This month held the greatest cycling event in the word, aka Tour de France, and it was intense. I am completely sapped and I haven’t even ridden a bicycle all month! I’ve been doing minimal work and rushing home to watch about 4.5hours of Tour de France every day. It’s actually very difficult to keep this routine up for the entire month, minus the two rest days.
This particular topic on Lance is something I’ve been meaning to vent on numerous occasion, but I seem to do it more in restaurants and sport bars than anywhere else .lol. It’s amazing how much hatred there is for this man, and I think it is overblown.
It is no argument UCI’s Anti-doping program is probably the strictest in the world. You can be involved in a car crash with a broken collar bone and blood everywhere, but you are not allowed to take any banned substance such as aspirin/Tylenol as long as you want to stay in the race. These guys can come after your urine/blood samples while you are having Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner with your family, and they will preserve your samples so they can screen it through any future drug testing method that is yet to be developed. They are relentless.
Ethic of the bust
As you may already know, Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete ever by multiple anti-doping agencies. For 20+ years Lance has passed every test imaginable using latest/greatest testing methods and equipment, this guy was clean in terms drug test results. The way Lance got busted in 2012 was absolutely disgusting in the type of tactic these agencies used. USADA knew they couldn’t bust Lance using any of their testing tools anymore, so they resorted to threats and persecution on former team members who are not as financially fortunate as Lance. Most pro cyclists only make an average living and they don’t have the money to fend off federal agencies like Lance can. USADA made lives of these former members and their family a living hell, and coerced these close friends to point their fingers at Lance.
It’s like a schoolyard bully trying to kick my ass, but because I kicked his ass, he has to go beat up my sister and my pet turtle instead.
Is Lance a hero?
I’ve been once called a hero for participating in one of those Walk-a-thons and various other charitable activities, I think most I ever raised was about $500. Firefighters are heroes for savings lives, Police officers are heroes for saving lives, and the U.S. military would be considered heroes for saving all of our lives. You think there are drug users among these undeniable heroes? Does it make them any less of a hero if they did?
Lance raised over $500million for cancer research. If my math is correct that’s about $500million more than the most I ever raised for charity. Through his work, I’m pretty sure he helped countless amount of loved ones make it through one more birthday, one more anniversary, watch his/her child get married, etc…
You can take away his Tour de France titles, but let’s not take away what he accomplished in the cancer community. The dude is a hero, no argument here.
Does U.S.Postal have anything to get upset over?
I think Lance did more for the U.SPostal than USPS did for Lance. Lance made USPS a cool icon, a really cool icon. I bought stamps, jerseys, and other misc. USPS trinkets because of Lance. Without Lance, the USPS is just another bloated government organization that is bleeding taxpayer money and misrouting my mail. Currently the USPS is asking for their money back from Lance. By similar logic, can we get our money back on all the GM stock that we purchased during the bailout? Yes, I would like to get $95/share for the current $36/share stock… just want to break even please. Or can I get my money back on my Pentium 2 desktop computer that I spent $1000 about 10years ago? I really thought I was buying the fastest machine on the planet, but I just realized it’s actually not that fast.
I think USPS should just focus on delivering my mail instead of wasting more money and resource on this lawsuit. If the lawsuit is for $14million, I guarantee the USPS will spend over $20million to get the $14million from Lance. Yeah, that will show’em who is the boss.
Lance and me
I didn’t start cycling back in year 2000 by some random chance. I was inspired by his cancer story and the amazing matchup between Lance and Ullrich. Cycling has done wonders for my health, cardio, and saving money at the gas station. Lance has inspired many people around the world to just grab a bike and go. Even when Lance admitted to doping, it never crossed my mind, I should stop riding because I feel so cheated.
Is Lance the 7time Tour de France champion?
Riding bicycle through multiple countries, through the massive French Alps, through the daunting peaks of the Pyrenees, riding 23 consecutive days till you reach 2000+ miles, traveling at 50+km/hr wearing nothing but thin fabric and a bicycle helmet, etc… Is it even possible to complete this race without doping?
As a recreational cyclist, I actually attempted climbing the Alpe d’huez on one of those fancy simulator trainers. I only made it 1/2 way up the mountain traveling at 2mph before I had to stop. Ladies and gents, it’s absolutely insane that anybody can do this 2000+ mile bike race through Europe.
There is almost no wrong answer to the question of Lance’s championships. I can fully understand why some would say he is or isn’t a champion. My answer to this question is in a form of a question, did the guys who finished 2nd and 3rd also “cheat”? The Tour de France organization already answered this for me by declaring Lance’s 7 Tour de France wins to be left vacant, because the next guy also admitted to “cheating” and/or there is no proof he did not “cheat”. Even Jan Ullrich came out and admitted to doping soon after Lance was busted.
