31 July 2006

mitchell, south dakota - the corn palace

Traveling westward on I-90 from Minnesota, it is hard to miss the roadside advertising that beacons all those who consider themselves adventurous to Mitchell, South Dakota's Corn Palace.

Corn Palace is an answer that has no question. No one ever asked "Why don't we have a building that's covered in corn?", and yet there it sits in downtown Mitchell. Every year the front of the Corn Palace is covered in a new corn conceived theme; this years' theme is "A Salute To Rodeo".

Here's what the official Corn Palace website has to say about the wondrous Corn Palace:
The original Corn Palace, called "The Corn Belt Exposition" was established in 1892. Early settlers displayed the fruits of their harvest on the building exterior in order to prove the fertility of South Dakota soil. The third and present building was completed for it first festival at the present location in 1921. The exterior decorations are completely stripped down and new murals are created each year. The murals are designed by local artists, Oscar Howe having been one. New materials are applied to the building with each mural depicting an important facet of the lifestyle of South Dakota. These murals require thousands of bushels of corn, grain, grasses, wild oats, brome grass, blue grass, rye, straw and wheat each year.
I'm as upset as anyone to learn that this is the third Corn Palace. What happened to the first two? You can't rebuild the Eiffel Tower!

Perhaps Corn Palace works like the Divine Trinity, in that Corn Palace I was the Father and Corn Palace II was the Holy Ghost. In that case, it would be fair to say I've seen the face of God, no? I'm sure the folks at Corn Palace would be happy to answer all my questions had I only stopped by during operating hours. Instead, our options were the gift/junk store across the street and the Casey's gas station on the opposite corner. In neither establishment would I have been comfortable asking who was responsible for the Corn Palace's immaculate conception.

30 July 2006

somewhere in south dakota

photo credit: holly go away

* * * * *

In completely unrelated news, thanks to Watashi to Tokyo I've become aware of this fantastic series of advertisements for the Isuzu Gemini (which appears to be a rebadged Chevy Nova or vice versa). Highly entertaining stuff.

nothing but a p thing

The "p" in this case would be the plains states. A little over 12 hours ago I was wrapping up my vacation to Yellowstone. I spent 20-some straight hours in a rented Ford Explorer driving from Jackson, Wyoming to Champaign, Illinois. I then got into my truck and drove another 120 miles to Indianapolis (here's what that looks like on a map, in case you're wondering). A large portion of that drive looks like the picture to the right, so you can only imagine how exciting that could be.

I'm not complaining though. Yellowstone was fantastic. I'll be sharing a bit more about the experience in the next few posts.

27 July 2006

this is really sort of nothing

Yellowstone is overwhelming in that you'll find yourself growing complacent over views that would be considered completely breathtaking anywhere else.

So Taguchi represent. More later. I'm not home yet.

21 July 2006

all week long

Since this post is going to sit on top for an entire week, I'd better make it something worth pondering.

I'm not much of a football fan, I'll admit. I used to be a NFL Sunday Ticket subscriber, and I'd still consider myself a St. Louis Rams fan, but honestly I think that professional football is pretty boring. Too many stoppages in play.

I am a fan of Clinton Portis, though. If you're not familiar with Clinton Portis, all you really need to know is that he has created a group of personas for himself in order to make interviews more interesting.

I'd say my favorite character is Angel of Southeast Jerome. Clinton actually killed offon of his personas and created an afterlife version of that character... that's genius.

19 July 2006

advanced warning

As I may have mentioned before, I'll be leaving for South Dakota/Wyoming/Yellowstone/Idaho?/Whatever else is up there this Friday. My vacation group consists of myself, two fellas I went to high school with, and a Mater Dei power blue bitch (if anyone at the Mater Dei page notices any hits from this website, I want you to know that I think you're all bitches. Even my cousin's husband and my former soccer coach). We've rented a Ford Explorer, and I'll be damn if we're not going to use it to explore.

Anyway, apart from taking digs at Mater Dei (Home of "The Power Blue Bitches"* (thanks John)), I wanted to ask if any of my 3 readers had any experience with any of the places I spoke of in the previous paragraph and/or if they had any advice. So do you? If so, let me know. I've got a guide book, but guide books only get you so far.

