Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Back in the saddle, Cleaveage, Hiring process question, Many other earth shattering topics

Well the announcement came this week that World Triathlon Corporation and USA Triathlon has done a deep french kiss and made up. Since this had been a popular subject within(the rest of the world doesn't care) the triathlon world I believe we are all glad it is over. Probably not as earth shattering as the day will be when our Commander In Chief of the USA Armed forces, says, "the war is over we are bringing our troops back home," but it is still very refreshing news. This little skirmish lasted over 9 months and looked to be a stalemate at one time. But, low and behold USAT bought a couple of airplane tickets(legal bills were mounting to the point that they would have to of traveled by stage coach, if they hadn't settled this)for the executive director and his attorney and they were able to make a favorable settlement and end the mess. Details of this story can be found on and So, we can ride off into the sunset singing, in harmony Gene Autry's favorite, "Back In The Saddle Again."

This past weekend I traveled to New York City to attend a meeting of the Blue Water Foundation. It was a great meeting, with great people. These folks are going to supply clean water to third world countries and have invited me to be a small part of it. Since my flight was very early in the morning(5:42 a.m.) I got on the plane in somewhat of a stupor, took my seat about midway back and then started watching the other people board. Much to my joy I looked up and this great looking woman boarded the plane and then dropped something right before taking her seat. You say so what is the big deal? Well the big deal is that she had tremendous cleaveage and further exploited it by wearing an extremely lowcut, v neck sweater. So, being the heterosexual, healthy, virile, man that I am, "I LOOKED!" Then in a split second I felt guilty for looking and even felt that some how I had violated this woman and was feeling real bad about it. Funny thing is the guilty feeling didn't last long. I started doing some rationalization here by thinking and asking, "with those kind of assets why would anyone expose them in such a manner or it is obvious that that is what she wanted to do?" So then I started feeling much better about myself and thought about creating a new cause that would be named something like, "Save The Breasts", or "Stop The Cleaveage", or "Prevent Over Exposure", or "Looking Will Make You Blind", or "Seeing Eye Dogs for Men Who Looked," or "Are They Real?" Then to bottom line this topic I would say that it is obvious that any woman who dresses like that wants and invites the looks from men like me or any man for that matter. So, all I got to say is "put them out there and they will be stared at!" Don't get made at us or say bad things about us, just say "thank you for noticing!"

One of my pet peeves I have established in the past few years is the misconception that our current US Armies are volunteers. I have even heard people say that we have an all volunteer Army. Well please let me clear this up. What we have is a PROFESSIONAL VOLUNTEER ARMY. While our troops now decide for themselves on whether or not they want to serve their country, as opposed to the past draft policy, they get paid very well for their service. A true volunteer is one who does the job(any job) and receives no pay or benefits. To give you an idea of what they make now, a typical Sergeant First Class with base salary of $2992.00 plus all the trimmings now makes a grand total of $4,966.00 per month. In the draft days of the Army the same Sergeant would make around $300.00 per month. As a 2nd Lt., in 1963 with a college degree my base salary was $222.30, with the trimmings $380.00. Now I do agree that if you are going to get people to join up in any organization and especially one where you are going to be fighting senseless, useless wars, they need to be paid well. I just wanted to clear this point up. My next point of clarification is that people who are members of certain professional are labeled heroes, i.e. soldiers, firemen, policemen, triathletes(no just kidding). This is also a misconception, just to be a member of this profession does not make anyone a hero; however, it does give them the opportunity to do heroic acts. Then they become bonofide heroes. Don't have any clue why these two things have bothered me, but now they are out in the open and my opinion is expressed.

Last but not least, I have been ask by some why I hired a person to be the executive director of USA Triathlon that knew nothing about the sport of triathlon. Well, glad you ask the question and here is my response. I DID NOT HIRE THE CURRENT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF USA TRIATHLON. But, here is the role I did play in this process. I served on a volunteer(remember that definition of volunteer mentioned above, yep with no pay)search committee of 3 people. Through a professional executive search service we accumulated 170 applications for the job, then over a 3-4 month period narrowed them down to 25, then to 7, then to 5, then handed the final 2 over to the Board of Directors of USA Triathlon. The final 2 then made their presentation to the Board of Directors, National Office Staff, then the Board made their offer to the current executive director and after a few weeks the contract was signed. Now let's re-word the question. Wonder why the BOD hired a person who had no experience in the sport of triathlon? Here is rationale given, a good business/marketing person is needed for the job and if someone comes in with no experience in the sport then they will bring a clean slate of opinion and attitude. In other words no past dirty laundry, no alligences to certain factions in the sport, just a real clean slate with no agendas. Now the question is, was this the right decision and is it paying off for the only National Governing Body of the sport. Only time will tell and the proof is in the pudding. Do I have an opinion on this? Hell yes I do, but I am keeping it close to my chest right now and will not editorialize on it at this time. Sometimes you can just sit back and watch things happen and reap the benefits of silence.

