I Removed a Joke

A good many of my friends are really smart.  I stay in tough with a great deal of them on social media. Some of them so smart they are amazing.  They’ve got all sorts of advanced degrees.  Many are scientists, engineers, and physicians.  Several have multiple degrees like a PhD combined with an MD.  You could say these folks are smart. What I can’t tell you is that they all have a functional sense of humor.

One of my wizard friends posted a link on Facebook that once clicked took the reader to a site where some other genius had published a paper about pseudoscience and Covid-19.  I read it and had a laugh to myself.

In my head I’d come up with a sarcastic remark.  I decided to reply using the remark.  Then, I thought better of it realizing that someone might take it as serious science.  So, I wrote a weakened response such that I figured everyone who might see it would recognize it was a joke.  Here’s what I posted:

“Absolutely! The scientists know that the sure fire remedy for this virus is simple: 1) Grab your Huff’n’puff radiant wand, 2) wave it above your head 3) tap the heels of you feet together while canting 4) “The Hills are Alive” “The Hills are Alive” “With the Sound of Music” I’m pretty certain I read that in ‘Science’ this week.”

A few seconds after I posted it I deleted it.  I know, without doubt, some people would find it offensive, some might give it a try, many would be puzzled, and a few would have a laugh.  I estimated the laugh group would be the smallest subset of readers.

Keeping My Mouth Shut

In archery there is a lot of standing around waiting to shoot.  During those periods folks talk about this that and the other. Some people complain about their current performance, a few brag about past glories, and others compare gear.  At one tournament where I was shooting next to a former world champion his impassioned topic was fishing.  He knew I lived on the Little River near the Albemarle Sound and wanted to hear about what I was catching.  Occasionally the topics of religion and politics flair as do passions brought on by either subject.

Most of the time I try to keep my mouth shut if religion or politics are the subject of debate.  Success is rare.  Too often I’ll chime in with some outlandish statement, disregarding my true personal view, just to see what happens.

The topics of religion and politics aren’t limited to archery ranges.  Recently, nowhere near archery, I was in earshot of a verbal examination about religion and politics.  The venue was a gym.  A group of five iron pumping middle-aged men were in a red-faced conversation when I drifted close enough to hear.

Listening, I gathered the five some lacked real scholarship.  Their dialogue held an abundance of single syllable words peppered with profanity.  Volume rather than logic was employed to settle a point. Those combinations were a warning for me to stay quiet. Temptation was great to toss in an opinion, which hopefully would offend or puzzle the entire group.

Their deliberation had rolled to Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg, two Democratic presidential wannabees (Now down by one).  All five seemed in agreement that neither candidate would be their choice. Hearing their pronouncements regarding forthcoming bread lines I saw an entry point to enflame their passions.

Before I could insert my one liner into the banter this is what I heard, “ If God had wanted America to have a Jewish President, Jesus would have been Jewish!”

I made no additions to the colloquy. I know when I’m beaten.

Getting Ready for Nothing Much in the Rain

It has been raining a lot here in north Georgia.  When it rains I’ll typically drive to Social Circle and practice on the indoor range at Ace Hardware.  If there’s no rain and the temperature is above freezing I’ll stay home and shoot on my range.

Two days ago there was a nice break, several hours, from the rain.  This saved me a drive into Social Circle. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy practicing at the Ace in Social Circle.  I enjoy visiting the folks that work at the archery pro shop at Ace. I also enjoy simply walking out back to practice.

Practice at home often includes spectators.  Two days ago they were the girls from next door.  It is fun when they come over to watch.

The practice is prep for the USA Archery National Indoor Championships.  Today I read the local (regional) awards are not being presented after the events.  Rather, everyone must wait for the finish of all sections, the results submitted to USA Archery , results verified, and USA Archery will mail awards.

Personally, I like getting a cheap medal for finishing in the top 3.  That trinket is the period on a sentence.  Waiting months to find final results is less enjoyable.  If I’d known they were going to switch this up (learned about it the day before the event) I’d have skipped the indoor nationals and would have headed to Alabama to shoot the ASA tournament being held there.

