Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Big Show(Kona), Bowling, The Hog, Movie Reviews

Well we returned from the Big Show in Kona, commonly referred to as "The Ironman" triathlon World Championship. This was the 13th time I had made this trip to either compete(two times), observe and volunteer. Over the years it, like everything else in 13 years, has changed a lot and the overall level of competition is tremendous. Inside Triathlon published a run down on the favorites to win the professional side of the race, so it was interesting to see the results and how close they were or how far off they were. Turns out their predictions landed in both aisles, the men's winner Chris "Macca" McCormack, AUS, was one of the favorites and on the women's side Chrisse Wellington, UK, won but was no where in site in the predictions. Both of these winners were very refreshing to listen to at the awards dinner. Macca had been very out spoken in the past about his desire to win this race and even stated that it was more important to him than the Olympics. He had been criticized over the past year for his talk of winning, etc., but I think he is a breath of fresh air, and really deserved to win. One thing I noticed about the men's side of the top ten is that physically they all look the same, the only difference was their head. From the neck down their physical makeup was the same, kind of like a gazelle, slender muscles, tanned, small waist, short haircuts, tri suits, similar heights' between 68-70 inches, similar weight 150-65, etc. On the women's side Chrisse was really a breath of fresh air and a very humble winner. She told the story of how she started in the sport on a "shitty" borrowed bicycle, then evolved into a real triathlete while holding down a government job in the UK. She really got my attention when she talked about the beer she would drink at the celebration party at LuLu's and that she would probably "strip". Sorry I missed the party and there was nothing in the papers the next day, so guess she behaved herself. One of our favorite people, Natascha Badmann failed to finish as a result of a very bad bike crash, at mile 15. Since I was on the course with my official we were the first to come up on the crash. She said she was crowded by a motorcycle and forced into a cone. She was evacuated to the hospital after it was determined she could not continue, but is recovering back home now. Michellie Jones, the defending champ had to drop at mile 90 with severe stomach problems. It was a tough day out there, probably as tough as I have seen. The sun was bearing down and the wind was directly head on when the athletes made their way for the turn around in Havi. On the age group side our good friend and excellent triathlete, Christine Mackrides had a tough day, but whipped up on the course after all and had a good finish. Then there is Joe Boness who has to be from outer space, or at least from Texas. This 50 year old Floridian won his age group in Kona, with a 9:48 finish, then within two weeks of that finish won the Great Floridian Ironman distance in the equal time. Then just to prove he is not human he will do the Ironman Florida in early November. I have met this guy and talked with him a few times and he is real human, even though I would like to rip his heart out and find out what really goes on inside that ticker! Congrats to all and I guess I will return for the 14th time next year. I have been challenged by some to get myself in gear and qualify for this event after I turn 70, and being there again almost motivates me to put that on my to do list. Let's see what it is like to be 70 first, then I will decide. Can't be much worse than being 69 which comes up in December even though the USAT age up rule of age on 12.31 will really say I am 70 already. Woe is me!!

My last report on bowling before departing for Kona found me loving bowling again, especially after rolling a 220, my highest score ever. To put this in triathlon terms, it is like doing a 10:45 hrs. ironman, a 2:00 hr. Olympic distance triathlon, or maybe a 2:59 hr. marathon. So bowling no longer sucks and it is a good thing. However as I rolled a tremendous 128 in my first game I now start to really pour the draft beer into the frosted glass, while grabbing a big hand full of popcorn(but no butter). Man, after a 220, then I go 128!! How bad can it be? On top of that my partner is off and we lose the first game big time. Now, get this, our opponents are a young couple with a little darling 3 month old daughter sitting in a baby carriage and they are feeding her and goo gooing her while we bowl. At the same time they are eating their dinner, and whipping our butts. Did I say this was a sport or what. Feeding the baby, bowling, then eating their dinner, bowling, in the mean time putting us away to the tune of two games down(you can only lose 4 games total in a night and it is computed with who wins the 3 games plus total pens for the 4th, so we are half way there). Now the only thing my partner and I can do is, you got it, order another pitcher of Coors Light, get some fresh popcorn, and knock some damn pins out of sight. The motivation must have been there, since we ended up winning the final two and walked away with pounding our chests and being real proud. At the same time our opponents were changing diapers and heading on home to put the baby to bed. Did I say this was a sport??? Must be since we get real concerned when we bowl bad or lose. Can't wait till next week to see how who our opponents will be. One team we bowl has a lady on it that likes to pinch my butt right before I bowl. Needless to say this kind of takes my concentration off of knocking the pins down, especially since her husband is watching. I tell her to keep her hands off of this ole butt and let me concentrate. Note: We have never beaten them, her tactics must be affective!!

