbo” ads are targeted at men’s wallets, not women’s. Even the wallet as target is questionable. Kate Upton for Carl’s Jr., anyone?

Though politics and academia have been more vocation as of late, at heart I’m an idea man.  You’ve probably guessed from following this blog, that I like to write. Writing is my creative outlet. Some create images with paint, some with moving pictures, but I do it with words.

Advertising and marketing is basically crafting an idea regarding a product that makes . When I see crappy, pandering ads it’s not because the product suck (although it probably does), it’s because the company hired a lazy, creative  ad guy who spends more time dreaming that he was Don Draper than actually being Don Draper.

Just remember, wannabes, it doesn’t take a BBA or MBA to come up with an idea. Most of the creative people I know in the marketing profession hold degrees in humanities and fine arts, if any formal education at all.

I just can’t believe these assclowns have jobs despite the declining sales of the products they shill. Apparently an ad firm is harder to fire than a bureaucrat.

Enough venting, more running.

But first, a little public service announcement. For those of us in the Ottawa area, Bridgehead is running it’s Sole Responsibility programme again this year. You can click the link for more information. It’s a great way for us runners to pay forward our good fortune by donating our used running shoes.

As I mentioned at the end of last week’s post, I attended Kalin’s 5K clinic on Friday for their “Bring-a-Buddy” night. It was a relatively quick run, 3 intervals of 7 and 1. I think being there helped nudge her out of her comfort zone. Within in a few blocks, we went from back of the pack to near the front. If not for a couple of guys determined to sprint the last 500 m, she would have been the first one back to the store. On Sunday, she and Vicky, herself making a return to the Sunday morning runs, ran together and were even faster than the two of us on Friday. They outpaced the entire group to the point where they ran further than the range of their instructor’s voice and missed their walk breaks.

I only keep awesome people as friends and the women in my life are no exception.

My Sunday’s run lived up to the name of the day, April Fools’ Day.  The prank was that it was actually spring, but you wouldn’t know it from what was thrown at us. It was a great run, but over the course of the morning we ran through every kind of weather except sun and even a modicum of warmth. At several points, we had heavy flurries. There were rain showers. The nicest part of the morning was when it was just cold and windy.

Like last week, I loaded the route into and sent it to my iPhone. Thankfully, I didn’t need it really need it. I only went to the phone twice, once after we had crossed the locks by Carleton, to make determine if I should go left or right at a fork in the pathways, and the other to turn the volume down since the computer voice was bugging the runners (and me , too). Since I used it proactively, I didn’t get my group lost. No extra kilometre this week.

Of the three items I mentioned in last weeks post – hydration, nutrition, and bathroom breaks – all three were important last Sunday. I was well prepared on both hydration and nutrition, but failed to act on nutrition. I brought along a pack of Clif Shots Bloks energy chews, but didn’t actually use them. Around the 12k mark, I could feel the emptiness in my stomach. I knew I had enough energy to finish the run and there was my protein smoothie waiting for me at the store. By the time I got back to the store, I was beyond hungry and it was affecting my mood. It was pretty close to hangry (hungry + angry = hangry). Digging into my pack to find I had forgotten to include certain items to change into. I arrived at Bridgehead in the midst of a caloric deficit in wet clothes.

Thankfully there were two things there to cheer me up: Kalin and coffee. We haven’t been dating that long, but Kalin has learned one thing about me: I’m not a morning person. Until I have that morning coffee or the post-workout endorphins kick in, I’m pretty grumpy. For some reason, I haven’t scared her off yet.

Joanne gave me a few tips to help prevent this from happening again. One is so simple, I should I have thought of it myself: honey in my water. It will give me a natural caloric boost while hydrating me. Can’t bonk on my pace group. That would not be good.

Tuesday’s tempo run was a quick run in the opposite direction of the route we took the previous Tuesday. Not sure if it was any easier on the runners. Last week had us do the double hill by the Rideau Locks near the end, but we still had a kilometre left so we could take a bit of a break and slowly jog the rest to get the heart rates steady. The opposite way has a series of small hills in rapid succession, with not much room on the plateaus to have a quick walk break before hitting the next one.

I actually missed Wednesday’s hill runs. I had a job interview. I made up for it with my Greco Extreme Lean workout the next morning, and worked the legs extra hard.

Apparently, it rained outdoors on Wednesday while I was absent. The grounds of Parliament were soaked when I left.  My group, though, tackled the double hill by the Rideau locks 6 times with gusto. They’re a great group, always pushing themselves to go a little faster and farther.

In the right conditions, a run in the rain can be truly relaxing, like a jog through a shower.

I still prefer sunny day runs, though.


And Happy Easter!


5 responses

  1. “spends more time dreaming that he was Don Draper than actually being Don Draper.” – agreed. Although I also think that for advertising to succeed, there needs to be an element of taking risks and not being afraid to make mistakes… so no lazy slouch either!

    1. Apologies for the late reply. I think we can both agree the best advertising challenges the consumer and creates demand where none to little existed prior. My own view on the fast food ads and the industry they support is that they’re pandering to the lowest common denominator. It seems to be more of a reflection of this junk food fetishist Internet meme than a true market demand. Anything that screams “extreme” just seems so last decade. I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be in the pitch meeting for KFC when the creative guy goes, “Picture this: fat guys … plaid shirts … ping pong … night vision goggles … the Double Down!”

      No, wait, I can. 🙂 Remember, this is the same company that casting African-Americans in commercials calling it “Kitchen Fresh Chicken” was a good idea, too.

  2. Try coconut water in your fuel belt too 🙂

    1. Thanks. May try that, but I have to admit that I’m not fussy on the taste of coconut. Any suggestions to counter the taste?

  3. […] My 14K run two Sundays ago was an example of what not to do.  I came prepared. I had my gel blocks. I just didn’t use them. […]

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