Critical Section

Archive: July 2010

<<< June 2010

Home

August 2010 >>>


sports fanatic

Thursday,  07/01/10  10:23 PM

I am in a great mood tonight!  After a good day in which I accomplished quite a lot, and for the first time in a long time I did my Kessel Run - a stiff 40 mile ride from Dana Point harbor down to Camp Pendleton and back.  Afterward I drove up PCH through Laguna Beach, it was the nicest evening imaginable, people roaming the art galleries, wine glasses in hand, ... was strongly tempted to join them :)

Arjen Robben leads the Dutch against BrazilAnd so now I go into ... ta da ... SPORTS FAN mode!  First up tomorrow morning we have the big World Cup match between the Netherlands and Brazil - Go Oranje!  I plan to get up early and watch pseudo-live, because I have too many friends and colleagues who will give me the score; I must stay away from my computer and phone. 

And then Saturday is the Prologue of the Tour de France!  The next three weeks are the high point of cycling fanship.  Go Lance Go Levi Go Radio Shack!  Stay tuned for my witty and insightful commentary...

And Sunday I am sailing, participating in the Westlake Yacht Club's annual 'Round the Island race.  You may remember that Westlake Island features a *low* bridge - too low for any sailboat to pass under - so capsizing and swimming your boat underneath are part of the competition.  An excellent way to celebrate the Fourth!

Quick update on my addiction: today I ate *zero* M&Ms, despite stopping for a Coke on my way home.  It was really hard but I am oh-so-proud of myself for resisting :)

blooming Agave!The source of Vitamin T: great blooming Agave!  Did you know they only bloom once in their lives?  A beautiful picture of a wonderful plant :)

Tesla roadster v2.5So Tesla successfully went public, and released v2.5 of their roadster, in a fetching black and red.  Excellent.

Wired explains how multitasking works on iPhone, Android, and WebOs.  Interesting that on the iPhone apps in the background do not keep running.  So it is more like a fast save-and-restore than true multitasking.

Scott "Dilbert" Adams considers self-programming, in a rather interesting think piece.  "If you look at a stack of weights in a gym, do you see heavy objects that would be unpleasant to lift, or an interface for reprogramming your own mood?"

An important article published in the American Journal of Pathology: Red wine may protect vision.  See!  I knew there was a reason I love it...  "Resveratrol is one of the active, non-alcoholic ingredients in red wine.  It comes from the pulp of grapes used to make wine and has some of the highest levels of antioxidants found in nature.  Among its believed health benefits are increasing heart health, fighting cancer and delaying the aging process."

This is a great idea (and really cool): Facebook's new photo tagging feature selects friends for you.  I have a friend who's camera does this; don't know how sophisticated the algorithm has to be (select skin colored pixels in an oval shape?) but it's a great idea.  Will encourage more photo uploading and tagging which seems to be one of the main drivers for Facebook traffic.  Also as has been pointed out, when you get a notice that you've been tagged in a photo, 100% of the time, you will click through...

Steve Jobs with an AppleTVWe'll see about this: Apple hopes to reenter the living room.  We love our AppleTV but I must admit I don't know anyone else who even has one; it has not taken off like some other Apple products.  The combination of price and ease of use and compelling features just isn't there...  (for me it was much cheaper to buy an AppleTV than to keep paying Blockbuster late charges!)

Well I'm off...  fXf for the big game tomorrow morning, see you tomorrow afternoon!

 

Ned 2 Bra 1, WOO HOO!

Friday,  07/02/10  05:28 PM

I have resisted posting about this all day for those of you who have Tivos, but I cannot hold it any longer:

Ned 2 Bra 1, WOO HOO!

It was a great game (says this non-soccer-fan) in which Brazil clearly won the first half.  But then the Dutch rallied, scored to tie on massive strike by Wesley Snyder [shown above!] and a blunder (missed punch) by the Brazilian goalkeeper, and right after scored again on a nice cross + flick + header combination.  From there Brazil seemed disorganized and dispirited, and it was all over.  Now we go on to play the winner of Ghana - Uruguay (Update: Uruguay), a match we should win, and then into the final!  Against Germany or Argentina, I'm thinking... wow, how fun is that?  Go Oranje!

 


Tour de France 2010

Following are all my Tour de France 2010 posts, in ascending chronological order...
(of possible interest, all my Tour de France 2009 posts...)

TDF prologue / Dutch treat! - Cancellara wins, Lance beats Alberto

Saturday,  07/03/10  12:06 PM

Greetings all!  As I did last year, I'm going to make separate posts each day for the Tour de France...  that way you can read them after you've watched the stage on your Tivo (!), or ignore them entirely if you are so inclined.  These posts contain my commentary; for complete reports I suggest the Tour de France website and Velonews and CyclingNews.

Rotterdam start - Paris is still a long way off...The Tour got off to a great start today with a prologue in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, a country already buzzing with sport after the Oranje defeated Brazil in the World Cup yesterday.  The 9km ITT was flat as a pancake, with the two "climbs" corresponding to two bridges over Rotterdam harbor.  The intrigue of the day was whither the weather; some competitors opted to start earlier in their team's allotted slots, betting that the forecast rain would come later in the day, but in the event the rain came early, favoring the favorites as the roads dried out toward the end.

Fabian Cancellara blisters the prologueTo nobody's surprise Fabian Cancellara blistered the course to wear the first yellow jersey.  Tony Martin finished second, and David Millar third, but the news of the day was Lance Armstrong finishing a strong fourth, just 2s behind Millar at +22, besting Alberto Contador who finished sixth, 5s behind Lance at +27.  Early days yet but crucial to the psychology as Lance will be delighted to find himself ahead of Alberto.  Others putting in good rides included Levi Leipheimer (8s behind Millar at +28), Michael Rogers (+35s), and Andreas Kloden (+36).  Meanwhile Cadel Evans is probably disappointed with his ride (+39) as is George Hincapie (+54), and Ivan Basso cannot be happy with his (+55) nor can Frank Schleck (+57) or his brother Andy Schleck (+69).  And Denis Menchov (go Rabobank!) had a crummy start with +56.

Tomorrow is a stage for the sprinters - the GC guys will just try to avoid crashing - stay tuned as we find out if Mark Cavendish is going to dominate the flats again!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 1 / flat / crashes mar finish as Petacchi wins sprint

Sunday,  07/04/10  10:40 AM

Alessandro Petacchi out-sprints the survivorsToday's stage 1 from Rotterdam to Brussels was 220km of parade followed by 220m of sprint, except that three crashes toward the end winnowed the field; Mark Cavendish, Tyler Farrar, and Oscar Freire were eliminated from the final sprint, among many others, and Alessandro Petacchi out-sprinted the survivors to win.  (Yeah, remember him?  Virtually no one considered him a threat, yet he was one of the best sprinters in the world just a few years ago... looks like he still is!)

the final sprint was amazing - with a huge crash that blocked the road...Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt - although scrapes and bruises now can take a toll three weeks later - and everyone in the field received the same time.

Onward to stage 2 - a classic ride through the Ardennes forest - could be a chance for a breakaway as there are a number of climbs toward the end...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 2 / rollers / crashes on slippery descent cause peloton to stop racing; Chavanel escapes to victory

Monday,  07/05/10  10:23 PM

Sylvain Chavanel escapes to a solo victory!Well today was as weird a day in the Tour de France as you could ever hope to see.  Rain exacerbated by gasoline from a crashed motorcycle resulted in a slippery descent on the backside of the penultimate climb, and caused a large number of crashes...  the peloton called an informal halt to racing, and finished as a pack.  Meanwhile Sylvain Chavanel escaped in the early break and stayed out all day, getting the victory as well as three minutes on the entire field, putting him in yellow and green!

Fabian Cancellara and Lance Armstrong lead the parade as the peloton shuts down racing for the dayFabian Cancellara was in yellow and was driving the peloton toward Chavanel when he heard that his teammates Andy and Frank Schleck had crashed hard.  He throttled back and convinced the rest of the peloton to do likewise, enabling most of the crashees to rejoin, whereupon it crossed the finish en mas at a leisurely pace.

My own view is that while Cancellara did the right thing for his teammates, the peloton was under no obligation to stop; rain, slippery roads, crashes, and so on are part of bike racing, and it is what it is.  I'm honestly surprised some of the sprinters didn't race it out for second.  I've read that the officials have neuralized all the points for the peloton after Chavanel, which makes sense given the way they didn't race, but if ten guys had sprinted for the finish, surely they would have been awarded points also?  How very weird.

Tomorrow we have the infamous stage 3 over cobblestones; doubtless there will be those who fall, and those who have mechanicals, and so on; let's hope the peloton race it out!

[Update: the various reactions from riders are interesting; I am a little more sympathetic now to the peloton's actions...]

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 3 / cobblestones! / Hushovd siezes the day, takes green, Cancellera back in yellow

Tuesday,  07/06/10  11:03 PM

Thor Hushovd conquers the cobbles to take stage 3Today was the big day - cobblestones!  And while some riders did in fact wipe out - Franck Schleck broke his collarbone and had to withdraw - overall it was a good racing day.  Thor Hushovd exorcized the frustration of not being able to sprint yesterday (after the peloton decided to go easy) by blasting out front to take the stage and the green jersey, and Sylvain Chavanel suffered several untimely mechanicals and relinquished the yellow jersey back to Fabian Cancellara.

The real battle among the GC contenders was pretty interesting; Cadel Evans had a great day, and now leads among those considered capable of winning the GC, and Alberto Contador had a good day too, not only surviving but picking up time on Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso.  Cancellara paced Andy Schleck to a strong finish, and Alexander Vinokourov had a strong day, leading out Contador and ending up high up on GC himself.  Wow!

Tomorrow we all relax and have a "normal" field sprint.  I bet the peloton takes it easy, there are a lot of tired and bruised riders after the first four days...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 4 / sprint / Petacchi wins another, reclaims green

Wednesday,  07/07/10  09:27 PM

Alessandro Petacchi out-sprints the field to claim another TDF stageA quiet day in the Tour de France; 200km of parade followed by 200m of sprinting!  To the surprise of many Mark Cavendish did not win, in fact he didn't even place in the top ten, instead Alessandro Petacchi won another sprint, this time without the benefit of any crashes eliminating his competition.  The usual suspects fought it out, including Thor Hushovd who seems to be Petacchi's main competitor for the green jersey.  Meanwhile it was all quiet on the GC front as the peloton took the opportunity to relax and heal.

Tomorrow is another field sprint - it will be interesting to see if Cavendish becomes a factor.

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 5 / sprint / Cavendish [finally] wins one!  Jerseys unchanged...

Thursday,  07/08/10  11:34 PM

Mark Cavendish [finally] wins a sprint, taking stage 5To everyone's relief, especially his, Mark Cavendish finally opened his account in the 2010 Tour with a convincing sprint win, besting rivals Thor Hushovd, Alessandro Petacchi, Robbie McEwen, and Tyler Farrar.  It was noticeable that HTC waited longer to get their "train" rolling today, and Mark Renshaw had the perfect lead-out setting up the win.

Is Mark back?  Will the confidence from this win carry him to others, or will his rivals come back and best him while fighting over the green jersey?  Tomorrow will tell, as we have another flat stage...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 6 / sprint / Cavendish notches another, Cancellara, Hushovd keep jerseys

Friday,  07/09/10  10:40 PM

(blogged from a Marie Calendar's in Merced, driving to Bear Valley for the Death Ride)

Mark Cavendish powers to another sprint win in TDF10 stage 6I watched today's TDF stage while driving (!!, Tivo to Slingbox to laptop*), and it was a pretty boring one; again we had a long flat stage, and again a bunch sprint, and again a great leadout from Mark Renshaw took Mark Cavendish to a sprint win.  Good for Cav, he's back on form, and it makes the green jersey competition interesting with Thor Hushovd keeping the lead and Alessandro Petacchi also in the hunt.  We'll see how many of the sprinters stay in with the tour as we move into the Alps tomorrow...

TDF10 stage 6 - the beauty of France in summer on display, as always...Speaking of tomorrow, I won't be able to watch as I will be otherwise occupied, but it should setup nicely for a breakaway win, with just enough climbing to effect a selection, but not enough to tempt the GC men to try anything, especially with a really serious mountain stage on offer Sunday.  Cheers and see you Sunday!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

* BTW I must tell you, I have an HD Slingbox attached to my HD Tivo, and the picture on my laptop is pretty amazing, even transmitted through a Sprint cell modem while driving.  This technology is awesome :)


TDF stage 7 / transitional climb / Chavanel wins, takes back yellow! GC unchanged...

Saturday,  07/10/10  11:45 PM

(blogged from a Carl's Jr. in Bishop, driving home from the Death Ride :)

TDF 10 stage 7 profileJust finished watching today's TDF stage while driving back from the Death Ride; it was pretty entertaining, wasn't it?  There was just enough climbing to make things interesting and provide opportunities, but the climbs weren't steep enough (or long enough) to provide the GC men with opportunities to gain time.  Jerome Pinot used the stage as a chance to escape and take points for the polka-dot climbers jersey - chapeau to him, nicely done - and Sylvain Chavanel attacked on the final climb and took time on everyone to win and get the yellow jersey back - chapeau to him, very nicely done. 

Sylvain Chavanel attacks and wins stage 7, to reclaim the yellow jerseyAfter that weird stage 2 where Chavanel won from the early break while the rest of the peloton stopped racing, we all thought he would have the yellow jersey all week.  But then he had tons of bike trouble in stage 3 over the cobblestones, and so he lost it the next day.  But now he has it back, for one more day at least.

Tomorrow morning the Tour really starts; stage 8 is serious alpine climbing, with two big category 1 climbs at the end including a mountaintop finish, and we should see a significant selection among the GC men.  Will Lance be able to do it?  Will Contador stamp his authority on the peloton?  Will Andy Schleck gain back time?  What about Evans?  And Menchov?  And Wiggins?  And...  Can't wait!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 8 / mountains / Lance crashes and cracks, Schleck attacks for win

Sunday,  07/11/10  07:07 PM

Lance Armstrong crashed three times and then cracked, losing 12 min on GC and blowing his chances to winLance Armstrong has seen many great days in the Tour de France, but now he's seen a horrible one too, as he crashed three times, bonked, and lost over 12 minutes on GC today.  He's out of the running now, and I'm sad.  Even though it was improbable that he could win again the stacked field this year, the drama of having him in there duking it out was excellent.

Andy Schleck attacks on the final climb to claim stage 8 of the 2010 TDFMeanwhile the first real mountains of the 2010 Tour provided the second real selection (the first was on the cobblestones in stage 3).  The final 30 miles featured two Cat 1 climbs separated by a Cat 3, and the peloton was driven by Astana to shed everyone who wasn't a serious contender (including Sylvain Chavanel, who did his best in yellow to hang in there).  Finally there was just a few elite men left, and bam Robert Gesink attacked!  Contador marked him, probably using up his reserves, because later when Samual Sanchez attacked only Andy Schleck could go with him.  The result was a win for Schleck which left Cadel Evans in yellow.  (As he noted, it's a special day when you can swap the rainbow jersey [emblematic of the world champion] for the Tour's yellow.)  Other contenders still in the mix included Schleck (0:20), Contador (1:01), Denis Menchov (1:10, a great place for him), and Levi Leipheimer (2:14, now the Radio Shack leader, one would think).

