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'05 {
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'04 {
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'01 {
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'00 {
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Saturday, July 19, 2003
11:37 AM      

Today, Lance earned the 52nd Yellow Jersey of his career. Now, he's won more Yellow Jerseys than anyone else in Tour de France history. He lost 15 pounds of water weight to dehydration in the time trial yesterday, and he still took 4th place in the mountain stage today. He says he's going to get better over the coming stages. His lead over Jan Ullrich is only 15 seconds right now, and Jan's good in the mountains as well as in time trials. This one could be a squeaker. Still, I think Lance will hold on to the lead all the way in to Paris...

[ link | e-me ]

Friday, July 18, 2003
3:54 PM      

Too little too late?
The French government has officially banned the use of the term "e-mail." The prefer the word "courriel," which derives from "courrier electronique," a properly purebread French phrase. "E-mail" is banned from use in government ministries, documents, publications, or Web sites, according to the Culture Ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology. [How's that for a mouthful?] One writer has already joked that America has banned the phrase "ménage à trois" in retaliation.

[ link | e-me ]

1:49 PM      

Finished a new draft of a sonnet yesterday. Enjoy!


Those are my legacy:
Failed experiments in chemistry.
Cushy goos gone hard and brittle,
Beautiful crystals that crumble.
Some might waft jasmine-like scent,
While others reek the foulest stench.

Looped and completely buzzed
On vapor, badly burnt by acid,
Slippery handfuls of awful stuff –
Never thought to put on gloves.
They say the search is its own reward,
But a tasteless formula is still a dud.

At last it boils down to you + me,
The only ingredients we’ll ever need.

[ link | e-me ]

1:38 PM      

The drama
Well, it's nice to see Jan Ullrich putting in a great performance. In some ways, he's cycling's bad boy, and his greatest adversary in the past has been himself. He's shaken problems with depression, excessive weight gain in the off-season, and a scandal with recreational drugs, to return to this year's Tour de France as a major contender. He dominated today's time trial, blazing the course and turning in the only sub-1-hour time. He completed the course a full minute and a half faster than Lance, moving him into second place in the overall standings, and only 30 seconds behind Lance.

Watching the coverage today, it occurred to me that the profile of the aero helmet that so many of the time trialists wear these days look a lot like the skull of the creature in "Alien." The announcers were talking about how Lance worked with the company that designed the Yellow Jersey to make it more comfortable – They added triangular vents extending from the armpits to the waist on both sides to help make the jersey cooler. Sadly, I also heard that Andrei Kivilev, the former leader of the Cofidis team, had been killed in a crash at the Paris-Nice race in March. He wasn't wearing a helmet. The incident evoked memories of the death of Fabio Cassartelli in the Tour de France, and also refreshed the controversy over making helmets mandatory.

Tomorrow, they move into the Pyrenees for 4 grueling days of racing over terrain very different from the Alps. This will be no cake walk for Lance, but his form has been improving since the start of the Tour. I'll be watching.


If it was poetry, they'd call it doggerel
July 15, San Jose State U announced the winners of the 2003 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.


An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory if not the reputation of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), who has just enjoyed his bicentennial. The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) and the phrase, "the pen is mightier than the sword," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."

In case you're interested in entering next year, here are the rules:

  • Each entry must consist of a single sentence.
  • Sentences may be of any length (though you go beyond 50 or 60 words at your peril), and entrants may submit more than one, but all entries must be original and previously unpublished.
  • Entries should be submitted on index cards, the sentence on one side and the entrant's name, address, and phone number on the other.
  • Entries will be judged by categories, from "general" to detective, western, science fiction, romance, and so on. There will be overall winners as well as category winners.
  • The deadline is April 15 (a date Americans associate with painful submissions and making up bad stories).

Send your entries to:
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Department of English
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0090

[ link | e-me ]

Thursday, July 17, 2003
2:34 PM      

Sweet Finish (or, "Say my name, say my name...")
Juan Antonio Flecha, a Spanish rider for the team, won the stage today in grand style, riding into the aerodrome in Toulouse well ahead of the peoloton, but also having broken away from a pack of about 9 riders who originally broke away from the main pack with him. As he crossed the line, he gestured as if he were drawing a bow and releasing an arrow into the sky – appropriate, since "flecha" means "arrow" in Spanish.


