Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Here we go..

So, today, I provided my real photo for my 'paying' gig. It was accepted. My image will be available for public viewing sometime soon. Rest assured, my blog here will continue to be the Windows 7 version of me.

I was a bit disturbed, that when I perused my hard-drive for suitable digital images of my visage, I found that I had very little of what I was looking for. I have many pictures of my butt riding a bike. (I was suddenly struck that I'm not sure that the rest of me knows what's like to ride.) In other images, I was lost in a stiff breeze, or sweating profusely from a (mumble-mmlmph-mumble)-mile hike. Not to sound like my life is much more epic than it really is, but it's clear that, while indoors, cameras found taking snapshots of me, are likely to suffer tremendous palpitations, and/or systemic failure.

That said, my 'paying' gig has a tendency toward verbosity even worse than what I've shown here. Man, if I got paid by the word... I'd stop using elipses, that's one thing. While I enjoy sports, epic in nature, it's not because I like words, epic in nature. I just happen to like sports that happen in nature, and are epic. Okay, so hockey occurs indoors, but the Stanley Cup beards are epic, and, let's face it, the playoff beards are very natural.

Moving on, I have an assignment for myself for this blog, and I'm afraid it's still forthcoming. As a proud slacker, I can't allow myself to do things on time. It might give me more time in the rest of my life to get other things done, where I start creating even better compositions, start giving dramatic readings of my work, get signed as a recording artist, sell-out, make a ton of money, go to 'I just made a ton of money as a recording artist' parties, meet male supermodels with ready access to illicit drugs, lose money trying to buy fashions to fit in with the supermodels, develop an addiction to an illicit substance developed from the blood of an endangered species, lose even more money than I have today, and end up broken and homeless. No. It's much better to be a slacker.

The new Twilight film opens tonight, for a 'special' engagement midnight showing. I might have to spend money to go see this film. I'm told it will be epic. I happened to have seen the trailer, and it prominently featured Seattle's Space Needle. It has a new name, that's far more pretentious, now that several cities in North America also have high-rise rotating restaurants, but to me, our is still the only 'real' one. But, I will say that featuring our Space Needle in the trailer is enough to get me to see the movie, so really, to also advertise it as epic, is just pandering. If they want me to see it so bad, they should just pay me.

Then, the trailer shows some exposed, twentysomething, male, shaved shirtlessness. That's when I decided that it's not just me that the advertisers are pandering to. Oh, silly, silly marketers. You really should have released this movie last weekend. That would be sweet.

Much has been happening in the world of sports. Wimbledon continues, as does the World Cup. Much can be said for the tenacity of these events. Not like that slacker sport, Tour de France. Oh sure, it's tough to ride fast for that long, and over all those mountains. But, it does include a couple of 'rest' days. Without those, the Tour could easily travel France and Belgium combined. Who knows, they might even be able to cover Denmark, while they're at it. Ah yes, the Tour de France. In Copenhagen. On fashionable bikes, and fashionable shoes. Anybody can ride for a really long time in lycra. But in denim? And Manolo Blaniks. Oh dear.

So, if you're riding a fashionable bike, or expensive shoes,

Ride safe. I love you all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ahh Monday..

I reestablished today, that Mondays are full of epic-itude. I'm certain that after an epic adjustment it will be back in the correct attitude for the week.

I'm glad it's over.

As you move into Tuesday,

...you know what comes next.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pay no attention to the Man behind the curtain..

Here in Seattle, and in many places around the world, we are wrapping up the heady days that define Pride Week. As mentioned on CurrentTV's, "Infomania", this is the equivalent of a Gay New Years celebration (Hooray!). So make a resolution for how you will be better to the gay community in the coming year, and settle back into the reality that not all gays choose to wear glitter.

It was also brought to my attention that another act of terrorism has occurred in the city that is New York, and this time, it was an act that resulted in tragedy. There is no suspect that can be brought to justice, since it was a suicidal act. The culprit was a tree branch, in New York's Central Park; though, don't let the typical benevolence of trees reduce your opinion of this heinous crime. Here in the Northwest, trees are feared every November, as they commit terrible acts against the communities here. In this case it was an offending limb that, reportedly, crashed into a strolling mother, and her six-month-old child.

In all seriousness, I would like offer my condolences to the family. They suffered loss of their young child from the incident. I encourage them to keep in mind that they are not to blame for this tragedy, and should always remember that it was an offensive act beyond their direct control. Life is incredibly unfair, and please know that as humans, we are all here for each other. Please extend a hand, or a hug, to the person nearest you. This is all we ever, truly, have.

