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September 28, 2008

Good 55-mile ride, until. . .

I looked down at my cyclometer at mile 35 and drifted off of the trail. Barreling into soft sand at 22 mph and then over the handlebars headfirst into scrub brush filled with thorns is not fun. I remember stopping and thinking I had broken my neck. Fortunately, I didn't plow into a pine tree. My helmet was intact, but full of dirt and I was covered head to toe in thorny vines. Thankfully, the bike was OK. I gathered my senses and got back on the bike to head home.

A couple of miles down the trail, I saw what looked like a water moccasin just sunning himself on the side of the path. I'm glad he wasn't waiting for me in the brush.

Overall, it was a good ride. I rode from home to Bryceville, then over to Baldwin where I picked up the rail trail. Then it was back home. I listened to the Jaguar game for the first half and was glad they pulled out the victory.

Right now, other than the scrapes and scratches, I just have a sore neck. I promised Karen I would go to the chiropractor tomorrow to check it out.

September 26, 2008

Run to live longer

The next time someone tells you to stop running because of Jim Fixx, tell them to read this.
Running slows the aging clock, Stanford researchers find

Regular running slows the effects of aging, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine that has tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years. Elderly runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as aging nonrunners to die early deaths, the research found.

September 25, 2008

Great track workout this morning

I am so glad the fall weather has returned. It certainly made this morning's 5x1000 workout bearable. Unfortunately, for me it was only 4x1000. The guys had already started the first interval when I arrived at the track, so I missed the first one. I did run the last 400 with JJ, so that counts for something.

My goal for the workout was negative splits, and I accomplished that goal, lowering each successive interval by 4 seconds.

Speedwork is great, but I still have some work to do on the base.

A long bike ride and a long run over the next 3 days and this will be a successful training week. It would be REALLY successful if I could get in the pool one of these days.

Harry Reid is joining PETA in the irrelevant category

Reid: Bush Guilty of 'Fiscal Dereliction of Duty'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) slammed President Bush for "fiscal dereliction of duty" Wednesday, accusing Bush of being "absent" from the fiscal crisis and noting that the president has given only two short statements on the country's most serious economic convulsion in nearly 80 years.

This is funny coming from a guy who just the other day said the Congress didn't know what to do and would "just get out of the way". Reid needs to remember that as bad as Bush's approval ratings may be, they are still double that of Congress.

September 24, 2008


Biden, Obama helped keep 'Bridge to Nowhere' alive

Although Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden routinely mocks his Republican counterpart, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for her onetime support of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," Biden and his running mate voted to keep the project alive twice.

Both Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama voted to kill a Senate amendment that would have diverted federal funding for the bridge to repair a Louisiana span badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Senate records show.

It gets worse:

"That is probably the most disturbing element of this and the campaigning on the Bridge to Nowhere," said Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation, a taxpayer watchdog group. "Because, yes, they had a chance to vote specifically against the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska to redirect the money to people, to bridges and infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Katrina going in to New Orleans, and they chose not to."

I'm surprised Obama didn't vote "present" on this one.

Great program

Local Mom's Idea Gets Those in Need "Rolling" Again

"It gets overwhelming at times," April Patterson admits.

But when this stay-at-home mom thinks of all the people relying on her, she grabs a wrench and gets right back to work.

She never knew her idea of recycling old bicycles would take on wheels of its own.

Kudos to the Pattersons, Scott Giles, and Drew Johnson from City Cycle. All really good people.

New endurance event to be held in Jacksonville

We get our own version of the Empire State Building Run Up on Saturday, February 7, 2009 when the American Lung Association organizes Climb Jacksonville, a race up the Bank of America Tower. Only 42 floors. Or 838 steps.

Anyone want to organize a team?

PETA jumps the shark

PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.

This is wrong on so many levels. PETA continues to find new ways to make it easy for folks to find them irrelevant.

September 23, 2008

Phil Fulmer to step down?

