Saturday, July 31, 2004

Where's Lance?

I was lonely this week. Glen was in Miami. OLN no longer offered any company to me. Daniel only stopped by briefly once. The Democratic Convention held only mild interest. And Sam II did not learn his "down" command, even though we practiced every day over and over. Thankfully, Rob was here, awaiting the start of school and helping me hunt down the mysterious, evasive bad smell in the refrigerator.

So, I worked a lot on getting photos in albums. I had a very good time. It is fun to get photos organized to retell the great stories, big and little of the year. Very fun for me. I've been leaving off most of the design to speed things up. The photos and words/writing tell the story, so nothing else is really needed. And it's been a good month for my Creative Memories business.

I will be traveling next week to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend the annual national convention for Creative Memories. It is always a top-notch experience. This year, I will be taking the "plant tour" --- traveling to St. Cloud, MN to tour the headquarters. Should be interesting. I'll be home on Sunday morning with many of the new products introduced in hand. That fact is very exciting to some of my eager clients.

Does anyone want to go to the next local Sheryl Crow concert with me? Not just to see if Lance rides through. I do like her as a musician, too.

I got bicycle shoes and gloves. Now I hope to get the training wheels off my bike by the end of the summer. I was really inspired by LA.

Lance Covers

Sightings of the State Champion

Glen posted something about me being in the race at Heritage Park, and that I beat the kids my age. One of them is the State Champion. We saw them riding on the trail yesterday, and apparently they turned around not long after to chase us down. We were going pretty fast, like 24 mph for a while (with a tail wind), then Dad got a flat and they passed us. We could have stayed with them if that didn't happen, and we could have stayed ahead of them if we knew we were racing (being chased). He's going to do the US National Championships, which are in Utah, but I don't know when. But the national track championships are happenning right now in maybe Carson.

For the pros, the Autumn Classics are happening, and on August 1st, the HEW Cyclassics Cup will happen. Don't expect to see Lance in it because he has a press conference that day.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Clean Drug Tests

Asian News Channel International reports: "Belgian Christophe Brandt was the only cyclist to return a positive drug tests during the Tour de France, the International Cycling Union (IUC) said."

That means that the Postie boys, including Lance tested clean, as promised. Armstrong claims that he is tested more than any of the other competitors in the Tour de France.

wouldn't be a title without lance

yeah dude, where's the muumu's?! anywho, last night i was watching sportscenter on espn as i often do to find out about the outcome of the dodger game that day. one of the funny commercials that espn plays is where sportscenter analyst dan patrick is working in his office, when the power apparently fails. so there is a long shot of patrick walking down the hallway, down the stairs, and into the basement of the building, all the way to a door that would apparently be where generator might be, and there's lance armstrong on a stationary bicycle.
lance: "oh sorry dan, i thought everyone had left for the night."
dan: "you okay? you want an energy bar or something."
lance: "no, i'm good." (resumes pedaling)
i thought the commercial funny.

three cheers glen! we know you were stressing the test, but we all secretly knew that it was in the bag. i bribed mr. carver with rentals from blockbuster. always looking out for you i am.

the daily show w/ jon stewart has been hilarious coming from the democratic national convention this week. one of their field reporters said he filmed all of his reports ahead of time and left early since the convention was so scripted and boring. he made sure to do reports on a few possible exciting scenarios just in case, including a polar bear attacking the delegates from kansas, and hazardous quicksand discovered on the floor of the fleet center.

Lance News

Lance Armstrong says he is fully capable of winning the Tour de France for a 7th time. "Time is limited but I think I could win the Tour de France one more time," he said. George HIncapie says he is as motivated as he ever was and needs to win. "It's [winning] something he needs in his life. I've known the guy for a long time and that desire to win is as strong as ever. It's part of him, what motivaties him and keeps him going. It could be a World Cup race, whatever, Lance is just like that."

Lance hasn't said when he'll give it another go, but he's not getting any younger.

Last Day in South Florida

If everything goes as planned, this will be my last day in South Florida. I will drive south to visit a client in Florida City--about half way to the Florida Keys from Miami. If things don’t go as planned, I don’t know what I’ll do. Find a Starbucks and order a venti!

Someday I will take the opportunity to keep on driving until I get to Key West. I will save that trip for a time when Cindi travels here with me.

