Wednesday, November 29, 2006

iPod Glitch

Here's something I had to find out the hard way. At least, I didn't see any warnings about this in the documentation when I bought an iPod shuffle. You should only have one iPod plugged into your computer at a time. I'm running Windows XP on a Dell tower. I had the Shuffle plugged in, happily getting charged when I plugged in an iPod mini. Error message. Somehow this corrupted the iPod (who knew?) Reboot. Nope. Reset. Nope. Restore the mini. That worked. Nevermore. Must warn the kids.

My Cats

These are my cats, Dawn and Clyde. Clyde is the black and white one. I adopted them from Orphans of the Storm a nearby animal shelter. They are about 7-8 months old in this picture, taken a few days ago. When I got them home, they were quite skinny and had upper respiratory infections. I had to administer antibiotics, eye drops (Dawn) and even had to feed them with a syringe for a few days (kittens won't eat if they can't smell their food). The drama is over and they are now normal playful kitties. You can donate to the shelter by clicking here.

Floyd Landis

I do not think Floyd used performance enhancing drugs during the Tour de France. First of all, it makes no sense. He had way too much to lose if he got caught. Winning the stage guaranteed that he would be tested and the penalty for doping meant he would lose everything. Second, this whole incident spun out of control the moment the results of his "A" sample were released. UCI released the positive result (a high testosterone:epitestosterone ratio due to a low value of epitestosterone, not a high value for testosterone) before a confirming "B" sample was completed. This is counter to their own rules and the WADA code. It had the effect of raising the stakes for everyone. UCI, WADA and the lab lose credibility if the "B" sample does not confirm their announced results and Floyd loses everything if the "B" sample does confirm. Of course, the "B" sample did confirm the "A" results (did the lab test the "B" sample blind? I haven't been able to find out). Now, this culture of guilty-until-proven-innocent at WADA means Floyd has already lost nearly everything.

Floyd's website is here.

There is very complete coverage of the case and enough links to keep you busy for days at Trust But Verify. I have spent many a lunchtime here and learned more than I dreamed possible.

Factual information about the case is at the Landis Case Wiki.

Best of luck to Floyd.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Marketing 101

I bought an iPod Shuffle today at Best Buy (no link for you!). Upon checkout, the clerk asked if I wanted an extended (2-yr) warranty with that. $13 on an $80 item. No thanks, I replied. More specifically, he said that he "recommended" it. I replied: "I'm sure you do, but no thanks." He pressed me saying that the clip breaks easily. In fact, he confided, his broke and he replaced it with "this" showing me his off-brand MP3 player. I begged off. I wonder if Apple cares that, in an effort to boost profits, Best Buy trash talks their product. I always leave Best Buy with a bad taste in my mouth. Yeah, I know, I should try somewhere else, but they are close by, and I had a gift card.

Monday, November 27, 2006

First posting

Riding a bicycle. Such a simple thing has, in my adult life, taken on much more importance than just something fun to do on a nice day. In my youth, it was a way to get from here to there when I didn't have access to a car. For a while, I lost touch with it. Then, about 6 years ago, I rediscovered it with a vengence. Now, I can't imagine a week going past without riding at least three days, often more. I traded in my old 10-speed for a 24-speed Bianchi Eros (this is the 2001 model, mine is a 1999, but their archives only go to 2001). This lead to a much better road bike in 2003 and then to a cyclocross in 2005 and a mountain bike last May (more on these on future postings).

I'm going to post this now and see how it looks.