Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No Booing

One last comment on the University of Washington football situation. I know that I said my last post would be the last, but I remembered something that happened at the game Saturday night that warrants a mention.

For the record we were sitting in the corner of the end-zone, Section 15, just above the tunnel. The cheap seats that I used to be ecstatic about scoring for $35, that are now $65. Thank God for the giant video display at the other end of the field.

The home team in purple and gold was losing by two touchdowns late in the third quarter and had demonstrated up to that point an uncanny generosity in allowing the opposition almost free and unobstructed use of the home turf. This is not what we have been used to watching over the past 50 years as traditional Husky defenses gave up yardage about as generously as Bob Cratchett's boss would. As you all know by now, it was not a pretty sight and the subdued crowd that remained was quiet and utterly without mirth. The guy next to me spent the entire third quarter with his head in his hands like an investor that just lost his fortune in the stock market. Our best player had broken his hand earlier, our best linebacker was out with a concussion and our best receiver was being escorted to the locker room with crushed ribs. At that moment I was amazed that it wasn't pouring rain.

I was sitting in disbelief and shock. Even though this same stuff has been going on since our last visit to the Rose Bowl in 2000. That is eight long, losing, ugly, uninspired years from a program that once rivaled the great teams, schools and programs anywhere. We have sunk so low that, as Stanford picked up yet another first down, I heard it from the covered section to my left.

A baritone rumbling sound that I have never heard in this stadium before. It was a spattering of boos.

Almost as quickly as they became audible, I heard from a few rows behind me a single voice in command tone instructing "NO BOOING". And it stopped. And I nodded in approval. Semper Fucking Fi lads, NEVER give up. And booing is the fans way of raising the white flag.

No booing because no matter the score, no matter how bad we are, no matter our proud history and tradition, no matter the gross ineptitude of the coach and the disparity of numbers on the giant scoreboard, no matter the amount of your annual contribution to your alma mater, THESE ARE KIDS PLAYING A GAME, NOT PROFESSIONALS MAKING MILLIONS AS ENTERTAINMENT.

You can boo the coach. You can boo the UW President, you can boo the AD, you can boo the refs for making bad calls, BUT YOU DO NOT BOO THE KIDS IN THIS STADIUM. EVER.

I am one for finding the silver lining. There it is. Whomever you were sitting a few rows behind on Saturday night, thanks. Nice call. I'll take that lesson any day of the week.

Even over a home victory.

No Booing.

Monday, September 29, 2008


My top five Paul Newman roles. There is a lot of room for disagreement here mostly because of his huge volume of work and the quality of each. A true professional, consummate actor, and a rare altruistic humanitarian. From just one of your many fans, RCVman says thank you and rest in peace.

The Sting:

Johnny Hooker: He's not as tough as he thinks.
Henry Gondorff: Neither are we.

Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid:

Butch Cassidy: If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him.

Cool Hand Lukc:

Luke: Anybody here? Hey, Old Man. You home tonight? Can You spare a minute. It's about time we had a little talk. I know I'm a pretty evil fellow... killed people in the war and got drunk... and chewed up municipal property and the like. I know I got no call to ask for much... but even so, You've got to admit You ain't dealt me no cards in a long time. It's beginning to look like You got things fixed so I can't never win out. Inside, outside, all of them... rules and regulations and bosses. You made me like I am. Now just where am I supposed to fit in? Old Man, I gotta tell You. I started out pretty strong and fast. But it's beginning to get to me. When does it end? What do You got in mind for me? What do I do now? Right. All right.
[Gets on knees, closes eyes and begins to pray]

The Color of Money:

Eddie Felson: You're some piece of work... You're also a natural character.
Vincent Lauria: [to Carmen] You see? I been tellin' her that. I got natural character.
Eddie Felson: That's not what I said, kid. I said you *are* a natural character; you're an incredible flake.
[Vincent's smile fades; Eddie continues]
Eddie Felson: But that's a *gift*. Some guys spend half their lives trying to invent something like that. You walk into a pool room with that go-go-go, the guys'll be *killing* each other, trying to get to you. You got that... But I'll tell you something, kiddo. You couldn't find Big Time if you had a road map.

Sometimes a Great Notion:

Hank Stamper: Well, good luck.
Willard Eggleston: [amazed at his apathy] Good luck?
Hank Stamper: Well, yeah, Willard. Now, you have to admit, it's better than "best wishes" or "bon voyage," so take it how I'm givin' it to you. Good luck, Willard!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Goodbye Tyrone

Stanford kicked our sorry asses last night. It was a lackluster, uninspired, totally without emotion, dull, sloppy, ugly, and if it wasn't for the alumni band, boring game. I started going to watch the UW in the early 80's primarily because of the infectious energy that was created in the Dawghouse. Last night it seemed like a funeral for a friend. As we walked out I told sister Kathleene that the only good thing about another loss, and now being 0-4, is that it might hasten the bottoming out process and get the necessary changes made quicker so we can start the slow return to the proud Husky tradition that I miss so much. You know, like actually winning games. Thank you Tyrone Willingham for your efforts and have a nice retirement on the golf course. We need a motivator. End of Dawg Blog. I'll check back with ya when I see something positive to report.