Some of you know that I was taking a test last week that would qualify me for participation in the Policy Governance Academy with John and Miriam Carver. I received word yesterday that I have been accepted--I passed the test!

The weather here has been steamy. This is the low season for tourism because it is warm, humid and wet--lot's of rain. I am looking forward to a trip here in February 2005 with the board of directors. I will help facilitate a tour, along with the Vice President of North American Operations for the board members and their spouses. That should be fun. I have invited Cindi to come along with me on this trip.

I am looking forward to watching OLN on Sunday with Daniel--there is a Lance interview. Should be good.

P. S. I am looking for the promised matching muumuu images from the land of Hawaii.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Partly A Test of My Creativity and skill...

Daniel just got a velonews magazine for free for having a racing license-- sent to him with hopes that he would subscribe. Here's what the cover lookes about like (not this grainy):
VeloNews-- The magazine

Movie about LA

in 2006. Matt Damon says he wants to play the part of Lance.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

i don't pretend to be lance...

sometimes i pretend i'm jan. and i'm not talking brady, i'm talking ullrich. maybe that's why i feel like an underachiever....

It's not just us that pretend we're Lance

There have been at least 3 ads on OLN for with a guy pretending he's Lance and imagining how a commentator would commentate it. But the pros also pretend they're Lance. Here's a quote from one:

"When I'm taining I imagine I'm Lance Armstrong and I go up the climbs at full speed pretending I'm unbeatable"
--Fabian Jeker, who lost the Tour of Switzerland by one second to Jan Ullrich, so his strategy almost paid off, too.

I definitely do not want school to start anytime soon, Rob.

Monday, July 26, 2004

listed m.i.a.

the administrator ought to know that i tried voting in his cute little poll for best oln staff member, and it told me that i had already voted, although i have no recollection of doing so. i tried voting for kirsten gum, cause i hear she is a babe, and she must be a lot better looking than al troutwhatever. so let's mom, my step-dad, my grandmother, my aunt, and my uncle are all in the tropics right now. how exciting for them! judging by the enormous insects i often encounter on my bedroom walls, i would've sworn that i too was in the tropics. so far, summer vacation is really lame. i find that i have way too much time on my hands. i just want school to begin again, so that i have a reason to get out of bed before noon. it finally feels like i'm getting things done on my own terms, because I want to, and that is a nice feeling. i feel momentum. but not at the moment, since it's summer vacation. i can't believe that i even went to summer school already, that seems like a long time ago. last night i watched a movie called "napoleon dynamite." it was super funny, and a really clean movie. (ie: no swearing, adult humor or violence.) i'd heard of the movie a while back, and later read that it was made by some graduates of brigham young university. that had put me off initially, because i've been conditioned to think anything mormon is either really weird, or really wrong. i'm proud of myself for overcoming my own prejudices, and allowing myself to enjoy something that could be enjoyable to any subculture. just for clarity's sake, there was no mention of religion in the actual film other than a mexican character who had a lot of traditional catholic symbols in his house. i'm starting to realize that i'm not taking advantage of my surroundings enough this summer. it's almost august, and i haven't been to one dodger game or visited the beach this summer! something must be done about these things. not at the moment however, since it's probably really cold at the beach at 12:13 am. songs of the moment on my very own ipod: "ocean breathes salty" by modest mouse, "over it" by onelinedrawing, and "goodmorning aztlan" by los lobos. download away...


Some of you are wondering what iPods are. I'm sure Glen can give you a better answer, but it is a device that can store memory to back up your hard disc, or you can download music onto it for listening with ease. In a magazine I got today, someone said, "I've put many of my 1000 CDs onto my iPod so that I can have all my best music with me wherever I go."

Sunday, July 25, 2004

On Cobblestones in the Tour

In stage 3 in the Tour de France, the riders had to go over cobblestones that are usually saved for the spring classics Paris-Roubaix and Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders). The riders were not too happy about this, and an overall contender, Iban Mayo, crashed and lost almost 4 minutes to Lance because of that. Here are some quotes pertaining to them:

"Cobbles are for Paris-Roubaix, not the Tour de France. They're not going to put any mountains in Paris-Roubaix next year are they [Paris-Roubaix is always flat]?"
--Tyler Hamilton

"We're bike riders, we should ride on the road and not be gladiators. If someone loses it [crashes] in front of you, you run over him and you crash."
--Jens Voight

Source: VeloNews (

It's official--Lance is King of Tour

Lance Armstrong won an unprecedented sixth Tour victory this year while beating the crapes out of all his rivals (remember that add, OLN watchers?). Today was a very easy day around the Champs-Elysees, with Lance in a special yellow uniform. Tom Boonen won the stage, and Robbie McEwen got the green jersey for the best and most consistent sprinter. Read more here.