And to the Trees, I say this. Terrorism in New York City is so overdone, and tree terrorism anywhere is way to commonplace to merit acknowledgment of whatever cause you are promoting. For that, I will remind you that I will continue to use copius amounts of paper products, anytime I feel a need to rid myself of my 'bodily humours'. In fact, I'll encourage everyone I know to do the same. Yeah, you heard me. Take that, Trees! We will stand strong!

Moving on, I'm aware that this blog was hijacked yesterday, by a certain member of my household who ranted about some slang usage elsewhere on the web. I apologize for this, and have 'meted out' a punishment accordingly. On top of all that, the statement in question, was only marginally correct.

In the land of all sports, epic in nature, the World Cup tournament continues. FIFA's leadership announced today that they prefer 'the human factor', when it comes to goal line officiating. That's great for the soccer 'purists' out there, but personally, I prefer the mathematical element that technology may bring to the game. There's beauty in the way that numbers describe the world. I'll grant that technology can't extend a warm embrace, but give it time. It keeps advancing. I'm hoping that in recognition of this human element, FIFA will implement a new rule such that whenever the goal judge determines, "No goal", he or she should, then, offer hugs to the affected players.

("Is that a Yellow Card in your pocket?")

As we continue to wait for the most, marketed-as-epic of all epic events--the Tour de France, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships are under way, just outside of London's town proper. As with all epic sports, Wimbledon did not disappoint, in that it presented an epic-y event within an event, earlier this week, when the Isner/Mahut match continued on epic-ly for three days.

A tennis match, even a close one that goes a full five sets, usually lasts no more than a few hours. Typically, the winner of a set is the first person to win six games, but must always win by two, in the final set of a Wimbledon match. (Tennis players have their own equivalent of the 'dude rule'.) So, I venture that Wimbledon people don't hang out much at World Cup soccer events. Not only do they allow instant replay, they do not allow for ties. As it happened, young American, John Isner, eventually won with an astonishing final set score of 70-68, and the bourgeois sport of tennis very briefly captured the world's attention like an enthusiastic 'footballer' tearing his/her shirt off post-match.

On a side note, consumption of epic sports is an epic sport of it's own right. I'm considering starting a training camp, where I can offer coaching services for this. I could be the Chris Carmichael of Monday morning quarterbacks everywhere.

That said, whether you're a pocketed, Yellow Card of an international soccer tournament official this week, or a specifically-strung racket, in a what-should-be-expensive-but-it's-part-of-the-sponsorship-package quiver,

Ride safe. I love you all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Don't Kick the Baby!

I'd like to start today's post off with a note that Seattle has had two sunny days in a row. I'd like to, but I won't, since acknowledging this fact is the best way to ensure rain on the following day. This is not dissimilar to our locally favored riddle, "What's a day of sunshine after two days of rain? Monday."

So instead, I will congratulate the US men's FIFA soccer team, or The Yanks, as they're calling themselves these days, for their win and for advancing to the next round of the World Cup in style. I will continue my intermittent mentions of this epic tournament, but I need to do some additional research about the sport, first.

Like many sports fans, I know squat about soccer. The way that I find it easiest to follow, is that it's a swollen version of hockey, though I'm uncertain as to which sport originated first. In the end, I don't care which did. Hockey players are tougher, in my opinion, because they compete for the Stanley Cup yearly. Soccer players compete for the World Cup only once every four years or so. In truth, this level of slackerishness suits me, a bit, so if anything in the sport of Soccer appeals to me, it's definitely the World Cup.

The part that I don't get is that soccer is bloated by comparison to other popular, professional sports. I'm unstudied in the antics of these players off the field, but I can't help but wonder if steroids were first invented to keep up with the size of this event.

First off, the field is HUGE. The overall dimensions of a regulation adult soccer field is 100 yards long and 60 yards wide. I suppose this is because it's in the adult category. Having visited an adult bookstore before (for research, I swear!), I recall that size matters and large accounts for a lot in the adult world. By turns, the adult soccer goal is 24 feet wide by 8 feet high. By comparison, the hockey rink is only 66-2/3 yards (or 200ft) long by 28- 1/3 yards (or 85 ft) wide, and the goal is 6 feet wide by 4 feet high. If you have difficulty understanding number comparisons, like I do, suffice it to say that adult soccer is as much as four times larger than official hockey. (Don't worry hockey; I hear there's a cream for that now.)

