Wednesday, December 31, 2008

USADA 60 MInute Window

One of the new USADA Whereabouts Filing requirements for athletes (like me) who are members of the out of competition testing pool is the "60-minute time slot". Athletes in the Registered Testing Pool must submit a 60-minute time slot for each day in the quarter between the times of 6 am-11pm. Yes, for every day for next quarter I've had to specify a 60-minute period during which USADA can always find me. I'd rather have an RFT or microchip implanted under the skin at the back of my neck than have to keep this 60min slot current.

Also of interest is the fact that, when locating an athlete for testing, the Doping Control Officer (DCO) will make a reasonable attempt based on the information given for each day. As of January 2009, DCOs will NOT make phone calls, in accordance with the International Standards of Testing.


"A true friend is a priceless gift. When we reveal our hopes, our dreams, and our deepest secrets to others, and they still like and respect us, such people are to be cherished.

All too often, the only reason others wish to spend time with us-to be our friends-is because of what they perceive we can do for them, not the other way around. A real friendship is reciprocal, one in which each friend benefits equally. You can earn the friendship of others by being the kind of person who deserves respect from friends. When others look up to you, it should make you even more conscious of the responsibility you have to treat them with the same respect you would like them to afford you."

This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation. Visit them at

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trust But Verify - The Winnowing

TBV writes:

"When we decided to roll up the tent at the end of the month, we thought it would be good to have some final thoughts on the matter, and not just from us.

To that end, we've contacted a number of people from all sides of the discussion, and asked them if they had anything they'd like to say. Some said yes, some said no, some hoped to participate but found they could not, and some didn't answer in time for us to include. We regret the submissions fall towards one side of the debate. We did try to send a balanced set of invitations, but response is beyond our control..."

I responded, and my thoughts on the matter appear here.

Snapped by the Papparazi

Sunday, December 28, 2008


1. A person who seeks to dictate or control the behavior of others in the name of the environment, and who denies the validity of viewpoints that contradict those of the green lobby.

2. One who argues for the subordination of individual self-interest to the interests of the environment or the green lobby.

ex1: The envirofascist argued that the gasoline-powered car owner's individual property rights should be invalidated in the interests of a national environmental policy that mandated the use of hybrid vehicles.

ex2: The envirofascists chanted, "All within the environment, nothing outside the environment, nothing against the environment."

Related to: ecofascism.
Now recognized by:

Envirofascists are Killing Motorsports

Motorsports is under attack headline #1: Honda quits F1
Motorsports is under attack headline #2: Subaru abandons WRC

I hope that we don't see a massive pan-industry withdrawal from motorsports as a result of cost-cutting moves taken for the benefit of 'effective' PR in the age of the gov't bailout.

Despite the positive returns delivered by motorsports participation in such areas as technical development and brand enhancement, even those manufacturers that can afford to stay in racing (like Ferrari) may feel pressured to curtail sponsorship or withdraw completely (like Subaru or Honda) so that the "public," the mainstream media and now, unfortunately, the federal government, don't accuse them of insufficient "belt-tightening."

I fear for the automobile in this country if the envirofascists get their way and are able to dictate the production of vehicles that no one wants to buy, but which are forced upon us in the name of saving the environment...

So in addition to stocking up on guns and ammo, one might want to consider squirreling-away a V12 or bi-turbo or even a Geländewagen before we're all forced to buy battery-operated "cars."

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Save Formula 1

Formula One is a sport in which teams have been spending up to £180m a year on engines and one gearbox can cost £9m (Source: BBC).

Just like the US auto industry, AIG and American Express (which, with CIT, received approval to get $5.72 billion under the US government's financial bailout program on Tuesday) Formula 1 needs a public subsidy to survive.

Ignore Martin Brundle's eight-point plan to save this most beautiful, legendary form of motor-racing - the sport is facing extinction because of a dearth of sponsorship dollars in the wake of the global economic collapse, and as such, should have no qualms about asking Her Majesty's Government for support.

After all, if Britain will bail out Jaguar and Land Rover, why not Bernie Ecclestone?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Textmas

Thanks for all of the "Merry Textmas's" today, friends. I love you ALL! Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas

Chad Vader has already reached out to you with a safe, non-offensive holiday greeting? Ok, fine. Then all I can say is this:

Please Have a Merry Christmas, from me and my family, who will be celebrating today in the Catholic, North American style.

And may you receive everything you'd wished for, even if it was simply a case of Pilsner Urquell.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Feliz Navidad

My brother David flew in from Boston today, and we decided to trim-up a nice Frazier Fir and turn it into an old-school classic Christmas Tree with serious vintage glass ornaments, garland and tinsel.

David working his magic to thread the needle.

Goofing around and hamming for the Volpe Self-Portrait.

A Few Final Threads of Tinsel ...

Yield a tree that is a delight to behold, made classic and classier by the vintage, hand-made European glass bulbs - especially the "Star," which came from Czechoslovakia.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Destroyer - Robert Mugabe and the destruction of Zimbabwe

Thanks to Jim for posting a link to this article in the comments section on the previous Zimbabwe-related item. If you have the time, it's well worth the read:

The Destroyer - Robert Mugabe and the destruction of Zimbabwe

by Jon Lee Anderson
October 27, 2008

"Nine hundred years ago, at a site on a high plateau north of the Limpopo River called Great Zimbabwe, Shona kings built stone palaces where they lived in splendid isolation from their subjects, with absolute authority over their means to sustain life—cattle herds, land, and the gold that came out of the earth. In the nineteen-sixties, members of a liberation movement in what was then Rhodesia, among them Robert Mugabe, adopted Great Zimbabwe’s name to refer to the notional state they were fighting for. Today, Mugabe can be said to be the owner of the riches that remain in the nation of Zimbabwe. After twenty-eight years, he remains in power––Zimbabwe’s only President since the end of whiteminority rule, in 1980. His nephew Leo, therefore, leads a cushioned life. He is an entrepreneur and has stakes in several companies, among them a mobile-phone network. He is a director of Zimbabwe Defense Industries, which purchases the weaponry for his uncle’s Army—most of it, these days, from China. He also controls at least one large farm that had been seized from its white owners. In the nineties, Leo earned notoriety for his alleged role in securing kickbacks, on behalf of his uncle and other officials, in the construction of Harare International Airport. In 2005, he was arrested for the contraband export and sale of government-owned food, but the charges were withdrawn for lack of evidence. (Leo said the allegations in both cases were unfounded.) That year, he was a candidate for Parliament for the Zimbabwe African National UnionPatriotic Front, known as ZANU-P.F., the ruling party. He won in a landslide..." More

Friday, December 19, 2008

$10 billion - and space still in your wallet for an Advantage card

I hate what Robert Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe, the once-proud former British colony of Rhodesia. He represents everything that is wrong with southern Africa, and his continued existence as "President" serves only to highlight the cowardice of South Africa's leadership, and that of the international bodies that allow him to cling to power while a cholera epidemic sweeps across the country, starvation is rampant and inflation in November topped...

89.7 Sextillion Percent.

The Mugabe regime is composed of utter scumbags, but I give them credit for having the balls to explain the cholera epidemic by "announcing that there is no epidemic, and if there were, it is a "chemical biological warfare" launched by Britain against its former colony."

