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« Cadel Thinks Big | Main | Smores »

August 23, 2007



I was just about to add this to the discussion on yesterday's post when I noticed we have a new one. Thanks Sara! I'll have to read it later since I'm headed to work.

Marshmallows roasted around an open fire count in my book! I'm with you, Susie, s'mores MAKE a night of camping. Maybe it goes back to girl scout camp.....we ALWAYS had s'mores!

Larry your description of camping made me green with envy and yearning for the chance to go camping with my family this summer. My husband and I have always taken long camping trips around the country (and Canada) each summer, but after our daughter was born we haven't been able to go for the past 2 years and I miss it terribly. While I have the summers off, my husband works in a hospital and has limited times during the summer to take vacation, see family, etc (especially after taking time off to spend with the baby when I went back to work). So........there have been no tenting adventures in the nat'l parks for me for the past few years. I'm definitely going to try to remedy that next summer!

We also hike every day and have found amazing trails in all of the parks we've visited, though the Rocky Mountains and Cascades are by far my favorite places to hike. If you haven't been up to Olympic National Park in WA and the surrounding area, you all need to go. Ocean, tidepools, snow-covered peaks, excellent trails, glaciers, rainforest, wildflowers, -- its truly amazing country. We have a few folks here who live in that area, right?

I'm captivated by waterfalls, too. Actually, on our last trip a couple of years ago, we hiked for about 10 days in Rocky Mt. Park and I took my audio recorder/mic along in my backpack so that I could record the sounds of the many waterfalls we passed in the mountains. Wonderfully unbridled power - and everything in between.

We actually spent about 2 weeks in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick several years ago and found some of the best camping areas up there! The provincial parks were beautiful and I really loved the Bay of Fundy.

Oops. This got long, but I was inspired by Larry's beautiful descriptions. :)


The Ras situation is confusing. But I think, ultimately, that Bjarne Riis is right. That decision was based on information that should have been sorted out before the Tour. The timing of it was ridiculous. His behavior may have been shady, but for Rabobank to act when they did was probably as bad for cycling as Vino's positive. Removing and firing the race leader days before the end of the Tour for an internal issue concerning the month of June when the race began July 6th is pretty lame. And he's claiming that the missed controls were from the Danish Federation, not WADA or the UCI. I don't think we've heard the last of it.

Larry, great camping stories. Hoping the statute of limitations has run out on that tree you felled. If not, I'll recommend leniency. You were emancipating a bike, after all. And my drum pad memories are quite clear. I'll never forget that wood base with the angled piece and the 1/4" of red rubber, and the way the stick hopped off the surface. The drum head type of pad came later. Also a bit louder. I don't think my parents were bothered by the pad, just when I'd play everything else in sight, the house, the car. And I heard a Warren Zevon song I'd never heard today, "Hit You (The Hockey Song)". Thought of you right away. Here's a link to the lyrics. You couldn't be Canadian and not love this.


Janaan, 'She of the cool name'... I don't want to imply to anyone that camping is easy, let alone camping with babies or small children. But that's all we knew since that's all we've ever done. We got some money for our wedding and promptly went out and bought camping gear. Lots of raised eyebrows amongst the in-laws (outlaws?!). "What? No George Foreman Grill?"

No one told us how to do it (camp, with kids). It never occured to us to leave 'em with family. And as time went on, we got better at it. Team work, roles and responsibilities, "get along or get out" tent rule, etc. And its amazing how quickly one learns from mistakes. (We had 6 kids but an older one wandered off one day and we never saw her again. We do get an anonymous psot card from Mammoth every year - that's gotta be her. Another joined a passing circus that had lions and tigers. Now we just keep 'em close.)

I've got able-bodied people all around me who have all kinds of reasons why they CAN"T/DON"T camp. I wouldn't be surprised if they thought I was a freak for doing so. "You're gonna do what?! With children! In a tent - touching the ground! With West Nile, snakes..". One colleague does it here, but she brings a mini-stereo, hairdryer, plug-in TV, large BBQ... And they have a hard-top.

Nuthin' wrong wit dat. That's relevant, if ya know what I mean. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Janaan, you have to write it in next years' calendar. Have a stealth plan. When your hubby is sleeping, pack it all up. Bit by bit. Let your child in on it too. When he wakes, tell him to grab some dental floss and a toothbrush - the only essential you might have missed. Don't tell him where you're going. When he catches on, expect him to protest. When he gets there, he'll love ya even more. And if he is still cranky by suppertime, let him in on the business of sex in one sleeping bag. The 'ol carrot & stick. 'Ya want some of this? Harden the _ _ _ _ UP and you'll get some.

Oh yeah, it is not love making when camping. It is the outdoorsy, primal, lusty stuff. Expect his full cooperation in the years to come.

