Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today's Workouts

23 mile long run. I took in 72 ounces of fluid while running and another 24 ounces right after the run, for a total of 96 ounces or 6 pounds. I weighed myself before the run and after. I was down four pounds. So I figure I sweated out 10 pounds of liquid. Which equals 1.25 gallons of sweat...Cool!

I took a 12 minute ice-bath after the run to aid recovery.

So You Can't Smoke Afterwards Anymore?

An oil painting of a nude woman went back on show yesterday more than 60 years after it was banned for being “too brazen” – only to receive complaints about it because she is smoking.

***warning the page that comes up when you click the link above, has a picture of the nude painting***

Ok now that y'all are back. Whats the deal? Explain this to me. Smoking upsets some peoples sensibilities so much now that they are going to complain about the cigarette in a 60 year-old painting instead of the nudity? People it's art. I'm sure after viewing this painting in an art museum, teens are rushing right out and blazing up a Marlboro or a Kool.

Maybe they should airbrush it or photoshop the cigarette out. And while we are at it lets go back through all the old movies and edit out all the scenes that have smoking in them. Should make for some really short movies. Heck we might have to cut Bette Davis and Rita Hayworth right out of the movies. I'm sure we could dub in Miley Cyrus or Paris Hilton and no one would notice.



This fits in nicely with what the schools are teaching the kids. They teach the kids how to have sex but heaven forbid if you light up a smoke afterwards.

Free Clipart

And for the love of Pete spare me the anti-smoking tirades. No one in my family smokes (cigarettes at least ;)), and just like everyone else out there, we have lost friends and family to cancer. I'm not prompoting smoking, if you want to smoke

But as they say in the Army "Smoke if you got em"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Today's Workouts

5.3 easy paced but sore miles running before work.

Soy Will Ruin Your Love Life

Soy Linked to Infertility

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Eating half a serving of soy food a day lowers sperm concentrations and may play a role in male infertility, particularly in obese men, Harvard University researchers report.

We've been down this Soy is Bad road before.

So I can eat tofu, soy milk (how in the heck do you milk a soy bean? do the beans have teats?) and risk losing my Man-Card or I can stick with steak, ribs, sausage etc...and stay a whole man.

This might explain the abundance of kids we have, since we are a soy-free house. Well other than soy sauce. I was on a toe-cheese, I mean tofu, kick around 15 years lasted about 2 weeks.

No matter how much sauce or flavoring I put on the tofu it still tasted like The Donk's old running shoes. Yes, that bad.

So according to the two latest studies, soy will make you lose your mind and not be able to know (yeah I know the article mentions infertility not dysfunction - allow me a little fun please). On the bright-side, at least if your memory is gone you might not even remember that you ever could do the other thing.

I'm having a hard time deciding which one below to have for supper; the scrumptious steak or the block of tofu that looks like the modeling clay my kids use to make spiffy Christmas gifts with. Actually I'm sure the modeling clay tastes better than the tofu. I base this on the fact that the paste I used to eat in kindergarten tasted better than tofu.

Free Clipart

There are around 25 other reasons not to eat soy

To quote Mikes Hard Lemonade Commercials "We don't do Soy"

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today's Workouts

10.2 mile run consisting of 2 mile warm up, 12 X 1/4 mile hill repeats with 1/4 mile jog back down. 2.2 mile cool down.

Hot and muggy out today.

This one hurt. Happy June?

Family Picture Day

A week ago my extended family met at a local pond with a professional photographer. I also brought my camera along. Here are a few shots.

The Bunch of Us

Mom and Her Boys

Dad and His Girls

Summer Time Feet

Ok This one Might Need an Explanation

We all wore white shirts and kaki bottoms of some sort. During the pictures this guy came running up saying "why did we start the picture taking with out him"? So we had him jump in for a few pictures. See if you can guess which one he is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Today's Workouts

5.1 mile with the 4-hoofed Donk.

Keep on Trying

Yesterday Joey (10) and Robert (8) did their first kids triathlon.

The race distances were:

50 meter swim

2 mile bike

.5 mile run

They both did a great job. Other than Josh who is in NH for the summer, the whole family was there plus The Donk and his family.

Joey came in 2nd in his age group and Robert came in 4th in his age group.

Joey on the ride home "Dad, now I know why you do these races".

Here are some shots from the day.

The two studs getting ready for the big challenge

Joey running from the pool to his bike

Robert out of the pool and heading to his trusty steed

Joey finishing up the bike

Robert done with his bike ride

Joey crossing the finish line

Dad putting Joey's finisher's medal on him

Robert wrapping up a hard days work

Tired but proud

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Husband's Dream?

Fla. woman attacked by fox, then shot in the leg

MORRISTON, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a Levy County man accidentally shot his wife while trying to hit a fox that had attacked her. The couple told deputies they had spotted an animal in their yard Friday morning and went outside to see what it was.

The fox bit the woman on the left leg and wouldn't let go, so she told her husband to get a gun.

