Thursday, November 30, 2006

shit celebrity. larson edition

i was walking north along swanston, when my eyes were averted to a black tee-shirt with künt printed in flourescent green. i was glad i didn't roll my eyes, for if i did i would have not realised that it was warwick capper inside the provocative cotton tubing.

allez. my first shit celebrity.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

holiday reading

on tuesday, the sun turned my skin pink, possibly a reflection of my political allegiances, possibly noticing my favoured flavour big M, possibly punishing a white boy for playing frisbee too long. is the sun interventionist? who knows, all i am aware of is a renewed respect for the power of the sun's rays.

so i've been passing some of my time on the internet. firstly, is Gideon Haigh's take on the Ashes. this is more of a scratching post for his work at the Guardian. i've been a fan of his since the lost ashes, where he also wrote on cricinfo.

Miss Fits had me relativising the size of my coconuts. After this afternoon's swim i'll be able to tell you exactly how insecure i am.

Tony Abbott's attempt to impose his moral judgements on us is funny and would be disturbing if it weren't so bad:
firstly, an attempt to define the debate, "For people anxious to be "modern", the real problem with the monarchy is that they didn't think of it first."
then his morals, poorly argued...
"In an age accustomed to the breaking of the most sacred promises" (zing!)
"a reminder of the transcendent in the life of the world... the monarch represents that ideal of duty and service that is always beyond the reach of actual human beings but towards which all should strive" (pow!)

until i'm on my deathbed, i'll stick to my own version of lapsed catholicism. the perpetual guilt owing to 13 years of the vatican-approved education is enough without your bedrock being forced upon me, thanks tony.

musicwise, i caught Love of Diagrams and Partyline at the tote last night. The former played much off their new EP whilst the latter played the same song three times and their guitarist pissed into a pot glass during one of these superfluous songs. stupid. funny. if you're not at meredith, i suggest pony's 2am late show to you.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Review: Stirke Anywhere, Dead FM

Despite my initial concerns upon viewing what must be the ugliest cover art in the history of music, Richmond Virginia's Strike Anywhere have gone out and produced another great LP. In terms of lyrical content it's a G20 protest wrapped in plastic. There is a song covering just about any topical anti-globalisation message you could care to poke a stick at, and the redfern riots even get a look in. They seem to have gone a bit more melodic on this release, which I'm not really a fan of. But good on them for trying to attract a broader appeal to some marginalised stories and unpopular messages. I have to admit that I prefer Strike Anywhere's previous cds, and they are probably a better starting point for people who are not familiar with their sound. The old LPs have a greater sense of urgency- both in terms of the lyrical content, and the intensity of delivery. Famous hardcore producer Brian McTernan is behind the decks on this cd, and I'm not sure that he has added anything positive compared to the Jade Tree releases. When I heard he was going to produce the album I thought that they were trying to inject a bit of life into the bands sound, or take it down some entirely different new path. But this album really is just a continuation of the bands previous work, albeit a little more poppy and melodic, which I suppose you would expect from FAT Wreckchords. No songs really stand out on this disk, but the whole package will keep you flying along for 25 minutes- which is good enough for me.

HCC Velofest

A few pictures from velofest on Sunday- here's me competing in the 'Big Foot' scooter race.

I was absolutely hopeless- and got burnt feet from the hot bitumen!

Hmmm, interesting style...

In the top photo, if you look closely you can still see the massive lump above my right knee that's kept me from riding over the past month. Ouch!

I was nominated for the Armstrong Award...

'The Armstrong Award (for commitment to competition through adversity)
- Tim 'Tumbling Tim' Watson (for somehow completing the Midlands tour after crashing; for completing the Warny with the main bunch – after a flat; surviving several crashes during the season)
- Shane Miller (for completing several road races after some nasty spills)

Winner: Tim Watson'

Onwards and upwards.

In other HCC news Stuart Vaughan won his heat in the Melbourne Cup on Wheels, and backed it up to come fourth overall. What a great performance. On Thursday night he managed to beat Travis Meyer in the scratch race in a huge ride- attacking the bunch with 2.5 laps to go in signature style. I was so pissed off that I had to sit this race out through injury because it looked like heaps of fun... ah well, there'll always be a next time.

