Friday, April 27, 2007

racers who are doing better than i ever thought they would, exhibit #1

watch this,
then read the next post.

racers who are doing better than i ever thought they would, volume #1

i’ve been around the iowa and midwest racing scene
for quite a while.
. . .
not as long as some, a lot longer than others, and with that,
I launch into yet another of my every now and again series.
THIS one featuring racers who are doing better than I ever thought they would. why not? everyone loves surprises, right? one of the nicest things about being around racing is seeing someone who jumps right out of your expectations of them, and makes you feel stupid for not recognizing their potential in the first place.
so tonight, let me introduce the first in a series of racers who are doing better than I ever thought they would, brent william . . .
hmm, what the hell IS his last name?
we just call him “pig.”
pig, one of three siblings [a brother and a sister],
claims to have learned to ride a bike in the mid-90s.
I suspect he’s kidding,
but I think he really didn’t learn to ride until just this past winter.
i mean, really ride. and this is what I’m talking about now . . .
back in the 90s [and even before that], the big red wall that was bike world had a racing team, but they were not particularly serious about things. they had big numbers, and could often dominate a race simply by blocking the road, from shoulder to center line, and then complaining to bruce pesch if anyone crossed it. but there were a lot of really nice guys who came from this group, many of whom still ride, and some of whom still race. scott wall is one of them. scott was the guy that bruce introduced me to in 1987 in ames.
he said, “kim, stay on his rear wheel, and you’ll do okay.” I did.
but back to pig: pj harrigan, ken sherman, bobo, lang, fish, mable. his homies at the time. taught him that even if he sucked [he did], they would wait for him. [I call it enabling, but that’s just my tough love.] so with this group of role models, pig had no hope but to do a lot of mountain bike riding, which he did. an iowa state student, he partied, while he could have been developing some serious bike skills
at brookside seven days a week. so close…SOOOO close.
but instead, he focused on leadville and other such things. okay. that’s fine, but it doesn’t make you a good roadie, much less a “better” roadie. vice versa does, oddly enough. so last year, and we are all still baffled at how it actually came to pass, pig won the cat 4 race in clear lake.
and that’s all we heard about all winter.
it was funny and all, but, whatever.
but it must have had some sort of affect on pig, as he started getting all serious and shit: bikes, wheels, power tap, fitting, coaching, outdoor riding in the winter[!]. the kind of shit REAL racers do. and it’s paying off. the first time I noticed a change was on a ride last fall/winter. I don’t remember who all was there, but pig was one of them. now, remember that I was coming back from a collapsed lung, broken collarbone and four broken ribs, but a group of maybe six or so wound up heading down to martensdale on the trail, had our lights and shit, tights and nighttime crap. I was riding either the old ralph road bike, or it might have been the single speed, but the thing I DO remember is that pig was pulling nice and steady and fast. long, steady pulls. I’d never seen that in him. I even wrote it down in my training log.
no one else that night was riding as well as he was.
I remember shit like that.
okay, so blah blah, and it’s march, and we do our wonderful march gravel series: 60 miles of sludge, three saturdays in a row. no pig, that I recall. maybe he did one, I don’t know. I didn’t think anything about it. but then, suddenly, it’s finchford, and son of a bitch, he wins the cat 4 race!
so there must be something to it. as pig says, “results are what count.” of course, that’s not quite correct, but it IS a vast improvement over years past, so we’ll see how it goes. realistically, his goal for this season is to score as many points as possible in the iowa cup series. he is currently third, just three points out of first place, so he’s doing okay. there are some nice intra-squad rivalries going on this year that should be fun to watch, including the one between pig and pete, the duke of duct tape. now, I will note that both his wins came as a result of successful field sprints;
he has yet to solo to victory.
but field sprints still count as wins, so there you have it.
. . .
my prediction:
this year, pig will win a couple more sprints,
and will come close to a win in a road race
in a small break of less than five.
. . .
although pig cannot recall his kindergarten teacher’s first or last name,
he DOES recall beating dave mable
in the state mountain bike championships
at brushy creek in the mid-90s.
pig didn’t win, but neither did mable.
but pig counts his second place worlds better than mable’s third.
other tidbits: last puked on a date in 1996;
wants to repeat his win at clear lake this year;
and he wants mable’s tt bike. [he HAS one?]

is THIS an epic tale?

dusting off the cyber in-box,
i selected this letter from the many who ask for my blessings
and for permission to refer to their little ride as epic.
i think this one qualifies.
read it, and see if you can see the three reasons why . . .

