Archive: July 8, 2009
Today we had the feel-good story of the Tour (so far :), as Thomas Voeckler led a break which was out all day and stayed away, winning by seven seconds in front of the field after staying out for 180K in a rolling stage from Le Cap d’Agde to Perpignan. Voeckler is a popular favorite ever since he unexpectedly wore the yellow jersey for a week in 2004, a gamey attacker who never quits. It is always great when the break is able to stay out - today, because the peloton played games with itself in the wind - and also great to have a French athlete win a stage.
The six-man break formed early, at 20K, and hung in front of the peloton all day (not even by that much, max eight minutes), but as sprinter's teams including Highroad and Garmin (pictured) tried to close the gap the winds broke the peloton into echelons. Everyone was attentive because of the gap which opened in stage 3, so there was a lot of back and forth which disrupted the chase. Voeckler attacked the break at the end and stayed away. Most of the peloton probably didn't care, although it kept sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar from having a chance to compete for the win. Cavendish did win a bunch sprint for third, adding to his green-jersey-leading points total.
Tomorrow's stage should be interesting; it takes place on mostly flat roads in the East of Spain, from Girona to Barcelona, but the finish is uphill and there could be potential for attacks at the very end. Armstrong only needs a fraction of a second to take yellow away from Cancellara; who knows what could happen?
It is always great when a break succeeds; it is fun to watch the underdogs win, and it encourages everyone to be in the next break. Every rider can feel "hey, that could have been me!"
[ Tour de France 2009: all posts | index ]
Allow me to digress for a little personal philosophy. Some of you know me outside my blog, but in case you don't, I'm not usually passive :)
When confronted with an issue, my usual approach is to diagnose the problem, devise a solution, and push for implementing it immediately. As concerns are raised, I either address them or modify my solution to accommodate them, but try to keep things moving forward. This approach can be felt by others to be, er, "aggressive", and they may end up feeling resentful or like they were not fully consulted.
So I've had a "situation" and I decided to propose a solution but softpedal from there, allowing others to amplify it and help address the concerns. I hoped this would lead to a good solution with everyone feeling consulted and bought in, and all concerns addressed. I also thought letting time pass would air out concerns and help people feel more comfortable with the solution.
The result was not good. Although there was support for my proposed solution, others did not amplify it nor help address the concerns. I raised some concerns myself, both because they were legitimate and in the spirit of trying to objectively evaluate the solution, and this came across as a lack of commitment to the solution on my part. The time which passed was interpreted as a lack of resolve. I ended up looking bad and feeling worse.
So much for that. Not so much 'no more Mr. nice guy', as 'no more Mr. someone else'. I have decided to be myself. Back to direct mode. Maybe it won't work, but at least it will feel right. Stay tuned - fXf!
Yesterday started great and ended in a funk. Today started in a funk, descended into serious badness, but got better at the end. Whew.
Did you mark the moment? Today we reached 12:34:56 on 7/8/9. Tell your grandkids :)
Not surprisingly, Venture Capital fund raising plunges in first half. It is a trailing indicator of the availability of exists, the IPO market and the M&A market. Those will have to improve first, and the funds will follow.
Quite an amazing picture: a bottom view of the Alinghimaran, as it is helicoptered into the water.
A rather optimistic take: how nanopayments finally came of age. The idea being that social networks like Facebook somehow provide an infrastructure for micropayments that didn't exist before. The fundamental problem is that authentication, fraud, settlement friction, etc. impose a certain cost on each transaction, and that is more than the value of a typical micropayment.
More nano: I like this: Feynman's Path to nanotech, from the Foresight Institute. His 1959 talk, "plenty of room at the bottom", remains seminal in the field. What an amazing, influential guy.
File this under 'unclear on the concept': printed blog publication fails. It might have worked on the Kindle :)
Related: Chris Anderson's FREE is Free - online.
Weird/good information: rear lights, flashing or solid? I always have a flashing taillight on my bike, on the theory that it makes me more visible. But perhaps (according to this article) being more visible is not a good thing; apparently it can attract drunk drivers to you. Wow.
ZooBorn of the day: A baby Serow. Yes of course there's such a thing as a Serow, and here's what they look like :)
Return to the archive.
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
where are the desktop apps?