I am going for a ride on this beautiful fall morning.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Mechanic

I have experience.
I have been doing this for 40 years.
I know all the players.
I have been there and done that.
I recognize the bad guys.
I know how to shoot.
I know when to duck.
I fought in that war.
It's all about winning.
People are easier to control when scared.
I understand.
You don't understand.
More money for military.
More money for the industrial.
LOTS more money for the military/industrial.
I knew Ronald Reagan.
Might equals Right.
You want another Holocaust?
I knew Eisenhower.
I am not afraid to pull the trigger.
I know the strategy and the tactics of war.
I have experience.
I will take care of the veterans.
They know this.
You don't.
I will spend billion protecting the consumers.
I am NOT a bully.
I can still get it up.
I an friends with the Kennedys,
Tree huggers are weenies, gays are sick, the planet is fine.
I have experience.
I know where Bin Laden is.
We need more muscle not more tolerance.
I don't say hello unless I am guaranteed a positive response.
I am not a neo-Con.
I have never met George Bush.
I smoke cigars, drink whiskey and hang with women from the wild.
I like Toby Keith.
I have experience.
You don't understand.

But, sir, you are a diesel mechanic and the job opening is for a Librarian.

You don't understand. I have experience and am ready to lead.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Scofield Sampler

Or.....how I spent last weekend in Utah. Sorry it took so long, but we are hosting sister Kathleen for her surprise 50th birthday and I had to clean the cabin. Gift is the Ivars brunch cruise to UW, Huskies vs Stanford and back. Hope she will enjoy. Please let it be understood that should the Montlake Mutts find yet another way to manage less points than the opposition, this will be the final word on that till we take some drastic steps out of the Pac-10 Dawghouse. One would think that if the Beavs can beat USC, we should be able to best the Cardinal. Wouldn't one? Regardless, please enjoy the sampler, also, if you navigate to the RCVman site on YouTube you can watch in high quality by using that cool feature. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lj2pc_v1RA

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For Those That Race Soundtrack

Just when you thought it was safe to change the dial! I am suffering under the constraints of the RCV in Kona DVD gag order. As both you loyal readers know, this epic work is in LA being replicated so that in Kona on race week, 1000 lucky visitors to the CompuTrainer booth (same place as last year), will get a free copy. I can honestly say that it rocks. It is supposed to. It is a compilation of race course samples from around the world with expert commentary by Pros, RDs and AG-CT users. It runs 20 minutes but it seems like 2. It is fast, colorful, inspiring, motivating, didactic and shows how truly cool the RCVs are. If I do so say so myself. So imagine how horrible I feel in this day and age of lightening like media transmissions. I mean, I wrapped it up FIVE DAYS AGO. Might as well have been the Stone Age. I want you to see it (and after viewing, if you so desire, inquire further). So this afternoon I had an idea. I cannot SHOW you the video, but nobody said anything about letting you LISTEN to the soundtrack. Now did they? So I created an iTunes iMix that has all the tunes, so you can listen and allow your fertile imagination to wander along and visualize how the moving pictures (in HD) will fit with the feeling of the songs. Won't that be fun? You can even buy them from iTunes and listen to them all over and over and over again. That will, I'm sure, make Jim Major, Leo Kottke and Bela Fleck very happy. Not to mention my boss. Please be sure to tell your friends too, 'cause we want to spread the good word and share the love. RIGHT? And please vote for Obama.

So here ya go. Have fun, train hard, go fast, enjoy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Scofield Five

Dateline: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 0709. Friday, Sept. 19. 2008. There's the here and now. Now some then and there.

I am nervous and anxious about the Kona DVD. No need to say anything other than simply mention artists remorse. I now wish I had taken another approach. If somebody (anybody) goes to iTunes or Amazon.com after watching the music credits roll, and buys a couple of the songs, I will be happy. As should they. Nuff said for now.

On way to Park City, UT by way of SLC. It has been eight years since my last visit, back in the PJ Walter days of advance photog work for the then coming 2002 Winter Games to be staged there. We are doing another off race day shoot of a boutique course designed by Pro Triathlete Marcel Vifian www.marcelvifian.com, and hosted by RD Burke Priest. We are supposed to have about 20 strong riders for the Saturday at 10am shoot on a spectacular relentlessly climbing 40 miles or so. We'll shoot from the car, I'll direct the ride and Burke will drive. Afterwards at Burke's cabin we will debut the "For Those Who Race" DVD. It's kinda like Sundance and I am the only entry. Hope I don't take second place.

All for now as Group B is about to board SWA flight 1530 to SLC. Please no rain.

SLC. Nice. 74 degrees. Sunshine. Just rammed some onion rings and a salad (the only meatless items on the Wingers Menu) and sit waiting for Burke. We will head up to his cabin in Scofield and get set up for the big ride tomorrow. I have tiny KIA something or other, so that will be the shoot car. Haven't heard anything from Sarah at One Stop so I might start to assume that all is a go on the DVD. One of my notes on the flight out was to source out a crash course on Soundtrack Pro or Garage Band so I can (finally) do my own music as scores and not have to fret over, or attempt to justify the use of OPM *. Yes, finally.