From my friend Jeff:

Rumors are circling that the Tennessee coach will step down tommorrow to take a position with FEMA. Apparently his ability to evacuate 100,000 people in a hurry has earned him some interest...

I guess UT fans *ARE* quitters.
I guess UT fans *are* quitters

080923 36.5 mile Training Ride

080923 Training Ride

Good ride this morning. Saw a total of 7 deer on the trail. The only downside is the realization that sunrise is getting later and later. Not sure how much longer I'll be able to do this ride during the week. For the most part it is uneventful, but there are usually 1 or 2 folks who can't handle sharing the road with a cyclist, or are just too ignorant too know how to share the road.

September 22, 2008

Emily is now a Brownie

Emily is now a Brownie

Now I have an inside connection for Girl Scout cookies.

Cyclists riding across the country for charity hit in NE Florida, 15 miles from finish

This is really sad. However, it won't come as any surprise to anyone who rides in NE Florida.

Charity Cyclists Ending Cross-Country Trek Hit By Truck

After riding their bikes from California to Florida to benefit special needs children, two men were hit by a truck just miles from their final destination.

Stan Bippus, 68, had been on the ride of a lifetime with his nephew, 29-year-old Jeremy Winkelman, by his side when tragedy struck.

Winkelman has cerebral palsy and was the inspiration behind the ride. He told an Indiana TV station that he wanted to show the world that people with special needs can do anything. Earlier this year, the pair set out on a cross-country bike ride from San Diego to St. Augustine to raise money for charity and prove doubters wrong.

The two detailed their trip daily with updates on their blog, and from the looks of things they were loving the trip.

However, on Wednesday, with the finish line less than 25 miles away and six months of travel behind them, Bippus and Winkelman were hit by a truck near Green Cove Springs.

What is going on with TwitPic?

TwitPic seems to be having serious connection problems recently.

September 17, 2008

Obama and Pelosi need to get the Dems story straight

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi said the Democrats have no responsibility for the current economic woes. However, according to

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered a broad, swift investigation of Wall Street and will demand testimony from Bush administration officials and captains of finance, congressional officials said.


Also yesterday, Obama offered up this nugget:

"This morning, instead of offering up concrete plans to solve these issues, Sen. McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem."

Were the Dems for commissions yesterday morning before they were against them? Or only commissions that are political attack machines against the current administration? And with control of Congress, are the Dems admitting they have been incapable of offering solutions to the current economic turmoil, and instead place blame only on the Executive Branch?

From Bloomberg:

The Democratic-controlled Congress, acknowledging that it isn't equipped to lead the way to a solution for the financial crisis and can't agree on a path to follow, is likely to just get out of the way.

Lawmakers say they are unlikely to take action before, or to delay, their planned adjournments -- Sept. 26 for the House of Representatives, a week later for the Senate. While they haven't ruled out returning after the Nov. 4 elections, they would rather wait until next year unless Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who are leading efforts to contain the crisis, call for help.

One reason, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, is that "no one knows what to do" at the moment.

This dovetails nicely with yesterday's post. Congress doesn't know what to do, so they'll blame others and hope someone bails them out with a solution.

September 16, 2008

Bicycle/Pedestrian workshop tonight.

Bicycle/Pedestrian workshop tonight.


7pm TONIGHT (Tuesday Sept 16) AT:
Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk
Anchor Room
1515 Prudential Drive
sponsored by First Coast MPO & North Florida Bicycle Club

Please come and show your support for cycling!!

One of the sponsors, First Coast MPO, works with the City of Jacksonville on planning issues including bicycle trails/paths and bike lanes. They are looking for YOUR input and will share information about the Long Range Transportation Plan and the Regional Greenways & Trails Plan.

Let your voice be heard!