What if we were playing a game of Monopoly and ALL the players decided to start with $2000 instead of the usual $1500 while the banker was away. It’s as if the players formed a union and decided to play by their slightly tweaked rules. Is there a winner in the end?
Come to think of it shouldn’t Gatorade, Powerade, and Powerbar be considered performance enhancing substance?
Although Lance has been stripped of his official 7 time Tour de France championship, I believe he is still the 7time champion among the other Yellow Jersey contenders that were competing at the time. I firmly believe ALL the contenders were doping. Ones that over-doped got busted and the ones that under-doped made it through. Lance is still the champion among the contenders.
Here is a short top 5 list of characters that seems to be doing good job of flying under the radar who, in my opinion, are bigger frauds than Lance Armstrong. If you use these names as a comparison point, Lance isn’t so bad after all.
1. The politicians: Some of the real crooks seem to get re-elected every election cycle. How ironic Lance and some other athletes have to appear before a Congressional committee over cheating.
2. Steven Seagal: One of my favorite blogging friends, call him ‘Cook’M to cover his identity, is convinced Mr. Seagal and his TV show ‘Lawman’ is a fraud. Cook’M comment sums it up, “He is a commissioned JP officer for political reasons only. He is a huge financial contributor and they gave him an honorary commission. He is such a joke. I don’t know any real police officers who like him. Well at least not here anyway”…mmmm…mmm.mmm. That’s a sure sign of a fraud if I ever saw one.
3. Owners of various drug/alcohol recovery clinics: CNN broke this last week and these frauds pay few bucks to random people off the street to get signatures, so they can bill the taxpayers for the recovery service they provided.
4. CEOs and directors for Toyota Camry hybrid: This thing gets same gas mileage as a Toyota Corolla and many other fuel efficient gas cars.
5. Directors at Fannie Mae: For misleading investors about their holdings on all the toxic mortgages leading up to the big housing crisis.
Confession…I’m guilty of cheating under the UCI rules. My bike weighs less than 14.99lb and I take Advil before every bike ride…I’m a doper
Luckily I’m riding with other people in my category and we are all middle-aged, have nice bikes, and rely on Advil, so its okay.lol
Fabio has nothing on me when it comes to Valentine’s day.
I’ve been doing lots of R&D on the most ideal Valentine day gift which I would like to share. Here are the boundary conditions that must be met in order for the gift to be considered ideal.
- Shiny is good
- Smells good
- Tastes good
- Feels good
- Have good recycled value once the event is over
- Under $50
This is a pretty good check list because it applies to most of the classic gifts that exchanges hands during Valentine’s day. Let’s think about the two classic choices, chocolate & roses.
Chocolate accomplishes items 2, 3, 4, &6 really well. It barely passes condition#1 with its shiny laminated box, but it is a complete failure when it comes to accomplishing item #5. Unless you are into natural fertilizer for your herb garden or into methane powered microprocessor robots, it turns into a complete waste once you are done with it.
Dozen roses, or flowers, are good too, it accomplishes items 2, 3, 4, & 6, but it falls short with the other two qualifiers. It’s not shiny, but it does edge out Chocolate on item #5. I think these stay alive for several days longer than it takes for a box of chocolates to be fully consumed and digested.
So the big question is this, IS THERE A PERFECT GIFT that nails ALL the conditions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6? I think I may have found it…a silver bullion/coin is the perfect valentine gift; a full 1oz silver American eagle coin is the answer. Let’s review,
It is very shiny…check
Pure silver smells pretty good…check
Pure silver tastes pretty good and possibly good for your health, too. You can also take advantage of silver’s anti bacteria property by leaving the silver coin in your favorite drinking cup…check
Feels good: come on, who doesn’t feel good holding a giant silver coin…check
Have good recycled value: I think I read somewhere silver has gained over 600% in the last 20years. Plus it can be handed down to your kids/grandkids.
Under $50: it’s at $37.87, YAY!
I’m heading over to a pawn shop to pickup the perfect Valentine gift, how about you?
Happy Valentine’s day everybody
Getting a WordPress endorsed nomination is great for obvious reasons. But I also take huge pride in getting my blog recognized by any blogger that thinks I’m, at minimum, a descent blogger. And then there is a fan recognition where I am recognized as one of the notable followers. All these are personal, thoughtful, and its like a virtual ‘pat on the shoulder’. You folks are magnificent and I want to let you know I am so thankful for every mention and recognition you give me.
I’m going to start this ceremony with the best recognition I have ever gotten in my little blogging career.
