Monday, April 24, 2006

He Tried.

For a moment I got a chuckle over this:

FORKS, Wash. - A hunter mauled by a black bear had been chasing the animal on private timberland when the animal turned the tables on its pursuers, officials said Sunday.


It appeared the hunters had been pursuing the bear for some time, Fish and Wildlife Officer Brian Fairbanks said.

“It’s like, you have the fight or flight response. It ran for so long, and then decided, ‘We’re not going to run any more,”’ Fairbanks said.

At that point, the hunter and the bear were in heavy brush, the officer said. “He didn’t realize the bear was there, and when he got close enough the bear jumped out and grabbed him.”

It was not a surprise attack, he said.

“They knew it was there — they’d been chasing it,” Fairbanks said. “The guy got bit, but he was the one who put himself in position to get bit.”

The chuckle ended when I read the bear was shot and killed by another hunter. On the bright side, the first hunter required surgery to be put back together, and was probably in a lot of pain.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Fast Freddie Rodriguez

Fast Freddie Rodriguez
Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
On Brasstown Bald Fast Freddie stops, gets off the bike and stretches. This is the second steepest climb in Georgia, I believe, and is quite a climb for a sprinter like Rodriguez.

More Photos.

Fast Freddie Rodriguez Rides Again!

Fast Freddie Rodriguez
Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
Then he continues and finished with a very respectable time for a sprinter. As he said yesterday, he is the best climbing sprinter. He won the stage yesterday.

More Photos.


Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
My second day watching the Tour de Georgia. The peloton on Craig's Gap road, out in the beautiful Georgia countryside. The views are incredible up there.

More Photos.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tour de Georgia

Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
The peloton being led by Phonak coming up the back of Wolfpen Gap. Jason McCarthy was out on a break, held it up Wolfpen and did not get caught until after Woody Gap. Fast reddie Rodriguez won the sprint in Dahlonega.

More photos.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
My wee one at the dog park. We call her my wee fury doggie.

Architecture of Density

A stiking photo exhibit "Architecture of Density." The scale of some of these is amazing. I think it is sometimes too big, and you can't really feel it. I believe this collection is showing in New York and San Francisco. I would love to see it in Atlanta.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tour de Georgia Rewind.

In honor of the Tour de Georgia I am reposting an old blog entry for "Notes From Atlanta," which tells of watching the finish at Brasstown Bald in 2004. I still have not washed my hand!

I touched Mario Cipollini's ass.

The Tour de Georgia came to a conclusion yesterday in Alpharetta, Georgia. I was lucky enough to attend the stages contested on Saturday and Sunday. Big time bike racing has come to Georgia, and it was a blast watching the show.

On Saturday the plan was to leave R-Ranch and cycle up to Brasstown Bald to see the finish of Stage 6 as the cyclists climbed the freakishly steep final 5 kilometers. (Stage Profile.)

We first saw the peloton about 30 miles from the finish, as hundreds of people gathered at a small intersection to see the group ride by. First we saw one of Mario Cipollini's Domina Vacanze teammates cycle by alone, and behind him a minute or so the only other remaining survivor of the early breakaway. A few minutes behind them was Lance's group, which included most of the climbers. Perhaps seven or eight minutes after the first guy came the main pack including my favorite, Super Mario, the one and only Lion King, yes, Mario Cipollini! He was surrounded my his Domina Vacanze teammates, and looked rather fresh, enjoying a nice ride in the country.

We hustled over to Brasstown Bald joining thousands of people lining the steep road. As a decent cyclist who could climb well before all my Ironman training, I cannot make it up the road to the top of Brasstown Bald. It is just too hard. These professional cyclists were going to hit it after over 120 miles of mountain riding. We positioned ourselves about halfway up the mountain, right before a very steep section. Helicopters and caravan cars announced the arrival of the riders. First we got to see Cesar Grajales of Jittery Joe's cycling team, as he had attacked Lance and company, and was stealing the show. Following him was Lance, Chris Horner, Jens Voight, Bobby Julich and other climbers.