*If you ever meet a Mater Dei grad, ask them how many Illinois Basketball State Championship trophies their school has. Also, GOOSE, bitches.

18 July 2006


It's "new kit" time in the Premiership, which means everything you may have bought last year is now completely obsolete. Were you a fan of Arsenal's maroon and gold look? Too bad, it's been replaced with a new more traditional red kit.

Were you fond of Fulham's classy White/Red/Black combination? Well, it's come back from a trip to the future and now it looks classically horrible.

Did you dig Man U's clean classy angular look?

Try this instead.

At Manchester United they get rid of the kit and the players.

17 July 2006


You wish you looked this good at mile 160. But you probably don't even have the right shorts.

The R.I.P. is for the state of Indiana, and the 2006 RAIN ride which we killed at around 9 hours and 45 minutes (with stops). I don't have the other numbers with me but we ended up averaging just over 18 mph (while moving) and finishing at 216 and 217 in a field of about 1300 riders. I was hoping to finish in the top half, instead we finished in the top quarter.

Apparently the folks that finished first, at a time of 6 hours and some minutes, work for Zipp Speed Weaponry, an Indianapolis based wheel and component supplier for quite a few Tour de France teams. I'd like to say that they had the advantage of better equipment (and I'm sure they did), but better equipment can't buy you 3+ hours. That's impressive stuff.

Our training really paid off; I wasn't sore yesterday or even after the ride, apart from some foot cramping (and the fact that my foot is still numb). I rode 6 miles yesterday to work some kinks out, but that was the extent of my post-ride recovery.

We'll be back next year, hopefully with a team of at least four, looking to cut an hour off.

14 July 2006

begging for wellwishes

At this time tomorrow I should be about halfway through the bike ride... this is the post where I ask for your support. Please send me a dollar for every mile. That's approximately $162 from each reader, which totals up to $162.

Seriously though, let's hear it. I'm excited.

13 July 2006

Real St. Louis?

Busy day for posting at ridehorsey today...

This article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch certainly has my interest. And with Real's owner already operating the Blues, it seems to make sense... My head is about to explode.

doll, you're confusing me

The idea of writing reviews of some of my favorite products has popped into my head more than once; In fact, it was a regular feature of my old web site. While chomping down some Trader Joe's brand crackers, I wondered if anyone else shared my love of them.

A google search for "Trader Joe's Multigrain Crackers" led me immediately to this. Before you start reading the explanation of why the author chose to use those particular pictures, just lightly browse the article and play ignorant, like I did. It's a lot more fun that way.

my contacts are blurry.

When I last visited my local area Eyeglass World, I told them I was ok with my contact prescription, and then the nice young lady took me to a workstation and began typing things into the computer. I said nothing, like I normally do, and she said, "you sure are quiet".

"I get that a lot."



"So what do you do?"

"I'm a computer programmer... actually I write things that look alot like what you're using right now."

"That makes sense then. You talk to the computer all day."


"I hate this computer"

"It looks pretty involved."

"Everything takes forever."


I've recently tried to exercise restraint in leaving comments on livejournals and blogs, or posting on messageboards. Part of it is "if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything" and part of it is the idea that I feel like there's grace in restraint*.

After my conversation (or lack thereof) with the gal at Eyeglass World I got the idea in my head that I would come up with a better excuse for not talking. Options I've considered:

"I've taken a vow of minimalism. I'm only allowed 200 words a day. I'm at 143."

"I'm studying to be a monk."


I admit, they're all a little ridiculous, and perhaps even assholian (should be a word if it isn't).

So why is it that I don't talk to people? I don't have much to say, I guess. Or perhaps it's a risk/reward thing? The rattles in my head are so foreign that I'm just as likely to confuse as to enlighten.

If thrown into a situation where speaking is absolutely required, I tend to do ok. If you add any amount of alcohol to the mix, I'd venture to say I can be almost entertaining (I'd love to say the word is "charming", but that may be a stretch). If it's a social situation involving something I have above average knowledge of, there's a good chance I might not shut up at all (overcompensation).