Purpleowltree1234 gave me this personal, custom, hand-crafted #1 fan award, and this was my initial reaction back to her and her team.
“I……LOOOOOOVE…..THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the nicest thing any blogger friend has done for me. “
There is nothing that makes you more welcome in someone else’s blog home than entering with your shiny #1fan award badge.lol I like to read about hardship and how people overcome tribulations; Rach is living through perpetual tribulations. I follow her blog very closely because she needs to succeed. Not only for her own sake, but I think she has a much greater calling to help out many many more who are suffering every day, with no end in sight. She is one of the warmest friendliest people you will meet, she is also one of the most creative people you will ever meet. Great thanks to Rach and her team, I now have new appreciation for copics.lol
Its fair to say, this is going to be sitting on the highest position in my blog mantle column!
Science and space inspired Sunshine blogger award from astronomy science
Moonbeam Mcqueen awarded me with her book, it’s a wonderful short read from an intelligent odd-funny-creative writer
Reconstructingchristina somehow got hold of a video of me back when I was in college, and she put it up on her website and gave me the recognition.lol
Terry with 2012 blogger award, 1
Nutsfortreasure recognized me for blogger 2012 #2. Big rig truck driver, nature lover, and a blogger. Lots of great stories and pictures here. This is a real personal story that has some contrast to all the awesome pictures.
Terry1954 recognized me for Blogger 2012, 3
Oh and the person that sent me the get well e-card during my 2012 3month absence. Thanks and good guess on being sick, I came down with poison ivy and it was a mess! Please send me your blog address so I can appropriately link it here.
I’m sending out my bundled re-recognitions to all the people mentioned above as well as these folks below.
1. Russell Deasley: my wife and I like to visit his website for cheap alternative to Friday date night. All his “top 10 lists” are well thought out and researched, you will find yourself spending lot of time in his website. You’ll see why here, http://theverybesttop10.com/2013/01/03/pizza-cutters/
2. greeneyesmom: If you are a fan of art, humor, & interaction you have to start following this blogger. Check out her artwork and this analysis on why women go to bathroom in herd, rather than individually.
3. BadPlaydate: she loves her children and her employees.lol. Check it out because its funny, its got kids, and all the craziness that’s associated with parenting.
4. Sarin another fun international friend, but this one is out of Pakistan…cool.:
5. lexiesnana : can you tell I love blogs on family and kids. Well, this is about grandkids and wonderful grandparents.
6. Blue Giraffe image: he is well on his way to using his creativity and hobby in photography to have little fun and make extra money. Please go congratulate him on his first 3sales and his awesome new car. He says he bought it from the insurance money, but I think his photo sales has been better than he is telling the readers.lol
7. Cristi M: this guy recently achieved over 300,000 hits on his website!! Always inspirational
8. Pennycoho: http://thewhyaboutthis.com/2013/02/06/my-own-photography/ a wise owl and a sensei. This one is easy, just click on her link on the left, hit the follow button on her page, and thank me later.
9. Writestar: Along cam Alligator: recently wrote a piece about losing his wife and it makes you realize how precious marriage is. Thanks Stan
11. Aewl This is where he puts down his material, its very original and its simply whats on his mind.
12. Cometojesusmoments: who can’t use little bit of Jesus every now and then. He has great sense of humor and offers great feedback on a any given topic.
13. Peakperspect: an obvious dog lover. Would you believe his dog’s ears perk up at the moment someone thinks the word ‘bacon’ lol. I had good laugh on that one.
14. Star on the forehead: a super blogger with a super star on her forehead, just like wonderwoman. Fellas, you need to try this experiment. Put on a santa suit and offer to fix her flat tire
15. You jiving me turkey: great photos. If you are interested in who would win between the Marvel’s Incredible hulk vs. DC’s doomsday
16. Charmaine Gordon: wonderful author & a loving grandmother with life stories that will capture your imagination
17. Ounitproduction: lots of great photos here with things that will make you go hmmm.
18. Persecutionofmildreddunlap:Her husband started his blog career on my site and ended it on my site, too
19. Xo-ortiz: opinionated, kind hearted, and loves her car
20. Cultfit:I know he can be stealthy, but he is out there…
21. Veronicaesiste:Beautiful young lady with big personality and a humongous heart. Why can’t our youth be more like her?
22. H.stern:Just trying to survive out there like the rest of us
23. Justwriteaway: lots of great quotes can be found here.
Thank you all for your creativeness, inspirations, amazing photos, and support.
