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  • The Green Knight: Buenos Aires: Part 1
    for a run in one of the nearby parks There are miles and miles of trails I could probably run a different route each day and still have not covered them all by the end of this vacation For dinner we met up with two of my IMD classmates Felipe and Hernan and their wives at Sucre a modern Argentinian restaurant The food was fantastic and of course we accompanied it with Mendoza Malbec From the reviews it seems that this restaurant is considered pricey but due to the exchange rate with the US dollar it is actually quite affordable even by Houston standards which is already pretty cheap Saturday we put together a breakfast from the bakery down the corner and then struck out to La Recoleta where we visited the craft market and the cemetery I was blown away by the cemetery it s like an entire city of mausoleums with different streets and paths and avenues between them Some of them are more dark and somber some are more colorful and vivacious but they re all really impressive with really detailed craftsmanship Some haven t been terribly well maintained though and you can even see the coffins inside We were there on a sunny day but I have to believe that it would be incredibly creepy to be walking around all those tombs at night Saturday evening we did a wine tasting at Anuva an exporter of boutique Argentinian wines It was fun not only to taste wines we had never heard of there but also to meet other couples who were interested in wine Because Argentinians eat dinner very late we then had some time to kill and had a drink at 868 an old school speakeasy style cocktail joint Our drinks were delicious and expertly crafted by a very nice talkative bartender Finally we had dinner at Casa Felix a small private dining establishment that grows all of its own herbs and seasonings on site and sources everything else locally Here again it was fun to meet other couples including another Rice alum who value the locavore lifestyle enough to seek it out while traveling Dinner was delicious Bolivian peanut soup salad with homemade burrata and spicy plum marmalade cocoa chili crusted Patagonian sand perch and three different papaya desserts It was a very very satisfying way to end the day Sunday has been a wonderful ride as well We spent the day out on Felipe s boat with Laura Hernan and Natalia getting a tour of the many rivers around Buenos Aires Eventually we stopped for an outdoor lunch mostly meat but they managed to find some ravioli for Katie and just relaxed along the beach for some time We followed this up with alfajores a traditional Argentinian cookie that can be thought of as an oreo but 800x better and headed back to the city a fun IMD mini reunion boat trip After nearly three days here I m beginning to get the

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2012/05/buenos-aires-part-1.html (2016-02-01)
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  • The Green Knight: A Life of Significance
    my childhood Mom was always encouraging me to spread my own wings Whether through family trips to foreign countries or taking me to plays concerts cultural events or reading with me or visits to historical sites and LOTS of museums obviously she always nudged me to expand my horizons What impresses me most though are the things she helped me pursue that were way outside her comfort zone Art Monk Football Camp for example or the annual Great Debate about the size and rate of expansion of the universe Throughout she also tried to instill in me her values of doing the right thing the honest thing rather than just the thing of greatest benefit Lord knows I didn t always succeed in this area but she was always there to ahem help me see where I had strayed and correct course Add all that up and I think it s easy to see how I would find myself dedicating my professional life to addressing the world s energy challenges As Nobel Laureate Dick Smalley often said paraphrasing if you take the top ten challenges to humanity over the next 50 years and solve energy the top challenge according to Smalley you solve at least eight of the others water food environment poverty etc incidentally I m working hard on this most significant of industries not just because I believe my efforts will have a big impact but also because I believe it is right So many bright capable energetic people work in industries or for organizations where they really aren t addressing the world s challenges Many of them don t love that fact but they don t know anything else Some of them don t really care Most don t really think about it Thank you Mom for

