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Showing posts from July, 2017

Free speech and that naked dude at the Tour de France

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Bauke Mollema streaked to victory today in Tour de France stage 15 from Laissac-Severac l'Eglise to Le Puy-en-Velay. He made his move with about 30 km to go, after much of the field had cracked. He was only 100 m or so from the peak. Still, a group of pursuers were only a few hundred metres behind. "Mollema needs a buffer!" said the announcer. I tweeted my thanks immediately.


Both announcers, Matthew Keenan and Robby McEwen, liked the tweet. That was fun. I could have a drink or three with those guys, I think.

I have been told that the Greek word for clever, deinos, also connotes a sense of terrible. Perhaps that is why those who make puns are routinely greeted with the judgment "that was terrible!" To say that Mollema needed a buffer was accurate if, by it, the speaker simply meant a little extra time and distance from his chasers. But it's clever to choose the word buffer, which carries the extra meaning of being naked. It's doubly clever, even cheek…

Archeology

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As I stopped to take this pic this morning, the workers standing on the boulevard might have briefly wondered what I was doing. What did I see? What was I looking at?

I stopped because I was once seven years old. And because I was once young enough to play with all that heavy equipment.

Our house at 6704 in the northeast end had a sandbox between the side of the garage and the fence next to the Ramseys. In the sandbox, there was one rule: no throwing sand. And, basically, two scenes or games we'd re-enact again and again. The first was digging for treasure. We'd bury beer and Happy Pop tops in the sand and try to dig out as many as possible with one scoop of a plastic shovel. That got boring after three or four straight hours.

What we never tired of was doing construction work.

With our Tonka toy graders and front end loaders and dump trucks (David across the lane supplied a Johnny West tractor trailer unit we imagined always full of explosive TNT) we dug sand, rearranged it …

The humorous descent of Alexis Vuillermoz

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Alexis Vuillermoz is streaming down the side of the Col de la Biche this morning. He is at the head of the race. It is stage 9 of the Tour de France. His front wheel slips slightly in the rain on the road. He keeps his balance. Commentator Robbie McEwen explains the French rider's mountain bike resume has prepared him for the sliding and drifting that happen when courage mixes with a wet descent.

"It's a huge advantage for him," McEwen says.

"When you're used to things getting a little bit loose on you, and staying in control, because it's about staying calm, when it gets loose and you tense up or touch the brakes, that's when you go down. You gotta be able to flow [emphasis not added] with it."

The trickster Vuillermoz is riding a corridor of humor.

The term is from French painter and sculptor and chess player Marcel Duchamp.

"While Dada was a movement of negation and, by the very fact of its negation, turned itself into an appendage of t…

Early morning thoughts while pictures beam in from France

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This morning I am in a happy place. It is an intersection. A listening post.

The Tour de France is on TV, and that is a thrill itself. Getting up early on a long weekend Monday to watch the colours of the peloton's men and machines stream and curve through the countryside is time in front of the monitor well spent. I enjoy parades, and bicycles, and TV in the sun.

With a mug of coffee, and a book and a sharpened pencil as the broadcast flows in.


This morning, the book is Trickster Makes The World by Lewis Hyde. The open pages resemble a gravesite I saw embedded into the earth at the Hillcrest cemetery. The shaft of sunlight stares across the printed words. They are worth standing in front of and staring at.
Structures always arise from exclusion. Think, for example, of how one might go about designing a flag. This world has endless color; the palette of greens in field and forest is boundless, as is that of water under changing skies. To make a flag, we select only two or three o…