Lance in his different uniform.

Lance celebrates #6.

Tom Boonen celebrates his second stage win this year.

Winners of jerseys, left to right: Robbie McEwen, sprinter; Lance, overall classification; Richard Virenque, King of the Mountains (for a record 7th time); Vladimir Karpets, Best Young Rider.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

T de F

I really enjoyed the little bio about the Mennonite racer. Hope he does well in the years to come

Armstrong wins Tour TT

Lance Armstrong showed he is the king of the Tour today when he won the Time Trial to Besançon. His teamates went out with marvelous times, then when "Yawn" Ullrich came around, he set the best times, with his teamate Andreas Kloden not far away from him. Ivan Basso was next, but he didn't do too well (as expected). Lance Armstrong came out of the starting gate with the fastest times at all of the check points, and beat Ullrich (2nd place) by 61 seconds! This was his 5th victory in this year's Tour, and 21st victory total in the Tour de France.

Tomorrow is an easy 100-mile day ending on the Champs Elysees. The final standings are Lance Armstrong, first, Andreas Kloden, 2nd, Ivan Basso, 3rd. (Ullrich, a five-time runner-up, was 4th). Jose Azevedo was 5th, 14:30 behind his team leader. American Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) was 9th.

Thomas Voeckler, who was in the yellow jersey for 10 days, started in the white jersey today as the best young rider. However, he lost that lead when he lost way more than the 45 seconds he was leadings the Russian Vladimir Karpets (Illes-Ballears).

Richard Virenque (Quick Step-Davitamon) won the King of the Mountains competition with 226 points, and Lance was 2nd, with 172 points. T-Mobile won the team competition, with the Posties 2nd. The Sprinting competition is led by Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo), but the Norwegian Thor Hushovd could beat him, because the competion continues on the Champs-Elysees, and he is not far off.

For the overall contenders, tomorrow should be a fun ride around Paris with smiles all over, and some Champagne for Lance, which apparently hard his easiest Tour ever, with 5 stage wins and the team time trial in his palmares.

"I'm happy, because it's finished," he added. "I'm tired mentally, have tired legs."

Friday, July 23, 2004

A Beth surprise

Beth is sitting here next to me chatting with Rob while I am watching the expanded coverage of T de F.

That's a nice surprise.

Samuel Corrasco

I friend and colleague of mine, Rudy Carrasco, has learned this week that his 4 year old son Samuel, has leukemia. Rudy is an avid blogger and has set up a blog for Sam Sam here. I told Rudy about Lance Armstrong, who is a cancer survivor (leukemia is a kind of cancer). Rudy is now posting about the bicycle race, Armstrong's Foundation, and cancer survivorship on his regular blog called Urban Onramps. So now I wear my yellow wristband for Rudy's Sam Sam also.

Best Domestique

Don't forget to vote for who you think is Lance's best domestique. The winner receives $10,000! Currently, George Hincapie has 55% of the votes, Floyd Landis has 24%, and Jose Azevedo has 12%. To vote, click here.

The Mennonite Rider

I have enjoyed Floyd Landis and his role on the USPS team to help Lance. A few months ago on a tour in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Floyd's family's farm was pointed out to us by out tour guide. His description was that Floyd's family is Amish. Had Floyd grown up on the south side of Hwy 30, he would not have been permitted to use a bicylce, the Amish are only allowed scooters on that side of the road.

So, I was curious when I read in Every Second Counts, Armstrongs autobiography that Floyd is Mennonite. Then, Robin William described the family as Mennonite. If you'd like to know more, read this. I guess this interests me because I work for MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates). This link, thanks to Hugo Swyzer, a Mennonite in Pasadena whose blog I read ocassionally.

You can also read Floyd's online journal here. I think Daniel may have already linked us to that one.

Heat in Tour

The riders in the Tour de France do not like the heat and even though they drink a lot, they can still get dehydrated. Read about it in a journal entry by American Christian Vande Velde here.

