Wednesday, January 31, 2007

cannabis drug may help FIGHT obesity

LONDON (Jan. 30) - Human trials of an experimental treatment for obesity derived from cannabis, which is commonly associated with stimulating hunger, are scheduled to begin in the second half of this year, Britain's GW Pharmaceuticals Plc announced Tuesday.
A British pharmaceutical company says it has derived a treatment from cannabis that could help fight obesity. The company has already developed a treatment derived from cannabis for multiple sclerosis.
Several other companies, such as Sanofi-Aventis, which is investigating Acomplia, are working on new drugs that will switch off the brain circuits that make people hungry when they smoke cannabis. GW Pharma, however, says it has derived a treatment from cannabis that could help suppress hunger.
"The cannabis plant has 70 different cannabinoids in it and each has a different affect on the body," GW Managing Director Justin Gover told Reuters in a telephone interview. "Some can stimulate your appetite, and some in the same plant can suppress your appetite. It is amazing both scientifically and commercially," he said. [duh. it also makes a great car freshener--better than pine trees!--the rev.]
Drugs have to pass three stages of tests in humans before being eligible for approval by regulators in a process that takes many years. Sanofi-Aventis' Acomplia, which it believes can achieve $3 billion in annual sales, is already on sale in Europe and it is waiting for a U.S. regulatory decision in April.
Several other big drug companies also already have similar products to Acomplia in clinical trials. GW is best known for developing Sativex, a treatment derived from cannabis that fights spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients. Sativex, an under-the-tongue spray, has been approved in Canada, but has hit delays with regulators in Britain. GW submitted Sativex for assessment by several European regulators in September, and hopes to secure approval for the UK, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands in the second half of this year at the earliest, the company said on Tuesday. GW's marijuana plants are grown indoors in a secret location in Southern England. [this should come as no surprise!--the rev.]
Ancient Village Sheds Light on Stonehenge
WASHINGTON (Jan. 30) - A village of small houses that may have sheltered the builders of the mysterious Stonehenge - or people attending festivals there - has been found by archaeologists studying the stone circle in England. Eight of the houses, with central hearths, have been excavated, and there may be as many as 25 of them, Mike Parker Pearson said Tuesday at a briefing organized by the National Geographic Society.
"These are people who knew how to party," he told CNN.
The ancient houses are at a site known as Durrington Walls, about two miles from Stonehenge. It is also the location of a wooden version of the stone circle. The village was carbon dated to about 2600 B.C., about the same time Stonehenge was built. The Great Pyramid in Egypt was built at about the same time, said Parker Pearson of Sheffield University. Julian Thomas of Manchester University noted that both Stonehenge and Durrington Walls have avenues connecting them to the Avon River, indicating a pattern of movement between the sites.
"Clearly, this is a place that was of enormous importance," he said of the new find. The researchers speculated that Durrington Walls was a place for the living and Stonehenge - where cremated remains have been found - was a cemetery and memorial. The wooden houses at the new site were square and about 14 feet along each side. They were almost identical to stone houses built at about the same time in the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland, Parker Pearson said. He said there were indications of bed frames along the side walls and of a dresser or storage unit of some sort on the wall opposite the door. Stone tools, animal bones, arrowheads and other artifacts were uncovered in the village. Remains of pigs indicated they were about nine months old when killed, which would mark a midwinter festival. Stonehenge was oriented to face the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset, while the wooden circle at Durrington Walls faced the midwinter sunrise and midsummer sunset.
Two of the houses, found by Thomas, were separate from the others and may have been the dwellings of community leaders or perhaps were cult houses used for religious rituals. Those sites lacked the debris and household trash that was common in the other homes, he noted. Durrington appears "very much a place of the living," Parker Pearson said. In contrast, no one ever lived at the stone circle at Stonehenge, which was the largest cemetery in Britain of its time. Stonehenge is thought to contain 250 cremations. The research was supported by the National Geographic Society, Arts & Humanities Research Council, English Heritage and Wessex Archaeology.

