They better drop an antler again in the yard or I am taking up mule deer noodling/wrassling/shooting.
Got a new camera,it takes really good photos and videos. Blow that pizza up full screen and click the heck out of the HD button. Oooooooooo.
Should be a mild to great uptick in the photo and video quality. We also are ditching the 4 year old beat to crap extraordinarily dependable casio boulder dumbphone and going full on iphone5, so even the cell cam snap shots should improve. No go-pro helmet cam yet, but I will get there...
Pizza by Aida and Elena. Burbly cooking by me trying to get a better crust. It was pretty damn good...
Scored a ponderosa pine youth from the landscaper across the neighborhood. Ferried it home in the pouring rain and muddy trails. Planted it on the outskirts of the .18 acre homestead.
A big burl that dropped off a ponderosa and blocked a neighborhood path. Aida and I cleared the path and fastened the rest to the chariot for the burning.
Long time Moscaline readers will know I used to write about doping often, but I stopped cold after Tyler Hamilton came clean, see thank you tyler. I considered that, short of Lance coming out and admitting doping, the epilogue on a long ugly period in pro cycling. When I heard that Tyler Hamilton was writing a tell all book with Daniel Coyle, I was extremely eager to read it and boy was I not disappointed. Not a super long read, not spectacular prose, but a really solid gripping rise and fall tale. With lots of the really gritty details thrown in. It shows how unbelievably messed up every aspect of the Lance era was. Even better you can see how messed up high level pro cycling is even without the drugs. Pro tip: Get hella skinny. Nope skinnier than that. Lycra flapping on the arms skinny. Can you see your organs through your pale emaciated skin? Ok good, now you can be fast.
One of my previous favorite books of the Lance Era was Daniel Coyles book Lance Armstrong's War (LAW):
LAW is incredibly well written and a great read. As I have said in the past, there are two possible inescapable conclusions from that book:
1. They are so rigorous and scientific in their training, recovery and medical plans that there is no need to resort to doping.
2. They are so rigorous and scientific in their training, recovery and medical plans that systematic doping is the next logical step in improving performance.
With this new book by Tyler Hamilton and the same Daniel Coyle, you can pretty much any possibility of #1 being the truth. The account of doping is detailed and credible. It follows beautifully as an addendum to the training techniques laid out in LAW. It is not an especially kind portrait of Lance, but it is not especially malicious either, it just includes him in Tyler Hamilton's personal journey through deciding to and completely succumbing to doping as a means to become a top pro cyclist. No doubt it is unflattering to Lance, but he kind of has set himself up for this eventuality. Details of doping methods, evasion of testing, evasion of authorities are presented. Fascinating as a train wreck. Filled with skinny tiny cycling men riding high in the mountains.
I realize that some people are incapable of accepting that Lance doped and think Tyler Hamilton and all the other pro cyclists who have admitted to doping are liars out to get Lance. If you fall in this category you should read this book and enjoy it as a work of exposing the gritty underbelly of Hamilton's personal journey through cycling. It is an entertaining read. As Bike magazine editor Joe Parkin (and former Hamilton teammate) wrote in his review: "But erase every single sentence alleging a connection between Lance Armstrong and doping, and this book is still a must-read for aspiring bike racers and every fan of the sport." After you read it though, I would like you to come by and explain to me how Lance is innocent and/or "level playing field".
However, if you are anything like me and were once a big Lance fan, and then were only slightly happier than nonplussed when he came back after he retired, and now are 100% sick of his megalomaniac innocence claims, his weird martyr syndrome, and his triathlon career, you probably will really enjoy the parts of the book dealing with Lance. Fascinating guy, not really likable at all, but again it is an interesting extension of the portrait of Lance that was developed in LAW.
Anyhow, there was nothing that really surprised me in this book. Go back and read the list of things that moscaline doping hero Jesus Manzano said he took or was given for some background. But "The Secret Race" is comprehensive with regard to Tyler Hamilton's riding and doping history, showing how a rider viewed as the clean cut, honest, nice guy type gets into the heavy heavy shit. It also shows the ludicrous levels that cyclists went to get their dope on. This book does sweep up many cyclists in its wake, already eliciting some recent preemptive doping admissions from Jonathon Vaughters (here, and a by proxy admission of past doping for Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskei and Tom Danielson, and a call for cyclists to come clean like Tyler by great champion and admited doper Johan Museeuw. Cycling has often been an extremely dirty business. It is great sport and spectacle, but the human costs are high at the three week grand tour level. I expect we will see many more confessions coming in the wake of this book. Especially if the UCI gets off its ass and figures out an amnesty program (that they should have instituted a decade ago).