Lance covers

Mercado wins 18th stage at Tour

Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick Step-Davitamon) won Friday's stage of the Tour de France while Lance Armstrong retained his overall lead safetly in the bunch.

Jaun Miguel Mercado was in a breakway, and attacked with 12 km to go, and Garcia-Acosta followed. Garcia-Acosta was expected to win because he was stronger and more experienced, but the Quick Step drafted him to the line and outsprinted him. This is the third stage victory for the Belgian Quick Step-Davitamon team.

Earlier in the race, Italian Filippo Simeoni (Domina Vacanze) bridged the gap to the breakway and Armstrong followed because of personal tension between the two. T-Mobile or CSC (Lance's main challenger's teams) would definitely not let Lance go, and the break knew that, so they asked him to leave, but he said he would only leave if Simeoni left, so he did.

Not the easiest route, but nothing serious.

Tomorrow is the Final TT, which Lance has always won in the past except for last year. Jan Ullrich could also make a splash.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Tyler Pays Tribute to Tugboat

In his last diary entry,Tyler Hamilton paid tribute to his dog (and best friend, I suppose) Tugboat.

Tyler and Tugboat.

Yes, the riders have the same idea that you do on the crowds of the Tour de France. In a recent entry of Christian Vandevelde's diary, he says, The crowds were insane from the start of the climb all the way to the top. At times it was scary, as I didn't really know if I would make it through the crazy screaming fans. By the time we started racing the fans had finished their lunches, finished their bottles of red, cans of beer and topped it all off with shots of grappa. When people are drunk, reaction times are slow and the noise is deafening-good and bad when you're racing up a hill with sweat in your eyes."

Here, you see the crazy fans.

US Postal's Aero Bars

The US Postal team aero bars (by Bontrager) are now available to the general public. 630 grams, $600.

The team's helmet, however, is not available yet to normal people.

Nor is the Trek Madone SL, the bike the Posties ride in races with cobblestones.

Lance takes Number Four

Lance Armstrong showed he deserves a sixth Tour victory today when he won the 17th stage of the Tour de France (making it 4 stages this year). US Postal set a fast pace, and the only ones that could keep up were Jan Ullrich, his teamate Andréas Klöden, Ivan Basso, currently in 2nd place behind Lance, and Lance himself led by Floyd Landis. The stage ended with Andréas Klöden sprinting away at 1 km to go, and everyone followed, and Lance sprinted out and came out right ahead of him. Jan Ullrich probably wasn't too happy about Klöden because he took the 2nd place time bonus (12 second), leaving Jan with just the 3rd place bonus (8 seconds), putting him at 8:08 back, in 4th place, with Klöden in 3rd, at 5:11. Ullrich has never been worse in the Tour than 2nd place.

There were some early breakaways for the King of the Mountains competition and to be the first person to be at the highest point of the Tour, the 2000-meter Col de la Madeleine, which is rewarded with a 5000-Euro bonus (6000 dollars), which Gilbeto Simoni got, just edging out Richard Virenque, with the Armstrong group behind.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Lance Does the Dance

Lance Armstrong distroyed his rivals' Tour hopes when he beat his normal challenger, a great time trialist, Jan Ullrich, by 61 seconds in just 15.5 km (about 9 miles), putting the German 7:44 back, and Ivan Basso, Lance's closest challenger this year, who is not a good time trialist, is now 3:38 behind Lance.

The time trial was up the legendary Alpe d'Huez, which turned out to be a bad idea because of the 900,000 screeming and crazy fans lining the 15.5 km route. "I don't know that that is such a good thing for the Tour de France. I don't think it is safe. I think you'd agree. I'm sure the organizers agree," Lance said, and the organizers did agree.

Lance's time up the Alpe was the 2nd fastest in history, just one second off Marco Pantani's record.

Robbie McEwen, the sprinter's competition leader, did a wheelie when he crossed the finish line, which was a strange sight.

Lance goes hard.

Ullrich goes all out, but it wasn't enough.

Basso loses a lot of time.

It does look like Lance has the Tour in the bag, but he says the deciding day is tomorrow, a tough mountain stage.