Toby Dite won A grade on the track at Carnegie on Saturday- this kid has jet shoes.

And in my comeback to the track- I bag 1st place in the C Grade points race on Thursday, with one leg and not able to stand up in the sprints :D

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Vale Isaac Galvez

Man, what a bummer. Yet another cycling tragedy in the space of a few days. This year sure has had it's fair share of tragedy, on the open roads, and now on the track also.

I don't want to fall into any of the 'he died doing what he loved' cliches, but Isaac Galvez died riding one of the most beautiful events in cycling- the Madison. There is perhaps no other race in cycling that better emphasises the team nature of cycling, and the bond felt between racing cyclists. For me the handsling is the most profoundly beatuiful demonstration of solidarity in sport. Reaching back to grab your team mate, and slinging them back into the fray.

Galvez lived a brave and beatiful life, that made thousands of cycling fans happy throughout the world. I hope his family and friends can draw on the same courage Isaac exemplified to pull through what must be an incredibly diffciult time.

I'm sure many riders today will be having that terrible 'there but for the grace of God go I' feeling. Hopefully this incident will lead to improvements in track safety- namely some sort of protective padding around the top of the track. Cycling is a tough and dangerous sport, but there's always more that can be done to improve safety.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sprinting, Cake and Monkey’s Humping Tennis Balls

These words of wisdom come from the AIS Sprint Cyling Strength and Conditioning Coach.

On keeping sprinters on the straight and narrow (God knows I need a bit of this):

‘We do three gym sessions and two track sessions for most of the year. Road is just for recovery, to keep them a little bit lean and to keep the sprinters out of the pub and out of trouble. It is generally a max of 2hrs, but mostly only 1 and is very easy - talking the whole time.’

On training hard with Ryan Bailey (in between trips to KFC):

‘A Gym session lasts about 2.5-3 hours for 6 or 7 exercises, a maximum of 33 sets including 12 warm-ups sets, so that's about one set every six minutes or more on average. We don't set maximum rests, just minimums. If they need longer to get their heads in gear, they take it. Ryan Bayley is the slowest trainer in the world. Lucky he's so bloody fast, they'll pay my bill to sit there and talk about muscle cars and heavy metal music.’

Coca-Cola and Chocolate cake- sprint energy (an area I currently excel in):

‘On the track they take about 3 hours for 3 or 4 efforts including half hour warm-up routine - same as pre-race warm-up. Warm-up, change gears, roll-up, effort, roll down 20-30min rest, roll-up, effort, etc. Lot's more rest. Rest usually consists of sitting on their arses, paying out on each other, drinking Coca Cola (sponsorship please - the Coke bill is killing us) and the occasional chocolate cake. This is especially good when there is a joint sprinter/enduro training session. (Enduros don't get any cake - they're too paranoid about body fat).’

On the difference between Australian sprint training and other nations:

‘The one thing we do that most coaches can't cop is this. If you don't make the target times or loads on the first effort or set, you warm down and go home. You aren't fresh enough to train at a level that will make you improve. If you do a PB, you warm down and go home. If you are on fire that much you can blow yourself to pieces in a couple of sets or efforts and it will take weeks to dig you out of the hole you put yourself in, so whatever it is, if you PB, you stop and come back next time. This philosophy takes everyone a while to accept, but it works. When we don't follow the rules, if we let someone pump out a series of PBs in one session, they are almost invariably wrecked for weeks afterwards and we never get close to quality training during that time. Sometimes, you can see it coming, but sometimes it just comes out of the blue. When it does, warm down, go home. Sometimes, at lower levels you can get away with it, but the better you get, the more capacity you have to exceed your normal limits, the more this becomes important. Enduros don't need to do this. Everything is submaximal.’

I’ll need to do some extra hours on the road:

‘In general prep, the sprinters might do 2 x 1hr easy aerobic/coffee rides per week and an easier recovery ride on days off (unless the're too fat, then they might do 2hrs and less chocolate cake). This year, we are doing a total of six aerobic development rides (over Christmas - fat time). In spec prep, they just do the recovery rides.’