a dramatic reversal

regular readers will know that since, the end of november,
i've reverted to my mat rat days, after a fashion.
in october, 1966, as an 83-pound eighth grader at nevada junior high school, i was one of maybe 20-25 8th and 9th graders who went out for the first junior high wrestling team the school ever had.
we sucked. i sucked.
i can't recall the team's dual record for the season, but i DO recall having a record of 0-11. the only "good" thing was that i was never pinned. ironically [as later years would reveal], i had a very strong back. i improved with succeeding seasons, and though never a star, i did grow and eventually felt pretty comfortable taking the mat at 95 and 103, and finished my career with a .500 record. our teams were pretty good, not stellar, but never the "gimme" wins, the doormats that all teams welcomed on their schedules.
from 1966 on, i had friends who were much older and larger, guys who otherwise would never have had any reason to even look at me. these were friends who took me--the second smallest guy on the team--under their wings, and became quite good buddies. these introductions allowed me, among other things, to get involved in local rock and roll bands and, more importantly, the high school and college anti-war movement in the late sixties. pretty cool stuff. but i digress.
my son-in-law, dwight hinson, began coaching at nevada high school this fall. he inherited a program that has seen some pretty fair days, has produced some individual conference and state champions, but to my knowledge, never any conference team titles nor state team titles. he is replacing a coach who has been at the helm for over twenty years, but had to step aside for health reasons; he remains at the school as a teacher, and still hangs out with the team.
i suspect his role is to keep an eye on "his" program, and to chafe dwight.
last year, the nevada high school wrestling team was 2-14 in dual meets. this fall, the team has been small, unable to field a wrestler at 103, and since grades came out, must forfeit at 112, too [that darned earth science has always been a killer!]. so on a good night, the team spots the opposition 12 points off the bat. on other occasions, there has been a third forfeit form one of three other kids who have had "injuries" that have sidelined them, at the cost of another six points. they have a stable of another four to six junior varsity wrestlers.
NOT a deep squad.
but, as dwight told me early in the season, they may not be pretty, but they WILL be in shape.
and they are. a parent told me last night of a conversation he'd had with a coach whose team was spanked by the cubs last saturday.* [the rest of this story WILL be told, trust me] background: last saturday, january 27th, the cubs were one of ten teams at a dual team tournament at colfax. the entire team wrestled the four other teams in their pool, and then wrestled the equivalent-placed team from the other pool, for a final standing. in other words, five times in eight hours.
now, granted, this means at most 30 to 34 minutes of wrestling. but it's a real test of physical and mental conditioning. they emerged 3-1 from their pool, and then lost a 3-point dual for third place. but they were in it all the way, and this was after, again, spotting the others 18 points.
this kids know this, and they're pissed the lost, and they're upset with the kids who caused the forfeits which caused them to start so much in the hole.
so last night, in the team's final competition before their conference tournament this weekend, they faced to area teams in a double dual in adel, facing off against the perry bluejays and the adm tigers. at 530 pm, they took the mat against perry, trailing 0-12, but winning in a flurry of pins, 46-24. and the pins came after the kids worked on fundamentals. very impressive stuff. and the perry bluejays were gassed as the walked off. the nevada wrestlers, even in defeat, were scrambling for points, trying to win.
then, with a fifteen minute break, they took on the home team, on senior night. this time, they spotted adm 18 points, after one the the nevada studs, at 125, took himself out after "hurting" his shoulder against perry. they entered the final match, at 160, trailing 31-28, needing a major decision to win. all eyes were on the north mat, as nathan dittmer ["ditt"] battled a very tatlented junior from adel. after the second period, ditt trailed 2-4, although he was clearly the dominant wrestler. he gave up the four points on a takedown and near-fall early in the first period when a takedown attempt by ditt went awry. he quickly got a reversal and maintained control throughout, but was unable to turn the kid over to his back. the referee hit the adm kid with his third stalling call, which made the score 4-3. with about 30 seconds remaining in the match, and with the fate of the dual in the balance, ditt, who was riding on top, let the adm wrestler up, and, trailing now 5-3, shot a double-leg, and scored the takedown with about 5 seconds left.
after six minutes, tied 5-5. 1: 00 overtime period, first to score wins.
ditt was on fire, but the kid was evasive. nathan made several attempts, and finally scored another double leg takedown with 15 seconds on the clock. in one swift move, ditt was going for the fall, and had the kid on his back, seeking themeet-winning fall, which he should have been able to persue, but the ref scored two, and whistled the match over, 6-5.
team score, 31-31.
but wait, no ties in wrestling anymore.
so the teams get out theirscore books, in which a team assistant [for nevada, she is a sweet 16-year old, who had never done this before] records EVERY point by either wrestler throughout the match. they are the stone tablets of moses.
upon review of all criteria, nevada was found to have scored more takedowns, more near-falls, and by virtue of having actually WON more matches [discounting the three forfiets], was awarded one team point.
final score, nevada wins, 32-31.
but most telling, throughout ditt's entire seven minute bout, then entire nevada team was on its feet, yelling and screaming its unified support. i haven't seen THAT much enthusiasm all season.
the kids KNOW that dwight and assistant coach grant nakamura have been scorching their asses all season long, with typically two workouts a day. their bodies hurt, their minds say quit, but their hearts--finally--are saying shut the fuck up. and their heads are listening.
result? the team finished this phase of the season with a record of 7-6. but in the last four days of the season, upon which momentum for the conference relies, they are an impressive 5-2.
now, coaches never admit this, but they do the math, and so do the kids: they are kicking ass, and they are leaving tired opponents in their wake.
now, they're NOT going to win the conference tournament, they won't win the sectional or district tournaments which follow throughout saturdays in february. but when the state tournament ends february 24, coaches around the state will know that the nevada program is going to win those in the not-too-distant future. these kids are learning to work, and are learning the value of resetting their individual pain thresholds.
what a great sport.
* the coach told this parent that the other coaches in the field were happy to wrestle the teams who had just finished wrestling nevada, since they knew they'd be toast.
no mercy from dwight's seat during the match, just good, solid, match-winning advice. put your arm this way, do that with your legs or hips. wrestle what you know; we'll work on new things in the wrestling room. it doesn't hurt; get back to the center and wrestle.

