I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And a congrat to Vinokourov

Getting past the past

I remember back in 2007 when the entire Astana team quit the Tour de France because Vinokourov felt the need to cheat.  He was banned for 2 years.  Yesterday he won a gold medal for cycling and just about every article I've read mentions he used to be a cheat.  I'm doing it.  They used to say "cheaters never win and winners never cheat."  That's not necessarily the case.  A number of American cyclists did not go to the Olympics, among them Levi Leipheimer, one of our best.  Rumor has it he was kept back, along with 4 others, because he happened to have been riding on the same team as Lance Armstrong during the period of time authorities are investigating.  It's almost unAmerican to think Armstrong could have been a cheat, yet it may be true.  If he was, is he still a cheat today?  I'd like to think not, just as I'd like to think Vinokourov has cleaned up his act.  So, I'm going to congratulate him on winning a gold medal.

Holy Crap! I missed the Dressage Team Event... not really

As the summer Olympics play out I find myself wondering if some of the categories are actually sports, or are they perhaps art forms.  Does being competitive make it a sport, or are the games meant solely to demonstrate competitive spirit?  From what I've read I gather the original games were, while being called games, were more exhibitions of war-like behavior, people didn't just throw javelins for the hell of it, they used were used in combat.  Perhaps the confusion is that I want to see them as sports and they really are nothing more then competitions.  Take synchronized swimming which might also be called water dancing and is more of an art form then it is a sport.  One surely wouldn't use it in battle unless you were entertaining your enemy.  Still, these are human swimmers involved and they use precise muscular behavior, and they need to control their breathing.  This is a lot more then I can say for those participating in dressage which reminds me an awful lot of the trained horse acts you see in circuses; with one you get water dancing, with the other you get horse dancing.

Horse Dancing

Another thing, when a synchronized swimmer wins a medal they get the medal, who gets the medal in dressage.  I doubt very much if the rider gets to hold on to that.  I'd say more likely it goes to the owner of the horse even though he or she is rarely ever, and most likely never, the rider.  I'd like to see the owners riding their own horses, but a rider is, after all, nothing more then an employee, a hired hand.  As such, should he not win a medal, I'd say there is a very good possibility loss will lead to termination of employment.  How many people actually watch dressage?  I don't.  In fact when I saw it listed on Bravo I decided that was the perfect time to load the dishwasher.  Since I didn't watch it I have no idea who was in the stands, millionaires I suppose, and a lot of people who thought it was something else when they were buying their tickets.  To be honest, I equate dressage to another horsey sport, polo, both of which are mostly enjoyed by the rich and famous and those rich and famous wannabe's.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NBC Opening Ceremony coverage sucked!

This is why I didn't really want to watch it, but I did, for about 45 minutes.  What I saw looked fairly chaotic with nincompoop commentators failing to create something cohesive out of a commercial break nightmare.  Every six minutes NBC shoved two and a half to three minutes of commercials down you throat. This is why they paid 1.8 billion to air the 2012 Olympics, not to give you the best possible coverage, but to make money.  They make money selling ad time.  Wall Street loves this.  Me?  I hate it.  When I watch something that has a narrative line I want to be able to discern that narrative line, I don't want to watch shots from fourteen different camera angles which succeed only in creating abstract  images.  Case in point, the entrance of all of those Mary Poppins'.  Dippy Viera said something to the effect of "with all this evil present look to the east," and the next second you saw them landing.  Where did the come from? Did they jump out of helicopters.

Kenneth Brannaugh read something from "The Tempest" and then you saw him wondering around, was there a purpose in his wondering?  Was he supposed to be an observer of the Industrial Revolution?  I kept thinking he looked like Abraham Lincoln without his beard.    