And just remember:

‘Ryan Bayley may look like a monkey humping a tennis ball when he sprints but most of his power is getting onto the track’

I think there’s something in that for all of us.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

genealogy, i'm gonna make you sweat

heyhey loyal readers,

timboy has asked me to contribute to this blog, and as my last exam ever is tomorrow, i only have another 18 hours of procrastination, if i don't post now, i may never.

a little intro. i am a former antarctic ice shelf and met timboy sometime between 2000 and 2002, somewhere in this neighbourhood

nevertheless, allow me to introduce This week's brothers in arms

i'm spending my last day studying watching the cricket, (flintoff is keeping the uk in it) the new techy toy channel nine has is the 'hot spot', an infra-red camera that highlights where the ball hights the bat... ian healy also points out auxilliary benefits, quipping enthusiastically with the developer, "it gets hot out there, you'd even be able to see players' sweat"



A sad day for cycling

Paul Crake is one of the unsung heroes of Australian cycling. After conquering every peak in stair-running, including winning the empire state building run three times in a row, Crake made the switch to the bike. His career has included representing Australia at the world championships, 3rd and 5th at open nationals and contracts with Corratec and Naturino di Sapone pro teams. A gifted climber and a definite toughman, Crake would surely have cracked the protour ride he richly deserves very soon...

Crake crashed out last week in the Tour of Southland, suffering severe spinal damage. He may not walk. Here's hoping he can receive some of the luck that graced Saul Raisin, Lance Armstrong, Henk Vogels and many of the other cyclists who have been told they will never walk or ride again. Whatever the future holds, Crake is a hero and will remain just that as he deals with this new challenge.

Political Stunt of the Week

Like a university student post exams, Steve Bracks got out of bed at lunchtime in the political stunt department this week.

In a last ditch bid to save the seat of Melbourne from the swarming Green masses, he grabs a coffee with Peter Garrett- and would you believe it- the media is on hand to capture the moment.

Brunetti's- a bit upmarket and ostentatious for your average Green's voter I would have thought.

But anyway, anything to keep in touch with that stunt-master Baillieu I guess.

Check out Bracksy eyes in the picture, it's like he's on a date for fucks sake.

They do make a cute couple.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Ah, a picture has surfaced of my infamous embrocation incident.

Just rubbing in a little vaso to dull the pain. But seriously, what's the deal with camera phones these days. Can't a guy fix up his junk without some devo creep snapping a picture of it? Coincidentally, Pezcyclingnews writes today:

'Simple lesson here. You don't want Embrocation residue on your hands when you rub them on your balls (or female partners). Frankly, the person at Qoleum who decided that Anti-Friction should be put in an identical tub as Embrocation should be taken behind the shed and beaten…'

Thanks Russ, a friend in need is a friend indeed :D

Oh Dear

Phillip Adams has pretty much nailed it today in the Australian:

'Rudd's a bit like Howard. Dye the hair, change the glasses, buy him a tracksuit and an Akubra and fit him with a fake hearing aid. Then you could pass him off for the PM. Howard fans might vote for Rudd by mistake.'

Is this our only hope? Sigh.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How to End the Drought

After yesterdays water summit where it was claimed that we are currently experiencing a one in one thousand year drought comes this revelation from the pastor Kevin Webb of Griffith.

“We see the lack of rain as an indication of a lack of spirituality,” he said. “If we get our spirituality back the rain will come.”

Sounds like Family first policy on climate change. Find Jesus, and the rest will look after itself.

But read the rest of the story- very strange.

Excellent work Julian! You are running hot on the water issue. How lucky are you though- that story is so good it writes itself.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Review: Billy Bragg Volume 1

Being an obsessive completist I love box sets- and when I found out that Billy Bragg was putting out a boxed set I nearly fell off my perch with excitement. He's re-released his first four albums, and thrown in a bunch of unreleased/ bootleg material and DVD footage. The package is absolutely brilliant- so if you don't have any Billy Bragg stuff- get out and buy this.

The original albums have been spiced up a bit, but for all the Bragg buffs out there the thing you want is the extra material. You'll hear Billy as he originally played with drum machine backing- absolutely hilarious. The DVD footage of some of his early shows is great. He was punk as fuck- they stand in stark contrast to his current Dad Joke pull my finger stage shows. The energy and intensity of his early performances is really infectious. That's the Bragg I love- the current, tea sipping variety is really a bit tepid by comparison (but still very much endearing).

