Saturday, May 12, 2012


"Full results are up for Stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia. Despite not scoring any points today our leader remains Team Corduroy Planet with 158 points. Closing the gap today in 2nd is BooRiders with 156."

...From Friday's headline at my Fantasy League.

I didn't expect to score any points in Stage 6, but then again I didn't expect two Team CorduroyPlanet riders to abandon the Giro either. Two of my sprinters, Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd couldn't go on. Young phenom, Taylor Phinney and sprinter Mark Cavendish both suffered mightily and soldiered home 33:12 behind the winner.

Since winning the Stage 1 Prologue and the maillot rosa, Taylor Phinney has had nothing but bad luck. Caught in a high speed crash 100 meters from the finish in Stage 3, Phinney crossed the finish line in an ambulance and required three stitches to close an ankle wound. I guess it was lucky that the next day was a transfer/rest day.
In the TTT Phinney gave his all, and took an off course excursion through the grass as his reward. He had to coast for several meters to dig the turf from his drivetrain...and surrender the pink leader's jersey...

There's three more stages where I'm likely to score points with Mark Cavendish. My days atop the standings surely will end Saturday.

Starting Sunday, the AMGEN Tour of California takes to the road in Santa Rosa. Last years lingering winter scared the race out of the mountains...pity. 
I haven't a clue who to run in my fantasy team. Three time winner Levi Leipheimer will race, though it's a given that he can't compete for the win as he rehabs from getting run over by a car in Spain on April Fools' Day...

Friend of CorduroyPlanet, and fellow bike racing aficionado, KirkVallus is coming to town for the race and a Giants game. I'm guessing that we'll need sunscreen more than the extra layers we needed on Mt Hamilton during last year's ToC Stage 4 when the "Marine Layer" (read cold, wet fogbank) settled right on the mountain's summit, foiling the TV helicopters and thus the beautiful video that graces the VersusTV coverage...clowning around with BajaBabe took the sting outta that letdown.

It's a Formula One weekend, and it's starting a great week in the Month of May!

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's All Downhill From Here

I think it's time to put the "Up and Down" meme to bed...

I was up in the middle of the night, and followed the Giro on Live Update Guy's website. I fell asleep shortly after the Stage began, and woke up in time to follow the last 30 or so kilometers and the finish. In my sleep deprived fog, I forgot to find the LIVE Video stream. Team CorduroyPlanet's World Champion Sprinter Mark Cavendish won again, and my team stays UP on my Fantasy Cycling League!

It will take a miracle in Italy Friday to keep Team CorduroyPlanet from beginning it's march DOWN to the bottom of the standings. The roads turn UP in the Giro d'Italia Friday, and my team is top heavy with sprinters, not climbers.

UP: Back in the States, the AMGEN Tour of California kicks off this Sunday May 13th.

Still up in the air...will three time ToC Champ Santa Rosa's Levi Leipheimer be healed enough to start after he was hit by a car training April 1st in Spain? Leipheimer was left with a fractured fibula in his left leg.

Mercifully, my San Francisco Giants have a day off before they open Friday night in Phoenix.

DOWN: I'm surprised at how little news there's been this week about the New Eldorado Meteorite Rush. No zeppelin stories, no new treasure maps, no nothin'...crickets...

UP: Scheduled for launch in 2018, NASA/ESA next-gen James Webb Space Telescope received it's first instrument.

DOWN: The ESA (European Space Agency) announced the death of their Envisat, a 9 Ton Earth Observation Satellite the size of a school bus. Unfortunately with the loss of communications, ESA won't be able to de-orbit the spacecraft as planned. Instead, Envisat will remain in orbit for another 150 years. Spaceflight folks are not happy about this development. They're calling ENVISAT dangerous space junk now.

UP: After parking for 19 weeks during Martian winter, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity put it in gear and drove 12 feet. Opportunity spent it's fifth winter on Mars doing scienctific measurements and making images on a Sun facing outcrop.

That's all I've got, Hands Down...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Still Up and Down

Jeez, I'll keep it short...I'm drained tonight...

Giants Down tonight, but Tim Lincecum Up on the mound...had his stuff in the 1st, strikes out six batters in two innings, and 8 strikeouts in 5.0 innings. Lincecum deals until the 4th, when the Dodgers score 4 runs.

Now in Italy, the Giro d'Italia featured the Team Time Trial, my chosen TTT Team, Garmin-Barracuda won the TTT, and Team CorduroyPlanet stays atop my Fantasy Cycling League.

Team CorduroyPlanet Up, Taylor Phinney Down. I didn't stay awake to see it, but Phinney gave up the maillot rosa to Garmin-Barracuda's Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas after Garmin-Barracuda's victory gave Navardauskas a 13 second lead.