Satellite Image of Tour de France - L’Alpe d’Huez

This is from Discovery Magazine. This is what they say about it:

--Today, Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite took a new image of the area covering Stage 16 of the Tour de France in the French Alps. The image of the 9.6-mile (15.5 km) race course from Bourg d'Oisans to L'Alpe d'Huez was collected at 11:52 a.m. (local time) from 423 miles in space. American Lance Armstrong won this individual time trial stage in 39 minutes, 41 seconds - the only rider under 40 minutes.

The image shows the winding switchback road to the town of L'Alpe d'Huez lined with cars, RVs and hundreds of thousands of cycling fans. The town itself is also packed with tents, vehicles and people.

Dance Wilstrong

Did you know if you mix Daniel's name and Lance's name you get that! Cindi made up the Dance part. I added the Wilstrong part. (Daniel, has anyone ever said that before?)

Anyway, speaking of my nephew Dance, he was telling me about a bicycle race at Heritage Park last night. He rode faster than anyone else in his age group in a 20 mile ctriteirum. Hurray for Dance!

This post marks the 300th post to the PWWCR family blog! Huray for us!

Shock and Awe

First, I was shocked to find out this morning that Lance Armstrong's mom is my age. What?

Second, I am in awe of Lance's and the team's performances in each stage of this bike ride. They just seem to plan the work and work the plan. That is an inspiration for me with various personal goals. I'd like to be there watching in France during the third week, but not with that kind of crowd.

What is up with the announcers starting to proclaim victory with Lance? Doesn't anyone else get a little nervous with that? What if he falls? Or what if a silly spectator interferes? Aren't there still some variables out there? And there doesn't seem to be any kind of big time gap between the leaders that make me relax. Am I crazy or should I start the Lance dance now?!

Puppy Training Week 2

Squirt, I mean --- Sam did fine at puppy training. He performed to the "Let's Go!" command fairly confidently. He also embarrassed me with a new greeting. When the male instructor petted and talked to him at the start of class, he squirted a quick stream of liquid, let's just say, into the air. He did not hit any one. He was seated and leaning back a little, so the fluid just arched through the air with the greatest of ease. This happened one or two more times when various men in class petted him. No one was in the way.

Sam seemed oblivious to this new reaction. I'm guessing his male dog "marking" ability kicked into gear without the control factor as a natural part of puppy development. Again, never heard of that before, but it must be typical.

The command for this week is "Sit" and "Stay" with hand motions to communicate what we want --- that's the tricky part. And practicing in the heat is no fun, especially on little paws touching the pavement.

Remingtons Plan Trip to Whittier to Meet Sam-2

Dick and Jane Remington will be traveling to Whittier and spending the week of August 17 - 24 to play with the granddog. A summer visit will permit some different activities. I am looking forward to introducing them to the wonder dog. I'm sure a family BBQ will be planned at our house. Hopefully, Daniel will give them an orientation to the Tour de France via video highlights.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Robin Williams

I think that I could stay awake easier in those early hours if Robin Williams was a regular with Phil and Bob. What a hoot this morning. Can we put his name on the vote to the right?

What Else is New?

Well, really? Lance Armstrong won today's stage of the Tour de France (making it 18 stage wins for the Texan) after beating Ivan Basso to the line as he did on Saturday's stage to Plateau de Beille. This time, however, he took the yellow jersey from France's Thomas Voeckler because he lost more than nine minutes to Lance, and going from first place to 8th.

Jan Ullrich attacked on the 4th climb of the day (with six climbs total), a first catagory Col de l'Echarassson. The German gained more than a minute on Lance, but CSC and USPS (Basso's and Lance's team) reeled him back in and he lost three more seconds in the end, putting him 6:54 behind Lance.

"Basso is riding so good that there is a chance I can lose time tomorrow," Lance said about the very difficult TT to Alpe d'Huez.

Other news: Iban Mayo did not even start today's stage.

This was the kind of terrain the riders did.

Armstrong celebrates his stage win.

Tyler's back trouble (the spots). Read his journal entry about it here.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Basso on Tour

Basso says he will only attack Lance if Lance shows any signs of weakness, which the Texan has not shown so far. "It's possible to win the Tour de France in one attack," Basso said. "Last year at Luz Ardiden, Armstrong won the race in one attack. I don't know if Armstrong will have a bad day. If he does, we will be ready. It's not worth it to attack just to gain 10 to 20 seconds."

However, Basso's teammates got injuries recently from crashes etc, so that's a disadvantage to Lance with his strong team always there for him.

