Saturday, April 29, 2006

Tour of Shenandoah- Waynesboro

Sunday the Tour of Shenandoah comes to Waynesboro in the form of an exciting criterium. Criteriums are fun to watch- they are quick and the cyclists pass the point where you are sitting a bunch of times so you can watch as the race unfolds.

The Tour of Shenandoah has been going on since Tuesday in Virginia. The first five stages are pro only events and include teams like Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home Wines,Priority Health Cycling Team, Trek/VW/Byvic Financial Services, which you probably havent heard of (me neither) but Cool Honey's friends 2 skinny pros appear to be on one of these teams, now having looked at their blog- at least one of them appears to be riding in it.

ALL Of that to say- RIDE TO WAYNESBORO on Sunday and WATCH the professionals race!

Chris will be racing, he is not a professional. The Tour has an the Ed Elliot Omnium, which means amateur riders get to race in a few of the stages the pros race in. Today he completed the time trial, tomorrow the criterium. Things didnt go quite so well in the time trial (his first) and he had severe allergy issues but he finished in less time than he thought on a very challenging course. Looking at the pro's results for this race all I have to say is 'man those guys are tough' one guy finished 15.1 miles in 29.55- fargin insane!

We are the family with the almost three year old shouting "GO Daddy" and pumping his arms wildly, stop by for a chat.

Brutish security/show of force analogy?

City Mouse has another post I found interesting.

She writes about a security officer at the pavilion who harassed her at a concert this weekend. Chris and I were talking about the security at Foxfield, which involved at least 250 Albemarle County police officers. I have not been to FF in a long, long time, I always had a great time whenever I did go, despite being sober driver. I even saw horses. Apparently the police officers arrested over 100 people today for various infractions. (On our way to one FF...ok I wont tell that story darn that was a good time though.)

When an organization puts 250 officers in a place with 20,000 horse racing enthusiasts (because that is what they are, I swear I saw horses) what are they expecting to happen? Is that a normal ratio for events that size? If so, great. A show of force, is that what cville really needs on a beautiful spring day at the races? I dont want kids to drink, I certainly dont want people to drive when they have been drinking, or fight (why why why do boys who have been drinking want to fight and be obnoxious? Friends dont let friends get in fights when they have been drinking).

My point is I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement officers.
My second point is, sometimes people not doing anything wrong cross the path of someone (who may be security) who is in a bad mood and harasses them or otherwise abuses his/her authority creating more tension while not helping to actually secure the event.

Political?

Spurred by Waldo's new aggregator, I have to ask is my blog political? (Just want to mention- prior to starting this blog, never felt the need to use the word aggregator).

I reviewed some of the blogs on the aggregator and most are strictly political. However, I would describe Waldo's blogs as a mixed bag not purely political, not purely personal. So should I put myself on the new aggregator?

Benefit:
1) exposure.

Downsides:
1) being part of the problem, not the solution

Let me explain this one a bit. I do not see myself as partisan. Certainly others will disagree with me on many if not all of my views. By partisan I mean "a firm adherent to a party , faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance". I like the blog to personally and politically test hypotheses.
I am more of the Jon Stewart model of politics "the absurdity of the system provides us the most material. And that is best served by sort of the theater of it all, "
I enjoy politics, but no one is ever right & to constantly argue you are, which of course a blog generally does, would mean no room for compromise, negotiation or gray area. I live in gray area, I prefer relationships to partisanship (ugh).

2) No special access to the powers that be so no real insight besides what I read on blogs and from mass media (and Coy Barefoot).
With my vast amount of free time (j/k), the polical blogs I read (besides the ones featured on cvilleblogs) are RaisingKaine, One Man's Trash (specifically labeled republican on my favorites list) & of course Bacon's Rebellion. All of these sites add to the discussion in a productive helpful way. They are advocates, but generally provide a new dimension to the discussion.

So I suppose, I will post on the issues and candidates I find intriguing, but if I dont want to go to the James Webb rally, I dont have to. There is freedom in not being a political blog.

Thanks Waldo for the new aggregator!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Chocolate Lust

Thanks to Wendy I have found a new product to indulge my love of chocolate. As I read the note she sent along with this treat, I feared she was facetious in stating "this is a chocolate you can enjoy with no calories, no guilt." Well she wasnt. The scrub and the lotion really smell like delicious chocolate without making you reek of chocolate all day long. It is the perfect treat!

