I'm not going to write an end-of-the-year post, since I prefer to look forward rather than backwards. Instead, I'm planning a 2009 preview post for next week.
But, this being the last day of 2008, I did want to take just a couple minutes to remember all that I've pedaled this year.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that riding my bike is a constant occupation for me. Outside of work and sleeping, I spend more time aboard my bike than I spend doing anything else. All of that time in spandex, astride a narrow saddle, paid off in a big way this year. 2008 was, without a doubt, my best season in my racing career.
To accomplish my best season yet, I did my homework in the form of hard miles training. I've spent some time this morning going back through my training logs, and have calculated some totals. Prepare to have your socks knocked off.
In 2008, including time spent riding my trainer during the winter and fall, I spent 602.5 hours aboard my bike. That does not include the three hours I'm planning on spinning later this afternoon. At my average metabolic rate of 1,000 calories per hour while exercising, that's an astounding 602,500 calories consumed while riding this year.
Based on the USDA/ARS caloric needs calculator, my overall diet is about 1.3 million calories per year, which means that just under half of everything I put into my body is consumer solely in the process of making the wheels spin. By contrast, were I completely sedentary, I would require only 941,335 calories per year.
Up here in Saratoga Springs, the outdoor riding season didn't really get underway until March, but I calculated my outdoor mileage for the whole year, to include those few freezing-cold days in January and February, November and Decmber that I layered up and got out to ride. In 2008, I pedaled a grand total of 9,775.772. Yup, less than 225 miles shy of 10,000 miles. Actually, I am easily over this figure, as I did not record mileage for the handful of 'cross races I did this year, but I'm confident that the sum of their distances is longer than 25 miles.
My car saw fewer miles than my bikes collectively rolled this year. That's got to be some kind of accomplishment. Or maybe I just spend too much time riding.
I was about to calculate some kind of overall average pace of the year's riding, based on the hours ridden and the miles, but I realize that any such figure would be skewed low, as many of those hours were spent on a trainer or rollers, and therefore did not count toward mileage.
Anyhow, that's a lot of bike time. All the time aboard two wheels paid off.
My most notable result of 2008 was my third place at the Balloon Festival Classic in Cambridge. I'm also extremely proud to have finish in the top ten at the Maltese Team Invitational, against a stacked elite field, at the Union Vale Road Race, and at the Adirondack Region ESG Qualifier.
The ESG qualifier led me to the season's most fun event, the Empire State Games, at which I took 14th place in a hard-fought road race, worked toward a bronze medal in the team time trail, and helped the team take overall gold.
I had near misses at two stage races, the Green Mountain Stage Race and the Tour of the Catskills, but I feel confident that I'll be able to return to these races hungrier and ready for victory in 2009.
Of course, there was my single victory of the year, the Lake Desolation Hill Climb. Informal and without a prize list, but great fun, and local bragging rights for the year!
And then there was 'cross. It was a fun diversion, but the road will always be my primary focus, and my poor results (with one exception!) at cross races this year only served to reinforce that notion.
So, if you've ever found yourself wondering where I am, or what I'm up to, I think you've now got the answer.
On this the last day of 2008, I offer my farewell, perhaps now with a little more perspective: Happy New Year, I'll see you on the road!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I'm not going to write an end-of-the-year post, since I prefer to look forward rather than backwards. Instead, I'm planning a 2009 preview post for next week.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
My coverage of the Tour of the Battenkill Valley for Velo News continues today with a story announcing the race's major sponsor, Advanced Micro Devices. Read the whole story here.
I first broke news of the sponsorship on this blog last week. The follow-up story in Velo News allowed me to speak to some of the teams who will race the two-day event.
After reading about the Tour of the Battenkill, you may return to today's post on my many, many jobs.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Back in November I got a letter via my parents from the history department at Skidmore College, of which I am an alum. The letter, from department chair Jennifer Delton, asked for an update on what I've been up to since graduating. I've just now got around to responding, and I thought you might interested in reading, so here it is:
Dear Professor Delton,
I’m writing in response to your Nov. 19 letter in which you asked for an update on what me and other recent graduates of the History Department have been doing with our lives. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you!
Although I’m not directly involved in academic history, since graduating, I have launched a career as a writer and journalist, and I call on skills I learned in the major just about every day.
In November 2007, I moved back to Saratoga Springs, after living with my parents for a bit, to take a job with The Saratogian, our daily newspaper. Since then, I’ve worked as the city reporter, covering local politics, crime, business, development, and just about anything else my editors ask me to cover. The focus on writing and research in the history department taught me skills that I use every day.
In particular, the my learned ability to articulate a point clearly in writing is essential to my work.
The process of researching many papers and projects has also taught some great skills. Chief among these was my colloquium project, on the role played by memorial books in communities of pre- and post-Holocaust émigrés to the United States, has proved to be an important learning experience.
The process of interviewing Holocaust survivors and other involved in their communities for that project prepared me for the near-daily task of interviewing individuals from a variety of backgrounds, from someone who has been touched by tragedy, to the business owner looking to advance their own agenda. Those interviews, conducted mostly over the phone in my senior year, helped me learn to stay focused in an interview, keep my own agenda in mind, even while digesting difficult responses that can wander off topic.
In addition to my work for the daily newspaper, I have been able to combine my passion for writing with my passion for bicycle racing by working on a freelance basis for several bicycle-related publications including Velo News, Cyclocross Magazine and Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, a trade publication. Finally, I post five days a week on my blog, Good Bye Blue Mondays, on topics ranging from bike races, to atmospheric conditions and relentless pace of my life.
While I would probably have learned this skill in other departments as well, my time at Skidmore helped me to learn to keep many balls aloft at once, and I clearly need that skill everyday, as I try to keep all of these publications “aloft.”
Never a dull moment! Thanks for your note, I hope this is helpful,
Andrew J. Bernstein
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Last week we had a lot of snow. It snowed pretty much for an entire weekend, giving the streets of Saratoga a nice wintry sheen. There was so much snow that I found these two bikes marooned in a snowbank outside Uncommon Grounds on Broadway. Some bikes are inside bikes, some bikes are outside bikes. Inside or outside, no bike deserves this treatment.