Time's Up, my head will now lay Down on my pillow.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Up and Down

...with my San Francisco Giants...

Whew, what a weekend! Yesterday the Giants played against the LA Dodgers in their stadium, and lost 9-1 while looking like an unsteady Little League time without their was painful to watch.

Tuesday evening, they looked like world beaters. After going down in order in the 1st, the Giants got it together in the 2nd. Buster Posey hit the first pitch for a single. Brett Pill knocked the 1st pitch he saw out of the park! The Giants never looked back, turning four double plays, and commiting zero errors.

Winning Pitcher, Ryan Vogelsong: 7.1 IP, 8H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 1K, 0HR, ERA 2.94 Santiago Casilla notched the save, while the Giants handed Dodgers' Ace LHP Clayton Kershaw his first loss of the season.

Once again the world is spinning in greased grooves...

...which brings me to my Giro d'Italia fantasy team...My Young Lion, and Giro d'Italia leader, @taylorphinney tweeted: "Last night I couldn't walk, tonight I can hobble. We have a TTT tmrw and to defend. Pain? What pain. This is what dreams are made of!"

Thank God today was a rest day! Wednesday's Stage 4 is a TTT, the Team Time Trial, my favorite cycle racing event. Nothing else in sport is like it. Beautiful, dangerous, has everything  you could ask for.

Tonight TeamCorduroyPlanet is on top of the heap in my Giro d'Italia Fantasy Bicycle Racing League. Phinney and my World Champion Sprinter, Mark Cavendish, both hit the ground hard at 75KPH Monday...100M from the finish.

Phinney crossed the finish line in the ambulance, and needed three stitches in his left ankle. Manxman Cav has road rash all the way down his left thigh and calf. Sanctions were made for dangerous riding by the racer that caused the pileup. X-Rays showed no broken bones in Phinney's ankle.

I can sleep in Wednesday because my guys don't start until after 0600 PDT. The TTT isn't on TV in the States, but Internet streams are available.

I'm off to a satisfied sleep...good night, and Happy Belated Birthday to BajaBabe!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Extra

Not much to report about actual meteorite finds since the initial flurry last week...however there is a story about the Foothill's New Gold Rush.

The Pioneer Press has the whole story. "Once again there are lively saloons, fortune hunters jockeying for prime spots and astounding tales of luck" History is a-making in the New El Dorado!

Talk about luck...TeamCorduroyPlanet takes the lead in the Giro d'Italia Fantasy League!

Just a vanity post..gotta go now, the San Francisco Giants are in Los Angeles to play three against the Dodgers. Both teams are 9-9 for their last 18 games. GoGiants!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Willie Mays #24

Happy 81st Birthday to "The Say Hey Kid"
Willie's Hall of Fame plaque

Willie greets the kids on his 80th Birthday

The greatest baseball player I ever saw play...thanks for all the fun, Willie!

"They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays" - Ted Williams

Sunday Funday

Hooray! The 95th Giro d'Italia began Saturday in Herning, Denmark. The Tour of Italy starts in Denmark you say? Yeah, I don't get it either. Maybe it's more EU Love-In stuff? Herning is notable in the bicycle racing world as the hometown of Bjarne Riis, winner of the 1996 Tour de France and directeur sportif of the Saxo Bank team.

Before I drifted off, I checked in with Live Update Guy who was doing the Giro d'Italia Prologue. Live blogged Individual Time Trials are rarely exciting stuff excepting rain, so there was no stimulus to keep me awake. I stirred with the last dozen riders still to start, but didn't finally wake up until the show was over and the results official.

Yes, I do have a dog in this hunt...I put together a Fantasy Team minutes before the deadline. After Stage One, TeamCorduroyPlanet is tied for 2nd of 59 teams. It's all downhill from here! Thanks Taylor Phinney who won today's stage and scored my 20 points!

So far so good...The SF Giants played a fine game Saturday under warm sunny skies and...won! Saturday's game was on FoxTV...I assume they were responsible for the third day of blimp images from the Hanger 1 Vodka Blimp. Thanks FoxTV for another round of SF Bay beauty shots!

After four straight losses, Saturday's game felt good...comfortable that ratty old favorite T-Shirt that the missus wishes you wouldn't wear in polite society...yeah, it felt that good...I drank it in...OK, the Giants do have a ton of offensive problems, and they've been booting it big-time on defense this week, but in Saturday's game they kept a lid on both problems to win 5-2 over Milwaukee's Brewers.

No new news about the NASA zeppelin hunting meteorite debris. Yesterday they said bigger pieces may have made it as far west as Folsom Lake and Roseville. I'm sure there's a latter-day gold rush on across the El Dorado foothills now.

 I finished my fine day watching the "2012 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony" with my Sister K. More comfort food for my heart...awesome music, politics-free. Well done rock gods and goddesses!