The man fired a .22-caliber rifle seven times, killing the animal but also hitting his wife in the lower right leg.

The woman was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The dead fox will be tested for rabies, but authorities say the results won't be available until next week.

What kind of wife in her right mind gives her husband permission to take a shot at her, let alone 7?

But if you are the husband you got to take the shot. I mean how many chances are you going to get to do that.

Don't worry Honey, the only fox that's going to be chewing on your leg will be me.

Tour de France 2008

And the Winner is...

Carlos Sastre of Spain who ride for Team CSC.

It's been a great sports year for Spain. Nadal won the French Open and Wimbledon and the soccer team won the Euro Cup.

145 of the 180 riders who started the race finished the ordeal today.

The Final Jersey Standings

The Jersey statuses

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Carlos Sastre of Spain who rides for CSC

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) – Bernhard Kohl of Austria who rides for Gerolsteiner

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) – Andy Schleck of luxumborg who rides for CSC

Today's Workouts

Yesterday - 40 mile bike ride. 3.3 mile run.

Today - 3.3 mile run.

Silly Sunday

The Jetsons - Who had a crush on Judy or Jane or maybe Rosie?

Scooby Doo - Who had a crush on Daphne?

Flintstones - Who had a crush on Wilma?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

How Much Caffeine Will it Take to Kill You?

"After 95.23 cups of Brewed Coffee, you'd be pushing up daisies."

I guess I need to try harder. The 6 or so cups a day I drink just aren't cutting it.

Take the test at Energy Fiend

Not just for coffee drinkers

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tour de France 2008

Stage 19 - Friday, July 25: Roanne - Montluçon, 165.5km

The Tour heads back into the centre of the country almost to where it was two weeks ago as the peloton makes its weary way towards Paris. The profile is almost as rolling as yesterday's, beginning with a third and a fourth category climb inside the first 42 kilometres. The mid-section is fairly flat, but then the final 50 kilometres become much lumpier, although there are no classified climbs in this part.

Today is more suited to the sprinters than yesterday, but with a potentially decisive time trial tomorrow the overall contenders may not want a hard day and so a breakaway might succeed.

Roanne is yet another first time stage town, but Montluçon has been visited five times before. Last time was in 2001 when Belgian Serge Baguet (Lotto) beat Dane Jacob Piil (CSC) in a two-up sprint after the remains of the breakaway was swallowed by the peloton. A similar scenario may well play out this year.
Stage description lifted from

This will be one of those stages that only serious tour watchers will enjoy. I know I will. Not a lot will seem to be happening. Riders will try to break away but depending on which teams are represented, will decide if they are allowed to get away

As a side note, Damiano Cunego had a nasty crash yesterday. He did Man-Up and finish the stage but withdrew from the race this morning. It was his 4th crash of the tour. Bad luck for the lad.

A great day for the host country. 2 Frenchmen, Sylvain Chavanel and Jérémy Roy, broke away from the peloton and battled it out for the stage win with the Team Cofidis rider Sylvain taking his first ever stage win. It’s good to see Chavanel get the win. He’s been attacking off and on for 3 weeks and never could quite get the win. Well done young warrior.

The Jersey statuses

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Carlos Sastre of Spain who rides for CSC

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) – Bernhard Kohl of Austria who rides for Gerolsteiner

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) – Andy Schleck of luxumborg who rides for CSC

Tour tidbits
Individual time trials

In an individual time trial each rider rides individually. The first stage of the tour is often a short time trial known as a prologue. The prologue is to decide who wears yellow on the opening day, and provide a spectacle for the organizing city.
There are usually three or four time trials during the Tour. One may be a team time trial. Traditionally the final time trial has been the penultimate stage, and effectively determines the winner before the final ordinary stage which is not ridden competitively until the last hour.

On a few occasions, the race organizers made the final stage into Paris a time trial. The most recent occasion on which this was done, in 1989, yielded the closest ever finish in Tour history, when Greg LeMond beat Laurent Fignon by eight seconds overall. Fignon wore the yellow jersey for the final stage, with a lead of 50 seconds, and was beaten by LeMond's superior time trial performance. LeMond's unusual handlebars which placed his forearms close together and reduce wind resistance, and his streamlined helmet, were considered to be a large factor in his victory.

Today's Workouts

10.2 mile run at lunch time. On top of yesterday's long run this was just a joy. It took 8 miles for my legs to loosen up and stop hurting. The last 2 miles or so were some what enjoyable.

And I used up a big portion of my Gatorade squirting it at a dog that was chasing me. Stupid dog owner (he was in the front yard). I should have just let the dog chase me but he was running around in the middle of the road with lots of cars heading his way. Too bad the nitwit that owned him didn't chase him out into the road (kidding). I did notice that when I came back that way a little bit later the dog was inside. Maybe my calling the owner and irresponsible so and so. Dude owes me some Gatorade.

It was kinda like this but my shorts are much shorter and my legs are waaaaaaay tanner (dude get some sun - seriously) and better toned.