And so tomorrow is a rest day - and a digestion day, as everyone lets today's results sink in - and then we have more serious climbing on Tuesday...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 9 / mountains / Casar wins as Contador and Schleck pull time on GC

Tuesday,  07/13/10  10:48 AM

TDF10 stage 9 profileToday was an amazing stage in the Tour de France, on a day which you might have thought ho hum, despite a lot of big Alpine climbs...  An early break which you might have thought would succeed built a huge lead, but then on the final climb, the HC Col de la Madeleine, Saxo Bank cranked up the energy, cracking Cadel Evans among others, and then Andy Schleck attacked the elite group containing the remaining GC contenders.  Alberto Contador grabbed his wheel - the only one who could do so - and the two strong men of this year's tour took off, pulling time on everyone and nearly catching the breakaway.   The carnage on that climb was amazing, the peloton was spread all over the hill.  It was a great race on a day when nothing amazing was expected...

Sandy Casar survived from the break to win stage 9Sandy Casar survived to win the stage and Schleck took over the yellow jersey, by 41s.  It is now evident that either Schleck or Contador are going to win, and there is a four-way battle for third between Samuel Sanchez, Denis Menchov (go Rabobank!), Jurgen Van Den Broek, and Levi Leipheimer (go Shack!).

Tomorrow seems to be one of those transitional stages with enough climbing to prevent a field sprint but not enough to have a GC shootout; could be a "breakaway" stage.  But nothing has been normal in this year's Tour, so stay tuned!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 10 / transitional / Paulinho wins from break! GC unchanged

Wednesday,  07/14/10  10:51 PM

Sergio Paulinho attacks from a long break to win stage 10TDF stage 10 profileToday's TDF stage was forecast to be good for a breakaway, and it was, as Sergio Paulinho outlasted a long break to give Radio Shack something to cheer about.  Behind him the peloton took a much needed rest, as both the GC men and the sprinters hung back to wait for another day.  It was Bastille Day so you might have expected French riders to push for victory, but in the end it was Portugal (Paulinho) against Russia (Vasil Kiryienka).

Tomorrow looks like a stock sprint stage - long flat ride with only a few bumps - as the battle shifts from the yellow jersey to the green...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 11 / sprint / Cavendish wins another in a wild and woolly sprint

Thursday,  07/15/10  11:14 PM

Cavendish outsprints the field - again - to take stage 11 convincinglyTDF stage 11 profile - field sprint!(Yawn)  185km of riding, an early break, swept up, and then 500m of furious sprinting, resulting in another Cavendish victory.  The sprint itself was kind of interesting, with Cavendish's HTC teammates mixing it up with Tyler Farrar's Garmin team and Alessandro Petacchi's Lampre boys; in the end HTC's #1 leadout rider Mark Renshaw was disqualified for unsportsmanlike riding.  The replays seemed to indicate it was a fair decision, as he head-butted one rider and nearly drove another into the barriers.  When the dust had settled Petacchi gained enough points to tie Thor Hushovd overall, taking the green jersey by virtue of his two stage wins.  It is certainly an interesting competition among the sprinters.

Tomorrow is a rather interesting stage; some Cat 2 climbs and a lot of rollers, with a really steep short climb up to the finish.  It seems like a day for a break, with some climbers fighting it out to the finish, but there could be a battle between the GC contenders at the front of the main field, too.  We'll see!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 12 / rollers with a kick / Rodriquez wins, Contador takes 2nd, 10s from Schleck; Vinokourov 3rd

Friday,  07/16/10  06:05 PM

TDF10 stage 12 profileToday's stage really lived up to its potential.  A huge 18-man break escaped early, with GC contenders Ryder Hesjedal, Alexander Vinokourov, and Andreas Kloden included.  That ensured a long hard day for the peloton as Saxo Bank and Lampre tried to keep the break within reach.  All were aware of the sharp steep finishing climb waiting at the end.

TDF stage 12 - massive crowds line the final climb to the finishPredictably the break itself was attacked, with Hesjedal, Vino, Kloden, and Vasil Kiryienka escaping off the front, putting even more pressure on the peloton.  On the brutal final climb Hesjedal was cracked almost immediately, followed by Kloden, and Vino battled Kiryienka halfway up the climb before shedding him, seemingly on his way to a stage win.  Meanwhile the peloton surged up the climb and exploded, spitting out also rans to the back as a back of serious contenders formed in front, grinding up the remnants of the break in the process.  And then - Joaquin Rodriguez attacked! and Alberto Contador went with him! and Andy Schleck was left to try to answer.  Contador and Rodriquez flew up the hill, passing everyone including Vino at the very end, and Rodriquez out-kicked Contador for the victory.  Schleck recovered and gained some time back, eventually limiting his losses to 10s, but it was a moral victory for Contador.  The other GC contenders were close but there were a few time gaps, and Levi Leipheimer in particular lost a little in the battle for third place.  It was a great race and man was that a nasty climb at the end.  Whew!

Oh, and another cool thing?  Thor Hushovd made that 18-man break and took sprint points all along the route to regain the green jersey; the wily veteran always seems to do this once or twice a tour.  It was beautiful to see him driving the break up those mountain stages.  After the last sprint he threw out the anchor; job done for the day.

And so tomorrow we have - more fireworks?  We'll see.  On paper it looks like a lot of rollers but without enough bite to let a break stay away, so maybe it will end in a sprint.  But on the other hand this has been a wild tour and you never know...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 13 / rollers / Vinokourov denies sprinters by attacking to win, GC unchanged, Petacchi back in Green

Saturday,  07/17/10  06:49 PM

TDF10 stage 13 profileVino turns on the gas at the end and attacks to win stage 13, ahead of a hard-charging pelotonOn a day which would seem to belong to the sprinters, a transitional stage with few climbs and lots of rollers, Alexander Vinokourov attacked at the end and won, following his near-miss yesterday.  I think we were all pulling for him, it was a great victory; he had to burn some serious watts to hold off the charging peloton at the end.  Mark Cavendish won the field sprint for 2nd, and Alexander Petacchi finished 3rd, putting enough points on Thor Hushovd to reclaim the green jersey.  The overall GC was unchanged as the climbers rested up for tomorrow's serious tour of the Pyrenees.

Speaking of tomorrow; near the end we have the HC Port de Pailhères to soften up the field followed immediately by a mountaintop finish on the Cat 1 Ax-3 Domaines.  A real mountain stage and we should see some interesting racing!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 14 / climb! / Riblon wins from break, Menchov and Sanchez 2nd and 3rd

Sunday,  07/18/10  10:42 PM

TDF stage 14 profileWow, what a shootout!  A *great* mountain stage today, featuring the world's nastiest HC Port Port de Pailhères, 10 miles of climbing at 8%, followed by a steep descent and then the Cat 1 Ax-3 Domaines to a mountaintop finish, 6 more miles of 8%.  Wow.

Christophe Riblon led a break all the way up the mountains, suriving to win stage 14Chapeau to Christophe Riblon who survived all the way from the early break, which had about 5 minutes at the base of the Pailheres.  From there steady pressure by Astana splintered the peloton, with various amazing attacks - Carlos Sastre took off, among others - and there were only GC contenders left by the top of the climb.  The descent was uneventful, and on the final climb Contador and Schleck marked each other, leaving Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez free to take off and engage in their battle for third.  Jurgen Van Den Broek lost a little time - he's still in fifth, but barely - and Levi Leipheimer lost a little more time, sinking to seventh, his chances at the third podium spot diminished.  All in all it was an exciting bike race, and we can only look forward to three more stages in the Pyrenees.

Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador marked each other all dayTomorrow we have more climbing including the HC Port de Bales, but there's a considerable descent from the last climb to the finish, so it could be interesting.  Seems like Contador is content to hang with Schleck, feeling that he has an advantage in the final time trial, and Schleck is content to hang with Contador, with the yellow jersey on his back.  Either might attack tomorrow however; it has been a great, unpredictable tour so far, and there is much riding left.

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 15 / climb! / Voeckler wins from break, Contador attacks, takes yellow after Schleck's mechanical

Monday,  07/19/10  07:59 PM

TDF stage 15 profileOh what a day of racing we had today, and it will set up some intense racing in the days ahead! 

Thomas Voeckler wins from the break!As you can see from the profile, we had a long day in the mountains with the massive HC Port du Bales 20km from the finish.  An early break of ten riders took an eight minute lead to the base of the climb, and then immediately exploded.  Crowd favorite Thomas Voeckler rode strong, preserved two minutes of the gap to the summit, and soloed down the back for a well-deserved stage win.

Andy Schleck attacked the GC contenders on the final climb, but an untimely mechanical put Albert Contador in yellowMeanwhile behind him the real fireworks were exploding, as Team Saxobank ground the peloton down into just the GC leaders.  With 5km to go Andy Schleck attacked! and had pulled a gap when suddenly his chain came off.  (Replays were inconclusive as to why, but it looked like maybe the retractor on his back derailleur caught the chain.)  Immediately after Alberto Contador attacked himself, taking Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez with him.  After futzing with his chain for about 30s Schleck remounted and chased, getting back to within 20s at the top.  The descent was amazing, with Contador, Menchov, and Sanchez all taking turns pulling to open a gap, and Schleck and Jorgen van den Broek working to close it.  The result was a 49s gap at the finish, putting Contador into yellow for the first time this tour, by 8s.

There will be a lot of controversy over whether Contador should have stopped and waited - Team Cervelo owner Tweeted "Contador just gained a great chance to win, but he lost the chance to win greatly".  My initial reaction was that it was bad luck, and that's racing, but on further review I think Contador might have waited just a beat or two to see what had happened.  Menchov and Samuel probably would have waited, too.  Still in the heat of the moment you have to react, and Alberto reacted like he always reacts to anything - by attacking.

Alberto Contador apologizes for attacking Andy Schleck after the mechanical[Update: I see where Alberto has posted a YouTube apology to Schleck!  "Today I managed to get on the podium, which makes me happy. The problem was the circumstances."  Wow.]

It all sets up a great battle in the queen stage tomorrow, with two Cat 1s followed by two HCs over 200km.  By all means stay tuned!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 16 / climb / Lance attacks and almost wins! Fedrigo prevails; Hushovd back in green

Tuesday,  07/20/10  09:50 PM

TDF stage 16 profileWow, Lance *almost* pulled it off, and I think everyone was pulling for him to do it.  He almost won from a nine-man break, almost putting a great punctuation mark on his fabulous Tour de France career.  At least he gave it a shot!

Lance Armstrong led the break all day - and *almost* prevailed...Today we had the "queen stage", a huge climbing day with two Cat 1 climbs and two HC climbs... and [unfortunately] a rather long flat run after the final climb down to the finish.  It was tailor made for a breakaway, and indeed there was one, and among the twelve riders in it was #21, Lance Armstrong himself.  Also in it was Ryder Hesjedal, ensuring the peloton wasn't going to give the break too much leash.  After a while they were joined by Alexander Vinokourov, Carlos Sastre, Sandy Casar, and Anthony Charteau, the current KOM leader.  That was the status after the second Cat 1 Col d'Aspin.  Soon Casar attacked, and soon after so did Lance!  The peloton absorbed the break as other riders attacked off the front, even as Lance passed Casar on the lower slopes of the HC Col d'Tourmalet.  For a while he was all by himself, and we all wondered whether he'd be able to hang out there all day, with two HC passes ahead of him...

... but Pierrick Fedrigo outsprinted his fellow break-mates to win the stageBut it was not to be.  A nine-man break formed, with no GC contenders, and they made it all the way to the finish, but Pierrick Fedrigo out sprinted the rest of the break, leaving Lance to finish sixth.  I was a little sad but it was fun watching it all unfold however :)  Also great on this day: Thor Hushovd does what he always does, race his bike in the mountains as well as the flats, and as a result he took enough sprint points to reclaim the green jersey from Alessandro Petacchi.  We'll see if he can keep it, but it is cool that he can compete for the green jersey without actually being one of the top sprinters.

Tomorrow is a rest day - much needed, you can be sure - and the day after we'll have fireworks for sure as it will be Andy Schleck against Alberto Contador mano-a-mano on the hilltop finish to the Tourmalet, which they'll climb from the other side to the way they took it today.  Will be amazing!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 17 / climb! / battle royale on the Tourmalet ends in draw; Schleck wins but Contador keeps yellow

Thursday,  07/22/10  10:11 PM

TDF stage 17 profileToday featured the ultimate mountain battle - three amazing climbs culminating in a mountaintop finish on the HC Col du Tourmalet - and Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador fought to a draw, with Schleck winning the stage (by about a wheel) and Contador keeping the yellow jersey.

Andy Schleck attacks, Alberto Contador follows...After the usual break took off - doomed, as everyone knew, because the GC contenders would fight it out on the final climb - the peloton settled in and cruised over the first couple of Cat 1 climbs, descended into the valley, and then the hostilities began.  Schleck's Saxobank team put down the hammer, and ground down the peloton to a small group of elite riders.  At that point Schleck attacked, and only Contador could stay with him.  They rode as hard as two guys can ride all the way up the steep climb, each attacking the other, and neither gave an inch.  In the end Schleck won, but you could see Contador could have sprinted for the line, but choose not to...  he kept his yellow jersey (by 8s), and most observers believe he'll open the gap substantially in Saturday's time trial.  It was great to watch.

... and they tie at the top, with Schleck barely winning the stage, and Contador keeping his yellow jerseyMeanwhile Sammy Sanchez survived a nasty crash early in the day to recover and keep third position, opening his slim lead over Denis Menchov slightly.  Big winners on the day included Chris Horner and Ryder Hesjedal, losers included Levi Leipheimer and team Casse d'Epargne, who lost ground to Radio Shack in the team competition.  (Lance hung tough on that final climb, as did Andreas Kloden, giving the Shack a good top three for the day.)

A cool side note: after the break formed Carlos Sastre attacked, and he stayed out most of the day until he was caught midway up the final climb.  Good for him; it didn't work, but it was great to see him try it.

And so ... tomorrow we have a pure sprint stage, and then it is Saturday's time trial which will decide the winner.  The green jersey also lies in the balance with points available tomorrow and Sunday.  And chapeau to Anthony Charteau who has won the polka dot jersey as King of the Mountains...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 18 / sprint / Cavendish wins another, Petacchi reclaims green

Friday,  07/23/10  06:46 PM

TDF stage 18 profileCavendishg wins the stage 18 sprint over Julian Dean and Alessandro Petacchi, leaving Thor Hushovd in th dust...Check out that stage profile, yep, what we have here is a bunch sprint.  After the day-long parade with a breakaway dangling out front, it was a hectic and tumultuous sprint; for a brief while Thor Hushovd looked to have the leadout and the edge, but then Alessandro Petacchi blew by, and Mark Cavendish blew by Petacchi, and after the dust settled Cavendish had won another stage and Petacchi was back in the green jersey, most likely for good.  Despite Hushovd's great work in the non-sprint stages he just doesn't have it in the sprints - probably still recovering from that broken collarbone earlier in the season...