By the way, there wasn't that much snow. It was all mounded onto the bike
Incidentally, secured to the worst bike racks I've encountered
Then, it got really warm and rained over Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Then it go really, really warm. I haven't checked the official states, but it felt like it was in the uppers 50s or lower 60s today. A lot of the snow has now melted, and I used the opportunity to to chip away most of the ice that had accumulated on my front steps.
The warm temperatures also led to somewhat unexpected hazards from above, in the form of giant chunks of ice falling off my roof. As I've previously mentioned, I didn't at first understand why my mail carrier didn't want to deliver my mail, but then I noticed that a large ice block -- which had startled me the previous evening when it skittered off the roof -- had done significant damage to my neighbor's fence.
When I got home from Vermont on Saturday, not only had more ice fallen off the roof, but slate roof tiles had been coming down as well. Not great.
On Christmas, while on my way to the day's assignment, I noticed that my building is not the only one with a similar problem. These are photos of ice that fell off the roof a church on Regent Street. I'm glad I wasn't standing underneath when this ice came down.
In case you're curious, I was in Vermont visiting Dante, who is home from Alaska. We spent Friday skiing at the Middlebury Snowbowl, had dinner with his family, and then spend Friday evening at the one bar in Middlebury. It was great to see him and catch up, and although it would have been nice to have more time, but when your friend lives in Alaska, you take what you can get!
In other news, tonight is the last night of Hanukkah. I celebrated by cooking latkes for friends, with help from friends. I ate a pretty good amount, and now feel appropriately lubricated by canola oil, and should be able to easily slide into bed.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Yes, a day after writing about Hanukkah, I'm now writing a post called "The Christmas List." Why? Well, it is Christmas, after all.
I spent the day at work, where I wrote a story about members of a local temple who volunteered their day at a soup kitchen, so that the regular volunteers (who, I presume, are mostly gentiles) can have the day to spend with their families. After that, I spent the afternoon in the office assisting with the layout process, which was completed by 7 p.m., a very early day for the newspaper.
This was a busy week, with lots of interesting stuff happening. Registration opened and closed for the Tour of the Battenkill, and -- not to toot my own horn, but... -- I've already been tapped in the hot sheets as a favorite to win the cat 3 event (scroll to the bottom of the comments and read up). I guess I'd better start training, wouldn't want to disappoint my multitudes of fans! In the same week, Battenkill promoter Dieter Drake announced that he'd found a sponsor for the pro event on the day following the amateur races, which means that I'll likely get to spend two days in April chasing pro bike racers around with my pad and pen. I can't wait!
Also, we got a lot of snow. And then there was one of those famous New York 30+ degree swings, and now all the snow is melting. I made some progress on de-icing my front steps, but they're still a lawsuit waiting to happen. I sure am glad that I'm not my land lady. With all the snow on the ground, I took the opportunity to find my skiing legs, doing my best to survive the precipitous drops at Willard Mountain.
However, all of that aside, the most exciting thing to happen this week happens tomorrow. Scott and I are driving up to Middlebury to visit Dante, who is back on the correct coast (AKA: the right coast) for the Christmas holiday. The plan is to ski tomorrow at the Middlebury Ski Bowl, and then join his family for dinner. Having not seen Dante since May, I'm obviously very excited to catch up. Also, Dante's been living in Alaska, so, when he's not looking, I'm going to try to make sure he hasn't grown antlers or gills or anything wierd like that.
In lieu of the standard top and bottom lists, I thought I'd do something seasonal this week:
The best things about being a Jew on Christmas:
1) Chinese food, obviously.
2) That warm fuzzy feeling when your co-workers thank you for working on the holiday, so that they can take off to be with their family.
3) Since you're not bogged down with celebrations, it's an extra day to be extra-productive. Today, I re-worked all my contacts, went to work, and exercised, twice. What did you do? Sit around and eat?
4) Taking the Christmas holiday at a later, more convenient, date.
5) Not stressing about buying gifts, because you're either already finished, or you've got extra times, and the best sales start after Christmas anyway...
The worst things about being a Jew on Christmas:
1) Explaining to everyone you know that you do not celebrate Christmas. Never have, not even a little. (Although, when I do spent the holiday with family, I don't feel guilty about it, the way that writer seems to think I should.)
2) Conversely, asking your gentile friends if they've ever celebrated Hanukkah usually doesn't got over so well.
3) Chinese food, because it's the only option, and damn it! I wanted a burrito last night.
4) Getting singled out at the office holiday party: "Merry Christmas to all!! And a happy Hanukkah to... (the boss looks around the room) ... you, and you, and... you!"
5) I love trees, but there's no such thing as a hanukkah bush.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I happen to be in spot without wifi at the moment. I’m typing this blog post in Microsoft Word, and later, when I find the internet, I’ll copy and paste over into Blogger. Although this is little more than a minor inconvenience, I find that it feels very odd to be typing in this expansive word window, as opposed to the usual Blogger interface.
Anyhow, tonight I want to mention something that I’ve not yet made any mention of on this blog this year. Right now, it’s Hanukkah, the silliest of all the Jewish holidays. While most of my coworkers and friends are getting ready to celebrate Christmas on the morrow (as are, for that matter, most of the people who run the establishments I’d like to be patronizing at this moment, namely Esperanto’s and/or D’Andrea’s), I am doing my best to enjoy the festival of lights.
Actually, I haven’t really been celebrating at all. In my estimation of Jewish culture, holidays and like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Jewish Thanksgiving (AKA: Passover), are a time to gather with family and enjoy each other’s company. Over the years, I’ve been able to join my family for a rotating variety of these holidays, but since I’m not in any way religious, I’m not the type who will bend over backwards to celebrate the holidays. If I’m not with my family, I don’t celebrate, and I don’t really miss it. BUT, I do enjoy getting together with family and friends when I am able.
For instance, I missed four consecutive Passovers while I was in college, because it always conflicted with the Boston Bean Pot race weekend, and when religion goes head-to-head with bike racing, I think it’s pretty clear which comes out on top.
So that gets me to Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Hanukkah doesn’t really have much in the way of religious significance, it’s more commemorating the Macabe’s triumph over the Greeks (or was it the Romans? Who can remember). In my family, Hanukkah was always celebrated at our friends’ house, with a whole host of other friends.
It was a time to hang out, enjoy latkes (on some occasions, a whole lot of latkes), and enjoy each other’s company. I always looked forward to those Hanukkah parties, but the same principal applies: if I’m not surrounded with familiar faces, I lose my motivation to celebrate, and that’s where I’m at this year.
