Monday, December 24, 2007

Top Quotes of the Year

‘Don’t tase me, bro!’ named year’s top quote
Beauty queen’s unique ‘U.S. Americans and such as’ answer a runner-up

"Don't tase me, bro," a phrase that swept the nation after a
U.S. college student used it seeking to stop campus police from throwing him out of a speech by Sen. John Kerry, was named Wednesday as the most memorable quote of 2007.

Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, said the plea made by
University of Florida student Andrew Meyer on Sep. 17, accompanied by Meyer's screams as he was tased, beat out the racial slur that cost shock jock Don Imus his job and the Iranian president's declaration that his country does not have homosexuals.

Shapiro said Meyer's quote was a symbol of pop culture success. Within two days it was one of the most popular phrases on Google and one of the most viewed videos. It also showed up on ringtones and T-shirts.

An ode to education, and such as Second on Shapiro's list was this tortuous answer by Lauren Upton, the South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen America contest in August, when asked why one-fifth of Americans can't find the United States on a map:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us."

Upton later apologized for her answer not making a lot of sense.

Third was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's October comment at
Columbia University in New York, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."

Shock jock Don Imus comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team: "That's some nappy-headed hos there," was fourth.

Imus created a national outcry and
lost his job at CBS radio in April, but returned to the airwaves in December with Citadel Broadcasting.

‘Don’t recall’ these memorable moments?Other phrases on the list:
5. "I don't recall." — Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales'
repeated response to questioning at a congressional hearing about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

6. "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence:
a noun and a verb and 9/11." — Sen. Joseph Biden, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate, in reference to Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

7. "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody (Vice President Dick Cheney) who has a 9 percent approval rating." — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.

8. "(I have) a
wide stance when going to the bathroom." — Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig's explanation of why his foot touched that of an undercover policeman in a men's room.

9. "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." — Biden
describing rival Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

10. "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the
worst in history." — Former President Jimmy Carter in an interview in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.

Source: an email from one of my most dear and smart former students...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Routine Arrowhead Training Photos: Note off-spring is assisting in the hardening process...

A big "old-school" and/or "back-in-the-day" full on blizzard in Duluth on Sunday provided reasonably good training conditions to ready my old beat-up body for the rigors of the Arrowhead 135. The temps weren't too bad so I went light on the clothing and footgear. I did laps around the neighborhood and my kid genuously pitched in by throwing snow down my back...Next week, my neighbor who is somekind of a doctor, (that has had a string of bad luck) has agreed to give me a deal on having any and all appendages that are irrelevant to winning the Arrowhead removed, so that'll be a few less things to worry about!!!!

Feeding the Rat: 2 hours and 40 was a good week--DP: U are goin' down!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Feeding the sickness with my buddie Eki!!!

Feeding the Rat: Saturday @ 6:00 a.m. We left my buddy, Tim Ek's house in full-on conditions and put in a good dayz work with 3 hours and 40 minutes...more details to come...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Enough is Enough...We, the people, demand Justice!!!!

An Open Letter from a Concerned Good American Cyclist to other Good American Cyclists:

My Dear Fellow Cyclists:

Twenty-niner riders do not need to worry anymore and rightly so. For it seems reasonable that with the passage of time, and several recent stunning victories in United States Cycling Federation sanctioned-events, coupled with American mainstream mega-corporations currently manufacturing these new bikes earnestly in far away exotic lands (i.e. Chinese sweatshops); most, if not all, mainstream American cyclists have come to believe that those legal U.S. citizens that choose to ride mountain bikes affixed with twenty-nine inch wheels are really essentially and fundamentally no different than any other American cyclist or group of American cyclists; that the “29er community” does not in anyway represent a threat to the mainstream American cycling establishment. The American 29er community, composed entirely of legal United States citizens, believes in Baseball, Fast-food Apple Pie, EPO, and the American Way just like all good legal United States cyclists do...