How did a soccer field get so big? Did someone plug the nose and mouth of the hockey rink, and it simply swelled full of air? Is soccer on an all salt diet? Was it an accommodation for the fact that this is the only sport (that I know of) where kicking balls really hard is expected? Is it *gasp* doping? Okay, so yes, the soccer ball is much, much larger than a hockey puck, so it requires more space to maneuver. If soccer was played on a 200 ft long field, it would be like playing playing hockey on a field the size of twin mattress. As you might expect, if there's more than one individual on a twin mattress, there will be scoring. The challenge, in fact, is score avoidance, but who wants to watch that?

So the soccer field is larger than the properties on which some French chateaus are situated, so why are there only two periods? My guess is that the word 'period' was too easily construed as gross to some participants. Rather than dividing a match into three or four different time segments, it was determined that if there were only two, the sport could utilize the word 'halves' instead. Periods are bloody and traumatic. Halves are how pears, walnuts, and grapefruits are served. I can't say I blame soccer's inventors for this one.

That said, I know that the sport about which I've just discussed, is more commonly known around the world as football, I'm not intelligent enough to keep it straight with the other sport known as football, so I'll continue with the word 'soccer'.

Now that I've proven that I know nothing about the sport of soccer, I'm hoping I can better prepare myself for the next round of matches, so that I can offer some reporting of this epic event, known as World Cup. That said, I made several attempts to give my full attention to the first round of matches, but with my lack of preparation, I fell asleep each time. I am certain I can get through these games with my full attention, but I need to train with a powertap couch a few more hours a week, and I'll find my groove. I'm certain there's much more to this sport that's just waiting to be watched and blogged about.

So if you're expecting good weather tomorrow, or if you're planning a couch trip,

Ride safe. I love you all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Did the Northwest have talent?

Today, the sun came out, at long last, in what is seeming to be the apparent, early stages of global warming reversal. It seems that the Northwest has been so successful in our Green programs that we've successfully halted climate change, or any temperature change for that matter.

Thankfully, with the sunshiney state of the day, there was much gleeful cavorting and tossing off of responsibility. (I chose not to investigate whether there was any actual 'tossing off' during the day's events.) Being that I was unused to the level of joy that today's weather provided, I was strangely tired by the end of the day.

As soon as I reached my humble cave in the paleolithic section of the city, I found myself immediately in the tender embrace of dreamless sleep. Granted, sleeping so soundly in this part of town can be troublesome, in that brontosauruses bray angrily throughout the day and night. But, who can resist secured, garage parking.

As I slowly roused from my brief, though refreshing, slumber, I heard the braying of a different sort. I opened my eyes to see a purple-coiffed woman with two aging gentlemen on either side of her. My cave had been invaded by none other than Sharon Osbourne, and tonight's airing of America's Got Talent. Yes. My cave gets cable. Seattle has been ahead of the techno-curve for a very long time.

I will say that, though, I wanted to immediately turn off the television, or at least turn the channel. It seems that I was still in the half-sleep paralysis in that I could not move, nor adjust my surroundings in any way. I'm guessing that some sort of quantum-beam is programmed into the filming of this 'event' such that one cannot be stirred, despite hours of athletic training to the contrary.

No sooner, had I worked up the strength to alter my surroundings when suddenly, the 'Talent' show had transported itself to our little sister city, Portland. Portland has become the subject of much attention in the cycling community of late, so I was curious to see what this show would choose to present.

Portland and Seattle are often interchangeably considered to be the "Pacific Northwest". As much as I appreciate the tasty micro-brewed beer, production-level cheese, and sales-tax-free shopping, I confess that I can only tolerate Portland for a matter of hours at a time. I've found that Portlanders who venture up I-5 to visit their jaded neighbors to the north are folks that I like, so I can't say that I am uncomfortable with the people of the city. It's just that the total package of Portland sets every cell in my body into some kind of twitching, microcosmic indigestion. I think it is part of a crude transformative process, similar to that which was depicted in cinematic film, 'District 9'. I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure that this sensation signals the beginning of an individual's integration into the Portland Borg, which is how they're able to afford their lack of a sales tax. I always enjoy myself in Portland, but I tend to freak out if I stay for very long.

So, apparently, Portland is weird. The show made sure to spell that out in the introductions, and the show's aforementioned hosts, kept commenting on the weirdness, at any opportunity that arose. Nevermind that these hosts include Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel, but then, I guess they know 'weird' better than most.

