The Columbus Crew won their first MLS Cup on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls at The Home Depot Center. Guillermo Barros Schelotto took home the MVP trophy after collecting three assists on goals by Alejandro Moreno, Chad Marshall and Frankie Hejdu
An excellent holiday brew!
From the Shiner website
Happy Holidays from the "Little Brewery" in Shiner, TX. We hope you enjoy your Shiner Cheer, an Old World Dunkelweizen brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. The malty flavors of this dark wheat ale are enhanced through the use of malted barley and wheat. And Kräusening ensures a smoothness that makes the subtle peach and pecan flavors all the more satisfying.
Review from Beer Advocate
This beer pours a beautiful dark brown with a ruby haze, with just a small amount of translusency. Large off white head, with great retention.
Aroma is very unique. Unlike one I’ve ever smelled before. A blend of insane amounts of ripe peaches, cherries, sweet sundried raisans, sugary vanilla wafferrs, light melted dark chocolate, a touch of sticky honey, and hazlenut creme. Fantastic aroma. Reminds me of peach ice cream in a way. Very fragrant and sweet, yet no where near cloying. A++
Taste is a combonation of rich chocolate malt and a light spiciness. Upfront, the malt grasps a hold of the palate. Sweet chocolate, succulent peaches, and fig. Along with some spiciness of light rosemary, and nutmeg, and light florals near the end to balance. Overall balance is great with none of the flavor notes being overwhelming.
A tasty treat from Shiner. Absolutely amazing aroma, and great taste. Not quite as good as Shiner Black, but this one is unique and one of a kind. Nothing like this one, so check it out folks!
I’ve haven’t been spending too much time on the bike recently. Weather has been crap, with the exception of an Indian Summer last week(but, I better get used to cloudy, cold and damp weather… the Ohio winter is setting in), and I’ve been busy around the house, and the bottom line, I’ve been lazy. While the weather was crap, I could have been on the trainer. I did spend some time in the basement, but not as much time as I should have.
We have had some dry cool weather this week, and I’ve gotten in some good ride in upper 30 degree temps. Actually they were a lot of fun. And for me, it breaking one hurdle. In the past, it didnt bother me to ride in cold weather. Now that I’ve done it, I know I can handle it, to a point. I just need to figure out what my limit will be!
I need to break another hurdle.. that’s getting used to spending time on the trainer.
In the meantime, I really would like to find some coaching to help me have an outstanding race season in 2009
From Velo News
Simeoni blasts Armstrong return
Reigning Italian national champion Filippo Simeoni blasted the comeback of Lance Armstrong and said he would have nothing to say to the Texan if the pair ends up racing the 2009 Giro d’Italia.
Simeoni, who had an infamous run-in with Armstrong during the 2004 Tour de France, angrily told Spanish journalist Quique Iglesias that the seven-time Tour champion should have stayed retired.
“I don’t accept or recognize Armstrong’s return,” Simeoni said in an interview with the Spanish daily AS. “A big champion ought to know when to say enough is enough. It looks like he couldn’t stand this time away from the front pages. He says he’s coming back for his foundation, which I honor, but there has to be something else. I suppose it’s to clean his image.”
The 37-year-old Simeoni earned the wrath of Armstrong’s anger when the Italian confessed to taking the banned blood booster EPO and human growth hormones while under treatment and direction from notorious Italian doctor Michele Ferrari during the 1990s.
Simeoni’s confession put extra heat on Armstrong, who staunchly defended his own controversial relationship with Ferrari. Armstrong later called Simeoni a liar in a 2003 interview, a charge that later ended up in the courts.
Armstrong’s anger boiled over during the 2004 Tour, when he chased down an attempt by Simeoni to bridge out to a promising breakaway in stage 18.
Armstrong’s presence with the yellow jersey in the group all but assured the breakaway’s quick death, so under pressure from others in the attack, Simeoni slowly faded back until the main peloton caught up.
Armstrong shadowed Simeoni’s every move and allegedly harassed and insulted Simeoni. Armstrong, meanwhile, said he was “defending the interests of the peloton.”
For Simeoni, it was a crushing moment that left him scarred as he tried to continue his career.
