Saturday, May 23, 2015

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is OK

While the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency isn't immune from constructive criticism, they've been doing things right (Big & Small) for the athletes whose commitment to clean sport they're charged with verifying.

The redesign of the Athlete Express website has made it fantastically easy and convenient to update Whereabouts now from multiple platforms. My last plan change took about 17sec to complete. This is pretty Big, since inclusion in an out-of-competition testing pool means accepting unpredictable intrusions into what "normal" people might consider to be pretty sacred private space. So being able to efficiently manage your role in the process makes it easier and less dramatic for all involved.

And apart from the actual monitoring & testing regimes...just last week I got an out-of-the-blue call from a USADA investigator - not looking for intel or assistance, but just to say hi and ask how I was. And then Chester (Bob) found this gem in the post today. It's a nice reminder that USADA is staffed by actual human beings like Athlete Services Coordinator Kirk W., who'll take the time to send you a hand-signed birthday greeting. Little things like these encourage one to see the relationship as collaborative, and not adversarial or unpleasant.

I know this isn't every athlete's experience with their NADO, but it's been consistently mine and I appreciate it enough to want to let you know.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Scuba cat

scu·ba cat (skoo-buh kat)


1. A cat that enjoys being in water.
2. A sopping-wet pussy.
3. Term of endearment.


1. Cry of warning to persons in a swimming pool who are in danger of being struck by airborne cat.
Origin(s): late-2000s, a scuba-diving calico featured on an episode of Discovery Channel's "How Stuff Works" show, with its own commercial.


  • "Chester hates getting wet! ... Yeah, he's no scuba cat."
  • "Miss u Scuba Cat! Sending u lotsa luv & kitty kisses! home by 8PM! xoxo" (via text)
  • "Heads-up! ... Scuba cat!!" (throws cat into pool)

Monday, July 23, 2012


Dark BROWN Tabby
Mystical YELLOW Eyes

On Friday July 20th our kitty “Cookie” – a medium-sized female indoor cat – escaped from our house at 5887 Keystone Drive and disappeared. Please help us find her! 

She is approximately 1-year old with a soft, medium-to-long fur coat that is very dark brown (with light brown stomach and neck and some tiger-striping). She has striking yellow eyes and tufts of extra-long fur in her ears and her on paws. Cookie is extremely timid and has both front and rear sets of claws. Her tail is bushy. If you think you’ve seen our cat, please contact us at any time. 

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Monday, July 09, 2012

"Runners" and Dangerous Spectators during the Tour de France

I'm still rabidly anti-runner, especially when they're running alongside the riders on climbs that have crowd barriers on at least one of the two sides, and the majority of the fans remain respectfully and demurely behind the barrier(s), save for the moronical runner(s) who decide that the mountains of the Tour are really their stage - and not the riders' - for them to display their impressive skillz. Good though to see some riders fighting back at least, whacking the fools or (I imagine) in the case of the Italians at least, shouting "Vaffanculo!" And respect to Bauke Mollema, whose suave yet declarative response to a non-boorish female runner on stage 7 was ideal for the situation. While she definitely targeted the Rabobank rider, I'd classify her as a non-boor runner, as she was enthusiastic and seemingly positive, But, rider's rules, and as soon as she began to trot alongside #153, he gave her "The Hand" and she stopped dead in her tracks. Should be the model for future rider-runner interactions that don't require the closed-fist. Diagram below.

(original image here:

The scenario begins evolving around 9:50, here:

I hold to my original contention, that it's better to drive motorcycles into/over all the obnoxious runners rather than permit these few (possibly) drunk, boorish fans to ruin the reputation of those who would run elegantly and respectfully alongside their heroes (or villains), w/o invading their personal space or screaming unintelligibly into the riders' ears.

(original image here:

Here's an example of how to properly spectate in the mountains:

(No comment on the stationary (??) and senile old man on the left side of the road today who allegedly had a hand - or foot - in bringing down Sammy Sanchez and ruining his Tour and his Olympic title defense...)

See old guy in chair w/ a Basque upon him:

Quoting Cyclingnews: "The crash took place in the 60th kilometre of racing on stage eight on a short uphill section, and initial reports say it was apparently caused by a elderly male spectator sitting at a table too far out in the road. Team-mate Jorge Azanza - who was mainly responsible for protecting Sánchez in the pack - tried to avoid the spectator, who was moving out of the way at speed, but instead ended up colliding with him, with Valverde slamming into Azanza and Sánchez crashing into the two Spaniards, and somersaulting into the tarmac. Valverde was able to continue, but Sánchez injuries were too serious for the 34-year-old to follow suit, and he abandoned in tears."