Andrew Talks!

Finally at almost 22 months Andrew understandably verbally tells me his desire to have juice for the first time this morning. I asked him "do you want some juice" and he answered "uuucce" very clearly & loudly saying to me, his mommy, he wants juice. I am so happy I could cry.

He is also saying "bread" & "all done" (and of course the usual "NO" and "MINE" his two first and favorite words). I am hoping this new found interest in talking will alleviate the need to cry whenever his needs are not being met. Fingers crossed.

To James Webb or not to James Webb?

That is today's question. I have yet to hear him speak since he unfortunately couldnt be at the 5th District Caucus dinner. Webb is at Newcomb later today (doors open at 11:30- what does that mean? When will he talk?). Do I go? I will then have a topic to blog about, although I have oodles of other things I could be doing than listening to self serving speeches in crowded auditoriums. I suppose I am simply not that interested in this primary, gosh if I am not interested, those candidates are going to have a hard time getting their messages out to people who are not as interested in politics.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Paramount News

This evening the theater was jammed full of happy ticket holders. The Miami Ballet company came to dance for the audience. It is wonderful to have the such wonderful performances in cville. Bill Cosby is all set for the weekend!

The Paramount's season comes to a close in May, with slightly more than 50 shows this season. Next year the Paramount expects to host more than 80 shows.

When you attend a show at the Paramount MOST of the folks in black and white garb are volunteers. We are ably managed by the House Manager, but alas we are volunteers, mostly interested in a night out & meeting people. I really appreciate all the great people I have met as a volunteer.

Recent cost cutting measures featured lay offs of some very part-time employees. It was awkward of course when volunteers took their places. As an advocate for workers, I found this troubling, but as a business person/former non-profit employee, I understand hard choices have to be made. I am not an expert at the Paramount's business model, but I fear with next year's full calendar, 30-40 volunteers will be harder to find for all the shows.

Tonight's marquee drink was a smashing success, a mojito. I think that drink could help the Paramount get in the black very quickly (although will I ever get the smell of lime off of me?).

Meme this.

For StLWorkingMom six weird things about me
1) I enjoy politics
2) I enjoy cycling
3) I dont actually ride the bike too much
4) Before my honeymoon (Glacier National Park in Montana), I had not been West of the Mississippi, but I had lived in Germany and Argentina (briefly)
5) I read the newspaper everyday- paper edition
6) I would like to have an outdoor fire pit, but I hardly spend any time outside at night.
Your it!

Is Landis the man to beat at the Tour?

Floyd Landis has won two major stage races in the United States this year, the Tour of California and the Tour of Georgia. Since he apparently isnt racing in the Giro, he must be the man to beat at the Tour de France. Basso, Ullrich and many other fine riders are racing the Giro in Italy in May- will this help them in the Tour?
Landis is not my rider (although he would be good on my Fantasy cycling team- because I am doing that this year for the Tour). I want him to lose- but so far he hasnt. Ugh, it will be a long season if Landis keeps winning.

For all those who say it is great to have such a strong American rider- I do agree. But I will support Tom Danielson (Team Discovery), Dave Zabriskie, Bobby Julich, Christian Vandevelde (all CSC), and probably others I dont know about right now.

Rant on coverage: This is about the time of year I complain about the Washington Post's cycling coverage. Cycling coverage at WP consists of letting its readers know when an Italian court dismisses a case against now retired Lance Armstrong. Two major races have happened this year in the US and the Post has barely a word about it. I am happy that horse racing results have been eliminated from the sports section, but it is time to add a word or two about cycling.

The main reason the Post should cover cycling in its Sports section is lots of people love cycling and follow it. Chris is in his second season of racing- unless you sign up on the first day, the races are always full and hard to get into (all of them). Hundreds of cyclists come out every weekend to race, they drive to far away places to get to the next race. These riders BUY a lot of stuff (ask Craig); they are a great market for advertisers. The failure of the mainstream media has been a boon to bloggers and internet media outlets, but I would love to see a sport I love covered by the mainstream media (even when Lance isnt riding). (Frankly I think it would be pretty easy for WP or other paper to get boxscore type story on the important races of the week from these internet sources therefore the paper wouldnt have to allocate a bunch of resources to covering the events).