Monday, January 29, 2007

coffee, baldness, and the mostly reverend

i nearly fell out of the pulpit this morning
when i read THIS!
and now, i'm off to the kitchen to make coffee...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

today's "pop" quiz

NOTE: you should read and study today's posts from bottom to top [as you should analyze and appreciate most of the finer things in life], and THEN watch this video.
the question is: identify the brother of the mostly reverend.

today's sermonette: LSD

it's another sunday, and i want to welcome you to this week's cyber sermonette. today's topic: "drugs, the military, and YOU."
please pay attention: the lives you save MIGHT be your own!
and now, to our very high-tech feature presentation.

[i'll quiz you later.]

the reverend [back in the day; before i was mostly]

the names and genders might have been changed, but those who knew me when will recall the lesbian house on market street in iowa city. you can take it from there. and don't say i didn't warn you: this IS freaky--but TRUE!!

my life

an update. . .
so it's 330 sunday morning, and boris is under the bed, whimpering.
i let the two of them out, thinking, okay, it's cold:
pee, and come right back in.
20 minutes later, they're STILL outside running and chasing each other like
hell's coming around the corner.
22 minutes later: -17C, -2F, and i just want to go back to sleep,
but the dogs are outside romping.
and who says it's a dog's life?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

at ease, mr. president

as one of the growing legions of americans--perhaps, even, citizens of the world--who cringe at the thought of george w. bush as "leader of the free world"--i long have suffered at the visuals and sound bites of "w" playing "commander in chief"--the bitter, angering irony of an a.w.o.l.-going national guardsman ACTUALLY being president, for god's sake.
[mind you, i have no problem in theory with a guardsman, or any military person, going awol. but for one to years later completely reverse and re-write the facts, and with such lethal consequences, well...]
garry wills is a history professor at northwestern, and has authored many fine editorials and articles of the years. this editorial in today's new york times is one of his finest in years.
if you love and revere the u.s. constitution, i suggest you read this, and think about how the office of the president has declined in stature over the years. i was young at the time, but i do remember the eisenhower era as one in which there was a proper respect and restraint in dealings military.

Friday, January 26, 2007

kerkove announces fixed-gear trans-iowa route

rock rapids, spencer, humboldt, hampton, cedar falls,
independence, dyersville, bellevue
what common trait do these eight villages share?
if you place a marble on the town square of each of these little burbs,
it will just stay there.
and you'll be able to see every other marble from your vantage.
no hills on the ragby this year.
to those who say that lance is "just a guy from texas who wants to do the ride like everyone else," and "doesn't want to take over your ride," i say bullshit.
just because the guy is fat, and has been reduced to running since swearing off the bike, NOW the powers at the register have decided to make it even EASIER for the swarms of dangerous riders [jimbo] to hang with him and further endanger the lives of those seasoned riders who know when to sit at the side of the road.
oh yeah, let the carnage begin.
* * * * *
today's quiz: how many beers can an old man carry while riding a fixie through a crowd of 10,000?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

religion and you

in my never-ending quest for the finer things in life
i sometimes stumble on to things that defy categorization
...that transcend all things Good.
but then sometimes, i find shit like this. play the new video.
according to the site: "1/21/2007:
We just got our new video back from the editing room
and it looks amazing!"

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

i miss this guy...

he knew all about bikes.
he was a friend to lots of people and animals.
he had access to the BEST cartoons.
what a guy!


this is an actual exchange between me and my state representative, janet peterson, of house district 64. my initial email follows her reply.
the whole point of this is to encourage YOU to
contact YOUR state representative and
tell them how you feel.
for example.

Hi Kim,
You are a grandpa! Unbelievable!!!
Congratulations and thanks for your support of
the Stillbirth Registry legislation.
I am planning to vote for the $1 increase or whatever amount
we can pass this year. I think I was a teenager
the last time Iowa passed a cigarette tax increase.
I have two tobacco control bills I sponsored this year.
1) Smoke free workplaces – including restaurants and bars – statewide
2) Local control to enact stronger smoking ordinances.
I am interested in more protections for kids too,
but want to try to focus on the above three issues first.
I chair the Commerce Committee and it will be a miracle
if we can get the votes to pass a statewide ban this year.
I am planning to work the issue though.
If you know people who care about smoke free workplaces,
ask them to contact members of the House Commerce Committee.
I won’t run the bill unless it has the votes to pass.

Janet Petersen, State Representative (D) Dist. 64
4300 Beaver Hills Drive
Des Moines, IA 50310
Ph. 515-281-3221, Seat 1 or Direct 281-7321
Ph. 515-279-9063 (Home)