Give a special tip of the hat to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, who explained the introduction of a new Zimbabwean $10 billion note for the "convenience of the public ahead of the festive season."

For more background on the current horror that has enveloped Zimbabwe, I strongly recommend The Economist.

la Virgen de Guadalupe

I didn't have a chance to mention this last week, but I went to mass at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland last Friday for the feast of la Virgen de Guadalupe.

Wikipedia explains, "Our Lady of Guadalupe, also called the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe or Virgen de Guadalupe) is a 16th century Roman Catholic icon from Mexico representing a Marian apparition. It is perhaps Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image. Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day is celebrated on 12 December, commemorating the account of her appearances to Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City from 9 through 12 December 1531."

Well, even to this lost-sheep the service was amazing. The Post-Gazette did an ok job covering it, and I reprint their article in full:

"Anyone near St. Paul Cathedral knew that last night was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A mariachi band played on the steps before Mass, drawing a crowd on the Oakland street.

The statue of the Virgin was carried into the cathedral on a litter decorated with paper roses. It was placed on a stand surrounded with tiny white lights that appeared to radiate from her image.

The Mass was sponsored by St. Regis Parish in Oakland and the Latino Catholic Community, which meets at St. Regis. About 1,000 people attended, some in brilliantly embroidered clothing of their native lands. There were also the regular evening Mass-goers of St. Paul and students whose teachers had sent them to learn about Latino culture.

Rebeca Dosal, who moved to Shadyside from Mexico, was delighted with the turnout for the first Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe ever held in Pittsburgh's cathedral.

"Having this festival here is like a dream," she said. "Everyone will be able to know how much love we have for Our Lady of Guadalupe."

That devotion dates to 1531 in Mexico. An Aztec convert to Christianity, Juan Diego, is said to have seen a woman with dark skin, surrounded by brilliant light, who identified herself as Mary.

She told Juan Diego to ask the bishop to build a church for her, but the bishop did not believe Juan Diego. So Mary made roses bloom in December, and told Juan Diego to gather them in his cloak and carry them to the bishop. When he spread his cloak filled with roses before the bishop, it was imprinted with a vivid image of Mary as a pregnant Indian woman.

Last night Bishop David Zubik preached in Spanish, illustrating the stories of the angel's announcement to Mary and Mary's appearance to Juan Diego with a line from comedienne Gracie Allen.

"In the show, she is trying to encourage her husband to be a man of hope. So she tells him, 'Never put a period where God intends a comma,'" Bishop Zubik said.

"I'm asking people to look at the situations in our own lives that we need to surrender to God, and to believe that we should not put a period where God intends a comma."

In Mexico, 15 million people go to the Basilica of Guadalupe on Dec. 12. Hundreds of thousands celebrate in U.S. cities with large Mexican-American communities.

Pittsburgh's celebrations are modest, but growing. Anglo members of St. Regis pitched in, ushering and learning Spanish songs to join the choir. Devotion is spreading far beyond those with ties to Mexico, said the Rev. Daniele Vallecorsa, pastor of St. Regis and chaplain to the Latino Catholic Community.

In 1946, Pope Pius XII proclaimed Our Lady of Guadalupe the patroness of the Americas. Many Catholic anti-abortion activists have developed a devotion to her because she appears pregnant, Father Vallecorsa said. Latinos who come to the United States from Central and South America learn the devotion from Mexican immigrants here, he said.

Bishop Zubik, who had a large Latino population in his previous diocese, was eager to celebrate Guadalupe here.

"It's a necessity to recognize that we are indeed a culture that is a fabric of lots of different cultures. That is what Pittsburgh was built on. This focuses on the immigrants coming to Pittsburgh in this century," he said.

Ann Rodgers can be reached at or 412-263-1416.
First published on December 13, 2007 at 12:00 am

Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

(Yo sé donde estaré esta noche a las 19:00horas!)

"We cordially invite You and your Guest to join us
for some tapas, wine, and fellowship
as we celebrate the accomplishments of 2008 and
welcome a successful 2009!"

Friday, December 19, 2008
6:00 – 10:00 PM
131 7th Street, Downtown Pittsburgh
Next to Bossa Nova

RSVP by December 12

Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
6 Loop St Ste 4 ● Pittsburgh PA 15215-3248
(412) 784-1355 ● ●

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rectitude Chic - The first Christmas in the age of restraint.

Discuss amongst yourselves...

"..For a generation we've been tapping on plastic keyboards, entering data into databases, inventing financial instruments that are abstract, complex and unconnected to any seeable reality. Fortunes were made in the ether, almost no one knows how; there's a sense that this was perhaps part of the problem. Workers tapped on keyboards and produced work they cannot see, touch or necessarily admire. They'd like to make their country better, and stronger, in a way they can see.

And people want to belong to something. If you're a vibrant member of a church in America, or a casual member of a vibrant church, you're part of something. If you're a member of a family that's together, you are part of something. A lot of Americans do not have these two things.

Some of the infrastructure ideas put forward are obvious and fine: rebuild roads and bridges. One is unexpected and smart: strengthen the electrical grid. One is so lame as to seem a non sequitur: make sure every classroom has the Internet. In America, you don't have to worry that kids won't go online, you have to worry the minute they do. The Internet is not a gifted teacher, but only another limited resource. There is no sign, none, that the Internet has made our nation more literate, or deep, and many signs it has made us less so, u no?..."

by Peggy Noonan

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ya basta

ya basta

*I raced cleanly from 1989-July 2001.

*After July 2001, I doped intermittently but consistently (on a macro-level; i.e., season-to-season).

*I created my own logic to justify doping.

*I'm genuinely sorry for the negative effect that my cheating has had on the sport of cycling (in general) and the particular "clean" riders I finished ahead of in those competitions in which I was doped.

*I'm also sorry for having disappointed friends, family, fellow competitors, the country I represented internationally (USA), and the public in general.

*I've tried to make practical amends in three ways:
1. Admitting to the relevant authorities the full-scope of my doping.
2. Admitting to the relevant authorities the full-breadth of my knowledge of all aspects of systematic doping in the peloton in general, and on the teams that I was a part of in particular.
3. Speaking honestly and openly about what the topography of the moment was that facilitated my entry into the culture of doping; what the short-term benefits were; and what the profound long-term costs have been (and continue to be).

That's it. At this point, I'm not going to walk the entire length of the Morgul-Bismarck circuit while self-flagellating, because it's not practical and besides, it doesn't compare to the suffering I've already dealt myself (as much as that may disappoint some). But make no mistake about it, if I could turn back the clock, I would never have doped.

And that's the lesson to learn going forward for other athletes who might be faced with the same choices that I erred in resolving.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

"academic bulemia" - Urban Word of the Day

December 8: academic bulemia

The process of learning or memorizing by rote, subsequently followed by the regurgitation of that knowledge onto an exam answer sheet. Just as with the serious eating disorder, this form of bulemia results in no real retention of substance.

This term is frequently applied to describe a common practice of young medical students.

