Sporting Thoughts

(not my photo:

Today I learned that the flag of the Netherlands is in fact red, white, and blue; there is absolutely no orange in it. Having believed for the past EIGHT YEARS that it is orange, white, and blue, and having believed that they could win today’s World Cup final, I am currently in shock management mode. (Apparently, orange is the royal color as inspired by William of Orange etc. My mistake was completely justifiable as red and orange can look alike on screens. Rather than me adjusting my misconceptions, I think that the Netherlands should change their flag colors.)

The first week of the Tour de France is over, which means that the uber-exciting sprint stages have finished and it’s on to the mountain grind. Amend that – normally uber-exciting. There were only three real group sprint finishes this time, and only two drag races between sprint posterboy Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) and my personal favorite, Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions). Farrar’s losses in both cases were pardonable; with a cracked wrist and elbow from Stage 2 (the “Stockeau Massacre“), it was amazing that he was sprinting at all. In the GC, I’m looking forward to seeing how Canadian time trial champ Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) shoulders the load as his team’s main GC contender. Rumor also has it that Team RadioShack will ride in support of Levi Leipheimer; it’s about time. Continue reading


Spring Break

As you may or may not have divined from my Facebook page, I am indeed in Houston this week. I’m enjoying the spontaneity and freedom of university without classes; I’m just pretending I live at Wiess again, at least for a week. It’s super exciting being on a bike again and yes, I’m slightly sunburned and my hands have bike grease on them that won’t come off, but we had an awesome (sometimes singing) draft line going on this afternoon. Right in front of Brown’s face as they were wrapping up their catch practice. Seriously, how satisfying is that?

Our alumni roster is looking pretty stacked. We should place really well – I would insert “Crush Will Rice and completely destroy them” but I don’t want to jinx it. Now if only it doesn’t rain on Saturday.

It’s also been great just hanging around campus and randomly running into people, catching up with them, throwing a frisbee around, or having conversations about the things that matter. Over the past few months, discussions have consisted mainly of schoolwork or sports.

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Day 0.5: Be’er Sheva or Bust

The following are excerpts from my journal, written on my bike trip over the past week:

28 September 2007 – 13:11

Route for Day One

Greetings from Be’er Sheva! The only problem is that I was supposed to be in Arad by now, thirty miles east.

The morning started off great – I got up at 5:15 – okay, maybe it didn’t start off great. I hate getting up early. Hate it hate it hate it. And yet, for some odd reason, I’m going to be doing this voluntarily for the next week. Go figure.

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Yesterday was interesting. I acquired both a bicycle and a roommate – two items that shall drastically change my life, albeit in different ways. After all, the two are slightly different: a bicycle is a machine; a roommate is a person. I paid for the bike; the roommate was free. The bike is of local manufacture (I think); the roommate is Belgienne.

Before I elaborate on either of these, I’d like to draw your attention to the sidebar (assuming you’re viewing my blogsite and not my Facebook feed. If you’re on Facebook, click on the “Imported From” link to get to my site. Ahem. Sidebar. Under “currently…” there are a few links. These are just five random stories from my RSS feeds that I thought share-worthy. I’ll be changing these fairly often – possibly every day – so enjoy. And check out the xkcd that makes a not-so-subtle tribute to Firefly.
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Title Goes Here

Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon… more or less. I went to the open-air market, kind of a bazaar, in the city. Vegetables are so cheap there! I paid the equivalent of fifty cents for three really good tomatoes – which is significant because the tomatoes in the supermarket are expensive and look really sick. I may have mentioned this before, but I have never seen so much candy in my life. The usual American stuff, but also things like German and Swiss chocolates. I may have to bring some back. Mmmm, chocolate.

The atmosphere of the market was very tangible – not unlike those of other markets of that type. Booths crammed with vegetables, trinkets, fabric, artwork, household wares and completely useless items, stall owners enthusiastically hawking their goods, customers haggling with smooth vendors (“yes, usually it’s fifty, but for you, I make it forty” “what! that’s a rip-off! I can get it cheaper in the store”), and the combined smells of fish, spices, and cheap perfume. So many languages, too, and different types of people – students, tourists, housewives, businesspeople, and tiny children constantly running about and somehow managing not to get tripped, squished, or yelled at. Mostly.

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