Skip to main content

Condi Rice's 60's and Jimmy Page's 70's

I have come to realize that at 54 (it's my birthday today) my post-doctoral edcation comes through the form of audiobooks.  I am listening to less music and instead forging into bio's on some interesting and great individuals.

Here's the tie to the master competitor lifestyle:  Give it a try and get into a good audiobook during your runs and gym time. Many are available from your local library through a format called Overdrive. It's a wealth of knowledge, just earplugs away through your MP3 player.

Rice's book "Extraordinary, Ordinary People" (which she personally narrates) is an enticing read.  In many instances it's more about the state of the south than her personal life.  She paints a first-person account of the late 1950's and 1960's in greater Birmingham, Alabama.  Segregation was at its height and violence occurred just down the street from her home.

Condi recounts the Baptist church bombing where four young girls were killed.  She was at the funeral and remembers the small white coffins going out of the church.She writes in detail of the waiting room at her mother's doctor's office, up the back stairs to a paint-peeled room with wooden benches.

Rice posits that a unified cry went up out of the black south when John F. Kennedy was shot and murdered, most fearing his death would also kill the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

It's hard to imagine the United States as a "Christian" nation, with these acts on the forefront of society.  Rice went on the be a great musician, ice skater (didn't know that one, did you?), academic and of course a top appointed official in our U.S. government.

Mick Wall, a long-time journalist who was part of the 70's rock scene, presents a highly detailed look into the life and times of Led Zeppelin in "When Giants Walked the Earth."

Zeppelin was a big part of my teenage life, as I'm a product of the 1970's rebellious, heavy-metal era. If you're into the long version of how Page left Jeff Beck's the Yardbirds and moved on to find John Paul Jones, John Bonham and of course Robert Plant, you'll hang on almost every word.

Bottom line, this listen left a sour taste in my mouth.  These bad boys of rock lived a hedonistic, narcissistic version of life, where rules didn't count and accountability was seldom found in any situation.  The low point of the book is a recounting of how Bonham, in his normal state of drunkenness, walked over to a woman in a restaurant and punched her in the face...for smiling at him.

Really bad stuff, really good music, but the lessen learned is that life must be about overall respect for others over self.  This was the 1970's; I liked it then, I don't so much like it now.


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…