Here’s the update regarding awards:

Awards
National awards will be mailed from the USA Archery national office after final results from all locations are verified and combined. No location medals will be awarded.”

The thought of spending two days competing after a whole lot of preparation knowing the results will be months away isn’t inspirational.

To add insult to injury the update includes information regarding parking.  For the first time athletes, in my experience, who have paid to compete must pay a fee to park or take a hike.

From today’s event information (one day before the event):

Parking….
SSA has paid and unpaid options for parking. There is a $5 fee to park on site in the paved lot. There is additional free parking in the gravel lot across the street at the church. SSA also has additional free parking across McGinnis Ferry Rd. There is a trail from that lot to SSA. Do not try to cross McGinnis Ferry Rd directly. The City of Suwanee Police will ticket for jay walking! Please use the trail to cross safely!”

Honestly, I cannot recall every event where I’ve competed.  I can recall the last 140 or so events.  Those events covered triathlons, runs, cycling and archery.  They ranged from local to international.  This USA Archery event is the only one where an athlete, having paid to compete, now must pay $5.00 to park near the venue.  ($10.00 over the two days on top of the $80.00 entry fee)

For comparison, I parked downtown Athens a few nights ago.  I was parked in a parking garage.  I was there for several hours.  I’d expected to pay.  It cost me $2.00. To park and shoot at the upcoming archery tournament the cost, excluding food, gas, lodging (for some) is now $90.00.  Parking is 11.1% of that fee! Of course off site parking is free.  Families with kids shooting that might find the extra money harsh will end up the most disadvantaged.

Sure there may be other instances where athletes might need to pay to park once they arrive at the competition.  I’m saying have not experienced the requirement to pay a parking fee at over 140 events beginning in 2006 where I was a competitor.

You might not consider this a big deal.  I do, it is wrong.  The athletes are what fuel the sport.  The fees we already pay are enough.  Last year, there was no parking fee at the same venue.  This year someone decided to stick it to athletes to gain a few extra dollars.  Oh, there is free parking available – nearby.  For free parking athletes and their families are going to need to walk a way with all their gear.  I’m not opposed to a hike.  Heck, I ran for nearly an hour this morning.  It is the principle.

The trails, during this morning’s run, had plenty of spots where rain water hadn’t yet drained.

If there is a specific need for revenue ask for help.  Athletes will frequently do things outside of training or competing to support their sport.  But, grabbing a bit of last minute cash by adding a new parking fee is low.

I’m reminded of an archer that didn’t compete.  I watched him a lot and never once did he miss the X on a vertical 3-spot.  I asked if he competed.  He said, “Only local events.”  He added, “I’m not going to travel and pay to compete at a bigger ones – they’re a rip off.”

Sometimes, it is just more fun to practice in front of the girls.

Three of the girls for next door who’d dropped by to watch practice

 

Camo in the Gym

On Facebook there is a lady, among many, that is a personal coach.  Her phenotype is the stereotype of a personal coach.  In her publicity photo posted to recruit clients she is in a gym, expressing a seductive come hither poise, wearing Lycia camo tights and top.  My questions are: 1) Why does she feel it is necessary to wear camo apparel in a gymnasium and 2) if she is camouflaged is she trying to hide?

You don’t need camo in the gym.  If you are trying to hide camo in the gym is not a good choice.

Men’s Fashion Boots?

I wear boots.  They help protect my feet when I’m working on my property.  I wear them year round in pretty much all situations that require footwear.

When I was an executive I wore boots.  Those boots were exclusively Lucchese boots made in El Paso, Texas.  These were my ‘fancy’ boots and I didn’t wear them for working on property.  There are Lucchese boots I do wear for outdoor working but I reserved two pair for use with fancy clothes. (One brown and one black)

New work boots – a few weeks old in this photo (Inexpensive Durango work boots)
Here’s one example of a cap that comes damage right from the store

I also wear caps and hats.  A good cover on my head helps keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Caps and hats  keep the sun out of my eyes.  A baseball style hat will last about a year before it begins to disintegrate.  At Christmas I can count on my daughters to resupply me.

