About This Blog

As time permits, in-depth musings on myriad subjects will be posted. Abbreviated adages will be announced via Twitter.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Le Tour

For almost a week, now, the 2007 Tour de France has been winding its way across Europe. For the first time in about a decade, too, I've not really cared. Sure, I've checked on who's won stages, but "Tour Fever" has not taken me over, latching me to my computer screen or pop by a friend's house to watch a stage unfold. With so many big names not racing, including 2006 winner (at least as seen on TV) Floyd Landis, it's hard to not get excited. The real reason, I feel, has more to do with the reason for the absence of Landis, et al.: doping.

I've no intentions of launching into a tirade about how doping has ruined cycling, for I don't truly feel that...at least not on a personal basis. For me, cycling has always been more personal: a means of escape that feels like flying. In college, I scheduled my classes to allow for a 2-3 hour bike ride in between or would ride before classes, allowing for not only optimal parking, but also an exhilarating way to begin the day. I mentally wrote many of my essays while biking the hills of Boerne and Helotes.

But then came the scandals, beginning (for me, anyway) with Tyler Hamilton and the 2004 Olympics & Vuelte. Follow that up a couple of years later with Puerto, and things got downright nasty, including an additional implication of Hamilton, and culminating in the ousting of several 06 TdF pre-race favorites. But Floyd saved the day and resparked America's interest in the big bike ride...until doping tests revealed (or at least suggested -- I'm still undecided) he may not have legitimately earned the maillot jaune.

With the winners of the past eight years not invited (at least, according to what I've read) to this year's Tour, what's the point in following it?


photo: AFP

This picture effectively captures what cycling is going through right now: something so awesome (and Vinokourov is that), battered and bruised, struggling to carry on. I particularly like the arm of a T-Mobile rider (former teammate?) offering a hand of support & encouragement.

So, while I'm still not fully psyched about the Tour, I am every bit as excited as ever about cycling. True, cyclists can be a bit elitist (all right, downright arrogant), but you get that in every form of sport. In cycling it just might be a tad more justified. Here's to hoping for a strong, dope-free finish for this year's Tour...and for cycling as a whole.


Thanks for reading.//dhs

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday Musings

Ah, the last Monday of summer school. 'Twas anything but bad, unless you count the lawnmower crapping out on me this afternoon, again leaving me with a partially-trimmed front yard, making it look as though the mower of said lawn quit, mid-mowing, to use the restroom and never came back. If only I could tell them that the mower is not in the restroom; rather, he is making an entry on his blog.

Weekend weather was half and half: Saturday sucked, Sunday rocked. N--- & I made it out for a little run in the morning, followed by a swim, which, in turn, was followed up by an afternoon of vegging out: Simpsons, sushi, and sorbet. It's good to be a triathlete. It's better to be in love.

A quick peek at lawnmowers from the local yocals makes me think I'll be waiting a bit to purchase a new one, given the uncertainty of what's happening with my house. Should I stay, I'll use some of my summer school money for a new one, else I just keep limping by with what I have. Hopefully, the weather will back off and keep the grass & weeds from growing so #(^*% quickly, but I'm not holding my breath. But maybe I should be.

Ye olde computer clocke reads 4:17, so methinks I'll throw a bag together and head over to the gym to lift & swim. I'm still sucking in the water, and Tri 101 is only getting closer, so I need all the help I can get.

Off I go. Thanks for reading.//d

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Straight Sevens on Saturday

I guess the best way to keep me posting to this Blog is to have me trapped indoors. What's this, three consecutive days, now?

Once again, the rain kept me (and N---) from playing outside today (I feel bad for her, having to scrap her massive training day twice, in the same week, on account of the weather), and, with water aerobics classes starting so early on Saturdays, I was unable to get in a swim before needing to be home for today's Harry Potter-thon, where me and a few friends will, for whatever reason sounded logical at the time, attempt to watch all four of the current Harry Potter DVDs. It's going to be a long day. I mean, Dan did IM CdL in less time.

The home theater is all warmed up (courtesy of Tori Amos's latest), snacks are set, and the butterbeer needs only to be brewed together. T--- just called to say she & K--- are on the way, and N--- should be here before too long. Guess I'll head into the kitchen and finish up the butterbeer and get the pizzas started.

Weather looks like it's going to continue to suck for the foreseeable future, so check back soon for yet another update. Thanks for reading.//d

Friday, July 06, 2007


It rained again this morning. It's been spotty, too, since I woke up and consumed some eggs & such for breakfast, meaning today is pretty-much a shot day for outdoor training, yard work, or anything else I wanted to do outside...except SeaWorld.

A---, M---, and the nephews are in town, so we're heading off to see the sharks and that big whale that does tricks. Hopefully, it'll take my mind off the poopy weather, and the sharks can get my mojo for swimming going, again. I tell ya, the past few times I've been in the pool, I just haven't felt it.

The tea kettle is letting me know my water is ready, so I'm bugging out now. Hope everyone else's day is going better than mine. If not, meet me in the shark tank in an hour.

Thanks for reading...d

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Weathering the Storms

It's been raining here for what seems like a month, and I have to say, I'm sick of it. Really.

Alas, the first original post since PlayTri last April (technical difficulties; sorry), and I choose to open it by #(%*& about the weather, when that's only background to everything that's been going on since said triathlon. Where to begin?

Crookshanks. No, not Hermione's cat from the Harry Potter series, but my own fuzzy feline, has moved on. She somehow contracted a fairly common virus called feline infectious paritonitis (FIP), which, when it does what it's supposed to, starves a cat to death. Unfortunately, Crookshanks's strain did what it was supposed to. Poor girl dropped over a pound in a matter of weeks by not being able to keep anything, food or water, down. To make matters worse, fleas seized upon her in her sickened state (they later made themselves at home in my home, but more on that in a bit). She became too weak to fight on, but remained chipper right up to the end. It's been nearly two months, but I still miss seeing her trot across the lawn whenever I pull into the drive on my bike. I even miss her near-incessant whining. I don't, however, miss her fleas.

Fleas have to be the most difficult pest to rid one's home of. After six weeks and $200+ in expenses, I think I've finally rid my home of the little buggers; rather, I've not seen a living one here in a couple of weeks. Sevin Dust is definitely the bomb when it comes to that sort of thing. Raid flea foggers are not.

Backtracking to the same weekend that Crookshanks was put to sleep, N--- & I went down to Corpus Christi to run the Beach to Bay relay marathon. Granted, we weren't on the same team, but that didn't keep us from having a grand time while we were down by the beach. N--- ran the leg before mine, so I got to see her trucking into the chute to hand off to her teammate. What a stellar runner.

I'd a hard time getting to my hand-off person, but once I did, I motored on, using the angst I had inside of me over Crookshanks to motor through the 4.4 miles in 29'04", averaging 6:35/mi. Considering my leg was the bridge, even I was impressed with my time. Since then, though, my training has gone more or less down the toilet. Enter worst weather I've suffered through in several years.

Tri 101 is still a few months away, so I remain optimistic about being ready for it, despite my lagging behind on training. I'm finally coming to the "acceptance" phase of things and will begin adapting my training schedule to make full use of the gym and its amenities to accommodate the lousy weather.

Kind of a blah post, I know, but I felt compelled to type in some stuff tonight, in light of the poopy swim I had this evening. There just seems to be so little gas in the tank, literally & figuratively speaking, due in small part to the weather I seem to be unable to shut up about. So, I guess I'll just shut up all together. Besides, I still need to finish The Once and Future King.

I'll be more coherent next time, I promise. And, now that this thing is back up & running at 100%, updates should be a little more frequent. As always, thanks for reading.//d