Stuff Catholics Like

Large Families

(In solidarity with my sister from another mother.)

Ok in general Catholics are know to have larger families than on average. Do statistics support this? I have know idea. Let's not let facts get in the way of my fun people. Besides to be above average in the US you only have to have 2.2 kids. The current 2008 birthrate for the US is 2.1. So all you people with 2 and half kids...give yourself a gold star. Congratulations, you are above average.

Not that it's a contest though. Too bad, I never win anything. Radio contests, Irish sweepstakes, basket of cheer, Russian mail-order bride, lotto etc...zilch, zip, nada, nothing. Well other than Sam's heart which is the coolest prize ever.

"Are All Those Kids Yours?"

"Don't you know what cause that?"

"How do you do it?"


We get the above questions or some variation of them all the time.

A few of the responses I've come up with:

Yes, they are all ours

Yes, we have a TV; we just don't need it to entertain ourselves

Well, they are all hers at least

No, they keep following me and I can't ditch them

Yes, except for Sam she's the Mother

Yes, I know what causes it and I like it

No, this is not a daycare

No, we aren't Mormon we are Catholic

We had planned on two; but my wife can't count

Yes, we are just trying to be open to life

You should enjoy our large family; they will be paying your social security

We didn't plan the first few; why start now

We have too many? Maybe I should off a few

Kids? What kids?

How do we do it? Well Sometimes I'm...oh never mind

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tour de France 2008

Stage 18 - Thursday, July 24: Bourg d'Oisans - Saint Étienne, 196.5km
The Alps are behind us now, but this stage is by no means flat with a third, a second and a fourth category climb to deal with. The course doesn't suit the sprinters, but neither is it tough enough for the climbers and overall contenders, for this reason it has breakaway written all over it. Anyone who has managed to save a bit of energy over the preceding few days will have a go here and in all likelihood the time gap allowed will be enormous providing nobody of any note is in the break.

Bourg d'Oisans has been a stage start time 19 times before, but has never hosted a finish. Sitting as it is at the foot of Alpe d'Huez, it is a natural choice for the next day's stage. The last time a stage started here was in 2006 when the course headed north to another mountaintop finish at La Toussuire. Danish super-climber Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) took the victory alone on his way to taking the polka dot mountain jersey.

Saint Etienne is another regular Tour host, having been a stage town 23 times before, partly because it used to be the centre of the French bicycle industry. Last time the Tour was here it saw Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) cement his seventh and final Tour de France by taking victory in the final time trial of the 2005 race. That day also saw the tragicomic end to Michael Rasmussen's (Rabobank) hope of a podium place, as a disastrous ride saw him crash twice and change his bike three times.
Stage description lifted from

Today was a status quo day. Other than the sprint at the end by the 2 riders out in front, not much happened. I suspect tomorrow will be the same as everyone is saving themselves for Saturday’s individual time trial.

Marcus Burghardt took home another Tour stage win for Team Columbia on the 196.5 kilometre trip away from the. Burghardt bested his breakaway companion, Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) in a hotly contested sprint. The Quick Step rider, desperate to salvage his team's lackluster Tour, attacked repeatedly in the final kilometres, but just could not shake the big German.

The Jersey statuses

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Carlos Sastre of Spain who rides for CSC

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) – Bernhard Kohl of Austria who rides for Gerolsteiner

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) – Andy Schleck of luxumborg who rides for CSC

Tour tidbits - There are three riders away on their own, why isn't the peloton chasing them?

There may be any number of reasons why the peloton doesn't chase down a breakaway. The first is that nobody has decided to chase it down yet. A few riders will often escape in the early part of a stage, tear up the road for a while, gain some valuable exposure for themselves and their sponsors and get reeled in later in the day when the peloton decides to start taking the race seriously.

Alternatively, it may be that the break is composed of little-regarded riders who are no threat to any of the leaders. If that's the case, it may simply not be worth anyone's while to make the effort to chase.

Today's Workouts

22 miles on the local High School track. 88 mind-numbing laps. I normally run out on the roads but due to the sore ankle I wanted to run on a flat surface.
The ankle felt good for the first 5 miles, miles 6-15 it hurt and the last 7 miles it was numb. The last four miles my thighs and hips were trashed.

When I finished I collapsed on the side of the track and crawled to the Long Jump pit and threw-up in the sand. Then I staggered to the car and tried to drive home. A cop pulled me over for suspicion of drunk driving. When getting of the car for the field sobriety test, I stumbled and fell on the cop who promptly pepper-sprayed me. I was then placed in a holding cell where some 6’4” bald dude named Bubba wanted to make me his girlfriend. Fortunately Sam bailed me out in time. I just made it home. (J-Cleaver this paragraph is for you – is that better).

Hopefully I’ll recover somewhat for tomorrows run.

Best Darn Shaving Gel Ever

Mini Review

I scored some free samples of some men's facial products from a company called Arbonne.