And, here is the good news, after this shoot, I am off until Kona. That means I can run and bike and maybe even swim to my legs, lungs and hearts content for 15 consecutive days!!!! Whoa baby, the joy! Then, not wanting to rain on a training parade, we should be able to get in a few runs in Hawaii so that:

When we restart the fall/winer spin class the Monday morning after late return Sunday night from Kona, I might even have some type of a fitness streak happening. Because I need it. There has been WAY too many French Slams, greasy Onion Rings and morning muffins and not enough HIT sessions the last SEVEN MONTHS. But that is what I signed on for and I wouldn't trade on day of that for the world. Except maybe Placid and the rains of course.

Sunday Morning at SLC airport awaiting return flight to Seattle. The shoot went gangbusters. As advertised the 40 miles was as beautiful as anything I have seen in quite a wile. A collection of nice rollers, a few 8-9% climbs, a flat 6 to start and all along a desolate and smooth road that passes aspens, birch, evergreens, streams, lakes, beaver dams, canyons and the the benign copper canyon coal mine operation. On a non-race Saturday morning we passed, or were passed by less than a dozen cars and/or trucks. It was a beautiful out and back ride. The five riders were led by Marcel Vifian, who designed the bike and swim legs and holds the course record from this years inaugural event at 3:30, including 1:45 on the bike leg. Yesterday the five riders, including another a Pro Triathlete, a female former Pro, a Cat 2 roadie and the publisher of Tri-Hive Magazine www.TriHive.com, did the 40 miles in 2:20, a casual and smooth ride. We looked at the video back at Burke's cabin on the lake afterwards and ogled at the colors and definition. Looks like it'll be a keeper. Later we showed "For Those Who Race" on a beautiful 52" LCD at Burke's neighbor's and it absolutely sizzled on screen. I was very happy. Some people even got the ending scene punch line, imagine that!

I am going to try in the ensuing 14 days before Kona to burn the Scofield folks a DVD of the ride and the subsequent interviews for their promotional purposes. This is one cool event gang, a small (500) local race that is simply for the joy of racing. It is 90 minutes from the SLC airport, up in the hills where cell phones are useless, and hosted by a group of locals who love what they do. The swim is from an island in the lake, the bike leg rivals any course anywhere and the run tops off one of three distances. In a few days we might be able to post proof that this course is the real deal. It'll rock your legs and roll your heart, all the time forcing a smile to face and song to soul. It is that fun!!! But, hey, don't take my word for it, gimme a couple of days, and I'll SHOW you. Hang tight till then folks. The leaves on the trees are changing colors, we are down to one more event on the RCV calendar. I have enough footage in the can to last ten editors all winter. There is some great stuff there. I still need to find a way to push the production. More than me getting the product to market, it's more that YOU DESERVE TO SEE THIS STUFF!!

And The Scofield Triathlon www.scofieldtriathlon.com should be at the top of that list!!! Thanks for the opportunity boys, I had a blast.

Flight is boarding. ciao a presto

Photos, top to bottom and left to right, and a PS:
First three to the summit, Marcel, Heath and Mike.
The days crew: Mike, Marcel, RD (and all around good guy) Burke Priest, Heath, Kelsey and Alex.
A cool B&W of Marcel with the valley behind.
The valley in color.

PS: I am downloading the video as we type and I think it is good enough to go straight to DVD without a ton of work in post, so I am still holding out for a pre-Kona release for the Scofield Five. It looks great (and we're only to the tavern!!!!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Train Happy

Another deadline come and gone. The media for the Kona DVD went out USPS Urgent an hour ago. I drew up the jacket and e-mailed it to the art department, paid for the 1,000 copies and now I AM GOING TO TAKE A NAP. For those of you that will be in Kona for the IM World Championships (Oct 11), please be sure to stop by the booth race week and pick up YOUR FREE COPY. That's right Yellow Foxtrot Charlie. All that work and we're givin' the suckas away!!!! As I mentioned yesterday, I will post the video and link to YouTube once back from the Islands. I think you'll like it. I have watched it now about ten times and despite seeing all the details that I would have tweaked given a legitimate build allowance, it still cuts to the chase PDQ. After all the videos I have cut that hit the ground runnin' and ramp up from there, I even built in an intermission to ensure that this one features some semblance of a story arc. If "But wait..there's more!" can be considered an intermission. Hey, at least I didn't scream, "Now how much would you pay?" a thousand times. Here is the label. If anybody says anything about the RCV being off center, please remember that each copy comes with a money back guarantee. And here is my final thought for this entry.


Talk to ya from Park City. Train happy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'm so Glad. Finished the Kona DVD a day early!!!! It is rendering even now as I type this update to all you loyal readers (both of you). I wish I could post it because it seriously rocks, but I am under a gag order to release it in Kona for the Big Show. I already have it rendered to the YouTube codec, so the day after return (Oct. 13) I will post and link. I can hear you take that deep breath.

Couple of other quick notes. We are doing the FIRST ANNUAL CompuTrainer RCV ride in Kona on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 9am. All participants who do the 25 mile ride (from the Old Airport to the New Airport with a swing down the Energy Lab), will get a free RCV of the event along with a race week highlight intro by yours truly. That should be fun.