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2012/05/life-of-significance.html (2016-02-01)
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  • The Green Knight: 33rd Birthday Musings
    of stakeholders in discussion of a new initiative to bring together Rice s commercial and tech powers that be for a new initiative to catalyze entrepreneurship in an entirely new way Concurrently I continue to volunteer at Rice in other ways as a Lovett College associate an active member of the Grad degree Alumni Committee and as co chair with Katie of our Centennial Homecoming this year I m trying to create more of an alumni community in Houston too for my other alma mater IMD The rest of my volunteer efforts go to Give Watts which has more opportunity for major impact and more traction than ever before Through all of this I m trying be the good husband that Katie deserves and a good father to Max while also keeping up my health fitness and rest Of course these are the most important priorities As best I can tell there are 20 as many hours in the day as there need to be to accomplish everything I m working toward I am furiously pursuing all of them and continually trying new ways of working smarter not harder to increase efficiency There is nothing new about this anyone who knew me in college will recognize the same patterns At the same time I am deathly afraid of failing at any of these efforts especially as it seems that so many people are depending on me It doesn t take too much psychoanalysis to find clues about why I live in a perpetual state of overcommitment I suspect that having a father who died when I was pretty young imbued me with at sense of mortality Somewhere in the back of my mind is a sense that it could all end tomorrow which coupled with a strong motivation to have a major impact in the world leads to a fervor a desperation almost to achieve at least some of these goals before it s too late Don t misunderstand me though this is not a hidden plea for sympathy I love my life I am excited by and energized by all these frenetic threads and I wouldn t have it any other way My blood pressure is really low Ever since I first heard the term deferred life plan I immediately related to the desire to live in the now and never lose sight of my dreams If I were hit by a bus tomorrow I may not have accomplished nearly what I had set out to do during my short time in this world but I would at least be satisfied that I have lived every minute of my 33 years I have loved passionately and relentlessly pursued goals consistent with the values that I hold dear These I believe are fundamental to the human experience At a moment like this reflecting on my past and anticipating my future I can t help but be overcome by how blessed I am I stand on the shoulders of giants I

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2012/03/33rd-birthday-musings.html (2016-02-01)
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  • The Green Knight: A Birthday Feast for the Ages
    guests brought another wine to celebrate another vintage 1979 the year I was born The 1979 M Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Belleruche was exquisite vivacious and had plenty of life left as I hope I do Our first two Brunelli were 2001 Castello Banfi Poggio alle Mura and 2001 La Poderina Again these weren t necessarily natural pairings with our food but they were great on their own and the La Poderina especially went well with the buffalo As we moved onto pecorino and gouda cheeses we brought out the other two Brunelli 2001 Castelgiocondo and 2001 Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova As you may recall I ve had negative experience with Castelgiocondo in the past but this was my first time actually drinking their wine It was good but not good enough to cancel out my grudge from that visit The Casanova was Wine Spectator s 2006 wine of the year I m not sure it s that good but it was definitely my favorite of the night and will keep getting better over time Completely stuffed we moved on to dessert homemade blueberry cobbler and chocolate cake Good thing I was carb loading for Sunday s 10k race For this course we had a Sauternes like late harvest wine from California Imagine my surprise then when I took my first sip and it was spicy It turned out that this was not the dessert wine we thought it was It was experimental jalapeno wine our friends had made and bottled in a dessert wine bottle While it certainly wasn t for everyone I happen to love spicy wine so it was a perfect end to a fabulous evening Five hours of wine dinner great company and a spicy surprise what better way to begin my next trip around