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 5:02 AM
To: Petersen, Janet [LEGIS]
Subject: [MAYBE SPAM] ban ALL public smoking--inside AND out

greetings, and welcome to another session.
thank GOODNESS the dems are in control.
for years i have suffered the outrageous antics,
positions and statements of that fool christopher rants--
is he from kentucky, or what?
PLEASE tighten the noose around the throats of cigarette smokers in iowa
==please make them pay, and move out of my way.
1--RAISE the tax per pack. $1.00? not enough.
why must i pay for illnesses caused by their fatal choices?
2--ban all outdoor cigarette [and other tobacco] smoking
within 100 feet of the entrance to ANY public building.
3--ban all indoor cigarette [and other tobacco smoking]
in all public buildings, including bars and restaurants.
i'd love to go see live music again.
and i can only assume there are many restaurants
that have opened in the past ten years that i might like,
if i could only go and not be made ill by other people's smoke.
4--make it illegal, punishable under the current laws [child endangerment]
to smoke cigarettes within 25 feet of any child
under the age of eighteen--ANYWHERE! in a car, in a home, camping, ANYWHERE!
why seatbelt them in if they are forced to inhale toxic fumes?
it's no worse than making them sit in a house or car
filled with smoke from crack cocaine, is it?
janet, you will NOT lose support among your constituents if
you introduce and support any or all of these measures.
and as a public defender since 1983,
i have seen countless child endangerment charges on factual bases
MUCH more lethal than exposure to cigarette smoke.
PLEASE introduce and enact REAL protective legislation for the public.
thanks. and by the way, congratulations on your efforts at childhood
AND the monitoring of fetal deaths.
my daughter has made me the proud grandfather
of a now 2 1/2 year old little girl, and another is on the way,
due in late july.
she has suffered through three late-first/early second trimester miscarriages,
but her experiences, and those of a friend whose fetus died
two weeks before its due date, served to underscore the need
for close study of the causes and prevention of such tragic events.
truly and sincerely i remain
kim west
1527 48th
des moines

--the mostly reverend grandpa kim
the orphanage, capitol city, iowa
when I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
then I realized that the lord doesn't work that way,
so I stole one and asked for forgiveness. -emo philips, comedian (1956- )
learn more at today's sermonette ,

mr. & mrs. natural

you might recall that my first post in today's sermonette
featured a snappy little drawing
[remember when i was able to post illustrations and photos?
DAMN you, blogger!] featuring good old mr. natural.
that drawing was by my hero, r. crumb.
for years [about sixteen, to be almost exact] he has been living
[remember honeybunch kaminski? it was just a coincidence,
but it was also a very weird kismet], and not far away lives their
25 year-old daughter, sophie.
well, aline's second husband also lives in this estate, and, oddly enough,
my friends butch and melinda trucks have an estate nearby.
melinda loves aline's exercise classes [pilates, don't ya know],
and what melinda wants, butch buys.
have i told you about the time that melinda and i
went antique shopping in my 77 vw camper on a swelteringly hot july day?
i didn't? how about that.
anyway, r. crumb is one of the most talented artists around,
and the new york times recently carried a charming story about them,
and about the new graphic novel that aline has written,
and which is soon to be published.

state of the union drinking game-HURRY!!

go here . . .
gather your friends, print some cards, and
turn on the tube. . .
last one standing turns off the tv. . .
and god help us ALL!!!

why we love big tobacco, and other scary monsters

this hardly needs an introduction,
and yet it is not at all like introducing rodney dangerfield.

Monday, January 22, 2007

i feel like playing with clay

t te tes test testi testic testickles. STOP it, tes!
* * * * *
don't you just love children's literature?
what better way to tell your kids about something
[it's monday, and i'm feeling a bit, oh, i don't know, shitty, i guess.]
$ $ $ $ $
hey, donny, here's someone you might like to interview.
i haven't gotten around to asking her if she rides a bike,
but my guess is that she knows her way around a pole.
[please notice the kids playing in the background of this photo.]
want others to tell you how cool your shit is?
go to this site and post some photos...
spend some time here; there's some very cool shit there.

Friday, January 19, 2007

while donny's away,
breaking the laws in chicago for a change of pace,
and now that piggie's shot his wad on snappy comebacks,
here's a great way to spend some time.
record your scores in the comments section, please.
over the years, i've rambled and raved about the allman brothers band.
last year, i spent the month of march in nyc working the back door
at the beacon theatre for the band's legendary annual run of shows.
my brother, kirk, has been the band's tour mystic, chinese herbalist,
and keeper of the archives for decades.
among other things, he has spear-headed a drive
to turn over his home and historic contents in
macon, to the state of georgia, where it will be a permanent museum.
as a part of this multi-million dollar effort, he has produced a documentary
about his home, "the big house" which was the place where the magic began.
this trailer is the first official glimspe of the movie,
entitled "please call home" after a sweet, gentle song penned by greg allman
about the place that has meant so much to the band.
[i've done my best to strive for uncharacteristic brevity here,
so feel free to follow the many links to some really
very cool musical and historical stuff.]
seriously, you MUST check this out.
you'll notice i haven't posted for a while.
sorry 'bout that. busier than i had anticipated.
but this site is well worth it,
just for weirdness sake.
i'd love a translation!
. . . . .
i've got an appointment with my doctor next week.
i'll drive; anyone want to go with?
[should be about 45% of us]
it's all about being healthy, of course.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