I was watching television last night, and listening to one of the CDs when I realised that the writing on the front cover of the box had smudged a little. On closer inspection I realised that Billy had personally signed my copy with black texta. I've had the thing for a month and I only just realised the thing was personally signed. What a legend! The website said they were all out of signed copies- so It hadn't even occurred to me that he would have signed my copy personally.

The man is a deadset legend- and really cares about all the people who get out and support him. I can't wait to get volume 2, and read his new book. and please can we have a new solo album soon without an aging backing band- thankyou.

Warny III: Adding Insult To Injury

As if stacking on Wednesday night wasn't bad enough. I'm going through my mail on Thursday morning at home, and I notice a hand addressed letter from CSV.

What could this be methinks?

A $50 fine for urinating in public from the Melbourne Warnambool. 'You and 40 other riders were spotted taking a nature break in public view' It read.

300km is a bit far to go without taking a leak.

Talk about revenue raising.

When it rains, it pours I guess.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Blood, Sweat and No Tears

Ah, the joys of cycling.

On Wednesday night Hawthorn held the first of its Summer criteriums. I conservatively decided to race in B grade because I'd been off the bike since the Melbourne Warnambool. Anyway at the twenty minute mark after the field had come back together after an intermediate sprint the bloke in front of me clashed wheels with another rider and came down. I went over the top of this guy at 45km/h, and another two riders came piling in on top of us.

I got absolutely shredded! I've got skin off both knees, elbows, flanks and my back. It's like somebody has taken to me with a giant cheese grater. I've had five stitches put in two cuts on my right arm, but the road rash is what hurts the most. My knicks have been shredded, but the bike came out of the incident relatively unscathed. The only problems were a broken 53 chain ring, and a slight knock to the front wheel. The doctors in emergency were a bit amazed by how nonchelant i was with my injuries. I think as a rider you put yourself through a lot of pain out on the road. So gettings stitched up, and having the wounds intensively 'cleaned' isn't that distressing. I told the nurses my policy- 'Only cry when you're training- if you're not crying you aren't working hard enough.' I don't want to blow too much smoke up my own arse- but I was amazed at how far I've come in terms of general resilience, and ability to suffer pain. If this happened to me before I rode I would have been a jibbering mess. Cycling sure as hell toughens you up.

Campagnolo wheels are utterly incredible. I currently roll on 2006 Zondas and they are bomb proof. I had shimano wheels on my old bike, and a set of 32 hole box sectioned wheels that both were nowhere near as stiff and durable as the campys. Everyone out there roll with Fulcrums or Campy wheels because they are the strongest and most reliable wheels by a mile. Don't bother with Kysriums whatever you do. I think people get sucked into the fact that they are lighter- forget 100grams- you want something that will hold you through until the end of a race, or not fail when you're out in the middle of nowhere on a 150km training ride. Go campy.

But talk about knocking the wind out of the sails. The last week has been pretty depressing. Crashes seem to be pretty common at the start of the summer crits. People come out of the woodwork after not racing all year and suddenly discover they aren't as fit as they should be halfway through the race. An important part of cycling for me revolves around gaining a greater understanding of your body and its limitations. It's really disappointing when people engage in the self deception of racing above their ability becuase ultimately you are putting the health and well being of yourself and other riders at risk. It's the same problem with the Hell Ride- If you can't keep up, don't put yourself in a position where you make a stupid decision and risk lives. Know your limits for your own sake, and everybody elses.

This crash has put me back a bit- I was hoping to race the Melbourne Cup on Wheels and the Tour of Bright. I'll definately go to the tour of bright, but the MCOW is probably a late scratching. That's not so bad because it will give me a bit of time to get my track legs firing in time for the Austral or some of the later Track opens. I can't wait to get back on the bike after a longer break than anticipated. I was intending to have a bit of a break in early November anyway- so things haven't been disrupted that much I guess. But as a cyclist/bike commuter, the worst feeling I know in the world is having shredded legs.