Monday, 19 April 2010

Hazards of Sleep

Sometime between going to sleep on Saturday night and waking up on Sunday morning, I demolished my back. Right between the shoulder blades and higher up on the right side. I thought that finally getting some sleep would hook me up. Not so. Foul.

The government's case against Goldman is interesting. Seasoned readers won't be surprised to know of my glee that the Feds are finally doing something - anything - to rein them in. The problem is, what happens when Goldman beats the rap? They have far more incentive than the government does in this one, so they'll fight harder. And then when they win, their aura of impunity will be strengthened.

In related news, Matt Taibbe, whose articles are usually really good, recently did a piece in Rolling Stone (the one with the cast of Glee on the cover) on the clusterf*ck that was the municipal meltdown of Jefferson County, AL. He does a pretty good job of explicating the thing, but (shocker for me to be saying this), the passion of his rage at the whole thing kneecaps his position. Yes, there is almost limitless disbelief with which you can record what the banks did, but as a reporter I think he'd be more effective writing more tightly and letting readers build their own rage. Maybe the outlet flavored the editing, but I have a tendency to think that RS readers are generally assumed to be a pretty sharp lot. Maybe I'm wrong on that, maybe the magazine's flamingly leftie bias (and don't think for a second that the banks are a left/right issue) gets into play there, who knows?

Towards the brighter side, the racing this weekend was good. Not fantastic, but solid. It's easy to get frustrated as you climb up a learning curve, and we had some good and some bad on Saturday. We had a set play in place, which turned out to be unworkable with the headwind. There are some things we'd all like to see happen in races, which aren't exactly easy to instigate. It's happening. But we did do some good stuff.

After Tyson's I had lamented my lack of initiative at the inevitable "X to go" slow down. On Saturday I once again found myself in the catbird seat, with team mates placed appropriately, as the slow down smelled like it was coming to town. The guy on the front looked like he wanted out, and no one particularly looked like wanting in, so I went through the front and bumped up the pace. Going into a 20+ mile an hour headwind alone was never going to work, but I made it through the corner into the headwind and was summarily caught and dropped by a group of 3, one of whom was Greg. No surprise, they quickly gapped the field and were off. I didn't really understand some of the chase dynamics (the break was chased by a team in the break), but we were positioned pretty well to take advantage either way. The last lap, after the catch, was a bit of a blur. A group of us really lost momentum in that near crash thing that happened just before turn 1, and I never made it back to the strike zone to help. Mike and Larry did a good job of making lemonade and finished well. Larry's pretty unbelievable, he raced three races in a row and did well in all of them, in the money in the first and last.

Sunday I didn't race (it filled up before I registered) but Kyle did really well. I think the whole thing is coming together really well. We're now about a half dozen races into the thing and the elements are all there. In the coming weeks I think we'll get better and better at ad-libbing and improvising, and we'll take the next step up. We're good now, we'll be better later.

Looking forward to my first mountain bike race this weekend at Greenbrier. I have absolutely no idea what to expect, but have been getting a lot of quality time on the knobbies lately (about 4 hours last week), combined with pretty high volume on the road (about 5 hours this weekend outside of Saturday's race). I definitely don't want to compromise other upcoming road stuff in favor of Greenbrier since it is an experiment more than anything else, so I'll do a normal high-ish volume week this week, but I'm definitely excited to line it up in the dirt. Finally going to install a fully housed rear derailleur cable this week. People who race dirt all the time must buy derailleur cable by the gross and housing by the mile. The stuff gets tore up, quick.


Jim said...

I agree that regulation is needed for the various derivatives markets but, while we're in the midst of a national populist temper tantrum, you may want to ask yourself how much wealth we're going to destroy to punish the bankers, and whether bankers at large actually need punishment.

Then ask yourself what just happened to your 401k plan, a bunch of municipal retirement plans, and various state and local governments' bond ratings.

Then five years down the road, remember to ask yourself whether we've effectively regulated derivatives, punished the financial class, or shot ourselves in the face.

Chuck Wagon said...

You've lost it.

My word is "lunch."

Ian said...

I was on the front with Bruno up the road and I felt as lost as anyone. We had our boys grouped behind me and if I went hard enough to keep it strung out I would have caught Bruno. If I totally let off the gas the team would have gotten really swarmed. So I just tried to hold a position at the front and let the gap stay steady - which into that headwind actually hurt quite bad.

The boys ended up getting sifted back anyway (probably from me not going hard enough) with only me - totally spent - going around the final corner in a winning position. Sometimes playing chess with your heart rate at 180 doesn't work out so well.