In all fairness, I just did a search on WP and a lot of cycling stories came up "AP online" was the tagline, so I dont think they were published in the paper; but it is noteworthy that stories exist in the mainstream internet media.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ads

Happily, I caught some of the Charlottesville...Right Now program on WINA (4-6 M-F at 1070AM). I love that Chville has this program, I hate the commercials and constant interruptions (I will complain about that more in a future post).

Today on the show Coy discussed with Rob Schilling an ad put out by the Dem City Council candidates. I had not even heard/seen the ad (although amusingly enough the ad came on during one of those interruptions), but Coy and Rob were slowly going through the ad to point out the 'negative' parts of it.

I did not hear the beginning of the segment, later a caller alluded to the introduction which seemed to me was focusing on negative tone in politics and alienation of voters. What I loved about the segment was how many calls Coy received in response to it. I am a big fan of the show so I always hope people are listening, and boy howdy today they were.

My take on the matter and I wont bore everyone with the details when you will likely be innundated with the ads over the next 7 days. BUT Rob has voted against every single budget without offering any substantive alternatives. Is he voting against the police dept budget or the school budget or transportation improvements ... which part of the budget is he actually against? The size? The scope? The services we all depend on? It is a fair question- I would like Rob to answer it and not just with sloganeering but with real life proposals.

So while the ad may be negative, the ad does add a new dimension to the dialogue. In my opinion anyway. It can not be said enough though, listen to Charlottesville...Right Now the community is better for having the show in it.

Caucus

I am not sure the caucus would have been as much fun if I was supporting the losing candidate. Since this was my first caucus I had virtually no idea what to expect. Since I am a lawyer, I did research it a bit and discovered the Call to Caucus and Rules for the meeting on the cville dems website, so I felt like I had some knowledge going in.

After the Chair had been elected, speeches were made. Speeches were fun, the time limit was 3 minutes (thanks to Rich Collins for enforcing that very important rule). Francis Fife, Michael Snook, Brian Carr, Helena (didnt catch her last name) and Kevin Lynch all spoke in support of Al. Charlie Barbour (former mayor of Charlottesville?), Mitch Van Yahres and Bern spoke in support of Bern's nomination (maybe someone else but I cant remember, NOTE for next time- draft notes if I am going to blog about these things).

I had prefiled as a delegate for Al Weed; 24 people had. Al Weed supporters numbered 115, Bern Ewert had 51 (or was it 54). Therefore Al secured 12 delegates (+6 alternates), honestly dont ask me about the math, ask Lloyd Snook about the math. Happily Al won 12 delegates, I thought that was an impressive showing for Bern's hometown. I will find out soon enough whether I am a delegate, I would love to go to the convention, but I will support Al either way.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

CSC rocks mid spring classics

Fabian Cancellara one of CSC's newest acquisitions won the Paris-Roubaix Classic. This according to Ivanbasso.net is one of CSC's biggest one day wins ever.

Team CSC's Ivan Basso (swoon) led his teammate Karsten Kroon to a third place podium finish at the Fl├Ęche Wallonne! The Giro is in a few weeks and the Tour is right around the corner, can Team CSC maintain their momentum and rocket Basso to top place in those two great races? Of course...but lots of great competition is awaiting them.

This is only the beginning of the season too! Go CSC.

Blogging Round-Up

Here is the round-up for this week. Talk to Waldo if you too would like to round-up!

Waldo's post on the Al Weed flyer leads to equally fascinating and thorough fact analysis via the comment section; reminding us all why the blogosphere rocks as a forum for discussion and analysis.

Politickchick column was linked on Salon.com. Politickchick also posts some hilarious responses to her Cav Daily columns. What a great idea for columnists to react to comments submitted in response to their columns.

I was reminded by Johnny Metro why I love cville, the ever changing, never boring views.

Outskirts despises most things about the village; complains yet again about the music from the downtown mall. The changes in sound should be coming in two weeks, so complain after the James Brown concert. City Mouse has a different perspective on the pavalion.

City Mouse’s ongoing saga with her neighbor living in the closet continues with an answer from the myopic property management company.

Anoop had to tell the world about the noodle bar on the Corner. I appreciate the weekly updates on where to eat since I never get to go anywhere (ok I did get to go to Mas, I recommend it highly to Anoop).

Brian Wheeler & Charlottesville Tomorrow provide a great service to the community with this particularly interesting post regarding Albemarle Place; shopping, traffic, gentrification, the future is now.