"Dear the mostly reverend,
"After long searching, I found an epic ride. I think I've only had maybe 2 lifetime. I didn't exactly find this one as much as it found me.
"As a sometimes-subscriber to the go-fast mentality on a bicycle I haven't checked out the 'other' side very much. The go long/slow side. After a small check on April 14th, I'm not convinced the grass is greener over there. It takes a special type of person to sit in one place for a very long time whilst replenishing dwindling energy sources and packing an extra 20 pounds of gear and lights up and down hills in northwestern MO. Possibly very special.
"Forrest Ridgway and crew over at Bike World are set to do Paris-Brest-Paris this fall. This quadrennial event is one of a kind: 1200k with an outside time limit of 90 hours. Qualifying for it involves a 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k in the calendar year. I opted to join them down in K.C. for a 300k. We started on the north side of K.C. at the Perkins in Liberty at 6am. The weather was bad enough Bob, the organizer, had decided to do it Sat and Sun (weather supposed to be in the 60s on Sun). The 10 of us from DSM were set to go on Saturday and did. Forrest/Laura Ridgeway, Lee Wilcox, Ben Gonnerman, Ted Peelen, Justin Rumbly (sp?), Steve Givens, Bill McGee, Brian Duffy and I set off in 33 degree weather in a bit of snow and reduced visibility. (4 locals joined us. The other 14 waited for Sunday.)
"After a bit the snow changed to rain. Comforting. Around 8:30 the rain stopped. Getting better. (We actually hit 47 for the high in the afternoon.) 9:05 the first of the flats. Many to follow. Getting away from town we found the wind. Out of the north at 15mph or so. Into a headwind whilst wet and cold. Joy.
"Our route had us northbound and down to Albany (up by the Iowa border), then returning on the same roads to Perkins. There were 5 towns on the 186-mile route. The biggest was about 2,300. And nothing in between. Except hills. Did I mention them? A week of Ragbrai will give you 10-12,000 feet of climbing. This year's ride only offers 9,000. That little 300k down in MO? 14,162 feet according to the gps. In one day. Aaarrrgghh, matey. Looking at downloaded data later shows a lot of little hills, rollers if you will. About 344 of them. The first 250 were loads of fun. Then they weren't. Especially the ones into the wind with an extra 18 pounds of stuff looking down at speedomoters that said 4.6 mph. (The wind? Yeah, it quit before we got back to K.C.) It was common to crest one hill and see 3 or 4 more ahead like some kind of Loch Ness Monster. The roads weren't too whippy. They were better than gravel, I guess. Low traffic counts, lack of population, lack of money to fix the potholes all helped. Did I mention the lack of cars? We rode 3 abreast for up to an hour without seeing a car. It was beautiful. Kind of a Roubaix bike trail.
"High points? Oh, about halfway out we're exiting town when a dually-diesel pickum-up truck came around us and laid out this very chubby poodle-mix thing. A yelp and he lay there by the side of the road, nearly on his back, all 4 5-inch legs sticking straight out. His girth kind of turned him over and he resembled a bloated piece of roadkill. Didn't move at all. Proving the spirit of Dr. Bob lives on, 5 DSM cyclists dismount and stand helplessly around the dog. No brevet was more important than this dog. They stood there waiting for each other to administer mouth-to-mouth. (Kind of like the triple I saw on Ragbrai on the gravel by Marshalltown a few years back. It had a rear flat and all three riders were standing there solemnly, trying to out-patient the other. "You go, no you...".) Finally Justin went to the double-wide to alert the owner, he stumbled out sans shirt and most of his teeth. About this time the shock wore off and the dog got up and ran around in about 34 very speedy circles. And so we rode on.
"Coming back, we had stopped for a natural break when a 3-tone pickup stopped and asked us how we were doing. Appears he lived about 5 miles away. Seeing no cars he turns off the truck and sits there on the road. Forrest offers to swap, a bike for a car. This rural type just grins and says, "Naw, I've already done that. Did P-B-P back in '03." Say what? Yeah, I guess some of the locals do this too.
Did we reach our limits? Obviously not, but I'm quite sure I could see the other side from where I ended up. With 7 miles to go, I'd have sold my bike for about $25. Ok, maybe $20.
"After about 15 hours of fun we all ended back up at Perkins gathered around very large glasses of chocolate milk. Wondering how so many rational adults can go so wrong. Except for the tandem. It got lost in the dark and ended up with a bit over 200 miles. They were westbound on highway 92 to Kansas around 10:30 that night when the Highway Patrol pulled them over to ask what was going on. Lee turned on his usual charm and somehow ended up back at Perkins uncuffed. At least that was his story. Rumor has it the second tasar turned him around.
"There are some people I'm still trying to figure out. One of them was a local that did the ride on a fixie. No single with coaster, a fixie. He's done Boston-Montreal-Boston on the fixed. I guess ordinarily he rides home 60 miles to St. Joseph after this 300k. They also speak in awed tones of a Dr. Bob. Seems as though he showed up awhile back and did the 400k in springtime daylight hours, no lights. And he didn't draft on Ryan. "Amazing, all of them.
"By the way, the 400k and 600k lie ahead. Feel free to join up. Your LBS [local bike shop?--the rev asks] will be glad to outfit you."
well, there you have it.
i have considered and pondered, and HAVE determined that this ride qualifies, that it shall be granted "epic" status, and the riders listed herein may refer to their participation in it as "epic." [this is why i have not changed names, in case you were curious.]
this grant, rare as it is, does not mean that these folks aren't nuts, too.
so as i said, there are three factors which tipped this tale into the epic column.
do you see them?
post in the comments section; you might win!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

runners, beware!!

