July 4th: Running, Burgers, Ping-Pong, Fireworks

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I had a great July 4th holiday. It started at 7:30 AM with a one hour call with some students at a summer session at the University of Notre Dame. After Q&A about entrepreneurship, their teacher pulled off a genuine Oprah moment and announced that they each were receiving a free copy of My Start-Up Life. Enjoy, guys!

Then I went for a run in Golden Gate Park. It was spectacularly beautiful. As someone who works out every day in a gym, it’s nice to mix it up with an outdoor setting. And I don’t hold back when it comes to doing my push-ups and crunches on a grass field in public. (I’m reminded of my post on push-ups in public from Dresden, Germany.)

In the early evening I went over the bridge to Marin County where I enjoyed a lazy BBQ dinner at my friend Andy’s house. The weather was amazing. The burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon, apple pie, and homemade ice cream even more so. As our paper-plate dinner drew to a close, I saw Andy’s foot start tapping erratically. He was nervous. For good reason. We were going to publicly duel in ping-pong afterwards, and he had the jitters. (Kind of reminded me of David Cohen back in March — speaking of which, if you live in Boulder, don’t miss the First Annual Ping Pong Classic on July 19th at 3 PM at the TechStars Office in Colorado.) Our friend Jeremy, who dominated the matches, had the line of the day: "Don’t punch the ball, love it."

And what would a July 4th be without the famous hot dog eating contest? I was pumped to see that for the first time in 10 years an American knocked off his Japanese competitor in downing 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. After his victory, he hoisted the Mustard international Yellow Belt and wrapped himself in an American flag to chants of "USA! USA!". His adversary wrapped himself afterwards in a silver-colored blanket normally used by marathon runners. The absurdity.

On my way home I stopped by Peter Thiel‘s house and witnessed a fantastic fireworks display from the roof. This woman on Flickr captured the photo above (her other photos of San Francisco are equally impressive).

Thanks to Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, and the rest of those fine men for making this holiday (and country) possible!

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