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Archive: February 15, 2009

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Sunday,  02/15/09  10:13 AM

I have a lot of work to do today, but it's Sunday, so I'm probably not going to do it :)  Or at least I plan to escape for a longish ride.  I did Rockstore yesterday with my friend Peter, on my mountain bike, and it was great.  (And we stopped at Sundance Cycles on the way and oogled some Orcas...  man, I think I'm really in love, just haven't quite admitted it yet :)

TOC - Fabian Cancellara wins the prologueSo you did watch the Tour of California prologue yesterday, right?  Because if you didn't, you missed a fun race, and I'm about to spoil it for you by telling you what everyone predicted indeed happened, Fabian Cancellara won and Levi Leipheimer finished a close second.  Lance was tenth.  It was great.  Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was that Floyd finished 60th; I'm happy to see him back and he was never great at short time trials, but that was surprisingly bad, for him.

Today we have a rainy stage 1 from Davis to Santa Rosa, a race everyone expects will end in a sprint finish.  Look for Mark Cavendish to, er, make his mark...  I will be glued to the Tivo a bit later on...

Lance responds to KimmageI meant to link this Friday, but forgot: video of Lance Armstrong tearing a new one for Paul Kimmage, the Irish pro-cyclist-turned-journalist who recently commented on Lance's return: "the cancer is back".  I think Lance handles it perfectly: "you are not worth the chair you are sitting on".  And that look - whoa.

Obama prepares to sign milestone stimulus bill.  Noooo!  Don't do it!  As we piss away $787B we don't have...

McDonald observatoryThe coolest looking observatories on Earth.  These are excellent choices, but I must tell you I think just about all observatories are cool looking.  There's just something science fictiony and futuristic about them.  Space, the final frontier, and all that...

In re: Twitter's new $35M funding round: mining the thought stream.  I swear, this is the most dramatic case of an emperor not wearing any clothes.  I can't wait for the house of cards to crash.

Rogers Cadenhead: sharing blog posts on your Facebook profile.  This is exactly what I want to do, too... stay tuned...


first date

Sunday,  02/15/09  09:46 PM

Orbea Orca in grayToday I had a chance to take an Orbea Orca for a real ride, my first time.  The nice people at Sundance Cycles loaned me an Orca for a demo ride, and I took it up Rockstore, twice!  Unfortunately it wasn't a totally perfect experiment, they had a 54" frame and I really need a 57", and weirdly, the bike was fitted with Ultegra components, crappy Shimano wheels, and an aluminum handlebar.  I'm guessing it was close to 2lbs heavier than it would have been if properly fitted with Dura-ace, Kysrium SLs, and a nice carbon handlebar.  But anyway it was beautiful in carbon gray, and it fairly flew up the hill.  Descending was somewhat impared by the crappy wheels, but I did come down Kanan afterward at about 45mph so I had a chance to see how stable it was at speed.  The ride was excellent, and it was a very comfortable bike.  Overall I was pretty wowed.

But...  I wasn't really wowed.  I think maybe this is like when you've admired a woman from afar, and she's drop dead gorgeous, and you finally work up enough courage to ask her out, and then on the first date you discover she's a really nice person but there's just no click.  I have to tell you, I loved the way it looks, I loved the way it rode, but...  no click.  So be it.


Mancebo wins - on a Kestrel!

Sunday,  02/15/09  09:56 PM

Mancebo wins stage 1 - on a Kestrel!Today Francisco Mancebo of Rock Racing won stage 1 of the Tour of California, on a brand new Kestrel RT900!  Wow, how cool is that?  And he did it with a 100 mile breakaway, too, in horrible weather conditions, even though he was caught by a couple of riders at the end.  Wow, this sure makes me want to see / ride an RT900.  I know, patience is a virtue; these bikes are evidently just not available yet, at least not unless you're on Rock Racing :)

The rest of the race was pretty cool too; Lance actually led the chase group for a long time, as Astana led Levi safely in.  There were about 20 chasers, and the rest of the peloton was about 5 minutes behind them, so the eventual tour winner is going to come from that chase group, which included Dave Zabriske, Michael Rogers, Robert Gesink (remember him?), Jens Voigt, Ivan Basso, Tom Danielson, and Andy Schleck.  Back in the peloton there were quite a few names, including George Hincapie, Oscan Freire, Floyd Landis (!), Christian Vande Velde, and all of the sprinters, who must have been disappointed that today didn't come down to a bunch sprint as predicted.

BTW I have to say, the commentators had a bad day, the worst I can remember in a long time.  First, Craig Hummer is an idiot, he should just roll out the balls and shut up, and let Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen announce the race.  He kept intruding into the flow and it was massively annoying.  Second, I understand Versus had trouble getting pictures from the course due to the weather, but couldn't they at least have gotten information from the team radios?  Viewers spent the first hour completely in the dark, not knowing what was going on out of the course.  And even after they did get the pictures back, there were no time gaps, no graphics, nothing to say who we were looking at or how the race was unfolding.  How about a permanent on-screen scoreboard like football or baseball, showing the relative positions of the riders, the time gaps, who we were looking at, etc?  Surely the technology exists for that?  And finally the commentating itself was horrible; none of the predictions came true in the least, they kept talking about stuff from five years ago, half the riders were misidentified, there was a lot of on-screen fumbling around and voice noise.  We'll give Phil and Paul a mulligan and hope they do better tomorrow, but Craig please STFU!

Update: there is a little confusion about whether Mancebo was on an RT900 or an RT800.  I'm investigating, stay tuned... ]

Another Update: it now seems clear that Mancebo / Rock Racing are riding Kestrel RT800s, last year's top-of-the-line, and not on the new RT900s, which are not ready yet.  If Rock Racing can't get them yet, then I guess I can't either :(  ]


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Correlation vs. Causality
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Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
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IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
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In the Wet
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
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
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained