Sunday, January 21, 2007

Panography at the Tapas Bar

Try saying that title out loud. Now imagine that you were overhearing that phrase from a few feet away. Suppose that you are unfamiliar with panography (as most people likely are - it's a photographic technique). What word might your mind perhaps think it heard? And then there's also the part about the Tapas Bar. What might that sound like?

And that is how a friend in my Sunday School class thought that I was saying that I'd been discussing pornography in a topless bar last night with my wife. OK, I can see the humor in that. I did have to set him (and everyone else in earshot) straight about what I was really talking about.

So I went out on Friday afternoon and helped set out a new cyclocross course in a park I'd never seen before, Victor Ashe Park. It's a nice park, I must say, and a lot bigger than I'd imagined it would be. Given that much space, the course that Steve R. came up with was huge. The longest course we'd ever had before was 1.2 miles per lap (last year at Melton Hill Park), and we all thought that was long. The course this weekended up being 1.6 miles.

The course took some time to set out, but not as long as I'd expected. John B., Steve, Phillip and I met there at noon and split into two groups, with Phillip and me concentrating on the lower half of the course. Bob D. showed up a bit later to help, but we were almost done. He and Phillip test-rode the course, and then Bob did another lap with me when Phillip offered me his bike to go give it a try. Steve also went out on his own bike, and John rode Phillip's bike for a lap after I did.

It was Saturday morning before we knew the length of the course, though. None of the bikes on Friday had a cyclometer, so I arrived early enough to make another test loop on my own bike to get the measure of it. Even being as long as it was, it was a very fast course. Faster than we'd really expected, because the mucky mire we expected on the climb toward the scoring area/finish line never really developed. The conditions were there, but everybody was able to use the four to six inch lane on the far left of the pathway that was relatively hardpack, and it never got worse as the event went on.

But not everything went smoothly. I had a couple of computer problems with scorekeeping that I didn't discover until after the races were over. I still had all of the places correct (after confirming with the guys keeping score on paper for back-up), but I lost the split times for all but the Men's-A race. Very embarrasing, but I now know what went wrong (a PEBCAK error), and I'll be able to prevent it from re-occuring during future events ... I hope.

Trivia Answers from 1/11/07

Yes, there was a bit of a theme to this quiz.

1. What 1980 film featured John Travolta and Debra Winger and centered around Gilley’s Club? Urban Cowboy. The story prominently featured mechanical bull riding.

2. What domestic model was the best-selling car in the U.S from 1992 to 1996? That would be the Ford Taurus. MG even once had one as her company car. I understand that fleet sales helped keep the overall numbers high for the Taurus.

3. What mythological critter was famous for hanging out in a maze? Half-man, half-bull, the Minotaur was famous for setting up house in the mythological labyrincth.

4. What is the term used for a solemn public decree issued by the Pope? Don't ask me how it came to be called this (though I'm sure I could look it up if I had time), but it's the Papal Bull.

5. Who caused Custer’s downfall (other than Custer himself) and where? The 'where' was Little Big Horn, and the 'who' I was looking for was Sitting Bull. Still, Custer's overconfidence and arrogance were major factors in his defeat.

Bonus: What was wrong with Fuzzy Wuzzy? I departed from the theme here in a way, but I was going with a tie to 'Bull vs. Bear' markets. "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?"

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