Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oh Ohio

Could have been anywhere, but it wasn't:

Police say a 14-year-old girl was dancing topless at an Akron strip club when they raided the bar.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The World on A Monday

Furthering last week's post about Texas Secession:

Krugman at the top of his game, again.
What else did the right oppose recently? I just want enough information to take cover.

It's tough that you can't choose what your 15 minutes of fame is based on. Right Maine Republican Susan Collins?

Idiots with guns:

Most of the focus will be placed on the Taliban aspect of this story. But really, stupid people with guns are just stupid people with guns. You could replace Pakistan with Rwanda, Darfur, Arkansas or Indonesia and replace the crime of adultery with being (Black, Gay, Homeless, Intellectual, Attractive, etc). I'm sure this will be picked up as further anti-Taliban propaganda, but it's more complex than that... Oh shit, I'm not an intellectual, put that down, AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Fair warning, this is bad, if you're not sure if you want to watch it, don't!
(this applies to you E)


Bike Racing:

Andy Schleck closed out the Ardennes with his win at LBL. Bring on the Giro!

The joy's of crits. I guess I'm glad I missed this one.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Real Purpose of Street Cleaning

This article got me all riled up this morning.

It's pretty common knowledge that the street sweeping program exists to generate revenue from parking tickets. If the "city officials" didn't see this coming, then they are less aware then they are given credit for.

The article points out that the MTA will be looking at a $3.8 million shortfall of lost revenue- from decreases in parking tickets alone!. Given that this coincides with a 26% reduction, that means the city receives roughly $15 million a year in parking tickets- just from street sweeping (assuming the article is correct). Clearly, San Francisco parking tickets are big business.

Ever try to fight a ticket? It's damn near impossible. The amount of people that have stories about getting BS tickets, and just paying them because it's too hard to contest them, is staggering (based on my informal verbal study of the matter).

I tried once (I got a ticket near USF. I was parked in a 2 hour zone for all of 15 minutes and got a ticket for exceeding the 2 hours). I sent in a letter saying I wasn't there and had receipts and witnesses to prove I wasn't there when they said I was... appeal denied. I could give up a day of work to sit in court all day to talk to a judge, but it's easier to pay the $40 (at the time) ticket.

Satan's Minions (aka meter maids) can do whatever the hell they want. The are beyond reproach. In some ways they're worse than the TSA, way more authority than purpose. They can do whatever they want and get away with it. Given the job requirements (GED?) it's no wonder that the allure of unchecked power attracts the kind of people that do this. (OK, most of the are probably no more evil than your average government beaurocrat, but others- I'm looking at you conservatory bike dude- are a blight on humanity)

Uh oh, this is turning into a parking rant.

The point is, the city plans on parking ticket revenue, it likes it. Is the curb paint wearing out? Good, harder to interpret= more tickets. Street cleaning signs obscured or missing? Good if people can't tell they shouldn't park there, they will = more tickets.

All of this to generate funds for the MTA, perhaps the worst tranpsortation authority in the nation.

Now if they were using that money to build bike lanes, then they'd be on to something.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Political Irony

So warrantless wiretapping is ok, just as long as it's happening to someone else

We're a long way from finding out how bad our government really acted.

And as the US slowly moves to the center, It looks like Europe is going to the wrong way. Italy and Fascism, what could go wrong?


Davide Rebellin won La Fleche Wallone.

I know the Ardennes Classics are loved by many, but I have a hard time getting excited by them. I am getting excited about the Giro though. Lots of plots, subplots, and a really challenging course, promise to make this an exciting race.


Pretty sure this is going to make the "must watch" list.

So, rather than attend her reunion, Wachner, 31, sent someone else in her place, a stripper, and made a documentary about it.

This dude needs to be stopped. Of course let's not blame him, let's blame Craigslist. And by invoking stupid politicians, I've come full circle, so I'll stop.

UPDATE: Sloppy work on my part... A suspect is in custody, or for my Birmingham readers, Dude is been got.

Monday, April 20, 2009

In the Future

Children will be asking, "How come all the people were so stupid?"

Most Democrats (51%) still say humans are to blame for global warming, the position taken by former Vice President Al Gore and other climate change activists. But 66% of Republicans and 47% of adults not affiliated with either party disagree.

This is assuming that our education system doesn't continue along it's current trends (old link, I'm lazy). In which case they'll still be waiting for god to smite the homo's.

Makes me think we're overdue for a comet.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sea Otter

Look! I'm in front of people!!

I got a new bike.

A Waterford SR-33. So far I've had 2 short rides, a race, and a longish ride. I like it more each time. I think it looks better than any bike I've ever seen. American Cyclery did a good job for me. It will take a little more to get used to it, but at this point I'm quite pleased.

It was fun to experience Sea Otter, or the little of it that we did. For me to go back would have to be for more than just one race. Either more races, or some time off to watch other races and visit the Aquarium. Too much driving for one day.
The course was fun, but hard. Too hard for me at my present fitness level. But that's changing.