I can't remember anything that I learned last night. It's like I grabbed the answer sheet, puked out all the answers and forgot everything immediately. I'd say that's academic bulemia.

comment on this definition

Danek Family Passport, circa 1948

Danek Family Passport

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Piracy on the High Seas

I've been following with interest the increasingly bold acts of high seas piracy taking place in the Indian Ocean off the African coast. While the capture of the Ukrainian-operated MV Faina in September was noteworthy for the loss of a cargo that included Soviet T-72 battle tanks, the taking last month of a Saudi oil tanker with a capacity of 2m barrels (more than one-quarter of Saudi Arabia's daily output) begs the question, "Have the navies of the world become a bunch of wussies?"
Apparently I'm not the only one to wonder what the complex calculus is that is preventing shipping companies and foreign navies from repelling RPG-armed islamofascistcapitalistpirates in dinghies.

Andrew P. Morriss recently wrote to the Wall Street Journal:

"Your story on the growing numbers of pirates operating off the horn of Africa concludes that piracy is "raising complex questions" and that "America would be ill-advised to act unilaterally against the pirates." Nonsense. Piracy raises but one question: What is the most effective means of stopping it? The answer to that question has been known since a group of pirates made the mistake of kidnapping the young Julius Caesar. After Caesar had been ransomed, he raised a force of men and captured the pirates. According to Plutarch, the local authorities were unable to decide what to do with the pirates, most likely because they were pondering various complex questions and worrying about acting unilaterally. Impatient with such dithering, Caesar "went off to Pergamus, where he ordered the pirates to be brought forth and crucified; the punishment he had often threatened them with whilst he was in their hands, and they little dreamt he was in earnest." Pirate problem solved."

Andrew P. Morriss
Institute for Government and Public Affairs
University of Illinois
Champaign, Ill.

source: The Wall Street Journal online

Piracy Media Coverage

Battlestar Galactica

"the shit out of" - Urban Word of the Day

December 7: the shit out of

An adverb meaning something happened to a great extent. If somebody (verb)ed the shit out of (object), it means that person REALLY (verb)ed that (object) hardcore.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the shit out of the New York Yankees last night. The score was 15-2!

Rachael Ray really baked the shit out of that pie. That motherfucker was tasty as hell!

Haley Joel Osment really saw the shit out of those dead people in "The Sixth Sense."

Rosie O'Donnell devoured the shit out of that two-pound burger, then proceeded to wolf down an entire cheesecake.

Gmail Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Procrastination Isn't Always Bad

A long-lost friend was apparently procrastinating today (and seemingly still is), reading my blog as a distraction from whatever work it is that she's trying to avoid doing. Long story short, she procrastinated enough that she wrote me an email, I was happy to hear from her, now we're back in touch and life is good - at least until I venture out in the snow to get dinner.

Oh wait! I have an Audi Quattro. Doesn't that convey an unfair advantage?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Leogrande doping case proof of cultural shift

This image, showing Kayle Leogrande holding performance enhancing drugs, was presented as evidence of his doping.By Alan Abrahamson / Universal Sports

Dick Pound, the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has said many times that the real measure of progress in the campaign against performance-enhancing drugs will be revealed when we see a distinct change in the culture of sports.

That is, the notion of doping is seen not just by athletes but by coaches and support staff as so unacceptable that even those in that inner circle do the right thing.

They report outright misconduct. They report even suspicious conduct.

An arbitration ruling issued this week -- full of details of what it can be like behind the scenes in professional cycling -- offers reason to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, such a cultural shift need not be the stuff of fantasy.

Maybe it really can happen.

A three-member arbitration panel on Monday unanimously found American rider Kayle Leogrande liable of doping, ordering a two-year suspension.

The decision was little noticed outside of cycling circles. Make no mistake, however. The Leogrande case is a significant ruling indeed.

Those accused of doping typically adopt the same signature strategy: deny, deny, deny. It takes someone who knows the truth to speak the truth.

The case against Leogrande, now 31, was made through what in legal jargon is called a "non-analytical positive" result -- the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency building the case through witnesses, documents, photos and other evidence.

Leogrande did not fail a doping test.

An August 2006 test suggested doping but for technical reasons was not ruled a positive. That test, however, helped put Leogrande on authorities' radar.

Leogrande raced in Wisconsin in July 2007. A July 26, 2007, sample -- not positive. A July 28 sample -- not positive.

In cycling, a "soigneur" is an assistant who does all the sorts of stuff that, say, the manager on a college basketball team takes up, and more: food, laundry, massage, errands, whatever. For the Rock Racing team in Wisconsin in July 2007, the place to hang out when there was downtime was soigneur Suzanne Sonye's room at a Milwaukee EconoLodge hotel, where "there was food and always an open door."

In her hotel room during the week of July 15, according to arbitrators, Leogrande asked Sonye if she knew where to obtain testosterone patches. Testosterone is a banned substance.

He told her, according to the ruling, that he had used testosterone gel but wanted patches because he thought they would work better. I don't know, she said. Maybe in Mexico.

The day after he had been selected for the July 26 doping test, Leogrande told Sonye, according to arbitrators, he hadn't slept well. He was "nervous" because of the test.

She said, why?

He told her, according to the decision, he had taken "vicadin, ventalin and EPO" and "admitted to her that he had recently taken EPO." He made a motion with his hand "as if holding a syringe and pretended to stick a needle into his arm."

Sonye told Leogrande he would test positive. He said he had put soap on his wrist before entering doping control and while providing his sample had put some of the soap into his urine stream, thinking the soap would "f--- up the test."

The next day, "after agonizing about what to do," Sonye went to the team's chief mechanic, Jordan Schware, and told him Leogrande had "confessed doping to her." The mechanic suggested she call the team's sports director, Frankie Andreu. She did so, calling Andreu, who was in Europe, from Schware's cell phone; Andreu told her she had "done the right thing" and said he "would take care of it."

After coming back to the United States, Andreu and Leogrande talked, Leogrande saying he "had made a mistake, he regretted it, it was a stupid thing to do, he had let the team down." That led to multiple conversations with management. "No one within the Rock Racing management questioned whether [Leogrande] had used EPO. The only debate was what to do about it," according to arbitrators. Ultimately, he would keep racing.

Meanwhile, sometime that next month, Sonye called USADA to report Leogrande's "admission of doping," according to the decision.

At the arbitration hearing, which ran for two days last month in Los Angeles, USADA also provided photos of Leogrande holding synthetic EPO vials, along with a UPS notecard from its Upland, Calif., location with this note in what arbitrators would later say appeared to be Leogrande's distinctive handwriting: "Joe, 2 boxes G. 100 iu; 7 boxes E. 60,000; $500. I owed you! Thanks, Kayle."

"E," arbitrators would explain, appears to denote EPO, "G" human growth hormone. Both are banned substances.

At the time, Leogrande lived in Upland. "Joe" is Joe Papp, a former rider who testified for USADA last year against Floyd Landis. Papp has acknowledged doping and testified in the Landis case about the ways synthetic testosterone helped him recover.

At the hearing, USADA also introduced Papp's cell phone records -- showing 274 calls and text messages between Papp and Leogrande between July 2006 and July 2007.

This image, showing Kayle Leogrande holding performance enhancing drugs, was presented as evidence of his doping.With regard to the photos of him holding vials of EPO, Leogrande testified that Papp was showing him -- Leogrande -- a box of vials with liquid that Papp identified as EPO, maintaining further that Papp took the photos without Leogrande's knowledge.

Leogrande testified that he did not put soap on his wrist.

He denied telling Andreu about being sorry.