Then, adding to the spinning mirth, I have been assigned the new spin class schedule of M,W,F & Sat. at the Meadowmeer facility. Starting on Oct. 13. That is not a typo. We get back from Kona at midnight and my first class of he winter schedule is at 0530. Nice. Be prepared for some seriously loud tunes, folks.

Heading out to SLC on Friday to do the Scofield shoot with Marcel Vivian and company. That should be fun too. Then a week off to host sister Kathleen's 50th birthday bash (at Husky Stadium where the Dawgs stand poised to post their initial W of the season against Stanford). And off to Hawaii for the wrap of the season. Seems like only yesterday we were prepping for the shoot Down Under. It has been a long season and I am ready for a shot of R&R. Oh, yeah, but it's back to class........Maybe next year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Out of Canada

Photos: Even in Vegas, the time is right for CHANGE.
RCVs and ErgVideos on display at the Muskoka Expo.
The swim start at the Dearhurst Resort.
Out on the killer course with RCVman.
Another win for Team Crowie!!!

Monday, Sept 15

And I haven't even been on a plane yet. Since 0400 this Ontario morning, I have driven 180 miles along Hwys 11 and 400 towards the Toronto airport, found the car rental return, hauled the gear up and down escalators, walked the terminal looking for the departure gate, taken a shuttle bus, cleared customs, passed security, breezed through immigration and walked some more. I now sit in the holding area at Gate A-1D awaiting the connector flight to JFK, and then on to Seattle. They don't call them travel days for nothin. I am trying my absolute best to avoid alcohol as the work really begins once II hit the tarmac in Seattle, with no margins for error, as I have three days to finish the Kona DVD, and get it out Friday Morning on way to Park City for the Scohfield shoot. Nothing like run-on sentences, eh folks? I need to do a focused period of intense post production work. That's intense with a capitol I. And if the results are worthy, there might be a nice Guinness afterwards. If it's really good, maybe a few.

In order, then, to free up the time required for this effort, I would like to touch on a few topics here and get them out of the way and off of my chest.


I have a blogging tendency to generalize. I need to dial that in and start to focus more on the specifics with a razor like sharpness instead of the general with a machete like dull hack.

I need to be able to take it as well as dish it out. Or change the objects to better match their subjects. Or quit shopping at Wal-Mart, driving my Exploder and badmouthing the Bushies without offering legitimate solutions or options.

One of my favorite books from years passed was The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. She was once married to Martin Scorsese and is a fabulous author. One of her techniques is an exercise called Morning Pages, where you write, diligently, three pages every day of flow of consciousness stuff. I would call it prose, but that isn't the point, it is just to write and get it out of your head and onto the paper. After a while a voice will emerge and that is what the effort is designed to invoke. It is sometimes hard, sometimes painful, sometimes frustrating but always of value. I did this for almost five years, filling three ring binders in the Tree House, In Diego Garcia, in Europe and everywhere else I might awake to find this sack of bones still animated and breathing. I bring this up because it came to me yesterday as we (Dar and I on his BMW in the rain) that the RCVman blog is nothing more than the latter day manifestation of the Morning Pages. I do it the same way, just adding pix and video and commentary. And like its predecessor, it is sometimes sad, sometimes banal, sometimes mundane but always flow of consciousness, and hence, prone to human error. I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, its a little more entertaining, creative, or useful too. The Jury is out I am suspecting.

Need to find an effective workout strategy for workouts on the road. This is killing me.

Need to fix my back. Whose got MY back?

It seems to me that Sarah Palin is one sneer away from being the bitch from hell.

The Canadian Press is hammering Mr. McCain. The best articles that I read while in Huntsville, were from the venerable Globe & Mail where columnists took daily turns tossing sharp objects his way. Several times I had to LOL while reading. I will try to find the specific pieces and link when back in the saddle.

Do you think that there is a trickle down effect happening in the US of A? The housing market implodes as a response to greed, the general economy tanks as Exxon-Mobile posts record profits, one in ten Americans is in jail, the "truth" is now whatever your boss says it is, battle lines have been drawn, the media tells you what their advertisers want you to see, hear and think, torture is OK and we should shoot first and ask questions later. All this has been very carefully designed, scheduled and executed by the current regime. They have lied, stolen, cheated, murdered, manipulated and maimed. They have sullied the reputation of our country by ignoring the Constitution, Bill of Rights and any other laws and regulations that don't serve their neo-con needs. And then they imprison anyone who does the same on a lower level playing field, e.g.. the very streets of America that they so solemnly avow to protect by fighting "them" "there". I see my Dad doing this stuff and pretty soon I think that it's OK, so I do it to. Like Father like Son and like POTUS like populous.