Training update

Put in a good effort on Saturday with the Open Road group ride. Group ride dynamics are always interesting. Traditionally, the group has a fast acceleration once we turn onto Beauclerc from San Jose. There was a mini acceleration, but then it was almost like we were continuing the warm-up. The sustained fast riding didn't begin until Scott Mill. There was a stretch that was a real ripper, and looking back at the data we were doing 32 mph for the stretch past the 295 overpass. The pace from that point on averaged 27 mph until the short loop riders turned off. I stayed near the front for much of the ride and worked with a couple of folks to bridge a gap with a breakaway. There was one fellow on a tri bike that put in a huge effort. Total mileage for the day was a respectable 53 miles.

After taking a lazy, hot Sunday off, I put in a good effort in the pool yesterday (perfecting the flip turn!) and a muggy 8-mile run this morning. This oppressive heat is the pits!

Forty mile tempo ride early tomorrow morning to be followed by track work on Thursday.

iTunes Genius feature

Trying out the new Genius feature in iTunes. It has generated some pretty good playlists for me. Found some music I had forgotten about.

September 12, 2008

The media has been lobotomized

Ex-Clinton Aide: Media Tougher On Palin, Political Players: Former Clinton Chief Strategist Mark Penn Argues The Press Has Lost Its Credibility - CBS News Your former colleague Howard Wolfson argued that you all unintentionally paved the way for Palin by exposing some of the unfair media coverage that Hillary Clinton received. And, therefore, a lot of the media may now be treating Sarah Palin with kid gloves. Do you agree with that?

Mark Penn: Well, no, I think the people themselves saw unfair media coverage of Senator Clinton. I think if you go back, the polls reflected very clearly what "Saturday Night Live" crystallized in one of their mock debates about what was happening with the press.

I think here the media is on very dangerous ground. I think that when you see them going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed, if they don't do that for all four of the candidates, they're on very dangerous ground. I think the media so far has been the biggest loser in this race. And they continue to have growing credibility problems.

And I think that that's a real problem growing out of this election. The media now, all of the media — not just Fox News, that was perceived as highly partisan — but all of the media is now being viewed as partisan in one way or another. And that is an unfortunate development. So you think the media is being uniquely tough on Palin now?

Mark Penn: Well, I think that the media is doing the kinds of stories on Palin that they're not doing on the other candidates. And that's going to subject them to people concluding that they're giving her a tougher time. Now, the media defense would be, "Yeah, we looked at these other candidates who have been in public life at an earlier time."

What happened here very clearly is that the controversy over Palin led to 37 million Americans tuning into a vice-presidential speech, something that is unprecedented, because they wanted to see for themselves. This is an election in which the voters are going to decide for themselves. The media has lost credibility with them.

"A lot of the media may now be treating Sarah Palin with kid gloves"?

Are you kidding me? I think the media has been lobotomized.

This reminds me of an exchange on NPR Wednesday afternoon between MESHELL Norris and John McCain's daughter Meghan (fast forward to 3:44):

Meghan: I don't think it's fair to attack her children.
MESHELL: And when you say attack her children, I just want to make sure I understand what you're referring to.

The way she asks Meghan "what you're referring to" so sweetly innocent makes my skin crawl.

For someone in the news business, MESHELL is about a week late on current events.

Bad training week

Too bad airplanes don't have treadmills or spin bikes. An Endless Pool would be nice as well, especially simulating rough open water swims with turbulence.

No chance to train on Monday since I spent it in airports and airplanes. Tuesday I was able to get in a run and a quick swim at the hotel pool. It was actually 25-yards and had a swim lane roped off. Very nice.

Wednesday was another travel day.

Yesterday, I did hit the track with the gang and ran some 800s. Did pretty well despite my lack of running recently. This morning I had an early conference call, so instead of risking being rushed by going to the pool, I stayed in the neighborhood and went for a run on the Ortega River Run course.

I might be able to sneak off a swim this evening, but the yard also needs cutting. Responsibilities!

Tomorrow I'm hoping for a 60+ bike ride, with maybe a run off the bike. Be the brick!

September 7, 2008

Go Gators II!

Camilo Villegas completes wire-to-wire victory at BMW Championship.

September 6, 2008

Go Gators!

Go Gators!