Eat Air got interviewed and made a delicious brunch- all with no meat, cheese, eggs um and other things. I enjoy the recipes because generally it makes the vegan life seem accessible. I am not a convert but I enjoy the idea of the alternative.

Fatuous Observations believes people dont respect teachers because they talk over children's presentations. I want to assure her that people are just rude.

There are a lot of new cvilleblogs from people who recently moved here. Matt Fotter is content and needs people to drink beer on the street with him (I have someone in mind); Rob adds some humor with this great post of a mangled subtitle. Rob & Matt might have a heck of a time together.

Finally StlWorkingmom posts some review haikus on recently watched DVD's.

Thanks for reading, enjoy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

School Board Candidates

Opportunities to meet candidates for School Board abound. Last night several of the candidates met at the Gordon Avenue library for a forum sponsored by the local branch of NAACP (apparently NBC 29 did not deem it newsworthy enough for its website). I ran into three of the candidates (four were present but I did not get a chance to talk with Juandiego Wade) last week. I am happy to report all of them want to close the achievement gap.

I met Leah Puryear, Charlie Kollmansperger and Ned Michie. I will be attending some other forums to get to know other candidates. Obviously this is the first school board election, get to know the candidates and vote for those who are qualified for the position. I have my ideas on who to vote although I want to hear all the candidates then make a final decision. I know all of you will be awaiting my endorsements- te he.

Campaign Messages

Much has been made about Al's new campaign flyer. I am not a fan of negative campaigning, BUT Al had to respond to the negative theme of Bern's campaign (I am trying to see how many times I can say the word 'campaign' what is a good synonym for campaign anyway?). Bern's "we can win" seems benign but is a dig at Al for essentially being too nice.

And it is true Al is a quality candidate, the constituents of the 5th district are fortunate he is willing to run again. His previous experience bolsters his chances of winning against Virgil. He has learned a lot.

Now to the flyer- Al had to demonstrate he is willing to go all out to win. The tone of Al's campaign is much more aggressive; this caucus process has kept the campaign on its (his) toes and honed the message for the general election. I am optimistic Al has hired (enlisted?) the right people to help win both the caucus and the general election.

On the other hand, Bern's campaign- where are they? Can you really win when you are content to rest on your previous bureaucratic experience and attack your opponent? Obviously, I am not convinced Bern has the right experience for the House, he has a strong friend in Mitch Van Yahres because of his City Manager job over twenty years ago with Charlottesville.

I think the district needs to move into the future. Al has great ideas to replace jobs in Southside where good manufacturing jobs have been moved overseas. His experience in the the military gives him a unique perspective to view to current threats facing our country.

As you faithful readers know (hi dad!) I support Al Weed. Vote for Al Weed in your local caucuses.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Amazing Race

I have never watched Amazing Race before this season (this is the 9th season). BUT I regularly read Lisa deMoraes chats and people constantly ask about that show "when is coming on again?" is a favorite mantra of diehard fans when the show is off air. I hate CBS in general so I never really thought to watch it; my thought was always "what is all the fuss?"

So I was flipping the channels one Tuesday night at 10 and found the show (the first one of this season). I have enjoy the show immensely- the music, the suspense, the bickering couples, the beautiful scenary lost on the intense competitors, the way no one can read a map, & the formula- it leads to a generally satisfying conclusion every week. So if you are sick of crime drama shows, the show now airs on Wednesday night at 8 on CBS (ugh) before turning the channel to Lost on ABC at 9. Thankfully I find nothing on at 10 so I can blog about the twists and turns of my tv life. Pathetic.

More pathetic- I like the hippies and Jeremy/Eric duo- I like the competence they have shown. I do enjoy the drama of Fran & Barry- it never seems like they are going to make it, but they perservere. Lake & Michelle were sent packing tonight, finally. Lake and Michelle fought too much and not in a funny way since their kids may someday watch them on the show.

Lost was slow but good tonight, I am a big fan of Jack and Kate so of course I loved it!

Making sausage

I am very excited to attend the caucus on April 24 at 7:00 Buford Middle School (City of Charlottesville/Monticello High School for Albemarle County). The caucus will nominate a Democratic candidate to run against Virgil Goode. Caucuses will be held throughout the district on four or five dates (some are TBA acc to the website). If you have received a letter from the campaigns, get out to the caucus and participate in democracy! For purposes of disclosure, I did volunteer with Al's campaign last week (once a decision is made, I move forward with gusto).