And here is the kicker: John McCain IN EVERY WAY BUT SERVICE TO HIS COUNTRY is the political embodiment of Bush II. So folks, if you condone the killing of innocent children in Iraq and Afghanistan, if you like seeing your neighbors load the U-Haul and walk away from a mortgage, if you think that the constitution that has served America well for over 200 years is not worth the parchment it is written on, if you are OK with the debt we area passing on to our grandchildren, If you don't mind dirty water and foul air, if your dead end job keeps you one pay check away from living on the street, if you keep the double-barrel over and under at the side of the Lazy Boy as you listen to Rush and shake your fat head at the liberals, the gays, the Spics, the Punks, the Bloods and Crips, the Mormons, and whomever your team is playing against Sunday, if you are so afraid of change that even change for the better is unthinkable, then vote for McCain. CAUSE WHAT YOU WILL GET IS NO CHANGE. MORE OF THE SAME. The same shit that we have seen for the last eight years. Death, violence, corruption, hypocrisy, gross manipulation for personal gain, exploitation of the planets resources for profit, the eradication of the middle class, more entitlements, kids on the street, vets in the streets, riots in the streets BUT NO DANCIN IN THE STREETS!!! I suppose on the bright side, you could argue that Palin is a lot lesser an evil than Dick Cheney. And to think that with seven weeks to go the polls are calling it even. There must be a lot of people on the pay role.

The ROW (rest of world) favors Obama by a 4-1 margin.

This is as important to me as the economy. How we are seen and how we are able to negotiate and discuss global politics in the next decade will to a great degree shape the remainder of our time here.


I mean really.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting this Far

Having been recently reminded that an occasional positive comment might be an interesting experiment, I started to jot down a few of the things I like. After the first three or four it got to be kinda fun. I wouldn't go as far as to say that the cynic has been rejuvenated, but it was worth the effort. Thank you for the inspiration.


I like the smell of coffee roasting.
I like the stillness of a pre-dawn summer morning.
I like the way deer look at me when they first notice.
I like it when my Dad laughs.
I like clean sheets.
I like it when my GF cooks for me (and her).
I like the way my body responds to a hard work out.
I like reading a well written sentence (boy do I).
I like watching the sun stream thru the trees as I sit in my studio.
I like my job.
I like even more the fact that I created my job and it has created value for others.
I like my neighbors.
I like my cheap guitar.
I like the current DVD project I am working on (event though it has an impossible deadline).
I like tofu.
I like Guinness beer.
I like knowing that despite my travel schedule, work load and scant training the last two years, I could go out Sunday and do an Ironman.
I like that it is now more important that I know this than how fast I could do the above.
I like Philip Seymour Hoffman.
I like trying to follow Trey Anastasio's thinking as I listen to him play.
Same way I used to like doing that with Jerry.
I like the fact that I still miss Jerry.
I like it that Southwest Airlines doesn't follow the herd.
I like Japanese art.
I like the sparkle in Obama's eyes
I like the UW Huskies football team.
I like my new addition. Most of it anyway.
I like Tom Robbins.
I still like Meg Ryan.
I like riding my bike on Highway 305 racing the cars.
I like the smell of the high desert.
I like Michael Caine.
I like Noam Chomsky.
I like people who want change in America.
I like people who take risks.
I like curry.
I like laughing, smiling and feeling good about being alive.
I like looking for the silver lining.
I like chaos (sometimes).
I like order (sometimes).
I like lots of stuff.
I like you for getting this far.

Just Last Week?

9-11 2008. 0640.


Seems like only last week. My initial question was 'why"? In spite of all the attempts to answer that question, there remains more Qs than As. I am comfortable with some of them and very uncomfortable with most. The Religious one bothers me, but the Political one bothers me way more. I'm afraid that I will go to my grave wondering about the right time and proper place to wisely 'turn the other cheek'. I am from the 'forgive and forget' school of thought, but this one is asking for a lot of memory dumping. And I still don't know if I have the CPU to do it, although I am constantly reminded by the media, military and republicans that I shouldn't forget. Bumper stickers tell me this too but none of the trucks that the stickers are attached too appear to be driven by Christians. Turning the corner of irony just past the hypocrisy sign.

So I sit at Sea-Tac, after a relatively uneventful TSA screening (it looks like Cheney got them new uniforms as 911 presents), and am reminded by the intercom propaganda recordings that security is everyone's responsibility and that today's alert level is orange. So there are twice as many TSA agents standing around looking at drivers licenses, boarding passes, in lap-top cases and scanning shoes. This makes feel more angry than safe. How wonderful that today, of all days, Toronto is my final destination. Out of the fear zone for a couple of days. For, as you know, fear means control. Ask the Catholic Church, or Carl Rove or John McCain. And the latter wants to control your fear pointedly enough to get you to vote for his sorry sagging ass. And then you can return to your normal real life activities like shopping for hedge clippers at Home Depot and stocking up on TP at Costco. And be sure to drive to each on separate trips because good consumers are required to do so. It's your birthright as entitled Americans to have too much, use too much and want too much. And all this is sponsored and subsidized by the current administration. Folks it's called greed. When enough isn't enough, only too much is enough. And the cost of that on the global scale is taking its toll. If I was living on a dollar a day (like millions do) and the price of rice tripled because somebody wants it to distill for biofuel so they can drive 10 miles to Wal-Mart, I would be pissed too. I think I would try to find a better way to express my frustration than flying a plane into a building, but the genesis is the same.