He said he had no knowledge of the UPS card. He denied the signature was his.

He also, and this is where his credibility before the arbitrators eroded significantly, testified that he had never heard of ventalin, did not have an inhaler nor had ever had one. Ventalin is a name for an inhaler of albuterol.

On cross-examination, Leogrande was shown that he had disclosed the use of albuterol on his doping control forms on July 26 and July 28. His response: he had not completed that part of the form -- the doping control officer must have included that information. When it was pointed out that he had signed the form, he "then recalled that he had a puffer/inhaler" but did not know the name of the product.

The panel would later say that Leogrande "did not recall important events and conversations when it would have been very helpful for him to do so." In contrast, Sonye "did not deviate from the very first instance of her reporting of Leogrande's admissions." She "had nothing to gain by reporting his admissions and a lot to lose, but nevertheless persisted."

"I'm proud of her," Andreu said in a telephone interview. "Being able to stand up and go through the stuff she went through ... she didn't back down."

Leogrande's attorney, Howard Jacobs, declined to comment. USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said, "It's not easy to come forward. But this case clearly demonstrates it's the right thing to do. And it's worthwhile to do so."

**This article originally appears here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Georgia Acted in Self-Defense

Some people seem to misunderstand which country was invaded.

Originally published at

Since Russia invaded Georgia last August, the international community seems stuck on one question about how the war started: Did the Georgian military act irresponsibly to take control of Tskhinvali in the South Ossetia region of Georgia?

This question has been pushed to the center in large degree by a fierce, multimillion-dollar Russian PR campaign that hinges on leaked, very partial, and misleading reports from a military observer from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that claimed Georgia responded militarily in South Ossetia without sufficient provocation by Russia. Judging from recent media coverage, this campaign has been successful.

Focusing on this question distracts from Russia's intense, blatant policy of regime change that has long aimed to destabilize Georgia through ethnic manipulation, and thus thwart our democracy while stopping NATO's expansion. Furthermore, it has never been in dispute whether our forces entered South Ossetia. I have always openly acknowledged that I ordered military action in South Ossetia -- as any responsible democratic leader would have done, and as the Georgian Constitution required me to do in defense of the country.

I made this decision after being confronted by two facts. First, Russia had massed hundreds of tanks and thousands of soldiers on the border between Russian and Georgia in the area of South Ossetia. We had firm intelligence that they were crossing into Georgia, a fact later confirmed by telephone intercepts verified by the New York Times and others -- and a fact never substantially denied by Russia. (We had alerted the international community both about the military deployment and an inflow of mercenaries early on Aug. 7.)

Second, for a week Russian forces and their proxies engaged in a series of deadly provocations, shelling Georgian villages that were under my government's control -- with much of the artillery located in Tskhinvali, often within sites controlled by Russian peacekeepers. Then, on Aug. 7, Russia and its proxies killed several Georgian peacekeepers. Russian peacekeepers and OSCE observers admitted that they were incapable of preventing the lethal attacks. In fact, the OSCE had proven impotent in preventing the Russians from building two illegal military bases inside South Ossetia during the preceding year.

So the question is not whether Georgia ordered military action -- including targeting of the artillery sites that were shelling villages controlled by our government. We did.

The question is, rather: What democratic polity would have acted any differently while its citizens were being slaughtered as its sovereign territory was being invaded? South Ossetia and Abkhazia are internationally recognized as part of Georgia, and even some areas within these conflict zones were under Georgian government control before the Russian invasion. We fought to repel a foreign invasion. Georgians never stepped beyond Georgian territory.

My government has urged the international community to open an independent, unbiased investigation into the origins of the war. I first proposed this on Aug. 17, standing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Tbilisi. I offered to make every shred of evidence and every witness available. Russia has yet to accede to such terms of inquiry.

Also, last Friday I stood for several hours before a commission established by the Georgian Parliament, chaired by a leader of an opposition party, to investigate the conduct of the war. This is the first time that any leader from this part of the world has been scrutinized live on national television for his or her wartime decisions by a legislative investigation. I have also required every member of my administration and military to make themselves available to the committee.

The real test of the legitimacy of Russia's actions should be based not on whether Georgia's democratically elected leadership came to the defense of its own people on its own land, but on an assessment of the following questions. Was it Georgia or Russia (and its proxies) that:

- Pursued the de facto annexation of the sovereign territory of a neighboring state?

- Illegally issued passports to residents of a neighboring democracy in order to create a pretext for invasion (to "protect its citizens")?

- Sent hundreds of tanks and thousands of soldiers across the internationally recognized borders of a neighboring democracy?

- Instigated a series of deadly provocations and open attacks over the course of many months, resulting in civilian casualties?

- Refused to engage in meaningful, bilateral dialogue on peace proposals?

- Constantly blocked all international peacekeeping efforts?

- Refused to attend urgent peace talks on South Ossetia organized by the European Union and the OSCE in late July?

- When the crisis began to escalate, refused to have any meaningful contact (I tried to reach President Dmitry Medvedev on both Aug. 6 and 7, but he refused my calls)?

- Tried to cover up a long-planned invasion by claiming, on Aug. 8, that Georgia had killed 1,400 civilians and engaged in ethnic cleansing -- "facts" quickly disproved by international and Russian human-rights groups?

- Refused to permit EU monitors unrestricted access to these conflict areas after the fighting ended, while engaging in the brutal ethnic cleansing of Georgians?

These are the questions that need to be answered. The fact that none can be answered in Russia's favor underscores the grave risks of returning to business as usual. Russia sees Georgia as a test. If the international response is not firm, Moscow will make other moves to redraw the region's map by intimidation or force.

Responding firmly to the Putin-Medvedev government implies neither the isolation nor the abandonment of Russia; it can be achieved in tandem with continuing engagement of, and trade with, Russia. But it does require holding Russia to account. Moscow must honor its sovereign commitments and fully withdraw its troops to pre-August positions. It must allow unrestricted EU monitoring, and accede to the international consensus that these territories are Georgia. Such steps are not bellicose; they are simply the necessary course to contain an imperial regime.

We all hope that Russia soon decides to join the international community as a full, cooperative partner. This would be the greatest contribution to Georgia's stability. In the interim, we should make sure that we do not sacrifice democracies like Georgia that are trying to make this critical part of the world more stable, secure and free.

Mr. Saakashvili is president of Georgia.

Copyright ©2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 01, 2008

Leogrande Arbitration Decision

Read the USADA vs. Leogrande decision (full text).

DENVER: The cyclist who sued the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency seeking to prevent the group from completing a drug test on him received a two-year doping ban Monday.

Kayle Leogrande filed suit against USADA in January seeking an injunction to prevent the agency from testing his backup urine sample after the original 'A' sample was ruled negative because of a technicality.

USADA scrapped plans to test the backup sample, and the lawsuit was later dismissed. But the agency continued with the doping case and wound up with a "non-analytical positive" — proof of doping through witnesses, documentation and other evidence.

The three-person arbitration panel ruled unanimously in a 15-page decision that Leogrande had used the blood booster EPO. The 31-year-old cyclist's two-year ban began Monday.

"It's another case where athletes are coming forward and relying on us to take their evidence to help the playing field," USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart said.