Decades ago a friend of mine visited and his hat was showing bare and torn sections on the bill of the cap.  I pointed out, “Looks like you need a new hat.”  He then replied, “I just bought this.” Wait a minute, what? I asked, “You bought a used hat?” He said, “No, it came new like this.”  All I could do was wonder.

Cap I am wearing was I write this. It didn’t come worn out like this. When I got it there was no damage. I’ll have to part with it before too much longer.

My friend had bought a hat that had been roughed up to give the appearance of having been worn during supposedly rugged conditions.  Now, I’d seen people wearing jeans that had been roughed-up or broken-in prior to purchase because somehow that had become fashionable.  But, a roughed-up hat?

I don’t buy jeans that come worn out.  I’ll ruin them on my on – I don’t need help.  I’ll also ruin caps, hats, boots, socks, shirts and all other types of apparel aside from suits and dress up jackets.  The suits and dress up jackets are reserved for weddings, funerals, and church.  As such, those last long time.  My wife has suggested those suits and jackets are “Out of style”  and I should get new dress-up apparel.

I don’t mind being out of style.  No one is going to look at me during a wedding.  If people are looking at me during a funeral it will mostly likely be because I’m the one that is dead.  At that point I won’t care about my suit. If folks are judging my suits or jackets at church then I’d rather they spent their judging moments with their noses reading over what Jesus said concerning judgment of others.

Now, you may think I am judging when it comes to others spending their money to buy worn out clothing.  You may be right – pray for me.  I admit right away I see no value in purchasing clothes that are half way to the recycle bin.

These are being sold ‘new’ in this condition
Still trying to figure these out. Wear these hunting with your buddies or during a 3D archery tournament. I dare you.

On Facebook, I was hit with an advertisement for “fashion boots.”  These are boots that look like they’re soon for the trash bin.  Let me add here I do not like Facebook.  There was a time when it allowed me to stay loosely in touch with friends.  Today, it is too hard to find what my friends are up to because of all the ads, political half-truths or down right lies filling up the FaceBook space.  But, when I saw an ad promoting the purchase of worn out boots I thought –how stupid is this?

(Oh, I periodically polish my boots so they will last longer)

Home Again and America is Calling

We’ve been on vacation.  It was fun.  I could write a lot more about how much fun we had but what’s the point.  It was our vacation not yours.  Writing about our vacation hoping others will read about it and enjoy our experience is like force telling someone about the dream you had last night.

We have some cool vacation pictures and I might share a few of them – although that remains to be seen. What I will write about is  a missed opportunity.

I don’t know what exactly was the opportunity.  I do know I missed the call.  I hate to admit it, but when America called I wasn’t home:

Not even the correct number of digits for a US phone number

Yes, I know this was a robo call.  Robo calls have led me to keeping my phone in the ‘Off’ position 90% of the time.  I wish the missed call from the United States had been notification that Congress had found a solution to end the public nuisance of robo calls.  Or just have the FCC police the robo callers using public nuisance statutes to prohibit the nuisance.

Alas, it is good to be home.

The Hot Juice, Juiced, Wasps, Roids, and Other Dope

This morning I spoke with my long time friend and former USA Cycling World Team Coach.  He’s been in involved with competitive cycling for over 55 years.  He’s never doped or had any of his athletes dope. He’s lived in a clean athletic world at a time with doping was unchecked.

Nestor and me, circa 2000

The phone call was among other things a friendly chat.  We hadn’t spoken in over a year although we stay in touch on social media. Social media is okay but a call or seeing someone face to face is much better.

Coach Gernay with the Jr. World’s Team 1976

He is a great coach and has won a number of National Cycling Championships as an athlete.  He knows how to ride a bike and to inspire other riders to excel.  There’s even a race series named in his honor, The Nestor Cup.

Gernay on the velodrome
Nestor Gernay and Eddy Merckx

The call was initiated by a question I sent to him.  I’d been looking at time trial results for a few riders in my age group.  I noticed a number of them held speeds matching individual time trial speeds of professional cyclists reported during the Tour de France.  Those data seemed very unlikely without some form of artificial support.