Watching the competitions this AM I noticed commercial breaks have been cut back, some what, they are still way too frequent, usually occurring after eight or nine minutes and they're wasting about 2 minutes of time.  How much time will I spend in front of the TV?  Not very much.  While I find the Olympics entertaining, I don't share the addiction so many others seem to have.  I don't need to win every competition to pet my ego. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Funny ha ha moment

I'm off work today and need to report on a Funny ha ha moment.  I was watching CNBC and lo and behold what did I hear about tonights Olympics?  Paul McCartney is rumored to be singing and Kenneth Brannaugh is rumored to be reading something from Shakespeare's "The Tempest."  See the earlier post to get the ha ha moment.

Topping the Chinese

Will I watch the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics in London, yes.  Will I watch the entire ceremony... no.  It's way too long.  Here's my recommendation to all future opening ceremonies, march the Olympians in first and get that out of the way, and then entertain the world.  Everybody with access to either a TV or the Internet will be watching and everybody will turn it off when the athletes begin parading into the stadium.  People walk slowly around that track.  If we were called America our athletes would be one of the first to enter, but we're the United States and "u" is pretty damn near the end of the alphabet.  Sure, some of the teams entering before us will be small in comparison to the American contingent, they will still walk slowly around that track.

Why will I be watching?  To see if the British attempt to top the Chinese opening ceremonies.  That's a pretty daunting task.  My suspicion is they are going to take another tact to celebrate the United Kingdom, like a Shakespeare production number, maybe Macbeth chasing spots away from the track, or possibly a reunion of the two surviving Beatles singing "Love me do."  One thing you can be sure of, there will be fireworks and special effects galore.  You won't see 2000 Chinese drummers pounding  away but you might see the girls from Absolutely Fabulous staggering around.  The Brits seem to like exporting the idea that they are a staid people, perhaps they might let their hair down.  Wouldn't that be entertaining.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garmin, Garmin, where were you?

In this year's Tour de France, of all the teams present, one seemed to be obviously missing, especially when you recall at last year's tour they were "the" team.  Of course, maybe that's it, I was expecting too much, maybe not a repeat, which would have been nice, but at least a competitive showing.  In case you're wondering this me expressing sore disappoint "my" team's almost invisible presence at the Tour. This isn't to say they weren't there, they were.  Zabriskie had some good moments....  I don't know where Tyler Farrar was, he didn't seem to be in any of the sprints... well that's not completely true, he just doesn't get position well enough to do anything more then put in an appearance.  Maybe he has some sort of psychosis which only makes itself apparent around people named Cavendish, or Sagan, or Goss or Greipel... or maybe he's just too pretty to sprint.

Too pretty to sprint?

Ryder Hesjedal did win the Giro d'Italia and Garmin won the Stage 4 team time trial.  I've read that the team's "ability to work as a unit" paid off in Italy.  So, where was this unit during this years TDF?  Could it be that after winning the Giro they said to themselves, "well, we've won one Grand Tour, now we're set for the year."  People in this country don't watch the Giro, so what ever they had going for them there was lost somewhere over the Mediterranean.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Is James Holmes the Joker?

Of course he is, at least in his mind, though there is a high degree of disagreement on whether or not he is insane... or not.  The important thing to not lose sight of in spite of everything is to try and understand what it is he thinks.  There is a lot of speculation what set him off.  It may have been something as innocuous as a traffic ticket, you have to remember that for how many years has he been told he is "special."  Imagine having a police officer not recognize that you are "special" and force you to pay a fine for speeding!  Jimmy Holmes was weak and did nothing, the Joker would have done something.  At what point did he begin writing the script he began playing out last Friday?  We may never know.
I do suspect the real targets were to have been the police and those victims in the theater were only the bait.  He was, after all, dressed for a fire fight with the police not an audience in a movie theater.  I think he also planned on winning that fight because the Joker would not be taken down.  Is apartment was rigged to take out even more officers.  Unfortunately for the Joker his gun jammed and he didn't have a spare.  I can not imagine what happened in his brain when the script he'd been writing and playing for months suddenly fell apart.  In Hollywood they edit and rewrite, he didn't have time.