The two key witnesses against Leogrande were Suzanne Sonye and Frankie Andreu. Both worked for Rock Racing, the team Leogrande raced for in 2007. Sonye was a soigneur responsible for providing physical therapy, food and logistics for the cyclists and Andreu, a former rider, was an administrator.

Leogrande's samples were taken during the International Cycling Classic in July 2007, where Leogrande won three events, finished second at three more and finished second overall at the event, also known as Superweek.

Though his 'A' sample was ruled negative because of a technicality, a panel ruled testimony from Sonye and Andreu, along with other evidence, was convincing enough to prove doping. Sonye testified that Leogrande told her he had used EPO and she told Andreu. As the news spread through the team, there was a debate about whether to fire him or suspend him. Eventually, Leogrande was suspended for two weeks.

"No one within Rock Racing management questioned whether he'd used EPO," the decision read. "The only debate was what to do about it."

Other evidence in the case included pictures of Leogrande holding EPO vials that [**LEOGRANDE CLAIMED] were taken at the home of cyclist Joe Papp and a letter that read: "Joe, 2 boxes G. 100 iu; 7 boxes E. 60,000; $500. I owed you! Thanks, Kayle."

USADA also introduced Papp's cell phone records that showed 274 calls and text messages to Leogrande during a 12-month period ending in July 2007.

Papp was a USADA witness in last year's public case against Floyd Landis. In that case, Papp said he was a drug cheat and testified about the ways synthetic testosterone helped him recover.

Papp received a two-year ban for doping, the customary penalty for a first-time drug offender.

International Herald Tribune coverage.
Trust but Verify coverage.
Rant coverage.

**Note that it is only Leogrande who claims that photos in question were taken at Papp's residence. Photos were actually taken by Papp at Leogrande's residence with his consent.

Leogrande has never been to Papp's home in Pennsylvania...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Leo, reprised + my Dog (and Stanley)

Shameless pirating of cute pics of my brother's cat, Leo...

And my future dog, the Rhodesian Ridgeback...
(cute as a puppy, but more of a "handsome"/regal animal when grown)

Of course, let me not forget Stanley...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Vapor Trail

So I finally, finally got around to taking this online dating personality test that I was introduced to some time ago...but never got around to taking. Too bad, as it would have been great conversation fodder for one of those less-than-serious moments. But that's me, always distracted by the more serious issues in life. Ha. Kind of. But not always.

Having no shame, and in the interests of content, I share my results with you - verbatim (disclaimer though: this is hardly an accurate profile. it's funny as hell though):

The Vapor Trail
Random Brutal Love Master (RBLM)

Here today, gone today. You are The Vapor Trail. Are you in a relationship now?

What about now?

Vapor Trails can be highly charismatic people--unpredictable, confident, and magnetic. You're experienced. You know how to handle yourself in a relationship, and many people appreciate that. Many people, all in a row.

You've had your share of blissful beginnings, to be sure. But things almost never turn out how you'd like, do they? The problem is you're never happy with someone for an extended period of time. Relate to the following:

Vapor Trails especially need a girl who will laugh at their jokes. They're also the most likely male type to be haunted by serious regret.

FACT: A few of your exes, the ones you were best to, will always love you. Nice going.

Your exact male opposite: The Backrubber

Always avoid: The Intern (DGSD), The Maid of Honor (DGLM)

Consider: The Sudden Departure (RBLM)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Graffiti triggers crime, littering, study shows

Signs of disorder in a neighborhood can lead to other broken social norms

By Jeanna Bryner
Senior Writer, MSNBC

"The mere presence of graffiti doubles the number of people littering and stealing in a neighborhood, new research suggests.

The results, which are detailed in the Nov. 21 issue of the journal Science, support and expand on the so-called broken windows theory, which forms the backbone of many crime prevention programs in major cities such as New York.

The theory suggests that signs of disorder, such as broken windows, graffiti and litter, can open the door to individuals breaking other social norms and rules. In New York's "Quality of Life Campaign," adopted in the mid-1990s, city filth, including graffiti, street litter and signs of vandalism, were removed. And petty crime rates did drop..." FULL STORY

Is you government or law enforcement agency, public works department or citizen's group ready to stop graffiti crime in its tracks? Then we need to speak about Blue Archer's Graffiti Tracking System.

Blue Archer's Graffiti Tracking System (GTS) is a centralized, web-based application that helps multiple users document instances of graffiti vandalism, manage investigations, track graffiti removal requests and compile actionable intelligence - all through the Internet! With GTS, any authorized user with access to the web can open and manage a case. GTS results in more substantial arrests and prosecutions of taggers, larger restitution payments, and identification of gang migration patterns.

Blue Archer originally developed GTS as a custom application for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, but now the software is available to clients throughout the world.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There Always Remains an Opportunity to Make a New Start

Though it may not seem so when you first encounter a serious blow, you can never lose two of the most important assets you have. These are the power of your mind and your freedom to use it. Once you have turned them to understanding what laid you low, you can begin forming new plans. You may not have the money you once had; you may lack the allies you had cultivated. But you still have the benefit of a universe that eventually rewards honest effort, as well as gaining the experience of mistakes you will never make again. Remember, no matter where you are now, whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Protect the most important thing you have.

--This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.


Because of this particular Astral position, you are starting a new phase of preparation. This requires great control over your personality and will bring about new well-being in Love. At work, try to be clever about your motivations."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Dad v2

My Dad was named Joseph John Papp, and he was born on October 21, 1937. He died on May 24, 1989 - the day before my 14th birthday. He'd been sick for some time before he finally succumbed to liver cancer, ... Email me if you want to read more.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

For Those Who've Inquired

me: Riding for fun, occasionally; played tennis this summer - almost no golf. Went back to graduate school this fall, for an MBA. Have met quite a few interesting people over the past two years, and lucky to become great friends with some them. Striving to have a consistently fun, healthy existence.

Note to the Italians: I haven't gotten fat. Vaffanculo, a chi t'e muerto. haha. Doing well in school (though we are going at full-throttle right now because it's close to exam time and I'm on a compressed schedule); living in Pittsburgh, PA, where I grew up (though in a different part of the region - Shadyside, which is the kind-of yuppie part of town). Still dreaming of tropical breezes and foccacia, though not necessarily at same time.

Future: we'll see. Hopefully done with MBA by late-summer '09, then on to an MPIA in political economy and eventually a career in political risk analysis. Not really interested in racing again, though snowboarding sounds fun.

But seriously, just Facebook me because I'm rarely blogging.

