Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I don't normally put up a post about some revelation I've had, or whatever. Tonight, however, I'm feeling funky, and life is good.
Nothing major, just a discovery I stumbled across. I figure it's not news to the majority of the world, but to me, discovering Lou Rawls on the iPod was unbelievable. I just happened to hear a snippet of a *really, really* cool song on Lounge-Radio (click the link on the upper right...yeah, yeah, right up there...really...), so I clicked over to iTunes and up popped a bunch of Lou Rawls' albums.
And, then I remembered my Dad, many years ago, raving about seeing Lou Rawls live at the Catamaran, in San Diego. Dad's got a good ear for tasty music... So...I bought "Live," figuring it might be worth a few bucks to see what all the fuss was about.
Stop whatever you're doing. I don't care what it is you're up to! Go listen to some Lou Rawls and give your wife a hug and some tenderness. Because that is some good stuff.
Where has *that* been hiding all these years. I mean, day-amn, that is some funky goodness.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Skyline Drive in November, just past the peak color.
The same day, in brisk pea-soup fog at lower elevation.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
A black and yellow argiope - a common garden spider, apparently. I spotted this beautifully colored arachnid off the side of the road near Massie's Corner, VA. Absolutely by accident. I pulled over to get my camera out of the trunk, just so I could have it handy, because you never know when a cool picture is going happen. As I turned around to get back in the car, this rather large web, with a cool zigzag in it was about 2 feet from my left knee. I'm a *little* arachnophobic, so I was relived when I didn't see anything in the web. But I decided to watch the web for a minute, and sure enough, this guy comes out from behind a leaf. Sheesh, for a common garden spider, they sure grow 'em big out here in the heat and humidity. Legs and all, this thing was nearly as big as the palm of my hand.
Nikon D200, AF-S NIkkor 18-200, f5.6, 1/125 ISO 100.
Friday, September 12, 2008
A few months ago, an ad for this DVD popped into my view: Road To Roubaix. So I plunked down the credit card and pre-ordered it months before it was released. I had forgotten about it, until I got home today and I had this elaborate envelope from Masterlink Films of Orange, VA. Cool! I know what that is, I said to myself. After exercising inhuman self-control all evening, I plunked myself in front of the one-eyed mind-sucker and got ready for the adrenalin.
DOH! Man, what a let down.
My rating: Sadly, don’t buy it. Although, it is beautifully photographed, with some cool, candid-style interviews, and neat archival photos, it's not worth it. In fact, ultimately, it’s a big disappointment. There's no "there" there. No story, no plot, no drama, no eye for explaining the detail.
The film is a love affair between the director and the race, where the director is so in love, he forgets that his job is to illustrate to the audience why he’s in love. He just tells you he’s in love, over and over, and expects you to get it. It's painful, actually. It's like that guy you knew in college who fell in love with the quirky girl on campus. She wasn't ugly, but she was different. At first, you didn't understand. But, once you got to know her, you understood. And maybe, you were a bit jealous. Paris-Roubaix is a bit like that. It's an odd race, a brutal, fiendish, ugly, but compelling event. The man who wins must have an enormous appetite for punishment, massive amounts of brute strength, and a huge reserve of resilience. He is the hardest of the hardmen. And he's a guy who got a lucky break and who knew what to do with it - which is not the same as merely getting lucky. The "vainquer" of Paris-Roubaix cannot be merely lucky. He is good. And lucky.
But, even if you know all this, this film won't help you gain any further insight. For the uninitiated, it is thin gruel if you expect to get a sense of why this race is so cool, or why it’s so important to certain riders, or why anyone still bothers. Take it from me, there are no bike races on the planet I love more than de Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, so when a director has lost me before the film gets halfway through, you know he's doing something very wrong.
The film doesn’t cover the bikes, or the tactics, or the history (except in a few stunningly beautiful old B&W photos, but with no narration or explanation); there’s no description of any of the sectors; none of the towns; none of the history of the velodrome; or of
There are some parts where the director gets it right, but these are short and appear almost by accident. They come when the film allows the viewer hear and experience the race for itself. The somber music stops, there are no motorcycles or helicopters, just the sound of bikes and cobbles and grit and dirt and grease. The other spot is the interview with Leif Hoste. He talks about victory like a man describing his all-too-recent withdrawal from a serious meth addiction. Compelling, but it makes up less than one minute of a 75 minute film.
Too bad, I was really hoping to use this to make the winter trainer sessions less of a motivational hurdle.
The “Road to
Monday, September 01, 2008
We love you, Geli.
To say that you have become a member of the family would be wrong. It's more like we've discovered a member of the family we didn't know we had. You're in. You're one of us.
Throughout this year, I've noticed that I see you in my daughters, and in myself, and in our daily lives. It's a change that I saw happening, but didn't realize it was so profound. That will not change, even though you're back home.
At the same time I am as sad as I have ever been, we are also incredibly grateful and happy. Our family has had an experience that will always stay with us. Forever.
You are always in our hearts. There will never be another.