I broke out my menorah (by the way, this is a relic handed down to me by my parents. And each of my parents says that it came from their side of the family. We are having some tests conducted to determine the true origin of the menorah) on Sunday evening, and put it on top of my refrigerator. I don’t have candles for it, so I haven’t been lighting it, but it’s there, reminding me that we are in the midst of a holiday.
So, as you can see, I’m feeling a little ambivalent about the holiday this year. I’m leaving Friday morning to go see Dante, who is briefly returning home from Alaska, and upon my return from Vermont, I’m giving serious consideration to making latkes. Sunday is the last day of Hanukkah, so hopefully I’ll be feeling more excited about the holiday by then. In the mean time, Merry Christmas!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
*Updates, 12/24 10:25 a.m.: Read the whole story here.
THIS IS BREAKING NEWS:
After waiting for weeks with baited breath to see who would step up to sponsor the Tour of the Battenkill and support the new pro-invitational on Sunday, April 19, I've just received the following announcement from Sen. Charles Schumer's office.
Dieter Drake confirmed that AMD made its commitment yesterday, and he expects to make a formal announcement next week.
Less than 48 hours into registration, there are already about 1,000 racers registered (including this blogger), with another several hundred on wait lists.
"Last year we got 1,500 registrants by the first week in April, to have 1,000 people racing right now is just unimaginable. Cycling has suffered with so many pro teams going way, this is a counter to all that stuff," Drake said.
In Just Five Years, Locally-Held Race Has Become Largest Amateur Biking Race in Country and Has Provided Critical Boon to Local Economy
AMD Sponsorship Will Help Attract Top Professional Athletes, Increase Exposure, Bring Over 2
Schumer Pushed for AMD Sponsorship of Race to Help Bring Much Needed Tourism Dollars to County and Surrounding Region
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that after lobbying Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) to sponsor the prestigious “Tour of the Battenkill,” the company will financially support this year's race. Last year, the race drew 15,
In an effort to enhance the economic impact of the race on the region, this month Schumer called AMD Executive Chairman Hector Ruiz to bring the race to his attention. AMD has a history in the sport acting as a secondary sponsor to Lance Armstrong’s Discovery and US Postal Teams, making it a perfect match for the sponsorship. Dr. Ruiz is an avid cyclist and Schumer is known for his frequent and far-flung recreational cycling tours of
“The Tour of the Battenkill is one of the premier road races in the country and AMD sponsorship is only going to enhance its reputation,” said Schumer. “The race will bring much needed tourism revenue to
The Tour of the Battenkill (TOB) is a pro-am bicycle race in Southern Washington County. Although it is a road-bike only event, one-third of the race’s 1
The race, which in five years has become the largest amateur bike race in the country, takes place in April in southern
“AMD and the Tour of Battenkill are a match made in heaven,” Schumer noted. “AMD Sponsorship of this is a win-win-win for the region - help expand the Tour, bring top professional cyclists to the roads of
Monday, December 22, 2008
As I mentioned yesterday, I spent Saturday afternoon at Willard Mountain. This was the first time I'd been skiing since January 2007, when I spent a day with Dante and Tom skinning up the backside of the Middlebury College Snow Bowl. That day, way back when, was fun day of turns on fresh, untracked powder, but my legs were not ready for the repeated uphill slogs, and I ended the day with an overworked hip flexor, which took several months to fully heal (of course, it probably wouldn't have been quicker if I'd been more dilligent about stretching and such, but so it goes.)
Last winter, I decided I needed to focus on training for cycling to the degree that I didn't ski so much as one day. Did I need to make that much of a commitment? I don't know, but it certainly didn't hurt. But, this winter, I'm planning a trip to go skiing with my borther in Colorado in January, so, I felt like it behooved me to get out on my skis at least a couple times before boarding the plane.
Still, with a near-two year gap in my skiing life, I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew on the first run out. But, the heavy snow we recieved last Friday and Saturday proved a siren call that I couldn't ignor. So, Scott (who was also coming off of a long skiing break), and I saddled up and headed to Willard for a day of low-pressure turns in fresh pow pow.
This was my second outing to Willard. The first being in the winter of 2005-2006, when Dante, myself, and Skidmore Cycling alum Adam Cohen (like Tom, Dante, Travis and I, Adam is from the larceny-free wing of that organization) went to Willard to teach Tom to ski. The photos I've posted today were taken that day. From humble beginnings, Tom has gone to great skiing heights. He is currently living in Aspen, and is leading ski tours and learning how to ski powder. Eric and I will be crashing with him in January...
So Willard seemed like the perfect place for my return to skiing.
The snow was nice and fluffy, and my skis cut beautiful lines as the snow made a pleasant swishing noise as my dropped knee pushed through snow kicked up by the skis' tips. Of course, there wasn't much for a base, and I hit more than a few rocks, and managed to end the day with dirt stains on my ski pants and elbows, but that's what late-fall skiing in the east is all about... I guess. Plus, when your skis are as old as mine, it doesn't really matter...
Anyway, the important thing is that I remembered how to ski. I was very worried that after so much time off of the planks, I would have forgotten. Fortunately, I remembered. More or less.
I say "more or less" because now two days after my ski outing, I'm still sore as hell. My thighs, ass, hips, lower back, and even my shoulders fell as though they've been bounced around inside a washing machine for a couple hours. But don't worry, I'll be more dilligent about stretching this time.
Sore or not, Scott and I shreaded Willards for about three hours Saturday, averaging about five minutes per run, including waiting in line at the area's one operating chair lift, and riding the lift to the sumit. That works out to about 36 runs. How many runs did you do at your last ski outing? Of course, we're estimating that Willards has about a 400-foot verticle drop (this figure isn't available on the mountain's web site).
Our 36 runs is all the more impressive when one considers that only three trails were open. One under the lift line, one to skier's left, and a cat track that serves as a beginner trail. It's a good thing we only had three hours to ski, otherwise things might have become a bit boring.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Here are three DPW plows cleaning up on Sunday
For all their hard work, my car still sucks in the snow
So, it snowed a lot this weekend. Starting at about noon on Friday, snow fell from the sky more-or-less constantly until some time late Sunday afternoon. After a quick analysis, I determined that we were receiving a generous helping of spatial dendrite, one of the better skiing snows. So, between digging my car out every couple of hours and shoveling off the stairs to my building, I managed to head to Willard Mountain with Scott for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon.
