1. Actually ran today. Had 5 on the schedule, and did the Jamestown route that I had thought was just over 6. The Google Maps Pedometer lists it at about 5.9. Which makes sense – I did the out in 23 minutes, and the back in 25, spending 5 walking trying to get my iPod to unlock (I was able to reset it in the car on the way home). First run I’ve had in two weeks that actually felt good – not quite a runner’s high, more like a runner’s contact high. Oh, and the guy who programmed the Gmaps Pedometer is raising money for the American Cancer Society when he runs the Chicago Marathon.
2. Ma and Pa Jank show up on Thursday, and take the kids away sometime next week. Mr. and Mrs. Jank are going to decamp one summertime tourist trap and head North. Specifically up to Stowe – the missus has in her head visions of a canoe trip down a scenic river, a little bit of cycling, possibly riding the waterslide down the mountain. Me? OK, all of that sounds good to me, too.
3. Wow – wish I had the camera. I’m sitting on the porch, reveling in the beautiful weather that rolled in today, watching the flicker of the tiki torches setting up the citronella curtain keeping the ‘skeeters away (though they’ve been not bad at all this year), and – excitement, excitement – running the cleaning cycle on the oven. We run one of those pizza stones ($15, Target, just like everything else that’s cool and worth getting) for about everything. We’ve started baking cookies on it, too – the cookies turn out great. ‘Cept it appears that the oil from the butter soaks into the stone while they cook. And, just like any hydrocarbon, if you heat it up enough, it turns to gas. And, again, just like any hydrocarbon, if you mix it with the right ratio of air, and heat it high enough, it bursts into flame. How do I know this? ‘Cause, like every time we run the cleaning cycle on the oven, I just went in to wave at the smoke alarm and stop it going off. This time, however, I looked into the oven to see a blue flame dancing on the surface of the stone. Pretty cool. ‘Cept then the oven went overpressure, and a little jet of gas and flame leaped out. I made the mental note to not run the cleaning cycle with the stone in the oven again…
5. Aren’t lists great?
6. Oh, yeah – the errata part. While swapping e-mail with lowercase jeff, I realized I’d left a bunch out of the Tour wrapup. So here goes:
a) Lack of “El Grande Giro” or equivalent theme song. I’ll admit, I don’t think I can name a French composer – there’s not the same musical tradition in France as there is in Italy, but for cryin’ out loud, couldn’t they do better than the OLN guitar bumper music? It’s the Tour de France for cryin’ out loud – why try to hide the French? I did really like the ditty on the 24 Hour Fitness commercials with Lance jogging – sounded like something from the period entre les guerres, kind of like the soundtrack to the Triplettes de Belleville. Good stuff. I still hum it.
b) Rapproachment between Lance and France – Yeah, who’da thunk it? I think it kind of began last year when the Germans hassled LA during the mountain time trial. Either that, or the nation loves being conquered. Sorry. That just kind of slipped out. Really, I want to love the French.
c) How the Pro Tour is going to somewhat eclipse the position of the
Tour as the pinnacle of cycling – Yeah, Lance won le Tour. But, if you look at the big marble, the reward that’s going to go to theoretically the best rider over an entire season of cycling, he’s still trailing Danilo DiLuca, with Vinko and (my current fav) Tom “Boom Boom” Boonen not so far behind. Not to mention 4 Americans in the top 20. Which ain’t too shabby. The upshot? I think there’s going to be more folks doing what Ivan Basso did this year (and what the legends like Merckx did) and racing more than one of the Grand Tours. I’m kind of curious to see if a rider like Savodelli might try to take the Giro, then take July off in preparation for the Vuelta. Someone needs to run the math and come up with some scenario that would let Hincapie take the UCI next year…
d) Riis and CSC – Team CSC is, bar none, the best story going this year in professional cycling. First, there’s Bobby Julich and Paris-Nice, then there’s Jens Voigt doing something I’m too lazy to google right now, and there’s Ivan Basso doing the Giro/Tour combo, fighting off illness in the first week of the Giro to come back and win multiple stages in the Alps and Dolomites, and Basso hanging with Lance in the Tour, taking a uncontested second in Paris and even showing up for the final time trial. Whatever CSC is selling, I want to buy me some if this is the kind of cycling I get in return.
e) T-Mobile and Jan – best soap opera on TV – All the good stuff that you can say about CSC and pulling riders out of funks, turn it around and say it about T-Mobile. Who I will henceforth refer to as “Telekom”, ’cause that sounds more teutonic. Anyhow, it kind of all came to a head when Vinokourov won the stage to Briancon, on a break, and Ullrich and Kloden helped the Discos try to chase him down. Ullrich is a machine, but it was painful to watch him this tour. From “the pass”, Jan was racing for second place at best, and it was obvious when the camera was on him. Kloden? he coulda’ been a contender…
7. Well, that’s it for tonight. Y’all take care, now.