And Waddy, not sure if you ever heard of Tom Cochrane and his band Red Rider. Check out Big League - a true song about a young hockey player who got killed on the road to the big leagues (hockey). What a rip-roaring awesome tune, and tribute to a promising life snuffed out. It is an awesome song for all you athletes out there for your running, cycling, treadmill, spinners... Check it out. And if you like the song (and I know you will), look for 'Lunatic Fringe' too.


*sigh* If I thought I would get "outdoorsy, primal, lusty stuff" by camping, I'd do it in a second! My prince (and the pea) doesn't do that....


You know, even though I really object to ejecting someone in the way Ras was ejected, his attitude did not endear him to me. When you have done wrong, like asking a friend to carry conraband for you without full disclosure, you should not respond with "I cannot confirm that." Nor do you wiggle your way out of the whole "where were you" discussion. A straight forward, "I did due diligence, I sent in my paper work and confirmed they got it," would have been reassuring. All that being said, my assurance matters not a whit, but his responses did create a small dark cloud over his head that grew. The team had a responsibility to respond, once they confirmed he had lied. You know they had to have confirmed or they would never have given up the Yellow Jersey.


All true and salient points, Cat. And I agree with your take on the way Ras presents himself and non-presents his case. But if this were a business and it were mine, there'd be a lot of explaining to do about how it got to be the mess it became.
Another way of looking at it:
If your husband told you that his bachelor party was going to last a month and he'd be in Mexico the whole time (presumably with Jessica's mailman), then you found out a year into your marriage that he had been with another woman in the Dolomites, who would you......OK, bad example.


I guess my take on it is, why was he allowed to race? It wasn't the first time, they knew before the race, certainly others have been booted for less, ie, having your pet's name and your initials on a list in Dr Evil's office. Certainly both examples suggest nefarious behavior, but Ras HAD done something you are not allowed to do, and OP guys looked like they had, or as Basso said, "thinkin' about it."

susie b

You didn't answer my question Larry, do you LIKE s'mores? Did you only eat roasted marshmallows because you forgot the fixins' for s'mores or do you just not like them? Enquiring minds want to know. And for me, it's not that I love the taste SOOOOO much I guess, it's that they are such a part of my childhood. Both olfactory & taste memory, wham! Pretty much every time I had s'mores as a kid-teen, I was having the time of my life, so it's a powerful memory & why I still "love" them today. I'm sure if I'd never had a s'more til I was an adult, they probably would not rank as high on my list of fave deserts. :)

And Waddy, you kill me. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I blame Rabobank team management for the Chicken Barbecue... They KNEW what he missed (paperwork & tests)& rolled the dice so they could use him at the Tour. I am absolutely certain that the ASO guys hoped Contador/Levi/Cadell could knock Ras out of the yellow jersey DURING the race & that's why they waited until after the last mountain stage to force Rabobank's hand. And I don't care WHO says Rabobank "acted on their own". Bullshit. The ASO was convinced Ras was dirty & DID NOT WANT HIM AS CHAMPION, especially with what happened in 2006. Hysteria guided ASO's hand as the increasing media frenzy made them even more determined to get rid of him. Reminded me of the Salem Witch Trials. Did you watch that Velonews TDF good/bad video, with the scene where in the background you can see HUNDREDS of media chasing Rasmussen? That's probably what it was like the last few days he was there & it's NOT just that he had the yellow jersey.

And NOW it's coming to light that Riis held him back from a race in 2002 due to "suspicious bloodwork" when he was on CSC. How hard did CSC fight to keep Rasmussen on their team?

And Waddy, I'm trying to be good at MDs, but if you go back through the past year of posts, Marty's sudden disgust with cycling due to "doping" is a blatant contradiction of almost everything he's written. He pretty much espoused the "everybody's been doing it" line & that it's not that big of deal as they are still doing things nobody else could, & that even HE would probably dope if he was an elite athlete faced with that reality,etc. That last one really stirred up the viral anti-dopers & those aghast that a COACH "of young people" would say such a thing. And it's this switch from the que sera,sera attitude to a sudden throwing up of hands now with NO FREAKIN EXPLANATION that really pisses me off. It really disrespects his longtime readers. The fact that so few people called him on it pisses me off almost as much. No, they were all excited about the damn t-shirts. The big kiss-off of the one sport that drew most of us to his blog in the freakin FIRST place is accepted without question. Damn, I've just upset myself more than when he did it. I can accept a change in attitude/opinion but I want to see how & why he got there. "Show me your work", MD.