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2012/03/birthday-feast-for-ages.html (2016-02-01)
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  • The Green Knight: Arrival in Cognac
    have to head back into Saintes if we wanted any chic cuisine However there was a restaurant down the road with simple food which sounded A OK to us We wandered down the farm roads in the beautiful weather and popped into the restaurant where the cuisine was anything but simple It was fresh delicious and innovative I can t wait to see what constitutes chic cuisine After our late lunch our travel companions Ron and Kathleen Moore arrived I know Ron through the Wine Committee of the Petroleum Club of Houston and we were excited to share this trip with them We walked around the 12th century church just outside our hotel window wandered around farms and vineyards and finally returned to the hotel for dinner Florence offered to prepare dinner for us as well as for John Natalye Claudia elder daughter Dana elder daughter s friend and Julia younger daughter since everything was closed for Bastille Day That turned out to be fortunate for us because Florence s cooking was incredible Muscles oysters fresh tomatoes fish pizzas beef homemade ice cream great local wines not a bad opening dinner The best part was catching up with the John and Natalye family Claudia who was 10 when she moved into Lovett my senior year is now headed to Rice herself Julia who was only 2 is now a young lady Time flies At Rice the master of each college announces the names of graduating seniors at Commencement At Lovett we traditionally announce the college president s name first and then the rest of the seniors in alphabetical order As I had been the previous year s president at Lovett my name was to be announced first in 2001 As John had never been a college master before these were to be the first graduating names he had ever announced Hence I was to be the first name he ever announced at Commencement He took this task seriously and consulted with me about the exact pronunciation of my name rehearsing for a full week before the ceremony When the time finally came Bryan Guido Hassin President of Lovett College came off his tongue as if he had known me for years He showed all of the other graduates the same courtesy As I had most of my family in town I really appreciated that When I finished my master s degree the woman announcing graduates butchered my name horribly just not quite the same So it was wonderful catching up with Ron and Kathleen and the John Natalye clan As we re so close to Cognac we finished the evening with some fine XO while the Bastille Day fireworks were going off Now that it is finally dark which only happened about 11 PM we are turning in to rest up before a big day of wine tasting Pictures are in my facebook album Posted by Bryan Hassin at 17 52 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2008/07/arrival-in-cognac.html (2016-02-01)
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  • The Green Knight: Bella Firenze
    after that they basically leave the wine alone in large wooden casks It seems very Italian to me simple natural and accepting that good things take time four years of aging for their standard Brunello five for the riserva We tasted two vintages of each straight from the barrel They were still very raw but their potential was clear Just as clear was the difference a year of aging made between each Valdicava I m a fan After a lovely lunch in a villa overlooking the vineyards we moved on to Casanova di Neri We received a nice tour of a facility that clearly had a different philosophy As opposed to Valdicava s 17 000 bottles year from a small plot of land Neri produced 200 000 bottles from several vineyards around Montalcino They also used much more sophisticated technology for vinification The result good wines in a modern Brunello style but I preferred Valdicava After a long drive to the opposite end of the commune of Montalcino Castelgiocondo was a huge disappointment Their PR director had screwed up our reservation so she was able to provide a quick tour but no tasting She claimed that their grapes were picked by hand but we called her out on the mechanized grape harvesting equipment we had seen during our drive through the estate At 1 000 000 bottles per year of production and as part of a large Italian label Marchesi di Fresobaldi they were an order of magnitude larger than most Brunello estates I can t speak to the quality of their wine but given what we experienced I m not a fan of the organization The bright side of a short appointment at Castelgiocondo is that it gave us enough time to swing by nearby Castello Banfi the iconic producer that is responsible for something like 20 of all Brunello production by volume Banfi is as close to a Napa estate as you will find in Montalcino it is set up for a high volume of tourists to its beautiful castle estate They have a large cantina with tasting flights and wines by the glass we skipped the tour and made our way immediately there First off the 2007 Rosso di Montalcino sangiovese table wine was excellent This could make for an excellent Hassin house wine Next we tasted the 2004 Brunello di Montalcino against the 2004 single vineyard Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mure Both were way too young of course but they tasted like quintessential Brunello to me We ended by tasting the 1999 Brunello di Montalcino against the 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio all Oro Riserva The basic 1999 Brunello was excellent and was drinking well I had had this once before at Gargoyles in Boston and I remain a huge fan The riserva though was positively sublime rich complex and with a texture that made me want to carry it around in my mouth for the rest of the day This was my favorite wine