As I’m sitting down to write my thoughts down on my two little toddlers, I can’t help but to get choked up and get caught up with regrets. I miss my two infant boys, terribly. All the times I was upset at them, or all the time I pushed them to be more independent and to leave me alone, I wish I could have just slowed it down and accepted it all. I wish I could have taken more naps with them while gently cradling their soft baby skin, but instead I was on the computer. Regret over all those pictures taken with a camera phone, because I was too lazy to grab a real camera. Countless opportunities to see them in a little song and dance performances, but I was out having lunch with clients and co-workers. I can’t redo any of these things because kids are older. I now realize, we are at a closing of a chapter where my two little toddlers are no longer toddlers, they are boys. This is an irreversible milestone; there is nothing I can do to relive the previous pages of their lives, and it hurts. Thomas & friends represent everything I miss about my two babies.
‘Thomas and friends’ go beyond rank of toys, it takes on a rank as a family or a friend. I was really disappointed when, for the first time, my boys didn’t want any Thomas&friends item for Christmas…It was sad because they are not babies anymore, and I’m not mentally ready to let it go yet. Out of all the things I’ve done with the boys, T&F(Thomas & Friends) has the most amount of hours logged, with some of the best memories. Only daddy is able to build the ‘Big Big Bridge’ like nobody else can. Only daddy can build the awesome cool ramps that make trains fly with paper wings taped on its back. These toys have given me so much and I am not going to let these friends to die off like this, I need to send these little choo-choos off with a very honorable discharge, with a medal of honor if you will.
Pic#1 is the first train we ever purchased; it’s what I secretly carry in my work bag. My wife and kids think I threw this in the trash along with bunch of other toys, because I was upset over their toys being all-over the living room. Most of their first set of trains are in terrible condition because they do get smashed quite often. I wanted to salvage little Thomas to serve as a compressed memory of their babyhood. Every time I hold this toy in my hand, I get flooded with baby memories. I’ve shed some tears just thinking back to when they were so tiny and just babbling. I reminisce about their struggle during tummy time or when they took their very first step. I think about the moment when my oldest made his journey from my hands to the nearest sofa. He was happy as a clam, squealing and laughing while pounding the sofa seat, all in the little yellow striped onesie outfit w/ big diaper bottom. All these wonderful memories captured inside a little beat-up train toy…
Pic #2 is a picture of my boys’ 1st starter underwear when they graduated from pull-ups. My oldest boy had it first, and then it was handed down to the wee-bear who is now 4.5yr old. My wife and I can’t stop laughing when the wee bear runs around with this battered undie on, with all its tears and holes. We call him the ‘Incredible Wee Hulk’ because that’s what happens to Bruce Banner’s clothing when he turns into the Hulk. This undie is finally getting retired this year because it is one cycle away from losing its functionality per outlined in this write-up.
‘Can underwear outlast a marriage?‘
Sadly this will go in my treasure box that consist of their first beige colored baseball cap with little bear ears, and their first pair of shoes (size of my thumb!) Gosh they were so cute wearing that stuff. I’m proud of my boys because they are following my footstep of appreciating everything, recycling, and using items until it’s beyond repair, like their paper thin undies.
Here is a list of all my favorite Thomas & Friends characters and what they accomplished for me:
***Warning: List may contain possible adult language***
- Thomas ‘the cheeky one’: He is the little engine that could. There is a lot to like about this guy because he is little, compassionate, follows orders, and loves helping friends out. If there is a perfect role model outside of mommy and daddy, it’s definitely this little #1 engine.
- Gordon ‘rumbles down the line’: Big powerful steam engine with pretty big ego. He is a great character for my kids to imagine what it would be like to be bigger but also teaches them it’s not nice to walk around with big ego.
- Lady: She is the only female train character we have. As you can tell from the first picture, my boys are extremely rough with their toys. Lady was brought in to establish some order and calmness with their play style. I SPECIFICALLY told them to be gentle with Lady, because it is a girl. Needless to say, it’s the only T&F toy that is in excellent condition with all her colors.
- Spencer: He is fast, shiny, looks cool, but is very arrogant. He is another one that served its purpose by teaching my boys to separate out the good and the bad. Appreciating someone’s beauty and power is good, but arrogance is bad. Concept of arrogance is very difficult to teach, but having Spencer around was a great help. Thanks Spencer.
- Percy ‘pulls the mail on time’: my my my…I wanted to save the baddest little engine for last. This little green character sent me in a full panic mode! Normally he is meek, gentle, and is Thomas’ best friend. He truly teaches how one friend should treat another. Here is a little story on how I got acquainted with little Percy. I came home from work and I asked my little wee-bear, “What do you want on your birthday?” To that he replied, “I want pu-cy for my birthday”. Now with more seriousness I asked again, to which he replied with, ”I want pu-cy for my birthday”. I panicked because this is the kind of stuff that lands deadbeat dad in jail! I called for emergency meeting with my wife and told her this had to get resolved ASAP! I didn’t care for her explanation about the “r difficulty” and a toy character named ‘Percy’; I wasn’t going to jail over this. We practiced countless hours with the letter “r”.