My favorite it the Shaving Gel. It's a white gel that kind of goes on like Noxzema, but not as greasy. When you put it on your face it looks like you have applied some Ivory soap. There is just a thin layer of product, so I was a little sceptical of how it would work. But it worked better than any shaving cream or gel I have ever used. I use cheap disposable razors so this was good test. The razor just glided over my face. No pulling of the hairs and no nicks or cuts on my face. To put the gel to a harder test. I used the same cheap Bic razor 5 times in a row and I only shaved every other day so there was more growth to hack off. Each time it felt like a was shaving with a good quality brand-new razor.

Ok all of us pretty much hate shaving. But if you are looking for a higher end shaving gel to make the chore a little bit more pleasant, this one is for you!!! I'm not getting any $$$ for this. I'm doing it cause I like the goods. And cause I'm a sweetheart of a guy...just ask my wife and kids.

I don't want to make outrageous claims about this shaving gel, but I'm so smooth-faced and good looking now, that I wouldn't be surprised if number 12 is on the way soon.

Next I'll try it on my hairy gorilla like legs. I was able to shave part of my back for date-night with my Honey.

I've also been trying some sea-salt exfoliate that Sam as been using. It definitely leaves my face feeling softer and looking cleaner. I'll let Sam post more on it.

I'm also tyring out some face toner after-shave product and some skin moisturizer. It's going to be hard to tell how this is working since I already have such a pretty face. But I'll post again after trying it for awhile.

(does this make me a metro sexual?)

For more info on the products, and to order with a 15% discount contact:

Susan Brennan

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tour de France 2008

Stage 17 - Wednesday, July 23: Embrun - L'Alpe d'Huez, 210.5km

This is the stage that all climbers want to win. Those mythical 21 hairpin bends have become synonymous with the Tour de France and a year without the Alpe seems somehow to have something missing. This is a long stage that takes in the familiar – but no less brutal – Cols du Galibier and Croix de Fer, although as a change they are tackled in a different order from usual.

In all likelihood, the main contenders will sit behind their team-mates for as long as possible and look to make their move on the final steep climb to Alpe d'Huez. The non super-climbers high up in the overall – if there are any left at this stage – will be looking to hold on for as long as possible. For the sprinters however, this will be a day of pure suffering.

The small town of Embrun must think all of its Christmases have come at once as this is their second stage of the Tour this year (they have been awarded the start of stage 15 due to rock falls in the Alps forcing a course change.) Alpe d'Huez on the other hand has hosted the Tour 25 times since that first time in 1952 when Fausto Coppi won, this equates to almost every other year.

Last time the Tour finished here, in 2006, it saw the emergence of Fränk Schleck (CSC) as a future major force in Grand Tours as he dropped riders like former Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre) on the way to victory.
Stage description lifted from

The tour might not be won today but lots of riders could definitely lose it today. The top riders will need to stay close. If the top riders finish the day within a minute or so of each other than the race will be decided on Saturday during the last Individual Time Trial. Hopefully it will be close otherwise watching a time trial can be real boring.

Cadel Evans is only 9 seconds back. He is very good at time trialing. If Teams CSC wants Frank Schleck (or even Sastre) to have a chance to win, they are going to have to try and get rid of Cadel today.

Riders have been fallen off the back of the Peloton all day. The sprinters especially are getting hit hard. They just need to hang on and make sure they don’t miss the time cutoff and get booted from the race.

2-4 riders have been around 5-6 minutes in front all day. But I got a feeling they are going to get reeled

Yes they were caught by all the contenders. And Sastre broke away from that group.

The crowds are nuts on these final KM’s.

Sastre has a 2 minute lead with 2 mile to go. Evans is trying to cut the lead so he can get the yellow jersey back during the time trial on Saturday..

Carlos Sastre of Spain and Team CSC takes the stage win and the Yellow Jersey so is he the team leader of CSC or is Frank Schleck? I guess it’s Sastre. He’s the better time trailer of the two.

So the top five overall are as follows. Evans is the best at time trialing and Saturday’s time trial is a decent length () so he might be able make up the time.

1 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC-Saxo Bank
2 Fränk Schleck (Lux) CSC-Saxo Bank 1.24
3 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner 1.33
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 1.34
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 2.39

The Jersey statuses

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Carlos Sastre of Spain who rides for CSC

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) – Bernhard Kohl of Austria who rides for Gerolsteiner

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) – Andy Schleck of luxumborg who rides for CSC

Tour tidbits

What's the protocol for kissing the podium girls? Sometimes it's left cheek, right cheek... other times, left, right, left... or maybe it's right, left, right. Anyway, what gives?
Generally speaking, the custom for kissing an "acquaintance" in France is on the cheek, three times, starting with the left cheek. In Italy, it's twice, also starting with the left cheek. So in the Giro d'Italia you'll see that most of the Italians will kiss the podium girls twice, and in the Tour de France, most of the French riders will kiss the podium girls three times. But if you win, whatever you do, no kissing on the lips, and definitely no tongue!

