Friday, July 21, 2006

Miscellaneous ramblings on a day off

I have a day off from running, so here are a few random notes from the world of sports and food:

-Floyd Landis is the MAN! He was all but out of contention in the Tour de France. Two days ago he lost the yellow jersey and slipped from 1st to 11th after a disastrous day in the mountains. Yesterday, with nothing to lose, he broke away from the peloton early and caught the breakaway group all by himself. Floyd eventually dropped them too and ended up not only winning the stage, but he brought himself back into contention! Arguably, this is one of the most legendary solo efforts in Tour history, and it was amazing to watch. He is now in 3rd overall, a mere 30 seconds back, with his strongest event (the individual time trial) coming up on Saturday. He could win this thing! Adding to the drama is the fact that he has a bum hip that will actually require hip-replacement surgery after the season. This might be his last shot to win the Tour. Go get 'em, Floyd!

-I went out for lunch today to the Claddagh Irish Pub in Maple Grove. For a chain restaurant, this place serves up some pretty good chow. I almost always have the fish and chips, so today I opted for something different; the corned beef sandwich topped with Swiss cheese and slaw on marble rye. Good stuff. This place is worth stopping at if you are ever in the northwest metro looking for a bite to eat.

-Earlier this week I talked about NASCAR driver, Kyle Petty. He was on 92 KQRS radio this morning promoting the 2006 Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride. This is an annual cross-country motorcycle ride which has become a fundraiser for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. He is just the greatest guy. (Any of you iTunes-saavy people can listen to the July 21st interview on Podcast if you so desire.)

-I am a fan of Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain was the executive chef at NYC's Brasserie Les Halles, and while he still appears prominently on their web site, I don't think he spends much time there anymore. He has since become a writer and TV host, most currently appearing on the Travel Channel with his food and travel show, "No Reservations." I have read his books, "Kitchen Confidential," "A Cook's Tour," and have made a few recipes out of the "Les Halles Cookbook" with much success (try the boeuf Bourguignon….mmmm!). Irreverent, cantankerous, humorous, and brutally honest, he is an entertaining and knowledgeable character who is fun to read and watch. Anyhow, I just learned that he and his crew were recently filming for "No Reservations" in, of all places, Beirut when everything hit the fan. Yikes! Bourdain posted on a few message board indicating they were OK and offered some insightful commentary on this sad situation. They were trapped for several days but have since been safely evacuated from the country via the USS Nashville. A message from a staffer at the Travel Channel seems to indicate they are planning to use the footage they shot for some special broadcast, which ought to be very compelling.

That is all for now. Tomorrow I will run in the morning, and after that I plan to hit the farmers market for the first time this summer. More to follow!

Until next time,

Jean
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