Tomorrow we have the most excellent time trial through the vineyards of Bordeaux - and the yellow jersey and team competitions will be decided.  Stay tuned...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 19 / time trial / Cancellara rips course, Contador survives Schleck, Menchov takes over third

Saturday,  07/24/10  05:57 PM

Fabian Cancellara dominates ITT in TDF stage 19Today was the traditional "penultimate day time trial", and the flat course through the Bordeaux wine vineyards provided plenty of drama.  The competitors ride in reverse order of their standing on GC, so Fabian Cancellara went early, smashed the course before the wind came up, and then spent all day watching other riders try unsuccessfully to beat his time.  Tony Martin was second (another early rider).

Denis Menchov had a great ride to finish tops among the GC contenders and take over third placeLater in the day the GC contenders fought it out; Denis Menchov had a great ride in the increasing wind to take over third from Samuel Sanchez.  And Andy Schleck went out fast - wow! - nearly was the leader on the road, but ultimately Alberto Contador prevailed and ended up consolidating his lead in the yellow jersey.  The Radio Shack boys didn't fare too well - Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, and Chris Horner, but they still added to their team's overall lead and will end up on the podium tomorrow.

Tomorrow we'll have the usual parade to Paris and bunch sprint, with the extra drama that the green jersey is still up for grabs; Alessandro Petacchi has it now, but Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish both have a shot at it.  One more day!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


TDF stage 20 / parade + sprint / Cavendish unstoppable again, Contador crowned, Petacchi keeps green

Sunday,  07/25/10  07:27 PM

Team Astana lead victorious Alberto Contador into ParisThe final stage of the 2010 Tour de France was a parade, as usual, followed by a bunch sprint, as usual, which Mark Cavendish won going away - as usual!  Man he is just so much faster than everyone else, it is scary.  Thor Hushovd got a great leadout and the camera was following him from the side as he cranked up his sprint, and suddenly Cavendish entered the frame from behind him and blew through, a yellow flash.  Wow!  Alessandro Petacchi finished a distant second to claim the green jersey; congratulations to him...

Team Radio Shack show off their spiffy "28" jerseys while being presented as the top team in the 2010 TourThe main excitement of the day occured before the start; Team Radio Shack unveiled their cool new "28" jerseys, all black (memo to self: get one!) only to be informed that they would be disqualified if they didn't switch back.  Boo.  So we were treated to the sight of nine riders sitting by the side of the road, pinning their numbers onto new jerseys, while the peloton soft pedaled through the neutral zone.  Pretty funny.  Later the team showed off their new jerseys while being presented as the top team in the 2010 Tour (pic at right).  It is fitting that Lance Armstrong's team won, in his final Tour; he has always been about the team, and he came back to cycling to promote Livestrong, his "team" to fight cancer.  Chapeau, Lance!

Tour de France 2010 podium: Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador, Denis MenchovThe final podium featured Alberto Contador winning his third tour, Andy Schleck with his second consecutive second, and Denis Menchov, who has won the Vuelta twice and the Giro, and has now been on the podium of the Tour.

It was a great Tour - the best really since I began paying attention, in terms of the competition and the route and all the side stories - and I'm sad it is over.  More perspective in a future post, but au reviour Le Tour for now.

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


reliving an amazingly great Tour de France!

Monday,  07/26/10  11:17 PM

Tour de France 2010Well it was a great tour, an *amazingly* great tour, and now it's over, and like always at the end of July, now I'm sad.  No more getting up early to watch Phil and Paul and Bob and Craig, no more watching 200 lycra-clad athletes ride bikes around France, surrounded by the most amazing scenery as the climb the Alps and the Pyrenees, and fly through little villages, and pass through big cities brought to a standstill by their passing.  Not until next year anyway.

Here are the highlights for me:

  • Fabian Cancellara dominating the Prologue in Rotterdam.  How great was he, and how great was it to have the Prologue there, and how significant was the Prologue, as the time gaps in that 7 mile race determined the winner three weeks and 2,100 miles later.
  • Alessandro Petacchi winning stage 1 in Belgium.  Who?  Oh yeah, him, only one of the best sprinters ever, and we all thought it would be between Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar.  Thus was heralded one of the best green jersey competitions in recent memory.
  • That weird standstill in stage 2, wherein the entire peloton except race winner Sylvain Chavanel finished together in the same time, at the behest of Fabian Cancellara.  Sure there were a lot of crashes but neutralize the whole race?  It sure hurt Thor Hushovd, and it sure helped Andy Schleck.
  • And then - dum dum dum - we had stage 3, the cobblestone stage!  Won by Thor Hushovd, to his everlasting credit.  And Alberto Contador did just fine, thank you, and Andy Schleck did too (by following in the wake of Fabian Cancellara).  But Frank Schleck broke his collarbone, ending his tour, and perhaps fatally hurting teammate and brother Andy's chances for the overall victory.
  • Forward to stage 5, as Mark Cavendish tearfully blazed to victory, after Petacchi had claimed stage 4.  The Manx Missile was back, and took stage 6 too, for good measure.
  • Stage 7 was cool as Sylvain Chavanel attacked on the final climb and ran away to victory, claiming the yellow jersey and the hearts of French cycling fans everywhere.
  • And then stage 8, that fateful stage, the first "real" climb in the Alps.  Lance Armstrong crashed three times and lost 12 minutes, eliminating his chance to win.  Meanwhile Andy Schleck took time on everyone and won, leaving Cadel Evans in yellow.
  • And then Stage 9 saw another contender eliminated as Cadel Evans broke his elbow and lost big time.  Schleck and Contador put time into all the GC contenders as it became obvious one of them would win the tour.
  • Stage 12 was a doozy, the final Alpine stage; a huge break boiled down to Alexander Vinokourov attacking up the final climb, only to be caught by Contador, who attacked the GC peloton and put 10s into Schleck to win the stage.  Fireworks!  Also cool on this day was watching Hushovd lumber up the climbs to take sprint points and claim the green jersey.  And Vino attacked the sprinters the following day to win stage 13.
  • The Tour moved into the Pyrenees, and stage 14 was another great shootout.  Contador and Schleck battled to a standstill, while Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez fought a battle of their own for third place.
  • Probably the stage most people will remember best?  Stage 15, another mountain battle; Thomas Voeckler won (!), but Schleck attacked and was pulling time on the GC group when his chain came off!  Whoa.  Contador wasted no time blowing past, and by the time the dust settled he had taken 40s from Schleck, as well as the yellow jersey (for good, as it turned out).
  • Stage 16 looked like a chance for a breakaway, and so it was, but the amazing news was that Lance Armstrong himself attacked and led the race solo for a while, before a nine-man break formed.  He gave it his best shot and we were all rooting for him to win, but he was out-sprinted in the end.
  • If you ever want to see an epic battle on a mountaintop finish, check out stage 17, in which Schleck did everything he could to attack Contador and take time, and nearly did, but then didn't; he did win, but Contador was half a wheel behind.  It was awesome cycling.  And meanwhile Menchov and Sanchez pulled away and drew in their competition for third.
  • The final GC battle was the ITT, as usual, stage 19 through the vineyards of Bordeaux.  Cancellara won, to noone's surprise (and his delight and relief), while Menchov posted the best time among the GC contenders, blasting away from Sanchez to secure third.  And Andy did the ride of his life to challenge Alberto, but just couldn't do it; a noble effort that fell just short, leaving Contador the overall victor by 40s.
  • And the final sprint battle was the final stage, as usual, the parade up and down the Champs Elysees; Cavendish blew out to win, his fifth of the tour, and Petacchi finished second to end up as the sprint champion.  Adding spice; the Team Radio Shack "28" jersey stunt (which raised the UCI's ire), as they won the team competition, putting Lance back on the podium as a winner in his last Tour.

As I said, a *great* tour, every day there was something new, something cool, and often a bunch of things going on at once.  I already cannot wait until next year...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


 

TDF prologue / Dutch treat! - Cancellara wins, Lance beats Alberto

Saturday,  07/03/10  12:06 PM

Greetings all!  As I did last year, I'm going to make separate posts each day for the Tour de France...  that way you can read them after you've watched the stage on your Tivo (!), or ignore them entirely if you are so inclined.  These posts contain my commentary; for complete reports I suggest the Tour de France website and Velonews and CyclingNews.

Rotterdam start - Paris is still a long way off...The Tour got off to a great start today with a prologue in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, a country already buzzing with sport after the Oranje defeated Brazil in the World Cup yesterday.  The 9km ITT was flat as a pancake, with the two "climbs" corresponding to two bridges over Rotterdam harbor.  The intrigue of the day was whither the weather; some competitors opted to start earlier in their team's allotted slots, betting that the forecast rain would come later in the day, but in the event the rain came early, favoring the favorites as the roads dried out toward the end.

Fabian Cancellara blisters the prologueTo nobody's surprise Fabian Cancellara blistered the course to wear the first yellow jersey.  Tony Martin finished second, and David Millar third, but the news of the day was Lance Armstrong finishing a strong fourth, just 2s behind Millar at +22, besting Alberto Contador who finished sixth, 5s behind Lance at +27.  Early days yet but crucial to the psychology as Lance will be delighted to find himself ahead of Alberto.  Others putting in good rides included Levi Leipheimer (8s behind Millar at +28), Michael Rogers (+35s), and Andreas Kloden (+36).  Meanwhile Cadel Evans is probably disappointed with his ride (+39) as is George Hincapie (+54), and Ivan Basso cannot be happy with his (+55) nor can Frank Schleck (+57) or his brother Andy Schleck (+69).  And Denis Menchov (go Rabobank!) had a crummy start with +56.

Tomorrow is a stage for the sprinters - the GC guys will just try to avoid crashing - stay tuned as we find out if Mark Cavendish is going to dominate the flats again!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Gulf Sky and Water (New Yorker, 7/5/10)

Saturday,  07/03/10  11:23 PM

 

"after Escher, Gulf Sky and Water"
wow, totally nails it... 

 

 

independence weekend

Saturday,  07/03/10  11:26 PM

Today was a good day; got up early to watch the Tour de France prologue, worked, worked out, did a little tanning and reading, watched Germany annihilate Argentina (man will they be a formidable opponent for the Oranje in the World Cup final), and enjoyed a great BBQ / dinner with friends (at which the appropriate wine pairing for Buffalo wings was determined to be Riesling rather than Grenache...)  We also managed to debate the chances of Meg Whitman over Jerry Brown (judged lower than we all want !) and the culpability of BP for the Gulf spill, shared with the government, and judged nearly infinite in view of the economic and ecological harm being caused...

An amazing article in the Economist: Intelligence tested, which floats the theory that intelligence is correlated with "disease burden".  Once again an amazing exercise in confusion between correlation and causality, caused by excess political correctness.  The best part is this chart (copied for posterity) showing the measured IQ in 184 countries, together with the measure of "disease burden".  Further columns showing economic well-being and birth rate would be quite revealing, I think...

I'm sure the Economist and the study it quotes will come under fire for something as politically unacceptable as admitting there are differences in measured IQ between countries, even under the guise of presenting a politically acceptable rationale to explain the disparity, but it is significant that they chose to do so at all.

ice cream!Important news you can use: How to make ice cream in (almost) any flavor.  Ice cream is *always* great, but black pepper clams?  Really?

Science: stem cells from blood a huge milestone.  "Blood drawn with a simple needle stick can be coaxed into producing stem cells that may have the ability to form any type of tissue in the body, three independent papers report in the July 2 Cell Stem Cell. The new technique will allow scientists to tap a large, readily available source of personalized stem cells."

KIN RIP - good strategy undone by bad executionA great analysis from Ars Technica: KIN's tragic demise (and the fading of Danger).  A classic situation in which good business strategy was undone by bad business execution.  And Microsoft's acquisition of Danger was squandered entirely...

Yes!  Will the real programmers please stand up?  "Write a C function that reverses a singly-linked list."  Okay I will* :)

A new definition for slow: Forth in Lisp.  Why?

ZooBorn: orphaned baby sea otterZooBorn of the weekend (and candidate for ZooBorn of the world): an orphaned baby sea otter.  Please click through to see the movie, it's priceless...

 


* okay you asked:

struct listelt {    
    struct listelt *next;
     void *listdata;
} ;

void reverseList (struct listelt *&head) {
    struct listent *currelt,  
                   *nextelt,  
                   *newhead = NULL;  

    for (currelt = head; currelt; currelt = nextelt) {  
        nextelt = currelt->next;   
        currelt->next = newhead;  
        newhead = currelt;  
    }
    head = newhead;

}  

a pons asinorum if there ever was one... 

 

Happy Birthday, USA!

Sunday,  07/04/10  10:29 AM

Happy Fourth of July!Happy Birthday to the U.S.A., greatest country ever...  with all our challenges we are the place to be, the guardian of freedom and liberty, and hope and change (no sarcasm intended), and the pursuit of happiness, the place where people are free to dream and to work hard to make reality out of their dreams. 

On this day I think about what it is like elsewhere; there are so many people who are not free, who do not have liberty or the ability to pursue their own happiness, who must hide their dreams and who may never have the chance to work to make them real.  But I do, and my family, and my neighbors, and all my countrymen, and we must never take this for granted.

My biggest challenge today is compete in a sailboat race, and eat BBQ, and ponder the best wine to drink while doing so.  I hope you have an equally great day!  Happy Birthday!!

 

TDF stage 1 / flat / crashes mar finish as Petacchi wins sprint

Sunday,  07/04/10  10:40 AM

Alessandro Petacchi out-sprints the survivorsToday's stage 1 from Rotterdam to Brussels was 220km of parade followed by 220m of sprint, except that three crashes toward the end winnowed the field; Mark Cavendish, Tyler Farrar, and Oscar Freire were eliminated from the final sprint, among many others, and Alessandro Petacchi out-sprinted the survivors to win.  (Yeah, remember him?  Virtually no one considered him a threat, yet he was one of the best sprinters in the world just a few years ago... looks like he still is!)

the final sprint was amazing - with a huge crash that blocked the road...Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt - although scrapes and bruises now can take a toll three weeks later - and everyone in the field received the same time.

Onward to stage 2 - a classic ride through the Ardennes forest - could be a chance for a breakaway as there are a number of climbs toward the end...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

third on the fourth

Sunday,  07/04/10  10:56 PM

Today I celebrated the Fourth of July as usual, headed down to Westlake Yacht Club for the annual 'Round the Island Race; I managed to finish *third*, okay but, well, not first.  This race is a reverse start, slowest boats start first, fastest last, and the race was won by a guy who started ten minutes ahead of me, and I could never catch up.  So be it... there's always next year :)

We did manage to have a great time enjoying a beautiful day on the water...


with my mighty steed, ready to race (note American flag flying!)


my support team - Shirley, Alexis, Megan, Jordan


the Westlake Yacht Club in full Fourth of July regalia


at the start - not much wind - did get the early edge...


...but squandered it; had to catch up after the bridge...


...and didn't quite; finished third on the Fourth


the nicest day imaginable out on the lake
"there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as messing about in boats"

I hope your Fourth was equally good?

 

Sunday,  07/04/10  11:19 PM

Toy Story 3 - in 3DI had a very nice Fourth, thanks for asking; watched Le Tour stage 1finished third in the 'Round the Island race, and then saw Toy Story 3 in 3D, which was pretty enjoyable (although I'm going to say not as amazing as some people thought).  I've had a nice couple of "days off", relaxing, but I will pay for it tomorrow as I have much to do...  in the meantime, a quick filter pass...