. . .

you guys who plan to do those off-road duathlons
are soooooo lucky that i hate to run!
look what i'm doing to these poor saps at a recent
living history run.
and do you notice my subtle signal to the photographer?
i hate paparazzi as much as i hate running.
. . .
but more than running, i hate too much rain.


had one of these sensations last night,
dreaming of my constitutional rights, in light of the latest revelations
about just how secure a fella really can feel when draped in

i know another famous person

. . .
today's quiz is a visual acuity thing.
look here, and identify the person in question.
. . .
winner to receive a torn pair of cycling shorts.
. . .
best of luck to you.
. . .
and dave, you're not eligible. sorry.
you haven't claimed your prize from the canadian tower contest yet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

fun, again

. . .
observations from a weekend of racing
. . .
i went to dubuque this weekend to do the eagle point criterium,
and a strange thing happened.
. . .
several strange things, actually.
for one thing, i left the orphanage at 430 am sunday,
and drove the 210 miles by myself for a 900 am masters 50+ start.
strange time for old guys to race.
it was a beautiful morning, though,
and the park is an absolutely amazing place to race.
i really enjoy dubuque, as i do most old river towns.
they all have such a rough-and-tumble history,
and it doesn't take much to find evidence of it:
cool, old store fronts, row houses, narrow, winding streets.
think about some of them: clinton, burlington, waukon,
boone, mason city, keosauqua. all wonderful towns,
and great places to ride your bike.
so, i registered, warmed up, and did a few easy laps
with the guys i would soon race with.
mostly the same folks i race with week in and week out.
good folks, good riders, and safe racers.
but predictable as hell.
the race sucked, frankly. we didn't do the course justice.
fifteen guys started, yet somehow one person disappeared:
only fourteen finished.
i am puzzled how it happened:
christ, we averaged maybe 30 kilometers an hour.
i was feeling frisky, as usual, and after just pulling the first lap,
i started attacking.
i probably attacked, or at least tried to, six or seven times.
you know, break things up, make it faster,
get a better workout, make it interesting.
well, it seemed like every time i'd go, someone would hollar "hey"
or "rider up" or "there he goes" or some such shit.
like there's fifteen guys in this race, remember?
so EVERYbody jumps, and certain riders respond,
and certain riders ALWAYS get a free ride back up.
the pack stayed together until the fucking end of the race.
i got pissed off, and rolled in eighth.
b f d.
watched the cat 5 race: same result.
40+: same result.
4s: same result.
[women: didn't watch--i was warming up]
[3s: don't remember--too much gambling]
1/2s: same? nope.
. . .
we had six all9yards riders out of the nine guys in the race,
and it was one of the most enjoyable, fluid, back-and-forth races
i've ever done.
i thought for a while that i had totally fucked the race,
and then i thought that we had it in the bag,
then i thought i was dead and buried,
then i had a killer ride on lee's wheel,
then i had kurt and dq on my wheel barking encouragement to me,
then i was bridging,
and attacking off the front,
and getting caught,
and bridging back up,
and attacking off the front,
and charging hard at the end.
and i felt great.
and i remembered AGAIN why i love racing bikes:
i get to ride my ass off, and work hard, and work together,
and get way down, and way back up,
and give up, and get back in to it.
all for only $10.
[these folks didn't charge full price for the second race,
like some promoters do.]
. . .
you guys in eastern iowa who didn't want to drive
an hour or so to race missed a good one.
and those of you who did, and chose not to race:
you missed a good one, too.
trust me on this,
ya oughta try it some time.
shake things up,
have some fun again.
. . .
i'll see ya in iowa city, guys.
. . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

he's not only president of the kim west fan club...

he's a MEMBER!!
and to celebrate, the daily sermonette is announcing
with fabulous prizes, too!
* * * * *
"how do i enter, mostly reverend?"
"how do i WIN?"
it's SIMPLE:
all ya gotta do is finish the question i start,
and supply the answer to that question.

gee, batman, that's hard!
. . .
no, it's not, boy wonder. here's all you must do--
finish this simple question:
. . .
"how many members of the kim west fan club does it take to--?"
. . .
and then answer your own question!
you can't do that?
what are you, STUPID????
then post your completed question, along with the answer to your question,
in the "comments" section to this post.
which is found at the END of this post--NOT before it.


coming to a cobbled climb near you?

. . . . .
truly a command performance if she does this to a moto, what will she do to
YOUR sorry ass?

the devil LOVES it when she's on top!
[he's sharpening his trident]

you'd better have good legs on the snake,
because it won't be pretty.

how i spent my spring break

my trip to london,
a watery adventure
bored, and having a month or so between appointments,
i decided to visit friends in england's lake district-
-friends i hadn't seen since teaching there in 1978.
i had traveled by bicycle then,
but thought i'd let someone else set my itinerary this time.
who else could i choose but my favorite internet know-it-all?
google maps, specifically.
if you're curious, here's what i did
[and here's how you can come to understand
the photo of me-above-getting ready to go]:
1--go to
2--click on "maps"
3--click on "get directions"
4--enter "new york" in the first box
5--enter "london" in the second box
6--click on "get directions"
7--scroll down to step 23.
. . .
i gotta get a new travel agent.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

why can't i be smart?

reading is too hard!

my brain doesn't fit in my helmet!

who the heck are THESE fools?

wanna be a wise guy?
wanna win all the arguments?
wanna impress the women with your massive brain? this.


where will it end?

"The president believes
that there is a right for people to bear arms,
but that all laws must be followed,"
spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
troublesome? check this out.