golden globes
it has started; the hollywood award season, that is.
i watched all i could last night, which means once i had eaten my "post-solo slip and slide late afternoon early evening bike ride" meal, and the steamed veggies and ramen noodle concoction took hold on my consciousness, i fell asleep, missing what proved to be for many the highlight of the show: sacha baron cohen's acceptance speech.
until such time that i can steal it from youtube, the text will have to do. sorry.
Funnyman SACHA BARON COHEN provided the comic highlight of last night's Golden Globe Awards when he paid tribute to BORAT co-star KEN DAVITIAN's "rancid" gas. The BORAT star, who claimed one of the event's Best Actor awards, had stars like WILL SMITH, MARK WAHLBERG and JACK NICHOLSON rolling in the aisles at the Beverly Hilton hotel with his hilarious acceptance speech. The Brit quipped, "This movie was a life-changing experience. I saw some amazing, beautiful, invigourating parts of America but I saw some dark parts of America, an ugly side of America, a side of America that rarely sees the light of day. "I refer of course to the anus and testicles of my co-star Ken Davitian. "Ken, when I was in that scene and I stared down and saw your two wrinkled golden globes on my chin, I thought to myself, `I'd better win a bloody award for this.' "And then, when my 300 pound co-star decided to sit on my face and squeeze the oxygen from my lungs, I was faced with a choice: death or to breathe in the air that had been trapped in a small pocket between his buttocks for 30 years. "Kenneth, if it was not for that rancid bubble, I would not be here today."

Four Hammond B3's playing The Cat

this is just amazing. man, if i had to choose something i could suck at other than cycling, it would be playing the organ [trying to be like these guys]. i just wish that the clip went on a little longer, to hear paul talking about him and dan akroyd. these four cats are really hot, man. i hope someone enjoys this, besides me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

anyone knowing the whereabouts of my regular monday night fixie companions
should notify this site IMMEDIATELY!
i am quite worried about their health and well-being,
as it is unlike them not to at least call
[ONE regular did, so i'm not completely distraught].
more importantly, though, i'm concerned they might go hungry,
as we always end our ride at ban thai for some delicious chicken curry.
no reward has been established.
major taylor
donny brings up an glaring deficiency in our sport today, and as self-appointed local two-wheeled keeper of the flame, i mentioned in a comment major taylor, who was america's first true cycling star, back at the turn of the previous century.
well, since you and i know that nobody reads blog comments, i thought i'd give major taylor his due here, too, in the hopes that folks newer to the sport will gain a new perspective [which is what i try to do, believe or not].
i really regret my inability to post photos here, because photos show him to be quite an elegant man, full of grace on the bike. go to these links, and spend some time learning about the man who brought a great sport to our shores.
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
please spend some time learning about this dedicated individual,
and of the efforts of many who have labored to keep his spirit alive.
and donny, thanks for bringing up the subject in the first place.
trouble brewing?
something tells me that a long-time des moines landmark might be facing
an uncertain future--again!
let's hope not.
. . . . .
and in an obvious show of bravado, the new york times has trumped people magazine, 27 to 7, in the latest salvo in the on-going britney wars.
my god, it's getting ugly!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

the face of tough guy points
many riders have been asking me all fall and winter about "tough guy points."
it's a lot like the supreme court's view of obscenity: "i'll know it when i see it."
[former u.s. supreme court justice potter stewart, 1964]
it's like this: you've gotta have several of the following factors:
1--below freezing;
3--long ride [certainly more than 2 hours--that's not even a warm-up];
4--unusually harsh road conditions [soft gravel, muds, ice or such];
5--very brisk pace throughout;
6--you shall NOT use the word "epic" to describe the ride
[penalty: forfeiture of all accumulated points];
7--"precipitation" is a bonus;
8--"someone on the ride vomits or bonks" is a bonus.
. . . . .
bottom line: it's gotta hurt; you've gotta feel it the next day--or no points.
[otherwise they have no redemption value later in the actual season.]