SecondLife - not as compelling as real lifeAn interesting retrospective: Reality intrudes on SecondLife.  In the end it was a game, an interesting game to be sure, but not "real".  Count me among those who played with it briefly but were not hooked...  I think Facebook has more staying power, because it is Firstlife :)

Still no link between cell phones and cancer.  Whew.  Still, I'm sure the researchers out there will keep trying, there *must* be a link, right?  Kind of like cold fusion, the publicity at stake is just too huge...

Sony's Vaio logo, explainedThis is cool: the concept behind Sony's Vaio logo.  Who knew?

Steve Steinberg: new developments in AI.  Fascinating and illuminating article, for those of us waiting for intelligent machines...  [ via BoingBoing ]

firecrackers! - (gone from the Fourth of July...)Good night y'all, back to reality tomorrow...  (did you notice?  *very* few firecrackers on this Fourth, I guess that tradition is now gone... kind of sad really, I know they aren't safe, but so many great things in life aren't safe!)

 

TDF stage 2 / rollers / crashes on slippery descent cause peloton to stop racing; Chavanel escapes to victory

Monday,  07/05/10  10:23 PM

Sylvain Chavanel escapes to a solo victory!Well today was as weird a day in the Tour de France as you could ever hope to see.  Rain exacerbated by gasoline from a crashed motorcycle resulted in a slippery descent on the backside of the penultimate climb, and caused a large number of crashes...  the peloton called an informal halt to racing, and finished as a pack.  Meanwhile Sylvain Chavanel escaped in the early break and stayed out all day, getting the victory as well as three minutes on the entire field, putting him in yellow and green!

Fabian Cancellara and Lance Armstrong lead the parade as the peloton shuts down racing for the dayFabian Cancellara was in yellow and was driving the peloton toward Chavanel when he heard that his teammates Andy and Frank Schleck had crashed hard.  He throttled back and convinced the rest of the peloton to do likewise, enabling most of the crashees to rejoin, whereupon it crossed the finish en mas at a leisurely pace.

My own view is that while Cancellara did the right thing for his teammates, the peloton was under no obligation to stop; rain, slippery roads, crashes, and so on are part of bike racing, and it is what it is.  I'm honestly surprised some of the sprinters didn't race it out for second.  I've read that the officials have neuralized all the points for the peloton after Chavanel, which makes sense given the way they didn't race, but if ten guys had sprinted for the finish, surely they would have been awarded points also?  How very weird.

Tomorrow we have the infamous stage 3 over cobblestones; doubtless there will be those who fall, and those who have mechanicals, and so on; let's hope the peloton race it out!

[Update: the various reactions from riders are interesting; I am a little more sympathetic now to the peloton's actions...]

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Monday,  07/05/10  10:45 PM

And so it was back to work for me today (after a relaxing weekend "off"); much to do, much to catch up on, and while I got a lot done I have a lot left to do... so what else is new, I know, cue the violins :)  Seems like everything is due at once, feels like finals week!  Meanwhile it was a quiet day "out there" - I think everyone else was on holiday - but tomorrow will be a big day; we have The Netherlands against Uruguay in the World Cup semifinals (go Oranje!), and the much-anticipated stage 3 of the Tour de France on the cobblestoned streets of Belgium.  And the work week gets going again for everyone... but in the meantime, a quick filter pass...

Couple of notes: Today I rode Rockstore for the first time since the Tour of California stage (in 1:36 no less, which is a *good* time for me), and I have now gone five days without having an M&M.

Random thought: what the heck happened to Hilary Clinton?  Is it just me, or has she disappeared?

Panasonic camera ad: if it has a ringtone, it's not a camera (taken with a Palm pre, which has a ringtone)Have you seen this Panasonic camera ad?  They're everywhere... I took a picture of it with my Palm Pre, which of course has a ringtone.  What a dumb ad, to fly in the face of reality like that...

wine pricing: does expensive wine become good, or does good wine become expensive?Snooth asks What Makes Wine so Expensive?  They miss the point entirely; there is causality here, but it flows in the other direction; it isn't that expensive wine is good, it is that good wine is expensive.  Pricing is set to what the market will bear; it has no relationship to cost whatsoever.

Razib considers Authenticity and the Fermi Paradox.  It defies synopsis but it's an interesting hypothesis.  (The Fermi Paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations.)

There really is such a thing as underwater basket weaving.  Who knew?

Plack telescope's whole sky imageThis is just awesome: Planck telescope reveals ancient cosmic light.  "The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the 'oldest light'" in the cosmos.  It took the 600m-euro observatory just over six months to assemble the map."

 

TDF stage 3 / cobblestones! / Hushovd siezes the day, takes green, Cancellera back in yellow

Tuesday,  07/06/10  11:03 PM

Thor Hushovd conquers the cobbles to take stage 3Today was the big day - cobblestones!  And while some riders did in fact wipe out - Franck Schleck broke his collarbone and had to withdraw - overall it was a good racing day.  Thor Hushovd exorcized the frustration of not being able to sprint yesterday (after the peloton decided to go easy) by blasting out front to take the stage and the green jersey, and Sylvain Chavanel suffered several untimely mechanicals and relinquished the yellow jersey back to Fabian Cancellara.

The real battle among the GC contenders was pretty interesting; Cadel Evans had a great day, and now leads among those considered capable of winning the GC, and Alberto Contador had a good day too, not only surviving but picking up time on Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso.  Cancellara paced Andy Schleck to a strong finish, and Alexander Vinokourov had a strong day, leading out Contador and ending up high up on GC himself.  Wow!

Tomorrow we all relax and have a "normal" field sprint.  I bet the peloton takes it easy, there are a lot of tired and bruised riders after the first four days...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

NED 3 URG 2 - we're in the final!

Tuesday,  07/06/10  11:22 PM

On tivo-delay, yippee! 

Wesley Sneijder scores for the Netherlands as they defeat Uruguay 3-2

The Oranje prevailed convincingly over Uruguay today, 3-2, and now face the winner of tomorrow's Germany-Spain match in the final.  I'm picking Germany to win that one, they looked incredibly strong against Argentina.  But Spain are good too, and defeated Germany in the 2008 European Cup final. 

Meanwhile the Dutch clearly outclassed Uruguay, the outcome was never in doubt.  They've looked pretty good in South Africa, the only team which has won all of their matches.  Should be a great final on Sunday, stay tuned!

 

TDF stage 4 / sprint / Petacchi wins another, reclaims green

Wednesday,  07/07/10  09:27 PM

Alessandro Petacchi out-sprints the field to claim another TDF stageA quiet day in the Tour de France; 200km of parade followed by 200m of sprinting!  To the surprise of many Mark Cavendish did not win, in fact he didn't even place in the top ten, instead Alessandro Petacchi won another sprint, this time without the benefit of any crashes eliminating his competition.  The usual suspects fought it out, including Thor Hushovd who seems to be Petacchi's main competitor for the green jersey.  Meanwhile it was all quiet on the GC front as the peloton took the opportunity to relax and heal.

Tomorrow is another field sprint - it will be interesting to see if Cavendish becomes a factor.

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Wednesday,  07/07/10  11:05 PM

A happy day; got up early, worked out, watched Le Tour, and worked steadily and productively all day.  Capped it with a little ride in the cold damp mist and a nice dinner.  And had pleasant thoughts running around in my head all through :)

Did you know?  Today was cold in San Diego; the coldest July day ever.  Oh yeah, and we had a little earthquake too:

5.9! Yikes.

The purple circle was me at Aperio.  It was good for some serious shaking and a nice adrenaline rush.

Idoru - another William Gibson masterpieceTonight I finished Idoru.  Another William Gibson masterpiece.  Doesn't seem fair that he could be so consistently brilliant.  Just one interesting idea after another...

Slurp digital eyedropperThe Slurp digital eyedropper.  Sucks in digital information from one computer and spits it out to another - or to a peripheral like a printer or speakers.  Please click through to see it; it's must harder to explain than to understand.  (Seems like something from a William Gibson novel :)

Truth is stranger than The Onion: A giant step toward stupidity.  "The astonishing story of the Obama administration's reorientation of NASA to serve a whole new purpose--building up the self-esteem of Muslim countries by reminding them of scientific achievements of millennia gone by."  Unbelievable!

Congratulations to Spain, who defeated Germany pretty handily in the "other" World Cup semifinal.  This sets up a final showdown between the Spanish and the Netherlands, arguably the two best countries never to have won the grand prize.  I thought Germany was the better team and that Spain would have to get lucky to win, but the Spanish defense shut down Germany entirely, while Spain had a bunch of scoring chances and could easily have won by several goals.  It will be quite a match on Sunday.  Go Oranje!

 

TDF stage 5 / sprint / Cavendish [finally] wins one!  Jerseys unchanged...

Thursday,  07/08/10  11:34 PM

Mark Cavendish [finally] wins a sprint, taking stage 5To everyone's relief, especially his, Mark Cavendish finally opened his account in the 2010 Tour with a convincing sprint win, besting rivals Thor Hushovd, Alessandro Petacchi, Robbie McEwen, and Tyler Farrar.  It was noticeable that HTC waited longer to get their "train" rolling today, and Mark Renshaw had the perfect lead-out setting up the win.

Is Mark back?  Will the confidence from this win carry him to others, or will his rivals come back and best him while fighting over the green jersey?  Tomorrow will tell, as we have another flat stage...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Thursday,  07/08/10  11:44 PM

I'm back home, whew, after a long day; again got up early, worked out, watched Le Tour, and again had a productive day, although new projects seem to be cropping up faster than I can deal with them.  I'm finishing the week with more to do than I started, for about the fourth week in a row.  Yikes! 

My good mood from yesterday carried over into today...  amazing how a positive attitude colors everything.  You *can* choose to be happy :)  working out and riding doesn't hurt, either!

twitter: VuvuzelaSo what do you think, Are blogs dying?  I've noticed a lot less linking and perhaps fewer people posting random crap; that seems to have moved to Facebook and especially Twitter.

Here's some evidence: Twitter + Vuvuzela.  10,000+ followers.  There you go.

powerplant clad in Delfts Blauw tilesThis is awesome: a Dutch power plant clad in Delfts Blauw tiles.

Jerry Pournelle schools the U.S. space program: "NASA's budget since Apollo has been big enough that we ought to be halfway to Alpha Centauri by now. Perhaps that's an exaggeration, but we certainly had a budget that could have taken us to Mars and the asteroids. We certainly could have a Lunar Colony."  Not to mention, we certainly could have learned a lot more...

I continue to mess around with Foursquare, but I'm almost fully convinced there's no there there.  Okay, I could see how it might be useful if you're a 20-something with a zillion friends and you're looking for the action on any given night, but for me - and for most everyone, I suspect - it's an input-only system; you checkin where you are, and that's it.  I am open to the possibility that it will grow on me - I wasn't a big Facebook user in the beginning either - so I will continue to try...

Tomorrow it's another early morning of watching the tour, and then a little work before heading way up to Bear Valley for the Death Ride on Saturday... please stay tuned!

death ride profile

 

TDF stage 6 / sprint / Cavendish notches another, Cancellara, Hushovd keep jerseys

Friday,  07/09/10  10:40 PM

(blogged from a Marie Calendar's in Merced, driving to Bear Valley for the Death Ride)

Mark Cavendish powers to another sprint win in TDF10 stage 6I watched today's TDF stage while driving (!!, Tivo to Slingbox to laptop*), and it was a pretty boring one; again we had a long flat stage, and again a bunch sprint, and again a great leadout from Mark Renshaw took Mark Cavendish to a sprint win.  Good for Cav, he's back on form, and it makes the green jersey competition interesting with Thor Hushovd keeping the lead and Alessandro Petacchi also in the hunt.  We'll see how many of the sprinters stay in with the tour as we move into the Alps tomorrow...

TDF10 stage 6 - the beauty of France in summer on display, as always...Speaking of tomorrow, I won't be able to watch as I will be otherwise occupied, but it should setup nicely for a breakaway win, with just enough climbing to effect a selection, but not enough to tempt the GC men to try anything, especially with a really serious mountain stage on offer Sunday.  Cheers and see you Sunday!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

* BTW I must tell you, I have an HD Slingbox attached to my HD Tivo, and the picture on my laptop is pretty amazing, even transmitted through a Sprint cell modem while driving.  This technology is awesome :)

 

You want your phone back? Our haircuts are half price today...

Friday,  07/09/10  10:45 PM

This you will not believe...  so I pulled off into a truck stop while driving up Route 99, had a bite to eat and did some work, and as I drive away I have that *bad* feeling like a left something behind... yep, left my phone.  Yikes!

sometimes you have to do strange things to get your phone backSo I go back to the diner, and check the booth in which I'd sat, and my phone is gone.  Crud.  So I find my waitress.

"Hi, did you happen to find my phone?
"Um, I might have found a phone, what did it look like?

(what!  I was just here...  you know you have my phone...)

"It's a black Palm Pre, c'mon I really need it back...
"Huh.  Well today we have a special on haircuts, half price, would you like one?

(what!  haircuts, WTF?)

"Haircut!?  What about my phone?  I really need my phone...
"I just thought maybe you'd like a haircut... they're half price today!

(I'm thinking this girl is crazy, I have to be nice or I might never see my phone back.)

"I. Really. Need. My. Phone.   Please?

To make a weird story short, after five minutes I did finally get my phone back, and I did not have to get a haircut.  Whew.  On the road again...

 

on the road... driving to the Death Ride

Friday,  07/09/10  10:50 PM

Just hanging out in a Marie Calendar's in Merced, driving to Bear Valley for the Death Ride, and thought I'd make a quick filter pass...

Today's technology for being "on the road" is quite amazing; today while driving I was monitoring events via my trusty Palm Pre, email and texts and voice, and a couple of times pulled off into a truck stop to eat and work.  Managed to get some important stuff done interleaved with making progress.  (And almost managed to get a haircut :)  On the road...

Death Ride 2010I am curiously unprepared mentally for the Death Ride tomorrow... you would think proper psychological preparation for such a nasty ride is essential - 130 miles and 18,000', spread over five mountain passes over 8,000' each - and you would be right.  Maybe it's that I have so much else going on in my life at the moment, or maybe it's because I've done this two years previously, and so I know what I'm in for...  we'll see how it goes!

Tomorrow is a big day in the Tour de France, and also in the World Cup, with the third place game between Germany and Uruguay.  I'd have to pick Germany to win - they looked great until their loss to Spain - but I'm going to be rooting for Uruguay as the underdogs...

Paul the prognosticating OctopusHave you been following Paul the prognosticating octopus?  He's picking Germany tomorrow, and also Spain to win the World Cup final Sunday.  Stay tuned :)

Related: BoingBoing notes the end of science reporting at CNN.  Of course many of us have felt CNN stopped reporting period some time ago...

Here's a helpful article: The best South African wines to drink while watching the World Cup.  I will be driving tomorrow night so I will not partake; but maybe for the final on Sunday...

the *walking* pancake batfish, found at the site of the Gulf oil spillEvolution in action?  Two new fish species found walking at the site of the Gulf oil spill.  They are called pancake batfish, by the way, how great is that?

Scott "Dilbert" Adams continues his string of thought-provoking posts as he considers Problems.  "I like problems. Where there are problems there are opportunities...  Please answer any one of these:  What problem does your company's product try to solve?  What is the biggest problem for people in your profession?  What is the biggest problem in your industry?  What is the biggest problem/constraint in your current project?"  Great stuff.

