Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Surgical & Aircraft Grade Marketing BS

Let me vent regarding a pet peeve of mine, educate the blogosphere's collective mind, and perhaps influence consumer perception.

I get really pissed off when I see consumer products marketed that are constructed of "surgical grade" or "aircraft grade" alloy/steel/aluminum/titanium. The inkling that this stuff is made out of some kind of advanced superalloy is totally bogus and misleading assertion.


First things first.

The two greatest criteria in selecting a metals for use within the body are:
1) that it is inert to blood and other body fluids
2) it will not undergo corrosion in the time from manufacture, sterilization, and aging. Or in the body if it's implantable.

Strength is often an afterthought for most medical materials. Fitting into the "almost never a consideration" category would be weight. Oh yeah, and stainless steel is relatively cheap.

Check this out. They should really be calling it Cutlery steel. This is from 1915, when most surgery was generally performed with a hacksaw.


The greatest criteria in selecting a metal for use in an airplane are
1) Strength to weight ratio (specific strength, for you geeks out there)
2) Fatigue resistance
3) Creep resistance (for the layman, creep is an engineering term for the weakening of a metal at high temperatures over long periods. I'm not talking about that guy mumbling to himself on a downtown street corner, that is an entirely different creep resistance -- a steely gaze and big biceps are the best in this regard)
4) ability to form into complex shapes
5) corrosion resistance - although aircraft often employ complex coating systems as well.

Anways, generally you hear "aircraft grade" applied to 6061-T6 and 6Al-4V titanium. Incidentally, these are the most common alloys of the two respective base elements you'll find.

Here's something you probably didn't know. simple carbon steel is stronger than pure titanium, most titanium alloys, and almost all aluminum alloys. Care to know what you add to aluminum to make it as strong as steel? Guess! I bet you're wrong! Answer: Copper. about 3% by weight and then a sophisticated heat treatment.

Even better yet, sometimes 6Al-4V is sometimes reffered to "military grade!" That's gotta have every basement nerd jizzing their pants in ecstasy. Actually, 6Al4V is by design almost identical in property to common stainless steel, just lighter. That's about it.

Here's what you'll never see. Some company hocking a "surgical grade" gadget made out of Nickel Titanium, MP35N, Cobalt Chrome, Tantalum, Tungsten, 17-4PH(my favorite flavor of stainless steel), or Platinum.

sidebar: Speaking of Platinum, I don't understand the fascination. Platinum is not an attractive metal -- its a dull grey, nor can it become shiny unless you alloy it with something -- Iridium is generally the choice. But even then it can't hold a mirror polish like stainless steel can, and it's not nearly as hard, and will scratch & mar quite easily.


I bet you've never seen an "aircraft grade" doohicky made from Hastelloy, Waspalloy, Inconel, or CMSX single crystal alloys.

Now. Let me tell you about some cool metals. Brace yourself, this is going to be AWESOME.

Palladium - indistinguishable from platinum but about 1/3 the price, it absorbs up to 900 times its volume of hydrogen under standard conditions.
Beryllium- the lightest of all (mostly) non-reactive metals, it is also extremely stiff. Used primarily in satellites, missles, and supersonic aircraft.
Rhenium - the last metal on the periodic table to be discovered; it is about as dense as platinum, has a melting point second only to tungsten, and its one of the most rare metals on the planet - many times more rare than platinum or gold.
Indium-a relatively weak metal that makes high pitched screams when you bend it.
Astatine- Its isotopes have half lifes of between 8 hours and 125 nanoseconds, so you could have kilos of it in your hand, and it would dissappear before your eyes. Actually, it would emit so much radiation that it would probably cook you down to charcoal in the process, but that's cool, right? Too bad that in all of North & South America to a depth of 10 miles deep, there's probably only about 1 trillion At atoms at any given time. (found that on wikipedia)
Tellurium- a metal that when exposed to humans, even in very low concentrations, gives them a garlicly smelling breathe.
Thermite - a mixture of steel and aluminum that gets so hot that when ignited, a dollop of it could pass through the block of a V8 engine.

So now you can laugh the same way I do when you hear all this nonsense.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top albums of 2008

My top albums of 2008, ranked by my iPod/music player of choice play. I'm not going to write any reviews, because, in the words of Chuck Klosterman, "when reading criticism, you learn more about the critic than you do the music." or something like that.

Mystery Jets - 21
Vampire Weekend
MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Protest the Hero - Fortress
The Kills - Midnight Boom
The Mars Volta - The bedlam in Goliath
Jolie Holland - The Living and the Dead
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Los Campesinos - We are Beautiful, We are doomed.

Stuff I haven't heard yet:
TV on the Radio
Black Mountain

I don't think I've given Fleet Foxes or Portishead a fair listen yet either.


...
Maybe that means I don't have alot to say.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another "Hell Yeah!" for Henry

Henry blasts out a very concise and eloquent rant on a topic I've been spouting about for years.

Holy Accurate Economic Prediction, Batman!

This guy either has a time machine or knows what he's talking about.

Check the date -- March 2008. Almost every single one of his predictions has been accurate thus far. Who knows...if John McCain would've listened to this guy, and acknowledged economic weakness, he might have been a much stronger opponent to Obama.

Perhaps the most poignant:


Expect 3 years before the bottom, as a very optimistic best case scenario.


So I'm going to travel with my money instead. With the exception of my 401k, my savings have outperformed the market quite well to date. I'm planning a trip to New Zealand in April.

Key Bush insider set to testify dies in plane crash.

You probably heard about flight 1404 crashing in Denver the other day. However, there's a plane crash probably you didn't hear about. This should be one of the biggest stories for 2008, but it probably won't be. I'm usually a very skeptical person, but this has my conspiracy detector off the charts.

Michael Connell was an IT expert for the Bush Whitehouse and Karl Rove. He died on the evening of Dec. 19th when his single engine airplane crashed. The plane is purported to have ran out of fuel. Pretty conspicuous for a man who was known to be a very experienced pilot. And on top of that, running out of fuel does not mean airplanes just fall out of the sky. as long as they don't stall out, they can glide long distances provided that the hydraulics work, and can land if there's a clear place to do it.

Who is this guy? Remember the US attourney scandal? This was when we learned that the Bush Whitehouse didn't actually use government computers, but instead used Republican party owned equipment, and a GWB43 domain name. My understanding is that after a freedom of information request was made to get emails from the Republican party, they apparently "lost a few million emails." Well, he was Rove & Bush's #1 computer man --he was also under investigation for vote tampering in 2004. A non-profit watchdog group has been collecting information on him for years.

Well, he decided to testify, was threatened by Karl Rove, denied protective custody, and is now dead.

From PRNewswire-USNewswire


A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VelvetRevolution(a non-profit investigating Mr. Connell over the last 2 years) in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell's not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.


On October 31, Mr. Connell appeared before a federal judge in Ohio after being subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit investigating the rigging of the 2004 election under the direction of Karl Rove. The judge ordered Mr. Connell to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election. Velvet Revolution received confidential information that the White House was extremely concerned about Mr. Connell talking about his illegal work for the White House and two Bush/Cheney 04 attorneys were dispatched to represent him.


The Bush administration is now trying to erase the truth from the history book. This is par for Soviet Russia, not America. Expect GWB to pardon lots of people who had direct contact with his administration at the end of his term. The idea that a witness dies in a suspicious manner is far beyond chilling to me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

In the words of George Carlin

Some people are fuckin' stupid

Who votes for Franken AND Michelle Bachman?



Sunday, December 7, 2008

2010 Goals

It's my intention to apply to a master's program in 2010. I will be applying for Rotary's Ambassadorial scholarship, a program where I would be studying overseas. I will select 5 different schools -- and quite possibly need to learn a new language. It's my intention that more than 3 of these schools will be in Scandinavia.

This will be a great challenge, and I'm willing to sacrifice quite a bit for this. I've had dreams of not only becoming bilingual, but also living abroad for quite some time. This will help realize them.

What I decide to study is of some question at this time. Rotary is interested in humanitarianism and intercultural understanding as a key goal, so in order to be selected I will need to fit those interests as well as my own........ so I begin to wonder if Biomedical engineering would fit this mold.