Over the past few weeks I have gone completely insane, I have decided to run for the National USA Triathlon Board of Directors. Why would I do this, been there, done that, got the letter jacket, even served as President of the Board one year. Who knows why for anything in this life, but I just want to for only one reason, THE RIGHT REASON,WITH NO HIDDEN AGENDAS. The existing board is made up of a bunch of really good people, but they are asleep at the switch and just seem to be gliding along in their service to the Federation(again, the only National Governing Body for the sport of triathlon that we have), making no waves of any kind. If I were a surfer I would take up ping pong for more excitement. Someone has said, this is the most harmoneous board the Federation has had in a long time. Of course they are in harmony, no one wants to take the initiative to call a spade a spade. Come on folks, get off your ass, pay attention and get your facts. There are some points of concern in your Federations back yard that you should be paying attention to. You have a fudiciary responsibility as board members, take it seriously and get some action going.

Movie reveue: "Shaggy Dog", save your money or watch it free on TV.

Sorry for mispelling Mark Balsiger's last name in the Sul Ross Sprint Triathlon article. He is the 55 year old El Paso stud who won the overall. This is very seldom ever done by this age group, what a stud muffin. Hopefully he will win the Ransom Canyon Sprint overall. Now he is on the spot and better be training hard.

Bushismm for the day: "Listen, Al Gore is a very tough opponent. He is the incumbent. He represents the incumbency. And a challenger is somebody who generally comes from the pack and wins, if you're going to win. And that's where I'm coming from."-- Quoted in Detroit, Michigan; September 7, 2000---Wow if you can figure that one out you are better than me.

George Carlin says: "You know what you never see anymore? A guy with a pencil behind his ear. or "I've adopted a new lifestyle that doesn't require my presence. In fact, if I don't want to I don't have to get out of bed at all, and I still get credit for a full day."

Off to bowling to captain my team, "Spare Me", for this week. Greerism-"Last week I noticed that as I knocked more pins down my score got higher, when in golf the less I have to hit the ball the lower my score is." Figure that little ditty out, I can't!


Monday, March 20, 2006

Back to basics, here I am again!

This past weekend was a back to basics for me in the triathlon world. A few weeks ago I entered the Sully Super Sprint Triathlon in Alpine, Texas. Better known as the gateway to the Big Bend Country of Texas or Tommy Lee Jones country(go see the 3 Burials and you will see parts of this area). For this first time triathlon I knew it was going to be a back to the basics when the entry fee was $25.00 for students and $35.00 for the rest of us, no USAT sanction, no photo id, no registering a year before the event, no hassle from some zebra flexing their stripped muscles, etc. Also, the cut off number of entries was limited to 150. So, off to Alpine, about 300 mile south of Ransom Canyon and a great little sprint race with about as challenging 5K run course as you could ask for. With the run first in the lineup it got the ole heart rate up and the legs ready to take the bike on a rolling course with some wind and light rain, for 15 miles. To wrap it up we jumped into a 30 meter(yes 30 meter, not a mis-print) pool and swam 360 meters to finish the event. There were 86 starters and probably the same amount of finishers with the overall winner being one of my good friends, Balls as we call him, Mark Balsinger It is not very often that a 55 year old is the overall winner, with a very fast 1:11. In the 65-69 year old age group I was able to take home the lst place trophy simply because and I was the fastest and only entry in that division, with a 1:35. Marti was doing the Pink Lady thing and was not in attendance. My hat goes off to the race organizers and we look forward to doing this race in 2007.