“His attitude and his words made me fall into depression. I had confessed that I had doped when I followed the treatment of Dr. Ferrari in the 1990s. I paid my price for confessing,” he said. “Later, (Armstrong) called me a liar and we ended up in the courts. In 2004, I wanted to win a stage at the Tour. I escaped in stage 18 with other cyclists, but he personally took it upon himself to neutralize the escape. It was a threat to me. A lot of my compatriots insulted me when I returned to the peloton. They told me I was an embarrassment and that I dirtied the name of the peloton and spoiled the plate that I had eaten from all of my life.”
Simeoni, however, had the last word, going on two attacks late in the final stage into Paris, forcing Armstrong and his Discovery Channel teammates from celebrations to chase down the accelerations.
Simeoni raced for Naturino in 2005-06, but has since had trouble finding a team that would risk signing him to a contract. He won a stage at the Quinghai Lake tour in 2005, his last victory before his dramatic win at the Italian national championship in June.
Despite wearing the prized “tricolore” national Italian jersey, no continental or ProTour Italian team has shown any interest in signing him.
Simeoni sees that as a snub going back to his Ferrari testimony and his run-in with Armstrong, who continued to wield influence and engender fear in the peloton even when retired.
“I’m hoping not to retire. I don’t want to because, despite being 37, I don’t want to miss this opportunity to show off my national jersey,” he said. “I’d like to race the Giro one more time. I believe I deserve it.”
Simeoni is still holding out that his current team – the modest Flaminia-Bossini Docce – could receive a Giro invitation. His fans have created a Facebook page to bolster support for Simeoni’s bid to start the Giro.
“We’ve spoken with the Giro organization, but we have doubts that they’ll invite us,” he said. “I have no idea why. It would be the first time in history that the (Italian) national champion cannot compete in the largest race of his country. It’s unacceptable.”
If Flaminia does receive an invite, it would be the first Armstrong and Simeoni will be in the same race since their infamous confrontation in the 2004 Tour.
“I would like to think that Armstrong wouldn’t veto my presence (in the Giro), but everything is possible. I don’t believe in anything anymore,” he said.
When asked what he would say to Armstrong if they do coincide in Venice for the start of the 2009 Giro, Simeoni replied it would be Armstrong who should speak first.
“The minimum that he has to do is ask me for pardon what he did to me. I have nothing to say to him,” he said. “My life carried on since those times. I am proud that I confessed and that I am a clean cyclist.”
Armstrong responds to Simeoni
Lance Armstrong says he isn’t responsible for the dismal state of Filippo Simeoni’s career, nor has he ever done anything to intimidate the Italian champion.
In an interview with VeloNews Saturday, the seven-time Tour de France winner said he was bothered by Simeoni’s comments as they appeared in the Spanish daily AS and later reported on VeloNews.com.
Not given the opportunity to respond until now, Armstrong offered his reaction to Simeoni’s comments about the American’s return to racing, the Italian’s current search for a team and what really happened on stage 18 of the 2004 Tour de France.
On the comeback
Simeoni told AS journalist Quique Iglesias that he neither accepted, nor acknowledged, Armstrong’s comeback to pro racing.
“It looks like he couldn’t stand this time away from the front pages,” Simeoni said. “He says he’s coming back for his foundation, which I honor, but there has to be something else. I suppose it’s to clean his image.”
Armstrong said Simeoni couldn’t be further from the truth.
“First off, nowhere does it say you are prohibited from retiring and coming back to racing,” Armstrong said. “I can come back if I want to come back. People could argue that my name has been in the news plenty over the last three years with relationships alone, and I don’t care for that. [The Lance Armstrong Foundation] passed Proposition 15 in Texas [in October 2007], and we’ve had success in Texas and the U.S. To say my name wasn’t in the press since I left racing is ridiculous. And I don’t need Simeoni’s permission to come back. My intent is pure, it’s a reality, and we are moving forward with it.”
The 2004 Tour
Armstrong’s contentious relationship with Simeoni — dating back to comments Armstrong made in April 2003 about Simeoni’s testimony against Dr. Michele Ferrari — is well documented. However when it comes to the events of the 18th stage of the 2004 Tour de France, Armstrong said that the Italian’s version of what took place is simply not true.