Historic City Council/School Board Elections will be held May 2- THIS IS THE LAST MAY ELECTION IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, Council and School Board will be held in November from now on.

May 20- convention for Democrats to officially nominate a candidate to run against Virgil, in Buckingham.

June- primary to elect a candidate to run against George Allen (this is getting a lot of blog play by people who care A LOT about their particular candidate).

Then amazingly no elections again until November...so remember to register to vote then actually vote. Democracy is fun!

spring

The Spring mornings are so much better than I remember. Since my children sleep sometimes, I actually get to enjoy a morning run/walk occassionally. With the new sidewalk on Locust it is actually quite pleasant. No more dodging crazy neighbors and cut through drivers to walk down the street. Still terribly depressed to see all the trees on the ground- but ever optimistic that the trees will be replaced in a manner befitting this historic street.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Locust Trees

I called the City today to see if the sidewalk plans between Calhoun and Smith on Locust includes replacing the (at least) ten trees being removed for the project.

The City returned my call promptly and left a message. Apparently some of the plantings will be replaced, but not all of them. The trees help make Locust Avenue the beautiful, historic street it is. I want the saga to be over and to have sidewalks already, so I wont rant too much, the issue has already been too divisive.

This from last post:

1) Locust Avenue trees between Calhoun and Smith street- sadly the pink tags around the trees mean they are to go. I saw three gorgeous trees in full bloom on the ground. WHY? Sidewalk. I am giving the masterminds of this plan the benefit of the doubt and hoping the plan includes the addition of some new trees. The three trees are just the beginning at least that many more are set for destruction on this block with the addition of a sidewalk. The Hook had an article on the controversy surrounding this sidewalk. A good citizen rounded up the landowners and created a plan they could go along with and now that plan has been enacted. Frankly I am glad the mess is behind us, but too bad about the trees. Fingers crossed for new trees.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

between dishes and floor cleaning

A few topics of note in my world:
1) Locust Avenue trees between Calhoun and Smith street- sadly the pink tags around the trees mean they are to go. I saw three gorgeous trees in full bloom on the ground. WHY? Sidewalk. I am giving the masterminds of this plan the benefit of the doubt and hoping the plan includes the addition of some new trees. The three trees are just the beginning at least that many more are set for destruction on this block with the addition of a sidewalk. The Hook had an article on the controversy surrounding this sidewalk. A good citizen rounded up the landowners and created a plan they could go along with and now that plan has been enacted. Frankly I am glad the mess is behind us, but too bad about the trees. Fingers crossed for new trees.

2) Al's campaign reads blogs! How exciting. Looks like I may be able to assist the campaign in the coming weeks, not only as a volunteer, but as a supporter at the caucus and hopefully the convention. Dont forget to attend your caucus on or about April 24th.

3) Rob Schilling surrogate came to the house today. She was nice as can be. I really like the idea of neighbors canvassing in support of their candidate. I found it fascinating. Schilling has an apparently unbelievable network of people supporting him. This volunteer alone said she had registered five people in our neighborhood to vote. She is clearly a force and I appreciate her good citizenship.

Since we got to talking (like neighbors do) I asked her "why Rob, what is so great that you are walking door to door for him?" ok I didnt ask like that, but you get the idea. She was very sweet and said (paraphrasing) 'he comes out when someone calls, on two separate occasions with two different people who contacted the City with problems, Rob was the only one who showed up to help get the problem fixed.'Another indication of loyalty to Rob is the idea of only voting for one person even though there are two openings so as not to dilute the votes for Schilling.

I know Dave and Julian's campaigns are working hard to get out the vote on May 2 for the City Council election. Rob's campaign really seems to be going above and beyond.

As Jeff Rossman pointed out during the school board issue last election cycle Perceptions matter. Perhaps no more true than in election politics.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Decision

Happily I attended the Fifth District dinner for Democrats on Friday night, apparently there has not been one in quite awhile because everyone on the bus said this was their first time attending.

I realized really I like Al, I am going to support Al for the nomination to run against Virgil. One of these days I will have time to detail why I like Al, but in the meantime, in the interests of full disclosure "Go AL!"

One of the great things about being in Central Virginia, I get to shake hands with lots of politicians even at well-attended dinners. Some may not find that fun, I do.