Unfortunately, in the name of transparency and general uncertainty about “their” real aims and goals, the same perhaps cannot be said of this new fringe group; namely, the Clown Bike community,
(note: I refuse to use their self-proclaimed, more benign "snowbike" moniker). I think I reflect the beliefs of all true Americans, when I proclaim that the time is NOW for the Clown Bike community to declare it's exact agenda? I think I am representative of the legal United States citizenry when I announce that the time is NOW for the Clown Bike community to respond to the “speculative rumors” and “half-truths” that those that choose to ride the Pugsley and other "clown bikes" are indeed apart of some sinister ”un-American” cult!!!! If these accusations are incorrect, then I call upon the Clown Bike parishioners to submit to questioning? Or face the full wrath of a United States public that deserves full disclosure and top quality reality TV shows!

American cyclists, you and your loved ones have heard all the rumors— where do these people come from? Are these people legal? Are those fat-bikes legal? Will “their” obsession with width and volume compromise “their” allegiance to the ideals upon which this great country is founded? Who or what compels them to ride such bulky cumbersome rigs? Are they behind the Global-warming hoax? For whom do they serve? Are they taking their cues from the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law or do they believe that they are exempt from these pillars of democracy in favor of some charismatic, yet fiendish cult-like figure or pagan mandate? If not a cult, then is it some kind of quasi-religious movement? Do they ultimately mean us harm? Are they armed? Are our CHILDREN safe?
And most importantly should they be banned from the 2008 Arrowhead 135?

I say that in the tradition of the US judicial system, before we prematurely light the fires and erect the gallows; we afford this "fringe' group a chance to come admit guilt, but the clock is ticking........

A Concern Citizen and proud member of the American 29er Community,

Charlie Farrow

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Updated again on 12/20 to include an impressive run-on sentence (in red): Training for the Arrowhead...itz pretty routine for a guy like me!!!!!

Training for the Arrowhead...Itz pretty routine...I get home from work. I get on my trusty Gunnar 29er. I ride over to the DNR "multi-use" trail. On the way, while still on the tar, a few of the guyz, usually the ones in big trucks, flip me off and try to send me into the snowbanks. I wave back. I start riding on the snowmobile tracks. A posse of snowmobilers fly by. I wave. A few of the guyz flip me off. I sarcastically wave back. Itz all in a dayz work!!!! Sometimes I I dream about winning races or I think about whether or not the guyz that ride Clown Bikes are cult members? (more on this later!!!!)

Feeding the Rat: Monday: Rest Day (I am a total 'pro' when it comes to rest days!). Tuesday: 3 hours and 8 minutes w/ my sno-mo friends on the Tax-payer funded DNR trails....Wednesday 2 hours in Hartley (see below. Thursday 3 hours on a nice spin out towards Two Harbors, my feet were super cold as my boots were still wet from Wednesday's swim. (NOTE: I had to cut it short by an hour in Hartley on Wednesday, because I was daydreaming about winning the Arrowhead 135 and then quitting my job to exploit and capitalize on all the fame and wealth associated with such an achievement and therefore while "clipped in" tight to my trusty and faithful Gunnar 29er, I hit some loose snow, slipped, then curiously accelerated out-of-control onto a bridge and then somehow against all the laws of reason propelled myself-affixed-to-bike to fall over horizontally and then given the laws of momentum subsequently and rapidly slid out-of-control off the small, but wide and high-up bridge into a shallow ice-free running stream, thus completely soaking myself head-to-toe, which then of course, caused uncontrollable shivering, mild dementia, and other aspects of hypothermia (plus I really banged up my elbow and right hip)!!! It was an amazing display of inepitude, even for me! (Note: Scotty Johnson witnessed the author complete a similar move in the summer a few years back). Yet not to worry; I limped home in a freezing surrealistic haze; but, all in all, no worse for the wear...A cautionary note: I may be teaching your children and/or a friend's children!!!!). Watch out Arrowhead, cuz here I come.........

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What a difference a day makes...

Saturday night the conditions were perfect for snow riding on the Gunnar 29. In contrast, tonight the conditions were super loose and thus very difficult to ride...

Feeding the Rat: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 8.5 hours on the trails...and 11 hours for the week

Friday, December 14, 2007

The LIST is coming together!!!!