For all of my readers out there that don't know where the location of Lubbock, Texas is, please take out your USA map, find Amarillo, Texas(in the Panhandle) come due South 125 miles and there is Lubbock. Another way to find it: 600 miles southeast of Denver, Co., 450 miles northwest of San Antonio, Texas, 350 miles west of Dallas, Texas and 350 miles east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. So, in a nutshell we are in the middle of the South Plains(Llano Estacado) of Texas or as most people who don't live here say, "the middle of nowhere." Now you say, so what is the point and where are you going with this. Well, here I go. Last week it was announced in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal(no we have never had an avalanche in Lubbock)that Lubbock's bid for the George W. Bush library was not accepted and that Lubbock was out of the running for the library. Now to some this was heart breaking, but to others it was good riddance, why would we want to be reminded daily of what a sorry job he has done as President(my prediction is that 30 years from now when he is ranked by his presidential performance he will make James Buchanan(always ranked last) look like
Abe Lincoln(always ranked 1 or 2). But to get to my point, while there was no official statement made as to why the site committee discarded Lubbock it was speculated by the Lubbock Coalition chairman that it was because of the "location" of Lubbock, in the state. Well what baffles me is that prior to spending in excess of $300,000.00 to prepare and present the bid for this facility it seems as though they should have checked our location, using my simple step by step method, before embarking on this expensive dance. To my knowledge Lubbock has always been on the South Plains of Texas, never in Dallas(the likely site of the library),Crawford, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, etc. Fact is I feel most of us are very proud to be located on the great Estacado Plains and wouldn't move Lubbock to Dallas in a New York minute. One last point on this subject, the head of the Coalition committee just so happens to be running for Mayor of Lubbock and guess who's photo was on the front page of the Avalanche Journal when the announcement was made? Since most of my readers are from afar I will also have to write a letter to the editor about my geography analysis of exactly where Lubbock is located.

Some more triathlon news: WTC/USAT/ITU, still not resolved, hopefully April 24, 2006 will see a kiss and makeup, then on with the sport. Just noticed where the Full distance(2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run)Silverman triathlon in Las Vegas will offer a $100m purse to any team that can break 8 hours on the course. Dave Scott has called this the most difficult full distance course in the world.

Serious stuff: In recognition to entering the fourth year of the Iraqi war I noticed that the deaths and bloodshed seem to be getting worse, not better. I thought when our Commander In Chief declared, "Mission Accomplished," some two years ago, we were winning the war and would be home soon. Now, it appears to be much worse than when we got there, Saddam is almost looking like Mary Poppins compared to what is going on now, i.e. headlines, PRAYER & BLOODSHED-The Shittes men flagellate(they take knives to their bald heads and cut themselves causing bleeding down the front of their faces, then they take the same knives to others and kill them) themselves as part of the religious ceremony in Karbala. What I recommend to our Commander and Chief at this time is that when he is reading the good book, normally called the Bible, he go to page 6 of the Book of Genesis and read about the first war and senseless killing in the middle east part of the country. Why a simple farmer decided to slay a simple sheep herder is still not real clear, but it happened and is still happening, just in larger numbers. No matter how many soldiers we send to this part of the world, no matter how many weapons of mass destruction(yes folks we have our own weapons of mass destruction, but that is okay) we send and use, our philosophy of forcing our beliefs and philosophies will NEVER be accepted. Doing missionary work in this manner is kind of like sticking a steel prod into the din of a bunch of West Texas Diamond rattlesnakes or better still try a big gulp of vinegar and see how that blends with your taste buds.

Not so heavy subject matter-now that we have saved the world let's save ourselves with some good eating and exercise. Just noticed a great article by one of my advisors, Dr. Al Sears. He just sent an article about "spuds" and their nutritional detriment to our health. Were you aware that they basically turn to sugar the minute they are digested, now I am talking about the "white Idaho potato spud." Most healthy food experts recommend that we eat foods with a low glycemic index. Well spuds have a very high GI and are considered very detrimental to good healthy eating. First on the good GI list is broccoli,second is milk, third is oranges, etc. Some other bad GI foods are: white bagel, french fries, macaroni & cheese, raisin bran(surprising), etc. Sweet potatoes were not rated but I understand they are considered good(at least that what Marti says).

Have a good week,


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dr. Weil, The Human Body, Basketball, Academy Awards

The human body is a great work of art and somewhat confusing machine. Yesterday, after laying off of exercising for a week and a half because of a brown recluse spider bite, I did a bicycle ride on 50 miles of the Buffalo Springs 70.3 course. It was not a normal day, buy any means, with 25-30 mph due South winds, at 68 degrees with overcast skies. I was riding with a friend who is training for Ironman AZ, his first Ironman distance race, so we stayed in his heart rate zone(I don't wear one of those things) and cruised the course. Since this is starting my 29th year of training in these canyons I have seen some tough days out amongst the road kill and live varmits, but without a doubt this was the toughest. It was the kind of day that makes you appreciate a really good day, but also makes you feel real tough, when it is over. The amazing thing about it is that with no training for 10 days I felt really good and was able to actually walk afterwards and open my own beer. Oh, I forgot to mention that my partner is nearly 20 years younger and really focused on doing this stuff. Marti stayed on the indoor Powercranks trainer and says her workout was even harder than our outdoor venture. My real point here is that the human body is simply amazing, especially when I see the world as a whole abusing it to the utmost. While many of my friends do exercise and take care of themselves, since I chose to exercise it would only be natural that "my friends category" would be about somewhat healthy people. But, then I see the eat, drink, smoke, chew, abuse the body all you can bunch and I am dismayed. Why in the hell don't they just konk over after one of those majestic all you can eat food orgies at their favorite eateries? There have been times at the Golden Corral that I have watched people attack those food aisles like there is no tomorrow and the only thing that slowed them getting there was their big gut hanging out in front, paving the way for more food. At this time I would like to encourage my readers, again, to consult with the writings of Dr. Weil. His daily health tips come into my e-mail every morning and they are priceless. Please add it to you daily reading.