Facebook have killed their gift shop, apparently a $100M baby.  You might be thinking the same as me, what, Facebook had a gift shop?  Who knew?  Virtual gifts?

Here's a great question for me, while a on a long drive: What's the fastest you've driven?  I'll give you my answer on Sunday :)

 

TDF stage 7 / transitional climb / Chavanel wins, takes back yellow! GC unchanged...

Saturday,  07/10/10  11:45 PM

(blogged from a Carl's Jr. in Bishop, driving home from the Death Ride :)

TDF 10 stage 7 profileJust finished watching today's TDF stage while driving back from the Death Ride; it was pretty entertaining, wasn't it?  There was just enough climbing to make things interesting and provide opportunities, but the climbs weren't steep enough (or long enough) to provide the GC men with opportunities to gain time.  Jerome Pinot used the stage as a chance to escape and take points for the polka-dot climbers jersey - chapeau to him, nicely done - and Sylvain Chavanel attacked on the final climb and took time on everyone to win and get the yellow jersey back - chapeau to him, very nicely done. 

Sylvain Chavanel attacks and wins stage 7, to reclaim the yellow jerseyAfter that weird stage 2 where Chavanel won from the early break while the rest of the peloton stopped racing, we all thought he would have the yellow jersey all week.  But then he had tons of bike trouble in stage 3 over the cobblestones, and so he lost it the next day.  But now he has it back, for one more day at least.

Tomorrow morning the Tour really starts; stage 8 is serious alpine climbing, with two big category 1 climbs at the end including a mountaintop finish, and we should see a significant selection among the GC men.  Will Lance be able to do it?  Will Contador stamp his authority on the peloton?  Will Andy Schleck gain back time?  What about Evans?  And Menchov?  And Wiggins?  And...  Can't wait!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

on the road again... returning from the Death Ride

Saturday,  07/10/10  11:55 PM

I rode the Death Ride today, and survived (!), in fact it went rather well (9:48!)... I am tired but happy.  But tired.  I'll post more about that tomorrow when I have a chance to catch my breath.  Tonight after the ride I had a nice dinner with my brother Jeroen, my cousin Anita, and her husband Tom... this ride is my annual opportunity to see them :)  and so now I am driving home, currently in Bishop taking a break, and making a brief filter pass...

... and again I am delighted with my remote viewing setup, Tivo to Slingbox to laptop, which enabled me to watch today's Tour stage, and I am about to watch the World Cup third place game...  you might think this is dangerous, but actually I am mostly listening rather than watching, and it serves to keep me awake.  On the road again...

Looking back over my blog, I must tell you I can't believe the Fourth of July was last weekend.  Must have been the longest week of all time!

Yesterday I wrote "Tomorrow is a big day in the Tour de France, and also in the World Cup", but now I can write it again, in fact Tomorrow is a bigger day in the Tour de France (the first real mountain stage), and also in the World Cup (the final!).  I will be watching both with great interest.  Go LanceGo Oranje!

Holland vs Spain - an epic World Cup final...Paul Mirengoff of Powerline has a nice preview of Spain vs Holland...  I fear he's right about this: "There's an important difference between what it means for these teams to play badly. When Spain isn't playing well, it's usually about an overhit final ball or a scuffed shot. The result is a throw or kick by the goal-keeper. When Holland isn't playing well, too often it's about a turnover in midfield or a gap in the defense. The result is a scoring opportunity for the opposition."

I am hyper-aware of the need to stay away from my computer and phone tomorrow morning.  The results of both the Tour stage and the World Cup final will be all over everything immediately...  (among other things, I'm sure all my friends are going to be sending text messages; people cannot keep something like a World Cup final score a secret...)

Liran Shapira makes a subtle point: Be Impressed.  "When you tell people they're making a positive impression on you, they automatically turn up the behavior that caused it."  When a girl has a beautiful smile, always say so :)

iPhone 4 - FaceTime!This Rocks: It's as if Apple has hired Don Draper.  Not only a great point about the iPhone 4 - which I am amazingly intrigued to buy, like many, for the FaceTime capability alone - but it introduces me to Mad Men, a TV show about which I have heard much good...  I might have to watch a TV show.  (Wow, I can change.)

BTW I already knew I loved Louis Armstrong, but now I know it all over again!

A key question, asked on Slashdot: Has any creative work failed because of piracy?  I can't think of anything quickly, can you?

Man I need some of this: A chemical to make brain cells grow.  I have been using Diet Coke and Red Wine with limited results :)

My answer is 155.  So far...

 

not a good day, as Lance and Holland lose...

Sunday,  07/11/10  04:26 PM

Man, some days are not good, and this is one of them...  got back *late* last night (3:30AM), slept for a while, woke up nursing my coffee and was in a great mood, still buzzed from the Death Ride yesterday and eagerly anticipating today's Tour de France stage and World Cup final.

So what happened?

Lance Armstrong has a tough stage 8, loses 12 minutes on GC and is out of contentionTour de France: Lance Armstrong blew up on the final climb of today's stage and lost a staggering 12 minutes on GC; he is now out of it.  He had a bad day - crashed twice, and almost a third time - but let's face it, he just doesn't have what it takes to compete at the highest level [anymore].  There was serious climbing on offer, a big selection about which I will have more to say later, and he couldn't hang with the leaders.  It is what it is, but it's sad.

Spain defeats Holland 1-0 in World Cup finalWorld Cup: Holland played Spain to an ugly 0-0 draw through regulation, but lost 1-0 in extra time.  I don't think it was a good game, too rough and not pretty.  Both sides had their chances - Robben almost gave us a goal in the second half - but in the end Spain was better.  It is what it is, but it's sad.

So be it...  But I don't have to be happy about it.  Not a good day :(

 

TDF stage 8 / mountains / Lance crashes and cracks, Schleck attacks for win

Sunday,  07/11/10  07:07 PM

Lance Armstrong crashed three times and then cracked, losing 12 min on GC and blowing his chances to winLance Armstrong has seen many great days in the Tour de France, but now he's seen a horrible one too, as he crashed three times, bonked, and lost over 12 minutes on GC today.  He's out of the running now, and I'm sad.  Even though it was improbable that he could win again the stacked field this year, the drama of having him in there duking it out was excellent.

Andy Schleck attacks on the final climb to claim stage 8 of the 2010 TDFMeanwhile the first real mountains of the 2010 Tour provided the second real selection (the first was on the cobblestones in stage 3).  The final 30 miles featured two Cat 1 climbs separated by a Cat 3, and the peloton was driven by Astana to shed everyone who wasn't a serious contender (including Sylvain Chavanel, who did his best in yellow to hang in there).  Finally there was just a few elite men left, and bam Robert Gesink attacked!  Contador marked him, probably using up his reserves, because later when Samual Sanchez attacked only Andy Schleck could go with him.  The result was a win for Schleck which left Cadel Evans in yellow.  (As he noted, it's a special day when you can swap the rainbow jersey [emblematic of the world champion] for the Tour's yellow.)  Other contenders still in the mix included Schleck (0:20), Contador (1:01), Denis Menchov (1:10, a great place for him), and Levi Leipheimer (2:14, now the Radio Shack leader, one would think).

And so tomorrow is a rest day - and a digestion day, as everyone lets today's results sink in - and then we have more serious climbing on Tuesday...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Death Rider

Sunday,  07/11/10  07:21 PM

Yesterday I rode my third consecutive Death Ride - yay me - and I enjoyed it quite a lot.  The weather was nicer than in previous years; I thought it was going to be hot, but it wasn't, and it didn't hail or rain on the final climb.  And I felt reasonably strong on that final 15 miler up to the Carson Pass, all things considered...  for the record, I finished in 9:48, a personal best by about 20 minutes.

death ride profile

route profile - click to enbiggen

As usual I managed a few snaps for your perusal (and please click to enbiggen)...


Mosquito Lake in the morning - calmest spot in the universe


downtown Markleeville
can you hear them cowbells?  more cowbell!


wildflower awesomeness


the magnificent view from Carson Spur


climbing up to the Carson Pass, accompanied by the delightful sound of Chrystal Springs


picture postcard meadow in Hope Valley


climbing up to the Carson Pass


Red Lake overlooked


the final checkpoint! - at the top of Carson Pass - yay


Death Rider!
best tasting orange popsicles *ever*

After the ride I met my brother Jeroen, cousin Anita, and her husband Tom at the Lake Topaz Lodge for an amazing prime rib accompanied by a '95 Stag's Leap Artimus.  The perfect recovery meal :)

 

Monday,  07/12/10  11:30 PM

As noted,yesterday was *not* a good day...  My weekend started out great, with a nice road trip to Bear Valley, a successful Death Ride, and a nice road trip home, but then ended crummy, with Lance crashing and cracking, then Holland loses, and then I spent the afternoon working on expense reports.  Blech.  I ended up maximally frustrated and cranky.  And today began another long work week as I have multiple meetings in Vista... (As noted previously, I seem get more work done at home than at work :/ )  Well, so be it; when the going gets tough, the tough get blogging!

BTW, yeah, today is a rest day in the Tour de France, no updates...  Cadel Evans is enjoying his, pretty in yellow, while Lance is not enjoying his, with his bid to win ended...  Stay tuned as tomorrow is another *real* mountain stage...

the perils of increasing financial illiteracyJames Surowiecki pounds the nail through the wood on this one: Greater Fools.  "Financial illiteracy isn’t new, but the consequences have become more severe, because people now have to take so much responsibility for their financial lives.  The difference between knowing a little about your finances and knowing nothing can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.  And, as the past ten years have shown us, the cost to society can be far greater than that."

I love this: Jeff Bezos 2010 commencement speech at Princeton: "We are what we choose".  Very thought provoking.  And more than a little scary...

Powerline: The World is Full of Bad Jokes, "But the worst joke of all is the United Nations."  Sadly it isn't even funny...

Scott "Dilbert" Adams commenting on the iPad: The Amazingness of Instant.  I'm not sure I think the iPad is so amazing, but I am sure his point is well taken: "instant" is a compelling value that makes things qualitatively different.

Google's App Inventor - coding for Android without, um, codingSo here's something interesting: Google have announced App Inventor, a tool to enable "anyone" to create Android Apps.  Interesting!  John Gruber wonders "so has Google beaten Apple in the race for a Hypercard for mobile", while Jason Kincaid takes App Inventor for a spin ("while I’m very excited about it, this is not going to be a walk in the park for 'ordinary people'. ").

Excellent: Full immersion in the Cyberworld is coming; "People will separate themselves from the physical world and adopt lives of virtualization."  I absolutely believe this.  In fact, it may have already happened :)  BTW am reading William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties, in which this is foretold...

This is truly horrible: Pathology "code injection".  Don't say I didn't warn you :)

 

TDF stage 9 / mountains / Casar wins as Contador and Schleck pull time on GC

Tuesday,  07/13/10  10:48 AM

TDF10 stage 9 profileToday was an amazing stage in the Tour de France, on a day which you might have thought ho hum, despite a lot of big Alpine climbs...  An early break which you might have thought would succeed built a huge lead, but then on the final climb, the HC Col de la Madeleine, Saxo Bank cranked up the energy, cracking Cadel Evans among others, and then Andy Schleck attacked the elite group containing the remaining GC contenders.  Alberto Contador grabbed his wheel - the only one who could do so - and the two strong men of this year's tour took off, pulling time on everyone and nearly catching the breakaway.   The carnage on that climb was amazing, the peloton was spread all over the hill.  It was a great race on a day when nothing amazing was expected...

Sandy Casar survived from the break to win stage 9Sandy Casar survived to win the stage and Schleck took over the yellow jersey, by 41s.  It is now evident that either Schleck or Contador are going to win, and there is a four-way battle for third between Samuel Sanchez, Denis Menchov (go Rabobank!), Jurgen Van Den Broek, and Levi Leipheimer (go Shack!).

Tomorrow seems to be one of those transitional stages with enough climbing to prevent a field sprint but not enough to have a GC shootout; could be a "breakaway" stage.  But nothing has been normal in this year's Tour, so stay tuned!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

bad day, good night

Tuesday,  07/13/10  11:04 PM

watching the Tour from the 3rd CornerEncinitas sunset - on an beautiful evening...Whew, a long bad day today; many meetings and much to do.  And at the end I am left feeling I made no progress :)  But the good news was that I was able to get in a great ride tonight - beautiful evening, rode down the coast with the sun setting over the Pacific - and then retired to the 3rd Corner, my sanctuary, and enjoyed watching the Tour on my laptop via Slingbox to Tivo, while enjoying a great cheese plate and a nice Pinot.  And then, blogging...

The White House, the House, and the impact of a majority in the balance.  "Democrats are being forced into a process conversation about whether or not their majority is in jeopardy -- a conversation that the House leadership did their damnedest to avoid by adopting a concerted strategy not to mention publicly the idea that control was at stake in the fall."  Even the threat of losing their majority is causing Democrats to act as if they don't have one - and this is a good thing.

Yay: Nuclear power could see a revival.  I honestly think in the long run this is our only way out.  You see the BP Gulf spill disaster and you just know fossil fuels cannot be the future of our civilization.  Onward!

Andrew Grumet is a sucker for a good pun :)

This is cool: the cell counting cryptogram challenge. "If you can decipher the posted cryptogram, you get a cash prize as well as a free lab analyzer of your choice! Let the nerdy fun ensue…"
cell counting crytpogram challenge
Man, this looks tempting...

 

TDF stage 10 / transitional / Paulinho wins from break! GC unchanged

Wednesday,  07/14/10  10:51 PM

Sergio Paulinho attacks from a long break to win stage 10TDF stage 10 profileToday's TDF stage was forecast to be good for a breakaway, and it was, as Sergio Paulinho outlasted a long break to give Radio Shack something to cheer about.  Behind him the peloton took a much needed rest, as both the GC men and the sprinters hung back to wait for another day.  It was Bastille Day so you might have expected French riders to push for victory, but in the end it was Portugal (Paulinho) against Russia (Vasil Kiryienka).

Tomorrow looks like a stock sprint stage - long flat ride with only a few bumps - as the battle shifts from the yellow jersey to the green...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

TDF stage 11 / sprint / Cavendish wins another in a wild and woolly sprint

Thursday,  07/15/10  11:14 PM

Cavendish outsprints the field - again - to take stage 11 convincinglyTDF stage 11 profile - field sprint!(Yawn)  185km of riding, an early break, swept up, and then 500m of furious sprinting, resulting in another Cavendish victory.  The sprint itself was kind of interesting, with Cavendish's HTC teammates mixing it up with Tyler Farrar's Garmin team and Alessandro Petacchi's Lampre boys; in the end HTC's #1 leadout rider Mark Renshaw was disqualified for unsportsmanlike riding.  The replays seemed to indicate it was a fair decision, as he head-butted one rider and nearly drove another into the barriers.  When the dust had settled Petacchi gained enough points to tie Thor Hushovd overall, taking the green jersey by virtue of his two stage wins.  It is certainly an interesting competition among the sprinters.