Spurred on by generous Christmas libations, the highly anticipated List of HONOR is coming together in a chaotic, confused, yet fatalistic fashion. The following are just two of the many guidelines used to create the LIST: (Disclaimer--while for some of you making the LIST will represent a Tipping Point in your cycling career, for others that fail to make the list...well.... counseling may help some, but for all, the passage of time will certainly allow some measure of healing.)
*The author must have personally beared witness to the accomplishment, or had some personal connection to a participant. In other words, if the author was not there at the venue or if none of his drinking, woops!, I mean biking/training buddies were there, itz like the event never happened. This rule of course is devastating to many promising roadies and national caliber mountain bike racers, but perhaps the only solace to offer is that if they are serious about making the LIST in the future, they will need to make sure and ride in a race that the aging author deems appropriate given this guideline, (or develop a drinking-buddy relationship with the list-maker). This is a tough guideline, but this is my egocentric micro-world...I did race 21 times last season in diverse and varied venues; including a National 24 Hour event, the Chequamegon, the RED ASS 300, The Arrowhead 135, the MN State CX Championships, and a couple of big WORS races, so I do have some macro-perspective beyond the confines of the races that encompass my immediate area, but I did miss the Iceman Cometh and the Ore-to-Shore which are both big time races in the Midwest.
*The author is obvioulsy and shamelessly bias towards the elder statesmen of the sport. The author is not espeically impressed by super fast twenty-two year olds that live with their parents and work a few hours at the LBS and whose only worries are what type of tire to run on a specific race course.
*other guidelines to follow......
*Expect the LIST to be posted before the NEW YEAR!!!! To allow the Major Cycling Sponsors ample time to contact those who have made the 2007 list and to negogiate huge finanical deals...and on the backside, to allow those that made the 2006 List, but were left off the 2007 List ample time to seek new employment opportunities...:(

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sleeping with the Enemy!!!

The Rat is loving life!!! Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 7.5 hours on the trails around Lester & Hartley, plus an additional 60 minutes skiing at Snowflake. The sweet smell of a 2-stroke gas/oil mixture in the sub-zero temps on a still, almost silent night...smells like Victory!

Note: If the current loose conditions exist in International Falls come early February 2008, (at the start of the Arrowhead 135)...Find & Bury my old bones deep so the wolves and the neo-cons can't get to 'em and give the Gunnar Rockhound 29er to Rosscoe and the Kelly Knobby X to Ekimov :)

Daily Brief Illogical Oxymoronic Muse on the Arrowhead 135: Practical contradictory applications in Paradoxology. Arrowhead countdown—58 dayz out: "I love the serenity of the woods, going 80 mph on my snow-jet." Reflective Hardcore Snowmobile Speedster...Disclaimer: Hey, come on!!! I'm just kidding!!! We need those guyz!!!...Certainly our mere existence is a paradox, a hinderance, a problem, and intolerance and stereotyping only add to the problem....I am no better, or WE are no better than anybody else or group... Relative to the rest of the earthlings, we all leave BIG, NO HUGE FOOT Prints...right???? I am figuring that it will all play out accordingly in the end, and we'll have little, if any 'say-so' in the outcome. As Vonnegut would say, 'so it goes.'" CPF

Week #1 Total: 14 hours....

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Built for comfort....and relying on Divine Intervention

Frustrating the Rat: Spouse’s advanced educational pursuit forces the writer to be content with aerobic snow-removal as a workout, coupled with intensive "carbo-loading"…Am I doomed? Can prayer help? At least I will be well rested…and insulated against the cold!!!

Daily Brief Illogical Oxymoronic Muse on the Arrowhead 135: Practical contradictory applications in Paradoxology. Arrowhead countdown—60 dayz out!!!

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” GK Chesterton

(Author’s note: of course riding in the Arrowhead does not reach the level of “courageousness”, but with a few modifications the quote does seem to somewhat apply): “Trying to get fit for the Arrowhead is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to freeze.”
Postscript: 2.5 hours of skiing at lester tonight!!! But itz too clean, too pure of a sport to satisfy the Rat........