The city of Lubbock is a very unique place, its' slogan is "The Giant Side of Texas." For you readers not from Texas what that really means in Greerman terms is that the I-35 corridor of cities, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, that make fun of our little ole city in the middle of the Llano Estacado plains(there really is a middle of nowhere place)is staking the claim of not only the Giant, but the Best of Texas. Actually I appreciate the whole state since it supports our races in big numbers and they can call us what they want, as long as they come to the races at Buffalo Springs. Back to my point, Lubbock is unique in one way in that we are the only city in the USA that I know of that has two Hall Of Fame, major university, Basketball coaches. Coach Marsh Sharp for the women's teams, and Coach Bobby Knight(sorry Coach, women first) for the women's team. Both are big winners and have won National Championships. Now, to add to the uniqueness they are both having very challenging years, meaning they are not winning like they are accustomed to. It appears as of today that neither will go to the NCAA tourney and will retire their sneekers for this year, in just a few days. Coach Knight is 14-16 for the year, his first losing season since his last season at Army, and will enter the Big 12 tourney with little chance of surviving. On the other hand Coach Sharp is 14-13, plus has announced her retirement from coaching, and will have to win the Big 12 tourney to advance in the NCAA tourney. So,the big and spacious 15,000 seat United Spirit Arena on the Texas Tech campus will sit idle until next season. What a waste, maybe we could do an indoor triathlon in it, with ITU style racing or something silly like that. Other tidbits about the coaches: Coach Sharp is a home grown West Texas lady, too short to play the game but about 8' tall in coaching the game. She is and has been a class act for many years, her 97% graduation rate of her players is one of the highest and their fan attendance at games is in the top three in the nation. On the other hand we need no introduction for Coach Bobby Knight, first at Army, then his legendary coaching style at Indiana University. He has been an outstanding asset to Texas Tech and Lubbock, no matter his style. He is unique and certainly not liked by all, but all should respect him for he is who he is and offers no apologies for that. I was not a basketball person until he came to town and after watching his coaching during workouts I began to gain an understanding for the game. He is truly a great student, teacher, and coach of the game of basketball. I now have a better understanding of it, and since his tenure as coach there is a huge Tech library fund and his players go to class, or they go elsewhere. Just in off of the Sports Illustrated press, a college basketball players poll, "Team with the most respect for its coach-" Texas Tech(Coach Knight), "Opposing Coach you'd most like to play for-" Coach Bobby Knight, "Opposing Coach you'd least like to play for-" Coach Bobby Knight." Trivia outside of Lubbock basketball, Wyoming State University has a starting line up of ALL-White players, with a black coach, as reported in Sports Illustrated. On top of that they were 14 wins 5 losses as of time. The coach said he couldn't recruit black players to that part of the country, so he did what was considered second best, he recruited players that wanted to play basketball and win some games. Bottom line is that they just happened to be all white. Guess white boys can jump after all!!

Tonight is Oscar night and with my passion for going to the movies, I will throw in my two cents. First, on the new host Jon Stewart. While many are predicting he will flop I don't agree. While I loved Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, Steve Martin, etc. I predict Mr. Stewart will do great. He is simply too smart to fail, even though this group is hard to please. Mr. Crystal would have been great is some comical film clips spinning off of "Brokeback Mountain" material, but I bet Mr. Stewart will do it well. Now for the predicted winners: Best Film-"Brokeback Mountain" is favored by most and I will put my vote there also. The other films are great but I believe the coverage,hype, original approach to a subject, and the balls to do it, will gather the win. Second choice would be, "Capote." Best Director-Again, Ang Lee for "Brokeback Mountain,", Second-"Good Night and Good Luck," George Clooney. Best Animated Film-"Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit."(not much interest here on my part, not an animated film watcher, so I stuck with our local critic), Best Actor-"Walk the Line," Joaquin Phoenix, who in heavens name could actually pick a guitar,learn to play and sing, for the first time, and play the part of one of the truly icons of the country and western business, no one I know? But that is what happened here. This role is what acting is all about and Joaquin did it. Second, "Capote", Philip Seymour Hoffman(a great actor coming into his own). Best Actress-"Walk the Line,"-Reese Witherspoon(again, she learned how to do her own singing and acting for this part, no more dumb blonde things for this gal), Second-"North Country,"-Charlize Theron(a distant second but great acting). Best Supporting Actor-"Cinderella Man,"-Paul Giamatti(a very good actor who gained attention from "Sideways"). Best Supporting Actress-"Brokeback Mountain,"-Michelle Williams(this story is more than just about men on men). Second-"Capote", Catherine Keener. Some trivia here, George Clooney has never attended an Academy Awards show before, even though he has been invited. His reasoning was that he wanted to earn the right to be there, which he has this year for earning three nominations for the big trophy. Reminds me of people who say they won't take a lottery slot to the big show in Kona, they want to earn it. From Greerman-go see "3 Burials" and "16 Blocks", both great movies out now on the big screen. Duh, that's all folks!!

