Archive for August 26th, 2012

Thoughts on a Decision (the detailed version)

Do I think he doped? While I think it is possible to use illegal substances and somehow “beat” the tests for a little while,¬†at some point there would come a hiccup – a missed moment where the “cover” becomes cracked. It’s that hiccup that has led to investigations and ultimately the downfall of those using the substances. Like Marion Jones. Like Tyler Hamilton. Like Floyd Landis. Among others.

I don’t think there can be an operation in place (yet), with enough consistency (yet), to “beat” the advances in technology that have occurred over the last fifteen years.

During the years Lane rode (and won!) the Tour, there were always the question – from people wondering how he could have won the tour after having had cancer. A valid concern, understandable considering the amount of medications and chemicals he had pumped into his body during the course of the treatments. But, as Lance has mentioned several times, he never failed a drug screen.

Here’s my understanding about how the UCI drug screens work. The obvious ones: you win a stage, or are in the Yellow Jersey, you get tested. Each day of the event. (Remember – the Tour is three weeks long.) Similar standards for any other event participated in. Then comes the off season. The athletes (riders) have to file their plans – vacation, major trips, etc. – and at any time could get a knock at their door and have to pee in a cup. Any time.

There has been a lot of speculation over the inquisition that the USADA launched against Armstrong, from one of the judges reviewing one of the motions to former 5-time Champion Miguel Indurain. Personally, I don’t really get it either. It didn’t really kick up until after some time after he retired (the first time), and the only information that has been released have been interviews with Hamilton and Landis.

Until there is proof – 100% unavoidable evidence, not just USADA theory – I am still in Lance’s corner.

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First Draft… an Update

Still Drafty…

An update on how things are going with the MFA… The “semester” class officially started last Monday. Too early to call, or make any firm comments, but I’m already working on reading the second (of about 7) books that will be discussed during the semester (I’ll post the reading list, and some of my opinions, later).

The more important thing, though, is the Work in Progress. The Thesis Project. The novel.

The way the program is built, there are six residencies (held in January & June each year). The idea is that for the first four, the novel is drafted (for a mystery: about 100 pages per semester), then revised and refined over the last year. Each semester is broken down into four “Writer’s Deadlines” – each a month apart (starting with the first, 1 month after the Residency ends). In theory, the first three deadlines could see the raw pages, with the fourth being a revision of all those pages.

We just passed the 2nd deadline, and I am sitting at about 50 pages. My goal is to still hit (if not exceed) the 100 page mark by this time next month. With Viable Paradise landing not too long after the next deadline, I need to make sure I stay on track so I can spend some time with editing while on the flights and during layovers – in addition to adding new pages.

Just so you know.

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