Friday, October 10, 2008

Catching up and political rant.

Lately, I've had plenty to blog about, but just haven't had any motivation to do to. Here's an attempt to try to catch up.

About a month ago, I did a race with Adventures Xstream out near Vail. Although I was not anywhere NEAR being in race shape, I wanted to see how I'd do and wanted to see the scenery and test the AR skills.
Navigation was pretty basic with a couple of surprises and the distances weren't too crazy, but the terrain and the paddle gave me more of a challenge than I expected.
Race Breakdown:
The night before, we were given the course map and passport. We had to plot out our checkpoints and route based on the instructions.
The race started at 7:30 am in 30 degrees with an 8 mile bike ride to checkpoint #1.
At CP1 we received coordinates for CPs 2-4 to be reached on foot and we decided the best way to reach those in whichever order we chose. I was in the first transition about 2/3 of the way back in the pack, but was second out of the TA going into the navigation.
CPs 2-4 and the final run down to CP5 was ~ 5-7 miles and my knee and energy levels were still good.
I was still in second place beginning the first kayak leg and was still losing ground on first place, but still gaining ground on the rest of the soloists behind me.
I'm not a strong paddler and did not have a good boat so the class 2 river paddle wore me out for the first 6 mile segment. This leg of the race took us back to the transition area which we biked to at CP1 earlier. CP1 was now CP6 and after refilling the Camelback, I mounted the bike again in search for CP7 & 8. This part of the race took us up a LONG climb on a dirt road up the back side of some mountains. We climbed over 3000 feet in 10 miles and then had a decision to make about the route to take getting to CP8. The whole bike section was scenic, but grinding except for the downhill. The climb up took me 2 and a half hours (with a flat tire fix in the middle of it) and only 30 minutes to do the descent with a stop along the way for CP8. Getting back to what was originally CP1 & 6, I got back in the kayak for the final paddle down river to the start/finish. This last leg was more class 2 with a short section of class 3 and it was exhausting.
Surprisingly, I finished still in 2nd place and was 1 of the 4 or 5 soloists to finish the entire course. Many of the others couldn't complete it due to time cut-offs.

A week later, Ben Holmes (a.k.a. Bad Ben) and his wife Vicky came from KC to visit us. I had the privilege of seeing them in Leadville a few weeks earlier in August during the Leadville 100 mile trail run where they were supporting some fellow trail nerds who were running it. It was fun to also get to help out and watch that action unfold.
While Ben and Vicky visited, Ben and I got in a short but fun run in on the trails near my place.
Over the past few 3 months, I've been running about 6 or 7 times, biking about 3 times that, and the knee has been getting worse. I knew I had to do something about it soon.

Ski season is coming up soon and I now have my own set of skiis and have the Colorado Pass so I really hope to be able to take full advantage of it this winter. The way my knee has been feeling, I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do that.
SO, I decided to put out a request for recommendations from the Boulder trail Runners mailing list. After receiving several recommendations, I decided to go with Dr. Jeremy Rodgers with Colorado Sports Chiropractic Center and go with his recommendation if I needed to see an orthopedic for anything. Many of the recommendations I received from the BTR list are below.

1. Dr. Voss of Boulder Orthopedics and Bob Cranny [Altitude Physical Therapy] (both x3)
2. Dr Stephen Paul (x3)
Lori Faulkerson (x2)
Dan Ocel (x1)
5. Jeremy Rodgers Sports Chiro (x3)

My visit with Dr. Rogers last Thursday was very positive and I'm enthusiastic about doing treatment with him. Hopefully, we can get my knee healthy and back in shape in time for ski season, but more importantly to me, in time for next year's running and adventure racing.
Of course the previous statement will be heavily dependent on the knee as well as my ability to race with whatever resources are available and those are dwindling with the economy taking such a downturn.

I'm sick of the political ads, the negative commercials, the lies, and the blatant ignorance of the general public. For those of you who want to go along with the mass media's interpretation of what's at the root of the economic problems, you might want to get your facts first.

And for those who don't really believe that there's a democratic/liberal bias to CNN, I was trying to post comments with some facts in response to some political and economic articles and NONE of them were posted by the moderator. However, most of the comments that WERE posted were slamming Bush or Republicans in general and the slams had nothing to do with the articles. Why weren't my comments posted? There were nothing inflamatory there, nothing obscene, and no advertisements in my comments.

Here's some info for those of you who wish to know a little brief history leading to our current economic situation.

This is in case you were wondering how the housing crisis happened, which in turn has affected the stock market…as well as all financing in general.

During the Clinton administration all credit requirements for loans were lowered. This (combined with the dot com boom) helped caused an economic boom we all hear about during the Clinton Administration. Initially the lower standards were for low-income individuals. The middle class and the rich all took advantage of the same relaxed standards in order to buy investment homes. Everyone bought houses they couldn’t afford with no money down. Eventually, all of these mortgages were bundled and sold as investments on the stock market. Finally the bubble burst and now we are in a bad economic situation.

Clinton’s involvement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

This is from the New York Times in 1999

Good quotes:

· “Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.”

· “the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.”

· “In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.”

In the early Bush years (2003-2005) republicans attempted to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was fought by the democrats and no regulations passed. We don’t know why they didn’t pass, what we do know is that the largest campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been to Democrats. Obama receiving the second most of any Democrat. I am not sure if there is a tie, but it is interesting. In any case, Pelosi should get her facts straight before she speaks and blames the crash of the stock market and the housing market on President Bush and the republican party.

Actual congressional hearings when the republicans were trying to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the democrats were against it.

McCain trying to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2006

Maybe we need to hear it in basic language (with an angry guy explaining the crisis.) (btw-I love this guy)

Although we know the war (that both parties voted on) is a large part of our national debt. The collapse in the financial market driven by the mortgage lending market and bundled products on the stock market are the cause of our economic downturn.

Check out this fascinating ppt:

Sequoia called in all their startups to tell them how to survive the downturn.

Just in case you continue to hear Democrats blaming the Republican Party for the economic situation, you now have the facts!

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying vote Republican or Democrat or Independent. I'm saying the same thing I've always said which is my motto in life. Know what you believe, but more importantly, know WHY you believe it. Bottom line is THINK FOR YOURSELF and don't believe everything you hear. Especially on TV.

I'm no fan of President Bush, because Republicans have traditionally advocated LESS government and more personal responsibility, but under his tenure, the Federal Government has grown tremendously and I don't believe we're approaching "the war on terror" the right way. Anyone who thinks or says that "Bush's tax cuts" were for "the rich" obviously doesn't understand how our tax system works and is guilty of perpetuating ignorance.

Anyone who believes that Obama's tax plan which will result in 45% of the US population NOT PAYING ANY TAXES AT ALL yet still receiving a rebate is good for the country is being lulled into socialism. But that's delving into a topic that I don't have the time to explain right now.

Ok, enough of the rant.

Currently, we're all in Orlando for my work. I'm here for 2 weeks of training and we're catching up with old friends and will get to see family as well. Pictures will be forthcoming soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good job on the race. And thanks for the rant. I love the way you see things. Love ya--Abby