Cuban Slang

ABELARDITO.- Studious and arrogant boy.ACHANTADO.- Accommodated, Sluggish.ACHÉ.- Luck, good energy, good star.ACISCADO.- Scared.ADOQUIN.- Obstinate, gross, clumsy.AFINCAR.- To recharge itself with force.AGARRADO.- Avaricious.AGROMERCADO.- Enclosures where products of the field are sold.AHORA.- At this moment.AHORITA.- Soon.AHI NA MA - it’s all here, look no further, this is itAJI.- Garlic.AJUSTADOR.- Intimate article of the woman.ALMENDRON.- Old car ie Chevy, Ford etc Pre RevolutionAMANERADO.- A person without being homosexual is it by gesture.AMAPANGA.- Bad day, nothing works.ÁMBIA. - Friend, known.AMBIENTOSO.- Braggart, troublemakers.ANGUILA.- Slippery.ANTIER.- The day before yesterdayAPEAR.- To be put on the edge, to approach a place.APOSTACIÓN.- Bet.ARDILLA.- Anxious.A REGAÑA DIENTES.- When somebody does something without desire to do it.AREPA.- Lesbian, also says “tortilleras” to them.ARRANCAO.- Person who is without money.ARRASTRADO.- Submissive.ARREBATADO.- Crazy person, lunatic.ASERE.- Friend, “…qué volá asere”

BABOSO.- Tedious.BACAN.- Good, excellent.BACHECHE.- Good person.BACTERIA.- Shirt of smooth fabric and with many drawings.BAJITO DE SAL.- Homosexual.BALA.- Motorcycle; Cigarette.BALLENA.- Fat person.BALLÚ.- Brothel.BAÑADERA.- Bathtub.BAMBOLLA.- Self-sufficiency, importance.BANQUETA.- Bank without small back.BARCO.- Unreliable person.BARIN.- Excellent.BARO.- Money.BARRETIN.- Problem, mess.BATAHOLA.- Trousers with wide legs of the fashion of the Fifties.BATEO.- Discussion.BATEQUEO.- A refreshment drink made of several things (punch).BAYUSERO.- Relaxed, excited.BEJIGO.- Child (only in the eastern provinces)BEJUCO.- Telephone.BEMBA.- The lips of the mouth.BEMBO- The other lips.BERREAO.- Gotten upset, get angry.BICITAXI.- Bicycle taxi.BICHA.- Bad woman, prostitute.BICHO.- Intelligent, astute.BIFTECK.- Steak, fillet.BILONGO.- Witchcraft.BISNE.- Business.BISNERO.- He makes business with the tourists.BITITE.- Eyes, watched.BLOOMERS.- Panties.BLUMER.- Underclothes for women, panties.BODEGA.- Store where the products to the carriers of the “libreta” are given.BOFE.- Unbearable, impertinente.BOLAO.- A type that is bolao, is a person who is very annoying.BOLETA.- Ticket.BOLLO.- Vagina.BOLO.- Russian.BONCHE.- Ridicule, I relax.BONIATO.- Yam, También se hace dulce y se come como vianda.BONI - without moneyBOTAR.- To throw away, to reject.BOTELLA.- (coger ~) to request a gratuitous trip.BRETE.- To form a scandal with lies.BRODE.- Friend, brother.BRUJA.- Witch.BUGARRÓN.- Bisexual man.BURUJÒN.- Many things, like “un burujón de gente” - many people.BUTIN.- Good.

CABALLITO.- Police with motorcycle.CABRON.- He knows everything in the street.CACHIMBO.- Pistol.CACHÙ.- Kechup.CAFRE.- He does´nt understand something.CAGUA.- Hat.CAKE.- Pie, cake.CALAÑA.- Bad person.CALDOSA.- Soup with all “viandas”, well-known meat also like ajiaco in the Eastern provinces.CAMAHÁN.- Wise person, who knows how it works in the street. (”camaján”)CAMAO.- Experimented.CAMBALACHE.- Species of exchange, interchange, black illicit business of stock-market.CAMBOLO.- Great stone.CAMELLO.- Original form of public transport in Havana.CAMIONETA.- van, light truck.CANA.- Prison.CAÑA.- Cuban peso (dame ~); (meter ~) to make love or to approach, to begin something.CANCHA.- Good person.CANDADO.- Beard style knob.CANDELA.- Fire. “Dar candela”: to set fire.CARAMELO.- Good caracter.CARATERRA - (Freeway) In Santiagero also means Easy & Promiscuious femaleCARMELINA.- Rich girl who don´t have to work.CARNE (EN ~).- Out of money.CASINO.- Salsa.CATAO.- Electrical switch.CATERVA.- Great plate of food.CAVILLA.- Sweeps fine of iron that is used in construction.CAYUCADA.- Brutality.CEBORUCO.- Very great stone; stupid person.CEDERISTA.- Member of the CDR.CERQUILLO.- Tuft of trimmed hair that is dropped on the forehead.CHABACANERIA.- Vulgarity.CHALANA.- Great foot, great shoe.CHAMA.- Young boy short form of Chamaco.CHANCE.- Opportunity.CHEO.- Heterosexual for gays.CHERNA.- Homosexual (also: Yegua, pato, bajito de sal).CHEVERE.- Good person.CHICHARRONES.- In slang it’s used to talk about submissive, servile types, that always praise the state, etc.CHIFLIDO.- To have diarrea.CHIVATEAR.- To inform to the authorities of illicit activities.CHIVO.- Bicycle.CHOCHA.- Feminine organ.CHOPIN.- Shop where you can buy only with CUC.CHUSMA.- Bad educated and scandalous person.COBA.- Clothes; (dar ~) speak much.COBIAO.- well dressed.COBIO.- Friend.COCOTAXI.- Motorcycle in form of tricycle with a yellow helmet, used as taxi for tourists.COCOTIMBA.- woman who don´t have hair, generally of black race.CODITOS.- It is paste in form of very short and curved tubitos. (Maccaroni)COJONES.- Balls, testicles. Used as an interjection denoting surprise, annoyance.COLADITO.- Cane brandy of azucar.COMECANDELA.- Communist.COMELONA.- Person who eats much.COMEMIERDA.- Idiot, stupidCOMMUNISMA - Failed Communism in SantiageroCOMPAY.- Friend, good guy.CONDUMIO.- Food.CONGRIS.- Cooked white rice with a sauce of black beans.CONSORTE.- Friend.CONTEO.- Count.CONUCO.- Hut.COÑO.- Cunt. Equivalent to the American fucken eh Normal Cuban expression but can be very offensive to non Cuban latinosCOPIA - ie Mi Copia “do you understand ?”CORTADO.- Stinking.CORTAO.- Stinking, it is used mainly for badly smell of sweat.CRECHE.- Scholarship.CREYÓN.- Labial pencil (of the French crayon).CRICA.- Vagina. specifically clitorisCUADRA.- The block is a section of street measured from corner to corner.CUADRADO.- Extremist.CUATROPUERTAS.- Trouser with great pockets to the sides of the knee.CUCARACHA.- Cockroach.CUENTOS.- Jokes.CULONA - Female who’s biggest physical attribute is her bootyCULITA - Same as CULONA but reverseLILLO.- Impatience.CUMBANCHA.- Party.CURRALO.- Work.CURDA.- Drunkard.CUTARA.- Slipper, only in the Eastern provinces.

DAR CUERO.- To make fun about somebody.DESCARGA.- Meeting between friends with music and songs.DESGREÑADA.- Neglecting, messed up hair, without fixing.DESMAYAR.- Not to pay attention to somebody or something, to despise.DESPELOTE.- Disorder, confusion.DESPINGAR.- To break, to destroy something.DESPLAYARSE.- To loose control.DIVISA.- Foreighn currency.DURO.- Avaricious.

EMBALADO.- Nervous, shaken, under the drug effects.EMBULLAR.- To animate.ENTOLLAR.- To introduce something until the end.ENVOLVENCIA.- Confusion.ESCACHAO.- Someone with economic problems.ESCAPARATE.- Locker.ESPEJUELOS.- Glasses.ESTILLA.- Money.ESTRAYARSE.- To crash.