I did my best to avoid hills
Although Willard isn't the largest ski area in the world, it might be the best deal in skiing, and we had a good time shredding the fresh snow, even if Dante immediately started making fun of me. Well, we can't all ski freshies in Alaska every weekend!
I'm now really sore, having not skied since January 2007, nearly two years ago. I thought getting back to the rollers today would set everything straight, but no such luck. I'm still sore as hell. I'm planning on writing more about skiing tomorrow. For today, I've decided to let these photos that I took around town speak for themselves. Saratoga really is quite pretty in the winter.
No horse rides until springs!
The park was very peaceful in the snow
Today was back to the work, where I wrote about, what else? The snow storm.
In other news, Tour of the Battenkill registration opened tonight at seven. I registered right at seven, and by the time I was done registering, at about 7:07 p.m., one of two cat 4 fields was completely full, and about 500 people had already registered in various categories. That's right, in less than 10 minutes, 500 people had registered. This is going to be a huge race, and I can't wait.
Here's some other cycling-related news (are you getting sick of that lead-in yet?) Nathaniel Ward, of Albany, and one of my teammates on the Adirondack region team from the 2008 Empire State Games, has recently launched a blog of his own. Called, Words and Wheels, the blog is about Nathaniel's experiences on the bike, off the bike, and with his family.
Why should you care about Nathaniel? In addition to being a really nice guy who's pretty easy on the eyes, he is an exceptional rider, and recently finished in the to half of the elite field at USA Cycling's national 'cross championships, a day after taking sixth in 30+ championships. If nothing else, I think most of us can learn something from him! During the road season he generally kicks ass all over the palce as a member of the TargetTraining team, and is the reigning New York State Criterium Champ for elite racers. Currently studying for his master's degree in some field related to English literature (Nate, am I even close with that one?), his blog brings an erudite tone sometimes lacking from other blogs (not mine, of course). So surf on over and say hello to Nathaniel, you won't regret the trip.
That's all for tonight. Enjoy the photos of Saratoga in the snow.
Always majestic, but maybe more so in the snow
It hadn't even been plowed out yet, so I was trudging through lots of snow
Nary a sould to be seen
If I'd had more time, I might've made a snowman
Friday, December 19, 2008
As I write this, it's blizzarding outside. We're forecast to get about six inches of fluffy whiteness, so I'm hoping that tomorrow will see me doing something I haven't done in nearly two years: taking the fat boards to the ski hill. I'm planning a trip to Colorado to visit my brother and Tom in January. They are both talented skiers, so I'm hoping a few pre-flight practice runs will get me in shape to at least keep up.
Other than that, I'm most excited that my latest 'cross column has been published over at Cyclocross Magazine. Give it a read, it's all about my first good 'cross race of the season, which also happened to be my last 'cross race of the season.
In other news, the exceptionally talented Joey Rubin, withwhom I worked back in the BKLYN Magazine days of 2005, is in the running to win Nerve.com's contest for best esssay of 2008. His essay, The Sushisexuals, is a hillarious look on just how homegenous all of us white people really are. It's a great read, and it's currently winning the contest by a small margin, so get out and show Joey your support this weekend.
Don't forget to register for the Tour of the Battenkill, Sunday at 7 p.m.
I'm about to hop on the good old rollers, so I'll delve right into the highs and lows from this week:
Tops from the week:
1) My newest 'cross column. Maybe the best one yet?
2) My dancing debut. OK, I promise, this is the last time I'll mention it.
3) The snow. It's about time we had a real winter, and I'm looking forward to skiing tomorrow.
4) The office holiday party. It was a ton of fun.
5) Rollers. I've been rediscovering mine of late. I'm not sure why I ever bought a trainer.
Bottoms from the week:
1) The US Postal service. They won't deliver mail to my house, for fear of falling snow. Such a pain.
2) Short daylight hours. At least the solctice is almost here.
3) Slowww internet.
4) I know I put snow in the top five, but I'm not looking forward to digging my car out for the next several months.
5) The ice on my steps. I just dispensed about a ton of salt, hopefully that'll help a bit.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In 2009, I hope to be at the other end of the field
Photo stolen from somewhere, sorry.
As you probably already know if you read this blog, registration for the Tour of the Battenkill Valley opens Sunday at 7 p.m. It should be mostly closed by 8 p.m.
This race is so popular, that even with 17 fields for the pro/am event on Saturday, April 18, most fields will close quickly. Expect the two men's category 4 fields to be among the first to close. Men's category 3 will likely be next, followed by some of the master's fields.
I plan to be sitting at my computer, poised to register well ahead of time, finger poised on the mouse and ready to go. After all, I wouldn't want the months of preparations that I'm about to put into preparing for the race to go to waste!
As you might recall, I got blanked in last year's race by a flat tire. At the time I was bitter and disappointed, and I still am. But now, I recognize that the best thing to do is pay it forward, train harder, and come back fitter, stronger and faster for the 2009 event. So that's exactly what I'll do. The one highlight of last year's race was my coverage of the pro mens' and womens' events in Velo News, which I will hopefully reprise this year.
A high placing at the Tour of the Battenkill is my biggest goal for 2009, and it all starts Sunday, when registration opens. Even as I write this, and contemplate the race's new course, and gaze across the living room at my road bike, the rig looks ready to tackle the dirt roads. Between now and then, I plan on getting out to ride the course a couple times, so if anyone is traveling to the area to give it a go, feel free to shoot me an email, and I'll happily ride it with you.
Although there is now snow on the ground across most of upstate, the course is likely still rideable. Last January, I joined promoter Dieter Drake and a few other hardy (foolhardy?) souls to ride the course. There were more than a few spots where ice made the road slick, giving us all an education in bike handling, in addition to a chance to check out the course once more. So be warned of what awaits you if you do decide to pre-ride this winter!
This year, Dieter has added an event for pro men on Saturday, so anyone planning on racing should stick around for Sunday, to watch what will be an exciting day of professional racing.