Today's Workouts

4.3 mile easy run at lunch.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tour de France 2008

Stage 16 - Tuesday, July 22: Cuneo - Jausiers, 157km

After an Italian rest day, the Tour heads back over the Alps to France. After a fairly flat, but gradually rising 50 kilometres, the course tackles the first of the day's two hors catégorie climbs: the Col de la Lombarde, which marks the border crossing. After a long descent, the roads begin to rise again to the second of the day's massive climbs: the Cime de la Bonnette-Restefond, the highest point of this year's Tour, which at 2802 metres is also the highest paved road in the Alps.

There then follows a 23.5-kilometre descent to the finish in Jausiers, the smallest town to host a stage finish at just over 1000 in population. Once again, the high mountains should provide plenty of opportunity for the favourites to attack one another, but that long descent will allow any dropped riders a chance to make up some ground, keeping the gaps relatively small.

Unsurprisingly, it is the first time that either town has hosted the Tour – although Cuneo was the venue for yesterday's rest day. One of the Cuneo's most famous sons is Michele Ferrero, whose eponymous company has given the world Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tacs.

A big couple of days in Alps. Today and tomorrow could decide this thing. The next 2 days should pretty much trash already tired legs.

The stage winner was Cyril Dessel of France.

Christian Vande Velde had a rough day and dropped back to 6th which doesn’t sound too bad but he is now 3:15 back and in big trouble for the overall race.

Only the top 5 have realistic shot of winning the whole thing. But we will know more tomorrow.
The top 5 are and their times are:

1 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 68.30.16
2 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner 0.07
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto 0.08
4 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa)Team CSC - Saxo Bank 0.49
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 1.13

It’s been a good tour so far for the Schleck brothers. Older brother, Frank, holds the yellow and Andy wears the white.

The Jersey statuses

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Frank Schleck of Luxumborg who rides for CSC

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) – Bernhard Kohl of Austria who rides for Gerolsteiner

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) – Andy Schleck of luxumborg who rides for CSC

Tour Tidbits –

Feeding. What are the rules or etiquette for feed zones/stations? For example, do all the riders hold their position while everyone eats, or is permissible to attack?
Just as with taking a comfort break of the urinal variety, the same level of etiquette applies to a comfort break of the gastronomic kind. It is considered very bad form to attack in a feed zone, and you will normally hear about it further down the road if you're brave enough to try. Once the peloton has collected their musette bags (cloth bags that contain water bottles and various items of food) in the feed zone, the race is back on; there's no requirement to ask the whole peloton if they've finished their meal before attacking. In general, feeding is permitted at any time starting from the 50 km marker up to the distance marker indicating "end of feeding", which is 20 km from the finish.

Today's Workouts

8 mile run at the local track this morning. 2 mile warm-up. 4 X 1 mile repeats with a 1/4 mile jog in between. 1 mile cool down.

The ankle was stiff and a little sore but tolerable. It gets a little better each day.

If it's the 20th of the Month

It must be date night! Or date day in this case. And yes I know it's not really the 20th of the month. On the 20th we were trying to drive back from WV and our van broke-down...keep up people.

Sam and I just went out to lunch at the little Italian grille in town that we both like. She had a chicken vinaigrette salad and I had half a Greek Salad and Half a Pizza. The pizza had artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, black olives and mushrooms.

Lunch was great and the view across the table was even better.

Take me Home Country Roads

Well we made it home (barely) from our semi-tolerable trip to WV this weekend. The tolerable part was that we had all the kids together for the weekend. This might have been the last time for a long time.

My SIL has a house in the woods in Berkley Springs WV. A un-air conditioned house! It was hot during the day but it did cool down at night. The community has a pool so we went there during the day on Saturdays.

I don’t like trying to sleep in the heat and I don’t like all the bugs and I don’t like to camp (give me a Four Seasons Hotel at the beach anytime). So we don’t go there to often. This was one of those humor the wife trips – which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just that Sam is one of 9 kids so they went camping a lot for vacations. And since I’m an only child (well I do have a brother and sister) we vacationed at beaches in nice houses or condominiums that had AIR CONDITIONING. The house did have electricity and indoor plumbing so it wasn’t like we were really roughing it but it was close enough for this spoiled suburb-boy.

I think everyone actually had an ok time. Well a few of the teens grumbled about the lack of cell-phone service, no Internet and no TV. But other than that they survived.
The little boys (6, 8, 10) had a blast because I brought 3 BB guns which they never get to use at home. The gun-nazi won’t let them. They went through 4,000 BB’s! And nobody shot their eye out. When we first got there and got the guns out, Dominic (6) says “let’s throw the bullets in the campfire and see what happens”. Um, Dominic, they aren’t bullets and if they were its probably not a good idea to throw them in the fire, at least when your mom is around.

We also roasted marshmallows and made Smores, shot off fireworks, cooked out, some of the boys slept in a tent…I took a nice bed thank you very much, and we played games.