Finally, I will leave you with the most exciting thing I learned reading this book:
I knew that Christian Vande Velde's father John was a former olympian and great track racer.
I knew that he invented the Vandedrome, a portable wooden veledrome.
I learned from this book that he played one of the Cinzano bad guys in the film Breaking Away.
I bought myself the kindle version of this book last Thursday night and had it read by Saturday.
Update 9/11/12 8pm:
Hey y'alls, check out the Boulder Report's interview with coauthor Daniel Coyle. Just posted today. The boulder report is pretty much the other reason I stopped writing about doping. Joe Lindsey has been consistently excellent on doping (and pretty much everything else). I can't compete with that anymore. Big Dummy Log hauling photos from moscaline from now on. Guaranteed...
That is, from top, a kids hunting arrow, some chrome-vanadium pnuematic sockets and a Stanley slashy knife. The arrow was found last weekend up in crested butte just off a trailhead. The sockets were found Saturday morning on the way out (3) and the way back(2 more) from a mountain bike ride here in town. The knife was found at a roadside nature break somewhere between crested butte and gunnison.
This is probably road find utility knife number 7 or 8 in my life. They were all craftsmans initially, but now with the decline of sears and the ascendance of big box stores they are all stanleys. The sockets were a nice treat. They are black coated, so they were sort of hard to recognize initially, but I realized what they were and found three next to each other quickly. I did not see any others, but thought, where there are three, there is bound to be more. I found the two big ones on the way back scattered across a bit of road. I am sure there were more, but they may have fell in the gutter, or been found by others. I will check again on my way to work.
I found the arrow just off a trailhead in Crested Butte. Appeared to have been shot there, been sitting for a while, buried except for the yellow feathers at the end. ICS hunter junior edition, limit 40lbs. Can't say I am a big fan of finding arrows on or near trails.
If I told you the Boston Red Sox high A affiliate was in Salem, would you guess that that would be in Salem Virginia? Not Salem Mass? Not me, but with an evening to kill in Roanoke last week ater a meeting, I figured I could do worse than spend the night watching some baseball.
I have been watching a fair amount of Albuquerque Isotopes games since I moved to New Mexico and really enjoying the quality and price and environment at the games. I had some low expectations for a single A game, as last time I went to one (Greensboro Bats, 2004, I was treated to atrocious fielding and bad beer.
I got to the stadium a bit early, scored an $11 ticket in the front row behind home plate. Bought me a cap $26, a good beer (new Belgium Somersault, suprisingly good, on tap) $6.25, and a pulled pork sammich with fries $7.25. Ate all that, then got some peanuts $3.50, and another beer (Local Roanoke brewpub something also good) $6.25, and then spending cash depleted to zero, I settled in for some baseball.
The national anthem was sung well by a young woman, no one as far as I could tell threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the game was on.
Front row seating with the net is weird. I think I probably would not have died if the net was not there. It is a bit distracting to have the net in your field of view. I probably lost out on 3 or 4 foul balls. But I could relax and not have to be hyper aware all the time. The stadium was pretty empty, maybe 1/4 full. No one was sitting near me at all. The field was nice, with an odd 20 foot high wall around the entire outfield. They also had a mini fenway wiffleball field tucked around one of the corners of the stadium, there were a few kids in there tossing footballs.
Anyhow, it was an extremely pleasant night, warm, but not hot, full moon rising off the third base line. Reasonably well played game. No excessive errors, although slightly sloppy play in the field. Salem's starting pitcher, Keith Couch, was really good for 5 innings before he lost his stuff and gave up 5 runs in the 5th and 6th inning. The only other player of note was Salem's third basemen Michael Almanzar, seemed to be pretty slick fielding third (although he is listed as a first basemen) and hit pretty well, especially if he is a third basemen.
Amusements included bad umpire angles at fielded plays throughout the game as there were only two hard working umpires to call the game. One behind the plate, one in the infield. Players who complained about calls got tattled on by the umpire to the coach. New and unfortunate park traditions such as "cotton eyed joe" and "sweet carolina" were played out between innings. No condiment or ballpark treat race in the field. Lots of on the field contests between innings. Occasional t-shirt shooting. Game ended in a tie in the 9th, at least it did for me, as I was pooped and had an early flight the next morning. There was some walk off home run action in the 10th that I missed, but alas, I am human. Anyhow, minor league baseball gets the moscaline seal of approval.