One thing that bears mentioning is that the price of racing in most amateur categories has gone up to $45. (I believe it was $30 last year.) Dieter could probably charge $60 and still fill the race (which is held to benefit Farm Team Cycling and the public libraries of southern Washington County) in a matter of hours.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Today was the annual Saratogian office Christmas party. As I tend to do at such events, I ate to the point of injuring myself. There was tons of leftover food, and I worked late to cover a city council meeting, so, after snacking all afternoon on desserts contributed by my very-talented co-workers, I ate to the point of injuring myself again at dinner time. So, I'm currently trying to digest dinner and whatever is still left of lunch, and not feeling motivated to do much of anything. I may very well sleep right here in this chair.
Why do I do this to myself? At least it's December, so I won't have to panic too much when I step on the scale tomorrow morning.
I'm pretty beat from the day, that combined with the food has left me without much motivation to write a lot tonight. It happens. Forgive me.
However, it is worth noting that Patrick Pogan, the New York City Police Officer who assaulted cyclist Christopher Long at a Critical Mass ride in July, was indicted on felony charges of filing a false report, and could also face misdemeanor charges of assault. Although I think it would have been better if Pogan had not assaulted Long, but as a former participant in Critical Mass rides, I'm glad that this case has gained such prominance, and I hope that Pogan recieves the maximum sentence for his crimes. I can think of no better way to advance the cause of peaceful coexistance between cyclists and law enforcement.
Then there's this. As a way to raise money for the state, and to fight obesity all at once, Governor Paterson has proposed an 18-percent tax on sodas, some juices, and other "sugary drinks." While it's nobel and creative, I have to say that I don't neccessarily support such a measure. I don't often drink sodas these days, but when I do, it's because I'm in serious need of energy, and I would not appreciate having to pay additional taxes on it.
I know that high fructose syrup is horribly bad for you, but I don't really think we should be treating soda the same way we treat cigarettes. It's not like soda gives you cancer -- or, at least, they haven't proven that yet. I'd rather see a focus on nutrition in schools, so that kids can undertand that it's OK to drink soda -- in moderation.
Monday, December 15, 2008
There was a spate of cycling news over the weekend, which I didn't address, because I was too busy dancing. (Imagine that... it must be December.) By the way, I know I said I was done writing about dancing, but I have to tell you that a photo of me dancing appeared in The Sunday Saratogian, and just about everyone I know took the opportunity to tease me today. OK, that's the last time I'll bring it up, I promise.
Anyhow, the most important cycling news is certainly five-time national CX champion Katie Compton, who re-up-ed her stars-and-bars Sunday in the Elite women's championship race, beating out olympian Georgia Gould. This really shouldn't surprise anyone, but it's still really cool.
I've been a Compton fan since she won her first national championship jersey in 2004. At the time, I thought it was very cool that she was so dedicated to her role as the sighted captain of a tandem in the paralympic games that she would forgo the opportunity to race in UCI races -- and earn money racing bikes. (The paralympics are only for amateur atheletes.) At the time, some professional bike racers were pissed that Compton would dare show up and knock them dead without so much as offering them a shot at another race.
No matter, Compton said, you can race me any time you like, just show up to local races in Colorado. Compton has since given up on the paralympics, after some kind of dispute with her blind partner, and is now a pro 'cross racer. Still cool in my eyes.
Oh, and Ryan Trebon, who is about 8 feet tall, won the mens' title. I met Trebon this summer at the NMBS race at Windham Mountain. He's a very nice guy and clearly an exceptionally talented racer... but he's no Compton.
In other news, it seems that Rock Racing may be closing down, even after proclaiming "Here to stay" as a team slogan. Ha.
I've been ambivalent about this teams since they first showed up in 2007. They're brazen and purosefully edgy -- not that there's anything wrong with that. The problem I have is their proclivity toward hiring tainted riders -- those with prior doping convictions. They were, without a doubt, one of the more taletned domestic teams -- just ask Adam Branfman. But there's that questionable riders.
And then there's Michael Ball -- the flagrant Rock Racing owner, who made his millions by designing (and cleverly marketing) over-the-top clothes. He seems to live to fly in the face of mainstream cycling, and does a good job of it, nearly all the time. Maybe this is just desserts?
I'd also note that I love Velo News. It is (and has been) my favorite magazine, and the website is always right there with news, and I hope to work for them more as time goes on... but, this is the second time they've been scooped by the hobbyists at Velocity Nation (another site that I love). Come on Velo News... it's time to step it up and show us who is really the journal of competitive cycling.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Melody Stasik was my patient teacher and partner
Photo by ED BURKE/The Saratogian
As I noted in yesterday's special dispatch, I successfully danced my way around the Canfield Casino on Friday evening.
While at work today, my phone was ringing off the hook with calls from Network recruiters who want me to quit my day job and come dance on their shows ASAP. I told them I'd consider it, but I truly do feel that my contributions in the press are more important than the beauty I am capable of bestowing on the dance floor.
Nevertheless, they were insistent and persuasive, so you might just see me performing at next year's VMAs... yeah right.
Although I have only limited experience performing, I typically do well speaking to large groups. Dancing in front of a large group was a whole other matter. As you'll see if you take four minutes to watch the video of Friday's event, (beautifully produced by web guru Stephen Shoemaker, who actually sort of knows how to dance, and should have been the one subject to this over me, but anyway...), one of the judges assessed my performance as "wooden." Although I hammed outrage for the camera, I feel that he was probably right on with his critique.
I'm no dancer.
But that's OK, the event was for fun, and the point was that I got out there and did my thing. I give myself some credit for that, as did, I think, the 200-odd attendees at Friday's event. At least I looked good in formal wear. As any bike racer knows, looking good is about 80 percent of it.
A wonderful story about the event, by my colleague Mareesa Nicosia, can be found here.
I will admit that learning to dance -- if you can call what I did learning to dance -- was fun. At some future date, when money is no object, I might even consider taking dance lessons. Until then, I'll have to hope for another benefit to feature faux celebrities such as myself.
For tonight, it will suffice to say: enjoy the videos, and thanks to everyone who came out to watch me dance and support the Saratoga Springs History Museum.
I promise, I'm done writing about this dancing business, with the possible exception of a top/bottom list entry...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Just about 24 hours ago, I was wearing a slick suit and dancing shoes, preparing for my big debut. I didn't win the "competition," but that's OK, the Saratoga History Museum's annual gala at the Canfield Casino was a lot of fun... and, thanks to a couple of my colleagues, who gave very generously of their time on a Friday evening, you too can enjoy. Video of the event, featuring some very slick Andrew J. Bernstein moves is here.