Tomorrow is a rather interesting stage; some Cat 2 climbs and a lot of rollers, with a really steep short climb up to the finish.  It seems like a day for a break, with some climbers fighting it out to the finish, but there could be a battle between the GC contenders at the front of the main field, too.  We'll see!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

TDF stage 12 / rollers with a kick / Rodriquez wins, Contador takes 2nd, 10s from Schleck; Vinokourov 3rd

Friday,  07/16/10  06:05 PM

TDF10 stage 12 profileToday's stage really lived up to its potential.  A huge 18-man break escaped early, with GC contenders Ryder Hesjedal, Alexander Vinokourov, and Andreas Kloden included.  That ensured a long hard day for the peloton as Saxo Bank and Lampre tried to keep the break within reach.  All were aware of the sharp steep finishing climb waiting at the end.

TDF stage 12 - massive crowds line the final climb to the finishPredictably the break itself was attacked, with Hesjedal, Vino, Kloden, and Vasil Kiryienka escaping off the front, putting even more pressure on the peloton.  On the brutal final climb Hesjedal was cracked almost immediately, followed by Kloden, and Vino battled Kiryienka halfway up the climb before shedding him, seemingly on his way to a stage win.  Meanwhile the peloton surged up the climb and exploded, spitting out also rans to the back as a back of serious contenders formed in front, grinding up the remnants of the break in the process.  And then - Joaquin Rodriguez attacked! and Alberto Contador went with him! and Andy Schleck was left to try to answer.  Contador and Rodriquez flew up the hill, passing everyone including Vino at the very end, and Rodriquez out-kicked Contador for the victory.  Schleck recovered and gained some time back, eventually limiting his losses to 10s, but it was a moral victory for Contador.  The other GC contenders were close but there were a few time gaps, and Levi Leipheimer in particular lost a little in the battle for third place.  It was a great race and man was that a nasty climb at the end.  Whew!

Oh, and another cool thing?  Thor Hushovd made that 18-man break and took sprint points all along the route to regain the green jersey; the wily veteran always seems to do this once or twice a tour.  It was beautiful to see him driving the break up those mountain stages.  After the last sprint he threw out the anchor; job done for the day.

And so tomorrow we have - more fireworks?  We'll see.  On paper it looks like a lot of rollers but without enough bite to let a break stay away, so maybe it will end in a sprint.  But on the other hand this has been a wild tour and you never know...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

week stuff

Friday,  07/16/10  06:22 PM

Bongard Problem #8Another long week ends - I was in Vista M-T-W-Th, lots of calls and meetings and things to report and things to prepare, and man it was nice to come home and get to work.  Weird huh?  Yet today was incredibly productive, made it back through my inbox (took care of all those little "thanks for this" replies, as well as a few things of substance), cleared my desks (physical and virtual), and even had some good think time.  And now it is on to a weekend with nothing planned, what a luxury!  Will I work on work all weekend?  Maybe.  Will I sit by the pool and work on my tan?  Possibly.  Will I ride in the heat?  Most likely.  Will I blog?  Of course!

One fun thing; Wednesday night Aperio had a little tennis tournament, to raise money for the Komen Foundation which is our chosen charity this year and to have a little fun.  As added incentive anyone who broke the serve of an exec won $10 directly from that exec so the pressure was on.  I lost $20 but had a great time doing so :)

bam - making each day count!This was a week in which the days were crummy and busy and the nights were interesting and fun.  I was able to get in a nice ride, play a little tennis, and share an amazing experience with a good friend.  Trying to make each day count...

BP caps well! yay. Wish they'd done this two months ago, but better now than later...This is the best possible news; BP appear to have [*finally*] capped their spilling well.  Whew.  Of course it is too late, huge damage has been done, but at least now things can get better instead of worse.

I haven't been following the iPhone4 antenna issue closely, but as always the PR disaster comes from the cover up and dishonesty instead of the original problem.  My high-level arms-length take is that Apple has screwed this up badly, and it isn't over yet...

BTW, is it just me, or is the bloom off the iPad rose?  Not just me, apparently.

Check out this old Cola ad - wow (click to inspect).  "For a better start in life, start cola earlier!"  Who knew?  Maybe this is my secret... :)  Whenever I see things like this, which of course caused no comment at the time, I wonder what things from our time will be regarded like this in this future?  How about all those weird sports drinks?

Washington D.C. 3.6 earthquake damage! (nobody was hurt)From a friend: picture of the devastation after today's 3.6 earthquake in Washington DC.  Fortunately no one was hurt.

Never say I don't post useful stuff; here we have the periodic table of swearing.  It isn't searchable unfortunately, but I don't think I see "Karumba!" in there anywhere...

Have a great weekend!

 

TDF stage 13 / rollers / Vinokourov denies sprinters by attacking to win, GC unchanged, Petacchi back in Green

Saturday,  07/17/10  06:49 PM

TDF10 stage 13 profileVino turns on the gas at the end and attacks to win stage 13, ahead of a hard-charging pelotonOn a day which would seem to belong to the sprinters, a transitional stage with few climbs and lots of rollers, Alexander Vinokourov attacked at the end and won, following his near-miss yesterday.  I think we were all pulling for him, it was a great victory; he had to burn some serious watts to hold off the charging peloton at the end.  Mark Cavendish won the field sprint for 2nd, and Alexander Petacchi finished 3rd, putting enough points on Thor Hushovd to reclaim the green jersey.  The overall GC was unchanged as the climbers rested up for tomorrow's serious tour of the Pyrenees.

Speaking of tomorrow; near the end we have the HC Port de Pailhères to soften up the field followed immediately by a mountaintop finish on the Cat 1 Ax-3 Domaines.  A real mountain stage and we should see some interesting racing!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Dorothea Tanning's "La Sonnambula"

Saturday,  07/17/10  06:52 PM

The New Yorker recently ran a short piece on surrealist Dorothea Tanning's costumes and sets for George Balanchine's dance productions; intrigued, I asked Mr. Google for some examples, and here you go:

Dorothea Tanning's costumes for George Balanchine's La Sonnambula
costumes for La Sonnambula

Wow.  I'm not the biggest fan of dance, but I'd definitely want to see this production :)

 

staying cool in the heat

Saturday,  07/17/10  07:02 PM

A scorching day, in which I slept in, enjoyed Le Tour, took a great ride up Rockstore (in *ahem* 105° heat), and then settled in for some serious database and spreadsheet work... 

riding Rockstore in 105° heat
staying cool while riding Rockstore in 105° heat

...oh, and in there somewhere I troubled to do a little blogging...

Last night my Kindle's battery ran out - it lasts so long, I forget to charge it sometimes - and I was reduced to reading an actual book while falling asleep.  On my nightstand was The Last Theorem, a book someone must have given me a few years ago, science fiction by Frederik Pohl ("Gateway"!) and Arthur C. Clarke ("2001"!).  It's a great book - pulled me in immediately, and cannot wait to keep reading it tonight - but it was also an interesting experience.  Turns out in the dimness of night Kindles are actually easier to read, and they certainly weigh less.  Also you don't have to hold a Kindle in such a way as to keep the pages from turning on their own...

Virgin Galactic's VSS EnterpriseSpace travel becomes ever closer to reality: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise makes its first crewed flight.  Man, I wish I had enough money to be one of the first passengers.  I would so like to do this.  Hopefully by the time it is possible I'll be able to afford to travel to Titan :)

Life in HTML5Playing the game of life in HTML5...  I have seen many implementations of this over the years, this one is cool because it is so interactive; it always amazes me that so much complexity can emerge from such simple rules.  Much like life and physics!

Stay cool y'all and enjoy the rest of the weekend...

 

Like-ing Facebook

Sunday,  07/18/10  10:15 AM

I'm not a big fan of "Web 2.0" websites and social media; mostly there is a lot of hype, and the signal to noise is *really* low.  (I challenge anyone to show me a Twitter feed that's worth following.)  I make an exception for Facebook however; I like it a lot, and find myself using it more and more often.  I don't have a lot of friends - right now, around 80 - but they're actual friends; people I care about, and for many of them this is the only and best way I know what they're up to.  Quite a few people now use their Facebook as a sort of blog; they send messages, report status, post pictures, and so on, and it's fun to follow them this way.

Ole Eichhorn's FacebookA little while ago Facebook added a feature that allows any website to implement a "Like" feature.  This is cool if you have a blog; you stick a little HTML in your pages, and poof! your readers can "Like" stuff you've posted, and their friends on Facebook will see that.  So this morning I decided to add "Like" buttons to all my posts.  We'll see whether this makes sense - I'll be able to tell from my referer logs when people have "liked" a post and their friends have clicked through.  It might be kind of fun to see who-all is out there on Facebook that even reads my blog.  (It could be you!)

So, the grand social experiment is under way.  If you think this is cool, please "Like" this post :)

 

TDF stage 14 / climb! / Riblon wins from break, Menchov and Sanchez 2nd and 3rd

Sunday,  07/18/10  10:42 PM

TDF stage 14 profileWow, what a shootout!  A *great* mountain stage today, featuring the world's nastiest HC Port Port de Pailhères, 10 miles of climbing at 8%, followed by a steep descent and then the Cat 1 Ax-3 Domaines to a mountaintop finish, 6 more miles of 8%.  Wow.

Christophe Riblon led a break all the way up the mountains, suriving to win stage 14Chapeau to Christophe Riblon who survived all the way from the early break, which had about 5 minutes at the base of the Pailheres.  From there steady pressure by Astana splintered the peloton, with various amazing attacks - Carlos Sastre took off, among others - and there were only GC contenders left by the top of the climb.  The descent was uneventful, and on the final climb Contador and Schleck marked each other, leaving Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez free to take off and engage in their battle for third.  Jurgen Van Den Broek lost a little time - he's still in fifth, but barely - and Levi Leipheimer lost a little more time, sinking to seventh, his chances at the third podium spot diminished.  All in all it was an exciting bike race, and we can only look forward to three more stages in the Pyrenees.

Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador marked each other all dayTomorrow we have more climbing including the HC Port de Bales, but there's a considerable descent from the last climb to the finish, so it could be interesting.  Seems like Contador is content to hang with Schleck, feeling that he has an advantage in the final time trial, and Schleck is content to hang with Contador, with the yellow jersey on his back.  Either might attack tomorrow however; it has been a great, unpredictable tour so far, and there is much riding left.

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Sunday,  07/18/10  11:08 PM

So ends a nice weekend; it was so great to have nothing specific planned - the weekend had infinite potential - but now that it's over I wish I'd done more with it.  Today I watched the Tour (great stage!) and worked, and spent some quality time reading poolside and drinking Pastis :) but now it's Sunday night and on into another week.  A complicated week.  So be it!

Have you noticed how the size at which you view pictures totally changes them?  I was looking through some pictures of friends today and it is weird how different they are at different sizes.  Some look great postage stamp sized (like in a Facebook profile), and others become amazing when you enlarge them.  Weird.

Slight seepage from the BP well, now capped, has been detected.  Let's hope it stays slight.  I guess the plan is to drill a new well which will relieve the pressure.  fXf!

According to NOAA this past June was the hottest in recorded history.  Whew.  And based on this weekend, this July is going to be a contender, too.

Everest losing ice... 1921 compared to 2010Meanwhile, Mt. Everest is losing ice.  The pictures at right show a glacier in 1921 compared to the same one in 2010.

the Zen of PowerPoint, Facebook, and Twitter - and Guy Kawasaki :)Guy Kawasaki: The Zen of PowerPoint, Facebook, and Twitter.  Some aesthetic principles applied to each...

 

TDF stage 15 / climb! / Voeckler wins from break, Contador attacks, takes yellow after Schleck's mechanical

Monday,  07/19/10  07:59 PM

TDF stage 15 profileOh what a day of racing we had today, and it will set up some intense racing in the days ahead! 

Thomas Voeckler wins from the break!As you can see from the profile, we had a long day in the mountains with the massive HC Port du Bales 20km from the finish.  An early break of ten riders took an eight minute lead to the base of the climb, and then immediately exploded.  Crowd favorite Thomas Voeckler rode strong, preserved two minutes of the gap to the summit, and soloed down the back for a well-deserved stage win.

Andy Schleck attacked the GC contenders on the final climb, but an untimely mechanical put Albert Contador in yellowMeanwhile behind him the real fireworks were exploding, as Team Saxobank ground the peloton down into just the GC leaders.  With 5km to go Andy Schleck attacked! and had pulled a gap when suddenly his chain came off.  (Replays were inconclusive as to why, but it looked like maybe the retractor on his back derailleur caught the chain.)  Immediately after Alberto Contador attacked himself, taking Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez with him.  After futzing with his chain for about 30s Schleck remounted and chased, getting back to within 20s at the top.  The descent was amazing, with Contador, Menchov, and Sanchez all taking turns pulling to open a gap, and Schleck and Jorgen van den Broek working to close it.  The result was a 49s gap at the finish, putting Contador into yellow for the first time this tour, by 8s.

There will be a lot of controversy over whether Contador should have stopped and waited - Team Cervelo owner Tweeted "Contador just gained a great chance to win, but he lost the chance to win greatly".  My initial reaction was that it was bad luck, and that's racing, but on further review I think Contador might have waited just a beat or two to see what had happened.  Menchov and Samuel probably would have waited, too.  Still in the heat of the moment you have to react, and Alberto reacted like he always reacts to anything - by attacking.

Alberto Contador apologizes for attacking Andy Schleck after the mechanical[Update: I see where Alberto has posted a YouTube apology to Schleck!  "Today I managed to get on the podium, which makes me happy. The problem was the circumstances."  Wow.]

It all sets up a great battle in the queen stage tomorrow, with two Cat 1s followed by two HCs over 200km.  By all means stay tuned!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

manic Monday

Monday,  07/19/10  09:03 PM

Just another manic Monday, wish it was Sunday...  calls and meetings and status reports and emails and waaaaaaaah!  If only I wasn't so busy working, maybe I could get some work done.  I did manage to sneak a nice 20 mile ride into a two hour gap.  And I did have a delightful conversation with a good friend.  And I watched the Tour stage which was amazing, if frustrating.  And ... I did blog a bit...

CNN FAQ on the oil spill: Is the disaster over?  Quick answer: no.

Huh: China passes USA as world's biggest energy consumer.  That's surprising.  It's not all those people though, it's all that manufacturing...  And China passed the USA as the world's biggest polluter some time ago :(

Los Angeles dreams of a new downtown river parkLos Angeles dreams of a new downtown river park.  Yes!  LA is a great city but the downtown of LA is not so great...  we need some development there, freshen things up, revitalize the center...

Inside the world's most advance submarine...Cool!  Inside the world's most advanced submarine.

Scott "Dilbert" Adams admires Apple's response to the iPhone 4 reception issue: High Ground Maneuver.  "If Jobs had not changed the context from the iPhone 4 in particular to all smartphones in general, I could make you a hilarious comic strip about a product so poorly made that it won't work if it comes in contact with a human hand. But as soon as the context is changed to "all smartphones have problems," the humor opportunity is gone. Nothing kills humor like a general and boring truth."

It *is* noticeable that someone all the other smartphone vendors have gotten drawn into this mess...

Jean-Louis Gassee: Antennagate: If you can't fix it, feature it!

Shocker: HP files for "PalmPad" trademark.  Can't wait!

Kindle books outselling hardcover books on Amazon.  Tipping point reached!