I am the egg man, I am the Walrus, I am the Joker

Had his plan succeeded one can only wonder where he planned on going.  Does he have a hideaway somewhere, a lair from which he was planning on watching the chaos he had created.  Being as meticulous as he was, I would think so, and one can only wonder what horror he has hidden there.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Best Tour de France (in a long, long time)?

Yepper, at least in my opinion.  Not because there were no Schleck / Contador/ broken chain moments and because the little doping news was created by insignificant cyclists who will always remain insignificant.  There were tacks, at least 38 of them, and Team Sky demonstrated true sportsmanship.  I somehow suspect that if Cadel Evans had been leading by the same time as Wiggins BMC Cycling might not have been as sportsman-like (my opinion based on not being an Evans fan).  An American cyclist, Tejay Van Garderen, finished 5th, and whether he understands it or not, he's still a kid.  There was also a young Slovakian, Peter Sagan, who simply glows with potential, and it isn't just the Luiqigas    kit.  The French won stages, Thomas Voeckler was King of the Mountain!  This was a year in which there really was no controversy to steal away the spotlight, no Armstrong, no Contador.  This was a year in which the race truly was about the cyclist, a celebration of man and machine.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wiggins, Tejay, and Evans parasite...

Tomorrow is the final stage of the the 2012 Tour de France and Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky will be the first Brit to win in 99 years.  I like things like this.  Multiple winners are nice but I like to see the fame get spread around.  Winning too many times makes people suspect and too often their suspicion is like that old adage "where there's smoke there's fire."  I have to also say I like Team Sky, except for Canvendish, but then I have this distaste for sprinters; they can't climb, just tag along through out the stage and rush in for the win.

Wiggins' Time Trial

Today was the last Time Trial and Wiggins kicked ass, but then it is his specialty.  He wanted to crush the competition and he did.

There was an interesting interview with Tejay Van Garderen in which he was asked what it felt like to pass Cadel Evans on the road (when that happens during a TT the passer is riding superbly and the passee is usually choking on his bad legs).  Very astutely his said he did not feel as though Evans was passing the torch to him, rather, Evans had been dealing with some health issues.  I then recalled someone saying he'd dropped so far behind because he had a parasite.  Maybe he has a tapeworm or, and this is more likely, he's full of horse shit.  Instead of saying he had a bad leg day he's going to blame it on what ever he can, even a parasite.  Still, Tejay comes home wearing the White Jersey for best young ride, and he's only 23.

Tejay in white

That's right, he's a red, white and blue American!

Aurora and the stupidity that follows

What happened there was tragic, an aberration of what is normal.  With a populations of over 300 million we are going to experience aberrations from time to time.  How we deal with them is what is important.  This shooter was going to do what he was going to do, additional gun restrictions may have slowed him down somewhat, but they would not have stopped him.  One commentator mentioned metal detectors, how stupid,  Holmes entered through the front without weapons, left through an exit and came back in.  Another commentator noted that the "klaxon" did not go off when Holmes went out and I'm thinking, people use those exits all of the time when the movie is over.  I use them.  I used one to leave the theater after Snow White and the Huntsman.  Perhaps the stupidest thing I heard of were the comments by Louie Gohmert, an asshole from Texas.  He opened his mouth and shit bricks of stupidity fell out.

This is pure stupidity:  “Well it does make me wonder, you know with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying that could’ve stopped this guy more quickly?” Gohmert said.  Evidently he doesn't understand what "full body armor" consists of, other wise he would have realized that taking a shot at a shooter wearing "full body armor" is a waste of bullets.  He evidently has no conception of what it must have been like to have been in that theater, with pepper spray or tear gas burning  your eyes, and probably 250 plus people screaming in panic and trying to get out, and bullets flying bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.  I suspect Louie Gohmert is as much of an aberration as James Holmes and we're just going to have to deal with him.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Puresleep whiners

I was watching Through the Wormhole and saw a commercial for Puresleep, it's another  mouth protector device which is supposed to keep you from snoring.  I must say, I was stunned, not by the product but by the commercial.  A young maybe wife / maybe girl friend wakes up a the man she's sleeping with and tells him he needs to go sleep on the couch because he's snoring.  I hate to tell you, but this is horse shit.  She's the one who needs to go sleep on the couch and he needs to tell her, not turn in to a wimp meister and give in.  This is straight from the fifties except in the fifties they would have already been sleeping separate beds.  I don't even know who the target audience is for this stupidity, the (supposed) live testimonials are made by middle-aged couples (there may be one couple that's still in their thirties) but you don't see any twenty somethings.  And, what about gay couples and lesbian couples, is this commercial telling me they don't snore?  Personally, I think it's another bogus, plastic apparatus.