Well I took the Hog out for a little ride up north to the Caprock Canyon State Park, with my ole bowling partner Mike Hyman and his wonderful wife Susie. We started with the typical pre-ride breakfast, two eggs over easy, 3 strips of bacon, hash browns, two pieces of toast, coffee, orange juice, and grape jelly. Doesn't that sound like an energy booster? This is about a 100 mile ride and is very scenic, especially after arriving in the canyons. The also have a small buffalo herd so that is always interesting to see these dudes eating, and taking care of their young. When we got to the visitors center they were having a grand opening of the new center so there were real cowboys and a country and western band. This was a real tame bunch, with no drinking or dancing. So, we didn't get into any trouble and returned back to Lubbock just in time to watch the Texas Tech football team get drubbed by U of Missouri. This Tech team is amazing, sometimes they can beat anyone, then they show up and it looks like they have never played a game in their lives. They look like 7th graders that have been told to air up a football and play the game. The sports writer for the Lubbock AJ gave them all F's in every department except one and it was a D-. So, as usual Coach Leach, who is the best $1.5 million salaried coach, who wins 8 games and has 5 losses each year, in the country, will again win 8 and lose 5, lead the nation in offense, and go to one of the 29 insignificant bowls across the country. Congrats team on a real lousy showing!! Of course you can repeat it this week against my team, the U of Colorado Buffs, or get back on your game and maybe win. I am betting on the Buffs!!

Movie Reviews: "The Game Plan", ***, this is a pro football Disney movie staring, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It is about a black narcissistic pro quarterback who has never won the Super Bowl and is very much into himself. So, you ask, well what is new with that and what is the story that could keep my interest and why a three star rating. Well this star is into himself but he stays clean of the law, he doesn't strangle dogs, he doesn't rape women or beat up his wife(he doesn't have one), he doesn't do drugs or sell them, he just stays in great shape and lives to play football. Then all of a sudden a seven year old young lady is dropped at his door step, yep the daughter he never knew he had from his one and only previous marriage. Now, you know enough to go see it and I think you will enjoy it. It is Disney all the way with no sex, no wild parties, no bad language, etc. Probably not worth prime time cost, but at least the matinee. Rated PG(why I don't know, it is really G).

"Gone Baby Gone", *****, this is truly a five star movie, by my rating and I expect it to get nominated for something at the Academy Awards. Ben Affleck makes his directing debut and does a whale of a great job. Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, and Ed Harris round out the excellent cast. The story centers around the tough sectors of Boston's underworld and the search for an abducted 4 year old girl. It is a very intense movie with many twists and turns, plus a very odd ending. Enuff said, go see it!! Rated R for violence, drug content, and language that is pervasive(to say the least). Those folks in Boston have real potty mouths!

For tonight,


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What???Bowling doesn't suck after all!!

Who was it that said bowling sucks, well really that goof ball said, "my bowling sucks!" But tonight, being bowling night, it turns out that bowling does and did not suck. Yep, fellow athletes and loved ones I had a high game of 220 tonight and our team won 3 out of 4. My average for the night was 168(had a real bad, "bowling sucks" type score 118 in the first game), then picked things up in the second game, then bingo over 200 for the first time in league play. Those little white pins with red strips just refused to fall in the first, then started to wobble in the second then pleaded with me not to hit in the strike zone again, or they would leave the house. The key to the high score is hitting numerous strikes, du or stated another way, the key to a high score is to knock down as many pins as possible, du!!! What I like about bowling is that the more beer you drink and popcorn you eat the better you seem to bowl. I guess at the rate I was going I could still be drinking cold beer and eating popcorn, and my game would eventually end up being the perfect 300. Guess I can shoot for that the next time, but would probably be there all night and into the morning.

For tonight,