So I'm planning......

A whole lot of awesome.

Finally I found a video of this.

Norwegian pro freeskier Fred Syversen unintentionally hit the world record cliff drop, got buried in the snow and skied away to the waiting rescue helicopter. At the hospital they found that he only had some minor internal bruising on his liver. This all happened in the Alps while filming. The cliff was said to be 351 feet(!) high and Fred Syversen’s speed at take off was around 80 km/h.



From Fred himself.

Some facts for u guys

Hehe,

Somebody told me about this discussion (couldn’t read it trough, too much), and I like to add a few facts, the rest I will leave for the film and the pics. I can’t give you any proof, that’s not for me to decide.

My ski philosophy is that you should always stick your landings, that’s gonna progress our sport! Going this BIG we’ll leave to the BASE jumpers.

This was the warm up run at the beginning of the day during heli-filming, and it turned out that I missed the end of my line with not to many meters (difficult route finding cause of similar terrain features ). I let my skis go pretty much into the falline and picks up speed instantly, and just thereafter realized my fault and that I will go out something, probably huge.

The mind works amazingly fast under stressed situations; breaking or trying to stop was no longer an option, it simply went too fast. If I had tried that I wouldn’t write this. So that left one choice; go for it, and do it right!

For a fraction of a second I thought this is it, but managed to get in a slight right turn to avoid the cliffs on my left side in the landing area. Then comes the take off at an amazing speed (it felt like that), I see snow underneath, and I realized that it’s not over yet.

In the air I tried to keep a position as long as I could, but air pressure finally pushed the tips of my skis up. That’s what I wanted as well, because landing it anything else than horizontally was out of the question!

I had an ABS avalanche back pack, and for those who know, it has a little metal/aluminum bottle ? near the lower back, not good if you land on your back. So I tilted my body slightly to left before impact and that probably saved my spine.

I didn’t want this to come out, but with mobile phones around……

Nuit de la Glisse Films / Perfect Moment Clothing company, producer Thierry Donard
Photographer : Felix St. Clair RĂ©nard
Measure of the jump 330 feet.

For the skiing watch Free Radicals : Rising and Snowblind and Nuit de la Glisse: Perfect Moment ”The Contact”.

And as far as I know; I am not 42 yet, but hope I will be.

Fred Syversen




2 things:

This is incredible to me. This goes to show how limitless we are as a human race. Every day in our life, we see and imagine things that we don't believe are possible. Who would've thought anyone could survive this? Fred wouldn't have, had you asked him minutes before....but he had the basic tools necessary to succeed (i.e. live), focused, and achieved. It turns out, self doubt is really what keeps us from realizing our full potential.

Whether this actually counts as a world record is of some question to people. The previous record was held by Minnetonka, MN native Jamie Pierre, who jumped a 235' cliff in Wyoming two years ago--Intentionally. Fred also believes that it doesn't count if you don't land on your feet, and keep going.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Economy

I'm really freaked out.

Remember the movie "The Princess Bride"?

You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha.. *dead*

Only George W. Bush could be a greater fool. To this day he knows nothing about economic policy. We have taken a huge portion of our economic stability and put it into a land war in Asia. 2 of them, in fact.

Back when I was a young child, the Communist juggernaut Soviet Union was trying to take over Afghanistan. They spent everything they had fighting the Taliban and Al Qaida(while the CIA funded the terrorists), and it bankrupted them. It caused the fall of the Soviet Union.

Now we have a different economic crisis on our hands, and it's quite possible that we could have money available to float our banks, fix the problems, and sell them when they become profitable -- like Sweden did.

But we don't have that money. It's now gone into the hands of government contractors, weapons manufacturers, and the black hole that is the Pentagon. The take-home pay of our ground troops pales in comparison to the aformentioned.

I hope Barack will be true to his word and end these wars quickly, not just for the sake of innocent lives there, but for the global economy as a whole. The reverberations from an employment shortage in the western world is very frightening.



And to slightly change topic, we've also spread belligerence across the planet. Instead of making friends, we've made hundreds of thousands of enemies. My only hope is that their anger will be attenuated in the future and if not, it will not be directed at those who've been trying to make the world a more peaceful place.

Perpetuation of violence has been a way of life for generations on the other side of the world. It is not something I want here. This world will self annihilate unless we perpetuate forgiveness to those who have trespassed against you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Incredible

My old swim high school coach just sent me an email.

The state girls swim meet was just held in my old pool, and a high school junior from another team just broke 3 very old national records held by Olympic Gold Medalist Janet Evans.

I'll bet that less than 10 men in the state in my entire high school career were able to post times faster than that woman's 200yd freestyle time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Things you learn over time.

Good idea: Have some alcoholic drinks, then eat. Continue drinking as necessary.

Bad idea: Eat a meal. Then go drinking.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Comparing & Contrasting Survivorman and Man Vs. Wild.

I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but these are two of my favorite shows, and I like them for different reasons.

In case you're not familiar, both shows are filmed in exotic locations where you might become stranded, and they attempt to teach you how to survive.

Les (survivorman) gets dropped off in the middle of nowhere with just about nothing and a bunch of cameras. He films everything and is very alone -- he either finds civilization or his crew begins searching for him after 7 days.
Bear(Man vs. Wild) goes out into the middle of nowhere with his own camera crew. He usually sleeps in hotels in nearby cities, etc.

Les: My motorcycle broke, and I'm stuck here in the middle of the desert. I'm going to strip anything useful off of it and get moving.
Bear: I'm going to skydive off a helicopter onto a Patagonian glacier!

Les: I really need to get across this river in order to get to a road to find people. It's going to be really cold
Bear: I'm going to jump off this cliff into a raging canyon river to show you what to expect if you ever have to cross something like this. WoooHOOO!

Les: It would be best to have this emergency blanket up against skin, but I'm not going to get naked on a mountain peak while it's cold & raining.
Bear: Since my clothes are wet after swimming across this river in icelandic backcountry, I have to get these clothes off and get dry even though the windchill is like -20F. *Tears clothes off til he's buck naked, does pushups.*

Les: I haven't eaten in 3 days, I'm going to enjoy eating this scorpion alive. Yuuummmmm. Best meal I've ever had.
Bear: Oh my god this scorpion is disGUSTing. *Pukes*

Les: This would be easy if I didn't have to film everything for you. I have to do everything twice!
Bear: My crew helped me build this hut.

Les: A local guide told me.....
Bear: When I was in the British special forces, we....

Les: It's the middle of the night, and I'm leaving camp. I got up to pee, a jaguar came at me, and I wasn't able to scare it away. I'm going down this path hoping it will lead me to a local indigenous jungle tribe. I hope it isn't stalking me.
Bear: I'm here with a local farmer, showing you a somewhat recent kill of some of his livestock by a puma. I'm going to chew on some just to show you what it looks like for a man to chew on a carcass. This meat should still be good to eat.

Les: None of the water around here is good. I'm going to build an elaborate filter from nearby materials to make it safe, or make a fire to boil it using only wet wood and a flint.
Bear: I shouldn't have drank that murky water....I'm having to stop with diarrhea every five minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spin Class

I'm a fairly ambivalent about Spin classes. At this time of the year, they become quite the talk of the town as the weather begins its slow downward spiral.

Spin classes are inherently intense. I would be surprised to find out that there wasn't some secret competition between spin class instructors/studios to create most gut-busting, anaerobic class possible. Intensity is fine and all for the average joe/jane trying to burn some calories and lose weight, but for endurance athletes, it has to be used judiciously.

Spin instructors are not interested in what your goals are and when you will be racing -- they just want you to feel like you are inhaling pepper spray and your quads are going to set your bike shorts aflame.

Now is the time when plenty of athletes start to flesh out goals for next year and get really psyched -- hey, july is a long time from now, lofty goals are now within reach, and preparation can begin NOW. Time to hit the pedals hard now, right?

There's a problem.

