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!



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