"Show me your work." I like that. I just came from visiting MD's. You're on fire Susie B. You're spot on. Changing one's position is allowed, but show us how you arrived at your new destination. Marty doesn't show his work. He missed the math class where you lose points for NOT showing your work. Even if you arrive at the "right answer". Its as if he's dumbing it down. Not sure why. But when he does that, I gotta poke him. I expect someone to either "turtle" or come out like a badger. He does neither.
An enigma, inside a puzzle, wrapped up in a riddle.

Damn s'mores. Cursed things. Never had one. I asked my kids. They jumped off the coach all talking at once. "Who wants to know?! WHY?!"

("Oh, just one of dad's pen pals." "Oh, how did you meet?" "Well, we didn't but she sent me some books in the mail." "What street does she live on?" "Not sure." "What town then?" "Well she lives in another country."

That drew a quizical look from my wife. She made a mental note to follow-up I'm certain of that. I figure I've got a few hours til kids are tucked in to work on my story.)

Each of my kids thought they knew best how certain ingredients come together. As near as I can tell, homemade ones involve crackers, chocolate, and marshmellows. And heat. Had I known, I might have tried with the portable BBQ and some tinfoil. MIGHT HAVE. I'm pretty particular about how I cook up. If its worth doing, its worth doing right. Which is why I've never had a martini while camping. Despite my oldest sister buying me a mini-shaker for just that.


Larry, that's a riot! Your wife will understand....

All I know of Ras's time at CSC is that the mechanics were thrilled to see him leave, because he's such a pain in the butt about his bicycle. I know ALL racers are obsessed by their bikes, but I have a feeling he was worse. But I agree that ASO was the ones pushing the team, to the point that the Director quit. That's a lot of pressure.

And Marty isn't even the same person that he was last year. He's gotten more really is like breaking up with a boyfriend!!


There was no work done on Marty's part. It all came to him while watching TV.

My wife will go to any length to make smores. Even marshmallows over a kitchen stove. Even over a campfire, she loses her patience and just starts eating the chocolate and marshmallows by themselves. And it's not just crackers, Larry. It's gotta be graham crackers.

My wife was also skeptical of my online relationships. Not so much suspicious, but wary of strangers. She called me from a Barnes and Noble and I asked her to get the Bicycle Mag with the Cape Breton article that Larry posted about. When I told her about the article, her response was, "how do you know this person isn't an axe murderer?" Given the group of people we're talking about, it was pretty funny. Kinda like me saying, "I'm a lot of things, but I ain't Richard Tete". Y'all are a lot of things, but you ain't axe murderers (I think). It made me realize that guys don't have a built in defense mechanism that detects stalkers. Females, on the other hand, must be wary. But even I was wary of Larry at first.


Susie B you are right on with Ras. Rabo wanted to use him to win a stage and the climbers jersey and never thought he would take and hold the yellow jersey. MD is not a cyclist. Never was, never will be. It's all about the money. I did feel bad for Gusev this morning!


Graham crackers? Now that's a tip I can use.

And I'm no slouch with a campfire axe either. Saw lotsa big, burly, hairy guys with tatoos dumping campfire fluid on fat logs in a shameless attempt to start a fire for their drinkin'buddies... Swear I could read their wive's minds "hey look at that guy over there... the lean one holding a glass of wine - YEAH, WINE! - in one hand and a marshmellow on a stick in the other! Go ask him to help ya'with our fire." I'm a helpful guy, but I couldn't bring myself to help rescue their fire. Anymore than "beastman" couldn't ask me. If I saved their fire, we'd have to go to hand-to-hand combat. Pride is the last to go.

But I ain't no axe murderer.


LOL! You're absolutely right, Larry. There's nothing for it but to plan my next summer's camping trip NOW so that there will be no other plans and obligations that get in the way. And I'll watch out for your "roaming ones" when we get there ;)

Susie good job at MDs, girl! T is right - he does sound completely different than last year.

Damn......I've been hungry for s'mores now ALL day!


Not sure if this is relevant either.....but did you see that Floyd is going to do another 100 mile Mt.Bike race in a couple of weeks?

Go Floyd!


Larry, I started to explain to my wife that you'd be more likely to paradiddle me to death, but that would have required more explanation than I was prepared to give.


Hey there anyone planning on going to the Shenandoah 100 to see Floyd race? It's only about an 8 hour drive from here, we may make the trip. Oh and s'mores rock! :-)



Larry! Darn you - but I haven't returned to my beloved camping since I saw...The Blair Witch Project. I miss it, miss the smoke, insist on my food being burnt, it's the only way. Remember being no more than 5 years old with my mom, camping in Yellowstone, watching a black bear trying to open our Colemans we had strung up the tree. Or when I woke up to a full moon highlighting the outline of a squirrel making love to my tent.

You must try the smores, they'll taste great with the red wine. I bet you'd make it with 80% coco dark chocolate =)

OK, paula had a more pertinent cycling question, I'll step outta the way!