Domitilla, Ivan's daughter, sits in a happy father's arms.

A new name, Andreas Kloden of Ullrich's T-Mobile team, is expected to be pretty high up in the overall standings in Paris ahead of Jan Ullrch, the team leader, if he keeps up his climbing abilities and doesn't fall behind in the TTs (time trials).

Rest Day #2

Gravity Files, Outside Magazine--re-airing of stage 13 and a few of the Lance Chronicles. What will I do with myself today?

The Today Show seems sooooooooo unimportant [really when is it anything else].

Meanwhile in the real world--France--where the Postie Boys and their wannabe assumptive competitors are having a "rest" day.

Click for Nimes, France Forecast

Looks pretty warm there. I am intrigued by the individual time trial coming on Wednesday--straight up a hill, 7.9% grade for 15 kilometers. Isn't Turnball Canyon about 6%?

Well, I think I still have a job. I'll go check. Rob wants to go for a bike ride sometime today.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Aitor Wins Tour Stage

Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) won Sunday's 14th stage of the Tour de France today after getting in a 10-man break and attacked 6 km from the finish (about 4 miles).  Voeckler retained the overall lead, and Lance is still 22 seconds behind, with no major moves by any of the overall threats.  Tomorrow (Monday) is a rest day.

As for Ivan Basso being on the podium in Paris, I was thinking of him being second (or third), but not first (because of Lance in the way).  It would be nice to be in the leader's jersey, but we'll see where my life takes me.

Why does blogger change so much? It's hard to figure out how to do things another way so much. I think I figured everything out, though.

Saturday, July 17, 2004


I will be surprised if Basso wins. He has a history of miscalculations and mishaps. He also is not as good on the flats as Lance and is not expected to do well on the time trial. Yet many individuals in this race have not lived up to expectations and there is a lot of racing still ahead. We will see if Daniel's prediction is fulfilled. I do expect Daniel to be the Voeckler of the "le tour de france 2014".

Puppy talk and biking

I have really enjoyed the progress of Sam 2 in his school. Keep it up Cindi ! ! Also enjoying the reports on the race, not that I can understand it all, Daniel, Will be nice to see if your thoughts on the winners will be true. Keep the information coming.

Lance Poster

You can get a Lance poster by Giro here.

Same Again

Lance won very difficult stage 13 to Plateau de Beille with Basso, the last stage's winner, took second right behind. It was a very dramatic day with Jan Ullrich losing another 2:42 to Lance Armstrong, putting him 6:39 behind Lance. Tyler Hamilton quit because of severe back pain, with others quiting also. Iban Mayo almost quit today after being dropped on a lesser hill, but he was persuaded to keep going by his teammates, other riders, his manager, and Basque fans, but he lost almost 38 minutes to Lance.

Stage 9 winner, Tom Boonen, crashed on a descent, when some part of his bike broke apparently, and overall threat, Roberto Heras, also crashed on another descent, and he also finished, but his overall hopes are history.

Be prepared to see Ivan Basso on the podium in Paris.

Lance takes the stage ahead of Basso.

Jan Ullrcih loses more time.

The yellow jersey is still on a very hard-working Voeckler.

Tyler Hamilton quits with back pain.

Mayo almost quits.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Sam's Breakthrough and Race Talk

Samson #2 did really well today on his training task of "Let's go." He stayed on my left side with slack in his leash...Not pulling nor dragging behind and a minimum of puppy play. I was very encouraged and he almost seemed proud, too. We got a "training collar" (formerly known as a choke chain), which seems to help the process. We practice with him each day, so it was a thrill to see such progress today.
Sam marched around in his new pool yesterday. Just a molded plastic shell thing that cost hardly anything and can't be bitten and deflated. Glen went in, too, to demonstrate how to splash and enjoy the water. It's deep enough for Sam to be in to his chest, but shallow enough for him to step/climb in and out. The fun increased with the addition of pool toys: a little floaty ball and a piece of wood from somewhere in the garden. He pawed and chased those around and seemed to have fun. Soon he'll be ready for an actual swim somewhere. I had fun, too, watching him cool off.
The Tour de France was good again today. I enjoyed the ending very much. The rain is something else! Can't imagine riding that fast, downhill, in the rain. I'd be tortured. It's fun having Daniel here some days to watch, too.