I look at my boys now and can’t believe how big and independent they have become. They inflict a lot of damage when they jump into our bed now. There is nothing scarier in the morning than opening your eyes to a wild toddler, airborne and barely missing the family jewel upon landing. I’ll yell at them, I’ll scold them, but I know with 100% certainty that I will miss these morning attacks. When they were babies, all I wanted was for them to grow up quickly so they would be more independent. Now that they are independent, I want my babies back. What is going on? I miss them terribly. I know you can argue that I can still do these things with them, but it’s not the same.
I don’t usually have morbid thoughts, but with all the tragic deaths in the news and worrying about my wife and two kids, it’s hard not to. If I get into a fatal car accident tomorrow, or some lunatic fires a fatal blow, I plan on using the last remaining breath to hold the Thomas train(picture #1) with my right hand and place my left hand, with the wedding band touching little Thomas, close against my heart. I can’t think of a better way to make the best of the given situation than that. I would be at peace…
This music video sums up everything and I think it’s the perfect music to close the chapter on a group of very special friends, Thomas and friends. They will all be missed and will always have a spot in this dad’s heart. Here is Thomas & Friends with Josh Groban:
I don’t remember last time I felt this kind of anger and grief toward anything in my life, not even 9/11 or Columbine. My wife and I cried today over all the innocent little children that will not be celebrating this Christmas with their moms and dads, only 11 days away!! What sick lunatic slaughters the purest and the most precious representation of humanity? They were as young as 6 years old, dammit! They smile at everything and everybody, they have tiny little hands that barely wrap your fingers, they haven’t been corrupted by the society yet, they put on biggest happiest smiley face when they are allowed to wear their little Transformers t-shirt, they run around with their oversized princess and pony book bags. Just thinking about all the unopened presents underneath their Christmas trees, and thinking about what these parents are going through right now is ripping me apart. How can anybody be this damn evil? With all the information/classes on tolerance, education, & anti-bullying, how can something like this happen? Already people are out blaming the pro gun group; already people are out blaming the anti-gun group. Politicians are already setting up to politicize this. I can’t stand people right now.
Here is my simple message to all the lawmakers:
Get these psychopaths that lack empathy toward life off the streets right now!! I don’t give a crap what you do with them, but I don’t want these maggots anywhere near my family and my kids. They need to be kept far away from anything that can be used to kill innocent people: guns, cars, Home Depot, hardware stores, lathe, mill, etc…
Its 11pm and they are still going though all the little lifeless bodies in the kindergarden… God, I can’t stand this.
Going to start off by saying, Gangnam style song has NOTHING on these two songs I’m going to talk about!
My last music related blog was about Guns N Roses, so I thought it’s time to do another music blog. There are couple of songs that’s been humming in my brain for some time now, its the holidays, and you can say these are couple of my favorite things
I’ve been listening to lots of Christmas tunes lately and there is one song that’s an absolute smash hit with my two little boys. Song is called ‘I want a hippopotamus for Christmas’. It makes me laugh just reading the title. Every time this song plays on the radio, we all sing along to it and we also add our own little twist to it.
My version: replace all the “I” with “My naughty boys” and replace all “hippopotamus” with “lump of coal”
My boys’ version: replace all hippopotamus with any Thomas&friends stuff, T-rex, Rhinoceros, Ninjago, etc…
Just how powerful is this holiday song? My boys could, once again, easily destroy another one of my electronic gadgets in an accident, but if the song comes on, I can’t help but to smile and sing the coal version of the song!
Some people think the hippo song was sung by Shirley Temple, or that it was sung by a much older person pretending to be a kid. The truth is, the song was recorded on the set of Ed Sullivan show in 1953 by an amazing 10yr old talent named Gayla Peevey. Check out the video and tell me you are not impressed by her spunk, & talent. Love the song and love the video.
Now that brings us to “Sweet Nothings” by Brenda Lee. I know I’m probably sounding like a senior citizen raving about all these golden oldies, but when quality is involved, there is no age gap! Brenda Lee is one of my all time favorite artists and this is my favorite song from her. It’s hard to go back to listening to the modern stuff after listening to this type of music. I love her voice and her stage presentation. Wish I could have seen this performance live…so simple…so mellow.
How about you folks? Care to share some of your favorite things?