Paula, that would be so cool if you could go!! Floyd getting invited to all these 100mi races, mountain or road, is SO COOL!!

I must set everyone straight. I am NOT a camper. I was forced as a Girl Scout to camp, and s'mores are wonderful, but my age requires that I just think lovingly about them, but not eat them unless I['m riding more than one day ride!! I used to toast marshmellows on the gas stove all the time when I was a kid!! Way to much sugar!!

I am a motel; you know, indoor sleeping in a bed. Sorry, to bust you bubble, but Cat's prince and I are on the same page about that!!

I get the raised eyes about my online pals. But since I have a chance to meet both Cat and JD this year, I will have evidence that we are not axe murders!
And Philip, too bad I can't make Interbike with you and watch you race, your wife and kids might want an explanation anyway. But, I'm quite a good cheering section, and Interbike just sounds soooo cool!

Oh, and I need to get a proper cow bell before the ToMO!!


You're ALL such a hoot! Pretty much a daily event is laughing my ass off at OUR comments! I'm pretty sure my wife lurks here now and then to see what I'm up to with my online HAREM... (thats how she sees it!). I think I've only had a smoore once or maybe twice...not really a chocholate guy...but I also love the marshmallows...(one of my many talents is cooking the PERFECT marshmallow....golden brown all over...where the outer layer pops off in your mouth and you now have a smaller version to cook once again...and again..till it's a tiny blob and you must start over with a new one). I LOVE camping...sad that this fall I won't be able to do the annual hike/camp 'male bonding' time with trips, lack of vacation...all very sad. The last 2 years we've hiked into the high sierras (camped at about 11,000')with full packs and fly rods...catching dozens of little trout (well, I did...Greg didnt' do QUITE so well...GRIN!). Fending off the hordes of evening mosquitoes...only no campfires up there (wilderness rules...and they are serious). And is some small way, I even miss the night long sufferfest in the 'torture bag' (as Greg aptly calls it). Guess I"m getting a bit too old to sleep on the ground...even with the self-inflating pad I pack in...I might have to bite the bullet and pack-in a full-on air mattress...(though as I get older I need to cut DOWN the weight of the pack, not INCREASE it!) THAT would make things nice! The sky is so blue and the air so clean up there...water is clear and cold..and those high mountain lakes...ahh, SO beautiful!

and hey...watching the news this morning...the trial for SPACE LADY who whacked out when I was here last Feb starts today in Orlando (about 40 miles away). Guess she's trying to have all the evidence ruled inadmissable (including her confessions...she now says she was TIRED/sleep deprived...and not in her right mind when she confessed as to her intentions). She's had nice chunk-O-time to think about it now...and get a REALLY GOOD of course it CAN'T be her fault...gotta be the system and the cops. Really..she's a nice lady, wasn't doing anything wrong...just HAPPENED to be waiting in the airport parking garage WITH knives, hammers, plastic bags and such (all the stuff you would need to dispose of a body) and MACE (which she sprayed into the other ladies face thru the partly down car window)...all a misunderstanding I'm SURE! Man, if she gets off...our legal system is crap! The TRUTH has no bearing on the outcome it seems. Our forefathers must be rolling in their graves at what their system has morphed into over the years. Whats that old saying, the definition of a CRYING SHAME: a busload of lawyers going over a cliff with 2 empty seats?? (Sorry Sara...I know your hubby is a lawyer...guess you've both prob heard most of the lawyer jokes already!) I heard years ago from a friend taking corporate law classes that the US has something like 2% of the worlds population (not sure on that figure..but it's very small) but we have 99% of the lawyers on the face of the whats wrong with this system??


Wow Matt, I never thought I'd be included in a harem, but I'm honored. "Interbike", is that what this is called, the act of getting together online and chatting on and on about our lust for bikes (and everything else)? "Sorry honey, I'll be off the computer in a minute, you walked in right in the middle of interbike. Bikeus interruptus.

OK, just kidding. I'm familiar with Interbike. Never been. That'd be one big droolfest.


This is weird. No really. Not sure if I dreamt it or not but I coulda swore Waddy, Susie B and myself posted at MDs yesterday. This morning they we're gone. Say iy ain't so Marty.

A bad dream? Can anyone confirm?


It's true, Larry. We've been deleted.

susie b

What the hell happened?! What did you guys write? My comment was not offensive!


Larry - I see posts by you guys under "Relevance," did you also post under "Relevance Redux?"

I haven't spent a lot of time over there lately, but it seems maybe y'all are misinterpreting his point? I took it as him saying it was irrelevant to fat, lazy America, not himself, as further clarified in the Redux post. Not that there isn't still a bone to pick, but I wonder if it's not quite the bone you thought.

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