After the climbers and UCI officials went by, the rest of the peloton arrived strung out for miles along the road. We saw one cyclist, a professional road cyclist, just fall over on the steep part. Another picked his head up right in front of me, looked at the steep section, and said "This is just insane!" Soon the crowd was pushing the cyclists up the hill. Yes, this is illegal, but done at every race. The European cyclists would look over at the crowd beside them and say in a pitiful little voice the only English they probably knew: "Puuushh! Puuusshh me!" We did. I would push maybe 15 meters and somebody else would take over as we did a fireman brigade of sorts. After one long push of a very tired cyclist, I turned around and saw Cipollini right behind me! He was sitting up waving the crowd over to help puuusshh him up the hill. I knew I had to help puuusshh him. The problem, other than I was exhausted, was that about eight people were currently puuusshhing him up the insanely steep hill and I could not get my hand on him. I ran along side waiting for the really fat guy to run out of gas, which he did. After pushing a race official/volunteer out of the way, I finally had my shot to help push Super Mario up the hill. Yes, I touched Mario Cipollini's ass! Good times, good times!

Stage 7 was on Sunday, and I had been given some VIP USPS Sponsor Tent passes. I do not know what I did to deserve these, but the president of my company and our USPS account manager made sure I was on the list. My buddy and I were treated like royalty at the tent and trailer. We had free food, free drinks, a live television feed from one of the race motorcycles, and a viewing platform next to and above the finish line. I don't know what was better, seeing the race from the sponsor tent, or yelling out to buddies as they walked among the crowd below us trying to see the race.

Former professional cyclist. television announcer and Tour de France funny guy Bob Roll was walking around the tent, very close to the bar. My buddy was tempted to go up and talk to him, but did not know what to say that was not a cliche question he hears everyday. I knew what I would ask him: "Bob, yesterday I touched Mario Cipollini's ass. Can I touch yours today." I was not sure if he would see the humor, and did not wish to get tossed from the VIP area, so I kept my mouth shut. I should have done that more in my youth, like when getting arrested.

When the cyclists began the four lap circuit at the end of the stage we would watch the television feed inside, and when they approached the finish line, run outside to see them pass. Then back inside to see the live feed. It was not looking to good for Cipollini, as he seemed to be too far back, and his team was having trouble getting their train in gear, even with the USPS team helping to control the pace after a deal made yesterday for help reeling in the breakaway. (Yes, it appears Domina Vacanze helped reel the breakaway in even though their teammate was leading it.)

Some say that the final group sprint of a bike race is one of the greatest spectacles in sports. I agree. Seeing a group of 70 cyclists going close to 40 miles an hour as they hurl themselves towards the finish line with little thought for safety is like nothing else I have seen before. I like the strategy of the set up, the sight of a well-oiled team working to launch their sprinter, and the graceful dance of the sprinter on his pedals- which is what they show on TV. But the pure raw power you see at the live race overwhelms all of that. Wow! Cipollini lost the lead meters from the finish line, as Gordon Fraser of Health Net had the opportunity to come around the greatest sprinter in the sport and beat the Lion King fairly. What a sight!

The USPS team trailer was parked right next to the sponsor tent, and people mobbed the area trying to get a sight of, and maybe even an autograph from, Lance. I didn't bother, but went back for more food. George Hincapie made an appearance. On television he looks fairly big standing next to the other cyclists. In person he is not that tall, and has the upper body of a 8-year-old. His legs were rather gnarly looking, having huge, bulging, varicose looking veins. He did have a beautiful young lady sitting next to him wiping road grime off his face, however.

After the awards ceremony, we headed out. Our walk was interrupted when security came ushering Lance Armstrong by us. He was not four feet away from me. I could have touched his ass. I didn't. Instead while others were trying to get his autograph and shake his hand I was yelling: "Where is Sheryl?" Now that would be an ... nevermind.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Live On The Edge And You Can Fall Off.