Lance Shows Who's Boss

Lance Armstrong showed just why he is a five-time Tour de France champion when he took second on today's stage, gaining two minutes and thirty seconds on his closest rival, Jan Ullrich, and 3:27 behind Tyler Hamilton, and 2:57 over super-climber and ex-teammate, Roberto Heras, now on the Spanish team Liberty Seguros. In the overall standings, Thomas Voeckler (Brioches la Boulangere) made a huge effort and kept his yellow jersey for another day.

It was a day of much rain, making the descent dangerous, but luckily, no one crashed, and at the end the roads were dry. The posties (in the rain) made the pack go in many groups because of their hard pace. Lance kept that pace and even sped up when his last teammate was through and made many suffer more. Ullrich was just having his day in the first day of the mountains in his huge gear.

Lance could have won the stage, but he is trying to help Italian Ivan Basso's mother fight cancer. "We've been friends for a long time, and off the bike we're trying to work a little bit on his mom's situation, to try and see if she can win the fight against cancer," Armstrong said.

Basso wins the stage ahead of Lance.

Ullrich has trouble.

Hamilton also struggles.

Great Morning of Racing

What an exciting morning of racing. What an effort by team postal. Another example of how important working as a team is in cycling.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Something New for this Year's Tour

The Tour started out with 55-degree weather with rain causing many crashes, but now it is up to 100 degrees, "But I don't think anyone is complaining after the [cold and rain-sodden] first week," said Lance Armstrong, defending Tour champ. Because of this (and on-and-off back pain), Paris-Roubaix (a "Classic" with many cobblestones) winner Swede Magnus "Maggy" Bäckstedt, and also the heaviest rider in the peloton, had to call it quits.

As for the good things of the stage, there was a three-man breakaway that turned into a chase group when one the the three attacked (Frenchman David Moncoutié) and won the stage. The overall standings remained the same with the Texan ahead of all his rivals. As for Saturday's extremely hard stage, he said, "It's very nasty. I think they should take it out. It's a violation of our human rights. I love it," showing his Texan behaivor all around. But for tomorrow, Iban Mayo is expected to attack because it is in front of his home crowd (the Basque).

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

For the "dog people" among us

Tyler Hamilton, #11 in overall standings in the Tour after Stage 10 is pictured here with his 9 year-old golden retriever Tugboat.

Tugboat has been sick for some time, diagnosed with cancer this week, passed away in France.

Happy Bastille Day to everyone

It looks like 3 guys withdrew from the Tour today. Watched Sébastien HINAULT get taken away on a stretcher and ambulance. Yesterday a guy just ran out of juice, stopped, and handed-off his bike to a mechanic and got into the team car. Not to indulge in too much schadenfreude!

I am looking forward to seeing LA pull out of his #6 position. He was in good spirits yesterday, joking with the press.

Virenque Wins Tour Stage

Richard Virenque won the first mountain stage (and also the longest stage) of this year's Tour de France, while the overall standings have not changed much because Lance's main rivals finished not long after him. Thomas Voeckler retained the overall lead, but only because of his teammates' help.

The Frenchamn Richard Virenque wanted to win on this day because it is Bastille Day in France (July 14). He was in a two-man breakaway with Axel Merckx (Lotto Domo), but the Belgian could not hold Virenque when he upped the pace. He says that he will really pay for the effort in the days to come like he did in last year's Tour when he took the yellow jersey and the King of the Mountains (KOM) jersey. He only took the KOM jersey this time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

watch for pictures

Beth has Brianna for the whole day tomorrow. Watch for non-tour pictures coming to this blog. I would expect that they involve swimming or playing with water. You can see the temp on the side bar to the right. hot, hot, hot.

McEwen Wins Again

This is Robbie McEwen's second sprint victory this year. There was a two-man breakway that lasted most of the ride, and unlike most of the breakways so far this year, they were certain of a victory, but the peloton reeled them in just in time for the sprinters to take over. This is a little sad to watch, but at the same time, it's one of the best things in bike racing.

McEwen sprints to the finish line.

The General Classification (GC) remained the same.

Answer to Cindi's Question:
A person that you've never heard of can take the leader's jersey because of a smart breakaway like the guy on Brioches la Bolangere did. The favorites are not scared because they know they will get the time back in the mountains, which start tomorrow. Lance says there should be an individual time trial (ITT) so that this won't happen, and only real contenders will get the jerey, but Jean Marie Leblanc (the guy in charge of the Tour) likes to have it the way it is. In order to have a exciting finish, he makes the real action (the mountains, not the crashes) at the end of the Tour with a sprinter's first part of the race.