Saturday, January 13, 2007

i've spent several of the past few days and evenings watching my son-in-law's high school wrestling team compete in a variety of settings: duals, double duals, and tournaments.
the season, which began in october, is in full stride, now that the holidays are past, building to a crescendo that peaks in late february. every year.
i was in 8th grade, at good old nevada junior high school, just up the road a fur piece, when they started a junior high wrestling program. because i was just a little shit, too small to do anything well athletically, and desperately wanting to because all my friends did, i went out. oh, sure, i went out for track and cross-country, running "long distances" just for fun and something to do to burn all the energy i had.
but when it came to wrestling, i was just a scrawny little kid in white nylon tights, t-shirt, shorts and wrestling shoes [i still have a pair; i just like them].
i was one of many, although some of my classmates were naturals at it.
not me: 4'6" tall, 83 pounds, and determined NOT to look like a fool out on the mat, but fearing i would, just the same.
i wrestled four years, opting to forego my senior season to portray a munchkin in the fine arts department's production of "the wizard of oz." our varsity 112 pounder was second in state that year, so the team was in good hands; the j.v. would do fine without me.
but for four years, from late september through late february, i skipped meals, took exlax, sat wrapped in towels, wearing layers of sweat clothes, on top of lockers that were dragged into steaming hot showers to lose a few more pounds, ran up and down stairs for hours on end [well, 30 minutes at a crack], did sprints up and down the bleachers, carrying a teammate on my back, and did drills.
drills, drills, drills: sit-outs, stand-ups, single legs, double legs, fireman's carry, run and drops. we did leg lifts while the rest of the team ran on our abdomens.
hard, painful shit.
and no overt complaints.
and i was happy when i had a winning season. i sucked, truth be told.
but i loved wrestling. it was hard; not that sissy shit basketball.
it was a team sport, and all, but when the ref blew the whistle, it was me and that guy on the other side of the circle.
no help. no hiding. no excuses.
and sure as hell no glory.
[well, every now and then, there would be a cheerleader who just loved wrestlers...]
but basically, it was, and remains, a hard sport.
i learned a lot from wrestling:
-- you should do the stuff you REALLY want to do, and don't give a thought to what others think.
-- that it doesn't matter if you suck at something. if you love it, that's all that matters. keep at it, and you'll get better, whatever THAT means.
-- that sometimes things you love really require a lot of thankless effort. doesn't matter. you do what you must, and THAT is all the thanks you need.
-- that some people are better wrestlers than me. that's fine. it doesn't mean they're a better person than me.
-- that kids who wrestle tend to have these values, and they tend to be pretty good people. hard-working, dedicated people.
-- that it's good to try to instill these values in kids. they might grow into reliable, hard-working grownups.
-- that a lot of wrestlers walk funny. well, that's just fucked up. like their ears.
at the same time, it's frustrating to me when i encounter very talented kids who haven't realized all these things. i just want to shake them, and say, christ, kid, you just have to bottle that shit, and let it out over the course of six minutes; nine minutes, tops. it's an opportunity for such growth, such learning, that will carry them through their lives.
my son-in-law is doing a great job, too. he's taken over for a guy who had been there since 1985, or so, and had become pretty lax [team fucks up? have em run laps. miss practice? run laps. you get the picture: not coaching, just facilitating.] well, dwight's team ran into a very good team from saydel thursday night. not pretty. one guy received a forfeit, another guy won by pin, but of the eleven other wrestlers, ten of them were pinned. NOT pretty.
but to a kid, they all said they really respected the way coach handled them after the shellacking. and today, just two days later, they totally kicked ass. in the ten-team tournament, of twelve wrestlers who participated, fully eleven placed in the top six. no champions, but they ALL wrestled beyond themselves [2d place, several 3d and 4th places, and such]. they are better tonight than they were this morning at 500 am when they got on the bus.
and they've made significant progress on their own personal growth lists.
i'm looking forward to thursday's double dual and next saturday's home tournament. these kids are beginning to believe in themselves. this is good.

Friday, January 12, 2007

here's a great little bio on a certain president.
eye-catching title, isn't it?
especially in light of what i've been writing lately, i suppose.
but this one is slightly different:
i'm after the pharmaceutical industry today, along with insurance companies, and, every big industry's favorite bed fellow, the government, and in particular, the bush administration. everyone knows someone who is, or has been, a drug rep. the well-heeled, free-spending, much-travelled giver of generous gifts to doctors and h.m.o. representatives.
often, back when i had insurance that actually covered wellness check-ups, i would walk in to a crowded reception area at my doctor's office mid-afternoon. but these folks weren't patients. in fact, that's why i scheduled my appointments at these hours: little waiting was required. no, these well-dressed, briefcase toting hotties were young women giving treats to doctors, trying to persuade them to write perscriptions for their drug du jour.
and usually, when i DID need some medication, my doc, cool guy that he is, would give me freebies.
THAT, i like.
but not everyone was so lucky, and these giant pharmaceutical make billions annually from patients, and their insurance companies, or often the government [in the form of title xix and medicare payments] who pay huge sums for name-brand drugs.
me, for example.
i have narcolepsy. over the years, i have self-medicated with gallons of coffee daily. GALLONS.
several years ago, i was prescribed methyl phenedate, or ritalin. i don't recall the price, as i was working for the state, and they paid all or most of it. but when i realized how ineffective it was, i quit taking it, and resumed self-medication. years later, my current doc suggested i try provigil.
he gave me quite a healthy supply, gratis.
very cool, as it is still protected by american patents, and is available only in its generic form, modafinil, outside the united states, particularly canada. because i am self-employed, i had get my own insurance policy, and as my narcolepsy had been previously diagnosed, it is considered a pre-existing condition, even though i continue to get my insurance FROM THE SAME DAMNED INSURANCE COMPANY!!
[damned right, i've got the blues.]
what's that mean? no coverage for medication [even though my policy provides coverage only after my huge deductible is annually met]. and what does that mean?
i have these options:
1--pay full price [over $700 for 120 day supply];
2--try to get it from canada or elsewhere [$200 for 100 days] and hope that i don't get arrested for importing illegal drugs [that's right: the government can confiscate it and arrest me]; or
3--hope i can get it from a sympathetic inside source for free.
how messed up is THAT?
another example:
my daughter is pregnant again, due the end of july. like last time, she has really nasty "morning sickness," several times a day. ultimately, her doctor prescribed a drug that was developed for cancer patients to handle the nausea caused by chemotherapy.
the cost? $900 for 12 days!
finally, her doctor was able to write a prescription for a generic form, and her target [!] pharmacist filled multiple refills at one time, so she was able to get over "$2200 worth" of this drug for her $5 co-pay.
so what's up with THAT?
you KNOW the insurance company is billing SOMEONE the full $2200. they are NOT writing that one off, just so my little girl doesn't puke her guts out 6 or 7 times a day for seven more months.
suspected culprits?
all together now: drug companies, and insurance companies.
and where does bush and company enter the picture?
right here. [read it; it WILL piss you off]
and i JUST heard on morning edition on npr that the president [yours, pete, not mine! ;- )) ] has promised to VETO this bill WHEN it comes before him. because it WILL pass both the house and the senate, and with strong bi-partisan support. because the VOTERS want this protection, these savings.
well, not only has he promised to veto this bill which would save the government [read: you] BILLIONS of dollars every year, he has ALSO promised to veto the latest stem cell bill, ALSO demanded by over 60% of the american public. this research WILL save lives.
maybe yours, your parents, your children's, your friends...
it doesn't matter WHOSE lives.
this research will save lives.
but this "pro-life" president seems only concerned with the lives of the owners and ceos of pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and certainly not with the lives of those people--those VOTERS who have spoken just two months ago--who daily are faced with the choice of food, rent, or life-saving medication.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