If I start hitting spin class 2-3 times a week during off-season & base training, I can forget about peaking in June-July-August for a few reasons:

1) I haven't built an aerobic worth building an anaerobic base on top of. There's a few wackos out there who insist on doing things the other way around, but they are few & far between, and tend to experiment on those who are already world class athletes.
2) How will peak weeks be different? Friel and Carmichael won't be sending their athletes up Alpe d'Huez in January....why do you need to blow your head off now? You should be doing it a week or two before your intended peak performance.
3) I can easily burn myself out by April, not to mention August. Who, other than the pros, can sustain 3 or more high intensity workouts a week for months on end? I can't. This is especially telltale when you observe the difference in gym traffic between January and April--everyone tries to lose weight that weight, overdoes it, and they can't sustain what they started. I'm beginning to come to grips with the insanity associated with trying to do the Birkie on top of a season of triathlon/cycling. It might be time to pick one or the other, or drop the priority of one way below the other.

My general strategy has been to hit the spin room when class is not in session. That way I can focus on the needs of my training PLAN, staying in target heart rate zones and avoid drifting from them when the testosterone goes airborne during those spin classes. Bring a movie or some good music -- laying down 3 hours of zone 2 on a spin bike will get monotonous. I had several such session in March.

And there's no point in going to spin class in June...I've three bikes and the city has roads! (And I have a trainer if it's crappy outside ;) )

However, I still tend to belive that consistency is more important than just about anything when it comes to training, including periodization. If you can do spin class so religiously, my hat is off to you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama's Evil Liberal Agenda

Hey Republicans! Here's a taste of the liberal agenda about to unfold!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We will rename America to "Anti-America"...or whatever that is in French.

The official religion of the country will become Islamic Atheism.

Denis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and Noam Chomsky will be confirmed into the US Supreme court.

All women will be required to both use contraceptives and have abortions.

Official language? Any of the 55+ Native American languages.

The Bullet Free America Act will have your firearms easily removed from your law abiding hands by the US Army & Marines. Whom you support, of course.

The fence along the Mexican border will be torn down, extra footbridges built over the Rio Grande, and water stops placed in the desert. In addition, we're going to build a bridge from Florida to Morocco.

The new White House press secretary? Keith Olbermann.

Cigarettes? Illegal. Marajuana? Mandatory.

Everyone will be required to have at least 2 gay relationships. And dogs don't count, just in case you're wondering, Mr. Santorum. Sorry.

The stars on old glory will be replaced with silhouettes of the world's top 50 endangered species.

Christmas will now be now called RamaKwanzannakah.

Secretary of Defense? Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins' house keeper? Ann 'STFU' Coulter.

Orders at fast food restaurants must be placed in Spanish.

In a worldwide peace initiative, Stealth Bombers will be retrofitted with new equipment, and will be now referred to as "High altitude flower droppers."

Blackwater battalions returning from Iraq? Reassigned to protect Polar Bears from Sarah Palin's black helicopter.

A new series of Anti-crystal meth awareness billboards will be rolled out with photos of Michelle Bachman.

Secretary of the Environment? Ralph Nader

Federal allocated dollars to faith-based initiatives will be redistributed, with equal shares going to the church of Scientology and Eckankar.

The Turbo-Affirmative action act of 2009 will require all white people get a really awesome tan. In fact, your prescence is requested in the cotton fields at 7AM.

Toyota Prius's will be outfitted with mechanisms to automatically key your hummer/expedition/suburban.

A Michelle Bachman style expose? Quality Journalists, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, will be "assigned" to Guantanamo Bay to do some "first hand" reporting.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't worry though. If you don't like it, you can always go live somewhere else.

A Goal

A goal for me, starting now, is to take portraits of as many of my friends who are willing.

They will be as creative or traditional as you like -- and of course the images will be available to you free of cost.

Let me know if you're interested.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another reason I'm turned off by Ironman

Check this out.

As if Ironman wasn't already full of drafting cheaters and posers, here's a guy who's stepped the douchebaggery by bringing fins along.

To add insult to injury, he was caught and didn't even get Disqualified.

The absurdity reaches it's peak considering this guy, after being outed after 1.2 miles, swam the total of 2.4 in 1 hour 30 minutes. I could've easily done that when I was smoking half a pack of camel lights a day.

Now I'm one of THOSE guys.

My computer crashed this weekend. It was 6 years old.

I purchased a Macbook to take its place.

Busy Year Ahead



Big plans ahead.



By the way, this was created using Mindjet Mindmanager. It's one of the best tools I've ever used to organize this blizzard of a brain I have. I use it at work daily.

A new sherriff in town.

Well, Obama won. I feel like someone turned a lightbulb on inside me. My faith in America has been invigorated for the most part. (Michelle Bachmann did just get re-elected.)

But check this out.

Obama's campaign tricked McCain's campaign into spending money in Pennsylvania -- a place they knew McCain had no chance of winning.

This, to me, is like the Democratic party walking up from behind Karl Rove (and legions of other Republican strategists) and kicking them in the nuts, America's Funniest Home Videos-style. The democrats are metaphorically dancing above them, yellling "BOOM-Shakka-lakka-lakka!!"

They never saw it coming, and they had no idea what happened until after they were gasping on the floor.

Have some.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

OK, This is stupid.

No news networks are calling anything yet on the election yet.


So I, officially, am calling New York and California for Obama. Take THAT, main stream media.



---------------
BTW. Computer's been acting up all week and pretty much took a fatal crash yesterday. I'm at work right now.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Looks like I've been putting my money in the right place to date...

So I just signed up with Mint.com. It's a pretty sweet site that lets you manage all your money accounts & credit cards, does spending trending, helps you track your investments, generates cool graphics automatically, etc -- all with minimal work on your end.

Here's a pretty interesting infographic that it made for me...



So I've been (relatively) smart so far with where I've put my money. Now all I have to do is figure out where it should go when the economy reverses itself.

And save more. That's a concept our generation is going to have to put their heads around. They haven't thus far.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Everything Minus 1 is still Everything.



Life is something that you can't control.

When you try to hold on to it, it makes you let go.

A thought....

Judge yourself by how you treat those with whom you do not identify.

My First DNF

So I took a ride out to cycling heaven the other day. The ride was from Prescott to Maiden Rock & back.

Half great, half horrible.

Cold on the way out -- I couldn't feel my fingers when we started, but I was feeling really good when I warmed up, enjoying the views of river mist shrouding autumnal color. I let up all the big climbs, still feeling like a BAMF on my Cervelo. One of the girls had a powertap, so she was telling me that we were knocking out 280+ watts on a couple climbs. We stopped a few times to enjoy the scenery and let everyone catch up, and had great pie at the Smiling Pelican in Maiden Rock.

On the way back, I sprinted right out and had a fun descent back to Bay city at about 43mph for a minute or two. Around 20 miles out from Prescott, everyone rode right past me. I was wondering "what's going on?" until I realized my rear tire was flat. I had to sprint for a mile to catch up with everyone--they couldn't hear me since I we had a headwind. I got it changed, and about 2 miles down the road, I flatted out the front tire and used my last tube to get that going. 3 more miles and I flatted the rear again. Frustration was at a peak (car & motorcycle traffic was ridiculous, loud, and not courteous, and really wore on all our nerves), and as I was about to borrow a tube, a member of our group who earlier threw in the towel and got a ride showed up in a car and offered me her rear bike wheel, which didn't fit my cervelo cutout, but then drove off to get a car that would fit me and my bike. After she left, I was able to play with the dropout setscrews enough to get it her wheel to work, and we took off yet again. I made it up a couple of the last big climbs and she showed up in the IMJenny's suv, and I decided to call it a day, since her tire was beginning to rub on my cutout, and my legs were toasted.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Terrorist Obama

Lately on the news, we've seen John McCain and Sarah Palin asking crowds who "the true Barack Obama" is while tying him to a man who did some pretty nasty things when Barack was 8 years old. Barack knew this guy while he was serving the community -- this guy just happened to be serving the community too.

Sounds like the man was pretty well reformed to me -- they were both working in an anti-poverty group in Chicago. Quite the terrorist this Ayers guy has become.

---------------------

Hey Republicans.

NEWSFLASH!

You can't say that Barack is both a Terrorist and a Liberal simultaneously.

