Monthly Archives: July 2007

My Embarrassment Stage

Another year and another scandal?

I have not had the opportunity to watch much of the Tour de France as compared to last year. Our cable package does not have OLN so the live coverage in the morning or the recap package in the evenings are lost. I have to rely on catching an hours worth at the gym in the morning or through web updates.

Tour de France - Vinokourov Mountains

Suffice to say I have felt disconnected with the marquee race this year. From what I have seen I enjoyed.

There was a lot of stories to cover. I am not overly familiar with the riders, and the ones I had kept my eye on were mostly because of media attention.

With that said, Rasmussen, Boonen, Leipheimer and Mayo were the names I looked for during each stage.

Tour de France - Vinokourov VictoryVinokourov become a noteworthy cyclist after crashing in stage five. The next stage he returned with bandages and started losing ground of the overall. After watching a short OLN bio on him I was interested and hoped he would finish the race and make his home country proud.

Unfortunately Vinokourov has been in the news for more than his accident. Just as was the case with Landis last year, a magnificient stage win has been followed by doping allegations.

Unlike last year, there appears to be a little more attention and Vinokourov and his team have dropped out of the race.

What used to be a respectable event has now become the target of accusations and scandals. Vinokourov is the not the only rider to have come under doping allegations and as the final stages of the race approach perhaps there will be more?

I find it difficult to be faithful to a sport where such blatant rule breaking takes place. After last year I had hoped the worst was over but now we are set for another year of accusations, appeals and a truth that is far from being known.

My Week In Review

A week ago I was down in Calgary. Now, I am sitting at home enjoying the Friday on what turned out to be another gorgeous day. What a week it has been.

We travelled 1800KM’s, saw five concerts, experienced torrential rain, had a near miss with a deer and made great memories all over the long weekend.

By now most are aware of the secret show Jack and Meg performed at a Youth Center last weekend. I made several phone calls before rushing off with Jenna in tow.

When we arrived we were able to get a decent spot infront of Jack. Everyone I called was able to make it into the show, even Aaron made it in who just came in the back door when the main entrance was closed to the amount of people.

White Stripes - Edmonton Early Show - 02 White Stripes - Edmonton Early Show - 03
White Stripes - Edmonton Early Show - 01 White Stripes - June 30 Late - Behind Head

The experience was surreal and a treat that lead into a fantastic main show on Saturday. As I wrote earlier, the setlist was amazing. Songs were played from The White Stripes and White Blood Cells that I thought I would never hear. It was a gem and listening back to the show I am reminded of how great it was.

Six hours after going to sleep I was and getting ready for the trip to Saskatoon. The trip was peaceful and we encountered little traffic. Obviously Aaron and I had spent a lot of time in a car together to this point. Although with the addition of Wendy she livened up the ride as we talked music and discussed our new empire: STB. I will save you the back story.

We got into Saskatoon around 1:30PM but could not check into the hotel until 4:00PM. We ventured off down the road in search of a hotspot so we could get an update on a Saskatoon free show.

We ended up in Starbucks and as I logged onto the wireless connection a phone call came in from a Saskatoon connection telling me the news. Aaron and Wendy grabbed their drinks and we rushed back to the car. Thanks to Aaron’s GPS unit we were able to head in the direction of the secret show.

Everything seemed good until the navigator took us to an empty parking lot. Minutes were ticking by and we felt our window of opportunity close. We felt that we should turn right at a corner.

We asked an elderly couple walking down the street if they knew where Eastview Bowl was. Either they did not hear us, or were messing with us, but both shook their heads. Not more than 100m behind them was the bowling lane. Score one for you Grandma!

We jumped out of the car and ran inside to see a crowd gathered around several lanes. Anticipation was building and then Jack and Meg crossed the lanes with pins in hand and rocked out. This moment was just as surreal as the one from the day before.

A band I had seen only from afar was now six feet away from me and playing an intimate show for us. The set was shorter but featured a new batch of rarities, and one song (Red Bowling Ball Ruth) which had only been played a handful of times.

White Stripes - Saslatppm Early Show - 01 White Stripes - Saskatoon Early Show - 02
White Stripes - Saskatoon Late Show - 01 White Stripes - Saskatoon Late Show - 02

As my update from Monday morning would tell you, the show was a success and we were all exhausted. After a quick breakfast we headed back to Alberta. Not more than twenty-four hours after we had entered this province, we were leaving it.

The rest of the week flew by. I spent my time listening back to the concerts, reliving the moments and reading about the experiences of others from the weekend. It was truly an amazing moment and one I will not forget for some time.

The good next kept rolling last week as last Friday Matthew Good announced a tour date in Edmonton. Obviously I was excited and on Thursday after a little bit of chaos buying tickets I was able to get upper balcony, front row. This spot is similar to where I sat last year.

Matthew Good - In Studio

Then today while recapping the buying experience with another Matthew Good fan online I discovered that there was a second show added. Quick on the ticket buying and I had two front row balcony seats for two consecutive nights. The two Matthew Good shows lead into an intimate concert with Tegan and Sara. It is going to be a good September.

With the conclusion of The White Stripes marathon there should be less Jack and Meg talk on here. Most of June was dominated by candy cane conversations but don’t be surprised if a post flares up about how great the Edmonton show was or how timid Meg acts when she sings; it will be just me reminiscing about this past weekend.