The show made sure to present a cyclist among the group of contestants. Jeremy Vanshloogen (please forgive my inability to spell ethnic names,) from Talent, OR, who rode a bike without a seat. In a sport, or talent, he had a name for that I didn't catch (though, it included crashing, so I'm guessing this may be related to triathlons in some way,) he attempted to do his best impression of Danny McAskill. To my horror, he was allowed to advance to the next level of competition. I was happy for the guy for reaching his goal of the night, but the fact that this indicated acceptance of his seatless bicycle frightened me. Maybe my interest in having a seat on my bike is luxury that I should cherish, as it may be going away soon.

Then, the self-described, 'Air Guitar Supergroup' Airpocalypse took the stage. They were everything that they promised to be. Kilt-tastic, print-denim, and hirsute. Brilliance. Yes, I said it. That's just me sometimes. Edgy and offensive. Too bad that's not an actual talent.

For now, I have to decide whether I want to continue my exploration of national tv's presentation of a city they can only describe as 'weird', or find some other pursuit before I return my previous, slumbering state. I will say, that if you're in the Northwest, and you plan on doing some 'stage' cycling..

Ride safe. I love you all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"We're about to see some Nekkidity"

The Answer to Why People Ride Naked in FremontSo you may recall from my previous post, that I recently had an opportunity to further explore the way other people experience bikes and bike culture. With the aid of my Fabian Cancellara, I motored over to the annual Fremont Solstice Parade. (Though you may recall that I needed a Gruber Assist to reach my other engagement.) Now, don't get me wrong. It's clear all over Seattle, that we're all feeling jilted by what most people consider to be a fixture of Summer: the sun. But that doesn't stop some of us from stripping down to the kind of outfits that only a strong, unnatural high provides, and others of us to swarm the sidewalks in anticipation of witnessing it.

Seattle's been doing the naked bike riding thing for, in internet terms (that's the only timeframe that matters anymore,) a century or so. In fact, the original riders were only captured in old-timey photos. On top of that, there were only something like four dudes. Now, not only is the gender mixed, there's hundreds of crotches getting overly familiar with wheeled conveyances. And the weather never matters.

I would like to tell the story of this parade, but of course visuals tell it much better. Recognizing that for some reason, nudity pisses people off, I will do my best to present a link-based bedtime story of this year's Naked-Parade, instead. Rest assured, the images behind the links are largely unsafe for work. It's called:

Everyone Loves a Na-rade!

Once upon a time, there was a city within a city called, Fremont.

Each year, they stage a morality play of sorts to everyone's navorite nagan god, the Sun.

This parade is full of nomfoolery,

and neanders.

And occasionally, has a nishap, or two. But always, the parade nolls on.

One year, it seemed that the sun was not going to come out. The festival goers waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Was the parade overtaken by a techno-dork?

Or by this guy?

Who has time to know, when you have to watch out for nicycle nhieves!

and Neelzebub!

And the Nobal Warming posse!

And whatever this nguy is!

Oh, fairy princesses! Can you rescue the sun?

Wait, hold on a minute.
Sorry, I got nidetracked for a second.

Call the n-olice!

And the NuperFriends!

And Nario Nippolini!

That did it. Nature is happy and looking to the nuture again.

And the sun reappeared in full glory. Sure, she's a little nifferent, but still larger than life.

But don't look now. The Neprechaun (purposely not zoomed in) is still after your Bag of Nold!

So is that the end of the story neeking through?

Yes, that's the nend.

I hope you've enjoyed my little yarn. The riders in the parade represented an interesting cross-section of folks willing to get on a bike, at least one day in their lives. I hope the sense of freedom and euphoria stays with them, and that any remnant regret or crotchal irritation does not.

But then, I wish that for all cyclists.

Ride safe. I love you all.

Collision! When anonymous people meet..

In pro-cycling, the pre-Tour de France races are wrapping up, and the world on two-wheels waits with baited breath for the grandest race of the year.

Here in Seattle, we wait anxiously for the return of the sun, to our woeful and misting skies, like Punxsatawny Phil to some mound of dirt in Pennsylvania. That being the case, we formally invited the annual return of our celestial friend, with the Fremont Solstice Parade. At this event every year, the 'Sun' rides into town on the final float of the march, and is welcomed as joyfully as Santa Claus.

While I attended the parade, I could not stay for the arrival of the Sun. (In truth, the actual sun didn't even bother to stop by--It's so rude to us sometimes.) As a fan of BikeSnobNYC's blog for as long as I have been, I could not allow myself to miss a rather limited opportunity to meet him in person, during the promotional tour for his new book.