update on drugs and sports
over-looked possibility? we're talking CANDY BARS on the one hand,
and euro-nobodies on the other.
the response to the president's speech last night,
and the anticipation of it, has left me--and others--quite stunned.
the well of public support he has been seeking seems to have been divined,
and i believe the corner has been turned.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

from cbc television. it's about floyd.
thanks, g.
listen to this while you read the post which follows, about lily munster and tv tommy ivo.
. . . .
in case you think things have gotten stranger over the last 20 years.
[and think about the crap bob novak has done since this clip.]
lily munster NEVER looked like THIS!
. . . . .
no wonder herman never left the house for long, eh?
well, more sad news to report, tv fans:
yvonne decarlo, who played the wife of moses before she married up, to
become the wife of the driver of the coolest family car on tv between
1964 and 1966, has died.
. . . . .
now, the COOLEST car on tv at this time belonged to t.v. tommy ivo.
[you've gotta scroll down to the four-engine behemoth!
sometime ask me about seeing this car at the dragstrip.]
that kid was all over the place on television back in the day.
got a show at the beach? tv tommy was there.
got a show with a surf band? tv tommy was there.
dude had a face and a smile all the mothers loved.
and the things he could do to a normal looking car and two or four engines.
wild stuff.
i'm sitting here remembering the smell of nitro fueled funny cars and dragsters.
anyone remember big daddy don garlits?
i won't even include george barris,
the guy who designed and built the munster coach. he was such a sell-out.
the REAL deal was ed roth.
but big daddy was a bit too weird for television,
so the munster coach prevailed.
the more things stay the same, the weirder the strange becomes.
thoughts about drugs and sports
this piece won't offer my opinion, but does provide more information about
drug use, inconsistent and non-existent actions by colleagues and governing bodies,
and the response of government, the media, and public.
is it fair?
is it right?
who knows?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

death of a cyclist's best friend
reading today's new york times led me to this sad news:
mr. noodle, unbeknownst to most college students, single parents, and
bike racers everywhere, is the one person who has always had
their best interests--economic and nutritional--in mind.
put some water on to boil as you read...
. . .
is this man crazy?
[read the related article if you have any doubts.]
another graphic saddam video
it's not that i have this perverse blood lust, but i know folks want to see it,
so here's the latest footage.
let's hope it fosters discussion.

Monday, January 08, 2007

i'm all shook up
. . .
happy birthday to the king [dead] AND ziggy stardust [60]
. . .
Elvis - Nixon Meeting Has Fans Shook Up
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) -- The meeting between two of the most improbable cultural icons of the 1970s lasted all of 30 minutes, but it has fascinated the nation for years.
A photo of a cloaked and bejeweled
Elvis Presley solemnly shaking hands with a grim-faced President Nixon remains the No. 1 requested document from the National Archives, nearly four decades after the secret meeting took place on Dec. 21, 1970.
Now, on what would be Elvis's 72nd birthday, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Birthplace is giving the curious public a good, long look at the relics of the coming together of The King and The President -- and it's got Elvis fans all shook up.
The free exhibit, which opened Monday and will run several months, includes the outfit Elvis wore (a black velvet overcoat, a gold-plated belt and black leather boots); Nixon's outfit (a gray woolen suit, tie and size 11 1/2 black shoes); letters; and a World War II .45-caliber Colt revolver that Elvis gave to Nixon.
''The two of them together somehow is almost incomprehensible,'' said Bud Krogh, Nixon's then-deputy assistant for domestic affairs, who set up the impromptu meeting that day 36 years ago. ''The king of rock and the president of the United States shaking hands in the Oval Office doesn't compute for a lot of people.''
About 50 people were waiting early Monday to see the exhibit.
''Of all the two people, who would ever think that Elvis and Nixon would get together? I couldn't believe it,'' said Gloria Matta Tuchman, 65, of Santa Ana, who said she became enthralled with Elvis as a girl and met him when she was in her 20s.
The chain of events that led to the meeting began when a stretch limousine carrying Elvis pulled up outside the White House. One of his guards handed over a letter from Elvis addressed to Nixon requesting a meeting to discuss how the rock star could help Nixon fight drugs -- including getting credentials as a ''federal agent at large.''
''I will be here as long as it takes to get the credentials of a Federal Agent,'' Elvis wrote. ''I have done an in-depth study of drug abuse and Communist brainwashing techniques and I am right in the middle of the whole thing where I can and will do the most good.''
The Secret Service agents alerted Krogh, an Elvis fan. Krogh met with Elvis, decided he was sincere and scrambled to get him into a noon meeting with Nixon.
About 2 1/2 hours later, Elvis walked into the Oval Office wearing his flamboyant outfit, as well as sunglasses and two huge medallions. But when Elvis entered the Oval Office, Krogh recalls, he froze.
''I think he was just awed by where he found himself. I ended up having to help him walk across over to the president's desk,'' he said.
Elvis and Nixon talked for about 30 minutes, during which Elvis showed Nixon pictures of his daughter and a pair of cufflinks given to him by Spiro Agnew. He also showed Nixon police badges from around the country and asked again for a badge from the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Nixon agreed to give him the badge -- but only after learning that the chief of the narcotics bureau had turned down the same request earlier that day and told him the only person who could overrule his decision was the president.
''Oh man, we were set up! But it was fun,'' said Krogh. ''He said all the right words about trying to do the right thing and I took him at his word, but I think he clearly wanted to get a badge and he knew the only way he was going to get it.''
At Elvis' request, the meeting remained secret for more than a year -- until The Washington Post broke the story on Jan. 27, 1972.
Since then, the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace has more than made up for Elvis' ruse: T-shirts, cups, notepads and watches bearing the famous black-and-white photo remain the top-selling items at the museum's gift shop.
''We've known for years that that photograph is an icon image,'' said Sandy Quinn, the museum's assistant director. ''It is The President and The King.''