FA.- Detergent.FAJARSE.- To fight.FANA.- Obscene Word. Sexual segregation. also uselessFAÑOSO.- Voice sounds nasal. offensive disgustingFEDERICO O FEDERICA.- Ugly person.FEONA - Very Ugly Girl (Cola Loca Term. Stgo)FIANA.- The police car.FIÑES.- Children.FILTRO.- Intelligent person.FLEJE.- Skinny person.FLETE.- Prostitution.FLOJO - Slow, weakFONDILLO DE MUJER.- Ass.FONGO.- It is a special type of banana.FORRAO.- Sheltered or with much money.FOSFORERA.- Lighter.FREGAR.- To wash plates, is only used in this case.FRIA.- Beer.FRIO.- The refrigerator.FRUTABOMBA.- Papaya.FUACATA.- Something that does not serve, can the same be a situation, a thing or a person.FUETAZO.- To give a blow somebody.FULA.- U.S. Dollar. also used as insult like foolish or stupidFUNDIDO.- Crazy.

GALLETA.- Slap by the face with the open hand.GANSO.- Homosexual.GAO .- House.GENTUZA.- Bad person.GETA.- Face.GIL.- Stupid. idiot.GLOBERO.- Person who lies.GLOBO.- Lie.GOMA.- Tire, rim.GRAJO.- Badly scent of the armpits.GRILLO.- Prostitute, a cheap one.GUACARA CON GUACARA.- Lesbians.GUACHO.- Farmer.GUACHIPUPA.- Refreshment without gas of homemade preparation.GUAGUA.- Bus.GUAGUANCÓ.- Typical dance.GUAGÜERO.- Driver of guagua.GUAJIRO.- Farmer, provincial.GUANAJO (a).- Stupid.GUANAQUIQUI.- Person with much money (”gunao”).GUAPO.- Problamtic person, who does not understand with anybody, like to fight.GUARACHAR.- To make party, go to dance.GUARAPITO.- Police, the level more under the police. The uniforms are green olive.GUARICANDILLA.- Prostitute.GUAROSO.- Popular.GUAYABA.- Lie.GUBARRÓN.- Bisexual man.GUINEO.- Banana fruit.GÜIRO.- Celebration; head.GUSANO.- Dissident.

HABICHUELA.- Kidney beans.HALE.- Pull (to open a door.)HAMBROSIO.- Great hunger.HAMPANGA (DE~).- bad, conflicting.HERIDO.- Hungry.HIELITOS.- Cubes.HIPOPOTAMO.- Fat person.

IFA.- Humans who transform themselves into Gods of religion YORUGUA.INTIMA.- Compresa sanitary.INVENTAR.- To improvise.IRIA.- Food.

JAIBA.- Great mouth.JALAO.- Drunkard.JAMAR.- To eat.JAVAO.- A black and white mestization where the skin is clear and the hair tends not to be so straight. It is a variant between mulato and white.JETA.- Face.JEVA .- Girlfriend or young women.JICOTEA.- Turtle.JINETERA.- Similar to prostitute, yet different seeks opportunistic relations to meet ones needs, mainly with tourists or foreignersJODEDOR.- Very glad man. Also it is applied to the women.JODER.- To bother.JUGO.- Juice.

KIKIRIQUI.- Person who like to fight.KILLER - anyone who is Crazy at what they do best from Rapping to Fighting to JinetandoKILO.- Cent.KIOSKO.- Where something is sold.

LAGUER.- Beer.LECOVIO.- Friend, but not very near.LENTES.- Contact lenses.LEVY.- Clothes; (Cortar ~) to criticize.LUKING.- Watching.LUZBRILLIANTE.- Kerosene.LYCRAS.- Meshes. Fit trousers.

MAJÁ.- Snake.MAJASEANDO.- To walk with vague.MALA HOJA.- Man or woman who is not good to make the love. Opposite: Buena hoja.MAMI.- Woman.MAMIRRIQUI.- Wonderful women.MAMONCITOS.- Small fruit with hard skin.MAMOTRETO.- Great or heavy great thing.MANEJAR.- Drive a car.MASETERO.- Person with money.MATAVACAS.- Great knife.MATE.- Long, very long kiss. It is also caresses, kisses and contacts in erotic zones, and, in short, a set of games that only excludes the penetration.MÁQUINA.- Car.MECHANICA - Mechanics of a plan, hustle or influenceMECA - Santiagero Modified version of MechanicaMETUSALÉN.- Old man.MEDIAS.- Socks.MEDIO TRONCO.- 50 pesos.MEN.- Friend.MEROLICO.- Craftsman who sells his products.MICKY - Micky Mouse Santiagero tacky, lacking quality or substanceMOJONERA.- Not util.MOLOTO.- Disordered group of people.MOMENTICO.- In a while.MONI.- Money.MONINA.- Brother, also a very good friend.MONJA.- Five pesos.MONO.- Ugly or pretty.MONONA.- Very nice, pretty.MOROPO.- Head.MUELA (DAR~).- Conversacion that never finish.MUÑEQUITOS.- Cartoons.MUSICAL (ESTO ES~).- Without importance.

NARRA.- Chinese.NAWELE.- Friend, known.NENÉ.- Boy, baby.NEGRONA - Very Big or Strong Black WomanNICHE.- Black person.NINFA.- Girl.NO CRANEO - No worries

OBSTINACIÓN.- Boredom.OBSTINANTE.- Tired of something, very boring.ORIENTALES.- Persons from the eastern provinces.OVEJA.- Lamb.

PÁJARO.- Homosexual.PALADAR.- Private restaurant.PALESTINO.- Person of the Eastern provinces.PALO.- Drink of rum.PANTALETA.- Panties.PAPAYA.- Vagina.PAPI.- Man.PAPIAR.- To eat.PAPIRRIQUI.- Affectionate expression towards the man.PARADERO.- Garage, place where the line buses are parked when they are out of service.PARLÉ.- It is a bet in a lottery.PARQUEAR.- To park.PARQUE.- Parking.PARTIDO.- Homosexual; (Estar ~) to be hungry.PASAS.- Hair of black people.PASMADO.- Out of money.PAMAO - Broke No MoneyPASMAR.- To interrupt two people who fall in love or have sex in private.PASTA.- Money.PASTILLA (ES MI ~).- sexual attractive person.PATATÚ.- One became ill suddenly.PATENTE.- Payment of special tax to the government.PATO.- Homosexual.PATÓN.- He can´t dance.PAVA.- Homosexual.PEGA.- Work.PELARLA.- Boring someone.PELEAR.- To fight, to discuss.PELO PASA.- Bad hair: Pelo Malo.PELO CHINO.- Straight hair: Pelo Bueno.PENCO.- Cowardly.PEPILLA.- Young woman who dresses in fashion.PERCHA.- Clothes.PERFILO.- Knife.PERILLA.- Clitoris.PEROL.- Car.PERRO.- (Adj.) good, great.PERSEGUIDORA.- Patrol.PESCADO.- Ten pesos.PESCAO (METER ~).- muy bien.PESTILLO.- Prostitute, “jinetera”.PETARDO.- Cheap prostitute.PETER.- tablet of chocolate.PICO.- Masculine sexual organ.PICUA.- Speak ironic.PIE (METER ~).- amounted to.PILA.- Faucet; (una ~ de) very many.PINCHA.- Work.PINCHO.- High civil employee of the government.PINGA.- Masculine sexual organ, penis.PIÑAZO.- Hit with the closed hand.PIRARSE.- To go away.PISTEAR.- To take a walk.PITÉN.- Game of baseboll in the street.PITUSA.- Jeans.PLUMÓN.- Labeller.POMO.- Plastic bottle.POPIS.- Sport shoes.PRAJO.- Cigarette.PRIETO.- Black.PULLA.- Shoe of woman with very pointed heel.PULOVER.- T-shirt. (the “camiseta” is the underclothes without sleeves, the outer t-shirt is called “pulover”)PUNTO.- Wild person, person of immoral or innobles conducts; “pestillo”.PURA .- Mother.PURO .- Father.