With the help of my Gruber Assist, I was able to make it to Snob's event in time to get a seat. Indeed, I got there just minutes before Snob entered the room to set up the presentation. I confess, the only reason I was able to get a seat, at the time that I did, is because of the unwritten dude rule. (I don't pretend to know many of the unwritten dude rules, but I am familiar with the one of not sitting next to another dude, whenever possible.) Additionally, neither of the dudes on either side of the empty seat seemed offended when I asked if I could sit between them. Whew. As I sat down, I noticed both were reading, "Bike Snob", and were on about Chapter 3.

New fans. Way to go, Snob!

Knowing that I would want to document this event to the best of my abilities (as I had at the Solstice parade, more on that later,) I whipped out my camera and started snapping some shots. While some of the images that I've posted here previously, are some of my better works, I confess that the majority of the photos I take are bested by those of most twelve year olds. That said, I was hoping I might be able to get some video of the event, but it was apparent right away that, that was not going to happen.

Snob took to the podium. By the way, it was nice to see Snob getting to take his own podium. As much as I enjoy the podium-races on his blog, it was good to see him 'own it' for once. Unfortunately, my view of the lecturn was terrible, though I had a decent view of the slideshow. I didn't mind; it just meant that I put down my camera faster. I think I was the only one taking pictures anyway.

It was clear from the saltiness of the room, that the majority of the audience, if not all, were members of Seattle's Bike Community in some fashion. I don't know if it's the nature of the sport, or of the other cyclists with whom I hang out, but I didn't recognize anyone in the room. I attributed that to the fact that maybe they were just out of their lycra today (like I was--I do have a Gruber Assist, after all,) or maybe Seattle's bike community has just grown that much in recent years. Awesome. Since, I was there in my Anonymous Blogger capacity, I was grateful for getting to stay anonymized.

After the slideshow, which has been discussed in other blogs, (UPDATE: found the link I was thinking of,) Snob opened the floor for questions. I had to think for a moment. He said we could ask him anything. What would I ask? Then I realized, everything that I've ever wanted to know about Snob's blog, I've already read in Snob's blog.

But there is an area of cycling that I wanted know more about. With all the discussion of fixed gear bikes in New York City, is there a velodrome, or were track bikes sent into a state of homelessness during the Reagan era or something? If so, I want to applaud the New York hipsters in their efforts to rescue these down-trodden bikes, and elevate them to an art-like status in which they can feel proud. I asked, and he educated us that there is one, in Queens. Oh. So New York fixie culture, really is kinda silly. Got it.

After a series of questions that showed how distant Seattle's bike culture is from that of New York (someone had to ask what a 'Fred' was--not all of us in this town are that unknowledgable, but I digress,) we were directed to form a line for the book-signing. Seattle-ites love waiting in line.

When I finally reached Snob, he was well into book-signing mode. It seems he's rather practiced at this by now. He glanced up and saw that some other douchebag wanted him to scribble in the book he wrote. He said, "So who am I making this out to?"


He paused, looked at the tag, and looked up.

What does one Anonymous Blogger say to another?

"Will you sign my Kindle? Would you?"

He did. Now my Kindle has been owned by Salty Seattle, and signed by BikeSnobNYC. Awesome. And, yes. Now, I'm bragging. Too bad the battery cover's starting to come off.

Suffice it to say that, in person (much like online), I can be a total dork. I don't know that I could handle the one-on-one thing, book-signing thing, as well as Snob had. Put me in front of a crowd, and I can talk for hours, but the other? Uh, yeah. Either way, I'm glad to have had the opportunity, and wish you all the same.

So. About the Fremont Parade..

My computer's telling me I have to shut up now, so I'll be writing an update on the 'nekkidity' tomorrow. I'll update this post with the links back, as soon as I do. Feel free to browse the not-entirely-safe-for-work bad image gallery, if you'd like. Stay tuned.

Until then..

Ride safe. I love you all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Location

Per my post yesterday, my impostor is doing a much better job at being me, than I am.

As such, I'm pulling a corporate takeover of my identity, and am rebranding myself as Salty and Sore.

It seemed appropriate.

Follow me on Twitter! @saltyandsore

Monday, June 14, 2010

The scoundrel!

No sooner had I first ventured onto the world wide weblog, when someone instantly stole my pseudo-identity!!