Here's another look at the new bike. I need a better picture of it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ideas for a Fundraiser

Texas wants to secede? Not only should we let them, I say we help them. Can we pay them to leave? How much will this cost? How can I help? I've seen lots of sites wanting money to save wolves, fight cancer, save the children, fight this, save that...

Let's help Texas leave. Bon Voyage!, Good Riddance, Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, etc.

Lot's of brilliance these days, to wit:
rise in "rightwing extremist activity"

Which is meeting with responses like this:
Confirmed: The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real

So, for clarity, if a terrorist wears a turban, he should be tortured. If a terrorist wears a mullet with a Peterbuilt hat (or a klan hood), he's a scapegoat? Have I got that right?

Maybe they should all just move to Texas.

Paul Krugman, as usual, has it right.

More good reading here and here

Dom Rollin got a podium today in Scheldeprijs. Well Done!

Results - 200km

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 4.27.20 (44.87 km/h)
2 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano
3 Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Welcome to Tuesday

Look what I found in my inbox this morning:

Your upgrade request has been approved. An upgrade sticker has gone into the mail today and you should have it in a few days. Place this sticker on the front of your license in a place where it doesn't coverup other information on your license.

Now I can be off the back with even tougher competition!

It will be fun to be able to ride with the rest of the team, and hopefully they can help me out a little. I should find out on Saturday at Sea Otter.

Great pic from PR. The barriers aren't what I thought they were from the video. I had thought Thor might have held on had he not gone into the railing, but clearly he couldn't. Too bad, it would have made for an epic sprint, but it wasn't meant to be.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I got up at four to start looking for live feeds on the nets. Around five, a couple of links showed up, so I settled in to watch my favorite race. The commentary was in French, which I didn't really mind. As long as I'm being shown the right pictures, I don't generally find I need someone to explain what I'm seeing. I guess this is a big reason why I have such a hard time watching the big US sports. The stupid TV coverage cant get out of the way of itself, but I digress...

Sitting with my coffee, watching the early km's of the race, all was good. The peloton had a nervous look to it as they cleared the first few cobbled sections. Then came the Trouée d'Arenberg, and the race was on. It's been said that you can't win PR here, but you can certainly lose it. Occurring with 100 km still to race, it's very unlikely someone could drive a break that far. But Arenberg = crashes, and if you get stuck behind a big enough one, you'll lose minutes and your race hopes are over.

This year most of the big names made it through Arenberg in good position but not many others.

One of the reason I like Roubaix so much, is that every year, I know that a rider I like will win. It's a bit of a cause/effect paradox. I like riders that win PR, because they win PR. But mostly it's the type of riders that the course favors. Tom Boonen, Thor Hushovd, Fabian Cancellara... guys that I root for throughout the year, but guys that really shine in the Spring Classics (and who will do impressive things through the Grand Tours, but not come close to winning the overall).

Watching breaks form, get absorbed, form again, etc, was really fun to watch. Seeing the look of panic on Hincapie's face when he wrapped a spoke around his derailler was tragic. Another mechanical problem = another PR shot to hell. But up the road the big guys were battling. Mostly Boonen was battling and everyone else was following and trying to hang on. Lot's of guys looked strong, but no one looked *as strong*. In the end his strength proved too much, many riders couldn't handle his accelerations on the cobbles, and others couldn't match his bike handling. So he won, it really was that simple. Maybe that's why I like PR so much. It's a simple race and the strongest/smartest rider usually wins.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Damn, Has it been a week already?

Can't do Copperopolis tomorrow, messed up my back.

Work's kept me too busy to do much of anything else.

I haven't even had time to write about what an awesome show Isbell put down last week. The Cleveland show was good, but last week at the Independant was the best show I've seen him do. At one point he refered to his music as Long, Lazy & Loud. Seemed to fit well. This was the best crowd I'd seen at an Isbell show as well, hopeully that will continue.

Great interview with Isbell here

Paris Roubaix is Sunday. My favorite race of the year. I'd love to see Cancellara or Thor win, but I'm guessing Boonen will prevail. The thing with PR though, is that it's so brutal that nothing is given. Anyone that has a mechanical at a bad time is just SOL.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Devo kicks much ass.

Much like last year, he picked his spot, put the hammer down and ride off by his lone bad-ass self.

Stupid crash took out Thor. I couldn't see who the rider was that was trying to grab Gilbert's wheel but given he didn't finish in the top 10, he should have just stayed out of the way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

4 days and counting

Ronde van Vlaanderen is Sunday. This is one of the highlights of the cycling calendar, possibly only behind next week's Paris-Roubaix in terms of my favorite. Which means I'll probably be up by 6am on Sunday looking for an internet stream to watch it.

No racing this weekend, hopefully I can get some good training in, but work might infringe on that a bit. I'm trying to come up with a new training plan, and I kind of think I'm putting too much thought into it. Usually simple is better and the simple plan is essentially- ride lots. That's what I need to do.