Friday, November 19, 2010

The Future Looks Scary

As I was surfing through webpages last night, I made my way over to the Army's homepage to read about SSG Giunta - the most recent Congressional Medal of Honor recipient:

Pretty amazing stuff.If you haven't heard about what SSG Giunta did the night he earned the MOH, you owe it to yourself to check it out. As his company commander said, it was like the stories you hear about Audie Murphy during WWII. While I was scanning the homepage, my eye was caught by this:

Classic.The following is a conversation I can see occurring at Fort Campbell in the near future:

Front Desk Attendant: "Can I help you?"

Private Young: "I'm here to check in for my appointment."

FDA: "Ok, last four please." (The Army uses the last four of your social security number to identify your medical files. This was done even before they went all digtal.)

Young: "1234."

FDA: "Ok, Private...Young. Hmmm, I thought you would have looked more like this."

It doesn't affect the service Private Young will receive (that will always be underwhelming, no matter how much digtalization occurs), but it still isn't correct.

One up, one down. I guess that makes everything all even.

On to stories where things do not look to be all even. Italy is getting involved in the ongoing investigation concerning alleged doping on the USPS Team. We'll see when the paperwork is wrapped up what this large-scale revels. This, combined with WADA announcing that they can find no evidence to support AC's claim that his steak was tainted, makes this off-season an interesting one. Granted, this is the first time I have taken any interest in what goes on during the cycling off-season, but an investigation into doping by the current TdF champion and a multi-government backed investigation into doping charges against the greatest TdF rider ever is, in my humble opinion, pretty significant.

Ok, I'm off. Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Law, the Law of Averages, and an Average Beer

Got this video from Mr. Hoovis. There was another Danny MacAskill movie that made it's way through the various portals of the internet a few months back; this one is very similar in that it contains video evidence of Danny doing some crazy tricks off of pretty much anything he sees. For my money, I think this video is better due mainly to the scenery in which he rides. I miss Europe.

On to news from the home front. Another Tuesday brought another trivia night down at The High Noon Saloon. Did you know that Dorothy's slippers in the book version of the Wizard of Oz were silver but changed to ruby red because they showed up better that way in technicolor? Yeah, neither did we. We went on to win one round, keeping our average above .333, which is our new goal. During the course of said trivia I started and finished a glass of the saloon's Raspberry Wheat beer:

You can see the raspberry influence on the color.I tried this beer during the beer tasting a couple of us went to for my dirty thirty, but due to lingering sickness I did not give it a fair shake. To remedy my earlier transgression, I sidled up the our table and promptly ordered the raspberry wheat, fully knowing that there are other beers on the menu that I enjoy. My experience last night wasn't mind-blowing, either good or bad, and when all was said and done I realized that there is a place in the world of beer drinking for a raspberry wheat beer.

Its raspberry flavor wasn't overpowering, but it made its presence known; being a fan of raspberries, the flavor was pretty good - not too sweet and not too fruity. As far as the wheat beer goes, it did not compare to the wheat beers I've grown accustomed to in Germany - the ones where you order another beer as the drink to your wheat beer meal. If asked, I would place this beer in the category of "when the time is right." How will you know when the time is right? You just will, you just will.

In a story similar to the one I posted a few days ago concerning a Spanish DB who is suing a family for the damages their son's body caused to his Audi, a man in Connecticut is suing a family for allowing their son to ride without a helmet. Oh yeah, this man hit and killed the child. It appears that Velonews decided to provide the whole story, in that this man's suit is a countersuit to one from the parents of the boy who was killed. The story that was run yesterday failed to mention that.

As you can see here in section 14-286d.(b):

(b) No child fifteen years of age or under shall operate a bicycle on the traveled portion of any highway unless such child is wearing protective headgear which conforms to the minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation’s Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. Failure to comply with this section shall not be a violation or an offense. Failure to wear protective headgear as required by this subsection shall not be considered to be contributory negligence on the part of the parent or the child nor shall such failure be admissible in any civil action.

So while you have to wear a helmet, it isn't a punishable offense and the fact that a child didn't wear one is not admissible in any civil action claiming contributory negligence on the part of the parents. I wonder if Mr. Weaving looked at the cycling laws before bringing his suit (he apparently is representing himself).