I wanted to know if those speeds were natural.  I didn’t suspect they were and the former coach immediately called a foul.  He added  he’s observed a lot of riders today picked up the sport in their 40s.  They missed those early youthful years of development. They wanted speed, had money, and were doping. He estimated as high as 60% of older cyclists may be doping.

I think the number is high but lower than 60%.  There’s a lot of attention being paid to doping.  Doping regardless there is still a problem with doping cycling. (1) Amateur athletes don’t seem too worried about getting caught. Many don’t need the sport to support them financially and have nothing to lose if they get caught. Furthermore, the current opinion on doping seems to lean heavily toward to older athletes. (2-4). In the past I’ve written at the rate is probably around 25% of older athletes are doping based on research I’ve read. (5)

Me on the Dick Lane Velodrome

According to my former coach, “These older guys have the money and they want to win, so they’re doping.” He added, “If it were less expensive to test riders, we’d catch more.”

Crash on a bike and archery will likely be out of the picture for awhile.

No matter, I’ll probably race bikes again.  I do miss it. It would only be in a time trial – less chance of a crash that might mess me up in archery.  Don’t even get me started about the doping in archery.  Well, I’m started….

If you’re on a beta-blocker, over 50, and don’t have a therapeutic use exemption and compete in archery you are cheating.  I doubt you’ll get caught.  You’re over 50 and no one seems to care whether or not you’re taking a beta-blocker for hypertension or other problem or if you get eat some of your buddy’s drugs before a tournament.  The sport organizations would rather have your annual dues and registrations fees than worry with sportsmanship. Heck, you can get your dope online. (6)

References:

Critters Around the House

 

I think this fox wanted to come in for a visit

At night our dogs frequently go crazy over the critters that roam around our yard.  Using a trail camera I recorded foxes and possums using our front porch as a short cut from the woods on one side of our house to the other.  The dogs always seem to know.

Keep on truckin’

Placing a camera at the side of the house it showed that possums and feral cats have created an avenue to the woods partly on our driveway. In those woods on our property there an abundance of deer, raccoons, possums, foxes and squirrels.  All of them have paused to be photographed at one time or another.  It seems odd that there have not been any armadillo digitally captured.

This cat like pissing off the dogs at night

When I downloaded the sim card out of the camera at the side of the house it revealed what has to be a really dumb move.  It was kind of funny.  Here it is:

River, the lab, and I heading out for a run
I know the planter is there. It has been there for months. You can see where the right leg is headed
Yes, I banged it hard enough to move it.

 

Okay, you’re the expert

There are fields where I am an expert.(1)  As many of you too are experts at something.  It might be that you are an expert electrician, builder, surgeon or athlete. Don’t you find it odd when someone that has never done what it is where you are an expert and that someone decides to provide advice to you at your job?

Before I go further I am removing archery from my areas of expertise. I’m good at shooting a bow and I’m a USA Level 3 NTS Coach but compared to other endeavors archery doesn’t come close to sections of my life where I remain an expert.  By expert I mean one the top in the World.

When I worked I considered myself the best in the World at what I did.  On occasions I received unsolicited awards for my work. Not a one is on display in my home. I have a friend that won a number of Academy Awards; he keeps a few on display in his basement.  The other Oscars are stored in a box. He’s certainly an expert at his job. It would never occur to me to give him advance on his work.

The Global Awards have a division for the type of work where I was involved.  Once I thought I might earn a Global.  I was a runner up.  They gave me a nice framed award for not winning.  But, I did come close with only a $10,000 budget from which to work. (2) So, I find it amazing when people feel the need to educate me with their business acumen, especially when they’ve never worked in business. I also find it amazing when some bike shop technician tries to educate me on cycling.

There’s a local bike shop I visit for parts and repairs.  They employ a bike tech that in his mind is an expert on a variety of topics from cycling to business to science.  Yesterday he tried to sale me tires I didn’t want.  I needed new tires, which is why I was in the shop.  My choice didn’t meet his opinion of what he thought I should be riding.

