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exhalations
Sunday, May 27, 2007
 Cross-country vigil 
Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about a family of three kids who tend to their mother who was battling cancer.


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Monday, May 21, 2007
 Zabriskie and Hincapie at the Giro 

I started to write about Zabriskie's chances in the Giro. While looking at Velonews Giro headlines I noticed an article entitled Zabriskie testing GC waters at Giro. He's riding strong and feels that he can contend for the overall lead. As I looked at today's standings I scanned the overall rankings and lo and behold there's George Hincapie sitting in 14th place, 2 minutes ahead of Zabriskie. It's good to see that George is riding well. Read about his spring on his website.


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 Beirut erupts once again 
Last week I started reading Thomas Friedman's book about his years as a journalist in the Middle East, From Beirut to Jerusalem. He begins with an excellent introduction to the region; in a few pages he is able to explain much of the history of conflict in Lebanon and Israel. I was thinking it was a bit dated, having been written in 1989. I should have known better; the strife in that region goes back many years and the situation seems not to have changed much since then. The reports of the current crisis sound as if they were written by Friedman back in the late 80's.


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
 Giro 

I miss the days when OLN TV broadcast Giro d'Italia stages live every morning. I wasted a lot of time watching the races but is sure was fun. Now I have to make sure I remember to watch the summary of the week's action on Versus, formerly OLN, on Sunday at 5pm.

Today Danilo Di Luca won stage 4 that contained a 17km mountain finish. David Zabriskie finished 10th in the stage and is 7th overall. Hincapie is in 48th place with Popovych and Rubiera of Discovery in 19th and 20th place overall.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
 Sky blue sky 
Wilco's latest CD, Sky Blue Sky, is getting rather mixed reviews. The Post was especially lukewarm:“Wilco's sixth studio album, "Sky Blue Sky," can be described in many ways...But here's one that may be most accurate -- kind of boring.” You decide; click on the Listen button on the Sky Blue Sky web page.

One thing seems clear, cigarette smoking is taking a heavy toll on Jeff Tweedy's voice. It's likely doing the same to his lungs.

As with most groups that reach a certain peak, it's not surprising that the press have become much more critical; it's part of the celebrity cycle. Or maybe they watched the recent documentary of Tweedy's solo performances in the Northwest, Sunken Treasure. It was pretty boring; Jeff was obsessed with crowd noise and spent way too much time venting about it.


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007
 This Commute Avoids Traffic 
That's the title of a recent article about bike commuting in the Reston Connection. I was interviewed for the story and there's a picture of me on my Rans V-Rex. Other than getting my age wrong, the article is fairly accurate. Maybe it will encourage some folks to try bike commuting for a day, on Bike to Work Day. How can you not like to bike to work? You certainly won't "avoid traffic", but you should be able to avoid congestion by taking alternate routes or riding past cars on bike lanes.

When I turn up at a meeting and people look at me funny and ask if I rode all the way to the meeting, regardless of where it is, I have started saying "you mean to drove here when you could have biked?"


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Monday, May 07, 2007
 Basso admission 
Ivan Basso admitted to being involved in the Puerto blood doping scandal. He faces some serious penalties, but maybe his admission will finally shed some light on blood doping that has been endemic to the sport for so many years. Frankie Andreu tried to discuss the topic, but it was seen by many as a thing of the past. Without a major, current cyclist coming forward, not much progress could be made in resolving the problem.


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 Currently listening to 
I recently discovered the group Do Make Say Think, probably after listening to clips on Amazon. I purchased You, Youre A History In Rust, an excellent CD that is highly recommended. It's mostly instrumental, using layers of sound not unlike the work of Steve Reich, only the rock version.

The second CD purchased at the same time was my first from Sufjan Stevens. I've heard good things about him and having spent some time there, I decided to start with the Michigan CD. Sufjan is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who plays lovely, simple tunes and has a very listenable, soft voice. I also hear the influence of Reich. It feels nostalgic just putting on the CD. I have many fond memories of that time spent in the Midwest.

The last of the bunch is the latest from Explosions in the Sky. I guess they wanted to live up to the explosions part of their name with this crash and bang recording. There's a bit too much banging of symbols at what seem to be inappropriate times, as if the percussionist were told that this was his recording, let loose. I much prefer their earlier work. Most of the reviews are good, although some more reserved than others. I'll give it time and a few more listens.


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