Anita gets more radical

"I believe it is now more important than ever before for business to assume a moral leadership. ...

We are living our comfort off the back of slaves."

Dame Anita Roddick, who started The Body Shop, has retired. She's getting more radical, now that she's shed her business ties. Interesting reading on BBC.


"I provide a daily dose of half-assed observations, rabid punditry , and outright buffoonery . Also, copious amounts of supermodels..."

Check out this guy's blog. He calls it the way he sees it, and he doesn't flinch. Yeah, it's political.

[ link | e-me ]

Tuesday, July 15, 2003
2:27 PM      

15 minutes

"I don't have the White House or Donald Rumsfeld breathing down my neck yet. There hasn't been a SEAL extraction team to get me..." - Anthony Cox

AP picked up the story about the mock weapons of mass destruction error message that turned up a week or so ago.

The page was designed by a pharmacist named Anthony Cox, for a few giggles with his friends. Because a number of people have linked to his page, it gets a high rank on Google, which is why "I'm feeling lucky" brings you to his page.

Cox says he's even gotten messages from weapons inspectors who found his page amusing. He's been getting hits like crazy. Maybe his fame will last a little longer than 15 minutes...


Bush says the intelligence he gets is "darn good!" Shucks man, I bet if he wasn't a holy roller, he'd have used a diff'rnt word! But, "darn good" just doesn't have enough pizzazz, either. He should have said something like "our intelligence is finger-lickin'-good -- we got the recipe from th Colonel himself!"

[ link | e-me ]

Monday, July 14, 2003
10:01 PM      

Shuffling the decks
An ethics teacher in San Jose thought Ol' Dubya's Iraqi Freedom deck was stacked, so she designed her own. Some of the proceeds go to support Gulf War Syndrome sufferers. Check out the Operation Hidden Agenda card deck.

Eder, who teaches the class ‘‘Morality and Social Justice’’ at Bellarmine, an all-boys Catholic high school in San Jose, says the idea for the cards came to her when her students insisted the war in Iraq was justified, but they couldn’t offer facts or reasons to back up their statements. ...

She gathered information for her cards from The New York Times, the BBC, Mother Jones magazine,, the San Jose Mercury News, the Washington Post and several other international news organizations and publications. Her sources are all cited on the cards. ...

Former Santa Cruz County Supervisor and outspoken conservative Marilyn Liddicoat is not amused.

" This is very unpatriotic," Liddicoat said. "I think it is very hostile to America to do this."

Liddicoat, also a former chair on the Santa Cruz County Board of Education, said she thinks Eder should be fired for brainwashing students.

read more


On another note, Bush says the intelligence he gets is "darn good!" Shucks man, I bet if he wasn't a holy roller, he'd have used a diff'rnt word! But, "darn good" just doesn't have enough pizzazz, either. He should have said something like "our intelligence is finger-lickin'-good -- we got the recipe from th Colonel himself!"

[ link | e-me ]

12:18 PM      

Wow, what a stage in the Tour today. Sad to see Joseba Beloki go down. That was some intense and scary riding. He locked his wheel up, got sideways, then his tire slipped off the rim and blew. It was all over then – Joseba went down hard. Apparently, he messed up either his elbow, or his hip. The audio picked up his screams. We're talking major pain.

Lance was almost on Beloki's wheel when he went down, but Lance knows how to read riders. He had a sense that Beloki was losing it, and gave himself just enough space to be safe. Even with that, he ended up off the road. The only thing to do was ride across the empty field and hop back onto the course at the other side of the switchback. How lucky is that!?

The guy's ridden enough off-road not to panic on the rough terrain. In the post-race interview he joked that he's ridden off-road twice this season: once in January, and now today. He also said he fully expected to get a flat riding across the field. At the end of the day, he managed to cross the line in the number four position, and had enough left to pull out a sprint for the finish.With all that, he probably only gave up an extra 15-20 seconds to Vinokourov, whose brilliant riding earned him the stage, even without the crash.

Tomorrow's stage is relatively flat, then there's a rest day. This has been one of the most dramatic Tours de France I've ever watched. There are still two weeks to go!

It's funny to me that the show that aired immediately after the Tour was "RV Today." Can you imagine two more completely different audiences? But then again, there are a lot of Winnebagos lining the route of the Tour... Maybe they know something I don't!

[ link | e-me ]
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