Oh sure. The other Salty Seattle has been hosting a food blog for a much longer time, than I've been scratching the surface of mine recently. But I researched carefully way back when, and this other persons page did not exist yet. In fact, I was very close to buying the domain, when I decided I "didn't need to yet."

oh, rue the day..

And sure. Food's good and all, but is it really as important as World Championship Sauna-ing?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why isn't there a song about....oh wait..

I have returned from my journey. It was not a physical journey; at least, not one out of my ordinary travels (and trust me, my travels these days are quite ordinary, in the positive sense.) Nor was it a much-fabled, journey into sound.

My travels were of the more trite and personal kind, during which, I ventured to utilize the system-checking software of my own soul. While it sounds a bit like fingering things out, you'll have to trust me that it wasn't. If you're about to embark on your own journey of that sort, I wish you godspeed.

In any case, my soul-searching proved fruitless, as I'm still searching for the part of me that qualifies as soulful. During the last recession, I thought I was making a wise investment, in trading my soul for a new pair of shoes, and well, I'm sure I don't need to tell the rest of that story. I quickly transitioned my search mechanism into information gathering mode, instead.

As such, I learned a few things. I learned that I absorb information through my eyes very well. I can only guess that the frog-like surface of the eyes is one of their best evolutionary features. On the contrary, I discovered that I absorb information through my face rather poorly. If you've ever fallen asleep on a Kindle, and received the pixelated imprint of the John Steinbeck screen saver on your forehead, you know what I'm talking about. (Disclosure: I still haven't read 'Bike Snob'--though I did buy it and you should too--as I consume all my preferred reading material in Kindle-form now. I'm hoping that someday, I'll get an endorsement for this blog from Kindle, in which case I would happily disclose such a relationship. At this time, I am not. Maybe, if I mention Kindle again, Amazon's webcrawler's might find me, though. I'm also hoping that Chronicle offers a mobi-edition soon.)

Luckily, I didn't limit the scope of my info acquisition to that of facial demarcation alone. Which is a good thing given the amount of big things happening in the world of sport in recent weeks. The Tour of California anointed a new winner, and the Giro d'Italia did, indeed, select a winner of the maglia zesty. Also in cycling, the Dauphine de Liberacci (yes, I have no idea what the proper spelling is, so I let spellcheck decide), and the Tour de Suisse (not to be confused with the Tour de Cancellara, taking place in nothing-better-to-do-so-let's-speculate news right now,) have tickled the foothills of the Tour de France, resulting in winners (or will soon) that only matter in the rarefied air of Neptune.

Not to be outdone, the NHL presented the best beards of the year, and oddly enough, the MVP was unable to cultivate much more than fuzzy-seeming lamb chops. Sadly, upon winning, the Chicago Blackhawks promptly shaved.

The NBA is, supposedly, having their 'Finals' right now, but I can't know for sure, as I'm still protesting the NBA, over the whole 'Sonicsgate' Scandal. In still more sporting news, The French Open seems to have occurred in the meantime, and proved that the Spanish have indeed made the French, their metaphorical bitch. Vegas odds on Astana in July went up three points, though odds for news of a doping scandal, remained steady at 1:1.

While we are now in the euphoric, international fever of another World Cup competition, (only during a World Cup, can the US rally excitedly when our boys produce a tie, as though it were an actual win.) As such, you may have missed another major event in the world of sport, the World Sauna Championships in Finland. I am in the process of writing a formal letter of complaint to my local cable provider for failing to icon-message me that this televised event was taking place. Granted, it's not the failure of biblical proportions that was the lack of usage of the Emergency Broadcast Network on 9/11, but it's a close second. The Tour de France is often called the toughest event in all of sport, but at least, you don't have to worry about your skin boiling off in large chunks, while you're still alive to tell about it.

Speaking of human challenges, I want to take a moment for finger-wagging and remind everyone to start making plans for the upcoming, Father's Day holiday, next weekend. I will be posting again on that day, now that I've returned to my assumed regular schedule, but if you wait until next weekend to drop a card or letter in the mail, it's going to arrive late. Okay, so yeah, that's the truth of how many of our mothers first discovered our existences, but that's not an excuse any of us can use next week. Our dads may have made our mothers 'late', but we can thank our dads for, (you'll have to forgive me for this turn of phrase,) making us right on time.

I was considering starting a campaign to make the second Sunday in June, Sperm Day, except the implication to one's parents is just a little too unsettling. Moreover, Minnesota already had one during their state fair, in September last year. But still, thanks to all the parents out there for getting it right. But for you..

Ride safe. I love you all.