QUE BÓLA.- What goes? Whats Up ? What’s Happening ? (General Urban Greeting)QUEMAO (SER ~).- Very intelligent one; (ESTAR ~) crazy.QUEMAR PETRÓLEO.- To fall in love with a black woman or man.QUIMBAR.- To make love.QUIMBAO.- Crazy person, silly.QUIMBOMBÓ.- Vegetable.QUITRIN.- Car with a horse.

RABO.- Masculine sexual organ.RASTRA.- Great truck with tows, “vikingo”.RASTATUTE - Rastafarian in appearance, Jinetero/Pinguero in motivationRASTATUTION - Sex tourism for White European women who like Bob MarleyRECABUCHAR.- To watch at somebody naked without permission, generally by a hollow.REGADO.- Disordered.REGUERO.- Disorden in the house.RELAJO.- Disorden.RIPIAR.- To destroy (someone).RIPIARSE.- To enjoy dancing; to fight.RUFA.- Bus.RUMBA.- Party.

SALACIÓN.- Bad luck.SALVAVIDAS.- Eggs.SALSA - (form of Music/Dance) In Santiagero also can be same as Mechanica & or SingarSAPIAR.- To interrupt a pair.SATA.- A woman who like to have many contacts to men at parties but without relacions; not a prostitute.SAYA.- Skirt.SAYUELA.- Underclothes of woman.SANIAGHETTO - Santiago de CubaSENTADERAS.- Rumps.SINGAR.- To make love, sexual act.SINGAO.- Very bad.SINGUILLA.- Impertinent.SOCIO.- Friend.SOLAR.- Building with many “casas”.SOPLAO.- Good, flavorful.SUBURSIO.- Heart attack.

TACO.- Intelligent.TACOS.- Shoes.TACHO.- Hair of the head.TALLAR.- To fall in love.TALLE.- Words that you say when you fall in love with somebody.TARROS.- Adultery, horns.TEMBANA.- Woman of mature age. More than forty years.TEMPLAR.- Synonymous of “singar”.TIMBIRICHE.- “kiosko”.TIMÓN.- Steering wheel.TITIMANIA.- Old man who like young women.TENIS.- Sport shoes.TIN.- A bit.TIÑOSA.- Bad augury; problem.TIRARSE.- To make (a photo).TOCAO.- good people, pretty.TOLETE.- Penis, brutal.TOMAR LUCHA.- To worry too much.TORTILLERA.- Lesbian.TOSTONES.- “Platanos” (sort of banana) green fried, squashed and returned to refreir.TOTA.- Vagina.TRAPOS.- New and pretty clothes.TRIGUEÑO(A).- People with straight dark hair.TROMPON.- Hit with the closed hand.TRONAR.- To punish, to expel.TRONCO DE JEVA.- Girl with nice body.TROZAO.- Hungry.TRUSA.- Bikini.TUNTURUNTÚ.- That one goes away, it disappears.TUPAMAROS.- Cigarettes of homemade preparation using paper of plans or newspapers.TURCA.- Lie.

VALDE.- Bucket in the Eastern zone of Cuba.VALDIAR.- To clean the floor with much water.VEJIGO.- Boy.VENAO.- Prostitute. (”jinetera”)VENIRSE.- To run, to ejaculate, to have orgasmo.VENTANA.-$20.00 PesosVERRACO.- To be an idiot.VIANDA.- Food that accompanies the strong plate. (Banana, sweet potato, malanga, ñame, yucca)VIGUETA.- Bad.VIKINGO.- Great truck with tows.VITITI (DARSE ~).- proudly demonstrate new things f.e. to the neighbors.VOLÁ.- “Qué volá…” (What happened?)VOLAO (ESTAR ~).- to have plague, to have a hard penis.VUELTO.- The change, What they give back to you when you didn´t give the exact amount.

WALFARINA.- It is a rum, very hard.WARAREY.- Confidence.

YEGUA.- Homosexual (also: Cherna, pato, bajito de sal).YÍPI.- Jeep.YIRA.- Money.YUCA.- eatable root (also: penis).YUMA.- Foreigner.YUNTA.- Good friend.

ZOQUETE.- Lack of respect, if you don´t shut up when you should.ZURDO.- Person who can´t dance.ZUSNAR.- To sleep.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Icarus' father, Daedalus, a talented craftsman, attempted to escape from his exile in Crete, where he and his son were imprisoned at the hands of King Minos, the king for whom he had built the Labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur. Daedalus, the master craftsman, was exiled because he gave Minos' Daughter, Ariadne, a clew of string in order to help Theseus survive the Labyrinth.

Daedalus fashioned a pair of wings of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the lake. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which burned his wings. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus fell into the sea in the area which bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos.

Hellenistic writers who provided philosophical underpinnings to the myth also preferred more realistic variants, in which the escape from Crete was actually by boat, provided by Pasiphaë, for which Daedalus invented the first sails, to outstrip Minos' pursuing galleys, and that Icarus fell overboard en route to Sicily and drowned. Heracles erected a tomb for him.

Monday, October 27, 2008

2008 Madcap Masquerade Ball Fashion Show

2008 Madcap Masquerade Photos
Here and Here

Madcap Masquerade benefits Pittsburgh Parks
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Forget ghoulish Halloween parties. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Madcap Masquerade had a breathtaking new setting this year that was anything but dark and spooky. A giant clear tent was erected in Schenley Plaza, the jewel the conservancy carved from a parking lot. The newly restored fountain and the Festival of Lights projection on the Cathedral of Learning created a colorful backdrop for the fabulous bash inside. Imaginative costumes, wonderful fall fare by Bob Sendall's All in Good Taste, Bo Wagner's Tribute to Sinatra and the Latin sounds of Americas Latin Orchestra combined for a rollicking good time. Throw in the University of Pittsburgh's drum line and a Carousel Couture fashion show and no wonder the 485 guests stayed late!

Sponsoring UPMC Health Plan CEO Diane Holder served as honorary chair for the gala produced by Nancy Byrnes Events. Tori Mistick produced the related fashion show. The benefit raised $220,000.

Correction/Clarification: (Published Nov. 4, 2008) Nancy Byrnes of Nancy Byrnes Events produced the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Madcap Masquerade benefit on Oct. 25, 2008. Tori Mistick produced the fashion show that was part of the event. Ms. Mistick was credited in this report as originally published Nov. 1, 2008 with producing the entire event.