After ten years now of these productions, I’m considering retirement.
Happy New Decade in any event!
After ten years now of these productions, I’m considering retirement.
Happy New Decade in any event!
Our third annual “Drynuary” kicked off one full calendar year of living in Santa Barbara, highlighted by a Mardi Gras celebration, a 50th birthday, an 80th birthday, the preparation for and start of a new career, and deepening connections with friends both old and new, all alongside a reduced 4,328 cycling miles– my lowest total since 2011. Now, in reflecting on this latest “filling” yet challenging year passed and looking ahead to the next, changes are in store, goals are set, and our next big chapter awaits– insightful and rewarding as it shall be. Meanwhile, to anyone who might dare to think we lead exciting lives, I say balderdash. We merely take a lot of photos, of only good moments of course. Altogether, here’s to another 365!
This special evening seems like a lifetime ago. Compared to the length of her very, very long life however, it was merely yesterday. Needless to say, I’m honored to have enjoyed this uniquely memorable friendship in her final years. Plus, how nice it is that our impromptu camera appearance has been up on YouTube almost since it was recorded. Happy Birthday Greta!
The first time I watched this “behind-the-scenes” montage, late in 1987 I believe, it was a private piece for which you needed a connection to know it existed– which fortunately at the time I happened to have. Now all these years later, available online to the public, it’s just as funny. If you too are a “Knots Landing” fan and have never seen this, you’ll certainly appreciate it!
To those who call 2014 “The Year of the Selfie”, I say HA! After all, I invented selfies in 1986, didn’t I? Or was it 1978? I don’t exactly recall. In any case, here’s to yet another full and unpredictable, challenging yet rewarding 52-week stretch, ending all the better with “the stick.”
Needless to say, the passing of Thanksgiving leads us right into Christmastime. This means as trees go up and lights get strung, while parties kick into swing and egg nog flows, so comes the annual playing of my favorite classic Christmas duet performance. Here’s to old-school shtick, Dean-and-Frank style! Enjoy some other versions too, if you’re so inclined. 😉
With last week’s official unveiling of the 2015 Tour de France route comes a virtual summary of sorts, a video tease if you will– altogether, the entire journey in four minutes!
Thanks to the winning combination of modern technology and current real estate marketing practices, my childhood home and neighborhood are now visible from this rare aerial viewpoint.
And so it happened. Minus one more it is for the Ewing family, given the sudden demise of a character whom original-show fans have known since birth. A big surprise to us viewers and a great loss to the cast it is no doubt, but at this point we’re left to ask, will it matter? This is to say, another season remains to be confirmed. Meanwhile, at least storyline plans appear well underway, while everything I’ve had to say before now stands. Nevertheless, should “Dallas” return, and despite the level of unbelievable insanity sure to ensue, I’ll certainly be watching– with even more interest if Patrick Duffy again directs. We know anything could happen after all. Christopher could always show up taking a shower one day, like father like son of course.
Don’t say she’s in a better place, because she probably had a house in the Hamptons. And the best line I heard all day: “Just keep on laughing.” Clearly, Joan Rivers wants us to do so.
The biggest missing piece of this bittersweet event du jour— Joan is not here to make jokes about her own passing. Or is she? Her funeral is yet to come, and may it be everything she wishes it to be, as she described in her recent book, “I Hate Everyone, Starting With Me.”
Joan was everything that made her fabulously one of a kind: opinionated, irreverent and irreplaceable, just to pick a few of so many apt descriptors. Altogether, I’m sorry she had to go, perhaps in a less-interesting manner than she was hoping, no less! At the same time, one of many life lessons with which she’s leaving us is that we needn’t take death too seriously. After all, “funeral” does begin with “fun.” And given the way Joan has outlined hers, we all should be looking forward to a good show– set for this Sunday. May we indeed “keep on laughing.”
As we “knew” would be the case barring any last-day catastrophe, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is the champion of the 101st Tour de France– by a huge margin no less! He joins only five other cyclists in history to win all three Grand Tours– the other two of course Italy’s and Spain’s.