I'll be blogging more fully about the experience of fox trotting around the Casino more fully tomorrow, possibly with photos. For the time being, my ego is still recovering... plus it's my day off!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Look! All I had to do was take a little pressure off of myself, and I'm back to blogging on Thursdays. No sweat. In reflecting on the week, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but sometimes that's just what you need.
Obviously, the biggest news for this week is tomorrow's dancing engagement. I think I'm ready... are you? For those of you who won't be able to attend the event (most of you, I know), there will be video. I believe the hope is to get video online sometime Saturday, so check back here Saturday afternoon for a special weekend update with a link to the video. Alternately, you can check directly at the Saratogian's site.
As I write this, outside it's snowing/sleeting/freezing raining, so that should make tomorrow a fun commute for everyone who has to commute somewhere. I'll be commuting via 'cross bike to the bike shop, unless the roads are really shitty, in which case I'll be commuting by foot to the bike shop.
Anyhow, without further ado, here is the return of my favorite Thursday tradition:
Tops from the week:
1) Obviously, the dancing video, produced at The Saratogian this week, in anticipation of tomorrow's event.
2) Going on a freezing-ass ride with Jamie and Steve last Saturday. It might have been a chilling experience, in the literal sense, but at least it was a ride.
3) The season's first real snow is coming down as we speak!
4) The local tailor. A few stitches here and there and my suit fits me like, well, like a suit again. Nice.
5) Empire State Games sweat pants. I didn't wear them at the games, because it was July and it was hot, but I've been rocking them almost every day recently.
Bottoms from the week:
1) My tiny-ass oven. At least my pizza was still good.
2) This cold I've had all week. No fun at all, but I think the end is in sight.
3) I think the world of professional cycling is going crazy.
4) The first snow of the season... so much fun to dig out my car every day... sometimes multiple times per day.
5) My phone's newest stupid trick: refusing to send text messages... to some people. What great technology.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Their service was not recognized until 2007
Now, Obama represents what they fought for after the war ended
It's fairly unlikely that I'll be able to attend Barack Obama's inauguration in Washington D.C. next month. My parents are going to head down to D.C., but they won't have tickets, and will likely wind up watching from afar (like, really afar). At that distance, I'd just as soon be in the comfort of my own home, watching on TV.
Of course, I don't have a TV, so I'll likely wind up watching in the newsroom, or some such similar place. So it goes. A couple weeks ago I was contemplating looking into getting a press credential, and somehow talking my editors into letting work from D.C. for a day, if I could pay my own way, but I got lazy. Lazy, and I realized that getting a credential for an event like that, from such a small paper, didn't really seem likely to happen. Maybe someday.
Anyway, even if I'm not attending the inauguration, I think it's very cool that surviving members of the Tuskegee airmen have been invited to attend. That's a link to an article in the New York Times, which talks about how Obama's ascent to president is a culmination of sorts for the all-black air corps that served during World War II, when the armed services were still segregated.
Hopefully, many of the estimated 300-odd surviving members will turn out. They, unlike my parents, will have seats relatively close to the podium.
That's all I have for tonight.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
First of all, we have something that gets back to my dancing engagement. I had my second lesson for the big event on Monday evening. This time, Web Editor Stephen Shoemaker accompanied me to the lesson, bringing a video camera along with him.
So, while me and Melody (my partner) danced around the studio, Stephen shot some footage that offers a taste of what's to come Friday. Also, you get to hear my cold-thickened voice crackling over your computer speakers. Not an everyday treat. Check the video out on The Saratogian's site. I was hoping to post a screen shot from the video of me doing something exciting, but alas. My internet connection is too slow to allow me to play the video. So it goes. At least I can still blog.
Regardless, watch the video, and feel free to weigh in on whether or not you think I have a fighting chance to come out on top after Friday's competition. After our rehearsal, Melody had the chance to take a gander at the slick moves of Jeff Saperstone, Fox 23 new man, and his partner. From the sounds of things, he's all flash but no bang.
Next up in the world of the strange, we have Jay Leno moving to a 10 p.m. slot on NBC. Although I'm not the biggest Leno fan in the world, I am a huge Conan O'Brien fan, and part of the Leno deal is O'Brien moving to an 11:30 p.m. slot. So, as far as I'm concerned, this is a sweet deal, that could theoretically lead to me watching more TV... if I ever get a TV.
Next, in the world of cycling, we have the ever-attention grabbing Rock Racing team. It seems that Rock Racing owner/director Michael Ball tried to get too big for his britches, and has been forced to split his team into a continental squad (professional) and a club team (amateur).
Ordinarily, this wouldn't be so unusual an arrangement for a domestic pro team, except that Rock's roster is so talent-heavy that some very big names, including Rahssan Bahati, the reigning US Professional Criterium Champion, have been placed on the club team, meaning that he will not be able to defend his national title. An unusual situation to be sure.
The question that I've got about Rock Racing pertains to money. Sure it's rough that Bahati won't be able to defend his title, but I wonder how Ball is justifying paying a professional-level salary to ten amateur riders... and where can I get such a deal?
No worries; regardless of the team's roster-izing, you can still buy a Rock jersey for $157.50 -- and a bargain at that!
Then, there's Jonathan Chodroff. My one-time collegiate rival in the killer Bs, and one-time commentor on this blog, has landed a ride on the Professional OUCH Sports Medical Center team for 2009, riding alongside deposed 2006 Tour de France champion Floyd Landis (who will hopefully be clean this time around). Chodroff was on the New York City-based CRCA/Empire team in 2008, so this a huge step up for him. Very cool Jon, very cool. You're getting closer and closer to Europe! The team, for anyone who doesn't know, is the revamped HealthNet Squad, one of the most dominant domestic pro teams for the past several seasons.
The most absurd item I've seen recently is a French wire service calling the nearly-retired Erik Zabel a rival to Lance Armstrong. I'm no Lance fan, but I certainly recognize that Zabel is no Tour contender. Never was, never will be.
Lastly, but certainly not leastly, we've got Mr. Tom Boonen. (Which, by the way, is pronounced "bone-in," according to my counsin's Belgian fiance.) Boonen tested positive for Cocaine a while back, and was barred from the 2008 Tour as a result. Now it seems that he might face criminal charges in 2009. As I said at the time: who gives a shit? Let the most exciting sprinter in the game do his thing! Rock stars get off for shit like that all the time, why shouldn't he?