Benefit run post-World Championship

I explained the tires I selected from the wall display were ideal for the bike and my riding.  He offered the tires he would rather I purchase which would make me go faster.  I suggested that my legs were in fact what might make me go faster.  Further, I pointed out I ride a bike for fun and had no intention of racing in the near future if ever again.  In addition if I did race it wouldn’t be on that bike.  He couldn’t leave it alone and claimed I was ignoring science.

First, I never ignore science.  I’m a bona fide scientist and science fueled my career along with law and business. Secondly, I doubt the bike tech has ever gone as fast or as far on a bike I have in the past.(3) I wanted to puff up at the tech and explain I’ve raced for a living, raced in Europe, and placed as high as 4thin a cycling world championship.(4) Additionally, I’ve been a member of a USA Team that included cycling and raced at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. (5,6)  Yet, I said nothing.

I did get the tires I wanted and the bike tech put them on the bike while I left to purchase another blueberry tree to plant. The bike was ready when I returned with the tree sitting in my truck.  While checking me out he asked if I was following the Tour, as in Tour de France for non-cycling readers.

I told him no I wasn’t explaining I didn’t know any of the guys racing any longer and wasn’t interested. I am interested enough that I’ll purchase the DVD of the race when it is complete.  But, since I don’t know of the riders I’ll watch it later.

I didn’t add that when I raced for Trek and trained sometimes in Kennett, MO I’d share my training route with Lance Armstrong so that he could ride the route while he was visiting Sheryl Crow. Sharing that with the bike tech might have meant I’d need to hear his lecture on doping.

My old UCI International Racing License

As I left the bike shop with my newly installed tires not once did I consider racing a bicycle beyond a possible time trial. The bike tech was shaking his head as he considered the old fool leaving with non-recommended tires.

Reference:

  1. Best of 2011 Respiratory Care RT: Rode Decision Makers in Respiratory Care, October 2011, 24 – 26
  2. Finalist Award, The “Global Awards” for Marketing Communication- Quantum Launch, Oct. 1997
  3. Calvin’s Challenge 12 Hour Ultra-Marathon, Bronze Medal, Columbus, Ohio 2000
  4. WUCA World 6 Hour Road Cycling Championship, 4thPlace, Eldridge, IA, September 2003
  5. ITU World Long Distance Duathlon Championship, USA Team, Richmond, VA, October 21, 2007
  6. Ironman World Championship, Kona, Hawaii 2008

 

Some Baggy Pants

It was time to break up practice.  That meant, morning dots and the afternoon 3D.  I’ve been shooting a lot of dots. The difference between dots and 3D is like bicycle road racing compared to mountain bike racing. Or running on the streets versus trail running.  Either way it is all fun.

This new replacement coyote is more like a cocker spaniel

The break was refreshing and will gradually work into a spring training program. The old 3D targets on my range are really beginning to need replacing.  There’s this old coyote that gets shot on his hind end because the original chest area is completely split.  His days of repair are long gone.

This cinnamon bear needs a new center.

There’s a trail camera on the range.  It is on a line with this javelina. This little tayassu tajacuis set so that it can be shot out to around 45 yards.  You know that varmint will show up at all your 3D competitions in 2019 setting at your maximum distance.  Count on it.

At 41 yards, this mountain lion is a fun shot

Anyway, this camera snapped a picture or two of me as I was working back to take aim on the javelina at 75 yards (no I think it was 37 yards.)

I’d ordered some work pants off of Amazon.  They seemed fine to me.  They felt durable enough.  Naturally, they were too long so I had them hemmed.  After bringing the home I wore them the next day.  Everything seemed fine to me. Then, Brenda, my wife looked at me wearing those new work pants.

I didn’t see anything amiss.  Belt was on, no tags left on the pants, both legs matched in length, and the zipper was in proper placement.  I’d not sat in anything nasty or unknowingly ripped the seat.  What could be so funny?

Okay these pants are baggy

Brenda finally pointed out that it looked line my legs were in tubes. Whatever did that mean?

You can bet, no more wearing in public

The trail camera on the 3D range – well, now I know.  Yes, these are some dumb looking pants.  I am embarrassed to admit, I’ve worn them in public.