Rove vs. Woods

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On Monday morning much of the news was about two famous people. These two became linked in my thoughts all day. Tiger Woods had won the PGA Championship, his 13th major title. Karl Rove had announced his resignation effective August 31. Why were these two connected in my thoughts? One is from sports and one from politics.

They are totally different. Or are they?

There are similarities. They can both be described by many of the same terms. Top in their field. Determined. Driven. Winners. Conquerors. Strike fear in their opponents (though with Rove it is often decribed as “fear and loathing”). Egotistical.

Their are some differences –beyond the obvious physical differences; after all Tiger is tall, athletic and good looking. Karl, not so much. Other differences. With Tiger, he is the one out front. Rove is behind the man and could not be effective without his puppet. You never see Tiger gloat. When don’t you see Rove’s smugness? When Tiger wins, he merely destroys the egos of other professional golfers. When Rove wins he destroys people, countries and liberties.

More similar or more different?

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Four Seasons Dallas

I just checked into this exremely nice hotel. I have been here before. It was about four years ago. At the time I was attending a conference with a company I once worked for.  It had been a rough period with my boss at the time and I had lost the confidence of our National leader. It made for an awkward conference.

Hanging out at the bar that first night everything changed. My buddy Frank was there as was Sarah, who is now his business partner. The three of us spent the night talking and laughing–lots of laughing. We hung out by the hot tub with our feet in the pool, sharing stories with the other guests there and dreaming about possibilities. While it was later on that Frank and Sarah started their own business I like to think that the seeds were sown that night.

I felt good about life and myself again. Having good friends and spending time with them is close to the top of my list of all things  that do or could exist.

It feels good to be back at the Four Seasons Dallas.

One Very Good Day

My wife and I spent much of Saturday together, just the two of us. That may not seem like much but it is amazing how rare such an event is. We are usually running errands, taking our son somewhere or just doing separate things.

We hung out for awhile around the house. We were both a bit tired from busy weeks. Finally we got up enough energy to get our bike stuff on and toss the bikes on the back of the car. We found a route we had not riden before. It was very relaxing. The night air was cool, the path surrounded by greenery, bunnies hopping along the path and a distance we could finish by dark. We even had a chance to talk to each other.

We changed in the car and headed to one of our fav chinese retaurants. Food was great. We headed home.

It was one very good day.

Grinding It Out

Riding has been a chore the last few outings. A few weeks ago I had felt as if the training had begun to kick in. I was riding stronger and faster. The last few times have been labors of love with the emphasis on labor.

I am not sure what happened. It has gotten somewhat hotter and much more humid. Some impact I am sure. I missed last weekend’s ride because the family was in DC. Still being on vacation I fit in an extra ride on Friday. Went OK given that I rode between noon and 3:30 and the temps were in the 90s. Also took a short ride on Saturday night with the wife for fun–it was.

Then got up to do it again Sunday morning. Why all the miles? I will be completing a Century ride for the first time. It is only 5 weeks away. I do not want to stop at 85 like last year because my legs died. That’s why I was determined today to push past my normal 50 miles today… and I did. But in the painful grind it out way that most likely I will be doing September 16.

I did not intend today to be a grinder, Wind, biking on the same path being used by several hundred people in some kind of organized run and the humidity slowed my average time by 1-1.5 mph. 

5 hours, nineteen minutes and thirty four seconds after I left the house I had ridden 65 miles. On a good but not great day this would have taken about 45 minutes less. I took the self-imposed challenge as a test of my will. I passed this one. One more in 5 weeks.

In total I biked 128 miles from Friday noon through Sunday at 1:20, just over 48 hours. Now all I need to do is shorten the timeframe to 9 or 10 hours and I am golden.

Our Nation’s Capitol is Hot…Especially in August

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We just came back from a quickie 5 night/4 day stay in DC. My son had never been there before. We were hoping he would soak up some history though his main interest was seeing the Nationals play (this kid is all baseball all the time). The temps were never below the mid-90s with extreme humidity. This made a great walking city much less of one.

Highlights from the trip:

  • 2 Hour Segway Tour. Very cool riding these. Much easier than walking in 100 degree heat. Observation. Don’t get overconfident with your abilities too soon or you could hit the ground after running into a post–hypothetically speaking.
  • Guided Tour of the Capitol Building. You can arrange these through your congressperson. It is faster than trying to get in yourself and worth the time.
  • The Botanic Gardens. Even my son liked this one. He took several beautiful pictures that I will share as soon as someone explains to me how.
  • The National Gallery of Art. Wife and I snuck in a quick guided tour of the west building one morning when our son slept in. For people like me who enjoy looking at paintings and sculptures but have not studied the subject, the volunteer guides are phenomenal.
  • The Washington Monument/Lincoln Memorial/the three war Memorials WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Always moving.
  • The Holocaust Museum. Being a Jew, I feel a need to go and to expose my son to what occured. Yet, I am always amazed at the number of non-Jews in attendance.
  • The Lunchroom at the American Indian Museum. We started to take the tour but this guide bored us within seconds. The lunchroom, however was outstanding. It had 8-10 stations of native American cuisine from different regions. The food was quite tasty.
  • The Nationals Game. The current stadium is awful for watching baseball. A new one is set to open next year. We got to see a very entertaining game in which the home team crushed the hated St. Louis Cardinals. The game included the Cardinals batting the pitcher in the eighth spot, a pop up in the infield purposely dropped to create a double play, several home runs and a position player pitching once St. Louis ran out of relievers.
  • The Metro. Cheap, clean and efficient transportation. We took it all over. My wife was an amazing navigator on this multi-level system. We even took it to and from the airport.

I also got to have lunch with my good friend Steve who lives in the area. Not bad for a short trip.

Time Machine

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I have issues of The Economist stacking up. Unless I am on planes I rarely find time to give them the attention they deserve. I recently picked up one from March 31.

The Economist usually has some articles for which the topics are timeless but much of the writing focuses on current events in the world, including the U.S. Scanning these articles was like using Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine and traveling to the recent past. These events took place approximately 5 months ago. Amazing how little progress has been made on some key domestic issues.

Some examples:

“Democrats are wrestling with the president over Iraq and much else”

“Mr. Gonzales is a worthy target….had he an ounce of integrety, he would have resigned long ago…”

“The war in Iraq is being pursued with “an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam”

There is also mention of the controvesies over the domestic surveillence policy and GITMO.

Some progress has been made since March. France elected a president, Iran freed the Britsh sailors it captured and David Hicks no longer resides at GITMO.

I would say less progress has been made than more.

With several issues remaining to be read, the WAYBAC machine will be in use for quite some time.

Thursday Night is Dance Night

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…at least in Evanston, IL. A number of local businesses sponser 45 minutes of dance lessons followed by 90 minutes of a live band. There has been salsa and cajun the last two weeks. Tonight was swing. The band was Bopology. The setting was downtown Evanston. The place was hoppin’.

People of all shapes, sizes and ages were just having a whole lot of fun. There were a few excellent dancers including a man who had to at least be in his 80’s. Lots of different styles amoung the better dancers. One guy was all speed. His steps were a blur but letter perfect and his partners seemed overjoyed. Another man was great footwork and smooth. He really knew how to lead as he demonstrated with multiple partners. The women were twirling, hips were shaking and smiles were beaming. A number of folk were there as singles and danced with whomever was available. Kids danced with parents. Even babies and at least one dog got into the act.

My wife and I got in as well. I am normally a surprisingly adequate jitterbugger but after an hour of intense raquetball, my aged back stiffened and I mostly moved gingerly as my wife danced with vivre.

Next week is R&B. Be there or be square.