Sunday, December 04, 2005

Lots of stuff: Bowling, Iraq, USAT, Buffman & Squeaky, Mongolia, The Other Armstrong, Balls out Presidency?, Free Enterprise, Presidential Quotes, GC

It has been about a week or so since a fresh post has emerged on this site, so I have a lot to say and will take whatever time is necessary to say it. I have made notes, prepared myself mentally, done some very good research, spent a short run thinking and boy am I hot!! My beard has been going for over 7 days and I really look my age or maybe even older. Marti says I look like an old man, "my humble reply is that I am an old man, why not look the part." There is something about a beard that seems to take on its' own life and ultimately becomes like a best friend or at least like another pet in the family. Due to my being very vain, I am sure it will come off shortly, since it is so gray and does make me look like "an old man." Due to the many topics I have to cover I am very excited about fasttwitchmind and the fact that I have more than one reader is also very exciting. During the week I added another reader, that I know of, so now I have at least four and one even suggested that she was just hanging on to the edge of her computer screen to see what I had to say next. Made me feel good and motivated to get back to the keyboard. Also, in my promise to stay off of USAT negative stuff I will only make a few remarks about the National Governing Body(remember this) of the sport of triathlon.

The past week was a big one for the Spare Me bowling league team captain, that being me. I rolled the best 3 game series in my bowling career life, 152, 149 and a high game of 199. While our best bowler on the team was having an off night and our second best not in attendance, my record performance was not enough to pull us through to victory, we actually lost 3 of 4 for the night. It is a team sport and with one bowler on the other team getting hot, two games over 265, and our top bowlers missing the pins, you have to settle for real cold beer, popcorn, and some fun as the consolation prize. My philosophical analysis to bowling is that to score a high number, maximum being 300, you have to knock down more pins each time you roll the ball. My fellow bowlers just stare in space when I mention this to them.

Iraq: What a stupid war, which isn't even a real war. We declared it, sent troops there, took our surplus budget, added $89 billion plus to it, now have a $7 trillion deficit, now have over 2100 young valuable lives lost to it, and have nothing to show for it. Since we declared war on false pretenses, decided by the Commander In Chief that we should change their belief system and make them whole with Christianity, this has been on big farce. Then last week we have the report that many of our very few allies are pulling out. Here are some facts: 160,000 US troops in Iraq compared to the following, 8,000 British troops, 16,000 troops from other foreign countries, 200 soliders killed from other coalition forces, as opposed to the 2100 US troops killed. While the Brits represent the second highest number of troops, South Korea is next with 3200 troops. They will remove nearly 50% of their troops soon, as will Italy. I believe this is called "shoot and run in the old west." Of course it was our(USA) war to start with and was motivated and passed by our Congress based on the mythical, "weapons of mass destruction" presence in Iraq. In conclusion, as with everything now a days it comes down to money for most, i.e. President Bush praised the "fearless warriors," all 120 of them from Mongolia, for their war efforts. But the rest of the story is that for their presence in Iraq they were given $11 million and they are also part of a group of small countries being promised a total of $1 billion for "helping" out. So, the USA goes deeper in debt for these ancient and couragous horseman of the great war in Iraq.

USAT-while I have tempered some of my opinions on this organization I still experience some boiling blood vessels and increased heart rate. While this organization and some of its' strongest supporters contend for profits are the whore of the earth and the poor ole non-profits are kicked around by them, let me show you where this is just the opposite. First, USAT operates with a $6 million budget, that is not subject to any taxes, pays its' top people very well, executive director $130m plus perks, cfo $81m plus perks, National Teams Manager $80m plus perks, etc., put away at least $500m per year in "reserves," since it can't be called "profits", has over $2 million in varies mutual funds, etc. Now, to add insult to injury they have decided to create their own magazine and compete against the two National mags, Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlon. Fact is they are coming out in print stating how much better your advertising dollar is being spent with USAT versus the other mags. Now, who is the big bully here? Since the two listed mags are for profit they must operate with funds generated by their free enterprising spirits, manage the business so it does make a profit and in general make good business judgements, to stay in business. On the other hand USAT operates with funds that are generated by forced membership dues of its' members and race directors. Nothing that USAT really does creates a free enterprise atmosphere or makes them hustle for their money. My concluding question here is: Instead of sticking to their mission statement to serve the sport of triathlon, why are the board of directors allowing the executive director and his staff to enter into free enterprise at the expense of those for profit, free enterprise entities. If USAT is going to enter into the publishing business and become the best advertising buy in the industry, then I contend they are way off course from their mission statement and have an uneven playing field. Kind of like playing soccer with the field tilted to a 90 degree angle for one team, but flat for the other(not that I know anything about soccer). The next thing you know they will be making the best running shoe since the, Nike swoosh!

Buffman & Squeaky are getting prepared for the annual "doggie day" parade in Cloudcroft, NM on December 10. Two years ago Buffman won a prize for most "distinctive dog" and was real proud. With the addition of Squeaky and they naming of the annual Buffman & Squeaky triathlon after them, they have become very popular in the tri-geek community. They will also attend the Polar Bear triathlon at White Sands and the annual Southwest Challenge series annual awards in El Paso. A very busy weekend for two Boston Terriers.