Guess what?! Terrorists are against:

Legal abortion.
Legal same sex marriage (and homosexuals being allowed to live, actually)
Gun regulation.
Ending wars.
Removing Crony Government.
Social Welfare/Fair Taxation (Check out Saudi Arabia if you don't know what I'm talking about)
Separation of Church & state.


Coincidentally, so are Republicans. wwwwwwwho's the terrorist again?

If he's a liberal, he's not a terrorist.
If he's a terrorist, conservative America should be voting for him.

McCain, Palin, and other assorted rightwingers are doing their best to stir people into a frenzy of hate -- so much for bringing people together. Christ would simply not approve of what you are doing. (in fact, in all fairness, God was sending hurricanes at the US during the RNC in St. Paul)

Maybe you didn't know that, but hey...that's what I'm here for.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Best Fark Thread EVAR

Everyone should check this out.

Wildly slanted liberal, mostly true.

A sample:



Sunday, October 5, 2008

:(

I am losing sleep over it.

McCain cuts & runs.

John McCain just mavericked his campaign out of Michigan, a battleground state he's apparently decided that he couldn't win. The going must be tough there, considering the home of America's automotive industry just experienced a ~35% decrease in auto sales this quarter. And John heard a crowd cheering "Obama" to his face a month or two ago while touring an auto plant.

It seems intuitive that someone would allocate their resources where they would be most effective, but I really question the logic McCain & his advisers used when coming to this decision. Why pull out of a battleground state where you might have a 40-45% chance of winning than a state with next to 0% chance? Like New York or California.

Surely advertising in New York and California is more expensive than Michigan, and Obama has a 99.999% chance of winning in those places. By pulling the campaign from those states, he could redistribute to states where he has more votes riding.

On top of that, pulling out of Oklahoma and Wyoming wouldn't have a negative consequence either, where McCain is expected to wildly dominate...those electoral votes are in the bag....why are you spending money there?

Pulling out of any state is also an inherent admittance that you have a limited amount of resources.

This is all evidence to me that not only is McCain out of money, again, but that he also has poor decision-making skills.

The pull from Michigan should have conservatives going WTF? just like they did on:
a)the announcement that he was suspending his campaign to solve the wall street crisis
b)the announcement of Sarah Palin as his VP.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I have $50......

...for anyone who puts this on their car.


Edit:

Well, as I imagined this did elicit quite a response, and no -- nobody's even asked for $50 from me. I suppose I should defend myself, but really -- I about crapped my pants when I saw this and posting this up was a bit knee-jerk.

I should also say that the comment made by me below is a stab at playing devil's advocate. I agree with the assessments of my friends below. Please read them.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I got a nacho cheese flavored shoe....

So I spilled Nacho Cheese on my shoe. I really needed some calories, and chips, salsa, and nacho cheese were the only thing I could possibly stomach at the Roy Wilkins auditorium menu.

It's just coincidental because I was about to see Beck, and a nacho cheese flavored shoe is something I would expect Beck to sing about.

It was a great show, and opener MGMT was pretty good too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I bought a new bike at the wrong time.

Ok. I'm lying. I really love my P2C. It has the best paint job of all bikes, it fits me well, and it feels damn fast. And it is....when I'm riding it.

Cervelo just released the very long awaited P4

Tell me this isn't the sexiest bike you've ever seen.



A water bottle holder & bottle is built into the frame, as is the rear brake.

HOT.

I deserve the wine I'm drinking and the salary I'm making

A product build was going on and a failure was detected. I was the only person looking at the data who could identify that the failure was a false reading. Including a one or two talented engineers.

The build was worth at least $80,000--which would have been thrown in the garbage. Corrective actions could have easily added another $40,000.


What makes this a bit of a sad story--the data that I analyzed is typical of that described early on in a sophomore level mechanical engineering course, and a cornerstone of solid body mechanics.

A one-eyed man is king in the land of blindness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Best Song names EVAR.

And the award goes to....

Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna, are you the Destroyer?

1. Suffer for Fashion
2. Sink the Seine
3. Cato as a Pun
4. Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
5. Gronlandic Edit
6. A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger
7. The Past Is a Grotesque Animal
8. Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider
9. Faberge Falls for Shuggie
10. Labyrinthian Pomp
11. She's a Rejecter
12. We Were Born the Mutants Again with Leafling

Speaking of Good music

From thegenre I never listen to anymore category....

I discovered these guys around April, but I figured they're worth a blurb

Protest the Hero is the best metal I've heard since I stopped listening to metal, which was probably around 1995.

They are wildly dynamic, seem to be able to sweep the entire genre within songs without feeling the least bit regurgitated, and have every bit of virtuosity that you could expect from the likes of Mustaine, King, Dimebag, and perhaps Vai.


You might be really surprised if you give they're album a listen. It definitely isn't going to reignite my (blood)lust for metal music, but it's really something to change things up.

I can't wait....

Jolie Holland is apparently releasing her next album in a couple weeks, and has posted a couple songs on her myspace.

And they rock.

If I went back in time to 1993, and told my past self in the midst of totally digging Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Smashing Pumpkins, that my future self would find some of the best music of all time coming out of a chick singing country/folk music...

Or even farther back, to a middle schooler engrossed in Megadeth, Skid Row, and Guns n'f'n Roses...

Or farther back yet, to a tween listening to MC Hammer, NWA, and 2 Live Crew...


...well, my past selves would be really surprised.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A loss. And life anew.

Thursday was a funeral for a great friend member of the family. Cal was my grandfather's cousin, and perhaps one of his greatest friends. As far removed as this section of the family is, I had not met Cal until he was literally 100 years old.

The ceremony itself was in a small Scandinavian church near the river, and afterwards I was able to meet a crowd of new relatives. A sad occasion, but a great thing was realized: People connected! I met some great people and it turns out they're relatives and they live nearby.

From what I know about Cal, there is nothing more that he would desire on that day than exactly what happened. Smiles, handshakes, new friendships. What better to come from death than birth?

Cal's 100th was celebrated on a rainy day.

Here's to rain, and the flowers it brings.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Freddie Fail and Fanny Fubar

I should probably speak more about this, but Freddie Mac and Fannie May failing is a harbinger of a serious problems in American business.

I kind of knew this was going to happen, and we can thank corruption and soft spines in Washington for this.

Lobbyists have been sweet talking our lawmakers for generations to give handouts to American businesses to *stay competitive.* Guess who's paying for that? You and me. Freddie and Fanny were private corporations that paid off investors when they won, but charged the government for the losses when they screwed up. Instead of learning from their mistakes, they realized that nothing was too risky. Until they found themselves in a pine box.

These payouts *across all american business* have done the worst thing you could imagine: it has reinforced shitty business policy & strategy in America. Companies that should have been crapped out the capitalist bunghole have instead been strengthened by our government.

Probably the greatest case in point I could make: Ford makes a cool looking car that gets 65mpg. But they can't afford to sell it in the US. Where consumers would fall over themselves to buy it. Meanwhile, Ford's stock continues to tank.

A capitalist environment should have taken the decision makers responsible for this and shat them out like a white castle binge. American executives that represent this kind of business philosophy are tainting the industrial, commercial, and financial gene pool. If we don't let the viruses kill the host, it will only proliferate.

Sorry, but bad businesses HAVE TO FAIL. America will always have great workers to work, and new entrepreneurs will see opportunity and a yearning market. Newer and better businesses will be able to compete stronger on the global market.

Radical? Not if you're a true capitalist. We hear "Free Market!" exclaimed from libertarians every day. They want less government regulation, but you don't hear from them in this instance. If you want a free market, then no handouts for BUM CORPORATIONS. Get a job!

When poor businesses in America fail, we shouldn't feel like the sky is falling, we should rejoice that our leaders have learned a lesson, and that new business will compensate for them. The new knowledge will temper American business like a fine carbon steel.

What happens if you never learn from your failures, but are instead rewarded for them?

Tom Morello

Since I've posted it, I've been mulling pulling down or heavily editing this post. I really don't like the tone here -- hey -- I just want evil pricks to get what's coming to them. Even if they happen to be currently employed in law enforcement.

The next day, I saw a pretty awesome video. Rage Against the Machine was supposed to be putting on an impromptu show in St. Paul, but showed up late, and I understand there were some confounding factors that kept them from performing. They performed, instead, an a cappella performance via megaphone of Bulls on Parade.