Monday, April 16, 2007

know your republican candidates

today: john mcclain
the right wingers had a big pow wow over the weekend,
and i had a chance to meet with all of the
lesser-knowns in the huge, diverse field.
this guy's new one to me; apparently,
he's been around for a while, so the fact that
he's slipped under MY radar all these years is shocking to me.
a former mayor of tempe, arizona, mcclain spent some time in southeast asia during the turbulent 1960s, so the following report should come as no surprise.
McClain To Send Self Back To Vietnamese POW Camp
To Revitalize Campaign

TEMPE, AZ—In what insiders say is an attempt to revitalize his flagging campaign and convince voters that he is still a straight-talking maverick, Former Mayor John McClain (R-AZ) announced Sunday that he will subject himself to the same mental torment and physical abuse he endured nearly 40 years ago at the same Vietnamese camp where he was once held as a prisoner of war.

The Hanoi Hilton, which will be reopened this weekend to re-imprison McClain.
"On Saturday at approximately 2:40 a.m. I will fly over the capital city of Hanoi and have my plane's right wing blown off by a Russian missile," said McClain, adding that the force of the ejection from an aging A-4 Skyhawk should render him unconscious and break both of his arms and "preferably [his] right leg." "I will then be taken to a bug- and rat-infested cell where, with both nobility and grace, I will suffer the worst forms of human indignities."
McClain, once considered a shoo-in for the Republican presidential nomination, insisted that his upcoming stay at the Hanoi torture facility was simply a late addition to a previously planned trip to Southeast Asia, and has nothing to do with his faltering campaign.
But a source close to the campaign said the senator's decision to revisit his indescribable degradation at the hands of the Viet Cong was prompted by a desire to "get back to his roots," and "reconnect with the struggles that defined him as a leader."
"The fact is, McClain feels that he's changed somehow from the independent, eternally haunted outsider that he once was," the source said. "He hopes that revisiting the extraordinary horrors he endured so many years ago will reinstill in him the sense of purpose and commitment he is so respected for. And what better way to reignite the political fire within than by having sharpened rods of bamboo jammed under his fingernails?"

"With both nobility and grace, I will suffer the worst forms of human indignities."
According to campaign documents released to the media, the visit will cost more than $10 million, most of which will go toward acquiring a Grushin S-75 surface-to-air missile, renovating McClain's cell to its exact 1970s-era condition, paying medical personnel to provide inefficient and cruel treatment, and hiring Vietnamese citizens to act as the Viet Cong.
"Just when you think McClain is down and out, he announces the most brilliant move we've seen in American politics in a generation," ABC political correspondent George Stephanopoulos said. "With [Rudolph] Giuliani beating him in the polls and [Mitt] Romney outpacing him in fundraising, McClain's only remaining advantage is that he successfully withstood atrocities beyond our comprehension. And to subject himself to those same unspeakable acts of physical violence at the age of 68 should dispel any doubt among voters that he's too old to be in the White House."
Stephanopoulos added that McClain must be careful not to return from Southeast Asia too soon before the primaries, or his act of courage, integrity, and determination may fade from the memory of American voters.
"This trip is a huge political gamble," Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. wrote Tuesday. "Still, being forced to stay awake for six days as your captors douse you with water and feed you rotting food sounds a lot more convincing than John Kerry's campaign strategy of simply talking about his military experience."
According to recent polls, a majority of Americans say McClain's announcement has made them reconsider his candidacy.
"I've always admired McClain, but he's disappointed me in recent months," Cincinnati resident Ben Krepps, 33, said. "After so many years in the political mainstream, he's gone soft. Maybe some long, cruel nights are exactly what he needs to get his head back into this race."
Others, however, including unaffiliated Republican consultant David Winston, argue that McClain's trip will only hurt his presidential chances.
"In John McClain's attempt to find the old John McClain, he is actually just solidifying his position as the new, more pandering John McClain," Winston said. "Yes, the old John McClain withstood seemingly endless torture, and people respected that. But a second time around? It just looks desperate."
With McClain's drastic move sending shock waves through the political world, Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) both announced plans to send themselves back to their respective Ivy League law schools to reenroll in their most challenging courses.
--onion news services

master's racing--reflections

monday's medical armchair QB

i started racing in 1983; first got a license in 1987.
i remember lining up in one of my first races, and,
seeing the 40+ pack behind me, i thought "look at those old farts."
well, much has changed, and now the old farts are 60+.
[out of sympathy, i let one of them go by me
at the end of yesterday's race.]
while warming up for the first of two races i did yesterday,
i rode with some guys i've known for over 20 years.
our prerace conversations have changed:
yesterday, we talked about one of our friends, steve franzenberg,
who-having survived a bout of cancer-
this year has been sidelined with a heart attack.
the talk then shifted to prostate "problems" during which i realized
the difference between 50+ and 60+ for many is having them.
then this morning, i learned that my friend jason mccartney
is hospitalized with a serious illness.
bike racers work so hard, and train so endlessly--year round--
to get into top and peak fitness.
an unavoidable component of wellness is illness.
when we train, whether we think of it in these terms or not,
we do so in a preventive manner:
we hope to avoid pitfalls and problems.
i urge all of you to consider your overall health
in the same manner.
get your annual physicals, and accept that eventually,
some doc's gonna stick something wiggly up your ass.
the guy in the photo above will-or would-agree that
a preventive wiggle is a cut above a post-mortem one.