For the first time in more than 30 years, France saw two of its own take the yellow podium–Jean-Christophe Peraud in second and best young rider Thibaut Pinot third. This, after Marcel Kittel’s second Champs-Elysees bookending victory shut out a stage win for Peter Sagan, even as a LeTour.fr survey of more than 4000 votes favored the man in green to take stage 21. And let’s not forget our resilient American finishing fifth, Tejay Van Garderen, nor Jens Voigt’s swan song.
And now, the end. So passes another Tour de France into the history books for 164 riders who made it to Paris– big-name losses notwithstanding– complete with all the triumph, tradition and Parisian fanfare that defines the finale. While I’ve yet to get there to see it all in person, for now having Phil Liggett, Bob Roll and all their comrades deliver the action every day for three weeks– plus a commendable first-year commentating job by 2013 retiree Christian Vande Velde— remains an acceptable substitute. I’m happy to have cycled a mere one quarter of the Tour’s total distance during this time, less than I did last year, but nevertheless taking me there every day in spirit. Vive Le Tour!
Back to a sprint day, and along with it came a big return of the rain– not sprinkles, but heavy downpour. Every cyclist knows wet roads mean more tire punctures and higher crash risk, and today was no exception. Add to this two very sharp turns into the finish on water-logged pavement, and predictions for the end of stage 19 quickly proved dicey, to say the least.
Would he finally, we asked? Perhaps getting poised for another shot, all of a sudden– pile-up crash! Thankfully for all involved, it happened within three kilometers of the finish line, meaning each rider gets the same time for the day as their group. Still, not exactly the big return he was hoping, but rather another stage win dashed for “poor” Peter Sagan, courtesy of a rain-plagued wipe out. Instead, a well-earned victory du jour emerged for Team Garmin-Sharp.
This Tour’s shortest stage by no means any easier, it saw no change to the GC top six– except nearly one more minute of lead time for le maillot jaune. And Italy moves that much closer to Paris. Of all the riders who won’t be there, I’m sorry to see Simon Gerrans added to that list.
On this transitional stretch between the Alps and the Pyrenees returned another show for the sprinters, meaning of course another chance for a certain second place to become first.
From the start of stage 15 came a two-man breakaway that kept the peloton chasing all 138 miles to the finish line. Then, the closer the end, the shorter the gap– and what for so long looked like victory for New Zealand’s Jack Bauer, sadly for him did not materialize. After an entire day’s work ahead of the pack– through severe wind and rain to boot– Bauer was mere yards from handing his country its first-ever Tour stage win. He really was so close, but then– caught at the line in a bitter defeat that was especially difficult to take. Once again, c’est Le Tour.
As for that number two spot, Sagan did in fact move one place off of his seemingly “usual” second, just not in the direction he would have wanted. But then, Le Tour n’est pas fini!
(Photos Courtesy LeTour.fr – ASO)
So proceeded this first full race day with American Ted King out, freeing him up for a well-worded blog post of his Tour experience this time around. Despite reports to the contrary a couple days ago, Portugal’s Tiago Machado remains very much in, after his valiant refusal to give up following his Sunday crash, sealed with an official reprieve for finishing outside the time limit.
Today’s coverage of a refreshingly sunny stage 11 continued well past the winner’s finish, for about 32 minutes to be exact. All eyes turned from Tony Gallopin’s win du jour to struggling American Andrew Talansky’s late solo haul. At the end of the day, while Sagan is sick of being out a stage victory, Talansky is still in the game, thanks to his heroic determination– not to mention five minutes to spare on that looming time limit! But then, would his remarkable courage and sportsmanship have earned him the same reprieve as Machado’s? I’m relieved we didn’t need to find out.
Wow. Again. It’s a good thing Bastille Day is not a Spanish holiday, or that Alberto Contador is not French. The past champion and serious contender for this year’s victory– yet another big name of Le Tour overall– is out of the race after a serious crash and valiant yet unsuccessful attempt to continue on. A fractured tibia and bike racing, however, just don’t mix.