Around 2pm Sunday on the way home, around 90 miles from home the Van broke-down. So there we are sitting on the side of the interstate in the heat with all the kids. Good times! I called AAA and Sam called friends of ours that live about 20 minutes from where we were stuck. They said we could borrow their big van; they have 9 kids (slackers). So after about 45 minutes the tow-truck and the loaner van showed up and we were able to get on the road again. Thank God for fellow large families.

I think the timing chain went on the van, waiting for the garage to call. This is especially fun since we just spent almost $1000 on this vehicle 2 weeks ago…

So on top of the $100 we spent on gas to get there and back, we are going to have a fat repair bill and then tomorrow we get to drive the borrowed van back to our friends and pick up our van.

update - Sam drove back to the scene of the crime and picked up the van, $493, ignition coil and a tune up...

Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Open your eyes and you might actually hit something

Which way did he go?

Nothing is safe around these guys

Got to start them young

Is my marshmallow done yet?

Princess don't work

Family Game Night


Monday, July 21, 2008

Today's Workouts

5.1 mile run with The Donk. Drove over to his office at lunch (where I used to work) and ran our old 5.1 mile hilly loop. He took it easy on me. My ankle is still a little sore and swollen but getting a little bit better each day.

Oh and The Donk still has chicken calves - at least the right one anyway.

Tour de France 2008

I was away all weekend but the race went on.

There was some good action yesterday in Italy (the tour is in Italy for a bit - as they play in the Alps).

The top 5 changed a bit with the yellow jersey going from Cadel Evans, who is in 3rd now, to Frank Schleck. American Christian Vande Velde is in 4th place and not to far back.

Any one within a minute or so of the leader is in good shape.

Today is a rest day for the boys before a couple of tough stages in the Alps. The next few days could break the race open and decide who will be the winner on Sunday in Paris.

Tuesday they ride 157km in the Alps as they leave Italy and head back into France. Wednesday is 210km including the almost mystical climb up the L'Alpe d'Huez with its 21 hairpin turns. It really is cool to watch.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Silly Sunday

The Fonz

And of Course...

The best show when I was growing up

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What Would Happen if I Missed a Day of Posting?

I'm away for the weekend so this is relative today.

thanks to a running forum buddy for showing me this

Friday, July 18, 2008

Today's Workouts

First run since Monday's debacle of the twisted ankle.

5 miles on the track of the local high school.

The run was ok. Ankle still stiff and a little sore but getting better.

Guess I've Got Some Redneck in Me

You Are 30% Yankee, 70% Dixie

You're completely Dixie all the way. You've possibly never even met a Yankee!

h/t Roger

Graded by Sweetie

My bride has decided to Grade, or should I say re-grade my post on 10 Steps to Being a Better Husband

Stuff Catholics Like

A Friday Feature.

Free Coffee and Donuts – as Catholics we flock down to the basement, church hall or another location where coffee and donuts are being served after Mass. As the first notes of the closing song are being played, parishioners can be seen heading out in droves before the priest has even left the alter. People need to get a head start to get the best choice of donuts. If you aren’t fast enough you won’t get the chocolate donut with the sprinkles or the Boston crème filled one, you will get stuck with a powdered sugar donut or worse, one that my kids have taken a bite out of and put back. And the only coffee left will be from the bottom of the pot and filled with grounds. My own kids are guilty of jumping the gun on “Donut Sunday”. By the time I finally get down to the basement they are already on their second or third ones.

At our church we have coffee and donuts after the 10am Mass on the 3rd Sunday of the month. It’s the kid’s favorite Mass of the month. It’s my ace in the hole for the inevitable “Why do we have to go to Mass?” question that at least a few of them are going to ask on Sunday mornings. Saying “its donut Sunday” is a lot easier than saying “because I said so”. It gets a better response too. Makes me wish we had coffee and donuts every Sunday.

At our church the Youth Group does all the work for Donut Sunday. They leave collection baskets out on the tables so people can leave a donation. I’m sure they hardly ever break even let alone make a profit. Catholics can be real cheap. I’m guilty of almost never remembering to throw some money in. And after all these years with the amount of kids I have and the amount of donuts they eat, I’d have to take out a second mortgage to catch up. Sorry youths.

But these get togethers are a nice thing to have. At ours we get around 150-200 people down in the basement. The adults get to visit, the little kids run around and eat, and the teens stand in groups and pretend they aren’t having any fun and want to leave. It’s a great time for parishioners to catch up with each other, exchange church gossip, complain about the music during Mass and critique the priest’s homily.

With apologies to Stuff White People Like and the Stuff Catholics Like websites. I haven't read these websites but I imagine they are similar to this.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tour de France 2008

My last Tour update until Monday. Heading to the hills of WV for the weekend.

Stage 13 - Friday, July 18: Narbonne - Nîmes, 182km

With just three fourth category climbs in the way, this should once again be a stage for the sprinters. The route continues its way across the southern edge of France between the Pyrenees and the Alps. It's likely that a break will try to get away, but even more likely that the sprinters' domestiques will bring them back before they reach the finish.

