Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Oh, Kentucky

"Rights," "heritage," "taxation" ... blah, blah, blah.

March 2019 marked the best "Scratch-off" month for the Kentucky Lottery Corporation since April 1989.

"I want to continue to raise our educator voice so that we’re boldly and bravely speaking the truth about public education and what it means for our students, for the educators who serve those students." Interesting Q&A from WFPL's Liz Schlemmer with the new KEA president, who is on loan from Knox County  Public Schools.

The Kentucky Green Living Fair draws about 1,200 in Year 6, reports Christopher Harris in Somerset's Commonwealth Journal.

London's old Kmart is going to be a Kohl's.

Tour of Flanders 2019

My favorite bike race of the year was run this past weekend the Tour of Flanders. Not sure why I like it so much but I do. One thing that is cool is the route. They essentially break the race up into two parts. The overall length of the 2019 race was 267km that is 166 miles. The first half of the race is rolling hills and really just getting miles into the legs of the riders. Every year on the day before the race the route is open to the public and many people suggest if you go this is the part of the route you want to ride because it is pretty but you don't have the really tough climbs.

If I ever got the chance, this is a trip I would love to take.  Ride it one day watch it the next.  Of course if you want to ride the easy part you want to watch at the difficult part.  As they get into the second half of the race they start to hit cobbled streets and steep climbs.  This is where the race is usually won and lost.  This is where groups start to form and you start to see who is in contention to win.  This year was no exception and all the big names were still in it heading into the last two climbs of the day. This is where Albert Bettiol, an Italian on an American team, made his move.

With about 18 km left they came to the Oude Kwaremont and that is where Bettiol made his move. He alone was able to surge up the climb and left his competition behind. By the top of the climb he had a 20 second lead and that would prove to be enough. There were a few important things that set this up for Bettiol and a few that helped him keep the lead all the way to the finish.

First he had two teammates with him as they navigated through the cobbles.  One of them was part of the main breakaway of the day who actually fell back to help his teammates as they entered the final 25km or so.  Having team numbers is very important in races like this as everyone is at their end and being able to us your numbers against the other teams is very effective.

First thing that team EF did with their numbers is they put one rider at the front of the chasing group. At this point there were two riders up in front and a cluster of about 20 chasing. With the EF rider in front he set a fast pace meaning no one could attack in this area of the race and so they all came into the Oude Kwaremont together and strung out. It also meant that the others were a bit tired from keeping such a high pace. Then Bettiol attacked and immediately got a gap and the 10 second lead. With 18km to go and a group of say now 15 riders behind you, normally you are going to get caught. But this is where teamwork helped again. The guy who had been at the front setting the high pace was now out, he had used up all of his remaining energy doing that job, but there was still another EF teammate left. His job at this point is to get on the wheel of anyone trying to jump out of this group to try and catch up to Bettiol. This was Sebastian Langeveld and he did his job perfectly. He was always right there on the attacks that looked like they had a chance and of course his job is to simply sit right on the back wheel of the guy trying to make the move. So it means you are going to attack and give full effort to close that now 20 second gap, and you are going to drag along with you this other guy who is never going to give you any help. Which means once you catch up to the guy in the lead now you have two guys from the same team and one of them just road your wheel. I know that it seems silly to think the guy riding the other guys wheel is rested but it is true. The guy in front uses a lot more energy than the one sitting on the wheel. Anyhow this strategy killed all the attacks, this and the fact that everyone else was also marking all the other attacks. While behind they are all fighting among themselves Bettiol is able to simply ride as fast as he can up front. In the end this was how he won the race. You see it play out in cycling like this all the time and it is always fun to watch.

No rider from the United States has ever won Flanders.  Belgium of course leads the way as it is their most important race of the year.
69 Belgium
11 Italy
10 Netherlands
4  Switzerland
3 France
2 Germany
1 Denmark
 United Kingdom

No American this year finished the race.  The fall of US cycling is really sad and reminds me of the fall of French cycling back in the late 90's.

1 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First 6:18:49  
2 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:14  
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:17  
4 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus    
5 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin    
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb    
7 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team    
9 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal    
10 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team   

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Album Reviews: Lily & Madeleine and Avril Lavigne

I found this album to be uninteresting. I came into it knowing nothing about Lily & Madeleine and feel like I still don't know anything about Lily & Madeleine. There isn't anything on this album which really made me feel one way or another. It's not bad but I wouldn't go out of my way to put it on either. Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 2 out of 5 stars for Not Bad.

I lost track of Avril Lavigne and didn't realize she had been suffering with health issues or that she had some songs in the christian charts. When I reviewed her album back in 2013 I said that her sound was sounding a bit dated, and that feels even more true now. I have a hard time making it through this album I just lose interest in it. Maybe it's just one of those things where you burn out on an artist. So maybe I can't give it a fair review. Still it is my review and so I have to say what I think. If you are a big Avril Lavigne fan then I think you'll like it. If you are looking for something different then I would say give it a pass. Following the Rhapsody rating method I give the album 1 out of 5 stars for Just OK.

What's On TV This Afternoon (At 5 On Channel 12 In 1973)?

I don't know where, but somewhere (not here) I previously reported that To Tell the Truth is not a good game show--that it's a great game show. And I totally had that right.

Oh, Kentucky

Greetings from Kentucky:

Happy 53rd, WKDZ!

On the table on the Hill: Suspending 101 of 380 academic programs (including 45 with no students currently), altering 55, growing 15 and maintaining 209 as they are.

I lived on Griffith Avenue in Owensboro for a little while, but it's gotten a lot hipper since I moved away.

We had family living in Bardstown for several years, but they moved just about the time the community orchestra was getting together.

Taste the Mayfield.

Kelly is getting together for a chat Thursday evening, and there is a lot to talk about.

The most depressing part about this MLive article about the visiting AAU coach who was arrested Saturday and charged with punching out an official at the Paducah Regional Sports Plex are the comments from the Michigan readership about Flint.

Kresge's is (really) gone.

You might hear some shooting today in Stanford, but, thankfully, it's only a drill.

Mine 9 opens Friday in parts of Kentucky and elsewhere, but, this time, it's only a movie.

Hiring in Whitesburg.

Corbin Pediatric Associates remembers that it's National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

There are all kinds of people doing all kinds of neat stuff out there.