And here we are listening to politicians talk about out of marriage pregnancies, lapel pins, windfall taxation, real estate holdings, pork, racism, sexism and elitism. And neither has the brass to cut the crap and discuss THE REAL ISSUES. Because it might cost them a vote or two. Pander to the demographic that votes. God, we need a swift kick in the ass. I thought that on this day seven years ago we got a wake up call. Folks, we've hit the snooze button again, And again. Seems like just last week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Muskoka bound

Out at the COD (crack of dawn) for IM Muskoka 70.3 tomorow. Wonder if flying on 9/11 will be weird or just long and painful. My back is killing me BUT, got almost all the media captured and actually finished the first 2:32;04 of the Kona DVD. And before I sign off after a pair of 18 hr days, I would humbly like to say that it looks furdy puckin good!!! So, the bags are packed, they never really got unloaded from Wisconsin, promise we'll talk about some serious Canuk racin' come the next moon. All for now, run happy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

IMC RCV sampler

OK kids, as promised, here is the Ironman Canada Real Course Video sampler. It is a scant 126 seconds, but that is all the time I have to spend with it right now. PLEASE watch it in high resolution. Those from the Seattle area will surely recognize "Hammer 24.8" from the NWT 2004: Tips soundtrack by Tim McGovern, and lyrics by me. Put the hammer down and get up that damn hill.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good Luck

Dateline: Madison, Wisconsin. Monday, Sept. 8, 2008.

Ironman Wisconsin wrap up. One of these days I will stick around for the awards banquet, but today, I gotta get outta town and back to the studio where some serious editing awaits. I am pretty sure that I have the requisite number of talking heads to make the RCV Kona sampler both entertaining and informative. Nothing like celebrity testimony. Or, in this case, alternating pro, age group and race directors comments on CT and most specifically, RCVs. Lord knows I have enough rendered footage from all the events that we have shot over the last two years. and again thanks to everyone who offered their comments on our baby (now in her terrible twos).

Speaking of which, yesterday was a huge success, our second attempt at this venue. First, it didn't rain, always a good place to start. Second, the 50cc scooter that I rented held up OK. The first 40 miles I was terrified that it wouldn't make it up the first Verona climb and I would have to run astride, pushing it up the hill at full throttle in front of all the fans. But it make it. Only on that long winding decent on the second lap did I get passed by a pro who was SCREAMING down. So the ride was cool. The bumpy roads will prove a test for Shake, but I think that it will be OK, based on how it handled the expansion joint hell at Canada and the cobblestones of GG Park at Alcatraz. Still, fingers are crossed.

I need to mention how classy Lauren Jensen is. www.computrainer.com/rm_inc/Stories/LJenssen.htm. Her interview from Friday is wonderful, she is polite, reserved, charismatic and sincere. I caught her at about mile 75 of the bike, second loop, while she was both chasing Hillary Biscay and passing the slower age groupers. A lot of pros would just focus on the former and ignore the latter, yet even on wide country roads, with little race traffic, Lauren called out "On Your Left" to every rider she passed, several of whom responded with a yell of encouragement for the 40 year old local professional. I have all this captured and it will make the final cut, sans audio (too much wind static), so trust me when you watch the eventual RCV of IM Moo '08, that when we stay with Lauren for about ten minutes, this is the dialogue:

LJ: On your left
AGer: Go Lauren.
LJ: On your left.
AGer: Go Lauren.
LJ: On your left.
AGer: Go Lauren.

And she went. And I went with her. I love my job.

I promised a sample clip from IMC didn't I? Sorry, got a little busy there. I'll have one up by tomorrow night. Will two minutes of Richter Pass satisfy?

Thanks again to everyone who came by the booth in Wisconsin. And thanks to Dave for all his help, expertise and commentary. (Here's to La Grange). I had a great time talking with ya all. It appears that the demand is there for the RCVs, all I gotta do is figure a way to speed up the process and everyone will be happy. That is still my goal, you know, make everyone happy.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Moo Legs

IM MOO earns 7.5 CT Legs

I'll admit to some bias here. As you know, the bike leg gets a little more weight than the swim and the run. It's only natural. It's where it's at. When the day arrives when running shoes and wetsuits COMBINED are HALF of what a bike costs, I'll reconsider, until then, that's the way it is.

Swim is OK. I do love the light (sunrise) at the swim start and have captured some cool (remember this one?) 'Kodak moments' as the athletes queue up for the 2.4. The transition at the Manona Terrace is interesting, in the same way that being lost in a maze is. Please rewind, folks, to that infamous scene where Nicholson is franticly frozen lookin for the 'light of his life'. Sometimes the lights all shinnin on me, other times........Anyway, with the expo, transitions, registration, media center, start and finish all here, sometimes just gettin a cup of coffee, or across the street can make ya wanna redrum somebody. But to their credit, NAS pulls it off. Three thousand volunteers help. A Madison must do is going to a athlete briefing if it's your first.

The bike. Oh, my. The roads were even worse than last year, and last year they royally sucked. They sucked more this year. And that sucks a lot because otherwise it would rate about 30 CT Legs and set a new standard. If we're not talkin pot holes, expansion joints, crappy chip seal or thirty year old tar, we're talking about surfaces so uneven, their odd. I spent most of the day trying to avoid camera sag from the vibrations. I understand that there are weather extremes here, but, holy cow folks, spend some of the millions that IM brings to America's Dairyland and fix those cheesy roads. Please.