September 5, 2008

Gold Wing parrot at Jerry's

Gold Wing parrot at Jerry's

Defending Sarah Palin

Earlier this week, I Twittered my status to Facebook: Waiting for feminists to defend Palin.

The response was interesting, with replies from people I respect. Here is one such exchange:

brown_dog @metamarshall why would feminists defend her? She is against everything they stand for.

metamarshall @brown_dog Everything? So because of a few social issues, she is a pariah? Condi Rice will welcome her to the club.

brown_dog @metamarshall maybe they are soul sisters?

metamarshall @brown_dog Maybe, but it certainly undermines the movement if you have to fall in lockstep to be 'credible'

Others just asked, "Why defend her?"

The carnage has been ugly. It has ranged from the sexist attacks on whether she could (or should) be VP with 5 children to the disgusting exploitation of her 17 year-old daughter.

Why defend her?

I'll tell you why. I have two young daughters and that is all the reason in the world to defend her.

My girls don't know anything about the social issues that make Palin a less desirable role model for "true" feminists. Nor should they, unless someone can make a good argument for explaining abortion to a second grader and a kindergartner. All they know is that a woman is running for the Vice President of the United States of America.

In a nation that bends over backwards to kowtow at the altar of diversity, diversity of thought is a major no-no. Because Palin has a different set of morals (not saying whether she is right or wrong, although mine parallel), she should be allowed vicious gender-based attacks?

Although he has sons instead of daughters, my buddy Pete has used Palin as an example for his kids as well. Her nomination demonstrates to them that girls are just as capable as boys.

To paraphase a currently popular role model, "America, we are better than our last eight days."

September 1, 2008

Vacation recap: First 3 Days

The drive down to Captiva was very rainy. I guess the first bands of Gustav were to blame.

Yesterday was spent mostly inside watching the rain and watching Gustav motor by in the gulf. We were able to go out to the beach for the sunset, but it was hidden by clouds.

Today the weather was much better.

After breakfast I headed out for a bike ride. Last night when getting ready for the ride I couldn't pump my tires because I had broken the valve on both wheels. I decided to go ahead and change both tubes. After I changed the rear, I found out that my pump was broken and air was only coming out of the schrader stem side. In order to inflate the rear tire, I had to use my only CO2 cartridge. I was also unable to change the front tube. So, during today's ride, I stopped at the bike shop in Sanibel. We inflated the rear tube, but when we tried to inflate the front, the valve shot out and the tube was toast. I changed out the front tube with my spare, and when I went to inflate it, I had a pinch flat near the stem.

So, I had to buy a new tube (on IOU, didn't have enough cash and they didn't take AMEX). My new friend, Valde the bike mechanic from Lithuania, offered to change this tube for an additional $8. I think he was questioning my tire changing skills. He watched me and approved of my method. Fortunately, this tube inflated.

Now, with both tubes fully inflated to 110 psi and with valve stems, I completed my ride. A very nice ride except for the jerk in the Saab who pulled out of a driveway in front of me on the way home. In my mind, I was contemplating how I was going to hit his car and slide across the pavement. Thankfully, although I had the bike sideways and sliding, I was able to keep the rubber side down and get around him. That is about the closest I have come to wrecking with a car.

The rest of the day involved swimming in the pool, riding waves in the gulf on a kids tube, and working on the vacation jigsaw puzzle.

Tomorrow, more of the same except a 10-mile run in place of the ride (and hopefully no run-ins with a car) and one work-related conference call. Oh, and we'll be tracking Hanna as she heads for our home in Jacksonville. Yikes!

Enjoying the vacation!

Pix to be uploaded soon.

Gasp! I'm shocked!

My Way News - Some turn violent in march to GOP convention

Protesters smashed windows, punctured car tires and threw bottles Monday during an anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention. Police used pepper spray in confrontations with demonstrators and arrested five.

Instead of the single coherent march that organizers had hoped for, fringe groups of anarchists and others wrought havoc along the streets between the state Capitol and the Xcel Energy Center where the convention was taking place.