Who ever designed this must have been a jock

Now, doesn't this look like something a boxer might use, or a football player, or hockey player, oh, but wait, this one's special, it's adjustable.  What a waste of money.  Oh, wait again, you can get a second one for traveling, all you need to pay is shipping and handling.  Instead of forcing your partner to sleep with an uncomfortable pieces of plastic in his or her mouth, just tell them to roll over onto their side.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tacky stage 14 of the Tour de France

As anybody who's been watching the tour today knows, they had a bit of a problem with tacks with at least 30 riders receiving punctures over a 1 kilometer stretch of the route.  Basically what  happened was some asshole drop a lot of tacks on the road, apparently after the Sky Team had passed by.

Tack in the tire

Crowd control is difficult on these stretches narrow road, thousands of fans mull all over sometimes opening what looks like only the barest of gaps for the cyclists to pass through.  Cadel Evans suffered three punctures and had to wait for his team to arrive to get a new tire, maybe he should consider not abandoning them as he often does in the mountains.  Hincapie is on his team for a reason, not to be left behind.  Wiggins proved how truly civil the Brits are by slowing down the race until Evans could catch up.  One can only wonder if Evans would have done the same thing if their positions had been reversed.  I am not a big fan of Cadel Evans, in case anybody was wondering.

Congratulations to Luis Leon Sanchez for winning the stage!  Rabbobank deserved the win.

Luis Leon

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NBC Sports and the Tour de France

This is a bad year for the Tour de France on NBC Sports, not because NBC is doing anything wrong, well maybe a couple little things, but because is up against the Olympics.  Other years I could come home from work and watch a couple of hours of racing.  Now, when I come home, I turn on NBC Sports and see they Olympic trials.  The NBC prime time Tour de France broadcast doesn't begin until very, very close to my bed time.  This I can understand.  Now for the bad things.  On Sunday I got to watch the race live, good shit.  All of sudden they began a stupid fluff piece on Cavendish.  I sat stupefied watching his companion (who evidently had complained on Twitter after Mark had been criticized) explain herself.  To be honest, I don't quite remember what she said, I was too stunned to see they had inserted this bull shit into their commentary.  There were complaints that after Mark had crashed he didn't get back onto his bike and ride like the Stage winning sprinter people like to brag about.

After the crash

"He's a human being," she had complained in her Twitter and because of that she'd been brought on National Television.  No, I thought, he's a professional cyclist who's getting paid a lot of money to race his bicycle.  She needs to understand this, instead of acting like a prepubescent girl in junior high.  And, for those of you who think Cavendish is going to really go out and win stages like he did last year?  Forget it.  He was an Olympic medal.  He's going to save himself.  Olympic gold would really make him an expensive package.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dave Z in at 54

Saw this on my tablet today and couldn't believe it.  Maybe he crashed or something, don't know, I was working.  This is why I don't bet, or wager or gamble.

Stage 9 Time Trial - Zabriskie

Today is Stage 9 in the TDF and it's a Time Trial.  There are two types of stages I like, mountain and time trial.  I'm not wild about flat stages because they're geared for sprinters and I think, unfortunately, most sprinters tend to be assholes.  Anyway, I don't make predictions since I usually end up being wrong, what I will do is tell you who I'd like to see win.  That would be Dave Zabriskie.