Monday, December 08, 2008
I'm somewhere behind.
Photo by Barry Koblenz.
Every once in a while I get to spread the word about an outstanding cyclist from the capital region. Tonight, I'm excited to announce that Curtis White, of Delanson and racing for the Capital Bicycle Racing Club, won the last round of the Verge New England Championship Cyclocross Series, and took the overall series win this past Sunday in Warwick, RI.
Although I don't really know Curtis (who is 13, by the way), I have raced with him at least once, When he won the Bethelhem Cup, with me in fourth. He is very impressive on the bike. I wasn't present in Warwick, as I decided to end my racing season on a high note after my fourth-place at the Bethelhem Cup on Nov. 8, but I was cheering for Curtis in absentia when a newsflash went out from CBRC on Saturday to let the club know that the overall title for the U15 men in the Verge series would come down to a head-to-head clash between Curtis and Nate Morse (C.L. Noonan) on Sunday.
CBRC was represented in Rhode Island by several racers, and some uniquely New York Mascotts. I was going to post a photo here, but I decided not to in the interests of avoiding any copywrite infringement. You can see them here.
Below is a recap of the weekend's drama by CBRC 'cross master Chuck Quakenbush (who, by the way, is a fellow Brooklynite):
"Curtis and his family have worked hard this season chasing 2008 Verge
series points. By Saturday 12/6, Curtis was holding a narrow lead
over Nate Morse (CLNoonan). These two tough young men met again in
Warwick, RI to finish this thing.
"On Saturday, Nate set a raging pace and pulled clear of the field.
Curtis had been fending off a nasty bug the past week. Curtis was
flying but still came in almost a minute behind Nate. Both guys
showed a lot of class on the podium, sharing kind words and
handshakes but it must have been tough to see Nate pulling on the
Verge series leader jersey.
"That night the White famiy cooled it in the hotel with some takeout
italian food, lots of fluids and a pushup competition. Curtis got
some great sleep and showed up on Sunday ready to go.
"On Sunday 12/7 Nate was feeling fast too. With two inches of snow on
the ground and a new course layout, both riders were ready to have
some fun. Curtis and Nate flew away at the gun and spent the race
taking turns juking each other for the lead, showing skill and
experience. In the bell lap Curtis lined up on Nate's wheel and
watched him like a hawk. When Nate let his front wheel wash out in a
slick turn Curtis jumped, opened a gap and threw the throttle full
open. Coming into the last slick turn onto the paved home stretch
Nate was giving everything to close the gap but Curtis held it and
sailed in for the win.
"Racers of all levels gathered in the carousel pavilion for the podium
presentations. Curtis, Nate and Peter Goguen showed the crowd what
real champions look like. Curtis wore a pretty good grin as he
pulled on the Series Champion jersey, and was handed a gold cowbell
about the size of his brother's head.
"Wish the White family luck as they head out to Kansas City this week!"
Wish them luck indeed. For anyone not racing nationals or heading across the pond, the season is now well done and starting to burn. My recommendation is to back off for at least two weeks, and then start training for the 2009 road season. March is right around the corner!
Sunday, December 07, 2008
But it wasn't my best effort.
Had to be eaten with a fork and knife. And that's no way to eat pizza.
I truly do like my new apartment, in spite of the tight staircase that make carrying bikes in and out very awkward, the shower head that's only tall enough to wet my chest, the dearth of cabinet space, and the fact that my bicycles live in the living room for want of a separated place to keep them.
But tonight I found something that I didn't anticipate, and really could do without. You see, the oven is to shallow and too narrow to accept a standard baking tray. For dinner tonight I was looking for a bit of a project, so I decided to make a pizza.
Back in the days of our regular family dinners, pizza was a regular treat, and I've tried to carry on the tradition -- albeit infrequently. Anyhow, I decided that tonight was a good opportunity to whip up a pie. (Actually, I decided that last night was a good night to whip up a pie, but then wound up changing plans at the last minute. But that's neither here nor there, and I was all set to go with my pizza tonight.) It was a good theory, unfortunately, I was off my game in the dough department, and ripped a couple holes, which I had to patch.
To compound matters, I tried to top the pizza with tomato slices, which I thought would be delicious. (And, in fact, did turn out to be delicious.) However, I failed to take into account the fruit's moisture content. As a result, the crust came out decidedly soggy. So it goes.
The oven thing was a whole other matter. With the pizza all set to go, and the oven pre-heated, I went to slide dinner into the oven. Then the door wouldn't shut, as the pan was sticking a good two or three inches past the door frame. I tried turning the pan the long way, although I knew this was hopeless. My stove is about two feet wide.
So, I scratched my head for a few minutes, and eventually resolved to cook the pizza with the oven door closed as much as the pan would allow, which is to say that the oven door was ajar by a significant margin. The kitchen got quite warm, and I don't even want to think about the wasted gas.
Every couple minutes, I turned the pan around, to try and make sure everything was getting even heat. It actually worked out OK, although the tomatoes made a mess of everything. So it goes. It still tasted great.
But damn do I wish I had a regular-sized oven.
I also wanted to mention that Saratoga had its first real accumulation last night. Although I wrote last week about a dusting, this one was a bit more significant, and if I had needed to use my car today, I would have needed to brush it off, unlike last time.
Friday, December 05, 2008
OK, remember that resolution I made two weeks ago? To keep up my traditional Thursday blog post? I'm sorry. The problem that I'm having is that by Thursday evening I'm so tired from the work week, that the last thing I can think about doing is more writing.
So, here's the new plan for the blog: Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays as always. And, an end-of-the-week post to come Thursday, if I can muster the energy, or Friday. Either way, if you're the kind of person who doesn't get to check the blog until the afternoon, there will be something for you here on Friday afternoon, as always.
Things are still cold here in Saratoga Springs. In fact, as I write this, there are snow flakes fluttering by outside the window. We'll see if I make it outside for a ride, or if I relegate myself the trainer. It was another busy week, here are the high and low moments:
Tops from the week:
1) Thanksgiving. The best holiday of the year. Even if it was last week, I haven't yet had a chance to write about it.
2) Heading to Brooklyn for the holiday, and all the time spent with friends, and riding my bike.
3) Netflix, thanks Mom and Dad... should make trainer time slightly less painful.
4) My first dancing lesson on Thursday evening. I'm going to rock the Fox trot... but more on that next week...