I whole-heartedly disagree with anything Mr. Weaving is attempting to do (I really don't think a helmet would have saved the kid after being hit by an automobile driving at 80 mph), but I do think all children should wear helmets when operating bicycles. If you're having trouble convincing your kids helmets are good, just show them that Danny MacAskill wears one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Can't See the Forest for the Trees, or When Complacency Becomes Second Nature

I was unable to post last Friday due to my visit to Washburn University School of Law's open house. I noticed an older crowd of potential applicants versus those I saw at KU and Vanderbilt, which in some ways is a positive. The open house was informative and well run. I was very interested to hear that the LL.M. (masters of law) program Washburn has in conjunction with the University of Maastricht has never had all four student slots filled. Of course being away from Penny for a year isn't all that appealing. We'll see where the future will lead us and then I'll make my decision at that time.

Sometimes when you are so enmeshed in a culture, you fail to see the importance and significance of that culture. You begin to take things for granted, no matter how interesting, important, or exciting that culture may be. I'm sure Ben Roethlisberger takes for granted that he'll never be convicted of sexual assault, or that Contador takes for granted that his threats to retire mean something to anyone other than those that earn money off him. This was the case for me over the weekend, save for the sexual assault or money being made off me. I know it's belated, but I want to thank all the veterans of this country for the sacrifices you have made.

With this in mind, I'll share some pictures I took of the Veteran's Day Parade held last Thursday here in Leavenworth.

The parade commenced with a grand ceremony overseen by the parade's grand marshal:

The guy on the Segway, not the dog.Of course, being in Kansas, the parade featured its fair share of motorized bicycles:

Check the boot knife!

Where is her helmet!?There were clowns:

I want you, to get into my windowless van!Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. And a pony-riding dog:

Both animals seems very nonplussed, leading me to be very nonplussed.There you have it. I hope that you enjoyed your weekend and had the opportunity to thank a veteran for their service.

Our regular programming will return Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Irresponsible People: Cars and Cows

Let's start today with an amazing story I was alerted to by a commenter on BSNYC's Wednesday post. Sure, an Audi A8 is a sweet automobile, but suing the family of the kid you killed because his body did damage to your car?! And on top of that, what kind of rental car did he choose that cost him 6,000 Euros? Ah, the Spanish.

Speaking of the Spanish, the UCI has asked the Spanish Cycling Federation to open a disciplinary hearing against embattled Tour de France champion Alberto Contador. While that isn't surprising or unexpected, the story that Velonews published the day after was. Ok, maybe it isn't that unbelievable. The Spanish Cycling Federation President will not decide the outcome of the case, but his public support for Contador can't hurt.

Yesterday's BSNYC post discussed a recent case in Colorado where a rich dude in a Mercedes Benz ran over a doctor who was riding his bike. As seems to be standard procedure for douche bags, the rich dude fled the scene, stopped at a Pizza Hut a couple miles up the road, and called for a tow truck to take care of his damaged car. BSNYC goes on to point out one of the defense's arguments - that the driver possibly suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea. This situation seems to be exactly what Mercedes Benz has been working towards:

Disclaimer: safety features will not save you from yourself.If you can't read what I've highlighted, it says, "Distronic plus radar cruise control is no substitute for active driving involvement." Of course it is, at least that is how MB tries to sell it in their commercials. I can't find the commercial online, but the one I have in mind shows a bunch of people making statements such as, "I didn't know the car in front of me stopped short." Or, "I didn't know I was drifting into the other lane." And, "I was asleep and the system woke me up, thank goodness I only hit one cyclist."

To finish up today why don't we talk about something that is more enjoyable - beer. As promised, I remembered to bring my camera to The High Noon Saloon last night and managed to snap a few pictures of the Stampede Stout I took pleasure in drinking:

Now that's dark.As you can plainly see, the stout is very dark. It has a nice flavor with hints of cocoa and coffee. The ending is a bit hoppy, but unlike an IPA, the hoppiness is tempered by the myriad flavors working together.

While partaking in my beer, Penny and managed to win one of three trivia rounds, dropping our overall record to below .500. It's upsetting to say the least, but I've decided to look at our record more like a batting average, meaning that at over .400, we're doing just fine. We'll see if Contador does as well over the next few months.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It was a busy last few days. My visit to Vanderbilt went well. Right now I don't have the numbers to gain admission, but I think if I can bring my LSAT score up a couple points I'll have a decent chance.