Friday, January 05, 2007

[note: i fixed the links!]
a little bit about even less...
i came upon this music clip, featuring steve winwood, at age 19.
it's from a german television show, and i thought you might enjoy
the lesbian dance action.
it's a groovy scene, man.
helps you appreciate the attention to detail paid by
michael meyers in the austin powers films.
far out . . .
okay, so here's some other critical news:
yes, it can happen to YOU! need proof?
now you better understand your significant other [even YOU, lou and pete].
and here's something just once i'd like to see on television...
and here's a gift for squirrel and teri, on finding their dream home.
now, back to work...

why chia chad grows it long

sorry, chad, but the truth is OUT!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

hal turner is a dangerous man, constitutional subtleties or not. read what he has to say about the 110th congress, which convenes today. just another reason i don't listen to "talk" radio. [wish blogger would allow me to post in the usual manner...]

dj ted stevens techno remix

during yesterday's ride, the reverend and the princeton asshole were talking about american history, post-1920. PA learned it from books; the rev was there. among other dignitaries, we discussed alaska senator ted stevens, curiously, a republican. remember the $500,000,000 bridge to nowhere? yeah, THAT guy. turns out, he's an internet expert, too. i saw his speech on the senate floor, discussing his views on internet neutrality, wherein he describes exactly WHAT the internet is, and how it functions. this video puts his complex thoughts in a format more accessible to today's young people.
al gore has nothing on THIS guy!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

re-joining all9yards racing team

many folks have asked me, "mostly reverend, how's come you went BACK to racing team? we KNOW you "rode" for them 2 years ago, but last year you raced for team jj. and we thought your policy about relationships with women would apply to racing teams, too. WHAT GIVES, mostly reverend?"

well, now it can be told. that lane anderson is a pretty sneaky fella, you know. and when he wants something--really WANTS something--then he'll go to any and all lengths to get it. and i guess i was one of those things. i may be cheap, but i ain't easy, as this exclusive video shows.
this secretly filmed movie contains actual footage of the process that lane and crew went through to lure me back into the fold. well, we all know that jj is cute and shit, but when you see what LANE did, then you'll know why i'll be sporting the color of money for the next few years. i hope you learn something by watching this; don't feel pity for me. i'm just a simple human being. a man, flesh and blood. but i yield to temptation like the next man of the cloth.
just watch, and you'll see...

in addition to minister and orphanage director, i am a bit of an amateur entymologist. in my quest for the better cyclist, i have found that spiders have been more than quite suitable subjects for preliminary exploration of my many theories. i am happy to release here, for the first time, visual proof beyond reproach of confirmation of one such theory. more details will be available when my study is complete, including how you, too, can benefit.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

tough guys

dear readers--
since the weather has turned south, there has been MUCH talk of the legendary, mythical "tough guy point."
what IS a tough guy point?
how do you EARN a tough guy point?
before i tell you, perhaps you would be well served to watch this video a few times.
THESE are "tough guys."

happy hippies' new year's eve
. . .
the beacon theatre, new york city
gov't mule plays "lay down your love light"
[sadly, it's too short; but you get the idea of
how i love to spend an evening in new york.]

Monday, January 01, 2007

my new year's gift to my readers
. . .
some pretty hot, cool, groovy jazz & blues from the legendary
jimmy smith
. . .
who's afraid of virginia woolfe: bbc jazz 625, 1965
. . .
organ grinder swing / midnight secial: copenhagen jazz festival 1985
. . .
moanin': mt. fuji jazz festival, japan 1990
. . .
pour a glass of something, and enjoy the master of the hammond.
and thanks for reading this place.