FLASH! just in: jason out!

from my sources:
discovery rider jason mccartney will not be competing
in today's tour of georgia.
he has been diagnosed with viral meningitis,
and is hospitalized in georgia.
a full recovery is expected,
but how long this will take is not presently known.
i'll keep you posted.
jason is resting comfortably,
and is being seen by a large number of
doctors and medical students.
he has been prescribed an array of antibiotics,
and is expected to be released in two or three days.
again, i apologize for the typo yesterday,
now corrected.
get well, dude.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Did I mention windy. Because that pretty much discribes my ride yesterday. On occasion I ride to my in-laws house for special occasions. The ride is a long 160 miles. I think my best time is a little over 8 hours? Well my fitness this spring has been really good and I thought so what if the wind is blowing 20mph out of the southeast (which is the direction I have to ride to). Well after 55miles I started thinking this ride could take over 9 hours. By the time I got to the half way it was more like a ten hour day. At that point I called Kathleen my better half and said I'm gonna need a ride but not right away because I figured I could get at least a hundred miles. I got a slight reprieve from the 20mph headwind. It was a 10mph crosswind. When I reached the century mark I called again and said I think I can make it to Washington. That is around a 130 miles. I caught a draft off of a pick-up truck towing ammonia. It was going about 30mph and I needed a break from the constant wind. It only lasted for 3-4 miles but that was the best part of the ride. When I reached the 125 mark I was exhausted and just pulled over until Kathleen found me. I was bummed that I couldn't go any farther but the body said enough. Kathleen did buy me a strawberry malt which was very tasty.Today was a different story. I was fairly recovered from yesterdays ride. Did get a little red on my arms. Wind burn? The wind was still blowing out of the east so most of the ride was tail wind. I still had to go up all of the hills. Not quite as far either. I drove most of the way home and got out of the van around Grinnell.Tomorrow I'm going fishing with my daughter and getting a massage. Hopefully I will be recovered for the TNWC. No Wes this time but the ride will still be fast.
[dave, we miss your thoughts--the mostly rev]

Saturday, April 14, 2007

our daily horoscope - ewww!!

April 14, 2007
Today's Outlook:
Our compassion is heightened by the watery Pisces Moon.
We may have to face an unexpected emotional situation
when the Moon conjuncts surprising Uranus at 3:33 pm EDT.
We are tempted to impulsively engage an argument,
instead of sitting in passive contemplation.
No matter what we say, though,
something just doesn't feel right
with rationalizing Mercury forming
a tense semisquare with diffusive Neptune.
We must move beyond language for lasting solutions.
ask the reverend!
dear the mostly reverend:
we are aspiring professional bicycle racers,
each of us a future "man for the classics."
the most recent gent-wevelgem, however,
has us a bit concerned, as we are fond of our knees.
how can we--and our wives--be sure that entering this race
won't be the last thing we do without crutches?
chad and jeremy
the mostly reverend says:
i am engaged in discussions with the u.c.i.
to have the organizers of such races install
guaranteed to make this race--and others--safer!
best of luck to you both.
the mostly

Friday, April 13, 2007

cleaning out the "in" basket

jan's heading for depression:
don't park your bike in a public rack!
read this...
Jan Ullrich Feels He Can No Longer Trust Anyone
With His Bags Of Blood
BERLIN—Sources close to Tour de France-winning cyclist Jan Ullrich
said Monday that the retired champion is beginning to feel
that plastic bags of his blood may not be safe in the hands of anyone
but himself after Spanish authorities found several of Ullrich's blood bags
in the office of an infamous Spanish doping doctor.
"Even long after I retire,
sacks of my blood are still turning up in the strangest places,"
Ullrich, the only German to ever win the Tour,
reportedly said to business associates.
"You think your blood bags are safe with someone,
and the next thing you know, aha! There it is in some Madrid refrigerator.
Do I trust myself to people too easily, do you think?"
Authorities in possession of the blood would not speculate on its origin,
but photos posted on the Velo News website seem to show the inscription
"To Lance And Sheryl, Best Wishes,
on the seal of one bag.
* * * * *
as a public service, read this:
How can you tell the difference between
normal age-related memory loss and Alzheimer's?
Here's a quick test:
Start with a seven-digit phone number.
Say it out loud to the person you are testing.
After 5 minutes, tell them the phone number again,
along with two others.
Have them pick out the original phone number
you gave them 5 minutes ago.
What does the person's answer mean?
People with any kind of memory loss may have trouble
remembering the entire phone number immediately,
but that's not the test.
After 5 minutes, a person with Alzheimer's
and someone with another type of memory loss
may remember zero to four digits.
But if you give them three different phone numbers,
including the original, the person with Alzheimer's
won't recognize the original phone number, while the other person will.
Memory loss is normal as we get older;
it can start as early as age 30.
In the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease,
neurons (read nerve cells that contain information)
tangle with each other and stop working properly.
Forgetfulness is the first sign,
then short-term memory loss.
Long-term memory is the last to disappear.
Alzheimer's disease with this symptom checker.
No single test can diagnose Alzheimer's.
So no matter how a person does on the phone number test,
if you're concerned, get your loved one to a doctor for evaluation.
Want better recall?
Give your mind a workout with this word puzzler.
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* * * * *
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* * * * *
and finally, this...
i just got home, after a day between here at the orphanage,
and ames, and elkhart, and ames, and it's 100 am,
i'm going through the emails that
my secretary [remember her?] hasn't deleted,
and--i shit you not--there is an email from an old buddy from law school.
i haven't seen him in nearly 20 years.
turns out he's an entertainment lawyer on the east coast,
and somehow or other, his firm has a connection with westwood one,
the branch of cbs who syndicated imus, and who fired him this afternoon.
seems they're looking for someone to take over part of his time slot-
-just an hour a day, low-key approach,
but completely different than the crap
imus and crew were putting out.
he remembered me from law school;
actually, he remembered the themed costume parties i put on
every six weeks for nearly three years, and did a google search for me.
found the daily sermonette.
short story long, i'm flying to new york in a couple weeks.
they're looking at putting the daily sermonette on the air,
just a few dozen stations to begin with,
take some calls, play some music
[a live band on fridays doing acoustic stuff from the front porch],
and talk about whatever the stream of consciousness produces.
he recalled fondly my contributions to various classes,
including family/abortion law, constitutional law, and such.
whad'ya think about that?
i told him i might be able to do lou's wedding,
and he was intrigued by the idea of reports from the devil
and other bike racing news.
cbs is looking for "a fresh, new perspective."
. . . . .
i think i'm ready for bed;
gotta take the recycling out bright and early tomorrow.
* * * * *
we'll miss ya, kurt.
and so it goes.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