Got some time for humor and wisdom: "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway"-John Wayne, "Great minds have purposes: others have wishes."-Washington Irving, " Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it."-Winston Churchill, "Success is the ability to hang on after all others have let go." Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."-Will Rogers "I never met a man I didn't like,"-Elizabeth Taylor(gotcha, you thought it was Will Rogers), " Many people spend their health for wealth and then try to spend their wealth for health." George Carlin says, "Somebody said to me, "I can't believe Jerry Garcia is dead." And I thought, doesn't this guy know? Everybody's dead. It's all a matter of degree." I was looking in the mirror the other day and I realized I haven't changed much since I was in my twenties. The only difference is I look a whole lot older now." I don't own any stocks and bonds, all my money is tied up in debt." Couldn't sign off without some Bushisms, the book is getting bigger every time he opens his mouth. "I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of humans." or "We don't want to discourage the innovators and those who take risks because they're afraid of getting sued by a lawsuit." or " There's nothing more deep than recognizing Israel's right to exist. That's the most deep though of all....I can't think of anything more deep than that right." or "I think the American people--I hope the American--I don't think, let me--I hope the American people trust me." Now folks that has to conclude my blog for today, "if not I may get confused and consider myself something serious, or at least humorous"--an original greerism.

Next on the agenda, the American presidents, some thoughts and a question: Which American President would be thought of when entering the mind set of "Brokeback Mountain?"

The greerman, for the day, going out on another big ride in those beautiful Llano Estacado canyons!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Here we go again, loving the new action in the sport of triathlon

It has been a few days since my last posting and my readers(now totaling 6) want more. Well the sport of triathlon is back in the news, in the triathlon sporting news that is since the rest of the world really doesn't care, with the announcement of two new organizations to serve the sport. First, there was the announcement of the new West Coast Collegiate Triathlon Conference, headquartered on the UCLA campus, with Mr. Marcus George as its' founder and president. He was motivated to create this new organization, based on his own words, simply because the national governing body of the sport, USA Triathlon, was not serving the collegiate side of the sport. He said that all USAT really does is put on a collegiate national championship, of course incorporated with another race, and beyond that nothing. Greerman comment-from what I can gather Marcus has some good points and from my experience I really do not know of any real programs, within USAT, to help grow the sport through the collegiate teams or clubs. I was aware of the National Championship event but really gave it no serious thought. When I was the interim executive director for 6 months I don't remember this subject coming up at all. Check his web site out @ Second, there was an announcement yesterday concerning the new organization, North America Triathlon Association(NATA), headed up by Mr. Steve Locke, the former successful 13 year executive director of USA Triathlon. Mr. Locke states that he is offering an alternative selection for the race directors to chose from in their insurance needs. He feels that there is a place in the market for this and he has made the business decision to offer this. With his past knowledge of the sport and his tremendous success in building USAT from a struggling, near broke Federation, to a very prosperous($2 million saved in the rainy day fund, plus $500m annually in profits, oops, reserves) member of the USOC I am sure he will stir up the triathlon pot a little bit. Greerman comments-While I know the diehards of USAT will start crying foul play here, we don't need anymore organizations in the sport, we have it all with USAT. Allow me to point out as a strong advocate of the capitalist, free enterprise system, if the current mouse trap is not doing the job there will be another one come along. Many people think that Henry Ford invented the automobile, wrong, what he invented was the method to mass produce the automobile so that everyone could afford to have one in their family. The better mass production mouse trap had not been created for the automobile, so through the free enterprise system he was able to do that. Another point here is that if the new mouse trap doesn't do it, it will not last. Check out the web sites on the new org, editorial on, and LONG LIVE THE FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM of creating the atmosphere for better things!!!