Monday, September 26, 2016

Kids' Appreciation Day

On September 25, the Minnesota Twins declared their last home game of the season "Kids' Appreciation Day". There were a lot of younger folk in the small crowd. As is normally now the case at all sporting events, prior to the beginning of play the US flag was raised by an honor guard of veterans, followed by the singing of the national anthem.

The Twins management missed a chance, however, in demonstrating something to the kids that they may not have considered. The Twins should have invited all the kids in attendance down on to the field and then over the loudspeaker explained to them that in the future a certain percentage of them would be sent to foreign countries where they would be tasked with killing the residents. They should have also pointed out that another percentage of the youngsters would be maimed or killed in this process.

Rather than celebrate the old timers' contribution, why not pay respect for a change to that which will be made by those in the future?  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Poll: Clinton, Trump in virtual dead heat on eve of first debate

Here we go again. Newspapers and the media in general are supposed to be capable of using language in a sensible manner. But they don't, as this headline in the Washington Post shows.

This is the actual reference:

We've had some primary elections and soon we'll have real elections. In the run-up to these elections we'll hear the results of little phony elections that candidates, parties and news organizations like to hold so they can pretend to predict the future. These phony elections are called polls and their results cause millions to be spent or withheld in individual races and provide endless fodder for commentators and pundits that analyze the supposed preferences of likely (maybe) voters and provide reasons why one candidate is sizzling and another flaming out. However, if the polls reveal that two candidates for a post have nearly the same potential support at the polls, those two are said to be in a "dead heat". A dead heat is a term from horse racing. It describes a race result where two or more horses have reached the finish wire at exactly the same instant. It doesn't have to be for first place. There are dead heats for second or third or other placings as well. In modern racing cameras are used to determine the placing of runners and the occurrence of a dead heat. The term is never used to describe the placing of the runners at any time during the race. While the race is being run, the horses could be neck and neck, or side by side or together but there is no dead heat until the race is completed. For this reason the use of the term "dead heat" in the typical political context is erroneous and stupid.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bob Dylan Becomes Artist At Age 75

Bob Dylan, nee' Zimmerman, who supposedly took his professional name from generally intoxicated poet Dylan Thomas, has moved on from oddly popular and over-rated music to the world of similarly obscure art. In this case he's constructing a piece called Portal, a gate that's going to serve as an entrance to a new casino in Maryland, per this account in ARTNEWS.

Image result for bob dylan portal

The masterpiece hasn't been put in place yet but from its appearance it very much resembles the sort of thing that bored farmers assemble in the winter months from pieces of obsolete equipment and then use to decorate their yards.

Of course, if Mr. Dylan was one of those farmers, his found-art project would be of little interest to anyone except the neighbors down the road.

Friday, September 9, 2016

2016 National Sports Center Velodrome All-Star Team

Thursday, Sept. 8, was the final night of competition this year at velodrome in Blaine, Minnesota. We present the riders that were most impressive during the 2016 season.
 Ageless Dan Casper, world master's champion, had another remarkable season. Combined with junior Peter Moore to win the Minnesota Madison title.

Junior Anya Malarski,  Women's 17-18 International Omnium National Champion and, by a large margin, Minnesota women's track rider of the year.
Peter Moore is a junior national champion and one of the fastest riders on the track.

Veteran Linsey Hamilton dominated the women's sprint scene, just as she has for years. Once again she's on her way to the world's masters meet in the UK.
Bejamin Heintz used his ample speed to move up from the Cat 4 division to Cat 3 before the season was over.

Big Nate Brennaman turns a big chain ring.

Experienced road rider Peter Olejniczak ran away from his Cat 3 competition.

Laura Moreno spends her days at Quality Bike Parts in Bloomington, MN and Thursday nights orbiting the NSC Velodrome.

Sam Bramel owned the Cat 4 scene.

Elvis Lee was usually on the front end of Cat 3 tests.

Tim Mulrooney is another world master's champion headquartered in the Twin Cities.

Tiana Johnson, a force in the women's track peloton.