a prayer that the deceased may rest peacefully,
not in torment, while awaiting judgment day,
which is coming thursday, april 19.
our thoughts are with you, little squealers.
team robinson

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

hablamos guerra

if junior high spanish hasn't changed, it reads:
"it will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need
and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."
get the veto pen ready, dubya,
and practice spelling your name.
i suspect you and harry reid and nancy pelosi
will be getting lots of face time over the next few weeks.
but don't worry, dubya: you have these folks helping:
"liberate your tastebuds"

"I purchased my Stealth Fudge over three months ago
and it hasn't arrived yet and I was wonder-
oh never mind here it is."–J. Fogelnest, Minneapolis, MN

ask the mostly reverend!!

i received this email today from a cyclist
who asks for the mostly reverend's permission
to refer to a recent bike ride as "epic."
much has been written lately about "this epic ride"
and "that epic ride" and so on and so forth,
literally ad nauseum.
i recently opined that in order to be "epic"
a ride must be at least 100 miles long,
and incorporate several other complicating factors.
. . . . .
let's read his letter:
. . .
The ride last night went something like this.
I'm riding over to Garvis [not the real name of the shop]
to meet Kurt [not his real name].
I see Steve R. [not his real name] Heading
to Bike World [yup, that's the real name].
I told him I didn't think anyone was going to be there
and he could ride with me to meet Kurt.
We pick up Kurt and head over to WWP [made-up name]
to meet Chad [not his real name].
Steve starts crying about his hands being cold
[hint: he rides for piggie's team].
We hook up with Chad and head down the western trail.
We get to the golf course and Steve bails.
To our suprise the trail is torn up for a drain pipe.
So we ride through the golf course.
We see lots of scary, dangerous deer [true] running in the woods beside us.
The turn around in Matensdale and head back.
The weather is starting to get to us.
We are all wet and cold but not wanting to complain.
Chad cranks it up in to Cumming just to warm up.
As we are riding through the golf course
the ride takes a turn for the epic.
Chad has a back spasm.
He can't get on his bike and is having trouble just breathing.
After 5 min or so Chad gets on his bike and starts to ride.
We get to the airport and Chad is in a lot of pain
and decides to call Dorthy [not her real name].
(Looking back on this we should have called you)
[the FIRST glimmer of wisdom in this sad tale--the rev]
Dorthy though is a real trooper and
loads Price [poor child--not his real parents]up
and drives out to get Chad at WWP.
Kurt and I wait with Chad in the shelter until Dorthy arrives.
I'm now shivering uncontrollably.
The wait was only about 15 min but it felt like I was freezing forever.
We leave the park and start up the dark trail with no lights.
I can't ride a straight line because I'm shaking.
Then as I slow down for the railroad bridge,
the front wheel starts to slide out.
I pull my foot off the pedal and start a second slide.
Luckily Kurt was back and heard me yell "slow down its slick!"
We get back to my house at 8:30.
I then drove Kurt back to his truck at the shop.
We both have be colder but not as wet and cold.
I woke up feeling like I rode a hundred miles or a really hard crit.
My points for calling this epic:
A rider turned back early because of the weather.
We rode someplace where bikes are not allowed.
An injury that caused a rider to have to abandon the ride.
Weather that made it hard to steer the bike straight.
Extremities that went numb.
Waking up the next day and feeling it.
Wishing Kim West was there.
Dave [not his real name]
. . .
the mostly reverend says:
thank you for thinking of mr. west.
calling him WOULD have been the best thing to do.
[we'd have photos for this post!]
but you KNOW how i feel about this:
it's like grade inflation in the 70s and80s
[where EVERYBODY was getting As and Bs].
well, the buck stops here, "dave."
as was best re-stated by "keith" and "luggs,"
this ride is "memorable" to be certain.
but because it was less than 100 miles,
it will NEVER be epic.
sorry, but that's how it is, and will ever remain,
here at the daily sermonette.
thanks for asking, and better luck next time.
besides, i TOLD you not to ride last night!
. . .
[hell, even donny wouldn't call it epic...
or did "chad" get laid?]

idiots with microphones

today's current events quiz:
which idiot with a microphone said this:
"i'm not a bad person...i just made a mistake."

a-- opie and anthony [shown here waving at bicyclists] ?

b--don imus [shown here dodging responsibility] ?

c--"rush" limbaugh [shown here with his favorite pick-me-up] ?

d--bill o'reilly [shown here catching a whiff of his own] ?

e--howard stern [shown here thinking his dna matched dannielynn's] ?

unfortunately, my little blogger host won't allow me to post more photos of these vile creatures. it will, however, allow me to post this wonderful article, which is from, and contains a summary of just SOME of the abhorrent things that have come from the mouth of don imus, and creature i have despised since i first became aware of him some years ago. i have never watched an entire show of his; the same can be said of howard stern, opie and whomever, nor any of the other of this ilk, whether shown above or not.

from [thanks, by the way]

The Wit and Wisdom of Don Imus

A guide for Washington's power crowd.

