Wednesday, December 23, 2009

There Are No Hangovers in Heaven

I just got my PCS orders for Heaven. I called my sponsor and he said:

"Bill Dick, in Heaven, all your dogs are there; and all your cousins' dogs are there; and all the dogs you ever loved are there.

"Right out your front door are the Arizona mountains and every day you hike all day long. You work up a terrific thirst, but that's okay because the Hofbrau Haus is right down the block and all your friends are there. You listen to oompah music and sing.

"You wander home around 3am. You sleep well and in the morning you feel great... because there are no hangovers in heaven."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fair play?

Alberto Contador will stay with Astana. This is pretty interesting, because with the team falling apart it was widely suspected that Contador, despite having a contract through 2010, would sign with another team and deal with whatever legal battles would ensue.

The announcement made me do a double take, and it's so revealing of a sport that is so screwed up. For the agreement to be binding, Astana must, among other things "strictly comply with the code of ethics and internal doping control system that will be implemented by the new leadership of the team."

Has anyone else ever heard of an athlete holding his team to an ethics clause instead of the other way around?

Cycling is so great and so troubled at the same time.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Loving the Monster

The geniuses in New Mexico have been reintroducing the Mexican Gray Wolf to certain areas along the New Mexico/Arizona border. And now they are surprised that things have gone a little astray.

So I hardly know where to begin here. How about this: humans have spent quite literally thousands of years trying to rid the world of the things that kill us. In Europe, wolves were the predator that did the job of killing humans best. You don't get to be the star of essentially all of a culture's fairy tales if you aren't the thing of nightmares. They are, quite literally, monsters.

From the LA Times article:

Environmentalists argue that grazing practices are part of the problem and the wolf reintroduction program has failed because of mismanagement by the federal government.

Here's why the program has failed: they're wolves. They eat stuff that we don't want them to, like cows and small human beings. Ranchers are going out of business because, surprising to no one but "Bud Fazio, coordinator of the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program", wolves are really good at killing cows. What?! Millions of years of selective pressure optimizing large predators made wolves good at what? Killing what? Yes, killing cows, you idiot.

Fazio says:

"One thing about wolves is they bring out extreme emotions..."

Yes... fearing for one's livelihood tends to do that. I am pretty sympathetic to the idea of protecting endangered species. I'm soft-hearted about it, and I hate the idea that we kill entire species for non-critical activities. But I consider ranching pretty critical.

I want to protect wildlife, but we can't be stupid about this... wolves are enormously dangerous and we can't pretend they are not.