Altra Instinct 2.0s

Altra Instinct 2.0 Review

2 years ago Altra announced an update to their cushioned-but-still-zero-drop model, the Instinct, dubbing this version 2.0.

A year ago I bought my first (green) pair and LOVED them!

A month ago Altra announced another update, dubbed 3.0, and discounted the 2.0 models, so I bought two more pairs – one green, one blue.

All told I’ve run in excess of 700 miles in these three pairs of the same shoe. I’m incredibly late for a formal review since you’re likely not able to pick up a pair for yourself, but it’s so rare for me to find a shoe I’d buy 3 times that I finally felt compelled to share it here.

The difference between this Altra model and most other “barefoot” or zero drop shoes is the cushioning. The Instinct 2.0 has a decent stack height and plenty of cushioning, like traditional running shoes, it just eschews the normal heel-to-toe drop for a zero drop. They also have a fantastic, roomy foot-shaped toe box, giving your toes and foot more room to spread out as you run.

What this means is that you get all the benefits of good form, mid-foot strike running plus the cushioning so your feet don’t suffer the abuse of road wear & tear.

Personally, I could never wear Vibrams because of my bunion and my feet got too tired and sore from running in my New Balance Minimus Roads. The Instinct 2.0s are the perfect compromise – all of the form benefits without any of the cushioning or comfort sacrifices.

Both of the new pairs have under 100 miles on them (barely) so I’ve likely got another year and a half before I need a new pair, but the Instinct 3.0 will be at the top of my list when I go shopping.

Miles run/Price paid per pair (L-to-R):
Green – 554/$105
Blue – 81/$75
Green – 75/$55

So not much of a review but one Hell of a shoe. People may comment on the wide toe box (my wife says they look like Moon boots), but they’re the best shoe I’ve ever run in. I don’t have to sacrifice anything & I’ve strengthened my feet & calves.

See you on the run!

TCM Kermit Logo

A TCM Tipple

Since yesterday was the 21st birthday of Turner Classic Movies (a previous stop of mine), I figured a little alcoholic tribute was in order considering TCM is now the legal age to imbibe.

Here, then, are a few potent potables and their movie pairings/appearances to broaden your palette & your film intelligence.

French 75Casablanca(More info on the French 75 & Casablanca) – a truly classic film and a powerful champagne cocktail with a great backstory.

ManhattanSome Like It Hot – What’s not to love about men in drag drinking a concoction out of a hot water bottle?

Old FashionedIt’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – The only Old Fashioned more dangerous than Don Draper’s is one made by the pilot of a plane while he should be flying!

Whiskey SourThe Seven Year Itch – Another Marilyn Monroe mention.

Dry MartiniThe Thin Man series – If these films or this classic cocktail don’t make you thirsty, you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s Nick & Norah Charles (William Powell & Myrna Loy) enjoying some Martinis, to give you a “taste”

A Shot & a beer:
Narragansett (You may still be able to find the throwback cans in New England) – Jaws – You may need a bigger glass.

Nicholson’s WhiskeyThe Shining – Bourbon vs. Tennessee Whiskey

Honorable Mentions:
White RussianThe Big Lebowski – A caucasian with a lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-you’s

Vodka Martini OR the Vesper – Any James Bond film, though you’ll only find the Vesper in Casino Royale (and not the 1967 version, the 2006 version). – Shaken, not stirred.

Here’s the wacky Herb Alpert-licious trailer for the 1967 Casino Royale which is “classic” in it’s own way.

I’m not suggesting you do a marathon of watching these films OR drinking these drinks (the latter might be especially dangerous), but if you’re inclined towards a tipple and good movies, you could do a lot worse than sampling something from either column if you haven’t already.


There Goes My Hero

My Father-in-Law got a GoPro Hero3+ Silver (I’m fairly certain on the Silver, definitely a Hero3) for Christmas and was kind enough to let me wear it during my New Year’s Day run.

He put it in Timelapse mode to take a photo every 2 seconds and off I went. 35 minutes and 7k later, I was done.

Using the included GoPro Studio software, I was able to import the over 1,000 photos and create the video below. Because HD video (and a good number of video formats) are 24 frames-per-second, I actually had to import the photos as 12fps first and then render the .m4v regularly otherwise it would be a 40-second, 300+ mph rocket launch.

As it is you can see me run 4.4 miles in around 1:30, or roughly a 180 mph sprint. Next time I’ll record at 1 or even .5 seconds for a smoother, slower video.

Enjoy (and try not to get motion sick)!

Bonus running-related news-of-the-day: DailyMile now has an official iPhone app!


The Uncanny Monument Valley

I’m not the first person this week to tackle the amazing game Monument Valley, but it’s deserving of the hype and worth the purchase price.

For the unaware, Monument Valley is a mobile game from ustwo that follows a protagonist, Ida, through a 3d/2d geometric wonderland which draws heavily from the works of M. C. Escher. It’s also got the 8-bit flavor of classic NES games and a glorious soundtrack & sound effects that recall those same games (think Legend of Zelda).

When I posted a shot of the final screen of the expanded levels on twitter, a friend name-checked Marble Madness and that feels right too. It’s simply a stunning game.

I won’t spoil all of the wonder for you, but I will include a gallery of my final screens. Even as digital art they’re beautiful artifacts.

Support this kind of Indie game by getting the game and the expansion on iTunes, Google Play or Kindle. It’s a treat!

Pumpkin Spice M&M's

Two Great Tastes?

Like Doritos & Mountain Dew (Dewitos), your’e in luck!

Enjoy Frito Pie so much you’d put it on a pie, there’s a pizza for that!

Maybe it’s the adjacency to Thanksgiving, but I can’t help but be reminded of Jones’ Soda’s Holiday Packs from the early-to-mid 2000’s, featuring all-time flavor greats such as Gravy or Brussels Sprout.

Also related: some of the recent M&M varietals are pretty wacky too.

Give Thanks, everyone, that we’re not forced to indulge in any of these earthly delights.