The stage travels from one Roman settlement to another: leaving the oldest one in Narbonne, and arriving in probably the most famous one in Nîmes. The capital of the Gard department, Nîmes is home to probably the highest concentration of historic Roman sites outside Italy. These include the best preserved arena in France – which still gets used for concerts and bullfights, the Maison Carrée – a temple dedicated to the sons of Agrippa, and most famously: the Pont du Gard – a three level aqueduct which lies 20 kilometres to the north.

Nîmes' other big claim to fame is as the origin of Serge de Nîmes, an indigo blue fabric that has changed the world. Over the years its name has been shortened to one word that most people will recognise: Denim.

The city has hosted the Tour 15 times before, with Aitor Gonzales (Fassa Bortolo) taking the victory in 2004, the last time it finished here.
Stage description lifted from

158 riders started this morning…out of 180 who started the first day.

So as we head to the big show-down in the Alps where the Tour should be decided, we will probably have another bunch sprint to the finish.

A couple riders have broken away early and have a 10 minute advantage. The sprinters teams will take their time and slowly pull them back in before the finish.

The Peloton spent the day slowly reeling in the 2 (Niki Terpstra and Florent Brard) in the break. They were pretty much doomed from the start but hung on for a 100 km’s or so.

Terpstra broke away from Brard around the 30km to go mark. For some reason he has decided to have a go at it himself.

By the 10km to go banner, the leaders up front were swallowed up by the peloton.

So it’s going to be bunch sprint for the line.

Holy Moley. 4 times is the charm. 4 for Cavendish! Mark Cavendish took an exciting sprint to the line for his 4th stage win!!!

So do I get excited about him and hope he is a clean rider? Or wait and see what happens?

No changes in the Jersey's today

The Jersey statuses

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Cadel Evans of Australia who rides for Silence - Lotto

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) – Sebastian Lang of Germany who rides for Gerolsteiner

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) - NIBALI Vincenzo Nibali of Italy who rides for Liquigas

Tour Tidbits -

A domestique is a road bicycle racer who works solely for the benefit of his or her team and leader. The French domestique literally translates as "servant", though the French term for such a team worker is porteur d'eau (literally: water carrier, like the German Wasserträger).

Some general important tasks carried out by the domestiques include retrieving water and nutrition from team cars and bringing it back up to the rest of the team and shielding teammates from aggressive opponents.

Domestiques are also important for racing in a way that is in the tactical interest of their own team, or against the tactical interest of the opposing teams. By putting themselves in a breakaway they force other teams to chase the given breakaway. In turn, they may have to get to the front of the peloton to chase a breakaway that threatens their team's goals.

Tour de France 2008

Stage 12 - Thursday, July 17: Lavelanet - Narbonne, 168.5km

With the Pyrenean stages over, the Tour now begins its journey across to the Alps. This stage features just one fourth category climb as it descends steadily towards the Mediterranean and so is a prime opportunity for the sprinters to reopen their accounts after a hard few days.

Lavelanet, situated in the heart of Cathar country with its hilltop castles, has hosted the start of a Tour stage once before: in 2002. That day saw a very similar course profile – although an entirely different route – and finished not far from today's Narbonne finish in the Herault department's capital Beziers. The stage was won by Scot David Millar (then Cofidis, now Slipstream-Chipotle) from a breakaway group that finished almost ten minutes ahead of the peloton.

Narbonne, with its 13th century Saint-Just cathedral, has been in existence since 118BC when the Romans settle there. The city has hosted the Tour seven times before, most recently in 2003 as it saw the start of the stage to Toulouse that was won by Juan Antonio Flecha. The last stage to finish here – or more accurately at Narbonne-Plage – was the second of five stages won by Belgian sprint legend Freddy Maertens in 1981.
Stage description lifted from

Today’s stage was over-shadowed by the news that Riccardo Ricco of team Saunier Duval has been kicked out for testing positive for EPO. The Italian was taken into police custody before the start of today’s stage. Ricco was 9th overall, first in the young rider competion (white jersey) and had won 2 stages with impressive performances. Now we know why.

The entire Saunier Duval team has withdrawn from the Tour and suspended their operations. This means that besides Ricco being gone, David De La Fuente (the polka dot jersey - mountain competition leader) is now gone and so is Juan Jose Cobo who was 8th overall. The Tour would have let the team continue but they decided not to.

This is all on top of Spanish rider Moises Duenas getting kicked out yesterday for the same thing.

Whenever someone has a great performance that comes out of the blue, there is always the thought in the back of my mind that they are dopers. But I had really hoped he was one of the new young super talented riders who were going to help change the sport. Someone as cynical as me shouldn’t be so naïve.

Ricco the Cheater Being Given the Boot from the Tour

My New Favorite Bike Jersey - Honey Buy Me One for Christmas

Anyway we did have a race today. Today’s relatively flat stage setup nicely for a bunch sprint finish.