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2009/06/bella-firenze.html (2016-02-01)
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  • The Green Knight: Bayou City Classic 10k 2012 Race Report
    they very quickly said Runners get set and blew the air horn My shirt shorts and Vibrams were already soaked as I crossed the starting line half a second later we were off The first half km breezed by in 1 57 average heart rate of 162 BPM with plenty of room for runners to spread out and find their paces As I passed my office I tried to slow down a bit My next km finished in 4 12 174 BPM and the one after in 4 16 172 BPM 25 finished and I was 38 seconds ahead of my target and feeling good My next kms were 4 22 171 BPM and 4 27 170 BPM finally arriving around the base pace I was planning on I crossed the halfway marker at 21 21 not a bad 5k time in and of its own right and prepared to turn around to head back along Memorial toward downtown My next kms were 4 28 173 BPM 4 29 172 BPM and 4 32 172 BPM 75 finished and I was 55 seconds ahead of my target My pace was clearly slipping though and I really felt like the wind was against us now I had to squint a lot to keep gusts of rain out of my eyes and sometimes had to waste energy avoiding huge puddles My toes were feeling a little numb too more motivation to finish quickly The next two kms really slipped from my target race pace 4 37 174 BPM and 4 43 175 BPM with the latter going mostly uphill I had lost ground and was now only 39 seconds ahead of my target good enough for a significant PR but not good enough to attain my 2012 goal of running a 10k under 44 minutes With only half a km left though it was time to push Even though the next 400m were mostly uphill I really cranked them out finishing in 1 27 3 37 km pace 178 BPM As I neared the final turn I could hear someone speeding up and trying to pass me I turned on the juice though and crushed the final sprint in 13 seconds 2 10 km pace 183 BPM and never saw the challenger looks like I beat him by only one second according to the race results Final time 43 43 a new 10k PR by nearly a minute and course record by two minutes for me in pretty poor conditions I finished 101 of 1 176 runners 91st percentile 89 of 617 men 86th percentile and 8 of 76 men ages 30 34 89th percentile all big improvements from last year While I am pleased with the result there are clearly areas for improvement For example my second 5k was a full minute slower than my first 5k Each km I ran was slower than the previous so I seem to have fallen prey a bit to a fly and die race

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2012/03/bayou-city-classic-10k-2012-race-report.html (2016-02-01)
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  • The Green Knight: Capitol 10k 2011 Race Report
    section as well I tried out my new short rapid stride technique on the downhill section and it worked like a champ I finished in 4 20 with an average heart rate of 175 39 seconds ahead of pace If I could just run the rest of my race plan I would accomplish my 2011 goal of running a 10k under 45 minutes The 3rd km started with a steep uphill segment but was followed by a good downhill stretch Last year I completed it in 4 32 at 173 BPM but this year I wanted to stay on my base pace of 4 38 The downhills were really working for me though and I finished in 4 27 with an average heart rate of 177 50 seconds ahead of pace My heart rate was high but I felt good The 4th km also seemed to have a downhill and then uphill segment so again I was shooting for base pace Last year I completed it in 4 40 at 176 BPM However due to the change in race course this km had much more uphill than downhill and I finished it very slowly 4 49 with an average heart rate of 180 now only 39 seconds ahead of pace but still on track to beat the 45 minute barrier Last year I finished the 5th km in 4 46 175 BPM but this year was shooting for base pace However the gentle downward slope made this km easier than anticipated and I finished it in 4 22 with an average heart rate of 178 The first half of the race had taken me 22 14 a personal best I was 59s ahead of last year s run and 55s ahead of this year s pace My heart rate was high but the hardest part of the race was behind me and my form was holding up well Kms 6 and 7 were race makers for me last year featuring long downhill slopes Last year I finished them in 4 25 177 BPM and 4 24 178 BPM respectively and I was shooting for 4 24 for each of them this year I finished the 6th in 4 22 with an average heart rate of 178 BPM and the 7th despite a course change in 4 24 with an average heart rate of 179 BPM 57s ahead of pace The 8th km was quite flat and last year I finished it in 4 41 176 BPM This year shooting for base pace I came in at 4 37 with an average heart rate of 177 BPM Last year the uphill of the 9th km killed me slowing me to 4 51 176 BPM This year I resolved to stay below 4 46 and succeeded finishing in 4 42 with an average heart rate of 177 BPM 62s ahead of pace Heading into the final km I felt pretty good and actually noted that this was the most lucid and clear

    Original URL path: http://greenknig.ht/2011/03/capitol-10k-2011-race-report.html (2016-02-01)
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