Afterwards, guitar god/Harvard political science grad Tom Morello made some profound comments to the protesters.

I'm paraphrasing here, so see the video for complete accuracy.

Tom Morello: I have a message for the police who kept us off the stage tonight.

...now I suspect some of the police may actually even be fans of Rage Against the Machine"

I suspect that some of the police come from working class and middle class backgrounds like we do an you do.

I suspect that the cops have much more in common with this band, with you people, than the people in the RNC across the street.

So before this weekend is over, they may turn their batons and their rubber bullets and their tear gas on us, but it is my hope that they realize that we all have something in common.

And one day very soon, they turn those batons, and rubber bullets, and tear gas against those jackasses over at the RNC.


Hey Police....do you realize that you just protected people who have lied to our country and sent us to a war. A war that killed 3000+ US soldiers, innumerable Iraqis, displaced hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, and mismanaged retarded amounts of money?

do you realize tons of members of the bush administration are criminals? For example, go to youtube, search for Alberto Gonzales, and watch. THAT guy was the highest form of law in this country for most of the last 8 years.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Storm Troopers protect Emporer in St. Paul

pretext. I do not side with people destroying property--I've been following the law all my life, except for speeding sometimes during my morning commute. I also do not side with "Anarchists"--I believe in democracy, which is a form of government.

Dear Police: We pay you to keep the peace, not destroy it.

In Denver, the police prepared for riots. (which Rush Limbaugh was hoping to instigate.)

In St. Paul, the police prepared for a fucking Zombie Apocalypse. They've got national guard, Humvees, whup-whup-whup Helicopters above, shotguns, machine guns, tear gas, and probably some guns they used in Duke Nukem 3D.

Give a man a hammer, and all his problems begin look like nails.

Put a man behind a mask, body armor, give him a stick, tear gas, and 300 friends looking the same way, and they will behave in the same way those swept up in "mob mentality" will act. They have no face. They have no identity.


Way show the girl with the flower.


And the 78-year old nun?

Who are you people? Are you really here to protect the peace?

Speaking of the Peace, WTF is with the house raids on peace groups? Think about that.... Peace groups. Armed men, knocking the down doors of people organizing to prevent war, death, and destruction. I can't wait to see what you're going to be charging these people with, if they're charged with anything at all. I hope the ACLU TAKES THE MONEY FROM YOUR POCKETS AND THE SHIRT OFF YOUR BACK, you evil scumbags. Like these guys. Sadly for me & my tax dollars, you will probably be defended by a state-payrolled attorney.

And tell me about your big arrests doing these raids. Who's been charged with what? I'd love to know. So far, I've heard zilch.

Newsflash: You are always responsible for your actions, no matter who is giving the orders....in the face of the American legal system, the worlds legal system, and your creator's judgment.
If there isn't a voice in the back of your head making you think twice, you're probably a sociopath.

There's also reports of lawyers and medics being arrested. Awesome. Those pesky lawyers really get in the way of a good time kicking ass, don't they? Same with a few journalists and their cameras you confiscated.

Too bad this kid didn't get the same protection from you that the guys who choked up the Anoka airport with Lear Jets did. Face it, in the end, police provide much more protection to one type of person in this country: those with CASH. Wouldn't it be weird if that kid actually had his own private security detail?

I guess it's fortunate for the who are getting pummeled by these legions of automatons with sticks, there's medics sitting right next to them.

I'll be watching in coming days to see who exactly is charged with what. Should I be surprised if most get their charges dropped? Should I be surprised if very few get punished?

Today, your job will be truly thankless.

John's still a dude

Seriously, John.....I know your first wife wasn't that great, but the one you have now, is rich as hell. She can afford tons of plastic surgery, botox, and your presidential campaign.



You're lucky Cindy was sitting behind you. And you're pretty lucky that (I'm guessing) she doesn't surf the web.

Heroes

In all this confusion this week with the RNC, Last night I met one of my political heroes, Thom Hartmann. I picked up his latest book and had it signed. I really wanted to get his first book, Screwed: the undeclared war on the middle class, but the last copy was sold to the girl in front of me.

Anyways, Thom is a walking historical encyclopedia, and I fantasize almost daily on my commute home -- that one day he might debate Rush, O'Really?, or Savage on prime time.

Thom speaks for me, and I do my best to speak for him.

Children are off Limits?

Not on this blog.

Do you remember when John McCain talked about Chelsea Clinton when she was a teenager in the White House? In 1998, McCain cracked this joke at a GOP fund-raiser in Washington

"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?"
"Because Janet Reno is her father."

First off, what do you call a grown man that calls a young girl ugly? I'll tell you....A Fucking Asshole.

Tell me, America....what would you do to a grown man who called your teenage daughter ugly? I'm going to guess "rearrange his face" is on the short list of things you'd like to do. Even if he apologized. "I don't wanna call you ugly, but my god your face is hideous."

So now hand's off Sarah Palin's daughter? John, do you have Alzheimer's?

----------------------------------------

And on top of that....there isn't a single Democrat who is criticizing Bristol. What is being challenged here is Sarah Palin's support for abstinence only education, which is apparently "the solution" to unwanted pregnancy in the USA/globe. We're saying "it didn't work in your house, why will it work at any other?"

On top of that, I will accuse you, Sarah Palin, for Bristol's philandering. I have a great conservative to back my stance, Bill O'Reilly:

On the pinhead front, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. The sister of Britney says she is shocked. I bet.

Now most teens are pinheads in some ways. But here the blame falls primarily on the parents of the girl, who obviously have little control over her or even over Britney Spears. Look at the way she behaves.

Yes, Bill! Look at how Sarah Palin behaves! She just took on the Vice Presidency of the United States while having to care for a 5 month old child. And 3 other children to take care of and a (second) grandchild on the way.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dumb Move, John

There's some pretty compelling evidence that Sarah Palin covered up her 16 year old daughter's pregnancy by pretending to be pregnant herself.

From all the pictures, I've seen, Sarah Palin was never pregnant. She is pretty fit for a woman her age, in fact.

I like how:
-the Governess, who claimed to be leaking amniotic fluid early one morning in Texas, gave a speech, and flew back to Alaska to "have the child"

-Even better, her daughter took 5-8 months off from her private Catholic school citing "infectious mononucliosis" just after she started showing some tummy.

-Talked about how she loved to "run hills...it really tears up your gut" when she would've been 5 months pregnant.

And it now Bristol is pregnant AGAIN. Time for a shotgun wedding!

Friday, August 29, 2008

An open letter to all angry Hillary supporters.

FYI.

John McCain called his wife a
CUNT in public.

good luck with progressing that whole "woman in the presidency" dream you have. For now, you're going to have to go with someone who won't destroy your rights.

That is, if you Hillary -> McCain turncoats even exist. Personally, I think you're just republicans trying to act like democrats. Hey, Ann Coulter said it herself -- Hillary is more conservative than McCain.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A mid year's resolution

In my apartment, there will always be an open(or half corked) bottle of red wine.

To my health.

Cheers!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kingswood Off-Road Tri Race Report

So I pre-rode the bike course on Thursday, and decided afterwards that if I made it to T2 without bleeding, I'd be surprised.

Little long lake is clean & pristine, cool & scenic; flanked on either side by treed ridges. The half mile loop in the water was pretty enjoyable with the exception of the last couple hundred yards where the rising sun obscured the shore.

I had a pretty good swim, relying on my own ability to swim straight & negotiate buoys, and was out of the water 3rd. A friend of mine who does XTerra's told me to "swim like you stole something," and get the singletrack to yourself.

There was about a 1/5 mile trail run up a hill to T1. I left some junky flipflips on the shore to run up in.

Transitions for me were a total fiasco.

At T1, I decided I needed a jersey over the top of my standard tri top, I fought to pull on my full finger gloves onto my wet hands before I clipped my helmet straps, which didn't want to match up in my fingers. I was passed by 1 or 2 guys in all that fumbling.