Run. OK. Two loops. In front of the Capitol. Along the lake, Yeah, yeah, yeah. How anyone can run 26.2 after having all your teeth rattle out of your skull for 112 miles is a mystery to me. Still......

The locals dig it. They support it. It is a big deal round these parts. The climbs in Verona alone are worth the price of admission, and the finish is perfectly staged with the rotunda in the background. This was the prototype for the Boise 70.3. Who knows, when Obama gets elected maybe we'll do IM DC and finish at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The phone there is (202) 456-1111. Tell 'em the IM Wisconsin bike course should be declared a disaster area. AND NO MORE.

Gonna get in a run in the morning, and then catch the 2:55 back to Seattle. No time for frivolity as I have three days to cut the Kona DVD before heading out to Muskoka. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth to say hi and do an interview. Congratulations to Chris McDonald and Hillary Biscay for their dramatic wins today. And thanks to every competitor out there today whom I had the distinct pleasure of watching and filming. In spite of all the challenges, I think this one will be a keeper. Cheers!

Photos: Magic hour at the swim start. Just before the Verona cut-off. Finish line celebration.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

They did it again

"Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late '70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there." www.heart-music.com

Yo, GOP PR dudes: Get a clue. Musicians, artists, writers, actors and actresses, people who are traditional FREE thinkers, think you are thoughtless. You didn't get the hint with the Jackson Browne episode, so you rip a Heart tune and think no-body will say boo? Are you REALLY that clueless? Or, like your leaders, think you are simply (arrogantly) above the law, and can bully the world to your bidding, or worse, that you somehow represent the spirit of the people of America? You are so hyped with a new and potent feminine presence to offset everything McCain, that the hubris has gone straight from your brains to create a blood flow that would make Bob Dole blush? This is great comedy. Oh, and this: Now you are about change, too. We want change. Really? The GOP wants change? To what? Changes in troop levels? Changes to the number of off shore drilling platforms? Changes to bankruptcy laws? Changes to the wars on terror and drugs? Changes to the obscene profits that the drug, medical, health care, insurance and hedge fund industries currently exploit? More change and carnage to the planet? What you guys (and gals) need is a change in attitude. Start by getting real. Start by being honest. Start by having one original thought. Start by getting a clue about what we (and I use the pronoun loosely) really are after. Start with dignity. And stop ripping our tunes, they aren't for you they are ABOUT you. Get it?

Hat Size

The WIFI is out here. The kids at the front desk provide the usual CYA explanation. Yo, kids, fess up, just tell me that the service is temporarily off and the provider is working on it AND we will let you know the minute it is reconnected, AND we are so sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused so please feel free to stay an extra five minutes in the shower tomorrow morning, on us. Use all the hot water and our wonderful organic shampoo/conditioner you like. Because we know that you are an important guy and need to stay connected to the net 24/7 in order to conduct business, negotiate mega-deals and make concise and timely blog entries on themes spanning the social, political, commercial and athletic gamut. That is what they should have said. All they really said was that it's not our fault, it is somebody else's and please go away.

So since I am in rant mode. Who (TF) designed these roads out in East Madison? It is an absolute nightmare to navigate. The gal at Home Depot said that she drives from her apartment to work and straight back every day because she fears getting lost. I almost ended up TWICE in Sun Prairie. And I have no idea where that is. Nice work Mr. Civil Engineer at 80K per. But..... (rant off)

On the good side...

There is a burrito shop called La Bamba that I visited a few times last year that claims to make them AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD. I love this place. The guys speak broken english which goes for a great dialogue with my broken spanish. We all agree in busted spanglish that burritos should be GRANDE and beer should be FRIO. All the better if it's CHEAP. My kinda place. It's across the nightmare 151 highway at the portal to Sun Prairie.

I stopped by the booth today to say hi to Dave and ended up spending five hours talkin to the NAS gang and assorted CT friends, family and fans. There is nothing I'd rather discuss than the making of RCV's. Shelly says not to worry about the bad mouthing at slowtwitch, it is par for the course. Got some good interviews, notably with Jason Shortis (what a gentleman) and Lauren Jensen (what a sweetheart). As well as several CT AGers who contributed to the video effort all of whom will be included in the Kona DVD (audio permitting). If you were involved in the making of this latest cinematic epic and would like a copy after its release (at Kona) please let me know and I'll get you one, somehow. After Kona I will probably post it over at the RCVMan YouTube site and link here, but to ensure the highest quality, you really should have the mini DVD in HiDef. I have it scripted out so far to run about 20 minutes and include all the interviews, RCV samples and race highlights from the last two years. Plus a rocking soundtrack. Heck, for ten bucks I'll send ya a burrito too. Please include your hat size with payment.

All for Friday. See you tomorrow. Adios amigos.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Room 112 in Mad City

Back in Mad City. It's raining. I am getting hammered over at slowtwitch.com for things out of my control. I haven't run in two days, my back hurts, and my personal pan pizza at the Pizza Hut 'Bistro' across the street from the hotel tasted like play dough. I am wondering what else can go south.