“First off, I did not chase Simeoni down,” Armstrong said. “I was simply following his wheel. That is the truth of the matter. I never bridged across to Simeoni. He was in front of me, people were attacking, he accelerated, and I stayed on the wheel. We have footage of the race that will back that up. There was never more than bike length between us. There was no gap closed. There’s a big difference between following wheels and closing a gap.”
Armstrong said he’d naturally expected the peloton to follow, and was surprised to see that the pair had opened a gap when they reached the day’s breakaway a few kilometers later.
“I was completely shocked when I turned around and there was no one on my wheel,” Armstrong said. “I was fully expecting to see the rest of the group, because I was in the [yellow] jersey. But Simeoni pulled for two minutes, and I followed his wheel. That’s racing. He really was a minor story that day. I knew T-Mobile would have to work, and that was good for us, to make your biggest adversaries work to chase down a break. It was two minutes at the biggest gap, and that meant they would have to work hard to chase us down.”
And what about the infamous images of Armstrong flashing Simeoni the international “zip the lips” gesture? Armstrong said that had nothing to do with Simeoni’s comments about Armstrong’s relationship with Ferrari, and everything to do with the Italian rider’s loud protests in the breakaway group.
“People will say that was all about the omerta, the code of silence,” Armstrong said. “That’s nonsense. It’s because Simeoni was yelling at everybody, about everything. We joined the breakaway, and everyone was working except him. He was sitting on. I was working with guys in the group. He would not pull, but he was yelling about everything.”
As for Simeoni’s claims that once he and Armstrong returned to the peloton his colleagues berated him with insults, telling him he had “dirtied the name of the peloton and spoiled the plate that I had eaten from all of my life,” Armstrong said simply, “That wasn’t my intention. I was racing my bike. I can’t apologize for racing my bike.”
Iglesias’ AS piece also focused on how Simeoni, the 2008 Italian national champion, has been unable to land a contract with a continental pro or ProTour team for 2009. His absence from next year’s Giro could make him the first tricolore in memory without an invitation to Italy’s most important race.
Simeoni suggested that Armstrong, who brought the Giro international attention after announcing that he intends to compete in 2009, might have something to do with the Italian’s recent employment woes.
“I would like to think that Armstrong wouldn’t veto my presence [in the Giro], but everything is possible,” the 37-year-old Simeoni told AS. “I don’t believe in anything anymore.”
However Armstrong fired back that Simeoni would not be able to race the Giro because his Flaminia team, a continental pro team in 2008, is not currently part of the UCI biological passport program.
Giro director Angelo Zomegnan, head of RCS Sport, recently announced that all teams participating in the 2009 event must be part of the UCI biological passport. However Zomegnan said the same prior to the 2008 edition, yet invited CSF Navigare, which was not part of the 2008 passport program.
The UCI has not yet announced teams expected to participate in the 2009 biological passport, but it is unlikely that a smaller-budget squad such as Flaminia would have the means to afford participation.
“It’s not my fault if Simeoni doesn’t have a team and is not accepted into the Giro,” Armstrong said. “If you are the Italian national champion and you don’t have a team, I think it says something about you, not about me. I would think he would have offers to be on a ProTour team, and apparently he does not. If you were an Italian team director, and you had the opportunity to hire the tricolore, and you could hire him for next to nothing, and you still didn’t, what does that tell you? Those are questions for him, and for the teams in Italy. If he cannot do the Tour of Italy because he’s not part of the biological passport, then that’s a question for him, for the UCI and for RCS. Those are the rules. He ought to look at the rules. That’s got nothing to do with me.”
Love her or hate her.
No, I do not think she was ready to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. In fact, it was during the VP debate that I decided Obama would get my vote.
I know she will be subjected to a lot of harsh criticism, and it’s already started by ticked of McCain staffers who want to throw her under the bus and blame her for the loss.
The loss started on Sept 15..”"fundamentals of our economy are strong." Very Hubert Hooverish
Scapegoat Palin (CNN, "Cutting Through the Bull")
Sarah Palin is who she is, which is why I find it so stunning that the very people who introduced us to her, who told us she would make a great vice president, have now turned on her with a vengeance.