I lost one of my longtime favorite bloggers Halley Suitt for some reason - but found her! - and am catching up on old posts, like this one: What?! You're not lost in a book?!:  "I can't believe how few people around me take the time to read for pleasure."  Same!  Good night, off to read a little before falling asleep...

 

TDF stage 16 / climb / Lance attacks and almost wins! Fedrigo prevails; Hushovd back in green

Tuesday,  07/20/10  09:50 PM

TDF stage 16 profileWow, Lance *almost* pulled it off, and I think everyone was pulling for him to do it.  He almost won from a nine-man break, almost putting a great punctuation mark on his fabulous Tour de France career.  At least he gave it a shot!

Lance Armstrong led the break all day - and *almost* prevailed...Today we had the "queen stage", a huge climbing day with two Cat 1 climbs and two HC climbs... and [unfortunately] a rather long flat run after the final climb down to the finish.  It was tailor made for a breakaway, and indeed there was one, and among the twelve riders in it was #21, Lance Armstrong himself.  Also in it was Ryder Hesjedal, ensuring the peloton wasn't going to give the break too much leash.  After a while they were joined by Alexander Vinokourov, Carlos Sastre, Sandy Casar, and Anthony Charteau, the current KOM leader.  That was the status after the second Cat 1 Col d'Aspin.  Soon Casar attacked, and soon after so did Lance!  The peloton absorbed the break as other riders attacked off the front, even as Lance passed Casar on the lower slopes of the HC Col d'Tourmalet.  For a while he was all by himself, and we all wondered whether he'd be able to hang out there all day, with two HC passes ahead of him...

... but Pierrick Fedrigo outsprinted his fellow break-mates to win the stageBut it was not to be.  A nine-man break formed, with no GC contenders, and they made it all the way to the finish, but Pierrick Fedrigo out sprinted the rest of the break, leaving Lance to finish sixth.  I was a little sad but it was fun watching it all unfold however :)  Also great on this day: Thor Hushovd does what he always does, race his bike in the mountains as well as the flats, and as a result he took enough sprint points to reclaim the green jersey from Alessandro Petacchi.  We'll see if he can keep it, but it is cool that he can compete for the green jersey without actually being one of the top sprinters.

Tomorrow is a rest day - much needed, you can be sure - and the day after we'll have fireworks for sure as it will be Andy Schleck against Alberto Contador mano-a-mano on the hilltop finish to the Tourmalet, which they'll climb from the other side to the way they took it today.  Will be amazing!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

totally Tuesday

Tuesday,  07/20/10  10:09 PM

A long day of work for me - drove down early, many meetings - but overall things are going quite well.  I've been working on a project which is taking shape, and it's great to see it finally moving...  tonight I find myself in San Clemente - all the hotels in Carlsbad are occupied by ComicCon, apparently - and so I did a rather weird ride, lots of residential streets, kind of fun though as you never know what will be around the next corner, and the next...

... (and yes, of course, I did wear my sunglasses at night :) ...

... meanwhile it's *all* happening, what a day in the world and the blogosphere!

one small step... 41 years ago today!Today is the 41st anniversary of the lunar landing.  As I do every year, here's a link to the video; wow, *still* gives me goose bumps.  Everyone can remember where they were when this happened, right?  (Well, assuming you were alive :)

I don't necessarily agree with the New Yorker on most things, but Borderlines hits the nail on the head.  "The problem of illegal immigration isn’t a matter of violent criminals storming the walls of our peaceful towns and cities. It’s a matter of what to do about the estimated eleven million unauthorized residents who are already here."  I think of this every time I drive through the useless border checkpoints along I-5 between Oceanside and San Clemente, which I did tonight...

face-to-face communication, the modern wayNewScientist: Why Facebook friends are worth keeping...  (linked to the Google cache, to bypass the paywall.)  Apparently those "weak ties" to your not-really-best-friends have more value than we might think.  Maybe I should be friending more people?  Maybe.

WRONG: Guy Kawasaki explains why too much money is worse than too little.  He's making a valid point - that companies develop bad habits if they have too much money - but not having enough money kills a company more surely than anything else.

A re-introduction to JavaScript, on the Mozilla website; great article, linked as much for me (so I can find it later) as for you (so you can find it now).

create 3D holograms with your iPad!Massively cool: create a 3D hologram with your iPad...  best part, no funky glasses required :)  Seriously this technology could lead to some amazing things...  a home entertainment room with 3D?

Speaking of 3D, did you know?  Avatar and Aliens are the same movie!

Apple's data center?Apple's billion dollar data center will be done this year, and TechCrunch [as many others] wonders why are they building it?  Their answer: "iTunes in the cloud", and they might be right...  of course another possibility is streaming movies, and that's my own guess...

On Slashdot: the rise of small nuclear power plants.  "The prevailing wisdom is that nuclear plants must be very large in order to be competitive. This assumption is widely accepted, but, if its roots are understood, it can be effectively challenged."  Yay.

Most excellent from Jeff Atwood: Groundhog day, or the problem with A/B testing.  It celebrates Groundhog Day, one of the most excellent movies ever, and then goes on to make solid points about the virtues and limitations of A/B testing of software...  yeah, it's a stretch, but let's give him credit for celebrating the movie :)

Google image search enhancement dayGoogle had a big announcement day for a series of image search enhancements they're rolling out...  some UI improvements, and some new functionality, and ... image ads.  Cool for the most part, blech for the ads...

dolphins blowing air bubble rings!Finally via Little Green Footballs, this awesome video about dolphins blowing air bubble rings.  You must click through, please, you will be amazed!

 

Brains of the Man and the Woman

Tuesday,  07/20/10  10:30 PM


I love it
from a friend... who thinks Descartes was wrong (at least for men :-)

 

TDF stage 17 / climb! / battle royale on the Tourmalet ends in draw; Schleck wins but Contador keeps yellow

Thursday,  07/22/10  10:11 PM

TDF stage 17 profileToday featured the ultimate mountain battle - three amazing climbs culminating in a mountaintop finish on the HC Col du Tourmalet - and Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador fought to a draw, with Schleck winning the stage (by about a wheel) and Contador keeping the yellow jersey.

Andy Schleck attacks, Alberto Contador follows...After the usual break took off - doomed, as everyone knew, because the GC contenders would fight it out on the final climb - the peloton settled in and cruised over the first couple of Cat 1 climbs, descended into the valley, and then the hostilities began.  Schleck's Saxobank team put down the hammer, and ground down the peloton to a small group of elite riders.  At that point Schleck attacked, and only Contador could stay with him.  They rode as hard as two guys can ride all the way up the steep climb, each attacking the other, and neither gave an inch.  In the end Schleck won, but you could see Contador could have sprinted for the line, but choose not to...  he kept his yellow jersey (by 8s), and most observers believe he'll open the gap substantially in Saturday's time trial.  It was great to watch.

... and they tie at the top, with Schleck barely winning the stage, and Contador keeping his yellow jerseyMeanwhile Sammy Sanchez survived a nasty crash early in the day to recover and keep third position, opening his slim lead over Denis Menchov slightly.  Big winners on the day included Chris Horner and Ryder Hesjedal, losers included Levi Leipheimer and team Casse d'Epargne, who lost ground to Radio Shack in the team competition.  (Lance hung tough on that final climb, as did Andreas Kloden, giving the Shack a good top three for the day.)

A cool side note: after the break formed Carlos Sastre attacked, and he stayed out most of the day until he was caught midway up the final climb.  Good for him; it didn't work, but it was great to see him try it.

And so ... tomorrow we have a pure sprint stage, and then it is Saturday's time trial which will decide the winner.  The green jersey also lies in the balance with points available tomorrow and Sunday.  And chapeau to Anthony Charteau who has won the polka dot jersey as King of the Mountains...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

thinking Thursday

Thursday,  07/22/10  10:24 PM

Wow, where to start?  I've had an amazing couple of days, but if I tell you that and no more would it be a tease?  I can report I've been working a lot, and working out, and riding; did a nice loop around Miramar Air Base yesterday, that was fun, with the theme from Top Gun playing in my head...  and I am now back home after a battle with traffic*, and of course blogging.

the male brain is compartmentalized into little boxes - one of them is 'who do you want to be', and yes it *is* influenced by others...I've been reliving my past a bit; thinking about stuff that happened to me a long time ago, and how it influences me today...  perhaps a think piece ahead on this, who knows.  We have so much control over our lives, more than we realize, and you can make big changes in your life just by changing the way you feel about it at any time.

While my brain churns (as I take out my "who do I want to be" box :), a filter pass...

Paul Graham: The Top Idea in Your Mind.  "I realized recently that what one thinks about in the shower in the morning is more important than I'd thought... I'd say it's hard to do a really good job on anything you don't think about in the shower."  Fascinating, because one way to view his point is that you can only be working with one box at a time...  Paul is male, so I wonder ... would a female "philosopher of business" have the same insight? :)

is viewing digital slides the killer app for the iPad? probably not :)We are still hunting for the killer app for the iPad, and yet sales have blasted off...  My Mom is loving hers, but I still can't figure out what to do with mine except play with it.  I'm open to the possibility that I'm missing something here, can anyone help?  There is a suggestion in the BusinessWeek article about 'personal information dashboards' ... huh.  Would have to see it to get it, I think...

Apropos, Dave Winer considers Flipboard and reading surfaces.  Flipboard could definitely be considered a 'personal information dashboard'...

taking photos in public places is not a crimeGlenn Reynolds: Taking photos in public places is not a crime.  It just seems that way sometimes...

Comic Sans fights back.  I love it.  The whole fight about a type face is pretty comical :)

News you can use: What Duran Duran taught me about girls.  "...bringing people together is what music has always done best."  So, I'm Ole, and I like Duran Duran.  Consider it The Reflex...

Blue Holes: Amazing underwater caves in the BahamasBlue Holes: Amazing underwater caves in the Bahamas.  Wow, just when you think you've seen it all, you realize "it all" is so much more than you thought... even just on Earth.

MG Siegler: HP wants to become Apple, and WebOS is the key.  Absolutely.

ZooBorn: baby HyraxesHaven't had one for a while, but here's our ZooBorn of the day: a baby Hyraxes.  Did you know?  "Rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) look like very large guinea pigs but actually are most closely related to elephants."  Only ... smaller.

Finally: The longer you sit, the shorter your lifespan.  In other words... get off your ass and live!

* PS traffic won

 

TDF stage 18 / sprint / Cavendish wins another, Petacchi reclaims green

Friday,  07/23/10  06:46 PM

TDF stage 18 profileCavendishg wins the stage 18 sprint over Julian Dean and Alessandro Petacchi, leaving Thor Hushovd in th dust...Check out that stage profile, yep, what we have here is a bunch sprint.  After the day-long parade with a breakaway dangling out front, it was a hectic and tumultuous sprint; for a brief while Thor Hushovd looked to have the leadout and the edge, but then Alessandro Petacchi blew by, and Mark Cavendish blew by Petacchi, and after the dust settled Cavendish had won another stage and Petacchi was back in the green jersey, most likely for good.  Despite Hushovd's great work in the non-sprint stages he just doesn't have it in the sprints - probably still recovering from that broken collarbone earlier in the season...

Tomorrow we have the most excellent time trial through the vineyards of Bordeaux - and the yellow jersey and team competitions will be decided.  Stay tuned...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

friendly Friday

Friday,  07/23/10  07:37 PM

Loyola Marymount University's "U hall" (click to enbiggen)Interesting day...  slept in [a bit], watched Le Tour [of course], worked, and then visited Loyola Marymount University with Alex; it's one of the colleges she's considering (she's a senior now, going into next year, wow) - the whole "college" thing is weird, I can't believe Alex is that old and we're about to lose her...

Cool: Spitzer Telescope finds first-ever Buckyballs in space.  Buckyballs are molecules consisting of configurations of geodesic configurations of 60 carbon atoms, named after Buckminster Fuller.  The lack of gravity in space enables these configurations to form, apparently, and they can be detected by their spectral signature...

new Tron Legacy trailer looks amazingMan does this look cool: new Tron Legacy trailer.  I loved Tron, and this update seems excellent; they have extended the story nicely and the graphics are amazing.  Did you know the original Tron was rotoscoped by hand?  Yeah.

"Tron" keyboard...Here's the perfect keyboard accompaniment for it :)

Here's a weekend project for you: turn an inkjet into a 3D printer.  I want one!  (Not sure I want to make one, though... ;)

Up for debate: Women most attractive at 31.  Huh.  I will conduct personal research on this subject and report back :)

Another research subject: Sex makes you smarter.  Not so sure about virtual sex however, seems like it would lead to virtual exercise, and the health benefits of that are questionable.

The weather is going to be amazing, so get out there and enjoy it; I plan to do some mountain bike riding and some sailing ... and some working ... and some blogging.  Have a great weekend!

 

TDF stage 19 / time trial / Cancellara rips course, Contador survives Schleck, Menchov takes over third

Saturday,  07/24/10  05:57 PM

Fabian Cancellara dominates ITT in TDF stage 19Today was the traditional "penultimate day time trial", and the flat course through the Bordeaux wine vineyards provided plenty of drama.  The competitors ride in reverse order of their standing on GC, so Fabian Cancellara went early, smashed the course before the wind came up, and then spent all day watching other riders try unsuccessfully to beat his time.  Tony Martin was second (another early rider).

Denis Menchov had a great ride to finish tops among the GC contenders and take over third placeLater in the day the GC contenders fought it out; Denis Menchov had a great ride in the increasing wind to take over third from Samuel Sanchez.  And Andy Schleck went out fast - wow! - nearly was the leader on the road, but ultimately Alberto Contador prevailed and ended up consolidating his lead in the yellow jersey.  The Radio Shack boys didn't fare too well - Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, and Chris Horner, but they still added to their team's overall lead and will end up on the podium tomorrow.

Tomorrow we'll have the usual parade to Paris and bunch sprint, with the extra drama that the green jersey is still up for grabs; Alessandro Petacchi has it now, but Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish both have a shot at it.  One more day!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Saturday,  07/24/10  06:20 PM

self-portrait while mountain biking up to Simi PeakA quick post before heading out for a great dinner (!); spent a nice day watching Le Tour (congrats Alberto, although I was rooting for Andy, and yay Menchov!), working, and did a fantastic mountain bike ride up to Simi Peak.  I forgot how much I enjoy mountain biking - and how technical it is - must do more often... (maybe tomorrow after sailing :)...

A key part of enjoying a mountain bike ride is of course the choice of music; Van Halen is great for gnarly climbs, for example, and UB40 for gliding singletrack descents.  I do not recommend anything too mellow as you must keep your speed and concentration *up* for safety.

Escher 360 panoramaWow is this awesome: a 3D/360 panoramic photo tribute to M.C. Escher...  no idea how it was done, but it's amazing.  Some people have too much time on their hands :)

So, it's been a week since my Like-ing Facebook experiment; last Saturday I added "Like" buttons to all the posts on my blog.  So far I'd say nobody has been hurt, but it hasn't exactly taken off either; I think like four posts have been "liked", by like eight people.  So be it.  In the name of science, the experiment will continue :)

the cyptogram cell-counting challengeI've posted about this before; the Scintellix cryptogram challenge.  Bertalan Mesko notes We have a new clue.  This looks like an interesting puzzle, not even sure of the form of the answer.  Maybe it is 42?

Cheers, I'm off to eat and drink, see y'all tomorrow!