Thrasher's were on the edge of making the playoffs for a while, and they fell. They are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Coach Hartley summed it best:

Garney pulls a groin, I guess we just finish the season the way we started.

Number 1 goalie Kari Lehtonen missed most of the season with a groin pull. Backup Dunham went out with a groin pull. They had another "name" goalie whose name I cannot remember who went out injured. (Steve shields assigned to a minor league team for conditioning after returning from injury.) We played most of the season with two minor league goalies, Michael Garnett and Adam Berkhoel, who battled but where not yet up to the task. Last years starter, Pasi Nurminen, was lost before the season even started to a knee injury.

I guess we will need more than 6 goalies for next year.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
Playing at the dog park. It is hard work!

We win!

We win!
Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
Thrashers win and are still in the hunt!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers

Originally uploaded by tastypiesinc.
Tasty Pies Inc has some incredible pictures of the RCPM's Smith's Olde Bar show on his Flickr site.
He did a great job on these and captured much of the essence of the show.

On the are about 8 videos of the band. None from that night, but he is wearing the same outfit and it is possible he stayed in a Holiday Inn.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Originally uploaded by TimothyJ.
Hilda doing her Ringo imitation. She loves the earlt Beatles.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wow! Just Wow!

I saw Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers at Smith’s Olde Bar last night. The performance by the Arizona based band was one of the most engaging and exciting shows I have seen in many years. They had the audience in the palms of their hands from the beginning, and never let them out.

Roger Clyne can just flat out sing! For as long as he sang, as loud as he screamed, and as much as he drank, although at the end more alcohol was going up in the air than into his mouth, it was amazing that he did not miss a note. He is a consummate showman, and kept the crowd enthralled the entire show. While many bands try to coax the crowd into singing, Clyne had to make an effort to be heard over the crowd. Okay, just before the band cranked up the first song, Clyne asked the audience if they knew what to say after he said “One, two, three, four.” The crowd screamed “Uno, dos, tres, cuatro.” The wonderful lady I attended the show with, who had never seen Clyne before, or even knew who he was, commented on how surprised she was that everybody there knew the words to all the songs. Of course this comment was followed up by her telling me that she was going to break up with me tomorrow so she could follow Clyne throughout the country seeing all his shows.

The band was tight. Lead guitarist Steve Larson, face hid beneath a black cowboy hat, kept the intricate hooks coming all night long. It is almost unimaginable that he was the second guitarist for the band at one time. Rhythm section Nick Scropos on bass and P. H. Naffah on drums kept the band thundering down the road in timely fashion. Any opening band must hate being followed these guys. I forgot every lick the opening band played minutes after these guys hit the stage.

The audience was treated to night about love, drinking and, of course, Mexico; love and drinking in Mexico; love of drinking; with love and drinking Mekong tossed in for good measure. Probably half of the first Refreshment’s album was played which revved up the crowd, while the newer Peacemakers’ stuff seemed to be more mature. The rocker in the cowboy hat next to me kept telling me how every one of the slow songs was “his favorite.” The song writing is top notch regardless of tempo. Lyrics were both meaningful and funny. Clyne’s insight into the human condition is remarkable yet he does not take himself too serious. Did I mention that the guy can flat out sing?

Evident throughout the show is Clyne’s love of the audience. The interaction was sincere. His laughing came from the heart. There is no doubt he gave us his all, and did everything he knew to entertain us. The show was long. The encore was not rushed. After the lights were on and the PA playing, as some people chanted while others started heading for the door, the curtains just popped open to Clyne with his guitar as he started another song. The band was scrambling to get on stage to join him in time for the second verse. Throughout the show the band was shaking hands and high fiving everybody they could. I suspect they might have come out and have a drink with the crowd after we left.

Again the show was just incredible. The lovely lady I was with said it was pobably the best show she had ever seen. I certainly rank it near the top. I can't figure why the guy isn't just huge, other than his love for being on an indie label. Oh, and I learned something. We are The Peacemakers! Well, we as in the crowd that night. He kept telling us that, "You are The Peacemakers." I like that.