The empress’s clothes (Washington Post blog)
Thanks, guys. First you use the woman to energize your lackluster campaign, hoping her sex appeal — enhanced by the wardrobe you had her buy and wear — would win you votes. Now that you’ve lost your gamble, you take it all back. Don’t you think you owe her at least the shirt on her back? … The true act and attitude of sexism in this election was the selection of Palin in the first place.
Palin legacy: Sexism in reporting (OpEdNews)
During McCain’s concession speech it was clear: The McCain campaign had used Palin, the stunt didn’t work and now they were discarding her. She sought eye contact and was ignored, was made to stand aside like a child in timeout. She looked lost, an actor on an unfamiliar play bereft of the script and stage manager. So thoroughly out of her element and so plainly cast aside, she seemed pitiful.
Unconscionable: McCain staffers attempt to destroy Palin (Rush Limbaugh)
They are dumping all over Sarah Palin because she is conservative. … There are country club blue-blood moderate Republicans who want nothing to do with a firebrand conservative in the Republican Party who can fire up people, who can inspire people, who can motivate them.
Pounding Palin (Fox News, "On the Record w/ Greta")
I don’t agree with her on everything, that’s for sure. But when I spoke to her, she was right there, fast with the answers, and smart. And I’ve just been appalled at the mistreatment. Disagree with her and hit her on the policies and hit her hard, but the personal stuff…
"She’s anything but a diva" (Elisabeth Hasselbeck on ABC’s "The View")
I’d like to think that she truly did a great job for that campaign, as well as anyone could. She ignited the base. She gave a different face to feminism — a conservative woman.
A few things you’d have to believe to believe what McCain staffers say about Palin (Weekly Standard blog)
Disgruntled McCain staffers not only require you to believe that the chief executive of the state of Alaska knew nothing about one of her state’s most important trading partners (Canada), but that she was equally oblivious to the economic winds affecting the industry that provided her very own livelihood.
November 07, 2008
As the week draws to a close, I’m coming to realize that my torrid if conflicted affair with Sarah Palin must end too. Soon, the Wicked Witch of the North will hop aboard her trusty John Deer and roar back up to the Alaskan wilderness, where her animosity for friends of Dorothy, women, and the liberal media elite will be quarantined once again. So let’s take this moment to remember her not only as a hateful loon who accidentally found herself lost in the American mainland, but also as a tailor-made gay icon — the type of collectible Caribou Barbie doll whose accessories include a few pairs of shoes, baby Trig, and the obligatory hunting rifle.
I know I’m not alone in thinking this. Unlike others before her, Sarah Palin’s time to shine was brief. Her meteoric rise to fame and abrupt recession from the American media (marked most significantly by John McCain’s refusal to let her speak at his concession Tuesday) give us the privilege of appraising the governor’s worth as a gay icon while she’s still cognizant enough to revile the title. And that’s also where the victory lies in making this case.
Gay icons of yore led darkly comic lives defined by megalomania, vanity, and quirky catchphrases. And the most enduring gay icons infiltrate mainstream popular culture. Let’s consider Sarah Palin in this mold. Megalomania? Check. Vanity? Check and check. Disconnect with the real world? You betcha. And who could ever exhaust her arsenal of hokey Palin-isms? Heck, she’s even gone out in a bang, with one final moment of hot-messery perfectly geared for crossover appeal.
But that’s just part of the picture. Palin may fit these vagaries to a T (and it’s all criteria common to the last few decades with the immortalization of ladies like Judy G. and Madonna), but even her own campaign staffers accused her of diva-like behavior—and somehow, it seems poetic for Palin to channel a little bit of Joan Crawford with her affected Minnesota accent. Also recall that in her brief tenure in American cultural consciousness, Palin’s inspired effigies and look-alikes. Couple lack of humility with her inherent iconoclasm, and you essentially have the bedrock for a personality that will find a place for conflicted adulation somewhere next to Joan Rivers.
While Sarah Palin may have entered our hearts and minds a detestable, gay-hating wingnut, this speedy fall from grace will mint her reputation as nothing more than a campy hiccup of American politics. Ultimately, she doesn’t leave behind a legacy of neoconservative crazy talk, but rather a cultural echo that’s much simpler. Palin’s exit from the public eye is tantamount to a fallen beauty queen’s: sad but worthy of a shout-out in the footnotes of a certain Susan Sontag essay.