 

TDF stage 20 / parade + sprint / Cavendish unstoppable again, Contador crowned, Petacchi keeps green

Sunday,  07/25/10  07:27 PM

Team Astana lead victorious Alberto Contador into ParisThe final stage of the 2010 Tour de France was a parade, as usual, followed by a bunch sprint, as usual, which Mark Cavendish won going away - as usual!  Man he is just so much faster than everyone else, it is scary.  Thor Hushovd got a great leadout and the camera was following him from the side as he cranked up his sprint, and suddenly Cavendish entered the frame from behind him and blew through, a yellow flash.  Wow!  Alessandro Petacchi finished a distant second to claim the green jersey; congratulations to him...

Team Radio Shack show off their spiffy "28" jerseys while being presented as the top team in the 2010 TourThe main excitement of the day occured before the start; Team Radio Shack unveiled their cool new "28" jerseys, all black (memo to self: get one!) only to be informed that they would be disqualified if they didn't switch back.  Boo.  So we were treated to the sight of nine riders sitting by the side of the road, pinning their numbers onto new jerseys, while the peloton soft pedaled through the neutral zone.  Pretty funny.  Later the team showed off their new jerseys while being presented as the top team in the 2010 Tour (pic at right).  It is fitting that Lance Armstrong's team won, in his final Tour; he has always been about the team, and he came back to cycling to promote Livestrong, his "team" to fight cancer.  Chapeau, Lance!

Tour de France 2010 podium: Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador, Denis MenchovThe final podium featured Alberto Contador winning his third tour, Andy Schleck with his second consecutive second, and Denis Menchov, who has won the Vuelta twice and the Giro, and has now been on the podium of the Tour.

It was a great Tour - the best really since I began paying attention, in terms of the competition and the route and all the side stories - and I'm sad it is over.  More perspective in a future post, but au reviour Le Tour for now.

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

sailing Sunday

Sunday,  07/25/10  07:35 PM

A great Sunday; we watched the final stage of le Tour, and then I went sailing with Meg on Westlake.  Somewhere in there we had a marvelous late lunch, sitting lakeside and enjoying the day of the world.  I have quoted Wind in the Willows many times: "there is nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats", and so it was today.

Is anybody out there?  The Times of India reports 140 'earths' found... out of 700 new planets.  All by NASA's Kepler space probe.  I wonder how many of those 140 'earths' have intelligent life, and have launched space probes?

Team Radio Shack swap their special "28" jerseys before the start of today's Tour de France stageI found this rather amusing; for the past two weeks (since the end of the World Cup) the biggest sporting event going has been the Tour de France, but CNN only ran an article about it today, because of the Team Radio Shack special jersey story.  I guess cycling really hasn't made it as a mainstream sport in the U.S. yet :)

I *must* get one of those jerseys; instant classic!

Mini Cooper!Alexis and I have been exploring Mini Coopers!  How fun is that... they seem to be Alex' hearts' desire, and I must admit, they are really cute.  Not to mention they're safe - well built, with lots of good features - and economical.  Pretty fun to drive, too; with that little engine, they zip around like a go cart.  Quite a practical little car for a teen.  Anyway who knows but the exploration has been fun... 

(In answer to your next question: Charcoal with black trim :)

And so ends another great weekend.  Onward!

 

reliving an amazingly great Tour de France!

Monday,  07/26/10  11:17 PM

Tour de France 2010Well it was a great tour, an *amazingly* great tour, and now it's over, and like always at the end of July, now I'm sad.  No more getting up early to watch Phil and Paul and Bob and Craig, no more watching 200 lycra-clad athletes ride bikes around France, surrounded by the most amazing scenery as the climb the Alps and the Pyrenees, and fly through little villages, and pass through big cities brought to a standstill by their passing.  Not until next year anyway.

Here are the highlights for me:

  • Fabian Cancellara dominating the Prologue in Rotterdam.  How great was he, and how great was it to have the Prologue there, and how significant was the Prologue, as the time gaps in that 7 mile race determined the winner three weeks and 2,100 miles later.
  • Alessandro Petacchi winning stage 1 in Belgium.  Who?  Oh yeah, him, only one of the best sprinters ever, and we all thought it would be between Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar.  Thus was heralded one of the best green jersey competitions in recent memory.
  • That weird standstill in stage 2, wherein the entire peloton except race winner Sylvain Chavanel finished together in the same time, at the behest of Fabian Cancellara.  Sure there were a lot of crashes but neutralize the whole race?  It sure hurt Thor Hushovd, and it sure helped Andy Schleck.
  • And then - dum dum dum - we had stage 3, the cobblestone stage!  Won by Thor Hushovd, to his everlasting credit.  And Alberto Contador did just fine, thank you, and Andy Schleck did too (by following in the wake of Fabian Cancellara).  But Frank Schleck broke his collarbone, ending his tour, and perhaps fatally hurting teammate and brother Andy's chances for the overall victory.
  • Forward to stage 5, as Mark Cavendish tearfully blazed to victory, after Petacchi had claimed stage 4.  The Manx Missile was back, and took stage 6 too, for good measure.
  • Stage 7 was cool as Sylvain Chavanel attacked on the final climb and ran away to victory, claiming the yellow jersey and the hearts of French cycling fans everywhere.
  • And then stage 8, that fateful stage, the first "real" climb in the Alps.  Lance Armstrong crashed three times and lost 12 minutes, eliminating his chance to win.  Meanwhile Andy Schleck took time on everyone and won, leaving Cadel Evans in yellow.
  • And then Stage 9 saw another contender eliminated as Cadel Evans broke his elbow and lost big time.  Schleck and Contador put time into all the GC contenders as it became obvious one of them would win the tour.
  • Stage 12 was a doozy, the final Alpine stage; a huge break boiled down to Alexander Vinokourov attacking up the final climb, only to be caught by Contador, who attacked the GC peloton and put 10s into Schleck to win the stage.  Fireworks!  Also cool on this day was watching Hushovd lumber up the climbs to take sprint points and claim the green jersey.  And Vino attacked the sprinters the following day to win stage 13.
  • The Tour moved into the Pyrenees, and stage 14 was another great shootout.  Contador and Schleck battled to a standstill, while Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez fought a battle of their own for third place.
  • Probably the stage most people will remember best?  Stage 15, another mountain battle; Thomas Voeckler won (!), but Schleck attacked and was pulling time on the GC group when his chain came off!  Whoa.  Contador wasted no time blowing past, and by the time the dust settled he had taken 40s from Schleck, as well as the yellow jersey (for good, as it turned out).
  • Stage 16 looked like a chance for a breakaway, and so it was, but the amazing news was that Lance Armstrong himself attacked and led the race solo for a while, before a nine-man break formed.  He gave it his best shot and we were all rooting for him to win, but he was out-sprinted in the end.
  • If you ever want to see an epic battle on a mountaintop finish, check out stage 17, in which Schleck did everything he could to attack Contador and take time, and nearly did, but then didn't; he did win, but Contador was half a wheel behind.  It was awesome cycling.  And meanwhile Menchov and Sanchez pulled away and drew in their competition for third.
  • The final GC battle was the ITT, as usual, stage 19 through the vineyards of Bordeaux.  Cancellara won, to noone's surprise (and his delight and relief), while Menchov posted the best time among the GC contenders, blasting away from Sanchez to secure third.  And Andy did the ride of his life to challenge Alberto, but just couldn't do it; a noble effort that fell just short, leaving Contador the overall victor by 40s.
  • And the final sprint battle was the final stage, as usual, the parade up and down the Champs Elysees; Cavendish blew out to win, his fifth of the tour, and Petacchi finished second to end up as the sprint champion.  Adding spice; the Team Radio Shack "28" jersey stunt (which raised the UCI's ire), as they won the team competition, putting Lance back on the podium as a winner in his last Tour.

As I said, a *great* tour, every day there was something new, something cool, and often a bunch of things going on at once.  I already cannot wait until next year...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

 

Ouch!

Tuesday,  07/27/10  11:57 PM

Well I'm fine.  But my poor little car is not :( 

Heading home on the 405 tonight, about 30mph, two lanes closed due to construction.  Suddenly the car in front of me hits the car in front of him who had hit the car in front of him.  Bam bam.  I slam on my brakes and try to swerve into the other lane but there is a car there.  Bam bam.

Wow.  Did that actually just happen?

I'm ... okay.  Wearing my seat belt, air bag didn't deploy.  Car seems ... okay.  It can drive.  Turn on flashers.  I move over to the right gingerly, there is no shoulder due to construction, nowhere to go.  Head for the next exit, there it is, I creep off the freeway and into a nearby gas station.  Inspect the damage.

Ouch.

My poor little car is hurt.  Badly.  Cannot open the driver's door, so climb out on the right.  Left front side smashed, headlight gone, wheel well collapsed.  Right front side all scraped up too.

I call 911.  Report a collision.  I was involved, I'm okay.  No, I have no idea who else was involved, or what happened to them.  Yes, I will wait for the highway patrol.

I wait.

The patrolmen show up in force; three cars six people.  I answer many questions, they take many notes, they leave.  Apparently no other cars stopped, nobody else reported the accident.  Huh.

I drive my car slowly to the repair shop.  My daughter picks me up, takes me home.

Well I'm fine.  But my poor little car is not :(

 

Ouch! the morning after...

Wednesday,  07/28/10  10:23 AM

I am weirdly disconnected from my accident last night.  I know that it happened, I can visualize the whole thing perfectly, but it seems like a dream.  Not even a bad dream, just something that I experienced, but not in real life.  I talk to the repair shop, I talk with my insurance agent, I talk with friends, and it all just seems like stuff someone else is doing as part of someone else's life.  Maybe I just can't accept that my poor little car was thrashed so badly.  Thinking about it, I do believe it will be okay in the end; I don't think the frame was damaged, or the engine, or anything fundamental, but it is going to take time and money to recover.  The main damage will be to my wallet, yikes.

BTW thanks for all your well wishes.  I *am* fine, but my poor little car is not :(

 

Wired: cockpits

Saturday,  07/31/10  08:18 AM

Wired: cockpits
you might be a geek if you love these as much as I do

SR71 blackbird
world's fastest manned jet.  still.

Oasis of the Seas
world's largest passenger liner

hydrogen ICE streamliner
world's first zero-emission land rocket

Grave Digger
world's largest monster truck

Boeing 787
world's most modern passenger jet

Triton bathyscape
world's first personal submarine

 

en vacance...

Saturday,  07/31/10  08:33 AM

the Coral Casino in MontecitoOn vacation in Montecito - yay! - and man I have a lot going on...  still recovering emotionally from my car accident Tuesday night (and haven't even recovered financially, ouch, indeed).  As usual when I am on vacation, things come to a head at work, and I end up working (!); maybe someday I'll master disconnecting from the real world, but I haven't yet.  And on another thread, we might buy a car for Alex today; it is the last day of the month, and hence we are dealing with a very motivated dealer :)

It's kind of sad to look at my home page and realize I still have my 2010 Tour de France posts linked, that already seems like weeks ago...

Meanwhile, let's make a filter pass...

A great article with a great point: Are you a social networking mutant?  On the generational differences in the usage of Facebook...  I have totally noticed this myself.  I am definitely in between, I think my approach to things like Facebook is "younger" than I am, possibly because I am philosophically interested at a meta level as well as directly interested in networking.  The line between one-on-one private interaction and one-to-many public is definitely blurring...

Google developing Facebook rival.  So be it, and good luck to them, but the network effect helping Facebook is so powerful.  Will Facebook ever be replaced?  I think... no.  They must stick to their knitting, but so far they have.

Totally true: Clive Thompson on the death of the phone call.  I, too, text way more than I used to, and call way less.  I actually text colleagues during the day all the time now, and am surprised when I encounter one who doesn't carry their cell with them.  Shirley and I text each other constantly in lieu of calling, too.  Don't know why it's better, but somehow, it is...

A Linux experiment gone horribly...perfect!  It is interesting to contemplate, would it be possible to live without Windows?  As I look at my usage of my laptop, the answer is "no"- I run Visual Studio, for example - but for much of what I do it could be done.  Email, surfing, and blogging are easily done on any platform, and [apparently] it is now possible to edit Word documents and use Excel spreadsheets and create Powerpoint presentations as well.  Windows is definitely under siege.

An interesting data point:  A couple of weeks ago we had a power failure which lasted a rare two hours, outlasting my UPS.  In consequence I had to reboot my webserver, which previous to that had been up 464 days without interruption.  It is a twelve-year-old Pentium II with 256MB of RAM, running RedHat Linux v7.  You are reading this site from that very machine right now :)

John Kerry's yachtIn re: John Kerry's tin ear (buying an expensive yacht from a foreign builder, and moving it to avoid taxes); my reaction is that maybe he isn't as dumb as I thought.  He is exactly as hypocritical as I thought.  Would he have been worse than Obama?  Yeah, probably, he would have had all the same liberalism but without the communication skills.

finding Aliens: follow the photosynthesisGood to know: How to find aliens: follow the photosynthesis.  If there is extraterrestrial life, it will have to get energy from somewhere, and radiation from stars is a likely source.  And conversion of that radiation will likely proceed via some kind of photosynthesis...  BTW for this reason it is far more probable to find alien "plants" on another planet than alien "animals"!

Related: a new take on the Fermi paradox.  (This is the observation that if alien life existed, we would have found it by now.)  Maybe we've found it already and don't know it, or maybe [as this link suggests] there are structural reasons why civilizations won't "find" each other...

Meanwhile: teams of physicists closing in on the God particle.  That is, they are starting to figure out where it is not.

Weird note: took me about five minutes to decide to capitalize God in the above note.  I figured in this usage, it is a proper noun :)

Scott "Dilbert" Adams with another great thought experiment: Startup Countries.  "My idea for today is that established nations could launch startup countries within their own borders, free of all the legacy restrictions in the parent country."  I love it.  Interesting to contemplate what kind of immigration laws would such a country have?

Apple's Magic TrackpadApple's Magic Trackpad, now available.  IMNSHO, a useful peripheral, but it does not herald the end of the mouse, nor anything that fundamental.  I do plan to get one :)  I've used trackpads for years on laptops, and find them reasonable mouse equivalents, but not sure they're actually better than mice when space is available.

I spend a lot of time playing with navigation devices, hoping to find one which makes navigation of digital slides easier.  Maybe this is it?  Must try and report...

Related: BlindType, the amazing virtual keyboard of the future.  The demo looks awesome, but will the shipping product match the promise of the demo?  I am weakening in my insistence on a physical keyboard; the iPhone has been *so* successful I'm concluding it is possible to get used to a virtual keyboard and love it.  Huh.

Stieg Larson ("the Girl who...") is Amazon's first Kindle Million Author.  He won't be the last!

eye-popping 3D street art - wow!This is way cool: eye-popping 3D street art.  Please click through to see these, amazing...

The Chinese can't figure out why we don't love their World's Fair.  Are we losing our ability to be impressed by the future?

ZooBorns: baby ostriches!ZooBorns of the week: baby ostriches!

So be it... and now, off to buy a Mini!  Please stay tuned...

 
 

Return to the archive.

Home
Archive
flight
About Me
W=UH
Email
RSS   OPML

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Lying
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
Confidence
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
entertainment
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
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
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
resolved
to space
notebooks
where are the desktop apps?