The bike was fun, but torture. You start the first of 2 loops in some tight singletrack that had one uphill section that weaved through trees & rocks. A fun drop & a climb took you to a gravel road to connect with the other side of camp. The gravel road had a long steep hill that you went over before hitting a mowed field aka "prairie" loop. This wasn't very technically challenging with the exception of one really steep hill that I had to hike-a-bike, and the fact that it was teeth-chatteringly rough. A few more moderate climbs really made you work before a few switchbacks down a sidehill. The trail crossed the road and went back up a fairly large hill before going to faster, flowing singletrack reminiscent of Lebanon hills with fast ups & downs. Except the trail was mostly loose mulch instead of dirt, so I was white knuckled most of the time. A last hill crossed to another mulch section with some very tight & technical descents. One last steep hike-a-bike and back to the gravel road to finish off the first loop.

I was passed by 2 guys in the prairie, but other than that, I had the bike to myself. Which was good, because I took some nice spills, namely the bottom of the prairie switchbacks--they were very used up by the second lap, and my front tire flew out from underneath me on the last one. So I'm without skin on my left knee/shin. The second lap on the mulch was interesting too--I could tell people were really wiping out and doing lots of skid braking, making these ugly and front tire-catching ruts.

In T2, I couldn't get a bike shoe ratchet to release. I'm pretty sure I burnt up 3 minutes trying to pry that shoe off. I noticed that my knee was bleeding nicely. I'm not surprised!

The run was back out on the gravel road, to it's own single track -- super fun and challenging steep uphills. I literally walked up one section. More uphill to camp, and even more uphill along the top of one of the high ridges, a loop and then back through camp onto another piece of awesome singletrack that flowed really well for running--mostly downhill this time, so I was really moving. The last bit was back along the gravel road.

Just about everyone got a prize of some type--there was only ~35 entrants. The race director plans to make it into an XTerra next year--I will sign up whether it is or not....I had a great time despite the infancy of the trail, and the fact that it was REALLY difficult. The intention is to improve the condition and length of the trail for both bike and run.

Pulling my bike off my car at my apartment, I noticed my front tire was dead flat. Wonder when that happened.

Tire Pressure, ANWR, and Math

Are you laughing that Barack suggested that we keep our tires properly inflated?

According to the department of transportation, a 3.3% gain in mileage can be achieved by keeping your tires properly inflated. At $4.00/gallon, that's a $0.13/gallon savings.

“Silly! That benefit is as slim as it is easy to fill air in my tires,” you say.

Well, the McCano originally suggested we have a federal tax holiday on gas this summer. That would’ve cost the government $9 Billion dollars http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/04/mccains-gas-tax.html of lost revenue(which is pumped directly back into the economy to road construction companies), but would save you, $0.18/gallon at the pump.

So you can do something simple and get 2/3 of the effect. It’s like you get a tax cut!!!! (don’t tell the gas stations—they might pull down the FREE AIR signs and start charging.)

It gets more interesting.

Last December, Senator (& soon to be inmate) Ted Stevens, (R-AK) asked the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to tell him how much we could save by tapping into the estimated 18 Billion barrels of crude in Northern Alaska's Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.(ANWR)

Their answer?

Additional oil production resulting from the opening of ANWR would be only a small portion of total world oil production, and would likely be offset in part by somewhat lower production outside the United States. The opening of ANWR is projected to have its largest oil price reduction impacts as follows: a reduction in low-sulfur, light crude oil prices of $0.41 per barrel (2006 dollars) in 2026 for the low oil resource case, $0.75 per barrel in 2025 for the mean oil resource case, and $1.44 per barrel in 2027 for the high oil resource case, relative to the reference case.

How much is $2.60/ barrel going to take out of a gallon at the pump???????????

According to this article,

Each $1 increase in the cost of a barrel of crude is equal to a 2 1/2-cent increase in the per-gallon price at the pump.

Wow!!! Drilling up Alaska will get us a whopping $0.07 per gallon savings.(rounded up)

BOTTOM LINE: Inflating your tires could save you TODAY almost twofold what ANWR would do for you in 2027.

By the way, the GOP should talk with its constituents before launching attacks like this……

GOP Veep shortlister Charlie Crist, California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, NASCAR and even President Bush’s Highway Traffic Safety Department, have all discussed the merits of tire pressure.

On a sidenote--Anyone who’s ever raced a bicycle knows how much tire pressure affects efficiency. Running your tires at 90psi vs 120psi+ can make a HUGE difference. I know top agegroup Ironman triathletes who train at low pressure and race at high pressure—it makes them feel very fast on race day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

White Bikinis....

....are a great choice.

Especially in the rain.

While competing for a gold medal.


congrats.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Season's over

Well, for the standard races anyways.

This is the scene after my last race.
No worries, it was staged after the race in the parking lot.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure I've secured a top 5 age group finish in the points standings on the triathlon series this summer. Not quite the top 3 that I'd hoped for, but as I've told lots of people -- Damn...people are getting fast this year.


I have one off-road tri this weekend which should be pretty fun. I'm was out last night for the whopping 2nd time all summer on my mountain bike and had a frickin' blast despite my complete lack of skills. I went out to my favorite trail and rode relentlessly for 2 hours in the afternoon heat -- I used up an entire camelback.

I'm having drinks at my party room on Saturday. Let me know if you want to show and I'll send you the evite.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Michael Phelps Facts.

Michael eats silver medals as a pre-workout snack. And he doesn't chew.

Michael taught dolphins how to dolphin kick.

The new Speedo LZR suit is actually made with threads infused with the DNA of Michael Phelps.

Michael eats 12,000 calories a day and is RIPPED.

Michael can bake 30 minute brownies in 20 minutes.

Even if another swimmer could swim as fast as Michael, he wouldn't get in front of him in sheer fear of being sucked into his mouth like the intake of a jet engine.

Michael's sperm actually do the butterfly.

Michael actually sponsors Speedo, not the other way around.

Michael told George W. Bush that he was, in fact, not the decider.

Michael has gold plated gills behind his ears.

Michael is going to use his 9 gold medals to open the ninth gate to Atlantis.

Michael Phelps was born with a turbocharger in his trachea.

Michael Phelp's girlfriend is actually a Formula 1 twin hull speed boat.

Environmental scientists are now researching a new alternative energy by having Michael Phelps swim laps around a tidal generator. Unfortunately, it's not very green, because Michael Phelps actually consumes more calories than an SR-71 blackbird.

Scientists at NASA are currently attempting to determine the materials which compose Michael Phelps's balls in an attempt to create the strongest material on earth.

Michael actually pisses liquid excellence.

After the Olympics are over, Michael plans to continue humiliating the Chinese by freeing Tibet.

Michael plans to reduce his carbon footprint after Beijing by swimming back to Baltimore instead of flying. The waves created will actually cause rivers in China to flow backwards, fertilizing the rural rice paddies with nitrate rich waste.

IM no longer means "individual medley." It means "Invincible Michael"

4x100

Tell me these aren't the best sports photos you've seen all year.




Credit: CBC


By the way, Michael consumes about 8,000 calories a day. Nice abs, dude.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Uh, Mike?

Do me a favor and at least ACT like a 200m Butterfly is painful.

This "not breathing hard" stuff at the wall after tying the Olympic record makes it look a little too easy.

Hint: Give everyone a dose of reality and gasp for air with a purple face, vomit, and hallucinate. That's what everyone else does at the end of a 200 fly.

I'm gonna cry

Give me a second here.

...

I'm living vicariously through Michael Phelps.

Sheesh

Since I really didn't have anything going on yesterday, I met up with my friend Mark(who crashed last year) for a semi-easy bike ride. Burnt out from racing, I figured it'd be nice to have a nice ride with friends and enjoy a good day. Hey, I had nothing better going on.

Another friend, MC is training for an Ironman, and we were going to ride with him for a while, get some coffee and let him go off for a while as we relax, and ride back with him. 60 miles, maybe....

Well, we met up in EP at a local pro triathlete's house, only to find that M left his helmet & shoes at home. So he borrowed both and we headed on our bikes to his place. On the way M got a flat, but he rode it 6 miles to his house. We took a nice loop out to the lake, stopped in Wayzata ffor that coffee. Then all of us headed west of along the lake towards St. Boni, and back. By the time we made it back into town, we had gone about 80 miles.