So anyway, it's because of a breakway with the times so close together already.

Tour de Prance --- Puppy School Day 1

Well, we took Sam to the first day of dog training last night. And of course he napped in the mud to cool off prior to class and dirtied his new school fur. Off we went, helping him into the back seat (he doesn't quite get the jumping in part), and wondering what the evening would be like.

He is riding in the car well, now --- staying seated most of the time. It helps that he is big enough to see out the window, I'm sure. The evening went well. He was very timid...tail between his legs, ears low, and body slouching down, when we arrived. He stayed very near to us and sat and looked around. To others, he seemed well-behaved, but we know the truth.

He was nervous about the first day of school. Would the others like him? Soon enough, he was sniff-greeted by a few others...the 9-week old rotweiler (how do you spell that?)and another BIG lab. The rot puppy was the only dog smaller than him, and her name is ---of all things---Delilah! Ha. Samson and...well, you get the picture. Sam stayed calm, sitting/or laying/lying/lieing (grammar patrol --- help!)and watching...often facing the wrong way for the instruction.

Then came the first walking on a leash practice with Glen. Well, he made great improvement by the end of the evening. Enough said. The end of class is "free play." All the owners let go of the leashes and the dogs are allowed to interact. It's fun to see.

Sam seemed to get along OK, though he seemed uncertain at first. Then he romped gleefully with a...Great Dane! A sight to see. Quite the size contrast. The Dane got so tickled he started to prance/pounce on/at/around Sam. Sam just flattened out on his belly on the a pancake or like someone about to be arrested after a car chase. No one was hurt. I was nervous, but laughing.

And home we came. Sam got a big drink of water and fell sound asleep.

Back to Blogging

In order to keep harmony in our home, I am compelled to blog now and then. I do enjoy reading the family blog, though it seems to have a single focus these days. I've been safely coasting along in the family blog peloton, but now I'm breaking away to post again. My Mac cannot support the posting, and I'm now using the PC. So I'm back from the silent period of reading and not responding.

I am enjoying the Tour de France. Yesterday was a day off, and I was glad to catch up on other responsibilities. I found myself anxious last night, though, to watch the next stage. To me, it's been like reading a good book...a real page turner. The kind where I can't put the book down because I want to know what will happen in the next chapter, er -- stage. I enjoyed the stage today. The countryside and towns, the blue sky with puffy clouds, and the crash! What? Again. Yes, and this time the cameras seemed to capture the whole thing. A guy hit a thing in the middle of the road and some one hit him and tumbled hard. The second guy already had a BIG bandage on his forearm. I'd be thinking..."I could be on a swim team. This is crazy! Neosporin and an Advil please. And airlift me to the tub! But no, not the mighty cyclism warriors. Back on the mighty steel (or some speedy alloy?)steed with wheels and charge forth. Just for the chance to wear polka dots? Or some other color shirt. Just go to the closet and pick one! What's the big deal? [I'm kidding. Of course, I get it and know it is not just to wear a new shirt!]. Can someone, however, explain to me how a guy who's name I never hear mentioned day-to-day during the race ends up keeping the yellow jersey? How does that work exactly? I am clearly missing something simple and obvious to the family experts, no doubt.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Rest day and an airplane ride

Monday is a day off for Lance and the TdeF riders as they will fly to the next starting point. The schedule says they will be in Limoges for their rest day.

Click for Limoges, France Forecast

Now, according to Daniel, the interesting thing about Monday's coverage is that they will show footage of the race and the the significant events to this point. This will include a re-showing of the crashes up to this point. They will likely show these several times over. And, Daniel will come over early to see it all!

Thor Hushovd Takes Sunday's Stage

Thor Hushovd won Sunday's stage 8 of the Tour de France, after the field caught multiple breakaways (in the second picture you can see one of them), and Thomas Voeckler retained the overall lead. There was a crash at the back of the peloton, due to a dog crossing the road at the wrong time, but no one expected to have any affect on the race was hurt. The overall was not affected much at all. Read more here.

The riders traveled by plane to the next stop for tomorrow's rest day.