5) It's December now, and that means that it's almost time to start training in earnest for 2009.
Bottoms from the week:
1) Getting coffee spilled on my leg at Gillibrand's event Wednesday. I really could have done without that.
2) Similarly, as much as I'm looking forward to getting started training, I'm not looking forward to riding in the cold all the time.
3) Rainy cold at the Victorian Streetwalk. At least it was warm in the Circus Cafe.
4) No UCI status for The Tour of the Battenkill Valley. Dieter said the race will be better than ever anyway.
5) The state of the economy, but that goes without saying at this poing.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Today was a funny day. It started out well this morning with blue skies over head and sunlight streaming into my bedroom. Then I went for a ride and promptly lost sensation in both of my hands. Damn winter! Next time I'm wearing ski gloves, rather than my stupid fleece gloves.
The day continued on a downhill trajectory when I got home from riding, and suffered through that horribly painful re-warming process that sucks the breath out of your lungs while your extremities burn. I stumbled around the apartment for a good ten minutes with my hands thrust into my armpits, glad that my room mate wasn't home to see me.
Things got worse when I left for work. I was supposed to attend an event hosted by Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand at 1:30 p.m., and I left the house at the crack of 1:25 p.m. Ordinarily, this would be plenty of time to make it to Broadway, but no sooner had I stepped onto the stairs to go outside than I noticed a problem with my legs.
They were both equally (and painfully) seized. I managed to jolt and stumble my way outside, but going down stairs or any other incline had become a Frankenstein-like affair, with seemingly all of the articulation gone from my hips and knees. It was rather embarrassing. I'm going to blame this on the dual-pronged attack from an overly exuberant run on Tuesday, and this morning's ride to Speir Falls. Given the early-December date and the low temperatures, it's safe to say that I pushed it a little too hard. Oh well. Hopefully I can recover in time for my dancing lesson tomorrow...
Anyhow, once I made it down to the street, I limped toward Broadway, arriving at Gillibrand's event only a little late. Fortunately for me, Gillibrand was later, which means that I was virtually on time. About two minutes into Gillibrand's program, a man standing next to me spilled a cup of hot coffee onto my leg.
As you can imagine, this was not the most fun I've ever had at an assignment, and I made my displeasure known to all 200 people attending Gillibrand's "Congress on your corner." The congresswoman herself looked right at me with a look that clearly said "Who are you, and why are you talking over me?"
Fair enough. Fortunately, for me, the coffee stoped burning in relatively short order, and the event went on. Don't worry, there don't seem to have been any lasting effects, other than the upcoming dry cleaning bill for my pants.
This funny day got better from there. I finished work up around 10 p.m., and jumped on the fixxy for a ride up to Skidmore, where I paid a visit to my few remaining friends at the Skidmore News. Tonight was the last production night for the weekly news paper, so I figured it was time to make my once-per-semester visit.
It was great to catch up with my friends who are still there, share a few stories from the trenches, mooch some of the pizza they always have lying around on production nights, and reminice about my past glories. That I managed to bring in about $12,000 in subscription revenue when I was Editor in Chief of the Skidmore News is still the stuff of legend -- even if it happened years and years ago.
Then I went home, and saw my room mate for the first time in several days. We joked about how we're on completely opposite schedules. Now I'm here. All in all, I can think of worse days. But I could have done without the coffee, and I wish my legs weren't so damn sore...
In other news, the Episcopal Church appears to be splitting into factions. Why? Because some of those liberal Episcopals had the nerve to ordaine a gay bishop. Some people will do just about anything to resist the progress of humanit. All of those people are involved in organized religion.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Looking good, right?
I'll be strutin' my stuff in less than two weeks...
Today, we're taking a break from bike racing, environmentalism and just about everything else that I normally write about here. Today, we're talking about supporting the Saratoga Springs History Museum.
The venerable museum, located in the Canfield Casino, at Congress Park, here in Saratoga Springs will hold its annual holiday gala on Friday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m., at -- where else? -- the casino.
The theme for this year's event is "Dancing with the Capital Region Stars," drawing on the popular show on ABC -- which I've never actually seen. For stars, the museum tapped several local media personalities, including... yours truly. Now, I'm still coming to terms with the fact that someone thought of me as qualified for this assignment -- I'm not, I'm not for so many reasons, but whatever.
And that's why the color is rising... as in, my cheeks are burning. Somehow, in the next 10 days, I'm going to have to learn to dance, in anticipation of competing against the likes of FOX 23's Jeff Sapperstone, WMHT's Susan Arbetter, and the Time's Union's Kristi Gustafson and Irene Liu. At least I can be confident I look better in a suit than Arbetter, Gustafson or Liu. But that Sapperstone... he's quite dapper.
My cheeks turned red twice today. Once when Thomas Dimopoulos, my counterpart at the Post Star, pointed out, while we were at the police station getting the day's arrests, that he was "no star..." Yup. Turned bright as an apple.
The second time was when our office manager asked me if I'd be able to live up to Kevin Goodwin, a former Saratogian reporter who was apparantly known for his ballroom abilities. I'd say that it's unlikely that I'll be living up to anyone...
The five "stars," will be judged, at the party's mid point, on a prepared dance piece (performed with a partner, who, at least in my case, will be doing the bulk of the work...) by local dignitaries Michele Riggi, Michael Korb and Saratoga Savoy's Dave Wolf (who is also teaching the five of us to dance). So that should be fun. Or totally embarassing, or funny or something.
Tickets to the event are limited, but still available. Anyone interested in getting out the optional black tie, enjoying a buffet by The Lily and the Rose, and watching this reporter cutting a rug, call the museum at 584-6920. Tickets cost $65, or $55 for those under 35.
In the mean time, feel free to ask how my pirouette is coming along if you see me around town...
If you're wondering how I got roped into this event, the answer is thus: a combination of an ego-stroking E-mail from History Museum board member Matthew Veitch and a desire on my part to get in touch with my inner-performer are to blame.
OK, truthfully, I'm honored to be invited to participate. Although I don't really think of myself as a star, I might be able to play one on TV. I'll see you on the 12th...
P.S. For anyone who can't make it to the gala, Web Editor Stephen Shoemaker will be on hand to videotape the event, and will post video to the Saratogian's web site, so that you can enjoy from home. Of course, I'll provide a link once the video is up.