While in Nashville, I ate at the Blackstone Brewery. On Friday they had six beers on tap, four ales and two porters. Being unable to decide on one, I ordered up a sampler and tried them all:

Mmmm, beer.In addition to the beer I enjoyed a delicious steak. I was a little upset that there were no stouts, but I was pleasantly surprised at the American Pale Ale. As expected though, the IPA was not to my liking.

Sticking with the college atmosphere, Penny and I traveled to KU on Saturday to watch the game against Colorado:

Big 12 football at it's worst.After three quarters it was less a football game and more, how you say, an ass whooping. With Colorado up 45-17 following an early fourth quarter touchdown, Penny and I decided to leave and walk around campus. Before we reached the parking lot the stadium erupted in cheer as KU scored. By the time we reached Penny's sister's apartment the game had ended and KU had won. Ridiculous. Once we stopped kicking ourselves for leaving what turned out to be an amazing game, we headed to The 23rd Street Brewery for dinner. To wash down my calzone, I ordered a Crimson Phog Irish Red Ale:

Nice color and taste, but nothing special.Let me first discuss the lack of an ending to the beer. Trust me, I finished it. Apparently I was affected enough after half a beer that I was unable to properly work my camera. I remember taking more pictures, but I somehow failed to actually take them.

The beer was clean tasting, but it wasn't anything special. What I mean by that is that I enjoyed drinking it, but it easily drifted into the background and didn't demand my attention with each sip.

I removed the swingarm and engine from the frame yesterday, leaving only the triple clamp left. I need a 30mm socket to loosen the bolt, but I don't think buying one is worth it since this is probably the only time I'll use it. Hopefully Penny's dad has one that I can borrow. Once done with that I'll have all winter to put the bike back together.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Moss Followed me to Nashville

Hanging out in Nashville for the next two days. Tomorrow I visit Vanderbilt's Law School.

I hope to walk by sign most days for the next three years.I am really looking forward to it as Vandy is my first choice. Speaking with an old professor who now works at Vandy informed me that there is an international law brief tomorrow for first year students, which works out well for me since the program I am interested in is international law.

I know this blog is supposed to be about bikes, beer, and alliteration. I haven't ridden in a while due to studying for the LSAT (which I have immersed myself in all over again due to my horrendous showing in October). That combined with the end of the race season really puts a damper on the bike side of the blog. The beer side you ask about? I have been frequenting High Noon Saloon over the last few weeks where Penny and I are rocking a 4-4 record during trivia night. A .500 record might not sound impressive, but no other team has won more than 2 rounds since we've started playing. Anyway, the reason I haven't been posting pictures of the beer is that I haven't been bringing my camera during our nights out. Dumb, I know, but it's the truth. Starting next week you can expect some beer pictures.

I'm off to work on my law school applications. I guess if I end up at another law school and have to walk by that school's sign each day I'll still be better off that this guy:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Scares

With Halloween officially over, let's recap the weekend that was.

Friday night Penny and I went to an "adult" party a few blocks from our house. It had a good vibe and plenty of beer. Unfortunately, it also had two guys in grass skirts that felt the need to spend the entire evening attempting to grind on everyone and everything. Luckily the fuzz showed up to handle the situation:

Lt. Dangle laying down the law.Once the popo straightened (perhaps that's not the most appropriate word to describe it) things out, the first of what I assume to be the oft quoted 'three bad things' happened - I received an email with my LSAT score. Based on the score and the percentile, it looks like I will be attending law school here.

The second bad thing is, what I think, a tear in my rotator cuff. You hear about it on TV with pitchers, but I never realized how often the rotator cuff is used throughout the day. I have an appointment today to get it looked at and diagnosed by a doctor.

Back to the parties. Saturday night held another "adult" party for Penny and me. This one was about the same except the grass skirts were replaced by a skin tight dress. This party was more low-key; so low-key in fact that Penny and I took off early.

Waking up Sunday, I awaited for the third installment of whatever the trio of crap had planned for me. Penny and I piled into the car and headed east to watch the Chiefs play the woeful Bills in the game of football. For $25 tickets, we really couldn't have asked for a better game. With seconds remaining in overtime, the Chiefs kicked a field goal to win it 13-10:

It only took 75 minutes, but the Chiefs finally beat the winless Bills.Upon our arrival back home, Penny and I prepped for the ensuing onslaught of trick-or-treaters. To our surprise, no candy hungry kids stopped by, leaving us with a bowl full of chocolate. I'm not sure if the lack of trick-or-treaters is the third part of my horror trilogy, but if so I guess sometimes there are silver linings.