Personable Sarah Bonneville may have been the most improved rider of the year.

Another North Star Development junior with a big future, Rylski Bogdan.

Aggressive Nikki Munvez impressed fans from day one.

Alec Guggemos has created a spot for himself in the Cat 1/2 scene with some dynamic performances.

Francie Barbeau is a consistent Cat 4 competitor.

The cycling fans that regularly make their way up to the NSC Velodrome want to express their thanks to the riders for perhaps the best entertainment value in town. And a special thanks go out to the newer Cat 4 ladies that have added so much to the local track cycling scene. We hope to see you again next year.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

California Cops Evade Prosecution For Prostitution and Sex With A Minor

The East Bay area of northern California has been rocked by the results of an investigation that has revealed a battalion of law enforcement officers involved in the sexual exploitation of a drug-addled teen-age girl. Nobody being prosecuted as of yet.

Further east, cops involved in the beating of a restaurant customer over a decade ago are still hard at work protecting and serving the public even though they've been "fired" for their criminal activities.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Political Correctness on Two Wheels

There's a lake in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a place that calls itself "The City of Lakes", named Lake Calhoun. Many of the residents of the watery burg were probably once unaware that this popular swimming and sailing spot was named after John C. Calhoun, a South Carolinian who held the positions of US Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, US Senator and US Representative. Although he died in 1850, Calhoun was a staunch defender of states rights and slavery,  which means that he's now supposed to descend down the memory hole of political correctness.

While efforts have been made to actually change the name of the lake, bureaucratic complications have stymied the process so far. But that's not the case with nearby Calhoun Cyclery, who's so offended by the memory of the man found to be one of the 5 greatest US Senators of all time that they've changed their name.

Calhoun Cycle is now Perennial Cycle

 Calhoun Cycle is proud to announce that we are changing our name to Perennial Cycle. The name Calhoun Cycle was inherited decades ago when it originated as Calhoun Cycle Cellar, a modest bike rental shop with a cigar box for a cash register. Over the years the name Calhoun Cycle has served us well. To our cycling commuter customers we love so dearly, it has come to represent our goals for the bicycle as a pragmatic and sustainable means of alternative daily transportation. Given these goals, we have found the ethics of Calhoun Cycle at odds with the unethical history of the Calhoun name. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the history and heritage of Mr. John C. Calhoun, and feel an undeniable need to separate ourselves from that history. The name Calhoun represents a shameful past of institutional racism perceived as a “positive good”, and the misguided cultural colonialism of renaming a lake after an undeserving man. We cannot go back and change our past, but we can learn from it and from our mistakes, and attempt to right our wrongs. Therefore, we are consciously removing Calhoun from our company name and have chosen the new name Perennial Cycle to best represent our values. When something is perennial it is enduring, it is sustainable and it lives in an unending cycle. Perennial is the flora that surrounds us, which we depend on for our own sustainable existence. And like the tulips, crocus, and basque flowers pushing their way up through the snow, nothing gives us more pleasure in the Minnesota springtime than to also see our robust perennial cycling community bloom to life once again. We thank you all for your support over the years we’ve spent together, and for supporting us in our strategic decision to kill Calhoun.

  John C. Calhoun, scary guy from the Palmetto State.

  The lake named after a scary guy from the Palmetto State.

At the same time, there's a busy street in Minneapolis called "Sheridan Ave." There's another one in Chicago. These streets, and others of the same name, commemorate the memory of General Phil Sheridan, commander of the Union forces at Appomattox Courthouse and architect of the defeat of the native Americans on the plains. He's famous for having uttered the phrase, "The only good Indian I've ever seen is a dead one".

There is a Sheridan Bicycles Company in Sheridan, Wyoming but no word on these bike dealers changing the name of their operation or the town itself adopting a more politically correct moniker. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Wisconsin High School Sports

In western Wisconsin extra-curricular high school activities include sports that can be successfully practiced far into adult life and be useful in practical ways. There probably aren't any high school clay target teams in Hartford, Connecticut or Berkley, California.