Zabriskie in last years kit

He's good at what he specializes in and that is Time Trials.  Because of crashes Garmin hasn't done much this tour.  This is his day to do something for the team.  For me, the TDF is all about the stage winners, not the cyclist who happens to win because he has the best time.  A bad crash can send rider to the hospital and end his Tour or knock 13 minutes off of his time, then he's out of it.  Wiggins might win this stage, that would be fine, or Nibali, that would also be fine.  I would not like to see Cadel Evans win.  I used to think he was a good, until I heard him whining and complaining like a 12 year old girl because he lost a stage.  He blamed everybody except himself for his own flawed riding.  Ever since then I consider him worse then a sprinter, and how can you be worse then an asshole.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back from Vacation - Thibaut Pinot AC from Rite Aid

Just in case anyone was wondering, I was on vacation, went on early morning walks with Gert to avoid the incredible afternoon heat, and relaxed, oh, and played Skyrim.

Does this guy look happy, he should!  This is Thibaut Pinot.

Who is Thibaut Pinot?  A 21 year old French cyclist.  This is his first Tour de France and today he won the Stage 8.  Was it a fluke, only time will tell.  I will tell you, I felt really good for him.

Five years ago I made a momentous decision, I had Central Air Conditioning installed in my 110 year old home.  I can not tell you how many times I've said to myself, "this is a very good thing," especially during the recent heat wave.  Yesterday it hit 101.  That's hot.  My neighbors do not have air conditioning, not even a window unit.  Well, they didn't until yesterday.  She works from home and felt she needed to condition the air in her "office."  So, did they go to a Home Depot to purchase their unit?  Or to a Sears?  No, they went to Rite Aid.  Rite Aid is a pharmacy.  They used to fill Max (the cat's) insulin prescription.  For the life of me, I cannot figure out why you would even think of going to a pharmacy to pick of an A/C Unit.  I do not understand their logic.

Monday, July 2, 2012

American Water Resources - Pennsylvania

Everybody knows what an EPS is, even if the acronym has different letters, it might be EPA (Extra Protection Agreement) or something else.  What ever you want to call them, for 99% of the time they are a waste of money.  Yesterday I received a letter from American Water Resources which offered one of these phony insurance policies.  For only $3.99 per month, I could join their "in home plumbing emergency program."  What horse shit!  They want me to spend almost $48 per year just incase I have a "backed up bathtub drain," or a "blocked or overflowing toilet."  I've lived in my house for over 19 years and have only had a plumber here 4 times and never for repairs: I've moved my washer and dryer down to the basement, bought a refrigerator with water in the door, put in a garbage disposal... and, oh yes, did a bathroom redo.  Now, maybe you're a Paranoid Penny who is constantly worried you might have to deal with a clogged bathroom sink.  I've never had one, but, if I did, I'd most likely go to Home Depot and buy a plunger.  If you're not careful, these people will paranoid you to death and bleed your finances dry in the process.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cancellara wins prologue + 2nd in stage 1 (and I was wrong, kind of)

For those of you who aren't into cycling, Fabian Cancellara has won both the prologue and come in 2nd in Stage 1 of the Tour de France, holding on to the Yellow Jersey.

While watching the race today I was reminded of the rumors which had been spread a few years ago that he had some how managed to have a motor built into his bicycle.  Talk about desperation on the part of rumor mongers.  The truth is this guy has dynamite thighs.  Sadly, I have to return to work tomorrow so I'll have to do catch ups on my tablet when ever I can.  I'll have to see if there's an android app I can download.

Secondly, I'm admitting I was wrong about one thing.  I'd said there was no Cycling Fantasy Challenge this year, well, there is, but damn if I can locate it.  Discover Card is sponsoring it, of course, I do not have a very good history with that credit company.  Sure, their 'Peggy' commercials are funny as hell, but after I had closed out my account they raised my interest rate.  When I called to complain I was told they raised the interest rate because they could.  When I noted that my account was closed and raised interest rates usually effect new charges they said "no way, we're raising them because we can.  As I said, the account was closed and now paid off.  Will I ever get another Discover Card?  Shit no!