But in general, I'm just a quiet guy. Happily. I think.

* * * * *

*I don't know where this theory came from; I'd probably be considered agnostic.

12 July 2006

comments pay $10

I am fully aware that my recent posts have been no fun. As a remedy, I present animated gifs.

public service announcement #2

Things cyclists shouldn't do when riding in downtown traffic:

A cyclist is taking what appears to be a leisurely ride through downtown traffic during the morning rush hour.

He should not filter through traffic and then make a straight from a right turn lane, especially when the lane to his left is also a right turn lane (that's a good way to get run over). He should be wearing a helmet. He should also at least attempt to ride with a little pace, especially after passing cars on the right and then cutting them off.

This is a message for you, Mr. Giant Hybrid Commuter, who I passed in my truck this morning.

Accidents happen, but so does stupid.

11 July 2006

The More You Know...

Things you are not allowed to say or do when you almost hit a bicyclist:

Incident #1

An old man riding a motorscooter while holding a little white dog stops at a stop sign, quickly glances right, looks left, and then begins to pull out in front of a bicyclist, who quickly begins yelling "hey HEY HEY HEY!!!" The old man gooses the throttle of his motorscooter, then stops in the middle of the road.

He is allowed to say "Sorry, I didn't see you." Although that's obvious at this point, at least it shows some regret and admits fault.

He isn't allowed to say "You should be wearing white." The bicyclist was wearing black, but it was 6 PM, and anyone that lives in Indiana knows that it doesn't get dark until 9:30 PM.

I suppose you're lucky the bicyclist wasn't driving a black Cadillac, old man, because you'd be dead right now.

Incident #2

A bicyclist is traveling northbound at about 17 mph on a suburban street. A woman and her daughter are traveling southbound at about 20 mph on the same street. The woman reaches up to use her garage door opener, then proceeds to make a left turn in front of the cyclist so as to turn into her driveway.

She is allowed to get the fuck out of my way and learn to fucking drive.

She isn't allowed to continue turning the car and then stop so that it is now parked completely across the lane while putting her hands up in front of her face (in preparation for a collision), forcing the cyclist to switch lanes and nearly clip her rear bumper at speed. She is also not allowed to cause him to yell "damnit".

Accidents happen, but apparently so does stupid.

10 July 2006

i know i know

So I was rooting for France, and I think they played the better game actually, and..

Although it was dirty and horrible and really has no place in the game, it was also pretty fucking awesome.

RSL lost again this weekend. The flashes of creativity, the sense that something better was just around the corner... it's all gone now. They appear to have quit. I am now convinced (probably much later than most RSL fans) that a change in coach is needed.

Scott Garlick is the worst goalie I've ever watched in 8 straight games or whatever.

We rode our bikes from my beautiful southside estate all the way to Richmond, IN on Saturday. It went a bit rougher than I would have liked, but I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be for the big ride Saturday.

Speaking of rough... Floyd Landis is riding the Tour de France on a dead hip. Even if you're not a cycling guy, the article (from the NY Times) is pretty impressive. I haven't watched much of the tour (though it is Tivoing daily) but I think Floyd is in the top 5 currently.

06 July 2006

italians drive ferraris

I always assume that everyone else reads ESPN.com religiously, because I do. But if that's not the case, here's a link to a story about Pele and Beckenbauer and the rest of the New York Cosmos. Entertaining reading.

As for this World Cup final, I'd be rooting for anyone but Italy, who were actually my first World Cup love. I've come around to hating them like I should.

Here's a short commercial. Notice the Ferrari in the parking lot.

05 July 2006

all this and MORE CAN BE YOURS!

I just received an email from Rusty with the Columbus Crew:
From: Rusty Comeaux [mailto:rcomeaux@thecrew.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 1:58 PM
To: Rusty Comeaux
Subject: Columbus Crew vs. Everton FC


I wanted to check and see if you have been able to make it back out to Columbus Crew stadium since the US vs. Mexico game last year? If not, July 26th would be a great game to catch. Everton FC of the English Premier League will be coming over from England to play against our very own Columbus Crew! It will be a very exciting game and I wanted to make sure that I sent out both special offers that I have out right now. Let me know if you are interested in attending. My direct line is below and our offers are attached. Thanks.