Without question the most well known Armstrong in Texas has to be Lance Armstrong, winner of 7 Tour De France races. But, alas, and with great pride Lubbock, Texas has the "other" not so famous, but just as spectacular Armstrong. Shanna Armstrong has won the Ultraman Triathlon, 320 mile swim, bike and run over 3 days, in Kona, HI. This was in addition to her co-ed win at RAAM(over 3000 miles on the bicycle across America) this year. To my knowledge she is the only female to finish first in both of these events in the same year. Shanna has been an athlete most of her life and has been in triathlon for over 7 years, with great success. While specializing in longer distance racing she has won the Southwest Challenge Series age group award more than once in her career. Congrats to Shanna!

For the life of me I don't understand why President Bush is still acting like a candidate rather that the president who will serve out his second term and then become a "former" president. He should become the "balls out" president and quit campaining and for the once admit where he is wrong. Former President Clinton handed him a surplus budget, which is now a deficit mainly because of the war in Iraq, and it keeps getting worse. As a parent I remember having to say, "no more money, back to the budget, to my kids," this is no different. We have to stop spending and start saving. Right now President W will go down in history as one of the worst presidents of the modern time or maybe of all time. He is making Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding and James Buchanan(considered the very worst) look like Abraham Lincloln, George Washington, and Franklin Roosevelt(considered the top 3 best).

Some Presidential Quotes I like: "I never gave anybody hell--I just told the truth on these fellows and they thought it was hell."--Harry S. Truman(my favorite President), "No President has ever enjoyed himself as much as I."--Theodore Roosevelt, "He serves his party best who serves the country best."--Rutherford B. Hayes, "Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality."--John Tyler, "There are two types of education...One should teach us how to make a living, And the other how to live."--John Adams

Sports in general: Forgot to mention that I am also a member of the US Bowling Congress, the National Governing Body for bowling that has more member benefits than USA Triathlon, the "so-called" National Governing Body for triathlon, for less money. Golf-Actor Dennis Quaid was named best celebrity golfer by Golf Digest. "Does that mean Tiger Woods isn't a celebrity?", Sport psychologist banned from European Tour after fight with caddie. "He specializes in helping players develop their punch shots." What I like about pro golfers is that they get no quarantees, while there is over $252 million on the US tour to win, they must play excellent to win it. There are no signing bonues, no guarantees, no gimmi's regardless of performance. They must hit the drives, make the short shots and sink the putt to make money. In this case more is not better, lesser(strokes) is better. If they pulled something like T.O. has done to pro football they would be out for life. College football-Looks like The University of Texas-Austin, will go to win the National Championship, it should be a great game with USC. I am picking UT. Also, from the great state of Texas, we will see Texas Tech beat Alabama or another SEC team, in the Cotton Bowl. Texas Tech was again the total offense leader in college football.

George Carlin and Willie Nelson: GC-"Murder investigators say that in most cases husbands kill wives, wives kill husbands, children kill parents, and parents kill children. Thank God for a little sanity in the world." "The Loch Ness monster surfaced today, and in a clear Scottish accent asked if she had any messages." A Kentucky man has been arrested for making an unauthorized deposit in a sperm bank." "A spokesman for the Vatican announced today that in Rome a statue of St. Peter has come to life, and is passing along fishing tips and veal recipes." A Florida man who wrestles alligators for a living was eaten alive today when the alligator apparently did not understand the universal signal for time out." From Willie-Q: Could you ever imagine having sixteen kids in your life, Willie? A: There probably would have been sixteen wives and one Willie. Q: How's your golf game? A: I lie so much that I don't really know. Q: Can you get out there and beat the average person? A: I really don't like to play people I can't beat. Q: A lot of people much younger than you would have already said to themselves, "You know something? I've had a good career, I want to sit in a lawn chair and drink a beer." A: Well, I don't like lawn chairs, and I don't drink beer.

Some Texas self confidence(or maybe some Texas arrogance): Fact, Texans are the only people who go to Europe and when ask what country they are from say, "Texas." Well, think about it, your from Rhode Island and a foreigner says what country are you from and you say, Rhode Island. No way would that work! A popular trendy beer brewed near Austin, TX is Shriner Bock. To offset this and be competitive Anheuser-Busch came up with a "brewed in Texas and sold in Texas only bock beer, " called Ziegen Bock. My father-in-law loves anything from Texas, and really enjoys Ziegen Bock. So, I took him some during Thanksgiving and we enjoyed toasting a few during the holiday. After drinking a few bottles I decided to read what was printed on the bottle label and much to my surprise here is what I found: "Brewed and Available only in Texas," "We're proud to brew an American-style bock beer which is only available in Texas," "Brewed to Achieve Highest Quality," "The Very Finest Ingredients," Government warning: (1) According to the surgeon general, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects, (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, andmay cause health problems.

Thanks for reading, all four of you and growing, I will have a new posting on within 7 days or sooner.

Mike Greer


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