On the sunny side of the street (!), I found an article in the Madison edition of the Onion, that pretty much sums up my reason for being here for IM Moo Deux, It is a peppy recap of all the national 'zines take on Mad City with the author's local insider notes afterwards as a postscript. Number Three on the list (of five) is Outside Magazine's 2007 selection of them as Best Road Biking Town. To which author Chris Connolly adds his cogent comments: "Dirty Secret: While Madison is certainly bike friendly, what a lot of the evaluators don't know is that since 100 percent of Madison's roads are under construction 100 percent of the time, cyclists rarely enjoy a smooth ride."

Boys and Girls, I am here to tell ya that Mr. Connolly has nailed that one! My camera was shakin so bad on the last part of the 112 miles a year ago that I thought everything from f-stops to gold fillings would end up on the street. And that is why I am back, armed with new technology in the form of camera cushions and shutter speed settings to try it again. Moo take 2. All we need is a five hour break from this nastiness on Sunday.

Also, in case you haven't yet caught the drift, I am a big believer in omens, random cosmic input and all things paranormal, so when I checked into the Super 8 (the HDV was booked) this evening and was given the card for room number 112, I knew it would bode well for Sunday.

IM Wisconsin

Off today to Madison, WI., home to the infamous IM Moo, Ironman Wisconsin. All you RCV fans will be happy to know that IMC is in the can and ready to deliver to CTHQ (Roger) for data marriage. Ah yes, the harmonious joining of 5 hours and 6 minutes of HD video to 112 miles of GPS data captured every second. That folks, is a lot of data! Roll the processional theme and stay tuned for updates from Moo.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Losing to Winning

It happens. It happens a lot. You lose. Your team gets (pick one - or as many apply):

Beaten to a pulp.
Their clock cleaned.
Their butts kicked.
Their hats handed to them.
Thoroughly embarrassed.
Sent packing.
Steam rolled.
Beat up.
Cold cocked.
Their fannies kicked.
Shown the door.
Beat like a drum.

On Saturday night in Eugene, the UW Huskies were on the receiving end of all of the above. Got spanked 44-10 by the rival Ducks. A lot of folks are calling for coach Ty Willinghams head. I think some of them would even take it on a plastic platter. It has been a long, ugly, painful and humbling eight years since we last tasted of the victory nectar. Although it seems like only yesterday that Tui was running amok in the Purdue secondary on his way to yet another Husky score. In all actuality, it was eight years ago and we have been in the tank ever since, trying to claw back out.

There are some parallels here that I have long been exploring and would like to take advantage of the timing to relate. The parallels are from losing football games to life. Please bear with me.

It is not the end of the world when you lose a football game. We are talking about 18-22 year old kids here. They are prone to mistakes. Looking back at this time in my life I think I fucked up about 9 of every 10 opportunities. The key is to LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES AND NOT REPEAT THEM. This is how you win games in both arenas.

When you get (pick one of the above), man-up and congratulate those that inflicted the lesson. After all, getting schooled today could mean graduating tomorrow. This goes for fans too, folks!

Don't look for excuses. Examine yourself. Be brutally honest and see if there is anything that you can do RIGHT NOW to improve. I'll bet there is.

Don't blame others. They might have played as badly as you, but what they don't need is one of their peers reminding them of their failures. They need support. They need a brother. They need solidarity. They need you to be a stronger you so they can be a stronger them. So be stronger, work harder, shut up and lead by example.

Don't believe everything the press says about you. It is NEVER that bad. The media is trained to seek out failure, weakness, corruption, conspiracies and defeat. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GIVE THEM ANY.

Never give up. It is a long season. Dearest Huskies, I guarantee that if you are able to learn just a few of these lessons, bounce back and beat BYU, and then go on to continue the improvements, NO ONE WILL REMEMBER THIS AWFUL TASTE OF DEFEAT WE ARE CURRENTLY TASTING.

And then losing becomes winning.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ride 542

Ride 542 is another way of saying do the Mt. Baker Hillclimb. I was fortunate to be able to shoot the course yesterday, and after spending the day with RD Charlie Heggem, I file the following report: DO THIS EVENT!

Starts in the quaint mountain hamlet of Glacier (pop 20, including dogs) and pretty straightforwardly climbs 4,000 or so feet for 24.5 miles (542 in the mirror) to the top of the Mt. Baker ski area. It is not a killer, brutal, relentless, kick-your-ass, Alps-like, Euro-climb, but more of a gently subtle, occasionally flat, scenic, challenging jaunt through the forest and up to the snow. It is a difference like Whiskey to Wine, Beatles to Stones, slush to powder. It is total cool. It is spectacular. It is epic. And it is next week (Sept. 7).

I will be in Madison, Wisconsin shooting IM Moo (again) on that day and hence the reason we shot it on a non race day. On race day next week THE ROAD IS CLOSED TO CARS. I will repeat that bolded and italicized: ON RACE DAY THE ROAD IS CLOSED TO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC. It will go for a very dramatic RCV, and Charlie and I even discussed the possibility of a Hillclimb Triple Crown, along with Mts. Washington and Lemmon. Wouldn't THAT be a sweet series?

So give this one some thought kids. If this inducement doesn't do it maybe the 4K purse will. Go here for more info. http://www.norkarecreation.com/hcindex.html