Russell A. Comeaux
Corporate Ticket Sales Executive
Columbus Crew
1 Black & Gold Blvd.
Columbus, OH 43211
Direct: 614-447-4189
The offers are as follows:
Join us to watch Eddie Gaven & The Crew battle US National Team Star Tim Howard & Everton FC of the English Premier League & receive one (1) Columbus Crew/Everton FC Commemorative Scarf to mark the occasion!!!

Columbus Crew vs. Everton FC
Wednesday, July 26, 7:30 pm
Midfield July 26 7:30 PM $30.00
Commemorative Scarves are limited and subject to availability
HANDLING (per order) $ 5.00


LA Galaxy - Everton Combo Pack
Come see some of the best soccer talent in the world at Crew Stadium. This ticket package includes one ticket for two great matches. On Saturday, July 22 watch The Crew battle Landon Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy at 4:00p.m., and on Wednesday, July 26 at 7:30p.m., watch The Crew take on Everton of the English Premier League - All for one low price!

Midfield July 22 & 26 4:00 & 7:30 $35.00
North End July 22 & 26 4:00 & 7:30 $25.00
HANDLING (per order) $ 5.00
I'd love to go to the game but I'll be in Yellowstone that week; I just thought I'd offer everyone a heads up if they're interested. Give Rusty a call, and tell him I sent you.

* * * * *

My bicycle reached its first birthday and I forgot to brag on the 2600 miles I've put on it. Actually, I've spent 2600 miles on two bikes, because I've already had my frame replaced.

That's an average of 7.12 miles a day, which, frankly, I think sucks. I can do much better. And I will. But considering that I tend not to ride most of December or January or February, I suppose I do ok.

Yesterday I celebrated the fourth by riding the Terre Haute to Plainfield leg of the RAIN route with my ride partner. It's the hilliest section of the course (at least as far as we know right now) so we wanted to be sure we were ready.

I'm ready, anyway.

There was a time not so long ago where a 60 mile ride would have scared me, and I would have had to plan the next day for recovery time. Now I can ride 90 miles and go home and spend the rest of the day regularly. I suppose that means I'm bike fit.

But I won't know for sure until the 15th. This Saturday we'll be riding from my house (which is right off the route) to Richmond to scout out that end of the ride. Hot dog.

I'm pretty excited about the whole thing, only because I think I'm really ready. Oh boy oh boy.

03 July 2006

living dangerously

What was once my favorite reason for living in Indianapolis has lost its appeal.

Yesterday's US Grand Prix was a boring affair, and probably my last Grand Prix. I was first drawn to F1 when my boss attended a friday practice session and later told me about the amazing abilities of the cars and drivers. I attended the saturday session and was blown away with the speed, braking, the crowd. I bought race tickets, brought out my friends from back in Illinois, and eventually even attended the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka; Now i'm just bored with all of it. I'm bored with predetermined finishes (anyone who knows anything about F1 knew that Michael Schumacher was going to pass his teammate during a pitstop), lack of passing, Bernie Ecclestone's arrogance, and the general non-competitiveness of the sport. When you add all those factors to my growing apathy towards cars in general, it doesn't make sense to spend $95 on a ticket. Perhaps the sport will be more competitive next year when they institute the split wing design and I'll suddenly wish I had bought tickets. I'll still attend practice and qualifying (you really can't beat it at $20). Then again, maybe we won't even have a race in Indianapolis.

Where's the danger? Here's some songs.

the futureheads - news and tributes (from the album "News and Tributes") - I'm not sure if this album is out yet, but it's good stuff. It's not quite at frenzied as their previous release, but it's still a very solid effort. Just ignore that fact that they can tend to sound a little bit like a punk rock version of The Proclaimers.

the national - karen (from the album "alligator") - This is an old one, but I've been listening to this album pretty much constantly for the past 3 or 4 months. It's a slow grower.

What are you listening to these days? I need some suggestions. Or maybe not even suggestions. Just some insight.