By Timothy NoahPosted Tuesday, April 10, 2007, at 6:59 PM ET

Don Imus' long-standing acceptance by the political establishment is a contemporary illustration of 1940s socialite Perle Mesta's famous advice about how to draw Washington's power set to a soiree: "Hang a lamb chop in the window." Politicians like John McCain and Barack Obama, and famous TV journalists like Tim Russert and Cokie Roberts, are no more standoffish than their predecessors; the only difference is that the lamb chop has been replaced by a microphone. For some years now, the broadcast industry has conducted, via talk radio and reality TV, a series of experiments to gauge precisely how much personal humiliation the species Homo sapiens will consent to endure. The most surprising finding is that even people with constant access to the media will make themselves available to interviewer-comedians like Sacha "Ali G." Baron Cohen or Stephen Colbert*—performers whose sole aim is to get laughs at these celebrities' expense. If there's an outer boundary to what a famous journalist or politician will put up with, science has yet to find it.
In the direct-humiliation department, Imus falls well short of Colbert or Ali G. Imus in the Morning is a variation on the experiment, wherein the belittling is indirect. Here, the research question is how long respectable journalists and politicians will associate themselves with a radio host who spews continual invective based on race, ethnicity, and religion. Without exception, every political and journalistic celebrity who appears on Imus' show is diminished. Yet they keep coming back. Is it because they don't know what Imus says when they aren't around? That's what they tend to claim. "I don't listen to the show," McCain told journalist Philip Nobile in June 2000. In an April 9 appearance, Tom Oliphant told Imus, "Solidarity forever," but later covered his ass by saying, "I don't know beans about hip-hop culture or trash-talking or, what do you call those things where you run on forever? Riffs." One person who can't claim ignorance about Imus is Evan Thomas, who on April 9 told the New York Times' David Carr that it would be "posturing" for him to refuse to go on Imus' show after Imus got dinged for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos." Thomas puffed Imus in a 1999 Newsweek cover profile ("The Ringmaster"). "With his quick takes and sense of the absurd," he wrote, "Imus is the perfect voice for an age that prizes irony over solemnity." The Newsweek piece made only glancing reference to Imus' penchant for uttering racial and ethnic slurs on the air, overlooking, for instance, the shock jock's admission the previous year on CBS News' 60 Minutes that he'd once told a colleague he hired producer Bernard McGuirk to tell "nigger" jokes. ("That was an off-the-record conversation," Imus protested to Mike Wallace.)
In the unlikely event that McCain, Oliphant, and others don't know who they're dealing with, let's review some of Imus' remarks (if you prefer, riffs) from the past. This stuff isn't hard to find. Many thanks to the Web sites Media Matters for America, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, and (where Nobile tracked Imus' show) for the quotes that appear below.

On blacks:
"William Cohen, the Mandingo deal." (Former Defense Secretary Cohen's wife is African-American.)
"Wasn't in a woodpile, was he?" (Responding to news that former black militant H. Rap Brown, subsequently known as Abdullah Al-Amin, was found hiding in a shed in Alabama after exchanging gunfire with police. Imus is here alluding to the expression "nigger in the woodpile.")
"Knuckle-dragging moron." (Description of basketball player Patrick Ewing.)
"We all have 12-inch penises." (After being asked what he has in common with Nat Turner, Malcolm X, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Latrell Sprewell from the New York Knicks, and Al Sharpton.)
"Chest-thumping pimps." (Description of the New York Knicks.)
"A cleaning lady." (Reference to journalist Gwen Ifill, possibly out of pique that she wouldn't appear on his show. "I certainly don't know any black journalists who will," she wrote in the April 10 New York Times. The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page used to appear, but after he made Imus pledge not to make offensive comments in the future, he was never asked back.)

On Jews:
"I remember when I first had [the Blind Boys of Alabama] on a few years ago, how the Jewish management at whatever, whoever we work for, CBS, or whatever it is, were bitching at me about it. […] I tried to put it in terms that these money-grubbing bastards could understand."
"Boner-nosed … beanie-wearing Jewboy." (Description of Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, a frequent guest.)

On women:
"That buck-tooth witch Satan, Hillary Clinton." […] "I never admitted it when I went down there and got in all that big jam, insulting Bill Clinton and his fat ugly wife, Satan. Did I? Did I ever say I was sorry for that?"

On Native Americans:
"The guy from F-Troop, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell." (This is a reference to the zany Indian characters on the 1960s TV sitcom F-Troop. They had names like "Roaring Chicken," "Crazy Cat," and "Chief Wild Eagle.")

On Japanese:
"Old Kabuki's in a coma and the market's going up. […] How old is the boy? The battery's running down on that boy." (Reference to Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who died the following week.)