A sweet bunch finish with Mark Cavendish from Great Britain who rides for Team Columbia taking the win. This was his 3rd stage win of the tour, I first for a rider from the UK. One can only hope he is clean.

The Hat Trick

There were no changes in the top ten riders but there were jeresey changes.

The Jersey statuses

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Cadel Evans of Australia who rides for Silence - Lotto

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) – Sebastian Lang of Germany who rides for Gerolsteiner

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) - NIBALI Vincenzo Nibali of Italy who rides for Liquigas

Tour Tidbits - today's selection comes to us at the suggestion of Lady Catherine of France.

The Broom Waggon (also referred to as Sag Waggon) is the affectionate name for the vehicle that follows a Cycle Road Race picking up stragglers (or sweeping them up) who are unable to make it to the finish the race within the time permitted.

In the Tour de France the vehicle used was traditionally a Citroën H Van. The expression broom waggon is a translation of the French, voiture balai. The broom waggon of the Tour de France did indeed once carry a broom fixed above the driver's cab - except in the years that it was sponsored by a vacuum-cleaner company.

The broom waggon is colloquially known as the sag wagon. SAG is an acronym which stands for Supplies and Gear. By extension, cycle-touring groups which have a vehicle to carry their luggage and food are now said to be "sagged" in that they have a vehicle that carries supplies and gear for the participants in the ride.

10 Steps to Being a Better Wife

Before we try to change you, here are a few changes we'll try to make ourselves. Deal?
By Sharon O’Brien

Ok wives it's your turn. Here is what you are supposed to do.

1) Take care of yourself

My honey is beautiful, nuff said. Grade A+++

2) Say thank you, often

I usually feel appreciated. Grade B

3) Keep the romance alive

Um, 11 kids. Some would call that a deterrent, not for us. Grade A+

4) Let him have "guy time"

I workout at least once a day, sometimes with friends. Grade A+

5) Make your husband a priority

Sam always wants to know how my day was, what I’m thinking etc…so I guess the grade is an A. Assuming you like that kinda stuff.

6) Don't try to change him

For the most part this is no longer a problem. I think Sam has realized that trying to change me has the opposite effect. Grade B+

7) Don’t make him guess—tell him what you want

I think I always know what she wants and what’s on her mind. Sweetie’s no shrinking wall flower. Grade A

8) Cultivate friends and interests outside your marriage

Sam has more friends than a swimsuit model asking to have sunblock rubbed on her on a crowded spring-break beach. When we have a party the house, yard, street, neighbors yards are overflowing with people. I’ve banned her from making new friends. Grade A+

9) Let free time be free

I do get free time to pursue activities but I also get booked with lots of other activities. Grade B

10) Believe in your husband, and let him know it

Sam’s got this one down. Grade A

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tour de France 2008

Stage 11 - 168km

Despite still being in the region of the high mountains (Lannemezan is in the Haute-Pyrénées department, and Foix is the capital of Ariège) this stage features very little serious climbing: the only serious obstacle of the day being the first category Col de Portal. Consequently, the course has breakaway written all over it and will suit strong riders who have lost enough time over the preceding two mountain stages for the contenders' teams to let them go.

This mornings news. Team Barloworld's Moises Duenas Nevado has been thrown out of the race due to a positive A-sample test for EPO. That makes it the second-such occurrence in the Tour, with fellow Spaniard Manuel Beltran (Liquigas) also having been shown the exit for the same reason.

Nevado the Cheat

A dozen or so riders broke away early from the peloton. None of the riders in the break are a threat to win the overall race so the group probably won’t waste the energy chasing them down today. Instead they will take it a bit easy (as easy as you can riding 100+ miles) and save themselves for the Alps.

Amael Moinard as made a nice break from the lead riders and put up 1:30 advantage. The lead riders have responded and with around 10 miles to go they are hunting him down.
With 5 miles to go it appears that Moinard will be caught and we will have a sprint finish.

Nice finish. 3 crossed the line around the same time. The stage win goes to Kurt-Asle Arvesen of Norway who rides for team CSC. The photo finish shows that Arvesen won by perhaps two centimetres.

Race leader Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto) finished safely in the main bunch after a largely uneventful day for the general classification contenders. He thus retained his one second lead over Frank Schleck (CSC – Saxo Bank), with Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Chipotle) remaining 38 seconds back in third overall. Evans and the rest of the peloton finished 14.51 back from the leaders.

Arvesen with the narrow victory

The Jersey statuses (no changes today)

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Cadel Evans of Australia who rides for Silence - Lotto

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) - Riccardo Ricco of Italy who rides for Saunier Duval - Scott

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) - NIBALI Vincenzo Nibali of Italy who rides for Liquigas

Today's Tour Tidbit:

Peloton - from French, literally meaning ball and related to the English word platoon. The peloton or bunch is the large main group of riders in a cycling road race