Hey....MC only has another hour.....lets make it 100! Uh....OK....can we get some gatorade?

A few miles past the gas station, my legs were talking to me. We swung by the uptown lakes, and back out to EP. My legs blew up a few miles away from my car, but I held out.

We finished just short of 100, 6hours 11minutes including the coffee & gatorade breaks.

Fuel Required:
1 medium iced coffee
1 strawberry odwalla
2 lemon lime gatorades
32 oz water
1 powerbar gel
1 large peanut butter cup blizzard (afterwards)

Show me a car that can get that kinda mileage.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Olympics

I'm lovin' it.

Well, cycling and swimming has been on, so go figure.

Anyways, WTF are we doing in China? They have like the worst human rights record on the planet, they have recently been proven to be funding and helping the Sudanese Government exterminate the Darfurese people, they displaced some 2,000,00 people to build the olympic village, and they suppress the freedom on information in their country.

The air is smokier than smoke, for crying out loud!

Here's what I say.

The Olympics are not for politics. They are for the athletes who have been pursuing the pinnacle of achievement for 4 years or more. It is not their choice where they compete.

I do believe that the direct exposure of other cultures to the Chinese people will have a positive effect. Hopefully they will realize how badly they're being fucked over by the few at the top. (I kinda feel the same way about our country some times--help us, Scandinavia!)

That being said--enjoy those cool buildings. I predict that they, as they did in The Devil in the White city, crumble. Beijing has no use for them. A few people will get rich, but people who built them will be out of a job. The cars will again run.

GO USA!!!

A brush with Olympians

A few weeks ago, the Lifetime Triathlon was held in Minneapolis. The Lifetime attracts some of the biggest names in the sport from around the world as it has a monster payout. ~2500 other athletes join them.

I was out of town for the Timberman, but a few days later, some notable folks showed up at my weekly Wednesday ride.

From Left to Right:
Simon Whitfield
2000 Triathlon Olympic Gold medalist
2008 Lifetime Triathlon Winner
2008 Olympic Triathlon Team Member-
Canada
Paul Tichelaar
2008 Canada Triathlon Team Member- Canada
25 years old
Me
Relatively Awesome
Colin Jenkins
2008 Canada Triathlon Team Member- Canada
25 years old

It was an easy, friendly ride -- a serious departure from the usual kinda-wanna-puke hammerpalooza, but Paul did take off for a bit at a rate that may have been easy-moderate for his talent, but put a few chasers, including me, into the red zone.

I spoke with Simon for a bit, and he talked about how much he loved training in the area, and how awesome the architecture in the city is. But, I imagine they say that kinda stuff everywhere they go. They were definitely treated like rockstars around here. 60+ people showed up to ride that night.

They were all hanging out for the week in the cities, training for the next race on their tour ending in Beijing.

Turtleman and Beyond

Turtleman was my last standard tri of the year and the last MM race I'm doing for the season. When I got there, I noticed that there was TONS of bike racks, and most of them were already full.

I set up next to 2 ladies on mountain bikes, and got ready. The lot wasn't sweeped, so I used my bare feet to sweep away the dirt. I wasn't feeling really motivated. This was to be an "A" race, and my goal was to average over 24mph on the bike. Having trained little this week for a few reasons--book club, shin splints, and the general need to do laundry.

Since my number was 700-something, I got to wait while nearly 700 people started before me.

Swim: 23:23. 1:26/100yd I took about 10 steps into the lake, where my legs sunk almost knee deep into mud. I then decided to begin swimming the the ~1.5ft deep water. The water was black--it completely cut out the sun only a few inches down. It was difficult to get a feel for pace, since I didn't really have anyone to swim against. On the way back, the swim exit on the east bank was difficult to see as the morning sun made for some dark shadows.

T1: Clusterfuck. 1:33 Biking was allowed in the transition! Effing Ridiculous! I got my bike and rode off into the steep uphill immediately at the transition exit, except I couldn't clip in my right foot. It took a long time to actually get it clipped in, so I sacrificed some speed here.

Bike: 23.6mph I tied my best bike effort. It was my intention here to go 24+, but I just couldn't do it. The course was pretty flat, and had LOTS of turns, and most of them were fast. There was also cones out to apparently protect bikers from traffic, but they did more to obstruct me on a busy course.

T2: I almost ran a guy over coming into my rack. He wasn't paying attention to what was going on. No biking in transition please.

Run: 7:25/mile Most people told me this was a pancake flat run, but they live in a parallel universe. There was a couple long inclines. About 300meters out of T2, I felt my calf tense up, and almost seize. This really kills your confidence when you want to run fast, since I didn't want to walk 5 miles. About 2 miles in, I did feel a rhythm setting in, but it didn't last long. I have found that I'm a pretty good runner when it comes to hills, and I did pass tons of people that I was jousting with on that hill, but overall, I felt slow. It hurt. The finish line came up alot faster than I thought it would.

Age Group 4/37 (just missed podium)
Overall 78/79x


Now, the floor in my room is covered in dirty clothes. My bikes are filthy. My car is full of crap and clutter. My desk looks like a paper bomb went off at tit. It's all a perfect metaphor for my future triathlon & other sports goals--complete disarray.

I've felt quite burnt out during my last couple races, and I don't feel like I'm becoming as fit as I want to be. I will surely compete next year, but to what extent I don't know.....maybe a 1/2 ironman, a road race here, a mountain bike race there.....

Backpacking.
Camping.
Mountain Climbing.

Friendship.
Family.
Focus.

One last kiss.

I finally got the "I want my shit back" call today after almost 2 weeks of no returned calls from Dr. Jenny

I knew the score, and I've already started moving on.

She told me that she's been too busy with work, and I know that is true, but only partially. She said that this was her first day off in 3 weeks, but it takes 2 minutes to make a phone call....even if you work a 16 hour day.

I'm obviously disappointed about this, but I did have a couple months of great times, and experienced that great phase of discovery and obsession/enamorment over a new girl. I've felt it a few times, and the thrill is second to nothing in life as far as I'm concerned. Except for the act of expressing that thrill with that person I suppose.

Unfortunately, this was a relationship that I knew in the back of my head wouldn't work. After date 3, she nearly crashed her BMW while driving with way too much alcohol in her. In recent time she's talked about going to rehab for her problem. She also was a complete spendthrift, a grown woman living off her mother's credit card and home. This is also not a component of a sustainable relationship. You'd think $200,000+ of school debt might change one's spending habits.

What makes me feel least savory about this was that I really took care of her. And she really needed someone to take care of her. I took her to nice places, I bought some nice things for her, and I took care of her and held her close when she was vulnerable. I made her laugh, and I made her feel the same way about me that I felt about her.

-------------

She just left a few minutes ago, and I held out my hand to shake. She gave me a peck instead.

I followed out the door, and in the hallway I told her, "If it's truly your time commitment...and things improve in the future....call me."

Without hesitation-- "A, you're an awesome person, but it's just not working." Her voice crackled.

I rubbed off her lip gloss.

My adventure continues........

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brewhouse 08

Determined not to make another Bode-esque appearance at yet another race, I took a nice early spot on the couch at an old friend's house in Duluth, and got an early start this morning. I mooched breakfast from their kitchen and slipped out the door.

This was to be another "B" race. I just finished peak week, and I'm nursing a calf injury I got on Tuesday while running. (how I can shred my gastrocnemius 0.8 miles into a run is beyond my understanding--also beyond my understanding is why I ran another 3 miles on it) I'd only signed up for Brewhouse to meet the maximum amount of scoring races in the Midwest Multisport series, and Brewhouse was my 5th. I could've done either of the Pigmans, but I'm abstaining from Iowa.

Anyways, I was able to get a good spot in transition. This was pretty important, because it is very tight in that transition. The rows are congested, and they are close together. The run lane was also tight.

Swim: On the run into the water, I felt myself almost kicking my timing chip off, so i stopped to slip it under my wetsuit. Once I got going, it felt pretty fast! Coming back into the sun was difficult, and the first turn had me disoriented about which way to go. I eventually figured it out, and had lots of open water. I thought I was the first guy out of the water, but it turns out I let a few guys escape out in front of me....but they were pretty fast.