On gays:
"I didn't know that Allan Bloom was coming in from the back end." (The homosexuality of the author of The Closing of the American Mind became widely known when Saul Bellow published Ravelstein, a novel whose protagonist was based on Bloom, who by then was deceased.)
"The enormously attractive [NBC political correspondent] Chip Reid, I can say without being accused of being some limp-wristed 'mo."

On the handicapped:
"Janet Reno's having a press conference. Ms. Reno, of course, has Parkinson's disease, has a noticeable tremor. […] I don't know how she gets that lipstick on (laughter) looking like a rodeo clown."
Every one of these statements came directly out of Imus' mouth on his program. That's striking because Imus usually leaves it to other show regulars (especially McGuirk, the aforementioned point man on "nigger" jokes) to say the most offensive stuff, with Imus feeding them straight lines. It's safer that way.

i don't need to subject myself to this crap to know it has no place on television or radio, whether cable or not. my little granddaughter is bi-racial. to my knowledge, she has not yet been subjected to the type of sick, depraved comments spewed by imus in the mistaken notion that it is funny. but i can only hope that if it does, and if i am within earshot at that time, that i can muster a small portion of the grace, eloquence, and dignity demonstrated by the subjects of that sick bastard imus vitriol. the state of iowa, and the university of iowa, was so lucky to have had c. vivian stringer on its payroll. the rutgers university community is so fortunate to have her, and the entire women's basketball program, speaking on their behalf.

the REAL champions of the 2006-2007 ncaa women's basketball season have been crowned.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

ted stevens, brought to you by google, and youtube

a public service for all my readers and fans of politics

ted's a regular guy

he knows a truck when he sees one.

but some things give him serious concern.

by the way, the items in this post were all found on google, by entering "ted stevens" and then selecting only the first two items.

the internets is so easy this way!!

the link below gives a good background to poor ted's dilemma:

it also contains necessary links to youtube clips, AND the wonderful daily show report.
and now you know the REST of the story. paul harvey, good day.

Monday, April 09, 2007

things have been getting busy at the orphanage

. . . so i've hired someone to handle my calls.
try not to call very early in the morning,
while we're still in prayers.

bernie williams fan? rock star fantasies?

bernie williams, future yankees hall of famer,
played guitar on stage with the allman brothers band
saturday night at the beacon theatre, trading licks with derek trucks and warren haynes,
during a very cool rendition of "who's been talking."
click here for part two.
his playing with the band was no fluke.
the band has a tradition of assembling
the most amazing and surprising guest lists
during their legendary spring runs, and this year proved no exception.
but bernie williams is not typical of the star gone rocker.
he had a music scholarship, and planned on such a career
before getting picked up to play baseball.
he has a new album coming out on jazz label grp,
and you can learn more here.
he's good.

you'll have to speak up; america is saying something

look what you find when you google "impeachment."
pete, THEN she'll be "madame president."
but first things first;
there ARE rules to play by.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

for the birds?

while listening to the tour of flanders, with david duffield and the legendary sean kelly [], i was checking emails and following links from allman brothers posts and what-have-you, and while reading a brief article about dave mason's appearance with the brothers thursday night [i met dave last year; he has been my hero since way back when he and steve winwood and others were in traffic--he split and did some very tasty albums under the traffic name, and others], i saw a little tease headline about paula zahn.
i have followed her since, i don't know, curious about the tailspin that many hard news people take, and wondering where she would/will finally bottom out. her career seems destined for a sort of "entertainment tonight" dead end, sadly. lately, on cnn, she has begun to champion racial topics, and her prime time "news" program has almost exclusively covered such topics. and let me state here that i think it's great that cnn is covering such topics, and i think it's fine that they have paula zahn being the champion of such a cause.
but it has left me curious, that's all.
so i clicked on the headline about paula's marriage.
and i learned this:
April 4, 2007 -- JUST three weeks after Page Six ran a blind item about their crumbling marriage, Paula Zahn and her husband, real-estate magnate Richard Cohen, have filed for divorce. The blind item asked, "Which TV news anchorwoman is about to get separated from her husband? He suspects she's been having an affair . . . " An insider confirmed that not only does Zahn have a boyfriend, he's also married with children. Radaronline claims the man is ContiGroup CEO Paul Fribourg, who did not return our calls. "It's going to get very messy," our spy said. Howard Rubenstein, who reps both Zahn and Cohen - who have three kids together - declined to comment on any extramarital affairs, "because of the children," but did confirm the divorce. An insider added, "Things really started going downhill for Paula and Richard during the Pale Male and Lola incident." In 2004, Cohen, then president of the co-op board of the couple's swanky building at 927 Fifth Ave., signed off on removing the nest of two lovebird hawks perched on the ornamental exterior stonework. The eviction set off a global outcry, including a protest by Mary Tyler Moore, who lived there at the time.
* * * * *
did you catch the cause of the marital woes?
her husband's involvement in "the Pale Male and Lola incident."
? ? ? ? ?
now, regular readers--and even some of my friends--
are aware of my "status."
no, not that status [still straight: sorry, pete and lou],
but my standing as a single, long-divorced male.
every now and then,
i toy with the idea of seeking not so much a mate as
an occasional playmate,
but then i read about paula zahn and her love of hawks,
and i am reminded of the ethereal nature of love,
and am further reminded of how, generally,