At least a Frenchman wore le maillot jaune on this Bastille Day, just before returning it to the man from whom he took it yesterday. With mountainous stage 10 largely considered the hardest thus far, safe to say tomorrow’s rest day hasn’t come at all too soon. From there, given the constantly changing dynamics of this crazy Tour, all bets are off.
Bad weather has returned. So too has bad luck for Andrew Talansky, in another late-stage fall that dropped the American from top-ten general standing. “Mano-a-mano” for Contador and Nibali handed them second and third in this first real climbing finish, respectively.
Most of all, it’s turned out to be joyous day for France, thanks to Le Tour’s first French stage victory of the year. With a soaked Blel Kadri climbing to victory in rain-plagued stage 8, Bastille Day weekend is certainly off to an auspicious start for the blue, white and red!
Unlike Paris, here’s something London doesn’t see every day, nor every year: The Tour de France rolling into town. While rainy weather made for a wet welcome, it certainly didn’t keep tens of thousands of fans from filling the sidewalks around Buckingham Palace and beyond.
Stage 3 out of Cambridge ended with not only a second stage victory for Marcel Kittel, but an ironic second second-place finish for Peter Sagan. What is it with second for Peter? Surely it doesn’t thrill him, sprint classification aside. In any event, at least he’s on par with last year’s Tour, when he came in second THREE times before his first stage victory. His first one this year, safe to predict, is imminent as he carries his “still second” status. We won’t say again who was absent from London’s royal sprint finish today… ahem. 😦 Moving on now, across the Channel.
From a royal send-off to fittingly colorful sheep, the big first day got underway with full fanfare in the English city of Leeds, followed later in the day by polka dot victory for this year’s oldest rider. Then, as instantaneously as everything can change in cycling, stage 1 did not end as hoped for the day’s largely anticipated winner. Not only did the region’s star competitor lose the day– but rather, complete disaster prevailed. With the rare chance to capture yellow in a sprint finish on not just his native soil but his mother’s hometown of Harrogate– before the eyes of William, Kate, Harry, Prime Minister Cameron and thousands of supporters, not to assume any pressure of course– shockingly, painfully, and in a cycling instant, it did not happen.
The 101st Tour de France appears likely to resume with one less rider at the start of stage two in York, a huge loss indeed to the next 20 days of racing. Sadly enough to say, for as “royally” as his day began, his crash on finish line approach looks like a pretty bad one for Mark Cavendish.
Having cycled more than 5700 miles in 2013, you’d think I were in top physical shape. Let’s just say that for as much as I love food, a smaller number on the scale is in order for early 2014. It happened last January: Patrick and I both lost TEN pounds in 30 days! Then throughout the year we put it back on and then some.
2013 brought us our seemingly well-planned move out of San Francisco to the sandy outskirts of Los Angeles, a big lifestyle change that we welcomed at the time while viewing as a relatively short-term stepping stone. As such we’re already plotting our next move into the new year, likely within Southern California– but perhaps not.
For better or worse this was our year of change, challenge and consideration. As ’13 becomes ’14 we’re braced for more of the same while welcoming our longer-term home. Along this path of course will come my much-anticipated life milestone, about which many of you will soon be hearing in advance!
Another year, done. Here’s to a prosperous, rewarding and all-around fabulous 2014 to come!
Well into December, with the 25th fast upon us, it’s time once again for the annual playing of my very favorite Christmas song performance of all time. They sure don’t make them like this anymore!
Any TV commercial that makes me laugh out loud simply has to be good, and this one takes the lead– starring one of my all-time favorite fictional comedy characters in a series of such spots. Not to mention, to my satisfaction there’s an automobile involved here of course, while perhaps these new laughs will indeed trigger some sales– we’ll see. Meanwhile, if only I can figure out where to score myself that fantastic suit!