T1: 1:59 struggled with my helmet straps, almost choking myself. fast otherwise.

Bike: 22.4mph avg. Par. I pushed pretty hard, and even jousted with some of the women's leaders and reeled in a few off the elite wave. There was one very hairy turn where some of the short course runners slipped into the bike lane, right in front of me! WTF? I was narrowly able to pass on one side without being railroaded into pylons.

Perhaps the turd in the punchbowl of this race is the road. It's horrible. Cracked, uneven, patched....whatever could possibly make it rough, it was there, jostling my undercarriage and slowing me down. A co-worker jokingly asked me if I put a suspension fork on my Cervelo, and in hindsight, it might not have been such a bad idea. The road made it extremely difficult to hold speed and it really provided for a mental block. On a smooth road I could have easily broken 23. Seriously--even DKT didn't break 27mph.

Speaking of that guy, I was nearing the finish of the bike when I passed a guy on the bike with a unitard that said Thompson, riding on a Litespeed with Zipps. I thought this was DKT having an off day, but upon passing him later on, I realized it was a different Thompson.

T2: 2:13 Decent dismount. The setup of transition made you run all the way to the end of the racks and back, which was annoying and made it easy for some people to cheat, which my friend J witnessed. I'm going to just go with blisters on my next race and leave my socks in the transition bag.

Run: 7:14/mile. I felt very slow out of T2, and my legs felt totally worthless, and in pain. I began to wonder if I pushed it too hard on the bike. Then I sucked it up when I saw DKT limping along going the other way to win the race. Now he looked like he was in pain.

The run course goes up, up, up, up, up, up, down, down, up, and then steeply down. Then you have to turn around and do that backwards. Aside from this being the most painful run I've done all season, I liked the course. You could see a patrol car flashing from the finish line with about downhill mile to go, which was pretty inspiring.

I think some of the "volunteers" on the run course were misfit youth doing community service. I will say that they were dedicated to what they were doing, and very encouraging.

I'll take 7:14's given the pain I was in. 165HR felt way tougher than the 174 I was sustaining at HOLT. I'll run faster next week.

Placing
5/20 ag
44/??

Overall, the race was well done. The direction was good(the guy who puts the race on is a Duluth rockstar of sorts), the lake was pleasant & clean, the run course was challenging. They also gave away a TON of shit. More than most races I go to. But I won't go back until they fix the road.

Seriously.....my butt still hurts.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hard Swim Practice

The anatomy of my last swim practice during peak week. I've got a great outdoor pool at my gym, so this is where you'll see me practicing on warm summer afternoons.

5 minute warmup/stretch

3 times:
50 drill (fist, 8 kicks per side, catchup)
50 crawl

These are my 3 favorite crawl stroke drills. I'll write an article on this one of these days.

100 easy

10x150 (100 moderate pace/50hard pace)

100 easy

3x200 lungbuster
(1st 50 3 strokes/breath, 2nd 50 5 strokes per breath, 3rd 50 7 strokes/breath, 4th 50 9 strokes/breath)

The lungbuster set is one of my favorite workout from the days of wayback. I usually breathe every 4 strokes, so this set challenges me to bilateral breathe. (breathing on alternate sides)
It also has a few other functions:
1) it takes you to the redline quickly. If you're already a fit athlete, you'll probably start to feel it around the second breath on the 7's. You have about 85 meters left at that point.
2) it teaches you to use your air wisely. You'll be exhaling while purple in the face with 3 strokes to go....sounds counterintuitive but you want a lungfull of fresh air.
3) it takes you anaerobic and leaves you there for quite some time. by the last 25 meters, I feel the pain dissolve because I'm so lightheaded. Very weird feeling, but you're teaching your muscles to work completely without oxygen to metabolize.

2x50 all out sprint
2x25 frogstroke, no breath.

warmdown

strut past girls tanning (you like that? I thought so. wink)

total: ~3000 meters

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quick Update

Internet is still down :(

I just got back from an awesome trip in western MT where I was a groomsman for a great old friend. I had a great time seeing old friends, hiking in the mountains, running at altitude, and beating away drunken bridesmaids.

My pick for GC, Carlos Sastre, won the Tour de France. My fav for the sprinters jersey, Thor Hushovd took 2nd in the points classification. Team CSC won the team competition, which should have been obvious--those guys are incredible. A great tour to watch despite the lack of Levi Leipheimer and his Astana squad, but it was cool to see Garmin Chipotle and Christian Vande Velde pick up the slack.

The car is as good as new.

Peak week is neigh, and I'll be going all in for intensity this week. Hill ride, here I come!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Heart of the Lakes 2008 Race Report

I'll give you a lead up to the race before I tell you about it.

Friday:
-Chris Rock Show with the gf.
-Drinks out late downtown.

Saturday:
-Mimosas over breakfast at the gf's house
-Wine afterwards
-Big time drama with the gf
-Go out for Martinis to talk things over. We were sitting on the patio during a huge rainstorm and were engaged in conversation enough to stay in our seats through the whole thing.
-"Cheers" and we tip up the martinis
-Go to noodles & company. Thankfully I could drive. The gf was blasted beyond belief.
-Drive back to her place.
-Nap
-Lay in bed, nap.
-Woke up at 10:45pm, drive home, pack, to bed around 12:00

Sunday
The alarm went off at 4:30am, I ate 2 yogurts, and was out the door at 5:15. I commuted and had my transition setup by 6:30. As always, FAST registration.

Although HOLT advertises as "MN Championship Race," and perennially brings people with their "A" game, I planned to treat this as a B race, and I wanted to go really hard on the bike, and see what happens with my run.

Swim: The lake was very foggy. You couldn't even see the far buoys. My red tint goggles need to go. Orange-turned-White buoys are not easy to see against a fog. Focus on gliding and reaching worked well. Looking back to see the entire wave behind me on glass water was cool. Going around the buoys was vicious as I ran into the wave(s) in front of me. I was out of the water first in my age group.

T1: 2:13 A long run to transition, and a long run to the mount line.

Bike: 23.6mph avg. I just hammered--sweat dripping, gel choking, rumblestrip weaving, 100+ cadence, "on your left" yelling, head-down-in-the-aeros-up-hills, spin-out-the-downhills hammering. I've never biked faster, even during a flat out TT. I'll thank getting into the gym and lifting some cycling-specific weights this week. I'm going to be lifting once per week through the remainder of the season to build strength.

T2: 2:13 run allllll the way to the back of transition, put on socks, slip on shoes, run alllll the way back out.

Run: 6:57/mile I remembered this course vividly from last year--it's longer than the posted 5 miles. There was some long inclines, and I wanted to charge them hard. I took my first half mile at a moderate pace, pretty happy with how my legs felt, and chose a fairly hard pace, intending to see how far I could take it. I made it to the top of an incline around mile 3 running at an identical pace with a woman from an earlier wave. I figured that I'd just pace along with her, but I could tell she was NOT having someone (or probably just me) running next to her. As we passed mile 4, I dropped her. I looked at my HRM to see a heart rate of 174,which is way higher than I've dared to hold pace at in the past, and I'm thinking "Forget this B race garbage, I'm going fast." And then she passed me like a bullet with about 1/2 mile to go. I had nothing left in the tank to counter with, but was able to finish strong.

I've never ran faster. And this is by far my best run pace ever, and it's by alot. My run is really coming together. My best pace to date was last weekend at 7:14/mile, and last season I never cracked 7:30/mile. Strangely enough, I'm getting pretty bad shin splints. I've all but stopped running in the last 3 weeks, and will be resorting to biking to stay in shape after my last race this season.

I ran into my friend & fierce AG competitor Ben at the finish line, and we chatted for a while. His excuse for me beating him is lack of training due to his 2-month-old, and we headed over to the results printer. I was #1 in my age group, and Ben was 3rd! Later on, after non-chalantly telling everyone everyone I saw that I won my age group, a repost showed that I was in 2nd place (d'oh)behind some guy with no run or swim split, and a bike split slower than mine, but ahead of me by 6 minutes---knocking Ben off the podium. A double whammy for poor Ben.

66/460 overall
2/21 age group

I got a place on the podium and a little plastic trophy.